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MARINE LAYER STRATUS will be more extensive and persistent through mid week, and drizzle is possible in northwest Humboldt and Del Norte Counties Tuesday night or Wednesday. Otherwise, high pressure will allow for mainly dry weather to prevail, with warming temperatures and more sunshine late week into the weekend. (NWS)
HEATER FIRE IN PHILO
Anderson Valley Fire was called out to a structure fire late Thursday afternoon (January 13), possibly extinguished, in Philo near Lemon's Market. Units were redirected while enroute to Blattner Rd. The fire had been put out upon arrival and the occupant was having trouble shutting down an active gas leak from their propane tank. The fire was discovered when the resident went outside after he had smelled gas, as he made his way to the backyard he heard a fire ignite inside the wall mount gas heater. The fire was contained to the heat unit on the exterior of the house. Fire personnel disconnected the gas and shut down the fuel.
(AV Fire Chief Andres Avila)
Took this pic last night. Stepped out, looked up, the vastness and magnificence made me dizzy.
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is gray, and yellow, white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion...
— Moody Blues
GRACE HUDSON MUSEUM - SUN HOUSE & WILD GARDENS
Listen in as Eric Wilder shares stories about birds and how they relate to Pomo history and culture on January 20th at 7pm! Eric Wilder is a Kashia Tribal Member and artist.
Join by clicking the link: https://zoom.us/j/93950969523
LISTENING TO ‘THE CATCH’ WITH MY FATHER MADE ME A 49ERS FAN FOR LIFE
by Justine Frederiksen
We didn’t have a TV in my house growing up, so my father listened to local sports on a small transistor radio, rooting for the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland A's and the San Francisco 49ers.
Reception at our house was poor, so unless he was outside doing chores, he had to sit with his radio hanging next to the large kitchen window in order to make out at least most of what was happening.
But he didn’t want to miss a second of the game the 49ers played on Jan. 10, 1982, the NFC Championship match with the Dallas Cowboys. So since the radio reception was much better in our Chevy van, he decided to drive around while listening to the end of the game. And since I had nothing better to do, I hopped in the van with him.
I remember us slowly circling a flat, sparse neighborhood near the ocean as the game neared its end. I don’t remember any of the action or why it mattered, but I can still see my father suddenly throwing his fist into the air and crying out, the van swerving until he put both hands back on the steering wheel.
Now I know exactly what that moment was for everyone else: “The Catch” made by Dwight Clark to win the game and send the 49ers to Joe Montana's first Superbowl victory. But to me, it was the moment I became a 49ers fan for life.
A 49ers fan who will always prefer to listen to their games on the radio, picturing my dad and me in our Chevy van, that usually quiet, reserved man suddenly exploding in joy. Forty-niners games will always help me relive one of my favorite memories of my childhood, and definitely my favorite memory of my father.
THE PLATEAU is opening this year. Low income family housing, senior housing, and 20 units for homeless housing. Contact Danco for low-income/senior and CDC of Mendocino County for homeless units.
CAROLE WHITE elaborates: There are 3 types of housing in this project. There is workforce housing, senior housing and housing for those who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness. Workforce housing implies that people have employment. They may be moving here to take a job that a “local” person did not apply for or is not qualified for. We know for a fact that lack of housing is keeping those teachers, healthcare workers etc from taking those jobs. Many seniors live on Social Security only and struggle to afford housing. More and more of them have become homeless. Right here in Fort Bragg. Some local people are employed and experiencing homelessness because they do not make enough to find housing they can afford. There are many in our community who will be helped by this project. And it’s still not enough. I would think more people would be grateful that this opportunity will help folks in our community who are in need. Including business owners who need employees. Patients who need healthcare. Students who need teachers etc. Families who need help supporting other family members. Etc…
THE BROCKWAY INCIDENT
On Sunday, January 16, 2022 at approximately 8:19 AM, California Highway Patrol Officers requested assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office regarding a pursuit in Laytonville.
While responding, Sheriff's Office Dispatch informed Deputies the driver had stopped in the 100 block of Branscomb Road. Deputies were advised the driver was refusing to obey any verbal commands and was threatening “suicide by cop.”
Deputies arrived on scene and identified the driver as Christopher Brockway, known from previous law enforcement contacts.
Brockway was recently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, forgery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and identity theft.
Brockway had recently been granted a short term release pass from custody by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge.
Brockway was ordered to surrender himself back to the Mendocino County Jail on 01-15-2022 by 8:00 P.M. and he failed to do so. This resulted in Brockway being wanted for escape from custody.
An original responding Deputy who was a crisis negotiator with the Mendocino County Regional SWAT Team arrived on scene and began speaking with Brockway in a attempt to get him to surrender peacefully.
Due to the "suicide by cop" statements Mendocino County Behavioral Health was contacted and asked to send a crisis worker to the scene. Behavioral Health was unable to send a crisis worker to the scene so the SWAT Team crisis negotiator continued communications with Brockway.
Based on previous history with Brockway and his recent firearm related arrest, the Mendocino County Regional SWAT Team was summoned to the scene. Many of the team members where off-duty and were called out to respond to the situation.
Verbal negotiations with Brockway continued for approximately three hours, asking for his peaceful surrender.
Brockway eventually exited his vehicle, however he continued to refuse to obey verbal commands.
Brockway attempted to walk back towards his vehicle where a knife was observed on the ground.
Based on the above circumstances, SWAT Team members deployed a 40mm less-lethal foam baton round which struck Brockway in the upper leg.
At this time Sheriff's K9 "BO" was deployed and the canine bit Brockway in the arm, allowing SWAT Team members to quickly approach and safely place Brockway under arrest.
Brockway was later transported to a local hospital for medical examination/treatment and was determine to have a minor injury from the canine bite.
Brockway was ultimately arrested for Escape from Custody (4532 PC) and Resisting Arrest (148(a)(1) PC). 'Charges will also be filed with the District Attorneys Office by the California Highway Patrol for potential charges related to the pursuit.
Brockway was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $90,000 bail.
MATT LaFEVER: "Sheriff Kendall Criticizes Judge That Would Let the Suspect in Yesterday’s Standoff Out on Short-Term Release and Is Concerned About Behavioral Health’s Inability to Respond”
NAMES! Which judge? Could be Judge Keith Faulder or Judge Carly Dolan or Judge Clayton Brennan, all of whom are listed in Brockway’s court documents for recent charges. The last time Brockway, a rather obvious full-time crook, was in court was just the week prior to Sunday's event when he was arraigned for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge stemming from an arrest in December of 2021.
ON DECEMBER 6th (last month), Judge Dolan heard a more substantial set of charges of attempted stolen property, receiving stolen property, check forgery, theft of elder, ID theft and illegal gun possession. In that case Brockway somehow posted a $60,000 bond. Whichever judge released Mr. Brockway should have been aware of his extensive criminal record going back at least five years besides his more recent arrests and charges and taken it into account. Brockway was denied parole back in 2017 after serving several years for similar offenses on grounds that he presented a significant public risk before he was later released in 2018.
