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Off the Record (December 8, 2021)

“HE WHO WOULD KEEP A SECRET must keep it a secret that he has a secret to keep,” hence nobody who knows for a slam dunk fact if the Kennedy Assassination was a conspiracy has come forward. I think the suspiciously delayed release of the rest of the Kennedy papers probably confirms that Oswald was employed, at different times, by both the CIA and the FBI. My late comrade, Cockburn, thought there was no conspiracy, that Oswald was a small 'c' communist whose attempt to knock off General Walker, his affiliation with the Fair Play For Cuba Committee, his sojourn in Russia, and his assassination of Kennedy were inspired by genuine left sympathies. Maybe. Oswald grew up hard, and he was an intellectual of sorts whose experience could have made him a proto-Marxist, but I'm more inclined to believe what he said he was, a “dupe” in a larger scheme.

SPEAKING OF CONSPIRACIES, we do have an ongoing conspiracy right here on the Northcoast involving the FBI, former supervisor McCowen, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the county's former trash czar Mike Sweeney, (now a resident of New Zealand), Darryl Cherney, and miscellaneous cretins who manage to think there was nothing suspicious about the FBI managing to exclude Bari's ex-husband from the suspect pool of likely car bombers. Because the Press Democrat managed to “lose” the only tangible piece of physical evidence we know of (the Lord's Avenger confession letter), and the FBI closed the case, I guess we can conclude that Mike Sweeney committed the perfect imperfect crime. Anyway, I was pleased to see that more than 300 honest citizens have viewed Steve Talbot's excellent film on the ava's youtube website, Talbot's film being the best, most concise explanation of what truly happened. Cherney lifted parts of Talbot's film for his own hagiographic mess, also called “Who Bombed Judi Bari,” and gosh, I wonder why Cherney would go to all the trouble? To keep his lyin' ass out of federal prison? Odd thing is although some 300 people have watched Talbot's film no one has commented. The Bari case, as you must know, cannot be discussed on KZYX or, as the station unironically calls itself, “Free Speech Radio.” 

RE DOUG STONE, the latter-day Black Bart burglar and home invader of Redwood Valley's Black Bart Trail, Joan Vivaldo, whose home was invaded by Stone, writes: “In October 2021, the oft postponed Preliminary Examination (PX) for Douglas Stone was set for 11/23/2021, a date the Defense Investigator opined was a poor choice since it was Thanksgiving week, and unlikely that all the law enforcement officers scheduled to testify would be available. For the first time during this process of multiple postponements, Victims' Assistance called me the day before the scheduled PX to say that the PX would be RESCHEDULED on 11/23/2021. Today, In a quick step backward, the Mendo Courthouse on-line calendar shows 9 am 12/7/2021 as the date for the SETTING of the PX.”

THIS IS THE TYPICAL FUNCTIONING of the Mendo court system which, as we know from long first-hand experience, has itself as its first and only priority, as this constant re-scheduling of Stone's case again establishes. The judge can't set time and date a month in advance and order everyone involved to be there or do a day or two in jail for contempt? As George Carlin often said to the effect, “It's all a big club and you ain't in it.” 

MANSON, filling in the blanks. Duncan James of Ukiah writes, “Back in the days I was a Deputy District Attorney in 1968, I did the search warrant on the property in Philo that got things rolling and resulted in the arrests of the Manson family. I was present during the initial interviews of the two minors who were furnished the LSD which led to the search warrant and affidavit in support thereof. I believe it was about a year earlier in around July 1967 when Charlie Manson had been arrested in Leggett for resisting arrest (Penal Code sec. 148). The search warrant was good. It was other events which caused the evidence to be suppressed by Mendocino Superior Court Judge Robert Winslow. It is not that we don’t know each other. You should have called. I would have been happy to help you fill in the blank spaces that exist in the books and court records that might explain a number of things. Anyway, have a great holiday season.”

