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Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 17, 2021

Cool Coast | Drought Notes | Boonville 1983 | Fish Kill | Adventist Hacks | Wastewater Plant | Slugger Vaughn | Public Grazing | Ornbaum Hotel | Ed Notes | 1895 Pomos | Calf Shot | Boots | Legalizing Weed | Forestry Inspectors | Torpedo Joke | Yesterday's Catch | Grenade Ad | Agha Saeed | Hop Wagon | My Old Man | Harry Crews | Newsom Checks | Anti-Nazis | Mexican Republic | Shore Patrol | California Lifestyle | Half Sattui | Israel Groveling | Jerusalem 1880 | Big Lie | Blanket Pigs | Illiterate Readers | Rocky 6 | Hint Water | Gaza Funeral

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EXTENSIVE MARINE LAYER CLOUDS will keep the coast cool, while warm, dry and sunny weather continues across the interior through Tuesday. Unseasonably cool weather will arrive by Wednesday with brisk northerly winds. A slight chance of showers will be found mainly for the northern interior mountains Wednesday and Thursday. (NWS)

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MENDO SHOULD PAY ATTENTION to Sonoma County water news because most of Sonoma’s water is actually from Mendocino (or Humboldt/the Eel River). In a Sunday report on the worsening drought, PD reporter Mary Callahan noted that Cloverdale and Healdsburg have already issued mandatory water use reductions of between 20% and 30% from 2020. Other areas of Sonoma County are still hoping that voluntary measures will produce similar reductions.

“We just kind of have to hope that people will do the right thing,” said Cotati Councilwoman Susan Harvey, chair of the region’s Water Advisory Committee, which represents Sonoma’s major cities and water districts that buy supplies from Sonoma Water, the region’s main wholesaler.

Sonoma Water is described as the “region’s main wholesaler” because Sonoma County Water Agency sells the water in Lake Mendocino to cities and water districts in Sonoma County at a nice profit because Sonoma County Water owns 80% of Lake Mendo water.

Callahan: “Sonoma Water, which controls drinking water supplies from Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, learned recently that a small amount of the water it had counted on through diversions from the Eel River between now and October won’t be coming. The Eel River is also running low, and PG&E, in consultation with wildlife agencies and the Round Valley Indian Tribe, got federal permission to hold back some of the water in Lake Pillsbury to sustain endangered fish in the Eel River later this year, meaning less water is available to divert through the Potter Valley Project and on into Lake Mendocino.”

We also noted an indirect reference to the reasons the wine lobby/Farm Bureau in Sonoma and Mendocino continues to prefer “voluntary” reductions in the face of obvious water shortages: “Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, who represents Healdsburg and Cloverdale, as well as famed grape growing regions Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, said that his rural constituents with historic water rights are scrambling to come up with a voluntary framework for cuts to stave off state intervention.” 

But leaving conservation to voluntary measures means the wine people can continue using as much as they can get. 

As Friends of the Eel River Director (and former Petaluma City Councilman) David Keller said, “We’re starting way too late, and it’s just going to get a lot worse.” 

(Mark Scaramella) 

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Boonville, 1983

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WE ARE ROUGHLY 2/3 WAY THROUGH THE PERIOD during which juvenile Coho salmon leave Klamath River tributaries on their way to the Pacific Ocean. So far only 336 Coho have been trapped descending the Shasta and only 331 descending the Scott. 

This is dismal production from watersheds that should produce most of the Coho in the entire basin. It reflects the fact that the Shasta and Scott and key tribs are being dewatered during drought even as irrigation ditches continue to run full. Many young Coho are stranded in pools and die as those streams dry up. 

And even though Klamath Coho are ESA and C-ESA listed, the Cal Department of Fish & Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service do nothing to prevent those deaths. Why is that?

Those of you who are reporters ought to ask Chuck Bonham (DFW chief) and Jim Simondet (in charge of the Klamath River Basin from NMFS out of Arcata) why they just let those fish die and do nothing. 

These officials are abrogating their responsibility to protect the Coho. So why is no one suing? 

— Felice Pace

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A UKIAH READER COMMENTS, re: Possible use of the Ukiah Adventist ER as Psychiatric Health Facility: “Adventist management is suspect in many quarters. It will suck every dollar out of anything, with only the barest regard for quality care, and then slam the community with even more reimbursements when costs escalate. The staff is largely competent, but the managers are out of town Adventist hacks. They milk everyone - patients, vendors, government agencies, whomever. Camille Schreader is a lightweight in comparison.”

