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Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 8, 2023

Cool | Quail | Winning Artists | Wilson Celebration | Hospice Hiring | Hugh McAvoy | Intervention | Crisis Respite | Rhododendron | Positive Force | Priorities | Ed Notes | Best Ever | Whiny Bitch | Sharp Pain | Legalizing Pot | Drag Queens | Misplaced Regrets | Worm Charming | Film Festival | Yesterday's Catch | Two Windsors | Shop Window | Vida Blue | Mass Shootings | Consciousness | Side Chicks | Seafloor Features | Narcissism Squared | Solar Lawsuit | Got Male | Lowest Standard | My Outfit | Ghost Dance | Second Home | CIA Assassins | Labour

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COOLER THAN NORMAL temperatures are forecast today through Tuesday. A warming trend will begin around mid week with temperatures increasing above normal for the latter half of the week and over the weekend. Widespread showers this morning will decrease this afternoon, followed by drier weather and cooler temperatures and possible frost for the interior valleys tonight. (NWS)

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(photo by Anne Fashauer)

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The Anderson Valley Unity Club is pleased to announce the winners of the art work submitted to the recent Wildflower Show. $50 prizes were awarded to Chantel Alarcon, Kellie Crisman, and Mario Lara. Other participants from Nate Bubliz's classes at AV Jr/Sr High School included Aster Arbanovella, Rye Baird-Green, Briana Balandron, Emillia Bennett, Samantha Flores, Gloria Joy Donahue, Ciomara Garcia-Parra, and Miguel Jesus-Hernandez. We congratulate all these talented young artists and appreciate their contributions to the show.

Alice Bonner, Unity Club


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COVELO CELEBRATES RICHARD WILSON, the Man Who Stopped the Damming of the Eel River and Flooding of Round Valley

by Sarah Reith

Richard and Susan Wilson in the 1960s [Image from University of California, Berkeley]

A celebration to honor Richard Wilson at Live Power Farm in Covelo on Saturday, April 29, 2023, expanded into a reflection on the historical contributions of tribal leaders, agricultural innovators, and efforts to promote the environmental and social health of the Valley going forward.

Wilson is one of the Valley’s most well-known adopted sons. Born into a wealthy Southern California family in 1933, he settled on a ranch on Buck Mountain outside Covelo in 1957. From there, he became involved in a series of high-profile historic events, with long-lasting local and state-wide repercussions. He’s widely credited with playing a key role in bringing an end to the big-dam era in California water politics. Not long after he settled into his life as a rancher, he learned that the Army Corps of Engineers was planning to build a 730-foot tall dam called the Dos Rios. It would have flooded the Valley and sent the Eel River’s water to southern California. The government tried to get the tribe to agree to the termination, but tribal leaders joined Wilson in persuading then-Governor Ronald Reagan to scuttle the project in 1969.…

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To the Editor:

Hospice of Ukiah is in need of a competent office manager. If you have computer skills, Quickbooks, Excel, Word, WordPress, Publisher and social media skills such as Facebook, tik tok, etc., I’m interested in talking to you. I can train on Quickbooks and office procedures, but need someone with office or managerial experience. This is a part time job that could lead to more hours and responsibility for the right person. Please send full resumes to Hospice of Ukiah, 620 So. Dora St., Ste. 101, Ukiah, or For more information call Janet at (707) 462-4038 any morning Mon — Fri.

Thank you.

Janet Denninger, Administrator, Hospice of Ukiah, Inc.

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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Hugh Michael McAvoy Jr. on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Born in Fort Bragg, CA on March 7, 1948 to Beulah "Larry" McAvoy (Whelan) and Hugh McAvoy Sr., he was the middle child of older sister Kathy (Starback) and younger brother Marty. The family moved all over Mendocino and Sonoma county before settling in Ukiah, CA in 1957 with all kids attending St. Mary's Catholic School. Hugh loved to tell stories of his adventures as an altar boy, riding around with his father, who was an alcohol salesman, and causing mischief with his younger brother, Marty.

Hugh graduated Ukiah High School class of 1966 often boasting of his attendance at Prom all four years. Hugh spent a few formative years at Shasta Community College meeting lifelong friends, one of whom invited him to spend the summer of 1967 working on his family's farm on the island of Kauai. Hugh often described the magic of Hawaii and his first exposure to the Japanese martial art of Aikido.

Hugh married Lea Montgomery in 1970. After briefly living on the Big Island of Hawaii and working on a coffee farm, Lea and Hugh moved back to Mendocino County in 1973 and soon welcomed their daughter Shoshana Spring McAvoy. Hugh later remarried in 1983 to Anita (Walter), with whom he had two children, Caitlin Laurence McAvoy and Hugh Michael McAvoy III.

Hugh's knack for hands-on work led him to join the Carpenters Union Apprentice Program in 1972 while living in Fort Bragg, CA. Hugh earned his Contractor's License in 1985 and founded McAvoy Construction. Over 36 years he built a strong reputation as a general contractor and specialized in foundation retrofit work throughout Mendocino County. Hugh also played a large role in starting Main Street Wine & Cheese in 1985 with his wife Anita, his sister Kathy, and her husband Jack Starback. The deli operated for 16 years in downtown Ukiah.

In addition to being a devoted father to his children and managing a demanding construction business, Hugh had a passion for community development. In 1976 he began formal training in Aikido, earning his 1st degree black belt in 1980. Hugh became an assistant instructor at Ukiah Aikido and eventually became the assistant chief instructor, teaching advanced children's classes and beginning adults. Later in life Hugh was president of the board of directors of Redwood Empire Aikikai, a non-profit organization associated with Ukiah Aikido.

Hugh's time at the dojo left a lasting impression on those he taught:

"He was known in the local Aikido community as Hugh Sensei (teacher). He was a senior 4th degree black belt, teacher, and lifelong student of Aikido. He brought up many students both children and adults at Ukiah Aikido where he taught, mentored and inspired many under the leadership of Gayle Fillman Sensei. He was an integral part of the history of Ukiah Aikido and lived by the Aikido philosophy: 'The way to be in harmony, be one with the universe, and to love and respect all things'. Hugh Sensei will be missed greatly by his Aikido family and his spirit will live on with them always." - Hinda Darner

"I was honored to be a student and friend of Hugh McAvoy for 33 years. The timber of his voice said it all; a mix of gravel from the depths of the earth, combined with the honey of kindness, compassion, attention to detail, and loyalty. He trained me in Aikido by attacking me with the fierceness of a wild lion, and taught me to see a bit more clearly beyond the stickiness of human frailties. He made me stronger by giving me the gift of his fierceness gilded with love." - Sensei Lee Davis

Hugh's legacy of giving back to his community extended beyond the dojo. He was a founding member of the board for the Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah, serving as board president and various positions throughout the years. He had a focused passion for providing positive experiences for the children of the Ukiah Valley, contributing unending support through the ups and downs of non-profit work. Notably, Hugh was proud to be an early graduate of Leadership Mendocino (Class IV).

In his free time Hugh loved camping and traveling with his family and friends, exploring the West Coast from British Columbia to Mexico. Hugh always gravitated towards beautiful bodies of water; he often went whale watching on the Mendocino coast and never missed an opportunity to enjoy Lake Michigan while visiting in-laws.