I JUST READ Matt LaFever’s interview with Redbeard Evers. In a way he’s not very different from the street people we post every day in the Sheriff’s Log. But on the plus side, he did his thing in the woods, not on State Street in downtown Ukiah, intrepidly functioning in rough nature like old Mendolanders once did, albeit managing to function along with a drug and alcohol problem. But then a lot of old Mendolanders were drunks and dopeheads too, even some prominent ones. As for the burglary, he could have kept it to minimal survival theft and not been much trouble, but drunken break-ins and netflix and jewelry and property damage and guns and stuff don’t fit with the noble-hermit-living-in-nature image some seem to see him as. Mendocino County has had its share of hermits and semi-hermits and none of them were thieves. As for being a common burglar? Hell, official Mendo steals more money every day from the general public than Redbeard could ever dream of. (Mark Scaramella)

STATE WATER BOARD plans for another drought year.

Drought Conservation Emergency Regulation – January 2022 

The State Water Board finds that an emergency exists due to severe drought conditions and that adoption of proposed emergency regulations is necessary to address the emergency. Over the course of the spring and summer of 2021, Governor Newsom proclaimed a drought state of emergency for all counties in California, culminating, to date, with his October 19, 2021 proclamation (press release), urging Californians to step up their water conservation efforts. Immediate action is needed to ensure water suppliers and all Californians are taking sufficient actions to conserve water and preserve the State’s water supply. On January 4, 2022, the State Water Board will consider a proposed resolution adopting emergency regulations. See files below for more information.

JUST IN FROM CRAIG STEHR: "Everything is Brahman! The individual jiva is the instrument only, to be utilized by the Divine Absolute. Otherwise, perform sadhana to keep the mind spiritually engaged and not lost in random discursive thinking. This is yoga. At present, I am sitting on the big green couch at The Earth First! Media Center in Garberville, California. The EF! video archives have been digitized, and put in the cloud for perpetuity. Social security benefits are incoming, replenishing the checking account back to the $2,000 level. Health is good. Ready to "follow spirit". Talk to me. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare"

Craig Stehr in the middle, Andy Caffrey with the big beard. The third guy is an innocent bystander.

ED REPLY: No offense intended, Craig, but are you what is called a “bliss ninny?"

CRAIG REPLIED: "Reality is beyond bliss. No perception!"

ED REPLY: I’ll take that as a yes.

PHIL MURPHY: “I’m not sure you have a section for rambling speculation, I just am getting REAL tired of people on both the “teams” deciding that if you don’t agree with them you are the enemy, BTW, my trust in “science” has diminished a lot since it became the #1 suspect in how this got started. The Chinese tested 80,000 wild animals and didn’t find it, NOW they admit it didn’t come from a wet market, and bat guano has been mined for over 100 years-how did this virus pop-up out of nowhere all of a sudden and then morph into so many variants so fast? When has that happened before? I kinda think “trusting science” might not be the best plan in all circumstances, as I KNOW they will do ANYTHING to keep people from putting any new controls on research and in 2013 Fauci was asked about the risks of gain-of-function lab work and said it was worth it-I think he was wrong on that and someday that it will be accepted as fact that we should not have allowed it with deadly viruses because of KNOWN failures in lab safety protocols.

The lab leak explanation was a wild conspiracy theory according to the MSM and the “experts”, now it’s become acceptable to call it the prime suspect, the more we know about this virus the worse the predictions and advice of the experts looks.

It doesn’t help that congress has exempted itself and their staffers from any mandates, or that the CDC doesn’t even know what it’s staff’s vaccination rate is, or that seemingly all of our “leaders” have been spotted breaking the rules they have the rest of us under. Anyone know why vaccination rates among health care workers are so low? What do they know that we don’t? Is it because they see doctors and other “experts” fuck-up on a daily basis and then try to cover their asses? Probably."

