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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

Rain Coming | 49 New Cases | County Fair | 1959 Fairgrounds | Ballot Counting | Recall/Covid | Toxic Lake | Apple Bowl | Cannabis Repeal | Octopus Hill | County Scofflaw | Free Stuff | Witter Ranch | Glancing Fireballs | Ed Notes | Slatten Spree | Tax Gown | Price Fallout | Pink Flameter | Abandoned Vehicles | Profit Outlook | Climate Wine | Yesterday's Catch | Final Entry | Antietam Diary | MCN Birth | Mill Workers | Bogus History | Garden Therapy | Public Education | Vaccine Questions | 1965 Parade | Short Staffing | Free Speeching

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BENEFICIAL RAINFALL will spread into the area on Saturday, with lingering showers into Sunday. Roads may become very slick from a buildup of oils on the roads over the dry summer months. Rainfall totals will be higher for the northern coast and higher elevations. Temperatures will rebound early next week as high pressure builds back into the area. (NWS)

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49 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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The Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show is returning this year, opening Friday, Sept. 17 and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 19. at the fairgrounds in Boonville.

The annual event started in 1924, in Mendocino County’s historic and picturesque Anderson Valley, and has remained an old-time harvest festival.

“The Fair is happening!,” the Anderson Valley Fair Boosters said in an email, adding that “Dr. Coren, Mendocino County Public Health Officer, has given us approval to have the fair, and you all know what to do to be safe: wear a mask, especially indoors, and maintain social distance.”

2017 Fair (photo by Chris Pugh/Ukiah Daily Journal)

A new category this year is “Freaky Fruits.” Everyone is invited to bring their entries to the Ag Building; judging is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The winner will be chosen by the biggest reaction from the crowd, and will receive a $100 prize. Pre-registration for the “Freaky Fruits” contest is not required.

“Everybody has a freaky fruit or vegetable in their garden,” the Boosters said. “You know, the tomato with a nose and ears, or that carrot that has legs…. Bring your wild garden thing to the rear of the Agriculture building Sunday before noon.”

The fair parade is also scheduled for noon on Sunday.

For more information about this weekend’s fair and other activities at the fairgrounds, visit

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Boonville Fairground 1959

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September 14, 2021 Gubernatorial Recall Election 

Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie announced that as with every other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 13,111 Vote By Mail ballots to process and count, and 451 Provisional / Conditional ballots to review, process and count. 

Of the outstanding ballots left to count in the Supervisorial Districts: the 1st District has 2,812; the 2nd District has 2,169; the 3rd District has 3,141; the 4th District has 2,000; and the 5th District has 3,440 ballots remaining to process and count. 

Per State law, we have 30 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. 

If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819. 

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Effective immediately, people on private water systems whose tap water comes from their own private intake into the lake, in the Oaks Arm and Lower Arm of Clear Lake should not drink the water. Very high levels of Cyanotoxin have been identified in these areas of the lake, and we are concerned there may be health impacts if private water systems are not effectively filtering out these toxins. More detailed information will be released tomorrow (Thursday, 9/16).


For full details, view this message on the web <>.

Sent by Lake County CA Sheriff's Department

1220 Martin St, Lakeport, CA 95453

The Lake County Sheriff's Office issued a new kind of Nixle alert (below) yesterday evening, regarding a possible life-threatening condition recently discovered in Clear Lake.

Water scientists at Lake County's Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians' environmental protection department have been monitoring Clear Lake's surface water populations of cyanobacteria for the last couple of years or more, with US EPA protocols and US EPA certified laboratory testing, which recently detected Microcystin levels of 160,377.50 µg/L. The previous update from the tribal monitoring group had already shocked the laboratory at 25,843.50 µg/L. The "safe" level for recreation is 0.8 µg/L.

For most of this year, residents whose domestic water systems draw raw water from Clear Lake (through "infusion wells" drilled into land immediately adjacent to the lake) or even direct intake pipes -- with limited or no treatment systems to remove life-threatening toxins -- have been offered free testing of their water resources by the Big Valley water scientists.

AVA readers who frequent Lake County for recreational purposes will appreciate the efforts of our Big Valley tribal offices, which are published in the Facebook page “Clear Lake Water Quality.”

That page also provides a URL for the tribal agency:

The Lake County Public Health Department can be reached at 707-263-1090.

Clear Lake Algae


Lake County officials are hustling to find alternate drinking water sources for an estimated 280 households whose regular supplies may be compromised by high concentrations of toxic blue-green algae in Clear Lake.

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JOHN MCCOWEN on Tuesday’s Board decision to rescind the new cannabis ordinance: 

Chapter 10A.17, the current (and still the only) cultivation ordinance was written entirely for the small legacy grower. It was limited to 10,000 square feet; only those who could show proof of prior local cultivation could apply; and to this day no one else is allowed to apply.

Chapter 22.18, which provided for limited expansion for those who had an appropriate site and were able to comply with more stringent environmental, neighborhood and community protections, would have done nothing to harm the interest of legacy growers. In fact, it would have helped them by also allowing them the opportunity for modest expansion and an alternative path to State Annual Licenses.