BROCKWAY WROTE TO THE AVA LAST APRIL: theava.com/archives/152382#8
ON-LINE SUGGESTIONS FOR THE BLACK ROBES:
(1) How about putting a ballot initiative that any judge who releases any criminal early or gives a pass must be held responsible for any crimes committed by this action and serve the same prison sentence as the criminal. Make that go for every member of the parole board as well. It’s time these weak judges taste a bit of what communities deal with when they make these grossly inappropriate decisions.
(2) It’s amazing how most people don’t understand that our local tweaker population, which is about 10%, commits the crimes that this guy committed on a daily basis. unless they are taking their weekly nap. maybe stop raising tweakers. once again it’s a local problem. blame yourselves. it’s only getting worse with the next round of methnecks.
FIGHTING FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
by Pete Gregson
Back in 2000 when many were concerned about Y2K, I was learning and using hydrogen powered fuel cells. I was a distributor for H power. The issue as I was seeing, at the time, was that all the fuel cell companies, Ballard, etc. were using fuel cells as power supplies. The problem was that once a fuel cell “crashed” it is very difficult to get it back up and running. If you do a controlled shut down no problem, but a crash is a serious problem… So I went on this in a different direction.
I found out, through much testing that the fuel cells I was working with had a sweet spot. They were best when run at around 57 +/- vdc. So instead of using the fuel cell as a power supply, like everyone else. A power supply with an inverter and a small battery as backup and then get overloaded and crash; I decided to run the fuel cell at the best, most efficient voltage with battery charging circuits we designed for 12, 24 & 48 vdc battery charging. The thought was let the fuel cell run and utilize the power via the charging circuits to charge batteries. Instead of what everyone else was doing, using the fuel cell as a power supply. I had already been designing and installing off grid and actually quite a few grid tied systems for over 20 years. The systems I had out in the field worked very well so I did not want to change the systems design, I just wanted to get away from generators. Fuel cells use hydrogen, the fuel of the universe. (On a side note, during this time, the green meanies, totally chastised me for using this technology. Their beef was the byproduct that is produced by fuel cells. Seems they didn’t understand the technology, since the byproduct is H20). I worked out an agreement with a refinery that I would take their hydrogen, because it was a byproduct of fuel production, and set up a delivery system up the 101 corridor from Ukiah to Eureka. All I had to do was pay for transportation, permits, etc... Then the shit hit the fan. One of our customers was so overwhelmed with the Y2K thing that he totally got stressed out, had a heart attack and died. Crazy shit is what I thought, who in their right mind would even pay attention to such nonsense? Then the so called solar revolution started. The go green, grid tie movement.
For some reason I decided to go with the grid tie solar nonsense and quit doing R&D with hydrogen and fuel cells. Probably one of the worst decisions I have ever made.
In these early days there were a few of us, only a handful in the US, that would purchase Poly Silicon from chip makers like Intel and others in Silicon Valley. The reason we did this was because there were, at that time, only two Poly Silicon manufacturers in the US. Poly Silicon is the basis for solar cells. Computer grade Poly Silicon needs to be purified to be acceptable for PV. So we would purchase the “bad” chips from many of the Silicon Valley companies, send it to China and get it purified to PV quality. We would then grow the ingots, slice them into wafers, make the cells and then make the panels (Once you are involved at this level you realize how much energy is required to manufacture a solar panel. Especially grow the ingots. And most ingot growers use coal as their power source. It’s still a debate if solar panels will ever produce as much power as it takes to make them).
We controlled the process from start to finish. In those days we would not “flash” test the cells. We, as an industry, would just produce cells and then make panels. Problem was that this created a big discrepancy of solar panel output. We no longer do this. We now flash test cells, group them by power and then assemble solar panels based on the same cell power output. This is how micro inverters started. I still have some of the first, 24 vdc nominal. Micro inverters came onto the market because of the discrepancies of individual panel outputs. The scam with them nowadays is that solar panels today are very close in power output, there no longer is a discrepancy in solar panel output when you have a reliable well made solar panel. Then the game they play is shading, if some panels get shaded that array no longer produces power. Total BS and anyone who uses that logic has no clue about source circuit sizing. For example, most people today get sold a bill of goods by sales people, not installers or designers. The sales people say something like according to your usage you need ad 5 kW system. And then instead of following through on this based on electrical, source circuit criteria they base the size of the system on the 5kw requirement. So they might come up with a string sizing that is let’s say 300 vdc. When a source circuit for most residential systems can be up to 600 vdc. The difference is the number of panels in series and this is the argument of shading and not working. Because instead of designing the system to 600 vdc, they design it to 5kw having fewer panels in series shading is a potential problem… Micro inverters are very inefficient. Many systems will lose upwards of 1 MW of power over their lifetime. Optimizers are another problem, multiple more components, more things to fail, major increase of costs, that could be mitigated by just using this extra cost to purchase more solar panels. The scam never ends. It is the micro inverter and the optimizer companies that pushed to require these products for roof mounted solar systems. This is basically why we no longer do roof mounts.
But I digress, back in 2000 when the push was to go solar, grid tie, I started doing some very large system quotes for PG&E. Actually, it was three of us. We would get the RFP, submit our proposal and go on from there. The idea was that we would install large, remote PV systems and you could come into Advance Power and pay your utility bill and I’d show you where your solar panels were located. The problem was that every time we submitted a proposal, PG&E would award the project to either Semper or Florida light and power. Both these entities are utility companies that had their own installation crews.
We ended up thinking that they are just using our bids to substantiate their costs so that it would all look good. We always lost, the job got done for more than what we bid it and it looked like the utility companies then split the federal rebate between them and the install subsidiary. So we decided to move on our own. Screw ‘em we’ll build our own plants. At about this time the Enron fiasco happened and all the investor owned utilities in CA declared bankruptcy. And part of the bankruptcy was that a judge ruled that no one could be an energy provider other then the utility companies, because it would infringe on their bankruptcy. So now I can’t build solar power plants even though the rules and the law states that anyone can be an energy provider as long as they follow the rules, the law and the codes. Anyone should be able to be an energy provider, put power on the grid and sell it to whomever.
Remember this was back in early 2000. Fine, whatever, I started installing some of the largest grid tie systems in the area. And many, many smaller residential systems. And anyone who is so naive as to think grid tie systems are only for the rich is miserably ill informed and fallen prey to the utility companies dictates. There are many programs and incentives for low income, elderly and people with health issues. Besides you can always get one “free” from the leasing companies. Plus look how totally screwed up this state has become. Most new construction is required to have solar installed. Though the utility companies don’t want it and will eventually charge customers with solar more than people without solar. And then there is the issue of transmission.
Estimates are that well over half the energy put onto the power lines is lost due to transmission losses. So when the utility companies install huge systems in the desert much of this power is totally wasted.
This was one of the original arguments for solar. Local production not centralized production. Even if you are unfortunate to live in an apartment or condominium you can always get a simple inverter/charger, connected to a battery bank, plugged into a wall outlet and this system will stay fully charged and once the power goes out will turn into a power supply… Very simple and very cost effective.
Then along comes Sonoma Water district and I am told they are one of the richest governmental agencies around... I wonder, how does a governmental agency get rich? The water district, from what I hear, then builds a pipe line up to the geysers, to “offload” their wastewater. But from what I was told the geysers are running low on water and the power output is declining. Next thing I hear is they are involved in starting a Pace program. A pace program is a program that loans money, for improvements, such as solar, energy efficiency upgrades, etc...
