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Off the Record (May 31, 2023)

BURBLE GUSH (an email note from Leadership Mendocino Director Holly Madrigal to Laytonville Leadership Mendocino host Jayma Spence after Leadership Mendocino visited Laytonville on May 12): “Friday was SO great, Jayma. Oh my goodness you all hit it out of the park. So many people in the class said that they had no idea Laytonville was so cool. Thank you!”

AMORE GASTRONOME WITH CHEF LE JON: According to Laytonville activist Jon Spitz, he has now appointed himself “LOVE Coordinator.” Reportedly, LOVE stands for Laytonville Organic Vegan Experience.” Mr. Spitz shared the LOVE by inviting “old friends and new” to bring their own organic vegan dishes to the first LOVE experience at the Long Valley Garden Club in Laytonville on May 21.

ADAM GASKA (as reported by Monica Huettl on “PG&E is willing to negotiate with an organized entity that is willing to take over the Potter Valley project, but the entity needs to be formed by the end of 2024. If nobody steps up to acquire the project, the communities that rely on Upper Russian River water could lose 60,000 acre-feet of water per year. That’s half of Lake Mendocino.” 


May 22, 1878 - Fred Kunkel produced 70,000 bricks at his new Mendocino brick yard. The brick maker pressed locally-sourced clay into wooden molds by hand to form the bricks. The process of manufacturing a kiln full of bricks was a months-long endeavor, and the Beacon closely followed Fred's progress.

There were two locations on the east side of Mendocino where clay could be found for making bricks: the end of Blair Street, and the north side of Little Lake Road, across from Clark Street. When Steve Schlafer was grading the site of the new fire station on the corner of Little Lake and Hills Ranch Roads in 1992, he hit a layer of yellow clay, and Ken Jackson remembered that there had been an old clay pit there.

Fred first created sample bricks from the clay, and the Beacon described his samples in December. “We have before us a sample brick manufactured by Mr. Fred Kunkel, which presents a very fine appearance. In hardness it compares favorably with the San Francisco brick, and in color far excels them. The brick before us was made only to test the clay, and there were no pains taken as to fine edge and rich color. Mr. Kunkel surely deserves great credit and more encouragement.”

Fred began constructing the brick kiln in February, and by April, he had 30,000 bricks in the kiln and was molding more at a rate of 2,000-3,000 bricks per day. He had already received numerous orders, and the Beacon stated that “the quality and price for Mendocino brick will be satisfactory to purchasers.”

By July, Fred had sold his bricks and moved on to Point Arena. “We are pleased to learn that Fred Kunkel who manufactured the kiln of bricks at this place, is meeting with success in that enterprise at Point Arena.”

Photo: Mendocino Lumber Company Mill on Big River Flat, 1890 - 1898. The third Mendocino lumber mill, built in 1864 after the second mill burned down. The square brick chimney was constructed in 1864 and made from over one million locally made bricks. This chimney collapsed in the 1906 earthquake. (Gift of Alice Earl Wilder)

FROM the November 26th, 1898 edition of the Mendocino Beacon: “F.A. Bean, the Navarro nurseryman, notes there was a ready demand for apples this season, almost the entire dried product of that fruit grown in Anderson Valley having been purchased by a San Francisco firm and shipped to Australia. He notes the codlin moth cannot exist within ten miles of the coast. With immunity from this pest, combined with our soil and climate, Mendocino at some distant day, should enjoy the distinction of being one of the best and most prolific apple producing sections in the world.”

RECOMMENDED READING: Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades by Oakley Hall. 

San Francisco, 1869 — Chinese slave girls can be found in San Francisco in parlor-houses or cribs, the parlorhouses are adorned with all the Chinese trappings expected by tourists: musk, sandalwood, teak, silk wall-hangings, comical ceramic gods, and scrolls. These houses are on Grant Avenue, Waverly Place and Ross Alley. There are only a few of them. There are cribs without number. They line Jackson and Washington Streets, and Bartlett, China and Church Alleys.

