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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 25, 2021

Triple Digits | 5150 Call | Runner Rescued | Team Rubicon | County Roads | Misinformation | Purple Keys | Picky Multitude | News Bummer | Bridgework | Elliot Brothers | Mars 10¢ | Screwball Opinion | Cocaine Toothache | Phase 3 | Idiot Invasion | Real Solutions | High Cholesterol | Ocean Protection | Wooden Bomb | McGuire Approvals | Yesterday's Catch | Toxic Algae | Surprising Giants | American Welcome | Space Junk | Shrinkwrapped | Kunstler Watch | Bootcamp | Forever Chemicals | Natural Selection | Anti-Semitic Custard | Boom | Dance Party | Inescapable Seeming | Work | Thankful Victim | Dem Party

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INTERIOR VALLEY TEMPERATURES WILL TOP OUT AROUND 100 DEGREES TODAY, while periods of sunshine and mild afternoon conditions occur near the coast. Otherwise, showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible starting Monday, with a greater threat of storms on Tuesday. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Yorkville 105°, Ukiah 105°, Boonville 95°, Fort Bragg 63°

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Update Code 4, 1 Detained 

Public Safety - Avoid The Area


12500 Block of Anderson Valley Way/Cemetery 

Prior to 5:34pm 07/23/21

5:38pm Code 4, one detained.

On 253/mm 2. 

Unable to get status on officer.

5:34pm Compliant but refusing to get out of vehicle 

5:34pm One at Gun Point asking for back up to come quicker. Responding Code.

WE ASKED the Sheriff if had any more info on this incident. Sheriff Kendall replied: “It was a 5150 call. The victim went into a short stand off and deputies called for cover. Because of the nature I don’t think I can disclose the name of the subject. But I’ll get some clarification on that.”

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Mendocino Search & Rescue Successfully Locates & Rescues Missing Coast Runner Found In Critical Condition

A Mendocino Coast woman was reported missing while on a run at Russian Gulch State Park on Friday, July 24, 2021, That afternoon, Mendocino County Search and Rescue volunteers successfully located the missing woman in remote terrain, in critical condition. SAR Commander Jared Chaney said if it was not for the three searchers who found her, she very well could have not survived.

A press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office indicates 55-year-old Joyce Diane Smith was missing since Thursday morning at approximately 10:00 a.m. The reporting party indicated Smith frequented the Seaside Beach and Russian Gulch area where she said she would be running.

Yesterday morning, MCSO deputies located Smith's vehicle and thus initiated MCSO Search and Rescue protocols

Commander Chaney said SAR deployed at approximately 1:30 p.m. yesterday utilizing two ground teams, an all-terrain vehicle team, an area dog team, and a trailing dog team to track down the missing woman.

Before deploying, Commander Chaney and SAR personnel spoke with local park rangers to understand the topography of the Russian Gulch State Park identifying areas where someone might fall down and not be visible to other hikers. They also examined the missing woman's habits, her favorite trailheads, and other characteristics that might help them in their search. 

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release indicated Smith was located alive at approximately 4:15 p.m. and flown out of the area for medical evaluation/treatment.

Commander Chaney praised the ground team who located Smith lying in a creek bed in dire medical straits. They acted quickly wrapping the woman in a space blanket and clothing to warm her. 

At that point, collaborating with Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department personnel, Smith was carried one-and-a-half miles over tough terrain using a stokes basket and flown to a hospital. 

Commander Chaney, reflecting on yesterday’s successful rescue, emphasized the importance of a good ground team willing to hike where others might not go to help others in need.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue would like to express their appreciation for Sea Pal Cove restaurant in Fort Bragg. After the successful search and rescue, team members celebrated their find at the local eatery and were humbled when the restaurant provided a 50% discount to the team. 

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team would like to thank the other agencies that assisted in the successful location and rescue of Smith including Mendocino Fire, CalStar, California State Parks, Cal-Fire, and the California Highway Patrol.

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To the Editor:

Living in Brooktrails, I have spent thousands of dollars in an effort to clear and maintain my defensible space. After “Snowmaggedon,” I had to start all over again. The majority of trees that fell onto my property, narrowly missing my house and truck, fell from the Brooktrails Greenbelt. The cost of clean up would be prohibitive. Enter Team Rubicon, an international disaster relief non-profit that focuses on serving vulnerable and at-risk populations affected by disaster. Team Rubicon serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service by using their skills and experiences to help people recover from disasters. Through the efforts of Mendocino County Fire Safe Council and Sherwood Firewise Communities, I was able to receive the services of Team Rubicon at no cost to me. The clearing of vegetation on and around my property by Team Rubicon has greatly reduced my stress level. I will be forever grateful to Team Rubicon, MCFSC, and SFC volunteers for helping me recover from the effects of Snowmaggedon. Your service has been deeply appreciated!

Tracey Douglas

Brooktrails Township

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WE SPOKE TO FORMER THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR JOHN PINCHES last week, soon after his phone service was restored after more than a year of outage at his remote Island Mountain ranch northeast of Laytonville. Predictably, the first subject he raised was County roads:

“John Haschak called me up the other day to ask for some advice. I gave him a piece of my mind and told him that in the Third District roads are the most important issue. Everybody in the Third District uses the County roads. They go to work, they go to church, they go to sell their pot or whatever. There are about 1020 miles of County roads and well over 200 miles in the Third District. Very little of the County roads are paved, And the ones they call ‘paved’ are actually just chip-sealed. Haschak began to tell me about Howard Dashiell's excuses -- no water, no money, and everything. That's all BS. The Laytonville Water District sells truckloads of water to pot growers every day. The dust coat job Howard says he can’t do wouldn't require anywhere near that much water. Remember, once they water and dust coat that road they would be done with it until the winter. No more watering. no more grading. So it actually saves water, that's an important point. 

