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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 2, 2022

Cloudy Cool | Independence Shortage | Broadband Comptche | Ukiah Valley | Water Curtailments | Pok-A-Dot | Dumps Closed | Jail Coop | Supe Reports | WPA Camp | Area Code | Superfine Crackers | Circus School | Weed Tax | Pass Plays | AV Village | Watertower | Arco Robber | Something Important | Fireworks Cleanup | Resiliency Funding | Possum Trot | Vacancy Tax | Suffrage | NIMBY Boomers | Gualala Arts | Cannabis Watch | Services Available | Ed Notes | Young Swain | Yesterday's Catch | Shasta Couple | Stupid Americans | Hope Overturned | Bari Tale | Croc Abuse | Pelosi Begging | Corporate Underwriter | Ukraine | Sonny Barger | Asylum Seekers | One Party | Sorry Frosting | Newsom Florida | Enchanted State | Faded Summer | Eureka 23

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A TROUGHING PATTERN will continue to enhance cloud cover and coastal drizzle, as well as keep inland high temperatures lower. Some isolated thunderstorm development may be possible for eastern Trinity County this afternoon. Blocked flow will hold general troughing and very light precipitation chances through mid week. (NWS)

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To make a long story short, fiber broadband internet with gigabit speeds is coming to unserved areas of Mendocino county within two years. As it stands now, this modern fiber internet will be skipping over Comptche.

That is, unless you help us.

We need letters of support to put in front of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and we need them by July 13th, 2022. If everyone in Comptche turns out and writes these letters of support, the Comptche Broadband Committee can convince the powers at CPUC to include us in Mendocino’s network revitalization.

Please go to our website at, download the support letter template, fill it out with your personal story and return them to the Broadband committee. We’ll do our darnedest to make sure Comptche isn’t left out in the cold again. We also fill in the details on what’s going on with California’s big fiber push.

Let’s fix our telephone and internet network for good.

Jim Gagnon


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Ukiah Valley, circa 1868 (photograph taken by M.M. Hazeltine)

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by Mary Callahan

State water regulators curtailed 331 water rights in the Russian River watershed effective Friday, ending a weekslong reprieve brought on by late-season rainfall that prevented restrictions from being imposed earlier this summer.

The long-expected order means several hundred ranchers, grape growers and other landowners are now prohibited from exercising rights to draw water from the river and some of its tributaries, because of insufficient supplies.

“We’re getting more and more efficient as time goes on, but it still hurts when you’re told you can’t irrigate any more on your property,” said Duff Bevill, a Dry Creek-area grape grower and vineyard manager, who oversees 1,200 acres. “It’s tough dry farming. If it were easy, we’d all be doing it.”

But the order means different things to different water rights holders. Some may have alternate water sources or other active water rights, while some may be participating in a new voluntary water sharing agreement that allows those with enough water to transfer part of their water right to those who are curtailed.

Margo Warnecke Merck is vineyard and ranch manager at Warnecke Ranch & Vineyards, between the Russian River and Chalk Hill Road east of Healdsburg. The land has been in her family for more than a century. She knows from past experience that water stored over the winter in a reservoir on the property will suffice to irrigate the vineyards through harvest, even though one of her five water rights is curtailed.

But she also welcomed the opportunity to help others who might not be so lucky and joined the sharing agreement, which was developed by regional stakeholders and approved by the State Water Resources Control Board last month.

The program has attracted 135 water right holders, including the city of Ukiah and the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District, which have water to share.

“We’re all trying to work together, I hope,” Merck said. “We’re all in it together.”

One of those who hopes to benefit is Isaul “Junior” Macias, vineyard manager at Hoot Owl Creek Vineyard in Alexander Valley, which had its water right curtailed Friday and is part of the water sharing agreement.

But Macias said he also took significant steps to prepare for the inevitable this year, including adopting the use of soil agents that are applied to his vineyards through the drip system and help limited irrigation supplies penetrate deeply and stay longer in the root zone.

In addition, 20 acres of unproductive vines have been pulled out, further reducing water needs.

Also, an enormous problem with leaking irrigation pipes, caused largely by thirsty wildlife chewing into the lines, has been reduced by leaving water buckets out for the animals at the end of vineyard rows.

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HARRY MARTIN: As this long drought continues with more and more restrictions and cutbacks for existing users I observe that developers apparently have free reign and wide open access to whatever water may be available. I observe very large developments in Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa and other places. Do the agencies demanding and imposing more and more restrictions recognize that their credibility is drying up faster than the Russian River? I realize developments are in process for considerable time. But if current residents can be made to restrict their use could not developers be placed on hold? Or required to provide water for new development? Sonoma County is following the absurd practices of Southern California with endless development and very limited water, except we have no water rich neighbors from which we may steal. Would the Press Democrat please explore this aspect of the drought?

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All transfer stations and administrative offices will be closed Monday, July 4 in observance of the holiday.

All curbside pick up for the week of July 4 - 8 will be done as normally scheduled. Please place your trash/recycle carts out as normal.

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN in her Monthly Update for May 2022: “Each month the Board members submit a written report that updates the other Board members and the community on the work that we are doing.”

Mark Scaramella replies: No, they’re not. Haschak does, albeit of little public interest value. Mulheren does them sporadically. She used to do them weekly, but the weekly reports were mostly filler from the previously posted agendas. In addition, reporting that the Supervisor went to this meeting or that zoom group without saying what was discussed or what was decided is pointless and can not in any way be described as “work that we are doing.” We have never seen anything like written monthly reports from McGourty, Williams or Gjerde.

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WPA Workers Camp, Low Gap Road, Ukiah, 1937

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June 23, 2022 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today acted to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet the demand in the geographic region served by the 707 area code by approving a second area code (called an overlay) that will provide additional numbering resources while minimizing customer inconvenience. The new area code to overlay the 707 area code is 369.

The 707 area code, serving portions of Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, and Trinity counties, is projected to run out of available prefixes (the first three numbers after the area code in a phone number) by the fourth quarter of 2023. The CPUC’s action today approves the request of the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party area code relief planner for California, for approval of an area code overlay to provide additional numbering resources to meet the demand for telephone numbers.

An area code overlay adds a second area code to the geographic region served by the existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes co-exist within the same geographic region. Existing 707 customers will retain their area code and specific telephone number(s). Customers will continue to dial the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 707 and 369 area codes. The price of a call will not change due to the overlay. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.

Below are some tips to help prepare for the area code overlay:

  • Contact security or alarm vendors to update dial-up numbers to avoid a break in security routines and contacts.
  • Reprogram equipment or features, i.e., automatic dial, speed-dial, call forwarding, modems for computer or Internet dial-up access, etc.
  • Update items like stationery, checks, etc., to include your area code + telephone number.
  • Provide your area code and telephone number, not just the telephone number, as needed.
  • When asking for someone’s number, remember to ask for the area code, too.
  • Remember that the previous area code and the new area code will co-exist within the same geographic region.

The 707 area code was created when it split off the 415 area code in 1959. The 707 area code serves the cities of American Canyon, Arcata, Benicia, Calistoga, Clearlake, Cloverdale, Cotati, Crescent City, Dixon, Eureka, Fairfield, Ferndale, Fort Bragg, Healdsburg, Lakeport, Napa, Novato, Petaluma, Point Arena, Rio Dell, Rio Vista, Rohnert Park, Saint Helena, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Suisun City, Trinidad, Ukiah, Vacaville, Vallejo, Windsor, Willits, and Yountville.

