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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Pleasant Days | 12 New Cases | Grocery Outlet: Fort Bragg | Lunar Eclipse | Diversion Halt | Water Allotment | Lemons Notice | Fairground Use | Seaweed Harvesters | Cannabis Convoy | Cool Gramma | Mental Healthing | Liquor Pylons | Vegetable Gardener | Pineapple Guava | Ambulance Report | $64,000 Woman | Bizarre Fragoso | Doggy Diner | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | 1892 Doctor | Palestinian Sunset | 70s Music | Vax Disinfo | Duck Hunting | God Creator | I Confess | Block Rahm | Lazy Cat

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SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES are expected across interior portions of northwest California through Saturday, while cool and humid marine air persists along the coast. In addition, light showers will be probable this morning and afternoon across portions of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Thereafter, dry weather is expected across the region through the weekend into early next week. In addition, temperatures will trend warmer into the 90s to low 100s across interior valleys Monday and Tuesday. (NWS)

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12 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Dear community members,

Please read the agenda, meeting details, staff report, and attachments 2-11, write a public comment about agenda item # 6 21-249 and attend the Planning Commission public hearing this Wednesday 5-26 at 6pm at Town Hall. See agenda how you can connect via zoom and phone.

The Commission considers approval of Coastal Development Plan CDP 8-19, Design Review DR 1-19, and Parcel Merger MGR 1-19, and adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.

Write a public comment and submit before 3pm! That way it will be uploaded before the meeting starts and maybe read by the Commissioners.

Send it to:

CDD <>

O'Neal, Chantell <>

Heather Gurewitz <>

Miller, Tabatha <>

You can also sign this petition. Say "No" to discount chain stores in Fort 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.

Annemarie Weibel

Fort Bragg


Dear Fort Bragg Planning Commissioners,

I am writing regarding the proposed Grocery Outlet project on South Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. Before the Planning Commission and the City approve this project, it is important to consider the results. 

It will cause traffic problems in an area of tiny streets and the Harbor, on North Harbor Drive in particular. This narrow roadway is the only access to the popular Noyo Harbor. It is also near the busy north end of Noyo Bridge and Highway One. The increased traffic in this unique area will have unknown effects on travel to and from the harbor, in the neighborhood, and on Highway One. Before this project is approved, a detailed traffic study is absolutely necessary. 

The issue of allowing another cheap box store also needs to be addressed. What effect will it have on already existing small independent groceries in Fort Bragg? 

The location and nature of a “Grocery Outlet” business will inevitably attract transients and undesirables to both the neighborhood and Noyo Harbor as a whole. The effect Grocery Outlet will have on ruining the immediate quiet neighborhood is obvious. 

We all want better prices and more options when it comes to food shopping. But a Grocery Outlet could have the opposite effect, driving smaller stores out of business, so that only corporate box stores remain. Is this what we really want? 

I urge the Planning Commission to require a detailed traffic study before this project is approved, and to carefully consider all ramifications before doing so. 

David Gurney

Fort Bragg


Presently, there are no big box competitors here to force Harvest and Safeway to lower their prices. On average Harvest charges around 10% more than Safeway for the same product and Safeway’s prices are higher here than anywhere else in the state.

Here’s the good news: Down Home Foods is a treasure trove of fresh organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, etc. with prices substantially lower than Harvest or Safeway. Because they are small, they would be disproportionately affected by another big box store. Purity Market, with prices well below Safeway or Harvest, would likely be another casualty of adding Grocery Outlet to the equation.

Right now, we do have money-saving choices for grocery shopping. I would rather see the city renovate the Social Services Office building to provide shelter for the homeless.

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LUNAR ECLIPSE, Super Flower Blood Moon (Wednesday morning)

(Photos by Judy Valadao)

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by Mary Callahan

State regulators have begun notifying more than 900 landowners in Sonoma and Mendocino counties that they must cease taking water from the upper Russian River, where drought-parched flows are unable to sustain those diversions for irrigation and household use, according to the state.

The crackdown, affecting grape growers, other farmers and rural residents, is the strongest action yet in response to dwindling supplies in the sprawling Russian River watershed and its two receding reservoirs. Lake Mendocino, which sits at the top of the basin and helps sustain flows in the upper river through the dry months, holds little more than 41% of its capacity for this time of year.

“Unless we immediately reduce diversions, there is a real risk of Lake Mendocino emptying by the end of this year,” Erik Ekdahl, deputy director of the water board’s Division of Water Rights, said in a news release Wednesday.

