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Mendocino County Today: Friday, June 2, 2023

Partly Sunny | Wildflower Walk | Barn Sale | Free Boat | Proposed Budget | Watertower Wonderland | Candidate Cline | Bragg Fridays | Art Walk | Lake Mendocino | TR Factor | Ed Notes | First Commencement | Korte Book | Yesterday's Catch | Reading Kids | 235 MPH | Far Rockaway | Ukiah Mural | Mobley Desk | Further Bus | Be-In 1967 | Bettie Page | Fun Losing | Nanny Twitter | Ukraine | Westport Gull

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NORTHERLY WINDS will remain breezy through the weekend, particularly on Sunday. Daytime temperatures will increase over the next several days under a building ridge. A cutoff upper low will moderate temperatures and bring increasing chances of showers and inland thunderstorms Sunday through most of next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A foggy 47F on the coast this Friday morning. Generally clear skies & light wind into early next week. We still have showers in the forecast for next Tuesday & Wednesday.

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Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Starting this month we will be selling food in addition to the usual: furniture, hardware, tools, clothing, linens, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, cameras, telescopes, dishes, and much more - lots of new donations.

Shop and eat lunch, all in one place!

Located at 12761 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville

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WANT A BOAT? Unfortunately, the dream of reviving this boat as a play element in the park was never realized. Anyone interest in picking it up for themselves or bringing to the Transfer Station on behalf of our local Parks & Rec? Thank you!

…Interested in being a part of improving our local park? Volunteers are needed for everything from Fundraising to Maintenance, Outreach, and Development. PM me if interested! It Takes A Village!

— Elizabeth Jensen

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HIGHLIGHTS from next Tuesday’s Budget Presentation for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 (July 2023-June 2024):

The Proposed Budget presented for the Board of Supervisor’s consideration is a balanced budget, as required by California Government Code § 29009, based on all currently available information. The budget is balanced in accordance with State code and built on Non-Departmental revenue projections of $94,912,521. 

Total proposed Budget Unit 1000 (Non-departmental Revenue) available as of May 24, 2023, is $94,921,521 with special fund allocations of: $2,457,863 to Debt Service, $3,997,422 to Transportation, $1,464,282 to Library, $166,648 to IT Reserve, $4,880,000 to Fire Agencies, $400,000 to Disaster Recovery, and $145,443 to Water Agency, leaving $81,403,863 for allocation to General Fund Departments for their Net County Cost (NCC) assignment. As stated in Attachment A, the total proposed Net County Cost for General Fund Departments is $82,229,705.To balance the budget, it is recommended that $500,000 be appropriated from the General Reserve, $325,844 be appropriated from the TEETER reserve, and the appropriation of $4,474,333 one-time funds. 

Executive Summary


The size and condition of the County’s roads have a need greater than monies in the Road Fund. New revenue is needed to maintain the roads within the County. 

Public Safety 

The California Constitution places public safety as the priority in county governments. The County must find additional new revenue to continue to support core, mandated services. Recruitment has been problematic in the current workforce environment. 

Property Conditions 

Deferred maintenance and function of the County’s facilities is a concern. The facility conditions assessment and the space utilization analysis is ongoing and will come back with information that can be used to prioritize resources. These assessments will help in deciding what properties can be surplused. 

Americans with Disability Act (ADA) 

The need for compliance with the ADA and new revenues needed to fully meet the requirements in the County’s facilities. 

Boards and Commissions 

Review of existing boards and commissions to determine if they are required in State statute. 

Jail Expansion Project 

The jail expansion project is moving forward. When completed, staffing the new jail and new funding will be needed for the expanded jail’s staffing and maintenance. 

The proposed Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget is balanced with one-time funds and the use of County reserves. To balance the budget, it is recommended that $500,000 of the General reserve be appropriated for staffing, training, and support of property tax assessment. Another $325,844 from the TEETER reserve is recommended to be appropriated due to the projected impact the TEETER Fund will have on the 2023-24 General Fund. If there is carry forward available from the 2022- 23 year-end close, priority should be given to replenishing these reserves, and any further carry forward should prioritized to public safety vehicles. 

Recent research has found that 1991 Realignment funds may be used to cover the costs of the maintenance of effort (MOE), reducing the impact to the General Fund. Continued innovative ideas to help balance the budget include a partial holiday in the IT internal service fund, deferring those costs till they can be replenished. 

Below is a summary list of outside agencies and community partners receiving County funding in the FY 2022-23 budget: 

Allocate $25,000 to support the Mendocino County Arts Council; 

Allocate $265,381 as the Business Improvement District (BID) match funding; 

Allocate $4,200,000 of Measure P, Essential Services Transactions and Use Tax, to county fire services; 

Allocate $680,000 of Camping TOT, to county fire services; 

Allocate $408,633 of County Proposition 172 sales tax funding to county fire services; 

Salary and Benefits 

FY 2022-23, the County entered into 1-year agreements with all eight bargaining units. A 2% Cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA), a $3,000 one-time stipend payment, and no increase to health plan premiums were incorporated into the agreements. These 1-year agreements expire in calendar year 2023 and bargaining unit negotiations have begun with some bargaining units at the time of publication of this report. 

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To the Editor:

Did Madeline Cline, candidate for Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor, actually hire a campaign management firm? 

Strategy Insights?

Home - Strategy Insights (

Dear Lord! 

Talk about overkill!

Incidentally, Strategy Insight's Chief Strategist and CEO, a guy named Max "Roadkill" Rexroad, says in his Linkedin page he wears two hats. Currently, he is also the Legal Counsel and President of Redistricting Insights, which he describes as, "one of the leading redistricting firms in the country. We manage dozens of districting and redistricting projects around the country for states, counties, cities, and special districts."

I wonder what Roadkill's retainer cost Ms. Cline. 

I wonder what his hourly rate is.

John Sakowicz

PS. Attached:

Dear John ,

Today, I am announcing my campaign for Mendocino County Supervisor. I wanted to reach out and introduce myself in case we haven't had a chance to meet yet.

I am a proud lifelong Mendocino County resident. I have spent my adult life working on tough public policy issues at the state and local level. I worked on legislation in the California State Assembly, advocated for businesses in the state policy making process, and advised cities, counties, special districts, and state agencies on improving their policies, operations and programs.

Now, I am starting a new chapter and running for Supervisor to give back to our community and solve some of the difficult issues we face here at home:

Developing long term, reliable water sources and clean drinking water

Reducing barriers for small business success and strengthening our local industries

Focusing on public safety and fully funding and staffing our Sheriff’s Office

Maintaining and investing in infrastructure improvements in our unincorporated areas

Addressing the underlying substance abuse and mental health issues causing homelessness

And always ensuring our county government is fiscally responsible, transparent, accessible, and responsive.

Many of you may recognize my name through my father, Eric Cline. If you do, you know that he was a shining example of someone who worked tirelessly for both his family and community. In 2021, when he passed away after a fast and aggressive battle with cancer, our community showed us love and support. Hundreds supported the Headwaters community space project in Potter Valley in honor of his memory. That experience solidified for me what a special bond we all share here in Mendocino County. This is where I belong and the place I want to fight for.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the months to come.


Madeline Cline

P.S. Be sure to check out the press release below announcing my campaign. I am proud to have the support of Former District 1 Supervisor Carre Brown as I launch this effort!

