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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mostly Dry | 16 New Cases | FB Notes | California Burning | Boonville Airstrip | Gen-X Apology | Cola Disinfect | Memorial Day | Dr Zeuss | Late Entry | Redwood Post | Sheriff's Response | True Love | Climate Petition | Domestic Terrorist | Water Conservation | Easy Scooter | Off-Stream Ponds | Police Reports | Yesterday's Catch | Drought Stress | Hot Asphalt | Lee Evans | Ancient Search | Weekly Comments | Thespians 1900 | Gold Fever | Shot Confusion | War Dead | Broken Democracy | Happy Birthday | Folk Sinner | Dylan Woodstock | Fall Out Boy

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OTHER THAN lingering showers and drizzle this morning for Del Norte and northern Humboldt Counties, dry weather is forecast today through Wednesday. Another trough will bring a chance of rain for Del Norte and northern Humboldt Counties on Thursday. Dry weather with near normal temperatures are forecast for the remainder of the area Thursday through Friday. (NWS)

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16 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County (since last Friday) yesterday afternoon.

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by Chris Calder

CHAIN STORES — Monday evening, the Fort Bragg City Council considered extending its moratorium on formula businesses in the "inland zone" - basically the part of town not in the Coastal Zone, where development often requires Coastal Commission approval.

In April, the council approved a ban on approving applications from chain businesses to give itself time to consider an ordinance on the subject. This followed the latest in a series of bitter fights over letting in chains — at that time Autozone's proposal to open a chain store on the ocean side of Highway 1 in Fort Bragg, which was rejected.

Council members asked the Planning Commission to come up with a draft ordinance which, according to City Hall staff, is nearly done, but the moratorium expires on May 27.

The only current proposal the moratorium affects is Dollar General's bid to open a store on South Franklin Street. Grocery Outlet is also proposing to come to Fort Bragg, but its proposal is in the Coastal Zone, and not part of the moratorium. Overall, the local public seems enthusiastic about Grocery Outlet and lukewarm on Dollar General.

City Hall staff is recommending the Council extend the moratorium for ten months and fifteen days, the maximum allowed by state law. The council could end the moratorium sooner, staff notes, but ten months would give the Council plenty of time to consider the ordinance the Planning Commission is expected to deliver soon. Extending the moratorium would require a yes vote from four of the five city council members. 

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THE SMELL — AND DESAL. Fort Bragg's Coastal Trail is a gem, but as more people discover it, they also discover that parts of it smell sometimes — like a sewer, actually.

This is because one particularly beautiful stretch of trail swings very close to Fort Bragg's wastewater treatment facility, aka its sewer plant. The Noyo Center for Marine Science's A-frame fun center also has a front row seat for the stench when the wind is right.

Complaints have been on the rise recently, and the city is attacking the problem with various sewage additives that by most reports aren't doing much good.

The longer term solution, to be installed in the fall, according to City Manager Tabatha Miller, is a small desalination unit that will allow the plant to use saltier river water to help flush the "solids,” and hopefully cut down the smell, Miller said.

An interesting side note: according to Miller, the small and affordable wastewater desal unit would be a significant first step toward developing desalination as a drinking water source in Fort Bragg. Desal has been a dream of long-time council member Lindy Peters, and others, for decades, and has often been presented as the ultimate solution to Fort Bragg's many water challenges. Miller said water conservation and expanding the town's water storage capacity (reservoirs and tanks) is the shorter term priority.

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(photo by Dick Whetstone)

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by Don Thompson

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As California sinks deeper into drought it already has had more than 900 additional wildfires than at this point in 2020, which was a record-breaking year that saw more than 4% of the state’s land scorched by flames.

The danger prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to propose spending a record $2 billion on wildfire mitigation. That’s double what he had proposed in January.

“Clearly we recognize we need to step up our efforts here in the state of California and that’s what we began to do early this year,” he said Monday. 

California’s mountains and foothills are expected to see above-normal wildfire potential from June through August and possibly into the fall, which is the usual peak fire season, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center and the Southwest Coordination Center. 

While some parts of the Southwest saw cool and moist conditions over the past month, that wasn’t the case in California. said Chuck Maxwell, a meteorologist and predictive services manager with the Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque. About 94% of California has drought conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor that measures conditions. 

This year’s fires so far have burned nearly five times as much acreage as they did last year at this time. But the 24 square miles (62 square kilometers) scarred by about 2,600 fires this year is a small portion of last year’s totals of nearly 10,000 fires and an astronomical 6,653 square miles (17,231 square kilometers) burned. The fires killed 33 people and burned more than 10,000 homes and other structures. 

Last year’s epic fire season lasted so long that it slowed Cal Fire’s attempts to set its own fires — the prescribed burns that they want to make an increasing part of their long-term efforts. They’ve been able to deliberately burn about 17 square miles (44 square kilometers) through April 30, down about 40% from last year.

Even a dry winter would have allowed for the prescribed burns, but officials got a late start due to the extreme fire activity the second half of last year, said Christine McMorrow, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“Prescribed burns are a big part of our strategy,” said Newsom, who included $50 million for them in his proposed budget.

Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter called them “our best and most cost effective tool” for clearing both overgrown areas and invasive non-native plants. But he cautioned that “not every piece of California is ready for prescribed fire yet” with “a lot of areas where it’s not safe to put fire on the ground under any circumstances.”

Smoke from deliberate burns is also an issue, he said, though the state tries not to burn near sensitive locations like hospitals. And the state can’t intentionally allow fires to burn on private land without permission and safeguards in place, Porter said, although it is trying to get blanket approval from large forestland owners to allow fires to continue in a safe manner once they’ve started.

That means in many areas officials will have to continue using hand crews, machinery or animals to clear overgrown areas.

“Once we have safe areas to burn we will reintroduce fire and that will be the primary tool in the future, but I’m talking about decades out,” Porter said. “We have to build that over an incremental basis over the next many, many years to get to the right place and the right combination.”

