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Mendocino County Today: May 1, 2022

May Day | Hawthorne | Rainfall Totals | Coastal Stroll | Expensive Lawsuit | Piccolotti Ranch | Pandemic Dollars | Pet Achilles | LakeCo Quake | Piccolotti Family | Larded Lawsuit | Tree Blossoms | Skunk Rammed | Hornet Bag | Rebuilding Experience | Logging 1880s | Ed Notes | Raskin Sketch | Ukraine | Backyard Solidarity | Whitesboro Grange | Specs Wednesday | Skyhawk Vote | Yesterday's Catch | Yeller Media | If Found | Parasite Problem | Minimum Wage | Peace Prayer | Albion Students | Marco Radio | Friend Circle | Ukraine Reporter | Dear Taliban | Viral Migration | Axe

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FROST ADVISORY remains in effect until 8 am PDT this morning.

ANOTHER BAND of light rainfall is expected to move across Humboldt, Del Norte and portions of Trinity County late tonight and into Monday morning. High pressure will then build across the region for a few days of rain free weather and warmer temperatures inland. (NWS)

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Hawthorne Blooming (photo by Mary Pat Palmer)

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Monthly figures for the 2021-22 rain season (Oct-Oct) thus far:

Boonville (28.09" total)

10.67" Oct
1.99" Nov
9.49" Dec

0.96" Jan
0.13" Feb
1.15" Mar
3.73" Apr

Yorkville (36.96" total)

13.40" Oct
3.4" Nov
12.49" Dec

1.64" Jan
0.24" Feb
1.44" Mar
4.36" Apr

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by Michelle Blackwell

At the Mendocino City Community Services District Board of Directors meeting on Monday night they authorized the payment of around $170,000 dollars to Steven Gomes. Gomes sued the district in an effort to overturn its Ground Water Management Program Ordinance in 2015. He won a partial victory when the courts determined, that at the time the ordinance was originally passed the district had not followed all the public notification rules. The 2019 and 2020 Board of Directors went through the public notification process and reauthorized the Ground Water Management Ordinance in May of 2020. The monies spent to defend the district against Gomes suit and now to pay for his attorney fees will reduce the district’s ability to maintain its facilities according to Superintendent Ryan Rhoades.

In May of 2021, Rhoades said the main attorney defending the Gomes cases has charged the district $42,398.50 since 2018 and he estimated the district’s general council cost exceeded $104,000 over a six-year period. Rhoades did not have the figures the district has spent since May of 2021 at Monday night’s meeting. However, adding what we know, the district will have spent well over $316,000 to defend groundwater management. Rhoades also says Gomes has filed a subsequent lawsuit against the district.

Restaurants and bars that have added occupancy space since the onset of the pandemic, may see a large increase in their charges and other requirements as the district reviews their square footage and applies it to their bills. Both sewer charges and groundwater fees are determined on square footage. The district may also require these businesses prove they have sufficient water supply to maintain the additional square footage, which could require a hydrology study. The problem was brought up by board member Maggie O’Rourke who is concerned that the “temporary” facilities are becoming a permanent fixture in Mendocino and that the County is not moving to address the issue. The tents have also drawn complaints from residents at the Mendocino Historical District meetings according to board member Christin Aranguren. The groundwater management committee members, Aranguren and Jim Sullivan will review the situation and make recommendations to the board. They are planning a public meeting for the second week of May.

Several members of the public attended the Monday night meeting. Judy Steele and Tom Tetzlaff complained about the cost of certified mail to notify residents of the Stage 4 drought. Rhoades also noted that many residents contacted the district to complain about the need to stand in line at the post office. Rhoades confirmed that the use of certified mail is required by both the current and previous ordinances whenever the district declares a Stage 3 or 4 drought. Tetzlaff also complained about groundwater management in general sitting his own research that it is not effective. The board invited Tetzlaff to attend the next update on the groundwater management program where he can ask his questions. He can also review the most recent groundwater update presentation on the MCCSD website.

Water supply

October 1, 2021, was the beginning of a new water year. As of April 22, 2022, rainfall totals for the current rain year were 27.11 inches or about ten inches below normal for this time of year. For the April reporting period, MCCSD documented 4.83 inches of rain, while the average for April is 2.96 inches. The unusual rain in April was not enough to change the drought status.

The average depth of Mendocino’s water table on April 22, 2022, was measured at 14.21’, compared to 16.54’ in April of 2021. The depth is the average distance from the surface of the earth to the water from 24 monitoring wells. A higher number indicates less water.

The district remains in Stage 4 drought.

Stage 4 Drought

• 40% mandatory reduction in water usage of allotments. The following items are prohibited; Indiscriminate running of extracted groundwater that is wasteful and without reasonable purpose. Allowing extracted groundwater to spill into streets, curbs, or gutters. Using extracted groundwater in any manner that results in runoff beyond the immediate area and intended purpose of use. Watering to establish new lawns and other high water demand (non-Xeric) landscaping

• Designated irrigation times and an irrigation audit for landscape maintenance.

• No vehicle, RV or boat washing except with a hand-held bucket or hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle

• Prohibition on refilling of hot tubs, pools decorative fountains, or ponds.

• Hosing down exterior surfaces and structures is prohibited except as needed for health and safety reasons.

• Drinking water served at restaurants only upon request

• Recommend use of paper plates at restaurants to avoid dishwashing.

• Moratorium on new groundwater extraction permits for new development, expansion of existing use, and changes of use, which require a hydrological study. All developed properties are required to have a permit in place.

