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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021

Dry Warm | Pet Shep | Lake Mendocinos | Panther Scores | Ocean Sky | Unity Clubbing | Poison Oakscape | Hopkins Assistance | Challenging Situation | Ransacking Elders | Yesterday's Catch | Warren Tell | Pyramid Ascension | Calendula | Eviction Free | Octobre | Muslim American | Sticker Shocks | Intellectually Insecure | Highway 128 | Yang Book | Ukiah 1908 | Fighting For | Next Project | Still Waiting | Avoiding Hate | Bed Posting | Marco Radio | Hey Look | Newspaper Accounts

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DRY WEATHER AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES will persist across the interior through Monday, while periods of fog and stratus along the coast give way to partial afternoon clearing. A transition to cooler weather is forecast to occur across northwest California during the middle of next week. In addition, periods of light rain will be possible beginning Tuesday, with additional chances existing during the second half of next week. (NWS)

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UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK

Shep needs an experienced dog owner who can help him with some basic training. Shep walks well on leash, with no pulling. He also has great inside manners. Shep would love a guardian who enjoys walks, and he might be a great hiking partner. We think Shep would enjoy the company of a canine friend in his new digs but we are recommending older kids only. Shep is 1-1/2 years old and 53 pounds. Shep is neutered and ready to walk out the shelter door with you today!

For more about Shep, visit mendoanimalshelter.com While you’re there, check out all of our canine and feline guests, our services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ 

For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453. 

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Lake Mendocino, 1977 & 2021

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ARTHUR FOLZ REPORTING:

Friday's Sports Results Here's the low-down of the two Friday games.

Boys Soccer:

The Panthers beat visiting team Calistoga 4-0 in a surprising upset. I thought that Calistoga was going to be a tough match given past history, but that was not the case. The Panthers scored twice in the first half with sophomore Roberto Bucio scoring the first goal followed by a goal scored by sophomore Eric Perez. In the second half, junior Stephen Torales scored our third goal and Roberto Bucio scored our final fourth goal. It was an exciting game. Our next soccer game will be here at our home field next Friday, October 8, against Tech.

Volleyball:

Over in the gym, we hosted Mendocino for a varsity only game (there was a scheduling conflict with Mendocino earlier, so they already played their junior varsity team and lost that game). Mendocino has proven to be the toughest competition thus far in our league. Though the Panthers fought hard, we lost all three sets by 23, 21, and 11 points. No doubt these girls are ready to get back at Mendocino when they host us on October 12. The Panthers will play next week at our home gym against Round Valley.

Today, at 12:00, Anderson Valley Football will be playing its last preseason game against Tomales at the fairgrounds. I will keep you posted on these results.

Arthur Folz

AV High Athletic Director

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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UNITY CLUB NEWS

The AV Unity Club will be holding an “in-person” meeting on Thursday 7 October at 1:30 in the Fairgrounds Home Arts building; also known as the Lending Library. We will have a time for socializing before the business meeting. Please contact Janet Lombard with any agenda items. There will be no food or beverages provided. Its a BYOW event (Bring Your Own Water). Because the meeting will be held indoors, face coverings are required. Our Lending Library will reopen on Tuesday 12 October from 12 to 4, then on Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:30 thereafter. We have new books to check out and enjoy. Our selection of gently used books also are available. Still only $1.00 for hard bound and $.50 for paperbacks. During the past year and a half I'm sure you have read everything at home. Cruise by the Lending Library Tuesday or Saturday and refresh your stash of good books. Enjoy good health. Put those no-slip strips down on your stairs before it rains again. And may the rain be plentiful on your garden and mine.

Miriam L Martinez

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JEFF BURROUGHS, Since I don't get poison oak I can go out and take pictures that nobody else can.

Wendling Navarro just north of the Old Mill site

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REMINDER: The County of Mendocino, in partnership with state and local partners will host a Local Assistance Center (LAC) for residents impacted by the 2021 Hopkins Fire.

Location: 8207 East Rd, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 (Old Jehovah's Witnesses Church)

When: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 1PM to 6PM

Confirmed County Agencies: Assessor’s Office, Behavioral Health & Recovery Services, District Attorney’s Office, Planning & Building Services, Environmental Health, Disaster Recovery, & Social Services

Confirmed Community Partners: Red Cross, North Coast Energy Services, North Coast Opportunities, United Disaster Relief of Northern California, & United Methodist Committee on Relief & Ukiah United Methodist Church

Confirmed State Agencies: CA Department of Public Health, CalOES, Contractors State License Board, Department of Insurance, Department of Motor Vehicles, & Franchise Tax Board

To slow the spread of COVID-19, masks are required. The County will follow social distancing guidelines, provide hand sanitizer, and conduct health screenings.

For more information, please contact the Disaster Recovery Team at (707) 234-6303 or disasterrecovery@mendocinocounty.org.

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LAST THURSDAY NIGHT, Anderson Valley Fire Department responded to a vehicle over the embankment with several challenges: multiple patients, entrapment, low-angle rescue, limited space for response vehicles, vehicle stabilization, low attendance by more experienced responders, additional calls in the district, and region-wide air-ambulance coordination. 

Peachland Accident (Friday morning; photo courtesy, Anderson Valley Fire Department)

This was the first complex incident for some of our newer folks and a high demand incident for our group leaders. Almost 20 AVFD first responders, plus a Cal Fire engine, arrived from all over Anderson Valley to get the job done. It took a team.

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IN THIEVES WE TRUST

by Marilyn Davin

My close friend Sally’s health took a nosedive after her second stroke. And like many old people – and candor demands that we ourselves could well choose this path for ourselves one day – Sally began a well-trod regimen of blood thinners, statins, and other pharmaceutical life-extenders that ultimately landed her, impaired but alive, in a “board and care” facility where she languishes today in a bedroom in front of a TV that takes up a whole wall and plays endless reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. 

As her condition worsened while she was still living in her house, and with no family, Sally chose the husband of a friend of more than 50 years to be the executor of her estate. “Estate” is a bit of a stretch since she is a retired public-school teacher, though she did own a Bay Area house that, like all Bay Area houses, had appreciated obscenely over several decades. She sold that house several years ago in exchange for the several years she was able to pay for the East Bay condo she inherited right down the street from us – along with her caregivers and twice-daily dog walkers for her undisciplined, pain-in-the-ass 100-pound Labradoodle (the poodle parent was a royal standard).

