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Off the Record (May 3, 2023)

JUST IN from Pebbles Trippet: “I’m living at Area 101 in Laytonville, my new home. Sold my land on the river. Plan is to go to Mexico June-July for stem cell procedure to I can stay alive while longer. pbz Pebbles Trippet <>

FRED GARDNER: Just got my print edition with the dire item about Pebbles. Richard Jergensen (of the protopipe team) says she's living with protective friends north of Laytonville and doing well. The property has been disentangled and sold, and Richard is salvaging the part of her archive that survived the humidity at the mouth of the river (including old O'Shaughnessy's and AVAs). She doesn't have a phone yet, is reachable by email. Whew!

THE ARREST OF LEE JOAQUIN for the alleged murder of Nicholas Shehli Whipple, 20, of Covelo, who died of a gunshot wound on or about April 2nd.

Lee Joaquin

Joaquin, 5’5” and 180 pounds, was arrested Wednesday April 26th at approximately 2:00 PM, when an officer from the California Highway Patrol stopped a speeding vehicle on Highway 101 at Nelson Ranch Road just south of Ukiah. He arrested Joaquin for being in possession of a firearm and transportation of marijuana, unaware Joaquin was the man wanted for murder because Joaquin had provided a false name to the CHP Officer during the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. Joaquin was, however, immediately recognized Joaquin from his frequent timeouts at the County Jail and he was booked for homicide investigation.

THE VENERABLE ERNIE BRANSCOMB, of Southern Humboldt, nicely expresses my opinion of media matters, and also mirrors my opinions of lots of stuff. Maybe it's because we both remember the country before The Fall which, in my opinion, occurred in 1967 when a kind of cosmic shift in previously consensus assumptions forever ruptured.

MR. BRANSCOMB: “As an outside observer to most issues it is easy to determine which ‘hat’ a journalist wears. I find it comical that they think they are being objective. I’ve always thought that rather than trying to hide their true feelings a reporter should just say how they feel or believe, and let a reporter from the other side of an issue make their point. Compare a CNN journalist to a FOX journalist then tell me about objectivity. The average reader is smarter than you might think. Yes, I watch both channels and find incredible dishonesty on both channels and extreme bias in most mainstream media. Why not forget about ‘journalism’ and just tell the truth.”

AGREE TOTALLY that our media underestimates its audiences. The English are more sophisticated about media, probably because their media don't bother with the naive assumption that there is such a mystic, above-it-all remove as “objectivity.” The Brits know that some media are conservative, some are liberal, a couple actually leftwing.(The English and Europeans generally know the diff between the ism's, having lived the real thing. Here in Objectivity Land, the notion has somehow taken hold that media aren't first of all businesses, businesses that craft their news to suit certain demographics, hence CNN and MSNBC, for instance, are aimed at Democratic Party libs whose magical thinking allows them to believe that the DNC and their candidates represent the path forward, a national pipe dream of sea-to-sea hugs. The Fox News combine is aimed at people who at least understand that the country has run, probably irretrievably, off the rails but, of course, Fox tells them that crypto-fascists like Trump will make everything like it was in 1955. I'd say BBC America is about as “objective” a news take on U.S. events out there in television news. 

PREDICTION: Tucker Carlson will quickly sign with NewsMax, which is even farther to the deluded right than Fox. (Here's hoping Fox axes Hannity, too.)

THE CACKLING HAGS on The View were positively giddy with joy at the Carlson firing, which I happen to know because my wife told me. She's a fan of The View and jumps my bones whenever I wander past and comment on how awful that show is.


On May 5, the Mendocino Coast Jazz Society presents Music First Friday & Music Book Sale. 17 musicians in various stores and locations in Fort Bragg celebrate the opening sale of donated music books from the Hans Bruhner and Anne Bruhner collection. The book sale proceeds, in four locations, will benefit music scholarship and educational programs.

(Katy Tahja)


48th Anniversary, 18th consecutive Revival

Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration 2023

Marty Durlin of KZYX Art Waves interviews Dan Roberts and Gordon Black regarding the upcoming Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, scheduled for June 11 at the Hill House, with radio broadcasts to follow, beginning June 18.