In 1869, the Chronicle reported a cargo of nine-and-ten-year-old Chinese girls as though they were any commodity arrived from the Orient. “The particularly fine portions of the cargo, the fresh and pretty females who come from the interior, are used to fill special orders from wealthy merchants and prosperous tradesmen. Less fine portions of the cargo would be ‘boat-girls,’ from the seaboard towns, where contact with sailors would have reduced their value.”

That item was published six years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

The girls are sold at about the age of five by their parents. Syndicates farm out as many as eight hundred girls, bringing them along to an acceptable age, at which time their prices might be seventy-five or eighty dollars in China. In California they are worth from two hundred to a thousand, depending upon their degree of attractiveness. Pay for their services ranges from fifteen cents to a dollar.

The crib girls on Jackson and Washington Streets, and in the alleys, are exposed like chickens in cages. The cribs are ten or twelve feet wide, containing a front room and back, divided by a curtain. Reformers claim that up to 90 percent of the girls are sick. Their indentured prostitute contracts, which are usually for eight years, add on two weeks for every sick day. If they try to escape their indenture is changed to life. If they are too sick to work they are transported to a “hospital,” from which they do not depart alive.

— Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades, Oakley Hall

MEGAN MCCAIN: Often people don't appreciate what they have until those things are gone. And so is the case with WNBA superstar Brittney Griner. The two-time Olympic gold medalist made her triumphant return to the basketball court on Friday after spending nearly 300 days in a Russian prison. And 32-year-old Griner — to her great credit — did something she hasn't done in a regular season game in years. She stood for the playing of the National Anthem. Funny what a nine-year sentence in a notorious Russian penal colony will do to a person. Because less than three short years ago, Griner claimed her days of saluting America were over. So, what changed between then and now? Why the 180-degree turn from Brittney Griner? Has America solved its issues with supposedly biased policing? No, not exactly. It turns out that Griner didn't appreciate her freedom, until she lost it.


Dear Wine Appreciation Department: This “reader” is prepared to make a minimalist statement like:

“We need to keep in mind that soil water is required both for wine and for growing the grape plant. The roots of the vines may run very deep in search of moisture. If you kill off the weeds via mechanical cultivation and/or application of chemicals the crop can escape irrigation. This does not mean, however, that the water consumption is negligible. In fact, in Anderson Valley, depending on many factors, the total water demand of grapes per vine between bud break and leaf fall is thought to be 100 to 150 gallons. This aggregates to an acre-foot of water for a vineyard of less than ten acres. Obviously, planting cannot be continued indefinitely without serious depletion of the water table. The total draw per vineyard depends on the vine density. According to a book I picked off the shelf at Barnes & Noble the California average is 450 vines/acre. An acre is about 43,000 square feet, or a plot around 200x200 feet or so. The rows have to be about ten feet apart to accommodate the tractors, which would be 20 lines each with about 25 plants/line. This is a critical point. The summer flow in the Navarro is steadily diminishing.

“The Water Economy of the Grape Vine”

Water Supply (most of this goes right down the river)

• Annual 30 inches of rain on one acre: 2.5 acre-feet.

• For a 500-acre vineyard, 1250 acre-feet Water Draw

• From bud break to leaf fall, estimated about 125 gallons per vine

• For about 450 vines/acre, 125 x 450 = 56,250 gallons per acre.

• For 500 acres, 56,250 x 500 = 28,125,000 gallons.

• One acre-foot = 43,560 cubic feet x 7.8 gallons/cubic foot = 339,768 gallons.

• 28,125,000 gallons for 500 acres/339,768 gallons per acre-foot = 82.3 acre-feet on 500 acres with 450 vines/acre.

There are over 2500 acres of grapes in Anderson Valley. So 82 acre-feet times 5 = 400-plus acre feet of water for grapes per year, not counting frost protection, not counting heavy water use in wineries.


I had a hard time following the math on water use by vineyards.

Yes, if you have deep soil, the right root stock, abundant rainfall and control vegetation with cultivation or herbicide you can dry farm grapes.

The issue is, those factors don’t always favorably align and when they don’t yield can fluctuate widely.

We have 50 acres of vines in a frost free zone without the benefit of frost protection in Redwood Valley. We use 0.1-0.25 AF per acre per year. We farm organically, use compost and cover crops. We have high organic matter at 5% which helps retain moisture. We have 20 acres in Hopland that do have frost protection. There we use 0.25-0.5 AF per acre per year. Both of these areas are much warmer than Navarro.