Hugh loved morning trips to tend his garden plots at Grace Lutheran Community Garden, where he often spearheaded garden improvement projects. His free afternoons were spent basking in the sun at the Yokayo Pool & Racquet Club, playing dominos, and listening to Giants baseball with Anita. Hugh had an ear for music and loved attending live performances, rarely missing a "Sundays in the Park". He also had a deep love for New Orleans and frequently visited to attend the city's Jazz and French Quarter Festivals.

Along with many dear friends, Hugh was a founding member of the Ukiah "Hosers". He reveled in the various social events they organized such as comically themed bowling tournaments, the annual Christmas dinner, and the many backyard BBQs. More recently he had enjoyed reconnecting with his UHS Class of '66 crew, relishing their group lunches and reminiscing on wilder days.

Hugh was an irreplaceable presence, always offering a fond anecdote or gem of wisdom from his seemingly endless library of experiences. An avid fan of Jeopardy, he was celebrated in his family as "Mr. Wizard" for the vast scope of his intellect. He was always happy to help those who asked by sharing his knowledge.

Hugh is predeceased by his parents, Hugh Sr. and Larry, and his loving daughter Shoshanna McAvoy. A celebration of life, currently dubbed "Hugh Fest", will take place in March 2024, more information to follow. In lieu of flowers please kindly send donations to the following:

  • Redwood Empire Aikikai - 901 S. Oak Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
  • Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah - 1640 S. State St, Ukiah, CA 95482

(courtesy Ukiah Daily Journal)

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WORKING WELL WITH OTHERS While Bringing Common Sense And Fiscal Responsibility To The Table


The coast's Cypress Crisis Respite will open on Monday, May 8, 2023.

A little more than three years ago, on February 3, 2020, Malcolm Macdonald arranged a meeting with respite expert Steve Fields of the Progress Foundation to discuss and assess the needs of the Fort Bragg community. The stakeholder group in attendance included me, Councilmember Morsell-Haye, Supervisor Williams, a Mendocino Coast Health Care District board member, a Measure B board member, and Adventist Health executives. This proved the right combination for the discussion.

After several follow-up conversations we concluded that a four-bed respite would best suit our needs. Then the work began on the fundamental questions of location, cost, funding source, and management. Having spent most of my time on council dealing with the issues that come with homelessness and mental health and having a clear understanding of that we were already dealing with this demographic unsuccessfully state and countywide by throwing more and more money at the issue while watching the problem grow every year, the most important question to me was when.

The first step was to find a suitable location that would fit best into our community. It had to have the most significant positive impact with the least amount of conflict within its neighborhood. Ultimately, we decided the best spot would be where we started the discussion: the Cypress Street building, which was part of AHʼs lease from the healthcare district. From there, it was a matter of who would run it. It could not be the City as we do not have a health and human service department. Dr. Jenine Miller proved a great asset during the process and agreed that the County should be in charge as this falls into their scope. That concept also allowed for a growing relationship between the City and County. The County folded this facility into its already established contract with RCS (Redwood Community Services). I found the arrangement acceptable as the city was developing a productive relationship with RCS. I then went to work with Adventist Health and RCS to figure out logistics.

Knowing the County had already funded a respite inland for a whopping $4 million in facilities and services, I need to do better for the taxpayers. With Adventist Health already being a key player in the service provider field and, by default, the landing spot for all potential mental health crises, they immediately saw the value in the project. Adventist Health agreed to lease the facility to RCS, thus allowing them to relocate all their adult mental health services into the front of the building and leaving the back end for the four-bed respite. The next step would be the cost. With RCS able to consolidate its offices and willing to pay for the remodel, Adventist Health offering a more than fair lease arrangement, half the battle was already fought and won. An essential aspect of the services was ensuring that nobody was turned away based on insurance or financial means. 

With written support from the community, Senator McGuire, and Assembly Member Wood, I successfully lobbied Measure B and the County Board of Supervisors to subsidize the facility and ensure services for the first four years. We eventually returned with $960,000 of Measure B funds for four years to ensure no one will be left behind.

Fast forward to May 8, 2023, with both excitement and a feeling of accomplishment, I am left to ponder the process. We all know that the wheels of government too often turn slowly. However, it was not just government red tape that got in the way. We got some pushback and quite a bit of criticism from some unlikely players. Players who should have seen the potential benefit to the community but instead seemed to resent others fighting successfully for their community and winning.

My point is that everything in government does not have to be gold-plated and new. Ukiah Valley has a very successful 8-10 bed respite, and the City of Fort Bragg and the coast now will have their own four-bed soon-to-be successful respite. One came with a price tag of roughly $4 million to the taxpayer, the other $960,000. The significant difference in cost came from the hard work and dedication put into this project, utilizing my networking, collaborative and solution-based approach, and, of course, while keeping government bureaucracy and red tape to a minimum. Funding always takes a majority vote for approval, so showing up prepared and with a solid plan can make all the difference in success. Get on the bus or get out of the way. 

Bernie Norvell, Mayor

Fort Bragg

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Rhododendron at Fort Bragg's Botanical Gardens (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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by Jim Shields

At back-to-back meetings last week (April 26 and April 27), the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council (LAMAC) and the Laytonville County Water District (LCWD) Board, both approved supporting the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) in a ludicrous dispute with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) regarding essential watershed restoration work. For disclosure purposes I’m chairman of the LAMAC and district manager of the Water District.

For the record, the Water District has a long-standing relationship with ERRP, and we have assisted and partnered with them over the years on a number of watershed restoration projects that have been brought to successful completion. I have worked with ERRP’s Executive Director, Pat Higgins, for 10 years on numerous watershed projects.

One of those projects involved a $475,000 grant from the State Water Board to stop bank erosion, restore riparian areas and to create fish habitat improvement structures in critical reaches for salmon and steelhead. Just 10 days ago, the UDJ ran a story on another grant awarded to ERRP from CAL FIRE for $5.9 million for its Forest Health Program. So it’s evident that ERRP is an organization that has a successful track record with state resource agencies due to their demonstrated ability to perform critical watershed work.

About a week ago, Higgins emailed me regarding this growing dispute with CDFW. Here are excerpts from those emails:

“Hi Jim, I think CDFW has given us no other option than to appeal their decision in the court of public opinion and then in court if necessary … Monday afternoon I opened my emails and got notice that our group has been awarded a $5.9 M CAL FIRE Forest Health grant! Forest Health will be creating a major surplus of wood that we can rebuild creeks with … agencies now hate rock and love wood. We intend to use the excess wood to reshape stream channels and rebuild fish habitat and hydrology throughout the Tenmile Creek system. can we get a permit to fix these four places with rock and then fix the rest of the channels with the wood?”

Basically what’s happening is CDFW doesn’t want ERRP using rock to repair eroded stream banks, even though it’s been one of the main fixes for years.

Here’s excerpts from the Water District’s letter to Wade Crowfoot, who is Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. The Water District, as well as the Laytonville Town Council, are requesting Crowfoot to intervene and resolve the dispute.

