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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Rain Tonight | Handley View | BoonQuiz | FFA Speakers | Water Project | Heart Health | Cavalier Firing | AVV Newsletter | Taco Truck | Burrito Gift | Comet Flyby | Pisole Pickup | Local Contractor | Benefit Dining | Mendo Tourism | Beer Fest | Police Reports | Ed Notes | Shadepost | Eating Crow | Yesterday's Catch | QB1 | Retire Tom | QB3 | Niner Hiatus | Thanks DeMeco | Library Records | Monarchs | Hiring Firefighters | Existential Comic | Warm Blanket | Paycheck Living | Sako Radio | American Nitro | Water Woes | Video Magazine | CA Incompetence | Peckerhead | Debt Ceiling | Huff Honored | Rascal | Wonderful Nazis | Russiagating | Freeway | Media Claims | Potatoes | Ukraine | Soul Glimpse | Empire Flailing | Warplane

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CLOUDS WILL INCREASE across Northwest California today ahead of an approaching Pacific storm system. Gusty south winds and light rain will then develop across the region this evening. In addition, light mountain snowfall is expected across portions of Trinity County. Otherwise, another storm system will yield additional rain and wind across the area Saturday and Sunday. (NWS)

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The View from Handley Cellars (photo by Elaine Kalantarian)

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The first Thursday of February is upon us and that means the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz is about to enrich your lives. It starts at 7pm tomorrow, February 2nd at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn and hopefully we can have another exciting evening and break the attendance of the last one (29 players). You know it makes sense. Cheers, Steve Sparks, Quizmaster.

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Today these students competed in the Mendo-Lake Section Leadership Development Events at Mendocino College. FFA members participated in FFA Creed Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Job Interview.

Three members are moving on to the North Coast Regionals in March. Anthony placed 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking. Anika placed 4th in Job Interview. Emilia placed 4th in Impromptu Speaking. 


(Beth Swehla, Boonville-AV FFA)

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REPORT ON DRINKING WATER PROJECT (from January Water Projects Committee Meeting): 

Jack Locey (Brelje and Race engineer) continues to work on negotiations. In January Jack will present the status of all negotiations to the AVCSD board in a closed session. During the same meeting, in an open session, Jack will make a presentation to the board of the rate options and how they can be structured. It is necessary to have a structure that the board supports before community outreach. Based on the community survey about participation that is being sent out in February, Jack will be about to approximate rates based on the level of participation.

Jack explained that there will be three wells on the airstrip – 5’ into the airport space from the Airport Rd side and about 250-300’ apart in order not to have influence on each other. The wells be in vaults approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and will be flush with the ground. They can withstand anything that rolls over them, although they will be placed well out of normal traffic and where there is little chance of contact. 

Like all new wells, the airstrip wells would need to be dug to have an accurate idea of their production.

Jack explained that there will be 3 treatment centers (mid Boonville, Meadow Estates, and the Elementary School). Each will be treating for the aggregate of minerals in the separate areas and will add chlorine at those treatment points.

Jack responded to the question about the number of private wells in the system and he thinks we will have 4-6 including the Clinic.

Discussion about coordination with the CEQA and LAFCO processes. LAFCO (approval of AVCSD as a Water District) must wait until we decided on the rates which is dependent on the survey followed by the final letter going out. Jack explained that the CEQA process is totally separate and will also require public noticing and a public meeting.

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REPORT ON CLEAN WATER (WASTE) PROJECT: Dave Coleman (engineer for Brelje and Race) was unable to attend but Jack reports that he is working on setting up soils testing with a subcontractor. Jack explained that monitoring wells will be going in at the treatment plant site at Valley Views on Highway 128 in Boonville.

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Anderson Valley Community Services District

To be held via teleconference Phone # 669 900 6833 Zoom Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078

Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on February 2nd, 2023 electronically to

 Thursday February 2nd, 2023 at 10:30am


Call To Order And Roll Call:

Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:

Consent Calendar: Minutes From January 5th, 2023

Changes Or Modification To This Agenda: 

Report On Drinking Water Project:

Report On Wastewater Project:

Public Outreach:

Concerns Of Members:


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JAN WAX (Philo): I hope my friends here on facebook will let the KZYX Board of directors know if you disapprove of the cavalier manner in which Alicia Bales was fired. She is as surprised and baffled at this as we are. In correspondence with her she said it was "an impulsive decision by a bad manager"- with no offers of a meeting to work out any perceived problems or to have a discussion with the board. This is no way to treat someone who has worked so hard for the radio station, which is in danger of falling apart with the departure of key staff members, particularly in the news department. I think Alicia should either be offered the General Manager position, soon to be vacated and available - or her job as Program director, in which she's done an outstanding job, be reinstated.

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We currently have 60 members (46 memberships) and 47 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand! 

Starting in March our monthly gatherings will be held on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 4 to 5:30 – thank you!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful members and volunteers: Evette Thomas, Judith Auberjonois, Kathy Janes, Donde Robb, Alister Robb.

Wow, we had a great turn out at our Gathering of local organizations and a good time was had by all! It was both informative and entertaining – no shortage of local characters in this community. And it was incredible to see what so many dedicated volunteers have been able to accomplish and people that are supported in this community!

We hope that this will inspire others to join the ranks and help build on this momentum – standing on the shoulders of giants, as they say! Stay tuned, another similar gathering is planned in June with a whole new set of wonderful local organizations.

Call out to Our Wonderful Community!

Please lend your skills, passions and ideas for the greater good! We are looking for participants (members, volunteers and beyond) for the following opportunities:

  1. We are looking for writers interesting in sharing their work at our Gathering, probably March. This is always a fun event with an amazing variety of authors. Anyone interested should call Lauren 895-2606.
  2. We are also looking for folks to help breath new energy into our committees – including the AV Village Events, Membership, Volunteer Committees and more, depending on interests. Let the coordinator know if you would like to be on one – thank you!! 

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SAFFRON FRASER: So. I took a run to Ukiah to bring someone to outpatient care. While there I stocked up on ginger tea and vitamin c, a few groceries. Went to Costco, they're pretty unpredictable about what they stock...So, I thought I'd hit up the grocery outlet. I'm bummed with the new "Whole Foods" Grocery Outlet. Pretty spendy. Annnyway, at this point I was Hangry. And just wanted to get home. But decided to drive through at Taco Bell. I have not done that in ages. Two crispy tacos snd an iced tea. And for some reason, I asked, last minute, for a bean and cheese burrito. As I was exiting, there was a dude sitting on the curb. I'd say homeless, or a bum. But I think that's not P C. The folks on the street are now "unhoused" apparently. But, I digress. I quickly rolled down my window, and said hey dude, do you want a burrito? He looked up. And smiled real big. And jumped up, and said Yes! Thank you so much! Genuinely glad to get a buck sixty nine burrito. Now I know why I ordered it. And, I felt my irritation with my shopping experience fade while I was glad to share a bit of food.

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On the night of February 1, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) came closest to the Earth and reached its maximum brightness (around magnitude 5).

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The AV Panthers Senior Class is cooking up a tasty Pisole dinner for pickup on Saturday. The students are selling tickets Wednesday and Thursday after school in front of the Junior/Senior High School. The dinner pick up is Saturday the 4th at the high school cafeteria. Dinner for 1 is $10 and dinner for 4 is $35.

Don't miss this tasty, home-made treat!

Willow Douglass Thomas, Senior Class, AVHS

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ROBBIE LANE: Local contractor with Class B license, over 40 years experience in all phases of building. 15 of those years spent doing remodels, additions, remediation, and compliance work right here in Anderson Valley. If I haven’t worked for you, you probably know someone that I have! Spring is on its way. Good time to start a project… Rates and referrals on request.

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TOM WODETSKI writes: I asked Visit Mendocino County: How many tourists visit the Mendocino Coast every year? And got this reply:

Hi Tom, 

Our averages show roughly 900,000 visitors to the coast annually with an additional 600,000 to the inland/Anderson Valley.

Travis Scott, Executive Director, Visit Mendocino County

I then asked Travis if locals—STRs (short term rentals, ie, vacation rentals) bookings are down this year because there is now an oversupply, and he answered:

Hi Tom, 

When looking at my AirDNA reporting it looks like there are on average about 60-70 more listings per month available now over last year. What we are reading the last 6ish months is that STRs are generally down as a lodging class. Consumers have reported that they are not as interested in STRs and are trending back to more traditional lodging to avoid the restrictions from STR platforms, property owners, neighbors, and municipalities. 

Travis Scott

MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Around 900,000 people visit the Coast every year? And another 600,000 visit inland? Sounds pretty high. But then again, Mendo says they take in about $8.5 million in Transient Occupancy taxes each year (now). Which is supposed to be 10% of the total tourism bed charges (not including meals and drinks, etc.) Which translates to about $85 million in total taxable bed tax revenues. Which means $85 million divided by 1.5 million = about $55 per person. Which might be in the ballpark. But it’s still hard to believe that 900,000 people visit the coast each year. That would average 70,000 per month (higher in the summer/tourist season) or maybe 100,000 per month during the peak tourist season. If each person (or family?) stays three days, at say 2 room days per month (30 days) that means 50,000 room days divided by 30 = upwards of 2,000 rooms being occupied. 

