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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

Fall Weather | Sunlit | Gauges Wanted | Stagecoach | Eel Cleanup | Holiday Wreaths | La Nina | Parade | Staffing Crisis | Smithies | AVUSD News | Panther Schedules | Pilates Nook | Macho Rescue | Improve Ukiah | Weed Awards | Journalism Legislation | Toll House | Ed Notes | Mosaic Showroom | Magic Banjo | Church | Elk Inn | Log Hauling | MHS History | Yesterday's Catch | Flu Activity | Hot Springs | Refund Headache | Dummy Markup | Bike Future | Ox Team | Pop Right | Spooner Book | Halfway Niners | Steel Plant | Eureka Chinatown | Matte Painting | Got Drunk | Stupid Answer | Family Reunion | Do Things | Saloon | Trump Love | Age Vote | Well Trained | The Kiss | Unready Aircraft | Hog Heaven | Ukraine | Conundrum

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DRY AND NICE FALL WEATHER accompanied by morning frost and mild afternoon temperatures are expected through the week. (NWS)

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Deep End Heights (photo by KB)

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“LAYTONVILLE AREA” NOTICE…Reward for Scientific Equipment Return

Some time during the first week in November, twelve automated temperature sensing gauges were removed from a UPS box at a rural residence on Wilderness Lodge Road where they had been placed for pick up by the Eel River Recovery Project. The loss of the equipment is a hardship because of the cost of replacing the gauges, which is about $1500, but an even greater loss are the temperature data from the upper South Fork Eel River. ERRP has been collecting temperature data in the upper SF since 2012 to help understand suitability for coho salmon in one of their last strong-holds in the Eel River watershed. A $100 reward is being offered - no questions asked. If the gauges are returned to the box from which they were removed, a $100 bill will be placed in the box for later pick up. We really don't care who removed them, as long as we get our equipment back, and more importantly our data. For more information or help with getting gauges back, please contact ERRP Managing Director Pat Higgins at 707 223-7200.

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To the Editor:

The Potter Valley Tribe is a major sponsor of the 31st Annual Eel River Cleanup. With the assistance of volunteers and local residents, a 10-mile stretch of the main stem Eel River below Lake Pilsbury is inspected and cleaned. This year’s events included 29 participants, and removed a total of 8¼ cubic yards of refuse, including tires, recycled materials, and hazardous oil.

The Potter Valley Tribe would like to thank Solid Waste of Willits for donating dump fees, Beb Ware, local residents and volunteers, Dave Dick and the Hartstone Bible Camp, and the Palma Real Estate Group for organization and participation in this year’s event. The Tribe provided a crew and equipment, and the Tribal Environmental Office provided safety gear, supplies and lunch.

After 31 years of cleanups a total of 522 cubic yards of trash, 649 tires, and five cars have been removed; 1946 volunteers have participated. This conservation effort helps ensure that the beauty of this pristine section of the main stem Eel River will be there for future generations.

Gregg Young, Environmental Director 

Potter Valley Tribe

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PRONOUNCED LA NINA Still A Key Driver For Upcoming Winter

Autumn and even early winter conditions really don’t tell us much about what the Water Year will look like overall — though wetter conditions early on do give a bit more of a buffer if things do dry out later. And that’s still a very plausible possibility for the 2022-2023 season: La Nina is still going strong in the Pacific, and has even strengthened a bit in relative terms in recent days. A persistent North Pacific ridge is still very likely for most of the coming winter. But the question, as always, is where exactly does the ridge axis set up? If it’s far enough west, then California could continue to see cold storms like the one’s we’re experiencing now from early to mid November. But it’s far enough east, we could see another year in which things dramatically dry out right near what would normally be “peak season.” Right now, I’d still put the odds at about 2:1 to 3:1 that the latter will be closer to reality — and that we’ll still see a drier-than average Water Year overall for most of California and much of the Colorado River basin. Will be interesting to see the new suite of seasonal model products when they come out early next week, but for the moment my seasonal expectations remain essentially the same as in recent discussions. That said, I’m glad we’re getting some solid cold storms in November!

—Daniel Swain (

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4th of July, Middletown

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Mendocino County is in the midst of a severe staffing crisis that is leaving residents in a lurch. Consider the following vacancy rates:

Public health nurses: nearly 30% positions vacant

Family & Children's Services social workers: 40% positions vacant

Employment & Family Assistance eligibility specialists: 20% positions vacant

Mental health clinicians: almost 70% positions vacant

Department of Transportation road crews: 32% positions vacant

This means that Mendocino's most vulnerable residents -- including abused and neglected children, seniors, and people with disabilities -- are not getting the services they need in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the County acknowledges that it may have to let some county roads go back to dirt or gravel roads because they cannot maintain them.

All of the above positions, with the exception of DOT road crews, get state or federal funding. Yet Mendocino County administration seems content to do nothing to make these positions competitive to retain existing staff and recruit new staff.

Please take just a moment to email the Mendocino County Administrator and Board of Supervisors and tell them that it's time to staff up to keep Mendo running.

Mendocino County's severe short-staffing of crucial positions is harming county residents, including and especially the most vulnerable residents. Extraordinarily high vacancy rates for public health nurses, Family and Children's Services social workers, benefit eligibility specialists, and mental health clinicians are endangering abused and neglected children, seniors, and people with disabilities. A 32% vacancy rate in our Department of Transportation road crews are leaving our roads in abysmal condition, making driving more dangerous and leaving residents in more rural areas more disconnected from emergency services and everyday necessities.

In other counties facing such staffing crises, county management is offering substantial raises, bonuses, flexible schedules, and other benefits to retain existing staff and recruit for vacant positions. However, in Mendocino County, management is doing the opposite: Offering not even a cost-of-living adjustment to employees -- in the face of skyrocketing inflation and a severe housing crisis -- even as they leave faster than they can be replaced for positions in the retail and hospitality sectors or leaving the county altogether.

It is your responsibility to ensure that county management fulfills its obligation to keep county services running smoothly. Please direct county management to settle a fair contract with county workers now that will prevent more cuts and delays to the services our residents desperately need. Thank you.

(SEUI Local 1021 Presser)

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Middletown Blacksmiths

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Dear Anderson Valley Unified School Community,

So I’ll share that I am one of those crazy people who has their holiday shopping and cards all done before Thanksgiving, and the first batches of molasses cookies are coming out of the oven on this Sunday afternoon. This is true in my work life too. I try to work with a long view lens, so I can get the routine and easy stuff taken care of, so we have time and energy to handle the big lifts when they come up. I want to thank the High School staff for their excellent work on the WASC report. We were able to complete a solid first round report reflecting the strengths and areas of improvement required. It is an honest report. I appreciate Julie Honegger’s leadership in conducting this process. We need parents to participate when the WASC visiting committee comes. A parent/board/staff meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 26 at 4:00 p.m. (location to be determined). Everyone is welcome to attend and give feedback on programs.

The curriculum pilot at the elementary school has been stellar with staff, and I hope that their choice transforms the reading achievement at the elementary site with an emphasis on phonics literacy skills. I am very excited about what this could mean for the literacy achievement in our district.

The high school staff is looking at a second set of materials in science and math as the first pilot was not a good fit. We appreciate the math and science teachers embracing this opportunity to provide a current curriculum for our students’ achievement.

A college opportunity fair (this is great for sixth grade parents too) is planned at the Junior/Senior High on Tuesday, February 28 at 5:00. More details to follow, but it is important to understand the college application process and what a student needs to do to look great for college scholarships. plan to be there if you have a student in 6th-11th grade.

The elementary septic system temporary repair is holding and the permit process is underway. I hope we can bust that septic system out with a full replacement in Summer 2023, pending the county permit process. Additional construction drawings for the high school science and library wings are in progress with construction on those areas slated for Summer 2024.

Congratulations to the Service Learning Team under the direction of Noor Dawood, and to the Board, for their thoughtful collaboration on moving forward with a waiver process to allow the improvement of this Skatepark amenity into our community.

“Costume construction” is our Mendo “Away” class on Wednesdays, along with auto for Spring of 2023. If your student has NOT YET signed up, have them see Mr. Howard. Get your student to earn three college units on my dime. It is important. We also have a dual enrollment creative writing class offered.

