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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Warming | Egret | Prohibition Ends | Gasless Days | Murray Motion | Blanderfield & Hansen | Heat Wave | Harborfest Returns | FFA Popcorn | Spanish Classes | Stewart Street | Great Day | LeBaron Gala | Housing Hindrances | Topless | Tess Late | Boyles Dogs | Ed Notes | Sausalito Wharf | Film Events | Train Depot | Eagle Lake | Old Sausalito | KZYX Election | Marinship | New Lair | Yesterday's Catch | SFAI Kaput | Unfair Debt | Almost Useless | Crazy Traffic | Apartheid State | Fox Babes | Ukraine | Lobster Ball | Cunning Nutter | Weird Shit | Second Term | Fallen Horses | Disclosure Laws | Ancient Owls | Wild West | Dilling Gordon | Midget Wrestling | Communal Well

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INLAND TEMPERATURES will be slightly above seasonal normals today and Wednesday with some warming late in the week. For the holiday weekend temperatures will [be] over 10 degrees above normal as high pressure strengthens across the area. The coastal areas will continue to see night and morning clouds with near seasonal temperatures. (NWS)

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photo by Larry Wagner

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COCKTAILS ANYONE? Lauren’s at The Buckhorn (LAB) is pleased to announce that the residents of Anderson Valley, and those folks visiting here, can once again sip on a Martini, imbibe a Margarita, sup a Gin and tonic, quaff a shot of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey or Don Julio Tequila, and choose from a wide variety of cocktails. Yes, after an eight-month process during which the establishment was closed for three months and then given a license allowing beer and wine sales only, the LAB has finally received its license to serve liquor from the Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC). The original temporary license, under which the LAB had operated for six months in the second half of 2021, was unceremoniously (and illegally, it is believed) taken out of a signed escrow by the previous owners and then sold to a bar in Hopland. This short-sighted and avaricious action, with no consideration for the Valley Community nor the many employees who lost jobs, left the Valley without access to an establishment offering liquor for the first time since Prohibition (1920-33). As part of the plans moving forward, a distillery will operate in the basement of The Buckhorn building with a tasting room and street access, hopefully producing a line of locally-sourced gins, whiskies, vodkas, and tequila served under the banner of The Boonville Distillery. Meanwhile, a full bar and restaurant is once again operating in Boonville! Thank you for your continued support. Cheers to one and all.

— Lauren’s at The Buckhorn

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REDWOOD DRIVE-IN: The Gas station will be out of service for the next two days due to a system/pumps update. The mini mart and restaurant will be open during normal business hours.

Redwood Drive-In

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by Mike Geniella

In a last-minute move, Mendocino County prosecutors are for the first time publicly urging jail time for a disgraced Ukiah police sergeant who is to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.

A motion filed just before noon Monday by District Attorney David Eyster’s office supports a 12-month jail term for Kevin Patrick Murray as recommended by the Sonoma County Probation Office. The Sonoma County office was asked to prepare an independent assessment of the Murray case for sentencing. 

DA Eyster and Deputy DA Heidi Larson since July were repeatedly asked to publicly explain their positions on the plea bargain, but until now they did not respond.

Larson in her motion claims that Mendocino prosecutors never agreed to a no jail time deal, and that their position is misunderstood. She insisted prosecutors did their best to encourage two women to testify so they could take the case to trial despite it ending in a widely criticized plea bargain.

Prosecutors, said Larson, never agreed with the “indicated sentence” of no further jail time expressed by the defense and agreed upon at a July 7 hearing by Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman. Moorman indicated she would consider no further jail time if “no surprises” were presented in a final probation office sentencing recommendation.

Larson contended that in fact Murray’s high-powered team of lawyers from Santa Rosa wanted to go even further: 

“The defense also wanted the prosecution to agree that the felony conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanor after two years (the new maximum term of supervised probation) if the defendant has suffered no violations of probation. The prosecution declined this proposal and stated it would adamantly oppose any future attempt to reduce the felony strike conviction to a misdemeanor.

Larson said the District Attorney’s Office is sensitive to Murray’s misconduct stemming from sexual assaults on two women cited in his criminal case and supported by a third woman in a pending civil lawsuit.

“It cannot be overlooked that defendant Murray’s serial misconduct taints and had long term consequences for all who wear a law enforcement badge. His misconduct unfortunately diminishes the truth of some in the community willing to paint distrust with a broad brush on all law enforcement officers and agencies,” wrote Larson.

It is the first time the DA’s Office has publicly commented following weeks of controversy over a sweetheart plea deal that saw the most serious felony sex related charges dismissed against Murray. The DA’s office agreed to drop three felony charges against Murray, and a misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine charge. Instead, Murray was allowed to enter “no contest” pleas to a felony charge of intimidating a witness, a woman he assaulted in an Ukiah motel room in November 2020, and a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge related to a person identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe,” a second woman he is accused of assaulting. 

The plea bargain and proposed sentencing has stirred community anger toward a probation-only sentence for Murray and triggered a public protest in front of the downtown Ukiah courthouse.

Murray apparently has written a letter to Judge Moorman asking for leniency.

Murray is a thrice-married man, and father of four who lives in Lakeport. He served two tours of duty in Iraq before becoming a police officer and rising through the ranks at the Ukiah Police Department. He was promoted with fanfare to sergeant in late 2020. Murray blames some of his behavior on alcohol abuse and claims he has stopped drinking. He also contends he is in treatment for a bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress from his military service. 

Kevin Murray

Murray’s law enforcement career over the past decade has been checkered.

The city of Ukiah paid a local resident $1 million after he was beaten by Murray during an encounter at a neighborhood disturbance. 

The city also settled with one of the victims in the criminal case for $250,000 after she claimed Murray in late November 2020, stole her key card, forced his way through a barricaded motel room door, and demanded she sexually stimulate him. 