Ironically, legacy growers helped lead the charge to demonize cannabis cultivation and turn the general public against a functional ordinance. Yes, the BOS could and should have read the tea leaves in time to amend the ordinance to eliminate the 10% of parcel size provision prior to adoption but if they reneged on their June 22 pledge to do so that could have been the subject of a subsequent ballot measure, as well as a recall.

Now that the BOS has repealed 22.18, the likely result is that many current applicants will fail for economic reasons no matter if they are able to get a State License or not.

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Octopus Hill, Boonville, from above

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So, what’s the difference between the county cracking down on marijuana farmers illegally diverting water from our rivers and streams, and the county approving a scheme to illegally divert water from the Russian River to haul to the Mendocino Coast? In one case, the county is the enforcer; in the other, the county is the scofflaw. Can anybody say hypocrisy?

As recently reported in the UDJ, the county has approved a plan for the city of Ukiah to pump water from the Russian River 16 hours per day, one day per week, to ship to the coast “in direct defiance of the curtailment orders imposed by the California State Water Resources Control Board in early August.” Asked about the fines Ukiah would be subject to for violating the state orders, Sean White, director of water and sewer resources for the city, said he would just pass them along to the water haulers, and ultimately the buyers on the coast. Even though the city’s groundwater wells “are still stable” and the well draw downs are “within the range we see in a typical year,” says Mr. White, the city, with the county’s blessing, will illegally divert the water directly from the Russian River instead of those wells, despite the State Water Resources Control Board’s orders not to.

Everyone knows we’re in a drought, and most of us accept the need to conserve and prioritize rights to our limited water supplies, even though we may disagree on who should bear the brunt of water cutbacks. That’s the job of the SWRCB, to look at the broad picture and set rules for allocating our precious water resources in times of emergency, like now. The fish and remaining wildlife that are dependent upon minimum river flows to survive also need consideration; the diversion reductions ordered by the state seek to take into account not just the needs of humans, but also the health of the Russian River watershed itself. If the adversely affected parties can negotiate and work out compromises, or in the case of the city of Ukiah, ask for an exception to the no-diversion rule, that’s fine. But a local government offering its middle finger to the state, and saying in effect, “We don’t agree, and we don’t care, we’re going to take the water anyway despite what the law says, no matter how much the fines are” sends a very dangerous message indeed. Can anyone accept the legitimacy of local government enforcement action against illegal water diversions when that same local government basically pardons itself for illegally diverting water?

James Kerr

Redwood Valley

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Senator Mike McGuire is thrilled to announce that the State of California has appropriated $10 million dollars to complete the acquisition of the iconic Lone Pine Ranch, in the beautiful Eel River Canyon.

“The Eel River Canyon is like no other place in the west, and it will be the crown jewel of the Great Redwood Trail,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “I’m thrilled that we were able to secure these funds which will allow The Wildlands Conservancy to acquire and open the Lone Pine Ranch to the public. This amazing piece of Earth will feature a breathtaking twelve miles of Trail along the Eel River with a total of 18 miles of riverfront. We couldn’t be more thrilled!”

The ranch was owned for decades by Dean Witter, an investment banker and stockbroker originally based in San Francisco who purchased the land in the early 1940s and died in 1969. 

The Wildlands Conservancy has been working on this acquisition for several years. The Conservancy previously spent $3.9 million of its own funds to purchase a 3,000-acre portion of the Ranch straddling Humboldt and Trinity counties. That deal gave the nonprofit organization a two-year option to purchase the remaining 27,000 acres for $25 million. The $10 million from the State is the final piece of the puzzle to ensure a successful purchase of the property. Additional funds had been previously secured via private donors and grant funding.

“I am so impressed with The Wildlands Conservancy. Their vision for this spectacular landscape, ability to raise the funds to help purchase this property and their track record of working with the neighbors and the public is unmatched,” said McGuire. “We can’t wait to move the property’s master plan forward and eventually get folks onto the land and hiking the Trail. We’re grateful for the Conservancy’s partnership.”

The Wildlands Conservancy owns and operates California’s largest nonprofit nature preserve system. All of their properties are open to the public and are free of charge for hiking and camping.

“The Wildlands Conservancy applauds Senator McGuire’s effort to secure critical funds to protect 18 miles of the scenic Grand Canyon of the Eel River and catalyze progress on the Great Redwood Trail. The Wildlife Conservation Board’s support for acquisition of the Lone Pine Ranch is the key to protecting wildlife, vibrant forests, and rich wetlands, which significantly advances the State’s vision to protect 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. The Wildlands Conservancy is proud to add this nationally significant landscape into its Preserve system for permanent stewardship and development of free public access,” said David Myers, President of The Wildland Conservancy Board of Directors. 

Myers called acquisition of the Witter Ranch “a rare opportunity to preserve some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country.”

(Sen. McGuire presser)

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Ed note: Witter was a stocks and bonds tycoon whose primary residence was in Ross. He also had a private rail car attached to the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad for weekends in the Eel River Canyon. Had his own ranch siding. The northbound train would drop him off, the southbound train would pick him up.

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Less than a week ago I read about a giant fireball, visible up and down the west coast from the Bay Area north to Washington as it streaked across the sky. My photo heart ached to have missed that one; I was probably watching Ted Lasso instead… or sitting alone with my thoughts. A month ago, as Earth passed through the tail of a comet, my mother passed away and, well, things haven’t been the same since. I hadn’t really wanted to go out.

