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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

Showers Rain | 148 New Cases | Health Order | Mendocino 1884 | Cherry & Taunia | Noyo 1920 | Frozen Cookie | Ferris Fish | Amended Complaint | Cooperrider Treehouse | Water Projects | Peace Fair | Police Restraint | Wiese Inn | Chokerman | Doctor Visit | Candlelight Vigil | Lincoln Speaketh | Mobile Mo | Printing Press | Ed Notes | Navarro Bridge | Safeway Wins | Yesterday's Catch | Giant Psyop | Hay Harvest | Gas Blower | Young Hiker | Bourdain Documentary | Economic Contraction | Overestimation | Couch Sunk | Hog Ride

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SHOWERS will linger across portions of the area this morning, with another round of rain and very high elevation snow expected this afternoon and evening. Periods of moderate to locally heavy rain will be possible starting this afternoon for Del Norte and Humboldt counties. Rainfall intensity will ease as we head into the overnight period, bringing back a more showery regime. Additional periods of rainfall will persist through much of this week and a stronger low pressure system is forecast to impact Northwest California early on Friday. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S RAINFALL: Leggett 2.5" - Laytonville 2.1" - Yorkville 1.2" - Willits 0.9" - Boonville 0.8" - Covelo 0.6" - Hopland 0.4" - Ukiah 0.2"

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148 NEW COVID CASES (since last Thursday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER Dr. Andrew Coren issued a Health Order effective February 1, 2022. The updated Order mandates COVID-19 vaccine (and Booster if eligible) verification or testing twice weekly for workers with local Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Law Enforcement, Temporary Disaster Shelters and now includes Dental Offices and Pharmacies.

“Omicron’s increased contagion makes boosters essential for high level of protection from illness, hospitalization and death,” explained Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren.

The original Health Order from September 2021 is being updated to include booster verification due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is rapidly spreading in California. This variant is two to four times as infectious as the Delta variant and recent evidence shows that vaccine effectiveness is decreasing over time without boosters. Evidence also shows that individuals who have received a booster increase their protective immunity against COVID-19.

Requiring booster verification in these specific fields also helps protect the most vulnerable individuals in our communities in high-risk exposure settings such as medical, fire, or law enforcement incidents. To read the full Health Order, please visit the Mendocino County Public Health webpage.

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Riding through Mendocino, 1884

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Taunia (Cherry's daughter) called me this morning and she wanted me to pass this along: she appreciates all your calls, support and concern for her and Cherry but Taunia is emotionally unable to respond at this time. Cherry is currently in Hospice care. We will try to keep you updated as more news comes in.

On a side note: If you would like anything from Cherry's house or to help with that - you can still give Taunia a call about that but know that she may not respond in a timely manner - thank you again as we move through this difficult time.

— Anderson Valley Village

PS, Upcoming AV Village events:

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Noyo, 1920

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by Anne Fashauer

It’s a new year and most of us aren’t sorry to see 2021 pass into the history books. I can’t say it was personally a terrible year but it wasn’t the best year of my life either. From a work perspective I was as busy as I have ever been - too busy at times. I certainly made up for the first few years I was in real estate, 2008-2012 were all fairly lean years, so I can’t complain about that. I did catch Covid in the third quarter of 2021, certainly not a highlight of the year. Mainly, I missed my friends and having people around. And Christmas felt very sad without any holiday parties for the second year running - and I am not that big a party person!

We had a quiet Christmas this year; our granddaughter spent this year with her other grandparents in Southern California. I did minimal decorating - not even a tree this year. We opened presents on Christmas morning, watched an excellent action film mid-day (Riders of Justice, a Danish film that I highly recommend) and then went to my brother’s home for Christmas dinner and presents with them. We also played Farkle, a silly dice game that provides a lot of fun.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were usurped by our travel plans this year. We originally planned to leave on the 4th of January for our Utah ski vacation but due to the incoming storms to the Sierras, we opted to leave on the 1st; we wanted to get over Donner Pass during the day in the middle of a few days of clear weather. We spent all of Friday packing the motor home, Cookie, plus prepping the house for the folks staying there while we are away (family and friends to keep my mom company). Our neighbors invited us for a glass of bubbly to celebrate the New Year so we did that and then had dinner before finishing up the packing.

We hit the road at 8:30 AM on New Year’s Day. It was a beautiful day to drive, sunny, clear and very light traffic. With the goal of simply being over the Pass during the middle of the day, we were not in any rush and opted to take Highway 20 as the more scenic option to our destination. We made it to just north of Grass Valley when suddenly, about a quarter mile before it was closed, we were given warning that 20 was closed to through traffic. We were detoured back to Highway 174 to Colfax, where we were able to join up with I-80 East. The drive to that point was beautiful and the detour was also beautiful. It was the most difficult part of the drive (for me, as the driver) as the road was narrow and there was ice on each side. Neither of us had ever been over that road and it is something we want to do again - in a car or in nicer weather.

The drive up I-80 and over the pass was perfect - very light traffic, beautifully plowed roads and stunning scenery. So much snow! The original plan had been for me to drive until we got close to the Pass and for Van to take over, but the conditions were so nice I keep driving until we reached Sparks, NV. 

In Sparks we met up with friends at a bar and grill for an early dinner. We hadn’t seen them since pre-Covid and it was really good to see them. It was also good to get out and stretch my legs, have a cocktail and know my driving was done for the day. Our break was short as we wanted to get a little farther down the road before stopping for the day. We made it as far as Winnemucca and, without any reservations, we ended up parked near a Flying J truck stop for the night.

My biggest concern about this trip was the cold. My fear was that we would freeze inside Cookie. Well, it turned out that we did not freeze - in fact, at one point I was so hot I threw the covers off of me. We burned a LOT of propane that night - it was 1°F outside - but we were a toasty 68°F inside. In preparation for the cold I purchased several twin-sized egg crate mattress toppers to use as insulation and we had placed these in the large windows at the front of the RV plus another couple in front of the door; motor home doors are notoriously poorly insulated. These definitely helped, however, when we pulled the foam away from the windows we found that they were completely iced over - inside! 

We arrived in Salt Lake City around 3:30PM. I fell asleep for about an hour so I missed some of the scenery, but what I did see was very pretty. Salt flats and snowy mountains all around. The road was in good shape, with no snow or ice. Speed limits are 80 MPH, which we are technically allowed to do as we are a single vehicle, but given the size of Cookie, we tend to keep it under that. We are camped at a KOA in town; from what I have seen it looks nice and the light rail is right outside the entrance, making a trip into downtown easy.

It is significantly warmer here than it was in Winnemucca - it’s 20° outside now, at 8:00AM MST. Our cold water lines are flowing as we left one line dripping last night. Our hot water is not flowing - so we know now to leave that line dripping as well. Fingers crossed nothing is broken - we have flexible hoses, thankfully. I did insulate the door overnight but we lowered the bed over the driving area and put the unused foam up there and we stayed in the mid-60’s overnight using two plug-in electric heaters. Right now we have the propane heat running but when we leave we will switch back to the electric heaters only.

Today’s plan is to take the light rail into down town and pick up our rental car. We will likely also visit the Temple Square, a place I visited back in the 1990’s when I was here working for the Department of Defense inspecting the Morton-Thiokol plant outside of Salt Lake City. I remember finding the Square to be very beautiful and quite peaceful. I’m curious to see if I feel the same way this time around. Once we have a car we will be able to drive out to the ski resorts and do what we came here to do. 