A second woman, a family friend, read of her account and told investigators Murray had twice come to her home and forced her to perform oral sex on him. 

A third woman, a former Ukiah police officer who is now a sheriff’s deputy, contends in a civil lawsuit that Murray fondled her, and demanded sex while both were at an out-of-town training session.

Larson in her motion filed Monday attempted to address some of the public outcry in the form of a footnote.

“Some might find it easy to pander to howling voices and the protests of a few that, in part, demand uninformed and crude revenge on this defendant versus constitutional and reasoned justice,” wrote Larson.

Larson suggested it might be easy for the prosecution “to simply argue for and demand an aggravated state prison sentence and then sit down. But that will not be the case in this or any other criminal case in Mendocino County.”

“As has always been emphasized by the current District Attorney during his terms in office, and as further codified in formal and informal rules of professional behavior, a prosecutor should not make, cause to be made, or authorize or condone the making of, a public statement that the prosecutor knows or reasonably should know will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a criminal proceeding or heightening public condemnation of the accused.” 

Since the plea bargain was announced in July, prosecutors privately have suggested a key witness was uncooperative, and unavailable after accepting a cash settlement from the city of Ukiah.

The Sacramento woman’s attorney on Friday disputed those contentions, noting that there was no provision in her settlement with the city to prevent her from testifying. In fact, said her attorney Panos Lagos, his client had cooperated with District Attorney investigators and been prepared to testify in court about her encounter with Murray. 

Larson, in another footnote in the motion, offered this explanation:

“Before resolving the defendant’s case, efforts were undertaken by the assigned attorney and her investigators as required by law to discuss the possible resolution with both charged victims. While one of the victims was available for this discussion and was agreeable at that time to resolving the case so she would not have to openly testify, the other victim, also living out of the area, would not be found nor reached by telephone to engage in trial preparation and/or to discuss the possible resolution.”

Larson contended that “Calls to her Bay Area civil attorney were always taken and would end with him saying he would ask her to call back those working on the case. Assuming she received these messages from her Bay Area attorney, she never followed through on his requests by initiating a return call.”

“The motel room victim had not been available for trip prep in Ukiah prior to trial, and the last office communication ended with a demand to stop bothering her with calls,” wrote Larson.

Lastly, Larson said “some incorrectly believed” charges were filed in a third woman’s complaint that Murray sexually abused her. In that particular case involving a former Ukiah police officer, Larson said the DA reviewed the case in March 2021 and concluded that the Statute of Limitations prevented filing criminal charges.

“It is believed that this possible third victim may have a civil lawsuit currently pending against the defendant or his former employer and may still have her day in court,” wrote Larson.

It has been reported accurately numerous times that the third woman’s case was civil, and not part of the criminal proceedings.

Murray is scheduled to be sentenced at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Judge Moorman’s courtroom.

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Friar Laurence Blanderfield and Connie Hansen, Greenwood, 1915

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California is facing a prolonged late-summer heat wave this week, with widespread triple-digit temperatures starting in the south and spreading northward, the National Weather Service said Monday.

Excessive heat watches will go into effect Wednesday morning and remain in effect through Sunday evening in a large swath of Southern California, including much of the normally temperate coastline, forecasters said. Temperatures were predicted to top 100 degrees (37.7 Celsius) in many valley and mountain locations. “This heat may be record breaking and will likely produce a very high heat illness risk,” the Los Angeles-area weather office wrote. The torrid conditions will be caused by high pressure that was already pushing into the state and making it difficult for onshore flow of marine air. “These trends are forecast to continue and will likely set up (a) prolonged and likely dangerous heat event,” the office said.

The heat wave will expand into Northern California later in the week. Temperatures in the Sacramento Valley could range as high as 112 (44.4 Celsius) on Sunday and Monday. “Be cautious about planning outdoor activities for the holiday weekend!” the San Francisco Bay Area weather office wrote

— AP

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Noon to 6pm ~ Arena Cove & Point Arena Pier

The Point Arena Harbor and Seafood Festival "HarborFest" returns from a 2-year hiatus! This is an event that you don't want to miss - a stunning coastal setting with local seafood, local bands and local brews, all for a great cause - raising money to keep our local pier operating for the public all year long!

This year's menu features Baja Fish Tacos, Blackened Rockfish Po-Boys, Island Albacore Kebabs, BBQ Oysters, corn-on-the-cob, salad, plenty of side fixings and a variety of soft drinks and locally-made desserts.

Libations include local craft beer courtesy of North Coast Brewery and The New Museum Brewers & Blenders, local assorted wines, and non-alcoholic beverages including homemade lemonade and mineral water.

This year's Harborfest hosts live performances by local and regional acts:

  • Middle Children 12:30pm
  • Cement Eater 1:45 pm
  • New Years Eve 2:45 pm
  • Buckridge Racket Club 3:50

A kid's area will host a bouncy house and plenty of fun activities, including a "fishing" game and beach cobble rock painting.

There is no entrance fee for the event. Purchase $1 tickets at the entrance gate for food, drink and activities. This is a cash-only event. Parking is available in the adjacent Rock Wall park and along the north side of Port Road only. Please bring your kids, but please leave your pets at home.

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INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATIONAL SPANISH classes at the Adult School this fall

Hello Adult School community!

Intermediate Conversational Spanish classes this fall at the AV Adult School! We are hoping to offer more levels of Spanish in January 2023. Partial scholarships available, free childcare during class hours.

Call 895-2953 or email for more info or to register. Please spread the word.

