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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Sept. 27, 2021

Cold Front | Noyo 1936 | Ordinance Rescinded | Todd's Point | Supes Agenda | Pear Grown | Better Homes | Telephone | Cult Antidote | Revenue Charts | Hunter/Gatherer | Woeful Healthcare | Nose Whistle | Coren Testimonial | Sudden Experts | All Hands | Masking Marmon | Radio Hustle | Boot Camp | Correct Date | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Remembering Cahill | Covid Ward | Japanese Healthcare | Without Pillsbury | Foot Soak | Marco Radio | Pumpkin Wagon | Responsible Marriage | Infinite Power | Always Something | Nixon Ukiah | Personal Liability | Glastonbury 1971 | Lefty Trick

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A COLD FRONT moves onshore today. This front will bring rain to the area, with the heaviest totals in Del Norte and northern Humboldt counties. Below normal temperatures are expected today and Tuesday, with a return to near normal temperatures later in the week. Frost is possible in some interior valleys Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. (NWS)

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SUPES RESCIND EXPANSION ORDINANCE: Say Voters Want ‘Small Is Beautiful’ Cannabis Model

by Jim Shields

At their Sept. 14 meeting, Supervisors Dan Gjerde, Ted Williams, Glenn McGourty, and Mo Mulheren, all of whom have steadfastly supported the Weed Expansion Ordinance, joined with Third District Supe John Haschack and rescinded it, thus negating the need for a referendum election.

They did the right thing, all of them were convinced the voters would have rejected their new Ordinance anyway.

Both Gjerde and Haschak essentially said the same thing on this turn of events: The voters are clearly saying they want “Small Is Beautiful” when it comes to a cultivation model in this County.

The “Small Is Beautiful” Referendum, of course, is the measure I supported but it did not qualify for the ballot most likely because of all the planned confusion caused by the sponsors of the other referendum that sought to strike down the entire Ordinance instead of just the 10% expansion provision as ours did. As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Former Supe John McCowen had this to say about the Board’s 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.”

There were some interesting responses to McCowen posted on the AVA website:

Rye N Flint: “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 Mendoland. 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 getting’s 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. Let’s see who will survive and who will thrive. I’d put my money on the clone nurseries, if I could.”

Kirk Vodopals: “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 or 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?!”

I received this email from a friend who wrote:

“Hi Jim, Wow… Just ran into a friend, who shared with me a recent conversation (or visit) he had with a grower who has since moved his business to Salinas. Flat land. Easy access to highways. County easy to do business with. Near full automation. Seed to flower to package, the trim and smalls are extracted onsite. Two guys can run it. Fully burdened “cost” (labor, land, permits), less than $20/pound. Add County/State tax of roughly $150/pound. Plenty of margin in the tonnage this kind of setup can produce. Ya think the growers in our community are going into some rough waters? Granted, there’s likely a small niche for craft, but that’s likely no more than a couple dozen old folk.”

Essentially Weed Regulation is a bigger mess right now than ever. But this County started with a mess nearly five years ago by employing a process that guaranteed each succeeding proposed “improvement” only served to make the ever-changing Ordinance even more unworkable.

The fatal flaw from the very beginning was those responsible for crafting the ordinance didn’t know, understand or refused to acknowledge what a regulatory framework is. I believe that the current Board of Supervisors, in contrast to their predecessors, have a basic comprehension of regulatory frameworks but lack the political will to take the steps needed to create a workable Cannabis Ordinance.

I have worked under regulatory schemes my entire professional life. First in the airline industry for several decades, and now for many years in the public water utility sector.

All regulatory frameworks share two, and only two foundational components:

1. A well defined, cohesive, integrated body of rules and regulations; and

2. The means by which to enforce the rules and regulations.

This County’s Weed Ordinance(s) has always been woefully deficient in both regards. Its rules and regs are a disconnected patchwork, while enforcement has been non-existent for all intents and purposes. As Supervisor Williams, to his credit, admitted recently that “we were looking the other way” when it came to enforcement.

Without enforcement you have a regulatory framework in name only, and human nature being what it is, most people (90% of growers in this County) will not comply with your rules.

And now we’re all living with all the consequences, intended or not: obscene over-production of weed, destruction of watersheds and water sources, hoop-blighted landscapes, artificial light making night bright as day, rumbling generators 24-7, real estate deals stretching the boundaries of legality, and the list goes on.

I agree with Ted Williams’ assessment that “Prop 64 is unworkable for Mendocino County … no amount of unicorns and butterflies and roundtable committee meetings will change this reality.”

So what’s the answer to ending this chaos?

I’ll pick up that thread next week.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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by Mark Scaramella

DR. JENINE MILLER TO GET SWEETHEART CONTRACT on Consent Calendar. Consent Calendar Item 4c: “Approval of Employment Agreement Between the County of Mendocino and Jenine Miller in the Approximate Amount of $176,130.00/Annually to Serve as the Director of Behavioral Health for a Three (3) Year Period Commencing October 3, 2021 and through October 2, 2024 (Sponsor: Supervisor Gjerde)” Dr. Miller will also get the full panoply of benefits provided in the County's very generous “Department Head Memorandum of Understanding.”

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BIG INCREASE FOR ASSISTANT CEO DARCIE ANTLE TOO. Consent Calendar Item 4n: “Adoption of Resolution Revising the Salary Range of Assistant Chief Executive Officer, from $134,472.00 - $163,425.00 to $147,160.00 - $178,859.20 and Authorizing Salary Adjustment of Incumbent from Step 5 of the Current Range to Step 5 of the New Range.”