But, alas, as Kevin Spacey’s character in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil so memorably stated, “The money always runs out.” Though things went along and went along for a few years, Sally’s nest egg inevitably dwindled to the point where her executor told her that she had to sell her condo and get rid of the dog, along with the dog walkers and the caregivers who, even part time and poorly paid, were burning through a hundred grand a year. Sally didn’t want to move and downshifted into denial, but she was nonetheless, in her words, “spirited away in the middle of the night” to a nearby board and care facility owned and operated by a local doctor, who drives a high-end luxury car he can doubtless easily afford given that each of the “residents” in his repurposed house pay $8,000 a month for the privilege. This is America; we warehouse our elderly according to their class. In a back-of-the-envelope calculation, I figured that the money from her condo will cover 4.1 years in that place. 

That’s the background and also where this story really begins. Sally’s executor, citing his own advancing age and eager to shed this task, scheduled a lunch with me and another of Sally’s friends to enquire if we would be willing to take on his executor duties. He said there wouldn’t be much to do once her condo was sold, that it was a simple matter of keeping in touch with Sally’s attorney and accountant. This discussion is ongoing as I write this. 

What floored me was the executor’s (I’ll call him Mike) disclosure that he kept careful track of the hours he spent on Sally’s behalf, and charged her savings $75 an hour for his trouble – this from a super-wealthy “close friend” of half a century who moved Sally out of her home because she was running out of money! The cherry on top was when Mike’s wife quickly piped up that they were taking all of Sally’s Asian antiques. (They had briefly served with Sally and her then-husband in Japan back in the day.) 

At this point the 1964 film Zorba the Greek immediately sprang to mind. Remember the scene where the villagers ransacked the French courtesan’s house as she lay dying in Zorba’s arms? That scene appalled me at 13, and here all these decades later it was happening right down the street and right under my nose.

It gets worse. After she moved, the first thing to disappear from Sally’s condo was her birdbath, a major source of entertainment that she had watched every evening from her bedroom window as the birds frolicked in the water. Then station wagons, vans, and other vehicles disgorged caregivers (and doubtless some unidentified, opportunistic shoppers), who emerged from Sally’s patio loaded down with her lovingly collected antique books, pictures, furniture, and other items from her long and colorful life. 

During my weekly visit with her this week, I asked Sally if she had given permission for the free-for-all that was going down at her house. She said that she had not. I haven’t yet asked Mike, as her executor, how he had allowed this to happen. Adding insult to injury, Mike sold her condo to an enterprising contractor for at least $150-thousand under its appraised value (presumably to avoid the hassle of realtors, appraisals, and other annoyances involved in selling property), taking a serious bite out of the last windfall Sally will see for the rest of her life. 

She told me she wasn’t happy about this but all the fight has leaked out of her. After all, the executor is a kind of god in these matters and Mike had done what all gods do – he made his decisions unilaterally. There are of course regulations and standards on the books about what executors should and should not do. But as we see in so many other areas (cannabis, anyone?), regulations are only as effective as their enforcement, and who stands up to fight for an elderly stroke victim not a millionaire, especially when she won’t stand up for herself and has an executor to protect her, to boot?

I understand the temptation. I faced it myself when I served as my parents’ executor, for which I declined a fee. When everything was sold and tallied up, my half of everything was slightly more than my brother’s half. I had forgotten to account for a withdrawal I had taken to fix something in my house. For just a moment I realized guiltily that if I let it go no one would be the wiser. It would have been so easy. Appalled at myself, I did the right thing and corrected the error. But the fact that the thought even crossed my mind troubled me. 

I also understand the caregiver dynamic. When my mom lay dying at home I was still working full time in San Francisco. My dad was pretty checked out in his grief. I sat with her every evening. But her caregivers were with her 24/7. Let me preface this part by acknowledging that her caregivers were poor. Their agencies might be profitable for their owners but the in-home workers they employ, at least in my experience, are largely uneducated single mothers working a miserable job for equally miserable pay. It’s hard enough to care for a dying family member when you’re part of that family. Imagine doing it for a stranger, doubtless in their eyes an entitled stranger able to pay for their care at all hours of the day and night, for minimum wage. 

This is the barren ground upon which so many poor women toil. When my mom eventually died it came to our attention that much of her jewelry was missing. I’m sure that my mom, in her confusion, gave it to her caregivers in gratitude for their care as she approached the end of her life. This is where, in a perfect world, personal morality should have kicked in: they should not have accepted my vulnerable mom’s jewelry. Yet having faced down the specter of temptation in my own role as my parents’ executor, how could I fault a poor woman, a stranger to my mom, for choosing to get away with it, especially since it was undoubtedly given in gratitude? 

We all recognize right from wrong. Morality is choosing to do the right thing regardless of our personal circumstances or what others choose to do. It’s nothing less than the bedrock of our individual belief system, and we follow its dictates in unheralded moments when we could easily get away with betraying them. All that stands between us and ill-gotten gain is that belief system, whether we’re taking a test, given the wrong change when we buy something, acting as executors in the best interests of another, or passing Sally’s open patio door and choosing to pass it by, empty-handed.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 2, 2021

Abele, Armas, Bloyd

BETSY ABELE, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

JUAN ARMAS, Ukiah. DUI.

DANIELLE BLOYD, Talmage. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, contempt of court.

Gallegos, Goodwin, Hanover, Heywood

MICHAEL GALLEGOS, Manchester. Domestic battery, great bodily injury during commission of felony, probation revocation.

STEPHEN GOODWIN, Vacaville/Ukiah. DUI.

KENNETH HANOVER JR., Covelo. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

JAMES HEYWOOD, Sonoma/Willits. Domestic battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol, protective order violation.

Lovelady, Sherman, Smith, Zambrano

KAREN LOVELADY-WILLETT, Fort Bragg. Under influence.

ISRAEL SHERMAN, Fort Bragg DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance.

IZAAK SMITH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSE ZAMBRANO, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

As you rise up the Pyramid, you cease to identify with the people back in the old neighborhood. You start to feel more comfortable with people on your own tier. Union official who goes to work in a suit? Maybe if you worked in the shop for twenty years, you’re inoculated against this. But if you just study labor politics in college, you’re going to end up identifying with the Corporate guys far more than the workers. 

The Pyramid goes inwards to a point. The higher tiers become closer and closer together. You begin to identify with your peers in other countries, more than those peons far below in your own. All that rises must converge! The higher you go, the more you feel drawn to go up higher. Nothing else matters but the will of the Unseen Masters. You know that all money is theirs. They create and destroy it at will. You are nothing without them. You laugh at their great joke: In God We Trust. You trust in Them and wish to join them in that Peak above the clouds.

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Calendula

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SF SUPERVISOR DECLARES DISTRICT 'EVICTION FREE ZONE' as moratorium ends

With California's eviction moratorium now expired and leaving hundreds of thousands of tenants who can't pay their rent vulnerable, San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston on Friday declared his district an “Eviction Free Zone.”

Preston's district includes neighborhoods like Hayes Valley, the Fillmore, Japantown, Lower Pacific Heights, Western Addition, Cole Valley, and Inner Sunset.