Maggie Von Vogt, School Co-Coordinator & Language Teacher

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Stewart Street facing West Street, Fort Bragg

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PETER LIT on last weekend’s Great Day In Elk: “Shout out to the Anderson Valley contingent. The auctioneer at the Great Day in Elk annual cake auction sends a huge Thank You to the Anderson Valley consortium that braved the (Philo) Greenwood Road and helped to make the cake auction a tremendous success! Recognizable to me among the plotters were Lauren Keating, Heidi Gundling, Mark Apfel, and, the probable instigator, Captain Rainbow. I’m sorry I can’t place names on the rest of the participants, but Thank You as well. Thanks also to the dedicated cake-makers! Sunshine all day; another Great Day in Elk!”

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Gaye LeBaron

Terese and I attended the Museum of Sonoma County’s gala Saturday night at Pacific Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa in honor of Gaye LeBaron, the noted newspaper columnist, and North Coast historian. Gaye was presented the museum’s ‘Visionary Award,’ given annually to individuals “…whose actions and ideas help transform our region and the world around us.” 

I worked with Gaye at The Press Democrat for nearly 30 years, where I learned very quickly she was the ‘go-to’ person for background information about the people and places of the Redwood Region. Over the years our professional and personal friendship deepened, in some ways because of our mutual Portuguese heritage from the Azores in the Atlantic. Gaye is a good friend of the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, where she is much appreciated. Congratulations, Gaye.

— Mike Geniella

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN (writing on her facebook page): “In the past developers have stated these [school developer] fees are a hindrance to adding additional housing, I haven’t heard from anyone on the subject yet so I am keeping an open mind. I hope the public actively engages in this conversation with the school board. We have a great need for market rate housing and I would hate to see this be a barrier. More to come I’m sure.”

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Mark Scaramella replies: On the list of “hindrances” to market rate housing in Mendocino County, school developer fees are pretty low. Supervisor Mulheren might want to look a little closer to her office for more important hindrances. The biggest hindrance to development in Mendocino County, especially in the unincorporated areas, is her own Planning Department which she assidiously avoids criticizing, much less reviewing. Where’s the Planning Department’s list of projects/permits applied for and their status and how long they’ve been under review and what’s holding them up? 

There’s also the little problem of water and septic systems for housing. As far as we know, the County’s long-delayed “Housing Element” update of the General Plan has yet to even identify parcels in the unincorporated areas of the County where new housing could be built because no effort — literally none, zero — has been made to plan for the minimum necessary infrastructure, much less provide it. The two market rate housing projects which were proposed back before Covid on the outskirts of Ukiah have not come up or on to the Board’s radar since then. That beleaguered Chico-developer who bought the Lover’s Lane property on the north end of Ukiah must be pulling his hair out, and the former Garden’s Gate housing project on the south end of Ukiah has not moved for years. (The first time it was proposed Mendo sat on the permit application for years; the applicant finally threw up his hands when the housing bubble burst back in 2009 and moved to South America.) The last we heard the County still hadn’t approved a traffic plan or a second access route for the semi-revived Garden’s Gate project. 

If Supervisor Mulheren was really concerned about housing hindrances, she’d look into her own bureaucratic backyard, and not divert attention from her own staff by pretending that school developer fees are any kind of serious “hindrance” to market rate housing.

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Hippie Girls in the Wild, 1974

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Fort Bragg City Councilmember Tess Albin-Smith was told on August 8, 2022 that she could wait to submit her nomination papers up to the extended deadline of August 17, so she turned them in on Aug 15. However, the extended deadline does not apply to incumbents. To correct this error, she amended her nomination paperwork on Aug 17 to switch her four-year term to a two-year term for which she is not the incumbent. Councilmember Peters submitted his nomination papers for a two-year term on time, but after learning about Tess’s change, he agreed with the Election Official’s proposed solution to switch his two-year term to a four-year term so that the two councilmembers would not face each other for the same two-year seat.

While the Elections Code does not prohibit a candidate from amending their nomination papers after filing, the City of Fort Bragg desires to avoid the appearance of irregularity. For this reason, the City will be submitting the un-amended nomination papers of Councilmember Lindy Peters for inclusion on the November 8, 2022 ballot for the nominated two-year term and not Tess Albin Smith’s nomination papers. Tess has the option to run as a write-in candidate for a four-year term.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Peggy Ducey, Interim City Manager.

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The Boyles with Dogs

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“JOIN US IN THE FUTURE OF THE ICO!” read the emphatic invitation over the announcement in the Independent Coast Observer that the venerable South Coast weekly is “transforming into a community owned non profit.” 

HMMM. The bulk of publisher Steve McLaughlin’s death knell desperation was a pitch for an ad salesman, ads, as Steve has often written, being “the life blood” of journalism, George Orwell’s observation notwithstanding that in fact “advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.” And who wants swine determining what goes into your community newspaper?

ELECTRONIC ADVERTISING has killed off many newspapers, with the survivors treading water in rough seas. The mighty ava has survived on subscriptions, legal ads, stand sales, with many of our stands having succumbed to handheld telephones. 

OLD TIMERS will recall the wonderfully comprehensive newsstand on Ukiah’s Standley Street opposite the County Courthouse where all the County’s publications, including this one in its early years, were on sale. Every town of any size had a combined newsstand and smoke shop, plus odds and ends like playing cards, chewing gum and candy bars. The further one got into the depths of the old stand on Standley, the more salacious the reading material; you had to go all the way to Santa Rosa to find the more obscure liberal publications like The Nation and The New Republic. Today, the stalwart Mendocino Book Company maintains a viable mag rack of legacy pubs. 

WHEN THE LIBS dominated the Mendo Board of Supervisors, I had to guard against them denying legal ads that rightly and, sic, legally, belonged in the Boonville weekly. But then liberals everywhere, and certainly here in “progressive” Mendocino County, have been illiberal for some time now. As the Mendo Supervisors of that overtly censorious time led their ineffective secret boycotts and heaved their futile blackballs at us, we’d laugh at the irony of our primary enemies being libs, not the more conservative sectors of Mendo’s divided population who, to this day, have never once tried to off us. 

