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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023

Rain/Snow | Mustard Bloom | Gualala Fire | Frase Arrested | Dance Party | David Harris | Clow Painting | AV Housing | Neave Trio | Mendocino Headlands | Downtown Ukiah | Streetlights | Ed Notes | Valentine's Day | Police Reports | Table Mate | Wanted Poster | Crush Report | Yesterday's Catch | NYT Tips | Wild Game | EV Push | Normal/Crazy | Money-God | Anti-Balloon | Fortywhiners | Setting Chokers | Stupor Bowl | Cleaners | NFL Rigged | Cupid Backup | Unsafe Trains | F-22 | Death Merchants | Freak | Ukraine | Rides Cancelled | Valentine | Mending Hearts

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RAIN AND LOW ELEVATION SNOW SHOWERS are expected this morning with the heaviest showers in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. These will diminish tonight and skies are expected to clear. This will allow temperatures to drop below freezing across the area. Dry weather is expected Wednesday with a chance of rain returning Thursday. Otherwise dry weather is expected into early next week. (NWS)

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The mustard is up in the grape fields of Anderson Valley

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On Sunday, February 13, 2023 at approximately 4:09 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a possible arson at the Gualala Community Center located in the 47000 block of Center Street in Gualala.

When Deputies arrived, they contacted personnel with the South Coast Fire Protection District. South Coast Fire personnel were on scene and still in the process of extinguishing a large structure fire.

Deputies received initial information from fire personnel that suggested the fire may have been intentionally set. Deputies initiated an investigation and requested the response from detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and an arson investigator with the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority.

While awaiting that response, Deputies were able to access video surveillance footage that showed a male individual igniting a fire at the location and then fleeing from the property on foot. Deputies observed that the ignited fire spread rapidly within minutes and fully engulfed the structure.

The video surveillance provided Deputies with a detailed clothing description of the suspect.

At about 7:52 a.m., following a review of that footage, Deputies located an individual matching the description in the 39000 block of South Highway 1 in Gualala.

The individual was identified as 53-year-old Roland Joseph Eskind Jr., 53, who is believed to be transient, arriving in the Gualala area just day(s) before the arson.

Eskind was arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail to be booked for willfully and maliciously setting fire to a structure.

This investigation is still ongoing and additional information may be provided at a later date.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the South Coast Fire Protection District, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, and the Gualala community for their assistance in this investigation.

(SO Presser)

ED NOTE: Internet records show that Roland Eskind Jr., was booked into the Alameda County jail on January 23, 2023 for theft and battery on a peace officer. So we assume he was just released from jail on that case before burning down the Gualala Community Center. Internet reports also indicate that a Roland Eskind Sr. 73, lived in Louisiana and that Roland Eskind Jr. was previously arrested in Louisiana for trespassing a few years ago. 

GUALALA COMMUNITY CENTER Board President Kevin Evans told the Mendocino Voice that they plan to rebuild the two historic Community Center buildings which were originally built in 1954. 

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by Kym Kemp

A man has been arrested in an 18-year-old cold case up in Siskiyou County.

In 2005, kayakers found the bound and beaten body of 56-year-old Patricia Joseph, a former restaurant owner, in the Klamath River. She reportedly worked as a trimmer for the man who has now been arrested.

The suspect, Philip William Frase, had previously been arrested for her kidnapping and killing. At the time of that 2010 arrest, he had lived near Laytonville but was in the Mendocino County Jail on charges of murdering an employee, 49-year-old Steven Richard Schmidt, on his Bell Springs marijuana grow.…

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by Jonah Raskin

In an obit published on February 7, 2023, The New York Times called David Harris “an unlikely avatar of the antiwar movement.” That’s a ridiculous statement. Harris was as likely an avatar as anyone else in a movement that numbered at its height several million and that included Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Catholics, and Protestant. So what if his dad voted Republican? Nearly a whole generation rebelled against parents.

Born in 1946, and a lettuce picker as a boy in Fresno, his home town, Harris carved out a niche for himself beginning in the mid-1960s as one of the preeminent, impassioned anti-war activists of his generation, while an undergraduate and the student body president at Stanford University. Found guilty of refusing to serve in the military, he was sentenced to a prison term in Texas. “You may be right, but you're going to be punished,” the judge told him.

In 1968, the year when everything happened, Harris married folk singer Joan Baez and served as half of a power couple in an era of radical celebrities, until he and Baez were displaced in the media by Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. More than anyone else at that time, except Hayden, Harris was among the most prolific and the most versatile writers on the Left. I met him soon after he published The Last Scam, a novel about an American smuggling weed from Mexico to the US. His anti-hero, Henry Amazon, was inspired, Harris told me, by a real Norcal person. The title was and still is apt. Smugglers are always on their last scam, much as growers are always on their last season. They're always getting out and going legit.

Harris and I were both ganga journalists. He worked for The New York Times and operated as freely as he could on a very short leash, which meant that he was not permitted to ride in the same vehicle carrying the contraband weed. I worked for High Times magazine which gave me a long leash and expected me to take the fall if need be.

By the time my path crossed Harris’ path, he had separated from and divorced Baez and had married Lacey Fosburgh, a New York Times reporter and the author of a fine novel titled Old Money. Harris went on to write and publish a total of eleven books, including one about General Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian dictator, titled Shooting the Moon. When I interviewed Harris in the 1980s he told me “We need to act outside our traditional role as Americans, and act instead as human beings. We need to look at ourselves critically and make a bond with the rest of the planet.”

When I read the announcement from Book Passage that he had died of cancer in Mill Valley I shed tears. It’s a cliche I know, but they don’t make men or women like Harris anymore. None I know of. An American original, he deserves to be remembered and honored as an anti war activist and as a principled writer who didn’t take the easy way out.

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painting by Norm Clow

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In 2022, the Anderson Valley Housing Association conducted a needs assessment to understand the need for housing here in the valley. 


“In February of 2022 the Anderson Valley Housing Association (AVHA) Board passed a motion to assess and document the current need for housing in Anderson Valley. The Needs Assessment process took place from February through June, 2022. It was time for new, relevant data, as the last Needs Assessment conducted by The AVHA was done 13 years ago, in 2009. 

. . .

The data indicates that, in general, income in Anderson Valley is low to extremely low, even when compared to Mendocino County norms (Fig. 3), which are themselves low as compared to state and national norms. The majority of respondents (69.39%) reported salaries ranging from $15,000 to $49,999 a year. 

. . .

There is, however, a significant difference in income at the upper and lower ends of the income spectrum between farmworkers (Fig. 4) and non-farmworkers (Fig. 5). For example, 16% of the farmworker population earns under $15,000, as compared with 9% of the non-farmworker population, and 2.1% of farmworkers earn $50,000-$74,999, as compared with 11.6% of the non-farmworker population. Among the non-farmworker respondents, 6% earn above $100,000; there were 0% in that salary bracket among farmworkers.

