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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

Slow Warm | Eel Bend | AVCSD Meetings | Crab Feed | Unity Club | Rope Ladder | Pathetic Hustle | Dog Deal | Suspect Custody | Work Crew | Wildlife Program | Horrible Healthcare | Pomo Webinar | Wintry Thoughts | Downtown Arcata | Credit Marty | Target Employ | Bales' Focus | Ranch Hands | Handyman Bob | Piano Recital | Decomposers | Opera Trip | Travel Tips | Cat Mother | Norton Ranch | Looking Back | Yesterday's Catch | Jinky | Marco Radio | Not Safe | Playoff Pick | Bear Cubs | Falling Apart | Abandoned Factory | Cheese Doodles | Davos Jerks | Road Builders | SpaceX | Ukraine | Underpass | EU Scandal | Aquarium | Cowboy Movie | Slow Night

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A SLOW BUT STEADY WARMING TREND will continue through most of next week. Light coastal precipitation over mostly Del Norte County will be possible this afternoon through tonight. Winds will become gusty on Sunday into Monday on the higher elevations. Otherwise, warm and dry conditions are expected for the next week. (NWS)

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Eel River on Route 162 in Tatu (Jeff Goll)

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[1] Wednesday, January 25th, 2023, at 3pm

Presentation of Rate Construction Methodology Recommended by Consultant (Brelje & Race). Provide Direction to Consultant Regarding Allocation of Cost (Operations, Maintenance and Replacement) When Establishing Monthly Base Rate and Water Usage Charge. General Discussion of Impact on Rates Associated with Various Levels of Non-Participation by Residentially Developed Properties.

To be held via teleconference 669-900-6833    

Zoom Meeting ID: 462 981 9537 

Password: 7400. 

Public comments or document requests can be submitted electronically to

[2] Friday, January 27th, 2023, at 9am

Tour Of Fire/Ambulance Facilities Starting At 9 AM In Yorkville and Concluding At 4:30 Pm After The Rancho Navarro Tour. For the AVCSD Board of Directors. 

(For more info or to participate, call 895-2020.)

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by Miriam Martinez

February 2, 2023 Public Welcome to meet our Guest Speaker Darcie Antle in the Fairgrounds Dining Room at 1:30.

Darcie Antle was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as the Chief Executive Officer of Mendocino County on July 12, 2022. She also served as Assistant CEO, since May 30, 2021 and Deputy CEO from 2017-2021. She is also currently serving as Mendocino County's Disaster Recovery Finance Director. She is working to create a Fiscal Unit within the County's Executive Office to support the various departments and divisions with their financial reporting and budgeting. The CEO oversees preparation, adoption & administration of the County's budget, and coordinates the activities of the County's departments; to ensure the effective accomplishment of the Board's policies and directives. per Mendocino County Code 2.28

Public Welcome

Unity Club Members: Please Note: On February 2nd, 2023 we will enjoy our annual Friendship Luncheon catered by Terri Rhoades. The final date for reservations was January 23rd, 2023. Contact Jean Condon, treasurer, for any last minute menu selection, i.e., vegetarian vs ham & cheese quiche. Our hostess crew, Donna Pierson-Pugh and Elizabeth Wyant, will provide beverages and snacks for the meeting following the luncheon. The Public is invited to attend the presentation by Guest Speaker Darcie Antle.

Happy 100th Year of Unity in the Anderson Valley Community! 

Can you imagine the strength of character of our founders? They were reeling from the losses of World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic; yet they had the foresight to band together to provide aid to their community. Thank you, ladies. You too can provide aid to our community by bringing canned goods (none expired) to the February 2nd meeting. We are supporting the Food Bank with 100 cans for 100 years, as one of our Centennial celebration projects.

Our Lending Library is open Tuesdays 1:00 to 4:00 and Saturdays 12:30 to 2:30 whenever the Fairgrounds are not rented out. Located in the Home Arts building the Library has a table of books available for adoption. The hard-bound books are $1.00 and paperbacks are $0.50. Give an orphan book a home. Donations are also welcome during regular operational times.

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Transferring to Ship in Eureka Harbor

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As a resident of Mendocino County serving time, I take offense to those who attempt to hustle the fine folks of my county with letters to the Advertiser written under the guise of being in a desperate situation that requires the generous compassion and financial donations of the Mendocino community. Not only is this predatory, but it reflects poorly on all of us are serving time.

There can be no better example of this weak "hustle" then in a nauseating letter written by Warren Beck, printed in the January 4 issue of the Advertiser where he represents himself as a "loving daddy" from Ohio who needs a "mere $600" to return to his loving children in Ohio. If Mr. Beck applied half the effort it took to supply his daily meth habit towards getting home to the children, he would be there in a day or two. But instead, he wants us to believe he is stuck here in Mendocino, a heartbroken daddy wanting to return to his children.

Shame on you Mr. Beck, for playing on the sympathy of people!

A bus ticket to Ohio costs less than $200. The Ford Street Project will purchase you a ticket, as will several local churches and also social services. A man should never be stuck anywhere. If you have two legs you are mobile. A mere $600? Mr. Beck, not only are you out of line in your pathetic attempt to hustle my community, but you are embarrassing yourself. Please walk your ass back to Ohio and stay there!

