Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Warming | Sam Prather | Boonville Fair | Frogtime | Arson Fire | Quiz Night | Beware Fentanyl | Haschak Zoom | Comen Appreciation | Ukiah Fair | Artist Demo | Funny Water | Ed Notes | Senior Benefit | Homelessness | Beach Boulders | Seems Wrong | Local Flowers | Sea Stories | Rotary Fundraiser | Toxic Lake | Yesterday's Catch | Dried Plants | Mind Massage | Worm Machine | Volunteer Pay | Cheatah | David Chavez | Other Cheek | Fresh Water | Old Timers | Pelosi Misadventure | Against Trump | Ukraine | War | Military Errors | Coffee Traits | Extreme California | Burning Coal | WWIII | Kinder Guardians

* * *

THE THREAT FOR ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS will persist one more day but will be mainly focused over the Trinity Alps. Interior temperatures will quickly warm back up and remain above normal today and the remainder of the week. Northerly winds will build offshore by mid week, bringing a return of night and morning low clouds and fog. (NWS)

* * *


Age: 80

Scion of early Mendocino County Pioneers.

The Prather Ranch was established in 1854. Sam Prather raised sheep and cattle in Anderson Valley for over 70 years. Some of his sheep were shown far and wide and won many awards and accolades.

Sam was well known in the ranching community of Mendocino County. Sam will be missed, especially for his annual BBQ at the Mendocino Co. Apple Fair.

Donations can be made to: Anderson Valley Historical Society.

* * *


It's time to be thinking about the Fair!

Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show in Boonville – September 23, 24 & 25, 2022

All Paper Entry Forms are due August 5th

Online entries close September 5th for Home Arts and Fine Arts.

Online for ”almost everything else” is September 11th. 

Double check the Premium Book for Due Dates!

Thanks for your support and see you at the FAIR!

* * *

KB WRITES: I thought of you when I noticed these froggies last week. I have lots of little and bigger water receptacles around. This one is actually a very old electrical insulator. Lately I am seeing frogs in lots of places. Must be the season…

* * *


by Justine Frederiksen

A fire in Gibson Creek near South Orchard Avenue Tuesday was intentionally started, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reported.

The incident was first reported around 11:45 a.m. Aug. 2 by people who saw smoke billowing out of the creek bed near the large tunnel underneath the 300 block of South Orchard Avenue, one who said he was just leaving the CVS parking lot and stopped to check on the fire.

Ukiah Police Officer Matthew Stout quickly responded with a fire extinguisher, and UVFA Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham arrived on-scene moments later.

The flames were quickly extinguished, then a crew arrived to hose down the area while Buckingham tried to determine how the fire started.

“Definitely human-caused,” Buckingham said of the fire, explaining that while the tunnel is frequently used by people as temporary housing, the fire Tuesday that was burning a large log had not been intended for cooking or for warming.

When asked if the fire could have been started by someone throwing something from the sidewalk, say a cigarette, Buckingham said that was very unlikely, as “the humidity is too high for a cigarette to have started this.”

He said there were currently no suspects, and that he was still researching whether there were any cameras in the area that might have footage of the incident.

Ukiah Valley Fire Authority personnel investigate the scene of an arson fire Tuesday. (Justine Frederiksen – Ukiah Daily Journal)

When asked for further details about the cause of the apartment fire last week that killed a Ukiah woman, Buckingham said he had no more information to share about how it started, only that it still appears to have been accidental in nature.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman killed July 29 as Sandra Ericka Moreno-Rocha, 41, of Ukiah.

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *


The Original, Real, Proper, Correct, Genuine, Bona Fide, True, Orthodox, Kosher, Authentic, Honest-to-Goodness and Actual Pub Quiz, that is held in an actual Pub, will resume this coming Thursday, August 4th at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn in downtown Boonville. The questioning will commence at 7pm prompt and we look forward to seeing you for another evening of fun, banter, good food, delicious drinks, and brain exercises.

You know it makes sense.

Steve - The Quiz Master

* * *

* * *


Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, 7 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:

Or email or call (707) 459-1493 for other options to join this meeting

The public is invited to ask questions and comment in dialog with Third District Supervisor John Haschak on issues facing our community and the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Among the topics: Fire safety; Proposed new ¼ cent sales tax; Proposed groundwater management ordinance; County budget; and New County CEO; plus your own concerns! 

* * *

THANK YOU CRAIG COMEN owner/operator of Kayak Mendocino for taking time away from your tours and giving our Junior Lifeguards great instruction and a memorable sea cave experience! 

I was impressed with the amount of seamanship, oceanography and marine biology you were to share with the group within one session. 

— Loren Rex

* * *


Three Days of Interactive Exhibits, Entertainment and Fun Planned

The Redwood Empire Summer Fair will kick off Thursday, August 4th and run through Sunday, August 7th at Ukiah’s Redwood Empire Fairgrounds with a full schedule of events and entertainment for guests of all ages.

Evenings at the fair will feature live music, monster trucks, mudd boggs, jalopies and other action-packed motorsport shows. In addition to a full carnival, daytime activities include traditional livestock shows with an auction held Saturday, pony rides, food competitions and a large array of additional entertainment. Interactive exhibits like “A Walk on the Wild Side” featuring a live tiger among other exotic animals and a dinosaur discovery exhibit will also be open all days of the fair. Carnival rides and a large selection of fair food is also expected to be a large draw.

“The Redwood Empire Summer Fair will truly have something for everyone,” said Jennifer Seward, Fair CEO. “We encourage those interested in attending to visit our website <> to get the full schedule of events for the fair and see what is new this year.”

Pre-sale carnival wristband tickets are still available at all Mendo Mill Ukiah, Ukiah Taco Bell, Raley’s, Super Chavez Market, the Creative Workshop and JD Redhouse in Willits. Pre-sale wristbands are $30 each (price at the carnival is $35) and are good for any one day. Pre-sale tickets will stop selling Thursday, August 4th at 2:00 p.m.

Admission prices are $9 for adults and $7 for children 6-12 years of age. Seniors (aged 65 years and over) are $7. Grandstand shows will be included in fair admission fees. Parking is $10 and is cash-only.

