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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Above Normal | Write-in Candidate | Kid Boosters | Garden Party | Glamper Meeting | Darkroom Access | Hendy Woods | Skeletonizer | Felony Charge | Preserving Rail | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Ukraine | Downtown PA | Drought Measures | Facebook Suggestion | Toss Corktop | Albion Mill | Peb Wonders | Anarchy | Short Fuses | Timber Tide | SF Inequality | Flo Waszach | Cargo Cult | Mendo Alley | Money Reps | Redwood Slabs | Amish Skills | Voting Fairytale | Lotto Life | Filipović

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DRY CONDITIONS AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES are expected through mid week, with the warmest valleys across Lake, eastern Trinity, and southeast Mendocino counties approaching 100 degrees on Wednesday. Otherwise, cooler temperatures are expected Thursday through the weekend, with light rain possible Friday into Sunday. (NWS)

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JUST IN: Trent James, dissident former Mendo cop, was sworn in as an official write-in candidate on Monday, May 23.

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ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER will be at the elementary school this Wednesday, May 25, from 1:20-3:30 to give Covid19 booster vaccines to kids 5-12 years old. A parent or guardian will need to be with the student to receive the vaccine. Students who are unable to get the booster this Wednesday may contact the health center to receive the vaccine at another time. Please bring the existing vaccine card.

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FOR ANYBODY INTERESTED in the the permit request for up to 300 or 500 “glampers" with cars and 13 hours of amplified music on Ray’s Rd. Philo 10 times a year, we are going to hold a meeting at the CSD Board room of the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. in Boonville Thursday evening the 26th at 5:30. The permit applicant has been invited so all aspects of the proposed project hopefully will be covered.

If you would like more information you may call me at 895-2011 or email

(David Severn)

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Love your local park by volunteering for your Hendy Woods State Park! Share your knowledge of the redwoods and love of your local community with visitors from all over the world! The Hendy Woods Community (the non-profit that supports the park) is looking for volunteers in our visitor center and to lead forest walks on Saturdays this summer. In the spring we also need volunteers to help remove invasive plant species - Please let us know if you would like to join our team of volunteers! Email:

Our Website:

FREE ENTRY to Hendy Woods State Park for local residents

On the Second Sunday of every month in 2022, the Hendy Woods Community is covering the Hendy Woods State Park’s Day Use fee ($8) for local residents from the following communities: Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche and Elk - Know your zip code. Enjoy a free visit to the park on us and stroll the old growth redwood groves and beautiful meadows, hike the trails, and unwind along the river! Note: Day use is from sun up to 1 hour after sunset.

The Park Website:

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Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

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DA EYSTER CLARIFIES: Contrary to the claims of a couple of folks who claim to be in the know but are not, defendant Bailey Isaiah Comer, age 22, has been charged with a felony violation of Penal Code section 311.11(a), not a misdemeanor. This fact is easy to confirm on the court’s information portal. The prosecutor handling the case is Asst. DA Dale P. Trigg. The defendant’s defense attorney is Chris Andrian out of Santa Rosa. The next court date is June 6, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Judge Faulder’s Ukiah courtroom for entry of plea.

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North Coast Railroad Authority tracks run past the Eel River. The tracks, which stretch approximately 320 miles from Humboldt to Marin counties, are the site of the proposed Great Redwood Trail project. (Eureka Times-Standard)

A ruling by federal regulators has put a damper on plans to turn 300 miles of rail line from Humboldt County to Marin County into the Great Redwood Trail. The Surface Transportation Board issued a decision Tuesday that it will not prioritize trail use and, in so doing, cast aside the established process for considering offers from the North Coast Railroad Co. and the Mendocino Railway to acquire or subsidize rail service along either the entire corridor or a stretch of the line. The ruling said an offer of financial assistance to acquire or subsidize rail lines “should take priority over a trail use proposal because of the strong congressional intent to preserve rail service wherever possible.”…

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SOME RARE good news out of Ukiah. Ukiah's high school baseball team beat number one seed Marin Catholic, 1-0, in the regional playoffs at Marin Catholic's home field. Ukiah next takes on Northgate, a school somewhere in the deep wilds of the East Bay. 

THE THREE H's — housing, health care, higher education. Past year home prices up 20%, cost of all goods up 8.5%. Define middle class as middle 60% of American income which is $42,000 - $167,000 for family of 3. College tuition and fees are up 64% since 2001.

Baby boomers and years following WWII a period of USA prosperity that will never be replicated.

Very rich favored in our tax codes.

Adults in their 30s and 40s have less buying power than what we baby boomers had at that age. 

Everybody has and wants more but the party's over.

I WONDER if Trent James and his partisans realize that a lot of people have already voted. A write-in attempt at this point, with only a couple of weeks to go, is futile. James seems kinda impulsive. He also seems to have let the attaboys he gets from his videos go to his head. And he hasn't been entirely candid about what happened with him when he re-applied with the Sheriff's Department. He wasn't shafted or blackballed. In fact, according to the department, he didn't complete the full application process. 

