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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Another Cool One | Peacock | Savannah Logan | Seaside Daisies | Clinic Transportation | Campus Issues | Liberty Threatened | Ed Notes | Arena Parade | Noyo Webcam | Yesterday's Catch | Covid Heroes | Movies Bombing | Celebrating Juneteenth | Dirt Strap | Valley Girling | Cormac Connection | Saving Capitalism | Other Side | Self COINTELPRO | 1960s | Berlusconi's Funeral | Overshadowed Siblings | Ukraine | Broken Places | California Mussel | England 1819 | Reading Room

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COOLING TRENDS WILL EASE as ridging sets in and warmer temperatures return. Clearer skies and milder weather patterns for the next few days are expected. Another round of showers and thunderstorms will be possible toward the end of the week and over the weekend. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Another overcast 51F this Tuesday morning on the coast. I do not see any fog or clouds on satellite? Our forecast is for mostly clear skies with some scattered clouds & moderate wind. The current weather pattern looks to be sticking around for a while.

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Peacock on driveway at Reynolds Hwy (Jeff Goll)

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SAVANNAH LOGAN, 28, of Potter Valley and Philo, has been tentatively identified as the young woman who died Sunday in Boonville. Her cause of death is under investigation. 

DAVID SEVERN: Dammit. It’s Sunday evening and I’m sitting here with a deep pain in my heart having just heard of a young woman who died beside her car in downtown Boonville. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! May every billionaire, wannabe billionaire and the apologists for those self-interest asses go to hell. The degree to which we are battering the Earth we are also battering the human psyche and as our four legged, winged, swimmer and creepy crawly cousins die so do we — and far too often it is the young. Back in the Occupy Wall Street demos I carried a sign that said “Damn the source of trickle down greed.” And so it is that every single forever noxious chemical and exploitive practice at cause for our woes pours from the bowels of self-interest capital. Self-medication and drugs come out of imbalance and misery. Bad drugs come out of the greed that oozes and infects as a bad case of diarrhea — it’s a contagion that can’t be controlled with a Band-Aid or N95 mask. Greed is the worst of addictions and for certain the worst is yet to come — dammit. So with the thought of giving our young some tools to deal with the dark cloudy future maybe some guidance on how to be at peace with death might well be in order. 

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Seaside Daisies on Westport Beach (Jeff Goll)

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LAYTONVILLE LEADS THE WAY: Car broke down? No gas money? As a rural community health center, we know that just getting to your LVHC appointments can sometimes be a challenge. That’s why we’re offering FREE transportation for you, our patient, to and from your appointments — even your specialist appointments in Willits or Santa Rosa. Transportation is offered by appointment only, and availability is limited, so please call LVHC at (707)984-6131 x1 to schedule your next ride.

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Adam Gaska: The old Redwood Valley school campus has a few issues. It has asbestos and lead paint. It also is limited on water availability with the equivalent of 3 domestic water hookups. Our district is currently on rationing of 55 gallons per person per day. We have been able to secure more water but need to repair our treatment plant in order to lift restrictions which should happen in a week or two. People looked at making it a community center years ago and were told tear down would cost $10 million because of the contamination.

Mark Scaramella: The County just awarded the demolition contract for the Whitmore Lane facility, a demolition that was over specified by the costly Sacto architect, to a Lake County outfit for under half a mil. Granted it’s smaller and apparently has no lead/asbestos, but $10 mil sounds pretty high. Back in the 1990s when the late Pete Richardson got in union trouble with another Ukiah school asbestos component of a demolition contract I don’t recall the cost of that being astronomical. How confident are you of the $10 mil estimate?

Gaska: I can ask Marvin Trotter. He was the one pushing to have the campus turned into a community center similar to the ARC in Ukiah. It did seem high to me but I am guessing that included disposal of all the material as well.

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THE ANDERSON VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY board will be hosting a festive gathering at the Little Red School House Museum on Sunday, July 9, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This year we are pleased to have Eileen Pronsolino as our featured speaker. As many of you know, Eileen and her husband Angelo are lifelong residents of Anderson Valley. Eileen will focus on the history of vineyards/wine in Anderson Valley. The Pronsolino family still resides on Vinegar Hill, one of the earliest vineyard/wine regions in the valley. Eileen will be speaking at 2pm. The speaker and complimentary food and drinks will be set up in the Rose Room. All buildings on the museum grounds will be open for your wandering pleasure. Members and Non-members are welcome. A chance for all to get fed and feted while supporting the AV Historical Society.

LAST WEEK, somehow or other, a couple of notes I’d written to myself on my untamed computer got printed as items. I’ll spare myself the embarrassment of identifying which ones, but the two of them were probably obvious to close readers. They were true enough but blunter than I’d had in mind. I read what I wrote and, often, wince as I go. In this business, you write fast and hope it’s true, and if it turns out not to be true, amusing.

AND we’re liberals, too! No, the AVA didn’t know Juneteenth was a federal holiday until we went to the post office Monday only to find it closed.

