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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Wind Sun | 11 New Cases | Day 34 | Bad Twenties | Tech Support | Highway Fatality | FFA Experience | Movement Coach | Wild Peregrines | Pick Me | Caspar 1965 | Ed Notes | Hated Things | Alice Disinvited | Hippie Smell | Drought Response | Flamenco Show | Pullen House | Casino Contracts | Robber Apprehended | Yesterday's Catch | Yemen Flag | Slap Flap | Next Host | Maori Woman | Fact Check | Population Problem | FB Graduates | Methville | Through Begging | Erasing Hedges | Communist Forces | Frisbee Bros | Nolan's Grocery | Cop Cash | Meet Thy | Slap Good | Forgotten Man

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MORNING CLOUDS will give way to afternoon sun for much of northwest California today, as brisk northerly winds develop. Those winds will repeat each afternoon through Friday, with high pressure holding firm offshore. Meanwhile, patchy frost for some interior valleys the next couple of days will give way to steadily warmer afternoon temperatures through Saturday. (NWS)

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11 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Air-raid sirens sounded across Ukraine before dawn on Tuesday as Ukrainian and Russian negotiators prepared to meet in Turkey for face-to-face talks, with Kyiv seeking a ceasefire without compromising on territory or sovereignty.

Russia continues missile and bomb strikes in an attempt to destroy infrastructure and residential areas of Ukrainian cities, Ukraine military general staff says.

Ukraine claims it seized back control of Irpin, near Kyiv. A United States official said the eastern town of Trostyanets, south of Sumy, was back in Ukrainian hands.

Russian soldiers who seized the Chernobyl site drove armoured vehicles without radiation protection through a highly toxic zone called the “Red Forest”, workers there have said.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators meet on Tuesday for their first face-to-face talks in two weeks.

Russia’s foreign minister also says direct talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Vladimir Putin, something the Ukrainian leader has regularly demanded, would be “counterproductive” for now.

Zelenskyy has urged Western nations to toughen sanctions including an oil embargo.

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FROM RICARDO SUAREZ AT THE REDWOOD DRIVE-IN, BOONVILLE: Keep an eye out for this couple they’re passing bad twenties they came through Boonville this morning. Ukiah, Cloverdale be on the lookout for them. They could be coming your way. Listos con esta señora y su pareja traen $20 falsos listos listos.

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Monday, April 4th, 10:45 to 11:45 AM, AV Senior Center

Bring your smartphones, tablets, iPads, etc. and volunteer AV High School students (vaccinated and masked) will be available to help with tech support. Please Note: Our gatherings are open to everyone, but COVID Vaccinations are now REQUIRED (please bring your vaccination card (one time) as proof) and Masks are required inside.

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

I had the privilege of attending the Future Farmers of America (FFA) conference with Beth Swehla and five of her students this weekend. This is a convention that is held on the state-wide level and was in Sacramento this year. In my career, I’ve been to many conventions. This one was special. I was so impressed with the content, opportunity, and experience that our students were able to participate in this weekend.

First of all, to take students from the beautiful place nestled in Boonville, and give them an opportunity to go to the Capitol and interact with students from all over the State was amazing. Six thousand students were there with their leaders. There was a large convention hall that hosted many college and career technical programs for students to reflect on the next steps forward. “Where do I want to go?…” There were seminars for students to participate in that were taught by college-age students that had been FFA members and are now enrolled in a current program such as UC Davis or Cal Poly to provide an inspiring coaching model for our high school students.

I sat in on student sessions where kids were brainstorming about the ethics of social media, career pathways that could come out of all of the different agricultural strands, how to present themselves in interviews based on their experiences, and how to work collaboratively as a member of a team while building assigned projects within the seminar hour. I was so impressed with the students’ interactions and behavior–not just from our amazing FFA kids, which are always exemplary, but from those kids participating across the State.

The first night featured a program at Capitol One, the stadium where The Kings play. It was a motivational speaker driving kids to think about “Their Why”. I attended administrators’ conferences about how to grow and pay for expansion in agricultural programs in the years to come. I sat on a scholarship committee and had a terrible time wrestling with who to give the money to because they were all great. But most of all, it was about the kids. I saw administrators, teachers, parents, and state-wide staff that were 100% invested in making sure our kids not only had an amazing time in the moment, but were lighting a match about a future – a future based on expectation and excellence. A future with pathways of career tech or college or industry. A future of thinking about all of the many facets about “ag”. A future where kids were viewed through a young adult lens and EXPECTED to be well mannered, articulate, thoughtful, intelligent, prepared, and employable.

Beth Swehla

I want to give a shout out to Beth Swehla. Going on a field trip for one day is a very pleasant, but tiring experience. I used to have to take an Advil, when I got home from the day. This experience was taking four days out of her life to give her kids four days that they will remember a lifetime. I hope, as your students journey through our school system, you will encourage them to be part of the FFA. This is an opportunity not to be missed and is not held back by financial commitment. FFA is a powerful pathway for college and career-ready education. I would have hired any of the kids that I interviewed that day for scholarships. I was proud that our students were at the breakfast table with administrators and talked about their program in Boonville and shared their love of “ag” and their pride in their local community. I was proud how they shared all of the hands-on activities they participated in under Miss Swehla’s direction. I was proud that students spoke with respect and honor of their hometown and all that it has given to them. You should be proud too. Encourage your child to be part of this. Show your support of this program. An eight-acre farm is an UNREAL asset in this FFA realm. Help us, help your kids by letting us know how we can partner with you to increase and unleash our potential.