The State Water Resources Control Board wants an immediate halt of withdrawals by those above the confluence with Dry Creek who claim “appropriative” water rights acquired after 1949, the point when authorization was granted for construction of Coyote Dam, which would create Lake Mendocino.

The notice extends until next week the impact on those with more senior rights, whose claims date back to 1914, the year the state first began to regulate surface water use. Those individuals are instructed to stop diverting water beginning June 1.

“We need to implement the water rights system to protect supplies in case of another dry winter, which could transform the Russian River into a series of disconnected pools and restrict the availability of drinking water in the area,” Ekdahl said.

The state’s move to restrict Russian River diversions has been anticipated for weeks and is likely to remain in effect until winter rains return, assuming they do.

The water board has so far sent notices to 930 water right holders in the two counties informing them supplies are insufficient to fulfill their claims and still ensure local communities have enough drinking water for this year and next.

The move affects grape growers and farmers, as well as other rural landowners and small water suppliers. There are exemptions for those who depend on diverted water for human health and safety needs and who can show they already conserve as much water as possible.

The notices are legally distinct from curtailment orders, which offer water right holders no opportunity to challenge calculations at the heart of the crackdown, Ekdahl said.

Recipients who continue to divert surface water after receiving a notice of insufficient supplies can request a hearing but still can be subject to enforcement and fines up to $1,000 per day and $2,500 per acre-foot of unauthorized water. An acre-foot is enough water to cover a football field about a foot deep.

Still, the water board signaled curtailment orders — a more complex regulatory process — are coming and could be imposed on those with very senior, pre-1914 rights as well as those with riparian rights — those with land that touches water bodies or water courses. All diverters already have been asked to use as little water as possible given historically low seasonal water levels in Lake Mendocino and far larger Lake Sonoma, which sits at 58% capacity.

After two very low rainfall years, both reservoirs are at the lowest levels ever this early in the year, with the dry, high-water-user summer months still to come.

Bret Munselle, who farms 300 acres of wine grapes in the Alexander Valley with his father, Bill, and another 400 acres for different clients said they had some groundwater wells they could use but likely not enough to supplant what he would lose if he was cut off from diverting river water.

He hadn’t received his notice yet and so was reluctant to draw too many conclusions, but said most vineyards in the region had been raised on drip irrigation, dependent on small amounts of water on a fairly frequent basis so they used less water overall than when sprinklers were used.

The result is the small, intensely flavored fruit best for fine wines, he said.

But with the prospect of little or no water available to many growers in the critical summer months, some vineyard owners were contemplating drastic action, including removing a large volume of grape clusters so all available liquid and energy could go into a partial crop or pruning off the canes altogether and forgoing a harvest this year in hopes of keeping the vines alive.

Munselle said there was little to do before seeing the specifics in the state board’s plan, but “if it’s a complete curtailment, it will be bad. It will really be bad for the valley floor of Alexander Valley.”

Russian River water right holders were among about 40,000 statewide who received early warning notices in March alerting them of potential shortages this year. Though water insufficiency notices or curtailments are likely in other watersheds in the coming months, Russian River users are the first to receive them so far, according to Ekdahl.

Sonoma and Mendocino counties also were the first counties for which Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 22 proclaimed a local drought emergency, doing so while standing on the dry lake bed of a diminished Lake Mendocino. The proclamation now covers 41 California counties.

The water board’s current action is part of a multipronged effort to address what are now deemed “exceptional drought” conditions — the most severe category — in the Russian River watershed, which is dependent on regular rainfall to supply domestic and agricultural water.

Sonoma Water, the county agency that acts as the region’s main drinking water wholesaler, also is seeking permission from the state to release less water from Lake Mendocino than is usually required for imperiled salmon and steelhead trout in order to preserve supplies.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and most local cities have asked constituents to voluntarily cut water use 20% compared to last year, saying mandatory conservation measures will be required if voluntary efforts don’t suffice.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Our household has made water conservation a high priority for nearly 20 years. We have drip irrigation, and we have taken out all lawn and replaced it with drought-tolerant plants and mulch. We have rain catchment barrels that catch roof runoff water and a laundry-to-landscape system to reuse graywater in the garden. We don’t wash our car at home, have buckets in the shower to reuse the cold water, etc. Some years ago, we even won an award for water conservation given by the city of Santa Rosa. 

So, what does cutting back 20% look like for us? I don’t know yet. What I do know is that asking everybody to cut back 20% makes no sense. Allowing a water allotment per person makes more sense and is more equitable. They do this in Marin County. Why not here?