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Neave Trio, a well-known touring ensemble, that has visited Opus before, is now back on popular demand. This time they will perform a program of pieces by Gabriela Lena Frank; Four Folk Songs, Frank Martin; Piano Trio of Irish Folk Songs and Bedrich Smetana; Piano Trio in G minor, among others. Their name “Neave” is actually a Gaelic name meaning “bright” and “radiant,” both of which certainly apply to this trio's music making. We are very much looking forward to another chance to host this outstanding piano-violin-cello trio.

Sunday, February 19th at 3 PM in Preston Hall. This is an Opus Chamber Music Program.

Tickets at, Out of this World in Mendocino and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg.

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Mendocino Headlands (Jeff Goll)

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Tommy Wayne Kramer’s article was unusually perceptive! As for landmarks around this town, I agree there are some desolate spots, but the “downtown” area is pretty cute. This, despite the cube-like courthouse which, without its modern encrustation, could have been part of the attraction, had not someone decided it should look like a cardboard box, thus covering up the original columns and cupola that Kramer writes about nostalgically as desirable options for the proposed new courthouse. 

Unfortunately, the new courthouse will cause the abandonment one of the best assets of Ukiah, the downtown area!

We should preserve the murals in the courthouse, which show that, despite some bad decisions regarding the exterior of the building, at least someone had the good sense to hire a muralist to adorn the interior. I suppose that will also go into the shredder with the building when it is torn down to make way for (another) “town square” comparable to the park and town square in Healdsburg, an idealistic notion, at best, and ruinously expensive, at the least. I mean, who are we fooling, here? Healdsburg? We are far from being the next Healdsburg, but could at least capitalize on the good things we have left, thanks to a fairly healthy and well preserved downtown (School St. and proximity). Preserving that includes preserving its proximity to the courthouse.

BTW Tommy, you left out 2 LA attractions : the Bradley building with its ornate, wrought iron elevators, and the “modern” installation at the LA County Museum by Chris Burden, lining up ornate old streetlights en masse, which is one of the most photographed landmarks in California, if not the country. It’s a master work by a master pack rat, who saved those street lights out of, I would guess, pure nostalgia, as well as a sense of place.

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URBAN LIGHT (2008) by Chris Burden (photos by David Palmer)

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VAL MUCHOWSKI: “How ’bout a round of applause for Rihanna’s iconic halftime show, featuring a very special guest. Mothers remain unstoppable. Rihanna: Riri said ‘Lift Me Up,’ literally soaring above Arizona and belting out the hits, from ‘B!tch Better Have My Money’ to ‘Diamonds.’ Plus, she made history as the first pregnant woman to star in the Super Bowl halftime show. No guest artist needed for a standing ovation.”

UH, VAL. Excuse me, but ‘Bitch, Better Have My Money’ wouldn't seem appropriately placed in the lib-pwog song book. Better watch it, old girl. Mendolib is watching!

THE CENSUS BUREAU via Jacob Sherkov, says that as of 2021, roughly 2.7 percent of all housing units in the United States — 3.8 million dwellings — were likely permanently vacant. There are approximately 580,000 involuntarily homeless people in the U.S. Even if each of them were to be placed in one of these houses, we'd still have more than three million empty homes. That number far exceeds any conceivable amount of new development, 3-D printed or otherwise.

ARE THERE empty homes in Anderson Valley? Yes, lots of them. Are there families in the Anderson Valley who need affordable shelter? Yes, lots of them.

ONE MORE REASON why your PG&E bill is way, way up. CEO Patricia Poppe received $51.2 million in total compensation in 2021, a lot of it in non-liquid stock options, but still.

EVERY DAY, I get GoFundMe appeals from people who genuinely need help, which ought to beg the question, “Where's government?" The fascisti always say that "government is the problem,” ignoring the fact, to take one fact that contradicts their bogus claim, of Social Security, a model national program instituted by the Roosevelt Administration almost a hundred years ago. SS is a model of efficiency without which older Americans especially would be destitute. But what about ruinous health care bills and the many other random disasters everyday Americans suffer? Involuntary homelessness? Nope. Voluntary homelessness? Nope. 

THE HEADLINE in a recent PD. “Cloverdale residents get $1.6 million settlement in squalid housing case.” Mendo better hope that attorney doesn't start looking around this county. In Boonville alone, there's enough structural squalor to keep a team of do-good lawyers busy for years.

NOW SHOWING at Mosswood Market, Boonville, the nicely accomplished paintings of Tim Poma, a talented Ukiah guy whose rendering of Boonville’s golden hills and his unique impression of the Golden Gate Bridge especially caught my eye.

WE WERE SORRY TO HEAR of the death of David Harris whose bio/obit appears separately under Jonah Raskin’s byline. The local connection: Harris wrote the definitive story of Charles Hurwitz’s takeover and clearcutting of Humboldt County-based Pacific Lumber in his excellent book entitled, “The Last Stand: The War Between Wall Street and Main Street Over California's Ancient Redwoods.” When Harris was on his book tour in 1998 he was interviewed on KZYX. Toward the end of the interview Earth First!’s Naomi Wagner called in to complain that Harris hadn’t included much about Judi Bari and Ms. Wagner and their activities in Mendocino County. Harris tried in vain to explain to Wagner that the Mendo activities were not a significant part of the Pacific Lumber/Hurwitz storyline and that they should write their own book if they wanted to. Wagner replied that Judi Bari, who had died the previous year, had already written such a book (Timber Wars), so Harris simply said, “Good,” and went on to the next caller. (Mark Scaramella)

A FEMALE HUMPBACK WHALE became entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

This is her story of giving gratitude.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her…. a very dangerous proposition.

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

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Honey he’s got your number

Watch your money say bye bye!

You’re paying for a lie.

You’re under his spell

I know it’s hell

He’s never gonna fly!

As long as you pay he will play….

 till the day that you die. 

Happy Valentines!

Now it’s a sick addiction

Stranger than fiction

But you can’t stop now cuz the lie’s all you got

He took everything else

And you’ve never even met him

He doesn’t have a conscience

But you refuse to forget

He doesn’t love you

In his mind you’re paying someone else’s debt…

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On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at approximately 1:04 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were conducting proactive patrols in the 300 block of Brush Street in Ukiah.

While patrolling, a Deputy observed a suspicious person, contacted the person, and identified him as being Jordan Bright, 32, of Ukiah.

Jordan Bright

While speaking to Bright, Deputies learned he was on active Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) with terms which included obey all laws, no dangerous weapons including knives, and submit to search.

A search of Bright's person revealed a knife, drug paraphernalia, and several suspected Klonopin pills.

Bright was arrested for Felony Violation of PRCS, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Misdemeanor Possession of Controlled substance without a Prescription.

Bright was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.


On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at approximately 2:10 A.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate an unknown 911 in the area of Lovers Lane in Ukiah.

Deputies contacted an 18-year-old male in the 1600 block of Lovers Lane while investigating the situation.

Deputies learned the 18-year-old male was involved in a verbal argument with his girlfriend, Ariana Arnold, 18, of Ukiah, on 02-09-2023 at approximately 2:00 A.M.

