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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, August 6, 2023

Hot Interior | Lake Emily | FFA Update | Pikachu | Dam Disagreement | Young Mancher | RV Weed | Pet Pups | Finance Discussed | Mobile ATM | Fiduciary Responsibility | Filbey Art | PG&E Battle | AV Events | Panther Volleyball | Desperate Times | Assemblyman & Wife | Meiggsville | Night Monster | Yesterday's Catch | Embodied | Not Robbery | Big Jackpot | Wolf Sculpture | Marco Radio | Which California | Sequoias | Taqueria Man | Wall Streeters | Falls City | Decoined | More Foolish | Prisoners Exercising | Umbrella Valet | Slitting Throats | Ukraine | Muscle Beach | Chuck Luck

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HOT INTERIOR TEMPERATURES will occur today, followed by gradual cooling during early to middle portions of next week. Otherwise, dry weather will be probable for most of the region during the next seven days, though a slight risk of monsoon showers and thunderstorms may develop late next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Another warm 56F & fog this Sunday morning on the coast. I'm going with mostly foggy this morning then clearing later, we'll see soon enough. The NWS is calling for windy tonight thru Monday night, an odd 36 hour wind event. This week looks like mostly clear with some patches of fog.

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Lake Emily, Brooktrails (Jeff Goll)

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

What a great day for Anderson Valley FFA. The students participated in the livestock auction at the Redwood Empire Fair and the Mendocino Community gives so generously. To the businesses that bought our animals. Thank you. We are a very small town and don’t have the marketing pull that Ukiah has, but your support of our kids means the world. 

Thank you to:

  • Nevaeh Padilla’s Rabbit Meat Pen was purchased by Aaction Rents
  • Nayely Garibay’s Chicken Meat Pen was purchased by Les Schwab of Ukiah
  • Jose Alvarez’s Chicken Meat Pen was purchased by Rainbow Ag of Ukiah
  • Damian Eligio’s Market Goat was purchased by Sweet Cottontails
  • Samantha Espinoza’s Market goat was purchased by Grow West of Ukiah
  • Guadalupe Arias-Pena’s Rabbit Meat Pen was purchased by Tunzi, Inc of Comptche

On a side note 

  • Damian got $13/lb for a goat
  • Sam $15/ lb for a goat
  • Lupe got $1,400 for her rabbits

Folks in the Valley, honor these businesses by showing your support, because they supported our kids.

Congratulations to:

  • Nevaeh Padilla
  • Nayely L. Garibay-Espinoza
  • Jose Alvarez
  • Damian Eligio
  • Samantha Espinoza
  • Guadalupe Areias-Pena
  • Allan Ford

I would like to give a special shout out to Allan. His rabbits had a sneeze, and he couldn’t show or sell them, but he was there to help his teammates in their experience and that shows class, grace, and pride. A hard thing when you are a youngster, but he did it.

A huge thank you to Beth Swehla for her expectation and mentorship of our students.

I would also like to note that a Valley resident, Stuart Spacek, showed as an independent and did very well.

Congratulations to all involved!

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District

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Pikachu, Redwood Empire Fair, Ukiah (Jeff Goll)

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‘COOKING THE FISH’: Irrigators And Environmentalists Disagree Over Reducing Eel River’s Flow At Scott Dam

by Sarah Reith

The public comment period for a proposed reduction in the diversion of water from the Eel River into the East Branch of the Russian River is now closed. PG&E, which still owns and operates the Potter Valley Project, has asked regulators for permission to reduce the flow into the East Branch from 75 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 25. The utility is also asking for the flexibility to cut the flow to five cfs if the water temperature at a gage near Scott Dam exceeds 16 degrees Celsius. That’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates dangerous conditions for juvenile salmon. Last year, only 145 adult steelhead were counted at a fisheries station at Cape Horn Dam, downstream of Scott Dam.…

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BETH SWEHLA: AV FFA is remembering lifelong Anderson Valley resident, Robert ‘Mancher’ Pardini. Mancher was an AV FFA member in the 1950s. Condolences to the Pardini family.

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During the July 25th, 2023, Board of Supervisors meeting, a Redwood Valley Cannabis Prohibition District was considered. Although the Board denied establishment of the Prohibition District, unanimous direction was provided to the Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division to assign all of its available resources to address illegal cannabis cultivation within the Redwood Valley area. The purpose of this direction was to address cannabis-related nuisances in the area as demonstrated by numerous constituent complaints of nuisance odor and activities.

As a result of the Board’s direction, the Code Enforcement Division has proceeded with identifying multiple properties within Redwood Valley as potential non-permitted cultivation sites, including but not limited to the use of aerial imagery. Code Enforcement will be completing thorough investigations to assess for illegal cannabis cultivation and its related infrastructure. While in the field, Code Enforcement officers will also be actively seeking to identify additional unpermitted cultivation sites to include in this directed effort.

Code Enforcement is seeking voluntary compliance by responsible parties to abate all illegal cannabis cultivation in violation of Mendocino County Code (MCC) Chapter 10A.17 and obtain appropriate building permits to address non-permitted infrastructure associated with cannabis cultivation. If voluntary compliance is not achieved, Code Enforcement will elevate enforcement action on non-compliant sites.

It should be noted that many properties located with Redwood Valley are zoned RR (Rural Residential) 1 (RR1) and do not qualify for cultivation beyond the personal adult use exemption. However, it should also be noted that for the adult use exemption, the use must also be in compliance of MCC section 10A.17.040 to meet all required setbacks.

A copy of the 10A.17 Ordinance can be located at:

The Mendocino County community is highly encouraged to review the above noted ordinance to ensure their properties are in compliance.

For any questions or concerns, community members can reach out to the Code Enforcement Division at: (707) 234-6669 or email at: codeenforcement@mendocinocounty

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PUPPIES, PUPPIES, PUPPIES! The shelter is loaded with the most adorable, sweet and wonderful puppies of every size, color, and breed. It’s definitely puppy season! If you’re looking for a puppy, head to our website at and click on the Pups & Young Dogs link. While you’re there, you can also see all of our adoptable dogs, cats and kittens. For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453. Check out our facebook page and share, share, share our posts!