PS. Do you know what Ms. Antle did prior to being hired by CEO Angelo as a Deputy CEO? From her linkedin page:

“Experienced Restaurant Owner with a demonstrated history of working in the wine and spirits industry. Skilled in Wineries, Food & Beverage, Retail, Customer Satisfaction, and Hospitality Industry. Strong operations professional with a Master of Science (MS) focused in Health Services Administration from St. Mary's College of California.”

Ms. Antle had also worked quite a while as an office manager for Adventist Health. But we'd bet it was her experience as owner of Ukiah's Enoteca wine bar on Church Street in Ukiah that got her the nod over other candidates for the Deputy CEO job. Enoteca's on-line description says they're an “Intimate gathering venue where wine meets the mind! Featuring local boutique wines and unique selections from Italy, France and Portugal. Cin Cin!!” They also offer “Tasty cheese with locally made breads and treats!” (“Enoteca” is Italian for wine shop.) Ms. Antle's wine shop is listed at the top of one website's list of “Ten Nightlife Spots in Mendocino County that you shouldn't miss.”

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IT'S OFFICIAL: Animal Control is no longer under the Sheriff's purview and is now part of Animal Care Services under Health & Human Services. According to Consent Calendar Item 4m on Tuesday's agenda, Two Animal Control Officer positions are being moved to HHSA and both positions will stay in the Services Employees International Union (not the Law Enforcement Officers bargaining unit). Effective Date: October 3, 2021.

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ALMOST EVERY BOARD MEETING, Camille Schraeder's ever-expanding Redwood Community Services Social Services monopoly gets another contract for some kind of helping services. It's impossible to keep up with them all. For example, Tuesday's consent calendar will hand over about $336k to RCS for one year's worth of “Family Urgent Response System Mobile Response Services to Current and Former Foster Youth Through Age 21 for Social Services, Family and Children's Services, Effective October 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.”

WE'RE ALL FOR Mobile Response Services, but this contract will make it nearly impossible for the County to staff the adult Mobile Crisis Unit. Why can't they be combined? And how is Schraeder able to provide a 24/7, 365 days a year Crisis Van for kids when Mendo can barely manage one for adults one shift a week? If they were combined the staff would not only be more efficient, but would maintain client continuity since there's plenty of overlap in Mendo’s client base families. 

The upshot is Mendo will have round the clock crisis response for under 21 crises, but only limited crisis response for adults. Having starved the adult crisis van for a year or two, it won't be long before the Schraeder Combine appears on a future consent calendar with a much more expensive proposal to expand the under-21 van to taking over the adults too. Ms. Schraeder is also moving to expand her monopoly on the Coast with the newly proposed Crisis Respite services for Fort Bragg.

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Other than the weather, the homeless and the Giants, the most popular topic in Ukiah is our lack of affordable housing.

But unlike the weather, the Giants and our ever-swelling homeless population, at least someone is doing something about housing. Drive north, look to the west where Alex Tsarnas’s wrecking yard once stood, and marvel at the construction going on. It’s major.

This is a good step, but it wouldn’t take much effort to make it great. Ukiah’s best neighborhoods, those with gracious homes people admire and line up to buy, sit on the town’s west side. There are minimal cookie-cutter blocks clogged with houses made of ticky tack on the west side. In fact it’s hard to find two houses that look alike.

The west side generally came about piecemeal, house by home, many built by small teams of carpenters and plumbers without benefit of power tools (think about electricity in 1895, for example). They are quirky, charming and most of all, solid and well-built. They have character.

Ukiah has other neighborhoods filled with tract housing and, while always serviceable and often admirable, do not add substantially to its reputation. They look alike, were built from the same specs by the same companies using similar blueprints.

Few have the unique charms of the beauties tucked up Clay Street, Hortense Avenue, Oak Park or West Perkins. When Ukiah wants to impress out-of-towners west side houses are the ones pictured in brochures, and in terms of generating revenue (in multiple ways) it’s the most valuable real estate inside city limits.

Here’s a question:

Why not copy the west side when mapping out the future of local housing? Why not work as partners with construction companies to make a better, prettier Ukiah? We should take an enlightened view of tomorrow via thoughtful analyses of yesterday.

Let’s expand our base of high quality, sought-after homes that will appeal to buyers today and a half-century from today by offering incentives to builders:

1) Cut restrictions and red tape; approve permits quickly at minimal cost.

2) Waive sewer connection fees, offer other discounts where possible.

3) Appoint a committee of Judy Pruden-types to suggest architectural styles, flourishes and designs to synchronize new houses with older ones.

It doesn’t mean we launch a construction boom of expensive houses for wealthy people that instantly prices out locals. Streets and blocks should intersperse numerous nice, modestly priced, cozy one- and two-bedroom homes among larger ones.

Some houses might benefit from desirable amenities like second story balconies, gingerbread or an occasional turret with spiral staircase. All the houses in this hypothetical new development should include high quality doors and windows, hardwood floors where appropriate, high ceilings and plenty of bookcases and breakfast nooks.

Build various size houses, small and big, that are faithful descendants of Ukiah’s early Victorians, Tudors and Craftsman styles. Add solid red brick houses and sprinkle them among Art Deco styles on display Hollywood Square.

The kicker: The city of Ukiah and county of Mendocino should pay for these enhancements and improvements. They should demand upscale designs, furnishings and old fashioned quality, and be willing to pay the difference to make sure those improvements are included in the new development. Build unique, old fashioned new houses with designs suggesting great American homes from 75 or 100 years ago.