Eve Goldberg

Santa Rosa

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A READER WRITES: Saw this notice on Lemons Philo Market today. Looks like they won’t have the daily papers — NY Times, Press Democrat, Chronicle — for sale any more

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I wrote a letter to the editor recently that I do recognize was a bit antagonistic toward the Mendocino County Fair Board, and I would like to temper that a bit. I do realize that they all feel that they are doing the best that they can for the Fair, and I do realize that the Fair and the Fairgrounds are their prime concern. I closed my letter asking, “What do these people bring to the community, anyway?”

Well, they bring us the Fair. The Fair is where I connect anew with people that I have not seen for a year. The Fair is where I see what my neighbors and friends have been doing in their shops, their barns, their gardens and their living rooms. The Fair is where my kids got to show the world the animals that they had birthed and cared for and trained and where they got judged and rewarded, or not, for their efforts. Fair Weekend is when my kids choose to come home to Anderson Valley. My grandchildren love the fair. Make no mistake, I support the Fair, and I would not want to lose it. 

All of this does not mean that I think that there is no room for improvement. I think that the Fair itself could be improved - and I do not think that more booths selling cheap jewelry or hats are the answer, or even more cotton candy.

I think that my recent letter to the Editor had to do with my feeling that the Fair Board seems to think that it operates in a vacuum. They do not seem to realize that the Fairgrounds that they are striving to support and protect is right smack in the middle of a town and that in fact the Fairgrounds is part of that town. The town is Boonville, and real people live in Boonville, even if some Fair Board members do not. Boonville was laid out a long time ago, and many of the lots are small, and many of them have septic systems that have failed or may fail soon. There are wells on those small lots that are contaminated by the septic systems, and real people live in those homes and they have to deal with this every day. This is happening in California, in the USA, and this makes me ashamed and I want it to change. I have a good well, and a relatively new, expensive, and fully functioning septic system, and even so I think that the situation in Boonville must change. I think that everyone in Boonville should have clean water and a functioning wastewater system.

The local Community Services District has been trying to tackle this problem for over five years now. There is State money available to build a water system and a wastewater system for Boonville, and the “back parking lot” at the Fairgrounds is one place that might be suitable for a wastewater treatment plant, yet the Fair Board wants to say, “NO, not here.” 

Despite the fact that there are obvious benefits to the Fair and the Fairgrounds, the word from the Board is, “NO.” They do not even want testing to be done to determine if the site is a possibility. They just say, “NO.” They have said ”yes” to some things that I did not like, and they have said “no” to some other things that I have thought I would like, but this thing with the wastewater plant is a really big “NO” in my estimation.

So - that is why I got my dander up and wrote that letter, and I want to apologize to the Fair Board if I have treated them unfairly. As I said, I love the Fair and I would hate to lose it, but I do not think that losing the Fair is the issue here. I want to ask the Board Members if it would really be such a bad thing if a small part of the land they effectively lease from the County of Mendocino were used to improve the lives of the people who live in this community? I would ask the Board Members to take a really deep breath and to take a fresh look at this thing and to perhaps recognize that this project could actually benefit the Fair and the Fairgrounds as well as the town of Boonville. I would like to ask the Board Members for their support even if their backyard should be involved.

Tom McFadden


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Seaweed Harvesters, Fort Bragg

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Multiple residents of Laytonville are reporting a large contingent of Fish and Wildlife vehicles Wednesday morning in and around Laytonville. 

One resident reported 15-20 vehicles heading down Branscomb Road and then around eight heading up Spy Rock Road. Another resident received reports that Fish and Wildlife were sighted on Iron Peak Road and Registered Guest Road. 

We reached out to Fish and Wildlife’s Public Information Officer Janice Mackay regarding the reports. She said she will be unable to ascertain the reason for Fish and Wild’s presence until this evening when personnel return from the field. 

We checked in with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten regarding the Fish and Wildlife presence. At this point, Captain Van Patten said he did not have any information regarding the convoy.

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten has confirmed that the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are serving a search warrant in the Laytonville area this morning.