But the stories of the fireball knocked off some of the photographic apathy that has been clinging to my bones since then. I have a voice that nags at me, “You can’t bring anything back if you don’t go out,” and it had been growing louder. It’s just that the next time would be the first nighttime photo that I wouldn’t be sharing with my mom.

“Your mom would want you to go,” it added.

So I did. I grabbed my brother Seth and headed to Houda Beach off of Scenic Drive after sunset. Slowly sinking, the crescent moon followed Venus down toward the Pacific; it was a beautiful evening, clearer than predicted. The darkness deepened as night fell, and the heavens took shape. 

I’d had a specific idea in mind, but I couldn’t get the angle I wanted due to the surf, and we wandered aimlessly for a time as a result. I took a few photos, looking for some inspiration that matched my expectations. 

Suddenly in the middle of one of the long exposures a tremendously long meteor streaked across the sky. 

“Oh, my God!”

“Holy shit!”

“Did you get it?” My brother asked.

I was afraid not. “I think it was too far to the right.” We waited a few more seconds before the shutter clicked shut. I checked. To my chagrin, I had only caught about half of it; I’d managed to grab a hold of it only by the tail before it escaped off the edge of the frame. Adding to the mess, the headlights of a car on the road above blasted the view at exactly the wrong time, which wasn’t in the plan, though it did allow for a nice reflection — a lot of things that aren’t in one’s control can happen during a 30-second exposure. 

My Big One had gotten away. If only I had composed the photo differently. If only.

The one that got away. A large meteor streaks off the edge of the frame off the coast of Houda Beach. I had it by the tail…! The truth of the matter is that this is cropped in from the left edge; for some reason I had the great rock centered. If I had composed it the way I knew I should have at the time, the entire meteor would have been in. This is why my hair is grey. September 10, 2021, in Humboldt County.

Moving on, I photographed a little more. There’s plenty of time to talk between shots as the shutter gathers light, and I was about to say something to Seth during one of the exposures when I saw another huge meteor behind him.

“Holy fucking shit there’s another one behind you!” I yelled. Pardon me, but it was the heat of the moment. 

The meteor streaked for about twice as long as my outburst, and Seth whirled around in time to see it. Dang it all, though — and wouldn’t you know it? This one wasn’t in my camera’s field of view at all.

They were two of the largest meteors I’d ever seen, only a week after the major fireball, and my brother and I were there to enjoy them. Fittingly, when our mother died the month before, it was during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which results from Earth’s passage through a comet’s tail. 

I might have missed the shot, I know it isn’t necessary to capture every moment. One must appreciate what is given us.

We watched Jupiter, Saturn, and the Milky Way slide across the sky as we waiting for another meteor… But three major meteors in one night was not to be, not for us. September 10, 2021 at Houda Point Beach, Humboldt County, California.

(To read previous entries of “Night Light of the North Coast,” click on David’s name above the article. To keep abreast of his most current photography or purchase a print, visit and contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx . David teaches Art 35 Digital Photography at College of the Redwoods.)

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JOHN DARCY will be remembered in an exhibit of his art beginning Friday, September 24th at the Company Store, Fort Bragg.

L ‘Art Dans Ma Vie A Life in Pictures Art exhibition by John Darcy 

A posthumous art retrospective to honor the life’s work of our dear friend, including a silent action to supplement the cost of end of life services. Opening reception- Friday, September 24th, 5-8 Silent auction through Saturday 25th Art pickup Saturday 25th, 6-8 Company Store- 400 S Main St, Fort Bragg Please wear a mask for more info 

Naomi 707.813.4130

I ALWAYS ENJOYED seeing John on trips out to the Mendocino Coast. My most memorable visit with the artist was at his home in Albion. Greeted at the door by John and Penny, I could see sandwiches on a table inside, and had just taken a step inside when Penny screamed and John yelled, “Goddam! The birds are out!” as both of them ran past me and disappeared into the wilds of Salmon Creek. I sat down at the table and waited for them to return, with or without the birds. And waited. And went on waiting. I ate a sandwich on the presumption it was intended for me. And waited some more. I walked outside. Silence. And I waited. Some kind of equatorial winged creature flew past and lighted on John and Penny's porch. Then another appeared. The three of us waited. I introduced myself. “Hi, birds. Do you think John and Penny are coming back? They invited me for lunch.” The birds looked back at me but were non-responsive. I told them about a hornbill I 'd known in Borneo. “Wherever this Dyak went, so did the hornbill.” They didn't seem interested. “Well,” I said, “it was nice chatting with you but I've got to be moving along. My best to John and Penny.”

ON THE UKIAH ROAD I passed a kid driving a red high rise pickup across whose windshield was inscribed, “Strokin.” Watch it, kid. You could go blind.

OLD TIMERS will tell you that even in the driest years Indian Creek, Philo, flowed on. The year-round stream of all these years, eons probably, has gone dry. The fish stranded in remaining pools have been easy prey for the lush wildlife thriving in the upper reaches of the stream as it tumbles down out of the Peachland heights. An important feeder flow to the similarly dead Navarro, Indian Creek's unprecedented halt is more evidence that this region's water crisis is indeed a crisis.