Tune in here for info and flights of fancy:

Gordon Black <>

MIKE GENIELLA WRITES: Years ago, after a long hot “Redwood Summer” of anti-logging protests, the editors at The Press Democrat yanked me from covering Big Timber on the North Coast. I had given a lengthy interview about my experiences to a reputable freelance journalist, who let the Anderson Valley Advertiser publish the piece. The PD editors went ballistic. They disdained the AVA (it was not an “objective” news organization), and were outraged that somehow my misguided attempt to defend the PD's controversial coverage of Earth First! rallies (a newsroom colleague described in writing that demonstrators who showed up for a massive rally in Fort Bragg were “mostly long-haired vegetarians in VW vans”) appeared in the devil publication. The PD's official stance was that somehow I had created the “possibility of a perceived bias.” I was stunned by the nonsensical declaration and the vitriolic reaction from the bunker in Santa Rosa. After a few months in professional exile, I returned to writing about timber practices which were the hot environmental topic then. I have never forgotten, however, the reaction of my editors to my honest, thoughtful responses in that AVA interview. The PD editors certainly were not ‘objective’.”

YES, YES, it all comes back to me now. I've always thought that Geniella had the toughest job imaginable during that fraught time. He somehow managed to maintain working relationships with everyone from Harry Merlo, cut and run chief at Louisiana-Pacific, to Judi Bari, the Northcoast's reigning diva of dissent, nevermind having his cringing editors down in their Santa Rosa bunker looming over him with their re-write pens. Try that job some time, but Geniella pulled it off, managing to accurately and fairly report the wild events of that time.

AS FOR THE preferred Press Democrat stereotype of the participants at the three big rallies inspired by Bari's Earth First! — Samoa, Fort Bragg and Fortuna — as a bunch of long-haired vegetarians, it was Bari's organizational wizardry that got wildly diverse crowds of the environmentally concerned all headed in the same direction, which was the obvious looting of Northcoast forests, and the jobs that went with them, by outside timber corporations, nevermind the ecological damage the hurry-up overcut did to those forests.

WHEN BARI was car-bombed by her ex-husband — these days a permanent resident of New Zealand — a huge cover-up of the true facts of that event soon began, which is where the Press Democrat, true to form, abdicated its journalo-responsibilities. Rather than give Geniella, the guy who knew all the players, an investigator and his full-time attention to find out what happened and how, the paper restricted him to simple reports on mostly irrelevant aspects of the case. Geniella could have wrapped up the bombing “mystery” in a month if he'd been given the means and the time to devote himself to it. Instead, Steve Talbot of PBS, and based in San Francisco, and his investigator, Dave Helvarg, wrapped it all up in a solid month of legwork, concluding, without saying so, the husband did it.

THE COPS? The locals were content with the Oakland PD's assertion that Bari was knowingly carrying the bomb that nearly killed her, and did kill her seven years later, while the FBI faked an investigation and finally said, “Case closed. No one will talk to us.” And, years later, came the final treachery, a double play by the FBI and the Press Democrat acting, as they had throughout, in concert, “lost” a key piece of evidence, the Lord's Avenger Letter, a crude attempt by the bomber to divert attention from himself to a range of implausible suspects ranging from Christian fanatics to the entire male gender.

SO, THE FBI closes the case and returns the original of The Lord's Avenger Letter to the Press Democrat (it was addressed to Geniella, c/o the paper), a newspaper with a full-time librarian and a long-established practice of filing everything related to all stories published in the paper, and when Geniella and Susan Faludi ask to see it and, hopefully, send it off for DNA testing, the Press Democrat tells them they've “lost” the letter. (Geniella, incidentally, got his own FBI file when the feds wrote to the Press Democrat wondering “what could be done to rein him in.”) And here we are, my fellow lib-labs, with the case unmentioned and unmentionable at lib audio bastions at KMUD, KZYX and KPFA. 

