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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Breezy | Bell Springs | Hoax Call | Riley Missing | Poppies | County Park | Bovine | Covid Advisory | Spring Carnival | Grief Support | Roses | Keipp Memorial | Newborn Chicks | Salmon Habitat | Boontling Classic | Ed Notes | Lilies | Sacred Land | California 2035 | Run-On Beacon | Yesterday's Catch | Spring Is | Nebraska 1942 | Weed Greed | Healthy States | Ecstasy | Tourist Tossing | Blithe Confidence | Topsoil | The Cry | Garlic Harvest | Bad Officiating | Down Coach | Recovery Process | Social Engineering | Old Station | Ukraine | Caught | Wars | Sad | Luck | Draw

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ISOLATED LIGHT SHOWERS will linger along the North Coast through tonight. A weak frontal system will approach the area late Wednesday with light rain north of Cape Mendocino. A stronger frontal system will move into the area Thursday, with increasing southerly winds and moderate rain spreading across the region. (NWS)

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Bell Springs, Mendocino County (photo by Sandy Metzler)

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On April 3, 2023 at approximately 1:11 p.m., Fort Bragg Police Dispatch received a call on a non-emergency line. The caller stated there was an active shooter situation at the high school with multiple students injured. FBPD and an Investigator from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office were on scene very shortly after, immediately running to the building the caller described. Fort Bragg High School had been placed on lockdown, along with several other schools. The initial responding officers reported there was no evidence of a shooting and nothing was heard. 

Law enforcement officers from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, CHP, State Parks, and Fish & Wildlife arrived and began deploying out in search teams, doing a room by room search assisted by school administrators. 

Additional resources of multiple ambulances from Adventist Health, Fort Bragg Fire Department, and Fort Bragg Public Works responded to the scene. Multiple air ambulances had been called and six US Coast Guard rescue helicopters were diverted to Fort Bragg should they be needed. 

The school was thoroughly searched and cleared. There were no injuries to staff or students. After the lockdown was lifted, Fort Bragg High School released the students still on campus after their safety was ensured. 

Officers are actively investigating this incident. Shortly after the call to Fort Bragg, Ukiah PD received a call from the same caller involving a different school. The FBI was notified and are collecting any information. 

Chief Neil Cervenka said, “It is despicable someone would cause this much emotional trauma in our community. This event disrupted hundreds of lives and tied up emergency resources from the local, county, state and federal levels. Despite this being a hoax, I’m very proud of the partnership among so many agencies to ensure the safety of our community.” 

Anyone with information on these incidents are encourage to contact Officer Frank of the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707)961-2800 ext 139. 

This information is being released by Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka. All media inquiries should contact him at 

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DANILLA SANDS is on the case: The gun scare at Fort Bragg High School today was a prank called “swatting.” Take it away, Danilla: 

“There have been several false reports of an Active Shooter at different schools across the US today and in the last few months. Most have been unfounded, however response and investigation is still taking place to assure safety of students and staff. This is referred to as a Hoax or Swatting. Some calls are made from within the US while others are made from outside the US. “Swatting is a harassment technique that involves calling 911 and falsely reporting a serious emergency, such as a bomb threat, hostage situation or school shooting, to draw law enforcement — usually a SWAT team – to a particular place. Perpetrators use tactics such as caller ID spoofing to conceal their identity and location. The hoaxes Wednesday in Pennsylvania appeared to come from computer-generated calls, authorities said.”

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Missing 24-year-old Riley Hsieh [Photograph from his sister Jenna Hsieh]

24-year-old Riley Hsieh walked away from his Brooktrails home last Monday, March 24, 2023, and has not come home since. Despite a coordinated search effort by local authorities and reports of sightings, he remains unaccounted for one week after walking off.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office believes the young man to still be in the Brooktrails area of Willits. Via a post on the agency's Facebook page, MCSO asks that if a member of the public sees the missing man to "not approach him and instead immediately call the Sheriff's Office."

Further, MCSO states “Please watch him from a distance while contacting the Sheriff's Office, so that a dispatcher can update searchers while they respond.”

Jenna Hsieh, Riley's sister, told us in an earlier interview her brother could be in the midst of a mental health crisis, which could account for the instructions provided by MCSO.

The young man was known to often set off on foot from his home on Hawk Terrace and explore the Brooktrails area on ranging from Lake Emily, the Willits Airport, to the disc golf course.

Last week, dozens of Search and Rescue personnel from around the North Bay converged on Brooktrails combing the hills and forests of the rural residential area. Despite unconfirmed sightings of him at the time, he was not found.

Riley Hsieh is described as an Asian American male. He is 5’10” and weighs 130 pounds. Surveillance footage uncovered by investigators captured him on the day he left his home on foot wearing a gray robe, light blue pants (possibly flannel), and carrying a light blue or green bag.

MCSO is asking Brooktrails residents to review any exterior-facing security camera footage for any sign of the missing man and to be mindful of any outbuildings for the possibility he could have been in the area.

If anyone has information regarding Riley Hsieh’s whereabouts, please contact MCSO at (707)463-4086.

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(photo by Saffron)

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Indian Creek Park is the only park in the County Parks system that allows overnight camping. It is a popular retreat for many – visitors from all over the country have enjoyed this quiet “getaway” spot only 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Besides the roomy campsites, Indian Creek Park offers running water, picnic tables, clean restrooms, campfire pits, and BBQ grills.

Indian Creek Campground's 10 sites are open currently on a "first-come first-serve" basis.

Campground rates are $25.00 per night, this fee includes 1 vehicle. For any additional vehicles there is a $2.00 fee.

Indian Creek Park is located one-half mile southeast of Philo on Highway 128 (8950 CA-128 Philo, CA 95466). It is beautifully situated in a grove of large old-growth redwoods on the south bank of Indian Creek, near its junction with the Navarro River. 

