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Mendocino County Today: January 7, 2021

Brief Interlude | 37 New Cases | AV Vaccinations | Freezer Fiasco | Mendo Surging | Navarro Breaches | Educator Drowned | Albion Mill | Trussed Invader | Shelter Cove | Whetstone Murder | Whale Rock | Systemic Changes | Seen Trudy? | Ed Notes | Statehouses Swarmed | PA Testing | Yesterday's Catch | Biden Baggage | Incompetent Leadership | Liquidation Sale | Sensible Measures | Held Up | Boats | Bales Campaigns | Yesterday's Quotes | Found Object

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TRANSIENT HIGH PRESSURE will allow for a brief interlude in the active weather pattern, before another front approaches this evening with some more beneficial rainfall, locally gusty southerly winds, and mountain snow in northeast Trinity. Showers will taper off on Friday, followed by a milder, partly sunny day to kick off the weekend. (NWS)

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37 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Wednesday, bringing total to 2751. The ratio of infection for Ukiah area residents is now 1 in 20.

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FROM THE AV HEALTH CENTER: We got vaccinated! Over the past two weeks we vaccinated all our eligible staff and 30 EMS workers. We worked in partnership with AV Fire and Redwood Coast Medical Services to get vaccines out to Gualala. Stay tuned for more info on when we will be able to start vaccinating our patients!

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How many different ways can you spell shitshow? In-home healthcare workers were told last week (those who were told) to show up the same day for a shot (in Ukiah) or miss out for an indefinite time. Now this. Can you tell there is no plan? To vaccinate a nation of 400 million people?

"Doctors immediately realized that it would be necessary to distribute all these 850 doses on an emergency basis, lest they go bad and become unviable. So the staff of the hospital began to make calls, send texts, call in staff that was off, and prepared to administer all the doses."

"They began at 12 p.m. and a line soon formed outside and inside of the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, with people off the street, patients, people who had heard from a friend or word-of-mouth, lining up out the door. By 2 p.m. all the doses had been administered and the people left in line had to be turned away. Information was collected from those who did get a vaccine, and they will be given a call at a future date for their booster shot. Additionally they received CDC vaccine cards."

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The Navarro River was flowing freely into the ocean this afternoon. There is a new channel through the sandbar that is wide enough and with enough flow that I think it will stay open for the foreseeable future, as long as we keep getting some rain every couple of days, as the forecast projects for the near future.

I drove east on Hwy 128 to the 6.6 milepost and back, and found no signs of flooding or debris. I'll post some photos to my Facebook page as soon as I can get to it.

So everybody can relax about that and not be wondering if the highway is open or not. We got off easy this time. The surge of water coming down the river was enough to easily breach the sandbar between 9 PM and 10 PM Tuesday night. When I checked the sandbar late Tuesday afternoon it was high and wide, and I thought it might be a few days before it would open up. Happily, it opened promptly and the closure of Hwy 128 lasted less than 12 hours.

Nick Wilson

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45-year-old David Reyes Juarez, an educator from Rancho Cucamonga, visited Mendocino Big River Headlands State Park on Saturday, January 2, 2021. He and his family hiked along the headlands, and with what a local described as “vicious” waves below them. In a tragic turn of events, the Juarez family watched as their loved one fell into the heavy seas. After a multi-agency rescue attempt, Juarez was found but ultimately pronounced deceased.

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Albion Mill Housing

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JIM SHIELDS notes that at Tuesday's BOS meeting, there were numerous demands from the Coast's “liberal” lynch mob (via Zoom) for Sheriff Kendall to apologize for using the “hurtful” racist photo in his original submission to the Board requesting the $4 million for the additional deputies to help quell the pot-related violence in the North County. Shields (and us) are pleased that Kendall refused to apologize, having nothing to apologize for since he had weeks ago issued a press release against vigilantism. The photo of the hog-tied home invader was deployed as a visual argument against people taking the law into their own hands and as a visual argument for more deputies so people won't have to take the law into their own hands.

SHIELDS WRITES: Re: “hog-tied black man,” etc. There was no vigilante-ism during the Bagliere caper. I was on the air doing my show that Saturday when we started getting calls in the studio right when the whole thing started. My radio sidekick lives up there where they have a pretty sophisticated Neighborhood Watch-like program. They kept us informed of unfolding events until the cops showed up in force and started their operation. The guy who was trussed up and delivered to MCSO had been at-large overnight trying to find a way out of what appears to be a box canyon but isn't. He wandered all night, and since he was wearing just trousers and a T-shirt on a chilly night, by morning he was exhausted and dehydrated as he wobbled up a road to the house where he was observed by the occupants sitting in the road. They knew he was the missing gangster. He offered no resistance, they gave him water, trussed him with zip-ties, and drove him down to where MCSO had set up one of their roadblocks. The cops couldn't find him, but the neighbors did. They weren't out hunting for him, but when they found him, they did the right thing. They made sure he was relatively OK, detained him, gave him water, secured him for their safety, and delivered him to the cops. As I said at the time, the Sheriff should give a commendation to them. Most of the folks up there (just west a few miles of the Hog Farm) are hippie back-to-lander-growers, but they're not the kind of hippies you want to piss off. They're also the kind of people who don't drive around with their Klan hoods and robes tucked under the front seat, ready-at-hand for when they commit their next racial outrage. By the way, the leaders of the crook crew, Bagliere and Son, are White, the others are Black. Proves a long-held belief of mine, there's more racial harmony nowadays than ever. It's everywhere if you just open your eyes, you'll find it in the damndest places.  

I have a good friend, whose property butts up against Bagliere's former property, who had a few run-ins with the old crook/gangster, including one time when he confronted Bagliere and his H.A. associates who were most likely preparing to set up a meth cook op. He “persuaded” them that was not a good idea and it was time for them to leave and never come back.

They did. It's a different world up here in the North County, take my word for it. 

Here is the Bagliere piece I wrote back then that sets out the whole caper. 

Notes & Thoughts On Laytonville-Pot Home Invasion

by Jim Shields

Mendocino County Observer (September 22, 2020)

Last weekend, there was a violent home invasion in the northern Laytonville area that stretched over several days starting on Thursday, Sept. 17. The mastermind, I guess you could call him, was Louis Bagliere, 73, now of San Jose but formerly a resident of Laytonville.  Evidently Bagliere returned to the area to rob some people who he had rented his former property for the purpose of growing weed.

How do you rent property that you don’t own? I don’t know but evidently that’s what Bagliere did.

According to a number of people I know, Bagliere sold his property — which by the way and ironically was the site of the Jeffrey Settler pot grow murder four years ago — a couple of years after that homicide was committed. Reportedly, it was sold to a San Jose real estate investor. It’s a 160-acre parcel located five miles north of Laytonville and five or six mile west of Highway 101.

Bagliere, who has been a mid-level career criminal his whole life, reportedly has been arrested and/or charged, and/or served time for mostly drug-related offenses in California, Texas and Utah.  He’s been looked at by California authorities for a couple of murders but was never arrested or charged for them, and is known to have associations with Bay Area street gangs, and had some type of “business” relationship (most likely meth) with the Hell’s Angels. 

Anyway, apparently he “rented” his old property to these folks who were growing weed. Most likely, they had some kind of deal with Bagliere over the grow.

The Sheriff’s reports has all the details of what ensued when Bagliere and his Bay Area crew of heavily armed crooks/gang members showed up Thursday at his old homestead. They relieved the “renters” of 20 pounds of weed and said they’d be back Saturday presumably for more weed and/or money.

Bagliere’s crew returned to the property on Saturday confronting the renters comprised of three men, a woman, and young child. They demanded money from the renters, firing off three or four shots to show their demand was serious. 

But it was bad news for Bagliere and his gangsters in that they were all caught and arrested, including the one bad guy, later identified as David Lee Edmonds, a 50 year-old male from San Jose, who managed to evade the cops for a day, but he was nabbed by an alert resident who placed him under citizen’s arrest, trussed him up with zip ties, and delivered the violent dolt to Sheriff’s deputies who arrived on the scene. That citizen deserves a commendation from the County.