PER the journalism discussion over the past few days, the three-part PBS documentary called “America and the Taliban” is as fair and balanced as fair and balanced media consumers could hope for. It's an excellent and highly critical recap of that decade-long debacle, culminating, as we saw, in the unanticipated, pell mell last chapter at the airport in Kabul, as unanticipated by our military and political strategists as the foolish war itself.

IT WILL BE interesting to see if the Biden Construct can withstand the now irrefutably documented evidence that his depraved son, Hunter, was shaking down foreign governments for “access” to “The Big Guy.” The old grifter can probably elude impeachment by citing his age, the only excuse he's got left. Biden vs Trump, two career criminals vying for captain of the ship. As Lenny Bruce once said of Chicago, “It's so corrupt, it's thrilling.”

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 says 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.”

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. 

ESTHER MOBELY: A very good piece in Slate looks at the whiplash-inducing scientific research on whether or not alcohol is healthy. In the nineties, the scientific community promoted red wine as beneficial; now, it seems, the consensus has flipped. Tim Requarth offers an insightful history of this debate. An ordinance passed in Napa last year, meant to enable small-scale winegrowers to host visitors at their vineyards, hasn’t worked out as intended, reports Shana Clarke in VinePair. So far, only three wineries have tried to take advantage of the new rule, and none has received approval yet. There are new developments in the saga over Bud Light’s social-media promotion with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which sparked outrage from some of the beer’s right-wing customers, like Kid Rock (who made a video of himself shooting Bud Light cases with a semi-automatic weapon). Now, two top marketing executives at Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, are on a leave of absence. Those developments underscore possible consequences of when companies attempt to appeal to liberal values, writes Charles Homans in the New York Times. (SF Chronicle)


The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois branch of Hinduism, who, in 1730, died while trying to protect the trees in their village from being turned into the raw material for building a palace. They literally clung to the trees, while being slaughtered by the foresters. But their action led to a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village. And now those villages are virtual wooded oases amidst an otherwise desert landscape.

Not only that, the Bishnois inspired the Chipko movement (chipko means “to cling” in Hindi) that started in the 1970s, when a group of peasant women in the Himalayan hills of northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down. Within a few years, this tactic, also known as tree satyagraha, had spread across India, ultimately forcing reforms in forestry and a moratorium on tree felling in Himalayan regions.

The village women of the Chipko movement in the early 70's in the Garhwal Hills of India, protecting the trees from being cut down. - Avantgardens


William Alton Vargas, 71, convicted murderer of Jim Cummings of Fort Bragg back in 1997, was booked into the County Jail on Friday on charges of “proceedings.” Our guess is he might be undergoing a sentencing review, or maybe a psych eval.

Bill Vargas


THE BITTER IRONY in the murder of 77-year-old Jim Cummings in August of 1997 (apart from the irony of being murdered at an advanced age) is that Cummings had been quite kind to both the accused killer and the accused killer’s family over a period of many years. Cummings, ruthless in his business dealings, had a soft spot for derelicts and the miscellaneous walking wounded, many of whom found shelter in Cummings’ Cannery Row-like complex at Noyo Harbor. Cummings’ assassin, William Alton Vargas, Jr. then 45, had been employed by Cummings to do odd jobs around Noyo in exchange for rent and walking around money. Twenty-three years later Vargas is still incarcerated at Napa State Hospital where he is supposedly being restored to sanity, or enough sanity to stand trial for Cummings' murder.

PERSONAL NOTE: Having corresponded with Vargas for many years, he's the only crazy person among my epistolary acquaintances who writes well, so well it makes me wonder, How nuts can this guy be? People writing from the bin are typically incoherent, in my experience anyway. Vargas was deep into methamphetamine when he shot Cummings, meaning he was in a state of altered consciousness that often doesn't carry over into life without the drug, at least that seems to be the case with the small army of post-tweek Mendo meth heads who've regained themselves after years on the white powders.