For more information, please visit

You can reach the General Services Agency – Parks Reservations by phone at (707) 234-2875 or by email at

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Route 1 Bell Point Bovine (Jeff Goll)

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California and the nation have ended many COVID Emergency Orders, and many people and institutions are wondering what to do. Mendocino County has no current COVID Orders, and no new orders are planned after receiving feedback from clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and the general public. 

Public Health has used the best scientific evidence to preserve the health of our communities. Orders were required when the pandemic was raging and health care resources were threatened. But COVID rates have fallen into the range of a bad year for influenza, for which we do not write general orders. Nevertheless, no one size fits all and for those who are vulnerable, or who live with or care for more vulnerable people, additional precautions can and should be taken. 

So, what are the current recommendations to avoid COVID, long COVID, and hopefully another pandemic? 

I. Staying current with all vaccines and boosters is the best way to stay free of COVID. These are no longer required except for a primary series for Health Care Workers. The new boosters are more effective than the old and are recommended for all, especially those who are immune compromised, very young (to 6 months old), older, pregnant , new parents, houseless, in congregate living, and/or have underlying illnesses. 

II. Masks are very effective at preventing all respiratory illnesses. Vulnerable people should consider masks always, while others should consider them in indoor public places such as transportation hubs, shelters, and correctional facilities. Individuals should use recommendations based on the CDC Community Level (posted on the County’s website) to help decide when to mask up. Health Care Workers should use CDC Transmission Levels to help make similar decisions. People who have any symptoms of respiratory illness should mask to protect others, though children under 2 years old and some others are exempt. Those who work should check with their employers for additional CalOSHA requirements at work. 

III. Improve hygiene behaviors (handwashing, cleaning surfaces, covering coughs) and increase ventilation to clear the air of germs. 

IV. Testing is recommended within a day after a close contact with an infected person. If the test is negative, a mask is recommended for 5 days, but no quarantine is needed. Health care workers should test negative on days 1, 3, and 5 – but do not have to lose work. 

V. A person is infectious if their COVID test is positive and should isolate (from work, school, and gatherings) for 5 days. To get a prescription for PAXLOVID, they could call their provider or Sesamecare at 833-686-5057 to get a free prescription. This treatment shortens the course of the illness and decreases the risks of transmission and Long COVID. If symptoms are resolving and fever is resolved for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication, they may end isolation after day 5 (without a test), but should continue to wear a high quality mask until the 10th day. If they do not test, they may return to work/school after 10 days. If two tests on different days are negative they may return to usual activities after 5 days as above without a mask. 

Mendocino County Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren

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Don't miss out on this year's Spring Carnival! There will be lots of fun activities. It may be raining so make sure to bring a raincoat, rain boots. Don't forget to bring your easter basket!

This Saturday, April 8th, 10am - 2pm, AVHS Gym/Field

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GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP Starting April 2023 Have you experienced the loss of a spouse, family member, or friend and need some help understanding and dealing with your grief?

You are invited to attend monthly meetings to share and reflect upon your loss in a confidential and supportive setting.

There will be an informational meeting on Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. We will meet at the Anderson Valley Health Center in the conference room located on the east side of the center. There is no charge for this group.

Masks are mandatory.

Please contact Susan Bridge-Mount, at (707) 895-9291 if you desire more information.

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(photo by Will Lee)

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There will be a Celebration of Life for Debra at 1pm on April 15th at the AV Grange. Please bring your stories to share, we will have pictures and light refreshments.

— PJ Nielsen <>

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We have chicks that are waiting for you!

Frizzle Cochins - 3 weeks old $6.99

Lavender Orpington - 2 weeks old $7.99

Salmon Faverolle - 2 weeks old $5.99

And Cornish Meat Birds! Cornish Meat Birds are 50% Off - $2.00!

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by Victoria Brandon, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter Chair

The clock is ticking for northern California salmonids. Populations of dozens of species of salmon, steelhead and trout have been plunging for decades, and the immense schools that once spawned in rivers and tributaries great and small are just a memory. The situation is so dire that researchers predict more than half the anadromous species will be extinct in 50 years. The preponderant cause isn’t overfishing, or disease, or invasive species: it is habitat loss.

Northern California summer-run steelhead are declining particularly precipitously, with less than 1,000 adults remaining and the strong possibility that they could become extinct by 2050 without intervention and habitat restoration on the Eel River. Genetically distinct from winter-run steelhead, these remarkable creatures swim faster, jump higher, and travel farther than their relatives.

By far their best hope for recovery lies with the removal of Cape Horn and Scott Dams on the main fork of the Eel River, action which will open nearly 300 miles of prime spawning habitat, with cold water and abundant boulders, woody debris, and undercut banks providing refuge from predators.

PG&E’s decision to decommission the Potter Valley Project, the antiquated hydroelectric facility that operates the dams, has created an enormous opportunity to restore one of the North Coast’s great wild salmonid rivers, enrich habitat not only for fish but also for many other wildlife species, generate exciting recreational opportunities, and support the Native people who have lived in harmony with this land since time immemorial.

These dams are well past the end of their useful life, and with no solvent entity willing to assume responsibility for their maintenance their removal is inevitable — but will removal come in time to prevent these iconic fish from disappearing forever? It is time to put an end to short-sighted and dangerous delaying tactics and transition to a dam free future.

via Tom Wodetzki <>

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THE FIRST WOMEN'S basketball game I ever saw was in Singapore in, I think, 1964, and it was the first time I simultaneously saw and heard of women playing full court basketball. Unevolved young male that I was, I'm sure I exclaimed to the Americano with me, “Damn, these girls can really play!” But back in the USofA, women's basketball didn't really get going at a reasonably skilled level until, what? early 1980s?