Hmmm I think, how does a water district turn into a bank? And then it seems like the Pace program morphs into Sonoma Clean power! So how is it that I cannot be an energy provider but Sonoma Water and Sonoma Clean Power seem to be able to be?
The state of California will ultimately take over and control all the utilities. Water, electric, whatever. Just wait and see. Then you’ll see the full force of the green meanies, the carbon credits, the hucksters of control basically controlling you by dictating your “allowed” rations of power based on your going along with the narrative or not. When you live through all this like I have you might begin to wonder if this was not totally planned way back in 2000.
There are hundreds of thousands of Californians like me who live off grid. I have lived off grid for almost 50 years. I wouldn’t have utility power if you gave it to me free, because as I see it, it’s just a control thing. “We can turn you off, whenever we deem it necessary. We can rob your battery stored power that you produced off your solar panels any time we deem it necessary”. Are all of us off grid people now not paying our fair share? Are all the people who put energy, money and time into solar systems the reason for the utility companies so called problems with excess power? Look at your utility bill; do you have a designation of water and power? This is the Enron bill. Most states, once Enron declared bankruptcy canceled their debt, with Enron, which is actually Wall St. But not California. California kept the debt, so then the utilities went into bankruptcy, went into you can’t be an energy provider, etc... And does anyone really even know when this Enron debt will be paid? Or is it just another oversight?
Things might not be what they seem. Maybe I’ve got this all wrong, but I have lived it. I have personally gone through all this. And at this stage I say, screw it, want nothing to with the utility companies, their dictates, their mandates. Because at this point they are back in control… Not like back in 2000 when some of the big boys of PG&E would call me up and say “Pete, do you think anyone will ever go for this solar thing? It seems like it’s way too expensive. Don’t see how anyone would ever go for it’? They got caught with their pants down. We had them by the balls for a while, but now they’re back at their same old game… Control.
(Pete Gregson is the Owner of Advance Power Solar, Hydro & Wind Inc., in Calpella.)
YORKVILLE DELINQUENTS’ big night out. According to the Ukiah Police Department, on Sunday, January 9, a little after 3pm, officers couldn’t help but notice “two vehicles traveling southbound at a high rate of speed engaged in a speed contest.” One car got away, but Yorkville’s teen delegation “came to a stop in the 200 block of Tedford Avenue” and subsequently identified as “two male juveniles, one female juvenile and an adult male.” The driver was identified as a 17-year-old male from Yorkville, the front passenger was identified as a 14-year-old male from Yorkville, the girl and an “adult male” were in the back seat. “The arresting officer observed a bottle of liquor on the floorboard of the vehicle and soon also “observed the handle of a firearm protruding from under the front passenger seat, an Intratec Tech-9,” which had “a threaded barrel tip and met the requirements for an assault weapon…. And a loaded high capacity (30 round) magazine and a barrel extender.” The Yorkville gun boys were placed under arrest, the girl “was released to her legal guardian and the adult male was released from the scene.” The vehicle was impounded and the two Yorkville yobs booked into Juvenile Hall.
‘POWER OF THE DOG,’ a movie by Jane Campion. On the recommendation of Jonah Raskin, my wife and I watched it, both of us concluding it held our interests but also agreeing that the narrative was nonsensical, unlike Forty Niner football and the Forensic Files we most enjoy. The story is set on a Montana cattle ranch, circa 1920. But the acting is so good the thing carries us along with it. I remember thinking pretty much the same thing about Ms. Campion's much praised The Piano, also a preciously PC film that featured a deaf babe who persuaded photogenic Maoris to joyously hump her piano over hill and dale while she fended off a male suitor before boffing him just before the curtain came down. Power of the Dog is a similarly preciously PC-themed filmic statement that homophobia can be lethal, which most of us know, however dimly. So we get a fey kid portrayed as stereotypically, mincingly gay who is drawn to the finer things for which he's humiliated by the closet case who is part owner of the ranch and his cowboys. I seriously doubt ranch hands would dare insult a lad who is related to the boss but they do, and often, too. Where dog power fits here beats me, but it's Old Testament, Psalm 22:20, which reads: “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.”
BOONVILLE seemed deserted Sunday afternoon between the hours 1-5pm. Even through traffic was light on 128 when I popped outside to look at half time of the Niners unusually thrilling victory over the Dallas Cowboys, confirmation that when the Niners are on, Mendo is watching.
SHERIFF KENDALL has squelched a prevalent rumor that a serial killer is active in Mendocino County. The Sheriff said the recent deaths of two young Ukiah women are not related. The Sheriff did not say but could have said that the serial killer people think is loose is indeed loose, and easily identified as the ruthless people selling it.
DOM'S OUT OF PRISON AND....
On Wednesday, January 8, 2022 at approximately 10:38 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residential burglary in the 700 block of Reeves Canyon Road in Redwood Valley.
Deputies arrived a short time later and contacted the homeowners. Deputies were advised by the homeowners — a 33 year old male, a 34 year old female and a 66 year old male — that they had returned home just prior to contacting law enforcement.
When they arrived home, they noticed their ATV was missing from in front of the residence. The homeowners also noticed their vehicle parked in the driveway had been entered and items were removed from it. The homeowners then checked inside of their residence and noticed it had been ransacked and several personal belongings had been stolen.
The stolen ATV was located, crashed on its side, a short distance away from the residence. Deputies processed the scene and determined the suspect(s) had used a hammer to break a window and force entry into the residence. Deputies collected evidence and checked the area for suspects with negative results.
On Thursday, January 9, 2022 at approximately 2:12 A.M., Deputies were dispatched to an address in the 1400 block of Reeves Canyon Road. Deputies were advised there were two houses on the same property, both owned by the same people. Deputies were advised by these homeowners, that their dogs had been barking, which was unusual. The homeowners were then able to see lights on inside of their second residence.
Deputies arrived and entered the second residence. Deputies located Dominic Singelton, 48, of Redwood Valley, hiding in one of the bedrooms. Singleton was found to be in possession of items which were reported stolen during the prior burglary on Reeves Canyon Road. Singleton had also stolen numerous items from within the residence he was located in.
Singleton refused to speak with Deputies or identify himself. Singleton was recognized by the arresting Deputy from a previous law enforcement contact.
The arresting Deputy had also arrested Singelton in 2019 for a burglary he committed in the 300 block of Reeves Canyon Road. Singleton was found to be on active CDC Parole for the prior burglary he committed in 2019.
Singleton was placed under arrest for two counts of burglary, Violation of Parole, and Grand Theft.
Singleton was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held without bail.
WAY TO PARENT, NATHAN
On Saturday, January 15, 2022 at approximately 7:32 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence incident.
Deputies contacted a 21 year-old female in the 7000 block of North State Street in Redwood Valley.
Deputies learned the adult female and Nathan Feliz, 22, of Redwood Valley, have a child in common. The pair were at the listed location to conduct a child exchange.
During the exchange, Nathan Feliz reportedly struck the female several times in the face. Feliz then pulled the female’s leg trying to pull her out of her vehicle.
Nathan Feliz then left the location in his vehicle with their small child.
Deputies checked the immediate area and were unable to locate Nathan Feliz. Deputies later learned of a possible address where Nathan Feliz was located in the 1200 block of Brown Court in Willits.