I know that when we travel food has been one of my favorite topics to write about. So far, I can’t say we’ve eaten that well. Dinner at the bar and grill was fine - I had an “Oriental” chicken salad that was good but overdressed; Van had “wedding soup” that was quite good plus a salad. Breakfast in Winnemucca was from the McDonald’s across the parking lot; lunch was pretty good - tacos from a taco stand in Wendover, just across the Utah/Nevada border. Dinner was salmon fillets, rice with green onions, beets and a large salad, all prepped and cooked in the RV, including on the grill that came with her. Dinner was good and we enjoyed some of our Witching Stick Chardonnay with it.

I’ll write more from the road - we are going to be gone for several weeks, here in SLC and then at Park City; we will take our time coming home, taking a more southern route. I’m hoping some hot springs will be in our future. Happy New Year to all of you!

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DEON DAGGS posted this photo from the days when the Navarro had fish in it. "It is a picture of my grampa Alvie Ferris. They had seven kids so he did a lot of fishing and hunting."

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EXCERPTS FROM INTRODUCTION to Zeke Flatten's Amended Complaint against Mendocino County Law Enforcement

In Mendocino County certain corrupt law enforcement officers are above the law because the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office have given officers the green light to steal marijuana, guns and cash under color of law. Many local officials and judges have been willfully blind to unlawful conduct by local law enforcement that is common knowledge among many in the community.

The Complaint instanter alleges a long standing and continuing RICO conspiracy conducting the affairs of an enterprise including the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office through a pattern of racketeering activity consisting of extortion to obtain marijuana, guns and cash from victims in possession of marijuana (18 U.S.C. §1951) by unlawfully searching their residences, stopping, detaining Plaintiffs and hundreds of other victims, committing robbery, obstruction of justice, (18 U.S.C. §1512) money laundering (18 U.S.C. §1956), tax evasion (26 U.S.C. §7201), and structuring currency transactions to evade the currency transaction reporting requirement (31 U.S.C. §5313).

As will be shown in detail below, defendants Bruce Smith and Steve White and their co-conspirators Tom Allman – former Sheriff of Mendocino County, Randy Johnson – former Undersheriff of Mendocino County, David Eyster – District Attorney of Mendocino County, and former Rohnert Park police officers Jacy Tatum and Joseph Huffaker conducted and conspired to conduct the affairs of the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office through a pattern of racketeering activity including hundreds of acts of extortion, theft and robbery of marijuana, guns and cash, obstruction of justice, money laundering and tax evasion. In the guise of enforcing the law defendants and their co-conspirators extorted tons of marijuana, stole millions of dollars and hundreds of guns and laundered the proceeds, committing tax evasion and structuring currency transactions to evade detection. They obtained hundreds of search warrants and destroyed and impounded some of the marijuana, cash and guns to maintain the façade that they were enforcing the law to conceal their ongoing pattern of racketeering activity.

On December 12, 2019, Sheriff Allman announced his retirement -- less than one year into his new 4 years term. Allman persuaded the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to appoint his then Undersheriff Matthew Kendall, a 30 years veteran of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, as his replacement for the remaining three years of Allman’s term. Earlier, Allman appointed Kendall to replace Undersheriff Johnson, who retired in March 2018.

On January 27, 2020, Darren Brewster was appointed by Matthew Kendall to replace him as the new Undersheriff. Brewster is another 30 years veteran of the MCSO. Both Sheriff Kendall and Undersheriff Brewster are co-conspirators in the RICO conspiracy alleged herein, replacing co-conspirators Allman and Johnson, respectively, as the conspiracy’s hub with Eyster to continue to cover up, aid, abet and encourage the officers in the field to extort cannabis, cash and guns from growers and transporters of cannabis in Mendocino County, regardless of whether the growers or transporters are licensed by the State of California and/or Mendocino County and regardless of whether the extortion is purportedly authorized by a valid warrant, a pretextual warrant, no warrant, probable cause, or no probable cause.

Notwithstanding his “retirement” as Sheriff, Allman became “Lost Coast Resident Deputy Sheriff of Humboldt County” in November 2020. Similarly, Bruce Smith’s “retirement” from Mendocino County was immediately followed by employment in Lake County as an investigator for the local District Attorney.

Neither co-conspirator Allman nor Defendant Smith actually “retired” from law enforcement employment. Instead, both men left their positions despite substantial reductions in their law enforcement incomes, inviting the inference that each sought to distance himself from activities being investigated by the ATF and the FBI, while maintaining contacts with their co-conspirators, including his successor appointed by Allman to Sheriff and co-conspirator Kendall’s appointment of co-conspirator Brewster as his replacement for retired co-conspirator Johnson. Although Allman and Smith “retired” from their Mendocino County law enforcement positions, neither actually retired nor did either withdraw from the RICO conspiracy alleged herein.

Full Document (large pdf file, 163 pages):

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by Matt LaFever, photos by Sid Cooperrider

Sid Cooperrider, one of the former owners of the Ukiah Brewing Company, has built the Taj Mahal of treehouses on his property off of Orr Springs Road. Built within the center of a fairy ring, Cooperrider’s treehouse ascends 85 feet supported by seven different redwood trees including seven different floors.

Cooperrider told us in 2012 he sold Ukiah Brewing Company and was “blowing his money” on Ukiah rent prices and figured he would move to his parent’s land on Orr Springs Road with free rent and close proximity to his family. 

Once there, he took up residence in a century-old cabin where his parents live 100-yards away, and he began to “work the land.” Chainsawing and digging and clearing brush, Cooperrider found himself standing at the foot of a fairy ring of seven redwoods.

For those not fluent in redwood speak, a fairy ring is a circle of redwoods grown around the stump of a former old-growth tree. After the old growth is cut, a new generation of trees arises from the roots of the fallen redwood creating an enclosure 

He told us he took one look at the ring and said to himself, “I should build something here.” 

And so it began. In 2015, Cooperrider explained he first built a platform at the base of the fairy circle, making sure to include 7”-11” stairs, the standard rise and run for stair construction. 

That first platform, Cooperrider recalls, was designed to make sure his “mom and dad can walk to the top.” An essential step in ensuring the tree house’s accessibility for his mom and dad was strict adherence to the 7”-11” structure and making sure all the steps were even.

Lumber for his tree house, Cooperrider explained, came from old-growth redwood left on his property and soft-wood pallets he arranged with a buddy in town to use. 

After the first platform was built, Cooperrider said he was inspired to “follow the trees” which led to the staircase ascending to the second level being constructed on the outside of the fairy ring.

At this point, Cooperrider’s creation rises seven floors deep in the crown of the fairy ring with each having railing to keep occupants safe and secure.

Thinking back on his labors, Cooperrider said he has done all the work himself, except for two days where a buddy came and helped. 

He has yet to install any roof on his treehouse because “it’s just so nice at the top to have it open to look up and see the sky in the summer.”

Unlike popular television shows such as Treehouse Guys and Treehouse Masters, who build “super fancy houses that are built around super fancy trees,” Cooperrider said his construction is building directly into the redwood trees themselves. He does not think his treehouse will impede their growth, being primarily within the center of the fairy ring, giving the trees plenty of room to grow upward and outward. Cooperrider did mention the redwoods seem “bluer” than those nearby that he suggested was the result of having metal bolts in their flanks.