WHICH hasn't deterred James' partisans from claiming that he has revealed widespread corruption in the Sheriff's Department. What he's revealed is a lot of old gossip he heard when he functioned as a deputy. We've heard vague allegations of dope rip-offs for years, but never have we been able to substantiate a single one, although it was Kym Kemp out of Garberville and her fearless Redheaded Blackbelt website that revealed the Zeke Flatten story about how two cops from Rohnert Park were shaking down southbound dope couriers from their late night perch at Frog Woman Rock, Mendocino County. The two RP boys got away with it long enough to seriously enrich themselves. It was December of 2017 when they robbed Zeke Flatten of HumCo who would bring them down eventually.

AND I DON'T BELIEVE that these two badged thieves could have gotten away with it for as long as they did without Mendocino County authorities knowing that they often used Frog Woman Rock [Squaw Rock] as their interdiction base. If other cops were involved, I'm sure all will be revealed as the convicted two RP guys bargain for lesser sentences. 

CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN was in Boonville last week to celebrate the Anderson Valley Affordable Housing Initiative Community Project funding, out of which the feds awarded the local charity $400,000 to make an offer on fifties-built apartments on Anderson Valley Way to preserve them for affordable housing. Once known as the Boonville Apartments, and located across the street from the former home of the ava and owned by an Oakland woman who, drunk, once screeched out a threat to murder the editor of Boonville’s beloved weekly, the property will sell for far more than $400,000. The death threat seemed to have its origins in an ancient police report faithfully reported here, and investigated by Deputy Squires, that the property owner’s boy friend had sexually assaulted another guest on the property. As I recall the boyfriend, an MD, was not prosecuted.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 23, 2022

Cook, Duffey, Hardy

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JAMES DUFFEY, Fort Bragg. Robbery, possession of concentrated cannabis, conspiracy.

AARON HARDY, El Sobrante/Fort Bragg. DUI, no license, resisting.

Heathcock, Hoaglin, Hughes

LESLIE HEATHCOCK, Gualala. Domestic battery.

GARRIE HOAGLIN, Covelo. Failure to register as sex offender with prior.

WHITNEY HUGHES, Ukiah. Shopping cart, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Musgrave, Overcast, Sharp


JENNIFER OVERCAST, Roseville/Willits. Failure to appear.

MONTE SHARP, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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As Monday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day: 

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a Russian missile attack last Tuesday killed 87 people in northern Ukraine, reported to be the heaviest death toll so far from a single airstrike since Russia's invasion began three months ago. Zelenskyy did not specify whether casualties in the town of Desna were military or civilians. He disclosed the attack in his video address at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In the speech, Zelenskyy also called for "maximum" sanctions against Russia and invited businesses that are leaving Russia to come to Ukraine. 

The first Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a civilian. Army Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, pleaded guilty last week to fatally shooting an unarmed Ukrainian man in the earliest days of the war. His Ukrainian court-appointed lawyer, who'd argued that Shishimarin acted on orders to kill the man and fired aimlessly, told journalists he would appeal the ruling. Ukrainian officials have said they are investigating more than 11,000 potential Russian war crimes. 

A Russian diplomat at the permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva resigned, saying he has never been "so ashamed" of his country. A letter from veteran diplomatic counselor Boris Bondarev, shared with colleagues and posted on social media, was a rare public rebuke of the Kremlin's war in Ukraine from a Russian government official. Bondarev called the invasion "not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia" as it dashed "all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country."

Starbucks is leaving Russia after 15 years in business, closing all 130 stores. The coffee chain had temporarily shut down its stores in March. It's the second major exit of a global U.S. brand from Russia, after McDonald's last week began "de-arching" its entire chain after 32 years. Starbucks said it will continue paying its nearly 2,000 employees in Russia for six months and help them find new jobs.


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Downtown Point Arena, 1900

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by Kathleen Ronayne

California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened Monday to impose mandatory water restrictions if residents don't use less on their own as a drought drags on and the hotter summer months approach.

Newsom raised that possibility in a meeting with representatives from major water agencies, including those that supply Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area, his office said in a press release. The Democratic governor has avoided issuing sweeping, mandatory cuts in water use and instead favored an approach that gives local water agencies power to set rules for water use in the cities and towns they supply.

January through March typically is when most of California’s annual rain and snow falls, but this year those months were the driest in at least a century. Despite calls for conservation, the state's water use went up dramatically in March — 19% compared to the same month in 2020 — and now Newsom is considering changing his approach.

“Every water agency across the state needs to take more aggressive actions to communicate about the drought emergency and implement conservation measures,” Newsom said in a statement.

California is in its third year of drought and virtually all areas of the state are classified as either in severe or extreme drought.