The state's eviction moratorium had been in place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but ended on Thursday, leaving tenants who can't pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic fearful of losing their home.

According to Preston, the need to inform tenants in his district about their rights, where one out of every four households consist of renters, is urgent.

“There's a lot of confusion out there. Most tenants don't realize that they are protected from eviction right now. What's changed is they need to learn and assert their rights, it doesn't just happen automatically,” Preston said in a statement. “That's where this program comes in. Our message to tenants facing eviction threats is apply for rent relief, exercise your right to counsel, and stay in your homes.”

The Eviction Free Zone initiative encourages residents to apply for government rent relief funds, seek legal representation, and to be educated on local anti-eviction protections, among other efforts.

Preston cites three current protections available to renters who can't pay rent, including a local emergency ordinance authored by Preston and approved by the Board of Supervisors this week prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for not paying rent through the end of the year, provided tenants pay at least 25 percent of what's owed.

Additionally, Preston is encouraging renters to apply for rent relief assistance through the state's Housing is Key program at www.housing.ca.gov, as landlords are barred from evicting tenants for nonpayment if the tenant has applied for the funds.

Preston is also encouraging renters facing eviction to seek legal counsel through the city's Tenant Right to Counsel program, which provides free legal counsel for people facing eviction.

Preston said his office, along with volunteers and non-profit partners will conduct extensive outreach for the initiative, aiming to contact every renter in the district through phone, email and text. Additionally, Preston and organizers will be conducting Tenant Rights Bootcamps, with the first scheduled for next week.

Jackie Fielder, founder of group Daybreak Political Action Committee, which is part of the Eviction Free Zone initiative said, “Our state leaders have failed to step up when tenants need it most, but we know how powerful local organizing can be to stop displacement.”

Copyright © 2021 Bay City News, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

(Bay City News)

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STILL GETTING THREATS

To the Editor:

I was 8 years old when my mom and I were driving to school and heard the news of the first plane hitting the twin towers. I was getting out of the minivan but she told me to wait. 

Then the second plane hit. I could see the look of horror in my mom’s eyes, but all I could think to ask was if I could go to class. Instead, we drove home.

When we got home and saw my dad on the couch, hands over his mouth and whispering a prayer, the gravity of the attack finally hit me. I’m Egyptian from his side and grew up Muslim. Later on I could hear my parents talking and arguing.

“What do you think will happen?”

“I don’t know. This isn’t good. You know they’ll declare war. Inshallah we’ll be OK.” (“Inshallah” is “God willing” in Arabic.)

Then came the death threats over the phone. Someone shouted at us from a car, “You people should be in camps!” My parents were harassed at work, and I was called a terrorist at school.

From 9/11 on I knew I would never be seen as fully American in many people’s eyes. That feeling hasn’t changed.

Youssef Shokry

San Francisco

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JIM MAYO NOTES: The trumpers are intellectually insecure. They have a desperate need to “own” the liberals. See Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. Taking the vaccines pushed by Biden and Fauci would be the Trumpers surrender to the liberals. They will never surrender. 

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Highway 128, Navarro

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WHEN I RAN FOR PRESIDENT, IT MESSED WITH MY HEAD

by Andrew Yang

politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/03/andrew-yang-book-excerpt-campaigning-514967

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HOW CAN A POUR MAN STAND IT. I waunt to ast you or enny other conc[ion]able man what is the pour man fitting [fighting] for We are fiting for the Rich mans property & negars—that [is] just what we ar fiting for—the pour man got nothin to fite for—what little he had is gon to Ruin & disstruction—an the Big men at home a setting studdying how to cheat & speculate out of the pour soulgers Wives. I had as liv dye as head talk of my wife suffering I am Bound to go home som how A man cant stand evry thing. 

North Carolina soldier to Gov. Vance, “Look Away”

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WHAT'S NEXT for the guys behind ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

by Adam Newport-Berra

Few movies captured the changes in the Bay Area quite like “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” Directed by Joe Talbot and starring Jimmie Fails, the 2019 film was a powerful look at the harsh realities of gentrification, but in the broader sense, it explores the myths we tell ourselves about the places that raised us. The film scored dozens of awards and nominations, including winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Collaboration at Sundance, as well as becoming an indie box office success story, earning $4.6 million on a budget of $2 million.

A still from “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Two years later, Talbot and Fails — childhood best friends who wrote the film together — seem just as conflicted with the city as Fails’ character when he finds out the true history of the Victorian he lovingly restored in the movie.

“I think it’s kind of sad that I don’t feel the same way I used to about [San Francisco],” says Fails. “I wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else, I’ll say that. I still love the city with all my heart, but I don’t see myself here for much longer. I think it’s lost some of the things I loved about it.

“One thing is the diversity, that’s a huge part of what made San Francisco what it is. Growing up around all these different cultures and everyone being together, there’s a desire to learn about these other cultures because your friends are from these different backgrounds,” says Fails.

After the pair spent much of the pandemic sheltering together at Talbot’s parents’ house (they’re not homeowners despite the film’s success), Talbot has now decamped to Los Angeles to work on his forthcoming projects, and Fails is considering following in his footsteps soon. Talbot says he’s always happy to return to San Francisco after his travels, but the changes are noticeable.

“It’s in some ways a little scary every time you come home. It’ll only be a few months between times I come back to the city. But another building is gone, and a new ugly modern monstrosity is up in its place. That’s always kind of a gutting feeling,” says Talbot.

Even so, the pair still have plenty of pride in their city.

“There’s a feeling here that whenever you leave the house, on the best days in San Francisco, you just feel like there’s a sense of excitement,” says Talbot. “You could be just getting something to eat, but you end up not coming home until 1 a.m. because someone picked you up in a car and drove you out to Oakland, and you got into some s—t out there and came back to the city and wound up at Dolores Park.”

He also notes two up-and-coming Bay Area hip-hop artists who give him faith in San Francisco’s artistic future. Jordan Gomes, who acted in “Last Black Man,” performs as Stunnaman 02 and recently penned a 49ers anthem played at their games. And Talbot calls Qing Qi “the kind of person who you just want to listen to tell you about how they see the world.”

Despite being disappointed in the San Francisco artist exodus to Oakland and Los Angeles, Fails says he is still excited about one of San Francisco’s forthcoming catalyst for the arts: the new India Basin Project.

“I got to go ask questions about if they were involving the community in the new project, and why they’re deciding to clean it up now. Stuff like that. They answered a lot of my questions, and it seems like that will be something that helps bring the arts and the community back, and create jobs for people over them, amongst other things.”

