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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 8, 2023

Cool | Blackpoint Beach | Eileen Better | Dr. Werra | Breakdown Musical | Ukiah Streetscape | Pelicans | Addiction Problem | Vulture Roof | Train Exhibit | Gowan's Cider | Supe's Agenda | Dust Art | School Sale | Paddle Fundraiser | Concert Series | Geese | Ed Notes | Outlaw Ambush | Wayne McGimsey | Yesterday's Catch | Baby Talk | Roseland Progress | Green Thumb | Without Salmon | Tremors | Cheap Gas | Morganna | Telenovela Queen | Comedians | Marco Radio | Monopoly | Biden Family | Read Label | Drama Queens | Ukraine | History Tragedy | Olive Tree | Russian Novel | Writing Catch | Zelensky Rock | Censorship Complex

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MAINLY DRY WEATHER and seasonable temperatures will occur across much of interior Northwest California through the weekend, while marine stratus impacts much of the coast. Warmer conditions are then expected during mid to late next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): At 5am this Saturday morning I'll go with an overcast 51F. Hard to tell exactly sky conditions in the early morning darkness but it seems less foggy. It is looking like a sunny weekend is at hand & going into next week also. Windy by mid week? We'll see.

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Blackpoint Beach, the Sea Ranch (Randy Burke)

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Regards the AV Historical Society gathering on Sunday - Eileen (Pronsolino) is feeling better and plans to participate in the event. So glad for this wonderful news. She will be speaking at 2p. Come early and tour the museum, enjoy complimentary food and drink and visit with fellow history lovers.  Open 1-4p.

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To the Editor:

First I would like to say to the family I’m sorry for your loss and everyone who knew him.

My reason for writing this letter is that in the summer of 1962 Dr. Werra saved my life and was the reason I was not paralyzed by my injury. I was 16 years old and dove into the East Fork of the Russian River and broke my neck. Dr. Werra came to me in Potter Valley and rode to the hospital with me. He instantly put me in traction and proceeded to get information. He talked to my parents and suggested to transfer me to Saint Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco. Dr. Werra rode all the way to SF in the ambulance. There is no way to forget. Later in life he became my doctor not until he retired. Knowing him was to love him. Any time I saw him he would remember me and talk of the time long ago when he saved me. One more thing: when my mother was dying of cancer Dr. Werra would come to the house in Potter whenever she needed him, rare in the 21st century. I’m sorry I didn’t make it to his memorial but I will never forget him.

Earl Preffer

Potter Valley

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Norton Street will be reopened beginning the evening of Friday, July 7. However, this signal and the signal at Scott/State will remain on “flash” (flashing red light) for most of the duration of the project. Treat it like a stop sign, please! (Maybe you already knew this, in which case, please be extra alert at these intersections for those who don’t…and there are many.) Later in the project—probably next spring—the signal at Norton will be removed and the signal at Scott will be replaced with a fancy new, traffic-detecting signal like the ones at Standley and Perkins.

Replacement of the sewer lines continues next week, likely nearing Henry Street by the end of the week. After the main line is installed, work will begin on the “laterals” that go from the main line to each of the buildings. No interruption of sewer service is anticipated. Sewer work will continue into the end of July. (Currently, replacement of the sewer lines on the 100 block of Scott Street is scheduled for end of July.) 

Where will the work occur? 

Sewer work (trenching, etc.) will occur on North State Street, progressing southerly towards Henry Street.

What are the construction days/hours? 

Construction hours will be Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Will there be dust and noise? 

Yes. There will be some dust and fairly significant noise while trenching and breaking up concrete.

Will there be any disruptions to parking access or streets? 

Yes. On-street parking in the construction zone will be closed. Access to businesses will be maintained at all times. If there will be any disruption to driveways, advance notice will be provided by the contractors. Through traffic on State Street will be allowed in both directions. 

More information can be found online on the City’s website at; plus, follow our Facebook page for updates and project photos at

Have a great weekend!

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager

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Brown Pelicans, Westport Landing (Jeff Goll)

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I am often asked what are the biggest problems law enforcement sees in Mendocino County. Mendocino County continues to have massive struggles with addictions. 

Sadly we have arrived at a moment where drugs and alcohol are easy to find and rehab is difficult to get into. This is causing us to travel on a trajectory that is simply not sustainable.

I can easily say the most dangerous calls for a deputy or any first responder as well as the public usually involve people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

I took a brief sampling of bookings over roughly a one week time period. Based on the crimes that people were booked on and some knowledge of many of these folks, it appears addictions are the root cause of roughly 60% of the bookings into the Mendocino county jail. Almost every one of the people I have spoken to, who spent time in our jail, both while in and out of custody have told me their addictions are what put them there.

Decriminalization of drugs has not helped this. We have a “Needle exchange program” in Mendocino County. Earlier last year we removed over 5,000 used needles from a homeless encampment in the Ukiah area. This begs the question, are needles being exchanged or simply handed out. Are we helping people to get beyond their problems and into treatment? Or are we subsidizing them to remain in their current condition. A condition most people would consider horrific.

My deputies continue to investigate narcotics dealers however this is also on the rise. Users become dealers to support their habits. The best way to put drug dealers out of business is to stop buying their product. 

We also have to start in our homes and schools. We have to build a more resilient youth. I am amazed at technology that we are currently seeing. Social Media is a wonderful tool however it can also be used for evil. Our children are using technology that many folks my age simply can’t fathom. Please be aware of what your children are exposed to. There is more evil contained in one smart phone than most of us were exposed to in the entirety of our youth. This is an uphill battle however we can all work together to make our communities stronger and safer. 

Thank you

Sheriff Matt Kendall

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Vulture on the roof (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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Little River Museum is opening a new Antique Train Exhibit Saturday and Sunday this weekend. 8185 Highway One in Little River, little white house at the top of the "S" curve at Van Damme Park. Great Little River pioneer cemetery exhibit with maps and family genealogy to go with it, and a library of books written by local pioneers about their lives here on the coast. Open 11 -4 Saturday and Sunday all weekends this summer. Lots of parking across the street. Visit our web site and see some interesting history on our Facebook page:

Ronnie James <>

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GOWAN’S GRAVENSTEIN APPLEWINE CIDER wins big at world’s largest cider competition

Philo’s Gowan’s Cider has racked up a fourth major title for its popular Gravenstein Applewine Cider this year: best-in-class cider at the prestigious Greater Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. The competition, which is the largest cider competition in the world, takes place over three days during which judges review hundreds of ciders from around the globe. Gowan’s Gravenstein competed against 78 “modern” sweet ciders and was named third in its class, an important distinction. This is the cider’s fourth big win this year. Earlier this year, it won a Good Foods Award, a gold in the North Coast Wine Challenge and a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

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by Mark Scaramella

IT’S TIME AGAIN for the annual $22 million-plus lump sum, no bid, sole-source, no-questions-asked hand-out to Camille Schrader’s Redwood Quality Management Monopoly and its various subsidiaries. The “agreement” is retroactive again as well. The Supes used to be bothered by retroactive contracts that they were expected to rubberstamp. No more. They obviously don’t care anymore. This means that even if the Supes wanted to discuss this giant handout, or ask whether it does any good, or consider breaking it up into smaller, competitively biddable pieces, or question the enormous dollar amount (highly unlikely) … Too late, never mind, staff already handed it over.

