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Off the Record (February 2, 2022)

THE GRANDKIDS came home with a note announcing that an Asian woman is giving a class for parents called, “How to raise a non-racist child.” Uh, since children get their foundational information about the world from their parents, much of which in all areas of adult life has to be unlearned, why bother with after-the-fact lectures for parent? Looking back, my parents seemed to view racist terms and practices as more of a class indicator than the lethally dangerous attitude they were and are. “Nice people don't use that word,” etc. Anyway, irony of irony, race relations have never been better in this country, the one area of American life where we've made real progress, but to hear the tv talkers making their livings off race baiting you'd think the Klan was still out there night-riding. Look around, for chrissakes — millions of genuinely loyal, affectionate inter-racial relationships where sixty years ago there were virtually none.

TERMS that never fail to irritate me: “Senior White House correspondent” implies a whole room full of them but the “senior” just happens to be an implausibly beautiful blonde woman called on to share her expertise on national television. “Y'all” as used by non-Southerners is irritating, as is “folks.” I'd rather be a people, which is what we are to the folks deploying this falsely folksie term; “Be well.” I'm happy with “See ya” rather than that particular virtue signal; “intersectionality.” Big with the intellectual fakes but no real meaning other than the hard road faced often by minority women, especially Black and Hispanic women with no money. The people who throw the term around are highly paid academics afraid to blame capitalism for fear of not being invited back on to daytime television. 

ALTERNATE REALITIES DEPARTMENT. Waiting for my car to be serviced the other day, the only mag in the waiting room was “California Firing Line” where I read, “It would take 76 years to complete gun confiscation in a city of 100,000.” The writer concluded that the cops don't have the manpower to bring it off.” Whew.

IS IT FUTILE to hope that Terry Bradshaw will soon disappear from NFL football? That whole half-time crew with their false bonhomie and forced hilarity at Terry's moronic antics long ago crossed over from irritating to painfully unamusing.

THE MORE, ahem, socially conscious football fans will know that Green Bay, City Of, owns both the team and the stadium the team plays in while in every other city of saps the taxpayers build a stadium for the private owner of the team.

GASTROMANIA. At last a true headline over a PD story about how the vapid wealthy spend their weekends: “Eat, Drink, Shop — Repeat.”

BRUCE BRODERICK of Fort Bragg is justly suspicious of facebook pages seemingly controlled by the hawk-eyed Kathy Wylie, active Democratic Party stalwart and, thereby, middle-of-the-road extremist heart and soul committed to… Well, more of the same. Ms. Wylie seems awfully fast with delete when an opinion pops up that violates, in her eyes, either the party catechism or her own inviolable stations of the cross. Former supervisor McCowen mentioned recently his entirely reasonable criticism of CEO Angelo was deemed “hate speech” and canceled. I've noted that Ms. Wylie, and long-time Democratic Party gang girl Val Muchowski, faithfully post every brain-numbing announcement wafting their way from state and national Democrats who, for those of you who came in so late you've had to have been buried in a time capsule somewhere, control political life on the Northcoast. Well, hell, nothing to do but admire the ladies' vigilance while wondering at their devotion to a party and a political system long ago rendered incapable of doing much of anything for everyday Americans, and directly responsible for the rise of Trumpian fascism. 

PRIME EXAMPLES of Democratic Party opportunism? Commercial logging on state property, and where's assemblyman Wood and state senator McGuire when there’s a real issue in their alleged district? The astonishing ongoing scam that has placed the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad in the private hands of former congressman Doug Bosco. The Great Redwood Highway, presently and forever consisting of three or four miles of pavement through industrial Ukiah at a cost — pick a number, it fluctuates — of between $3 and $6 million, including a charming eventual southern terminus at Ukiah's sewage treatment plant whose piss pond is touted by the Demos as a respite area for migrating waterfowl! The coal train scare.  At the federal level we have corporate party hack Jared Huffman, an auto-yes vote for everything from the fantasy that Biden is a functioning president to the non-existent RussiaGate scandal. 