The budget proposal that lawmakers will consider before June 15 includes more than $48 million to phase in a dozen new Cal Fire Fire Hawk helicopters and seven large C-130 air tankers like those Newsom highlighted at a Sacramento-area firefighting airbase Monday. It has nearly $34 million to replace two state helicopter bases and create a new emergency operations center in Southern California.

More than $182 million would go for an additional 33 fire crews as the state makes up in part for a dwindling number of inmate firefighters amid earlier releases because of the coronavirus pandemic and years of easing criminal sentencing laws. The money includes hiring an additional 1.399 seasonal firefighters. That will bring the total of seasonal firefighters to nearly 4,000, augmenting nearly 3,400 permanent firefighters, Cal Fire said. 

Lawmakers this year already approved $536 million so the state could quickly start approving local contracts to build fuel breaks near vulnerable communities or manage forestlands, with more money going toward efforts to make homes less likely to burn. 

The rest is in the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, although Porter said most of the firefighters already have been hired.

(Associated Press)

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Boonville Airstrip

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by Arnaud Hubert

I was born in 1970. That makes me a textbook Generation X poster boy. My parents were honeymooning in Italy during Appolo XI’s landing on the Moon. I was born during the time Sticky Fingers was being recorded, Jimmy Hendrix and François Mauriac died, and the Vietnam War escalated.

There are plenty of memes claiming we were the last generation to ride bikes without helmets, in the back of cars without seat belts, and our parents would let us roam wild until dinner time. Some of those things definitely resonate. I do remember eating lead paint peeling from the heating radiator in the stairwell as a tiny kid. My mom would ring a bell from the porch on weekends to tell us to come home for dinner. And I bought my first bike helmet myself in the 90s.

However, we were also the first generation of kids being told the planet was in trouble. One of the first disconnects with our parents’ lifestyle was HIV. We had to practice safe sex and regularly get tested. We watched some friends getting diagnosed with AIDS. And we were told the Earth’s ice caps were starting to melt.

What could we do about it? Not much, really. We could bitch at our dads who thought getting a diesel-powered wagon was more environmentally friendly — yes, that was a thing in Europe. We voted for some Green Party candidates who eventually compromised with social democrats if they got lucky enough to get any political sway. In the U.S., some Gen-Xers went vegetarian. Or even vegan, back when the meat analogs still tasted like shit. The Clinton administration banned CFCs and the ozone layer was saved. Yay.

Social justice for us white folks wasn’t even on our radar. We thought having a couple of black friends and listening to hip hop was getting us woke enough, back when woke wasn’t even a word. We felt noble enough thinking about the planet, we didn’t even think about the everyday of our friends of color who just had to get through the day without getting pulled over for some bullshit reason.

We recycled. We collected trash in forests and on beaches on Earth Day. We taught our kids about not littering. We told our parents about carbon footprints. We bought organically certified produce. We boycotted Nestle brands. We sold our Jeeps and bought Subarus.

And still, the planet went to shit. Look, we explained. The people in charge are still as old as our parents. They are still shrugging off this whole climate change thing, and that’s when they actually believe it’s happening. Their generation only believed in threats they could see with their own eyes: communists, hippies, immigrants, union leaders, corrupt politicians, Japanese conglomerates, ants, their neighbors’ dog. Global warming? Those scientists were just alarmists. The planet survived the Industrial Revolution and atmospheric nuclear tests from five major countries. It was going to be fine.

Now Gen-Xers are middle-aged. Some of us are even grandparents. We’ve dealt with multiple recessions on top of the AIDS pandemic, which honestly made us well-prepared for the Covid shitshow. But the planet is still going to shit and we didn’t do much about it. So those of us crazy enough to raise kids have tried to make them care about the environment. Let’s be honest though — those kiddos are usually smart enough to see that this isn’t a choice. They have to give a shit. They watch hurricanes and megadroughts and mass migration and wildfires on TV — and that’s when they don’t experience them first-hand —, so they know this is part of life. It’s not an option. Earth is in trouble because of humanity and they know it.

So, to Millennials and Gen-Zs and whichever youth will come after: we’re sorry. We tried — but not hard enough. Don’t be like us. Fight. Inspire us. You could be the first generation in ages who actually motivates their elders to do something about the future. Don’t give up.

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A few veterans are planning to be at the Evergreen Cemetery with loved ones, friends and neighbors to honor those who have gone before us. They have departed this life having served our country in uniform, some in battle and some for whom life has ended in the trenches.

A small gathering is greatly preferred to no gathering. A large garthering would be wonderful.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 31. And the gathering will commence at 11am. We will begin with a moment of silence. Then some folks will speak to us. We will close with the playing of Taps. Your words will be welcomed. Perhaps we will find a path to peace for those who wish to walk upon it.

(Greg Sims, Legionnaire)

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SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION (46th Anniversary — 16th consecutive Revival)

As with last year, the event will be held in the air and on the air at KZYX&Z, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. Dan Roberts will begin presenting the 2021 open reading submissions on June 6, but act now to get your work in by this Sunday, May 23.

Pick up a smartphone, record up to four minutes of poetry and email it to . It’s easy as emailing photos! For encouragement in detail, see

Do it now! Send your recording to Dan Roberts at Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937 4107, Let’s hear it from you!

ME? You asked for it, Gordy. Herewith My poem. It’s called, 


The rain and the wind blew through the curtains

late at night.

She said, “Close the windows,

you fool.”

But, I said, the air is so sweet,

my dear, but not as sweet as you,

and she put on a rain coat and

went back to sleep.

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BILL KIMBERLIN: This redwood fence post has been sticking in the ground at my place for at least 100 years. That is how resistant old growth redwood can be compared to any other wood.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF Matt Kendall Responds Strongly to Social Justice Activists’ Proposal to Audit the Finances and Practices of the Sheriff’s Office

On Tuesday, March 25, 2021, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will consider acting on a proposal developed by a consortium of social justice organizations to conduct a “comprehensive performance and fiscal audit of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office budget.”