Fans of the “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” will be excited to learn about an outdoor screening of the film at Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema in Precita Park on Oct. 2, as well as a new Blu-ray collector’s edition. The deluxe release features a foreword from filmmaker Charles Burnett (“To Sleep with Anger,” “Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation”), drawings from the notebook carried by Mont in the film, an oral history, essays by Alicia Garza and Danny Glover as well as three deleted scenes and director’s commentary from Talbot. The Blu-ray release comes after the film's distribution company A24 produced a physical map of the city comprising Talbot and Fails' favorite local haunts.

As far as the pair’s next projects, Fails recently starred in a short film called “Slow Pulse,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, but as a duo, they’ve been relatively quiet. Expect an announcement in the coming months as to the nature of their second movie, but in the meantime, Talbot did confirm that the film won’t be about San Francisco.

“It will be quite different from ‘Last Black Man in San Francisco,’” says Talbot. “I guess all I can say is it’s going to be a very strange period piece. It’s not set in San Francisco, it’s set halfway across the world.”

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DURING MANY OF THE RIOTS during the the last two years, folks identified as Liberal, or BLM, or AntiTrump protestors, even peaceful protestors, often got clubbed, and maced, and seriously injured at the hand of police, while other protestors, White Nationalist, Racist, ProTrump, Conservative, even violent protestors, frequently got a pass from the police. There has been a meme in this nation, since the 1960s that Liberals are anti-establishment, and Conservatives are pro-establishment. However 1-9 might have destroyed the sanity of that thinking, it remains a pervasive idea that American Terrorists are in their hearts patriots fighting for what they believe, and so we eulogize their passing and find gentle euphemisms for their existence. We romanticize what they are, and try to justify their actions which have no sane justification. Because so many have sympathy and empathy for their thoughts and feelings.

So when we begin seeing people on social media blaming doctors and nurses for the growing death rate, certain that ventilators are execution machines, and that the people manning hospitals are actually secret Nazis murdering their friends and relatives, it's understandable to have compassion for their insanity driven by grief, but it still begs the question, how do we stop people from acting out on these fever dreams, and more important protect our firstline health workers from people drowning in conspiracies and personal tragedy? How do we quell this growing insanity? Perhaps we hold the people fanning the flames with lies for profit accountable?

Words are powerful things. They can evoke hate or compassion. Justice or a lynch mob. We can disagree and still preserve our humanity, our dignity. We can leave hate at the door. Refuse delivery. Perhaps that begins by choosing words that don't condemn, or degrade, however apropos. I don't claim to have an answer, but it's a topic worth mining for meaning. 

(Marie Tobias)

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VICTIM OF THEM.

“The first author would like to acknowledge and thank Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made, for the encouragement, inspiration, and occasional hints that were necessary to complete this article. The second author, however, specifically disclaims this acknowledgement.” –Michael I. Hartley and Dimitri Leemans, Quotients of a Universal Locally Projective Polytope of Type {5, 3, 5}, Mathematische Zeitschrift 247:4 (2004), 663-674 (via FutilityCloset)

The recording of last night's (2021-10-01) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0456

Thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided at least an hour of the above eight-hour show’s material, as usual, without asking for anything in return.

I’m looking forward to when you send me something you wrote. Email me your writing on any subject and I’m happy to read it on the radio. That’s what I’m here for.

BESIDES ALL THAT, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com 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:

Coin-operated haunted house machine. The man made it himself from scratch. (You might have to click the sound on.) https://www.facebook.com/juanita.watkins.714/posts/10222325917074971

On the other end of the scale (and the gene pool): this antivax loonball with an Oedipal fixation. Don’t get me wrong; he doesn't necessarily want to do his mother; he wants you to do your mother, but only if you're someone who reported that he got covid after he told everyone covid was a hoax and caught it anyway, because you hurt his feelings, you effing MFer. (I like the shape of his head, though. He's like a beluga whale machine in a penny arcade or a highway gas station, that swears at you from a scratchy record inside when you put a penny in and gives you fortune advice on a strip of paper. Remember those?) https://www.rawstory.com/anti-vaxx-far-right-commentator-who-contracted-launches-massive-obscenity-laden-tirade-attacking-the-left

Speaking of genes: Eyes. Dutch sailors brought this there in their testicles. It’s a fact. https://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2021/10/blue-eyed-indonesians-of-buton-tribe.html

And Julie Andrews in 1968. Whenever anyone complemented her on her grace in motion, her poise and posture and showmanlike presentation, she always attributed the whole shebang to being taught to tapdance as a small child, because of Shirley Temple. https://www.vintag.es/2021/10/julie-andrews-by-willoughby.html

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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ODD, OLD NEWS: EAGER BUSINESSMEN, BIG TALK, AND RAILROAD PROGRESS–ROUND VALLEY COAL FIELDS (part 2)

by David Heller

When last we left our investigation into the little known Round Valley coal fields, the “mountain of coal” was thought to be a game changer that would bring more people and great wealth to Mendocino County, as well as supplying California with a much needed alternative to importing costly coal. Newspapers universally hailed every new development towards the financing and building of a much needed railroad connecting San Francisco to the state’s northern counties that would include a spur to the mines on the Eel River.

The following news accounts continue to describe the Eel River coal mine in glowing terms and tout its potential allure to railroad company investors, such as the Fort Bragg men who did build a railroad line from Ft. Bragg to Willits, and later, larger rail companies. As with a number of Odd, Old News topics, a lack of primary sources, and a search of newspaper accounts may miss details of a very complicated story. Nevertheless, we shall continue to attempt to tell the tale of the development of the great riches of the Round Valley coal field, which is also another chapter in the development of the railroad to Humboldt County.

We pick up the coal field’s history again in early 1891 when it was reported, “on the best of authority”, that “the coal problem seemed to be nearing a satisfactory solution” because of a new railroad plan:

RAILROAD NOTES

Daily Alta

January 10, 1891

A New and Independent Road To Be Built In Mendocino County.

It was stated to an Alta reporter yesterday, on the best authority, that a railroad will be commenced at the earliest opportunity to connect the Flood coal mines on the Middle Fork of the Eel river, in Mendocino county, with the coast at Westport.

This road will start from Covelo, seventy-two miles northeast of Ukiah, the terminal point of the San Francisco and North Pacific line. From Covelo this road will run twenty-seven miles to Laytonville or Cahto, meeting and crossing the Idaho stage line, running north from Ukiah. It has not quite been decided whether Laytonville or Cahto shall be the intersecting point, but in any case the line will then run due west twenty-three miles to Westport, whence fast steamers can make connection with San Francisco within twenty-four hours.

This solution, like a number of great plans in the storyline, never happened. Next we hear from an owner of the Eel River coal mine:

COAL DEPOSITS IN MENDOCINO

Humboldt Times

February 7, 1891

Has the Time Come For Their Development-What Prospects Does It Open Up for Humboldt?