By the way, the one inexplicable thing that occurred was the authorities released Bagliere due to “pre-existing medical conditions.” How can somebody who was medically fit enough to plot this caper, arm himself with an assault rifle, and ride around in a van on rough country roads for part of a weekend, be released for any reason at all, medical or otherwise. If he’s physically fit enough to carry out several days of violent mayhem, he’s well enough to have his ass locked up with the rest of homies.

Also, the cops released a young woman who obviously was part of Bagliere’s crew acting as their “lookout”, according to a several people I know. 

At the very beginning of this Saturday felonious matinée, she was observerd by a neighbor sitting in a car for a long time in front of a gate (on which the lock had been cut) on the road leading to where Bagliere’s “renters” lived, a very remote area needless to say.

So this person walked down the road to ask the woman what was up, could they be of any assistance. The young lady’s response to the inquiry? “Why you asking, what’s the matter, don’t you like niggers?”

And so it goes in the timeless world of crooks and crime. 

Here’s the Sheriff’s report:

On Sunday, September 20, at approximately 12:45 P.M., a Sheriff's Office deputy received information from citizens in the area of the 50400 block of North Highway 101 near Laytonville, CA. The deputy was informed that citizens in the area located and detained a black male adult fitting the description of the outstanding suspect from Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 related to this robbery investigation. Deputies responded and detained the suspect.

Sheriff's Office detectives responded and following additional investigation, the subject was identified as the outstanding wanted suspect from this ongoing investigation. The suspect was identified as David Lee Edmonds, a 50 year-old male from San Jose. Edmonds was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital for a medical clearance and later transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child endangerment, armed during the commission of a felony.

Edmonds was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

There are no other outstanding suspects being sought in the Laytonville, area relating to this incident. Anyone with information related to this incident is requested to call the Sheriff's Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or can remain anonymous by calling the WeTip system at 800-782-7463.

Original Press Release

On Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 at approximately 4:00 P.M., deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to an armed robbery that occurred at the Black Oak Ranch in the 49000 block of North Highway 101 near Laytonville.

Law enforcement personnel from the Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Mendocino County Inter-Agency SWAT team also responded to assist with this incident.

After law enforcement personnel arrived at the scene and met with the numerous victims, an investigation ensued where the following information was learned. On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, Tyler Bagliere, 28, of San Jose, and his father, Louis Bagliere, 73, of San Jose, went to the rural property near Laytonville with two black male adults, later identified as Lathiaro White, 26, of Oakland, and Anthony Watson, 30, of San Jose. These subjects were armed with firearms and held a number of victims who were at the property at gunpoint while demanding money. A firearm was discharged at or near the victims during this incident. The suspects later left the property after stealing approximately 20 pounds of marijuana, and stated they would return in two days.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, Tyler Bagliere returned to the above property with three black male adults who were later identified as Christopher Stewert, 30, of San Jose, Deangelo Villalona, 25, of San Jose, and another unidentified adult male. Stewert and Villalona were armed with a firearm on this date and the unidentified suspect discharged a firearm at or near the victims while demanding payment from them. The victims at the scene were identified as 3 adult males, an adult female, and a juvenile female who were held at gunpoint for several hours.

During the continuing investigation, law enforcement personnel stopped a van that was attempting to leave the area. Louis Bagliere, Lathiaro White, and Anthony Watson were located in the van along with multiple assault rifles equipped with large-capacity magazines and a loaded handgun.

The victims were interviewed during this investigation and it was determined they were not injured during the robbery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 or Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Evidence was located at the scene of the robberies that corroborated the victim's statements regarding the incidents.

The following suspects were arrested for the listed charges in relation to this investigation:

T Bagliere, Edmonds, Stewart
Villalona, Watson, White

Tyler Bagliere: Armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child endangerment, and criminal threats.

Lathiaro White: Armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, and being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Anthony Watson: Armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, and being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Christopher Stewert: Armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, and being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Deangelo Villalona: Armed robbery in concert, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, and being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Louis Bagliere: Armed robbery in concert and criminal threats.

Louis Bagliere was cited and released during this investigation due to pre-existing medical conditions. Investigators with the Sheriff's Office requested a bail enhancement on the other arrested suspects, which was granted for a no-bail status. Tyler Bagliere, White, Watson, Stewert, and Villalona were transported to the Mendocino County Jail where they were ultimately held on a no-bail status.

There was another unidentified adult male suspect who was not apprehended during this investigation. The outstanding suspect is described as a black male adult, approximately 20-30 years old, short, thin build, and possibly armed with a firearm. The suspect fled the area of the scene on foot and has not been located at this time. Please do not attempt to contact or detain this suspect as he is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information relating to this case or the outstanding suspect is requested to call the Sheriff's Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086.

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Shelter Cove with Sun Out

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by Bob Dempel

I read with horror the article about the murder of James (Jim) Whetstone (69) in the local papers this past October. The article left no doubt that Jim was murdered. He had been reported missing for about a week. The articles said that after some time the authorities found his body in a fresh shallow grave covered with debris on the family property. The authorities soon afterwards arrested his son James P. Whetstone (29) for the father’s murder. 

James Andrew & James Presley Whetstone

Now some may ask why a person down in Santa Rosa would be so mortified about a murder clear up in Willits. I have learned in 85 years that friendship knows no mileage or timeline. I had known the father, Jim, back in 1970 when he did some welding work for me. He was a fine welder and the pipe he welded is still in use. Jim also needed, at that time, to find a place to set up his welding business. In 1975 I had just constructed a fine metal building. On one end was a closed in room with a concrete floor and a roll up side door. The room was ideal for a welding shop. It came complete with 220 phase electric plugs, water just outside and very accessible. There always seemed to be a need for some welding around the ranch. He seemed to want to settle down. Jim stayed for a few years. He was then married to April, and wanted to settle down and raise a family. 

I didn’t see Jim for many years but again we crossed paths somewhere around 1990. At that time, he was in the carpentry business.  Ironically, I had just finished a room in a hay barn where I could bunk on long days, and did want to drive back to Santa Rosa. He graciously built one of the finest set of cabinets I have ever seen. Complete with spaces for the ovens, dish washer, and all accessories necessary for a kitchen. For all of this he charged a modest amount.  Somewhere about this time he had divorced April and married Debbie.  I think I met her only once. A beautiful blond lady. They seemed to be able to have children, and at that time they had three.

I ran into Jim just a few years ago at the Savings Bank of Mendocino County in Hopland. He was living just south of town. He was now in the metal business, mainly pot metal. He invited me to stop by. “Be sure to call first,” he said. I stopped by only one time. We chatted for a short time.   I looked at his product. He and Debbie had 7 children and everything seemed just fine. 

I became concerned about Jim shortly after my visit. The Ukiah Daily Journal ran an article about a younger Whetstone being involved is some ruckus with his father. There was only one article, so I dismissed it from my mind. 

The murder of my friend Jim has weighed on me. I looked up the name Whetstone in an old phone book I kept.  I am sure you know that the phone company no longer publishes a phone book, so if you have an old one, hang onto it.   

I found a Whetstone in the old book. To make sure I had the correct Whetstone, I called a friend of mine who lives in Willits. Lee is my age and an old-timer in Willits. He indicated that most probably the correct person for me to express my condolences was his mother, who lived on Valley _____.

I called the listed number and it was correct. Jim’s mother answered. After introductions, she led me through what she saw on that tragic day. Mrs. Whetstone is 95 years old now, but there was no doubt what she told me was true. I’m not sure if I feel any better now by having talked to her.

Mrs. Whetstone told me that Jim’s remains were taken to the coast and scattered. This is an example of our county needing more mental health service.

