Hot Lightning | Quiz Night | Fungi | County Notes | Tramp Steamer | Clarity Please | Motorcycle Fatality | Buckey Walter | Hendy Hermit | Mendocino City | Ed Notes | Hopkins Anniversary | Mendo Geology | Grayview House | Code Enforcement | Grayhouse Garden | Candidate Tippett | Big River Mill | Library Fiber | Better Link | Forest Skunk | Dump Week | Big River Bridge | Dem Picnic | John Marsan | 4th Dimension | Yesterday's Catch | Airbnb Nuisance | Farmworkers March | Zombie Nation | Pollen | Untie Her | Say What? | Chess Moves | Nazi Collaborator | State Television | Life Leaf | Free Speech
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS are forecast to spread north across the interior mountains of Northwest California this afternoon and evening. Otherwise, hot weather will continue through Thursday, followed by cooler conditions during the weekend. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 108°, Yorkville 106°, Covelo 104°, Boonville 100°, Fort Bragg 65°
BOONVILLE QUIZ ON THURSDAY
Yes, this upcoming Thursday the 18th is the 3rd Thursday so we shall be quizzing at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn with kick-off at 7pm…Hoping for a good turnout on a warm evening with fun brain exercises, prizes, and food and drinks for your dining pleasure…
Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster
NAME THIS FUNGI
by Mark Scaramella
For today's County notes, we will simply provide excerpts from a few of the many county employees who complained to the supervisors on Tuesday about their failure to address long-standing salary shortfalls and the impact this delay is having on them, their work, their families, and the County itself.
JULIE BEARDSLEY, President of Mendocino local 1021 Service Employees International Union: “In 2019, the board realized how desperate the situation had become, how far below market value our salaries were, and authorized a 9% increase over the three year term of the contract. That helped. But they are still way below market value and we struggle to retain employees. Now with the current contract negotiations with the San Francisco law firm the county has hired, we are told there is no money for a cost-of-living adjustment. We are told that we should suck it up and tighten our belts because it's cheap to live in Mendocino County. The figures they provided as proof of that were so low — they were about one decade off. You can google what the median home price in Mendocino County is and it is over $500,000. I personally found their presentation insulting and not good-faith negotiations. We have requested several solutions to affording a modest 5% cost-of-living adjustment in times of a 9% inflation. The county has not brought forth a single recommendation or idea of how to support employees or increase recruitment. We have examined the budget and your claims of having no money. It just doesn't add up. So stop pointing fingers. Instead of being risk-averse, what we need is leadership. If the board members do not have a clear picture of the county budget, that needs to be remedied. We know the county needs to live within its means. But we know the board has a range of tools that can and should be used to finance a modest increase. Let's stabilize our workforce by providing a COLA, recruit for the non-general fund and revenue-producing positions, and grow the county budget. Falling behind in employee compensation will result in a lack of services, phones not being answered, long wait times for permits… And it will put the most vulnerable in our county at risk. Your board needs to step up and make the people who make this county work your priority.”
PATRICK HICKEY, Local 1021 Field Rep: “There's been a lot of noise and a lot of finger-pointing lately. We are here today to propose a way out of this mess. We have been hearing that the county cannot afford a cost-of-living increase because there is a financial crisis. But is there? In a word: No. The financial crisis is concocted. It is an illusion. The only potential funding shortfall is in cannabis taxes. Everyone who was paying attention knew that was coming. Every other funding stream is increasing. How can the board take action to support county employees? How can they save them from a 9% wage cut due to inflation? Here are four easy steps: 1. There are 264 funded unfilled positions. Repurpose some of those funds. The county has argued that there is no money there because it gets used up by overtime and extra help. But you need to look at the actual data. If you look at past budgets and the recently completed annual financial report you'll see that that is not true. There is an increase in overtime and extra help but it does not come close to using up the savings when those positions are not filled. 2. For this year's budget the county projects no increase in sales tax revenues. How well has the county done in forecasting sales and use tax revenues? In the last four fiscal years the county underestimated those taxes by 27.7%, 112%, 6.2%, and 31% respectively. What about the other revenue sources? Property taxes, transient occupancy taxes — those are underestimated every time every year. In 2021 they were underestimated by 40%... But surely then expenses must be higher. No. Salary and benefits come in at 10.6% under budget, 3.5% under budget in the last two years. So revenues are regularly higher than projected and expenses are regularly lower than projected. The budget is a fiction designed to make the county prudent and effective. The board needs to understand this and make decisions accordingly. Also there are funds that are due the county that are not being collected as the board has acknowledged. Stop talking about it and act. Hire the staff necessary to do the work. That will require paying a salary that will attract and retain employees. The board has mentioned hiring a service to track down businesses that are not paying transient occupancy taxes. Have they been hired? Finally, we see how the board reacts when they identify a budget shortfall for the general fund. At the last board meeting there was a report of cost increases for the jail expansion boondoggle. In the last few weeks the board has proposed raising funds through a bond offering. County employees wish that the board acted with this alacrity when it comes to their cost of living increases. This is an opportunity to address the shortfall for employees as well. Shift some of the other capital improvement costs that are one-time costs in this year's budget from the general fund to this bond offering and free up funds necessary to fund the cost of living adjustment. These are just a few steps this board can take to do what every other county government is doing across the state to support their employees in this high inflationary environment. The money is there. So will you support your employees?”
TRACY WRIGHT, Board member and Treasurer of the Sherwood Band of Pomo Indians Tribal Council and County Employee: “I am glad to see (CEO) Darcie Antle paying attention to all of us as we are talking about budgets and you guys not understanding the budget. And yet the communication between you guys is not there. That saddens me. I sit on a tribal council board. When there is a question about the budget and I don't understand, I ask our CEO to make sure I understand. What do you mean, we don't have that money? And they explain it to me. That's what I expect from my CEO which I pay money to do their job. That's what should be expected from her (pointing at Darcie Antle). I have been an employee with the county for 22 years. There are not many of us left anymore because when we took that hit before lots of people retired and left. I stayed. Last year I was going through cancer, I worked three months under chemo because I didn't want my work to fall on my coworkers. That's the kind of dedication and family we have here. But we can't keep it because you won't pay us what we are worth. We are not asking for you guys' salary. We are asking for a decent salary. ... A lot of the people in this room are starting out here, so they will get their training and then they will be gone. Eventually I will leave because it's just not worth it. When I start losing money to work that's when I will be gone. That's where we are going. Your proposed increase for our health insurance? And that's only for myself? It doesn't even have my husband on it? It's ridiculous! All we ask is for you to give us a fair shake and stop dodging a bullet, stop hiding behind not knowing. If you don't know, shame on you! Because she (pointing at CEO Antle) should be giving you the answers to any questions you have. If we were all sitting here listening to citizens of this county complaining about us not doing our job, you guys would be all over us. And she's not doing her job. You need to get on her. That's the final line.”