ED NOTE: It took a while to sort out the great killer Spanish Flu of 1918-19, which was blamed on Spain until it was confirmed as having its origins right here at home in Kansas among American soldiers being trained there. Vulnerable and unvaxxed people have died from covid. Vaccination would have saved most of them. Vaccination works, and the basic principles of immunization apply as surely as the principles of basic physics. I think Fauci has been unfairly vilified, mostly because he's highly visible. If Aaron Rogers was up front in the job the wahoos would be silent. If the unvaxxed would have taken the shot when it was first recommended we'd be past this by now. But, no, here come internet researchers, and just like that every person in the country who flunked high school science refuses to protect himself and the rest of US. Fortunately, Americans of 1950 still had their wits about them or our children would still be getting picked off by polio. Of everything that has gone terribly awry in this country, the anti-vaxx movement is right up there with the most discouraging.

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS having become so frequent they're just one more sign of an imploding society, along with the exciting smash and grab shopping sprees we see breaking out across the land, but a high school with 1800 hormone cases in one place like that Michigan high school is a bad idea, especially a factory school with weapon detectors at the door and armed police in the halls. One might think this edu-model would be re-thought but, like all our institutions, the factory schools can't be reformed because the people running and staffing them are cool with the way they are. Entropy, is the word we want here, perfect pitch of.

FORTUNATELY in Mendo, unfortunately for the young people confined to it, windowless, re-circulated air, high security Ukiah High School is the only factory school in the county. Compare it, and most schools, with the graceful, humane school architecture prior to World War Two to today's medium-security school architecture, and… Well, form follows function, as they say.

FAN’S NOTE,  a reader writes: “Mark Scaramella’s County Notes pieces are the highlight of my week — really! A depressing tale of ineptitude and self-aggrandizing deceit. He nails all of it.”

FOR THE PAST EIGHT presidential elections, 5 of which were won outright by Democrats (who also carried the popular vote in 7), we were told that the primary reason to hold our collective noses and vote for Democrats was to preserve the Supreme Court and save Roe v. Wade. Over that same period, the court has swung to a super-majority of the far right, which has whacked voting rights, environmental laws, campaign finance reform, immigration rights, and abortion rights. For 25 of those 29 years, Joe Biden was either chair/ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Vice-President or President. The Democrats have forsaken the last reason to vote for them. (Jeffrey St. Clair)

SUPPORTS SKUNK PLAN, Dierdre Lamb writes: "I have lived on the coast for almost my whole life. I have seen Fort Bragg City make one bad decision after the next on so many projects, it would make your head spin to see them listed. How about Linda Ruffing, who spent years the head of City Planning and toiled hours and hours for years to get the Coastal Trail approved and in. Frankly, I couldn’t believe it, I was sure Fort Bragg City would designated the oceanfront part of the headlands for McMansions, an airstrip, housing, who knows. And after 10 years of Linda’s life, and the trail in and with no warning, she was fired from her job. She was reeling for a while about it, they said they wanted someone more “progressive” which equals more money. The Fort Bragg City doesn’t realize the Coastal Trail has added a priceless feature to the city, for people to walk, bike, and hike. It has made Fort Bragg a nice place to live. So, I am all for the Skunk Train, I saw their plans in the Little Stinker newsletter they sent out, and I think they are great. And, I think they will follow through with them. I do not think Fort Bragg City would follow through on making the headlands nice, and the Skunk Train will."

GUALALA SAYS NO. The Gualala Municipal Advisory Council met for just over three hours on Thursday, Dec. 2, spending almost two hours of that time considering -- and ultimately recommending rejection of -- a proposal by AT&T Mobility to add a 120-foot tower on Country Club Way. The council also heard a report by Law Enforcement officers, tabled discussion on a new home at Iversen Point, and conducted other routine business. 