IN HIS LETTERS to Boonville, Vargas has mentioned another Mendo guy, Joe Mannix, who is held in the same unit as Vargas. Joe grew up in Boonville. I knew him as a kid, remember how much he enjoyed playing basketball. But he got into marijuana at an early age and, as so often happens, it seems to have triggered adult schizophrenia in Joe, and he became dangerously unhinged, once stealing a small plane from SF International and steering it into nearby San Bruno Mountain. (Joe learned to fly in the flight class then offered at Boonville High School.) Another time he miraculously landed a Cessna on a cliff outcropping on the east side of the Anderson Valley almost directly opposite central Boonville, the marooned plane a sight we all marveled at for weeks. Joe also threatened to do a kamikaze into the high school gym when it was full of people. And then he was shut away, apparently forever. Vargas wrote that they keep Joe in a drugged stupor at Napa, and you have to wonder if the chemical healers make any real effort to bring Joe back. 

DEVELOPERS have coveted Noyo Harbor for years, envisioning a tourist trap similar, albeit on a smaller scale, to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. With Cummings gone, and his tangled affairs involved in a lengthy probate, the wolves circled but soon roosted, and broadly considered the Harbor looks pretty much as it did when Cummings dominated it. He owned property up and down the Coast valued, some say, at perhaps as much as $25 to $50 million but, when all was settled, came in at about $10 million. In addition to his extremely valuable holdings at Noyo, Cummings owned most of Chapman Point overlooking the Mendocino Headlands, not to mention other parcels up and down the Coast. Some of the properties are under his given name of Boyle, some under Cummings, the name of his stepfather. Bob Peterson, the Fort Bragg attorney, was executor of the Cummings estate. A baby Brinks — an armored SUV-like vehicle — was needed to haul off Cummings' cash, gold coins, and various antiques from his modest, elevated (for high waters) home. A pair of accountants tabulated the treasure.

CUMMINGS was married several times, his last connubial contract being to a Brazilian immigrant he’d hired to assist him recuperate after an automobile accident near Yorkville. His wife was not with him on his last night; she lived at another address. Cummings has two teenage children from his marriage to a much younger Fort Bragg woman, Aura Johansen, a scandal of sorts at the time because Ms. Johansen was a teenager when Cummings took up with her.

MS. JOHANSEN and the two Cummings heirs made the national news a few years after Cummings death when mom, a recovering drug addict, was falsely arrested by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and charged with possession of black tar heroin. The black tar heroin turned out to be a batch of popcorn balls mom was making, prompting unkind community speculation about the abilities of police officers to distinguish dope from a jam sandwich. Ms. Johansen had been videotaped by her son allegedly in the act of doing drugs. The son went to the police with the claim that his surveillance showed that Mom was supplying drugs to her young daughter, all of which turned out to be untrue but provided much grist for the national talk show moralists for about a week. 

THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, by the way, described Cummings’ accused killer as being “highly educated” because, in a stormy court case with his former wife, Vargas had deployed the word, “uxorious” to describe himself, presumably. The defendant is highly educated for sure given the quality of his correspondence, but probably not in the formal college sense, whatever “educated” means anymore, college or no college.

VARGAS has admitted that he went to Cummings home at Noyo shortly after midnight on a Wednesday of August 1997 where he tossed a small bomb up on Cummings deck to lure to lure the old man outside, then shot Cummings when Cummings appeared on his porch with a pistol. Vargas’ usufructuary plan seems to have worked in that he shot Cummings before Cummings could shoot him, dispatching Cummings with an odd handgun outfitted with a can't miss night scope.

FOLLOWING his father's death, Jim Jr., at the time only 17, soon alleged that his father's trust was being looted by its trustees. Junior spent several unhappy years in litigation with the managers of his late father’s bequest, finally settling with them and moving first to Texas with his wife, the former Amber Brown, also of Fort Bragg, and then to Bangor, Maine. (Cummings' trust managers hired past and present girl friends to perform nebulous to non-existent tasks, enjoyed expensive meals on the trust's tab and so on. Junior wasn't particularly wrong about that.)