• No potable water obtained from the MCCSD groundwater supply may be used for soil compaction or dust control during construction activities.

• Prohibitions on aquifer pump tests.

MCCSD will issue a warning for the first offense, and assess penalties for repeat offenders of $100 for the second offense and $250 for the third offense.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Piccolotti Ranch, 14 Miles up Big River, 1931

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by Sarah Reith

…On Wednesday, Interim CEO Darcie Antle sketched out a process for organizations to make their case for winning some of the money: send an email to by May 23. The Board of Supervisors will set aside time during the budget hearings on June 7 and 8 to consider proposals. No public input sessions have been planned. … But almost $370,000 was spent to remodel the Board of Supervisors chambers, while another $35,370 has been committed to purchasing seven metal detectors.…

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Achilles is a 1-1/2 year old Dogo Argentino who is playful, has a gentle mouth, and loves people. This cuddle bug is treat-motivated and smart - he learned "sit" and how to catch treats in the air in just a few minutes. He has a high level of energy, but at the same time is attentive and comes when called. Achilles is a dog who thinks every human is a friend. He’s learning skills, improving his leash manners, and getting comfortable in a new environment. This handsome guy is looking for a home with humans who have Dogo knowledge and experience, as well as time for training, fun, and affection. Any kids in his new home should be over 12 with an understanding and respect for dogs. Achilles weighs 76 pounds.

If you can’t adopt right now, consider fostering. Our website has information about our Foster Program. And don’t forget our on-going Spring Dog And Cat Adoption Events at the Ukiah and Ft. Bragg Shelters! While you’re at our website, check out all of guests, services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.

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LAKE COUNTY EARTHQUAKE: The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.5 magnitude earthquake early Saturday centered in Lake County. The quake hit about 4.2 miles from Cobb, 13 miles southwest of Clearlake and 15 miles north-northeast of Healdsburg. The earthquake struck at 10:18 a.m. Saturday. 

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The Piccolotti Family c. 1930

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Attorneys for the grower plaintiffs had argued they've got more evidence to show and urged the judge to keep their case alive.

by Maria Dinzeo

A federal judge shot down claims that a cadre of corrupt law enforcement officials conspired to extort cash and cannabis from Northern California pot farmers under the guise of enforcing marijuana laws.

In a ruling late Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston called the complaint “larded with conclusory and speculative allegations,” about a complex hub and spoke racketeering conspiracy with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office at the center.…

FORMER SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN comments on the Federal Judge’s ruling: “As Judge Illston noted, ‘The allegations, though lengthy and quite interesting, are speculative and conclusory and just don't amount to a RICO [Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization) claim.’ In other words, it's really hard to win a case when you have no evidence to support your claims.”

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photo by Renee Lee

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CAR RAMS SKUNK TRAIN, no foul play suspected

Friday afternoon at around 1200 hours the Fort Bragg Officers were dispatched to a traffic collision in the 500 block of North Main St. It was reported that a vehicle had struck the train as it crossed the roadway.

Officers arrived on scene and observed a vehicle on the west side of Main St. near the crossing gates by the railroad tracks. The train was stopped past the intersection of Franklin at Fir St.

This collision is still under investigation, but it appears a female adult suffered a medical emergency while driving southbound on Main St. The vehicle crossed over the northbound lane and drove on the east sidewalk of Main St., colliding with the last rail passenger car of the train as it just passed across Main St. eastbound with outbound passengers. 

The train had just left the station with passengers. No injuries were reported by any passengers.

The train was backed to the station since the rail passenger car suffered significant damages.

The driver of the passenger car was assisted from her car by Fort Bragg Fire personnel and transported by Fort Bragg Ambulance to Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital for medical treatment. It does not appear the driver suffered any life-threatening injuries; the vehicle sustained major damage and was towed from the collision scene. As stated, this collision is still under investigation.

(Fort Bragg Police Presser)

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KATHY WYLIE: This evidently works: Time for my yearly “hornets nest”. Take any brown paper bag (doesn’t matter if it has writing in it), fill it up with plastic bags, tie the top and hang it anywhere near your pool or patio. Bees and wasps think it is a hornet’s nest and will never come around it again. Been doing this for years and it works great without killing the bees!

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I can't remember his name, but some years ago, this man wrote in every week commenting on that week’s AVA; I fear his "disease" was infectious. What inspired me to write this week was reading "Hope For The Palace" by Mike Geniella; it reminded me of my experience many years ago with the Caspar Inn.

When I looked at the building, it was a TOTAL wreck. The roof was leaking, the pier and post foundation had failed years before, the floors sagged, one walked outside and down a breezeway to the men's, the ten rooms upstairs were heated by a small unvented propane heater in the hallway, the septic system was a joke, the entire electrical system was a hazard with circuits blowing constantly and I could go on (and on). I do recognize that it was a "functioning" business. I had been buying and repairing/remodeling, houses then reselling or renting them for a few years. Leaving the actual operation of a bar, restaurant, sometimes music venue and rooming house to one side, the physical issues, like Ms. Shankar's reported attitude toward the Palace Hotel, I believed the Inn could be transformed into a functional building housing a viable business.