We have olives which use a similar amount of water. We have a small garden/orchard of 2 acres that uses 5 AF of water a year, much more than the grapes and olives.

I prefer looking at the ranch overall. We have 2000 acres. 800 in rotationally grazed pasture, 1200 in timber land, 70 in crops. Our overall management more than mitigates whatever the negatives of our croplands’ irrigation needs.

HUMCO has approved a permit for Reggae on the River after a three-year hiatus.

THE LA DODGERS have caved to the enormous backlash over last week’s decision to disinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from their annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night. The team apologized to the tired act and invited them to attend the festivities. The Sisters, who started insulting nuns a half-century ago in San Francisco (where else?), describe themselves as “a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns,” but employ stale humor and Catholic imagery to supposedly call attention to sexual intolerance. How much sexual intolerance can there be in LA if the Dodgers feel so much pressure from libertines that they re-invite Frisco's antique trans act? 


On 5/23/23, UPD Officers responded to the intersection of W. Perkins St. and S. School St. for a report of a female transient causing a disturbance. Upon arrival a solo officer contacted the suspect, Rachael Seivertson, 32, of Ukiah. 

Seivertson was known to this officer from numerous prior contacts. She was a known transient in Ukiah and was known to be on CDC parole for robbery. 

The officer considered Seivertson’s behavior to be erratic. The officer attempted to speak with her, but she could not engage in a normal conversation. Her body was fidgety and she could not form a normal/reasonable sentence. The officer suspected she was under the influence of a stimulant, most likely methamphetamine. 

While attempting to speak with Seivertson, she stood up and attempted to walk away. She walked less than 10 feet away and the officer took a few steps to follow her. Seivertson quickly stopped, bent over and picked up a large rock which was placed on the curb. Seivertson then quickly spun around and threw the rock into the officer’s face, colliding with the officer’s left side of his upper lip. Seivertson then continued to punch the officer on the face. The officer immediately started bleeding heavily but was able to wrestle Seivertson to the ground. While on the ground, Seivertson was placed on her stomach and handcuffed.

She was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County jail for assault on a police officer, battery on an officer engaged in duties, and parole violation. Her bond was set at $100,000.

(Ukiah Police Department)

According to a UPD presser back in May of 2021 Ms. Seivertson punched three people including an elderly woman, a police officer and a female security guard while trying to steal a shopping cart with $161 worth of merchandise from the Ukiah Walmart. Her bail back then was $150,000.

(1) Ms. Seivertson appears to be the perfect example of someone who needs to be housed in a locked facility, for her benefit as well as ours. Don’t complain about our streets resembling open air insane asylums where deranged and violent people roam free unless you’re ready to require treatment and/or confinement for those too mentally unstable or addicted to maintain minimal standards of behavior.

(2) According to her facebook page (post date unknown) Ms. Seivertson was (is?) a FedEx Delivery driver, when she can function. It also says she’s a Ukiah High School graduate who attended Mendocino College. Her facebook motto is “Be Free and Positive.” Back in 2018 she was arrested and charged with felony vandalism when she attacked two Hopland fire station buildings with a baseball bat.

 (3) If you take a peek at her booking photo the arched neck, the twisted face, clear signs of distress from an internal source. She needs to be protected from the world and herself at this point. Prison isn’t going to solve anything nor protect her any better. I have noticed her running down State Street screaming, high kicking, ranting.100% she needs to live as a conserved soul. Has been in the booking log far too many times. Probation and programs have done NADA of worth to resolve her situation. Even if a person is using substances who in the hell would party or share drugs when she's all agro? How? Someone comes at me all sideways and whacked out as heck we ain't hanging out. DAMN. Mendo needs mental health permanent housing, like 5 years ago. $5 million we poured into an empty mental health crisis center. Okay.

(4) The Editor drove the length of State Street today (24 May) to meet a friend for lunch. I counted 15 lost souls on South State, none north of Low Gap Road, but two of the 15 on South State were obviously in dangerously altered states and should have been hospitalized for their own safety and the safety of others. I know Fort Bragg is smaller than Ukiah, but Fort Bragg has instituted an effective program that humanely disallows the shameful, unaddressed destruction of public spaces by disturbed persons that has become acceptable in Ukiah.