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by Mark Scaramella

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” — Yogi Berra

At their last Board meeting on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 before taking an unprecedented entire month off (a “recess”), the Board of Supervisors discussed creating a “Department of Finance.”

The discussion arose only about a year and a half after they rashly consolidated the offices of Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector in December of 2021 against the advice of the incumbents and everyone else who had an opinion on the subject. 

From the minutes of the December 14, 2021 board meeting: “Upon motion by Supervisor Williams, seconded by Supervisor McGourty, it is ordered that the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance repealing [the existing County Code on the two separate offices] for the purpose of consolidating the Offices of the Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer-Tax Collector.” The motion passed 4-1 with Supervisor John Haschak dissenting.

Although the Board continues to claim that they “only” consolidated the positions, not the office, their own minutes make it clear that they consolidated the offices, although since the consolidation was done without planning or organizational direction, they apparently can claim whatever they want. They have shown no interest in how the consolidated offices function since then, other than near constant griping about not getting reports — whatever those as-yet undefined reports may be.

In opening the discussion, Supervisor Ted Williams said the Board wants a Department of Finance to get “regular financial reports” such as “Department reports, budgeted versus actual, on a monthly basis.” 

Unbelievably, Mendo has never done monthly departmental reporting, as we have noted for years, if not decades. Nor has the Board formally asked for it, despite claims to the contrary. Although Williams claimed they’ve asked for monthly reports several times, when asked to cite a “board directive” saying so, Williams didn’t respond. Williams also said the Board doesn’t even know “who is responsible for generating the monthly reports.” 

Hint: It’s the CEO and the department heads. The board can shuffle the financial offices or officers all they want but that won’t change that simple fact.

Supervisor Glenn McGourty implied that the County’s current financial staff is unqualified, as if he would know. “While we have hard working people with this task [reporting, presumably], they don’t necessarily have the capacity to really deliver the information that we need as supervisors.”

The board has acknowledged that they have never specified what they “need,” choosing instead to complain about it ad nauseum, then blaming their own fecklessness on the fact that the Auditor-Controller Tax Collector-Treasurer is an elected official over whom they say they have no control. 

This excuse would be more credible if the board specified exactly what they want and who is refusing to provide it.

In fact, the Board has no idea what they want beyond someone with the title of “Director of Finance” who has the magical ability to telepathically discern what the Supervisors want. McGourty admitted as much saying, “Long term, I would like to see us have a real clear picture of what that is.”

County Counsel Christian Curtis told the Board that creating a Department of Finance would require that the public vote on the creation of the position as well as on whether it would be elected or appointed by the Supervisors and that the process would take up to four years considering election timing and incumbency and so forth. Oddly, the Board seems oblivious to how hard a sell that would be, given the public’s general distrust of this Board of Supervisors. As Supervisor Haschak noted, “the people of Mendocino County would have to vote on this and they would have real concerns.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde at least seemed to realize that whatever a Department of Finance might look like, “the challenges with the County’s finances involve many county departments and they are not solely resting in any one department.”

Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector-Treasurer Chamise Cubbison wasn’t even officially involved in the discussion. She had to come to the podium under “public expression” to even comment:

“I take exception to this board bringing forward this agenda item and its wording. I continue to be dismayed by this board, or certain board members, inferring that my staff or myself are unqualified, not doing our jobs, or are not professional. I continue to feel like a scapegoat for of your lack of understanding of financial matters relating to the county and your inability to make hard decisions. The board took action to combine the offices with no plan in place and in spite of opposition from myself, the former Auditor Controller, and the former Treasurer Tax collector along with community members and community organizations.”

Ms. Cubbison went on at some length defending herself and her staff, pointing out the problems they’ve had converting to the new property tax system and the new accounting system on top of existing requirements as well as the additional tasks the Board has imposed on her office such as the Cannabis tax amnesty program and the transient occupancy tax allocations. She also told the Board, “I have requested that the board members who are asking for financial information in a different way, provide examples of those financial reports from their colleagues in other counties. To date I have never seen examples of such reports.”

When Supervisor Haschak asked his “budget ad hoc” committee colleagues of Williams and McGourty how they were doing on that, McGourty admitted they had been remiss, blaming on their “really, really hard” working putting together [i.e., rubberstamping] the last annual budget. Which means that he acknowledges that they were supposed to do that but haven’t and probably won’t.

Ms. Cubbison also reminded the Board that “County staff and fiscal offices and departments act quarterly to provide extensive information on their projections for year-end amounts.” Which would be an obvious starting point for monthly reports. “Staff works tirelessly providing detailed information to the CEO in quarterly reports,” Cubbison added. “That information may or may not be being provided to you, but it is being done. Staff is working diligently in those departments to provide that information. I am confident that additional information to suit some of the requested information is likely available in some of those reports.” But again, the Board expressed no interest in getting those existing quarterly departmental reports.

As far as tax collection shortfalls, Cubbison insisted that it’s not as bad as some people think:

“The inference that we are not collecting taxes is completely unfounded. We remain at the same collection rate that we have had for the last three years for taxes which is also in line with every other county in the state. We are not behind in collecting taxes. The data at this point is somewhat skewed because of issuing so many bills in May. We have not had the opportunity to necessarily collect on those, but our numbers are coming in as expected.”

That sounds somewhat contradictory, however. On the one hand, they’re “not behind” but the bills are late? Also, there’s the problem of numerous underassessed parcels and reports of unpaid, uncollected tax bills some of which won’t translate into revenue for years, if ever.

Cubbison concluded, “I would appreciate it if there is a desire to move toward a Director of Finance that you don’t couch it with references to unprofessionalism and people not working hard. If you want to work towards that, you should do it in a collaborative, cooperative and respectful manner moving forward. You should not try to blame those who are working hard to get the job done and who are actually not failing at that role.”