Thank you to our parents who let your kids go. I hope they glow with their reports. For those of you that aren’t on the path, it’s time…No kid should miss this event. Thank you Miss Swehla. We all have those moments you remember forever…You did that for our kids this weekend.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified

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Hey AV! 

Polly Bates

I'm gonna be in town working at my family's Philo Apple Farm every 1st and 3rd week of the month through the summer and would also like to offer some of my movement coaching in the area. 

I'm a certified personal trainer, breathing coach, and dancer and I teach group functional fitness classes as well as offering one on one or small group personalized movement/wellness sessions. 

I'm curious if folks are interested in either of these offerings on a biweekly basis (I can also do virtual private sessions when I'm in Oakland) and if anyone has suggestions about where to hold group classes. Is the yoga studio in Boonville a possible space? Outside at the farm could work too as it warms up. 

Let me know if you might be interested!

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HEATHER BEARD: These are wild Peregrines. Until the 1980's they were almost extinct.. while i would not call them "common" we now have several full-time coast residents which thrills me - google them, they are fascinating birds, they fly up to 200mph!! I lived near a nest in Cazadero in 1980s those falcons taught me much about courage, perseverance, and dedication to family, plus, they were just cool to watch.

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Joseph Turri answers his own question: How many of our Supervisors have demonstrated the ability to make sound financial judgments that resulted in the actual production of a usable and self sustaining (financially) product or service? How many have the education or proven ability to comprehend the issues they are presented with daily as a Supervisor?

When I am elected Supervisor the answer will be — one.

I have 40 years of business experience, an MBA, three startups on my resume, and have been Treasurer of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital for going on four years. When I took office, the District was on the verge of bankruptcy with way too much long term debt. In one sentence, this is what I have accomplished: “So, by 2030 — when we will need to have a new facility — the District will have $25M saved away and not a penny of debt!”

ED NOTE: Incumbent supervisor Williams has not replied to the same set of questions put to Redding. As of today, Redding one, Williams nothing.

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Caspar Lumber Houses, 1965

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DR. DREW COLFAX, the refreshingly candid Ukiah emergency room doctor who lives in Boonville and co-hosts with Alicia Bales KZYX’s bi-weekly covid update show, suffered through a long anti-vaxx rant from a “long-time KZYX sustainer” on his Tuesday morning covid update show. The exasperated woman suggested several times that as a station sustainer she should get special consideration to relay dangerous misinformation.

THE CALLER claimed that Dr. Colfax had insulted her and her fellow anti-vaxxers by referring to anti-vaxxers as “idiots” and “Trump supporters.” Worse, show co-host Alicia Bales had allowed Colfax to insult her and her fellow Trumpian idiots without comment or correction. The caller demanded that Bales and Colfax get in touch with some Bay Area anti-vaxx quack to “hear the other side” who would debate Dr. Colfax, adding that Colfax and Bales should stop “shaming” the anti-vaxx crackpots.

AS HER tiresome monologue wound down, which she read from a prepared statement, perhaps lifted from some anti-vax website, there were only a few seconds left for Bales or Colfax to respond. Bales tried to be nice by saying they’d have to talk about this on a future show. Dr. Colfax got in a final “…or not.” 

THERE IS NO “OTHER SIDE” to the vaccination question. There's only the international society of hysterics who think their skewed “research” and irrational feelings constitute an argument against the basic principles of immunology. 

HIS WORK in the emergency room undoubtedly has put Dr. Colfax in the terrible position of watching the unvaxxed die from what the caller and her co-dependent nutpies believe is nothing worse than a flu.

KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR: “What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”

AS FOR WILL SMITH and Chris Rock, Lawrence Livermore, the sage of Spyrock, puts it in perfect perspective: “You know what I don't need to hear any more of? Your take on whatshisface slapping whatshisface.” 

SPYROCK. Every authentic Mendo person should visit the county's fascinating outback at least once which, if you happen to veer off onto the wrong dirt road, may also be your last, but most of us know life's a gamble front to back. And you might consider making the long haul east of Covelo on Highway 162 over the Mendo Pass to Willows on I-5, thus re-tracing Mendocino County's Trail of Tears, that forced march of Native Americans from the Sacramento Valley to Round Valley and, for the survivors, more cruelty on the government-sponsored reservation. Or you can turn north on Mina Road out of Covelo to take in the wild country all the way to Alderpoint in Southern HumCo, pausing to look west at the blue Pacific where Mendo, HumCo and Trinity counties meet. 

ALICE WALKER, I think, is still an occasional resident of the Anderson Valley where she owns or owned a place on the Holmes Ranch. She wrote her famous novel in Boonville when she first touched down in Mendocino County. As a stalwart free speech person whose books are often banned by unlettered school boards, Ms. Walker herself has now been banned from the Bay Area Book Festival, an annual event convened in Oakland. 

WHY? Event organizers claim because of her “endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theorist “David Icke” and “incendiary statements she has made over the years about Jews and Israel.”

