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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 1, 2022

Interior Cooling | Daisies | Yorkville Flea | Mendo 4th | Fireworks Illegal | 253 Blaze | Boonville Quiz | PA 4th | Slow Down | Wendling Mill | Except Cloverdale | Cat Ladies | Naulty Farewell | Elizabeth Pullen | Narcan Vending | Land Trust | Eyster Letter | Regulate Dick | Ed Notes | Kimberlin View | Election Fraud? | Boos | Hot Air | Data Breach | Night Out | Cricket Balls | Container Yammer | Ferrills | York Column | Pirate Crow | Trappers | Waldo Tunnel | Problem Solved | Yesterday's Catch | Newspaper Deaths | Evacuation Plan | Ukraine | Gatesylvania | Pleased/Appalled | No Fly | Trumper Tantrum | CA Climate | War Propaganda | Robespierre | Transcendence | Tough China | Pomegranate | Second Reich | Bob Feller | Mercenary | Ultimate Taboo | John Muir | Holy Alito

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A TROUGHING PATTERN will promote a cooling trend for the interior through the weekend. Coastal areas will maintain seasonal temperatures with periods of light, mainly coastal precipitation. (NWS)

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photo by Laurel Krause

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Hello Yorkvillians!

Please join us tomorrow 7/1 and Saturday 7/2 for another Yorkville Community Flea Market! We will have a variety of vendors with an eclectic assortment of items for sale from 10:00am until 2-3:00ish.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Lisa Walsh

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THE FAMOUS MENDOCINO 4TH OF JULY PARADE returns this year with added events at Mendocino’s Rotary Park. Come early (10:30 AM), stay late (4:00 PM), and enjoy the parade and the many events scheduled at Rotary Park.

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FIRE SAFETY THIS FOURTH OF JULY – Fireworks Are Illegal In Mendocino County!

The Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency and Mitigation Division (PRRM) would like to remind Mendocino County residents and visitors that all fireworks are illegal in Mendocino County. 

As we approach the 4th of July holiday, please remember that we are currently in the third year of a severe drought emergency, and it is extremely dry in all areas of the County. The illegal use of fireworks poses a serious threat to the safety and well-being of everyone in our County.

CAL FIRE and local fire and law enforcement agencies are working together to enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use and sale of illegal fireworks in Mendocino County this year. Please do your part to help protect Mendocino County from another devastating wildfire by celebrating the 4th of July safely and responsibly.

For fireworks enthusiasts, there are safe, organized, professional fireworks displays scheduled in Fort Bragg, Point Arena, and Ukiah this year!

Fort Bragg 4th of July Firework Display:
Date: July 2, 2022
Location: Todds Point, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Point Arena Fireworks Extravaganza:
Date: July 2, 2022
Location: Arena Cove, 810 Port Road, Point Arena, CA 95468

Fireworks Extravaganza At Ukiah Speedway:
Date: July 3, 2022
Location: Ukiah Speedway, 1055 N. State St., Ukiah, CA 95482

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!

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AV FIRE DEPARTMENT: A roadside start on Hwy 253 last week was kept to less than a quarter acre thanks to quick work from passersby and a rapid response by Cal Fire and AVFD. New Recruit Nick Rhoades got soot on his yellows for the first time.

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Steve Sparks Writes: It’s Back! Lauren’s at The Buckhorn is happy to announce that after almost two and a half years absence The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will return on the 1st and 3rd Thursday off each month. Therefore we shall resume at this venue on Thursday, July 7th at 7pm with the usual mental gymnastics to tease and please you, plus a new feature during the half-time break. Cash prizes and gifts galore! Dinner served and bar open. You know it makes sense.

Cheers, The Quizmaster...

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The Point Arena Street Fair & Fireworks Extravaganza is on Saturday July 2 at Arena Cove. Festivities kick off at 4:00pm with a variety of food, arts and crafts booths, live music and kids’ activities including bounce houses. Tickets are $10 per person over 12 years old. 12 & under free. Parking available at City Hall and Point Arena City Hall includes shuttle ride and one ticket. Fireworks by Devastating Pyrotechnics will explode into the night sky starting at dark!

The Point Arena Independence Parade will step off at 12pm on Sunday July 3 on Main Street. Groups are welcomed to join the parade.  Since this is a family-friendly parade, we ask you to keep things classy, safe, and fun. This year’s theme is “Think Peace & Be Kind.”

We'll see you there! More info at:

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CHP: SLOW DOWN for the Holidays

Independence Day is on a Monday this year, resulting in a three-day weekend for many and a likely increase in vehicles traveling California’s roadways. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is reminding motorists that driving too fast is not only illegal, but the leading cause of traffic fatalities.

To help slow down motorists and increase safe travel, the CHP will deploy extra patrol officers over the holiday weekend as part of a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). Beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, July 1, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4, the CHP will observe the MEP with a special focus on speed enforcement. In addition to speeding violations, officers will be on the lookout for distracted and aggressive drivers, and motorists suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Speeding not only endangers your life, but the lives of everyone on the roadway,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “Fill the holiday weekend with celebration and fun activities, not reckless choices that lead to tragedy.”

There were 43 people killed in crashes on California’s roadways during the 2021 Independence Day MEP, and more than one-third of the vehicle occupants who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt. In addition, the CHP made 997 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs during the 78-hour holiday enforcement effort.

Last year’s stepped-up efforts to enforce speed limits during the Independence Day weekend, July 2-5, resulted in CHP officers issuing nearly 10,000 citations statewide.

“Speed is the number one factor in roadway crashes in California, causing one-third of the traffic-related deaths,” added Commissioner Ray.

A report issued in May 2022 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the number of people killed in speed-related crashes is on the rise nationwide. According to the NHTSA data, 11,780 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to speeding last year, a 5 percent increase over 2020.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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Wendling/Navarro Mill

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JULY 4TH: SALE OF FIREWORKS BANNED Across Sonoma County, Except In Cloverdale

by Kathleen Coates

As the risk for wildfires continues across the Bay Area, the sale and use of fireworks are banned across Sonoma County, except in Cloverdale, where the Lions Club has set up a booth.

Lakeport in Lake County also allows the sale and use of fireworks from July 1-4.

Cloverdale fire and police departments plan to increase patrols to monitor the sale and use of safe and sane fireworks there.

Authorities in neighboring Healdsburg, along with Cal Fire, plan to increase patrols in order to curb the use of fireworks during the Fourth of July weekend.

Within the unincorporated areas of the county, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office will strictly enforce a ban on all fireworks, including sparklers, according to Permit Sonoma.

Cloverdale Battalion Chief Rick Blackmon said there is some concern among officials that people from other communities will crowd into Cloverdale, buying and setting off fireworks that could lead to fires.

That idea “is definitely in the back of our mind,” he said, adding, “We are on high alert.”

“We’ll be bringing in extra staffing, we’ll have people out on patrol and we will be working very closely with Cal Fire. The fireworks are only allowed in the city limits,” Blackmon said.