ON A MEMORABLY DESTRUCTIVE night in 1987, a Fort Bragg businessman, maybe two Fort Bragg businessmen, burned down the town's justice court and the adjacent library, apparently as a diversionary arson to divert attention from their primary target, the popular town landmark, the Piedmont Hotel. They destroyed all three.

I BRING IT UP, again and again, because although the primary perps were known almost immediately by the tiny Fort Bragg Police Department — the town’s then-police chief, Tom Bickel, was so bold as to be quoted saying, “I pass the arsonists on the street every day,” nobody was ever charged. 

FOR MONTHS after the fires, platoons of ATF and FBI agents strode around town in their identifying windbreakers not finding out who did it, or finding out and forwarding their findings to then-Mendo DA Susan Massini, who allowed the statute of limitations to run out after spending a lot of public money and time “investigating” the case for a solid year or more.

LOCALS close to the case were astounded when the FBI hired the girlfriend of one of the presumed arsonists to record the interviews the feds were conducting with suspects. Locally famed for her bright red high heels, the stenographer's foot wear was dubbed her “fuck me faster shoes.” She was assumed to be reporting to lover boy about who was saying what to the feds.

ADDING MAJOR INSULT to Massini's disinterest, the 35 boxes of accumulated evidence has disappeared. Most places, the disappearance of evidence of a major crime, or, in this case, a series of major crimes, would not happen, and if it did happen there would be an investigation or, at a minimum, a lot of indignant citizens demanding to know What the hell.

NOT A PEEP from anybody. When I asked DA Norm Vroman if I could have a look at the files, Vroman said, “Sure,” then called back to say, “We can't find them.” Current DA David Eyster told me the boxes had “disappeared.” He speculated that DA Massini had probably taken them when she left office and moved to Oregon which, of course, she could not lawfully do, assuming she did.

THE MAN who commissioned the arsons, who was also moving a lot of cocaine up and down the Mendocino Coast and throughout the county, hired young guys to do the torching, one of whom, Kenny Ricks, allegedly committed an acrobatic suicide the day before he was to testify before a federal grand jury in San Francisco, placing a shotgun between his legs and pulling the trigger with his toe. 

THESE FORT BRAGG EVENTS would make a good movie, considering the cast of characters. The logistics man for the arsonists was a 400-pound convicted corpse robber out of San Mateo County, and a natch for Mendocino County where you are whatever you say you are and history starts all over again every morning. The fat man had no prob gaining entree to public and private properties with all their useful information. 

THIS GUY, Peter ‘Pete’ Durigan, only 150 miles north of his recent crimes in San Mateo but safely on the amnesia side of the Green Curtain, set himself up as a late-night janitorial service, tidying up the local banks in the early hours and delivering cocaine to primo customers. (The Green Curtain falls just north of Cloverdale at the Mendocino County line, from there to the Oregon border a kind of faintly ominous twilight zone sets in where unexplained things happen that don't happen most places.) 

THE NIGHT of the fires, the fat man had delivered cans of gasoline to the torches, all of whom doubled as Mr. Big's cocaine customers. Co-conspirators included a crooked bank manager and at least one crooked insurance salesman, the former making no-collateral loans to the primary criminals, the latter paying off obvious arson fires no questions asked. 

DA MASSINI and the State Fire Marshal’s office — after a year’s investigations fueled by large amounts of public money, wound up claiming neither had jurisdiction over the case, the upshot being that a series of deliberate fires, which easily could have wiped out all of downtown Fort Bragg but for the valiant Fort Bragg Volunteer Fire Department became simply another crime committed by the well-connected in a county where the well-connected are seldom, if ever, held accountable.

