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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 16, 2023

Hot | Palace Sold | Sunset | Firewood Permits | Missing Riley | AV Events | Research Room | Philo Produce | Mental-Health Stats | Comparable Wages | Cheer Squad | F--- Br--- | Ax/Tape Man | Moira Johnston | Muchowski Anniversary | Herbicide Exposure | Exciting Times | Charley Swehla | Ed Notes | Parkinson Art | Neilands File | 1972 Fire | Yesterday's Catch | Saleable Garbage | Injured Raven | Marco Radio | Ferry Building | Sam Cutler | Castro Theatre | AI Threats | Knife Act | Chemical/Cluster | Stuff Done | Stupid Times | Skagit Hotel | Ukraine | Eternal Game | Moronic Watergate | Founding Myth | Boarding Houses | Tick Tweet

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VERY HOT TEMPERATURES will continue today across the interior valleys with high ranging 100F to 110F. Seasonably temperatures are forecast to persist along the coast with the onshore see breeze and stratus clearing each afternoon. A quick burst of monsoonal moisture will allow isolated dry thunderstorms, increasing fire weather conditions for parts of Mendocino and Lake County on this afternoon and evening. (NWS)

CHANCE OF DRY LIGHTNING in Mendocino county tonight: Sunday’s high clouds will be the first sign of a weather change, as moisture from the Desert Southwest monsoon moves toward Northern California. This moisture will be associated with some weak impulses of energy in the atmosphere, meaning a few lightning strikes are possible Sunday night into early Monday. (

Chance of dry lightning across Northern California Sunday evening into early Monday morning. Displayed is the modeled flash density forecast for 8 p.m. Sunday.

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Clear skies (no really) & a cooler 50F this Sunday morning on the coast. The NWS is calling for mostly cloudy today strangely enough ? A check of the satellite shows the fog has pulled back from the coast while some high clouds are rotating in from the southwest. Interesting. Clear skies & breezy are forecast for the week.

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Death Valley 125°, Ukiah 108°, Yorkville 107°, Covelo 106°, Laytonville 105°, Boonville 98°, Fort Bragg 61°

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by Mike Geniella

In a stunning turn of events, city-supported plans of an investor to transform the historic Palace Hotel into a commercial anchor for downtown Ukiah have collapsed.

Jitu Ishwar

Jitu Ishwar, the current owner of the derelict hotel property, this past week refused to accept final purchase terms from investor Minal Shankar. 

Instead, Ishwar made a side deal with a new group of investors who are reportedly led by a downtown restaurateur. Shankar, city officials, and business and community leaders expressed dismay at the turn of events. It dashed hopes that finally the “moment” for restoration of the Palace as the town’s centerpiece had arrived.

Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley called the abrupt resale “very disappointing.”

Shankar, said Riley, was “extremely sophisticated, well-connected, and collaborative, and we were very hopeful that we were close to seeing the renovation of this beautiful building.”

Riley noted that Ishwar, who is a principal in a group that owns many of the motels in Mendocino and Lake counties, has held title to the Palace property for four years. 

“It has been in the current owner’s hands since 2019 with zero progress,” she said.

Minal Shankar

Shankar said she was dismayed that Ishwar chose to walk away from their tentative deal and make a new one that negates months of tax financing studies, architectural and structural reviews, and design work by recognized San Francisco experts in historic renovation.

“I put a lot of time, effort, and money into this project over the past two years. I am extremely disappointed by how things went down,” said Shankar.

Nevertheless, said Shankar, she understood the “risks when I took this on.”

“I still believe that rehabilitating the Palace Hotel would be a great economic win for the city and the community. I wish them the best of luck in making that happen,” said Shankar.

Ishwar and his new buyers have yet to meet with city representatives to outline new Palace possibilities as they see them.

Ishwar this week declined to speak about his decision to tank the Shankar proposal and do a quick resale to a new group of local investors, who officially remain unidentified. 

Attorney Atilla Panczel with Ukiah’s Duncan James law firm said he represents the new buyers, but he would not disclose their identities.

“The purchase agreement includes a confidentiality clause,” said Panczel.

Panczel described the buyers as a “serious group with a lot of capital, and ideas.” 

“There will be a flurry of activity over the next few months to close the deal, and begin a city mandated permitting process,” said Panczel.

Through the actions of a court-appointed receiver, the Palace, has been in the hands of Ishwar since 2019. Ishwar and his wife Puru invested about $850,000 and ended up with a lien against the hotel property. He eventually secured title and put the hotel up for sale. 

In April 2022 Shankar agreed to purchase the Palace but insisted on a long nine-month escrow so inspections, structural analyses, and permitting requirements could be agreed upon. The escrow was extended but, in the end, Shankar could not reach agreement with Ishwar about how he was to be paid off so she could receive clear title to the property.

What is clear now is that the collapse of the Shankar proposal, and the emergence of a new sales agreement means that at the very least any substantive work on the Palace will be delayed for months, if not years. 

Tom Liden, a local photographer and a member of a “Friends of the Palace” Committee that the city formed under a previous ownership, said he remains hopeful. “I think something great can still happen with the Palace.”

Liden is friends with a local restaurateur who apparently is among the new buyers. “Things are very sensitive at this point, and he would prefer to talk only when escrow closes and plans are beginning to fall into place,” said Liden.

Stephen Johnson, Ishwar’s attorney, said he could not comment on his client’s decision to turn to a new deal with a different set of buyers.

About Shankar, Johnson said, “She didn’t close the deal. It would be unfair to suggest he did anything wrong.”

Riley, the deputy city manager, said during Ishwar’s ownership nothing has been done to stabilize the historic structure, or make any improvements.

For three decades or more, city officials have attempted to work with a variety of owners to save the Palace and keep it from being demolished for a downtown parking lot as some people advocate.

“At the end of the day, however, this is a private property transaction,” said Riley.

The Palace consists of four structures built between the years 1891 and 1929, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the finest example of brick construction of the period remaining in Ukiah, according to the National Register. In total the Palace is a 60,000 square foot structure that historically had 90 rooms plus a bar, restaurant, ballroom, barbershop and a few retail stores. It has been stripped of many fine features, including a large mural that once dominated a legendary bar, the Black Bart Room.

How current Palace property owner Ishwar ended up with ownership of a celebrated landmark is another twist in a knotty history since the hotel was shuttered for good in the late 1980s. 

Ishwar is the principal in a group that owns the largest number of motels in Mendocino and Lake counties.

Ishwar ended up being the Palace’s default owner after the city wrested control from a longtime Marin investor who made periodic efforts to clean up the hotel but was unable to begin any significant structural repairs, nor begin renovation.

Court documents show that Ishwar successfully bid for the Palace ownership in 2019 which included covering unpaid receivership fees and money advanced to a court-appointed receiver, a Santa Monica attorney. In 2022, Ishwar won clear title to the Palace property, paving the way for its eventual sale. Until then, title to the property had been tied up in receivership issues.

Shankar, a newcomer to the Ukiah Valley, is a successful online financier who was lauded in 2021 by the Canadian Lenders Association for being a woman “Leader in Lending” for her role in founding and becoming CEO of Easly, a Toronto-based firm that in a few short years secured $77 million in research and development funding for startups. She is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, and the prestigious Stern School of Business at New York University.

Shankar purchased a house overlooking Lake Mendocino in 2020 during the Covid era so she could be close her San Francisco based parents.

Shankar’s interest in the Palace began randomly. She noticed a fading for sale sign on its North State Street exterior one day and became curious about the possibilities of restoring the handsome old building.

After striking a purchase agreement with Ishwar, Shankar earnestly began to pull together a team with the goal of returning the Palace to the town’s centerpiece. 

Shankar collaborated with designers Tommy Haddock of Alto Architecture and Carolyn Kieran, a 25-year principal with Page & Turnbull, a San Francisco firm with a long line of restoration credentials including the landmark Ferry Building in San Francisco. Together they produced sophisticated plans to bring the Palace back to life. 

In essence, the plans called for a boutique hotel anchored by an upscale restaurant and bar, retail spaces carved out of the street level portions of the hotel, specialty shops surrounding an interior courtyard, and an event center/luxury rooms on the roof with spectacular views of the Ukiah Valley.

It took months of teams of renovation experts combing the Palace to determine structural needs, and what was needed to reshape the interior of the building.

Finally, with plans in hands and tax financing secure, Shankar made her move to wrap up an extended escrow with Ishwar.