Previously: Missing Man Murdered By Son

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I hope the story I tell will illustrate the need for a new direction in our Sheriff's Office, including the integration of social workers, psychologists, trainings, and a different approach to interactions with those deemed 'criminal'. We need a revolutionary program. While cancel-culture toward the police is currently popular, I prefer to work together towards an internal revolution of the heart.

I want a future in which we can trust police people because they have compassion and sensitivity in the actions they force. Upholding the law with compassion is exemplary of maturity and leadership.

My brother is an addict and has been in and out of jail. His drug addiction has severely impacted his mental health. He should be hospitalized in a facility based on recovery instead of in the revolving door to jail, parole, prison, and the streets. After a year in prison, the state paid for him to attend rehab. This summer we were in my backyard talking. He was recently out of jail and still sober. He said "I don't deserve this", knowing that he wouldn't be able to resist the drugs and he was headed back. I said "No you don't".

When my brother got out of prison he was sent to a state sanctioned rehab as part of his sentence. In prison they prescribed Suboxone (an opiate), and continued to 'medicate' him in rehab. But he was kicked out for smoking pot. Cannabis is not a drug our family considers to be an issue in his life, while opiates, like Suboxone, continue the addiction cycle.

His probation officer ordered him to return to Ukiah and stay within the City limits. He was told he couldn't get a job because he would have to go back to rehab or prison at some unknown point in the future. He was no longer eligible for food stamps. His out of County MediCal was held up, so he couldn't fill the Suboxone prescription. Neither the ER nor the community support group, Plowshares, could straighten that out. He went to the ER to get medication twice. Withdrawal from Suboxone results in weeks of intense physical sickness, including vomiting, plus a longer period of sleeplessness and jitters. He was homeless. It is quicker and easier to get illegal opiates, which immediately stop the sickness caused by suboxone withdrawals.

The parole officer required that my brother check in regularly, but did not accept phone calls, except on Wednesdays. Instead, he wanted a text. My brother borrowed a flip phone so he could call, but it did not have a texting plan. He tried leaving voice mails for weeks but the box was always full. When the family called the parole officer on Wednesdays he was abrupt and unhelpful. We paid for a texting plan, but texting on a flip phone is not easy.

It is shockingly inept to require someone with mental health issues to go through extra hoops for phone texting communication. Any social worker would recognize the many ways in which these interactions are guaranteed to result in failure. Under these impossible practices someone addicted to drugs will never escape the cycle of jail and parole.

Due to the extreme trauma of the street to jail cycle, and hopelessness of life, my brother is sometimes suicidal. I heard radio interview on mental health with Behavioral Health Services that provided information about free counseling and suicide hotlines. I mentioned these services and the possibility of getting someone to help him interact with the parole officer. He felt distrustful of the Agency that he saw as part of the County institution trying to jail him.

As a homeless person, my brother was woken up in the middle of the night by police and told if they saw him again that night they would take him to jail. A different night they searched him and found paraphernalia. He was riding my bike. He asked if he could lock it up or call me so I could come get it. They refused. So he gave it to a homeless woman. Allowing him the respect and dignity to call me or lock the bike is a basic act of kindness that all humans deserve. He didn't notice until his release that they had left his backpack with wallet and cell phone behind too.

When he went to jail we believe that he did not receive a free phone call. We did complain to the receptionist who denied it had happened. Advocating for an incarcerated family member is exhausting. Our mother did receive a paid phone call, a call that required someone to run and get a credit card (not a collect call). She was not quick enough and it hung up. In an effort to contact him we called the jail and after a few days they called back to say we needed to schedule a video call. We did so and got family members together from multiple parts of the County, but the Jail did not show up. Because we couldn't communicate with him we missed the arraignment. The parole officer said he would likely get another three years in prison. We had wanted to advocate for rehab, as we believe that is the only solution.

Prior to Covid, when we were allowed to visit in person, jail visits were unnecessarily inconvenient. If we were one minute late we were told we had missed the appointment, but if we were on time, we often had to wait thirty minutes to an hour before someone even checked in with us. The feeling I get is that, because we are associated with a criminal, we are subhuman and don't need to be treated with common respect. I am an educated white woman and I imagine that it is more difficult for immigrants, the mentally ill, and people of color. Our Sheriff can do better today by simply implementing common courtesy.

While still in jail my brother told us he wanted to go back to rehab via a letter. Despite incredible hurdles in communicating with him and his parole officer while he was in jail, we arranged a year-long work trade program at Jericho Project, based on an interview he had done with them. We only needed a TB test and COVID test while he was still incarcerated because the rehabilitation center enrolls people immediately upon release for health and safety reasons. We needed the parole officer's cooperation, but he was ambivalent. Despite our requests to keep him in jail until we could make arrangements, he was released early with a year remaining on his sentence. He was on the street again with no ID or phone, yet expected to call his parole officer every other day.

My brother was again required to stay within the city limits of Ukiah. As a man with PTSD he is terrified of the streets. He broke parole and went to the coast where our mother lives and he grew up. He pitched a tent on a friend's land who is a recovered addict with sympathy for his situation. Recovered addicts are doing more to help addicts than our institutions and on very little resources, often volunteering their time. Alcoholics Anonymous is the most familiar example. Within a month my brother upgraded his tent to a trailer and had a job doing construction full time. He hasn't called his parole office out of fear of going back to prison, being prevented from working, and being called back to Ukiah. What has been the point of this charade?

These failures, while seemingly small, are monumental because they are repeated over and over again with families across our county and country.

How do we deal with the disparity between the need for a physical force to stop crime with the long term need to reduce it?

It is unacceptable that police systematically exhibit emotional violence and disrespect. But it is important to recognize that they provide protection for the community. We have reasons to say, "Thank you" to them every day. How do we deal with this disparity between the tough job of keeping the peace and frequent lack of respect and even violence?

I ask that you join me in asking the Sheriff's Office and Board of Supervisors for a proposal that addresses these issues. I support making systematic changes and integrating social workers into their operations. This would free up officers to address the issues of robbery and assault, Sheriff Kendall's primary concerns. Social workers should run the jails as well, with support from officers. Every interaction of the parole officer with my brother could have been performed better by a social worker.

This proposal would include hiring social workers to do the mental health calls, communication, and outreach; contracting with psychologists in the community about how the department can grow to meet the demand for social justice and awareness; officer training on racism and anti-racism; and improving the interface between inmates and their families so that outside support for recovery can be facilitated. I would like to humbly suggest that every officer read Bell Hooks' book "The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love"

Today I join people across our nation in asking for emotional compassion and sensitivity. I ask this of our police as individual people too. I ask them to become incredibly mature men and women. I ask them to continue to harness power and youthful strength while also practicing the search for emotional wisdom through reading, training and emoting. I ask them to ask for help in areas in which they are not trained. I ask them to have the humility to recognize that when they take on the responsibility of being allowed to end lives they must deeply practice being good, kind, emotionally wise people. I ask that they have a daily practice of recognizing internal prejudices so they don't go after people based on their skin color, so that they treat all people with respect. I ask them to become aware and sensitive to micro-aggressions and to understand that these aggressions are part of what encourages criminal behavior. I ask that they choose kindness so that they help make the lives of those suffering, those living on the streets or stuck coming back into their jails again, more bearable. I ask our police women and men to become some of the smartest, wisest, emotionally mature people we know.

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VICKI WHITEHEAD: My friend is looking for an artist named Trudy Smith who was in the valley at least 5 years ago. She sold a painting to Nancy Adams who has passed and Nancy's wish was for the painting to be returned to Trudy. Please contact Debra (707) 573-5448 if you have contact info for Trudy. Thanks,

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IT'S 2PM WEDNESDAY, Mendo time, and the Trumpers have occupied the national capitol, closing down the government which, as of this afternoon, is in hiding, waiting for the forces of law and undoubtedly more disorder to retake America's helm. Vice-president Pence, having announced he wouldn't stand in the way of certification, also lit out for the top security room, putting the ratification of the Biden-Harris election on hold. 

