Press "Enter" to skip to content

Off the Record (January 5, 2022)

ANGEL GUZMAN of San Jose is being held in the County Jail on attempted murder charges arising out of Covelo. The Albion plot involving him, or at least involving his truck, is already pretty thick. Although Guzman’s vehicle was found at the site of the 2am shooting of Chris Brown of Albion in December, it seems he was in custody, charged with the Covelo murder when his truck was found at the top of Brown's driveway when 2-3 of Brown’s would-be assassins ran off into the woods when Brown returned fire. Two — Jose Aguilar and Roberto Chavez-Sousa — were soon found hiding in the nearby woods and arrested. 

THIS EVENT — a near death experience for Mr. Brown who managed to escape serious injury with only a grazing wound to the back of his head — went from curious to curiouser when Aguilar and Chavez-Sousa went to court on attempted murder charges, bail having been set at $750,000 each. And walked out of court, the free-est attempted killers in the annals of attempted murder. 

DA EYSTER explained that charges were not filed against the two “pending further investigation. We couldn’t determine which guy did what,” Eyster said. “It’s not clear which guy shot the gun.” 

SO WHAT? If fifty guys had appeared at Brown's house and only one of them fired a shot or two at him, isn’t normal procedure to arrest all of them and charge all of them for conspiracy to commit a major felony?

BUT THE DA said he couldn't hold someone “until you know who did what and I can’t charge a lesser crime because they might plead to it and get off on the less serious charge.” Eyster said neither of the men had criminal records, and that a third man might have been involved. 

HMMM. Jose Aguilar and Roberto Chavez-Sousa show up at Chris Brown's house at 2am, shoot and wound him and are found hiding in a nearby wooded area when the sun comes up. They are booked into the County Jail on attempted murder charges with bail set at $750,000, but when they appear in court they're released without charges while the episode is “investigated.” 

I DON'T GET IT. If two (or three) people show up at two in the morning, shoot and wound a man assumed to be unknown to them as they wake him from his sleep with at least one gunshot aimed at his head, run off when their target returns fire but leave their vehicle in the victim's driveway, how is it possible that both  the apprehended Aguilar and Chavez Sousa aren't held as suspects to determine which of them tried to murder Mr. Brown in his sleep? I thought under state law (and common sense) that whoever is with a shooter during an attempted murder that person is also assumed to be as guilty as the person who did the shooting. 

SOMETHING is very, very off in this one. Oh yeah. I'm sure the perps will be available for further questioning, perhaps being kind enough to zoom in from Michoacan to say, “Guzman’s truck did it.”

INITIAL REPORTS from a County Employee new  to Mendo's  $5 million Crisis Residential Treatment Center but experienced with centers elsewhere in California insists that an  existing structure could have been remodeled for less than $1 million. The new building appears to have been built in a rush and on the cheap despite its expensive price tag. Our source says it won’t stand up under the stress and hard usage of handling psych patients. Our source predicts the building will become a maintenance burden on the County and while it’s under repair it won’t be available to house clients. (Mark Scaramella)

THOSE MICHIGAN YOBBOS accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer say they had no such plan, that it was instigated by federal informants. The FBI has been encouraging serious crime of the provocateur type for years. “Dan” who infiltrated the group, paid for gas, food and lodging for militia-style weekend training. When the five accused yobs said they weren't interested in strenuous weekend camo games, Agent “Dan” suggested major felonies, like snatching the governor.  “Hmmm, the yobs thought. Good idea, Dan. Gimme another beer.”Agent “Dan” was paid $50 grand for hanging out with these fantasists while encouraging them to commit serious crimes in the name of Trumpian patriotism. “Dan” was laid off after he pled guilty to slugging his wife after a night out for group sex, an incident illustrating the quality people the feds are hiring these days to provoke dumb guys into felonies.

CALL ME OLD SCHOOL, but the federal government shouldn't be paying FBI creeps to get dumb guys in serious trouble. I bring it up because we know, as confirmed by January 6th, there are millions of fascist-minded people out there — lots in Mendo County fer shure — who think kidnapping governors and otherwise carrying out Trump's treasonous agenda only awaits the Orange Oracle's okay, which we can probably expect in 2024 when Michelle Obama defeats him again and he again claims election fraud.

I TAKE it all back as I pretend anyone but me cares. Turns out Jimmy Garappollo sprained the thumb on his throwing hand last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, sprained it in the first half, hence, probably, his horrendous throws in the second half that led to the Niner defeat. 

THIS BUMPERSTICKER spotted on a beat-up grey Chevy parked on North School Street last week: “What would Herb Caen say?”

