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Off the Record (November 3, 2021)

THE PRICES of everything everyone needs to live are going up and up. The people who don't do their own shopping, those fortunate few whose wealth puts them beyond economic squeezes, call this “inflation.” The rate of inflation is measured by the consumer price index which, the “experts” tell us, officially rose by 0.4 per cent last month for a 5.4 percent rise compared to 2020, which is a lot even by the experts’ conservative calculations. The consumer price index examines the average prices of groups of consumer products and services such as transport, food and medical care. It reflects money's purchasing power over time, or more simply, the general rise of prices of everyday goods. Food and fuel have gone up the most, meat and gas at the pump especially. In a government by and for limo people it is unlikely the top limo person, especially the incapacitated Biden, is unlikely, when prices of basic goods get totally beyond most people, institute price controls. The overall economic situation approaches dire.

INTERESTING PRESENTATION before the Supes last week came from the county's chief probation officer, Izen Locatelli who said that state facilities for super-delinquent youth — killers, rapists, the ultra-vi — are no longer an option, that Mendocino County's two super-delinquents are coming home where they will be housed by themselves in a fortified area of Juvenile Hall on Low Gap Road. The authorities won't identify or tell us who or what this pair of must-be-sequestered youth are and did “to protect the well-being” or some such dodge “of the child.”

BLACK AND BROWN youth get the super-dangerous designation a lot faster than white kids and, I would guess, our pair of homegrown delinquents are more than likely of Native American and or Mexican descent. And they will come from impoverished backgrounds, as do their older brothers-in-crime.

HOW INTRACTABLY CRIMINAL are these two? Very, probably. You don't get a state ticket if you're not irretrievable. So Mendo, like all counties, has gotten a state grant of $167,000 to arrange for the special housing, care and feeding of these two and, one supposes, the irretrievable to come.

WE'RE TALKING a closed system here so there's no way for the interested public to meet these two lads to evaluate them from the merely “concerned citizen” perspective but, having spent a decade with the irretrievable myself, the only way the irretrievable are ever retrieved is via some self-revelation that they don't want to be criminals, a self-revelation that typically arrives, if it ever does, in adult prisons with good libraries. (I know a guy who did two terms in Pelican Bay's “special housing unit” where, he told me, “I read a lotta fuckin' books,” but this particular guy, last I heard, was back in prison. Knowing him, he probably read the wrong fuckin' books.) These two Mendo boys are lost now, and will probably remain lost. If it's any consolation, there are thousands of them out there, most of them un-incarcerated.

I LIKED this on-line description by ‘Notty’ of last week’s high surf: “I kid you not, this happened last night around 2 AM - doggo jumped on our bed trembling, wouldn't get down. I noticed she was in a very agitated state, then heard a loud roar. I thought it was wind and rain, but when I stuck my head outside, no wind, no rain, but the roar was even louder, like it was right across the street. Then realized it was surf, BIG ass waves - one mile away. Mind, blown. You could feel the vibrations through the ground in concert with the sound. Pretty amazing, except from doggo's POV. Had to stay up with her for two hours before the roar finally softened. Anybody know how big those waves were?” 

MIKE GENIELLA has retired from his most recent job as spokesman for the DA. The former long-time reporter on Northcoast affairs for the Press Democrat at a particularly turbulent time in local history, Geniella somehow managed to honestly report on the volatile timber wars raging at the time, creating a true record of those events as he went. Imagine a job that required you deal with the ruthless Harry “I want it all now” Merlo of L-P and the relentless Judi Bari and her Earth First! mob in a day's work. Geniella was so good at his job that Merlo pressured editors at the PD to remove him from timber stories (which the spine-free editors did), and no matter how many hours he spent with the eco-demonstrators, patiently listening to their complaints, they then whined about him not giving them enough coverage. The guy did an impossible job with an integrity rare in today's journalism. And working for the, ahem, exacting DA Mr. Eyster had to have had its many trying moments. If ever a guy deserved a peaceful retirement it's Mike Geniella who reports his departure this way: “The word is out that I am stepping down at the end of the week from my role as PIO for the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office. I want to thank each of you for sharing the journey over the last 11 years. Journalism as we know it has been savaged by economic disruption but new ways are developing, and the craft remains critical to an informed public. I would suggest that in face of 'fake news' hostility, solid, honest reporting is more valuable than ever. Keep up the good work. It is important. Thanks.”