A YOUNG WOMAN, a very pretty young woman preliminarily described as a Trumper, was shot inside the Capitol this afternoon, the first time shots have been fired in those presumably inviolable premises since Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire on the House of Reps in 1954, wounding several congressmen. Who shot her is not yet known, but it was announced about 5pm that she was dead. Security people had been seen brandishing hand guns at Trumpers trying to break through a door, but it would take a very bad man to shoot a young woman whatever she'd done in a riot situation. (IMO, of course)

NEWS ACCOUNTS said "numerous" police agencies and the National Guard had been called out to restore order, and DC's mayor had announced a 6pm curfew. By nightfall, it appeared that Trumpers had called it a day.

VIOLENCE broke out after Trump had spent an hour stirring up his mob about how he and they had been cheated out of the election. By early afternoon dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol as lawmakers were urged to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. It was during this chaos that the young woman was shot in the chest and died in the hospital. 

TRUMPERS were heard banging on the doors of the House chamber and yelling as police officers rushed lawmakers out of the chamber.  'We've been given gas masks on the House floor. Tear gas has been used in the Rotunda,' wrote Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly on Twitter. Pence, presiding in the Senate, and Pelosi, presiding in the House, were removed from their respective chambers at the first hint the mob had broken in.

Trumper in Capitol

TRUMPERS filled the rotunda, which sits below the Capitol Dome and is filled with paintings depicting events in the founding of the nation. Trumpers were also seen marching through Statuary Hall, the room off the House chamber that is filled with statues of the nation's founders. In the crypt of the Capitol, where George Washington was originally supposed to be buried, police and protesters were seen in hand-to-hand fighting. Trump, having urged his mob to march on the Capitol, belatedly urged his supporters to stay peaceful, but his shock troops were already inside the building and vandalizing it.

AS HE pumped up his Magas prior to their occupation of the capitol, Trump called the election "explosions of bullshit." The crowd dutifully chanted "Bullshit" in a call and response-like chorus. "We will never concede. It doesn't happen. There's never been anything like this. It's a pure theft," Trump bellowed. 

BUT VICE PRESIDENT Pence had refused Trump's demand to overturn the electoral college results and certify Joe Biden's  victory. In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, "It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not. I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral voters should be counted."

BY 6PM EASTERN TIME, the Capitol was once more in the hands of the oligarchs, representatives of, and the Congress was reconvening to resume the Biden certification process.

TRUMP FINALLY told his mob he “loves” them, but “go home” after they rampaged past police barriers to storm the Capitol this afternoon. Following up that nice piece of insincerity, Trump got off a whining tweet that “There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us - from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”

BY 6PM EASTERN TIME, the Capitol was once more in the hands of the oligarchs, representatives of, and the Congress was reconvening to resume the Biden certification process.

JUST IN: ASHLI BABBIT has been identified as the woman shot in the chest on Wednesday afternoon after chaotic scenes broke out when dozens of Trumpers invaded the Capitol. 

Ashli Babbit

She died several hours later. Babbit's husband confirmed her identity to San Diego news outlet KUSI . He said Babbit was a 14-year veteran who served four tours with Air Force as a “high level security official.” The husband said Babbit was a fervent supporter of Trump and “a great patriot to all who knew her.” It remains unclear who shot Babbit as the Metropolitan Police Department in DC conducts an investigation into her death.

BACK HERE IN LILLIPUT, at Tuesday's BOS meeting, there were numerous demands from illiberal liberals (via Zoom) for Sheriff Kendall to apologize for using a “hurtful” “racist” photo in his original submission to the Board requesting $4 mil for the additional deputies to help quell pot-related violence in the North County. Kendall rightly ignored the illiberal liberals, not bothering to respond that the photo they objected to was in fact his worried example of the kind of thing that will happen if there aren't enough deputies to sort out home invaders before the home invaders are violently sorted out by the invaded.

CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN: “My staff and I are safe. I am incredibly grateful to the first responders struggling to protect us. I never could have imagined I would be riding out a violent coup attempt led by a President. This is terrorism, and Donald Trump is responsible.”

WHEW! Boonville's been all pins and needles all day, Jared.

* * *


Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

* * *


There will be free COVID testing at the Veteran's Building/City Hall at 451 School Street this Friday January 8 from 9am to 11am. The testing is first come-first served.

Registration is required at No appointments are being taken but you will need a client number to test. If you already have a client number be sure to bring it with you.

NOTE: This is not a drive-thru event. Please park on the north side of the building.

For any questions, call City Hall at 882-2122.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 6, 2021

Barnett, Connolly, Yates

ERVIN BARNETT, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, burglary, juvenile probation violation, conspiracy, probation revocation.

JESSE CONNOLLY, Redwood Valley. Stolen vehicle. 

GEORGINA YATES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.

* * *



I have read many opinions of President Donald Trump over the past four years, and I feel it is only fair to share my opinion of former Vice President Joe Biden. He is a corrupt, cognitively challenged, career politician who used his 47 years in Washington to enrich himself and his family by peddling influence. Now I am supposed to accept him as president. God help us all.

June Keefer

Santa Rosa

* * *



I am getting increasingly frustrated by the dearth of information coming from Sacramento regarding the vaccine rollout. Today’s article regarding the present surge in infections cites plans by the governor to propose a budget plan to deal with the rollout. This apparently includes a “vaccine management system,” as well as a public information system. Our leaders knew the vaccine was coming months ago, and they propose a management system and information campaign just now, at this late date? Why this need wasn’t anticipated and dealt with earlier is the question of the day. After all, California is the leader in technology. As a California citizen, it feels like we are alone in a wilderness of incompetence.

Barbara Lelich

Mill Valley

* * *


The United States was lost long ago in a black hole of a century’s-long orgy of fiat money conjuring, horrendous wars and loss of life, the sacrifice of a 1960s president, the continuous erosion and erasure of Constitutional rights, the offshoring of America’s jobs, and finally, insanity setting in amongst We the People. The Shining City on the Hill has turned into a Dark Cave of Fear, Loathing, Anger, Frustration, Confusion, and Mask Shaming. Not to mention a serious case of Wokesterdom and total wreckage and loss of our shared historical foundations and sense of common interest.

A great comic who appeared often on TV in the 1960s said back then, “The United States of America is going to have… a going out of business sale!” That man was more prophet than comic as the nation has been holding a 60-year liquidation sale that is nearing completion. Not much left to sell now but the shelving and the signage. Most of the floor space is empty and gathering dust. The wails of dismay now echo endlessly in the cavernous darkness.

“Whatever occurs in this strange week of confrontation, Joe Biden will not be leading any part of it. Where has he been since Christmas?”

Biden today is nothing but a computer-generated image. He is a Far Eastern AI program. He can appear anywhere and everywhere and as any age They choose to conjure him to look like. They make him look old and confused right now so that Her Highness can soon be installed as our Queen and complete the process of National Wokesterdom and sensibility purging.

Remember what our Queen-to-be has already said… “THAT’s what real leadership looks like!”

* * *

RESTAURANT CLOSURES, a reader writes: One of the ways I manage my risk of getting COVID is deciding not to go to restaurants for indoor or outdoor dining in the first place. I have no problem with pick-up, take-out or curbside delivery. Been doing it since March. It's my choice

I know several restaurant owners. What galls me is that over the past nine months they've spent thousands of dollars installing mitigation measures spelled out in the tiniest detail by the state, supposedly to keep everyone safe while allowing business to continue so some degree, only to be told now that, "Sorry, all that was a mistake and useless and you really can't have any customers eat on-site at all. And, by the way, this order is in effect immediately and indefinitely." Staff, who are most often members of the most "at risk" communities, have been furloughed if they're lucky or laid off permanently if they're not. And good luck with EDD.

The state has decided that to keep people apart they must close most places where people might congregate in any number whatsoever. Except, of course, for political protests on behalf of certain causes. The state will force-manage us our risk for us, but in the process some people, perhaps a lot, will be terribly hurt and lives ruined, without ever contracting the disease. 