Ariana Arnold

The argument began to escalate and the 18-year-old male tried leaving the residence where the incident was occurring. As the 18-year-old male tried leaving the residence he was blocked in the doorway of a bedroom by Arnold who ultimately physically assaulted him.

The 18-year-old male suffered visible injuries which were consistent with the reported assault.

After conducting an investigation into the incident, Deputies placed Arnold under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery, and Felony False Imprisonment.

Arnold was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.


On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at approximately 8:58 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence disturbance in the 300 block of Brush Street in Ukiah.

Deputies contacted a 32-year-old female standing outside of a vehicle and inside the vehicle was David Dorman, 24, of Ukiah.

While on scene Deputies conducted a records check on Dorman and they learned he was on formal probation out of Mendocino County with terms that included “No Contact” with the 32-year-old female present with him.

David Dorman

Deputies ultimately placed Dorman under arrest for Felony Violation of Probation.

Dorman was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.


On Thursday, February 9, 2023 at about 2:33 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol when they observed a suspicious vehicle in the 2000 block of North State Street in Ukiah.

The Deputies observed a solo occupant driver in the driver seat of the vehicle. The Deputies contacted the driver who identified himself as Yecson Delaherran-Rivera, 39, of Ukiah.

Yecson Delaherran Rivera

One of the Deputies knew Rivera from prior law enforcement contacts and knew he was on felony probation with terms which included obey all laws, and a search and seizure waiver.

Dispatch subsequently confirmed Rivera was on active felony probation with the above-mentioned terms.

A search of Rivera's person revealed a methamphetamine smoking pipe.

Rivera was arrested for Felony Violation of Probation and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Rivera was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.

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A very proper and polite table mate. (Saffron Fraser)

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While going to Film School at San Francisco State University I lived in a Hotel. It wasn't really a hotel anymore, but it had been in an earlier time. It had a front desk where you picked up the key to your room and your mail. Rooms came with two meals, breakfast and dinner and you could rent by the week or the month. It was called, "The Monroe Residence Club" and was on Sacramento Street near Van Ness. It is still there but it is difficult for men to be accepted because a lot of them just stayed there to pick-up girls and there were tons of them having just moved to San Francisco. That rule didn't exist when I was there, so as yet no charges have been filed.

Because it was a public lodging house they received FBI wanted posters. Since I like saving things of historical interest, I pulled this Eldridge Cleaver wanted poster off the wall. He was married to Kathleen Cleaver at one time and later became a conservative Republican, but he wrote at least one note worthy book, “Soul On Ice.” 

Angela Davis another political activist of the era lives down the Valley from me and I met her once on the Holmes Ranch road offering her a ride up a step hill. She just wanted the exercise so I drove on, but we did have an interesting talk for a few minutes.

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A successful year for Mendocino County wine grape production. After two years of challenges, Mendocino County came out ahead. The 2022 USDA Preliminary Grape Crush Report confirms wine grape tonnage from the Mendocino County region was up 31.1% at 61,479 tons compared to the 2021 total of 46,909 tons. The total tonnage of wine grapes crushed in all of California was down 6.7% at 3.62M tons compared to the 2021 total of 3.88M tons.

Chardonnay remains the dominant variety grown in Mendocino County, accounting for 38% of the fruit harvested in 2022. Chardonnay even experienced a 30% increase in tonnage to 20,808 tons. Cabernet Sauvignon, experiencing an even larger increase in tonnage of 50%, brought in a hefty total of 13,791 tons in 2022, 16% over the 5-year average. Cabernet Sauvignon makes up for 22.4% of total crop production in Mendocino County. Pinot Noir, Mendocino’s third largest crop, with a 2% increase in 2022, produced 7,640 tons, making up for 12.4% of the total crop production. Zinfandel (6.8%), Merlot (5.5%), Sauvignon Blanc (5%), and Syrah (2.6%) are also commonly planted varieties in Mendocino County. Zac Robinson, family owner of Husch Vineyards, shared that he was “thrilled to see a healthy Pinot Noir crop after two years of disappointment”.

The value of the Mendocino County wine grape crop has returned to a higher bracket in 2022 with a reported $108.5M in raw value, an approximate 29% increase from 2021. This value is accurately reflected by the increase of grape tonnage in 2022. Wine grapes returned to Mendocino County’s leading agricultural commodity in 2021.

The total average price for wine grapes in Mendocino County remains stable yet is still 5% higher than the 5-year average. Majority of the varieties saw positive remarks, Cabernet Sauvignon saw a 2% increase in price at $2,011/ton, while both Chardonnay ($1,359/ton) and Sauvignon Blanc ($1,486/ton) saw a 4% increase. Leading Mendocino County in average price and with a 9% growth, Pinot Noir continues to be the most valuable grape variety, with an average price of $3,366/ton.

The 2022 harvest season delivered abnormal environmental challenges for Mendocino County grape growers, winemakers, and brokers. Fortunately, there were no significant fire or smoke incidents for the second year in a row, however September saw an average of 2.32” of precipitation and a high temperature average of 89°F, according to the climate report from Undoubtedly, Mendocino County triumphed. The 2022 crop was projected to have a light yield due to the continued California drought, however that was not the case. “With the average rainfall nearly doubling in 2021, many growers were able to capitalize, and provide their vineyards with valuable irrigation during the dry season, leading to a more sustainable yield” reports Lorenzo Pacini, Pacini Vineyards.

Due to the low tonnage pressure the past two years, and Mendocino County brand awareness the 2022 marketplace was exceedingly active with fruit selling at a more rapid pace than ever before. A continued growth in Mendocino County tonnage and prices are expected in 2023, especially after the extensive rainstorms received in January 2023. Mendocino County is well situated to provide value and quality in this competitive market, as demand for the region’s main varieties Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, remains strong. Further, Mendocino Pinot Noir is highly sought after for premium and high-end brands. Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot are varieties especially attractive for the red blends that continue to grow in popularity.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, February 13, 2023

Adcock, Britt, Campos


BRANDON BRITT, Baltimore, Maryland/Laytonville. DUI-alcohol&drugs, pot possession for sale, no license.

LUIS CAMPOS, Oak Lawn, Illinois/Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Cooper, Hartley, Henry

RONNIE COOPER, Richmond/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

TROY HARTLEY, Willits. Speeding, suspended license.

TAWANA HENRY, Ukiah. Unlawful camping on private property, storage of camping paraphernalia, shopping cart.

Krch, Lugo, Menke


JOSE LUGO-CABRERA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Pot cultivation, pot possession for sale, renting storage space for controlled substance, assault weapon, silencer.

MICHAEL MENKE, Ukiah. Unlawful camping on private property, storage of camping paraphernalia, shopping cart.

Moore, Oheren, Torres

EMILY MOORE, Willits. DUI, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.

GARY OHEREN, Whitethorn/Leggett. DUI.