MIKE GENIELLA: I saw Tina Turner only once. The memories would last a lifetime. It was the end of April 1970 when a bunch of us headed over to the Chico State campus to catch the ‘Ike and Tina Turner Revue.’ Ike may have been the boss, but it was clear Tina even then was the star. She rocked the place. Her powerful voice and her athletic performance awed the crowd. As the years pass, and I watched Tina Turner morph into “TINA.” I could not forget the night she put her raw power on display at Chico. Yes, Ike and the band were good. But everyone who was there that night left realizing it was Tina Turner who carried the show. We had no clue what went on backstage. We were happy to read years later how she walked out of an abusive relationship, took nothing in return, and built herself a legendary career known around the globe. 

Tina Turner performing at Chico State College on April 29, 1970

DENIS ROUSE NOTES: AI vs. NI — A friend just introduced me to an AI app whereby you can feed a subject, in this case a friendship, into the internet and ask it to come up with a poem and out it comes, maybe not at the level of "Ode To A Grecian Urn" but perhaps better than Humpty Dumpty. Me being a negative cynical guy I regarded it as a perversion of creativity, a manifestation of current junk culture, and also being something of a Luddite, I had to admit I'm not even fond of the ice maker in my refrigerator. After giving it more thought I wondered if AI can do better than what history shows NI (that's Natural intelligence) has accomplished regarding the great global problems including perpetual war, environmental degradation, poverty, injustice, cancer and other diseases (and a broken healthcare system), homelessness, et. al. Anyway, that's my Wednesday morning hoo hah.

DESANTIS ANNOUNCES: Tickertape raining from the rafters, a first lady wrapped in gold and a landslide election victory. Ron DeSantis looked every inch the future of the Republican Party as he celebrated winning a second term as Florida governor in November. His beautiful wife Casey flashed a dazzling smile and his three young children waved at the crowd. Was this America's next first family? The former president was blamed for meddling in the midterms and DeSantis was all but crowned the Republican nominee in waiting. Above all else, he was seen by Republicans tired of losing as Trump-lite, a potential torch bearer of the populist America First movement, but without the baggage of January 6th, election denial, “grab 'em by the p****y” audio recordings and the like. Now, fast forward just six months and that all might as well be ancient history as far as the pundits and polls are concerned. (Daily Mail)

HAVING ARRIVED in the early 70s with that first wave of back to the landers I, too, landed in Mendocino County, but not for the inconveniences of dusty outback shacks and the big naked piles of solstice boogies, but to cultivate urban delinquents who I, and my naive comrades, assumed would be less delinquent under the remote redwoods than they'd been under the streetlights. Wrong!

ALTHOUGH I shared the end-of-western civ assumptions of many of my fellow urban transplants, I didn't share their countercultural sameness, their lazy mysticism, their non-verbal grunting in lieu of conversation, their casual oppression of their “old ladies,” their deliberate domestic squalor, their ritualistic dope consumption, their feral child rearing practices, their deadbeat-ism, their anti-intellectualism, their timid politics — the whole tiresome hippie package, frankly. But there they were in 1970, and here they are in 2023 celebrating themselves. I had to have a look.

EVERY TIME I pull into the Grace Hudson Museum grounds — much improved unto bio-beauty under the gifted gardener Andrea Burrington — I think of that famous photo of Jack London standing in his underwear in Grace Hudson's living room, a photograph belying the common assumption that the Painter Lady was a model of Victorian rectitude. I'm looking forward to a Museum exhibit called, Grace and Jack, Socialist Artists Meet in Turn of the Century Ukiah.

Naked Honest, 1976, by Doug Volz

I RECOGNIZED many of the names of back to the land artists and ancillary persons involved in the exhibit, having either known them or seen their names over the half century we've shared the Mendo vastness, and I wasn't surprised that the lead exhibit was the work of the truly gifted woodworker of national reputation, my friend and Boonville neighbor, Tom McFadden, and right behind him, the equally celebrated David Dart, creator of truly remarkable stringed instruments and a long-time resident of Navarro. I've always admired the art of Bob Ross, whose large oil of the bar at the Caspar Inn perfectly captures the iconic Inn under the entrepreneurial genius of Peter Lit. No place like it before or since. I wished the posters of Kathy Shearn were larger to better catch her gift, but all-in-all the exhibit is interesting and, mercifully, not a macrame included.

