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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 6, 2023

Cooling | Fishing | Sheriff Wedding | Boonquiz | Comptche Firefighters | Rodeo Sponsorship | Smartphone Help | Radio Interns | Ed Notes | Trestle Twilight | Narcan Save | Mailboxes Hit | Variety Video | Covelo Violence | Bumble Bee | Covelo Skatepark | Navarro Estuary | Ukiah Artwalk | Yesterday's Catch | Oil Addiction | Incompetents | Trashy Fourth | Freedom Float | Navigation Acts | Navarro Mouth | Ben & Jer | Bolinas Flag | Cornel Green | What If | Be Yourself | Liberal Press | Zoom Prep | Censorship Ruling | Escapable | Fast Car | Ikea-otine | Censorship Leviathan | Plead Guilty | Wartime Madness | Dubai

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TEMPERATURES WILL TREND DOWNWARD through the weekend. Diurnal coastal stratus will persist through the end of the week with drizzle possible in the mornings. Showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms are possible over the mountains late Wednesday and Thursday. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): On the coast this Thursday morning I have a drizzly/foggy 53F. I am going with more fog than sun today, much like yesterday. Of course head inland & things get sunny quickly. The NWS says mostly sunny for the weekend, we'll see.

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Gone fishing on Lake Cleone (Jeff Goll)

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SOCIAL NOTE: Former Sheriff Tom Allman presided over the July 2 marriage of Dan Crofoot, a member of an old-time Mendocino County timber family, and Chao Pullapat at the Crofoot Ranch on Largo Road south of Ukiah. Crofoot's daughters Jessica Crofoot and Cassandra Crofoot Mortier walked their father down the road leading to the wedding site on the ranch.

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You’re welcome. I’m referring to the celebrations many of you will have enjoyed yesterday, July 4th, to commemorate the Terrorist War that led the Brits to decide that fighting to keep this country was no longer worth it and let you win (with a large amount of help from the French)… But let’s allow bygones to be bygones and so, Thursday July 6th, will see the return of the Boonville General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz to Lauren’s at The Buckhorn. Starting at 7pm.

Hope to see you there, Cheers, Steve ‘Benedict Arnold’ Sparks. The Quizmaster.

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My name is Ky Parrish and 1am a recent Ukiah High school graduate. I have been a part of High School Rodeo for the last 3 years and represent District 2 which consists of high school students from Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, Sonoma, and Napa counties. My first year in CHSRA I was awarded Rookie of the year as a bull rider. My second year I entered in Steer Wrestling and Bull riding. My senior year ended with being awarded Reserve Overall Cowboy, 1st place in steer wrestling and 2nd place in bull riding. All 3 years of my high school career in CHSRA, I qualified for Challenge of Champions and CHSRA state rodeo finals. During my events this year at State Finals I finished 20th in the state for steer wrestling. In bull riding I won 2nd place and that has Qualified me to attend the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyoming in July.

The National High School Rodeo finals is the World’s largest rodeo. Contestants will be travelling from as far as Mexico, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. I need sponsors to help cover my expenses of competing at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Wyoming where I will be representing the State of California. This event will run from July 16th to July 22nd and will be televised nationality on The Cowboy Channel.

I am very excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity. This fall I will be joining the rodeo team for Murray State College in Oklahoma. I plan to pursue bull riding and study business with the goal of owning my own business one day. If a decision is made by you or your company to provide sponsorship, I will do my best to represent your company with the highest degree of respect as I will be representing your name and the State of California. Please contact me at 707 391-5436 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Ky Parrish (Son of Ryan and Deanna Titus of Boonville)


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I was thinking about doing a roundtable tech support for smartphones event - where we help each other with basic tech support, so we need folks to help and folks that need help…

I was thinking of having it right before our monthly gathering on Sunday, July 16th from about 2:30 to 3:30 at the AV Senior Center (with our monthly gathering starting at 4).

What I need to know is who would be able to attend and:

1) who can give basic smartphone help to others and if so Android or iPhone?


2) who needs smartphone help and if so which one (iPhone or Android).

Let me know ASAP please, so I can see if we have enough participants and helpers to make it work.

Remember all our events are open to everyone, i.e. you don'€™t need to be a member or volunteer but we would love to have you as one.

Thank you!

Anica Williams

Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

Cell: 707-684-9829


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KZYX SUMMER INTERNS Natalie and Marianna from Anderson Valley High School working on PSAs in Spanish and English.

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DOWN MEMORY LANE: Apropos of nothing at all, but I was thinking about how false the flattering descriptives are of today’s political leaders. I almost fell out of my chair the other night when a talking head referred to Biden as “studious” and “a real constitutional scholar.” 

THE OFFSHORE OIL HEARINGS in Fort Bragg in February 1988 drew a bunch of upper-level career officeholders, who showed up for photo ops posed against the blue Pacific behind what was then Rachel’s Inn just south of Mendocino. They were attempting to solidify their non-existent credentials as environmentalists. 

THE DEMOCRATS managed to parlay oppostion to offshore oil drilling into a lifetime job for a guy named Richard Charter who got paid a bunch to annually spare the Mendocino Coast from offshore oil development. The Democrats have saved the ocean off the coast for going on fifty years now.

THE STATE BIGWIGS DROVE up separately in big black town cars, among them Gray Davis, who loomed up out of the fog like some kind of Men’s Warehouse sea wraith, prompting many in the crowd to versions of this comment, “Jeez, he really is gray!” Thin and gray, and every hair in place. If you were casting a horror movie and needed someone who looked like a mortician’s assistant suspected of those telltale denture prints on the corpses, Gray Davis would be perfect. 

WHILE we’re on what people look like and other gratuitous insults (and spare me the feedback summing up my unalluring persona, I’ve heard it all) why do we continue to read so many comments from women on the Clinton allure? Even putting aside his palpably false down home affect, the guy looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Women going on about Clinton’s sex appeal is almost as mystifying as “Reagan’s great charm.” What charm? Reagan behaved like he looked — stupid and mean, and about as charming as a cobra. The present cast of federal actors? They look like the Saturday morning cartoons, while poor old Joe is so pale and drawn and befuddled he’s become an international symbol of elder abuse.

DENIS ROUSE WRITES: Glad you read Moorehead's terrific bio of Martha Gellhorn, and hope you get a hold of the big volume of Gellhorn's novellas which pair with the bio to paint a fairly complete picture of a remarkable woman who never got her literary due because of her brief marriage to Hemingway. I assume you caught it in the bio that the one area of human conflict she was absolutely one-sided about was (is) the Israel/Palestine issue that's white hot as I write this. When I was interviewing Chomsky years ago I said I thought it was remarkable that people who were once loaded in boxcars could treat neighboring people in such fashion as has been recorded for too many years, but Martha had no compassion whatsoever for the Palestinians, she wasn't really fond of the Germans either. Whoever said truth is the first casualty in war, might have added, in politics as well. Yer partner in push-ups, D.M.Rouse.

ED NOTE: Given her right-on-ness on most issues, I, too, was surprised by her vehemence against the Palestinians, and although her shots at the Germans, all Germans, were very funny, they, too, were oddly broad brush for such an intelligent person. The bio, nevertheless, is really, really interesting, and a terrific picture of the world from 1925 on. At a family 4th of July dinner, I extorted promises from four young women that they'd read the bio (the young men regard books as a form of kryptonite), and Gellhorn's other books, too. Back to her unsympathetic views of the Palestinians, she apparently did spend hours debating the issue with a parade of Brit heavy hitters none of whom were able to persuade her to reconsider. We all have our blind spots, but unfounded biases in real smart people are always surprising.

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Pudding Creek trestle, Fort Bragg (photo by James Mallory)

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On Monday, July 3, 2023 at approximately 9:52 A.M., a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was on-duty and overheard a medical call on the radio for an unresponsive subject at a residence in the 700 block of Orr Street in the City of Ukiah.