Deputies responded to the above residence and located a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle Nathan Feliz fled in. Deputies knocked on the door and attempted to make contact with the occupants of the residence.
Deputies made contact with Vanessa Sanchez, 21 of Upper Lake, and Kiahna Feliz, 21, of Redwood Valley, who would not allow Deputies to enter and search the residence without a search warrant.
Both Sanchez and Kiahna Feliz were advised that Nathan Feliz was wanted for a felony crime (Domestic Violence incident from earlier in the day) and they could be arrested for harboring if they were concealing his whereabouts.
At this time Deputies could hear a young child crying within the residence.
Deputies obtained a search warrant for the residence in an attempt to locate Nathan Feliz.
Deputies entered the residence and detained Sanchez and Kiahna Feliz and located Nathan Feliz's child (same from custody exchange) sleeping in the living room.
Deputies searched the residence and were unable to immediately locate Nathan Feliz. Deputies then noticed an attic crawl space which appeared to be recently opened. Deputies checked the attic and did not locate Nathan Feliz.
However, Deputies observed the attic access connected to the neighboring apartment.
Deputies made contact with the neighbor who allowed them to enter their residence. Once inside the neighbor's residence, Deputies located Nathan Feliz hiding inside a bedroom.
This neighbor did not give Nathan Feliz permission to enter their residence and he had done so through the attic access in an attempt to elude arrest.
Feliz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Sanchez and Kiahna Feliz were also booked into the Mendocino County Jail where they were each to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 17, 2022
GENE BRADY, Visalia/Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment, suspended license, probation revocation.
PAUL NELSON, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.
BRIAN ROSE, Los Angeles/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LYNN SIEWERT, Horse Creek/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license.
JOAN DIDION NEVER FORGOT SACRAMENTO BUT IT’S FORGOTTEN HER
by Jamie Jordan
With Joan Didion’s death in late December, the world lost a literary giant. Grief poured out across the country and in Northern California over her passing. As a fellow Sacramento-area native hoping to follow in her footsteps, I have been moved by the tributes made to Didion.
But the one place where the remembrance has been noticeably absent is in her own hometown of Sacramento. Without permanent steps, I fear for what will become of this native daughter’s local legacy.
Growing up in nearby Folsom, I’d heard of Didion but never in connection to her — our — hometown. During my senior year of high school, the French fashion house Céline selected her to model a pair of $430 sunglasses. In the ad, with her outsized frames and all-black ensemble, Didion looked like a quintessential New Yorker, the kind of person I was hoping to emulate in college.
The following year, after I’d fled east, I read “Rock of Ages,” a short piece Didion wrote about visiting Alcatraz Island after the prison closed. I was stunned by the raw connection she felt to the land. She wrote about Northern California with such nostalgia, the kind of longing you can only feel after you’ve left a place.
I was devastated by the last line of the essay, “I could tell you that I came back (to Los Angeles, where she was living at the time) because I had promises to keep, but maybe it was because no one asked me to stay.”
As I read the rest of “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” I realized that Didion’s cosmopolitan identity could not be divorced from her Sacramento upbringing. While she was waiting to become an icon, Didion had been and still was, in some ways, the girl who went to C.K. McClatchy Senior High, who got ice cream at Vic’s after school and waited for the State Fair to come back every year.
Perhaps for this reason, Didion chose to include her McClatchy yearbook in her California Hall of Fame display case. The exhibit that highlighted her has since closed, making room for new classes of inductees, including Lucille Ball — who has two statues and an entire museum devoted to her in her hometown of Jamestown, N.Y.
No such fanfare exists for Didion in Sacramento, only an edificial footnote: The Didion is currently on the market for $9.3 million and features 12 lofts and a gluten-free and vegan ice cream and doughnut shop on the bottom floor.
It hardly sums up the legacy of a woman who bemoaned the “featureless new buildings” that were beginning to fill her Sacramento, which she described as a “rich farm town,” filled with generations of interlocking families who visited their great-aunts on Sundays.
The Didion building would be blasphemous were it not for the mural by Maren Conrad, depicting Julian Wasser’s iconic photograph of Didion for Time magazine, between the bakery and the entrance to the residences.
It’s fitting that Conrad is also responsible for the city’s much larger portrait of Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird.” In the film, a quote from Didion serves as the epigraph: “Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.”
Greta Gerwig, the film’s Sacramento-born writer and director, has been outspoken about her admiration for Didion, telling Vanity Fair that discovering her writing was “as shattering as if I’d grown up in Dublin and suddenly read James Joyce.”
Gerwig is right to evoke Joyce here, as Didion is to Sacramento what the Irish writer is to Dublin. But, unlike, Sacramento, the city of Dublin has chosen to celebrate Joyce.
There is a statue of Joyce in their bustling city center, a museum devoted to his literary legacy and a celebration every June 16 in honor of his masterpiece, “Ulysses.” Essentially, Dublin has monetized its Joyce connection, attracting thousands of tourists each year, myself included.
Closer to home, Monterey has integrated John Steinbeck into its landscape with an official Steinbeck Itinerary for visitors, which includes trips to the Steinbeck House in nearby Salinas and sites from his novels.
A Didion Itinerary could include trips to the Sacramento River, which inspired her first novel, and the old Governor’s Mansion, which Didion called “my favorite house in the world.” Both Dublin and Monterey could be a model for Sacramento as it goes about finding a meaningfully way to honor her, raising funds for a Didion Center.
This is something I hope will be top of mind for local officials, especially Gov. Gavin Newsom, who released an official statement that reads in part, “She was peerless in her capacity to write about life, loss, love and society — easily the best living writer in California. Her ability to put the tapestry of California and the times into words made her a treasure for her generation and generations to come.”
As a 24-year-old getting her master’s degree in nonfiction writing, I am proof of Didion’s generational impact. She made me want to become a writer. Didion’s also the reason I started telling people at my New York college that I was from Sacramento. She makes a girl proud to be from there.
It is too late for us to honor Didion while she is still living. I only hope that, in the wake of her death, the city will finally recognize the roots of this extraordinary woman.
(Jamie Jordan is a master of fine arts candidate at Sarah Lawrence College.)
BACK WHEN PEOPLE WERE SENSIBLE…
Reading a recent on-line comparison of omicron with the 1918 flu reminded me of my grandfather, who served as chief of police in Fresno during the height of the flu epidemic.
On New Year’s Eve in 1918, he wrote a letter to the Fresno Republican saying, “The influenza is with us and if we are to stamp it out we must use precautionary measures. There is no desire to interfere with anyone’s freedom or fun, but as too much hilarity would mean that the mask rule would be forgotten or ignored it is my belief that a decision to forego this end-of-the-year crowding of the sidewalks and assembling indoors would do much toward checking the further spread of this epidemic that is causing so much sickness and death.”
A 17-year-old immigrant who served this country during the Spanish-American War, he became a Fresno police officer and eventually chief. He dedicated his life to serving and safeguarding his community and country.
