Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022

Warm Weekend | Downtown Meeting | Whitesboro Dinner | Youth Basketball | PO Scam | Motorcycle Accident | Dog Kennels | Tony Anderson | Leash Law | Meet Priscilla | Norman Williamson | 1880 Logging | AVUSD News | Marijuana Marathon | Creek Crossing | Enough Pot | Old Mendocino | Equity Program | Rib Dinner | Bostrodamus | Wood Spirit | Murray Case | Sierra Water | Old Growth | Accidental Goose | Yesterday's Catch | Last Resort | Proxy War | Putin Right | Ukraine News | Devastation | Abolish CIA | Kali Ma | Marco Radio | Ax Trick | Loretta Lynn | Gas Prices | War Talk | Evergreen | Fed Pardon | JW Training | ISL Theory | Pudding Creek | Totalitarian Democracy | Intersection | Ukraine | General Syrski | Guesswork News | Greek Politics | Guys Alone | Murder | Gorilla Guy | Must Change

* * *

DRY WEATHER with above normal interior temperatures are forecast through next week. Coastal areas will continue to have low clouds and fog this weekend, with some clearing each afternoon. (NWS)

* * *

* * *


What's better than Spaghetti Dinner at the Grange? Hmm...nothing we can think of! So come on out and join Whitesboro Grange on Saturday, October 8 from 4-7PM for our bi-monthly Spaghetti Dinner night! Whitesboro Grange is located at 32510 Navarro Ridge Rd. in Albion.

For the bargain price of only $10 (adults), and $5 (kids 6-12) you'll get all the salad, spaghetti, garlic bread and dessert you can eat. In these days of inflation, how can you beat that!

Are you a little shy? We'll never fear - there's no strangers here. If you walk in and no one knows your name they will soon! We're a very friendly bunch.

Grange proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations such as the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, and food banks.

Wendy Meyer <>

* * *

* * *

SOME PHILO RESIDENTS ARE REPORTING an on-line post office scam involving a bogus email notice of a pending package delivery which, if clicked on, asks for personal info before delivery, but which is a fake post office notice. Do not click on it. If received, report it to your nearest post office so they can notify the Postal Inspection authorities.

* * *

Abraham Sanchez and his Dad

AV VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER Abraham Sanchez was injured in a motorcycle accident on Monday morning. Although he sustained major injuries to his right foot and several other injuries, he is in good spirits and ready to start the healing process. 

Abraham started with AVFD as a high school cadet over six years ago and has continued to respond as a volunteer firefighter since. He also regularly deploys on statewide strike team assignments for wildland fires around the state each summer. His positive personality and willingness to embrace challenge has always been one of his great qualities and he is continuing that attitude in this new and unfortunate challenge. Get better soon Abraham, AVFD wishing you a quick recovery!!

* * *


Dog Kennels are full. We cannot accept any dogs at this time. Unfortunately, due to the dog owners and keepers failing them the Animal Shelter has become overcrowded. This has placed Animal Care Services in the very tough position of having to euthanize dogs due not having any available kennel space. The dogs pictured in the below link are scheduled to be euthanized on Friday, October 14, 2022 if not adopted. These dogs are “free.” The only charge is $25 for a dog license.

Due to many stray dogs being picked up by the Animal Protection Unit and dropped off by citizens recently our dog kennels are full. We need dog owners that know their dog(s) are here to come to the Animal Shelter to reclaim their lost dogs ASAP. We ask that citizens who find a stray dog(s) to please attempt to locate the owner. Citizens can also send us their contact info, a picture of the lost dog, the location the dog was found to the below link and we can post the lost dog(s) picture & information on our Facebook page.

If there is no reduction in the high population of dogs at the Animal Shelter then there is a high probability that euthanasia for space will occur. If this was to occur there would be up to approximately (10) dogs that would be euthanized. 

We encourage anyone that is wanting to adopt a dog to fill out an adoption application. We have reduced our adoption prices by 50%. These prices have been in place for over six months to entice more adoptions. Any assistance that we can get from the community would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Mendocino County Animal Care Services

* * *


Tony Anderson

The Fort Bragg Timberwolves Homecoming game is tonight at Timberwolf Stadium against longtime football rival the Middletown Mustangs. Besides the excitement of the game and all the homecoming festivities, there will be a special presentation in honor of the late, great Tony Anderson, who as “Tony the Mike” was the popular Public Address announcer for all the home football games for the last 17 years. 

There will be a brief ceremony in his honor between the JV and the varsity game tonight. Tony passed away earlier this year unexpectedly and he is missed by all who knew him. Besides his work with our youth, he also volunteered at the Fort Bragg Food Bank where he was known for his smile and good cheer. Please come honor his legacy this evening. The JV game starts at 5:30 with varsity game to follow. The 2022 Homecoming Spirit Awards will be announced during halftime of the varsity game as well. Hope to see you there!

* * *


Hi Folks,

This is a friendly reminder to keep your dogs on a leash when on the school campuses. Mrs. Simson does not want dogs on campus. It is an insurance issue. Mendocino County has a leash law. Early this morning a young deer was found dead near the farm pasture and baseball field. It looks as if it was killed by a dog or a coyote. About 6:30am there was a ruckus (livestock screaming) in that area. An employee observed a woman walking her two dogs at that time. One dog was leashed and one dog was not. Were they involved? I do not know.

All was quiet when I arrived on campus at 7am. The livestock on the back pastures were very nervous. They did not want to come to eat. Not normal.

The flock of deer that have been on the farm this week have disappeared.

Please keep the livestock, the wildlife, the students, yourself and your dog safe. Use a leash. Be aware of your surroundings in the early morning and evening as you walk.

