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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, March 16, 2023

Sunny | Crabbers | Candidate Norvell | Puppet Show | Imaging Boonville | Woody Glen | AV Events | Cupples Hiring | Comptche Broadband | Ukiah Vineyard | Rainy Thoughts | County Notes | Live Music | Advisory Vote | Whale Watching | Ed Notes | Rescuing FEMA | Farmers Market | Patio Pond | Seaweed Exhibit | Cannabis Tax | Cat | Weed Woes | Scratcher Thief | Trail Meetings | Job Fair | Hiring Drivers | Decriminalize Psychedelics | Chile Powder | Covid Recommendations | Boonville Hotel | Theatre Review | Yesterday's Catch | Safe Schools | New Level | School Stabbing | Cruising | Leaders | Common Reaction | Facing Up | Homeless CA | Donny T | Great Economy | Bank Crisis | Sandwich Protection | Woke Joke | Another World | Jesus Alou | Ukraine | Driving Snakes

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MAINLY DRY WEATHER and seasonable temperatures will occur across Northwest California through Friday. A wet pattern is then expected this weekend into next week, with potentially heavy low elevation rain and light to moderate high elevation snowfall spreading across the region Monday through Wednesday. (NWS)

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Bringing in crab, Arena Cove (Jennifer Smallwood)

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Today I announce my candidacy for 4th District Supervisor in 2024. After much thought and consideration over the last year, along with multiple conversations with community members and current county supervisors, I respectfully reach out to you for your support as I look forward to bringing my experience, knowledge, and “can do” attitude to the county board of supervisors. 

I am a lifelong resident of Mendocino county. Like most of you, I feel privileged to live on the Mendocino Coast and believe this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve always felt our most admirable quality is the people within the community. However great our communities are, there is always room for improvement and forward thinking to change our future. Many of my mornings are spent running through the city of Fort Bragg, where I have been the mayor for the past 2 years and city council member since 2016. I value this time spent running before the sun comes up, as it is where I begin thinking and planning my progressive solution based approach. 

As many of you know, my personality is reserved in nature with an enthusiasm for serving my community and building positive relationships with those I work closely with. As a city council member and mayor, I have focused my time and efforts into making the city of Fort Bragg a safer and better place to work, live, and visit. In building a network of community members and stakeholders, we have taken action to implement multiple advanced solutions that have yielded positive results for all. My plan is to bring this same approach to the county level as 4th district supervisor and create an even greater impact on our communities. The county currently faces many difficult issues: a budget shortfall, increasing costs of the jail expansion, cannabis production and programs, as well as housing needs and water resiliency. 

It is my belief that collectively we cannot solve our problems until we recognize our inadequacies, identify plans that are not working, and start making concrete decisions that result in evident change. In my time as mayor and a city council member, one issue I have worked tirelessly to remedy is our homeless situation. Receiving multiple calls per week about transients in the downtown area and neighboring encampments, it was clear something needed to be done. 

As a member of the Public Safety Committee I addressed our service providers on the issues surrounding the year-round homeless shelter and how to bring the provider into compliance with their permit. I also worked closely with recently retired police Chief John Naulty and our current captain Thomas O'Neal to devise a better plan to serve our homeless population through more effective policing and definitive solutions. 

In July 2018, I petitioned our council to adopt the Marbut Report as our principle guidelines for addressing homelessness, transients, and vagrancy. We successfully applied these guidelines to our policies and approach over the ensuing years. This led to the formation of a team of well-trained community members operating our Crisis Response Unit (CRU). The Crisis Response Unit is solely dedicated to the homeless and transient population, using a multi faceted, holistic approach that connects individuals with available resources for mental health, addiction, life mentorship, and the operation of extreme weather shelters. We applied and received a $375,000 one-year grant to jump start these services which have already provided many examples of proven success. CRU also participates in the follow-up of all cases to ensure long lasting results and change for each individual case. 

Through these collaborative efforts, police services being dedicated to homelessness was reduced by 44% within a year and arrests declined by 57%. Not only did it allow our public safety departments to better allocate resources towards the community, we also had numerous success stories of individuals receiving proper mental health and addiction services, being reunited with families, and the rebuilding of lives. Simultaneously, I took on the task of creating a safer and more efficient emergency weather shelter with the help of community members and service providers. 

After a few years of working different shifts in the shelter, I asked the city council and police department to bring the shelter in-house. In 2021 we did just that. Teaming up with hotel owners, the county, and our 4 th and 5 th district supervisors, we devised a caring and fiscally responsible plan that was established and implemented for creating a temporary shelter. I am proud to say that this approach continues to be a success again this winter. 

As my knowledge and experience grew, it became evident that mental health in our community was a serious issue that lacked adequate resources. In 2020, I called on the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizens Oversight Committee (aka Measure B Committee) as well as the county board of supervisors to commit $967,000 to subsidize a four-bed Crisis Respite Facility. The facility provides 24 hour care for anyone 18 years or older, experiencing a temporary mental health crisis. Here we are able to provide a safe place for people to get local assistance and much needed treatment. After 2 years of lobbying, I was able to get RCS and Adventist Health to collaborate on a dedicated facility and management for the Crisis Respite Program that will open in early 2023. 

Two of the issues the county faces are budget and jail expansion. I look forward to exercising my existing experience on creating an even bigger impact on presenting a balanced budget for the county. In my first year on city council I rejected the idea of passing a deficit budget as it seemed irresponsible. Every year since, I have worked hard and succeeded in taking a more conservative approach to approving a balanced budget. Not only are properly allocated funds and balanced budgets crucial to any well run organization, it will also be crucial in creating funding for the jail expansion Being proactive on preventing foreseeable issues has become a strength that I wasn’t aware of until looking back at my time spent as mayor of Fort Bragg and an active city council member. I do however also look forward to streamlining basic processes with up to date technology. 

One area where I believe we can make a larger impact is within the building permitting process. When staffers are still handing in paper copies and carrying them from one department to another, I see this as a misuse of valuable resources on a process that can easily be streamlined. When housing is a major crisis, getting people building again is a huge priority and any way of making this easier for people is a must. Having an integral part in bringing our new wastewater treatment plant online has shown me expansion, growth, and technology is key when striving to achieve more effective ways of doing things. That preparedness is imperative for all, as the people of our community rely on it when emergencies and crises occur. 

As I continue on my journey to serve others, I will be steadfast in my solution-based approach and my continued focus and dedication as mayor. Knowing that my results speak far louder than my words. All I ask for is your vote and support so that we may carry on together in creating better lives and environments for generations to come. 

Thank you, 

Bernie Norvell 

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Caltrans is surveying in town to create 3D imaging of the Boonville corridor. The Caltrans’ project name is the Boonville CAPM (0K000): a paving project all along Highway 128 in Mendocino County. Caltrans uses the concept of “Complete Streets” – following a description taken from Caltrans website. A “complete street” provides mobility for people of all ages and abilities, particularly those who are walking, biking, using assistive mobility devices, and riding transit. Complete streets offer several benefits, including enhancing safety and creating more sustainable transportation options to decrease dependence on driving and improving public health by encouraging active transportation like walking and biking.

Alexis Kelso of the Caltrans Advanced Planning Department also attached an illustration of what a “parking protected bikeway” looks like. “The goal is to slow traffic by having parked vehicles closer to the traveled way (which creates a visual friction) and for cycling to be more comfortable by being farther away from moving vehicles. I want to emphasize that these plans are very preliminary and are a point for starting conversation with the Boonville community on what the sidewalks, bikeways, and parking should look like through town.”

Alexis continues, “Of course, the timing of all this as it relates to the water/sewer project needs to be discussed further, which I’ve let the Advanced Planning team know.”

Alexis would like to set up a community meeting at some point to get feedback. We developed a Boonville Beautification Committee last spring when studying installing benches. It was finally decided that the Clean California grant funding the benches was better used for the Skatepark at the Community Park by the Clinic and consider benches and other beautification features when the actual sidewalks go in. But the Beautification Committee (residents from throughout AV and very welcoming to anyone who would like to get involved) will start meeting again to consider the Caltrans plans. 

Caltrans would also like to know if there are eating establishments in Boonville that would like Parklets. 

Developing plans now will save a great deal of time later as it takes years to do design and funding. We need to coordinate our infrastructure projects with Caltrans as the trenching and installation [for the planned municipal water and septic systems] is in Caltrans easements. PG&E is also aware that we are planning installation of water and sewer. We are hoping that undergrounding will all occur in the ‘tear it up and then put it back together’ stage.

Valerie Hanelt, Chair

Anderson Valley Community Services District Board

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Mailboxes & Tiller, Woody Glen Lane (Jeff Goll)

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AV Village Monthly Gathering: Local Writers*

Sunday, March 19th, 4 to 5:30 PM, Anderson Valley Senior Center

Refreshments served

Door Prize awarded to the lucky winner!

Join us for a fun night of local authors sharing their work.

Please RSVP with the coordinator —€“ thank you!

*Note new time and new day of the month (3rd Sunday of the month).

iPhone Support Presentation

Thursday, March 23rd, 12:30 to 1:30 PM, Anderson Valley Senior Center

After the wonderful senior lunch, join AV Village volunteer Jesse Espinoza for a presentation on using your iPhone and tips to make it easier to use for seniors. Bring your iPhones and questions.

— Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email:

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The Comptche Broadband Committee is proud to announce the biggest change to Comptche’s phone network since party lines went away. Through our efforts, AT&T has committed to replace our aging copper voice network with a state of the art fiber-to-the-home digital network. With AT&T’s investment of over one million dollars, phones that don’t ring, calls full of static or lines that are just completely dead will soon be a memory. AT&T’s new network will also support full premium digital internet and entertainment options with some of the highest speeds in Mendocino county. 