FESTIVAL PUBLICIST, Julia Drake explained, “We were aware of the fact that Alice Walker had made some controversial statements in the past, but we weren’t aware of the extent of it. One of the big missions of the festival is we won’t tolerate any hate speech or antisemitic statements, so we realized that this was not something that we could do.”

MYSELF, I find Ms. Walker's work unreadable and her more than a bit of a crackpot, but I share her views on Israel when she says, “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

HELL, half the Israelis say the same thing, as do most most American lefties. For this she's banned by, of all things, a book festival?

THE AUTHOR is also alleged to have spoken warmly of a Brit author named David Icke who, by any sane standard, is certifiable. Icke argues that Jews control the world and leans heavily for his “facts” on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-semitic tract concocted by one of the Russian czars.

STILL AND ALL, to ban Alice Walker is simply shameful, just as shameful as banning any author from speaking or writing, even Icke, whatever's on his or her mind.

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by Andrew Esensten

The Bay Area Book Festival has rescinded an invitation to author Alice Walker over incendiary statements she has made over the years about Jews and Israel.

Walker had been invited to interview writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, at Jeffers’ request, as the headlining event of the festival, which is scheduled to take place May 7-8. After festival organizers learned from those inside and outside the organization about Walker’s history of remarks widely criticized as antisemitic, they canceled her invitation on Thursday, prompting Jeffers to pull out of the festival, according to festival publicist Julia Drake.

“We were aware of the fact that Alice Walker had made some controversial statements in the past, but we weren’t aware of the extent of it,” Drake told J. in an interview. “One of the big missions of the festival is we won’t tolerate any hate speech or antisemitic statements, so we realized that this was not something that we could do.”

Walker’s image and bio were removed from the festival website on Friday afternoon. Drake said organizers are now searching for “another headlining event that is worthy of the festival.”

An acclaimed novelist and poet — she was the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for “The Color Purple,” in 1983 — and human rights activist, Walker has been criticized by the ADL and other Jewish organizations for, among other things, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and expressing support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She has refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of “The Color Purple,” because, as she wrote in a letter to an Israeli publisher in 2012, “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In a 2018 interview with the New York Times, she promoted a book by a British conspiracy theorist that argues that Jews control the world and quotes extensively from the discredited “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Walker, 78, was married to a Jewish civil rights lawyer, Melvyn Leventhal, from 1967 to 1976. Their daughter, Rebecca Walker, identifies as Black and Jewish and spent part of her childhood in San Francisco, a period she chronicles in her 2000 memoir “Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.”

The Bay Area Book Festival has been held in downtown Berkeley since 2015. This year’s event will include interviews and panel discussions with dozens of local and national writers, including Rebecca Solnit (“Orwell’s Roses”), siblings David and Margaret Talbot (“By the Light of Burning Dreams: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Second American Revolution”) and poet and National Book Award finalist Douglas Kearney (“Sho”).

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UPDATE, March 27: In an email to J., the Bay Area Book Festival clarified that it was Alice Walker’s “endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theorist David Icke” that led organizers to rescind her invitation.

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As a dry summer looms, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered water suppliers across California to step up their local drought responses, but fell short of requiring water rationing or setting a statewide conservation target.…

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Savannah Fuentes and her small flamenco troupe will be appearing at the Caspar Community Center on May 2nd. I know many of you have seen her before when she came to Mendocino. They put on a wonderful performance that is well worth it.

More information and ticket information here:

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Pullen House/Now Heritage House

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by Phil Barber

Five Indigenous California tribes, including two based in Mendocino and Lake counties, are locked in a legal dispute with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office over renewing their gambling compacts with the state.

The outcome of the case, experts say, has potential implications for every California tribe that holds casino rights.

And while the points of contention are technical, the possibility of immediate fallout is stark for some tribes. They could see the slot machines at their casinos unplugged as soon as April 1 if they are unable to reach some sort of accommodation.

One of those tribes is Robinson Rancheria in Nice, about 75 miles north of Santa Rosa. The casino is owned by a band of Pomo who don’t have to guess what a government-imposed shutdown would mean for their budget.

“We closed ourselves for 125 days during the pandemic,” said Beniakem Cromwell, the Robinson Rancheria chairman. “We know how devastating it is.”

Another timeout would affect many of the tribe’s social programs, he said. And as the chairman pointed out, Robinson Rancheria is one of the poorest communities in one of the poorest counties in California.

“This has nothing to do with revenue,” said Cromwell, 45. “It’s education for members in higher education or vocational school. It’s elders’ monthly social welfare. We use that revenue for after-school programs, sports teams. We fund employees at our elder center, our education center, our tutors.”

The lawsuit at the heart of the conflict has to do with compacts that 61 tribal nations reached with Gov. Gray Davis in 1999. Those contracts were to renew in December 2020, but an automatic 18-month extension kicked in. The deadline is now June 30.

Other tribes, like Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which signed its compact in 2012, are not immediately affected.

Most of the tribes with 1999 compacts have already entered new agreements, or signaled a willingness to do so.

But five — Robinson Rancheria, the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians in Mendocino County, the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians (based in Tuolumne County), Blue Lake Rancheria (Humboldt County) and the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe (San Bernardino County) — have objected to a number of provisions the state sought to add to the compacts.

Those five tribes sued in a case commonly referenced as Chicken Ranch Rancheria v. Gavin Newsom, insisting the new provisions violate the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The suit also argues that the state did not bargain in good faith.