I CALLED the County Museum Thursday afternoon not, repeat not, to complain about the forthcoming month of Bari Bombing events, events which of course exclude any and all mention of the perp, Madam Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney who, if you came in late, post-bombing also created a lush position for himself as Mendocino County's trash bureaucrat, sponsored by Westside Ukiah, especially then-supervisor Richard Shoemaker and supervisor-to-be, John McCowen. Where were we? O yes. My call to the County Museum, the reason for which was to ask if the Museum was aware that Boonville's beloved weekly was home to a large archive of material regarded as virtual kryptonite by the cult brains and scammers the Museum is sponsoring for the next six weeks. Ms. Mattson of the Museum was very gracious. “Yes, I've read a lot of your writing about that period, and I will certainly refer people to it.” Which I thought was kind of Ms. Mattson. Then, thinking about our chat, I silently hoped Ms. M. would not be subjected to the extreme nastiness of the Bari Cult toward anybody who they so much as suspect is open to the non-Cult perspectives.

IF YOU'RE WONDERING why the east side of 128, Boonville, is strewn with No Parking signs on Thursday morning for a Sunday event, you are unlikely to be reassured by the explanation that they're placed the length of the biz district for the Sunday Noon Fair Parade. 

The legally toothless signs read, “No Parking Sunday 6am-1pm.” Which visitors between now and Sunday will assume means NOW until THEN. And six in the ayem? Ricardo Suarez, Ricky Adams, Pilar Echeverria, and I are the only people up that early anywhere in the Anderson Valley!

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On Tuesday, Septmber 14, 2021 at approximately 5:23 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress at the S&B Market located in the 19000 block of South Highway 1 in Manchester.

On arrival, Deputies contacted the market owner(s) who were on scene and who advised a female suspect (later identified as Gloria Slatten, 60, of Redwood Valley) was still inside the market. 

Gloria Slatten

Deputies observed entry had been forced through a glass storefront door while the market was closed.

Deputies made entry inside the market and located Slatten inside. Deputies observed Slatten had gathered numerous items of store merchandise and had other store items in her possession.

Slatten was subsequently arrested without incident and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

During the investigation it was determined the victim (S&B Market) suffered an estimated $4,000 loss.

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AOC at the Met Gala

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• Much of this Mendocino/Humboldt area is going to get worse with the crash. Secure what you have and have a neighborhood watch. The desperate thieves will be arriving soon. Expect bad behavior from all sides as desperation sets in…many of the later arrivals have their equity completely tied up in mortgages they will not be able to keep up with. And their get-rich greenrusher dreams are broken…

• Only going to get worse with the crash of the cannabis market. Stay out of Covelo.

• It is called poverty. Poverty and crime go hand in hand.

• The level of ridiculous goes on and on and on never ending in Covelo. Why? Why? Why? County spent so much time n money in Mendocino redoing a cute little Sheriff’s Office. There needs to be a permanent option in Covelo. Hmmm… share the fire station whatever you guys can figure out start doing something a little more in funtion instead of TALK. Tribal Police get your asses out there to increase your numbers by tenfold. Take a lot of the money that you’re getting for these fundings and grants and start doing more stuff of educating the kids of how screwed up these situations are. The criminality of these situations going on and on and on and no care or proacttive action nothing. No cares or doing anything about these tragedies. Stay tuned next week for the next episode to see who the hell else falls. My goodness then all the overdoses too…CRIPE. WHIPPITS!!!

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I know there is county funding that pays to pick up these abandoned vehicles, rv's and boats but what if instead of them being abandoned on the roads people could call and schedule pick up or drop off for free at the junkyard. Seems like a waste of resources to have chp continually ticket as well as the fire danger as people often set them on fire. It seems the money the county had budgeted was over $650k for this project. What if these funds could be used towards people legally getting rid of vehicles instead of abandoning them? Maybe there's already a program in place? Seems like we could do better than people feeling the need to abandon them on our roads.

Ted Williams: A free hauling program would exhaust funds in no time. What are you willing to give up to pay for it? Road repairs? 

Abatement and environmental impact are a greater overall cost, but if we are to pay collectively, we need a funding source. Is there support to fund free waste removal?

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by Esther Mobley

This year's wine harvest is well underway throughout California, and vintners in some parts of the state say they're feeling the effects of climate change more acutely than ever. 

The drought has left grapevines parched. Fruit yields are dramatically low. Vines look visibly stressed. In some vineyards, all of the grapes seem to be ripening all at once, presenting winemakers with a logistical impossibility. And the threat of wildfire — which, by this time last year, had ruined grapes up and down the state with pernicious smoke — remains on everyone's mind.

"Climate change is such a reality," said Ana Diogo-Draper, winemaker at Napa's Artesa Winery. "The rest of the year it's talk, but this is the time of year when we really have to face this."

At the various Napa and Sonoma vineyards where Diogo-Draper gets her grapes, yields are down anywhere from 15% to 70%, she said. But what's even more abnormal is the condensed timeline of the harvest. "It's very concentrated in time," she said. "Everything is ready to pick all at the same time."