LIKE THE ICO, all the County’s paper-paper publications exist on the financial edge as the population of newspaper readers dies off and is replaced by the cell phone addicts, with their 60-second attention spans. The times done changed, and all us print dinosaurs are pretty much week-to-week.

WOOF-WOOF. Lindsey Graham says there’ll be “riots in the street” if Trump is criminally charged for the classified documents confiscated at Mar-a-Schlocko by federal agents. “If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle… there’ll be riots in the streets,” Graham promised during a Sunday Night in America interview. Graham also claimed that Trump was treated with a “double standard” by law enforcement, simultaneously resurfacing claims that the FBI were told to “slow down and back off” President Joe Biden’s son Hunter in the months preceding the 2020 presidential election. “Most Republicans, including me, believe when it comes to Trump, there is no law. It’s all about getting him,” Graham said. 

GRAHAM’S correct about the feds and Trump, but riots in the streets? Will we see Mendo’s lead Trumper, Al Kubanis, at the front of a mob surging down State Street? I guess there are towns where the Trumpers might don their flag jackets to make a run at government offices, but I’d guess they’re gun (sic) shy after their big day in DC last year to risk prosecution for insurrection. But if things deteriorate to that point the question will be how committed to impartial law enforcement are local authorities? Would they stand up to armed treason even if sympathetic to the Trump world view? Here in Mendo, I’m confident law enforcement would repel a mob of whatever type, but when you have U.S. Senators talking up chaos, and given all the givens of our rapidly unraveling society, mass violence is that much closer.

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Sausalito from the N.P.C.R.R. Wharf, Looking South (circa 1868) by Eadweard Muybridge

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After a successful 15th Annual Film Festival this past June, The Mendocino Film Festival is continuing our year-round programming with events coming up in Fort Bragg and in Boonville.

First up, the return of MFF’s Classic Film Series at Coast Cinemas, in Fort Bragg. The first Wednesday of the month, beginning September 7, and continuing through December. The films being screened are: The Wizard of Oz, The Birds, Chinatown and Sleepless in Seattle. Tickets are $15 cash at the door.

Another returning event, Cinema in the Redwoods, in partnership with the Skunk Train, will end its summer run with When Harry Met Sally... on September 15. The train departs at 6:30 PM. Tickets ($75 for adults, $59 for kids) will include a round-trip train ticket from the Skunk Train Depot to Glen Blair Junction, deep in the forest; the film screening experience; a bucket of bottomless popcorn; and a drink token to be redeemed at the bar. Concessions and a full bar will also be available.

In addition, The Mendocino Film Festival is joining forces with Pennyroyal Farm for an outdoor screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox on Saturday, October 22, at 6:30 PM. Doors will open at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $15.00 (children 13) and $25.00 (adults). You can also pre-order a Fantastic Feast dinner, or purchase a variety of snacks, including popcorn, beverages, and of course, Pennyroyal’s delightful cheese. For more information visit

Finally, submissions are now open for next year’s Film Festival, June 1-4, 2023. Films can be submitted on FilmFreeway’s site ( Locals can submit for free to take part in Reel Mendo, our showcase of local filmmakers. To get a waiver for a submission, contact Angela Matano,

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Sausalito Train Depot, 1914

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by Anne Fashauer

Eagle Lake is one of my favorite places in what I have seen of the world. I used to go with an ex’s family once a year and I always looked forward to it. I had not been back in over 15 years and I was very excited to go back. I booked us a partial hook up spot at Merrill Campground - I went for the partial vs the full hook up because that would allow us to be closer to the lake.

We drove from Chester towards Susanville, then took a left just before dropping into Susanville and headed over the hill into Eagle Lake. As we drove in it started to rain, then hail. We had seen the clouds as we were driving and expected something, but not what we actually got - hail the size of peas!! It hailed on us all the way down the hill and to our campsite. We drove very slowly as the amount of hail made the road like it was covered in ice, but we made it safely down. 

We found our site easily and got set up; the clouds cleared and it warmed up a bit, so we took the bikes out for a brief ride before it got too dark - the skies were beautiful with the coloring of the storm and the clouds. I took a couple of photos, then we headed back to get some dinner prepped.

We spent our first day at Eagle Lake trying to fish. We didn’t have a boat, so that meant riding the bikes around the lake to a point on the Eastern side suggested by our camp hosts. Van and Anthony tried their luck, but had no results. We found we were most entertained by the birds on the water going through beautiful courtship rituals - standing on their legs and fluttering quickly across the water in pairs. It was stunning.

We started playing Uno and keeping points with a running total; I kicked their butts, lol. Each of them rallied at one time but they never got close enough to catch me and then we stopped playing. Anthony and I played a couple of games of War again, with him usually winning those. We rode the bikes about twice a day - the paved bike path is great and it’s very pretty as it skirts the lake. We also had enough cell coverage to watch a little TV - we picked Reservation Dogs on Hulu, something that seemed to offer interest for all three of us. We would binge two to three episodes at a time which was fun.

We spent Sunday through Thursday morning at Eagle Lake. We had rain almost every afternoon, sometimes heavy, sometimes just a little. The worst part of the whole trip was when the motor home started to smell. We thought for sure something was wrong with the black tank (the one that holds the sewage). We would be sitting outside relaxing and waves of smell would come by; we were parked near the bathrooms, so we also considered that they might be the source. I spent a lot of time Googling this and trying to find remedies. It came and went; we unhooked everything and went to the dump station at one point and things did improve but then came back. It was awful.

We left fairly early on Thursday morning to head to Lake Siskiyou and the family reunion there. It was on this part of the drive that we discovered the true culprit. We had dumped our tanks again and rinsed them thoroughly and yet, as we headed down the road, we could smell it. It was at this point we realized it was the house batteries - they were overcharging and the horrible rotten smell was them. From that point on we kept them disconnected except when needed (which is really only when you’re not hooked up and/or you need to run the generator or start the engine) and the smell was gone. Whew.