Supes Agenda Item 4b: Discussion and Possible Action Including Retroactive [sic] Approval of Agreements with 1. Redwood Quality Management Company DBA Anchor Health Management, Inc. ($3,600,000), 2. Redwood Quality Management Company DBA Anchor Health Management, Inc. Medication Support Services ($2,000,000), 3. Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center ($596,000), 4. Mendocino County Youth Project ($930,000), 5. Redwood Community Services ($11,179,365), and 6. Tapestry Family Services Inc. ($3,775,662) to Provide Specialty Mental Health Services to Eligible Medi-Cal Beneficiaries of Mendocino County for a Total Combined Amount of $22,081,027, Effective July 1, 2023 tThrough June 30, 2024 

AND A NICE $300k CHERRY For Camille (also no bid, and on consent even though it's a whopping $300k). 

Consent Agenda Item 3ai: Approval of Agreement with Redwood Community Services, Inc., in the Amount of $300,000 to Provide Emergency Support Services for High Needs Children Detained by the Department of Social Services, Family and Children’s Services, Effective July 12, 2023 to June 30, 2024

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Mendo To Farm Out Child Support Attorney services for $132k. (The County Counsel’s office used to do this with in-house attorneys. Who knows why they’ve not doing it anymore? Maybe somebody in the County Counsel’s office quit. Or maybe they just don’t want to do it anymore.)

Consent Agenda Item 3t: “3t) Approval of Agreement with Kirk Gorman, Attorney at Law, in the Amount of $132,000, to Provide Part-Time Child Support Attorney Services to Child Support Services, Effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.”

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Mendo To Spend $50k for Labor Negotiations Lawyer. 

(This is supposedly a great thing because it’s less than they spent in the past and it’s only for “advice.”)

Consent Calendar Item 3w: Approval of Agreement with Renne Public Law Group, LLP in the Amount of $50,000 for an Agreement Term Effective upon Execution of Agreement, through June 30, 2024 to Provide Ongoing Employer-Employee Relations Services with the County’s Eight Bargaining Units, Various Legal Court Representation and Contract Negotiations

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Mendo To Fire An Unidentified Senior Official.

(The public probably won’t know who they’re firing unless the firee or someone the firee knows tells us.

Closed Session Agenda Item 6c: “Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957- Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release.”

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Willits dust art (Jeff Goll)

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Dear Editor,

I went on a tour of the Redwood Valley Middle School campus Thursday, July 6. There were a few other people on the tour being led by a handful of Ukiah Unified School District employees. 

They school was surprisingly in good shape. There is frequent vandalism so all the windows are boarded up and some of the doors. There’s broken glass and such inside some of the buildings but not much that a good sweeping, a shop vac, other clean up, and some fresh paint couldn’t handle. I saw a tiny bit of water damage on the ceiling in one of the classrooms but it looked like it had happened before they remodeled the school and that the roof wasn’t currently leaking. A few fascia and sofit boards on one of the wings but nothing major. Even the gymnasium/cafeteria is in good shape. It doesn’t look like it needs to be torn down, just cleaned up to repurpose. If it isn’t torn down, there’s no need to abate the lead and asbestos. 

The school officials did admit that UUSD should have made a better effort to secure and maintain the site to protect it from vandalism and degradation. The community has been clamoring for as much since the closure of the school many years ago. They let a public asset degrade to the point that now they are letting it go at fire sale prices.

I emailed a local charter school afterwards asking if they had any interest as I had heard rumors that they were. They responded promptly saying they did look at the school a few months ago and estimated $2 million in repairs to get it attendance ready which a far cry from the $10 million estimate years ago. Being a charter school, they would need UUSD approval to put a Prop 39 bond measure on the ballot which they would likely be turned down as they have been in the past. If UUSD had maintained it better, it may have been a different situation. They also have debt on their current location. So, the answer was thanks for thinking of us but, no. 

It's a shame because it’s in fair shape considering. Looking under the stage in the auditorium, the framing is very sound, stout construction and of high-quality wood. The opening bid is shy of $1 million. Figuring a $2 million cleanup and remodel, $3 million for 12 acres and a whole campus of buildings seems like a steal for whoever buys it. 

I understand interest rates are high, which depresses real estate prices and makes bank funding more difficult, shrinking the pool of buyers but I think it would be short-sighted for the school to sell it for such a low price. They have already sat on it for this long, I would suggest waiting a year or two until interest rates come back down and the real estate market gets better. They likely could sell it for $2-$3 million in a better market. I don’t know about UUSD’s financial situation so I don’t know how desperate they are for the $1 million. But if they waited to get more money, it would be much better financially. There’s virtually nothing that would double or triple the return on investment of $1 million in a year or two. 

So here we are with another publicly elected board, mismanaging the public’s assets then making decisions based on a crisis mentality. This will not change until we elect better leaders. 

Adam Gaska

Candidate for 1st District Supervisor

Redwood Valley

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JULY VIRTUOSO CONCERT SERIES to Enrich Musical Experience of Music Lovers in Mendocino

A new and international music series is making its debut appearance in Ukiah. The Mendocino International Summer Music Academy (MISMA), a newly established music program at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) is thrilled to unveil the Virtuoso Concert Series, featuring a highly anticipated Artist Faculty Concert, two piano solo concerts, and one saxophone solo concert. The series will showcase a stellar lineup of performances by the exceptional MISMA artist faculty featuring pianists Yaoyue Huang and Scott Lowell Sherman, saxophonist Dr. Wenbo Yin, and guitarist Alex de Grassi. All four concerts will take place at the Sudhana Center Recital Hall located at 225 South Hope St, Ukiah, CA. 

Concert #1- Piano Solo Concert, Scott Lowell Sherman, Tuesday, July 11, at 7pm

The Virtuoso Concert Series opens on Tuesday, July 11 at 7pm with a piano solo concert by pianist and composer Scott Lowell Sherman. Sherman’s program comprises a set of his original compositions, works of Johannes Brahms, Frank Schubert, and the esteemed contemporary composer György Kurtág. Sherman’s works have premiered at the Competition d’Orleans and Porto Pianofest Portugal, where he was a guest artist. He has been invited to lecture at universities in the U.S. and Asia and has won awards at international piano competitions. Sherman will also give a public piano lecture on “Great Piano Works from the Baroque to the Impressionists” on Thursday, July 13 at 7pm. 

Concert #2 - Saxophone Solo Concert, Wenbo Yin, Saturday, July 15, at 3:30pm

The Saxophone Solo Concert by saxophonist and conductor Wenbo Yin will take place on Saturday, July 15, at 3:30pm. Praised for his mastery of a diverse range of genres, Yin’s program ranges from violin transcription pieces for saxophone and piano such as Paganini’s Moto Perpetuo, performed using circular breathing, to jazz duets with guitar faculty Alex de Grassi. Yin recently appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall and has played in numerous concerts with prominent jazz artists. He has hosted master classes and lectures at universities and conferences in Asia and the United States. Yin obtained his DMA in Saxophone Performance, Jazz, and Wind Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 

Concert #3 - Piano Solo Concert, Yaoyue Huang, Sunday, July 16, at 7pm

The series continues with a solo piano concert on Sunday, July 16 at 7pm by Yaoyue Huang, a powerful pianist with high artistry and technical brilliance. Huang’s program showcases works by French composers Olivier Messiaen and André Jolivet, J.S. Bach, and the Austrian contemporary classical composer Olga Neuwirth. Yaoyue Huang is a Laureate of the International Piano Competition d’Orléans, having received Le Prix Alberto Ginastera & Le Prix André Jolivet. She has performed internationally and regularly premiers and commissions new works. Huang’s public piano lecture on “Great Piano Works from the 20th Century to the Present” will be on Tuesday, July 18 at 7pm. 

Concert #4 - Artist Faculty Concert, July 20, Saturday, at 7pm

The highly anticipated Artist Faculty Concert is set to captivate audiences on Thursday, July 20 at 7pm. This exceptional event will feature the collective talent and mastery of the academy’s four-artist faculty. Audiences can look forward to a set of solo and duet performances by Alex de Grassi. In addition, Wenbo Yin will be joined by the respected composer Spencer Brewer, presenting some of Brewer’s saxophone and piano compositions. Prepare to be enthralled by this extraordinary display of musical artistry.

