Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday, August 29, 2021

Hot'n'Smoky | Bicycle Race | Voluntary Manslaughter | Pet Mocha | Pandemic Endgame | Transvaccinated | Water Hauling | Vax Map | Intubation | Streetscape Celebration | Opposes Recalls | Catnip Tripping | Psychic Disconnects | Keep It | Ed Notes | Hathaway House | Dean Done It | GOPcare | Favorite Candidate | Mask Free | Skyhawk Soaring | Yesterday's Catch | Reaper Sniff | Bungled Retreat | No Joke | Big G | Common Enemy | Last Word | Middle Class | Cannabis Revenue | Too Tolerant | We Feel | Little Spare | Dams Ineffective | Pinoleville

* * *

VERY WARM TO HOT afternoons will persist today in the interior. Periods of offshore winds will allow smoke to drift south and west and continue to impact most of the area through the rest of the weekend. A trough will bring cooler interior temperatures next week as well as locally breezy conditions from time to time. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Boonville 105°, Yorkville 105°, Ukiah 105°, Fort Bragg 73°

* * *

IT'S 102 OUT THERE AND THESE PEOPLE ARE RACING From Boonville Through Point Arena Back To Boonville Via Fish Rock Road! 

Deb Silva reporting: 

The Fish Rock Bicycle race went right by my driveway. This year I had it together and saw the first 40 or so racers go by. It's kind of boring when only 1 or 2 racers go by at a time but I guess it's to be expected because I live at about the halfway mark in the race.

Here are pix of the 1st and 2nd racers to go by 

And then of the 3rd and 4th racers. These four were very close together and they passed by at 10:50 AM roughly 1 hr 50 minutes after the race began.

There were a couple packs of racers, too. I've attached one of those packs.

(Later) It's 92 at my house right now. I'm on the ridge so it's hotter than in town. It was about 80 when the bicyclists went by. I don't recall much shade on Fishrock, it had to be hotter than hell going over the mountain.

Kind of funny. A CHP pulled over on the side of the road close to where I parked my lawn chair to watch for the racers. I don't think he saw me because I was behind a tree given the direction he was coming from. I walked up to his car and asked him if he was parking there because of the bike race. He had no idea there was a bike race! I explained the race route to him, 72 miles from AV High School, down Mountain View, then to Point Arena, up Riverside Drive/Eureka Hill Rd., veer right at Ten Mile Rd., then turn on Iverson to Fishrock Rd. over the hill to 128 and end at the AV Brewing Company. He was amazed. No one told him about it. Of course, he had to call his dispatch to double check with them. They knew about it and said there were two CHP assigned to the race. He was a pretty decent guy, friendly and not arrogant like some of them can be. They have had trouble getting CHP and sheriff's officers willing to be stationed on the south coast.

* * *

Mark Scaramella adds:

WE WALKED DOWN TO THE AV BREWERY in the energy-sapping heat Saturday afternoon to look at the Fish Rock Race riders come in after their grueling route. They were not in much of talkative mood as they rode in to the Brewery’s shaded grass area. 

Most of them seemed to have their own non-riding partners accompanying them upon arrival. But we did overhear them talking about how hot it was coming back over Fish Rock, along with short stories about some of the obstacles and tricky spots. Some AV High students had set up a water/soda station for the riders and their supporters and a mobile pizza shop was selling pizza slices and salads.

One of the lean muscular cyclists was an elderly, gray-haired Japanese man who, while sweaty, did not look particulary tired. A thickly accented French cyclist helped us find the water dispensers. We get that these grueling rides are challenges, but only mad dogs and a few stalwart cyclists seem foolhardy enough to want to go out on in this mid-day weather, especially on the leg riding east over the unpaved parts of Fish Rock Road.

* * *



Defendant Tavion Jamel James Johnson, now age 23, formerly of the Willits area, finally admitted allegations this past Friday that in March 2020 he killed his wife, the late Elenah Louise Elston, age 49 years at the time of her death.

With his jury trial scheduled to get underway in two weeks, defendant Johnson made a special court appearance Friday afternoon to change his not guilty plea to guilty of a form of homicide known as voluntary manslaughter, a felony.

California law defines voluntary manslaughter as the unlawful killing of a human being by a perpetrator who has the intent to kill during a sudden quarrel, in the heat of passion, or based on an honest but unreasonable belief in the need to defend oneself.

He also entered a guilty plea to a distinctly separate crime from the voluntary manslaughter commonly referred to as felony inflicting traumatic injuries on a domestic partner after having suffered a prior conviction for domestic violence.

Defendant Johnson was previously prosecuted by the DA in 2019 and convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery against the same victim.

Defendant Johnson was ordered at that time to have no contact with Ms. Elston during Johnson’s three year term of probation. He was also ordered to complete the 52-week domestic violence/anger management counseling program, two orders intended to safeguard the victim that this defendant obviously disregarded.

Though no separate consequence will flow from the defendant having significantly violated terms of his misdemeanor probation, this prior misdemeanor conviction was used by the DA to enhance the sentencing triad of the second felony that the defendant admitted on Friday.