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How to get your book reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as of 2/12/23:

1. Work for the Times as business reporters as do James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams, authors of “Unscripted.”

2. Write a book about some powerful entertainment mogul nobody outside of the media megacomplex has heard of or even gives a shit about, in this case Sumner Redstone, former president of Viacom and CBS, and tell in excruciating detail all the asshole stuff this guy did to people before he finally died at ninety-something, putting everyone around him out of their misery.

3. Ask the NYT to put it on the front cover of the Sunday Book Review with a full-page, color illustration and the teaser “BIG SHOTS BEHAVING BADLY” and the promise of a story rife with “corporate greed, manipulation, misogyny and sexual impropriety.” (Who would’ve ever suspected? I mean, ho-hum for Christ’s sake.) Ask them to print a review without a negative syllable in it by a hotshot writer from The New Yorker who will call it a ‘crucial cautionary tale.’ Pay close attention, all you budding Nonagenarian Titans of Industry, this could be you.

4. Have the Times run a ¾ page, full-color photo of this monster’s daughter/successor on the front page of the Business Section with the headline “THE REDSTONE FAMILY DRAMA” followed with an apparently straight-faced sub-head that reads “Shari Redstone fended off foes and doubters, including her father, to claim control of the CBS media empire” as though nepotism couldn’t possibly have played even the smallest part in her ‘solidifying her hold’ on the business. Begin the body of the article—written, coincidentally, by the same crack Stewart/Abrams team that wrote the book—on that page and continue inside with a two-page spread replete with no less than seven more full-color snaps of the celebrities involved, including another of the above-named daughter/mogul.

5. In case anyone missed all that, have them run a squib at the bottom of the front page that says: ‘She Won’t Be Manageable,’ (?) followed by this subhead: ‘How Shari Redstone won control of the CBS media empire when no one, her father and herself included [also (?)], thought she would.’ A Horatio Alger story for the ages indeed, and just as bogus.

6. Or you could send a review copy of your book to the editor’s attention. Be sure to include a nice personal note.

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via Everett Lilijeberg

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Every time I see an ad on television (when I actually watch television) I laugh out loud. These automakers are committing future suicide. The dollar is collapsing. People are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet much less save a buck or two and these woke auto corporations are shifting operations over to electric vehicles that the majority of people world wide will never be able to afford. It is absolutely astonishing to me how out of touch with reality nearly EVERYONE, other than the consumer actually are. 

The cost of the EV doesn’t include the upgrades one will need to make on the home electrical system needed to adequately and safely charge the damned thing either. 

Nor does the cost of the EV include the increased cost of the electricity for either the business or the home owner. Think the power bill is high now? Wait till you are charging one or two Tesla’s (if you are lucky enough to afford them).

The EV push will fail because nobody other than the uber rich will be able to afford to drive and charge them and there won’t be enough uber rich to buy enough of them to keep the stock holders happy.

These people are insane.

* * *

* * *

MOST OF the employees were the hard-boiled, Americanized, go-getting type to whom nothing in the world is sacred, except money. They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket. And yet beneath their cynicism there was the final naivete, the blind worship of the money-god.

― George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)

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by Ann Killion

They’re all going to continue after that Super Bowl.

It’s small comfort that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to share some of their bitterness and pain. 

In a thrilling Super Bowl, one that carried so many echoes of both the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and their season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chiefs prevailed, 38-35.

The Eagles jumped out to an early lead. But the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes ended up coming back from a – stop me if this sounds familiar – 10-point deficit, to score 24 second-half points. The Chiefs are now 2-1 in Super Bowls in the 2020s.

Sunday’s outcome is sure to only further convince the 49ers that they could have put up a better fight against the Chiefs. It will only leave them wondering for… well, forever.

Mahomes, who was named league MVP on Thursday, was the MVP of the game, despite looking for a few moments like he wouldn’t be able to continue the game because of a re-aggravation of his high ankle sprain late in the first half. 

Oh, he could continue all right. None of us probably want to know what his treatment was at halftime, but Mahomes came out and led the Chiefs on scoring drives on each of their second-half possessions.

Brandon Aiyuk, the 49ers receiver who made the interview rounds during Super Bowl week, said he believed his team was “hands down” the best team in the league. And we’ll never know. The Eagles, who love to play from ahead and whose ability to come back in a game was never really tested all season, ultimately could not complete their comeback against the Chiefs.

The team that capitalized on the 49ers having no quarterback for the final 25 minutes of the NFC Championship Game, could not defeat the Chiefs, a team that throttled the 49ers back in October. The Eagles, who led the league in sacks, couldn’t sack one-legged Mahomes even once. 

Could the 49ers, had they had a healthy quarterback two weeks ago, have done better? We’ll never know.

The 49ers, almost to a man, said that they probably wouldn’t watch the Super Bowl. Too painful. And those who did watch, probably regretted it.

There were too many callbacks to their own big game shortcomings to make for comfortable viewing. There were two questionable Eagles catches (one was ruled not a catch and one that Andy Reid challenged – throw the flag Kyle! – was ruled a catch). There was the fact that the Chiefs trailed by 10 points, 24-14, at halftime. Which led to a long discussion by the Fox studio panelists at halftime about how, yeah, the Chiefs can come back from 10 points down and we know that because they did it in the Super Bowl against the 49ers three years ago. 

And every time the Eagles scored, that song that likely haunts the 49ers’ nightmares — “Fly Eagle Fly” — was sung by all the Eagles fans. (They also booed the Walter Payton Man of the Year, Dallas QB Dak Prescott, before the game because while you can take Eagles fans out of Philly you can’t take the Philly behavior out of Eagles fans.) If the 49ers had watched, they probably would have had PTSD every time they heard that tune.

The NFL had its usual big moment embarrassments. The footing on the field was awful, made worse by the slick paint of the logos. Players were slipping and many opted to change their cleats at halftime. The Arizona field has been the subject of several complaints, yet apparently the NFL wasn’t worried enough about its players to improve it. 

There were moments when it took replay to determine if a catch was really a catch, which is a weird new game the NFL forces its viewers to play. Is it good for the product if you can’t trust your eyes when watching?

There was a pretty awful defensive holding call against the Eagles that went a long way toward determining the outcome of the game in regulation, getting the Chiefs in field-goal range. This was a game that deserved overtime. 

The Super Bowl ads weren’t particularly memorable, though Eagles fan Bradley Cooper and his mom had a funny one, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were charming for Dunkin’ Donuts and a Breaking Bad-themed chip commercial was amusing.

The halftime show was better: Rihanna crushed it, pregnant and performing on floating plexiglass platforms so high above the field that there was some fear that the U.S. would determine she was an unidentifiable object and take measures.

Overall, it was a pretty entertaining night, flaws and all, played by two teams that authored among the harshest losses in 49ers franchise history.

Could the 49ers have done better? They’ll never know. And it will probably never stop haunting them.