These changes to Comptche’s phone system must take place within two years, though AT&T has indicated they want to make the upgrade sometime in 2023. The Comptche Broadband Committee will monitor AT&T’s work and keep Comptche updated on its progress and ensure we all get the best phone and telecommunications system possible.

If You’re an AT&T Customer:

Is there anything you need to do if you’re an AT&T customer? Right now, that answer is “no.” AT&T is currently designing Comptche’s new fiber network. Once done, the Comptche Broadband Committee will announce a public forum where AT&T management and engineers will be available to answer all of your questions.

AT&T is an old hand at these kinds of network conversions. If you wish to have no change to your service, you won’t have to do anything and your bill will remain the same. You may wish to take advantage of the new network’s high internet speeds and media choices. When the time is right, AT&T will present you a menu of options and their costs. How you proceed will be up to you.

My Internet Provider isn’t AT&T

If you currently receive your internet services from Further Reach, StarLink or some other provider and are happy with your service, there’s no reason to change. Your provider will continue to offer their current high quality service. Some vendors may offer higher performance service in response to the new competition from AT&T. The Comptche Broadband Committee will encourage them to do so, and will continue to do all that’s possible to foster a fair yet competitive environment for all.

CPUC Priority Map

The State of California is currently updating its database of homes that do not have internet service. You can help them out by ensuring that they know about your home’s address. The Public Utilities Commission has built a map of what they call Priority Areas. This map is located here. The priority map is best viewed in the Google Chrome browser. You can enter your address by pulling out the leftmost popout, and if needed you can view this user guide on the priority map browser. Please help us by entering your address into the priority map to ensure that the CPUC knows about you.

We need your help

As mentioned before, the replacement of Comptche’s aging copper phone network with a state of the art fiber one would not have happened without the effort of the Comptche Broadband Committee. This committee is a completely volunteer organization and can’t function without your support. Please donate what you can, either through our GoFundMe web page, or by mailing us a check. Your support will allow us to monitor the AT&T network design and rollout to ensure we have the best fire-hardened network possible, and will allow us to chase future goals such as cellular communications. We can’t do this without you.

Thank you,

Comptche Broadband Committee,

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East Ukiah Valley (Mike Geniella)

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Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report - March 2023

The report is early this time since desk jobs are pretty much all one can do right now in the weather we're having. California's wish for rain has been granted in spades even to a disastrous degree in parts of the state, but we've been lucky. 

Our property is steep and benched with 5 seasonal creeks, now rivers, that drain down and across highway 128 and into Rancheria creek, now a river, which then flows to the Navarro River which overflows, often closing highway 128, until it reaches the ocean about 34 miles away. The clay soil on much of the property slumps in places creating deep erosion cuts over time, but nothing that's threatening the farm or the houses — yet. 

The chicken coop and pig areas are the most impacted right now. Chicken scuffing loosens the rocks in their hilly outdoor area and the soil slides down to flat spots creating thick mud puddles. The pigs root and run around in their pens creating muck until there's a foot or more of wet clay they're practically swimming in. We've dug drainage ditches so they don't drown! Meanwhile the ducks are building ponds in their field and loving life, swimming and digging for slugs and worms, and even starting to lay eggs again. What I'm noticing is that all our plantings are just waiting for the weather to settle so they can bust out blooming.

So, we're lucky, but we're also listening to Mother Nature's warnings and studying how best to counteract, at least until we can't, the ever worsening disasters that she's throwing our way. Recently our rainy day reading has been a book about soil microbes. It has given us a glimmer of understanding into how human activities impact soil, its ability to retain moisture, how microbes feed and defend plants from diseases, how feeding the soil manufactured nutrients like NPK is not the best way to improve the health of plants, and that pesticides, poisons of any kind, are not only destructive and toxic to plants and animals, but to all life in general including the life in the soil.

Our reading has made it clear that we humans know very little about the complex relationships all life forms have with one another because our senses are so limited. The study of the soils is in exact relationship to the study of the skies and the study of the body's microbes...pretty much to anything and everything on earth. As human ability to see further and deeper expands (telescopes, microscopes, etc.) so does our understanding of the the sky, in the ground and in bodies. Size is infinite, both in immensity and in invisibility so we will never be able to see or know it all. And at the rate we're destroying our only earth and our social systems, especially education, we won't have the time even to continue trying for much longer. We all need to wake up and curtail our destructive behaviors and wants.

Stay well and listen to Mother Nature.

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig

PS Pictures of our recent snow... #1 is a view from our front door to the pink barn with the cactus garden on the left. #2 from in front of the garage across the driveway; the cactus on the left to the tall Deodar cedar which used to be my potted Christmas tree many years ago.

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THIS WEEK MENDO FINALLY GOT AROUND to thinking (if you can call it that) about the upcoming abandonment of the County Courthouse, albeit only about ten years too late. But the assumptions underlying that thinking are badly flawed.

From the County’s “Facilities Conceptual Strategic Plan”:

“Courthouse Relocation: The new Mendocino County Courthouse in Ukiah is scheduled to be complete in March of 2027 according to the California Courts website. This impacts several strategic plan items. Several County Departments serve the public in or near the Courthouse. The existing Courthouse will also be left entirely to the County when the Courts vacate the building. This asset should be sold to avoid substantial improvements that will be necessary to continue operations in this building. The items related to the Courthouse include: 2. District Attorney (DA), 3. Child Support Services, 17. Public Defender. The child support services building is dramatically under- utilized and the site is a few blocks from the new Courthouse site. One option for the District Attorney is to renovate and add-on to the existing building 55 to be used at the DA’s office. Another option could be to construct a new Public Safety building near the Courthouse that would include the DA and Public Defender. This public safety building could be enlarged to include other departments like Adult Probation, Child Support or Sheriff’s Administration.”

So Mendo’s facilities staffers think that maybe moving the DA’s offices across the street to the underutilized Deadbeat Dad building might be an option because the DA’s office would have go someplace when the old Courthouse is abandoned so, they blithely assume, it can be sold. (Last we checked the market for old abandoned Courthouses is kinda small and weak.) And if the DA doesn’t move across the street, maybe the County could build a “Public Safety Building” for him and his law enforcement partners near the new courthouse which would further draw customers from the existing downtown Ukiah businesses. The facilities staff off-handedly adds, “This asset [the old courthouse] should be sold,” as if it’s as simple as that. Maybe they should get in touch with the new owners of the Palace Hotel next door and see if they want to convert the old Courthouse into a marvelous new downtown tourist attraction! Or maybe they could convert it into the Psychiatric Health Facililty and save the Measure B money for real help to Mendo’s mentally ill community. (Come to think of it, that might not be a big stretech from its current use..) The facilities staff also seem to think that putting the DA’s offices in the Deadbeat Dad building would have an additional benefit of being “a few blocks from the new Courthouse site.” Which would leave the DA’s offices the same few blocks away that they will be when the new Courthouse goes up. The assumption then seems to be that the new Public Safety Building near the courthouse could be funded by the proceeds from selling the old courthouse. Voila! What a concept! This is the kind of nutty thinking that brought us the Pot Permit Program. Not only is it wrong-headed, but it presumes that fantasies are actual possibilities and timing is irrelevant. What could possibly go wrong? Why don’t they ask the Ukiah City Council or the DA or the Court Administrative Office or the public (including the downtown Ukiah Businesses) for input before hoking up such preposterous ideas?

Unfortunately, nobody on our out-of-touch Board of Supervisors even brought up the item so that staff could be told to start over.

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AFTER THE MID-YEAR BUDGET REPORT agenda item was introduced last Tuesday, Supervisor Williams immediately moved to accept it, no discussion, questions asked. All he wanted to discuss in the entire presentation was his latest “Get Cubbison” exercise which, as we noted yesterday, went nowhere because Cubbison and the other involved officials had reasonable, if unfortunate, explanations for the delays in issuing supplemental tax bills. 

NOBODY wanted to talk about the actual budget presentation. Budget presenter Tim Hallman read his/the CEO’s list of budget suggestions and Williams quickly moved to accept the report and the recommendations without discussion, none of which are even worth summarizing here.

WHEN THEY WENT TO PUBLIC COMMENT, Peter McNamee, who previously restricted himself to the wonders of solar energy for Mendocino County, in his usual highly professional style, told the Board that departments with budget variances should explain their variances to the Board, the staff and the public, adding that not doing so makes a mockery of the budget process. 

BOARD CHAIR GLENN McGOURTY ignored McNamee entirely and immediately went to the next public commenter. Nobody had the least interest in the six significant departmental variances listed by the CEO’s staff, nor anything else about the budget or the mid-year presentation.

MOST OF THE REST OF TUESDAY’S MEETING, was about pot. Again. They tossed around some loosely formed ideas to reduce some duplication and possibly eliminate some minor paperwork requirements, before giving up and postponing the idea for another month. Then they discussed Supervisor Mulheren’s proposal to waive certain pot tax penalties and interest and let up to 279 “deprioritized” applicants (who are being held up for non-payment of back pot taxes) arrange for a payment plan for their back taxes. The Board cautiously voted for the idea (Williams dissenting) in the hopes that not very many people will apply because if a lot of them apply, as Mulheren obviously hopes, they’ll just create more work for the understaffed and overworked Tax Collector staff. Nobody even suggested that this latest complication on top of an already complicated permit program come back to the Board monthly to report on the level of participation the proposal might generate. However, if it becomes the burden that Mulheren and Co. hope it will (to bring more people into the unworkable permit process), Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison will probably bring it to the Board’s attention — after it’s too late.