The proposal voted on is available at

Documents related to the proceeding are available at,57,RIR:P5_PROCEEDING_SELECT:A2104009.

More information on the 707 area code is available at

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit

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by Justine Frederiksen

Students at Anderson Valley Elementary School are enjoying a special treat this summer, learning acrobatic skills firsthand from members of Mendocino County’s own Flynn Creek Circus.

Louise Simson, superintendent of the Anderson Valley School District in Boonville, said that “creating a fun and engaging summer program was a priority after students have suffered two years of COVID-related losses in their life.”

Simson credited lead teacher Charlotte Triplett with the idea of partnering with Flynn Creek Circus, which was founded in 2002 by Blaze Birge and David Jones, and offering “district-enrolled students in grades K-7 a unique learning opportunity.”

Simson said “circus staff have erected a tent on the back playground grass and are instructing students for three weeks in silks, trapeze, and trampoline.”

When explaining why she felt such activities were important, Simson said, “Students need to find out their ‘why’ to come to school. School is, of course, the place of learning, but it’s also a place of relationships and motivation and art.”

Flynn Creek Circus has been hosting such camps for about a decade, often in the town of Mendocino.

During a camp in 2016, Birge explained what it takes to become a circus performer as she watched about 60 kids run around the tent she and her crew set up in Mendocino’s Friendship Park.

“People think it’s all physical, that you need to have the right body for this,” she said. “But really, it’s all in your head. Your head, and your heart.”

And while you can’t teach passion, you can teach a few basic circus skills to just about anyone, even 6-year-olds. You just have to make things simple.

Want to climb a rope? Wrap the rope around one leg and make a “rope sandwich” with your feet, then use your legs as much as possible to move up the rope.

Want to climb the Chinese Pole? Use your “tiger paw,” which is a strong grip that activates the strength of your fingers and your forearms.

Even if no camp participants ever actually become circus performers, Birge will consider the camps she and Jones host as successes.

“This is our way of giving back to the community that supports us,” said Birge, who performs with Jones as the Daring Jones Duo. “This is what inspires me, and I want to share that with people, because maybe it will inspire them, too.”

Flynn Creek Circus is also now on tour with their latest show, “Balloons, birds and other flying things.” Currently playing in Mendocino, the show comes to Ukiah in mid-August. For more information, go to

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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DAVE SMITH: I once shared a mid-afternoon Mexican restaurant in Palo Alto with Bill Walsh and his wife as the only patrons. I did not bother them. And I remember the story of them standing in line at another restaurant and Walsh’s wife said she felt his finger moving around on her shoulder. Bill was designing plays to pass the time…

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We currently have a record 64 members (49 memberships) and 44 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand! 

Ideas for the Newsletter? I would love some help collecting info and events of interest to our community – please let me know if you would like to help beef up our newsletter and calendar content!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful members and volunteers – trivia: which 2 members below have the same birthday?: Ann Christen, Barbara Goodell, Deborah Kanani, Jerry Karp, Daniel Mandelbaum, Mary O'Brien, Kathryn Porter (don't see your name? send me your birthdate)

Free TV: The Village has a 32” Panasonic LCD flat screen television with remote to give to any member for free. It is a Panasonic model TC32LX14 includes remote and instruction booklet. It is not a smart TV. It has two HDMI inputs plus the std. array of RCA Jack plugs. It is a Cable ready TV. Contact Philip if you interested: (707) 895-3595 or cell (707) 972-5620

Upcoming Village Event!

Forest Ecology Walks At Hendy Woods State Parks
When: Sat 07/02/2022, 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Where: Hendy Woods State Park

See more listed on our Events Calendar

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MacCallum Water Tower, 1975

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On Thursday, June 30, 2022 at approximately 8:27 P.M., Sergeant Shaw and Officer Frank of the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to 1004 S. Main Street, Arco Gas, for the report of a robbery that just occurred. The suspect had reportedly fled the location. Officers responded and arrived in the area within three minutes of receiving the call. 

During the investigation, it was determined the suspect, later identified as Naithan Norton, 33, of Fort Bragg, had entered Arco Gas and approached the cashier. Norton demanded money from the register, gesturing as if he was in possession of a firearm. After being provided with the money, Norton fled the location on foot. 

At approximately 8:31 P.M., Officer Frank located Norton approximately two blocks away from the scene. Norton was being restrained by two employees of Arco Gas and Officer Frank took him into custody without incident. 

At the time of his detention, the money, which was taken from the Arco Gas station, was located across the street hidden in a bush. A search of Norton’s property revealed drug paraphernalia and controlled substances. After being booked at the Police Department, Norton began to delay officers by kicking the patrol car doors and demanding to be cited and released. 

Norton was transported to the Mendocino County Jail for robbery, possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting and or delaying. 

No one sustained physical injury during this incident. No firearm was located. 

If you have any further information on this incident, please contact Sergeant Shaw at (707) 961-2800 ext. 181. Anonymous information can be left on the Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049. 

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Post Firework Show Clean Up - Volunteers Needed!

Meet a city employee at 9:00 am on Sunday, July 3rd at one of the clean- up sites: 

Noyo Headlands Park Parking Lot ~ Todd's Point Parking Lot ~ Noyo Beach 

1. Grab Supplies: Gloves, bucket & pickup stick. (Note: Limited trash pick up supplies will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own clean up gear if possible.)

2. Clean up around the fireworks viewing areas.

3. Return Supplies. Bring back buckets and grabbers if you borrowed them at 10:30 AM 

Thank you.

(Fort Bragg City Presser)

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LAKE COUNTY AMONG RECIPIENTS of first-ever resiliency funding to disaster vulnerable communities

Mendocino County awarded $992,000 for a similar program:

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Welcome to Possum Trot

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Supporters of a proposed San Francisco tax on vacant homes have gathered enough signatures to qualify their measure for the November ballot.

The Empty Homes Tax campaign announced Thursday that had submitted 13,734 signatures to the city — well above the nearly 9,000 needed to appear before voters this fall.

If approved by a simple majority in the Nov. 8 election, the tax would make about 4,500 vacant units available over two years and generate more than $38 million in annual revenue, according to a January report from the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst.

The tax measure, backed by Supervisor Dean Preston and some of his allies, is an attempt to make inroads on the city’s housing shortage by freeing up more of the existing supply of units that are currently unoccupied.

It’s also an effort to emulate taxes imposed in other expensive cities, including Oakland and Vancouver, British Columbia. Berkeley is considering placing a similar tax before voters as well.

“Even among folks who may disagree on other issues, I think everyone’s really frustrated by prolonged vacancies,” Preston said. “This is the strongest tool to address that problem.”

San Franciso has an estimated 40,000 empty homes. Would taxing them help solve the city’s housing crisis?

The January City analyst’s report, which was prepared for Preston, found that San Francisco had more than 40,458 vacant homes in 2019. Many of them were listed for rent or sale, or they were empty because a tenant hadn’t moved in yet, the unit was intended for part-time use or it was unoccupied for some other reason such as ongoing repairs.

However, the fastest-growing segment of vacant housing identified by the report was more than 8,000 empty units that were “sold but not occupied.” That category may include some homes that owners bought “as investments or cash havens with no intention of moving in or renting them out,” the report said.

The proposed tax would range from $2,500 to $5,000 in the first year, depending on the size of the unit. It would increase to a maximum of $20,000 in later years. The tax would apply to owners of vacant homes in buildings with three or more units, if the units in question had been vacant for more than 182 days. Single-family homes and duplexes would be exempt.