Tickets are donation based. To register, or for more information about the Virtuoso Concert Series and the Mendocino International Summer Music Academy, please visit, email, or call 707-376-8731. 

About Mendocino International Summer Music Academy (MISMA): The Mendocino International Summer Music Academy offers a unique and finely crafted curriculum that brings together professional music programs and wellness practices. The program ensures close mentorship and individualized instruction, allowing musical artists to work closely with a dedicated team of renowned, award-winning musicians and faculty. With a commitment to holistic music education, the academy aims to inspire positive music learning in a supportive and wholesome community, advance performance skills, technique, and overall musicianship, and equip students with tools for concentration and wellbeing. 

The academy’s commitment to holistic wellbeing is reflected in the daily wellness activities led by certified instructors, a healthy lifestyle, and vegetarian meals. By fostering a supportive and wholesome community, the academy cultivates musicians' inner strength, focus, and overall wellness, offering a transformative experience for all participants and providing them with powerful tools for the next steps of their music careers.

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Geese, Navarro Beach (Jeff Goll)

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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. The Department of Defense announced Friday that it's sending cluster bombs to Ukraine. Cluster bombs explode and disperse a series of smaller bombs over a wide area, often killing civilians. More than 100 nations have signed a 15-year-old treaty banning their use, but Ukraine and Russia have both deployed them — and Ukraine's supplies of all types of ammunition are dwindling. The use of the weapons was once labelled a potential “war crime” by former White House press secretary Jen Psaki. These terrible munitions are one more indication that the Russians are so well dug in, thus stalling the Ukranian counterattacks, that this mostly banned weapon must be used to dislodge them.

WITH STUDENT DEBT much in the news, I remember getting a $1500 loan as a 1961 Cal Poly student under the auspices of the National Defense Education Act of 1958, which established federal student funding for low-rent students like me. As a baseball player, I also got a campus job of the undemanding type, a free room and free meal ticket. The federal money seemed like a bonus.

$500 was doled out per academic quarter. It went mostly for books which, then and now, were a faculty racket whereby the professors required their students to buy an unreadable textbook they'd written, or assembled from other academic writing, at exorbitant prices. 

MOST of us alleged student athletes were sequestered in WW Two barracks down by the baseball field apart from the main stem student body. Sequestered with us were foreign students, whose placement with us undoubtedly soured international relations when the young furriners returned to their home countries to report on the jock hijinks obtained at their expense.

SO, I got my National Defense check cashed downtown and proceeded to make the huge error of flashing five hundred-dollar bills to some of my dorm mates who suggested we buy some beer with my money and then enjoy some Friday night merriment at area bars. A couple of the guys were football players, one of whom, Fred Wittingham, went on into the NFL as a linebacker, and not a guy you wanted to get in a fight with. 

FAST FORWARD to about one in the morning in, of all places, Pismo Beach, where we got into a bar fight with some Pismo locals, all of them pals of the Pismo cops who arrested four of us on an array of assault and battery charges. A weekend in jail, plus fines, cost me my entire quarter's National Defense stipend. Funny thing about it was that the Pismo drunks started the fight, and there were more of them than us. We had Wittingham who was way too much for all of them. But they had the cops and the judge. 

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"Mendocino Outlaw Ambush" from the May 15, 1889 edition of the San Francisco Call newspaper

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by Bruce Anderson (March, 1998)

Wayne McGimsey takes a quick but wistful look out the large picture window of his Boonville house, strategically located between Anderson Valley Market and Lauren’s Restaurant, before he begins to talk about times past. If he were of a mind to, this Valley old timer could climb up on his roof and see the site of the old homestead south of town where he grew up. It’s not more than two miles away, just about where the California Department of Forestry’s station sits now.

The front room where we sit is warm and comfortable and looks out onto the busy comings and goings from the market next door and Rossi’s Hardware and the Boonville Post Office across highway 128. Strewn about the room are Indian grinding stones and pictures of deer and eagles, the kind of artifacts an outdoorsman places indoors, reverentially, like a Catholic displays crosses. Wayne McGimsey is widely considered an authority on the flora and fauna of Anderson Valley, a status he modestly redefines as “this end,” meaning from Boonville out to Yorkville territory. To be sure his knowledge of his home country is wide and closely observed. 

“Mind if I smoke?” he asks, and I wonder if some previous visitor had dared deny this most gracious host a small pleasure in his own house. Rolling one the old fashioned way with a pair of hands the size of catcher’s mitts, hands that have functioned as all-purpose tools in more kinds of manual labor than many of us can remember, we settle in for a talk.

Wayne McGimsey is one of only a few Valley residents who was not only born here but whose roots extend to the first handful of immigrants to settle Anderson Valley in the middle of the 19th century. McGimsey were preceded only by Walter Anderson in 1851, J.D. Ball and family in 1852, John Gschwend and William Prather in 1855 and, in 1858, Rawles, McSpadden and one J. McGimsey. 

Walter Anderson, so far as anybody knows, was the first white settler. Predictably, he applied that now exhausted but still apposite phrase, “the Garden of Eden” to his discovery of a fertile and unexploited valley all his for the taking. Once past his Edenic first impressions, Anderson quickly named his discovery after himself, and it’s been Anderson Valley ever since.

“I was born December 3rd, 1918, right down the road,” Wayne begins. “I was delivered by a midwife, Mrs. Tarwater. “She delivered most of the babies in those days. Before her, Grandma Stubblefield was the midwife. Mrs. Stubblefield lived at the other end of The Valley near the old Reiser place. There was never a steady doctor here until quite a bit later.”

Safely delivered into life not much more than a mile from where we’re sitting in mid-Boonville, Wayne recalls the specific place of his birth. 

“Where the CDF station is now, and right about where we lived, Henry Beeson had his saddle shop. Made saddles right there. He was the last survivor of the Bear Flag Revolt. (A small band of Americans, fired up by Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, but unfired upon themselves, raised a hand-sewn flag featuring a grizzly bear over the Sonoma plaza on June 14th, 1846 as one of the events of America’s expansion into California, then part of Mexico.) I can remember as a kid playing in his saddle shop. He made them the old fashioned way, right there on the trail from Cloverdale. The old Beeson place was our place. My father was a sheep rancher and we grew hay and vegetables. My father hauled freight from Cloverdale with horse teams, and he hauled bark and hay. He did anything in those days that he could do to make a dollar. Those were the times that a dollar would buy you something, but they were awful hard to get.”

As a boy, Wayne either walked to the school where the Veteran’s Building is now or rode his horse from family ranch into town to master the three-R’s. He also attended school out in Ornbaun Valley, now the Mailliard Ranch. One of his teachers was the legendary local botanist, Blanche Brown.

“I went to work full time when I was fourteen. I was running a ranch — the old Hobson Ranch — with two thousand head of sheep on it. It’s all cut up now into little pieces. I rode a horse every day to keep an eye on the sheep. We used poison to control coyotes and bear. Old Newt Ornbaun, told me about the time he was running hogs out in Ornbaun Valley and he saw a bear come in there, grab a hog, knock it down, hold it with his paw and eat a ham off it and turn it loose, Whether that’s the truth or not I don’t know, but they claimed it happened. In the early days, I remember the last two drives they made on hogs out of this country. They had dogs that would gather them hogs up and keep them in a bunch. If they didn’t stay in that bunch, they lost an ear or they lost part of their nose, or they lost something else that hurt more. But the dogs would drive the hogs fifty to a hundred in a pack, right to Cloverdale where they were loaded onto train cars. I remember when they used to drive cattle from the Piper Ranch out here on Greenwood Ridge to Cloverdale. My dad used to always be in on that drive.”