First District Supervisor Candidate Carrie Shattuck concluded:

“The reason the Board of Supervisors is giving for the creation of a Department of Finance is to get their reports. But it is also that they do not want the position elected. Although that is exactly what they did last year. Chamise Cubbison, Auditor Controller Tax Collector is seven months in into her four-year elected position and is still learning the Treasurer and Tax Collector office. The Board of Supervisors did this merging of offices without a plan and without consulting the Treasurer-Tax Collector or Auditor. Decades of experience in these offices left with the consolidation. One of the main issues is getting the reports out of the computer program as Chamise pointed out. The information did not cross over correctly from our antiquated system, therefore compounding the problem. The Treasurer-Tax Collector told the board that this was a major issue even before the consolidation. Now they want to blow up the department they consolidated before the dust has even settled from the last merging. We have a knowledge crisis in our county. Consolidating more power under the CEO’s office is not going to fix this. The CEO’s office is already filling in for more departments than they can handle. The Human Resources Director is one example. where are we going to get people to run a Department of Finance? We cannot even get people to run other departments including Human Resources. If the Board of Supervisors really wants to get reports then they should be helping to support the Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector. But they rushed into this elected position and failed to actively recruit employees with knowledge of this tax system. Getting the reports is not as important as getting the work done. If the work is not getting done, there is nothing to report. You cannot merge your way out of this.”

Like his colleagues, Supervisor Haschak admitted that he too has no idea what he wants or what is needed beyond bureaucratic generalities: 

“We want reliable financial reports and efficient tax collection. How do we get there? This Department of Finance? I don’t see that as really viable. According to County Counsel it would take three and a half years to make that transition. So it’s how do we work with what we have right now and make it better? I’m open to any kind of recommendations. The budget ad hoc committee was supposed to be looking at the financial reports and getting that information to the Auditor Controller Treasurer Tax Collector. They were supposed to be working on that to make sure that we were getting the reports. What is the status of that progress? I call it progress because that’s what we’re trying to do is get that information. Are we making progress in getting the information that the board needs?”

Obviously, not.

Supervisor Maureen Mulheren wrapped up by trying to make sure the item is deeply buried and mushy, “It is my understanding reading the agenda item that the board will formally direct staff to look at a contingency plan. Not that the plan will happen, not that it will be brought to the board or the voters. But it is formal direction from the five board members to direct staff to look into these items.”

McGourty and Williams confirmed that that was the direction.

And that was all there was to it. Staff is supposed to “look at a contingency plan” for a Finance Director. No dates, no definition, no direction, no examples from other counties. 

Two hours of fuzzy blather for that? Unfortunately, it’s all too common.

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ATM, Redwood Empire Fair, Ukiah (Jeff Goll)

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JOHN REDDING: We cannot afford to maintain the status quo. The County’s bookkeeper, in the form of the Treasurer, seems unable to produce the financials needed to properly manage the business of the County. I’d sign onto the letter myself. As Treasurer of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District, I was frustrated by the unwillingness of Advent Health to provide us with necessary financial information. AH has done a lot of hocus pocus with the money provided to them by taxpayers, including asking for and getting (from the current Board of Directors) $4.0M without supporting documentation or even a reason. There is something similarly wrong with the County’s financial management. Every Board member, not just Mr. Williams, should be on board with this. There is a term for it...ummm...ah! Fiduciary Responsibility.

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Here’s one final shameless pitch for my art website: This is the final month of my summer sale with everything half off. Response to the sale prices has been pretty good so far with over a couple dozen pieces sold (too late to buy those!). All prices will return to normal for the holiday season. If you see anything you’d like to acquire, now is the time to save some money and create more space in my studio. I’ve also been listing my art (along with artifacts, coins, and collectibles) on Ebay weekly. You can see it at Stop by for a gander, and thanks

Bob Filbey <>

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BILL KIMBERLIN: PG&E Scraps Tree-Trimming Program In California.

I can’t say for sure how much I had to do with this but I fought them for two years. I wanted the wires underground and for them to use technology to prevent downed power lines from starting fires when hit by a tree.

There was a big article in the Wall Street Journal about this yesterday. Where installed, tree downed lines can be shut off in about one second.

I carried a photo of the lady that runs PG&E in my cell phone because she lives in Laffite where I have breakfast often. 

About a week ago a crew with a crane mounted on a huge dump truck finally, after two years, cleaned up every downed log and brush pile of our Goodace Lane dirt road. That took a lot of shouting on my part, but I got it done.

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Dear AVA Editor, 

I just finished letters to two Senators and our governor in essence the governing entities, the same with those who administer them hold to the status quo. A couple I met whose only income source was Food Stamps. Then a SARS program that failed today. I am living in my car as well. I didn’t want them to starve so I gave them water, Gatorade, bread and some gas money. I can’t do this. I’ve lowered my own needs to two small meals a day. 

Here’s my rub. I sent to our elected officials a signed approval in essence saying I get food stamps because I cannot pay rent and not eat. However why I’m writing you is, he said if I’m quoting this correctly Measure B was for mental health, right ? He said it went to the jails system which I know is strained anyway but it leaves nothing else. This man also said he got a fixit ticket and I mentioned this to all the elected officials there is (no) fix without a job/income?

I find vigilantism to be destructive. This to me is what government wants: rebels so they can keep their Stanford Madison’s and not concern themselves that a (pandemic) has eroded our system of democracy. Human nature and their ability to place their lives before those and ignore their (Oath) they swore to hold dear. 

Sincerely yours 

Greg Crawford 

Fort Bragg

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Assemblyman Wood Gets Married

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The original name of the town we all know as Mendocino, was Meiggsville. I know this because my great grandfather John Mason founded a brewery in San Francisco in 1854. If you look closely at the address on my lithograph advertising his enterprise you will note that it was on Chestnut Street "opposite Meiggs Wharf".

Who was Meiggs? Henry Meiggs was a San Francisco real estate baron who owned a lot of the City. He was also a lumber baron who sent his agents up to what is now the Mendocino North Coast to see if there was any timber up there around 1850. The report came back that yes there was timber, a hell of a lot of it. Since San Francisco was always burning down or expanding Meiggs built a massive lumber facility in the town with rigging to off load it to his ships below the cliffs. He also built Meiggs Wharf stretching over 2000 feet out into San Francisco Bay.