“This is targeted at the real estate speculators who have the business practice of buying and holding these properties,” Preston said. “They’re just not really in the single-family home space in San Francisco and haven’t been.”

Money raised from the tax would be earmarked for affordable housing acquisitions and rent subsidies for seniors and low-income households.

The potential ballot measure comes as San Francisco sees a huge slowdown in construction and Mayor London Breed is looking at strategies to jumpstart residential building. The city is also facing state mandates to plan for the construction of 82,000 new homes by 2031.

There are exemptions: The tax, which ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the size of the home and increases over time, would not apply to primary residences, leased properties, or homes intended for tourists and other travelers, such as corporate or short-term rentals. Nonprofit and government-owned units and single-room occupancy hotels (SROs) without kitchens are also exempt, as are units in a nursing home or residential care facilities. The measure requires a simple majority of votes cast to pass.

Supervisor Preston:

“Other jurisdictions, particularly in Vancouver, are really seeing an impact from taxing prolonged vacancies as a way to incentivize these units to be rented out or are occupied by owner occupants. The goal, really, is not to collect a bunch of tax revenue — it's to change the behavior of folks that are holding units off the market for prolonged periods of time, and to get them to activate those units — to rent them out to tenants, or sell them to people who want to live there. It will incentivize some folks to do that.

“But we know that there are also some investors and landlords that will continue to keep units vacant, and then they'll pay the tax. It is structured in a way so that the proceeds would be split 50/50 between one pot of funds for rent subsidies for seniors and low-income renters. The other pot of funds would be for the acquisition of big vacant properties.

“The people I've spoken with about their signature gathering experience — and it's consistent with what I've experienced — say that there is very broad support, even from folks who may disagree on other local issues and housing issues. There's not a lot of people that I've found who think that prolonged vacancies for residential units in the city is a good thing. So I think there's really broad agreement that it's actually a problem that units sit vacant, and everyone knows in their neighborhood or their community, those buildings that have been empty five, 20 years.

“It's really frustrating for people who see a homelessness crisis, who know people who are experiencing housing insecurity — meanwhile, you see a building that's just sitting there completely empty year after year, with everyone's saying they can't really do anything about it. Instead of just collectively shrugging our shoulders at this problem, this is actually the strongest tool that city government has and that voters have to get some of these units activated.

“Some say that this measure overrides personal homeowner rights. But buildings under three units are fully exempt. If the question is about single-family homeowners or duplexes, the simple answer is that it doesn't impact them at all. Speaking generally — this is fully legal and any property owner can avoid the tax by simply filling the empty home. Property owners shouldn't have a right to hold homes vacant for years without being taxed for that prolonged vacancy.

“If approved, would the tax take effect in January 2024. There's significant time built in to ramping this up. Now, I think you'll start to see a change of behavior once folks know there's a vacancy tax. If this passes in November, the relevant period for tracking the vacancies would start in June 2023.

“This is a really powerful tool that we have to activate units — it's also a really carefully crafted measure that makes sure that naturally occurring vacancies are not taxed. So in other words, a tenant moves out and the landlord takes a couple of months to repaint a unit and put it back on the market, they're not getting taxed for that. In any number of situations one can point to — the owner dies, and the unit's vacant for six months, a year or whatever, while it's going through probate — anything you can think of that is a just a regular, naturally occurring vacancy or something that we shouldn't be taxing people for is excluded here.

“What we're looking at is the practice of prolonged vacancies, units being held off the market, either after tenants have been displaced, or just because the owner has no interest in renting out the unit. Sometimes people say, ‘Well, how could someone own property and not want to rent it out in San Francisco, when you could be earning $3,000-$6,000 a month for rent.’ And what I think a lot of folks who say that don't understand is how many of the owners, particularly of newer construction, are not viewing their ownership of property as a way to generate income off the rental. It's just a place to park money for future resale. I think this would really change that calculation and impose a cost on that kind of business practice.

The amount of the tax would range from $2,500 to $5,000 per vacant unit, depending on the unit’s size. In later years, the tax rate would increase to a maximum of $20,000 (for homes larger than 2,000 square feet) if the same owner kept that unit vacant for two consecutive years.

The tax rate would be adjusted for inflation.

The Empty Homes Tax would expire on Dec. 31, 2053. The Board of Supervisors could later amend this tax without further voter approval by a two-thirds vote, unless prohibited by the State Constitution from doing so.

The tax is projected to raise $38 million annually.

Oakland implemented a tax on residential vacancies in 2018, and Berkeley is considering such a measure as well.

(SF Chronicle)

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Daney Dawson: What some people don't get is that without the NIMBY Boomers who came here in the 60's and 70's and beyond, Mendocino Headlands would be covered in condos, expensive condos. Mendocino would be filled with fast food, motels, etc. Her water would have long ago dried up, or some impossibly expensive water extraction scheme would have arisen.

There would be oil rigs off our coast, and most likely our water would be polluted. There would be no safe kayaking in Little River. There might be a nuclear power plant in Point Arena.

Our redwood forests would be decimated, there might be no more salmon, perhaps a wave energy project off the coast of Fort Bragg. Sierra Railway would be getting ready to start their mega development on the Noyo Headlands.

I suspect that young people and/or people who moved here recently don't know the history of environmental movements on the coast. They have no idea how hard people have worked to protect the coast from over- development and commercial exploitation.

It is precisely the NIMBY Boomers who have the time, experience, and wisdom to act to prevent corporate takeover of our environment. So next time you see one on the street, thank them for their service to the community and the planet. They did more than just complain and blame.

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Andrea Luna: I’m not strictly a “boomer,” being born in 1944, but most of my friend-peers have been deeply involved and committed to fighting for the local issues you mentioned, while joining the larger struggles in the USA and globally to protect the environment, human rights etc. Yes, NIMBY can be narrow, self serving and entitled. But negatively labeling all “Boomers” as such is simply not true. I’d prefer to be acknowledged as an “Elder,” and would appreciate a more nuanced seeing of my peers and the activist history of many.

BTW I was not opposed to the Green container which I expressed in my email to the List and did encourage direct contact with Craig.

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Autumn Faber: Daney, It's funny you should mention environmental work in the community since that is exactly what Craig's business is all about - educating his clients about ocean conservation.

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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), have aligned their enforcement teams for the 2022 cannabis growing season.

As authorized by California Fish and Game Code, section 12029, CDFW, DCC and SWRCB, established a Watershed Enforcement Program to address environmental impacts associated with cannabis cultivation.

Funded by voter approved Proposition 64, the multiagency task force focuses on priority watersheds and areas with sensitive habitat and/or threatened or endangered species. County, state and federal partners also play an important role in ensuring the success of these objectives through enforcement support and the judicial process.

The environmental impacts from unlawful water diversions and habitat destruction associated with cannabis cultivation can have detrimental effects on fish and wildlife and their habitats, which are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the people.

California’s streams, which are common victims to illegal water diversions, play an important role in ecosystem biodiversity and habitat value. Tributary streams are often critical in providing clear, cold water for larger waterways. Many sensitive aquatic species such as southern torrent salamanders, coastal tailed frogs, steelhead and coho salmon rely on these tributaries in the late summer months to maintain water quality and temperatures necessary for survival.

Disruption of stream systems also has significant physical, biological and chemical impacts that extend into the surrounding habitat adversely affecting not only the fish and wildlife species dependent on the stream itself, but also the plants and wildlife in the surrounding area that rely on the adjacent habitat for feeding, reproduction and shelter.