DEFT THERAPIST WORK by Supervisor Williams Tuesday morning when, as usual, an angry woman named Carrie Shattuck, Mendocino Patriot and maskless Co-op invader, zoomed in to rightly complain that it's way past time for the Supervisors to return to public meetings. Mendo has a from-the-public rule that limits speakers to three minutes, and no more than ten minutes on a single subject. Ordinarily, the Supes don't respond to public comment, both out of inexperience at adult give and take and rude indifference to what the public thinks since their positions are relatively secure. Anyway, Williams, adopting the velvety, non-threatening tones of the trained first responder that he is, got Ms. Shattuck, a single issue person if there ever was one, to at least agree to mask up when meetings are again public.

THE FROM-THE-PUBLIC limits were instituted years ago when an exasperated Supervisor Cimolino, the dyspeptic 4th District supervisor, suddenly shouted, “Do we really have to listen to these nuts?” I recall that Cimolino was specifically reacting to a presentation by Richard Johnson, a ubiquitous open mike presence and, viewed from here, a wonderfully comic Mendo character we dubbed, “The One True Green” for his dogged domination of Green Party politics, a domination that resulted in a Green Party of one person — him. Cimolino was not amused by Johnson or anybody else he viewed as a “hippie.”

JUST IN. A study of 5,000 older Americans by US researchers found the risk of dying dropped as exercise increased with 10 more minutes of daily exercise, slashing deaths among seniors by seven per cent annually. So, like if you exercise a hundred more minutes a day you'll live to 85? But seriously, Is there a wheeze anywhere who doesn't know this? I get a full hour a day, occasionally more if there's something I want to hike in and look at. Truth to tell, and non-geezers will want to skip the rest here as I lapse into geezer medical accounts, my arthritic knees have recently caused me enough discomfort to consider giving up my morning three miles. So I went to get a cortisone shot at an in-county medical site I won't name. (I have to live with these killers.) The medical person enters the barren sterility of a room that all American medical patients spend at least fifteen minutes waiting in with nothing but blank walls and formica to look at and says, “Where do you usually get this shot?” The medical man is sweating on a cool day in a cold room. And he's brandishing the needle like he’s considering assaulting me with it. It fleetingly occurs to me he may indeed be a psycho in a green smock and a fake stethoscope. After all, Jake, it's Mendo. Anything's possible. “I get the shot in my right knee,” I say, mentally crossing myself and reciting the Jesus Prayer. He proceeds to stick me a full inch above where it's supposed to go, damn near in my kneecap. He hurriedly leaves the room, and I more hurriedly hobble leave the premises worse off than when I entered them, and while I'm still upright. A week later, at St. Mary's in San Francisco, where I should have gone in the first place rather than risk Mendo, a pleasant young female doctor insists on x-rays, tells me, “Both your knees are worse than the last time you were here. If you want it, there's new stuff we give that's half and half with cortisone that should help you a lot.” I'm an easy sell. “I'll take it. I don't care if it's Super Glue.” Which it may be considering she turned her back as she loaded the needle, but she inspired confidence in that she actually seemed concerned about my medical welfare. She smeared a bunch of anesthetic on my knee and, with the slightest, almost unfelt prick, in goes the needle for a few long seconds. Thank the goddess! The effect seemed instantaneous. For the first time in months no pain whatsoever in my knee joints. I highly recommend the new stuff with your cortisone, my fellow sufferers.

READ IT AND WEEP: “While we have made progress, much more needs to be done to improve people’s live. Our democracy is at risk because of assaults on the truth, the assault on the U.S. Capitol, and the state-by-state assault on voting rights. This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy. But as we say, we don’t agonize, we organize. And that is why I am running for reelection to Congress and respectfully seek your support. I would be greatly honored by it and grateful for it.” — Nancy Pelosi

THE INSULTS just keep on coming. State Senator McGuire's State Bill 307, passed unanimously  Monday in the California Senate, prevents state funding for renovation of the defunct North Coast rail line north of Willits. Further, it bans state money from being spent on the buildout of any new potential bulk coal terminal facilities at the Port of Humboldt, thus hamstringing a chimerical plan to haul millions of tons of coal along the Eel River.