He did well until there was a fall in real estate prices and he had to borrow (steal) a bunch of money from the coffers of San Francisco. When he got caught he escaped with his family in one of his ocean going ships and landed in South America. Here he built railroads and recouped his fortunes. 

If you look at the old maps at the history museum in the current town of Mendocino, you will see "Meiggsville" as the name of the current town we call "Mendocino".

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by Bruce Anderson

Late on a sun-baked October afternoon in 1995, an attractive, 60-ish woman named Jodine Lesieur drove home after a long day cutting hair in her busy Laytonville barber shop. She turned west at the CDF station north of town and on out Ten Mile Creek Road to her immaculate doublewide-trailer home at the end of the road.

“If you do a bird-fly off 101, my house is only a mile off 101. If you drive in, it’s 5 miles,” Jodine says, adding: “And in the winter when the creek’s up, you have to have two cars, one on each side of the creek. You get out of one, walk across the foot bridge, and get into the other and keep on going.”

An ebullient woman long accustomed to fending for herself in a world that has often been unkind to her, Jodine or “Jodie” as she prefers to be called, bought her place north of Laytonville in 1969 “for $56 a month” while she still lived and worked in Venice Beach as a barber. Finally, to escape the abusive husband she’d married “when I was too young to know what I was getting into,” Jodie and her son left Los Angeles to make a new life for themselves in northern Mendocino County.

“I came to town with $1,500 and a teenage son,” Jodie recalls. “I knew if I didn’t leave I was going to do something stupid, and I wanted us to survive. I was a smart young girl, but I had no education. We lived in my camper while I got my barber shop going in town. I had to support myself. I had no child support or anything. I had to struggle all the time. I don’t know how I did it but I did.”

A single woman in a small town arouses the interest of men, the envy and suspicion of insecure women. But Jodie’s unfailing good cheer soon won over even the most skeptical among her new community. She worked hard and confined her romantic interests to eligible men, not married ones. Jodie shrugged off the inevitable gossip that accompanied her arrival and was soon established as the town barber — a self-supporting, well-liked member of the community. 

“I admit I’m flirty. I have a way with men. Men like me,” Jodie says matter-of-factly. “I knew everybody. I treated everybody the same — men, women, kids, cats, and dogs. Johnny Pinches can tell you that, because he knows me very well. He knows I was a fun, ambitious, hard-working girl who worked many hours for people in that town, and ended up leaving there feeling like I had no friends.”

Pinches, the popular former north county supervisor and a lifelong resident of Laytonville, confirms Jodie’s assessment of her place in the town’s social firmament. 

“A very good lady,” Pinches says, sadness in his voice. “I think for a while during the whole episode a lot of people kinda thought she was making up a story. I never thought that for a minute, but people who didn’t know her all that well were gossiping about her. It was a bad thing that happened to Jodie, a very bad thing.”

“I developed raw land,” Jodie says of her first years in the north county’s outback. “I brought electricity into Ten Mile Creek. I was the first one with a phone and electricity back there. I pioneered it.” 

The single mother from Los Angeles made a good life for herself and her son, the two of them holding their own and then some at the end of a dirt road outside an old logging town in a far corner of Mendocino County. She’d met a nice man about her own age and married him. Life was good.

Closing in on her 60th birthday on that October afternoon back in 1995, Jodie was sure her biggest battles were all behind her. She had nothing but good memories of her 22 years in Laytonville.

As she drove west into the afternoon sun on Ten Mile Creek Road that day after another long day cutting hair in town, Jodie noticed that there were people camping on property about a half-mile from her place. 

“I’m in charge of collecting money from the different property owners to keep the road up,” Jodie explains. “I’d written letters to the ones who hadn’t paid their $35 but hadn’t gotten a reply from these folks, the ones I saw on my way home. So when I saw them there I drove on in. I planned to see if I could collect the road fees and tell them about a new bridge we wanted to build over Ten Mile Creek. There were a bunch of guys all in their 20s and 30s in different places pulling things out of their pick-ups and sort of getting ready for dinner. This one guy looked right at me, so I drove on over to him — I can still see his face right this minute — and he complained that he shouldn’t have to pay because he never used the road. Another man came over and said, ‘Don’t pay any attention to him,’ and wrote me a check. That was it. I turned around and drove on home.”

The campers on this weekend, most of them related, were all men. There were about 10 of them. Most of them were from the Bay Area where they work in skilled blue-collar jobs as plumbers and electricians and telephone linemen. One had been a policeman in Clearlake where he still lived. 

Some of the men camping at the property down the road from Jodie’s house had been visiting the place since they were children. Two men named Diebner and Green had bought the 10-acre parcel back in 1969, about the same time Jodie and her young son were pioneering the parcel farther west on Ten Mile Creek where the road ends. 

The descendants of Diebner and Green are respectable people who sometimes brought their own wives and children to enjoy a weekend in the woods of Ten Mile Creek. On other occasions the men pitched their tents for a weekend of boys-only beer drinking and target shooting.

It was a boys-only the weekend of October 7th and 8th, 1995.

“I didn’t know any of them,” Jodie says, “because they don’t come up very often. After I got the check for the road work, I went on home and didn’t think anything more about it.” 

Very early the next morning, Jodie, with her husband Ron in a deep slumber beside her, suddenly woke up.

“Ron was usually the one who woke up at night because his back would be bothering him,” she explains. “That night it was me who woke up. You know those funny feelings we all get sometimes that wake us up in the middle of the night? That’s what I felt. I felt like something wasn’t right.” 

It wasn’t. 

And then it got worse.

“I woke up and a man was standing over me. I yelled. Ron was still asleep. He sort of groaned and rolled over,” Jodie remembers. “He didn’t wake up right away.”

But Ron woke up fast when he felt the cold metal of a gun barrel pressing against his temple. 

Ron Densmore, a retired shoe salesman, was then in his mid-60s. He’s partially disabled from an old back injury.

“If you look at me, you’re both dead,” the intruder said. 

Ron had awakened facing away from the gunman. He stayed that way, resisting an impulse to go for the pistol he kept handy beneath his mattress. 

Jodie begged Ron not to do anything. 

He didn’t. 