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A Saturday in March. Stay tuned.

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On Saturday, January 28, 2023 at approximately 1:16 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to investigate a report of fraudulent activity on a citizen’s bank account. 

An unknown suspect had gained access to the account holder’s recently issued debit card through the mail and made several withdrawals without the victim’s knowledge exceeding $2,000. 

After learning all funds in the victim’s account were withdrawn, the victim initially contacted the bank's fraud department to report the suspicious activity. 

During the victim’s contact with the bank representative, the victim learned the suspect was already in contact with the bank to inquire why the debit card was no longer working. The suspect was able to pose as the victim and access the account by providing the bank with the victim’s personal identifying information. 

With location information on where the debit card was used, deputies obtained surveillance footage and were able to identify two suspects as Evan Caster, 40 and Michelle Vollmer, 39 of Fort Bragg.

Caster, Vollmer

Contact was made with the two suspects, and deputies found the suspects in possession of items purchased with the stolen debit card. 

Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Fraud, Identity Theft, Grand Theft, and Conspiracy.

With identity and mail theft incidents like these occurring ever so frequently, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens of the following tools and resources 



On Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at around 8:00 PM, Deputies were dispatched to a stabbing that had just occurred near the 19000 block of South Harbor Drive in Fort Bragg.

Deputies arrived within a few minutes and located Jack Lemay, 41, of Fort Bragg on the ground suffering from multiple knife/stab wounds. A 22-year-old male identified himself as the person who stabbed Lemay and this male was detained, without incident.

Jack Lemay

Deputies requested and assisted Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Paramedics with loading and transporting Lemay to the hospital for treatment. He was later transported via air ambulance to an out of county hospital for further treatment.

Deputies collected physical evidence at the scene and obtained eyewitness statements from multiple people.

From multiple eyewitnesses, Deputies learned that Lemay had recently been physically abusive to his 38 year old estranged spouse (name withheld). The 22-year-old male, along with other family members, were attempting to assist her since that unreported assault.

On the evening of Tuesday, January 31, 2023, Lemay arrived at his estranged spouse's residence, in violation of his Felony Probation terms, stemming from a recent previous domestic violence incident.

The 22-year-old male along with other family members, followed Lemay away from the area of his estranged spouse's residence, trying to make sure he left her alone. They all stopped in a parking lot and Lemay began to violently assault the 22-year-old male, who was sitting in a vehicle (through an open window).

The 22-year-old male attempted to protect himself and create distance from Lemay, without success. After being drug from the vehicle and punched multiple times by Lemay, the 22-year-old male produced and knife and used it to stop Lemay from violently assaulting him further.

The 22-year-old was transported to the Sheriff's Office Fort Bragg Substation, where he was interviewed and subsequently released.

Based on the results of this investigation, Deputies are forwarding the investigation reports to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office seeking prosecution against Lemay for Criminal Threats), Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Battery, and Felony Probation Violation.



On 1/31/23 at approximately 5:30 pm, Ukiah PD received an alert from the FLOCK license plate reading camera system. The alert was for a stolen vehicle in the area of E. Gobbi St. at Hwy. 101. The vehicle was a dark-colored Subaru Outback which was reported stolen from Reno, NV. on Jan. 14th. 

UPD officers driving marked patrol vehicles located the stolen vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Metro PCS/T-Mobile store located at 710 S. State St. The vehicle was unoccupied, but there was one person inside the store. Officers surrounded the store and waited for the suspect to return to the vehicle. 

Approximately 10 minutes later, the person who was inside the store exited and got into the driver’s seat of the stolen vehicle. The person then got out of the vehicle and re-entered the store. UPD Officers drove into the parking lot blocking the stolen vehicle. The person inside the store walked out and engaged with officers. This person complied with officer’s commands and was detained without incident. 

The suspect was identified as 46-year-old Brandy Mong from Pennsylvania. She was arrested for violation of 496d(a) PC, possession of a stolen vehicle. She also had non-extraditable warrants out of Pennsylvania. Mong was transported and booked into Mendocino County Jail. 

Brandy Mong

As always, UPD’s mission is to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone, and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website;

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THE BOK-BOK’S ON THE JOB: A True Story From 1971 Mendo (Part Two)

Our new cooks, ignoring all attempts at communication with them, Scott and Emily began throwing open the doors of our cook shack’s storage shelves, hauling pots, pans, cooking sheets, and number 10 cans of government foodstuffs down out of the cabinets. They soon had a pizza assembly line set up with Little Wook-Wook at the finishing end where the child diligently sprinkled a concluding garnish of olives on the pre-oven product. The Bok-Boks seem to have produced institutional pizzas before, and we knew that the institution probably had bars on the windows.

There were soon four pizzas in the oven and a dozen more ready to go, way more than even our dedicated junk food eaters could down in a week.

I asked the Bok-Boks to stop making pizzas. Then I asked them to please stop making pizzas.

The Bok-Boks went on making pizzas.

Something very weird had kicked off.

A delighted delinquent yelled at me, “Whatcha gonna do now, big boss man?”

I knew I couldn’t handle Scar Head one-on-one, and my colleagues, still high on The Summer of Love, were all committed to non-violent conflict resolution — doubly, triply committed to the path of the Mahatma when they saw Scar Head. I’d thought about trying to get the drop on the big psycho with a two-by-four but worried that (1) the board would bounce off his head and then be used to beat me to death, and (2) the mayhem would reinforce “inappropriate behavior” in the delinquents. I was, after all, a role model.

Forty or so pizzas later, our new cooks had started in on what became an even five hundred bulgar and molasses cookies the size and texture of frisbees. (We’d been baffled by bulgar, the wheat-like grain we’d vaguely associated with 19th century Russian novels. We had government bags of it but had no idea how to make it into anything edible.)

On the cooks cooked. Little Wook-Wook, exhausted by her long bus trip up from the city, then her task as pizza garnisher, then arranger of endless cookies on tinfoil, stretched out on the cement floor and went to sleep. Piles of pizzas and cookies surrounded the unconscious Little Wook-Wook where she lay at her laboring parent’s feet, a kind living shrine to the junk food gods.

Her parents soon moved on to more complicated dishes in what had become a full-on cook-a-thon which obviously wouldn’t end until there was nothing left to render inedible.

The delinquents had been mostly silent for the show, happy at the subversion, quiet but wary because they couldn’t quite fit it into their precocious portfolios of aberrant adult behavior. After a couple of hours of serial food prep, and as delighted as they were at our impotence in the face of the crazy cooks, the delinquents wandered off to bed, pleased with the day’s events.

When we returned to the cafeteria in the morning, Scott and Emily had the countertops covered with dozens of congealed fried eggs, some forty meat dishes assembled from the mysterious contents of cans labeled “U.S. Government Beef,” and they’d blended every available vegetable into gallons of home brew V-8. Little Wook-Wook slumbered on where we’d last seen her the night before, the centerpiece of the oddest ever rendition of the US government’s surplus food program.

Every pot, every dish, every possible container had been deployed in an all-night cook-in. Or cook-off. Or nut-off. Scott and Emily had transformed a month’s larder into unappetizing piles of whatever it was now, food maybe. 

A kid muttered the consensus opinion: “No fuckin’ way I’m eatin’ this shit.”

Still not a word out of the Bok-Boks, not so much as a bok. And here they were, day two, casually posed in a calamity of dirty pots and pans calmly smoking post-culinary cigarettes.

We called the cops.

The delinquents, energized at the mere possibility of violence, and silently jubilant at the chaos of the overnight food frenzy, now eagerly anticipated Scar Head’s interface with law enforcement.

In the Anderson Valley of that time, law enforcement consisted of a young resident deputy, George Simon, occupying his first cop post. Inevitably, the deputy was locally known as, “Simple Simon,” although like the rest of us, his gifts seemed securely in the middle of dull-normal range.

Deputy Simon was soon on-scene. 

We explained that two city screwballs had cooked up all our food, that we'd fired them because they wouldn't stop cooking and now they wouldn't leave.

“I’ll be damned,” the deputy said.

His game face on, Deputy Simon strode authoritatively up to Scott, who lounged at the sink with a cigarette. He and Emily were looking off at a kitchen wall as if it were more interesting than the arrival of law enforcement. Little Wook-Wook was on her feet, fully awake. She peered out at the deputy from behind her mother’s billowing skirt.

“You've got to leave,” the deputy said, without the usual cop preliminaries like, “Hi. How are you today, sir?” And on through the appraising police protocols until the inevitable demand for the perp’s identification. Given Mr. Bok-Bok’s obvious potential for effective instant violence, we thought Deputy Simon had been recklessly bold.