Cooperrider has visions of installing a bar on the third level and piping up nearby spring water. Near the fairy circle, Cooperider said the “land sort of makes an amphitheater shape” and hopes to dig it out, install benches and create an intimate venue where local artists, poets, and musicians can share their art.

In the summers, Cooperrider sleeps in his treehouse, swaying in the breeze amongst the whisper of redwood needles. He spoke of guests coming to stay in his treehouse, enchanted by it, later bringing their friends to experience life in the heart of a redwood fairy ring.

A home in the heart of a redwood tree could be the setting of a childhood story. One Mendocino County resident, with a do-it-yourself attitude brought that story to life.


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REGULAR MEETING OF THE WATER PROJECTS COMMITTEE (Anderson Valley Community Services District)

To be held via teleconference Phone # 669 900 6833 Zoom Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078

Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on November 4th, 2021 electronically to

Thursday January 6th, 2022 at 10:30am


  • Call To Order And Roll Call:
  • Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:
  • Approval Of September 9th, 2021 And November 4th. 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Changes Or Modification To This Agenda: 
  • Report On Drinking Water Project
  • Report On Wastewater Project
  • Public Outreach
  • Concerns Of Members:
  • Adjournment:

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Mendocino Peace Fair, 1966

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UKIAH PD'S RESTRAINT TACTICS, an on-line comment:

I wish cops would quit saying, ”If you can talk, you can breathe.” It’s not accurate as far as suffocation is concerned. If we put you under water and place a coffee stirrer type straw in your mouth with one end above the water you’ll be able to “breathe” but you’re going to die if you don’t start getting more air quickly. The same is true for many people who are lying on the ground with their chest and abdomen on the ground while someone is on their back or putting pressure on their back. This is more common for people who are heavier and should be considered when arresting them with force. Yes, they can breathe enough to utter a few words but they cannot breath enough to stay alive for long.

I think a few officers have malicious intent while many other officers have no ill-intent and really believe this to be true, (What they’re implying with “If you can talk you can breathe”). It really needs to be addressed in their training and should have a doctor as part of their training explaining what’s happening to the individual in these conditions.

This, and of course the mental health training needed to deal with so many people that police will interact with.

Those two areas of training should not take away from but should be added to other aspects of an officer’s training and experience that are also needed in many circumstances they encounter.

There are times force is necessary; it never looks nice but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong or needs to be eliminated.

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ANOTHER ANDERSON VALLEY MEMENTO from E-bay (via Marshall Newman)

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On Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 8:47 A.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were advised a potential victim of domestic violence was waiting to talk with them in the night lobby of the Sheriff's Office Ukiah Station.

Upon arrival, the Deputies contacted a 22-year old adult female and her family members.

Deputies learned the adult female and her boyfriend/fiance, (identified as Richard Page, 38, of Potter Valley) were living together while engaged in a romantic relationship.

Richard Page

The couple had gotten into an argument the previous evening at about 10:00 P.M. The argument escalated until about 10:30 P.M. when Page grabbed her by the throat and began choking her and throwing her around the inside of the residence.

While Page was choking her, the adult female thought she was going to lose consciousness, but she did not. The adult female estimated Page choked her for about two minutes.

The Deputies saw the adult female had visible scratches and bruising on her neck consistent with being choked.

Deputies went to the 10000 block of West Side Potter Valley Road and attempted to make contact with Page. Upon arrival, it was determined that all the doors and windows to the residence were locked and Page was in the back bedroom refusing to to answer the door.

After several attempts to get Page to come to the door with negative results, the Deputies obtained permission from the adult female to enter the residence. Deputies used a key to enter the residence without damaging the door.

Upon entry into the residence, Page was located in the back bedroom. Page refused to come out of the bedroom and attempted to close the bedroom door on the Deputies.

The Deputies entered the bedroom, and after a brief struggle, arrested Page for domestic violence battery.

Page was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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A Year After January 6 Attack On U.S. Capitol, Mendocino County To Send Message That Voters Decide The Outcome Of Elections

Candlelight Vigil at Mendocino County Courthouse on January 6, 5-6:30 p.m.

Among More than 175 Events Across the Country 

WHAT: January 6, 2022 marks one year since a faction of elected officials incited armed right-wing militants to attack the U.S. Capitol. One year later, the same faction is working to restrict the freedom to vote, attacking fair voting districts, and quietly preparing future attempts to sabotage free and fair elections, particularly in swing states throughout the nation.

On Thursday, January 6, 2022, Americans across race, place, party, and background are holding candlelight vigils to say: In America, the voters decide the outcome of elections. To prevent this kind of attack from happening again, advocates are demanding that elected leaders pass urgent legislation including the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood. This event in Ukiah is one of more than 175 events that will take place across the country, including at the U.S. Capitol. 

WHO: Anyone who supports election of representatives directly by voters, election integrity, and democratic public process

WHERE: Mendocino County Courthouse – N State St at Perkins St in Ukiah

WHEN: 5 – 6:30 p.m.

CONTACT: Steve Scalmanini – – (707) 391-5853 – Ukiah

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Not every Supervisor does their work the same way. During the campaign in 2019 someone commented that I was in the Board chambers (remember I sat in the back for a year before Covid) but that I was always on my phone. I thought I’d dedicate 2022 to raising more awareness about the mobility of the way that I work. I’m literally doing my job if my phone is in my hand, standing in line at the grocery store, on Zoom, getting my tire repaired at Les Schwab…. I’m mobile Mo. Our agenda packet for tomorrow is 876 pages. What do you want to know?!?

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Here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the things that I’ve been working on as a Supervisor and that have been accomplished in Mendocino County in 2021. This year has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I can’t wait for 2022. 