WHY MODERN MUSIC IS SO BAD
“A CHIEF PROBLEM in trying to analyze the (Russian) Not-Ultimatum crisis is not knowing who or what is pulling the strings behind the US curtain. A consensus holds that the ones in front, such as the President and Vice President, do not exhibit much authority and their speeches indicate a vast amount of magical thinking. On the other hand, there are top level officials in the US who talk in different terms and indicate that at least some powers behind the curtain have a more objective view of reality and the relevant facts. Some of these facts are 1) that the US has lost the arms race, 2) the US government debt is out of control, 3) the US has the worst inflation in 37 years, 4) the US budget deficit is out of control, 5) the US economy is no longer the largest in the world, 6) the US continues to pour money into obsolete weapons systems, 7) The US social, racial, education, and health policies are disasters. Russia, on the other hand, is doing reasonably well on these factors. All the analysts at Langley and the Pentagon cannot be blind to these facts. Therefore, it is hard to believe that there are not secret groups somewhere in the bowels of the bureaucracies trying to figure out how to keep the ship of state from running into the proverbial iceberg. The key manifestation of such effort will be if new ideas begin to appear in the mainstream media and the more adept politicians begin to tack in a different direction. If this does not happen, then the American Empire will move ever faster toward sunset and follow all the previous empires to the same fate.”
— from the Saker blog
NO TIME FOR CRYBABIES
Do you know what most of America wants? I will tell you: America wants Daddy to step up and say, “Okay, you can stop being insane now. Really, enough is enough.” Trouble is, America is short on daddies these days. That’s what happens when you throw The Patriarchy on the old garbage barge. Mr. Trump was a kind of daddy, but to many women, especially, he was the wrong kind, Bad Daddy, the worst kind of daddy, the kind who makes you clean up your room and come home before midnight. They traded him in for demented Grampa. He just wants to fondle you — and not in a good way — but family decorum requires that we don’t talk about that. In the meantime, we can do whatever we feel like.
It’s a fact that more-educated folks are most susceptible to mass delusion, and the reason will surprise you. It’s because of status-seeking. Yes, even more than money. We’re hard-wired for it. And status is liable to send money in your direction, anyway. Among the educated managerial class, going along with everybody else is crucial because careerism in a bureaucratic system, public or private, demands it. If you seek to rise in the hierarchy, or are just angling for brownie points, you must appear to subscribe to the reigning beliefs-of-the-moment, no matter how crazy, and the punishments are severe for appearing to not go along — like losing your career and livelihood, and all prospects of a comfortable life.
Terror of what, you might ask? Of the meaninglessness, alienation, and debility induced by the managerial class in its own sick institutions and corporations… in short, the 21st-century America that the managers evolved in and supported — a culture of junk food, junk work, junk art, junk environments, junk government, junk economics, and, lately, junk science… a sickening panorama of systems out-of-control and entering failure mode. One way out of a trap like this is to follow your insanity into all-out Götterdämmerung, chaos and destruction. That’s the Hitler way (preceded by a period of psychotic totalitarian social control and sadistic scapegoating). I don’t recommend it. When it’s over, there’s not much left to assist the continuity of the human project. But we are led, at the moment, by a very Party of Chaos that is making all those moves. Check the boxes: social control freakery, check… punishment unto the unvaxxed, check… loony war-drumming, check….
The cries for more lockdowns and punishments grow shrill as omicron burns across the land, presenting a fair chance of putting a stop to Covid 19. We’ll know in a couple weeks where this is going. Will those tell-tale “all-cause deaths” mount in the insurance companies, suggesting that the “vaccines” seeded millions with lurking illness? Will the public turn on Dr. Fauci and run him from public health to rough justice? Will the inept “Joe Biden” regime start World War Three in Ukraine, a place of no real interest to us, or the South China Sea, just to change the channel?
You can feel the paradigms straining to shift under your feet now. For that degenerate managerial class, and its psychotically woked-up minions on the campuses and in the news-rooms, this thing would likely go the Schopenhauer way: the new paradigm is at first ridiculed, then violently opposed, then accepted as self-evident. Snap your fingers and they’ll come out of it, just like that.
The managerial class will try to pretend that they never did the things they did. A few will offer weak apologies. But the damage is done. Before long, an economic rip-tide takes the drowning out to sea. The rest of us left on dry land have a lot of work to do. It’ll be no time for crybabies.
— James Kunstler
GRITS AIN'T GROCERIES
If I don't love you, baby
Grits ain't grocery
Eggs ain't poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man
Oh yeah, let's get into it, listen
All around the world I'd rather be a fly
I'd lite on my baby 'n stay with my woman 'till I die
With a toothpick in my hand I'd dig a ten foot ditch
And run all through the jungle fightin' lions with a switch
Because you know I love you, baby
Ooh you know I love you baby, yeah
Now if I don't love you baby, I tell you
Grits ain't grocery, eggs ain't poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man
Oh baby, Uh! Listen
All around the world
I've got blisters on my feet
I'm trying to find my baby
And bring her home with me
You better run into me baby and-a be convinced
If you don't run into me right now, woman
You ain't got no sense
Because you know I love you, baby
Oh, you know I love you baby, yeah!
Well, if I don't love you baby I tell ya
Grits ain't grocery, eggs ain't poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man
Ooh baby, listen
All around the world I never will forget
I lost all my money, my woman and my pet
But I've got to have you baby
And I'll settle for nothing less
Give up all my good time, baby
And stay for happiness
Because you know I love you baby, yeah
Oh, you know I love you baby, yeah
Well, if I don't love you baby, I tell ya
Grits ain't grocery
Eggs ain't poultry
And Mona Lisa was a man
— Little Milton (James Milton Campbell, Jr.)
MARIJUANA, AN ON-LINE ASSESSMENT:
One thing you are not considering is the amount of weed being grown now compared to 20 years ago. The farms now are HUGE! 20 to 30 years our economy was doing great and people were only growing 50-100 pound harvests. The amount of resources it takes to grow small crops is minimal, but somehow we thrived and yes higher cannabis prices did help. Fast forward 20-30 years and now people are growing thousands of pounds a year on one farm. The amount of resources it takes to grow tons of weed in enormous. We've had a huge economic boom the last 5 to 10 years with the giant harvests coming in. Land and home prices sky rocketed. Many locals and long time residents got priced out of the game by green rushers, cartels and outside investors. No one could care less about all the people who helped create this local industry that went under along the way. They were replaceable and it seems everyone in the industry was ok with it because they were making money. Now the tide has turned and the millionaires are starting to feel the pinch. That's capitalism. Everyone thought they could grow their way out of the problem. The answer was grow more and more and more. So, where did that lead us? To the Flood! Now there is a flood of cannabis because all the millionaires grew too much. Supply & Demand. Cannabis is way over supplied so the price is down. Let the free market play out. Let the bad operators and people that don't know how to run a business go under. Let our hill prices go down, so REAL locals can once again afford land. Let us, the real people, of Humboldt take our land back from all the bad actors that have taken over the industry. As far as supplies go places like Dazey's has to be having record sales the last few years. Think of how much more dirt, fertilizer, Pesticide, plastic and all the other stuff you need to grow tons of weed and this is per parcel, for each legal farm. Some farms are growing 2,000-500,000-1,000,000 pounds now. Look at the recent bust in Oregon. I would beg to differ in your assumption that cannabis related material and supply sales are down. There has never been this much weed grown in the history of the planet! Let that sink in. With this enormous amount of plants being grown there has NEVER been this much money spent in the cannabis industry as the last 5 years. That's a Fact! So the rich millionaire growers are sitting on thousands of pounds they can't sell. That sounds like a you problem. You grew too much. You bit off more than you can chew. You (legal farmer) don't know how to run a legitimate business. These are not community problems. Our community in Humboldt will be fine whether these multi ton cannabis farms make it or not. We did great before they arrived and maybe we could go back to the old days if they closed up shop and Left, but I know that is wishful thinking. Also you are not taking into account the raging Black/Traditional market. Those guys still need supplies, land, workers etc. They are still making good money. What percentage of Humboldt growers are on the white or black/traditional market? Is 30%, 50%, 80%? I'm not sure but it's a lot and they spend money and many of them are "real" locals and not people that moved here just to take over our land and businesses and profit off what we created. I think the free market should play out, the county should still receive their taxes and we should just let people that are not running their business properly go under like any other industry.