HISTORY NOTE: In 1921 what is now known as Eagles Hall was Labor Temple aka Comrades Hall, built by the Socialist Party circa 1916, where on any Saturday night those passing by could hear The Internationale being sung … in Finnish! In that year Enoch Nelson, a former IWW activist and member of the fledgling Communist Party left Fort Bragg with a few other locals for Soviet Karelia, an ethnically Finnish area near the Finnish border to work on a collective farm there, but in 1938 locals here were informed that he had died of liver disease. In the 1950s under Khrushchev the truth came out: he had been murdered in the purges of the time. (“The Nelson Brothers: Finnish-American Radicals of the Mendocino Coast” by Allen Nelson, published by the Mendocino County Historical Society) (on-line anon)

CANNABIS SHOPS across the San Francisco Bay Area have taken big fiscal hits as gangs of thieves broke into more than 15 shops throughout November during the series of “smash-and-grab” robberies. Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong told reporters that “hundreds” of vehicles targeted marijuana stores in Oakland last month, firing 175 shots and stealing about $5 million worth of products. Alphonso ‘Tucky’ Blunt (sic), owner of Blunts and Moore, said his store lost about $25,000 during a November 22nd raid where more than a dozen burglars ransacked the store. “I know 25 or so businesses that got hit … and out of all those, the percentage I know that told me that they may not be able to reopen is about 50%. That's scary,” Blunt said. “I was safer, and had more money (selling) on the street, illegally.”

ANOTHER SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: “The Census Bureau's count showed that a mere 17.8 percent of the United States' 130 million households featured married parents with children under the age of 18.

AND SPEAKING of the young, a new poll from Harvard found that 52 percent of young Americans believe that U.S democracy is “in trouble” if not “failing,” while 27 percent found that the government was “somewhat functioning.”

JUST 10 DAYS LEFT TO BE A BOOK ANGEL. This is a great opportunity to get a book for a child that might not otherwise get book for Christmas and as far as good deeds and spreading cheer for the holiday go, this is the best. Click here to participate online or drop by the shop and check our display. And have a very happy Holiday.

STATE SENATOR MIKE McGUIRE proudly announced last week that after months of work he has finally managed to make sure that former Northcoast Congressman Doug Bosco will be repaid for all the bogus “loans” Bosco made to himself via his defunct “railroad”/money laundering operation, the North Coast Railroad Authority. 

McGuire: “The Budget Act that was passed this year included two significant groundbreaking items related to the Great Redwood Trail. No. 1, it appropriated the last bit of funding needed to pay off the remaining debt from the North Coast Railroad Authority and it also added $10.5 million to pay for stepping up the master planning process of the Great Redwood Trail. The second piece that this budget paid for was it allocated $500 million for projects that will help us fight our climate crisis and advance non-motorized trails of statewide significance. This is a game-changer.”

Notice that McGuire mentions the specific amount of money being wasted on “master planning” and bogus “projects that will help us fight our climate crisis and advance non-motorized trails of statewide significance,” but fails to mention how much money Bosco is getting from the NCRA in “remaining debt.”

(Mark Scaramella)


It’s my car, my choice, my freedom.

The effectiveness of winter tires is not proven, except by studies carried out by the manufacturers (you amaze me).

My neighbor Robert had an accident after putting on his winter tires.

Some are already on their third set of tires, which proves their ineffectiveness.

We do not know what they are made of.

The tire giants scare us with winter just to enrich themselves.

In fact, the tire giants invented snow and spread it at night when you sleep.

If I have tires, the government can track me in the snow.

Educate yourself, open your eyes, stop being sheep!

This year, winter tires, I say no!

— Lila Vaccher

I CHECKED with the only teenager I know, asking her if she suspected any of her classmates were possible school shooters. “Not in my school, but there have been like four lockdowns at my friend's school because of shooting threats. My school is very small and everyone there is smart.”

WHICH got a laugh out of me since a lot of the school shooters seem drawn from the high achiever end of the young psycho demographic.

GET ASKED THIS ONE often enough to foist its answer off on you, dear reader: What’s publishing your paper like?