Gates will open for the Summer Fair at 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 4th and Friday, August 5th and at Noon August 6-7th.

The Artists' Collective in Elk will feature Sophia Sutherland’s “Redemption Show” for the month of August.

Sophia Sutherland will present a showing of her ceramic & bronze figurative sculpture and watercolor paintings. Sophia's overtly whimsical and covertly philosophical sculptures hope to delight and inspire the viewer. Also included with the ceramic sculpture, Sophia will display her paintings and drawings.

Sophia has lived on the coast for 54 years and has her work in collections on 3 continents.

Opening Reception will be held in the gallery garden First Friday, August 5th - noon to 3pm.

The Artists' Collective is located at 6031 S. Hwy 1, in greater downtown Elk, between the post office and Queenie's restaurant. The gallery is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. (707) 877-1128.

* * *

* * *

HAS SUPERVISOR MCGOURTY abandoned his Cheap Water Mafia pals?

by Mark Scaramella

After discussing a nebulous grant from the state Department of Water Resources that is “coming to the Sonoma County water agency” with some tenuous connection to Mendocino County in the near future, Supervisor/wine industry representative Glenn McGourty appeared to throw his Cheap Water Mafia pals under the bus.

“This contract will create an ag water users forum that will address specifically how to monetize water,” said McGourty, admitting, in essence, that they’ve been paying little to nothing for grape water. “It's clear we've had this funny situation where water from the Eel River watershed has been basically abandoned by PG&E as they have finished generating electrical water that this infrastructure was built on for 100 years.”

“Funny”? Yeah. Hilarious. Millions of gallons of free ag water from the Eel for grapes is “funny.”

“We can see now that that is coming to an end,” continued McGourty. “The ag community is intensely aware of that and is trying to find a way to [mumbling] make with that approval. [sic — we have no idea what he actually said.] That will address the issue that Supervisor Gjerde is concerned about.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde has repeatedly pointed out that the Ukiah Valley/Russian River ag water users pay nearly nothing for their ag water and that they don’t deserve any help or subsidy from the County until they raise their rates to market levels. 

“It will take a little bit of time,” McGourty went on. “It will probably take a year or two before everything is clear. But we are moving forward in that. That's my message to ag: you are not going to have free water anymore.”

Then McGourty admitted to personally benefiting from the “funny” situation, in his private vineyard on the Russian River — a clear conflict of interest that he should remove himself from but refuses to.

“It's kind of like my situation where I can pump out of the Russian River. I don't pay anybody other than PG&E to pump. That's really kind of an anomaly.”

It’s more than an “anomaly.” It’s a subsidy to well off grape growers like McGourty.

Nevertheless, McGourty concluded, “It's not realistic to expect that we can move forward forever and ever with that kind of costs for water.”

But Supervisor McGourty hedged his comment with, “It will take a bit of time,” which sounds a lot to us like the tried and true “talk and pump” strategy derived the timber industry in the 90s when they delayed even the most modest timber practice reforms by talking about and obstructing them for years while continuing their drastic over cuts. Nevertheless, McGourty’s admission that his pals in the wine industry are “not going to have free water anymore,” is a startling statement coming from him.

Later in the meeting local Farm Bureau representative Devon Boer (nee Jones) made a feeble attempt to soften the blow by inviting Supervisor Gjerde to a future meeting of the cheap water mafia so that they can pressure him to back off his insistence that the inland water districts pay the going rate for their ag water. 

Gjerde ignored the invitation and later declared that “some water districts” (i.e., them) were not showing enough leadership and foresight on the water subject and that he did not want to support a consultant driven water agency in the county only to have it become a subsidy to those districts.

* * *


Beatrice Clow

BEATRICE CLOW? Which branch, Norman?

WHEN our unclothed emperor tottered out the other night to squint at his teleprompter and slur his way through an announcement that the 9-11 mastermind had been sliced up by a flying mixmaster, he couldn't get his inflections going so the news lacked the triumphal emphasis of the night Obama, a media master, told us the Seals had killed Osama. Biden seems weaker and less able with each public appearance, and if you need any more evidence that the lib media is an extension of the bankrupt Democratic Party, here it is. Not even the implication that Biden is past it. Meanwhile, the fascist media gleefully, daily, laughs out the obvious, although there's really nothing much funny about a figurehead president as unidentified people steer the boat.

TWK PUTS IT PERFECTLY: “We watch him during a rare moment when he’s given permission to address the public without wearing a muzzle and we say ‘Yup, he’s clicking long just fine, lookin’ good and making perfect sense. He’s our man’

There’s a Youtube video of Joe trying to describe ‘America in just one word.’ So he swallows a hiccup into the microphone while sneezing and then coughs up a hairball and looks around to see if maybe he said anything. 

Yup. Got it. 

Friends, we’d be alarmed at degeneration of this magnitude in a grandparent or elderly neighbor. In a President it ought to scare even corrupt politicians into action. But the man is so obviously a mere puppet that no one cares if he wets the bed, can’t count backward from 20 and doesn’t know Kamala Harris from Joe Camel.

Instead the media tell us the Emperor is sharply attired, looks great and is leading the parade in grand and magnificent style. But the media is liars and Joe is incompetent. 

Well, at least he doesn’t tweet too much.”

PROBABLY twenty years ago I took a call from a young man who said he was a Native American law student at the University of California's Hastings College of Law. He said he'd read in the Boonville weekly that Hasting's had touched off the State of California's paid massacres of Indians throughout the Eel River Basin, getting his friends in the state legislature to make sure the men who'd committed the murders of men, women and children got paid. “Is that true?” the kid asked, adding, “I've never heard that before.” I consoled the law student with the information that when I was a kid my grade school history book said slavery had been a good deal for black people, what with free room and board and all. To Americans, history is what happened at breakfast.

YUP, I said, the Golden State's first state supreme court, with Hastings sitting as El Supremo, authorized a fellow named Jarboe to organize a “militia” to do the job of total extermination of every Indian they could find everywhere in the Eel River drainage. Which Jarboe did for an entire year, chiseling on his reimbursements but finally settling with his Sacramento paymasters before going on to become Ukiah's first badged lawman.