It’s difficult to imagine a time when cattle and hogs were driven down highway 128 to waiting stock cars at the Cloverdale train depot. What’s striking about listening to Wayne McGimsey reminisce about a way of life seemingly more of the 19th century, is that the cattle and hog drives he remembers took place through the 1930s, only 70 years ago.

Growing up, Wayne did a little bit of everything. He left school at 14 to run a sheep ranch. He also harvested some tan bark.

“In my life, maybe I’ve peeled two wagonloads of tan bark,” Wayne concedes. “I kind of liked it. “ 

But he liked logging a lot better, and this is a man who, modest as he is, has clearly forgotten more about logging than probably all of Mendocino County’s registered professional foresters put together. “Encyclopedic,” is the adjective that applies. Wayne started logging when there were still big trees that were taken down the old-fashioned way — by hand saw, a man on either end. (The first motorized chainsaws — two-man devices — didn’t appear until after World War Two.)

“After the sheep ranch I went into lumber. Pretty much stuck with that. Except for six years with the Forest Service. I was a foreman with them for six years. Worked in Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt. But any job that anyone else could do in the woods, I’d try. I owned the first chain saw that came into Anderson Valley.”

Wayne groans at the memory. “Oh my god, they was man killers! Big and heavy.”

Logging, then and now was a peripatetic business. Wayne remembers his own days on the road. “I worked at Rockport. I worked as far north as Big Lagoon. It didn’t take them long to wipe it out. Now they are wiping out what they wiped out,” Wayne, his voice sad and fading a little. 

“I can remember,” Wayne continues with a gesture towards the big livingroom window, “that old ridge over there, where’s she’s nothing but cut into. The first time around the old timers cut it like a park; that’s the way it would all look now if they had kept cutting it the way the old timers cut it. I still have my old tools I used to do that with. One of the axes on a board over there at the Fair (the Mendocino County Fairgrounds directly across from the McGimsey home) has a bow in the handle. I came in one day and my boy was knocking that handle out to put a new handle he got for it. It took me two weeks to put that bow in it because on the big trees, when we was chopping the undercut out, the reason for the bow was you could reach way out and hit way out in them trees without hitting your knuckles on the top of the undercut. That bow was put in that axe for a purpose. Them undercuts, you would swear they had been sawed. They were that even.”

With a half-woeful shake of his head, Wayne moves from his memories of the big trees to lost timber business opportunities.

“Along the Garcia around 1948, I could have bought that timber for two bits a thousand — nothing scaled under a thirty-inch tree. As long as I lived you could always make a living in timber, even in the depression.”

And the wildlife and fish?

“You know it’s funny. I only saw two mountain lions up until the forties. I’ll bet since the forties I’ve seen fifty of them. There’s one right in this country. Lives pretty close to you. I haven’t seen him this year because I haven’t been out. But last summer, cutting wood I’ve had him come and lay on a log, like from here to the store over there, and sun himself. When I’d see where he was, I’d take a handful of hamburger and lay it down there. He got to where he wouldn’t pay any attention to me at all. I have a kitten coming right here in the back yard. A little fellow. Somebody killed him outside of town. Why I don’t know, but he never hurt anybody.”

As a person who has always worked outdoors, and of necessity has had to pay close attention to natural phenomena in all its variousness, Wayne says the fishing went bad “when we had late rains and not enough rain. As a kid, we’d go up the Rancheria creek there and I’ve seen as many as fifty and sixty steelhead and salmon on one ribbon. Back then, water ran year round in the Rancheria, now it dries up, just like this little creek over here, the Robinson Creek. It dries up now. It used to have fish in it. I personally don’t think that logging had anything to do with killing the fish. It could come back but not until we get those big rains again. We used to call them brush movers. The biggest one I ever saw was in 1937. That took out every bridge from the head of Rancheria Creek to the mouth of the Navarro River. That field out at Pronsolino’s, that big field out there was completely covered with water that year. The Yorkville Post Office was nearby then but it floated away. The water went down so fast, it stranded all the trout and other fish that was out in the water in the fields. Us kids would go and swim across and get a bucket of trout for supper. That all happened in a matter of twelve hours.”

His eye lighting on what appears to me to be a tan brick, Wayne asks me if I know that highway 128 from the outskirts of Boonville down to the CDF station sits on adobe so naturally perfect it used to be mined for bricks. “I’ve got old handmade bricks here with the names of the people who made them on ‘em. A lot of people are collecting them now. You take each place, you could tell where it come from by the way it was made. Same thing with the old timber jack that they used to turn logs with, the old hand timber jacks. You could tell what mill they came from by the way they were made. They were all hand made.’

Just after World War Two, Boonville became a mini-boom town. There were more than twenty mills in The Valley, and a sleepy hamlet so somnolent that cattle could be driven down the main street without complaint, mill workers and loggers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana poured into Mendocino County and into Anderson Valley to make their fortunes in redwood and fir.

“Boonville got pretty lively after the war. Let’s see. I know there were four bars. Can’t figure out who the fifth one was. We had the ‘Septic Tank’ up here, and this one over there was the ‘Cesspool.’

That’s what we called them at the time. It wasn’t too bad. Usually wound up with two or three fisters. Had a good Joe Mack. Fist fight. He used to fight at the drop of a hat. That was my dad. Settled right there and that was the end of it.”

Wayne doesn’t know if the James Brothers “came out here or were ever here, but the Earps were both here,” a piece of Valley history I’d never heard mention of before. “The reason I can say this clearly,” Wayne says, honing in on a name synonymous with the American frontier, “is because I can prove it. I’ve got Virgil Earp’s icebox. They stayed in a place out at Yorkville and left a trunk there. And all that information is in that trunk, but I didn’t have sense enough to pick up the trunk. There were four Earp brothers. The two that were here were Virgil and Wyatt, and they lived out in this valley for a long time. But you were talking about the James boys; where you get the connection there is that the Earps and the James’ knew each other, and I can prove this too because I have the pictures of it. The Earp brothers were very well behaved. Everybody liked them. Caused no trouble. They were just ranchers.”


“There are artifacts anywhere you want to look. One big burial ground is out on Guido Pronsolino’s place. I understand that many local Indians died from diphtheria. There were large Indian settlements in Yorkville, a big one in the Ornbaun Valley, there’s one right here where the Fairgrounds is, a big one at Philo where the Christmas tree farm is now, and a big one up at the headwaters of the Rancheria.”

Much of the old logging equipment on display at the Boonville Fairgrounds once belonged to Wayne McGimsey. His memories are vivid of days when work was mostly muscle, sweat and a few ingenious tools — a couple of them mill innovations invented by Mr. McGimsey himself. 

Wayne still laments the loss of many irreplaceable relics lost in a fast-moving Yorkville fire many years ago that destroyed his stored up treasures. Wayne pauses often when he speaks of these losses, and you can tell he’s seeing everything just the way it was. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, July 7, 2023

Arens, Carrigg, Cornejo, Costa

CARMEN ARENS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

SETH COSTA, Ukiah. Probation revocation. 

Lawson, Mendez, Oneil, Perez

ZACKARY LAWSON, Ukiah. Vehicle theft by extortion, county parole violation.

CODY MENDEZ, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.

ALBERT ONEIL, Point Arena. Failure to appear.

DEMETRIO PEREZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-drugs&alcohol.

Potter, Shearer, Smith

LISA POTTER, Ukiah. Receiving or concealing stolen property.

DAVID SHEARER, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

ALWOOD SMITH, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, battery with serious injury.