In November, Cloverdale voters will consider a referendum that would ban fireworks in the city. The City Council voted 4-1 in May to approve the ballot measure, with Mayor Todd Lands voting no.

Fireworks are banned for a good reason, said Cal Fire spokesperson Tyree Zander.

“We’re going into an extreme drought for the third year in a row,” he said. “We had very little precipitation and fuels are dry. Those are the right conditions for fire. All it takes is one spark setting some grass on fire and it’s off.”

Zander pointed out that not only is there a risk of setting a fire with the use of safe and sane fireworks, there’s the matter of safety for the family.

“On the Fourth of July, we usually go out on calls where people have suffered burns for not using them right or if something malfunctions on the fireworks, blowing off part of a finger,” he said. “You could also be held liable if you set off a fire.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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JILL DERWINSKI: What a crazy, wonderful couple of days working with these gals!

Thank you Felines of Philo (Jenifer Bird), Coast Cat Project (Shelly), Dr. Charlotte Burns (Vet extraordinaire), Anderson Valley Animal Rescue. We were able to trap, spay & neuter, 39 adults, rescue 29 kittens and make a huge impact on an area with a huge feral cat population. We aren't done yet! Please spay and neuter your cats!

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by John Naulty, Fort Bragg Chief of Police

On my last day as Chief of the Fort Bragg Police Department, I want to extend my gratitude to the community. 

Our department has overcome several challenges and will continue to serve with compassion, understanding, and righteousness. We have made great strides in updating outdated policies, prioritizing training, and educating ourselves on how to be better servers for our community. Additional achievements include our Captain updating 13-year-old training policies, our office staff enhancing customer relations while refining administration duties, the increased presence of Patrol Officers for effectively decreasing the crime rate with the support of our Community Service Officers, and countless other department members who made a conscious effort to ameliorate our department. 

I would also like to acknowledge the department’s success over the past couple of years involved the support of the city council. The members of city council, Mayor Bernie Norvell, and previous City manager Tabatha Miller all have supported every idea I believed would improve the moral of the department and increase the trust of the community. 

Furthermore, I would like to thank the Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital for collaborating with our department to efficiently improve criminal transportation protocols and working together to focus on bettering mental health resources. And Redwood Community Services for enhancing the process of mental health victims, assisting us with quick responses in the field. 

Likewise, I thank the Fort Bragg School Unified District for developing updated safety measures for our schools, such as the addition of a School Resource Officer under a Department of Justice Tobacco Grant. 

In the last two and a half years we have grown as a department, we have lost some but we have gained so many enthusiastic individuals who are dedicated to the community and have sacrificed their personnel life’s for the quality of life of this community. It is these dedicated Fort Bragg Police Officers who make a difference everyday they are the ones that make this department into what it is today. I trust the community will continue with their support and input into our performance and will bring to our attention any issues they deemed unprofessional as we continue to be transparent. 

I am excited and confident soon to be Chief, Neil Cervenka, will continue with the development of the police department, his experience, knowledge and resources will be a significant benefit for the future of this department, the foundation is complete for him to build the future of this department. 

In closing, the community of Fort Bragg has provided me constant support throughout my career from Police Cadet to the Police Chief. I thank you for the opportunities Fort Bragg has given me. I will cherish the colleagues and friends I have made along the way and look forward to life outside of the law enforcement, but will always be supportive if anyone needs assistance or guidance, you know how to get in touch with me, this is Fort Bragg we know how to take care of each other! 

“Timing is everything.” 

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Elizabeth Coombs Pullen, 1860

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Just had a conversation with Ted Williams, Board of Supervisors representative from District 5. He wants to help me obtain funding for the placement of free-of-charge Narcan vending machines in the Valley.

For those who don’t know, Narcan is an opioid receptor blocker that reverses overdoses from Fentanyl, heroin, morphine, and all forms of opioids. 

This is rapidly becoming a problem here, just as it has everywhere in America.

I’m also dealing with the schools, the clinic, the county behavioral health service, the CDC, and various other organizations. We gotta save our kids, and my belief is that we can most effectively do this through education of the young ones. This is where county behavioral health will play a major role.

But, we also have to try and save the one’s already struggling with addiction.

If you yourself are battling this issue, or if you know someone who is, let me know how I can help.

Further, I can’t do this alone. I will if I must, but I can use all the help I can get. Send me a PM, or call me at (707) 489-2915.

Let’s do something positive for our youth. They need it.

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This month, thanks to our supporters, the Mendocino Land Trust completed its LARGEST conservation easement to date! 5,620 acres in the Eel River watershed, including the land around Lake Pillsbury, will now be forever protected from further development and habitat degradation. With the addition of these lands, the total acreage MLT has helped protect since 1976 is nearly 25,000 acres.

MLT is responsible for ensuring the perpetual protection of this rich wildlife area that is home to a great diversity of species. The river supports Chinook salmon and steelhead. Bald eagles and osprey are frequently seen around Lake Pillsbury – as well as a magnificent herd of wild tule elk at the northern end of the lake. 

The Eel River area is a hugely important watershed in Northern California. “This conservation easement covers the mainstem of the wild and scenic Eel River,” explains Nicolet Houtz, MLT’s Director of Stewardship. “This area is particularly important because it is largely undeveloped and adjacent to National Forest and US Forest Service lands. This ensures permanent protection of a connector of these lands.” 

The Eel River flows about 11 miles from Lake Pillsbury to Potter Valley. A wide area on either side of the river is protected by the conservation easement.

Conrad Kramer, Mendocino Land Trust’s Executive Director says, “One of the exciting aspects of this conservation easement is that it protects public access too. Most conservation easements protect habitat on privately owned land. This is the case here, too, but protecting public access to Lake Pillsbury and the Eel River is also an important part of this conservation easement.” Lake Pillsbury is a popular recreation destination accessed through Potter Valley in eastern Mendocino County. There are campgrounds within the conservation easement including the lovely Trout Creek campground along the Eel River.

The conservation easement will prevent these large contiguous parcels from being divided into small parcels and sold. If this were to happen it might open the door to a multitude of development and construction projects in a very wild area. The building of roads to access these parcels would have detrimental effects on the landscape and river health, and construction of homes and structures would introduce pollution sources and all the unfortunate consequences that come along with human habitation. Annual monitoring of the conservation easement by MLT staff will make certain that present and future landowners honor the commitments made to protect this important property. 

In addition to conserving forested areas, the conservation easement protects the valuable habitat that grasslands and oak woodlands provide for wildlife.

The two large parcels now protected by a conservation easement are owned by PG&E. As part of its 2003 bankruptcy settlement, PG&E was required to ensure conservation of all of its “nonessential lands”. This larger project to conserve PG&E lands was overseen by the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council.The Stewardship Council is a private, nonprofit foundation that is responsible for developing and implementing a land conservation plan for approximately 140,000 acres of PG&E-owned watershed lands. It requires that the lands be preserved and enhanced for:

  • protection of the natural habitat of fish, wildlife, and plants
  • sustainable forestry including fuel and fire management 
  • outdoor recreation by the general public
  • preservation of open space
  • historic and cultural values

This conservation easement has been in the works for a long time. Mendocino Land Trust staff and others have spent many hours documenting baseline conditions and natural resources within the easement area. Houtz has enjoyed her time here, participating in many surveys over the past decade. She says one of her favorite things about the area is that “the Eel River canyon is steep and still mostly wild and natural.” 

