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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Showers | Highway Snow | Missing Person | Rainbow | Nevedal Resigns | Eel Hatcheries | Tsunami Test | Leadership Needed | Family Day | Barn Sale | Seaweed Exhibit | Gaska Declares | Westport Whale | Ed Notes | First-Aid Class | Beaver Myth | Pulido Packing | LakeCo Aurora | Pension Problems | Get Dressed | Tree Watcher | Yesterday's Catch | Romo Retires | Special Player | Fentanyl Demand | Sea Mountain | God-Given | People Control | Xmas Militia | Social Contagion | Grotesque | Docile Suffering | Saloon Song | Debating Medicare | Ukraine | NYC 1955 | Ludwig Wittgenstein | Ideal Man | Music Torch | Robert Frost | Happy Cities | Doggy People | Window Washing

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SHOWER ACTIVITY will gradually diminish in coverage and intensity today. Otherwise, cool and dry weather is expected tonight through Friday, followed by another round of precipitation during the weekend. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Yorkville 2.40" - Leggett 1.84" - Ukiah 1.61" - Covelo 1.56" - Mendocino 1.36"

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Tuesday morning on 253
101 just north of Willits

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The Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the reported disappearance of Riley Hsieh who had last spoken with family Sunday night (03-26-23) via telephone. 

Riley is missing from the 26000 block of Hawk Terrace in Willits (Brooktrails Subdivision). 

Riley Hsieh

Riley is known to frequent the end of Hawk Terrace to sit on the hill to meditate. This area was checked by Deputies, but he was not found there or anywhere near his residence. 

Riley was last seen by family on home security cameras at his residence on Hawk Terrace. Riley was last seen walking southeast on Hawk Terrace on Monday (03-27-23) at approximately 11:15 AM. 

Riley is 24-years-old, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. Riley was wearing a gray robe, light blue pants (possibly flannel) and carrying a light blue or green bag at the time of his disappearance. 

Riley is considered to be at risk due to the circumstances of his disappearance.

Anyone who knows the possible whereabouts of Riley is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office immediately by calling our 24-hour dispatch center at 707-463-4086.

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Photo By Everyone In Mendocino County This Afternoon

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by Mark Scaramella

Tuesday morning’s meeting a closed session item during which the Board was to do a performance evaluation of their Cannabis Program Director, Kristin Nevedal. After about an hour of closed session, Board Chair Glenn McGourty announced that the Board had voted 5-0 to accept Ms. Nevedal’s resignation. 

Kristin Nevedal

Ms. Nevedal was hired two years ago in March of 2021 at which time Supervisor John Haschak was quoted in a formal County Press Release, “Kristin [note the friendly first-name use] has an excellent history of cannabis experience at state, regional, and local levels. Her ability to work with stakeholders and governmental entities will serve Mendocino County well.”

Supervisor WIlliams said “Implementing Mendocino’s cannabis program has been a chronic problem for the county; it has changed departments and hands multiple times compounded with problematic local policy and hundreds of legacy cultivators stuck in the pipeline for years. Untying this knot requires a special candidate. Kristin Nevedal is that candidate, and we are fortunate that she accepted the charge. Her extensive experience in cannabis policy, advocacy, and compliance makes her uniquely qualified to hit the ground running in managing the cannabis program and resolving our permitting backlog. Having such a competent person in this role will allow the Department of Planning and Building to function more effectively and work on other deferred countywide needs,” 

Williams assumption that anyone, much less Ms. Nevedal, could magically “untie” the pot permit knot that the Board itself tied indicated how naïve he has been about the County’s fundamentally unworkable pot permit program.

Ms. Nevedal was criticized for bad budget management and the Department’s failure to get more than a few permits into state licensing. But it’s unfair to blame her for the County’s unworkable pot permit mess which the Board, along with a few stalwart pot applicants and their equally naïve reps and advocates, has spent years tweaking but never really improved. After her recruitment, the Board also decided to have Ms. Nevedal report directly to the Board so it’s safe to conclude that the Board bears most of the responsibility for Ms. Nevedal’s pot permit shortcomings, most of which were visible in her first few months and shouldn’t have taken two years to deal with.

Nobody said anything about what happens to the Board’s bloated Cannabis Department or if anyone will be “acting” Cannabis Program Director, a high paid position that was created after Ms. Nevedal was hired so that she could get substantially more pay than “Cannabis Program Manager.”

The County has gone through at least six cannabis program managers since the program was begun back in 2017. They were always hired with great fanfare and hope, but never lasted very long for one reason or another. Ms. Nevedal’s two-year tenure was the longest.

Ms. Nevedal may not have lived up to expectations, but since the Board has never taken responsibility for creating or trying to make Mendo’s unworkable ordinance, this “resignation” seems has an element of scapegoating, especially since the Board had no questions about what will happen next with the Cannabis Department.

Back in 2019 Ms. Nevedal was in charge of a pot growers association when she sat down to toke a doobie with her friends Swami and his wife in Laytonville.

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Here is an idea to bring back our local economy from Willits to Fortuna. The Eel River is massive. Let's build two fish hatcheries, one at Alderpoint and the other at Piercy. Both of these towns have abandoned mill sites that are adjacent to the Eel River. One is on the main stem and the other is on the south fork. 

The Fish and Wildlife agency policy has been to let the natural salmon process continue since the 1960s flood. After 55 years of that policy there is still no salmon. I am tired of waiting. 

This is a simple idea that is doable. We can bypass CEQA rules like they did with the Giants baseball stadium. Funding can come from the $15 billion state water bond issue that was passed in California in 2014. That has not been used much and there is also recent federal infrastructure funding that could be used. 

By putting these hatcheries on the Eel the salmon will be re-imprinted with the Eel River water which will guarantee that most of the salmon will return to the Eel River after approximately seven years. Once these salmon go out to the ocean and return they are wild salmon and Fish and Wildlife can achieve its goal. 

When I was a kid in Dos Rios we had two small restaurants and many cabins for the fishing season from November to April. This project will add jobs from Willits to Fortuna and after 20 years we can develop this area into a fishing region that would be known throughout the nation. If you build it they will come.

Expert on nothing,

John Pinches


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March 28, 2023

Consent Calendar - Item 3 h

Ted Williams at 5 hours, 44 minutes, 45 seconds into Tuesday's BOS meeting, talking about the County's financial accounting: 

Ted Williams: “We can't get a balance sheet. We can't collect taxes. We don't know where our finances stand. We don't know where the red flags are. With our proprietary financial software that doesn't work, we can't upgrade. We can't go back. We can't go forward. We can't go anywhere. We don't know anything. These problems were decades in the making.” 

Glenn McGourty: “How do we get out of this?”

Ted Williams: “Leadership.”

(John Sakowicz)

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THE BARN SALE IS BACK! Saturday and Sunday April 1 & 2, 10 am to 3 pm. Located at 12761 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville. Look for signs and banners on Hwy 128.

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Cyanotype of Pikea californica-Iselin

On April 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., Grace Hudson Museum will be open for First Friday. Live music and refreshments will be on offer. The current exhibit, "The Curious World of Seaweed," will be on display. Featuring the extraordinary layered artwork of Josie Iselin, the exhibit explores the surprising science and history behind seaweed, its longstanding connections with indigenous peoples, and the human impact that threatens its existence. The exhibit includes Pomo seaweed gathering baskets, and a few other surprises. First Fridays are also a great opportunity to discover or get reacquainted with the Museum's core galleries and Wild Gardens. As always on First Fridays, admission is free.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information go to

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I have decided to run for Mendocino County 1st district Supervisor. Filing is in September and the election is March 5, 2024. While that seems far away, it will be here before we know it. So between now and then, I will be working to get my message out and hopefully garner enough votes to represent the 1st district and work with the other 4 supervisors to improve Mendocino County government. 

I am a lifelong resident of Mendocino County. For 41 of my 44 years I have called Redwood Valley home. I am a husband, father, a small business owner, and a farmer. I feel fortunate to have been raised here and appreciate the opportunities available to me. To that end, I have devoted quite a bit of time over the last 20 years in different ways to give back to this community. 