“They should not just take Howard's word for this water problem. The Supervisors don't do any questioning or follow-up on anything they're told. They just take the staff's word for everything. I told Haschak that he had to step up to the plate. Roads are the most important thing in his District. Roads are used day and night, not just a few hours in the day time.

“In the Bell Springs and Spy Rock area the County roads are terrible. The County has abandoned them. They do nothing on those roads. The County of Mendocino owns some of the best road maintenance equipment in the area. No contractor in Mendocino County has the equipment that Mendocino County does. And most of the time it just sits.

“And there’s plenty of money for this work. There's the big road fund. Besides all the general fund money and reserves plus the new money from PG&E and President Biden, there is also the County’s huge investment pool which these days with the stock market where it is should be more than half a billion dollars. Money is not the issue. It's doing something, making somebody do something.

“Why don't they ask Howard Dashiell how much money is left over in the transportation account? They have the final numbers of the fund balance in the various departments including the road fund. If history is any guide it's at least $8 million or more. Those monies are accumulated in the road fund, they don't go back into the general fund if it is not spent. Those are special designated road funds. Those are unrestricted road dollars, not designated for any specific project. The projects are separate and funded directly. There was a slip out on the Bell Springs Road back during the last big rains in 2017 that they were supposed to be working on. FEMA is about five years behind in their reimbursements, but the County should be working on that and filing for the reimbursements. The County Executive office does not keep track of FEMA reimbursements for those projects. That information is kept within the Department of Transportation only. And they won't give it out. The Auditor doesn't even know about it. It's the Budge Campbell situation deju vu all over again.”

[ms notes: the long-serving Budge Campbell was finishing his career as Mendo’s Transportation Director when Pinches was first elected in the mid-1990s. He retired after the dust-up with Pinches over the road fund.]

“When I was first elected I made a point of getting that road fund money released and spent on actual roadwork. After I dug up those numbers, the late Seiji Sugawara [former First District Supervisor] said to Budge, ‘It looks like you've been pulling the wool over our eyes’ after I got the information out. I will never forget that. First you get the information, then you educate the board, then you get the other two or more votes you need and you get things done.

“The supervisors need to make roads a priority. They need to get the information about what's in the road fund and make it public and stop listening to excuses. Especially in the Third District. In the North County almost all the roads besides 101 are County roads.”

(Mark Scaramella)

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by Justine Frederiksen

The city of Ukiah plans to further limit access to its recycled water supply due to unauthorized activity at its truck fill-up station, Sean White, the city’s director of water and sewer resources, told the Ukiah City Council this week.

White told the council at its July 21 meeting that the city has “produced about 170 million gallons of recycled water so far this season, which is equal to about 520 acre-feet, or about 20 percent of our annual use. I think we’re definitely doing a really good job of taking pressure off of the river, and subsequently Lake Mendocino.”

White also addressed his previous report to the City Council regarding the city depleting its supply of recycled water, further explaining it is actually the city’s goal to use all of its recycled water in order to eliminate the need to discharge that water into the Russian River.

“So what we try and do is run out of recycled water every single year,” said White, adding that the issue this year is the city is depleting its supply about a month earlier than is ideal for agricultural users. “We’d like to run out about September, because it’s also our goal to get our recycled water users through their crop, and to have a finished product. We had a very successful meeting with our users and we have definitely offset that time demand (by) doing some very cooperative, informal water mastering … and I think we’re going to make it through the season.”

As for the city’s wells, White said they are providing “the vast majority of our supply this year, and they are performing beautifully and we have no significant draw down, they’re chugging right along.”

City Council member Mari Rodin then mentioned recent reports of statewide water theft, especially for illegal marijuana grows, and asked about the city’s “free recycled water tap,” and whether the city would be locking it. “I just hope (that water is) not being stolen.”

“It’s definitely being stolen, that’s happening,” White said. “It’s either locked, or is in the process of being locked, and we’re in the process of getting keys out to all our authorized users. But at the end of the day, I’d much rather have people stealing recycled water than potable water right now. Water theft is huge right now, particularly out in Redwood Valley where they have none to spare.”

White added that the Ukiah Police Department “has been really good keeping an eye on trucks and communicating with our department to make sure the people they are pulling over are permitted. But it has been getting out of control, so we’ve had to take efforts to lock it down.”

When asked Thursday where exactly the tap was on the Hastings Frontage Road and if it had been locked yet, White said he did not want to advertise its location because “our authorized users know where it is.” As to when it would be locked, White said likely “early next week,” as he was not sure that all the keys had been distributed yet.

Around 10 a.m. July 12, a caller on the Hastings Frontage Road reported that an unpermitted water truck was taking recycled water from “the purple meter,” as the recycled water system is also called the “Purple Pipe.” The truck reportedly left prior to the officer’s arrival.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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A READER WRITES: As a fairly new reader I feel informed but daunted. Could one of you please explain why the Catch of the Day is such a big feature in your website? The AVA gives me the feeling that there is no hope, that there are no "good guys" out there. It's overwhelming to weed through the grim faces to find news. Why not surprise us and just for one whole day have no Catches whatsoever? How about a "Hero/Heroine of the Week?" — or just something that lifts our spirits? Celebrates positive community? Ways to get involved and make a difference?

ED NOTE: He who laughs has not heard the terrible news, as some sage said. Seems to me we have plenty of uplift in every issue, not that we disagree that warm-fuzzy isn't our specialty. One sees what one needs to see, believes what one needs to believe, but for your own peace of mind you might turn us off and tune in NPR, especially on Saturdays with premier nuzzlebum, Scott Simon, master of the faux catch-in-the-throat. Or, if you prefer your false feeling in visuals, try the Evening News with David Muir where, no matter how grim the events recited, there's always Dave's last segment of an autistic child at last getting his long-desired ride in a fire truck. As for Catch of the Day, what's most striking to me is that the majority of The Catch come off as so indomitable, so inspirationally un-contrite, so hopeful. 