Elementary staff are rocking those elective wheels offering more choice to our kids. Peachland preschool, under the direction of Anita and Jennie, is the happiest place on earth (believe me on a hard day, that’s where i want to be!).

I know families are anxious about the basketball schedule. This is a beast. John Toohey is working on it, but one school, making one change, makes the whole schedule irrelevant. Hang in there and please understand when it is released, it is fluid. We desperately need parents to help with supervision and gate. If you want your kids to play, we need some help. A staff of 16 teachers at the junior/senior high school can’t do this alone.

My protest to CIF about the credit card requirement and high fees for playoffs was heard. I will be attending their regional meeting to discuss our concerns about the current inequity in socio-economically challenged districts like ours.

I hope you and your family have a relaxing holiday break. In order to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, no school is scheduled for students on November 19-27. Please remember no additional independent study contracts will be granted on either side of the winter break, december 17- January 8. Staff are also expected to report during the period before and after the break.

Be well, and reach out if you have any questions.

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified


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ELIZABETH JENSEN: Interested in indoor health + wellness resources thru the fall and winter season? Reach out today to learn more about The Pilates Nook in Boonville and how to incorporate Pilates into your self care routine. Solo and group sessions available!

Looking for early morning (before 9am) or evening (after 5pm) classes? We are gathering interest to create classes outside the 9-5 workday. Let me know what days/times best for you and with enough interest, we could start in the next few weeks!

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A UKIAH WOMAN is feeling extra thankful that several District 2 Maintenance employees were in the right place at the right time after a terrible car crash left her and her dogs stranded at the bottom of an embankment for over seven hours.

According to Susanville CHP, Tina Milberger was traveling on State Route 32 on Wednesday, November 2 around 11:30 p.m., with her four dogs, when her vehicle left the roadway and went down a steep embankment. The vehicle overturned and then slid down the embankment, eventually coming to a stop about 130 feet down. Milberger was unable to get out of her vehicle, leaving her stranded and hanging upside down in her vehicle.

It wasn’t until around 4 a.m. that two District 2 Chester maintenance employees, who were plowing snow in the area, discovered car tracks leaving the roadway. Vic Baccala and Chuck Braswell shined a bright light down the embankment and Milberger began honking her horn. That’s when the two employees called 911. 

Once emergency personnel arrived on scene, they used a rope system to pull Milberger and three of her four dogs back up to safety. Milberger was air lifted to Enloe Hospital for suspected major injuries. 

The next day Shannon Kenyon, a Chester maintenance employee, learned of the crash and how one of the dogs from the crash was still missing. Kenyon, being a dog lover, decided he was going to do what he could to try and find the dog. During his shifts, Kenyon stopped at the crash site when he could and called for the dog. Two days of these efforts with no success was beginning to leave Kenyon with little hope that he was going to be able to find the dog. But on Saturday, his luck would change.

As his shift was coming to an end Saturday, Kenyon decided to revisit the crash site one last time. He knew this would likely be the last time he would try and call for the dog as another storm was making its way to the area. Kenyon said he arrived at the scene and said, “please Lord let me find that poor dog because if he’s not found tonight, he’s probably not going to make it”. 

“I walked over to the edge and I yelled ‘Macho’”, said Kenyon. “I walked to where I could see down the hill and I saw something red move”. After learning earlier in the day that the dog was wearing a red collar at the time of the crash, Kenyon knew that movement had to be the dog. 

“I took a leap of faith, grabbed my gloves, and headed down the mountain”.

Once Kenyon arrived at the bottom of the embankment, he found Macho near the water’s edge. It appeared as though Macho’s back legs weren’t working, and he was growling and scared. Kenyon spent the next few minutes sitting with Macho to become friends with the dog before having to pick him up and carry him back up the embankment. 

Macho with Shannon Kenyon

“I just remember saying to him, ‘You’re going to have to trust me. You have to trust me. You have to get out of here, you can’t stay here. So I reached out, put my arms around him and he let me pick him up, he just leaned into me and up the hill I went with this 40 plus pound dog’.” 

And with that, Kenyon and Macho began making their way back up the 130 foot plus embankment back to Shannon’s vehicle. 

After reaching the top, Kenyon placed Macho in his vehicle and drove to a spot with phone service to call Macho’s owners. Kenyon learned that the owners had just returned to Willits and would be unable to come back that evening. Kenyon took Macho home for the evening, providing him with a safe and warm place to sleep as well as food and water. 

The next day, Kenyon and his wife drove to Red Bluff to meet Macho’s owners and reunite Macho with his fur siblings. It was a very emotional reunion that both Kenyon and Milberger are incredibly thankful for.

— Written by Haleigh Pike, District 2 Public Information Officer

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

There are many ways to improve Ukiah, and here are a few:

1) No parking in front yards. No more cars, trucks, boats, broken motorcycles, RVs, dead refrigerators or trailers squatting about. Violators ticketed and towed within 24 hours. 

(NOTE: Five year property tax suspension for homeowners who install putting greens in their yards.)

2) A city-wide Dress Code, reading something like this: Within the boundaries of the City of Ukiah, CA, neither residents nor visitors shall wear in public any of the following: Crocs, flannel jammies, baseball caps worn backwards, drooping baggy pants of any sort, man bun hairdo’s, etc etc.

All juveniles are forbidden from wearing hoodies, as are adults with criminal convictions. 

After 6 p.m. individuals dining out must wear appropriate clothing: shirts with buttons, shoes of leather or similar product. Hats, helmet and caps forbidden indoors. Women strongly encouraged to not wear muu-muus, t-shirts featuring Disney characters, or white shoes after Labor Day. 

(NOTE: Residents may apply for a once-monthly Walmart Waiver, suspending all rules regarding wardrobe, behavior and hygiene.) 

3) The city shall remove the pea green panels from second story exterior of the building directly across the street from the County Courthouse, so the golden bricks are once again visible.

The impact will be dramatic as it will match the exterior of Mac Nab’s Menswear. 

4) Hire an all-powerful Architecture Czar to oversee and approve citywide structures, refusing those that violate the common, traditional sense of good taste. 

The Czar shall be granted broad veto powers to prevent atrocities like the Holiday Inn’s drab motel across from Costco on grounds it resembles 1970s Soviet Union project housing. Ditto for strip malls that pockmark the town.

The Architecture Czar shall review plans intended for the new county courthouse, and demand the design adhere to traditional American courthouses in both style and substance. No appeals shall be allowed of czar rulings. 

5) City officials shall strongly suggest the Count of Mendocino abandon its broken, ill-conceived marijuana legalization mess, and instead adopt the best county plan in the state of California; that is, the plan simplest for growers to comply with, and generates adequate tax dollars.

6) Cut pay of the city’s top administrators by 30% beginning January 1, 2023, with an additional 10% cut taking effect on July 1. This will help soothe abrasions endured by taxpaying citizens that the most highly paid people in the city are public “servants.”

The wizards who guide city policies are paid enormous sums (upward of $300,000 yearly) but have yet to solve a single problem Ukiah faces. Such as: the ever-deteriorating Palace Hotel which has lain dead, empty and collapsing for more than 40 years; the dead and empty downtown Post Office, and the homeless squalor spreading like rapidly advancing cancer all over the southern part of the city. Remember: the Burning Bridges Homeless Enabling Center promised the city it would be responsible for security at the facility, but it’s done nothing. Hold those administrators accountable.

7) The city should stop trying to earn profits at the expense of local businesses. The downtown Civic Center was proposed as an “incubator” for small businesses to get on their feet, then transition to market-based renting and leasing.

As it is now, the Civic Center is filled with politicians, tourism promoters and a couple private shops, plus a large entertainment room for the city to rent out. Meanwhile office and retail storefronts around town are boarded up and empty, and the Saturday Afternoon Club, a perfect venue for social events, too often sits empty.

Dark, forlorn shops up and down State and School Streets ought to be rented out by elected representatives like Jared Huffman, Jim Wood and the taxpayer funded Tourist Bureau. The results will be immediate, as Ukiah quickly becomes prettier, busier, wealthier.