* * *

* * *


Norman Daniel Williamson, known to family, friends and students as Norm, a resident of Ukiah since he was two years old, passed away peacefully at his home in Ukiah on July 1, 2022, at age 97, with loving family members present. Norm believed his career as an English teacher in Ukiah was his calling and he was very proud of his connections with his students, first for more than more than 15 years at Ukiah High School and then for another 15 years at Mendocino College. His love of many generations of students was reciprocated. Even when Norm had been retired from teaching more than thirty years, he was still often greeted by former students. He will be remembered for the incredible decades-long legacy of his many years of teaching English.

Norm was preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years, Maggie, his son Mike, his uncle Al Lokkerie, and his sister Virginia Williamson. He is survived by daughter Mary Williamson-Ingoldsby, and two sons, Dan (Lynn) and Ted. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Mimi (JoAnna), Rachel, Krissy (Sebrina), Dan Jr (Michelle), Emily (Matt), Jennifer, Becca (Stan), and Kimmy, as well as 13 great-grandchildren.

Norm attended Ukiah schools, including Ukiah High School, to which he returned to teach. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in Engineering, and from San Francisco State University with an MA in English. Throughout his teaching career, Norm continuously enrolled in advanced courses to broaden his knowledge of western literature and to enrich his classes.

Norm expressed his love of language by becoming a prolific haiku and occasional sonnet writer. He left his family and friends over twenty volumes of his writing, which he hand bound himself with his own bookbinding tools and press. No student who took his literature classes ever forgot that “haiku” is “Ukiah” spelled backwards.

Throughout his life, Norm served his country and community in many ways. 

Norm received a commission in the United States Navy in 1944, when he was only 19 years old. He served in the South Pacific until the end of World War II. He remained an active Navy Reservist for thirty years and retired at the rank of Commander. Norm was a parishioner of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Ukiah since 1952, and served many years on the Vestry. He also became a member of the Evangelical Free Church in Ukiah and held leadership positions. For several years he was a Teaching Leader with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), an international organization, through which he founded and led the Santa Rosa BSF Mens' class. Norm was a member of Rotary International, coached Cross Country and Track at Ukiah High School, and coached Little League and Coast League baseball teams in Ukiah. After Norm retired from teaching, he regularly visited rest homes in Ukiah, playing old favorites on the piano and taking requests from residents, who greatly enjoyed his visits.

An avid long distance runner, Norm competed in full and half Marathons. In his first Marathon, he was proud to finish in first place in his age group (over 40). He continued to run daily into his sixties, when he switched to daily long distance walking, most days with wife Maggie at his side. He was a daily walker for almost the entire rest of his life.

Together with wife Maggie, Norm loved to travel. In his post-retirement years Norm and Maggie took trips together by car, train, ship and plane. They happily traveled to much of the United States, including a cruise to Alaska, and took trips to Mexico and many countries in Europe. Everywhere they went they collected new friendships and great stories.

A Memorial Service will be held for Norm with date and time forthcoming.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

* * *

Fort Bragg Woods, 1880

* * *


Dear Anderson Valley Unified School Community,

Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Please remember that Monday is a holiday. 

Thank you for your participation and collaboration on our parent/student/teacher conferences. It is always so wonderful to have the opportunity to talk with you about your students’ strengths, growth and goals for the future! 

Emergency septic repairs are underway at the elementary site. We were having to remove the sewage by truck weekly, so this expensive band aid is the solution for a temporary fix until we can get a new system approved and built.

We are delighted that three of the four heaters at the high school gym are completely functioning! The basketball season will be warm! Measure M planning is on-going for the first phase of improvements.

Students are working hard and were recognized in a student-centered assembly at the elementary school last week, and the Jr./Sr. High Honor Roll will have its first ceremony on October 25 at 5:30 for our students and families.

Field trips are back at both sites and kids are out and about! Here is the visit to UC Berkeley Thursday with Ali Cook’s class and a World Cup game. Got to LOVE IT!

We are proud of your kids!

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017

* * *


by Mark Scaramella

Independent Coast Observer reporter Susan Wolbarst saved everybody a lot of time and trouble this week by summarizing Tuesday's painfully long Board of Supervisors discussion of the County's cannabis permit and equity grant programs as “Mendo Supes Marathon Meeting Accomplishes Nothing For Cannabis Growers.” 

“Cannabis growers who attended Tuesday's 10-hour plus meeting walked away disheartened,” reported Wolbarst. “The 12 recommendations assembled by the ad hoc committee of Supervisors Glenn McGourty and John Haschak and stakeholders [i.e., pot permit applicants] over the course of a year were debated and amended. Many were kicked down the road to the general Government Committee for future discussion.”

Supervisor McGourty insisted that the Cannabis ad hoc committee and staff didn’t just “work hard” on their reform proposals, but they “worked really really hard.” 

Supervisor Haschak said that his ad hoc “tried” to “work” to “understand all the issues” for “all the people” to give them “an opportunity” to get a license via a “collaboration” with the “cannabis community” for “shovel ready projects.” 

But for all their really, really hard work, they didn’t change a thing, and postponed further discussion of a couple of the proposals to the November 3 meeting.

McGourty wrapped up the long, tedious, and ultimately pointless discussion by pretending (again) that talking about the problem but doing nothing amounts to some kind of big accomplishment. “As difficult as this process has been, at least we had a conversation,” sighed McGourty, adding, “we turned around ideas. … I realize a lot of it isn’t going to move forward, but a lot of it will” — a seeming contradiction in terms — without saying which of the “a lot of it” will “move forward,” or when, or if at all, for that matter. If you believe that “a lot of it” will “move forward,” I’ve got a $20.5 million Psychiatric Health Facility over on Whitmore Lane that will open before any, much less “a lot of,” pot permit reform occurs.