  • Successful completion of the Crisis Residential Treatment Center on Orchard Avenue in Ukiah. 
  • The Area Agency on Aging provided funding to the Senior centers throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties for ongoing food relief during the Covid pandemic. 
  • Successful operation and opening of the Live Oak Homeless Transitional Housing Project on Orchard Avenue in Ukiah. 
  • Redwood Community Crisis Center started providing Crisis assessment and psychiatric hospitalization aftercare to the community to individuals that do not have Medi-Cal as their primary health insurance provider.
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team Pilot has hired two Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialists to work directly with law enforcement to respond to community members in Crisis. 
  • NAMI Mendocino receives contract for community awareness regarding mental illness and how the community can interact with individuals with mental illness, reduce stigma and keep the community safe. 
  • Nacht & Lewis currently completing a feasibility study for the renovation of the County owned facility on Whitmore Lane to become a Psychiatric Hospital Facility, the Board is expected to hear the presentation at the end of January or early February. 
  • Completion of the Behavioral Health Regional Training Center in Redwood Valley and the first training was held in December. 
  • Work with service providers to insure adequate data is being present to the public regarding mental health and homeless outreach programs.
  • Sugar Bear the Capitol Christmas Tree came to Ukiah on tour on Halloween. 
  • Annexation of the City of Ukiah into the Ukiah Valley Fire District. 
  • Code Enforcement - Provide Board priority directives and ensure for adequate staffing 
  • Direct $6million in Disaster Recovery funds to go towards workforce housing that would include the broadest spectrum of median income as well as low income.
  • Direct $22 million dollars in PG&E Funds to the community including new vehicles for MCSO, fire department support County wide and millions to the communities of Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. 
  • Cannabis Program Director hired and separate department created to streamline and improve cannabis business license procedure in Mendocino County. 
  • Continued work to move the Great Redwood Trail forward with funding from the State and work on the NCRA Board
  • Volunteering for Sundays in the Park Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance 
  • Volunteering at Covid Vaccination Clinics
  • Ongoing meeting with elected officials from other cities and the their respective staff as well as organizations affiliated with local businesses
  • Completion of the Downtown Streetscape Project in Ukiah
  • Patriots Day Hometown Heroes Celebration 
  • Ongoing work to protect the water rights of the Ukiah Valley and move forward with a more collaborative and consistent portfolio and rebuild the Mendocino County Water Agency 
  • Delivering food from Lucky to the Ukiah Food Bank 
  • Ladies of the night plaque returned to the community of Ukiah on the corner of State and Church 
  • Ukiah Pumpkin Fest in October
  • Ukiah Parade of Lights and Hometown Holiday celebration with Santas arrival at the Pear Tree Center 
  • Vaccine deployment with Supervisor Williams, electronic notification system and social media and text message awareness of available vaccine clinics 
  • Ongoing engagement with the Building Bridges shelter by attending monthly meetings and neighborhood clean up events
  • Highway clean ups
  • Homeless trash pilot program approved by the BOS and purchase of a truck to haul trash (more coming soon!)
  • Ongoing efforts to have local control over the Potter Valley Project through the efforts of the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission 
  • Ongoing efforts to divert food waste from the landfill by utilizing local compost facility Cold Creek Compost
  • Ongoing promotion of the EBT Market Match program at the Ukiah Farmers Market
  • Ukiah Library and Library Advisory Board to create a vibrant library system 
  • Chair the Russian River Watershed Association to create collaboration between Mendocino County and Sonoma County. 
  • Join the Russian River Confluence and encourage tribal participation.
  • General Government Committee - working to streamline and create transparency within the agency and to the community
  • Hire an Interim Director to reevaluate the operations opportunities at MSWMA 
  • Continue to advocate for the community with Mendo Transit Authority, keep the employees safe during Covid for their essential work and to recruit drivers for the organization.
  • Advocate for equal inclusion for Mendocino County at the State level through RCRC and CSAC
  • Enrolled in CSAC Leadership Initiative and various leadership and educational opportunities through the County Human Resources Department. 

On my goals for next year is to keep track of this list better, continue putting out the weekly update email and remain consistent with my weekly Coffee and Conversation meeting. I wanted to thank you all for coming along for the journey. Make sure you follow me on Facebookat Mo4Mendo and visit my website for Updates at www.MaureenMulheren.Com and of course you can reach me at 707-391-3664 or via email at

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Final Run of Brecon Printing Press

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THE DEMOCRATS are milking the January 6th slob-mob riot at Congress as an attempt by Trump and his Trumpers to overturn the election results. It was obviously a riot, not a coherent, organized, serious attempt to overthrow the government. The rioters were surprised they got in. All of us looking on wondered at the lack of security adequate to squelching the maga mob everyone knew would be showing up. A serious attempt at a coup would have seen armed intruders prepared to take their occupation all the way and then hold on to it. The magas weren't prepared to do that, hence riot, not coup attempt.

WE LEARN from Newsweek that FBI “commando” teams with the authority to shoot-to-kill were deployed on January 6th to protect ex-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress gathered to certify the 2020 election results. Even if the maga warriors had included its own commados they would have been easily put down.

IT'S INTERESTING to note, according to Newsweek, that it was Trump's own Acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, who apparently acted alone in belatedly summoning the FBI's tactical unit to the confused scene.

THE NOBLE OPPOSITION? Congress is in recess for the holidays but Nancy Pelosi has kept busy playing the market. The Democratic majority leader and her husband, Paul Pelosi, recently bought millions of dollars worth of call options for stocks including Google, Salesforce, Roblox and Disney, financial disclosures published Thursday show. The purchases occurred from Dec. 17 to Dec. 21 — just days after Pelosi insisted in a press conference that members of Congress should be allowed to trade individual stocks despite often being privy to insider information that can move markets. “We’re a free-market economy,” Pelosi told reporters, adding that members of Congress “should be able to participate in that.” 

‘VAXX JUNKIES’? Got to admit that this latest insult from the anti-vaxxers got a laff outta me. Keep 'em coming, Intubationers.

HARVEY READING: “For what it’s worth, I don’t buy it. The editorial is simply opinion, from one who constantly bad-mouths county government, particularly its chief executive officer. Sort of self-serving in my opinion, since most people appear to be satisfied with the supposedly horrid status-quo of county government. If residents, or their ELECTED officials had major problems with it, they would change it. But, they don’t.”

THE EDITOR REPLIED: You doing long-distance polling these days, Harv? “Most people,” unfortunately, pay no attention to local government, never have in Mendo unless some issue directly effecting them comes up. And boo hoo for the eco and the supervisors. If they had any pride in themselves they’d at least argue occasionally, but whining privately, natch, is irrefutable. How much do you know about your local gov there in Wyoming? Ever been to one of their meetings?

READING AGAIN: "Well, just more opinions from the editor and publisher. I spent the first 52 years of my life in California. so save your “long-distance” references for others. Been to plenty of local guvamint meetings in Wyoming, too, over the past nearly 22 years. Wyoming is dominated by livestock farmers (a small group who contribute little to the state domestic product or to the national meat supply) and big oil and (in the past) coal–which contributes (contributed) a lot to the SDP, (or whatever the pseudoscience of economics calls it these days), destroying the landscape in the process, and leaving their rusty rigs behind. Wyoming likes it that way, much like Mendo likes things as they are, judging by how they vote. Your definition of “pride” is yours, not necessarily that of everyone else. I have my own opinions of your assessment of a particular person as a social worker. They appear to differ substantially from yours (or those of my deceased mother, a former retired social worker)."

EDITOR: Shoulda been clearer that the ava's criticism isn't gratuitous. We watch Supes’ meetings gavel to gavel, us and maybe ten other appalled locals. We're the only media in the area that covers local government on a regular basis. The Supes and the CEO — they're interchangeable — don't respond to criticism because there's no public pressure on them to respond, and because they can't defend what they must know to be the indefensible so why try? Frankly, none of them seem equipped for adult give and take which, any place other than the weird set-aside of Mendo,would be considered off, if not irresponsible in an elected official. When challenged, a public person ought to publicly defend his/her decisions, but this crew simply whines to each other and their hearing-impaired cadres how “unfair” we are to them. I'll admit I thought this new board would be an improvement over their predecessors, but they are worse, and the county is a mess, with demoralized county workers who look on aghast as upper management is added to and compensated out of all proportion to their abilities. Maybe things will improve when the CEO shuffles off to a lush retirement she hasn't earned but there's no indication that the supervisors have any idea how they're viewed by the minority of locals who pay attention to them.

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Looking for the best prices for my two prescription drug; tier 1 and tier 2 with Wellness Value Script Drug Plan. Am suppose to pay $0 and $4 per prescription; CVS charges $39 and $24, respectively, and I’m done with them. Anyone have good prices/experience with Mendo Pharmacy or Rite-Aid?


Linda, Uninvited dweller on Northern Pomo land

On Line reply: Brenda Barrett who is a Medicare consultant researched comparative prices at CVS, Rite Aid, Mendo Pharmacy and Safeway, and Safeway was the lowest.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 3, 2022

Harris, Laude, Palley, Zepeda

JOHNNY HARRIS, Roseburg, Oregon/Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger.