Madeline Cline Announces Campaign for Mendocino County Supervisor, District 1

Redwood Valley, CA -- Public policy advocate and community leader Madeline Cline today announced her campaign for Mendocino County Supervisor, District 1.

In announcing her campaign, Cline stated, “I was born and raised in Mendocino County, and I am proud to call it my home. Like so many of you, my life has been defined by the opportunities and blessings we all share as residents of Mendocino County." She went on to add, "I have spent much of my adult life working on some of the toughest public policy issues facing our community. We have significant challenges ahead of us, but I know with the right leadership, we can preserve our county as a place where anyone can start a family, grow their business, and build the life they want to live."

A professional public policy advocate, Cline assists the business and farming community as they navigate the local policy making process. Before focusing the scope of her work to local issues, Cline worked on state issues related to improving the business climate and helping state agencies procure modernized technology to better serve residents. As an advocate, Cline also worked with counties, cities, and special districts across the state, with a deep understanding of their operational and budgetary challenges. Prior to that, Cline worked in the California State Assembly, advising a member of the state legislature on policy and the state budget– helping craft solutions to tough issues like natural resources and public safety.

Cline is announcing her campaign with support from numerous community members from across District 1, including former District 1 Supervisor Carre Brown, who stated "Madeline is a proven problem-solver that cares deeply about making Mendocino County a better place. She brings with her a fresh, unique perspective along with the experience and education to make a real difference. I am confident that she will serve our community well as the next First District Supervisor."

Cline grew up in Redwood Valley and graduated from Ukiah High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University and a Graduate Certificate in Policy and Government from Sacramento State University. 

Madeline spends her free time volunteering and staying active in the community. This year, she was appointed by Supervisor Glenn McGourty to the Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission.

Mendocino County Supervisor District 1 includes the communities of Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Calpella, Talmage, and Hopland. To find more information about Madeline and her campaign for supervisor, please visit

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Here's the lineup for tomorrow's First Friday Art Walk!

Ukiah is a very walkable town. Join artists and their hosts for an evening of art, music and refreshments as you stroll from one venue to the next; each showcasing local art and artistry. Held in Historic Downtown Ukiah on the first Friday of each month, the First Friday Art Walk is the perfect way to relax your body, mind and soul. This enjoyable evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and promises to delight your senses; all while enjoying the company of others.

Bona 116 W Standley Street, Ukiah

Bona Marketplace will be featuring Meelah Dorhosti with her “Here, There and Everywhere “ painting exhibit with an Asian flair!

W Real Estate, 101 N State Street, Ukiah

Tai Evans was born in Fort Bragg in 1984 and grew up in Laytonville. After studying music at Humboldt State University, he returned to his home town where he teaches music and technology classes at the Elementary School. Tai's love of music is matched by his passion for visual art, and he has continually produced drawings and paintings since early childhood, with his art being featured in numerous publications, the logos of businesses and in various other locations and applications.

Mendo Merch, 301 N Main Street, Ukiah

Mendo Merch Offers the experience of a room frame to frame wall to wall of PopoChanelle paintings. PopoChanelle is a local artist from Redwood Valley, who’s work reflects the idea of making art out of used and unwanted material to form beautiful pieces with purpose again. Using old frames from the Brooktrails Lodge and unwanted furniture, art pieces are produced with PopoChanelle adding bright color and expression to our systematic lifestyles. Each piece has a story. Our Mendo Merch is made out of prints from the paintings on the walls, into art fashion pieces that can be worn. We also carry Mendo t-shirts and hats. Take time during the art walk to visit this location.

Medium Art Gallery, 522 E Perkins Street, Ukiah

The Deep Valley Arts Collective invites you to an Open Mic Night at Medium Art Gallery in Ukiah, on First Friday, June 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Come read a story, sing a song, recite a favorite poem or any other short performance. All ages are welcome. Our current printmaking exhibition, Impressions, continues through the month of June. Printmaking, based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often involves paper or fabric. Printmaking techniques include, but are not limited to: woodcut, linocut, etching, engraving, lithography, screenprinting, and letterpress. Our community art project this month invites visitors to the gallery to learn how to make prints from stamps, stencils, and markers. Supplies provided. Come make some fun stamp art. Supplies provided.

Mama’s Medicinals, 328 N State Street, Ukiah

This first Friday art Walk at Mama's Medicinals features a series of paintings created for a poem book. The artist, Wildbird, was asked to dive into the metaphysical, contemplating soulmate energy and the karma of young love and codependency. Wildbird's signature style is exhibited through vibrant colors, and a focus on the journey of the Soul.

Ukiah Library, 105 N Main Street

Art is Made Here: Painting Local Artists; An Art Exhibit The Ukiah Library staff invite the community to join us for Art Walk Ukiah on Friday, June 2 nd from 5:00-7:00 pm. Come enjoy an exhibit by local artist Janet Rosen, titled “Art is Made Here: Painting Local Artists.” The kernel of this exhibit started, as did so many things, with the pandemic lockdown in 2020. Janet Rosen quickly created a structure to her days by creating daily portrait drawings from online reference photos. From there an idea percolated and grew as Rosen worked from photos of local friends and artists to create the works of this exhibit in oil paintings which feature local artists of Mendocino County. The Branch will host live music by Tom Aiken and Steve Baird. Meditative painted rock materials will be available for in-person crafting or as a Take & Make. Enjoy a book sale by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library as you browse the art walk. This exhibit is free to the public, open to all ages, and sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and Mendocino County Library.

The Lot on Main, corner of Main Street and Standley

The Lot will feature local artists and musicians First Friday Additional businesses are open and offering specials, take a stroll and explore Downtown Ukiah.

For more information contact, Mo Mulheren at Ukiah Valley Networking at or text her at 707-391-3664.

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Lake Mendocino (Jeff Goll)

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Born in Portland Oregon in 1933, Diane Lee Burdick was the only child of Bill, a jack-of-all-trades Canadian immigrant, and Elna Jean, an Oregon-born portrait artist. Diane's maternal great-grandmother Mary Alice was born in 1864, while her parents were travelling west in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail. From these humble beginnings, she inherited a knack for ingenuity in solving problems, a flair for artistry, and a love of adventure.

Shortly after her graduation from Washington High School, she was married.  For one year, until it was amicably annulled, her name was Diane Johnson. At age 19, newly divorced and in search of adventure, she moved to Los Angeles, hoping to get work in the movies or television. That dream was cut short when an LA police officer contacted her to relay the news that her father had drowned in the Willamette River. She packed up and returned to Portland to care for her widowed mother.

In her early 20s, while taking classes at Portland State University and working as a copywriter at Portland radio stations KEX and KXL, she gave birth to her first child, Kevin, in 1955, and raised him as a single mother. Two years later, she met Jerry Weigler, a Yale law student and Air Force officer who fell in love with this tall, beautiful, smart woman and became utterly enchanted by her sweet little boy. He proposed, they eloped, and her name became Diane Weigler. Jerry immediately adopted Kevin as his son, and Diane soon gave birth to three more children: Sally, in 1958, Will (nicknamed Chaz), in 1959, and Benjamin, in 1960.

Early in their marriage they lived in New Haven, Connecticut. While Jerry was finishing Law School, Diane worked as an on-camera TV personality on WNHC-TV.  Under the name Diane Lee, she presented weather reports and current events for their program “Town Crier.” In 1959, she spent several weeks as the unbeatable champion on the New York TV Quiz show “Top Dollar” (a forerunner of “Wheel of Fortune”).