NO RESPONSE from the Supervisors, although later in the day, the Board insisted again that nobody knows the County’s financial condition and set a meeting to discuss the problem two weeks from now. Auditor/Treasurer Chamise Cubbison said that the problem is not as simple as anyone thinks and she’s still kinda new on the job and that people should be “patient” with her and her understaffed department. Everybody congratulated themselves for setting up a meeting to start discussing how to do something that everyone else has been doing for decades. To add public insult to public insult, Superivsor Ted Williams actually claimed during this discussion that this Board is known for not kicking the can down the road.
EXCESSIVE CAPITALIZATION & OTHER COUNTY DEFICIENCIES
As I understand the purpose of the Brown Act’s requirement for posting an agenda for your meeting is to enable the public to determine if they are interested in any particular item so that they might, if they wished, attend the meeting or otherwise communicate with the Board.
I find your agenda irritating and deficient.
Irritating Because of the Excessive Use Of Capitals That Hinder a Quick Read. These Are Not Newspaper Headlines.
Deficient because you do not use plain English to succinctly and simply state the gist of the item, the public is not given an easily understood notice. This is particularly egregious in the consent calendar, which recently has not been less than 20 items. All Items Suffer From Excessive Capitalization; Many are Laden With Numbers referring to This Act or Ordinance or Statute or Resolution; To Cap It All Off the Exact Same Verbiage is Repeated Under Recommended Action. Each item is a research project, all the more time-consuming if one doesn’t know that the bulk of county contracts are boiler plate. A member of the public has three days to do this research. Try it yourselves and see how long it takes.
Please a little less laziness and a little more clarity and transparency. Also, some explanation of why retroactive approvals are needed. Do you not have adequate controls over your contractors?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to more accessible agendas.
THE STORY GOES Walter Levi was the first person to get a phone in the valley - so, in Boontling, a standard phone is a 'Walter Levi.'
At that time, it cost 5 cents to use a public payphone. A nickel was colloquially called a 'Buckey', so Anderson Valley's first phone booth was known as a 'Buckey Walter.'
You can view this one at the Anderson Valley Historical Society Museum (Sat & Sun 1-4). If you want to brush up on your lingo before you go - check out the AVWA blog post on Boontling.
PETROV: THE MAN WHO LIVED IN THE WOODS OF MENDOCINO COUNTY
by Justine Frederiksen
When Laura Hopper was a kid, her mother had a friend who lived in a tree.
“And I thought he was the coolest thing ever,” Hopper said of the man who lived in the woods near her family’s ranch in Philo for about 20 years. Most of Anderson Valley only knew him as the “Hendy Hermit,” but to Hopper and her mother, Joan Warsing, he was their friend Petrov.
“(Joan) definitely was the only person that I think he wasn’t just plain afraid of, really,” said Kathy Bailey, a volunteer at Hendy Woods State Park. Bailey remembers waving at Petrov the few times she caught sight of him while visiting the park in the 1970s, but he never let her get close. “And I’m almost certain that all of the pictures we have of him, those are because of Joan.”
Along with the few photos of a bearded Petrov, the park’s visitor center displays biographical information that gives his full name as Petrov (also Petro or Petroff) Zailenko, a man who was possibly born in 1914, and “is believed to have been a soldier for the Russian Army who was wounded and captured by the Nazis in World War II, (then possibly came to the United States) as a displaced person from a concentration camp.”
Zailenko then likely come to California on a “Russian fishing trawler that docked in San Francisco in the early 1960s or late 1950s.” When he first arrived in Anderson Valley, he worked at a local lumber mill until asked for proof of his residency status, prompting him to flee into the woods, where he lived for at least 18 years.
John Melvin, who was a ranger at Hendy Woods SP from 1981 until 1984, said Zailenko “knew those woods better than anyone, and was very smart, because the hut he made himself was just outside the park boundaries.”
If the hut had been inside the park, Zailenko likely would not have been allowed to stay by park officials, whom Melvin said were very aware of the hermit, but considered him “in no way a danger. He never displayed any bad or threatening behavior of any kind,” even though he was known to visit the campground regularly.
“That’s how he got tobacco, from the campers, and cigarettes and matches,” said Melvin, describing Zailenko as never stealing from people, but endearing himself to them through gestures and facial expressions. “He knew if he went into the campground, he could get food and drinks, like pop. So when it suited him, he could communicate.”
Melvin doesn’t recall ever getting complaints from campers about the man who came out of the woods to visit with them; in fact he remembers many regulars “looking forward to see him again when they came back.”
Soon after starting his job at the park, Melvin said he got curious about the hermit he had been hearing so much about, and “headed up the hill one day to find his hut,” which he said was surprisingly clean “for a home with a dirt floor, with everything tidy and well-organized.”
He recalls Zailenko being meticulous about maintaining the walls and roof, which he made out of branches, so the hut was always “dry and water-tight.”
The visitor center display includes a bottle where Zailenko stored the corn kernels he liked to mash into a paste, and a pot he used to cook beans with over the fire. Before he got that pot from a camper, he reportedly used empty paint cans to cook in.
The clothes and shoes he wore were also reportedly “castoffs” from campers that he repaired and altered to fit his slight frame. He is described as being 5-7 and weighing only about 95 pounds.
After visiting Zailenko in his hut and experiencing his “odor,” Melvin said he would “smell” him while on patrol.
“I had a very sensitive nose back then, and sometimes while driving near the woods I would catch his scent, but I never saw him,” said Melvin, describing the smell as “not an underarm odor, but how a human would smell after living in the woods for a long time. When I smelled him, I would call out his name, but he never answered or appeared.”
