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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, April 27, 2023

Sunny | Joaquin Arrested | Stan Miklose | Sky Fire | Job Offer | Plant Sale | Saving Sweetwater | Ortega Mural | County Carryover | Beer Fest | Repeal Ordinance | Frog Woman | Price Comparisons | Latino Scholarship | 100 Women | Craft Fair | Boonville Menace | Hedgehog Closed | Old Schoolhouse | Yesterday's Catch | Warriors Win | Math Puzzle | Physical Contact | Carriage Ride | Coachella Experience | Going West | San Quentin | Ice Cream Social | Biden Again | Not War | Sky News | Much Violence | Ukraine | Firing Carlson | News Coverage | Ellsberg Week | Harry Belafonte

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DRY CONDITIONS and above normal temperatures will persist across Northwest California through Saturday. A cooling trend will then take place Sunday into early to middle portions of next week. In addition, showers and possible thunderstorms will develop across the region during the period of cooler weather. (NWS)

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MENDOFEVER: LEE JOAQUIN, ACCUSED MURDERER of 20-year old Covelo man Nicholas Whipple, was arrested by the CHP on Wednesday, nearly a month after allegedly murdering Whipple.

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Stan Miklose, of Down Home Foods, died Wednesday. They closed the store. They say the workers will open up again on Thursday. I don't know what's gonna happen there, but Stan wasn't the only one in charge; there's Roseanne. I'm sure it'll still be a store. For a long time in the old days he kept his house with his big family in it hot all winter with eight cords of wood per year. He hired at least two of his various daughters' old boyfriends to work at the store. He always supported my various publishing and broadcasting projects. One time I made up a display ad for Down Home Foods with the motto "Tomatoes [or strawberries, or apples, or whatever it was that week] that curl your toes like a great kiss!" and he said, "It should always say that. You don't have to change it anymore." And one time an angry little sweater-pill-haired man, pissed off because of something he read in my paper, looked though it and went to all my advertisers in town to /order/ them to stop advertising. Stan laughed at him. The guy rolled up the newspaper, hit Stan over the head with it, and challenged Stan to meet him outside on the field of honor! Stan said something like, "The sidewalk? The parking lot? You wanta go outside, go outside." And Stan gave me some advice one day about how to deal with people's hurt feelings and misunderstandings: "Walk like a giant," he said.

If you have a Stan story, please post it. I'd like to read them all together on the radio Friday night. Or you can call and tell me. I'll be in KNYO's Franklin Street studio for that show, where the number is (707) 962-3022.

— Marco McClean

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Wildfire north of Willits. The Sky Fire is located in the 27000 block of Skyview Road. The fire was first reported about 1:30 p.m.

Smoke rising south of Laytonville and north of Brooktrails/Willits. [Photo taken at 2:10 p.m. from the AlertCalifornia camera system]

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AV SENIOR CENTER has an immediate need of a dishwasher/janitor. Approx. 15 hours/week. Work on Tuesdays & Thursdays from approx. 9am-2pm and 1 other flexible day of the week for other cleaning needs. This person also assists with meal prep. $16/hour. Call 707-895-3609, email or stop by the center at 14470 Hwy. 128, Boonville.

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PLANT SALE at Blue Meadow Farm

Saturday & Sunday, April 29 & 30, 9:00-3:00

  • Heirloom, Cherry, Early Girl, Roma Tomatoes
  • Gypsy, Bell, Corno, Paprika Peppers
  • Jalapenos, Anaheim, Poblano Chilis
  • Italian & Asian Eggplant

Blue Meadow Farm

Holmes Ranch Rd at Hwy 128 , Philo 

(707) 895-2071

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The Sweetwater Eco Spa, Inn, and vacation rental management business is being sold with the property at 44840 Main Street. Similar local businesses were recently bought by mega hospitality corporations, impacting the employees’ lives and degrading the community. Therefore, we are calling for a town hall meeting at the Mendocino Community Center on Saturday the 29th of April at 7PM to explore options and strategize our community’s response to corporate America’s takeover. This article in the Mendocino Voice clearly demonstrates the threat that our small community faces:

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ON TUESDAY Ukiah Artist Anthony Ortega completed his work on the mural at Lucky Supermarkets, and the results are jaw dropping. 

All the details like the redwood trees and the pears are now in full, vivid color for all of Ukiah to see. The six-day process went by like a breeze as Anthony gave his vision life, one can of paint at a time. You can see the full completed work at 504 East Perkins Street 

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County Auditor Chamise Cubbison calculates last year’s carryover…

(Annotated by Mark Scaramella)

Date: April 24, 2023 

To: Honorable Board of Supervisors 

From: Chamise Cubbison, Mendocino County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector

Re: 2021-22 Fiscal Year End – General Fund 1100 Fund Balance Carryforward [as of June 30, 2022] 

Attached please find the details for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year End – General Fund 1100 Fund Balance Carryforward. 

ms: We thought the General Fund was the 1000 Series.

Cubbison: As you can see, there are many pieces that impact the Fund Balance Carryforward. It is important to note that there does not appear to be any significant new ongoing revenues, but rather a savings in the planned use of the prior year’s Fund Balance.

ms: The two long-awaited attached carryforward charts show how Ms. Cubbison calculated the fund balance carryforward for the fiscal year ending back on June 30, 2022. There’s a page called “Differences from Budget (over $200,000) For General Fund Departments” which lists revenue and then shows “unused funds” by department, mainly reflecting Mendo’s historically low staffing levels. Apparently, there was more revenue than budgeted for the Cannabis taxes (going back to July of 2021), and from bed taxes, delinquent tax penalties and interest, interest on cash on hand, and from other “various sources.” There are listings for “departments” which we didn’t know were departments such as “Emergency Medical Services,” (which is probably a misleading name for the Calfire Dispatch contract which appears to have under-run by almost $500k, which is hard to believe) and “Social Services Admin.” The unused amount for Social Services admin is just over $1.6 million but there’s a note saying, “One‐time buyout of MOE ‐ unknown if this can continue.” (MOE=Maintenance of Effort) Why is Social Services admin part of the General Fund? And what do they mean by “buy out” of “maintenance of effort”? But since this is an Auditor’s assessment, not meant for the general public, we don’t “see” much. There’s also an ominous overrun on the Teeter Plan by almost $700k which is not explained. We guess this is because the amount paid to school districts and special districts was more than the amount taken in after adjustments for property tax penalties and interest. If so, this needs a special analysis and explanation all its own. Years ago, the Teeter Plan was in such bad shape that then-Supervisor John McCowen had to make it a personal crusade to get it back in balance.

Cubbison: The most significant impacts come from the reduction in Cannabis Tax and also from Social Services ability in 2021-22 to “buy out” the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) County contribution which is normally required for Budget Unit 5010. The MOE for 2021-22 was initially budgeted at $1,564,659. I have not heard if it will be possible on an ongoing basis for that amount to be covered by other funds.

ms: Social Services admin should be billed to state and federal grants, so we don’t understand why it even appears as a “department.”

Cubbison: While the Budget Unit 1000 revenues were up over $1.2M [almost two years ago], that included a new high for Transient Occupancy Tax which may not be sustainable due to the economy and anecdotal reports that lodging businesses on the Coast may be experiencing lower occupancy. 

Cubbison: The Board directed that $4.5M be transferred from the General Reserve to a new 2022 COPs [Certificate of Participation, i.e., borrowed money via a bond] related projects reserve. The Board also directed that $2.5M of funds be placed in the General Reserve due to the determination that Whitmore Lane was a suitable property for a Measure B project and therefore cancelled the General Fund planned roof replacement which had been allocated $2.55M in funds. 

ms: Two years ago the County planned to replace the dilapidated roof on the Whitmore Lane nursing home building the County bought for covid quarantines. That was later dropped in favor of demolition and rebuild to be (wastefully) funded by Measure B for construction of the Psychiatric Health Facility which has not been reported on for more than a year. That technically freed up whatever was budgeted for the roof replacement. At last report, the PHF was estimated to cost over $20 mil based on a gold-plated, oversized facility put in motion by then-CEO Carmel Angelo and turned over to the wildly overpriced Sacto-based consulting architects who proceeded to add millions in design and admin for themselves.

Cubbison: The [Whitmore Lane roof] funds were transferred from the Capital Improvements BU [Budget Unit] 1710 back to the General Fund through Budget Unit 1000 ND [non-departmental] to be placed in the General Reserve during the year end close. The result is a reduction in the General Reserve of $2M and a use of General Fund of $2.5M to achieve that change after the reduction of $4.5M. 

ms: Yikes! What does that even mean?