The new provisions include enforcing spousal and child support orders, as well as state laws pertaining to the environment, minimum wage, anti-discrimination and other elements of tort law and the labor code. The tribal plaintiffs also want to modify the trust fund, established in 1999, that redistributes a portion of revenue from tribes that own casinos to those that don’t.

Those protections “are exactly what the state should be asking for,” said I. Nelson Rose, who has spent decades studying tribal gaming law as a lawyer, law professor and government consultant. “To not discriminate on the basis of race, to establish a minimum wage — winning on those points is nothing a tribe should be bragging about. To an outsider, it’s unseemly even to be making these arguments.”

That’s beyond the point, said Les Marston, a Ukiah-based attorney who is representing four of the five tribes, including Hopland and Robinson Rancheria. The issue is not the merits of the provisions, Marston said, but who determines the rules governing these sovereign nations.

“Supporting children. Making sure spouses are adequately compensated. You really think tribes aren’t going to do that on their own?” Marston said. “How paternalistic is that? The issue here is the tribes’ right to govern themselves under their own laws, which is guaranteed them by the Constitution of the United States.”

The Governor’s Office declined to comment on the matter “as it relates to ongoing litigation,” a spokesperson said.

But in Chicken Ranch v. Newsom, state attorneys argued that all of the proposed provisions are “proper IGRA negotiation topics.”

“Moreover,” they wrote to Judge Anthony Ishii, “even if any of the topics exceeded IGRA’s scope, the State could lawfully negotiate and offer the Plaintiff Tribes meaningful concessions to include them in new compacts.”

The case made it to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California a year ago. There, as Marston describes it, Ishii delivered a resounding victory for the five tribes.

“The Tribal Plaintiffs have met their burden of producing evidence the State Defendants did not negotiate in good faith by raising topics in negotiations that were beyond the scope permitted by IGRA or which required some form of meaningful concession in return,” Ishii wrote in his opinion.

But at least one analyst calls Marston’s characterization misleading.

“He said the tribes won on all the issues,” said Rose, who is based in Logan, Utah, and writes a blog called Gambling and the Law. “Actually, the state won on almost all of them.”

Indeed, Ishii’s decision questioned the state’s right to negotiate only two of eight points — the provision on spousal and child support, and the reformulated trust fund. He ruled that while Newsom’s office does not have the right to unilaterally impose the other provisions, all of them are fair game for further negotiations.

The state lost that round not because of the substantive issues, Rose said, but because of procedural points. Specifically, Ishii said the state had failed to link specific new provisions with specific government concessions.

That technical ruling is bound to fall apart as the case proceeds to higher courts, Rose said.

“This is a burden that is completely impossible when you’re dealing with a massive, complex negotiation like this,” Rose argued. “There are dozens, if not hundreds of separate points, negotiated over years. You can’t say, ‘We’re asking you to enforce child support court orders, and in return we’re letting you have, let’s say, the casino stay open 24 hours a day rather than 22.’

“Basically, it’s unfair to the state, which means it’s unfair to the people of California.”

Rose and Marston do agree on a couple of issues, though. One is that the case could set an important precedent for Indian casinos all over California. A number of tribes have pending negotiations over their gaming compacts. And even those that have already signed agreements would probably be able to demand a return to the bargaining table if the plaintiffs are successful in Chicken Ranch v. Newsom.

Presumably, that would include the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe and the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, both of which are the latest California nations to secure state compacts, the governor’s office announced.

Rose also acknowledged that the April deadline is real for Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino — and would have been for the Hopland Band of Pomo as well, except they closed their Sho-Ka-Wah Casino during the pandemic and have yet to reopen it.

The upcoming timeline is just as complicated as the legal doctrine.

The two sides argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Dec. 9, and Marston expects Ishii to reach a decision within the next month. If that ruling favors the tribes and arrives by April 1, the attorney said, his clients will likely have enough time to exhaust the IGRA remedial process, which would include nonbinding arbitration. If it comes after April 15 (and barring an extension), the casinos will have to cease Class III gaming operations, including slot machines.

If Ishii rules in their favor sometime between April 1 and April 15, Marston said, the tribes will be in a race to complete the IGRA procedures, and simply might run out of time.

There is a less drastic option. On March 9, California’s senior adviser for tribal negotiations, Nathan Voegeli, wrote to Marston offering a one-year extension to sort out the impasse. At least one of the tribes, Robinson Rancheria, has little inclination to accept it.

“When we opened this casino, we did not make the wrong decision,” Cromwell said. “We made the right decision, based on a law that was passed in 1999. Now we feel like we’re being punished for doing the right thing, because the state can wait it out. I don’t want to feel like we’re being punished for taking a stand.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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On Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at approximately 11:55 AM, Ukiah Police dispatch received a 911 call reporting a robbery at Home Depot, located at 350 N. Orchard Avenue. The caller, an employee, reported a male, who was later identified as Victor R. Lucas, entered the store, selected a Milwaukee cordless drill and attempted to leave the store without paying for the merchandise. Employees attempted to stop Lucas from leaving the store, but he threatened them with a knife. He was able to exit the store and another employee followed him into the parking lot. Lucas threatened that employee with a knife as well and then got into a vehicle that drove out of the parking lot. UPD officers contacted the reporting party and were unable to identify the suspect at that time. The value of the stolen drill was approximately $149. 