In the meantime, infections soar, the number turning into serious cases requiring hospitalization increases, and deaths continue. 

Efforts to date have not produced the desired results.

Wouldn't it be better all around to follow the conventional approach to getting through pandemics: vigorously protect the most vulnerable, ramp up treatment capacity (hospital space and staff), develop and use all effective therapeutics, and vaccinate quickly and broadly across the population?

* * *


(Short fiction by Jim Luther)

North Carmichael, Sacramento County, Walsham’s Bottle Shop.  Tuesday, December 22, 1959:

The door of the liquor store opened, the bell on its knob jangling, and a young man in a tan raincoat stepped in out of the rain.  Behind the glass counter, a woman about 50 in a buttoned gray sweater looked up from her ledger.

“Oh, hello Johnny.”

“Hi, Marie.  Sam around?”

“He’s in the back.  You here for the ad?”  

“Yeah.  There’s no hurry, you’ve got till this afternoon, but I was down here this morning anyway and I thought you might have it ready.”

“I think Sam knows what he wants to do.  He’ll be out here in a minute.”

Johnny laid his clipboard on the counter to light a cigarette and looked around at the liquor displays.  On a wall were several Santa Clauses, smiling and waving, on their way in sleighs and on foot to deliver gaily-wrapped packages of whiskey.  On a stand in the rear of the store was a penguin with a six-pack of beer in each flipper.  The flippers rose and fell alternately while red lights in the penguin’s eyes beamed on and off.  By the counter were several open barrels with bottles and sawdust in them.  From one of them marked “Imported Wine, 99¢” Johnny pulled out a bottle and looked closely at the label.

“Horace said you had another holdup last night.”

The woman looked up again.  “That’s right.  News sure travels fast.”

He put the bottle back in the sawdust and took a pencil from his shirt pocket.  “You know how much they got?”

“Three hundred and forty-some.  And some checks.  They always take the checks.  I don’t know why.”

He wrote “Walsham’s held up again, $340 plus checks,” on the yellow ruled pad on his clipboard and asked, “How many were there?  Were you here when it happened?”

“No.  Sam was here all by himself.  It happened just before midnight.  There were two of them, with guns.  They had stockings over their faces.  Sam can tell you.”

While he was writing “2 gunmen—stockings—midnight—Sam W. alone,” he asked “Could he recognize them?”

“No.  He thinks they were different.  Like before, except for that one guy who held us up twice.”  A large man with glasses came in through a swinging door at the rear of the store, past the beer penguin, carrying a case of whiskey.  “Here’s Sam.  He can tell you all about it.”

“What?  The holdup?  The hell if I am gonna tell you all about it.”

The large man passed behind her, came around to the front of the counter and set the case down, then straightened and removed his glasses while he wiped perspiration off his face with a handkerchief.

Johnny had stopped writing.  “You’re kidding, Sam.  A holdup’s big news.”

“You’re damned right it’s big news, once you guys get ahold of it.”  He put his glasses back on and awkwardly replaced the handkerchief in his hip pocket while he moved back around behind the counter.  “Listen, you know how many holdups this makes since we opened up two—hell!  Not even two years ago!  Four!  That’s right, four lousy holdups, and I don’t want any more.”

“How much you think you’ve lost altogether?” Johnny asked, writing “4th holdup” and circling it on the yellow pad.

“That’s none of your business and stop writing on that goddam paper.  Stopwriting!  You hear?  Listen Johnny, you print one word about this in The Record and I’ll never advertise with you again.  You hear?  I’ll give it all to Prentiss down at The Courier, I swear I will Johnny.”

The woman put her hand on his elbow.  “Take it easy, Sam.  You don’t have to yell at Johnny.”

“Okay.  But like he said, this’ll make a hot item again for the likes of this little burgh.  Won’t it Johnny?”  His voice was quieter.  “Anyway, it’s not Johnny.  It’s Horace.  Listen Johnny, you tell Horace I’m appealing to his business sense.  No more publicity about the holdups, please.  Every time I get had, Horace puts it on the front page and all the two-bit punks for miles around get big ideas.  There’s nobody around here doesn’t know this place is a pushover.  The constable doesn’t drive by but once or twice a night, and he hasn’t stopped in since before Thanksgiving.  I’m the only place open for a mile both ways, and there isn’t a single street light on my side of the Boulevard.  It’s a cinch, pure and simple.  So I don’t want it in the papers.  Not this time.”

“Isn’t Prentiss going to use it?”

“No.  I phoned him this morning and told him the same thing.  No story or no ad.  He said he’d go along.”

Johnny squashed out his cigarette in an ashtray on the counter.  “Well Sam, I’ll tell Horace how you feel and give you a call.  In case we don’t run the story, can I have your ad now?  It’d save me a trip.”

Sam put his head down as though to inspect the cigars beneath the glass.  He stayed that way for a minute, then raised up.  “Yeah.  Better write these prices down.  Lead it off with some kind of slogan that says Name Brands and wish them all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Walsham’s.  Then, ah, bourbon, $3.89 a fifth, ah, Jamaican Rum, $3.14, scotch, $4.50, vodka, $2.98, and let’s see, gin, ah, $2.98 a fifth.  Feature the bourbon and the rum.  Use illustrations if you’ve got ‘em, but no brand labels.  Put in something about egg nogs and hot buttered rums and Tom and Jerrys.  And party ice and mixers.  Okay?” 

Johnny was scribbling on the yellow pad.  “How big you want to go, Sam?  Half a page?”

“How much is half a page?”

“Seventy-two bucks.”

“Jeez!  You guys and that Prentiss.  Give me about half that much.”

“I’ll try to fit most of it into a quarter page, same rate,  thirty-six dollars.  Okay?”

“Yeah.  That’s better.  You’ll bill me, huh?”

“Yeah.  You want to see a proof?”

“No.  I trust you.  But look, Johnny, if you run the story, the ad’s off, see?”

“Okay Sam.  I said I’d talk to Horace.”

After Johnny had gone, Sam came around to the front of the counter and opened the case of whiskey.  He started putting the bottles on one of the shelves.

“You think that’ll do any good, Sam?”  The woman spoke in a resigned voice.

“Naw.  But there’s not an awful lot we can do.”

“We could rig a light up over the front of the store.  You talked about doing that before.”


“It might give us some warning.  At least if you saw someone suspicious, you might have time to get the gun out of the drawer.”

He finished stacking the whiskey and picked up the empty carton.  As he passed behind the counter, he stopped and put his hand on her shoulder.  “Yeah, that might do some good.  Yeah, maybe we’ll do that.”  He stood there with his hand on her shoulder for a minute before taking the empty carton out back to the incinerator.

Fair Oaks, The Weekly Record.  That afternoon:

The clackity-clack of two typewriters greeted Johnny as he opened the door that said “The Weekly Record” in black script stenciled on the glass.  He slammed it shut and the glass rattled.  He took off his coat, shook the water out of it, and hung it on the perch pole.  Behind the counter stacked solid with newspapers and brown paper packages a gray-haired woman looked up and smiled at him, then directed her attention back to the penciled notes on the pad on her desk and resumed her typing.  Beyond her, Johnny could hear other typing mingled with noises from the shop in the back of the building. 

He walked past the woman, around the partition behind her to where the second typewriter was going full force.  A white-haired man hunched over it kept typing with his back towards Johnny, ignoring him or maybe not having heard him come in.  On the wall above the typing man and all over the partition on his right were stapled clippings of newspaper stories, editorials, and columns.  “Curfew Laws Should Be Enforced,” one of the editorials was headed.  Another said “Vote Against Incorporation.”  “School Bond Passage Is a Must,” announced a column.  “Greg Flood Will Be a Great County Supervisor” proclaimed another editorial.  There were photographs too, one a group shot of men cutting a ribbon with over-sized scissors.  “Bates Avenue Bridge Dream Comes True” read the cutline.  Another photo was of a group of people in front of the Record office with a suited man waving his hat at the photographer and his other arm around a man with white hair like the typist’s.  “Governor Visits, Promises Strong Pro-Small Business Legislation Drive” said the headline, leading into a two-column story By the Editor.