On Aug. 16, 2021 the California Public Utilities Commission approved the designation of PG&E’s approximately 5,620 acre Eel River property with a Conservation Easement held by Mendocino Land Trust. The conservation easement closed on June 24 – Houtz’s birthday! She had extra cause to celebrate this year – as do we all with the protection of these lands.

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Thank you to the Mendocino County voters for re-electing me so I may continue to serve as your District Attorney. 

I am deeply humbled by your support, and I will continue to work with state and local law enforcement partners, the Board of Supervisors, and the courts to promote public safety during these challenging times. 

My constitutional mandate and legal goals will continue to be focused on: 

(1) sponsoring and participating in programs to improve the administration of justice; 

(2) continuing to insist on ethical behavior and professionalism from my deputy prosecutors and in-house peace officers; and 

(3) continuing to see that the unique power and authority inherent in the role of county prosecutor is properly applied to carry out the law in a fair, evenhanded and compassionate manner.

From the clerical staff to the deputy prosecutors to the DA investigators to the victim/witness advocates, we all understand and appreciate our respective roles and our commitment to seek to enhance the fundamental right of the people of Mendocino County to a safe and just community. We will all continue to strive to provide help to and guide victims of crime through our local legal system.

I also want to extend a special “thank you” to all those who are currently in the office and those from the past who have been members of the DA team during my extended tenure in office. 

An awful lot of work needs to get done in the office every day -- whether in or out of the courtrooms -- and that significant workflow held true through the dark days of the pandemic when we were committed to keeping the coastal and inland offices open to the public. It is the strong effort day in and day out of these DA team members that help me do my job and achieve the right outcomes. 

Congratulations to Sheriff Matt Kendall for his election to the constitutional office of Mendocino County Sheriff. Congratulations also to Fort Bragg Police Chief John Naulty on his retirement from exemplary public service. And congratulations to all others – elected or otherwise – who stepped up, put their name on the ballot, and asked the voters to consider their differing plans to make Mendocino County a better place to live, raise a family, and work. Win or lose, being a candidate for public office is no easy task.

Thank you all again for your faith and confidence in my management and legal skills. I especially appreciate the many kind notes and congratulatory comments I have received. I wish my parents were still around to witness this result; there is no doubt they would be very proud.

C. David Eyster, District Attorney


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SOMEONE, or someones, keeps on breaking the windows of the Philo Grange. Andy Jones, Grange honcho, says it's pure vandalism because there's no sign of break-ins.

WE LIKE SHERIFF KENDALL'S idea of a roving “Sheriff’s services technician,” aka non-uniformed cop, who would rotate among Mendo's far flung schools. Sad that the educational mission has come to metal detectors, dope-sniffing dogs, dope, and cops in the halls even here in the deep outback, but it's only one more sign of the general social implosion we've got going. On the other hand, if metal detectors and hallway police are necessary to an orderly, non-violent educational day, maybe it's time to reconsider the entire effort with a view to downsizing it. (For pure entropy, public ed is, along with the Pentagon, the most entropic.)

BIDEN announced Thursday that he had called the leader of Switzerland to discuss abandoning two centuries of neutrality to join NATO — before quickly correcting himself to say he actually meant Sweden. “Some of the American press will remember when I got a phone call from the leader of Finland saying could he come and see me, then he came the next day and said, ‘Will you support my joining — my country joining NATO?’ We got on the telephone. He suggested we call the leader of Switzerland,” Biden said. The president immediately fixed his mistake, adding, “Switzerland, my goodness, I’m getting really anxious here about expanding NATO — of Sweden.”

AS THE ROLLING catastrophes gain momentum, this guy's in charge, hence the widespread anxiety and pessimism among us Americans that we're totally screwed in so many ways it's hard to keep track, so anxious and pessimistic we are that straight-up fascists appeal to millions of our fellow citizens, as they always have in times like these.

HOW'S THE CLICHE GO, “Pessimism of the spirit, optimism of the will”? I think that's backwards. I feel optimistic enough for a guy at the very top of the actuarial tables, but intellectually pessimistic whenever I confront the facts. A better version is “Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the spirit.”

AS AN EARLY RISER, I work out (sic) to KZYX's early talkies, and as a paid up member of government audio, I hereby request that Thom Hartman and The Takeaway switch time slots, with Hartman on at 6am, the jibber jabber idiocy of The Takeaway at, if we must, 5am. I'm probably the only person who would notice, so why not make an old man happy as he pounds the pavement at six, hoping in vain for intelligent audio company? (So, like, why not turn it off? Because KZYX is the only radio I get other than cancer-causing am radio out of Ukiah. Early morning audio accompaniment is force of habit, I guess, but of all the wacky audio outta Philo, The Takeaway isn't even entertaining for us connoisseurs of wacky. It's just dumb and boring unto infuriating.)

NATCH, The Takeaway's tiresomely “woke” hostess is a great one for the latest rhetorical irritations — “Help me understand,” and “Walk me through…”

YOU KNOW what's left out of the Trump Is Bad hearings? The FBI. How many federal agents were present among the Jan 6 mob, maybe even doing some tax-funded inciting of their own? Historically considered, the FBI has always “infiltrated” alleged violence-prone groups. How can you tell who the agent is? He's the guy recommending felonious conduct, as most recently verified in the trial of those Michigan blowhards who were supposedly plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor. An FBI agent was buying the beer and talking it up. The old joke about the Communist Party USA was that half the membership were FBI agents. Of course the FBI is inside yobbo lash-ups like the Proud Boys and all the other big talking Trump cultists. 

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BILL KIMBERLIN: This is the view of my Boonville house from what I call my backyard. That patch of yellow grass in the clump of trees is where I look up to this beautiful hill. I walked up this trail tonight almost to the top. There is a bench every once in a while, so one can take in the views.

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Election Fraud?

Elections Officer Katrina Bartolomei and/or District Attorney David Eyster, white courtesy phone please.

What’s the process to investigate election fraud and who does the investigating? 

Trent James, recent write in candidate for Sheriff, a resident of Texas (or maybe Virginia), falsely claimed to be a resident of Mendocino County, a requirement for the job. After getting fired by Willits Police Department and after pulling his application to get rehired by the Sheriff’s Office, he posted an online video saying he was quitting law enforcement and moving to Texas. At some point he filed a Change of Address with the USPS to have his mail forwarded to an address in Virginia. Trent James has not physically resided in Mendocino County for many months and is not eligible to hold office here. 

Back to the question, is this information sufficient to start an investigation or must a formal complaint be filed? If so, who should a complaint be filed with? And who will conduct the investigation?

ED NOTE: In his latest video Trent James says he lives in Rogina Heights out near Vichy Springs. In the County’s on-line Candidate Information spreadsheet James lists his address as 1620 Madrone Dr., Ukiah. 