The defendant also admitted Friday that the traumatic injuries he inflicted on Ms. Elston constituted “great bodily injury,” as that phrase is defined by California law and alleged by the District Attorney.

Finally, the defendant agreed and stipulated that he shall receive the maximum sentence allowed by California law for the voluntary manslaughter conviction (11 years).

Then, in addition, to the 11 years, the defendant agreed and stipulated that four more years shall be added to the sentencing package for the separate felony count and GBI sentencing enhancement.

The defendant was also required to waive any and all appeal and writ rights, as well as waive all of his pre-sentence custody credits that a defendant is normally awarded, the waiver in this case covering all the time the defendant has served in-custody from his March 2020 arrest to the sentencing hearing (625 days).

After the guilty pleas and waivers were accepted and entered into the court record, the defendant’s case was referred to the Adult Probation Department for their preparation of a prison packet to accompany the defendant to CDCR.

The stipulated 15-year sentence outlined above will be formally imposed at a sentencing hearing to be held on September 28th at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah Courthouse.

Any person interested in this case or this defendant is welcome to attend that hearing. Come prepared – masks are required to be worn by all who enter the courthouse.

Because these convictions are collectively defined as violent by California law, any work or good time credits the defendant may attempt to earn once he arrives at state prison towards an early release date cannot exceed 15% of the stipulated 15 years, meaning current law will require that he serve a full 12 years, 9 months before being released to state parole supervision.

The two crimes admitted are also Strikes for future purposes under California’s voter-modified Three Strikes law.

Should this defendant commit another violent or serious felony in the future either in prison or outside thereof, the current version of the Three Strikes law would require, when convicted, that he be sentenced to 25 years to life.

As background, in March 2020, Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Emergency Room at Howard Memorial Hospital for a reported “accidental” fall victim whose injuries appeared suspicious in nature to the hospital’s medical staff.

Upon arrival, the deputies were shown a woman who was being treated for major head injuries which had left her unconscious and unable to communicate.

The deputies recognized the female from numerous prior calls for service, which included calls where she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her younger husband.

Agreeing with medical staff that the head injuries appeared more consistent with violent causation than an accidental fall, the deputies responded to the victim’s residence to speak with her husband.

The deputies located and spoke with defendant Johnson at the victim’s Brooktrails residence. After speaking with the defendant and viewing what they came to believe was a crime scene, the investigators placed Johnson under arrest.

As the investigation continued, Sheriff’s investigators determined there had been a violent encounter between Johnson and the victim and that he had personally inflicted severe head injuries on the victim.

It was also later determined that the defendant delayed seeking medical aid for his obviously injured wife for many hours; instead speaking to his mother twice by telephone, cleaning up the victim and the blood evidence, and staging pictures to support his ruse that the wife had accidentally fallen down an outside staircase to cause her injuries.

Because this was far from an easy case to investigate and prosecute, the District Attorney wants to give special recognition and thanks to Dr. Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist, for his forensic work at identifying the cause or causes of the victim’s demise.

Ultimately, it was Dr. Omalu’s opinion that the victim suffered and died from Primary and Secondary Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI], that the TBI suffered by the victim was not consistent with a self-inflicted fall down a staircase, and that the many hours delay allowed by the defendant before seeking medical care and treatment for the victim increased the probability and likelihood of Ms. Elston’s death from her TBI.

As an aside, some may recall Dr. Omalu’s name and reputation. He is a physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in National Football League players.

Dr. Omalu’s efforts to study and publicize CTE in the face of opposition from the NFL were chronicled in a GQ magazine article in 2009. The GQ article was later expanded into a 2015 book titled, Concussion, and that book was then adapted into a movie by the same name.

Special thanks are also extended to the vigilant and hard-working medical staff at Howard Memorial Hospital, who saw through the accidental fall ruse almost immediately and timely called for Sheriff’s Office assistance.

The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying the defendant’s Friday convictions were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s own investigators.

The attorney who pieced this case together for trial and will see it through the sentencing hearing is Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder accepted the defendant’s guilty pleas and waivers on Friday afternoon. He will preside over the late September sentencing hearing and at that time impose the agreed-upon state prison sentence.

* * *


Though Mocha may be a senior in doggie years, she is an active girl and would enjoy daily walks with her new guardians. Mocha loves her food and is very treat motivated—so her new people may find it easy to teach this old dog some new tricks! Ms. Mocha is happy to meet new people and has lovely indoor manners. Mocha is a 10 year old German Shepherd Dog, weighing in at 85 pounds. 

For more about Mocha, visit While you’re there, check out all of our canine and feline guests, our services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453. 

* * *


Doctors and scientists need to have an honest conversation with the American people about what the goals of COVID-19 vaccination are and how the pandemic will end.