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Golden Gate Bridge, Under Construciton, 1935

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Dear Mr. Anderson,

I am truly contrite and remorseful that I let my subscription lapse a month ago and I am having severe withdrawal symptoms, having lost the thread of various ongoing developing events I had been following closely. One of the lame reasons for my delay is that I have run out of the right kind of stationary. I am enclosing a check for my annual renewal and I am further requesting the back issues I missed with payment therefor if it is possible for you to send them to me.

My introduction to Mendocino County dates back to the early 1970s when my brother, James (all-around good guy and backhoe specialist extraordinaire, now of Little River) first bought a tract of land at Spy Rock. Decades after I moved back from the Bay Area to St. Louis for law school, brother Jim got me started with your publication, truly the best newspaper I have ever encountered.

I was initially crestfallen years ago when you handed it over and despite David Severn's yeoman's job while you were gone, I was jubilant when you returned.

My brother Jim, at age 73, has now elected not to get medical attention for his tongue cancer and has decided to opt for California's “death with dignity” procedure. He is an avid follower of your publication and deserves some attention. Like many of us, he sees you as a personal friend.

Very truly yours,

Lee R. Elliott

Troy, Missouri

ED REPLY: And I see Jim as my personal friend and am hoping he will defeat his affliction and not have to resort to the California Solution. I hate being so practically unhelpful, but without the Elliot brothers, in the flesh and as metaphor, this enterprise would not be worth doing.

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To the Editor:

I read that Mendocino’s County Counsel Christian Curtis sort of opines that the proposed “small is beautiful” referendum may not be legal because it only deletes a single footnote from the appendix of our Supervisors’ 26-page Phase 3 cannabis ordinance. The referendum to delete that footnote is “Too narrow in scope” (Curtis’s opinion, summarized by Mark Scaramella in AVA, 6/30).

Counsel’s opinion is a screwball. The Supes used a single footnote to an appendix to encourage massive repurposing of Mendocino rangeland to commercial cannabis production AND to threaten our County’s water supply in this drought year. They did all of that … in Appendix A, footnote *6.

What the Supes (excepting reasonable John Haschak) did in their blatant subversion of their constituents’ will, we constituent voters can undo by passing the “narrow” 42-word small-is-beautiful referendum.

If the County follows Counsel’s advice and doesn’t put the SIBR on the ballot or withdraw their ordinance, we voters (a) sue the bastards, and (b) vote for the larger, out-with-the-baby-and-the-bathwater referendum also in circulation, and (c) start working on recalls.

Jonathan Middlebrook

Redwood Valley

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To the Editor:

What would be accomplished by a successful Phase 3 referendum? And how would that benefit the County of Mendocino and its residents? Yes we all would love to revert to the days gone by of simpler compassionate use regulation and zip ties if it were not for the well documented environmental destruction that resulted from weak and unorganized oversight that will be mitigated under Phase 3.

What is at stake today is the livelihood of residents who pay taxes and have the same right to participate in legal cultivation, processing and manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis in the Proposition 64 cannabis industry who qualify under Phase 3. Those residents who could not prove prior cultivation under Phase 1 regulation because they chose to obey the law and not cultivate illegally will be hurt and many of them likely your neighbor who if isn’t a cultivator may be an employee of a cannabis cultivator or producer.

And what would an EIR gain over and above the CEQA process? The environmental data gathered over a long multi-year EIR will certainly highlight the wide proportionality gap that exists between the acreage of proposed Phase 3 cannabis cultivation versus vineyards or cattle herds. What impact would an EIR have on the owners of the 17,000 thousand acres of Mendocino vineyards or the 15,000 head of cattle? In Hopland vineyard operators are planting hundreds of acres without the same burdens placed on cannabis cultivators who are assessed fees by the local fire department for approvals on a 10,000 sq ft greenhouse.

All residents of Mendocino desire performance based leadership that addresses the myriad of issues. Phase 3 is a positive step in that direction that the residents of Mendocino deserve.

Bill Claus


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If we care about the cause of our fires and the real solutions needed to prevent future fires, we must not allow PG&E to mow down large, old trees. Unlike our grid-based electrical system, these living, carbon-absorbing trees are an essential tool to fighting climate change, which, along with PG&E itself, are the main causes of several Northern California fires.

We need real solutions. For example, we need to move away from grid-based electricity and toward distributed electricity — most notably rooftop and neighborhood solar and battery storage. We also need our homes and businesses to be more energy efficient, such that we need and use less electricity. We also need more controlled burns.

What must not be part of the solution is prioritizing PG&E's power lines and transmission infrastructure, especially when we must apparently choose between them and real, long-term fire prevention and climate change solutions.

Tom Fendley


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The Ocean Protection Coalition of Mendocino County is having its first meeting since 2020 on Friday, July 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 310 N.Harold St. in Fort Bragg. We ask that anyone attending the meeting has had their complete covid vaccinations. 

One of the main issues we want to discuss is dealing with the plastic problem on the planet. Please bring your ideas on how to attack this. Also bring any issues with you that you think OPC should be addressing. 

The OPC is a grassroots non-profit organization, formed over thirty-five years ago to oppose offshore oil and gas development on the Mendocino Coast. Our mission statement: “To protect the ocean, and all life therein.” Since our founding, the coast and oceans worldwide have faced increasing challenges from many fronts. Locally, energy industrialization, privatized MLPA ocean zoning, and high-powered Naval sonar “training,” have dominated the news. 

Hope to see you there

Ed Oberweiser

OPC Chair

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When I called Fish and Wildlife a few weeks ago over concerns for a recently permitted grow next to an old growth redwood grove with spotted owl habitat I was told we can’t help you. The Fish and Wildlife agent I talked to told me he was busy writing approval letters from a list of cannabis farm applicants sent to him by State Senator Mike McGuire accompanied by a subtle threat to delay funding to make sure Fish and Wildlife wrote the letters. He said “apparently the word is out to contact Senator Mike McGuire to get an approval letter from Fish and Wildlife, I would rather be doing environmental work than being told to write approval letters for this politician. They shouldn’t be locating these grows next to these sensitive areas.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 23, 2021

Alvarez, Garibay, Heredia

OSCAR ALVAREZ-RUIZ, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. Murder. 