STILL no identification of the young woman who died in Boonville yesterday afternoon. She was not inside the Rastafarian event but outside near the Fairgrounds parking lot when she collapsed and, despite the usual fast response from our emergency crew, she could not be revived.

AS A NEWSPAPER PERSON, I’m on the receiving end of a lot of insults. The insults don’t bother me. In fact, I enjoy them if they’re creatively abusive. But the cliches get to me. “Yellow journalism” is a cliche and is inevitably inaccurately applied to some perceived offense by the AVA. When the term arose around the turn of the century as Hearst and Pulitzer battled for readers on the East Coast, yellow journalism included to some very good writing about the real life struggles of ordinary people. Today, deep into the post literate age, your generic college grad, barely literate in many cases, thinks he’s really getting off a sophisticated zinger when he calls the AVA up and invokes yellow journalism. “Objectivity” — lack of, is another naive knock. If you think a writer’s class origins, his education, his innate intelligence, his life experience and, most importantly, his employer, don’t influence what appears in print, well, you’re…. well…. uh…. unprepared for the discussion. 

THE GOOD NEWS. A local marijuana guy reports he just sold two pounds for a thou each.

IS THIS a racist joke or funny, or both: How do you know Adam and Eve weren’t Chinese? They didn’t eat the snake. 

HAVE TO AGREE with Sarah Kennedy Owen that the Buddhists at Talmage are a “public benefit,” but my colleague, The Major, peevish generally, and specifically peevish whenever his “facts” are challenged, didn’t cite any “facts” in his comment, only an opinion. Myself, I think the restaurant the Buddhists operate on their Talmage campus is a major public benefit all by itself.

WATER. It’s getting scarce in Mendocino County, but all the relevant elected bodies are entirely in the hands of the exploiters and the developers. As the degradation of the Russian River becomes evident even to the unseeing and the self-interested, the state reacts by studying what is obvious — that the 110 miles of the Russian River is now almost fish free, wineries are taking even more of its depleted waters (which in any case mostly derive from the diverted Eel), gravel extractions have seriously damaged the Russian in the Healdsburg area, and that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, rather than force developers to slow down for lack of water and sewage infrastructure, have further damaged the Russian by using it as an impromptu leech field. Community water boards the length of the Russian River are in the hands of large scale ag and development interests, the two often being interchangeable. 

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE! From the San Rafael Independent Journal: “Everyone is invited to attend a ‘Clown Worship’ at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer at 10 a.m. tomorrow in San Rafael. Wally the Coach, the Rev. C.H. ‘Skip’ Fotch, will mime the story of Jesus and the Last Supper. The liturgy allows each individual to focus on their unique spirituality.”

IT’S TRUE that working people are priced out of much of the Mendo housing market, but working people are priced out everywhere else, too, given all the givens of contemporary capitalism. Present zoning in the county gives us lots of open space but also has created a situation where only the wealthy can buy, say, the typical available forty acres then build on it. 

IN THE EARLY 1970s, better funded people, many of them back-to-the-landers, were able to buy logged over parcels with water on them very cheap. $20k on generous terms from the usurers could get you 40 acres in the hills. That unique market prevailed until the end of the 70s. Since, the only new housing built in Anderson Valley has been up-market fastnesses on large parcels. 

SIGHT sure to fill locals with dread is that young mother with two small children riding bikes on 128 near Jack’s Valley Store. That’s not a family outing, Mom. That’s roulette.

NOTE FROM A READER: “When are you going to lobby for new trees in front of the Fairgrounds?” Right now. Fairgrounds, plant some trees where once those marvellous old cedars stood. I’m for elms myself but I’ll settle for almost any long, green growth in that spot.

PICKED UP one of those Good Housekeeping-type mags the other day in a waiting room out of desperation for something to read and came across a piece by, of all people, the novelist Jay McInerney (Big City, Bright Lights), called “What Goes with Turkey?” Mac says, “Good companions for turkey include burgundy, champagne, zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and rose champagne,” which seems a roundabout way of saying any liquid with alcohol in it.

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THE INDEPENDENCE PARADE in Point Arena is on July 2 this year. The goal is to have the biggest and best parade ever. If you're in a dog group, a bird-watching group, a vintage car club group, a service club, or a business that you would like to advertise on the South Coast - this is your chance. Simply send in your entry form and be part of this fun parade!

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STEPHEN DUNLAP: My harbor webcam is free for anyone to use anytime & can be found at: I am half owner of Pacific Blue Vacation Rentals among other things. Feel free to use anytime you like. The camera is located on the front deck of this tiny home I own: (you can see the camera upper right on deck post).

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, June 19, 2023

Bacchi, Bettencourt, Flegel

JASON BACCHI, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Under influence, paraphernalia.

JUSTIN FLEGEL, Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%.

Morris, Sanchez, Strong

DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs. (Frequent flyer.)

BRIAN STRONG, Sacramento/Fort Bragg. DUI, contempt of court, resisting.

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Let the historical record show that adolescents were hardest hit by disastrous Covid policies and defunding the police. When the national bout with insanity passes, this will be important information to direct sound public health and law enforcement policies. 