Newsom last summer called on Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15% by doing things like taking five-minute showers and avoiding baths, only running the washing machine and dishwasher with full loads and limiting water use for cleaning outdoor areas. But residents have fallen far short of the goal.

How soon Newsom could impose mandatory restrictions if conservation doesn't improve wasn't clear. He plans to meet with the water agencies again in two months, his office said. Spokesperson Erin Mellon said the administration would reassess conservation progress in just “a few weeks.” She didn't offer a metric the administration would use to measure.

Newsom has already moved to force more conservation from local water districts. He directed the State Water Resources Control Board to consider a ban on watering of decorative turf, such as grass in office parks, and to force local agencies to step up their conservation efforts.

 After the last drought, the state started requiring cities and other water districts to submit drought response plans that detail six levels of conservation based on how much water is available. Newsom has asked the board to require those districts move into “Level 2” of their plans, which assumes a 20% water shortage.

Each district can set its own rules for “Level 2,” and they often include things like further limiting water use for outdoor purposes and paying people to install more efficient appliances or landscaping that needs less water. They must include a communication plan to urge local residents to use less water.

The board will vote on those measures Tuesday, and they would take effect June 10.

Last week while touring a water recycling plant in Los Angeles County, Newsom spoke about the need to better communicate the need for water conservation with the state's 39 million people. He's included $100 million in his budget for drought messaging.

During the last drought, from 2012 to 2016, former Gov. Jerry Brown issued a mandatory 25% cut in the state's overall water use, and the state water board set requirements for how much each water district had to cut based on their existing water use; districts in which people used more water were asked to cut more. Water agencies could be fined up to $10,000 per day if they didn't comply.

Newsom's current approach gives local water districts some more flexibility, and he's said it's important to recognize different parts of the state have their own water needs.

The state water board has imposed some statewide restrictions such as banning people from watering their lawns for 48 hours after rainstorms and sprinklers from running onto sidewalks. People can be fined $500 per day for violations.

Attendees at the meeting included representatives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Alameda County Water District, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Valley Water, the San Diego County Water Authority, the Association of California Water Agencies, California Urban Water Agencies and the California Municipal Utilities Association. The meeting was not open to the press or public.


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Rep. Mike Thompson has been in Congress for 24 years and never faced a competitive election. In the June 7 primary, we have a chance to change that. In this overwhelmingly Democratic district, Thompson has blown out his Republican opponent every election. He is a member of the conservative Blue Dog caucus, a voting bloc whose members include anti-abortion, anti-immigration representatives who worked with Joe Manchin to block President Joe Biden’s agenda last year. His values are out of step with the median 4th District voter.

We deserve a real choice in November. The best way to do that is to vote for progressive community organizer and business leader Andrew Engdahl in the primary. Because California has a top-two primary system, the first- and second-place candidates will move on to the general election regardless of their party affiliation. With so many Republican candidates running, there is a clear path for Engdahl to move on and make the general election Democrat vs. Democrat.

Ben Bartlett

Santa Rosa

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Albion River and Mill, 1930

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Some mysteries that have occurred to me.

Why do humans not make their own Vitamin C? Nature usually covers the fundamentals. Why is Vit C left out of the equation? Linus Pauling came along and due to his research recommended hourly Vitamin C for optimum health with no down side, since you can piss it out if it's more than needed?

Why do young men at puberty experience an avalanche of testosterone, so much so that studies show they think of sex every few seconds? Is it too much erotic pressure to assimilate given the corresponding immaturity and lack of responsibility? Might it account for some over-aggressiveness in men toward women as well as adolescent talk that has no positive purpose -- take a look at those boobs, etc.? Largely lacking sex education when it's most needed, in junior high and high school, about respectful relations, sexual and otherwise, and how No means No, etc. Is it hidden puritanism that prevents society from encouraging frank discussion among teens?

Pebbles Trippet

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by Elena Kadvany

An employee was working during the lunch rush at Umai Savory Hot Dogs at the Stonestown mall in San Francisco on Friday, May 13, when an angry customer suddenly chucked her drink directly at the staff member and cursed at her.

The Umai customer was upset because the cashier mistakenly charged her for chili cheese fries instead of regular cheese fries, according to owner Dat Thieu. The cost difference: 25 cents.

The customer called the Umai employee a “b—” before walking away and yelling, “sorry, not sorry,” as seen in security camera footage gaining attention on social media. The red drink splattered onto the employee, who stops briefly to wipe her face and clothes with paper towels before returning to work. Other diners look stunned, but don’t intervene.

The employee left work early that day and hasn’t come back since, Thieu said.

The incident speaks to an increasingly tense dynamic between overworked, short-staffed restaurants and customers eager to return to normalcy. Anecdotes about confrontations and even violence over mask mandates and aggressive diners have abounded during the pandemic. An East Bay restaurant drew attention last year after asking customers frustrated by long wait times to “not pull a ‘Karen’ and write us a bad Yelp review.” Last summer, a Massachusetts restaurant temporarily shut down for a “day of kindness” after customers made staff cry. In the Bay Area, restaurants are also getting battered by short staffing, a spike in COVID-19 cases and temporary closures as a result.