They purchased a small home in Cedar Mill, a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Portland. Their children grew up surrounded by fruit and nut trees, with a small woodland forest abutting their back yard, and a menagerie of pets.

By the late 1960s, she felt she needed more in her life and ended the marriage. With only a high school diploma and a few university credits, she got work driving a school bus for Catlin Gabel, a private school in Portland. She was so well-liked by the staff and administrators that often, when an elementary school teacher called in sick, she was asked to cover their classes for the day. The students loved her. When a position opened for a new 5th Grade teacher, the school bumped her to the front of the long line of applicants and gave her the job. For five years at Catlin Gabel, Diane created a haven for her students. Inspired by the writings and work of the new wave of radical educators, and drawing on her own intuition, she found innovative approaches to encourage her students (and her own children) to reach for their full potential. There is a (probably apocryphal) story that a visitor once came to her classroom and saw the utter pandemonium of unrestrained 10-year-olds running wildly around the room with no apparent supervision, all of them laughing and chattering away while working on their various projects. The visitor said to her, “You sure have a lot of patience.” 

Diane replied, “I prefer to call them students.”

Her unconventional techniques ultimately led to unresolvable conflicts with some of the other staff at the school, and she was asked to leave midway through the year. Almost immediately, the parents of many of her students from the private school began to reach out to her. They had seen how their children had been thriving emotionally and academically in her classroom and they proposed that if she were to open her own school, they would happily pull their kids out of Catlin Gabel and enroll them in her school. By that time, she had moved with her children to a three-story, 1907 house on Kearney Street in Northwest Portland. She opened her alternative school in her home with ten students enrolled.

Before long, other young people began showing up at her door. Teenagers, some of whom had once been her students, began to stop by to ask if they could live there. They and their friends found a level of freedom that they didn’t have under their own parents’ roofs. At the house on Kearney Street, these young people, along with several adults and a single mother with two small children, found a sense of community that they had been searching for. 

Over the course of a few years, thirty-six people called this place their home. Diane saw herself as a conduit, encouraging everyone to step up into making it work collectively. At the same time, she was on a personal path of self-learning, mapping out what her role in this life of expanding consciousness could be.  She read voraciously, as she had always done, but now turned her attention to writers like Carlos Castaneda, Ram Dass, Krishnamurti, Adele Davis, and Frances Moore Lappé. She frequently acknowledged her gratitude to “The Great Whomever” and with a smile, referred to the presence of “The Cosmic Choreographer.” She often encapsulated all of what she was learning into its essence: “pay attention.” In the preface to one of her unpublished manuscripts, she wrote: “In my elation at the wonder and order of things, I want to share. I shout, ‘Look at this. See this. Feel it. Hear it.’ And perhaps I speak too loudly.”

Peter Caddy (the co-founder of Findhorn) felt the universe was held together with “Divine Economy”: perfect and elegant synchronicity. This idea caught on among the residents and they created a new name for the Kearney Street House, calling it “The First Cosmic Bank of Divine Economy, Unlimited.” The idea was that the Cosmic Bank is always open for karmic deposits, and also for withdrawals whenever they were needed.

Diane lived in a continual state of change. She described different eras of her life as “movies” and, as much as she relished the moment she was in, she was forever curious to see what her next movie would be. After a few years, The Cosmic Bank movie came to a slow fade out. For the better part of a year, she joined a community of back-to-the-land folks living in the hills in Southern Oregon near Dillard, teaching their children in a tiny one-room schoolhouse.

Upon returning to Portland she purchased a 1959 International Harvester Metro delivery truck and outfitted its interior as a place where she could live. With its soft white color, pleasantly rounded edges, and a front grill shaped like the wings of a butterfly, she named her new travelling home, “Maudie.” In 1978, at the age of 45, Diane embarked on a series of adventures in Maudie, taking with her only her two dogs and a new name for herself. Choosing to reject her maiden and married names, and as a gesture of affection for her life at the Cosmic Bank, she adopted the name of the street of her former home, calling herself Diane Kearney. 

For the next several years, Diane Kearney embraced her life as a vagabond in California. Living with her dogs in Maudie, she managed to scrape by on whatever few dollars she could earn doing odd jobs while parked near university campuses (with easy access to gym showers and bathrooms) or staying with friends in Berkeley and San Francisco. By 1979, she had gravitated to Mendocino County in Northern California, first to Point Arena and then on to other towns. Ultimately, it was in Fort Bragg that she found her true calling as a writer. As she learned about the rampant malfeasance and general chicanery in all areas of county and municipal government there, she launched into environmental and political activism by way of writing witty and acerbic letters to the editor of the local paper. She was unrelenting until the newspaper announced their new policy: only one letter would be accepted per person per month. Diane responded by continuing to send in her letters, writing under different aliases. Letters began to appear signed by Shirley U. Geste and C.O. Jones (which, without the periods, spells cojones). By far, though, her favorite nom de guerrewas T.R. Factor. The corporations promoting offshore oil rigs and the greed-motivated developers would regularly show up at community meetings and hearings represented by a phalanx of lawyers. They would present their case, believing that they had covered all the bases. And then Diane would step up to point out a flaw in their thinking that had never occurred to them and the rationale for their project would collapse. They learned that, as much as they tried to account for all the variables, they were never able to anticipate The Random Factor.

Not everyone appreciated her whimsy. In response to her letter calling attention to some outrageous thuggery by Georgia-Pacific, she received a certified letter from Jack Mulkey, editor of the Advocate News in Fort Bragg. Having learned of her “true” identity, he accused her of hiding under fake names. He compared her to Richard Nixon, saying that she was an absolute liar whose credibility was shot now that she’d been found out. He challenged her to come by his office within the week with identification to prove that there is a real T.R. Factor. Her reply to him by return post merits reprinting in full:

Tsk, tsk, Jack, such overreaction. Did anyone call Samuel Clemens an “absolute liar” when he wrote under the name Mark Twain? Did the British mathematician Charles Dodgson lose “credibility” when, as Lewis Carroll, he wrote Alice in Wonderland? In ancient times, rulers of kingdoms kept court jesters. The jester’s role was to keep the king informed, raising questions in wry amusement of behind-the-scenes maneuverings. Those kings had senses of humor. In the Kingdom of Fort Bragg, the rulers are humorless. They are threatened by truth and react by intimidation. They are cardboard cut-outs, afraid of that breath of fresh air that may topple them.  

I am the jester. Who are you? ​

The Random Factor

Diane’s letters caught the attention of Bruce Anderson, editor of the progressive weekly paper The Anderson Valley Advertiser (AVA) in Booneville, 50 miles southeast of Fort Bragg. Bruce reached out to Diane, inviting her to be a regular columnist for the AVA. She accepted his offer and began writing her column under the byline, “The Random Factor.” Perhaps the best tribute to her tenure at the AVA is this excerpt from a letter of support that Bruce wrote upon her departure:

For a solid three years, our most talented contributor was a lady calling herself T.R. Factor. Ms. Factor, during this period, was responsible for feature coverage of personalities and events on the intriguing Mendocino Coast, an area with a wide reputation for the eccentricity of its population. T.R. Factor brought her considerable intelligence and lively wit to a variety of subjects and transformed them to highly readable pieces that will be read and re-read for many years to come.