Though he never saw him on the road or in town, Melvin said he knew that Zailenko would leave the woods to go to Jack’s Valley Store, about a 30-minute walk from his hut. Melvin said he wasn’t sure what Zailenko bought there, but that he got money from collecting bottles and returning them for the deposits.
Melvin said he visited the main hut a few times, but never went inside if Zalienko wasn’t there, because that felt like invading a man’s home. When asked if Petrov had ever offered him anything, Melvin said “I don’t think so, and there’s nothing he could offer me that I would have wanted, anyway. Except maybe fruit, which he ate a lot of.”
A main source of that fruit seems to be the ranch where Hopper grew up. One day, she said, her mother caught Zailenko coming onto their property to pick apples.
During their exchange, Hopper said, Joan “must have known he meant no harm and posed no danger, and somehow the two struck up a friendship.” They likely felt a kinship, she said, because at the time, her mother had “basically moved out of the house and into a tree on our property.”
“So maybe he thought my mother was a hermit, too,” recalls Hopper’s older sister Anne Woida with a laugh. Woida also recalls their mother telling the girls to leave blemished fruit they couldn’t sell on the trees for Petrov to come pick.
Though she doesn’t know why Joan and Petrov came to trust each other, Hopper said she will be forever grateful that “my mother talked to him that day, and that he allowed it, because I’m really glad I got that time with him.”
Her first meeting with him did not go well, however. Hopper remembers Zailenko getting so visibly upset at the sight of a 7-year-old girl that her mother suggested she go back to the house.
“We realized later that I reminded him of his daughter,” said Hopper, who recalls her mother learning that at some point during Zailenko’s journey to the United States, his wife and daughter were killed, “and I was about the same age as his daughter.”
The next time she visited the hut, Joan told her, “If he offers you food, you need to eat it.”
But once at the hut, Hopper looked at the stew he offered and realized the meat was from her missing duck Licorice. “And I just couldn’t eat it. Afterward I asked my mom, “Was that Licorice?!”
Hopper said she wasn’t mad at Petrov for eating her duck, because she understood that he needed food. She also remembers understanding that he was hiding from the world because he was in pain.
“And I was a kid, so I thought love could fix anything,” she said, recalling how she hugged him good-bye once, “and he just shook.”
Realizing that was too much for him, Hopper said she never hugged him again, “but I would sit next to him, and he would allow that,” she said, explaining that while she couldn’t understand what he was saying, they were able to communicate somewhat through gestures, and she knew he was kind and gentle. “And when you’re a kid, you don’t care if someone’s dirty, or smells bad.”
She also remembers being very impressed with the home Petrov made for himself, “because his tree was much larger than the one my mother lived in. I didn’t want to live in hers, but I would have lived in his!”
Like Melvin, she remembers the hut being “very clean and organized, with everything in its place.”
In August of 1981, Zailenko became ill. Melvin said he was seen hanging around the picnic area looking unwell, then a day or so later was found “lying on the ground, unable to walk,” by the other ranger who worked at the park with Melvin.
Melvin said Zailenko was eventually taken to the hospital in Ukiah, and over several days, many different people visited and tried speaking to him in Russian and many other languages, but no one could identify what words exactly he was speaking.
“He had a language all his own,” said Melvin, who can’t recall what Zailenko died of, only that “it was clear he had stuff going on inside that would have been very painful.”
Petrov Zailenko died on Aug. 31, 1981, and his age was estimated to be 67. Melvin’s daughter Rebecca, who was 12 when her family moved to the park, remembers seeing Zailenko at the funeral home, then finally visiting his hut.
“It was sad, but beautiful to be there,” said Rebecca Melvin, remembering that at first she was very afraid of the stranger who lived in the woods. But after hearing good things about him from her father, the other ranger family and even from campers, much of her fear of him dissolved.
While exploring the park she called “my playground,” Rebecca Melvin said she would often see Zailenko, and most vividly remembers his “blue eyes, which always seemed to be laughing.”
She came to see him as a “very benevolent figure, one who was always picking up cigarette butts, and who I felt was always watching out for us kids. Like when we lost a Frisbee, he would find it and put it where he knew we would find it.
“I liked knowing there was this other set of eyes, watching out,” she said. “He was a great addition to the park, and I think it should be named after him.”
Just a few years after Zailenko died, the park expanded, adding 40 acres to its boundaries that Melvin said then officially included the huts. Before then, the hermit’s homes were well-hidden, but now there is a trail leading straight to the huts, which he reportedly made two of “in case he accidentally burned one down.”
If you start the Hermit’s Huts Trail from near the visitor center, you first come to the larger of the two huts, which also has a sign displaying photographs and news articles written about Zailenko. A bit further from that hut is a second home, a much smaller one that he would not have been able to stand up in, only crouch or lie down in.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
WHEN CYBER-WIZARDRY first kicked in, young people seemed immediately adept. “You should put the ava together on a computer,” they'd say. “It's simple and saves a lot of time.”
COMPUTERS didn't simplify the process, didn't save production time, made changes difficult, and made late changes, last minute revisions, almost impossible without re-jiggering all the pages, and reduced all-round readability because it reduced the number of fillers and mini-art pieces, a popular feature that many long-time readers still miss. (Remember the wonderful drawings of Celia Price?)
THESE DAYS, A SUPER-CAPABLE Boonville lady, Renee Lee, puts the paper together electronically, often having to spend literal frustrating hours trying to get the Adobe InDesign program that totes the cyber-load, to work, which it often doesn't, causing Renee many anguished hours assembling each page in another, more laborious way. “Charge us extra!” I urge her, but she won't, blaming the difficulties on the self-alleged Silicon Valley masterminds who created these mysterious processes we are dependent on.
RENEE has also done hand paste-up, as did my super-capable wife in the glory days before computers. Depending on last-minute changes, Ling could assemble a 12-pager in just over two hours, visitors marveling at her speed, which she blithely dismissed as a simple matter of filling the space, “like a puzzle.” The only errors she made, and she made very few, were on what's called “the jump,” continuations of stories she hadn't read to other pages, which she ordinarily kept to a single jump unless we wanted to hassle an annoying critic when we asked her to “See if you can jump that guy six times, Ling.” She'd grumble — “Fun and games for you, extra work for me” — but would manage the fun and games so long as it wasn't often asked of her. Changes to my own stumbling prose she limited to a firm, “That's it. I'm not making another one.”