McGourty then twisted the knife a final time with some patently disingenuous blather at the very end of the meeting, dismissively shrugging off the pot growers complaints because “some of the problems” they are having are “just the normal cycle of agricultural commodities and how things work,” failing to acknowledge in the slightest his Board’s pathetic dithering and their entirely unworkable permit program. “If all we had to deal with was the normal ag cycle,” said an exasperated pot grower later, “we wouldn’t have shown up for that useless meeting.”

In fact, if McGourty and his fellow grape growers (which they always refer to as “agriculture” knowing that it’s not) had to suffer what the County subjects legal pot growers to, they’d be out of business in a year. 

* * *

Crossing Alder Creek from Camp 11, 1920

* * *


To the Editor:

How many pot stores does Ukiah need? Our population is a little over 15,000. Would you say one store would be sufficient? Five permits have been issued for pot stores just within the city limits. Of course there are more just outside the city limits. So there is at least one pot store for every 3,000 people.

Several weeks ago the Ukiah Daily Journal ran an article about how deleterious pot use is. Yet our city blithely continues to issue permits, even when the permit request is directly against stated parameters, such as being next door to an occupied dwelling.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Pot costs us in terms of police and fire calls and crimes generated by the criminal element it attracts, probably more than the dollars our elected officials hope to garner from taxes on pot sales.

I suggest that the city council impose a limit on the number of permits for pot stores. Five stores are more than enough for every man, woman and child in Ukiah.

Janet Freeman


* * *

Standard Oil, Mendocino

* * *

SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS responded on Facebook to our recent story on the County’s Equity Grant Proposal discussion at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting:

Williams: “The motivation isn't for the county to ‘keep’ money or halt the equity program. It's possible for the equity program to not place the county in a role of violating federal law. There is a legitimate governmental role in regulatory programs. Crossing that line has potential to open a can of worms, for example, imagine someone on staff having angst over being directed to violate federal law. I would hope that all of the existing grant applications are permissible under federal law, but if not, I don't believe it would materially alter allocations. Issuing government dollars for a cultivator to buy clones is clearly over the line, but covering expenses related to culverts, security, fencing, environmental reports, compliant energy transitions and all of the other expenses related to gaining a state license are compatible.”

* * *

* * *



I believe it's time for the editor's six weeks of vacation — three weeks on either side of important elections. His candidates never win. Filling in for the editor will be that veteran news man Pete Golis. The AVA will have a different smell with a guy who talks the Democratic Party ticket but votes for Republicans.

This will be a good time for the doppelganger to review his specialty, county government. Never has county government been so thoroughly reported. Who reads it? It might be a good idea to look at the Willits Weekly and see how they do it. All the news of the county is condensed into a single column or less.

There are some things I like about the Press Democrat such as their reprinting of articles, columnist Maureen Dowd, politically accurate cartoons. There are several places that are in need of improvement. 

For example, when something happens I would contact Feinstein, Padilla, Thompson and Huffman and find out where they stand. How am I supposed to know who to vote for? Occasionally the Press Democrat prints a page advertising themselves. It might as well be left blank. You would think they would have something ready to fill that page like a chapter from Oliver Twist. Have you noticed that the Press Democrat never prints maps except when there is a fire on their doorstep? I have a list of ten proposals that would make the Press Democrat a better newspaper but I am not going to send it to them unless they ask for it. What do you think are the chances of that happening? Not ruddy likely, mate.

To those who are wondering how to vote on Propositions 26 and 27, when gambling remember when you are betting against the house, the chances are that you will lose. If you are betting on the horses or playing cards you are playing against your neighbors. Skill counts and the house collects around 15% for putting on the show. Skill is important. One of the two most famous people in Willits reads the AVA (Dr. William Bowen being the other) every week. He went out to Reno and entered a big playing card contest and blew them away. I guess that is Willits' claim to fame since several murders on Main Street 150 years ago.

Ralph Bostrom


* * *


Jefftrey St. Clair posted a Native American quote about trees that talk to those who listen and so I carved this wood spirit, but remember, the spirit has no eyes.

* * *


Dear Editor,

Here's my view on Kevin Murray's court verdict:

Murray got a lenient sentence because those in power are going easy on him and keeping quiet about the trial because they are scared that Murray could expose (either truthfully or falsely or both) the corruption in local government he was well placed to know about as a mid-level corrupt police officer working for years in Ukiah. By not charging him with the three felonies, the charges can be held in reserve as a threat to Murray not to make accusations of illegal activities of government officials.

John Kennaugh

San Francisco

* * *


My neighbor's pond never goes down, even at the height of summer. Most ponds, that can be seen from the roads go down or are almost dry by mid-summer but not this one. So this prompted me to check my wells. The first one had 120 feet of water in it so I didn't bother to check the other one. 

The Valley well people tell me that all our water comes from the Sierras. How that is possible I don't know. But I don't doubt it because they dropped some marker in the water up there, which eventually their tests found here. Can't argue with that.

* * *

* * *


Experience the Bond Humans can Have with the Animals Around Us

Conversations with a Gosling, The Accidental Goose, a new book by John Hewitt M.D; ABEM, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

A mixture of short stories shows the bond of a goose and humans. With Ponteuf, the goose, being able to talk, the devotion to his fellow human is touching. Ponteuf learns many lessons during his conversations with John, his caretaker. He is full of punchlines, and Ponteuf's quirky thoughts are sure to make you laugh. The inspiration of conservation of species was inspired by Jacques Cousteau.

John Hewitt M.D; ABEM was a professor of Emergency Medicine. He also was a director of EMS systems in Oregon and California. His certification included Trauma and Cardiac Life Support Instructor.

His coexistent art career involved 20 years as art instructor at Pacific Union College extension service. He is a signature member of several watercolor societies, most notably Transparent Watercolor Society of American and proudly an elected member of the Watercolor Honor Society. He is also founder of the Mendocino Open Paint Out which is well known to all plein air artists.