This will probably sound unbelievable given the current functioning of Mendocino County government, but not having anywhere near enough money, or access to it and knowing that I considered the building, restaurant and bar to be inoperable in their current condition, I went to Planning and Building and told them that I was thinking about buying the Caspar Inn (which had been on the market for some time), but that it was in serious need of repair and upgrades to make it "sano," safe and decent. Then I said that since I wanted to do everything that needed to be done "by the book" that there was a problem. If I applied for a permit to fix something, and they required me to bring the building up to code, I wouldn't buy it, but I wanted to start with a proper foundation, upgrading the septic, knocking out some internal walls, and redoing the downstairs electrical and plumbing. And that I had not gotten any estimates (implying licensed contractors), so I didn't know if I had or could raise enough money to do the minimum that I needed to do before I could open the doors and welcome people without shame. The planner hesitated, then asked me to give him a couple of minutes and disappeared into the back room. 

He came back with the head coastal building inspector and they told me okay under one condition, anything you touch is brought up to code. I believe such a scenario would be 100% impossible today. During that and for the next few years, whenever a contractor went into the Building Department to pull a permit, whether for rewiring the upstairs, building a water storage tank or redoing the bathrooms, it was “pay the money, walk out with the permit.” When the building inspectors came, they looked at the work covered by the permit and went no further; no looking around the corners; they were helpful and cooperative. I can remember once the inspector said something like 'if you ever decide to do something about that, it's easier and cheaper if you....' As I said, I can't imagine this scenario happening today.

Ms. Shankar will have to deal with not only the county, but the city of Ukiah. I admire her "can do" attitude and wish her the best of luck. I also appreciated Anne Fashauer's article and hope she doesn't have the experience that I did a few years ago when the listing had an abbreviated inspection period. I put in a full price offer with a longer, but less than 30 day inspection period which was counter-offered. I smelled a rat; when my agent dug deeper and found an undisclosed pest (termite) report from a year before for upwards of $50,000 and that a second report had been ordered that was due before my inspection period ended, but after theirs, I withdrew my offer. So I would add to Anne's advice, if you are feeling pressure from the seller or the seller's agent, back off.

Peter Lit 


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YOUTH WANTS TO KNOW, Mike Williams wonders, “It would be interesting for regular readers of the daily on-line edition to know how it all comes together. When does the Editor or the Major begin the process? Who assembles the content? When does the daily edition go live? How many combined hours go into a typical edition? Are there others behind the scene?”

THE PROCESS is unending, and begins every morning at dawn when the editor prufs (newspaper shorthand for proof-read) the on-line edition, which has been posted around midnight by The Major. The Editor notes the most egregious errors and sends them on to another crucial early bird, Mike Kalantarian, for correction. (Mike lives in Navarro.)

THE EDITOR takes all of the day shift, which begins around 5am and ends around 9pm, assembling the cyber-edition as he goes. Of course there is much unrelated activity and even bursts of merriment in between what may seem like a grueling regimen on the face of it. 

THE MAJOR, whose day begins at 9am, posts the cyber edition between 11pm and 1am. He has responsibility for the night shift, but backing up the whole cyber-show, day in and day out, all day every day, is Mike Kalantarian, the AVA's crack web guy and all-round tech expert who also handles web subscriptions which, lately, have outstripped the paper-paper's subscribers.

I DON'T THINK it is mere braggadocio to say that the cyber-edition of the AVA has become Mendocino County's morning newspaper. We've been told that often enough to believe it is true, and the cyber-subscription numbers bear it out, making me confident we have more subscribers overall than, say, Philo's NPR affiliate, for handy local example. But then we're the only daily newspaper operation in the county, although there are a number of facebook ops and a couple of soporific kind of, sort of on-line papers like the Mendocino Voice. 

AT THE END of a cyber-week — Sunday 5pm — a certain amount of copy is assembled for the Thursday print edition, which is packed off to the super-competent Renee Lee (of Boonville) by The Major, who has sent her what he estimates to be 12-pages (typically) of copy for her to array in a paper-paper format. Renee then sends it back early Tuesday morning to The Editor and The Major for a final go-over before she dispatches it in pdf files to Folger Graphics in Hayward, from where it is retrieved in neatly tied bundles early Thursday morning by Zack Anderson, retired filmmaker — Will, Windows on the World, Fujimori, Pig Hunt — who drives it to Boonville where it is packaged for postal delivery hither, thither and yon

KEEPING a vigilant eye on both the print and cyber productions is Ling Anderson, whose canny fiscal magic has kept the operation solvent over the many years. Because the AVA is largely a geriatic enterprise, how much longer it can be kept alive is, of course, unknown. It requires extremely uptight, ocd personality types to endlessly roll the AVA rock up the hill, but those personality types are not only hard to find, they're even harder to find when recompense is minimal.

A STRANGE STORY out of Willits sheds light on a family of con artists bilking Mendocino County residents out of their cold, hard cash (and sometimes…their chickens): "The Willits Chicken Con: A Woman Lends Her Poultry to a Stranger, Gets a Gold Necklace for Collateral, Hasn’t Seen the Swindler Since."

THIS WEEK’S LETTER TO “TERRY,” purportedly is speaking for “retired employees of MCOE.” It is passed along as if it's truthful by Nicole Glentzer, candidate for County Superintendent of Schools:

Dear Terry,

We are writing today with an important personal message about the future of the Mendocino County schools and ask you for your help.

As retired employees of the Mendocino Office of Education we know firsthand that who holds the office of Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools has an enormous impact on every school district and charter school in Mendocino County.

We also know that the last four years have been especially packed with challenges: fires, floods, staffing shortages, and covid-19 adaptations.