City administrators should focus on running the city, not competing with local businesses. 

8) An idea that won’t make Ukiah better looking or enhance revenues but will help us feel good about ourselves and our city: Haul tanks of water to the nearby western hills and dump them into small shallow ravines lined with sheets of plastic. Now listen to the applause from wild animals who haven’t had a drink since 2019. 

The boys at Granite Construction, Factory Pipe and CalFire could figure something out in half an hour. Right now surveillance cameras show parched, emaciated mountain lions straggling down west side streets and driveways. We can, and should, relieve their misery. 

Take food up there while we’re filling tanks. The Hopland Ag extension will know dietary requirements of mountain lions, possums, Monarch butterflies and spotted owls. (Probably flowers for the butterflies, seeds for the owls and three-legged Animal Shelter pit bulls for the carnivores.) 

Mother Nature thanks you in advance.

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Last night was a great night - the Mendocino County Cannabis Association Award dinner, honoring Casey Neil, attny. Hannah Nelson, anf Dragonfly Wellness owner Jude Thhilman among many other ppl. who came out of the closet when Cannabis, was still highly illegal and looked upon with contempt and jail sentences; Ppl now have better understanding of the plant as medicine, thanks to folks like these, even though they have been the economic backbone of rural communities for many decades they still face numerous state and local hurdles; Many of these folks I met during my Supervisor run in 2018, I had hoped to facilitate their honorable transition; but years later they are still at it, despite a system that repeatedly sabotages them.. I am proud of and admire their resilience; Last night was a celebration...

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by K.C. Meadows

Local journalism is a cornerstone of democracy and a vital source of information for communities across the country, with newsrooms covering local politics, high school sports, local business openings, cultural events, and other matters that help a community remain vibrant and connected. But the industry is facing an existential crisis because of the unyielding power of Big Tech platforms such as Google and Facebook.

With less than four weeks left in this Congress, now is the time for the Senate to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) (S. 673 and H.R. 1735). The JCPA was favorably reported out of Committee on September 22 with strong bipartisan support and now must head to the floor for a vote.

The JCPA will hold tech giants accountable and provide a necessary lifeline for local papers, requiring Big Tech to compensate small and local outlets for the use of their content. Big Tech benefits tremendously from journalism content, yet they refuse to pay local publishers fairly for the journalistic content that fuels their platforms. As a result, local papers are being replaced by tech platforms using black box algorithms designed to keep users inside their walled gardens — all while charging exorbitant ad fees — up to 70 percent of every advertising dollar.

Since 2000, U.S. newspaper circulation has dropped by half, with 31 million fewer daily newspapers in circulation in 2020. The vast majority of U.S. counties with no regular newspaper — “news deserts” — are in rural areas. Despite record audiences, since news outlets transitioned to digital, revenue has drastically declined.

The tech giants have built their empires by profiting off the hard work of journalists without fairly compensating them. And as local publications struggle to stay afloat, Big Tech has only doubled down on their anticompetitive practices, further consolidating their control over the flow of information.

This is fundamentally unfair, and the JCPA will bring about much-needed change. The JCPA will benefit small and local publishers exclusively and impose severe penalties if the tech platforms do not negotiate with them in good faith. The bill has a limited scope of six years to address a broken marketplace, while the broader competitive landscape is fixed through other legislation and the courts.

The JCPA also incentivizes publishers to hire more journalists and protects our Constitutional freedoms of speech and the press. The bill’s scope is limited to compensation and does not allow for negotiations around up/down ranking or display — it serves only to ensure fair compensation for local news outlets. The JCPA has strict transparency requirements on the terms of each agreement reached between tech platforms and journalism providers and establishes clarity in how news outlets spend the funds they receive.

News publishers around the world are being compensated by Big Tech. Australia passed a similar policy to the JCPA, the News Media Bargaining Code, for media organizations to bargain for payment, which has produced significant revenue (billions of dollars, if translated to the U.S. market) for hundreds of publications of all sizes. One Sydney journalism professor noted that she hadn’t seen her industry so financially robust in decades. There are so many open positions for reporters, they cannot all be filled, a signal of the improved economic health of the industry. The swift and clear successes of the Australian Code — and efforts in other countries such as Canada, the UK, European Union, and more — should serve to encourage the passage of the JCPA in the United States.

Thousands of hometown papers from across the political spectrum, as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, support the JCPA. Moreover, in these highly polarized times, polling data found that 70 percent of Americans support the JCPA. The JCPA has such broad support because ultimately, it is about basic fairness.

Local papers cannot afford to endure several more years of Big Tech’s use and abuse, and time to take action is dwindling. If Congress does not act soon, we risk allowing social media to become America’s de facto local newspaper. The Senate must advance the JCPA to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of the year to rein in Big Tech and restore fairness to local journalism — one of the most important checks and balances we have against corporate power and government corruption — before it’s too late.

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

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“Dear Mr Anderson, I am curious to know if you have seen the Netflix documentary about sex cult that was based in San Francisco. Orgasm Inc: The story of One Taste. Very interesting but also they have a farm that is still open for business in Philo. I would love to hear your deep dive opinion on it since it made me angry they were here in our county and still making money off of people and their trauma they caused. Could you put it in your paper I looked up the website and saw no mention of founder but she is there —Nicole Deadone...she ripped off people and allowed sexual assault as a way of healing people of their trauma. Please make my query anonymous. Thanks for your time.”

WE'VE WRITTEN that from the outset it seemed to us beyond preposterous that wealthy decadents would pay a lot of money to do big naked piles under the redwoods. I haven't seen the doc, but given that the Anderson Valley has suffered a steady parade of lunatics all the way back to Jim Jones, and on through the Manson Family and the Moonies, not to mention free range maniacs like Leonard Lake and Kenneth Parnell, One Taste's arrival here was certainly in the grand tradition. 

SO LET'S CLASS-ANGLE IT. Jones was so broke he needed a job, which he got at Anderson Valley Elementary from a fellow Hoosier, Bob Mathias, who was superintendent at the time, circa late 1960s. Of course Jones was not yet full-on psycho and, better yet from the school district's fiscal perspective, he brought a bunch of kids with him from his church’s headquarters in Redwood Valley where he was rapidly amassing a fortune off the dependent elderly and dependent children, which he was to parlay into a buddy relationship with big shot San Francisco Democrats and on into his Guyana outpost at Jonestown.

PROPERTY was cheap in the Anderson Valley up through the 1970s, cheap and rustic-remote for psychopaths to hide out from law enforcement. I think Manson's seraglio paid about a hundred a month for their place in Navarro, Lake and Ng not much more than that for their headquarters in Philo less than a mile, as it happened, from One Taste's property. 

I BOUGHT my house on AV Way in 1973 for $23,500 with a thou down I chiseled from credit cards, and sold it in 2005 for half-a-mil, a major (for me) miracle of capitalism!

BUT CHEAP, plentiful housing was over by the middle 1980s as The Valley went over to high end wine tourism and a huge dearth of housing for honest working people, and an even larger dearth of shelter for active maniacs although we remain home to a number of non-lethal loons. Only well-heeled maniacs could possibly afford an expensive property like One Taste's place in Philo which, by the way, is up for sale again for multiples of a million dollars. 

WHEN AL GREEN owned the Navarro Winery he placed a sign out on the road near the entrance that proclaimed “100 Point Pinot,” a wonderful little joke on an industry that takes itself very, very seriously. The spirit of the fleet-footed centerfielder lives on. The present owners have a sign on the road that says, “We take walk-ins.”

DON'T SEE IT MYSELF, but the Anti-Defamation League says these remarks from Dave Chappelle’s Saturday Night Live monologue re Kanye West’s idiot anti-semitism are themselves anti-semitic: “It’s a big deal, he had broken the show business rules. You know, the rules of perception. If they’re Black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. If they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it. I’ve been to Hollywood and—no one get mad at me—I’m just telling you what I saw. It’s a lot of Jews. Like a lot. The delusion that Jews run show business is not a crazy thing to think, but it’s a crazy thing to say out loud.” 