Food, farming and how those support personal, environmental and economic health are passions of mine. In my early 20's, I volunteered for the American Cancer Society going to classrooms teaching the 5 a Day program which encourages children to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer. At that time, also started my business, Mendocino Organics, producing vegetables and meats. That business still exists today, producing meat that is featured at The Golden Pig restaurant in Hopland and is locally marketed/sold/distributed through an online software platform and marketed under Mendocino Meats. 

Currently I am involved in local water policy by serving on the board of Redwood Valley County Water District and as the agricultural representative on the Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency. I also serve on the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council. 

While I believe Mendocino County is still a great place to work and live, I think we can do better. Our community suffers from a lack of affordable housing, water insecurity, a large unhoused population, stagnant wages and under staffing at the county government level which affects our ability to be served by our local government. While these challenges are daunting, they are not insurmountable. We must constantly strive for improvement. The county government should play a key roll in addressing these issues to the betterment of our community. I would be honored to represent the 1st district and work to that end. 

I have a lot of energy and ideas on how we can make Mendocino County a better place. I also believe that the role of supervisor is to represent the people of their district and work with the other 4 supervisors for whats best for our county as a whole. While each district has its own issues, we are stronger if we mutually support each other through cooperation. 

Thanks for your time and consideration. Please share this. I look forward to hearing from and engaging with you over the next few months.

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THE FBI has been politically weaponized since its inception. Why even I, a guy as patriotic as all heck with a total of ten years in selfless service to the red white and blue — eight total years active and reserve time with the Marine Corps, plus two years in the Peace Corps — managed to attract FBI attention for simply associating with alleged subversives here and abroad, and I'm sure my file was updated during the Redwood Summer period when the FBI operated out of the Mendocino Environment Center at 106 West Standley, Ukiah, and at least one freelance snitch I'm aware of was running down to FBI headquarters in San Francisco to regale federal sleuths with false tales of the perfidy of local environmentalists. But lately the G-Men have gone full lib, putting in a lot of OT running Get Trump errands for the DNC.

THE LATE ALVAH BESSIE was a friend of mine. He was one of the black-listed screenwriters collectively known as the Hollywood Ten. Bessie had fought in Spain with the Lincoln Brigade and was one of those rare individuals who put himself on the line in defense of his principles. During the 1950s, after he got out of federal prison for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (a gang of congressional fascists), he said he was hounded by the FBI for several years. The feds would show up wherever he managed to find work, lean on his employer, and he was out of his job. He was finally hired as an all-purpose grunt work guy by Enrico Banducci, owner of the Hungry I. Bessie said a lot of the movie stars he'd known — he mentioned Lee J. Cobb specifically — refused to help him out with post-prison loans, but Banducci simply told the feds to piss off, and they did. It's a huge irony of history that the feds have been sicced on a plutocrat like Trump by the un-Democratic Party.

THE 'WEAPONIZATION' OF GOVERNMENT fires at Taibbi. The IRS visited Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi's home on the same day that he gave evidence to Congress on the 'weaponization' of the federal government.

The federal agent showed up at his New Jersey property and left a note on March 9 .

According to the report in the WSJ, the note left by IRS asked Taibbi to call them four days later - and when he did, an agent told him his tax returns from 2018 and 2021 had been rejected. Turned out, the IRS backed off when challenged, but still. If you came in late, Taibbi's work on the Twitter Files released to him by Elon Musk established that the Democrats have truly weaponized government in their endless pursuit of Trump. Historically, the government, mostly in the form of the reliably politicized FBI, has gone after the left in the days there was a left.

They said the rejection was based upon identity theft concerns. 

Taibbi gained the attention of millions of viewers with the first installment of the Twitter Files - focusing on its internal discussions leading them to censor the Hunter Biden laptop during the 2020 presidential election.

The IRS visit occurred on the same day that the journalist appeared in front of the Select Subcommittee on the 'weaponization of the federal government.' 

He was testifying on what he learned from the Twitter Files - which were a series of internal Twitter documents made public after Elon Musk released them to Taibbi. 

The journalist wrote on Twitter: 'For those asking, I don’t want to comment on the IRS issue pending an answer to chairman Jim Jordan’s letter. I’m not worried for myself, but I did feel the Committee should be aware of the situation.'

In a follow up tweet, he added: 'I’ve been reassured now that there’s no problem, but I still look forward to hearing an explanation.' 

Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and the Department of Treasury, demanding to know why Taibbi's home was visited by the IRS. 

According to Taibbi, the 2018 and 2021 tax issues were not to do with money, and in fact, the IRS owed him money, WSJ reported. 

In 2018, documents he gave the committee show that the IRS accepted his electronic filings, and nothing had been flagged about it in the last five years. In 2021, his return was rejected twice despite his accountants refiling with an IRS-provided PIN number.

On March 9, the House panel probing the 'weaponization' of the federal government' and the subsequent release of the 'Twitter Files,' kicked off with a fiery start as the Republican-led hearing began with sniping attacks between Rep. Jim Jordan and the ranking member, Rep. Stacey Plaskett.

The chairman's opening statements included a tirade against the 'cozy relationship' between Big Tech and government agencies, with particular ire against Twitter for suppressing a story in 2020 about the release of embarrassing emails and photos from Hunter Biden's laptop.

Jordan claimed that Twitter executives were tipped off that the Bidens would be the target of a 'hack and leak operation' by U.S. government officials, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

'What a coincidence,' Jordan snarked. Plaskett retorted that Republicans are pushing a misleading narrative and possess questionable motives.

'There is something going on between Congressional Republicans and Elon Musk,' she said. 'Mr. Chairman, Americans can see through this. Musk is helping you out politically, and you're going out of your way to promote and protect him, and to praise him for his work.'

'Ridiculous!' snapped Jordan as he continued to bicker with Plaskett, who complained that the Democrats didn't get access to letters from the Federal Trade Commission until 8 p.m. the night before the hearing.

The chairman introduced the witnesses, including journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, who were given access by Musk to review 'voluminous' amounts of Twitter's internal communications on possible working relationships between social media companies and government agencies.

In his opening statement, Taibbi told the panel that he attracted intense public interest when the first 'Twitter Files' reports came out.

'My computer looked like a slot machine as just the first tweet about the blockage of the Hunter Biden laptop story registered 143 million impressions and 30 million engagements.'

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April 16, 2023. Previous classes filled rapidly. The class runs from 9am to 4pm, at 600 Rancho Grand Road, just north of Hopland.

A one day Wilderness First Aid Certification Course, plus CPR & AED. This class is limited to ten participants, and will be held in Hopland.

Fee: $125.00 with a non-refundable deposit of $30.00 (unless your check is received after 10 other deposits) to secure your place. Mail checks to P.O. Box 842 Hopland, CA. Make checks out to either Ken Johnson or NCFEMS or by Venmo @Ken-Johnson-236

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. (707) 570-9226 or

This course includes, but is not limited to:

Current AHA CPR standards for infant, child, adult, plus choking & AED use

Trip planning and preparation

Emergency scene assessment, management, and patient evacuation

• Patient assessment, patient transport, bleeding, shock management, traumatic injuries, including to the head, neck, spine, mouth, eye, chest, abdomen, musculature, bone and joints 

• Medical considerations and treatment for: burns, wound care, respiratory distress, allergic reactions, seizures, fainting, diabetic emergencies, poisoning, hypo and hyperthermia, bites and stings

Our instructors are former Fire Chiefs and experienced EMT’s, who love to prepare and inspire all students, regardless of their experience, to effectively respond to emergencies whether near or far from definitive care. 

Certifications are good for two years. This course has been approved for 7 Hours of Continuing Education by an approved California EMS CE Provider. Provider # 490093

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On Friday, March 24, 2023 at approximately 11:14 am, a Ukiah Police Sergeant was on patrol traveling eastbound in the 100 block of Laws Avenue in Ukiah. The Sergeant observed a vehicle traveling southbound on S. State Street at an extremely high rate of speed. As the Sergeant accelerated southbound onto S. State Street to conduct a traffic enforcement stop on the reckless vehicle he observed a second vehicle behind him that was also traveling at a high rate of speed.