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The Grassroots Institute Climate Crisis Workgroup put forth proposals to secure funds for climate mitigation. The proposals are going to the Fort Bragg City Council and the Board of Supervisors. Please sign the petition:

If you want to spread the word, send the petition far and wide.

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The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors passed a Drought Declaration on April 20, 2021 due to worsening drought conditions across the region. The drought declaration requests all local water suppliers to implement their local water shortage contingency plans and urges all residents to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%.

The majority of residents within the County of Mendocino rely on groundwater to meet their residential, agricultural and industrial needs. Surface water diversions from the Eel River through the Potter Valley Project and Russian River are also used to meet water demands. Both sources are currently vulnerable due to the current and forecasted ongoing drought conditions and we ask everyone to do their part to reduce their water use.

Some simple water-saving ideas you can practice at home:

  • Let lawns go brown or replace the lawns with artificial turf
  • Plant drought tolerant species
  • Water deeply and less often and use mulch to minimize evaporation
  • Use a broom instead of hose to clean driveways and patios
  • Install water-saving showerheads and take shorter showers – five minutes or less
  • Turn water off when brushing teeth and washing hands
  • Check faucets, sinks, toilets and showers for leaks and repair promptly if necessary

For more water conservation tips as well as a detailed guide on how to identify and measure leaks in your home please visit the County Drought and Water Conservation Website:

If you have any further questions, please call the Drought Hotline: (707) 234-6363.

[Funny, no mention of grapes in the above County presser.]

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The Mendocino County Farm Bureau encourages local, state and federal leadership to focus current drought relief measures on multi-purpose projects that address agricultural, municipal, environmental, recreational and fire suppression water needs.

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On Friday, May 21, 2021 at 12:22 P. M. Deputies From the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received information from the Fort Bragg Police Department that a vehicle stolen from their jurisdiction on 05-19-2021 may be located at a residence in the 5500 block of Central Avenue in Ukiah.

Deputies responded to the property and located the vehicle parked in the driveway in front of the residence. As the Deputies approached the vehicle, a male subject exited the drivers side of the vehicle and fled on foot around the back of the residence.

Deputies pursued the male subject and were able to determine he had entered into the residence through the back sliding glass door. Deputies obtained permission from a resident of the property to search the residence for the male subject.

A search of the residence was conducted and the male subject was located hiding in the closet of the back bedroom. The male subject was detained and identified as being Carlos Ogawa, 34, of Ukiah.

Carlos Ogawa

During the course of the investigation a witness confirmed Ogawa had been in possession of the stolen vehicle for the past two days.

The witness also confirmed Ogawa had a handgun in his possession.

A search of the route taken by Ogawa when he fled from the vehicle revealed a handgun hidden near the back door Ogawa had used to enter the residence. The witness was able to confirm the handgun located by the Deputies did indeed belong to Ogawa.

After completing the investigation, Ogawa was placed under arrest for Possess Stolen Vehicle/Vessel/etc., Possession Of Ammunition By A Convicted Felon, Possession Of A Firearm By A Convicted Felon, Carrying A Loaded Handgun/Not Registered Owner, and Violation Of Probation.

Ogawa was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $ 25,000 bail.



On Saturday, May 22, 2021 at about 6:11 A.M, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies served a felony arrest warrant at a residence on Holly Street in Willits.

A Mendocino County Superior Court Judge issued two warrants for the arrest of Christopher Guerrero, 31, of Willits.

Christopher Guerrero

One warrant was for violation of Guerrero's probation, with $50,000 being the set bail. The second warrant was for failure to appear in court on a felony charge, with $150,000 being the set bail.

Upon arrival at the residence, the Deputies located Guerrero and he was taken into custody without incident.

Guerrero was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where he was to be held in lieu of $200,000 total bail.



On Saturday, May 22, 2021 at about 11:39 P.M, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for an equipment violation, in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah.

The Deputies contacted the driver and sole occupant, Matthew Susmilch, 36, of Eureka. As Susmilch exited the vehicle to speak with the Deputies, a Deputy observed illegal drug paraphernalia in the driver seat area of the vehicle.

Matthew Susmilch

The Deputies searched the vehicle for further evidence of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

During the search, a live round of 12 gauge shotgun ammunition was found inside the vehicle. Also in the vehicle were several tools commonly used to commit burglaries. These items included a lock pick gun and an inflatable door wedge.

A records check on Susmilch revealed he was a previously convicted felon, prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Based on the Deputies' investigation, Susmilch was arrested for being a felon in possession of ammunition and for being in possession of burglary tools.

Susmilch was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, to be released on zero bail after the booking process in accordance with COVID-19 bail schedule set forth by the State of California Judicial Council.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 24, 2021

Aguilar, Chavez, Essex

GABRIEL AGUILAR, Ukiah. Misdemeanor hit&run with property damage.

YOVANI CHAVEZ-CHAVEZ, Riverbank/Ukiah. DUI, assault on peace officer, criminal threats, resisting.

BREANNA ESSEX, Willits. Battery with serious injury.

Ezell, Hayes, Hernandez

STACY EZELL, Clearlake/Ukiaih. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

ROBERT HAYES, Fort Bragg. Unlawful display of registration, failure to appear.

VINCENT HERNANDEZ JR., Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

Herrera, Huang, LaRose

EDUARDO HERRERA-HERNANDEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. More than an ounce of pot.

ROBERT HUANG, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

DRINA LAROSE, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

Lockhart, Morris

CRYSTAL LOCKHART, Ukiah. Criminal threats, probation revocation.

DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Sanders, White, Wooten

RHONDA SANDERS, Willits. Brandishing a deadly weapon, not a gun, in a threatening, rude, or angry manner. (Frequent flyer.)

KRISTOPHER WHITE, Fort Bragg. Failure to register.