STEVEN LAUDE, Sacramento/Fort Bragg. Trespassing-refusing to leave.

MARK PALLEY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSE ZEPEDA-GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

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I’m optimistic that 2022 is going to be a great year, but then again 2021 was a very good year for me and mine. I live in a rural community in a red state with a governor who never locked us down. My neighbors generally know that the whole Rona thing is a giant psyop and less than 10% of the people here mask up. We grow food. The blue people need us or they’ll get hungry in a hurry. Part of me wishes we’d stop distributing to them. Seriously. To quote James McMurtry, let them eat shit. They can go on Twitter with their pronouns and rainbows and celebrate our stupidity. I’m fine with that, as long as they stay in the craphole cities they call home. Life is good out here and we aim to keep it that way. Happy New Year!

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Hay Harvest, Comptche

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A recent article regarding California’s law banning the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment after 2024 failed to mention this equipment can be used for another 10 years. Banning the sale of this equipment, but allowing its use until 2034 only means that users will cross the border or go underground to buy equipment. 

I signed a petition to ban the use of this equipment in Santa Rosa. In my neighborhood, gas-powered leaf blowers are in constant use every day. I’m retired and home all day caring for my wife who has dementia. Loud noise seems to disturb her. 

I asked my yard care person if he would stop using his gas blower. He had tried one battery-powered unit, but the battery lasted about 15-20 minutes on a charge. He told me he needs to run his blower about two to three hours per day during the fall. 

When I researched commercial-grade battery-powered blowers, I found only one that was powerful enough and had enough battery life to meet his needs. It cost over $2,000. I bought the unit and gave it to him. My hope is that he will use it for all of his clients. You are welcome. 

Chris Thwaites

Santa Rosa

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“Roadrunner,” by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, presents Bourdain as both the hero and the villain of his own story.

by Helen Rosner

It’s been over three years since Anthony Bourdain died, by suicide, in June of 2018, and the void he left is still a void. “I wish Anthony Bourdain was here to see this,” countless people have tweeted over the past thirty-seven-ish months, on occasions as varied as a New York gubernatorial candidate ordering a cinnamon-raisin bagel, the White House serving a McDonald’s banquet, the collapse of the American restaurant industry, and the sputtering attempts to revive the same. Bourdain was a television megastar, a fluid and conversational writer, a social-media gadfly, a pointed cultural commentator, and seemingly everyone’s best friend. The singularity of his celebrity and the suddenness of his death have fuelled an uncommonly intense, uncommonly enduring grief—a personal sense of public loss, of a sort usually reserved for popes and Presidents.

In 2019, about a year after Bourdain’s death, the documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville began talking to people who had been close to Bourdain: his family, his friends, the producers and crew of his television series. “These were the hardest interviews I’ve ever done, hands down,” he told me. “I was the grief counsellor, who showed up to talk to everybody.” Neville specializes in unknotting the real story from the public narrative (in 2014, he won an Academy Award for the documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” about the lives of rock-and-roll backup singers), and his filmography reveals a particular penchant for examining the lives of men who transcend the normal parameters of fame: Johnny Cash, Orson Welles, Mr. Rogers. In “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” which is in theatres on July 16th, Neville uses interviews, archival footage, and a few unlikely tricks to build a devastating argument for Bourdain as both the hero and villain of his own story—your standard-issue broken genius, at once childlike and world-weary, but saved from cliché by the sheer extraordinariness of his character. “You’re probably going to find out about this anyway, so here’s a little preëmptive truth-telling,” Bourdain says, in disembodied voice-over, in the movie’s first few minutes. “There’s no happy ending.”

The Ethics of a Deepfake Anthony Bourdain Voice

The new documentary “Roadrunner” uses A.I.-generated audio without disclosing it to viewers. How should we feel about that?

I recently spoke with Neville about “Roadrunner,” in a conversation that began, via Zoom, when he was at home in Pasadena, California, and concluded in person, a few days later, at the restaurant of a Manhattan hotel, while the film played to an audience of journalists and Academy members in a screening room downstairs. Neville is fifty-three, with close-cropped silver hair and stylishly owlish glasses. He grew up in Southern California, the son of a rare-book dealer, and as a young man worked as a journalist in New York and San Francisco before turning to documentary. “When I’m making a film, I often feel like the instructions are in the box,” he told me. “How I should tell a story is often expressed by the subject: Mr. Rogers should be simple and deep and loving storytelling; Orson Welles should be chaotic and smart storytelling. And this film—Tony—is all about gray.”

“Roadrunner” begins where Bourdain’s life as a public figure begins: it’s 1999, he’s a forty-three-year-old undecorated cook and aspiring writer, and his big break—the bombastic New Yorker essay “Don’t Eat Before Reading This“—has become the basis for a book, “Kitchen Confidential,” that’s about to go off like a star in supernova. We see him head off on his first book tour, encounter early fans, and learn in real time that the book is a best-seller; despite being solidly in middle age, Bourdain fidgets on the cusp of fame with the gawky, awestruck charisma of a teen-ager. When Neville uncovered the footage, which was shot by the photographer Dmitri Kasterine, for a documentary that was never released, it felt like kicking off the lock on a treasure chest. “It’s like the last vestiges of his old life,” Neville said. Bourdain was “given everything he always wanted: money, and a chance to travel, and freedom,” he continued. “Does that find him happiness? Of course, it doesn’t, because happiness doesn’t come from external things.”

According to the film, the possibility of happiness was the question that propelled and consumed Bourdain. “Kitchen Confidential” became a springboard to a television career, which, in turn, led to more book deals, more television shows, more opportunities to keep taking in the world. The cocky, confident, culturally voracious Tony of “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown” was, in part, an on-camera construct (“The TV Tony and the real Tony were not exactly the same person. They never could be,” Neville told me. “He played himself on television”), but it was also a veneer covering a fundamental insecurity. “He had impostor syndrome; he always felt like it could all go away. But I think, even more than that, the reason he kept moving was just the hope that the next thing was going to make him happy, or it was going to solve something in his life,” Neville said. “People told me that Tony made best friends one week at a time: he travels, he meets them somewhere and they think they have a new best friend, and then he would never see them again, because he was on to the next place. That sense of momentum, it’s both part of what made him great, and part of what must have been so tough to live with.”

Neville never met Bourdain, which he told me he regrets on a personal level but considers advantageous as a filmmaker. He described his initial talks with Bourdain’s inner circle—his literary agent, his ex-wife, his producers—about the possibility of a film, in 2019. “At the beginning of the conversation, I was saying that what I thought was so important about Tony’s work was that he was dimensionalizing people, that he brings us together and shows the commonalities of the world, blah, blah, blah,” he said. “And they stopped me, at a certain point, to say ‘Yeah, but you have to remember, he could be such an asshole.’ A thing I really came to understand while creating this film is that all the things that were his flaws were also his superpowers. He could be such a fifteen-year-old boy in so many ways. Most people figure out ways to put boundaries in their life, to say, ‘O.K., well, creatively, I can be out there on the edge. But, in my home life, I can’t do this.’ There were no boundaries with him whatsoever.”