Cubbison: Please note that Fund Balance Carryforward is generally calculated by closing all of the revenues (including year-end accruals) and expenses (including year-end accruals) to Fund Balance and then adjusting Fund Balance by any Reserve amounts, resulting in a final fund balance carryforward. This fund balance is further adjusted on the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) to meet Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that are different from budget-based accounting in Munis [the County’s nearly unworkable budgeting software]. The major difference is the reduction of Fund Balance on the ACFR for revenues that are anticipated to be received beyond 60 days after the end of the fiscal year.”

ms: Ok, so maybe some revenues expected for FY 2021-2022 were delayed but which apply to FY 2021-2022 if and when they arrive. This has nothing to do with budget management; just an accounting anomaly.

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Ms. Cubbison also attached a spreadsheet which lists all County departments and their “fund balance carryforward.” The line-by-line calculation appears to start with the department budget then compares that to the department’s expenses plus “adjustments,” “reversals,” “encumbrances,” and “designated reserves.” That adds up to almost $4 million including non-General Fund departments. It’s not clear what “fund balance carryforward” means for the non-General Fund departments. Is unused money for state and federal grants returned to the state or feds? Or is it available for local spending on the subject of the grant?

Without a department by department plain English explanation by the department, this accounting calculation presents more questions than answers. Presumably, the Supervisors are scheduled to discuss this report at their second meeting in May. 

Next up: the carryforward for this fiscal year which ends in about two months. Revenues are down, inflation is up, employees want raises, property values are sinking… A final budget for next year is due to be finalized in June. Is this Board and its nearly silent CEO up to the task?

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by Jim Shields

As most of you know, for the past month I’ve written a series of columns, drawn from legal briefs I’ve prepared, outlining how County Ordinance 4705 (so-called Public Records Act Ordinance) violated the California Public Records Act, as well as a seminal California Supreme Court decision rendered a couple of years ago.

At Tuesday’s, April 25 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supes went into closed session for approximately 90 minutes to review the status of an ordinance that in light of the legal research I was providing the Supervisors, showed pretty conclusively that it was unlawful on its face.

Saving the best for the last, Supervisor Ted Williams announced at the very end of Tuesday’s meeting that the Board will soon take formal action to repeal the Ordinance found by many, including yours truly, to be unlawful.

Shortly before Board Chair gaveled Tuesday’s session to a close, Williams said, “I want the Board and public to know that Supervisor Mulheren and I will be bringing a proposed action to the Board to repeal Ordinance 4507, that’s the Public Records Act Ordinance, and we’ve asked for the soonest time available on scheduling (it on an agenda).”

I want to thank Supervisors Ted Williams and Mo Mulheren for doing the right thing by joining with 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak to soon take action to strike down the illegal ordinance. 

I would like to think once the item to repeal the ordinance is placed on the agenda, that Supervisors Dan Gjerde and Glenn McGourty will join with their colleagues in a unanimous vote to repeal it.

(Mendocino County Observer)

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RICHARD LINKS: I shop at several Grocery Outlets in the greater Bay Area, where we have another residence, though we mostly now live here in Mendocino. The prices up here are often shocking to me. A typical example: a commonplace box of Wheaties: Harvest sells them for $8.59. Harvest at Mendosa’s sells them for a whopping $9.39! But, at Safeway, they were $7.49 after their discount. Why? Because these places are just taking advantage of gullible and uninformed customers, and in the case of Mendocino itself, they are ripping off tourists. Caveat emptor!

If you are a clever and observant shopper, even some Grocery Outlets charge MORE for some commodities than Trader Joe’s. Keep looking for good deals!

BOB SITES points out that it cost lots to get products to the Mendo Coast from Bay Area warehouses.

MARK SCARAMELLA points out that the big chain stores get wholesale volume discounts from their corporate suppliers too. And they get bigger discounts if they display their packages in prominent places with promotional signage. The big suppliers also discourage off-brands and house brands in a variety of ways. But why would anyone pay that much for box of Wheaties, especially since it’s high in sugar and salt? There are cheaper and better alternatives. My late cousin Lawrence Scaramella who took over the Point Arena Shell station after his father (my uncle) Joe Scaramella died in the 1990s was shopping at the Point Arena Hotel & Liquor store one day. Immediately upon opening the door the then-proprietor declared, “You know Lawrence, I can buy a gallon of gas in Santa Rosa for almost half what you charge!” Lawrence backed up and looked around the shelves and pointed and replied, “Yeah. And I can buy that bottle of Old Crow there for half that price in Santa Rosa.”

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The Community Foundation Mobilizes Coastal Collective Giving

For almost 30 years, the Community Foundation has stewarded the generosity of our county to uplift the nonprofit network and mobilize solutions to the region's most pressing issues. The 600+ local nonprofits reflect our region's creativity, passion, talent, and diverse need. These organizations have always been a cornerstone of the Community Foundation's grantmaking, but the pandemic highlighted their importance in fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and healthy Mendocino County. The Community Foundation is honored to power 100 Women Strong Mendocino Coast as one of its 2023 leadership initiatives.

100 Women Strong mobilizes community members to amplify impact through collective giving in support of a local nonprofit. The movement is volunteer-led, and 100% of the contributions go to the organization for its area of greatest need. The model has been proven effective with over 350 groups across the globe, including in inland Mendocino, which has distributed over $200,000 to our inland nonprofit partners since 2019. The model gathers 100+ community members, asking each person or group to donate $100. The money is pooled and donated to a local nonprofit, selected by the contributing parties during a celebratory gathering. All genders are invited to contribute and attend the celebration. 

The 100 Women Strong Mendocino Coast launch event will occur on Thursday, May 4, 2023, from 6-7:30 p.m., at Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino. Action Network, Flockworks, and Xa Kako Dile: will present, and once attendees have voted, all donations up to $10,000 will go to the awarded organization with any additional funding split between the other two. If you would like to learn more or participate in this innovative effort, please visit our website. The project has received resounding support on the Mendocino Coast, including but not limited to the following organizations that have committed in-kind donations: Cafe Beaujolais, Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation, Mendocino High School Audio-Visual Club, Red house Coworking Space, and the Color Mill. The Community Foundation has contributed project management, accounting support, and PayPal services to gather and distribute the collected funds. The Community Foundation's leadership initiatives provide an opportunity to tackle challenges requiring creativity and collaboration with businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders. Previous projects include the 2020 Census, the Broadband Alliance, disaster response/preparedness/resiliency efforts, and the Nonprofit Leadership Institute. Please visit our website to learn more about how you can participate or contribute to our leadership initiatives.

100 Women Strong Mendocino Coast 

Megan Barber Allende, President/CEO

The Community Foundation of Mendocino County 

204 South Oak Street

Ukiah, CA 95482 

(707) 468-9882 

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by Bruce Anderson

The local old timers called all us new arrivals of the early 1970s “hippies” regardless of our relative commitments to drugs, promiscuous sex, bad housekeeping, and George McGovern, the whole package being Boonville code for “menace.” I did not identify as a “hippie,” but was certainly a hip-symp, me and hip world sharing political attitudes.

The first open clash — the first time the hippies, as an organized force, fought the old timers — occurred when the hippies combined to oppose an upscale, over-sized, time-share housing project proposed for Navarro by a San Diego investment group. Us hippies having just arrived, we wanted to keep the Valley as we'd found it — condo-free.

It was a clear split. The old timers were mostly for the development, the hippies against. Of course many of the old timers were for the development simply because the hippies were opposed to it. And lots of hippies were opposed to it simply because the old timers, or “rednecks,” were for it.

The old timers also had the attitude that community seniority gave them exclusive rights over what did or did not happen in the Anderson Valley. They were citizens, we weren’t. To the old timers, these long-haired libertines suddenly thrust among the decent people of Anderson Valley represented walking insults to all right thinking persons, and who the hell did these freaks think they were, coming in here and complaining about everything? The old timers had been in the Valley all their lives, and by god they weren’t going to be pushed around by a bunch of unwashed communists who just got into town yesterday,

The high school gym was packed for a meeting called by the would-be developers who anticipated the event as a show of relative strength. The developers had apparently been assured that the only opponents to their faux-Aztec piles of sterile boxes proposed for the northwest end of the Valley were a few stoned malcontents who would realize how isolated they were when the true community assembled in one place.