In order to gain farther information about the coal deposits in Mendocino, now being investigated, we interviewed Mr. J E Janssen, who bolds an interest jointly with Flood and others in large tracts near Round Valley. Mr. Janssen said: “These coal deposits have been known to exist for upwards of twenty years. The tract now being explored was taken up in the sixties by wealthy business men of San Francisco. No efforts wore spared then to obtain reasonably accurate information as to the existence of coal in quantity, and its value for commercial purposes. A staff of competent men were engaged to prepare surveys and analyses, resulting to the complete satisfaction of the investors.

Numerous outcroppings were found, also iron and limestone, (essential in the smelting of iron); all this was embodied in a carefully prepared survey and report, with subsequent additions, made to include all the clearly defined coal-bearing area. The tract finally covered some 23,000 acres. The investment not having been made for the purpose of development, the owners, engrossed with other pursuits, allowed their interest gradually to subside when finding their expectations of a sale not immediately realized.

Subsequently the prime movers met with financial embarrassment and were forced to drop out; their interest was absorbed by the Nevada Bank. Thus matters lay for years without any stops being taken to follow up the original find, until Mr. Flood began investigations last summer.

What has been done so far goes to verify all the information previously gained. It establishes the quality of the coal for domestic and steam purposes, and offers flattering promises for an abundant supply. The operations Mr. Flood has undertaken are being made for his own account; the other owners were not asked to join him in this work.

The vein has been tapped at a point, where the outcroppings were most prominent; whether, in choosing this particular spot, the geological formation of the country has been thoroughly considered is a question. You ask: Will the property be developed? I have no hesitation in answering this question in the affirmative. Mr. Flood, as principal owner, and I believe the only one commanding the necessary means, would seem to be the right man for the undertaking. However, should the opportunity offer no inducements to him, l am satisfied no difficulty will be experienced in finding capital elsewhere to take hold. And why should there? There are obstacles, no doubt, but no more than have attended hundreds of similar undertakings which would lie slumbering today but for the spirit and energy that has characterized the development of our country. As people know, coal mines and other things are not found in ones hack yard.

Believing the property should be entirely in the hands of people with means, and its development given over to such as possess experience and a thorough knowledge of the business, l am anxious to the extent of my interest to further that object. With this in view, I have placed myself in communication with Eastern parties. I find no lack of capital willing to take hold on a prospect offering reasonable encouragement. Where development and not speculation is the object, an undivided minor interest offers little inducement. What Mr. Flood’s intentions are, I do not know; should he prefer to sell, the opportunity would not be wanting.”

Aside from the interest this matter has for Eureka in its bearings on the railroad problem, it may lead to the discovery and development of coal deposits in this county. We could find uses for it in a thousand directions. There is practically no coal mined in this State. Railroads draw their wants from long distances—even from Australia, whence it is brought by ship to San Diego and San Pedro and stored to supply the great trans-continental roads, how great an invention would it be for a road to build where it could reach coal supplies? How many untried industries lie in the wake of cheap fuel? If we have iron deposits, who can forecast the result of bringing iron and coal together, and thus perhaps transplanting a little of that wonderful industrial development of the East and the hardly lesser South to this dependent State of California, not to say timber-poor county of Humboldt.

The Humboldt Times followed every new development. The day was anticipated when someone on a mountain top in Southern Humboldt could hear locomotive whistles at Round Valley and at the mouth of the South Fork of Eel River. The quality of the coal continued to impress:

Rail Road Talk.

Humboldt Times

December 30, 1892

The following is taken from the December number of the Commercial Traveler, a periodical published at San Francisco: The Commercial Traveler is in receipt of information that a branch railroad is soon to be constructed from Ukiah to a point forty miles north in the direction of Eureka.

The object is to make railroad connection with a recently developed coal mine on the Eel River. The valuable find is purported to have been originally discovered by Lieutenant Kaufmann some twenty years ago, but was not thought much about at the time. A blacksmith in the vicinity claims that he has mined it for several years for his own use, and the only drawback he found was its high percentage of gas.

Recently a ton of coal was dug out and used on one of the N P R R engines as an experiment. It was found to be excellent. There seems to be no limit to this valuable find, as it is a solid mountain of the precious commodity cut in two by the course of the Eel river.

There were manifold reasons why the Times was eager for a railroad link to help the economy of Humboldt County, including aiding development of the nascent fruit-raising industry, and the Red Mountain chrome deposit:

Humboldt Times

December 12, 1893

There is no doubt that every mile of its extension would very quickly develop a business equaling, pro rata, that of the line already built.

Twenty-five miles beyond Ukiah the redwoods are reached, and from that point to Oregon the road would be in continuous contact with the most valuable timber belt on the Pacific coast, a spur to Bound Valley would tap the richest coal fields in California. Near the southern line of Humboldt is an entire which recent expert examinations have pronounced to be a superior article of this valuable mineral. Southern Humboldt, stimulated by a railroad, would quickly develop into a fruit region, unsurpassed in the state.

Broad reaches of fertile lands now given over to sheep-raising, would be divided up into small holdings, and set out to apples, peaches, prunes, grapes and small fruits. Extensive areas of tanbark lands would contribute their quota to the business of the road, which would also be swollen by the agricultural and dairying industries of our various fertile valleys. The Times would like to see these enterprising San Franciscans visit this northern country and familiarize themselves with its immense resources and possibilities. We feel confident, that should they do so, their purchase and extension of the Donahue system would soon be an assured fact.

The mine’s bright prospects drew the interest of a number of very wealthy investors from the timber industry. A group of Ft. Bragg men took the lead in plans to open up access to the coalfields that “would yield a daily output of 3000 tons for a thousand years without being exhausted, and bring 10,000 new people to Round Valley:

Fort Bragg to Coalfield Railroad Route, SF Call, Dec. 31, 1893

A NEW RAILROAD

San Francisco Call

December 31, 1893

MENDOCINO COUNTY TO BE CROSSED BY IT. TO RUN FROM FORT BRAGG. MACKAY AND FLOOD BOND THEIR COAL FIELDS. THE ROUTE TO ROUND VALLEY. UKIAH WILL PROBABLY BE TAPPED AND UPPER MENDOCINO COUNTY OPENED TO SETTLERS

A document of extraordinary importance to Mendocino County and San Francisco was signed yesterday in this city. It means that Mendocino County is to have a railroad, and thousands of acres of the finest fruit and timber land is to be thrown open to settlers.

It means also that the residents of San Francisco may have coal of the very best quality laid at their feet for $2 a ton. The document was a bond in the sum of $400,000, given by James C. Flood and John W. Mackay, owners of the famous Round Valley coal fields, to the Fort Bragg Lumber Company [sic]. These coal fields, which were purchased by Mackay and Flood three years ago, lie near Covelo, fifty-eight miles above Ukiah, in the north central part of Mendocino County. These coal fields, according to the statements and investigations of the engineers, are practically unlimited in extent and resources. The principal ledge has been traced for thirty miles, running in a northerly direction.