SO THERE IT WAS. Or used to be. Big blocks of print cut and pasted onto the full-size newspaper page by hand on our paste-up boards, which ran half the length of the room. We'd then haul the “flats,” as the pasted-up pages were called, to the late, great Healdsburg Printing, where the flats were photographed and placed on tin-like plates and fastened onto the big web press. In an hour we had the finished bundles of truth and beauty to haul back to Boonville.
THESE DAYS, Renee electronically transmits the pages to a printer in Hayward. He hauls the completed bundles of papers to Marin from where it's hauled to Boonville for distribution. Computers have saved us no time and increased the expense of weekly servings of truth and beauty to the questing savages of the Northcoast, Frisco to the Oregon border.
I THINK the net effect of computers on the newspaper business has been to make us all dumber, more distracted, and much less informed, hardly an opinion confined to me. Media people mostly agree. Newspapers, including this one, are doomed because the people who grew up with newspapers are fewer and fewer, and the competition for newspapers in tangible, paper-paper form is ever more intense from the cyber deluge, blogs, television and radio. Over the last five years, Boonville's beloved weekly, is read by more people on-line than it is in paper-paper form. And the electronic process itself has made the paper less lively, less aesthetically interesting.
BOOKS? Did somebody say books? I have one here that is probably of greater interest to the old timers of the Albion Nation than it was to me because other than Captain Fathom, I didn't recognize most of the people important, at one time, to the author, Clifford Allen Sanders, who lived on the Mendocino Coast in the hippie heyday of the 70s and 80s. Sanders' memoir is a kaleidoscopic look back at his life, a varied and interesting one. A companion book of his short stories, called “No More My Echoing Song” contain some vividly moving accounts of the author's early years in hard scrabble Oklahoma. Sanders traveled a very long way from barefoot in Oklahoma to easy-scrabble Albion. Both books are titled “No More My Echoing Song", the second Redux.
TIPS FROM A LOCAL GEOLOGIST ON VISITING THE MENDOCINO COAST
by Thomas Cochrane
Last month, we guided you on a daytrip tour of the Sonoma County coastline, seen through the eyes of a geologist. Now we venture farther north, to the Mendocino County Coast, where the interesting rock formations, unique beaches and natural landmarks continue.
While it sounds odd, to get to the South Coast, you have to drive through the North Coast. That’s because Mendocino County residents refer to the coastal area south of Fort Bragg to Gualala as the South Coast, and the Sonoma County region that runs from Bodega Bay north to the Gualala River is referred to as the North Coast.
Gualala (pronounced “Wah-la-la” by locals, from the original Pomo name) is 6 miles north of The Sea Ranch and just over the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. The unincorporated community offers lodging, camping, groceries, shops and the only bookstore on the coast south of Mendocino (Four-Eyed Frog Books in the Cypress Village shopping center).
The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy, through an unnamed buyer, is purchasing 112 acres just inside the mouth of the Gualala River, at the south entrance to Gualala. The land includes an estuary, wetlands and the site of old timber mills once owned by logging companies. The river is accessible, and there are plans for trails along the river and estuary.
The Gualala River basin covers 300 square miles, from Lake Sonoma to the coast. The San Andreas Fault cuts a nearly straight line down the major north and south forks of the Gualala River, then follows the Garcia River to Point Arena.
Five miles north of Gualala is Anchor Bay (Highway 1 postmile marker 4.6), with a small strip of shops and a couple of restaurants (Mexican and Thai). On the north edge of town is a campground at the cove with a marvelous beach area. Although private, it’s accessible to the public for a small fee.
Just 10 miles north is Hearn Gulch, another acquisition held by the Redwood Land Conservancy. This is a must-see scenic-plus-geologic stop. At the boundary of the yellow sandstone of the Galloway Formation and the black rocks of the Iversen Basalt, you’ll find the only igneous rock you will encounter on the “South Coast.” This consists of a series of thin black pillow basalt rocks with white inclusions of a mineral and vesicles (small cavities) of what were previously gas bubbles. At Schooner Gulch (postmile marker 11.35), a fault ends the basalt layer.
Rock spheres, sinkholes
If you can go when the tide is low, visit Bowling Ball Beach, just north of Galloway Creek, as the truly unique “bowling balls” can only be seen at low tide. These round rock balls are an astonishing 3 to 4 feet in diameter and number about 100. They lie in perfect bowling ball “lanes” and consist of sandstone.
How were they formed? Why are they close to each other and in straight lines? And are they eroding out of the bedrock formation or did they get there in some other way? Some people believe the bowling balls were rolled around by the ocean and left in this particular spot. A true geological puzzle!
A mile north at Pelican Beach is Moat Creek (postmile marker 12.89), with the strangest rocks you will encounter in the area. Here there are faults, anticlines and synclines (folds in stratified rock), a mess to understand geologically. Apparently these are deep-water landslide deposits, probably formed at the edge of the Continental Shelf. A storm or an earthquake caused these unstable sediments to slip off the edge of our continent.
Point Arena is 15 miles north of Gualala and has a city government, unlike the unincorporated communities nearby along the coast. It’s an interesting small town populated by people with diverse interests. The library and theater are owned and maintained by local residents. The theater is one of the few places in California where you could watch the Met Opera via live telecast (pre-COVID-19, of course). These taped events are now offered streaming from their homepage, ArenaTheater.org, and are free.
Set on 23 acres, the Point Arena Lighthouse also is owned by locals, and this year they’re celebrating their 150th anniversary with lots of commemorative merchandise available at the Light Station Store as well as their new outdoor museum. Open from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. daily, admission is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. PointArenaLighthouse.com has more information. The historic lighthouse itself is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, given its tight interior spaces.
Sinkholes like the one that opened up near the lighthouse in early 2019 are caused by waves working in sea caves which capture the overlying material. Sadly, this erosion just east of the lighthouse will continue.