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JOIN The Anderson Valley Community Services District for a Wastewater Plant Virtual Video Tour of a Plant in Humboldt County with a facility similar to the one being proposed for Boonville. Presentation and Panel Discussion. May 25, 2021 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm

ZOOM Meeting:

Meeting ID: 819 8192 1061

Or by phone: 1 (669) 900-6833

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SLUGGER ANDREW VAUGHN now a major league slugger with Boonville roots, made it to the Big Leagues last year and hit his second home of this season for the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Andrew Vaughn Homers For Chisox

Vaughn’s grandparents were Ron and Doris Vaughn, both graduates of AV High. His paternal great-grandparents were Erbie and Nola Vaughn, long time Anderson Valley residents. His maternal great grandparents were Walter "Shine" and Beth Tuttle, also long time Valley residents. Beth taught school for the AV school district for many, many years.

(via Jimmy Short)

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“AMONG EXTRACTIVE LAND USES, logging, mining, and grazing have contributed to the demise of 12%, 11%, and 22%, respectively, of the endangered species we analyzed.” 

Link to full article in BiScience:

Grazing is associated with the most threats to wildlife. So why is it still being done on our public lands and why is the Biden Administration counting public lands that are grazed as "conserved" for purposes of his 30-30 climate change initiative? THAT decision needs to be challenged. if you need a quote, give me a call at 707-954-6588 or here it is:

"Public land grazing in the western US is trampling headwater wetlands that should be protecting increasingly scarce water supplies. It is degrading water quality and riparian areas which otherwise would store the most carbon the fastest. The Forest Service and BLM will not even require active herding that could control and limit those impacts. As a result there is no way that the Biden Administration can justify counting grazing-degraded public lands as "conserved' for climate mitigation purposes. Instead the Biden Administration should reform public land grazing management by requiring that management practices known to reduce water and land degradation are implemented wherever private livestock graze on public lands."

— Felice Pace

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Ornbaun Springs Hotel, 1908

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THE CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND has never looked better. Tucked in a far corner of the high school campus near the AV Health Center, Rod and Taylor Balson, donating their time, tractor and weed whacker, cut back the grass so neatly the playground is fully visible for the first time in years. The ladies who finished tidying up didn't have all that much left to do, but bless them, too.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY BREWERY seems to be a perfect venue for events like the weekly farmer's market. Last Friday the market offered not only the usual array of local produce, a food truck appeared with a heckuva lush menu, and the Brewery was available for a quick beer or two. 

HELP WANTED! REDWOOD DRIVE-IN: Evening shift waitress — Evening shift cashier & mini mart duties. (Evening shifts begin at 1:30 pm and ends at 8 pm.) Stop in to apply.

NICK AND MARY ALEXANDER lived at the very top of the Holmes Ranch back in the early 1970s. We'd all hoped they'd stay, Nick a formidable fast pitch softball player and popular after hours companion, Mary a stubborn force for good in the Boonville schools. But they didn't stay, as explained in the current New Yorker in a long feature on horse racing featuring Nick called, — “Can Horse Racing Survive” by William Finnegan … “Nick Alexander’s wife, Mary, doesn’t come to the ranch much. ‘She prefers town,’ he says. It’s an old theme in their fifty-two-year marriage. When their children were small, they moved to rural Northern California, to a place called Boonville. Nick got a job shearing sheep. ‘I loved it. But I used to come home with my pants all covered with sheep barf, green stuff, black stuff, lanolin, blood from castrations. I wasn’t really all that welcome.’ He laughs. Mary, at home with the kids, saw their children’s futures writ in the local poverty and isolation. She informed Nick that she and the kids were going back to Los Angeles. Nick, though sad to leave, followed, and returned to selling cars. ‘I have this recurring nightmare,’ he told me. He’s back in the Army, stuck on base. ‘Everybody’s got a weekend pass but me. Mary’s got the same nightmare, but she’s stuck in Boonville’.” Nick evidently made a lot of money in the car business as he is now a prominent race horse breeder and chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

IF YOU NEED another reason to love the legal profession, you'll be heartened by a KQED report that roughly 90% of PG&E's court-ordered Fire Survivor Trust expenditures for 2020 went to “overhead.” $51 mil went to lawyers and administrators, $7.2 mil to survivors. There's $13.5 billion in the fund set aside when the courts determined that PG&E negligence killed a number of their customers and burned thousands of people out of their homes. 