It’s not the first time a customer has mistreated an Umai employee. Workers whose first language isn’t English, including this staff member, have especially become targets of irate customers, Thieu said. Since the hot dog chain opened its newest location at Stonestown six weeks ago, he’s seen at least four customers scream at employees who don’t speak English well. An employee at Umai’s Westfield location in downtown San Francisco recently quit after a similar incident. Workers have started crying and asking to leave early after negative interactions with customers.

“For whatever reason, it’s to the point where they’re not human,” Thieu said. “Even (for) my employees that do speak English ... the compassion level is definitely not there anymore.”

At Umai, security cameras show the cashier refunding the angry customer for the fries plus an additional item, but the customer remains agitated. She eventually leaves then comes back a few minutes later and throws her drink cup at the employee’s face.

Thieu said he’s noticed customers becoming more impatient. He’s tried to ameliorate their frustration with wait times with offers of free drinks, which has only upset other customers who aren’t getting a free item.

But it’s Umai’s San Francisco locations in particular where he’s seen abuse of employees who don’t speak English well — more so than at his San Jose restaurant. The San Francisco locations are fast-paced and see higher traffic, he said. The staff member who was accosted last weekend is one of his best employees, he said. She works two jobs: as a cashier at Umai during the day and as a delivery driver for DoorDash at night, he said.

He’s texted her several times since the incident, including offering his support in filing a police report, but she hasn’t responded.

The climate at restaurants right now is one reason it’s so hard to find employees, Thieu said. He often feels more like a therapist than a boss, talking down workers who are upset by customers’ bad behavior. Even an Instagram video of the incident — which Thieu posted in the hope of reminding people to be kind to restaurant workers — drew a complaint from a customer who said they waited half an hour for an order a few weeks ago. Another commenter who identified themselves as a former McDonald’s worker wrote: “This is one reason I’m scared of going back to working retail or food.”

“That old cliche of customers are always right,” Thieu said, “isn’t necessarily always true.”


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by Jonah Raskin

In San Francisco, Baghdad by the Bay Herb Caen called it, Frisco to some but not to others, borders are everywhere. They keep people out and people in. I see them from the Pacific to the Bay and in many of the neighborhoods in-between those two watery boundaries. The other day I walked from the California Pacific Medical Center on upper Van Ness Avenue—a posh section of the city just above the tawdry Tenderloin—all the way to Mission and 30th Street. I went from one civilization to another. The medical center, where my brother Daniel was recovering from heart surgery, is new and spotless with all the latest very expensive medical technology. The nurses are cheerful and vigilant and the doctors are professional. My brother told me, "I feel well taken care of." Indeed he was, though he also complained, predictably, about the lousy quality of the food. I glanced at his tray and decided it was inedible, though I'm sure that a starving person would scarf it down. 

Getting out of the building after my bed-side visit with my brother proved to be easier than getting into the building and navigating its long labyrinth-like corridors. 1101 Van Ness is a fortress with check points at the entrances. No street person could get in, not unless he or she was having a heart attack and even then it would be challenging. The security guards would want to see ID. After I left the hospital and walked downhill, past City Hall and all the elegant buildings where elegant citizens appreciate opera, watch plays and listen to lectures, I entered a kind of no man's land where major streets like Mission and Market intersect and where no one seems to live and work. 

Then, suddenly I crossed a border and entered what felt like a Third World country, and that had a certain charm and its own personality. In a mere 45-minute walk I went from posh to poverty. The sidewalks on Mission Street on that Saturday afternoon were jammed with people wearing rags, tattered and faded T shirts and jeans and often without footwear. San Franciscans have observed this scene for so long that it has often become invisible, though not for me as a new arrival in the city. I was not afraid. No one menaced me and I did not see a gun or a knife, or any real weapons, though items for sale on the sidewalk looked like they could quickly become weaponized. 

The items—clothing, dishes, knives, forks and spoons, as well as books—looked like they had been used and reused again and again until they had fallen into the hands of the Third World salesmen and women in the Mission. Garbage littered the sidewalks and the streets. Most of the restaurants and cafes were closed and at the open-air fruit stands, pineapples and papayas ripened in the hot afternoon sun. At 16th Street and Mission I hopped on the number 49 bus with standing room only. Unlike smooth Van Ness, Mission Street in the Mission District is pockmarked. The number 49 rattled along block after block and I felt my bones rattle. At 24th Street and Mission I left the bus and walked toward Bartlett Street, hoping to enter the Mission branch of the public library, but it was closed. Apparently, artists were putting the finishing touches to a new work. I told myself that I'd come back and see it. 