The CDC published the graph below and reported that in 2020 suicide was the second, and homicide the fourth, leading cause of death among adolescents aged 10 to 14.

Covid wasn’t in the top 10. 

Homicides? Yes. Prisons were emptied because of covid concerns and gang violence and lawlessness in general increased. 

Every thinking person, the number of which is admittedly declining, knew this. But were bullied into keeping quiet. My gratitude is for those who didn't keep quiet. Heroes in my book.

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BILL KIMBERLIN: I worked with John Lasseter when he was hired to do animations for our Computer Graphics department at ILM. He built Pixar into a multi-billion dollar company for Steve Jobs and then Disney. The fools at Pixar fired John during the "MeToo" uproar. John was smeared but now is trouncing Disney in box-office. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BKpixar.jpg

Pixar is damaged as a big-screen brand. That was one of the rather glum takeaways from the weekend box office, which found “Elemental,” a $200 million-plus Pixar original, arriving to a disastrous $29.5 million in domestic ticket sales. “The Flash,” a Warner Bros. superhero spectacle that cost about $200 million, also struggled, taking in a lethargic $55.1 million, according to Comscore, which compiles ticketing data. “Hard to sugarcoat this,” said David A. Gross, a film consultant who publishes a newsletter on box office numbers.


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I am excited to celebrate Juneteenth this year, remembering the freeing of slaves from the Democrat-controlled state of Texas by the Republican-led Union Army. I am proud to be a Republican — the party of Lincoln and the Union Army. Let us remember our country’s history and celebrate the Republican-led victory over the slave states primarily run by Democrats.

Jeff O’Brien


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Like, why use the word only once in a sentence when you can use it twice?

Or adjectives?

Why use one or two when you can use three, four, five or six?


And why do I use “Like,” “totally,” and “actually” so much?

I think it has to do with a movie in the early 1980s called “Valley Girl” (which I didn’t actually particularly like) and a song by the same name.

I have never been to California, but hey, I don’t hate everything about America.

I was quite keen on the affectation.

Or rather, still am.

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WHEN Random House asked Cormac McCarthy whether he had any connections who could help sell his third novel, “Child of God,” about a necrophiliac serial killer, he replied in a letter, “Ed McMahon (of ‘The Tonight Show’) is an acquaintance. We went fishing off Bimini together back in the spring and went partying together at Cat Cay (until he fell off the dock and had to be flown to Lauderdale to the hospital). You might try to place a copy in his hands. He does read. (Not like he drinks, of course, but some.)” 


Cormac McCarthy

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A RISING GENERATION of Republican politicians is more skeptical of the free market and more comfortable using government power to regulate the economy than the party has traditionally been. Consider:

  • Senator J.D. Vance, the Ohio Republican, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts progressive, have collaborated on a bill to claw back executive pay at failed banks. The two worked through the details through in-person conversations, weekend phone calls and late-night texts.
  • Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has signed a public letter calling for the reinvigoration of collective bargaining and praising the German approach, in which labor unions play a larger role in the economy. Rubio this month published a book, “Decades of Decadence,” that criticizes the past 30 years of globalization.
  • Senator Todd Young of Indiana has helped write a bipartisan bill to restrict noncompete agreements, which companies use to prevent their employees from leaving for jobs at a competitor.
  • Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who began pushing a few years ago for federal subsidies to expand domestic semiconductor manufacturing. President Biden signed a version of the policy last year.

Tomorrow afternoon, these four Republican senators — Cotton, Rubio, Vance and Young — will speak at an event on Capitol Hill that’s meant to highlight the emergence of a populist conservative movement in economics. The event is organized around a policy manifesto, called “Rebuilding American Capitalism: A Handbook for Conservative Policymakers.”

“We really like capitalism, but we recognize it’s not working right now,” said Oren Cass, a former aide to Mitt Romney and the executive director of American Compass, a think tank that published the manifesto.

Cass is right about that: Income growth for most families has been sluggish for decades, trailing well behind economic growth. Life expectancy stagnated even before Covid. And polls show that Americans of all ideological stripes are frustrated with the country’s direction.

“Capitalism is a complex system dependent on rules and institutions,” Cass told me. “And conservatism calls for building and maintaining institutions that work well.”

I recognize that many liberals will be skeptical of the new breed of Republicans. For one thing, they really are conservative; they’re not disaffected right-wingers who have become moderates without admitting it. They support abortion restrictions and oppose gun laws. They make excuses for Donald Trump’s anti-democratic behavior or even spread his falsehoods.

But the preference for a different kind of economic policy than one Republicans have long supported is nonetheless significant. It is a sign that the consensus in Washington is moving away from the neoliberal, laissez-faire approach that has dominated since the 1980s. These new conservatives are trying to separate themselves from anti-government Republicans like Paul Ryan — and, although they won’t say so, Ronald Reagan.