AT THE TIME of Hastings and Jarboe — the middle of the 19th century — Mendocino County was considered too primitive to manage its own affairs which, objectively, one could plausibly argue also applies to the county's anarchistic population 172 years later. In 1850, Mendo had to be administered out of Santa Rosa, insofar as its vastness and sparse collection of white settlers could be managed at all. 

MENDO'S pioneers independently murdered many Indians because with the arrival of white settlers and their small herds of cows, the Native American ecology was instantly destroyed, leaving the NA's starving and attempting to stay alive by rustling settler cattle. That's the short version but, of course, the first white settlers didn't leave much of a record. (Earlier in the 19th century, Spanish kidnappers had raided Mendocino County for children they sold as slaves in the more settled areas of the state and, as we know, the missions at San Rafael and Sonoma dispatched Spanish soldiers to Mendocino County to capture Indians to both save their souls and for free labor.)

AS THEY can be depended on to do, the jackals of the faculty lounges and their media stenographers, recently began to publicize Hastings' true history, making it seem as if that information had originated with them and not in the books and unread scholarship of researchers as far back as within Hastings' life time. Those papers are sequestered at, of all places, a federal archive in San Bruno.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA named its law school after Hastings because he'd bequeathed the school the equivalent of a million dollars. Incidentally, the old boy lived mostly in Benicia, not Mendo where he'd merely maintained an absentee horse ranch at Eden Valley, which is hidden way in the outback between Willits and Covelo. Hastings' horse ranch was managed by a 6'6” psychopath called Texan Boy Hall. In retaliation for Texan Boy's many crimes against them, the Indians of Eden Valley killed Hastings' prize stallion, hence Hastings campaign to murder all of them in retaliation. 

SO, AT LAST, comes the announcement that Hastings' infamous name will be removed from the law school as of January 2023. Naturally, the expressed wishes of interior Mendo tribal councils that the school memorialize their murdered ancestors with an Indian name was waved away as “too obscure, too difficult for contemporary tongues to pronounce.”

A YUKI committee had proposed the university adopt a Yuki language word as its name: Powen’om, of indigenous origin meaning “one people,” but the name change committee weasel-lipped their way around Powen'om by claiming they couldn't do it because, like, you see, well.... “divisions over what to name the school among Indians over the name....” blah blah and etc. And blame the Indians. 

* * *

* * *


by Mary Benjamin

FORT BRAGG, CA — No hard data exists to confirm how many homeless people are living in Fort Bragg or Mendocino Village, and accurate counts are impossible to acquire since most homeless do not stay in the same place for any length of time. It’s easy to count those who seek help from available programs, but some stay in the background, occasionally appearing at a local pantry for a bag lunch or to inquire about a pair of shoes.

It’s important to note that an observer cannot determine someone’s shelter status simply by looking over the person’s general appearance. Many people who might look homeless are not, and many who look housed often live on the streets without a place to call home. Compared to many counties in California, Mendocino is impoverished, and while it’s common for many people to hold down two or three part-time jobs to support a family, living in cars, eating meals out, or new clothes are luxuries they cannot afford.

Many assistance groups define “homeless” differently, and some do not define the term at all but choose to serve anyone who asks for help. However, one accepted category is street-level homelessness, which means that a person is not housed in a residence at night. Another category describes persons housed in emergency shelters for a specific length of time. Yet another identifies persons living in institutions. Children have their own category.

The only definition of homelessness that matters is the official description given by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is responsible for providing qualifying states with funds to address housing needs or homeless services. The states supply funding to their counties which then disburse monies to their cities and towns. Of course, this whole process is far more complex than described.

According to Paul Davis, Executive Director of Hospitality House and the Hospitality Wellness Center, Fort Bragg has approximately 75 to 125 homeless people living in or near the city limits. Rachelle Sutherland, an Outreach Coordinator at the Fort Bragg Food Bank, also places her estimate at about 125 people. If transients, who are just passing through, and those living in cars are included, Sutherland believes there are probably closer to 160 or more people in all. She estimates Mendocino Village’s homeless population at about 8 to 10. Sutherland and Executive Director Amanda Friscia stressed that they do not require proof of homelessness to serve people’s emergency needs at the Food Bank.

Understanding who the homeless are is the first step in sorting out a homeless person’s relationship with the community. According to the 2018 Homeless Needs Assessment Report, presented by the national researcher Robert Marbut to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, approximately 70% of the homeless are at the least “somewhat homegrown.” Of that number, 39% were born, raised, and educated within the county. Another 23% were not raised here but later followed family members who had moved here, and the last 38% have no community connections at all. This last group tends to be chronically homeless.

Mayor Bernie Norvell understands how easy it is for some in the business community to stigmatize the homeless. “We have this moral obligation to take care of people,” he said. “They’re humans. But it’s hard when what somebody is doing is affecting your way of life or business.” He added, “It’s hard not to think poorly of that person who’s camped out in front of your store or running off customers. By human nature, it’s easy to look down on people.”

Marbut’s report emphasized that the “root triggers” of homelessness “are almost all behavioral health in nature, such as addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and domestic violence.” Nowhere in the report is there mention of homelessness as a life choice, and Mayor Norvell accepts Marbut’s conclusion and would like the public to imagine “what a lot of these people are struggling with – mental health, alcohol, drugs.”

He advises the community to be open-minded. “Before you react to what somebody is doing,” he said, “maybe stop and think. What if he were someone you knew or was once a classmate? How would you approach it? You can be mad, but understand that he probably doesn’t want to be there either.”

Outpatient medical and mental services are available here through local non-profit organizations. These groups are not licensed to treat substance abuse and can only refer people to treatment facilities far from the coast. Davis explained the drawbacks of the referral system. “Telling a street homeless, addicted person with mental health issues that treatment is far from Fort Bragg isn’t particularly successful because part of your addiction is sticking to what you know.”