WHO is this beast of Upper Lake football whose fearsome athleticism has small school football coaches warning colleagues not to play Upper Lake because this one kid is way too much for the average high school athlete. From what is rumored, the UL kid has hospitalized more than one opponent. I'm reminded of Theron Miller when he played for Mendocino, a man among boys who went on to play at San Jose State and nearly caught on with the 49ers. And then there was Logo Tevaseu right here at AVHS in Boonville, unstoppable as a high school kid who was a special teams star at TCU. Every once in a while out here in the boons a kid comes along who's so fast and strong…

FORMER MENDO COP Trent James is offering a weekly YouTube commentary on his experience. He has floated lots of hearsay short, way short, on specifics, but he’s always interesting because gossip is often interesting. Much of what James passes along happened long before he became a peace officer. This week, though, he performed a true public service as he answered questions from his viewers. The questions tended heavily to the mis and uninformed, sprinkled with the usual cop bashing from the defendant community and a threat aimed at James, which he dismissed as the woofing of “keyboard warriors.” To this viewer James comes off as an appealing character who was undoubtedly a conscientious cop. I think Mendo lost a good one when he decided to move on.

ONE QUESTION put to James particularly caught my ear. “Was Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Davis killed by friendly fire on April 14, 1995? I never believed that Lincoln did it. My theory is that Tony Craver’s brother Jason Craver was the one who shot Bob Davis. Jason was backing up deputies Dennis Miller and Davis when deputies opened fire on Bear Lincoln and Leonard Peters.” 

TRENT JAMES: “I don't know. That was way before my time. I was eight years old. For those of you who don't know, Bob Davis was a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy who worked the Covelo area back in the day, back in the 90s. That was much of the area that I worked in. He was shot and killed. A lot of stuff led up to that incident during that time. It was a crazy, tragic, horribly sad story. Not just for Bob Davis, obviously, but for the other people who died that day as well. That story is online. You can google it. It was a whole, huge, giant thing that occurred over a number of years and fostered a lot of disdain and hatred on behalf of Covelo people for law enforcement just because of the events that transpired after the incident. But to answer your question, I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea. I know stuff that I've heard. I do know Bear Lincoln, the one who supposedly shot and killed Bob Davis. That was a rumor. And there was the rumor that you just told me. I do know Bear Lincoln personally. I have interacted with him numerous times while I was in Covelo. All I know is, like I stated, it was a horrible, sad, tragic event. And I truly don't know what happened. The only people who know for sure are the people who were there. And that's it.” 

THE QUESTION is way off. Jason Craver is not Craver’s brother, for openers. He is Craver’s son and had nothing to do with the event, although he was probably on-scene of the general police hysteria when it was over. It could not be determined from whose weapon the shots that killed deputy Davis were fired. Lincoln testified that he’d fired 12 of the 13 shots in his magazine during the first exchange with deputies Davis and Miller, and fired his remaining shot during the second exchange of fire between him and deputies Davis and Miller. Having visited the site of where all this happened, I think it was probably a lethal case of mistaken identity. Lincoln and Leonard Peters were walking up hill from the Lincoln property at the foot of the hill. As they rounded a bend in the road near the top of the fairly steep grade, Lincoln and Peters, assuming they were being ambushed from an invisible set of non-law enforcement enemies above them, were met with fire from the deputies. Lincoln said the deputies did not identify themselves; deputy Miller testified the deputies did indeed identify themselves and ordered Peters and Lincoln to drop their guns. There was no tactical reason for the two deputies to be posted at that location. Then again, the deputies may have assumed Arylis Peters whom they were on the lookout for would try to hide in the Lincoln home at the bottom of the hill and assumed he’d be driving past them at some point.

LEONARD PETERS was killed instantly when the deputies fired. Lincoln testified that in return fire he expended 12 of the 13 rounds blindly in the direction the first barrage of fire from Davis and Miller had come. (Miller was armed with a fully automatic M-16.) Lincoln said he fired his last round during which Davis was hit and killed five or six minutes later when he cautiously made his way back up the hill to check on his fallen friend. The bad feeling in Covelo after this awful event arose when deputies, reinforced by outside agencies, roughly handled random Native American residents of Covelo on the pretext of searching for Bear Lincoln. One group of militarized clowns even rappelled into town from a helicopter! I would add that police discipline that night seemed comprehensively poor, a small army of whom fired innumerable blind shots down the hill at the Lincoln home from where Leonard Peters lay, and one oafish CHP officer distinguished himself by pressing Bear Lincoln’s mother’s face in the mud of the road as she tried to get up the hill and away from the sad chaos of that awful night. (Adding to the confusion, it was a rainy night with a full moon only sporadically making the landscape visible.) I’ve always heard that Bear Lincoln escaped the scene on horseback, riding north and east where he was harbored by “hippies” until he appeared with Tony Serra in San Francisco four months later to surrender. Lincoln was subsequently found not guilty of murder. Much of the case against Lincoln depended on whether or not he knew he was battling the police. There remains much unknown about that night. 