​Much of the initial success of the Anderson Valley Advertiser can be directly attributed to the work of T.R. Factor. [She writes with] genuine style, but is also able to pull together complicated stories. T.R. was an impressive researcher able to interpret bureaucratese seemingly at a glance. Her relentlessness put the fear into local government because, for a period of years, T.R. was the only working journalist in the region who followed stories through to their ends.

​I could go on in superlatives for some time as to the abilities of this fine reporter. I won’t because her work makes such a recitation redundant.

Diane enjoyed the persona of her nom de plume so much that she decided to take measures to legally change her name to TR Factor (minus the periods). This remained her name until the end of her days.

Another notable outcome of TR’s time with the AVA was her tango with Wanda Tinasky. A self-described bag lady living under a bridge in Mendocino County, Wanda Tinasky sent the AVA scores of hilarious, irreverent letters about local artists, writers, poets, and politicians. After five and a half years, she vanished as enigmatically as she had arrived. Then, following the publication of Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland, a novel set in northern California, Bruce Anderson noticed unmistakable similarities to Wanda’s writing style. Speculation began to emerge that Wanda Tinasky’s letters may actually have been written by the reclusive author as a sort of warm up exercise as he was living in the area and working on his manuscript. A series of events led to researcher Fred Gardner teaming up with TR to compile all of the letters in a book. Through his editor, Pynchon flatly denied that he’d written the letters, and Gardner abandoned the project. TR continued work on it, researching and writing hundreds of annotations to all of Tinasky’s obscure references, and self-publishing it as The Letters of Wanda Tinasky without claiming that Tinasky was Pynchon. 

A couple of years later, literary sleuth Don Foster discovered that the real author of the Tinasky letters was an obscure poet and writer named Tom Hawkins. 

​Nevertheless, the book remains an intriguing read.

TR spent a little time in Seattle before returning to Portland where she found work as an apartment manager while continuing her work as a political activist, championing several environmental issues.

By the late 1990s, she settled on the Oregon coast, making her home in Cannon Beach. In this safe and beautiful corner of the world, which she fondly referred to as “Paradise,” her front door was always unlocked and often left open as an invitation to her neighbors and visitors. Here she found a whole community of people whom she loved and who loved her in return. For over twenty years, TR would get together with her pals for the monthly Sunday student scholarship fundraising breakfasts sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion, and would join the annual holiday gatherings at the Wave Crest Inn. Whenever she showed up at one of the local coffee shops, she would be welcomed with a hearty hello, pull up a chair, and squeeze in around the table for a gab fest with eight to ten of her good friends. During her time in Cannon Beach, TR was a tireless ally for anyone who came to her in need of help. She was both a caring personal counselor and a skillful strategist, continually stepping up to write effective advocacy letters and offering guidance on how to successfully navigate legal challenges. When she first moved to town, she learned about an effort to stop the Postal Service’s new policy denying city residents their historic right to free PO boxes. She joined the fray, contributing her considerable experience as an activist to the campaign, and the group was ultimately able to restore the no-fee boxes.

TR’s love of storytelling never abated. She relished the nuance of meaning in words and especially word play, always quick with a pun and fascinated by etymology. Driven by Socrates’ dictum, “The unexamined life is not worth living,”  TR wrote hundreds of short essays, autobiographical research notes, a play, and two unpublished book manuscripts. She often joked that, as a Gemini, she always had someone interesting to talk to. She filled boxes with scraps of paper and note cards on which she had used writing as a means to know herself better. These stacks of handwritten and typed memos to herself were part of her lifelong process to unearth meaning from her past and to make sense of how she came to be who she was, including surviving childhood sexual abuse. On page after page, she wrote and wrote and wrote her reflections, musings, and insights on the nature of being human. Her 1979 book, a self-illustrated exploration of  perception and action called Choices: A Point of View, is available online open source at

TR Factor died peacefully in her sleep on May 15, 2023. She is survived by her daughter, Sally DeJesus; son Will Weigler (partner Mia Weinberg); son Ben Weigler (wife Stacie Clark and stepson Joshua Clark-Godinez); grandsons Nicholas DeJesus and Jared Weigler. TR’s eldest son, Kevin Weigler, passed away from cancer on July 21, 2020 in Branson Missouri at the age of 65.

On the beach near Haystack Rock, TR's daughter Sally hosted an informal gathering for a few neighbors and dear friends to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman. The day began with a typical rainy Oregon morning and then, as if TR had submitted her order in advance, the sun broke through the clouds just as the event began. A small beach fire was fuelled by wood that had been salvaged from some of TR's cracked older bookshelves. Those in attendance shared their memories and then made a procession to the water, dropping yellow flower petals as they walked. The ashes of her remains will be scattered in the ocean later in the year.

In a note found after her death, TR had written a final request: because of her own “many lean years,” she would like each of her well-wishers to remember her by “taking a poor person out to dinner and maybe a movie.”

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A LOCAL WRITES: What is going on here? My daughter just came home from the store and said she saw a couple of our oldest valley old time residents begging for help to go pick his 85 year old wife up off the ground where she fell down because she couldn’t get up by herself, and he’s 95 or so, and could barely make it up the steps and into the store? They both hadn’t bathed for a long time! Where’s our help here?

IT’S BEEN about thirty years since those impressive wine industry signs at both ends of greater Yorkville announced, “Welcome to Yorkville Highlands.” Funny thing is there’s still only one tasting room in the Highlands and only a single visible vineyard.

26 YEARS AGO, CLAY GEERDES, a long-time AVA contributor, died of cancer. Geerdes was a reliable chronicler of the Bay Area bohemia long gone over to affectation and costume. He was an undogmatic leftist who lamented the disappearance of a lively, independent press without which the truly unique voices like his have no place to be heard. 

I WAS THINKING of Geerdes as I re-read Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s new book of poems, “A Far Rockaway of the Heart,” and Jonah Raskin’s interview with the poet, which had appeared in, of all places, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a newspaper opposed to pretty much every thing Ferlinghetti had always represented. There was a time not all that long ago when people like Ferlinghetti and Clay Geerdes were on the top ten public enemies list. Now, with dissenting culture tidily cordoned off, their books get respectfully reviewed in suburban dailies whose primary function is to serve commerce. Raskin had interviewed Ferlinghetti at his City Lights book store, the last all-purpose, comprehensive, insurrectionary book store in the country where, incidentally, the ava can be found, thanks to the man himself. Ferlinghetti told Raskin, “There’s a growing ignorance of literary matters. It’s part of the dumbing down of America. When I go to universities to give readings, I’m astonished that young people don’t even know the names of modern poets.” Neither do their teachers, chances are. Ferlinghetti has always taken real risks for the literary and political culture in which the hordes of today’s posturers now thrive. As the old boys and girls go, much of the best part of the culture will go with them. Looking around the room at the art and the literature, and what passes for opposition politics, the lively intellectual world that Geerdes and Ferlinghetti knew is just about gone.