A shortage of labor in both the vineyard and the cellar is exacerbating the sped-up harvest. When all vineyards need to be picked at once, there aren't enough picking crews to do the work, and there aren't enough helpers at the winery to process the fruit once it's picked. Like last year, the pandemic has put a pause on a visa program that brings a crucial stream of foreign trainees to U.S. wineries: Diogo-Draper wanted to hire seven winery interns but was only able to find four. 

Other winemakers nearby are feeling the same pressures. At Old Hill Ranch, a vineyard in Glen Ellen, the different sections of vines typically ripen over the course of a month, allowing owner Will Bucklin to harvest each one at a manageable pace. This year, he will have harvested virtually the entire vineyard in an eight-day period.

That's unprecedented, said Bucklin, whose crop yields are less than half of what they should be in a normal year.

The harvest's shortened timeline and its low yields are connected. The less fruit there is on a vine, the more quickly the vine gets it ripe, since the plant doesn't have to distribute its energy among more berries. And those low yields, in turn, are largely due to the drought, which has depleted many plants' energy stores.

But the drought may not be the only cause. Last year's widespread wildfires may also have contributed to the decimated crop. "It's been thought that perhaps all that smoke (last year) would have interfered with the plant's ability to photosynthesize," said Bucklin. By blocking the vines' access to sunlight a year ago, the smoke could have inhibited the plant's carbohydrate accumulation, leaving it with less fruit this year. Similarly, the dry conditions of this year's growing season have likely already determined that 2022's harvest will be low-yielding as well.

In warmer areas, Diogo-Draper is worried that some grapes, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon, may be ripening too quickly. "In hotter areas, you're starting to see dimpling," she said — a telltale sign that the grapes are getting dehydrated, on their way to becoming raisins. An ideal situation would be a leisurely, moderate harvest season, allowing grapes to ripen slowly, but for some of Diogo-Draper's sites, the Cabernet's sugar levels are spiking quickly, before the flavors have had a chance to develop.

"Cab needs that hang time," she said. "I think there's going to be a lot of difficult decisions in the next couple weeks."

The news is not all bad. Despite the challenges, many winemakers report that their nascent wines taste promising. Those light yields are worrisome from a business point of view — the less wine you make, the less you can sell — but can actually be advantageous from a quality point of view, leading to bolder, more concentrated flavors. Bucklin has been seeing deep color and intense aroma in his wines so far.

Beyond Napa and Sonoma, the outlook is altogether different. Wineries in El Dorado County and parts of the Sierra foothills have seen blankets of smoke due to the Caldor Fire; though no wine or vineyard properties have reported fire damage, several had to evacuate, disrupting their harvest routine.

Meanwhile, some winemakers in the Central Coast say the season has been relatively smooth. In the wine regions around Monterey, harvest actually seems to be a bit later than usual, the opposite of what winemakers like Diogo-Draper are experiencing. Samuel Louis Smith, winemaker at Morgan Winery in Salinas, credits the summer's persistent marine layer, whose cooling effects appear to have slowed ripening by about 10 days at most of his vineyards.

"It's a later but condensed harvest," said Smith. His yields are down, but not as dramatically as some of his North Coast counterparts. And he said the wine quality is looking great, especially for Pinot Noir, which he's been able to harvest at especially high acidity levels.

Of course, it's all a cake walk compared with 2020, a year in which dozens of wineries were damaged by fire and entire regions' worth of grapes polluted by smoke. Throughout California, many wineries decided to make no wine at all from the 2020 vintage. It's a good sign that many wine regions have made it this far into harvest without major fires nearby, but no one is breathing a full sigh of relief just yet. There's still a lot of fire season left to go.

More than anything, the persistent trials of this year's harvest underscore the reality that "normal" growing seasons may be largely a thing of the past. From now on, it seems likely that every vintage in California will be a vintage profoundly affected by climate change.

"We know what's happening," said Bucklin. Going forward, "we'll have good years and we'll have more difficult years. But overall it's going to be more difficult to grow high-quality wine grapes if the climate keeps warming." 

(SF Chronicle)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 16, 2021

Alvarez, Andrade, Balmain

KELISHA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Vandalism, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

ALEXANDRA ANDRADE, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

GARY BALMAIN, Willits. Disobeying court order.

Franco, French, Gonzalez

TATIANA FRANCO-CORTEZ, Garberville/Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, vandalism, resisting.

JEFFREY FRENCH, Willits. Grand theft, false personation of another, dumping in commercial quantities, suspended license.

ANGELICA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Gorman, Marks, Martinez, Miller

DANIEL GORMAN, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Burglary, controlled substance, loaded handgun not registered owner, conspiracy.

JOHN MARKS JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery, county parole violation.

MYA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JAMES MILLER, Ukiah. County parole violation.

Pierce, Ramos, Rivera

KELSEY PIERCE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

LUIS RAMOS-MARES, Hayward/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, no license.

ANGELA RIVERA, Ukiah. Bad checks, ammo possession by prohibited person.

Rountree, Smith, Vickers, Williams

GLEN ROUNTREE, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

SEDRICK SMITH, Texas City, Texas/Ukiah. DUI.