Conversations with a Gosling, The Accidental Goose is a 138-page paperback with a retail price of $47.00 (eBook $42.00). The ISBN is 978-1-6376-4252-8. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at to buy the book visit our online bookstore at

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 5, 2022

Arrellanes, Camacho, Damante

ANTONIO ARRELLANES-JIMENEZ, Guinda/Ukiah. Importation of more than an ounce of pot, pot possession for sale, conspiracy.

DULIO CAMACHO-MATA, San Jose/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.

GIANCARLO DAMANTE, Fort Bragg. Cultivation of more than six marijuana plants, renting to distribute controlled substance.

Gonzalez, Portillo, Rosales, Shanoff

JAIME GONZALEZ JR., Ukiah. Burglary.

HECTOR PORTILLO, Corning/Ukiah. Importation of more than an ounce of pot, pot possession for sale, no license, conspiracy.

FABIAN ROSALES-REYES, Ukiah. False personation of another, parole violation.

TIMOTHY SHANOFF, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, shoplifting, brandishing, criminal threats.

Simmons, Vaughn, Zacarias

JAMES SIMMONS, Laytonville. Parole violation.

MOTECUHZOMA VAUGHN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance for sale, tear gas, violent felon with body armor, unspecified offense.

AZAIAH ZACARIAS, Ukiah. Resisting.

* * *


David Lee Hoffman knows the way he has chosen to live for nearly 50 years is unconventional, maybe even a little bit crazy and likely against the law.

In 1973, after years of travel abroad to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam, Mr. Hoffman bought two acres of land in Marin County, Calif., a lush, leafy peninsula across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. 

Since then, he’s built a sanctuary to showcase his ideas about environmental sustainability: the Shower Tower, the Worm Palace (crucial to his composting toilet), the Tea Cave (where he has stored more than 50,000 pounds of rare, aged tea), the Tea Pagoda (where he’s hosted tea ceremonies for friends and dignitaries for more than 40 years) and so many more. 

He calls it The Last Resort and he never had permission to build any of it. “I’ve been a scofflaw all my life,” said Mr. Hoffman, 78. “I have to recognize that.”

photos by Matthew Millman for The New York Times

That hasn’t stopped Mr. Hoffman, a team of lawyers and a bevy of supporters from trying to save his property, even as the county government, backed by a court-appointed receiver, seeks to remove him, destroy the structures and sell the land to build a single-family home. To the people trying to help Mr. Hoffman, the heart of the fight is about property rights and what should be considered historic.…

* * *



While both parties are happy to have a proxy war in Europe, I think they are fools. We have spent way too much money that we do not have. Months ago we could have had the war ended. Instead we decided on regime change in Russia. Russia purportedly bombed its own natural gas pipeline. If this doesn’t warn you that Vladimir Putin will send nukes, you are just sleepy. If Putin sees his life over, regime change, ka-boom. How many governments have we toppled in the past 75 years? Have any of them turned out well? Tell the Ukrainians to settle. Stop sowing the seeds of World War III.

Timothy Long


* * *


One of today's guests on Democracy Now!, Kavita Krishnan, just stepped down as a leader of India's Communist Party over its pro-Putin stance in the Ukraine War, expanding on a point that I have been making in various comments here, that Putin is a person of the right and that outside of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine, a minority whose size has been exaggerated by Putin's apologists, he is supported by right wing governments and dictatorships around the world with whom he maintains the best of relations: CHECK IT OUT!

Kavita Krishnan; Modi & Putin

"Last month, Modi told Russia President Vladimir Putin that today’s era is not one for war. Modi’s remarks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan were widely interpreted as criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But despite Modi’s comments, India has seen its economic ties to Russia grow since the February invasion. India now imports about 750,000 barrels of oil from Russia per day. That’s up from about 20,000 barrels a day a year ago."

* * *

BETSY CAWN passes along a reliable source....

Ukrainian Freedom News, Independent news source from within Ukraine:

* * *

Ten Mile River Watershed, 1929

* * *


“Secrecy keeps mistakes secret. Secrecy is a disease. It causes a hardening of the arteries of the mind.”

It was Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He was not referring to the secrecy around “a personnel matter,” or “juveniles” or “health information,” or “pending litigation,” or “labor and property negotiations,” or “attorney work product,” or private contractors doing public work claiming that their public data is proprietary, or law enforcement disciplinary records, or things that are “under investigation” seemingly forever, or “it’s still being drafted,” or useful material buried in reams of trivialities, or self-selected bureaucratic reporting, or unintelligible gibberish, or the many other obstacles to the kind of “transparency” that our local politicians like to genuflect in front of. 

No. Moynihan was referring to the CIA back in the 1980s when he suggested that the agency be abolished because of their failure to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moynihan thought the CIA’s info gathering functions should be turned over to the State Department. (Spoiler Alert: We still have the CIA.)

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *


Mother Kali

You are being sent this beautiful image of the warrior goddess Kali Ma for ritual purposes. Please do your part to destroy the demonic and to return this world to righteousness. Thank you very much!

Craig Louis Stehr,

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio all night Friday night!

Hi, Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio next week. Or maybe even tonight anyway, if I remember to look at my phone.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time:

Any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. And you'll find a fishnet stocking bulging with intriguing items to tack up on your mental walls until showtime, or any time, such as:

Here's something that will tack /itself/ in your head and never leave. I haven't heard this song in years; Thursday I woke up with it blasting in my head, and twenty times since then there it is again. Here it is for you:

Let's learn a little about Martha and the Vandellas. First off, there was no Martha. They were Annette, Rosalind, and Gloria. Then Martha showed up and Gloria was all like, /That's it! I'm gone!/ Something like that.

And "I've been an engineer on one of the biggest laser driven inertial confinement fusion reactors for a couple decades now and I'll be blunt, the vast majority of fusion hype videos on the internet, or anywhere really, are hot garbage not at all worth my time. This video really impressed me though, both in its accuracy and detail, and its relative thoroughness in examination of the RFC scheme for magnetically confined fusion." (For the short of attention span, skip ahead about 7 or 8 minutes.)