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Monday, May 24, 2021 — Joint Meeting with BHAB, Measure B and the BOS. Public involvement with Mental Health in all aspects is important. Measure B and BOS Mental Health Initiative highlights: CRT, Orchard Avenue currently under construction plans to be complete and operational by November 2021 of this year. RFP for CRT award goes to Redwood Community Services. Behavioral Health Training Center is under construction should be open by July 1st of this year. Mobile response unit hiring is under way. One person hired, two more currently recruiting for. Contract for after-care with RCS will go before the Board. Community Education campaign is going to come before the Board very soon for contract approval. Kemper Report will be strategic plan for Measure B. $25 million dollars to move forward with a PHF. Board unanimously supports moving forward with a PHF. Telecare pending approval of contract for PHF with two options “Super” or “Normal”. Potential to demolition and build a PHF facility “off the cuff” at $25,000,000 price tag. Dr Miller mentioned that we will always need a PHF. What struck me is that you can have the best preventative programs but you will always still need an Emergency Room. If we don’t have a full load of Mendo residents in the facility neighboring counties such as Lake County can use the beds. Board unanimously approves moving forward with the County owned facility at Whitmore Lane as the PHF including a feasibility study for additional uses of the facility.

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FT Job opportunity

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is seeking qualified applicants for one full-time, year-round position. The Gardener 2 provides care and maintenance to a vast array of plant material within a designated area of the 47-acre Gardens, specifically, the production vegetable garden. This position employs high standards of horticultural maintenance, record keeping, and safety. The Gardens includes both designed, cultivated gardens and restoration and management of natural areas. The Vegetable Gardener may also have responsibilities related to any or all areas of the garden. This position may require weekend or shift schedules.

View the full job description and application process on our website:

Roxanne Perkins, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

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Pineapple-Guava Bush

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We have one EMT who has returned from the COVID reserve and will start taking regular shifts again. The schedule is doing ok, however we are still relying on a few folks to take two to four shifts per week. We need more EMT’s and drivers who can fill some of those open shifts. 

The vaccinations are starting to wind down a bit. We expect it to pick up once they start vaccinating the teenagers. Tina Walter has been taking the lead on this and scheduling the appropriate crew. She has developed a strong working relationship with Leah at the clinic. 

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On May 24th at about 3:22 PM, A Ukiah PD officer noticed a vehicle stopped, blocking the driveway of the E. Perkins St. Chevron. The officer initiated a vehicle check and contacted a male occupant who was identified as Aldar Fragoso, 28, of Redwood Valley. Fragoso was uncooperative and exhibited bizarre behavior. Fragoso had red stains on much of his clothing as well as congealed blood in the center console of the vehicle. Fragoso was not cooperative and concerns grew for the subject’s safety as a bloody pair of pruning sheers was located and removed from the vehicle.

Aldar Fragoso

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department deputies, Paramedics, Firefighters, and Mental Health workers all responded to the scene, but could not gain compliance or cooperation from the subject. MCSO deputies had contacted Fragoso earlier in the day and informed UPD officers that he had a dog with him. When asked about the dog, Fragoso said he did not have a dog. The sheers were presumptively tested on scene and were positive for blood but negative for human blood. Fragoso’s bizarre behavior and the scene led mental health and officers to detain the subject for further evaluation.

Fragoso’s vehicle was parked in a position that it blocked the driveway and was out of gas. A tow truck was called and an inventory search of the vehicle was conducted. UPD Officers located Fragoso’s deceased dog in a suitcase. The MCSO deputies who had contacted him earlier advised that it was the same dog they had seen alive during their earlier contact. Based on the described circumstances and the evidence on scene officers charged Fragoso with animal cruelty and he was booked at the Mendocino County Jail.

As always, our mission at UPD is to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone, and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website; .

(Ukiah Police Presser)

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THE MSM was tut-tutting the youth riot last week in Huntington Beach. It was mostly harmless it seems, just your basic mindless mob playing tag with the cops as they took pictures of themselves and their hijinks. My theory about young people's drop-fall drinking heedless hard drug use and mob jubilation? They're so thoroughly and relentlessly programmed all the way through high school that as soon as they're unsupervised, whoopie! Little kids armor up every time they're out their front door, and these days, at least with the young ones I see, they also carry water bottles and backpacks stuffed with emergency supplies. The other day I heard a little kid yell, "Hey, coach, time out. I need to re-hydrate!"

USED TO BE, back in the Ice Age when I was a kid, we were out the door early, home for lunch of a couple of chokers — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Wonder Bread. Then back to the ballpark or wherever until six or so for dinner. That regimen applied to children from about 8 to 14. We could go wherever and do whatever short of law-breaking. There were definite consequences for rock fights, window breaking, bothering adults in any way that annoyed them enough to call your house and complain. We knew if we got outta line we would be reported, and the neighborhood always knew which kid belonged to whom. One of my brothers was chased right to our front door for lobbing a jolly and purely recreational F-bomb at a man three blocks away.