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

setting chokers

* * *

THE SUPER BOWL, an on-line comment: I had the Super Bowl on but it lost my attention when the damned coin toss took 20 minutes. They had to walk out this black guy or that black girl and point out this or that accomplishment. The all girl fly over was especially heart warming, glad to see that girls can fly planes too. They have an honorary coin, an honorary team captain and captains who stand 15 feet away from the actual coin toss and an honorary coin flipper in addition to the actual team captains (why teams need 4 players to toss a coin will never make sense to me). They had an aged Doug Williams mosey out and hoist the Lombardi trophy pointing out that the man was black and then pointing out that Hurts and Mahommes are both “African American” even though Mahommes has lighter toned skin than that of my own. Hey, did you know that this was the first SuperBowl where a white guy wasn’t the QB for either team? For a sports league that wants to end racism the NFL can’t do nothing but emphasize race, race and more race.

By the time the coin toss was over I couldn’t take it anymore and wandered off to do more effective things. 

I caught the end of the game and watched the refs cement Kansas City’s win with what should have been a no-call holding penalty. 

The NFL has become such an utter woke joke. I just couldn’t sit and watch it anymore.

* * *

* * *


by Dave Zirin

The United States suffers from a profound mistrust in institutions that used to be considered sacrosanct. Across the political spectrum, people are holding up elections, politicians, the courts, and even science to unprecedented scrutiny. There is a crisis in confidence and legitimacy in everything that was once foundational. Now we can add the ultimate all-American spectacle, the Super Bowl, to this list. After Super Bowl 57, in which the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35, #Rigged was trending on Twitter around the world. The game’s culmination led much to be desired, and outside of Kansas City, howls of dissatisfaction echoed throughout social media. That’s not the way the National Football League wanted to end its season. Its most valuable commodity is the idea that “on any given Sunday” any result is possible. This was proven true, but it wasn’t the ending anyone wanted.

For those who found other ways to spend their Sunday, allow me to explain. The score was 35-35 with under two minutes to go when Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw an incompletion on third down. This would have forced Kansas City to kick a field goal and give the Eagles a healthy amount of time to try to tie or even win the game. But instead a referee called a very shaky defensive holding penalty on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry. Kansas City took the automatic first down and ran out the clock, with Mahomes taking a knee, followed, as the clock helplessly ticked down, with a game-winning field goal.

It was striking to see people of all political stripes, both in my house and on social media, unite around a shared idea: The call made a mockery of what had been a thrilling game. (Who knew that seeing a quarterback take a knee could make NFL fans so mad?) Far from sticking the landing, the NFL gave us three hours of drama, followed by a dud of an ending. Imagine Rocky IV ending with Rocky having to forfeit his fight against Ivan Drago because of a bad case of lactose intolerance. That would have been a more satisfactory ending for the Philadelphia faithful. It is true that Bradberry said after the game, “It was a holding, I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide,” but it’s also true that the refs hadn’t called that penalty—or much of anything—all game. They were “letting the players play” until the last two minutes when they became sticklers. It’s a disaster, made more so by the perception that fans believe the great Mahomes has been shoved down our throats as the game’s golden calf. We have been primed to worship his every play so anything that looks like a finger was on the scales for his benefit, has the whiff of conspiracy.

People could be forgiven for thinking that the game was, in fact, “rigged,” given the reservoirs of bullshit that threatened to drown the game. We saw Rupert Murdoch and Elon Musk sitting together in one of the luxury boxes. As the cameras displayed our American oligarchs, the announcer Kevin Burkhardt said, “Well, you’ve got some brilliant minds in that photo, Rupert Murdoch, Elisabeth Murdoch, Elon Musk.” His partner Greg Olsen was silent, which I am choosing to read as a political act. After an awkward moment watching the elderly Murdoch play with some wax paper, Burkhardt, perhaps realizing that he sounded like a minor member of a royal court, joked, “Rupert pays our checks too, so that’s always good.”

The fraud extended beyond thinking that the plutocrats who ruined television news and Twitter are somehow “brilliant.” There was a distressing salute before the game to Pat Tillman, the former NFL player turned Army Ranger who was killed in a “friendly fire” incident in Afghanistan back in 2005. Yet, as per usual when the NFL bathes in Tillman’s memory, there was no mention that the military covered up the circumstances of Tillman’s death and that the family never really got a satisfactory answer as to why Tillman had been killed by his own troops. There is no mention that Tillman had turned against the war calling the invasion of Iraq “illegal as hell.” There is no mention that Tillman started reading Noam Chomsky. There is no mention that Tillman certainly would have rejected the way his own narrative was woven into a tapestry celebrating the NFL, patriotism, and war.

The fraud was also felt in the NFL’s celebration of Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, who almost died on the football field just last month. It was beautiful to see Hamlin cheered. But to see the NFL spin the way their sport nearly killed someone into a feel-good story, felt morally abhorrent—like another lacquer of propaganda slathered on an already too-slick product.

And then there was the proud celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs’ racist mascotry and use of the “chop” to celebrate their team. I think the shot of Chiefs fans in Munich doing the chop was the cherry on the Sunday of a racism that the NFL claims to oppose.

The deceit included the hyping of the fact that the military flyover was for the first time an all-women endeavor. While this undoubtedly caused some aggrieved conservatives to spit up their nachos and call the NFL “woke” — because that’s the word for anything that makes them even mildly question their own belief system — it was a political sham. There is nothing progressive about this, no matter how many right-wing trolls blow their tops. It reminded me of Olufemi Taiwo writings on “elite capture” — the flyover stunt cynically used the movement for women’s liberation for the purpose of US militarism. The message is that while bodily autonomy has been trashed by the Supreme Court, at least this is a country where women can bomb people.

The fraudulence also extended to the commercialization and the sheer glut of famous people bursting out of every ad. The US is rich in celebrities, and they arrived in force to sell us anything that wasn’t nailed down. Other than Ben Affleck achieving his long-awaited destiny of starring in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, there wasn’t much to see. Yet usually the game itself stands as an honest product amid the Super Bowl’s sea of flash bulbs, corporate criminals, and grifters. This is the secret of the NFL’s success: Amid the commercial and militaristic sewage, the game is entertainment of the first order: a commodified violence to rival anything out of Hollywood. But stories need endings, and this year the ending was as repellent as the surroundings, and that’s bad for the NFL. They like to sell us the idea that “Football is America.” It shouldn’t surprise us that in a country that feels rigged, people would assume the same about the Super Bowl.

* * *

“Don’t worry. If you miss, I throw rocks at them until they settle for anyone.”

* * *


The next derailment ‘could be cataclysmic’ if action isn’t taken after the incident near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, says expert

by Tom Perkins

Five days after a train carrying vinyl chloride derailed and exploded near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, crews ignited a controlled burn of toxic chemicals to prevent a much more dangerous explosion.

Thousands in East Palestine, a town of about 5,000 people, evacuated, and officials warned the controlled burn would create a phosgene and hydrogen chloride plume across the region. Phosgene is a highly toxic gas that can cause vomiting and breathing trouble, and was used as a weapon in the first world war.