On a side note, what is the deal with all the local dispensaries? Go to Arcata or Eureka and there is like 50 in each town. I know that's an exaggeration, but it sure looks like it and they're all empty. With only 1-2000 dispensaries in an entire state with millions of people why does our little county have so many? Once again poor planning. We gave out too many licenses to operate. Now there is too much dispensary supply and now those owners are hurting. It's not because people stopped smoking weed it's an oversupply issue. Too many dispensaries means too many choices for consumers which means less sales per business. I think one of Humboldt's biggest problems is management. The people issuing permits and licensing have no idea how economics and business work. If we are going to correct this cannabis "problem" we are going to need more qualified people calling the shots. The cannabis problem is a direct result of those in charge of running it.
‘BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS NOW’
Racist Republicans hate America and God.
Fascists are delusional, incompetent clods.
GOP insists they should own machine guns,
Because they’re so frightened of everyone.
Conservative cowards are a national joke!
They’ll keep buying guns until they’re broke.
Jogging While Black, Driving While Black,
Talking While Black, Breathing While Black -
It’s all enough for a redneck to grab his gun!
Chases you in a truck ‘cuz he’s too fat to run.
Rush Limbaugh worshipping neo-Nazi swine,
The international laughingstock of all time.
The Trumptanic sank in 2020 in open sea.
If Trump runs in 2024, he will lose miserably!
Run Donald, run, get orange crushed again =
A 2nd term for Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.
To: Torgny Rye Nilsson January 16, 2022
General Counsel Mendocino Railway
1222 Research Park Dr,
Davis, CA 95618-4849
RE: Accusations of false and defamatory social media postings.
RE: Sierra Railroad/ Sierra Energy’s/ Mendocino Railway’s false and defamatory accusations, Anti SLAPP Laws, Elder abuse.
Dear Mr. Nilsson
On January 15, 2022 I was in receipt of your letter dated January 11, 2022. I am somewhat dismayed but not surprised by the accusatory stance in your letter. It seems to be the status quo with your organization.
As a senior citizen and resident of Fort Bragg who lives relatively close to the Mendocino Railway operations, I can quite frankly say that your clients actions in our community have been very distressing to numerous local residents. My sentiments are not singular. A lot of what I have observed on my regular morning walks, I have tried to bring to the attention of both the general public as well as local and state officials.
It is my provable contention that the actions against me by Mendocino Railway are retaliatory in nature. I have been walking in the neighborhood for years for cardio pulmonary health benefits. It was not my intention to stumble upon the rather large oil spill on Mendocino Railways tracks just a few feet from where passengers are loaded onto the open rail car for the short train trip along Pudding Creek. After finding the oil spill I gave a fair amount of time before calling the Mendocino County Department of Toxic Substances to report the toxic spill as I was sure it would be cleaned up in short order which it was not. The complaint resulted in a Notice of Violation issued by Mendocino County Toxic Substances Division. (Exhibit A).
I would like to address your accusations paragraph by paragraph. In your first paragraph you state that:
“You have made repeated false and unsubstantiated attacks on our company on social media as well as government entities that you seem to believe may cause us harm.”
• My statements about your company are based in fact. My statements are backed with physical evidence either obtained from photographs or official documentation.
• My statements are not intended to be attacks. They are intended to bring truth to the surface.
• My statements on social media are based on physical evidence such as photographs or official documents obtained through public access or from regulatory agencies.
• My communication with governmental agencies is based on a sincere belief that there is wrongdoing on the part of your company(s) and that wrongdoing needs to be investigated. My actions are protected under the Anti-SLAPP laws.
• There has been no intention to cause your company(s) harm. Only to bring truth to the surface. In your first paragraph you also state:
“We also write concerning your even more disturbing recent calls in support of criminal activity as to our company.”
• Any calls that were made by me to regulatory agencies or any government agency were made out of genuine concern for your company(s) seeming lack of ability to stay within the confines of your own government regulations. Any calls made by me were to question discrepancies in what the laws state as correct procedure and boundaries as compared to what your company(s) appearance of deviating from those correct procedures and boundaries are. As a citizen it is my right to question what I believe is a wrongdoing without undue interference as it appears you are trying to place in my path. I again refer you to Anti-SLAPP laws. In your first paragraph you also state:
“While people are entitled to their opinions, and while we encourage honest and informed public debate, over public issues, your statements cross the line and reflect troubling disdain for factual accuracy, “
• Yes, as you state, people are entitled to their opinions. My opinions about your company(s) interactions in our community have been expressed in a truthful fashion backed up by photographs and documentation along with other community members expressing concern for your company(s) actions.
• I am unclear as to what you are referring to as a “disdain for factual accuracy” because as I have previously stated, my statements are backed up by photographs and documentation. If you would point out specific untruths so that I could gain a clearer understanding of what you are referring to it would be appreciated.
In your first paragraph you also state:
“a disturbing willingness to violate the law, and a disregard for the harm your statements and actions may cause not just to us and our employees, but to the community as a whole.”
• When you state “a disturbing willingness to violate the law” that may be a libelous or slanderous statement.
• Your key word in the remainder of your statement is “may”. If I have caused any harm, other than expose the truth, to you, your employees or the community as a whole you will need to be specific in your accusations. I am unaware of any spoken or written words that have done so. In your second paragraph you state:
“Your recent post entitled “The City of Fort Bragg Dealt With The Devil and Now the Devil Wants it’s Due”? Eminent Domain Used as a Corporate Tool of Land Acquisition, “ is a good example of the types of false and misleading statements you have been spreading.”
• The portion of the title of the post “The City of Fort Bragg Dealt With The Devil and Now the Devil Wants it’s Due?”is a metaphor for the situation the our community now finds itself in after working in conjunction with Mike Hart of Sierra Railroad and Sierra Energy’s Eminent Domain attorneys in order to get a problem, that was solely the City’s problem, taken care of by an outside corporation at the cost of having a railroad and a “for pay picnic and hiking access” in a residential neighborhood. This “access” is now a gateway to our sensitive Pudding Creek watershed that your client(s) now control.
• The remainder of the title of the post, -” Eminent Domain Used as a Corporate Tool of Land Acquisition”, is self explanatory as Eminent Domain in this instance has been used as a tool for land acquisition by a corporation.
• In the balance of your statement “is a good example of the types of false and misleading statements you have been spreading”, there are no false or misleading statements in the post that I am aware of. If you have specific examples, with proof, I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me.