I DON’T THINK Ukiah would want to know, while I wonder if Herb ever visited Mendocino County, which was well within the Chron's circulation area back when newspapers ruled the media roost, securely perched above radio and television. Hold it! Herb did indeed visit Mendo, and fairly often, too. He was a great friend of the late Charlotte Maillaird and was her frequent guest at the Maillaird's Yorkville ranch. He also stayed occasionally at the Heritage House near Mendocino. I have a vague memory of a macabre para Caen wrote about watching the Mendocino Fire and Rescue people retrieve a drowned man as he ate his breakfast from the warm security of HH's dining room.

AMONG WEDNESDAY'S depressing catastrophe headlines, there was this one: “Kamala Harris turns to Wall Street and Silicon Valley CEOs for advice on the ‘root causes’ of migration and how to fix supply chain issues.”

RIGHT, KAMALA, go to the people responsible for both for advice. Certainly don't pay any attention to those pesky lefties who say the immigration prob is a direct response to years of American imperialism with a big recent boost from Clinton's NAFTA programs. Global destabilization has always been a bi-partisan project, compelling millions of desperate people to hit the road to have even a remote chance for a life.

INSTITUTIONAL SADISM. Mark Sprinkle, once of Ukiah, was finally granted parole only to have the Governor's parole review team veto it. (See the link below for the particulars of Sprinkle's case.) He's sixty, having been in state prison now for nearly a quarter century. Finally having at last gotten past the Parole Board, and sick with prostate cancer, Sprinkle was all set for a halfway house in Stockton, where he knows no one but a halfway house in hell is preferable to a quarter century in prison sleeping on a three-high metal rack in the prison gym at Chino. Sprinkle's medical records were also transferred to Stockton in anticipation of his release, resulting in his prison treatment being canceled while all the paperwork makes its way back to the prison. (

RECOMMENDED READING: "The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men." About ten thousand of them came to the United States after WW II, the worst, most prominent of them sponsored by our government because (1) they were scientifically useful, (2) they lied about their monstrous work as Nazis and for Nazis, (3) they were anti-Soviet. Several became paid informants for the FBI, regularly turning over liberals to the feds, claiming the libs were communists, a practice freshly revived here in liberty land by fascist-oriented Trumpers.

THE BEST KNOWN Nazi-American was Werner Von Braun, the brains behind Hitler's V-2 rockets. When he died, Von Braun was celebrated as the father of the American space program. The Russians also snagged their share of German scientists, of course, but the Russians executed thousands more than they employed. This book was most interesting in its case studies of fascists who became pillars of their immigrant, East European communities and were defended by those communities even after their wartime atrocities were exposed, not that the exposure was simple; for years major media were not interested.

THESE DAYS everyone's a police tactics expert, but if the cops didn't do dumb stuff on camera this particular Boonville “expert” wouldn't have the pretext to comment on the Ukiah PD's fumbling restraint of the nude tweaker, Mr. Gerardo Magdaleno. I was surprised that the Ukiah cops aren't more adept at dealing with aberrant behavior, especially if they know they're going to be critiqued on video. After all, they spend most of their on-duty time dealing with crazy people. 

MAGDALENO was large, meth-maxed, nude, and totally nutted up, perhaps combative. So, why repeatedly yell at him so many times to get on the ground that we now have two nuts on-scene, and thus torqueing upward the true nut's anxiety? Why not “engage” him as, I believe, most cops are trained to do. “Hello, Mr. Magdaleno. Good to see you again. Bit nippy out for no clothes, wouldn't you say? Let me get you a blanket and we can sit down and talk for a while.” Instead, in this case, the cops get all excited, taze the guy several times and finally bull rush him into subjection, getting in a few ineffective “compliance” punches as they go.

AND HERE COME the lawyers since the whole episode  has been recorded, and lawyers are so numerous and so hungry the shiftier ones are even running television ads. Gerardo Magdaleno's family claims their scion was brutalized. The City of Ukiah, taking an expensive page from the County of Mendocino, has hired outside lawyers to defend its police. Seldom Seen San, city manager Sage Sangiacomo, sends his assistant out to announce legal developments and, as always, all of it will be paid for by the taxpayers, not the people involved, which is why heavily indemnified public entities are always getting sued. Maybe if Seldom Seen San and the Ukiah cops had to sacrifice their pay unto injured party satisfaction maybe dumb stuff wouldn't happen so often.