As almost everyone who has visited San Francisco knows, murals are one of the saving graces of the Mission. Indeed, art flourishes in this Third World oasis. On the walls of buildings I saw and admired the likes of Santana and Mother Teresa who could have ministered to the poor and the homeless. At Arizmendi Bakery on Valencia where I often buy bread and scones, a neighborhood which is rapidly becoming gentrified, rents have been rising, I bought a soft drink and two large cookies to bring to Jeanne, a photographer who has documents the lives of San Franciscans for decades, and Ken a retired school teacher. 

Over meatballs and spaghetti and a salad, with talked about art and poverty, real estate and the soul of the city. After we ate all the cookies, I climbed into Ken's old car. On the way over one of San Francisco's famed hills, the headlights of his car illuminated three or four men who were frantically dumpster diving. They seemed to be finding things of value, at least to them. Perhaps some of them might end up for sale on the sidewalks of the city.

A week or so before my journey on Mission Street, I visited the Tenderloin Museum on Eddy, where a sign read "If a city doesn't have a Tenderloin, it's not a real city." I don't know if that's true or not, but almost all cities in the US have once thriving neighborhoods where the homeless cluster for companionship and use drugs like deadly heroin and Fentanyl. I hope San Franciscans don't forget the homeless, and I also hope that visitors take a close look at the Mission District and the Tenderloin as well as see the art at MOMA, eat at a Chinese restaurant and browse at City Lights Bookstore. When I moved to the city a year ago, a longtime resident told me "What a wonderful opportunity you have." She was right, though it took a while for me to see the treasures in the grit and grime. 

My long time comrade, Lincoln Bergman, emailed me to say, "I'm one of those kids who grew up in the city and learned to disdain the term 'Frisco.' Once Coit Tower rose in the skyline. Now, after Manhattanization numerous phallic erections scrape the sky. A once strong union town is no more, with many Black and less affluent folks forced to leave. Still, one of the most beautiful cities in the world with lots of great people, art and diversity."

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Flo "The Natural" Waszach, Paladini Bowling Team, Fort Bragg, 1953

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What you are seeing with your own eyes can best be described as a Cargo Cult. The conveniences that modern technology brings along for the ride are going away. Travel has become exponentially more difficult. The ability to just open your mouth and shovel in whatever you desire is going away. The wonder drugs that made the world safe for our grandparents are going away. You get the point.

Technology allowed for us to act like tattooed obese land whales with purple hair in a land where critical thinking was openly mocked. Everyone can see that tide receding but they all believe that if they just double down on being stupid and retarded then, just like with the Cargo Cults, the technology will remain.

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Mendo Alley

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AOC: Let’s talk about the House of Representatives’ 2-year terms. The reason members are up for re-election every two years is so that the House can be the most responsive body to the people. And while that responsiveness is healthy for our democracy, our current campaign finance system has created a system in which members of Congress are constantly running for re-election. Oftentimes, House members only really have the first 6 months of a term to focus on governing, because after that, they must begin fundraising for their elections. That is crazy.

Unlike most other members, Alexandria doesn’t spend her time calling donors or attending high-dollar fundraisers. Thanks to you — our grassroots supporters — she is able to spend her time on legislating rather than fundraising. Even though we don’t fundraise like other candidates, we still have the same election timelines. Can you chip in $15.41 (our average contribution) to AOC today?

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Loading Boards, Mendocino Mill, 1930

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by James Kunstler

Now, we’re finding out the hard way how much daily life must change, and is changing, and how disorderly that process is in every way from the imperative daily life adjustments to our spiritual attitudes about them…

When I wrote The Long Emergency nearly twenty years ago, I never thought that, once it got going, our government would work so hard to make it worse. My theory then was just that government would become increasingly bloated, ineffectual, impotent, and uncomprehending of the forces converging to undermine our advanced techno-industrial societies. What I didn’t imagine was that government would bring such ostentatious stupidity to all that.

Obviously, there was some recognition that ominous changes are coming down. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have heard so much chatter about alt energy, “sustainable growth,” “green” this-and-that. But the chatter was more symptomatic of wishful thinking for at least a couple of reasons: 1) mostly it ignored the laws of physics, despite the fact that so many people involved in enterprises such as wind and solar energy were science-and-tech mavens; and 2) there was a dumb assumption that the general shape and scale of daily life would remain as it had been — in other words, that we could still run suburbia, the giant cities, Disney World, WalMart, the US military, and the Interstate highway system just the way they were already set-up, only by other means than oil and gas.

Now, we’re finding out the hard way how much daily life must change, and is changing, and how disorderly that process is in every way from the imperative personal adjustments to our spiritual attitudes about them. As with so many things in history, this disorder expresses itself strangely, even prankishly, as if God were a practical joker. Who would’ve imagined that our politics would become so deranged? That there would be battles over teaching oral sex in the fifth-grade? That the CDC would keep pushing vaccines that obviously don’t work (and that so many people would still take them)? That stealing stuff under a thousand dollars in value wouldn’t merit prosecution? That riots featuring arson and looting are “mostly peaceful?” That we’d send $50-billion halfway around the world to defend the borders of another country while ignoring the defense of our own borders? That financially beset Americans would spend their dwindling spare cash on… tattoos?