The UPD Sergeant conducted a traffic enforcement stop and the driver yielded in the 2000 block of S. State Street. Upon coming to a stop a female subject in the vehicle behind pulled in front of the suspect’s vehicle and exited her vehicle rapidly. She stated that her boyfriend (Trinidad Magdaleno-Pulido) had her cellular phone. 

Trinidad Magdaleno-Pulido

The female did not want prosecution against Pulido, however she did want her cellular phone back. The phone was provided to the Sergeant by Pulido, who then returned it to the female. Pulido was seated in the front passenger seat while his father was driving. Pulido’s father stated that his son and his girlfriend were in an argument and he was trying to get him away from the situation. This was his reason for driving recklessly.

The Sergeant was familiar with all of the involved parties, and additionally knew that Pulido was on active Mendocino County Probation for a prior case involving controlled substances and a firearm. The terms of Pulido’s probation included, but were not limited to, “Obey all laws” and “Submit to search and seizure.”

Additional UPD Officers arrived to assist the Sergeant. Pulido was directed to exit the vehicle in order to perform a probation search to determine if he was in compliance with the terms of his probation. The Sergeant was performing a search of Pulido’s person when he observed the distinct handle of a firearm on the floor behind the passenger seat of the vehicle. Pulido was handcuffed immediately while Officer drew their department firearms and told the driver to keep his hands in the air. The driver was removed from the vehicle and detained in handcuffs.

Once Pulido and his father were detained, and the scene was secure the firearm was removed from behind the passenger seat. It was found to be a sawed-off (Short-barreled) single shot 12 guage shotgun. In the same grocery bag that the shotgun was located sticking out of, was a green metal ammunition container. Inside of the container was a box of Winchester .40 caliber pistol ammunition containing 100 live rounds. There was a second yellow hard plastic container inside of the ammunition can containing numerous live rounds of .25 caliber auto pistol ammunition.

Through the Sergeant’s investigation, it was determined that Pulido had placed the grocery bag containing the listed items into the vehicle when his father picked him up from his girlfriend’s residence just prior to the traffic stop.

A records check on Pulido revealed that he was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Pulido was arrested for the above listed offenses and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and lodged.

Pulido’s father was released from the scene with a warning for his driving, and Pulido’s girlfriend left without any charges.

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

(Ukiah Police Department)

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The Aurora Borealis makes a low latitude dip, Thursday, March 23, 2023 over Lake County. The community lights of Lakeport, foreground middle, with Nice and Lucerne in the distance, right, serve as artificial contrast to natures light show. Photo made from the Hopland Grade with a 30 second exposure. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2023

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About finding the balance between making things happen and getting people to see one's point of view, collegiality is the key. In the five years I served on the Retirement Board, I also sat on their Budget and Audit Committees, and on the Search Committee, I learned how to be collegial. 

Also, I learned collegiality through crisis. I'll explain.

Around 2010, or thereabouts, it was a difficult time for MCERA. We were in danger of losing our tax-exempt status with the IRS because we were paying retiree healthcare out of "excess earnings". 

Many public pension systems did the same thing. But it wasn't right. Unrealized returns never should have been drained from the retirement system. 

Unrealized gains should be folded into what's called the Unfunded Accrued Actuarial Liability (UAAL). By law, the UAAL shall mean the excess of the Actuarial Accrued Liability (AAL) over the Actuarial Value of Assets (AVA). The UAAL can derive from three sources: unfunded past Normal costs, actuarial gains and losses (differences between actuarial assumptions and actual experience), and changes to the level of benefits promised.

At about the time I started serving on the Retirement Board in 2012, the IRS gave MCERA a corrective action plan to "cure" the problem with spending so-called excess earnings. The IRS made MCERA refund the system through a funding mechanism known as "negative amortization". And retirees lost their healthcare insurance. They felt betrayed.

For more: (1667) 100420 BOS RetireesHC - YouTube

Also: (1667) 090428 mendo bos mcera sco - YouTube

It was a stressful time. But we got through it. And thanks to the good investigative work by John Dickerson (, the problem of paying retiree healthcare out of "excess earnings" was exposed and corrected.

The Retirement Board got through that critical time because we were cooperative, civil, and collegial. We worked together as a team.

Again Glenn, I expect the future for public pension systems to be stressful -- very stressful. Plans like ours, known as 60/40 (stock/bond) plans, had their worst year in 2022 going back all the way to 1937.

Let me repeat: Plans like MCERA, known as 60/40 (stock/bond) plans, had their worst year in 2022 going back all the way to 1937.

Our challenges going forward?

Long-term investment returns are expected to underperform.

Consumer Price Index (Year-Over-Year Change) -- inflation -- will increase.

Many plans remain vulnerable to increasingly volatile market outcomes. 

Plans also remain very vulnerable to stress test scenarios, especially recession.

The forecast for contributions to retirement systems will fall due to fewer numbers of employees.


John Sakowicz

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Bliss Divine Not the Body Not the Mind Immortal Here Now

Warmest spiritual greetings, Following morning ablutions at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in rain soaked Ukiah, California, walked to the Plowshares Peace & Justice dining room for a fabulous tri tip lunch, before getting on an MTA bus to go to the Ukiah Public Library. Presently tap, tap tapping away on computer #2, identified only with the Immortal Self, or Atman. What would you do in this world if you knew that you could not fail? I am available for anything; presently biding time going to medical testing, and walking around the Mendocino county seat watching the trees slowly bloom, as Spring emerges from the grip of Winter. Let's make the eco-revolution worldwide, shall we? How about launching a global anarchist attack to destroy the demonic on Earth Day April 22nd? Thank you for listening.

Craig Louis Stehr

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Apodaca, Bernal, Fulwider


GILBERTO BERNAL, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI, no license.

RYAN FULWIDER, Campbell/Willits. False impersonation of another.

Martinez, Munson,Pike

MANUEL MARTINEZ-GARCIA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

STEVEN MUNSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

KEVIN PIKE, Willits. Battery, elder abuse with great bodily harm or death.

Pittenger, Sanchez, Smart

LAURA PITTENGER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

SETH SMART, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol & drug intoxication.

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AS SERGIO ROMO SAYS GOODBYE to Giants fans, the memories he created will last forever

by Ann Killion

The whirling joyous sounds of “El Mechon” filled the ballpark again. Sergio Romo came out of the San Francisco Giants bullpen with his customary little hop and the 30,000 fans in the stands erupted with joy.

In an orchestrated crowd-pleasing farewell, Romo took the mound in the seventh inning, threw 13 pitches, five for strikes. He was bitten by the pitch clock, walking a batter despite only throwing two pitches to him, the victim of an umpire who didn't grasp the moment. And, at the end of his outing, his old teammate Hunter Pence strode to the mound to take the ball, officially ending Romo's major league career.

The crowd clapped along to the familiar music, chanted Romo’s name and roared approval as he tipped his cap - a cap filled with the reciprocal signatures of children who had asked him for autographs during this final spring training - and then wiped his eyes.

“Fulfilling,” Romo said. “Some closure to what was, for me, a storybook career.”

Romo’s final appearance on the Giants' mound was like opening a time capsule. There’s not much about this Giants team that is familiar, except for the Gold Glove shortstop. But when Romo stepped on the mound in an orange and black No. 54 jersey, a storm of memories was unleashed.

Of a band of misfits and jam-packed ballparks. Of championship parades and photobombs, wild beards and an “I just look illegal” T-shirt. Of frisbee sliders and mismatches on paper that didn’t turn out that way on the field.

Romo was a homegrown Giant, a part of three World Series champions and emblematic of the team’s character of that era: talented but quirky, winners but unconventional, underestimated but often the last ones standing. Raucously entertaining and full of heart.

Romo soaked in the entirety of Monday’s experience. He posted a picture on Instagram of him standing on his doorstep holding one of those signboards that little kids hold up for their first or last day of school photo.