— Marco McClean,,

* * *

Tricks with Axe, Fort Bragg

* * *

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR: Loretta Lynn’s rise to become one of the most important musicians of the 20 Century was just as improbable as that of Elvis or BB King. Perhaps even more so, given that she ascended not only out of economic destitution but came to hold opinions that were fundamentally counter to the culture she came to dominate like no other before or since:

+ Loretta Lynn: “I loved being outside. We’d hold lightning bugs in our fingers and pretend they were diamond rings.”

+ Loretta Lynn: “I wasn’t for the Vietnam War. When I told that to the hippie newspaper, all my people got nervous.”

+ Loretta Lynn: “I think Charley Pride has been one of the best things to happen to country music.”

+ Loretta Lynn: “I didn’t know how babies were made until I had my fourth child.”

+ Loretta Lynn: “I’m proud of being part Cherokee, and I think it’s time all us Indians felt the same way. I’d love to work more with the American Indians. My people.”

+ Loretta Lynn: “I know what it’s like to be nervous, pregnant and poor.”

* * *

* * *

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A JUST WAR, never an honorable one — on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful — as usual — will shout for the war. The pulpit will — warily and cautiously — object — at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, “It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.” Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers — as earlier — but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation — pulpit and all — will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

— Mark Twain, from The Mysterious Stranger

* * *

* * *

LIKE THE END OF THE AFGHAN WAR, the pardoning of people convicted of federal marijuana possession crimes is long overdue, but Biden did it and deserves credit for it, so far as it goes. Still as with all Biden proposals from the $2,000 check to Student Loan Forgiveness, you’ve got to read the fine print and here the welcome marijuana pardons seem a little less impressive. Biden will pardon 6,500 people convicted of federal pot possession, one of the largest mass pardons in history. But none of these people currently are jailed and there will be no pardons for the more than 2,700 people in federal prison for dealing pot. It might be nice to pardon some people who actually are IN PRISON, like those convicted for dealing a substance Biden says has been over- (if not wrongly) criminalized.

Trump actually pardoned a few people who were doing time. This measure won’t get anyone out of jail and won’t necessarily keep anyone from going to jail on federal pot charges in the future.

Moreover, there are thousands of people doing much more time than they should because a pot arrest was used as an enhancing factor in the “get tough” sentences Bill Clinton and Joe Biden scripted into the Crime Bill. Free them too!

Will the Biden administration stop testing federal workers for THC (not just CBD)? Will it rehire the hundreds of federal employees fired for marijuana use, including dozens of workers fired after admitting to past marijuana use when applying for medical waivers? 

— Jeffrey St. Clair

* * *

* * *

THE MOST TERRIFYING CASE Of All Is About To Be Heard By The US Supreme Court

A supermajority of six, unelected ultraconservatives justice — five of which were put on the bench by presidents who did not win the popular vote — have aggressively grabbed yet another batch of cases that will allow them to move American law to the extreme right and threaten US democracy in the process. The leading example of this disturbing shift is a little-known case called Moore v Harper, which could lock in rightwing control of the United States for generations.

The heart of the Moore case is a formerly fringe legal notion called the Independent State Legislature (ISL) theory. This theory posits that an obscure provision in the US constitution allowing state legislatures to set “time, place, and manner” rules for federal elections should not be subject to judicial oversight. In other words, state legislatures should have the absolute power to determine how federal elections are run without court interference.

* * *

Pudding Creek Trestle

* * *


Orwell, Huxley, Babbitt, Voegelin, etc. — they all saw it coming; they lived its early days. Totalitarian democracy. Solzhenitsyn and Havel warned the West. A dozen worms cannot gnaw on the same apple endlessly, to infinity. The earth is finite, Progress cannot be eternal. We are led by maniacs.

* * *

The Traffic Warden

* * *


Russia’s Retreat: After significant gains in eastern cities like Lyman, Ukraine is pushing farther into Russian-held territory in the south, expanding its campaign as Moscow struggles to mount a response and hold the line. The Ukrainian victories came as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia illegally annexed four regions where fighting is raging.

Dugina Assassination: U.S. intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorized the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist. American officials said they were not aware of the plan ahead of time and that they had admonished Ukraine over it.

Oil Supply Cuts: Saudi Arabia and Russia, acting as leaders of the OPEC Plus energy cartel, agreed to a large production cut in a bid to raise prices, countering efforts by the United States and Europe to constrain the oil revenue Moscow is using to pay for its war in Ukraine.

Putin’s Nuclear Threats: For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, top Russian leaders are making explicit nuclear threats and officials in Washington are gaming out scenarios should Mr. Putin decide to use a tactical nuclear weapon.

* * *

Most people outside Ukraine, even military analysts, have never heard of Oleksander Syrski. But Colonel General Syrski has a claim to being the most successful general of the 21st century so far. This is the guy who is defeating the Russians. A country at war is only as good as it's generals.

* * *


A New York Times story pinning an assassination on Ukraine was a blockbuster, but why was it made public? How news in the "Information Warfare" age has become incomprehensible

by Matt Taibbi

On Wednesday, October 5, the New York Times published a blockbuster story, “U.S. Believes Ukrainians Were Behind an Assassination in Russia.” Citing “American officials” in claiming “United States intelligence agencies” now believe “parts of the Ukrainian government” were responsible for the car-bomb assassination of Russian nationalist Daria Dugina* on August 19th, the paper wrote:

“The United States took no part in the attack, either by providing intelligence or other assistance, officials said. American officials also said they were not aware of the operation ahead of time and would have opposed the killing had they been consulted. Afterward, American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, they said.”

