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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, April 16, 2023

Mostly Cloudy | Ky Unstuck | Another Body | Joaquin Wanted | Tick Bites | Pet Walter | El Nino | Drunken Assault | Ukiah Planetarium | Swollen Foot | Lovelorn Luis | First Cowbird | Bookshop Events | Chess Club | AV Events | Roysum Benefit | Yesterday's Catch | Kings Win | Westport Fog | Dancing Men | Ukiah T-Shirt | Marco Radio | Quake Riskmap | Deadpool Threat | Washing Machine | Strategic Leaks | Military Secrets | Ukraine | Stormclouds | Gerontocracy | Keep Looking? | Reck's Diary | Free Assange | Lombard Street | Catholic School | Giant Redwoods

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AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT is increasing southerly winds today, and will bring light rainfall to the northern portion of the area. A trough with a series of associated fronts will enter the region Monday through Wednesday. Impacts will include mountain snow above 2000 feet, gusty southerly winds, plus a period of isolated thunderstorms and small hail. Additional light rain chances will linger into Thursday for mainly Del Norte. (NWS)

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On April 13, 2023, Officer Basurto, of the Willits Police Department, responded to a dog stuck inside a storm drain in the 1700 Block of Baechtel Road. Upon arrival, Officer Basurto located Ky, a Yellow Lab, stuck inside the storm drain with only enough room for its muzzle to be seen. With tools provided by bystanders, Officer Basurto was able to remove the concrete lid (weighing about 80 pounds). Freeing the pup which was held at the Police Department until its owners were located and retrieved it.

Thank you to the observant citizens that called as well as those who assisted by providing tools and physical help with freeing the dog! Working together we can all make a difference in our communities! (photos by Laurie Robertson)

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Law enforcement is amassed this afternoon on the Round Valley Indian Reservation in northeast Mendocino County investigating the homicide of a teenage girl. This comes a little over two weeks after the killing of 20-year-old Nicholas Whipple. Tribal leadership, grief-stricken and overwhelmed by the valley’s inundation with violence, plans to proclaim a state of emergency hoping for help.

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To The Editor,

Watch out! Of all the counties in California, Mendocino County has the highest incidence rate for Tick Bites. Spring and Summer are the most likely times to get bitten.

Recently, I got a nasty tick bite and knew that I needed to get that tick tested. The excellent laboratory in Palo Alto had closed. What to do?

I contacted the most reliable resource that I knew about: The Bay Area Lyme Foundation. With their own reputable reputation, I was confident when their Development Programs Manager was able to refer me to TICKNOLOGY, a Colorado based laboratory. This lab test also detects the presence, or absence of other pathogens that can be transmitted in a tick bite. I am happy to report that my tick was clear of all those dangerous pathogens. The results were returned promptly, in a clearly readable form, at a cost of $35.

The lab contact is Heather Szerlong, PhD, at 1612 Laport Ave. Unit 9, Fort Collins, CO 80521. The phone is (970) 305-5587.

Want to know more about ticks and Lyme Disease? The April 22-23 Wildflower Show at the Fairgrounds will have free literature available. The Bay Area Lyme Foundation has generously supplied materials for your education. See you there?!

Beverly Dutra 


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Walter is cautious when meeting new people, but once he knows you, his happy, playful personality comes out, and he is irresistible! Walter walks nicely on-leash and enjoys getting out in the wild blue yonder. This little munchkin sure likes his toys. But his favorite pastime will be taking a snooze in your lap! Walter is 8 months old and 14 giganto pounds.

If you are a fan of the little dogs, get over to to find out more about Walter. You can begin the adoption process on our website. Visit us on Facebook at: For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453 in Ukiah, and 707-467-6453 in Ft. Bragg.

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EL NIÑO IS PREDICTED TO RETURN. Here’s what it could mean for California

The West Coast is still shaking off a historic wet weather pattern, with record levels of snowpack raising flood concerns in regions like the San Joaquin Valley as temperatures warm and melting increases — risks that will continue into the months to come. 

Weather models suggest that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation in the Pacific Ocean, which just recently saw the end of its La Niña pattern, has a high chance of shifting to El Niño. This transition to El Niño may result in a restoration of wetter-than-normal patterns come fall and winter in California. But other weather patterns could be obstacles in this coming to fruition — just look at how La Niña turned out this year.…

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On April 11th, 2023 at about 6:18 am, Willits Police Department (WPD) Officers were detailed to 209 Bonnie Lane for a report of a woman screaming. Upon their arrival, the Officers contacted one male subject outside the residence who claimed he had heard the screaming. The male, also the homeowner, provided the Officers a key to the residence and consented to their entry into the residence. 

The Officers announced their presence and demanded entry. The suspect, Owen Kenny, 35, Willits, responded by cursing at the Officers, and refused to open the door. 

Owen Kenny

While screaming at the Officers from the other side of the door, Kenny would immediately reengage the door locks the Officers had unlocked with the key. After the Officers made several attempts to open the door, a different subject opened the door for the Officers.

The Officers conducted a protective sweep of the residence and located several subjects inside. Kenny, highly intoxicated, was detained and the female victim was located hiding under a trailer in the garage.