This roadblock is further exacerbated by research showing that homeless people are far more likely to find success from treatment when they are near family and friends. Many of these distant treatment facilities are private and deliberately selective regarding whom they accept. Individuals seeking drug/alcohol treatment who also take medications for mental health issues may never move up on a waiting list. These treatment centers do not also want to manage someone’s prescription needs.

Davis pointed out that, in these cases, “If you’re desperate with a drug problem, there’s not a whole lot you can do today. For folks in that position, today is what matters.” Even more discouraging is the lack of affordable housing available in our area. Davis said there had been some evictions recently since COVID rent subsidies have dried up.

Some researchers believe that the loss of a home due to a rent increase or job loss is the number one cause of homelessness. Many people have not recovered from the pandemic shutdown that ended their employment. As it is, Fort Bragg has only one emergency shelter for up to 24 people and one transitional independent living home for 15 people. The downtown Hospitality Wellness Center houses another ten transitional residents.

The Marbut Report also stated that in our county, there is a “strikingly high number of individuals in the 1-3 year range” length of time who are homeless. The report stipulated a direct correlation between the length of time a person is homeless and the likelihood the person will gain a stable life. Too many here are unemployed, although there are a few businesses in town that will offer a job if one is available. Quick re-housing can be the path to success. Often, neither opportunity is available, and as time goes on, the odds are dramatically against those trapped in this situation.

Mayor Norvell sees the low-income Plateau subdivision being constructed on South Street as a partial solution to the housing shortage. The city received $3 million from a state-directed county program to help fund the project. Of the 63 units, some have been set aside for homeless applicants. These are rent based and will require the individual to pay 30% of total income to live there.

Norvell’s concern is that because the city did accept state government funds, the city can’t restrict applicants to only people who already live here, housed or not. Anyone in the state who meets the basic qualifications can apply for a unit. Norvell commented, “That kind of housing is great and is definitely needed, but it doesn’t house your community.”

For Norvell, homeless assistance is a personal mission. He has seen a classmate struggle with alcohol, sink into street homelessness, and die alone at night, most likely from hypothermia. He knows many other homeless by name and routinely interacts with them. For the homeless who come from far away, Norvell touts the grant-funded Homeward Bound Program. He also highlighted the compassionate work of the Fort Bragg Police Department to aid the homeless. The officers do what they can, from a cup of hot coffee to a ride to The Hospitality Center to a night of rest on a cot in the department’s lobby.

Davis and his Street Medicine Case Manager, Cathy Perkins, have a more upbeat outlook on the housing project. Perkins remarked that she had seen the acceptance lists for the Plateau and felt satisfied with the number of local people who would be housed. Her view is not intended to counter Norvell’s less satisfying outlook. Both Davis and Perkins work solely on behalf of the homeless daily and take success wherever and whenever they can find it. “You don’t get a lot of wins,” said Davis. “I just want to be honest about that. But when you do, there’s nothing better than that.”

Currently, there is very limited space in the county’s Ukiah outpatient clinics. The city of Fort Bragg operates the “CRU Van,” a Crisis Prevention Team that works alongside police officers to provide early intervention for those on the edge. By September, Norvell hopes to see the opening of “Crisis Respite,” a four-bed mental health facility located at the Mendocino Coast Adventist Hospital. The county and Redwood Community Services are partners as well, and the intent is to take in people who turn up in the ER who are in a crisis but are not violent.

All of our non-profit organizations diligently work to assist our homeless population. Some groups are more well-known in the community than others. The Fort Bragg Food Bank, the Mendocino Children’s Fund, the Mendocino Coast Clinics, and Hospitality House and Hospitality Wellness Center, which includes a specialty mental health clinic and a street medicine program, all actively fundraise. Other organizations have contracts with the county to provide mental and medical health treatment beyond Ukiah. Redwood Community Services, Safe Passage, Project Sanctuary, and others quietly serve people in need. These organizations rely on the generosity of private donors, large and small.

The city, the police department, and all the non-profit organizations would like the community to understand that most homeless people are not dangerous, do not spread contagious diseases, and do not actively choose to be homeless. What child has ever declared that homelessness was his ambition in life? Mayor Norvell said he has learned that homeless people “have struggles different from you and me.” Their demons, unfortunately, have handicapped their ability to lead stable, productive lives.

Everyone in our community should want to see people receive the help they need to rejoin society as contributing members. Important debates remain to be discussed about how service groups can avoid replicating each other’s services which could free up precious dollars for different needs, how to end the shortage of affordable housing, and how to develop an in-patient facility for substance abuse and mental health treatment. The public should not assume this debate belongs just to the service providers. It belongs to all of us.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

At the Beach with Virginia Sharkey

* * *



Attached please find what is labeled:”Statement Of Economic Interests Cover Page: A Public Document.

The filer of this form is alleged to be none other than Sage Sangiacomo I really have a hard time referring to someone as dumb as him as "Sage.”

Please note it says he has no real-estate. Do we need to pay him more so he can afford a home? NOT!!!

More likely our City of Ukiah “Sage” is to dumb to realize this would include his home.

I do not know if there are other pages to this form (which would explain why no real-estate is disclosed) or if his home would be exempt from disclosure; JUST SEEMS WRONG. 

I though maybe you might have some insight.


John Turri


* * *


* * *


Nice to hear some sea stories. I have some to share. Somehow I became interested in going to sea. It probably came from reading Melville, London, “Two Yeats Before the Mast”, Karoac, Steinbeck, and even Lenny Bruce. They all talked about the magic of “going to sea”. Uncle Merrit encouraged me too. He was one of those marines who went through five major campaigns in the South Pacific before he was wounded and sent home. One of those marines left ashore when a Japanese flotilla showed up at Guadal Canal. Uncle Merrit knew the value of just being alive. He told me how beautiful it was to go out on deck at night when the ocean was glassy smooth, the moon was reflecting off the ocean, and a flying fish would take off and skim across that moonlight. I wanted to see that and I did.