The Deputy was in the area, so he responded and located an open door where he contacted a female resident who was still on 9-1-1 with medical personnel. An Officer from the Ukiah Police Department also responded to assist with this incident. The Deputy located the adult male subject on the kitchen floor, who was unconscious and not breathing.

Fearing the adult male was suffering the beginning stages of a potential lethal drug overdose, the Deputy administered multiple doses of Narcan. The adult male responded to the administered Narcan, and medical personnel arrived shortly thereafter and began providing additional medical treatment.

The adult male subject was ultimately transported to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley for further medical treatment.

In April 2019 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) began to issue NARCAN® (Naloxone HCI) nasal spray dosage units to its employees as part of their assigned personal protective equipment. MCSO's goal is in protecting the public and officers from opioid overdoses. Access to naloxone is now considered vital in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control. As of 2021, the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard reported Mendocino County ranking, per capita, 2nd in all opioid overdose deaths. ( Refer to dashboard for current updated ranking information. Narcan nasal spray units are widely known to reverse opioid overdose situations in adults and children. Each nasal spray device contains a four-milligram dose, according to the manufacturer. Naloxone Hydrochloride, more commonly known by the brand name NARCAN®, blocks the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose (both medications and narcotics) including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.

The antidote can reverse the effects of an overdose for up to an hour, but anyone who administers the overdose reversal medication in a non-medical setting is advised to seek emergency medical help right away. The spray units can also be used by Public Safety Professionals who are unknowingly or accidentally exposed to potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl from skin absorption or inhalation.

The issuance of the Narcan nasal units, thus far, have been to employees assigned to the Field Services Division, Corrections Division and the Mendocino County Jail medical staff. Employees are required to attend user training prior to being issued the medication.

Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank Mendocino County Public Health for providing the Narcan nasal units to the Sheriff's Office free of charge as part of the Free Narcan Grant from the California Department of Public Health.

Since the April 2019 issuance, there have now been (17) seventeen separate situations wherein Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Patrol Staff have administered NARCAN and saved the lives of (17) seventeen overdosing individuals in need of the lifesaving antidote medication.

In October 2021 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a grant from the California Naloxone Distribution Project through the Department of Health Care Services to help maintain an inventory of the live saving antidote.

The 192 dosage units have been distributed to the Field Services Division and Corrections Division as previous inventories from Mendocino County Public Health have been exhausted.

Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank the California Naloxone Distribution Project through the Department of Health Care Services for awarding the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office with the Naloxone grant to better help protect his employees and the public.

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Hey there folks, wanna see some Random Acts of Variety? Well, it’s finally here…the 2023 AV Variety Show on YouTube! To find your act or somebody else's you can scroll right along.

It's not like being there live, of course, where the energy in the crowd in the moment really brings the show to life. We video the show for a record of it and so people can check out their own acts. We do not shoot it like a made for TV movie. But Mr Mark Weaver of Redwood Video fame, who had a film featured at this years Mendocino Film Festival, has done wonders and hours and hours of work to bring the shows to youtube so everyone can can watch it for free.

Chad, James and Guru of Emerald Triangle TV have pitched in with amazing technology that has added extra camera angles, audience shots and much more. It's a long way from our rather primitive single hand held Super 8 camera for the first shows. Next year IN MARCH we will be getting even better. So, think about an act, you'll be looking and sounding GREAT! (~Captain Rainbow) 

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THEY TOOK EVERYTHING’: Covelo Rocked By Killings Of Young Tribal Members

In Covelo, an isolated town in northern California, back-to-back slayings are the most recent chapter of violence arising from colonisation

by Robin Buller

Covelo, California — Marline Fulwider is no stranger to grief. As a young woman, she lost her 23-year-old brother; years later, her 25-year-old son-in-law, whom she had previously taken in as a foster child, was killed.

But nothing could have prepared Fulwider for the morning of 16 April, when another teen she had taken in was found beaten to death. Ruby Sky Montelongo was just 16 years old.

Ruby Montelongo

“They took everything,” Fulwider said. “Her graduation is next year. Her birthday is in about a month. She would have been 17.”

Fulwider, a descendent of the Yuki tribe, lives in Covelo, an isolated town in northern California with a population of less than 2,000. It’s also home to the Round Valley Reservation; about a third of the residents of Covelo and its surroundings identify as Indigenous American. And in recent years the community has been rocked by violence.

Just weeks before Montelongo’s body was found, 20-year-old Nicholas Whipple was brutally killed. While locals were shocked by the back-to-back murders, they also described the slayings as the most recent chapters of a much longer narrative of violence against young Indigenous people in the area – often by other young Indigenous people – that includes the killing of 34-year-old Kenneth Whipple, Nicholas Whipple’s cousin, in 2021; the slaying of 21-year-old Rosalena Belle Rodriguez in 2014; and the 2018 kidnapping of 23-year-old Khadija Rose Britton, a relative of Montelongo, who is still missing.

“The more I talk to people, the more I realize, it’s not a few people,” said Eileen Russell, a journalist and farmer who moved to Covelo seven years ago. “Every Round Valley Indian Tribal member has been directly impacted by violence more than once in their family.”

On a corner just outside downtown Covelo, a well-worn tribute to Britton is decorated with lanterns, flowers, photos and an ad for a cash reward for information about her kidnapping. A memorial to Rodriguez – as well as the site where Whipple’s body was found in March – are visible from the same intersection. Britton’s aunt, Laura Betts, who is also a relative of both Montelongo and Whipple describes her niece as “the face of a lot of girls” of Indigenous American descent who are subject to violence.

Betts is referring to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people in the US, particularly women and girls. Experts and activists attribute the crisis to the legacies of colonial violence against Indigenous peoples, which have contributed to high rates of intergenerational poverty, untreated mental illness and substance use disorders, and a lack of trust between Tribal communities and outside law enforcement.

These dynamics have also shaped life on the Round Valley Indian Reservation, which is governed by a confederation of seven Indigenous American tribes. One, the Yuki tribe, has ancestral claim to the land. In 1863, at least six others – the Wailacki, Nomlacki, Littlelake, Pit River, Concow, and Pomo tribes – were forcibly resettled in the valley, where they were concentrated on the reservation while white settlers laid claim to most of the surrounding farmland.

The reverberations of that historical displacement are still felt today. “Everybody’s living out these traumas that they didn’t bring upon themselves and that are rooted in colonization,” said Russell.

Betts, a member of Round Valley Indian Tribes, explains that residents have struggled to make ends meet for decades. She points to the closing of the Louisiana-Pacific lumber mill in 1990, which had been a major employer in the region, as a turning point. More than a third of the town’s residents lived under the poverty line in 2021, making its poverty rate more than three times that of the state of California.

Some of these dynamics played out in Montelongo’s own life. Fulwider sketches a picture of a spirited teen who was introspective, fiercely loyal and wickedly funny. Once, on a whim, Montelongo painted her entire bedroom in a single day. Another time, she befriended a suit-wearing businessman whom she sat next to on an hour-long flight.

But behind that sense of humor was a girl who had been forced to grow up too fast. Her mother was in prison when she gave birth to Montelongo. In her teens, Montelongo began to struggle with substance use and anger issues and was known among classmates to have a mean punch. “It’s a two-edged sword,” said Fulwider. “It’s a compliment and it’s devastating, because I know where it comes from. It comes from having to survive and fight for everything you’ve ever had from the day you were born.”

In 1995, a long standing rivalry between two clans led to the deaths of two tribal members – including Betts’ father, Reginald Eugene Britton – and a Mendocino county sheriff’s deputy. That event, residents say, laid the foundation for the dynamics that have contributed to much of the violence in the years since. “It caused a big rift that was already there between the police department and our Covelo residents, specifically tribal members,” said Fulwider.