“These people want you out,” the deputy said.

“No, we don’t,” yelled a delinquent.

Scott, cradling his ammo box, stared silently back at the deputy. Emily issued a defeated-sounding, “bok-bok.” Little Wook-Wook continued to peer out at the deputy from behind the ample pioneer cover of her mother.

The deputy repeated himself.

Scott, Emily and Little Wook-Wook, like three deaf mutes, gazed back at him.

We anticipated the worst.

A three-minute stare down ensued until the cooks, communicating in perfect sync in ways we couldn’t see or hear, suddenly strode rapidly past the startled deputy, past us equally startled spectators, and into their nearby cabin, Little Wook-Wook slamming the door behind her,

“He’s probably got a gun in that ammo box,” a delighted delinquent speculated.

“I hope he does,” shouted another.

“I’ve got a gun, too, don’t I?,” Deputy Simon said, dramatically — unholstering his .357 as he walked to the Wook-Wook’s door.

“Come out of there. Now!” the deputy yelled at the door.


“You,” the deputy ordered me, “grab that two-by-four and get over there. Knock the shit out of that nut if he comes out of there with a gun.” (Imagine being directed to confront a crazy guy the size and dimensions of Nick Bosa.) 

The delinquents, beside themselves with anticipatory joy, eagerly moved uphill of the cabin for theater-seat viewing of whatever came next.

It seemed to me that the deputy’s orders were tactically defective. If Scar Head came charging out of the cabin, gun (or guns) blazing, the deputy and I were arrayed so closely on either side of the door that I would have hit the deputy in the head with my two-by-four while he simultaneously put a big hole in me with his hand cannon.

For the next several minutes there wasn’t a sound from inside the cabin. The two-by-four, which I held over my head in “knock the shit out of” mode, grew heavy. I was soon leaning on it like it was a crutch. The weight of Deputy Simon’s .357 caused him to shift it from hand to hand where it was usually pointed straight at one of his feet.

The deputy whispered to me, “I’m tired of this bullshit. You better go in there and have a look around. See if you can talk to them.”

Entering a small, dark room occupied by a deranged weight lifter seemed more in the deputy’s job description than mine. Besides, wasn’t it wiser just to wait them out, let them make the next move?

As we debated cabin-extraction tactics, the Bok-Boks burst out of the door in their habitual single file. Sure enough, the deputy’s gun was pointed directly at his foot, and I was so startled I stumbled backwards, my two-by-four clattering uselessly behind me on the cabin porch. 

Looking straight ahead, our two-and-a-third food prep specialists set off for the west hills at a fast walk, a very fast walk. Any faster and they’d have been jogging.

“Shoot ‘em! ” a delinquent shouted. 

We stood speechless at their retreating forms, Little Wook-Wook’s pink chiffon party dress vivid against the summer's golden browns.

The delinquents cheered. The Bok-Bok’s flight promised to prolong the drama, now approaching its sixteenth hour. 

But what could the cooks be thinking? What was their plan? The road to Boonville or San Francisco was to the east of us, not west, but Scott, Emily and Little Wook-Wook were headed rapidly west from Highway 128, headed into the rough, back country. There wasn’t anything or anybody until the blue Pacific, thirty-five miles away as the crow flew or the psycho walked.

None of us authority figures, and certainly not Deputy Simon, were inclined to hot pursuit. We all watched the odd trio move at Sherpa-like speed up the first steep slope, marveling at the pace and apparent endurance of plump, bonneted, retro-matronly Mrs. Bok-Bok and Little Wook-Wook in her party pumps. The patriarch, we knew, had the double strength of the furiously insane. He could walk to Manchester and back without breaking a sweat because, in his teeming mind, he was the wronged party. He and Mrs. B. had been hired to cook, he’d cooked, she’d cooked, Little Wook-Wook had cooked, and then they’d been fired for cooking. It didn’t make sense to the guy.

We anticipated the worst. Maybe Scott would wait until we’d made a Safeway re-supply run, then the three of them would come back down out of the hills late at night and cook up all our food again. Or maybe Scott would come back by himself and strangle us all in our sleep, one at a time, and stuff our remains in number ten cans, the ones marked “U.S. Government Beef.”

Had the Bok-Boks done this before? Had Scott and Emily and Little Wook-Wook descended on other outback youth camps, cooked up all the food and then fled into the hills? Maybe the Bok-Boks were some new brand of cult, a secret sect of gastro-vandals! Why not? There were eccentrics of every description moving into the hills of Mendocino County in the early 1970s, many of them seriously whacked. And now there were two more screwballs in the hills — three more — if you didn’t feel like cutting Little Wook-Wook any slack. And, at that point, I didn’t.

The Bok-Boks didn’t leave.

They haunted us for the next month. The delinquents left food for the Bok-Boks at pre-arranged drops designated by Scott and the lead delinquent, who'd been sneaking off to meet Scott ever since the Bok-Boks had taken off into the hills.

For several weeks, always at daybreak, we'd see the fugitives far down Rancheria Creek, the year-round stream that split the sprawling ranch’s 320 acres before it met Indian Creek west of Philo to form the Navarro. During these long-distance morning sightings Little Wook-Wook was a faint pink blotch against the tree line, mom a larger cloth ball, and dear old dad, shirtless and ominous even at two miles.

We’d shout out long, echoing hallos at our estranged cooks; they’d look up; then, as still as a family of deer, gaze back at us for long seconds before they’d turn from the stream and disappear into the woods — Scott, Emily, Little Wook Wook, single file.

We felt besieged.

Our fugitive cooks were lingering in the hills to creep us out. Or worse.

Scott’s liaison man, the lead delinquent, denied that he was feeding the Bok-Boks, but his smirk gave him away. The Bok-Boks could easily spend the whole summer in the hills so long as they were fed regularly, and they would be fed regularly given the help they were getting from our treacherous band of 602’s. (602 is cop code for juvenile offender.)

We didn’t know if Scott was hanging around to get revenge for his firing or if he and Emily hoped to make one last sneak attack on our kitchen to cook up our replenished supplies, frying up a hundred secret eggs, baking dozens of clandestine cookies, laughing at us as they rattled our pots and pans.

Then we didn’t see them for a week, then two weeks, and we knew they were finally gone.

When Scott, Emily and Little Wook-Wook had first run for the hills, Deputy Simon had suggested to his high command in Ukiah that the Sheriff's Department mount a full-scale manhunt for the three fugitives.

“That’s child abuse what they’re doing to that little girl,” the indignant deputy argued, “making her sleep out in the hills. And I’m sure whoever that Scott guy is he has a gun in that ammo box and a whole bunch of priors to go with it.”

A manhunt was summarily rejected by Sheriff Bartolomie.

“If we start trying to run down crazy people in the hills of Mendocino County we'll be doing nothing else,” he said. “There’s an army of them out there. Besides that, from what you say about them, those people sound like they’re deaf and dumb, handicapped people. Leave ‘em alone, for Crissakes.”

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(photo by Laurel Krause)

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Dear AVA Readers,

Re: Alan 'Sonny' Crow's letter, "Beckoning," on page 2 of the January 25 edition, I would title that letter "The Audacity of Some People's Children." In a heated retort, Sonny says, "I take offense to those who attempt to hustle the fine folks of my county with letters to the AVA written under the guise of being in a desperate situation that requires the generous compassion and financial donations of the greater Mendocino community. Not only is this predatory but it reflects poorly on all of us serving time."

The audacity that Sonny Crow, of all human bottom feeders, that he would be quoted saying this. Considering that he is in prison for carjacking a lady at gunpoint at Hopland casino, stealing an elderly lady's car from Fort Bragg and getting seven years for that while still facing two charges of elder abuse.

In Lake County I know the 10th cause because I filled out your court paperwork that I read from your public defender Jeffrey Aaron. I believe it was not more than 4 or 5 months prior that you wrote to the Advertiser with your predatory attempts at hustling the community you speak of yourself.

Remember the letter where you stated that you had stage 4 cancer that is terminal and you only have so much time to live and you need the gracious people of Mendocino to find it in their hearts to send you $200 through your J-Pay account in reception knowing damn well coming from myself, the Christmas Light Bandit, who is not only locked up currently, but has served 11 years behind bars, I can tell you TVs are not sold in reception centers and you don't have cancer, you have hepatitis C from shooting that meth you so easily criticize others for.

Sonny Crow is not a member of Mendocino County's elite class. Sonny Crow is a dropout skinhead from Washington state. When he isn't driving stolen elderly people's cars between his mother's house in Fife, Washington and his daughter's house in Napa, he attacks and steals anything not bolted down. I met Alan Crow in Lake County where he had been in protective custody as he is now in Vacaville which is a level 2 protective custody yard for gay people with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Maybe he should go walk his fat lying ass back to his mother's trailer in Tacoma where he's from and hustle her for her SSI check like he did before he went to prison. Remember she sent you $400 for a television already and you and your celly Oklahoma put that money on the tablet so you could watch movies in your cell. Remember you broke the tablet because you threw a fit. The jail charged you $300 for breaking the tablet which then some people lost their ability to talk and visit with their family because you were mad at your celly.