With continued drought conditions, protection of our water resources is paramount for the long-term survival of the plants, fish and wildlife that depend on them.

Throughout the state, CDFW, DCC, SWRCB, county partners and local code enforcement agencies, among others are actively addressing illegal cannabis cultivation and unauthorized construction activity to protect these resources.

For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer, visit the DCC website at, call (844) 61-CA-DCC (844-612-2322) or send an email to To report suspected illegal cannabis activity, visit

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, visit or email To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, illegal water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

To learn more about the State and Regional Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, visit For compliance assistance regarding the Division of Water Quality Cannabis Cultivation General Order, send an email to or call (916) 341-5580. For compliance assistance regarding the Division of Water Rights Small Irrigation Use Registration, send an email to or call (916) 319-9427.

See more details on fines, fees and administrative penalties for illegally cultivating cannabis.

Comments from Task Force and Partners

“The environmental impacts of illegal cannabis operations can last decades and cause irreparable harm to our natural resources,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Those not complying with state laws and disregarding the environmental impacts associated with illegal cultivation practices will be subject to enforcement actions.”

“CDFW fully supports the regulated cannabis market and applauds those taking steps to comply with state laws,” said Sarah Paulson, Acting Cannabis Program Director. “With the second year of drought conditions, our native plants, fish and wildlife are feeling the pressure to feed, breed and survive. Protecting our natural resources is more important than ever.”

“Building and maintaining a safe, legal cannabis industry in California protects public health and safety and preserves our natural resources,” said Bill Jones, Deputy Director of Enforcement at the Department of Cannabis Control. “Our law enforcement team is proud to partner with state and local agencies to combat the illicit cannabis market and protect California’s land and people.”

“Complying with the state’s cannabis regulations is even more critical in drought conditions when limited water supply is available and water quality impacts are magnified,” said Yvonne West, Director, Office of Enforcement for the State Water Resources Control Board. “I am proud to work with so many individuals in the cannabis community dedicated to regulated and environmentally conscientious cultivation. The State Water Board is committed to taking enforcement action against those who harm our precious water resources.”

“My office is committed to criminal and civil enforcement to protect the environment and public safety,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “Environmental harms from cannabis cultivation can be severe and long-term, including exposure to dangerous pesticides, water quality degradation, and wildlife injury. Moreover, cultivators who violate the law should not have an unfair competitive advantage over lawful cultivators who expend time and resources to stay in compliance. My office will continue to collaborate with our local and state agency partners to ensure compliance with the law.”

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On Line Comments

(1) If the agencies believe enforcement is so effective, why are they waiting until July to announce their intentions? Plenty of dep rounds already done and more coming.

The PR is so long and wordy I can’t understand who the intended audience is. Maybe they could spend more time doing their ‘job’ and less time thinking and talking about it. Maybe their efforts never amount to much…

(2) Maybe they know it’s important to the continuation of their paycheck that they produce wordy press releases that will distract the public from the fact that they are sucking millions from the public trough and not accomplishing shit. 

I thought one of the arguments for legalization was that we could increase tax revenue while cutting out the exorbitant cost of cannabis law enforcement? Aren’t the citizens of the state tired of spending millions of dollars on a process that’s less effective than the simple economics of legal ag commodities? Or do most people still have a desire to feel like someone is still being punished for the moral transgression of growing weed?

(3) As long as cannabis growers break the law, there will be cannabis law enforcement. It’s that simple.

(4) It's all for show. And to keep the budget flowing. They drive past hundreds of illegal grows to handpick the ones they choose to shake down. They loot rob steal and bully. Holding women and children at gunpoint. Arrange the debris for a photo op. Then puff up their chests and repeat. Our government has degraded to a sickening low

(5) Yes. And they work slow- me and a couple buddies could break down 4X the amount of plants they do in a day. And they find anything they can to place civil fines on, sometimes creating new fines right on the spot, on very minor trangressions. It’s a bummer to see CDFW stoop to such levels as I had lots of respect for their mission before this militarization and revenue-seeking took over their agency. But I don’t think they care how much they have compromised their public trust.

(6) I too am disappointed with CDFW. WET team was created in mid2010s with one purpose in mind and they always came armed, with dogs in a overwhelming aggressive approach. Complete military tactics. They left a trail of destruction while never really impacting cultivation levels. The scientists out of Redding are good people, but never trust the guys with dark trucks and riffles.

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WHO'S THE FRAUD? The millions of Trumpers who claim election fraud where none, anywhere in the United States, was discovered, are as beyond reason and accountability as their orange icon. It would be nice if we could visit their job sites and shout at them, “You fraud! Loafer! Incompetent! You ought to be fired and thrown into jail.”

ORWELL said it so even a Trumper could understand. Went like this, “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” The prob here is that millions of people are clinging to untruth and are stark, raving mad. And they vote.

WITH SO MANY PEOPLE being revived from fentanyl overdoses by police and other first responders, I wonder if they might record quick interviews with the person Narcanned back to life about what the retrieved experienced while they were on the eternal side of death's door. Many non-drug people who've come close to dying report a brightly lit white tunnel at the end of which a kind of reception committee of dead relations and friends seemed to be waiting for them.

I HAD a version of the above experience ten years ago when I conked out from sepsis, spending four days in an ICU. A jolly nurse told me staff was taking bets on my chances of surviving the first night. “What were the odds?” I asked. She said, “Fifty-fifty.” I asked her which side she'd bet on. “Oh, yours,” she said with a laugh and, I assumed, the proper professional uplift.

NOT a mystic bone in my ancient bod, believe me, but also believe me when I tell you I experienced a white light but no reception committee. What I did experience was that light plus what seemed to be total recall of conversations with people from my early youth, people I hadn't thought about in years, people long dead. They were right there, and we were talking about prosaic occurrences all the way back to Honolulu, circa 1940.

* * *


by Austin Murphy

Daniel Swain was six years old when the storm hit. Now 33, he still has vivid memories of the downed trees and power lines, the cyclone-force winds that shattered the front window of his family's ridgetop house in San Rafael.

That December 1995 megastorm “was kind of frightening, but also kind exciting and certainly fascinating,” recalled Swain, an ex-meteorological prodigy who as a teenager installed a weather station on the roof of that house. He was still a student at San Rafael High School when he created Weather West, a blog on weather and climate that is, 16 years later, one of the most influential of its kind.

Swain's lifelong enthrallment with weather led to a career that gives him a front-row seat on the perils now facing the planet — and a megaphone to provide the world with a play-by-play.

As a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, he's written and co-authored dozens of articles for scholarly journals. That expertise, along with a different set of skills, has propelled Swain to a profile unusually high for a self-described “weather geek.”

Gifted communicator

If his name seems familiar, that's probably because you've seen him quoted in print, or caught some of his hits on national television — such as the segment in which he had no choice but to school Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

Swain's considerable talent as a researcher — he's also a climate fellow at the Nature Conservancy of California, and a research fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research — is matched by his knack for making that science widely accessible, translating arcane concepts into language easily understood by the layperson.

Prolific on Twitter, he's masterful at forecasting, then live-tweeting storms, wildfires, heat waves and other atmospheric goings on, such as the massive lightning storm that lit up California on June 22 and 23.

In 2013, to better describe a vast high-pressure system that had stalled over the West Coast, diverting storms away from California, he coined the phrase “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge,” which now has its own Wikipedia entry.