THE ADL’s CEO Jonathan Goldblatt noted, “We shouldn't expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society's moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?”

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Doug Johnson's Mosaic Showroom (Pepperwood Pottery, near Navarro)

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Or: confessions of a banjo picker

I bought my first banjo at age 19 in Palo Alto California. The younger brother of one of my best friends had decided to join the Army and on his way out of town was selling his Gibson long neck banjo. It was $125. I had to borrow the money from my mom to buy it. But buy it we did, and never looked back. That thing was a road ticket to anywhere you might want to go in the USA. All you had to do is stand on the on ramp of any freeway with that long neck banjo sticking out and you were sure to get a ride and a nice place to stay. That thing dragged in rides like a magnet. It really didn’t matter if you could play or not, but play I could. It was fun. Finally, after 20 years of towing that thing around ended up giving it away to a drunken Indian dude who was hanging around my yard sale in Albion. I don’t know what ever became of it after that. But it was a pretty good banjo.

— David Gurney

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St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Middletown

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by Matt Villano

Old is new again at one of the most storied and iconic properties along Highway 1 on the southern Mendocino County coast.

The property, the Elk Cove Inn, emerged from its COVID-19 pandemic shutdown with new co-owners who double as innkeepers with a renewed commitment to sustainability. Along the way, they have added a greenhouse and a small farm, built a wooden deck with views of Greenwood State Beach, renovated nearly all 16 rooms and launched one of the most talked-about restaurants in the area.

The couple behind this change: Victor Passalacqua and Melissa Boon, who rolled into town in May 2020 in a broke-down RV and essentially have never left.

This dynamic duo had been living a nomadic life before working out a deal with Elk Cove Inn owner Rakesh Taneja to become partners in the business. Now, as they have entered their third year of running the show, they say there’s no place they’d rather be.

“At this point, the place just feels like home,” said Boon. “I love that we get to share it with the world.”

Historical, quirky

Elk Cove Inn’s main white Craftsman-style house, made without nails, dates to the late 1800s, and some rooms still have original wallpaper. Five other guest-facing buildings on property hail from different eras, each of them emphasizes substance over style. Rooms are cozy, comfortable and intimate. Most have gas fireplaces and most have ocean views. The inn is pet-friendly, too.

The house was built in 1883 by the L.E. White Lumber Co. as the mill superintendent’s home. It became one of the first bed & breakfast inns on the Mendocino Coast in 1968, according to the Elk Cove Inn’s website.

What makes the inn stand out are its quirks. No two guest rooms are alike. Older rooms have window benches, newer rooms have wet bars.

Every room comes with a free tiny bottle of port and a welcome basket of local snacks. Pathways on the exterior are lined with upside-down empty wine and water bottles, creating a living record of history through upcycling. A one-room spa is adjacent to the inn’s kitchen.

There’s a tiny gazebo with seeping views of the Pacific — a perfect spot for sitting and reading a book — and a secluded trail winds down to the beach. Last year Passalacqua built a tiny amphitheater for weddings, an alcove called the “Elk-Cove.”

“We don’t want to be luxurious, we just want to be comfortable,” he said. “We have nice beds, but they’re nothing fancy. We have nice robes, but they’re not Giorgio Armani.”

Boon agreed, noting that she wants the inn to feel like a place she’d invite her friends to stay. She added that she loves it when guests visit and regale her with stories from the past, or stories about how they came to the inn on their honeymoon 30 years ago.

“We want people to come back again and again and again,” she said.

New approach to culinary

Technically, the inn is a bed-and-breakfast. Room rates ranging from $245 to $545 include breakfast every morning and breakfasts are delivered to guest rooms so visitors can have breakfast in bed.

The inn also has a restaurant named Sibo Restaurant that is open for dinner nightly.

Passalacqua, who is Peruvian, Spanish and Italian, is a one-man culinary program — a no-brainer since the 52-year-old has spent 30 years on the culinary side of the hospitality industry in places such as Miami, Montreal and elsewhere. He has worked alongside renowned chefs like Paul Bocuse, Edward Merard and Ferran Adrià, and he sat on the advisory board of the Miami Culinary Institute.

Originally, the inn was his retirement plan.

Then a traveling nun changed everything. It was shortly after Passalacqua and Boon arrived at the inn — the place wasn’t even open to guests. The nun had been on the road for days. She needed food and shelter, and the couple provided both.

Over the next days and weeks, more people came to eat and sleep. Suddenly, Passalacqua found himself cooking again, mostly because people needed him to. And he loved it.

“I do it for passion,” he said. “Nothing we do is pretentious. We do only what we can handle.”

Gradually, as the world opened up, Passalacqua realized he could run a restaurant again — so long as he made sure he did so on his own terms. That’s how he’s doing it today. The menu at Sibo Restaurant changes almost daily, and Passalacqua prepares dishes only the way they’re listed. He grows or sources organic proteins, uses herbs and vegetables he grows on property. The restaurant always offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free choices, too.

“The food is delicious and he’s doing it exactly how he wants to,” said Courtney DeGraff, executive director at the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association. “It’s hard not to respect a restaurant that’s run that way.”

DeGraff has come to know Passalacqua and Boon well.

Boon doubles as the inn’s sommelier. Boon also brings a varied life experience. She is Dutch and French and grew up in the Dominican Republic.

Boon, 34, said that for as long as she could remember, she has dreamed of having a modest homestead where she could essentially build herself a tiny farm and operate mostly independent of the world around her. Essentially, she and Passalacqua have fulfilled this dream in the two years they’ve spent at Elk Cove Inn.

Within weeks of their arrival, Passalacqua built a sizable greenhouse. He and Boon then transformed the property’s existing green space into a culinary garden. They brought in honeybees. They got goats. They secured about 100 chickens, which now produce an ample supply of eggs.

They even added about 50 rabbits, which they grow to eat.

Guests can tour the culinary garden and Passalacqua and Boon said they are happy to walk visitors through the greenhouse, as well.

“We probably grow 80% of what we need right here on site,” Passalacqua said.

He added this approach is necessary, given that Elk is about an hour from Fort Bragg and about 90 minutes from Sebastopol.

“It took us a while to get everything where we felt it needed to be, but we finally got the homestead I always wanted,” Boon said,

Activities, upgrades to come

Evolution continues at Elk Cove Inn. The last of the upgrades to overnight accommodations were underway as of press time, which means renovations will be complete by no later than the end of this year.

This winter, the inn is running a variety of different specials, including free Tuesdays for all stays that include three nights, 30% off three-night midweek stays and discounts for last-minute bookings.

Boon said she and Passalaqua hoped to create more experiences for guests this spring — activities that guests could pay to engage in for a few hours or an entire afternoon. Among the activities they’re considering: mushroom foraging, fishing and/or seafood foraging, cannabis dinners, and winemaker dinners, to name a few.

Another addition on the horizon: a communal hot tub, which currently does not exist.

Beyond these upgrades, Boon and Passalacqua said they plan to keep doing what they do best: Creating a space in which guests can feel comfortable relaxing for a few days.

“This has been a special place for so many over the years, and now it is a special place for us,” Boon said. “We’re committed to embracing that, and to welcoming more and more people to come and experience it for themselves.”

If you go…

Elk Cove Inn’s main white Craftsman-style house dates to the late 1800s, and some rooms still have original wallpaper. Five other guest-facing buildings on property hail from different eras, each of them emphasizes substance over style. Rooms are cozy, comfortable and intimate. Most have gas fireplaces and most have ocean views. The inn is pet-friendly, too. 

Location: 6300 S. Highway 1, Elk

Food options:

Price range: $245 to $545

More information: 800-275-2967 or 707-877-3321 and

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

Hauling Logs to Glenbrook Mill, Lake County

* * *

THE KELLEY HOUSE MUSEUM: On this day in Mendocino history…

November 13, 1985 - A ceremony was conducted to mark the completion of the Mendocino High School Building Project. The new facilities consisted of a library, a multipurpose room, four classrooms, and a gymnasium. During the ceremony, the gymnasium was dedicated to Mrs. Carole A. McDonell, a long-time accountant for the school district, who had passed away just a month earlier following a long illness.