* * *

* * *


by Mark Scaramella

Mendo’s plans to haul water to the Coast took another tardy step yesterday when Mendo finally issued a press release and set up a webpage asking water haulers to send in informal bids. The plans include an estimate of delivering almost 50,000 gallons of potable water per day from Ukiah’s water treatment output to Fort Bragg’s water treatment input. Large (non-tandem) tanker trucks hold about 4000 gallons or so; smaller ones like the ones we see on Highway 128 every day now hold about 2,000. At 4,000 gallons, that’s about 12 six hour trips per day. At 2000 gallons, maybe twice as many. 4,000 gallons of water weighs over 32,000 pounds. So, heavily loaded trips to Fort Bragg will probably take longer than empty return trips. Mendo estimates six hours per trip on weekdays. This also means that they’ll need several dozen qualified and licensed drivers to do nothing but deliver water every weekday. Since the County is limiting bids to potable water haulers, we doubt that there are that many trucks and drivers available without importing trucks and/or drivers from elsewhere, which will raise the cost and slow the ramp-up of the program. Can the roads handle such heavy additional loads, especially the roads which are not state roads such as access roads in Ukiah and Fort Bragg? In addition, we do not detect any sense of urgency in the County’s program. They seem to think that putting out a press release and setting up a webpage will magically draw bidders to do the hauling. The minimum cost for these big potable water hauling rigs will probably be $150 per hour. At six hours per round trip (including loading and unloading time on each end and likly waiting in line), that would be a minimum of 12 trips times 6 hours times $150 or about $11,000 per day. At five days a week that’s a minimum of $55,000 a week for at least eight weeks, or something roughly like half a million dollars or more. Then there’s all the accounting for water, trips and deiveries and the tricky distinctions being made between residential and commercial deliveries and subsidies on the Coast. It will be interesting to see how the County tracks the program. History shows it will be weak. We expect that the much better organized Fort Bragg city staff will keep their own records and report on the program too. Of course, if the drought stretches out into November or later, costs will go up. But if the expected limitations on trucks and drivers slow the program down, as is likely, the costs will be proportionately less.

Coast resident Charlie Clark on Facebook asked one of our key questions on facebook Saturday: “Fort Bragg is retreating the water, haulers must be licensed by the state to haul drinking water? This will limit haulers and inevitably be more expensive. Licenses take time, is this a water emergency or not?”

Supervisor Ted Williams didn’t budge: “Haulers must be licensed. We looked at raw water hauling, but it adds sampling and testing hurdles. The cities are participating to help the unincorporated. Potable water hauling is the path of least resistance for now.”

Clark didn’t want to argue with the rationalizing Supervisor: “Ted, Best of luck. As my grandmother said decades ago, ‘The next great war will be fought over water.’ Be well.”

But we do: There should not be any need for additional “sampling and testing” if Fort Bragg is retreating the water. So unless there’s some life-or-death reason, this requirement will do nothing but slow things down and, as Clark says, limit the availability of haulers.

Kathy Wylie added: “This unprecedented drought calls for tough decisions and drastic action.”

Is Mendo up to that challenge?

* * *


Coastal Mendocino vaccination rates, (at least one dose). The darker the shade, the more vaccinations have been administered.

The two white spots on the map are Caspar and Elk with the least percentage of people vaccinated (less than 40%). The three darkest ones are Westport, Mendocino, and Gualala (89% for two and 94% for the other). The remainder are all 70% or high with the exception of Little River which is at 66%.

As the Coast population center is Ft Bragg, it is pretty clear that the overall Coast has over 75% with one dose of the vaccination and it may be closer to 80% with Mendocino and Gualala both high at 89%.

Gary Levenson-Palmer 

Ed Note: interactive vax map can be found here.

* * *

* * *

PROFESSOR COSMOS sends along this video of the celebration of Ukiah's State Street facelift:

* * *

PEACE & FREEDOM PARTY of SONOMA COUNTY opposes the Recalls of D. A. Jill Ravitch and the Governor which are scheduled for 09/14/2021.

With a unanimous vote of all available members, the PEACE & FREEDOM PARTY Sonoma County Central Committee has declared its opposition to the Recall election of our county's District Attorney, Jill Ravitch. While we have had our differences with Ravitch over her failure to prosecute deputy sheriff Erick Gelhaus for the wanton and unjustified murder of Andy Lopez on Moorland Avenue in rural Santa Rosa the recall is a separate question. 

As a 53 year old political and civil rights organization, Sonoma PFP has always stood for community control of policing and for the rights of all people to be free from fear of police violence. 

We also believe Jill Ravitch should not be recalled by a disgruntled, right wing business man who was subject to prosecution in the Sonoma courts. Further we locally are on record as opposing the the statewide recall of Gavin Newsom which is also opposed by the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee.

Sonoma PFP can be contacted at our mailing address: Peace & Freedom Party, PO Box 154, Cotati, CA 94931 or by emailing us at: <>

— Irv Sutley, PFP Sonoma County Chair

* * *

* * *


Letter to the Editor

I must be getting older and dumber because some things make less sense than they used to when I didn’t pay any attention to them at all. 

For one example, an article about a recent 4-H and FFA auction. I understand it’s understandable for the next generation of meat growers to learn to care for the animals some people want to eat. Healthy looking prime critters will sell for more, and with all the difficulties of being a family meat grower, getting ranch kids into the business must not be easy. What gets me is all the primping and petting and mooning over the future pork chops of America, giving the critters baths and haircuts and for all I know perfume and soft music and equitage training for the big show at the fair.