(Pics at I’ll close with our time at Lake Siskiyou in part three.

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Old Sausalito

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KZYX is holding elections for its Board of Directors. There are four positions open: one each for Mendocino County Supervisor Districts 2 (Ukiah), 3 (Willits), 4 (Fort Bragg) and 5 (Anderson Valley). To fill one of these positions you must be a member in good standing by January 31st, 2023, and be able to carry out the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. A list of responsibilities (contained in the bylaws) is available on the KZYX Elections webpage, along with application forms. If you cannot access these materials online, please call the station and we will send you a packet. 

Candidates must submit an application by 5PM on January 31st, 2023. You may submit the application with your ballot statement by email to, or by regular mail to PO Box 1, Philo CA 95466. 

Questions may be sent to, or by leaving a message at the station, 707 895-2324, during regular business hours. 

The election will be held in March.

Thank you for your interest and support.

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The World War II shipyard that would become known as the Marinship as seen in 1943, at the height of its productivity (Sausalito Historical Society).

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Om Namah Shivaya in Ukiah

Upon awakening Sunday morning, began chanting the panchakshara mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” while still in the bed, and kept it going all the day long. (Still going at 8:47PM while sitting on the Building Bridges homeless shelter dorm bed writing this.) Following the morning ablutions, checked the lottery tix at the Express Mart & gas station across the street, and then ambled on to the Ukiah Co-op for a breakfast burrito and French roast organic coffee. A woman named Joanne walked up and inquired if I often submitted my jottings to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which of course sparked a unique chat. Exited the co-op and walked north toward The Dragon’s Lair’s new location across from the Goodwill, and then doubled back going east on Brush Street. A woman who used to be at the shelter was out taking a walk, and asked what I was doing on foot in that part of town. I offered that I was walking all over Ukiah chanting ancient vedic mantrams. She said that was a cool thing to do. Eventually arrived at Lucky’s supermarket and downed a cold yerba mate to hydrate. Empowered, walked straight south on Orchard Avenue to Gobbi, then headed west to the Safeway for bananas, yoghurt, and mango juice for the evening nourishment. Booked back to the shelter in 15 minutes and took a shower, and then laid down on the bed. The panchakshara mantra continues silently being recited. This practice is an effective alternative to the psychological hell of postmodernism, and the nausea of materialism. It confers immortality and final spiritual liberation. 

Craig Louis Stehr

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 29, 2022

Alford, Sanchez, Travis

DELBERT ALFORD, Covelo. Parole violation.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, protective order violation, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JAHLAN TRAVIS, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

Villalobos, Williams


TREVOR WILLIAMS, Willits. Cruelty to animals. 

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THE CLOSING OF THE SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE: “The artists can go hang themselves”

A combination of processes undermined the art school. The SFAI’s financial difficulties are not new. An April 2020 article by Sarah Hotchkiss at KQED commented that, depending “on who you talk to, SFAI’s problems stem from different causes. Some blame the first dot-com bust. Others, many others, point to the school’s [$19 million] expansion into Fort Mason. Still others blame the rise in San Francisco’s cost of living, or the difficulty of running a small school without an enormous endowment.”

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by Paul Modic

Saying I don’t have a mechanical mind is putting it gently, letting me down very easily. There are repairs which are probably simple I’m embarrassed to ask the carpenters here to do. I wouldn’t want them to think I was that incapable though it’s the truth. I came up during the weed boom, just hired everyone to do everything and had no interest in learning how to do it myself. (The neighborhood joke was that I had to hire someone to wipe my ass — all in good fun, roll another one, I just smiled sheepishly, and sold another pound.) 

Face it, I was one of the original fake “homesteaders” in the mid-seventies, another middle class white kid who moved to the hills just to grow vegetables and didn’t know shit. (When I was a kid I could repair a flat on my bike but damned if I could do that today. A Whitethorn neighbor once taught me how to make a trucker’s knot but in a week or so I forgot how.)

I used to feel uncomfortably inadequate when a friend or neighbor came by to do something for me but I’m way over that and just made a shameless list of things I’ll ask the new carpenter to do, including installing a new tail light assembly on my truck after I slammed into a little tree in my parking lot like a doofus last week. (This just in: I miraculously installed that car part myself last night!) 

I do have to give myself some basic plumbing credit setting up water systems out in the hills for years--five-sixteenth wrench baby! I can also wire an electrical plug and re-installed my micro hydro power system, so wow, a mechanical genius after all?)

Once or twice I did try to be capable and competent: decades ago I crawled under my ‘65 Dodge Dart with a wrench to bleed the brakes but when I tried to turn the bleeder open I broke the damn thing off—that’s it, I quit! (Do they even bleed brakes anymore?)

It gives me a jolt of emotion thinking about asking a neighbor for help with this simple project, figuring out how to make the outdoor shade blinds go up and down, although he knows how I am and if he judges me for it I don’t care—I deserve it. (We once honestly rated the handyman capabilities of ourselves and our friends and neighbors. In this case the clueless bastard couldn’t figure out the blinds either!) 

I’m good at some things (he said, suddenly defensive) like expertly finding my way along the ins and outs of a woman (well, who can’t?) though tragically didn’t learn those moves until I was thirty-eight. I’m also good at stringing words into sentences and paragraphs to make little narratives like this, but mostly I’m a mess, can’t do shit, and will probably die alone, lonely and dependent on low-paid immigrants to take care of me, if I’m lucky.

Not only that, I’ve spent my life destroying things through negligence, can’t keep a woman, can’t cook (except boring healthy food), never grew any fruit trees successfully, terrible at maintenance, can’t build anything (except simple greenhouses and drying sheds back in the day), and I guess all I’ve really got going is some organizational abilities and my no-bullshit mentality, though the latter could be a myth after all. 