“Sergio Romo, last day of professional MLB. I am: 40. I love to: golf. My teacher is: Rags, Gardy, Bochy. My favorite color: Orange. I want to be a: Senior PGA Tour golfer. My school: AT&T/Oracle Park.”

He posted a lengthy “Dear San Francisco” letter on the Players’ Tribune looking fondly back on his career. Then he headed from his San Francisco home to the ballpark at 3rd and King, one more time.

“It feels right, it feels good, fitting,” he said. “Even pulling into the players’ parking lot. I’ve got a locker with my name on it. It says San Francisco Giants. I’ve got a jersey with No. 54.”

He even had his old locker back, in the corner he used to share with Tim Linceum.

“It’s almost too good to be true,” Romo said. “I lasted six seasons away from here, and the times I came back I was wearing a different jersey, in a different clubhouse.

“I’m blown away by this opportunity. I didn’t expect it. Wait, you guys -- the fans, the organization -- feel I deserve this opportunity? It’s just very hard to believe it.”

A four-decade journey took Romo from Brawley in the southeast corner of California to one last moment on the big-league mound. The son of Mexican immigrants, Romo fell in love with baseball by watching his father play, heading across the border with him when Frank Romo played semi-pro games in Mexico.

Romo was a rebel. He once told me, “Me and authority don’t get along.” He bounced around in four college programs before he started to reach his potential at Mesa College. The Giants drafted him in the 28th round in 2005, but he and authority still weren’t getting along. He broke the rules and once punched a wall and broke his hand.

In 2007, he was A-ball's Relief Pitcher of the Year. The Giants brought him up in 2008. Undersized, animated and topping out the radar gun in the high 80s, Romo was the kid of the group. It was fitting that he was often in charge of the My Little Pony backpack, carrying the bag of snacks out to the bullpen at the start of games.

In 2010 he was the set-up man to Brian Wilson, happy in his role without the pressure of the final outs. But in 2012 Wilson was injured and the role of closer fell to Romo. In the divisional playoffs, he won an epic 12-pitch battle with Cincinnati slugger Jay Bruce. In the World Series, he secured the Giants' second championship in three years by striking out Miguel Cabrera on an 89-mph fastball.

He said that assuming the role of closer that season was, “the obligation to be something more than maybe you are.”

Romo grew into a man in a Giants uniform. He, Javy Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla were the bullpen's Core Four, the relievers who anchored the relief corps for all three World Series. In his Players’ Tribune letter, he credited Lopez for keeping him in line and holding up a mirror that “showed me what it means to be a pro.”

“It is a homecoming,” Romo said Monday. “I definitely do feel I was able to find myself here. Not just the person I was expected to be. I literally found the person that I am.”

The ballpark at 24 Willie Mays Plaza feels like home. And San Francisco is home. Romo is married to a born-and-raised San Franciscan and they have settled here.

“We’ve tried to live in other places, but nothing felt as perfect,” he said. “One of the things I love most about San Francisco in general, is everything is so diverse, and everyone here seems to be accepted for what they are. The fan base was so accepting of me, of my personality. Not who I was trying to be but the person that I really am.”

In his Players’ Tribune letter he wrote, “Thanks for making this brown kid from Brawley feel like a part of your family.” Romo’s immediate family, his wife and his five sons -- ages 17, 11, 7, 4 and 2 -- were in the stands on Monday to witness the moment. Romo said he plans to be more present for his kids in retirement.

When he walked out to the bullpen in the fourth inning, the roar was almost as loud as a Cabrera strikeout. He greeted the fans who pushed up along the bullpen walls holding up signs of thanks. And then he went to the mound to throw some final pitches in front of the fans who fell in love with the underdog from Brawley.

It was the last moment for the last member of the San Francisco Giants first World Championship team.

Once out of the game, he hugged everyone in the dugout - with an especially long hug for Brandon Crawford, who is now the lone remaining World Series winner on the Giants. And then he stood at the dugout rail with Gabe Kapler.

He didn’t want the night to end. The memories he created will last forever.

(SF Chronicle)

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Now that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Fox News are urging military fury and might in Mexico to exterminate cartels selling fentanyl, it might be time to see American consumers of fentanyl as complicit. After all, American consumers are the buyers. And shipments arrive at American border checkpoints hidden in the massive numbers of 18-wheelers, not migrants. Perhaps it is time to begin educating Americans about how harmful fentanyl is. If we can successfully end the demand, we can save more lives than by invading Mexico, our largest trading partner at $70.3 billion in cross-border commerce.

Dave Heventhal


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by Andrew Chamings

A strange-shaped, 3,300-foot-tall underwater volcano has been discovered just 184 miles off the Northern California coast.

The sea mountain, or “seamount,” appears more like a smooth-sided circular tower, with near-vertical sides, than a craggy mountain. It was found in February by an ocean mapping autonomous sailboat as part of a multi-agency survey led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Typically seamounts have sloped sides, like Mount Fuji,” Dr. Aurora Elmore, the program manager for NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, told SFGATE. “But what’s interesting about this one is that it’s really steep. It rises from the bottom of the seafloor with a tower shape.”

Elmore thinks this unique shape may be because the volcanic activity that formed it was “super hot, and happened all at once.” Alternatively, the structure may have lost a more gradually sloped base due to a build up of sediment known as “marine snow,” or as Elmore puts it: “Millennia of fish poop.”

The find is an anomaly for another reason, too. While there are 63 identified seamounts off the California coast, there are none near the one found off the coast of Cape Mendocino. “It doesn’t fall into the area of known seamounts,” Elmore says. “It expands the range.”

The 1,200-foot-deep crater at the summit of the new underwater volcano sits about 2 miles below the ocean’s surface, and was found through the use of a vessel operated by Bay Area ocean research company Saildrone, in partnership with NOAA and other agencies.

The autonomous Saildrone Surveyor sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. (Saildrone)

The orange-sailed uncrewed sailboat Surveyor SD 1200 surfs the ocean using a multi-beam sonar on its hull to map the contours of the depths below. The vessel is controlled remotely by pilots at the company’s Alameda base.

“The Surveyor weathered the storms, collected high-resolution bathymetry, and put no humans at risk,” Saildrone vice president Brian Connon said in a statement. “… This is the future of ocean mapping.”

The vessel set sail from Alameda in July 2022 and mapped Alaska’s Aleutian Islands before heading back down the California coast.

The unique underwater discovery is making waves in the oceanography community. Elmore says that only 50% of the U.S. exclusive economic zone — an area of the oceans within 200 miles of any U.S. coastline — has so far been mapped this way.

“The immediate reaction from the team was that it looked like a Bundt cake,” Neah Baechler, lead surveyor for Saildrone, told the Sacramento Bee. “It’s very round and with steep sides and a curved top that slopes into a crater in the center.”

Similar features have been found on the ocean floor, but rarely this big, or this complete. “The Bundt cake shape is not unique to this feature, although finding one large enough to qualify as an official seamount is less common,” Baechler told SFGATE over email. He described a much smaller previous find, in a C-shape — “More of a Bundt cake with a few slices missing,” Baechler said.

Seamounts are the remnants of extinct volcanoes formed millions of years ago on the ocean floor, NOAA says, with a height from seafloor to summit of at least 3,300 feet. The underwater mountains will occasionally breach the water’s surface, giving rise to islands formations, like Hawaii.

The newly discovered seamount has a unique smooth-sided, tower-like structure. (Saildrone/NOAA)

California’s new underwater mountain does not yet have a name; that process will soon be completed by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans’ Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names.

Elmore hopes one day to send a remotely-operated video camera into the ocean, to get a closer look at the underwater tower, standing taller than Mount Tamalpais off the California coast. “They are a weird and wonderful feature on the bottom of the seafloor,” Elmore says.