Think of Swain as a millennial Bill Nye the Science Guy — minus the bow tie, but packing much beefier bona fides as a researcher.

Swain's strength as a “science communicator” makes him a valuable messenger, at a time when the need for such messengers has never been more urgent.

The thing about shouting '“Fire!” in a crowded theater, he once tweeted, “is that it makes total sense if the theater is actually on fire. When it comes to climate change, that's essentially where we are right now.”

That tweet was three and a half years ago.

Road less traveled

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric expert who is chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, describes psychological distance — “the idea that climate impacts are far away from us in time, or space, or relevance” — as “one of the greatest barriers to understanding the risks posed by climate change.”

Swain's work, she said, “tears down this barrier,” underscoring the urgency of the situation, “showing everyone how climate change is here and now, affecting all of us today.”

While that work is important and righteous, it holds some risk. Swain is a “first-rate, world class climate scientist and modeler” with a tall stack of “extremely influential” publications to his credit, said Peter Kareiva, former director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Most scientists of Swain's stature “would be pretty close to getting tenure,” he said.

Instead, Swain is blazing a different trail — one with far less job security.

Before Swain arrived at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, his role as a science communicator did not exist. “We created the position specifically because of his talents,” said Kareiva, who is now CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

“My role is very unusual, I'm lucky to have it,” Swain said, adding that his role is only possible thanks to ongoing support from The Nature Conservancy of California.

The importance of effective, impartial messengers became increasingly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by oceans of “misinformation and active disinformation,” said Swain, “where the reality you inhabit is now very much predictable by your political party.”

“That's a huge problem, societally — well beyond climate change — and one I address in my capacity as a public-facing climate scientist.”

Elephant in the room

He had different ambitions, coming out of San Rafael High School.

At UC Davis, Swain worked toward his degree in Atmospheric Science, which put him on a career track to be a meteorologist, or weather forecaster.

At some point in that process, his goals shifted. Climate change, it became clear to him, would be the most important, overarching issue of his lifetime.

“I said, 'OK, I'm still a weather geek, I still think the weather is cool. But climate change is the big elephant in the room.'“

He also noticed that many of the scientists writing and talking about climate change were not actually that well versed in weather, having approached the field from different areas of expertise.

“Maybe they were carbon cycle scientists, or high energy physicists, or ecologists or something,” he said.

Approaching the subject of climate change with his meteorology background seemed to Swain “an interesting angle that actually has a lot of societal relevance.” After all, he explained, “how we as a society experience climate change is through the shifting envelope of weather.”

In 2011 he enrolled at Stanford, where he earned a Ph.D. in Earth System Science. Swain's time in Palo Alto coincided with an historic drought in the American West, followed quickly by an equally historic firestorm in Northern California. The infernos of October 2017 — including the Tubbs Fire, which burned some 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa alone — seemed to usher in a period of larger, more destructive wildfires. More than 6,200 homes were lost across the greater North Bay in that firestorm.

Scary superlatives

Swain's decision to study the causes and impacts of extreme weather and climate events was made, it seemed, at a time such events were occurring more and more frequently.

“Let's just say that was not a coincidence,” he said.

He wasn't alone. Increasing scientific interest in extreme weather events, Swain points out, is the result of a surge in those events — not all of which, he qualified, can be chalked up to climate change.

“Extreme weather is not a monolith,” he said. Climate change is driving some weather extremes, but not all of them. It may not be responsible for extreme cold, for instance, or extreme wind.

“But the list of things that climate change isn't making worse is shorter than the list of things that it is, especially in a place like California, where we are seeing much worse wildfires, we're seeing worse droughts, we're seeing more intense downpours” — on those vanishingly rare days when it does actually rain.

“This past year has really exemplified that,” he continued, “with one of the wettest days in state history” — Oct. 21, 2021 — “followed by the driest winter on record, in the middle of an extreme drought.”

“That's a lot of superlatives,” said Swain, who was, pardon the pun, just getting warmed up.

The fires ravaging the Golden State over the last decade, Swain continued, inflicted a level of destruction unseen “not just in Northern California, but really anywhere in the world, since the advent of modern firefighting.

“It's been a century, really, since we had fires that burned thousands of structures — except in wartime settings,” when that destruction was intentional.

“But now, we're seeing fires that have burned thousands of homes, almost every year.”

Flood danger, winter wildfires

Lest people fixate too much on fire and drought, Swain reminds us that this region is experiencing extremes “at the other end of the spectrum.”

He's collaborating with The Nature Conservancy on a project called ARkStorm 2.0, focusing — as its Old Testament-inspired handle suggests — on the rising risk of a mega-flood in California, a result of intensified atmospheric rivers ushered in by climate change.

That project also explores the possible use of “strategic flood plain management” including “levee setbacks, floodways and bypasses, and flood-managed aquifer recharge” to lessen those risks.

Swain is also collaborating with The Nature Conservancy on a project exploring how to better address California's accelerating wildfire crisis through the increased use of prescribed burns — fires set to thin forests of built-up fuel and prevent much bigger blazes.

The windows for safely conducting such intentional burns are narrowing, as fire season stretches at both ends. Indeed, the massive wildfires charring hundreds of thousands of acres in northern New Mexico in recent months began as prescribed burns that got out of control.

Experts are studying the feasibility of conducting prescribed burns during winter months, which are “getting warmer and drier in a lot of places,” said Swain.

He experienced that phenomenon firsthand on December 30, 2021, when the Marshall Fire, fanned by 100-mph winds, tore through an area southeast of Boulder, Colorado, not far from his home. That blaze, the most destructive in Colorado history, destroyed over 1,000 homes. Swain's was spared.

A second wildfire, this one in late March, forced the evacuation of 19,000 people, including Swain. This time no homes were lost.

“These are strange things to be saying,” he noted, “given the calendar.”

Sometimes, for kicks, Swain will drive east out of Boulder, onto the Great Plains in search of supercell thunderstorms, one of which recently decanted a volley of hail onto his car.

Those dings were soon obscured by ash from wildfires in Arizona “that has landed on my car's roof in the last few days,” he reported.

“I'm not sure if that's a metaphor for something.”

What is sure is that Swain will keep explaining what is happening, and why, as this crowded theater continues to burn.

(Samta Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, July 1, 2022

Flinton, Fuller, Gilchrist, Hammond

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARK FULLER, Ukiah. Controlled substance/narcotic possession, sale, transportation, conspiracy.

KEITH GILCHRIST, Ukiah. Shopping cart, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DARIN HAMMOND, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Harris, Justine, Norton, Rickman

MASON HARRIS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

DANIEL JUSTICE, Chesapeake, Virginia/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

NATHAN NORTON, Fort Bragg. Robbery, controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting.

BILLY RICKMAN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, parole violation.

Stark, Tyrell, Whetstone

DEVON STARK, Lakeport/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

HALEY TYRRELL, Willits. Failure to appear.

MICHAEL WHETSTONE, Hopland. Probation revocation.

* * *

Chief Shasta Jake (aka Moffett Creek Jake, aka Jake Smith) and his wife, Mrs. Susan Smith, near their home in Siskiyou County in northern California - circa 1910

* * *


by John Arteaga

My God, are we Americans the stupidest collection of primates ever to tread the earth?

These days I can’t help but recall the fact that for several generations we were all brought up breathing airborne lead which we, as a society, had foolishly allowed greedhead corporations to put into virtually all gasoline.