Cummings Jr

IN 2009, Cummings Jr., 29, was shot to death by Amber, then 31, in the couple's home in Bangor, Maine; the couple's 9-year-old home-schooled daughter was present. Police attributed the shooting to “domestic violence,” implying that Mrs. Cummings was defending herself when she shot her husband. She was described by neighbors and acquaintances as a “quiet” and “very pleasant lady” while Jim Jr. was described as “a fat loud mouth with a Napoleon complex.”

CUMMINGS JR. had earlier come to national attention when he was arrested in Bangor for possessing bomb-making materials, and threatening to blow up President Obama's inauguration.

THE BANGOR DAILY NEWS, in an account by Walter Griffin, says that Cummings bullied Amber, that she “cowered” in his presence. “It didn’t shock me at all when I heard about it,” said Mike Robbins, who spent a month painting and roofing the Cummings home last summer. “He was a very angry person and was verbally abusive to his wife all the time.” Robbins described Cummings as a heavyset man who liked to walk around his house wearing a cowboy hat and an ankle-length black leather coat. He said Cummings would often sit outside on a lawn chair and watch him work and make disparaging comments. He said Cummings had a mean streak and was particularly abusive toward his wife. Robbins said Cummings also spoke about how he “really liked the Nazis” and claimed to have a large collection of Nazi memorabilia, including pieces of Hitler’s silverware and place settings.

ANOTHER CONTRACTOR who worked on the Cummings' Maine house had similar recollections. The man declined to be identified because he was preparing legal action against Cummings’ estate because of unpaid work. He said he and Cummings disagreed about the work he performed and that he decided to walk away without getting paid because of Cummings’ explosive personality. “Normally I’d go after payment, but in this case I walked away. He was absolutely the worst customer I ever had,” the unnamed man said. “I just perceived that the guy was dangerous and capable of real violence. I was afraid of the guy. He talked all the time about guns, one of those guys that would let you know he had guns.” He added that “this guy was a huge fan of Adolf Hitler; he had silverware and dinner sets Hitler used.” He described Cummings as “verbally abusive to his wife and just about everybody.”

AMBER CUMMINGS plead guilty in 2010 to manslaughter for shooting Cummings Jr. and received an eight-year suspended sentence. The legal proceedings revealed that Amber and her now 10-year-old daughter, Claira, had been subjected to years of emotional and physical violence at the hands of James Cummings Jr. 

ALEX MURDAUGH “FANS” are sending money to the man's prison account, the man who murdered his wife and younger son, while South Carolina ghouls are running tours to the courthouse where Murdaugh was tried and to the Murdaugh family properties.

I ONCE SUGGESTED that the Anderson Valley Community Services District run fundraising tours of Anderson Valley's most macabre sites, of which we have a large enough complement to make about a two-hour jaunt down Murder Lane. Think about it — Jim Jones taught school here; Leonard Lake and Charles Ng not only lived in Philo, Lake was recording secretary for our fire department; out Mountain View Road, infamous chomo child kidnapper, Kenneth Parnell, night clerk at Ukiah's Palace Hotel; and then we had the Manson family on Gschwend Road in Navarro, the Manson girls bringing the first dope into the Anderson Valley. There were lesser psychos, of course, like Arturo Flores who was operating a one-man gringo eradication program. My tour plan died for lack of a second, but how many rural communities can boast this many world class psychopaths? 

THE SKUNK RAILROAD. I don't get it. The Skunk successfully eminent-domained 46 acres of the old mill site in Fort Bragg, snatching it from the City of Fort Bragg, which had better, more community-oriented plans for the parcel, at least tentatively, and then the Skunk tries to eminent domain a small parcel from a Willits family guy, who goes broke defending himself, and will stay broke if and until his legal fees are returned to him, although Judge Nadel ruled against the Skunk's attempt at legalized land theft in the Willits guy's case. The rub? In both cases the Skunk said it could eminent domain land crucial to their Willits and Fort Bragg operations, the Skunk pegging their argument to their status as a legally adjudicated railroad, although since the collapse of the tunnel on the Fort Bragg end of the Skunk line, the Skunk has not been a functioning railroad. So, rather than involve itself in expensive lawsuits why didn't the Skunk raise the necessary funding to rehab the Fort Bragg tunnel soon after it collapsed then, with trains running back and forth between Willits and Fort Bragg, the Skunk would have a plausible railroad as it had been for many previous years? Surely, the business could have raised the funds to repair the tunnel on the basis of assured future earnings.