18 YEARS? Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, was jailed for 18 years on Thursday for leading a mob to storm the Capitol on January 6. The 58-year-old's sentence is the longest handed down to the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters who ransacked the seat of US democracy on January 6, 2021. Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in November. Judge Amit P. Mehta told Rhodes: 'You sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and the very fabric of our democracy ... The moment you are released you will be prepared to take up arms against your government.' Mehta described Rhodes, a Yale-graduate who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, as a disturbingly charismatic figure who convinced dozens of members of the far-right group to travel to Washington with the deliberate intention of stoking unrest. 'They too are victims, victims of the lies, the propaganda, the rhetoric and ultimately the intention that you conveyed,' Mehta said. Rhodes remained defiant as he stood before the judge claiming he was, like Trump, a 'political prisoner' and pledging 'to expose the criminality of this regime'. His attorney said he will appeal the conviction. 

— Daily Mail

MAUREEN CALLAHAN: There were two Tinas, the legend once said of herself: The rock n' roll goddess — and the proper lady, “the Tina who wears ballet flats and pearls, who believes in elegance.” But she was also so much more than that. Tina Turner — who has died of natural causes at 83 on Tuesday — was an object lesson in how to be a woman. An iconoclast. And never, ever anyone's victim. “I'm a girl from a cotton field,” she once said, “who pulled myself above what was not taught to me.” Born Anna Mae Bullock, in abject poverty and abandoned by her parents when she was just three years old, Tina — for all her ferocious talent and drive — became most known as a survivor of domestic violence. She spoke of it and wrote of it in the 1980s, a time when such things were still not discussed. America was pre-Oprah, pre-Internet, pre-confessional culture. Victimhood was not yet valorized.


County Animal Shelter Closure

This afternoon a special ad-hoc committee comprised of Council person Rafanan and I met with the Mendocino Coast Humane Society on how best we can collaborate to address the issue of the County closing their animal shelter facility July 1. The confusion of having two separately run animal shelters right next to each other is about to end. The County is spending roughly $235,000 a year to run their shelter with only $17,000 a year returning in revenue. The decision has been made to close it.

Today the Mendocino Coast Humane Society agreed to take the 5 remaining animals left at the County’s shelter and to also take over the building left behind. It houses 14 dog kennels and will provide additional space for quarantined animals and others that need to be isolated for various reasons. 

So no animals will be euthanized due to this closure. 

The County will continue to provide the Coastal area with an Animal Control Officer for vicious animals outside the City limits as is currently the case. 

The City owns the property where this is located and also provides partial funding to run the Humane Society. Right now that minimal assistance funding is $2,625 per month. A new contract to address these changes will be drawn-up for approval by the full City Council at their June 26th meeting ahead of the July 1st closure date. Just as aside, I saw the original contract with the City. It dates back to 1975 and appears to be either hand typed or mimeographed!

So great news all around. Our Mendocino Coast Humane Society has the full support and trust of our community. I am so glad they have stepped-up and decided to absorb this important responsibility. Their Director Judy is awesome!!

Our coastal animals will be sheltered in one of the few independently run no-kill centers found anywhere.


“Wonderful story on Marie Helmey, complete with dogged research to establish her home folk. Loved it.

(I keep seeing the word “bemused” as synonymous with “amused” but in perhaps a more removed or remote fashion. I think bemused is closer to confused.) 

And let Fred Gardner know Satchel Paige first signed with the Indians, not the old Browns. When I was a kid I remember reading that Sal ‘The Barber’ Maglie never shaved before a game because the sweat would cause irritation on his face and neck, and that it was at least partially the reason for his nickname.”

I WAS wandering the dead end halls of my memory bank trying to remember the rarest moments of pure candor at a meeting of the supervisors. One came to mind because it was not only true but so unexpected and funny it still makes me laugh. I looked it up in our archive, and there it was. (Long-time readers will probably want to stop reading here as the editor begins another chapter of his personal Great White Whale.) 

IN JANUARY of 1997, then 5th District supervisor Charles Peterson, since disappeared, had introduced a routine resolution saluting Gary and Betty Ball, founders of the Mendocino Environment Center, for their objectively invisible accomplishments at the MEC, funding for which remains unknown. The MEC was housed in a ramshackle building owned by John McCowen who said he, as an environmentalist, had donated it to the Balls. I think the whole show was funded by the feds, but since key documents have either been “lost” or are unobtainable from the FBI, we’re not likely to ever know the basics of the MEC unless former supervisor McCowen’s conscience suddenly prompts him to fess up. 