These have been monumental hurdles for our schools and they need support. Unfortunately, the current County Superintendent has been unable to adequately provide that support.

When our schools needed developed covid protocols to safely reopen for in person learning, the County Superintendent was not prepared to offer support. School leaders were left to fend for themselves. School districts in other counties were able to rely upon their County Superintendent for timely information and templates. Schools in Mendocino County did not receive this support.

The simple truth is that we need new leadership at Mendocino County Office of education and Nicole Glentzer is right for the job. Nicole's experience as a paraprofessional, teacher, coach, administrator, and parent gives her the insight that is necessary to understand our challenges and she has a proven track record of working collaboratively with the unions, parents, students, administrators, and state leaders.

Through her 26-year career in education, Nicole Glentzer has built trusting relationships and worked collaboratively to overcome challenges. We need a county leader who will build bridges, not walls.

ED NOTE: Another straight-up lie from the candidate whom, one would expect from a school leader, would have at least plausible regard for the truth. Superintendent Hutchins has replied previously to this libel circulated by Mrs. Glentzer, and we re-post it a second time here: 

INCUMBENT Superintendent Michelle Hutchins Responds: 

"…The number of meetings I organized shows she is mistaken. During the first two months of the pandemic, I facilitated meetings between school personnel and the county public health office every day for the first two months. Afterwards, I facilitated a weekly meeting, totaling 125 meetings in all. Additionally, the school superintendents who support my opponent wanted to exclude charter and private schools from these meetings. But I refused; every student needs to be represented, and every student needs to be safe.

With rapidly changing direction from the State of California, sometimes daily, I sent out over 195 emails explaining these changes to district personnel. I received countless accolades from teachers, staff, and superintendents for the speed of information they received, from me, to protect our children. My office also delivered over 45 tons of protective equipment to our schools in 2020.

In collaboration with their community, parents, and unions, I insisted that every school develop a plan to meet the state requirements, knowing that each school district had unique needs.

My office also provided material resources to support schools in reopening to in-person learning, and it is well documented through newspaper articles and KZYX radio shows.

My opponent’s claims that districts had to go outside or around Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) to get the services they needed is a complete misrepresentation of what is actually a very strong relationship with neighboring counties for bettering the environment for all our students. Contrary to her claim, MCOE supported 37 local educational agencies and received compliments from the State as well as local public health for our level of support and collaboration with schools.

My opponent is either ignorant of what a County Superintendent does or is deliberately exploiting everyone's frustration with the pandemic to advance her campaign. Sadly, this only insults and hurts the hard-working people at MCOE.

Although I am elected official, I am not a “politician.” In fact, it would be improper for me to solicit endorsements from people who work for the districts and whose paychecks I write. I have, however, been endorsed by Sen. Mike McGuire, Assembly Member James Wood, and the unprecedented endorsement by every independently elected member of the County Board of Education and a growing number of prominent community members."

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Jonah Raskin: I met a young Asian woman on the streetcar a few days ago. She did a sketch of me which I am attaching.

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Two Russian missiles struck Kyiv during a visit by the UN chief, Ukrainian officials said.

The West believes the battles for the besieged port of Mariupol and other areas in the east and south may determine the war’s outcome, as Russia continues its onslaught.

Moscow regards winning the “Battle for Donbas” as crucial if it is to achieve its stated objective of securing control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east, the UK’s defense ministry said. “Fighting has been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, with an attempted advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk,” it said on Twitter.

Five towns in Ukraine’s southeastern Luhansk region were shelled overnight, a defense official said.

A checkpoint at a village in Russia’s Kursk region bordering Ukraine was shelled on Friday, the region’s governor said. This comes days after blasts were reported by three Russian provinces bordering Ukraine.

Russia also said it used a diesel submarine in the Black Sea to strike Ukrainian military targets with Kalibr cruise missiles, the first time Moscow has announced the use of its submarine fleet to hit its neighbor.

Ukraine has suffered serious losses but Moscow’s forces have lost many more soldiers, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video posted online.

Meanwhile, the US Congress passed lend-lease legislation that will make it easier to export military equipment to Ukraine, reviving a World-War-II-era US weapons financing program.

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After a long, two year hiatus, we're finally back and better than ever! Join Whitesboro Grange on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 4-7PM for our bi-monthly Spaghetti Dinner Night!

For only $10 (adults), and $5 (kids 6-12) you'll get all the salad, spaghetti, garlic bread and dessert you can eat. How much better can it get?

Your friends and neighbors will be there too! Live out of the neighborhood?

That's OK - there's no strangers here. If you walk in and no one knows your name they will soon! We're a very friendly bunch. PLUS where else can you get such a great meal for only $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and FREE for children under 6.

Although masks will not be required, we will provide a protected outdoor dining area for those who prefer to do so.

Grange proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations such as the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, and food banks.

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Specs' is a rundown bar AKA 12 Adler Museum in North Beach directly across Columbus Ave from City Lights. Wednesday nights a bunch of poets, musicians, artists, friends (in short, intelligent people) gather around a big table and hang out and carry on and laugh. Not everyone drinks, no one drinks very much. Herpetologists, especially witty ones, are welcome. We won't be there this Wednesday, but we're there all other Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 or so.

Byron Spooner

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This letter has been published in local papers and online forum. It illuminates my endorsement of 5th District candidate John Redding; and contains some robust criticism of the incumbent Ted Williams who was my 2018 opponent before the stroke took me out of the race.