There are numerous walking trails in the Stornetta Public Lands, which are part of the California Coastal National Monument that stretches from Manchester Beach (the largest sand dunes in the area) to Point Arena. Parking and a trail entrance are at the city offices on the north end of Point Arena. Another entrance is at Lighthouse Road at the ocean’s bluff edge (face masks must be worn on the trails).
Arena Cove is the only seaport north of Bodega Bay and south of Fort Bragg, but it’s currently closed for boat launching. The rocks here are miocene shale, sandstone and siltstone. Only recently did I fully appreciate the north wall of the cove. A fault runs down it along the access road. Where the north face has been uplifted, you will notice three black bands of sandstone cutting diagonally down to the west, one up to 17 feet in thickness. Wading into the surf a bit, you can pick up black rocks, which are filled with asphalt! This was once a deposit of oil, but the fault allowed all the lighter hydrocarbons to escape into the atmosphere.
On a private nature farm nearby is the B. Bryan Preserve, where you can visit wild animals from Africa. They’re not a typical zoo but have large herds of giraffes, zebras and antelope, all roaming about in a natural setting spanning 110 acres. Founded by Dr. Frank Mello and his wife, Judy, these longtime wildlife enthusiasts are committed to the breeding and conservation of African hoof stock. Various tours are available, masks are required as are reservations and you can book online. BBryanPreserve.com has more information.
At postmile marker 40.0, Highway 1 crosses the Navarro River and intersects with Highway 128, which can take you inland to Highway 101 toward Santa Rosa and the Bay Area. If you stay north to Mendocino, at postmile marker 50.5 you will arrive at a favorite tourist area with all kinds of shops, restaurants, lodging and gas. Another 10 miles will put you in Fort Bragg, where you can connect on Route 20 to head inland.
During this exploration you will have passed many fine parks as well as the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. There is so much to see along this coast, it just might be worth more than one trip.
(Thomas E. Cochrane is a California Professional Geologist who’s been prowling the landscape of Sonoma and Mendocino counties since 1976 and lives in The Sea Ranch. He’s the author of three books, including “Shaping the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast: Exploring the Coastal Geology of Northern California,” and a guest speaker for local clubs and organizations, including the Sonoma Land Trust. To learn more, visit RiverBeachPress.com)
MENDO'S GONNA LIEN ON YOU
The Code Enforcement Division is adding new information for the CEO Report beginning in July 2022. We are including a new chart titled “Liens” to reflect the recordation of Notices Of Violation on properties, as well as those properties which have received a letter from Code Enforcement stating that Division intends to Record a Notice Of Violation. The recordation of a Notice of Violation has proved to be one of Code Enforcement’s most effective tools in guiding property owners toward compliance and protecting potential or future property owners by providing detailed information about violations that exist on properties they may be acquiring via a title search.
Code Enforcement utilizes the term “Lien” in this presentation as a duty to perform an obligation (in this case resolve a violation) by any current or future property owner via the recordation of a Notice of Violation against the property title. Claims or legal right against assets used as collateral to satisfy a debt, usually monetary, are not reflected here. The recordation of a Notice of Violation as stated may have undesirable impacts, including but not limited to; encumbering real property or preventing refinancing, selling or transferring property though escrow, unless and until the violations are abated.
The Code Enforcement Division submits the current statistics report, as Attachment 3, to update the Board of Supervisors on penalties issued, Cannabis plants abated, complaints received by the department and Liens.
JADE TIPPETT: I'm running for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board. Here's my Candidate Statement for the Voter Guide:
“The Mendocino Coast Health Care District needs a Board that works well together, whose members are competent and committed to supporting quality health care on the Mendocino Coast.
I bring the organizational and communication skills of a veteran teacher. My years as a fire department EMT gave me an understanding of rural health care’s challenges. Attending and speaking at District Board meetings since 2017, I know the issues facing the District.
I see three priorities:
One, put the Health Care District’s house in order. Create Bylaws and Policies. Clean up the bookkeeping and complete the delayed Audit(s), so the Board and taxpayers know what resources the District has to work with.
Two, address the 2030 earthquake retrofit deadline. Resolving this will have lasting impacts on the quality of health care on the Coast. This will take a lot of work, and we are years behind on the planning.
Three, support Adventist Health, Work with them to draw on the Parcel Tax funds for new equipment while addressing the housing crisis that prevents hiring permanent health care providers .
I am committed to putting in the hours and work it will take to secure the District’s future. Thank you for your support.”
1. This is a lot... “softer”... than my personal attitude about the dysfunction of the current Board, which has, in my opinion, put the continuing existence of our hospital on the Coast in serious jeopardy.
2. I am aware of Assembly Member Jim Wood's observation that the repairs to bring all of the hospitals in California up to earthquake standards would cost in the tens of billions of dollars. I also think, and several key players agree, that the financial capacity on the Coast exists to build a new state-of-the-art hospital here, similar to the new hospital in Willits. What is currently missing is the trusted leadership to guide such a transformational effort.
3. Adventist Health, for all its drawbacks, is the current operator of our Coast Hospital. Of note, after Adventist took over, staff morale jumped way up. In the caring professions, morale is essential to quality of care. Our Coast Hospital is also consistently losing money. In a year or two, Adventist Health will decide whether to continue operating our hospital or terminate the lease and return the operation to the Health Care District Board. This would create an existential crisis. Our hospital will not survive without affiliation with a larger health care system.
4. One primary reason our Coast Hospital is losing money is that it has been unable to attract and retain quality providers, due to the housing crisis on the Coast. Health care providers and their families will not come here, if they have to live in travel trailers and RV parks because there is no acceptable housing. Between vacation rentals taking 400 houses off the housing market, and real estate speculators buying up properties to make a killing on the climate crisis, housing for even doctors and nurses has become almost impossible to find. While the Health Care District does not have the resources to solve this problem on its own, it can and should take a leadership role in working with the Health Care Foundation, the City of Fort Bragg, Mendocino County and other interested parties to create ways of welcoming permanent providers to the Coast.
5. Preserving and improving our hospital will take a lot more work than five Board members can do. It will take an effort of our entire community. The 18,000 or so people our hospital serves need to come together and decide that we deserve quality medical care on the Coast and that we are willing to work together to make that happen. This may be a tall order for our sometimes shy and fractious communities, but in very real ways, our lives, our children's and grandchildren's lives depend on it.