JUAN GARIBAY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. 

FERNANDO HEREDIA-CASTRO, Smith River/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, suspended license for DUI.

Merrill, Moore, Nunez

DERRICK MERRILL, Middletown/Ukiah. DUI.


PRISCILIANO NUNEZ-MORA, Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury.

Rios, Torres, Wirt

ARMANDO RIOS, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license.

CHRISTINA TORRES, Hopland, under influence.

CODY WIRT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

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From the Humboldt County Public Health Division:

Environmental health officials are reminding community residents to be on the lookout for harmful algal blooms after a report was made of a person becoming ill following time spent in the South Fork Eel River north of Weott. State staff is currently taking water samples at this location and will post warnings on the shore.

This news comes days after testing confirmed cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae or harmful algal blooms (HABs), was found at a location in the main stem of the Trinity River east of Willow Creek and likely contributed to a dog’s death earlier this month.

Cyanobacteria can be present in any fresh water body and looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water. Warm water and abundant nutrients can cause algae to grow more rapidly than usual and these floating algal masses or “blooms” can produce natural toxins that are potent and dangerous. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods.

Low flows along several local rivers including the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen and Mad Rivers, coupled with sustained high temperatures in the inland areas and record low rainfall have created the ideal conditions for rapid blooming of this harmful algae.

Since 2001, there have been 12 documented dog deaths locally where the dogs died shortly after swimming in Big Lagoon, the South Fork Eel River or the Van Duzen River. In each instance, water samples confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria in the water.

Most algal blooms in California contain harmless green algae, however, it is difficult to test and monitor the many miles of local rivers with conditions that readily change. To stay safe, it is best to assume that an algal bloom has the potential to contain toxins.

Symptoms in people may include eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold or flu-like symptoms. Following exposure to harmful algal blooms, symptoms in dogs may include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, vomiting, urination, diarrhea or convulsions.

The following guidelines are recommended for recreational users of all freshwater bodies in Humboldt County:

Keep children, pets and livestock from swimming in or drinking water containing algal scums or mats. 

Adults should also avoid wading and swimming in water containing algal blooms. Try not to swallow or inhale water spray in an algal bloom area. 

If no algal scums or mats are visible, you should still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow any water. 

Fish should be consumed only after removing the guts and liver and rinsing fillets in tap water. 

Never drink, cook with or wash dishes with water from rivers, streams or lakes. 

Get medical attention immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned by cyanobacteria toxins. Be sure to tell the doctor or veterinarian about possible contact with cyanobacteria or algal blooms. 

Join or support one of the many watershed and river organizations.

To learn more about cyanobacteria and HABs, visit the state of California’s website at

To learn more about cyanobacteria and algae on the South Fork Eel River, visit

To report a bloom, e-mail call 844-729-6466 (toll free). Blooms can also be reported via the “bloomWatch” app which is available for free download on iTunes or Google play.

For information on conditions occurring within Humboldt County, contact the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or 800-963-9241. Photos of suspected blooms can also be emailed

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SF Giants: San Francisco has the best record in baseball and just took three of four from the Dodgers. It's time to drop the surprise and give the Giants the respect they deserve.

by Dieter Kurtenbach

The San Francisco Giants celebrates a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I understand the skepticism about the San Francisco Giants' success this season. 

I had plenty of it. 

After all, this San Francisco roster is filled with a bunch of randos and nobodies — guys who came to the Giants because no one else wanted to give them a chance. And the guys fans do know — Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria — well, they were supposed to be washed up. On top of that, this team has been all sorts of banged up all season. In their four-game series against the Dodgers this week, they were missing their starting third, second, and first baseman — their shortstop, too. 

Yet the Giants kept doing what they've done all season: they won. 

Every game the Giants play with the Dodgers feels like a playoff contest, so winning three out of four in Los Angeles was always going to be a big deal, even if it's July. 

But I think that series win carries even more weight than rivalry and an expansion of their lead in the National League West to three games. 

That series should end the skepticism about the Giants once and for all. 

These Giants aren't an early-season (or mid-season) flash in the pan. They have the best record in baseball and that's no fluke. 

Seriously, where's the weakness of this Giants' team? You'd have to get pretty granular to find it. 

Those nobodies in the Giants' lineup are tied for the Major League lead in home runs (144) with the bopping Toronto Blue Jays, who have played home games in sub-Major League bandboxes at home all season. 

The rotation is one of the best in baseball, posting a 3.23 ERA on the season and eating up a bunch of innings, too — San Francisco starters are second in the National League in innings pitched. That rotation is only getting better, as well. Young Logan Webb has been fantastic since returning from his shoulder injury. 

And the bullpen — the area I thought would be the Giants' undoing — has been the best in baseball since June 1. There might be only two mainstays in the 'pen, and they might be a lefty with one pitch and a submarining righty whose fastball maxes out at 84 miles per hour, but the job has consistently been done this summer. 

That's been the Giants' story all season. 

The Giants have something else going for them, too: As much as baseball is an individual sport with minimal teamwork, this San Francisco squad has a rare connective tissue. Add whatever oft-used sports cliche you want — "next man up", "keep the line moving", whatever — there is something about these Giants that pulls them through in tough moments. 

We've seen it a few times before this season. The Nobodies' four-game split in Washington last month showed us something — their offense was a joke for four straight games, yet they found a way to not lose that series. 

This week's series against the Dodgers showed that same sort of gumption — the kind that's hard to develop but necessary to win in October. 

Frankly, I thought the Giants' loss on Tuesday night could have been a pivot point in their season, and not for the better. It was, after all, the kind of loss that should demoralize a team and send them into a funk. At the same time, the Dodgers moved one game back of San Francisco in the standings. If ever there was a moment for the Giants to fade and the so-called inevitable juggernaut to overtake them in the standings, it was the next two games of the set. 