“I knew if we would have looked at him in his face, that would have been it. I know it,” Jodie says, with the conviction of a woman who knows she came very close to dying. 

The man with the gun then pulled the couple’s blankets down to the foot of the bed, leaving the couple exposed, the light from the full moon outside faintly illuminating their naked bodies.

“We always slept nude in the warm weather,” Jodie explains, adding, “not that it’s anybody’s business, but when something like this happens, you lose all your privacy anyway.”

With the terrified couple lying before him like a pair of laboratory cadavers, the man ran his gun slowly over the contours of Jodie’s body “like he was examining it,” Jodie remembers.

The man then inserted a finger in her vagina and ordered Jodie to masturbate him. 

Several times during his violation of Jodie, the intruder announced matter-of-factly that he would kill her and Ron both if she didn’t do exactly what he said, or if either Jodie or Ron looked up at his face.

When the man, this beast out of the night, had become fully erect, he pulled Jodie into a sitting position, grabbed her head from behind with his left hand, and forced his penis into her mouth, the gun in his right hand at Jodie’s head.

Ron, seething, lay still as the night monster raped the woman he loved.

The intruder sighed as he climaxed. 

Jodie asked if she could spit the semen into a sheet of tissue. 

“Yes,” the intruder said. 

Jodie lay back down. 

“He was done with me, and he turned me over and told me to put my face in the pillow. Then he put his gun right in the back of my neck and pushed down on it, and I just said: ‘O God. Is this the way it’s going to end?’ I said to myself: ‘Just take a deep breath, and I did. He held the gun on my head for a long time, like he was trying to decide whether or not to shoot me. I thought for sure I was going to die.” 

But the stunned couple, expecting gun shots and oblivion, instead heard the receding sounds of the intruder’s footsteps on the deck outside.

The clock on the night stand said 3:15 a.m. 

Ron grabbed his handgun from beneath his side of the mattress and looked out the bedroom’s sliding-glass door. He could clearly see the man running down the road in the moonlight. Ron thought he could see him clearly enough to take a shot at him.

“My husband grabbed the gun and was pointing at the man running down the driveway, but I didn’t want him to shoot,” Jodie remembers, with the total recall of a person who has emerged on the happy side of a near-death experience. “I was afraid he’d miss and the man would come back and get both of us. And,” she adds with a mirthless laugh at the absurdity of it, “I didn’t want to wreck our sliding-glass door. It’s crazy what you think about at a time like that. I was in total shock. I just did what I had to do to survive. My poor husband. I felt so sorry for him. I’m so glad he didn’t try to be a hero. I’m so proud of him for not being a hero!”

Ron immediately saw that the old .22 rifle he kept by the front door was missing. The intruder had scooped it up as he fled, thus ensuring it couldn’t be used on him. A year later at the end of another long, dry summer, the .22 appeared in the muck of the couple’s evaporated pond where it had been thrown by the rapist as he ran away.

After spending most of the morning gathering themselves from the shock of their ordeal, and certainly not looking forward to re-living the assault by describing it to other people, Jodie and Ron went to see their neighbor, a California Highway Patrol officer named Clarence Holmes. Holmes told Jodie to call the Sheriff’s Department right away. Jodie called Norm Vroman, now the Mendocino County District Attorney, for a second opinion. Vroman, emphatically seconding Holmes’ advice, told Jodie to go for the cops, and go for them now.

At noon Jodie called the Sheriff’s Department to report that she’d been raped.

Detectives Smallcomb and Wagner soon appeared on Ten Mile Creek Road. The first person they talked to was Ron, Jodie’s husband. Ron showed the detectives distinctive footprints in the couple’s driveway in the middle of which the brand name “BK” for “British Knights” was clearly visible. Ron described the campers down the road as “survivalists” and said that he thought one of them had probably done it because the “BK” prints led to their camp site. Ron and Jodie had covered the prints with milk cartons.

Jodie told the detectives that the rapist had been wearing “a camouflage outfit that felt new and rough.” She said his hands “were very soft,” that she could smell alcohol on his breath, “but he wasn’t drunk because he talked calmly and clearly.” She said that the rapist was “a very tall white man.” Jodie said she could tell he was tall from the reflection of his back in her bedroom mirror. 

Although it was early Sunday afternoon when the police arrived at the “survivalists” camp a half-mile east of Jodie and Ron’s doublewide, the camp was deserted. Neighbors had seen at least one vehicle — a brown, Chevy pick-up with an overhead camper on it — leave about ten that morning.

Smallcomb and Wagner noted footprints at the camp site with the distinguishing “BK” imprint.

The police knew that a person wearing the “BK” boots had been on Jodie and Ron’s property early Saturday morning, and that that same person had walked all over the camp site a half-mile down the road from the victim’s bed. The rapist was one of the campers.

The attack was reported only as a sheriff’s log item in the local newspapers — a single bad-news blip in the daily deluge of catastrophes, large and small. The blip vaguely referred to a sexual assault having occurred north of Laytonville.

Mendocino County detectives Smallcomb, Wagner, Pintane, and Kiely learned a lot, fast, about the case, and everything they learned pointed directly at the former Lake County police officer — John Heiman Scott, a 30-year-old married man with two young children.

John Heiman Scott

The man who had been wearing the BK boots had been at the Ten Mile camp. Ex-cop John Scott had been there too. The detectives soon learned the property was owned by the Diebners and the Greens, and Monday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the BK camper’s assault on Jodie, a pair of Mendocino County detectives were at Doug Diebner’s front door in the East Bay suburb of Livermore. 

The Livermore man expressed shock that any of the 10 or so men who’d spent the weekend on Ten Mile Creek could possibly have done such a thing. Most of them were related, Diebner said, either by blood or marriage, and all of them were law-abiding types, working people, not criminals. Nor were they “survivalists.” They just liked to spend a weekend in the country drinking beer and maybe shooting their guns once in a while. 

Diebner provided detectives Smallcomb and Wagner with a complete roster of the men who’d been at the all-guy weekend in the woods north of Laytonville. He explained that the expedition north from suburbia the previous weekend “was meant only to get away from their wives and kids, have a few beers and pitch horseshoes.” Three generations of Diebners and Greens and their in-laws had enjoyed the Ten Mile property. Doug Diebner said his family did not include “survivalists” or rapists.