MICHAEL VICKERS, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

DONOVAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

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This has been indeed a fearful day, and it is by God's kindness alone that I am here to write this. We woke up early in the morning I went out and read The Bible and a prayer. In a few minutes the enemy began to throw shells at us from a battery which they had planted near us, killing several of the 8th C.V. We were then moved to the right into a cornfield, but we had hardly got there when the order was countermanded, and we were marched to the left, about 1/4 of a mile, directly under a rapid fire of shells from the rebels, into the forest. The shells burst all around and in us. Our Chaplain had his coat pocket torn by a fragment of shell, and one of Co. I was wounded in the arm. After lying in the woods awhile we were formed and marched about 2 mile over hills and through valleys, fording a river about knee deep. From the ford, we were marched to a side hill near it. Here the Rebels again opened on us from another battery, wounding some of our men. We were after a while formed and marched over the hill and finally in a sort of valley, behind our battery - here we had to lie down under the bursting of the enemy's shells. One shell burst so near as to scatter dirt in my face as I laid upon the ground. After staying here a short time we were ordered over the hill and were formed in a cornfield upon the opposite side. While we were lying here we were suddenly ordered to come to “attention”, as we were obeying this order, a most terrific volley was fired into us - Spiens, Maxwell, Willy, Tallcut, Pease and many others of Co. A were here wounded. It is said that the rebels carried the American flag and called to us “don't fire on your own.” After staying here a little while and the storm of bullets keeping on... through the valley to the hill beyond when we were formed with the 11th C.V. to support a battery. We went up the hill to the fence in a storm of shell and shot. The battery soon was withdrawn and we with the 11th C.V. were marched off the field some distance beyond the hospital when we formed and rested for the night. Co. A mustered 6 men beside the Capt. but soon a few more came in. Went over to see Thayer who was shot through the shoulder. Came back and laid down to sleep. Thus ended our first day of battle and a fearful one it was. (14th Conn. Vol. fought from near the Mumma farmhouse, down to the west of the Roulette farm near Sunken Road.)

– Robert Kellogg, 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry

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On this site, in the summer of 1993, the Mendocino Unified School District (MUSD) became home to one of the first dedicated internet connections established in a school district in the united states. MUSD was selected to pioneer this historic, technological innovation because of its decades-long commitment to equipping its teachers and schools with the training and resources to create experiential, project-based learning opportunities for all students. The district’s partners in this groundbreaking endeavor were the Autodesk Foundation and the National Aeronautics And Space Administration’s K-12 National Research And Education Network (NREN) Initiative. 

With the internet connection in place, musd staff and their partners developed nationally acclaimed, internet-infused curriculum, participated in dozens of projects and partnerships related to the use of the internet in the classroom, created life-long learning opportunities for their students and the broader community, and inspired thousands of learners of all ages worldwide. 

In 1994, educators in the district created the Mendocino Community Network – which established the school district as the first internet provider for the coastal community’s homes and businesses. 

An inscribed plaque at Mendocino High School is also a typical example of local historical re-write. Using free student labor, and enjoying free rent on the school campus, the school's alleged techno-learning center was quickly privatized for the benefit of private individuals who sold internet services which less blessed local internet start-ups did not enjoy.

Funding for the original 56 kbps dedicated tcp/ip frame-relay circuit was provided by the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 and was administered by nasa’s nren educational and technical teams at the ames research center at moffett field. 

This plaque celebrates the tireless and dedicated efforts of the educators and students who participated in this unique endeavor, their partners at the autodesk foundation and nasa, and the broader community that so enthusiastically supported this effort. May their work inspire the audacious dreams of future educators and students of The Mendocino Unified School District.

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Georgia Cotton Mill Workers, 1909

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THINK NERO FIDDLED while Rome burned? Think Catherine the Great was Russian? Think King Arthur lived in a castle? (Think there even was a King Arthur?) Think Cleopatra was beautiful? Americans think these things are true, but they aren’t.

Take almost any famous event of world history, from the Trojan War to World War II. The version we learned in school or at the movies was often cockeyed or bogus.

The plain fact is we have been flimflammed: We have been conned into believing that the pagan barbarians who overran the Roman Empire held civilization in contempt. We have swallowed the old line that English liberty can be traced to the signing of the Magna Carta. And we have been duped into believing that the English endured the Blitz with a stiff upper lip.

But these are the facts: Most barbarian tribes converted to Christianity, intermarried with the Roman elite, and joined the imperial army to defend the empire from its enemies. The Magna Carta gave new rights only to England’s powerful barons. And during the Blitz the English complained and were bitter; and many turned to crime.

Much of our history is topsy-turvy. Captain Bligh, a genuine hero, is made out to be a sadistic menace. Edward VIII, an open Nazi sympathizer, is remembered as the noble king who gave up his crown for the love of a woman. Hirohito, an aggressive ally of the Japanse militarists, is thought of as the shy marine biologist in glasses who hated war.

It would be going too far to say that our heads are completely filled with lies. It is simply that in many cases history is written by the victors and is filtered through the prism of their prejudices.

— Richard Shenkman

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by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools

Recently, the Mendocino Voice published a summary of the 2020 Mendocino County Grand Jury report focused on distance learning. Because of the pandemic, changes in education have come at lightning speed, so many of the Grand Jury’s recommendations have either been addressed or efforts are underway to do so. In some cases, things have changed so much that the recommendations don’t make sense anymore. For example, distance learning requirements from last year are no longer in place. Instead, many of the requirements have been folded into independent study.