Notice that all of these strange behaviors have really nothing to do with making practical adjustments to the way we live. The collective psychology of all this is bizarre. Of course, mass formation psychosis accounts for a lot of it. Groups of people under duress, suffering from loneliness, purposelessness, helplessness, and anxiety will fall into coordinated thought-and-action if presented with some object or someone to fixate their ill feelings upon.

Donald Trump was such an object. He galvanized about half the country into an intoxicated fury aimed at destroying him. It actually managed to drive him off the scene via a fraud-laced election which many in-power (local officials, judges) deemed a means justifying the desired end. That success reinforced their mass formation psychosis. Alas, having succeeded against Mr. Trump, they were left without a galvanizing object to focus on. So, they adopted one of the devices of Trump-riddance, Covid-19, as the next object of all their distress and anxiety, adopting the mRNA vaccinations as their next savior du jour.

Unfortunately, the vaccination scheme has gone very much awry, and now millions face a future with damaged immune systems. The horror of that is too awful to comprehend, especially by government, which caused the problem in the first place and can’t possibly admit it without demolishing its legitimacy… so it presses on stupidly and heinously with the vaccine program. Already all-causes deaths are substantially up, and in time the recognition of how-and-why this happened will reach a point of criticality.

It will be too obvious to ignore. But by that time (probably not far away), the economy will be so wrecked, the people of America so deranged, and our circumstances so desperate, that the government will resort to a supremely stupid act of national suicide, say, starting a nuclear war. The government under “Joe Biden” seems perfectly disposed to that possible outcome. Which brings us to the spiritual part of the story: those unused to consorting with alleged “higher powers” might consider getting used to prayer.

Lately, a new derangement is overtaking Western Civ, for the excellent reason that Western Civ gave birth to techno industrial societies and is now first to undergo the alarming demise of that system. I speak of the World Economic Forum (under one Klaus Schwab) and its stated ambition to Build Back Better — based on its unstated premise that the current system must be nudged to its death sooner rather than later, and on-purpose. All the governments of Western Civ nations seem coordinated on this.

But it’s not going to happen as Mr. Schwab and his followers hoped, for at least a couple of reasons. First, as already stated, God is a prankster and likes to throw knuckleballs at the human race. Anyway, the “better” that Mr. Schwab expects is an ultra-techno-industrial “trans-human” scheme that is unlikely to come about if the support system of the older techno-industrial system is no longer available to support it. As currently conceived, BBB depends on electric power, and that is one of the major sub-systems of our system that already looks like it’s going janky.

You get the idea, I’m sure, so I’ll cut to the chase for now. About a year ago I had my French easel set up on a country road nearby and was busy painting a motif at-hand when along came a horse-drawn wagon filled with four men in severe black-and-white clothing, wearing beards. They were apparently a bit surprised by the strange sight of me painting a picture and they stopped to chat. They were Amish and had lately moved to the county from down in Pennsylvania, which was running out of farmland for their fruitful people. Not a half-hour later a second horse-drawn wagon passed by. I admit, the incident gave me a thrill — not just the sensory pleasure of the horses’ ripe animal smell, and the gentle rhythm of their clip-clopping along. But since I had lately been writing a bunch of novels about life in a post-economic collapse town like my own (the World Made by Hand series), I enjoyed the strange delight of being transported briefly into a scene of my own imagining — the prequel of my own books.

Many more Amish are landing in the county these days. I hear they go around to the failing or inactive farms with bundles of cash and make an offer, just like that. Evidently the method works. It’s given me a business idea: to start an Amish skills school, buy a few acres with a barn and hire some Amish men to teach all us non-Amish how to do a few things that might be good to know in the years ahead, like how to harness horses to a cart or a mule to a plow. (The Amish like to make a bit of cash-money when they can.) That’s my idea of how to build back better. What do you think?

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Why Are We Here?

Following a peaceful sunny day in Ukiah, California, am now back at the Building Bridges homeless shelter to sleep in my assigned bunk bed. I have a possible dental appointment in Sonoma county for a crown to save the broken tooth May 31st, and maybe they'll do a "retreat" on a molar which has an infection underneath a previously done root canal. Also, I could at some point receive a deep cleaning and have a cavity filled in a top rear molar at Hillside Dental, which made a very rare exception, and approved me as a new patient.

I am playing three lotteries twice weekly to win money. As the ashramites at Sri Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry, South India said in the summer of '94 when I was there, when I asked them why they were playing the lottery: "If God wants to give us money to do His will, there has to be some way for Him to get it to us."