COASTIES are meeting to determine how to beat back the mega “hospitality' corporations gobbling up Coast properties which, heretofore, local businesses owned and operated by local people. Seems from here, though, that horse long ago departed the barn when Mr. Burger King snagged the Mendocino Hotel forty years ago, and anyhow loyal to “the community” were the recent local businesses who have lately sold out to the “hospitality” vultures?

I ASKED SHERIFF KENDALL about the Albion Bridge jumpers. He said a press release would be forthcoming when he had all the facts, but he did express sorrow mixed with bewilderment that two young women from Utah could be so despairing as to drive all the way out to the Mendocino Coast to kill themselves, going on to say that despair among the young seems to be growing given the high incidence of suicide and heavy drug use among people of all ages in Mendocino County.

I KNEW THE LATE STAN MIKLOSE only casually, first encountering him and his young family at Coast running events where the Miklose family was a ubiquitous presence. As was Stan as he padded around Fort Bragg putting in his many daily conditioning miles. And I knew Stan at Down Home Foods where he went out of his way to place the AVA in line of sight of his many customers. Reading the memories of Stan by his many friends, all of whom lamented his passing except for one of Stan's daughters who weighed in on the MCN chatline to say that Stan was a bad man and that she was glad he was dead. I'd heard rumors of trouble in the Miklose family but those were from years ago when Stan and Sally Miklose divorced. The small size of our communities lend themselves to all sorts of malignant gossip which, of course, is also inherent in the human beast, but Stan would have had to have been an awfully bad man indeed for a daughter to publicly announce she was glad he was dead. 

IT'S ANNOYING to hear the talking heads constantly repeat that it's Biden's age everyone is worried about. Wrong. It's not Biden's age that's worrisome, lots of 80-year-olds are highly functioning — take me for instance, well, on second thought… I had to look up the spelling of “raucous” the other day, me, a guy who used to win spelling bees! But it's Biden's obvious and utter lack of competent functioning that's the prob, and it's only further proof that the Democrat cabal running Biden is as utterly corrupt as their party is. Ditto for mass media, of course. It's going to be interesting to watch the DNC screw over the only popular figure they have, the only candidate who can win back the estranged legions who deluded themselves that the Orange Monster was somehow on their side. RFK is the man we want. RFK's analysis of what has happened and what needs to be done is irrefutable — irrefutable I tell you! 

ADD TO YOUR signs-of- the time collection: The Ukiah Walmart keeps its men's underwear under lock and key.

SAN ANSELMO residents have added this unprecedented event to their signs-of-the-time collections: About a dozen junior high boys, mounted on e-bikes, invaded the Safeway at the Red Hill Shopping Center, riding their bikes on into the store where they scooped up as many of bottles of booze as they could carry and rode on out and away. The police soon identified all of the youngsters and have reportedly visited their homes with a view to advising their parents to get a grip on their little dears. I don't know which is more appalling — junior high age kids invading a supermarket, or junior high age kids invading a supermarket for the purpose of stealing liquor.

AND ANOTHER REASON for praising the VA's medical services. When's the last time your doctor called you to see how you were doing? In my case, never, but my colleague, The Major, a recent patient at the VA has received two such calls. (I'm looking for my DD214 just in case.)

RFK JR. IS OFTEN DISMISSED as a “crank,” but in a nation of cranks, who better…. This observation doesn’t sound crank-ish to me: “The current political system is broken. The American Dream has turned into a Nightmare for many, and to free us from this nightmare, we need a new kind of leadership that is not at the mercy of special interests and corporate donors. I have spent my life fighting for justice and equality. I believe that my experience as an attorney and environmental activist has prepared me to tackle the challenges we face. My family’s legacy of public service has instilled in me a passion for justice. Both my father, Robert F Kennedy, and my uncles, President John Kennedy, and Senator Edward Kennedy, were champions of the underdog, fighters for what’s right, and tireless advocates for the voiceless. Their legacy inspires me every day, and it’s a great honor to carry on their work. We need to come together as a nation to tackle these challenges and to build a future that is fair and just for all. No democracy can survive without a thriving middle class.” 