Lead, even in minute concentrations, can have a devastating effect on one’s IQ. Maybe this factors in to the idiotic capitulation of small-d democratic rule to the forces of autocracy that we now find ourselves living in.

Think about it; back when our country really was great, (as contrasted to the boastful bluster of the Trumpoids), we built grand projects like the great dams and Hydro power systems, the cross continental highway systems, the gigantic bridges that we have taken for granted ever since, the top marginal tax rate was 95 percent! Back during the New Deal they almost passed a 100 percent tax on incomes over a certain level, but they bargained it down to a mere 95 percent. 

These days, of course, following the decades-long war of attrition that was started so many years ago by Ronnie Reagan, paying taxes at all seems to have become almost a voluntary contribution on the part of the wealthiest and the biggest corporate entities. So many tax exemptions and deductions have been showered upon the fortunate few; those who, incidentally, pay the ever escalating costs of the political campaigns of their enablers in government, which makes the tax rules.

Any objective observer can see that we have created, ever since the unfortunate Supreme Court decision, the bizarre ruling that money is free speech, and that the more you have of it, the louder your speech gets to be.

These two critical factors, the collapse of the taxation of those with all the money, along with the idea that rather than one person one vote, we now live in a land where it is more like one dollar one vote, has created a viciously regressive feedback loop that has been at work for generations now, where one political party, though it represent a clear minority of the country’s voters, makes clear to the fraction of 1 percent who, whether by clever hard work or the lottery of the womb, holds the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth, that it will adopt as its guiding principle, the further enrichment of those who already own so much, at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.

This has caused a tsunami of cash into the coffers of those willing to get out there and pitch for the further enrichment of the greediest, least principled oligarchs, even though it may be (and usually is) couched in terms of appealing to the lowest and most primitive prejudices and weaknesses of the hapless rubes, whose votes they court.

When you give over the entire media spectrum to rapacious oligarchic empires like the Murdochs, or corporate entities whose behavior is indistinguishable from them, you have sacrificed the people’s ability to be informed about their society. One of the founding fathers spoke about the impossibility of having a successful democracy without a well informed citizenry.

I recall, so many years ago, reading “1984” and thinking, “yeah, it’s a good yarn, but people would never be that stupid; how would they not see the absurdity of the emotionally charged propaganda that big brother was putting out?” Well, that was then and this is now. Donald Trump has somehow turned the Republican Party into his very own cult of personality; the castrati in public office who people this cult have no problem being on tape calling for his resignation, then, in a matter of days, being happy to nuzzle-bum him in hopes of getting a favorable mention.

It is an abiding mystery to me what exactly his hidebound devotees get out of his ridiculously incompetent, blatantly illegal, self-serving term as president. About all I can come up with is a visceral connection to his devotion to white supremacy and demonization of “the other.” Fear and loathing.

Having just watched the first installment of the January 6 hearings, one must wonder exactly how much damning evidence must be amassed before people are held to account. If you have not watched the Netflix documentary about Trump’s good buddy Jeffrey Epstein, please do. After decades of unbelievable child sexual abuse with all his good buddies, Trump, Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, etc., he was given a “country club” 18-month “prison sentence,” where he was allowed to go to his “office” all day, where he presumably got to screw more 16-year-olds.

It is not just a question of basic fairness that the super-wealthy be held accountable; it’s a matter of the survival of democracy! When the vicious anti-Semite Henry Ford decided to throw in his lot with the Nazis during World War II, offering them generous terms on war matériel, his entire empire should have been seized at the end of the war and converted to a public trust, to be sold as stock to benefit the American people or held as a public asset. Much like the Richard Mellon Scaife estate which has fought for years against any kind of democratic benefit to the American people or any and all of the slimy dark funders of the Federalist Society, a prodigiously funded activist group devoted to the care and feeding of the most regressive, anti-democratic reactionary judicial candidates to pass on to anti-democratic leaders like Donald Trump, who pledged to make his selections for Supreme Court strictly from their preferred list of candidates, all of whom ended up being rated by the nonpartisan American Bar Association as “unqualified.”

There is a word for this kind of co-mingling of personal profit making entities with the levers of government power: fascism.

As the Jan. 6 hearings will no doubt lay out in fine detail, there is only one proper place for Donald J. Trump: federal prison. And his estate should be seized and converted to public assets or sold and paid to all his victims, just like his buddy Epstein.

(This and previous columns are on my blog. John Arteaga lives in Ukiah.)

* * *

* * *


The whole thing stinks from start to finish. Who made Judi Bari Judi Bari?

The whole save the trees crap and the bombing make no sense.

The letters and the FBI case and settlement are also very fishy.

Sweeney is obviously the culprit and should have been more rigorously questioned and interrogated.

Alas, the 'forest people', Robbing's Little Hoods mythologized the whole thing and made any real knowledge impossible.

And that includes Talbot who jumped the gun. 

I know he has since said that perhaps he did not do an unbiased job, but it is too late now and the files have been destroyed.

What began in Sonoma County with 25 volumes of transcripts that Brandt Hawley and Sweeney cobbled into god knows how much money for the transcripts were the key to the appeal-- they would have held up the appeal for years. They knew that when they made us their promises.

How much did they get?

Obviously enough to buy land in Mendocino.

And then turn into freedom fighters for foresters?

Makes no sense.

but thank Denny Bernstein, that fuck hole, for giving the microphone to Darryl and the gang and turn Bari into Che Guevarra.

Such are myths made.

and yes, in her book, the woman from Berkeley shows that they collaborated on the fire bombing of the airport.

They were both accomplices and thus it is a lie by omission but of course it was not made in a court of law. 

You will be vilified for this until the truth one day comes out if it does.

The Feds could take DNA but they won't.

And we get older.

As to public opinion, they have no interest.

I wrote this close to ten years ago and think it is more true now than then.

Danny Weil

* * *

* * *


Marilyn Davin writes: Don't know if you guys get the (almost) daily Pelosi hand wringing pleas for cash. They are increasingly desperate and I haven't unsubscribed from them because they are endlessly fascinating. Today I wrote back that if the government can only survive with more cash, it's already been lost.


Marilyn Davin

From: Nancy Pelosi <>

Date: Fri, Jul 1, 2022 at 7:01 AM

Subject: I don’t know what to say

I asked you Monday.

I asked you Tuesday.

I asked you Wednesday.

I asked you Thursday.

I'm truly sorry to ask you again today.

But my team just informed me we failed to meet yesterday's FIRST End of Quarter Deadline since the Supreme Court's ruling. I won’t sugarcoat this.

If I don't reach 1,387 more gifts before midnight to close the budget gap, it will be the single most devastating setback for Democrats' chances of winning this election and protecting women's reproductive freedoms nationwide. If you've been waiting for a moment to step up with $15, this is it. Can I count on you? 

I just received an emergency phone call that made my heart drop.

My team just informed me that I did not receive enough support from Democrats to reach last night’s critical End of Quarter goal.

I don’t know how else to put this:

If Republicans discover we failed to meet our FIRST fundraising goal since the Supreme Court's ruling...

*They will take it as a sign that the Majority is theirs for the taking -- and unleash every last cent at their disposal to seize power in this election.

I know I ask a lot of you, but this is quite possibly my most urgent ask:

Will you step up with $15 in this dire moment?

I need 1,387 patriots to help before midnight to hit our End of Quarter goal of this pivotal election year and avoid a humiliating defeat.

I wish I didn't have to ask you for money.