Alan Sunny Crow


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18 MONTHS AFTER AN ATTEMPTED MURDER on a Covelo Cannabis Grow, a Suspect Is in Custody

A year and a half ago, a cannabis cultivator shot another on a remote grow east of Covelo. Out of the eyes of the public, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office identified a suspect, Jose Javier Salazar Cruz, and issued a warrant for attempted murder. In October 2022, the long arm of the law caught up with him in New Mexico. Now, 18 months after the crime, the suspected shooter is in custody awaiting trial behind the bars of the Mendocino County Jail…

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Arcata Union Work Crew

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MENDO MOUNTAIN LABORS LONG AND HARD For At Least Three Years And Barely Produces A House Mouse.

by Mark Scaramella

Back in January of 2020 Supervisor John Haschak started talking about ending the Federal Trapper program in favor of “wildlife exclusion” services. In 2021 Haschak and local opponents of the trapper program convinced Supervisors Maureen Mulheren and Ted Williams to agree with Haschak and they voted to end the trapper program on grounds that it was (allegedly) killing too many animals indiscriminately and was a subsidy to ranchers. (Subsidies to the wine-tourism industry are fine though.) 

Back in August of 2021 Laytonville anti-trapper activist Jon Spitz wrote a letter to the Editor announcing that “Supervisor John Haschak informed the Board that he is working on [sic] developing an ‘exclusion service’ that will provide all County residents with non-lethal alternatives to protect their property from wildlife damage.”

The County put out a nearly unworkable Request for Proposals for wildlife exclusionary services and, predictably, nobody bid for the pathetically small contract/workload. The following year a very competent Laytonville woman who’s also on the County’s Fish and Game Commission offered to take the contract but she complained that she had been disqualified because she didn’t have some kind of odd “credential” that County Counsel wrongly required. (It wasn’t mentioned in the RFP either). 

The idea of providing even minimal exclusionary services, however, has now completely gone. On next Tuesday’s Supervisors agenda, some three years after Haschak brought up the idea, the County proposes to provide no new services at all. Instead, according to a bewilderingly large collection of colorful Powerpoint slides — a sure sign that they’re trying too hard to make nothing look like something — existing Ag department and/or Animal Control staffers will simply refer locals with wildlife problems to other state agencies like the Department of Fish & Wildlife, all things they could have done three years ago. They will also “explain” things to locals, “consult with” them and do “education and outreach.” I.e., nothing remotely “exclusionary.” Nor any actual “services.” There will be no contract with anybody to do anything. 

Again, it took Haschak and company three years to produce this mouse, despite periodic promises since the subject first arose that “exclusionary services” were a better way to deal with wildlife problems than using local trappers.

Wherever one falls on question of the value of the federal trapper program, you’d think the County could have at least followed through with their promised alternative after three years “hard work” and contracted with the woman who was ready to provide actual services.

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THE COUNTY CEO’S REPORT under former CEO Carmel Angelo was mostly a random collection of generic propaganda from any County department which felt like submitting some disorganized, meaningless info. But it at least contained a little useful data as well, such as vacancy rates in each department and some (albeit skimpy) departmental statistics. 

Current CEO Darcie Antle has figured out a way to be produce an even worse CEO report, with no data and all, and much more departmental bureaucratic boilerplate. In addition, several important departments are missing entirely, mostly in law enforcement. For all their babbling about transparency, all we get in the CEO report is the exact opposite.

For example: Here’s the CEO’s chart clarifying what the County’s “Information Technology” department deals with:

We particularly liked the unintentional irony of the Social Services “Thriving Economy” chart. 

Apparently Mendo’s economy is “thriving” so much that almost $50 million in food stamps had to handed out to about half the population who do not the basic income to feed themselves in the thriving economy; over $18 million of which was handed out under “emergency” conditions. 

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JEFF BURROUGHS: Not to be the complainer dejour but I have suffered another incident with this fine health care system we have in our State, County, Valley… Wife needs surgery, she is suffering terribly, poisoned from her gall bladder. Two months have passed since her ER visits and doctors appointments and today she finally got to see the surgeon who said “We will call you next week to schedule you for surgery.” My wife’s immune system is so overburdened from waiting that she has tremors, nausea and vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and dizziness and crippling fatigue. If she has to wait another month I fear she won’t make it. I am so desperate and I feel so helpless. I am at my wit's end. All I want is to see her taken care of but she is being treated horribly. I just can’t believe how bad health care is in America.

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We’re now nineteen years into farming and we’re finally accustomed to the rhythms of farming! That it’s taken so long is not entirely our fault. Changed weather patterns and climate events such as extreme drought, fire, heat and balmy sunny days throughout the winter all disrupt the physical and psychological systems of plants and animals, including humans. When plants are confused and start budding out in January and rains don’t come during our normally two wettest months of the year, naturally, we too become confused. But so far, this winter is acting as it used’s raining a lot.

