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Mendocino County Today: January 15, 2013

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S premier deadbeats, Ukiah Sativa Morrison and girlfriend, Callie Ashe, applied for temporary restraining orders against two Hopland women who made the mistake of letting Morrison and Ashe move onto their properties. A hearing was held last week before Judge Mayfield of the Mendocino County Superior Court.


MOST PEOPLE applying for restraining orders have a real fear of the party they want restrained, but the only thing Morrison and Ashe fear is honest work or having to pay rent, and, in this case, they attempted to use the court to get back at two people who were their victims.

THE LAW REQUIRES that anyone applying for a TRO be heard, even these two sinister nutballs, and heard they were, almost two hours worth.

MORRISON AND ASHE had moved in with the Hopland women, first one then the other after the first one booted them off her place. They then moved in to the unsuspecting second woman and she booted them off her place, too, although deputies had to get Morrison and Ashe all the way off the property. The basic agreement in both instances was not complicated. You do some work around the place, you can stay here. Morrison and Ashe not only failed to do their agreed upon chores, true-to-form they got nasty when they were reminded of their obligations. (It was only last year that the two scammers went to a jury with their claim that their Redwood Valley landlord had also ripped them off. How? He'd evicted them for non-payment of rent. Why hadn't Morrison and Ashe paid rent? Because, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we were selflessly growing medical marijuana, and here comes this meanie-faced property owner who tells us to go away when we're trying to carry out our humanitarian mission. The jury was out about an hour before coming back with the inevitable guilty verdict, thirty minutes of which were probably spent laughing.

AT LAST WEEK'S temporary restraining order hearing, the two women Morrison and Ashe had ripped off had to sit there and listen to Morrison and Ashe vilify them. Ms. Ashe said one of their victims, a medical doctor, during a discussion of breast size, had lifted her shirt to show Ashe her surgically augmented breasts. Ms. Ashe had complained to the doctor that her mate, lover boy Morrison, was always telling her that her breasts weren't up to his specs.

“MAYBE IF I HAD CHILDREN they would get bigger," Ms. Ashe explained to the court and the titillated (sic) males in the room. Then Lover Boy himself got up on the stand and declared that the doctor “goes around flaunting her fake tits.”

THIS WAS TOO MUCH for Judge Mayfield. "Excuse me Mr. Morrison, but I'm going to ask you to use proper courtroom language. Please address your comments to whether or not she ever harassed you, stalked you, intimidated you, molested you, etc.”

NONE OF WHICH had occurred. What we had here was two career deadbeats using the court to harass two women that the two deadbeats had wronged.

BUT THE SUBJECT of breasts beat on. The judge, reiterating Ashe's false claim, said to Ashe, “She (the doctor) showed you her breasts and asked you if you wanted to touch them. And you say you felt threatened, and then you moved onto her property? I'm sorry. If you really felt threatened enough to file for a TRO why did you move closer to her?”

BECAUSE she and Morrison are too stupid to even make up a plausible lie.

THE GALLANT MR. Morrison said, “Your honor, I just want you to get these people to stop talking to the Anderson Valley Advertiser and telling them these things about us. The Anderson Valley Advertiser is slandering us!”

JUDGE MAYFIELD replied, “I'm sorry; if you have a problem with the content of the Anderson Valley Advertiser you will have to take it up at a separate time in another place with the members of their editorial staff.”

MORRISON: "Well, can't you make them stop?"

JUDGE MAYFIELD: “In this country some of the freedoms we enjoy include printing what you want in your own newspaper. And if you have a problem with that I suggest you address your complaints to their editorial staff.”

THE JUDGE politely invited Morrison to sit down and shut up. A courtroom observer reports, “He went back into the audience and sat down, and I was watching him and he was grinding his teeth and his mouth was clenched. It was so tight that his jugular was spasming uncontrollably, a telltale sign of a nutcase. When he was sworn in he tried to explain to the court about all his expertise in the field of cannabis. The judge of course said that the issue had nothing to do with marijuana, it had to do with the allegations Ms. Ashe had made that she feared for her personal safety.”

THEN MORRISON snitched off the Mendo dope industry he's always claimed to represent. He said that there was an unspoken code in Mendocino County that the landowner gets half and the grower gets half.