One of the most striking moments in the film is a cut. A shot from the “Borneo” episode of “Parts Unknown” shows Bourdain standing in a river that’s been stained red by the blood of a pig he’s just slaughtered with a spear, the water washing around his ankles. In the next shot, we see the stiletto-clad feet of people standing on the red carpet of a Hollywood awards show, and the camera moves to a tuxedo-clad Bourdain squinting against paparazzi flashbulbs. Which is the real work: telling the story, or selling the storytelling? The more famous Bourdain became, the easier it was for him to make the sort of show he wanted to make. But he also struggled with his status as the show’s protagonist and main draw. “He was always his own subject and his own character in everything he did,” Neville said. “It’s hard to know when you’re living the story, or when you’re writing the story.”

Neville told me about a scene that didn’t make the final cut of “Roadrunner,” drawn from behind-the-scenes footage from the Amsterdam episode of “The Layover,” which aired in 2012. “They went to a coffee shop and ate hashish brownies, or whatever. They were filming, they were talking, and then Tony stopped. He didn’t say anything for thirty seconds. Tom [Vitale, Bourdain’s longtime director and producer] went up to him and said, ‘Tony, what’s wrong?’ And he said, ‘Everybody’s looking at me.’ And it’s, like, yeah, because they’re filming you, but it was his paranoia coming out: Everybody’s always staring at me.”

It may be trite to say, of a famous person, that people felt like they knew him; that sense of one-to-one intimacy is arguably inherent to the modern version of celebrity. But Bourdain stood out for his directness, his everyman-ness, the candor with which he acknowledged his own flaws. Neville sees his approachability as something that eventually wore him down: “Everybody would go up to him, and everybody would want to talk to him or buy him a beer. He was always gracious about it, always appreciative. And that’s a burden. I think that was part of his agoraphobia, his feeling of, like, how can you be an observer if everybody’s looking at you?” Still, Neville told me that he doesn’t see his film as a cautionary tale about the costs of Bourdain’s immense fame. “The things he was wrestling with went back long before he was famous, and those things never really changed,” he said.

“Roadrunner” proceeds in a relatively chronological fashion, but the inevitable fact of Bourdain’s death casts a pall from the beginning. The interviews with his friends, family, and colleagues are intimate and often angry. “Some people said they had never talked to anybody about their feelings about Tony, because it’s hard to be given permission to really talk about everything you feel about somebody,” Neville said. “I saw all the stages of grief.” On camera, Bourdain’s loved ones discuss his obsessiveness, his perfectionism, the feverish drive that made him a great writer and a great television star but also a difficult husband and a difficult friend. They gently probe the idea that Bourdain may have been asking for help, or maybe trying to figure out how to begin to ask. His ex-wife Ottavia Busia mentions that Bourdain had started therapy just a short time before he died.

There is a moment at the end of the film’s second act when the artist David Choe, a friend of Bourdain’s, is reading aloud an e-mail Bourdain had sent him: “Dude, this is a crazy thing to ask, but I’m curious” Choe begins reading, and then the voice fades into Bourdain’s own: “. . . and my life is sort of shit now. You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” I asked Neville how on earth he’d found an audio recording of Bourdain reading his own e-mail. Throughout the film, Neville and his team used stitched-together clips of Bourdain’s narration pulled from TV, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. “But there were three quotes there I wanted his voice for that there were no recordings of,” Neville explained. So he got in touch with a software company, gave it about a dozen hours of recordings, and, he said, “I created an A.I. model of his voice.” In a world of computer simulations and deepfakes, a dead man’s voice speaking his own words of despair is hardly the most dystopian application of the technology. But the seamlessness of the effect is eerie. “If you watch the film, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the A.I., and you’re not going to know,” Neville said. “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”

Crafting the story—or, at least, a story—of Bourdain’s death raises other ethically murky questions. The final years of his life were defined by his tumultuous relationship with Asia Argento, the Italian actor and filmmaker. In “Roadrunner,” Argento is portrayed as a human intoxicant, with whom Bourdain developed an all-consuming infatuation. His former colleagues and friends recall the disastrous filming of an episode, in Hong Kong, on which Bourdain had installed Argento as director. They describe how she influenced his decision to abruptly sack a longtime colleague, and his devastation when she began to tire of his attentions and romantically pull away. The last thing Bourdain posted to Instagram before his death, his friend and colleague Helen Cho points out, was music from the film “Violent City,” a 1970 poliziottesco about a man seeking revenge on the woman who betrays him. I was surprised to learn that Neville hadn’t attempted to interview Argento for the film. The lead-up to Bourdain’s suicide, he explained, is “like narrative quicksand. People think they want to know more, but you tell them one thing more, and they want to know ten more. And none of those things actually bring you closer to understanding Tony. I realized that it would be a bunch of she said, they said: ‘This happened,’ ‘No, that happened.’ That’s not the film I wanted to make. Somebody else can make a film about his last relationship, the last year of his life.”

Somebody probably will. “Roadrunner” is one of many projects about Bourdain that have been made in the years since his death. “World Travel: An Irreverent Guide,” a hardcover handbook to global restaurants and bars gleaned from Bourdain’s various shows and writings, and co-authored by his longtime collaborator Laurie Woolever, came out in April, and has spent months on the Times best-seller list. This fall, “Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography,” also compiled by Woolever, will be published, just a few weeks ahead of a memoir by Bourdain’s friend and director-producer Tom Vitale. “Roadrunner” doesn’t challenge Bourdain’s hero status (Neville admitted to me that he’s been accused before of hagiography), but his film feels different from much of what’s emerged so far. It attempts to tell the story of who Bourdain was and ends up being a movie about what he left behind. “I wanted the film to be cathartic, in a way—not to have good answers, but to at least help people process their feelings,” Neville said. “Because what I saw, sitting down and talking to so many people in his life, is it’s fucking hard to process the loss of somebody like that. It was happening while I was doing the interviews, it’s been happening while I’ve been making the film, and it will keep happening for years.”

(The New Yorker)

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by James Kunstler

The post-COVID recovery will be change, not restoration. We’ll be forced to rebuild where we are.

Years ago, I moved from a somewhat larger small town (pop. 30,000) in upstate New York to a smaller small town (pop. 2,500) 15 miles east in order to establish a little homestead with gardens, fruit trees, and chickens. I found this three-acre property literally on the edge of town, a five-minute walk to the center of Main Street.

If you’ve been following this column on urban design the past year, you know I’ve said we’re entering an era of stark economic contraction that will change the terms of daily life in America, and one feature of it is that the action will shift from the big cities and sprawling suburbs back to America’s small towns. The COVID-19 virus has accelerated this trend, actually drawing a sharp dividing line between “then” and “now” that historians will recognize—but that many contemporary observers are missing.

My little town was badly beaten down when I got here in 2011 and actually sank a bit lower over the years since. The last Main Street shops that sold anything not previously owned shut down. The two last suppertime restaurants folded. The tiny local newspaper ceased publication, and the DOT put a concrete barrier across the tracks of the little railroad spur line, which hadn’t run trains, anyway, since the 1980s. The several factories on the river that runs through town—a tributary of the mighty Hudson—had all shuttered in the 1970s, and only one even still stands in the form of ruins, the rest demolished, wiped off the map and out of memory. In the century and a half previous, they’d gone through iterations of making textiles—first linen, which was grown here, then cotton, which was not—and then paper products (finally, and not without irony, toilet tissue).