The immediate payoff is a better-looking Ukiah, a town we can be proud to call home. Long-term, increased revenue via property taxes (and other revenue routinely generated by high income residents). Downside? A few dollars lost in 2022, but at interest rates we’ll laugh at in subsequent years.

I don’t know how much extra a two-story house with a turret, a winding staircase and curved, stained glass windows might cost, and I don’t know how much extra home buyers will pay for such whimsical, charming design and solid, old-style construction.

But pay they will, and that means increased revenues today and every time the house is sold. It’s hard to think of a safer investment than higher taxes on pricey homes in a great new neighborhood in California.

Let’s include bigger parcels, bigger lots, and hire professional landscapers to snazz the entire project up. Donate land for parks, gazebos, community areas with BBQs, a baseball diamond, benches, pickleball courts and playgrounds.

It would cost a modest amount, percentage wise, to turn what would otherwise be another humdrum series of houses that are efficient, marketable and boring into a highly desirable new part of town. Think of the write-ups in Sunset Magazine and a dozen others:

“UKIAH: The City That Knows How.” Or has that phrase been used?

It’s a gamble with a relatively small downside, but a huge upside. Could we make a similar bet on the future of the Giants or the weather?

(Tom Hine, the Daily Journal’s new east coast correspondent, is ambivalent about continuing his “Assignment: Ukiah” column into the future. TWK, who contributes less to the weekly writing chores than you might think, is unaware of even having relocated.)

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Irv Sutley writes:

As of Sunday morning (09-26-2021), there have been 150 views on the AVA you tube channel. A view is apparently recorded only when watched from beginning to end.

The last portion, the 2002 interview with Steve Talbot IMO is devastating to Cherney & Company's money grubbing, mythological revision of the truth. See the AVA for Bruce McEwen & Marilyn Davon's coverage of the Cherney SCAMARAMA at the museum in Willits this past week.

The link for the AVA's copy of the 1991 “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” is: “Who Bombed Judy Bari” (1991 documentary) followed by 2002 interview with filmmaker Steve Talbot 

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1. “More Cannabis Crap!! Wasted money!! Mendocino County’s problems are so far worse than freaking Cannabis!! Do they think they’re throwing this at us to try to get our minds off this county’s “Real” problems!!! STOP IT!!

2. I agree, that’s all I hear. Roads have gone to the dogs and some [pot]holes are a menace. Homelessness, bad drugs, shootings, water problems, businesses shutting down. Rudeness too! What has happened to the communities! Forgot stealing and break-ins too!

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I wrote yesterday about having been tested for hearing aids SEVEN MONTHS AGO, & NOW, when the aids have finally arrived, NOW they check my records & say I don't have acceptable insurance, so I won't get them. I want you all to KNOW that over a year ago, I phoned Medicare & TOLD them I need new hearing aids & want to be certain I'm covered for that. SO ... they upped my monthly rate - & for over a year I've been paying $295 EACH MONTH out of my social security income of $1684 a month. Only to be told YESTERDAY that after this long wait, I don't have “the right insurance” to cover these hearing aids & I need to go to a different doctor!! DON'T EVER go to MENDOCINO-LAKE AUDIOLOGY, cause they will screw you over & drop you in a deep, dark HOLE. I feel like at 87, I should just stop breathing. I'm sick of not hearing my friends when they talk & I'm sick of being TAKEN by the people who run everything.

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A READER WRITES: An observation. Some of us don't see Andy Coren as a leading anything. But he was my mother's doctor after we moved her to Ukiah when she began to slip. My wife and I found the good doctor competent, caring and practical. My mother was adamant do not resuscitate. She was struck with a stroke one day. Coren came to the nursing hospital, examined, and took me aside and calmly explained the likely scenario. If I abided by her wishes, and let nature take its course she would likely die within 24 hours. She did. It was not an easy decision. But it was the right one, and I appreciated Coren's assessment, and his demeanor. He displayed good judgment. That was the end of my involvement with Coren. My wife continued on for several more years as a patient. She is the strong, sturdy type so there were no issues of note. 

Criticism goes with his public position but the anti-vaxers and assorted whack jobs are way off base in my opinion. He is doing his job as I see it.

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Thank you Dr. Coren for meeting with folks in Ukiah, particularly small business owners who have been really suffering during the Covid 19 pandemic. I hope that they all felt that their concerns were heard.

And, here's another business that's been suffering — our local hospitals are overwhelmed with very sick (usually unvaccinated) Covid patients, so sad since it's mostly preventable. Our hospital staff, nurses and doctors are also suffering as they work hard caring for very sick people with an illness that often could have been prevented by a simple vaccination.

In my family we have also experienced suffering with this pandemic. I was unable to visit my grandchildren for over a year, (pre vaccination). I was prohibited from visiting with my 95 year old mother in Memory Care until the last few weeks of her life, (compassionate exemption). My normally healthy 40 year old son was quite ill for 3 weeks with Covid, pre vax and thankfully is now back to climbing the fourteeners (high mountains) but with some lingering effects still to be resolved. I am wishing for everyone to help end this terrible pandemic.

A thought for the small business owners —- might it be possible that if proof of vaccination is required that more people would be comfortable dining indoors and working out indoors at the gym and your business would actually increase? I would be happy to show my vaccine card as proof that I care enough to protect staff and other customers. And I would probably start dining in and working out indoors.

Here's a question for those of you who have yet to be vaccinated — how do you see this pandemic coming to an end without “all hands on deck”?

It's fine if you don't want to be vaccinated, that's your choice as long as you don't become ill and infect others or get admitted to the hospital. Then your choice affects our entire community. Please, don't just think of yourself, think of the health your family, friends and neighbors.