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Here is the entirety of Supervisor Williams post [re: possible road tax],

“Mendocino County road crews are spread thin. They currently are working 12-hour days to clear down trees on Usal Rd in the Whale Gulch school area to make the road wide enough to allow emergency vehicles and parents access to the school.

Fort Bragg crews assisted with snow removal in the Bell Springs and Spy Rock area on 1960s dozers.

Boonville and Point Arena crews continue to open roads and will be starting on Fish Rock Rd with assistance from CAL Fire inmate crews next Monday.

With the heavy rains and strong winds forecast for tomorrow, crews will once again be busy opening culverts and dealing with down trees. Potholes, while a nuisance (and in my view, a safety hazard) remedy will have to wait until crews have a chance to come up for air.

Our current Department of Transportation situation is not sustainable. It’s time to fund the basic services that the public expects. Fire, roads, and law enforcement. Every county resident uses a county road to get to work, school, medical appointments and other life necessities each day and expects maintenance on their road.

With the reduced crew size the department cannot provide the services the public expects. Crews will make every effort to fill the worst of the worst potholes as soon as possible.

The needed course correction can only come through the leadership of county Supervisors. The annual budget process is approaching. I hope you’ll be part of the conversation and guide us in balancing competing priorities.”

It appears to me that the Supervisor [Williams] is asking the community to get involved in the budget process and help prioritize where you want your tax dollars spent,( fire, road and law enforcement) no mention of adding taxes. I’m sure the Supervisor is aware he cannot just add a tax without a vote from the taxpayers.

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Mark Scaramella Replies:

REMINDER: Measure AJ was passed by a wide majority back in 2016. It was an “Advisory Measure” which accompanied Measure AI to help sell the County’s Pot permit/tax program which imposed the Cannabis Business Tax. Voters were told that if Mendocino County adopted the accompanying Cannabis Business Tax Measure the County “should use a majority of that revenue for funding enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and increase fire and emergency medical services.”

Guess how much of those pot tax revenues (calculated by the County to be over $20 million in the last six years) were allocated to mental health services, county roads or fire and emergency services. (Hint: $0.)

The one time Supervisor Haschak suggested honoring the will of the voters, Williams quickly shot it down by suggesting that the County pretend that business as usual amounted to compliance, His colleagues, including Haschack, quickly agreed.

Now Williams wants to ask the voters to pass another road tax? Maybe the Board should honor that advisory vote first. 

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Whale watching after the storm (Dick Whetstone)

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THE TRULY GOOD NEWS on the day is that Bernie Norvell, mayor of Fort Bragg, has announced for Fourth District Supervisor. Fort Bragg being a model of civic functioning, Norvell's played a major role in creating the well run Fort Bragg we see today, and a Fort Bragg that Ukiah could take lessons from assuming Ukiah is teachable. Proprietor of a small family business, Norvell, as supervisor, will bring badly needed common sense to a board desperately in need of it. Not that the present supervisors are entirely responsible for the present fiscal mess, but they signed off on all kinds of cockamamie spending schemes brought to their trembling hands by former CEO, the fearsome M. Dearest.

LOOK TO THE HEAVENS! Five planets will be visible in the night sky at the end of March — Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars. On March 28, Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus are expected to come together in a small sky sector shortly after sunset for skywatchers across the world.

HAPPY TO HEAR news of Tom Cronquist, long-time anchor for central Boonville. He and the late Arlene Toohey were a familiar sight in early morning Boonville tidying up after the previous evening's hijinks. A veteran of the Navy assigned to the Marines as a medic during the toughest years of the Vietnam War, doctors are certain Tom's Parkinson's was brought on by Agent Orange. Tom's in a special Agent Orange unit at the VA Hospital in San Francisco from where he's able to keep in touch with his many local friends who report he's doing well considering the severity of his affliction.

UNHAPPY to hear that Ricky Adams is pretty much confined to his Boonville home these days while the medical people puzzle out what's hurting him. Another early morning guy, I miss seeing Ricky at the Redwood Drive-In, as punctual as sunrise. Whatever it is that's sidelined Ricky we all know it's nothing that can keep a tough old logger down for long.

MIKE GENIELLA: Environmentalist Greg King and I crossed paths in the late 1980s during protests of North Coast logging practices, and the push for preservation of “Headwaters Forest,” the single largest tract of ancient redwoods which remained in private ownership at the time. Greg posted this photo today, showing what he believes is the largest redwood – 20 feet in diameter — and possibly oldest still growing there. Note the 6'2" man standing at the tree's base.

ERNIE BRANSCOMB: My cousin lived in Ketchikan, Alaska and worked at the sawmill. One year, during the spring thaw they discovered that a woman had killed her boyfriend and wrapped him in a blue tarp and buried him in the snow in the front yard. His body was discovered during the spring thaw. That same year they found a body at the bottom of the mill pond wrapped in a blue tarp. The joke around town was to enforce a waiting period to buy a blue tarp.

I'M SURPRISED everyday people still deposit their modest savings in banks at almost zero interest. I guess a bank is marginally more secure than your mattress, but still. I'm reminded of my late friend Ern Waggoner, patriarch of the famous Boonville sports family, who told me once he'd never put another dime in any bank after he'd lost what little he had when his hometown bank in Arkansas evaporated during The Great Depression along with Ern's savings. Ern kept his cash in his wallet from then on, a stash so large he wired it closed. Also, like a lot of Boonville's Depression Arkys, Ern was a heck of a gardener, so shaken in his youth by the economic collapse, he was always ready for a repeat. (Which may have begun as we meet here on a glorious post-storm March day.)

TRADING had to be halted several times Wednesday morning on some 20 regional banks as the velocity of money being withdrawn from them forced regulators to intervene. The big boys were also taking relatively big hits: Citigroup's share price was down 7.45 percent, Wells Fargo sank 7.1 percent, Bank of America plunged 5.8 percent and JP Morgan fell 1.8 percent. Among the worst affected regional banks were First Republic Bank which fell by 62 percent, Western Alliance which closed with a loss of 47 percent and KeyCorp which dropped by 21 percent. The declines struck Wall Street despite Joe Biden making an intervention minutes before the market opened to claim that “Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe,” a statement that seemed to add to international bank jitters. Former Trump White House adviser Steve Moore warned that SVB “may just be the tip of the iceberg,” exposing a broader weakness brought about by Biden's $4 trillion COVID stimulus package.

THE COLLAPSES of Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank are like icebergs calving off from the Antarctic glacier. The financial analogy to the global warming causing this collapse is the rising temperature of interest rates, which spiked last Thursday and Friday to close at 4.60 percent for the U.S. Treasury’s two-year bonds. Bank depositors meanwhile were still being paid only 0.2 percent on their deposits. That has led to a steady withdrawal of funds from banks — and a corresponding decline in commercial bank balances with the Federal Reserve. (Michael Hudson)

IT'S HARD ENOUGH to raise children in a country where aberrant behavior is not only tolerated but celebrated. Imagine the heart-in-mouth anxiety of parents who fear that their children may not be safe at school. That worst of all fears has taken hold in the Anderson Valley at our elementary school. The upside is that we have two smart, capable and conscientious school administrators who definitely won't tolerate bullying, and moved to stop it almost the hour(s) it has occurred.

SINCE BULLYING AND RACE can't be mentioned in the same sentence in these sensitive times without ethnic demagogues crying themselves to sleep, nevertheless let's state plainly that the bullying episodes at Boonville Elementary involve little Mexican kids hassling little white kids, the hasslers apparently motivated by the depraved gang examples they see in media. It can't and won't be tolerated, just as it wouldn't be tolerated if white bullies were pushing Mexican kids around. 

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Saving FEMA in Willits, March 13, 2023

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Sunshine for a change and another full market. There's more and more produce each week, plus hot food and drink (and free coffee and tea), eggs, meat, and crafts. That's Thursday, 3 to 5:30 PM at Little Lake Grange. We accept EBT cards and will swipe your credit card in exchange for coupons good with any vendor.

Here's who we're expecting:

Katherine from Black Dog Farm will be back with salad greens, spinach, scallions, arugula, carrots, mustard greens.

-- Allegra at Green Uprising is bringing salad makings, arugula, spinach, cilantro, and Asian greens.

--Jessie's Inland Ranch brings greens from her hoop houses, winter squash, eggs, and lots of meat selections.

--And we're expecting Mulligan Gardens with lots of mushrooms, produce, link sausages, and Mich's line of herbed and spiced seasonings.

Amanda Fairall writes "This week’s dinner is Corn Beef Slider Dinner with baked beans & Brownie (pre-order at so we know how much to prep), Lasagna (meat or gf veggie), and don’t forget the pastries. Produce side should have assortment of greens & restock of several sweet and pepper jams for you to restock your pantry.

--Galina announces Wolflodge’s NEW! veggie burger packed with vegetables, GF Bun, Avocado, Onion, Pickles, Avocado Oil Mayo, Micro-greens & Veggie Chips. Also on offer: Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crepes: Sweet Raspberry/ Cream Cheese, Cinnamon Sugar, Honey/Ginger/Lemon, Gluten-Free Buckwheat Savory Crepes: Smoked Salmon/Avocado/ Cream Cheese, Ham/Cheese/ Local Egg. And don't forget the Micro-Greens: 20oz container Broccoli, Radish, Pea Shoots. Bring 20oz container back for a refill and get $1OFF.

--Sunshine is coming, too, with Wild Rose hot chocolate w/ local honey, Wild Mushroom tea, herbal tinctures, syrups, & infused honey. Desserts: Wild Rose chocolate pudding, & mostly organic, healthier recreations of the classic candies- Butterfinger, Snickers, & Twix.