I wish to weigh in my thoughts on the upcoming 5th District Supervisor’s race, I will do this in part by reflecting back to my 2018 experience before my stroke took me out of the running.

As many of you know Ted Williams and I were in the November run off, after surviving a primary which had 5 candidates, Ted and I had been strong allies in the past, both of us with the Albion Little River Fire Protection District he as Chief and me as Board President. 

When we found ourselves as opponents for this seat, many in our small coastal community were quite conflicted as we had been effective allies, and were both generally viewed positively in our community. I had, at first, assumed that it would be a friendly competition. I was completely mistaken about that. During the campaign I was deeply, deeply shocked by Ted’s lack of ethics, his lowblow campaign tactics were Machiavellian in every sense of the word; Even though some might call me Chicken Sh%!#! I am not going to list them here as I am eager to not relive 2018 as part of my recovery is moving my life forward not backwards, but the tactics were quite shocking to me, as they revealed a side of the man’s character that I had not seen before.

But also having had first hand experience of what Ted the candidate said during the campaign, I think secures me a unique perspective to commentary.

I find myself deeply disappointed with his performance in the office. Many of the things that Ted campaigned on Ted has never spent the political capital to initiate. For example during the campaign Williams advocated to Legacy Mom and pop Cannabis growers that he would simplify the permitting process. If my memory serves me he actually called for a one page application and a $25 fee. I have spoken with several legacy growers while considering my endorsement, and all of them are suffering, and many have just quit, these growers have been the social and economic backbone of many of our communities for decades, None of them feel served by our County, and certainly while Williams seemed friendly towards small growers when he was seeking their vote, has not expended any political capital for them since, I am universally informed.

During the 2018 campaign at a candidate forum in Elk, Ted called for using recycled plastic in the road base to alleviate costs, leaving aside the issue of putting plastics in a road bed alongside an ocean that already suffers from a toxic load of micro plastics , I am not aware of any revolutionary initiative on Ted’s part to improve our suffering county roads.

Housing- during the 2018 campaign Williams called for using 3D printers to make places for the unhoused, it might have gotten him a few votes at the time and helped cultivate and cement his image as the smart, youthful energetic guy who was gonna get things done, but yet again I am unaware of any significant initiative on his part in this area for 4 years. During the campaign Ted made a interesting and funny video decrying County incompetence and lethargy, he now appears willing to settle into the Lethargy he once decried… and promised to change.

My experience is Williams is more interested in getting your vote than working on your issue

If we are to come together as a community we need people with integrity to be our leaders, and that’s why I am endorsing candidate John Redding for 5th District County Supervisor.John has extensive personal and professional experience that will benefit our county. I very much appreciate his call for the County to actively engage in Economic Development. His call to appoint an Economic Development Coordinator is an exemplary and clearly overdue proposal, and he pledges to work with Community Trusts to help alleviate our housing crisis, which is growing worse with each passing day.

As I have gotten to know John I find him to be a smart , sensitive, and responsive person, and I believe the people of the 5th will find him the same. There is much to recommend John for the position. learn more about him at

Whatever your position is on this race, I look forward to working with you all as we pull together to make our County a wonderful place to live work, and play. Thank you

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg, Ca.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 30, 2022

Aguirre, Barger, Brooks, Devine

RICARDO AGUIRRE, Shafter/Ukiah. Conspiracy.

ALEXANDER BARGER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

LAWRENCE BROOKS, Fort Bragg. Drinking in public, disorderly conduct-intoxication by drug with alcohol.

CALEB DEVINE-GOMES, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

Dixon, Fahey, Gonzalez

CECIL DIXON JR., Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

CORINNA FAHEY, Manchester. Failure to appear.

VICENTE GONZALEZ, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

Green, Ivchenko, Lockett, Magana

RUSSELL GREEN, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.

ANTON IVCHENKO, Los Angeles/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

MICHAEL LOCKETT, Ukiah. County parole violation, failure to appear.

LUIS MAGANA-ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Martinez, McCormick, Williams

FERNANDO MARTINEZ-ORTIZ, Willits. Domestic abuse, resisting.

RICHARD MCCORMICK JR., Ukiah. Unemployment insurance fraud, paraphernalia, false personation of another, perjury, conspiracy, probation revocation.

DONDRE WILLIAMS, Sylania, Georgia/Ukiah. Attempted possession of marijuana for sale, possession of money for use…

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Free speech is free speech. And social media has nothing to do with that. “Free speech” is not social media’s product; user data sold to advertisers is the product. Contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, Twitter is not a “town square” and social media in general is a horrible format for debating issues vital to humanity’s future. One of the biggest mistakes our “leaders” have made over the last decade is to use social media as a proxy for the electorate, apparently assuming that it accurately reflects the electorate. But it doesn’t. It reflects the talking points of the loudest and most persistent yellers and those with the most “followers”. Most Americans aren’t even on Twitter. Social media is not democratic, never has been, and probably never will be. This argument that it has anything to do with free speech is a big fat red herring.

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If the orange monster was still president, the current Ukraine situation would not be happening. When Putin saw Biden in person and felt the corrupt vibes something snapped and the world was there to be taken.

Chinese take note. I'm not a big fan of the orange monster. But what a huge improvement over decades of parasites and idiots. Someone in this paper pointed out that with these types of dictators it's a prison yard mentality and that is exactly right.

Biden is embarrassing every time he talks in public. Did people actually elect this corrupt basket case?