This was the early 70’s and shipping was winding down after the end of the Vietnam War. No chance to get work on an American ship. Somewhere along the line I ran into a young guy who told me that the Scandinavians hired foreigners and they had a hiring hall on Embarcadero. They posted the openings mornings at ten and I was there when the job for a deckhand on a Swedish oil tanker came up. They sent me down for all my vaccinations and flew me into Seattle tp pick up the ship. It was running a very high grade of oil from Arica, Chile to a refinery in Anacortes, Washington. We did several of those trips before going through the canal and picking up a load of oil in Venzuela. This oil was very low grade, looked like it was ready to pave roads, and had to be kept heated all the way across the Atlantic.

I learned that the deck hands are primarily there for letting go and docking. At sea you occupy yourself with chipping rust and painting. I also tool the life boat drills seriously. Docking is not easy. This ship was small by oil tanker standards but it carried 36,000 tons of oil and that was also about what the ship weighed. So the deck hands are using those big 4 inch nylon ropes on big winches to move more than 70,000 tons into position.

The ship went into dry dock in Portugal and I got to spend two exciting weeks in Lisbon. Seaman ashore know how to have fun. From there we crossed the equator into Gabon, Africa and then back across the Atlantic to Porto Rico. It was the ugliest, smelliest oil refinery I saw anywhere. A large number of smoke stacks burning off excess natural gas 24/7. Then things took a turn. The seamen had always said that when there was no oil to be bought elsewhere, the ship would go to the Persian Gulf. Two months into Karg Island, Iran. The heat was unbearable and we were only allowed to go to the seaman’s club where I occupied myself with guzzeling beer. We did hit some big seas coming out of the Persian Gulf and into the Indian ocean. We were headed directly into waves that were about 50 feet high. When they are loaded oil tankers ride very low in the water. The bow of the ship would bury itself in the base of these waves, the big propellers on the back would lift out of the water, and the whole ship would shake. I was glad to get around the cape. Two months later the ship delivered the oil to Houston and I paid off. Four months at sea was enough of the real seaman’s life for me. I later went back working on Norwegian Cruise ships for several years. Glamour ports and beautiful Scandinavian women on the crew made for a different experience. I landed on six continents, did cruises all the way around South America, all over Europe and up the coast of Norway, and down through the South Pacific and over into the orient. I went into China when it first opened up and they were still wearing Mao hats. I also lived in Sweden for a year and crossed the Atlantic on a tug boat pulling a barge. I have wanted to write the tugboat story up for years because the contrast between the unionized Scandinavians and the free spirits out of Morgan City, Louisiana is startling. Believe it or not, to get the job I had to sign an agreement never to write about it. There is more to tell at another time.

* * *

* * *

CLEAR LAKE RESIDENTS near massive blue-green algae blooms offered access to treated drinking water

by Mary Callahan

Clear Lake residents with private water treatment systems have been put on notice for the second successive year that their household water may not be safe to drink or use for brushing their teeth.

Expansive blue-green algae blooms around the lower portions of the lake this year have raised toxin concentrations to some of the highest levels ever seen this early in the season. That has prompted the county to invite folks who derive their water directly from the lake to use water filling stations opened last year by two community suppliers.

Public water treatment plants are robust enough to remove harmful algae and the toxins they produce from the water, officials said.

But testing begun last year under a 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control showed individual treatment systems were insufficient to handle the algae, technically cyanobacteria.

Those tests found that blue-green algae came through the process — and out of the kitchen tap — intact, said Sarah Ryan, environmental director for the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians Environmental Protection Department, which tests and monitors Clear Lake in conjunction with the Elem Indian Colony.

In other cases, some treatment processes may break open the cell structure but leave the toxins behind, Ryan said.

Boiling does not eliminate the problem, officials said.

About 280 households are believed to have private water intakes in the lake and may be at risk of exposure to toxins produced by cyanobacteria, according to Dwight Coddington, a spokesman for Lake County Health Services Department.

Depending on the type, cyanotoxins can cause everything from skin irritation to stomach upset to respiratory or neurological symptoms.

It’s not just those with private water systems who are subject to the impacts of the slimy, rank-smelling stuff that has invaded shorelines in the lower arms of Clear Lake.

The substance “looks and smells like raw sewage,” Ryan said.

“The stench is horrendous,” extending well onshore and causing some people to experience headaches and nausea, she said.

There is also the unpleasant and unsightly nuisance that comes with the scummy mats the blue-green algae forms along the shoreline.

In one of them, in Lilly Cove, near the city of Clearlake in the lake’s lower arm, Ryan and her team found a fish kill of about 50 or more small fish, though it’s not yet known if their demise was related to the cyanobacteria.

The fish and water sample readings have been sent to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in hopes experts there can determine if there’s a connection, Ryan said.

But water testing indicated there was plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water, though the ammonia levels were high for unclear reasons.

Naturally occurring blue-green algae has been an issue in Clear Lake for decades, but it was viewed primarily as a nuisance before its toxicity was fully recognized.

As nutrient levels have increased, in large part from fertilizers in runoff, blooms have continued to grow, particularly in hotter, drier periods, as is the case around California.

Cyanotoxin also has been observed throughout Lake Pillsbury in northern Lake County this summer, as well as in areas of the Russian River.

In 2009, the blooms were bad enough to cancel several fishing tournaments and even close businesses, Ryan said. When a dog died in 2013, it was shown to involve microcystin, a common cyanotoxin that attacks the liver.

Last year, when testing revealed that many private water treatment centers were not truly purifying the water, the Golden State Water Co. in Clearlake and the Mt. Konocti Mutual Water Co. worked with the county to provide water filling stations for those who needed access to clean water.

Not everyone eligible used them, and it’s not clear how many people turned to bottled water or just continued using tap water, Ryan and Coddingtown said.

There’s also some concern, said Ryan, about how or if vacation renters were informed of the need to obtain drinking and cooking water elsewhere.

The filling stations are located at 10680 Lakeshore Dr., in Clearlake, and at 4980 Hawaina Way, in Kelseyville.

Ryan urged anyone who had any symptoms or who had a sick animal related to blue-green algae to report the illness to the California State Water Board online at, via email at, or by phone at 844-729-6466.