Music Instructor Bob Ayers, Gym Dedication Ceremony, 1985.

Superintendent Don Kirkpatrick, Mendocino High School Principal Ken Matheson, School Board President Judy Walters, and Building Inspector Jack Millis addressed a crowd of several hundred people in the new gymnasium. The Beacon described the program, “The evening began with student-guided tours of the new gym, library and classrooms. The high school band, outfitted in Cardinal red, presented several pieces during the evening, including a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Chanson Triste in the memory of Carole McDonell. The high school’s Glee Club sang two pieces as well.” A slide and music presentation created by librarian Alice Wittig and photographers Bill and Martha Wagner vividly traced the construction project.

Judy Walters conducted the formal dedication of the gymnasium. Carole was remembered as an enthusiastic fan of school sports, who rarely missed a chance to cheer for her daughter’s championship basketball team.

The Kelley House collection includes 126 photos documenting the construction and dedication of this facility.

(The Kelley House Museum is open from 11am to 3pm, Thursday-Sunday. Questions or requests for appoitnments for Curator: Walking tours of the historic district depart from the Museum regularly. Tour schedule and more at

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, November 13, 2022

Cazares, Elizabeth, Mendoza-Aguilar, Mendoza

FRANCISCO CAZARES, Fort Bragg. DUI, no license, probation revocation.

VANESSA ELIZABETH, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

OSCAR MENDOZA, Redwood Valley. More than an ounce of pot.

OSCAR MENDOZA-AGUILAR, Redwood Valley. More than an ounce of pot.

Ott, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Simspon

GAYLAND OTT, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation revocation.

MARTIN RODRIGUEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. County parole violation.

MIGUEL SANCHEZ, Willits. DUI, no license.

GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. County parole violation.

* * *


by Alix Martichoux

The 2022 flu season is off to an early and vicious start, according to tracking by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In California, flu activity is already “high,” according to the CDC. 

The latest data available from the state’s public health department showed flu cases ramping up in several Southern California counties the last week of October. Flu activity was highest in Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties, the California Department of Public Health said in a report.

But things are even worse in Southern states. The CDC has seven states, plus Washington, D.C., in the highest category for flu activity, shown in purple on the map below. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia are all categorized as “very high.” 

It’s not much better in Maryland and Texas, both of which are in the second-worst category (brown on the CDC map). 

Behind them are five more states in auburn: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and New Mexico. 

CDC tracking shows where flu levels are highest in the country. (Map: CDC)

Hospitalization rates for influenza haven’t been this high this early since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the CDC. So far, there have been an estimated 1,300 flu deaths, including at least three children.

Activity has spiked over the past month. Less than three weeks ago, no states were in the “very high” categories. 

All this flu transmission is also happening earlier than usual – the winter flu season usually ramps up in December or January.

Things look better up north; the Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest and New England all have states in the “minimal” category for flu activity. 

The CDC map isn’t based on confirmed influenza lab tests but rather tracks where people are going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms (respiratory illness and fever, plus a cough or sore throat). Because of that, the map “may capture patient visits due to other respiratory pathogens that cause similar symptoms,” the agency explains.

Flu season is ramping up at the same time as children’s hospitals are reeling from an onslaught of young patients with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV. CDC tracking shows RSV cases spiking since September. 

There may be some good news: COVID-19 cases have been trending downwards and leveled off in the last three weeks, the CDC’s Dr. Jose Romero said.


* * *

Howard Hot Springs, Lower Lake

* * *



I received the middle-class tax refund from the state in the form of a $700 debit card. I took the card to my bank, intending to deposit it in my account. However, the transaction would not go through. The teller asked me if there was an accompanying letter. I said there was, but I didn’t bring it with me. I went home, retrieved the letter and brought it to the bank.

The teller pointed out that in the letter, in five-point type, it says a maximum of $600 can be charged to the card at any one time. Further, the teller informed me that, because the first time I tried to transfer the funds failed I could not transfer the $600 until the following day. I dutifully returned the following day and was able to complete the transaction. However, I was charged a fee of $1.25. This was not from my bank, but the card (i.e. the state). The teller told me that every time I used the card, I would be charged $1.25.

Probably dreamed up by our clever governor.

Michael Burwen


* * *

* * *


I’ve been using bicycles now to go shopping. I got motivated to do this after making friends with a person who was one of those very unusual people you might run into only a few times in a lifetime. Unusual in that this fellow never learned how to drive a car and refused to even try. He depended on others for help when he absolutely needed a ride, but for everything else he pedaled his bike everywhere he went. He did own a car, and depended on others (often his lady friends) to drive it for him. His car was driven maybe once a week. I never asked him what his problem was with driving, and he never volunteered to explain. This guy was solid muscle, did landscaping work, and could go very fast on a bicycle, a lot faster than I could go. 

He and I are very fortunate in that this small town invested a lot of money in a greenway/bicycle trail that goes through the most scenic areas of this town and yet gives easy access to shopping areas and downtown. I can pedal my way through a miles long park with a big creek, woods, small fields etc. and yet at the same time take short cuts off trail into parking lots and onto back streets and pull right up to a grocery store or strip mall. I’ve got a junker bike I chain up in the parking lot, and I can buy anything I can manage to stuff into my saddlebags. I’ve discovered that during times of rush hour and stalling traffic, I can cruise right by the automobile mess, riding on the sidewalks or avoiding it all together and riding in the park. I’ve discovered that my bicycles at times are almost as fast as using a car, and I spend zero on fuel and get a great workout. I’ve got a suspicion that this sort of lifestyle might be what the future of transportation will be like when fuel is rationed and people are broke. 

In my opinion, building bicycle roads makes far more sense than building more roads for autos. We’ve all been wanting to experience communism, so under democrat leadership, we’ll be changing into something Chairman Mao first cooked up for China – bicycles! The most popular mass produced wheeled vehicle ever made is the Chinese “Flying Pigeon” model bicycle. Let’s look forward to the Democrat new world on two wheels that is coming. It’s all we’ll be able to afford after the dollar dies and is buried.

* * *

Ox Team, Middletown

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Shine on, Republic


When I was much younger & sincerely feared for our republic once a decade, my old man would smile his bemused, saintly smile, sip his martini, and say, “Well, boy, the Republic will survive.”--Until yesterday (11/11/22), when repeating that anecdote I'd conclude with “I'm glad he didn't live long enough to find out he was wrong.”--Today (11/12) I have reasonable hope that Pop was right, if by a much slimmer margin now than in the 1950s, 60s, & I suppose 70s & 80s & 90s & 00s & 10s & early 20s.

Jonathan Middlebrook

Redwood Valley

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Copies of my book ‘Rounding Up A Bison’ arrived while we were away. 200 copies! The big time, guys, the big time! Purchase one at:

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49ERS LOOK LOCKED IN FOR SECOND HALF, but still searching for an identity

by Ann Killion

At about 7 p.m. on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers’ season hit the precise halfway point. Eight-and-a-half games played. Eight-and-a-half games remaining.

For the first half of this season, the 49ers have been a mystery. Super Bowl contender? Underwhelming disappointment? It varied from game to game, even from series to series. The 49ers have been a team in search of an identity. Desperate for some momentum.

Maybe they found it in the early moments of the season’s second half, which was the second half of Sunday’s game. The 49ers recovered from their sluggish start to shut out the Los Angeles Chargers on defense and get a little traction on offense with 12 second-half points.

The 49ers are now 5-4, a half-game behind the Seahawks, who lost on Sunday morning in Munich and have yet to take their bye. The 22-16 victory gave the 49ers a two-game winning streak, only the second time this season the team has managed to string together back-to-back wins.

It’s not a lot of momentum, but maybe it is something to build on. And it is definitely better than the alternative — an ugly home loss to the banged-up Chargers — which looked like a real possibility for much of the evening.

“Overall, I thought we played our best team game against the Rams a couple of weeks ago, so that was momentum,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I wanted to pick up on that this week.

“I was proud of our team today. I want to score touchdowns. I want to blow people out. But that team’s really good. We still found a way to win, which was so imperative.”