DAVID WOOTEN, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

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The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) began its tenth year of water temperature gauge deployment on Sunday, May 10 and found signs of ecological stress caused by the 2020-2021 drought already. Reconnaissance started in Outlet Creek and followed in the Tenmile Creek watershed that surrounds Laytonville. Studies in the latter basin by ERRP related to flow are part of a California State Coastal Conservancy Prop 1 grant that also includes erosion control.

The Sunday, May 10 survey began where Outlet Creek meets the main Eel River and proceeded upstream to the headwaters above Willits. ERRP Managing Director was joined by volunteer Phill Hosking. No fish were seen at the mouth, and only two steelhead or trout juveniles were seen at 11 sites visited. One young of the year steelhead was sighted just downstream of the Highway 162 near the Highway 101 junction, and the other in the headwaters of Outlet tributary Cherry Creek, where the fish was likely a resident trout.

Upper Baechtel Creek had served as a steelhead refugia until the reach dried up in late 2020, and no fish were seen there this visit, indicating that spawning at this location was not possible in the previous spawning season due to low flows. Locations such as Outlet Creek at Bloody Run Creek and lower Long Valley Creek had profuse algae blooms and no observed fish life. Such dense blooms can cause dissolved oxygen depression, elevated pH and even toxic levels of ammonia.

On Monday, May 10, a visit to Cahto Creek downstream of the Cahto Reservation found numerous very small young of the year steelhead or native trout and several other age and size classes. Algae blooms were much less dense and the fish community was still dominated by steelhead. The warm water adapted, non-native California roach were present but fewer in number, which will change with the season as the water warms.

On Tuesday, May 11, ERRP’s Pat Higgins was joined by University of California Berkeley post-doctoral researchers Philip Georgakakos and Gabe Rossi and they visited lower Tenmile Creek and tributaries Streeter and Big Rock creeks. Once again, young of the year trout were present in high numbers, however, they were also accompanied by warm water roach and invasive green sunfish at the main Tenmile Creek location. The greatest positive surprise was the identification and documentation of juvenile Chinook salmon in lower Tenmile Creek by the UCB scientists, which indicates that late fall run Chinook excellent spawning areas just upstream in January.

Unfortunately, without some unseasonal late spring or summer rain, Tenmile Creek and many of its tributaries may go dry later this summer. ERRP is working to design and permit water expanded storage systems that would allow saving enough water over the winter, to allow forbearance of streamflow during low flow periods. Best-practices consultant Noah Cornell returns to ERRP service to help Tenmile Creek watershed residents to conserve water and devise water strategies and he may be reached at 707 972-9503.

This week’s Eel Zoom #7, which is Friday, May 21 at 5 PM, is timely in that Dr. David Dralle will talk about how undisturbed watersheds store and produce water and how water yield in the Eel River watershed can vary with geology. Researcher Eli Asarian has studied Eel River flow records and has found a long-term declining trend. Explore varying hypotheses on what is driving that trend and what we might do to restore flows. Go to to sign up for Eel Zoom. Monitoring assistance can be requested by calling Pat Higgins at 707 839-4987. Field photos are available on the ERRP Facebook page and videos on their Vimeo channel.

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by Dave Zirin

Lee Evans was world-class, on the track and off, with an emphasis on the word “world.” The onetime record holder in the 400-meters passed away this week at the age of 74 in Nigeria, where he had coached on and off for decades. It was in 1968 at the Olympics in Mexico City that, at the tender age of 21, Evans ran a scorching 400 meters in 43.86 seconds, a world record that stood for 20 years. His second gold at those games came anchoring the United States team in the 1,600-meter relay, which the team ran in a mind-boggling two minutes and 56.16 seconds, a record that lasted for a remarkable 24 years.

He was a Hall of Fame runner, but that’s not solely why he needs to be remembered. Evans was more than someone who could burn up a track. Before those 1968 games, he was a political organizer with the Olympic Project for Human Rights, the organization of people like Tommie Smith and John Carlos, spearheaded by professor/sociologist Dr. Harry Edwards. OPHR aimed to organize a Black boycott of the 1968 Olympics to protest racism and injustice both inside and outside the Games. The boycott was meant to be a declaration of human rights amidst a world that in 1968 was being roiled by the US war in Vietnam and resistance to racism across the globe.

The boycott was unsuccessful, so runners like Smith, Carlos, and Evans decided they would take their protest to the Games themselves. We know what Carlos and Smith did at the Olympics. But rather forgotten is the moment when Evans, along with 400-meter silver medalist Larry James and bronze medalist Ron Freeman took to the medal stand wearing black berets, the signifier of the newly formed Black Panther Party for self-defense. Evans almost didn’t run the race. He considered his own personal boycott after Carlos and Smith were expelled from the Olympic village for raising their fists. But it was Carlos who told him that the best revenge would be to go out to the track and showcase his excellence. After the race, Evans was deluged with death threats, but he also was critiqued by those who thought he should have done an even more radical demonstration. I interviewed Evans in 2004 and he said, “I had a tough time because Black people thought that I didn’t do enough and the whites were just mad. I got it from both sides. The Black people thought I should have done nothing less than dynamite the victory stand. That’s the only thing that would have satisfied them because after Tommy and John. What else could I do?”

What Lee Evans could do was then lead an immensely rich life in which he combined his passions for the track and internationalist politics in coaching around the world, from the Middle East, to the University of South Alabama to across the African continent, most centrally in Nigeria. Evans even coached the Nigerian team to a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. As he told me, “As soon as I learned about what Jim Crow meant and I found out that my ancestors were Africans, I wanted to go back to Africa. So that’s what I did. I went back to Africa in 1975 and I worked there for about 20 years and I was fortunate to coach three Olympic medal winners on Nigeria’s team.”