Instead, the Giants rallied in back-to-back games off Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen to win the series 3-1. So much for fading. 

The '21 Giants find ways to win games. It's as simple as that. They're not a perfect team, but they're a real team, and that makes them special. 

That best record in baseball might not have been foreseen at the beginning of the season, but it, my friends, is no fluke. Look into why and you'll realize that the Giants are a team that's worthy of the top spot at this juncture in the season and a team that could well hold onto it for the rest of the campaign and perhaps the postseason as well. 

Not only are the Giants the best team in baseball, but the Dodgers aren't an inevitable juggernaut who will eventually overtake these plucky upstarts and re-starts. No, these Dodgers have proven to be mortal. They are equals to these nobodies. And after that series in Los Angeles and the Dodgers' meltdowns both on the field and off (this team is cracking under the weight of missed expectations, folks) it's hard for anyone to say that this bunch of nobodies isn't a better squad than the presumed superteam. 

It's time that the baseball world lets go of past biases and presumptions and fully acknowledges what's happening in San Francisco. This isn't a flash in the pan or a summer-feel good campaign — this Giants team is the real deal and they're here to stay. 

(San Jose Mercury News)

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AFTER 11 MINUTES IN AMERICA, I Got Hit by the Crime Wave

I spent most of the pandemic abroad. It didn’t take long after I returned home for someone to try to rob me at gunpoint.

by Graeme Wood

Before the blessed release of full-dose vaccination, I spent much of the pandemic in Norway and Canada, dodging COVID-19 waves and rising violent-crime rates in American cities. Both of my hideout countries managed infection well, and their residents very rarely kill each other. (Today Norway marks the tenth anniversary of one of the exceptions to this rule.) But I missed America, so earlier this month, back I came, over the Rainbow International Bridge from Niagara Falls, Canada, to its sister city of the same name in upstate New York. A Customs and Border Patrol officer waved me in at 12:10 a.m.

Eleven minutes later, a man tried to rob me at gunpoint.

I was in a rented Toyota Corolla, driving with three family members who were also returning to America: a woman and her two children, a 9-year-old and a toddler. Soon after we crossed the bridge, the toddler’s diaper began emitting a horrendous stench, and we looked for a suitable place to change him. It took a few minutes. One candidate spot was too dark and secluded; another would have worked fine, but a car was idling there suspiciously, so we rolled down the windows and moved on.

Finally we found a gas station by the highway. It was across from a diner, and had just closed but remained brightly lit.

We parked next to one of the pumps. I got out and stood on the passenger side, checking my phone and passing wipes as needed. The child wanted to keep his soiled diaper—his only souvenir of the Falls—and he howled through the two or three minutes it took his mother to change him on top of the trunk. During a lull in traffic, I noticed that his cries were echoing through the dark neighborhood beyond the gas station. Then I saw a man in the shadows, about 70 feet away, walking fast and crossing a street in our direction. When he entered the penumbra of the gas station’s floodlights, he stiffened a little, as if mildly surprised that I had noticed him, then ducked behind the gas station’s mini-mart.

“We need to go now,” I said.

The mom was leaning into the back seat to buckle in her toddler. She protested that she hadn’t yet attached every point of his harness. Then I saw the man reemerge, wearing a red hoodie and a mask that covered his whole face. He was striding toward us purposefully, past the mini-mart and into the light, and in his hand he had a pistol.

“Now,” I said. “Don’t strap him in. Close the door and drive.” This time she heard my italics. She slammed the door and jumped in the car, fumbled with the keys for half a second, then screeched the tires and drove away. I told her about the gun, and she didn’t stop driving until she saw an outpost of the popular Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons—which, under the circumstances, seemed like a potential gun-free zone, some kind of informal diplomatic sanctuary.

Over that weekend, 150 people were killed in shootings in the United States, according to CNN. I’m glad to say that we didn’t come close to being among them. As we accelerated away, the man was probably not near enough to kill any of us with a precisely aimed shot, although he might have managed to hit our rental car and force an awkward conversation at the Hertz return the next day.

I called two separate units of the Niagara Falls Police Department, to report the incident and to ask whether crime had risen recently. But neither called me back—and I suppose that is itself an indication of something. A man menaced a baby with a gun, and the police weren’t interested enough to return a phone call to find out more. (The city says crime has, in fact, been on the increase.)

One should not make policy purely from personal experience. I came away with no better understanding of how to improve policing or disarm criminals. But that night I drove for another six hours—the adrenaline kept me more alert than any cup of coffee—and I had a few thoughts. The first was facile, which is not to say wrong: There are too many illegal guns around. New York State has famously tough gun laws. But it is still America, where guns are ubiquitous. Then again, that ubiquity had complex effects on the interaction. On reflection, I wonder whether that furtiveness, when the man ducked behind the mini-mart, was a moment of hesitation—not a pang of conscience but a delay to assess whether I too was armed. That moment gave us time to get away.

Of this I am certain: I will never again visit Niagara Falls, New York, unless I have a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on my car, and maybe also one of those Koala Kare portable baby-changing stations. This reaction is not rational; at the wrong time, many nice places can be hellish. However, I feel chastened by the intensity of my irrational reaction to that awful experience. What must life be like in a place where such things happen, and the cops either don’t care or are too overburdened to respond? Apparently after experiencing an attempted robbery exactly once, I react out of proportion, and out of an abundance of caution and loathing I am treating all of Niagara Falls like a bad part of post-invasion Baghdad. Violence is a warping experience even when it leaves you unharmed.

I was in Baghdad in 2004, and I can attest that one does, to some extent, get used to violence. Eventually you hear gunfire and unconsciously judge its distance, caliber, and character (assassination? firefight? celebration?). You react, in other words, rationally. But the experience of a near-miss still messes with your mind.