Legally, the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) must address each finding with the Grand Jury before we can publicly share this information. We’re in the process of doing so. In the meantime, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain who makes which decisions regarding education for local students.

In California, decisions about public education are made at a hyper-local level. According to the California School Boards Association, school boards for each district have five primary responsibilities: setting direction, establishing effective and efficient structure, providing support, ensuring accountability, and providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district and public schools. 

In practice, this translates into decisions about curriculum, when the school day begins and ends, how many and what types of classes are offered, and how money is spent. As long as policies comply with state law, district school boards have a lot of flexibility. By maintaining control at a local level, the idea is that a community’s values and priorities will be reflected in the public education provided there

County offices of education (COEs), on the other hand, serve as a local representative of the California Department of Education. COEs provide fiscal oversight and educational support to districts, and through budget allocation, can have some influence on broad educational priorities. COEs are also responsible for instructional programs that serve students with highly specialized needs, including severely disabled students, incarcerated and expelled youth, and students who are also parents. In small, rural counties like ours, COEs can provide additional operational support like information technology services and telecommunication infrastructure. Finally, we provide advocacy at the state level, so the needs of rural students and educators are represented thoroughly and accurately.

The Grand Jury reported that distance learning adversely affected public education in Mendocino County. They’re not wrong, but I don’t think anyone expected schools to be able to shift to highly effective remote learning with no warning, no training, and no infrastructure. Even so, we did see some heroic efforts by teachers; we also saw several situations where students thrived. As the pandemic wore on, educators gained the knowledge, experience, and tools they needed to teach better remotely. 

The upside of being forced into video conferencing is that districts can put those tools to good use long after the pandemic subsides. Our county has a big geographic footprint, and some districts have better access to resources than others. Improved technology infrastructure may help reduce that gap.

Overall, the challenges related to distance learning are not over and won’t be until the pandemic subsides. Unfortunately, well-meaning California legislators who wanted to make sure students returned to in-person instruction changed the law, adding numerous requirements for independent study programs. Now, districts must either try to hire more teachers when the state is in the midst of a severe teacher shortage, or burden classroom teachers with also teaching students remotely. 

Each family must determine what is best for their students and continue to advocate for their students’ needs. As they advocate, I hope they can remember that schools are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. We all need to be patient and remember that eventually this pandemic will end.

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If I got the vaccine in March, why do I need protection from the unvaccinated? If I believe in natural immunity, am I anti-science? If I’ve been vaccinated, why will Transportation Security Administration fines be doubled for those unmasked airplane flyers?

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden threatens federal employees with forced vaccinations but exempts postal workers from receiving COVID-19 shots. Where’s the science in that? Where has our unity president gone, after he targeted 80 million Americans for forced compliance? C’mon, man!

Rob Koslowsky


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Labor Day Parade, Fort Bragg, 1965

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About “short staffing” as the perennial handicap that both Lake and Mendocino Counties proudly bear, the upper echelons have benefited from the recent years’ compensation that was claimed to be necessary, while keeping the front line workers’ pay at the minimum and therefore justifying the agrandizement of the chiefs. The 80’s era cutthroat business models perpetuating management by fear and intimidation seem to have become embedded in our two counties’ attitudes toward public services — and their deeply resented “White Man’s Burden” of public health and safety, as we are told repeatedly (in Lake County, anyway) that the emergency management agencies will provide only a limited level of public information and it is up to each of us to have the capacities to scramble for survival because they will all be too busy responding to the core crisis.

We are always grateful, and humbled, by the extraordinary efforts of our fire and medical care first responders, and equally offended by the arrogance and tone-deafness of our law enforcement leadership, and those laudable but mistaken fans whose comprehension of life without technology renders them insensitive and uncaring at best toward the lame and the halt. Meanwhile, the administrations of both counties have constructed socially impregnable kingdoms of self-serving programs with barely any acknowledgement of the disadvantaged serfs whose pennies and nickels add up to the recently announced bounty of Lake County’s bloated annual budget — repleat with millions of dollars coming from the so-called commercial cannabis industry.

Safe evacuation routes, protected water supplies, sanitation, health care, emergency preparedness, environmental brownfields all fall beyond the myopic attention of elected officials, who seem to think they’re doing us a huge favor by adding 7 whole new jobs in the Sheriff’s Office — while our Office of Emergency Services is down to one soon-to-retire functionary, and the Sheriff notified everyone that his budget for Nixle alerts is close to exceeding the available funding, so even further limitations to the provision of public information will be necessary.

(Betsy Cawn)

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by Matt Taibbi

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on a remarkably one-sided On the Media NPR segment about the evils of so-called “free speech absolutism.” Filled with advocates for speech restrictions, and lacking any voices defending traditional speech rights, the program’s goals seemed to range from reminding listeners that John Stuart Mill is not only old and dead but wrong, to redefining “harm” as the central issue in speech debates.

By way of response, the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, convened a panel for its “So To Speak” podcast that looked at On The Media’s arguments from the perspective of traditional speech advocacy.