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It is good-at last-to see that some potential progress is on its way for Roseland. I am referring to a recent article Press Democrat article, “Roseland projects get lifeline.” Two housing projects, the Tierra de Rosas and Casa Roseland apartments, will one day provide affordable and mixed-use housing for this long-ignored, vet deserving area of the City. Thanks to inclusion, to the tune of $2.25 million, in the state’s budget, Roseland will receive “parks, fire and transit” services that it has long needed. That is, unless some in the City Council, don’t hijack the fund before they can be properly allotted, spent for the construction.

No mention was made by the reporters of the public’s input on the Roseland Committee which yours truly, as well as many Roseland residents, regularly participated in. Although it hasn’t happened so much this year, Roseland residents are often sufferers from the lack of a public swimming pool during Sonoma County’s usual long, hot summers. Also deserving of credit for this apparent financial “lifeline” are former County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, present County Supervisor Chris Coursey and City Councilman Eddie Alvarez.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

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CALIFORNIA'S SALMON FISHERS Are Facing a Summer Without Salmon. Will They Get Federal Help?

by Kori Suzuki

On another day, Matt Juanes would have set out on the water long before sunrise.

But this still June morning, Juanes was taking his time. As dawn flickered across the sky, the San Francisco-based commercial fisher and his deckhand carefully checked their ropes and bait jars and the dozens of fishing pots piled at the back of Juanes’ boat. Juanes was hoping to get ahead of any issues they might encounter out at sea. Still, he was almost certain something would go wrong.

Juanes, an experienced salmon and crab fisher who has worked out of Fisherman’s Wharf for over five years, is no stranger to the trade. Today, though, he would be chasing an unfamiliar catch for the first time: coonstripe shrimp.

“This is all new to me,” Juanes, 46, said. “This is going to be a learning experience.”

Juanes is one of hundreds of commercial fishers who dock along the Golden State coast and who would normally be out hunting mighty chinook or “king” salmon — the mainstay of California’s commercial salmon fishing industry. The first months of summer are typically a premier time for both salmon and salmon fishers.

But this summer, California’s salmon fishing season is completely shut down for the first time in over a decade. Last year, only 62,000 adult fall chinook salmon returned to the rivers of the Sacramento Valley to spawn — the third-worst year on record, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. In April, the Pacific Fishery Management Council issued its response: Salmon fishing all along the California coast would be shut down (PDF) this year.

The decision, which fishery managers hope will give salmon time to recover, has left California’s commercial fishers scrambling to find alternate sources of income.

“There’s a lot of fear and panic all up and down the coast,” said John McManus, senior policy director of the Golden State Salmon Association, at a press conference in April. “People are wondering how they’re gonna pay the bills this year.”

The Biden administration is considering whether to declare a federal resource disaster, which would allow Congress to provide financial assistance to people affected by the closure. A disaster declaration came swiftly during the last salmon fishing closures in 2008 and 2009, and political leaders, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have called on the federal government to act quickly again.

But as summer arrives, fishers are still waiting for news.

Back at Fisherman’s Wharf on that early June morning, Juanes and his deckhand, Angelo Rovetta, were making the final preparations to Juanes’ boat, the FV Plumeria, to set out.

Salmon account for close to two-thirds of his income every year, Juanes says, meaning a federal relief check would make a big difference. Shrimping could bring in some cash, he said, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to make up the loss.

“Nothing’s going to replace salmon,” he said. “It’s going to be a real tough struggle this year.”

He and Rovetta undid the moorings, and headed for the open ocean.

The salmon, the fishers and the crash

Biologists have estimated that before the Gold Rush, more than 1 million fall chinook would come back to the Central Valley to spawn — a stark contrast to the 62,000 that arrived last fall.

The decline is largely the result of nearly two centuries of environmental degradation the Central Valley’s rivers and tributaries have suffered since the Gold Rush, first through the effects of intensive gold mining, then thanks to generations of dam and levee building and massive water diversions to serve the state’s farms and cities. Introduction of non-native predators and fishing pressure have also played a part.

The dams cut off most chinook from their cold-water spawning grounds in the upper reaches of Central Valley tributaries and streams. To try to mitigate the damage, state and federal authorities built hatcheries up and down the valley. But now, the effects of climate change — limiting the supply of cold water during drought years and playing havoc with salmon’s food supply in the Pacific Ocean — appear to be accelerating the fish’s decline. The fall chinook population has plunged to record lows twice over the last two decades.

Although salmon numbers tend to rise and fall every few years, researchers say the fall chinook have become increasingly volatile.

“We are not in a great phase,” said Rachael Ryan, a doctoral candidate studying salmon life histories at UC Berkeley. “It’s just going to get worse — the unpredictability.”

Fishery disaster declarations, explained

When disaster hits one of the country’s regional fishing areas, or fisheries, the federal government can use a disaster declaration to send aid checks directly to the fishing communities affected.

Last year, the Commerce Department did just that after several crab and salmon fisheries failed in Alaska and Washington state. The decision led to $220 million in aid for the fishers, businesses and communities those disasters affected.

The federal government also declared a disaster when critically low numbers of chinook salmon led fishery managers to shut down fishing off the California coast in 2008 and 2009.

How a declaration works

The first step in the disaster declaration process is a request for aid, often from a state governor. Then, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) looks at the situation and reviews that request.

Next, the secretary of commerce makes the final decision on whether to declare a disaster. The declaration moves to Congress, which decides how many federal dollars to set aside for relief aid. Finally, NOAA distributes the funds to fishers.

How quickly did it happen last time?

When California’s last salmon closure happened, the disaster process moved fast. In March 2008, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington signed a letter asking for a federal disaster declaration. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez issued the declaration May 1. In July, Congress approved $170 million in relief. By September, payments had started making their way to salmon fishers along the West Coast.

Where are we right now?

The process is moving more slowly this year. Newsom formally requested a disaster declaration on April 6, but it’s still unclear when or whether the Commerce Department will act. A NOAA spokesperson told KQED that the agency is still reviewing the situation.

“We are evaluating the current requests as promptly as we can,” NOAA Public Affairs Officer Michael Milstein wrote in an email. “But at this point we cannot predict a specific timeline” for referring the requests to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Northern California’s Yurok Tribe and the governor of Oregon also have requested similar declarations for their salmon fisheries.

If Raimondo does declare a fishery disaster in California, some experts say Congress is likely to respond promptly. Lawmakers have already set aside $300 million for fishery disaster aid as part of the 2023 fiscal year appropriations bill.

“This is exactly the kind of problem that Congress especially loves to respond to,” said UC Santa Barbara Professor Sarah Anderson, who studies how governments react to environmental disasters. “It’s likely to lead to some relief for those who are affected by the closure.”

“We are pretty good at thinking quickly in an emergency,” San Francisco-based commercial fisher Sarah Bates told reporters during a press conference in April. “Things happen at sea. But this one is bigger than that — we need help.”

A long year ahead

Whether aid comes or not, this year will be a long one for many salmon fishers. Some, like Juanes, are making sharp pivots to new kinds of catch that they have little experience with. Others are turning to land jobs.

All are once again confronting the murky future of California’s chinook salmon and the state’s commercial fishing sector — an industry that has shrunk from thousands of boats in the 1980s to fewer than 500 today.

Juanes suspects fishery managers will want to give salmon more time to recover and cancel next year’s fishing season, too.

As they turned out along the coastline toward his planned shrimping grounds, Juanes leaned on the helm and recalled his decision to start fishing full time.

Juanes himself was not a commercial fisher during the chaos of the last salmon closures in 2008 and 2009. He was at work repairing high-end ovens and stoves across Northern California. It was a stressful job, full of hours of traffic and frustrated clients.

“I drove all over the place and kind of burnt myself out,” he said. “I just never felt really happy.”

In his spare time, Juanes would drive to the coast from his home in Santa Clara, take a small boat with an outboard motor out on the water and go fishing for halibut and rockfish. He didn’t completely know what he was doing, but he knew that it felt a lot better than his appliance work. In 2017, Juanes made the decision to leave his job to start fishing commercially.

Looking back, Juanes wishes he had taken more time to learn about the industry before taking that leap. He wasn’t prepared for how demanding the work was and didn’t know that the industry was facing turbulent conditions. That year, the number of chinook salmon returning to the rivers had plunged again.

But Juanes says he has no regrets. Immediately, he remembers, he felt some of the stress lift from his shoulders.

“I don’t say it was the smartest thing to do,” he said. “But it was something that I did.”

Out on the water, Juanes slowed the Plumeria to a crawl. The ocean was calm and still. In the distance, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge rose against a gray sky.

Juanes and Rovetta hauled their shrimp gear up against the railing and readied a long length of rope and a set of buoys. Rovetta rearranged a stack of shrimp pots so they were ready to drop into the water.

“Kind of scary, setting all this up and then knowing you’re just throwing it out in the ocean,” Juanes said.

He laughed. “Hopefully it comes back to me,” he said.

* * *

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So, I recently returned home from one of those epic American road trips of yore, clocking in over 3,100 driving miles from start to finish. Amazingly, after tallying up my gas receipts, the total came in at only $375.74. Gas prices averaged anywhere from $3.12 to $3.60/gallon, between the Midwest and the Colorado Rockies. I would consider this a bargain, as opposed to flying, having the freedom to move about the country and stop/go where I wanted as I pleased.

Glad I was able to get this trip in. There is no telling when they will pull the plug and such adventures will no longer be feasible.

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MORGANNA ROBERTS (born July 4, 1947) is an entertainer who became known as Morganna or Morganna, the Kissing Bandit in baseball and other sports from 1969 through 1999. She was also billed as "Morganna the Wild One" when appearing as a dancer in the 1980s.

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by Jonah Raskin

If you’re eager to improve your Spanish, or learn the language for the first time—with obscenities and colloquialism—you might listen carefully to the dialogue in La Reina del Sur, (The Queen of the South), a telenovela on Netflix inspired by the epic novel of the same name by Spanish author, Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The novel and the telenovela resemble one another. Many of the same characters appear in both, but in the telenovela their personalities deepen and expand. After a while, they hardly resemble the fictional characters that inspired them.

Eight authors wrote the telenovela, which had a $10 million budget. Eight individuals are listed as the executive producers; six men and one woman directed. Clearly, the telenovela was a collaborative effort. The novel had one creator: Pérez-Reverte, though he has said that he was inspired by the corridos that honor outlaws and criminals. He also must have based his story on real people and events and has to hide their identities.

La Reina del Sur might be the only (sexy, violent) mass market anti-imperialist work of art made in the 21st century. I have not watched all the episodes—there are 195—but I have binge watched enough of them—more than 50— to be hooked on the series. The “bad” guys and gals, including Teresa Mendoza, played by Kate del Castillo, are the good guys and good gals, while the so called good guys and gals, including Epifanio Vargas, the president of Mexico, plus several nasty DEA agents and a despicable US senator, are evil incarnate.

The word “telenovela” combines tele (for “television”) and novela (for “novel”), probably the most popular form of soap opera in Latin America. The Queen of the South takes the telenovela out of the bedroom and the kitchen and inserts it in mean streets and in the corrupt corridors of power. It reinvents the format.

There are enough guns and bullets, ambushes and assassinations in the series to satisfy moviegoers who crave action heroes, violence and bloodshed. And there is also a hefty political subtext that weaves together drugs, smuggling and contemporary political and economic intrigue to satisfy viewers who want drama that appeals to both the intellect and the heart. Movie critic Pauline Kael would say that it’s both a work of art and a commercial product. I agree.

La Reina del Sur is not the first Netflix show to feature a woman in the starring role as a drug queen pin. That distinction belongs to Hache, in which Europe is the setting, and Adriana Ugarte plays Helena, who claws her way to the top of the criminal pyramid.

In La Reina del Sur, Kate del Castillo plays Teresa Mendoza, a Mexican beauty with brains who gathers around her a band of brothers, both Latinos and Russians, who belong to two generations and who escape from the clutches of their enemies in almost every episode. Capture and freedom parallel one another. Teresa and her entourage liberate women destined for sexual slavery, free incarcerated political prisoners and kill their enemies.

Teresa has a daughter who joins the outlaws and follows in the footsteps of her mother. There’s lots of mother/daughter hugging and kissing.

The telenovela takes place in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, England and the US, not in the Mediterranean, the principle setting for Pérez-Reverte’s novel, which leaves a lot to the imagination. La Reina del Sur is truly continental in scope, and might be described as a paean to the peasants and workers of Latin America as well as its capital cities with skyscrapers and slums, and both persecuted and rebellious.

Kate del Castillo made a name for herself a decade or so ago when she met Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, once the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, which smuggled illegal drugs into the US. He is now behind bars at a maximum security prison in Colorado serving a life sentence and probably won’t be able to escape.

In an essay posted on Twitter, del Castillo urged El Chapo to “deal with good things” and “traffic in love.” She and Sean Penn met El Chapo when he was in prison in Mexico. Penn published an interview with El Chapo published in Rolling Stone. For years, del Castillo was under surveillance by the Mexican National Intelligence Centre and investigated for money laundering.

In 2016 she was subpoenaed to testify before the public prosecutor at the Mexican Consulate in LA. She has not been indicted, but is apparently still under investigation. Del Castillo seems to have had an ongoing romance with drug kingpins and smugglers and a desire to show that the big bosses in Mexico, the US and throughout Latin America are the real criminals.

She has used her star power and her notoriety to market her tequila brand, Honor del Castillo. Unlike Teresa Mendoza, the fictional character she plays on screen, she has managed to stay out of jail and to make herself a celebrity across Latin America where she is the Queen of the Telenovela. In La Reina del Sur she’s sometimes over the top, but she’s usually engaging, especially when she lets fatal bullets fly. Who said women can’t be as trigger happy as men, at least on big and little screens?

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MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio show is on all night Friday night!

Fuzzy deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is circa 6 or 7pm. If you can't make that, send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. There's no pressure on you. I have plenty of material; I'd just like yours, too. I have some recordings to play tonight from Bill Mulvihill's project of digitally archiving 1970s great local performers and putting the music on Soundcloud; he'll likely call early in the show to talk about that.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am PST on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as via Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other arguably even more terrific shows.

Furthermore, any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night I'll put up the recording of tonight's show. And besides all that, there you'll find various Proustian madeleines to incite yourself with until showtime, or any time, such as:

Another starry night. This painting reminds me of an art experience from so long ago that I can't place it. It might have been something like it by one of my mother's beatnik artist boyfriends. Or... a magazine? something on a wall in a restaurant or office? I get the sensation of having stared and stared at it, though, when I was a little boy. (via Fark)

"Frankenstein departs for college." "Two years later Frankenstein has discovered the mystery of life." That was fast. "Frankenstein is appalled at the sight of his evil creation." And so on. (March 18, 1910, 10 min.)

And children of the 1960s with their mothers, in their natural habitat, mostly happy for the camera, with different colors and textures of the new miracle fabrics perfectly cut and sewn to fit their figures, trim by today's standards. Apropos of nothing, I remember reading, "Venerable American institutions? Europe has /toilets/ older than America." And one time I was driving a hitchhiker friend into town. We went past some pretty girls walking near the post office. The man said, not sadly bur proudly, "My sweater is older than them." He died about ten years ago, I think, of alcohol.

Marco McClean,,

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by James Kunstler

“If cocaine is so prevalent in the West Wing that there is somehow ‘extra’ cocaine just laying around, when is the White House going to start drug testing its employees?” — Margot Cleveland

Consider for a moment, and be grateful for, how perfect “Joe Biden” is as president of this foundering republic. He and his family project the rectified essence of every depravity now driving the life of our nation to some murky bottom, where it may be forced to assess its sorry state, repent, and perhaps recover (or just give up and die). There he stands, without ambiguity or conscience: “Joe Biden,” the personification of a failed state.

As a criminal enterprise, for instance, the Biden family influence-peddling operation among foreign powers reflects exactly the racketeering character of corporate America today — which is to say, making money dishonestly, and often for doing nothing. In America’s biggest industry, finance, this is absolutely the case. You may have forgotten what finance is, and what it’s supposed to do: namely, to lend money for activities intended to produce things of value, useful things that people need and want, sometimes even public works that benefit everyone in society.

American Finance now is in the business of receiving free money (loans at minimal interest) from government-chartered central banks (issuing “credit” from nowhere), that banks, hedge funds, private equity outfits, and sundry freebooters can roll into instruments such as interest-yielding bonds (loans back to government) and derivatives (algorithmic bets derived, abstracted from, and tuned to market movements) magically multiplying money that finally produces nothing of value — though it may translate into yacht purchases, alimony payments, luxury suites at ballparks, private Caribbean islands, and traffic in humans for use as sex toys.

The Biden business model also applies nicely to medicine and higher education, two endeavors saturated in prestige and pomp, like the doings in the White House, but which, similarly to that hotbed of policy and action, in the case of medicine, produces shocking amounts of unnecessary death (est. 251,000 a year from iatrogenic treatment errors), and in the case of higher ed, the production of specious and harmful Big Ideas — while both endeavors expand like turbo-tumors within the dying body of an expiring manufacturing economy.

As in the Biden model, dishonesty is now the keystone in both “Meds” and “Eds.” Our public health officialdom hasn’t stopped lying about the Covid-19 episode since it began, and in every aspect from the origin of the disease (if that’s even what it was), to the deaths statistically attributed to it, to everything about the “vaccines” cooked up to stop it. In turn, those officials coerced America’s doctors into withholding the best treatments (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) while applying deadly protocols (remdesivir plus intubation) guaranteed to kill hospital patients — which the government then rewarded with gargantuan bonus payments.

Higher ed has now turned its energies from learning to political activism, meaning the performance of morality preening stunts for acquiring status under the pretense of addressing social problems that boil down to bad behavioral choices and mental illness. Higher ed is now in the business of generating more of both those things in the form of manufactured racial antagonism and sexual torment (in partnership with the medical establishment). All fields of study in college are now racialized and genderized, and all at the expense of organized knowledge, which gets burdened with fatuous theory and spurious crypto-religious missions. The price of admission to this carnival of fakery multiplies at a faster rate than the generalized annual dollar inflation, abetted by federal loan guarantees that “Joe Biden,” in his munificence, seeks to abridge with a jubilee for student debt.

Of course, it’s the fantastic psychodrama within the Biden family that presents the most arresting model for America. “Joe Biden” tells us over and over that he loves his son, who he calls “the smartest man I know.” A father’s love is a wonderful thing, for sure. And yet, is there anything that Hunter Biden has not done to destroy “the Big Guy,” short of, say, driving a number nine knitting needle ear-to-ear through the old man’s skull?

Look at what Hunter has loosed on his loving dad: a photo archive of amateur pornography (including sex acts with children), drug crime, and bribery deal memos so vast and clear-cut that a first-year law student could write them up into a federal criminal case and / or a bill of impeachment. Hunter went and got a pole-dancer pregnant and lately tried to weasel out of paying to support the daughter he refused to acknowledge until DNA testing pinned it on him. He only just wriggled out of tax evasion and handgun charges due to his father enlisting the US DOJ as a private protection service, thus befouling the agency and destroying the public’s trust in it. Now Hunter’s suspected of leaving a bag of cocaine in a West Wing cubby, where White House security was sure to find it.

What we’re witnessing is an order of magnitude greater than Greek tragedy: the implacable drive to destroy not just the father, who happens (by the sheerest electoral subterfuge) to be president, but to take down the nation with him. And it’s working. The Biden family is crashing into smoldering wreckage, and so is the USA — as acted out in the sad-sack nation of Ukraine, a festering hub of Biden family moneygrubbing going back more than a decade, now being needlessly sacrificed as part of a massive criminal cover-up, with America’s geopolitical prestige on-the-line.

I know, the complexity of this melodrama is overwhelming. How can one bumbling political idiot wreak so much havoc? It’s a wonder, all right. But it’s all playing-out before us in real time. “Joe Biden” — who (let’s face it) is only partly there — Hunter, brother Jim, and the rest of this sorry clan are all going down. We won’t miss them, when they’re gone. Everything about them is ignoble, which you can’t exactly say about our country itself. One way or another, they will be thrown overboard, and then we’ll see if we can get this ship righted and under sail again.


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Read the label, son

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CONSERVATIVES are everything they used to make fun of liberals for being: whiny, easily offended crybabies who run around looking for nonsense excuses to feel offended and act like victims. They’re a bunch of ridiculous, permanently triggered culture warriors and drama queens.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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The US will send cluster munitions to Ukraine for the first time as part of a new military aid package announced Friday. The White House acknowledged the risk to civilians in using the controversial weaponry, but said there’s an even greater threat if Kyiv doesn’t have "sufficient" ammunition against Russia.

Next week's NATO summit will not yet result in Ukraine's admission to the alliance, a White House official said. Allies will, however, discuss key issues facing Kyiv, including the Black Sea grain deal.

The death toll from Thursday's Russian attack on the western city of Lviv rose to at least 10. More than 9,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russia's full-scale invasion, according to the UN.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is not in Belarus after his short-lived rebellion last month, and it is unclear if his fighters will move to the country, according to Belarus’ president.

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HISTORY is a tragedy, not a morality tale.

— Christopher Hitchens

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1600 year old olive tree in Salento, Puglia, Italy

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A utopian Russian novel predicted Putin’s war plan.

by Dina Khapaeva (March 26, 2022)

No one can read Vladimir Putin’s mind. But we can read the book that foretells the Russian leader’s imperialist foreign policy. Mikhail Yuriev’s 2006 utopian novel, The Third Empire: Russia as It Ought to Be, anticipates—with astonishing precision—Russia’s strategy of hybrid war and its recent military campaigns: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 annexation of Crimea, the incursion into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions the same year, and Russia’s current assault on Ukraine.…

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THE WAY ‘CATCH-22’ BEGAN is that I’d just turned 30 and one day I decided maybe I was ready to write a novel. Not that I thought there was a need for a certain kind of novel. It began narcissistically: I was reading novels and reviews. And I began to feel I could do at least as well. Yet even then I proceeded with a great deal of caution and self-doubt. I wasn’t really writing about World War II in which I served as a bombardier. And the savage reactions–other than the fear in those few missions–were not mine. I was a dumb kid in the war and it was like a Hollywood movie to me.

— Joseph Heller

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CNN ingenue gets the scoop

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  1. Chuck Wilcher July 8, 2023

    “”Mendocino Outlaw Ambush” from the May 15, 1989 edition of the San Francisco Call newspaper”

    I think that is supposed to read 1889.

  2. Marmon July 8, 2023


    Biden invoked his power under the Foreign Assistance Act to bypass a congressional ban of cluster munitions by claiming that vital U.S. national security interests are at stake in order to send hundreds of thousands of controversial cluster munitions to Ukraine.


  3. Bob A. July 8, 2023

    Sheriff Kendall: “We have a “Needle exchange program” in Mendocino County. Earlier last year we removed over 5,000 used needles from a homeless encampment in the Ukiah area. This begs the question, are needles being exchanged or simply handed out. Are we helping people to get beyond their problems and into treatment? Or are we subsidizing them to remain in their current condition. A condition most people would consider horrific.”

    I share the Sheriff’s feeling of hopelessness around the issues of addiction and substance abuse. I strongly disagree with his implied assertion that needle exchange is “subsidizing them”. Needle exchange prevents substance abusers from acquiring diseases that cause profound suffering to the individual and staggering costs to an already overburdened and failing medical system.

    • Betsy Cawn July 9, 2023

      The California Department of Public Health provides the replacement syringes that are exchanged for used equipment. Distributors of syringes also provide outreach and assistance to help people modify their consumption practices and, when they are ready to do so, enter into recovery services that displace substance use. The county’s Department of Public Health may or may not “oversee” the distributors, but in the case of Lake County’s “harm reduction” program (similar to those statewide) the reality of dependent populations is occluded from public scrutiny, and the distributor operates independently but provides documentation to the PHD that is mandated by the state in order to continue receiving state-provided equipment and other resources. The population that manages to obtain illicit gear and substances is not a participant in the legal “needle exchange” program, and carelessly or otherwise disposes of their used equipment in the streets and parks where they spend their time. ODs are among the top most causes of death in both of our counties, thoroughly documented by agencies and organizations concerned with public health issues, but the draconian response to the so-called “opioid epidemic” immiserated young and old alike, furthering the likelihood of their only recourse — the streets — while the so-called “helping agencies” cushion their nests with grants of public monies that seem to accomplish little and benefit only a few. Cities like San Francisco harbor above-ground cess pools that a few decades ago would have been unthinkable. Welcome to the Hotel California.

  4. Eric Sunswheat July 8, 2023

    Sadly we have arrived at a moment…causing us to travel on a trajectory that is simply not sustainable… it appears addictions are the root cause of roughly 60% of the bookings into the Mendocino county jail…
    Decriminalization of drugs has not helped this…. Are we helping people to get beyond their problems and into treatment? Or are we subsidizing them to remain in their current condition…
    My deputies continue to investigate narcotics dealers however this is also on the rise. Users become dealers to support their habits. The best way to put drug dealers out of business is to stop buying their product…
    Please be aware of what your children are exposed to. There is more evil contained in one smart phone than most of us were exposed to in the entirety of our youth. This is an uphill battle however we can all work together to make our communities stronger and safer. …
    Sheriff Matt Kendall

    —>. May 26, 2023
    Earlier this week, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared that social media poses a “meaningful risk of harm to children” in his latest advisory… However, those who received their first smartphone at a younger age were “more likely to experience suicidal thoughts, feelings of aggression towards others and a sense of being detached from reality.”
    One option Leaf shares is to start them off with a flip phone around age 10 to 13 without access to the internet or apps, so they can learn the value of texting and communication…. “you can eventually give them more freedom, such as a simple smartphone with safety restrictions to prevent them being targeted by unsavory individuals or organizations.”
    —> July 07, 2023 – AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 ISSUE
    After 50 Years, the DEA Is Still Losing the War on Drugs
    For five decades, the agency has destroyed countless lives while targeting Americans for personal choices and peaceful transactions…
    On April 4, 1972, President Richard Nixon’s drug war landed in Humboldt County, California. The DEA, which was established the following year, was still only a glimmer in Nixon’s eye at this point. But its playbook was being written here, outside the backwoods cabin of 24-year-old Dirk Dickenson…
    The chopper was accompanied by five police cars. There were 19 law enforcement agents in total, including the county dogcatcher. Two television cameramen and a newspaper photographer were in tow…
    The officers were the tip of the spear in a new campaign. A year earlier, Nixon had declared drug abuse “America’s public enemy number one” and vowed to “wage a new, all-out offensive” against it…
    Dickenson ran out the back and bolted for the treeline. Several officers gave chase, but one of them stumbled and fell. Lloyd Clifton,… stopped, leveled his .38 revolver at the fleeing, unarmed hippie, and shot Dickenson in the back while TV cameras rolled… A judge later dismissed charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter…
    The BNDD was the precursor to the DEA…

    • Rye N Flint July 9, 2023

      Bingo… was his name-o

  5. Me July 8, 2023

    We have a “Needle exchange program” in Mendocino County. Earlier last year we removed over 5,000 used needles from a homeless encampment in the Ukiah area. This begs the question, are needles being exchanged or simply handed out.

    If we hand out needles, why can’t sharps containers also be placed in public areas. At least those who clean up such atrocities would be safer.

    Mendo To Farm Out Child Support Attorney services/hire attorney for negotiations….

    Explain why the county keeps a county counsel office? How much total do we spend in attorney contracts in a year? How much do we spend a year on the county counsel office? And if the office is over budget, why aren’t they being held to account?

    Why, if we continue to just hand out retroactive large contracts, why aren’t we doing audits on those contracts? As a tax payer, I want to know if we are getting what we pay for? What is the benefit of these contracts? Let’s do some deep diving vs status quo. Oh but that means work, no one wants to work anymore……….

    • Bob A. July 8, 2023

      “If we hand out needles, why can’t sharps containers also be placed in public areas. At least those who clean up such atrocities would be safer.”

      +1 to that. A great example of how if we thought more deeply about our shared situation we might just be able to make things just a tiny bit better.

  6. Chuck Dunbar July 8, 2023

    Sheriff Kendall’s Concerns

    “Social Media is a wonderful tool however it can also be used for evil. Our children are using technology that many folks my age simply can’t fathom. Please be aware of what your children are exposed to. There is more evil contained in one smart phone than most of us were exposed to in the entirety of our youth. ”

    More food for thought from Sheriff Kendall. The last sentence is a bold, thought-provoking assertion, had not heard anything like it before.

  7. Jim Armstrong July 8, 2023

    Who was that masked driver?

  8. Craig Stehr July 8, 2023

    Awoke fully rested at Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in sunny Ukiah, California, and then took care of morning ablutions, followed by a trip to the Ukiah Food Co-op for an Italian Paninni sandwich and a cup o’ joe. Ambled on toward the Ukiah Public Library, and am right this instant seated in front of computer #5, tap, tap tapping away. Will wander around the Mendocino County seat aimlessly chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantram on Sunday, and then early Monday morning, am being driven to Adventist Health-St. Helena for an upgrade of the Medtronic Pacemaker to an ICD. Will remain there overnight, to be picked up and returned to Ukiah Tuesday morning, to the homeless shelter. After 14 months of being homeless after the cannabis trimmers put me out of the place in Redwood Valley, I have a whopping $650 in the SBMC checking account, Food Stamps, and my clothes. The Federal Housing Voucher has gotten me no housing, but I am welcome to go around and look at vacancies and submit rental applications. Nobody responds to my continuous offer to leave the homeless shelter and be active, insofar as radical environmental or peace & justice direct action is concerned. Whereas I am already Self-Realized, I don’t need anything from anybody anywhere of a more serious nature. I may leave this world at my earliest convenience. I don’t need it, and I don’t need you. We are both off of the proverbial hook!! Perhaps we ought to celebrate this fact, and to hell with everything else. Yes? Let me know. :-))
    Craig Louis Stehr
    Send Money Here:
    July 8th @ 2:26 PM Pacific Time

  9. Rye N Flint July 9, 2023

    RE: Drugs have won the war on drugs…

  10. Rye N Flint July 9, 2023

    RE: Conservatives

    A tale as old as time… Tradition!

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