THE LAWYER in charge of the fund is paid $1500 an hour while another $38.7 mil was raked off by “financial professionals” and the usual contingent of consultants. The attorney representing several thousand claimants said he didn't think any of these expenditures were improper.

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Pomos, 1895

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Phil Gravier, the owner of Laytonville’s Chevron gas station and local cattle rancher, has been raising cattle in the hills for over twenty years. On May 1, Gravier was troubled to find an unknown perpetrator had, at point-blank range, shot a one-month-old calf and left it for dead.

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Boots (photo by William Allen)

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REBECCA SPANICH on the new pot code enforcement fines: "What it comes down to as I see it is that everyone was so excited about legalizing grows that some of the details fell through cracks. 1000’s applied... new growers and old, big and small. Many not knowing details of exactly what was needed due to grey areas... deadlines were tight... instructions on applications vague...returned due minor issues...deadlines missed. Addresses of grows now known. Now occasionally they are getting raided or robbed. No one is really do well with the legalization except black market. The ones who didn’t apply for permits. Who knew somehow things didn’t add up. How do you fix it?"

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Forestry Inspectors, Mendo Woods, 1927

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THE MAJOR’S FAVORITE (and only) “logistics joke.” (I spent a sizable portion of my so-called military and civilian career as a “Senior Logistics Systems Engineer.”) — A Navy seaman is walking down a beach and comes across an old torpedo that has washed ashore. Following Navy regs he reports his discovery to his supervisor who tells the young seaman to contact the “central torpedo depot” for advice on how to proceed. The seaman finally reaches a “Senior Underwater Systems Specialist” at the depot who tells him to go back and get the Model No., Part Number and Serial Number off the torpedo’s tail fin ID plate. “But don’t touch it!” emphasizes the Depot Man. Soon the seaman calls back and tells the Depot Man that the torpedo is a Model AN2-665X/V(2)E, part number 7J14-05-6A-2, serial number 340449. The Depot Man gets out a thick black binder and starts flipping through page after page of torpedo listings. “Oh boy!” says the Depot Man finding the entry on page 667, “That’s one of those very unstable babies manufactured during the Korean War by General Dynamics. I thought we had seen the last of those. It will have to be defused as soon as possible. You never know when those things can go off. What you need to do is very carefully remove the main detonator unit by unscrewing the 17 countersunk galvanized screws holding the detonator housing using a MIL-C-5503G t-handled screwdriver with a demagnetized head.” The seaman allowed as how he didn’t have the specified screwdriver handy. “Oh, you don’t?,” said the non-plussed Depot Man. “OK. Use a coin then.” 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 16, 2021

DAMIAN AVILEZ-NAVARRO, Redwood City/Willits. Criminal threats, protective order violation, resisting.

MICHAEL BARNES, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ESTEBAN CAMARILLO, Willits. False imprisonment.

Chambers, Cunnan, Emery

JACOB CHAMBERS, Willits. Trespassing.

JOHN CUNNAN, Covelo. Burglary, elder abuse.

JASON EMERY, Covelo. Stolen vehicle, conspiracy, probation revocation.

Hammond, Havard, Jajeh

LISSA HAMMOND, Laytonville. DUI, failure to appear, probation revocation.

CLINTON HAVARD, Portland/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


Lucchetti, Partridge, Peredia


KENNETH PARTRIDGE, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

JOSEPH PEREDIA, Kelseyville/Ukiah. No license, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.

Sellmer, Valadez, Wright

JACOB SELLMER, Ukiah. Brandishing of imitation firearm, probation revocation.

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ERIC WRIGHT, Ukiah. Vandalism. 

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In October it will be 30 years since this photo was taken in a Berkeley cafe with me, with the beard, and Agha Saeed on my left and Khalil Barhoum on my right, confronting Noam Chomsky after "the world's leading public intellectual" had given a talk at UC Berkeley in which he denied that the Israel Lobby had anything to do with promoting the first US war on Iraq despite obvious evidence that it had.