FROM MARK HEIMANN’S report from the trial at the time: “Lincoln said that when he came back up the hill after the shooting of Acorn Peters he was fired on by someone up the road. Lincoln said he returned fire, shooting from the hip, but after one shot his gun was empty. Miller has testified that he felt rocks hit him in the leg, kicked up by a bullet strike, so it's unlikely that that was the bullet that killed Deputy Davis. From where Lincoln said he was firing, only one .223 shell casing was found and it was not attributable to Deputy Miller's M-16. Miller has testified that before that moment Deputy Davis was alive, so his death remains a mystery.”

O THANK YOU, GAVIN, THANK YOU. Californians who haven't received their Golden State Stimulus can expect to see checks for $600 to $1,100 arriving in the next several weeks. Thanks to the state's $76 billion budget surplus, California lawmakers earlier this year approved sending $600 checks to residents who earned less than $75,000 in 2020. Our leaders were obligated to return money to taxpayers this year to comply with a government spending cap California voters approved by ballot initiative in 1979.

ON TUESDAY, the Biden administration “voiced concern” about Israel's decision to build more settlements in the West Bank, saying it will “strongly oppose” such expansion on land historically owned by Palestinians. Peace talks between Palestinian authorities and Israel broke down in 2014 and the Israeli settlements on expropriated Palestinian land have gone on and on. State Department spokesman Ned Price warned Israel on Tuesday that its planned expansion, the first one experienced by the Biden administration, “damages the prospects” of a future two-state solution. Under Trump, Israeli West Bank settlements expanded by more than 9,000 as Trump greenlighted occupation of Palestinian property by Israeli fanatics, many of them American immigrants. The global community is mostly opposed to these constant expansions, and the US, regardless of who is president, shovels many annual millions to Israel, the withdrawal of which would compel the Israelis to stop ripping off Palestinians. The Israeli zealots claiming Palestine as their own, base their claim on the Old Testament. 

THE HAWK (Chris Skyhawk): “I’m sitting here in Cucina Verona cafe in Fort Bragg reading the AVA and about baseball, stealing home etc. In about. 1988 I worked for a group home in Sebastopol and I was in charge of six boys I took them to Candlestick Park to watch the Giants play the Reds. In the bottom of the 9th I watched as Roger Craig sent home Bret Butler on a suicide squeeze for the walk off win. The boys and I were thrilled. To this day it is one of the most exciting things in sports I have ever seen.”

NOT THAT the paranoids are likely to be satisfied with mere facts, according to a Security Council report declassified and published Friday, COVID-19 was not produced as a biological weapon. The assessment was made as part of an investigation into the virus’ origins ordered by Biden. Some of the report’s contents had previously been made public. The report, based on a 90-day review, says it’s unlikely the origin of COVID-19 will ever be definitely determined, as analysts say “that a natural origin and a laboratory associated incident are both plausible hypotheses.” However, most analysts “assess with low confidence” that the virus wasn’t genetically engineered, the report says. The intelligence community does not believe the Chinese had prior knowledge of the virus, regardless of its origins.

AN AVA COMMENTER alleged Saturday morning that the following are Trump triumphs. As a public service I've annotated them:

Under President Trump: The USA #1 producer of oil/gas [which is killing life on earth and untrue anyway compared to the OPEC countries.] Iran boxed in and under control. [Iran has secretly sold fuel to the Israelis, among others, for years. If they were truly "boxed in" their regime would have collapsed years ago.] Afghanistan quiet. [Because starving people don't have the energy for trouble.] Several hundred thousand guns and helicopters were not gifted to the Taliban while attempting to take our guns away. [Yes they were, and who's trying to take our guns away?] China in check and not openly belittling our attempt to “speak from a position of strength.” [Tell it to Taiwan and Hong Kong.] Southern border under control. [Separating children from their parents is not ordinarily a law and order strategy. No change in border disorder from Trump to Biden.] Historic Arab peace deals. [Name one. Entire Middle East remains in turmoil, and who but the moronic Trump would brag about a “peace deal” with Saudi Arabia?] Cheap gas prices [$3-plus is cheap?] Ships were unloaded and goods delivered. [This prob was inherited by Poor Old Joe.] The President didn’t run from the press. [In fact, he usually did, hiding behind the crazy people he serially hired as his spokespeople.] Despite Lee Edmundson’s assertion, it’s obvious to this observer that the President is more than a figurehead. [Presumably you mean “no more than” a figurehead. I agree.] Let’s go Brandon. [Who's Brandon?] And now Biden wants to pay each separated person that illegally crossed the border $450 000. The illegals don’t have to be vaccinated but we do. [Never happen, and millions of Trumpers are themselves opposed to vaccination.]