Though no one died in the accident, the catastrophe serves as a wake-up call to the potential for more deadly freight rail derailments, public health advocates warn. By one estimate, 25 million Americans live in an oil train blast zone, and had the derailment occurred just a few miles east, it would be burning in downtown Pittsburgh, with tens of thousands of residents in immediate danger.

Ineffective oversight and a largely self-monitoring industry that has cut the nation’s rail workforce to the bone in recent years as it puts record profits over safety is responsible for the wreck, said Ron Kaminkow, an Amtrak locomotive engineer and former Norfolk Southern freight engineer.

“The Palestine wreck is the tip of the iceberg and a red flag,” said Kaminkow, who is secretary for the Railroad Workers United, a non-profit labor group that coordinates with the nation’s rail unions. “If something is not done, then it’s going to get worse, and the next derailment could be cataclysmic.”…

* * *

* * *

MERCHANTS OF DEATH: Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart

On February 14th, 2023, Valentine’s Day, organizers of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal and their supporters will serve a “Citation for Contempt” on the corporate offices of Raytheon in Arlington, Virginia for failing to comply with a “Subpoena” previously served on them on November 10, 2022. Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics have all been served and “Indicted” for their complicity in aiding and abetting the United States government in committing War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Bribery, and Theft. This action on Valentine’s Day is called “Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart.” Simultaneous actions will occur in San Diego, CA; New York City; Asheville, NC; and Syracuse, NY. 

On the same day the Tribunal will also serve Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, with a “Subpoena” compelling him to testify before this public Tribunal answering questions involving his previous employment with Raytheon and the role these weapons manufacturers play in fomenting needless war for corporate profit. 

These Subpoenas and Citations are issued by the Tribunal on behalf of victims of deadly attacks by the United States since 9/11 in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Lebanon, enabled by weapons produced by the above- named defendants. The People of the World are delivering these subpoenas in preparation for the upcoming Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, which will be held November 10, 2023. 

The Tribunal is unusual in holding private actors accountable for enabling war crimes and promoting militarism and war. The Tribunal’s work is inspired by the U.S. Senate’s Nye Committee after World War I; the 1945 Nuremberg trials of German industrialists at the close of World War II; the 1966 Russell Tribunal on the Viet Nam War; and the filing this year of a case against three French arms makers for complicity in attacks by Saudi Arabia against Yemeni civilians. 

The four defendants generate billions of dollars in profits each year by knowingly manufacturing, marketing, and selling products that kill not only combatants but noncombatant civilians as well. 

By funding the political campaigns of members of Congress charged with oversight of the military, as well as other members of Congress, these defendants are alleged to have bribed public officials to approve billion-dollar contracts funded by taxpayer money. Defendants are also alleged to have directly influenced U.S. war-making policy to increase their profits. 

The Tribunal itself will hear direct testimony from victims of war crimes, military analysts, and legal authorities during the Tribunal hearings in November of 2023. Those testimonies are currently being collected. Additional evidence is also being gathered. 

Support and participation in this Tribunal include Dr. Cornel West, Marjorie Cohn, Bill Quigley, Col. Ann Wright, Ajamu Baraka, Marie Dennis, Col Lawrence Wilkerson, Marie Dennis, Medea Benjamin, John Pilger, Richard Falk, Matthew Hoh, among others. 

The public viewing of the Tribunal will educate the citizens of the world on the direct role weapons manufacturers are alleged to play in fomenting needless war and suffering across the planet, violating numerous national and international laws, and engaging in war profiteering. 

The Tribunal encourages victims of these crimes, employees of these corporations, and government employees to come forward if they have information pertinent to the work of the Tribunal. 

Participants will bring signs reading “In Contempt” and “Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart.” The time and location of the delivery of the Subpoenas are listed below. 

  • Raytheon, February 14, 2023, 10:30 a.m. EST, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209
  • Pentagon, February 14, 2023, 1:00 p.m. Metro Stop at the Pentagon 

* * *

* * *


Russia's heavy bombardment in Kherson left at least four people dead, as Moscow's forces targeted the liberated southern region of Ukraine over the weekend.

Russia has "set records" for shelling, with the main direction of its attacks focused on the eastern city of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military said Sunday. Meanwhile, Ukraine on Monday disputed Russia's claim that it captured another village on the outskirts of Bakhmut as it tries to encircle the city.

Germany has begun to train Ukrainian soldiers on its Leopard 2 tanks, the government said Monday. The tanks are expected to be delivered in March. 

The US has told its citizens in Russia to leave "immediately" due to the war in Ukraine and the risk of potential arbitrary arrest by Russian law enforcement.

* * *

* * *


by John Clare

A dew drop—on a rose leaf
The one will dry—the other fade
And time is like that silent thief
To rob the rosy blooming maid
But such plain truths I must decline
A sermon's not a Valentine—

I would say something very fine
But cannot fancy what to send
I've chose thee long my valentine
And this comes from a silent Friend
—Primroses and Hypathicas
I've gathered thee in earl[i]er days.

Cupids quivers, painted darts
Are ornaments for idle fancies
Flaming altars, bleeding hearts
Are not of love—but its romances
Yet spring's first flowers will well agree
With valentines I send to thee

The snowdrop—like to frozen dew
The crocus like a blazing star
The daiseys all the season through
Are Valentines so very rare
Some grow in gardens, some by brooks
And richly paint thy happy looks

The field flowers, they are heaven's smiles
Like sunbeams in the field of spring
Unused to sorrow, or to toils
Their minstrels are the birds who sing
With all their charms springs dress divine
I send thee Love a Valentine—

* * *


  1. Chuck Dunbar February 14, 2023


    This is why I love the almost daily ED NOTES:

    “EVERY DAY, I get GoFundMe appeals from people who genuinely need help, which ought to beg the question, “Where’s government?” The fascisti always say that “government is the problem,” ignoring the fact, to take one fact that contradicts their bogus claim, of Social Security, a model national program instituted by the Roosevelt Administration almost a hundred years ago. SS is a model of efficiency without which older Americans especially would be destitute. But what about ruinous health care bills and the many other random disasters everyday Americans suffer? Involuntary homelessness? Nope. Voluntary homelessness? Nope.”

    Thank you, Bruce.

    • George Hollister February 14, 2023

      There is little/no accountability with the corrupt government option, and we see that every day. The hogs, some “homeless”, some billionaires, feeding at the government trough promote their causes. Everyone else pays. When we all become those hogs, who will pay? We ignore the many examples of socialist corruption failing. The one most relevant was the collapse of the Soviet Union. We are heading there.

      • Chuck Dunbar February 14, 2023

        Dang, George, I was hoping you would not say your usual piece here today, but it’s not unexpected. I have to respect your perseverance in some ways. I don’t see any point in making a detailed rebuttal, but will say this little bit.