Victor Lucas

On 03/18/2022, UPD was contacted by the reporting party and were advised they recognized the suspect from this incident while looking at the MCSO Jail booking log photos. Lucas had been arrested by UPD on Thursday, March 17, 2022 on unrelated offenses and had been booked at the MCSO Jail. A UPD officer responded to Home Depot and was provided with surveillance footage from the date of the robbery. From speaking with the reporting party as well as the other two victims; Lucas was positively identified as the suspect in the robbery. 

The UPD officer contacted Lucas, at the MCSO Jail and obtained a statement from him regarding the robbery. He was subsequently booked for Robbery. He is currently held on $15,000 bail. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 29, 2022

Bell, Borrero, Brown

BRIANNA BELL, Covelo. Under influence, misuse of 911 to annoy or harass.

ANTONIO BORRERO-GINEL, Fort Bragg. Sodomy-victim under ten years of age. (Repost with photo.)

DAVID BROWN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Dillenbeck, Lopes, McOsker

BHAKTI DILLENBECK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

ANTHONY LOPES SR., Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court. 

JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Munoz, Patereau, Sierra, Young

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Burglary.

SILAS YOUNG, Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

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Yemen Flag

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When I watched Will Smith’s Oscar acceptance speech, I thought WTF? I hadn’t yet seen The Incident. I have (he said, tediously) attention deficit disorder, and I don’t have span enough to watch all the Oscar show. I’m a highlight guy, so when Will was blubbering about his fate—protecting everybody in the name of love—I was clueless: “So why’s he crying? He’s a hardworking actor. He’s been nominated and passed over by the Oscars before. His movies always deliver. He’s due.” I was glad.

Then when I saw why—that astounding moment—I thought Oh, no, Will! Don’t do that. It will dog you forever. Your decades of work will be forever overshadowed by this.


Not that he won’t survive. Marlon Brando survived his 1973 debacle, when he sent Sacheem Littlefeather (born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, California to an Apache-Yaqui father and White mother) to refuse his Oscar for him. 

She did so with grace and poise despite the animus she (and Brando) provoked and the fact that it took several security men to restrain John Wayne backstage, when he was heading for the stage to do god knows what to her for protesting the historic and on-screen treatment of Native Americans. Wayne was a prominent white supremacist, like Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan and hosts of other celebrated anti-Americans. But Brando’s interesting personality would forever after be seen as somewhat creepy, while Littlefeather is admired and rewarded as both entertainer and activist, still, at seventy-six.

So this present kerfuffle will redound to the benefit of Chris Rock who, like Lenny Bruce, Don Rickles and many others before him, thrives on insults received and delivered. And so it should. Chris is a couple years older than his assailant, but he acted throughout the moment and its aftermath like a way-more grownup, while Smith acted like a nut.

I have no dog in this fight. In this day of popular baldness, boys AND girls, Jada Koren Pinkett Smith is a good-lookin’ woman, Rock or no Rock. 

For a far-better comment than this one, read Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Ellie read his article to me while I was messing with brewing coffee this morning. Thank you, E. Had no idea Kareem was such a first-rate thinker and skillful wordsmith:

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ĀKENEHI TŌMOANA (died 1908) Ngāi Te Rangiitā, Ngāti Papa-tua-maro, Ngāti Ngarengare, Ngāi Turahi. Ākenehi was a prominent Māori woman leader of chiefly status. Well-educated and a landowner, she was married to the Heretaunga rangatira Hēnare Tōmoana. She was a strong advocate for women and worked towards women’s rights from multiple angles.

"At the heart of the Māori women’s movement were concerns about the well-being of Māori, the loss of land, and restrictions on Māori women’s rights to own land imposed by European laws. ‘Wāhine rangatira’ (women of chiefly status) were used to having decision-making power, but the new European system forced them to find new ways to assert their authority. The Kotahitanga Māori parliament and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union were two new forums in which grievances could be addressed.

Ākenehi Tōmoana

"In 1893 Ākenehi accompanied Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia when she presented a motion at the Kotahitanga Māori parliament calling for Māori women to be able to vote and stand for parliamentary seats. She argued that as landowners they were entitled to political representation. However, in the afternoon session Ākenehi appears to have suggested delaying consideration of the women’s suffrage petition until more pressing issues had been resolved.

"By 1895 Ākenehi was more forcefully advocating for women’s rights. She was part of a group of high-status women, the ‘First Wives of Heretaunga’, who established the Komiti Wahine o Heretaunga. They organised ‘Te Hui Wahine’ at Te Haukē Marae – a forum to discuss women’s suffrage, equal rights for women, prohibition and temperance, and the need to stop selling land. [A theme emphasized by Indigenous women in many other places.]

"In her inaugural address at the hui Ākenehi inspired the attending women by saying: 'For many years the men, the chiefs, the Members of Parliament, the Kingitanga, have been searching for answers to our issues regarding land and the betterment of our people … they even went to England. … All of this was done without us; the women … and no benefit has come back to our people. … We women have not yet tried!'

"Ākenehi continued to be politically active as secretary of both Ngā Komiti Wāhine and Te Kotahitanga, in which she worked alongside her husband Hēnare."

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Since 1950, as the population of the United States has doubled, the population of Santa Rosa has increased tenfold, and it shows. Santa Rosa now has too little water, congested streets, noisy freeways, crime and strained police and fire departments.