We, like most Californians, have been indoors staying dry and doing what mammals are supposed to do in winter...sleeping, eating, resting, doing accounts, thinking, basically regenerating and hibernating. Perhaps being older helps one see the benefits of this (:) but in a capitalist world these benefits are frowned upon. The way many people live nowadays, taking time out to ponder the past and plan for the future is often considered a waste of time. Capitalism requires a short sighted but necessary drive to “make money.” Farmers are part of this system and while inclement weather (rain in our case) makes growing food possible and reduces the risk of fire, if it continues too long and with such violence as recently demonstrated, it also often makes it impossible, as impossible as, say, not having any water at all. And the loss of income is disastrous for many.

When all a person’s energy is directed toward income (or more money for its own sake) to cover the need for food, water and shelter (or security into infinity), that drive comes at the expense of the environment that nurtures us and overpowers the need to keep our waters clean, our land productive, our air pure, and all people sheltered. Our pigs are intelligent enough to know not to poop in their food tray; humans don’t seem to be.

We have been lucky in 2022; our fields produced well and our markets were excellent, the ponds are full and we’re receiving abundant rain so far. Looking forward though, is scary. Last year’s heat was only endurable for our gardens because we shaded everything we could. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes. The trees and plants not covered were fried on the south and west sides and since statistics indicate that every year is hotter than the last we have no idea how farming will fare going forward. Nor do we know if our ponds will be filled next year.

It is our belief that climate disasters are driving everything going down in today’s world...politically, environmentally, socially and psychologically...and that we are causing them. We are not facing up to our responsibility or our much belated need to change direction.

Let’s all hope for a complete change of course in this new year.

Nikki Auschnitt & Steve Krieg


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Downtown Arcata

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SALLIE BROWN: I have been quite amazed by the number of people who are speaking about KZYX&Z as if they know the background and history of the inner workings of the radio station. Everyone agrees that Alicia is a brilliant and creative person, with a great deal to contribute. This is clear to anyone who has been listening over the past 3 years that she had been program director. There are however a whole other level of inner machinations that occur in this, as in any organization, and it is in this area that confidentiality is expected, mandated and reasonable. Everyone is entitled to and welcome to their opinions. Not everyone is qualified to make demands, statements or accusations that are beyond their ability to know, understand or interpret a complex interpersonal situation. Please be respectful of all parties in this situation. Thank you. After listening to KZYX&Z for 15 years it has never sounded better, felt better, raised more money, planned for the future better. All this is because of the hard work, perseverance and vision of a team of people under the direction of one person, Marty Durlin, Station Manager, time to give credit where credit is due, IMHO. 

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To the Editor:

Anyone who has worked for a not-for-profit entity is aware that most employees, if not all employees, can be dismissed at will. I know this from my previous employment with Nashville’s WPLN, Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Family and Children’s Services and the Ronald McDonald House. My complete work experience was in the area of non-profit management. I was an at-will employee expected to take direction from board/management while doing my job of fund raising, alumni and donor relations, special events, and direct mail. I interacted with the staff/clients of these organizations in a respectful and appropriate manner at all times.

Let me say this again: It was expected and I was held accountable to collaboratively work with upper management, staff and the respective boards. The boards of these organizations held me accountable for creating, funding, and implementing a budget each year. Period. No personal agendas and no reorganizing the management structure or policies. This is how the real world works and functions. It’s not for the faint of heart. It can be extremely stressful.

While saving an eagle in a tree (the first topic of Ms. Bales new podcast) is somewhere on the spectrum of Mendocino County needs, to me it is a need far behind the many homeless people I see every day in Ukiah and surrounding areas. As a priority, an eagle in a tree is below our county's failing infrastructure, below our county’s unfunded pension liability, below our weak and ineffective Board of Supervisors and the budget deficits hidden by the previous CEO, and below the failing local cannabis industry that impacts hundreds of families. There are so many pressing needs in our county.

As mentioned, Alicia Bales is gearing up to produce a podcast which depends on listeners subscriptions. This reminds me of Alicia Bales passing the hat just to keep the Mendocino Environmental Center (the MEC) open and to pay the past due electric bill. 

As the MEC's president, Ms. Bales had no long term or short terms goals. No plans to create and implement a budget. No plan to work with existing programmers and/or to recruit new blood to the Center or KMEC. These all needed to be created and shaped with the existing board at the time. That didn't happen. Ms. Bales immediately appointed a group of her cohorts who parroted her words and beliefs. The friends whom she hand picked worked at cross purposes with the rest of us. That is, one part of the board was trying to keep the Center open, while the other, under Alicia Bales’ direction, worked to close it down. These cohorts had no clue as to what it took to run a non-profit, just like Ms. Bales. When COVID hit, it was the nail in the coffin. 

I write this to remind all of us that not all people are suited to work and thrive within a structure not of their making. And yet, if you believe in the purpose and mission, in this case, public radio, you will do what it takes to make it work for the board, staff, volunteers, and of course, the listeners, members, and underwriters. It isn’t about personal agendas. 

Mary Massey

Co-Host, Heroes and Patriots

KMUD Community Radio


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Norton Ranch, Blue Lake

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Call Bob @ 707 813 1798 for those yard, garden, fence, deck, any maintenance issues at your residence or property.