Any help you can spare in this defining moment for our Democratic Majority means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Nancy Pelosi

* * *

* * *

UKRAINE, Friday, July 1, 2022

Russian missiles hit residential areas near Odesa, killing at least 21 people. Fierce fighting has continued in the area, in southern Ukraine, for weeks.

The European Union flag was hoisted in the Ukrainian Parliament in a symbolic and highly emotional moment for the country's lawmakers, who stood and applauded. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Ukraine on gaining candidate status last week, launching a potentially lengthy process for the country to join the bloc.

Inflation in 19 countries that use the euro hit a new record high of 8.6% in June. The war in Ukraine has helped drive up energy and food prices, and the Eurostat statistics agency estimated energy prices are almost 42% higher than last year.

The trial for WNBA star Brittney Griner began in Russia, with prosecutors unsealing details about her case. She's detained on drug smuggling charges over alleged cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage. Her next hearing is slated for July 7.

UNESCO declared borsch cooking an endangered Ukrainian heritage “in need of urgent safeguarding” because of Russia's invasion. Ukraine's culture minister declared victory “in the war for borsch,” as Russia also lays claim to the hearty beet soup. 


* * *

SONNY BARGER, the founding member of the Hells Angels motorcycling club, has died aged 83 after a battle with cancer. The California outlaw, who was involved in drugs and protection rackets, died surrounded by his wife Zorana and other loved ones. A post shared on his Facebook page after his death included a farewell message from the biker to his legions of fans after 65 years as a member of the club. The post read: 'If you are reading this message, you'll know that I'm gone. I've asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing. 'I've lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I've had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I've had a public persona for decades, I've mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends. Please know that I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer. But also know that in the end, I was surrounded by what really matters: My wife, Zorana, as well as my loved ones. 'Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor.'

* * *



The Supreme Court says the Biden Administration can stop sending asylum-seekers to Mexico. Congress has neglected our defective immigration system for decades. At least fifty three Hispanic immigrants are dead because Congress has evaded its duty for far too long, Whomever the Border Patrol officers were that waved that 18-wheeler through the border without checking its cargo should be fired.

Responding to the huge new numbers, former President Donald J. Trump enforced Title 42. As I understand it, almost no immigrants can access the system to obtain asylum or, much less, reach the road to citizenship. Most are simply identified as to their birth country and loaded onto a plane and returned. Criminal gangs jam immigrants onto trucks without food, water or ventilation like the one filled with victims from four countries found near San Antonio.

Coyote gangs, like the Hispanic owners of this truck, will only continue killing desperate people who seek jobs. Only a new policy drafted by Congress and President Biden can begin solving this crisis.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

* * *

WHEN YOU REALIZE THE US ONLY HAS ONE PARTY, you cease seeing it as a good party protecting people from a bad party and start seeing one giant party threatening to take away people's civil rights if they don't obey and submit. You suddenly understand that saying one party is a "lesser evil" is like saying a boxer should want to get hit by his opponent's left hand because his right cross hurts more. It's two arms on the same boxer, and they're both working together to knock you out.

A boxer doesn't go into a match planning to get punched in the face by his opponent's left hand while avoiding the right, he goes in planning to defeat his opponent. The opponent is the uniparty and the oligarchic empire which controls it.

It is true that each hand is used differently in boxing, with the lead used mostly for jabs and hooks and the rear hand mostly for crosses, but they're both used together to set up a knockout blow. The fact that the parties are used differently doesn't mean they're not working together.

Most good boxers will tell you they'd rather fight someone with a solid cross than someone with a solid jab. Sure the jab does less damage at first, but it's such an effective strike that it can nullify your entire offense and grind you down until you can't continue. In exactly the same way, the Democratic Party is far more effective in shutting down revolutionary movements and stagnating progress than the Republicans, and, just like a jab-cross combination in boxing, is used to set up the Republicans to deliver the knockout blow.

What is the correct response to this? Is it to say "Hmm, I'd better let him punch me with his left hand, because if I don't he'll hit me with his right and it'll hurt more"? Or is it to bite down on your mouthpiece and start throwing heavy leather until you knock his ass out?

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *

* * *

GAVIN NEWSOM IS RUNNING for re-election in California. So why is he running ads in Florida?

There is an unspoken reason that Newsom is bumping up his national profile as a fighter: He is warming up in the bullpen for the 2024 presidential campaign

by Joe Garofoli & Sophia Bollag

Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for re-election in California.

But on Monday, he will be starring in TV ads that will air in Florida.

Newsom, as he has often done over the past 25 years, is playing the long game.

The ads are the latest move in what his advisers say is Newsom’s effort to stand up nationally for Democratic values. He’s been posting “truths” about red states on Donald Trump’s new social media platform, ripping Supreme Court justices for their decisions on abortion, guns and the environment, chiding rival governors in Texas and Florida, doing national media interviews and even calling out his fellow Democrats for being too passive.

“I’m resolved to wake all of us up to what is going on in this country,” Newsom said recently. To “what is happening in real time that is not getting the attention it deserves in red states across America. (Conservatives are) aggressively and successfully rolling back rights that all of us have come to take for granted.”

But there is another, unspoken reason that Newsom is bumping up his national profile as a fighter: He is warming up in the bullpen for the 2024 presidential campaign — just in case Joe Biden decides not to seek re-election. (Biden insists that he’s running. And Newsom insists he wants Vice President Kamala Harris to be Biden’s successor.)

But if Biden doesn’t run, a flood of Democratic candidates would emerge, perhaps rivaling the 27 who ran in 2020. The list starts with Harris, whom Newsom grew up with in the hothouse of San Francisco politics.

“Overtly, he’s not running. But he certainly hasn’t eliminated it from possibility,” said Mark Buell, a national Democratic donor in San Francisco who has known and supported both Harris and Newsom since their earliest days in politics.

Newsom won’t be the first to dive in if Biden doesn’t run, Buell predicted.

“I believe he has to be asked,” Buell said. “He has to be convinced that people want his style of leadership.”

Newsom told The Chronicle in May that he had “subzero interest” in running for president. “It’s not even on my radar.”

Maybe it isn’t now. But here are some of the factors to watch as Newsom expands his national profile that could signal a presidential run:

Republican trolling or truth-telling: Newsom has nothing to lose by popping up periodically on Trump’s Truth Social or by spending $104,000 to run ads in Florida, a red state led by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is similarly eyeing a 2024 run.

It’s a free shot for Newsom. He can appear tough by venturing deep into a red state — and it won’t cost him any votes. For now. And DeSantis — who opposes abortion rights and coronavirus-related restrictions and backs looser gun restrictions — is the perfect foil for him.

“He's so read up on Ron DeSantis and what's happening in Florida,” Jonathan Martin, co-author of the new political book on the 2020 campaign, “This Will Not Pass,” told The Chronicle’s “It's All Political on Fifth and Mission podcast. “He can smell that match-up from a mile away. He knows what's happening on Fox News and he can speak at great length about what the California story is versus the Florida story.”

It’s not the first time Newsom has run ads outside of California. For example, just a few months after becoming governor in May 2019, Newsom ran national ads on Facebook encouraging hundreds of thousands of users to add their names to a list of supporters who want to “defend Roe v. Wade.” Data from Facebook’s ad library shows the ads were mostly shown to people outside of California. The next most represented states in several of those ad buys? Ohio and Florida, perennial presidential swing states.

Comparisons to other states: In the last few weeks, Newsom has focused on comparing California’s policies restricting guns, safeguarding abortion access and reducing carbon emissions to other states’ in the wake of Supreme Court rulings. No other state is doing more, he often says.