“The toxin level is already really high, and the lake already is low and getting lower,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be a challenging year.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 2, 2022

SALLY ARELLANO, Covelo. Domestic battery.

ANDREW CEDILLO, Redwood Valley. Vandalism, brandishing.

LEWIS DISHMAN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, resisting, probatation revocation.

Fazenbaker, Joaquin, McAfee

NORMAN FAZENBAKER JR., Fort Bragg. Fighting in public, criminal threats, trespassing, battery, resisting.

FERNANDO JOAQUIN, Covelo. County parole violation, failure to appear.

PENNY MCAFEE, Potter Valley. Petty theft, suspended license, controlled substance, failure to appear.

Pellegrine, Treppa, Zarate

JAMES PELLEGRINE, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation. 

LANCE TREPPA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

MARIA ZARATE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear.

* * *

* * *


This Is the Alternative to the Insanity & Stupidity of Postmodernism

As I sit here in the comfort of the air cooled common room at Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, munching on Indian naan bread and washing it down with mango juice, the sweet sounds of singer Sadhvi Purnima Ji and the ecstatic sangha praising Sri Krishna and his eternal consort Srimati Radharani come through the Sony headphones, massaging the mind and bringing a smile to the lips. Bhakti Yoga is the alternative to being lost in an existential wilderness of consumerism and war on planet earth. Jivan Muktas are slowly going back to Godhead! Jai Ho!!

Craig Louis Stehr,, (707) 234-3270

* * *

* * *


I saw this article, and I thought: maybe the handful of people in the office at KZYX who pay themselves comprehensive medical, dental and vision, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and they don't pay the local airpeople even a penny, though the corporation is swimming in money, much of it tax-derived, might ease into it by trying something like this. You know, a catering table with free doughnuts, or a Polish-dog roller and a pop machine like in a gas station. Or put a few thousand one-dollar bills in a pickle bucket in the corner of the studio and let airpeople take what they need, on the honor system. Or you could just pay them, like normal managers do, boss.

* * *

* * *


To the Editor:

A 36-year-old, mentally ill, suicidal man was shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies last Friday for threating to throw river stones.

Is this justice?

I hope and pray Mendocino County law enforcement shows more restraint, more compassion, and more shooting discipline than Sonoma County Deputy Michael Dietrick and Deputy Anthony Powers.

And yes, the victim also had a name. He is not nameless. His name was David Pelaez Chavez.

John Sakowicz


* * *

MY FATHER USED TO SAY, “If an enemy smite thee, turn the other cheek.” I thought that was alright. But if he hit the other cheek too, whatever followed was his own fault.

- Jim Jeffries

* * *



Thursday’s paper contained yet another article about the water shortage in Southern California; this time discussing a 45-mile tunnel to move water from north to south (“New plan scales back cross-state water tunnel”). No estimate as to the cost was given.

This tunnel would of necessity parallel the shore of the Pacific, no matter how far inland it might be. The Pacific contains a lot of water. The sun provides free energy, although there is a cost in building the structures that would use this energy to purify ocean water. The point is that it is worth considering the possibility that solar power could provide the energy to distill ocean water, thus increasing the water supply, instead of reshuffling the already scarce water supply.

I have no way to evaluate the cost, but it seems as if in this time of changing climate, it makes more sense to do what we need to increase the fresh water supply, rather than spend a lot of money to shuffle a scarce commodity from one place to another.

Paul S. Treuhaft

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


(1) What is extraordinary is apparently the reasoning behind Pelosi's visit: to appeal/appease the large and politically influential Chinese-American community in San Francisco to whose desires and whims she has catered to for years. One would think that the leaders of that community would have advised her of the problems her visit would likely engender.

Pelosi was my congresswoman from the time she was elected in 1987 to replace the deceased Sala Burton until the end of the century when I moved several hours north, but in the time I was there I took the opportunity to confront her on a number of issues at town hall meetings she routinely held before becoming House Speaker.

On each occasion I came away with the feeling that she really wasn't very smart, nor fast on her feet, stumbling and bumbling when asked hard questions about her support of Israel and the Iraq War, of NAFTA, her opposition to universal health care and the money she received from the American Medical Assn. and the last time, in 2004, her last public meeting, when my questioning of her refusal to give recently re-elected congresswoman Cynthia McKinney back her seniority (as Republicans had done with their re-elected brethren) led to Pelosi turning on her heel and walking out of a press conference with the TV cameras rolling. Of course, that being San Francisco, the viewing public never saw that exchange nor her exit.

That event, at a local middle school in one of the city's more prosperous areas, was picketed by Code Pink, protesting her support for the Iraq War. Missing in action were all of San Francisco's pretend revolutionaries, Communist, Trotskyists, et al, who have dominated “left” politics in the city for decades and who, like the San Francisco Labor Council, have been in bed with the local Democrats and Pelosi and refuse to support anyone who has run against her. 

They can all share the blame for her latest misadventure.

(2) Some years back, some serious labor activists in San Francisco organized a picket of the San Francisco Labor Council's $100 a plate breakfast for Pelosi and three of the city's “pretend revolutionaries,” Socialist Action's Jeff Mackler, the Communist Party's Mike Eisencher, and the Workers World (afterwards ANSWER and now the Party of Socialism and Liberation)'s Dick Becker, sent emails to the head of the Labor Council expressing their opposition to the picket of the breakfast and Mackler, actively tried to prevent it from happening. He didn't succeed.

When the late Alexander Cockburn, one of the great muckraking journalists and a personal friend, wrote in CounterPunch about the pathetic behavior of Mackler et al in protecting Pelosi, citing the emails which I had obtained, he was viciously attacked by Mackler. Par for the course in the crooked game that the faux Left in the US, at least in SF, continues to play.

* * *

* * *


The Kremlin threatened Tuesday to break off diplomatic relations with Washington if the U.S. declares Russia a sponsor of terrorism.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the proposed designation "naive" and a violation of international law. 

"The logical result of such a step becomes a break in diplomatic relations," she said. "Washington risks finally crossing the point of no return – with all the ensuing consequences. This should be well understood in Washington."