THE GARRULOUS old coot replied, “Short answer? It's not coal mining circa 1920 but it does require some discipline, The job has been routinized, me with it, for many years. The daily schedule is reveille between 4 and 5, check the on-line daily edition for the more egregious errors, especially mine, gulping coffee as I go. Then I hit the road for 2-3-miles quick time, greeting the same two ladies every morning, Jan Wasson-Smith and Alicia Perez, who start an hour or so before me on AV Way. They walk out in the dark. Intrepid, they walk together. Sid Frazer drives past on his way to work at the Elementary School precisely at 6:50. (All us compulsives are alike.) Back in the bunker, shower and into my uniform, white or blue shirt, tie, brown trousers, the vague notion being the more or less formal garb seems to reassure visitors that the ava is indeed a business. Of sorts. Breakfast is granola mixed with an apple, a banana, non-nuked almonds, raisins, yogurt. It lasts me until noon or so. My colleague stumbles out into the work space about 9am, feeds his cat, talks to his cat, strokes his cat, gazes fondly at his cat then watches KRON news where the same woman screeches the overnight catastrophes at him. Most of the day is spent at the computer with the occasional phone call. (Nice thing about the internet is that most people now write rather than call. Can't think of anything else nice about the 'net. I've never liked talking on the phone, and answering it can mean too many minutes with a crazy person or a chronophage. (Chrono-time, phage-eat). Noon lunch is whatever my wife has packed for me. I'm strictly a food-as-fuel guy. Back to the computer. 15-20 minute nap after lunch. Back to the computer, maybe an hour of book reading if it's a slow day. Late afternoon, 300 push-ups in five sets of sixty each. (Got to stay fit enough to fight off unhappy readers.) Takes me about 20 to 30 minutes, depending. Not bragging here. Been doing push-ups for years, and that's not a big number given the years of doing them. If there's money on it I can do 80. Everything you need to do in the way of exercise can be done free. I don't understand gyms. The night shift consists of The Major and his cat. He puts together the cyber-paper between 10pm and midnight, and the paper-paper on Mondays before our self-imposed deadline of noon. Mike Kalantarian is early morning editor, He and I cyber-consult between 5 and 6am. There are only a few early morning hours every day of the week that the mighty ava is off duty. I turn in at 8pm, read until I'm carried off to sleep the sleep of the righteous, the just. Three of us push the daily rock up the hill. The Major and Mike do most of the real work and then some. The next day I repeat the previous day's schedule right down to the granola.


[1] Below is from the Ukiah Daily Journal back in 2015, when people were already complaining about a lack of housing due to short term rentals.

“Mendocino County 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde said he has heard that as much as $1 million in potential Transient Occupancy Taxes that normally would have been collected within the county isn’t going to the government. ‘My understanding is the county is looking at it,’ Gjerde said.”

After “looking at it” the County still hasn’t addressed the housing problem created by the high number short term rentals. All they did was ensure that the County could profit off of them, too, by collecting a registration fee and taxes. Mr. Shields is right. It is the same method the Board uses for “solving” most our problems – “How can the County make money from this?” That is one of the reasons I lost respect for Supervisor Gjerde and did not vote for him in the last election.

We are lucky that the City of Fort Bragg did not have that same attitude and has banned short term rentals from most areas of the City. Too bad for Mendocino. People are still getting tossed out there so owners can convert homes to vacation rentals. But Mendocino residents don’t want to be associated with the lowly Fort Bragg who had the foresight to say no. And both coastal Supervisors know that the new boundary for the 4th District should have included Mendocino instead of reaching all the way over to Laytonville. It reminds me of Hopland being in the 5th District – ridiculous.

[2] I am a bit offended by the housing survey that was done! As a person with 2 small houses in Fort Bragg, I told them that collaboration with people like me would better serve their purpose and I have heard nothing from them, big surprise!

[3] I came here 23 years ago with over 20 years experience in social services, including management. I’m appalled at how issues like this are handled in this county, which are more than 30 years behind the times in many respects!

My house had a legal tourist permit from the city that I let go when I bought it. I consistently rented to low income residents, which generally was a mistake that cost me a bunch of money.

3 years ago I spent my inheritance to remodel and furnish it for locums, although I knew that given my videos and reporting on the hospital meetings made me an enemy of the old Edwards management, so that didn’t work out. So while people also complain there’s no housing for medical locums, it also has issues people don’t address in these committees.