It has been said that these fields would yield a daily output of 3000 tons for a thousand years without being exhausted. The coal is of an exceptional quality— there being absolutely no cinder refuse. Mackay and Flood did not feel inclined on account of the pressure of other business to develop their magnificent property. For about six months past the Fort Bragg Lumber Company [sic] has been investigating the fields with the most satisfactory results, and has thus taken the bonds for six weeks’ further research.

According to the gentlemen who represent them in this matter there is little or no doubt that the company will acquire the property, and, as must necessarily follow, build a railroad to it from their present headquarters at Fort Bragg. This lumber company controls about 100,000 acres of timber property about Fort Bragg. It has built a railroad through its property for ten miles. Surveys have been made to complete the line to Willits, a distance of twenty miles farther.

The route follows the Noyo River for some distance, crossing a rich hilly country through the 3000-acre settlement which has recently been colonized there into Willits. From Willits to the mines, a distance of about twenty miles, no survey has yet been made, but the road will undoubtedly follow the river down to the [Eel River] Forks and proceed to the mines, two miles beyond.

The cost of the construction of this railroad, the engineer states, will be between two and two and a half million dollars. Thomas L. Johnson of Michigan is one of the principal backers of the lumber company in this enterprise. Ex-Governor Alger of Michigan is also interested in the great scheme. Mr. Johnson is now in this city attending to the details of the affair, and he expects to leave in a few days for the East, where he will secure capital to purchase and develop the coalfields and build the railroad. Willits is but twenty-four miles from Ukiah, the present terminus of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad.

There is no doubt in the minds of those interested in this great enterprise and among the leading citizens of Mendocino County that the new railroad will be extended down to Ukiah. There will thus open for Mendocino County a new era, and her magnificent valleys will be flooded with settlers. Ten thousand people, within six months about Round Valley is a small estimate of the number who will be attracted by the development of the mines and the building of the railroad from Fort Bragg. Work is going on on the railroad extension at present, mainly on account of the cheapness of labor. The mines are also in operation, but a large additional force will be soon put on both under the present impetus.

Having found substantial financial backing, a group of prominent Ft. Bragg lumbermen continued their plans to build a railroad from the coast to what was now called the Mount Vernon coal mine:

Railroad Company Formed. San Francisco, May 16 —Barclay Henley and J. T. Johnson, of this city, together with Calvin Stewart, of Fort Bragg, G. A. Hunt, of Walla Walla, and R. S. Strahan, of Portland, have filed articles of incorporation for the purpose of building and operating a railroad line in Mendociuo county.

The capital stock is placed at $2,600,000, of which $llO,OOO has been subscribed as follows: Henley $54,500; Johnson $54,500; Hunt $800; Stewart and Strahan $lOO each. The railroad is to begin at the ocean near Fort Bragg, Mendocino county, and go to Ukiah by way of Little Lake valley, Mount Vernon and the coal mines on Eel river in Round valley.

Very wealthy men were now behind the Overland Pacific Railway Company project:

San Francisco Call

May 18, 1894

ALGER BACKS IT.

CAPITAL BEHIND THE NEW RAILROAD. TO TAP VAST COAL FIELDS. WHAT THE PROJECT MAY MEAN TO SAN FRANCISCO. FUEL AT FOUR DOLLARS A TON. BARCLAY HENLEY TELLS OF THE SCOPE OF THE OVERLAND RAILWAY COMPANY.

General Alger of Michigan, O. R. Johnson of Racine, Wis., and his sons and the heirs of the estate of ex-Senator Stockbridge of Michigan are the men behind the Overland Pacific Railway Company, incorporation papers of which were recently filed. Alger’s wealth is well known. O. R. Johnson is reported to be worth between $15,000,000 and $20,000,000.

The road as projected will tap the coal fields of Mendocino County, owned by Mackay and Flood. Negotiations are pending for the disposition of the bonds in the East. As soon as this is done construction work will be begun on the first 100 miles of road to the coal beds.

“When the line reaches the coal fields,” said Barclay Henley last evening, one of the directors and incorporators, “we shall be able to lay down in San Francisco, daily, 2000 tons of coal, equal to the best article from Washington or British Columbia, and we can place it on sale at $4 a ton. What that means to the manufacturers of this city can readily be realized. Cheap fuel will make San Francisco one of the greatest manufacturing cities of the nation.”

Fifteen miles of new road, standard gauge, have already been constructed out of Fort Bragg, which is to be the western terminus and seaport of the line. The survey then runs up the Noyo River for twenty-one miles and then in a northeasterly direction through the Noyo and Little Lake divide, a distance of twelve miles to the town of Willets [sic]. From that point a line, thirty- two miles in length, will be constructed to a junction with the San Francisco and North Pacific at Ukiah. From the town of Willets [sic] another road will run in a northeasterly direction, following the Little Lake outlet to the South Fork of the Eel River and down that stream to its junction with the Middle Fork.

The projected line then extends up the Middle Fork to the Ukiah and Round Valley wagon road and thence to the coal fields. The total length of the surveyed lines is a fraction over 100 miles. The maximum grade on the surveyed route does not exceed 1 per cent, or 52.8 feet per mile. It is estimated that the total cost of the system ready for operation will be $2,347,985. The total gross revenue has been placed in statistics recently furnished $546,976 28 and the operating expenses $328,185 77, upon a 60 per cent allowance for such expenses.

Quite a large lumber traffic is anticipated, as the men who are backing the road own a valuable section of redwood extending from the coast thirty miles to the town of Willets [sic], but a greater source of revenue is expected from the coal fields. This city consumes more than 4000 tons a day, so that an ample market would be afforded for the output of the coal fields.

The Mount Vernon coal mines, which the road proposes to tap, are stated by Mr. Henley to be practically inexhaustible. The lode has been traced for a distance of twenty miles. At Mount Vernon the vein is about eighteen feet in thickness.

Several other veins varying in width from three to seven feet have been discovered. In a recent report, after a test of the Mount Vernon with “Wallsend” Sydney coal, the superintendent of the San Francisco and North Pacific road reported: “The engine steamed as freely with Mount Vernon as with Sydney coal, made but little smoke and no clinker and but little ash. From our experience I would call it a first-class coal for locomotive fuel.”

In a recent analysis made the Mount Vernon coal was found to be of finer texture and harder than any other of the coast product. The calorific value was also found to be greater than in any of the coast coals, and but slightly inferior to the best English. This is shown by the following table, in which the figures represent the number of pounds of water evaporated from 212 degrees Fahrenheit by the combustion of one pound of coal:

Mount Vernon……………13.86 pounds

Wellington………12.80 pounds

Best English………15.95 pounds……….