Dear Secretary Crowfoot,

The Laytonville County Water District (LCWD) is a local government public water utility that has been in existence since 1951. The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) was awarded a State Water Resources Control Board 319h sediment abatement grant (#D2013114) for $475,000 to stop bank erosion, restore riparian areas and to create fish habitat improvement structures in critical reaches for salmon and steelhead. Staff of Region 1 of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are refusing to grant ERRP a 1653 permit, which 1951. Among other powers, we are also authorized to represent our community’s interest to other governmental entities and in this capacity that we wish to request your assistance in getting a much-needed restoration project in Tenmile Creek permitted. we believe they are obligated to issue under the Habitat Restoration Enhancement Act (HREA) and it is threatening the project. We call on you to work with CDFW Director Charlton Bonham to remedy this problem expeditiously because bank erosion is active at these locations and levels of sediment pollution unacceptable.

CDFW not issuing a permit for this project is inexplicable and an insult to our community. Our community needs the jobs that this project will create. LCWD and all the citizens in our watershed want to clean up sediment pollution and restore fish habitat and we are dumbfounded that the Department is threatening a much-needed project and allowing sediment pollution. The ERRP project has a substantial science and monitoring component that is much needed and could be aborted, if project funding is lost due to inability to get the restoration project permitted. We highly value the work they are doing with Laytonville Elementary School to help students learn about rivers and watersheds and to participate in restoration. We want ERRP to maintain its grant budget to provide this valuable service.

ERRP has been a positive force in our community, assisting with planning and implementation for water conservation, erosion control, riparian restoration and forest health. The illegal, capricious and arbitrary treatment by CDFW staff has put them under unnecessary stress. We know from your pronouncements how important the Cut the Green Tape program within the Natural Resources Agency is. Therefore, we trust that you will help guide CDFW, which is under your jurisdiction, to do the right thing on issuing a 1653 permit for this much needed project by June 1, 2023 to allow 2023 construction and to abate continuing sediment pollution.

Thank you for consideration of our request.

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Mendo’s Public Records Ordinance’s End Near

If everything goes according to plan, next Tuesday, May 9th, the Board of Supervisors will repeal the illegal Ordinance dealing with public records requests from citizens it approved last year.

As I said last week, since late February 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 the 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.

Shortly before Board Chair Glenn McGourty 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).”

So assuming the Supes follow through and deep-six the ordinance, here’s what should occur.

Subsequent to the Ordinance’s repeal, requesters of public documents who paid illegal fees should be compensated without any argument from the County. If the County refuses to make requesters whole for paying unlawful fees, then litigation will occur and the County lose that lawsuit without question, and then would have to pay requesters attorney’s fees also. Of course those are our tax dollars that the County would be wasting, but I don’t believe that will happen. It better not for all concerned.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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A RURAL FEEB GOES DEEP. Considering the weekend mayhem, now a daily occurrence, it's obvious something has snapped. I think The Snap snapped with the Kennedy Assassination and its tsunami of implausible characters, the whole of it implausibly summed up in the bi-partisan Warren Report drafted by Gerald Ford and comparable heavy hitters. For sure the great consensus was in shatters by '67, and the popular culture, an audio-visual banquet of round-the-clock vulgarity nicely summed up in the annual Super Bowl half-time show, ate the minds of the young, and the internet finished off the rest of the world.

I THOUGHT these gloomy thoughts as I watched the Warrior's collapse in L.A. Saturday night. Whenever the camera panned the spectators, I said to my friend, “Have you ever seen more debauched-looking people in one place?” He said, “Any pro football game. The DNC. Any gathering of MAGAS. The Mendocino County Courthouse, for crissakes. Your own puss is kinda frightening, too, if you don't mind my saying so. It comes with citizenship. We're a violent, dangerous people. Always have been. Live with it.”

SPEAKING OF THE DEBAUCHED, where's Adam Schiff? Ubiquitous on TV for the past two years with his claim that Trump was a Russian agent. Then, when his own rigged hearings found that Trump, bad enough in his own right without dragging in the Russkies, was not a Russian agent, Schiff disappeared. Trump, as the country continues its great slide into pure chaos, is still the Democrat's sole issue.

THE DEMOCRATS have the Northcoast in a permanent headlock. Willie Brown gerrymandered us so we'd have these deeply superficial hustlers of the McGuire-Wood type “representing” us forever. (Congressman Huffman? We could do worse. We have done worse, cf Bosco, magically bounced out from Congress by the Republican cipher Frank Riggs with a huge boost from the now defunct Peace and Freedom Party, Bosco winds up owning the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the remnant Northwest Pacific Railroad.)

IF YOU DON'T THINK local Democrats dominate Mendocino County, how does it happen that Mike McGuire's staffer, a young bullethead from Redwood Valley named Mockel, is immediately and simultaneously endorsed by all five county supervisors for 1st District supervisor? It happens because all five supervisors met on-line and serially endorsed Mockel, violating the Brown Act as they did it, I'd say.

TED WILLIAMS SAYS: "With all due respect, I don't think you understand the Brown Act."

ED REPLY: Public business is supposed to be conducted in public. A public endorsement of a political candidate by a public body is public business, in this case arrived at non-publicly, hence a violation of the Brown Act. I think you five McGuire tools probably just signed off on letters of support forwarded to you by this Mockel character. You then checked with each other on-line or in closed session and signed on to his campaign, deluding yourselves that your endorsement wouldn't have opposite effect of the one intended.

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Happy anniversary.

I hadn't realized it, and I'm fairly sure it slipped your mind, but a few months ago we celebrated our 6-year anniversary!

That's right, hard to believe I know, but I've been writing for that little broadsheet of yours for more than 6 years now Bruce. In that time I published dozens of pieces, some of them quite good, and not only did it we miss our anniversary luncheon and party we missed all our annual evaluations and reviews!

In fact we've never talked really in any detail about my work appearing in your paper, and now I want to.

I have some important work to do and you people can provide some leverage and eyeballs but I need to come to a more formal understanding with you and cut some of the sniping going back and forth.

I have a new piece, an important piece reporting on the situation in Covelo, and I have more to come on that situation and on the county sheriff, auditor, and da. I'm desirous of continuing my relationship with your paper but it has to be on a mutually respectful basis.

If you want to file it into your "whiny bitch-writer" category that's fine Bruce. I really don't care.

But I do care about getting clear with you about a couple things about my work being published in your paper.

I want a better understanding of how and when my work comes into the publishing queue at the Ava.

Since you've never paid me for my work it's not too much to ask for a better understanding of certain details regarding publication. Further, I want to have some compensation agreements worked out at least regards directing traffic to my new website.

So let me know.

Andrew Scully <>


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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Bud Lite, its sales perpetually buoyed by massive advertising campaigns shilling its watery product, recently shot itself in the left temple.

Bud Lite hired Dylan Mulvaney, a “transgender influencer” as ambassador for the brand. It did not go well. His/her appearance on beer cans and in ads provoked a backlash.

The following is a copy of a memo from Anheuser-Busch executives questioning the wisdom of the campaign.