THE BALLS had suddenly appeared in Ukiah just as Earth First! surfaced in the county under the auspices of two other newcomers, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, and they left town not long after environmental “direct action” on the Northcoast had become indirect unto opaque. 

THE ECO-MOVEMENT Bari had begun became a fundraising center for Bari’s pursuit of her would-be assassin. She died of her injuries seven years after the attack on her. Thousands of dollars, lots of it in cash, arrived at the ava from out-of-the-area readers, which we forwarded to the MEC.

THE ASSASSIN, presently a resident of New Zealand, turned out to be, IMO, Bari’s furtive ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, who also maintained his recycling office at the MEC. Unique in the annals of crimes against women, Sweeney was not considered the primary suspect in the spectacular attack on his ex-wife, a car bomb placed under the driver’s seat of her Subaru that exploded in downtown Oakland. How many seething ex-spouses can pull off a car bomb? 

SUPERVISOR DELBAR, a noble son of the soil out of Potter Valley, objected to Peterson’s windy proclamation honoring the Balls. He said that “the law enforcement community” objected to the resolution because of the MEC’s support for Bear Lincoln. Lincoln, of Covelo, was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of Deputy Bob Davis. The DA was unable to produce a coherent prosecution, Tony Serra, master of the narrative, did.

THE RESOLUTION, introduced by Peterson, a prudent liberal of the soft Democrat type dominant in Mendocino County, passed 4-1, Delbar in the lonely minority. Delbar, after his vague reference to the “law enforcement community,” declared, “I am unable to support this resolution. I’ve taken a look at it, and there is no monumental aspect to what they’ve done here. I don’t see anything really spectacular.” Which was true, but before or since no supervisor had ever dared state the obvious.

ONE OF THE BENEFITS of senility is re-reading the books enjoyed prior to senescence. I’ve again read Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America,” a fictional imagining of a fascist attempt to take over the country, with Jews being the first target. Our latter day fascists have a much expanded enemies list and we shall see what we shall see. The inimitable Roth imagines that the great American hero of pioneer aviation, Lindbergh, who also happened to be a fascist with a medal from the Hitler regime to prove it, becomes president, defeating FDR. The novel comes with a lot of sub stories and, of course, humor, in the grim context. Since our next presidential election will also pit a fascist against Elder Abuse, in a farcical but catastrophic reprise of Roth’s imagined disaster, “The Plot Against America” is site prep for what’s ahead for US.

“The revenge of the have-nots upon those who have and own. All the self-styled have-nots seeking to associate themselves with their parents’ worst enemies, modeling themselves on whatever was most loathsome to those who most loved them.”

— Philip Roth, American Pastoral

ALSO ROTH RECOMMENDED READING: “American Pastoral.” Roth’s novel encompasses in the collapse of one uncomprehending family what amounts to the end of the primacy of a bold and confident American bourgeoisie. A wealthy couple, circa 1950, produces a child who grows up to become a Weatherman-style revolutionary, blowing up irrelevant structures and harmless people just like the real life sons and daughters of the privileged occasionally did during the 60s and the early 70s. The parents of this mega-ingrate are of course bewildered by their daughter’s choice of vocations, ignoring one relative’s sane insight that the kid is clearly at war with them, her parents, since America obviously isn’t a fascist state although there are probably forty or fifty million proto-or crypto fascists among its citizens. If you’ve ever had the experience of being denounced with more vehemence by the nutso pseudo-left than they ever seem to muster for their official enemies, you’ll appreciate the masterful job Roth does here of getting inside the mind of a person who transfers his or her personal misery into a dangerously deluded and ultimately false pseudo-left radicalism.