It truly was imperative. Shanahan has an unflattering record coming out of the bye week: 1-4 coming into Sunday’s game. Last season, the 49ers came out of the bye and were blown apart by Indianapolis in a monsoon.

A loss on Sunday would have been even worse for the 49ers, whose early struggles with mediocre opponents have given them no room for error. Coming out of the bye and getting healthy, with two weeks for Shanahan to tinker with his offense and incorporate Christian McCaffrey, while going up against a beat-up Chargers team with one of the league’s worst run defenses, there would have been no excuses for underperforming.

But underperforming was very much what the 49ers were flirting with for much of Sunday’s game. In the game’s opening drive, the Chargers marched down the field for a touchdown and the 49ers’ vaunted defense was scrambling.

The 49ers’ first three offensive drives consisted of a field goal and two three-and-outs before they finally put together a second quarter touchdown drive. But the first half ended on a sour note when Dre Greenlaw was ejected from the game for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

Finally, the 49ers found something in the second half, on both offense and defense.

“As much as you want to blow a team out, you’ve got to just find a way,” said Fred Warner, who led a defense that shut out its opponent in the second half for a second consecutive game. “That’s what builds character in teams.”

On offense, the 49ers found a rhythm. They eventually hit Shanahan’s magic number of 40-plus rushes for the game: 41 carries for 157 yards with McCaffrey and newly returned Elijah Mitchell carrying the load. Jimmy Garoppolo was an efficient 19 of 28 while passing for 240 yards. He converted four huge third-and-long plays on the team’s two touchdown drives.

“Jimmy made some big plays on third and long,” Shanahan said.

It’s the formula that has worked for the 49ers before: effective rushing, efficient Garoppolo and dominating defense. That was the key in 2019’s push to the Super Bowl and in last year’s run to the NFC Championship Game. So it has to be the blueprint again.

The 49ers should be in good shape for the rest of the season, but we’ve thought that before. They have yet to play Arizona, a team that Shanahan’s teams have traditionally — oddly — struggled against. Aside from the Super Bowl season when they swept the Cardinals, Shanahan’s 49ers are 1-7 against Arizona. The Cardinals, now 4-6, beat the Rams on Sunday; they are giving up a home game next week to play the 49ers in neutral Mexico City.

Most of the remaining games will be played at Levi’s: a home stretch of matchups versus New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, Washington and Arizona. They have only two road games, at Seattle and Las Vegas, and neither require a long plane ride or a time change.

All season, we’ve been waiting for this 49ers team to get into a groove. To find their identity. To gain some momentum. Maybe, at the exact midpoint of the regular season on Sunday night, they finally locked in.


* * *

US Steel, Pennsylvania

* * *


by Hailey Branson-Potts

Beauty drew Brieanne Mirjah D'Souza to Eureka.

In 2018, she and her husband — Michigan natives who had been living for a spell in the Bay Area — moved up to this chilly old timber town to build a life beneath the redwoods and by the sea.

But last winter, pregnant with her first child, D'Souza began reflecting on this pretty place she would bring her son into.

D'Souza, a 32-year-old digital marketer, is of Chinese and West Indian descent. And Humboldt County is very white.

As D'Souza's belly grew and the headlines told of a dramatic surge in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, D'Souza set out to find other people who looked like her.

A fledgling group started meeting over Zoom and trading emails. They learned there had once been a Chinatown in Eureka. Maybe they could commemorate it with a plaque, they figured.

But where had it gone?

In the late 19th century, Chinatown occupied a single block in the middle of the remote, misty port town.

A few hundred Asian immigrants — mostly men — lived in Eureka after a federal law barred immigration from China in 1882.

They toiled in redwood logging camps, laundries and restaurants. They were nannies and household servants and vegetable growers. They were former gold prospectors priced out of the work because of a predatory state tax on foreign miners.

When the economy soured in the 1880s, white people blamed them, claiming they stole jobs. Newspapers whipped up anti-Chinese sentiment.

“There were a lot of stereotypes: that Chinese people were diseased, they were morally corrupt, they would not assimilate to the rest of American society at the time,” said Katie Buesch, a former director and curator at the Clarke Historical Museum in Eureka.

That sentiment was par for the course in the Golden State at the time.

Some California city officials are now acknowledging the ugly past — a counter-movement to red-state politicians pushing to ban books and limit the teaching of history that involves race.

Antioch and San Jose apologized last year for burning their Chinatowns in the late 1800s. San Francisco apologized for barring Chinese children from public schools.

Los Angeles is working on a memorial to commemorate an 1871 massacre in which at least 18 Chinese people were fatally shot or hanged. And in Pacific Grove earlier this year, organizers canceled a pageant that had long featured performers in yellowface.

In Humboldt County, Buesch, who had put together a small museum exhibit on Eureka's Chinese community just before the pandemic, was struck by an 1885 article in the Daily Times-Telephone newspaper about Chinatown.

“The time has come when these plague spots should be removed,” the newspaper wrote.

On Feb. 5, 1885, the newspaper, which called the Chinese neighborhood a violent, drug-addled “leper's colony,” wrote that it would probably be “goodbye to Chinatown” if an “unoffending white man” were killed there.

The very next day, a white Eureka city councilman who lived near Chinatown was walking past. Shots rang out between what is said to be two Chinese men, although details are scant. A stray bullet killed the councilman.

An angry mob of more than 600 white people — loggers, fishermen, miners and merchants — filled the streets, said Jean Pfaelzer, author of “Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans.”

A gallows was erected. An effigy of a Chinese man swung from a noose.

Someone suggested slaughtering the Chinese, but that was deemed un-Christian, Pfaelzer said. Others said they should burn Chinatown, but its scrap wood buildings belonged to a white man, since the Chinese were not allowed to own property.

They instead appointed a committee of 15 men to go into Chinatown and order everyone to leave. The sheriff commissioned wagons to gather their belongings. Armed vigilantes roamed on horseback.

The next morning, about 300 Chinese people were marched to the wharf and eventually loaded onto two steamships: The Humboldt and The City of Chester.

They were shipped to San Francisco, where no one knew they were coming, Pfaelzer said. They disembarked and fled.

A few dozen sued the city of Eureka, but a judge tossed out their lawsuit.

The purge, which became known as the “Eureka method,” was copied in other towns across California and hailed by white people as nonviolent.

By 1890, the business directory for Humboldt County was boasting that it was “the only county in the state containing no Chinamen.” A Eureka law, in effect until the mid-20th century, banned Chinese people from working in the city.

In the spring of 2021, a gunman killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three Atlanta-area spas.

The shootings sparked an outpouring of activism and calls to #StopAsianHate. They followed months of heightened attacks on Asian Americans amid a political climate in which then-President Trump was calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu.”

Around that time, D'Souza had set up an Instagram account she called APA Humboldt.

D'Souza quickly heard from a local group of Asian Americans who had organized a series of Japanese taiko drum performances before the pandemic.

They began meeting virtually. Their numbers grew. There was a real hunger for community in this county where only 3% of the population is Asian or Pacific Islander.

The group delved into local history, poring through legal briefs, census data, letters, maps and journals to piece together the little-known story of Eureka's Chinatown, which had been told mostly from a white perspective.

“We all had an awakening of sorts,” D'Souza said. “There was no awareness that there was once a thriving Chinese community here ... and they faced the same kind of discrimination and racism that we're still facing today.”

D'Souza figured they would install a plaque before her baby came, and that would be that.

But what became known as the Eureka Chinatown Project — the work of the group now called Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity — blossomed.

With support from the city, they erected signs describing the expulsion in Historic Chinatown — which, today, is a downtown business district with banks, parking lots and no trace of the neighborhood that once stood.

There are plans for a monument.

And — with a mural and a renamed roadway — the Eureka Chinatown Project honored two local Chinese American pioneers whose legacies were too little known.

For seven decades, Eureka effectively kept Asians out. Until Ben Chin.

In 1954, he moved to Eureka to open the Canton Cafe. He was said to be the first Chinese person to put down roots in the city since the expulsion.

Chin was an immigrant from rural southern China who served as a U.S. military policeman during World War II in Germany, France, Italy and North Africa.