The article is a Rubik’s cube whose stickers have been switched all over, leaving no possible solution. Turn it over as much as you like, you won’t figure out what you’re reading. 

The key news is clearly the fact the article was even published. Someone in the U.S. government took an extraordinary step of outing our intelligence agencies’ supposed belief that Ukraine was involved in the bombing. Writers Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman, Adam Entous and Michael Schwirtz do at one point address this, saying “Countries traditionally do not discuss other nations’ covert actions,” but in this case, “some American officials believe it is crucial” to “curb what they see as dangerous adventurism, particularly political assassinations.” 

All this info was ascribed to a “closely held assessment of Ukrainian complicity,” also referred to throughout as an “American intelligence assessment,” which was “shared within the U.S. government last week.” Who wrote the assessment? What office? The piece doesn’t say, but does add toward the bottom that “officials from the State Department, National Security Council, Pentagon and C.I.A. declined to comment on the intelligence assessment.”

Reading the news since the invasion has become a kaleidoscopic guessing game. There are just too many factors warping the informational landscape now to make sense of anything. 

Aggressive content moderation and self-censorship mean you won’t see a skeptical point of view in many if not most news reports. The blurring of lines between private press and officialdom — more on that in a moment — means you almost never know if you’re reading something leaked intentionally, or accidentally. Finally, the U.S. has been boasting for seven months now about its use of media as a war weapon, deploying special “tiger teams” of National Security Officials who leak intelligence for strategic reasons. In those cases, leaders in Russia or China or Syria or wherever rather than the ostensible readership might be a newspaper’s real target audience. 

“It’s what we used to call, when the Russians did it, information warfare,” former CIA officer John Sipher clucked proudly in The Guardian before the invasion. 

In the extant New York Times piece, you don’t know if you’re reading a piece of news leaked by someone in the White House in defiance of the intelligence officials who wrote the assessment, or if it was leaked by someone in the intelligence services in defiance of the White House. It also could be a unified front of officials who brought the story to the Timesto send a message to Ukraine, Russia, or both. It could be the U.S. government expressing general displeasure, both with whichever of the “competing power centers within the Ukrainian government” was responsible for the assassination, and with whatever “parts of the Ukrainian government…may not have been aware of the plot.”

Along with the strings of phrases about how that the U.S. wasn’t happy about “Ukraine’s aggressive covert operations” (“took no part,” “would have opposed… had they been consulted,” “admonished,” etc) came a passage promising that despite this, there have been no “known changes” in the “provision of intelligence, military and diplomatic support to Mr. Zelensky’s government.” Taken altogether, you can read this as a thinly veiled hint, as in: “Hey, stop whacking people outside Ukraine, or we’ll cut off all the Javelins.” 

That makes some sense, but then you’re right back to the first and most glaring fact of the article. You can threaten Zelensky with the yanking of weapons shipments all you want, in private. Why do so publicly, while also announcing to the world that Ukraine engaged in cross-border assassination? The State Department just last year sanctioned Russia for its “operation to assassinate or surveil” Alexey Navalny. We also expelled 60 Russian diplomats in 2018 after an ostensible poisoning involving ex-spy Sergei Skripal in England. Obviously this is not the same situation, but you’re exposing Ukraine to a variety of accusations by declaring them guilty of the Dugina blast. 

Is the point here to let the Russians know that anyone can be reached? I’m pretty sure they already know that — I guarantee the top Kremlin military brass have all seen Godfather Part II along with all the important hood movies — but are we just making double-sure they got the message? Is this one of those stories that is, as Sipher put it, “meant for one consumer: Vladimir Putin”? It sounds like it, here:

“Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine’s security services have demonstrated their ability to reach into Russia to conduct sabotage operations. The killing of Ms. Dugina, however, would be one of the boldest operations to date — showing Ukraine can get very close to prominent Russians.”

A million years ago, when working part-time for a newspaper in New Bedford, Massachusetts, I covered an abandoned house fire. As I watched flames lick up the side of the house, three teenagers walked up. They told me they heard that “three hoodlums” set the fire, and they were “real bold, too” because the fire was started in broad daylight. They went into deadpan detail about the “rumors” of how the crime was committed before walking off. I thought of them with a laugh when I read the “one of the boldest operations to date” line above. Is that what this is about? Credit? On the life-imitating-art front, have we really reached the Wag the Dog stage?

On a more serious note, how are we to interpret passages like this?

“The United States has tried carefully to avoid unnecessary escalation with Moscow throughout the conflict — in part by telling Kyiv not to use American equipment or intelligence to conduct attacks inside of Russia…”

You can see the last traces of editorial discretion on the part of the New York Times in the use of the word “unnecessary.” Not even the most hardcore Ukrainian-flag-emoji-bearing reader could have swallowed a line that the U.S. has “tried to avoid escalation” with Russia, with near-weekly reports of new billions in arms shipments and places like The Intercept telling us that the U.S. now has a “much larger presence of both CIA and U.S. special operations personnel and resources” in theater (I fear the godlike wrath of the Brookings Institute too much to bring up the Nord Stream blasts). “Unnecessary escalation” must be a phrase both the paper and the paper’s sources can live with, but it’s frustrating that so many passages in so many stories now exist in gray areas between official statement and editorial comment. 

Not long ago, a newspaper would have wrapped the whole of the above pull quote in a clear attribution, as in, “The officials the Times spoke with insist the U.S. has tried to avoid unnecessary escalation…” The biggest gift you can give an official source is to put his or her statement in the newspaper’s own “objective” voice, which once carried the imprimatur of apolitical fact. This is why companies paid premiums for “native advertising,” i.e. ads disguised as newspaper articles (or other typical content). It’s why the Internet melted down in 2013 when The Atlanticr an an “article” that was actually a Church of Scientology ad, and why the Columbia Journalism Review once wrote, “Editorial will forever be the cat, and native advertising, Pepe Le Pew.” Smart newspapers eschewed native advertising because it killed the proverbial cat.