In your second paragraph you also state:
“It appears you realize many of your claims are false as evidenced by your reliance on wiggle words such as “probable,” “very probable,” and quite probably.””
Regarding the use of the word “probable”. I have included the probable sentence in question. It would have been easier if you had included the entire sentence to eliminate any guesswork. “ If this probable fraud is allowed to stand, how long will it be before other properties are taken, silently and without fanfare.” The only problem with that particular sentence that I can see upon examination is that I neglected to use a question mark at the end of it. A common mistake. I will correct that error on the post itself. I will show, further in this analysis how the statement itself is correct based on available documents.
Regarding the use of the words “very probable”. I have included the probable sentence in question. It would have been easier if you had included the entire sentence to eliminate any guesswork.“It is very probable that this foothold gave the Hart’s the confidence to attempt a larger, more consequential acquisition.” Since this was the first Eminent Domain acquisition in Fort Bragg by Mendocino Railway, it’s only natural that a sense of confidence would be gained for the next Eminent Domain acquisition. In fact, it’s very probable. Also the 340 acre eminent domain acquisition of the Georgia Pacific mill site and the 70 acres of Pudding Creek watershed occurred just months after the Alger St. eminent domain acquisition.
Regarding the use of the words “and quite probably”. I have included the probable sentence in question. It would have been easier if you had included the entire sentence to eliminate any guesswork. “It’s possible that the city staff didn’t have the necessary knowledge to understand what the Hart’s were doing, nonetheless, the City was complicit in this corporate based land grab that took a local resident’s property in a less than transparent and quite probably an illegal manner.” Since the process wasn’t transparent to the public as is I believe a necessary component of an eminent domain procedure would be, it would seem that it is quite probable that at least portions of the property acquisition are illegal.
Wouldn’t you agree?
In your second paragraph you also state:
“In addition, several of your posts plead for someone to address local homelessness and drug houses such as the one at issue here.”
While I am intrigued that you and your client(s) would take the time to read my Facebook posts from several years ago, the circumstances of the drug house I referred to were different. In that case, the County of Mendocino eventually did the right thing and acquired the property under a tax lien and then covered the cost of the cleanup without demolishing the entire residence. Once the property was in order, it went on the market with the owner ultimately getting the remaining proceeds after expenses and the new owner getting a fixer upper house. The property stayed in the housing stream. Unlike this situation where the partial burning of the house caused a complete demolition and the removal of a much needed residence from the market. Probably the appropriate thing to do would be to donate the property back to the City under the condition that the City use it for low income housing. I think that would be a good plan. How about you? In your second paragraph you also state:
“Contrary to your assertions, the property we purchased was indeed next to our property and was purchased for railroad purposes.”
Your statement that “the property we purchased was indeed next to our property” may be an inaccurate assumption on your part. Or it may have been an intentional omission on the part of your client(s) in order to appear legitimate in the court proceedings. The property that is adjacent to the eastern border of 476 Alger St was a piece of land that was acquired in the Georgia Pacific Industries eminent domain proceeding brought forth by Mendocino Railway, that concluded on Nov 17, 2021, to my understanding, and as is shown on the City of Fort Bragg Parcel Map (Exhibit B) is contrary to the map your client(s) and the appraiser used in the 28 page “Offer to Purchase and Appraisal” document, (Exhibit C) that was the basis for the property acquisition. Your client(s) falsely excludes parcel AP#020-550-08 from the main portion of the appraisal. Assessors Parcel # 020-550-08 in reality clearly sits in between the 476 Alger St property and the 100’ wide Mendocino Railway property. Whether your client(s) actions are a careless omission or overt fraud, only time will tell. The point is, my assertions in my posting are correct based on relevant documentation. A lot would depend on whether or not the judge in the proceedings relied on the accuracy of your documentation.
Your statement that “and was purchased for railroad purposes” is inconsistent with the documents acquired from the City of Fort Bragg that state: "I spoke with ******* the daughter of *********who owns 476 Alger. *******states that she has been working with Mike Hart on a process known as eminent domain. ***** states that Mike told her that her mother would receive some compensation for the land that would go towards her medical care. ******also informed me of the Skunk’s intentions to develop a privately owned day camp on the property where people will pay to picnic, hike and explore the natural habitat…" so it’s easy to conclude that the property use would be for something other than railroad use. It would also mean that if the intended use of the property was different than stated to the owner, the owner was possibly deceived as well as the City. (Exhibit D) In your second paragraph you also state:
“We also purchased the property with the full support and cooperation of the City of Fort Bragg and the property’s former owner.”
You state that you had the “full support and cooperation of the City of Fort Bragg”. While there are documents that imply that certain employees of the City of Fort Bragg, including the then city manager Tabatha Miller, collaborated with Sierra Railroad to take the property for future access to the Pudding Creek watershed once the Georgia Pacific eminent domain proceedings had concluded, there is no conclusive documentation that I can find that shows the entire city, including the City Council cooperated or even was aware of the acquisition of 476 Alger St. Also there is no evidence of any public notifications of the eminent domain process executed by Mendocino Railway.
In your second paragraph you also state:
“and the property’s former owner”
Having support from a person in the hospital on a permanent basis for injuries via their daughter who would be in the inconvenient position of trying to cover ongoing medical expenses may not be considered “full support” in more compassionate circles. It could be seen by some as taking advantage of a situation that would ultimately benefit Mendocino Railway and Sierra Railroad.
Furthermore, as shown in (Exhibit C) regarding the incorrect property lines of the railroad property, the property owner may not have been shown the true facts as to Mendocino Railway’s authority to take the property by eminent domain. So there is a question as to whether the property owner or her daughter would have acquiesced to your demands if the true facts of the situation were known at the time of the eminent domain action.
In your second paragraph you also state:
“we paid full appraised value for the property.”
You may have paid what was legal based on the documents provided to the court. But from looking at the discrepancy in the parcel maps and the omission of the Georgia Pacific property in the offer given to the owner, how could the appraisal be considered legitimate?
In your third paragraph you state:
“While your recent trespasses on our property in and of themselves constitute crimes,”
You state “trespasses” in a plural form but let’s start with the first so called trespass. With the first one there was a question as to whether or not it was even your client(s)’ property. I and a friend were enjoying the Miniature Rail Museum, which is a rented property. I even put a donation in the donation can. There were no ‘No Trespassing’ signs and no reasons to believe that we shouldn’t be there. When asked abruptly to leave, I objected and asked the employee to please call the police to confirm that a rented property fell under the authority of the landlord. After a lengthy discussion with the officer, it was agreed by me and my associate that we would leave the premises as the tenant who rents the railroad museum building agreed that whatever his landlord said he would follow. No charges were brought. It was a peaceful yet direct encounter on my part. So there were no trespassing charges on the first event.