* * *

* * *


by Herb Caen

The Campers, two-legged and four-wheeled, are heading home from all over the West. Backpackers struggle out of their gear and obligatory sawed off jeans, sink into a hot tub, anybody's, murmuring, “Oh, my aching…” (fill in the blank). Swarming down from the mountain tops and lakefront, the giant American station wagons with bratty kids (theirs) and wonderful young people (ours and our friends). Everywhere hitchhikers taking their lives in their thumbs: it is as dangerous to be picked up as it is to do the picking up. On Interstate 80, kids seeking that last precious infusion of sunburn are sticking their fine legs out of car windows. Is it worth the chance of becoming instant Toulouse-Lautrec to achieve the most golden tan on the block? Obviously and apparently and let us hope not tragically so.

Vacation is over. The highways and freeways a sight to be labeled with Norman Rockwellian brilliance, “America on the Move!” There you were trying to hold the speedometer needle at a steady 55 (and failing), surrounded by every kind of pleasure loving gear known to this pleasure loving nation: cars with more racing bikes stacked upside down on rooftops (good show, ecological soundness), cars with trail bikes lashed to the rear (bad, polluters, disturbers of the peace), cars towing Chris-Craft boats fishtailing dangerously from lane to lane, cars teetering under overloads of rubber rafts, surf boards and motorcycles. And the new breed of superpatriot: the man, generally in a gas guzzling Cadillac or equivalent who hogs what formerly was known as “the fast lane” with his windows up, air conditioner on and it cruise control set at 65. If anyone passes him in the former middle to slow lanes he honks his horn, scowls, gives the V sign, sometimes with only one finger, and points to his American flag decal. He is absolutely right and absolutely self-righteous and probably politically to the right which may have nothing or everything to do with it.

Recently I recorded that San Francisco's Hunt Conrad at a party in La Jolla had remarked that he was going to “The Grove” the following weekend inspiring a Southern Californian to explode, “The Grove, the City, the Bay — you San Franciscans are really incredible. Don't you think there are any other groves, cities and bays in this state?” To that list might be added “the Lake.” (The answer to the Southern Californian's question by the way is no.)

The Lake can only be Tahoe which either Mark Twain or Edward 'Bud' Scott dubbed “the Blue Pearl of the High Sierra,” and it still is as blue as those who plunge into its icy waters. For San Franciscans of a certain habit-bound class, Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley, Sonoma and Napa, and even Yosemite are very much within vacation range. But Tahoe, northern and narrow, remains a logical high altitude extension of Nob Hill, Pacific Heights and the Peninsula.

It should be added that for another kind of San Franciscan, the kind who prefers Las Vegas, Palm Springs and the Nevada side of the Lake and is a secret white shoes freak, Tahoe's northern end remains irrevocably nowhere, strictly for the birds and bores, a feeling that is warmly reciprocated.

Tahoe, the continuing fight to preserve the old and familiar, the endless but unarticulated battle between the first families and the last to arrive, the clash between styles and cultures. As presumably, “the views belong to everyone” in San Francisco, yet seem to be owned mainly by the powerful, so an “unspoiled Tahoe,” theoretically, is everyone's to use as he sees fit. But some ideas are better than others and in the eyes of the first families, high-rises, supermarkets, and more casinos are the least fitting of all.

“Those rich people,” a Nevada entrepreneur says bitterly, “think they own the Lake.” The rich people, old sport, own everything, whether they are in the social or the cash register.

Old Tahoe with its smell of dusty pine, its skinny piers, its lakefront houses set back among the trees, is infinitely the best of what is left as it always has been. Status symbols: two-boat houses with an overflow boat or two, a sailboat, a “compound” of comfortable (never chic) houses whose population includes at least three generations of the same family.

Tahoe in pink dusk: talk about your purple mountain'd majesty, rimming a blue lake now shading into green and a smog free full moon probably owned by Bill Harrah, rising out of Nevada to spill creamlight over the swells — those on the Lake as well as in the fancy houses. Around midnight in the silence at the lake as well as in the fancy houses. Around midnight, and the silence at Lake center with the cruiser idling you can almost imagine you hear Dick Jurgens' band floating out from Globin's “a Faded Summer Love,” “Leaves come tumbling down, 'round my head, some of them are brown, some are red.”

Ye gods, that was back in 1931 or '32, but some things remain evergreen at the Lake, especially summer loves.

* * *


  1. George Hollister July 2, 2022

    If hope for the future is based on there being wisdom coming from Washington, then there is no hope.

    • Chuck Dunbar July 2, 2022

      The wisdom’s right here in front of us, spoken by our wise and trusted editor–here’s his bluntly said wisdom of the day:

      WHO’S THE FRAUD? The millions of Trumpers who claim election fraud where none, anywhere in the United States, was discovered, are as beyond reason and accountability as their orange icon. It would be nice if we could visit their job sites and shout at them, “You fraud! Loafer! Incompetent! You ought to be fired and thrown into jail.”

      • George Hollister July 2, 2022

        Our esteemed editor is stuck on the notion that there is wisdom emanating from Washington, or there has been, and there can be again.

        There is more wisdom to be found in any of the popular bars in Fort Bragg.

  2. Chuck Artigues July 2, 2022

    We don’t just need a vacant house tax, we need a 14 days per year limit on short term rentals!

  3. Steve Heilig July 2, 2022

    Re the “white light” at/after death: in the 1970s there were bestselling books about the commonality of people experiencing some sort of “tunnel” and then glorious warm welcoming light, interpreted as God, of course. The late great Carl Sagan had another take, positing that memories in the brain are laid down like layers of an onion, first/oldest ones in the center. As the brain shuts down as it dies, peeling off the outer layers, we can relive our first “memories,” eg, birth itself. The “light” is thus that of the delivery room, or wherever we were born.
    (This also could be why aging humans so often forget more recent experiences but recall details from long-ago youth).
    Some “Christians” didn’t appreciate his perspective. As for me, being born Caesarian, I expect to be shorted this fine experience. Can’t have everything…

    • Brian Wood July 2, 2022

      Like Bruce, I haven’t a spiritual bone in my body. Yet, I have also had a few experiences beyond understanding. Doesn’t matter, really. My opinion on the nature of ultimate reality has no bearing on what it is. Nobody’s does, yet were all trying to convert others to our view. I’m pretty sure when you’re dead you’re dead, but it doesn’t matter what I think.

    • Bruce McEwen July 2, 2022

      I was at the fairgrounds setting up the AVA’s booth and early rumors were that our esteemed editor had died and what all with the Democrats plotting in the next booth and Laura Hamburg stacking the deck of everyone’s handouts with her father’s campaign ads and one thing and another I’m afraid word got around that he actually was dead and suddenly someone came by who was in the know and the pall of gloom lifted. Mr. Anderson had not struck out after all and rumors of his death (as in the case of that other famous personality) had been largely exaggerated.

      All’s well that ends well and as Lily Tomlinson assured us b

      • Bruce McEwen July 2, 2022

        … there will be sex after death, we just won’t be able to feel it.”

        — Lily Tomlin

  4. Kirk Vodopals July 2, 2022

    Re: CDFW announces weed enforcement… Indeed, most of the weed homies of the untaxed kind have already harvested their first run. Ah, the joys of pulling tarps! Now that’s agriculture at it’s pinnacle; in the middle of a redwood forest to boot.
    The emerald triangle love drug charade parade continues.

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