Sonoma County as a whole faces a similar problem to that of Santa Rosa. For example, the unincorporated area of Sonoma County is mandated by the state to build 3,900 new housing units over the next eight years. That’s enough to house 10,000 people, the population of Sonoma. In order to have access to sewer and transportation, the vast majority of these housing units will be built adjacent to existing towns. Not completely jokingly, the county might be better off building another town rather than building housing developments and strip malls on the edges of existing towns.

If we have to build, and by state law we do, then we should build communities that are beautiful, with parks, not tract homes, strip malls, infill apartments, congested streets and freeways, the sad result of too much growth.

Dan Roberts

Santa Rosa

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Fort Bragg High Graduates, 1900

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I went to Ukiah yesterday, and sat eating my “In and Out” protein-style double whatsit (wrapped in lettuce, no bun cause I’m losing weight) while guys who look worse off than me were wandering around having violent arguments with, the sky I guess…

Q: How many meth-addicted homeless guys live in Ukiah?

A: All of them…

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by Matt Taibbi

This past weekend, celebrated journalist and author Chris Hedges woke up to find six years of episodes of his Russia Today show On Contact vanished from the show’s account on YouTube. Though almost none of the shows referenced Russia or Vladimir Putin directly, and the few that did tended to be unflattering, his association with Russian state media was enough to erase hundreds of interviews about topics ranging from Julian Assange’s imprisonment to censorship to police brutality to American war crimes in the Middle East. 

Now on Substack, Hedges has a long and uncomfortably colorful history of being muffled. The former New York Times correspondent covered wars from the Balkans to the Middle East to the Falkland Islands, and authored books like War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, American Fascists, and The Death of the Liberal Class, and through 2002, when he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team for Exploratory Reporting, he defined mainstream respectability and excellence in journalism. He might have had it easy, spending the latter part of his career on the Thomas Friedman/David Brooks Memorial Gravy Train of overpaid lectures, University trusteeships, and fellowships at obscure think-tanks, if he’d just kept his mouth shut. 

He didn’t. One of the few frontline American reporters who spoke Arabic, Hedges knew instantly the Iraq war would be a disaster and said so at every opportunity. He was booed offstage at a commencement address at Rockford College in 2003 by a crowd chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!,” and hustled off campus so fast that the school wouldn’t let him grab his jacket on the way out. For those who haven’t seen it, the video of that scene is a remarkable museum piece of Bush-era war mania:

Episodes like this accelerated his departure from the New York Times and into the wilds of independent media, where paying options for dissident voices had been shrinking. As he points out below, someone like him in the past would have parachuted out of a big commercial enterprise like the Times into a life at NPR — broadcasting shows “at like one in the morning, or something,” he chuckles — but NPR, too, had by then been begun its purging of unorthodox and especially antiwar voices. 

By the 2010s, one of the last places where media figures pushed off the traditional career track could pick up a paycheck was Russia Today. In an arrangement Hedges plainly describes as a cynical marriage of convenience, the Russian state was happy to give voice to figures covering structural problems in American society, and those quasi-banned voices were glad for the opportunity to broadcast what they felt is the truth, even understanding the editorial motivation. Hedges ended up working at RT for six years hosting On Contact, where he interviewed authors and thinkers resting outside the cultural mainstream, from Nathaniel Philbrick to Cornel West to Nils Melzer to Noam Chomsky to many others (disclosure: I’ve also been a guest). 

As Hedges points out in the wide-ranging, unnerving interview below, the speech-control one-two he’s just experienced — first herded out of the mainstream for ideological offenses into a shrinking space of “allowable” dissent, then forced to watch as that space is demonized out of existence — is part of an effective pattern. “It’s how this works,” he sighs. He points to the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6th, 2017, ostensibly intended to make a case for Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which actually spent much of its time complaining about RT, especially its coverage of real but unflattering domestic issues. 

“They showed their hand,” he says, referring to the intelligence community’s complaints over reporting on everything from the pursuit of Assange to Occupy Wall Street to corporate overreach. From the Assessment:

RT’s reports often characterize the United States as a “surveillance state” and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use…

Hedges denounced Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a “criminal act of aggression” after it began, and believes that if RT had been allowed to stay on YouTube, he — along with similarly critical former RT contributors like Jesse Ventura — wouldn’t have been permitted by the Kremlin to stay on air. On the other hand, seeing an American company vaporize six years of interviews having nothing to do with Russia shows space for voices like his continues to shrink in the West. In this sense he represents a kind of person we’ll be seeing more of in the future, caught between a censorship rock and a hard place, an outcast in domestic and foreign media systems. 

You can find Chris’s work on Substack now at the Chris Hedges Report, and some of the On Contact shows that were re-posted by independent accounts remain up. The launch of the new site has gone very well, but he warns that no place in media is safe now. “They’ll shut down Substack, I absolutely know. Either that, or they’ll create a way that sites like yours and mine won’t be on it,” he says.

More from Chris on censorship, RT, Ukraine, and other issues:

MT: What happened with YouTube?