RIGHT HERE IN BOOMSVILLE, the girl's teams, like the boy's teams, are sometimes good, sometimes not so good, although we've graduated athletes who went on to play at the college level, such as the late Graciella Torres, who tore up her small school competition for a couple of years back in the middle 1980s. (Graciella's little sister, Sylvia, used to sell me flowers until my wife pointed out that the flowers were from our front yard. I asked Sylvia about it and she conceded, “Some times, but I still do the work picking them.” Couldn't argue with the 8-year-old's logic, so I went on buying my own flowers. The family moved from Boonville to Florida where, I'll bet, Sylvia has done very well.)

IN OREGON, circa 2005, a friend insisted I go with him to watch the UofO women's team play Michigan State. There was me, him and five thousand women. There was one woman on the Michigan team who could really play, but the rest of the ladies were slow and relatively unskilled. Until Sunday's college championship game between LSU and Iowa, I hadn't seen a women's basketball game other than my granddaughter's, which isn't basketball yet but the 9-year-olds are getting the hang of it and have a good time running up and down the court. Granddaughter also plays softball and volleyball. Out of the entire Women's Movement, women's sports are right up there with the Movement's grander achievements. 

THINKING about the old neighborhood on Anderson Valley Way, another vivid child was Sean Kibbler. We called him “Wild Child.” Wild Child, like a contemporary Huck Finn, seemed to have eluded all efforts to bring him more or less into compliance with prevailing social standards. Since he lived next door, we saw a lot of him. He'd usually pop in after school to hit up whatever adult was around for “a coupla fuckin' bucks.” He was just a little guy but, as a shocked lady visitor commented, “That kid sure has a mouth on him.” O yeah. Sean was a one-of-a-kinder for a fact. My wife was not amused by the lad. “I really wish you wouldn't encourage him.” He always made me laugh, which wasn't exactly encouragement but I took her point. Sean was heedless of his social surroundings. I'm sure the school shrinks would write things like, “This child seems to have no impulse control.” Big time. I knew Wild Child hurled f-bombs like confetti everywhere he went. The local schools did an absolutely heroic job keeping him in school. But for all his social deficits, Sean had an untamed charm. You couldn't help liking him.

ONE DAY he comes staggering in under a bulging backpack. “Whaddya got in there, Sean?” He replied, “Fuckin' rocks.” Rocks? Why rocks? “For the fuckin' spics, that's who.” Easily provoked, and a great source of amusement among the Mexican kids across the street who waited to ambush Sean every day on his way home from school, the little guy didn't back off anybody, or groups of anybodys.

THE LAST TIME I saw Sean he was probably 18 or 19. He was strung out on crank, and was huddled, shivering, in the doorway of the old Pic 'N Pay with a bedraggled young woman as wasted-looking as him. It was cold and raining. “Bruce, loan me a coupla fuckin’ bucks, ok?” After that depressing tableau, I thought for sure Sean was doomed, but darned if a friend didn't forward me a facebook posting of Sean's where he looked good and said he was working. I forget where he was living, but he wasn't in Mendo.


Joan Vivaldo writes: “On 3/30/2023, Judge Faulder and Defense Attorney Mike Clough labored through a motion (one of three totaling 500+ pages) that Mr. Clough had filed regarding alleged wrongdoing by the law enforcement officers involved in the two searches of Mr. Stone's home. Judge Faulder gave the motion little traction, but allowed that Mr. Clough could resubmit it under another precedent. Judge Faulder asked for the backup documentation for the Mental Health Diversion motion, and Mr. Clough agreed to provide the reports of five mental health professionals, two prepared before Mr. Stone's crime spree, three after. The evaluation of the Mental Health Diversion motion is set for April 12, 2023 at 9am, and goes to whether mental health was a significant factor in the crimes committed.”

ED NOTE: This case will be three years old this month. There have been many delays by many of our nine Mendo judges because, in my opinion, Mr. Stone, well thought of when he functioned as a firefighter, is well-connected, in that his lawyer has managed to get him these endless delays with a view to the case simply vanishing one of these days into mental health counseling because, his lawyer will say, he's basically a good guy from an old guard Mendo family. Hell, we can all make mistakes like 30-40 burglaries. Nobody's perfect. As it is, and I wish the guy no ill will, if Mr. Stone was, say, Tweaker Bob Nobody out of Willits who'd committed numerous burglaries, he'd have been in the state pen about three months after his late night unauthorized entries in Redwood Valley, one of them occurring at Ms. Vivaldo's home just as she was about to go to sleep. Imagine hearing your late night front door opening and you find a hulking stranger standing in your living room. Mr. Stone's mental health was/is/shouldn't be an issue. He was deranged via methamphetamine, which is self-derangement. He got into the dope, his wife left him, etc., and in his chemical distress he became a late-night intruder up and down Black Bart Trail. And now he's being referred to the psych evaluators, and then he'll come back to the loafing Mendo courts in a year or so where His or Her Dithering Time Server of an overpaid, can't be unelected judge will say, “The court will order probation on the condition that Mr. Stone continue to receive mental health counseling. You're free to go, Mr. Stone. Good luck to you.” 

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PROF ZWERLING, kneeling before Congressman Press Release, slowly rises to resume the path of righteousness:

Sacred lands returned to northern California Karuk tribe.

The legislation was sponsored in the House of Representatives by our own Congressman Jared Huffman

Kudos also to Congressman Huffman for speaking publicly in favor of renaming of the City of Fort Bragg.

However, his local aide reminds us “he has no jurisdiction of the name of towns.”

But do ask the Congressman to support Federal funding for renaming our City, funding which would speed the day of a name change.

Philip Zwerling, Ph.D. 