But by the end of the day, and after talking to other members of the Diebner clan who’d been camping at Ten Mile the previous weekend, the Mendocino County detectives had honed in on one man as Jodie’s likely assailant — John Scott.

Scott, who’d married into the Diebner-Green clan, was identified as one of four men still sitting around the campfire at midnight. Then, according to his fellow campers, Scott was the only man still awake. 

Scott had also brought two semi-automatic handguns with him. A man identified only as “Andy” had a .22 rifle, another fellow identified only as “George” had brought along a black powder rifle. John Scott was the only man at the camp with a handgun, and he’d brought two of them.

Chief Bob Chaulk of the Clearlake Police told Mendocino County investigators that Scott had been a good cop who’d quit the department over a disputed disciplinary write-up for missing a department meeting. Prior to his joining the Clearlake department, Scott had successfully worked as a police officer with the San Pablo Police. 

Four days after the rape, Mendocino County detectives visited John Scott’s home in Clearlake Oaks. Mrs. Scott said her husband was still at work. She said her husband commuted to work in the Bay Area, but that he’d be at home some time shortly after 6 p.m. 

He was. 

And officers Kiely and Wagner of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department were waiting for him.

Scott, with the eerily righteous calm of the true psychopath, did not have to be coerced into talking with the Mendocino County detectives. 

He told them he’d been at the Ten Mile camp. He said that he’d become “very drunk” while playing horseshoes. He said he’d eventually vomited and, very late, had gone for a walk “to clear his head.” He said he’d walked from the camp site out Ten Mile Creek Road towards Highway 101, east and away from Jodie and Ron’s house at the other end of the road to the west. Scott said he was back at the campfire by 3 a.m. where he found Jack Hill smoking a cigarette. He bid Hill good night and went to sleep.

The detectives asked if they could have a look at Scott’s shoes. No problem, the confident suspect replied, showing his skeptical visitors to his closet. The distinctive “BK’s” weren’t among Scott’s footware.

The Mendocino County detectives knew they had their man, but if they were going to nail this guy, they’d need a lot more evidence than they had. So far, they had Scott’s statement that, yes, he’d been up and around late at night. And the two cops had confirmation that Scott had been the last guy up and around from one of his fellow campers. They also knew Scott had a pair of handguns with him at the camp site. 

And they had John Scott’s semen.

Jodie had spit Scott’s semen into a tissue and had placed the tissue in a sealed, plastic bag.

The detectives asked Scott if he’d drive to the nearby Rosebud Hospital to give the detectives a blood sample. 

“We can use it to clear you if we develop any physical evidence,” one of the detectives blandly told Scott.

No problem, Scott replied, unaware he was providing the detectives with the ultimate proof of his guilt.

The rapist’s contempt for his victim was total. It apparently hadn’t occurred to Scott that Jodie would have the presence of mind to preserve the errant seed of her violator to ultimately propagate justice.

Justice, however, was four years away.

Jodie and Ron had not seen the intruder’s face. They could not have picked him out of a line-up. 

But Jodie knew a lot about the man who had raped her.

“I saw him in the mirror when I first woke up, but I didn’t see a face; only his shadow in the mirror. I could see how tall he was. He had brushed his teeth, I knew that, because his breath was clean, fresh. He did have alcohol on his breath, but he was not drunk. And there was no body odor on him. He was immaculately clean, and that’s unusual for a man camping, isn’t it?”

Ron noted that for a man who would later claim he was so drunk the night’s events were unclear to him, the rapist did not slur his words and, when he left, crept out of the house and sprinted down the driveway. The intruder hadn’t so much as garbled a word or missed a step; he’d been stone, cold sober. 

Jodie is convinced that her attacker was not new at late-night stealth rapes. Someone had been doing some late-night creeping around Ten Mile before Jodie was attacked. One couple had just moved because they were so unnerved by a prowler. On another recent occasion, a terrified woman had fired her rifle into the air to drive off a man she’d caught looking in her window.

“I feel that he stalked me before,” Jodie insists. “I think he was in my house before, but I wasn’t there. Three men had come up to the house earlier that summer. That time they’d been camping with their families. It rained hard and they couldn’t drive back across the creek because the water had come up so fast. They needed to get permission from another land owner to go out to the highway another way. Three of them came to the house and asked my husband to use the phone. He let them in. I was at work. When it’s really storming I stay at my shop in town. I think one of the men who came up to the house that day to use the phone did it.”

Jodie hadn’t realized that the men at the camp were not only well-aware of her, some of them had been well-aware of her for years.

The afternoon just before she was attacked, when Jodie had driven into the Diebner’s camp to ask them to pay their share of Ten Mile Road’s maintenance, Mike Bellah, a Diebner family friend, told the other guys: “When I was 17, I had a real crush on Jodine. I thought she was hot.” 

Another man had remarked, “You know, for an old lady, she’s not bad-looking.”

But Scott’s fellow campers did not try to protect him from the law. 

Rick Dills recalled that Scott had referred to his handguns as “his babies.”

Thomas McDonald said John Scott was the last man awake when he went to bed.

Jack Hill said he got up to relieve himself and had paused for a cigarette at the campfire when Scott appeared and said he’d been out on the road for a walk “to clear his head.”

And Scott himself told the police that he’d vomited, had been up at 3 a.m. walking east on Ten Mile Creek Road, away from Jodie’s house, sobering up. He said he hadn’t seen anybody else on the road.

The cops had Scott’s blood and they had his semen, but Scott wasn’t arrested until October of 1997, two years after the terrible crime the police knew he’d committed.

The delay was explained this way in the police report:

“Miss Lesieur-Densmore had spit the semen into a tissue which was then turned over to the police. The DNA testing of this tissue was done in an attempt to match the blood drawn from John Scott. For various reasons the testing period was drawn out for a long period of time and the report indicated the match between the DNA on the tissue and Mr. Scott’s DNA was not submitted to the Mendocino County Sheriff until October of 1997, two years after the incident.”