OF COURSE there wasn't the large roster of lurks, freelance pervs, criminals, and not to mention the many unhinged persons floating around who seem to terrorize young parents with the remote but real possibility that their little one could suffer some awful intrusion if left alone for even a minute or so. Fears that would have been irrational in 1950 are now reality-based. Even in a small town like Ukiah, I can't remember seeing an unescorted child, and the teens one sees occasionally seem to run in packs, peering more at their phones than their peers. Parents are certainly more cosseting than they used to be. It's not unusual to see a whole urban or suburban family padding up, police whistles and mace at the ready, for a trip to the mall or the park. The mass upshot, I'd say, of years of close supervision of our nation's future, is a lot of wild behavior as soon as the kid is away from the suffocating surveillance of his first 18 years.

SPEAKING of Ukiah, I'm just back from our county seat today, seeing for the first time the spiffy new black lamp posts now installed on the core blocks of State Street, the town's main drag. The lamp posts are a tiny aesthetic step forward somewhere between lipstick on a pig and lipstick on a couple dozen pigs. There are so many bad buildings on that stretch of main drag that an occasional piece of ocular uplift won't make much difference. And what's the point of spiffing up central Ukiah if its anchor, the County Courthouse, is moved three blocks away? If the existing County Courthouse were restored to a semblance of its 19th century splendor — Americans were struck blind in 1945, prior to taking great pride in the beauty of their towns and cities — and if the old Palace Hotel were also restored, Ukiah might not be the dispiriting destination it is now.

I WAS KICKING Ukiah around with a despairing friend of mine, a resident of our county's lead community, both of us nostalgic, lamenting what the town had lost. I mentioned Wildburger's Market. He corrected me. "Ward & Wildberger’s Market. Mr. Ward was the butcher; Rick and Bonnie Wildberger ran the little grocery store. Rick died of cancer maybe 12 or 15 years ago and I ran into Bonnie this afternoon in front of her house on Highland Avenue." I said, "I still miss that little store, and the great newsstand down the street on West Standley and City Bakery on South State a block away, the best-ever brownies. And Fitzgerald's Sporting Goods, and Brad Shear, and and and…"

DEPARTING from his usual staccato auto-rhetoric, a visibly anguished Governor Newsom called for more gun control Wednesday, hours after a gunman fatally shot nine people at a San Jose rail yard. “What the hell is going on in the United States of America? When are we going to come to grips with this? When are we going to put down our arms – literally and figuratively – our politics, stale rhetoric, finger pointing, all the hand wringing, consternation that produces nothing except more fury and frustration... over and over and over again.”

Sam Cassidy, San Jose Railyard Shooter

WELL, GOVERNOR, we've got mass social atomization in a country seemingly organized to promote mental illness, soooooo, the miracle is that there isn't more violence, and guns are so prevalent that tightening the regs might help a little to keep the deranged away from them but not much — too many of both. Today's San Jose shooter, from preliminary news accounts by people who knew him, was your standard issue angry, middleaged white man living by himself in explosive isolation. He apparently had a union grievance that he knew he was going to lose and took the evil way out, multiplying his personal misery to include X-number of the uninvolved.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 26, 2021

Bowman, Colcleaser, Fragoso

DONALD BOWMAN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA COLCLEASER, Ukiah. Unlawful possession or use of tear gas as weapon.

ALDAR FRAGOSO, Redwood Valley. Cruelty to animals.

Johnson, Lumiere, McGee

ROBERT JOHNSON, Lewiston/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ERICKA LUMIERE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

MICHAEL MCGEE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Sanchez, Valador, Wiley

DANIEL SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, probation revocation.

MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Burglary, offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

TIMOTHY WILEY, Ukiah. Resisting.

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Dr. Grant, Cloverdale, 1892

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by Ron Morita

This fable appeared in the literary magazine Postscript, Issue 38, Gulf,

Before I went to bed, Mommy told me tales of genies, demons, and magic. One story, relayed to her by an uncle in Lebanon, haunted me for years. 

Long ago a farmer’s daughter named Livy lived in the hills east of the Great Sea. She was poor, for her father didn’t own land and gave a portion of the harvest to the landlord. Her only toys were ones she made, but she liked to walk among the orange trees her father tended and sang in a chirring warble. Life was lonely –– for Livy’s mother died in childbirth and she had no siblings or nearby playmates. One day at the market, she spotted a doll on a vendor’s cart. It had black hair with a white ribbon, green eyes, and a red dress. Her father must have seen the longing in her eyes, for although she suspected he would have to wear patched trousers and shoes with holes in the soles for another year, he bought it. 