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The Boos Family, Mendocino Woods, 1925

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Upon reading of Doug Holland's train ride and Doug being rueful because he never learned to fart on demand — (AVA, June 15)…

I met a man once who claimed to be able to fart whenever he wanted.

“Okay, go ahead, show me,” I said.

He told me, “I don't want to.”

To this day I believe he was full of hot air.

Gary Durheim

Seaside, Oregon

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On Tuesday, August 2, the Fort Bragg Police Department will host our annual National Night Out at Bainbridge Park from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. 

The Fort Bragg National Night Out event will feature free food and beverages, activities for kids, bounce houses, free giveaways, and an opportunity to meet with your neighbors and your Police Department staff. 

Organizations desiring to host a booth at the event notify Officer Zavala via e-mail at The Police Department is additionally seeking volunteers for setup, breakdown, and assisting with the event activities. Interested parties should reach out to Officer Zavala at the above e-mail address. 

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Spotted in Cumbria, UK by Randy Burke

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(1) Daney Dawson: It has come to my attention that State Parks has realized that a mistake was made allowing him to park the container there without permits, so the reason he will be removing it is that he has no legal right to put it there, not that somebody complained about it.

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(2) Brian Henry: Where was it stated that the State Parks made a mistake and are removing the container due to no permits? Below is Terry's email to Laurie.

Thank you very much for writing to express your concern regarding the storage container in Van Damme SP beach parking lot.

The container is the property of Kayak Mendocino. Kayak Mendocino is a popular guided kayak tour concession that operates out of Van Damme SP. They have operated a concession out of Van Damme SP for many years through a concession contract with the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Kayak Mendocino is a locally operated tourist-based concession relying on the travelling public for their clientele.

I have gotten several emails regarding the container some expressing support, others not supportive. I have heard that there was much debate on social media about the virtues and vices of the container, the operation of a concession at that location and other topics somewhat related to the matter at hand.

I intend to work with the concessionaire to soften the appearance of the container with either a more neutral solid color or the incorporation of murals on the container, or both. I do not intend to require the removal of the container other than the agreed upon temporary removal during the off-season. I believe that the container is a preferred substitute to the yellow bus/van that the concessionaire had been using to transport kayaks to the park and left there during tours.

I would be interested in hearing your suggestions or preferences as to how to best soften the appearance of the storage unit while it is in the parking lot and will do my best to incorporate them into the final look.

Thanks again for your comments. I know that I will not be able to please everyone with the final product, but I will do my best to please as many as possible.

Terry L. Bertels, District Superintendent, Sonoma Mendocino Coast District

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(3) Myra Beals: SCOTUS has just gutted the ability of the EPA to regulate carbon emissions, woman have been downgraded to 2nd class citizens, our freedoms and democracy are at risk, and you are all still cluttering this list with the color of a barely visible container???? How about using all that energy by doing something to protect the Noyo headlands from greed, as one alternative.

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(4) Thanks to a handful of NIMBY nattering nabobs of negativism, the beautiful "Sea Foam Green" (that's the actual paint color name) shipping container has been sold and will be hauled away. It will be replaced by the old yellow bus. Craig was bullied into this retrograde move. He must have spent thousands buying and transporting the container, having it modified with custom doors, sandblasting and painting it and moving it into position where it is least visible in the asphalt parking lot by the privies. I hope he recovered his investment in terms of money, if not in terms of effort and time lost.

There was just too much misinformation and half-baked gossip and speculation about it. Everything he did there was pre-approved and permitted by state parks. The majority of comments about it were in support.

Such a waste!

I hope he will have the old yellow bus repainted a nice color like Sea Foam Green.

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The Ferrills, Camp B, Big River, 1909

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A READER WRITES: Suggest the AVA host a regular column by Laurie York titled “Wrong about Everything.”

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Dear Readers,

It is now official. Rather than risk a 21-year sentence if I lost at trial, I accepted eight years. As strange as this sounds, I am not disappointed! Nor am I going to subject you all to a rambling letter proclaiming my innocence.

Au contraire. I'm actually grateful for the eight year sentence. Crazy, right? Not really when you consider I was conducting myself like a pirate, feasting on everything I could get my hands on. Believe me, it could have and should have been much worse. Due to an absurdly liberal credit system I will only serve a fraction of my sentence. My “therapeutic respite” will be spent in one of California's health spas where I will spend my time in a cell viewing a flatscreen TV. A phone will provide me with Netflix, music videos, and social media platforms. Every evening this will be coupled with a fat Mendo joint before I call it a day. “Another one down; another closer to home.” I will wake up to a shot of coffee and some soft rock music before going to the kitchen and gorging myself on a variety of foods of my choice cooked on the grill provided to me by the prison. After “work” I will stroll relaxing laps around the track as I listen to my rock and country music. Then back to the unit for a hot shower and my evening cell routine. Watched some TV. Face time my family, smoke a joint, call it a day. Another one down, another one closer to home. 

It's mostly the readers I feel sorry for. You are the ones who must stay behind and suffer. You'll get up every morning and report to a job you hate, where you're underpaid and underappreciated. Most likely surrounded by coworkers who gossip about you behind your back. You'll navigate your way home through a community governed by mildly retarded city council members. A dirty ass police department in a town where people defecate on your sidewalks and pitch tents in your front yard. 

Yes, I must confess I am thankful for the time away. I knew being a pirate would one day lead to me “walking the plank.” But I do it with a smile on my face and a full heart. God bless, I'll be back soon.


Alan Sonny Crow

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

Alan Crow

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BRUCE McEWEN: Jon Spitz doesn’t seem to warm to stories about kindly old trappers; but, then, neither do I. The first Government trapper I knew was in my youth, a pal of my Uncle Jay, and I liked him well enough until he told me about the time he broke his dog of chasing rabbits: He hung the creature by its hind legs from a tree branch and whipped it with his bridle reins until it quit yelping and howling with pain. After that I could never stand the son of a bitch. (And that imprecation refers to a low, immoral scoundrel — not the whelp of a female dog.) The next government trapper I knew made money on the side from gathering up all the free puppies people were giving away and selling them to cosmetic laboratories. Then I met “Dead Dog,” of whom I’d been told by other Laytonville residents who agree with Mr. Spitz. Dead Dog came to see me because his wife had run off with a pot pharmer and he was furious about how this would influence his kids, which he wanted raised in the Horatio Alger and Norman Rockwell School of nostalgia for an American Golden Age that really never was… But, anyway, as I was saying, anybody who has ever seen an animal in a trap, and could still go and set one, well, that individual should never have the word “kindly” as in “kindly old trapper” applied to him.

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REMEMBERING ROBIN: The state Legislature has passed a resolution to rename the iconic rainbow decorated Waldo Tunnel on U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County as the Robin Williams Tunnel.