I mean, pigs for example are supposed to be smarter than dogs, and anyone who’s owned a dog knows that his dog ain’t dumb by a long shot, so what is going through these porkers’ minds as the date for them to get whacked by a Javier Bardem bolt to the brain slowly creeps up on them? Isn’t there some psychic disconnect here for the young folks too? Isn’t there a moment when the boy looks at the pig and the pig looks back at the boy and both of them know this isn’t going to end on a pleasant note? 

Sort of a Jon Benet Ramsey ending, so to speak. But what do I know? Some other AVA smart guy might explain it to me. 

As long as I’m on the subject of not understanding things, I don’t know why this fool Gallagher wants to waste a million dollars getting rid of a DA in Sonoma County who will be out of office in a year anyway. It’s not like he’s going to be the big mugwump here. He must just be a simple minded egomaniac, a fault among the Irish, we all know. I know the DA is a stooge for the cops, that’s Job One. So why not vote for her? The thing is, personally, summed up by a name: Andy Lopez. Maybe some smart guy can explain to me why I shouldn’t feel this way about it. 

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


THE INCIDENCE of major catastrophes seems to be accelerating, what with the bloody evacuation of Afghanistan, the major NorCal fires raging unchecked, the most powerful hurricane in modern times bearing down on Louisiana, and a revived plague carrying off the unvaxxed in greater numbers than ever. Oh, and the historic drought here in the west.

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR, John Bel Edwards, said that the huge storm aiming at the Gulf Coast will be “one of the strongest hurricanes to hit anywhere in Louisiana since at least the 1850s” when it howls on shore Sunday afternoon or evening on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING. “CLICKBAIT” is a new dramatic series on Netflix pegged to the sinister use of cyber-tools, as International Feebdom lives out their estranged, shut-in lives on their telephones. The narrative revolves around an on-line Romeo whose crimes against the women he serially seduces on dating websites, those websites being fertile ground for pathos, catch up with him. “Clickbait” is also the woke-est movie I've ever seen, but woke without becoming either self-parodying or interfering with the storyline because the acting is so good the relentless PC visuals aren't intrusive. Or oppressive. I thought Zoe Kazan as the sexual psychopath's sister was beyond good. And Abraham Lim as an unscrupulous reporter (apologies for the redundancy) is also very good.

MORE EVIDENCE that the Pentagon is incapable of efficiently doing its job as the armed wing of U.S. imperialism, is the case of Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller. Scheller was relieved of his duty for saying senior leaders need to take responsibility for the botched, fatal Afghanistan evacuation. “The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down,” Scheller said in a nearly five-minute video posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down. And none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up’.” Scheller was relieved of his duties a few hours after posting his right-on message. The Marines, speaking anonymously, explained Scheller's suspension: “This is obviously an emotional time for a lot of Marines, and we encourage anyone struggling right now to seek counseling or talk to a fellow Marine. There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it's not social media.” Scheller knew he was risking his 17-year career by posting the video. “I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, ‘I demand accountability’.”

* * *

"The Hathaway," $1,299, from Sears & Roebuck, 1921 

* * *


Friday - A Ukiah man facing a jury trial changed his mind Friday and admitted to a Jan. 21 robbery of the Ukiah branch of Chase Bank.

Defendant Dean Michael Stevens, age 54, entered a no contest plea in Mendocino County Superior Court to the robbery. A no contest plea to a felony charge is the same legally as a guilty plea. Stevens also admitted a Strike sentencing enhancement alleging a felony robbery conviction in Sonoma County Superior Court in 2015. 

Dean Stevens

Stevens’ trial on the charges was scheduled to begin Monday. 

As part of the no contest plea agreement, the District Attorney required the defendant to agree to a 10-year state prison term. 

Robbery is a violent felony so any work or good time credits earned by Stevens will be limited to no more than 15 percent of the prison time.

Formal sentencing is set 9 a.m. Sept. 9. 

The law enforcement agencies that developed evidence in the case were the Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the state Parole office.

District Attorney David Eyster prosecuted the case. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder accepted the defendant’s change of plea Friday afternoon.

* * *

* * *


I got my ballot yesterday, and even though I am voting no on the recall, I realized I still wanted to vote for my favorite candidate, just in case the recall passes. So I had to somehow paw through the 46 hopefuls, and here's how I did it:

1) first, I threw out all candidates that identified as Republican or Democrat (utterly corrupt, failed parties);

2) then I culled the obvious nuts, and reactionaries who hold views diametrically opposed to mine;

3) which left only a handful of candidates, where I was then able to read their responses to some decent Q&As posted at the LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune;

4) which led me to my favored candidate Dennis Richter (who I would actually prefer over Newsom):

* * *

* * *


If someone told me pre-2018, that I would have a stroke, my wife would divorce me, and that I would become a towny in Fort Bragg, one of the many colorful characters that inhabit this abode, I would have called the seer absolutely F-ing ridiculous! Well, I have arrived. I was very privileged to know the late great John Trudell, as I was a promotor for him on his northern Ca. tours. As I faced the agony of my circumstances this line from his poem “it is what it is”—

“Whatever happens is here to make us stronger, when we understand that, our strengths grow stronger, and when we don’t our weaknesses grow stronger; it’s an inevitability.”

That line helped me immensely, immensely to face the unbelievable agony of my circumstance.