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And again politicians failed to see where the real problem is in these mass shootings of innocent people, it's not gun control that we need people control, more than likely in this last event in Nashville, the assailant was the victim of bullying as well as having marital problems from early childhood, simple fact that parents failed their child by farming out or it out because they didn't want to deal with the problems, this is the result, and government takes the attitude that if we get rid of the guns this. Not true, it is been proven through time that if somebody needs a weapon to kill other people there's a lot of them out there, keeping the honest people and the law-abiding people from being able to protect themselves in many types of events, is not cure the problem of the nutcase that either steals a weapon, or is given something by an individual has bad intentions toward others, I have said it before only in America children killed children, or children will kill her parents, and part of it is the fault of the people that live here, creators of video games with entirely too much violence, no longer is it about good and bad, we live in society that allows about everything to happen to be shown on the Internet, parents don't seem to care as long as their child is busy doing something else and not bothering them, we need to have attitude adjustment in our real world, taking guns away from ranchers and people who live in the country that need a good weapon protect themselves against wildlife, and if you get a few extra bullets to do it better yet, maybe more laws having to do with city dwellers and what they can have within an incorporated city like San Francisco, or anywhere in the Bay Area, although in recent months we have had in fact over recent many years is not safe to go to the city without getting shot at, government has failed its people there is only two ways to handle this problem when somebody gets set up for murder they need to die, putting people in jail and then turning them loose is not a way to her violent crime, the only deterrent to bring back the death penalty, the only other way to protect the citizens everywhere do much like Switzerland or Israel does everybody has a weapon therefore if you're armed nobody's going to attack somebody who's got a gun and shoot back, criminals only after the week the uninformed at the stupid, there are several countries in the world that banned weapons didn't work, the only deterrent to this kind of violence is whether headed off to jail and no that there is no appeal and there's a news or an electric chair waiting for the crime they committed would be the very last one, and these executions should be made extremely public, the other way to deal with it since several members of your family have committed horrific unthinkable crimes we will support your entire family out of the country they will lose her citizenship, if parents have to realize they are responsible for what their children and family members do maybe less of this will happen but to try something is better than sitting back and saying overtake everybody's got away from them, but the simple truth of it all you can always buy guns in the underground, or you could just use a much larger device like a car or a large truck if somebody wants to murder somebody there are many ways to do it so we need people control not weapon control.

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This is last year's Christmas card from Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles, a Republican who represents the district that Covenant School is in in Nashville where a heavily armed 20 year old shot a bunch of kids for no reason.

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The trans thing used to be strictly men, as GA points out, because fetishes are almost exclusively a male thing.

But the 4,000% rise in teenaged girls deciding that they are trans is clearly a social contagion, pushed from the top, and not a sudden female fetish development.

When a girl has been told since toddlerhood that sex is outdated and there are 47 genders, and that changing one’s sex is simply a matter of hormones (perfectly safe and effective) and surgery, and then she hits puberty and her body is doing things she doesn’t particularly like, and TikTok is showing her cute videos of the awesome things testosterone does to girls…gosh, why are there so many teenaged girls having their breasts cut off (by adults) and taking powerful drugs that will ruin their bodies (pushed by adults) and insisting that their teachers call them by their new names and preferred pronouns (such power over adults!)?

It’s a mystery.

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TALENTED AND WELL-PRACTICED IN EVERY VICE, a stranger to compassion or empathy, a liar and a cheat so complete in perfidy that he has elevated his dishonesty to hold it up as an ersatz moral principle, violent, so long as he can order someone else to do the dirty work, grotesque in body, graceless in action, in possession of a wounded self-regard so colossal as to smother any spark of grace, treasonous, not only to country, but to every ally he has ever had, the poisoned fruit and rankest flower of racism and contempt for women, and utterly devoid of shame for his moral and spiritual bankruptcy.  

Stable Genius, pen & ink by Siegfried Woldhek (2019)

That is your leader. That is to whom you give your money. That is who you follow and laud. That is whose banner you willingly carry. Why? Because he is a mirror, not a lighthouse. You see yourselves in him. He is what you would be, if you had inherited money and could shed the last vestiges of conscience and shame. 

No, I do not “respect your choices,” nor do I admire your loyalty and dedication to this miserific, demoniac vision. You have demonstrated not only a lack of civic virtue, loyalty to the Republic and to the rule of law, but a willingness to engage in violence and sedition at his slightest expressed wish. And you will never, ever admit you were wrong. 

Because you see your dark, twisted, resentful dreams in him. And to renounce him is to renounce yourselves.

— Advocatus Peregrini

* * *

“YOU SAY LABOR UNIONS hire dynamiters and sluggers,” a racketeer told a reporter. “Well, I may be a low-down criminal pervert, but I don’t think there’s anything the matter with that. How do the capitalists treat labor? Is it worse to dynamite a building, than to turn out of work, in the middle of the winter, thousands of men whose families live hand to mouth? Why isn’t there more dynamiting? If there were, I’d get a little more respect for the working class. Now, to hell with them. These goddam stiffs, with their docile suffering, make me sick.”

— Rich Cohen, “Tough Jews”

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DROPPED INTO THE VENERABLE NYC SALOON, PJ Clarke's, recently. We got a really nice two-top at the corner of the bar and started chatting with the thirty-ish bartender about some of the bar history: Sinatra's table, no. 20 in the back and the 1945 filming of "Lost Weekend" with Ray Milland. 

Then I asked him about "One for My Baby." He just looked at me. "Johnny Mercer?" I said. No reaction. "He sat here...1943...and penned arguably the greatest saloon song ever...on a napkin...right here at the bar." 

And without missing a beat he said, "You're sitting on his stool." Ha, I thought, this guy is smooth, he's figured things out at a young age. 

"Say it like you mean it, I always say...say it loud and clear and with gusto...just say it and they'll believe it," I said. He winked, laughed and clunked my beer on the table.

Sidenote: Supposedly, after the song was recorded, Mercer apologized to regular bartender Tommy Joyce that he didn't use "Tommy" instead of "Joe." According to Johnny, it just didn't work as well.

* * *

WHEN CONGRESS WAS DEBATING MEDICARE in the 1960s, Ronald Reagan — then an actor with a rising political profile — attacked the program as a step toward socialism. If it passed, Reagan warned, “We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

As president, Reagan praised and supported the program.

(David Leonhardt)

* * *


The Ukrainian military said it repelled 24 Russian attacks as heavy fighting rages in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In the eastern city of Bakhmut, the focus of a monthlong bloody standoff, Ukraine’s main task is to “deplete the enemy’s overwhelming forces and inflict heavy losses on it,” the commander of the Ukrainian Land Forces said Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board issued a recommendation that athletes “who actively support the war cannot compete.”

Russia said it is ready to discuss the safety situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with international observers after President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of "radiation blackmail."

Biden told reporters Tuesday he’s concerned about Russia's plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus.

“They haven’t done that yet, unless something happened while I was on the helicopter,” Biden said. “Sure, I’m concerned about that.” 

“What’ve I been talking to you guys about for the last year? This is dangerous kind of talk, and it’s worrisome,” Biden added.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Moscow will complete the construction of a special storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by the beginning of July, Putin told state broadcaster Russia 1.


* * *

New York, 1955 photo by Vivian Maier


BERTRAND RUSSELL CONCERNING LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN considered by some to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century —

"I told him to write me something during the vacation on some philosophical subject and I would then tell him whether he was complete idiot or not."

"He was queer, and his notions seemed to me odd, so that for a whole term I could not make up my mind whether he was a man of genius or merely an eccentric. At the end of his first term at Cambridge he came to me and said: "Will you please tell me whether I am a complete idiot or not?" I replied, "My dear fellow, I don't know. Why are you asking me?" He said, "Because, if I am a complete idiot, I shall become an aeronaut; but, if not, I shall become a philosopher." 

I told him to write me something during the vacation on some philosophical subject and I would then tell him whether he was complete idiot or not. At the beginning of the following term he brought me the fulfillment of this suggestion. After reading only one sentence, I said to him: "No, you must not become an aeronaut." And he didn't. He was not, however, altogether easy to deal with. 

He used to come to my rooms at midnight, and for hours he would walk backward and forward like a caged tiger. On arrival, he would announce that when he left my rooms he would commit suicide. So, in spite of getting sleepy, I did not like to turn him out. On one such evening, after an hour or two of dead silence, I said to him, "Wittgenstein, are you thinking about logic or about your sins?" "Both," he said, and then reverted to silence.