THE FOLLOWING LEGEND of the “ Lover’s Leap” was read by Miss Fannie Lamar at Mrs. Poston’s Seminary August, 1878, and is relayed here by Ernie Branscomb via Redheaded Blackbelt:‑

“In the deep Cañada through which the Russian River comes cascading down with rollicking music from the mountains into the broad valley below, a great majestic rock towers several hundred feet perpendicularly from the bank of the river and slopes off to the westward upon a gentle incline. Passengers and tourists who travel the road which runs near its base, gaze with awe and admiration upon this great monument of Nature’s marvelous work, and listen attentively to a romantic legend familiar to those who dwell in its vicinity. 

The story, as related by a native Californian lady, Miss Chatta Feliz, who was reared near this great rock, and who was a contemporary with the principal actors in the tragedy, runs nearly as follows: 

Before the conquest of this country by the United States, and when the old Catholic Missions retained much of their primitive glory and beneficent power, many of the Indians were gathered into their folds for religious instruction. With the holy inspiration of the Church, which these simple children of Nature imbibed, they developed a passionate fondness for the fashions and ornaments of civilization. About ten miles south of the great rock, near where now stands the beautiful village of Cloverdale, dwelt a tribe of Indians, among whom was a young chief, a sort of Prince Imperial, whose name was Cachow. He was a fine looking fellow of faultless physique, a mighty hunter, skilled in the use of the bow and arrow, renowned for his prowess and rich in the trophies of the chase, as well as in the plunder of the battle field. To all this hoard of wealth and personal accomplishments he had added the glamour acquired by a short sojourn at the mission of San Rafael, and many beads and other trinkets, the gifts of the kind padres of that once famous mission. Of course Cachow was, as well as a distinguished prince, and a hero among the braves, a great favorite with the dusky ladies of his own and the neighboring tribes. About six miles north of the great rock, on a beautiful plateau called Sanel, on the bank of the river, were the wigwams of the Sanelanos. The chief of these Indians had a handsome young daughter, named Sotuka, whose small feet and hands, wealth of dark hair, grace and comeliness, and, more than all her extraordinary skill in cooking venison and grasshoppers and making buckeye mush, made her as famous within the radius of her acquaintance as was the Queen of Sheba in her country.
”About the time of which I write, in the early autumn, when the golden harvest of the wild oats had been gathered into the great willow baskets, and the wild fruits were abundant, and the deer and the rabbits were still fat, and fish were plentiful in the streams and easily caught, Sotuka’s father made a feast and sent his heralds forth with hospitable greetings and invitations to his neighbors. Among the invited guests was the distinguished Cachow, who, with all his fame and manly beauty and gorgeous trappings, was the cynosure of all eyes, and at once became the idol of the royal Sotuka.
”The juiciest acorns were roasted and pounded with Sotuka’s own hands for Cachow, and the choicest delicacies of her basket were selected and prepared for him. In short, while Cachow had completely enthralled the heart of Sotuka, he was not insensible to her great beauty and personal accomplishments; and this, their first meeting, resulted in a betrothal. After an exchange of souvenirs, like lovers of other races, and the festivities being over, Cachow returned to his home with a promise to come back in two moons with a deer skin full of beads for Sotuka’s father and make the lovely daughter his bride. But Cachow, like many men who have gone before him and many who have succeeded him, was unfaithful to his promise, and before two moons had waned he wedded another. It happened in the course of events that Cachow and his new love, in making their bridal tour, built their camp fire at the eastern base of the great rock, underneath the precipice. Sotuka had already become apprised of the perfidy of her lover, and while busily meditating and planning revenge, was informed by one of her scouts of the camping place of the bridal party. When night came Sotuka left her wigwam and, alone, hastened through the darkness to the great rock and, ascending the western slope, approached the precipice and looked down, where, by the light of the little camp fire, she saw her faithless lover and his bride fast asleep.
”With the merciless vengeance of love to hatred turned, and the desperation of unrequited affection, she clasped in her arms a stone as large as she could lift and sprang off the fearful height upon her sleeping victims On the morrow, the Sanelanos and the tribe of Cachow held a grand imposing inquest over the dead trio, and, having built a great log heap, they placed upon it the three mangled bodies and lighted the funeral pyre Then, to the music of a solemn dirge, the wailings of the mourners and the roaring of the flames, the spirits of the departed, as the Indians say, rode upon a chariot of smoke to the happy hunting ground. Since this tragic scene the great rock has been known as ‘The Lover’s Leap.'“