I’m not done healing yet. I am rebuilding my life into something totally new, and unforeseen, and I’m enjoying it, I know that my fortitude and courage has been a gift to many, many people and that feeds me a lot to go further and deeper into the mystery of things I like, the circle we make together, so, thank you for that. I’m not done healing yet. I still sometimes experience resentment and self-pity. but I am getting better with it. I intend to purify myself from all of it… I can hardly wait too see what this realm looks like when I get further along that process!

Anyway, I don’t need to tell anyone these are some seriously challenging times, clearly late stage capitalism is going to pose some SERIOUS challenges and extract some serious consequences. I don’t know what’s next, no one does, all we have is our guesses. All I can say is, I think it’s a good time to purify. I often think I’m pretty lucky. The stroke forced me to face some things that I would have thought absolutely unbearable. But as JT says, depending on how we understand it, our strengths go stronger… Onward!! to the apocalypse, and the new beginning!

* * *


Bacon, Holm, Idica, Ireland

NICHOLAS BACON, Willits. Forge-alter vehicle registration, controlled substance, paraphernalia, concealed weapon in vehicle, loaded firearm in public.

ELIZABETH HOLM, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

KODY IDICA, Redwood Valley. Narcotic-controlled substance for transportation-sale.

MICHELLE IRELAND, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, leaving scene of accident with property damage.

Ray, Ryan, Silva, Williams

MARK RAY, Laytonville. Probation revocation.

DAVID RYAN, Ukiah. Burglary, anal or genital penetration by foreign object by force, violence, duress, menace, etc., touching of intimate parts of another against their will, child endangerment.

WESLEY SILVA, Willits. Probation revocation.


* * *

* * *



Rejecting advice from the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and allied leaders, President Joe Biden turned a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan into an embarrassing retreat and, now, an unconditional surrender. The botched withdrawal will go down as one of the most embarrassing, disastrous and predictable foreign policy blunders of my lifetime.

President Joe Biden publicly denied that his administration made any mistakes by pulling out the military first, thus eliminating any chance for orderly departure of civilians, allied and partner nation personnel. As a result, Americans, our allies and Afghans who supported us are left scrambling to escape.

Our NATO allies, who have been with us since the beginning of this war, are outraged that they were not included in the planning and coordination of Biden’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces, leaving everyone else in the lurch. Under no circumstances would they agree to a withdrawal that didn’t include a conditions-based exit and an orderly departure of civilians, forces and equipment.

Nevertheless, Biden’s retreat order was his decision. This poorly executed debacle has caused unnecessary death and destruction and irreparable harm to U.S. foreign policy for decades to come. Who will trust us and stand by us in the future? Not many.

Kirk Moeller

Santa Rosa

* * *

October 19, 2009

* * *


One of the largest examples of human futility is the constant “need” to characterize God. It is a waste of time. Especially the desire to humanize Him. 

One thing, if God created the star field, the universe I see at night, He is so beyond omnipotent it is incredible. People try to humanize Him with Jesus. He can do anything He wants, the limits humans try to attach to Him make me laugh. If He wanted to put on a Jesus suit to directly interface with humanity, non issue. If He wants to create another universe, a mirror one, non issue. If His reason for the Messiah was to show He was more powerful than human death, He succeeded. If the sacrifice of His Son, so to speak, was, in Jewish terms, to demonstrate atonement for sins and to give grace to all people of faith, it worked.

People with egos that prevent them from acknowledging there are things much bigger than themselves are missing a very basic part of their spirituality. Atheists are people that believe that humanity is the biggest item in the universe. When I lay back and reflect on the star field, I just laugh at these people.

Trouble is, they are growing in number, just as predicted long ago.

* * *

* * *


by Zona Gale

Here I sit with eighty years
⁠Buried somewhere in my bones.
I can only see the world
⁠Move along in monotones.
All the peril of the sun
⁠And the laughter too are done.
(Hear the fools there in the passage
⁠Talk of larger vision won!)

Grace o' God, can they not see
⁠That the wisdom comes too late?
Oh, my heart is bitter full
⁠Of reflections delicate
On the beauty that is truth,
⁠On the art that saves, forsooth.
(Hear the fools there in the passage
⁠Mourn the blindness of their youth!)

I have lived the utter life,
⁠Loved the color, loved the word,
Let no light die unresisting,
⁠Let no far flute fail unheard.
All my days and nights are lit
⁠With a secret exquisite
(Hear the little voice come calling
⁠All the weary pain of it!)

Little voice that used to laugh,
⁠Little voice that used to sing—
Somewhere in those eighty years—
⁠Lullaby and love-longing.
I must listen, I must weep
⁠For the voice I could not keep.
(Oh, the silence of the darkness
⁠Where was breath of her asleep!)

Here they come to bring me praise,
⁠Here they come, there they go,
Lauding loud the work I've done,
⁠Books a-many in a row.
And they envy me and sigh,
⁠And they think those books are I.
Fools there, with some heart to love you,
⁠Pass the larger wisdom by!

(The Last Word was featured in Harper's Magazine, November, 1903)

Zona Gale

Zona Gale was born on August 26th, 1874 in Portage, Wisconsin. She was the first female to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 100 years ago, in 1921.