FORMER MENDO DEPUTY TRENT JAMES' latest blast at local law enforcement comes from a Ukiah-based podcast called Like It Or Not, the work of two young guys called, perhaps, Carter Lane and Drew Nicoll. Drew & Carter describe their show as: “An unfiltered and unapologetic take on life, politics, spirituality, social dilemmas, music and more. We find humor, ironies, hypocrisies and motivation in the challenges we all face daily and invite you to come along with us!”

Their interview with James was conducted in Dude-Bro, a lingua franca exclusive to dude-bros but barely intelligible to native English speakers, especially old ones. In the interview, replete with Dude-Bro's requisite F-bombs, James doesn't tell us anything we don't know except he's now a resident of Florida, as he notes approvingly that Mississippi still charges possession of an ounce of pot as a felony.

COUPLA things should have been previously noted by James, especially when he's chatting for public consumption with a couple of uninformed dude-bros. (I guess there are informed dude-bros, I've just never met one.) According to the Sheriff's Department, James re-applied for his old job but did not complete the application process. Which isn't to say he would have been welcomed back after insulting the command structure, but with his solid record on the job, especially his fondness for his years in Covelo, a posting difficult to fill by the department, it would have been a boon to the department and Covelo to have an experienced deputy police Mendocino County's most restive population.

AND JAMES' EMBRACE of the Flatten federal suit, including the Bro-Dude assumption that a lawsuit is a conviction, but anybody can file one, but not anybody can win one, especially the one filed by Flatten that alleges widespread wrongdoing in the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. 

FLATTEN mos def had a beef, but his beef, which he won, was with the Rohnert Park Police Department, two of whose deputies were jacking up southbound pot transports (“Hey, that guy looks like a doper!”) in the area of Squaw Rock on 101. I've always found it highly suspicious that nobody in Mendo law enforcement didn't know about it, but a suspicion is not a fact. 

WHEN THE TWO Rohnert Park crooks robbed Flatten, Flatten went to the feds and, it should never be forgotten, he also went to Kym Kemp at the Redheaded Blackbelt website based in Southern Humboldt. She broke the story which, of course, was never acknowledged by the mainstream Northcoast media when they, wayyyyyyy after her reporting, came down out of the hills to shoot the wounded. 

FLATTEN'S pending federal case, which I've read, seems to depend entirely on the two rogue RP cops implicating Mendo which, I would say is unlikely but we shall see what we shall see. As it is, there are no credible, substantiated complaints about the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. None, including the decade-old rumor that the feds are all over Mendo “investigating.” 

THE LAST TIME the feds arrived in force in Mendo to “investigate,” striding officially around central Fort Bragg in their FBI and ATF jackets, it was to “investigate” the Fort Bragg arson fires of 1987, managing to hire the girlfriend of one of the arsonists as a stenographer as the ace sleuths interviewed persons with direct knowledge of the crime. She duly reported to the arsonist at the end of every work day, and darned if the feds could never quite figure out what happened. And, of course, the feds never did consider Judi Bari's ex-husband as even a poss perp in the car bombing that abbreviated her life. As of today, the Mendo score is Major Crimes Two, Feds Zero. 

RUMOR out of Ukiah says Nicole Glentzer, an assistant administrator for the lushly administered Ukiah School District, will run for Superintendent of the Mendocino County Schools in the June 2 election, opposing incumbent Superintendent, Michelle Hutchins. Ms. Hutchins has completed three serenely successful years in the job as superintendent of all the county's schools so it will be interesting to learn the basis for Ms. Glentzer's opposition.

FOR THE WEEK PRIOR to the big rain a week ago, the following billboard-size message was sited at various locations around Ukiah:

We the People Town Hall Meeting

Mendocino Patriots

Join our movement for:

freedom of choice

informed consent

no mandates

holding our representatives accountable

October 24 Todd Grove Park

THESE self-certified patriots, at this stage, are attempting to rally in-county anti-vaxxers to mau-mau school boards, and it was several of the mau-maus who zoomed in on the Supe's meeting last week to harangue the nonplussed quintet that the haphazard mask recommendations advocated by the county's health officer were somehow a general threat to individual freedoms. Only these noble patriots stand between US and the tyranny of vaccination, although most of us see no link between the basics of immunology and dictatorship.