However, we did not meet only at night. I used to take him on long walks in the country round Cambridge. On one occasion I induced him to trespass with me in Madingley Wood where, to my surprise, he climbed a tree. When he had got a long way up a gamekeeper with a gun turned up and protested to me about the trespass. I called up to Wittgenstein and said the man had promised not to shoot if Wittgenstein got down within a minute. He believed me, and did so."

— Bertrand Russell, Portraits from Memory, Ch: II, Some Philosophical Contacts, p. 23

"Logic, writes Ludwig Wittgenstein, fills the world. The boundaries of the world are also its boundaries. In logic, therefore, we cannot say, there is this and this in the world, but not that, for to say so would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case, since it would require that logic should go beyond the boundaries of the world as if it could contemplate these boundaries from the other side also. What we cannot think we cannot think, therefore we also cannot say what we cannot think."

— Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, (May 1922), p. xx

* * *

Background: Philosopher Bertrand Russell described his friend Ludwig Wittgenstein as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived; passionate, profound, intense, and dominating". Although Russell was almost twice Wittgenstein’s age, their relationship soon became one of equals, and in his obituary notice in Mind (journal) forty years later, Russell described getting to know Wittgenstein as “one of the most exciting intellectual adventures of my life.” Despite the consequent drain on both of their emotional resources, Russell spent much time encouraging the young Wittgenstein. Russell strongly supported the work which led to Wittgenstein’s acclaimed Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. It was an ambitious project – to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science – and is recognized as a significant philosophical work of the twentieth century.

However, Russell developed his own version of the ideas Wittgenstein presented in that book, giving a series of lectures on Logical Posivtism in 1918, while Wittgenstein was still in a prisoner of war camp. Wittgenstein claimed that his ideas had been misunderstood and therefore misrepresented, and the relationship between them never recovered. 

Ludwig Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) Photographed by Ben Richards, Swansea, Wales, 1947.

Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From 1929–1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of Cambridge. During his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), one article, one book review and a children's dictionary. Considered by some to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein played a central, if controversial, role in mid-20th-century analytic philosophy. A central factor in investigating Wittgenstein’s works is the multifarious nature of the project of interpreting them; this leads to numerous difficulties in the ascertainment of his philosophical substance and method.

* * *

POP WAS HER IDEAL of how a man should be, brave, gentle, comic, never losing his temper, never bragging, never complaining except in a joke, tolerant, understanding, intelligent, drinking a little too much as a good man should, and, to her eyes, very handsome.

— Hemingway, ‘Green Hills of Africa,’ 1935

Hemingway In Africa

* * *

I REALLY LITERALLY DON’T RECALL A DAY IN MY LIFE up to now that I have never listened to music or heard music or thought about music or had music in some kind of way. Danced to it, watched dancing, got involved in it, played music.

As an elder musician I’m not against what the young kids play. A lot of people think that they have to have an opinion about it, and we know what we have to say about opinions. You know, I mean the thing is to me it’s like bebop, you know? Everybody didn’t like bebop either. I also think it’s kinda funny now, talking to or listening to rappers that are now 42 and 46 and 50 talking about the youngsters that are coming along now. Saying, “Gee whiz, that sounds pretty much like what everybody was saying about you guys when you started.” The only ones that I know have said something really smart, right, at this point, has been David Banner. David Banner was really sharp about it. Said, “Hey. We birthed them, but we didn’t show them the way. We didn’t give them nothing to work with, so they’re doing what they can with what they got.” So we were chasing the money, and while we were chasing the money, we didn’t take care of handing the torch off to them.

— Taj Mahal, Berklee Online Interview

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ROBERT FROST was an American poet who was much admired for his depictions of the rural life of New England, his command of American colloquial speech, and his realistic verse portraying ordinary people in everyday situations. 

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

"We love the things we love for what they are."

"These woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep."

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself."

"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."

* * *

* * *


by Hannah Rose Woods

On a typical day, John Henry Salter would rise to shoot wildfowl at dawn. A physician in the Essex village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy for 65 years (he died in 1932, aged 91, while still working as the local doctor), he ministered to his patients in the morning, tended his dogs and plants in the afternoon, gave his evenings to committees, and seldom went to bed without completing his diary. He excelled at cricket, rowing, swimming, long-distance running, archery and boxing. He lost the use of his right eye in his youth – allegedly during a brawl on Derby Day at Epsom. He presented at poultry shows, was a competitive gardener – winning 1400 prizes in his lifetime, including an award of merit from the Royal Horticultural Society – and registered his own variety of dessert apple, the D’Arcy Spice. He served variously as a Tory councilor, a Poor Law guardian and on school boards; and was charged during the First World War with evacuating the Blackwater Estuary in the event of a German invasion. 

But dogs were his real passion.

Renowned as a breeder of greyhounds, Salter competed at field trials and was a judge at dog shows both nationally and internationally. In Russia he became acquainted with the family of the tsar, and took the opportunity to shoot big game, including wolves, a lynx and a polar bear, which were displayed in his home alongside the birds. Another bear he killed was stuffed and placed in the entrance hall of the Kennel Club, where he served as vice-president from 1899. By the time of his death, according to his diaries, Salter had bred 2,123 dogs and owned 2,696.

They are often like this, the “Doggy People” who feature in Michael Worboys’s new study of 20 “eminent and not so eminent Victorians who were the modern dog’s makers”: muscular, energetic, eccentric, polymathic. Kathleen Pelham-Clinton, the Duchess of Newcastle, who imported the borzoi breed from Russia into Britain, met her husband, the seventh duke, at a dog show; she was exhibiting her fox terriers and he was competing with his Clumber spaniels, named after his estate in Nottinghamshire. After their marriage in 1889 they led almost entirely separate lives: he devoted himself to Anglo-Catholic ritualism and travelling the world with the animal photographer and spiritualist Gambier Bolton; she spent her time breeding horses, foxhounds, borzois and fox terriers, hunting on the estates known as The Dukeries, and raising a prize-winning herd of cattle. In a 1902 book by Charles Henry Lane, Dog Shows and Doggy People (from which Worboys borrows his title), the duchess was judged, after the queen, to be “the most popular of her sex in the ranks of the Doggy people.”

Alice Stennard Robinson (née Cornwell) was an Australian gold rush millionaire, nicknamed “Princess Midas” and “the Lady of the Nuggets,” who purchased the Sunday Times seemingly on a whim and installed her lover as editor. She also established the Ladies Kennel Association in 1895, a challenge to the authority of the male-only Kennel Club. (The duchess of Newcastle was opposed.) Robinson’s loyalties were split, however, as she was also the secretary and treasurer of the National Cat Club.

Parson Jack Russell, after whom the terrier is named, was “the last of the old school of reverend English sportsmen,” according to his obituary in the Washington Post. Out hunting three or four days a week, he would attend Sunday services wearing hunting gear under his surplice, ready to take to the saddle at the end of prayer. In demonstration of good Christian thrift, when his horses died their hides were recycled to cover his armchairs.

Author Worboys describes the “Canine Castle,” the dog-dealing emporium of Bill George, a “nobby West End butcher” (“nobby” was London slang for those with social pretensions), who was known as the “Father of the Fancy.” The Fancy was a loose fraternity of working-class men with a passion for pub-based blood sports. (Charles Dickens visited the Canine Castle as part of his research for the character of Bill Sikes and his dog, Bull’s-Eye, in Oliver Twist.) George was famous for his mastiffs – which, at the time, were identified by means of different strains associated with landed estates, such as Chatsworth and Lyme Hall – and his wide social reach showed in the bloodlines of his favorite mastiff, Tiger. Descended from the Lyme Hall strain, which apparently included a dog that had accompanied its master home from the Battle of Agincourt, Tiger had a pedigree that also encompassed mastiffs owned by the industrialist Titus Salt, the naval commander Lord Waldegrave, and George’s mentor, the Fancy sports promoter and breeder of pit-fighting dogs Ben White. George supplied dogs to British and European royalty, and the Pasha of Egypt.