Two years later, when charges were finally brought, a second media blip said, “John Scott, a former Lake County police officer, has been arrested and charged with the rape of a Laytonville woman.”

Liberal Mendocino County expressed the consensus opinion that because the rapist had been a cop, the local cops would not seriously pursue him.

“We wanted him twice as bad because he’d been a cop,” snorts Smallcomb. “He’d done something that outraged us that much more than it outraged everyone else.”

Scott denied the charges. He was immediately bailed out of jail by his parents. John Scott’s wife, her parents, his parents, and many of his friends, who included police officers, stood with him. They all said John Scott was innocent.

The campers had cooperated fully with the police investigation. They hadn’t lied for John Scott or otherwise tried to protect him. Their wives, however, were a different matter. 

“One day, before we went to trial,” Jodie recalls, “I was coming home from work. The creek was way up and I walked down to the foot bridge, and there was this little short guy and his family at the bridge. I said ‘Hi,’ but he said, ‘Who are you?’ We exchanged a couple more ‘Who are you’s?’ before his wife walks across. ‘I’m Jodine,’ I said. ‘I live at the end of the road. I’m the lady one of your relatives came over and raped.’ ‘What?’ she exclaimed. None of the women knew about it. The guys were keeping it a secret. But she wanted to know what I was talking about. I told her I didn’t understand how all the families could live with themselves for protecting this man knowing what he’d done. The woman was in shock. She didn’t know about it. I told her she ought to ask her husband about what had happened the last time all the men had been up here.”

John Scott’s wife and his parents still say he’s innocent. 

David Nelson of Ukiah was hired by the Scott family to defend their lamb against the criminal justice system’s lions. 

Why had it taken two years to arrest Scott?

The DNA was lost by the lab. Then it was found and misplaced again. The lab’s fumbling delayed the arrest because it delayed confirmation that Scott’s blood matched his semen in irrefutable detail. The tests had to be re-done, and then re-done again, which, ironically, eventually worked to the prosecution’s advantage. When the DNA test results finally reached Ukiah two years after Jodie’s rape, jubilant Mendocino County detectives had the evidence they needed to finally arrest their man. Eight different tests and re-tests revealed that only 1 person in 1.3 billion possessed the life stuff possessed by John Heiman Scott.

It had been almost two years since the terrible night Scott had crept into Jodie’s house at the end of Ten Mile Road and had forced her to fellate him, a gun at her head, death threats echoing in her and her husband’s ears.

It had taken two years to make the DNA match, but now that it was made, it still took another two years to put John Scott into a state prison cell. Dave Nelson did what a good defense lawyer is supposed to do — keep his client out of jail until it was impossible to keep him out of jail. 

The only people who stood up for Jodie right from the beginning and right on through until the day Scott finally went off to state prison were the cops, and they did their jobs with an efficient doggedness fueled by anger at the viciously harrowing nature of the crime. 

 Not much urgency was displayed anywhere else in the system.

“I felt like I was the one on trial,” Jodie says. “I had never seen this man before, but I had to live for almost two years — two years! — not knowing who it was or if he was going to come back and kill me. And all that time I felt like I was being judged by too many people in the wrong way. And do you know what? My business actually increased. Everyone wanted to see the woman who’d been raped. I smiled the whole time, though. I kept my head up and let people know I was OK, but inside I was dying. I thought a lot of people were coming to get their hair cut for the wrong reasons. I didn’t like what I could see in their faces. I was dying but I didn’t die. I ended up leaving Laytonville feeling like I had no friends.”

Jodie sold her house, and she and Ron moved away, far away. But Jodie stayed on her feet. 

“When a woman falls apart, who is she hurting? She gets sympathy from everybody for a short time, but who does she hurt? Who’s going to take care of me if I fall apart? Who’s going to pay my bills? Nobody. I couldn’t fall apart.”

And she hasn’t.

“I suffered for two years before it finally went to court. First of all, I didn’t have any idea who this man was. I had no picture in my mind, so all I knew was that he was tall. So all this time, whenever I saw a real tall man that I didn’t know, and the man would be friendly, I always wondered, ‘Is this the man?’ One time I was cutting hair and I saw this man on the public phone over across the street at Geiger’s Market. He was standing facing my shop while he talked. He was probably just an innocent guy talking on the phone looking across the street but not really seeing me because he was in conversation. But I wondered, ‘Is this the man?’ All this time before he was arrested — two years – I had no idea who it was. And all this time I’m thinking things like, ‘Maybe I caused it to happen. Maybe it was my fault.’ And people are looking at me like it’s my fault, and all I was doing was trying to be friendly and keep a happy face and keep my troubles at home and not bring them to the barbershop. But I had to live with this fear. How did I know he wasn’t checking on me? I’m sure he was very careful during that time because he knew he was in trouble. But for me it was like I was in prison for two years.”

Finally, Jodie and Ron saw their night stalker. 

“I’d never been to court before. I didn’t know anything about how it worked. Here they bring the prisoners in in their little orange uniforms. Ron and I are sitting there looking at them trying to guess which one of them is him. We don’t know because we never saw his face. I saw the rest of him, but I didn’t see his face. He made sure we didn’t see his face. I only saw the reflection of his back in the mirror when I first woke up. No face, only the shadow in the mirror. I could see how tall he was, but that’s all. Out of all of them, we finally picked the only one it even could have been, but he looked like a crumb bum. I knew he wasn’t the guy, but if it had to be one of the guys sitting there in their orange suits, it was him. He looked like a dope fiend, all skinny and hollow-faced. This definitely was not the guy. After all the men in the orange jump suits were processed then they brought him in with the women! He went over and sat with the men. As soon as he walked into the room it was like my hair stood up. I knew exactly that this was the man. No doubt about it. We both knew. My husband and me. Then we heard his voice, and we knew it was him. I was so shocked when I saw him. I hadn’t seem him until court. He was a nice-looking man. He tried to avoid eye contact with me. His wife, too, but I got the feeling from her that she knew the truth.”

A Willits policeman who was in court on another matter the day Jodie took the stand said of her account of her ordeal: “I was almost crying myself. The idea that someone would come in to my home and hold a gun to my wife’s head....”