Livy named the doll Phyllis and took her everywhere. Some say love that is strong enough can bring cloth, chaff and paint to life, so it isn’t surprising they talked to each other. Livy liked to toss Phyllis among the orange trees, so she could soar like a bird. One afternoon she lodged near the top and wouldn’t come down. Livy climbed but couldn’t reach her without damaging the tree. She shook the branch hard. Phyllis tumbled and landed on the ground. Her arm was torn, and stuffing spilled out. Livy replaced what she could and sewed her back. A scar disfigured the arm, which was thinner than the other. Livy tried to look at the parts that made her smile, because that’s what love is. She knew the exact shade of her doll’s eyes, the wrinkles in her dress, and every thread on her body. During the hot dry summers, Livy was allowed three cups of water to wash herself. She gave one to Phyllis and enjoyed watching the shine of her long hair drying in the sun. In the evening she took her doll to the cliffs and holding Phyllis to her chest, watched the sunset over the plain. 

One day, when Livy was feeding the goats, the landlord came by with his daughter to inspect his land. 

While the man went to talk with her father, the girl approached Livy. “What’s a dirty peasant like you doing with such a pretty thing?”

“This is my Phyllis.”

The girl seized the doll. “You must have stolen it.”

“Give her back.”

Livy reached out but didn’t want to hurt Phyllis by yanking her leg. 

The girl, who was bigger, pulled out a handful of Phyllis’s hair. “This is the color of filth.” 

She stomped strands into the dust and took the doll away. When the men came out of the house, Livy complained the girl stole her doll. Her father, keeping his eyes averted as a tenant was expected to do, said he bought it at the market. The girl claimed it was hers. 

The landlord brushed dust from his silk shirt. “My daughter would never lie to me. Take back your accusation, or I’ll have you evicted from my land.”

Livy’s father did as the man asked. After the visitors left, he promised to buy her a new doll just like Phyllis when the harvest came in. But there was an empty space next to her heart. Livy searched the ground by the goats and found sixteen of Phyllis’s hairs. She gave them names. Bashiyra was longest, Ghada curved gently, and Safa kinked in the middle. Clutching the orange tree leaf that held them as she lay on her bed of straw, Livy thought she heard Phyllis calling her. 

It was a dry year. When the oranges were sold they had barely enough to feed themselves. At the market her father kept them away from the doll vendor. 

In the fall, before the rains came, the landlord took his family on a vacation to the sea. One night when the moon was down, Livy crept out of her hut and down the road to the landlord's mansion. The door was locked, so she climbed a tree next to the house and clambered in a window. Carrying a candle, she soon became lost among the many rooms. At length she found a bedroom with a display case holding dozens of dolls. None looked familiar. She was about to turn away in despair when a slight movement drew her attention to a figure in a blue and white dress. It was Phyllis. 

Livy took the doll in her arms and wept for joy. After rearranging the others to avoid leaving a gap, she closed the case and descended the tree. Beneath the stars, they talked until first light. Every morning Livy sneaked to Phyllis’s hiding place by the cliffs. They sang harmonies and played hide and seek. Using tree resin, Livy attached the sixteen strands to Phyllis’s head. Over time they fell off and were lost. 

When her doll seemed sad, Livy kissed the bare spot and said, “You’re just as beautiful as when we first met.” 

The day after the landlord’s family returned from the coast, a carriage pulled up to the farmer’s hut. The landlord and a huge man wearing a scimitar got out. After Livy’s father greeted them graciously, the landlord declared his daughter saw the farmer sneak out of their mansion with her doll. She was an extraordinary girl who had stayed up writing a fairy tale about her adventures on the coast. The penalty for theft was cutting off the offender’s right hand. If the doll was produced before sundown, the landlord would withdraw the accusation. Otherwise the punishment would be carried out that evening. 

The men searched the one room cabin, scattering meager belongings, and hunted among the goats and orange trees. When the sun was low in the sky, the big man unsheathed his scimitar and examined its edge. 

Livy tugged on the landlord’s sleeve. “I’ll show you where the doll is.” 

Though half her father’s height, Livy was strong and agile. She outdistanced the others and retrieved Phyllis from among the rocks. As the men approached, she retreated to the lookout.

The landlord held out his hand. “Give it to me, and you will be forgiven.”

Livy pressed Phyllis to her cheek. “We will never be parted.” She turned to the sunset and leaped. 