The hunched over man stopped typing, yanked copy paper from his typewriter, and swiveled around to the cluttered desk on his left.  His new field of vision allowed him to notice his visitor and he leaned back in the chair, swiveling it all the way around till he was facing Johnny.  His tie knot was loose and pulled to one side.  The stark whiteness of his eyebrows matched that of his hair.  His face was lean with a sharply formed jaw.  The mouth in the face was thin-lipped and forced into a half smile.

“Hi, kid.”  He glanced at his watch.  “You’re early.  Things go all right?”

“Yeah, okay.  Though I don’t think we’re as high as we should be.  Donovan’s Jewelers doesn’t want any space at all this time.”

“They don’t, huh?  They running anything in The Courier?  Prentiss and Old Man Donovan seem to be pretty thick lately.”  The half smile played a little.

“I don’t know.  Donovan wasn’t there.  Just the daughter.  She said she knew for sure he didn’t have anything for us.”

“Well, I’ll give him a call this afternoon, just to make sure,” the white-haired man said, writing it on his desk calendar.  He tossed the pencil aside and swiveled back to Johnny.  “What else is new?  You pick up the market ads?”

“Yeah.  Luigi’s and Midget Mart are still good for a page each.  I’m going to lay them out this afternoon.  The Country Store wants six columns full but they haven’t figured out their features yet.  I’ve got the copy for a four by ten for Sam Walsham.  And then there’s some little stuff.

“That’s too bad.  I had Sam figured for at least half a page.”  The smile increased.  “You know, he never runs anything except for holidays.  Last ad we had from him I think was last Fourth of July.”  The smile held.  “I’ve been meaning to get out and talk to him, but I haven’t had the chance.  Say, did you find out about the holdup?”

“A little.  He didn’t want to talk much about it, though.  In fact, Horace, he asked me not to write anything about the holdup.  He thinks it’ll attract more holdups.  He thinks the stories we did about the other jobs might have helped bring this one on.”

“Crap,” said Horace.  “How the hell does he think we can get better law enforcement out here unless we play up each crime?  It’s the only way we can get anywhere with the Sheriff.  That’s how we got a constable out here in the first place.”  He smiled up at Johnny.  “But you wouldn’t remember that, kid.”

Johnny shifted his feet around and looked at the clippings on the partition.  “I don’t know if he knows that or not, but he’s tired of being held up.  I think he’s scared, too.”

Horace almost laughed.  “Well, if it scares him we don’t have to run a story, I guess.  Wasn’t it a pretty run-of-the-mill holdup anyway?  Hell, I’ll just write a little editorial saying that another recent liquor store robbery points up the need for more vigilant law enforcement out here.  He won’t mind that, will he?”

“I don’t think so, just so we don’t say it was his liquor store.”  Johnny relaxed a little.  “He was pretty upset about it.  Even said he’d pull his ad out if we . . .”

“What?”  The smile was gone from Horace’s face.  “Threatened to pull his ad if we run a story about the holdup, huh?  Well in that case to hell with his measly little Christmas ad.  We’ll print that news, you’re damned right we’ll print it, in boldfaced type with a big border around it, right on the front page.  Tried to intimidate me, huh?  To hell with his ad.”  The chair swiveled quickly back to the desk.

“He said he wouldn’t run any more ads, ever, if we use the story,” said Johnny.  

“What ads?  When?  Christmas and the Fourth of July?  Hell!  Horace’s eyes glared up at Johnny, then darted back to the copy he’d pulled from the typewriter.  “He’s damn well forcing us to print it, isn’t he?”  His head moved from side to side as he read what he’d typed.  “He’s turned it into a matter of ethics now, by God.”

“He won’t give me any information,” said Johnny.

“Aw, come on kid.  You can do better than that.”  The lean face turned up to frown at Johnny.  “Get your story from the constable.  That’s how I found out about the holdup in the first place.”  He turned back to the desk and resumed reading what he had typed.  Johnny turned and walked slowly past the partition out to the front office where the woman was still typing.

Later that afternoon, after he had the market ads laid out and into the shop, he phoned the constable and got what information he hadn’t already been given by Marie.  Then he phoned Sam Walsham and told him they’d decided to run the story.  “Then forget the ad,” Sam said and hung up.

By the time he got all his ads in, except the Country Store, it was seven o’clock and he went out to eat.  When he came back from the diner, Horace and his wife had gone home.  Clicking noises from the shop, the sound of metal slugs plunking and sliding into metal trays, told him that Red, the Linotype operator, was still at work back there slinging hot lead.

Johnny sat down at one of the typewriters with his yellow pad beside him and began writing his stories.  He first wrote a short obituary of a local resident who had died that week.  Then he typed up a story about an accident involving a car and a motorcycle in which no one had been hurt.  He turned a page of the yellow pad and wrote a story about last Friday night’s high school basketball game that the local team had lost.  Then he typed “San Juan Area Fire Calls” and copied information from his note pad that he’d obtained from the Fire Department that morning.  

The last story he typed he slugged:


Two disguised gunmen held up Walsham’s Bottle Shop on Fair Oaks Boulevard late Monday night and got away with more than $340 in  cash.  An undetermined amount in checks was also stolen.

Owner Sam Walsham was alone in his store when the holdup men, wearing nylon stockings over their faces, suddenly entered a few minutes before midnight.  Displaying revolvers, they ordered him to open the cash register and stand out of the way.  After depositing the contents of the register into a cloth sack, the men told Walsham not to phone the Sheriff or follow, and ran out the door to a waiting car.  

Walsham was able to provide only limited descriptions of the men and no information about their car.

Monday’s holdup was the liquor store’s fourth since Mr. and Mrs. Walsham took over its operation a year ago last March.


When he finished typing, Johnny read the stories over and marked them up for setting.  He wrote headlines for all of them except the one about the holdup which he put on Horace’s desk.  He took the rest out to the shop and put them in the “To Be Set” basket; Red said he thought he’d get to them before he went home in about two hours.  

They said goodnight and Johnny went back into the front office and put on his raincoat.  He turned off the light and locked the front door as he went out.

Fair Oaks, the Dog House Bar.  Thursday, December 31:

“Habby New Year.”

“Happy New Year yourself.  What’ll it be?”

“Uh, the li’l lady here’ll have, a rum collins?  A rum collins.  And gimme a double bourbon and soda.”

The bartender wiped off the dark mahogany and emptied an ashtray while the order was being given, then mixed the drinks, took the two clumsily offered bills, rang it up and deposited some change on the bar.  He looked up and down the line of bleary-looking faces, measuring the fullness of the glasses, and then hiked off to a corner of the bar where the sleeve of a tan raincoat was waving in the air.

“Yeah, Johnny?”

“Another scotch and water.  A double this time.”

While it was being poured, Johnny lit a cigarette and looked over at the polished wood dance floor where two older couples were shuffling around to a juke box recording of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”  Behind the couples nobody was sitting at the tiny circular tables with the dim, blue-shaded lights.

“One twenty out of two, Johnny.”

The tall thin full glass was set in front of him, two singles taken from the bills lying in a fan under a pile of coins.  Then the ringing of the cash register and more silver and a new tag on top of the fan.

“So go on, Johnny.  Tell me more.  So Sammy’s gonna be okay, huh?”

The bartender was standing opposite Johnny, facing back down the bar at the line of faces, eyeing the glasses.   

“Yeah, he’ll be all right.  They got the bullet out and apparently nothing vital got hit.  Marie told me he should be able to go home in a couple of days.”

“Marie’s running the place by herself, huh?”

“Yeah.  I was over there this afternoon.  She didn’t say too much, but I got the idea that she’s pretty proud of old Sammy.”