Change Our Name Fort Bragg

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We understand by the new that the Albion River Inn has sold to a large corporate group that believe in health and what they do that in their story they don't mention how far the inn, then start back in the 50s as a place called Harbor lights owned by Florence Scott, and how her father rented garage in the same location along with a small store, they even sold Studebaker cars in the same location when I work for Florence as a bartender and had to go in the basement and change out the Coca-Cola and 7-Up dispensers you had to be careful, so he wouldn't slip on the motor oil it was in the basement, Florence least the spot out to a group of individuals and they called it the Windjammer, for a number of years and then she took it back and it was called the blacksmith inn , for a number years when she least it out as she got older to the people it just sold it out and it was called Albion River, inn now it is owned by a large corporation but it'll know along to be comfortable hold me tight business that we all knew and loved son in , Albion there is only one good restaurant left that's Ledford house, where you don't walk away hungry, most fees other corporate restaurants fall short of making customers satisfied at the dinner table or at the bar, as remembering heritage house the way it used to be, and even the Mendocino Hotel when Mr. Peterson Aldrich and it was a great spot in those days one by one, fine restaurants and the personal attention given by owners to not only the locals to traverse her going away, look at the large corporation that was to manage the sacred rock resort and where that ended up no one can afford it, just like most of the places in these little towns big corporations end up running the show deep into the ground and just plain, families can go there or they have a special clientele uses the anti-meat, was a pure begin and vegetarian styles, like I said earlier we need resorts are people friendly, and not so high that you have to spend the college fun to go out and go on vacation, after all not everybody makes a bit of million dollars a year, except that politicians.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, April 3, 2023

Alarcon, Lara, Lebert

MARCO ALARCON-FLORES, Ukiah. Disobeying court order. 

KEONO LARA, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ANGELA LEBERT, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Medina, Valencia, Wilson

JOSHUA MEDINA, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, parole violation.

DIEGO VALENCIA, Ukiah. Assault weapon, machine gun, concentrated cannabis, short-barrelled rifle, harboring wanted felon.

JEFFERY WILSON, Willits. Failure to appear

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Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window 
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully 
moving a perhaps 
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

— e.e. cummings

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Gas station and grain elevator, Gothenburg, Nebraska, 1942

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As an emerging industry with sky-high revenue projections, lofty social-justice promises, and ground rules currently being written from scratch, no business in America prompts ready comparisons to Silicon Valley like legal cannabis.

But though analysts project legal weed sales to balloon from $17.5 billion last year to $70 billion by 2028—exponential growth fueled by the beginning of adult-use sales in East Coast states like New York and the potential of a legal national market, as the U.S. Senate for the first time seriously debates federal legalization—cannabis businesses in legacy West Coast states like California and Oregon are struggling. Among other problems, they’re being squeezed by high taxes, low margins, and oversupply as companies large and small rush to enter the fray.…

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by Paul Modic

Have you ever taken Ecstasy? Is that what they call “Molly”? I never have, never wanted to, figured I never would, but now I’m wondering.

I have a friend living in the boonies far away from here who mentioned that he’d sure like to get some, had been looking online, found that most of it was from Amsterdam, but how can you trust that a drug is as advertised when it comes from the dark web, the regular web, or even from some guy who says he has some?

(Is Ecstasy what I need? Is it like an acid trip where you don’t freak out, because all my psychedelic experiences were freak outs, bad trips man, back in the seventies when I was in my twenties. Whether it was Peyote, mushrooms, mescaline, or LSD, I just wanted them to end, and I finally realized why: If you don’t like and/or accept yourself the “mind-expanding” drugs intensifies that feeling so I didn’t enjoy the experiences and just wanted to come down and go to sleep.) 

I didn’t take his request seriously, had no idea where to find it, but when he mentioned it again a month or so later I decided to ask around. None of the few friends I asked had that connection although one, who knows lots of people, said he had a stash of some six-year-old stuff. He was saving it to take with his child bride, okay, she must be thirty by now, at the Northern Lights music festival this summer and said I really should go. Umm, right, well, I’ll go with you and Jenny maybe I said, and he said sure, but wouldn’t give up any of his stash for my friend marooned in a cold red state under six feet of snow.

Drugs scare me, when I told him I’d ask around I mentioned that if it ends up having Fentanyl in it then it could be the last goodbye, who knows?

After a week or so I struck out and gave up, but then I saw a friend in the parking lot with his fake arm candy, his woman friend thirty years younger than him, drinking coffee and talking and watching the girls go by. (Old guys like us like to have at least one young woman to hang out with, why? I dunno, keeps us young? Gives us hope? She was in her mid-forties and seemed like a lot of fun, whereas my pet Millennial was usually stressed out and not very upbeat, but Boomers can’t be choosers, right? She does loosen up sometimes after we drink a glass of wine, smoke a joint, and then sometimes we’ll dance around on the deck.) 

I had a flash and said to her, “Hey, you seem like a ‘with-it’ kinda gal, do you know where I can get some Ecstasy? It’s not for me, I don’t want to do it, it’s for a friend.” 

“Sure!” she said, and started telling about an experience she had recently: her Ecstasy stash had been mixed in with her vitamins in her purse and she took it by mistake. It was about ten times the normal dose, she was “knocked on her ass,” and sweated profusely all day. 

She called a friend who came by to check on her and wanted to take her to the hospital when her eyes started rolling up into her head, but then she threw up most of it and recovered. (I tried to make a joke about maybe just sending my friend her urine to drink and she said she could have bottled up her sweat instead.)

“We’ll give you the ‘bro deal,’” my friend said, which was interesting because when I asked him weeks ago if he knew anyone with X he had said no, which is typical as he’s never willing to put himself out unless there’s something in it for him. 

“Okay, great!” I said. “I’ll ask him how much he wants to spend and get back to you.” I called him up to go over the details, he was elated that I had found some.

“Do you know how much a gram costs?” I asked. He wasn’t sure but his online research had come up with about a hundred bucks. He wanted $500 worth and I had no idea how much that was, how many trips, sessions, or whatever they call it, doses?