A WORRISOME local trend, apart from irresponsible public officials like we suffer here in Mendo in Ukiah and at the Board of Supervisors, is the phenomena of the homeless setting retaliatory fires when they are rousted. Ukiah and Fort Bragg have large populations of people beyond, wayyyyy beyond, the capacities of our helping professionals. These free-range mental cases — “non-reimbursables” — as the helping pros call them when the compassion cameras are off, are gnawing away at what's left of democratic practices. Fires are only one civic prob presented by the floating population of tweakers, drunks and unconfined psychos, the overall negative effect is on civic morale, the feeling of most people that things are out of control (which they are) but which is leading fast to Trumpian fascism, with the homeless as the Orange Wave’s first targets of opportunity.

MIGHT as well post a few more end-of-the-year awards honoring the most egregious offenders like state senator McGuire's never-will-be Great Redwood Trail which, and you read it here first, is a Northcoast Democratic Party scam to cash out former congressman Bosco for the rail right of way which, thanks to the Northcoast Democrats, Bosco somehow owns.

BIGGEST SAPS OF THE YEAR: Anybody who thought a Coal Train running from Santa Rosa to Eureka through the impassable Eel River Canyon was at all likely. Friends of the Eel and most Northcoast media bought it whole.

MOST OBVIOUS beneficiary of public funds for no work has got to be Dr. Noemi Doohan who got $100k in February to do nothing for Mendo for the rest of the year. Apparently her contract ended in December of 2021 and there’s no indication that CEO Angelo wants to renew it, but if Angelo wanted to toss Doohan another hundred thou for no work who’s to stop her? The Supervisors?

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR. Mark Scaramella for singlehandedly preventing (or at least postponing) the totally unwarranted $79k (including benefits) pay raise for County Counsel Christian Curtis.

JAMES MARMON posted this poignant remark a couple of weeks ago on our website: “I might also lose my MediCal and be left with Medicare only. If that happens I’m responsible for 20 percent of my medical bills. None of this would have been a problem had Carmel Angelo and Camille Schraeder not ended my career 10 years early.” 

COUPLA THINGS here. Like a lot of Trumpers, and Marmon's way beyond deprogramming, he constantly blasts liberals as communists without bothering to make the distinction between the two. With right-wingers you never know whether their ignorance is merely ignorance or deliberate malice — real hatred for an inchoate target that doesn't specifically exist. If not for liberals inspired by socialists, Marmon wouldn't have either MediCal or Medicare, and just try to take Medicare away from Americans, although the right wants to “privatize” it, meaning steal it for the mega-wolves of capital who the rightwing serves.

MARMON as social worker would seem to be a contradiction given his political views, but from what he has described of his professional experience I'm here to say he was an honest, conscientious social worker of the independent type we need more of, especially in this howlingly dysfunctional county. 

AS I UNDERSTAND Marmon's defrocking, he objected to dangerous placement decisions by his superiors, who I happened to be familiar with because I was writing about those same people who'd made a series of shockingly heartless placement decisions in a case I knew firsthand. I assumed, and still assume, that Marmon had to have been correct in his defiance of decisions made by these people, one of which led to the murder of an infant placed in a home dominated by the tweaker who killed the baby in 2013. 

MENDO'S CPS's decision makers at the time should have been fired as the dangerous incompetents they are, and the judges, who've got to know how, uh, limited these people are, should have been fired along with them. Adding insult to major injury for Marmon, a raft of County cover-up artists got restraining orders against Marmon! And one of the least responsible of this appalling CPS crew went on to become department head! Only in Mendo. 

WITHOUT rehashing my experience with Mendo's CPS, as soon as I heard about Marmon's experience with this dismal apparatus I knew in my bones he was right. Maybe it was this experience that drove Marmon into Trump's big tent. After all, Mendo's helping pros are mostly liberals, and those who aren't claim to be Christians of the no book but the bible type. They get away with gross incompetence because they prey on undefended people, the poor, and the class-based legal system backs them up.

IN JULY OF 2002 I praised the work of the Ukiah-based psychologist, Kevin Kelly. Never met the guy, wouldn't know him if I saw him. But I can tell you he was the only sane voice in the prolonged torture of Yeni Wiriderdja and her daughter Yusra by the Mendocino County Department of Social Services and its appallingly stupid, and often malicious, CPS unit, a unit dominated by the same collection of primitive screwballs who went all in on the Satanist hysteria which swept the more primitive sectors of Mendo's (and America's) population in the early 1980s. 