THERE HASN’T BEEN even the possibility of a rail line or any other kind of rail traffic north of Willits because the track washed away fifty years ago; a coal train will never run through the Eel River Canyon even if there were a rail line between Willits and Eureka because the track is gone and would cost literal billions to re-build; there will never be bulk coal facilities at the Port of Humboldt because McGuire's coal train north from the Bay Area has, from the get, not been the remotest possibility. This entire coal train scare is one aspect of the Great Redwood Trail scam, part of which is a scheme to make sure former Congressman Doug Bosco, magically the owner of the long defunct Northcoast Railroad, gets paid. Natch, McGuire's many Democrat media gofers on the Northcoast have “reported” his press releases as if both the Coal Train and The Great Redwood Trail are real.

CRAIG STEHR seems increasingly desperate to leave Garberville where he's been staying with Earth First! archivist, Andy Caffrey. Craig's been tuned in to the ava for many years, and certainly  is not the first person to seek and perhaps even find comfort in our welcoming pages. I have a faint memory of meeting the man years ago at the Anarchist Book Fair in San Francisco. A presentable dude amid the slovens at that crowded event, I remember thinking, “This guy doesn't look nuts,” but crazies dress normal, as another clinically delusional local once wrote. I was aware of Craig from his odd letters-to-the-editor, and had assumed, correctly, that he was only tenuously tethered to reality. Craig says he has a social security income, which ought to get him a permanent berth at one of Ukiah's better managed fleabags, the aptly named Voll Motel, for instance, where he's stayed before. But rather than just go there, Craig, a lapsed Catholic having wandered into the American nut cult version of Hinduism, apparently wants divine intervention to get him there. All he needs is a room, and if he can get himself to Ukiah there's helping professionals galore, 31 agencies of them, to flesh out his government income. The guy's no kid. I think he's about 70, not an age one wants to be unmoored in, as he says, “post-modern America.” If you can hear this, Craig, it's Uncle Bruce at the ava urging you to return to the true church you were raised in, return to the inclusive embrace of the Church of Rome and the true Christians of the Catholic Worker who, I believe, still maintain a farm in the Greater Bay Area where you would certainly be welcome. Er, check that — everyone has to work and you seem labor-averse, but it's a thought. Well, hell, can't say I didn't try. 

SPORTS TALK. My fave player is Niner's safety, Jimmie Ward. I wish the telecasts focused more on the defensive backs, but the only time you see them is on passes, especially long ones where they get beat. But Ward seldom gets fooled, and he's a genius at reading offenses. The punt he blocked in Green Bay was no fluke. Ward saw an opening and he came flying in to turn the game for the Niners. I'm picking the Niners by a touchdown on Sunday. Jimmie will stifle the blonde beast, Cooper Kupp. (Monday morning blues, Ward committed a costly helmet-to-helmet infraction at a crucial point in an odd game lost by the Niners on a combination or errors, a bunch of them, imo, by coach Shanahan. But NorCal sports fans have never had it better, with the Niners, the Warriors, the rejuvenated Giants.)

FORT BRAGG gets it done! FB has built truly affordable housing before, most notably at Mora Village. And now the town boasts The Plateau, 79 units built by an Arcata outfit and, I think, largely grant-funded. Mendo, County of? Nada. Nothing but talk, talk, talk while even retro-Ukiah has managed new senior housing.

CHUCK DUNBAR: “Mark Scaramella has it right. The praise heaped on Carmel Angelo by the BOS members is disgusting, but not unexpected. If they really called it straight and recounted even some of the badly mishandled issues on her watch, they’d be criticizing themselves for letting her go on year after year in her crudely dictatorial ways. It’s disheartening and does not speak well for our future.”

THE GOOD NEWS. California's Public Utility Commission, as always eager to do the bidding of PG&E has, for once, denied PG&E's attempt to lay extra fees on people with solar routed through PG&E lines. The massive opposition to the proposal clearly defeated it.

BIDEN seemed more on task last week than he's seemed lately, as he made a plea in Pittsburgh for infrastructure spending against the backdrop of a freshly collapsed bridge with a bus and some cars hanging from it. Biden's proposals are rationally irrefutable from the Boonville perspective; the prob he has selling them is himself and his Chauncey-like out-of-it-ness. The guy just isn't credible, and that's not considering his rancid political history. 

I WATCHED JOE live on CNN where, after a lockjawed lady rushed through a rehash of what we all had just listened to, CNN devoted whole minutes to Biden's new cat.