TO: All remaining employees in Marketing and/or Advertising Divisions

FROM: Your Boss

RE: Woke Advertising Concept

Those still receiving paychecks from the A-B Beverage Corp and who do not wish to join their former colleagues in the Clydesdale compost development division are directed to submit plans for a new message aimed at former customers that will cause them to return to the world of Bud Lite drinkers. Be specific and, if necessary, include colorful Crayola illustrations.

Please know we have attempted to communicate with a gentleman known as William Nelson, reportedly a popular country music-type entertainer, in order to gauge his interest in a series of Bud Lite commercials. In essence Mr. Nelson stated that we had urinated in our own beverage and suggested we ought now be forced to drink the resulting brew.

He terminated the conversation to take a phone call from the marketing department at the Coors Brewing Company, subject of which remains unknown.

Earlier today a veteran A-B copywriter editor suggested a new slogan: “Bud Lite: The Beer that Made Mulvaney Famous!” (NOTE: Shortly thereafter, said editor accidentally tumbled down flights of stairs in both Brewing Unit 5 and Brewing Unit 8. To his family, our thoughts and prayers.)

Our dilemma is obvious: Appealing to the naive follies of Generation Woke alienates the unimaginative worker bees, once dutiful Bud Lite customers. Conversely, appealing to slack-jawed droolers does not sell well in California.

We have reached out to Hollywood agents, screenwriters and other showbiz friends for assistance in efforts to lure back once-loyal customers. An actor dressed like a cowboy named Clint Rawhide Chapsaddle has submitted a 60-second standup video delivery:

“Howdydoodle y’all hard-workin’ rodeo persons and leaf blower operators who toil the livelong day out among the cactus orchards, breakin’ rocks in the hot sun, workin’ up a powerful thirst! Me too, and that’s why I drink the very same beer Billy the Kid, Hopalong Cassidy and General George Custer all did consume down at the local roadhouse tavern: Bud Lite, you betcha!

“Pardner, let’s you ’n’ me head on down to the Longbranch Salon, quench our roughneck pipes with Bud Lite and then go repair us a tractor.”

The A-B Board of Directors believe that despite being a powerful presentation, it lacks sufficient references to lumberjacks, bullfighters and diesel mechanics. Nor does it present an opportunity to depict provocatively dressed humans who identify as female to dance with seeming abandon to jukebox music while swallowing loads of Bud Lite suds. Your input, in open verse, is requested.

Finally, we are considering spinning Bud Lite into a separate brand devoted to progressive ideology and its adherents.

In its place we think an alternate Anheuser-Busch beverage, Bud-Rite, could be aimed at a market segment that includes soldiers, police officers, coal mine frackers, construction workers, blue collar dolts, chainsaw practitioners and oil farmers.

Your thoughts and comments are requested; please submit all responses in Haiku stanzas.

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The Bad Old Days

Remember back when growing marijuana was a criminal enterprise run by outlaws who broke laws, paid no taxes and scoffed at wage peasants like you and me limping along the old 9-to-5 treadmill?

Man did those guys annoy us. They’d be rolling all over Ukiah in their mud-spattered trucks, dining wherever they wanted, throwing hundred dollar bills around at Mac Nab’s and the Co-op, then heading back out to the Ford dealership to trade in the muddy truck for a brand new $80,000 model.

Citizens fought back and legalized marijuana, knowing tax money would be available for all kinds of worthwhile government programs. Fat new streams of tax money pouring in!! What could go wrong?

Oops. We A) lost the outlaw cash that kept Ukiah prosperous, and B) the tax money never materialized. At some point we may come to understand that having the government step in to solve problems rarely works out as we’d hoped.

Economist Milton Friedman once said: “If we put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert in five years there’ll be a shortage of sand.”

Of course I was among those shouting about, and voting for, legalizing pot; I got what I wanted, right between the eyes. TWK is ineligible to vote except in Chicago.

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To the Editor:

One of the great regrets of my life is that I never had the chance to meet Thomas Pynchon back when he was living incognito in the Anderson Valley in 1990.

I was living in Colorado at that time.

The novelist, John Barth, was one of my faculty advisers back when I was in college at Johns Hopkins, and one thing I learned from Jack is that many postmodernist themes and devices have close parallels in recent advances in theoretical physics.

The notions of “many worlds” (Hugh Everett III) and “two time” (Itzhak Bars) are straight out of theoretical physics.

The interwoven pastiches of literary genres in a single work of fiction borrow straight from “quantum entanglement theory”.

The German theoretical physicist, Susan Hossenfelder, writes about invisible narrative voices in “existential physics”.

Her doctoral dissertation, “Schwarze Löcher in Extra-Dimensionen: Eigenschaften und Nachweis” (Extra-Dimensional Black Holes: Properties and Proof) was just the beginning of her exploring concepts of physics and cosmology. Hossenfelder’s work would blow your mind.

Hossenfelder asks: How is the narrator figure and the function of narration — and consciousness itself — transformed in a black hole?

How does a black hole fragment, destroy and reconstitute narrative voices (and consciousness) that transcend familiar first- and third-person perspectives.?

And isn’t that the very same question that innovative authors ask?

And hasn’t the identity of speakers in late modern, avant-garde, and postmodern literature not been adequately discussed from the perspective of theoretical physics.

I think not.

I draw attention to the more unusual practices of developing “unnatural voices” beginning with James Joyce and Virgina Woolf; moving to Jorge Luis Borges, as well as the work of later authors like Samuel Beckett, William S. Burroughs, and Julio Cortáza; and recent postmodernists like John Barth (intertextuality), David Foster Wallace (metafiction), Gabriel García Márquez (historical metafiction), Salman Rushdie (fabulation), John Fowles, William Golding, Gilbert Sorrentino (poioumenon), Robert Coover (temporal distortion), Italo Calvino and Gabriel García Márquez (magical realism).

Pynchon’s own work is an exercise in paranoia — “coincidence or conspiracy – or a cruel joke” (from The Crying of Lot 49).

Patricia Lockwood’s 2021 Booker-shortlisted novel, No One Is Talking About This, is a recent example of a new postmodernist twist — fragmentation, disintegration, and obliteration.

Fragmentation, disintegration, and obliteration purport to depict a metaphysically unfounded, chaotic universe. It can occur in language. Or it can occur in physics.

God, how I wish I had met Pynchon!

John Sakowicz


ED REPLY: Pynchon never lived in Boonville. I thought for a time he lived in Fort Bragg and was writing to the ava as Wanda Tinasky, a purported bag lady who lived under the Pudding Creek Bridge. We were wrong at book length. Tinasky turned out to be an erudite, and ultimately tragic old beatnik named Tom Hawkins who’d gone to extravagant lengths to insinuate himself as Pynchon, right down to an identical typewriter. The late John Ross said he met Pynchon in Trinidad, HumCo, and maybe he did, but who knows? The well-known attribution scholar, Don Foster, irrefutably identified Hawkins as Wanda Tinasky and, incidentally, identified Mike Sweeney as the author of the Lord’s Avenger Letter, hence the man who bombed Judi Bari. I was shocked at the news that Hawkins, so jolly-jolly in his Tinasky persona, bludgeoned his wife to death, mourned over her body for three days, set his Trillum Lane house on fire, then drove himself into the Pacific near Ten Mile. Myself, I’ve never had any desire to meet the authors I admire; after all they are their books, so why risk disillusion?