While speaking to the female victim, the Officers learned that Kenny had followed her into the bathroom and prevented her from shutting the door. Kenny had blocked the doorway but she was able to escape past him. As she exited the bathroom, Kenny grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her into a bedroom where he sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to escape and ultimately hide from Kenny.

Kenny was transported and booked into the county jail on charges of: Kidnapping (Felony); False Imprisonment (Felony); Sexual Battery; Resisting/Obstructing/Delaying.

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Easter Sunday I was in the emergency room with a sore, dark-red, swollen foot. The ER doc told me I had adult cellulitis (skin infection) from some little scratches and stuff. They gave me an IV shot of antibiotic, a script for more, instructions to take all of it, and a handful of printed pages, some relevant, most not. Among those pages, this advice: If you don’t see any change after a couple of days, c’mon back.

So I did, yesterday (Wednesday) evening. Different doctor, different diagnosis. Doctor 2 said I have claudication, which is, literally, pain in the butt, feet and legs from poor circulation.

This goddamn cold April wind was howling, northwest to southeast. I am sick, I tell you, SICK of the unwarm freakin’ weather. I have no comforting fat layer. Blows right through me in ways I don’t like, being this old. Poor circulation and weather that refuses to warm.

As I checked out of the ER, a nice lady had me sign this and initial that. She asked if I wanted to initiate—not sure of the exact term—“last directive”? “final directive”? Took me a moment to get what she was saying.

“You want me to say what to do with my dead body?” I was startled; kind’ve amused, definitely startled. It was around 10:30 PM in the Coast Hospital emergency room with a dark, crazy wind I was about to walk into.

She said: “Yeah, well, basically yes, but you need a witness and get it notarized… Let’s leave it for some other time...” --and I was out in the wind.

When I checked in, a different lady asked if I had thoughts of suicide—“harming myself”. “No,” I lied.

Who doesn’t have thoughts of suicide—such an absence of imagination!—especially in end times like these, the entire world going to hell from a worldwide epidemic of hatred, stupidity, cruelty, war and sheer perversity? My suicidal thoughts have yet to reach the stage of active planning, but it’s a compelling subject and one I’d consider even if things were wonderful. AND, I’m newly haunted by the story of the two young women jumping off the Albion bridge—driving from UTAH to jump together off the Albion bridge. What kind of desperation...?!

The world has gone to hell over and over, sometimes without even a lick of human intervention. As for us humings, we’re a cunning and fascinating creature, but our design flaws are sending us off the cliff. It makes me sad to say so, but the world will be better off without us.

Checking into the ER on Easter, the lady asked if I have thoughts of harming others. “Donald Trump,” I said. She had a musical laugh. “That’s the answer I get the most,” she said.

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On April 12th, 2023 at about 8:25pm, the Willits Police Department (WPD) received a 911 call from a woman claiming that suspect Luis Hernandez, 41, Willits, had just taken her cell phone from her by threat of violence, threatened to harm her, and brandished a pistol while making threats to harm her.

Luis Hernandez

The victim told WPD Officers she and Hernandez (on parole for a conviction of Lewd Acts with a Child) had been dating for about 2-3 months. The victim stated she and Hernandez engaged in an argument because she was not answering her phone despite his repeated calls.

The victim was driven by a relative to Hernandez’s residence to pick up her belongings. While inside the residence, Hernandez told the victim if she left him that he would kill her. Hernandez reportedly brandished a large silver pistol at the victim to prove his point. Hernandez then ordered the victim to exit the residence and told her relative to leave as she was staying. Hernandez ordered the victim to leave her phone with him, intimating that he would harm her otherwise. The victim exited the residence and fled the scene with her relative to the WPD station.

Hernandez agreed to meet the victim at a closed shopping center to return her phone. Hernandez, still under direct surveillance, parked in the shopping center at which point the WPD Officers conducted a High Risk Traffic Stop and arrested Hernandez at gunpoint.

A search of Hernandez’s vehicle revealed methamphetamine and the victim’s cell phone. As Hernandez has been convicted of a sex crime, possession of methamphetamine is a felony. A thorough search of Hernandez’s residence revealed drug paraphernalia and a pistol holster, but no firearm.

Hernandez was transported and booked into the county jail on charges of: Robbery by Fear (Felony); Criminal Threats (Felony); Parole Violation (Felony); Possession of Methamphetamine (Felony); Possession of Stolen Property (Felony); Brandishing a Firearm (Misdemeanor)

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LARRY R. WAGNER: Amazing. I noted on my calendar last year that on April 15 I saw the first cowbird of the season. Looked out the window today, and what did I see. The first cowbird of the season! (not as sharp as I like, but I got him!)

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Thursday, April 20th, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Open Book Book Club talks about: Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher.

