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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 23, 2022

Inland Heat | Free Compost | RR Tracks | Water Alert | Hog Ride | Chief Pickery | Finn Family | Gibberish MA | Sofa King | Pants Down | FB Millsite | Dope Deal | John Ottoson | Kelley Curator | Yesterday's Catch | Waidelich Case | Not Afraid | Marco Radio | Jai Ho | ET | Fishy Nordic | Engine Sequoia | Labor Rising | Dirty Wealth | Dealer Ray | Mountain Flowers | Storytelling | Steam Donkeying | Get Ready | US Reset | Ukraine | Overwhelming Complexity | Unwelcome Guests | Republican Dystopia | Texas Review | Need Money | Oil Profiteers | Postcard Campaign | Assange Treatment

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DRY, MOSTLY SUNNY AND HOT conditions will persist through much of next week across inland northwest California. Persistent marine layer clouds and fog will keep coastal areas seasonably cooler with limited sunshine. (NWS)

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COMPOST GIVEAWAY, August 5 & 6 at CV Starr Center, Fort Bragg

It's First Come, First Served for free compost on the east side of C.V. Starr Community Center, 300 S. Lincoln Street, on Friday, August 5 from 2 to 7 PM and Saturday, August 6 from 10 AM to 2 PM or until it is gone.

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Tracks near Big River

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Fort Bragg city staff recommending implementation of water conservation restrictions beginning next week…

The City was fortunate to receive late rains this past spring extending our need to require water conservation restrictions, however, as current water supply conditions are beginning to show the effects of a third year of drought, City staff is recommending that the City Council take action during the next Council meeting of Monday, July 25, 2022, to declare a Stage 1 Water Alert and implement Stage 1 Water Conservation Restrictions targeting a citywide reduction of at least five to ten percent (5%-10%) of Seasonal Water Demand. If approved, such restrictions apply to all persons using or consuming water both inside and outside the City and within the water service area and regardless of whether any person using water has a contract for water service within the City immediately. 

Stage 1 Water Restrictions include: no wasteful use of water, limiting landscape irrigation to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12am to 9am and 6pm to 11:59 pm. No free flowing use for landscape watering, vehicle and equipment washing, ponds, and evaporative coolers without the use of an automatic shut-off device on any hose or filling apparatus while in use. Restaurants shall serve water only upon specific request. All pools, spas and ornamental fountains/ponds shall be equipped with a recirculation pump and shall be constructed to be leak proof. Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments shall offer patrons the option to forego the daily laundering of towels, sheets and linens. Residents and business owners shall repair all water leaks as soon as feasibly possible, but no later than five days after notification by the City or discovery by the owner. 

It's important to remember that now is the time to start planning ways to save our water and reduce the need of future water emergency measures. 

Questions and concerns regarding water usage and conservation measures can be directed to or by calling the Department of Public Works at (707) 961-2823, Ext. 131. Additional information and water conservation guidance is available on the City’s Water Conservation webpage. 

(Fort Bragg City Presser)

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FROM THE PEOPLE who brought you the previous Chiefs…

Ukiah City Council - Brown, Rodin to help select Police chief - 'The city will cast a wide net' — City Manager Sage Sangiacomo

by Justine Frederiksen

After all but one member of the Ukiah City Council expressed a keen interest in helping select the new chief of the Ukiah Police Department, Mayor Jim Brown and Council member Mari Rodin were chosen to serve on an ad-hoc committee that will assist City Manager Sage Sangiacomo in the replacement of recently fired UPD Chief Noble Waidelich.

“The city will cast a wide net for the recruitment,” Sangiacomo told the council at its July 20 meeting. “Tonight I’m recommending that the council appoint an ad-hoc committee to … provide direct leadership and oversight throughout the recruitment process.”

Since Brown Act regulations would limit the committee to two members but four wanted to serve — Mayor Jim Brown, Vice Mayor Josefina Duenas and Council members Juan Orozco and Mari Rodin — Council member Doug Crane suggested a course of action that the council ultimately followed.

“I believe that of the five, you are the most qualified, and should certainly be a member of the ad-hoc,” Crane told Brown, who retired from a career in Public Safety as the head of Mendocino County’s Probation Department.

As for how to choose the second member, Crane suggested having each council member share “what background they have that they believe is applicable to the task.”

Council member Orozco said that he had experience working with officials at juvenile hall and the county jail, but Duenas argued passionately that, “this is not a matter of how much do you know about law enforcement, but what experiences have you had during your life with law enforcement?

“I want to listen and ask questions about why someone should be our chief, and I really, really want to be involved because of the past experiences, and what we have been living through,” Duenas said.

Council member Rodin then made her case, describing her experience working with Mendocino County social services programs to not only write grants, but to help write the county’s strategic plan for addressing homelessness.

“I feel like I have a keen understanding of the issues, first of all, but (also) what I think I have is a real vision for the kind of chief that I think we need here in Ukiah — and it’s really a balance, between understanding what police officers face on a day-to-day basis, and how difficult their job is,” she said.

“And then, on the other side of that, understanding that there’s really a human service aspect, a social services aspect, to their role as well,” she continued. “So I would be looking for a chief who really sees and values the importance of a balance between those two things: Public Safety with Human Services sensitivity, as well.”

After Rodin’s comments, Brown said he believed that “everyone on the council would be looking for those qualities in a police chief,” then Orozco said he would like to nominate Brown and Rodin to serve on the ad-hoc. When voted on as a motion, the nominations passed unanimously.

“I would like to express my appreciation to the council for all of you in taking an interest in filling this very, very important position for the city of Ukiah,” Sangiacomo. “And I think it’s a feeling that’s shared throughout the community, throughout the Ukiah Police Department, and throughout the entire city staff.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Family of Finns, Fort Bragg, 1880

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FROM JUSTINE FREDERIKSEN’S recent report on the Ukiah City Council’s discussion about hiring a new Police Chief: “Council member Mari Rodin then made her case, describing her experience working with Mendocino County social services programs to not only write grants, but to help write the county’s strategic plan for addressing homelessness.”

If there’s a better reason NOT to appoint Rodin to a Police Chief hiring committee, we don’t know what it would be. Do you get the logic here? Ms. Rodin wrote some non-law enforcement touchy-feely grants and then helped create a big part of the problem by making the Ukiah area into a grotesque 33-agency multi-million dollar homeless magnet — and, according to Ms. Rodin, that’s what makes her an expert in Ukiah policing!

And then to pile insult on top of insult, the rest of the City Council agrees with her!

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Here’s Ms. Rodin’s description of herself from her LinkedIn page:

“My work over the past 22 years has focused on taking a leadership role in affecting positive social change in various arenas ranging from education and human services to land use. My leadership approach has taken different forms—as collaborator and team member, as elected policy maker, and as consulting aider and abetter. My success in each of these approaches is a result of my ability to thoroughly research, understand, and then bridge diverse viewpoints and objectives to create effective policies and practicable programs.”

Translation: I haven’t done an honest day’s work in my entire life.

Ms. Rodin also claims to have a master’s degree in “Medical Anthropology” — an obvious bonus in hiring a police chief.

What is “medical anthropology”? you might wonder. 

According to “Medical Anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that draws upon social, cultural, biological, and linguistic anthropology to better understand those factors which influence health and well being (broadly defined), the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, the social relations of therapy management, and the cultural importance and utilization of pluralistic medical systems. The discipline of medical anthropology draws upon many different theoretical approaches. It is as attentive to popular health culture as bioscientific epidemiology, and the social construction of knowledge and politics of science as scientific discovery and hypothesis testing. Medical anthropologists examine how the health of individuals, larger social formations, and the environment are affected by interrelationships between humans and other species; cultural norms and social institutions; micro and macro politics; and forces of globalization as each of these affects local worlds.”

Ms. Rodin has a Master’s degree, a certified expert in this gibberish. Which means she can churn out reams of it for grant applications. She’s perfect!