This is Fester (Patrick Redmill). You are full of it. I can't believe you of all people actually believe your own narcissistic head full of deceit and lies. You put down others to further your ill-founded bullshit. Do yourself a favor and eat your own lies and advice, you fake-ass piece of crap.

Check the facts and look Sonny Alan or Alan Sonny Crow up on Google or call local Lake or Mendocino County public information system or contact victims rights awareness of Tacoma, Washington or Lake and Mendocino counties where Alan Crow is still warranted for multiple counts of elder abuse and stealing Social Security checks. 

Coming to you with the real, you know what they say: Some people have stories to tell, some are real, some are not. Get off your high horse and find a new outlet to spread your narcissistic bullshit. You ain't from here. Take your skinhead bullshit back to the Emerald Queen in Fife and rid the local communities here of one of the worst nuisances which is you yourself.

Signing off, the Christmas Light Bandit.

Patrick Ray Redmill, #95751

Mendocino County Jail, Isolation Max 3, Cell 2

951 Low Gap Road Ukiah, CA 95482

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, February 1, 2023

Canul, Hammond, Ilar, Mong

LUIS CANUL-AVILA, Fort Bragg. DUI, domestic abuse, criminal threats.

SHELBY HAMMOND, Fort Bragg. Elder/dependent abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, protective order violation.

STACI ILAR, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic battery.

BRANDY MONG, Ukiah. Stolen property.

Payan, Raymond, Rojas, Weaver

JULIAN PAYAN, Hopland. Parole violation.

SYDNEY RAYMOND, Willits. Resisting.


ASAHEL WEAVER JR., Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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Coulda Used This Guy Sunday

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by Jonah Raskin

So long, Tom, it’s been an ordeal to watch you win so many Super Bowls and to set so many NFL records. It has been easier to like Aaron Rogers and Patrick Mahomes. Call it prejudice. I have never liked the New England Patriots or Bill Belichick, though I always did like Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, both of whom made you look good. If you do call the play-by-play on TV Tom, that will be another reason for me to kill the sound and just watch the screen. For one QB to garner as much attention as you have doesn’t seem fair, though you might be one of the best QBs ever in the history of American football. I’m sorry you and your wife broke up; it must be hell to be married to a guy who is married to football. I know what that’s like. My high school girl, Charlotte, called herself “a football widow.” That was in the late 1950s when I played for the Huntington High School Blue Devils and wanted to grow up, join the New York Giants and be like Sam Huff, my hero. Back then I was four inches taller and forty pounds heavier than I am now, most of those pounds, muscle. Yes, football is a young man’s game. It’s time you retired, Tom, before you’re hammered by a lineman weighing 300 pounds. You can bet I’ll be watching the Super Bowl once again, though not with my Sonoma County friends who threw a party every year with Tom Waits joining the crowd and usually sitting there quietly and saying nothing. The Super Bowl is one American ritual I’m willing and eager to celebrate. I think that the Eagles are a better team than the Chefs but I’ll be rooting for Mahomes, Travis Kelsey, Chris Jones, Andy Reid and the whole Kansas City crew. The score: 28-26, the Eagles out front.

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by Anne Killion

The San Francisco 49ers spoke above the screech of packing tape being stretched over cardboard box seams. They wedged in front of their lockers, sidestepping piles of garbage bags filled with the detritus of a season ended. They signed their names on souvenir jerseys, ones that might have said, “Almost. Again.”

And they continued to process what had happened less than 48 hours earlier.

“Every year is kind of a weird, depressing, confused state,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “There’s about a week where you go from having a mission and a schedule every single day to not really knowing what to do with yourself.”

The 49ers players don’t really know what to do with themselves. They had all hoped to have another two weeks of their fierce mission and structured schedule. But now it’s lame Pro Bowl trips for some, wedding plans for others, and very possibly not watching that big game on Feb. 12.

But the members of the 49ers’ front office do know what to do with themselves. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch won’t get down time; they will address the media Wednesday. They must continue to operate with a sense of urgency. Because this is a team built for a Super Bowl, and they are going to have to go for it all over again.

“We put our trust in them every offseason and they seem to come through,” offensive tackle Trent Williams said, “so that’s what we’re going to do again.”

Standing amid the boxes and garbage bags were two young quarterbacks, one in a walking boot and one in an elbow sleeve. Jimmy Garoppolo — and his own injured foot — apparently didn’t want a consecutive season of heartfelt goodbyes, exiting quickly in a black Range Rover that narrowly missed a jaywalking columnist.

But Trey Lance and Brock Purdy were on hand for the locker cleanout. Purdy didn’t have a lot of answers about his torn ulnar collateral ligament. He said he would have more consultations, more examinations, and hopes to know something soon. He seemed trusting of the reports that, best case scenario, he could be ready to play in six months. But he also made it clear that everything remains speculative.

“There are different options in terms of letting it recover, surgery, different types of surgeries, repair versus reconstruction,” Purdy said. “So we still haven't come to a conclusion about any of that.”

Lance, in contrast, said he was feeling good after a second ankle surgery in late December and would be ready to go for the offseason.

“I feel really good about where I’m at,” Lance said. “I’ll be 100% before OTAs. I’m probably about 31/2 weeks out from being totally cleared.”

The two young quarterbacks’ combined age totals what Tom Brady will be at the start of next season. They represent the 49ers’ future hopes. But do they represent the ability to win a Super Bowl next year?

Both are surrounded by question marks. Will Purdy be ready for the start of next season? Do we know if he’ll be the same after elbow surgery? Is Lance, who still has hardly any experience, either collegiately or at the NFL level, capable of carrying a team to an NFC Championship Game and beyond?

So many questions. Which has led to the immediate speculation that Brady could finally, at long last, end up with the team of his childhood fandom. Could Aaron Rodgers, who would be a far tougher fit financially, also be in the mix? What about Garoppolo, who seems to be karmically bound to the 49ers for life?

The realistic answer for the 49ers may be a far less sexy option. The team might want to sign a tried and trusted veteran like Matt Ryan and pray to the medical deities that Purdy will be ready to play and will return to the form he showed in the past two months. That the plan that seemed so perfect three days ago could still come true. And that the team that once rolled out consecutive Hall of Fame quarterbacks will finally catch a break when it comes to quarterback stability.

In any event, Tuesday’s locker room was a Brady- and Rodgers-free zone. The players, still in that muddled state of mind that Bosa described, have no idea what the front office will do. But they are sure the front office will do something, because they still haven’t reached the goal.

“We had a team ready to win it all. We just didn’t go all the way,” linebacker Fred Warner said. “I think every year there’s a sense of urgency. There’s always the expectation to win now.”

The men in the locker room rolled their eyes at the fans’ complaints that Shanahan is to blame because a tight end was in to block against a ferocious defensive lineman. They have largely shut out the social media chatter about quarterbacks, the speculation about what happens next.

They just know something ended. That things will change. DeMeco Ryans agreed to become head coach of the Houston Texans on Tuesday. Free agents will depart. New faces will arrive.

And the 2022 49ers will always know their season ended without being able to give it their best.

“We got dealt a crazy hand on Sunday,” Williams said. “It sucks. You hate to see it end that way.”

(SF Chronicle)

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Last November I checked out a book at our local library and as usual was told it should be returned within three weeks. I started the book, but then along came the holidays and end-of-the-year stuff and, well, I forgot I had the book. Sometime later the library notified me it was overdue. I found the book and returned it.

Now, the library only sent a polite notice; no one came knocking on my door for a book. But — and this is my point — they knew I had it, and they knew it had been in my possession for too long. So how is it that our government agencies can’t keep track of classified documents, presumably some containing world-shaking information, at least as well as our little library?

Wouldn’t you think there had to be a pretty serious checking-out procedure, and then some follow up after a certain time? But no, we now see that no one seems to have known what docs were out, who had them or where.

Jerry Guffey


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WILLOWS, Calif., Feb. 1, 2023 — The Forest Service is hiring wildland firefighters for permanent and seasonal positions, hand crews, engine crews, hotshot crews and more at the GS- 3/4/5 level. The event will be in Redding, Calif., Feb. 14-15, 2023, at the Red Lion Hotel from 9am to 5pm (PST). Applicants are invited to come and meet local and regional fire staff, get application help and learn about the benefits of working for the Forest Service. Qualified applicants may receive tentative offers at the event. Those attending may pre-register to reserve a spot and skip the lines. Applicants do not need to attend the hiring event to apply. For individuals who cannot make the in-person hiring event, online applications will be accepted on February 7-16, 2023. Applicants should review job announcements carefully for deadlines and required information. Employment start dates may vary. The Forest Service's fire organization is committed to caring for the land and serving people, with a mission to protect natural resources for multiple uses and future generations.