STEPHEN KING said recently that whenever he sees school board wahoos banning books somewhere, he urges young people to rush to their local public library to read the banned book. Solid advice, certainly, and reminds me of my Marin high school in 1956 where a ubiquitous woman named Ann Smart appeared at all the Marin high schools to demand “communist literature” be removed from school libraries. I dimly recall that Ms. Smart included John Steinbeck's books in her commie quest. At my school, Tamalpais, site of the first and only race riot in Marin County history (1955), the subsequently banned books were kept in a locked cabinet behind the librarian's desk. To read any of them the student was required to have a permission note from home, which I immediately got from my distracted mother. All these years later, I can't remember, specifically, any of the banned books I read, but my general impression was that they were boring as hell, probably because they were over my teen head. One book I remember from that wacky era was “Peyton Place,” considered hot stuff not only by me but many of my classmates. I doubt it was obtainable from the high school library, but every kid I knew had read it.

THIS NOTICE on the Ukiah front door of The Office restaurant: “Closed due to hefty staff shortage.” Ukiah has never seemed short of hefties to me, but I'll keep looking.

ALTERNATE REALITIES. Critics of the mighty ava's exhaustive coverage of county government never argue specifics because (1) they're combat-averse and (2) criticism of the CEO and her five captive supervisors is simply obvious, as anyone knows who bothers to tune in their stumbling deliberations. While most other branches of county government go about their work capably and quietly, county leadership is like some kind of weird practical joke, a view, not-so-incidentally, widely shared by county employees. None of the five supervisors have earned re-election. We're withholding judgment on freshly-appointed interim CEO Darcie Antle, not that we're optimistic given her appointment by the present CEO and her five auto-yes votes.

NEIL YOUNG has been a good guy for years, and I’m sure he'll be beyond the moon hearing he has admirers at the Boonville weekly. Joe Rogan is Limbaugh with tats, a windy fascist bringing US ever closer to the barricades. (Millions of people have three hours a day to listen to this ersatz tough guy?) But. But I think it's unwise to ban Rogan or anybody else, because that's supposed to be the diff between the fascists and us, us free speechers or what's left of us. There are lots of fascist-brains on our side, too. Look no further than the Fort Bragg Name Changers and the “Patriots” of inland Mendo. Both the Name Changers and the “Patriots” aren't about to stop imposing themselves on the rest of us, whether or not they get their different ways.

A GUY NAMED ZWERLING is leading the Fort Bragg name change offensive. I've exchanged thunderbolts with him to no mutual agreement, but he's open to discussion, which doesn't endear him to me but at a minimum indicates he's amenable to reason, unlike most of the anon censoring prigs of cancel culture. And don't think they'll stop at a name change. They'll be in the schools, at all sorts of public forums, agitating to re-write history according to their very dim lights, which only switched on with the murder of George Floyd, a career criminal magically elevated to martydom.

I THINK the sanitizing of American history, as the name changers would have it, is very dangerous because it's already cutting both ways, with the fascist right also clamoring to excise the more discouraging events and practices of American history. Our history is what it is, as the young people say. The most encouraging thing about it is the country is somehow hanging together as long as it has.

AT BOTTOM, the censors, left, right and wrong, don't trust people, don't trust us to discern truth from untruth, which is the minimum standard definition of sanity. Truth to tell, my faith in the ability of my fellow citizens to distinguish truth from untruth was rocked when half of them elected Trump president. I still don't see how anyone in full possession of his faculties could look at and listen to that preposterous clown and emotionally and intellectually, enthusiastically, vote for him. 

ALMOST DITTO regarding the obviously incapacitated Biden, but he was elected by default because he wasn't Trump, and Trump himself was elected because he wasn't Hillary. America's in major default mode. Recent elections indicate that America is winding down. Still and all, regardless of the sheer amount of untruth heaped on us during our every waking moment, canceling people and opinions we don't like will be our undoing, and that undoing is underway.


“The Ad Hoc name Change Commission reported to the City Council on 1/24/22 after some 50 private meetings over 18 months. Now we can see how far we have come and how far we have to go.

The Commission came up with six proposals they had agreed to unanimously and I think we can all support their ideas for an indigenous cultural center, more historical education in local schools, etc. And the City Council received those ideas with words of support which may or may not be matched by action in the months ahead.