During the rest of my drive, my messed-up mind turned toward statistics. One common reaction to the current uptick in violent crime is to note that rates may be up compared with a year or two ago, but are still down compared with a couple of decades ago, when crime was not the subject of a national panic—let alone compared with the height of the crack epidemic in the early 1990s, when panic was an appropriate response. Some statements can be true and yet also worthy of contempt; “relax, crime rates have been worse” is one of them. To erase two decades of decline in the homicide rate in a few years is catastrophic, and favorable comparisons to eras of even more wanton violence are not reassuring.

When heinous crime tracks you down somewhere where you didn’t expect it, you do not check the calendar and rejoice that it is not 1990. You wonder whether this appalling trend will ever reverse. You wonder whether actual demons are wandering the streets. How else do you explain someone reacting to the sound of a baby’s cries by chambering a round and running toward the changing table? Even if crime is lower now than in 1990, I now know that someone in my vicinity was capable of instantaneous evil, and I do not know the limit of what he would do. Many Americans living through the present crime wave are similarly unsettled, and they will do anything, or vote for anyone, that promises to restore their nerves.

Most of all, I wish those who talk glibly about crime numbers would consider that the rate of change in violent crime—not just whether there is more or less of it than before, but how fast that shift is happening—is as important a statistic as the absolute rate at any moment in time. When places get less safe in a hurry, even from a healthy baseline, pessimism and cynicism flourish, and things can easily spiral down from there. Some places need only a little pessimism to collapse entirely. Niagara Falls and Buffalo, next door, have several such neighborhoods.

I blame myself, in part. No reeking diaper stench will ever be enough to persuade me to stop again late at night at a closed gas station. I should have known better. But we all make mistakes. “After you have done it, you will wonder why you did it,” wrote Mark Twain when he visited Niagara Falls and got drenched by going too close. “But you will then be too late.”

Graeme Wood is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The Way of the Strangers: Encounters With the Islamic State.

* * *

BED TIME FOR BEZOS — Jeffrey St. Clair

“Was the conquest of space then a potential chariot of Satan, the unique and grand avenue for the new totalitarian?”

– Norman Mailer, Of a Fire on the Moon

+ Five planets in our solar system are adorned with rings. The rings around four of these planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune) are comprised of dust and ice. The ring that encircles earth is made of trash, the detritus of the launch-it-and-leave culture of the new generation of space junketeers.

+ We are witnessing the last great enclosure, as the billionaire rocket-set greedily stake their claims on space–once a universal commons, a kind of dreamscape that since the beginning of humankind has been available freely to all, owned by none.

+ Bezos’s rocket looks like it was designed by Barbarella’s workshop, a stubby white vibrator, which is the most extravagant manifestation yet of that favorite pastime of the American elite, Ostentatious Onanism.

+ There can be no doubt that Ham, the first chimpanzee in space, would have made a more evocative and intelligent description of his suborbital flight than the vapid mutterings of Bezos, who didn’t even have the sense to hire a professional peddler of pomp, like Jon Meacham or Peggy Noonan, to script a few uplifting lines of homespun doggerel.

+ Bezos, the $207 Billion Manchild, blurted out after his 10-minute ride: “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this. Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”

+ The median salary of an Amazon worker is $29,007 in 2020. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio at the company is 58:1.

+ Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki on Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin: “The United States is the first country to have private companies taking private individuals to space. This is a moment of American exceptionalism. That’s how we see it.”

+ NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden on ABC News: “One black kid watching this launch on a corner somewhere is one less Black kid getting ready to use a weapon.” “Black kid,” hell. Shouldn’t they be force-feeding the footage to Tony Blinken, Tom Cotton and the Mayor of Miami who wants to bomb Havana?

+ He’s evil and nuts…Jeff Bezos, hours after returning to Earth from “nearspace“: “We need to take all heavy industry, all polluting industry, and move it into space. And keep Earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is.”

+ Predictably, the press lapped it all up, giving Bezos’s quick in-and-out more coverage in a single day than it devoted to the threat of climate change in the last year.

+ The climate atmospheric impact of just 1000 space flights a year would equal that of all current aviation.

+ Where’s a frozen O-Ring when you need one?

* * *

* * *


I have been following JHK for maybe twenty years. His Long Emergency book opened my eyes to a new perspective of how the USA became trapped in a suburban dead end with fossil fuels. The kind of book that I gave to friends. His World Made By Hand books, in audiobook form, gave me hours of entertainment and insight. Once I emailed him and he replied with a very thoughtful response. I was quite impressed. I loved his podcasts with Duncan. He is clearly a very intelligent and articulate social critic.

Now, however, it seems like he has crossed over to the dark side. Each week I read his posts, always well written, and today’s post of vaccines being little time bombs seems like the new norm. Maybe he’s right. I guess we will see. I remember a few elections back he was predicting they might be suspended and I guess that should have cued me into a new JHK perspective of the world. So many of my liberal friends seem to have Trump derangement syndrome and maybe it also works the other way. I normally vote Green Party but in 2020 I wrote in Tulsi. Trump is a narcissistic grifter and Biden belongs in an elder care facility.

We are clearly in late stage imperial decline. The signs are everywhere. Billionaires paying little or no taxes and doing vanity launches into fake space. Climate disruption is now the new normal. Elderly political grifters in both parties caring mostly about their own portfolios, serving their corporate overlords, and bowing to governments like Israel and Saudi Arabia. The security state and military doing its best to antagonize Russia, China and Iran for their own selfish budgetary reasons. The American economy on life support with massive unprecedented deficits and trillions of magic dollars fed to financial institutions for private gain. 

JHK is someone I still read twice a week. Very entertaining though I think he may be more than happy to keep his far Right followers happy with some of his more outrageous comments. Oh well.