Our summary of Foster’s Wanda analysis: "Looking Back At Wanda"

Foster on the Lord’s Avenger Letter: "Pen Names, Pyrotechnics, and Paranoia in the Timber Wars"

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MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL Celebrates 16th Year With Film, Music, And More

The 16th Annual Mendocino Film Festival has just announced the 2023 schedule of films and events for June 1-4. A diverse lineup of 60 films, live music, special panels, workshops, and visiting filmmakers will again make Mendocino the epicenter of film on the North Coast.

The film line-up includes feature films and more short films than ever before. Many visiting filmmakers will be present for post-screening Q&A’s and panel discussions.

This year’s program features a number of compelling music documentaries including Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind director Ethan Coen’s first documentary, Little Richard: I Am Everything, and Santos: Skin on Skin about Afro-Cuban drummer John Santos. Other music documentaries include Squaring the Circle: The Story of Hypnosis that tells the story of the icon album design firm that gave us unforgettable album packaging for bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and others. And, as a special treat, Finding Her Beat, a documentary about a remarkable all-female Taiko drum group and Santos: Skin on Skin will be followed by live performances — John Santos in person with his quartet and Taiko drumming by Sonoma County Taiko.

The Festival opens with a presentation of the “Rogue Wave” award to director Nicole Holofcener, whose films Enough Said and the new comedy You Hurt My Feelings will be screened during the Festival. She will accept the award in person at the Thursday night Tribute to Members on June 1.

“The Festival continues to evolve in wonderful ways,” Executive Director Angela Matano said. “We’re delighted to bring back our beloved Feel Good Short Films, our Reel Mendo showcase of talented local filmmakers, and our Native Cinema program, to name a few.”

In addition to a diverse and engaging slate of films, the Mendocino Film Festival will again host great parties. Members enjoy a special preview screening on Thursday, June 1, of this year’s “Feel Good Shorts” program with heartwarming and humorous stories from around the world.

The Festival's Gala Jazz Night, on Friday, June 2, will highlight 10 local chefs and 15 local beer, wine, and craft cocktail partners. Following the party, keep the beat at the screening of Santos: Skin to Skin and the live performance by the John Santos Quartet.

Elements of this year’s film program include:

Films from around the globe with 15 different countries represented this year including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and more.

Fascinating documentaries on the natural world include Wild Life, the story of environmentalists Kris and Doug Thompkins—the founders of Patagonia and other outdoor brands—and their quest to create huge national parks in South America, Path of the Panther about one photographer’s search for the elusive Florida panther, Patrick and the Whale, about one man’s pursuit to better understand whales, and Franklin about a remarkable solo rafting trip retracing a father’s journey.

Guest curator Pat Ferrero brings us The Art of Un-War about artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, I Like it Here, an examination on aging, Body Parts, about the objectification of women in cinema, and Finding Her Beat.

And for sports fans we have an early, sneak-peek at the new documentary Stephen Curry: Underrated. The film was a huge hit at Sundance this past January.

In addition to our Feel Good Shorts and our Reel Mendo Shorts, the Festival has added two other short film programs -- A Trip to Italy, with three charming Italian stories, and Fascinating Women, portraits of three remarkable women.

Other films of note include the narrative dramas The Lost King, God’s Creatures, Living, Hold Me Tight, Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, and The Forger. Some of the many documentaries include Salvatore; Shoemaker of Dreams, Three Minutes: A Lengthening, A Bunch of Amateurs, and Weed and Wine. And don’t miss the free children’s screening of Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown in partnership with the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

For more information, including this year’s complete program and how to buy tickets, visit

About The Festival: The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting riveting, thought-provoking and award-winning independent and international films. The festival draws increasing numbers of filmmakers and avid attendees from around the world, while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring a varied line-up of films, panels, and special events, the festival offers a unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in the intimate and strikingly beautiful setting of seaside Mendocino.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, May 7, 2023

Acosta, Camargo, Garrett, Ortiz

RICO ACOSTA, Redwood Valley. Loaded firearm in public, failure to appear.

JONATHAN CAMARGO, Ukiah. Refuse disposal in state waters, paraphernalia.


RICHARD ORTIZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, burglary, vandalism, offenses while on bail.

Roberts, Summers, Welsh

MEGAN ROBERTS, Ukiah. Domestic battery. 

FELICIA SUMMERS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JESSE WELSH, Fort Bragg. Trespassing. 

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by Marilyn Davin

One of the highlights of my mother’s life was when she saw Queen Elizabeth serenely glide by in her royal carriage, gloved hand awave, in the heart of London. I was standing right next to her, having joined her after hitchhiking through Scotland for a couple of weeks. Mom took one look at me in my Levi 501s and combat boots (how else would a UC Berkeley student have been dressed back in 1969?) and took me straightaway to Harrod’s, from which I emerged in a dress and platform heels that probably jacked me up close to six feet. 

As we stood among thousands of cheering flag-waving Brits along the Queen’s motor route I remember wondering how my mom could possibly have so passionately desired to stand on the sidewalk for hours in the chill London damp to watch this pompous anachronistic holdover from the days of Empire. Isn’t this is what we shed our blood to get rid of? That’s how I saw it back then, and how I still see it today. 

It didn’t look like the monarchy’s popularity had suffered much during King Charles’s coronation, however, where viewers around the world freely indulged their enduring fascination with the royals – including here at home. Years ago a British colleague, who referred to the U.S. as “that troublesome colony,” asked me why Americans are so obsessed with the royal family’s goings-on and dirty laundry, which is increasingly public today courtesy of social media and electronic snooping. I think what it boiled down to for Mom was that Queen Elizabeth was her contemporary during the Second World War years when she was a teenager in a tiny impoverished town in Clackamas County, Oregon. Her four older brothers served overseas, the first time any of my uncles had even travelled outside of the State. It was a patriotic time; my mom told me that the only law her Norwegian father ever broke was to provide his sons with extra gasoline over their ration limits when they were home on leave. It was a time when one in five American families displayed at least one blue star on their living room windows. Grandma had four such stars on her window – one for each son fighting in the war. The fact that Americans and Brits fought side-by-side, a bond strengthened through two world wars and a common language, sheds light on the “then,” but what about the “now?” What’s up with all the young folk huddled beneath broad umbrellas on the cold, wet lawns along the coronation parade route, enthusiastically shooting their selfies? 

Perhaps it’s as simple as the pageantry. Even big-bucks movie producers couldn’t afford the cast of thousands that make up the real thing. It’s spectacle on an unimaginably humongous scale, seasoned with juicy gossip, including the hot question of whether outcast Prince Harry or accused rapist Prince Andrew would join the rest of the clan for the much-ballyhooed balcony shot before everyone decamped for a private lunch. King George looked like he needed a nap after a trying day of walking between official stations on the thick stone floors of Westminster Abbey, faithfully marking the ancient coronation process that in King George III’s case included acceptance of a spur worn by King Charles II, dubbed the Merry Monarch back in the mid-1600s. King Charles I was beheaded; he was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason in the same century. Or maybe it’s just comforting in our volatile world to witness a living tradition that’s been around for over a thousand years, hundreds of years before acquisitive white settlers even arrived in North America. 