While I am renting again to a local caregiver, I resent the City and County enacting rules and laws regarding my personal property without really caring about my input!

Given our fabulous Fort Bragg City Manager is leaving and watching the Supervisor meetings, I am not hopeful that any of these housing/ short term rentals issues will ever be resolved.

Given that the County is dragging Laytonville and Spyrock into district 4, rather than sucking it up and including Mendocino in the district for obvious political reasons, I hold little hope for resolving any problems!

So, if anyone thinks a supervisor or county housing committee is going to solve anything is a joke in my book. This small county is over 30 years behind times, especially in social services and mental health in my experience, while not listening to real people!

[4] ON LINE COMMENT on Skunk Train takeover of old GP Mill Site in Fort Bragg:

As mentioned previously, not a lot of progress was made for many years on development of the millsite, except for the coastal trail and the set aside for the Noyo Center – thank you, Linda Ruffing (I wonder if the Skunk can claim all that property at some point, too? or the waste water treatment plant, for that matter.) Most of the delay was because of the remediation problems GP faced. Somehow, the Skunk convinced GP they could get out from under all that and GP walked away. There might have been other considerations between the two that we don’t know about – 1.3 million is a steal, remediation notwithstanding. While I can understand why people would doubt that the City would be able to manage development of the millsite – it’s a huge project – it wouldn’t be impossible. Bringing in a larger entity experienced in such things to manage the project would have been a great idea. Having it controlled by an entity with an amusement park plan and that rejects any local rules except when it’s to their advantage is an invitation to a City takeover and a possible disaster. Real estate development and the amusement industry are both sensitive to the whims of the economy. Having all the eggs in a skunk basket is extremely dangerous. But they own it now and, unfortunately, seem bent on jamming that fact down the City’s throat and flaunting their claim of immunity from oversight. There’s a reason the City and many coastal citizens are pushing back. I wish things could be better, but I think the only way that’ll happen is if the Skunk’s public utility claim is disallowed and the playing field is leveled.

[5] Pinochle is my family card game, three generations back. Though that is beginning to age out with some of the now-middle-aged younguns.

Card games are valuable, yet sadly in decline in the “whatever I want…now” digital age.

I know many would see fantasy football as a waste of time…but it’s good for keeping in contact with old friends, and also gives you a chance to jab em in the ribs now and again in good fun.

[6] So the Epstein pilot testifies under oath that Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump all caught the Lolita Express out to Pedo Island. What I don’t understand is why? Aren’t these guys rich enough and connected enough to get an extra-marital shag every time they need one – without getting caught up with the ultra-creepo sex-ring? Perhaps the ultra-creepo pedo stuff is what was most exciting. Who knows.

[7] Mel Brooks had it right all along, “People, they’re Nuts.” Everything going on right now can be directly traced back to unsound money. It was my parent's generation (I’m a boomer) who lost the war of Banksters against Humanity, and it looks like it is up to my grandchildren to take it back up again. Not sure they have it in them. So, I was perusing utube yesterday and watched Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” w/ introduction by him. He was talking about overpopulation, wars, climate, etc, more or less what is going on today and it gave me a new perspective for a little while. 

[8] ON ANTI-VAXXERS: "Hmm… ” wants to open civil discussions where individuals can openly question what is being said without feeling attacked or censored”? 

Notice anything about these people? That they never talk about anything other than how others are impinging on their rights but never about how they impinging on other’s rights? Accommodation is what others are required to do. That they demand respect for their constant rhetoric about how everyone from officials to doctors lie, lie lie but how anyone dare say that they are the ones doing most of the lie, lie, lying? That if a person gets sick, it is because they chose the life style of junk food, laziness and believing the media? Not at all that someone chose to spread a disease? That not enough people have become sick or died for them to willing to be inconvenienced by having to – oh the horrors- wearing a face mask? In the face of their own utter self-centered contempt for any narrative they find objectionable, they find it best to complain about a lack of respect for their own lack of respect? 

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