* * *

Army Bootcamp, 1960s

* * *

FOREVER CHEMICALS: California Unveils Health Goals for Contaminated Drinking Water

Long used to make non-stick and stain-proof coatings, firefighting foams and food packaging, the perfluorinated chemicals have been linked to kidney cancer and other serious health conditions in people drinking contaminated water. They often are found near airports, military bases and landfills. …

* * *

* * *

AFTER BEN & JERRY’S ANNOUNCED that it would stop selling their products in what the AP referred to as Israel’s “war-won lands” (ie, the Occupied Territories), Israel’s new prime minister referred to the company as purveyors of “anti-Semitic ice cream.” (Jeffrey St. Clair)

* * *

* * *


Date: Friday, August 6, 2021

Time: 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Place: Point Arena Pizza, 790 Point Road, Point Arena, CA 95468 at the historic Point Arena Cove

Join the fun and Dance to incredible music, all styles for a Funky, Soulful Summer Dance Party.

From Ray Charles to Ray Barretto, Bob Marley to Bob Dylan, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Aretha, Michael-- all styles to get you out on the dance floor, joyfully mixed by DJ Sister Yasmin.

"Get up on the floor, let's boogie some more!" (inspired by Jackie Wilson)

Enjoy celebratory music, waves, tunes, delicious food, drink, and the amazing vibes at the Pt. Arena Pier!

All ages welcome. No cover charge. This will be an outside, covid-safe event, on the deck/patio.

Point Arena Pizza serves brick oven Pizzas, local, organic salads, and beer and wine. Truly "Pizza for The People". Yum!

For more information: 707-884-4703

Rock & Groove With Me!

Sister Yasmin Solomon

* * *

* * *


He said me haffi

Work, work, work, work, work, work!

He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work
When you ah guh
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn
Meh nuh care if him
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting
Dry!... Me a desert him

Nuh time to have you lurking
Him ah go act like he nuh like it

You know I dealt with you the nicest
Nuh body touch me you nuh righteous
Nuh badda, text me in a crisis
I believed all of your dreams, adoration
You took my heart and my keys and my patience
You took my heart on my sleeve for decoration
You mistaken my love I brought for you for foundation
All that I wanted from you was to give me
Something that I never had
Something that you've never seen
Something that you've never been!
But I wake up and act like nothing's wrong
Just get ready fi...

Work, work, work, work, work, work
He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!

He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work
Ner ner ner ner ner ner!
When you a guh learn, learn, learn, learn, learn!

Before the tables turn turn turn turn turn turn!
Beg you something please
Baby don't you leave
Don't leave me stuck here in the streets, uh huh

If I get another chance to
I will never, no never neglect you
I mean who am I to hold your past against you?
I just hope that it gets to you
I hope that you see this through
I hope that you see this true
What can I say?

Please recognize I'm tryin', babe!
I have to
Work, work, work, work, work, work
He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!

He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work
When you ah guh

Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn
Meh nuh care if him
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting
Yeah, okay
You need to get done, done, done, done at work, come over
We just need to slow the motion

Don't give that away to no one
Long distance, I need you
When I see potential I just gotta see it through
If you had a twin, I would still choose you
I don't wanna rush into it, if it's too soon
But I know you need to get done, done, done, done
If you come over
Sorry if I'm way less friendly
I got niggas tryna end me, oh
I spilled all my emotions tonight, I'm sorry
Rollin', rollin', rollin', rollin', rollin'
How many more shots until you're rollin'?

We just need a face to face
You could pick the time and the place
You spent some time away
Now you need to forward and give me all the...
Work, work, work, work, work, work
He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work

He se me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
So me put in

Work, work, work, work, work, work
When you ah guh
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn
Meh nuh care if him
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting
Mmmmm, mmmmm
Mmmmm, mmmmm
Work, work, work, work, work, work
Mmmmm, mmmmm

— Jahron Braithwaite, Matthew Samuels, Allen Ritter, Rupert Thomas, Aubrey Graham, Robyn Fenty, Monte Moir

* * *

* * *


8-10-21, 5-7 PM Jughandle Farm

Calling All Postcard Volunteers

Resist The Recall, Tune Up For 2022

Tuesday, August 10, 5-7 PM

Jughandle Farm - Directions Below

Indoors with Doors Open or Pick-up a Packet to Take with You

Food and Drink Provided

Covid Vaccination Required

We will write postcards to local voters to VOTE NO on the September 14 Recall of Governor Newsom

Postcards, addresses, and script provided

Postage provided

Pick-up of postcard packets is an option

Other Volunteer Opportunities from Team Newsom:

Add your name to say Gavin Newsom can count on you to send text messages or make calls using our online tool. Check it out right now.



Please RSVP to


  1. Douglas Coulter July 25, 2021

    Legions of idiots.
    To suggest one needs a Nobel Prize before their words are true is the most idiotic statement I have ever heard.
    “Out of the mouth of babes”

  2. Lazarus July 25, 2021


    To be clear, I agree with the writer’s opinions about the San Francisco Giants.
    Although, the last two games versus the Pittsburg Pirates, who I believe are 19.5 games back and are in last place in their division, have made the Giants look a little suspect.
    It’s hopefully just a letdown after their impressive performance in the Dodger series.
    But there’s still a lot of baseball left to play.
    Be Well,

  3. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021

    RE: Roads and Lies

    “Very little of the County roads are paved, And the ones they call ‘paved’ are actually just chip-sealed. Haschak began to tell me about Howard Dashiell’s excuses”

    Excuses or outright lies? Howard, during the BOS Q&A, said that “Spyrock is chip-sealed 6 miles, all the way up to RGR (Registered guest Road)” I co-own a property at the end of Spyrock, and NEVER has it been chip sealed past the pavement required by the school. NEVER has the 1 mile pavement strip in front of the school been repaired. And now that they didn’t grade it or dust off, Spyrock and Simmerly roads are the worst in the county, and that’s saying a lot to qualify for that title!

  4. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021


    How about finding out why our Mendo EH dept is understaffed, underpaid, and over worked? I bet they would love to hire someone to test for algae blooms and post warning signs, that the resorts will take down because it effects tourism. Sounds totally doo-able, in any normal county.