Unexpectedly the process dragged on, however, and whispers started to circulate that Ishwar was resisting Shankar’s plans in hopes of striking a better and more lucrative deal with other buyers once the possibilities of Shankar’s year-long efforts became known.

Deputy City Manager Riley said the Palace revival is key to hopes for expanded tourism in the Ukiah Valley. Wineries, the nationally recognized Grace Hudson Museum, a developing restaurant row, recreational opportunities, and abundant natural resources draw some visitors.

“What we don’t have is the caliber of lodging that would attract the type of visitors that travel to Sonoma and Napa counties, or the Mendocino Coast,” said Riley.

Riley added that restoration of the Palace “isn’t about gentrification of our city. Ukiah is never going to be Healdsburg.”

“We are the county seat, and that comes with all kinds of essential services: courts, jail, social services, a community college, medical facilities, homeless shelters, and so on,” said Riley. “Those things will always keep us humble, and it’s what marks this such a genuine, diverse, and hospitable community.”

With state plans for construction of a new $140 million Mendocino County Courthouse away from the downtown core, Riley said it is even more important that the Palace become an anchor. The current courthouse generates a steady volume of foot traffic during the day, but at night the surrounding streets are largely devoid of people except for patrons of downtown restaurants.

Done right, the Palace has the potential to be a catalyst for a more vibrant business district, events, and expansion of efforts to restore other historic buildings.

“We can become a better version of ourselves,” said Riley.

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Sunset, Route 20 (Jeff Goll)

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Mendocino County, CA – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit is pleased to announce the sale of firewood permits on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) beginning Thursday, July 13th, 2023 at 1:00pm. Firewood permits will be limited to two cords per household at a cost of $20.00/permit.

The firewood area will open, to permit holders, at 2 pm on Thursday, July 13th and is tentatively scheduled to close on October 1st, 2023, or until wood supply is gone, a significant rain event, or other constraints force closure, whichever occurs first. To ensure sufficient wood supply, only 75 permits will be sold.

Because of the presence of Sudden Oak Death, permit sales are limited to Mendocino County residents because the wood cannot be transported out of the county. Permit holders are reminded that fire safety rules require chainsaws to be equipped with an approved spark arrester, and a long-handled shovel or fire extinguisher must be within 25 feet of the operating chainsaw.

The CAL FIRE Fort Bragg office is located at 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA (707) 964-5674.

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If you think you spot Riley, please try to take a picture without making it too obvious. You can send it to me on this account and call it in to authorities at 707-463-4086. The last confirmed sighting of Riley was 3/27/23 so we appreciate any help/ photos to let us know he is okay.

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The Held-Poage Mendocino County Historical Society Research Room is open! Thank you to everyone who joined us for our grand opening and ribbon cutting, those that supported us with preparing for the event, and all of the volunteers that have worked so hard to bring this project to fruition. This would not have been possible without you.

“We’re working hard to catalog, digitize and preserve all our documents so they can be shared. We’re going to be a really important source for local history, available and accessible.” - Phil Gary, HSMC Board Member

We hope to see you at the Research Room soon!

Tim Buckner, Executive Director, Historical Society of Mendocino County, 100 S Dora St, Ukiah, CA 95482

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Blue Meadow Farm is Open!

  • Cherry & Early Girl Tomatoes!
  • Walla Walla Onions, Lettuce, Basil
  • Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
  • First Peppers & Eggplant

Blue Meadow Farm 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo (707) 895-2071

Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:00am - Dusk

Closed Mondays

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MAZIE MALONE (supplemental note to her earlier remarks about Redwood Quality Management’s dubious mental health statistics):

“Also it took me a minute …not good with numbers. But 431… crisis calls through RQMC is same number for tapestry new clients…. So all those crisis calls are being referred for counseling and case management to tapestry…. However that does not mean client continues services or follows through.”

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“We have less revenue per capita than Sonoma, but we've grown staff more per capita. It's impossible to pay comparable wages in this model.”

ED NOTE: A LOTTA YEAH BUTS IN WILLIAMS’S CLAIM. But even if true it's just now occurring to him?

ms NOTES: The Union is not asking for “comparable” wages. Mendo has no “model,” the County organization is the result of a series of incremental changes and expansions going back to the 60s when my uncle was Fifth District supervisor, each of which made sense to the Boards at the time they were in place and paralleled other California counties. In addition, most functions are mandated by state law (for better or worse) and have very specific staffing requirements. It’s silly for Williams to imply that a few new — and I would say naïve — Supervisors could somehow switch “models” because of a momentary (in historic terms) revenue deficit that is largely of the Board’s own making. If Williams was so concerned about the County’s “model” (as if it were some kind of tweakable profit-making “business” with a business model), why did he help push through an ill-considered and rash consolidation of the Treasurer and Auditor’s offices, an historical separation of functions that provides an essential check on the County’s revenue generation and expense tracking? If that’s an example of Williams’ organizational ability, a new Mendo “model” would only make things worse. Before he was elected in the 50s, my uncle, Joe Scaramella had been a decades long follower and critic of the Board of Supervisors when he was elected. On his first day in the Boardroom he told the skeptical Board clerk, “Anybody can get an axe and demolish things. It's not my job to demolish things. My job is to construct things.”

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LOCAL CHANGE OUR NAME GROUP Teams up with California ACLU to Challenge Offensive Names

Change Our Name Fort Bragg teamed up with the Northern California American Civil Liberties Union this week to seek state help to combat offensive names like “Squaw,” “Fort,” and “Bragg.”

The two groups were responding to a recent request from the California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names (CACGN) for public comments in regard to Assembly Bill 2022 signed by Governor Newsom in September 2022, requiring that “the term Squaw be removed from all geographic features and place names in the state. The Commission stated “The term “sq___” is a racist and derogatory term that has historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial, and sexist slur, particularly for indigenous women.” 

AB 2022 extended the recent order from the Department of the Interior to remove racial slurs from geographic features within the purview of the Department of the Interior to include “renaming sq_” named features to include place names (i.e. roads, streets, schools, hospitals, parks, event centers, etc.)” as well as “other derogatory and/or offensive words from all California geographic features and place names."

The removal of place names which are offensive is a continuation of the national racial reckoning in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and includes the removal of Confederate statues from public places.

One local letter to the CACGN noted: “Fort Bragg, California, has an unusual distinction: both words in its name are offensive, racist, and derogatory. Its name, as with the “sq___” term, is a continuous reminder of the genocide, extreme violence, and structural racism of white supremacy that occurred here and continues to affect the descendants of its historical victims to this day. I ask you to consider the case of Fort Bragg, California, and change the name.”

Comments to the CACGN close on July 15. The Committee will report to the state legislature and submit a plan for renaming offensive names by January 2025.

Change Our Name Fort Bragg submitted numerous letters to the CACGN asking them to change the name of Fort Bragg.

Philip Zwerling, Ph.D.

Change Our Name Fort Bragg

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THIS GUY was/is walking around fort bragg with an ax and duct tape: 

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You brought up the name of Moira Johnston. I worked for she and her husband in the 1970’s. They had bought an older piece of property on Anderson Valley way. It had a typical older house and some acreage that extended to the west. They hired Anthony Lucchetti from Hopland to plant a small acreage. That portion was some of the really new grapes in the valley. Unfortunately, the state cut the property right in half Leaving the house on one side and the vineyard on the other. Don went on to purchase the Rickard property now known as the Ferrington ranch. Don hired me to develop this property into vineyard .It had a small acreage of existing vines. Split between red and white. Don’s money soon ran out and I moved on to another project. I remember that Don and Moria divorced after having two children. Moira’s name later appeared in a Napa paper and I tried to contract her to get some history for an article. Her current husband did not take my call lightly and told me to never again try to contact her again. Moira’s close friend married a well-known vineyard owner and went on a honeymoon in Europe and fell off a cliff and died.

I have lost contact with both Moira and Don. The remains of Dons and Moira’s original vineyard can still be seen to the west from the new highway. It has not been cared for in years. They may still own the house.

Bob Dempel

Santa Rosa

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STEVE AND VAL MUCHOWSKI celebrate their wedding anniversary at the Albion Inn

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“Agricultural activities” = spraying “round up” under each and every grape vine (an herbicide; the whole valley has been sprayed with glyphosate) Sonoma County has banned glyphosate on city property but of course not in the vineyards. Grapes are also sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides. Grape farmers do have to take precautions when using these chemicals, and I’ve definitely seen the average non-farmer spraying “round up” into the wind and their yard with no gloves on, in the name of a perfect manicure.