I’ve always kinda liked the low-key egghead Charles, student of history, promoter of environmental protections, dutiful yet apparently capable of standing up when faced with something really important to him. He did, after all, marry the love of his life, who was judged inappropriate for a future king. 

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CORNWALL SHOP WINDOW (photos by Randy Burke)

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by Ronald Blum

Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who became one of baseball’s biggest draws in the early 1970s and helped lead the brash A’s to three straight World Series titles before his career was derailed by drug problems, died Saturday, according to the team. He was 73.

Blue died at a hospital in San Francisco’s East Bay area of medical complications stemming from cancer, the Oakland Athletics said. Blue had used a walking stick to assist his movement at a 50th anniversary of the 1973 A’s championship team on April 16.

“He was engaging. He was personable. He was caring,” ex-teammate Reggie Jackson said during an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday. “He was uncomfortable with the crowd.”

Blue was voted the 1971 American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts with 24 complete games, eight of them shutouts. He was 22 at when he won MVP, the youngest to win the award. He remains among just 11 pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same year.

Blue finished 209-161 with a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, 143 complete games and 37 shutouts over 17 seasons with Oakland (1969-77), San Francisco (1978-81, 85-86) and Kansas City (1982-83). He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot four times, receiving his most support at 8.7% in 1993, far short of the 75% needed.

“That Hall of Fame thing, that’s something that I can honestly, openly say I wish I was a Hall of Famer,” Blue told The Washington Post in 2021. “And I know for a fact this drug thing impeded my road to the Hall of Fame — so far.”

A six-time All-Star and three-time 20-game winner, Blue helped pitch the Swingin’ A’s, as Charley Finley’s colorful, mustachioed team was known, to consecutive World Series titles from 1972-74. Since then, only the 1998-2000 New York Yankees have accomplished the feat.

He became the first pitcher to start the All-Star Game for both leagues, opening for the AL in 1971 and ’75 and the NL in ’78.

“I remember watching a 19-year-old phenom dominate baseball, and at the same time alter my life,” Dave Stewart, a four-time 20-game winner for the A’s a generation later, wrote on Twitter. “There are no words for what you have meant to me and so many others.”

Jackson was shocked by how much weight Blue had lost when he saw him at the 50th reunion.

“I did not recognize him,” Jackson said. “I was shattered. I was shaken. That will stick with me the rest of my life.”

Selected by the then Kansas City Athletics on the second round of the 1967 amateur draft, Blue made his big league debut with Oakland on July 20, 1969, about a week shy of his 20th birthday. He made four starts and 12 relief appearances, then spent most of 1970 at Triple-A Iowa.

Called up when rosters expanded, he pitched a one-hit shutout at Kansas City in his second start. In his fourth start, Blue pitched a no-hitter against Minnesota on Sept. 21, at 21 years, 55 days that made him the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hitter since the live ball era started in 1920.

“There are few players with a more decorated career than Vida Blue,” the A’s said in a statement. “Vida will always be a franchise legend and a friend.”

He held out after his MVP season and signed a $50,000 one-year deal. Blue didn’t make his first start of 1972 until May 24 and went 6-10, mostly out of the bullpen. From 1973-76, he went 77-48 but his career World Series record was 0-3.

In 1975, he pitched the first five innings of a no-hitter against the California Angels, but was pulled early by manager Alvin Dark to rest him for the playoffs in a game finished by Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers.

Blue was among the players who assumed leadership roles on the A’s and clashed with Finley.

“We were very young kids,” Jackson said Sunday. “Vida was from Louisiana and Black, and me being Black, being Black in a white league and a white world, was very impactful as to how you handled yourself, how you acted, because you were always colored first.”

Finley attempted in June 1976 to trade Blue to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million and Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox for $1 million each. Kuhn vetoed the deals under the commissioner’s authority to act in the “best interest of baseball.” In December 1977, Kuhn stopped Finley from trading Blue to Cincinnati for $1.75 million and minor league first baseman Dave Revering.

Blue was traded to the Giants the following March in a deal that brought Oakland seven players, including outfielder Gary Thomasson and catcher Gary Alexander.

Blue was dealt to the Royals in March 1982 and released in August 1983. He was ordered that December to serve three months in federal prison and fined $5,000 for misdemeanor possession of approximately a tenth of an ounce of cocaine. Blue was sentenced to one year in prison but U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Milton Sullivant suspended the majority of the term.

Blue didn’t play in 1984 and was suspended that July 26 by Major League Baseball through the remainder of the season for illegal drug use.

He returned to baseball with the Giants for two seasons starting in 1985. Blue was among the players ordered by baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth in 1985 to be subject to random drug testing for the rest of their careers.

After his 2005 arrest in Arizona on suspicion of DUI for the third time in less than six years, Blue was sentenced to six months in jail after failing to complete his probation. But he was told he could avoid incarceration by spending time in a residential alcohol treatment program.


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THE PROBLEM in middle life, when the body has reached its climax of power and begins to decline, is to identify yourself, not with the body, which is falling away, but with the consciousness of which it is a vehicle. This is something I learned from myths. What am I? Am I the bulb that carries the light? Or am I the light of which the bulb is a vehicle? 

One of the psychological problems in growing old is the fear of death. People resist the door of death. But this body is a vehicle of consciousness, and if you can identify with the consciousness, you can watch this body go like an old car. There goes the fender, there goes the tire, one thing after another — but it’s predictable. And then, gradually, the whole thing drops off, and consciousness rejoins consciousness. It is no longer in this particular environment. 

~ Joseph Campbell

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by Lori Dengler

I went to a wonderful camp in my youth. Kennolynn Camp was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, offering a cool respite from summers in Palm Desert and plenty of horseback riding. Those campfire songs are etched into my memory. Two recent discoveries on the seafloor off the West Coast reminded me of one song. 

“There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea” is a silly ditty about a hole, a log, a bump, and a frog in the bottom of the sea. If you don’t know it, refrain from a Google search as the tune will stick in your ear for the rest of the day. But it is a fitting reminder of how little we actually know about the bottom of the sea and the many surprises that lurk there. 

The two studies describe both a hole and a bump in the seafloor. The hole is off the coast of Central Oregon where fluids are pumping into the ocean. The bump is an odd-shaped seamount offshore of Point Arena. Neither discovery is ominous and media reports that hype them as the beginning of Armageddon grossly exaggerate. Rather, they both give an interesting glimpse into the great unknown that lies just off our coast and a reminder that there are more unknowns in the depths than there are knowns.

In January 2023, a group of scientists led by Brendan Philip of the University of Maryland reported on the discovery of Pythia’s Oasis, a fluid seep on the continental shelf about 50 miles off the coast of Newport Oregon. 

Fluid seeps are not unusual in the seafloor but this one had several interesting features and its location near the leading edge of the Cascadia subduction zone prompted a small media flurry.

To the casual observer, the only dynamic part of the ocean is its surface. But there’s a lot going on the seafloor that you can’t see. Tectonic activity is the main culprit. “Sea floor spreading,” first described by scientists Harold Hess and Robert Dietz in the early 1960s describes how ocean floor is pulled apart along great rift zones in areas of nearly continuous volcanic activity.