Chris Hedges: My entire archive of shows from On Contact was taken down. I was in London last week for Julian Assange — I was supposed to be a guest at the wedding, but then, the prison didn’t let me in of course. When I came back, I got a text from a friend of mine, with whom I’d done a half hour show, about a girlfriend who’d overdosed on fentanyl. And because I knew him, my interview with him is quite a powerful segment. And he said, the show doesn’t exist anymore. Then I checked, and nothing exists.

The RT On Contact website is still up, but everything on YouTube is gone, and people watched it on YouTube. Some of that stuff had hundreds of thousands of views.

MT: This two-step process feels like a backdoor way of getting rid of unorthodox voices. In other words, weren’t you on RT in the first place because you’d been bounced out for opposing the war in Iraq? Now, because of your association with RT, you’re off YouTube. Is this a way to get at, not just people connected with Russians, but people with unpopular views generally?

Chris Hedges: Yeah. That’s how it works. They push you to the margins and then, they demonize those spaces on the margins. This has long been the habit of the dominant ruling elites. So for instance, Robert Scheer, whose website I write for, Scheerpost — and of course, we were all fired from Truthdig, this is just a never ending saga — but he ran Ramparts. I think it was Spiro Agnew said, “It’s a magazine with a bomb in every issue.” We could never get advertisers.

So they push you into a space that they then demonize, and then use it as an excuse to shut you down. But they’ve already in essence created the space in which you exist.

I have a couple strikes against me. One, I was pushed out of the New York Times, because I spent so many years in the Middle East, and many years in Gaza. And of course, I was the Middle East Bureau Chief for the New York Times. I’m very outspoken about Israel, and I’m a very strong supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Which alone is enough — I just saw my friend, Cornel West, denied tenure at Harvard over this. And I’m also a fierce critic, as you are, of the Democratic party. Those are all flags that will get you locked out of even the quote-unquote “liberal media” like MSNBC.

MT: This freeze-out led to your tenure at RT?

Chris Hedges: I’d been marginalized for a long time because of those issues. RT gave me space, and I took it. But it wasn’t a show about Russia. We never did a show on Russia. The irony is that, in fact, the very few times Putin was mentioned, he was not described in flattering terms — it was as an autocrat. There was one show where Syria came up, and Russian war crimes. So there was nothing on the show, ever, that was in any way flattering to the Putin regime.

But the point of the show was, of course, critiquing and looking at our own society, and that was the problem.


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by Lindy Peters

A strange phenomenon occurred at Little River Golf Course this past weekend. 

It rained! Not only that, but 128 golfers showed-up to play anyway, though they eschewed the traditional bag full of heavy golf clubs and accessories. No, these golfers came with light back packs full of colorful flying discs. Though once referred to as Frisbee Golf, Disc Golf has evolved into an extremely popular sport with a slew of disc slingers who are not only dedicated to the sport but seemingly dedicated to each other as well. A brotherhood not unlike bikers but with a distinctively mellower vibe. In some ways the event was like a high school reunion. Old friends from faraway places gathering together and reconnecting for some friendly competition on the golf course. 

Derrick Robbings is the event coordinator and every year he puts together a schedule of fund-raising Disc Golf Tournaments known as the NorCal Winter Charity Series. He and his volunteers showed-up at Little River Inn early Friday morning and began placing the standardized disc baskets at various places throughout the traditional 9-hole golf lay-out with one exception. These baskets are placed in the trees, or on the side of a hill or somewhere else off the beaten path of a grass fairway. They are most definitely not sitting alone on a plush green. There were 19 baskets or “holes” set-up throughout the property and the course was booked for this private event the entirety of both days. Robbings said the players absolutely loved the course lay-out. “This is one of every golfers’ favorite courses. It is more fun and challenging when you re-design a traditional golf course for Disc Golf. The regular disc golf courses are okay, in fact the one in Brooktrails may be the top disc golf course in Northern California, but the unique features of a freshly designed course make it fun and challenging and brings people in.” 128 altogether. 

But they didn’t all arrive via Highway 128. No sir. They came from as far away as Humboldt County, Chico, Sacramento area, Bay area and beyond. And they spent money. In case you are wondering, this event raised $6,325 for the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund in just two days. And an additional $1,000 was raised to benefit both Mendocino and Fort Bragg High school Golf programs. So, this event was helping kids aged 2 to 18. All the kids. Every age. A noble gesture indeed. But are they anything like the usual crowd on a busy weekend at the Little River Inn golf course? Kind of. 

They were very friendly like most golfers. They included both men and women. They loved the course and had a good time. But the attire was a dead giveaway. If you were a guest this weekend at the Little River Inn and unknowingly wandered up to take a gander at the golf course, you’d have rubbed your eyes in disbelief like a Looney Toon cartoon character. 

Instead of the usual scene at a golf course, you know, like old geezers sporting white golf caps with snazzy colored sweaters, designer sunglasses, trendy logos, and expensive golf clubs you had dudes in your basic hooded sweatshirt and beanie cap with a pair of comfortable sneakers. In fact, the most prevalent logo was the 5-pronged leaf of a cannabis plant on said attire. They rode around in golf carts, drank plenty of microbrew beer and smoked big cigars. Only these cigars weren’t Cuban. I’m not sure where they were from exactly, but my guess is somewhere near Laytonville. 

Needless to say, everyone was in a great mood and having fun. And I should add it was extremely well organized. A chap named Leonard Muise trucked in a huge pop-up disc store and unloaded over 8,000 discs of all sizes, colors, and weights on site and on sale. A venerable Costco for disc golfers. Leonard also designs mobile disc golf courses and is well-known in the industry. 