Otherwise, life is great! (That’s the delicious coffee talking this morning.) 

* * *

* * *



I am outraged at so much unnecessary suffering in our world. How long will the boots of the powerful remain on the necks of innocents? News from Palestine is especially grim. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli organization B’Tselem have reported that Israel is an apartheid state. Six civil society organizations, such as Al Haq (Arabic for the truth) and Defense for Children International-Palestine, which records and reports abuses committed by Israel on Palestinian children, have been officially declared by Israel as terrorist organizations. Their offices were raided, records taken and doors welded shut by Israeli soldiers. Our government, Israel’s biggest supporter with $3.8 billion in tax dollars yearly, is allowing this to continue, making us complicit.

Are we friends of Israel when we support its moral self-destruction or the slow genocide it is committing? The claim is always security, but annihilation of indigenous Palestinians and blatant territorial expansion are the reality.

Please contact your representatives and insist that they work for security and equality for all living in Palestine/Israel.

Therese Mughannam-Walrath

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


The Ukrainian military on Monday started a long-awaited counter-offensive against Russian forces in the country's south, its southern command said on Monday.

Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk confirmed the offensive in a news briefing and said it included the Kherson region.

Ukraine has regularly stated its intention to retake its south, and in particular the city of Kherson, the only regional capital that Russia has been able to capture from Ukraine since it invaded six months ago. 

— Reuters

What to watch this week

Monday: A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency is on its way to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The IAEA's director, Rafael Mariano Grossi, is leading the mission.

Also Monday, Ukraine said it launched attacks against Russian forces in the south. Battles will be watched for signs of Ukraine's anticipated counteroffenseive to retake areas such as the city of Kherson.

Tuesday: European Union defense ministers and foreign ministers will meetin an informal summit in Prague, to continue through Wednesday. The foreign ministers are expected to decide on a proposed ban on Russian tourists.

Wednesday: Russia's Vostok-2022 military exercises will begin in the country's east, to continue through the week. China and India are among the countries expected to take part in the drills.

Thursday: The Venice Film Festival will host "Ukrainian Day," with a series of initiatives in support of Ukraine and its artists. 


* * *

* * *


by Patrick Cockburn

In 1989, I had a comical but revealing series of encounters with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, his palatial mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. He had bought the giant house, with 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms, four years earlier without realising that it was directly under the flight path from Palm Beach International Airport. This was undergoing rapid expansion and by the time I met him there were 200 flights a day roaring overhead.

Trump had responded to the devastating noise pollution by trying to make common cause with the less-well-off residents of West Palm Beach, who lived at the end of the runway. As with the plutocrats, they were suffering from the same chronic noise pollution that robbed them of sleep.

I learned about this furious row because I knew a Canadian paper magnate who had bought a house close to Mar-a-Lago at about the same time as Trump. My friend was bitter that the agency that sold him the property had carefully timed his visit for a moment in the afternoon when there were no planes flying directly overhead.

Trump’s first populist campaign

I did not know that I was watching Trump’s first populist campaign, which sought a curfew on night-time flying, a ban on noisier aircraft and the enforcement of existing noise regulations.

To me these demands seemed to be reasonable, but Trump’s attempt to create a popular front, combining billionaires and blue-collar workers, never really got off the ground. The two groups never bonded – the workers saying they might not like the noise but being eager for the extra jobs provided by an expanded airport.

I should have taken Trump’s abortive campaign more seriously. When I was in Palm Beach, the organisation he had set up to unite the diverse victims of aircraft noise seemed to be going nowhere fast. But a year later, I found that the agitation, along with the threat of legal action, had forced the airport to cut back on the noisiest aircraft.

The lesson I took from the episode was that people underestimated Trump because of his general weirdness. Strange he may have been, but as one of his former advisers put it, he is “a cunning nutter.” He may not have been very good, in 1989, at building what came to be called a “pluto-populist coalition”, but he was learning. When he made a grand entrance to the Republican convention in 2016 as their presidential candidate, he was hailed as “the blue-collar billionaire”.

Mar-a-Lago search will both harm and benefit Trump

Can he pull off another electoral triumph in 2024? He is now back at the center of the political stage thanks to the search by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago on August 8, looking for classified documents the former president is alleged to have taken from the White House. This has led to a prolonged and attention-grabbing legal wrangle about the disclosure of what precisely the FBI was looking for.

The furore over the Mar-a-Lago search will both harm and benefit Trump, strengthening him among his core supporters, which these days encompass most of the Republican Party, while hurting him among the half of the American population who detest him.

Democrats would like Trump to run again on the grounds that he is tainted by his record in office and his encouragement of those who stormed Congress on 6 January. They calculate that this would make him the easiest candidate to beat in a re-run of Biden’s narrow victory in 2020.

Democrats are playing a dangerous game

But this is a dangerous game to play, because they might get a re-run of the 2016 presidential election instead – when Hillary Clinton underestimated Trump’s bizarre but effective political abilities. As for the Republican leadership, they would privately prefer a more controllable candidate, like Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

All this is peculiarly unpredictable because both parties know that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v Wade two months ago made abortion rights a central political issue. But nobody knows if it will be a decisive issue, making all political calculations made earlier in the year out of date. Democrats, who had expected a rout in the midterm elections in November, are suddenly full of optimism.

A scattering of election results this week show that the Democrats have some reason for hope. A hotly contested special House election in New York’s Hudson Valley saw the Democrat, Pat Ryan, narrowly win after making abortion rights the central issue of his campaign.

Even President Biden – who tends to seem surprised by events and lowly position in the polls – is sounding confident and aggressive. Buoyed up by a string of legislative successes, he told a meeting of Democratic donors that “what we are seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme Maga [Make America Great Again] philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy… It’s like semi-fascism.”