        Surely we have serious problems, some concerning government, but the most serious ones are clearly the results of late-stage rapacious capitalism, the greed of the rich that is out of control, the lack of progressive taxation, the lack of efficient regulation of some areas of business, a congress sold-out to lobbyists for the rich and powerful (corrupt government in this respect, for sure) , the list goes on and on. Are we in trouble? Certainly. Are we a socialist country comparable to the Soviet Union? No way. Bernie Sanders sees it like it is. I wish he had the power to make changes in our system. It might save us.

        • Bruce McEwen February 14, 2023

          I think I speak for others when I say reading your posts are like having tea with the Vicar of Wokefield: always so judicious and reasonable, sensitive, humble, patient.

          “More tea, Vicar? Perhaps another scone?”

            • Bruce McEwen February 14, 2023

              Ah, Bedrock, I see you’ve misread —perhaps intentionally— my post. I meant to compliment Dunbar, not to jeer at him. Several characters like yourself have blotted their copybooks on this page but you, a godless Jew by your own admission, have thrice beshitted your bedsheets and still you have the redundance of gall to come back seeking absolution whilst at the same time kicking our little parish priests and monks in the teeth whenever they importune you (not to mention shamelessly nuzzle- bumming James Marmon as your cat’s paw) for an alms or ask for civility. A fig for your seconding my opinion, you sour old cynic. Be gone!

              • Louis Bedrock February 15, 2023

                Good to read your bilious comments again, Brusito.
                I’ve missed them.

        • Jim Armstrong February 14, 2023

          Yep! And all the BS below is, well, BS.
          Edit: I intended to reply to Chuck’s second post, but got moved down the line.
          A lively, if topsy-turvy, day at the AVA.

      • Bruce Anderson February 14, 2023

        The Soviet Union, like China, was only nominally ‘socialist.’ They said they were communists, not socialists, but were in fact dictatorships. Both are still dictatorships of different types. True socialist countries today are the Scandinavian countries, Japan and Canada to certain degrees, Israel kinda, Malaysia sort of, France more or less, even England, as are Russia and China, but all of these countries are more capitalist than socialist but guarantee their citizens basic civilized benefits of single payer, housing, food, education, etc which are not on offer in the U.S. because the Maga-brains claim doing good for people is “socialist.” America would be a much happier place if we were guaranteed the rights to life, so to speak.

        • George Hollister February 14, 2023

          “Vote for me and I will take care of you”, “Vote for me and I will give you money”, that is as corrupt as it gets, and that is socialism, or fascism, take your pick. It makes no difference.

          • Marmon February 14, 2023



          • Harvey Reading February 14, 2023

            Yeah, best to restrict such matters to behind-the-scenes encounters among the wealthy, thus powerful, scum and their paid-for politicians who rule, huh George? Go Team USA!

          • Bruce Anderson February 14, 2023

            The last politician to come through for the little guy was FDR. What have the Republicans promised? Vote for us, rich people, and we’ll lower your taxes, your social obligations.

  2. Lew Chichester February 14, 2023

    I haven’t read David Harris book “The Last Stand: The War Between Wall Street and Main Street Over California’s Ancient Redwoods” but will try to get a copy through the library system. There’s an element of this story which most of us don’t know. During the period in which the government was negotiating with Hurwitz and Maxxam for the purchase of the Headwaters Forest a Mendocino local, Richard Wilson, was the California Division of Forestry chairman. On a day in 2010, and this is ten years after the public purchase of Headwaters Forest, Richard and I had a conversation on the sidewalk in Covelo in which I was able to ask him “what was that period like?” Well, besides the statement that there were at least three or four people paid a lot of money to try to get him fired, it turned out a few years after the purchase of Headwaters, for many millions of Federal dollars and California’s share was 130 million, that much of the supposed “data” provided by Maxxam was fraudulent. When this information became public knowledge the statute of limitations for prosecuting fraud had expired. For the state, but not for an individual. Richard Wilson initiated a personal lawsuit against Hurwitz and Maxxam and pursued this suit through discovery and a settlement. Asking what did you get out of this, Richard responded “not much money, but at least the truth came out.” The whole thing with the purchase of Headwaters was a swindle. Apologies, I know I don’t have this recollection completely accurate, but felt I needed to share a bit of the history of Headwaters most of us don’t know. It was a scam, a swindle, for many millions of dollars. ” Jail Charles Hurwitz.”

    • Bruce Anderson February 14, 2023

      Richard Wilson is an honest man, just about the only honest person involved in that swindle during which, incidentally, the great defenders of the forest, Earth First! signed off on 8,000 acres of mixed old growth that Hurwitz got three-quarters of a billion dollars for.

      • Betsy Cawn February 14, 2023

        Wonderful book about Wilson’s successful fight to preserve Round Valley and stop the conversion of the Covelo area into another reservoir feeding development in northern Mendocino County: “The River Stops Here,” by Ted Simon. The book can be downloaded (free) from the Hastings School of Law website:

        Wilson’s efforts unified a multitude of fractious competitors for scarce revenues, including Tribal descendants of ancestors who survived the forced-marched from the Central Valley over the Nome Cult Trail (also know as the Conkow Trail of Tears) in 1863.

        • Betsy Cawn February 14, 2023

          Apologies for my error: The publication available from the Hastings Law School is not the complete book (although, in 26 pages, it makes a very great read for anyone not acquainted with the issues and the book). The entire book is 380 pages in length, and available from a variety of sellers, described in this Publisher’s Weekly ad as follows:

          “In the late 1960s, the Dos Rios Dam on the Eel River was the largest proposed water project in California. Simon ( Jupiter’s Travels ) shows that before the environmental movement was launched, in a state seemingly controlled by water interests and governed by Ronald Reagan, only the relentless efforts of one person, wealthy rancher Richard Wilson, derailed the building of the Dos Rios Dam and by so doing redefined California’s environmental agenda. “Largely as a result of Richard’s energy and determination, it was never again possible for a major water project to be planned in California without the environmental and social cost being evaluated first.” The specifics of the battle to defeat the Eel River proposal are nicely set within the broader context of Southern California’s thirst for the north’s water. Simon handles the historical chapters in a much drier fashion, however, which considerably slows this otherwise fast-paced book.”

        • Bruce Anderson February 14, 2023

          I’ve got that book. You’re right, Betsy. Simon’s book is a precise account of Wilson’s successful fight to prevent Round Valley from becoming Lake Covelo. Reagan, then governor, came up himself to take a look. Wilson talked him out of it. We’re lucky to have Ted Simon’s true history of Wilson’s great victory.

  3. Harvey Reading February 14, 2023


    Brought tears even to my eyes.

    • Doug Mosel February 14, 2023

      Same here, Harvey. A genuine act of love on the part of fisherman and rescuers. The story is yet another reason for my daily appreciation of the AVA .

  4. Jeff Fox February 14, 2023

    The whale story is an old one, from 2005 getting some replay on the internet. What’s jumped out at me is the netting in the picture doesn’t look anything like crab line, but the way the floats are arranged, looks more like a seine. Seine nets float at the top with a weighted bottom for maximum coverage in the water and are far more hazardous to whales than crab lines. The picture apparently was taken from somewhere else.