“Okay, I’ll put it out there so they know what they’re dealing with,” I said. “Don’t get too excited, these things can fall through at any moment.” He said he understood completely and I made the call, ordered the stash, and a few days later met them at the parking lot to make the exchange, as the money order made its way down from the cold snowy North.

I took the small brown grocery bag over to my car, opened it up and looked at it, and just then two cop cars rolled in and parked. They went into the store to shop or apprehend a shoplifter and I found two white chunks in the plastic bag, one large and the other small. 

I went back to their car and said, “Did you look at it? It’s two solid chunks.”

“No, I didn’t see it,” she said. “It’s very pure, make sure you tell him.”

“You can tell it hasn’t been stepped on when it’s like that,” my friend said.

“How do I store it?” I asked. 

“Probably a cool place, up in a closet would be best,” she said.

I took the stuff home and waited for the money to arrive, wondering if I should send it all up there and be done with it or keep the small chunk for, I dunno, party favors for visitors? Gifts for friends? Or what if I took an Ecstasy trip myself? Could it change my life? (I had been going through some high anxiety and wondering if I could tear down my life and start over.)

The money arrived, I seal-a-mealed the Ecstasy, put it in an envelope between two books, put a fake return address on the package, and shipped it off. I had told my friend that all the risk would be his if the money or the stuff got lost in transit and he readily agreed. Then we waited.

* * *

I got the call a week later: he had taken too much. He hadn’t believed me when I said it was pure, so used to stepped and stomped on drugs, although it had been years since he had taken anything like that.

He had a scale, carefully measured out eighty milligrams of powder from the bottom of the bag, even subtracting the weight of the mini bag, and swallowed the capsule. After about forty-five minutes he felt nausea in his stomach, which was to be expected he said, and the lights started to get a heightened glow. He could feel the amphetamine beginning to kick in and was beginning to enjoy the effects of Ecstasy, or MDMA. 

He took a drug which I had just seen featured on “60 Minutes” and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver, which showed people using it to help deal with PTSD, alcoholism, and other psychological issues, often with a couple therapists watching over and guiding the subjects (all men, incidentally) carefully through the experience. 

He was groovin’, listening to music and watching videos in his comfortable chair, very cold outside, and after an hour and a half he decided to take another eighty milligrams. Big mistake. (I never look at any screens when high, already on a powerful drug, usually weed, why would I want another one blaring at me?) 

It was much too strong, knocked him on his ass for the rest of the night and he could barely move, just waited for the effects to wear off. His roommate came into his lair, his man cave, to check on him, asked if he needed anything, and he told her he had taken too much but he’d be okay. (I wondered why he had taken more when it was going well, and it reminded me of the coke days in the eighties: more more more, the sweet seduction of the white powder.)

His hangover lasted two days, on the second day he stayed in bed all day recovering, it kept snowing, and the roof was in danger of collapsing. On the third day he felt like cancelling his appointment for major dental surgery but knew he had to go through with it, having finally found a dentist he could relate to. 

For two hours he sat there still hungover as ten teeth were pulled, the dentist scraped away a lot of infection from his jaw, gave him oxycontin and antibiotics, and encouraged his plan of going to Mexico to get implants when he could afford it. (He had also been wondering if the infection had contributed to his disturbing dreams.)

A codger of nearly seventy, he never did get to the ecstatic/lovey feeling, doesn’t know if he’s even able to any more, has plans for further experimentation, and recommends a very small dose with this particular batch. 

When I finally confessed that I’d kept a small chunk of the rock he was glad to hear it. “Just make sure you get a milligram scale and only take forty mg to start,” he said. “Tell your friends again thanks so much, it’ll last me the rest of my life.”

So now I have my accidental stash and don’t plan on taking any but ya never know, it could affect my life in a positive way, or mess me up for good.

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Already down the greased chute into the memory hole with scarcely a double-take, the following blithe confience delivered by FBI Director Chris Wray on February 28: “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”

The FBI now confirms the lab leak theory. Two years ago, if someone on Twitter had correctly said such a thing, in accordance with the principle of Occam's Razor, “That's the most plausible explanation,” the FBI would've instructed Twitter to flag the comment as “disinformation.” They were also meeting with Facebook executives in order to instruct them on how to handle “wrong” opinions. It's an old story: the powers that be do not strictly forbid the airing of truths, but they will indicate when the time is right for the client population to accept them.

The victim attitude: the virus happened to us. We suffered, withstood it with courage, displayed obedience to the authorities, the same ones who've misled us and have been disastrously wrong in the past, and we can not be accused of prolonging the pandemic by expressing any skepticism. We muzzled any doubts we may have had and affirmed a nebulous faith in “science,” as if a rigorous skepticism is not at the very heart of the scientific method. The victim attitude, now deeply inculcated in the American psyche, precludes the broaching of the most obvious question that might be expected to arise after any disaster of such magnitude: “How do we make sure that what just happened never happens again?” The most obvious question, suspiciously absent from public discourse.

A novel virus leaked from a germ research lab as the result of a security lapse. That has been the most tenable explanation from January, 2020, until this moment. Any organism that has been tampered with or “engineered” is ipso facto a human artifact. Why are these artifacts being produced? Prolonged meditation on the matter would be unhelpful to the biotech industry, the pharmaceutical racket, the weapons manufacturers, and, more broadly, any powerful interest that benefits from the continuing existence of a passive populace that has been trained to believe that the experts will conjure up the solutions to all disasters both natural and man-made.

As for the argument that the biotech engineering that resulted in the novel corona-virus is itself necessary in order to develop defenses, germ warfare research and development has always deployed this tautological charade.