To address the plural portion of your insinuation, on two occasions, I was walking along the back side of 501 North Main St. which is adjacent and in front of 535 North Main St. where Mendocino Railway’s rail bike ride is located. I wasn’t on Mendocino Railways property. I had traveled that path many times on my regular walks. On the first occasion I asked the person tending to one of the rail bikes a couple of questions as I passed. There were no other interactions. The next day I walked by and there were passengers sitting on the rail bikes and I didn’t interact with anyone. I was on the adjacent property that time as well. When I got home I received a phone call from the Fort Bragg Police Department. The officer stated that I had been placed under citizens arrest on both occasions. I asked him how that could be since there was no arrest that took place and I wasn’t on Mendocino Railway’s property. He said that someone from Mendocino Railway had done it over the phone. I asked how that was possible and he didn’t have an appropriate answer. So I went to the police department and filed my own report for citizen harassment and making a false arrest report by Mendocino Railroad. I doubt anything will come of either charge but if the District Attorney decides to press charges against me for my involvement I will request a jury trial. But to this date, I don’t know of any trespassing charges that have been brought against me. If your client(s) wish to keep locals away from your property in the downtown area, it would be prudent to put up high fences and signs that indicate those desires.
In short, there are probably no trespassing charges. With regards to the harassment side of things, there is most certainly probable cause as I have admittedly called the Mendocino County Toxic Substance Division on Mendocino Railway and I have been vocal about a number of apparent deficiencies in how Mendocino Railway conducts itself in our community while claiming a Public Utility status. So there may be reason to investigate Mendocino Railway’s treatment of me.
But based on the fact that Mendocino Railway could convince an officer of the law to accept a Citizens arrest complaint over the phone without ever actually confronting the person who is accused, it may suggest that there is the possibility of a “Quid Pro Quo” which could have arisen out of gratitude for Mendocino Railway eliminating the continual police response requested and required at 476 Alger St.
In your third paragraph you also state:
“your urging of disrupting our rail activity in your posts to the Mama Tree Mendo thread on Facebook is potentially dangerous”
You will have to be more specific in your accusation as I have no recollection of telling anyone to disrupt anything belonging to Mendocino Railway.
In your third paragraph you also state:
“Inciting and soliciting others to trespass onto our property and to block our railroad line not only puts those trespassers at risk of harm but puts our employees at risk of harm.”
Falsely accusing someone of “inciting” is considered a crime. If you have documentation showing that I personally incited anyone to trespass on Mendocino Railways property, please bring it forward and have me charged.
In your third paragraph you also state:
“It is also a crime under both state and federal law to block railroad lines. See California Penal Code §§ 3691i and 587; also see 18 U.S.C § 1992.”
§§ 3691i states “(a) Any person who enters or remains upon the property of any railroad without the permission of the owner of the land, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession and whose entry, presence, or conduct upon the property interferes with, interrupts, or hinders, or which, if allowed to continue, would interfere with, interrupt, or hinder the safe and efficient operation of any locomotive, railway car, or train is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
This doesn’t apply to me as I have never done any of the things listed in this code section. To say that I would is disingenuous at best.
§§ 587 states: “(a) Removes, displaces, injures, or destroys any part of any railroad, whether for steam or horse cars, or any track of any railroad, or any branch or branchway, switch, turnout, bridge, viaduct, culvert, embankment, station house, or other structure or fixture, or any part thereof, attached to or connected with any railroad.
(b) Places any obstruction upon the rails or track of any railroad, or of any switch, branch, branchway, or turnout connected with any railroad.”
This doesn’t apply to me as I have never done any of the things listed in this code section. To say that I would is disingenuous at best.
You refer to 18 U.S. Code 1992 - “Terrorist attacks and other violence against railroad carriers and against mass transportation systems on land, on water, or through the air.”
This doesn’t apply to me as I have never done any of the things listed in this code section. To say that I would is disingenuous at best. Although, I believe I have seen where Mendocino Railway has been deficient in keeping up with it’s own terrorist alert program with Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation.
In your fourth paragraph you state:
“Spreading false and defamatory information, whether couched as opinion or not, and inciting criminal action, do not facilitate honest and productive public discussions.”
There has been no false and defamatory information that I know of. Inciting criminal action is something left to those more qualified than me. Not having a criminal record for these last 70 years does not make me a good candidate for such activities. I am, of course, willing to have public discourse, as long as that discourse is truthful and straightforward. I, like many residents of our community are concerned about the actions of a railroad that would take 1/5 of our town, over 340 acres, in two eminent domain actions for a mere $1.4 million. And then gloss over the facts of the transactions as if they were normal occurrences. There is nothing normal about these acquisitions and they need to be looked at closely by both state and federal authorities.
In your fourth paragraph you also state:
“Nor do they insulate you from liability for any harm, or any criminal actions, your statements and actions cause our company, our employees, our customers, or any of the people and businesses in our community who benefit from our presence.”
I understand that it is difficult to come to terms that there have been a number of untrue and misleading actions that led to the acquisition of the extremely vast and valuable properties that are now under the control of Mendocino Railway/Sierra Railroad. As I stated in the beginning of this response, your client(s) actions in this community have been quite distressing to a lot of people. I am but a single voice. But I am also a reflection of the community’s sentiments over the actions of Mendocino Railway. This isn’t going away whether you are successful at silencing me or not. I was not the first to stand up to this injustice. I knew after I filed a complaint for the oil spill that I would be in the sites of both Mendocino Railway and Sierra Railroad. There is nothing in what I have written that is untrue to my knowledge. If I find out that I have erred along the way, I will be the first to publicly retract and apologize.
In your fourth paragraph you also state:
“Your actions not only violate applicable social media policies and standards (such as Meta’s Community Standards/User Terms of Service and Policy of Civility) but also violate the law.”
I am fairly certain that you and your client(s) have and are still attempting to get my Facebook account shut down. At this point in time there doesn’t seem to be anything that you have alleged that would convince them that I have broken the rules. But I’m pretty sure you will get there, given enough time and influence. I don’t know of any laws that I have violated as much as you seem intent on painting me as some kind of criminal rather than a responsible citizen looking out for our community’s future. In your fourth paragraph you also state:
“We have accordingly been forced to report your actions to the relevant authorities and must insist that you cease and desist engaging in these, and similar, actions.”
I’m sure that you have indeed done as you say. However, I am compelled to do the same. Everyone listed in your letter as a CC will get a copy of my response. I will go one step farther and send your letter and my response letter to every agency that I have previously contacted. Plus, our letters will be made public for all to see, including the media, so that others can make their own assessment as to what is going on here.
Your client(s) may have taken notice that the majority of those opposing their recent actions are Elders. The woman your client acquired the property from via eminent domain on Alger St. is an Elder. When I had to go to the Police Department to find out if I was going to jail after your client called in a false citizen’s arrest when I wasn’t on their property, I suffered high blood pressure and shakiness. I even noted it to the officer taking my report when I was forced to respond to the false accusations.
These actions by your client(s) of continually trying to slander and defame me personally by trying to paint me as a criminal will not be tolerated any further. I would refer you and your client(s) to Penal Code 368(c) with regards to Elder Abuse. And while I’m on the topic, all of the residents on Alger St. are Elders, from 75 to 95 years old and they are all highly stressed by your client(s) actions of the recent survey’s of their properties, not to mention the fear of having an eminent domain suit filed on their homes.
Trying to paint me as a criminal as retribution for exposing the truth about a large ‘out of the area’ corporation would fall under the protection of Anti-SLAPP laws. I would refer you and your client(s) to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code 425.16 which gives protections for individuals such as myself and my fellow citizens speaking on issues of public interest. Therefore, I insist that you Cease and Desist with your active assault on my character.