Doggy People is Worboys’s good-humored follow-up to The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain (2018), written with Julie-Marie Strange and Neil Pemberton, which explored the origins of defining dogs by breed. The making of the modern dog, the authors argued, offers an unusual perspective from which to view Victorian society, as evolutionary thinking, commercialization and anxieties about class, gender and degeneration converged in attitudes towards canines. Before the 19th century, observers spoke of dogs in terms of “varieties,” “types,” “tribes,” “sorts,” “races” and “kinds,” and deployed these terms interchangeably. Writing in 1576, the physician John Caius identified seventeen “sorts” of dogs; his categories included “hunting beasts,” “those good at finding game,” “mongrels and rascal sort” and “gentle comforting companions’. Variations in look or type were seen as existing along a continuum, with one blurring into another: Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, an 18th-century naturalist and philosopher, argued that “the number and mixture of races are so great, that it is almost impossible to recognize or enumerate them.” But from the mid-19th century, competition at dog shows, new fashions in dog ownership and the changing role of dogs in society led to selective breeding and the establishment of breed standards (or “conformations’), as breeders aimed to reduce variation within types as well as to increase the number of distinct, standardized breeds – all in pursuit of the Victorian ideals of “purity” and “improvement’.

Dogdom, as it was referred to by its participants, cut across class lines. In the early 19th century, canine culture became synonymous with the Fancy, which began hosting not only dogfights but ratting competitions and canine beauty shows in pubs for mostly working-class spectators (genteel visitors were known to attend the fighting events). Its members bred and sold bulldogs and mastiffs as well as toy dogs to all sections of society, though middle and upper-class observers complained that, with the rise of beauty contests and the decline of fighting and baiting (banned in 1835, though events continued in secret), the bulldog had become a more exaggerated and “artificial” creature – all flattened face and protruding jaw.

By the mid-Victorian era, modern-style dog shows had become popular. They positioned themselves somewhere between Barnumesque spectacles and the pigeon and poultry shows that had emerged during the recent “poultry mania.” The Monster Dog Show, held in London in 1862, attracted more than sixty thousand paying visitors. Foremost among the new types of competitions were the “canine carnivals” held by Charles Cruft – “the British Barnum,” a dog biscuit salesman turned enterprising showman – whose brand, Crufts, would eventually be sold to the Kennel Club. 

It wasn’t until the early 20th century, however, that the modern Crufts format emerged, and with it a reputation for respectability. Early shows in the 1890s featured novelty exhibits of the world’s largest and smallest dogs and a category for the best-stuffed specimen. Charles’s employer, Spratt’s Patent Dog Cakes, initially disavowed any association.

As breed culture developed in this new economy, dogs became commodities – designed and standardized. Breeds were now brands, invested with cultural and social capital. The Duchess of Newcastle’s borzois, for instance, were associated with feminine, aristocratic and “oriental” qualities – “a symbol of eastern exoticism, as romantic and avant-garde as Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.” Conversely, the Jack Russell – a breed not given official Kennel Club recognition until 2016 – could serve as a kind of reverse status symbol. These terriers had “charm but not papers,” according to the canine correspondent of the Daily Express: they were “classless,” the “nonconformists” of the dog world.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

Girl washing windows of cafe. Cook, Minnesota in 1937 (photograph by Russell Lee)


  1. Matt Kendall March 29, 2023

    John Pinches fish hatchery is an incredible idea. We need to deal with the pike minnow that caused a huge reduction in salmon numbers as well.

    • George Hollister March 29, 2023

      The limitation on salmon populations is primarily the food chain in the ocean. In the ocean salmon are competing for food, and are being eaten. The ocean has a finite carrying capacity for salmon. and, while that varies from one year to the next, that carrying capacity appears to have been met. So increasing hatchery production of Salman may have little end affect on increasing adult salmon in our rivers.

      What hatchery fish production would do is potentially put salmon into the ocean when conditions are good for them, instead of waiting for salmon populations to increase on their own. But this would be a short term occurrence.

      • Harvey Reading March 29, 2023

        Freshwater habitat is essential. Without it, the smolts don’t make it to the damned ocean! Go tend to your treefrogs in the puddle behind McDonald’s…

    • Kirk Vodopals March 29, 2023

      Hatcheries mean the demise of the native populations. The native genetics get washed-out by the in-bred hatchery stock and bye-bye native genetic fitness. CDFW has been trying innovative hatchery programs out their facility in Sonoma County (Dry Creek, possibly), but I haven’t heard of any groundbreaking results. Last I heard they wanted to take Coho stock from the Garcia and Navarro and try to repopulate the Gualala with Coho.
      The restoration mantra has been to restore native habitat and the fish will come back. We’ve had 30 years of restoration work on the North Coast and results are still unimpressive. That said, diving back into the hatchery world would most likely undo a lot of the gains for native stocks.
      So what do you want? Do you want healthy native stocks with decent habitat and a somewhat functional ecosystem that most likely would not allow for a commercial or recreational fishery? Or do you just want to bring back tourism and have some restaurants in Dos Rios and some income for all the failed weed entrepreneurs that is based on genetically-inferior hatchery fish that bite at anything and are riddled with parasites from the cesspool hatchery systems?
      I vote for the former. Recreation and tourism will always be the biggest attraction on the North Coast. Maintain that wild and native habitat. Give people access to those hinterlands to see the natural beauty without fear of being shot by crazed drug dealers or paranoid hill muffins.
      We have so much natural beauty and space here on the North Coast that could be better developed and regulated. I took my family out to Mendocino National Forest and stopping in Covelo made them so afraid that they never want to go there again.
      But it’s probably the case that nothing will chance since the folks in the hinterlands prefer their anonymity, privacy, paranoia and independence over economic development.

      • George Hollister March 29, 2023

        As you state,30 years of restoration is unimpressive, but how about using native stocks in hatcheries? It couldn’t hurt.

        My observation has been that we are too human oriented, and we need to better understand the dynamics of the ocean food chain. We already know quite a bit.

      • George Hollister March 29, 2023

        Salmon Ranching, which is different from Salmon Farming, utilizes hatcheries as a source of fish to be released into the ocean with the anticipation these fish will return in large economic numbers as adults. The Japanese are the only ones I know who have been successful at doing this, and that was long ago. I don’t know if the Salmon Ranching model is still used in Japan. Salmon Ranching has been attempted in the USA, but I know of no long term economic successes. Some Japanese attempted to establish Salmon Ranching in Chile, but these attempts failed for various reasons. But there are now wild Salmon stocks in Patagonia, and Argentina, likely a result of earlier attempts at Salmon Ranching in Chile. These salmon demonstrate genetic adoption to a new environment. Tourist do go there to fish for salmon.

          • Kirk Vodopals March 29, 2023

            Interesting articles. I naively assumed that salmon were native to South America. Not the case apparently. Seems like they are thriving down there. And I would argue it is because of the preservation of natural habitat, not because of innovative hatchery techniques. The Central Valley has been decimated in terms of habitat for salmonids. Now California is relying on the North Coast to maintain native populations. But the species probably can only thrive when the Central Valley populations still have some functionality, which will probably never happen again unless humans vacate those areas.

            • George Hollister March 29, 2023

              How decimated is the Central Valley habitat? On good years Chinook numbers are quite high, at least in the Sacramento River. It is unclear what the population of Chinook in the Sacramento was 170 years ago. I was reading a while back that natives in the Delta had fish bones in their middens, but no salmon fish bones. I have not read of any native fishing on the Sacramento, or the San Joaquin like was seen on the Klamath where salmon were netted. What dams have done on the Sacramento is provide water for fish during drought periods. That might be a factor here. Salmon numbers on the Sacramento go up and down with no apparent change in fresh water habitat. I suspect that will continue. Why is that?