I reached out to Ron Davis, a lifelong friend of Lee Evans and a renowned track coach in his own right. Ron e-mailed the following:

“Lee was offered a lot of money to visit South Africa during the time Apartheid was going on but refused to go. Lee and John Carlos organized athletes to prevent Rhodesia from participating in the 1972 Olympic Games. Lee and I stood proudly when the Nigeria National Anthem was played and had conversations about how meaningful it was to us; more so than the [United States] National Anthem. We were also highly respected as National Athletics Coaches at a time it was a struggle for Afro American/African coaches to be selected on USA Olympic Teams or get Head Coaching positions at major universities. Lee’s presence around the world helped promote track and field because he always took the time to ‘give’ and not expect anything in return. My brother and my best friend will be sincerely missed.”

Evans is going to be buried in Nigeria. He was a track and field icon before he was 22 and someone who devoted decades of his life to coaching others. But perhaps most significantly for this current generation of athlete-activists, he was an organizer and he was brave. He was an organizer: someone who put in the work to try to organize athletes to fight for social justice, in meetings large and small. He was brave: someone who, in the face of possibly suspension or far worse, took his protest to the medal stand.

In a year when the International Olympic Committee has pledged to crack down on athletes who sport the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on their clothes or make any kind of a demonstration, his life is a reminder that any athlete considering protest in the face of these dictates stands on the shoulders of giants. Evans was a giant, and now he is to be buried in Nigeria, returned to his ancestors. For eternity, Lee Evans is finally home.

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[1] It seems that once you get past barter, e.g. I’ll trade you one of my goats for a bushel of your wheat, commerce becomes an abstraction. Beyond this-for-that exchange, has the economy ever really been anything more than a contrived illusion? If I’m correct that money is just a marker for receiving goods or services in the future, we’ve all had to agree about what has value. As long as we all agree that a financial derivative product has value, is this any different that agreeing a bar of gold has intrinsic value? I wonder how our current predicament is any more precarious than in the past.

[2] But anybody who was anybody knew what bollocks that was because they knew full well that the Russian angle was full of shit from top to bottom, that it served as pretext, that the real intent was to find ANYTHING to oust Trump from the presidency. Barring that, to delegitimize his election win, you know, where there’s smoke there’s fire, they wouldn’t be investigating if there was nothing there, all that crap we’ve heard a thousand times. And to impede the conduct of his administration, to bog down the Trump mammoth in a tar-pit of investigative obstruction. 

And what did they find? Bugger all. Trump survived. No indictments even though we were many, many times assured by people who assured us that they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that indictments were coming. How many times did we hear that they turned a corner, that the walls were closing in? How many times did the evening news announce a “bombshell”. 

Bombshell after bombshell, but how many were retracted as inaccurate after the passage of a day or two? Collusion? It is to laugh. Interference? Just as ludicrous, far from an election bought by Putin, amounting to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar campaign. 

So, after all that noise, nada. Yeah, ominous sounding verbiage in the report. And from the vaunted media and “thinking-class”, a bunch of stuff about road-maps to impeachment. But it was all talking cock.

And an astonishing thing that was given that Trump spent his life in two notoriously mobbed up industries, casinos and real estate. Either Trump is as clean as a hound’s tooth or Mueller and his boys were the most incompetent gang of fools set loose on what should have been a target rich environment. 

There’s a whole bunch of things that can be simultaneously true, in seeming contradiction only because political divides in the US preclude rational thought. The vehemence is such that it is beyond the self-control of almost all Americans of opposing affiliations to dispassionately assess Trump, who he is and how he got there. Can’t be done. 

What you can’t say because nobody will listen is that he’s a mixed bag, he was no traitor, he had some valid policy goals, but that he was in no way, shape or form cut out for the job. He just didn’t have the leadership or managerial chops, nor the character nor the intellect. 

And, especially, he had no Deep State institutional support. Trump is as red-hot an iron as abortion or evolution. Mention his name and to the barricades we go. 

In my view the Mueller affair was a fiasco. Hard to say it any other way. It was harassment of someone not expected to win, and a fiasco, a disgrace, a debacle, an epic fuck up, and it was an illegitimate attempt to overturn an election. And it failed.

[3] From what I’ve seen this covid thing is real and spreads much like the common cold. Unless you’re superman or you live in a plastic bubble, it’s not a question of IF you catch a cold but WHEN. Same with covid. From what I’ve seen it can kill. It can make you damn sick even if you’re young and otherwise healthy. If you’re old it’s lethal. 

From what little I know of biology and the branch of biology dealing with evolution, when a lifeform finds a new ecological niche, be it a new land-mass, a new food source or, like the covid virus, a new host species, they have a tendency to mutate, i.e. evolve pretty fast.

One well known example is whales, for which fossil records of evolution are pretty darned good. About 50 million years ago there was a fully terrestrial shore-line dwelling creature on what was the edge of a stretch of water between Asia and the then island continent of India. That shore-line critter was something that looked like a wolf except it had hooves. And after about a million years it had evolved into an unmistakably aquatic animal. That’s the thumbnail sketch. The point is that evolution in the case of whales was fast.

Faster even is it for microbes. Those fuckers multiply quick and mutate quick. Now that covid found a new food source in humans look for it to change quick. And we’ve actually seen that happen, with new and apparently more contagious and deadly varieties. Nothing happening IOW that you wouldn’t expect.

Am I parroting the party line? Make up your own mind. Use your own eyes and ears and wits. If you want this to be a contest between the rock-ribbed, gun totin’, rootin-tootin, granite-jawed, freedom lovin’ American and the useless-as-tits-on-a bull, bi-coastal, gender confused, college miseducated pussy be my guest. 

Do you trust drug companies? Do they deserve trust? Remember those non-addicting opioids? You have a choice between possibly or probably catching covid and the vaccines. Take your pick. Nobody said life is fair.

[4] Harris is a personification of the Democratic credo. No ideas, no action, spend all your time making up excuses for inactivity, create an enemy to distract folks with. To make it all work, you must have that enemy, politicians know that as a given. 