One major reason is the class inversion of American politics. Most professionals now vote for Democrats, which is a stark change from past decades. Most working-class voters vote Republican, partly because they see Democrats as an elite party dominated by socially liberal and secular college graduates.

Yet the Republican Party still has a major vulnerability with working-class voters. The party has long pushed the laissez-faire agenda that has hurt those voters, and polls show the country to be left of center on economic policy. Most Americans favor a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich, expanded government health insurance and subsidies for well-paying jobs.

When Democrats can flip the script on elitism and paint a Republican candidate as an out-of-touch protector of the rich, the Democratic candidate can often draw enough blue-collar support to win. John Fetterman used this approach to beat Mehmet Oz last year in Pennsylvania, the only state where a Senate seat switched parties.

Politically, the new conservative populism is an effort to show that Republicans understand Americans’ struggles and want to help. Economically, the new approach offers a glimpse of a Republican Party that’s starting to grapple with the economy’s true challenges.

The manifesto rejects the idea that free trade is inherently good and argues for policies to ensure the U.S. has a thriving, well-paying manufacturing sector that makes strategically important goods like semiconductors. “The idea that trade would lead to liberalization and a happy world was wildly wrong,” Cass said.

The document also calls for:

  • a guaranteed right for workers to organize and industrywide bargaining, which could increase the number of union contracts — and raise wages.
  • a financial transaction tax, meant to reduce Wall Street trading that makes people rich without making the economy more productive.
  • a monthly child benefit of around $300, as well as changes to Medicare and Social Security to recognize the work done by stay-at-home parents.
  • an easing of government regulations, to encourage new construction.
  • Progressives will raise principled objections to some ideas — such as a ban on unions’ campaign donations. And that’s how a democracy should function. The country’s two political parties are not on the verge of agreeing about most economic issues.

But something is changing. More politicians are recognizing that the policies of the past several decades have failed to create a broadly prosperous economy. From that emerging consensus may eventually come a longer list of bipartisan legislation designed to lift living standards.

— David Leonhardt, The New York Times

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IT SEEMS LIKE a lot of the inertia and self-defeating hopelessness that people have about fighting the machine comes from knowing the political awakenings of the sixties fizzled out, but I don't think that would be the case if people understood just how much hard work the machine had to put into making them fizzle.

I mean, we all get that the death of activist movements didn't just happen on its own, right? We all know about COINTELPRO? Known instances where one out of every six activists was actually a federal infiltrator? The roll-out of the most sophisticated propaganda machine that has ever existed?

The amount of energy the western empire has poured into killing all leftist and antiwar movement is staggering, but people just think the acid wore off and the hippies turned into yuppies and the Reagan administration happened on its own. It didn't. They had to work hard at that.

The revolution didn't organically fizzle out, it was actively strangled to death. And what's left in its place is this defeatist attitude where people want a healthy society but believe it can't be attained, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We COINTELPRO ourselves now.

People think we can't use the power of our numbers to force the emergence of a healthy society, and we don't deserve one because we dropped the ball. But we didn't knowingly drop the ball, we were manipulated out of it. And the manipulators had to work very, very hard to do so. Those movements died out because the machine understood very clearly that it needed to stomp them out with extreme aggression and knew exactly what it needed to do to accomplish this, while ordinary people did not. It's not a fair fight if only one party knows it's a fight.

The machine won one battle and everyone's acting like they won the war. They didn't. We can absolutely pick up the fight again, and we can overwhelm them with our numbers. If we had any idea how hard they had to work to win that one battle, this would be clear to everybody.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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by Alessio Perrone

At Berlusconi’s funeral — The woman next to me started crying when the hearse carrying Silvio Berlusconi’s corpse arrived in Milan’s Piazza Duomo just before three o’clock last Wednesday afternoon. She was dressed in black from head to toe, with a black bag and black sunglasses. Giant red and black AC Milan flags – Berlusconi owned the football club for thirty years – waved over us, providing some shade from the scorching sun. Football chants briefly broke out: ‘Silvio! Silvio! Silvio!’; ‘Anyone not jumping is a communist!’; ‘There’s only one president!’ Journalists zig-zagged through the crowd and confused tourists wondered why they couldn’t get near the cathedral. ‘It’s the funeral of a former prime minister,’ someone explained to them, in English. ‘A complex personality.’

I grew up in Berlusconi’s Italy. I used to imagine that when he died, half the country would be plunged in mourning, while the other half erupted in spontaneous street parties. For more than twenty years, with the help of his media empire, he made everything in Italian politics about him. To his supporters, he was the charismatic leader who could miraculously do it all, or would have been able to if he hadn’t been thwarted by his ‘communist’ adversaries: prosecuting magistrates, the media he didn’t own and his political opponents, who used sex scandals, allegations of mafia ties and corruption investigations to try to bring him down. From TV discussions to family scuffles at the dinner table, most political arguments weren’t about policy – they were about Berlusconi himself. If you were for him, you loved him viscerally; if you were against him, the resentment ran deep.