              • Kirk Vodopals March 29, 2023

                I recommend reading Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. It was the reason I went to graduate school. I’d also recommend California Rivers and Streams: The Conflict Between Fluvial Process and Land Use by Jeff Mount.
                But, to summarize, the levee systems on the Sacramento and San Jaoquin coupled with the almost innumerable small and large dams on those watersheds have probably cut salmonid habitat by 80% (my off-the-cuff assessment). The mainstem rivers are mostly highways, not spawning grounds. The upper reaches are the spawning areas and those have been almost completely cut off (except for few notable exceptions). To say that Central Valley salmonid stocks are any where near historical records is laughable. We’ll never see those numbers again (unless my Amish Utopian apocalypse comes to fruition).

                • George Hollister March 29, 2023

                  What we know is water by itself does not define fresh water salmon habitat, but without water there is no habitat.

                  We also know that large stretches of the Sacramento River have lots of water that is not necessarily spawning habitat. What we don’t know is what the base line for Salmon in the Sacramento River is. And we don’t know what determines the base line. Is it freshwater habitat, or ocean habitat?

                  • Harvey Reading March 29, 2023

                    Lots of that water is used for irrigation, a lot of it transported by canal (do the Delta Cross Channel or California Aqueduct or Delta-Mendota Canal ring bells?), making it available to points south, for irrigation and domestic use by metropolitan areas.

                    By the way, your first sentence is a cop-out, something that would be expected from one who knows nothing of its subject.

                  • Kirk Vodopals March 29, 2023

                    Salmon feed and rear in the ocean. They breed and raise toddlers in freshwater. Imagine someone throwing trash at you or driving a truck over your bed while you’re trying to make love to your partner.

      • Jafo March 29, 2023

        For more info about the whole involved environment, see Stronghold by Tucker Malarkey. It is, in my fish-biased opinion, an amazing read!

    • Ernie Branscomb March 29, 2023

      John Pinches knows more about the Eel River and northern Mendocino than anybody alive. Indian Creek in Piercy once had a large mill pond. It is an ideal place for a fish hatchery. Cedar Creek in leggett has proven to be an ideal fish rearing creek. Several other clear water pristine creeks exist on the South Fork.

      The Garberville Rotary Club had phenomenal success rearing steelhead. Fish and game stopped them because they were afraid that the steelhead would eat salmon fry.
      Mendocino made a big mistake not reelecting John.

  2. George Hollister March 29, 2023

    Dave Heventhal is correct. It would be far more successful to go after the demand for Fentanyl, instead of the supply. There are many approaches to be taken to suppressing demand. Prohibition is only good for black marketeers. Sending the Army into to Mexico to go after Fentanyl manufacturers has to be about the dumbest idea I have heard lately on multiple levels, and would do absolutely nothing to fix our drug use problem.

    • Marmon March 29, 2023


      Wrong again George. Most the young folks that are dying from Fentanyl are not addicts or even intentionally seeking out that drug.

      Illicitly manufactured fentanyl

      Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is available on the drug market in different forms, including liquid and powder.

      Powdered fentanyl looks just like many other drugs. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that are made to resemble other prescription opioids. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that their drugs are laced with fentanyl.

      In its liquid form, IMF can be found in nasal sprays, eye drops, and dropped onto paper or small candies.

      Our young people are being poisoned and we need to act.


      • George Hollister March 29, 2023

        The people I have heard of who die from fentanyl got their drugs illegally on line, and what they got wasn’t what they thought they were getting. Many of these people are minors. Did anyone ever warn them about the risks of doing that? To me, it’s like parents raising children next to a freeway, and those parents not warning their children to avoid playing there. Illicit street drugs have always been a content crap shoot. Any drug addict will attest to that. So that would be number one on the list of ways to reduce demand, teach children in school about the risks of buying street drugs, including illicit drugs purchased on line. You never know what you are buying.

        I think we agree.

        • Marmon March 29, 2023

          We need to take out the Cartels, end of subject.


  3. John Sakowicz March 29, 2023

    Kristin Nevedal had to go.

    Separate from the resignation today, there were significant developments, including the passage of comprehensive local cannabis tax reform and clarification regarding tree removal prohibitions that will allow frozen applications to start moving forward.

    County Staff is already working diligently to address departmental needs and the General Government Committee has scheduled a Stakeholder Workshop for April 13 at 10:30 at the County Admin building to discuss streamlining options for the ordinance.

    Given all the above, I think we can be cautiously optimistic.

    Let’s hope the County Auditor-Treasurer keeps up with these changes. Let’s hope, too, the past year hasn’t been an extinction event for cannabis farmers.

    • Lazarus March 29, 2023

      Ms. Nevedal should get some company with this. There must be others within the Cannabis Department that were complicit in this mess.
      And the County Council is clearly over his skies with the job. I grew up around a family of successful attorneys, and they kept almost every deal in-house, with no outside high-priced help.
      This idea of subbing out to a stuff-shirt firm in SF or LA is a sign of incompetence or insecurity, perhaps both…in my opinion.
      Ask around,

  4. john ignoffo March 29, 2023

    Smarmy Swami video is a hoot! Almost makes me want to give up reefer, but not quite yet.

    • Lazarus March 29, 2023

      If that was how the Cannabis Department was run, it is of no wonder the Director failed.
      I found the Swami video nearly incomprehensible. Mr. and Mrs. Swami nod and smile while Ms. Nevedal gobbledegook’s meaningless this and that’s.
      Why in the hell did they hire her? Are they really that lame about what the dope business actually is and how it works? Must be…

  5. Marmon March 29, 2023


    Trans violence is a much bigger threat to American citizens than a gun could ever be.


    • Chuck Dunbar March 29, 2023

      Care to fully document this rather insane allegation , or is it just one of your hit and runs, with no content or facts to support it?

  6. Eric Sunswheat March 29, 2023

    RE: ED NOTES. THE FBI has been politically weaponized since its inception.

    —> March 08, 2023
    The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged for the first time that it purchased US location data rather than obtaining a warrant. The disclosure came today during a US Senate hearing.

    Senator Ron Wyden … put the question of the bureau’s use of commercial data to its director, Christopher Wray: “Does the FBI purchase US phone-geolocation information?” Wray said his agency was not currently doing so.

    “To my knowledge, we do not currently purchase commercial database information that includes location data derived from internet advertising,” Wray said. “I understand that we previously—as in the past—purchased some such information for a specific national security pilot project. But that’s not been active for some time.”

    In its landmark Carpenter v. United States decision, the Supreme Court held that government agencies accessing historical location data without a warrant were violating the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches.

    The decision left open a glaring loophole that allows the government to simply purchase whatever it cannot otherwise legally obtain. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Defense Intelligence Agency are among the list of federal agencies known to have taken advantage of this loophole.

    The Department of Homeland Security … purchased the geolocations of millions of Americans from private marketing firms. The data were derived from … benign sources, such as mobile games and weather apps.

  7. Steve Heilig March 29, 2023

    (Deserves a repeat, along with that revealing portrait by Woldhek, as he seeks to return to twisted power):

    TALENTED AND WELL-PRACTICED IN EVERY VICE, a stranger to compassion or empathy, a liar and a cheat so complete in perfidy that he has elevated his dishonesty to hold it up as an ersatz moral principle, violent, so long as he can order someone else to do the dirty work, grotesque in body, graceless in action, in possession of a wounded self-regard so colossal as to smother any spark of grace, treasonous, not only to country, but to every ally he has ever had, the poisoned fruit and rankest flower of racism and contempt for women, and utterly devoid of shame for his moral and spiritual bankruptcy.
    That is your leader. That is to whom you give your money. That is who you follow and laud. That is whose banner you willingly carry. Why? Because he is a mirror, not a lighthouse. You see yourselves in him. He is what you would be, if you had inherited money and could shed the last vestiges of conscience and shame.
    No, I do not “respect your choices,” nor do I admire your loyalty and dedication to this miserific, demoniac vision. You have demonstrated not only a lack of civic virtue, loyalty to the Republic and to the rule of law, but a willingness to engage in violence and sedition at his slightest expressed wish. And you will never, ever admit you were wrong.
    Because you see your dark, twisted, resentful dreams in him. And to renounce him is to renounce yourselves.
    — Advocatus Peregrini

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