No knock against the four writers in this piece, but it’s become almost impossible for ordinary readers to discern what’s cat and what’s skunk in a lot of news copy, particularly national security coverage, and particularly war coverage. 

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden in Playing to the Edge boasted about calling the Times and the Washington Post to “scotch” certain stories, saying he “did talk a lot to the Times’s Washington bureau chief, Phil Taubman,” whom he complimented for being able to balance “the needs of transparency and security.” The Times even then was known for killing or delaying certain stories at the request of government, and the phenomenon seems to have accelerated a great deal since, with stories involving Trump, Russia, and Ukraine in particular giving off whiffs of intense press-government cooperation. 

Lastly, there’s this passage:

“The American officials who spoke about the intelligence did not disclose which elements of the Ukrainian government were believed to have authorized the mission… United States officials briefed on the Ukrainian action and the American response spoke on the condition of anonymity, in order to discuss secret information and matters of sensitive diplomacy.”

How are we to make sense of this fretting over secrecy and tradecraft, in the context of a front page New York Times story? Though possible, it doesn’t feel believable that these sources fear internal retribution for leaking. The story more has the character of an official, approved enterprise, making the Times ululations about sensitivity feel not quite believable. If this info is so sensitive, why are sources handing it to a gang of reporters? From an intelligence official’s perspective, that’s like giving a monkey a hand grenade, unless of course you control the monkey. (I realize we’ve had a surfeit of animal metaphors by now.) There are just too many blurred lines, and newspapers have given up trying to un-blur them for us, even though they used to consider it a primary responsibility. They have more important clients now. 

Is this story ass-covering ahead of a revelation of U.S. involvement in the Dugina affair, even just on the level of providing intelligence? Is it the White House pissed at the Pentagon that it happened? The Pentagon pissed at the White House that it happened? both pissed at Ukraine? Neither? Who the hell knows? Maybe they’re just “sowing discord,” not even between groups, but within our own heads? One of the few former intelligence sources I know chuckled over the story. “The CIA used to do this kind of thing to influence foreign public opinion,” he said. “Now they do it to misinform, distract, and confuse the American public.” That’s just great, isn’t it?

(*I did not know Daria Dugina, and am pretty sure I never met her father, who was a friend of former eXile columnist Eduard Limonov.)

* * *

THE POETRY OF ATHENS was better than its politics. In fact Hellenic politics contrasts starkly with all the nobility and exaltation exhibited in other fields. The Greeks claimed many of the right sounding political words — polites, demokratia — but their use of them was crass, deceitful and often bloody. Demos (the people) became the governing power of the city and demos would assemble by the hundreds and thousands to express its common will and execute public business. But it was not the people of Athens as we think of the broad American electorate, but only polites, or citizens of Athens who operated the levers of political power. And citizens composed a very exclusive core of the population. (Both parents had to be Athens-born before a man could qualify.) When Athens at its prime had a population of nearly half a million, less than 10% were citizens. The rest were foreigners, slaves, transients and women and children — all politically zero.

The same violent passion for individual liberty — unbridled particularism, it would be called today — that kept the Greek city states incurably divided kept domestic politics seething with confusion. Demos despite the elite. Pericles, as honest and honorable a "tyrant" as has ever lived, was continuously besmeared and traduced — for his relations with Aspasia if the mob could find nothing better to carp about. Phidius died in prison. Aristides was ostracized because some bumpkins were tired of hearing him called "The Unjust." Private interest regularly won out over public good. While the philosophers theorized about the ideal state and freedom and justice in the groves of learning, the bosses who actually ran the political show made a sorry spectacle of public business.

"Greatness in Greece," remarks Gilbert Murray, "comes out only in the art and literature and thought, and not in the political or social history — except in dim flashes." But like lightning on some far horizon, such dim flashes suggested a sense of struggle toward political freedom which glowed in an otherwise dark world and grew through the ages into one of Western man's greatest ideals.

(From Life Magazine's "History of Western Man," 1951)

* * *

When Guys Live Alone

* * *

THE MINUTE YOU DIE you start to fade from the world and from the memories of the people who knew you. In a generation or two you are an old picture your great-grandchildren can no longer identify. The value of a treasured object, the letter from your dead father, the first gift your child ever gave you, something she made that you placed proudly on a windowsill in the kitchen so you would see it every day — all of that is lost. As sad as it might be, we all die, then disappear. That has to happen. 

But when you are murdered, that's something else.

When someone breaks open the skull of a young girl who still thought she could make all her dreams come true and ends her chances for ever, the sadness added to the universe goes beyond what can be endured. People get sick, accidents happen, but we are still in the realm of what we have to swallow and can. We will complain to the universe about it, but we don't expect an answer. 

But someone gunning for us? We have so little time to begin with and must contend with so many other possible bad endings and now this? A murderer has taken fate into his own hands and a balance which is bad enough shifts unnecessarily into the unacceptable range. The loss he inflicts is intolerable. We want someone to answer for it.

But the universe is not fair and justice is not always served. Sometimes the killer is never identified or caught. They are out there in the thousands, free. You may pass through the life of that killer for just a second behind you in line as you order a coffee from the deli, he cuts you off on the highway or does not hold open the door at Grand Central and you stare for a moment at the person who seems indifferent to you and to small, everyday courtesies. Maybe he is exceedingly polite and you share a smile of someone who once shared a smile of someone else before forcing a knife inside of them. Murderers touch us. Their presence in the world makes all our lives, for moments, unbearable. And for others, an eternity.