Finally, this is becoming a real political campaign. Three 4-year seats on the Board are open, along with one 2-year seat. Two right wing candidates, incumbent John Redding and Dawnmarie Risley-Childs have filed, along with three candidates from a progressive perspective, Lee Finney, Susan Savage and myself. Getting at least three progressives on the Board will be essential to break the dysfunctional stalemate that threatens our hospital.
Winning this election and turning the current situation around will, unfortunately, take money. I am beginning the process today of setting up a bank account to accept campaign donations and will be asking for your financial support in the near future.
I welcome comments and questions, here or off-line.
POINT ARENA SPEEDS UP
High speed connection coming to Point Arena
The County of Mendocino Information Technology Network Administration team have installed network equipment at the Point Arena library and connected the new equipment to the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) provided fiber. The new fiber connection will bring gigabit ethernet to the staff and patrons of the Point Arena library. The Covelo library will be next up in the list. Frontier Communications scheduled a site visit for the end of July to plan for that upcoming fiber installation.
RE: LOCAL MENDOCINO COAST INN TACKLING HOMELESSNESS IN THE BEST WAY!
We thought your readers might be interested in this ingenious way we at The Andiron in Little River are doing our part to tackle homelessness - and financially benefit ourselves at the same time.— Scott Connolly
In case you weren't able to access the link I provided earlier, please try this one. Again, the discussion starts at the 35.26 mark.
ALL ABOARD THE SKUNK!
CALTRANS AND THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO TO HOST CLEAN CALIFORNIA FREE LARGE ITEM ‘DUMP WEEK’ EVENT IN COVELO
COVELO – Caltrans, the County of Mendocino, Solid Wastes of Willits, Round Valley Indian Tribes, and the Round Valley Area Municipal Advisory Council will host a free large item Dump Week where residents can properly dispose of their unwanted, bulky items. This Dump Week event is made possible by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform public spaces.
Who: Covelo area residents
What: Free Large Item Dump Week
When: Monday, August 22 – Saturday, August 27, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. or until capacity is reached
Where: Covelo Transfer Station, 90500 Refuse Road, Covelo
This Dump Day collection is limited to furniture, appliances, mattresses, scrap metal, accumulated trash, tires (limit 9 per load), and other large, bulky household items. No construction materials, business waste, electronics, hazardous waste, treated wood waste, or asbestos of any type will be accepted. Clean California Dump Days are open to all residents in the area.
This is part of a series of Dump Day events planned for Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. Future events include Casper and Willits communities. Please remember to secure your load.
Dump Day events are organized to further the Department’s goal of keeping California highways and waterways litter-free as part of the Clean California Initiative.
CHRIST JESUS SAVE US ALL!
Subject: PSA: Celebrate Labor Day in Ukiah with the Democrats with a picnic in Todd Grove Park
The Mendocino County Democratic Party and the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club invite you to attend the annual Labor Day Picnic "The Work of Our Hands" at Todd Grove Park in Ukiah. September 5, 2022 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Musical entertainment by the Raging Grannies.
Union representatives and Representative Jared Huffman, Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood will speak.
Food trucks will be parked close by with a variety of offerings. Beverages will be available. No host beer and wine. This is a low waste event - bring your own cups!
Donations gratefully accepted.
REPORT FROM THE 4TH DIMENSION
Subject: Message from the 4th Dimension
Warmest spiritual greetings, Following a delicious free meal at the Plowshares dining room in Ukiah, California, took the unresponsive ACER computer to the RespecTech repair shop for an analysis. The conclusion is that the computer has died! In addition to this, have received nothing whatsoever substantive as a result of the constant networking effort begun March 1st, (after moving into the Building Bridges homeless shelter). There is zero interest in spiritually focused direct action.
It is 100 degrees hot outside, there isn't anything crucial to do at the moment, the stupidity of global postmodernism is beyond crazy and dangerous as reported in today's New York Times, and therefore, the one and only intelligent direction to go is the fourth dimension. This is a conclusion reached after having exhausted all other third dimensional possibilities on the planet earth.
Wishing you well,
Craig Louis Stehr
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 16, 2022
WESLEY CARD, Covelo. Assault with firearm.
ROCKY DUMAN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, stolen property, burglary tools, controlled substance, stolen vehicle.
DEVON FISHBACK, Potter Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
CHEF FRANSEN, Redwood Valley. Assault with firearm, personal use of firearm, prior.
NELSON GIBSON, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, nunchaks.
DELIA GODINEZ, San Jose/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JACOB HAAS, Redding/Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
CASEY IRELAND, Willits. Grand theft.
JOSE LUCERO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CURTIS ROGERS, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
THE HOTEL NEXT DOOR
After the Tubbs fire, a lawyer from San Diego bought the house next door to me, which had been a long-term rental. I was told the house would be used by law firm staff while they were working on wildfire claims. Within six months, the property was listed on Airbnb — three bedrooms, sleeps 10, fireplace. The homes in my neighborhood are 8 to 10 feet apart. You can park two, maybe three cars in front. We have no driveways.
This “hotel” next door, managed from San Diego, became a party place. It had overgrown landscaping and landscape lighting that was on 24/7. My neighbor on the other side discovered the lights were very hot. A complaint was sent to the rental manager. Nothing happened. The landscaping caught fire early one morning. The Santa Rosa Fire Department came.
The “hotel” had no garbage service. My cans were used. I complained to city code enforcement, and they promptly cited the property owner. I complained to Airbnb. Santa Rosa police were called many times when noise ordinances were violated. I complained to the manager. She threatened me. The property was sold last January. It appears the new owner will live there. I hope so.
I remain permanently traumatized by the experience. I’m not alone.
CALIFORNIA FARMWORKERS MARCH TO URGE NEWSOM TO SIGN VOTING RIGHTS BILL
by David Bacon, Capital & Main, 8/15/22
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’ve felt like being in the death-drive years ago, about to turn 50, waiting with dread for the long emergency to arrive, interesting though how this planned future is now revealing itself…
I live in south city STL, and it’s already dangerous and filled with drug zombies, so I know it wouldn’t be long into true chaos that I’d have to escape or die.