According to tribal leaders, crimes against Indigenous people in Covelo get comparatively less attention – and compassion – from authorities. “This valley has never had a trust built with the sheriff’s office,” said Michelle Downy, a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes Tribal Council. “When a Native person is the victim, it isn’t the same response,” she said. She says law enforcement avoids claiming responsibility for crimes committed on tribal land, or in which only tribal members are involved, despite the tribal community recently pushing for more assistance from the sheriff’s office.

Downy says that violence against Indigenous people has been occurring “for decades” without adequate attention from law enforcement. In 2016, only 116 of 5,712 cases of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls were logged in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Today, it is estimated that 4,200 cases remain unsolved nationwide.

The Mendocino county sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal lands in the county, including those that exclusively involve Indigenous Americans. But it’s strapped for resources. With at most six deputies on duty at one time, the department struggles to cover the vast county, which encompasses nearly 4,000 sq miles of rugged terrain. “It’s not enough,” said Sheriff Matt Kendall, who grew up just outside of Covelo. “I feel guilty, because it is the people who raised me.”

Others think the neglect may be willful. Lewis Whipple, a member of the tribal council and a relative of the late Nicholas Whipple, said he has heard law enforcement “call Native-on-Native crimes a two-fer”, meaning one tribal member is killed and another is sent to prison.

Kendall denies any accusations of racism on the part of the sheriff’s department.

Arrests have been made in connection to the most recent murders – a 15-year-old girl from Covelo was taken into custody shortly after Montelongo’s death, and Lee Anthony Joaquin, a 33-year-old Covelo resident, was arrested for Whipple’s murder after a manhunt that lasted nearly a month.

Still, most residents claim additional perpetrators were involved in both killings, citing the extensive injuries sustained by each victim and that both incidents occurred near groups of young people who were partying and drinking alcohol. They believe that the sheriff’s office, content with a single arrest in each case, is failing to conduct exhaustive investigations.

“All you can do is be numb to it, especially how it happened,” said Mike Gorman, superintendent of the Round Valley unified school district, of the young age of the alleged perpetrator in Montelongo’s killing. “It’s teenagers doing it to other teenagers.”

Whipple is said to have been found steps away from Joaquin’s house, where people had gathered to continue partying after the bars had closed. His body was so disfigured from injuries he sustained that night, that the sheriff’s office didn’t know the 20-year-old had been shot until after the autopsy had been performed.

But witnesses are hard to come by, so the precise circumstances of the killings, as well as the motives of the alleged perpetrators, are hard to pin down. In a town as small as Covelo and in a community that has a fraught relationship with police, residents are often resistant to cooperating with law enforcement.

Perhaps more significant is the fact that among members of the Round Valley Reservation, family ties are as binding as they are extensive. When a crime is committed, explains Downy, the problem isn’t only that witnesses might be acquaintances with the guilty party, but that they might be related to them. “It’s one family against another,” said Downy.

In other cases, like those of Fulwider’s brother and son-in-law, families become torn apart because they are tied to both the killer and the killed. She describes it as a tragedy that is rooted in familial love and loyalty.

“The bigger portion of why nobody speaks up is because they love these people. These people who are doing these things to each other are our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our daughters, our kids. And you don’t want to hold them accountable. Therefore you don’t say anything,” Fulwider said.

Soon after Whipple and Montelongo’s murders, the Round Valley Tribal authorities declared a state of emergency, enacting a curfew that barred youth from being out past 10 pm. Teams of residents were charged with monitoring the streets, keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior, and offering safe rides home.

But some residents see the measures as temporary fixes for problems that require structural solutions. In Covelo, parents and community leaders fear that violence is becoming normalized for the town’s youth. “That’s not natural, to have to go to that many funerals in a year,” said Fulwider.

Alarmed by the seeming connection between violence and underage drinking, some community members have pushed for initiatives that would restrict access to alcohol, like stopping its sale on tribal lands or putting a glass case around the bottles at the local grocery store.

For Betts, those precautions – neither of which has been undertaken yet – would save young lives, but the community also needs access to better mental health and family support services. Betts, who is employed by the local housing department, has been behind efforts to expand internship opportunities for local youth. “They want to work,” she said, “but there is no opportunity.”

Gorman says schools also have a responsibility to teach non-violence to their students. Gorman recounted a second grader who was found holding scissors with which they planned to hurt themselves. “She wanted to harm herself to go visit Ruby,” he said. “Kids at a small age are being affected by it.”

At Round Valley high school, emotions were “still very raw” as students and faculty prepared for graduation in early June – an event where, for the first time, sheriff’s deputies were in attendance. “It’s been very traumatic,” said Kelda Britton, the school’s principal.

Russell, who has two small children, expresses concern about keeping her family in Covelo. “I think raising kids in a really small community and knowing that young people were killed in such violent ways, makes it really scary to think about raising my kids here,” she said.

Fulwider, meanwhile, says she reminds her children that they’re “not immortal”, and thinks of how far Montelongo had worked to overcome the challenges that life had dealt her.

“Ruby wasn’t perfect. She wasn’t innocent,” said Fulwider. “But she deserved to come home that night.”


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Westport Bumble Bee (Jeff Goll)

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MENDOCINO COUNTY TOWN SEEKS HELP FROM TONY HAWK to combat low morale after tragedies

Members of the Round Valley tribal community hope to boost morale among local youth with the creation of a skate park, a project they said is especially crucial after the recent deaths of three young residents.

by Alana Minkler

The Mendocino County town of Covelo is seeking the help of skateboard icon Tony Hawk.

Members of the Round Valley tribal community hope to boost morale among local youth with the creation of a skate park, a project they said is especially crucial after the recent deaths of three young residents.

They’re angling for the attention of the legendary skateboarder, who they believe could propel the project forward.

“Skate culture ― it’s community,” said Patricia Mera, a Covelo resident who’s leading the Round Valley Skatepark Project. “It’s art, it’s sport, it’s a mental clarity.”

The nearest “real” skate park to Covelo is an hour away in Laytonville. That one took two years to break ground.

But Mera and her team hopes to get their project a push from Tony Hawk’s Skatepark Hero, a competition that awards $10,000 to the winner of a public vote, along with a skate session with Hawk.

The competition is part of The Skatepark Project, a nonprofit founded by Hawk in 2002 that provides grants and guidance to low-income communities to build safe and inclusive public skate parks.

The nonprofit has helped fund 661 skate parks throughout the U.S. by issuing more than $11 million in grants, according to its website.

In early April, Hawk visited the Diné Skate Garden Project, one of the projects his foundation helped fund in a remote Arizona reservation town. Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren showed off his skills there in front of Hawk, his childhood hero. It was captured in a viral video during the park’s grand opening.

That’s what inspired Phoenix resident Desiré Fish to enter the contest — not for herself but for the community.

Fish originally hails from Verde Valley, Arizona. Her parents divorced when she was 4 years old and she moved to Covelo, where she lived until she was 12.

“All my memories are there,” she said of Covelo. “The beautiful rivers, the country, the people — everything about it had a lasting impression.”

Covelo is a small, isolated town on the federally recognized Round Valley Reservation. It comprised several tribes, which were rounded up in the mid-19th century and endured several massacres.

Despite Round Valley’s beautiful landscape, community members said, it faces a high rate of poverty, crime and substance use.

“In a town with nothing to do, you find trouble,” Mera said.

The community lost a 5-year-old girl Saturday to drowning in the Eel River. Two young people, including a 16-year-old girl, died due to homicide within three weeks earlier this year. It has brought morale to an extreme low, she said.

“It’s heavy,” Mera said. “Those few days, few weeks, first month ― every aspect of it is heavy.”

Mera has been co-organizing the skatepark project for the last year alongside Jessi Alvarado. They hold a monthly skate night at the Covelo Community Park recreation center, with portable skate ramps and boards donated to kids who need them. “Everyone loves it,” Mera said.

If chosen as Skatepark Hero’s people’s choice, they would win $10,000 for their project and a skate session with Hawk.