The seafloor is more dynamic than the land. Continents ride like rafts on the surface as oceans form, grow and eventually die. Plate motions split continents apart producing new oceans and slap them back together destroying them in a process continually reshaping our planet’s surface. The process stretches, squeezes, and shears the seafloor. 

Vents and seeps are one of the consequences of these tectonic processes. Most fall into two categories; cold seeps and hot vents. Cold seeps are places where hydrocarbon-rich fluids seep of flow out of small vents onto the sea floor. Only a few degrees warmer than the surrounding ocean temperature, they create unique ecosystems fueled by the properties of the vent. While most common at plate boundaries, they can occur anywhere.

Hydrothermal vents eject gasses and fluids into the ocean at much higher temperatures. Some vents are over 700° Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt metal. They are located along oceanic rift zone and seafloor hotspots. The vents contain an array of metals and minerals which create distinctive white or dark plumes and support an ecosystem entirely independent of the sun.

Pythia’s Oasis is the name of the newly discovered seep offshore of Oregon. First discovered by Brendan Philips as a University of Washington grad student in 2015 when he noticed unusual methane bubble activity on the seafloor. Nothing happens quickly in oceanography. It took another four years to mount a sampling expedition and a further trip in 2021 to demonstrate that this spot fell into neither the hot or cold category and is venting fluids at the highest rate seen anywhere in the northeastern part of the Pacific.

The seep, named after Pythia, the oracle of Delphi in classical Greece (no relation to Pythias for whom the Knights of Pythias and Arcata’s Pythian Castle are named), is unusual in more than its temperature and flow rate. It contains low-salinity hydrocarbon-rich fluids unlike any seen elsewhere. The vent itself is tiny, a hole in the seafloor only inches across that is pumping out fluids about 15° F warmer than the ocean around it.

It's early in the research history of Pythia’s Oasis. The research group argues that the fluid is coming from the Cascadia subduction zone interface and offers a unique look into the properties of the leading edge of the interface. It is a long-lived feature, showing little change from 2015 to the present and, based on the size of deposits nearby, has likely been venting for at least 1500 years. A recently awarded National Science Foundation Grant will allow the group more intensive studies and continued monitoring.

And now for the bump. In February, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported finding a new seamount offshore of Mendocino County roughly 180 miles southwest of Cape Mendocino. Described by a number of media sources as a ‘mountain,’ this newly discovered feature rises 3,300 feet above the surrounding sea floor. Seamounts, the common name given to underwater mountains, are common on the ocean bottom. Created by volcanic processes at spreading centers, they are left as scars as the plates on either side spread away from the ridge.

The new seamount is unusual in its shape, a nearly round plug-like feature with very steep sides and its location in a relatively smooth and featureless surrounding. Most seamounts have a gentler shape, reflecting the many small eruptions that built them over millennia. To get such a steep-sided feature, it was likely formed very quickly in a more voluminous eruption. It poses no threat today. The seamount is now hundreds of miles away from the ridge that once formed it and has likely been extinct for many millions of years. 

The most interesting thing about the new seamount is how it was discovered. In the past decade NOAA has added a new tool to ocean exploration. Called saildrones, these autonomous floating research stations measure ocean temperatures, currents, salinity, and in some cases, map the seafloor. They remain at sea for up to a year, controlled remotely from land-based stations.

Glancing at Google Earth may make you think we have a pretty good picture of the ocean seafloor. In truth, we know about ten percent of it; the Google imagery is compiled from ocean survey lines and smoothed to fit the data. There are many more undiscovered holes and bumps that remain to be found. Seafloor depth and shape (bathymetry) have consequences. It’s what controls the speed and amplification of tsunamis and why some areas are more tsunami vulnerable than others. Tsunami hazard modeling is limited by bathymetry accuracy.

I am excited to see what new technology reveals about the ocean – who knows, a more detailed look might reveal the log and the frog too.

(Lori Dengler is an emeritus professor of geology at Humboldt State University, an expert in tsunami and earthquake hazards. The opinions expressed are hers and not the Times-Standard’s. All Not My Fault columns are archived online at and may be reused for educational purposes. Leave a message at (707) 826-6019 or email for questions and comments about this column, or to request a free copy of the North Coast preparedness magazine “Living on Shaky Ground.”)

(Eureka Times-Standard)

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The Center for Biological Diversity, The Protect Our Communities Foundation and the Environmental Working Group late Wednesday petitioned the California Court of Appeal to review the state’s new rooftop solar policy. The policy, which took effect April 15, significantly slashes the credit new solar users get for sharing their extra solar energy with the grid.

The legal action comes after Commission President Alice Reynolds ignored a request to delay the effective date until regulators resolve an appeal the groups filed in January.

“The commission’s misguided new policy violates California’s climate laws and will stifle rooftop solar growth, especially for working-class families,” said Roger Lin, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “California is ground zero for the climate emergency, and it’s outrageous that the commission is slow-walking our renewable energy transition when we need to be racing toward it. I’m hopeful the court will force regulators to implement a new policy that’s in the public interest instead of one that pads fossil fuel utility profits.”

The petition says the new rooftop solar policy “will devastate solar adoption rates, especially for working-class Californians” and ignores rooftop solar benefits, including “reduced greenhouse gas emissions, resilience to extreme weather and power outages, and avoided land use impacts by decreasing the need for utility transmission infrastructure which also keeps electricity bills down.”

The new policy slashes customer credits by up to 80% for electricity generated on rooftops and sold back to the grid, which reduces the financial benefit of installing solar systems but spurred a boom for installation before the rules changed. State law requires the new policy to ensure that the market for rooftop solar keeps growing, particularly in environmental justice communities.

“The commission's new rooftop solar policy enables the utilities' self-interested attack on rooftop solar,” said Bill Powers, an energy expert with The Protect Our Communities Foundation. “The real problem is heedless pursuit of maximum profit by the utilities at the expense of reasonable rates and commonsense climate action.”

The petition says for-profit utilities across the country are trying to gut rooftop solar programs because distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar, threaten the utility business model. A new Center report explains rooftop solar and net-metering benefits and why corporates utility companies are trying to kill these programs.

“The commission’s outrageous decision to hobble the state’s residential solar program will allow PG&E and other power companies to continue wasting resources on misguided and high-cost infrastructure projects that will only worsen the climate crisis,” said Caroline Leary, the Environmental Working Group’s chief operating officer and general counsel. “By putting rooftop solar financially out of reach for millions of working families, this will likely result in California becoming more dependent on dirty fossil fuel plants to compensate for electricity shortfalls.”

In addition to the commission, the lawsuit names the three large investor-owned utility companies in California: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company. The commission and utility companies have 30 days to respond to the petition with the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

(Center for Biological Diversity)

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A LITTLE BOY goes to his father and asks, “Daddy, how was I born?”

The father answers, “Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other. There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said: 'You've got male!'”