On the issue of the name change itself “the Commission was divided.” This is not surprising since the Council appointed advocates for and against the name change to the Commission. In that sense, no other outcome could have been predicted. City Council members who spoke that night, Rafanan, Albin-Smith, and Peters, all spoke in opposition to the name change.

However, the Commission had undertaken an unscientific poll of residents on the issue online and through paper questionnaires attached to water bills and reported that 38.2 % supported the name change and 57.4% opposed.

I think we can see several implications:

1) there is a large (and to my mind growing minority in favor of the name change. After all, 38% is not far from a 51% majority and the demographics of Fort Bragg keep changing as the City grows.

2) the other proposals form the Commission (education, outreach, honoring cultural diversity) can only increase an understanding of why a name change is necessary

3) the process of changing our name will likewise lead to educational meetings, cultural events, and resident-to-resident interactions that will improve life in our City.

I think we should embrace the work and suggestions of the Commission and continue work to change the name of Fort Bragg.”


[1] DEE PALLESEN (on-line comment): I won't even finish this article let alone take it seriously because your information is inaccurate. Anne Molgaard was the Transition Public Health Director until yesterday when she was approved as the permanent Public Health Director. They broke up HHSA a while ago, with the only question remaining being do we consolidate Public Health and Behavioral Health or not. And anyone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention would have guessed that Darcie Antle would be the next CEO, which also happened yesterday - which is a good thing. If you aren't going to pay attention, do your research before running your mouth.

(Mark Scaramella notes: According to LinkedIn, Dee Pallesen is an administrative secretary for the County of Mendocino. Her facebook page says she works at Child Support Services (aka the Deadbeat Dad office) and was formerly staff services administrator at HHSA. )

[2] GEORGE DORNER: Whether a CEO or CAO is next to run this county, now is the time for a complete outside audit of the county budget. It will provide a starting point for the new regime, as well as supplying budget information to the Board for the first time in years.

[3] THE EMERALD CUP, an on-line comment: Why is it even called “The Emerald Cup” if it’s gonna take place in helLA? This is an extreme case of cultural appropriation, and a very sad comment on the demise of the Triangle in the post-“legalization” (actually neoprohibitionist) era… Anyone that didn’t see this coming with the passage of Prop 64 was either purposefully ignorant or blissfully naive.

[4] I love how right-wingers are absolutely obsessed with CNN. Personally, I never watch any cable news because it’s all garbage. But it’s hilarious how right-wingers absolutely adore Fox, the poster child of cable fake news, and crow about how Fox has the highest ratings of any cable “news” network while also pretending it isn’t “mainstream media”, which they claim to abhor. Meanwhile. CNN’s ratings are very low but, apparently, CNN is “the enemy of the people” (the very few people who watch it, I guess?) and is responsible, in the minds of right-wingers, for all manner of lies and propaganda that have brainwashed the America-hating masses who, again, it must be stressed, do not watch CNN very much. The cognitive dissonance on the right is truly mind-boggling. How do they keep up with such a twisted set of mythologies?

[5] You have the right to receive emergency care at any licensed facility with an emergency room. You have the right to be treated until your emergency medical condition is stabilized when you go to a hospital emergency room. You have the right to be informed by the hospital of your right to receive emergency services, without regard to your ability to pay, prior to being transferred or discharged. You have a right not to be transferred from an emergency care facility against your will.

It would also be highly unethical to refuse to treat the unvaccinated, or not treat them. It would open hospitals up to lawsuits under federal law (EMTALA) as well. In essence, they are legally bound to treat until the condition is stabilized.

Probably better to just continue masking up, ordering takeout where you can eat in a safe environment, get your shots if you can, and not act like this thing is over, like we've been doing over, and over, and over again for the past 2 years.

[6] My first concert in my early teens at Winterland in SF cost 2 bucks w/35 cents service charge. Lasted from about seven in the evening till 2 am or so. Steve Miller, John Mayall and Bo Diddly, both played twice and then they all jammed together at the end. Then to Munchies for a 35 cent burger and all the soda you can drink for 17 cents. Last concert I went to was Neal Young, a hundred bucks and he barely played for 2 hours. Last concert for me, what a waste. So I’m left wondering, since the music was so much worse, and the only redeeming quality was the short duration, how come it cost so fucking much. Let me see. Oh, right. Pre gold standard/ post gold standard. Need I say more. I’m pretty sure that subliminal messaging is very much alive and well in this country of ours, although they were supposed to ban it in the late 50s. LOL. They Live…Only way to explain all the fools. I am beginning to wonder if they have subliminal messaging on the PC. That would really suck. Just like living in a democracy. We never lived in a democracy before, now everything is a “Danger To Our Democracy”. What The Fuck. I always thought we lived in a republic. That’s what it says in our constitution anyway. Silly me.