My family and most of my friends fell fiercely on the against side. One day my grandmother, who was the same age as Berlusconi, came back delighted from the card reader. The fortune teller had told her she would die after the death of a ‘great dictator’, which she decided couldn’t be anyone but Berlusconi. ‘He dies, I can go in peace,’ she would say. (She died ten years ago.)

Today, Berlusconi’s influence seems diminished, as do the passions it fueled. Few international politicians attended his funeral: Victor Orbán was the only European head of government there. The UK, France and Germany sent their ambassadors. There were few dissenting voices when the Italian government declared three days of national mourning. Rosy Bindi, an opposition politician whose physical appearance Berlusconi had joked about, protested at the beatification of a man who had ‘split’ Italy. The rector of a university in Siena refused to fly the flags at half-mast. Marco Travaglio, a journalist and vocal critic of Berlusconi for much of his career, reminded reporters that Berlusconi had insulted his adversaries, criminalized magistrates and didn’t care to follow the rules. Giuseppe Conte, the leader of the Five Star Movement and former prime minister, didn’t go to the funeral. But Elly Schlein, the new left-wing leader of the opposition Democratic Party was there in the duomo, as well as Berlusconi’s coalition partners Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini.

I roamed the crowd while listening to Milan’s archbishop remember Berlusconi as an intrepid businessman and notoriety-seeking politician. ‘There are those who glorify him and those who can’t stand him,’ he said. ‘A politician is always a partisan.’ A young man in a suit was holding a sign that celebrated him as ‘the most Italian of Italians’, which I felt a little insulted by. A couple nearby were preparing a sign that said: ‘Welcome back to hell.’ A teary-eyed woman in her fifties told me Berlusconi had always been part of her life, and it would be ‘surreal’ without him.

His similarities to the other politicians he was often compared to, such as Boris Johnson or Donald Trump, only go so far, but Berlusconi paved the way for a brand of personalized politics that has since spread to several liberal democracies. He prided himself on having legitimized the post-fascist far right. The increasing role of celebrity and fandom in politics, cronyism and the trivialization of politicians’ mistakes are all staples of Berlusconi’s brand. ‘Silvio Berlusconi as a political figure may be transitory,’ Alexander Stille wrote in 2006, in The Sack of Rome. ‘But the Berlusconi phenomenon is in all likelihood a reality that will not vanish so easily.’

The intensity of the disagreement over Berlusconi himself is subdued today compared to when he was at the peak of his power; the forces he helped to unleash left the transitory man behind even before he died. His last government collapsed in 2011, during the global financial crisis, and he was consigned to an inescapable decline and an ill-fitting sidekick role for more than a decade. New politicians to his right, like Salvini and Meloni, captured the imagination of his former supporters long before his death, using social media to overshadow his TV popularity. Even his football club all but crumbled, with richer men pouring more money than he could into the sport, until he sold it.

The service ended, the hearse left, there were more chants, more flag waving, a round of applause, then people began to drift away. I went back in the evening and there was little trace of the day’s events. Tourists and pigeons had reclaimed the piazza, and workers were taking down the screens and looking to head home. Two, I overheard, were talking about tomorrow’s job.

(London Review of Books)

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A senior Ukrainian official said Monday that Kyiv's forces have recaptured eight southern settlements from the invading Russians over the past two weeks.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said the toughest fighting is on the southern front and praised Kyiv's forces for repelling Russian assaults in the east.

Meanwhile, Russia claims that a Ukrainian stronghold was destroyed by a remotely-controlled tank packed with a huge amount of explosives, in what appears to be a new battlefield tactic.

The UN condemned Russia for denying humanitarian aid access to occupied areas affected by the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse. The flood carried filthy water downstream and off the southern coast, posing serious health risks.

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IF PEOPLE bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. 

— Ernest Hemingway

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California Mussel, Westport Beach (Jeff Goll)

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An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,—
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring,—
Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling,
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,—
A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field,—
An army, which liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed;
A Senate,—Time's worst statute unrepealed,—
Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestous day.

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

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  1. George Hollister June 20, 2023

    David Severn, or anybody: A tragedy happens for an assumed reason. With verbal indignation blame the person or group you hate. It could be Biden or Trump, or religions, or want to be religions, or socialists, or capitalists, etc, etc. Expand the tragedy to every ill or imagined ill and blame the same person or group for this, too. A Final Solution takes shape. If we could only rid ourselves of the one, or ones to blame, the entire world, as we perceive it, would be a perfect place.

    Humans do this.

    • Stephen Rosenthal June 20, 2023

      I often don’t agree with you but I gotta admit, George, I feel exactly the same about David Severn’s hissy fit.

    • Bruce Anderson June 20, 2023

      This one has hit close to me and my family because we are close to the dead girl’s family, and have been since 1970 when we first moved here. I hope there’s a criminal investigation of this girl’s death at age 28. Lethal drugs are all over this county, and every county, it seems. Somehow the distribution of death powders and pills has to be stopped.