AS US MENDO PEOPLE KNOW, you don’t have to go too far off the pavement to find yourself in wild places. The wildest I’ve experienced was a hike down Indian Creek not far from its headwaters at upper Peachland on down to Clearwater Ranch Road, and on into central Philo. The distance is only four miles or so, but it’s a rough, boulder-strewn four miles, a constant clamber over stone and fallen redwood tangles long ago slipped into the stream by the natural slide of portions of what is essentially a four-mile canyon. It’s too steep in most places to walk anywhere but straight down the streambed. There are lots of tiny fish in the creek, many of them new steelhead, but I didn’t see a single fish bigger than six inches in any of the plenitude of deep holes along the way seemingly designed for fish. The water seemed very warm the length of the stream, a fact attributed to the desert-like condition of Indian Creek’s headwaters where stream banks have been stripped of shade trees. Because the surrounding terrain is so rugged, there is little sign that this part of Indian Creek is ever visited apart from an occasional logger or our local Mountain Man, Monte Hulbert who makes his year-round home somewhere up in Indian Creek Canyon. Monte is a one-man encyclopedia of much of Anderson Valley’s wild country. He’s walked every inch of it, knows all the streams. There were no signs of pot growers on the four-mile trek. At one particularly treacherous confluence of stone, rushing water and deep pool, I lost my balance and fell in, spraining my wrist, destroying my camera (I’d promised a friend some pictures) and somehow snapping the straps on my pack. But other than that one minor mishap, the hike was uneventful. The only environmentally threatening sight we saw was at the bend in the stream just before we reached Clearwater; there, on its north bank, someone had cut an obviously non-sanctioned thirty or forty yards of road just above the stream. The road dead-ends where the same someone is milling a few logs. The road is new and much of it will wind up in Indian Creek with the first heavy rains. 

IT WOULDN’T take a lot of money and all that much labor to plant trees along the banks of the upper Indian Creek, the only trouble spot on its entire length. One doesn’t need a hundred experts and lots of money to do restoration work. Which may have been done by now. I haven’t re-visted the area in thirty years.

A FORT BRAGG friend says she is experimenting with hop plants as gopher deterrents but the results aren’t quite apparent on her tests. She says the gophers are so far mostly staying out of her garden this year, but she isn’t quite sure that the hops have kept them out.

EMIL ROSSI told me once that the only certain way to stop gophers is to shotgun them early in the morning at the first sign of their movement beneath the earth. Since I live in a neighborhood, I’m afraid this particular method of rodent repellent would likely be misunderstood and certainly unappreciated. I’ll try hops.

RECOMMENDED READING: “News of a Kidnapping,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Marquez gets lumped in with “magical realists” who seem to this outback critic much his inferior — writers like Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, Isabel Allende, none of whom I’ve ever been able to read. There’s nothing obscure or precious about “News,” which is not only a gripping narrative of people taken as hostages in Colombia’s drug wars, it’s a terrific guide to the sociology of Colombia itself. 

THE LATE MARGARET LaVANN may be gone but she’s left behind an enviable stock of vivid memories including one of the time a windy old father, retired after years as a Navy chaplain to become the visiting priest at the Catholic Church in Philo, began a story from the pulpit of his seafaring days by fatally asking his congregation, “Did I tell you the one about.....” When Margaret yelled out from her pew, “Yes! Three weeks ago.” And this may only be part of that formidable lady’s mythology, but there’s a story of her in a physical struggle over the arrangement of the altar as the Philo parish became largely immigrant Mexican, the Mexicans insisting on the vivid, bleeding depiction of Guadalupe, Margaret and the outnumbered gringettes holding out for more gringo-traditional austerity.

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by Nathalie op de Beeck

Poet Mary Norbert Korte, who died last November at age 88, was known as a beatnik nun who left the Dominican Order to join San Francisco’s poetry scene, and as an off-grid eco-warrior who preserved more than 400 acres of old-growth redwood forest in Mendocino County, Calif. Though Korte operated under the mainstream radar, she won counterculture literary admirers. In Jumping into the American River: New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1, due out June 1 from Argos Books and TKS Books, coeditors Iris Cushing and Jason Weiss reintroduce Korte’s place-based poetry and her remarkable life in Northern California.

Cushing started indie publisher Argos Books in 2010 and continues to operate it with cofounder and translator Elizabeth Clark Wessel. Argos publishes two books of poetry, works in translation, or hybrid genre books per year and is distributed by Small Press Distribution. Cushing discovered Korte while working on her PhD in literature at CUNY and collaborating with Ammiel Alcalay, founder of the archival chapbook series Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.

Alcalay had discovered handwritten response poems by Korte in an archived copy of poet Michael McClure’s Ghost Tantras. Korte gave these poems to McClure in 1968, the year she left the sisterhood. She was then 34 and had been a nun since 1951. She’d experienced a new kind of spiritual conversion at the 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference, which inspired her to join the literary scene of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Spicer, and Diane di Prima.

Cushing, already studying di Prima, “ended up reading through all of Korte’s archives at the University of Rochester,” she said. “I decided that she would be one of the people I wrote my dissertation about. I’m from Northern California, and I love the literary history and folklore” of the area. She published a pamphlet on Korte, The First Books of David Henderson and Mary Korte: A Research, in 2020.

Mary Catherine Kinniburgh, one of Cushing’s fellow CUNY graduate students and the publisher of TKS Books (distributed by literary indie publisher Granary Books), turned the Ghost Tantras poems into a publication for Lost & Found.

Cushing and Kinniburgh met Korte for the first time in 2017, said Cushing, who wrote about the experience in a small-press publication, Into the Long Long Time: How Mary Norbert Korte Saved the Redwoods, in 2019. The visit to Korte’s cabin led to conversations about poetry and clashes between eco-activists and logging companies in the remote forests around Willits, Calif.; while writing her contemplative poetry, Korte worked with environmentalist Judi Bari and the Earth First! movement to protect old-growth forests.

“We got to be very dear friends,” Cushing said, and “between 2017 and 2022 I went there probably half a dozen times. She had a really cool handful of friends who lived on the land with her and who took care of her in the last years of her life. In her poetry, she captured a sense of place beautifully.”

“Korte is the genuine deal,” Kinniburgh agreed. “She had extraordinary presence in person, and I wanted to be near it.”

Cushing set herself a goal of reviving Korte’s work while the aging poet could see the effort and perhaps the finished product. She and Weiss, who’d met Korte in 1970, pitched the book to a few presses, but “it just wasn’t a fit.”

That is when Cushing decided she should publish the book. “I just had this moment where I was like, Why do I have a press if not to make things like this happen?” she remembered. “I called Mary Catherine and said, ‘We should publish Korte’s selected poems as a collaboration with our publishing projects.’ ”

“Iris and I both felt strongly about the importance of sharing Korte’s work,” Kinniburgh said. “So we pooled our publishing resources to get it done and both contributed financially. While Iris took the lead on editorial and project management, I designed the cover and consulted with her on design and production.”

Last November, Korte called Cushing to see how Jumping into the American River was coming along. “She was a lifelong chain smoker, and when she quit smoking, it sent her body into total turmoil,” Cushing said. “She called me from the hospital and said, ‘Things aren’t looking good. Do you think that book is going to come out in the next couple of weeks?’ ”

Cushing admitted it wouldn’t be done for a couple of months. But she felt grateful to say that the book was underway, its title borrowed from Korte’s 1977 poem about making a leap of faith. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Attanasio, Cervantes, Corona

MYQ ATTANASIO, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JONATHAN CERVANTES, Ukiah. DUI, excessive speed while DUI, suspended license, no plates.

ISRAEL CORONA, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Cosma, Cruz, Fernandez

MIHAI COSMA, Willits. Vandalism.

DELFINO CRUZ-SALAZAR, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

LAZARO FERNANDEZ-HERNANDEZ, Campbell/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.