Despite a long search at the base of the cliff, neither the doll nor Livy’s body were found. In the spring, when the orange trees bloomed, a bird with red feathers, green eyes, a black crest and a white stripe on its wing alighted on the farmer’s window and sang a chirring warble. 

(Ron Morita lives in Navarro.)

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Judy Vidaver wrote (Coast Listserve):

Marco [McClean] please substantiate your claim that Wendy’s statement, "People who choose to reject vaccination as a result of this group’s disinformation put all of us at risk of avoidable illness and death,” is, as you say, true. Do you really believe this is true?

Marco McClean:

Okay, I don't believe anything, Judy, but I know which way to bet: with accumulated science and reason, overwhelming evidence, thoughtfulness, nuance and humor.

Vaccination is a way to bring the body to build defense against a wicked disease without having to catch it and suffer and spread the disease to others and maybe die. The longer the disease is widespread, the more chance there is for it to mutate into something worse, or something just as bad but that requires a different vaccine to be developed. Also, there are people who can't be vaccinated -- maybe they're allergic, or immune-deficient, or whatever. Vaccination is a way to get herd immunity without the disease killing so much of the herd. Once a useful vaccine is found and produced and distributed, refusing it is irrational and antisocial and you nearly literally are spitting in the face of people who can't be vaccinated or who are otherwise most at risk. 

Most anti-vaccine propaganda disinformation comes from just 12 sources; one of them is the group behind the website that was quoted earlier in the thread. 

Vaccination is not new. If the U.S. so-called founding fathers hadn't essentially vaccinated the Revolutionary War troops against the disease that was killing them in horrifying numbers, that war would have turned out very differently. We don't have to worry about polio anymore because of vaccines -- and they didn't have the level of medical knowledge we have now; they tested the polio vaccines on millions of children. 

The new mRNA vaccines do not "modify human DNA". Look up how they work and read a bit on the subject. And they do work, very well, thank you. Disease figures are worst everywhere vaccination is least accepted. 

Your turn. Please substantiate your claim that Doctor Fauci deliberately created Covid-19 so he could become rich by selling vaccines for it. Do you really believe that is true? 

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Anybody that does not believe in a creator denies reality. Keep going back in time, everything came from somewhere, t=0. 

Tekapo does not have a clue about origins, and is missing much without faith that something created it all. Call it God, the Creator, whatever.

The leading physicists believe in a scientific God, because they cannot explain the origin. How do you explain a singularity which is impossible?

Not in the workings of God. Who knows maybe the singularity is God.

I feel for folks that have no purpose. People whose egos are so large and fixed that they cannot acknowledge that something or someone is bigger than themselves.

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by Norman Solomon

If Joe Biden fully meant what he said after meeting with George Floyd’s family in the Oval Office on Tuesday, he won’t nominate Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan. But recent news reports tell us that’s exactly what the president intends to do.

After the meeting, Biden declared that the murder of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer “launched a summer of protest we hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the ’60s -- protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings.” The words were valuable, and so was the symbolism of the president hosting loved ones of Floyd on the first anniversary of his death.

But the value of the White House event will be weakened if Biden names Emanuel to one of this country’s top diplomatic posts -- despite his well-earned notoriety for the cover-up of a video showing the police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

When McDonald was shot dead by Chicago police one night in October 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was facing a tough re-election fight. Fortunately, a dash camera on a police car captured the murder on video. Unfortunately, Emanuel’s administration suppressed the video for 13 months, until after Emanuel won re-election.

Imagine if -- when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd by kneeling on him for 9 minutes and 29 seconds -- there had been no civilian with a cell phone able to record the murder, and the only visual record of what happened was a police video. And imagine if the city of Minneapolis had suppressed that video for 13 months, until a judge’s order finally forced its release.

That would be Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Chicago.

When reports surfaced last November that Biden was considering Emanuel for a cabinet position, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) pointed out: “Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald. Covering up a murder is disqualifying for public leadership.” Then-Congressman-elect Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “That he's being considered for a cabinet position is completely outrageous and, honestly, very hurtful.”

Two weeks ago, responding to news that Biden had decided to nominate Emanuel as ambassador to Japan, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) sent out a cogent tweet: “Black Lives Matter can’t just be a slogan. It has to be reflected in our actions as a government, and as a people. Rewarding Rahm Emanuel’s cover up of Laquan McDonald’s murder with an ambassadorship is not an act that reflects a value of or respect for Black lives.”

The post of ambassador to Japan would put Emanuel in the thick of economic and military policies. Japan has the world’s third-largest economy. The U.S. currently has two dozen military bases in Japan. A recklessly confrontational military approach in East Asia would get a boost if the next U.S. ambassador to Japan is Emanuel, a longtime hawk who supported the Iraq war even after many Democratic leaders turned against it.