Will Putin use nukes in his own part of the world and breathe the fallout? Or is it just "bully talk"? Can the hamster talk tough to the cobra?

Did people really vote for this guy?

Orange monster has an abrasive personality and that's just what we need when dealing with the bad boys of the world.

Remember the parasites tried to impeach him three times unsuccessfully. You may ask yourself what is a parasite? A parasite is a person who attaches themselves to the government system of taxation and becomes rich and powerful through no work or risk or productivity, but rather simply by being a member of a group of other parasites. Our state and county government are good examples of parasites who mostly regulate for a living at huge expense to the people who actually work.

I can see the possibility of losing our country with parasites in charge. What happens when Putin attacks Poland?

We will deploy the transgender army. Oh, I can see Putin shaking in his boots.

Tom Madden


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Dear Editor,

Everyone is rightly tortured, along with the Ukrainian people, by the genocidal bombing and missile strikes of Putin’s Red Army. How long until Mr. Putin comes to his senses, or is replaced as Russia’s autocrat, and halts the meaningless slaughter of civilians? How much more money, arms, and volunteer soldiers will the West have to expend? At this point in time, nobody knows.

Recall Paul Simon’s hit song (from the late 70s or early 80s?), “Slip Slidin’ Away!” One line went something like this, “God has His plan, it’s unknown to mortal man “Slip Slidin Away," etc.

God still has a plan for Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, NATO, and President Biden, too. But at this point-and probably for some time to come-we must pray for peace and a truce which is fair.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

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Spring Grove School Students, Albion, 1935

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Here's the recording of last night's (2022-04-29) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA):

Thanks to Hank Sims for all kinds of tech help over the years, as well as for his fine news site:

And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided well over an hour of the above 7.5-hour show's most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return. Though I do pay $25 annually for full access to all articles and features, and you can too. As well as go to, click on the big red heart and give what you can. Also email me your work on any subject and I'll read it on the radio this coming Friday night.

Besides All That, 

At you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

The creators of our simulated existence want feedback. This is your chance to weigh in, and read the feedback of your fellow simulated entities. (via BoingBoing)

1908 X-ray photographs of what a corset does to your ribs.

Mr. Deer. "The story is narrated in an unknown time, in a ruined modern subway. People in this society have animal faces, they have forgotten humanity and ethics and they do not avoid sins. There is someone with a deer face who is trying to reform the society." (via Everlasting Blort)

And sparks.

-- Marco McClean,,

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* * *


by Claire Moses

Our colleague Michael Schwirtz has covered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from its beginning. He has reported from the front on military developments, destruction inside villages and cities in the eastern part of the country and more.

We wanted to give you a glimpse of what day-to-day life has been like for Ukrainians since the war upended their country, so we asked Michael to speak with us. He did while he ate dinner after a day of reporting this past week in Zaporizhzhia, an industrial city of about 750,000 people, 20 or so miles from heavy fighting. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Michael, hi. Thanks for talking during dinner.

When I’m eating, I’m good. It’s a Greek salad. And I’m drinking a beer — it’s a small thing, but in the beginning of the war there was an alcohol ban in the entire country. People were really disciplined about it. Everyone thought Russia was going to attack at any moment and they had to be ready to fight, and the ban was part of that. A lot of people had acquired guns.

I’m not sure why they decided they don’t need a ban on alcohol right now. Maybe it’s because the war has slid into a rhythm that people have grown to understand.

What else was the invasion like in the beginning?

It was terrifying and eerie and confusing. There were airstrikes and artillery attacks, and no one knew what was going on. Cities shut down. On the first day, I was in Sloviansk, in the east. I was looking for food around 8 p.m. Immediately, everything went black, possibly to make targeting harder for Russian artillery and aviation.

What do Ukrainians do with their time now?

Many people aren’t working. There are volunteers everywhere. There’s a huge volunteer operation to make sure troops are comfortable, providing food, sewing flak jackets and clothing and bedding. Some people are donating their cars. They’re raising money for night-vision goggles and drones. It’s a massive operation.

There’s also this whole countrywide effort to help out people who can’t help themselves. I came across these teenagers packing boxes that city officials were delivering to people holed up in basements. It’s really impressive to see.

This is how people spend their days. There’s nothing in this country other than war. If you turn on the TV, it’s about the war around the clock. Occasionally, the news takes a break for patriotic songs performed by Ukrainian singers.

That sounds very patriotic.

Patriotism became more intense after 2014, but now it’s inescapable. For example, I can’t get the Ukrainian national anthem out of my head. You hear it in cars, in shops, in the grocery store. It’s not like people stop and put their hands on their hearts. But I’m going around humming it.

What about electricity, heat, basic needs?

It depends on the place. On the front, in the east, there’s very little — no power, no gas, no water. I was in Avdiivka recently, a town on the front line, where a lot of people were in basements all day long. Everyone’s pooling all their resources. For power, people have generators.

In those places, how do people shower or use the bathroom?

In Avdiivka, there’s no running water. Officials have to ship it in. I went to this one apartment complex where 200 people were using one toilet, and they flushed it by taking water and doing it manually. It’s a grim existence. And that’s not even talking about the constant shelling.

What about niceties many of us take for granted, like Wi-Fi?

In a lot of places, the internet is still working; phones are still working. In Avdiivka, city officials have put up solar-powered charging stations where people charge their phones.

There’s nothing you can do in your apartment. When people did come out, they’d stay in their buildings’ courtyards. They are one of the few places left to socialize in frontline cities and villages. People were cooking food over an open fire for all the neighbors.