(Mark Scaramella)

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by Michelle Blackwell

Fort Bragg — The Coastal Commission came to Fort Bragg to hold a three-day hearing on a myriad of subjects that spanned the entire California Coast. Friday, they focused on Fort Bragg. Assistant City Manager Sarah McCormick provided a historical overview of the city’s efforts to purchase and develop the mill site and the recent purchase of the site by the Mendocino Railway. They also heard an update from Harbor Master Anna Neumann and the Noyo Center Executive Director Sheila Semans. Following the hearing, they walked the Noyo Headlands to view containments designed to prevent dioxins in ponds 8 and 7 from entering the ocean, received a presentation from Nature Conservancy Tristin McHugh, and a tour of the new Noyo Center site in the former Carrine’s restaurant at North Harbor.

The Mendocino Railway purchase, via eminent domain, surprised the city and the community. Many viewed it as a backroom deal between Georgia Pacific and the railway. The Grass Roots Institute, an NGO based in Fort Bragg, encouraged at least fourteen speakers to state their opposition to the railway’s plans. Carrie Durkee provided the commission with a copy of a petition with over 600 signatures supporting the Grass Roots Institute’s efforts to require a complete site clean-up. Two railway representatives also spoke and tried to sway the public of their good intentions. According to McCormick, they had a verbal agreement with Georgia Pacific, and their years of community planning were proof of their intentions. The Coastal Commission has received briefings on the development plans three times in 2009 and 2012 and toured the site twice. The city is seeking a court declaration that Mendocino Railway, the parent company of The Skunk Train, is an excursion railway and does not have the power of eminent domain, and is subject to all permitting requirements.

McCormack informed the commission that the Mendocino Railway applied for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) on July 13, 2022, to remedy the known contamination in a portion of the property known as OU-E. The CDP permit will require an EIR with the city as the lead agency and includes a proposal to remedy the contamination with containment. The public speakers objected to the idea of containment and asserted that the location and elevation of the pond make it at risk of being inundated in high tides and in the event of a tsunami, especially as sea levels rise due to climate change. According to the Department of Toxic Substances, pond 8 has more than double the allowed levels of dioxins, while the eastern section of the pond has close to three times the allowed levels.

Donne Brownsey, Chair of the Coastal Commission, expressed appreciation to the public for their participation “I thought it was super important to hear from the members of the community of Fort Bragg. This is such an extraordinary coastal resource.” Speaking of the Noyo Headlands property. “There was a strong feeling in the community that after such a long time, they thought they would be able to plan for a new element in Fort Bragg.” Regarding the railroad’s claim to be a public railroad, Brownsey said excursion trains are not characterized as public utilities. For federal law, there are specific tests as to whether you are a railroad, including connectivity to the interstate system and the ability to transport passengers or freight. There is not a belief in the community that the Skunk meets those criteria. She also said this would be a subject of discussion in the courts and the city. Brownsey also pointed out the railway has applied for a CDP and is complying with the City’s Local Coastal Program regarding the current clean-up plans.

During the hearing, vice chair Brownsey, Dr. Caryl Hart, and commissioner Mike Wilson pressed railroad representatives to explain their delineation of when they are and are not subject to local planning requirements. Chris Hart, CEO of the Sierra Railway, the parent company of the Mendocino Railroad, declined to provide details as that is a subject of current lawsuits. One line of questioning regarded the recent construction of a maintenance building near the Skunk Train depot, and Commissioner Wilson asked if the construction had a city permit. Robert Pinoli, president of the Skunk Train, responded no, asserting that the building is part of railroad operations. He was asked about how they ensure safety at the site. Pinoli explained that they monitor it internally and that the contractor also has hired a safety officer. Wilson further asked if those documents were available for public review, and Pinoli answered no. Brownsey then asked Pinoli if they had applied for a CDP for that project, and he answered no.

Jim Tarbell of the Grass Roots Institute provided this comment. “I think the most revealing part of the hearing where the commissioners were questioning Chris Hart and Robert Pinoli about the actions of Mendocino Railway, and they first say, “Oh, we are complying with all local, state, and federal laws then a few minutes later say of we are exempt from those local, state and federal laws,” which was a complete contradiction of what they said before. They say one thing and do something else. And that’s the story we heard today about the property owners and what they will do here versus what they say they will do.” He added, “they caught them with their pants down.”

While the mill site took most of the commissioner’s time, the Noyo Center provided updates about its education and expansion programs. The harbor master reviewed upgrade plans and wants for Noyo Harbor. Local residents Amy Wynn and Loren Rex requested the Coastal Commission’s help to work with Cal-Fire to remove or approve the removal of dead fir and pine forests that create a fire risk to coastal communities. Per Rex, the commission’s rules and Cal-fire rules are opposing each other and preventing coastal fire reduction programs.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Fort Bragg Mill Site, partial view

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On Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 6:16 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received an agency assistance request from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The Sheriff's Office was advised CHP officers had stopped a vehicle at Highway 101 at Burke Hill Road (Ukiah) and the vehicle had been reportedly associated with a robbery.

Shortly thereafter, CHP advised the Sheriff's Office that three (3) black male adults fled the vehicle on foot and were possibly in possession of firearms to include assault style rifles and handguns.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office Central Sector (Ukiah area) and North Sector (Willits area) immediately responded to assist as requested.

Due to the potential public safety risk, a Shelter-in-Place alert & warning (Nixle) was transmitted as several homes were in the immediate area.

Initial scene investigations developed preliminary information that a meeting had been arranged for the suspects to purchase marijuana/cannabis at a location in the 2000 block of South State Street in Ukiah.

During the meeting, the suspects reportedly committed an armed robbery of the marijuana/cannabis and fled in the vehicle.

The victim(s) chased after the suspects in a separate vehicle. While traveling southbound on Highway 101 the victim(s) used their vehicle to ram the suspects' vehicle multiple times.

During this time, the suspects reportedly discharged a firearm towards the victim(s)' vehicle at least one time.

Sometime thereafter the suspects' vehicle exited the Burke Hill Road exit from southbound Highway 101 and stopped near the end of the off-ramp.

The suspects described as being three (3) black male adults (one having dreadlocks) fled northwest on Burke Hill Road while potentially armed with assault style rifles and handguns.

A bystander in the area said they had witnessed the suspects being picked up shortly thereafter in vehicles that fled southbound on Highway 101.

In the interest of public safety, Deputies decided to conduct a canvas of the area and homes along Burke Hill Road to ensure the suspects were still not in the area.

This canvas was completed with use of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and ground searchers. The search was concluded after a couple of hours once Deputies were confident the suspects were not at large in the Burke Hill Road area.

As a result, the issued Shelter-in-Place alert & warning (Nixle) was cancelled.

Sheriff's Detectives and County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) investigators are continuing investigations into this incident. This is an active investigation, and no further information is available for public release currently.

The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Police Department, Willits Police Department and California Department of Fish & Wildlife for their assistance in the initial response efforts.

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John Ottoson of Comptche, Preparing to Skin Bobcat, 1915

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NEW MUSEUM CURATOR at the Kelley House

by Katy Tahja

After serving as curator at the Kelley House Museum for four years, and guiding it through the challenges of COVID, Karen McGrath has retired. Her tenure was marked by interesting projects and exciting technological advancements, and we shall miss her greatly. However, there is a silver lining: we have hired a new, young curator who could not be more perfect for the job. We welcomed Marguerite O’Brien to the museum on July 1st, just in time for her to take part in the July 4th lawn party.

A native of Willits, she earned her B.A. degree in Classical studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and she is about to be awarded a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco. Along the way, she served as a collections and archives intern at the Montclair History Center, whose mission is strikingly similar to that of the Kelley House, albeit with structures almost 100 years older, accessioning and deaccessioning items in the collection and helping with special events. Another internship found her at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits, engaged in exhibition research, preparation and installation.

When I asked Marguerite where her love of history and museums came from, she recalled being taken by her mother to a show at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, where she was excited to see Greek artifacts thousands of years old. She realized then that museum work would allow her to be enthralled with her job and to ensure that future generations could be thrilled by history and its objects.

Marguerite O’Brien

O’Brien’s special skills include object care: knowing how to care for artifacts—for example, a piece of silk clothing from 1880—so they won’t break or disintegrate in your hands. Being herself a computer-savvy young woman, she is especially focused on interactive displays that will engage both adults and children in local history and culture.

She would like to shine more light on the accomplishments of Mendocino coast natives like Elise Drexler, the second Kelley family daughter, who won a court case in 1893 over a woman’s right to inherit her husband’s financial wealth. As well, it was the everyday labor of working people that made Mendocino what it was, and is.

O’Brien and Anne Semans, the Kelley House Director, plan to expand programs with the local schools and look forward to resumption of the countywide meetings of all groups involved in historic preservation. After the isolation of COVID, it will be fun and productive to find out what other groups are working on.

Asked about a favorite museum, O’Brien mentioned being at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece, surrounded by ruins from thousands of years ago and feeling immersed in history. Mendocino can’t transport her into the past as far as Delphi, or even as far as Montclair, New Jersey, so why is she interested in beginning her professional career here? O’Brien says she has no preference for working with one era or another as long as she is in a history museum, especially a house museum that “surrounds her with history.” She adds, “Mendocino is such a gorgeous place, I don't know anyone who doesn't want to live here, and the bonus of being much closer to my family in Willits was impossible to resist.”

(The Kelley House Museum is open from 11am to 3pm, Thursday – Sunday. The curator can be reached at for an appointment. Walking tours of the historic district depart from the Kelley House regularly. For tour schedule visit:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 22, 2022

Galindo, Halvorsen, Maxie, Peckham

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JONAS MAXIE, Laytonville. Loaded handgun not registered owner, failure to appear.

WILLIAM PECKHAM, Covelo. Assault on highway worker, assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, robbery.

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Amanda Carley’s attorney has ten days to firm up the causes of action against most of the defendants in her five-year-old case against Mendocino County, the Probation Department, its former head, and former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich.…

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MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio all night Friday night!

Hi! Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6 or 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio /next/ week.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time:

Any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. Also there you'll find an Area 51 warehouse like at the end of /Raiders of the Lost Ark/ to get lost among items in until showtime, or any time, such as:

Nonstop bilious oy.

By the way, Europe is on fire now too.

And The Band, Casino Arena, July 20, 1976. (Full show, 100 min.) (Comment by Jason Sieler has all the time bookmarks.)

— Marco McClean,,

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Warmest spiritual greetings,  I read the news today, oh boy!  I mean, have you seen a recent issue of The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal? The planet earth is, as of now, unlivable.  I am calling for the formation of spiritually focused direct groups to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness.  This is besides the fact that due in is: 1. The last incarnation of Krishna, as Kalki riding the white horse and brandishing a flaming sword, 2. The second coming of Jesus Christ, and 3. The appearance of the Maitreya Buddha.  You are welcome to contact me, as I am available, and presently doing nothing other than being centered and watching the play of consciousness. If not us, who?  If not now, when?  Jai ho!!

Craig Louis Stehr

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BILL KIMBERLIN: Yes, he was a puppet, and those who worked on it didn't think that it would be very successful, because Steven Spielberg made it on the cheap. When it out grossed Star Wars as the greatest box office hit of all time we asked George Lucas what he thought about that and he said, "Good, now maybe they will leave me alone." Too much fame can be annoying.

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY ROLLS THE DICE with Brand-new Nordic Chief

by Lawrence Reichard

At a July 12 Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting, incoming Nordic Aquafarms CEO Brenda Chandler sought to reassure the board after the sudden and unexplained departure of previous Nordic CEO Erik Heim. “I’m still getting up to speed on all the aspects for California but I still have a great team behind me," Chandler said.

Well, if that's the case, then the team behind Nordic's CEO du jour must have changed substantially since late 2018 when Bent Urup, the world's foremost aquaculture designer, engineer, operator and entrepreneur told me in his Fredericia, Denmark office that the team Nordic had assembled for its then $500 million Belfast, Maine project simply wasn't up to snuff.

Chandler further told the Board of Supervisors Nordic has “worked on some very large projects on the East Coast,” but this is simply false. Nordic has "worked" only one east-coast project - that of my hometown of Belfast, Maine - and and in five years of pursuing that project, that "work" has included not one day of actual construction. Putting it kindly, that miserable track record is enough to discourage any would-be investor, especially in an industry that is suffering low prices for its salmon product and considerable pandemic-era salmon price fluctuation.

Chandler also said Nordic has an east-coast “employee on the ground.” Are we to be reassured by Nordic having one employee on the ground for a project of a pre-pandemic $500 million? This is the managerial equivalent of hiring a security to watch the place - day shift only.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt County Planning Commission will hold a July 28 meeting on Nordic's permit application. According to the Mad River Union, Planning Director John Ford said the main issues to be addressed will include carbon emissions, truck traffic, and preventing fish escape.

Well, having covered Nordic in Maine for more than four years, I hope your planning commission isn't relying on Nordic information in its deliberations, as Nordic has, here in Maine, misled and outright lied about these issues and others. 

Nordic's stated carbon emissions for Maine don't include having to dig up and truck off thousands of truckloads of earth to stabilize its construction site. This after declaring the site "perfect." And shockingly, this mirrors the same exact problem Nordic has had in its hometown of Fredrikstad, Norway, where its failure to properly assess its construction site caused its building to sink into the ground, likely causing structural damage to the buildings, likely causing Nordic to significantly reduce production levels, and even causing the company to at one point announce it would convert the operation into a research facility...only to later abandon that short-lived idea.

Needless to say, this incompetence, identically repeated in Belfast, would dramatically affect Nordic's rosy declarations of just a few nice little electric trucks a day in Belfast. 

Nor do Nordic's rosy carbon protestations include transporting large amounts of fishmeal ingredients from far-flung corners of the world, or the killing of topsoil - a major carbon mitigator - by the use of pesticides to grow soy and possibly other grains for aquaculture's grossly inefficient food-production model.

Then there are fish escapes, for which one look no further than the false February 2019 testimony given by Nordic's Marianne Naess to the Maine legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, in which Naess said fish can't escape from land-based industrial fish farms. Naess's testimony completely contradicted various press accounts of just such escapes from land-based industrial fish farms in Norway and New Brunswick - to name the ones we know of. Even more shocking, Naess's testimony contradicts previous statements made by Nordic itself, in public meetings and on its website.

And on and on. As if evidence of Nordic's unreliability - and even basic competence - were somehow sorely lacking.

I wish the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commissions all the best with their Nordic deliberations, but if they're looking to Nordic Aquafarms for reliable data, the historical record very much suggests they are looking in the wrong place.

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The Steam Engine "Sequoia" at Fort Bragg Union Lumber, 1900

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RAILROAD STRIKE ON HOLD. Last week, 99.5% of America’s 115,000 railroad workers voted to strike, prompting an anxious Joe Biden to appoint an Emergency Board, delaying a stoppage for up to 60 days. The strike is part of a global show of force, and a fascinating angle in the States is the media paralysis it’s inspired, with outlets like the Washington Post forced to publish explainers about the history of strikes for a generation of Americans who’ve never really seen one. The last time anything on this scale happened was when then-president Ronald Reagan fired over 11,345 air traffic controllers, declaring them a “peril to national safety.” Now, in an underreported development, strikes are back in a big way, with everyone from Alaska Air pilots to Philadelphia Beverage Distributors, even a San Diego car dealership voting to walk out. All this creates a looming Solomonesque dilemma for newly Covid-positive, increasingly hard-luck President Joe Biden, whose administration was already fighting to avert a walkout of the Longshoreman’s Union. “Scranton Joe” now may be forced to make a choice between allowing supply upheavals or dealing a Reagan-esque blow to labor just before midterm elections. 

— Matt Taibbi

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“THERE AIN’T NO CLEAN WAY to make hundred million bucks. Maybe the head man thinks his hands are clean but somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut from under them and had to sell out for nickels, decent people lost their jobs, stocks got rigged on the market, proxies got bought up like a pennyweight of gold, and the five percenters and the big law firms got paid hundred-grand fees for beating some law the people wanted but the rich guys didn’t, on account of it cut into their profits. Big money is big power and big power gets used to wrong. It’s the system. Maybe it’s best we can get, but it still ain’t any Ivory Soap deal.”

“You sound like a red,” I said, just to needle him.

“I wouldn’t know,” he said contemptuously. “I ain’t been investigated yet.”

— Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

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by Aaron O’Brien

I met a lot of characters in my week spent in sweltering Las Vegas, but none more memorable than Ray the Dealer. He had been around and seen all the greats that had undoubtedly graced his table at one point or another in his fifty years of dealing poker: Stu Unger, Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, and Jack Strauss to name a few. Ray had served his country as well, fighting in Vietnam and losing a leg for his efforts, and now wore a prosthetic attached to his right knee. Rings adorned the index and middle fingers of both hands, and he sported gold bracelets on each wrist. He had grace and class, old Ray. When I asked him why he still dealt after half a century he responded he didn’t want to be a pit boss, telling the table, “My leg would wear out in less than two weeks, and most of the floor managers are morons anyway, but at least they get their 15,000 steps in.” 

Ray the Dealer

His neatly coiffed brown hair was deceptive, as it wasn’t his hair, but was artfully designed. He was short and compact, maybe 5’4 and 155 pounds, but he carried himself like a bigger man, with presence. Ray had a wicked pitch in a day where a pitch is neither required nor valued. The cards came out smoothly, like they were shot out of a well-oiled machine. It was one fluid motion, the cards sliding neatly into pairs underneath our cupped hands. The man had dealt millions of hands, and it showed. 

Ray was none too pleased with the Asian dealer he was breaking. He growled gruffly at her, “Hurry up!” so we could get in another shuffle at the 4th level of $1,500, and $1,000 blinds. Alas, she was not up to the task, missing the timeline, and handing Ray the newly shuffled cards. He barked angrily, “See me later! I am going to fix you!” The dealer didn’t seem to understand what he was saying. Ray, the steely veteran, just wanted things done the right way.

Ray was the epitome of old Las Vegas, when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) resided at Benny Binion’s establishment down on Fremont Street. He came from a time when a man’s word meant something, and he knew all the local pros. Now Ray had to deal with people wearing Las Vegas Raider’s gear, and something about a hockey team. It didn’t seem to faze him though, dealing gave him something to do and he was damn good at it. Unlike most of the degenerates, locals, regs, and want to be pros, who would lose their asses that day, he was one of the few walking out of Bally’s Casino with positive money. Well, him and his dealer buddies, and of course the WSOP.

The thing about the World Series of Poker are the blinds. They go up so fast, that essentially you are playing Indian Poker. It is extremely hard to control the game if not impossible. On top of that, if a person is willing to travel to Las Vegas, securing time off and making all the travel arrangements and entry fees, you have to assume they know what they are doing. So, the field is not like your typical home game full of donkeys looking for a little action.

I entered the Pot Limit/No-Limit fields because I was purposely trying to shrink the field, giving myself a better shot at cashing. Each time you buy into a tournament for the entry fee, you receive thousands in chips. For the tournaments I was buying into, it was 30K. That sounds like a lot but is nothing when the blinds to enter the game increase by the thousands each round. You need to quickly accumulate others’ chips, to have a chance at making a run deep into a tournament. Somehow, I found a way, cashing in the first event by finishing 150th out of 1,234. It was $1500 an entry, and then some, as I paid the initial fee and got knocked out early, spending another $1500 to rebuy. For this effort I received $2,625 and 53.22 Player of the Year Points. To put this in perspective, I was now down only 19,500 points from the leader on the board. I must admit the WSOP has done a wonderful job of marketing their long shot product. In the past, the top 10% reached the money. The WSOP realizing that this was freezing out too many players, employed a 15% payout model this year. In a 1,000-person field, 150 players now get paid. Even in this model, only the top 3% of players make in real money; the remaining 12% might be fortunate enough to break even or make a little gas money. This is before the tax man comes and takes his cut of 24%, and the additional 12% rake that the WSOP lays on you. It’s a racket for sure. 

It’s quite the scene showing up at the WSOP. I remember the players being younger in the past. This current iteration of players is in their mid-30’s, to 40’s, vaping incessantly and wearing back-packs, half beards, hats, wedding rings, and sweatshirts. They looked like shit, for lack of a better word. They were constantly on the phone, “That board was 140,000-1”, or “The table went runner-runner Kings, do you know what the odds are?”

Those of us who have been around know what the pro looks like and how he or she acts, but I hadn’t realized there were so many of them! It’s like Vegas is home to two professions: Uber drivers and poker players.

My other two entries: $600 Mixed Pot Limit/No-limit and Deep Stack $800 went as one would expect. I bombed out. Pot limit had me on tilt as I bought in twice after I got knocked out. This is always a terrible play as you buy in late with a limited number of chips while others have accumulated many more chips, which puts you at a real disadvantage.

The no-limit deep stack was a bit more intriguing. I advanced past the dinner break with around 75K in chips. I had put in 8 hours of work, but the blinds were 6k, antes 6k, and small blind were 3k. So, 15K a round. I had been card dead all day, beyond ridiculous, but was stealing every hand I could employing my typical pressing style of play. I looked underneath my cupped hands, shielding my cards. King-10 Hearts suited, and I am on the button. I call the 6K. The small blind to my left, calls the 6K, and the big blind checks. Flop comes; King Spade, 10 Diamonds, and 6 Hearts. I push all in. Small blind calls and big blind folds. We reveal our cards. I am sitting on two pair and the small blind has Ace-King. Turn comes and it is an Ace of Hearts, with the river making it an Ace of Spades. Full House for the big blind and my tournament is over. I finish at the 600 mark out of 3,000 players, 150 positions short of cashing.

The ridiculousness of cashing and winning a bracelet is obvious. The chance of doing anything is miniscule, and the people getting rich are inevitably the casinos and WSOP. The WSOP to minimize costs, requires the dealers and staff to return their 2022 WSOP shirts. That tells you really all you need to know about the organization. Winning at the WSOP is a fantasy on a good day, which can easily spin out of control and turn into an emotional, financial, and a living nightmare. As the beautiful, sultry San Jose Native, and Bay 101 legend Baby Baby eloquently said, “We are just slaves to the casino. I have been working 15-16 hours a day and for what? I come down here with 90K and am going home today damn near broke. What a waste.”

So, I caught a break getting knocked out of the $800 deep stack as I went over to the cash games and in one session netted $2,400 and another $1,700. I got all my money back from the WSOP entry fees and rebuys, and if my K-10 would have held up there was a .0007 chance I would have cashed high enough to make the same amount I earned in cash games. Good Riddance World Series of Poker! On second thought, hey, can someone get me the 2023 WSOP schedule?

(Excerpt from Aaron O’Brien’s upcoming book, Down to the Felt.)

* * *

Flowers in the Mountain, 1908, artist unknown

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

No one seems to keep a tally of the exact number of storytellers in San Francisco, but there seem to be more of them, at more venues and with bigger and more diverse audiences than ever before. A hundred kids and their parents show up on a Saturday morning to listen to stories in the fog and be tickled pink. Not surprisingly, listeners ask, “How do you tell the storyteller from the story?” Maybe you don’t. Maybe that’s part of the power of stories and storytellers. The teller is the story and the story is the teller.

For much of the time that Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy told stories in San Francisco, she was a single mom, raising three kids and holding down several jobs. Before she became a professional storyteller, and made a living by telling stories five days a week, she held 36 different jobs—no exaggeration, she says— including one in a prison where her audience was literally captive.

“She is a local treasure,” says Kathryn Grantham, the owner of Black Bird Books in the Outer Sunset. “Her ability to transport her listeners to faraway lands and epic adventures within minutes is real magic.”

The more stories Hackett-Shaughnessy told, and the more storytelling classes she taught to adults at “San Francisco Village,” the more she learned about the art of storytelling, which needs little if any technology and where anyplace can serve as a stage. While British journalist and bike blogger, Peter Walker, insist that cycling can save the world, and while Jean Shaboda Bolen, a feminist and a psychiatrist, argues that trees will save the world, the Literay Life podcast claims that stories will change the world. Hackett-Shaughnessy tends to agree, She says that the enormous changes in technology in the last 40 years have not altered the way children are entranced by storytelling.

The Ohlone, who populated the Bay Area before the arrival of Europeans, sang their songs, including one with the line, “dancing on the edge of the world.” Early Spanish explorers dispatched reports to Spain and thereby boosted dreams of empire. 49ers from Chile and China and everywhere in-between, huddled around campfires and regaled one another with tall tales, and in 1882 San Franciscans heard the Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, decked out in lavender pants, make headlines when he said: “Anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.”

Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy, or just plain “Olive,” as everyone calls her, has drawn on myths, fairy tales, folk tales and truths for forty years, and has performing in San Francisco in schools and farmers’ markets, on the dunes at Ocean Beach, in Grace Cathedral at Christmas, Bishops Ranch in Marin and at Kaiser Permanente Mended Hearts Support Group. She’s as much a part of San Francisco’s landscape as the fog and more down to earth than the opera and the ballet. Thousands of San Franciscans, both old and young, have heard her in person, listened to her CDs, found her on Spotify and read her written work on her website, (

These days, Olive tells stories for free and in public twice a week: at Black Bird Books on Irving the first Saturday of every month; and in the open air at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market on 37th Avenue, Wednesdays starting at five. Sometimes she tells stories more than twice a week at a school or special event. Curiously, no one has ever told her own story, which is worth telling, if only because parents, who heard her decades ago, now bring their children to hear her. How’s that for continuity? Ages ago, when Olive performed her stories for the first time to kids at Sunset Nursery School, Joanna McClure, a Sunset teacher, told her, “If you can tell stories to two-year-olds to five-year-olds and hold their attention you can tell stories to anyone.”

Raised in a family of storytellers, and in the Golden Age of radio, I’m amazed by Olive’s ability to connect instantly to listeners. There’s something about her voice that calls to infants still nursing and to seniors with diminished hearing. Though she has been telling stories professionally longer than any other living storyteller in SF today — including the campy Drag Queens who wear makeup and costumes — she does not and would not call herself “The grandmother of all contemporary storytellers.” She doesn’t toot her own horn.

Once upon a time, when Olive first listened to Joy Tampanelli, a Jungian, retell Greek myths and recycle classics like Cinderella, she came to the modest and self-effacing conclusion that “It’s not the story itself that matters most, but the heart behind it.” Tampanelli breathed new life into Cinderella when she transformed her from a house servant into a rebellious teenager and thereby inspired Olive to tell myths and legends.

San Francisco artist and filmmaker, Starr Sutherland, has been listening to the city’s stories for decades. He’s now making a documentary about City Lights Books and is recording dozens of stories about it. Everyone, from Russian Hill to Hayes Valley and North Beach, has a City Lights tale to tell. “San Franciscans tend to have more stories than people who live elsewhere,” Sutherland says. “We have a wide range of stories here from a wide range of people.” The diversity of the city makes for diverse storytellers and storytelling.

If and when you put your ears to the city, you’ll hear San Franciscans tell stories in English, Spanish, Chinese and in nearly every language spoken in California. They tell them on MUNI and BART, in jails and hospitals, libraries, cafes, restaurants, churches, AA meetings, Buddhist circles, public and private schools, retirement communities, baseball games, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, and quinceañeras and on Facebook and by texting. San Francisco is a storytelling city that likes to tell stories about itself and its storied past.

For Olive, every place and everything in the city is a story or could be. Walk into her home and look at the lavender flowers in a vase and the framed paintings on the walls, and before you sit down, she tells the history of the building itself, how it was built in 1908, soon after the earthquake, as a grocery store, and with a stable for horses next door.

One of Olive’s grandfathers, an Irish immigrant, along with her own father—a Boston Brahmin who served in the Marines—had the gift of gab and a flair for telling oral tales. As a young woman, she was inspired by folk singer, Pete Seeger, especially when he played the banjo and recounted the story of the giant, Abiyoyo, who menaces a village until a boy plays a ukulele and puts him to sleep.

Olive’s children have inherited her gift for language, and Olive herself has kept alive much of her own innocence which helps to make her a lively storyteller. “The child in me is still wide awake and in awe of the world,” she says.

She explains that “a storyteller can change some things in a story, but not the bare bones. It’s like using stepping stones to cross a river. You have to stay on the stones, but you can vary the time on each one.” Sometimes, she prefaces a story with the remark, “This is my interpretation.” She points out that Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and Lady Gaga can sing the same words, but make the song sound all their own and unlike anyone else’s.

Telling stories during the pandemic has changed the way Olive and other storytellers, such as Mimi Greisman— who uses puppets and who plays musical instruments—tell stories. With masks on the faces of listeners, it’s difficult to read their reactions and so it’s more challenging than in pre-covid times to know how best to deliver a story.

“I want kids and parents to enter the beauty of a story through words and images,” Olive says. “I want kids to understand that it’s okay to go inside their heads and daydream, and also okay to go into their hearts and experience their emotions.” She adds, “Fairy tales are about interior landscapes.”

On a recent Friday afternoon, she prepared for a gig at a local high school where she had been invited to teach composition, which she explained, “is somewhere between oral storytelling and writing on paper or a screen.” After all these years, she is still stoked when she goes back to a classroom and meets young students. “I call what I do magic,” she says. “And it’s all done with words.”

If you want to become a storyteller, here are five suggestions: 1. listen to the stories people tell; 2. practice and rehearse your own stories; 3.) pay special attention to the sound of your own voice, body language and facial expressions; 4. use words that conjure pictures; 5.) enjoy telling your stories.

* * *

Operations at Elk Creek

* * *


by James Kunstler

“Worse is better,” V. Lenin used to explain to his Bolshevik cohorts in their vicious pursuit of power. And is there any question now that this is the same operational formula of the shadowy crew behind “Joe Biden” in its mission to turn the American Republic into a branch-office of the Schwabenklausian trans-human techno-tyranny?

“Joe B” is doing his part to personally make things worse by taking Paxlovid, the Pfizer wonder drug that wondrously amps up Covid-19 symptoms and extends the course of the illness — as recently admitted by that other eminent, double-boosted Covid-19 sufferer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the sage of US public health. If White House doctors follow the CDC’s treatment protocol they’ll soon put “JB” on remdesivir. Naturally, it kills him. State funeral… boo hoo… “46” is entombed under the Wilmington Amtrak station….

My political fantasy du jour: Thus, Kamala accedes to greatness! She must then appoint a new vice-president. That would be… wait for it… California governor Gavin Newsom — who else? (He was recently captured on video skulking into a back door of the West Wing while “Joe Biden” was out-of-town schmoozing up the honchos of Saudi Arabia.) Gov. Newsom is easily confirmed in the House and narrowly in the Senate when Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski vote with the Party of Chaos. Kamala soon resigns, citing “anxiety problems.” Now president, Mr. Newsom proceeds to accelerate the wrecking of the old USA along the lines of his recent work in California. All D.C. gas stations are ordered shut to promote the transition to renewables. The D.C. Mall is declared the National Homeless Camp….

I called it a fantasy, but this may be their only move left as the nation utterly loses its patience with the “Joe Biden” fiasco and the escalating disorders of Western Civ take us into August. The mid-term election must be revamped at all costs, they’ll say, “to save our democracy.” A new pandemic is declared in early October, complete with lockdowns, while Google partners with Facebook to roll out a new vote-by-phone app. By some miracle, then, the Democrats add thirty more seats to their house majority and five in the Senate. We enter the new frontier of the Green New Deal and Build Back Better. In other words, the USA completely collapses.

A dark scenario, I confess, but doesn’t that seem exactly where things are going? An epic crackup is upon us. Every place in the world is primed for meltdown, and a few lands in the periphery are already sinking. Sri Lanka is broke and out of gas after being set up as a WEF / Schwabenklaus low-carbon eco-state experiment. Panama is in revolt over extreme government corruption, food scarcity, and the after-effects of an especially severe two-year-long Covid lockdown that the rest of the world hardly heard about — perhaps because China has operational control over the vital Panama Canal and the CCP has operational control over the World Health Organization, which set up Panama as a lockdown lab project.

Of course, Europe is suddenly a magnificent mess with governments falling like duck pins, industry shuttered from lack of fuel, and citizens rising up against insane WEF diktats to drastically reduce livestock and shut down farming — in effect declaring food production an unacceptable environmental hazard. This, of course, after the governments of Euroland cut their own throats by self-sanctioning themselves out of Russian oil and natgas. It’s especially bizarre in Germany, the largest economy of the region, which had just this year conclusively realized and admitted that its “green energy” policy was a complete bust, forcing them to shut down major wind turbine installations and resort to producing electricity with coal. The governments of Merkel, and then Olaf Scholz, reveal themselves as the sheerest hypocritical idiots.

And now, the ground is even shifting under the CCP as China’s extravagant matrix of city-building, mortgage debt, and banking fraud rattles its financial system. What a surprise! Potent as it has been in bribing politicians around the world, infiltrating governments and cultural institutions in every land, and getting the news media to do their bidding, the CCP is apparently losing its grip on the Chinese people, who are sick of being locked down, tracked, and swindled. The tanks are out. This is not the same movie as Tiananmen Square, 1989. This is the CCP bankruptcy, an epic event that will thunder through “the global south,” sending Africa into famine and chaos and South America into yet another rotation of elites.

Pretty soon, it’s going to be every country for itself in this main event of the fourth turning (a.k.a. the long emergency). Global unity is a mirage, along with all the preposterous narratives of a world government. And in every country for itself, it’s going to be every community, every family, every person for itself until, emergently and painfully, everyday life can be reorganized from the ground up. People, get Ready.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

* * *


A U.N.-backed deal to resume exports of Ukrainian grain was agreed to on Friday, easing a global food crisis caused by the conflict in Eastern Europe.

International onlookers are cautious on the deal and Russia will be closely watched to make sure it upholds its side of the agreement.

The State Department has slammed Russian attacks on Ukrainian agricultural facilities and a months-long blockade on foodstuff exports. “To date, Russia has weaponized food during this conflict,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a daily press briefing.

Pentagon to send more Phoenix Ghost drones to Ukraine in latest security package

The Pentagon will send additional drones to the fight in Ukraine in the latest security assistance package.

The Phoenix Ghost drones are manufactured by Aevex Aerospace in Solana Beach, Calif., and were described by then-Pentagon spokesman John Kirby as “rapidly developed by the Air Force, in response, specifically to Ukrainian requirement.”

The Pentagon has previously included more than 100 of these drones in security packages to Ukraine, though not much is known about the weapon system. U.S. troops have trained Ukrainian forces on how to operate them.

* * *

Zelenskyy downplays Russia’s willingness for a potential ceasefire 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The Wall Street Journal that he tried to find a diplomatic solution with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the Kremlin invaded but that Putin would not take a phone call from him in the past three years.

“He came here without talking, killed people, displaced 12 million, and now says Ukraine doesn’t want to negotiate,” Zelenskyy said in an exclusive interview. “They just murder people, destroy cities, enter them, and then say: ‘Let’s negotiate.’ With whom can they talk? With rocks? They are covered in blood, and this blood is impossible to wash off. We will not let them wash it off,” he added.

Zelenskyy also said that a ceasefire deal in which Ukraine cedes territory to Russia would not work as it would simply give Russia a chance to regroup and prepare to seize more territory.

“We would prefer to de-occupy in a way that’s not military and to save lives,” he added. “But we are dealing with who we are dealing with. Until they get smashed in the face, they won’t understand anything.”

— Amanda Macias, CNBC

* * *


So much of what ails us comes from increasing complexity in nearly all we do from one day to the next. Increasing complexity with diminishing returns; or even negative returns. I don’t think anybody actually knows what’s going on, especially our parade of performing puppets in the White House. So, there’s just no fix to any of this, short of collapse and a new and simpler structure we can all navigate. Simplicity, common sense, and justice for all.

* * *

(1885 cartoon by Frank Beard)

* * *


by John Arteaga

Wow. What a month it has been! Between the shocking revelations coming from the very well organized January 6 commission and the frightening antics of a once dignified and respected institution, the Supreme Court, I hardly know where to begin.

After the superbly delivered testimony of a very dignified young conservative Republican lady, Cassidy Hutchinson, I was pleased to read an item from the New Yorker that, “this has got to be the end of Trump”

Indeed, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine even the most diehard MAGA freaks trying to explain away the actions of this guy who is obviously stark raving mad! I mean, after even his very own hand-picked suck-ups like Atty. Gen. Bill Barr break the news to him that, notwithstanding his strident insistence about such, that there is simply no evidence of significant fraud in the election that he lost by a substantial margin, what kind of malignant narcissist reacts to this fact by smashing his ketchup-laden plate against a West Wing wall in a man-child hissy fit?

I thought that I had long ago lost the ability to be shocked by anything that our wanna-be dictator might do, but Ms. Hutchinson’s calm, composed testimony provided some whoppers; I mean, when he told the crowd that, “we are going to march down to The Capital, and I’ll be there with you”, I assumed that it was just another one of the scores of thousands of lies documented during his reign, but according to Ms. Hutchinson’s unchallenged view of the events that day, Trump was so insistent upon joining his treasonous gang of heavily armed yahoos that he attempted to take the steering wheel of his limo, and when thwarted by his security detail, attempted to physically attack them!

What on earth was he thinking? Did he think that he was going to breeze into the capital with his brown shirted Proud Boys and various other violent dimwits and declare himself president for life, as if he were Chairman Mao at the culmination of the Long March? What? Were all the US military branches, the security services, all the various policing agencies, going to just lay down their arms and bow before the new Sun King?! In what world was that going to happen?

I’m sure I am not the only observer to wonder why on earth this outrageous criminal is still at large. I mean, even before any of the testimony of the January 6 commission, wouldn’t you think that the words and deeds that were already publicly displayed on everyone’s TV screens should be sufficient to take this madman into custody, in the interest of the ‘security of a free state’?

As shocking and self-evidently illegal as the Trump circus was, what is far more frightening now is a Supreme Court packed with insane people, harboring bizarre beliefs, who are now in a position to shove their madness down the rest of our throats!

Consider, for a moment, these deranged individuals who have arrogated to themselves the power to force us to do things against our will in order to comply with their partisan extremist reading of the Constitution, which they would have us take as holy writ, even as they cherry pick the words and phrases that support their far right ideology.

These last couple of weeks have been brutal, with seemingly daily blows to the rights that we thought were American birthrights; one day it is the reversal of the unanimous judgment of all the lower courts regarding that Christian nutcase football coach who insisted on having his ‘voluntary’ postgame prayer on the 50 yard line (while he is on the clock working for a public school), completely blowing off the Constitution’s fundamental principle of separation of church and state, another day they go even further in uprooting that principle by requiring that we American taxpayers, without so much as a vote to affirm it, must shower public monies on private religious schools! I wonder how the radical Christian fundamentalists on the Scotus will feel about subsidizing radical Islamic madrasas?

Another day, with the stroke of a pen, this out of control branch of government completely destroys the EPA’s ability to even try to do anything about greenhouse gases, the devastating effects of which become more pronounced and obvious every month, every year. Their specious argument being that this is a role for the legislature (as if they don’t know that ‘the legislature’ is so tied up in partisan knots that they can’t even tie their shoes, much less agree to do anything about regulating greenhouse gases!).

Then of course there is the piece de resistance; overturning Roe. If you look at these ‘conservative’ members of the court (I can’t even bring myself to refer to them as ‘justices’) it is hard not to believe that they are all mentally ill. Thomas, a traitor to his race who got ahead by affirmative-action only to do all he can to do away with it for anyone else, who is married to a truly wacko fan of fascism who was brought up in the John Birch society and was active on Jan. 6 promoting Trump’s big lie and the end of America’s Democratic experiment.

Then you have the smiling face of facism, Amy Coney Barrett, dutiful daughter of a lawyer for Exxon Mobil and a member of a bizarre misogynistic Catholic cult. I don’t have space to even briefly touch on the disgusting nature of the rest of the anti-democratic court majority except to say that Roe V Wade is just the beginning; we can soon look forward to Scotus rulings that may make it legal for Republican-led states to discard the votes of the people for any or no reason, then just give the states electors to the Republican.

Wouldn’t it just be more honest to dispense with the sham of voting altogether and just announce that from now on we will all be living in a corporate Republican dystopia?

What else is on their plate? Getting rid of same-sex marriage? Doing away with contraception? Banning Interracial marriage? It’s not hard to imagine this court reintroducing slavery!

Posted on my blog at

(John Arteaga is a Ukiah resident.)

* * *

* * *


Dear Supporter,

My jaw just dropped.

NPR just declared the unthinkable.

Republicans are poised to lose FIVE Senate seats:

-- Ron Johnson is in danger of LOSING his seat in Wisconsin

-- Marco Rubio is in danger of LOSING his seat in Florida

-- And Republicans are in danger of LOSING three open Senate seats in North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Mark my words: This is our once-in-a lifetime shot to FLIP these five Senate seats, CLINCH control of the Senate, and ensure that Mitch McConnell NEVER rises to power again. But ONLY if we step up our fundraising efforts this instant to outraise McConnell and dash his hopes of regaining control of the Senate. I need 3,200 gifts before midnight to pull off the BIGGEST Democratic wins in history before the clock runs out. Can I count on your $15 before midnight to help me in this make-or-break moment? >>

I need you to understand:

While the political pundits are predicting that Democrats can flip these seats…

Senate Republicans just announced a record-breaking $43 MILLION raised in the 1st Quarter.

So, I need you to make a choice in the next 14 hours:

-- Either you can let Republicans use every cent they’ve got to smear Democrats with attack ads, wear down our lead, and lie their way back into power

-- Or you can rush an emergency $15 gift before midnight, close our budget gap, and keep Mitch McConnell out of power for good

I will not allow the likes of Mitch McConnell to outraise us and ruin our chances to build the biggest Democratic Majorities we’ve ever had.

But I need your help right now to raise 3,200 gifts before midnight so we can LAUNCH into action, RUSH resources to the most critical races in the entire country, and hand McConnell the most DEVASTATING defeat he’s ever seen. Can I count on your $15 before midnight to take advantage of this incredible swing in our favor? >>

Thank you,

Nancy Pelosi

* * *

* * *

POSTCARD WRITERS INVITED TO "HOLD THE HOUSE THRU CA" WITH COAST DEMOCRATIC CLUB In Lieu of an August Meeting, You are Invited to Join Our Ongoing Postcard Writing Campaign to Hold the House Thru CA 


Coast Dems have again partnered with Activate America, (formerly Flip the West), a data-driven independent progressive political organization that has analyzed congressional and senate campaigns for 2022. Activate America believes that the "Road to holding the House of Representatives is through California" and they have targeted 8 CA Congressional Districts (CD) that can make the difference with 3 to hold for the incumbent, 4 to flip to the Democratic candidate, and one open CD. There is detailed information about why these candidates were chosen on the Activate America's website: 

As a partner, Coast Dems gets an ongoing flow of postcard addresses and scripts from Activate America for one or more of these CA campaigns until the election; we will provide volunteers with postcards, instructions, script, and stamps if needed. We are currently sending pro-choice postcards supporting Christy Smith, CD27, to Democrats who tend not to vote in midterm elections. 

To participate, please contact Lee Finney, at

* * *

Be a Change Agent for Freedom

What: MWPC Campaign Training for officials, candidates, staff and volunteers

When: 4 Sessions- July 30th, Aug. 6th, 20th, and Sept. 10th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm 

Where: United Methodist Church, 270 N. Pine St. Ukiah. Room 106

Time to fire up your inner mover and shaker! If the environment, pro-choice, civil rights, and voting rights are your passions plan to attend the Mendocino Women’s Coalition (MWPC) four sessions on Campaign Training – Be a Change Agent For Freedom, July 30th, Aug. 6th, 20th, and Sept. 10th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Pre-registration can be found on the website: It is never too early to begin to prepare for the 2022 Elections as a candidate or how to best help in a campaign.

Veteran political campaign trainer and founding chair of the MWPC, Val Muchowski, says, “Women considering a first run for public office or political ‘old hands’ should attend this valuable training to learn or relearn how to ‘run to win’!

Valuable skills are taught! Media training, winning without costly consultants, projecting your image, strategies, forming a strong message, media skills, regulations, targeting voters and other skills are taught by MWPC certified trainers Lynda McClure and Val Muchowski. 

“The Leadership & Campaign Training was invaluable to me preparing for my first, First District Supervisor campaign”, says Carre Brown, former Mendocino Supervisor. “I learned a lot about preparation for candidate interviews, campaign strategies, and Fair Political Practice Commission regulations.”

Our Democracy is being challenged like never before! Democracy is not a spectator sport. Come gather information at our trainings and learn how to participate and save our democracy, Elections Matter!

The trainings will be July 30th, Aug. 6, 20th, and Sept. 10th, from 10 am – 1:00 pm. Non-members will pay $10.00 per session or $40.00 for all four sessions. Members will pay $25 for all four sessions. Early registration is accepted on our website: To find out more about this event call Lynda McClure: 707-272-0580 or email:

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  1. Harvey Reading July 23, 2022

    1) “John Ottoson of Comptche, Preparing to Skin Bobcat”

    Someone should have skinned the skinner.

    2) John Steinbeck quote

    Apparently hallucinogens were readily available then, too.

    3) Pelosi appeal

    Poor, senile Nan still peddles the line that fasciocrats are better than fasciuglicans, even though “both” suck up to wealth for their very existence. Are you morons gonna continue to lap it up and beg for more?

    3) Bernie gibberish

    We really need to start executing robber barons and thinning out the military and its buddies, the spy agencies that mostly spy on US.

    4) Julian Assange

    More proof that the ruling class is nearing its much-deserved end.

  2. Michael Koepf July 23, 2022

    James Kunstler’s theory is intriguing. President Senescent dies, Harris becomes the non sequester in chief, with noxious Newsom appointed veep. Woke America on a role; Mendocino County dream. I often wonder: do those who hated Trump ever consider what they begot?

  3. Mike J July 23, 2022

    The Major’s assault on the choice of Mari Rodin (on an ad hoc to select new police chief) as being “illogical” given her experience, academic background, and perspective is very informative in revealing a certain form of editor conditioning that looks upon the field of Medical Anthropology as “gibberish” and grant writing skills as a useless throwing of money at problems.

    Are the Major’s objections “logical”, or seemingly a valid commentary on the choice of Rodin? No. Of course not.

    • Marmon July 23, 2022


      The last 3 UPD Police Chiefs have been unwilling to take on the grotesque 33-agency multi-million dollar homeless magnet and City leaders in order to make Ukiah great again. I remember when Ukiah was voted the #1 small town in California to live in back in the 90’s. The place is a shit hole now. Marbut gave them a fix and everyone freaked out accusing him of being mean. Being mean in Ukiah or Mendocino County at whole is one of the worst things anyone could be.


  4. Stephen Rosenthal July 23, 2022

    The Ukiah Police Chief Ad Hoc Committee: the good ‘ole boys and gals club prevails yet again. The only one who made sense to serve on this coffee klatsch “committee” was Duenas.

    • Mike J July 23, 2022

      The conditioning that forms the basis for The Major’s bias towards pols like Mari is his distrust and distate for the “33” agencies making Ukiah what he sees as a homeless magnet. A recent published study revealed that substance abuse and mental illness are not primary causative factors for homelessness, it’s economics and treating housing as a commodity are primary. This revelation undermines the Marburt position of housing 4th in line of action priorities. Rodin has asserted that economics is the primary causative factor for homelessness (I notice this type of expressed nuance) and I believe she is likely geared to finding someone like Justin Wyatt who was compassionate, not heavy handed, towards the homeless. Your thought that Rodin is part of some cool kids elite and that was the rationale for being chosen is as hilarious as The Major denigrating the field of Medical Anthropology.

      • Stephen Rosenthal July 23, 2022

        Glad you got a good laugh. Now be a good boy and go back to commiserating with Klaatu.

        • Mike J July 23, 2022

          Stephen, the cartoonists in the New Yorker are now putting the tin foil hats on the heads of the UFO debunkers. Catch up!

          Sometime in 2018 the New York Times wrote a long historical recap of the 1953 Robertson Panel conclusions and subsequent execution of their ridicule and denial policy. Anyone playing that game today is just confessing to be a gullible, easy mark.

      • Michael Koepf July 23, 2022

        Here’s an “expressed nuance”: the so called “homeless” of Ukiah are bums. Drug bums and alcoholic bums, who the paid “helping class” is making money on. There are a few genuinely mentally ill mixed in, who the bums quickly predate upon. Very few, in fact, unless one takes into consideration that doing meth, fentanyl or getting drunk on a hourly basis leads to mental illness, which it does.

        • Marmon July 23, 2022

          You’re completely correct and that is why there are no drug treatment program in Mendo. I remember when Stacy Cryer started dismantling AODP. She made statement referring to treatment not working. The last time I saw her she was bellying up to the bar at the “Boathouse Bar and Grill” in Nice with her husband. Mendocino County doesn’t really want to fix the problem of drug and alcohol abuse. Even the GJ is perplexed by the County’s inaction mentioned in their sugar coated Measure B investigation findings.


          • Mike J July 23, 2022

            Good, we’ve had the MAGA contingent weigh in with robust support for Marburt. I briefly noted revelations that undercut common presumptions which also seemed to inform Marburt with his Housing Fourth Rx proposals. Reporting on that here:
            Basic security in the form of secure shelter with some dignity is a necessary foundation to addressing substance abuse and mental illness.
            SAN DIEGO — Ask just about anyone for their thoughts on what causes homelessness, and you will likely hear drug addiction, mental illness, alcoholism and poverty.
            A pair of researchers, however, looked at those issues across the country and found they occur everywhere. What does vary greatly around the country, they found, was the availability of affordable housing.

            In their University of California Press book “Homelessness is a Housing Problem,” authors Clayton Page Aldern and Gregg Colburn looked at various contributing issues of homelessness, including mental illness and addiction, and the per capita rate of homelessness around the country. By looking at the rate of homeless per 1,000 people, they found communities with the highest housing costs had some of the highest rates of homelessness, something that might be overlooked when looking at just the overall raw number of homeless people.

            As an example, the 2019 count of people in shelters and on the street found a homeless population of 56,000 in Los Angeles County; 11,200 in King County, Wash.; 9,700 in Santa Clara County, Calif.; and 4,000 in Multnomah County, Ore. The homeless populations became similar when looking at per capita rates, with Los Angeles having six homeless people for every 1,000 residents and the other three, smaller counties having five homeless people for every 1,000.

            What they had in common was a lack of affordable housing.

            • Michael Koepf July 23, 2022

              MAGA contingent? I’m a Mendocino tax payer disgusted with grown men (and some women) shitting, pissing, starting fires, and harassing people on the sidewalks and streets of Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Got it, Mr. Nuance, whoever you are hiding behind a single initial? They don’t care about us; I don’t care about them.

              • Mike J July 23, 2022

                Many are old, sober, and law abiding. I run into them all the time. Shitting, pissing etc can be mitigated with infrastructure. In our heavy car-homeless hood, I notice some renters allow these car residents BR pit stops. Little non car settlements, like say at Observatory/S State street they probably go out in the open.
                As property changed hands in my area, many long time elderly tenants became homeless with rising rents. They were sober, not mentally ill. My encounters with disturbed meth users have been very memorable but rare. From real young homeless, I get very polite behavior.

                • Chuck Dunbar July 23, 2022

                  I thanked you below for your longer, informational comment, and again thank you here for this experiential feedback.

                  • Mike J July 23, 2022

                    Thank you.
                    Mike K and others may not have a sense of the mix out there, except mostly via social media commenting.
                    He mentions the arson uptick….that didn’t surprise me, I had imagined some out there have declared war on us in a way.

                  • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2022

                    The Harpies are shrillest just before Dawn stretches her rosy fingers into the sky; picking Hectors bones, no doubt… you brave stout blokes hold fast;
                    I’ll get Achilles and Tecumseh. We’ll unite the tribes and prevail once again
                    O’er these ignorant louts!

                    — Josh Hawley

            • Marmon July 23, 2022

              Even though the local media refuses to cover it, those Housing First facilities are causing all kinds of trouble. The neighbors of the facility on Gobi street are fit to be tied. Cops there all the time. And how about the house the Schraeders are begging for money to rebuild after one of our frequent flyers set it a blaze. Marbut was right and that is why Trump hired him during his administration. Some great things would have come had the China Virus attack hadn’t happened. If we had an honest Chief of Police in Ukiah, this shit would stop, but then again, he or she would be fired.


            • Chuck Dunbar July 23, 2022

              Thank you, Mike J., for this informative post. While homelessness is a complex, pervasive problem, information like this helps us get past the facile let’s-blame-it-on-them response heard so often. It’s easy, but not true or respectful, or Christian, to call them all “bums.” There but for the grace of God go any of us.

  5. Lee Edmundson July 23, 2022

    NB: Mr. James Kuntsler…
    His hallucinogenic dystopian fever dream of Sleepy Joe abdicating, Kamala Harris ascending to the Presidency and picking California Governor Gavin Newsom as her Veep skips over a key point, to wit: The 12th Amendment to the US Constitution, which clearly states that the President and the Veep cannot be from the same state.
    “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves…”.
    So, while I enjoy Mr. Kunstler’s uniquely paranoid rants and raves, he ought to do a bit more research of background material.
    In the immortal words of playwright James Kirkwood from his play entitled, “PS Your Cat is Dead”, “Opinions are like ass*oles. Everybody’s got one”.
    Mr. Kunstler certainly has one, many. Don’t know what he’s been smoking up there in the Hudson River Valley, but he ought to try a different brand.
    The sooner, the better.
    Just sayin’.

    • Chuck Dunbar July 24, 2022

      “Just sayin’ “—And said quite well, Lee. Made me smile early in the morning.

  6. Marmon July 24, 2022


    “The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) will be conducting its annual unsheltered Point-In-Time (PIT) Count which will begin at sunset on February 23, 2022, and run through the following week”

    How come that report has not been made available? I’ve searched everywhere for it. They’ve had 5 months to tell us, but so far crickets.


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