Thursday, April 27th, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Author's Showcase featuring: Paul Justison, Lost & Found in the 60s; Kim Bancroft, Writing Themselves into History; Spencer Brewer, Lost & Found: Assemblage Artists of Northern California

Saturday, April 29th, All Day Long at Gallery Bookshop, Independent Bookstore Day. Prizes, gift with purchase, Celebrity Red Carpet photo ops, Bookstore Day Exclusives, and our new Great Catsby merch! with Special Guests:

Kim Bancroft, Writing Themselves Into History

Paul Justison, Lost & Found in the 60s

Dot Brovarney, Mendocino Refuge

Katy Tahja, Orr Hot Springs: A Brief History

Carol Wilder, Living Northern California 1975-1995

Poetry on Demand by Jennifer Clark and more

More information at 707.937.2665 or

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ROYSUM BENEFIT: Benefit spaghetti feed for the Roysum family to help with medical expenses. Saturday June 3rd from 4 PM to 7 PM at the Hopland Firehouse. We will have a silent auction. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, April 15, 2023

Aguon, Arens, Chavan

MATTHEW AGUON, Manchester. Three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with child under 14 not less than three months.

CARMEN ARENS, Ukiah. Under influence.

DESIREE CHAVAN, Willits. Assault, battery, immoral acts before child, probation revocation.

Dockins, Estes, Faahs, Garcia

ELIZABETH DOCKINS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

ASHLEIGH ESTES, Seattle, Washington/Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia.


ADOLFO GARCIA-MARTIN, Oakland/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Hanover, Nunez, Orozco, Ray

ROBERT HANOVER, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

MARILENA NUNEZ, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation.

LUCAS OROZCO, Ukiah. Robbery, domestic battery, probation revocation.

JEREMIAH RAY, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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WARRIORS 'IN A GOOD PLACE' After Kings Earn A Generational Win For Sacramento

by Ann Killion

SACRAMENTO – Team Light the Beam versus Team Flip the Switch.
Would the Sacramento Kings shoot their thousand-watt purple laser high into the night sky, signaling a win? Or would the reigning champions flip their familiar playoff switch and steal a victory on the road?
As the good folk in the land of the sacrament have said for lo these many years: light the freakin’ beam.
The Golden State Warriors lost a thrilling Game 1 of the Western Conference first round series, 126-123. Starting the playoff journey on the road is unfamiliar territory for the Warriors. So is losing a series Game 1 – it has happened just four times under Steve Kerr. 
But in this strange and erratic season, one thing is certain: we can’t predict what will happen next.
“I think we’re in a pretty good place,” Kerr said. “We just couldn’t complete the game tonight.  But it’s a seven-game series. We’ll bounce back.”
The Warriors’ goal now is an initial split in Sacramento: with a win in Monday’s Game 2 they could still regain home court advantage.
Blowing a ten-point second-half lead was less than ideal, but the experienced Warriors aren’t panicked. A Game 1 loss would have likely been far more devastating for the Kings and their fanbase, who were amped beyond belief for the moment.
Saturday night’s scene at Golden 1 Center was a reminder of the “We Believe” years for the Warriors, except maybe even more intense. A team that was ignored, belittled, considered the very bottom of the entire North American professional sports barrel, hosted its first playoff game in almost 17 years. The first-ever playoff game in its pretty downtown arena. As a lofty third seed, no less.
The game felt like a generational moment for Sacramento, the biggest sporting event since the Kings were in the 2002 Western Conference Finals, a lifetime and a lousy arena ago. And it was appropriate that the event came with the Warriors in the house.
Because this Sacramento team is crafted very much not only in the Warriors’ shadow but also in the Warriors’ way. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was a co-owner of the Warriors. Coach Mike Brown was Steve Kerr’s most trusted assistant for six years. In less than a year, he has tried to create a Warriors-like culture of belief and closeness. He’s leaned on other Warriors links, like his assistant coach Leandro Barbosa. 
The tagline for the white-out playoff shirts draped on every seat even sounded familiar. “Feel the Roar,” brought back memories of those playoff days when the Warriors played in a place nicknamed Roaracle.

The sell-out crowd was amped, screaming its joy all night, howling their disapproval at the Warriors, banging thundersticks, shaking cowbells in an ironic tribute to Phil Jackson referring to Sacramento as a “cow town” decades ago. The Kings did an excellent job of locking Warriors fans out of their building; few were visible or audible.
In the days before this historic Kings playoff series started, Brown had three members address the team: Barbosa, injured guard Matthew Dellavedova and former Warrior Harrison Barnes all shared their knowledge of the Warriors team, what makes it tick, maybe where the chinks in their armor can be found.

There have been plenty of vulnerable spots for the Warriors this year. Playing on the road has been the weakest spot. Could this series – just a bus ride away – snap the Warriors out of that funk? Though they lost the game, Stephen Curry liked what he saw.

“We would have loved to have won tonight, but there were good learning lessons for us,” Curry said. “We played our best road game in the sense of meeting the moment.

“We were moving, flying over the floor, sticking to our game plan. For the most part I liked the way that we played… I like where we’re at. We’ve got to win one in this building at least, so why not Game 2?”
Though this is a matchup of a wealth of experience versus playoff newbies – a fact Mike Brown played up a lot in his pregame press conference – the Warriors can’t afford to be overly confident.
“Basically, their whole team has championship experience,” Brown said. “They know what it’s like to go through anything and everything at the highest level.”
But that experience also includes not buying into series odds, expert predictions or consensus projections.
Starting on the road is a humbling experience for the Warriors. In their dynastic run, which now stretches to 25 playoff series, this is the first time they’ve had to hit the road for the first series. That comedown may also help the Warriors focus: this is the price they pay for their erratic regular season performance.