Cleone, Fort Bragg, Mendocino

Carpentry, plumbing, repairs, cleanup

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Daniela Mineva will present pieces from the traditional piano repertoire including Beethoven's Rondo in C major, Messiaen's Three Preludes, solo transcription for the first movement of Schumann's piano concerto, and a new piece from the African- American Composers Margaret Bonds. Ms. Mineva will provide background and commentary on each piece and at the end of the concert, there will be a short question and answer session.

Sunday, January 22, 3:00 pm - Mendocino Presbyterian Church

Tickets may be purchased in advance at Out of This World in Mendocino, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or online at Brown Paper Tickets.  Tickets may also be purchased At-the-Door.

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Decomposers at work (photo mk)

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FIELD TRIP TO THE OPERA with Mary O'Brien this summer - sign up by 2/2

Hello AV Village members, Volunteers and beyond!

On Sunday, June 25th, the AVV is sponsoring a trip to see Gabriella Lena Frank's opera, El Ultimo Sueno de Frida y Diego, at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House beginning at 2 pm. Gabriela is a very talented musician, teacher, and composer who has lived in Anderson Valley almost 8 years. I have reserved 16 seats: 10 in Balcony Row F at $71 each, and 6 seats in Balcony Rows G and H at $36 each. Since this is the only matinee, there are no reduced price seating. Despite that, seats are filling up fast. I will need your reservation by Thursday, February 2nd, which is just two weeks away.

You can email me (Mary O'Brien) at or call me at (707) 895-3618 or (707) 367-9728 to place your order.

If you go to, you can see a description of the opera, which will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

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Today’s tip comes from Bill Hildebrand, who recommends heading north from the Bay Area:

“First, Point Reyes National Seashore. The great outdoors is great there: beaches, a historic lighthouse, tule elk, sea mammals and whales, hiking, camping (including some very cool hike-in sites), kayaking and fishing on Tomales Bay. There are a few very good restaurants, a wonderful bookstore, great local cheeses and other foodstuffs.

Then, there are a million little gems, like the touristy but still very wonderful town of Mendocino; the rugged and isolated Lost Coast, which can be like Big Sur without all the tourists; and the hardworking coastal towns of Fort Bragg and Eureka.

Our final destination is Redwood National Park. It is a trek to get there, but most of the drive is gorgeous. The park itself is stunning. There is absolutely nothing like being in the presence of thousand-year-old trees.”

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Panel discussion with the Cat Mother illustrators to accompany the Kelley House Museum's exhibit:

I’m interviewing artists on a youtube video for Kelley House, an afternoon with Cat Mother illustrators. It’s about 45 min. long, but it’s old time Mendo.

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Silo at Norton Ranch

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by Bruce Anderson

I'd been living in a condemned building, teeming with deadbeats, which I more or less managed for Coldwell-Banker in exchange for free rent. It was at Sacramento and Stockton on the Chinatown end of the Stockton tunnel which emitted a round-the-clock cacophony of honking horns, yobs testing their echo voices, the occasional terrified scream. There was a gas station down below and between it and my crumbling building was a nicely-maintained little garden bungalow occupied by a man described by Herb Caen as “man about town, Mathew Kelly.” 

There were mornings when I could look out my kitchen window and watch the dapper Kelly unwrapping a fresh shirt as he prepared for another low intensity day of calls to his broker, lunch at Jack’s, a cab ride on up the hill for drinks with Herb, Wilkes and Cyril. I envied him, not so much for his money and his social circle but for his daily fresh shirts, and the expensive bouquets of flowers I could see on his tables. I wondered why Kelly lived there; not that it was an unattractive little house, but it was placed at the mouth of the tunnel and the adjoining gas station and their perpetually toxic stew of noise and vehicle fumes.

In 1769 there had been an Indian sweat lodge, a temescal, at the foot of what became Sacramento Street, and in 1873, the original Grizzly Adams brought his 1500 pound Griz, Samson, to star in Adams's animal menagerie in Leidsdorff Street, since downgraded to Leidsdorff Alley. One day the beast “got out of his cage and took possession of the lower part of the city” before he was trapped in a livery stable and recaptured. It’s 2007; there’s a sign in an apartment window in the 106 block of Clement that says, “Return the Presidio to the Mukema Ohlone Nation,” the long gone occupants of the 1769 temescal on Sacramento Street. If the ghost dancers were right, all the Mukema Ohlones have to do is wait a few more years and we'll be gone and they'll be back amid the ruins, and a thousand years from now an Ohlone paleo-seismologist will be scratching his head over the ruins of old San Francisco. 

One hundred and sixty years after the Ohlone’s temescal, where Sacramento Street runs into the bay, my Sacramento Street menagerie included a large family of industrious gypsies whose men sold transmissions and other hefty car parts out of their living room while their women sold camellias at Fisherman’s Wharf. “How ya doin’ today, boss?” the men would greet me. “You need a differential maybe? “The Gypsies paid their rent in cash, like everyone else in the building, the whole crew off the books except for the booking logs.