[7] I would say I’ve been a conservative leftist most of my life. But for most of that time ‘leftist’ meant opposing corporate oppression of working people (and opposing governments when they backed that oppression). The ‘conservative’ bit signified holding on to things that worked and were demonstrably good.

Like most of the old left (and I was center-left anyway) I don’t identify with the new woke left. As for corruption, it’s pretty much everywhere, and people who stand up against it are called names.

[8] Had an interesting encounter out front today. Old guy in a pickup with a camper asking me if I’m Montoya as I head out to get provisions. Looks like an interesting type so I go out to tell him that Montoya lives just down the street. Find out he’s a private contractor with no obvious affiliation delivering Amazon packages for USPS. Apparently that’s “a thing” now. 

So I get to talking with him as I’m wont to do, and find out he’s a genuine artist. Does sculptures in brass, paintings, murals, the whole shebang. Breaks out his phone and shows me some of his work. Totally impressive! Does the delivery thing on the side, no complaints. What’s the meaning here? I dunno, probably none. Good people find a way, I guess.

[9] BY NOW, 14 years after the Obama bailouts and QE (Fed Quantitative Easing) rescue of insolvent banks, a new condition has emerged: a vast sum of private capital seeking to move out of the financial markets. Many of the most astute One Percent are taking their money and running — into private equity and real estate. The result is that housing prices are soaring as private capital is out-bidding owner-occupant home buyers. While the latter face rising mortgage-interest rates, private capital finds the likelihood for both current rental income and capital gains to be a much better bet than the stock and bond market. The result will not be a decline in real estate prices, but a decline in home-ownership rates as a shift to rental housing occurs. The financial class is becoming the new absentee landlord class. — Michael Hudson


  1. Douglas Coulter February 2, 2022

    The tsunami of capitalist greed. Tsunami comes ashore and breaks down sea walls crushing everything it it’s path. Capitol hates limits. Greed is never satisfied. What is true fascist system but a wedding of government and wealth. Monopoly at work with the best government money can buy. TheDonald or theJoe there really is no difference except Donald was a lousy liar. Donald did not want to drain the swamp, he wanted to replace the alligators with his own hand picked crocodiles
    Repeal the 1917 espionage act and restore the first amendment
    Checks and balances

  2. Jackie Clark February 6, 2022

    Thank you! I wanted to make sure you were still around, because I don’t see the newspapers any more. Maybe because I don’t go the th Albion 7/11, anymore. I have been here in Albion almost 43 years now. I was here when Kay Medley bought it from the Yates. I cannot bear what the new owners have done there, so I don’t go in. You have always been the one to publish the truth, and medically speaking, I am dealing with a lot of bullshit. When I am done , I will send you a long letter. But what caught my eye was a name. Kathy Wylie. I was thrilled by your words. This is one of those creatures whose husband was working for who….pg&e, maybe or at&t. Besides touting all her city rules and regulations that she brought with her, she has repeatedly attacked the Albion Community Free Food Table…….which is at the end of my driveway. She does this on the you know you are in Albion FB page. When I confronted her and asked for a meeting to discuss, I was banned from the site. Probably by another with the same intention of ruling the Coast, with their city rules and regulations. Albion was a hippie outlaw town when I moved here from Alabummer. I definitely didn’t bring anything here from the ‘ bummer except my family and I left the rest of that shit there. I Loved Albion from day 1. So many awesome people. During my first winter here, I went into the Grocery, and Kay called me by name to say hi, I knew I was staying. And I don’t need lessons on raising non-racist children, either. My 4 were so lucky to grow up here and were in high school before they realized the weren’t Black… Or maybe they still think they are. Chuckle.?. It was partly the music, I am sure. In spite of the deluge of yuppies, muppies, guppies and whatever, some of us Hippie Outlaws are still here. Albion cannot be ruled! I will keep reading. Thank you so much!

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