PROBABLY OVERREACH on my part, but I see these people as the Trumpian vanguard gearing up for 2024, headpieces definitely stuffed with straw, but resembling in their righteous wrongness the early German nazis, whose history I happen to be reading in Peter Fritzsch's fascinating “Hitler's First Hundred Days… [How the] Germans Embraced the Third Reich.” The Germans who didn't embrace the Third Reich, roughly half the population in the beginning, were literally bludgeoned into silence or risked the lethal consequences from Hitler's organized thugs. There's always been a strong implication of similar violence among the Trumpers, and they're gaining momentum thanks to the Democrat's idiocies and general tone deafness, and the Trumpers are well enough organized to already reach all the way into the outback, hence this small group of Ukiah “patriots.” (I'm told about 50 people turned out in the rain to listen to the hysterics.)


[1] Well, as COP26 commences, we’re getting a first hand look at what life can be without fossil fuels in Lebanon and Haiti. No hot showers, no electric lights, no gasoline to run automobiles, no heat or AC, hospitals closing, food spoiling due to lack of refrigeration, no diesel to run trucks, explosive interpersonal violence on the streets, vicious gangs controlling what little resources remain, IOW, the unravelling of civilization, Hell on Earth, not the utopia Captain Planet — John Kerry, Climate Czar — describes when he admonishes us to “abandon fossil fuels,” and “leave it in the ground.”

[2] I watched a video yesterday of Russian President Putin calmly and intently listening to a professor ask 2 long and complex questions and then spontaneously answer both of them in detail. And, then I thought ‘What an embarrassment it is for the United States to be nominally represented by a man who can’t even answer prepared questions.’

[3] Like the Chinese say…

Want to live forever ?

Have a child, write a book, plant a tree.

I volunteered at the Coast Botanical Gardens to learn from the experts there.

To me I viewed it as a war of attrition on a mass frontal assault.

So, like Operation Barbarossa, Michael moved east.

I created HUGE burn piles and I mean HUGE

Then planted Redwoods every 10 feet

The cool thing was when I found a pile of obsidian

Obsidian is not native to this area

But looking around, it was an obvious place for a Native American campsite.

Flat land, fresh water source and a quarter mile from the ocean

The Pomos here traded Abalone shells for obsidian.

Cool find.

But looking behind me to see all the Scotch Broom and English Ivy cleared along with the dead trees and the Redwoods planted in the cleared areas and figuring how it would look in 40 years when they were ready to be harvested was a cool feeling.

Lot of work, but I like to huff heavy stuff, so I enjoyed the work.

[4] How can anyone be bisexual when there are so many sexes?. The count seems to change daily.

They’ve come up with the term “pansexual” which is generally portrayed favorably, although it sounds like the sick fetish of demented chefs.

Shunning understatement, North Korean News once posted this colorful observation: Vulgar pansexual slovenly Imbecile Roger Stone latest to fall out of favor of Noted Idiot Trump in Latest Fecal Palace Intrigue. Top that, Rachel Maddow!

[5] Something like 30% of the goods on the hundreds of container ships dozing off the western coast of the US are moldy (and thus now useless). Many of the rest of the goods on those ships are meant for holidays that will be long over by the time they are unpacked and shipped around the country. 

I don’t necessarily view this as a negative. The US needs to rebuild some kind of manufacturing sector, if that means actual necessary things. Think medical supplies. 

The Brazilification of the US may be inevitable. It sure seems like it. However, the creation of local means of production of goods and services is a real way to abrogate this larger trend. To a degree it is happening, at least in the middle of the country. If you travel to many areas in the Midwest, you see many more breweries & small scale food & clothing producers, then you used to. People are using raw materials from closer to home again. This trend seems to be a natural reaction to the last 25 or so years of economic change. I’d love to see more of it. I definitely use my dollars locally.

[6] THE FUTURE OF POT, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but federal-level legalization is looming. I say bad because Moms-n-Pops think they have it bad now, with state legalization – when the big corporations step in they’re not gonna know what hit ’em. Penalties and fines for black market growing will be brutal – just do a little research into what R.J. Reynolds does to small “artisanal” tobacco farmers who dare to grow beyond their piddling legal limits. Do you imagine they will come up here, on our winding roads, and buy our pot for a nice fat price, and then we’ll all be done with the crime and the struggle to grow and then to transport and sell, everybody sing Kumbaya? The almond groves in the Central Valley will be replaced very quickly. Holes are dug, lines are laid. Be careful what you wish for.

[7] I’ve trespassed MANY times in Sonoma and Mendo, including along Highway 162 and the tracks following Outlet Creek. Never been shot, only been admonished a handful of times. Remember, blue line waterways are PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY, and can be used for travel AND recreation, regardless of who owns the land around it.

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