And Hawk will pick one skilled skater “with the most creative boardslide or lipslide” to skate with him at his facility.

“I don't have any desire to have $10,000 or go skating with Tony Hawk ― I mean, that would be cool,” Fish said, “but what I want is for him to go skating with those kids.

“These kids need to see him and for him to see them, and pull some strings so Mendocino County starts paying attention to how cool skate parks can be.”

Fish urges people to vote for the skatepark project on Facebook every day.

“I'm just trying to battle with it and do everything possible to get as many people to see it as possible,” she said.

So far, they’ve made it to the quarterfinals. “We’ll keep battling away,” she added.

She has witnessed the impact skate parks have on generations, she said. She watched skate park initiatives take off in the ‘90s in Phoenix and create a positive outlet for youth.

It would be amazing to see just one in Covelo, she said.

“Those kids need something to build community, but also skateboarding does not have any borders whatsoever,” she said. “It's inclusive of everybody and it brings all types of people together.”

She sees it as an outlet for young people, and one day could include a memorial wall, benches that honor “fallen brothers and sisters,” as well as a kids’ play structure, garden and an adult gym or exercise area.

The project has been a big hit, despite the current lack of a large skate culture in Covelo — which she said is because there is no park.

The first meeting for the project attracted over 30 people, and the monthly skate nights and skating events at annual festivals, like the Blackberry Festival and Indian Days, have been popular for those learning to skate.

“If you build it, they will come,” Mera said.


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Navarro Estuary (Jeff Goll)

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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 Marketplace, 116 W Standley Street

Bona Marketplace will be pairing up with McNab Ridge Winery for a fun tasting of some of their favorite varietals. In addition, we will be hosting Jan Dawson,a photographer and painter is a graduate of Pittsburgh Pa. Art Institute and is a member of the Anderson Valley Art Guild. Jan has enjoyed an adventurous life of traveling back and forth from Alaska to the Mexican border drawing, photographing and selling art. jan has received many cash and ribbon awards and is featured in some wildlife magazines. Jan will be displaying a few joyful and vibrant watercolors and also a up close and personal collection of Grizzly bears and their babies playing from Lake Clark wilderness Alaska.

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Mendocino Book Company, 102 S School Street

Mendocino Book Co will be hosting author J Ryan Stradal during First Friday Art Walk on July 7. Join us at 5:00 for an author talk and reading from J Ryan's new novel, Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club. We're excited to have the delightful J Ryan here again! All three of his books are in stock and available now or at the event.

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The Lot on Main, corner of Standley and Main Street

New artists and crafters each month, if you are looking for variety they have it at “The Lot”

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Historical Society of Mendocino County, 100 S Dora Street (5-7pm)

Join the Historical Society of Mendocino County for First Friday Art Walk to celebrate the completion of their new research room! There will be a display of historic Mendocino County maps, a history book sale, and Husch Vineyards will be pouring their wine.

The research room will be open to the public for use the following day on Saturday July 8th, 1-4 p. m.Regular hours for the research room will be Thursday through Saturday 1-4 pm

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Medium Art Gallery, 522 E Perkins Street

Deep Valley Arts Collective is pleased to announce their summer show, “POP!” at MEDIUM Art Gallery in Ukiah from July 7 through August 20th, 2023. Taking inspiration from the pop art of the 1960s and early 70s, POP! is a reimagined exhibition of art featuring the bright, bold lines and attitude of artists like; Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Claes Oldenburg with the modern eye.

Pay homage to a specific artist or create your own commentary on modern day pop and commercial culture.

Attend the Opening reception at the July Art Walk and Celebrate Medium Art Gallery’s two year anniversary in the Pear Tree Center!

Music and audio-visual show by Nasty Nate. Refreshments available. Community Art Project:

Each show at MEDIUM ART GALLERY features an ongoing community project. Supplies provided.

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Grace Hudson Museum, 431 S Main Street

Make the Grace Hudson Museum part of your Ukiah First Friday Art Walk. See our popular current exhibition, ‘Something’s Happening Here: Artistic Reflections on the Back to the Land Movement,’ get reacquainted with our core galleries featuring Grace Hudson’s artwork, exquisite Pomo basketry, and Hudson-Carpenter family history. Take a summer evening walk in the always changing Wild Gardens.

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The Corner Gallery, 201 S State Street

The Corner Gallery Ukiah is an artist cooperative and has for many years created a venue where are lovers can easily connect with those who make art. We are local artists that work in a wide variety of art media.

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Art Center Ukiah, 201 S State Street

The Art Center Ukiah is offering a show called “Expressions in Ink”. There will also be a demonstration by Allora Aikman of the Jagua technique, which is similar to henna but uses blue-black ink. There will also be Ink Prints by artists such as Kate Gould Live music by Steve Winkler and refreshments.

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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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CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Aitken, Bowles, Gandarilla

JACOB AITKEN, Willits. DUI, child endangerment.

RHONDA BOWLES, Ukiah. Grand theft, recklessly causing a fire of inhabited structure.

ANGELICA GANDARILLA-TORRES, Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%, no license.

Gonzales, Hidalgo, Juarez, Milberger

ANDREA GONZALES, Willits. Embezzlement, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, controlled substance, paraphernalia, false ID, false personation of another.

THOMAS HIDALGO, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, parole violation.

ALBERT JUAREZ JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery.

STEPHANIE MILBERGER, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale.

Northcutt, Ryken, Voris, Wolfe

JESSICA NORTHCUTT, Nice/Fort Bragg. County parole violation.

WILLIAM RYKEN JR., Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

MICHAEL VORIS, Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%.

LARRY WOLFE JR., Ukiah. County parole violation, probation revocation.

* * *


Back in my childhood we were a small town surrounded by a lot of rural and backwoods areas. Small farms dotted the rural landscape and our local grocery stores sold food grown locally. If the big trucks quit running it wouldn’t have affected our food supply that much. The mountain people made themselves famous by turning their big back yard corn patches into whiskey. Many people in the 50’s, and even in suburban areas, still had gardens and chickens. Some of the people that didn’t anymore had done it in the 40’s during WWII and could do it again if need be without much trauma. But not anymore, that’s a lifestyle that’s dead and buried for the most part.

As a nation we changed out of a self sufficient lifestyle and built modern suburbia instead which depends entirely upon the availability of fossil fuels and very complex technologies to support it all. This can have the same end result as a serious drug dependency. Remove the substance (oil) that everyone is addicted to and we get very sick and some of us even die. Just as junkies and bad alcoholics can die if suddenly deprived of their “substances”, we now depend utterly on diesel fuel for our food to be available. And unfortunately diesel comes from heavy sour crude, not the very lightweight oil obtained via fracking.

* * *

* * *

‘WORST I’VE EVER SEEN’: More Than Three Tons Of July 4 Trash Left Behind At This Lake Tahoe Spot

by Laya Neelakandan

An environmental nonprofit said Wednesday that it picked up more than three tons of trash and debris from Zephyr Cove on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe following the Fourth of July holiday. 

Clean Up The Lake founder Colin West said Wednesday morning’s trash haul was the worst he has seen in his five years of doing environmental clean-up work. 

“It was destroyed,” he said of the beach. “I thought I’d come out and use a trash grabber, but I was bending over scooping with my hands, and we even went to get rakes.”

In all, the group picked up more than 6,300 pounds of trash, West said. 

A video the group posted to social media Wednesday showed beach chairs, empty beer boxes and tents among the items strewn across the beach, leaving it nearly unrecognizable.

West said Clean Up The Lake, which cleans up areas above and below the surface of Sierra Nevada lakes, had to get permission from the forest service to drive trucks into the beach needed to store “towering loads” of trash bags filled to the brim. 

West said he thinks it’s possible to have “controlled fun” on a holiday like the Fourth of July, making sure to plan ahead to bring a trash bag to the beach to have a place to throw things away — something he had hoped would happen after trying to raise awareness after the result of last year’s Fourth of July cleanup. 