Grant's Goodies brings ready-to-bake frozen chocolate chip, chocolate crinkle, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter cookie dough balls.

--Michelle of Mendo Ferments is out of the snow at last. She'll be on hand with a new treat Mango Chutney.

--We're expecting Denise again this week with flavored balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

--And Reza is baking Simply Spelt, Apricot Pecan Lavender, Seedalicious, Classic Sourdough Boules and 2 different Focaccias.

Charissa of Mermaizing Scents will be back with her herbal scented and artfully sculpted soaps, soothing lotions, and more.

And Jo Galbreath is bringing new wearable art, mugs, and bags.

Tobin’s Tales for the young at heart at the Farmer’s Market continues, same time, 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM’ish.

Music: why, the fabulous Farmers Market Band!

Michael Foley

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LARRY WAGNER: Water, water everywhere. Our drought seems to have been conquered, for this year at least. We have exceeded the average rainfall for March already and the total rainfall for the season is already 40", more than average for the season (which starts Sept.1 on my weather station. Our patio was a small lake. The step down into the patio from the path is 6". The water is right to the top of the step. Fortunately the soil drains quickly here, so it is not a problem. There is only a small puddle this morning.

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BOTANICA OF THE OCEAN: Artist and author Josie Iselin speaks on the science of seaweed

by Roberta Werdinger

On Sunday, March 19, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a presentation by artist, author, and seaweed advocate Josie Iselin on seaweed ecology and science as seen through the lens of her artwork. Iselin is the author of the award-winning book /The Curious World of Seaweed,/ and the co-creator with Exhibit Envoy of the exhibit of the same name, which is on display at the Museum through April 30.

"The thin region where the sea meets the land is unlike either land or sea, it is betwixt and between," Iselin writes in the opening of her book. "It is a place of dramatic change and remarkable abundance--of life, and also of possibility." That abundance was discovered by Iselin as she went on expeditions to the Point Reyes peninsula and other marine locations in and around San Francisco and began studying the seaweed for herself. Using her flatbed scanner, she created an extraordinary hybrid of art, science, and history, illuminating the seaweed from within while overlaying some of the images with historical lithographs.

On her expeditions, Iselin noticed that most people weren't paying much attention to seaweed and marine algae in general. She noted that in 2012, a coalition of marine agencies released a 15-year census of marine life, only one page of which was devoted to what she calls "the primary producers of the ocean: marine algae" (another name for seaweed).

Like many an artist and science-oriented explorer before her, Iselin set out on a journey, one which she describes as "letting the seaweed speak for itself." Deciding to learn its biology and history, she started taking workshops with Kathy Ann Miller, a curator and seaweed expert at the Herbarium at UC Berkeley. She experienced the wonder and beauty of "this botanica of the ocean" in a series of intertidal zones up and down the California coast. "We live in one of the most abundant places for marine algae on earth," Iselin affirms.

That abundance, however, is threatened with the changes wrought by global warming. The oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet are subject to the same disruptions to the communities they host as are terrestrial systems. Even small changes in temperature can disrupt a delicate balance threatening entire species. In 2013-2014, a starfish wasting disease caused a massive die-off of the sunflower sea star, an urchin predator. This caused a population upsurge in sea urchins, which in turn impacted the kelp forests, as sea urchins turned to grazing there in large numbers. Iselin is inspired to ask: "How can us storytellers and visual artists help restore the kelp forests and bring this issue to life?" To answer this, she has helped form a collective called Above/Below, bringing together scientists, artists, and activists to tell stories about seaweed up and down the Pacific coast. That story, and the weaving-together of human care and concern with the ancient, splendid heritage of the ocean, is still under development. In her talk, Iselin will bring the audience up to date on the most recent projects.

Admission to Iselin's talk is free with Museum admission: $5, $4 for students and seniors, $12 for families, and free for members, Native Americans, and standing military personnel. Visitors can also view the exhibit, /The Curious World of Seaweed, /between noon and 4:30 on that day. The Museum is also open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 South Main St. in Ukiah. 

For more information call (707) 467-2836 or visit

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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN: The Board voted to work with the State to streamline our Cannabis permitting and environmental review processes. Created an amnesty program for Cannabis cultivators with delinquent taxes for their Interest and Penalties for years 2018-2021, created a payment plan for these same individuals to be able to get back on track with their taxes and go through the permitting process and reduced cannabis taxes by 50% for years 2023 & 2024 for cultivators. It seems like years worth of work down one path is now coming like a freight train in a different direction but with the [state] Senate hearings on Cannabis on Monday the industry might be able to continue to hang in there while the licensing gets sorted out. I hope those cultivators with means will be able to pay for their State license and set up the payment plan for their local taxes so they can stay in the program.

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(photo by Wallis Williams)

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File under “FUBAR (F--ked/Fouled Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition) at the MCD (Mendocino Cannabis Department).”

Huge accounting error ($3.2 million) and budget overage (more than $662,000).

Adding insult to injury, the accounting error was not voluntarily disclosed to the County CEO. Local cannabis attorney Hannah Nelson only heard about it in testimony given in Sacramento.

These accounting errors and budget overages are in addition to the gross mismanagement of the permit process (county approval rate of 1.4 % compared to 49% statewide). 

Listen to the story at KZYX (6 min. 28 sec.)

KZYX - Homepage

Nothing except excuses by MCD Director, Kristin Nevedal. The Board needs to terminate her.

John Sakowicz


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On Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 7:16 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported burglary of a business in the 1400 block of Lovers Lane in Ukiah.

On arrival, the Deputies contacted the reporting party, who was an employee at the business. The reporting party advised that during his morning inventory he observed several items missing, including lottery tickets, also known as “scratchers.” The Deputies reviewed video taken by the business security cameras during the nighttime hours when the business was closed.

The security video showed a male subject at the rear door of the business, after business hours. The male subject could be seen manipulating the locking mechanism on the door. The male subject entered the building and was seen taking several items, including the lottery scratchers, cigarettes and beer. The male subject eventually left the store.

The Deputies, as well as store employees, were familiar with the male subject and were able to identify him as Lorenzo Cruz, 34, of Ukiah.

Lorenzo Cruz

The Deputies knew Cruz to be transient to the Ukiah area and knew where he commonly frequented. The Deputies searched several areas for Cruz, with negative results.

The Deputies went to a local business where Cruz had been known too also frequent. They located a vehicle with the windows fogged over from the inside of the vehicle.

The vehicle was unoccupied, however the Deputies discovered the vehicle contained a six pack of beer, similar to the stolen beer, and a pair of wet sweatpants, which matched the sweatpants worn by Cruz during the burglary.

The Deputies then went to local businesses and learned that Cruz had recently cashed out lottery scratchers at one of the businesses.

The Deputies continued their search for Cruz and eventually located him near a rural street in Ukiah.

The Deputies observed lottery scratchers hanging out of Cruz's pockets. The Deputies continued their investigation which resulted in them locating several items of stolen property and the suspected money Cruz was provided for the winning lottery scratchers.

The Deputies arrested Cruz for Felony Burglary and he was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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The Mendino County Office of Education (MCOE) is hosting an Education Job Fair on March 25, from 9 AM to 12 PM. The fair will take place at the MCOE Cedar Building, located at 2240 Old River Road, Ukiah. Local school districts and education agencies across Mendocino and Lake County are participating in the event. There are more than 50 open positions available.

Job seekers interested in pursuing a career in education are invited to attend the fair and interview with employers. They should bring multiple copies of their current resume, relevant credentials or licenses, letters of recommendation, and copies of academic transcripts. Representatives from Mendocino College and National University will be available to discuss affordable certification pathways for new teachers and opportunities to receive additional education and job skills.

“People don’t often think about the wide range of jobs available in schools,” said Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Nicole Glentzer. “I encourage anyone that seeks a fulfilling career with exceptional benefits to come explore their options at the upcoming Education Job Fair. This is a great opportunity to connect with potential employers, learn about available positions, and receive career guidance.”

The job fair includes opportunities for both classified and certificated positions. Classified employees fill a variety of roles such as accounting, payroll, food service, bus drivers, and clerical support staff that do not require a teaching credential. Certificated staff such as teachers and administrators must have additional credentials, licenses or training. Emergency permits may be available for those who want to teach while completing the requirements of a full credential.

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MENDO INSIDER TOURS and Transportation is seeking friendly, responsible drivers.

Responsibilities: Drive van - work part-time and on weekends.

Requirements: Good driving record. Be drug-free. Live on the Mendocino coast and be familiar with local attractions.

Pay: Excellent pay with guaranteed gratuities.

(ED NOTE: Again we note that this outfit posted these job notices on facebook without even including any contact info. Presumably, interested parties can check with them on facebook. But really…)

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Dear Good Neighbors:

Based on my review of scientific evidence from leading scientists around the world, this week I made a proposal to the Fort Bragg City Council that they agendize the decriminalization of psychedelic vegetables and fungi.

Placing this decrim on the City Council agenda will allow for a public discussion.

If you support my proposal, for a public discussion of decriminalization, kindly, take a few minutes and send an email to one or more of the Fort Bragg City Council.

If decrim here in Fort Bragg looks promising I will make the proposal to our County Board of Supervisors

Thank you.

Dr. Richard Louis Miller

Host, Mind Body Health & Politics

Author, Psychedelic Medicine and Psychedelic Wisdom

Fort Bragg

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DON’T BE FOOLED by the sweet name of ‘Sugar Rush Peach’. This chile clocks in at one of the spicier chiles we’ve grown and while it does have sugary flavors to it, the heat is very much there. It is super sweet to begin with - with noticeable flavors of peach, bell pepper, and mango.