But the thing that mostly keeps me depressed and trapped, is the fact that no one around me I love/like seems to notice that any of this is going on. Some of them know things are fucked up, but they are stuck in the 2 party thinking, so it’s always the other side’s fault.
Then of course, any comprehension beyond that is ‘conspiracy’.
By the end of Trump’s term, I kept imagining two fists punching each other. I’ve learned to zoom out and see the bigger picture, and you see just how demonstrative the 2 side schism is by design. Once one can fully comprehend this fact, then it all appears like Pro Wrestling.
I just feel so alone though with this conscious awareness, like discovering you’re in the Matrix, or in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
That’s what feels so despondent to me, that we’ve lost the value of aesthetics, the education from it, the spirituality. When is real art and beauty celebrated anymore?
Nevermind the collapse of society, why does it have to get so ugly and stupid on the way?
I crave meaning but all I get is anxiety.
A BURGLAR BREAKS IN to a home and holds the husband and wife in it hostage. At gunpoint, he forces the two to sit on chairs facing the opposite way, backs to each other, and ties them to the chairs. The burglar slowly and methodically begins stealing from the house.
When the burglar has taken everything of value, he gets ready to leave, the homeowners still bound to their chairs, when suddenly, the man yells at the burglar, “Please untie her, please, let her go!”
The thief responds with, “No, I'm not untying either of you so that the authorities get notified as late as possible. Don't worry, your neighbours will soon wonder why your lights are still on throughout the night and check in on you long before you succumb to dehydration.”
The man yet again pleads, “Please, just untie her, I'll do anything!”
The burglar once again explains his reasoning, “I need to get away with this crime, I'm sorry, I can't leave anything up to chance.”
The man shuffles his chair towards the burglar, in a state of mania, exclaims, “I'm begging you man, just let her go, she won't call the cops, I promise!”
The burglar, still unwilling to budge, did find it quite touching how much his hostage cared about his wife. “Wow,” he said “You must really love your wife to beg me to untie her so desperately.”
“No,” the man replied, in a state of frenzy. “My wife will be home in 15 minutes.”
ATTA BOY, JOE!
CARLSEN’S NEXT MOVES
by Andrew McGettigan
The 44th chess Olympiad concluded in Chennai last week with Ukraine’s women edging out Georgia and Uzbekistan winning the open competition with a team fielding only one player over the age of twenty. A raft of teenagers dominated the headlines with the sixteen-year-old Indian sensation Gukesh D taking the gold medal for best performance on the top board and almost leading India’s B-team – in effect an under-21 side – to gold. He was left to rue a blunder in the penultimate round against the Uzbeki seventeen-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Gukesh was so distraught he held his head in his hands and allowed his clock to run out rather than resign. His team left with bronze, one place ahead of India A.
It was giddy stuff. But as the jamboree moved towards its conclusion, Arkady Dvorkovich, a former deputy prime minister of Russia (2012-18), was re-elected president of FIDE, the game’s administrative body. He secured 157 votes in a secret ballot of nearly two hundred member nations. FIDE is probably the most high-profile international sporting federation headed by a Russian. Chess is a key plank of the country’s soft power strategy. The news agency TASS quoted the Kremlin’s line: ‘clearly very good news and a very significant victory’.
Dvorkovich has tried to downplay his connections with Putin, but he took over FIDE after handling the 2018 football World Cup and until March chaired the Skolkovo Foundation. Skolkovo was placed on the US sanctions list at the beginning of August for its research ties to the Russian military.
The official FIDE website took a few hours to acknowledge the Ukrainian achievement, perhaps after a PR wrangle over the wording: ‘The 2022 victory, arriving at such a difficult time, is particularly valuable.’
The overwhelming vote for Dvorkovich suggests either that few chess administrators care much about geopolitics or, more likely, that they have seen India is on board with him and prefer to have well-connected and well-resourced presidents. India has taken a neutral position over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, abstaining from votes at the UN.
Chennai stepped in to hold the Olympiad after sanctions barred Moscow from acting as host city. The rising power in world chess, India seems to have decided that its interests are best advanced by palling up with Dvorkovich. His new deputy will be Viswanathan Anand, a former world champion who grew up in Chennai.
The individual World Chess Championship has been dependent in recent years on Russian sponsors such as PhosAgro, prominent in London 2018 and Dubai 2021, which have now been sanctioned. The challenger for the 2023 match was again scheduled to be the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, who cruised through the recent qualifying tournament. But he will not play the reigning champion.
In 2013, Anand was defeated by the young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who has held the crown ever since. Last month, in a widely trailed announcement, Carlsen declared that he would no longer defend FIDE’s flagship title. Next year’s match will therefore be missing the player who has dominated the game for more than a decade: Carlsen has been ranked number one without interruption since 2011.
He is not walking away from chess. Aged 31, he would be expected to maintain his place as the top player for the next few years. But he has long expressed frustration with the classical time controls of the championship. A series of games with each player allotted hours for thinking has been the standard format to establish the best player for two centuries. Carlsen has played five such matches in the last decade and has had enough of the grind.
He would prefer to up the tempo, believing the best player should be decided by a faster game. He has tested the idea for its fan and broadcast appeal with his own rapid chess grand prix, which originated in 2020 as a lockdown experiment. The burgeoning popularity of chess on streaming platforms such as Twitch has led to a new set of sponsors, many of them from the fast-money mix of gambling, crypto, NFTs etc.
There’s an obvious parallel with cricket and the tension between the popular twenty-over format of the Indian Premier League and the traditional five-day test match. But there’s another factor undercutting ‘proper’ match-play chess. It’s five years since the appearance of DeepMind’s revolutionary self-learning AlphaZero. There has since been an explosion in chess-playing software based on neural net principles. When you have to face the same opponent up to sixteen times in three weeks, a better computer strategy – and setup – can compensate for weaker playing strength.
Nepomniachtchi and his team were reported to have had access to a Russian supercomputer, ‘Zhores’, housed at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. Its speed has to be measured in petaflops: 1015 floating point operations per second (a petaflop is a thousand teraflops, the measure for even the most sophisticated home gaming consoles). The institute, like the eponymous foundation, is now sanctioned by the US.