TARGET has lost more than $10 billion in market capitalization in the span of 10 days — as it continues to face backlash for Pride-themed merchandise. Prior to the controversy — which stems over a LGBTQ-geared campaign that includes “tuck-friendly” bathing suits and pro-trans T-shirts for kids — Target shares were trading at $160.96, giving the retailer a market valuation of roughly $74.3 billion. By the time The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) closed Friday, the blue-chip stock was trading at $138.93 — marking a loss of $10.1billion. The sum, moreover, stands as the superstore's lowest market value in an entire year — all achieved in a matter of days as customers swear off its products in response. As this consumer-led retaliation continues to be felt, Texas Senator Ted Cruz devoted an entire episode of his weekly podcast Friday to the burgeoning boycott, during which he conceded it would be tougher for conservatives to stop giving their hard-earned cash to a department store like Target rather than a beermaker like Bud Light.

— Daily Mail


[1] Tranq finally made it to NorCal. They have video of limbs rotting off and abusers still insist on more. Must be helluva high

[2] "It is late May, which means Pride season is upon us." Good grief. We've gone from a one-day June parade, to a weekend, to a whole month. And now it's "Pride season" in May? Even the black community only gets a month, and it's the shortest month!

[3] Did you ever hear of a bacon explosion? Me neither. I don’t eat bacon often but when I do I fry it. Well last week my wife says we should broil it in the oven. I lay it on a rack in a baking pan and start it off. I’m in the living room and I hear a boom. I run into the kitchen and the oven door is wide open, kitchen is filled with smoke, and the bacon is in flames. Darndest thing. It’s an electric oven so the bacon must have gasified and Kablooey! Good thing I was in the house and not out back. 

[4] As we look, the universe grows as does the number of galaxies in it. There are certainly hundreds of billions of galaxies in the currently observable universe, and some astronomers say there may be trillions. With that number of galaxies (and many more stars of course), it is my belief that life, in both primitive and advanced form exists in many places throughout the cosmos. Yes, belief, but how could it be otherwise? All of this grand majesty bringing life to only one planet? The laws of physics are thought to be essentially the same across the universe, so why wouldn’t they lend themselves to the creation of many more Earthlike planets? And just think of all the ‘civilizations’ that not only exist now, but that have existed throughout the ages. Yes, there definitely is life on other worlds, many other worlds. It’s only logical, extremely possible, and very plausible.

[5] ON-LINE COMMENT RE PREDATORS: This, everyone, is what a child predator ACTUALLY looks like. He looks like your brother. Your grandpa. Your clergyman. The nice neighbor down the street always helping out overworked single parents. They’re not flashy drag queens… the last thing a predator wants is to be noticeable. They groom (look the word up and stop misusing it) parents right along with the children. There are plenty of wonderful and safe adults who fill all the roles I’ve mentioned but they are also full of those who crave access to children for malicious reasons. Why do these people keep getting away with it?? BULL SHIT distractions by hysterical people obsessed with drag queens and who’s using what bathroom. This misdirected obsession is not backed up by ANY statistics, it’s only running unhinged with unfounded fear of being adults feeling “uncomfortable” and taking advantage of that to create unfounded and misdirected fear.

[6] SAN FRANCISCO, state of, an on-line comment: 

Sadly we live in a city where many people feel entitled to steal from stores routinely and openly. Thieves often get aggressive and physical when confronted (how dare you!). I've seen it in Walgreens many times, BevMo, Target, Safeway. People openly sell stolen goods. Went to Westfield recently - first time in years - and every store has a guard at the door. There is no mystery about why so many retailers are closing - who wants to go shopping in such a contested environment? Not to mention the mess on the streets. City Hall is very late to the realization that "more has to be done" (per Mayor Breed this week).

[7] THE DRUG PLAGUE, an on-line comment: "Drug dealers and users also need to stop saying they don’t want to be using and dealing. Of course they do… if they didn’t, they wouldn’t.

What they mean really is that being clean and working for a living stinks. They’d definitely rather be doing and dealing drugs than that. But if they had a choice to be rich and live in a mansion, THEN they don’t want to deal drugs. Sure, they don’t want to deal drugs if they could instead be a lazy millionaire. But deal drugs instead of working 40 hours at Starbucks? Yes, then they want to deal drugs. Dealing drugs is a choice made to avoid doing harder work. If they didn’t want to be a drug dealer, they would’ve never started, and would’ve obeyed the law and never become addicted." 

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