More information about the hiring event is available at

The Mendocino National Forest consists of 913,306 acres along northern California's coastal range. The forest includes the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, four designated wilderness areas, two designated wild and scenic rivers, Red Bluff Recreation Area, and the Chico Seed Orchard. Headquartered in Willows, the forest maintains district offices in the communities of Covelo and Upper Lake. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. 

Laura Leidner, Public Affairs Officer (530) 884-4325

Mendocino National Forest

825 N. Humboldt Ave, Willows, CA 95988

Mendocino National Forest <>

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You Are Either On The Bus Or You Are Off The Bus

During my phone interview with UHC-Medicare Advantage on Monday morning, the interviewer asked me if I knew that I'd been paying around $12 monthly for a prescription benefit, automatically taken out of my monthly social security. I answered that I had no knowledge of this. Additionally, I explained that I did not even have a personal physician, so I couldn't even get a prescription. He said that I was the only one in California who was paying for nothing, and gave me the name of a physician near my current residing place. After signing up, and awaiting my debit card which will enable me to get $100 four times yearly in health products (usable at both Walmart and Walgreens), he gave me the name of a doctor from his list who was near my current residing place. I telephoned the number, and got Adventist Health, who informed me that the doctor had left, and had moved to Lakeport to start a private practice; there is of course no point in my telephoning that doctor now, his being so far from Ukiah. Therefore, I am now on a search for a personal physician. 

Yesterday, Tuesday morning, while being given a maximum breathing treatment at Adventist Hospital in an ER room by the entire pulmonary staff, I joked with the doctor. I said that whereas I'd enrolled in the new UHC plan, I needed to choose a personal physician who is enthusiastic about my receiving wholistic health benefits and will assist me in getting the insurance to pay for it. After she asked me what I was talking about, I explained that perhaps she could give me a prescription for a sports massage. And then I added that foot reflexology would be appropriate at the least. She responded that she could get me a warm blanket for comfort in the ER room, free of charge! 

Nota Bene: I asked Safeway in Ukiah yesterday if I could use the incoming debit card there. They said: “Bring it in. We’ll try it.” 

That is the attitude which I wish all of my future associations to have. To all of my associations made during the past 73 years, please take note of this and let me know if you would like to end our relationship. This is a one time offer, good until February 14th, 2023. 

Craig Louis Stehr,

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On Thursday, February 2, at 9 am, Pacific Time (12 noon EST), our guests at "Heroes and Patriots Radio" on KMUD are Thomas Ferguson and Paul Jorgensen.

We'll talk about why FTX spent so much on politicians.

Ferguson is professor emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston and director of research, Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Jorgensen is associate professor and director of environmental studies at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.


Ferguson and Jorgensen just co-authored the piece “Bankman-Fried, Political Money, and the Crash of FTX” with Jie Chen.

They write: “Money in politics today is a Category 5 hurricane. Just when you think you have finally absorbed the worst punch the storm has to offer, some other eddy comes blasting down. We have tried to pull together the many streams of political money from SBF, his senior associates, and all other employees of FTX, together with the executives of Alameda Research, the crypto hedge fund that SBF had co-founded.” They note that they are limited by what is publicly available and can’t track dark money, for example.

They add: “The group donated lavishly to think tanks, including the Center for American Progress. It also nourished a stable of former regulators, especially from its preferred regulatory venue, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and — secretly — at least one media outlet.”

They found more money flowing to Congress than others have: “Over $89 million dollars since 2019, with the bulk of it coming during the 2021-22 political cycle when the campaign to keep crypto clear of federal regulation swung into high gear.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is on the Senate Agriculture Committee got a whopping $3,626,100 through various committees.

Why the massive campaign? Their answer is that all the money was about securing a revolution in commodities regulation that would open speculation in leveraged derivatives to retail customers using crypto. Or in other words, invite a “vast new herd of eager, but inexperienced lambs to run free in the heady world of leveraged derivatives using crypto, alongside very experienced and well-capitalized wolves.”

They write: “If all this brings to mind the long, disgraceful battles over derivatives regulation in the 1990s, it should. It is a near carbon copy of that earlier travesty, right down to the vast clamor from the media and think tanks that all but drowns out critics. The industry was on the verge of getting its way when the crypto dominoes started tumbling down, temporarily slowing its momentum.”

The House Committee on Financial Services has critics of the SEC (such as Ritchie Torres (D-NY)) who have received money from FTX. The authors note: “Borrowing another leaf from the nineties,” such legislators “are striving to pin the blame on the disaster that’s occurred on the stronger regulator, the SEC, for not acting, even though they spent years trying to block it from doing so.”

They conclude: “The first item of business ought to be the demand for full disclosure of all political money SBF, his colleagues, and their firms contributed to everyone on the Congressional committees and in the rest of the political system, together with a full accounting of grants to think tanks and researchers. And the second should be drastic changes at the CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], which has once again failed to protect the public.”

New Filings

New filings in FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings are shedding light on the true extent of the crypto-trading powerhouse’s influence-peddling operation. Last week, FTX filed its creditor matrix, a document that lists former vendors and investors to the company.

The list includes nearly a dozen public relations experts — specialists who generate positive spin in the media on behalf of clients — as well as political consultants, think tanks, and trade groups.

Sometimes, the money went directly to political operations; Majority Forward, a dark-money group designed to elect Senate Democrats, received cash. In some cases, the hired guns, such as PR firms, were paid directly for their services. In others, the groups that received donations maintain that they are independent, but had interests aligned with FTX.

The filing, for instance, listed a donation to the Center for a New American Security, a prominent national security-focused think tank in Washington, D.C., that has worked to thwart crypto regulations.

The filing offered a look under the hood of FTX’s intricate maze of influence. On the heels of its meteoric rise as a crypto exchange, FTX quickly began to spend extraordinary amounts of money to buy prestige and friends in high places. Now that the firm stands accused of siphoning off billions of its investors’ dollars — with its disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried charged with fraud in the matter — increased scrutiny is falling on powerbrokers’ dealings with FTX.

One seasoned political hand tied to FTX without any disclosures is former New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. His firm, Cojo Strategies, is featured in the FTX vendor list. Another is Susan McCue, a former aide to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has advised many Senate Democrats and played a role in the leadership of several Democratic super PACs and dark-money outfits. Her firm, Message Global, is in the filing.

Other consulting firms with a finger on the pulse of power are sprawled through the creditor matrix, which runs over 116 pages. Another creditor, Patomak Global Partners, a firm that specializes in influencing financial regulators, is led by Paul Atkins, a former Securities and Exchange commissioner. 

A large donation to CNAS — a powerful think tank with ties to both political parties but known for staffing national security roles in Democratic administrations — came at a time when the organization advocated for deregulating crypto at the Senate Finance Committee meeting on July 14, 2021.


Our show, "Heroes and Patriots Radio", airs live on KMUD, on the first and fifth Thursdays of every month, at 9 AM, Pacific Time.

KMUD simulcasts its programming on two full power FM stations: KMUE 88.1 in Eureka and KLAI 90.3 in Laytonville. It also maintains a translator at 99.5 FM in Shelter Cove, California.

We also stream live from the web at

Speak with our guest live and on-the-air at: KMUD Studio (707) 923-3911. Please call in and meet Chip Gibbons.

We post our shows to our own website and Youtube channels. We syndicate through Public Radio Exchange (PRX). Shows may be excerpted in other media outlets.

Wherever you live, KMUD is your community radio station. We are a true community of informed and progressive people. Please join us by becoming a member or underwriter.

John Sakowicz

Cohost and Co-producer, "Heroes and Patriots Radio" on KMUD 

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"As Quentin Tarantino said on the latest episode ...” If you want to watch American Nitro and don't have the awesome Paragon Home Video tape, we implore you to buy it directly from the director Bill Kimberlin." (via Bill Kimberlin)

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A few numbers for Phoenix and Tucson.

Forty percent of the water needed, right now, comes from the CAP, the ditch that comes from the Colorado River. If Lake Mead goes dead pool, forty percent of the two cities' water will be gone.

Huge areas of growth east and west of Phoenix are now stopped by state edict, a lot of real estate money is in big trouble. 2 million people were planned for these areas.

The government, especially the governors, Ducey for a start, have been feeding the people horseshit for thirty years. We have tons of groundwater in aquifers, do not worry the rains will return. 

Everyone says that climate change and drought are to fault. BS. We have a very strong monsoon this year and it has hardly made a dent. It is decades of overpopulation in the cities that has drained the reservoir, not drought. 

Another water war that is about to erupt is California's, the other six states and even more so, the farmers against the cities. Water rights belong to the farms as they have been there the longest. So if the laws are followed, the farmers will get the water and the developers will pound sand.

Uh huh, and I believe in the Tooth Fairy too. The farmers here in the SW provide a quarter of the produce to the rest of the US. So if the farmers get ousted from their water, who is going to feed those folks moving back east?