Then the heat starts to rise up. This pepper is aptly named as it brings a bright fruity heat. It’s also quite rare to see any hot chile powder that is not bright red or orange in color. And as far as I can tell, the only place you can get this chile powder is from us and from Curio Spice (and we grew all of it!). Note: we haven't added sugar to this chile powder. It's naturally sweet in flavor.

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Public Notice: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently ended many of the COVID-19 orders that have been in place since the pandemic began in 2020. In recent months, Mendocino County has deferred to CDPH health orders, so this advisory is meant to inform our community about recent changes. 

Starting March 13, 2023: 

I. Close contacts without symptoms are recommended to test as soon as possible after day 1 of exposure. If they test positive, they are infectious and should isolate. If they are within 30 days of a prior infection, testing is not recommended. Health care workers who are close contacts (without symptoms) must test on days 1, 3, and 5 (but no work restrictions). 

II. People who test positive or are diagnosed with COVID by a clinician are recommended to isolate for 5 days. If no fever for 24 hours (without medication) and symptoms are resolving, they may return to work or school wearing a well-fitting mask until the 10th day (Day 1 is positive test of onset of symptoms). They may test out of masking with two consecutive days of negative tests after day 5. If symptoms return, re-test and if positive start isolation again. 

III. Routine screening tests are not recommended. 

Starting April 3, 2023: 

IV. Vaccines and boosters are not required but still recommended for all people over 6 months old as they have been very effective at preventing severe disease. Vaccine requirements will continue for some high-risk workers and in MediCal/Medicare-covered workplaces. 

V. MASKING is no longer required by CDPH but should be considered for the elderly, the immunocompromised, and their household members. Masking is recommended when the CDC Community Level (CL) is intermediate and strongly recommended when CL is high. 

VI. For schools, there are no new orders: Students are covered as the rest of the community would be. Teachers and staff must follow Cal-OSHA regulations. 

VII. Health care workers in acute care and skilled nursing facilities are covered by AFL 21.08.9 and by AFL 22.13.1 respectively 

VIII. Home tests taken by the individual themselves do not need to be reported. Tests performed by health care providers will continue to be reported. 

IX. Treatments: Contact your provider, visit Sesame Care, or call 833-686-5057. 

Mendocino County Department of Public Health and CDPH have used science to guide our health strategies throughout the pandemic. The Public Health and community efforts to understand this pandemic are helping prevent serious infections and protect vulnerable people, so changes to the health orders are now possible. 

— Dr. Andrew Coren, Mendocino County Health Officer 

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BOONVILLE HOTEL PROPRIETOR JOHNNY SCHMITT comments on David Gowan’s facebook post pic of an early Boonville Hotel:

"Thanks. Good find. We have this picture framed somewhere. My cousin PJ ran across it years ago and gave it to us. At one point when i was still cooking my duck order from Petaluma never showed up and in tracking it, it had ended up in Missouri, i hope they enjoyed it!"

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Writtten by Laura Wade

Directed by Tori Truss

Cast: JUDY: Hannah Mickunas; JOHNNY: Joel Shura; FRAN: Janice Culliford; SYLVIA: Lorrry Lepaule; ALEX: Bryn Martin; MARCUS: Raven Deerwater 

Running thru April 2. 2023

Review by Marylyn Motherbear Scott

About half my designs are controlled fantasy, 15 percent are total madness and the rest are bread-and-butter designs.— Manolo Blahnik

The show must go on! 

In the midst of an atmospheric river that sent rain and wind gusting over the edge of the coastal shores, Mendocino Theatre Company offered the opening night gala for its 2023 Season The weather was not the only set-back; 

Covid took one of the lead actors out of the mix, causing the Preview performances to be cancelled. Despite the setbacks, a house full of devoted MTC family, friends and visitors came out to create a warm and supportive atmosphere.

Beth Craven, the new MTC director, had her hands full figuring out how to procede. A new and experienced actor was quickly found. All credit to the skills of Keith Baker from points south. Keith rigorously rehearsed with the cast for those two preview days, offering a powerhouse performance.

Director, Tori Truss, had to handle last minute changes as well, bringing the understudy up to the subtleties of cast performance. Kudos to you, Tori, and the cast for the hard work and a positive theatrical experience provided.So glad to hear that Joel Shura, originally cast as Johnny, is back on the boards.

The play, with the charming and satiric title of HOME, I’M DARLING, written by award-winning playwrite, Laura Wade, is based on the British tradwife movement which encourages women to choose roles of domesticity and submissivenesss to their husbands. The first act is cloaked in the mystery of tradwifery.

My practice as a reviewer is to go in with a clean slate, to see the play on itw own merits. I knew nothing about the tradwife movement. Howver, having turned teen in 1950, I grew up in that decade. I was intrigued with a play that harkened back to those times.

During the first act, I found myself comparing character attitudes, settings and costumes to my personal experience; I suspect other audience members did, and will, as well. Circle skirts were a fond memory, along with other entertaining reminders of those times. However — lest we forget — the deleterious post war effect on nuclear families prevented many from living in the powder puff prettiness for which the fifties is otherwise known.

Delusion and Fantasy

This play is focused on the choice of a couple, Judy and Johnny, to live in the fifties modality, or some veerson of it. As an audience member, I was uninformed in tradwife tradition. By the end of the first act, though the couple seemed rational enough, I truly began to wonder if Judy was delusional.

Judy, the housewife, is played with a sweet and sincere veracity by Hannah Mickunas, an amazing first time actor. Interestingly, she looks quite a bit like the author’s photo in the program.

Johnny, the husband, played by the understudy, gives a certain grace to the masculine side of the family quotient. He is appreciative and considerate of his wife; and overall, somewhat less certain of the 50’s fantasy. 

They have invested in redecorating their home 50’s style, right down to the old refridgerator which is just a few years younger than Judy’s 48 years. Her age is of note as it is mentioned several times; the fridge as well! Judy and Johnny do not have children though both expressed wanting them, at some point. A dream put off til too late subtly enters the mix of the choices made.

Judy’s reality which is firmly entrenched in her housewifely committment to having perfect dinners ready and giving devoted attention to her husband, is challenged by her comedic hippified friend, Fran, played by Janice Culliford who gives the audence a good share of laughter.

On another side of the male equation, Fran’s partner, Marcus, played by Raven Deerwater, enjoys Judy’s light-hearted fun. Perhaps more than he should! Marcus might be seen as the dark side of this extended tradwife family.

Alex, played by Bryn Martin, is the Boss lady, bringing every bit of a confident, powerful and scintillating sauciness to her role. One hot monologue.

Moms and Second Acts 

Sylvia, Judy’s mother, is played in down-to-earth reality by Lorry Lepaule. Lorry seems made for the part. Lorry as Sylvia offers a critical monologue in Act 2 saying all the things that need to be said, all the things you probably would be thinking. It is the denouement. That monologue brought a round of applause. Impressive work.

Thank goodness for Act 2’s flashack scene in which we find out the whys and wherefores of Judy and Johnny’s tradwife decision. We also discover the closeted underpinnings of neo-liberal capitalism and entreprenaurial enterprise. This includes a financial crisis in which Judy poses an idea to Marcus about working as his assistant. The scene shows Judy working within her creative imperative. No longer is delusion a factor. Fantasy, perhaps; but Judy has a certain perfection in her negotiations. Not only sweet and sincere but savvy. Judy is the commander of her wheelhouse. The unraveling of tradwifery perfection procedes from this point.

In researching the tradwife movement, it us clear that a tradwife basically refers to a woman who believes in patriarchal sex roles and a patriarchal marriage Further explorations show that the ideology shares connections with right-wing extremism and the Handmaid’s Tale – beware the patriarchy!

Political and social reality is a choice, an important one. This play is indirectly embedded with current-day issues. Controversial. Provocative. And disturbing in a dark-but-for-the-bright-light-it-casts on the choice we each have to make. 

This eomedic genre play, based on the tradwife movement, informs; but, rest assured, goes beyond the practice of tradwifery into ideas of choice, feminism, selective identity, and relationship. It also offers some greatly-needed laughter to lift us out of this dark winter. The shadow-dancing during set changes helped bring levity into the evening’s tale.

What will you choose? An apron and apple pie ala mode? A briefcase, take-out lunch, and out-the-door? Or?

Give yourself a time out. Live theatre has its doors open. Mendocino Theatre Company’s cast, crew and house will give you a worthwhile evening of performance and the company of our beloved and beautiful Mendocino Coastal community.

Home. I’m Darling shows through April 2

Thursday through Saturday evening and a Sunday matinee

For Tix, call (707) 937-4477 or online:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Gibson, Morgan, Seale, Soto

DIANNA GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Narcotics-controlled substances for sale. 

RENEE MORGAN, Willits. Assault, battery.

ERIC SEALE, Domestic battery, protective order violation, failure to appear, probation revocation.

JAIME SOTO-HERNANDEZ, Boonville. Attempted murder of peace officer.*

* On the Lam for Nearly Three Years, a SoCal Fugitive Wanted for Attempted Murder Is Behind Bars at the Mendocino County Jail:

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DEBBI PICHLER: Some recent posts have gotten me thinking of how it was when I was in school or when my kids were. Every sports venue was packed, standing room only with family and friends. Classrooms had parent volunteers and classroom parents that helped to take care of extra curricular functions. Parents were on campus and involved. Their presence brought a sense of community, respect, and school pride. It wasn't perfect and we had problems, but we came together to work things out. There was no blame game, just family, community, and friends working together for a common goal. If we can't come together for a common goal to help all of our children be safe and successful, what does that say for their future or us?