The mayor liked Chin — a generous man with a quick wit, a big laugh and a love of the San Francisco Giants — and became a regular patron. But the city did not want too many Chinese people in town. So Chin was allowed to hire only one cook at a time.

Racist callers threatened him at work: “Get out of town!” “We don't want Chinamen here!”

Chin stood 5 feet 3, but he was military buff and could pull off an intimidating scowl when he needed to, said Mary Chin, his wife of 57 years, who still lives in Eureka.

“If you want to tell me something, come in person,” Mary, 83, recalled him telling callers. They never did.

“I don't think you want to mess with a guy who knows how to use a meat cleaver,” his son, Don Chin, a Eureka realtor, said with a laugh.

Mary met Ben, who was 17 years her senior, in 1962, when he came to Hong Kong looking for a wife.

The daughter of poor farmers, she had lived in Hong Kong for a few years after fleeing China by boat.

Her aunt introduced her to Ben, and a few weeks later they wed. She spoke no English when she moved to nearly all-white Eureka and, for years, rarely went anywhere besides the restaurant.

In an interview with her son Don and his half-brother, Ben Chin Jr., she said that even as the hateful calls came in, “I wasn't afraid because your daddy was there.”

The Chins singlehandedly grew Eureka's Chinese population, between their employees, the family members they brought to the U.S. and their children, who grew up washing dishes, waiting tables and cooking in their restaurants.

Ben Chin died in 2019 at age 97.

On a recent, misty afternoon, Mary stopped by the mural honoring her late husband, commissioned by the Eureka Chinatown Project last year in Historic Chinatown.

It is called “Fowl” — a play on the word “foul,” which was so often used to disparage the community — and has an image of a mandarin duck, which represents love and fidelity in China.

It includes a portrait of Ben Chin in his military uniform.

“My young man,” she said with a sad smile. “When I miss him, I come here.”

The mural is along an alleyway that the city, at the urging of the Eureka Chinatown Project, renamed last year: Charlie Moon Way.

At the time of the 1885 purge, Moon worked as a cook and manual laborer on a ranch on Redwood Creek. When armed men came to drive him out with the rest of the Chinese, his boss pulled out a gun and refused to surrender him.

Moon was long said to be the last Chinese person in Humboldt County — a falsehood, as a few Chinese men lived in very remote, rural parts.

 Moon married a native Chilula woman, the daughter of a blind medicine man, and they had eight children. They stayed put.

“History always wants to romanticize it. But when you go back to that time and place, I don't see anything romantic about it,” said Yolanda Latham, Moon's great-great granddaughter, who still lives in the area. “For my family, we've always had a lot of trauma.”

Life was hard in this county where, 25 years before the Chinese expulsion, a group of white settlers bearing knives and hatchets rowed across Humboldt Bay to Tuluwat Island and murdered some 80 to 250 Wiyot people — mostly women, children and older men — as they slept.

The Moons were “written off as half-breeds,” despised for both sides of their heritage, she said.

The Eureka Chinatown Project inspired Latham to look more into the history of “Grandpa Charlie.” She is thrilled that future generations will know his name — and the truth about the region's ugly, violent history.

“The mural is healing, the signs are healing,” she said. “Charlie Moon Way gives us a sense of pride and place. We were here. And that was our grandfather.”

“I think the past was so painful that no one wanted to remember,” she added.

Volunteers for the Eureka Chinatown Project, who represent a diversity of Asian backgrounds, including Japanese American women whose parents were incarcerated in U.S. prison camps during World War II, now give walking tours of the old Chinatown.

The tours always run long. People want to stay and process what they've learned.

D'Souza's son, Silas, entered the world last summer. He was one of three “Chinatown babies” born to volunteers.

“As he walks down the street as he grows up, I want him to see his culture in the artwork that's on the walls and the statues and monuments that are implanted on the ground,” she said.

“I want him to have that sense of belonging.”

(AP & LA Times)

* * *

BILL KIMBERLIN: People sometimes ask me how some shots in Star Wars or Raider's of the Lost Ark, or any other big movie was done. So I say, “It was a matte painting” and they say, “what's a matte painting?”

OK, so this is a matte painting for use in motion pictures. They were originally painted on glass so that a section could be left blank for inserting a “live action” image. 

This is the painting by Mike Pangrazio of the famous scene at the end of “Raider's of the Lost Ark”. We spend the whole movie trying to rescue it and it ironically winds up in an obscure government warehouse. That was the ironic joke.

* * *

I NEEDED A VACATION. I needed 5 women. I needed to get the wax out of my ears. My car needed an oil change. I'd failed to file my damned income tax. One of the stems had broken off of my reading glasses. There were ants in my apartment. I needed to get my teeth cleaned. My shoes were run down at the heels. I had insomnia. My auto insurance had expired. I cut myself every time i shaved. I hadn't laughed in 6 years. I tended to worry when there was nothing to worry about. And when there was something to worry about, i got drunk.

— Charles Bukowski

* * *

TO THE INTELLIGENT MAN OR WOMAN, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.

— Edward Abbey

* * *

* * *


When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

And he went wow. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at any of them.”

And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”

And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.

* * *

Mayn's Saloon, Lower Lake

* * *

TRUMP IS ADORED BY HIS FOLLOWERS. Dave Chappelle explained why

by Dean Obeidallah

Comedian Dave Chappelle is making headlines for his “Saturday Night Live” monologue in which he joked, among other topics, about Kanye West’s recent antisemitic comments. 

Chappelle’s barbs on the subject included tongue-in-cheek advice on how West should have handled the resulting firestorm, and a quip about the decision by sneaker manufacturer Adidas to drop the rapper as a business partner.

But comments he made about former President Donald Trump deserve even more attention than the ones about Ye. And they should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thinks the former President is going to quietly fade away. 

Chappelle pivoted about halfway through his 15-minute opening monologue to the topic of Trump, remarking that “I’m watching the news now, (and) they’re declaring the end of the Trump era.” He then melded his acerbic comedy with a simple truth that everyone wishing Trump would disappear from the political landscape needs to hear: Trump’s base hasn’t come close to abandoning him.

“I’m just being honest with you, I live in Ohio amongst the poor whites,” he said, adding, “A lot of you don’t understand why Trump was so popular (and) … very loved.” Chappelle — who acknowledged in his monologue that he’s a Democrat — then delivered a comedic explanation for why Trump is adored by his followers. 

He joked that Trump was an “honest liar” who told the unvarnished truth about a system set up to help the rich and powerful. And he recounted how Trump openly admitted as much during a 2016 campaign debate: “He said, ‘I know the system is rigged because I use it.’ ” 

The comedian then joked about how Trump, accused during that debate by Hillary Clinton of not paying taxes, shot back: “That makes me smart.” 

Chappelle shared that for many working-class Americans struggling to makes end meet, Trump’s “honesty” in revealing that the rich and powerful have been taking full advantage of a system designed for their benefit only enhanced his stature.

Now, we can debate all day why people really “love” Trump. Was it for the reasons Chappelle suggested? Or was it that, for some, there is a perverse appeal in his bigotry and defense of white nationalists? Is it his “owning the libs”? His tax cuts that greatly favored the wealthy? It may be a mix of all those reasons — or entirely different ones. But there’s no disputing that in polls taken before last week’s election, Trump was far and away the top choice of Republicans to be their 2024 presidential nominee. 

A New York Times/Siena College poll found in mid-October that 49% of Republican voters favored Trump as the party’s 2024 presidential nominee. His closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, got 26% support. That poll was taken before the GOP came up short in the midterms. 

Since then, many in the party are blaming Trump for Republican candidates’ lackluster performance at the ballot box, noting that the high-profile candidates he endorsed lost key, marquee races. Trump’s most notable losses span the country, from US Senate candidates Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona, to his choices for governor in battleground states such as Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Still, there is no reason to believe that core Republican voters will be dissuaded from supporting Trump despite last week’s election debacle for which he has been roundly blamed. Trump was still the top 2024 choice of the GOP base despite his botched handling of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic (as polls in 2020 showed), and his role in riling up the crowds responsible for the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

If his base has overlooked all that, it’s hard to imagine that all his supporters will abandon him just because Republicans didn’t get the “red wave” they were expecting.