* * *

* * *

PRESSER FROM THE California Department of Tax and Fee Administration:

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) reported revenue numbers…for cannabis sales for the 2nd Quarter of 2021. As of August 17, 2021, California’s cannabis excise tax generated $172.3 million in revenue reported on the 2nd Quarter 2021 returns due by August 2, 2021, and the cultivation tax generated $40.4 million.

Sales tax revenue from cannabis businesses totaled $120.5 million for the same period. Sales tax applies to sales of cannabis, cannabis products, and other tangible personal property. Certain retail sales of medicinal cannabis are exempt from sales and use taxes when the purchaser provides, at the time of purchase, a valid Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued by the California Department of Public Health and a valid government-issued identification card.

Total tax revenue reported by the cannabis industry is $333.2 million for 2nd Quarter returns. This does not include tax revenue collected by each jurisdiction. Previously reported revenue for 1st Quarter 2021 returns was revised to $304.8 million, which included $157.8 million in cannabis excise tax, $39.2 million in cultivation tax, and $107.8 million in sales tax. Revisions to quarterly data are the result of amended and late returns, and other tax return adjustments. Cannabis tax revenue data is available on the CDTFA Open Data Portal.

Since January 2018, total program revenue to date is $2.8 billion, which includes $1.4 billion in cannabis excise tax, $347.4 million in cultivation tax, and $1.0 billion in sales tax.

In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Beginning on January 1, 2018, two new cannabis taxes went into effect: a cultivation tax on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market and a 15 percent cannabis excise tax upon purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. In addition, retail sales of cannabis and cannabis products are subject to state and local sales tax. To learn more, visit the Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses on the CDTFA website.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs account for more than $73 billion annually, which in turn supports local essential services such as transportation, public safety and health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs through the distribution of tax dollars going directly to local communities.

Press release from California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

ON-LINE RESPONSE: This all sounds great, to some, until you dig deeper. All of my friends, who grow cannabis legally and commercially, sell the lion’s share of their crop to the black market. They have to claim a large part of their crop was lost due to various problems, but it is easy to do. It puts most of the small pot farmers out of business, but who cares? The regulators are happy; they got millions of dollars. Pot smokers are happy; they can buy tested weed out of a dispensary in town, instead of non-tested weed off a street corner. The commercial growers are happy; they just grow more to compensate. It’s a win, win, win, loose situation, and a large part of the population could care less if someone living the dream loses out, as the small pot farmers have found out the hard way.

This situation, where our government is making money off something they know is illegal, is also illegal, but who cares? The law these days seems to only apply to those who don’t pay off the politicians who make the laws.

But heck, we, as a voting population, voted for this.

* * *

* * *


That makes a lot of money

Perhaps the kind of man

People admire

People see as important

People see as wanting

And vulnerable

In a way I am not

I want to be a woman

That makes a lot of money

Perhaps the kind of woman

People Admire

People see as institutional

People see as society wanting

In a way I am not

I am hardened I guess

Through the years

Expériences and Éducation withstanding 

My father always said

What he said I remember

But he always said

I love you

I said 

Perhaps I’ll remember

The point is you should

Understand there is

Only Love

When we speak 

And that we feel

It’s hard to speak

Oh, what we feel

— Quincy Steele

* * *

* * *

NEW UC DAVIS STUDY Finds Dams Are Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation for Salmon and Trout

by Dan Bacher

For many years, federal, state and corporate proponents of building more dams in California have touted cold water river releases provided by increased water storage behind dams as a key tool in "saving" struggling salmon and steelhead populations.

Yet a just published study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Dams Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation 8/25/21, has found that dams are ineffective for the cold water conservation that is needed to preserve imperiled salmon, steelhead and trout.

“Dams poorly mimic the temperature patterns California streams require to support the state’s native salmon and trout — more than three-quarters of which risk extinction,” according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE by the University of California, Davis. “Bold actions are needed to reverse extinction trends and protect cold-water streams that are resilient to climate warming.”

The study helps identify where high-quality, cold-water habitat remains to help managers prioritize conservation efforts.

“It is no longer a good investment to put all our cold-water conservation eggs in a dam-regulated basket,” said lead author Ann Willis, a senior staff researcher at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and a fellow for the John Muir Institute of the Environment. “We need to consider places where the natural processes can occur again.”

“Understanding where cold water is likely to stay cold is critical for conservation,” according to the study. “But ‘cold’ is more than just a number on a thermometer. The term represents the many factors that combine to create cold water capable of supporting aquatic ecosystems.”

Water managers deliver cold water from reservoirs to streams to support aquatic life, but Willis said this assumes that all cold water is the same — “akin to giving blood to another person without understanding their blood type and health status.”