Judy Luria


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To the Editor:

In September of 1984, con artist and Republican nut job Sean Donovan called a public meeting to see if there would be interest in a community radio station in Anderson Valley. Those attending agreed to work together to establish a station with enough power to serve all of Mendocino County.

Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) was incorporated in January 1985.

Sean Donovan, Then & Now

KZYX began broadcasting on October 15,1989.

Immediately, Sean Donovan took a $35,000 “incorporation fee”, nearly bankrupting the fledging station, and fled California. Donovan resurfaced in Alaska where he was soon fired by an NPR station there.

It immediately became clear that the county's mountainous terrain blocked the station's signal to many areas. A translator was placed near Fort Bragg and later another went up on the Butler Ranch south of Ukiah.

Inland reception was still poor, however.

In late 1994, MCPB received another Commerce Department grant, this time to build a translator on Laughlin Peak near Willits. The Laughlin Peak signal, KZYZ, went on the air in October 1995, only partially solving the inland reception problems.

Plans were also considered to enhance MCPB's signal to the south coast of the county, thus finally fulfilling the mission to serve all of Mendocino County. But it never really happened.

So here's my question: Why did it take all these many years, and shitty reception, and fuzz outs, and dead air, for MCPB to finally move from Philo, population 349, and miles from nowhere, to Ukiah, our largest city and county seat.


Why was MCPB the private fiefdom of a few local insiders for all these years?

Why were these few insiders allowed to nominate and elect slate after slate of “marshmallows” — the descriptive that, in the words of a October 9, 2019 editorial in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, “…always comes to mind when we think of the station's [ineffective] board of directors.”

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Directors 2013-2016, Board Treasurer 2014

Host and Producer “The Truth About Money” 2008-2015

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CORRECTION: While local historian Katy Tahja was very pleased with a review of her book recently by Brad Wiley she wanted to correct a mistake and point out that “An Eclectic History of Mendocino County” was published in 2019, not 2002. The history book covers the years 1852 to 2002 in its contents.

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THE PARTIAL BACK STORY: Devin Lamar Johnson, 20, is the kid arrested as the one and only suspect in the terrible Calpella arson called the Hopkins Fire. He's caught on video emerging from behind a building just as a fire looms behind him. Another camera captures a rather poignant shot of him gazing out towards the fire as it exploded up the hill and on into dry Lake Mendocino where it ignited brush that would normally be under water, taking out nearly forty homes as it went. 

The boy was fresh out of the County Jail for burglaries (plural). In jail. Johnson was assaultive. Staff thought he was probably 5150 or, at a minimum, not mentally all there. He grew up in the area and was raised by a grandmother, not an unusual circumstance ever since the late 1960s as parents defaulted and continue to default and grandparents find themselves raising children again. 

Devin Johnson

At an early age Johnson got into heavy marijuana use and seems to have developed the schizophrenia that destroys so many young people who overindulge in their formative years.

LOCALS certainly appreciate the more frequent appearances of the CHP in The Valley. Thank Sheriff Kendall next time you see him. It was pressure from Kendall that got the CHP to come over here more often, although the guy I saw getting a ticket for sliding through the stop sign at 253 and 128 probably isn't particularly appreciative.

THE RECENT CHRON story on Usal could have been written by any shocked person who's been there over the past quarter century. Or, as a reader puts it, “I'm glad you reposted the Usal story. It's a bummer that people are so disrespectful of such a beautiful, historic spot. The timing of the decline is interesting. The Army Corp of Engineers seemed to let Lake Mendocino facilities really slide as well after the 2008 recession. Campgrounds shut down, day use areas were undermanaged, garbage accumulated, storm damage never got fixed, etc.” I'd like to see the state erect a barrier out on Highway One that kept vehicles out of Usal. Campers could hike in, which right there would keep out the wahoos. And what's with the American flags flying on so many of the vandal's highrise tractormobiles? It's patriotic to destroy one of the most beautiful areas in the country?

THE GOOD NEWS from AV Unified's delighted superintendent: “We also received the good news today that all of our pooled Covid testing samples collected Wednesday for more than 225 kids and staff came back negative.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 26, 2021

Hyre, Ibarra, Knight

FREDERIK HYRE JR., Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance.

FRANK IBARRA-FONSECA, Ukiah. DUI, leaving scene of accident after property damage.

BRICE KNIGHT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, false ID.

Olson, Reyes, Wylie

ANTHONY OLSON, Hayward/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

LENOX REYES, Covelo, Under influence, felon-addict with firearm, assault weapon, ammo possession by prohibited person.

KEVIN WYLIE JR., Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI.

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Marco here. I read that Tom Cahill died. I still have the kayak that I bought from Neil Sharif (sp?) in 1988, that Tom Cahill, then of Ten Mile, re-fiberglassed for me and Juanita, which is still watertight over thirty years later. in '89 he caused a massive regatta on the Ten Mile river one early fall day by writing a /single sentence/ to the Mendocino Commentary calling for people with things that float to show up, and so many people came with canoes and rowboats and kayaks and rafts made of two-by-fours and innertubes that it was like a holiday parade up and down the whole river. No motors. And then people were cold so he fired up the sauna and made a campfire. If anyone had said they were hungry he would have multiplied loaves and fishes, probably.

He used to write to all the local papers -- the AVA, the Commentary, my paper, Richard Johnson's papers, etc. -- and he kept writing to papers here the whole time after he moved to France, as it he were in two places at once, which ability is one of the qualifications for sainthood.