But let’s talk about the direct exposure to farm workers (Mexicans) who touch each and every grape vine. Do we care about their exposure? Do you know they should take their clothes off and wash them separate from their families’ laundry to avoid contaminating their house? Do you know the litany of symptoms of herbicide exposure, the cancer rates, the Parkinsons, the miscarriages, the birth defects, the nuerological disorders? Do you know what an industrial vineyard smells like during spray season? How many days must pass before workers are let onto a sprayed vineyard with regular clothes on, no spray suits? Is this regulated? What are the cancer rates for ag families? Does the profit from this chemicalled cash crop at least trickle down to the community? How do you profit from your surroundings being poisoned? Does anyone give a shit about people living/working on industrial ag property?

I have very fond memories of playing in the spray dust after it settled as a child. Yellowish, powdery. Everyone in my family (living on the ranch) has had cancer or a miscarriage.

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DAVID KING: Even our current organic conventional AG models are polluting our waterways with excess elements like nitrate, phosphorus and potassium. Our desire to simplify the management of a dynamic living system has caused financial ruin to our farmers and is having a devastating effects on our land. We are experiencing a paradigm shift as the previous system is collapsing. These are exciting times.

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FORT BRAGG REMEMBERED: A lot of you may remember Charley Swehla. When I was a child he was known as "The Phone Man." After he retired he started his own plant business "Swehla's Greens". He propagated a lot of Lilies and this is one of the starts of a Lily he gave me. Japanese Turk Cap. I have a few now and each year it makes me think of him…

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THE COUNTY'S PURSUIT OF GURR-BORGES. The following is from our archive of two years ago, but serves as an intro to the latest development in the case: 

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is consent calendar Item 4j. “Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC in the Amount of $50,000 to Provide Legal Services for the Period of May 1, 2021 Through June 30, 2022.” 

In the attached services agreement we find buried in a stack of legalese that this is another example of the County hiring an expensive outside law firm for defense in a lawsuit. In this case, the Gurr-Borges lawsuit which stems from an alleged County-expedited Fish & Wildlife raid in 2018 when all their pot plants were pulled up from their Ukiah-area property even though they were 1) a permit applicant almost near approval, and 2) not taking any water from the stream that Fish & Wildlife said they were. 

Gurr-Borges claim that they were singled out by then-Supervisors John McCowen and Carre Brown for permit denial via the “opt out” zone that was created in the Gurr-Borges neighborhood under the urging of a Sheriff’s department employee who happened to be a neighbor of Gurr-Borges. Probably, but hard to prove. 

But their case against Fish & Wildlife seems obvious.

Note: Another fifty thou flies out of county coffers to outside attorneys while the county employs, at last count, nine lawyers of its own.

Borges Gurr Petition

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ICONOGRAPHER, Sue Ellen Parkinson, will be the featured artist this August, at Northcoast Artists Gallery, on the Mendocino Coast. Her show titled, “Transformation,” focus’s on images of the Sacred Feminine. 

She says, “Imagery plays a powerful role in how we construct our world view. In my paintings, I hope to offer a deeper perspective on women, and their importance.” Opening night is First Friday, August 4, from 5 to 8 pm. Parkinson will be at the gallery to answer any questions and give a short talk at 6:30. All are welcome! There will be wine and refreshments.The show, “Transformation,” runs from Aug 2 through Aug 28. Doors are open from 11 to 5 pm. In addition to the First Friday Opening, the artist will be personally available to meet and talk about her work on Aug 5, Aug 12, and Aug 19. Northcoast Artists Gallery • 362 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, CA • (707) 964-8266. To see Sue Ellen Parkinson’s work online go to: You can also see her work on the cover of Sophie Strand’s recent book, The Madonna Secret.

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(The late professor John ‘Joe’ B. Neilands, his wife Juanita, and son Tor were good friends over the years. Neilands was at the top of the list of professors who Governor Reagan wanted gone. Neilands’ file is representative of the FBI’s work at the time.)

1. Professor of Biochemistry.

2. His office is in 401 Biochemistry Building and he lives on Hill Road in Berkeley.

3. In 1965-66 while on a sabbatical leave from the University, Neilands became the chairman of the Swedish Vietnam Day Committee (Daily Cal 3/29/67).

4. Shortly before he left on this paid vacation Neilands was quoted in the New York Times, August 30, 1965, as saying “There must be launched a campaign to make Communism acceptable as a bona fide political philosophy. Perhaps an effective way to begin such a program would be to rescind the bar against Communist instructors in American colleges and universities.”

5. When Neilands returned to California, the campus was in the full swing on the student strike. When Police were called in to remove the obstructing demonstrators Neilands called this law enforcement “brutal and obscene.” (Time 12/16/66)

6. At a Pauley Ballroom rally 12/5/66 when the TA’s went on strike John Neilands said the most useful things the students could do would be to demand the Academic Senate meeting be open. “Then you, the students will have the faculty by the testicles and I hope you squeeze.” (Daily Cal 12/6/66)

7. This spring Neilands activities as a faculty member once again took him abroad, this time to both Sweden and North Vietnam, where he was a researcher for Lord Bertrant (sic) Russell’s International War Crimes Tribunal (People’s World 3/18/67).

8. Before this self described independent radical, muckraker and hell raiser left to go on tour he was endorsed as a council candidate on the Community for New Politics slate.

9. Upon his return he re-interated (sic) his stand on Communism in America. Speaking for the Community for New Politics Neilands said “We in the CNP see the bogey of anti-communism as a perilous and coersive (sic) perversion of the Democratic process. This is why we recognize communism as a bona fide political philosophy and why we do not exclude Communists from our organization.” (Daily Cal 4/3/67)

10. Neilands was a sponsor of the Conference to Plan a National Student Strike for Peace.

11. Initial sponsor of the Conference to Plan a National Student Strike for Peace.

12. Sponsor for Spring Mobilization (San Francisco Chronicle April 11, 1967)

13. President of local 1474 AFT (Daily Cal 4/14/67)

14. Played a tape of Ho Chi Minh which he was personally given during his trip to North Vietnam at a pre Spring Mobilization rally (Daily Cal 4/14/67)

15. National Sponsor for the Call to Vietnam Week

16. In Student Strike Neilands called police conduct “brutal and obscene.” Time (12/16/66)

17. At a Pauley Ballroom (12/5/66) rally during the student strike when the TA’s on strike (sic) John Neilands, professor of biochemistry said the most useful things the students could do would be to demand the Academic Senate meeting be open. Then you, the students will have the faculty by the testicles and I hope you squeeze.

18. Applauds Cassius Clay for the example he set for black and white youth in challenging the draft and the Vietnam War. Also granting financial aid for youth who are challenging the draft. (Oakland Tribune 4/27/67)

19. A university of California biochemistry professor who referred to himself as an “independent radical, a muckraker, and hell raiser.” Endorsed as city council candidate by CNP (Berkeley Gazette 1/13/67)

20. Member of Executive Board AFT 1474, Faculty Peace Committee, supporter of Student Rights (CNP leaflet)

21. One hour interview with Ho Chi Minh (Berkeley Gazette 3/22/67)

22. Advocated transfer the ownership (sic) of PG&E to the city (Oakland Tribune 3/30/67)

23. Supported by Morris Hirsch, Peter Scott, Mario Savio, Stephan Smale, Richard Strohman, Leon Wofsy (Daily Cal 4/3/67)

24. Elected to Steering Committee of CNP at a general meeting June 1, 1967, with Malcolm Burnstein, Jack Kurzweil, Robert Scheer, and Jack Weinberg. (People’s World 6/24/67)

25. President of American Federation of Teachers, Local 1474 (Daily Cal 3/29/67)

26. Instructor at Free University Berkeley, Spring 1967 (Berkeley Barb 1/27/67)

27. Publicly admitted complicity in open definance (sic) of University campus rules and superior court injunction during Stop the Draft Week rallies (Berkeley Gazette 10/16/67)

28. Local backer of Peace and Freedom Party (Berkeley Gazette 10/3/67)

29. At a (sic) illegal SDW rally, Neilands read a telegram from Hanoi expressing “war greetings to progressive Americans on behalf of teachers who wish to demonstrate that the Republic of Vietnam seeks success against a common enemy — American imperialism. (Daily Cal 10/17/67)

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Mr. Neilands notes: The FBI asset who drew up this list of factoids has scholarship worthy of the Ukiah Daily Journal! For example, I recall that the telegram referred to in Item 29 said “warm,” not “war.”