West [sic] Hartley…………15.40 pounds

Best New Zealand…………15.50 pounds

The road as projected assumes the shape of a letter Y, the fan being at Fort Bragg, one arm reaching northeasterly from Willets [sic] to Round Valley and the coal fields and the other arm extending southeasterly to Ukiah. A tributary to Fort Bragg, where there is a population of 8000 which will be placed in rail communication with this city. Ultimately it is intended to extend the line down Eel River into Humboldt County to a terminus on Humboldt Bay at Eureka, This would place Eureka in direct rail communication with San Francisco.

It is the intention in time to construct a coast road north of Eureka as far as Portland. The directors of the company are Barclay Henley, T.L. Johnson, Calvin Stewart, G. W. Hunt, and R. S. Strahan. By having a terminus at Fort Bragg the company will be enabled to bring the coal from that point by sea to this city if satisfactory arrangements could not be made with the San Francisco and North Pacific but as the coal carriage would form a very large proportion of the latter corporation’s business it is not doubted that an arrangement can be reached for the shipment of coal direct from the mines by rail by using the tracks of the San Francisco and North Pacific from Ukiah South.

Talks held in Covelo and Laytonville were greeted with enthusiasm Former state congressman lawyer and politician Barclay Henley proclaimed railroad construction contracts were awarded and the railroad would be done in six months:

The Fort Bragg Railroad

Humboldt Times

May 29, 1894

In an interview with Barclay Henley, with reference to the new railroad to the Round Valley coal fields, organized as the Overland Pacific Railway, the Ukiah Press says:

“The contract for the building of this 100 mile railroad, which will tap the great lumber regions owned by General Alger and others, and the great coal fields of Mendocino county, has already been let. Ground will be broken on the proposed road within three weeks, and at the utmost within thirty days. The contract has been let to the Irrigation and Construction Company, and the agreement calls for the completion of the road within six months.

The company which has the contract has every available means to build the road, and can place 2,000 men to work if it so desires. When the road is finished, coal will be ready for delivery, for the coal-bunkers will be built by that time, and the mine ready for operation. Two thousand tons a day can be easily mined, but there is no limit to the supply. The coal can be mined for $1 per ton, the transportation will cost $1.50, and the company can make a splendid profit by selling it at the S.F. Francisco market for $4 a ton.

Months later, a delay in construction was overcome by paying unpaid workers who had had to sue for their money:

The Fort Bragg Railroad

Humboldt Times

February 1, 1895

The railroad survey has have been paid off, 25 cents cash and 73 cents paper, payable in four months, says the Willits News. Some of the other creditors have also received four month’s orders for the “big” and the “little” bills that they held against the railroad company. It was a very unsatisfactory settlement, especially to those who needed coin to keep the “mill grinding,” but probably it was the best that could be done by the company under existing circumstances.

The News candidly believed that the paper will be duly honored at the expiration of four months, and by that time, if not before, active work will be inaugurated on the proposed road. The authenticated report that the railroad managers had bought out the interest of Mr. Plummer in the Union Lumber Company, and that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hunt are going east to make arrangements for the necessary funds to build the road, is sufficient proof to make the assertion that these go ahead men have by no means deserted the idea of pushing this road through to the coal mines at no distant day.

If with the opening of next spring work isn’t begun in dead earnest on the road the News will then lose faith in the proposed enterprise, but until then we shall look ahead with the hope of a fulfillment of our utmost desire—railroad connection with the coast and the northern portion of our county. Since the above was put in type a private letter to a resident of Willits states that Hunt left last Monday morning for the east, when he is confident that the money can be raised to put the railroad through to the coal mines and Covelo.

Newspapers reported that advertisements in San Francisco papers showed that the promoters had “not given up their project and evidently mean business”. More mass meetings in Fort Bragg were held to raise subscriptions to finance the project, finally, on June 1st of 1895, work was to begin:

Fort Bragg Railroad

Humboldt Times

May 11, 1895

Arthur Boon, from Fort Bragg, says the Willits News, reports having had a conversation with Mr. Bartlett, chief engineer of the road, in which that gentleman is quoted as saying that work on the road would commence on the 6th of next month. Mr. Hunt, who is now in the north, will arrive in San Francisco about the 1st of next month, where he will be met by the steamer Noyo, which together with a cargo if supplies, will bring him to Fort Bragg. “Everything is now ready,” said Mr. Bartlett, “to commence active operations, and we have the money to pay all the demands against us, as well as to put the road through to the coal mines.”

Construction of the railway out of Ft. Bragg and up the Noyo River continued, the Humboldt Times reported on a new investor group formed to provide financial backing for an extension of the San Francisco and Northern Pacific railroad northward from the San Francisco Bay:

Railroad Extension Towards Humboldt

Humboldt Times

March 25, 1898

The Examiner of the 23d instant publishes under an elaborate heading the following article:

For several years there has been a great deal of talk about extending the San Francisco and North Pacific railroad northward from Ukiah toward Eureka. The inducements are very great, there being an inexhaustible redwood forest about twenty five miles north of Ukiah, and onward toward Eel river large coal fields belonging to Flood and Mackey. The country to be traversed by the proposed extension is rich, therefore, in coal and lumber as well as in the products generally of a rich agricultural section.

A few days ago a corporation was formed in this city with articles of incorporation filed in Sacramento, having for its purpose the extension of the so-called “Donahue road.” The names of the directors are George F. Prescott, G. A. Pope, Mr. Palache, Fred A. Wickersham, and J. H. Isham. The last named gentleman is the secretary and business man, and doubtless the representative on the board of Andrew McCreary.

The name of the corporation is the California and Northwestern Railway Company. The Board of Directors has already issued bonds to the amount of one million dollars, which bonds the San Francisco and North Pacific road has guaranteed and endorsed by appropriate action, the bonds now being in charge of the Anglo-Californian Bank and deliverable upon certain conditions.

The Board of Directors is composed of man of large capital, as is well-known in this community, and from their well-established character for integrity and business capacity and their financial standing it is apprehended that the enterprise will be pushed to early completion. The guarantee of the bonds by the San Francisco and North Pacific road will, of course, make them readily marketable, if, indeed, the stockholders do not intend to furnish the money themselves.

Whether the Examiner has got the right of this or not, remains to be seen. The lead lines states among other things, “Affording an Outlet for the Coal, Lumber and Produce of Humboldt County.”

It is possible that the proposed extension is for the purpose of reaching the coal deposits of Northern Mendocino, and not for a connection with Humboldt roads. We hope it is intended for the latter, but in any event will be glad to learn that any extension toward us is to be undertaken, as every mile is so much gained in the right direction.