“While previous studies have suggested that dams can be operated to achieve ideal temperatures, few tested that hypothesis against the temperature patterns aquatic ecosystems need,” the study reveals

The UC Davis study assessed stream temperature data from 77 sites in California to model and classify their “thermal regimes,” or annual temperature patterns. It found the state’s reservoirs do not adequately replicate natural thermal patterns, making them incapable of supporting cold-water species effectively. The study states:

*”In stream reaches that lack a resilience to climate warming, cool- and cold-water habitat may be unachievable through dam regulation. In particular, the stable cool regime may present the greatest challenge to cold water conservation as it generally lacks the cooler winter temperatures of unregulated variable cool regimes. One notable result was the classification of the Shasta Dam outlet (site SHD), the only reservoir to produce a stable cold thermal regime. At 4.6 million acre feet (MAF), Shasta Lake is California’s largest reservoir and maintains its cold pool through cold-water inflows, cooling that occurs during the winter, thermal stratification, and operational decisions. Despite the large capacity of New Melones (2.4 MAF, 4th largest reservoir in California), it, or any other dam included in this analysis, was unable to produce a stable cold regime at its outlet.”*

In response to the release of the study Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta said, “We feel validated when top-notch university science programs prove what our community science researchers find. The Delta Conveyance Project is predicated on increased dam capacity. But increasing dam capacity won’t provide the cool clean water we need to restore the Delta. Climate change demands bold new solutions for water management and a reckoning of how much water we allocate for industrial ag.”

“Empty dams and a dry tunnel will not solve our problems. We predicted in 2014 that Prop 1 funds for dams would not work, and legislators would not listen. We hope those funds are rerouted for meaningful water projects that will serve all Californians,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

The release of the study couldn’t come at a more grim time for imperiled salmon and steelhead in California. The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFW) has forecasted that nearly all of the juvenile winter-run Chinook hatched on the Sacramento River this year could die before spawning, due to disease spurred by warm water conditions below Keswick Dam.

A record run of over 18,000 endangered spring-run Chinook salmon on Butte Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River, has also turned into disaster as 14,500 fish have to date died before spawning. These fish also have perished due to the outbreak of disease in warm, low water conditions. 

The only good news is that the rate of mortality has slowed down after more water was finally released by PG&E down the creek on August 3 and conditions improved. “Many fish are still hanging in there,” reported Alan Harthorn, Executive Director of Friends of Butte Creek.

As adult fall Chinook salmon return to the Sacramento River and its tributaries, they will face warm water conditions and low flows, potentially spurring an outbreak of disease that would kill many fish before they are able to spawn.

Disaster has also hit the Klamath River, where nearly all of the juvenile fall Chinook salmon perished before making it to the ocean on their downstream journey this spring and summer, due to a breakout of the C. Shasta disease in the fish, according to scientists from the Yurok and Karuk Tribes.

Ann Willis, the study’s lead author, says the solution to creating cold water habitat to stop the extinction of salmon and trout populations is to remove dams and restructure water management in California.

”I’m an engineer; I thought we could operate ourselves into success, but the science doesn’t support that,” Willis said. “It’s not a question of whether we remove a dam, but which dam, and how we need to restructure how we manage water. Or we need to be willing to take responsibility to be the generation that says, ‘OK, we’re letting this ecosystem go extinct’.”

* * *

Pinoleville, Orr Springs Road


  1. Douglas Coulter August 29, 2021

    To the tune Frere Jacques

    Gods not speaking gods not speaking
    Your insane your insane
    A grandiose delusion grandiose delusion
    Join our pain join our pain

    Read our bible read our bible
    The DSM the DSM
    Learn how to be normal learn how to be normal
    And fit in and fit in

    Don’t be different don’t be different
    Hide your heart hide your heart
    Fit into our program fit into our program
    Life’s no art life’s no art

    Dump your limits dump your limits
    Learn to fly learn to fly
    You can be creative you can be creative
    Touch the sky touch the sky

    Douglas Wayne Coulter

    • Bruce McEwen August 29, 2021

      Here’s a song I wrote back before homelessness became so commonplace.

      Old Jack Davey

      Old Jack Davey was a shiftless vagrant
      and he lived down in Dawson’s Woods.
      Had no money, just a blue-eyed dog,
      and people said he was “no good.”

      Mothers told their children, and it was understood,
      “you don’t go near Ted Dawson’s Woods;
      for if you do that crazy Old Jack Davey
      will eat you up with neither grace nor gravy.”

      Folks around town would gossip by the dozen
      about that vagrant down at the Dawsons:
      “I heard he caught that Jensen girl
      and sold her to a man of the world!”

      “Well, she was last seen with some big city varlet
      who took her to Vegas and made her a harlot.”
      And it didn’t seem to matter a bit
      that everyone knew she was a randy twit.

      There soon arose such wild commotion
      that the city council carried a motion:
      The Ayes had it all hands down
      and old Jack Davy was run out of town.

      Sheriff shot his dog and burnt his shack
      and he went down the track with the clothes on his back.
      About that time, as I recall, a real lollapalooza shook city hall.
      Some sharp reporter busted a child-porn ring
      and a prominent preacher was indicted in the whole thing.

      Yeah, Old Jack Davey was a shiftless vagrant
      and he lived down in Dawson’s Woods.
      Had no money, just a blue-eyed dog
      and people said he was no good.

      Mother’s told their children, and it was understood:
      you don’t go near Ted Dawson’s Woods
      for if you do Old Jack Davey
      will eat you up with neither grace, grits, nor gravy.