STANDING up in court and talking about the underground economy on the record is not recommended in Mendocino County. “We were growing 12 plants and she (the doctor) told us we could have half.” And the judge, trying to pin down the point Morrison was not making, said, “And…?” Morrison replied, “And when we wanted to leave she sent me a text message. I have it right here your honor: ‘If you want your plants you can pack up and leave’.” And the judge said, “I fail to see how that in anyway threatens your safety.” After an hour and a half of lunatic allegations by Morrison and Ashe the judge denied their requests for restraining orders against their two Hopland victims.


ON THE MORNING of December 12, 2012 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received several complaints from residents of Gurley Lane, Wheeler Street, and Calypso Lane in the town of Mendocino, that their vehicles had been rummaged through during the night and various items had been stolen. These items ranged from loose change to purses, keys, and a laptop computer. Additionally, some of the vehicles had also been vandalized, apparently by having rocks thrown through the windows. Deputies took a report documenting the thefts, the damage and began an investigation to identify the suspect(s) and locate the stolen property. This investigation culminated on January 11, 2013 with the identification of two male juveniles, ages 14 (of Mendocino) and 12 (of Albion), as being responsible for the incidents and a portion of the stolen property was recovered. Additional property that had not been reported as stolen, but was believed to have been stolen, was discovered in possession of the suspects. Deputies were subsequently able to identify and contact the owner of this property who had not realized that it was stolen. The juveniles along with the investigative reports have been referred to juvenile probation for possible charging and disposition. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)


MENDOCINO PERMACULTURE’S 30th Annual Winter Abundance Workshop Saturday February 2, 2013 from 9 am to 4 pm rain or shine at the Fairgrounds in Boonville on Hwy 128 Seed, Scion, Plant & Cutting Exchange with Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting. FREE TO ALL. Classes on hands-on fruit tree grafting and growing apples and pears. Learn about seed saving of all kinds of food plants. Learn about scion grafting and cutting propagation of your own fruit & nut bearing trees, shrubs and vines. Real local knowledge comes from hundreds of life-experience-years of local old-timers who understand the different climes of Mendocino County. Come spend the day with us. This is a public service learning event. There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood. Items that will be sold: lunch, beverages, fruit tree rootstocks, local fruit trees & vines. Classes on grafting your own fruit trees & vines, bud grafting and top-working standing trees, cutting propagation, selecting rootstocks, growing apples and pears, and seed saving. Seed Exchange: Seeds from local growers of vegetables, herbs and flowers will be available all day, with local seed savers on hand to share local knowledge. Bring seeds to share. Glass jars of bulk seed is acceptable. We supply free seed envelopes for divvying up bulk seeds. Please label all seeds with variety name, location grown, year, and any other notes of interest. Scion Exchange: Scions and cuttings will be available all day, with local experts on hand to answer questions and share “local how to” knowledge. Bring scions to share. We supply over 300 varieties of fruit tree scions and cuttungs. Rootstock sales: With donations and lots of volunteering, this is how we fund our event. We sell over 500 tree rootstocks all day of the major fruit types, for a few dollars each, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Our rootstocks are selected for our clime and soil. Build your own fruit trees inexpensively by grafting your choice of scion, or take scions home to graft on existing fruit trees. Plant Exchange: Bring plants to give away. Bare root plants in shavings or clean potting soil is best. Try to minimize the amount of earth attached, due to disease. We reserve the right to reject or destroy any donated plant material we suspect to be diseased. Fruit trees & plants for sale by local growers, selected for our climate zone (Arboreum Company, East Hill Farm, and others). Food sales by local people: the Salsitas will sell a lunch with organic tamales, and the Teen Center will sell beverages and snacks.

Schedule of Events:

9:00-4:00 Open tables - Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice—see workshop map when you arrive

9:30 - 10:30 Class – Mark Albert on Basics of Making Your Own Trees & Vines

10:30 - 12:00 Class – Tim Bates (of The Apple Farm) on Growing Apples and Pears

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch – Salsitas’ Organic Mexican Lunch

1:00 - 2:15 Pat Schafer on Advanced Tree Grafting

2:15 - 3:00 Class – Seed Saving Basics & Seed Saving Brassicas – Carol Cox

3:00 – 3:30 Class - Seed Savers Network discussion facilitated by Linda MacElwee

About Scions and Cuttings — Please bring labeled scions/cuttings of your favorite trees/plants – local gems, new varieties, and your own seedlings are also welcome. If the varietal name is unknown, just label the scion bag with your name, phone, and a brief description. The best scions and cuttings are the longest, straightest, newest shoots (especially the lower half of new shoots). Cut scions 8-12” long to fit a ziplock bag. Ziplock bags will be available in the scion area. Cuttings for rooting should be longer, 12-24” long, bundled or bagged. Keep them damp and cold, at refrigerator temperature, like a cold spot outdoors on the north side of a building. Clean, damp wood chips or shavings is the best storage medium. Cut dormant scions on a nice January day and store them, rather than waiting until the last moment in this unpredictable season. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best.