This is not as simple as just send the folks east.

BTW, proposals to pipe water from reservoirs in the East, including the Great Lakes into the Colorado River system have been made and roundly dismissed.

Okay, folks, no more Snowbirding and better figure out where to get that 25% of your produce. You cannot share water, we cannot let you use our resources.

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by Dan Walters

Gov. Gavin Newsom often boasts that California is a “nation state” that is — or should be — a model for the nation.

However, when it comes to implementing large-scale projects and programs, California is more a model of bumbling incompetence.

The list of failures to deliver what was promised on time and on budget is endless, but here are a few obvious examples:

• A bullet train was supposed to be whisking passengers up and down the state by now, but the state is still building an initial stretch in the San Joaquin Valley that is probably a decade away from working, if ever, while cost estimates have nearly tripled.

• The reconstruction of one-third of the earthquake-damaged San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge took a quarter-century to complete and cost 25 times as much as the original estimate.

• The Oroville Dam on the Feather River nearly collapsed in 2017 when sections of its main spillway gave way and an emergency spillway eroded the base of the dam. In seeking re-licensing of the dam 12 years earlier, state officials dismissed concerns about the emergency spillway’s integrity. Later it also was determined that the main spillway had been poorly engineered.

• When the COVID-19 pandemic erased the jobs of two-plus million California workers, the Employment Development Department suffered an operational meltdown in handling legitimate claims for unemployment insurance, but gave as much as $30 billion in cash to fraudulent claimants.

• Although California is the global center of information technology, the state has run up an almost perfect record of botched projects to use it, with long delays in implementation and immense cost overruns.

Again, this is only a partial list. A book could be written about how state and local governments have spent untold billions of dollars on homelessness without making any visible headway. Another could be written about how California reduced its prison population by dumping more felons into overcrowded county jails and/or releasing them to prey upon the public.

One massive failure that developed largely under the media radar deserves a place on the list — a completely bollixed program to provide long-term care insurance to California’s public employees and retirees.

In 1995, the California Public Employees Retirement System received legislative approval to provide such insurance. Thousands of public workers signed up on promises that premiums would remain affordable.

However, when the program proved to be actuarially unsound, CalPERS began sharply increasing premiums, finally leading to a class action lawsuit alleging that promises were broken.

“These people were completely, completely misled,” Michael Bidart, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told the Sacramento Bee in 2019, just before a trial was to begin.

“We raised rates to sustain the plan and we believe they were properly increased in accordance with our contract,” CalPERS General Counsel Matt Jacobs told the Bee, the only media outlet that has followed the case.

Negotiations led to a tentative settlement of $2.7 billion in payments to the plaintiffs. However, last spring CalPERS pulled out because too many individual plaintiffs rejected the deal and a new trial is scheduled later this year.

Clearly, CalPERS didn’t know what it was doing. Were it a private insurer, the Department of Insurance would have probably cracked down, but CalPERS is exempt from such oversight.

Many managerial debacles have been ignored by the Legislature and the long-term care insurance is one of them. But the affected workers and retirees are now pressing the Legislature to order an investigation by the state auditor and it’s sorely needed to get the bottom of a multi-billion dollar mess.


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It’s debt ceiling time again. In case you missed this story the last 70 times, don’t worry. The plot and outcome are almost always the same. Congress passes and the president signs a number of spending bills during the year. The money has already been spent or contracted for. Unfortunately, spending will soon exceed the debt ceiling.

This scenario unleashes a torrent of commentary predicting financial cataclysm. It also unleashes those in Congress who want to refight spending battles that have already been won and lost. The drama will intensify for weeks, perhaps months. At the last moment, just as the country is about to default, some sort of agreement is reached. Some spending adjustments may be made, but not enough to affect the deficit or the debt. Promises to curtail future spending will be made, to be broken sometime in the future. And the debt ceiling is extended.

The warriors recede to their camps, preparing to fight the debt ceiling battle when it next erupts. No one seems to ask: “Where did this debt ceiling idea come from?” Many think the Constitution requires a debt ceiling. Not so. The Constitution doesn’t even mention a debt ceiling. It’s Congress that creates this boogeyman and then does battle with it year after year.

Douglas H. Bosco

Santa Rosa

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Tuesday, the Democratic members of the House Committee on Natural Resources elected Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) to serve as the Ranking Member of the Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee. Rep. Huffman previously served as the Chair of the formerly titled Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee in the 116th and 117th Congresses when Democrats held the House majority.

“I’m honored to be elected as Ranking Member for the Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee as we continue our critical work tackle some of the most challenging conservation policy problems of our time,” said Rep. Huffman. “Over the past four years, we have done extraordinary work to improve the health of our oceans and economy of our coastal communities, respond to the threat of climate change on water supplies, and advance smart solutions to natural resources challenges. In the 118th Congress, I will use every tool at our disposal to not only build on that progress but push back against Republican attempts to dismantle the great work we’ve done. Democrats will remain laser focused on addressing the increasingly dire impacts of our changing climate and ensuring environmental equity for all communities.”

The Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee is responsible for overseeing the agencies that manage America’s water resources, hydropower development, and federal transmission lines. Democrats on the subcommittee are committed to managing, developing, and improving America’s water supply in an environmentally and economically sound manner. Democrats are also dedicated to developing our domestic energy resources by promoting affordable, environmentally-sustainable hydroelectricity.

The Subcommittee is also charged with developing and overseeing the implementation of laws managing domestic and international fisheries and other marine resources. The United States has made great strides in making fisheries more economically and environmentally sustainable, as well as in protecting vulnerable ocean ecosystems and species like sharks, whales, and coral. Much remains to be done, however, particularly in light of the threats climate change poses to our oceans and coasts.

Jared Huffman Presser

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INSIDE THE ONLINE COMMUNITY Where Home-Schoolers Learn How To Turn Their Kids Into “Wonderful Nazis”

A Telegram group called Dissident Homeschool has been a resource for neo-Nazis who want to teach their kids hate at home. Now its administrators have been unmasked.

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BOB WOODWARD has revealed in a new interview how Washington Post reporters were overtaken by the excitement of Russiagate investigations and failed to heed his warnings about Christopher Steele's notorious dossier on Donald Trump. The result, he said, was that readers were “cheated” by the coverage of Trump's ties to Russia. He made his comments in a lengthy investigation into the media handling of the biggest story of the Trump presidency. The dossier was a collection of allegations collected by the former MI6 document from sources in eastern Europe. They ranged from details of alleged cooperation between the 2016 Trump campaign and Moscow, to lurid claims about Trump and Russian prostitutes. Woodward, of Watergate fame, urged newsrooms to “walk down the painful road of introspection.” (Daily Mail)

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by Maxim Edwards

The official newspaper of the regional military administration in Russian-occupied Kherson was called Naddniepryanskaya Pravda, or ‘The Truth over the River Dnieper’. When Ukraine’s army liberated Kherson last November, locals tore down the ‘forever with Russia’ billboards and burned the propaganda sheets in the streets. As with other pro-Moscow propaganda newspapers published across occupied Ukraine, behind this newspaper’s crass triumphalism lie some clues to the contours of Russian military rule and the terror of daily life under it.

Not every copy was burned, but it’s hard to get hold of now. Kherson is subject to relentless bombardment; my friends there could send me scans of the paper only with difficulty. The rest of Russia’s local propaganda outreach remains online. As the Ukrainian investigative site discovered, the Russian authorities launched an extensive network of collaborationist Telegram channels for several Ukrainian regions before their invasion almost a year ago. Last August in Kherson they launched Tavriya TV, a pro-Russian television channel headed by Kirill Stremousov, a local fringe blogger who was appointed deputy head of the occupation government in April. He died in a car crash in November, shortly before the Russian withdrawal.

As Russian state media put it, the printed paper was aimed at the elderly, the poor and the internetless. It was to be freely available in shops, pharmacies, petrol stations and public buildings. According to Ukraine’s union of journalists it was established last July, following the Russian seizure of the Hryvnia print house in Kherson. Serhiy Nikitenko, the editor of the independent website Most, drew my attention to the attempt to appeal to Soviet nostalgia: a Soviet-era publication called Naddniepryanskaya Pravda had struggled through to the 2010s. The resurrected version had the USSR’s Order of Labor medal in its masthead with the words ‘published since March 1928’.

None of the stories carried bylines, but independent Ukrainian media claim to have identified local journalists who offered their services. Although several Kherson journalists have told me that Naddniepryanskaya Pravda interested few and convinced even fewer during the occupation, it demonstrates the system of incentives in place at the time and provide context for the choices some locals had to make. An appreciation of that may be crucial in determining the attitude of the Ukrainian government to its recently liberated citizens.

The diktats of the Moscow-appointed governor, Volodymyr Saldo, were prominent on the front pages. Last June, Saldo outlawed ‘propagandizing terrorism’ and ‘discrediting’ or ‘disseminating false information’ about state institutions. All of these were already illegal in Russia. But in Kherson, the punishment was to be ‘summarily deported’ from the region – potentially a crime under international law.