Hoaglin, Hughes, Lee

KEISHA HOAGLIN, Covelo. Failure to appear.

WHITNEY HUGHES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, shopping cart, probation revocation.

KAI LEE, Covelo. Assault weapon.

Roberts, Sanderson, Warner

CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

NICOLE SANDERSON, Branscomb. Failure to appear.

COLLEEN WARNER, Gualala. Burglary, offenses while on bail.

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Mr. Boynton was an excellent teacher. As for kids not being able to read or write, presumably because of their schooling before high school: the trick to getting kids to read is to give them a wide variety of reading experiences when young children, by reading to them, and reading not just the most popular new books but some older ones as well. They then become “literate”‘ in that they are okay with many kinds of literature. They also develop the patience needed to plow through “difficult” books.

Also, book banning is probably not helping the situation. We should be adding more choices, not taking away books.

In addition, not all parents have time to read to their kids, or sometimes even the inclination. That is a situation that is pretty hard to remedy. We need to find a way to encourage “older readers” (parents of young children) so that they love reading and set an example to their kids. Sound hopeless, due to the current trend toward more online activity and TV? If we want smarter kids we are going to have to figure it out. Maybe elementary schools could sponsor groups of parents meeting for reading and discussion. I know, that is ridiculous since parents have their hands full after school. However, maybe the kids could do art projects or have tutoring and study groups while the parents are enjoying a little time safely away from them, even if it does involve reading and discussion. Then, when kids observe their parents reading and enjoying books at home, they may become curious and therefore motivated. If books are anathema at home, how can we expect kids to get into reading on their own?

Sarah Kennedy Owen

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by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Driving a cardboard automobile without a license

………at the turn of the century

…… my father ran into my mother

………on a fun-ride at Coney Island

………having spied each other eating

……………in a French boardinghouse nearby

And having decided right there and then

………that she was for him entirely

…he followed her into

………the playland of that evening

…where the headlong meeting

……………of their ephemeral flesh on wheels

…………hurtled them forever together 


And I now in the back seat

……………of their eternity

………………reaching out to embrace them

* * *

Church Shed Mural, Ukiah (Jeff Goll)

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Here’s what’s come across my desk recently:

This week in schadenfreude: To celebrate his engagement to Lauren Sanchez last week, Jeff Bezos ordered a $4,285 bottle of wine in a restaurant in Cannes, reports Kirsten Fleming in the New York Post, even though the bottle was likely worth mere hundreds of dollars. The wine was apparently from Domaine Dugat-Py, a producer in Burgundy; I can’t find details of which specific wine Bezos ordered other than the vague fact of it being “grand cru,” so cannot weigh in on its estimated value. 

In the New York Times, James B. Stewart takes a very thorough look at what went wrong at Sherry-Lehmann, the famous New York wine merchant that’s suddenly delinquent on $2.8 million in taxes and has failed to deliver wine to many customers who pre-paid for it.

A Pomo Indian tribal leader in Sonoma County is organizing “a major grant-funded, multi-million-dollar, drought-resistant water capture plan,” reports Susan Wood in North Bay Business Journal. The tribe hopes to get buy-in from local wineries in the area to help preserve the Russian River’s ecosystem.

A growing number of Japanese winemakers is setting down roots in New Zealand, writes Tom Downey in the Wall Street Journal: “With small-scale operations, they are making wines considered idiosyncratic in New Zealand.”

At the BottleRock music festival in Napa last weekend, pop star Lizzo complained onstage about offensive signs she’d seen in the community, reports The Chronicle’s Mariecar Mendoza. The Chronicle confirmed the presence of signs displaying messages such as “Choke the Woke.”

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by Clay Geerdes

January 14, 1997 was the 30th anniversary of the Great Gathering of All Tribes for a Human Be-In at the Polo Grounds in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In 1967 I was teaching English at Fresno State College that year, 33 years old, married six years to my second wife Shirley, living in a basement flat at 903 Ashbury Street, a couple of blocks from an intersection that had recently become known all over the world. A lot of people were dying in Vietnam that Saturday morning when we left the apartment and walked down the hill to the street, but there were no helicopters above the trees that framed what was known locally as the panhandle of the park. It was a bright, warm, sunny day, and people were all heading in the same direction. We turned the corner, glanced into Ron Thelin’s psychedelic shop, and fell into step with the crowd of costumed people on their way to what was anticipated as the greatest happening yet. The Be-In was announced in the Berkeley Barb and other underground papers, notably the San Francisco Oracle, and there were flyers and posters in the windows of numerous magazines and head shops listing the celebrities and performers who would be present to entertain the community.

Tim Leary would be there. Leary, a Harvard psychologist, had been going around the country lecturing on the wonders of LSD, telling his audiences to turn on, tune in and drop out. The problem was, the majority who followed Dr. Leary's prescription for expanding consciousness were teenage runaways who had never dropped in, kids who had no work experience. For them, the appeal of psychedelic drugs was purely hedonistic. While an educated psychologist and Harvard teacher like Leary might use psychedelic drugs to explore the parameters of his own consciousness and enhance his writing ability, the average teenager dropped acid to get high. He blew his mind, that barely formed repository of parental and societal rules of behavior, and once acid had helped rid him or her of establishment restraints, he was ready for colorful trips into inner space, not to mention technicolor orgasms and an instant understanding of the lyrics of Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues and Positively Fourth Street.

Acid was passed around as casually by local teenagers as it had been by CIA agents attached to MK Ultra a few years earlier. Yes, though we didn't know it in 1967, Johnny Acid Seed actually worked for the CIA, seeding the unsuspecting populace with LSD in hopes that it would prove to be an effective crowd control substance. It didn't work that way, naturally, and it was so easy to make that it quickly circulated among the population as the ultimate high. Acid did however work quite well as an antidote to activism. Turn on by dropping acid, tune into your inner self, and dropout of external social games, including organizing against an illegal, undeclared war. Hippies or Heads were never in phase with activists, although after a year or so they might appear similar because of their long hair and beards. While the activists, defamed as “militant students” by a corrupt establishment press, held meetings and organized marches and demonstrations, acidheads got high, listened to rock music, turned singers and lyricists into prophets, had unsafe sex as often as possible, and rejected the parental generation as “unhip,” “straight,” “uncool,” “out of it,” and, generally, “the brainwashed victims of the establishment.”

Those parents were, naturally, in a state of despair and bewilderment because they could not understand what had happened to their children so suddenly. Religious Catholics could not understand why their children should reject their religion out of the blue only to join Eastern religions like Krishna Consciousness which had even more rigid codes of behavior. The middle class in general could not understand why their children turned against all the material things they had except their stereos and went to live in squalor. To the parents, the Rolling Stones were history's worst role models, encouraging their children to look like savages and talk worse, but the kids loved the Stones and listened to their albums for hours. The Stones played erotic music to ball by and parents did not like to think that their children were anything but virgins.

Drug rap was epidemic. No one could escape it. The younger people were pressured at every turn to experiment with psychedelic drugs. Nearly everyone I knew from college was dropping acid and talking about their trips and I couldn't get through a single conversation with a couple of my best friends without hearing about someone who had just gotten back from Taos where they made the rounds of the communes and peyote buttons and had visions like those written about by Carlos Castaneda in his books. I had to listen to long raps about a psych professor up in Sonoma County who was leading his students through “some groovy psilocybin trips.”