Bring Cuttings of grape, fig, mulberry, pomegranate, quince, currant, gooseberry, kiwi, goji, european plum, olive, and cacti. Berry cuttings usually need a bit of root attached.

Our new Fairgrounds venue — We have outgrown the high school and have moved to the fairgrounds in Boonville. The food and classes will be in the dining hall. Scions and seeds tables will be in the library (Arts and Crafts) building. The rootstocks and plant exchange will be outside the library building. Parking will be outside the Fairgrounds. The AV Community Library will open for its regular hours.

Please bring your own plate, utensils, cups, and napkins to reduce our carbon footprint. Biodegradable sets will also be available for $1.50 each.

The Winter Abundance Workshop is co-sponsored by Anderson Valley Adult School. For more information, call Barbara/Rob Goodell 895-3897; Mark Albert 462-7843; or Richard Jeske 459-5926. You may leave your email address.

You are welcome to come at 8am to help us lay out and consolidate the bags of scions. Class schedule changes can be found on <>

Carpooling group from Lake County is on the Facebook page:

See you there! — Mark Albert


ON JANUARY 13 at 2:40pm a Deputy Sheriff was dispatched to contact a person who had reportedly discovered the presence of human skeletal remains near the city of Fort Bragg. Upon contact the person said they had been hiking near the California Pacific Railroad approximately two miles east of the city of Fort Bragg when they discovered the remains. The Deputy Sheriff responded to the location the person described and confirmed the presence of human skeletal remains. Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene and began further investigations. At this time Detectives have reason to believe the remains are of a missing person that appeared to have disappeared voluntarily within the last few months from the Fort Bragg area. The identity of the missing person is being withheld pending positive identification of the skeletal remains. Detectives are currently following up on workable leads in an attempt to make a positive identification of the skeletal remains. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)



America's Last Newspaper: There Are Other Papers, But Once You've Tasted Butter You Can't Go Back to Margarine.

Newspapers have long been influential, even instrumental, in American history. Horace Greeley, a newspaperman, gave the order to head west, and publishing giant William Randolph Hearst famously offered to provide a war, using his publishing empire, if one was needed. In recent years, newspapers have lost their place to new mass media, and those that remain have become tepid handmaidens of a few corporations. The old-fashioned independent spirit made famous by intrepid writers and publishers like Greeley and Mark Twain has given way to columnists beholden to investors and threatened by layoffs. Journalists are as likely to be humiliated in the next big fabrication scandal as they are to break the next big story, and readers turn to BlackBerries and laptops for their news and commentary. Flashy ads, hip graphics, and sexy or sentimental human interest stories are offered up daily by an increasingly desperate industry that may well be one the way out. In northern California's Anderson Valley, however, one staunchly independent throwback is fighting to be an exception to this rule. The weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser, edited since 1984 by the iconoclastic Bruce Anderson, is as crusading, despised, avidly-read and hotly-discussed as any paper in recent memory. Anderson, his small staff, and an eclectic group of contributors work each week to create something they proudly claim, on the masthead, to be “America's Last Newspaper.” Not everyone agrees, but there's a growing, somewhat disorderly, and at times downright impertinent mountain of evidence that they're right.

Politically, the paper is neither of the Right nor the orthodox Left. “An ex-Marine, Anderson's politics run somewhere between left, libertarian, anarchist, and socialist” (Parrish). In this year's elections, Anderson backed Ralph Nader, as he has done for several elections. Anderson and columnist Alexander Cockburn have offered a steady, if futile, criticism of President-elect Barrack Obama's positions on issues from the economy to foreign wars, predicting that his promised change remains undefined, or, where it is defined, hardly qualifies as change.