“Hell, she should be.  The guy’s a hero.  It was on the television just awhile ago.  He musta just got sick and tired of getting held up and decided to let the next one have it right between the eyes.”

“Right in the nose.  That’s where the constable said he got it.  With that big forty-five.”


“That other one may not make it, either.  He’s still considered critical.  Sam let ‘em both get just inside the door and then let loose.”

“Jesus!  That’s the biggest thing that’s happened around here, at least for as long as I can remember.  That’ll make a great story for your paper, Johnny.”

“Yeah.  It already has.  We put it out this afternoon. Horace gave me a by-line, front page.”

“Well, congratulations.”  Then, “’Scuse me, Johnny,” and he was gone to another part of the bar.  Johnny finished his drink while the cash register rang several times and when the bartender returned Johnny asked him for another.  After it was served and $1.20 taken from the change pile the bartender came back and stood opposite Johnny again.    

“Have you talked to Sam since it happened?”

“Just on the phone.”  Johnny took a gulp of his drink.  “Ever wonder why I drink scotch, Ed?”

The bartender sighed.  “All the time, Johnny.  All the time.  Tell me, why do you drink scotch?”

Johnny took another gulp.  “I read in a magazine once that the reporters on all the big city dailies drink scotch.”  He put out his cigarette in a clean ashtray and lit a new one.  “Same reason I smoke Pall Malls.”  He exhaled some smoke toward the ceiling and reached forward to tap the cigarette in the ashtray that was already clean again.  “You know what Sam said when I called him this afternoon?”

“No, Johnny.  That’s what I’d really like to know.”

“Well, he’d been all bent out of shape after we printed that little story about the last holdup just before Christmas.  So today, he apologized.”  Johnny exhaled some more smoke and smiled.  “Said we’d been right all along to run the story, that he’d been wrong trying to get us not to, and that in the end everything had worked out just fine.  Said he liked being treated like a celebrity, reporters and people calling him up for interviews and pictures and all.  Said he’d be glad to give us any information we want and to send a photographer over to the hospital.”  He paused to take a gulp from his drink.  “Said to go on over to the store and tell Marie he said to give us a full page ad for next week.”  Johnny chuckled.  “Said to wish Horace a Happy New Year.”  He laughed out loud and dropped his cigarette on the bar.

“’S’cuse me, Johnny,” and Ed was gone again.  Johnny picked up the cigarette but the flame had fallen out.  He blew it off on the bartender’s side and put the butt in the ashtray.  When Ed came back Johnny asked for another drink and Ed went through the routine and then came back and stood opposite Johnny.

“You know what Sam really told me this afternoon, Ed?”

“No, Johnny.  What?”

“He told me to go screw myself.  Except he didn’t say screw.”

He sat there for a minute, smoking, looking at his drink.

“Well that’s interesting.  You going to tell me any more?”

“There’s not much more to tell.  At first it sounded over the phone like he might be laughing.  Then he sounded vague and far away.  Like he was resigned or maybe just tired.  I told him he was a big hero and I wanted some kind of a statement.  Then he said it again, told me to go screw myself.

“Then I realized he was crying.”

* * *

* * *


To the Editor:

The campaign to paint Liz Barney, MCSO Public Information Officer, as a racist, is now being coupled with a campaign to defund the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

It should come as no surprise.

Both campaigns are the signature work of KZYX Program Manager Alicia "Littletree" Bales. She is the force behind petitions to get Ms. Barney fired and the MCSO defunded.

Like her mentor, FBI antagonist Judi Bari, Bales has always hated cops.

I had firsthand experience dealing with Bales while serving on the Board of Directors at the Mendocino Environmental Center -- also known as "The MEC" -- where I raised most of our operating budget and also hosted a popular show on KMEC.

Bales had a plan.

First, Bales appointed herself president of the board -- no one else wanted the job.

Second, she proceeded to terrorize, slander, and intimidate any board member, including myself, Mary Massey, Joel Thompson, and others who were not in complete and total agreement with her radical politics.

Labeling her dissenters as "racist" was her favorite tactic. She hated me because I had worked in law enforcement for a few years.

Bales was insufferable.

Third, once she had those board directors purged from "her" board, Bales then proceed to use The MEC and KMEC as her personal platform to launch her secret agenda and real ambitions -- to get Supervisor John McCowen to create the Mendocino County Climate Action Committee, then get herself appointed as the committee's $96,000 a year salaried program manager.

Supervisor McCowen, a lonely old bachelor, was easily manipulated by Bales.

The McCowen-Bales cronyism was reported to California Secretary of State and the Califiornia Fair Political Practices Commission.

The cronyism was blatant, and failed, of course.

Fourth, having failed to get a "sweetheart" county job, Bales proceeded to her Plan B -- get hired at KZYX.

She got hired.

In conclusion, to have Alicia Bales use her position at a public radio station, funded by public dollars, to slander an employee of the Sheriff's Office, then orchestrate a campaign to defund the Sheriff's Office, is a gross abuse of public airwaves and public dollars.

The KZYX Executive Director and General Manager, Marty Durlin, a lesbian in her mid-70s, who is smitten with Bales, seems powerless to act. She is not managing Bales in any respect.

So where is the KZYX Board of Directors?

Where is the FCC?

My suggestion? Write to the KZYX Board of Directors at

Tell them what you think.

Or write to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Specifically, write to their ombudsman, Jan Schaffer, at

Tell them what you think.

Should a manager at a publicly funded public radio station be allowed to push her private agenda for defunding law enforcement? Should that same person be allowed to cause reputational harm to a law enforcement agency's public information officer?

As a footnote, Ms. Bales likes to go by the name, "Littletree", giving the impression she is a Native American. She is not.

Ms. Bales is, in fact, the epitome of white privilege. She was educated at UC Berkeley (theater) and the University of London, Royal Academy (voice studies).

As a final footnote, KZYX has already been investigated and audited by both the IRS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was found that the station filed incomplete and inaccurate IRS Form 990s. Other accounting irregularities were also found.

It would be wise to now investigate the governance of KZYX.


John Sakowicz

  • KZYX Board of Directors, 2013-2016 
  • KZYX Treasurer, 2014
  • MCSO, Corrections Deputy, 2000-2004


  • KZYX Board of Directors
  • District 1 - Renee Vinyard 2020-2024 
  • District 2 - Dina Polkinghorne 2018-2022  
  • District 3 - David Hulse-Stephens 2018-2022 
  • District 4 - Open   (Ft. Bragg area) 
  • District 5 - Tom Dow 2018-2022  President
  • Programmers' Representative - Kathleen Rippey 
  • At-Large 
  • Bob Bushansky 2020-2024  Treasurer 
  • Len Tischler 2020-2024  Secretary 
  • Kate Stornetta - 2020-2024   Vice President

* * *


“This is what you’ve gotten, guys,” Senator Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican, yelled as the rioters breached the Capitol yesterday. He was addressing his colleagues who have supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” (Trump tweet)

* * *



  1. Steve Heilig January 7, 2021

    Today’s cover photo caption: “Trump cultists accidentally demonstrating how well ‘Big, beautiful walls’ really work.”

  2. George Hollister January 7, 2021

    For once, and likely only once, the big three social media companies are doing all Americans a favor. Hopefully Trump will be blocked until the 20th. What a relief.

    • George Hollister January 7, 2021

      Well, it is two big social media companies, not three. On another note, how many of the mob were arrested? They all should have been.

      • Marmon January 7, 2021

        We’ll be watching for him on Parler, Rumble, Newsmax, and OANN. If Google blocks us we will move to another search engine, like Bing. It’s time for your big 3 and MSM have some real competition. I watched Trump’s rally yesterday in its entirety and he and other speakers only called for a peaceful rally.

        Marmon, one of 74 million.

        • Bob A. January 7, 2021

          Slather yourself in all the lies you want. Why not? You’re special.