Meanwhile, am waking up mornings with the mind repeating the Catholic Hail Mary prayer. Following morning ablutions, the (voluntary) trash & recycling chore begins, and the Hare Krishna mahamantram is repeated all the day long. After eventually finishing the voluntary chore, which improves the general quality of life at the homeless shelter, it is off to the Ukiah Co-op for the cold salad bar, possibly a large cup of soup, and always a fortifying beverage. Then, a walk about the county seat, nicknamed "haiku spelled backwards", chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantram, and not identifying with the body and the mind, nor for that matter, what is happening in the "play of consciousness", (which usually appears way too real, and changes constantly).

Feel free to contact me at any time. What would you like to do? I have frequently mentioned going to places of political power and taking spiritual direct action. Is anybody motivated to do that? As I walk around Ukiah, California every day, wondering why I am here at all, and awaiting Divine Intervention to get dental appointments, and playing LOTTO, I am at least motivated to send out networking messages such as this one. If I did not do this, the entire fact of my being on planet earth wouldn't make any sense whatsoever! ~The End~

Craig Louis Stehr, Email:, Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270

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On this day, May 22, 1942, he was hanged in Valjevo by a Serbian State Guard unit. As the rope was put around his neck, Filipović raised his arms and shouted "Death to fascism, freedom to the people!". He urged the Yugoslav people to resist and implored them to never cease resisting. A photograph taken at this time was widely reproduced and became a symbol of anti-fascist resistance. A statue of Filipović was cast in its likeness.


  1. Eric Sunswheat May 24, 2022

    RE: I have a possible dental appointment (Craig Louis Stehr)

    ->. May 20. 2022
    The ancient Maya believed their breath was a link to the divine. To purify it, many people filed, notched, and polished their teeth, some even decorating them with gemstones.

    Now, a fresh analysis suggests the sealant used to hold these jewels in place may have had therapeutic properties, which could have helped prevent infections…

    Most samples included ingredients found in pine trees, which other research suggests can fight bacteria that cause tooth decay. Two teeth showed evidence of sclareolide, a compound found in Salvia plants that has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is currently used as an aroma fixative in the perfume industry.

    Sealants from the remote outer Copán region, near the border of modern Honduras and Guatemala, included essential oils from mint plants whose components potentially have anti-inflammatory effects. This ingredient wasn’t found elsewhere, possibly reflecting connections with other Maya groups or traditions, the authors say.

    “Most important for them was the binding properties,” says Hernández Bolio, whose grandfather is Yucatec, a group that’s part of the historic Maya civilization.

  2. Kirk Vodopals May 24, 2022

    Ah Mr Kunstler… Your right-winged derangement knows no bounds. Nevermind Mr Trumps ineffectual presidency. Nevermind his arms dealings with Saudis. Nevermind his gifts of tax breaks to the wealthy. Nevermind his bible-clutching photo ops as he mutters “grab ’em by the pew$$y”… Of course all the old, white men are feeling like the wheels of society are coming off the bus. But, unfortunately, they can’t fathom the idea that they may be part of the unwinding.

    • Cotdbigun May 24, 2022

      Mr.Trumps ineffectual presidency ? There are various charts available,published by reliable sources ,for those without the ability to use a calculator.
      Drive to the grocery store and enjoy and the fruits of your super duper effectual build back better genius. I know the Taliban and some locals enjoy the teleprompter readings, 80 billion in free weapons and all the noninflatonary free printed money . On the bright side, the Ruskies are really really scared.

      • Marmon May 24, 2022

        Have you noticed that the left never brags about Biden, all they can do is hate on Trump.


      • Kirk Vodopals May 24, 2022

        Umm. i think you’re conflating two issues: Trump’s ineffectual presidency and Biden’s even worse presidency. Yes, Trump was a wet fart of a president, but I think Biden is doing a worse job. Please don’t assume that my Trump bashing is me cheering on Sleepy Joe. It ain’t. We’re definitely in the poop show now. I just can’t stand Kunstler (or the rest of the MAGAs) perspective on that ding dong.

        and Cotdbigun? Is that Scottish?

        • Marmon May 24, 2022

          How do you feel about the “Ultra MAGAs”


          • Kirk Vodopals May 24, 2022

        • Randy May 24, 2022

          Kirk, as a true Scott descendent of the MacDougall clan, its not Scottish. It’s just Scot. BUT I GET THE POINT. FOOKING DETAILS OF THE SCOTS.

  3. Marmon May 24, 2022


    Trent James, dissident former Mendo cop ???

    What official MCSO policy did he oppose?

    The Code of Silence, otherwise known as the blue wall, that refers to the unspoken fact that police officers do not report fellow officers for abusing their power or for committing crimes while on the job.


    • Marmon May 24, 2022

      I thought that the editor might have learned something after he let Allman convince him that Zeke Flatten was not robbed by two cops at Squaw Rock and doubled down by providing the AVA with a phony press release from one of the crooks.