Harris will continue doing nothing. The strings moving Biden originate somewhere else.

I wonder if Biden has official tasters for his food and drink. The Secret Service certainly have him bottled up in the WH. I do notice that Harris is always with Biden when he graces us with his presence. Do you think he 's maybe obeying the adage,

Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer?

[5] Good News! The Trans Parade, cancelled last year because of Covid, is on!

It’s part of Pride Week. Local TV stations give the event comprehensive, all day coverage. The main attraction in the parade are outrageous 300 lbs. men on floats, dressed up like divas, with big bouffant hair, heavy makeup, black fishnet stockings, glittery dresses and flashy jewelry, gyrating to Alicia Bridges “I Love the Nightlife”, broadcast at 120 decibels. I caught some of it from a boat on the Connecticut River a few years ago. It's billed as a family event. I suppose it's harmless enough.

Supposed to be a warm weekend, the first of the spring, which usually signals the start of Shooting Season in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. The 2021 season is predicted to be epic.

[6] Sadly, corporations have the time, incentive and money to develop never ending ways to dominate any market they choose. They aren’t emotionally attached to cultivation of cannabis like you are. Sure, you will have your niche customers that appreciate the love you put into it , like the small farmer is appreciated at the farmers market but let’s face it, corporate weed will dominate in the end, just like corporate vegetables do. And as far as the consumer is concerned, in the end all that will matter to most is how high the weed got them. I assume corporations are probably working to produce super high THC varieties.

Likewise they are probably working on breeding super high CBD varieties to dominate that market.

The die is cast. I don’t like what’s happened but isn’t this what happens to everything in America?

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall listening to corporate/politician secret meetings plotting their take-over. They weren’t going to ignore the multi-billion dollar cash cow that was there for the taking.

Yes, you will survive and struggle like the small veggie farmer but make no mistake, corporate weed is going to ultimately take over with the most products for the vast consumers that don’t really care where that product came from as long as it gets them high or eases symptoms. Sad truth…


(a) My question is , with every dirt farmer in the world growing marhiuana, who buys it all? I quit smoking dope after the summer of love in 1967 and I don't know anyone who is still addicted, those friends are long gone to the penitentiaries and graveyards. Thank you, I’ll take my answer off the air.

(b) Armies of people smoke weed all day every day. An ounce a week all year is over 3 pounds a year. A decent sized farm that pulls in 300 pounds is only providing head for 100 or 200 people. And there’s a battalion of dealers and dispensaries to provide that weed, one small baggy at a time. America’s appetite for weed has never been fully sated. Not all weed heads look like Cheech and Chong.

[8] (b) Well, let’s embarrass the pot farmers until they pay up!

Mendocino has some interesting approaches to “compliance”, but the best way to improve the situation would probably be to directly fine property owners and then follow up with impounding real property.

Mendocino County has few teeth, but in actual fact, it is the county that embarrasses itself, over and over…

It would take the National Guard, or Black Ops, to restore sense and order in Mendo, and the likelihood of engaging the real offenders is minimal…

Good luck, Mendo! Great copy and content, poor quality government overall…

(b) Newsom is the Cat’s Paw of the wealthy. The recall effort should be very entertaining, and could possibly result in another Schwarzenegger-type Gov-Fest…

Mendocino, on the other hand, is its own apparent experiment in incompetent government by the crooked, corrupt, and the folks who hire their friends, neighbors and family members…

Mendo public employees are poorly paid, marginally qualified, and they frequently come up with silly programs like attempting to embarrass the pot farmers…

Pot farmers are primarily concerned with accelerated growing methods, polluting the heck out of the environment, and liquidating their products before the Sheriff and CDFW show up… Pot farmers waste water, steal everything not welded to the wall, spread poisons and divert every tributary and stream, they cut down any tree which will get them “more light” and build shacks to live in, dig holes to throw garbage in, they spill gas and diesel liberally all over the place, and generally act like pirates, whenever they are not speeding and careening all over the roads in their jacked-up pickups!

Anyone who has ever gone to Mendocino County knows to avoid the place in Summer! Ukiah is a mess, Willits is uninhabitable, and Fort Bragg should always be avoided at any cost!

Mendocino County has been known to hire clericals to run Health Services! This guy who is the current “Code Enforcement Officer” should be damn careful where he is recognized, and exactly where he goes and lives… In my opinion, his life is in grave danger, but, he is bravely attempting to embarrass the growers into “compliance”, whatever that is…

Good luck, Trent! Be well…

(c) I wonder if they will head out to Covelo to hand out abatements? 810 plants is the biggest grow they abated? Weak sauce. Quit being wimps, picking on the elderly and backyard growers, they are not the problem. Grow a sack and go serve an abatement on a 20,000 plant 20 greenhouse cartel grow in Covelo, that’s where the problems are, go solve them. The abatement program in Mendocino is destined to be less successful than the Humboldt Abatement program. Wasn’t a 29 greenhouse 8000 plant grow busted yesterday? Didn’t the county say they got rid of those? Yeah the abatement program is dead, not a single one sent out in almost 13 months. They got their ass sued and not only have to pay back Measure S money, but unlawful abatement money as well. How are they going to pay back those illegal growers? With your tax dollars. Oh yeah, not as much money for enforcement this year either, they gotta pay back all those growers somehow. Good thing there is a gag order on the lawsuit otherwise the word would really be out. What a waste of everyone’s time. If the government stayed out of it, the $300 pounds would’ve put more people out of business than any enforcement or abatements ever could’ve.