“I don’t think there’s any overconfidence, especially starting on the road,” Kerr said. “There’s no way you can let your guard down. We’re not in a position to do that.”
Though the Warriors lost the game, they like what they found on Saturday.  After not having played for two months, Andrew Wiggins slipped back into the rotation seamlessly, making the team – in Kerr’s words – “whole.” For the first time this season, Wiggins and Gary Payton II were on the court together.
There is plenty to correct. Plenty to build on. And plenty of deafening excitement ahead.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Draymond Green said. “It was fun. It was loud. They were able to feed off their crowd. I think we handled the crowd as well. We’re used to a hostile environment.
“And this was a fun one to play in for sure.”

So let’s do it all over again on Monday.


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Westport Ocean Fog (Jeff Goll)

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Women love to dance—apparently more than men. I think it is an American cultural thing, that partner dancing, not just jumping around with (usually) very little connection to the music, has become some kind of a no-go zone for American men. Perhaps it is the lack of classes. It is really pathetic. Meantime, a couple that can do the bare minimum of swing or some other partner dance will soon gain an admiring audience! 

Latino men love to dance and tend to be pretty good dancers. So of course they have an advantage with gringas. But all-American guys think being able to dance is effete. 

I keep telling my great-sons (combo of great-nephew and grandson) to learn to dance, and they will have their choice of girls and they will have a surefire way to make them happy—and themselves, too.

In my town the salsa classes are full—of women.

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MEMO OF THE AIR: Heart of glass.

“If another child beats my daughter at soccer without being accused of having a penis and subsequently closely inspected in the nude by a strange adult, my daughter will feel humiliated.” -Yolanda Fritz

Here's the recording of last night's (2023-04-14) eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and

Email /your/ written work and I'll read it on the very next Memo of the Air on KNYO.

Besides all that, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

In a sane world, people who believe in demons and imps and Satan and angels and gods and leprechauns and goddesses and all that crap, and who literally take marching orders from imaginary creatures who torment them from the fizzing recesses of their own brain, shouldn’t be allowed to have any power in government at all. And if childish impressionable people are being influenced to vote a church’s way by churches, which, be honest, they are being, churches should lose their tax-exempt status. (You might have to click the sound on.)

Twinkies and monkeys. Monkeys and Twinkies. (Hear that in your head in the voice of Warren Beatty in /McCabe and Mrs. Miller/, muttering, “Pain and money. Money and pain.”

How we get Twinkies. How they got their name. When they switched and stopped making them with amphetamine and bananas because they needed all of that to fight Hitler and Japan... And now: "More than 55,000 Twinkies an hour, around the clock." That's 30 billion Twinkies made and consumed every year. The announcer is so right about the value of a Twinkie in grammar school: "At lunch, you could trade a Twinkie for /anything/." I remember having trouble keeping a poker face when in second grade a boy accepted my apple in exchange for a Twinkie. I was filled with glee, not only at the Twinkie, to have it, but that this was an indication that I might be capable of pulling this trick in future, for anything I might want in exchange for a worthless item. That this was something of a magical power. Other people could be fooled.

Bread chips in a comb on a log. Fish sticks in a croc shoe. Tacos on cactus. Bloody spaghetti served directly on the tablecloth. Steak on a lawnmower. Bacon paperclipped to a wire between plumbing parts. Something-larvae in crumb-cradles on a bed of nailheads. Everything else on various trowels and shovels, or a toy car, or a potted tree, a 78, etc. Shrimp on an actual Barbie. Clothes-pins. But I'll tell you, the fluffy milk-coffee in a cup made of a cinnamon roll looks pretty good. Oh! Idea: add coffee flavor and walnut bits to Twinkie filling, for artisanal Twinkies, /then/ serve them on a shovel. To 300 monkeys, in the ad for it. (via Miss Cellania)

Marco McClean,,

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Quake Riskmap

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by Bruce Babbitt

The Interior Department last summer dropped a bomb on the seven states that depend upon the Colorado River for water. It declared an emergency over the two-decade drought that was parching the West and instructed these states, already scrambling to conserve water, to come up with a plan to cut consumption of as much a four million acre-feet, an amount equal to about one-third of the Colorado’s annual flow.

Then, after delivering this blow, the agency retreated to the sidelines. Instead of taking the lead, it urged the seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — to figure out how to make the cuts themselves.

Since then the states have engaged in futile discussions about how much water each must forgo. Tensions have been most acute among Arizona, California and Nevada, the three states that get their water primarily from large reservoirs instead of stream flow and therefore are the only ones who can be ordered to make reductions. Arizona and California, whose allotments are much larger than Nevada’s, should make the biggest cuts, but they have been sharply divided over how to carry them out.

This week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland at last entered the negotiations over how the cuts — revised down to two million acre-feet — should be allocated. Her agency released a draft with three options, but it clearly favors one in which the water delivered to Arizona, California and Nevada is reduced by the same percentage for each state.