In 2004, New York Times reporter R.W. Apple visited the Valley to write about its vineyards and wineries. In a lengthy article describing the wine industry, he stopped to discuss its newspaper: “THE local weekly, The Anderson Valley Advertiser, is as unconventional as the valley itself. Its editorial philosophy may be deduced from its front-page mottos, ''Peace to the cottages! War on the palaces!'' and ''All happy, none rich, none poor “ (Apple). The Times article was only one of many written about Anderson and his paper in the past two decades. The mainstream press is fascinated, but condescending, as though the idea of a paper run along such principles is a touching anachronism. Adjectives such as eccentric are common in their descriptions of the paper, which typically deal with the way things are being said rather than the actual news presented. There are no color photos, only a half-page of business-card sized ads, and most pages contain four columns of print top-to-bottom-a format daunting to the attention-challenged, but attractive to many readers disgusted or bored by mainstream papers. The paper has a readership in the low thousands, many by subscription, from as far away as New England. The lively and popular Letters-to-the-Editor section is full of sarcastic remarks and witty, thoughtful, well-written observations from around the country, but local characters more than carry their weight. In the 1980s, a series of letters from the mysterious “Wanda Tinasky” entertained readers for months. Anderson fueled speculation that Tinasky was in fact the reclusive American novelist Thomas Pynchon, and he compiled a book in an effort to prove the theory. In the end, however, Anderson admitted to Apple, “Tinasky was nothing but an erudite old hippie who later murdered his wife and killed himself. I was wrong — at book length.” (Apple). The paper covers local issues and personality with a no-hold-barred approach that has led to colorful incidents. In 1989, Anderson served a short term in the county jail for assaulting county schools superintendent Jim Spence. The “Night of the Dancing Bears" — at 6'3” the brawny editor dominated the large but somewhat doughy superintendent in a brief scuffle — occurred in the midst of a long, acrimonious investigation of Spence's mishandling of funds which eventually led to Spence's departure from office. Anderson also served time for contempt of court after refusing to turn over a letter police demanded as part of a murder investigation. “…this is where you have to draw the line. If the government can just rummage through my files, people will cease communicating with my paper, and with papers, period” (Wilson), Anderson said, invoking the principle that newspapers are proper advocates for fugitives skeptical of the legal system. It's difficult to imagine the publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle or Sacramento Bee arriving at such a conclusion. Outside observers are usually impressed with the paper's versatility: “Local coverage of Mendocino County is scabrous, with the school board, the supervisors, the local public radio station, and the wine industry being favorite targets. Essentially every self-professed “progressive” in the county has been denounced by the self-professed “progressive” editor at one time or another. ( And, “A lot of people think this is the best independent, weekly newspaper in America. I've been reading it for years and it never fails to amuse, incite, frustrate and enlighten me. And I'm not alone — this little newspaper has a large international audience.” ( While the contemporary mainstream press is known for maintaining objectivity, the AVA takes sides. Sometimes, Anderson will take things a little farther. In a famous 1988 incident, he published a phony interview with Democratic congressman Doug Bosco. In the ensuing melee, Bosco suffered a loss of dignity severe enough that he was turned out by Republican Frank Riggs in what had been a Democratic stronghold, California's District 1. More recently, he has gone after Ukiah businessman Mike Sweeney, attempting to implicate him in the car-bombing of his ex-wife, the activist Judi Bari. The Bar-Sweeney saga began with Bari's crippling injuries suffered when a bomb exploded in her car in May, 1990; turned into an odyssey when Bari sued the FBI for damaging her reputation; created a small industry staffed by dedicated adherents to her cause post-bombing, and finally became a social movement complete with potent fund-raising apparatus when Bari died, in 1997, five years before the case went to federal court. The AVA followed the story step-by-step, critical of the cult that grew around Bari and of law enforcement's failure to produce a single suspect for the bombing itself. Possibly because of his paper's relentless coverage of the affair, Anderson was denounced as “obsessive and deranged” by the court, and not allowed to testify. When Bari's heirs won a multi-million dollar judgment against the FBI and Oakland Police Department for their mishandling of the bombing case, Anderson stayed on the attack. He published a faked “confession” by Sweeney, using the creative format to present his considerable body of evidence. Sweeney, naturally, took offense. “The phony first-person article went on and on for thousands of words, presenting an intricate first-person fantasy that had me ‘confessing’ to about a dozen felonies. Nowhere in the paper was there a hint that the article was contrived by Bruce Anderson himself without the slightest input from me or the slightest connection to reality.” (Sweeney). Mendocino County has never fully recovered from Anderson's takeover of what had been a typical, sleepy, small-town paper. Readership has never grown beyond a few thousand, and many locals identify themselves as vociferously opposed to everything it prints, whether they read it or not. But the readership is dedicated, and more than a little involved — this summer many articles appeared from firefighters and residents threatened by wildfires, providing valuable first-person coverage unavailable in mainstream papers. The watchdog effect hasn't prevented the county from going into debt, nor did it prevent outside corporations from inhaling and consuming the local timber industry. But that's not because Anderson hasn't given it everything he has. Local officials know they risk “scabrous” play at the hands of the AVA's reporters, and the wise stay well clear of the editor's radar. The current issue of the AVA presents a typical mixture of fact, opinion and broad speculation. The front page carries a story on the 30th anniversary of Rev. Jim Jones' massacre in Guyana, a summary of new local history books to be found at the county library, an article reviewing a book written about Finnish-American socialists who left Mendocino County in 1921-23 to join Lenin's Soviet “Worker's Paradise,” and a sweetly nostalgic Thanksgiving fable. In the Jones article, relevant locally because Jones once served as president of the county Grand Jury and because many of his victims had lived in the county, Anderson blames the media: “Looking back at the major unpunished crimes of Mendocino County — The Fort Bragg Fires, the bombing of Judi Bari, to name two — the common thread is zero pressure from the media to get the responsible people into court.” (Anderson AVA). He goes on to tweak “cringing” local public radio station KZYX, regular fare for a paper that attacks the Ukiah Daily Journal, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and just about all other media that cross his desk the way a hungry dog attacks cold meat. I asked Anderson to defend the “last newspaper” claim in a recent e-mail exchange, and he responded in detail: “Last newspaper. Yes, I think so in that it's privately owned, community-based, and from the left. This occurs by default, of course, but at one time in America most papers, large and small, were owned by identifiable individuals who lived in the towns their newspapers appeared in. There were also papers in little towns all over the west that stood for small over big. The technology was cheap and owned and often operated by the publisher himself and could easily be transported from place to place if the paper took an unpopular public stance and had to leave in a hurry. Present day weekly papers are interchangeable, as are the large papers, and certainly don't express opinions outside the great lukewarm piss of a so-called consensus that ranges from Obama to McCain” (Anderson). One could argue that other papers do exist in America, after all they are available at nearly every market, but it's a hard job to find any personality in them. With the AVA, still thriving after 24 years of fierce, feisty and combative independence, personality is not only alive on every page, but just about impossible to ignore.