“Hey, man, you read Burroughs’ book about yage? He got it from a real shaman. That's for me, man.”

“Oh, wow, what a trip.”

Though my wife and I were never into drugs, we soon found that everyone we knew, including some of our straightest friends, now teachers and social workers like ourselves, was smoking marijuana fairly regularly and dropping acid on the weekends. Shirley and I were going through a period of monogamy and we were surprised to find that some of our friends had been to meetings of groups like the Sexual Freedom League and talked openly about having had group sex down at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Stories and articles about drug and sex trips were common. People often wrote journals of their LSD experiences and published them. Peter Fonda made several drug movies. The Trip was a dud, but Easy Rider found a cultic audience. Acid became a fad, a craze, and when celebrities like the Beatles, the Stones, Allen Ginsberg or Cary Grant dropped acid it was a media event covered by all the papers and tabloids. The establishment press went nuts covering the antics and pranks of folks like Neal Cassidy, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg and Jerry Rubin. Fashion spies copied all the externals of hipness and capitalism assimilated, packaged and resold it all as fast as possible. Polyester people in the suburbs were soon wearing bell-bottomed slacks, body shirts, granny glasses, and “Frodo Lives” buttons. Their teenagers had acid rock posters on the walls of their bedrooms and went around saying “far out” and “groovy” as they considered the parents who bought them all that crap to be “uptight.” Those near enough ran away to San Francisco for a weekend while others who hitched back to their homes in the Midwest tossed marijuana seeds out the windows. Before long, marijuana was growing wild along the highways of Nebraska and Iowa and the Highway Patrol was busting hippie busses that stopped to harvest a bit on their way through. That grass was polluted with Malathion and other pesticides just like everything else in Nebraska, but the hippies never seemed to think of that when they saw those familiar leaves.

All of us had read Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and anything Kesey did was fascinating to us. We followed his travels, went to hear him talk at the Experimental College in San Francisco State, loved the way he trashed the establishment, admired the way he outwitted the FBI by putting on a blue suit and tie and going down to the financial district. Kesey wore a gold spacesuit at his Trips Festival in 1965 and they were probably looking for that gold suit.

Allen Ginsberg got into his Hindu trip after his stay in India, and drove his American audiences nuts chanting mantras, but that didn't change the way many of us felt about him. Allen bridged the gap between hippie and activist as well as that between gay and straight. He was present at the marches and he spoke at political events and he was never wishy-washy about anything. His critique of modern capitalism is devastating and his poem Howl is as valid today as it was in the mid-50s when he wrote it.

They were all present at the Human Be-In, all the icons of hip, the psychedelic pioneers, the performers, and the way you see them or remember them depends on where and who you were at the time. If you were a parent whose daughter or son was somewhere in Haight-Ashbury and you didn't know where they were or what they were doing, it is unlikely you think well of those who might have played a part in luring them there. I've talked to people who consider Tim Leary worse than Simon Legree and hate his guts, people who cheered when he died on the internet. I've always considered this a bit strange, because there were so many other people promoting psychedelic drugs at the time that it seems a little unusual to act as though Leary was the ultimate villain. I've yet to hear anyone say anything negative about Ken Kesey and I heard Ken personally promoting acid more times than I can remember. Acid parties down in Woodside are legend. Taking acid was practically a rite of passage during the mid-60s in Haight-Ashbury and there were few who could resist. Even if you did, you were likely to be spiked and sent on an unexpected trip. I never took acid and I was at parties when just about everyone was stoned but me. I went on only two trips and both were spikes. The first was at Mike Corrigan's wedding reception. Someone thought it would be cute to lace the frosting on his wedding cake with acid. I started seeing colors and my vision shifted while I was driving across the hills to my apartment on Noe Street. I knew enough about the drug to know what was happening but I could have been killed just the same. There were many people who considered it their duty to try to turn other people onto acid in 1967 with or against their consent. After that cake experience, I was careful about what I ate or drank at someone else's house no matter how well I knew them.

The Human Be-In in 1967 was an important event in my life. For the first time I realized how many people were involved in what everyone felt was a movement toward a new lifestyle, toward retribalization. When we reached the Polo Grounds (where rugby is played now) there were people covering almost every inch of space. I had never seen so many people in one place in my life. We made our way toward the stage, stepping over blankets and people tanning themselves. Tim Leary was talking to some people behind the stage. Allen Ginsberg was nearby. Both wore East Indian clothing. Jerry Rubin wore the uniform of a soldier of the Revolutionary war. Lenore Kendell was there. Her Love Book had been called obscene and she had been through a trial over it. I saw her on stage with Ginsburg and Leary later in the day. I saw Ken Kesey's bus in the distance, some Harleys guarded by some Hell's Angels, a lot of varied costumes and a few members of Sopwith Camel waiting to take the stage. Marty Balin and Jerry Garcia were sitting against the tires of a vehicle passing a joint back and forth. Paul Kantner was nearby tuning his guitar. Jorma Kaukonen was there but I didn't see Grace Slick. Many of the band members lived on Ashbury Street and we often saw them during the day. I was headed down Haight the day Jack Cassidy drove up in his new red Mustang. It was a day of poetry and music and general celebration and the people kept their lines to a minimum. When the music started people got up and danced and it was easily the biggest dance on earth to that point. It would be upstaged in 1968 by Woodstock and in 1969 by Altamont and I am sure the crowd would have continued to get larger and larger if certain promoters could have figured out a way to do it. There was a group trying for a be-in in Grand Canyon and after People's Park in April and May of 1969 there were people promoting Earth People’s Park. I dunno.

How many of you would like to go to a party to be attended by five billion people? 

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by Jon Hochschartner

I’ve been struggling lately with a sense of political hopelessness. We’re only a couple of years removed from an attempted fascist coup and our geriatric Democratic leadership is already back to pretending it’s the 1990s again. All the grand hopes of reforming the system following Donald Trump’s 2020 loss, by packing the Supreme Court and adding states to the union, are gone.

Of course, I’m glad Trump is no longer in power, but it’s hard not to notice how the grassroots left has gone into hibernation since Joe Biden’s victory. The progressive imagination has become severely constricted. Suddenly, we’re happy the ransom demanded by Republicans as part of the debt-ceiling negotiations wasn’t quite as punishing as we thought it might be.

Many activists I met or connected with online during Barrack Obama’s presidency have dropped out of the scene. I’m not sure if this is a result of disillusionment or the onset of adult responsibilities. I understand both to a certain extent. Aside from attending a Black Lives Matter protest here and a labor picket there, I spent much of the Trump era writing books and starting a family.

In my current activism, I seem to have run into a brick wall. By protesting outside the offices of Senator Chris Murphy and Representative John Larson, I quickly got both to commit to supporting increased public funds for cultivated-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultivated meat is grown from livestock cells, without slaughter. It’s better for animal welfare, the environment and public health.

But I haven’t had the same success protesting outside of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office. After getting an ambiguous response from the politician, I haven’t received any communication from his staff since. Sometimes, I think about moving on to Representative Jim Himes’ office, but I worry about the precedent I would set by giving up in the face of obstinacy.

Feeling discouraged, I was reminded of a quote from the left-wing journalist I.F. Stone that graced the blog of the late Marxist Louis Proyect. Though I never met Proyect in person, ever since he died, I’ve wanted to write a remembrance of him. I planned my first trip to Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street protests in the comment section of his website.