Instead, he said he’s considering volunteering his time on July Fourth next year to try to educate people in the moment so the next-day cleanup is a bit less daunting.

“It’s always fulfilling to do this work, but it’s definitely a bit heart-wrenching,” he said. “We need to get the message out there that we have to do better.”

Lake Tahoe has become a popular tourist destination, especially on holiday weekends, with people rushing to Tahoe ski slopes on Tuesday while the parks face a staffing shortage. Lake Tahoe’s Fourth of July website warned that the holiday is “the busiest time” for the tourist destination with “extremely crowded conditions” throughout the weekend. Last year, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported 3,450 pounds of trash were picked up across Lake Tahoe lakes.

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

* * *


Not many people know that perhaps the main reason for the wealthy merchant class of American colonialists wanting “independence” was what was known as England’s “Navigation Acts,” which were protective trade acts that England imposed on its colonies which were progressivly increased in (indirect) proportion to complaints from the American colonies.


“The [English] parliament began hedging in the colonial economies by imposing a system of trade regulations to get the colonies to work for England. This system of ‘Navigation Acts’ made its first appearance in 1651, when Parliament forbade the shipping of colonial goods to England in anything but English ships which was a real windfall for the English shipping industry, due to losing market share on the North Atlantic to the Dutch.

“Parliament gradually ratcheted its control over colonial trade upwards where the colonies were prevented from shipping goods not just to England except in English ships, but to anyone else. Then the colonial shippers were prevented from shipping certain enumerated articles like sugar or indigo or military stores to any place but England. Navigation Acts prevented the colonies from shipping any goods anywhere without first stopping in an English port to have their cargoes loaded and unloaded; resulting in providing work for English dockworkers, stevedores, and longshoremen; and also an opportunity to regulate and tax, what was being shipped.”

* * *

And from

“The Navigation Acts ‘enumerated’ certain colonial products, which could be exported from the place of production only to another British colony or to England. At first the list included tobacco, sugar, indigo, cotton, wool, ginger, and fustic and other dyewoods. Later, Parliament extended the list to include naval stores, hemp, rice, molasses, beaver skins, furs, copper ore, iron, and lumber. In addition, the colonies could import Asian goods and European manufactures only from England—although an exception was made in the case of salt or wine from the Azores or the Madeira Islands and food products from Ireland or Scotland. 

“Parliament implemented a system of bonds to enforce the trade of enumerated commodities under the Navigation Acts. These bonds required the master of the vessel to comply with the provisions of the acts. …Colonists were largely limited to buying British manufactures.…”

In other words American independence was based largely on England’s repressive “restraint of trade,” and not so much on the high-minded principles enumerated in the Declaration of Independence which was good, of course, but mercantile objectives mattered more to most of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. In fact, many of them had engaged in smuggling to get around the repressive English rules. 

(Mark Scaramella)

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Mouth of Navarro River on July 3, 2023 (Jeff Goll)

* * *


by Piers Morgan

July 4 is a complicated day for us Brits.

If it hadn’t been for the woeful incompetence of mad King George III, there’s a chance that America would still be ruled by the British monarchy, and I might be ruling over the country as King Piers.

Laugh, or howl in horror, but would I be doing a worse job than Joe Biden?

At least I know what day it is, though I accept some of my US subjects probably wouldn’t have liked my requirement for cricket to be the main national sport.

I also know that July 4 is a very special day for all Americans, a day to celebrate freedom with friends and family with parades, fireworks, recitals of the Declaration of Independence beside roaring bonfires, and lots of jokes about running the British redcoats out of town.

As Conan O’Brien once quipped: “Just found out that every Fourth of July, the British celebrate ‘We Dodged a Bullet Day’.”

Above all, it’s supposed to be a day of unity and pride — a moment to set aside differences and come together with a shared love of the country.

July 4 is a day to celebrate freedom with friends and family with parades, and fireworks, in remembrance of the Declaration of Independence.

But not, it would seem, for those who run Ben & Jerry’s.

Instead, the ice cream makers decided July 4 was a good day to declare war on July 4.

“Ah, the Fourth of July,” it stated. “Who doesn’t love a good parade, some tasty barbecue, and a stirring fireworks display? The only problem with all that, though, is that it can distract from an essential truth about this nation’s birth: The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land. This year, let’s commit to returning it.”

Then came the real kicker: “Here’s why we need to start with Mount Rushmore.”


It explained: “The faces on Mount Rushmore are the faces of men who actively worked to destroy Indigenous cultures and ways of life, to deny Indigenous people their basic rights.”

Those faces, of course, are four of America’s greatest presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

These were all truly magnificent men whose collective accomplishments are stunning bedrocks of American history.

Yet Ben & Jerry’s decided July 4 was a day not to celebrate any of that or to rejoice in America’s independence, but instead to just categorize these American presidential heroes as nothing more than a bunch of barbaric thieves.

On its website, beneath its statement, the firm urged customers to sign a petition to “return Mount Rushmore to the Lakota.”

But then, right below, it also urged them to subscribe to their special offers email service.

“Subscribe Now,” it pleaded, “and We’ll Make Sure You Get The Inside Scoop On Ben & Jerry’s Fun And Flavors! It’s Like Dessert For Your Inbox, And You’re Going To Want Seconds.”


I don’t even want firsts, thanks all the same.

Don’t get me wrong — I love ice cream.

But why would I want to buy a product from a company that’s gone out of its way to trash its own country’s biggest day of celebration, and encouraged hate toward some of the nation’s finest historical legends?

And how pathetically shameless to make it so transparently obvious that this isn’t really about Indigenous rights — an undeniably important debate — but about selling more ice cream.

It may as well have had the slogan: “Hate America … then buy our chocolate chip cookie!”

It’s not the first time Ben & Jerry’s has pulled this kind of stunt.

It spoke out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBTQ+ community and sparked fury from Israelis in 2021 when it announced it was putting a freeze on selling ice cream in “the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” despite parent company Unilever doing business everywhere from China to Russia.

And B&J co-founder Ben Cohen donated more than $1 million to a group demanding the US end its military aid to Ukraine, which seems kinda perverse if you believe so strongly in people not having land stolen from them.

Ben & Jerry’s justifies all this activism by saying it wants to “eliminate injustices in our communities by integrating these concerns into our day-to-day business activities.”

But as with all virtue signalers, the hypocrisy is enough to make me choke on their caramel chew.

For example, a popular Twitter account named Show Me The Data posted: “Ben and Jerry’s corporate office is in South Burlington, VT, Home of the Abenaki people. There are 3,200 of them still residing in the area. Ben and Jerry’s – give them their land back.”

I won’t be holding my breath.

Hypocrisy comes easy to Ben & Jerry’s.

They were exposed by the New York Times earlier this year as being among the companies whose supply chains use migrant child labor, despite their supposed progressive values and pledge to “honor and stand with” immigrants.

As with so many woke corporate lecturers, they prefer not to practice what they preach.

But it will be very interesting to see what happens to Ben & Jerry’s now, given the increasing public intolerance with brands forcing this kind of virtue-signaling BS down people’s throats.

A few years ago, Gillette tried to demonize its male consumer base as a bunch of would-be Harvey Weinsteins with an appalling #MeToo ad campaign that cratered its stock price — and had to perform a screeching U-turn to save its business.

More recently, Anheuser-Busch destroyed its sales almost overnight by inexplicably using woman-mocking transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney to market its Bud Light beer.

Its new “Backyard Grunts” commercial, hurriedly released to counter the backlash, is about as alpha-male as any ad in history.

And last month, Target also had to abruptly backtrack after customers reacted furiously to it filling its stores with LGBTQ-themed merchandise during Pride Month.

The message from the public couldn’t be clearer: They’ve had enough of this endless woke propaganda garbage, and they’re now going to hit the brands that do it where it hurts them most — on the bottom line.