How would you describe the mood of Ukrainians?

People miss their former life — the lives they’ll probably never get back, at least not in the same way.

They’re in mobilization mode. Either they’re volunteering or fighting or taking care of their relatives. I don’t know what people are doing in moments of self-reflection. But when they’re out and about, you don’t see a lot of despair. Everyone’s so stoic, even in the midst of a bombing.

They seem focused.

Nobody is really talking about anything else. At one point, I was at this volunteer distribution point at an ice rink. A local official was overseeing it. He’s a fan of American football, and he asked me how to get tickets for the Super Bowl. It’s his big dream to go; he’s turning 50 next year. That was the first conversation I had with someone making plans, and he was making big plans. It was jarring to be reminded of life outside war.

(New York Times)

* * *

* * *


by Georgetown University Medical Center

Researchers anticipate that as the earth’s temperature continues to warm, wild animals will be compelled to migrate their habitats – most likely to areas with dense human populations – drastically raising the danger of a viral jump to humans, which might lead to the next pandemic.

This connection between climate change and viral transmission is described by an international research team led by scientists at Georgetown University in a paper entitled “Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk” which was published on April 28, 2022, in the journal Nature.

In their study, the researchers conducted the first comprehensive assessment of how climate change will restructure the global mammalian virome. The work focuses on geographic range shifts—the journeys that species will undertake as they follow their habitats into new areas. As they encounter other mammals for the first time, the study projects they will share thousands of viruses.

They argue that these shifts provide greater opportunity for viruses such as Ebola or coronaviruses to emerge in new places, making them more difficult to track, and into new types of animals, making it easier for viruses to jump across a “stepping stone” species into humans.

“The closest analogy is actually the risks we see in the wildlife trade,” says the study’s lead author Colin Carlson, PhD, an assistant research professor at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. “We worry about markets because bringing unhealthy animals together in unnatural combinations creates opportunities for this stepwise process of emergence – like how SARS jumped from bats to civets, then civets to people. But markets aren’t special anymore; in a changing climate, that kind of process will be the reality in nature just about everywhere.”

Of concern is that animal habitats will move disproportionately in the same places as human settlements, creating new hotspots of spillover risk. Much of this process may already be underway in today’s 1.2 degrees warmer world, and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may not stop these events from unfolding.

An additional important finding is the impact rising temperatures will have on bats, which account for the majority of novel viral sharing. Their ability to fly will allow them to travel long distances, and share the most viruses. Because of their central role in viral emergence, the greatest impacts are projected in southeast Asia, a global hotspot of bat diversity.

“At every step,” said Carlson, “our simulations have taken us by surprise. We’ve spent years double-checking those results, with different data and different assumptions, but the models always lead us to these conclusions. It’s a really stunning example of just how well we can, actually, predict the future if we try.”

As viruses start to jump between host species at unprecedented rates, the authors say that the impacts on conservation and human health could be stunning.

“This mechanism adds yet another layer to how climate change will threaten human and animal health,” says the study’s co-lead author Gregory Albery, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology in the Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences.

“It’s unclear exactly how these new viruses might affect the species involved, but it’s likely that many of them will translate to new conservation risks and fuel the emergence of novel outbreaks in humans.”

Altogether, the study suggests that climate change will become the biggest upstream risk factor for disease emergence—exceeding higher-profile issues like deforestation, wildlife trade, and industrial agriculture. The authors say the solution is to pair wildlife disease surveillance with real-time studies of environmental change.

“When a Brazilian free-tailed bat makes it all the way to Appalachia, we should be invested in knowing what viruses are tagging along,” says Carlson. “Trying to spot these host jumps in real-time is the only way we’ll be able to prevent this process from leading to more spillovers and more pandemics.”

“We’re closer to predicting and preventing the next pandemic than ever,” says Carlson. “This is a big step towards prediction—now we have to start working on the harder half of the problem.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and the previous spread of SARS, Ebola, and Zika, show how a virus jumping from animals to humans can have massive effects. To predict their jump to humans, we need to know about their spread among other animals,” said Sam Scheiner, a program director with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the research. “This research shows how animal movements and interactions due to a warming climate might increase the number of viruses jumping between species.”

* * *

North Indian Processional Axe, 1756


  1. Lee Edmundson May 1, 2022

    How many times are you guys gonna reprint Chris Sky Hawk’s letter slamming Ted Williams while endorsing John Redding? Today’s makes three by my count.

    OK. Then how about also reprinting comments to Sky Hawk’s letter? Hmmm?

    • Bruce Anderson May 1, 2022

      We haven’t endorsed Redding, but Williams’ performance in office hasn’t earned him four more years, in our opinion. Of course to rote Democrats like you (also his campaign manager) performance in office doesn’t matter (cf 5th District supervisors over the past forty years and the national Democrat administrations of the past 60 years)

      • Stephen Rosenthal May 1, 2022

        I agree with Bruce. When it comes to voting (among many other things, for that matter), do some research and make up your own mind. Don’t be influenced by political hacks like Edmundson or political quacks like Skyhawk.

        • Bruce McEwen May 1, 2022

          That was the whole idea behind public education: That ye old citizen couldn’t be counted upon to cast a competent vote unless he was educated; ignorant fellows were susceptible to charlatans and shysters; hence, a sound grounding in the humanities would alert the good-intentioned, honest citizen to the snares of sophistry &c. But then the educational system became a jobs-training program, liberal arts tossed aside as dross, and imbeciles who believe Biden stole the election pervade society; the lowest common denominator rules, dude, go figure.