But the hippies turned out in such numbers that they took up one whole side of the gym, while the old timers, glowering on the other side, seemed surprised that there were now enough hippies in the Anderson Valley to oppose bad ideas, and this thing proposed for Navarro by the San Diego condo gang was a very bad idea for many reasons beginning with its overwhelming size and the impact the monstrosity would have on the battered, overdrawn Navarro river.

The old timers cheered the developer’s rep, a glib young man who emphasized what an economic boon the condo plan would be to an area perennially short of jobs. The arguments went back and forth, as did groans from the opposing sides at the more provocative statements by each.

Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Gowan, circa 1930

But then there was a dramatic and major defection from what the old timers saw as their side, the right side, in the form of an old, old timer named Cecil Gowan who tottered up to the mike and, looking directly at the old timer’s side of the gym said, “As a lot of you people know, the Navarro dries up most summers. There’s not near enough water for a development as big as this one. I’m against it.”

Doubling his apostasy, the old man slowly made his way to the hippie side of the gym and sat down among The Enemy. The hippies cheered and beat their feet on the wooden bleachers.

The old timers were silent, many of them undoubtedly thinking, “Doesn’t that old fool know this isn’t about water? It’s about Us against Them!”

No sooner had Gowan been embraced by the hippies than Myrtis Schoenahl, a formidably large woman unaccustomed to defeat, walked briskly to the microphone. Mrs. Schoenahl glared at the hippie side of the gym before she yelled into the mike, “Can you hear me?”

A few people on the hippie side of the gym cringed in mock terror at the aural assault. A long hair shouted, “No! Louder!” The hippies laughed. Even a few old timers couldn’t help chuckling.

Mrs. Schoenahl got right to the point.

“This is really very simple,” she shouted. “What do we want in Anderson Valley? Nice houses for nice people or teepees for more hippies?”

The gym exploded into competing cries.

“Teepees! More hippies!” the hippies shouted.

“Nice people! Nice houses!” the old timers yelled back.

The issue wasn’t decided that night, but the hippies went on to a resounding victory. They collected money for a lawyer, accumulated negative environmental testimony, got ready to haul the condo brains into court. The old timers didn’t do anything but complain about “hippies taking over,” as if the capture of the dusty, semi-abandoned hamlets of Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, and Navarro was a great coup.

Great or not the San Diego-based developers soon gave up. The hippies won that one. They'd achieved political parity with the old timers. and would soon elect a conservative Democrat, the first of many, as their very own supervisor whose supporters, ironically, lied their guy into office by spreading the utterly false claim that the incumbent supervisor, Ted Galletti of Point Arena, was behind another huge condo project allegedly proposed for Cameron Road near Elk.

But the old timers went down hard. and continued to fight the hippies whenever they saw the hippies moving to consolidate power. The old timers kept control of the Boonville school board for another few years, they held on to the Community Services board for a while, and to this day they have the Boonville-based Mendocino County Fair Board in a seemingly unbreakable headlock.

One big victory over the hippies. as the old timers saw it, was the prevention of a community swimming pool.

The State Fire Marshal’s office had decreed that a sprinkler system be installed in the Fairgrounds’ several exhibition halls. Technically, a state-owned, i.e., public facility, the Fairgrounds sit on twenty or so under-used, fenced-off acres in the center of Boonville. From the outside, the place looks like a medium security prison. Inside, it is one. Or at least its heavy institutional vibes are not what you would call liberating. Trespassers, known in the outside world as taxpayers, can expect an immediate heave-ho if they happen to walk on in and spread out a picnic on a Fairgrounds lawn.

Onerous insurance and rent rates, arbitrarily imposed by the local board of directors, discourage use of the facilities between annual fairs, although over the recent past commercially driven music, wine and beer events have drawn thousands of people to Boonville for weekend debauches on the facility’s grudging premises. These events, of course, can pay the big fees.

But through the 1970s and well into the 1980s, the Fairgrounds several acres of grass and trees were open to the public only for the four annual days of the September fair while the high school football team was gang tackled in sheep shit left on the rodeo infield by a fair board insider whose animals grazed free “to keep the grass down.”

To be effective, sprinkler systems need a lot of water in a big hurry. To get a lot of water in a big hurry you need a standing pool of the stuff. Hey! I’ve got it! A swimming pool! Perfect. Water for fires, a healthy place for kids to spend those long summer afternoons. Cloverdale, which also has a fairgrounds in the middle of town, installed the required sprinkler system with a community swimming pool as the system’s water supply. Sensible people naturally assumed Boonville would follow Cloverdale’s one-stone, two-bird lead and do the same.

But an unusually hysterical — even by their seething standards — segment of the old timers besieged their hippie-fightin’ pals sitting as trustees on the fair board, begging their buddies not to build a community pool for water storage because You Know Who would swim in it. Not only would You Know Who swim in it, You Know Who would swim in it nekkid! Buck nekkid! And disease? Why bless me, Janese, it’s a known fact that hippies are walking pustules of fatal poxes, plus a few new ones they’ve probably developed right here in the hills of Boonville! If there was a community pool at the Fairgrounds every kid in the valley would soon be a walking contagion of communicable cooties.

The option to a combined water storage and community swimming pool was a storage tank, and the damn hippies and their feral, lice-bearing children could hardly swim in that, could they? Hell, they'd have to climb up the thing and pry its top off to get in. Har de har.

To ensure that Boonville opted for the storage tank, the old timers, perhaps having learned an activist lesson from the hippies who'd defeated them over the proposed Navarro condo development, began circulating petitions against a community swimming pool. A handful of perpetually angry women — rednecks seem partial to the “chicks up front” approach to public controversies — stationed themselves at the Valley’s four post offices, petitions in their determined hands. Any person who in the slightest resembled a hippie, any person who looked like he might be susceptible to hip-think, the petitioners spun out taxpayer arguments, primarily that a public swimming pool would cost too much to build and maintain.

But to people they recognized, people the hysterics knew held the correct retro opinions, the gargoyles would come right out with their true objection to the pool. “Do you want your kids swimming in the same water as hippies? Do you want your children to get sick?”

The specter of hippie-itis trumped community benefit. The battle axes presented their petitions to their allies on the Fair Board and, to this day, at the south end of the Fairgrounds grandstand sits a huge metal water tank with a cartoon bronco buster a’bustin’ his bronc painted on it. That eyesore could have been, should have been, a community swimming pool if it weren’t for the pure terror inspired in primitive minds by the vision of verminous hippie dippers enjoying a swim alongside antiseptic little Republicans.

But only a few years later, the sons and daughters of hippies and rednecks were not only swimming nude together up at Maple Basin, they were marrying each other, and soon a whole new plague-proof beast, the hipneck, was born, and Anderson Valley was at last one.

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HEDGEHOG BOOKS in Boonville is closed until mid-late June. We hope to see you then!

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by Joan Burroughs

Boonville's Little Red Schoolhouse history started long before the building was moved to its present location and happily painted red. 

The original Boonville schoolhouse was located on the Fry property back in the day. The school at that time was called Cohn Creek School. The school opened November 9, 1876. Today, the Fry property is owned by the Wasson family on Anderson Valley Way: the two-story Fry home still stands nearby. 

On July 9,1881 according to wishes of residents most of whom asked local school district boundaries be changed, the Board of Supervisors obliged and dutifully changed the boundaries - Con Creek Schoolhouse was officially recognized and documented.

History research reveals many moons ago Boonville residents decided to move the school house to another location. They assembled their horses and wagons together and headed north up the hill from the Fry area dragging the schoolhouse building behind them to a new piece of property where the schoolhouse is located today. 

I served on the local school board when the state declared older schools could no longer be used for any school activity due to earthquake issues. At a board meeting in October,1978 with support from Cecil Gowan, it was preferred the schoolhouse be leased to a non-profit group of local citizens to continue its usefulness for the community. It was a close vote 3-2; however, the motion to lease the school property to a local non-profit group thankfully passed. 

In 1978 the property was sold to the Anderson Valley Community Service District by the local non-profit group through a ninety-nine year lease agreement. AVCSD received grant funding through State Parks and Recreation during that same time period; the funding was available so AVCSD directors voted to assist the museum, they offered to purchase the property and building through a long-term lease to the Anderson Valley Historical Society, the agreement was finalized when AVCSD took title in July 1979.

In 1979 a group of graduating kindergartners gathered for a ceremony on the Con Creek School grounds; they were the final students to occupy the school. Their teacher was Ellen Tinkler. 

Local non-profit group members led by retired school superintendent Robert Mathias started doing repairs and upgrades to the building, they formed a board of voting members similar to the group that exists today. They wrote their by-laws, elected officers, collected Anderson Valley historical documents, and artifacts. The Anderson Valley Historical Society was legally chartered, Ray Eubanks took over as Curator. 