It was a terrific group that included Nadine Strossen, who for 17 years was the president of the ACLU, Carleton College History professor and host of the “Banished” podcast, Amna Khalid, and FIRE’s own Nico Perrino, who produced and co-directed the excellent documentary Mighty Ira, which I reviewed earlier this year.

Thanks to Nadine and Amna for a great discussion, and thanks especially to Nico for putting the segment together. 


  1. George Hollister September 17, 2021

    “OLD TIMERS will tell you that even in the driest years Indian Creek, Philo, flowed on.”

    Old timers will also remember when there was much less vegetation growing along Indian Creek. What none of us take into account is the amount of water this recent stream side vegetation consumes through transpiration.

  2. Katy Tahja September 17, 2021

    The brass plaque described in the story about Mendocino schools connecting to the internet was paid for with private donations. As the Middle School librarian at that time connecting to the internet was an exciting learning experience.

  3. Rye N Flint September 17, 2021

    RE: Now that the BOS has repealed 22.18, the likely result is that many current applicants will fail for economic reasons no matter if they are able to get a State License or not

    Always the positive shining hope for our locals, John?

    I will say this about legacy policies.

    The AG exempt permit was modified as an attempt to help small legacy farmers, and unfortunately it has been totally abused by non-permit holding cannabis farmers that have moved to outlaw Mendo land. The AG exempt permit needs to be modified back to the original code that excludes greenhouses from AG exempt status. I’m sure small legacy farmers were glad to have some help, but it seems like the code has been misused and driven the cannabis market into an overglut. Most like to refer to themselves as “Grey market” farmers, but they are basically gold miners, here for the getting, while the gettings good. Well, the getting is only good for the ones willing to break the rules. The BOS needs to STOP incentivizing the hoophouse tumor on this land that is creating an unenforceable mess.

    Now the prices are the lowest on record, and many have given up and are going to move out of the county. Which could be good for some small farmers with low overhead. Lets see who will survive and who will thrive. I’d put my money on the clone nurseries, if I could.

    • Kirk Vodopals September 17, 2021

      The “hoophouse tumor” in Mendoland and beyond is most likely being enabled by design. The design being that the best, and most obvious solution to the cannabiz problem is to turn a winking blind eye to the problem and allow as many knuckle-headed ding dongs to produce as much as they can sardine into every single bulldozed ridgetop and steep slope as possible. Only a select few get their crop chopped down, whether that’s cuz they pissed off certain authorities or they didn’t grease the wheels of bureaucracy enough, but most just keep pumping out the product. Mother Nature loses, crime goes up, but, eventually the price drops consistently to a level where only the mega farms on near major highways can operate with marginally profitable returns. We’ll see what the price is next year. Could be a big-baller year again somehow. Who knows?!

  4. Kirk Vodopals September 17, 2021

    RE: Mr Kerr in Redwood Valley. You raise an interesting point, but illegal water diversions for devil weed versus domestic use to wash your backside tends to be viewed differently by a functionally literate society. But don’t fear, I’m sure a lot of that water coming over that hill will makes its way into some poor craft cannabis farmers water tanks and a few air bee and bees. Yay Mendoland!

  5. Craig Stehr September 17, 2021

    “Meditation is not
    A way to enlightenment,
    Nor is it a method
    Of achieving anything at all.
    It is peace and blessedness itself.
    It is the actualization of wisdom,
    The ultimate truth
    Of the oneness of all things.”
    ~ Dogen (1200-1253)

  6. Marmon September 17, 2021


    Tens of thousands of Haitians crossing the border each day in Del Rio, Texas this week. Border Patrol is completely overwhelmed. No Covid testing and no mandatory vaccinations.

    Days ago, Joe Biden made a political decision to no longer allow deportation flights back to Haiti.

    This is the direct result of that decision.

    Way to go Joe.


    • Marmon September 17, 2021

      Even CNN is freaking out.


    • Rye N Flint September 17, 2021

      Haiti is so screwed right now. I don’t blame them for leaving.

    • Professor Cosmos September 17, 2021

      It’s not going to be alot of fun for you and the hordes of fellow Americans trying to migrate south of the border when conditions change.

      • Marmon September 17, 2021

        Excuse me, but the AVA has done its best to avoid this conversation all day. You should hear what I really think.


        • Harvey Reading September 18, 2021

          You think? Ha!

    • sam kircher September 17, 2021

      Wow James! You’ve pinpointed something potentially worse than the Mexicans. If you really want to stoke more fear and hatred in our hearts, next time you should warn of the Ay-rabs and Jaineez bringing their cooties, and much worse, through the same border. Not enough of us know enough about Haitians for it to really set in…

  7. Chuck Wilcher September 17, 2021

    Ok, since no one else has asked, who is the girl circled in the Fort Bragg Labor Day parade photo above?

    • Harvey Reading September 17, 2021

      Deidre Worthington?

  8. Marmon September 17, 2021

    ‘Cops’ Making a Comeback to Airwaves, Fox Nation President Tells Haters to Watch Something Else

    After becoming a casualty of the anti-police hysteria that swept the nation in 2020, the television show “Cops” is set to make a comeback for streaming audiences — but will it survive a woke tweak?


    • Rye N Flint September 17, 2021

      Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatcha gunna do?

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