— Stacy Horn, The Restless Sleep

* * *

Guy the Gorilla, London Zoo, 1950s

* * *

THE LAWS MUST CHANGE (John Mayall, 1969)

The time must surely come
For the laws to fit the times
The time must surely come
For the laws to fit the times
But while the law is standing
You've got to open up your minds

It seems to be the fashion
To say you're right and they are wrong
It seems to be the fashion
To say you're right and they are wrong
But if you don't see both sides
You'll find yourself in jail 'fore long

You're screaming at policemen
But they're only doing a gig
You're screaming at policemen
But they're only doing a gig
Try and take the time
To figure out how the issue got that big

Lenny Bruce was trying to tell you
Many things before he died
Lenny Bruce was trying to tell you
Many things before he died
Like don't throw rocks at policemen
But get the knots of law untied

Every time you're holding
You are guilty of a crime
Every time you're holding
You are guilty of a crime
The laws must change one day
But it's going to take some time


  1. DickeyWeinkle October 8, 2022

    Still awaiting the “return to top” icon at the bottom of your page.

    Ho hum.

    • AVA News Service Post author | October 8, 2022

      Click on the banner at bottom of every page to return to the top of the homepage.

    • Whyte Owen October 8, 2022

      or the home button at the top of the keyboard

  2. Briley October 8, 2022

    SKOAL Mr. Williamson. I loved your teaching at Ukiah High way back in the 70’s, especially singing poets. Thank you!

  3. Kirk Vodopals October 8, 2022

    I’d like to see that study that traces water from the Sierras to coastal Mendocino

    • bruce anderson October 8, 2022

      It’s a rural myth circulating among the Mendo credulous for many years.

      • Brian Wood October 8, 2022

        What accounts for springs near the tops of ridges around here? Something’s pushing that water up, like a large scale hydrologic system.

    • Marshall Newman October 8, 2022

      I heard this one also when I was a growing up there. Never believed it. The number of mineral springs of various kinds in Anderson Valley was and is at odds with the pure snow melt water in the Sierra Nevada.

  4. Eric Sunswheat October 8, 2022

    RE: No. Moynihan was referring to the CIA back in the 1980s when he suggested that the agency be abolished because of their failure to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moynihan thought the CIA’s info gathering functions should be turned over to the State Department. (Spoiler Alert: We still have the CIA.). (Mark Scaramella)

    —>. September 29, 2022
    America’s Throwaway Spies
    How the CIA failed Iranian informants in its secret war with Tehran…

    This messaging platform, which operated until 2013, was hidden within rudimentary news and hobby websites where spies could go to connect with the CIA. Reuters confirmed its existence with four former U.S. officials…

    All told, these features meant the discovery of a single spy using one of these websites would have allowed Iranian intelligence to uncover additional pages used by other CIA informants. Once those sites were identified, nabbing the operatives using them would have been simple…

    This vulnerability went far beyond Iran. Written in various languages, the websites appeared to be a conduit for CIA communications with operatives in at least 20 countries, among them China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Ghana, the analysts found.

  5. Mike Williams October 8, 2022

    Norm Williamson was a great English teacher. His class Singing Poets gave legitimacy to the singer songwriters that many adults at the time were unwilling to accept as artists. His elective classes were very popular at the time. One of them was Bible as Literature. Our class President was Rick Warren, now famous as the author of A Purpose Driven Life. Norm influenced all of his students, you just wanted into his classes and they filled quickly. I remember him telling us there was a direct line from Vic’s Place in Redwood Valley to the Parthenon in Greece. Skoal Norm!

    • Chuck Dunbar October 8, 2022

      How nice to see tributes today to this fine teacher, who loved his chosen work and left a lasting mark on his students. I have some long-ago teachers whose images and lessons– some not fully understood or justly appreciated by the young me–still pop into my old head at random times and make me smile in gratitude. Bless our teachers, they made and make the world a better place.

    • Jeff Fox October 8, 2022

      You’re bringing back memories. I was in the class of ’71. I took both the Bible as Literature class and the Singing Poets class, which were really a departure from the run-of-the-mill given that time period of the very late ’60’s. I was in the Singing Poets class with Robben Ford, who made it clear that his career choice was going to be to play music for a living no matter what it takes, which is exactly what happened. They were great classes and Mr. Williamson was a great teacher.

  6. dogs lives matter. October 8, 2022

    Many wealthy families in the valley…many building and supply companies, in ft bragg ukiah area… Can they step up and donate fencing, chain link panels…etc…, to be easily assembled, into 6×10 temp kennels, on the surrounding properties of these overcrowded ‘shelters’… they just need 5. ~save five lives~

  7. J. October 9, 2022

    MOLINARI might be able to transfer these dogs to local dog boarding facilities, that have lots of avail space. Are there any WEALTHY VALLEY PEOPLE, that would love to foster these dogs and cover or share with a friend, the board fees? These beautiful dogs deserve the same love they always give us. Love. Not lethal injection.

    • Bruce McEwen October 9, 2022

      “Anybody who ever loved dogs would never bring one to a place like this [California].”

      — Evelyn Waugh

  8. Walt Watson October 9, 2022

    Measure P. I’m all for increasing the funding of our Fire Departments, but I have reservations about the County’s administration of the funds.

    Yes, the 20 fire departments are assumed to provide oversight of the funding. BUT the bookkeeping by the County Auditor/Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector to Properly account for this special tax is questionable. These departments are admittedly understaffed and the information systems reportedly difficult to use and complicated. Additionally, there is nothing that would legally prevent the Board of Supervisors from diverting these funds to other purposes. A Grand Jury report would have no impact due to how the Measure was worded – diversion of funds is not restricted. Plus, the BoS and County departments historically merely give lip service to GJ reports.

    I can only hope that the 20 fire departments are prepared to mandate independent oversight of the funds by a Certified Public Accountant and would keep the public informed to assure us that the fire departments are the real beneficiaries of the funds generated by Measure P. Fire Chiefs, are you ready to carefully scrutinize, monitor and report? If so, I’m a ‘yes’, as I trust our first responders far more than County Administration.

Leave a Reply

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