Secretary Haaland’s decision to engage offers hope for resolving a problem that threatens the livelihood and welfare of cities and farms throughout the seven states. But laying out these options is not nearly enough. Interior must now take charge of the negotiations and get the parties to consensus. Without that, disaster awaits: The Colorado River’s Lake Mead reservoir, formed by the Hoover Dam, will continue falling toward “deadpool,” the level at which water isn’t high enough to get through the dam to users downstream in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Coming to agreement will not be easy. To date, California has offered insufficient reductions in its water use, claiming that a federal law enacted more than 50 years ago — before climate change reared its head — places much of the burden of cutting back on Arizona.

Arizona has responded that California’s proposal would effectively shut down water deliveries to Phoenix, Tucson and other cities, devastating Arizona’s economy.

As the states quarreled and the Interior Department stood by and watched, precious time was lost. Secretary Haaland must make up for it, and fast. The impending crisis demands that she use all powers at her disposal to force the parties to make their fair share of cuts.

Interior has some firepower to pressure the parties toward agreement. All water users, cities and farmers alike, that take water from Lake Mead must have a contract with the department detailing the terms and conditions on which water is delivered from the reservoir. A regulation known as Section 417 empowers the department to periodically review those contracts to assure that water is being delivered and used with maximum efficiency; contracts can be adjusted to reduce water use that is not absolutely necessary.

The task that Interior must now undertake is to review hundreds of contracts to squeeze out wasteful or unnecessary water deliveries from Lake Mead. It will be arduous and time-consuming but it will help ensure that Arizona and California don’t dodge or delay the necessary cuts. If the states are reluctant to cooperate, Interior can modify the contracts itself.

One opportunity is clear: About 80 percent of Colorado River water delivered to Arizona and California goes to irrigating alfalfa, grain for animal feed and winter vegetables. There is still plenty of room for more efficient water use there.

If no agreement is reached, there will be litigation. When Arizona and California took their differences over the river to the Supreme Court in 1952, the court took 11 years to reach a decision. Imagine the harm that a regulatory delay of that length would cause today.

If states continue the present level of withdrawals from the reservoirs as climate-induced drought accelerates, Lake Mead (now at 28 percent capacity) and another reservoir, Lake Powell (23 percent), which is upstream on the Utah-Arizona border, could reach deadpool in the coming years. That would undermine the dams on those reservoirs, dry up the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and shut off water to Arizona and California, leaving their lawyers arguing their case to a wasteland.

A black swan event is also in the mix. Across the upper basin of the Colorado River, in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, winter storms have dumped record snowfalls. Some of the spring runoff now flowing into Lakes Powell and Mead is more than 150 percent of normal, leading some of my acquaintances in the West to suggest the crisis is easing and we can relax. They would like to put off the difficult decisions and the resulting cuts.

But waiting will only amplify the crisis. With accelerating climate change and aridification spreading across the West, delay will increase the deficit in our reservoirs, making resolution even more difficult. Interior needs to act now.

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Mrs. Coleman doing a washing at Irwinville Farms, Georgia, May 1938 (photo by John Vachon)

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by Matt Taibbi

On a flight, reading about the FBI’s arrest of Jack Texiera, already dubbed the “Pentagon Leaker.” A quick review reveals multiple media portraits already out depicting him as a dangerous incel who shared his wares on Discord, a social media app where “racist memes” and “offensive jokes” flourish. Writes the New York Times:

Dark humor about race or ideology can eventually shape the beliefs of impressionable young people, and innocuous memes can be co-opted into symbols of hatred, researchers say. 

Well, clearly we can’t have dark humor or innocuous memes! Gitmo cages for all!

The New York Times summarized key points in the secret defense documents, which among other things suggested “Ukrainian forces are in more dire straits than their government has acknowledged publicly.” Reading what’s out there, it’s not easy to parse what’s a legitimate intelligence concern in reaction to these leaks and what’s mere embarrassment at having been caught lying, to the public, to would-be U.S. allies the documents show we’ve been spying on, etc.

You’ll read a lot in the coming days about the dangers of apps like Discord, or of online gaming groups, which counterintelligence officials told the Washington Post today are a “magnet for spies.” The Leaker tale will also surely be framed as reason to pass the RESTRICT Act, the wet dream of creepazoid Virginia Senator Mark Warner, which would give government wide latitude to crack down on “communication technology” creating “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security.

The intelligence community has itself been massively interfering in domestic news using illegal leaks for years. Remember the “Why Did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s Hacking?” story by David Ignatius of the Washington Post in January of 2017, outing would-be Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had been captured in intercepts speaking with a Russian ambassador? That was just the first in a string of leak- or intercept-based news stories that dominated news cycles in the Trump years, involving everything from conclusions of the FISA court to supposedly secret meetings in the Seychelles. 

When civilians or whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange (in jail for an incredible four years now), Reality Winner and now the “Discord Leaker” bring leaked information to the public, the immediate threat is Espionage Act charges and decades of jail time. When a CIA head or a top FBI official does it, it’s just news. In fact, officials talk openly about using “strategic leaks” as a P.R. staple. In a world where media currency is becoming the ultimate power, these people want a monopoly. It’s infuriating. 

Watch how this thing will be spun. It’s going to get ugly fast.

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At least eight people were killed in a wave of Russian missile strikes on the eastern city of Sloviansk, Ukrainian officials said.