      • Bruce Anderson May 24, 2022

        Please. Allman did no such thing.

          • Lazarus May 24, 2022

            There are still many questions to be answered in the months, perhaps years to come. These Federal lawsuits thrown around will likely be heard or leak out someday.
            Many law and order officials brag about knowing everything that goes down in their jurisdictions. So it is hard to believe that as gregarious as the previous sheriff was, he never heard anything about the shakedowns.
            And then there is the warehouse where the confiscated stuff got stashed. I heard some guy call it the toy store one time in a bar.
            At the time, I thought nothing of it. But now I wonder.
            Be careful out there.

            • Marmon May 24, 2022

              Plausible deniability is the ability of people, typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command, to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by members of their organizational hierarchy.


              • Lazarus May 24, 2022

                Yeah Jim, but everyone in the Mendo knows that’s bullshit…

  4. Steve Heilig May 24, 2022

    Craig Stehr makes more sense than James Kunstler.

  5. Stephen Rosenthal May 24, 2022

    Maybe if Trent James had spent less money on getting tatted up he wouldn’t have needed gofundme handouts for round trip air fare from his current digs near Appalachia to California. Or maybe it’s all a scam and he is still living in or near Mendo. The area he claims to be living in is quite pricey by Virginia standards. I, for one, would like to see a photo of his plane ticket.

    Which leads me to set the over/under on the number of votes Mr. James will receive: 318.

  6. Eric Sunswheat May 24, 2022

    Stale posted at Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 22, 2022

    John Sakowicz
    MAY 24, 2022
    Ten Questions for Trent James:
    1. Outline public corruption in law enforcement in Mendocino County. How deep does it go? For how long have some cops been dirty? Is management part of the problem?
    2. Why have internal affairs and professional standards failed at local law enforcement agencies?
    3. How have cannabis and a cash economy contributed to public corruption in Mendocino County?
    4. What about the DOJ’s recent RICO investigation spurred on by the Borges-Gurr federal lawsuit?
    5. How would you investigate and prosecute public corruption in law enforcement in Mendocino County?
    6. Why did you leave your job as deputy sheriff?
    7. Why did you leave your job at the Willits Police Department?
    8. Tell us about yourself. We only know you as a whistleblower. Tell us about your education, work experience, family, interests and hobbies, etc.
    9. What do you know about the MCSO’s budget and operations? Would you support an audit of the MCSO?
    10. Who has endorsed your campaign? Where does your support come from?

    John Sakowicz

    • George Dorner May 24, 2022

      I find it interesting that you aren’t asking some of your questions of the man who should be first and foremost with the answers–the present sheriff. I mean questions 1 through 5.

  7. pca67 May 24, 2022

    Kuntsler and Taibbi remind me of the old adage of man who uses many words but says little.

  8. Marmon May 24, 2022


    I wish Steve Kerr would keep his f-ing mouth shut and just coach basketball.


    • Bruce Anderson May 24, 2022

      Free speech according to profession?

    • pca67 May 24, 2022

      I could say the same about you.

    • sam kircher May 24, 2022

      As our resident omnipotent commenter, please refute one word the man said. That’s how public discourse works. As an expert social worker, please school us on the root, non-gun causes of this psycopath and his rampage. Before you seize upon his “hispanic” sounding name, check the white pages of any Texas town.

    • Stephen Rosenthal May 25, 2022

      I can’t remember a comment that angered me more than the one posted by our resident moron. I was ready to unleash a geyser of vulgarities at this cretin, but The Little Lady came to my rescue with a withering response free of words that would offend delicate sensitivities.

      To wit:
      “It is amazing to me that after 21 CHILDREN and 2 teachers are slaughtered that this guy would choose to tell another person who is distraught about this broken world in which we live, to shut the f*** up and just do your job. Amazing. This from someone who once worked as a social worker— it’s no wonder he was run out of town and essentially booted from the profession. We need more Steve Kerr’s in this world.”

      To which I will calmly (now) add, as I see it, Marmon’s comment is cause for his banishment from these pages. Refund his subscription and let him post on extremist’s sites. As much as I enjoy The AVA and rely on it for local doings, I really debated whether to renew my subscription because of the constant stream of evilness (by him) and negativity (by others) that were being posted in the comments. I even emailed Mike Kalantarian to that effect when I ultimately did renew.

      I’ve commented before that Marmon posts his offensive crap with the sole and pathetic aim of garnering attention, and I stated that the best way to make him go away is to ignore him and not respond. I’ve been pretty true to that, but this latest comment is beyond the pale.

      • Stephen Rosenthal May 25, 2022

        Correction: 19 children, 2 adults – 21 total. But, according to the latest news, those numbers may increase.

  9. Jess May 24, 2022

    Katherine Porter. ‘Boonville Apartment’s. Beyond weird.

  10. Dave Smith May 25, 2022

    Thank you for the Senior articles, Senior Anderson…

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