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The latest act of violence at a school is a tragedy and should have never happened. I doubt that we will ever get to the cause of it. Break it down a bit. The 15-year-old stabber had a knife. He was probably told at freshman orientation that weapons aren’t allowed on school grounds. So, that’s on him. Two older assailants going into a classroom to beat on him; that’s on them. What caused them to do that? Did that precipitate the fatal response? Did the 15-year-old fear for his life and consider the knife attack his only recourse? 

Several years ago, the Santa Rosa school district removed school resource officers from the schools. You could probably say that the stabbing is on them. Maybe.

Some will lionize the teen who died or his partner. Some will see the 15-year-old as right to defend himself. In my eyes, no one is right, no one is a hero. All I see are three who made some very bad decisions. One paid for his by being killed. The others will have to live with their decisions for the rest of their lives. How sad.

Ronald Crowley


ED NOTE: So, by this logic, the 15-year-old simply should have accepted his beating by two larger boys. Great school management at Montgomery where kids carry weapons to defend themselves against bullies, and bullies feel free to bust in on a class in session to attack another student. If the national educational system was capable of reform, breaking factory schools into much smaller edu-units would be a priority.

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The malignant need for leaders. One thing that really bugs me besides all the politically correct crap is the way people call their representatives and officials “leaders,” like they do in China. You know, like Mao Zedong is the Great Leader. 

People who need leaders are followers. It’s too bad Americans now seem to need “leaders” not representatives. This is of course what happened in Germany with the great leader Adolf Hitler. 

People degenerate to need leaders because they are sick with weakness. Leaders like Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Hitler, Idi Amin, David Koresh and countless others. These leaders go insane with the power that weak, empty people give to them. 

It is sad to see this pattern taking root in America, a land that used to value freedom. This weakness won’t allow justice, that is why serial killers and child killers who sit in jail watching tv, costing us $10,000 per day, won’t be property executed. What idiots. We’re trying to use drugs for executions. There are many proper forms of execution: electric chair, firing squad, hanging, etc. The families should have the option of pulling the switch. But with the death grip of weakness on this state, justice won’t happen. California resembles a giant People’s Temple.

Tom Madden


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CALL ME A CYNIC or an anarchist – sometimes I’m both at once – but these days I find it impossible to trust anything which comes to me with a seal of authority stamped upon it. In fact, the minute I am told that an ‘expert’, a state-sanctioned authority, a scientific body or a mainstream media organisation has ‘fact checked’ what I’ve just heard, I instinctively dismiss it. I’m not defending this as a healthy response. I’d much prefer it not to be my response at all. But I know it is an increasingly common reaction, even – and perhaps especially – amongst people who were trained from birth to follow the rules…

— Paul Kingsnorth, The Jellyfish Tribe

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HOMELESSNESS, an on-line comment: One part of that is California’s climate. It is a huge State that has a lot of nice weather, alot of the time. (trust me!) It’s easier to be homeless here, over all, than in South Dakota! Couple that with CA attracting investment properties, and crazy high bubble economy rents, and property values…

I think California’s difficult SMALL business environment is para political. We have entrenched bureaucracies with voter mandates, but very little follow up oversight. Each expensive entity is the center of the universe.

I could provide many examples, I just spent an hour to access a form that took 10 min. to fill out. It’s a garbage Go-Daddy web site cobbled together for a State Agency with non sequitur “shopping cart”,&”checkout”tabs throughout!..the agency’s email links don’t work, the one tab you need to hit “renewal” does NOT work…All to pay them $5000 to play a Mario brothers password puzzle challenge. Then you lose everything over hospital bills for stroking out!

* * *

MITCH CLOGG: There should be a band. Donny T and the Weepublicans. You get a date, save up for the tickets and a tank of gas, tear the knees of your best jeans and don’t go. You don’t go in or you don’t go at all. The Texas-size parking lot is a sea of no cars. Way over to one side, one of those Cadillac pickup trucks is having a tailgate party with Moët & Chandon. Liveried waiters serve each other from golden trays. The concert hall is a stadium. Little pips and squeaks can be heard from within. A little gold-colored rocket shoots up, easily clearing the high seats in the stadium, and bursts with a bright spark. It says pfft. You leave your iphone, ipad, icam, itab and all the other i’s in their holsters and go to the ihop. They’re featuring a dish called the Donny T, tall and fat, a mess, a hundred percent pure goo made of orange food dye and sugar. Yum!

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by Michael Hudson

The crashes of Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and the related bank insolvencies are much more serious than the 2008-09 crash. The problem at that time was crooked banks making bad mortgage loans. Debtors were unable to pay and were defaulting, and it turned out that the real estate that they had pledged as collateral was fraudulently overvalued, “mark-to-fantasy” junk mortgages made by false valuations of the property’s actual market price and the borrower’s income. Banks sold these loans to institutional buyers such as pension funds, German savings banks and other gullible buyers who had drunk Alan Greenspan’s neoliberal Kool Aid, believing that banks would not cheat them.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) investments had no such default risk. The Treasury always can pay, simply by printing money, and the prime long-term mortgages whose packages SVP bought also were solvent. The problem is the financial system itself, or rather, the corner into which the post-Obama Fed has painted the banking system. It cannot escape from its 13 years of Quantitative Easing without reversing the asset-price inflation and causing bonds, stocks and real estate to lower their market value.

In a nutshell, solving the illiquidity crisis of 2009 that saved the banks from losing money (at the cost of burdening the economy with enormous debts), paved away for the deeply systemic illiquidity crisis that is just now becoming clear. I cannot resist that I pointed out its basic dynamics in 2007 (Harpers) and in my 2015 book Killing the Host.

Accounting fictions vs. market reality

No risks of loan default existed for the investments in government securities or packaged long-term mortgages that SVB and other banks have bought. The problem is that the market valuation of these mortgages has fallen as a result of interest rates being jacked up. The interest yield on bonds and mortgages bought a few years ago is much lower than is available on new mortgages and new Treasury notes and bonds. When interest rates rise, these “old securities” fall in price so as to bring their yield to new buyers in line with the Fed’s rising interest rates.

A market valuation problem is not a fraud problem this time around.

The public has just discovered that the statistical picture that banks report about their assets and liabilities does not reflect market reality. Bank accountants are allowed to price their assets at “book value” based on the price that was paid to acquire them – without regard for what these investments are worth today. During the 14-year boom in prices for bonds, stocks and real estate this undervalued the actual gain that banks had made as the Fed lowered interest rates to inflate asset prices. But this Quantitative Easing (QE) ended in 2022 when the Fed began to tighten interest rates in order to slow down wage gains.

When interest rates rise and bond prices fall, stock prices tend to follow. But banks don’t have to mark down the market price of their assets to reflect this decline if they simply hold on to their bonds or packaged mortgages. They only have to reveal the loss in market value if depositors on balance withdraw their money and the bank actually has to sell these assets to raise the cash to pay their depositors.

That is what happened at Silicon Valley Bank. In fact, it has been a problem for the entire U.S. banking system. The following chart comes from Naked Capitalism, which has been following the banking crisis daily:

How SVP’s short-termism failed to see where the financial sector is heading

During the years of low interest rates, the U.S. banking system found that its monopoly power was too strong. It only had to pay depositors 0.1 or 0.2 percent on deposits. That was all that the Treasury was paying on short-term risk-free Treasury bills. So depositors had little alternative, but banks were charging much higher rates for their loans, mortgages and credit cards. And when the Covid crisis hit in 2020, corporations held back on new investments and flooded the banks with money that they were not spending.

The banks were able to make an arbitrage gain – obtaining higher rates from investments than they were paying for deposits – by buying longer-term securities. SVB bought long-term Treasury bonds. The margin wasn’t large – less than 2 percentage points. But it was the only safe “free money” around.

Last year Federal Reserve Chairman Powell announced that the central bank was going to raise interest rates in order to slow the wage growth that developed as the economy began to recover. That led most investors to realize that higher interest rates would lower the price of bonds – most steeply for the longest-term bonds. Most money managers avoided such price declines by moving their money into short-term Treasury bills or money-market funds, while real estate, bond and stock prices fell.

However, it was left holding the bag when Mr. Powell announced that not enough American workers were unemployed to hold down their wage gains, so he planned to raise interest rates even more than he had expected. He said that a serious recession was needed to keep wages low enough to keep U.S. corporate profits high, and hence their stock price.

This reversed the Obama bailout’s Quantitative Easing that steadily inflated asset prices for real estate, stocks and bonds. But the Fed has painted itself into a corner: If it restores the era of “normal” interest rates, that will reversed the 15-year run-up of asset-price gains for the FIRE sector.

This sudden shift on March 11-12 left SVB “sitting on an unrealized loss of close to $163bn – more than its equity base. Deposit outflows then started to crystallize this into a realized loss.” SVB was not alone. Banks across the country were losing deposits.

This was not a “run on the banks” resulting from fears of insolvency. It was because banks were strong enough monopolies to avoid sharing their rising earnings with their depositors. They were making soaring profits on the rates they charge borrowers and the rates yielded by their investments. But they continued to pay depositors only about 0.2%.

The U.S. Treasury was paying much more, and on Thursday, March 11, the 2-year Treasury note was yielding almost 5 percent. The widening gap between what investors can earn by buying risk-free Treasury securities and the pittance that banks were paying their depositors led the more well-to-do depositors to withdraw their money to earn a fairer market return elsewhere.

It would be wrong to think of this as a “bank run” – much less as a panic. The depositors were not irrational or falling subject to “the madness of crowds” in withdrawing their money. The banks simply were too selfish. And as customers withdrew their deposits, banks had to sell off their portfolio of securities – including the long-term securities held by SVB.