Blankfort v Chomsky

I just learned earlier today, Saturday, that Prof. Saeed, considered "the father of American Muslim politics" and an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian struggle, passed away in February. This photo was one of three on the website announcing his death in Monterey after a long bout with Parkinson's.

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Hop Wagon

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My old man, he's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true no, my old man
Keeping away my blues

He's my sunshine in the morning
He's my fireworks at the end of the day
He's the warmest chord I ever heard
Play that warm chord, play and stay, baby
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true, my old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

Then he comes home
And he takes me in his loving arms
And he tells me all his troubles
And he tells me all my charms
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true, no, my old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

My old man, he's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true, no, my old man
Keeping away my lonesome blues

(Joni Mitchell)

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Harry Crews, Mullet Champ

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to send $600 checks as California has a $76 billion surplus. Instead of a gift to some, how about addressing the major problems affecting the state? We have the highest state income and sales taxes, the second-highest gasoline tax and housing prices, education ranked No. 29 (with teachers third in salaries), the largest homeless population, a drought and the middle-class leaving the state.

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Anti Nazi Rally, Berlin, 1932

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by Paul Theroux

The Mexican republic comprises 31 states. The north of the country lies in America’s cruel, teasing, overwhelming shadow — a shadow that contains factory towns, industrial areas, smuggler enclaves, and drug routes. Mexico City in the middle of the country is like an entire nation of 23 million people — much larger than any Central American republic. But the south of Mexico, the poorest region, is a place apart, rooted in the distant past, some of its people so innocent of Spanish that they still speak the language of the 2500 year old civilizations of Monte Alban, a few miles outside of Oaxaca, enumerating the beautiful temples by counting all ten of them in Zapotec on their fingers: “Tuvi, tiop, choon, tap, gaiy, xchoop, gats, xhon, ga, tse.”

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Life Saving Patrol by Edward Moran (1829-1901)

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THE FLOW IS CONSTANT. Words, pictures, numbers, facts, graphics, statistics, specks, waves, particles, motes. Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes, mass killings, et cetera. We can relax and enjoy these disasters because in our hearts we feel that California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom. Japan is pretty good for disaster footage. India remains largely untapped. They have tremendous potential with their famines, monsoons, religious strife, train wrecks, boat sinkings, disease outbreaks, et cetera. But their disasters tend to go unrecorded. Three lines in the newspaper. No film footage, no satellite hookup. This is why California is so important. We not only enjoy seeing them punished for their relaxed life-styles and progressive social ideas but we know we’re not missing anything. The cameras are right there. They’re standing by. Nothing terrible escapes their scrutiny.

— Don DeLillo, Players 

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Sattui Hill, Half Scraped, April 28, 2021 (AVA News Service)

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by Alexander Cockburn (July 2009)

President-elect Obama is getting whacked by the left for declining comment on Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, but his prudent silence is just as discomfiting to the Israeli government and its allies here, in the United States. They wanted a ringing endorsement of their onslaught. There were also hints in their demeanor on television that Obama’s senior aides like David Axelrod were not overly delighted with Israel’s state propagandists for headlining Obama’s remarks on a visit to Israel in the summer that “If somebody shot rockets at my house where my two daughters were sleeping at night, I'd do everything in my power to stop them.”

On the campaign trail and, indeed, since he reached the US Senate in 2005, no politician was more sedulous than Barack Obama in ensuring that the Israel lobby here had no cause for disquiet. On arrival in Washington, he instantly selected Joe Lieberman, known informally as the senator from Israel, as his mentor. At the annual conference this last summer of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Obama drew criticism from across a broad political spectrum for his groveling.

“Israel should get whatever it wants and an undivided Jerusalem should be its capital,” Obama assured the American Jewish delegates, many of them influential Democrats from across the US. The next day, one of his foreign policy advisors hastily issued a clarification to the effect that Obama believes “Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties” as part of “an agreement that they both can live with.” The aide refused to rule out such possibilities as Jerusalem also serving as the capital of a Palestinian state or Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods.

Noam Chomsky remarked recently. “With Obama, Israel and less than 2% of the American population is now in full control of the American government.” So, is there any evidence that when he sits down in the Oval Office, Obama will try to set a new course? 