There’s another deeply concerning reason why Trump’s support will not simply evaporate. As historian and expert on autocracy Ruth Ben-Ghiat explained in a 2021 interview, Trump is an authoritarian leader who has developed a cult-like following. Trump has “followed the authoritarian playbook with propaganda, with corruption, with incitements to violence,” she said. This makes Trump’s bond with his supporters unlike anything we are accustomed to seeing in American politics. 

And in an article she penned last year for The Economist, Ben-Ghiat said that Trump’s “influence will not dissipate until the institutions of democracy formally confirm misconduct, for example with a court conviction.” That is why in her view “it is so important to hold Mr. Trump accountable.”

But who knows if Trump will ever be “held accountable” and what the impact would be on his supporters if he ever were to be? Doing so may make his followers cling to him even more tightly — despite what millions of Americans, including even some Republican officeholders, may want. 

Given reports that Trump is expected to announce his 2024 presidential run this week, I’d predict that he won’t be going away any time soon, even without having delivered the “red wave” his supporters had so fervently hoped for.


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WESTERNERS ARE TAUGHT that evil foreign "regimes" don't let their people criticize their government, meanwhile westerners themselves are trained to never criticize their government. They're trained instead to criticize decoy dichotomies — false partisan nonsense — not the real power.

Westerners are trained to criticize the actions of the other party or the beliefs of the other ideological faction, never the foreign or domestic policies which are fully supported by both parties. The power structure which maintains 99.9% of the same policies regardless of which party is officially in charge is the real government, but westerners are trained never to look there. They're instead trained to fixate on a false two-handed puppet show diversion.

Westerners say "Well I'd rather live here than China or Russia, because here I can criticize my government whenever I want!" Okay. But you don't. You don't criticize your government. You just criticize the puppets, and usually only the puppets of the party you don't like. You never criticize your actual government. Criticizing your actual government looks like attacking the murderous foreign policy that's supported by both parties. Attacking the authoritarian domestic policies supported by both parties. Attacking the exploitative capitalist systems supported by both parties.

Westerners are trained not to do that. They're trained to believe that "criticizing your government" looks like saying "Drumpf" or "Let's go Brandon" while the same tyrannical agendas march forward regardless of who sits in the White House.

Westerners are "free" in the same way "free range" chickens are free; sure the door's technically open and they can technically go outside, but they're conditioned never to do so. Western so-called liberal democracy purports to offer freedom while in practice only offering the illusion of freedom. It uses the most sophisticated propaganda machine ever devised to keep people trapped in an existence as blindly obedient gear-turners while cartoons about freedom play in their heads.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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WASHINGTON — Only two US military aircraft types met their mission capable goal in fiscal 2021, the Government Accountability Office found in a new report that evaluated the availability of 49 aircraft.

The GAO’s report, released Thursday, paints a bleak picture of aircraft readiness among the US services, with most aircraft — 30 of 49 platforms assessed — more than 10 percent below their mission capability goal in FY21. (An aircraft designated as “mission capable” means that it can fly and accomplish at least one of its ascribed missions.)

However, the poor readiness displayed in FY21 is not just a blip of bad news in a decade with otherwise stellar aircraft availability. According to the report, 26 aircraft failed to meet their mission capable goal during any year between FY2011 and FY2021. That number includes some of the US military’s most prolific aircraft, such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-16 — two workhorse fighters used by the Navy and Air Force, respectively.

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Kherson is now a frontline city in the war in Ukraine after Russian forces withdrew from the region west of the Dnipro River. A CNN crew saw joyful scenes in the city following the pullback. 

The Russian retreat marks one of the biggest setbacks for Moscow since the start of the war. Kherson was the only Ukrainian regional capital that Russian forces had captured since February’s invasion.

Ukrainian officials are restoring key services in parts of the region, but the military warns that Russian attacks are a present danger even in liberated areas.

The G20 summit begins this week, and it's not yet clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend virtually — or how Western leaders would react.

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  1. Marmon November 14, 2022


    In my lifetime I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jim Jones, Leonard Lake, Kenneth Parnell, and various Manson Family members. I also knew Richard Allen Davis.


  2. Harvey Reading November 14, 2022

    Remember the immediately preceding? I surely do. It stank to the high heavens.

    I also wonder how much nonrenewable energy and other natural resources go into those “wonderful” electromobiles with which everyone is so in love. The robber barons love ’em, because the things make them a fortune, just like wind and solar “farms” do.

  3. Kirk Vodopals November 14, 2022

    Crisis at the County! So many vacancies! Could you imagine all the “services” the County could provide if they filled all those “vacancies”? Can you imagine an inverse relationship between County mental health staffing levels and the number of deranged vagrants wandering the streets? Can you imagine a real Psychiatric Healthcare Facility constructed and completed using taxpayer dollars? Can you imagine Measure P funding going into the general fund to make up for County workers healthcare plan deficits? All those possibilities…

  4. Bill Pilgrim November 14, 2022


    Allan Green’s winery was” Greenwood Ridge,” not Navarro which has a tasting room next door.

    • Bruce Anderson November 14, 2022

      Thanks for the correction, Bill. We fixed it.

  5. Eric Sunswheat November 14, 2022

    RE: WE’VE WRITTEN that from the outset it seemed to us beyond preposterous that wealthy decadents would pay a lot of money to do big naked piles under the redwoods.
    (Ed Notes)

    —> October 31, 2022
    Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups…

    The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, President, of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation.

    References: 1 – 29

  6. Marmon November 14, 2022

    The Democrats have opened the door for Republicans in 2024, young people who voted for Abortion and forgiven Student Loan Forgiveness will realize they were lied to. Roe will never be codified, and Student Loan forgiveness is unconstitutional. It’s a hard lesson, but it needed to be learned. We will be reminding them of Democrat lies.

    Biden: Democrats will not have enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade

    President Biden said Monday [today] that he does not expect congressional Democrats will have enough votes to pass a bill codifying Roe v. Wade.

    Student loan forgiveness update: Another federal court deems plan unlawful

    “The Biden administration has hit yet another snag in implementing its student-debt relief program after a federal appeals court deemed the plan unlawful. Today’s verdict comes after a Texas court ruled the plan unconstitutional on Thursday last week. The U.S. Department of Education has removed the forgiveness application from its website in response, but officials remain confident in the plan’s constitutionality.”,it%20“must%20be%20vacated.”


    • Marmon November 14, 2022


      They will also be a couple of years older and be more mature in 2024.

      Marmon (aka the profit)

    • Marshall Newman November 14, 2022

      “You just keep thinking, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”

  7. George Dorner November 14, 2022

    Sailor in the old photo, Army veteran in the new, and not a fighter pilot in sight.

  8. Bruce McEwen November 14, 2022

    Bezos is giving away his billions, Musk blew his wad on Twitter, Bitcoin is tanking, what’s the next Big Thing?

    • Chuck Dunbar November 14, 2022

      Mark Zuckerberg off to India, joining an ascetic order, long hair, beard, celibate, chanting, begging. “Glad to leave Meta behind-I am sane and humble now and I love this new life!”

      • Bruce McEwen November 14, 2022

        Zounds! Sounds like our Craig Louis Stehr could serve as an advisory angle, eh?

        • Bruce McEwen November 14, 2022

          Sure, Rishi Sunak has more gold than King Charles III has ever even seen!

          Enlightenment = Fortune ( correct me if I’m wrong here, Michael J.

          • Mike J November 15, 2022

            Am puzzled why Craig isn’t the called-upon “expert” here, but I sorta understand as he’s a bhakti (devotional-oriented, not too caught up in words beyond simple Krishna Das lyrics) and I a jnani, knowledge-oriented and very wordy despite deep sympathy for the way of wordless zen.

            Enlightenment entails a fundamental sense of comfort and ease amidst all circumstances but not because of having a fortune that grants a false sense of security and comfort and ease. It’s more like a spontaneously abiding in a recognition of thought free wakefulness and bare sense of being always threaded through all experiences, including thinking up a storm. A simple disentanglement or defusion from being entranced by subjective movements = enlightenment.

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