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Craig Stehr:

Woke up this morning at Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, CA and organized the trash & recycling area. Took a walk to the Co-op and enjoyed an egg salad sandwich and a cup of the delicious organic coffee. Am right now at the Ukiah Public Library on a computer, having finished reading today’s edition of the New York Times. The global news suggests that the condition of the human race is akin to “worms in excretia”, as an Indian Sant Mat meditation master once observed. Postmodernism is a global nauseating miserable stupid failure. My response: “Stop identifying with the body and the mind and your problem is solved!!” 

Contact me at

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 30, 2022

Arms, Britton, Hoaglin

MANDY ARMS, Willits. Controlled substance-under influence.

GEORGE BRITTON-HOAGLIN, Covelo. County parole violation.

TROY HOAGLIN, Laytonville. Paraphernalia, county parole violation.

Lawson, Myers, Ortega

KENNETH LAWSON, Laytonville. Suspended license, no license, priors, failure to appear.

ROBERT MYERS III, Redwood Valley. Parole violation.

ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia. 

Silvey, Sloan, Suba

DALE SILVEY, Fort Bragg. Grand theft, controlled substance, disobeying court order.

JOSHUA SLOAN, Antioch/Ukiah. Controlled substance-under influence.

KRISTOFF SUBA, Laytonville. Disobeying court order, resisting.

Weaver, Wyldflower, Yonkers

ASAHEL WEAVER JR., Controlled substance, paraphernalia, no license, evasion.

NAOMI WYLDFLOWER, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order.

JENNIFER YONKERS, Deerfield, Illinois/Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

* * *

DESPITE A GROWING RECOGNITION of the problem, the United States continues to see newspapers die at the rate of two per week, according to a report issued on Wednesday on the state of local news.

The country had 6,377 newspapers at the end of May, down from 8,891 in 2005, the report said. While the pandemic did not quite cause the reckoning that some in the industry feared, 360 newspapers have shut down since the end of 2019, all but 24 of them weeklies serving small communities.

* * *

* * *


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

Ukraine won back control over Snake Island, which Russia occupied in February. Ukrainian officials said Russian troops evacuated after Ukraine's overnight bombardment. Russia said it left the island as a “goodwill gesture” for Ukraine's grain exports. The strategic outpost in the Black Sea is where Ukrainian soldiers famously refused to surrender to the Russian warship Moskva. 

President Biden said the U.S. would provide $800 million more in security assistance for Ukraine. Speaking at the close of a NATO summit, Biden said the war “will not end with Russia defeating Ukraine” and that allies would support Ukraine “as long as it takes.” Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said his country had no “problem” with Finland and Sweden joining NATO but would have to respond if the alliance built up a military presence along its northern borders.

Amnesty International said the Mariupol theater bombing was a clear war crime. A new report by the human rights organization concluded that the attack “was almost certainly carried out by Russian fighter aircraft.” Hundreds of civilians sheltered in the building during the March siege of the southern port city that Russian troops now occupy. 

The European Court of Human Rightstold Russia to ensure two British captives don't get the death penalty. In early June, a court in a Russian-backed separatist part of Ukraine sentenced Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin to death. Russia's government, which pulled out of the European rights jurisdiction after invading Ukraine, said it no longer complies with the European court's orders.

Ukraine said it broke ties with Syria for recognizing the independence of eastern Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions at Russia's request. Ukraine's foreign ministry said in recent years it had already ordered the closure of its and Syria's embassies over crimes of the Syrian regime, which is friendly with the Kremlin. Kyiv said it will now also impose a trade embargo and other sanctions against Syria.


* * *

* * *

POLLY GIRVIN: bummer. The Supreme Court severely limited the EPA's ability to regulate and address climate change. Tossed it back to the Congress that will never address it because so bought off by the coal, oil and gas industries.

At least the Court decided the ”Remain in Mexico” policy of Trump can be ended by the Biden administration.

As a Chicana I am pleased with the one decision and as an environmentalist I am appalled by the other decision.

Too bad though that the immigration case got kicked back to a very bigoted Texas District Court judge and equally bigoted, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

* * *


My wife told me she had listened this morning to a report about the nightmare of the airports and that they confirmed my own observation that Toronto “was the worst.”

There’s a bunch of reasons: people have been cooped up so long that once the summer began everybody and his brother decided to travel… so the number of travelers is up. At the same time there is a shortage of pilots and other airline employees who work in the terminals. The people who search your carry-ons must be exhausted by the end of their shift. And they go about these searches with zeal.

Take my advice, go on vaca in a car, do NOT fly.

* * *

* * *


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency:

“The Supreme Court sided with the fossil fuel industry, kneecapping the federal government’s basic ability to tackle climate change. Today’s ruling makes it even more imperative that California and other states succeed in our efforts to combat the climate crisis. While the court has once again turned back the clock, California refuses to go backward – we’re just getting started. California will remain the tentpole for this movement with record investments and aggressive policies to reduce pollution, to protect people from extreme weather, and to leave our children and grandchildren a world that’s better off than we found it.”

California’s forward-thinking climate policies have seen the state exceed its 2020 climate target four years ahead of schedule while growing our economy, and spurred partnerships across the U.S. and around the world. Under Governor Newsom’s leadership, California is taking bold action to further advance California’s progress toward an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.

  • $53.9 billion California Climate Commitment
  • Booming ZEV market that leads the nation in every category
  • Driving toward 100% ZEV sales by 2035
  • Preventing harmful oil production in communities and moving to phase out oil drilling and fracking
  • International climate partnerships with Canada, Japan, China and New Zealand
  • Innovative nature-based solutions to tackle climate change, protect biodiversity and expand access to nature

* * *

* * *


by Hilary Mantell

He expected it to end badly and it did. A bullet from a pistol witch shattered his jaw, a night of unspeaking agony, death without trial. During the night — ninth Thermidor, or July 27, 1794 — he made signs that he wanted a pen and paper. What would he have written? We cannot hope that it would have helped us understand him. He had his chance, you'd think: five years in politics. Historian George Rude estimates that Robespierre made some 900 speeches. He had spoken of course, but had he been heard?

Literally speaking, perhaps not. The halls of most revolutionary assemblies had poor acoustics. Then there was the matter of his timidity. When he first emerged on the French political scene in the spring of 1789 he said that he “trembled like a child” before each intervention. Many would have felt the fear, but few would have admitted to it. He was easy to shout down. His accent was provincial. His person — he was short and slight and pale — designed to be overlooked. But if he was not a gifted orator, he was a persistent one. By the autumn of 1789, journalists had learned to spell his name.

(London Review of Books, April 20, 2006)

* * *

BEING HUMAN always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself — be it meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.… What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.

— Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

* * *

* * *

ON THE WAY OUT, I spot a pomegranate tree standing all alone. The ancient fruit, like this land, is hard to love. The beauty of its shape and color come with a thorn that draws blood. Its outside is red leather, its inside a catacomb of waxy white that hides so many little rubies. My grandfather once told me that every pomegranate holds 840 seeds, no more, no less, and I wondered how that could be. He said the fruit, bitter and sweet, was a metaphor for our rebirth. One of the first acts that Armenian families committed in the new land was to plant a pomegranate tree in the front yard. As a kid I could ride my bicycle through the streets of South Fresno and tell you every house that belonged to an Armenian just by spotting the tree. My uncle Mike Mamigonian's mother who looked like a Cherokee survivor of the Trail of Tears had the patience to work past the thorns, the leather and the wax. After dinner she would bring to the table as if it were an offering a giant bowl piled high with sparkling fruit. It must have taken her hours to clean. There wasn't a speck of red rind or white membrane to be found. We would devour the rubies, their crunch spitting out a red juice that stained tablecloth and shirt.

The first pomegranate trees to grow in the central valley were planted in the 1880s not for their fruit so much but because they grew like bushes and nothing could kill them, especially not drought. And they were so thick with branches that no better windbreak could be found. One of my favorite Saroyan short stories captures the predicament of his uncle Melik, who spent years trying to grow 20 acres of pomegranate for their fruit in the dry earth not far from Fairmead. With no good water he had a helluva time. He finally raised a single crop that he sent with great pride to the produce houses in Chicago. When he heard not a word for a month he placed a long-distance call. The produce man told him that no one knew what his fruit was. It wasn't an apple or a peach. It wasn't an orange or a grapefruit. He couldn't sell the pomegranates for any more than a dollar a box, if he could sell them at all. A dollar a box? Uncle Melik shouted. “What kind of businessmen are you? There is no other fruit in the world like the pomegranate. Five dollars a box isn't half enough!” The produce man shipped all eleven boxes back without a single sale. Uncle and nephew spent the rest of the winter eating pomegranates and not saying a word to each other, “because there was such an awful lot to say and no language to say it in.”

— Mark Arax, ‘The Dreamt Land’

* * *

* * *


“I never have to strain my memory to recall the day I decided to join the Navy. It was 7 December 1941. I was driving from my home in Van Meter, Iowa, to Chicago to discuss my next contract with the Cleveland Indians, and I heard over the car radio that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. I was angry as hell. I’d spent almost six full seasons in the major leagues by then, with a record of 107 victories and 54 losses, and I had a family- related draft exemption, but I knew right then that I had to answer the call…After four months of naval gunnery school in Newport, Rhode Island, I was assigned to a battleship, the USS Alabama (BB-60), as a gun-captain on a 40-mm antiaircraft mount that had a crew of 24.”-Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller 

“Already a national star, Feller was first assigned as a physical training instructor. However, his desire to go into combat led him to volunteer for gunners’ school in 1942. Chief Petty Officer Feller was placed in command of a 40mm antiaircraft mount aboard USS Alabama (BB 60), and served through the campaigns in the North Atlantic and throughout the Pacific theater. In March 1945 he reported to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois, where he managed the baseball team. In August he returned to the Cleveland Indians and resumed his Major League career.”

“Feller got his nickname, “The Heater from Van Meter,” due to his lightning fastball and his hometown, Van Meter, Iowa. Some baseball experts have credited him as being the hardest throwing pitcher in history. An 8-time All-Star and a World Series Champion, Feller’s number 19 was retired by the Cleveland Indians, for whom he played his entire 18-year career. He retired from baseball in 1956, and in 1962 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Bob Feller also holds two other great distinctions: he never played a game in the minors after being signed by the Cleveland Indians at age 17, and he is the only pitcher in Major League history to throw a no-hitter on opening day.” 

In later years when asked what he considered his greatest victory: Feller did not hesitate in replying - World War II. 

Chief Petty Officer Bob Feller passed away on December 15, 2010 at the age of 92. He lies in rest at Gates Mills North Cemetery in Gates Mills Ohio. Lest We Forget.

* * *

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

“If people aren’t going to do their job, then we’re here to do it for them,” said Nick Bezzel, of the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Pistol & Rifle Gun Club, after being told for the second time today that officials in Brookhaven, Mississippi wouldn’t meet with him and other armed black activists.

Bezzel was with a group of demonstrators, including Black Panthers, who were upset over a case involving a 24-year-old Federal Express driver named D’Monterrio Gibson. On January 24th earlier this year, Gibson was shot at by a man named Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Case, while attempting to make deliveries.

The two Cases were eventually charged with assault, but bonded out quickly. Gibson and the accompanying group wanted elevated charges, for instance attempted murder or a hate crime. Ford Fischer’s News2Share cameras captured the scenes of activists being told a planned meeting with a District Attorney was called off, and being thrown out of the area by the Brookhaven police chief just as they were leaving.

Two days later, a coalition of black pro-gun groups, including Black Panthers, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the aforementioned Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt Gun Club, Sisters of the Underground, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, the Black Power Militia, the Black Power Coalition, and others, gathered on Juneteenth in Natchez, Mississippi at the site of the “Devil’s Punchbowl,” where some historians say up to 20,000 black people died during and after the Civil War.

News2Share captured those scenes as well, which included a collective signing of a “Declaration of the Regulated United Black Militia.” Some protesters brandished a placard with a “Declaration of Self-Determination by Black Peoples and Organizations,” while others replaced “Hands up, don’t shoot!” with a new chant: “Guns up! Shoot back!” Other chants included: Black people in America ain’t taking it no more, is that right? That’s right!

We believe in an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb, and a life for a goddamn life!

These are different times. Guns up, shoot back! I said, goddamnit, black power!

As Ford narrated:

Despite the obvious newsworthiness of these several militias from around the country gathering to sign a “Declaration of the Regulated United Black Militia,” no other media covered the event.

There are a lot of taboos on commercial television, which for instance doesn’t like to show scenes of poverty (unless it’s being chased by police), rarely interviews non-voters, almost never does military contracting fraud stories, and seldom shows results on the ground of American military/drone strikes, even if they’ve already appeared on the airwaves of other countries.

Perhaps the most dependable taboo in American media, however, involves black Second Amendment advocates. As Ford and News2Share have documented over the years, there are many such groups, and they sometimes march in conjunction with groups like the Boogaloo Boys. In fact, the biggest taboo of all might be showing such groups demonstrating together:

Whatever your feelings about guns — I personally am not a fan — the psychology of the contrasting coverage of pro-gun demonstrations is fascinating. News audiences are clearly meant to associate white pro-gun protesters with a dangerous and probably organized national race-hatred movement, while black pro-gun protesters either don’t exist or are a fringe movement not worth covering. Under no circumstance must such groups be shown together, even when they organize co-demonstrations. The first installment of Activism, Uncensored from last June, for instance, showed such a joint demonstration in Virginia Beach:

It’s often hard to gauge whether certain movements are gaining or losing strength nationally, or are simply organizing more effectively thanks to the Internet. However, it’s clear the national press doesn’t have a settled-upon strategy for covering armed black protesters. Most commonly they appear in reflection, shown as an exaggerated phantom of conservative news coverage, with the New York Times blasting Fox News for over-depicting “fringe hate groups” during the Obama years a classic example. These groups do exist, however, and their shows of strength in places like Natchez are clearly newsworthy.

What’s behind the taboo?

