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Mendocino County Today: January 8, 2013

THE NEW BOOK by Stephen Sparks and Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, mentioned in last week's AVA and reviewed this week — “Out there in the Woods,” an account of the double-murder and ensuing manhunt for suspect Aaron Bassler in the fall of 2011, will be available in paperback and e-book form starting Thursday, Jan 10 on The paperback will be available at local stores over the upcoming weekend, Jan 11-13. A series of book signings and Q&A sessions with the Sheriff and Sparks will take place at local bookstores in new few weeks:

Friday, Jan 18, at the Skunk Train depot in Fort Bragg, 5–7pm

Saturday, Jan 26, Mendocino Books* in Ukiah (time tba).

Friday, Feb 1, Book Juggler*, Willits (time tba)

Saturday, Feb 9 Gallery Books*, Mendocino (time tba)

Saturday, Feb 16, Laughing Dog Books, Boonville. 5-7pm.

(* - to be confirmed)


WELL, IT'S NOT a face that inspires much confidence, a phrenologist might say, but it's also a face that represents the Obama administration's lack of commitment to anything resembling sensible gun policy. Most Americans probably hoped for at least a ban on military-type assault rifles and banana clips, but…

MIKE THOMPSON was appointed head of a congressional task force on gun murder following the slaughter of innocents last month. Thompson, recently interviewed by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, “refused to use the phrase 'gun control'.” The two words “create a divide that’s not bridgeable,” Thompson said, veering off into the usual gun guy's weasel-lipped gibberish about the Second Amendment alleged guarantee that cretins and mass killers have the right ordained by God Himself to buy and possess guns that shoot a whole lot of bullets real fast.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT seems pleased that Thompson will host a panel discussion this Thursday with Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas, District Attorney Jill Ravitch, county mental health director Mike Kennedy, and Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington, following which there will certainly be a round of kumbayas and a group hug. This particular charade commences at 6:30pm and runs to 8pm at the Sonoma County supervisor's chambers. These events are always organized in a way to keep public “input” to a minimum, so what we get is 90 minutes of listening to five professional blatherers talk about what a swell job their agency is doing as they verbally wring their hands before concluding nothing can be done, and isn't it all just a darn shame?

BUT JILL RAVITCH, lately of Mendocino County and presently Sonoma County's DA, got off a line that indicated she's not entirely reality-based. “We are not a society full of psychopaths,” she told the PD.

SPEAKING OF PSYCHOS, defined by Eric Barker as people who “can make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings,” according to an AOL story, the following professions are teeming with them:

1. Chief Executive Officer
 2. Lawyer
 3. Media (Television/Radio)
 4. Salesperson
 5. Surgeon
 6. Journalist
 7. Police officer 
8. Clergy person
 9. Chef
 10. Civil servant

THE PROFESSIONS with the fewest psychopaths include:

1. Care aide 
2. Nurse
 3. Therapist
 4. Craftsperson
 5. Beautician or stylist
 6. Charity worker
 7. Teacher
 8. Creative artist
 9. Doctor
 10. Accountant

HUMBOLDT STATE Still Trying to Heal its Jimmy Kimmel Wound. By Hank Sims

About six weeks ago, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel had some big yucks about the new Humboldt State Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. Kimmel hauled out all the old campus gags for a three-minute segment on the subject.

The show left a scar on the Humboldt State psyche. A press release issued today makes public a letter sent by the university to the yuckmeister last month, in which Kimmel is invited to come on up to Humboldt to check out the redwoods and the Schatz Energy Lab and such. They haven’t heard back yet.

Big shocker. In the future, HSU might want to think about tailoring its pitch to its audience. This week’s Rolling Stone has Kimmel tripping his way around Los Angeles baked out of his gourd.

So, check it, Humboldt State. The Lost Coast Outpost is going to help you out. Come on up to Humboldt, Jimmy, and we will smoke you out solid for three days straight.

There you go!

PREVIOUSLY: Jimmy Kimmel on Humboldt State’s Marijuana Institute

Jimmy Kimmel, whose show recently featured a funny but misinformed segment about Humboldt State University, is tentatively scheduled to visit HSU and give a public presentation.

Kimmel, the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, was invited to campus just before the holidays in a letter (PDF) from HSU President Rollin Richmond and Associated Students President Ellyn Henderson. They requested he speak at HSU’s upcoming Commencement Ceremonies on May 18. As an alternative, they offered him the opportunity to choose a convenient time during the Fall 2013 semester.

“You may not remember this,” they wrote, “but you recently got a few laughs on your show by talking about the new Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.”

They continued, “We thought some of your lines were actually pretty funny, as did many on campus. However, like many students and alumni, we also felt you shortchanged Humboldt State University, portraying all of our students as pot-obsessed slackers. That was not fair.”

Although Kimmel has not yet accepted — or, for that matter, even responded — the University is hopeful he will make the trip. Logistical planning has already begun.

HSU does not expect to incur expenses for Kimmel’s visit, beyond the HSU baseball cap that was sent with the invitation.

Henderson urges students and others to do what they can to politely encourage Kimmel to accept the invitation. He may be reluctant, or ABC may be too cheap to send him on a junket, so some polite nudges through Kimmel-branded social media might be in order.

Kimmel is on Facebook at and Twitter at

COMMENT OF THE DAY: “The wonder of it all is that there hasn't been civil disorder yet. When I go into the supermarket, I marvel at the price of things: a single onion for a dollar, four bucks for a jar of jam, five bucks for a box of Cheerios, four bucks for a wedge of cheese. Is everybody except Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Mark Zuckerberg living on store-brand macaroni and ketchup? It's hard to measure the desperation of households in this culture of rugged individualism. At social gatherings friends rarely tell you that they are two months behind in their mortgage payment and maxed out on their credit cards. And that's the supposed middle class, at least the remnants of it. I can't tell you what the tattoo-and-falling-down-pants crowd talks about in the parking lot outside the 7-Eleven store. Perhaps they swap meth recipes. Civil disorder would at least mean something, a consensus of dissatisfaction about how life is lived. Instead, we only get mad outbursts of tragic meaninglessness: the slaughter of innocent children in school, or movie theater patrons mowed down by a lone maniac during the coming attractions. Life imitates art, as Oscar Wilde said, and these days television is our art. Hence the United States is now equal parts Jersey Shore, Buck Wild, the Kardashians, and Honey Boo Boo. That's not really a lot to work with in terms of social capital, especially where radical politics might be called for.” — James Kunstler

KILLER WHALES are on their way! As you may know by now my name is Jodi Smith and I am the founder and Executive Director of Naked Whale Research (NaWhaRe), a killer whale research nonprofit located in Manchester. We have been in the area since October to study the *Endangered Southern Resident killer whale pods* as they travel between Puget Sound Washington State and Monterey Bay, CA during their winter hiatus. I wanted to let you know that we've had a recent report of K pod off Coos Bay, Oregon this morning. If travelling with the L pod, that could mean upwards of 60 animals passing by! We anticipate seeing the whales in the Point Arena area by Tuesday or Wednesday this week if they stay on course. If you would be so kind as to watch for the whales as they pass by your area, and notify us when you see them, we would greatly appreciate the update. You can contact me at 707.267.8587 or by email at this address. If anyone can get some photos of the whales sent to me, I may be able to identify them for you or your customers as well. Our longtime studies have established their family and life histories, sex and ages that I can pass on to you to make for a more personable customer and visitor experience! For more information on our organization please visit In studying killer whales for the past seventeen years we are heavily linked to other researchers and sighting networks to the north and the south. In addition, our presence in Northern California establishes photo-ID and critical habitat research between the distant points of their summer and winter habitats, and adds to the National Marine Fisheries Service data collected on this fascinating and *Endangered *population. —Jodi C. Smith, Executive Director, Naked Whale Research. (707) 267-8587C “Dedicated to filling in the information gap on killer whale habits along the west coast from Vancouver Island to Monterey Bay.”

FIRST PUB NIGHT of our New Year 2013; OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC ON STAGE! A lovely evening of fun music, good friends and wonderful comfort food - making it Light and Bright for the dark Winter night. FREE admission - all ages invited to join in Dinner and beverages available for sale but all are welcome to just come and enjoy. Good conversation with family and friends in Caspar's updated Community Center - sound improvements are making audio /much/ more listenable - good sound panels in both North and South Rooms (kitchen is next!!) Food being cooked by Caspar Kitchenettes this time - Sounds intriguing eh?? Hope you will come please JOIN US - it is really a wonderful evening with great conviviality - it's a lot of fun when the little kids get on stage. :-) PUB NIGHT is an all volunteer effort (except sound tech on site) and please call if you want to help out. Many hands makes light work. Call 964-4997 All proceeds go to Caspar Community 501(c)3


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