An article in August claimed that thousands of Ukrainians were fleeing into Russian-occupied territories, attracted by the stability, family reunion and ‘lack of Nazism’. Chiefly, though, they were coming for the jobs. The paper advertised employment in the many institutions controlled or established by the Russians. Hundreds of positions needed to be filled: cleaners, librarians, accountants, medical staff. Even former Ukrainian soldiers who had fought in the east were welcome to apply for a job at the local interior ministry, with the oblique demand that they had ‘not committed crimes’.

The lack of teachers became a major preoccupation as the new school year approached in September. It was ‘intolerable’ that teachers could sit at home while ‘continuing to be paid by the Kyiv regime’. The arrival of several hundred teachers from Russia wasn’t enough. Mayak, a collaborationist newspaper from the Beryslav district in the north of Kherson Region, mocked teachers in the village of Novovoskresenske who refused to go to work ‘because they want to introduce Russian there’. The anonymous author wondered whether physics and math were also ‘Muscovite’, and reminded recalcitrant doctors of the Hippocratic oath.

These reprimands came alongside grand claims of Russia’s capacity to send in the Stakhanovites and rebuild the Ukraine it refuses to admit it destroyed – a mainstay of many Naddniepryanskaya Pravda front covers. While Russia was constructing on a Soviet scale – look at the Kerch Bridge, connecting occupied Crimea to Russia’s mainland – ‘a new building has become a rare thing in so-called independent Ukraine.’ As another bonus for Kherson, severance from Ukraine meant reunification with Crimea.

One headline described Kherson as a land of ‘Russian people with Ukrainian passports’. Even the Ukrainian census of 2001, the article claimed, acknowledged that 97 per cent of the Kherson Region’s population were Russian. If you look at the census, this figure can only have been derived by adding together Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians. It is a telling calculation, implying that Ukrainian identity may exist only as a provincial form of Russianness, artificially inflated to a nationality by foreign powers. They were all strongly encouraged to apply for Russian citizenship: life would be possible without a Russian social security number, ‘but it will be like the 1990s’.

Naturally, there were warnings of Nazis, defined by one anonymous contributor as those who ‘forbid being proud and remembering. They excise everything Russian: monuments, culture, language.’ An article on fascist movements in Ukraine was illustrated with a photograph of a far-right march in Moscow in 2012. Russia’s invading troops were not met with flowers, the paper claimed, only because the locals were too afraid after years of bans on overt pro-Russian activism. This is not so much about winning Ukrainians’ hearts and minds as restoring them to supposed factory settings.

As Ukraine’s counteroffensive crept closer to Kherson, the confident propaganda morphed uneasily into crisis messaging. It didn’t matter, the paper claimed, that the ‘monkeys with HIMARS’ had shelled the Antonovskyi Bridge, which connected the city to the Russian-occupied territory east of the Dnieper. ‘Normal life is gathering pace in the region,’ Naddniepryanskaya Pravda reported. ‘The only people who won’t see it are delusional, living in parallel realities created by Ukrainian propaganda.’

The Russian forces withdrew from Kherson on 11 November, taking their ‘truth’ with them across the Dnieper. Occasional copies can be still found for sale on Ukrainian auction websites, alongside other trophies that Kyiv’s soldiers have taken from the frontlines. Publishing continues on the other side of the river; a December issue of Naddniepryanskaya Pravda announced that Russian troops will return to the city of Kherson, which they describe as ‘temporarily occupied by Ukraine’.

(With thanks to Marc Bennetts, Olena Makarenko and Evgeniya Virlich. London Review of Books)

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Ukrainian authorities have conducted anti-corruption searches across the country, hours after President Volodymyr Zelensky promised "new reforms."

At least three people were killed and up to 20 wounded after Russian forces shelled the eastern city of Kramatorsk, officials said.

Human Rights Watch urged Ukraine to investigate the military’s apparent use of rocket-fired antipersonnel landmines around Izium, which was liberated in September.

Russia is gearing up for a “maximum escalation” of the war, potentially as soon as the next few weeks, a top Ukrainian national security official said.

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IF YOU WISH TO GLIMPSE INSIDE A HUMAN SOUL and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky

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NATO support for the war in Ukraine, designed to degrade the Russian military and drive Vladimir Putin from power, is not going according to plan. The new sophisticated military hardware won't help.

by Chris Hedges

Empires in terminal decline leap from one military fiasco to the next. The war in Ukraine, another bungled attempt to reassert U.S. global hegemony, fits this pattern. The danger is that the more dire things look, the more the U.S. will escalate the conflict, potentially provoking open confrontation with Russia. If Russia carries out retaliatory attacks on supply and training bases in neighboring NATO countries, or uses tactical nuclear weapons, NATO will almost certainly respond by attacking Russian forces. We will have ignited World War III, which could result in a nuclear holocaust.

U.S. military support for Ukraine began with the basics — ammunition and assault weapons. The Biden administration, however, soon crossed several self-imposed red lines to provide a tidal wave of lethal war machinery: Stinger anti-aircraft systems; Javelin anti-armor systems; M777 towed Howitzers; 122mm GRAD rockets; M142 multiple rocket launchers, or HIMARS; Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles; Patriot air defense batteries; National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS); M113 Armored Personnel Carriers; and now 31 M1 Abrams, as part of a new $400 million package. These tanks will be supplemented by 14 German Leopard 2A6 tanks, 14 British Challenger 2 tanks, as well as tanks from other NATO members, including Poland. Next on the list are armor-piercing depleted uranium (DU) ammunition and F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

Since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022, Congress has approved more than $113 billion in aid to Ukraine and allied nations supporting the war in Ukraine. Three-fifths of this aid, $67 billion, has been allocated for military expenditures. There are 28 countries transferring weapons to Ukraine. All of them, with the exception of Australia, Canada and the U.S., are in Europe. 

The rapid upgrade of sophisticated military hardware and aid provided to Ukraine is not a good sign for the NATO alliance. It takes many months, if not years, of training to operate and coordinate these weapons systems. Tank battles — I was in the last major tank battle outside Kuwait City during the first Gulf war as a reporter — are highly choreographed and complex operations. Armor must work in close concert with air power, warships, infantry and artillery batteries. It will be many, many months, if not years, before Ukrainian forces receive adequate training to operate this equipment and coordinate the diverse components of a modern battlefield. Indeed, the U.S. never succeeded in training the Iraqi and Afghan armies in combined arms maneuver warfare, despite two decades of occupation.

I was with Marine Corps units in February 1991 that pushed Iraqi forces out of the Saudi Arabian town of Khafji. Supplied with superior military equipment, the Saudi soldiers that held Khafji offered ineffectual resistance. As we entered the city, we saw Saudi troops in commandeered fire trucks, hightailing it south to escape the fighting. All the fancy military hardware, which the Saudis had purchased from the U.S., proved worthless because they did not know how to use it.

NATO military commanders understand that the infusion of these weapons systems into the war will not alter what is, at best, a stalemate, defined largely by artillery duels over hundreds of miles of front lines. The purchase of these weapons systems — one M1 Abrams tank costs $10 million when training and sustainment are included — increases the profits of the arms manufacturers. The use of these weapons in Ukraine allows them to be tested in battlefield conditions, making the war a laboratory for weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin. All this is useful to NATO and to the arms industry. But it is not very useful to Ukraine.

The other problem with advanced weapons systems such as the M1 Abrams, which have 1,500-horsepower turbine engines that run on jet fuel, is that they are temperamental and require highly skilled and near constant maintenance. They are not forgiving to those operating them who make mistakes; indeed, mistakes can be lethal. The most optimistic scenario for deploying M1-Abrams tanks in Ukraine is six to eight months, more likely longer. If Russia launches a major offensive in the spring, as expected, the M1 Abrams will not be part of the Ukrainian arsenal. Even when they do arrive, they will not significantly alter the balance of power, especially if the Russians are able to turn the tanks, manned by inexperienced crews, into charred hulks.

So why all this infusion of high-tech weaponry? We can sum it up in one word: panic.

Having declared a de facto war on Russia and openly calling for the removal of Vladimir Putin, the neoconservative pimps of war watch with dread as Ukraine is being pummeled by a relentless Russian war of attrition. Ukraine has suffered nearly 18,000 civilian casualties (6,919 killed and 11,075 injured). It has also seen  around 8 percent of its total housing destroyed or damaged and 50 percent of its energy infrastructure directly impacted with frequent power cuts. Ukraine requires at least $3 billion a month in outside support to keep its economy afloat, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director recently said. Nearly 14 million Ukrainians have been displaced — 8 million in Europe and 6 million internally — and up to 18 million people, or 40 percent of Ukraine’s population, will soon require humanitarian assistance. Ukraine’s economy contracted by 35 percent in 2022, and 60 percent of Ukrainians are now poised to live on less than $5.5 a day, according to World Bank estimates. Nine million Ukrainians are without electricity and water in sub-zero temperatures, the Ukrainian president says. According to estimates from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, 100,000 Ukrainian and 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in the war as of last November.  

“My feeling is we are at a crucial moment in the conflict when the momentum could shift in favor of Russia if we don’t act decisively and quickly,” former U.S. Senator Rob Portman was quoted as saying at the World Economic Forum in a post by The Atlantic Council. “A surge is needed.”

Turning logic on its head, the shills for war argue that “the greatest nuclear threat we face is a Russian victory.” The cavalier attitude to a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia by the cheerleaders for the war in Ukraine is very, very frightening, especially given the fiascos they oversaw for twenty years in the Middle East.

The near hysterical calls to support Ukraine as a bulwark of liberty and democracy by the mandarins in Washington are a response to the palpable rot and decline of the U.S. empire. America’s global authority has been decimated by well-publicized war crimes, torture, economic decline, social disintegration — including the assault on the capital on January 6, the botched response to the pandemic, declining life expectancies and the plague of mass shootings — and a series of military debacles from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The coups, political assassinations, election fraud, black propaganda, blackmail, kidnapping, brutal counter-insurgency campaigns, U.S. sanctioned massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars and military interventions carried out by the United States around the globe since the end of World War II have never resulted in the establishment of a democratic government. Instead, these interventions have led to over 20 million killed and spawned a global revulsion for U.S. imperialism. 

In desperation, the empire pumps ever greater sums into its war machine. The most recent $1.7 trillion spending bill included $847 billion for the military;  the total is boosted to $858 billion when factoring in accounts that don’t fall under the Armed Services committees’ jurisdiction, such as the Department of Energy, which oversees nuclear weapons maintenance and the infrastructure that develops them. In 2021, when the U.S. had a military budget of $801 billion, it constituted nearly 40 percent of all global military expenditures, more than the next nine countries, including Russia and China, spent on their militaries combined.

As Edward Gibbon observed about the Roman Empire’s own fatal lust for endless war: “[T]he decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of the ruin is simple and obvious; and instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted for so long.”

A state of permanent war creates complex bureaucracies, sustained by compliant politicians, journalists, scientists, technocrats and academics, who obsequiously serve the war machine. This militarism needs mortal enemies — the latest are Russia and China — even when those demonized have no intention or capability, as was the case with Iraq, of harming the U.S. We are hostage to these incestuous institutional structures. 

Earlier this month, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, for example, appointed eight commissioners to review Biden’s National Defense Strategy (NDS) to “examine the assumptions, objectives, defense investments, force posture and structure, operational concepts, and military risks of the NDS.” The commission, as Eli Clifton writes at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, is “largely comprised of individuals with financial ties to the weapons industry and U.S. government contractors, raising questions about whether the commission will take a critical eye to contractors who receive $400 billion of the $858 billion FY2023 defense budget.” The chair of the commission, Clifton notes, is former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who “sits on the board of Iridium Communications, a satellite communications firm that was awarded a seven-year $738.5 million contract with the Department of Defense in 2019.”

Reports about Russian interference in the elections and Russia bots manipulating public opinion — which Matt Taibbi’s recent reporting on the “Twitter Files” exposes as an elaborate piece of black propaganda — was uncritically amplified by the press. It seduced Democrats and their liberal supporters into seeing Russia as a mortal enemy. The near universal support for a prolonged war with Ukraine would not be possible without this con.

America’s two ruling parties depend on campaign funds from the war industry and are pressured by weapons manufacturers in their state or districts, who employ constituents, to pass gargantuan military budgets. Politicians are acutely aware that to challenge the permanent war economy is to be attacked as unpatriotic and is usually an act of political suicide. 

“The soul that is enslaved to war cries out for deliverance,” writes Simone Weil in her essay “The Iliad or the Poem of Force”, “but deliverance itself appears to it an extreme and tragic aspect, the aspect of destruction.”

Historians refer to the quixotic attempt by empires in decline to regain a lost hegemony through military adventurism as “micro-militarism.” During the Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.) the Athenians invaded Sicily, losing 200 ships and thousands of soldiers. The defeat ignited a series of successful revolts throughout the Athenian empire. The Roman Empire, which at its height lasted for two centuries, became captive to its one military man army that, similar to the U.S. war industry, was a state within a state. Rome’s once mighty legions in the late stage of empire suffered defeat after defeat while extracting ever more resources from a crumbling and impoverished state. In the end, the elite Praetorian Guard auctioned off the emperorship to the highest bidder. The  British Empire, already decimated by the suicidal military folly of World War I, breathed its last gasp in 1956 when it attacked Egypt in a dispute over the nationalization of the Suez Canal. Britain withdrew in humiliation and became an appendage of the United States. A decade-long war in Afghanistan sealed the fate of a decrepit Soviet Union.

“While rising empires are often judicious, even rational in their application of armed force for conquest and control of overseas dominions, fading empires are inclined to ill-considered displays of power, dreaming of bold military masterstrokes that would somehow recoup lost prestige and power,” historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book, “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power.” “Often irrational even from an imperial point of view, these micro-military operations can yield hemorrhaging expenditures or humiliating defeats that only accelerate the process already under way.” 

The plan to reshape Europe and the global balance of power by degrading Russia is turning out to resemble the failed plan to reshape the Middle East. It is fueling a global food crisis and devastating Europe with near double-digit inflation. It is exposing the impotency, once again, of the United States, and the bankruptcy of its ruling oligarchs. As a counterweight to the United States, nations such as China, Russia, India, Brazil and Iran are severing themselves from the tyranny of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a move that will trigger economic and social catastrophe in the United States. Washington is giving Ukraine ever more sophisticated weapons systems and billions upon billions in aid in a futile bid to save Ukraine but, more importantly, to save itself.


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  1. Nathan Duffy February 2, 2023

    “Daddy’s flown across the ocean leaving just a memory A snapshot in the family album daddy, What else did you leave for me? Daddy, what’d you leave behind for me? All in all it was just a brick in the wall. All in all it was just all bricks in the wall.”

  2. Kirk Vodopals February 2, 2023

    Jonah Raskin… please tell Tom Waits he’s invited to my house for Super Bowl. He can have all the Velveeta he wants. I bet he won’t be silent at my house. Please tell him I promise not to bug him too much and that I won’t ask him to play music in the garage at half time, unless he wants to watch Rihanna. Please tell him we usually have a betting pool and I’ll let him pick his favorite squares first.
    But seriously, where and we can I see him play? It’s literally a dream of mine…

  3. Val Muchowski February 2, 2023

    The Anderson Valley Unity Club’s catered luncheon with speaker Darcie Antle, the CEO of Mendocino County will be Thursday February 2 at 12:30 in the Mendocino County Fairground dining room in Boonville. Ms. Antle will speak at 1:00 pm.

    Ms. Antle has served as Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Mendocino County since May 30, 2021. Previously, Ms. Antle served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer from 2017 to 2021, is also currently the Mendocino County Disaster Recovery Finance Director, and has worked to create a Fiscal Unit within the Executive Office to support departments and divisions with financial reporting and budgeting. Darcie Antle was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as the Chief Executive Officer of Mendocino County on July 12, 2022. The CEO is the day-to-day manager of county government and represents the County and its Board of Supervisors in a variety of activities. The Executive Office oversees the preparation, adoption, and administration of the County’s budget and coordinates the activities of other county departments to ensure the effective accomplishment of the Board’s directions and policies. The position of the CEO was established by the Board of Supervisors of County Code Chapter 2.28.

  4. Chuck Dunbar February 2, 2023


    Now 73, Bonnie Raitt, one of our musical icons whose soulful songs have been with us all along, looks back:

    “It’s a very challenging position to be in when you’re very young. But I’ve been my own boss since I was 20. I walked into Warner Bros. and said, “You can’t tell me what to wear, when to put my work out, who to work with and what to record. But I’ll work my ass off if you put out my records.” And they went for it. Now, I can’t even imagine somebody telling me what to do.”
    NEW YORK TIMES, 2/1/23

  5. Craig Stehr February 2, 2023

    ~Absolute Immortal Mystical Eternal Reality~
    Awoke this morning at 10:30A.M. at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California, with the mind empty. Proceeded to perform morning ablutions which included a hot shower, got dressed, walked up to the laundromat to post the annual Haiku Poetry Walk on Saturday flyer, dropped by the Express Mart to check lottery ticket results, ambled on to the co-op for an egg salad sandwich and a cup of coffee before arriving at the Ukiah Public Library. It is 4:14PM February 2nd in the year 2023 Anno Domini. I am ready to roll out of Mendocino County and go where I need to go and do what I need to do to perform spiritually focused direct action for the purpose of destroying the demonic and returning this world to righteousness.
    Here is my contact information. ☺
    Craig Louis Stehr
    Street Address: 1045 S. State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
    Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270
    Email Address:
    Finance the eco-revolution here:

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