Ben & Jerry’s should stick to whipping up ice cream, not division.

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The Bolinas flag, July 4. The US flag flown upside-down signals “dire distress.” (Steve Heilig)

* * *


Dr. Cornel West announced today that his campaign has completed the transition to the Green Party, with the goal of giving working people, the poor and struggling Americans across the 50 states a real choice that’s of, by and for the people in the 2024 election. The campaign has switched its FEC filing to the Green Party and its infrastructure has been turned over to veterans of Green Party campaigns, including former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who is the acting campaign manager. The West campaign plans to leverage the ballot access experience of the Stein/Baraka ticket that was on the ballot in 47 states.…

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A READER WONDERS: With the recent decisions by the supremes, what college will invoke the first amendment to not allow women on campus?

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I DON'T KNOW what to tell you. A statement is easy, and here it is: Be yourself. Try to matter. Be a good friend. Love freely, even if you are likely, almost guaranteed, to be hurt, betrayed... Do what you were created to do. You'll know what this is, because it is what you keep creeping up to, peering at, dreaming of. Do it. If you don't, you'll be punching clocks and eating time doing precisely what you shouldn't, and you'll become mean and you'll seek to punish any and all who appear the slightest bit happy, the slightest bit comfortable in their own skin, the slightest bit smart. Cruelty is a drug, as well, and it's all around us. Don't imbibe.

Try to matter. Try to care. And never be afraid to admit that you just don't know, you just don't know how you're going to make it. That's when the help shows up. 

— Tennessee Williams

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by Ralph Nader

David Ignatius, a long-time Washington Post columnist on military intelligence topics, probably never dreamed his newspaper would fill over three full pages serializing his latest work of thrilling fiction, “The Tao of Deception.” On June 28, 2023, the “Breaking news and latest headlines” in the A section of the paper featured the first installment. Part II appeared today, Friday, June 30th.

What’s occurring at the Washington Post, the New York Times and big regional daily newspapers is a flight toward stupefying their material in a desperate plunge to retain readers – print and online. Maybe surveys show a tsunami of aliteracy from the rising iPhone generations.

To adjust to digital age readers, the New York Times has replaced much of its content with gigantic photographs, graphics and other visuals, not just in its regular sections on style/arts, sports and food, but also in the daily news departments as well as the Sunday Business and Opinion sections.

The influential New York Times Editorial Page – once featuring some fifteen or more editorials a week – is now down to three editorials a week. Moreover, this space is now largely taken up by a handful of regular opinion columnists, many predictably redundant and tired. Imagine a historic newspaper intentionally diminishing its editorial advice to this country. There is no precedent.

It gets worse. 

Various forms of its daily features – entertainment, sports and style/arts – are given enormous space, while coverage of daily local and national civic activity is severely restricted. What used to be reported about the findings, litigation, lobbying and regulatory advocacy of national citizen groups in the nineteen sixties and seventies – leading to major betterment of consumer, worker and environmental health and safety – now is sharply curtailed. As a result, good members of Congress, seeing virtually no news coverage of vital citizen concerns, become indifferent to necessary public hearings and legislation essential to addressing the needs of the public.

Right-wing politicians have learned to game the vulnerable-to-sensationalism New York Times and Washington Post. Trump led the way in 2015-2016 with his presidential run. Most of his outrageous lies, deceptions and defamations were showcased by these two august newspapers. The Times would even reprint his tweets with their CAPITAL LETTERS verbatim without giving the falsely accused any right of reply. (Belated corrections by columnists could not keep up.)

This chronic tragedy has gotten worse in the last year. The Times can hardly resist making crazy politicians into Big Acts. The antics of switcheroo J.D. Vance was a regular news story, with huge photographs, while his Democratic opponent in prime position for the pivotal Ohio Senate race last year, Rep. Tim Ryan, was of little interest to the Times.

In 2021, the Times devoted eleven pages over three days to a mini-biography of Fox’s Tucker Carlson. As well, the Times seems strangely drawn to the profane and violent rhetoric of the ignorant junior Representative from rural Georgia, putting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on the cover of its Sunday New York Times Magazine, in addition to more frequent daily coverage of her outrages.

What’s wrong with this journalism? First, it does not give space to serious political opponents whose positions, by the way, are closer to the editorial stances of the Times. Second, these “in-depth” profiles, as well as regular columns, do not lay a glove on the featured miscreants who rush to use these articles in their publicity and fundraising. Third, the trivial crowds out more important, serious subjects with material that is mostly vacuous since it is about vacuous people that the Times grants greater celebrity status. (TV and radio pick up such coverage from the Times).

I remember years ago when members of Congress, working with civic leaders on important legislation, would drop their more expressive denunciations for fear that the Times and the Post would not cover them because they might appear too extreme. It is exactly the opposite today with crazed right-wing, political corporatists bellowing themselves into prime time.

The Washington Post Live podcasts long ago crossed the barrier between news and advertisers. The tilt toward corporatism, away from the liberal civic community, is pronounced. One example of many is Grover Norquist, the avatar of no-tax super-rich and corporations, who gets a big photo alongside the announcement of his interview by the Washington Post Live’s podcast while the paper ignores inviting civic leaders like Robert Weissman of Public Citizen, Jordan Davis or Marilyn Carpinteyro of Common Cause or Karen Friedman of the Pension Rights Center. Why? Because corporate advertisers do not find these people congenial to their sponsored topics. Sponsors get to approve or veto the participants, as with the participants in the recent Post podcast “Chasing Cancer: Equity and Disparities,” brought to us by the giant drug company AstraZeneca. You can be assured the discussion will not cover outsourcing cancer drugs to a single troubled corporation in India, now causing serious shortages in our country and risking people’s lives.

Both the Post and the Times reporters did report about the cancer drug crisis in their news pages, but didn’t deal with the question of why U.S. drug companies outsource such categories of drugs, which includes outsourcing virtually all antibiotic production to China and India. This is a national security risk if there ever was one. The Washington Post did, however, run an op-ed by Ezekiel J. Emanuel on this topic

Business ads in newspapers have been around forever, but until recent years, such ads did not openly and brazenly sponsor, engage and shape the content of the “news side” of the papers.

Unfortunately, journalistic critics of these concessions are few, whether in the publications at journalism schools or in liberal magazines. Certainly, the media critics for NPR and PBS do not see this as part of their beat, with very few exceptions. In-house critics or an ombudsman are long gone from the Times and the Post.

Would that their editors have a greater estimate of their own significance to the unrepresented peoples of the United States. People deserve the empowering right to know about what the foundational civil society struggles daily to accomplish, at the local, national and international levels. (See, Reporters Alert:

Coverage of active citizenry from the neighborhoods on up might even increase circulation.

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* * *


A judge on Tuesday prohibited several federal agencies and officials of the Biden administration from working with social media companies about “protected speech,” a decision called “a blow to censorship” by one of the Republican officials whose lawsuit prompted the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana granted the injunction in response to a 2022 lawsuit brought by attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri. Their lawsuit alleged that the federal government overstepped in its efforts to convince social media companies to address postings that could result in vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic or affect elections.

Doughty cited “substantial evidence” of a far-reaching censorship campaign. He wrote that the “evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Eric Schmitt, who was the Missouri attorney general when the lawsuit was filed, said on Twitter that the ruling was “a huge win for the First Amendment and a blow to censorship.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the injunction prevents the administration “from censoring the core political speech of ordinary Americans” on social media.

“The evidence in our case is shocking and offensive with senior federal officials deciding that they could dictate what Americans can and cannot say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms about COVID-19, elections, criticism of the government, and more,” Landry said in a statement.

The Justice Department is reviewing the injunction “and will evaluate its options in this case,” said a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“This administration has promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections,” the official said. “Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present.”

The ruling listed several government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI, that are prohibited by the injunction from discussions with social media companies aimed at “encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

The order mentions by name several officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and others.