The turn of the century arrived, the Humboldt Times bemoaned the slow pace of development of its oil belt and the coal deposits on the South Fork of the Eel River. Three more years passed, and the Mendocino coal field with its “10,000 tons a day output” appeared to be a plaything tossed about and being evaluated by the big money men of the time. A major railroad company with plans to extend their rail south from Humboldt County now entered the competition:

SANTA FE HAS EYE ON MENDOCINO COAL FIELDS PLANS TO PURCHASE THE PROPERTY AND RUN TO IT A BRANCH ROAD FROM THE MAIN LINE

Humboldt Times

April 5, 1903

[By Associated Press]

SAN FRANCISCO, April 4 -The Santa Fe is said to have designs on the coal fields of Mendocino county. This valuable property may be opened up to feed the new northern line of the company, which will thus not depend entirely on Humboldt lumber for freight.

Twenty-four thousand acres of coal fields in Mendocino, the property of Clarence Mackey, and James L. Hood, lie just fifteen miles from the projected extension of the Eureka and Eel River Railroad. It is said that the Santa Fe is endeavoring to gain possession of it and will build a branch line through the coal fields to Covelo.

The rumor has not been confirmed, but it is probable that California coal will be put on the market when the new road is constructed. Experts who have examined the property, declare that a daily output of 10,000 tons can be developed. President Ripley is in New York at present, but will leave for California tomorrow. Whether or not the Santa Fe acquires possession of it, the property will doubtless prove a valuable feeder to the new road.

* * *

From the other direction, ten miles of construction of the California and Northwestern Railway north of Willits began in 1903:”Contract Let to Construct Ten Miles of Track Round Valley Coal Fields Objective Point [By Associated Press]

UKIAH, May 6, —An agreement has been signed calling for the grading of ten miles of road for the California and Northwestern Railway Company. The contractors are to commence immediately and build ten miles of road northerly from a point near Willits, the present terminus of the road. It is generally supposed that it is the intention of the company to reach the vast coal fields of Round Valley”(Humboldt Times, 5/7/1903).

Finally, there was actual word from the mine:

Covelo, April 28.—An expert from San Francisco has a crew clearing the debris from the tunnel of the Eel river coal mine, six miles from here. The mine is said to be bonded by the Santa Fe Railroad Company and the expert is working in its interest. There are 25,000 acres in the tract, which belongs to the Nevada bank of San Francisco. Eel river cuts through the coal vein, which is eight feet wide where exposed. Some years ago a tunnel was bored into the mountain and then it was found that the deposit was quite extensive. The outcroppings spread over an area of several miles(Blue Lake Advocate, 5/6/1905).

Surveying of potential railway routes had been conducted for a number of years to access the timber wealth of the North Coast for a number years, the plans and surveys for route up the South Fork of the Eel railroad were lost in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. In the fall of 1906, the route had still not been chosen. The arrival of a party of surveyors at Willits was encouraging and showed that a spur to the coal fields was still in the plans:

SURVEYORS AT WILLITS

Humboldt Times

October 23, 1906

At last there is some palpable evidence of the extension of the local railway to Eureka. Thursday a party of 20 arrived in this city. They are Southern Pacific engineers and will at the present time establish a camp near the Outlet. Engineer Graham is chief of the party and W. F. Broughton is instrument man. Most of the young gentlemen were with the Southern Pacific in Oregon, and while they are ignorant of the intentions of Mr. Harriman, they were extremely delighted to get away from the snakes and mosquitoes of Klamath Falls. The party thinks it will require several months to complete the necessary survey and it has not yet been developed as to the route. Some allege that it will be by middle Eel, the others by the South Fork; but as yet no one is able to say just where the line will run. From all that can be learned the prevailing idea is that the line will be established down main Eel river with branches to Jackson valley and the coal mines near Round valley. There are two four-horse teams and one single rig in the engineer corps. They are enthused over the prospects of fine hunting and fishing.—Willits Herald.

Mining rights options were due to expire on May 1, 1909, so in the winter of 1908-9 a crew was working sinking new shafts. The extent of its acreage was downsized from earlier estimates, and the quality was now determined to be soft, but good for the heating market:

COAL FIELDS ON EEL RIVER

Humboldt Times

March 5, 1909

A crew of eight or ten men has been employed all winter in the Eel river coal field, working under the direction of Mr. W. F. Murray, an expert from the eastern coal fields. Shafts have been sunk into the vein south of Eel river as far as the Gardy Gibson place, just west of the Eden Valley house, and the prospects are good. The vein is about 22 feet wide and is not far beneath the surface at any place. It does not extend north under Round Valley as was supposed, but gets better toward the south.

Mr. Murray says it is the best coal yet discovered In California but is soft and cannot be used for steam. It is a good heating coal and there is a better market for that quality than any other. The extent of the field is about 10,000 acres instead of 50,000 as was supposed by those who could do nothing more than guess at it.—Ukiah Times.

The interest of Humboldt County in the Round Valley coal field was due primarily to the deposit’s potential to lure captains of railroads and finance to build a long desired railroad. It was obvious to the press that in the “natural resources so prolific in the section of virgin country bridged only by the ninety mile “gap,” there is every inducement for the railroad company to get busy and throw dirt.” (Humboldt Times, 4/16/1909). In September of 1909, after decades of talk, surveys and plans, the President of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad announced that Humboldt would get its railroad. But what became of the railroad spur to the mountain of coal split by the Eel River?

What happened to the Eel River coal mine will have to remain a mystery for now. Once again, Odd, Old News regrets, somewhat, leaving the reading audience in suspense, it’s a long story ne’er told, and we take pause in 1909. There will be a Round Valley Coal Mine, Pt. 3 at some future date.

CoalTrain

(Courtesy, The Redheaded Blackbelt, KymKemp.com)

5 Comments

  1. Harvey Reading October 3, 2021

    “We are fiting for the Rich mans property & negars—”

    Says a lot about the south and the country in general, even in the 21st Century, and none of it good.

  2. Kirk Vodopals October 3, 2021

    Re: online comment of the day… Not sure why or if that drivel is considered insightful. The monkey may show more of his back side the higher he climbs, but there are shitheads in every echelon

  3. Professor Cosmos October 3, 2021

    A fire has flared up at Schooner Gulch on its upper end on the western side of Ten Mile Rd above Point Arena. Slow spread, responders on scene.

  4. Marmon October 3, 2021

    RE: NO MORE IMMIGRATION

    “What I won’t do is go back to the old failed model of low wages, low skills supported by uncontrolled immigration,”

    -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

    • Harvey Reading October 3, 2021

      LOL. As if anything that fool says can be taken at face value. Typical that a guy like you would latch on to his misleading BS.

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