      • Eric Sunswheat June 20, 2023

        Fentanyl should be issued in controlled portion, diluted format, and used in supervised setting such as a comfort lounge.
        Fentanyl has been beneficial in reducing importation of black market organized crime heroin and cocaine, and perhaps the manufacture of methamphetamine.
        Somehow get real and stop the distribution of reduced lifespan metabolic slow death liquid powder high fructose corn syrup, among other nutritional bad actor processed foods that are driving eventual demand for bliss drugs and sedatives.

        —> June 20, 2023
        GODOY: There is a lot of research linking overconsumption of ultra-processed foods to poor health outcomes. So they see an increased risk of things like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, dying from cardiovascular disease.
        In fact, there’s research showing that eating too much ultra-processed foods increases your risk of dying prematurely from all causes. And the evidence is pretty strong and consistent for all of those risks.

  2. Harvey Reading June 20, 2023

    ““Capitalism is a complex system dependent on rules and institutions,”” Cass told me. “And conservatism calls for building and maintaining institutions that work well.”

    What a pile of stinking hokum. Get RID of kaputalism, and the robber baron who profit from it, while ruling the country with an iron fist.

  3. Chuck Dunbar June 20, 2023


    “IT’S TRUE that working people are priced out of much of the Mendo housing market, but working people are priced out everywhere else, too, given all the givens of contemporary capitalism. Present zoning in the county gives us lots of open space but also has created a situation where only the wealthy can buy, say, the typical available forty acres then build on it.” 

    It’s also true that this issue is hugely disturbing and does not bode well for our country. If working class folks can’t afford to buy homes—and even, like here on the coast, can’t even find decent rentals at affordable prices—the country is in terrible trouble. Class issues—not race or gender or all the rest of our many preoccupations— are becoming the outstanding problem we face (along with climate change, which contributes to the housing issue).

    One example I pass by nearly every day on our south of Fort Bragg country lane: A property near the ocean, of several acres with a dilapidated, fixer-upper house and several small sheds, sits unoccupied most of the time now. It was bought a few years ago at a high price, apparently by someone from out of town as a second (or third or fourth) home. Two cars, one a Mercedes, are parked there aways while the property grows tall with weeds, a degraded, trashy-looking place on a generally well-kept lane of folks who care for their properties and their neighborhood. In past times, this property would have sold for a reasonable price to local folks, maybe a young couple with kids trying their best to make it here and be part of the community. They would have loved the place and kept it up. Not now, not in the new America…

    • Rye N Flint June 20, 2023

      So… What’s to be done? Even my conservative 73 year old Father pondered this Father’s day… “Why doesn’t America have universal healthcare? and why do we have so many Homeless?” Without seeing the irony of his voting habits over the last 40 years of my life…

  4. George Hollister June 20, 2023

    The cost to build, not including land, permits and fees, is unaffordable. The cost for labor, and building materials is the reason. And the cost continues to rise. There are supply chain problems, too. Insurers are bailing at the same time. So where does this end? Banks need an insurer to make a home loan. There is a continued shortage of working people in the building trades, in part because they can’t afford a home. Something is going to give, but I don’t know what, and I don’t know anyone who does.

    • Harvey Reading June 20, 2023

      No, George, the cost in unaffordable because of the greed of the wealthy owners. Labor prices are far lower than they were in the 60s and early 70s, in REAL dollars. The costs for materials and supplies are based solely on the greed of kaputalists who control the chain of materials and supplies. Labor costs are putridly low, but the greed of the ruling scum has no upper limit.

  5. Lazarus June 20, 2023

    “Two cars, one a Mercedes, are parked there aways while the property grows tall with weeds, a degraded, trashy-looking place”

    I suppose if a dirty, old Honda was out front it would get a pass…?
    Be well,

    • Chuck Dunbar June 20, 2023

      Nope, you suppose wrongly–I was remarking on the apparent wealth of these folks, and their utter neglect of a property that is unused and neglected when other folks are desperate for a place to live. And, again, noting this property’s on a lane where many, including me, take good care of their land and homes…

      • Lazarus June 20, 2023

        Your use of that metaphor was clumsy and perhaps discriminatory to a segment of the population.
        Thank you,

        • Chuck Dunbar June 20, 2023

          That’s just clumsy BS, Laz, why don’t you lay off.

          • Lazarus June 20, 2023

            Your intolerance to differing opinions is showing Chuck…
            You’re usually so “Goodie Two shoes.”
            Thank you,

            • Chuck Dunbar June 20, 2023

              WTF is wrong with you? I wrote a sensible post about a tough situation for many folks all over America. And you just focus on one small point made as a reference to well to do folks who take up more than their share. Maybe you are one of the rich ones, but maybe not and you just feel bitter this morning. Karl Marx would be ashamed of you.

              • Lazarus June 20, 2023

                ” Karl Marx would be ashamed of you.”
                I certainly hope so!
                Thank you,

  6. Eric Sunswheat June 20, 2023

    RE: Every thinking person, the number of which is admittedly declining…. — John Redding

    —> June 20, 2023
    Regularly finding time for a little snooze is good for our brain and helps keep it bigger for longer, say University College London researchers.
    The team showed nappers’ brains were 15 cubic centimetres (0.9 cubic inches) larger – equivalent to delaying ageing by between three and six years.
    However, the scientists recommend keeping naps to less than half an hour…
    Napping has been shown to be critical for development when we are babies, becomes less common as we age and then goes through a resurgence in popularity after retirement, with 27% of people over 65 reporting having a daytime nap.