It’s certainly true that the minute the new Obama administration made any move, however tentative, deemed “anti-Israel” by the massed legions of the Israel lobby — stretching from vice president Biden’s office, through Obama’s own Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to about 98% of the US Congress, the major newspapers and TV networks, the think tanks in Washington, the big Democratic Party funders — political mayhem would break loose. The White House would see its prime political enterprise, the economic recovery program, immediately held hostage.

It’s also true that both Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have in the past evinced sympathy for Palestinian aspirations: the former was photographed with his wife Michelle in what was obviously an amiable meeting with the late Edward Said, America’s best known Palestinian, and Hillary Clinton publicly embraced Yasir Arafat. It seems safe to say that, unlike Bush Jr., neither Obama nor Mrs. Clinton have any rootedly ideological or religious commitment to the Zionist cause. Political self-preservation and advancement form the leaven in their loyalty to Israel and will remain predominant.

But if the power of the Israel lobby here in the USA is as obstructive as ever to the formation of any equitable US policy to address Palestinian aspirations the international situation does offer opportunity. Although ruthless and horrifying, Israel’s onslaughts on Gaza are evidently an expression of weakness, in a quest for military credibility forced by the imminence of elections in Israel, just as Shimon Peres, in similarly dire straits, launched Operation “Grapes of Wrath” against Lebanon before an election (which his party lost) in 1996. Bombardment, as always, unites the population on the receiving end and rallies it around its political leaders, assuming they don’t run away.

In the end, Israel will stop the bombing and what will it achieve beyond another exhibition of futile strategy, like the attack on Lebanon in 2006? The last time Israel had an effective military campaign that could be called a victory was 27 years ago, in the 1982 attack on Lebanon. Hamas has been greatly strengthened by the current attack and the status of President Abbas reaffirmed as a spineless collaborator with Israel. Mubarak likewise; Syria and Turkey alienated from Western designs; Hezbollah and Iran vindicated by the world condemnation of Israel’s barbarous conduct. For months Israel besieged Gaza, starving its civilian inhabitants of essential supplies with no effective international reproach. It’s hard to take dramatic photographs of an empty medicine bottle, but easy to film a bombed out girl’s dorm or a Palestinian mother weeping over the bodies of her five dead daughters, featured on the front page of the Washington Post this week.

Israel’s current crop of leaders are second-raters, and conditions ripe for a forceful push from the US, assuming that the new administration has the requisite modicum of courage and ingenuity — a very, very long bet, as bitter experience for nearly 40 years instructs us.

In the dying moments of his administration, Bill Clinton nearly brokered a deal between the Ehud Barak government and Arafat. Hilary Clinton certainly knows that the story of Arafat walking away from “the best possible deal” is a myth fostered by Israel and that it was Barak, facing elections who collapsed the deal at the Taba summit. Everybody knows what the contours of a settlement should be. Olmert, on his way out, put it flatly in his famous October interview in Yediot Aharonot: “We must reach an agreement with the Palestinians, the essence of which is that we shall actually withdraw from almost all the territories, if not from all the territories … Anyone who wants to keep all the territory of [Jerusalem] will have to put 270,000 Arabs behind fences within sovereign Israel. That won't work.”

In that same interview Olmert said of his previous 30 years as a politician, apropos the Palestinian question, “I was not ready to look into all the depths of reality.” Will Obama and Clinton confront reality? America’s changing and weakening circumstances prompt them to do so. If Obama wants to be judged as anything more than a partisan of the Israel lobby, he will have to make the attempt. That said, no one who has followed US policy in the Middle East with any attention since the Six Day War in 1967 should discard profound pessimism as the anchor for all assessments.

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Jerusalem, 1880

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Israel is not exercising “the right to defend itself” in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is carrying out mass murder, aided and abetted by the U.S.

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* * *

UNLIKE BROADCASTING, the papers have an additional obstacle in the changing nature of literacy in America. In addition to the functional illiterates, whose existence has been the subject of such concern for the last generation or so, we have many millions more who might be described as functional literates. A functional literate is a person who is able to read the manual of instructions for home appliances or machines at work. Functional literates can read well enough to fill out forms, do office work and written procedures of many kinds. What functional literates cannot do is absorb more than minimal amounts of information through the written word. They cannot get enjoyment out of reading. Reading is work, not leisure. The functional literates cannot keep their eyes on a printed page more than two or three consecutive minutes, because reading for these people, who may, by now, make up the bulk of our population, is a laboriously foreign activity done under compulsion and necessity. The functional literate is able to read just enough to get by and not one word more.