When I'd fled north for Mendocino, the Vietnam war raged on and on, and amphetamine, heroin, the criminals who sold it, and random homicidal maniacs had taken over the city streets. I’d go north, I thought, a hundred miles north, up into redwood country, up 101 until it was so rural I couldn’t see anybody except the people I wanted to see. I'd pass through the rainbow tunnel at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, through marvelous Marin, through long gone Sonoma County, to Cloverdale where the invisible green curtain parts and California’s last wild country begins, that mysterious vastness of the Coast Range, those thousands of Edenic little valleys that lie between the Sacramento Valley and the Pacific, those miles of mountains and meadows now being sprinkled with gentle people building new lives in eccentric houses they built themselves. We'd drive on through Cloverdale and turn west towards the ocean, me and my odd crew of adult drop-outs and juvenile criminals, and on into the Anderson Valley where the air was clean, the scenery spectacular, land was cheap, and you didn’t see a cop or a crook unless you called the former or were the latter.

We didn’t know we were in a long tradition of outlaws and mavericks to populate the Northcoast, a tradition that had begun 150 years earlier when the long, lean, lethal sons of Missouri had begun drifting into the vast unsettled land defined by the Sacramento River to the east, the Sisikyou mountains to the north, San Francisco Bay to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, all that vast bounty the native peoples had lived contentedly on all those centuries until 1850.

While our staggering collective raised junior crooks on a leased ranch south of Boonville, many of our contemporaries grew pot and threw themselves into great naked piles at solstice boogies at places like the Rainbow commune above Philo, first among Mendocino County’s burgeoning collectives, a place Timothy Leary tellingly described as “one of the most successful, upscale hippie communes in the country.” Upscale is the keyword here, and can be read as insolence and an oblivious class privilege as expressed by the communard who'd defecate in paper bags he'd leave as gifts in the cars that picked him up hitchhiking. The collective’s many other graduates, after a few years of trust-funded rural indulgence in what might be called decadence if their sex and drug bingeing had been conducted more elegantly, more stylishly than slob grunts and casual couplings, re-entered straight society to start-up prudent “alternative” newspapers, run their dubious friends for public office, and to generally begin accumulating the political power they have today on the Northcoast in the me-first-but-love-me politics of the Democratic Party. They all turned out to be as timid, as ultimately conventional as everything they claimed to oppose.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, January 20, 2023

Curtis, Faustina, Ickes

JAMES CURTIS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSEPH FAUSTINA, Willits. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, cruelty to child-infliction of injury.

COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-peeking into inhabited building, loitering on private property, probation revocation.

Morton, Nava, Salazar

ROBERT MORTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSE NAVA-GARFIA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Battery, false imprisonment, damaging communications device.

JOSE SALAZAR-CRUZ, Stockton/Ukiah. Attempted murder with enhance for using a weapon during a crime.

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

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 7pm. If you can't make that, send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. Next week is fine. No pressure. Just, why not do it now while you're thinking about it?

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is normally* every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other even more terrific shows.

*But tonight, like three weeks ago, the show will start around 8:30 with an hour of old-time radio drama or something thrown together in a hurry, because I have to go get Juanita from work and tonight they have her on until a little after 9pm and it's a 50 minute round trip, plus or minus. So the regular part of MOTA with the theme song and everything will start at 9:30 or 9:40 when we get back, and will run till the usual 5am.

Any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night I'll put the recording of tonight's show there. And besides all that, there you'll find whole fascinating worlds to unwrap and explore and toss away like unneeded ballast until showtime, or any time, such as:

"Oi love Louis Prima since oi'm a huge fan of The Jungle Book." "There's always a part where it goes fadoomp! and then it goes phWAAAURGHH!" That's true. That is a reliable indication that it's Louis Prima, viz: Fadoomp! (pause, then) phWAAAURGHH! (57 min.)

This A.I.-written and acted short piece made me think of the trouble du jour inside KZYX, which is a little something like this, some jours more than others.

"And pretty soon a little feeding frenzy started there around the camera..."

Marco McClean,

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PREDICTION FROM THE NYT: No. 5 Dallas Cowboys at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers, 6:30 p.m., Fox

Betting Line: 49ers -3.5 point favorites. Total points: 46

The Dallas Cowboys notched their first road playoff win in 30 years last week to set up this throwback to the rivalry games of the 1990s. There have been some stylistic updates for both franchises, though.

Brock Purdy is not Steve Young, and he hasn’t had to be. The 49ers have won 11 straight, with the rookie backup Purdy under center for seven of those games. His bevy of options, from tight end George Kittle to running back Christian McCaffrey to Deebo Samuel, are fast and hard to tackle, and they rack up yards after the catch.

This won’t be an offensive bonanza for either side, though, after both teams absolutely wrecked their opponents in the wild-card round. The market has made the San Francisco a 3.5-point favorite, the narrowest spread of the weekend, and the total of 46 points is its lowest. The 49ers’ Nick Bosa and Cowboys’ Micah Parsons are the two leading contenders for the defensive player of the year, so these quarterbacks should be pressured more than they have been all season.