* * *


On June 30, 1864, legislation was signed by Abraham Lincoln granting the Yosemite Valley to California “for public use, resort, and recreation.” This was the first time that land had been set aside specifically for preservation and public use by action of the U.S. federal government. Although not the first designated national park, Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea, largely due to the work of John Muir, who spent decades studying, promoting, and protecting the area.

John Muir was a naturalist and philosopher who cared deeply for the outdoors. He wrote numerous essays and short stories about the wilderness and specifically about the wilderness in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Millions read the stories written by Muir, and this large readership and the notoriety achieved allowed him to become active in campaigning for the preservation of these beautiful mountain areas. Ceaselessly Muir petitioned Congress over the preservation issue and eventually in 1890, Yosemite was established as a national park. Today, John Muir’s legacy lives on through the 211-mile John Muir Trail which cuts through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is one of North Americas most beautiful and popular hiking destinations. 

John Muir, c.1902

* * *


by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn

(Alexander Cockburn and I wrote this column shortly before Samuel Alito’s confirmation for the High Court. I think it mostly holds up, especially about the spinelessness of the Democrats on the Justice Committee. –JSC)

Let’s hear it for Protestant fundamentalists (American variety) yet again. Was there ever a more pragmatic bunch? After centuries of howling No Popery and denouncing the Whore of Rome, they’re now trying to give us a US Supreme Court that will, in the probable event of Alito’s confirmation, boast no fewer than five Roman Catholics, a clear majority: in order of arrival on the bench: Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts and, most likely, Alito.

You can see why the conservative Christians don’t trust Protestants when it comes to matters of Choice or any of their other cherished issues. The two Protestants on the Supreme Court are the Justices they hate most: a liberal Republican, John Paul Stevens and a libertarian, David Souter.

So Alito comes to us more or less from the same mold as Roberts: a tightly-wound Catholic in his mid-fifties, educated at an Ivy League school, seasoned in the Reagan Justice Department, specifically in the office of the Solicitor General, meaning that both Roberts and Alito were part of the core legal team pressing Reagan’s counter-revolution against civil rights laws. They both ended up on the federal appeals court.

One difference is that after his stint in the Solicitor General’s office, Alito had sufficiently impressed the Reaganites to get appointed US Attorney for New Jersey, where he sharpened his claws as a federal prosecutor.

There’s been sedate talk in the mainstream press about Alito’s legal caution, his sense of fairness, his steady temperament, his understated humor, his respect for the law as the executive instrument of fairness in American society. How anyone can come to this bizarre conclusion passes our understanding. Alito’s record, from inside the prosecutor’s office, his justice department briefs and in his judicial opinions, displays a rancid right-winger whose views fume with prejudice against the weak and the poor.

Some samples of the “even-handed”, “legally cautious” Alito:

In 1986, Alito helped write a opinion that employers could legally fire AIDS victims because of a “fear of contagion, whether reasonable or not.” Alito honed a new edge to the notion of strict constructionism by arguing that the employers were justified in so doing because discrimination based on insufficient medical knowledge was not prohibited by federal laws protecting the disabled.

In other words, irrational popular hysteria (that for example you could get AIDS from touching a door knob also touched by an AIDS victim) was in Alito’s view an entirely sound basis for breaching legal protections. Years later Alito was still defending this position, saying that the tide of science may have subverted the hysteria but nonetheless it hadn’t shaken “our belief in the rightness of our opinion”.

Somewhat in the same vein, in 2001 Alito wrote a majority Appeals court opinion striking down a public school policy prohibiting harassment against gay students. Alito bluffly tore down the policy, saying it interfered with the First Amendment rights of other students to engage in “simple acts of teasing and name calling”.

In 2003, when Alito was serving on what the Washington Post bizarrely describes as “the left-leaning” Third Circuit, he actually managed to outflank Judge Michael Chertoff from the right. Chertoff, (now director of Homeland Security and noted defender of torture and of holding so-called enemy combatants, without access to attorneys or judicial review) wrote a majority opinion in Doe v. Groody ruling that a search warrant should be confined only to the person named on that warrant.

Alito brushed such pettifogging notions aside, arguing for the minority opinion that the cops (in this case in Schuykill county, PA) would be severely hampered if they had to interpret any search warrant in its written terms, rather than having the power to infer that such warrants gave police the power to search anyone else with the misfortune to be in the vicinity. In the case under consideration, the Schuykill police had strip-searched not only the suspect but also a mother and her 10-year-old daughter who lived in the same house.

Also in 2003 Alito wrote a majority opinion approving the conditions for probation laid down by the state of Delaware on a man who had pled guilty to possession of child pornography, said conditions being his agreement to undergo random polygraph tests.

It’s a prime function of the so-called “left-leaning” Third Circuit to attend to the interests of big business, massed in its Delaware corporate enclave. Here Alito joined Roberts in his deference to the Money Power, slashing away at the ability of stockholders to launch class action suits, or employees to litigate against racist treatment.

In all, Judge Alito has issued 700 opinions, most of them on business/labor issues. All of these have been, in the opinion of the US Chamber of Commerce, home runs for the Business Team.

In 2001 Alito wrote a majority opinion striking down an EPA order mandating that the W.R.Grace Company clean up drinking water that its fertilizer plant had poisoned in Lansing, Michigan. Alito said the EPA lacked a rational basis for imposing such a costly burden on the company. In a 1997 Appeals Court dissent Alito argued that a black housekeeping manager from Marriott, who claimed she’d been passed over for promotion for racial reasons, had no standing. To allow her to sue, Alito, wrote, was to allow “ disgruntled employees to impose the cost of trial on employers who, although they have not acted with the intent to discriminate, may have treated their employees unfairly.”

There’s no doubt that Alito is vehemently opposed to any woman’s right to choose. As his 90-year old mother Rose snapped at reporters the day Bush nominated him, “Of course he’s against abortion.

Alito’s 1991 Appeals Court minority opinion on abortion has been widely publicized, and rightly so. The issue before the Appeals Court was the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania law saying that a woman had to inform her spouse of an impending abortion.

The actual case concerned a woman terrified that her abusive partner would beat her up if she so informed him. Alito’s arguments were rejected by US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who staked out her own ground with a tart dismissal: “The state may not give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children.”

Liberals now girding themselves for a showdown over the nomination have an inconvenient skeleton to deal with. When New Jersey’s two Democratic senators — Bradley and Lautenberg — glowingly (“an accomplished and distinguished lawyer”) presented Alito to their colleagues on the Senate Judiciary committee in April 1990, the room hummed with good vibrations.

Kennedy warmly praised President George H.W. Bush’s nominee, and said he was “sure” Alito would be a successful judge. Though they had his record in the Solicitor General’s office and as US Attorney before them the committee only asked Alito four questions, before voting to confirm. One of these piercing interrogatories went to Alito’s 4-year old son, coyly (this was Kennedy) asking whether the lad thought his father was judicial timber.

The Democrats claim they’re going to battle Alito down to the wire, but the recent Roberts nomination casts a shadow over this pledge. Senator Leahy of Vermont, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, voted for Roberts and so did that hero of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Feingold of Wisconsin.