  5. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021

    RE: “a potential chariot of Satan”

    Interesting poetic nod to the current state of Capitalism in America. American Libertarianism, a unique form of Liberty as compared to it’s other global definitions, is ultimately a simplistic belief that all humans can be “self-reliant”. It is also the prescribed Ayn Randian economic philosophy followed by billionaires launching themselves into space to spread their spores. As if we exist in little bubbles where none of our actions affect others, and we don’t rely on food from the grocery store…


    The Libertarian Party (LP) is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism, and limiting the size and scope of government.
    The preamble outlines the party’s goals: “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. […] Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands”. Its Statement of Principles begins: “We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual”.

    Sounds like… mmmm… the Church of Satan?


    “Anton LaVey, who has been referred to as “The Father of Satanism”,[145] synthesized his religion through the establishment of the Church of Satan in 1966 and the publication of The Satanic Bible in 1969. LaVey’s teachings promoted “indulgence”, “vital existence”, “undefiled wisdom”, “kindness to those who deserve it”, “responsibility to the responsible”, and an “eye for an eye” code of ethics, while shunning “abstinence” based on guilt, “spirituality”, “unconditional love”, “pacifism”, “equality”, “herd mentality”, and “scapegoating”. LaVey envisioned a Satanist as a carnal, physical, and pragmatic being. The core values of LaVey Satanism are the enjoyment of physical existence, and an undiluted naturalistic worldview that sees mankind as animals that exist in an amoral universe.

    LaVey believed that the ideal Satanist should be individualistic and non-conformist, rejecting what he called the “colorless existence” that mainstream society sought to impose on those living within it.[146] He praised the human ego for encouraging an individual’s pride, self-respect, and self-realization and accordingly believed in satisfying the ego’s desires.[147] He stated that self-indulgence was a desirable trait,[148] and that hate and aggression were not wrong or undesirable emotions but that they were necessary and advantageous for survival.”

    Sounds like the same crowd to me.

  6. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021

    RE: Kunstler

    “Now, however, it seems like he has crossed over to the dark side.”

    I think he has become apathetic after preaching about the coming cliff for 20 years, and watching the lemming go over the cliff anyway. He probably figures, eh, why not go doom and gloom? The World is screwed anyway.

    I know I did a lot of personal life changes after reading “The long emergency” 20 years ago also. But looking back, it seems like all the money, time, and effort I used to drive my car on biodiesel to set a good example, amounted to the same pointless ritual as taking shorter showers to save water. No amount of reducing personal fossil fuel use, or water use can stem the tide of Mass Corporate consumption.

  7. Douglas Coulter July 25, 2021

    I rode my bicycle to the Russian River this morning down Perkins in Ukiah. I expected to see slow trickle BUT it was the same flow I saw in April of last year during rains. Now I know all those grapes along the River are very thirsty and am unaware of any large hemp grows close to the Russian River south of Ukiah and in Sonoma County. North of Lake Mendocino the River looks like the Navarro as it comes out of Redwood Valley. Puddle Mendocino is not pushing against the dam too hard right now. What happens when that puddle goes dry?

    • George Hollister July 25, 2021

      There is a minimum flow requirement in the Russian to maintain fish habitat. The Eel River below the Potter Valley diversion also has a minimum flow requirement for fish. The outflow from Lake Mendocino to maintain this habitat is quite a bit more than the inflow into Lake Mendocino coming from Lake Pillsbury. As far as I know, all agricultural diverters below Lake Mendocino, including those in Redwood Valley have been cut off. The only diverters are domestic. We should be thankful for having Lake Pillsbury, the Potter Valley diversion from the Eel River, and Lake Mendocino. Fish in the Russian, and the Eel main stem should be thankful as well. During a drought like this one, those streams would be puddles at best, and bone dry at worst.

      • Harvey Reading July 25, 2021

        “We” will be thankful when the dam and diversions are gone, along with the wine factories and their associated grapevines.

        You paint misleading pictures in the grand manner of water “development” agencies, like, say, USBR and DWR, who love to make dams and canals, sticking general taxpayers with the bills for construction and maintenance, along with subsidization of delivery costs, while the welfare (often corporate) farmers laugh all the way to the bank. And the poor old fish and other species dependent on streams for their very existence, simply get nearer and nearer to extinction. Your imaginary empire, built on altering nature, is about to come to a crashing halt, old man.

  8. Douglas Coulter July 25, 2021

    This is not minimum flow, this is full flow. Right up to the normal brush line.
    I’ll bet it is not even close to this flow by The time it reaches Healdsburg.
    All the new grape vineyards along the Ukiah stretch are nice and green. Some planted last year
    There are still some nice pear orchards by Talmage
    When our children ask for fruit? Let them drink Chardonnay

  9. Marmon July 25, 2021

    Woke Choke: US Men’s Basketball Loses to France 83-76, First Olympic Loss Since 2004

    “With a roster full of anthem-kneelers and outspoken social justice advocates, it’s safe to say the United States sent the most woke men’s basketball team in history to the Olympics this year; what is also clear after Sunday is that the U.S. has also sent the worst basketball team in nearly 20 years to the Olympic games.”


  10. Jim Armstrong July 25, 2021

    Boot Camp?
    Zooming in on the Boot Camp in the 1960’s photos doesn’t look much like my experience in the same time frame.
    The ages and clothing seem out of place.

    • Douglas Coulter July 25, 2021

      All button shirts sounds like early 60s. We wore TShirts by the 70s.
      Not USMC, I don’t see no yellow footprints
      I do not see many canvas shoes, looks like one with Converse

    • Bruce McEwen July 25, 2021

      Looks to me like Fort Ord, Calif., circa 1967, and a couple of those conscripts look like my cousins (Joe &Chuck) both of whom went to Viet Nam — and somehow avoided ending up on The Wall.

      • Jim Armstrong July 26, 2021

        Trying to get a closer look ended up with the photograph title “Marine Boot Camp.”

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