Dak Prescott is the better of the two quarterbacks, but he’ll need his running backs, Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, to help keep the 49ers’ defense honest. San Francisco is better at defending the pass than the rush, and went 2-4 in games in which they allowed 99 or more yards on the ground. Assuming the 49ers are able to neutralize receiver CeeDee Lamb as well as other teams have recently, the Cowboys may need to rely on Dalton Schultz, and for Prescott to avoid a disaster turnover. It’s a lot that needs to go right, but that’s why Dallas is getting the points. Pick: Cowboys +3.5.

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Woman with Bear Cubs

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by James Kunstler

“People underestimate how much resistance to imperial edicts out of DC there is, they underestimate how many people are waiting for the fall, but they also misunderstand that this resistance is taking a muscular but passive form.” — Deep South SR on Twitter

Of course, the “Joe Biden” classified document scandal is less about the documents per se than it is about the Biden family business, which was accepting llarge sums of money from shady foreign interests for unspecified services rendered. “Joe Biden,” the brand, is owned, perhaps to the degree that he can be called “a sell-out.” Selling out your country is kind of serious.

For instance, our country is right now deeply involved in a war between a Biden family client, Ukraine, and its angry relative, Russia. The USA has pumped more than $100-billion into Ukraine just this past year. That’s quite a return-on-investment for the million or so Hunter Biden grifted out of the Burisma gas company. It is alleged that Ukraine has operated as a gigantic international money laundry, especially since our State Department and Intel Community overthrew Ukraine’s government in 2014 and put in a series of errand boys.

Ukraine did not have to become a geopolitical hot-spot. We made it a problem on-purpose. The strategy, if you can call it that, was stated explicitly by SecDef Lloyd Austin: “to weaken Russia.” That was based on the NeoCon game theory that the USA had to maintain at least the appearance of dominance over as much of the world as possible — a.k.a. hegemony — at the very moment in history that America’s economy, culture, and institutions had entered a state of collapse, visible to everyone in the world. By the way, our efforts in Ukraine against Russia have only strengthened Russia — its currency, its balance of trade, its own internal political security, and its military defenses.

The Ukraine fiasco has surely benefited America’s military contractors and the parasitical ecosystem that feeds off it. Ukraine has benefited not so much. To be blunt and concise, Ukraine will come out of this a much-diminished entity, with no ability to cause any more problems in that region of the world. The money laundry will be closing down. As that happens, recriminations will pour out of Ukraine, implicating many American officials in the laundry operations, including former Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch and her circle. Wait for that.

So, the tussle over the docs is a smokescreen for those artful machinations. The appointment by praetorian Attorney General Merrick Garland of a special counsel, Robert K. Hur, to investigate the doc affair is the insurance policy. Mr. Hur’s job is to prevent any witness from testifying on these matters before a congressional committee on the grounds of protecting “an ongoing investigation.” You can bet that whichever committee takes on this hairball, it will find workarounds to overcome that gambit and start unraveling the grift behind the docs. It will get ugly.

The evidence for all that is neatly packaged in the notorious laptop computer that Biden family bag-man Hunter Biden dropped off in a Wilmington, DE repair shop and then “forgot about,” so the story goes. I wonder about that. My armchair psychiatrist’s take is that Hunter harbors a not-so-well suppressed wish to destroy the Big Guy, his father, who has sinned grievously against his son and made a monster of him. (A monster of depravity.) The classified docs that the Big Guy stashed in his various properties are quite secondary to the gigantic trove of deal memos with purchasers of influence (and photos of them with the Biden gang) stashed on that radioactive hard-drive.

I’ll never understand — and neither will you — how “Joe Biden” got propelled out of ignominious defeat in the earliest presidential primaries, to sweep the field on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Around the same time, all his rivals magically dropped out of the race for the nomination. Some kind of message must have gone out from Deep State Central. Who wanted this licentious old grifter in White House? Well, probably his old boss, Barack Obama, and just about everyone in officialdom connected to the shenanigans in Ukraine dating back to 2014, and then the RussiaGate illegalities that ensued from it, especially former CIA boss John Brennan and his cronies. Under Mr. Obama, the whole US government had become something like a rotten log infested with sowbugs of grift, deceit, and malfeasance. Installing the dotty old bird in the White House would give Mr. Obama a stealth third term. Mostly, it would prevent the dreaded Golden Golem of populism, Donald Trump, from bringing any harm to that cabal and its, ahem, interests.

We do understand how “Joe Biden” won the 2020 election: via massive fraud engineered by fraud-master Marc Elias, king of the Lawfare trolls, who fine-tuned the mail-in ballot operation during the likewise engineered Covid-19 public health ruse. That wicked election business, of course, is just another grave matter requiring the utmost protection to prevent any inquiry from ever gaining traction. And yet all of it, the monumental government crime spree of recent years is all unraveling before our eyes — even before Jim Jordan or anyone else has even said boo from a House committee chair.

It’s all falling apart — along with America’s economy, our institutions, and our culture. The Biden family’s cover stories are collapsing, the government’s censorship and propaganda machine has thrown a rod, the Covid-19 story looks day-by-day like organized mass murder, election fraud issues still stalk the land despite every effort to squash them — and the grim reality coalesces that Russia is going to clean up the mess we made in Ukraine, and, in the aftermath, probably produce a shit-ton of evidence of American corruption and villainy there.