Doughty allowed several exceptions, such as informing social media companies of postings involving criminal activity and conspiracies; as well as notifying social media firms of national security threats and other threats posted on platforms.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit also included individuals, including conservative website owner Jim Hoft. The lawsuit accused the administration of using the possibility of favorable or unfavorable regulatory action to coerce social media platforms to squelch what it considered misinformation on masks and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also touched on other topics, including claims about election integrity and news stories about material on a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

Administration lawyers said the government left it up to social media companies to decide what constituted misinformation and how to combat it. In one brief, they likened the lawsuit to an attempt to put a legal gag order on the federal government and “suppress the speech of federal government officials under the guise of protecting the speech rights of others.”

“Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction would significantly hinder the Federal Government’s ability to combat foreign malign influence campaigns, prosecute crimes, protect the national security, and provide accurate information to the public on matters of grave public concern such as health care and election integrity,” the administration says in a May 3 court filing.

— James Salter, AP

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* * *


by Tracy Chapman

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me, myself, I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us outta here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won't have to drive too far
Just 'cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

See, my old man's got a problem
He live with the bottle, that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
His body's too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
So I quit school and that's what I did

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I-I had a feeling that I belonged
I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
We go cruising, entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
And I work in the market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I-I had a feeling that I belonged
I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me'd find it
I got no plans, I ain't going nowhere
Take your fast car and keep on driving

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I-I had a feeling that I belonged
I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

* * *

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

A court ruling knocks digital censorship to the canvas, ordering a sweeping halt to the "nothingburger" described in Missouri v. Biden and the Twitter Files

Here’s how federal judge Terry Doughty yesterday described the digital censorship controversy at which pundits a half-year now have repeatedly rolled eyes, dismissed, and mocked as a nothingburger: “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”

Doughty then ordered a sweeping halt to the censorship schemes outlined in both the extant Missouri v. Biden lawsuit and in the Twitter Files. Critics who’ve been snickering about this issue might want to read this 155-page ruling now, and ask themselves if the current Supreme Court would or would not agree with Doughty. Still think this is a nothingburger?

With this ruling in the Missouri v. Biden censorship case, Doughty went out of his way on the Fourth of July, to issue a stern rebuke at a conga line of government officials, many of them characters in the Twitter Files. Racket readers will recognize names like Elvis Chan and Laura Dehmlow (of the FBI), Jen Easterly and Brian Scully (of the Department of Homeland Security), Laura Rosenberger (Special Assistant to the President, and one of the creators of Hamilton 68) and Daniel Kimmage (of the Global Engagement Center), who were all just ordered to get the hell off the First Amendment’s lawn. Paraphrasing, Doughty enjoined them from:

• meeting with social-media companies for the purpose of pressuring or inducing in any manner the removal or suppression of protected free speech; 

• flagging posts on social-media platforms and/or forwarding to social-media companies urging the same; 

• collaborating with the Election Integrity Partnership, the Virality Project, the Stanford Internet Observatory, or any “like project” or group for the same purpose; 

• threatening or coercing social-media companies to remove protected free speech.

The New York Times, which instantly wrung its hands and stressed the ruling could “curtail efforts to fight disinformation,” grumblingly handed blame to the Twitter Files, without naming them of course, and mislabeling it as a partisan enterprise: 

“Elon Musk has echoed Republican arguments, releasing internal company documents to chosen journalists suggesting what they claimed was collusion between company and government officials. Though that remains far from proven, some of the documents Mr. Musk disclosed ended up in the lawsuit’s arguments.”

The investigation led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri’s Andrew Bailey, produced documents showing overt government requests to censor people like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a White House official expressing frustration to Facebook that they weren’t “removing bad information from search,” and emails in which a Facebook official pleads with the White House to understand that they’re already “reducing the virality” of “often-true content” that might promote vaccine hesitancy, among many other things. The Attorneys General likewise scored depositions with people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and confronted him with documents showing Facebook sending his office updates about how “we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove.”

Was this illegal? Unconstitutional? Did it show a pattern of mighty tech companies like Facebook and Twitter acting like they were reporting to federal officials like Fauci on content moderation? I knew what I thought it looked like, but what judges or a jury might say, who knew? 

Yesterday’s ruling, which naturally will be dismissed as Republican clickbait, shows at least one federal judge agreed with the argument that a complex system to mass-funnel content recommendations from enforcement agencies and politicians to tech platforms represents what the Attorneys General called a “sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise.’” As one of the plaintiffs, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty wrote, the evidence in the suit revealed a far broader range of topics monitored by government than most people know of even now, from gender ideology to abortion to monetary policy to the war in Ukraine and beyond. 

“Take any contentious issue in American public life,” said Kheriaty today, “and it seems like the federal government, once they got this machinery rolling, just thought, ‘Okay, we can combat quote-unquote misinformation on all kinds of things.’”

The Missouri v. Biden investigators found the same fact patterns found by Twitter Files reporters like me, Michael Shellenberger, Bari Weiss, Lee Fang, David Zweig, and Paul Thacker, and then later Andrew Lowenthal, Aaron Mate, Sue Schmidt, Matt Orfalea, Tom Wyatt, Matt Farwell, @Techno_Fog, and many others did. They also echoed descriptions by like Jacob Siegel at Tablet, or Robby Soave at Reason, who wrote about similar issues at Facebook. 

Those of us who worked on the Twitter Files story initially experienced the same problem investigators and plaintiffs in the Missouri v. Biden case apparently did, being unsure of what to make of the sheer quantity of agencies and companies involved in what looked like organized censorship schemes. I know I wasn’t alone among Twitter Files reporters in being nervous to report that content moderation “requests” were coming from “agencies across the federal government — from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.” It’s what we were seeing, but seemed too nuts to be true. But as time went on, even more topics, government offices, and state-partnered organizations started popping up, leaving little question of what we were looking at. 

Eventually, we found the same plot outlined in Missouri v. Biden: pressure from government in the form of threatened regulation, followed by a stream of recommendations about content from multiple agencies (the investigators in this lawsuit even found meddling by the Census Bureau). This was capped by the construction of quasi-private bureaucracies that in some cases appeared to have been conceived as a way for the government to partner on content moderation without being in direct violation of the First Amendment. 

Most of us covering the Twitter Files tried to avoid delving into the constitutionality/legality question, but couldn’t help wondering in some cases, for instance with Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership and Virality Partnership, which created cross-platform content ticketing systems about the 2020 race and Covid-19. We all thought we were looking at a potentially major problem there, since the principals from places like Stanford weren’t shy about saying they wanted to “fill the gap of the things that the government cannot do themselves” because partners like DHS/CISA lacked “the funding and the legal authorizations” to do the work.

What might happen if judges or juries were presented with that whole picture, including details about the open, ongoing partnerships of these groups with government agencies like CISA and the Surgeon General? We have some idea now.

The dismissal of these complaints as partisan “tinfoil hat” conspiracy by politicians like the ones who interrogated Michael Shellenberger and me in Congress, and by papers like the New York Times and Washington Post, has all along felt like the the same kind of error that led to the mis-call of the 2016 election and the massive loss of audience for traditional media stations in the years that ensued. 

These mainstream news observers are trapped in a bubble of their own making and can’t or won’t see that the average American looks at letters from the White House to shut down social media accounts, or piles of “suggestions” on content from the FBI, and feels instinctively that he or she really doesn’t like that, whatever it is. One can hope at least a few censorship advocates will read the ruling and grasp that in a democracy, you can’t have a situation where only half (or less) of the population thinks something as basic as the speech landscape is fairly arranged. That just won’t hold, making rulings like this foreseeable, if not inevitable. No matter what, this can’t be anything but good news for the First Amendment. 

“Hopefully,” said Kheriaty, “yesterday was the beginning of the end of the censorship Leviathan.”