It may be that the Democratic mood swing is too extreme because their hatred of Trump and the Trumpian Republican Party warps their judgement. “Jubilant Senate Democrats Head Home with momentum” reads a headline in the Washington Post, while Vanity Fair says that “Democrats are starting to see a path to victory in November”.

America may take a decisive step towards autocracy

But Democratic hopes stemming from abortion rights may be premature, washed away by the rising cost of living, with the average American paying far more for food, fuel and clothing. According to a US Census Bureau survey, more than 25 million American adults said they did not get enough to eat in the previous week. As for the midterm elections, an NBC poll shows that 47 per cent of registered voters want Republicans to control Congress and 45 per cent want the Democrats. Although Biden has had a good summer, he still has a 42 per cent approval rating, with disapproval at 57 per cent.

These are grim figures showing that the Maga Republicans are heading for a victory in the midterms and in the presidential election in 2024. America may take a decisive step towards autocracy with an extreme right-wing Supreme Court and a gerrymandered voting system that ends majority rule.

Trump’s one-man rule was undermined by his chaotic approach, but another Maga Republican president might be more systematic in ensuring that key institutions of state – such as the armed forces, judiciary, electoral authorities, FBI, Federal Reserve, IRS and intelligence services – have leaders loyal to the president and to the Maga creed.

Trump and his type of politician have learned a lot since I first saw them at work in Palm Beach 33 years ago. They will be difficult to stop.

(Patrick Cockburn is the author of War in the Age of Trump (Verso). Courtesy,

* * *

* * *


The former president and his allies have explained their plans quite clearly.

by Jonathan Rauch

Ever since the U.S. Senate failed to convict Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection and disqualify him from running for president again, a lot of people, myself included, have been warning that a second Trump term could bring about the extinction of American democracy. Essential features of the system, including the rule of law, honest vote tallies, and orderly succession, would be at risk.

Today, however, we can do more than just speculate about how a second Trump term would unfold, because the MAGA movement has been telegraphing its plans in some detail. In a host of ways—including the overt embrace of illiberal foreign leaders; the ruthless behavior of Republican elected officials since the 2020 election; Trump allies’ elaborate scheming, as uncovered by the House’s January 6 committee, to prevent the peaceful transition of power; and Trump’s own actions in the waning weeks of his presidency and now as ex-president—the former president and his allies have laid out their model and their methods.

Begin with the model. Viktor Orbán has been the prime minister of Hungary twice. His current tenure began in 2010. He is not a heavy-handed tyrant; he has not led a military coup or appointed himself maximum leader. Instead, he follows the path of what he has called “illiberal democracy.” Combining populist rhetoric with machine politics, he and his party, Fidesz, have rotted Hungarian democracy from within by politicizing media regulation, buying or bankrupting independent media outlets, appointing judges who toe the party line, creating obstacles for opposition parties, and more. Hungary has not gone from democracy to dictatorship, but it has gone from democracy to democracy-ish. Freedom House rates it only partly free. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’s ratings show declines in every democratic indicator since Fidesz took power.

The MAGA movement has studied Orbán and Fidesz attentively. Hungary is where Tucker Carlson, the leading U.S. conservative-media personality (who is sometimes mentioned as a possible presidential contender), took his show for a week of fawning broadcasts. Orbán is the leader whom the Conservative Political Action Conference brought in as a keynote speaker in August. He told the group what it loves to hear: “We cannot fight successfully by liberal means.” Trump himself has made clear his admiration for Orbán, praising him as “a strong leader and respected by all.”

The U.S. is an older and better-established democracy than Hungary. How, then, could MAGA acolytes emulate Orbán in the American context? To simplify matters, set aside the possibility of a stolen or contested 2024 election and suppose that Trump wins a fair Electoral College victory. In this scenario, beginning on January 20, 2025, he and his supporters set about bringing Budapest to the Potomac by increments. Their playbook…

* * *

WWI Tribute to the 8 Million Fallen Horses

* * *

BILLIONS IN ‘DARK MONEY’ is influencing US politics. We need disclosure laws. Whether you support or abhor Leo’s crusade, we should be able to agree on one larger non-partisan principle: such enormous sums of money should not be able to influence elections, lawmakers, judicial nominations and public policy in secret. And we should not have to rely on a rare leak to learn basic campaign finance facts that should be freely available to anyone. Unfortunately, thanks to our outdated laws, those facts are now hidden behind anonymity, shell companies and shadowy political groups. America is long overdue for an overhaul of its political disclosure laws — and news organizations in particular should be leading the charge for reform

* * *

Owls, 1485

* * *


by James Kunstler

Yes, things are wilding up nicely in Western Civ as we bid farewell to summer and the elites return from their sacrosanct vacations to the task of crashing our world. You can feel it in every quarter of public and private life. Funny, especially, is the Party of Chaos trying to label their opponents as “fascists” — by which they mean anyone opposed to chaos, the “Joe Biden” regime’s preferred mode of existence.

The West’s biggest project these days, the war it provoked over Ukraine, turned out to be a giant Acme land-mine under the West’s collective Wile E. Coyote ass. As Russia advances implacably there and financial sanctions fizzle, behold the scramble in Europe now among citizens desperate to not freeze to death in the months ahead. This is the third time in a hundred-odd years that Germany has attempted suicide, and this time it looks like it’s going to work. Farewell nice German cars, machine tools, and other symbols of industrial might. In feckless Poland, the folks are out gathering lumps of coal and scouring the forest floor for firewood — they’re forbidden by law from cutting standing timber. Mr. Macron tells France she must accept “reduced living standards.” Looks like Brexit did not go far enough as the UK holds hands with the rest of NATO tromping into economic oblivion.

Think the USA is doing better? The summer rally in financial markets was just another frame in the Looney Tunes festival that American life has become. The Fed Chair, Mr. Powell, said all the parts out loud at the annual Jackson Hole banker meet-up last week: look out below, we’ve decided to take this sucker down (in the immortal words of George W. Bush), since pretending to stoke prosperity via Modern Monetary Theory only results in, duh, ruinous inflation. This raises the question, though, as to which is more politically damaging: inflation or depression? It is really only the difference between having plenty of worthless money or having no money at all.