In his youth, in the thick of everyone protesting the Vietnam war, Tom was arrested for writing against war, imprisoned and raped in prison, and his tireless, unpaid work ever afterward on the subject was instrumental in making prisons /a little bit safer/ for people. A little bit is way better than nothing. He was invited to the White House; he met and shook hands with the president of the United States, who said sorry and thanked him.

Jim Tenny just wrote to the AVA:

Hello all. My name is Jim Tenny. I have been a friend of Tom Cahill's for a couple of decades. The last I heard from Tom was in June. I just found out today that Tom passed away in his sleep Jul 17, 2021. I got a feeling Tom is up in heaven looking to make some improvements. Here is an email that Tom sent me:


I dreamed that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, 'This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to the Goddess said in prayer are received.

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world. Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed.

"How is it that there is no work going on here? I asked."

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."

"How does one acknowledge the Goddess' blessings? "I asked.

"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Goddess."

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.

"If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy, and if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.

"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness. You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of prison, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.

"If you can worship without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.

"If your parents are still alive and still married…. you are very rare.

"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair…"

"Ok," I said. "What now? How can I start?"

The Angel said, "If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all."

Count your blessings, and if you care to, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are…

ATTN: Acknowledge Department.

"Thank you Goddess, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people with whom to share it."

If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have been blessed with, how can you not send it on?

Tom Cahill

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I wish all these anti-vaxers a night like I had in a COVID ward. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor figure out with a CT scan and three negative tests that I didn't have a breakthrough case, “just” pneumonia. It's the most silent, deadly place. Overwhelmed staff in space suits. Next two nights in a regular ward watching staff, masked, literally running patient to patient to patient on 12-hour shifts. Short staffed. I don't ever want to hear a person complain how hard their job is until they run a mile in their shoes.

Marlene Callen


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To the Editor:

Do you understand the ramifications?

On Sept. 12, there was a Times Standard article that ran in the Ukiah Daily Journal titled, “More time sought for Potter Valley takeover.” Since the Times Standard is a Humboldt County publication, it is understandable that the article is focused on comments from one set of interests. However, since the concept behind the Potter Valley Project “takeover” (or relicensing as more commonly known) has been labeled as a two-basin solution, the water supply needs of the Russian River basin cannot be ignored.

Those who benefit from the water supply provided from the Potter Valley Project into Lake Mendocino NEED to understand what decommissioning means. If the current partners are not granted the request for a time extension to continue to work toward relicensing milestones, the next determination from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could be to direct PG&E, as the current license holder, to enter a decommissioning process.

If this occurs, the infrastructure connected to the Potter Valley Project would be partially or fully removed over a specified timeline. This means Scott Dam and Lake Pillsbury, the water diversion infrastructure connected to Van Arsdale reservoir that delivers water into the Russian River, and the powerhouse could be dismantled.

There is potential for some sort of continued water diversion into the Russian River watershed that is being discussed if a decommissioning process is initiated, but it not known what this would entail. Without storage infrastructure like what is currently available from Lake Pillsbury, it is guaranteed that there would not be year-round diversion. If diversions are only available during high-flow winter months, there are questions on how regulatory limitations and infrastructure limitations will allow for continued diversion and the ability to store this water in Lake Mendocino. In addition, if decommissioning advances is also not known how water will be provided to Potter Valley.

Farm Bureau encourages all the communities from Potter Valley to Hopland and beyond to take a good look at Lake Mendocino this year. Without the water from the Project, Lake Mendocino will look like this on a regular basis. The people, farms and fish that depend on the water supply from the Potter Valley Project in the Russian River watershed cannot be ignored. If you are concerned about your water supply for the future, you need to know what the ramifications of a decommissioning process would be and encourage local, state and federal elected officials to remember that any solution related to the future of the Project truly needs to be for two-basins.

Devon Jones, Executive Director Mendocino County Farm Bureau

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You don't have a skeleton inside of you. You're a brain. You're inside of a skeleton. You're piloting a bone mecha that's using meat armor.”

The recording of last night's (2021-09-24) annual Talk Like A Pirate Day Special Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) is right here:

Thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided at least an hour of that eight-hour show's material. And the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Sorry about screwing things up last week, but I got the end episode of the Mime Troupe's summer radio series on properly this time, and it's pretty good. Lots of original music in the story, and there's a part where a character mentions sex in the kitchen, which jumped right out at me like a Jack-in-the-box and made me think of the film /Cherry 2000/, where the dishwasher spills over so badly that soapy water gets into Cherry's mechanism, through her ear, and she shorts out, and the man has get off of her and venture away into the Forbidden Desert in search of the abandoned factory that created her, for replacement parts, to make her alive again. That's love.

BESIDES ALL THAT, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering that show together. Such as, for instance:

Circus day in our town. Well-cared-for animals, happy to work all day and all night pulling ropes and poles and other animals' cage-carriages, being whipped, chained, and teased by clothed flesh-colored monkeys who put their head right inside your hydraulic shredder of a mouth full of teeth like a bunch of swords, while all around thousands more monkeys shriek their shrieky laughter through air that smells like prey meat and prey sweat and excitement and fear, and lights are flashing in your face and you've never been free and everything is frustrating and wrong, and you're a LION, for fuck sake. Don't close the mouth. Don't. But.

Vitamin D from the sun, our limitless node of psychic energy and source of all health and life. (These guys again, on the concentrated health benefits of the yoga of letting the sun shine up your butt, the [Something] Flower Position; I don't remember what it's called. This time they request of their bemused city council to designate a particular park downtown for people to have their not-at-all-gratuitously naked ritual and not get arrested again, because we have freedom of religion in this country, or at least we /did/, last time /I/ read the Constitution. That's the short version.)