Carlsen doesn’t fear any player, but he doesn’t want to walk into a computer-prepared ambush and resents the time and resources that have to be poured in to countering such measures. More games at faster play militates against any strategy based on memorizing inhuman lines and gives opposing teams less time to pick apart each other’s approach.
Next year’s World Championship title match will be between Nepomniachtchi and the Chinese number one, Ding Liren. There are as yet no host city and no sponsors; the only certainty is that whoever wins will not be regarded as the best player in the world: Carlsen crushed Nepomniachtchi in Dubai last December, defending his title for the fourth time.
What this all presages is unclear. Will FIDE now support – tacitly or otherwise – a world championship held in Moscow? Would Nepomniachtchi want to play in Beijing? Will FIDE announce a revised format to tempt Carlsen back? The flashpoints are obvious, the outcomes not. But India is now sitting in the box seat whatever unfolds in the short run.
SWEEPS WEEK ON FBI TV!
National news media and federal law enforcement are now as indistinguishable in America as in any autocratic country anywhere
by Matt Taibbi
CNN Newsroom anchor Jim Acosta, famed for being the WWE version of a media tough guy during the Trump years, curled up like a kitten last weekend when interviewing Phil Mudd, onetime head of the FBI’s National Security Branch. Also a former CIA man, Mudd is now an Acosta colleague, a “senior intelligence analyst” on the CNN payroll.
“You know, there are real consequences,” said Acosta, “when people go out and trash the integrity of the FBI.”
It was less question than invitation, and Mudd jumped at it. The FBI man seethed that even if you’re upset about the raid of Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, if you think state police can deal with the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, white collar crime, mortgage fraud and cyber-porn involving kids, you suck.
“If you say defund the FBI,” he went on, “let your kid be abused by an adult!”
“Yeah,” said Acosta. “It doesn’t add up.”
Mudd — who’s supposed to be both retired from law enforcement and a member of the media now — then went on about how difficult things are for FBI agents now that the unredacted warrant was out, releasing names and robbing agents of their birthright anonymity just as “our kids are going back to school.”
“Yeah,” said Acosta again. “They want to intimidate people in law enforcement.”
As they spoke, CNN flashed a graphic of mean things people said online about the FBI last week, like “kill all feds.” Acosta noted, as if spontaneously, that this reminded him of the atmosphere before January 6th (I thought of the “kill all cops” memes, but what do I know?) before asking Mudd if he was worried about another “spasm” of “domestic terrorism". Mudd said yes, America is filled with extremists like the ones “abroad,” and “I think we’re going to see a catastrophic event” like January 6th.
Watching, I found myself wondering, “What is this?” There was no pretense of separateness between the CNN employees, and the spot’s purpose appeared to be to let a senior CIA/FBI counterintelligence official whine about the reaction to the Trump raid, stoke fear, and compare Americans to al-Qaeda. It felt less like news than something out of a dystopian novel like Fahrenheit 451 or We, and this is essentially on air round the clock. Dollars to doughnuts, if you turn on cable right now, you will find, somewhere, a former intelligence official yammering at you through your telescreen.
We’re a week into one of the biggest stories of our time, and the feds and media have spent most every minute acting as an unembarrassed unified front. One after another, national security “analysts” lined up to give breathless, hyperbolic, and and eerily synchronized commentary about the Mar-a-Lago raid. If the message on day 1 was about how they “must have” probable cause of a crime, that was the word up and down the dial. If by the weekend it was “I’ve never seen this level of threat,” you heard that in more or less the same words from the likes of Mudd, McCabe, and others on multiple channels. What’s the public supposed to see, other than an American analog to China Central TV or Rossiya-1, when they tuned in to all this?…
THOSE ANGRY AT RUSHDIE’S STABBING HAVE BEEN MISSING IN ACTION OVER A FAR BIGGER THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM
The Satanic Verses novelist is championed by western liberals not because he has bravely articulated difficult truths but because of who his enemies are
by Jonathan Cook
British prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend”. His Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, one of the last two contenders for Johnson’s crown, concurred, describing the novelist as “a champion of free speech and artistic freedom”.
Across the Atlantic, President Joe Biden stressed Rushdie’s qualities: “Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear… We reaffirm our commitment to those deeply American values in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who stand for freedom of expression.”
The truth is that the vast majority of those claiming this as an attack not only on a prominent writer but on Western society and its freedoms, have been missing in action for the past several years as the biggest threat to those freedoms unfolded. Or, in the case of Western government leaders, they have actively conspired in the undermining of those freedoms.
Prominent figures and organizations now expressing their solidarity with Rushdie have kept their heads down, or spoken in hushed tones against – or, worse still, become cheerleaders for – this much more serious assault: on our right to know what mass crimes have been committed against others in our name.
Rushdie has won trenchant support from Western liberals and conservatives alike, not for being a brave articulator of difficult truths, but because of who his enemies are.
If that sounds uncharitable or nonsensical, consider this. Julian Assange has spent more than three years in solitary confinement in a high-security prison in London (and before that, seven years confined to a small room in Ecuador’s embassy), in conditions Nils Melzer, the former United Nation’s expert on torture, has described as extreme psychological torture.
Melzer and many others fear for Assange’s life if British and US authorities succeed in dragging out much longer the Wikileaks founder’s detention on what amounts to purely political charges.
And all of this is happening to him, remember, for one reason alone: because he published documents proving that, under cover of a bogus humanitarianism, Western governments were committing crimes against peoples in distant lands. Assange faces charges under the draconian Espionage Act only because he made public the gruesome truth about Western military actions in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yes, there are differences between Rushdie and Assange’s respective cases, but those differences should elicit more concern for Assange’s plight than Rushdie’s. In practice, the exact opposite has happened.
Rushdie’s right to free speech has been championed because he exercised it to imagine an alternative formative history of Islam and implicitly question the authority of clerics and governments in far-off lands.
Assange’s right to free speech has been ridiculed, ignored or at best supported weakly and equivocally because he exercised it to hold up a mirror to the West, showing exactly what our governments are doing, in secret, in many of those same far-off lands.
Rushdie’s right to life was threatened by distant clerics and governments for questioning the moral basis of their power. Assange’s right to life is threatened by Western governments because he questioned the moral basis of their power.…