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Try to imagine anyone like Trump surviving in any other segment of our society—business, entertainment, sports, the military.

by Charles Sykes

In one of his rare moments of naivete, Alexander Hamilton imagined that the Electoral College would afford “a moral certainty” that the office of the presidency would not “fall to the lot of any man, who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

He hoped that the electors would be a bulwark against men who had a talent “for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity.” “It will not be too strong to say,” Hamilton wrote in “Federalist No. 68,” “that there will be a constant probability of seeing [the presidency] filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue.”

I think it’s not too strong to say that he was wrong.

As the E. Jean Carroll trial wraps up, I find myself reflecting on the fact that at least 26 women have accused Donald J. Trump of sexual assault or misconduct. Even in the era of #MeToo, the volume of charges is staggering. Carroll has accused Trump of rape. The other two dozen women have described various other forms of assault, abuse, and groping. (Trump has denied every allegation.)…

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IN THE HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS, you had a point in the 1880s and 1890s when the Plains Indians had pretty much been wiped out. And the Buffalo herds were gone, and they didn’t have much practical expectation that they could come back, as a people, or as peoples. So a movement arose called the Ghost Dance, which was a new religious attachment to a future in which things would be redeemed, everything would change, the colonizers would be shoved aside by mystical forces. And in some ways, I feel we’re in a Ghost Dance stage. 

The so-called QAnon people who are forever waiting for a secret brotherhood of ultra-patriots to come and sweep aside globalism and throw various people in jail, or even reveal that they’ve been secretly executed at Guantanamo. They’re in a Ghost Dance mentality about history. You can go to this stage of yearning and mystical optimism that leapfrogs this untenable present, or you can become truly fatalistic and stoic and say, “You know what? The world got too big for the individual. All these processes are beyond my ken. The only reason to stay informed in the first place was the delusion that I might affect things. Why stay informed about stuff?” That’s a bummer. If you can’t do anything about it, and when you finally yield to the thought that even through my vote I can’t feed back my response into the system, then there’s no reason to be wasting your energy on it. No good reason. And as you say, the development of new philosophies, new ways of thought, new sensibilities, maybe a recommitment to art — like in the late 19th century when the British dealt with industrialization and the coming of big processes that the individual couldn’t affect, they became aesthetes. They worried endlessly about their clothes and the way they decorated their rooms and being beautiful, and thinking beautiful thoughts, and being witty. They became “bright young things.” Then came World War I. But I can see Americans moving that way too, into an insular, self-referential, confrontation with inner reality and spiritual matters, over public matters. 

— Walter Kirn

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by Carl Campanile

Democratic White House contender Robert Kennedy Jr. blames the CIA for the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy — proclaiming it “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Kennedy made the bombshell accusation about a murder that’s spun many conspiracy theories during an interview Sunday with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats Roundtable.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that the CIA was involved in his murder. I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt at this point,” Kennedy said of JFK’s assassination in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

“The evidence is overwhelming that the CIA was involved in the murder, and in the cover-up.”

Kennedy Jr. cited James Douglas book, “JFK and the Unspeakable” as compiling the most evidence on the topic — and labeled denials of the CIA’s role as a “60 year coverup.” 

The US government’s official investigation, The Warren Commission Report, concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone wolf in the fatal shooting, and that there was no credible evidence he was part of a conspiracy to assassinate the 35th president. The report was released Sept. 24, 1964.

The US government’s investigation found no merit to the claim.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s own website references an article calling claims of the spy agency’s role in JFK’s murder a “lie.”


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  1. Chuck Dunbar May 8, 2023


    As the week begins, and as Trump’s civil trial for the rape and defamation of E. Jean Carroll comes to an end—a couple of thoughts/predictions:

    Trump will be found guilty by the jury of both the rape and defamation allegations. And it will be a just and deserved outcome for the man who for decades sexually assaulted women, and then bragged about it. He also for decades has defamed others—women and men, in the private and public arenas— by insulting and shaming and blaming and lying. For far too long Trump evaded the consequences of these misdeeds and crimes. The guilty verdicts are karma finally rewarded.

    Trump will be ordered to pay Ms. Carroll high-level compensatory and punitive damages. The punitive damages will especially be a hefty sum, the jury righteously pissed-off due to Trump’s profound disrespect and blaming of the victim, as well as his disrespect for the court process. No doubt he’ll try to weasel out of paying her. Perhaps when he dies his estate will do the right thing by her.

    A hope, not a prediction: Trump will now be seen more clearly by Americans as the liar and coward he has always been. He refused to attend the trial and refused to testify. For all his past bluster about this case on social media, he didn’t have the dignity and courage to appear and testify in court where facts matter. He’s a coward—plain and simple.

    The verdicts will have considerable cultural authority— the jury is the voice of the people. The verdicts will be beyond the power of Trump’s pathetic pleas of victimhood. No obfuscations and distractions in his typical manner will work this time. His bad acts, violence and lies in this case are boldly exposed, out in the open. What can he say? He’s finally been had.

    Great thanks to Ms. Carroll. We owe her, the nation owes her (owed thanks also are the other two women who testified at trial to sexual assaults by Trump). Ms. Carroll has been brave beyond measure, and she’s suffered for her bravery. But her truth-telling made it possible to bring Trump to justice—accountable at last.

    • Jim Armstrong May 8, 2023

      I knew I was going to like this letter, Chuck. I sure hope you are right.
      Like Fox’s not having the right to appeal by coming to an agreement, Trump won’t have any grounds either, since he didn’t have the sense or the balls to show up.
      At least I hope that is right, too.
      Somehow, he was President once and still has followers in huge numbers.
      I don’t guess we will be around to see how history explains that.

      • Marmon May 8, 2023


  2. Michael Koepf May 8, 2023

    “…there’s a lot going on the seafloor that you can’t see…” Lori Denlger

    Years and years ago, while trolling for salmon off Cape Mendocino on an unusually calm day, directly ahead of my boat the sea rose up like a small hill. The rise was about two fathoms high with a gradual slope around the edge and it was no more than 100 yards across. As I trolled up and onto it, the vessel yawed from side to side and it was difficult to hold a course until I reached and descended the further edge and the sea was calm once more. Off shore Cape Mendocino: there are mysteries in those depths.

  3. Nathan Duffy May 8, 2023

    RE; Steph Curry.
    He looks like an Imam or a Shaykh from the Middle East. Since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq the male ideal aesthetic has slowly but surely shifted in this direction for whatever deep seated psychological reason. It took some years for the shift to occur. In 2012 the beard was still less common and catching on. I had a long beard in 2012 and people would yell out of passing cars “Fear the Beard!!!” in reference to Giants ace Brian Wilson.
    In 2023 the beard has arrived and no one would find one unique enough to yell out the window of a passing car. Sikhs used to be the only guys I would compliment and say “Hey man nice beard!”. In the past decade it has shifted to white guys. One of my friends who is mixed race says whenever he grows his beard full like Steph there he gets hit on by white ladies and whenever he lines it up sharp he gets hit on by ladies who are not white. Anyhow my 2 cents on the beard.

  4. Marmon May 8, 2023

    Sacramento Kings Keegan Murray selected for 2022-23 All-Rookie First Team.


    • Nathan Duffy May 9, 2023

      Better luck next year bruh.

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