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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 20, 2023

Warming | Arena Fog | AV Farmstands | Gofund Arthur | Shoplifting Forum | Navarro Mouth | Solar Permits | County Assessors | Whitmore Demolition | Credit Rating | Sage Spur | Ed Notes | Smoky Sky | Superficial Distraction | Palace Hotel | Coast Tents | Sharpening Service | 101 Upgrade | Release Party | Indian Paintbrush | Artist Panel | Women Strong | iPhone Support | Glazer Visit | Yesterday's Catch | Free Assange | Frankie Awake | Ostrom Case | Tres Lunchables | Climate Fiasco | Joe Jackson | Swooping Things | Possum Played | In Detention | Hollywoodland | Ukraine | Appetite Loss

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HOT INTERIOR TEMPERATURES will continue through Saturday, with the hottest temperatures expected on Friday. Temperatures will then gradually cool through early next week, but interior temperatures will remain near to above normal through the rest of the period. Temperatures along the coast will remain near normal. No rain is forecast to occur during the next seven days. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Clear skies & a cooler 48F on the coast this Thursday morning. You can see on satellite the fog is very close by but pulled away from the coast. Our forecast is for mostly clear skies with a breeze picking up later on Saturday.

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Air conditioning at the coast (Jennifer Smallwood)

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Brock Farms

Farm stand is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-7ish,

closed Sunday and Monday. 

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Velma's Farm Stand at Filigreen Farm

Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm

The farm stand is open Friday from 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. For fresh produce we will have: blueberries, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, napa cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, sprouting broccoli, spring onions, herbs (basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, shiso), and hopefully the first few ripe tomatoes (very limited!). We will also have dried fruit, tea blends, olive oil, fresh and dried flower bouquets, and some everlasting wreaths available. Plus some delicious flavors of Wilder Kombucha!

All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!

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Blue Meadow Farm is Open!

Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:00am - Dusk

Closed Mondays

Cherry & Early Girl Tomatoes!

Walla Walla Onions, Lettuce, Basil

Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash

Peppers & Eggplant


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

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AJ Hobbs has been part of this Valley since they moved here when he was a young kid. 

His Aunt and Uncle ran the church that used to be Assembly of God. He has built new homes in the Valley with Burroughs Construction. He was always helping anyone who needed it. He had a huge heart. He was a protector of his many nieces and nephews. Anything helps, please. Prayers for his family. 

GoFundMe message: “Trying to get some money together so we can get my uncle cremated and have a celebration of life for him. His name was Arthur Hobbs, he lived in Boonville. He was a very special person to all of us and deserves to be celebrated. He was always doing for others and we need help doing this one last thing for him."

News Article:


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BE THERE: Willits Shoplifing Forum

(No, it’s Not a How-To Workshop)

We want to let everyone know that the overwhelming number of positive responses to my recent series on “Crime and No Punishment” continues to grow. I’ve called for the state of California and local governments to abandon the Pandemic-era failed experiment of emptying jails via “catch-and-release” policies that allow crooks and criminal misfits to avoid incarceration. It’s undeniable that some of these new laws and policies seriously undermine basic public safety. Several days ago, Sheriff Matt Kendall issued a public statement supporting these moves: “We are often too busy to involve ourselves in pouring over legislation and how it will impact our communities. Let’s try to find some time to ask the hard questions of our state representatives and elected officials. These are good people, I often think they simply aren’t hearing from all of us. If we can all educate ourselves and come together with a reasonable voice, I am certain we can move beyond these issues.”

One of the issues Kendall referred to was the fireworks over a human trafficking bill that occurred on Tuesday, July 11, when oh-so-politically-correct Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee, deceptively argued that the proposed law would contribute to over-incarceration, would needlessly extend already-significant prison sentences, and would punish those at the lowest rungs of trafficking who may be victims of human trafficking themselves. As Kendall pointed out, by Thursday, July 13, the public outcry was so immediate and overwhelming that the Dems were forced to reconvene the Assembly into session, where they re-voted to approve the measure which had already won unanimous approval in the state Senate.

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This morning, I received the following notice:

This Is An Important Event – Please Attend

City Of Willits

Shoplifting Forum

August 2, 2023 @ 2pm

Willits Community Center (City Hall)

City Manager, Brian Bender

Police Chief, Fabian Lizarraga

Discussion of the Shoplifting issues our Merchants have been experiencing.

Obviously, it’s a good thing Willits folks are getting together with local government reps and the cops to try and figure out how to solve what is clearly a state government-created problem. So that’s all good news, let’s see where it all goes.


Jim Shields, Editor

Mendocino Observer, Laytonville

PS: Great, enlightening piece by Mike Geniella on the Palace Hotel debacle. The City of Ukiah is actually on the right side of this issue. However, once again the city manager is nowhere to be seen or heard. Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley hit all the right notes on what’s at stake with the apparent collapse of the deal. Riley appears to be more than qualified for the city manager post. So why continue to employ someone who, as my colleague B. Anderson regularly points out, is an invisible man?

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Navarro Rivermouth, 7.16.23 (Jeff Goll)

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SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: If you’re asked for an expensive Coastal Development Permit to install rooftop solar, please contact me. Name, address, parcel number and permit application would help.

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The Board of Supervisors continues to defend its consolidation of the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector Offices (though I am not sure how the argument that it was not a combination, just an elimination of one department head, works).

At the same time, they are rightfully concerned about the possibility of losing revenue due to parcels which have not been accurately assessed. One should remember that it was not too many years ago that the Office of Assessor was consolidated into the County Clerk-Elections Office. Would the current loss of revenues have happened if we still had an elected County Assessor? There’s plenty of room for speculation, but I think it is unlikely those losses would be happening if we still had an elected Assessor.

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This is what Whitmore Lane off of State St. currently looks like. The existing building with excellent bones, and was recently used for Covid overflow, was completely decimated. From what I’ve read, the new psychiatric facility that is going to be built there isn’t going to use existing water or plumbing lines either.

Does anyone know where we can find plans for the new build?

The south end of Ukiah is getting a new housing development and psych ward - the least we could get is less pot holes, sidewalks, and bike lanes to accommodate all the new changes.

Ted Williams?

I’d also written about getting South State street cleaned up from all the trash that flies from truck beds heading to the dump. I’d love a response. There has been a grandfather, grand son duo picking up trash every week for as long as I can remember. I’m sure they would love the support.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY’S CREDIT RATING IN DOUBT After Failing To File Crucial Information

by Sarah Reith

Mendocino County may lose its rating from a top credit rating agency, due to a lack of sufficient information, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Last month, Natalie Ramos, a lead analyst with Moody’s, filed a public records request for the fiscal 2022 audit or adequate draft financial documents that Mendocino County needed to respond to by June 30th. Without those materials, she wrote, Moody’s would “consider placing the district’s rating under review for possible withdrawal due to lack of sufficient information.” 

Treasurer Tax Collector Auditor Controller Chamisse Cubbison closed the request on June 23 with no responsive documents, writing only that, “The County’s outside audit firm is still completing the fiscal year 2021-22 audit and the preparation of Annual Comprehensive Financial Review. The County does not have a draft of the financial statement available for review. We hope that the reports will be available in the next 30 days.” 

CEO Darcie Antle confirmed that no documents were attached to the closed request. Neither Cubbison nor the outside auditor, Clifton Larson Allen, responded to a request for comment.

Moody’s also did not respond to a request for comment. But its online policy for withdrawal of credit ratings lists “Incorrect, insufficient or otherwise inadequate financial information” as its first reason for dropping an entity. Moody’s will withdraw its credit rating if the information available to support it “is insufficient to effectively assess the creditworthiness of the Rated Entity or the obligation; and (ii) such information is unlikely to be available to MIS in the near future.”

Moody’s is one of three credit rating agencies that scores the county’s financial viability, a measurement that is essential to investors or lenders as they calculate their financial risk. The credit rating is also important in determining the interest rates on bonds, which many public institutions rely on to pay for specific projects. According to the State Treasurer’s office, “Underwriters and investors rely upon the credit quality judgment made by the rating agencies (expressed as a credit rating). Some mutual funds, institutions, and investment trusts are restricted by law or by the terms of their organizational documents to buying securities at or above specified credit rating levels…[T]he credit rating is the most important factor in determining the interest rate on bonds relative to other issues sold at the same time.”

Credit rating agencies generally consider Mendocino County to be solidly in the middle range., a municipal transparency website, lists its Moody’s rating at A1. We were unable to confirm that with Moody’s or the CEO’s office. Investopedia characterizes A1 as “upper-medium range and subject to low credit risk.” Fitch Ratings gave the county a grade of A+ last year, which Investopedia pronounces, “the fifth-highest rating a debt issuer or a debt instrument can receive.” And S&P Global Rating raised the county’s credit rating to an AA last year, citing its “improved financial position, supported by enhanced financial management policies and practices.” In a press release at that time, Supervisor Ted Williams said he believed the upgrade would “benefit bottom-line county finance for many years to come.”

But now, after balancing the budget with $7 million in one-time funds and no foreseeable end to negotiations with the county’s largest labor union, Williams is deeply concerned about the county’s credit rating. 

Williams has filed his own request for public records to find out if Cubbison shared any financial documents with Moody’s. In an interview, he said, “Mendocino County is deficient in record keeping. The Board of Supervisors is struggling to do its job due to lack of financial acuity provided by the Auditor Controller.” 

The county does not appear to be in great financial shape, though documents are sparse. The recently passed budget does not include a COLA for its employees, with the CEO’s office estimating that a 1% COLA would cost the county $1.3 million it doesn’t have. Antle told the Board of Supervisors last month that 33 employees would have to be laid off to pay for a 3% COLA. The assessor’s office has sent out 6,000 notices to taxpayers in an attempt to collect property taxes from up to four years ago. A half million dollars has been set aside to hire more assessors to help increase the county’s tax revenue, but hiring and training have been slow going. The $3.6 million health plan deficit will mostly be covered by ARPA, or the American Rescue Plan Act funds, but the remainder is still $800,000.

It appears that rating agencies typically approach a withdrawal by degrees. In March of this year, The Bond Buyer, an online financial news site, reported that S&P Global Ratings placed 149 bond issuers, including local governments, on CreditWatch “with negative implications,” due to a lack of financial information.

One large business that has also lost its credit rating for a lack of financial information is Twitter. Last year, Fortune reported that S&P downgraded the company after Elon Musk bought it, then withdrew its rating altogether. According to Fortune, “The group of banks that funded the buyout now face the challenge of syndicating the ($13 billion) debt to investors, many of whom use rating companies to determine the risk involved in buying credit.” 

There have been other high-profile credit rating withdrawals. S&P’s own industry publication reported in May of this year that it lowered First Republic Bank’s rating from a B+ to a CC before withdrawing its rating. That was after the bank failed and the state appointed the FDIC as a receiver. JPMorgan Chase bought the bank’s assets but did not assume its corporate debt.

Entire countries can also lose their credit ratings. Last year, Reuters reported that the European Union banned credit rating agencies from rating Russia and Russian companies, as part of a sanctions package following the invasion of Ukraine. Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P all withdrew their ratings, rather than lose their licenses in the EU.

Closer to home, Williams reflected that, “It’s kind of a big deal if we lose our credit rating. I hope we don’t have to borrow again.”


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Skunk Train RR sign, Willits (Jeff Goll)

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THE ARTICLE BEGINS: “Change Our Name Fort Bragg went public this weekend with its intention to petition California’s Advisory Committee on Geographic Names to change the Mendocino coastal town’s name, which they decry for its evocation of ‘genocide, extreme violence, and structural racism of white supremacy’.”

IT EVOKES no such thing, and can't evoke this rote catechism of the show biz righteous because no one in Fort Bragg or Mendocino County even knew who Braxton Bragg was until the green hairs brought him up.

AS IT HAPPENS, I enjoyed a lunch with Ukiah friends this very afternoon, and Name Change Fort Bragg came up. Everyone groaned. It's a fake issue brought by fake liberals who are also lazy and without faith in their own posturing, self-alleged principles which, if they believed in their own advertised principles they would do the work of signature gathering and put Name Change on the ballot. They don't do that because of their aforementioned sloth and because they know the overwhelming majority of Fort Bragg people, recognizing phonies when they move into town, would slam dunk the Name Changers. “Look at us. We're against racism and genocide.” Maestro, if you please, a quick chorus of ‘Love Me, I'm A Liberal.’ 

FORT BRAGG got its name when a junior officer in the pre-Civil War hoped to score some brownie points with Braxton Bragg, an officer a rung or two above the brown noser in the Army's command structure. 

BRAGG, a Southern slave owner, was not yet a traitor, which he became when he later fought with the Confederate army as a general, by some accounts the least competent Confederate commander of all and widely disliked by his fellow soldiers and regarded by the great Ulysses S. Grant as highly irritating even before his Civil War treachery.

AMONG the first wave settlers were a disproportionate number of dissolute single men, many of them criminals on the lam from other areas of the United States. These walking syphilis sticks preyed on the native people and were generally a disruptive presence on the freshly established and, initially, prospering rez. Everyone complained about them, hence that first platoon-size military presence.

BRAXTON BRAGG never visited his namesake fort, lightly manned — personed, Name Changers? — by an initial consignment of twenty soldiers assigned to crack down on the predatory white lowlifes who were disrupting life on the rez. There was no other civil authority on the Mendocino Coast than this minor military presence. 

AND Fort Bragg, apart from a modest and barely visible plaque on Main Street, has never otherwise acknowledged or recognized Braxton Bragg, let alone celebrated him.

AT NO TIME on the Mendocino Coast were soldiers involved in wholesale murders of the native people. Those atrocities occurred in the Eel River Basin where a year-long assault on native people was funded by the State of California at the urging of Serranus Hastings, chief justice of California’s first supreme court after whom the famous Bay Area law school is named. White vigilantes, and at least one black tough guy employed by “The King of Round Valley,” George E. White, also slaughtered Indians who, it should be said, fought back as best they could without guns and horses and continued to fight back through the first decade of the twentieth century.

WHAT'S MOST ANNOYING about the Name Changers is their totalitarian view of American history. To hear them, the country was poisoned by the founding atrocities of slavery and extermination of many native peoples. Call me Mr. Pollyanna, but with the Name Changers it’s as if America hasn't seen eight years of a popularly elected black president and there aren't literally millions of genuinely affectionate, loyal, inter-racial relationships where, in 1950, there were virtually none. Name Change Fort Bragg is a non-issue brought by fake liberals.

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smoky sky from the Oregon fire, Route 101, south of Willits (Jeff Goll)

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The majority of Fort Bragg residents don’t want to change the name – bottom line.

Lt. Gibson named the town after Braxton Bragg, but Bragg never set foot in the area. Should have been called Ft. Gibson. I think Bragg was a fkn scumbag, but that is beside the point.

This is a superficial distraction, as usual. The institutionalize corruption from the Federal gov on down is plain to see, but no one wants to talk about that. PG&E literally gets away with murder, price-gouges its customers and causes home/fire insurance to skyrocket. The state won’t do anything to stop the insurance scalpers, or PG&E. It’s bipartisan – both factions of the Country Club (So-called republicans and democrats) support corporate extortion. They get “campaign contributions” (bribes) from the oligarchy. Political bribery is now legal (see Citizens United case) So, this BS about name changes is a giant superficial distraction from the rampant corruption and decline of our country. … The folks who think the most important issue we face is the town name need to stop acting like callous, ivory-tower hypocrites and acknowledge facts: that the entire US was founded on genocide, slavery, exploitation, imperialism, elitism and corruption. I don’t like the facts either but we can’t go back and change it. You can’t project today’s values onto the past, it is inaccurate and irrational.

If the hand-wringing (mostly upper middle class whites) so-called liberals are concerned about injustice: look at the skyrocketing houseless population, and the “too big to fail” above-the-law banksters who get bailed out after they commit financial fraud. The banks rip us off and the corrupt ass politricksters of both parties REWARD them. Honest working-class folks (including large numbers of non-white and whites alike) get ripped off, foreclosed on by the banksters. But the name-change crowd apparently don’t give a toss about the suffering of people NOW. No matter what color you are, what orientation, we are all getting shafted – don’t fall for the divide and rule BS.

Instead of superficial distractions, how about speaking out against the Supreme Court accepting bribes?, sending billions to Israel, Ukraine etc. in weapons to mass murder folks. If they want to mass murder people, why does the US taxpayer foot the bill, and why do the weapons companies get triple-digit profits on the contracts? (rhetorical question).

The gov. says they are “broke” and want to steal our SS/Medicare that we already paid for. (But they have plenty of 100s of billions for weapons etc.)

None of this is important to the privileged ivory-tower folks: they can afford the most expensive “health care” in the world (in the USA), they don’t get foreclosed on, they don’t have credit problems, they don’t become houseless. The most important issue they see is a name. No wonder our society is slowly collapsing.

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Palace Hotel, Ukiah (Jeff Goll)

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Meredith Smith wrote:

Mendocino's Tented Restaurant owners are meeting today to begin formulating a response to the likelihood that those of us who depend on them for our livelihood (owners and workers alike) will suffer economic hardship if we are forced to remove them. Input and suggestions regarding how we might proceed to protect our safe spaces and obtain permits, which MHRB has indicated they will not issue, for them to remain safely installed in these uncertain economic and covid cautious times welcome.

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Eleanor Cooney:

This cannot happen!!!

Remember when Big Oil tried to come and drill on the coast, and huge mobs of people showed up at the "hearing," kept 'em up until dawn and ran 'em out of town?

That's what needs to happen with this take-down-the-tents baloney.

We all love the tents. It's not as if they are trailers, or eyesores in any way. They do not detract from the beauty of the town. Quite the contrary. And at this point, they are definitely "historical." Not to mention that Covid is still very much with us.

In these hard times, the restaurant owners' businesses and their employees would suffer horribly. Let's not be rigid and stupid.

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Ricia Araiza:

I agree with all who want the tents to remain permanently! They are a wonderful addition to our town as they not only provide extra seating for the restaurants but allow us to eat outside if we want. They also add a festive touch to the town! I say we all protest whoever says they have to come down!! The Historical Review Board?? Who the heck do they think they are?? I have lived here almost 50 years and these tents are one of the best additions I have seen!

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Granite bags $23M contract from Caltrans to upgrade Highway 101 in Mendocino

by Ahmed Farhath, SA News Editor

Granite (NYSE:GVA) has secured a contract from the California Department of Transportation to upgrade Highway 101 in Mendocino.

The contract has a value of $23 million.

Project funding will come from the Federal Highway Administration and is expected to be included in the company's second-quarter CAP.

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KOZT announced that my CD Release party would be at 4-7 pm, July 22nd at the Slacktide Cafe. SNAFU! My mistake maybe. The concert will be from 1-3 pm.

CD Release Party Saturday July 22, 1-3 pm, Slacktide Cafe. Holly Tannen, Marianne Steeger, and Susan Archuletta

Susan Archuletta has re-released her 1984 album, Solo Piano. Susan is known for her flute and viola playing in the Symphony and Take A Dance, the English country dance band. This CD consists of pieces she developed while living in Mendocino. None of them were written down, so they are in the folk rather than classical tradition. Holly Tannen will sing her own satirical songs about Mendonesians, redwoods, and dinosaurs. Slacktide Cafe, 32430 North Harbor Drive, on Saturday, July 22nd, from 1-3 pm. Susan and Marianne will back Holly up on songs from her new CD, Eat Your Triceratops, and Susan will tell stories about the making of Solo Piano.

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Indian paintbrush, Mendocino Bay (Jeff Goll)

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‘WHEN WE CAME TO THESE MOUNTAINS’: Back to the Land Artist Panel on art and alternative lifestyles

by Roberta Werdinger

On Saturday, July 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a Back to the Land Artist Panel. Ceramicist Leslie Campbell, mixed-media artist Nancy McHone, visionary painter Doug Volz, and poet and home-builder Dan Roberts will discuss the interweaving of their art and back-to-lander experiences in Mendocino County. All four participants are included in the Museum's current exhibit, Something's Happening Here: Artistic Reflections on the Back to the Land Movement. Something's Happening Here features artwork in diverse mediums--posters, pottery, paintings, sculpture, clothing, fine woodwork and more--by 35 artists who migrated to Mendocino County as part of the movement. The event is free with Museum admission.

"The back to the land movement is a hopeful movement," comments visionary painter Doug Volz. The Bay Area native and UC Berkeley graduate says he grew up in a world that was out of step with nature, and suffering as a result. "We were taking [from the earth] and not giving back. Indigenous people always gave back." In contrast, he observes that "many Westerners don't have that sense of belonging."

Volz describes the 70s as a time when "there were two very definite different groups of people in Willits": the locals and the hippies. Having discontinued the marijuana brownie business after leaving the city, Volz trained as a nurses' aide and later became a licensed vocational nurse. Working at a convalescent hospital, he literally rubbed elbows with locals, and realized how day-to-day life had given them something in common--a shared sense of community and of the value of hard work. Mutual respect grew as locals began to absorb some of the hippies' values, and the hippies learned what living on the land was really like.

"We were just one little group of people," Volz concludes, of his back to the land cohort. "I don't think any of our idealism has gone away. I think it has to happen on a higher level...That's why, as a painter, one way to affect the world is through my art. Reconnecting to the earth, my Mother--that's my message. There is a place for everyone in this world. Don't let anyone take that away from you."

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $5; $12 per family; $4 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to Museum members, Native Americans, and standing military personnel. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

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NEW AUGUST TECH EVENT: iPhone Support with Jesse

Because the iPhone support presentation in September filled up so fast (and we have several folks on the waiting list) I asked one of our volunteers, Jesse Espinoza, to host another iPhone support event. See details below - no need to preregister for this event but we would love you to let us know beforehand what things you would like him to cover - thank you!

Basic iPhone Support Presentation: Thursday, August 10th, 1 to 2 PM, Anderson Valley Senior Center

After a wonderful lunch, join AV Village volunteer Jesse Espinoza for a presentation on the basics of using your iPhone. Please let us know what things you would like him to cover in advance, so he can better prepare his presentation. Bring your iPhones and questions.

Remember: our events, gatherings, activities, etc. are open to everyone, regardless of Village Membership. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or a member - contact us.

Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator
Cell: 707-684-9829

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Mendocino Theatre Company is proud to announce that Peter Glazer, creator of Woody Guthrie’s American Song, will be our honored guest on Saturday, August 5 and join in a post-show discussion of the play with audience, directors, designers and cast. The hit musical is playing through August 20 at MTC. All ticket holders are welcome to attend as long as seats are available. 

Peter Glazer is a California playwright, director, author, and educator. His father, folksinger Tom Glazer, was part of the Big City folk movement in the 1940s and 1950s, and performed with Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Josh White, and Pete Seeger, among others. With his group the Priority Ramblers, Tom performed for the support staff at the White House at the invitation of Eleanor Roosevelt. Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Peter’s first work for the theater, was written in 1988 and has been produced at scores of theaters across the US, and garnered numerous awards. His other works for the stage include Foe, adapted from the novel by Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee, O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music with Celtic Harpist Patrick Ball, Michael, Margaret, Pat and Kate with renowned singer-songwriter Michael Smith, and Heart of Spain – A Musical of the Spanish Civil War with composer Eric Bain Peltoniemi. His current project is a stage adaptation of Karen Shepard’s novel The Celestials as a resident artist at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Glazer sits on the Board of Governors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives. He is a professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 

On the WGAS website, Glazer writes, “I got the idea for Woody Guthrie’s American Song in 1977, reading Robert Shelton’s edited collection of Woody’s writings, Born to Win, which opened with a piece called ‘The People I Owe,’ now excerpted in the opening moments of the show: I have heard a storm of words in me, enough to write several hundred songs and that many books. I know that these words I hear are not my own private property. I borrowed them from you, the same as I walked through the high winds and borrowed enough air to keep me moving. 

Woody believed that what he made only came to life in the lives of others. “It is you, the reader of the page, that catches the cannon breath and the drum beat off the written page,” he wrote to conclude this essay. “I am no more, no less, than your clerk that writes it down, like a debt always owed and partly paid. This book is a book of debt and part payment.” Woody Guthrie’s American Song is very much the same, a work of debt and part payment: to Woody, to all the people who inspired him, and to the thousands of people who have taken this show into their hearts over the years. 

Dates And Times 

Woody Guthrie’s American Song runs through August 20, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Please visit or telephone the Box Office at 707-937-4477 for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets are on sale now. $15-$33. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY: Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Blomgren, Dillenbeck, Garcia, Gomez

BENJAMIN BLOMGREN, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

BHAKTI DILLENBECK, Ukiah. Trespassing/obstructing business. (Frequent flyer.)


GASPAR GOMEZ, Little River. Burglary, resisting, probation violation.

Knox, Mallett, Spencer

SHANE KNOX, Corona/Ukiah. DUI, failure to appear.

JANET MALLETT, Laytonville. False ID, failure to appear.

DONALD SPENCER, Ukiah. Criminal threats, camping in Ukiah.

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The case against Julian Assange is a threat to the First Amendment’s press freedom protections that would criminalize standard journalistic practices. Publishing is not a crime. We need all press outlets to speak up in defense of the First Amendment. Don’t kill the messenger. Our strength as a nation comes from our ability to recognize the flaws and overcome them. If we kill the messenger, we avoid the truth. Assange published truthful information in the public interest. If we want to avoid more tragedies and more stupid wars, we shouldn’t prosecute journalists who seek to shine light on government misdeeds.

Carol Spooner

Santa Rosa

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by Stacey Warde

Mornings usually begin with Frankie rousing himself from his bed in the corner of my room. In summer, sunlight illumines the room early, say around 5:30 a.m., and marks the beginning of stirrings from both Frankie and me. Outside, the birds have already begun their day song.

More often, though, Frankie rises first, shaking his head and flapping his floppy ears in such a loud and enthusiastic way -- in short, not sustained, bursts -- that it sounds more like a helicopter attempting a landing in my bedroom. That's when I know I must get out of bed, no matter how sweet it feels, no matter how much I would love to just roll over and sleep some more, that it's time to get going and make the most of my day. Frankie stands at the side of my bed, urging action.

“Frankie!” I say, “are you hungry? Shall we go downstairs and eat?” Frankie's an enthusiastic morning riser and accompanies me as I tread carefully down the stairway, the cobwebs of sleep still clouding my wakefulness, with him close by my side. He trots on ahead of me to the side door closest to his favorite trees and bushes where I let him out to do his business.

As soon as he’s done, he rushes back inside the house to where I keep his feeding dish. “Let's do this!” he seems to say. “Let's eat!” I've got coffee going while I fill his bowl. “You're a good boy, Frankie,” I say. He, of course, already knows this.

The Stoics argue that nature informs us we haven't any valid excuse, barring illness or lameness, to lollygag in the sweet comfort of our warm beds when all other critters are going about their business at first light. Industry has its place, in other words, and as Frankie has already shown in his young life, it can be a joyful experience.

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by David Bacon

Mushrooms grown for the supermarket thrive on a mixture of straw and manure.  Huge piles of it are heated to prepare the growth media, spreading the pungent stink of ammonia through the barns.  Metal trays, covered with the resulting dark soil, are stacked high into the sheds' moist darkness.  Soon the familiar round white caps appear.  Workers enter and cut their stems, placing them in 10-pound boxes.  Runners ferry them out to a checker, where they're weighed and counted.

An individual mushroom is very light, so picking 68 pounds an hour, as Ostrom Mushroom Farms demanded, meant working like a demon in the dark.  "It's really hard," according to Jose Martinez, a fired Ostrom worker.  "The smell was terrible.  There were chemicals in the growing mix, which made it smell even worse, and they wouldn't tell us what they were.  The foreman would joke, 'Don't worry, you won't die!'  If a picker protested, a supervisor would tell her, 'If you don't like it, there's the door!'"

Last year the company did show the door to dozens of its workers, replacing experienced women pickers with crews of men.  And in May Washington State's Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, found these firings constituted massive violations of worker protection regulations.  He forced Ostrom into a record $3.4 million settlement.  "It's obvious what they did," Ferguson told a May 17 news conference. "They're not paying $3.4 million to the state of Washington unless they did something wrong."  Ostrom's money will pay damages to 170 of its former workers.

The Ostrom case is historic, not just because workers were fired as a result of sex discrimination, protests and failure to meet production quotas.  The company used contract laborers on H-2A temporary visas to replace them.  "This settlement validates what we've been saying for years," charges worker advocate Rosalinda Guillen, a member of the state commission formed to monitor the negative impact of the controversial H-2A visa program.  "It is inherently abusive both to the workers brought to the U.S., and to the local workers the companies replace.  It's not called 'close to slavery' for nothing."…

* * *

* * *


Well, right from the gitgo it was pretty clear, in order to meet the mandates of Paris Climate Accord, National Govts would need to crack down on their own populations. We see the results in Sri Lanka, Yellow Vests in France, farm closures in the Netherlands. Here in the US our National Power Grid is being dismantled. I can tell you right now when the brownouts & blackouts begin to happen, people aren’t going to be happy. Already utility bills are becoming unaffordable here, jacked up nearly 100% over two years ago to pay for the “Transition to Renewables.” But our big signature windfarm project — which was supposed to be fully operational by 2030 and replace the nuclear power plant, scheduled to be shutdown — is already mired in graft & corruption, with the director under indictment, with not one offshore Windturbine near completion. It’s a fiasco.

* * *

JOE JACKSON was supremely gifted in his baseball ability and supremely limited in his ability to deal with real life. He could hit, run, and throw with the best but he lacked education, judgment, and character. When his limitations overcame his gifts, it was a tragedy of both baseball and American life.

Joe was an illiterate son of the cotton-town South, ignorant of city ways, easy to ridicule for everything but his baseball talent. The Athletics, his first ML team, turned him sullen and ineffective with their cruel, mocking humor. Manager Connie Mack gave up on him and shipped him to Cleveland for a mediocre outfielder, Bris Lord.

His Cleveland teammates accepted Jackson as he was and treated him well. He responded with the great years of his career. A graceful natural hitter (supposedly Babe Ruth patterned his batting stance on Jackson’s), he hit for power in an age of slap hitters, yet kept his BA near the top. In 1911, his first full season, he hit .408, then followed with .395, .373, and a mere .338 in 1914. He was unerring in the field, had a powerful and accurate arm, and ran the bases with savvy.

Money troubles forced Cleveland to trade him to the White Sox in 1915 for three undistinguished players and $31,500. He hit less well for the Sox but still reigned as the star of the powerful team Comiskey had assembled. He contributed an uncharacteristically low .301 to the championship 1917 Sox but hit .351 with 96 RBI for the 1919 pennant winners. In 1920, he had one of his greatest seasons (.392, 12 HR, 121 RBI), but everything crashed with the revelation of the Black Sox scandal.

Friends pointed to his .375 WS average as evidence that he’d played on the square, but Jackson had undoubtedly accepted the promise of $5,000 to fix the games. Banned from baseball for life, he returned to his small South Carolina town, started a dry-cleaning business, and prospered. Occasionally he swung “Black Betsy,” his famous bat, in sandlot and outlaw games. In time, he retrieved some of his dignity if not the glory.

* * *

I AM TERRIFIED of this slime I use for brain; of the jobless future; of the fact that I am 27 and have produced two stinking books only. And that the shining adventure that was life at 20 is now an endurance contest. But goddamn it, I want to write great heavy swooping things, to throw terror and glory into the mind.

— Martha Gellhorn

* * *

* * *


by James Wolff

I was arrested on New Year’s Day. An unsmiling cabin attendant told me I had to get off my flight from Izmir to Istanbul, and a waiting police officer told me that I was wanted. “Wanted?” I asked. “For what?” He shrugged.

After an hour’s wait in a small police station next to the terminal, I was driven to a hospital to be tested for Covid, and then to another police station, where I was photographed and fingerprinted. We set off north along a highway that tracked the Aegean coastline before heading inland. I told myself that I was being taken to someone who would immediately identify the error, berate the escorting officers and return me to the airport with an apology. 

But what came into view was a tall, red building surrounded by a six-meter-high fence. Bars covered the windows.

Once inside I was instructed to remove my shoelaces and belt. My bag was taken away. From somewhere nearby came the sound of men shouting. I asked with a rising sense of alarm if this was a prison, what crime I had been accused of, how long they would keep me, if there was anyone I could speak to? If I left my passport here, could I stay in a hotel and come back in the morning? A guard took me through a turnstile. “Is it safe here?” I asked. He nodded, then mimed zipping his mouth shut.

He left me in a cell that measured five meters by three. It was empty but clearly inhabited. There were three bunk beds, the tops cluttered with personal possessions: clothes, toiletries, boxes of tea, copies of the Quran, the collected hadith of al-Bukhari, washing powder. Bedsheets had been hung to shield the bottom bunks from view. A barred window looked out over dry hills towards the sea. In the small bathroom, a metal grill just above head height prevented access to the electric cables or water pipes.

I sat in a corner of the cell, not wanting to trespass on anyone’s personal territory. After ten minutes or so, a slim, bearded man in tracksuit trousers and a T-shirt came in with a small kettle. He knelt down, made a cup of tea and offered it to me. I thanked him, apologizing for my poor Turkish. He told me he was from Homs, in Syria, and also spoke very little Turkish, so we switched to Arabic.

He wanted to know why I was there. I explained that I had been returning to Istanbul, where I had lived for the past two years, when the police had detained me. I wasn’t aware of having done anything wrong. He said that the same was true for everyone in the prison. He had been living in Turkey for several years when the police came to his door early one morning and accused him of being a member of Islamic State. He hadn’t been shown any evidence to support the accusation.

Sometimes, he said, the police would fail to find the person they were looking for and simply detain another Syrian instead. He had been a prisoner for three months and would probably remain in custody for a year, the maximum period a foreigner could be held pending deportation. “We all refuse to be deported,” he said, “and they cannot force us because of the war in Syria.” 

“What happens after one year?” I asked. ‘They release us. And we wait to see if they arrest us again.”

As we talked, our three Syrian cellmates came in. They cleared one of the top bunks, washed the wooden base and made a bed for me with a blanket and a pillow. One of them found a spare toothbrush and toothpaste among his supplies; another offered me his phone card. They spread a cloth on the floor and laid out a meal of bread, olives and cheese, insisting that I eat.

The following morning I had my first meeting with prison officials. They told me I was in the Harmandalı Geri Gönderme Merkezi, a removal center for foreigners scheduled for deportation. The G-82 legal code had been applied to my file, meaning that I posed a threat to national security. I asked if it might be a case of mistaken identity. It wasn’t. I asked what threat I posed. They said I was suspected of being a follower of Fethullah Gülen, the exiled cleric accused of instigating the 2016 coup. I said as politely as I could that the accusation was absurd. They told me that I had a choice either to remain in prison and mount a legal challenge to my detention, which would take several weeks and almost certainly fail, or consent to be deported. I chose deportation.

Prison is represented so often on screen that there was an immediate familiarity to it, like a first visit to New York. The queue for payphones, the plastic food trays, even the rubbish thrown from cell windows onto the ground outside — it was new and not new. A doctor asked me if I needed anything. I complained of a headache. “Are you bleeding? No? Then go.” There was always a metal door banging somewhere.

Several days passed while Ankara considered my deportation request. Life was governed by routine: at half past six, one of my cellmates would rise, stand at the door and make the call to prayer. The food was simple but edible. One day we were given an orange, another day breakfast was a piece of bread and a boiled potato. Meat was served once a week. Payphones could be used after dinner, and a small commissary sold cigarettes and phone cards. Meals were followed by an hour in the yard. I would walk back and forth, trying to avoid the football game that surged from one side of the yard to the other. Someone would usually fall in step beside me, and we’d search for a common language in which to exchange stories.

I heard rumours of a floor populated by Russians and Ukrainians, but the other detainees I met were mostly Syrian, Iraqi, Uzbek, Yemeni and Turkmen. A man in his 60s or 70s – a famous Chechen dissident, I was told – was accompanied everywhere by four young, strong-looking men. A French-speaking group from Chad shared a cell. There were several children. I saw a family soon after they’d been told they would be separated: the father and daughter were to be deported to Sudan but the mother, who had a Yemeni passport, would remain in the prison. There were several fights but none that I witnessed. I didn’t see the guards hit anyone. Everyone said that conditions in other immigration detention centers, particularly the Tuzla prison in Istanbul, were considerably worse, with overcrowding and frequent beatings.

Until midnight, cell doors were closed but not locked. Syrian men would come to our cell to drink tea. They wanted news of the outside world. They knew that things were turning even further against them. Talks between Turkish, Syrian and Russian military and intelligence chiefs had signalled that an Ankara-Damascus thaw was underway. Opinion polls suggested that more than 80% of Turks wanted Syrians to “go home.” The Turkish government had begun to conduct “voluntary” returns, a practice described by Human Rights Watch:

“Turkish officials arrested [Syrians] in their homes, workplaces, and on the street, detained them in poor conditions, beat and abused most of them, forced them to sign voluntary return forms, drove them to border crossing points with northern Syria, and forced them across at gunpoint.”

“You are finding it difficult here,” a visitor to our cell said to me one evening. I was embarrassed – I am still embarrassed – to admit as much, given the disparity in our circumstances. The others were facing a possible future in which as alleged IS fighters they would be transferred to Syrian government custody, with all that would follow from that; I was about to be deported to a country most of them could only dream of reaching. But the locked door and barred window were making me claustrophobic. 

For my cellmates, Islam was the answer. One young man was fasting every day between sunrise and sunset to control his libido, a practice recommended in the hadith of Bukhari. A former dentist was giving classes in Quranic recitation. He told me about a dream he’d had the night before I arrived in which a foreigner came to live with them.

The guards woke me early one morning. I sat in a reception area with about 30 men and women I’d never seen before who were quickly loaded into a bus and driven away. A van arrived to take me to the airport. The man in charge handed me my shoelaces and belt. There were two things he wanted to make clear. The first was that I was not accused of being a Gülenist. This had been raised in my interview, he said, merely as an example of the type of offense covered by the G-82 code. The second was that the airline I would be flying with refused to carry passengers who were being deported. “For this reason,” he said, “we will not accompany you into the airport. Instead we will drop you outside and follow you at a distance. And when you get to your gate, we will wave goodbye like we are your friends.”

(London Review of Books)

* * *

1923, The Year The Hollywood Sign Went Up

* * *


Russia launched overnight air attacks on Ukraine’s south and east using drones and possibly ballistic missiles, Ukrainian officials said. The southern port of Odesa and the Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions were under threat of Russian drone attacks.

Ukraine’s air force said it downed 31 out of 36 Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones, all six Kalibr cruise missiles and one reconnaissance drone launched by Russia overnight.

Russia’s defence ministry said it carried out overnight attacks on two Ukrainian port cities in what it called “a mass revenge strike”, a day after an attack on the Crimean Bridge. The ministry said in a statement it struck Odesa and Mykolaiv and hit all targets.

Every missile fired by Russia at Ukraine’s port of Odesa is equivalent to firing a missile at starving people, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. She made the remark as Moscow faced a backlash for attacking Ukrainian ports a day after pulling out of the Black Sea grain deal.

* * *


  1. George Hollister July 20, 2023

    To add to Norm Thurston’s comment: When the late Duane Wells was County Tax Assessor, back 40 years ago, he would personally visit parcels with unpermitted, and under taxed improvements so a proper tax assessment was issued. He did not turn anyone in for growing pot, or building without a permit, either. I am unaware of complaints from his actions, and his department likely more than paid for itself.

    • Ted Williams July 20, 2023

      30% of property taxes fund the county. 63% are for schools. We’re effectively defunding education in Mendocino County.

    • Lazarus July 20, 2023

      “40 years ago, he would personally visit parcels with unpermitted, and under taxed improvements so a proper tax assessment was issued. He did not turn anyone in for growing pot,”

      Forty years ago, a pot bust could cost you your property and your freedom. But in those days, hardcore growers were few and far between.
      But as marijuana evolved, the “Gold Rush,” as it was known, replaced the environmentally eliminated lumber and logging business in Mendocino County.
      And with that evolution, the money, for many, was worth the risk. The “Back to the Land,’ Mom and Pop growers were joined by organized crime, sketchy types, and those looking to make a quick and easy buck.
      A county vehicle visiting a nonpermitted building site or illegal structure parcel could be, at the least, a troublesome logistics issue and, at the worst, dangerous to the County representative.
      I have heard that building inspectors would refuse to go to areas of known illegal marijuana activity.
      But in the current Mendocino County, the pot business has changed, and perhaps it’s time to revisit the inspection styles of the past.
      Dealers choice…

      • Ted Williams July 20, 2023

        This doesn’t explain the county failing to keep up on sales. No appraiser needed for that arithmetic.

        • Kirk Vodopals July 20, 2023

          Is the accounting failure because of a relatively high proportion of private money loans or owner financing involved with the Devil’s lettuce industry?
          Or is that irrelevant and the error is simply ineffective governance?

          • Ted Williams July 20, 2023

            Kirk, it appears to me, the county simply hasn’t entered data and billed. It’s what George highlighted — basic duties of the offices.

            Since the board directed monthly progress reports (on June 20), it looks like about 2633 staff hours went into appraisal efforts. I’m waiting to hear the conversion — how many properties were added and what was the dollar increase in overall valuation. We’re talking about the past month, so no matter what the software does or doesn’t do, someone must know what was accomplished?

            • Bob A. July 20, 2023

              About 10 years ago I helped scrape some data from a digital image of a report provided by the county. The first page was the DOS/VSE JCL for the job. I kid you not.

              For context, DOS/VSE was an IBM mainframe operating system that had its hayday from the early 1960’s through the 1980’s.

              • Kirk Vodopals July 20, 2023

                If it ain’t broke….?

                • Bob A. July 20, 2023

                  The problems running stuff this old are legion and can be ruinously expensive. Likewise, conversion to something current can be difficult and ruinously expensive. This late in the game, it’s a choice between Scylla and Charybdis.

                  Full disclosure: I sometimes run software of this vintage under emulation for fun. But my idea of fun is not for everyone.

  2. Stephen Rosenthal July 20, 2023


    District 1 (Ukiah) Supervisor is Maureen “Mo” Mulheren, not Ted Williams. Perhaps she can take some time out of her busy schedule cheerleading for The Great Billion Dollar Redwood Trail and address your concerns.

    • Ted Williams July 20, 2023

      Mindy, I can check on the status of the design work for PHF tomorrow and share findings. Last contract for design work is attached:
      Sidewalks, bike lanes and other neighborhood improvement projects are possible if there is support to do a benefits zone. Do you believe there could be support?
      Is the increased trash along the road related to the county’s construction project? If so, I might be able to make headway. If not, it’s the same problem we see along 1,015 miles of County maintained roads. There’s a tax sharing agreement process underway (which I can’t be a part of at this stage due to Brown Act). Annexation by the city might be the best path to treat city-like blocks with city services. In the unincorporated, volunteer cleanup efforts are about all we have and with the county needing to cut an annual $10M before the next fiscal year, it’s unlikely that any services will be expanded.

      Mindy Mae
      Ted Williams Thank you.
      1) I would love to see those plans. I know many residents are concerned that the project will increase traffic to our very quiet rd.
      2) Yes, there would be support.
      3) The trash is not related to the county project. It’s related to people not securing their items to their trucks, many of which are usually heading to the dump.

      Ted Williams
      “N&L have completed the design development drawings for county review. We are in the process of providing comments and approving the final Bid/Construction drawings. The schedule has about 6 months for construction drawings. ”
      1) I’ll share the plans as soon as files are available.
      2) What boundaries would you draw for benefits/assessment proposal?

    • Stephen Rosenthal July 20, 2023

      Mea Culpa – it’s District 2. The issues raised by Ms. Mae are in Mo’s district, but nice of Ted for giving his attention them.

  3. Harvey Reading July 20, 2023

    “No wonder our society is slowly collapsing.”


  4. Andrew Lutsky July 20, 2023

    Re Ed Notes … “AT NO TIME on the Mendocino Coast were soldiers involved in wholesale murders of the native people. Those atrocities occurred in the Eel River Basin where a year-long assault on native people was funded by the State of California at the urging of Serranus Hastings, chief justice of California’s first supreme court after whom the famous Bay Area law school is named.”

    I assume Bruce is referring to the school that was renamed UC Law SF and formerly known as UC Hastings College of the Law. It seems noteworthy that today the school’s ‘Our Mission & History’ web page ( makes absolutely no mention of the school’s founder just one year after the name change went into effect and after one hundred and forty-four years operating under the founder’s name. From what I have read Hastings was a sociopath to whom we and future generations owe absolutely nothing. I support dropping his name, and I also believe we owe it the future generation to tell his story, not attempt to redact his existence from history in the manner this UC appears to favor.

  5. Marmon July 20, 2023

    “We ride or die with President Donald John Trump.”

    -Matt Gaetz


    • Chuck Dunbar July 20, 2023

      Like lemmings–
      Over the cliff and off to their ends they go….

      • Bruce McEwen July 20, 2023

        I see you got your New Yorker…?

    • pca67 July 20, 2023

      Beep beep.

  6. Marmon July 20, 2023


    Well, I was born in a small town
    And I live in a small town
    Probably die in a small town
    Oh, those small communities
    All my friends are so small town
    My parents live in the same small town
    My job is so small town
    Provides little opportunity, hey
    Educated in a small town
    Taught to fear of Jesus in a small town
    Used to daydream in that small town
    Another boring romantic, that’s me
    But I’ve seen it all in a small town
    Had myself a ball in a small town
    Married an L.A. Doll and brought her to this small town
    Now she’s small town just like me
    No, I cannot forget from where it is that I come from
    I cannot forget the people who love me
    Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
    And people let me be just what I want to be
    Ooh nah, nah, nah, yeah, ooh yeah yeah
    Got nothing against a big town
    Still hayseed enough to say
    Look who’s in the big town
    But my bed is in a small town
    Oh, and that’s good enough for me
    Well, I was born in a small town
    And I can breathe in a small town
    Gonna die in a small town
    Oh, and that’s probably where they’ll bury me, yeah
    Ooh yeah yeah, yeah
    Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
    Yeah yeah yeah


  7. Craig Stehr July 20, 2023

    Had an appointment with the head of the cardiology department at Adventist Health-Ukiah this afternoon. Everything looks real good. Except for medication relevant to maintaining a healthy blood pressure, all other medications are now cancelled, being no longer necessary. Another ECHO test is scheduled for early September. It is understood that I might leave Mendocino County, having no further reason to be living here. I may take and ECHO test elsewhere and send the results in. 14 months of total social chaos in Wine Country is now over. What a strange long been it’s trip!
    Craig Louis Stehr
    1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
    Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270
    July 20th @ 6:41PM Pacific Time

  8. Ernie Branscomb July 20, 2023

    To the name changers: “We live in one small bubble of place and time that peace is thought of as ideal, we should revel in it! We cant judge what happened in history by who we are now.”

  9. Eric Sunswheat July 20, 2023

    RE: For my cellmates, Islam was the answer. One young man was fasting every day between sunrise and sunset to control his libido, a practice recommended in the hadith of Bukhari. — James Wolff
    —> June 22, 2023
    Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the use of saltpeter in prisons for controlling libido has a long history. It was first used in the 19th century and continued to be used well into the 20th century… In countries like the United States, saltpeter is often used as a last resort, when other methods of controlling behavior have failed. However, in some countries, such as China and Russia, it is used more frequently and is even administered to prisoners on a regular basis. Critics argue that the use of saltpeter is a violation of human rights and can have serious health consequences for inmates. Despite this, the use of saltpeter in prisons continues to be a controversial issue around the world.
    —>. January 18, 2023
    In the young United States, one of the loudest anti-masturbation voices was John Harvey Kellogg, a physician and devout Seventh-Day Adventist in Battle Creek, Michigan.
    In addition to running his successful surgery practice, Kellogg edited Good Health, the church’s magazine promoting Adventist beliefs in healthy living…
    In this vein, the doctor had also come to believe that sex—including masturbation—was detrimental to physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. He personally abstained from it, and never consummated his marriage…Kellogg created a “health treat” for the patients that consisted of oatmeal and corn meal baked into biscuits and then ground into tiny pieces. He called it “granula.”… Under the threat of a lawsuit, Kellogg changed the name of his creation to “granola.”… Later, Kellogg developed a few different flaked-grain breakfast cereals—including corn flakes—as healthy, ready-to-eat, easily digestible morning meals. He partnered with his brother Will, the sanitarium’s bookkeeper, to make and sell them to the public.
    Will… wanted to add sugar to the flakes to make them more palatable, but John wouldn’t hear of it. Will eventually started selling the cereals through his own business, which became the Kellogg Company; the brothers feuded.

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