    • Kirk Vodopals May 1, 2022

      I agree. Skyhawk gets more than enough representation on the AVA. And for what reason? Reprinting his political whinings is nauseating. I prefer his stoned musings on mortality and coastal landscapes.

    • Mike J May 1, 2022

      Laughter is great medicine so reprinting even more times than this would be a great public health measure!! This is the county’s morning paper providing awesome public service.

      This county is low in people resources and $$$resources, with 25% vacancy rate in most governing depts, and burdensome state regulations and hoops existing that disable prospects for great governing performance. Williams is deserving of reelection due to performance amidst difficult conditions. The AVA seems especially upset over Ted disturbing the Sheriff yet the Sheriff himself happily endorsed Ted!

  2. Kirk Vodopals May 1, 2022

    Re: Mr. Madden’s comments on The Orange Monster. Are you trying to convince the readers of this fine publication to consider voting for that reprehensible terd because he MIGHT, somehow, by virtue of his incoherent unpredictability, alter the state of war in Ukraine? How desperately stupid do you think we are? Trump has already called the war a genocide. You think he has a coherent strategy? “I’ll march to the Capitol with you.” Mr. Madden, please, get a grip. Biden is half-dead, but Orange Man ain’t the savior. We’ve already seen that shit show. Next candidate please!

    • Marmon May 1, 2022

      You think he has a coherent strategy?

      No, but former secretary of state Mike Pompeo most likely does. Why do you think we’re paying $2 million per month to provide 24-hour security for him. Our enemies fear and hate him.


    • Cotdbigun May 1, 2022

      How desperately stupid do you think we are? You elected Biden !

      • Marmon May 1, 2022

        Joe Biden is an ILLEGITIMATE occupant of the Oval Office


        • chuck dunbar May 1, 2022



          Here are brief excerpts from a fascinating interview of historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat by Michael Kruse–James, please read:

          “…The genius of the “big lie” was not only that it sparked a movement that ended up with January 6 to physically allow him to stay in office. But psychologically the “big lie” was very important because it prevented his propagandized followers from having to reckon with the fact that he lost. And it maintains him as their hero, as their winner, as the invincible Trump, but also as the wronged Trump, the victim. Victimhood is extremely important for all autocrats. They always have to be the biggest victim.

          So the “big lie” maintained Trump’s personality cult versus seeing him as just another president who was voted out of office. Americans traditionally always accepted that when your time is up, no matter how popular you were, you were gone. Trump disrupted that because he’s different from any other president, Republican or Democrat. He’s an authoritarian, and they can’t leave office. They don’t have good endings and they don’t leave properly. I predicted… that he wouldn’t leave in a quiet manner. The “big lie” allowed him to psychologically never leave. So he’s in this kind of limbo. As an authoritarian, his other job has been to make sure to keep hold of the party so no rivals emerge, so that he could [not] be eclipsed by a younger version of himself. ..

          …The big question will be what will happen in the coming months so that he can retain that power because he’s very toxic. There’s always this worry that maybe the investigations will bring more things out, so it’s not a done deal that he will get the nomination. But he’s been remarkably successful in ways that don’t surprise me at all. Because that’s how authoritarians are. They’re personality cults, even if they rule in a democracy like [Italy’s former prime minister Silvio] Berlusconi did. Berlusconi’s personality cult did not deflate until he was convicted, which he eventually was. That’s what it takes. It takes prosecution and conviction to deflate their personality cults…”

          Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University. Her history of modern authoritarianism, “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present,” was published in 2020.
          Politico Magazine, 04/16/2022

        • Kirk Vodopals May 1, 2022

          My Pillow – Palin 2024!

  3. Thank ful May 1, 2022

    Thank you to the AVA crew for all the work you do on the paper! Appreciated :-)

  4. Marmon May 1, 2022


    The two former Rohnert Park policemen indicted in a corruption probe involving the extortion of marijuana couriers have pleaded guilty. Their sentencing keeps getting continued. When this happens it usally means that they are working with the feds for a lesser sentence. I watched the motion to dismiss hearing on Zoom Friday and the plaintiff’s attorney’s argued that the case should not be dismissed based on this development and the fact that they also have discovered new evidence that a Sheriff’s deputy is living on some property guarding a warehouse where the crooked cops have been storing their stolen weed and then having trucked out by a local trucking company to parts unknown at this time. The attorney’s also argued that circumstantial evidence is enough to move a case forward in a civil case and that they would be able to provide direct evidence if they could get to the discovery phase. During the discovery phase, both parties learn what the other knows about the evidence by asking for certain documents, asking for answers to interrogatories, and taking depositions of witnesses who are under oath. I suspect there will be an appeal.


  5. izzy May 1, 2022

    “Free speech is free speech. And social media has nothing to do with that.“

    Neither does the so-called mainstream media, apparently colluding to shut out alternative voices that differ from official talking points, especially if they make sense. The bias is so obvious it’s unmistakable. Now we’re getting a Disinformation Czar added to the Department of Homeland Security, an addled young woman with the TikToks and Tweets to prove it. Obscure corners such as this one still exist, but serious discourse with true opposing views in a broadly public forum is hard to find now.
    At least Musk is an interesting character.

  6. Pat Kittle May 1, 2022

    To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you cannot criticize.

    That sounds reasonable to me, how about you?

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