(Works Cited: Anderson, Bruce, personal correspondence, 17 Nov. 2008 Anderson, Bruce, The Anderson Valley Advertiser, 19 Nov. 2008 Apple, R.W. The New York Times, 8 Jan. 2003, 17 Nov. 2008, 6 Apr. 2002, 17 Nov. 2008 Parrish, Geov, 5 June 2002, 17 Nov. 2008 www, 10 July 2006, 17 Nov. 2008 Sweeney, Mike, www., 28 Jan. 2004, 17 Nov. 2008 Wilson, Nick,, 7 June 1996, 17 Nov. 2008)




It wasn’t I who made it so

That warmer color had no choice

But lie below the silver snow

Until late spring made clear a voice

Heard loud beneath the sun to draw

True colors from a lagging thaw

— John Wester


JOIN US for a night to remember at Angelina's Bar (formerly the Tradewinds), 400 So. Main St. in Ft. Bragg THIS SATURDAY, JANUARY 19th at 8PM. We will celebrate the Birthday of the great revolutionary peaceful activist DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. with a night of great music, all styles, mixed by 2 extraordinary Deejays, DJ ALINE and DJ SISTER YASMIN. 2 organic beers are on tap, fine wines available too, and excellent food next door at Angelina's Grill until 9PM. This is a 21 and over event and there is NO COVER CHARGE. Come party with us and honor Dr. King out on the dance floor! Tell your friends and neighbors and shine up your Dancin' Shoes!! See you there. More info: 964-1700 or 884-4703. PEACE! (Yasmin Solomon)

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Birthday Celebration, Mon. Jan. 21. The Peace and Justice Center invites you to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday Celebration. Monday, January 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 620 Redwood St. Fort Bragg. Sidewalk march to downtown and back begins at Noon. 1 PM: lunch, music and a panel and group discussion of what Dr. King might say regarding workers' rights, unions, bank foreclosures, gun control, peace, freedom and much more. Phone John Fremont at 961-0543 or Richard Karch at 937-03324 for information.

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