What’s left in the town is a phantom armature of everyday life tuned to a bygone era with all its economic and social functionality removed, like a fine old piano with all its string cut. The bones are still there in the form of buildings, but the activities, relationships, and institutions are gone. The commerce is gone, the jobs are gone, the social and economic roles have no players, the places for fraternizing and public entertainment gone, the churches nearly empty. There’s a post-1980 shopping strip on the highway leaving the west end of town. That’s where the supermarket is (it replaced a 1960s IGA closer to the center, which replaced the various greengrocers, butchers, and dry goods establishments of yore on Main Street). There’s a chain pharmacy, a Tractor Supply, a pizza shop and a Chinese take-out place out there, too. The Kmart closed in 2017 and two years later a Big Lots (overstocked merch) took its place.

The local school system may be the town’s largest employer these days; it’s also the town’s leading levier of taxes. Some people drive long distances to work in other towns, even as far as the state capital, Albany, where jobs with good pay, real medical benefits, and fat pensions still exist—though you can’t claim they produce anything of value. Quite a few people scrambled for years with marginal small home-based businesses (making art, massage, home bakeries, etc.), but the virus creamed a lot of them. It’s hard these days to find a plumber or a carpenter. A few dozen farmers hang on. There is a lively drug underground here, which some can make a living at—if they can stay off their own product—but it’s not what you’d call a plus for the common good. Federal cash supports of one sort or other account for many of the rest who live here: social security, disability, SNAP cards, plain old family welfare payments, and COVID-19 checks (for now), adding up to a quasi-zombie economy.

In short, what appears to be a town now bears no resemblance to the rich set of social and economic relationships and modes of production that existed here a hundred years ago, a local network of complex interdependencies based on local capital and local resources—with robust connections (the railroad! The Hudson River and Champlain Canal!) to other towns that operated similarly, and even linkage to some distant big city markets. The question I’m building up to is: How do we get back to anything that resembles that kind of high-functioning society?

The answer is trauma, a set of circumstances that will disrupt all the easy and dishonest work-arounds which have determined the low state of our current arrangements. You can be sure this is coming; it’s already in motion: collapsing oil production due to the insupportable costs of the shale “miracle,” the end of industrial growth as we’ve known it, the limits of borrowing from the future to pay today’s bills (i.e., debt that will never be paid back), widespread household bankruptcy and unemployment, and the consequent social disorder all that will entail.

That reality will compel us to reorganize American life, starting with how we inhabit the landscape, and you can bet that three things will drive it: the necessity to produce food locally, the need to organize the activities that support food production locally, and the need—as when starting anything—to begin at a small and manageable scale. It will happen emergently, which is to say without any committee of experts, savants, or commissars directing it, because the need will be self-evident.

For now, the broad public remains bamboozled, distracted by the terrors of COVID-19, the uproars of race-and-gender tension, the dazzle of Federal Reserve hocus-pocus, the anxiety over climate change, and, of course, the worsening struggle of so many ordinary citizens to just keep paying the bills. When you’re in a ditch, you don’t call the President of the United States. You need a handful of friends and neighbors with a come-along.

That’s how it’s going to work to bring our small towns back to life. When the chain stores choke on their broken supply chains, some attentive persons will see an advantage in figuring out how to get and sell necessities by rebuilding local networks of supply and retail. Farming will be rescued from its artificially induced senility when the trucks stop delivering pallets of frozen pizza and Captain Crunch as dependably as they used to. And then the need for many other businesses that support farming and value-added production will find willing, earnest go-getters. The river still runs through town and it runs year-round, powerfully enough to make some things, if there was a reason to, and a will, and a way. And after a while, you’ll have a fully functioning town again, built on social and economic roles that give people a reason to think that life is worth living. Wait for it.

(James Kunstler is The American Conservative’s New Urbanism Fellow. He is the author of numerous books on urban geography and economics, including his recent work, Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Follow New Urbs on Twitter for a feed dedicated to TAC’s coverage of cities, urbanism, and place.)

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Warmest spiritual greetings, Please live in the golden present happily, knowing that under all conditions we are knowledge, bliss, absolute. Am right this second sunk into the big green couch at The Earth First! Media Center in Garberville, California, listening to bhajans from Vrindavan, India dedicated to Srimati Radharani (Lord Sri Krishna's eternal consort). It is raining and cold outside, which is normal winter weather for Southern Humboldt county. Am packed up, the laundry is done, am sipping a cup of Humboldt Coffee Co.'s "Pirate Blend", and prepared to go anywhere worldwide that Brahman (God Almighty) wills this body-mind complex to go. It's that simple. You are welcome to contact me at any time. I will now go back to chanting Hare Krishna, and you carry on with whatever is appropriate.


Craig Louis Stehr, Email:

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Westport Hog Rider, 1890


  1. Eric Sunswheat January 4, 2022

    James Kunstler finally wrote something that wasn’t tongue in cheek, seemingly from the last printed line, after finding a new paymaster or badge of honor as revealed.

    Speaking of which to opening eyes, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now cut bone from the news mold on Monday’s broadcast, interviewing a US scientist who developed low cost patent free Covid vaccine for India and the world, that might have progressed quicker with more grants.

    Also another US scientist, who the previous year developed simple low cost Covid test strips that could have been easily manufactured in abundance, but FDA blocked the effort even though methodology approved around the world.

    The value in rapid tests, is to test each day to stop the spread, not the delayed ritual nonsensical hand wringing, and wait. Who is the bigger fool. Good to look up show.

  2. Cathleen Boyd January 4, 2022

    Regarding prescription prices, I filled a RX for my dog at CVS in Fort Bragg and it was $16.70. A few months later I had it filled at Safeway and it was $76.00.

  3. Ernie Branscomb January 4, 2022

    Congratulations “Ed Notes”, that is the most accurate description of the “insurrection” that I have ever read in a news source. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take all of the “politics” out of politics and just stick to the facts. Thanks.

    • Marmon January 4, 2022

      “slob-mob” ???


    • Joe January 4, 2022

      If you remove the politics all that will be left is a clear view of who is really pulling the strings.

    • Michael Geniella January 4, 2022

      I agree with Ernie re ‘Ed Notes.” Let us not forget, however, that the rioters were encouraged by the President of the United States, who later sat in the White House gleefully watching the chaos he had sown. His words and actions encouraged the unprecedented assault on the nation’s Capitol. We can only hope he and his crowd, huddling at a nearby hotel, are held accountable. What Donald Trump unleashed on this country during his presidency, and with the ‘Big Lie’ at the end is a national disgrace. History will not judge him and his ilk kindly.

  4. Betsy Cawn January 4, 2022

    Supervisor Mulherin’s list of accomplishments exhibits the sense of self-importance that many elected officials display in their claims of achievements for which the majority (if not all) of the effort was made by others.

    Of the 41 items in the list, only one or two qualify as personal endeavors. The rest are all activities in which the Supervisor’s participation may or may not have influenced a beneficial outcome. More importantly, the Supervisor was paid handsomely for the time spent on “supporting” the named activities, two of which were characterized as “volunteering” and two were described as “advocating.”

    In every case, significant numbers of organizational steps were involved, the culmination of which was the authorization of expenditures by means of a voice vote (at a meeting conducted in a public facility paid for by the tax payers of the county) or at most a brief appearance in a public place following a comfortable ride, most likely with travel expenses (including meals) all paid for by the underwriters of local governance.

    I marvel at the conceit that enables elected officials to make such preposterous claims, as do her equals in Lake County, especially on behalf of committees they chair — formed to conduct the business of the county in virtual asides to the main venue, thereby drawing much less public attention — where the bulk of the “achievements” were done by organizations whose members attend the committee meetings. Again, while receiving handsome compensation.

    A good deal of the activity reported by each of our supervisors at their regular meetings, in a regular segment of their formal agenda called “calendar” reports, consists of participating in various committees or boards formed by multi-jurisdictional agency representatives or joining in on festivities created to draw the attention (and dollars) of hoped for customers in highly decorated retail centers.

    If there were particular accomplishments that could not have been achieved unless the official stood firm in opposition to their near-loss, or championed an unpopular but important cause, that mention might warrant the kind of self-back-patting atta girl attitude, but in all cases on this list, the institutions themselves did the real work.

    County departments, contracted agencies, public service organizations or private enterprises conducted the affairs for which the Supervisor claims to have contributed more than support by her presence and “ongoing” conversations. The conversion of civic leadership into relative stardom, where the actor’s primary task is hardly more than showing up and smiling brightly for the cameras, underwrites the hyper-valuation of the simple acts of nodding and speaking into a well-placed microphone.

    A couple of the items warrant a further remark on their inanity. Beside the parades and festivities (including the appearance of “Sugar Bear the Capitol Christmas Tree” in “Ukiah on tour on Halloween”?), delivery runs and picking up trash at an event designed to promote environmental responsibility, the Supervisor “[E]nrolled in CSAC Leadership Initiative and various leadership and educational opportunities through the County Human Resources Department.”

    Surely one of the skills added to the Supervisor’s repertoire of faculties was the making of such lists, the tracking of which she forecasts as one of her goals for next year. “Leadership” these days seems to consist of attracting followers on Facebook to lend vicarious witness to the official’s “journey.” Glossolalia at its finest.

    • Joe January 4, 2022

      In the world most of us live in the the items on our lists that we actually accomplish are the ones that count.

    • chuck dunbar January 4, 2022

      It will be yet another attack by Trump on the foundations of our country. The man has no shame.

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2022

      LOL. You can be sure I won’t be watching the orange hog tell more lies. The POS should be in prison for the rest of his putrid life.

  5. chuck dunbar January 4, 2022


    “Glossolalia at its finest.” Quite a take-down of Supervisor Mulherin’s notes on her accomplishments last year. Quite a skilled, insightful look at who indeed really worked on and accomplished the numerous tasks noted. And, of course, extending her biting critique to other worthy politicians in our little counties.

    Well done Betsy, and thank you for your candor

    • Professor Cosmos January 4, 2022

      Betsy is inaccurate on two fronts:
      There was no personal pronoun used re the bulk of the accomplishments. “Here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the things that I’ve been working on as a Supervisor and that have been accomplished in Mendocino County in 2021.” She may have been working on all items of this list but she doesn’t say for most “that I got done”. “…..that have been accomplished in Mendocino County.”
      I saw more than one or two items that were personal accomplishments or volunteering, quite a few actually, that weren’t part of the Supervisor job.

      • chuck dunbar January 4, 2022

        I could better live with her list, if:

        She had discussed the list of important issues not fully addressed or resolved by the BOS over the year–those who read the AVA know this list, and the issues on it are a big deal…
        She had discussed the coming search for a new CEO–hopefully a task for this new year– and how the BOS wants to reconfigure that position and its connection with and supervision of a new CEO who should be directed to work for the BOS in a cooperative, problem-solving, diplomatic manner. The discussion should have included the real and very clear issues of this year and in past years, with respect to BOS function and the CEO’s autocratic, my way or the highway, decision-making, hence the need for a new look at how it all works for the people of the County….

        Add in these issues, along with accomplishments, and you have a much more honest, inclusive take on the performance of the BOS over the last year.

        • Professor Cosmos January 4, 2022

          I’m pretty sure they will be considering the County Administrative Officer model. But, if they continue with the CEO model, there’s the need as you describe for a restoration of BOS assertiveness and also of BOS senior guidance.
          (I know Williams once on FB said after her retirement, they would ponder the question of CAO v CEO…..I don’t think I saw anyone else on BOS note this though)

  6. Marmon January 4, 2022

    WOW! Biden just called the new covid pills “a game changer”. Unfortunately, they take months to make and the current supply is limited. In the meantime everybody should get another jab.

    Problem is, they are not new pills, they’ve been around for a while but the Biden adminstration, State Media, and Big Tech have downplayed the treatments and censored anyone who dared mention them.


  7. Stephen Rosenthal January 4, 2022

    I liked Sheriff Allman but was immediately suspicious when he took the Lost Coast deputy position with Humboldt County shortly after his retirement. I assumed it was to double dip and enhance his pension. Though with the latest revelations in Zeke Flatten’s Federal lawsuit… Hopefully we won’t have to wait for Paul Harvey to emerge from his grave and tell us “the rest of the story.”

    • Lazarus January 4, 2022

      You do have to wonder why.
      Why does a man who loved being Sheriff walk away with three years left to serve?
      The RICO rumors have been around for years. Mr. Flatten better have the goods since cash is nearly impossible to trace… if that’s all he’s got.
      Welcome to the jungle,

      • Marmon January 4, 2022

        His assistant has at least 7 aliases and 26+ different properties under those aliases. She was also responsble for taking in the zip-tie cash and and Eyster’s restitution cash at the sheriff’s office. No receipts or record kept by her. She worked with Laura Allman at the bank before becoming Allman’s assistant where she trained about money laundrying. Those are all facts, and then there’s the rumors. I’m almost possitve that the IRS is involved as well.

        Zeke and his attorneys are turning over everything they find to the proper authorities I imagine.


  8. k h January 5, 2022

    I found James Kunstler’s piece today interesting and a bit ironic.

    “The answer is trauma, a set of circumstances that will disrupt all the easy and dishonest work-arounds which have determined the low state of our current arrangements. You can be sure this is coming; it’s already in motion: collapsing oil production due to the insupportable costs of the shale “miracle,” the end of industrial growth as we’ve known it, the limits of borrowing from the future to pay today’s bills (i.e., debt that will never be paid back), widespread household bankruptcy and unemployment, and the consequent social disorder all that will entail.”

    This is exactly the thinking that brought “hippies” and back to the landers to Mendocino County in the late 60’s and 70’s – a half century ago! They believed the planet was at an inflection point and the trauma of war, riots and unrest combined with violent national politics would bring an end to America as they knew it. Jim Jones brought his cult here with the same reasoning.

    There have always been people whose instinctive reaction to social change is to survey the landscape and flee for safety. It’s part of the DNA of the reactionary mind.

    I wish these folks well. But I wish they’d read a book, and realize that this behavior is as old as time. Every generation goes through a fight or flight moment because of some irrational fear or conclusion. In the 1950s people built bomb shelters, only to be followed by preppers and survivalists and cultists who all believed the world was about to end because of this or that coming apocalypse.

    Of course the world is going to end for us all at some point. We live in a world where the earth could shake violently and bring life as we know it to a screeching halt. Wars and violence are par for the course of life on earth. This idea that you can plan an orderly retreat and prepare for a black swan event is man’s way of trying to control his destiny. It’s futile, but it gives people some sense of control, which they seem to desperately need.

    At the heart of it all is an idea of man as the main character, the anthropocentric heart of the known universe. We are not the center the world revolves around. But people cannot grasp that.

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