* * *

* * *

IN 1848 CERTAIN WAGON TRAINS were bound for the West: men with their families and belongings and tools, going out to find their great though arduous inheritance in the magnificent territories. What could have been better for man! But the moment they heard about the gold at Sutter’s Mill, some men unhitched their horses from the loaden, ramshackle, homey wagons, left their families behind, and took off on horseback sweating for gold. All the gravity and glee and wonder of their lives and their loves was forgotten, for mere gold… This is what is still going on in America. They’ve unhitched the horses from the wagons — from their souls and gone off like whores for a little gold. Sometimes, in this age, the cupboard of home is bare for the sake of some golden automobile, which is used to going around in traffic circles. “DE PROFUNDIS DOMINO!” It has always been so, and we refuse the joys of life, which is essentially as simple as a tree, with birds in it. Same way with our “liberal” intellectuals: they too have unhitched the horse from the simple truth and gone off sweating after the golden, glittering false solution. It’s all a big GOLD STRIKE in the 20th century — but those old wagons are still rolling! 

— Jack Kerouac

* * *

* * *

THE COLD, clean silent forms of the dead… The shock of the surprise was fearful; the light linen cloths that shrouded the stiffened figures wavered and flickered in the draught, as if stirred by the breaths of those who could breath no more. What did these fellows know about the Turkish question? And yet they had fought and trembled, they had writhed in agony, and now father and brother, maid and mother were weeping and breaking their hearts for them, and all about the Danubian principalities. 

— Rev. R.E. Hughes, viewing the reduction of the Russian fortress of Bomarsund, Aaland Islands, by the French and British, Baltic campaign, Crimean War, August 1854. 

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

We step back from the disorders and idiocies of the moment to wish Bob Dylan a happy 80th birthday. He entered the scene in a previous moment of national disorder, the Sixties, as we call that wild era when we Boomers came of age and turned the world inside out for a while, flinging our ids into a raging zeitgeist. Bob was actually a little older, not quite a boomer, born seven months before the US entered World War Two.

This is important because he was poised perfectly on the front end of that breaking wave in a particular way that I will try to explain. When he stole into New York City from his Midwest Nowheresville in the winter of 1961, he was unformed, ambitious, intelligent, cunning, and not yet grown up. He did his growing up in public over the next decade. He acted it out in the songs he wrote. It was the essence of what he meant to those of us who trailed behind him. He instructed us in the mystery of what it means to come through adolescence into consciousness, and he did it with a matchless artistry that, once he got traction, made his competitors look barely adequate. It’s easy to understand how being cast in that role irked him, but that’s how it was.

It was Bob who turned the long-playing record album into the art-form of my generation. Before that, the pop music scene in America just amounted to different sorts of adolescent fluff, clichéd hormonal yearnings of boys and girls for each other. It was a long way from the Everlys’ “Wake Up Little Susie” to Bob’s “Visions of Johanna.” He was twenty-four when he wrote it in late 1965 (and then recorded it in February, 1966). Twenty-four is about the age when the judgment region of the human brain finally develops, and the song spells out vividly the jarring wonder of becoming a fully-equipped adult — and recognizing it! The subject of the song isn’t a girl anymore, she’s a woman, with such cosmic ramifications that “the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face.”

Lyrics like that — and Bob generated them by the bale then — just made everybody else’s songs seem a little lightweight and silly. The Beatles came close around exactly the same time with their venture into songs of full-fledged adulthood in the album Rubber Soul, but they were not able to bring the focus of a single sensibility to it the way Bob did, and they knew it.

Anyway, Bob had been leading up to that for years lyrically. He had a comfortable childhood back in Minnesota, but it was a harsh place. He absorbed that and summed it up with dazzling concision and specificity in songs like “North Country Blues” about a failing family in a failing town where the iron ore mines are shutting down and there is no such thing anymore as the future. Similarly, “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” which is the story of a despairing farmer who kills himself and his family of six out on the lonesome South Dakota prairie. These were stories about other people and other lives, reportage from the scene, with more resonance than Walter Cronkite could ever hope to bring to it.

When Bob wrote about himself and his own strange journey, more and more he populated that dreamscape with a hallucinatory cast of characters: dwarves, madonnas, hermit monks, cowboy angels, drunken politicians, Napoleon-in-Rags, the mystery tramp…. Imagine how weird it was to be Bob in those few years. He barely had to struggle to become famous, was rolling in dough before he was twenty-five, and had every jerk-off workaday Johnny journalist tugging at sleeve whenever he left the house begging him to explain how the world worked. No wonder he played cute with them, claimed he was “just a song-and-dance man,” when everybody knew better. And amazingly, he pulled it off.

Once he completed that transformation into adulthood, he had pretty much done his duty, and everything after that has been a long coda, with not a few flashes of the old brilliance like these stupendous lyrics from his 1985 song “Dark Eyes”:

A cock is crowing far away and another soldier’s deep in prayer,

Some mother’s child has gone astray, she can’t find him anywhere.

But I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise,

Whom nature’s beast fears as they come and all I see are dark eyes

Sounds like what’s going on ‘out there’ right now, don’t you think? He deserved that Nobel Prize. I’m glad he’s persevered through all these years and still goes on stage and keeps putting out tunes. I met him once back in 1975 when I worked for Rolling Stone Magazine. It was after a benefit concert in San Francisco in the Fairmont Hotel. I couldn’t help greeting him like an old friend, and was foolishly surprised to realize that he didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. Anyway, I’m glad we shared these decades together on this marvelous planet and I salute him on his birthday for what he gave that has lived inside me all these years.

* * *

“Dylan turns 80 today — don’t you think it’s finally time you forgave him for going electric?”

* * *


My favorite Bob Dylan story is from when he lived up in Woodstock, NY. Dylan freaked out when he learned about the concert that was being planned for Woodstock, and was one of the locals who insisted the event be staged somewhere far from town. One thing Dylan didn’t like was hippies, specially ones that showed up at his house. He was very protective of his family and was mindful of the kidnapping and ransom of Frank Sinatra’s son. This was about the time Dylan had his friend the local sheriff procure him an Inland M1 Carbine, which he practiced with in his backyard. During the period of the Woodstock music festival, which happened about 50 miles from Woodstock, NY, Dylan got out of Dodge, took his family to Paris.