And Teddy Boys. (via Everlasting Blort) ...I had a few reusable mascot cartoon characters I appropriated and/or constructed for a newspaper I published from the early through middle 1990s called /Memo/. There was the Cute Little Dog, a mini-schnauzer or terrier; he looked like Tintin's Snowy but more like a real dog. There was the Blackbird of Weltschmerz (who brought the mail in her beak for the letters-to-the-editor pages). There was That Wacky One-Arm Girl, always smiling in the same pose at the breakfast table with an also-smiling Bob-Dobbs-like man who was sometimes her father, sometimes her boyfriend or husband, and they'd have a simple conversation in word bubbles, one bubble each; for example, he might say, “Ska-wunt. Ska-wunt-ska wunt-ska!” And she'd say, “/Daaaad! SPA-FON!” And there was Black Leather Teddy, a Teddy bear in a leather bomber jacket (not a camiknicker, or 'teddy', as you might think. I had a Dover-book clip-art jacket; I didn't have a clip-art camiknicker) and wraparound sunglasses. Sometimes the mascots would have a crossover adventure in a display ad or a boxed strip —one Easter-time the Cute Little Dog filled the whole cover page, with a magical shining holy halo of assorted objects and vehicles (washing machine, Eiffel Tower, candy bar, coffeepot, fire truck, sailboat, ice cream cone, etc.) circling his head; the caption was /HE IS RISEN!/ (meaning back from the dead, because in an earlier issue, in an ad for the binoculars store, I think, he was tragically martyred)— but most of the time they stood alone (except for That Wacky One-Arm Girl), representing, as the kids say now. Black Leather Teddy was meant to be John Lennon. Neither he nor the Cute Little Dog could speak.

Marco McClean,,

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I think the vast majority of marriages would remain intact if both parties simply held up their end of the deal. In most of the divorces I have been reasonably familiar with in my lifetime–which is a lot at my age of 73–the majority were due to the husband's abandonment or non-support of the family. I've known of a couple of cases where the husband was still providing and was not violent or abusive, but had descended so far into alcoholism (extremely drunk 24/7) that he was intolerable. 

I've known of a couple of cases where the wife ran the couple deeply into debt. Spending totally out of control. I know of a couple of cases of the husband doing this. One couple married in their sixties, just as the husband retired. He gambled away his entire, very substantial, retirement within a year or two. 

A couple of cases of abandonment were because hubby went to prison. 

My point here is that divorce is rarely because of lack of emotional and spiritual support, but because of a very serious–let's just spit it out and say “existential”–responsibilities.

Most people will put up with little rubs and incompatibilies, as long as they're not looking at financial ruin. A wife who is the sole support of the family over a period of years due to hubby's refusal to get a job, is also likely to get fed up–although, interestingly, I can only think of two such cases, and neither couple divorced. In one case, hubby eventually got a job, after about five years as a layabout. In the other case, hubby (who had never worked over the entire 20-year marriage) eventually got a job due to dire financial straits when the wife lost her job and had to accept a lower-paying one. He has been bitching about it on Facebook ever since. The “capitalists” are screwing him over, dontcha know. 

I think the real question about the reason for the high divorce rate is, why has the ability to accept responsibility declined so steeply? To the point where this non-acceptance of responsibility goes existential? You didn't see this in the 1950s, which was when I grew up–or at least not as much of it. You saw some pretty disordered homelife situations, but rarely did you see a long-term unemployed and shiftless husband, and when you did it was usually due to alcoholism.

* * *

* * *

TALES OF OUR TIME, an on-line comment: 

I've actually been spending too much time in SF...

Drive out 16th between South Van Ness and Castro...

Or just about anywhere in the Bay Area...

Lived in Yuba City and Vacaville at times too...

Now, Lakeport is cleaner than The Mission, and the Lakeport police roust the bums, put 'em in handcuffs and search them, and drive them out past the City Limits...

Tolerance for “alternative lifestyles” is the problem, and, hey, they arrested a 30 year old woman North of Redding who allegedly started the Fawn Fire with her lighter...

Jeeze, ten miles off the Highway isn't looking far enough out any more, but at least my neighbors aren't living in tents and piling up their garbage...

A gal who lived near me, apparently had Cancer, didn't tell anyone, and was subsequently found unresponsive in the home she had bought after retiring from a major corporation... She expired a few weeks later, but in the interim, when her friend showed up to look for her purse and cell phone etc, it was discovered that the inside of the house was trashed and stacked with boxes of her stuff, which was never put away. Bags of food not put away etc...

Eventually, apparently also intestate, her heirs were located, an unbelievable stench was coming from her property, and when the heirs finally showed up after 5 months, they dug through her possessions, tossed cardboard boxes all over the place, and left. One presumes that anything considered valuable was removed, and, now we are waiting for probate to clear so that somebody will come back, clean up, and sell the place...

So, it's always something...

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Nixon in Ukiah, 1950

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This piece of Government Code is one of several cited by the authors of an agenda item coming before our Lake County Board of Supervisors on September 28, with regard to the cancellation of over $1 million in reserves from existing funds allocated to the Behavioral Health Department for payment of unanticipated costs, or some such fly in the soup bowl. Just the very bone of contention being gnawed on over your way about the Sheriff's cost overruns, right?

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Glastonbury Music Festival, 1971

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DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY I THINK Howard Stern is going full-monster with his mockery of three fellow human beings who died of the coronavirus? Because leftists like Stern and CNNLOL and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci are deliberately looking to manipulate Trump supporters into not getting vaccinated.