On a completely unrelated note, the American people, properly focusing their attention on the latest installment of this or the other superhero movie franchise, blithely disregard the fact that the CDC is keeping viable a quantity of the smallpox virus in Atlanta, as is Russia at their lab in Novosibirsk. In both cases, the rationale is that this little smudge of one of the most potent man-killers in history may yet yield up useful data.

What could possibly go wrong?


Rome, New York

* * *

* * *


The ellipse of a cry

reaches from hill

to hill.

Soaring from the olive trees,

it appears as a black rainbow

above the azure night.


Like the bow of a viol,

the cry has made the long strings

of the wind vibrate.


(The people of the caves

hold out their oil lamps.)


— El Grito

* * *

Garlic Harvest, Italy

* * *


by Ann Killion

A wonderful sporting event was sorely compromised.

Sunday’s compelling NCAA championship match-up between two great women’s basketball teams was off to a fantastic start when the three officials working the game, said, “Wait, what about us?”

And they decided to become the story on Sunday. Not Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Not LSU’s Angel Reese. Not victorious LSU’s stunning 102 points — the most by one team in the history of the NCAA championship game.

Nope. The officials were the story in LSU’s 102-85 victory in Dallas.

Lisa Jones, Michol Murray and Pualani Spurlock-Welsh whistled the players for a total of 37 — many incredibly ticky-tacky — fouls. That’s a record. Ten more than the previous mark for a final. The whistles changed the pace and the tone of the game. The calls forced star players onto the bench for long stretches of time.

It was so bad that during the game that “The Refs” was a trending topic on Twitter. Star athletes, fans and media members posted their frustration on social media. Millions had tuned in to watch a great basketball game and they were left watching whistles blown.

The worst call was a technical foul on Caitlin Clark with 1:03 to play in the third quarter. After her teammate Monika Czinano picked up her fourth foul, Clark flicked the ball out of bounds. Not a hard, angry slam. Replays didn’t show her lips moving, so if she said anything it was muttered.

Yet the official T’d her up.

That was a fourth foul on the Player of the Year. Clark, who set a scoring record for a single tournament, besting Sheryl Swoope’s longstanding record, went to the bench for something a CYO ref might not even call.

Meanwhile, LSU coach Kim Mulkey, in her ridiculous “Look at me!” tiger outfit, actually pushed an official while she was stomping her feet and raging on the sideline. Well, not on the sideline. In truth, she was raging on the court. Mulkey spent most of the game about a foot onto the court, fuming at her players and the officials. Did she get T’d up for that violation or for pushing a ref?

No, she did not.

The embarrassing performance by the officials pointed out another inequity in the women’s game. It has become standard practice to have a retired official as part of virtually every big event broadcast crew, to provide some authority on controversial calls. The men’s tournament has that. But ABC/ESPN had nowhere to turn for insight into the officiating in this championship game. So, for all the push about trying to make the tournaments equitable, the broadcasting giant who has the rights to the women’s tournament opted not to include that perspective.

In the end, less horrible officiating might not have mattered. LSU was the better team with a deeper bench, helped by a breakout game by graduate transfer student Jasmine Carson. The reserve, playing for her third school and forced into the game because of all the fouls, scored 21 points in the first half, helping LSU to a 17-point halftime lead. 

The transfer portal has changed the game for both men’s and women’s basketball. Reese started her career at Maryland. Clark is returning to Iowa for her senior year and who wouldn’t want to go try to win a championship with such a dynamic playmaker who happens to be the reigning player of the year?

Even before the officials grabbed their share of the spotlight, there were plenty of compelling story lines to the game. Clark has been a star since she set foot on the Iowa campus, and became a national name in this tournament with her lights-out shooting from Stephen Curry range.

Then there was Mulkey, who coached three national championship teams at Baylor, winning another in just her second season at LSU. That was hard for many fans of the game to stomach, given her history of forcing gay players into the closet, of diminishing the sexual assault accusations against the Baylor football team and her turning her back on Brittney Griner in the past year while her former star player sat in a Russian prison.

So good luck to the LSU players if they ever get in trouble in the future and need the support of the coach with whom they just won a title.

After the game there was yet another controversy because Reese flashed her hand in front of her face, while looking right at Clark. Outrage on social media! Except that Clark had done the exact same thing to South Carolina players at the end of the semifinal Friday, without much outrage. Reese, who is a queen trash talker, said she was waiting to return the favor that Clark had dished out to another SEC team. Clark, who is known to be a supreme trash talker as well, seemed to handle it just fine.

Ask Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry how they feel about flashing a hand, or pointing to their ring finger, in front of an opponent.

The trash talk is just another part of the evolution of the women’s game. And fans are loving what they’re seeing. 

The semifinals set a record for viewership; 5.5 million tuned into the Iowa-South Carolina game, making it the most watched semifinal ever. The contract with ESPN ends after next season and the women’s tournament is expected to cash in big time after years of being undervalued.

Sunday’s game will likely end up being the most watched women’s final ever. It was going to be a great showcase for two programs vying for their school’s first national title, for two wildly competitive stars in Reese and Clark.

Too bad the officials decided it was, instead, their personal moment in the spotlight.

(SF Chronicle)

* * *


Stood two feet onto the court the whole game screeching at her team — which seemed to pay no attention to her — the refs should have teed her but didn't.

* * *

49ERS TIGHT TEND George Kittle talks about his recovery process after Sunday games, via the Theo Von Podcast: 

“I'm in multiple car accidents every Sunday…I've had games where I hyperextended my knee, that's gonna affect your season. Or you burst a bursa sac in your knee. That's going to be there for several weeks. And if you get lucky, you don't have to deal with that stuff, it's a little bit better, but you're still getting into these car accidents. Monday…I have to do a big lower body lift. I have to move otherwise you get really stiff and you get more sore. So you do a big lift, try to stay a little bit mobile. Mondays I usually feel OK. Tuesdays are really, really hard days…you kind of feel everything. Especially when we play on the East Coast, we have a five-hour flight back and we get home at 4 a.m., those are tough. You get in these car accidents and it takes like, Thursday to Friday is when I start to feel like myself again. The more into the season you get, the more your body is wear and tear, wear and tear, wear and tear. Really now how I see it is, if I'm not doing football, I'm doing recovery.”