For decades, Emanuel's career has been the opposite of diplomatic as he bombastically denounced progressives and served corporate interests while enriching himself. And his record of running interference for racist police violence while mayor of Chicago underscores what a terrible mistake it would be for the Senate to confirm him as ambassador.

Impunity for American men in uniform who commit violent crimes is a deeply emotional subject in Japan. Outrage has long festered especially on Okinawa, where women and children have been subjected to sexual assaults by U.S. military personnel stationed at bases there.

Blocking the nomination of Rahm Emanuel to be the USA’s top envoy to Japan won’t bring back Laquan McDonald or any of the other African Americans murdered by police. But it would send a strong signal to mayors and other public officials that covering up brutal police violence is bad for career advancement.

(Norman Solomon is the national director of and the author of many books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

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  1. Craig Stehr May 27, 2021

    I wish everyone to know that I have received auto-responses from California U.S. senator Padilla, and also District 2 representative Jared Huffman, in regard to my insane problem with the State of California Franchise Tax Board. To understand the details, please refer to my late posting yesterday in the AVA online comments section. I attempted to repost it here, figuring that it was late and so not many would read it, but AVA management removed my reposting (which I accept as being appropriate, and have no complaint with). Thank you very much, stay informed, and protect yourselves.

    Craig Louis Stehr
    P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470-0938

    • Craig Stehr May 27, 2021

      Please know that I have been working all day on the telephone with the “Account Resolution & Recovery” group at the State of California Franchise Tax Board. It is believed that a certain east coast investment firm “misreported” to them in 2016, which led to several years of craziness of the State of California Franchise Tax Board trying to collect taxes from me on income which in fact never happened. (The identity theft group ruled that out, and so, this went to the group that handles “misreporting”. ) I post this here on the Ava Online because this is seriously problematic, has gone on for the last 5 or 6 years, and you as a citizen of the State of California have a right to know. Meanwhile, I have been told that we are “nearing the finish line” insofar as resolving this problem, and hopefully the levy of $547.72 will be removed from my Savings Bank of Mendocino checking account. Craig Louis Stehr May 27, 2021 3:39PM

  2. Harvey Reading May 27, 2021

    “Say “No” to discount chain stores in Fort Bragg!”

    Fort Bragg can do as it pleases.

    I prefer places like Costco and other chains. I grew up where shopping was only possible at peddler stores and had a bellyful of self-entitled nobodies looking down their noses at me, as if they were doing me a favor by existing. In those days, if you wanted real products, at affordable prices, you ordered by mail, from catalogs…the Internet of the times. To this day, I shudder at the thought of entering a small business.

    • Lazarus May 27, 2021

      I remember White Front. Imagine a big box store with that name today. The woke folk and others would burn them to the ground…
      Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,

      • Harvey Reading May 27, 2021

        I still haven’t figured out what “woke” and “cancel” mean these days. And, I’m unlikely to waste time “learning” the current “meanings”.

        I remember White Front, too, mostly from TV ads. As I recall, White Front sold furniture, or am I misremembering? While it existed, I bought little in the way of furniture, most of it from Brueners (probably misspelled), in Stockton, in the early 80s.

        As a kid, it was always exciting to go to the big city of Stockton, where they had real stores, like Sears, J.C. Penneys, Macy’s, etc. The clerks treated you politely, like you were somebody, unlike the peddlers of Calaveras County, who reserved that treatment for the “old” families of the area.

        • Lazarus May 27, 2021

          White Front was a Costco type store. Huge sprawling place. Pre-1970 they sold groceries but went broke in the mid-’70s.
          Similar to Home Club and HomeBase, which were pre-Home Depot stores. If memory serves…
          Be well,

  3. Harvey Reading May 27, 2021


    Best oration the man ever made.

    Also, good to keep in mind that the shooter lives in a Taft-Harley world, where unions have been castrated and workers have been given the collective shaft by scum like Bezos and Leon Skum.

  4. Harvey Reading May 27, 2021

    “Vaccination is not new. If the U.S. so-called founding fathers hadn’t essentially vaccinated the Revolutionary War troops against the disease that was killing them in horrifying numbers, that war would have turned out very differently.”

    It would have turned out very differently if the French hadn’t taken the side of the rebels…

  5. Stephen Rosenthal May 27, 2021

    Aldar Fragoso: lock up this slimeball and lose the key.

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