* * *

* * *


by Norman Solomon

Midway through his cumulatively stunning new book “Soldiers Don’t Go Mad,” author Charles Glass quotes a declaration from The Times of London on August 18, 1917: “The war has brought new opportunities of heroism to us all. Every Briton in the full strength of manhood is a soldier, and the business of fighting is his duty.”

At that point, World War One had been going on for three years, and it was to continue for another 15 months. The war killed nearly 10 million soldiers and wounded many others, while destroying the lives of uncounted civilians. All the talk about “heroism” and “duty” greased the wheels for slaughter.

Such words have an unnerving echo in our era. They sound familiar, just as the massive profiteering from “the Great War” has its counterparts in the endlessly bullish marketplace for Pentagon contracts.

By telling “A Story of Brotherhood, Poetry, and Mental Illness During the First World War” -- the subtitle of his book -- Glass offers an opportunity for us to compare then and now. Despite all the differences in eras, the continuities are deeply significant: starting with the reality that wars are still war and humans are still human. And, whether called shell shock or PTSD, the human consequences are evaded by top officials who order young people to kill.

Two years after war broke out in 1914, the British government set up an innovative mental institution (for “officers only”) in Scotland. Aiming to help officers who’d been traumatized in battle, Craiglockhart War Hospital treated 1,801 of them during a 30-month period. The treatment was advanced and enlightened. Yet, as Glass points out, “many of the ‘cured’ officers from Craiglockhart suffered trauma for the rest of their lives.”

The book focuses largely on Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, two renowned poets of the First World War, who met at Craiglockhart and developed a close bond. Sassoon, a half-dozen years older than Owen, went public with his opposition to the war after experiencing its horrors in battlefields of France -- yet, later on, after some recuperation, he chose to go back into combat. Owen, more reluctantly, also returned to the bloody grind of trench warfare.

Owen wrote poetry during lulls in combat. Shot dead just days before the armistice, he was 26 years old.

A famous poem by Owen ends with a Latin phrase (from the Roman poet Horace) that translates as “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.” The poem concludes this way:

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro patria mori.

Yet both Owen and Sassoon were fierce and daring fighters who led men into battle, even as remorse hovered. A poem that Owen wrote in 1918, titled “Strange Meeting,” not only “revealed a poetic genius,” Glass observes, “but also guilt at killing even as he engaged it.” Owen, in command of a platoon, was determined to prove himself the epitome of courage rather than cowardice -- an excellent commander and killer -- yet his poetry depicted the results as hellish rather than glorious.

Such paradoxes, with fervent warriors who don’t necessarily believe in the war they’re fighting, give us a lot to think about in our own time. The disconnects between conformity and conscience might not be easy to comprehend.

As the war neared its end, Sassoon asked himself a hard question: “How could I begin my life all over again, when I had no conviction about anything except that the War was a dirty trick which has been played on me and my generation?” As Glass wrote, “The perpetual conflict between the warrior and the pacifist raged within him.”

It might seem odd that Owen and Sassoon, capable of writing such powerfully haunting poetry about the barbarism of war, would willingly return to -- and strive to excel at -- warfare that was steadily massacring people on a huge scale. But the solidarity of brotherhood among troops and the pressures of nationalism made few consider opting out of a deranged war. It didn’t help that, as Glass notes, 300 “shell-shocked men” were executed by the British government “for desertion or cowardice.”

The normalized baseline, from the top of the command structure, was basically insane. So, naturally, when Sassoon issued a public protest against the war, the government attributed his protest to insanity.

Technological “advances” had made it possible for governments to turn World War One into a merciless charnel house on a vast scale. Back then, the majority of war’s victims were soldiers. In the 21st century, most of war victims have been civilians.

All the changes aside, some basics are still in place. Ever since the invasions of Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in March 2003, many people in the U.S. military have seen the evils of the warfare marketed under the “war on terror” slogan. But conformity has flourished in the service of the war machine. Government leaders remain masters of deception, while enormous numbers of human beings suffer the consequences.

As a journalist, Charles Glass has covered wars on the ground in the Middle East and elsewhere for several decades. His insights are subtle yet palpable in “Soldiers Don’t Go Mad,” evoking the power of war to haunt, traumatize and destroy long after the last bombs explode. Fittingly, his book’s title comes from a 1917 poem by Siegfried Sassoon -- titled “Repression of War Experience” -- that includes these lines: “And it’s been proved that soldiers don’t go mad / Unless they lose control of ugly thoughts / That drive them out to jabber among the trees.”

* * *

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (photo by Cédric Houmadi)


  1. Marmon July 6, 2023


    The Biden administration is appealing a federal court ruling that said it can no longer collude with Big Tech to censor American citizens.

    Why do Democrats have zero respect for our First Amendment?


      • Marmon July 6, 2023


        The Alantic? Come on Chuck. A 2017 tweet taken out of context.

        “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

        3:59 AM · Oct 5, 2017

        -Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump


        • Marshall Newman July 7, 2023

          Following a false prophet is dumb.

  2. Gary Smith July 6, 2023

    “Narcan save”
    Who wrote that, Sheriff Kendall? Still trying to have us believe the thoroughly debunked idea that fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin. It’s a transparent attempt to make the cops’ jobs appear more dangerous than they are. They should stop it if they want to have any credibility at all.

  3. Sarah Kennedy Owen July 6, 2023

    Interesting photo of Dubai – I imagine it is workers’ quarters, far from the sweeping majesty of the grand towers, islands, and water communities of Dubai. A strange world we’re living in. A little research (WIkipedia, on Dubai) reveals that the airport in Dubai is the busiest in the world, “by international passenger traffic”- mostly private jets I guess. Meanwhile 250,000 workers are held in semi-bondage in what looks to me like rather uncomfortable, bleak surroundings. And the climate keeps climbing up. Strange, strange, strange indeed. It is my theory that “they do it because they can” and therefore feel they must.

  4. Craig Stehr July 6, 2023

    Guru Purnima is the time reserved for honoring spiritual teachers, usually held in early July. Here is an explanation:

    Warmest spiritual greetings,
    Just left the cardiovascular department at Adventist Health-Ukiah, with the Medtronic Pacemaker checked, and also had a telephone exchange with the Adventist Health-St. Helena cardiology group, who advise me that I am all set for the Monday July 10th upgrade to an ICD. The procedure takes place at 5:30 in the morning. Will remain there overnight for a Tuesday morning checkup, and then will be picked up and returned to the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in Ukiah. As always, I am available on the planet earth for all enlightened activity. Feel free to make contact, send money to, move me outta the shelter in order to be enhoused somewhere more suitable for radical environmental direct action, and otherwise assist me in changing the absurd, pointless situation of the past 14 months in sunny Mendocino County USA. Nota Bene: I feel weird thanking anybody for anything in postmodern America. How about I just not formally close this with some appropriate whatever, and we say, you know, f*ck it! Cool? 🆗

    Craig Louis Stehr
    1045 South State Street, Ukiah. CA 95482
    July 6th @ 2:10PM Pacific Time

  5. Marmon July 6, 2023


    “Brit Hume of Fox has really gotten it wrong! First of all, he never thought I would win in 2016, & some things never change. In 2020 I got more votes than any sitting President in history, by far. Biden didn’t get 80 million votes. The Election was Rigged, even if you just want to go by the recent FBI/Twitter Files Hoax, or the DOJ/Facebook Scam, or True the Vote, where tapes of millions of Votes are shown being “Stuffed.” He likes to say I lost, but I didn’t, & my Endorsements almost all won!”

    –Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump


    • Bruce Anderson July 6, 2023

      Rigged? This might be the first thing Brit Hume ever got right.

      • Chuck Dunbar July 6, 2023

        You’re a sore LOSER, Donald. If you were in Brazil–a wiser country than our own in some ways– you’d not be allowed to run for office again for many years. We can only wish.

    • Marshall Newman July 6, 2023

      What a pile of nonsense. Trump is a poor loser and no amount of whining is going to change that fact.

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