* * *


Back before Donald Trump ever entered the arena, when I was starting to oppose something I couldn’t even really name, except to call it “creeping authoritarianism” and “social engineering”, I found that the reason I wasn’t making much headway is that a lot of people just loved those things, they loved being a part of that stuff. Whether it was as a willing victim (I’m not doing anything wrong so why should a care about surveillance cameras; I don’t use drugs so why should I care about pee tests) 0r as an eager participant, what I used to describe as “everybody wants to be a narc”.

* * *

Abandoned gas station in rural North Carolina (photographer: Carol M. Highsmith)

* * *


A female suspect has been detained in connection with an explosion that killed a prominent Russian military blogger at a cafe in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

Finland will officially become a member of the NATO military alliance at a ceremony in Brussels Tuesday. Finland submitted a joint application for membership alongside Sweden shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Poland has delivered "several" MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Poland on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Moscow on "espionage" charges has filed an appeal against his arrest, according to Russian state news. The US has called for the journalist's "immediate release."

On the ground, eastern Ukraine continues to face relentless Russian assaults, with shelling killing at least six people in the city of Kostiantynivka. 


* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

How’s the war going? Huh? Do you mean the war over in Ukraine? Or the US government’s war against its own people?

Well, the first one, the Ukraine War, is mostly destroying Europe — though, apparently, they haven’t figured that out yet. Europe’s industrial economy is toast without affordable Russian natgas. We turned off their pipeline for that in September and nobody in Europe objected. They just sucked it up and went back to smoking cigarettes at their café tables. A year or so from now, nobody in Europe will have enough money for a cappuccino (or cigarettes) and maybe then they’ll start asking the mental mollusks who run things there some questions — if they don’t just leapfrog all that politesse and burn the joint down.

The main thing about the Ukraine War is that the US doesn’t want it to end. You understand, it is not about any airy-fairy principles such as freedom for Ukraine. It’s about antagonizing Russia no matter how many dead Ukrainians it takes, because US officials developed a delusional psychosis about Russia after years of using it to mind-fuck American citizens, and we have to justify that antagonism by pretending we have vested interests in Ukraine, which we don’t, by the way.

So far, everything we’ve done to promote the conflict has backfired on Western Civ. Most of the rest of the world recognizes that the US has gone insane and they are taking careful steps to decouple from us — mainly to stop using our money for international trade. Really, would you want to have anything to do with a crazy person? No, you’d put as much distance between you and him as possible and stop even trying to communicate. If the world stops using the dollar in trade, the dollar will lose value, and so will the trillions in US bond paper held by other countries, which said countries will seek to unload as quickly as possible. Can you spell sovereign debt crisis? Look out below….

Americans, apparently, are not emotionally exercised over the Ukraine War because we don’t have any troops coming home from there in body-bags (not yet, at least). Many have probably noticed that we’ve blown over $100-billion on the project, and, along with the aforementioned debt crisis, that might just plant a seed of resentment as prices in the supermarkets and at the gas pumps shoot up and the mass job layoffs surge, and the re-po man comes a’knocking, and more banks wobble.

Of course, our Ukraine War project (based on the mind-game Why-Don’t-You-and-Him-Fight?) could end pretty suddenly if, as rumored, Ukraine runs out of cannon fodder and artillery shells (despite all our assistance). And then what? You’re left with “Joe Biden” looking like history’s all-time champeen loser, and watch out in the Taiwan Strait, where the US Pacific Fleet could get transformed into the world’s biggest set of floating ashtrays….

You get the picture? Now how about that other war: our government’s war against us? What canny reporters (Taibbi, Shellenberger) are calling the Censorship Industrial Complex has been pretty well outed. Everybody knows that the FBI, CIA, DHS, and many other agencies, via hijacked social media, have worked tirelessly to confound and bamboozle the public debate about, really, everything that matters. The odd part is that roughly half of America doesn’t seem to care. Of course, that is the same half of the country that has fallen in love with surveillance, censorship, political prosecutions, election monkey business, mandated mRNA shots, and other excursions into bad faith. Their auditors in the mainstream news media actually seem to relish their roles as enforcers of unreality.

This degenerate wickedness has been escalating since one Donald Trump stepped onstage years ago. The “Joe Biden” regime affects to have trapped him finally in the lair of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Now the game gets interesting. Since the charges are the sheerest vapor, the actual aim of this prosecution, as Tom Luongo and Martin Armstrong point out, is to goad Mr. Trump into a civil contempt citation that will allow the New York authorities to lock him up. The judge in the case will impose a gag order on Mr. Trump speaking out about the proceedings against him, and when he opens his yap — as he is certain to do — they’ll throw a net around him and drag him off to the hoosegow, and try to keep him there indefinitely, as they kept the Jan 6 suspects in the DC jail. That is, if the Bragg operation in New York City can extract the former president from the state of Florida, which may not be so easy, now that Governor DeSantis has indicated a disinclination to allow it.

As to the case itself, a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney — based, as it is, on multiple specious novelties of criminal law, not to mention being well beyond the statute of limitations. If it can actually get to trial, the prosecution will be a jurisprudential joke for the ages. If they get a Big Apple jury to go along with the joke, it will be short-listed through the appeals process clean up to the Supreme Court in a New York minute.