      • Bruce McEwen August 29, 2021

        Upon further reflection — and bear in mind this song was written long ago, all copies sunk into deep oblivion, and memory doesn’t serve as oft and well as she once did — but I believe I’ve jumbled two stanzas together and that either the chorus or an instrumental break should be inserted between the verse that ends with the protagonist’s demise, and the shift in focus to the clever reporter and the story about the preacher — but, perhaps, I’m being too particular about a song nobody has ever shown any interest in in the past (so why should they now, when it’s even more dated)… ?

        • Douglas Coulter August 29, 2021

          Didn’t you hobo with Tom Joad?

        • chuck dunbar August 29, 2021

          “Further reflection”– it always gets us into trouble, sir. This is a fine song as is. Awards await you in heaven, if not in this earthly place…..

          • Bruce McEwen August 29, 2021

            I don’t pretend to hold a candle to songsters like our ingenious Mr. Coulter, and I recognize the fact that contemporary readers will smile with contempt at such a quaint depiction of an obsolete prejudice so prevalent, at the time of the song’s composition, that some of those people who voted to have Jack Davy “relocated” have become homeless, themselves, bless ’em, the poor, pious dears.

            • Bruce McEwen August 29, 2021

              Further edits would include replacing “randy twit” with “wanton twit,” but in today’s climate of censure, it wouldn’t cut any ice either way with the PC police. So the whole song has to be DX’d, dumped over the side of a garbage scow, one more insult to Mother Nature, w/ apologies to all AVA readers (if they’re doubly-vaccinated, otherwise, bugger-off, you blow-hard Trumpophiles.

      • Douglas Coulter August 30, 2021

        You just hurt my feeling
        Emotions are left reeling
        My peace you are stealing
        Feelings woe woe oh
        Feelings woe woe oh
        Feelings doesn’t anybody care
        a loose take on Morris Albert tune

        • Bruce McEwen August 30, 2021

          Oh, good grief! Now you’ve got hurt feelings on top of everything else? My, what a victim you are, victimized at every turn. I tell ya, pilgrim, the world just ain’t fair. Not only that but, as one of my songs would have it: “You gotta be who you are and do what you do — life’s house of cards, it’s sad but true.”

          • Bruce McEwen August 30, 2021

            But, seriously, I apologize. I had no idea you were so sensitive. Your drill instructors must have had to be on their best behavior when you were a recruit at Paris Island. I had heard it was a “kinder and gentler” marine corps after my day, but I find it unbearably amusing when I imagine your DI standing tall in front of the company commander, facing charges — brought by the regimental chaplain, no doubt — that some rogue gunny from the old school boot camp had callously, if not maliciously, gone and hurt your feelings… Again, I’m sorry, but I just had to laugh.

            • Douglas Coulter August 30, 2021

              I was a Hollywood Marine, San Diego and Camp Pendleton. No sand fleas but the highest leg injury rate in the USA. My first name was maggot and my girlfriend was Susie Rottencrotch. Not much had changed except the M16 was a hell of a lot lighter then the M1.
              Verse 2
              I’m woke to my feelings
              Cancel culture sounds appealing
              First Amendment needs repealing
              Feelings woe woe oh
              Feelings woe woe oh
              Feelings doesn’t anybody care

              I once heard my senior DI say, “pretty please”

  2. mr. wendal August 29, 2021


    “treated water” means non potable “treated wastewater” but they don’t want to use the word “wastewater” as so many people are repelled by the idea of their twice-treated toilet water coming out of their tap after the Summers Lane reservoir is filled with treated wastewater that will then be treated to be potable for the residents of Fort Bragg and the Coast.

    I haven’t listened to the entire meeting. Was there any discussion about the following?

    “…the logistics of moving the large number of trucks we’re talking about, up to 10 trucks a day, to drop the water and also having the local haulers picking up the water make it such that the City (Ukiah) would strongly recommend doing what we’ve outlined.”

    What are those logistical problems and how can they be surmounted? Couldn’t they move the treated wastewater to their potable treatment plant to at night or schedule everyone’s arrivals?

    There are people in this area who can solve problems but the local governments seem to be unwilling to solve them in a straightforward way. With a bit of effort put into logistics, the savings in money, time and road wear could be significant without delay in starting delivery.

  3. Harvey Reading August 29, 2021

    “… just as predicted long ago.”

    Probably predicted by people who underestimated the power of the whole “god” con and figured it would be short-lived, i.e., people who concluded that humans could never be that gullible for long. Sadly, they were wrong in their judgement about us despicable monkeys, who continue to see ourselves as everlasting, the center of everything, indispensable, and exceptional. LOL.

    Oh, by the way, have no worries about burning in hell. You’ll be doing it right here on the home planet, and soon!

    • Bruce McEwen August 30, 2021

      My wife and I have a print of Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son” in our dining room and every time I look at the wild-eyed old graybeard with a bloody torso in his clutches, I can’t help but think of you, Mr. Reading. And when you make these sweeping, global (if not Universal) proclamations, like the one above, I feel doubly confident that the painting was based on some person, not a god at all, but someone like yourself, a vain and silly old curmudgeon, like you Harvey, that the artist, Goya, was personally acquainted with. That’s my belief. I believe it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *