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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Warming | Smokey Sun | Coastal Influence | Basketball Champs | Sam Prather | Barn Sale | Council Candidates | Comptche Firefighters | Fair Deals | Blackberry Festival | Nasty Letter | Boonville High | Antle Test | McKinney Fire | Ed Notes | Bunyan Returns | Airport Robbery | Police Reports | Yesterday's Catch | Magic Word | Woke Olympian | Albion Communards | Krishna Retirement | SLO Water | Trifecta USA | Alternate Reality | Melania Realization | Please Hold | Curie Newlyweds | Execution Wear | Big Gust | Pelosi Provocation | Stand Off

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THE THREAT FOR ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS will persist through this evening over the interior mountains. Interior temperatures will quickly warm back up and remain above normal all week. Northerly winds will build offshore by mid week, bringing a return of night and morning low clouds and fog. (NWS)

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Smokey Sun Comes Up In Willits (photo by Robin Sunbeam)

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MIKE KALANTARIAN NOTES: Thus far, this summer has been remarkable for us Deep-Enders, with the cooling coastal influence traveling up the Navarro River corridor and shielding us from interior heat. I noticed last week Boonville was also benefiting from this effect:

  • Thursday: Ukiah 106°, Boonville 88°
  • Friday: Ukiah 106°, Boonville 89°

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Mendocino High School basketball champs, 1911

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SAM PRATHER has died. A complete obituary to follow, but most of us know that Sam was born and raised in the Anderson Valley where he was a successful rancher in sheep. A kind and generous man, for many years Sam’s barbecues at the Boonville Fair were one of the major highlights of Fair weekend.

KAREN BAILEY: I met Sam in 2003 when I walked up to his door and knocked on it, saying “somebody at the Buckhorn said you might have a place to rent.” Jason and I rented from him for five years, he was a great landlord and eventually a great friend….. He had such a deadpan sense of humor it took me a whole year to figure out if he actually liked me or not. So many great memories. he taught me how to prune fruit trees and fix a fence. I’ll remember him forever. RIP. To an Anderson Valley Legend.


by Brad Wiley (November 11, 2020)

Running sheep on the hillsides framing Anderson Valley provides the herder with a way of seeing Anderson Valley very different than from your car as you check up on the neighbors on your way to Lemons’ Market or the Post Office.

In my farming activities since arrival here in the seventies I have had the opportunity to look down on our affairs from the Ingram/Roux ranch and more spectacularly from the Reilly Ranch above the dump here in Navarro, from Guntly and Gschwend along Mill Creek, the Rickard Ranch southeast of Boonville, from various lookout points along Greenwood Road, and most frequently from the Day and Johnny Williams ranches north of Philo. The latter two I assisted Sammy Prather on for at least a decade herding, medicating and shearing sheep in the seventies and eighties.

The sheep industry was a pioneering business for many Anderson Valley families going back to at least the 1880s, perhaps longer. Until World War II and its food shortages the sheep industry was principally committed to wool and its sale, not meat. And since lamb body weight at sale was not an important profit factor, the wool product only encouraged too heavy grazing on sidehill pastures all over The Valley. I once heard, for instance, that someone ran 1100 sheep on the 1100 acre Reilly Place up Indian Creek. When I got interested in the sheep business I believe typical grazing practice here was about one head, meaning ewe and lamb, per two acres, including forest.

Around 1972 I made a deal with Sam Prather and Lyle Luckert to run sheep on my place. It was the typical lease arrangement then, cost to grower was $5 per head per year, paid in advance. My place, the old Colson/Ingram ranch was 108 acres, and Sam and Lyle ran about 70 ewes, way too many sheep for the size of the place. I took up the deal both for the needed income and as a way to learn the sheep business for myself. A side benefit was getting to know a couple of very interesting local characters I was close friends with forever, never mind the overgrazing.

Beside hanging out with Sam and Lyle during their seasonal activities with their band here, I also invited myself to help Sammy with his operation on Day Ranch. The Bill Day family still owned the place, though they lived in Ukiah in semi-retirement. Sammy’s lease included about 300 head on 640 more or less acres stretching in a kind of vertical rectangle from Highway 128 to the top of Whipple Ridge, around 1,600 feet elevation. Its south corner backed up to Albert Elmer’s property and Clow Ridge. The fencing layout was fascinating in that there were inside the property line in fact two ranches complete with their own corrals, barns, shearing and wool storage sheds, loading chutes. The “upper” ranch started about halfway to the top of the place, just a small barn and out-building to serve the 150 head band grazing all year up there.

The “lower” ranch was an elegant piece of work with rich sidehill grasslands, a small split rail fenced orchard and a fenced “avenue” coming straight down the hill to the corrals and barn. Once one drove the sheep into the top of this corridor, it was simply a stroll behind them down to the stock management area. The barn itself was, and still is, a beautifully built and maintained piece of work, properly elevated off the ground on sound wooden footings, walls and roof in fine shape, each space, hay storage, shearing areas, even an elegant shitter with a door inside the building. And a few feet away on its north side was the only corn crib, on four foot high pillars, split redwood latticed sides, tin roof for storing winter feed cobs, I have seen in the Valley. What a comfortable place to work the sheep.

The Johnny Williams ranch to the south, owned by Navarro Vineyards when Sammy leased that property was an even more grand piece of land than Day. 900 acres, mostly gently sloping high yielding grassland from top to bottom, and spectacular views along the back line fence running southerly along Whipple Ridge for about a half a mile. Sam arranged the lease around 1975, then bought a single band of very healthy Rambouillet ewes from a ranch somewhere in Oregon. If I remember right he stocked this ranch in April, say 1975, so we gathered the band for shearing around the first of June.

I remember the day well. We drove Sam’s four wheel drive jeep up to the top of the ranch just at dawn of a windless day we could tell would become warm though not too. Before sunrise it was ten degrees warmer at 1,600 feet than down at the shearing site. And what views of the Valley.

That day our battle plan was thus: Sam went south along the ridge to near the property line adjacent to Cecil Gowan, I to the north near the Day Ranch corner carrying my just-purchased oak shepherd’s crook and a police whistle. At the signal we would start down the ridges whistling and talking to the sheep about our mission: everyone to assemble at the shearing shed corral, no exceptions.

But first the views. Once at my north post I put my hand up to signal “wait.” I had to absorb a whole different way of looking at Anderson Valley, its terrain and its communities. There were all four of the new vineyards in the Valley. You could see their actual layouts on the river bottom ridges at Edmeades, Husch, and the new vines layouts Hans and Teresa Kobler were planting along Lazy Creek on the old Pinole place. And off to the northwest about five miles away on the last ridgeback before the redwoods entirely close in the Valley and the River there is was a little sidehill vineyard, Wiley.

And behind and west of Wiley there’s Mal Pass on the right and higher to the left the wooded Tony Fashauer Ranch arm of Greenwood Ridge where the River turns to head northwest on its final run to the Ocean. From the top of Day Ranch back north another feature of Greenwood Ridge geography comes into view, the beginning of the relatively flat bench on its north side that is Ross Ranch, and you can see the east end of the large dry farmed apple orchard, deep timber soil large trees still in full production back then.

And back in the Valley but still a mile and more away there were in detail the layout of the Guntly, Pinole and Clark ranches between Mill Creek and Christine Woods. Fences, particularly the split rail ones, the mixture of sheep pasture, orchards, small redwood groves including the burnt out monument ones on Pinole, and the estate-like house, barn and water tower at Guntly and the more modest ranch houses at Pinole and Clark across the road.

Enough Valley gazing. Sammy whistled again, I replied and we started walking down the ridges, trying to keep one another in sight to make sure all the sheep were going that way too. The neat thing about this Oregon Rambouillet band was that it had apparently been driven regularly enough seasonally at its old home that they knew the script very well and most of them simply ambled down to the holding pens and barn without a lot of enforcement. Our job was then more of a ritual walk, swinging my crook and generally talking or singing to myself just loud enough not to wear out my throat in the hour it took to reach the work barn.

But even the most disciplined bands have their individualists, sometimes a lone sheep and lamb, sometimes a leader and its sub-band. At Williams I remember only one troublemaker, the chiefess of about fifteen head, but very predictable in behavior. She would get tired of heading downhill in the sun and regularly over the course of our seasonal drives found the same shady resting spot under the oaks alongside a stream course to the left of the down ridge I was patrolling. I would simply check that grove when I got to the general area, wave my crook ominously and berate her as loudly as I could to get her and crew back on the trail again.

The end of the drive was the simplest and most lovely part. About a quarter mile from the bottom of the hill the ridge trails all met at a graded truck road that immediately entered a hardwood grove alongside a stream then went directly to the stock pens and barn. By the time Sam and I converged there the sheep were so far ahead of us that we could only see a few stragglers on the road a hundred yards ahead of us. Drive mission accomplished.

The barn and stock holding areas were, like at Day, beautifully built and well-maintained. I wish I could remember more about their details. The barn was surrounded by some open pasture and just at the seam between the down-sloping ridge fingers Sammy and I had just patrolled and behind the round Valley floor knob where Ten Bennett planted his first vineyard. You can still fleetingly see it today from the highway, even at sixty miles an hour. The barn itself was not large and functioned principally for sheep band management. There was only a little space for hay storage, and there were four single sheep stalls for the professional shearers, each with an exit and entrance gate from the supply stall that held perhaps forty sheep at a time. Ewe in, ninety seconds to shear, sheep out, next.

So by 8:30 or so, before the Valley floor had begun to warm up, the drive was over. Sammy and I could take a break, wipe off the dusty sweat caking our brows, noses and necks, have a drink of water, and get ready for the task of the day. That would be according to the season, medication, hoof trimming, castration and tail-docking, or shearing and lambs to market.

The next trip up to the top of Williams Sam and I switched posts, he north I at the south end, another new perspective on the Valley. My view was more west and southwesterly than before. Right below me straddling the Highway was Cecil Gowan’s complex array of orchards on side hill and flatland all the way to the River and to Little Hendy Grove. And next door was Art Gowan’s smaller orchard array complemented by those two lovely barns, the one on the River side of the Highway associated with the sawmill that ran there in the fifties. The more elegant one on this side the hay barn and milking parlor where Art had small commercial dairy operation after World War II.

Then looking further south one could see Big Hendy Grove and the line of young redwoods where the River bent southerly so one looked right up it by what used to be Smokey Blattner’s river run gravel quarry. And further to the left I could see the back side of Philo hill with Arnold Brown’s Douglas fir grove crowning its high point east of the Highway (I have a precious water color of the hill and crown painted long ago by Arnold’s niece Charmian Blattner. It probably belongs at the Historical Society.) And then over the right side of Philo hill I was looking into the forested Ham Canyon Rancheria Creek area at the back of Prather Ranch, hard to see from the Highway.

And until the next episode up on the ridges I would store in the memory bank pictures of a whole different way of seeing and understanding the Valley: a fascinating tapestry of geography, small farms, orchards, vineyards and woodlands comprising our rural community. I couldn’t wait for the next opportunity a few months later to get out of Sammy’s jeep at the top of the Day or Williams ranch and re-explore the vistas up there provided.

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THE BARN SALE: this Saturday, August 6, 10 am to 3 pm and Sunday, August 7, Noon to 3 pm. Located at 12761 Anderson Valley Way in Boonville. A wide variety of used items for sale; dishes, linens, pots and pans, clothing, shoes, records, DVDs, books, toys and much more.

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Vice Mayor Jessica Morsell-Haye has stated that she does not intend to run for reelection. Since all City Councilmember incumbents will not participate in re-election, the nomination period for the three open four-year City Council seats and the one open two-year City Council seat is extended to Wednesday, August 17, 2022, pursuant to the California Elections Code. 

Nomination papers have been issued to eight potential candidates for the vacancies on the Fort Bragg City Council. As of Monday, August 1, 2022, one candidate has filed completed paperwork with City Clerk June Lemos, the City’s Elections Official. Councilmember Lindy Peters’ nomination papers were certified by the County Elections Office and he is qualified for the two-year term on the November ballot. 

All other nominees will have until 5:00 PM on August 17 to return their paperwork. Once the County Elections Office certifies to the sufficiency of the nomination papers, the qualifying candidates will be eligible to appear on the November ballot. 

“There is still time to become a candidate for Council,” Lemos said. “If you are interested in running, please contact me at (707) 961-1694 and make an appointment to be issued nomination papers.” 

The election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

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AISEA, LUCAS AND RICHARD, three local studs out on the Oak fire … Proud is not a big enough word.

Aisea and Richard

(Comptche Fire Department)

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The return of the Redwood Empire Fair is going to be a celebration for everyone, including families who are looking for entertainment on a budget. The Fair runs from Thursday, August 4th to Sunday, August 7th

Every year, the fair offers attendees an opportunity to save $5 on carnival wristbands. The unlimited one-day-use wristbands may be used any day of the weekend. The discounted wristbands are $30 each and are available at Mendo Mill Ukiah, Ukiah Taco Bell, Raley’s, Super Chavez Market, Creative Workshop and JD Redhouse in Willits. Wristbands must be purchased by 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 4th, prior to the opening of the Fair.

Start out the weekend with free admission for kids and seniors on the Fair’s opening day, Thursday, August 4th at 3:00 PM. Admission is free until 6:00 pm for kids aged 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. Children under five are always admitted free of charge. Admission to the fair provides an all-inclusive experience, with music, Speedway activities and entertainment included in the admission price.

Each day, contests take place on the Willow Tree Stage at 5:00 pm. On Thursday, assure your kids that watermelon seeds don’t grow in your stomach, when folks can compete in the Watermelon Eating Contest. Save the corn dogs for dinner and enter the Pie Eating Contest on Friday at 4:30 PM. Speaking of corn dogs, how many can you eat? Saturday is the corn dog eating contest at 5:00 PM. For those professional eaters who still have a few calories to burn, check out the hot dog eating contest at 5:00 PM on Sunday.

For the aspiring Cupcake Wars fan in the family, Fair-themed cupcake decorating will take place from noon to 3:00 on Saturday, and Fair-themed cookie decorating can be enjoyed from noon to 3:00 on Sunday.

Once again, Pardini Appliance is sponsoring the traditional Diaper Dash on Saturday, August 6th at 2:30, located on the Willow Tree Stage. The winning dasher’s family will receive a washing machine. 

One of the most memorable experiences of the fair is viewing the competition at the animal show rings. The swine, sheep, beef and small animal buildings also provide many families with a first-time, up-close-and-personal animal experience. The 4-H members and Future Farmers are incredible Ag ambassadors, and part of their training is to help educate children and adults on how to raise animals and prepare for the showmanship stage. 

Get ready to “Walk on the Wild Side” once again, when the Oregon-based non-profit will stage not one but two interactive experiences—the first, sharing a variety of endangered and rescued wild animals, who make their forever home in their rural wildlife sanctuary, where some have the opportunity to educate and amaze the public by being part of their traveling exhibit. Their second experience, a Dinosaur Discovery, speaks for itself, and will have future paleontologists “digging” the information and exhibits. The exhibits will be open from 3:00 to 10:00 Thursday and Friday, from noon to 10:00 on Saturday and noon to 9:00 on Sunday.

It isn’t the Fair without Jeremy the Juggler. He will be found all weekend bringing his remarkable feats to the fairgrounds. Jeremy is a celebrated bilingual juggler, unicyclist, hand-whistler, beat-boxer and origami maker, who performs at California-based fairs and industry events like corporate heavies Motorola, Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar and Red Bull. 

This year for the first time, the Fair welcomes Violin on Fire to the Fairgrounds. Master violinist Patrick Contreras is a Fresno-based virtuoso violinist who has tens of thousands of followers and is known for his masterful interpretations of popular music including hip-hop, Latin music and even renditions of hard rock songs by Santana and System of a Down. Don’t miss his two daily performances at 5:30 and 7:30 Thursday through Saturday, and 5:30 and 8:00 on Sunday. 

For years, the Ukiah Idol competition has continued to bring the excitement of performing in front of an audience to local folks who have the will, talent and chops to make it to the finals. Bring the kids to the Willow Tree Stage and enjoy the “Little Idol and Junior Idol” finals on Friday, August 5th at 5:00 pm. The Grand Finals take place at 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 7th

Don’t’ forget to take a break from the noise and heat and enjoy the exhibits in the Fine Arts Building, Junior Building, Flower Building and Home Arts Building. Cash prizes are awarded to adults and children who will be emulating this year’s Fair theme: “Celebrating 86 Years of Cows and Quilts.” Expect some amazing quilt entries, along with everything from photography, fine art, collections, cakes and fruits of this year’s harvest.

Some fairgoers come exclusively for the Speedway entertainment, and how can you blame them? This year, there will be four nights of racing, starting every night at 6:00. 

Ukiah’s beloved DJ Ken Steely will be ready for you to belt out your karaoke favorites on Thursday 6:00 and 9:00 PM. Get ready to rock with Fake News at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Friday, dance to Warehouse 21 at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Saturday, and on Sunday, Banda Pacifica will close out the Fair with a 5:00 show.

Along with free admission to kids ages 6-12 on Thursday only, seniors 65 and older are also admitted free until 6:00 pm on opening day. Children under 5 are always admitted free. Speedway shows are always included with fair admission. The Fair opens at 3:00 on Thursday and Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. For more information phone (707) 462-3884, visit the Redwood Empire Fair’s Facebook page or

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August 20 & 21 is when the 39th Annual Blackberry Festival will take place at the grounds in downtown Covelo.

Fun for the whole family this event includes arts & craft booths, Mendocino wine tasting and live music both days. On Sunday a car and motorcycle show will take place.

Saturday 10am to 6pm. 

Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Admission is free. 

No pets allowed.

After a two year absence, the Round Valley Blackberry Festival committee is busy planning the 39th festival. We are excited to once again bring the community and surrounding areas together for two days of music, food and arts & crafts on Aug. 20th & 21st. I have attached a listing for your events calendar as well as a copy of this years poster which we would appreciate you including in your publication. This is a not for profit event sponsored by the Friends of the Round Valley Public Library. 

Sharon Durall

Round Valley Blackberry Festival Committee

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To the AVA: 

It is troubling that the AVA chose to print a nasty letter viciously attacking a woman on the grand jury. I do not know the letter writer or the woman he slandered, but the letter’s accusations are the writer’s opinions (“my working theory”) that the woman brokered a backhanded property deal for the Skunk train and suppressed grand jury investigations, and added that “we know” the woman is a snake. Why do you publish this crap?

L.C. Lewis, 


ED REPLY: Kathy Wylie is the woman referred to. She responded with a public LOL. She isn’t a snowflake.

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aerial view of the Boonville High School campus

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Re: “MENDOCINO COUNTY WORKERS’ UNION Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge As County Management Breaks State Law by Continuing to Hide Vital Financial Information.”

CHUCK DUNBAR WROTE: So, here’s a first major test of how CEO Antle intends to lead her workforce. Does she continue the secretive, autocratic, anti-labor ways of CEO Angelo, her former boss, or does she open-up the process, work with and for staff and change County practices for the better. At some point, an organization gets the staff it deserves. The vacancy rate across the board for County positions speaks loud and clear–Workers are not happy in County employment. Fair and open negotiations with SEIU would be a good start here.

The County can spend–and waste–a good deal of citizens’ tax money defending against this unfair practice charge, or do the right thing right away in its labor negotiations and reveal the figures requested by SEIU. Any fool can see that these figures should be openly available to all citizens and to the union. This issue is yet another example of a prospect for wasted time and money by County leadership. Ms. Antle, show us some smart, high-minded leadership on this issue.

MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIED: Ms. Antle broke down in tears when CEO Angelo departed. She was CEO Angelo’s hand-picked successor; no other candidates were considered. Typically, Mendo’s public agences launch a “national search for excellence,” having wired the position for the excellency one desk over. CEO Antle was CEO Angelo’s budget point-person. And when the union asked for the funded/unfunded vacancy list last month, CEO Antle said it was a subject for closed session discussion. Upon her appointment as Interim CEO, she had one of her staffers call here to cancel the CEO’s complimentary subscription to the AVA, twice. (We declined to cancel them, not bothering to explain to the irony-challenged that the AVA is like the Hell’s Angels — once you’re in, you’re in for life.)

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SUPERCHARGED BY GUSTY THUNDERSTORMS AND DROUGHT-RAVAGED TREES, the McKinney Fire exploded over the weekend into California’s largest fire of 2022 — wiping out houses, sending 1,300 people fleeing for safety and forcing dozens of hikers to be rescued from the Pacific Crest Trail near the California-Oregon border.

A firetruck drives along California Highway 96 as the McKinney Fire burns in Klamath National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The blaze charred more than 52,498 acres as of Sunday evening and remained 0% contained as it barreled out of control through the Klamath National Forest — a remote enclave northwest of Mt. Shasta renowned for its fishing, white-water kayaking and rafting. And with scores of lightning strikes — some originating from its own billowing smoke plume — hitting around the central conflagration this weekend, firefighters warned thousands more to be ready to flee at a moment’s notice.…

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NOT THAT our Superior Court judges would ever condescend to address us rabble (except when they’re up for election), but their silence re the new county courthouse nobody wants is simply shameful. And don’t blame their silence on the State Judicial Council as if that collection of legal time servers is the Holy Koran, as if locals are powerless. If local judges came out against it, the wizards in Sacramento would have to reconsider.

BUT THEN MAYBE their honors think the preliminary design is “real purty” where “we’ll get our own parking spaces with a private elevator so we don’t have to trudge up and down the stairs like the rest of you suckers, and just across the street we’ll have our court coordinator run across the street for all those convenient Big Macs! 

WHAT WE HAVE in our Superior Court is 9 lawyers with lifetime, highly paid sinecures who have no visible regard for the communities they allegedly serve (cf the blithe destruction of local justice courts as the judges wonder why fewer and fewer people turn up for jury duty.) And Mendo being Mendo with its lawyers comprising one big cringing club who wouldn’t dare run against an incumbent, the magnificent 9 are not only impervious to public opinion, they’re clearly contemptuous of it because a new County Courthouse makes no sense because it leaves all the ancillary services in the present County Courthouse, three long blocks away. The new County Courthouse is only for the comfort and convenience of the 9 judges and the Marin County lady who runs interference for them.

CHATTING with a friend today, he commented, “No wonder so many people turn to Trump. The average citizen looks around and all he sees is closed clubs. Look at Mendo. A raping cop gets the all-time plea deal; the Supervisors make three times the average Mendo salary for two meetings a month while the local government they supervise is an ongoing mess; dope additcts and crazy people have taken over all the public spaces in Ukiah; the schools are so bad they’re an inch away from being taken over by the state; we’re getting a new eyesore of a County Courthouse shoved down our throats; people are getting eaten alive by inflation while we fund an endless war in Ukraine, and on and on.”

WHICH IS WHY January 6th was only the tip of a very large rebellion coming up in ‘24, if not before. Nothing is getting better, no one is in charge, and a huge crack-up is coming right up.

A 36-YEAR-OLD LAKE COUNTY MAN was holding a hammer, a rock and a garden tool similar to a pickaxe when a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot him on Friday, Santa Rosa police said on Monday.

The man, identified as David Pelaez-Chavez of Lower Lake, was standing 10 to 15 feet away from two sheriff’s deputies when one of them shot him, according to Sgt. Chris Mahurin, a Santa Rosa Police Department spokesman.

The shooting happened shortly after 10 a.m. in a rural area east of Healdsburg, according to authorities.

The rock Pelaez-Chavez held was about the size of a cantaloupe, Mahurin said. The hammer and garden tool were in his other hand.

The deputy fired three bullets, but it was unclear how many shots hit Pelaez-Chavez, according to Mahurin. He said that detail would become clear after an autopsy by the Marin County coroner, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Pelaez-Chavez was pronounced dead at 10:29 a.m. by a paramedic who was airlifted to the site of the shooting, a forested area in the Franz Creek bed, on private property about a mile from a home in the 5600 block of Thomas Road.

The two deputies had tracked Pelaez-Chavez there during a search that lasted more than an hour.

— Press Democrat

ED NOTE: The Mendo Sheriff’s Department, same week, subdued an armed Willits man with no injuries to anyone. This one involving SoCo? Two deputies, only one feels it necessary to shoot a man armed with a rock and garden tools.

DOES PELOSI’S TRIP to Asia have any point, or is it’s point to tempt the mainland Chinese into blitzing Taiwan for no strategic purpose whatsoever. The White House, adrift in a sea of catastrophes, has confirmed Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan while warning China not to react with military force or threaten the House speaker. Or what? 

WITHOUT directly saying Pelosi will make a stop on the island that Beijing sees as its own territory, Biden’s spokesmen warned — repeatedly — if she did stop in Taiwan, there was no reason to react with rockets and an invasion. “We’re going to watch this very, very closely,” White House spokesman John Kirby said at the daily press briefing, and asked reporters what the “drama” of her trip is — following 10 days of threats from Beijing after the prospect of her visit first surfaced. “I don’t know about the drama you’re claiming exists. It’s quite the contrary here,” Kirby said. And it probably is. 

PELOSI will arrive in Taipei on Tuesday night where she will meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a day after landing in Singapore to kick off her pointlessly provocative tour of Asia. “We’re going to make sure that she has a safe and secure visit, because that’s our responsibility. And we urge as I said at the outset, we urge China to see this — if she goes — to see this for exactly what it is: nothing new, no change to our policy, and certainly not an unprecedented visit by the Speaker of the House,” Kirby said, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army issued multiple warnings ahead of Pelosi’s expected trip not to land in Taiwan, including a new threat Monday that contained a video simulating a missile strike, aircraft carriers advancing, and fighter jets in ominous formation.

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Everybody in my family is gone. The kids are in Idaho, whitewater rafting with one of my buddies up there. My wife is in Japan because her father is 94 years old. To visit him, she had to get a covid test at the airport because her last test was more than 72 hours before the flight. They charged her $250 for a covid test! A test that you can get free just about anywhere else. The ticket was a low-budget standby ticket, but that savings and more was lost because we had to cough up $250 for that unnecessary covid test. That’s equivalent to five years of the AVA!

Oaky Joe Munson

Monte Rio

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On 07-22-2022 at approximately 9:55 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to investigate a suspicious fire in the 100 block of West Lake Mendocino Drive Ukiah.

A Deputy was nearby when the fire was dispatched and arrived within a minute.

Immediately upon arrival citizens were located trying to extinguish the fire. The same citizens informed the Deputy that they had observed a white male adult walking north from the fire.

The Deputy immediately located the white male adult who was subsequently identified as Jimmy Hendry, 72, of Willits.

Jimmy Hendry

Hendry informed Deputies that he witnessed a white female adult named “Monica” start the fire and run west from the location. Deputies searched the area and were unable to locate “Monica.”

Deputies knew the location where the fire occurred had surveillance cameras which were not accessible at that time. Hendry provided the Deputies with his contact information and was released at that time.

Upon further investigation, Deputies obtained surveillance footage and were able to confirm that Hendry was the only subject depicted in the area when the fire started.

Deputies located Hendry and he was placed under arrest for Recklessly Causing Fire to Forest Land.

Hendry was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $157,500 bail.



On Thursday, June 2, 2022 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into a possible embezzlement case. The case involved the theft and use of Costco gift cards from a location in Covelo.

It was learned there were 300 gift cards purchased with a value of $30 on each gift card. (Total $9,000.) These cards were purchased with money received from grants awarded to the Round Valley Tribe.

Investigating Sheriff’s Deputies found the gift cards had been used/redeemed in May 2022 by numerous people at different times at Costco in Ukiah. Sheriff’s Deputies continued their investigation by obtaining video surveillance, and other evidence. Sheriff’s Deputies were able to identify numerous people redeeming the Costco gift cards.

On Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at about 8:00 AM, Sheriff’s Deputies along with the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and Mendocino County Probation Department served three search warrants in Covelo.

At all three locations Sheriff’s Deputies found evidence linking them to the use of the Costco gift cards. Sheriff’s Deputies also located four firearms, one had characteristics of an illegal firearm, along with three high capacity magazines.

Sheriff’s Deputies interviewed people involved with the usage of the gift cards and found the cards were received from Kassandra Phillips, 32, of Covelo. Sheriff’s Deputies found Phillips worked at the location where the gift cards were taken from.

Kassandra Phillips

Sheriff’s Deputies contacted Phillips and eventually arrested her for embezzlement and grand theft from a building.

Phillips was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 1, 2022

Ersland, Hanover, Harnett, Meinecke

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Burglary.

ROBERT HANOVER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JESSE HARNETT, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

DANIEL MEINECKE, Leggett. Parole violation.

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We have a new winner in the Woke Olympics.

I received a business email from Canada. It was “normal” in all respects.

Except, at the end of the email after the signature block, this statement appears:

“I respectfully acknowledge that I work at 220 Yonge Street, within land that is the ancestral territory of the Anishinaabe, The Wendat, and the Haudenosaunee peoples, and from 1805, the Treaty of the Lands of the Mississaugas.”

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Albion Commune

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Please enjoy this exceptional collection by the singer Vidhi Sharma, singing to the blue skinned god Sri Krishna.  ~Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare~

Meanwhile, just sitting here in the common room of Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California.  Eating yoghurt and a banana, watching bhakti bhajan videos on YouTube, drinking a Yerba Mate, ignoring the collapse of the global postmodern world, identified with "that which is prior to consciousness", and going back to Godhead.  This is my retirement plan.

Craig Louis Stehr

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San Luis Obispo County began selling water purchased by county residents to out of county water purveyors in 2008 and 2013, without returning the funds to local property owners as required by law, according to a recent SLO County Grand Jury report.

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As the country enters the grip of a recession, the denials are pouring in as usual from Team Biden.

They propose more government spending as a means to cure inflation. Of course, inflation hasn’t affected them one iota. They travel at taxpayer expense, so no pain at the pump; they dine in the congressional dining room, so no notice of the price increases at the grocery store. They are surrounded by security at all times, so no notice of the rampant crime throughout the land.

These people live in an alternate reality, and they either cannot or will not acknowledge a problem even when it stares them in the face.

The American people feel it all on a daily basis, and we have had enough. I don’t want to wish away time, but November can’t come soon enough.

Bo Madden

Jupiter, Florida

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by Ralph Nader

Most of us play both roles of the Caller and Callee. Guess which role rules? The Callee. I’ve lost count of how many older adults tell me, week after week, how hard it is to get through to powerful Callees. Especially by telephone! The latter include your local electric, gas and telephone company, your bank and insurance company, your members (or their staff) of Congress, and your local, state and federal government agencies. It never used to be that way.

Imagine the days when you’d pick up your phone, dial and get through to a human being. You couldn’t be waylaid by the evasive robotic operator who gives you the “press one, or two, or three or four” drill. Unfortunately, when you select “one” you often get another automatic recording. At some point you get a voicemail opportunity which is really voicefail.

Oh, say the younger people – what about trying email or text messaging? Clutter, filters, distractions and sheer overloads can’t adequately describe the ways Callees can keep you from getting through to a human. The more difficult it is, the more people repeat their attempts, and the more overload there is for the digital gatekeepers. Call this the Callees’ power plays.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures white-collar labor productivity. If they measured the sheer billions of hours wasted by people trying to get through to do their jobs, white-collar labor productivity would be far lower than its present level.

Here are some areas of abuse. Our Constitution’s First Amendment protects more than freedom of speech, press and religion. It adds the “right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” “Grievances” include more than personal affronts or injustices, such as petitions to get the government to enact or repeal policies, practices or other behaviors. I am confident in saying that members of Congress and their staff have never been more unresponsive to serious petitions (letters, calls, emails and old-fashioned petitions) on important issues than today.

Their prompt responses are reserved for donors and ceremonial requests (graduations, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and friends). Civic groups supporting a member’s already chosen legislative priorities find their staff have a working relationship with a congressional office. But try to get through to a member of Congress to sponsor a Congressional hearing or expand their portfolio to new urgent arenas – yes, keep trying.

It is near impossible to get through to even friendly members (or senior staffers) of Congress on grave matters of undeclared wars, starving the IRS budget to aid and abet massive tax evasions by the super-rich and big companies, serial lawless rejections of Congressional authority under the Constitution by the White House, or even restoring the staff of Congressional Committees that Newt Gingrich cut in 1995 when he toppled the House Democrats. Non-responses everywhere.

It is so bad that we wrote to every member of Congress and asked them what their office policy toward responding to serious communications was. Only one in 535 offices responded.

Of course, there is the absorbing activity known as “constituent service” – intervening for people back home not getting responses from federal agencies for their personal complaints. Some responsiveness to constituents’ personal stories is widely believed to be good for re-election. (See my column, Does Congress Need an Ombudsman to Look After Its Case Work?, published in the Capitol Hill Citizen newspaper –

If the Congress in the sixties and seventies was as unresponsive as Congress is today, ironically in the midst of the communications revolution, we couldn’t have gotten the key consumer, environmental, worker safety and health laws, the Freedom of Information Law and other laws enacted. Clearly, if you cannot communicate consistently with the 535 members of Congress and staff, who are given massive sovereign powers by “We the People” (right in the preamble to our Constitution), you cannot even start to get anything done on Capitol Hill.

There is one democracy wrecking exception – corporate lobbyists who grease the system with campaign money and assorted inducements and temptations dangled in real time and in the future. The lobbyists for the oil, gas and coal industries, the banking, insurance and brokerage companies, the military weapons manufacturers, the drug, hospital and nursing home chains, corporate law firms, the corporate media and others of similar avarice do get access. They get the private cellphone numbers of our elected officials, because they invite members and staff to luxurious gatherings and travel junkets, as well as more formal fundraising or Political Action Committee (PAC) venues.

This phenomenon of elected officials being incommunicado toward the civic communities is a controlling process by the powerful over the less powerful. Make no mistake. This same tale of two systems of access is everywhere. Big banks (Bank of America is one of the worst) and utility companies have algorithms that tell them how they can hire fewer workers for customer service if they can make consumers wait on recorded lines, or fail to answer emails and letters. The big companies want customers to just give up.

The courts are culpable as well. People have complained about not being able even to get through to Small Claims Court for hours at a time. The Postal Service is not known for quick telephone pickups, still under control of Trump’s nominee Louis DeJoy. Not to mention what the GOP did to the IRS ordinary taxpayer response budget.

But some companies are a bit more responsive such as FedEx or your local small retail family-owned business.

The lack of access is a serious problem that degrades quality of life with heightened stress and anxiety. And in some cases, during an emergency or disaster, the lack of a response can have dire consequences.

Fifty billion robocalls a year have disrupted seriously people answering their telephones, even from neighbors down the street. (The FCC and FTC just are not aggressively pressuring the communications companies to use the latest software to thwart these robocall outlaws). These agencies themselves are notoriously incommunicado.

What do to? Be more vociferous. Favor politicians and merchants who pledge to have humans answer phones and not make you wait, wait, and wait to give them your thoughts, your business and your complaints.

Your suggestions, readers, will be most welcome.

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THIS WEDDING PHOTO from 26 July 1895 portrays the most renowned couple in the history of the Nobel Prize: Marie Sklodowska and Pierre Curie – co-recipients of the 1903 physics prize for their research on radioactivity (along with Henri Becquerel).

Instead of a bridal gown, Marie wears the very dark blue outfit that would serve her for many years as a laboratory outfit. The couple were given money as a wedding present which they each used to buy a bicycle, and long, sometimes adventurous cycle rides became their way of relaxing. Their life was otherwise filled with work and study.

Marie was awarded her second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in the chemistry category, for her “advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.” She was the first person to be awarded the Nobel Prize twice.

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by Caitlin Johnstone

Joe Nathan James Jr was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, against the wishes of his victim's family. He was the eighth person to be put to death in the United States so far this year, and the second from Alabama.

In the moments leading up to his gruesome murder by the state, a news reporter was forced to change her outfit by the Alabama Department of Corrections, because her skirt and her open-toe high-heeled shoes were considered too revealing.

Yes, while a man was being strapped down to meet his end in the world's largest prison system at the hands of a governmental institution designed to serve power rather than justice, Ivana Shatara's skirt and shoes were deemed by authorities to be the most offensive thing going on in that moment.…

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by Norman Solomon

The arrogance of power is especially ominous and despicable when a government leader risks huge numbers of lives in order to make a provocative move on the world’s geopolitical chessboard. Nancy Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan is in that category. Thanks to her, the chances of a military confrontation between China and the United States have spiked upward.

Long combustible over Taiwan, the tensions between Beijing and Washington are now close to ablaze, due to Pelosi’s desire to be the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Despite the alarms that her travel plans have set off, President Biden has responded timidly—even while much of the establishment wants to see the trip canceled.

“Well, I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said about the prospective trip on July 20. “But I don’t know what the status of it is.”

Biden could have put his presidential foot down and ruled out Pelosi’s Taiwan trip, but he didn’t. Yet, as days went by, news trickled out that opposition to the trip was extensive in the upper reaches of his administration.

“National security adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior National Security Council officials oppose the trip because of the risk of escalating tension across the Taiwan Strait,” Financial Times reported. And overseas, “the controversy over the trip has sparked concern among Washington’s allies who are worried that it could trigger a crisis between the U.S. and China.”

Underscoring that the U.S. commander in chief is anything but an innocent bystander in terms of Pelosi’s trip, officials disclosed that the Pentagon intends to provide fighter jets as escorts if she goes through with the Taiwan visit. Biden’s unwillingness to clearly head off such a visit reflects the insidious style of his own confrontational approach to China.

More than a year ago—under the apt New York Times headline “Biden’s Taiwan Policy Is Truly, Deeply Reckless”—Peter Beinart pointed out that from the outset of his presidency Biden was “chipping away” at the longstanding U.S. “one China” policy: “Biden became the first American president since 1978 to host Taiwan’s envoy at his inauguration. In April, his administration announced it was easing decades-old limitations on official U.S. contacts with the Taiwanese government. These policies are increasing the odds of a catastrophic war. The more the United States and Taiwan formally close the door on reunification, the more likely Beijing is to seek reunification by force.”

Beinart added: “What’s crucial is that the Taiwanese people preserve their individual freedom and the planet does not endure a third world war. The best way for the United States to pursue those goals is by maintaining America’s military support for Taiwan while also maintaining the ‘one China’ framework that for more than four decades has helped keep the peace in one of the most dangerous places on earth.”

Now, Pelosi’s move toward a visit to Taiwan has amounted to further intentional erosion of the “one China” policy. Biden’s mealy-mouthed response to that move was a subtler type of brinkmanship.

Many mainline commentators, while very critical of China, acknowledge the hazardous trend. “The Biden administration remains committed to being more hawkish on China than its predecessor,” conservative historian Niall Ferguson wrote on Friday. He added: “Presumably, the calculation in the White House remains, as in the 2020 election, that being tough on China is a vote-winner—or, to put it differently, that doing anything the Republicans can portray as ‘weak on China’ is a vote-loser. Yet it is hard to believe that this calculation would hold if the result were a new international crisis, with all its potential economic consequences.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal summed up the current precarious moment with a headline declaring that Pelosi’s visit “would likely sink tentative rapprochement between U.S., China.”

But the consequences—far from being only economic and diplomatic—could be existential for all of humanity. China has several hundred nuclear weapons ready to use, while the United States has several thousand. The potential for military conflict and escalation is all too real.

“We keep claiming our ‘one China’ policy hasn’t changed, but a Pelosi visit would clearly be precedent setting and can’t be construed as in keeping with ‘unofficial relations,’“ said Susan Thornton, a former acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the State Department. Thornton added: “If she goes, the prospect of a crisis goes way up as China will need to respond.”

Last week, a pair of mainstream policy analysts from elite think tanks—the German Marshall Fund and the American Enterprise Institute—wrote in the New York Times: “A single spark could ignite this combustible situation into a crisis that escalates to military conflict. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan could provide it.”

But July ended with strong indications that Biden has given a green light and Pelosi still intends to go ahead with an imminent visit to Taiwan. This is the kind of leadership that can get us all killed.

(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of His books include ”War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death“ (2006) and ”Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State“ (2007).)

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  1. Chuck Artigues August 2, 2022

    Supposedly we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. Supposedly we support freedom loving people and democracy everywhere… We can sit here, protected by two oceans on the east and the west; passive neighbors on the north and south, behind an arsenal of terribly destructive weapons. Yet some people want to allow foreign governments to dictate who we may visit or choose as friends. Are you really suggesting we should sacrifice other people’s freedom for some sort of false security? Certainly we live in challenging times, but you’ve got to have some principles. Does a group of people have the right to self determination or not?

    • Rye N Flint August 2, 2022

      Yeah, I can not agree that we are a non-violent peace loving country. Maybe the hippies and their kids are (Me), but not ‘Muricans’. Their Jesus is packing heat.

      Even the violent hippies eventually sell out and have kids…

    • Gary Smith August 2, 2022

      Depends. If they’re fascists, yes. Socialists, no. Ukraine, yes, Venezuela no.

  2. Nathan Duffy August 2, 2022

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword.”
    -Matthew 10:34

    • Chuck Dunbar August 2, 2022

      Trump, as we all know well, is a guy with no class. It’s just another example of it. And, yes, per the 9/11 families, he is a “coward” in that he’s participating in this golfing event sponsored by the Saudis. He has no shame.

      • Marmon August 2, 2022

        OH MY GOD! You guys are absolutely nuts. Biden just got back from begging the Saudis for oil. He even fist bumped the Prince. Furthermore, Trump wasn’t a participant.


        • Chuck Dunbar August 2, 2022

          This may surprise you, James, but I agree that you have a point here. The fist bump was an act of stupidity, should not have occurred.

        • Chuck Wilcher August 3, 2022

          When Biden does the sword dance or embraces the glowing magic ball with the Saudi’s then we might have a problem.

    • Rye N Flint August 3, 2022

      So friggin Presidential it hurts… Like, the best golf ever… ever folks! This is the greatest golf bag in America people!

      -Tonald Drump

  3. Norm Thurston August 2, 2022

    China is trying to influence US policy by using intimidation and threats. It seems to me that Biden and Pelosi, working in concert, are calling their bluff. Good for them!

  4. Rye N Flint August 3, 2022

    Wow! Did you see Biden announce that Murica got them bad guys killed using assination and violence that cost tax payer millions of dollars? Daaaaaang! We so bad ass. More saber rattling!!! But hey kids! Don’t try this at home! That what homeland security is for!

    All joking aside, as a progressive green party voter with a general dislike for both major parties… Biden is too old. We have a lower age limit of 35 years old to become President, maybe we should cap it at 75 on the upper end too. Did you see him wobbling around trying to stay on track and sound serious?

    This system of government by corporations sucks. Why do we even have leaders? To lead us astray?

    -Rye N Flint

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