According to attendees the course here was outstanding by the way. And Leonard agreed. There were several categories of awards based on age, skill level and score. Par for the course was 64 and several golfers came in under par. The weather held off just long enough too. After a gorgeous sun-splashed Saturday, the two-day event only got rained-on at the tail end of action late Sunday afternoon, but by then Leonard had packed-up his thousands of discs and Derrick had handed-out his multiple trophies. 

But if perhaps you are out golfing sometime in July here at Little River and your tee shot on number 4 goes sailing into the trees on the left, don’t be surprised if you find, instead of your golf ball, a brightly colored flying disc. It didn’t get there by accident. Nor did it arrive from another planet. Nope. Now you know just how it got there. And it most certainly isn’t the same disc that made a hole-in-one on number 9. The only ace in the entire tournament as a matter of fact. That disc belongs to Derrick Robbings. 

Yep. The same guy who put in a ton of work and organized this entire event made the tournament's only ace. Amazing. And I'd Say that same word sums up this weekend at Little River Inn golf course. It truly was amazing.

(Courtesy, Mendocino News Plus)

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Nolan's Grocery, Caspar, 1965

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Amid rising concerns about crime and recent criminal justice reforms, California’s law enforcement groups are spending big this year in several high-profile races.

So far in the 2022 election cycle, these groups have contributed more than $1 million to campaigns for the state Legislature and several statewide offices, slightly less than the $1.2 million contributed at the same point in 2020 and significantly more than the roughly $305,000 in 2018, according to a CalMatters analysis.

As of Monday, nearly $1 out of every $6 donated by law enforcement groups has gone into the attorney general’s race, specifically to Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. The $176,900 in cop cash given to Schubert is about 10% of her total contributions.

She is a Republican turned independent who is the preferred pick of these groups looking to unseat Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021.…

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Dear Editor,

On Sunday it seemed like it would be a normally boring presentation of the Academy Awards, the annual affair where "Tinzel Town’s" most affected actors, actresses, directors, producers and others wallow in trumped up glory for one day.

But suddenly comedian Chris Rock made a disparaging, snide remark about actor Will Smith’s wife-who has lost her hair due to suffering from a rare disease. A second or so after this rude remark, Mr. Smith burst forward to slap the comedian in the face.

While it was a strange interruption, it didn’t really affect the rest of the show. Since there was shock at Mr. Smith’s action and at the outburst from the enraged yet talented, prominent black actor, Will Smith has apologized profusely to the the “Academy,” the public, and to Mr. Rock. While the incident may have been out-of-line and unprofessional, it seems to me Chris Rock should be the one who apologizes to Mr. Smith-not the reverse. Smith had every right as a husband and someone who is part of Holy Matrimony-along with his beloved wife-to react to this rude public insult.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

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Forgotten Man by Maynard Dixon, 1934


  1. Marco McClean March 30, 2022

    In /Wild At Heart/, Nicolas Cage’s character Sailor takes offense at something a man says about his (Sailor’s) wife in a dance club. He knocks the man down. Then he says, “Are you ready to apologize for disrespecting my wife?” The man apologizes, and Sailor says, “Well, that’s all right, then.”

    Everybody has a bad day once in awhile. Will Smith apologized. I love the Will Wheaton quote about deciding what’s more important, a slap in the face between celebrities or genocide in Yemen .

    Never slap someone on the ear, though. You can tear their eardrum from the pressure.

  2. Beth Swehla March 30, 2022

    Well, I thank you for reposting Mrs. Simson’s kind words. I wish you had posted a picture of my students as well. It is not about me. It is about the students and the FFA/Ag. Ed. program. I am just doing what Agriculture Education educators from all over the state and country do. There are hundreds of Agriculture Education educators in California and over 90,000 Ag Ed students/FFA members. Sadly, most do not receive anywhere near the support as in this letter. In all my years of teaching this is the first time I, the Ag Ed program, and my students have received such vocal administration support. The Agriculture Education Programs and FFA chapters in Mendocino and Lake Counties all deserve this kind of support – Fort Bragg HS, Willits HS, Round Valley HS, Potter Valley HS, Ukiah HS, AVHS, Upper Lake HS, Lower Lake HS, Middletown HS, and Kelseyville HS.

    The FFA mission statement is “FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

    The FFA Motto is “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”

    These mantras are what motivate Ag Educators from all over the country to change the lives of students. When these mantras are in place I have witnessed amazing changes and growth in ALL kinds of students.

  3. Dan Raymann March 30, 2022

    Frank Baumgardner, Holy Matrimony probably isn’t right description when it’s announced publicly, by both parties, that this Matrimony is an open marriage. On her podcast in 2020 , Mrs. Smith announced her affair with her boyfriend August Alsina while her husband was present. Will Smith is absolutely right to demand that something should be kept out of someones mouth , he just picked the wrong person.

  4. Chuck Wilcher March 30, 2022

    “I wish you had posted a picture of my students as well. It is not about me. It is about the students and the FFA/Ag. Ed. program. ”

    Humbleness defined.

    • Harvey Reading March 30, 2022


      • Betsy Cawn March 31, 2022

        Terrific essay by Paul Edwards, Mr. Reading. Thank you.

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