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July 15, 1972 - A fire broke out in the Silver Walker Jewelry Shop on the second floor of the Bank of America Building at the northwest corner of Main and Kasten Streets. (Out of This World is located on the first floor of this building today.) Jewelry maker Bruce Van De Walker owned the business. Bruce worked in silver and other metals, combining them with colorful stones to create distinctive settings.

The flames, fed by gas from a ruptured butane line, were leaping twenty feet high from the second-story windows when the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department arrived. Working from ladders, the firefighters (including Tom Aguilar and Dave Larkin) quickly put out the fire. No one was injured, but the blaze damaged the shop’s machinery and equipment. A small amount of water damage from the fire-fighting was reported in the Bank of America storeroom directly underneath the fire.

Two years later, Bruce opened a new jewelry shop, Silver Walker Design Jewelry, in an old buggy shed near the east end of Main Street (where Alegria Inn is located today). Sadly, Bruce was killed in 1975 when the flatbed truck he was driving overturned on a curve on Comptche-Ukiah Road.

Photo: Fire At The Bank Building, 1972. The Mendocino Volunteer Firefighters battle a fire at the Bank of America Building on the corner of Main and Kasten Streets in Mendocino. Note the telephone booth on the right side of the photo, behind the Bank Building. Mendocino Bay is visible in the background. (Photographer: K. Koshgarin)

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"Water Tower Wonderland" — Discover the beauty, ingenuity, and architecture of these iconic structures in the Kelley House Museum's summer exhibit. Using historic photographs, original pieces from local artists, and small-scale models, the exhibit explores the majesty and functionality of many well-known water towers, several still standing and some that aren't. On display are renderings of Mendocino water towers in several media, with serigraphs by Anne Kendall Foote and Bill Zacha, a quilt square by Dee Goodrich, and a linocut by Emmy Lou Packard. The Kelley House has also been working closely with Mendocino High School, and the exhibit includes pastels and architectural models made by students. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Thursday- Monday, 11am - 3pm. Now until September 18.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, July 15, 2023

Arteaga, Bill, Colson

JOSE ARTEAGA-GARCIA, Ukiah. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run with property damage.

SHANE BILL, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JASON COLSON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, resisting, failure to appear.

Guiling, Hoaglin, Jones


KEISHA HOAGLIN, Covelo. Failure to appear.

KIMBERLY JONES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-drugs&alcohol.

Magpie, McMurphy, Munoz

CALVIN MAGPIE JR., Sacramento/Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

JEROME MCMURPHY, Ukiah. Parole violation.

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation.

Perez, Robinson, Simpson, Stover

CESAR PEREZ-MAGANA, Ukiah. Criminal threats, offenses while on bail.

SATASHA ROBINSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-drugs&alcohol.

TY SIMPSON, Potter Valley. Controlled substance for sale.

ROBERT STOVER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

* * *


Warmest spiritual greetings,

Following a sunny Saturday morning at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, with the usual chatter going on about “banging fetty”, transexualism, the insanity across the street on Observatory Avenue (with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department routinely driving by, and of course gossip about who lately broke in to the shelter’s dumpster enclosure to take saleable garbage items out to sell for narcotics. After finishing morning ablutions, dropped by the Ukiah Food Co-op for a breakfast burrito and cup o’ joe, and then ambled on to the Hospice Store, shopping for more Made-in-India summer shirts, and then onward to the Ukiah Public Library. Right this moment…here…now…on computer #9, tap, tap tapping away @ 3:02PM Pacific Time. I am doing nothing whatsoever of any particular importance in Mendocino County. I am available on the planet earth for Avatar action, to destroy the demonic and to return this world to righteousness. Feel free to contact me at any time. Otherwise, will continue identifying with the Eternal Witness. Thank you very much.

Craig Louis Stehr

* * *

Raven with head injury, Mendocino Headlands (Jeff Goll)

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Another perfect Bastille day.

"It is a well known fact that not only do UFOs hide in clouds, but they actually create the cloud around them." -Scott

Here's the recording of last night's (2023-07-14) eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and

Email your written work on any subject and I'll read it on the very next Memo of the Air.

*If you sent a letter to me (Marco McClean, box 1497, Mendocino CA 95460) responding to my plea of last week, I'm still 120 miles away from that box. Everyone at my job in Albion is old and/or otherwise especially at risk until I test negative for covid on the drugstore's test twice 48 hours apart, per guidelines, and I'm still taking care of Juanita in Sonoma County, so it's hard for me to go back to the coast yet. I'll send you a note to acknowledge as soon I get there and get your letter. I don't know when that will be. I'm not ignoring you.

Besides all that, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, that don't really have anything to do with the show but impressed me in some way, and I think you'll like them. Such as:

The Vogues, Five O'Clock World... I was on a walk last week when a motorcycle stopped at a light near me. I heard it coming from a mile away because this song was blasting at air-raid-siren sound levels from it. The rider, in practically a space suit of riding gear, seemed small, like a stocky child, but that might be because of the bike, which was enormous, the largest, most accessory-inflated motorcycle I've ever seen, short of cartoons.

What if we treated every young man who wants to buy a gun like we treat every woman who wants an abortion? "They forgot: Close all gun shops in your state and make it a crime to cross state lines to get a gun." –Roderick

And a kind of mandala ritual more in line with Western sensibilities than the flat sand kind imported from the East. Structural, three-dimensional, spectacular. Better, I think, but that's just me. Also it's comparing, which is an impediment to freeing oneself from the wheel of karma, I guess. Oh, well.

Marco McClean,,

* * *


by Carl Nolte

These are tough times for old-time San Franciscans. Everything seems to be changing, vanishing, fading. Even Anchor Steam beer, a San Francisco institution if there ever was one, is going away.

But enough sad songs. This Sunday’s column contains no sulfites, MSG, cholesterol or bad news. It’s about the Ferry Building, which may be the only San Francisco institution that has gotten better with age. The Ferry Building turned 125 last Thursday. They threw a party, but I didn’t go. I didn’t need a party to celebrate the Ferry Building. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.

I was with my grandfather, a native San Franciscan of the old school. He took me downtown on the cable car for a ferry ride to Oakland and back one day when I was very small. It was a bit of a guided tour, rattling along on the cable car, up one side of Nob Hill and down the other, through Chinatown and the old produce market, a stop on the Embarcadero to see the waterfront, a trip on the ferry sailing under the Bay Bridge to Oakland and back to the city. But what impressed the old man most was the Ferry Building, standing tall and gray at the foot of Market Street like an exclamation mark. “You see that, boy?” he said. “That’s the finest building in San Francisco.’’

That trip was long ago but I’ve never lost my affection for the Ferry Building. In my grandfather’s day it was the symbol of the city, the gateway to San Francisco. In a way, it still is.

The Ferry Building is personal for me. I’ve been there a thousand times to ride the ferries. I worked my way through college with jobs in the postal facilities in the shadow of the Ferry Building, rode the streetcars that looped in front of the Ferry, watched as the Embarcadero Freeway was built to cut off the Ferry Building from the rest of the city, and years later watched the freeway being torn down. I felt sad when the old building was empty and neglected, and glad when it made a comeback.

The summit of my Ferry Building experience was eight years ago when I had a chance to climb inside the Ferry Building tower with Jim Phelan, a steeplejack, and Donna Huggins, an admirer of all things San Francisco. We climbed up 10 flights of stairs and three steel ladders to a space just under the flagpole. There are four small windows and a tiny space with the city at your feet, straight down. I was terrified.

Maybe the old memories are best. Mine came from riding the old-time ferries, big white steamers with paddle wheels and deep whistles the captain blew every time they sailed, the sound echoing off the big buildings.

We went to Marin a lot when I was a kid, every trip an adventure. The waiting room door at the Ferry Building would slide open, and passengers walked down a dark hallway that smelled of creosote and salt water to board the boat. I remember coming back from Marin across the dark bay toward the Ferry Building on a winter’s night, the city quiet, the downtown buildings lit up, the windows glittering, Coit Tower standing like a sentinel, and big red neon signs blinking just below the hills — WELLMAN COFFEE and SHERWIN WILLIAMS PAINT COVERS THE EARTH.

We’d walk off the boat through the Ferry Building and out onto the Embarcadero, right onto Market Street, the city laid out before you, all the lights, the crowds. It looked important, like a big city. Like San Francisco. How could a kid not love something like that?

But you know what happens to childhood adventures. They fade away, the way old-time ferry travel gradually disappeared. Times changed. As I grew a bit older I still rode the remaining ferries sometimes, just to ride. In July 1958, the San Leandro, the last of the big old ferries, sailed away, with Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops orchestra, leading a band playing old-time tunes. You want to cross the bay? Take the bus. You can’t stop progress.

But maybe you can. A year after the last ferry sailed, the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway was built in front of the Ferry Building. It lasted 32 ugly years. The 1989 earthquake shook the region; the Ferry Building rocked and rolled. The famous clock stopped at 5:17 and the flagpole at the top was bent at a crazy angle. It looked awful but that was the start of a new life for the Ferry Building and the waterfront in general. San Francisco got a new face on the bay.

Take a look. I went down myself, just before the Very Ferry birthday party at midweek, had a bit of street food on the sidewalk, strolled through the food hall and the shops, sat outside on the plaza at the bay side of the building, watched the seagulls, the strolling crowds and the boats on the bay: a tug, a sailboat, a big cargo ship.

The food scene and the weekend farmers market bring new flavor to the old building, but it is the ferries that give it life. A ferry was just leaving. “Last call” the woman at the gate called out. I whipped out my Clipper card and rushed to get aboard. I wasn’t sure where we were going — Vallejo as it turned out.

The boat was sleek and modern, very fast, nothing like the old ferries I remembered. We pulled out of the dock, turned around and picked up speed, the city and the Ferry Building dropping away, the boat kicking up a big white wake, wind whipping over the aft deck.

We headed up the north bay. Opposite the Golden Gate, the ferry gave a little roll, the barest taste of the sea. We passed under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, passed Red Rock, clusters of small islands, the Brothers, the Sisters, the Marin Islands, up San Pablo Bay and up the Mare Island channel to Vallejo. A different view of the region and a small adventure. The voyage is the longest run on the bay, an hour each way.

There are sailings to 10 different bay ports from the Ferry Building, 204 arrivals and departures every weekday.

They say San Francisco is not what it used to be and that’s true. But in some ways, it’s better. It depends on where you look. 

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

SAM CUTLER, tour manager for Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones, dies at 80

by Aiden Vaziri

Sam Cutler, a former tour manager known for his work with iconic bands such as the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead, died on Tuesday, July 11, at his home in Brisbane, Australia. He was 80. 

The cause of his death was cancer, according to his children, Bodhi and Chesley Cutler, who revealed that their father had been battling the disease for nearly a decade and had been undergoing treatment.

Remembering Cutler’s contributions to the band, the surviving members of Grateful Dead, some of whom are performing with Dead & Company at Oracle Park in San Francisco this weekend, took to social media to pay tribute. They acknowledged his profound impact on both the band and the world of music, stating in a tweet, “His spirit, passion & creativity left indelible marks on the Grateful Dead & the world of music.”

Cutler rose to international prominence at age 20 when he served as the master of ceremonies for the Rolling Stones’ free concert at London’s Hyde Park on July 5, 1969. During the event, which drew a crowd of 500,000 people, he famously declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world!” 

He subsequently joined the band on their American tour, where the Stones first played the Oakland Arena in 1969 and Cutler wound up in an onstage wrestling match with promoter Bill Graham.

“It was quite the clash of titans,” guitarist Keith Richards noted in Graham’s autobiography.

The tour culminated in the ill-fated Altamont Speedway concert. Described by former Chronicle music critic and historian Joel Selvin as “rock’s darkest day,” the event marked a tragic turn for the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead.

The Altamont free festival, held on Dec. 6, 1969, at a speedway 50 miles east of San Francisco, lives in notoriety as one of rock music’s great debacles. During the concert, an 18-year-old fan was fatally stabbed by a member of the Hells Angels, who had been hired as security for the event for $500 in beer. Three other concertgoers also died in accidents, and many others were subjected to violence, shocking the crowd of 300,000 attendees.

“Altamont was a huge turning point for both the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead,” Selvin told The Chronicle. “The Dead determined never to have anything to do with the mainstream audience ever again and dedicated themselves to their audience and their community. The Stones, who were this fearless and fierce band, lost something at Altamont that they never regained; some fire went out in them.”

Cutler chronicled his experiences in a memoir titled “You Can’t Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates,” published in 2011. In the book, he recounted his decision to remain in California after the concert with just $300 in his pocket.

Despite the Altamont tragedy, Cutler forged a friendship with the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and subsequently became the band’s touring manager. Cutler played a pivotal role in organizing the band’s 1970 Festival Express Tour in Canada, the 1973 Watkins Glen Summer Jam festival, which attracted a crowd of 600,000, and the band’s 1972 European Tour, documented in the three-album set “Europe ’72.”

“With the Rolling Stones I was looking after the band,” Culter told Classic Bands. “With the Grateful Dead, I did everything. I took care of all the travel arrangements, all the bookings for the shows. Everything. So, in effect, I worked much harder in a way with the Grateful Dead than with the Stones.”

In a statement shared on Facebook, Cutler’s children said, “Many people from across our big beautiful world crossed paths with Sam in his life, and many more formed timeless memories with him that are each beautiful encapsulation of the man that he was. Sam would want nothing more for his friends to continue to form timeless memories with whomever they meet and to share those memories with him in the next love.”

Sam Cutler was born on March 10, 1943, in Hatfield, England, and was raised by adoptive parents. He initially worked as a teacher but found his passion as a stage manager in the late ’60s, working with emerging rock acts such as Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton. Cutler also collaborated with artists such as the Band, Allman Brothers, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Mike Bloomfield and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. However, he eventually distanced himself from the music industry to travel the world.

“I certainly didn’t want to help other people realize their fantasies yet again,” he told the music and culture site Please Kill Me. “I’d had enough of all that. So I went off to India and contemplated my navel and tried to work out what I wanted to do.”

In 1998, he relocated to Australia, spending several years living on a bus.

“I’d just gone as far as I wanted to go,” he said. “I’d gone down as many roads as I wanted to explore. The Grateful Dead were far out, of course, but they weren’t so far out that I wanted to live with them for the rest of my life. We’re brothers. They’re wonderful people. I did what I did with them, and then I f— off. 

Cutler is survived by his sons, Bodhi and Chesley Cutler.

* * *

Castro Theatre, 1970

* * *


by Maureen Dowd

In the 2002 movie “Simone,” Al Pacino plays a director whose star, played by Winona Ryder, walks out on him after saying her trailer on set isn’t grand enough.

Disgusted, Pacino’s character secretly creates an obedient computer-generated actress to replace his temperamental one. Simone is a perfect-looking blonde, named after the computer program that crafted her, Simulation One.

But Simone is so successful — lavished with Oscars, adored by fans — that she overshadows her director, who becomes jealous and gets rid of her with a computer virus. But he has made her so realistic, he is charged with her murder.

Be careful what you wish for, Hollywood studios, as you mess with the primal force of A.I.

Tinseltown is going dark, as the actors join the writers on the picket line. Hollywood’s century-old business model was upended by Covid and also by streaming, which swept in like an occupying army. Then streaming hit a ceiling, and Netflix and Co. scrambled to pivot.

With a dramatically different economic model shaped by transformative technologies — A.I. is a key issue in the strike — the writers and actors want a new deal. And they deserve it.

The New York Times’s Brooks Barnes describes the mood of the town as très French Revolution, with writers and actors seething in fury over the Marie Antoinette antics of CEOs and studio chiefs collecting humongous paychecks, frolicking in Cannes and jetting to Sun Valley.

Besides pay fairness, writers want to make sure that they’re not rendered irrelevant by algorithms, and actors want to prevent their digital likenesses from coming under new ownership.

It’s a complex issue. Even as writers are demanding that studios not replace them with A.I., some studio execs are no doubt wondering if the writers are being hypocritical: Will they start using A.I. to help them finish their scripts on deadline?

Chatbots are so proficient — and growing more so every second — that many studio suits are probably itching to bypass the middleman screenwriter.

As Puck’s Matthew Belloni said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “You can say, you know, ‘Here’s the “Social Network” script. Write me a script, but make it about Elon Musk, not Mark Zuckerberg’.”

Jaron Lanier, the father of virtual reality, has long warned that we were cruising for a bruising. As he told me nine years ago, the lords of the cloud were acting as if they had been inventing a digital brain when what they were really doing was making a mash-up of real brains.

He said that when machines translated one language into another, they were leeching from human translators, taking matching phrases from aggregated data; those translators should have the right to negotiate for compensation for unwittingly feeding the A.I. brain.

He also has made the point that Facebook and other social media companies have been extracting our precious data for years, without giving us payment or any of the other rights a first-class citizen would normally have. He said it would be unfair if Hollywood studios created fake versions of actors and then didn’t pay them.

The compensation issue is now center stage. Sarah Silverman joined class-action lawsuits against OpenAI and Meta accusing them of copyright infringement, saying that they “ingested” her work to train their A.I.s.

The ingesting and synthesizing of words, images and music is going on in giant gulps. Indeed, the day is fast approaching when the digerati will be able to make a whole fake movie.

As Lanier said, “They might say, ‘Make me a movie that’s similar to Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible.” However, make sure that none of the synthetic actors can be mistaken for known actors and make sure that we’re not going to get sued, but let’s go right up to the line.’ That’s not quite feasible today, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be. It’s just math. And we can do it.”

He said that the Hollywood strikers are just the tip of the iceberg. “People say, ‘Why should we help these fancy, lefty, very well-paid actors? Screw them.’ But if you’re making a living driving a vehicle or working in a place where you use heavy machines like an auto body shop, all kinds of jobs, this is going to create the legal precedents that could protect you in the future, too.” Almost nobody is immune to the risk that A.I. could devalue their economic position, even though A.I. will also have widespread benefits.

“Tech companies would be helped by bringing the whole society into the process of improving how models perform using economic incentives,” Lanier said. But, he added, if we get it wrong on “data dignity,” society will “turn into a misery fast enough.”

“This is really for everybody,” he said of the effort not to be swallowed by A.I. “It might not seem like it, but it really, really is.”

* * *

* * *



On July 7, the U.S. announced it had officially destroyed the last of its chemical weapons. The U.S. was the last nation to do so under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, which, among other things, required destruction of all such weapons.

It was also confirmed on July 7 that the U.S. will send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help in its fight against Russia. This is contrary to the goals of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which includes prohibition of their use. Although 123 nations have committed to these goals, the United States, Russia and Ukraine have not. The U.S. justification is that Ukraine has run out of ammunition and needs these weapons for defensive purposes.

I’m not certain why the Biden administration decided to announce both these actions on the same day. I find it ironic. But perhaps they thought the good and bad news would somehow balance each other out.

I think the wiser decision would have been to delay the Ukraine announcement. This would have allowed a few days of positive news from the weapons elimination before announcing the bad. Then again, that might have appeared cynical.

Sherman Schapiro


* * *

THERE AIN'T NO SIN and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. 

— John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

* * *


When I get to the news in the morning, before the local paper or other web sources I tend to check Drudge first every day, just for a few seconds.

Not to see what’s happening in the world today, but rather to see what we are supposed to believe is happening in the world today. Whatever Drudge notes as newsworthy, we should generally ignore. Whatever Drudge is ignoring, we should be looking into it.

Note that today, Ukraine is currently not mentioned once on the entire page, probably for the first time in a year and a half. Therefore, it should be looked into and written about right now.

Ukraine has been losing popularity with the Wurlitzer-reading hoi polloi for quite some time, same as Uncle Joe…but they’re both clearly being prepped for the boot. And that’s all well and good.

What I could do without is the constant bullshit fear mongering about how it’s currently the “hottest the earth has ever been” right now. (Drudge splattering that everywhere again today)

It’s freakin’ July. And even then, record temps are not being recorded almost anywhere right now. Same as it ever was. But they’ll keep saying it until the youngins believe it, and then in 20 years they will be the ones running things…and might actually believe that the weather is supposed to be uniform and moderate every day here on earth, contrary to every piece of history or evidence available…ever.

I fear stupidity shall reign, even more so than it does today. Once they close the loop of “life experience” (when we all die and the kids are programmed), it shall be the age of stupidity. Best part is they will also think they’re smarter than any previous generation while doing so.

Or so I fear.

* * *

(photo by Darius Kinsey)

* * *


Ukraine says it is slowly grinding forward on the southern and eastern front lines as Russian forces throw "everything they can" at halting the counteroffensive. Kyiv insists Western allies remain patient and willing to provide aid.

The US is close to a decision on sending Ukraine ATACMs, a type of long-range guided missile that Kyiv has long sought, a top aide to Ukraine's president said.

The Black Sea grain deal that ensures safe passage for Ukrainian exports expires Monday, and the UN is still trying to address Russia's objections as it threatens to quit the pact.

The future of the Wagner private military group is murky in the wake of its short-lived rebellion last month. This week brought speculation about the organization's legal status in Russia, a potential new commander and the mercenaries' presence in Belarus.

* * *

THE ENGLISH are not very spiritual people so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.”

— George Bernard Shaw

* * *

* * *


Unfortunately for George Washington, by the time the federal government settled into “Washington City,” his Potomac Canal Company was financially insolvent. The cost of creating Washington, DC, turned out to be scandalously incalculable. And the estimated profits to his American and European real estate investors for turning the Potomac into a profitable shipping channel would never return enough to pay them back with interest. Washington had to maneuver and wheel and deal behind the scenes to get a minimum number of votes from congress to cover the cost with tax dollars and repay his investors.

A chilling insight into Washington's modus operandi can be found in his personal copy of the 1789 Acts of Congress, recently auctioned at Christie’s for $10 million. The 106-page leather-bound volume, heavily annotated with margin notes by Washington, contained his copy of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the acts creating the State and Treasury Departments. Marked on its title page, signed by Washington, was a line that he claimed to be his personal motto: “Mindexitus acta probat,” — “the ends justify the means.”

For 220 years, Thomas Jefferson's pablum about the Grand Bargain that he claimed produced the compromise of placing the capitol in Virginia in exchange for the federal assumption of post-Revolutionary War Debt has upstaged the truth that George Washington clearly attempted to profit from his office. Jefferson created his Dinner Table Bargain farrago about what happened there for a quartet of reasons, all of which stemmed from his need to create an origin mythology for the United States. Instead of hailing George Washington as the American Pericles, Jefferson engineered a tale that made himself the hero. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay were among the most educated men in history. All trained lawyers, they read history, literature, material on scientific methods, navigation and exploration, the principles of mathematics, architecture, and the history of art. They were multilingual men of letters who had studied the Bible, Sparta and Athens, the republics of Rome, Carthage, and Venice; they read Plato and Aristotle, James Harrington’s Commonwealth, Machiavelli, and Montesquieu. While Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay often published their arguments on political theory pseudonymously using Roman pen names, they exchanged tens of thousands of letters among themselves that they preserved for posterity. Our Founding Fathers were aware that they were writing history.

The first reason for Jefferson’s fictional account about the alleged deal that removed the capital city from New York to an undeveloped swamp along the Potomac River was to insert himself into the trio from which he had been excluded so that posterity would believe that he was the nation’s great mediator. (More than once, John Adams accused Jefferson of making up stories.) 

The second reason for the tale was so that Jefferson could substitute the Christian leitmotif of a “shining city on a hill” that painted a civilization free of taint for the Realpolitik that Washington, DC, was not only created from a physical swamp but also a moral morass with a base profit motive. 

Jefferson's third intent, similar to the cherry-tree allegory, was meant to burnish a hallowed legacy for our nation’s first president, who, in truth, co-opted the seat of government from New York for personal profit and through trickery.

— Susan Nagel, ‘Patriotism & Profit’ 2021

* * *

THE CALIFORNIA BAR and Italian boarding house in Bingham, Utah c. 1900

Throughout the 1800s and well into the first half of the 1900s, boarding houses flourished in numerous American cities, adding a touch of charm and peculiarity to urban life. These establishments varied greatly, ranging from grand, purpose-built edifices to the humble abodes of "genteel ladies" who sought to augment their income by renting a room or two. The eclectic mix of boarders was equally diverse, encompassing prosperous businessmen, destitute laborers, solitary individuals, and entire families.

However, married women who chose to board with their families were often subjected to unfounded accusations of laziness. It was claimed they neglected their responsibilities, deeming the laborious tasks of housekeeping, cooking, and child-rearing too arduous to undertake diligently. Alas, prejudice found its way even into the walls of these communal dwellings.

Primarily catering to men, boarding houses left women with limited options. Co-ed establishments carried the risk of encountering objectionable characters, while all-female havens were susceptible to slanderous insinuations falsely associated with disreputable enterprises of ill repute.

Organizations like the Young Women's Christian Association emerged to counteract these perils, providing heavily supervised boarding houses exclusively for young women. These sanctuaries were hailed as veritable "brick-and-mortar chastity belts," shielding unmarried women from the corrupting influences lurking in the city's dark corners.

In the 19th century, a remarkable portion—anywhere from one-third to one-half—of urban dwellers either rented out rooms to boarders or became boarders themselves. The cost ranged from a modest $2.50 to a princely $40 per week, depending on the establishment and its amenities.

* * *


  1. Marmon July 16, 2023


    It is no surprise that this case has made its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. Ann Borges told me from the beginning that their attorneys expected and were prepared to go all the way with this case. Hopefully the Court will hear it. The lower courts ruled that marijuana cultivators have no federally protected property interest (rights). That is what their attorneys want to change. This is big.


    • Ted Williams July 16, 2023

      What exactly is the evidence of wrongdoing? (I read the transcript and it seemed a bit… .thin)

      • Marmon July 16, 2023

        If I remember right, Ted, the Plaintiffs first filed their case in the Mendocino County Superior Court but your outside attorneys petitioned to have it moved to Federal Court so they could argue that the Plaintiffs had no protected property rights under federal law. The Plaintiffs then filed a Title 42 lawsuit in U.S District Court, San Francisco. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

        As for the cost of those outside attorneys, last month the US District Court odered the Plaintiff’s to pay a little over $9,000 to the County for court cost. Buy the way, the meter is still running

        “The Court finds that it is not appropriate to deny the County’s costs in this case. As an initial matter, the Court notes that the County’s costs of $ 9,344.91 are reasonable and are not so high as to have a chilling effect on future civil rights actions.”

        I believe the County was played by the Gurr/Borges attorneys.

        They always wanted to take to the Supreme Court.


        • Marmon July 16, 2023

          The reason Mendo’s outside attorneys wanted it out of the State system is because California law recognizes property rights in regards to cannabis cultivation and dispensing.


          • Ted Williams July 16, 2023

            Perhaps my memory is wrong, but I thought they missed the filing deadline for state.

  2. Eric Sunswheat July 16, 2023

    Dismantling Sheriff Drug Death Lock Up Legislation.

    RE: gossip about who lately broke in to the shelter’s dumpster enclosure to take saleable garbage items out to sell for narcotics. — Craig Louis Stehr

    —>. June 27, 2023
    “When access to prescription opioids is heavily restricted, people will seek out opioids that are unregulated,” said Grant Victor, an assistant professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Substance Use and Addiction Treatment.

    “The opposite may also be true; our findings suggest that restoring easier access to opioid pain medications may protect against fatal overdoses.”

    America’s opioid crisis has evolved across several waves, with each increasingly fatal. Wave one, which began in the 1990s, was associated with overdose deaths because of the misuse of opioid medications.

    A policy implemented during the initial wave was the creation of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), state-based initiatives that track controlled substance prescribing.

    While the policy made it more difficult to access prescription opioids and rates of prescribing did decrease, it had the unintended consequence of pushing people toward off-market opioids, raising the risk of accidental death, said Victor.

    This led to wave two of the crisis, a surge in heroin-related deaths, beginning around 2010, followed by wave three (which started in 2013), fueled by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

  3. Ted Williams July 16, 2023


    “why did he help push through an ill-considered and rash consolidation of the Treasurer and Auditor’s offices, an historical separation of functions that provides an essential check on the County’s revenue generation and expense tracking?”

    The board has never forced consolidation of “offices”. We combined two elected department heads, an effort that started in 2007 under a different board. One of these offices ran the pension plan for decades. Soon after I joined the county, I was informed one-third of pensions were in error, from 1979 through 2019. The other department had been unable to produce a balance sheet. I don’t see a history of checks on revenue generation and expense tracking. In fact, record keeping appears to be inline with the public’s jaded perception. Interestingly, the people closest to the money are screaming the loudest about eyes on the problem. “There’s nothing to see here, go away.” We’ll see about that.


    • peter boudoures July 16, 2023

      The county generates 900 million with 60 million going to labor. I’m going with these numbers until you prove me wrong. With that much cash flow you need financial advisors with experience. You need long term plans on how to invest. Cutting 30 employees and selling off your properties is shortsighted and shows you’re wasting time in your meetings.

      • Ted Williams July 16, 2023

        Budget books are at:


        Total Revenue: 395,300,905

        Total Salaries and Benefits: 133,104,266 (doesn’t include the millions we pay per year on underfunded pensions)

        “You need long term plans on how to invest. ”

        Invest what? The county treasurer is highly regulated. Retirement investments are not under the BOS.

        • Kirk Vodopals July 16, 2023

          Looks like Ted proved you (Pete) wrong…

          These discussion boards are more informative than any other news source I’ve seen.

          I may not always agree with Ted, but three cheers for him responding to all these statements and accusations.

          It seems clear to me that everyone can agree that there is a staffing problem at the County as well as an unsustainable financial future.

          How unsustainable that system is is still unclear. Underfunded pension liabilities won’t go away if you hire more staff at higher wages.

          • peter boudoures July 16, 2023

            He threw 655 pages at me so I’ll have to get back to him in 6 months.

            • peter boudoures July 16, 2023

              I thought much more money would come in from sales tax but for example PGE pays the most at 3million and it drops off considerably to 800k from Mendo forest products, 150k from thurston auto plaza. Mendocino is only receiving a very small percent of the 8% sales tax. California is making a killing.

              • Ted Williams July 16, 2023


                I did some basic charting at our last meeting, captured here:


                County government spends budget dust on outside architects and third party auditors. Almost every bit of revenue is spent on labor, the buildings labor works in, the cars labor drives, health insurance for labor, workers comp for labor, training for labor, etcetera. Essentially, raises are possible when revenue increases. The way I’d explain it, you have a county with $100 revenue, $102 in expenses, and SEIU is asking for a raise and to hire more people. The county cannot spend beyond its means and given that the primary expense is labor, we’re arguing to cut labor to pay for labor. Or, prioritize labor above labor.

                You have two slopes to consider. You have the slope of revenue increase. This might be just above 2% in the long term. Then, you have the slope of providing the same service as last year. This slope is steeper. The spread created is the pain we feel. There is effectively less money (in real terms) every year to provide services and infrastructure. This has been going on since prop 13 was passed. In counties with growth, taxes on new construction can mitigate the revenue stagnation. Mendocino County is no growth and has long enjoyed policies (like inclusionary housing) to guarantee no growth.

                Lee Edmundson suggests employees should strike. Tell me, how do you balance a budget in a county where employees are expected to receive average annual raises above average annual revenue increases? One way our county has attempted to pull this off is by deferring maintenance on structures (and I would argue, our roads). That game has reached a dead end.

                The footprint is simply too large. I suggest, if the state gives us $X to provide a service, like Social Services, we spend $X, paying living wages. If it’s not enough, our state reps can work on funding. It’s not for a county to perform the impossible.

                • chuck dunbar July 16, 2023

                  Mr. Williams, I am continuing– kind of– remarks I made in recent posts to you regarding the Grand Jury and its findings regarding Family and Children’s Services–

                  Costs for labor are costs that are mostly about the direct services provided by the County for the public good. Or, I should say, should be for the public good, with public safety as the first priority. That is a good thing.

                  However, it is common knowledge among the County’s direct service workers–those in the trenches directly meeting public needs–that upper management is top-heavy in the County. These positions are expensive ones, paid quite handsomely. In such times, these positions should now be closely examined as to true need/usefulenss. Are they essential, or are they not? Some should be cast aside, as not truly in the public good, just a part of an ever-growing bureaucracy that becomes self-important. I could write pages here about the management wastes and stupidity I saw over my 18 years with the County.

                  If the “footprint is simply too large,” the County needs to do what any business would do to survive hard times–jettison non-essential positions that are not direct-service oriented. Retain and pay decent wages to those who serve the public. Keep good staff dedicated to important missions. This would take some hard work and some intelligent, questioning analyses. No doubt there would be pain involved. Still, it would be a worthwhile endeavor.

                  • Ted Williams July 16, 2023

                    I hear you on too many layers of management. I don’t want to term anyone non-essential, but when was the last time the structure was reviewed for performance? What are the outcomes? How do our outcomes compare to other counties with similar cases?

                    Why does the BOS have a history of primarily reviewing general fund departments? What does the funding source have to do with oversight? County, state and federal dollars are all public money.

    • Mark Scaramella July 16, 2023

      December 14, 2021 Agenda Item 5h:

      Discussion and Possible Adoption of Ordinance Repealing Mendocino County Code Section 2.16.041, Adding Section 2.16.070and Amending Chapter 2.36 for the Purpose of Consolidating the Offices of the Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer-Tax Collector

      This ordinance would repeal, add and amend specified sections of the Mendocino County Code to consolidate the offices of the Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer-Tax Collector into a single office, the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, which consolidation would be operative on January 2, 2023. The ordinance also applies updated office qualifications and continuing education requirements to the office of the auditor that are consistent with State law.

      Item 5h: Board Action: Upon motion by Supervisor Williams, seconded by Supervisor McGourty, IT IS ORDERED that the Board of Supervisors adopts ordinance repealing Mendocino County Code Section 2.16.04, adding section 2.16.070 and amending Chapter 2.36 for the purpose of consolidating the Offices of the Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer-Tax Collector; and authorize Chair to sign same. The motion carried by the following vote:
      Aye: 4 – Supervisor McGourty, Supervisor Mulheren, Supervisor Gjerde and Supervisor Williams No: 1 – Supervisor Haschak

      • Ted Williams July 16, 2023


        “Offices of” refers to the elected head.

        Nothing stops or has stopped the existing organization charts of Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector. All we did was say there would be one elected head to oversee as opposed to two. It was to put an end to the finger pointing.

        What should concern us all is the lack of reporting. Unless somehow can show me otherwise, it’s my belief that the lack of credible reporting is due to lack of record keeping. Is that just from incompetence or is there corruption? I never imagined financial records could be so murky.

        Nobody, not the CEO, not department heads, not supervisor, can disperse county funds. Only the auditor can make a payment. I’d like the transaction log for the past five years. Every record. Where is it and why won’t anyone let me see it?

        • Eli Maddock July 16, 2023

          Thanks for your contributions today Ted, and your matter of fact rebuttal(s)
          Keep it up

        • Betsy Cawn July 17, 2023

          Mr. Williams, the reports I would like to see would clearly show the sources of funding for a given “budget unit,” with explanations of the obligations those sources demand in return for the funds. Then, what staff is assigned to the expenditure (and accountability) for those funds. Some funding is rolled into “programs,” again with expectations specified by the funding sources (federal, state, local revenues). If a given program is expected to disburse “x” amount of obligated funds, then the expenditures and milestone accomplishments of the assigned staff should be able to report monthly (or quarterly, at least) on the progress achieved to use the funding for the purpose to which it is assigned.

          As far as viewing the “transaction log” for the Auditor-Controller’s report, I tried to get the county of Lake to provide access to the county’s “checkbook,” as the city of Lakeport does at one of its two monthly meetings. (My request was denied, regardless of the Public Records Act authority — just as the Administration refused to provide public access to their “internal” compilation of “policies and procedures,” again in spite of PRA request status.) The list of “warrants” (invoices for which “checks” are written, to be approved by the city council) is viewable by the public, and shows the invoice number (which should become a “deduction” from the fund used to perform the services for which a contractor or vendor is hired by county staff), the name/title of the entity to receive the payment, and the amount [to be] paid. Individual council members are then able to ask questions about the validity of the payment, and note any discrepancies in expected/obligated expenditures compared with the payee’s performance to contracts.

          It’s perfectly reasonable for the Board of Supervisors to understand all of the uses of the funds and budget units for which the annual “budget” is approved, and important for the public to understand whether spending is effective and efficient or not.

          In the case of federal or state “mandated” programs and services, the number of “cases” handled by assigned staff (and consequently the amount of time allotted for handling each case) should be known in order to evaluate whether the available workforce is sufficient to provide adequate public health and safety services.

          As far as “utilization” (ugh, I hate that word) of invested county treasury dollars, Lake County hired a consultant a couple of years ago to identify the types of investments and yields that the Treasurer-Tax Collector deposits in banks and the state’s relatively safe “Local Agency Investment Fund” (LAIF), and improved both the results of selected investments and the security of treasury holdings. It can be done.

          • Ted Williams July 17, 2023

            Saving this note. Thank you.

  4. Ted Williams July 16, 2023


    “It’s silly for Williams to imply that a few new — and I would say naïve — Supervisors could somehow switch ‘models’ because of a momentary (in historic terms) revenue deficit that is largely of the Board’s own making.”

    By model, you’re referring to my desire to pay market wages, expect market performance, prioritize according to the state constitution (public safety first), collect taxes due, perform background checks on new hires, and mirror hiring standards seen elsewhere? It’s hardly a novel idea.


  5. Craig Stehr July 16, 2023

    If you are in Ukiah and need to cool off, the Senior Center located at 497 Leslie Street is a “cooling station” from 10AM to 6PM on Sunday July 16th. Stay cool, keep chanting, identify with the Eternal Witness, destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness, and go back to Godhead. This is the sattwic path in an otherwise impossible imploding world.

  6. Bruce McEwen July 16, 2023

    And here are Brad Paisley’s thoughts on the closing photo: Ticks
    Every time you take a sip
    In this smoky atmosphere
    You press that bottle to your lips
    And I wish I was your beer
    In the small there of your back
    Your jeans are playing peekaboo
    I’d like to see the other half
    Of your butterfly tattoo
    Hey, that gives me an idea
    Let’s get out of this bar
    Drive out into the country
    And find a place to park
    ‘Cause I’d like to see you out in the moonlight
    I’d like to kiss you way back in the sticks
    I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
    And I’d like to check you for ticks
    I know the perfect little path
    Out in these woods I used to hunt
    Don’t worry babe, I’ve got your back
    And I’ve also got your front
    Now, I’d hate to waste a night like this
    I’ll keep you safe you wait and see
    The only thing allowed to crawl all over you
    When we get there is me
    You know every guy in here tonight
    Would like to take you home
    But I’ve got way more class than them
    Babe, that ain’t what I want
    ‘Cause I’d like to see you out in the moonlight
    I’d like to kiss you way back in the sticks
    I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
    And I’d like to check you for ticks
    You never know where one might be
    There’s lots of places that are hard to reach
    I gotcha
    I’d like to see you out in the moonlight
    I’d like to kiss you, baby, way back in the sticks
    I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
    And I’d like to check you for ticks
    Oh, I’d sure like to check you for ticks
    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Brad Paisley / Kelley Lovelace / Tim Owens
    Ticks lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group

    • Kirk Vodopals July 16, 2023


      • Bruce McEwen July 16, 2023

        Your name came up at the Gathering of the Clans yesterday: some old fool was prattling on about longbows being hewn and crafted from the branches of the yew tree, and another elderly Scot noted that every Kirk in Scotland (all their churches, that is) had a yew tree in the Kirk yard and that one particular yew tree was over a thousand years old and The Battlefield Band wrote a very stirring song about, which, for aught I know, can still be found on YouTube if adequate search were made….

        • Kirk Vodopals July 16, 2023

          I’m honored… I think. Depending on the Clan that you speak of….

    • chuck dunbar July 16, 2023

      Good find, Mr. McEwen–a nice match with that enticing photo. Made my old heart tick a bit faster.

  7. George Hollister July 16, 2023

    Good discussion today. At this point, TW 1, everyone else 0.

  8. Stephen Rosenthal July 16, 2023

    Supervisor Williams:
    Since you’re in such a garrulous mood, would you care to expound on your and your fellow Board members’s simultaneous, unanimous and overwhelmingly enthusiastic endorsement of the utterly unqualified Mockel for District 1 Supervisor? I’ll thank you in advance.

    • Ted Williams July 16, 2023

      It was only fair to let Bruce’s imagination run wild for a bit because the truth is rather dull. Although coordinating individual political speech in the form of individual endorsement doesn’t fall under Brown Act, I wasn’t in communication with the other Supervisors. Trevor asked, and I scratched my head, wondering whether my endorsement would be a net win as I’m just an ordinary guy off the street with a bad attitude about government intrusion.

      My vision for county government is equally dull. Fire districts have a clear mission. They staff, train and equip to respond to emergencies, primarily fires and rescue situations. The county government has a wider array of responsibilities, but it’s important that we focus on these roles rather than fantasizing about what an autonomous region of California might do. Our roads are bad and it’s not possible to ban our way to a healthy economy. Our housing stock has not grown, yet we can’t subsidize working folks sufficient to overcome the regulation we’ve enacted. Government can provide solutions, but it can also be the problem.

      • Stephen Rosenthal July 16, 2023

        Expound: present and explain systematically and in great detail.

        I chose my words carefully and asked you to comment about one specific set of circumstances. Your response does not answer the question as requested. Instead you try to divert my and other reader’s attention by using age-old political gobbledygook. I didn’t refer to the Brown Act, nor did I ask about roads, fire districts or any of the other governmental issues you raised rather than addressing my question. Thanks for nothing.

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