Proyect introduced me to Pham Binh and the socialist’s North Star blog. Both were important to my political development in the early 2010s. Proyect published my work about animal rights on his website and promoted it on his Marxism mailing list. Later, we unsuccessfully tried to raise money on Indiegogo for me to write his biography.

The I.F. Stone quote read as follows: “The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing — for the sheer fun and joy of it — to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

When I wrote my biography of Ronnie Lee, founder of the Animal Liberation Front, I used the first sentence of this quote to describe Lee’s activism. But as I struggle with this sense of political hopelessness, I realize the latter half is equally important. In order to sustain activism over the long haul, you need to find the fun and joy in it. That’s something I’m working on.

(Jon Hochschartner is the author of a number of books about animal-rights history, including The Animals’ Freedom Fighter, Ingrid Newkirk, and Puppy Killer, Leave Town. He blogs at

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Matt Walsh's "What is a Woman?" is the kind of content most thought would be safe under new Twitter ownership. A new battle over the film feels like an attack of nanny-Twitter déjà vu

by Matt Taibbi

At roughly 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday morning, Jeremy Boreing, co-founder and co-CEO of the Daily Wire, posted a lengthy thread on Twitter outlining what appeared to be a major reversal on speech issues on the Elon Musk-owned platform. “Twitter canceled a deal with @realdailywire to premiere ‘What is a Woman?’ for free on the platform because of two instances of ‘misgendering’,” Boreing wrote, adding, “I’m not kidding.”

Noting the film would be labeled “hateful conduct,” the thread detailed a months-longer roller-coaster dispute between the producers of What is a Woman?, a controversial documentary by Matt Walsh released a year ago today, and the current incarnation of the bird site. In celebration of the release anniversary Walsh, Boreing, and the Daily Wire began making plans to partner with Twitter for a 24-hour livestream today, June 1, 2023. Twitter at first responded with enthusiasm, offering the chance to buy “a package to host the movie on a dedicated event page” and “a chance for us to promote the event to every Twitter user over the first 10 hours.” The initial exchange came roughly a month ago, and the Wire team planned a significant ad buy and other promotions.

Weeks later, Twitter ominously asked the Daily Wire for a review copy of Walsh’s movie. Boreing said the firm then found out Twitter would not only “no longer provide us with support,” but bluntly told them they would “limit the reach” of the film if the Daily Wire went ahead with the event on its own. In one of many odd twists to this story, the problem involved two alleged instances of “misgendering,” a category of offense Twitter controversially removed from hate speech guidelines in April. “They gave us the opportunity to edit the film to comply. We declined,” wrote Boreing.

Boreing’s tweet-storm today provoked a quick backlash on the platform, with personalities like Tim Pool promising to terminate his “enterprise Blue subscription” if the decision wasn’t reversed. As if by magic, Musk at 1:33 p.m. tweeted that it was a “mistake by many people at Twitter”:

However, as of this moment (at 2:27 p.m., an hour after Elon’s tweet), the movie is still labeled “limited,” because it “may violate Twitter’s rules against hateful conduct:

No matter how this mess turns out, it’s a significant development, in large part because What is a Woman? — a sarcastic “mockumentary” that gently tinkles in the face of transgender orthodoxies — is just the kind of content many conservatives in particular imagined would no longer arouse the ire of censors. 

Walsh himself last year celebrated Musk’s “liberation of Twitter,” a fact the Washington Post considered significant enough to report at the time (though it followed the now-common habit of not linking to Walsh’s Twitter account or to Daily Wire content about the film). If new Twitter continues to labels and suppresses this movie, it will send a clear message to conservatives that the honeymoon is over. At the very least, it’s time to pack....

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Some 40 European officials are convening in Bulboaca, Moldova, just 12 miles from the Ukrainian border, for a security conference and in a show of support for both Eastern European countries ahead of Ukraine’s anticipated counteroffensive against Russia.

NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control Systems surveillance aircraft will be monitoring Moldova’s skies for the duration of the event, the alliance said in a statement, highlighting the security risk of holding such a high-profile summit — with dozens of EU and NATO officials attending — in that particular location.

Russia’s defense ministry says it repelled another cross-border attack on its Belgorod region, which it blames on Ukrainian “terrorists.” Kyiv denies involvement and says the militants are Russian citizens opposing Putin. The fighters identify themselves as the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and Freedom of Russia Legion and have claimed responsibility for recent armed incursions into Russia’s border territory.

Meanwhile, Russia continued its intense missile barrage on Kyiv, which killed three people — an 11-year-old girl, her mother, and another woman — overnight. Ukraine’s Air Force said it shot down all 10 Russian missiles, but that falling debris from the interceptions caused the deaths and injuries. It was the 18th Russian attack on the Ukrainian capital since the start of May.

* * *

Westport Gull (Jeff Goll)


  1. Chuck Dunbar June 2, 2023


    What a fine tribute. What a life she lived! TR-Diane loved life and learning, loved being with and teaching children, loved people and community. What a good soul. Makes one a bit prouder to be human after reading this farewell.

    Her final request says a lot about her being: “because of her own ‘many lean years,’ she would like each of her well-wishers to remember her by ‘taking a poor person out to dinner and maybe a movie.’ ”

  2. Craig Stehr June 2, 2023

    Sitting comfortably at computer #5 at the Ukiah Public Library, tap, tap tapping away. Am being picked up at 1:40 PM by a “housing specialist” to look at an apartment in central Ukiah. We’ve got our act together, insofar as the federal voucher and all necessary money to move me into a place. Hence, the apartment search is on! My intention is to have a sanctuary for spiritual reality and writing, plus whatever else is appropriate. As always, the real doer, utilizing the body and the mind, will act in accordance with the highest will.
    Craig Louis Stehr
    June 2nd, 2023 Anno Domini

  3. Marmon June 2, 2023


    Donald Trump broke the corporate media.


    • Marmon June 2, 2023

      Does the ends justify the means?


      • Bob A. June 2, 2023

        Do the subject and verb agree? I’m just asking the question.

        • chuck dunbar June 2, 2023

          In the end what does it mean? … but maybe James can learn from your well- justified question, Bob…

  4. Marco McClean June 2, 2023

    Re: Esther Mobley’s post about Jeff Bezos being cheated by paying $4,000-plus for a $200-plus bottle of wine to celebrate getting engaged to be married:

    Considering Jeff Bezos’ astronomical wealth and life situation, that’s much less of a swindle nor a sign of poor thrift than when just about anyone else buys a box of the cheapest piss there is. As for the contents… the Larry Niven science fiction story /The Fourth Profession/ has the protagonist, a human bartender to space aliens, muse that all drinks in his bar are water, ethyl alcohol, and a few molecules of color and flavor. The alien trader is tasting every kind of drink to simply replicate them all at will later rather than buy bottles and cans and jugs and barrels and tanks of the stuff and have to lift it all into orbit.

    In the real world whimsical scientists tested wine expertise by switching labels, and blindfolding the experts, and telling them they were getting red wine while actually drinking white, and so on, and people-of-wine are only very inconsistently able to even tell the difference. It turns out that the most reliable way to please someone with the quality of wine is to lie to the subject that it’s expensive. I read a wine article once where the writer acknowledged this. He said you’re paying for an experience, and in that sense you’re getting what you pay for.

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