  1. Craig Stehr September 27, 2021

    The zen master Shunryu Suzuki is reported to have said that when one is engaged in activity, that one needs to be so completely absorbed in it, that somebody could walk up from behind and chop off your head, and you wouldn’t even notice.
    Got up early at The Magic Ranch in Redwood Valley, California and did a host of morning chores, particularly washing the previous evening’s sinkful of dishes, wiping off the counters, boiling water, sweeping floors, feeding two dogs, heating up stove top containers of a unique miso-basil stew, turmeric and ginger tea, and tomato soup, lighting Sathya Sai Baba nag champa incense, and listening to Indian bansuri flute music. No sense of a separate ego at all. Activity just flowed and flowed, with no thinking, no suffering, no joy, no person, no world, nothing at all.
    Birthday #72 is Tuesday September 28th. I want the winning PowerBall lottery numbers, an airplane ticket to anywhere that we can effectively wage spiritually based revolution in order to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness, and a ritual arts group to finish the job. Thank you very much.

    Craig Louis Stehr
    P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470-0938
    Gave the phone away…too much of a bother.
    September 26th, 2021 Anno Domini

  2. chuck dunbar September 27, 2021

    Craig, good that you’re back at home there at the Magic Ranch, all-in and absorbed in the morning chores–good for you, after your venture out into the big world in the sinful city of Los Vegas. I still recall your story of meeting the rather wicked black leather-clad girls on the street there…. Happy Birthday to you one day early, and may your wishes come true–especially the “return of this world to righteousness!”

    • Craig Stehr September 27, 2021

      For this world there is hope…but it’s slim. All hands on deck! ;-))

    • Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

      The paradisaical “We are too good to get a use permit” Mendo magic?

    • Harvey Reading September 27, 2021

      Return? When was the human monkey ever righteous? All it does is peddle religious (=political) hokum to keep others (like women who want abortions or dark-skinned people) in bondage, marching to the beat of some misinterpreted “holy” (legal) BOOK. Most wishes have about as much chance of coming true as religious (=political) promises have of being fulfilled.

  3. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: “Approval of Employment Agreement Between the County of Mendocino … to Serve as the Director”

    How many “interim” directors do we have at the County right now? Seems like it’s every department.

  4. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: “Waive sewer connection fees, offer other discounts where possible.”

    Yes, $5k to 10k for a sewer connection seems a bit steep. The problem with “Free fees” is that connection fees are supposed to pay for sewer expansion projects, which needs to happen in Ukaih, but won’t until they can do a LAFCO study, which they have ignored for the last 10 years so they wouldn’t have to expand. How do you make an ostrich pull it’s head out of the sand?

  5. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: “the Potter Valley Project into Lake Mendocino NEED”

    Or is it a want? I can’t tell what to call it when you rob water from one watershed to put in another, except theft.

    Water issue will continue to be political issues, as lond as our borders are strraight lines drawn indiscriminately across natural boundaries like watersheds.

    Cascadia Now!

  6. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: “the Potter Valley Project into Lake Mendocino NEED”

    Or is it a want? I can’t tell what to call it when you rob water from one watershed to put in another, except theft. Water issues will continue to be political issues, as long as our borders are straight lines drawn indiscriminately across natural boundaries, like watersheds.

    Cascadia Now!

  7. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: Camille Schraeder’s crisis unit

    I think Camille is doing a great job, seeing first hand how the crisis unit responded to a suicide crisis at my child’s school last week. Way to go Team Mendo! Keep up the good work! (and please keep trying for a Kid’s crisis van too, we need it!)

    • chuck dunbar September 27, 2021

      Thanks for this comment, Rye, based on a real-life incident. We see lots of critical comments in the AVA about RCS , based often, it seems, on opinions, not facts. It would be good to see interviews with clients, staff, and others to hear a fuller story of the results and outcomes of their services to children. When I worked at CPS, RCS had some inland homes that were specialized for teen foster children needing extra care. These folks did a really fine job with some of our coast teenagers. We were thankful for their work, and our teens often did very well in these homes, which had a good deal of social worker support.

  8. Harvey Reading September 27, 2021


    What’s so great about being around the same person for decades?

    The sun is NOT infinite.

    Is that Marmon front right at Gastonbury?

    I want Trump voters, and rethuglican (or democrap) fascists in general dead, whether or not they are vaccinated. Judging from the link, this might be a Mormon post.

  9. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: Ukiah affordable housing

    According to Dick, Ukiah is totally affordable, if you think a half a million dollar home is affordable. That would require a salary of at least $80k a year to get a deal like that, and apparently you can only get one of those jobs if you are buddies wit the CEO of the County.

    “How’s the market? How affordable is housing in Ukiah? The California affordability index is 27, which means about 27 percent of typical families can afford to buy a median-priced, single-family home. By comparison, in Lassen County 62 percent of typical families can afford a median-priced, single-family home, and in San Mateo County it is only 19 percent.”

  10. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    Keep working harder

    • Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

      P.s.- I love all of the anachronistic far side “Caveman” comics that the AVA posts. Always makes me laugh.

    • Harvey Reading September 27, 2021

      The site says the track may have been removed…

  11. George Dorner September 27, 2021

    Hey, Marco, whatever became of Feather Forestwalker?

  12. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    RE: Universal Healthcare in the USA

    We could be like Japan and have high speed trains for the last decades too… BUT… as pointed out in the Usal Beach article, this country is run by a group of white domestic terrorists calling themselves “patriots”, kind of like how NAZI fascists called themselves “socialists”, and Bush called corporate pollution the “Clear skys act”. Orwellian at best.