  7. Nathan Duffy June 20, 2023

    I am extremely dismayed with the notice of the death of Savannah Logan on Sunday. I imagine she attended the festival. I guess the only thing I have to offer is that for many years already in Spain they will test your drugs for you without punishment or judgement to make sure that you are not going to kill yourself by imbibing. Is fentanyl the culprit? Who knows, but the fact that it’s so deadly and they put it in nearly everything makes it a likely candidate. We need more drug education and more openness about these serious issues. Does anyone know if Narcan was applied or if the situation presented itself as an opiate overdose?
    Condolences to the family and again this is very sad and dismaying news.

  8. Eric Sunswheat June 20, 2023

    Though COVID and Fentanyl may be from military China with abated love, the Mendocino Sheriff wants Deputy law enforcement involvement with Fentanyl antidote Narcan use, because drug use does not represent his pioneer family values, unless department policy stance and or legality has shifted.

    RE: It’s not a fair fight if only one party knows it’s a fight.
    The machine won one battle and everyone’s acting like they won the war. They didn’t. We can absolutely pick up the fight again…. — Caitlin Johnstone

    —> June 10, 2023 Sunday Times
    (One of the UK’s Leading Newspapers)
    The US investigators say one of the reasons there is no published information on the work is because it was done in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese military, which was funding it and which, they say, was pursuing bioweapons.

    The investigators’ report was published in early 2021. It made two assertions: that Wuhan scientists were conducting experiments on RaTG13 from the Mongolian mine, and that covert military research, including laboratory animal experiments, was being done at the institute before the pandemic.

    Dr Steven Quay, a US scientist who advised the State Department on its investigation … believes Covid-19 was created by inserting a furn cleavage site into one of the mine viruses and then serial passaging it through humanized mice.

    He submitted a statement to the US Senate explaining the process. “You infect the mice, wait a week or so, and then recover the virus from the sickest mice.

    Then you repeat. In a matter of weeks this directed evolution will produce a virus that can kill every humanized mouse.”

  9. Rye N Flint June 20, 2023

    We SOLD out! We sold the old Truffle Farm on SpyRock.

    “IN THE EARLY 1970s, better funded people, many of them back-to-the-landers, were able to buy logged over parcels with water on them very cheap. $20k on generous terms from the usurers could get you 40 acres in the hills. That unique market prevailed until the end of the 70s. Since, the only new housing built in Anderson Valley has been up-market fastnesses on large parcels.”

    We sold the 2 parcels of 25 acres each (50 acres total for you Math nerds) for $249k after buying it for about the same price 7 years ago, and investing 10k into the roads and buildings. A break Even basically.

    It was first purchased my the Morrisons from the Harwood Lumber lands. $75k for the whole chunk… Too hard to log. Too damaging to the environment. That didn’t stop the Morrisons from chopping all the trees and paying it off in one year, leaving the logging roads as access points to develop and parcel out the land. They made a killing. So they told me, when I told them I was one of the new owners of a small piece of that empire.

    It was the oldest Black French Perigord Truffle Farm in the Americas, but should be renamed the Trouble Farm. Founded in 1980 by Bill Griner and Bruce Hatch, and Jean-Marie ?, it produced the first black truffles in 1990 and continued to be productive at 50 lbs a year, until his untimely death in 2006. Natural death because of back to the lander holistic health care, Then his “helpers” paid his sister in New Jersey to lease the land for cash. What ensued until 2013 was Cartel Murders, the plot to the Sasquatch Hulu Documentary about the murder. Then in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, our potential caretaker was stabbed my Joseph “Joe” Hart (Grandson of Two Guns Hart Capone) and our mobile home burned to the ground, Mendo Fire chief and Sheriff investigator declare the fire an accident due to the solar array on a wet day in March, and don’t contact any of the 8 land owners, but instead talk to the recently out of the hospital, potential caretaker… We’ll cleanup the land they said, this guy from Covelo owes me some hours of help he said… What an utter catastrophe. It should be a movie, it’s so surreal. Maybe I can get Johnny Depp to play one of my land partners. That would be hilarious. Everyone wants a come up, but can’t pay for the high risk behaviors of others.

    Oh look, Joe made it in the AVA!!! Please read the replies… Don’t believe his lies…

    Back to the landers… had cheap land and lots of available resources. I remember when our spring would run all year long. Not anymore. Now everything is expensive and my generation is treading water to just own our first home…

  10. Rye N Flint June 20, 2023

    RE: “The Southern Democrats”

    “Democrat-controlled state of Texas by the Republican-led Union Army. I am proud to be a Republican — the party of Lincoln and the Union Army. Let us remember our country’s history and celebrate the Republican-led victory over the slave states primarily run by Democrats.”