President Vladimir Putin signed a law Friday creating an electronic conscription registry that aims to make draft dodging harder in Russia.

The Russian ambassador to the US signaled a possible cut in the number of American journalists working in Russia after the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

A member of the Air National Guard accused of leaking classified US documents was formally charged Friday. The documents included information on Ukraine and Russia.

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John Rogers Cox - Gray and Gold - 1942- (Cleveland Museum of Art)

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by Maureen Dowd

For weeks, the hottest ticket in New York has been the British director Simon Godwin’s searing “King Lear” with a phenomenal Patrick Page, put on by the Shakespeare Theater Company.

“It’s a critique of the gerontocracy,” Drew Lichtenberg, the theater’s dramaturg, told me, a parable on clinging to power “when leaders are too old and unwilling to step down and let others learn how to do the job.”

Carl Hulse and Annie Karni wrote in The New York Times about Washington’s actual gerontocracy and the challenges of governing with “an old and frail group of lawmakers.” The advanced age of many senators — with their ailments and chronic absences — has diluted the power of the Democratic majority. Now everyone in D.C. is also wondering how long Mitch McConnell will stay as the head of the Senate Republicans.

The 81-year-old minority leader is recovering from a fall at a fund-raiser that resulted in a concussion and a broken rib. Dianne Feinstein, 89 and suffering from shingles, has barely been in the Senate this year. The Judiciary Committee she is supposed to sit on can’t advance judicial nominations to keep pace with the way Donald Trump and McConnell reshaped the federal courts; their handiwork is visible in the horrible abortion rulings being handed down. Chuck Grassley, 89, had a fall and a hip replacement this winter and has already filed to run in 2028; at the end of that term, he’d be 101.

We’re ramping up to a likely geriatric rematch between Joe Biden, who would be 86 at the end of another term, and Trump, King Leer, who would be 82.

Exploring dotage in a postindustrial landscape, Godwin’s production evokes Trump, Vladimir Putin, Rupert Murdoch and his “Succession” doppelgänger, Logan Roy.

The first scene is redolent of Trump, with Lear striding off his jet and theatrically waving official documents. Goneril and Regan are flashily costumed like Trump daughters.

Like Trump, Lear uses an ego arithmetic to measure his manhood and success. Trump would brag about (and exaggerate) ratings and crowd size — and even tally the magazine covers Melania was on. Lear brandishes his retinue of knights, which Goneril and Regan whittle down from 100 to zero, stripping their father of his pride and sanity. “I am ashamed that thou has power to shake my manhood thus,” Lear cries out to Goneril.

Other moments bring to mind the 70-year-old Putin, puffed out and militarized, driven mad by a shrinking empire. Blindness is a theme of the play; and Putin suffers a moral blindness as he pursues an evil war against Ukraine, and he has tried to make his country blind to the injustice of the invasion. As Gloucester says, “’Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.”

HBO’s “Succession” was conceived as “King Lear” for the media-industrial complex, as the executive producer Adam McKay put it, a blend of Lear and Rupert Murdoch. Logan Roy and Lear hurl thunderbolts of sadism, pitting their children against one another for control of the empire. (In Old French, “king” was “roy” or “roi,” though now it’s “roi.”)

Watching potentates negotiate over their children’s love, Lichtenberg said, it’s easy to see how the controlling part of ourselves can lead to our undoing. “The scariest thing that you can do in life, when you’re staring down the end of your life, is to ask if you are truly loved,” he noted on “Shakespeare Hour Live,” his online show.

Health issues felled the 84-year-old Logan Roy but legal issues may fell the 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch. The $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News goes on trial in Delaware Monday. At long last, after a shameless career built on spreading poisonous lies about everything from climate to Covid to Trump’s stolen election blather, King Rupert, as Vanity Fair calls him, may be losing dominion over his dominion because of Dominion.

The Australian immigrant who ran anti-immigrant news organizations and let Fox News thrive on the racist “birther” lie about Barack Obama reaped billions by putting Americans at one another’s throat.

It’s hard for a journalist to argue that a news organization should be penalized, but Fox News isn’t a news organization. It’s a greedy business that freaked out when some Fox News reporters actually told the truth about Trump’s lies, and then it proceeded to broadcast the lies.

It would be swell to see someone held accountable for the grotesque deceptions that corroded our democracy and sparked the Jan. 6 insurrection. Just as social media companies torqued their algorithms to spin up conflict and profits, Murdoch torqued the news, giving viewers what they wanted to hear and blinding them to the truth.

Thanks to the despicable likes of Murdoch and Trump, America is now “this great stage of fools,” in Lear’s phrase, howling at the storm.

* * *

* * *

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU RECOMMEND for America’s current political moment?

Part of me wants to name a long, quiet, relatively peaceful book. Something that requires resetting your mind, slowing it down, while also demanding a great deal of concentration and a willingness to tolerate and even enjoy uncertainty, ambiguity and nuance. In other words, a book that could be a personal antitoxin against the current moment. Something like Henry James’s “The Golden Bowl” or George Eliot’s “Middlemarch.”