MS. W, a non-English-speaking Indonesian, was assumed by CPS to not only be a defective mother but a mother who had rented her daughter out to Satanist perverts! Can a sane person even grasp the magnitude of the tax-paid idiocy (and pure racism) that was at work in Ms. W's case? I couldn't then, and I can't now, but if it weren't for the intelligent intervention of Kevin Kelly the suffering of that grotesquely wronged woman and her child would have been much worse than it was, and it was very, very bad until Kelly was finally appointed by the county's slo-mo Superior Court to have a look at mother and child. He saved them. CPS and its preferred therapists, primarily a husband and wife team by the name of Robert and Ann Horton, believed that Satanism thrived in Mendoland and that little Yusra was one more victim. These two morons and the sub-morons at CPS had the brass-balled nerve to trot this nonsense out in court. And get away with it! 

THE YENI-YUSRA SAGA, no thanks to the helping professionals of Mendoland and the spineless local authorities who back their evil work no matter how obviously destructive it is, has turned out well. They're both thriving in Eugene, Oregon. Yusra is a multi-lingual, straight-A student in her senior year of high school. Yeni has re-married, is a management-level, English-speaking employee of a going concern, owns her home, and is doing very well in every way despite her years of emotional torture by Mendocino County's criminally defective Department of Social Services. 


[1] Until I was about ten, we got to see the police almost every Christmas. I just thought they were part of the deal.

[2] I know many good, hardworking people with lots of tattoos. I'm glad we've reached a place in society where people with a lot of ink don't even stand out. But seriously, based on mugshots, if you did a Venn diagram of “people with neck tats” and “drug dealers,” the drug dealer circle would be almost entirely within the neck tat circle. Statistically speaking, having a neck tat doesn't mean you're an illegal drug dealer, but boy is the fraction higher than it is for the not-drug-dealer population.

[3] Whew, looking at some news here, it’s been a bloody Christmas season. Families wiped out coast to coast — mostly by their own family members! On Long Island, in NYC, in Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, California … mothers and fathers, and little kids waiting for Santa Claus to appear, shot and stabbed, sometimes the house burned down to cover up the crime. Not the Happy Holidays of days gone by. It appears the family unit itself has collapsed. Well, you have to admit, it’s been under assault for a long time. Now all the hard work is coming to fruition.

[4] How about a little rational maturity – a little grown-upness?

If health authorities impose stricter restrictions, we hear howls of “fascism & tyranny” and world depopulation / domination by the WEF (especially from one village idiot).

And yet if the authorities relax the restrictions, then suddenly they are playing fast-and-loose with people’s lives, and “the science”.

And if they (shock-horror) change their view – adapting to better data – then they get accused of mistakes and cover-ups, and if they don’t change their view, then they’re doubling down on previous “errors”. 

They can’t win when the hatred is so strong and out of control. You people are a wonder. And in the same vein, the demonization of Dr. Fauci by the Right is something to behold!

I don’t know what the adverse health consequences might be from dropping the isolation period for the asymptomatic from ten days to five, but I see no point in frothing at the mouth over it.

Some health groups (nurses, doctors) are very unhappy, while business is much happier.

It seems governments worldwide have sort of given up (wrongly in my view) and are essentially going to let Omicron rip. They face elections, and they can’t afford to have the economy tank through 2022.

[5] Eureka has always been a rough town. I grew up in town. I’ve mentioned it before, but when I moved to Kodiak, the guys were warning me what a rough town it was. Got there, looked around and said, “Shit, you guys have never been to Eureka!”. That’s an exact quote, from 40 some years ago.

The rose-colored fantasies some people have about some golden past crack me up. And it was the local boys and girls, not “liberals” from somewhere else that were raising hell.

Don’t get me started on the days long before that and gun fights on the waterfront docks. I used to listen to the old guys and some of the tales would curl your toes.

I love Eureka.

[6] Eureka was the “ big city” between Santa Rosa and, say, Eugene, Oregon. The social services, county jail and courts and other government offices, along with its size attracted people who were involved with these services. The rural people with issues in their smaller towns often could exist better in town. The rescue missions dealt with alcoholism. Now substance abuse has many other drugs to deal with. The crime to feed the drug use of unemployable users definitely affects the quality of life along with the numbers of the homeless. At one time prostitution was fairly common in Arcata and Eureka. I haven’t heard much of that lately. Yes, Eureka has always been a rough and tumble town. It’s just more rougher and there’s more tumble. There’s still a lot of good things and people around.


  1. Pat Kittle January 5, 2022

    Is is possible to discuss effective immigration control without being censored, slandered, threatened and/or criminally attacked?

    • Bruce Anderson January 5, 2022


      • Pat Kittle January 6, 2022


        Have you ever considered an upper limit for how many humans Mendo County can sustain, with how much inevitable ecological damage is acceptable?


        Didn’t think so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.