    If only the party names meant something, but they are in the end, just names. There is plenty of information to show the timeline of how the Republicans became the party of Bigots, xenophobes, and racists. Those that want to believe otherwise will continue to make the “Democrats WERE the slavery party” argument, ad nauseam. LAME. Just like their cult leader the “Republican” Orange Guy that swore Mexico was going to build the border wall to appease all the losers that believed his lies.

    “Democratic defectors, known as the “Dixiecrats,” started a switch to the Republican party in a movement that was later fueled by a so-called “Southern strategy.” (see the link below)

  11. k h June 20, 2023

    Bruce I’m so, so sorry for the loss of your family’s young friend, and sad and aghast thinking of how the girl’s entire family must be reeling. What a shocking loss.

  12. Eric Sunswheat June 20, 2023

    RE: Lethal drugs are all over this county, and every county, it seems. Somehow the distribution of death powders and pills has to be stopped. — Bruce Anderson

    —> June 19, 2023
    A judge allowed most class action claims to proceed against Arizona Beverages over advertising for its flavored tea and juice drinks…

    In a 12-page ruling released Friday, the judge said that because some Arizona products contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and added colorings – none of those being naturally occurring ingredients – it is plausible that consumers were tricked by Arizona’s “100% all natural” marketing promises…

    In a blow to Arizona, White said in his ruling that “courts in this district have long rejected the idea that unfair competition claims based on ‘natural’ type labels are expressly preempted by FDA regulations.”

  13. Craig Stehr June 20, 2023

    The Para Brahman Report
    Awoke early at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in sunny Ukiah, California. Following morning ablutions, ambled north to the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op for a bean & cheese burrito and a cup of coffee. Took a multivitamin. Continued on to the Ukiah Public Library, and am in front of computer #5, tap, tap tapping away. Enjoyed watching the videos from the recent Turning Point Summit, which Earth First!er Andy Caffrey shared. Identifying only with the Divine Absolute, and not the body nor the mind, which are the instruments only. The body breathes in and breathes out. The mind thinks. The Divine Absolute is mysterious and has its ways. This is enlightenment. Here. Now. Forever! Contact me if you want to do anything.
    Craig Louis Stehr
    1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
    June 20th @ 1:39 PM Pacific Time

  14. Marmon June 20, 2023

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump



    • Chuck Dunbar June 20, 2023

      Always good to hear from Mr. Trump, the bold caps and all. And “ANGELS (sic) WITH BULL…” is icing on the cake.

  15. Jim Armstrong June 20, 2023

    How can you expect a single sentient resident of Mendocino or Sonoma County to believe anything you say or write about the Russian River when you claim “… [its] waters (which in any case mostly derive from the diverted Eel)…”
    The average annual flow of the Russian River is 1,600,000 acre feet. The average flow from the Eel to the Russian is 160,000 af.
    “Mostly” should be more than 10%, I think.

  16. Adam Gaska June 21, 2023

    So I talked to Marvin’s wife, Cassie, and she said the school would cost $10 million to tear down according to Ukiah Unified School District.

    I did some digging and found this.

    It’s the 7-11 committee report. Page 52, they say to bring the campus back up to par would cost $10 million in 2016. So demolition would probably be less. They probably got the numbers mixed up.

    Here is a link to the sale information which includes the toxics’ report.

    The school has ADA compliance issues as well which would need to be addressed to reopen as a public school. They also mention water availability as an issue.

    I have heard River Oak charter school is interested. I imagine they would need to deal with the ADA compliance. UUSD would have to sign off on them moving there. Where the money would come from to get it back to standard is anyone’s guess. It would cost more than $10 million today due to depreciation/continued neglect and inflation.

    • Mark Scaramella June 22, 2023

      Good info. Thanks. But why does the school need to be demolished? Is it red-tagged because of the contamination? Are all the buildings contaminated?

      • Marmon June 22, 2023

        A good portion of that school was renovated just about 2 years before it’s closure. The main building may be a problem but the newer structures (classrooms) should be fine. My stepfather’s grandfather donated that land to the “Redwood Valley Community” to be used for “School Purposes”. Cassie Trotter calls me now and then about the property and recently told me that some Charter School is interested in buying the property. Apparently, the Ukiah Unified School District can’t find the deed, that’s because they probably didn’t annex it legally when they took it over. In my mind the Redwood Valley Community still owns it.

        The only deed on record for the property is recorded at the recorder’s office in what’s known as the “Book of Deeds”.


      • Marmon June 22, 2023

        I wonder who’s paying the taxes on that property now that it is not being used as a school anymore.

        Property used exclusively for public schools, community colleges, state colleges, and state universities is exempt from property taxation (article XIII, section 3, subd. (d) of the California Constitution, Revenue and Taxation Code section 202, subd. (a)(3)).


  17. Marmon June 21, 2023

    A new study shows that good looking women are more likely to be right wingers. Angry and bitter women are more likely to be left wing.

    We already knew this.


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