— Nicholas von Hoffman

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I sent this to the CA REPORT about Hint Water. I wish you would too. Thanks.

Dear California Report,

I tried hard to contact you many months ago about your program about Boyle Heights, remember that one? My ancestors also settled there, the Jewish immigrants and refugees. There are still old synagogues in Boyle Hts. to this day, aren't there. You only mentioned "Europeans" and this was not correct. I believe that my people (the Jews) were fleeing the pogroms, death camps, WWII, and other atrocities perpetrated upon them around the world, as part of the "divide and rule" and mass genocides that we see today with The Occupied Palestinian People being slaughtered, yes, by "my" people in Israel. The history and story of our world, mass land grabbing, genocide, slavery and all people doing it to all people. What a sorry species we are.

NEW TOPIC OF TODAY: Hint Water. You continue to advertise this EVIL product. It might be delicious, and I read that this is a WOMAN-OWNED business, which of course, I do support. BUT, HINT WATER comes in PLASTIC BOTTLES, which end up in the bellies of Whales, Dolphins, and other wild, beautiful creatures, pollutes our earth, is made from fossil fuels, and is KILLING OUR PLANET and CAUSING MORE CLIMATE CHANGE, as we speak!

I love your show because you are all (well, most of you) intelligent people, so I know that you know all of this. You must have a moral conscience with your Advertising/Underwriting, and STOP ADVERTISING HINT WATER TODAY!! It is immoral and unconscionable of you to do anything less! I know that you all know this.

Please stop advertising HINT WATER in PLASTIC BOTTLES immediately!! The MYTH of "Recycling Plastic" is just a MYTH.

It ends up in landfills, is shipped to Indonesia (using more fossil fuels and causing more GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE, and even more horrible, in the bodies of our wild, free, going extinct creatures!

Please I beg you Cailfornia Report to have scruples, morals and a conscience, and STOP ADVERTISING HINT WATER TODAY!

I live with only a LAND LINE, so if you wish to talk to me, please PHONE me. I will not get your email for many days, weeks or months.

Thank you for hearing a constant Listener and fan of your show.

Peace, Love and Justice,


Gualala, CA, 707-884-4703, let ring 5 times, please for voicemail, no computer at home. only a Land Line!!!

* * *

A funeral yesterday for people killed in an airstrike by Israel on Gaza City. (Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times)


  1. George Hollister May 17, 2021

    Lake Pillsbury is in Lake County, as is its entire watershed. The diversion below it is in Mendocino County. While Humboldt County has a claim to a portion of that water, Humboldt County lies quite aways down stream. Without Lake Pillsbury, the Middle Fork of the Eel River would go dry in the summer.

    • Rye N Flint May 17, 2021

      What did watersheds do before there were people to man-age them so perfectly?

      With Sarcasm,
      Rye N Flint

      • George Hollister May 17, 2021

        In this case, during summer and drought, they went dry.

      • Bruce McEwen May 17, 2021

        Actually, the beavers did a pretty good job of it, for over a million years — until they were all trapped off to make cowboy hats, that is… after the beavers were gone, divine man stepped in and, well, we can see how sustainable that’s been!

        • George Hollister May 17, 2021

          I have not heard of a significant historical beaver population in the Eel River watershed. It would not surprise me it there were some. Maybe there are some today. But it seems, for most of the Eel, one storm event would take beavers, infrastructure, and homes to the Pacific.

          • Bruce McEwen May 17, 2021

            Yes, it would, and did, for eons, and the beavers rebuilt, the famously industrious creatures, until the likes of you and the rest of the pioneers came in here (thanks to that skunk J.C. Fremont, who showed ’em the way) and wrecked it all to gratify their insatiable egos.

            But rather than quibble with me, in defense of human rapacity, why don’t you read up on some pre-Columbian history concerning the North American beaver — being careful to eschew the bales of balderdash and pseudo-science that comes out of think tanks, though, George.