All this is part of the unwinding of the Obama bank bailouts and Quantitative Easing. The result of trying to return to more normal historic interest-rate levels is that on March 14, Moody’s rating agency cut the outlook for the U.S. banking system from stable to negative, citing the “rapidly changing operating environment.” What they are referring to is the plunge in the ability of bank reserves to cover what they owed to their depositors, who were withdrawing their money and forcing the banks to sell securities at a loss.

President Biden’s deceptive cover-up

President Biden is trying to confuse voters by assuring them that the “rescue” of uninsured wealthy SVB depositors is not a bailout. But of course it is a bailout. What he meant was that bank stockholders were not bailed out. But its large uninsured depositors who were saved from losing a single penny, despite the fact that they did not qualify for safety, and in fact had jointly talked among themselves and decided to jump ship and cause the bank collapse.

What Biden really meant was that this is not a taxpayer bailout. It does not involve money creation or a budget deficit, any more than the Fed’s $9 trillion in Quantitative Easing for the banks since 2008 has been money creation or increased the budget deficit. It is a balance-sheet exercise – technically a kind of “swap” with offsets of good Federal Reserve credit for “bad” bank securities pledged as collateral – way above current market pricing, to be sure. That is precisely what “rescued” the banks after 2009. Federal credit was created without taxation.

The banking system’s inherent tunnel vision

One may echo Queen Elizabeth II and ask, “Did nobody see this coming?” Where was the Federal Home Loan Bank that was supposed to regulate SVB? Where were the Federal Reserve examiners?

To answer that, one should look at just who the bank regulators and examiners are. They are vetted by the banks themselves, chosen for their denial that there is any inherently structural problem in our financial system. They are “true believers” that financial markets are self-correcting by “automatic stabilizers” and “common sense.”

Deregulatory corruption played a role in carefully selecting such tunnel-visioned regulators and examiners. SVB was overseen by the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB). The FHLB is notorious for regulatory capture by the banks who choose to operate under its supervision. Yet SVB’s business is not home-mortgage lending. It is lending to high-tech private equity entities being prepared for IPOs – to be issued at high prices, talked up, and then often left to fall in a pump and dump game. Bank officials or examiners who recognize this problem are disqualified from employment by being “over-qualified.”

Another political consideration is that Silicon Valley is a Democratic Party stronghold and rich source of campaign financing. The Biden Administration was not going to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs of campaign contributions. Of course it was going to bail out the bank and its private-capital customers. The financial sector is the core of Democratic Party support, and the party leadership is loyal to its supporters. As President Obama told the bankers who worried that he might follow through on his campaign promises to write down mortgage debts to realistic market valuations in order to enable exploited junk-mortgage clients to remain in their homes, “I’m the only one between you [the bankers visiting the White House] and the mob with the pitchforks,” that is, his characterization of voters who believed his “hope and change” patter talk.

The Fed gets frightened and rolls back interest rates

On March 14 stock and bond prices soared. Margin buyers made a killing as they saw that the Administration’s plan is the usual one: to kick the bank problem down the road, flood the economy with bailouts (for the bankers, not for student debtors) until election day in November 2024.

The great question is thus whether interest rates can ever get back to a historic “normal” without turning the entire banking system into something like SVB. If the Fed really raises interest rates back to normal levels to slow wage growth, there must be a financial crash. To avoid this, the Fed must create an exponentially rising flow of Quantitative Easing.

The underlying problem is that interest-bearing debt grows exponentially, but the economy follows an S-curve and then turns down. And when the economy turns down – or is deliberately slowed down when labor’s wage rates tend to catch up with the price inflation caused by monopoly prices and U.S. anti-Russian sanctions that raise energy and food prices, the magnitude of financial claims on the economy exceeds the ability to pay.

That is the real financial crisis that the economy faces. It goes beyond banking. The entire economy is saddled with debt deflation, even in the face of Federal Reserve-backed asset-price inflation. So the great question – literally the “bottom line” – is how can the Fed maneuver its way out of the low-interest Quantitative Easing corner in which it has painted the U.S. economy? The longer it and whichever party is in power continues to save FIRE sector investors from taking a loss, the more violent the ultimate resolution must be.

(Michael Hudson’s new book, ‘The Destiny of Civilization,’ will be published by CounterPunch Books next month.)

* * *

* * *


by Maureen Callahan

Can't anyone take a joke anymore? Not if you're a Democrat.

The supposed bigot of the hour is none other than Washington DC Boy Scout Mike Pence.

He's under fire for this quip about Pete Buttigieg's possible presidential run: 'When Pete's two children were born, he took two months maternity leave, whereupon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, airplanes nearly collided in midair. I mean, Pete Buttigieg is the only person in human history to have a child and all the rest of us get postpartum depression.'

Funny. True. But Mr. Vice President — you forgot to mention the nation's crippling supply chain crisis.

If there's one major misstep here, it's using 'maternity' instead of 'paternity' leave. But you could easily chalk that up to a generational divide (Pence is 63 to Buttigieg's 41).

Could it be that Pence misspoke? Nope. It's immediately DEFCON 1 over at the White House. Full nuclear outrage.

'The former vice president's homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate,' said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, 'all the more so because he treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a punchline.'

Please. Stop it.

No one thinks Mike Pence is making fun of postpartum women.

And he delivered these remarks at a roast, no less!

The Vice President was speaking at the Gridiron Club dinner, one the oldest and most prestigious gatherings of U.S. journalists. Roasts, by definition, are meant to shock. People are supposed to speak the unspeakable. That joke was fairly gentle.

And by the way — just because a joke is clumsy doesn't mean there isn't truth to it.

What's truly offensive is an administration that props up this do-nothing.

As Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg is an unmitigated disaster. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana has zero qualifications and acts as though this job is beneath him, boring, a mere placeholder till he can run again for president — another job far above his skill set.

Buttigieg's delayed response to the toxic Ohio train derailment — setting his designer-boot-clad feet on the ground nearly three weeks after residents complained of pungent fumes, contaminated water and air, dead animals and sudden health issues — would have been the death knell for anyone else with his track record.

As would his defensive response to showing up the day after former President Trump. To CNN: 'It's really rich to see some of these folks . . . who wouldn't know their way around a T.J. Maxx if their life depended on it, to be presenting themselves as if they genuinely care about the forgotten middle of the country.'

Talk about a joke. Do we really think Mayor Pete shops discount?

This is a Transportation Secretary who flies private. Who tells Americans squeezed at the gas pump to just buy electric cars. A Harvard educated former McKinsey consultant who raked in an estimated $800,000 to $1.2 million over the past two years in book and podcast deals. Whose husband griped that they 'couldn't afford the one-bedroom-plus-den' D.C. apartment they wanted.

Speaking of Pete's husband Chasten, he tweeted a picture of Pete sitting by their child's crib in the hospital, writing: 'An honest question for you, @Mike_Pence, after your attempted joke this weekend. If your grandchild was born prematurely and placed on a ventilator at two months old — their tiny fingers wrapped around yours as the monitors beep in the background — where would you be?'

Oh, the melodrama. No one's saying Pete shouldn't have been with their baby. They're saying if you can't do the job, collecting a six-figure salary paid by us taxpayers, get out. But rather than address a lazy, loafing, unqualified transportation secretary — a liability — who would sooner address 'racist' highways than post-pandemic shipping and airline and supply-chain disasters (baby formula shortage, anyone?), the White House throws a fit.

The Dems, increasingly humorless, pious and on eternal watch for micro-aggressions, can't resist an opportunity to accuse conservatives of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia . . . on and on it goes.

Lest we forget Biden on then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008: 'I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.'

That comment? Bygones.

But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Pence 'should apologize to women and LGBTQ people, who are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.' Talk about an overreaction. It's especially rich coming from one of the worst White House press secretaries in recent memory.

Jean-Pierre's complete ineptitude brings to mind another unqualified hire: Kamala Harris.

Don't take my word for it — here's Biden on the campaign trail: 'If I'm elected President . . . I commit that I will in fact pick a woman to be Vice President.' Then the Democratic party made sure he picked the correct female. 'He better pick a black woman,' said the chair of the Democratic National Committee's Black Caucus, Virgie Rollins, in 2020.

Top Democrats have been agonizing over Kamala's poor performance from the beginning. She is uninformed, unprepared, unaccomplished, runs a chaotic office with high staff turnover, and has a propensity to laugh at the most inappropriate times. Her poll numbers are in the toilet, with 49.5 percent of voters down on her record, according to Five Thirty Eight. CNN reports that Hollywood is agitating for someone else on the ticket.

Even Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is hesitant to get behind Kamala running again for vice president on the 2024 ticket.

And Liz got in big trouble with the ladies on The View for that, because — you guessed it — she's apparently empowering racists. Elizabeth Warren, whose leftist credentials are otherwise impeccable.

Ana Navarro: 'Stop playing into the hands of these who cannot stand that she is the first woman, woman of color vice president, and don't want her to succeed.'

Alyssa Farah Griffin disagreed. 'I think there's some concern about just the lack of policy accomplishments that she's made as vice president.'

In came the insufferable, self-righteous Sunny Hostin, speaking in that overly-calm, sing-song-y cadence that barely disguises her contempt: 'I'm surprised that there's concern,' she said. 'I think it has a lot to do with, she's a black woman.'

Oh lord, give it a rest!

Not everything is racist. Some jokes are just jokes.

And some people are just terrible at their jobs.


* * *

I LEARNED THAT JUST BENEATH the surface there's another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn't find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force...a wild pain and decay...also accompanies everything.

— David Lynch

* * *


Fred Gardner writes:

This is from a NYT obit that ran March 14

Jesus Alou, who joined with his brothers Felipe and Matty in blazing a trail for Dominican natives in the major leagues, died on Friday. He was 80.