Last week, the Senate passed a nonbinding resolution urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the U.S. to adopt the designation.

Blinken, however, has balked at the plan, saying that current sanctions are similar to what would be imposed with the designation.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles reneged on a plan to send 10 tanks to Ukraine, saying the equipment was in poor condition.

The first cargo ship to leave Ukraine in more than five months has run into bad weather in the Black Sea and will arrive late to Istanbul. The Razoni, which left Odesa on Monday, is now expected to reach Istanbul early Wednesday, said Turkish Rear Admiral Ozcan Altunbulak. 

The death toll from a Russian missile attack on Vinnytsia grew to 27. Local officials said a man died from severe burns after 20 days in the hospital. Ninety people were hospitalized after the missile struck downtown of the city in west-central Ukraine on July 14.

— USA Today

* * *


WAR: a massacre of people who don't know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other.

— Paul Valery

* * *

THE PROPENSITY TO ERR increased in direct proportion to the quality of Intelligence supplied. 

— Kenneth Mackey, Military Errors of World War Two

* * *

* * *

IT BASICALLY QUIT RAINING in the San Joaquin Valley six years ago. The tule fog and frost quit too. You might think this odd, but it isn't. Drought is California; flood is California. The lie is the normal. No society in history has gone to greater lengths to deny its fundamental nature than California. The Netherlands figured out long ago its arrangement with the sea. For a century and two thirds now California keeps forgetting its arrangement with drought and floods. The repeat of each new cycle is greeted by the populace as a spectacle. Our staying dumb to our essential nature is such a shared trait that even among the most enlightened citizens of Los Angeles and San Francisco there exists a profound ignorance about where our water comes from. It comes from for someplace else. The blankness runs deep and is self-justifying to the point that big city residents feel something close to righteous indignation as they rip into the heart the Fresno almond grower for drawing upon water swindled not from hundreds of miles away (like their water is) but from right beneath his feet. I've made the trek up and down the state three times and have yet to hear a politician, big city or small town, even come close to capturing the nuance of California water. Knowing how the subject has swallowed up eight or nine years on my clock, I can hardly blame them. Politicians have a much easier time pandering to the prejudices of their tribal backyard and listening to its local music. The north shouts water grab, the middle shouts, We're feeding the world, and the South shouts the greatness of its city.

What I have come to learn from the record of history is that every dry time turns to flood time soon enough. The rivers will jump their banks and the Delta will bust open its levees. Houses will drown, people too. And the journalists from the East Coast will parachute in to see the Apocalypse assume its opposite form. For a year or two we will debate the folly of building suburbs in a floodplain. Then the high water, listening to millennia, will give way to drought once more. California is back and forth, back and forth. It would be a disaster either way, just a matter of adjustments if we weren't so insistent. But this is a place that earthquake and ice and volcano and ocean carved out and man decided to set hard lines to, declaring it one unified state even though it had a dozen or more states of nature residing within it.

Highest mountain, lowest desert -- we've been trying for a century and two thirds to reconcile the extremes of California. It would be too smug to call the effort hubris. The extremes give rise to both the need and the ambition of a system. To enable our lesser lands -- lesser only in God's shorting -- a chance to be everything they might be, we dispatched the rain in our name. Together, the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project -- the System -- became the grandest hydraulic engineering feat known to man. California was a land whose magnitude could imagine such a thing. Here, a magnitude of geography met a magnitude of psychology to believe it could be possible. Here we built a marvel of dams, aqueducts, canals and ditches that turned into a different gravity. The system became imbued with a force of nature itself. Its length and breadth became both its ambition and its flaw. Its movement created two if not three world-class cities and an agricultural colossus in the middle that outproduces every other farm region in the world. But like all great designs to remedy this slight of nature, its fabrication fell short.

We grew in wet years and kept growing in dry years. Whenever we found ourselves in the grips of one, we forgot about the other. If the other didn't exist in our heads, the other might never return. The boomers and farmers forgot worse than anybody. We can now see that the bulwark we put to the task wasn't enough to do all the things we believed we were entitled to do. The farmer wanted more than his 80%. The city wanted more than its 20%. Even in generous years of snowmelt there wasn't anywhere near enough water to cover what the system promised us.

As an endeavor of grandiosity, the System was predicated on our notion of an average year of weather. All the presumptions of water capture and water delivery were based on “normal” rainfall and “normal” snowmelt. Year after year the actual water captured and delivered fell short of the normal or far beyond it. Our system got it wrong the way all efforts designed to remedy nature's inconstancy get it wrong. The calculations of growth it relied on were premised on the lie of full delivery. The difference between what the system promised us and what it could actually supply was some two million acre feet of water in most years, a shortfall that didn't count drought. When the big flood came it made us oblivious to scarcity all over again. We had so much water that we sprawled our cites and overplanted our crops. We had so little water that each region stole from the region just beyond it, so that Los Angeles stole from Owens Valley, and Imperial stole from the Colorado River and San Francisco stole from the Hetch Hetchy and Bakersfield stole from Fresno and Fresno stole from Sacramento and Sacramento stole from Mount Shasta where the system was born in a volcano's cistern, with water that dripped down from snows that had fallen a half-century before.

Mark Arax, The Dreamt Land

* * *

* * *


Go ahead China, start WWIII over the death of Nancy Pelosi. That would be one for the history books. Maybe they could hold her hostage and we could work out a real deal with the Chicoms and the Ruskies over her and Britney Griner as a package deal. Pelosi is certainly no Nancy Reagan, nor is she akin to Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Here’s hoping she lives it up and enjoys her stay in splendor as a visitor of distinction. May the rocket's red glare light the path of the runway as her jet departs!

* * *


  1. Marmon August 3, 2022


    Where are the 2022 Point In Time (PIT) count numbers?

    “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.”,run%20through%20the%20following%20week.

    Apparently the 33+ homeless magnets don’t want to share those numbers. And, apparently the UDJ doesn’t care. They pick and choose what Marbut findings they want to embrace, but never write about his recommendations. Both the mayors in Fort Bragg and Ukiah need to grow a pair and put a stop to all the enabling.