    • Jeff Fox May 17, 2021

      The Middle Eel’s confluence with the mainstem is at Dos Rios, many miles downstream from the dams. As such it’s flow is unaffected by the dams.

    • Ryan Webb May 18, 2021

      The problem, of course, is not that rivers would go dry in the summer, plants and animals are adapted to that in California. The problem is that people have grown accustomed to having their water provided for them through large infrastructure projects that rely on rivers for conveyance (often at the expense of the plants and animals adapted to annual drought). Large infrastructure projects with finite lifespans I might add.

      • Rye N Flint May 19, 2021

        March 2021 Rebroadcast from the TUC Archives
In the last ten years, from 2011 to 2020, the US had the most catastrophic fires in memory. According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2020 alone, wildfires burned 10.3 million acres, nearly 40% of these acres were in California. And climate change is only part of the explanation.
        Cultural burning and intentionally set fire, as practiced by Dennis Martinez, are essential tools in managing forests, and restoring California’s fire-adapted ecosystems.
        Dennis Martinez and Tribal elders have for decades called for the re-introduction of such practice. However current laws and regulations and the outsized power of the logging and insurance industries have prevented the needed change and limited the power of Native American Tribes.

  2. Rye N Flint May 17, 2021

    re: The MYTH of “Recycling Plastic” is just a MYTH


    • KIRK VODOPALS May 17, 2021

      you should see what the Chinese do with all our discarded Christmas lights

      • Dick Whetstone May 17, 2021

        What do they do with them?

    • Bruce McEwen May 18, 2021

      Clever chaps, the plastic people. Note how they used the pandemic crisis to disregard the ban on plastic shopping bags. And closing the recycle centers put a needless crunch on the homeless and near-homeless who relied on gathering up beer cans and bottles for the nickel deposit — a great boon to the guv that was, and now the State’s coffers brim over from the resulting beer tax, of which I personally drank a trainload during the lockdown.

  3. Harvey Reading May 17, 2021


    Exactly the sort of thing to be expected of Biden and his “conservative lite party”. And we’re still barely into the senator from citibank’s pathetic administration. He makes things “better” by making them worse.

  4. Harvey Reading May 17, 2021


    Yeah? And what’s the salary? Benefits?

    • Chuck Wilcher May 17, 2021

      I don’t think anyone expects to retire in a week or so after taking the job, Harv.

      • Harvey Reading May 17, 2021

        But they may want to eat, feed their families, and pay bills…including the rent.

  5. Michael Koepf May 17, 2021

    Israeli Groveling—Hamas Groveling
    Read all about in Mendocino County Today. This morning in a 2009 reprint by Alexander Cockburn, avowed Stalinist, and, once upon a time, on the take from Arab sources so egregious that it even got him fired from the far left Village Voice. In this lefty blast from the past, Cockburn accuses President Obama of being an Israeli groveler. Okay, then I’m an Israeli groveler too. What’s missing in all this Hamas hugging so current with the American left, to include the editor of this paper and AOC, are a few simple facts. Hamas, is a genocidal terrorist group. As of late, Hamas has been losing support amongst Palestinians because of economic reasons. As a result, Hamas used the recent Arab-Israeli strife and riots in East Jerusalem as an excuse to fire nearly 2900 rockets into Israel. They knew exactly what was coming next. It will help them hold on to power over the unfortunate Palestinians, who they rule with guns and the promise of social service programs funded by outside sources to include the terrorist state of Iran. Nevertheless, as of late, Palestinians have been wising up to Hamas. Firing rockets into Israel was certain to take their minds away from that. We get to watch the consequences of this heartless, political maneuver on the part of Hamas on the news almost every night, along with anguished screeds emanating from America’s mui loco, left, who believe that Hamas is some kind of civil rights organization. They are not. They are extreme jihadists and little more. They dominate the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority with the barrels of their guns. The Palestinians are not Hamas, but if they say that to their faces, there’s a good chance they’ll be shot.

    • Bruce Anderson May 17, 2021

      Cockburn was not an “avowed Stalinist” and you are an ignorant fool, as you establish every time you write in to relay the latest analysis from Fox News.

      • Bruce Anderson May 17, 2021

        PS. Koepf isn’t allowed to further libel my dead friend, but when the Beacon Light re-opens you can hear him yourself. He’s the purple-faced blowhard at the end of the bar by himself because his vicious monologues and random lies are too much even for the oblivious rummies of Elk.