The institutional rot eating away at our national underpinnings got more exposed last week when Mark Zuckerberg stupidly blurted to Joe Rogan that, yes, in the fall of 2020 the FBI warned Facebook — “came to the folks on our team,” he put it, smarmily — about a Russian disinformation campaign underway, wink wink. And so, Facebook turned the volume down to zero on certain news about a laptop belonging to one Hunter Biden stuffed with selfie porn (prostitutes included), video evidence of narcotics use, and deal memos about worldwide influence peddling involving the whole dang Biden family. FBI chief Chris Wray quickly jumped in to clarify that the FBI “routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.”

Roger that. The part Mr. Wray left out was that he and everybody else on the fabled seventh floor of the J. Edgar Hoover building knew darn well that the Biden laptop story was not Russian Disinfo, raising the question: who do they now think is supposed to believe the FBI’s obvious bullshit? And why is Chris Wray still running the FBI? And, of course, Mr. Zuckerberg surely knew the truth of the matter as well — though at the time he was busy shoveling more than $300-million into election swing districts for the express purpose of changing-out local officials with his own crew to queer the balloting in favor of international grifter “Joe Biden.”

The inventory of lies retailed by the FBI is so vast and gross that the agency had to resort to raiding Mar-a-Lago three weeks ago in defiance of all known precedent and settled law regarding presidential records. The reason: Mr. Trump, the former president, had exactly such a cataloged inventory of the FBI lies used during his term in office to overthrow him with the Crossfire Hurricane nonsense, and was prepared to introduce said evidence in the lawsuit he has initiated in a Florida federal court against Hillary Clinton and a rogue’s gallery of campaign aides and allied federal officials who assisted in concocting the RussiaGate operation. The aim of the Mar-a-Lago raid: to un-declassify all that material — via a probably illegal order by “Joe Biden” — so as to prevent it from being introduced as evidence in the lawsuit. Somehow, the news media failed to report that part of the story, and even the alt media has missed that last detail.

And now, despite walking back their guideline Covid-19 policies this month, the CDC and its sister public health agencies are ready to push a new edition of Big Pharma’s Covid (so-called) “vaccines,” despite visibly rising all-causes death numbers across Western Civ that appear, more and more, attributable only to the “vaccines.” The vaxx-happy bureaucracy will not be stopped by the captive federal justice system but the attorneys general of fifty states could each act against the program, which has violated every module of the Nuremberg Code against human medical experimentation, as well as US law. It may be too late for the medical profession to redeem its lost sacred honor.

The catch here is that, at this point in the disgraceful story, only Woked-up liberals vying for the Darwin Award will fall for the new vaxxes. Everybody else is onto the scam and hip to the danger, and mandates have worn out their welcome. Liberal Wokery has turned out to be a form of stupidly booby-trapped, self-limiting neo-Nazism. There is your Party of Chaos in a nutshell.

It remains for Mr. Trump to renounce his support for the evil fruits of the Warp Speed operation he presided over. He must face the fact that he was played, and he may be forgiven, considering all the evidence coming recently from the likes of Deborah Birx and others that he was lied to and manipulated. But he doesn’t have much more time to get it right, or else his political career will be over well before the 2024 election. That may be all for the better. America probably needs a clean sweep of our desecrated political landscape. All in all, Mr. Trump was a good soldier, brave and resolute under tremendous adversity, but he’s not the only one who can lead our country back to itself.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

John and Annie Dilling Gordon, Little River

* * *


I can vaguely remember a tag team match, ‘Mr. T’ vs ‘King Kong Bundy’, each wrestler with a midget on his team. The match took a tragic turn when King Kong Bundy slammed Mr. Ts midget on the canvas, breaking his back.

Here are a few 60s midget wrestlers:

Fuzzy Cupid


Little Beaver


Tiny the Terrible

Sky Low Low

I think it was Mr. Low Low who got his back broke by King Kong Bundy.

Some nights there would be all against all Midget Wrestling Matches that included 30 midgets in the ring at the same time participating in a mini-Royal Rumble; other nights, it was Andre the Giant or Haystacks Calhoun vs. a team of six midgets, like Gulliver being taken down by the little people.

Who brought up the subject of dwarfs? See what you started. Now it won’t end, like fruit pies.

* * *

(The Economist, August, 2022)


  1. Marmon August 30, 2022


    According to FEC records, Biden filed to run for re-election! He filed on August 26, 2022.


    • Harvey Reading August 30, 2022

      He probably forgot he was senile.

  2. Eric Sunswheat August 30, 2022

    RE: The inventory of lies retailed by the FBI is so vast and gross that the agency had to resort to raiding Mar-a-Lago three weeks ago in defiance of all known precedent and settled law regarding presidential records. (James Kunstler)

    ->. August 9, 2022
    The timing — before Trump announced his candidacy and months out from the midterms — appears to be in line with the Department of Justice standard of not taking overt investigative steps that could be perceived as politically motivated within 90 days of an election.

    Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, told CNN the decision to execute the raid on August 8 is likely because midterm elections were coming up in exactly three months — on November 8.

    “Today is just about 90 days out exactly from the midterms, I think maybe 91 or 92 days out,” Konig told CNN. “That policy, that may be a reason why they did it today because they want to stay clear of that if they’re interpreting that as a 90 day rule.”

  3. Bill Pilgrim August 30, 2022

    re: the SFAI.
    It’s shocking that in a city and metropolitan area so awash with private and corporate wealth an iconic (since the 1940s), renowned, trend-setting fine arts institution would be allowed to fail.

  4. Marshall Newman August 30, 2022

    Gaye LeBaron – Salute!

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