His death was announced by the San Francisco Giants, with whom he played his first six seasons. No details were provided.

When Jesus Alou was a rookie, he and his brothers were all in the Giants’ outfield on Sept. 15, 1963. They were the only three brothers in major league history to play together in a single game.

Jesus Alou played in the major leagues for 15 seasons and was a member of the Oakland A’s teams that won World Series championships in 1973 and 1974. He had limited power, hitting only 32 home runs in his career, but he was a solid batter with a career average of .280.

Alou Brothers: Jesus, Matty & Felipe

I was at that game when he made his debut! I'd been sitting in the left field bleachers and had moved up to the front few rows as the crowd thinned out. Jesus was inserted late in the game, joining his bros in the outfield. There were many Puerto Ricans in the crowd, especially in the cheap seats, and they recognized the historic significance and joyfully chanted “Hay-sooss! Hay-sooss!” for at least two minutes.

Amazing but true.

* * *


Russia’s relations with the United States are in a “lamentable state”, and at their lowest level after Washington accused Moscow of downing one of its drones, the Kremlin has said.

The US said a Russian fighter plane caused its spy drone to crash into the Black Sea on Tuesday, marking the first direct encounter between US and Russian forces since Moscow invaded Ukraine.

— Al Jazeera — Edna Mohamed, Kevin Doyle and Arwa Ibrahim

* * *


  1. Craig Stehr March 16, 2023

    Good morning, America. Today is another golden opportunity to truly spiritually train for the singular purpose of transcending the mind. ;-))

  2. Cotdbigun March 16, 2023

    CIT online banking savings interest rate today 4.114 %

  3. Chuck Artigues March 16, 2023

    Hey Bernie, I am glad you are running for supervisor. How about posting an address where I can send a campaign contribution? Good luck, you got my vote.

  4. Grapes March 16, 2023


    Wouldn’t it be fun, if each State had its own State dog, and State Cat? I’d vote for Cali(co) as California’s state cat.

    • Chuck Dunbar March 16, 2023

      My 2 cats applaud your idea, at least as to cats. Nix to a State dog, they loudly meow. One of them is a calico, so she especially supports this long-overdue recognition for felines in California.

      • Marmon March 16, 2023

        Somebody just shoot me.


        • Chuck Dunbar March 16, 2023

          Are you not a cat lover, James? If you are, you’d understand the great import of these comments… If not you, must see them as inane, even stupid. Sorry.

          • Lazarus March 16, 2023

            I’ve had several of both, cats and dogs.
            But Dogs, “are man’s best friend”…
            Ask around,

            • Marmon March 16, 2023

              I’m known on my block as the “guy with all the cats”, I’m famous. Yes I feed the feral cats and domesticate some of them. I have two dogs, a German Shepard/Mastiff mix and a Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix. Cats stay outside, dogs rule the house.

              Marmon MSW
              The Conservative Social Worker

              • Marmon March 16, 2023

                I built a kennel outside of my backdoor so the two species are not in conflict. The dogs walk directly into the kennel and all is good.

                Marmon MSW
                The Conservative Social Worker

                • Chuck Dunbar March 16, 2023

                  That’s all very cool, good for you. Our little animal friends are good for us, and we are good for them. One of our cats is my garden buddy, and we get a lot done in the garden, and he gets lots of pets and love. I want to come back in the next life as a cat—or even a dog–with a nice human friend to be with.

                  • Bruce McEwen March 17, 2023

                    Kindly spoken, Vicar. Your soft voice and sincere tone is a balm to the arthritic opinions and reactionary recriminations the callous censors and even rougher censures that, frankly, one expects from comment sections like this one. Perhaps you will consider expanding your ministry to include other local news sites and if the calico cat wins State status remember the other garden variety cat can be the new AVA mascot!

    • Stephen Rosenthal March 17, 2023

      Calico is a color pattern, not a breed. I suggest either Bengal or California Spangled for California state cat. Fittingly both originated in California, the latter being extremely rare.

  5. Sarah Kennedy Owen March 16, 2023

    I really appreciate your article regarding the “abandoning” of the old courthouse. The update on the plans to sell the courthouse and move the DA’s office is news to me. It proves that these “planners” are clueless as to the fate of the old courthouse as well as the budgetary limits on building a new place down by the new courthouse just for the DA (and possibly child support and sheriff,’s offices) a suggestion that reeks of the kind of rancid decision-making our leaders are capable of. Do we really want to reward the DA and the sheriff after the debacles they have subjected us to over the last year or so? Oh well, what the heck, let’s just throw some money at them, that’s what we always do. Meanwhile, the small business owners downtown can take the brunt of the decision and if the downtown becomes an empty slum, well hey, we still have McDonald’s and Subway and Chipotle to serve the courthouse! Oh wait, that’s quite a few blocks away, too, and the walk to there is not quite as pretty as School St. , in fact, it is a great cultural desert. Great job, guys.

    • Bruce Anderson March 16, 2023

      What surprises me, even after years of watching serial Mendo blunders, is the utter absence of planning to move the judges (only them) three long blocks to the east without so much as a single public question about what this means for downtown Ukiah. And who’s going to buy the remaining Courthouse carcass? It’s all very sad, and our grand poobahs of the Superior Court ought to be ashamed of themselves for their silent approval. It’s all simply a disgrace even in this unfailingly disgraceful county.

    • Stephen Rosenthal March 16, 2023

      Sheriff Kendall is doing a great job. What “debacle” did the he partake in? Please enlighten me.

      • Eric Sunswheat March 16, 2023

        Sheriff Kendall’s department has been parroting years old DEA Fentanyl contact exposure myth propaganda misinformation to the populace, repeatedly in his County press releases, that have been disputed by a raft of rational scientific academic experts, which a simple search of newsworthy articles on law enforcement trade would prove, thus Kendall is risking lives in this high Fentanyl mortality County, instead of advocating for immediate straightforward widely available Narcan antidote access for use.

        • Mark Scaramella March 16, 2023

          Not true, not at all. Kendall’s distribution and application of Narcan has been quite effective and saved dozens of local lives.

        • Eric Sunswheat March 17, 2023

          Sheriff Kendall perpetuated Fentanyl myth, which could be explained by other substances.

          —> December 09, 2020
          After the incident, the MCSO says the substance in the cell came back positive for fentanyl. The inmates cell was cleaned by specifically-trained medical personnel wearing protective gear afterwards.

          Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall acknowledged the incident on Facebook Wednesday saying that they have been experiencing an influx in narcotic-related incidents, including overdoses.

          “This is extremely concerning to me as I fear overdoses will increase and we may see more unintended exposures to the drug, to persons who are helping victims,” Kendall said. “If you must approach the victim please be aware of your surroundings. Understand fentanyl could be on their person, clothing, or in the area you found them. The powder is so fine it may be undetectable to you.”

          —> December 22, 2022
          “It’s extremely unlikely that law enforcement officials or other first responders will experience an overdose after brief, unintentional exposure while caring for individuals who used opioids,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and CNN medical analyst…

          But news organizations repeating the reports without scrutiny are fueling a stigma about the second-hand dangers of the drug, potentially harming or delaying help for those in need of immediate assistance and creating a feedback loop for anxious first responders.

      • Sarah Kennedy Owen March 16, 2023

        I am referring to the mishandling of the case involving the death of a one-year-old last August. According to news accounts, sheriff’s deputies were responsible for handing over care of two toddlers to Edward Two Feathers Steele, a well-known felon, and arresting the children’s mother, without any follow-up on the children’s welfare, or really even showing any sense in the first place, by arresting the mother and letting the culprit (Steele) go. Steele was supposed to be in rehab, as the judge had commuted his sentence and allowed him out of jail to get treatment, however instead he showed up at the motel room of the mother and children, who had covid. Apparently the deputies never checked on his status before believing his story that he was a victim of assault by the mother, and letting her be charged with violence. Shall I go on? The case was more muddled than even this, as the mother was held overnight (without cause and, again, with no oversight as to the children’s welfare). She returned to find the children missing. By then they had already been left at a vacant lot, by, allegedly, Two-Feathers. Both the ineptitude of the deputies and the clumsy mistake of the jail staff caused this tragedy. Both were under the leadership of Sheriff Kendall. As far as I know there have been no consequences for the employees who caused the tragic death of the one-year-old.

        • Stephen Rosenthal March 17, 2023

          Thank you for taking the time to explain your assertions. However you’re basing them on here say and news accounts. Not that it isn’t a sad situation that may have been mishandled in some manner due to the exigency of the situation, but neither you, I or the reporters of the aforementioned news accounts know exactly what went down. And, considering the confidentiality of personnel files and the accused’s right to a fair trial, we may not know for quite some time, if ever. But to accuse Sheriff Kendall of a perpetrating a “debacle” is a stretch in my opinion.

          Now as to the DA, I completely agree with you. The manner in which he has handled police misconduct cases bears scrutiny and perhaps an investigation by an independent prosecutor, something I doubt will happen.

          • Sarah Kennedy Owen March 17, 2023

            This is not hearsay. Most of the information comes from Mendo Fever and was reliably researched. There was some confusion, and still is, regarding how Steele got out of rehab, whether he himself had covid, and the status of the children both at the time of the arrest of the mother and later, i.e. was there a babysitter present, as the deputies said the mother assured them there was? If so, why hand over care to Steele? The deputies did not check on that and neither did they make an effort to contact child protective services, although, again, some confusion there, which will not probably come out at the trial, since it is Steele on trial, not the deputies. Lots of questions, but do not hold your breath waiting for them to be answered in the upcoming trial.

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