“Joe Biden,” the phantom president, has entered the air-lock, waiting to be jettisoned into the deep space of ignominy, chocolate mint chip ice cream cone in hand. Kamala Harris watches the action offstage in a fugue of anxiety and depression. She does not want to become president — and, guess what, nobody really wants her to be, either. She won’t even have to be induced to step aside. Her hysteria will be so great that not even the hypnotists of the Intel Community will be able to calm her down. She’ll run shrieking from it back to California. The levers of control finally fail. By a caprice of history, and the genius of the founding fathers, Kevin McCarthy lands in the White House. A page turns. The coup is finally over. That’s my fantasy du jour.

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

* * *

Abandoned Factory, Ohio

* * *


It’s “unravelling,” it’s “falling apart,” it’s “collapsing.” That may be evident to those who are awake, but what about the masses who aren’t? Is the “collapse” being broadcast by MSNBC? CNN? The New York Times? As long as the gates of truth are guarded by the media mafia, average Joes will never be the wiser. In a rare moment of lucidity, Richard Nixon was correct when he said, “Americans don’t believe anything until they’ve seen it on television.” Hear, Hear!! Nothing will change until the unwashed masses run out of cheese doodles. At least here in the great usa. The most washed body part since the covid show is the brain. Plus, if your paycheck depends on you being brainwashed, guess what. Lets not forget normalcy bias, either. The next 20 years will be the same as the last 20 years. If only. Here’s to me, wishing I was still blissfully ignorant…

* * *

FORMER NYT EDITOR JILL ABRAMSON on the Times’ and the Davos climate change summit: “The coverage was a sweetener to flatter the CEOs by seeing their names in the NYT so that they could then speak at high-dollar NYT conferences–and, of course, get phony news stories from the conferences into the paper. It was–and is— a corrupt circle jerk.” 

* * *

Road Building, Old Humboldt

* * *

IT IS A BIT FUNNY HOW THE PUBLIC NARRATIVE about SpaceX is mostly about Mars and futurism and the exploration of space, when in reality its existence predominantly revolves around aiding the US war machine's campaigns of terrestrial conquest.

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *


The US will support Ukraine "for as long as it takes," US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday after a key NATO meeting in Germany focusing on military aid for Kyiv.

The Pentagon announced a $2.5 billion Ukraine security package, which is the second largest ever announced by the United States. 

The US and Germany appear to be in a standoff over sending tanks to Kyiv. Berlin has indicated it won't provide its Leopard 2 tanks unless the US also agrees to send M1 Abrams tanks.

CIA Director Bill Burns and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a secret meeting in Kyiv last week on the US expectations for Moscow's battlefield planning in the spring.


* * *

The Brutal City Underpass

* * *


by Patrick Cockburn 

The spectacular unmasking of alleged bribery in the EU Parliament has attracted limited attention in Britain, despite police in Brussels discovering suitcases stuffed with hundreds of thousands of euros in cash and a vice president of the Parliament landing in jail.

Qatar and Morocco are accused of buying up Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a scandal that revolves around a vote on a resolution criticising Qatar during the World Cup. The Greek MEP Eva Kaili is now suspended as vice president of the Parliament with many pointing derisively to a speech she made last year, saying “the World Cup in Qatar is proof actually of how sports diplomacy can achieve a historical transformation of a country with reforms that inspired the Arab world”.

She added that Qatar was a frontrunner in labour rights and that some members of the European Parliament were bullying and discriminating against the country.

Reforms are promised in the wake of the scandal but tighter regulations have been successfully resisted in the past. Damagingly, the latest scandal is assumed to be only the tip of a giant iceberg of corruption in the Parliament which has long been targeted by Transparency International, the anti-corruption watchdog, which has identified some of the Parliament’s more blatant boondoggles.

British disinterest in the scandal is not so surprising since a curious feature of the Brexit “debate” that raged before and after 2016 was that the actual workings of the EU never attracted much interest. Leavers ludicrously scapegoated all the EU institutions as bureaucratic monsters trampling on British freedoms and thwarting its global ambitions. Remainers portrayed the EU as a sort of warm and cuddly Paddington Bear-like institution, operating much like a UN agency.

The denouement was inevitable since MEPs made little secret of their willingness to turn their influence into money, something which they could generally do without breaking the law. One German MEP who wrote to companies in 2018 to advertise his services was not even reprimanded. Another declared earnings of €40,000 a month for business consultancy and other activities, though later he modified this figure down to a measly €5,000-€10,000 monthly.

Rules forbidding MEPs from selling their influence to the highest bidder are lax and are, in any case, little enforced. “Time and time again,” explains the online magazine Politico, “members of the [EU] Parliament have resisted proposals to shine more light on their work and shrugged off the lack of enforcement of rules already in place – all the while taking advantage of perks and privileges that would make a member of the Borghese family blush.”