*Transcribed by Kathy Sedler.)

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COMMENT: About that rock…

Thank you for the lovely story and for the tribute to the tribe as well as to the love leap.
There is also another story revolving around that powerful place.    Are you familiar with the awful story of Jackie Ray Hovarter who is on death row (where he definitely belongs)? He left one of his victims near the rock after having brutally attacked, shot her, leaving her to die. After he left, that courageous woman removed the bullet and survived, made it to medical care and then found the courage to testify against Hovarter in court face to face. He was convicted and sentenced to death. She was not his first victim. To this day, each and every time we pass the rock in our travels, I pray for the woman that jumped and the woman that survived and for the tribe. Powerful place indeed. 

ANYONE REMEMBER? Does anyone remember the name of the church located at the north edge of what is now the Albion Bridge?  It was torn down in the late 1930s to make way for the bridge. Little River Museum is trying to find out its name as there seems to be no record of its existence except in the memories of the community elders, who are rapidly aging out. Any information about the church would be a very welcome to addition to our records. Possibly a photo of it exists somewhere? We scan photos and return originals to you for safe keeping. Please contact me off list:— Ronnie James,

THE EVERT-PERSON COURTYARD at the Grace Hudson Museum is showing the glories of Spring. Candace Horsley, former Ukiah city manager and Hudson museum volunteer extraordinaire snapped these beautiful photos of the work native landscaper Andrea Davis has done to nurture the Person Courtyard. Norma Person, the wife of the late publisher of The Press Democrat newspaper, funded the courtyard's development in honor of her husband. The Persons are major donors to the Hudson Museum. (Mike Geniella)


[1] Men Are Sharing Little Things Women Do That Make Them Feel Valued And Loved (30 Answers)…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 acrylic 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. (Eric Sunswheat)

[2] RE THE PIT BULL MAULING IN FORT BRAGG, an on-line comment: 

“Here is the issue: human or dog. These days nobody knows when the script is going to be flipped. Look at the horrible crimes that humans have been doing to each other lately. Then add the dogs that were raised by these horrible humans. How can you expect anything less. People who defend their ‘sensitive’ dogs because they’re ‘misunderstood’ or somebody didn’t know them so I took them because everything scares them. Quick to bite and or attack/kill frequently. Cat killing dogs. Chicken killing. Goat killing. Rehomed to a place with no animals but KIDS are there. There’s a lot of people who hide these kinds of dogs for years until something like this happens. An ‘emotional’ support dog should not need to be ‘emotionally’ supported by a human.”

[3] As few as I have I vote with my dollars. I only once tried farmed salmon that tastes nothing like fish to research a bit. The overcrowded fish are fed shrimp flavored corn and their flesh is jaundiced and tasteless. READ: COLOR ADDED. If there’s no profit these bassturds dissolve. Of course, not even my cat will eat it.

[4] The mass psychosis of the Communist System was able to persist for over 70 years in the Soviet Union only because the Russian communists were able to keep absolute control over what the people read and heard. And, if anyone reached a different conclusion about anything, then he was immediately censored and “Cancelled”. When I was growing up in the US, the only thing that got “Cancelled” were TV shows with poor viewer ratings lacking entertainment value.

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