In 1965 the State Division of Highways made plans to construct a highway by-pass adjacent to Anderson Valley Way. Con Creek Schoolhouse was in the way. The state and those involved reached an agreement, the schoolhouse was realigned to face north from its westerly position, the school was placed on a new foundation, additions added, improvements made. The result is our little red schoolhouse: well maintained, appreciated, protected, painted red, and loved. 

The museum is managed by dedicated members of the current Anderson Valley Historical Society board. Members donate their time to the preservation of this historic building. The museum is an exceptional resource for old timers as well as new timers. It served Anderson Valley students for 103 years - today the building is at least one hundred forty-seven years old. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Bonnilla, Coughlin, Gitlin, Jackson

JOSE BONILLA-VELASQUEZ, Daly City/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

GARRETT COUGHLIN, Redwood Valley. Fugitive from justice, resisting.

ABRAHAM GITLIN, Sebastopol/Ukiah. Battery.

JAY JACKSON, Willits. Vehicle theft, stolen property.

Jensen, McGary, McMurphy, Vasquez

KENDALL JENSEN, Ukiah. Battery.

JESSE MCGARY, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

JEROME MCMURPHY, Ukiah. Indecent exposure with priors, parole violation.

MARCOS VASQUEZ, Ukiah. Burglary, domestic battery, with prior felonies. 

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STEPH CURRY ROARS, Warriors' core cherishes what Game 5 win over Kings means to them

by Ann Killion

SACRAMENTO — Stephen Curry roared. Klay Thompson raised his arms high and hopped up and down. Draymond Green slapped five with Curry in the backcourt. The arena began to empty. The few pockets of blue and gold-clad Golden State Warriors fans celebrated loudly.

And it was all so very familiar.

“Very familiar,” Thompson said. “The season is so long, and there’s a lot of ups and downs and idle time between games, but it makes it all worth it, when you walk off the floor victorious. Especially with the guys you’ve been with a decade-plus.

“That’s so rare in professional sports… It’s something we’ll cherish forever.”

Wednesday night, the Warriors' dynastic trio did what we have seen it do so many times. What we fully expect them to do. For the 28th consecutive playoff series, they won a game on the road, beating the Sacramento Kings 123-116.

And now the Warriors are one win away from eliminating the Kings and advancing to the Western Conference semifinals. Game 6 will be played on Friday night, with an early tipoff at 5 p.m.

At times on Wednesday night the dynasty created by Curry, Thompson and Green seemed to be hanging in the balance, as the Kings opened up a ten-point lead in the first quarter and kept surging back again and again. The reigning champions looked vulnerable.

But the team that stumbled to 32 losses on the road this year, including the first two games of this series, finally got a momentous road victory. And their coach was not surprised at all.

“This is a team that won a championship last year, that has won a ton of road playoff games,” Steve Kerr said. “Our guys know how to do it. And they got it done.”

It was the original three, plus Kevon Looney, who took over the game at crunch time. Curry, Thompson and Green combined for 76 points. They were all on the floor, along with Looney and Andrew Wiggins, to close out the game, squeezing the life out of the Kings, wringing the will out of the crowd.

“We’ve played in the most pressurized environments,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of experience.”

Every playoff journey of the Warriors is different. This one started with two road losses, putting the trio in a place they had never been before. That makes the chance to win four straight over the Kings even sweeter.

“We understand the pressure that is on us in these situations,” Green said.

They know how to do this. In that knowledge comes a confidence and a calm in the most heated moments.

No one knows how long this playoff run will last. No one knows if there’s another chapter in the dynasty to be written. But no one should take a single moment of this for granted.

In the world of professional sports — a world rife with injuries and trades and free agency and oversized egos and bitter falling outs — to have a trio of stars stay together for this long and accomplish this much is extraordinary.

“It’s iconic,” Gary Payton II said. “It’s exciting to sit there and watch those three. It’s just amazing to be a part of.”

Curry, Green and Thompson have stitched this tapestry together. They know how to do it as a group. Apart? They can’t even imagine it.

A playoff win is lovely. Winning alongside your longtime teammates makes it that much sweeter.

“It’s everything,” Curry said. “Each one of us have gone through a lot to try to sustain this level.

“Games like this are a reminder of how hard it is to win at this level. The reps that we’ve gone through over the course of a decade to be the players that we are. We’re trying to allow this journey to continue and not take it for granted at all. We’re doing something that’s very unique. To be in this position, still creating results like this, is really dope.”

The players who started all of this as kids more than a decade ago, are now grown men in their 30s, with gray in their beards and a greater appreciation of each step of the journey.

“It’s a great feeling to still be riding the same train with the guys you rode in with, it’s a rare, rare thing,” Green said.

“You definitely cherish it more,” Green added. “You got to a space where you expected it. Then a couple of years and not have that opportunity, to not have that feeling, gives you a totally different appreciation of it.”

Someday it will come to an end. But not yet.

Not yet.


* * *

* * *


For me it physical contact. My late wife was huge on physical contact. We were always holding hands, hand on a thigh when sitting, she would hook her arm around mine and press her body against mine when we’d be standing in line, random hugs for no reason, etc. Sometimes in bed she’d reach over and just and squeeze my arm and say “I love you” when we’d be going to sleep.

My favorite was when I’d be driving. She had nice acryllic French tipped nails and she’d gently rub and scratch the back of my head and neck. Damn I miss that.

It doesn’t even need to be sexual. Just gentle contact to let the other know you love them.

(HumpieDouglas, via Eric Sunswheat)

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* * *

I CAMPED AT WEEKEND 1 OF COACHELLA 2023. And made a terrible mistake.

Column: SFGATE travel editor Silas Valentino reflects on his inaugural Coachella car camping experience and the tricks he learned

Our plan fell apart before the festival even started. 

Leading up to the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, my girlfriend, our close friend and I strategized for how to best camp over the long weekend in the desert.

We made spreadsheets, doled out duties and packed my Prius to a comfortable brim. We thought we had everything covered until the day before the festival, when the most rookie of mistakes was made. Due to a regrettable error, I entered Coachella on the first day without knowing where or how I was going to go to sleep that evening.

Ask anyone who has ever subjected themselves to three days of music in the California desert, and they’ll tell you a thing or two about a Coachella miracle.

A full campground seen against the San Jacinto Mountains (Jay L. Clendenin)

Coachella camping 101

Although the music festival launched in 1999, camping outside the Coachella perimeter started in 2003.   

Since then, an entire subculture of advice has cropped up devoted to preparing each camper for the flat grass field. This public Google spreadsheet called Coachella Essentials made its way to me before the festival and was an excellent resource to run through while packing. Many media outlets also publish their version of how-tos. 

What separates Coachella from most other camping festivals is the setting. The desert community of Indio, California, in April is beginning to heat up for the summer, and concealing yourself from the relentless sun is the most crucial element while preparing. 

The other natural factors to consider are the wind and dust. Packing tissues, moisturizer and saline nasal spray is important, but dirt boogers are inevitable. Even Sunday’s headliner Frank Ocean opined about his dusty days as a festival attendee while on stage April 16: “I hated the dust out here,” he told the audience. “I always left with a respiratory infection.”

Campers are allowed to arrive Thursday morning before the festival starts, and they can roll in until 9 p.m. each night before Sunday. The lines of cars shuffling into the flat fields can stretch for hours sometimes — due in part to an extensive search of the cars for a long list of prohibited items. No drugs, no beer kegs and no mirrors are allowed inside.

Each car is guided to a 15-foot-by-10-foot site, which is large enough for two vehicles back to back. It’s like a mullet for glamping: car in front, party in the back. The most crucial item is a canopy to block the sun. Everything else is extra for enhancing your stay. Some people hang tapestries on the sides of their lots for privacy, but that impedes connecting with your neighbors, arguably the highlight of Coachella camping. 

There’s a general store on site, a truck selling ice drives around each day, and there are late-night services like a silent disco hub. Walking around the grounds, it becomes clear that there are two types of people who attend Coachella: boys who don’t even try to dress up for the occasion, and everyone else. 

Disaster in the desert

I drove my car to the Southern California desert Wednesday, and my girlfriend and friend flew out Thursday afternoon. They rented a Tesla at LAX for us to use at the campsite (shoutout to the car’s “camp mode,” which maintained a cool temperature inside the vehicle for two of us to sleep in) and then grocery shopped at H-Mart. The meal planning theme was Korean Americana featuring kimchi hotdogs and Spam fried rice.

While waiting for their arrival at a Walmart parking lot in Indio Thursday afternoon, I observed a rotating flock of festival campers loading up on last-minute gear. The tent aisle inside was nearly depleted of its stock, while the cheap sunglasses rack spun perpetually with folks nabbing an extra pair. Anticipation was palpable.

That’s when I received the phone call that sank my stomach. 

Our friend who purchased the camping pass forgot it back in the Bay Area. Along with his festival wristband ticket. It dawned on him the moment they landed in Los Angeles, and he spent the drive to Indio frantically calling Stub Hub for any support. He was told there was nothing they could do.

Day zero for any music festival with camping, which is typically the Thursday leading up to the event, is a unique atmosphere. At Coachella, a miniature community sprouts up in the desert. Numerous rows of vehicles, buses and canopies line up in a polo field across multiple sections to form an overnight town. Once the tent is staked into the ground and the canopy is secured from the wind, it’s time to mingle with neighbors and crack open that bottled-up excitement.

(photo by Christopher Polk)

Instead, I sat with not knowing how we’d resolve this snafu in a dusty parking lot about 3 miles from the entrance to the campground. It would require a herculean effort to undo this logistical nightmare.

A true weekend hero

After my crew of two arrived, we transferred all the gear from my car into the camping Tesla. We decided to cut our losses for the night and stayed at a hotel. It was 11 p.m., but the Embassy Suites in La Quinta near the festival was abuzz with revelers. 

The next morning as we prepared for the day by applying the inaugural layer of sunblock, I overheard a girl near the pool laughing on the phone about how she knew someone who forgot their pass at home. Her sneers cut deep, but evidently this problem is more common than we had thought. Over breakfast at the hotel, we hatched a solution. 

My friend’s wife is pregnant, in her third trimester, so she sat this festival out at their home. Acting as the true hero of the weekend, she rushed to FedEx to mail the passes via express shipping. We were quoted a 6 p.m. arrival time that night. 

Since my girlfriend and I had our festival bracelets on our wrists already, we left for Coachella before it opened at noon, with our friend’s blessing. He was left bellying up to the hotel bar to wait out the clock. 

We were the first crop of people to enter the festival and rushed over to the pop-up record shop, where there were rumors of a coveted Frank Ocean album for sale. Turns out it was for sale — but just that single copy was available. 

Later that night before the Gorillaz took the main stage, our friend called to say he had successfully received the FedEx package and was bound for the festival. He arrived just in time (before “Feel Good Inc.”) and we toasted to our delayed win.

Gaming the return policy, or, how Jeff Bezos subsidizes Coachella

Both car camping and tent camping costs about $150 plus fees. If you splurge for “preferred camping,” which places you in a spot closest to the entrance, that runs $375 plus fees. 

When he’s not forgetting his festival passes back home, my friend is extremely bright and a hard worker who prefers some of the finer delights on life’s menu. He insisted on preferred camping, and the extra cost allowed us to skip the hassle of traversing rows of thousands of cars to instead set up camp merely a few rows from the festival’s entrance. 

It’s a small luxury, but one worth relishing after walking nearly 24,000 steps on April 14 alone, according to my Apple Health app.

What the extra $225 in preferred camping also buys you is a sonic boom alarm clock around 9 a.m. each morning. 

Since the camping section abuts the Sahara Stage — often the site for bombastic EDM — I was stirred awake by sound check and the occasional bass drop. I appreciated the blast jolting me awake that nearly rivaled a cup of coffee.

My favorite aspect of camping at a festival are the spontaneous friendships that form with your neighbors. We were flanked by a pair of kind dudes from San Francisco who rented a truck off Turo to serve as their entire operation (they even slept in it), as well as a large group from Oklahoma City who stayed at an Airbnb offsite but reserved their campsite for pre- and postgame socializing. Sharing and mixing with our neighbors was endless. 

Walking out to the portable toilets is when you can easily spot the veterans who’ve mastered the art of Coachella camping. I spoke with one person who purchased most of their gear off Amazon — camping shower, canopies, sleeping mat and more — with the intention of returning everything after the weekend, essentially bilking Jeff Bezos. I may never know if that system was effective, but the notion of undermining one of the world’s wealthiest humans to subsidize your enjoyment of a music festival is a rich afterthought. 

A unique benefit for camping during Weekend 1 of the two-weekend festival is that the polo fields are much more pristine the first time around. After a long weekend with humans trotting around the premises, the ground begins to brown out. And your feet get really, really dirty.

Evidently, the grass is indeed greener for Weekend 1, Coachella-goers.

Quick-fire camping tips

-Choose an easy-to-use canopy to avoid laboriously reading the instructions in the dark and struggling to set it up.
-Pick a theme for meal prep, and set aside a special snack for when you come back after the festival each night.
-Plot your Monday departure time early and stick to it. We woke up at 5 a.m. and were on the road by 6 a.m., beating all the traffic.
-Pack string lights or holiday lights to enhance the mood at your campsite. Packing a large battery for them (and to charge your phone) is also optimal.
-And finally, before you leave for the festival, send one final “does everybody have their passes” to the group text thread … trust me.


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Vernon Evans (with his family) of Lemmon, South Dakota, near Missoula, Montana on Highway 10. Leaving grasshopper-ridden and drought-stricken area for a new start in Oregon or Washington. Expects to arrive at Yakima in time for hop picking. Make about two hundred miles a day in Model T Ford. 1936. (photograph by Arthur Rothstein)

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by Gary Kamiya

San Quentin Prison, which stands on a point of land just south of the Marin side of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, is the oldest prison in California and one of the most famous in the country. Today San Quentin subscribes to the tenets of modern penology, which emphases rehabilitation and discourages the harsh treatment of inmates. But that was far from the case during its early years. The story of San Quentin’s origin is one of the stranger tales in the annals of California.

The prison’s story begins in 1849, when San Franciscans, fed up with the thuggish behavior of a group of rogue Mexican War vets who called themselves the Hounds, organized themselves into a posse, arrested the band’s leaders and sentenced two of them to long terms in the penitentiary.

There was only one problem: There was no penitentiary. San Francisco’s only lockup was a “calaboose,” a log structure so feeble that a prisoner once showed up at the alcalde’s office with the jail’s door on his back, threatening to leave if his breakfast was not served. Unable to imprison the Hounds, the law-abiding citizens were forced to exile them.

This situation led city authorities to purchase a brig, the Euphemia, to use as a prison ship (it doubled as an insane asylum). Prisoners on the Euphemia were sent ashore on a chain gang to do public works.

As crime increased, the need for a state prison became more pressing. In 1851, a leading Californio, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, and his partner, a Democratic politician named James Estell, offered the state what looked like a sweetheart deal. Vallejo and Estell proposed to give the state 20 acres of land, build a state prison on it, and operate it themselves. As Kenneth Lamott writes in “Chronicles of San Quentin: The Biography of a Prison,” until they built the prison, “Vallejo and Estell promised to buy prison hulks, hire and pay the officers and guards, clothe and feed the convicts, and offer rewards should they escape. As their quid pro quo, they asked only to be given a free hand in putting the convicts’ labor to any use they wished.” In other words, they wanted to run the state prison as a for-profit business, using the convicts as quasi-

slave labor. Unsavory as this approach was, it was not uncommon at the time, particularly in the South: States that leased their prisons to private businessmen included Kentucky, Texas, Missouri, Alabama and Louisiana.

The California state legislature, after discovering that states that ran their own prisons operated at an average annual deficit of $100,000 a year, eagerly accepted the offer.

On April 25, 1851, Vallejo and Estell formally leased for 10 years the labor of California’s state convicts — who at the time numbered exactly five. This was the inauspicious beginning of California’s state prison system.

allejo and Estell were a peculiar duo. Vallejo was a prominent Californio general, ruthless Indian fighter, and rancher who famously supported the American takeover of California. Estell was, in the words of Lamott, a “notable scoundrel … an adventurer and politician by trade, a man of some ability, but his mind was wild and injudicious and his tongue was one of the foulest ever heard in a public hall.” The San Francisco Bulletin, which detested Estell, described his “hideous face and Cain-branded countenance” and predicted he would go down in infamy as the vilest of the vile.

Estell and Vallejo subleased custody of the convicts to the sheriff of San Francisco, a dashing former Texas Ranger named Col. Jack Hays, and his friend Major John Caperton. From the hundreds of derelict ships abandoned in the bay, Hays and Caperton acquired an old bark named the Waban, fitted it out as a prison ship, and loaded it with 40 convicts. On Dec. 18, 1851, the steam tug Firefly towed the Waban across the bay to Angel Island. The prisoners were put to work in a quarry during the day, returning at night to sleep in cells on the Waban. Other prisoners, those considered less likely to escape, were imprisoned in the unfinished and insecure county jail on Broadway in San Francisco, from where they were driven out in chains to work on the streets.

The prisoners on the Waban labored under the supervision of one John McDougal, who seven months previously had been the governor of California. Described by Lamott as “An unsuccessful miner turned politician, a buffoon, and a drunkard,” McDougal issued so many bombastic proclamations beginning with the words “I, John McDougal” that he became universally known as “I, John.”

Hays and Caperton’s foray into the prison-labor business turned out to be a disaster. Hays had been a cavalry hero in the Mexican War, but he proved to be a less than impressive jailer. A month after he took command 17 of the 40-odd prisoners on the hulk locked up their three guards, took their weapons, commandeered a boat, and took off for the East Bay. Hays led a chase, but seven convicts got away.

Hays and Caperton’s venture also proved financially ruinous: within five months, they had lost $11,000 of their own money. Hays asked Estell to take the convicts back, but Estell refused. Vallejo had dropped out as a partner, ending one of the less glorious chapters in his storied life. Estell finally agreed to release Hays and Caperton from their sublease, on the condition that the legislature approve construction of a state prison. On May 1, 1852, the legislature passed an act authorizing the purchase of 20 acres of land for that purpose.

Point Quentin, the spit of land where San Quentin stands, was not the state’s first choice. Angel Island, Alcatraz and Goat Island (Yerba Buena Island) were the favored sites, but land-title problems led commissioners to choose Point Quentin. On July 14, 1852 (fittingly, Bastille Day), the Waban (which had been moved to Goat Island), with its 40 to 50 convicts, was towed across the bay to Point Quentin.

The convicts were sent out during the day to work on the prison site, then locked up below decks at night. Confinement on the Waban was a cruel and unusual form of punishment. Four or five men were squeezed into each 8-foot-square compartment. “During the warm summer days they stewed in their own juices, while in the rainy winter they stayed below day after dreary day,” Lamott writes. “In the mornings the effluvia of feces and sweat and general decay was so strong that the guards refused to go below until the lower decks had been aired out.”

Meanwhile, the walls of San Quentin’s first cell block, which became known as the Old Prison, the Stone Building, or simply the Stones, were going up. But the new prison proved to be just as chaotic and mismanaged as the old brig, replete with sexual shenanigans, frequent escapes, official corruption, laughably lenient treatment of favored prisoners and vicious floggings handed out for offenses serious and trivial alike. That story will be the subject of the next Portals.

(SF Examiner)

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Photograph of ice cream social, Waleska, Cherokee County, Georgia: Young people enjoy an ice cream social at Reinhardt Normal School. The school, founded in 1883, became known as Reinhardt College in 1909. Pearl Christian is offering the young man a spoonful of ice cream. Minnie Christian is seen in the lower right of the photograph.

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VOTERS SAY NO TO BIDEN, but Joe is intent on finishing the (awful) job

by Michael Goodwin

One of Donald Trump’s gifts is that he drives his enemies so crazy that they do really weird things.

The latest evidence came Tuesday morning when Joe Biden released a three-minute video announcing he is seeking re-election.

The world’s a mess, America is spiraling downward at a rapid rate and Biden would be older than dirt at the end of a second term, but he wants to “finish the job.”

Finish the job? Apparently not satisfied with merely damaging America, he aims to destroy it.

The fact that the president made the announcement via a recording reflects White House concerns about his stumbling and bumbling cognitive defects.

He can’t hold a press conference, submit to a tough interview or speak without a teleprompter, so fire up the video with a voice-over that can be rehearsed and repeated until he gets it right.

The leader of the free world is a captive of his own decline.

But as every incompetent politician knows, you don’t have to fool all the people all the time, just half of those who vote.

Biden’s been using Trump’s candidacy as a rationale for his own, arguing that he alone can defeat him, and cites 2020 as proof.

Naturally, then, his tiresome references about “MAGA extremists” and a “battle for the soul of the nation” were featured in the video as fear-mongering reminders that the other side remains a danger to motherhood, apple pie and … transgender rights.

Hardly convincing

It’s a clever claim that only he can beat Trump but hardly a convincing one because, as Wall Street is required to say, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

And a lot has changed since 2020, most importantly that Biden now has a terrible record of his own to defend. His approval rating of around 40% in most polls is about where Trump stood when Biden defeated him.

Biden also had the COVID-era advantage of being able to spend most of the last campaign in his basement, an option not likely to be available again.

Forced to meet and greet and speak coherently while barnstorming in swing states, his endurance will be tested and closely watched.

Yet the Trump-killer claim is always front and center because, if you strip it away, it’s next to impossible to make any other credible case for four more years.

Start with the fact that even most of Biden’s fellow Democrats believe it’s time for him to say goodbye.

An AP-NORC poll in February found just 37% of registered Dems want him to run again, a dramatic decline from 57% who felt that way before last year’s midterms. The AP reported that, in follow-up interviews, respondents cited his age as a liability and were “focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.”

Those are awfully damning findings, and they are not outliers. While it’s true that most Dems will come home for any nominee, especially if Trump is the GOP opponent, a good argument can be made that, for the good of the country, Biden should retire gracefully and pass the torch.

Recall that in 2020, he called himself a “transition” candidate, a phrase widely interpreted as meaning he would step aside for a new generation after one term.

Mark that down as another false note. No doubt he likes the perks and power, and Biden can be forgiven if he concludes, along with the rest of the world, that Vice President Kamala Harris can’t pick up the torch. Nor is there any other obvious successor in the party.

No Dem threats to prez

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled his availability, but the response and reviews were underwhelming. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running as a primary opponent and his name guarantees him attention, but he’s not likely to be a serious threat to Biden getting the nomination.

Still, I believe there is another, hidden reason why the president is compelled to run again. He’s got to play defense against the GOP investigations into his family’s corrupt business schemes and there’s no better place to do that than in the White House.

It has armed guards and a fence around it and comes with press secretaries and cabinet members paid to answer questions and take the flak. You can always have someone say you’re too busy, even when you’re taking a nap or just eating ice cream.

Biden needs all that protection because, apart from his frail health, the GOP probers already are hitting pay dirt on several fronts. Bank records they subpoenaed show at least nine members of his family getting money from the multimillion-dollar deal with a Chinese energy conglomerate.

This is the same deal in which Joe was identified as the “big guy” slated to get a secret 10% cut.

Did the president get the money? If he did, the GOP will find it. And then we’ll know for certain why he’s been so soft with China.

Moreover, the emergence of an IRS whistleblower who claims that Hunter Biden is getting preferential treatment from the IRS and the Department of Justice and that Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to Congress about the case adds new degrees of legitimacy to the probe and thus peril to the president.

Blinken’s disinformation

Then there’s the role of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who as a Biden campaign aide in 2020 helped inspire the letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials suggesting that the first Post scoops on Hunter Biden’s laptop were a form of Russian disinformation. The letter was the actual disinformation and the fruit of a Deep State conspiracy and was dutifully magnified by a lapdog media.

We also know now that Blinken met with Hunter Biden when the then-vice president’s son was on the board of Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. If Blinken is summoned by House Republicans and put under oath, he could deliver a mother lode of problems for the first family.

I believe those developments, whatever Joe Biden’s preference, left him no option except to run again. They may even have dictated the timing of his announcement.

Each passing day that he didn’t announce would have led to questions about whether he was going to. And that would generate talk that he was afraid to face voters again.

Not running also would have made him an instant lame duck and it would be open season on him and his family. Even congressional Dems wouldn’t have the same gusto for defending him, and the party would be concentrated on 2024 instead of defending something the Bidens did four, five or six years ago.

So running is his best defense, letting him keep control of the party and the ability to reward and punish individual members of Congress. There are lots of ways for a president seeking re-election to convey a demand for support, such as, “Do you want that damaged bridge in your district repaired or not?”

Merely by announcing, then, Biden buys time, keeps everybody on the left in line, including the Dem-friendly media outlets. They’re not likely to pursue the family corruption angle with any vigor if they believe it would lead to the election of Trump.

Don’s own legal gauntlet

Of course, the former president’s path back to the Oval Office is not a smooth one, either. Although the partisan indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is too clever by half, it’s just the start of a legal gauntlet Trump faces.

Three other criminal probes are ongoing and he faces a civil trial in federal court in New York over a claim he raped a former magazine writer nearly three decades ago. Testimony started Tuesday in the case in which the alleged victim, E. Jean Carroll, also claims Trump defamed her.

Nonetheless, the 76-year-old Trump is now stronger in the GOP than he was three months ago and there is a growing belief he will win the nomination. Several polls show him getting near 70% support, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a distant second.

That means, for now, a Biden-Trump rematch looks likely. Depending on your point of view, it’s going to be either a monumental clash of titans or a rerun of the retreads.


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RANDY BURKE WRITES: BBC is known over here in UK to stand for British Brainwashing Company. I've been watching Sky News (on YouTube) for 18 months now. I find the news objective with little or no editorial presentation. It’s kinda like "develop your own opinion." Pretty good coverage of top stuff in US, but sorry to say, they cover US sports sparsely. Their weather coverage is real and not based on fearmongering like seen in Google and other YouTube sites. And the news is 8 hours ahead of California time. Give it a go. Cheers.

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THERE'S TOO MUCH VIOLENCE in the world, most of it perpetrated on me by Sugar Ray Robinson. I came at that guy with a vengeance. He came at me with punches. Robinson opened everything I had that was closed, and closed everything that was open. But there was one thing you could say about me as a fighter—I kept my head. I lost my teeth, but I kept my head.

— Jake LaMotta

LaMotta & Robinson

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President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Zelensky described it as a "long and meaningful phone call."

The call comes as Beijing ramps up efforts to position itself as a potential peacemaker, though it has claimed neutrality and not publicly denounced Russia’s invasion.

Russian forces have emptied out a key base in northern Crimea, recent satellite imagery shows. The facility, close to the border of Kherson, housed a significant number of Russian armor. 

The Ukrainians are "in a good position" for a counteroffensive against the Russian military, a senior US military commander told a congressional committee.


* * *

TUCKER CARLSON is a virulent empire propagandist who’s probably responsible for more anti-China sentiment in the US than anyone alive. He’s got well-documented overlaps with the CIA and has helped keep Americans roped into the mainstream two-party system. That said, his firing suggests that he probably did become unacceptably inconvenient for the powerful in some way. The mass media are for propaganda first and profit second, and if you’re not useful enough at the first it doesn’t matter how good you are at generating the second.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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by Judith Ehrlich

Norman Solomon Notes: Dear editor, Judith Ehrlich is co-director of the Oscar-nominated documentary about Daniel Ellsberg, "The Most Dangerous Man in America." The article quotes from a video has not been made public until now. You can access it at:

The current Daniel Ellsberg Week celebrates the achievements and inspirational spirit of the most significant whistleblower of the 20th century. Daniel Ellsberg’s recent announcement of a terminal diagnosis broke my heart, but his remarkable response gave me great hope. To quote Ellsberg: “As I just told my son Robert: he's long known (as my editor) that I work better under a deadline. It turns out that I live better under a deadline…”

Daniel Ellsberg has done just that; an avalanche of interviews and webinars have followed his announcement. And now the RootsAction Education Fund has teamed up with the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy to co-sponsor Daniel Ellsberg Week, April 24-30, to celebrate his life’s work and “to honor peacemaking and whistleblowing.”

Known as the insider who blew the whistle on U.S. government lying about the Vietnam War, Ellsberg’s high level military planning experience began earlier. Ellsberg was a nuclear war planner during the 1950s and ‘60s. For decades he has put himself on the line to oppose those evil plans; writing, speaking, standing up and sitting-in against the threat of nuclear annihilation. Ellsberg has been hauled off to jail for civil disobedience against war over 80 times. Here he offers chilling clarity about “the nuclear war planners, of which I was one, who have written plans to kill billions of people,” calling it “a conspiracy to commit omnicide, near omnicide, the death of everyone.” He asks us, “Can humanity survive the nuclear era? We don't know. I choose to act as if we have a chance.”

This quote is from one of several eye-opening podcasts being released this week (which I directed in partnership with the RootsAction Education Fund), enabling people to hear Ellsberg directly. In these half dozen two-to-three-minute animated musings, Daniel Ellsberg offers up a succinct analysis of the calamity posed by nuclear weapons and a possible way to reduce their risk. You can watch and listen here. <>

When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, Henry Kissinger (then President Nixon’s national security advisor) called him “the most dangerous man in America.” But those closely held secrets of the war in Vietnam were less explosive than the nuclear secrets that Ellsberg held in his safe. Then a top strategist for the Defense Department, he had been party to plans for a nuclear holocaust. After being buried for safekeeping, those documents disappeared in a hurricane that literally blew away his secrets, but that didn’t dampen Ellsberg’s desire to share what he knew.

At 92, with mind sharp as ever, Ellsberg remains an undisputed expert on “national security.” In this unusual illustrated podcast, he shares his unvarnished thoughts about the threat of nuclear annihilation and how it might be defused.

Can we simply ignore the reality of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals on hair-trigger alert -- amid escalation of a new cold war with heightened nuclear dangers? Indeed, the U.S. just enacted its biggest military budget in history, with unprecedented investment in weapons of mass destruction and their deployment.

We ignore this impending disaster and its impassioned opponent, Daniel Ellsberg, at our own peril.

Here’s a chance to honor him by listening and heeding his words.

Judith Ehrlich co-directed and produced “The Most Dangerous Man in America, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” which was nominated for an Oscar and Emmy and won the Peabody Award. Her recent film, “The Boys Who Said NO!” features Daniel Ellsberg, Joan Baez and a cast of war resisters who chose prison over killing in the Vietnam War. Ehrlich is currently in production on “The Mouse that Roared,” a film on the evolution of the Internet poetically explored through Icelandic MP/”poetician,” single mother, defender of whistleblowers and Internet pioneer, Birgitta Jónsdóttir. To watch the Oscar-nominated film on Daniel Ellsberg, please go to: To host a screening of “The Boys Who Said NO!” see here, and to read Ellsberg's 2017 gripping expose “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” see: (via Norman Solomon)

* * *


Harry Belafonte was a true people's hero. He opposed war and racism, and was a friend of revolutionary movements in Cuba and Venezuela. He was a radical activist, in the tradition of Paul Robeson, in whose footsteps he said he walked. In these photographs (by David Bacon) he came to Oakland on April 15, 2003, for a march and rally against the war in Afghanistan right after it started. He was unafraid to oppose U.S. wars and intervention, a true man of peace.

To see the full set of photos:


  1. Marmon April 27, 2023

    BREAKING: Tucker Carlson chooses TWITTER as the platform to break his silence for first time after being fired. 😯

    He hints that Twitter’s one of the only places left where Americans can still tell the Truth.

    I’m with him 100%. Big things to come.


    • Marmon April 27, 2023

      50 million views in less than 24 hours.


    • Chuck Wilcher April 27, 2023

      I wonder if Carlson paid $8 for his blue check or if Elon tossed it in for free.

  2. Chuck Dunbar April 27, 2023



    By Wesley Morris

    “Of the many (many) job titles you could lay on Harry Belafonte — singer, actor, entertainer, talk show host, activist — the one that nails what he’s come to mean is folk hero.
    Not a title one puts on a business card or lists in, say, a Twitter bio. ‘Folk hero’ is a description that accrues — over time, out of significance. You’re out doing those other jobs when, suddenly, what you’re doing matters — to people, to your people, to your country.
    Belafonte was a folk hero that way. Not the most dynamic or distinctive actor or singer or dancer you’ll ever come across. Yet the cool, frank, charismatic, seemingly indefatigable cat who died on Tuesday, at 96, had something else, something as crucial. He was, in his way, a people person. He understood how to reach, teach and challenge them, how to keep them honest, how to dedicate his fame to a politics of accountability, more tenaciously than any star of the civil rights era or in its wake…”
    New York Times
    April 26, 2023

  3. Marshall Newman April 27, 2023

    RE: Michael Goodwin article. Voters officially have said nothing regarding Biden this week, this month or this year. Indeed, they will not say anything officially until Tuesday, November 5, 2024.

    • Bob A. April 27, 2023

      Consider the source. The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch. A part of his media empire along with Fox, it has been reported to be Trump’s favorite newspaper.

      • Bruce McEwen April 27, 2023

        Speak of the Devil — Abel Magwitch, as I live and breathe, reincarnate on Auld Nick’s foul forge!

        Saints preserve us from these serial afflictions!

        “We don’t know what our sins were but they must have been egregious because our punishment is merciless and eternal…”
        —John Barth, The Sotweed Factor

  4. Joan Rainville April 27, 2023

    I met him in front of Coors brewery 1982. He was a amazing man.

    • Bruce McEwen April 27, 2023

      Adolph Coors, Joan Rainville and Tucker Carlson all out front of the brewery when about the same time … well.
      Inspector Bruce suspects that should shed light on the human remains found in the intake drain grates for the Rocky Mtn springwater they brew Coors Lite w/., according to the long defunct tabloid Rocky Mountain News.

      I read High Country News

  5. Eric Sunswheat April 27, 2023

    In a possible misconduct breach of professional law enforcement ethics, in a recording on today’s KZYX morning news, Sheriff Mathew Kendall provided the true name of the cousin of Lee Joaquin, as the purported false name given prior to Joaquin’s arrest by the CHP.


    —> April 26, 2023
    During the arrest, Joaquin allegedly provided a false name and was arrested on charges unrelated to the murder of Nickolas Whipple. It was only when he was at the Mendocino County Jail that his true identity was determined, Captain Van Patten said.

  6. Lynne Sawyer April 27, 2023

    re Sweetwater et al: SCP is a front for Alpha Wave Investors which is a private equity firm that specializes in buying hotels etc. to plunder. Google search Alpha Wave Investors LLC and Ken Cruse for background. Fresh Air had a very good broadcast yesterday regarding PEFs and their piracy methods.

  7. Eric Sunswheat April 27, 2023

    RE: The local old timers called all us new arrivals of the early 1970s “hippies” regardless of our relative commitments to drugs, promiscuous sex, bad housekeeping, and George McGovern, the whole package being Boonville code for “menace.” (Bruce Anderson)

    —>. April 22, 2023
    The generation that had most sex was born in the 1930s – the so-called silent generation; the generations that have it least are millennials, born between 1981 and 1996 and Gen Z who are born between 1997 and 2012.

    In Britain, across all age groups, around one in four of us has sex at least once in an average week with almost one in 10 of us managing three times – but the older we are, the less common sex is.

    The average age someone loses their virginity is 17, with late twentysomethings having the most sex. But by our late 30s, four in 10 report having not had sex in the past week, and around a fifth of 40 to 44-year-olds aren’t having sex at all.

    What, though, is a sex life? You might not currently have a partner, but you’re experimenting, solo or not. And sex certainly isn’t just about…

    But whatever kind of sexual activity you’re engaged in – solo, straight, queer or bi – stress is a barrier. Research published last month found the lifestyle demands on women aged 40-59 were more significant than the menopause in the decline and frequency of sexual activity…

    Here’s one thing to get straight: hitting the menopause doesn’t mean you don’t feel like sex any more. “In fact it’s not until 12 years after the menopause that there’s any significant loss of libido,” says Campbell.

  8. Lazarus April 27, 2023

    Covelo-Trent James


    • Marmon April 27, 2023

      “It’s just Covelo”

      -Bruce Anderson

      • Marmon April 27, 2023

        When I worked Covelo I wanted to do a lot of good things but CPS was afraid of the “Tribe in power” for financial reasons the County put in a hand’s off policy on really protecting children, especially when they were in negotiations with the “Tribe in power”.

        Furthermore, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) does not work in Covelo where there are 7+ tribes that are having trouble co-existing. Trent is right, the only way to make things work for in the future is working with the children.

        It saddens me to no end when I see children I could have helped, who’s families was on my caseload show up on the “Catch of the Day” or reported missing or murdered.


      • Lazarus April 27, 2023

        Okay, tough guy…

    • peter boudoures April 27, 2023

      Thanks for posting this

  9. John Kriege April 27, 2023

    Re: Richard Links and others on grocery prices:
    The weekly ads for Safeway in Fort Bragg are identical to those in Sacramento. Supporters of a Grocery Outlet coming to Fort Bragg have made the argument that this will force Safeway to lower its prices. Based on the identical ads, I don’t think so.

    Fort Bragg’s grocery needs are already met by Safeway, Harvest, Purity and neighborhood markets. Grocery Outlet will take business from them. If you are a Fort Bragg worker, do you believe pay and benefits at Grocery Outlet will match those at the existing stores?

    • George Hollister April 27, 2023

      How many Fort Bragg workers go to Grocery Outlet in Willits and Ukiah, and FoodMax and Walmart in Ukiah? Quite a few. Why force them to drive that far for lower prices?

      • John Kriege April 27, 2023

        Neither one of us knows how many people drive to Willits to shop at Grocery Outlet.

        Grocery Outlet seems to be close to approval in Fort Bragg. If it is successful, it will be by taking business from existing stores. Which probably means employees shifting, too. I don’t think they’ll be better off.

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 27, 2023

        I’ll set the over/under at 2.5. Why would anyone drive 1+ hours each way and spend $20-40 for gas (or electric charging fees) to save a few bucks on groceries? There are always some fools (thus the 2.5) among the masses, but I’ll take the under.

        • George Hollister April 28, 2023

          People make the trip a shopping day. I see coast people shopping in Ukiah, sometimes at Grocery Outlet, for better pricing all the time.

          • Stephen Rosenthal April 28, 2023

            Point taken, but you missed my point (conveniently to support your agenda); they’re not diving to Ukiah just to grocery shop.

  10. Chuck Dunbar April 27, 2023


    Foreign policy is a nightmare these days with wars and threats of larger, even catastrophic wars in our future. It really makes one wonder what will happen. And yet, on rare occasions, a sweet moment occurs in foreign policy talks. This one among friends when South Korea”s President Yoon, visiting at the White House with President Biden, sang the first verses of that great old song, “American Pie,”— “A long, long time ago…”

    A touching moment and one wishes moments like this could happen among those who are not so friendly. If we can’t somehow learn to peaceably share the planet, we’ll all be the losers.

  11. Michael Geniella April 27, 2023

    It is astonishing that some people believe Twitter is one of the last places for truth.

    • Betsy Cawn April 28, 2023

      It’s astonishing to me that so many people have so little to do.

  12. Bruce McEwen April 27, 2023

    If anyone sees Eric Rennert of the Mendo Office of the Public Defender, please inform him that Scotland has repealed its “guilty but not proven” option for jurors; as I recall, Mr. Rennert once grasped this flimsy straw and used it in closing arguments for a murder trial.

  13. Bruce McEwen April 27, 2023

    My Down Home Foods episodes were many and delightful as it was the only place you could read the AVA w/ your lunch in the lovely old terrazzo and avoid the sneers of censure one encountered elsewhere— Down Home being the only store brave enough to carry the Mighty AVA.

    One fellow did accost me there: that (since reformed) sot, my new friend, David Gurney.

    Do you recall Davy how you steeled your courage with tequila, slammed your van into park and charged into the store when you saw me delivering the edition in which your misadventures at the seaside park were featured? You chased me to the back of the store where you cornered me — you nearly had me by the throat in your fury — called me a dirty yellow journalist and some other flattering aspersions, then took a (fairly) sober look around at how people were looking at you and the incident fizzled out, the late proprietor smiling contentedly at the outcome… wonderful man, his store a gem — oh, yes, once the “street people from the Hospitality House” set his bulletin board on fire outside the store. This was a lie, like the defecating on the sidewalks, done by well-off locals who hoped to bring heat down on the unfortunate few, the homeless…

    • George Hollister April 27, 2023

      At. times it is best, in order to maintain one’s credibility, to leave out the punch line.

  14. Marmon April 27, 2023

    The youth in Covelo respected Trent James because he was a “bad ass” who showed them respect.


  15. Marmon April 27, 2023

    The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) law was passed to protect “The Tribe”, not their children.


  16. Marmon April 27, 2023


    13 years ago this family was on my caseload, got shot down by management because the County was in negotiations with the Tribe in Power. My co-worker and I tried to talk sense into the Department, but got shut down


  17. Betsy Cawn April 28, 2023

    State Attorney General Bonta’s successful US Supreme Court case in defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act protections (October 8, 2021) was a critical milestone for the The California Tribal Families Coalition. []. The Coalition includes the Habematolel and Robinson in Lake, and Hopland in Mendo. []

    In 2017 the Lake County Behavioral Health Services department formed a special suicide prevention task force focusing on the epidemic of Native American youth suicides (The Life is Sacred Alliance).

    A Habematolel tribal council member was part of that local prevention and intervention effort (funded by the Mental Health Services Act), and spoke to the Alliance on one occasion about ICWA implementation and enforcement issues.

    Given the huge level of “governmental” bureaucracy in which top heavy alpha males drive the system that pays them handsomely, the misfortunes of separated Native American children are well beyond the popular definition of “ACES.”

    Also see: []

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