    “And what’s with the American flags flying on so many of the vandal’s highrise tractormobiles? It’s patriotic to destroy one of the most beautiful areas in the country?”

  13. chuck dunbar September 27, 2021


    There’s more to this important story:

    James is taken aside, mask in place–a sympathetic cop speaks to him, trying to work things out in peaceable fashion: “James, you seem like a decent sort, you’re a social worker for heaven’s sake. We don’t want to arrest you and throw you into jail. Here’s the deal–we’ll let you go if you promise to take a vow of silence–for a year. Folks here and there have been complaining–a lot! That means not just verbal stuff, but internet use, too, especially in that AVA comment section from that little town in California. Swear on your mother’s soul that you’ll do this, and off you go.”

    James meekly agrees to the deal–whether in good faith or not, only time will tell–he shakes hands with the cop and walks away, a freed man, but silent for now…

  14. Kirk Vodopals September 27, 2021

    Good luck Mr. Shields. Everyone I spoke to who wasn’t in the cannabis industry and had a minimal working knowledge of the Soups knew from the get-go that Mendo County has never had a desire to be in the weed regulation game. Seems pretty obvious, right? Whether that’s by design or by sheer incompetence, doesn’t really matter. Who in their right mind would want to set up a regulatory framework for those operators who never wanted to be part of the system and proudly proclaim their outlaw status and worldwide black marketeering. It’s like inviting the pirates to a discussion on international navigation law. There is no regulatory solution. Pirates gave up wooden ships and now most of them sit on computers hacking pipelines and pension funds. So goes the “craft” canabiz: the way of the wooden ship floating in a sea of freighters, speed boats and Carnival cruise lines full of dabs, shatter, honey oil and boofers.

    • Jim Shields September 27, 2021

      Kirk, you’ve hit all of the major nails squarely on their heads. Can’t disagree with any of what you say. Spot on summary. I’m essentially at the same place you are.
      Thanks for your insights.
      Jim Shields

      • Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

        The “craft cannabis” rebels haven’t lost to the empire yet. They are busy with the ewoks in the woods regrouping to fight the Stormtroopers and Jabba the Greenhuts, as we speak. Farmer’s markets and select cut direct to dispensaries sample boxes are on the horizon. And although not an industry saver, they may end up being good lifeboats for those whole remained small and high quality.

      • Mark Scaramella September 27, 2021

        Mendo proceeded to “regulate” “legal” cannabis only because they wanted the tax revenue. If they had let the Planning Commission proceed to adapt the existing zoning/permit process to pot, they would have had a much simpler and less time consuming process. But certain Supervisors, ahem, thought they knew better. They didn’t. If you believe Supervisor Williams’s recent pot revenue predictions, taxation has failed too. That said, not being involved in or knowledgeable of the cultivation of pot like I am with wine and grapes, the small batch pot crops may indeed be better in Mendo’s soil and climate. Not that I can tell the diff on a bet. How that plays out remains to be seen.

    • Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

      Pop! Goes the bubble… Great article. I’ve always been fascinated by Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Mr. Bernays.

      “A week after the US entered WWI Woodrow Wilson “created the Committee on Public Information, a propaganda agency acting to release government news, to sustain morale in the US, to administer voluntary press censorship, and develop propaganda abroad.” (Wikipedia) Heading up the new outfit was one George Creel. He brought in other practitioners of this new dark art including deep thinker Edward Bernays (1891-1995) whose obit dubbed him “the father of public relations.””

      Reminds me of W.R. Hearst’s dealings in corporate-political propaganda that made him so much money… enough to buy a castle and create the town of Hearst outside of Willits.

  15. Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

    “What we see as a directive…” – CEO Carmel Angelo

    • Rye N Flint September 27, 2021

      Ted, public safety is Number 1? Why do you pay your Environmental Health Specialists mere bananas compared to other counties? Looks like more of a Number 2 priority. You have to pay people enough money to afford to live here. If the BOS wants more control of this situation, either, pay people in public health more money, or find a way to reduce housing costs for people that make $45-70k a year. Otherwise, qualified applicants will continue to look for Greener pastures, and right now we have very dry brown pastures here.

  16. Eric Sunswheat September 27, 2021

    RE: The Army Corp of Engineers seemed to let Lake Mendocino facilities really slide as well after the 2008 recession. Campgrounds shut down, day use areas were undermanaged, garbage accumulated, storm damage never got fixed, etc.”

    ->. Actually it seems the Corps was actively decreasing recreational use around Lake Mendocino, to reduce opposition to allowing a higher full lake level in the late Spring while maintaining downstream flood management, and for the preparation of raising Coyote Dam, designed in the original construction authorization.

  17. Douglas Coulter Post author | September 29, 2021

    I rode my bicycle to Capella to photograph the cars on the bank of Russian River exposed by the Hopkins Fire. Clearly an old wrecking yard had dominated that property. I have been photographing rust and ruin for decades with my “Fall of Man” project.
    Unnatural acts; in the end man always pays for crimes against nature
    The earth is a tireless bounty hunter
    A merciless judge
    Some people tried to run me off, claimed they owned the land to the middle of the river. I ignored them and continued with photographs, told them to call police but police never showed.
    They said the fire was arson and had already convicted the man. I said the fire was nature, sparked perhaps by man but the drought was the true cause. Homeless and angry with only a Bic and nothing to lose. Why do we continue to abuse the homeless and chase them farther into the bushes? Hitler had an idea but it required concentration. How far are we willing to go?

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