    • Craig Stehr May 17, 2021

      MY TURN: I was living in Manhattan in the early 1970s, working with The Living Theatre, and enjoyed Alexander Cockburn’s “Press Clips” like everybody else who got educated and had a heart. The notion that he was an “avowed Stalinist” is beyond ridiculous. Second, quoting from Roy Edroso’s July 21, 2012 Village Voice obituary for AC, “…a disagreement over a grant he’d received from The Institute of Arab Studies led to his suspension.” In other words, he was not fired. He did shortly thereafter begin work with The Nation. Shall we call this progress? ;-))

      • Bruce McEwen May 17, 2021

        Outstanding comment.

        (Stand-by for squalls of vituperation, brace for gale-force winds of obscenity, and expect the worst whirlwinds of anti-Semitic accusations — do the Hindu’s have an old feud with Israel?)

        • Craig Stehr May 17, 2021

          If you still haven’t understood why the first duty of everyone on planet earth is to center the mind at its Source, instead of primarily interacting socially: i.e. making money, voting, eating, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, etcetera, then here is my explanation. Happening right this minute on May 17th, 2021 at Varanasi, India’s cremation grounds, it’s just another example of the humanity’s continuous demonic all-devouring behavior in the dark phase of Kali Yuga.
          Here is the link>>>

          P.S. If you’re ready to form a spiritually focused nomadic direct action group, responding to the global ecological implosion and peace & justice concerns…

          Craig Louis Stehr
          Snail Mail: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470-0938
          No Phone

  6. KIRK VODOPALS May 17, 2021

    Agreed, Gentleman George makes a weak argument for managed watersheds. One could assume that more water in those river reaches would benefit fisheries, but one should also consider the access to habitat ABOVE the dam(s).

  7. KIRK VODOPALS May 17, 2021

    Re: weed permitting… Mendo County’s attempted CEQA analysis for the Phase 1 weed permits was a joke. Everyone knew it. Didn’t even need a lawsuit to clarify that. Now all the little guys have to pay for their own environmental analysis on their “little” plots. Probably won’t pencil out financially, of course. So, whaddya do? Try to lurch back into the black market? Be honest about how much you funneled through the illicit marke while attempting legality….. Quite the pickle.

    Will the County actually start a Humboldt County style enforcement? I doubt it. This County has a great track record of bungling the professional-style endeavors. Just look at Measure B!

  8. Stephen Rosenthal May 17, 2021

    Re the Ukiah reader’s comment about Adventist Hospital: That may all be true, but unlike the Schraeders they’re not being annually gifted many millions of dollars of public money and real estate by Angelo and the BOS for little or no return of services. Add one letter and it’s called a grift.

  9. Professor Cosmos May 17, 2021

    Danny Sheehan has an interesting new effort with Lue Elizondo as a client. Three new cases/complaints filed with the Inspector General for the DOD.

    Y’all ok this morning? Make sure Harvey is ok.

    • Harvey Reading May 17, 2021

      LOL. Enjoy your dream world, ‘fesser. I find it boring after having heard the same old, wishful-thinking crap so many times, during my childhood and adulthood. We have absolutely NOTHING of interest to an advanced bunch of beings.

      Also, consider this, your perfessership: since we all supposedly started from the same bang, there’s a possibility that other species with so-called intelligence that may exist may have evolved about when we did. That would make it likely that all so-called intelligent life in the universe may be at about the same stage of development, all incapable of interstellar travel, let alone the ability to transmit cargo in the amounts needed for trading with other planets.

      Maybe ya oughta call up the generals and the members of the senate select committee on intelligence (that name still makes me laugh until I almost pee) and run it by their highnesses.

  10. Jim Armstrong May 17, 2021

    “MENDO SHOULD PAY ATTENTION to Sonoma County water news because most of Sonoma’s water is actually from Mendocino (or Humboldt/the Eel River). ”
    Looks like The Major will never realize that no precipitation of any kind that falls in Humboldt County ever gets to Sonoma County (or Mendocino, for that matter).
    Unless of course he means that all the water that reaches the sea in a particular county belongs to it.
    Whoops, that means the all Russian River water belongs to Sonoma.
    Note to Mark: “Don’t tell them.”

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