Instead I’ll suggest Friedrich Reck’s “Diary of a Man in Despair.” Reck, a German novelist and travel writer, kept a journal between 1936 and 1944 as he witnessed the country’s collapse into fascism. His observations are sharp, cynical, angry, and sometimes darkly humorous. They’re also chilling and often frighteningly familiar. Knowing how dangerous his diary could be, he hid it in the woods on his land at night. Eventually Reck was arrested and disappeared into Dachau where he died.

— Charles Frazier

* * *

LAWMAKERS AROUND THE WORLD CALL ON AG Merrick Garland To Drop Charges Against Julian Assange

Seven U.S. policymakers, led by Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, have cosigned a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, calling for the Department of Justice to drop the unprecedented charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Tlaib is joined by New York Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Texas Rep. Greg Casar, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush. The letter comes on the fourth anniversary of Assange’s arrest and imprisonment in London.

In support of the U.S. effort, parliamentarians across the political spectrum in the UK, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil have cosigned similar letters to AG Garland, emphasizing the global implications in this case…

* * *

Lombard Street, San Francisco

* * *


by Warren Hinckle

My Catholic education taught me never to trust a priest under or over 30. They became quite vicious if anyone threatened their sense of authority or in any way profaned their pride, which I was constantly doing. Here they had given up their lives in the service of God. They got up at five every morning to say Mass, and wore lousy black gabardine slacks that itched, and had tossed their sex lives in the wastebasket and, goddamnit, they expected the laymen-serfs to click their heels and pay proper respect.

My four years in Catholic high school were a boot camp in guerrilla warfare against overweening authority. I served my sentence at Riordan High School, a newish cement-walled institution that served as sort of a respectable Catholic reform school for the children of lower-middle-class San Francisco Italian and Irish families and was otherwise distinguished by having been named after an Archbishop who had been killed by a train.

The student body was a monstrous assembly of truants who enjoyed committing battery on the men who had consecrated their bodies to God. The unenviable title of the worst of our bad lot was generally considered a tossup between myself and another student who had the unpleasant habit of boarding a streetcar and unzipping his pants and urinating in the fare box. 

In the World War II epics popular at the time, John Wayne always painted tiny Japanese suns on the fuselage of his plane each time he bagged a Zero. Similarly, the lads at Riordan maintained a running box score on how many religious we were able to send down in flames.

Our teachers were the Brothers of Mary, an uninspired religious order whose ranks held the usual number of failed hedonists and sexual malcontents. The brothers, who preferred double-breasted black business suits to the more traditional clerical robes, were on the spectrum of religious vocation between the dull gray of the consecrated eunuch and the purple glory of the priesthood. In addition to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, they took an additional vow, that of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, an inamorata they referred to with some intimacy as the “BVM.” The order was like a religious displaced persons camp for grade four and lower civil servants.

The all-male Riordan student body was warned about the physical dangers of public high schools, not the least of which was the hazard of bloody Kotex pads that shameless Protestant and Jewish girls were said to drop carelessly on dark stairways. 

Our contact with the outside world was largely limited to mandatory special pleading to the Lord to free Cardinal Mindszenty from an atheistic holding cell in Hungary, and reading about contemporary events in the brown pages of a jejune publication called the Junior Catholic Messenger, which featured front-page photos of the eminent Catholic junior Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, buzzing about the Senate subway doing God’s work in Washington.

Catholic high school proved an excellent place to learn the nature of bureaucracy and the fine art of bamboozling. I gained access to the school sherry supply and discovered the wonderful world of banquets and cocktail parties, the entrance to which could be gained by creating sundry committees, letterheads and other artifacts of eleemosynary hoodwinkery. I and my childhood buddy, a kindred musketeer named Gerry Davalos, got happily drunk every Saturday afternoon excepting Advent and Lent by putting on our good suits and walking into strange wedding receptions in the Catholic catering halls of the Sunset District, where we pretended that we were the groom’s relations to the bride’s people, and vice versa. 

* * *

Giant Redwood Trees of California (1874) by Albert Bierstadt


  1. Marmon April 16, 2023


    The Warriors did a good job at taking the game away from the King’s sharpshooters (Huerter and Murray) but did lousy in the paint. The 3 Kentucky boys (Fox, Monk, and Lyles) went to work. The Warriors in game 2 will have to guard the paint better which will give the king’s sharpshooters some more open shots. The kings in 6.


  2. Marshall Newman April 16, 2023

    Regarding ticks. Know that there is an antibiotic – doxycycline – that greatly reduces the risk to Lyme Disease infection if taken within 72 hours after removal of a tick. There are criteria regarding who can receive it from his/her doctor, but can be helpful, especially considering the time needed to test a tick. I took it twice after being bitten by ticks in Anderson Valley. No side effects and no issues afterwards.

  3. Betsy Cawn April 16, 2023

    Please say where the quick updates on the Ukraine are from? Thank you.

    • Bruce Anderson April 16, 2023

      Al Jazeera

  4. Kirk Vodopals April 16, 2023

    Re: Colorado River woes… Read “Cadillac Desert” by Marc Reisner for background on why, in the west, whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. The Colorado River allotments were created and ratified during a historically wet time period. Go figure.
    But Secretary Babbit is right, we can’t relax just because we’re having a decent winter.

    • Randy April 16, 2023

      When you’re out of water, you’re out of the game. Water hungry states “get over it, support your favorite political party and bus or fly your sorry selves to De Santis’ happy Mar A Lago state of Florida.” Funny thing: during two years of viral lockdown, I did not notice much discussion about the current clamor of drought, although any Dolt could have seen it coming by monitoring river conditions and storage reservoir elevations readily available through noaa and other water websites. The states should have been aware.

      • Bruce McEwen April 16, 2023

        The full and sobering story is in High Country News

  5. Michael Geniella April 16, 2023

    The Bierstadt painting of the redwoods is glorious. I don’t recall of having ever seen this.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 16, 2023

      As is Gray and Gold by Cox.

  6. Lee Edmundson April 16, 2023

    Mitch Clogg:
    I spent yesterday afternoon in the ER in Fort Bragg. Dehydration and low magnesium.
    Personnel could not have been better. Folks should never — ever — bad rap Adventist Health to me, for I am a forever fan.
    Mitch, write more of your stories. You have, like me, a lot of miles on your odometer. Write them.
    Get well — or at least, better, soon.

  7. Stephen Rosenthal April 16, 2023

    It was an entertaining game but the Warriors did what they’ve done all season – forgot what got them there for 3 quarters. The Warriors 4th quarter: blew a 10 point lead, abandoned the game plan of moving the ball to get open uncontested midrange jumpers and points in the paint and chucked up crazy 3s (68% from 2, 32% from 3 – 12% in the 4th quarter), commited lazy fouls that put Sacramento on the line with more than 6 minutes to go, and with the exception of DiVicenzo and Looney, stopped playing defense. They are now 11-32 on the road. It’s only one game and they can still win this series but “Flip the switch” – give me a break.

    • Marmon April 16, 2023

      You’re minimizing Fox’s 4th quarter play this year. Fox was one of top three NBA players who were nominated for “Clutch Player of the Year” award this year. All year long, win or loose, Fox has turned it on in the 4th quarter. He’s the fastest player in the league and it’s time for you and others to finally give him the respect he deserves. Fox is unstoppable when he gets it going.


      • Stephen Rosenthal April 16, 2023

        Not minimizing Fox at all – I’m well aware of his accomplishments. He’s a very good player who will continue to improve under the tutelage of Mike Brown. Just pointed out the Warriors season-long tendencies and that “flipping the switch” is an overused and lame sports cliche. As Bill Parcells noted, “You are who your record says you are.” Regardless of who wins this series, neither will win the NBA Championship.

  8. Eric Sunswheat April 16, 2023

    RE: This goddamn cold April wind was howling, northwest to southeast. I am sick, I tell you, SICK of the unwarm freakin’ weather. I have no comforting fat layer. Blows right through me in ways I don’t like, being this old. Poor circulation and weather that refuses to warm. (Mitch Clogg)

    —>. March 20, 2023
    Spring Equinox
    Welcome the Sunlight!
    Celebrate this special moment in a time of perfect balance between Winter’s darkness and Summer’s light.

    Reflect on your mid-winter’s hopes and dreams, then gather those intentions and bring them with you into Spring. As sunshine warms the ground in the coming weeks, plant your dreams and watch them grow.
    Imagine the possibilities…

    In addition to the day to day business of running the hot springs our rebuilding continues on schedule…

    Recent weather kept us busy focusing on safety. But work continues on schedule for the new dressing room and steam sauna as well as architectural planning for the restaurant. Check our construction noise updates before your visit and please expect noise during the weekdays near the pools.

  9. Briley April 16, 2023

    Dance comment of the day.
    My husband and I taught dance in Ukiah for 14 years. We are now retired dance teachers. We taught West Coast Swing and other dances too faithfully weekly. It was a struggle to get male students. We applaud all the male students who came through the class and appreciated each one greatly. (we truly appreciated every student who came) And it was amazing to watch the ones who stuck with it grow in so many ways. It was like watching a flower bloom. The confidence they gained was amazing, their self worth rose higher each week as they conquered new moves. Not to mention all the new friends they were making, the new social circles they were joining, the music and dance opportunities that enhanced their lives, it was truly a gift to watch those things occur all from learning to dance. And….as we age….dance is a proven way to keep fit both physically and mentally. So go, learn, enjoy and support your local dance teachers!!!

  10. Grapes April 16, 2023


    • “It ain’t over till it’s over”, Yogi Berra.

    • “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”, 16th century.

    • “The future isn’t carved in stone”, the future can always be changed.

    • Non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco, once cited in English as “Don’t say cat if you don’t have it in the sack [bag].” Italian football trainer Giovanni Trapattoni.

  11. Lazarus April 16, 2023

    “Dog stuck inside a storm drain.”

    I’m wondering how the dog got into the storm drain…?

    • Chuck Dunbar April 16, 2023

      I also wondered about this–a doggone mystery…

      Good work by cop and citizens!

  12. Frank Hartzell April 17, 2023

    Owning chickens is the best defense against ticks. Guinea fowl are even better at devouring the little monsters. The poultry have to be allowed to roam, but if they are they will eventually wipe out the ticks. Took a few years on our once tick infested property but they did it.

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