And if that whole thing falls apart like the janky jenga tower it is, there are two other cases in the wings — the bullshit case in Fulton County, Georgia, where the grand jury process was already compromised by a jury fore-person, self-identified as a “witch,” shooting her mouth off to the press; and the operation out of the DC Federal District run by one Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified papers matter — another loser case, considering all the other high officials currently entangled in similar complaints, as yet unmolested by any official charges.

Sound like a plan? Yes, it sounds like a plan to foment a civil war. Especially considering all the other crap our country is being subjected to by a bureaucracy-gone-wild, the regime fronting for it, and its legions of mentally ill useful idiots disturbing the peace all over the land. Probably more than half of the people in our country realize that the legal system has been hijacked by the same rogues who infiltrated social media and the state boards of election. They are getting good and goddam sick of it, along with all the mental twerkery around transgenderism, race hustling, climate change, and Ukraine. I’m sure it means we’re in for a thrilling spring and summer.

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

* * *

- Tell me, Tom. What are you sad about?

- El mundo entero.

- Who isn’t sad about the whole world? It goes worse all the time. But you can’t spend your time being sad about that.

- There isn’t any law against it.

Islands in the Stream, 1970

* * *

THE MORE WE LEARN about psychology and sociology the more undeniable it becomes that the question of whether or not you'll lead a happy and abundant life ultimately boils down to luck of the draw, but our systems don't reflect this. We still punish the poor for being poor, still punish addicts for being addicts, still lock people up for reasons that really amount to having been abused as children and being born in the wrong neighborhood. It's profoundly cruel, and at this point it's completely unscientific.

The realization that you only have it good by pure dumb luck should open up a transformative compassion in you for those who got dealt a less fortunate hand, but instead many people jam their heads up their asses and insist everything they have is the result of hard work and virtue. Human predisposition toward egotism causes us to lose our compassion for those who did nothing other than have less luck than ourselves, solely because of what it would mean about us and our cozy little "me" stories.

We've still got a lot to learn, and more importantly our systems still haven't caught up to what we've learned already. It's all a process of growing and becoming a conscious species, but god it's excruciating to watch sometimes.

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *


  1. Chuck Artigues April 4, 2023

    If you wish to test a ‘substance’, to find out exactly what you have; go to the website It costs $100. It used to be $40, that was really reasonable. They also post the results of what is submitted, so maybe you can find an example of what you have. Good luck, be safe

  2. Eric Sunswheat April 4, 2023

    (Mendocino County Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren)

    —>. April 4, 2023
    In an effort to fight back against an explosive increase in fentanyl deaths in Santa Clara County, officials are trying to quickly supply Narcan to library branches and teach staff there how to prevent overdoses.

    Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a nasal spray that helps revive individuals who are experiencing a fentanyl overdose. If successful, the county will soon have three of its libraries — in Milpitas, Saratoga and Gilroy — carry the medicine within the next two months.

    Though officials say there hasn’t yet been an overdose in a county library, the effort is part of a statewide push to get Narcan in public spaces.

    Assemblymember Matt Haney is currently working on legislation, AB24, that would supply Narcan to gas stations, bars and libraries.

    State Sen. Dave Cortese is also embarking on a legislative effort to have schools across California host fentanyl-related education and awareness programs.

  3. Harvey Reading April 4, 2023


    Good statement of the obvious.

    • Jim Armstrong April 4, 2023

      A good statement of bias, instead.
      Among many hunks of BS that can be used to identify those who want to learn and then inform about the Potter Valley Project and those who don’t is the claim of miles of habitat at issue.
      It is under 100 behind Scott Dam, Anything over that (300 here, e.g.) is either misinformed or a lie.

  4. Harvey Reading April 4, 2023


    …and a lot oil with which to make fertilizer and pesticides, since that topsoil was depleted of its nutrients long, long, ago. We’re operating on borrowed time.

  5. Stephen Rosenthal April 4, 2023

    I watched both the Women’s and part of the Men’s Championship games. Ann Killion nailed the former to perfection. A game of great anticipation completely destroyed by the referees.

    What struck me about the two games is how much more skilled the women are at the fundamentals of basketball. The men’s championship pitting Connecticut and San Diego State was a display of brick-laying that is hard to believe at a championship level. I don’t know what SDSU’s shooting percentage was, but I’ll bet it was less than 20%. I turned the game off at halftime when it was apparent that Connecticut was, by far, the superior team.

    So, in the end, both games turned out to be duds. One ruined by incompetent officiating, the other by a total mismatch.

  6. Stephen Rosenthal April 4, 2023

    So the name changer, champion of those he incorrectly believes perished at the hands of Buxton Bragg, refers to Ft. Bragg as “our City”. The guy retired there about five years ago, certainly not long enough to be considered a local. I wonder how many friends he has there? I wonder how many Native Americans are among them? I’m setting the over/under at 3 1/2 for the former and 1/2 for the latter.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 4, 2023

      Just noticed the typo – should read Braxton Bragg. Damned spellcheck. Not the first time it’s “autocorrected” me.

      • Chuck Dunbar April 4, 2023

        Autocorrect is so often incorrect, and so often really annoying. Save us from this kind of “help.”

        • Stephen Rosenthal April 4, 2023

          I should have disabled it years ago but I just remembered why I didn’t. Sometimes I write in other languages and it saves me time looking up exact spellings in those languages. I can’t set it to English only – all or nothing.

  7. Marmon April 4, 2023


    Have y’all accepted Donald J. Trump as your Lord and Savior?

    Guess who else was arrested on Easter week.


    • Bruce Anderson April 4, 2023

      Get help, James. You’re sinking fast.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 4, 2023

      If Jeff Blankfort, our resident anti-Semite, is given a pulpit by The AVA to allege that Passover is a myth (among other things Jewish), then it follows that Easter is too. Let’s throw in Christmas while we’re at it.

    • Marshall Newman April 4, 2023

      Amazing Marmon can get to a bathroom without soiling himself.

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