* * *

* * *


When they say, "You and what army?"
I guess they're talking about you and me
Baby, nobody would love you nobody would love you
Like, like I do, I guess that's half true

Come down, come down, come down from your holy mountain
I'm down, I'm down to put your shame on a billboard for a second
Sometimes, sometimes the only way out is through, through

'Cause everyone loves Bob Dylan
I just want you to love me like that, yeah
Would you bury me next to Johnny Cash?
I'm obsessed, do you love me like that? Yeah

So what fates do we share?
Windows down, wind in your hair
Baby, no one ever thinks of you, no one ever thinks of you
As much as I do, not, not even you

Come down, come down, come down from your holy mountain
I'm down, I'm down to put your shame on the billboard for a second
Sometimes, sometimes the only way out is through, through

'Cause everyone loves Bob Dylan
I just want you to love me like that, yeah
Would you bury me next to Johnny Cash?
I'm obsessed, do you love me like that? Yeah

'Cause everyone loves Bob Dylan
I just want you to love me like that, yeah
Would you bury me next to Johnny Cash?
I'm obsessed, do you love me like that? Yeah

— Bob Dylan


  1. Dick Whetstone May 25, 2021

    I usually hate Kunstler’s ravings, but then he quotes a line from my favorite Dylan song. Oh, well.

    • chuck dunbar May 25, 2021

      Same here, Dick, this morning, the guy’s actually a real human being and not a raving lunatic–and he writes with grace and style on Dylan. A nice piece.

      • Chuck Wilcher May 25, 2021

        Something, something about blind squirrels and nuts….

  2. Bernie Norvell May 25, 2021

    Desal and wastewater not related

    The desal plant public works is talking about is a small unit most likely mounted on a skid. What it WILL allow us to do is to pump water on a high tide out of the noyo. Something we cannot currently do because we don’t have the ability to treat brackish or saltwater. The water would be pumped to the treatment plant into a settling pond then transferred via the desal plant to another settling pond where it then could be treated by the city, it has nothing to do with combatting the wastewater smell

    The smell is a result of the new treatment plant being far more efficient than expected. Producing more solids than the old system. These solids need to be spread out on concrete and routinely turned over to dry. This is the smell. What the city IS doing to remedy the situation is to buy a drying shed that will house all of the solids and presumably the smell that goes with it. The cost is roughly $600K for the shed. The much drier solids the shed will produce will drastically reduce our tonage of solids being trucked out of town to the tune of roughly $180K a year Thus paying for iitself in close to four years and relievibg the community of the smell.

    • Jacob May 25, 2021

      Where will the proposed shed go and what is the size and appearance? The WWTF is at a very prominent location and something like that would normally require a Coastal Development Permit subject to all the visual resources protections in the City’s Certified Local Coastal Program. Even the temporary storage of excavated dirt piles required CDP review, which could take months so it should be processed ASAP. Regardless, I look forward to this much-needed improvement to our new state-of-the-art WWTF and our local air quality.

    • mr. wendal May 26, 2021

      The operating costs must be factored into the expected savings. The USASludge proposal states that the heat pump alone uses 2496 kWh of 3-phase service per day. I don’t know what the current 3-phase rates are but, at over 900,000 kWh per year, that has to be a pretty big bill.

      Does anyone know what the city will be paying to run the dryer? It won’t be just the cost of running the heat pump. To what moisture percentage will the sludge be dried? And for what will the condensate water be used?

  3. Tim McClure May 25, 2021

    Re: The 70’s fad of the Harley chopper vs. the modern means of transport ala 2020 it appears humans do have the ability to rethink outmoded ideas! Ride Smarter Not Harder!

  4. Bob A. May 25, 2021

    Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
    An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
    Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
    Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
    Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
    For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
    An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
    An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

    Happy birthday, Bob, and a sincere thank you for making the world a more comprehensible place.

  5. Marmon May 25, 2021

    “Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of COVID-19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus. To me it was obvious from the beginning but I was badly criticized, as usual. Now they are all saying “He was right.” Thank you!”

    -Donald J. Trump
    11:35am May 25, 2021


    • chuck dunbar May 25, 2021

      Yes by golly, he’s right about so many things, and so great that he can pathetically brag about this one.

      • Steve Heilig May 25, 2021

        Such classic Trumpism – the story developing now is not even about whether it came from Wuhan/China or not, and nobody informed about this has denied that anyway, but Trump (or his cultists) can’t quite grasp that and just want to crow nonsense. He did call it “kung flu” etc and fuel anti-Asian hatred, so that’s his real contribution in this regard. As usual, he opens his mouth only to make a further fool of himself and his fans.

  6. George Dorner May 25, 2021

    Indeed, Barr’s four page summary didn’t mention the ten counts of obstruction of justice reportedly listed in the 400 page Mueller report; I doubt there was room enough in those four pages, even if he had wanted to list them. And, indeed, Trump has not been indicted…yet. The statute of limitations is still running. The Mueller report remains 100 times more extensive than the silly summary. The summary remains a ridiculous attempt at a whitewash. So what will happen next?

  7. Annemarie Weibel May 26, 2021

    Chris Calder wrote in Fort Bragg Notes that: “Overall, the local public seems enthusiastic about Grocery Outlet and lukewarm on Dollar General.”

    We will find out during the Planning Commission public hearing this Wednesday 5-26 at 6pm at Town Hall if that is true. For people who want to attend by zoom or phone see the agenda. Read meeting details, staff report, and attachments 2-11, and send a public comment about agenda item # 6 to CDD, O’Neal, Chantell, Heather Gurewitz, Miller, Tabatha—Grocery-Outlet

    You can also sign this petition. Say “No” to discount chain stores in Ft. Bragg! Discount chain stores are not the solution to poverty – they, in fact, exacerbate it. Instead of racing to the bottom, we must focus on local, independent forms of economic development that actually strengthen our economy, not parasitize it.

    A public comment is more effective than signing a petition.

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