It is not as though MEPs are poorly remunerated to begin with, each of them earning about €9,400 a month as well as €4,800 general expenses for which they need not produce receipts. In addition, they are allowed to hold as many other jobs as they want with the nature of their activities often declared in the most general and untransparent way.

The known rewards of MEPs through what Transparency International politely calls “moonlighting” are excessive, but these are only known about because of voluntary declarations. An analysis by Transparency International suggests, the true extent of MEPs being bought up is far greater: “The findings demonstrate once again the prevalence of ‘moonlighting’ among elected members in Brussels,” reads the TI analysis. “The actual figures may be even higher, given that MEPs self-declare their earnings and their declarations are not subject to institutional checks.”

Beneath the Radar

Is the age coming to an end when companies claiming to be delivering greater “efficiency” simply sack their experienced work forces and outsource their services to whoever makes the cheapest bid? The “more efficient” enterprises cruise along for years until a crisis or disaster capsizes them. Something like this happened to Southwest Airlines in the US during the storms.

Cockburn’s Picks

Criminals make more money out of adulterating food with cheap inputs than they do out of heroin, according to Professor Christopher Elliott, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast. Food imports into the UK, much of it through the port of Rotterdam, have barely ben tested for adulteration since Brexit. He points out that more than 40 per cent of fresh fruit and vegetables eaten in the UK are produced in South America and Central Asia in places where drugs cartels are at their strongest. See this fascinating interview with Elliott and this on food fraud.

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

* * *

Aquarium (2008) by Josef Koudelka

* * *


Me and my good partners
We were riding back to our camp
We were feeling very fine
The air was clear and slightly damp

We were riding back to have ourselves a party
To celebrate the robbing of the train
We were talking kind of low and lazy
'Bout not having to go out soon again

You know we hadn't been back at home two hours
We heard a hawk cry out in the night
And you know that's a signal from young Billy, who's our sentry
He's saying something here ain't exactly right

We quick grabbed some of our hardware
Stumbled out of our home
Two minutes flat we had found her
An Indian girl, all alone

And Eli said, "Let's take her back to the cabin"
I said, "You don't know she might be the law, yeah"
He said, smiling kind of nasty
"It ain't too damn likely she'll beat me to the draw"

As we were walking back through the darkness
I heard the Duke, he's our dynamiter, say
He said, "What's your name, sweet, little Indian girl?"
She said, "Raven" and she looked away
Right then I didn't trust her, no, and I said so

Now, Eli, he's our fastest gunner
He's kinda mean and young, from the South
He said, "Fat Albert, you're getting kind of old and weird now"
"You better get your twelve gauge or shut your mouth"
And I did, you know I did

Now Eli and the Duke they got down to it
They each wanted the Indian girl for their own
But when they finally got around to asking her
You know she said she'd come to take young Billy home

Eli said he'd kill young Billy
He'd kill the Duke and, and probably me too, yeah
The Indian girl, she said, "Go ahead now, do it"
I said "Stop it", and she bit my thumb nearly clean through

And when they finally started to break down the door
I smeared my face up with blood from my thumb
I laid down on the floor and played real good possum
You know I'm crazy but I ain't real dumb

Now I'm dying here in Albuquerque
I must be the sorriest sight you ever saw
You know the reason I'm the only man here to tell it
You know that Indian girl, she wasn't an Indian she was the law

— David Crosby

* * *


  1. Chuck Dunbar January 21, 2023


    I love these photos of cafe kitchen workers having some fun at the end of the day. A lot of jobs are just plain hard and not much fun, so any break that can be had is a gift—people need to play around, need a bit of fun in the midst of making a living.

    We tried, in my old coastal CPS unit, to kid around and have a spot of fun at times. I had a squirt gun handy to instigate play stuff. Once I went a little too far, squirted one of my fine social workers on her bare neck while she spoke to another staff. She’d had it with my foolishness, turned around and chased me—revenge was in her eyes! I pretended to be scared, darted away from her, tripped on a box, flew up in the air and broke my right wrist. It all happened so fast it was hard to believe, hurt like hell. Off I went to Willits so fine Dr. Bowen could work his magic. My social worker and I still kid each other about the day—in my view—that she so cruelly broke my wrist.

  2. Jim Armstrong January 21, 2023

    Photo: “Transferring to Ship in Eureka Harbor”

    Sure it isn’t a lynching?

    • Gary Smith January 21, 2023

      Where is/was Eureka Harbor anyway? Never heard of it. Wondering if it’s Trinidad.

      • gordon van zee January 21, 2023

        it is Trinidad, Eureka ia a sand dune harbor

  3. John McKenzie January 21, 2023

    I don’t know who Kurt Eichenwald is but his post about Target was very inaccurate. Target doesn’t mind his inaccuracies because it make them look better and everyone who reads it will believe and repeat it because it was on twitter. I makes me wonder if some people might be getting paid to make mistakes.
    Targets press release states the raise will be between $15 and $24, depending on the job and the local market. Also a target employee must work over 25 hours to get medical, a reduction of five hours. Do get me wrong, it’s all good that they are doing this. I just have a problem with people repeat inaccurate information because they can’t be bothered to check the source.

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