So if any effective undermining of Alito’s nomination is to take place, it will probably come from Republican moderates, the political grouping that has no appetite for a knock-down fight on abortion. Bush needs just such a showdown, to give him a stronger political profile amid his current woes. The Democrats have Choice as almost their sole remaining issue and money raiser. But the Republican moderates who have to face the voters in the mid-term elections next year, know that this issue could mean the difference between victory and defeat. A majority of the American people have no desire to abolish a woman’s right to choose.

(This column originally appeared in the Nov. 2, 2005 edition of CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink co-written with Joshua Frank. He can be reached at: Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Courtesy,


  1. Chuck Dunbar July 1, 2022


    Bill McKibben

    “Credit where due: the Supreme Court’s 6–3 ruling in West Virginia v. E.P.A. is the culmination of a five-decade effort to make sure that the federal government won’t threaten the business status quo. Lewis Powell’s famous memo, written in 1971, before he joined the Supreme Court—between the enactment of a strong Clean Air Act and a strong Clean Water Act, each with huge popular support—called on ‘businessmen’ to stand up to the tide of voices …calling for progressive change.’ He outlined a plan for slowly rebuilding the power of industrial élites, almost all the elements of which were taken up by conservative movements over subsequent years: monitoring textbooks and TV stations, attacking left-wing faculty at universities, even building a publishing industry…

    Fatefully, he also wrote: ‘American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.’ At the time he was writing, the ‘activist’ court was standing up for things that most Americans wanted, such as clean air and water—and the right of women to control their own bodies. But the Supreme Court, and hence the judiciary, has come under the control of the kind of men that Powell envisioned—he may not have envisioned women on the bench, but Amy Coney Barrett is otherwise his type of judge. And, with this ruling, they have taken more or less total control of Washington’s ability to generate policy that might disrupt the status quo.

    In essence, the ruling begins to strip away the power of agencies such as the E.P.A. to enforce policy: instead of allowing federal agencies to enforce, say, the Clean Air Act to clean the air, in this new dispensation, Congress would have to pass regulations that are much more explicit, as each new pollutant came to the fore. As West Virginia’s attorney general explained, ‘What we’re looking to do is to make sure that the right people under our constitutional system make the correct decisions . . .  these federal agencies loxsxsdrtdon’t have the ability to act solely on their own without getting a clear statement from Congress…’

    But, of course, the Court has also insured that ‘getting a clear statement from Congress’ to address our deepest problems is essentially impossible. The decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C., in 2010, empowered corporations to game our political system at will. That explains, in part, why Congress has not passed a real climate bill in decades. The efforts that Democratic Administrations have made to try and control greenhouse gasses have mostly used provisions of the Clean Air Act because it is the last serious law of its kind that ever came to a President’s desk (Nixon’s, in this case)…”
    THE NEW YORKER, 6/30/22

  2. Deborah Silva July 1, 2022

    The CA DOJ website has a bit more information about the CCW data breach at their website. Specifically, the info breached included people that were granted or denied permits between 2011 and 2021. Plus, there are other dashboards besides the CCW permits that were breached, namely: Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Safety Certificate, and Gun Violence Restraining Order dashboards.

  3. Kirk Vodopals July 1, 2022

    I agree with the Editor about the morning programming on KZYX. I used to try to grind my teeth on my morning commute listening to the Takeaway, but I got so fed up with gender-this and that and stories focused on urban wokeness that I made the permanent jump to podcasts and Regelski.
    Someone should load up an mp3 player for the Editor with my favorite news podcast: Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar.

  4. Kirk Vodopals July 1, 2022

    Yes, Bill Gates owns lots of farmland, but that really isn’t that much for the richest guy in the world. The Fisher family owns 400,000 acres of northern California redwood forestland. Rhett Emerson owns probably triple that in the Sierras. Bill’s got a long way to go to catch up with the good old boys.

    • George Hollister July 1, 2022

      Beginning in the early 20th Century, how much land a person owned was no longer a true measure of wealth. How much real estate does Elon Musk own?

  5. George Hollister July 1, 2022

    Does Mendocino Land Trust know that Jared Huffman wants to remove Scott Dam, and drain Lake Pillsbury?

  6. Eric Sunswheat July 1, 2022

    I don’t think Jared Huffman wants to remove Scott Dam and drain Lake Pillsbury, which the Mendocino Land Trust needs to be aware of. That’s your dog whistle, George Hollister..

    Jared Huffman wants the best decision based on the science, economics, and geographical compromise necessary, that ensure robust health for bio region ecosystem and community, in the present and future.

    Many of the more successful irrigated landowners in Potter Valley, have already consolidated further acreage, bought farmland with more secure water availability outside of the district, and or invested in vacation retirement homes on the Mendocino coast and elsewhere.

    Anything less admirable about Jared Huffman in this matter, may be opinionated smoke blowing from your jaded hidden agenda perspective, unless you have more to offer on the subject.

    • George Hollister July 1, 2022

      Jared Huffman has stated he wants Scott Dam removed. If he doesn’t, he needs to say so. And if he wants. the “best science”, then he needs to pursue the best science, and not his ideologically based version of. that.

  7. Marmon July 1, 2022

    Best Pride Month Ever:

    -Prayer protected
    -Filibuster protected
    -Gun rights protected
    -Federalism protected
    -Unborn lives protected


    • Kirk Vodopals July 1, 2022

      All this with a Democrat president… Reminds me of when tricky Dick created the Environmental Protection Agency

    • Cotdbigun July 1, 2022

      I have to add Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears and and Mexican born Congresswoman Mayera Flores to all this wonderful news. Apparently the Republican Congresswomans district was blue for over a hundred years. If I was not constantly reminded about the hateful ignorant, racist, phobic and fascist pos I really am, (I voted for Trump)I would be jumping with joy, I really would.
      Never mind , I love the direction that we’re heading in and I am happy as can be.
      Joe and the Hoe must go and common sense is coming back.

  8. Katrina Bartolomie July 1, 2022


    Election Fraud?

    Elections Officer Katrina Bartolomei and/or District Attorney David Eyster, white courtesy phone please.

    What’s the process to investigate election fraud and who does the investigating?

    ** To report election fraud, please call me at 707 234-6819. I will be glad to speak with you.

  9. Bruce Anderson July 1, 2022

    It’s one thing to oppose the Biden Admin, quite another to paint them with gratuitous insults. What’s the point?

  10. Craig Stehr July 1, 2022

    It is 5:33PM in downtown Ukiah, California. Just left the protest in front of the courthouse which opposes the U.S. supreme court decision to reverse Roe VS Wade. Mostly younger women with appropriate placards, plus everybody else who demands the separation of church and state, and who identifies with being pro-choice fills the front area of the courthouse. It is colorful, noisy, and of course politically correct. That’s it for today…am heading back to my bed at Building Bridges homeless shelter with a stop at the co-op for more fruit juices for the weekend. ~Peaceout~
    Craig Louis Stehr July 1, 2022

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