          • Harvey Reading January 7, 2021

            Only to AVA management staff.

        • George Hollister January 7, 2021

          I would personally be grateful to get a rest from the uncaring, uncontrolled, constant, incoherent babble that is open to interpretation by anyone, in any way. I am one of those 74 million who like most of his policies, but his mouth is what has gotten Trump into trouble, from day one, every day. Well he lost because of the mouth, so now the troublesome babble needs to end, before he creates more unnecessary havoc, for himself, his party, and the country.

      • mendoblather January 7, 2021

        According to the Washington Post Trump has been indefinitely banned from Facebook.

        It couldn’t happen to a nicer blowhard.

  3. Bill Pilgrim January 7, 2021

    There’s been a re-evaluation by sociologists of what constitutes a ‘cult.’ The label has been expanded from a purely religious sectarian group to ” a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.” Also: ” a social group with socially deviant or novel beliefs and practices.”
    By any sensible definition the hard core Trumpers are deluded cultists, on the same tier as Moonies, Jonesies, etc.

  4. Bob A. January 7, 2021

    To Tech Support: Looks like your hosting provider is having some DNS issues today. Your IP address sometimes resolves to “”.

    • Bob A. January 7, 2021

      Looks like you got it fixed.

  5. Marmon January 7, 2021

    Today, after cooler heads are starting to prevail, the blame for yesterday’s Capital breach is starting to fall on the right people. The Senate’s “Sargent-in-Arms” has been asked to resign and the DC mayor has a lot of questions to answer. Apparently, she turned down law enforcement and national guard support prior to the event. Today there is a fence surrounding the building with added security. There are video’s of DC cops stepping aside and allowing people to enter the building. It’s not clear if they were Trump supporters or they just felt overmatched. This event was planned weeks ago and the DC mayor and “Sargent of Arms” did not prepare. There is also evidence surfacing that a lot of those who actually broke into the building were BLM and Antifa masquerading as Trump Supporters.


    • Bruce Anderson January 7, 2021

      Where’s the BLM and Antifa evidence? In fact there is none. The Trumpers can’t even claim their comrades.

      • Marmon January 7, 2021

        Why Was Founder Of Far-Left BLM Group Filming Inside Capitol As Police Shot Protester?

        “During yesterday’s protest in Washington D.C., a Turmp-supporting US Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to climb through a broken window to bypass a barricade, along with other Trump supporters.

        Filming the incident from behind Babbit, however, was Utah resident John Sullivan – founder of the far-left organization “Insurgence USA” who made headlines in July after he was arrested for intimidating drivers in Provo. Sullivan was interviewed by the Daily Mail and CNN following Wednesday’s shooting – both of which failed to provide a satisfactory answer as to why he was there in the first place.”

      • Marmon January 7, 2021

        Rep. Mo Brooks to Newsmax TV: Intel, Evidence of Antifa in DC Violence

        Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that he knew of intelligence prior that antifa was planning to impersonate Trump supporters in Washington and storm the U.S. Capitol, and also that there is evidence that the leftist militant group was present during violence that broke out in the halls of Congress.

        “I have seen evidence that it was fascist antifa involved,” Brooks said. “And of course you have people who were dressed up as Trump supporters, waving Trump flags, and so I think by inference it’s reasonable to conclude that Trump supporters were also involved, but I would not exclude antifa at this point because of the prior warning and then the evidence that I’ve seen.”


        • Harvey Reading January 7, 2021

          Your sources are a joke.

    • Harvey Reading January 7, 2021

      The jerks are getting fired for their pitiful response. The rioter killed was killed climbing into the capitol through a window. The cops had every right to shoot her, especially in the middle of a riot. Too bad they didn’t kill more of the scum. All the scum should have been shot as far as I am concerned. Anyone who breaks into my house will be shot dead, too.

      The cops have gone easy on fascist thugs all this year…while it’s been open season on dark-skinned people. Time for some REAL reform that causes those cops who side with terrorists to be kicked out of enforcement for the rest of their putrid lives. My opinion of law enforcement is at an all-time low, and deservedly so.

  6. Bob A. January 7, 2021

    Watching events unfold yesterday I again felt a feeling that I last felt on September 11, 2001, a hollow feeling somewhere beyond sadness, a place on the borderline where despair begins. For the previous weeks I had concerns about January 6, a date that the President had all but circled in red sharpie. My concern grew when the President returned to Washington a day early. Then came the warning letter signed by all the former Secretaries of State. It was clear that something bad was brewing and it was set for January 6.

    As had the 9-11 story, the story from the Capitol unfolded like some poisonously deformed flower. First banal bits about before with a smattering of the terrible now followed by an unbearable onslaught of nothing but NOW.

    Here are my thoughts on where to go from here.

    This was a premeditated attempt perpetrated by the President to throw havoc into the electoral procedure, the procedure that was about to declare him the loser of the 2020 election. The aim was to overturn the election. That the attempt was planned and executed so poorly is certainly our collective good fortune. This was sedition. It cannot be ignored.

    Today, the President needs to be removed from office. I was encouraged to see the Vice President stand up to the President, but his duty is not yet done. He needs meet with the cabinet and invoke the 25th Amendment, removing this dangerous President from office.

  7. Lazarus January 7, 2021


    HEY H.
    Is that ole Joe’s brain on drugs…?
    Be Swell,

  8. Marmon January 7, 2021

    13 days from now Trump supporters won’t have anyone to protect them unless the Republican party wakes up. Could be the end of that party. We’re more than just “trailer trash”, remember that.


    • Stephen Rosenthal January 7, 2021

      “We’re more than just “trailer trash”, remember that.”

      Really? Could’ve fooled me.

    • Harvey Reading January 8, 2021

      Poor babies. Those Trump-supporting ignoramuses have brought this upon themselves. They sat by quietly as taxes on the wealthy were lowered, social programs demolished, and worker rights quashed by fascists, with support from “BOTH” parties over recent decades. Trump “protected” no one but his fellow wealthy patrons. You seem to share their self-destructive mentality. It’s my opinion that a guy like you would have made a great brown shirt in 1930s Germany. REMEMBER THAT.

  9. Stephen Rosenthal January 7, 2021


    And yet, with the exception of newly elected Maureen Mulheren, the Supervisors believe we need two Public Health Officers (one living in San Diego and working another job) at an additional annual cost of $125,000. Shame on them.

  10. Stephen Rosenthal January 7, 2021

    “Security people had been seen brandishing hand guns at Trumpers trying to break through a door, but it would take a very bad man to shoot a young woman whatever she’d done in a riot situation. (IMO, of course)”

    She knew the risk. She took a shot. Too bad it didn’t work out for her. When you’re a nut you’re going to get cracked eventually.

  11. Rick Weddle January 8, 2021

    Can’t say enough to congratulate the deluded Trompers in the open display – perpetrated in and upon America’s Capital, mind you – of the True Colors of the radical right. Apologists for this assault have even suggested that it was all the fault of those dang ‘antifa,’ whoever that is, or even some other ‘civil rights’ outfits. There are no words, yet, for how freaking LAME this is. And do not even get us started on the DNC side of the Aisle…where are the indictments for those among the higher reaches of the DNC who stole (STOLE) Bernie’s nomination from him, AND from US? Are there not ANY functional Officers of the Court for such election-aborting crimes perped by our sworn, overfed OFFICIALS? How is it Public demonstrations are called ‘civil disobedience’ all over the goddamned place, and not ONCE has it ever been uttered, in print OR out loud, that We, the People might have a Big Problem with OFFICIAL Disobedience, manifestly breaking not only the Law, but the Public’s trust and consent? Where are the ranks of riot/insurrection cops, when the OFFICIALS are looting the Only Planet? Are We, the People to remain recumbent, compliant, ‘silent partners’ in the destruction of OUR ‘democratic experiment,’ AND our Only Planet? These are not rhetorical questions; if you don’t take an ENGAGED part in answering them, someone surely will, and it will not be long, now…

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