    • Chuck Dunbar August 3, 2022

      James, may you never end-up on the street and homeless, needing some help and having someone with your belief system say: “Sorry buddy, you’re not worthy of help, we don’t ‘enable’ bums like you.”

  2. Michael Koepf August 3, 2022

    STATE OF HOMELESSNESS by Mary Benjamin

    State of ignorance, Mary dear. Take a walk on the homeless side. Try Ukiah. Greet and meet your friends, who could care less about where they sleep, roof over their heads or not, just so long as they are high. Say hi to your junkie pals, meth-morons and hopeless drunks who piss and shit on the streets, set fires and victimize the mentally ill. They’re such a lovely bunch. You claim to care about them, but do they care about you, or the town that they’ve destroyed?

    • Chuck Dunbar August 3, 2022

      Same thought for you, Michael–“May you never end -up on the street and homeless, needing some help…”

      • Michael Koepf August 3, 2022

        And, may you wise up to an essential fact of existence in effect for 10,000 years: if you are not willing to use your two hands to survive, Darwin has a simple solution for you.

  3. Marshall Newman August 3, 2022

    The “Science Notes and News” article above brings to mind a Sierra Club Bulletin article titled “Sierra Snows – Past and Future.” Here is a quote: “Climatologists, meteorologists and glaciologists are finding increasing evidence that the Pacific Coast, along with a large part of the world, is in a period of rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation which has lasted for nearly a century.” This particular Sierra Club Bulletin was Volume 34, Number 6, published in June, 1949.

  4. Eric Sunswheat August 3, 2022

    Fentanyl laced Marijuana risk disinformation campaign farce.

    RE: Round Valley Tribal Local Opioid Coalition flyer

    ->. March 3, 2022
    Fentanyl-laced cannabis products are a malevolent myth that has appeared multiple times in law enforcement press releases and subsequent media reports.12

    These rumors began as early as 2017 when a county coroner in Ohio erroneously stated that he had seen evidence of marijuana laced with fentanyl. It was later determined that his remarks were unsubstantiated and were based on third-hand hearsay. To-date, there are no scientifically verified reports fentanyl contamination of cannabis products.13

    Writer and drug researcher Claire Zagorski notes that in addition to the paucity of evidence associated with the rumors, fentanyl is destroyed and rendered inert when it is burned. Meaning that even if it made its way onto cannabis flower, it would not have any effect on the individuals who inhaled it when smoking.14

    Additionally, fentanyl is not well absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, which is why there are no oral preparations of the medication which minimizes the risk of its impact if it were to end up in edible products.

    Finally, it is worth noting that it is possible that fentanyl could be vaporized (heated to its boiling point as opposed to burning). However, it requires much higher temperatures than are found in vaping devices that are used to consume tobacco and cannabis products.

    • Rye N Flint August 3, 2022

      Fear is the best control of all.

      • Eric Sunswheat August 3, 2022

        Reefer Madness 2.0

  5. Rye N Flint August 3, 2022

    RE: Town hall meeting

    “…plus your own concerns”

    Ha ha ha! Come on, stop pulling our legs.

  6. Rye N Flint August 3, 2022

    State of Homelessness

    “Poverty has always been a part of the American picture, but the homeless epidemic has only swelled with time. In 2021, the number of community housing and homeless shelters increased by 1.3 percent to meet demand. Meanwhile, housing costs are up, and experts are harping on the correlation. As housing costs look ahead to even more heightened prices in 2022, people are concerned that homelessness will continue to rise in tandem.
    Two states have both the highest poverty rates and lowest homelessness rates. Louisiana and Mississippi have the highest poverty rate of any U.S. state.”

    California has the highest housing cost, also the highest number of homeless people. Correlation huh?

    -Rye N Flint

    • Michael Koepf August 3, 2022

      I’m homeless. I can get a room tonight at Motel 6 for $79 bucks. Nope, I’ll take that gram of crystal for $100 dollars.

  7. Chuck Dunbar August 3, 2022

    “Alex Jones Concedes Sandy Hook Attack Was ‘100% Real’”

    I have to admit that I love this headline. The lying, bullying blowhard Jones gets put in his place in a court of law, after all these years and all the money he’s made by spewing vile lies about Sandy Hook. The courts are proving to be our last refuge in conspiracy world (as in Trump’s false claims about the election, shot-down in so many courtrooms a round the nation). Facts matter and lies are exposed in such settings.

    Here’s a brief excerpt from the reporting of this trial and Jones’ admissions:

    “Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was ‘100% real.’

    Speaking a day after the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the 2012 attack testified about the suffering, death threats and harassment they’ve endured because of what Jones has trumpeted on his media platforms, the Infowars host told a Texas courtroom that he definitely thinks the attack happened.”
    Politico, 8-3-22

    • Jim Armstrong August 3, 2022

      I don’t like thinking about that guy or the hundreds of the same ilk.
      There is no excuse for what he did.
      Not following the in’s and out’s, but I’d say 20 years without parole fits.

      • Marmon August 3, 2022

        he isn’t being charge with a criminal offence.


        • Chuck Dunbar August 3, 2022

          Sadly , that is true, but the damages and punitive damages that will come out of this trial–and others to come– will be very painful for him. And that is good. He tried to avoid going to trial with a host of evasions, as he’s a damn coward, but how great to see him in a court of law with a tough judge and a jury to hold him accountable. Next step: facing God and accounting in a more powerful court for his actions.

          • Jim Armstrong August 4, 2022

            Thanks for the correction. As I said I tried not to pay too much attention.
            Civil actions do occasionally provide some backup to failed criminal ones.

  8. Marmon August 3, 2022


    Rutgers University microbiologist Dr. Richard Ebright testified before the U.S. Senate today that top public health officials lied about dangerous gain-of-function (GoF) research experiments conducted in China.

    Ebright testified that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other U.S. federal agencies funded research that fit the definition of GoF at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) without proper oversight. His claim directly contradicts those made by numerous public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


Leave a Reply to Eric Sunswheat Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *