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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 23, 2023

Cooling | Sunset | Whitesboro Events | Fire Jet-Skis | Coast Slope | Water Conservation | AV Events | Pet Andy | Gym Banners | Back Door | Hiring Modernization | County Bookkeeping | Succulent Flower | Supervisors Agenda | Skunk Postcard | Ed Notes | Cornel Spoiler | Inside Voice | Mendo Music | Real Problems | Yesterday's Catch | Un-United States | Dirty Contacts | Marco Radio | Natural Beard | $100 Bills | Open Guys | Grownups Governing | The Swallow | Superboy | Citizenship Test | Fast Elevator | Zigzag Man | HUAC II | Joe Priden | Supporting Censorship | Ukraine | Doggie Drive-By

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TEMPERATURES WILL SLIGHTLY COOL into early this week with quiet, seasonable weather continuing through the week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 52F with approaching high clouds from the south this Sunday morning on the coast. Mostly clear skies with a little fog & light winds is our forecast for the week.

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Little River sunset (Jeff Goll)

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Just a reminder that Whitesboro Grange (32510 Navarro Ridge Rd., Albion) will be hosting their once a month Pancake Breakfast this Sunday, July 23. Starting at 8AM, we'll be serving up delicious pancakes, eggs your way, ham, along with either maple or delicious homemade berry syrup and beverage for the bargain price of $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and FREE for those under 6.  We serve until 11:30AM.

You can't beat that price anywhere!

AND THAT'S NOT ALL - don't go far! Come back later in the afternoon to visit the Albion Farmer's Market, held from 2-4pm every Sunday in our parking lot.  Our first market opened last Sunday featuring J.E.T. Microgreens, Albion Soap and locally grown produce.  This week we'll be welcoming a few more vendors - including a few local craftspeople!

Our Grange breakfast proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations, including the Albion-Little River Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center and others.

Our sponsorship of The Albion Farmer's Market helps promote and support our local agricultural community.

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Dear AVA, 

Here I was sitting in Willits Safeway parking lot and what did I see go by? A truck, Mendocino fire protection in tow were (2) jet skis. To me what do these have to do with putting out fires? Maybe rescue since firemen can’t swim. But there aren’t very many lakes unless it’s Clear Lake. But why bring them through Willits, no less highway 20 to Fort Bragg? Maybe training; no clue. 

Sincerely yours,

Greg Crawford

Fort Bragg

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On the Edge (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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Friday night at the Redwood Valley Community Water District meeting we rescinded resolution 2021-01 which put domestic users on water rationing on May 4th, 2021.

Not to say that we should waste water or not be conservation minded. We had been in drought for 3 years and have had one good year. The next drought is right around the corner. We still don't have much in the way of water security but we are working on it. 

You don't have to feel guilty using more than 55 gallons per person per day but please still be conservation minded. If and when necessary, we may have to reimpose rationing. 

If you are thinking of planting a drought hardy landscape or trees, this would be a good year. Fall is a good time to plant. You could water them well to get better established especially if we have a dry fall. The better root system they put down in fall, the stronger they will be going into the following summer.

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The Anderson Valley Museum Open
Sun 07 / 23 / 2023 at 1:00 PM
Where: The Anderson Valley Museum , 12340 Highway 128, Boonville

Paka G
Sun 07 / 23 / 2023 at 2:00 PM
Where: Anderson Valley Brewery , 17700 Boonville Rd, Boonville

Community Sing
Sun 07 / 23 / 2023 at 4:00 PM
Where: Lauren's house

Anderson Valley Fire Department First Responder BBQ
Sun 07 / 23 / 2023 at 4:30 PM
Where: Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville, 14400 Highway 128, Boonville

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Another fun dog in the house! 

Andy is very playful with toys—tennis balls being his ultimate favorite. He has a happy energy and is friendly and animated with other dogs—EXCEPT when eating. Andy will need a home where he is the only dog, or with an owner who will commit to feeding him separately. Andy is a smart boy who knows sit, down, stay and catches treats and tennis balls with ease. Andy’s one of our long-term dogs and he’s been at the shelter a few months. We don’t know why, because this dude will be an all-around, 100% canine buddy! Andy is 1 year old and 65 spirited pounds. He’s neutered, and ready to jog out the shelter door with you today!

You can read more about Andy by heading to

If you see a dog or cat you think might be the ONE, you can begin the adoption process on-line. For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453. Check out our Facebook page.

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Anderson Valley sports is continuing its comeback after COVID and we are very excited for the upcoming school year. I want to personally send out my heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped to support our student athletes in all their endeavors. Whether you've donated money to Boosters, bought some popcorn from the Snack Shack, watched a game, and cheered on the kids, or followed our new Anderson Valley Athletics page on Facebook, your support has meant the world and we know that we cannot exist without this amazing community. The money that AV Sports Boosters has earned in the past year has gone to help purchase new equipment, fund two scholarships, and support the Athletic Department where our school district cannot.

All that being said, our athletic department continues to be in dire need of your support. The Booster Club wants to ensure that every student who wants to play a sport, can do so. For that, it takes money. Money that the district simply can’t provide. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that sports are provided for the kids and it’s people and businesses like you and yours that make these things happen.

Some already have a banner proudly hanging in the AVHS gym. We hope they continue to display their banners. 

Please send the attached form with payment if you would like to start or keep your banner in the gym. Additionally, if you know of a business who would like to support our athletic program and would like a banner, please let me or our Athletic Director, John Toohey, know.

We have also added another way to show your support for our student athletes. This year, there will be large banners highlighting the current season of sports, hanging outside, in front of our gym. There is advertising space being offered on these banners, which will be 8’ x 24’ in size. If you would rather have your business advertised on these banners, this is also an option.

Thank you for all that you do for our community and especially, the student athletes. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, always feel free to give me a call.

Shauna Espinoza (707)684-9126

[ ] YES! Please keep my banner displayed in the gym, my check is enclosed.

[ ] No, please remove.

[ ] Put our logo on the large seasonal banner!

Annual cost of gym display: $200, due at the beginning of each school year.

Cost of large banner display: $300 per season

Please make checks out to:

AV Sports Boosters

PO Box 104

Boonville, CA 95415

AV Sports Boosters is a 501(c)3 organization and your contribution is tax deductible! Thank you for your support!

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Willits store back door (Jeff Goll)

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Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda, July 25, 2023 

Item 4a: Discussion and Possible Action to Direct Staff to Initiate Modernization of New Hire and Annual Employee Standards Including Position-Appropriate Physical, Psychological, Moral Character and Computer Literacy. (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)

Summary Of Request: 

Mendocino County has a long history of paying settlements for employee misconduct, high health care premiums, paid administrative leave, and other expenses preventable through prudent screening at the time of hiring and annually. These costs are one obstacle to ensuring market wages and maximum return on taxpayer funds. It is time to update the standards, borrowing from the state and other public agencies.

Where standards cannot be met, for example in computer literacy, the county should develop an internal training program to invest in career development of staff. 

The sponsor has been in contact with Sheriff Kendall. While it is the intent of the sponsor to keep the board in its lane, Sheriff is invited to share his vision for increasing standards in his department in hopes of inspiring similar efforts across departments.

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Did you read that Moody's is threatening to downgrade Mendocino County's credit rating? No small matter. But why?

The reason is that the Treasurer/Auditor-Controller (can't someone simplify this title?) of Mendocino County did not file the necessary financial documents by the June 30 deadline. This same elected official is unable or unwilling to share financial information such as where the money is going. 

This is similar to your bookkeeper not being able to tell you how much money you have in the bank, what expenses you have incurred, what checks have been cut, and so on. Your business is flying blind. 

I would fire that bookkeeper, wouldn't you? Maybe its time for a ballot measure to eliminate the office of Treasurer/Auditor-Collector and put it back in control of the County. If for no other reason than I won't have to type out that title ever again.

I know the objections but let me have them anyway. We can discuss the pros and cons.

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Elk, Greenwood beach cliff, Rosette Succulent flower (Jeff Goll)

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by Mark Scaramella

Item 4b) on next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors Agenda is described as “Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff to Develop a Contingency Plan for Creation of Department of Finance Based on Best Practice of Successful Counties (Sponsors: Supervisor Williams and Supervisor McGourty)”

We have a Board of Supervisors who somehow can’t bring themselves to demand that their CEO provide simple departmental monthly budget vs. actual reports, but they can thrash staff around with bureaucratic fol-de-rol about creating a “Department of Finance” via a “contingency plan.” 

Yesterday, Supervisor Ted Williams, said the item “is about the county building the capability to generate its own regular reports, including department reports and budgeted versus actuals, without relying exclusively on the Auditor-Controller's office.”

As we have explained time and again, Budget vs. Actual reports should not be prepared by the Auditor-Controller’s office. They should be prepared by the Departments and the CEO/staff, as they were once back in 2018, proving how easily they could do it if they wanted to. In fact, the CEO’s office also occasionally produces an abbreviated budget versus actual report for selected departments that seem to be running over-budget by some arbitrary amount. This proves that they are already at least tracking the numbers, but they refuse to provide an overall departmental report, much less a proper report from each department.

Just getting (mostly delayed) numbers from the Auditor, without variance explanations by the departments in question, doesn’t do much good and provides no opportunity to manage the departments. The Auditor should prepare the revenue side of the report, but the budget vs actual numbers should come from the departments who not only should know what they’re spending, but what they’re going to spend and why, allowing not only status reporting, but projections for the year. Setting up yet another department won’t do any good. Most departments already maintain their own budget status, but the Board and CEO have never asked them to provide them on a monthly basis. 

As we noted yesterday, they can’t even get their staff to produce the monthly tax assessment report they “directed” be included in all future CEO reports.

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Item 4e on Tuesday’s Agenda says, “Discussion and Possible Action Including Amendment of the Employment Agreement Between the County of Mendocino and Mendocino County’s Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle for the Term of July 12, 2022, through July 11, 2026, with No Change to Existing Salary, that was Previously Approved on July 12, 2022, BOS Agreement No. 22-185 for the Amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000), with Compensation Including Benefits Totaling Three Hundred Thirty-Eight Thousand Dollars ($338,000)/Annually; Amended to Correct Administrative Language Error (Sponsor: Supervisor McGourty).”

What was the error and why is this re-agenda item necessary? We’re not told. 

Another Agenda Item is: “Supervisors’ Reports Regarding Board Special Assignments, Standing and Ad Hoc Committee Meetings, and Other Items of General Interest. Attachments: Second District Supervisors Report.”

Only Supervisors Mulheren and Haschak even submit a written “Supervisors Report,” even though the Board’s own rules call for each Supervisor to do so. Although Haschak and Mulheren provide very little substance in their “reports,” they least check the box. The other Supervisors occasionally mention a meeting they attended, but none of them have ever bothered to submit a Supervisors report.

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Lastly, there’s four more, mostly retroactive, contracts handing over about $7.5 million more dollars to Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Community Services monopoly. No bids, no questions, and because they’re retroactive, no opportunity for the Board or the Public to comment, even if they wanted to. This is over and above the $22 million Mendo handed over last month.

Item 3n) Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Community Services, Inc., DBA Redwood Community Crisis Center in the Amount of $260,000 per Year for Two Years for a Total of $520,000, to Provide and Monitor Crisis Assessment and Psychiatric Hospitalization Aftercare to Individuals Within the Boundaries of Mendocino County Not Eligible for County Medi-Cal Services Due to Having Private Pay and/or Medicare Insurance, Effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025 

Item 3u) Approval of Second Amendment to BOS Agreement No. 22-063with Redwood Community Services, Inc., in the Amount of $142,410, for a New Total of $2,116,068, to Provide Residential Treatment Facility Operations and Crisis Residential Services on a Transitional Basis to Mendocino County Adults, Ages 18 or Older, Who Are Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis, Effective March 16, 2022 through June 30, 2024 

Item 3o) Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Community Services, Inc. in the Amount of $1,162,861, to Operate Crisis Respite Services in the City of Fort Bragg for the Mendocino Coast, Effective May 11, 2023 through June 30, 2025, with the Option to Extend the Agreement an Additional Two Years 

Item 3p) Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Quality Management Company DBA Anchor Health Management, Inc., in the Amount of $3,600,000, to Provide Care Coordination and Data Management of the Delivery of Specialty Mental Health Services in Mendocino County, Effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.

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We don’t have anything like the Skunk here in Santa Cruz. This is such an old postcard, so is the California Western Railroad still a go?

Geez, I always wanted to go to Northern California. It’s getting pretty amped up in the Monterey Bay area. 

But no, I’m 78. I’m stayin’ here. I do get the AVA though, every week. 

Thanks for that, anyway.

Pete Jussel

Santa Cruz

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FROM THE ARCHIVE of the late Wayne McGimsey:

The first settlers weren’t averse to settling disputes outside established procedures, perhaps because in early Anderson Valley there were no agreed-upon procedures. I have a copy of a confirming letter written by Phocian McGimsey, Wayne McGimsey’s father: “Alderson McGimsey was born in Missouri in 1829. He came to Napa County, California, in 1852. He met his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, in Napa and they were married in Napa in 1854. They came to Anderson Valley in 1855 and settled here with the rest. They were all from the South. John Ornbaun married Ann McGimsey, Gramp Alderson’s sister. Alderson and John Ornbaun didn’t get along. Out by Yorkville was a place they called Elk Horn. In 1869 they had a big dance in the hay loft. John Ornbaun and Gramp Alderson McGimsey didn’t like each other. They got into a fight and then Gibbins (Gibbons?) and Rawles got into it also. I don’t know Gibbins and Rawles first names. Grandpa McGimsey was shot twice and stabbed 17 times and then lived 48 hours. (But) Grandpa shot old John Ornbaun in the mouth when he was dying. Old John spit the teeth and the bullet out.” And went on living.

STEVE HEILIG: RFK Jr.’s nutty views and the fact that his own family is ashamed and embarrassed by him aren’t the main issue now. He’s mainly funded by yes, right-wing GOP/Trump donors who are all too happy to use him to con naive folks into electing Trump, or someone like him. They know what they’re doing. People who feel he’s somehow progressive don’t. The realpolitik here is some rough stuff.

I THINK JR. is a mixed bag, better on lots of issues than the Democrat's shot callers, hopeless on sensible policies in Israel that might protect the Palestinians and, of course, dangerously wrong on the medical opinions he doles out to the credulous. But who needs MAGA sabs when you have the DNC's unhinged harridans going nuts on Jr. on national tv and attempting to censor him at, of all things, a committee hearing on censorship! Jr. got a huge boost from that DNC freakout and came off as much more intelligent and articulate and saner than any of them. 

THE DEMOCRATS have a huge dilemma; they've got to somehow plausibly dump Biden while Jr. comes on stronger and stronger, especially with black and brown voters.

THE DNC'S policies and candidate (Biden? Really?) will get Trump re-elected, not Jr's insurgent campaign or the usual third party of Democrat dissidents who can't stomach what the Democrats have become. And count me as a third party voter as I have been for the past fifty years. The last Democrat I voted for was McGovern. 

WHAT WE'RE GETTING is what we always get from the DNC. Support our candidate or the country gets the unthinkable, nevermind that for the past two presidential elections the DNC has given us the only two candidates who could possibly lose to Trump — Hillary and the senile and utterly corrupt, Joe Biden.

IT'S STILL EARLY, THOUGH. Trump may not be a done deal. Lots of the big reactionary money doesn't like him. DeSantis, much worse imo, could pull it out. But anybody the Republicans put up against Biden is likely to knock him off.

WHO DO THE DEMOCRATS have who can beat Trump? Newsom. Maybe. He's their only alternative, and hard to say how he'd do against the orange beast.

GIVEN the accumulating, unaddressed catastrophes coming at US, there is no one in either party who inspires even the slightest confidence.

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Good morning; 

I am going to spend some time venting about a little peace I have going on; about social behaviors inside cafes/ coffee houses/ etc; one of the nice things about my life right now; is I have the time to hang out in cafes; and while SSDI hardly makes me rich, I can afford a daily ritual of coffee paired with cafe fare; I can pleasantly sit and organize my personal affairs and various community projects, and enjoy visiting with various locals and the occasional interesting tourist; And I think it’s cool that many people these days can work online from cafes; here comes the pet peeve part.

These people sometimes forget they are in a public space ; and they get louder and louder; with all that I've been through, I'm pretty Zen these days but.... HEY! YO! News Flash, Ass hat; the whole damn cafe does NOT need to know that Suzie, in shipping, did not get the damn package out on time.. Lets normalize talking at normal levels while in public spaces… Huh? OK? Thanks.

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BILL MULVIHILL: I thought I would send links again & a little more info about the historic local music preservation projects and how they are progressing. With David Raitt'€™s permission, recently I added two Hansen Raitt Band sets to the Mendocino Coast Music Archives…

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Megan Caron:

Lee’s Chinese is open 5 days a week Tues through Saturday. Please don’t confuse them with the Asian Buffet.

Let’s talk about some real problems in downtown Fort Bragg. How it’s impossible to find a quality salad/sandwich/soup? How we still don’t have a proper bakery? If it wasn’t for Down Home I would starve to death.. sometimes I stare at the canned food isle at Purity to fill my empty stomach.

Side note: If you didn’t know, Bernillos has new owners and their food is excellent.

There use to be more available kitchens in this town (then along comes progress and floor stores) Why is the Old Coast Hotel kitchen sitting there rotting away? I thought Hospitality House had an agreement with the city that the kitchen would be utilized? (It’s been 10 +years) It’s a shame the community lost such a Great gathering space/ dining establishment. (who’s bad idea was that and where are they now?) Because that property was a real gem and now it just looks like hell.

Good news/bad news:

The city has waived water/sewer hook up fees to encourage people to open restaurants. Unfortunately, all the folks that want to cook for us don’t have the capital and the people with capital don’t want to cook (cause they’re too busy mulling over their portfolio)

Back to the subject of Oak st. How many more years do we have to look at the dilapidated Ships Wheel building.. Sorry but if you can’t afford to maintain your commercial property, you should sell it. If you’re having a hard time selling it, then you need to lower the price. Jesus Christ that thing hurts my eyes every time I have to drive by it. If the owners of the Floor Store wanted to do something nice for the community, they could put a kitchen back in it (like the one they tore out) or maybe they’re still holding out for the weed shop bucks, who knows?

While I’m at it, I’d like to give a big shout out to all those commercial property owners that want to keep their run down properties just as they are, unwilling to sell or rent them. You must feel like a real turd when you drive past them checking on your fake for rent signs. Gotta love this place,

— Megan

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David Alden

Mostly tax scams going down here (Coasst Hotel) and tax losses being taken around all the Franklin/Oak street places...absent owners who don't care. The City needs to look at an ordinance on blighted properties. Why not fine property owners substantially if cetain standards are not met?

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Mike Sears

"tax losses being taken"

Remember when weed was at $3,500/lb and all these tax loss businesses started popping up?

We had a saying when I was associated with the Atlantic City Jewish mafia...

" You have to spend money to show money " (The government could care less HOW you made the money as long as they get their TAXES)

But the REAL money is starting a non profit.

I am very curious as to why the Slack Tide Cafe is closing.

They got a $538,000 grant to save the cute little Seals with their big sad puppy eyes (whose population has TRIPLED in the last 12 years) and the holy spiritual whales (saved LONG ago), have volunteers helping the staff and had volunteers paint the building.

And they're closing because they can't pay their note ?

Where was this $538,000 spent ?

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David Alden

Well, the organization has nothing to do, directly, with saving marine mammals... it, generally, has to do with the promotion of research and education in marine science. So the grant had nothing to do with rescuing marine mammals. I am not familiar with the terms of the grant, but it probably was not for purposes of purchasing the harbor site. The harbor site continues to be part of the Center's plans, but operating a cafe--per se-- is not part of the Center's mission. As I understand it, operating the cafe was proving to be too much of a burden on the Center's volunteer and other resources. If they can lease out the space and have that revenue contribute towards paying off the cost of having access to the water, that's smart. Of course, I am not afiiliated with the center and certainly cannot speak for it.

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Dobie Dolphin

Then what of their center on Main St in Fort Bragg ?

It is my understanding, as a volunteer with the Noyo Center, that Slack Tide ran at a loss for the past year of its operation and that the Noyo Center will continue to use the space for educational and scientific projects.

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CATCH OF THE DAY: Saturday, July 21, 2023

Bumpus, Commander, Devine

JENNA BUMPUS, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.

LARRY COMMANDER, Philo. Ammo possession by prohibited person, registration tampering, paraphernalia.

ELYASHIYB DEVINE, Willits. Controlled substance for sale, tear gas.

Estep, Flinton, Gruell

JANINE ESTEP, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, bringing controlled substance into jail, probation revocation.

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, failure to appear.

PATRICK GRUELL, Eureka/Ukiah. Parole violation.

Hallock, Sanchez, Sanderson, Tompkins

ZACHARY HALLOCK, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.


JAMES SANDERSON, Mendocino. Burglary.

DEVAN TOMPKINS, Fort Bragg. Contempt of court.

A.Wrede, N.Wrede, Zuniga

ALLISON WREDE, Fort Bragg. Harboring wanted felon, armed with firearm in commission of felony.

NORA WREDE, Fort Bragg. Harboring wanted felon, armed with firearm in commission of felony.

JUAN ZUNIGA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs. 

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When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, there was violent racial turmoil in the South: Gov. Orville Faubus’ defiance in Arkansas, Emmitt Till’s murder, assaults on sit-in protesters. The issue was segregation, the Jim Crow development that allowed Black people to be treated as second class.

How could this happen under the Constitution? The Southern states claimed that segregation was a choice made under the states’ rights concept. I saw it as an undisguised cover for hate and discrimination.

Our current Supreme Court agreed with states’ rights in the Dobbs decision. States are allowed to remove the choice of not becoming a mother. Even more, there can be draconian punishment for the woman (none for the father) or anyone else who helps her.

This return to the bad old days of state-sanctioned discrimination is an echo of the Jim Crow era. I thought the rejection of John C. Calhoun’s 1830s “nullification” theory and the results of the 1860s Civil War had cemented citizens’ federal rights. Instead, the court offers us chaotic political entropy — the breaking apart of national constitutional law. We are retreating from being the “United” States.

Phil Weil

Santa Rosa

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* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Longer boats.

"The Middle Ages hangs over history's belt like a beer belly. It is too late now for aerobic dancing or cottage cheese lunches to reduce the Middle Ages. History will have to wear size 48 shorts forever." -Tom Robbins

Here's the recording of last night's (2023-07-21) 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.

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:

Eva Noblezada – Take Me To Church.

"If you imagine the planet as a giant topological insulator, they said, you can explain the origin of the equatorial Kelvin waves."

Random ambient music lightly seasoned with air traffic control radio. You can choose the airport or just get one at random. (via b3ta)

And an hour and a half of the best of Chet Baker. (via Tacky Raccoons)

Marco McClean,,

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Years ago, maybe a week after the new 100-dollar bills came out, someone broke into my house during the day and stole money off my dresser.

They emptied a bowl of change and took it, but left about $800 in new hundreds, laying on the dresser – not having seen the new hundreds and thinking they were some kind of Monopoly money.

That was of course when I was single and had lots of hundreds – now I’m down to a bowl of change – emptied by my wife on the regular.

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SAM DARNOLD reveals why he signed with the 49ers: 

"Guys are open, I mean, there's a lot of guys open on dang near every play. It just seems like there's a ton of answers. Great run game. I mean, whenever you can have a great run game as a quarterback, that's always a comforting feeling. I think just with the certain weapons that they have, you know, Deebo (Samuel), (Brandon) Aiyuk, George (Kittle), obviously Christian (McCaffrey), Juice (Kyle Juszczyk), Jauan Jennings, like there's so many guys you can go on and on."

SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 7: Sam Darnold #14 of the San Francisco 49ers passes during mandatory minicamp at the SAP Performance Facility on June 7, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO VS TOKYO, an on-line comment:

I have spent a bit of time in Tokyo, and it is really a cool city, so I appreciate this article. But the idea that San Francisco should be focusing on any of those things (even if we could) amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. What Tokyo has, and what most successful cities have, is that they havent allowed their policy planning and execution to become captives of deeply ideological entities like our own homeless industrial complex here, that insists that the only compassionate thing to do is to allow people to commit slow suicide by Fentanyl in our streets. They arrest drug dealers (and street criminals in general) imprison some for significant periods to establish a deterrent. They treat policing as an honorable occupation, so that decent people will still sign on for the danger and stress the job entails. They are grownups and they govern that way. I wish we had some grown-ups here.

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The Swallow

Where will the swallow go fast and tired from here,

Just in case you find yourself lost in the wind looking for a coat and you won't find it.

Next to my bed I will lay his nest where the station may pass

I too am in the lost land, Oh Holy Heaven! and not being able to fly.

I also left my idolated homeland, that mansion that watched me born

My life is lost and distressed today and I can no longer go back to my mansion.

Dear beloved pilgrim, my heart will draw closer to yours

I will remember tender swallow, I will remember my homeland and I will cry.

Narcissus Serradell Seville (1862)

Originally from a poem in Arabic by the last Abencerrages king of Granada, Aben Humeya (1520-1569) in a translation by Niceto de Zamacois. Aben Humeya led an unsuccessful Morisco revolt against the Castilian rule in Grenada and was murdered by Turkish allies.

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* * *


What is one reason colonists came to America?

Who is the 'Father of Our Country'?

Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

Name one branch or part of the government. 

Where is the Statue of Liberty?

Why does the flag have 13 stripes

When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?

What are the two major political parties in the United States? 

What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?

The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

What is the name of the President of the United States now?

Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? 

What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?

When must all men register for the Selective Service?

What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

Who is one of your state’s US Senators now?

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* * *


by Maureen Dowd

A man is running to run the government he tried to overthrow while he was running it, even as he is running to stay ahead of the law.

That sounds loony, except in the topsy-turvy world of Donald Trump, where it has a grotesque logic.

The question now is: Has Trump finally run out of time, thanks to Jack Smith, who runs marathons as an Ironman triathlete? Are those ever-loving walls really closing in this time?

Or is Smith Muellering it?

We were expecting an epic clash when Robert Mueller was appointed in 2017 as a special counsel to head the investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia and his potential obstruction of justice. It was the flamboyant flimflam man vs. the buttoned-down, buttoned-up boy scout.

Mueller, who had been a decorated Marine in Vietnam, was such a straight arrow that he never even deviated to wear a blue shirt when he ran the F.B.I.

Amid the Trump administration chaos, Mueller ran a disciplined, airtight operation as special counsel, assembling a dream team of legal talent. But regarding obstruction of justice, the final report was flaccid, waffling, legalistic.

Now, Mr. Smith goes to Washington. (That classic movie remembers a time when politicians got ashamed when they were caught doing wrong. How quaint.)

This special counsel is another straight arrow trying to deal with a slippery switchblade: In a masterpiece of projection, Trump has been denouncing Smith as a “deranged prosecutor” and “a nasty, horrible human being.” Trump has been zigzagging his whole life and now, unbelievably, he’s trying to zigzag back into the White House, seemingly intent on burning down the federal government and exacting revenge on virtually everyone.

So it will be interesting to see what the top lawyer with the severe expression makes of the bombastic dissembler. Smith seems like a no-nonsense dude who works at his desk through lunch from Subway while Trump is, of course, all nonsense, all the time.

Smith has a herculean task before him. He must present a persuasive narrative that Trump and his henchmen and women (yes, you, Ginni Thomas) were determined to pull off a coup.

His letter telling Trump he’s a target of the Jan. 6 investigation reportedly does not mention sedition or insurrection, which leaves people wondering exactly what Trump will be charged with.

Of all the legal troubles Trump faces, this is the case that makes us breathe, “Finally,” as Susan Glasser put it in The New Yorker. It is, as she wrote, the heart of the matter.

The Times reported that the letter referred to three criminal statutes: conspiracy to defraud the government; obstruction of an official proceeding; and — in a surprise move — a section of the U.S. code that makes it a crime to “conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person” in the “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Initially, the story explained, that last statute was a tool to pursue the Ku Klux Klan and others who engaged in terrorism after the Civil War; more recently it has been used to prosecute cases of voting fraud conspiracies.

On an Iowa radio show on Tuesday, Trump warned it would be “very dangerous” if Smith jailed him, since his supporters have “much more passion than they had in 2020.”

A May trial date has already been set in Smith’s case against Trump for retaining classified documents — despite Trump’s effort to punt it past the election. And Smith should have an ironclad case on Trump defrauding America because defrauding is what he has been doing since the cradle — lying, cheating and lining his pockets, making suckers of nearly everyone while wriggling out of trouble.

Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis, Trump’s closest Republican challenger, defended Trump on Russell Brand’s podcast Friday, dismissing the idea that there was an overt effort to upend the 2020 election.

“The idea that this was a plan to somehow overthrow the government of the United States is not true,” DeSantis said, “and it’s something that the media had spun up just to try to basically get as much mileage out of it and use it for partisan and political aims.”

DeSantis seems almost as delusional as Trump when he denies what we saw before our eyes in the weeks after the election.

Just ask the Georgia officials who were pressured by Trump to “find 11,780 votes” or the police officers who were injured on Jan. 6. Remember the fake electors in Michigan and Georgia, among other places, and the relentless pressure on Mike Pence to invalidate the election results?

Trump ultimately might not be charged with staging an insurrection or sedition. And that would be a shame. For the first time, a president who lost an election nakedly attempted to hold onto power and override the votes of millions of Americans.

If that isn’t sedition, it’s hard to figure what is.

* * *


Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s appearance before the House Weaponization of Government Committee descends into madness

by Matt Taibbi

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. testified before the House Weaponization of Government Committee yesterday, ostensibly about censorship. Having sat in the same chair and experienced the same questioning from the same members on the same topic, I expected things to get weird. But I’m not sure I’ve never seen anything as bizarre as the spectacle that broke out in that hearing room. (For a new Twitter Files by Andrew Lowenthal on the subject they were supposed to discuss, click here or here). 

Now, RFK, Jr. has said some controversial things in his time. He’s also among the most censored people in the country, having been removed from Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms in recent years. The Republicans control the House, and the chair of the Committee wanted to explore the censorship issue, using Kennedy as a witness. 

The Democrats could have handled this situation in a number of ways. One would be to sit politely with clasped hands and patient smiles, ask the occasional probing question, then knock off early for a quiet night of Xanax, Netflix, and certain muted press coverage. 

The other way would be to snarl like Fangoria cover creatures and engage in a crazed, coordinated zombie attack of a witness who’s not only running for president as a Democrat, but whose father and uncle are sainted Blue-Party icons, to the point where the DNC has been running pale Kennedy facsimiles for federal office for over half a century — from Gary Hart to Bill Clinton to John Edwards to Beto O’Rourke to a member of that very committee, New York’s imbecilic Dan Goldman. 

How weird did the proceedings get? There are people living in jungles in Bangladesh or deserts in Sudan who’ll be learning the names Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and especially Stacey Plaskett well into this weekend and beyond. The former handed the Republicans a blowout win on their central premise before the affair started, by trying to move the hearing to executive session, “because House Rules prohibit testimony that degrades or defames people.” They were trying to censor the hearing! 

Lest anyone think this is an exaggeration, Plaskett later tried to clarify by saying they weren’t trying to censor RFK, just remove the discussion to a more private setting, as rules permit if there is a threat a witness might “defame an individual.” Plaskett continued: “No one was trying to stop him from testifying, but not to give him the megaphone that this group allowed him to have.”

Translation: we don’t object to him speaking, we just don’t want it to be in front of other people! (And not just other people: an audience a legally elected congressional committee decided to give him.) This would be an interesting tactic if Wasserman-Schultz’s motion had not been not guaranteed to fail. Since it did fail, and the hearing continued, all the stunt accomplished was putting on video for the whole world to see a failed, weirdly emotive/unhinged effort to gag a presidential candidate pulling as much as 20% of your own party’s electorate in polls. 

When Plaskett spoke it was like being transported to another realm, where rhetoric works upside-down, or sideways maybe, or speech of any kind is an inscrutable, anarchic process without meaning. She thundered, at length, about things that had nothing to do with Kennedy or the topic at hand. There were diatribes about things Kennedy specifically denounced, like election denial, white supremacy, and “the riots of January 6th,” but more frequently she just plunged into rants about things that had no connection to anything at all. Toward the end she laid out a Unified Field Theory of MAGA-Putin-RFK-Iran-Nazis:

"The MAGA Republicans are trying to scare social media companies into not taking down blatantly false information… when conspiracy theory succeeds, so does Donald Trump. Russia interfered in our 2016 election. They attempted to interfere in 2020 and they’re going to try to interfere in [2024]… We note that Russian trolls sought to suppress the black vote by unleashing deterrent of social media posts designed to stoke racial tensions and spread incorrect voting information. In 2021, our national intelligence agencies found that proactive information sharing between the government and social media companies facilitated the expeditious review and in many cases, removal of social media accounts covertly operated by Russia and Iran."

You could almost hear RFK thinking: Iran? I recognized the incredulity because the same look came over my face when I was in that room, although he was dealing with something crazier than being called a “so-called journalist.” 

The mind of the modern Blue-Anon politician — and Plaskett may be the purest specimen in the country now, surpassing even Adam Schiff — is like the last hole of a mini-golf course, where no matter what shot you hit, the ball ends up in the same bucket. The political equation is essentially [ANYTHING BAD = TRUMP = RACISM = RUSSIA INTERFERED = SHUT THE FUCK UP]. Even Joe McCarthy at his most boozed-out and paranoid didn’t see this many goblins flying around his head at the same time. Kennedy, Jr. tried to protest on a few points, noting for instance he had nothing to do with replacement theory, but arguing against this thought process is like trying to fight in a dream. The blows bounce off the madness-vortex. How does one answer the charge that protesting your own censorship means supporting covert Iranian information operations? 

There will always be loony characters in politics — the Bush era was full of them — but this current crop of Democrats is unique. Where are they going with this? Or are they just this nuts?

* * *

* * *

THE POWERFUL HAVEN’T BEEN PROMOTING the idea that control of speech is needed because they want to stop viruses, protect marginalized groups, fight foreign influence and curb domestic extremism. They’ve been pushing for control of speech because they want to control speech.

It’s a well-established fact at this point that western government bodies have been doing everything they can to infiltrate and influence Silicon Valley platforms where people gather to share ideas and information, because they understand that narrative control is real power.

Speech hasn’t gotten any more dangerous lately, yet control of speech by government and government-adjacent bodies has gotten more and more normalized in recent years. Every excuse to expand this control has been seized upon by those in power, from Russian bots to January 6 to Covid. The window of what constitutes “shouting fire in a crowded theater” keeps getting deliberately broadened in mainstream liberal consciousness, which liberals accept because it’s framed by empire propagandists as a weapon that can be used against the political enemies of liberals.

Western liberals are in effect being offered a political bribe by the empire: support the restrictions on political speech we are constantly pushing for, and it will undermine the interests of your political rivals. This bribery has made “liberals” far more tyrannical. Liberals play along because they’ve been convinced at every opportunity that restricting speech is the best way to fight hate, right wing extremism, health misinformation and malign foreign influence, but in so doing they’re supporting the most tyrannical regime on earth.

So now we’re in this bizarre situation where being “liberal” effectively means supporting censorship to silence your political enemies for the benefit of the most murderous and tyrannical people on this planet.

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his country's counteroffensive is set to "gain pace." Progress has been slow, and Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Friday that the West has been disappointed with the results.

Ukrainian drones hit an ammunition dump in Crimea and forced residents to evacuate Saturday, according to the Russian-installed head of the annexed peninsula.

The depot strike is the latest in a series of Ukrainian attacks on Crimea. Zelensky said Friday that Kyiv must "neutralize" the bridge connecting mainland Russia to the peninsula — and reclaim all of its territory there.

A prominent Russian pro-war blogger who has criticized Putin was arrested Friday, in a sign the Kremlin's tolerance for dissent may be waning after the Wagner private military group's rebellion.

* * *


  1. Marmon July 23, 2023

    “Employee Standards Including Position-Appropriate Physical, Psychological, Moral Character and Computer Literacy. (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)”

    Physical, Psychological, Moral Character? Doesn’t the County have enough problems recruiting? The first two are probably going to be challenged for discrimination.


    • Ted Williams July 23, 2023

      It’s better to leave a position empty than hire someone unable to perform.

      It’s better to leave a position empty than pay legal expenses later.

      It’s better to build a culture where people want to work. George pointed out it’s not all about money. He’s right.

      It’s not discrimination to require physical capability for position requiring arduous duty. Likewise, it’s not discrimination to require background checks. I’m not demanding specific requirements, but I expect department heads and HR to establish standards.

      • jetfuel July 26, 2023


        “ It’s better to leave a position empty than hire someone unable to perform.”

        Description of the current Board of Supervisors.
        Void of actual performance.

  2. chuck dunbar July 23, 2023

    To start this Sunday with words honoring beauty—
    Here’s a work of mystical poetry/song that rises above the many worries of this modern world. It’s one of Van Morrison’s older works, from 40 years ago and not widely played or known, but entrancing in its celebration of historic poets:


    Rave on John Donne, rave on thy Holy fool
    Down through the weeks of ages
    In the moss borne dark dank pools
    Rave on, down through the industrial revolution
    Empiricism, atomic and nuclear age
    Rave on down through time and space down through the corridors
    Rave on words on printed page
    Rave on, you left us infinity
    And well pressed pages torn to fade
    Drive on with wild abandon
    Uptempo, frenzied heels
    Rave on, Walt Whitman, nose down in wet grass
    Rave on fill the senses
    On nature’s bright green shady path
    Rave on Omar Khayyam, Rave on Kahlil Gibran
    Oh, what sweet wine we drinketh
    The celebration will be held
    We will partake the wine and break the Holy bread
    Rave on let a man come out of Ireland
    Rave on on Mr. Yeats,
    Rave on down through the Holy Rosey Cross
    Rave on down through theosophy, and the Golden Dawn
    Rave on through the writing of A Vision
    Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on
    Rave on John Donne, rave on thy Holy fool
    Down through the weeks of ages
    In the moss borne dark dank pools
    Rave on, down though the industrial revolution
    Empiricism, and the atomic and nuclear age
    Rave on words on printed page

    Van Morrison
    1983, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Love me some Van Morrison. What a great songwriter and soulful singer.

    • Bob A. July 23, 2023

      The Flea

      Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
      How little that which thou deniest me is;
      It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
      And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
      Thou know’st that this cannot be said
      A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,
      Yet this enjoys before it woo,
      And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
      And this, alas, is more than we would do.

      Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
      Where we almost, nay more than married are.
      This flea is you and I, and this
      Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
      Though parents grudge, and you, w’are met,
      And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
      Though use make you apt to kill me,
      Let not to that, self-murder added be,
      And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

      Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
      Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
      Wherein could this flea guilty be,
      Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
      Yet thou triumph’st, and say’st that thou
      Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;
      ’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:
      Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,
      Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

      John Donne

      • Marco McClean July 23, 2023

        Lyrics of /The Snail/, by Hugh Blumenfeld.

        I am the snail
        I don’t move fast
        But if you look again
        I won’t be where you found me last

        I am the snail
        pale as a memory
        I am the roaring in the labyrinth
        beside the sea

        I am a helmet on a shoe
        I am the secret smell of you
        I am the voices in your ear
        that call your name year after year

        I am patience
        I am proportion
        I am progress without fortune…

        And if I love,
        who would know
        Even for a slow lover I am slow

        And if I dream
        how could you dream it
        All your flash of inspiration
        only chars the spirit

        In a world of salt
        in a world of glass
        I have spent a whole night
        climbing up a blade of grass

        I am the snail
        I will get where I’m going
        I am the speed your hair
        and nails are growing

        I am the snail
        Because I move, all of creation’s moving
        I know that it’s a minor point
        but it’s still worth proving

    • Steve July 23, 2023

      Van’s many live performances of this (and other similar) songs in the 1980s with James Brown’s ex-bandleader Pee Wee Ellis dueting/dueling on sax with Van’s vocals were some of the most powerful musical experiences I’ve witnessed, and I’ve witnessed a lot.

      Van M in …the AVA!

      • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

        Nice archival find!

  3. Harvey Reading July 23, 2023

    Caitlin Johnstone:

    Amen! Trouble is the control of speech has been going on for decades as have other efforts to crush what little freedom we really have. Think USAPATRIOT ACT, and the like in the last few decades. And, the scum ruling class still enforces the outlandish World War One ESPIONAGE ACT (Wilson’s authorization to imprison anyone who disagreed with him)!

    The only thing that will end our total enslavement is revolution, against the scum who support and enforce it…and I don’t see any serious moves at all in that regard, just a lot of worthless blabber, such as I have just presented to you.

  4. izzy July 23, 2023

    “the modern Blue-Anon politician”

    An artful turn of phrase that sums up the current zeitgeist nicely. With Dowd and Taibbi lined up for comparison here, it’s not hard to see how fractious and silly it has all become.
    Pray for rain.

    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Blue-anon, thats funny. If I can stereotype for a minute: Conservatives are believers and Liberals are thinkers. Or so I used to think ;) Now I see liberals towing the line of tradition, in order to hold back the gates of change. Pretty sad to see so many liberals become conservative believers.

  5. Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

    RE: Newsom

    “WHO DO THE DEMOCRATS have who can beat Trump? Newsom. Maybe. He’s their only alternative, and hard to say how he’d do against the orange beast.”

    Does anyone remember how close Newsom came to losing to a Green Party candidate for his SF race? Does anyone know what trick he used to get into power in the first place?
    Let me take you back to the year 2003…

    “In 2003, then-supervisor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ran in a large field of challengers, including Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, Supervisor Tom Ammiano, former supervisor Angela Alioto, city treasurer Susan Leal, and former police chief Tony Ribera. Newsom and Gonzalez took first and second place, respectively, but neither won a majority, so the two advanced to a runoff election.[citation needed]

    Newsom ran as a moderate against leftist/progressive Gonzalez, a member of the Green Party. It was the first mayoral election in San Francisco that a Green Party candidate took a noticeable amount of the vote. The election was close, with Gonzalez leading in the polls and winning the popular vote among ballots cast on election day, while Newsom had a larger lead on absentee ballots.[citation needed] The strong showing of the Green Party’s performance can somewhat be attributed to Peter Camejo making an rare second-place finish in San Francisco County behind incumbent Democratic governor Gray Davis and ahead of Republican Bill Simon in the 2002 California gubernatorial election, a year prior. ”

    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Can you imagine a presidential debate between Cornel West, Gavin Newsom, and The Orange ConMan? Newsom would be raked over the coals of his own corporate hypocrisies. A little side note: The Emerald Triangle has the highest per capita number of Green Party voters in the Country. I wonder what that is about?

      • Bob A. July 23, 2023

        Green made sense to me back when I changed my registration. Despite them having no meaningful chance of ever winning any election, I’ve stayed Green. At least that way I don’t have to suffer contemplating the primary “choices” offered by the republocrats.

        Gavin is nothing more or less than a limousine liberal.

        • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

          The Greens have ten key values, that I do agree with. But the main one that really keeps me coming back is,

          “We don’t take corporate money. We are working to build clean government that works for all of us – not just the 1%. We are fighting for the future. Learn more about why a third party is necessary, how we need to fix our political system, and the issues we’re fighting for.”

  6. Cotdbigun July 23, 2023

    Hey Megan
    Rumor has it that the Welcome Inn lease won’t be renewed and they will move into the Ships Wheel building. Something fancy upscale super special will take the Welcome Inn’s place. One can only hope.

  7. Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

    I hope when they do their “Direction to Staff to Develop a Contingency Plan for Creation of Department of Finance Based on Best Practice of Successful Counties” they find that other counties don’t need a CEO paid 3 times the salary of the Board of Supervisors, to hide the budget misdeeds and cronies kickbacks that are ruining this county. Fire the CEO, and close the position permanently. Get the correct budget numbers. Get this train back on track! How many times does the AVA need to point this out before something gets done?

    • Ted Williams July 23, 2023

      Fire the conductor from the orchestra! Why do you need an expensive foreman?

      Every county has an executive. Hundreds of decisions are made per day. Giving 24 hours to pull the board together to micromanage each decision is nonsensical.

      “Get the correct budget numbers.”

      We’re not looking for budget numbers. The budget is just a plan for the year ahead. We’re looking for financial reporting. The roadblock has been a lack of access to records by the board, CEO, and staff below both.

      • peter boudoures July 23, 2023

        You’ve made the issues very clear in a hundred different ways.

      • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

        Yes, and all those leader positions are exactly why we have overpaid CEOs that don’t pay taxes. Do you know who applies to be the foreman, the conductor and the CEO?
        Sociopaths. They are drawn to positions of absolute power. I recently found a great video about it.

        Which brings me to the Proudhon solution. Aka the grandfather of Anrachy. ( Anarchy is commonly referred to as a system of “No rules” or “Chaos” assuming without a head strong man, everything will devolve into chaos. Anarchy actually means “No ruler” as in we must rely on Boards of Directors, Councils, Courts, Parliaments, or Worker collectives. Don’t think it will work? Then you haven’t studied Argentina’s response to the World Bank default.

        • peter boudoures July 23, 2023

          It’s politics. You want the CEO removed or not?

  8. Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

    Speaking of train tracks…

    What is going on with the Skunk train tunnel repair? I live in downtown Willits, and have done my part restoring my beautiful old 1902 Victorian home, even thought I can’t afford it and am $12k in debt right now because of it. The Skunk train’s long delayed repair of the connection to Ft.Bragg is killing the town. With no other backup plan to bring in much needed tourist dollars, Willits business district is looking much like the missing teeth meth addicted homeless folks that live behind the abandoned Masonic Hall. We could take a page from the Bend, Oregon or Boulder, Colorado playbook, and add trailheads and outdoor activities, but it seems like Willits planning is OK letting the old Quail Meadows campground be used by a Humboldt based lumber company to store more logs on the old tennis court. What a waste. To give credit where credit is due, The Willits city planners have been trying to motivate the Skunk train to do whats right for years, to no avail.

    I still dream of an amphitheater event venue in Mendocino county that would bring in bands and entertainment at least. I guess the retirees don’t want no loud music or crazy youngsters making trouble in sleepy Mendonesia.

    • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

      Change the mascot from Paul Bunyan Days to Tree Sitter Days; combine the Steam Punk & Bypass Protests for plays and re-enactments. That would bring the Greens out in the Emerald Triangle! It would be bigger than the hugely popular Not So Simple Living Fair used to be.

      • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

        Rather than sawing logs, contestants could try and break Will Parish’s record of eleven days locked to a sleeping dragon.

        • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

          That’s the courage of conviction our man Cornell West was talking about— not the lumberjack profiteering Paul Bunyan was all about. Which would you like your kids to emulate?

        • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

          I admire Will’s determination to chain himself to the equipment of forest destruction, but I question the liberal belief system behind the motive to “Stop the Bypass”. It assumes that forcing the highway system fossil foolery supporters to squeeze through the winding narrow streets of WIllits in hopes they will have to stop and buy kitchie hippie crap and bigfoot statues is a sustainable model of economics for a small town. The bypass was originally a plan co-developed by the Herman family and SHN engineering, that they merged with, and was supposed to run the Highway bypass along the train tracks, but it was blocked for so many years by well intentioned environmentalists, that we ended up with CalTrans multi-million dollar catastrophe instead. As they say, The devil is in the details.

          When Not-so-simple living fair started to fade, and they took a well deserved break, My partner and I carried on and hosted the “Elderflower gathering” at Solar Living Center in July 2018. Remember that month? As we sat there in the oasis of Hopland, teaching workshops on natural building for fire resistant homes, using doug fir thinned from the forest to reduce fire load, the wildfire raged in the hills behind us, sweeping over into lake county, destroying all buildings in it’s path. The symbolism was not lost on us.

          So like a phoenix, we rise again from the ashes, to continue the good works.

          Join us for the Regenerative natural building workshops at Tan Oak Park in Laytonville August 26th and 27th, 2023, and bring back the spirit of not so simple living in Mendocino county. Sign up and pay for the 26th, and enjoy Furniture making from doug fir poles, cob plaster, and other natural building skills. Stay for the afterparty and free skill sharing workshops on the 27th.

          • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

            Reducing the Save Our little Lake Valley protestors to purveyors of hippy kitsch somehow seems too facetious a dismissal of my idea to change the mascot. Okay, stick with the Victorian values expressed in the Paul Bunyan kitsch —‘twill make a properly buttoned up match for your newly restored Victorian house!
            But isn’t that the same reason our comment page peer Kirk Vodopols left the Victorian town of Ferndale— it became too touristy and lost the hometown nostalgia ….?!

            • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

              It is a paradox that one of the reasons my house withstood the 1906 earthquake and survives to this day is because it was made from old growth redwood. Still the reason why decks are made from redwood to this very day, but I also recognize that there are better ways to harvest lumber now. I don’t really think that Paul Bunyan is a mascot of Willits. It’s a mascot for the restaurant chain at the south end of town, but Paul Bunyan was a symbol for the timeless battle of Man VS machine. He was the John Henry of the west. As for a Mascot for Willits… why not stick with the Skunk? He’s cute, outdoorsy, and smells like weed… sounds like Mendo to me.

              • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

                You never heard of Paul Bunyan Days in Willits and you own property there? I must be stoned. Forget it, RyeN. Sorry to waste your time.

                • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

                  Uh, no, I’m actually taking a break from cannabis use right now. I think you may be one city off Bruce….

                  “Paul Bunyan Days has been a Fort Bragg tradition since 1939. Always lumberjack rowdy and family friendly, the festival is bigger and better than ever. 4 days packed with 30 different free, or almost-free events makes us the oldest and largest festival on the Mendocino Coast.”


                  • Bruce McEwen July 23, 2023

                    Ooops! Muddled my brains with Mendo purple and started seeing blue oxen everywhere!

                    Keep the faith with the Not So Simple brigade, and accept my humble apology…

  9. Whale July 23, 2023

    Tokoyo vs SF… yes!

  10. John Sakowicz July 23, 2023

    Nice reporting, Mark.

    Here’s the takeaway, and I quote you verbatim: “Just getting (mostly delayed) numbers from the Auditor, without variance explanations by the departments in question, doesn’t do much good and provides no opportunity to manage the departments. The Auditor should prepare the revenue side of the report, but the budget vs actual numbers should come from the departments who not only should know what they’re spending, but what they’re going to spend and why, allowing not only status reporting, but projections for the year. Setting up yet another department won’t do any good. Most departments already maintain their own budget status, but the Board and CEO have never asked them to provide them on a monthly basis. ”

    Why isn’t the Board listening?

    • Ted Williams July 23, 2023

      “but the Board and CEO have never asked them to provide them on a monthly basis.”

      Ridiculous. It’s been asked time and time again.

      4b is about building the capability to generate irrespective of the elected financial office.

      • Mark Scaramella July 23, 2023

        Show me the directive.

        • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

          Wait wait… let me guess… it says “Direction given to staff”

  11. Nathan Duffy July 23, 2023

    RE: Dems. If the Democratic Party had any worth they’d go tribal like the Republicans and have no fear of running someone like Cornell West, a true lefty. If Repubicans rely on the far right why couldn’t the Dems rely on the actual left. But I’ve been saying Newsom is their guy for years now.

  12. Mike J July 23, 2023

    There’s a hearing on Wednesday that AOC wants you to really watch:
    BTW, it may seem odd but AOC and Burchett are friends. While it’s true that the UAP issue is one rare issue turning bipartisan, Tim and Alexandria bond especially over dogs.

    The key question: what followup developments will fall into place after David Grusch testifies? What also will develop if Schumer’s Disclosure Act passes?

    This matter won’t die out or fade away again. Corey Booker noted his staff is very excited by this issue. Congressional staff have been part of mind blowing interviews done in SCIFs.

    • Harvey Reading July 23, 2023

      Dream on. How many times have you spouted that same sh-t over the years?

  13. Steve July 23, 2023

    One small PS re dreaded politics: I sadly stopped expecting good things, let alone revolutionary perfection, from any politician long ago. And yes the corruption of cash needs to be removed from elections, policymaking, etc. But having toiled in the real rough worlds of public and reproductive health for decades, I just scoff when anybody says there’s no difference between the GOP and Dems. And it strikes me that those who say that are overwhelmingly male. For just one of many “differences,” there was this little item called Roe v. Wade….

    (Former Green, until that just felt silly)

    • Bruce Anderson July 23, 2023

      If the sainted Ms. Ginsburg had retired while Obama was still in office, the Supremes, and the revival of the abortion issue, may have looked a lot different. In the essentials — insane military spending; imperial wars all over the globe, devotion to the wealthy; Israel; corporate funding and on and on, I’d say the only real difference is on the abortion issue.

      • Steve July 23, 2023

        Yes, but on environmental issues too, inc toxics, climate, etc, the GOP is much closer to the corporate world’s interests, to all our – and other species’ – detriment. They also seem to want to curtail/get rid of Medicare/Aid, social security, food security programs for the poor and hungry, privatize education and much more, etc. , with their #1 priority seemingly further cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Dems still oppose all that.
        The differences may not be what we might wish for, but still profoundly important in impact.
        “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

        • Mark Scaramella July 23, 2023

          Surely, you’re not saying the Democrats are “the good.” In this case the not quite as bad is the enemy of the bad.

          • Steve July 23, 2023

            Right, surely not. But some of the good goals/actions/policies are much closer to Dems than the GOP – esp. now as MAGA madness rules…. So yes, the enemy of the bad. Or rather, the terrible.

            • chuck dunbar July 23, 2023

              You are right, Steve, in seeing the important differences between the 2 parties we now have. The enemy of “the terrible” is just so.

        • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

          Ok, since when have the Dems reinstated EPA regulations gutted by republicans, taxed the rich, taxed corporations, or enacted Universal Healthcare like every other democratic nation in the world?

          Did you know that All congresspersons have Universal Healthcare? They obviously think it’s a good idea… for them.

          I don’t think sticking bandaids on the wounds is a good solution. We need to stop the root cause of the harm. Here’s 3 major solutions that I have come up with:

          1- Revoke the 16th Amendment as unconstitutional and remove the Corporation known as the “Federal Reserve”, and nationalize it as an official Government institution.

          2- Change the 13th Amendment to read “People are not property, and property is not a person”

          3- Stop funding Israel and Tax corporations to pay for universal Healthcare for all Americans.

    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Actually that really gets to the heart of the solution. I think the majority of Americans realize we need to get the money bribery out of our political system. The real problem is HOW? We can’t rely on the current politicians to make new laws to take away their cash flows. They sit in ivory towers, cushioned from the impacts and voices necessary to convince them. I think Robin Williams had the best starting point. Create a people’s proposition to make politicians wear all their donor’s brand names on their jackets like Nascar drivers, so we know exactly who owns whom…. I’m open to other ideas.

    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Dems and Repubs rely on wedge issues to maintain their not so subtle differences.

      Not that I agree with revoking Roe vs Wade, as I don’t think Men should be making medical decisions for Women’s bodies.

  14. Marmon July 23, 2023


    Say goodbye to the bird logo, Twitter is officially rebranding to “X”.

    I can hardly wait to see what the X files bring us.


    • Rye N Flint July 23, 2023

      Ha Ha! What the what?!?! Come on Elon! Oh, great, My Mom is going to be pissed when her Tesla stock tanks again…

    • chuck dunbar July 23, 2023

      Big change comin’ down—
      Twitter’s now called “X”
      But surely it’s a problem
      Maybe it’s a hex!

      Elon’s a darn genius—
      Wisest of them all
      But maybe he’s just fakin’
      Made a foolish call!

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