    • Harvey Reading February 14, 2023

      Even if not accurate, it still was a moving tale as far as I am concerned. Fiction in noozepapers has has hardly been banned

  5. Bruce McEwen February 14, 2023

    Glad to see they got Phil Frase back in custody. When he got on the bus one morning I was so shocked I blurted out, “Frase! What are you doing here? Didn’t you get sent up for the Steven Schmidt murder?”

    “It was self-defense, they finally saw that and let me out.”

    I was skeptical. It’s not like law enforcement to admit the defendant was right. Frase told me he was enrolled at Mendocino college, living in Ukiah; and it was at about this time his old neighbor in Bell Springs, a wildly successful pot pharmer, whose name escapes me at the moment, had just been convicted in federal court of a cultivation charge Kieth Faulder had won an acquittal on a year earlier, and wheels were turning in my head but, sagely, I kept my mouth shut in front of a guy with the blood of two trimmer’s on his hands.

    After the encounter with Frase on the bus I went out of my way so as to avoid him, and I feel safer with him back in custody.

  6. Chuck Artigues February 14, 2023

    Healdsburg of today looks nothing like it did 40 years ago. As recently as the mid 80s Healdsburg was a dusty farm town with empty store fronts and nothing going for it. Can Ukiah change for the better, I can’t say, but why the constant negativity? How about working for, or at least encouraging positive change…

  7. Betsy Cawn February 14, 2023

    Next month is the 50th anniversary of the evacuation of the last soldier from Vietnam.

  8. Louis Bedrock February 14, 2023

    Valentine’s Day thoughts:

    “Love it is pleasin’ and love is teasin’
    And love is a treasure when first it’s new
    But as love grows older, then love grows colder
    And it fades away like the morning dew”

  9. Marco McClean February 14, 2023

    Re: Tommy Wayne Kramer’s story about this or that town’s attractions.

    Just outside Fresno are the Human Mole Caverns. We took the tour there in the late 1960s. An Italian involved in construction of an East Coast subway system fell in love, moved to California to make some money to bring the girl out and get married, she decided against it, and he spent his entire adulthood and lonely old age digging tunnels in the hardpan, with a pick and shovel and wheelbarrow, for an underground apartment and restaurant and driveway to what would have been an underground parking lot, even underground gardens with marvels of grafted trees in shafts to let sun in. He experimented with radio and invented an explosive made from orange peels. I think it’s all still there. The glass over the sun shafts was a broken mess when I was there but it was all impressive. He made the restaurant booths by carving the curved benches directly into the walls. One man did all that. No consultants nor lawyers nor multi-million-dollar plans required.

    In L.A. there’s the Griffith Observatory. It was my favorite place in the world when I was a little boy. The exhibits, the boulder-size meteorite, giant rumbling motorized topo map of crisscrossing earthquake faults, working Tesla coil, a pretty big telescope with narrow stairs up to it, a gift shop that sold astonomy slides, and more. Juanita and I got married on the flat part of the roof there in 1988. You’ve seen it in dozens of teevee shows and movies; it’s a very popular set for stories. It was even in one of the time-travel episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. The film /The Rocketeer/ made excellent, very exciting use of it. Imagine something like that on top of a hill above Ukiah.

    Also in the L.A. area: The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City. I think that’s still in business. And Disneyland, and the Museum of Science and Industry. I still think a monorail project would be great on the Mendocino Coast; that would be comparable in price to the new court building they’re building in Ukiah, and much more wonderful, and more of an attraction to the county, as well as solving the transportation problem between coastal towns and being beautiful against a sunset, soaring across the sky on laughter’s silvered wings, to borrow a line from /High Flight/ by John Gillespie, Jr.

    1n 1967 there was a hill outside Escondido where parents with a pickup truck would take a whole truck-bed full of unsecured children to climb up and slide down on the grass on flattened cardboard boxes. We have hills here too. Think about it.

    • George Hollister February 14, 2023

      La Brea Tar Pits is a notable place for anyone to visit who wants a glimpse of California before humans became the super keystone species. I would take a friend, child, or parent there before going to Disney Land, and for much less money

      • Sarah Kennedy Owen February 15, 2023

        Oh yeah, I thought about the tar pits, too! LACMA and the tar pits museum are right next door to each other. The tar pits are actually part of the LACMA grounds. The La Brea Tar Pits museum is an awesome place to take pics. Interesting juxtaposition, Chris Burden’s lineup of electric lights together with the tar pits, originally containing woolly mammoths and saber tooth tigers, right on the same grounds. Wonder if Burden meant anything by it? Like our electric culture may some day go the way of these extinct mammals? He (Burden) did create a car that got 75 mpg and drove it around Paris, just to prove he could (and wondered aloud why the car companies could not accomplish anything close to that mpg in a car). It was called the B-Car and it was all built by hand by LA artists. You had to drive it lying flat on your back, with your head propped up, so I think he might have been the only one daring enough (or foolhardy enough) to actually drive it around a city.

      • Marco McClean February 15, 2023

        All little boys love animal skeletons and the smell of hot tar, but the La Brea Tar Pits did nothing for me when I was little. Now– Venice Beach, The Santa Monica Pier, the Toluca Lake Bob’s Big Boy (in the early ’60s, with waitresses on rollerskates to bring you a menu and hook a dinner tray on your car window, and milkshakes so thick they didn’t even bring a straw, just a long spoon), record stores with little rooms to try out a new record in to see if you like it (and the Capitol Records building that looked like a stack of records), hilltop houses cantilevered out over the freeway on seeming toothpicks with the pipes exposed underneath, like looking up a robot’s skirt… Any of these things could be replicated in Mendocino County and be a draw.

  10. Marmon February 14, 2023


    99 Luftballons
    Song by Nena:

    You and I in a little toy shop
    Buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got
    Set them free at the break of dawn
    ‘Til one by one, they were gone
    Back at base, sparks in the software
    Flash the message “Something’s out there”
    Floating in the summer sky
    99 red balloons go by

    99 red balloons
    Floating in the summer sky
    Panic bells, it’s red alert
    There’s something here from somewhere else
    The war machine springs to life
    Opens up one eager eye
    Focusing it on the sky
    The 99 red balloons go by

    99 Decision Street
    99 ministers meet
    To worry, worry, super scurry
    Call the troops out in a hurry
    This is what we’ve waited for
    This is it boys, this is war
    The President is on the line
    As 99 red balloons go by

    99 knights of the air
    Ride super high-tech jet fighters
    Everyone’s a superhero
    Everyone’s a Captain Kirk
    With orders to identify
    To clarify and classify
    Scrambling the summer sky
    99 red balloons go by

    As 99 red balloons go by

    99 dreams I have had
    In every one, a red balloon
    It’s all over, and I’m standing pretty
    In this dust that was a city
    If I could find a souvenir
    Just to prove the world was here
    And here is a red balloon
    I think of you, and let it go


    • Harvey Reading February 14, 2023

      Summarizes US history, to a tee.

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