Beth Norman prosecuted John Scott on behalf of the people of Mendocino County.

“I can’t give Jodie enough credit,” Norman says. “She’s a survivor; a very, very strong personality and an excellent witness. She did everything we asked her to do. But as strong as she is, she still choked up when she testified. When you talk to her you might not think she’d lived through such a terrible thing because she’s always so upbeat, but Jodie was hit very hard.”

The prosecutor, like the police, gave the case everything she had.

“None of us knew for a certainty who had done it. But poor Jodie. To spit this stuff into a Kleenex and save it, then go on with her life knowing the man was still out there, well, she’s a very brave lady."

Norman explains the difficulties she faced as prosecutor. 

“There were no eyewitnesses. Both Jodie and her husband were told that they would die if they tried to look at the guy. We didn’t have the boots. By the time it went to court, Jodie and Ron had moved and had to travel a long distance to be present. The lab, for various reasons, kept having to re-test the DNA. A process that ordinarily takes three months, took almost two years, which ironically turned out to be why we were so certain of the results. The DNA expert testified that he’d done more tests on this one sample than any sample he’d ever done, because he wanted to be able to be absolutely certain of the results in light of the earlier mistakes the lab had made. He said he was absolutely certain of the results.”

Scott’s attorney, the formidable Dave Nelson, did everything he could on behalf of his client and his client’s disbelieving, steadfast family. 

“Our own DNA expert confirmed the results,” Nelson says, adding with seemingly un-ironic understatement: “It was persuasive. We’d looked at some other people in the neighborhood as possible suspects, but we couldn’t answer the DNA evidence.”

Finally, on January 8th, 1999, four years after the event, John Scott pled no contest to forceful oral copulation and no contest to the special allegation that he’d used a gun in the commission of a felony. The case had been set for trial, but the Scott defense team’s investigation of the DNA was unable to provide a credible basis for challenging the results of the scientific evidence on his behalf. Rather than risk conviction on all the charges and life imprisonment if he took his case before a jury, Scott took 10 years in state prison.

At Scott’s court appearances, the straight-arrow young family man had always appeared with his young wife and the couple’s well-dressed, well-behaved little boys. Also with him was his steadfast support team consisting of both his and his wife’s parents and his numerous friends, all of them solid, church-going folks who could not believe John Scott could have done such a thing as enter a 60-year-old woman’s house at three in the morning and rape her in her own bed as he kept her and her husband helpless at gun point.

The defendant even seemed to perplex the probation department:

“Mr. Scott has absolutely no criminal record and has led an otherwise productive life as a military policeman, a San Pablo police officer and a Clearlake police officer. Since leaving the Clearlake Police Department, he has been gainfully employed as an insulator for various large union construction jobs. He’s a devoted family man whose life is essentially consumed with his family and his job.”

Mr. and Mrs. Scott presented a perfectly wholesome family tableau. This nice young man did what? Impossible! Why, just look at him sitting there with his pretty little wife and those two adorable little boys.

All of this respectability arrayed against her did not confuse Jodie. 

“When I was finally able to stand and say what I wanted to say, I mostly talked directly to his wife. I let her know that if she thinks it’s the first time her husband has done this, she’s really very, very wrong. I told her he’s a lucky person to have all this support behind him, considering the crime he committed.”

Scott never admitted guilt. He said he was “extremely drunk on hard liquor” that night but had “no memory” of the rape. He conceded that the evidence “pointed in his direction” but that he was pleading guilty so “I can see my kids again before they’re adults.”

Prosecutor Norman dismisses Scott’s “I-was-so-drunk-I-didn’t-know-what-I-was-doing” defense.

“He was very cool. He showed no remorse whatsoever. Drunk? I went up to Laytonville because I wanted to see where Jodie lived. I wanted to see what it would take to get from where Scott and the other guys were camped to Jodie’s house if you were drunk. Scott had to walk a half-mile down the road, past two gated turns in the road, all the way up the hill to her place, across an unlit porch, through the house and down the hallway to Jodie and Ron’s bedroom. I can’t see a drunk — full moon or not — doing that. And the cops could not find any signs of vomit at the place a half-mile away where Scott and the rest of the guys were camping.”

Jodie stayed strong. 

“That day in court I told his wife I felt sorry for her because she believed in him, stood by him. But I said to her: ‘Even though you believe in him and you stand by him, don’t you wonder when you go to bed whether or not he really did this or not? When you make love with him, do you think about what he did to me? You must, because it’s a true story’.” 

Epilog: John Heiman Scott, 6-4 / 240 pounds, 56, is a registered sex offender living in Molina, Florida.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 5, 2023

Kruger, Lemus, Moore, Orozco

ARNOLD KRUGER, Ukiah. Robbery, domestic battery, false imprisonment, child endangerment, damaging communications device, evasion, resisting.

RYAN LEMUS-AGUILAR, Windsor/Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%, reckless driving. 

ANTOINE MOORE, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale.

VERONICA OROZCO, Philo. Controlled substance for sale, leaded cane or similar, offenses while on bail, bringing controlled substance into jail. 

Ray, Vining, Wagner

CASEY RAY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation, probation revocation.

MARKAUS VINING, Clearlake/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.

DIANE WAGNER, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, parphernalia. 

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Jivan Mukta: Free of the Insanity! Liberated! Eternal Witness! Forever!!

Warmest spiritual greetings, Am happily sitting in front of computer #5 at the Ukiah Public Library, having turned down a studio apartment opportunity miles away from the City of Ukiah, which would have necessitated senior services transportation, laundry pick up services, assistance in getting to a grocery store, and everything else other than being able to enjoy the company of the big blue sky. The room was small, with a kitchen, small bathroom, and small closet. The back area had a picnic table with umbrella, and a BBQ. Therefore, I will be remaining at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center longer, waiting for a better situation.

I hereby advise that 1. I am available on the planet earth for radical environmental and related peace & justice activism. 2. I am a liberated Jivan Mukta, and will therefore automatically receive everything that I need while embodied in this world. 3. If you have any doubts about any of this, please consult with your deity of choice. Thank you very much. 

Sincerely, etcetera...

Craig Louis Stehr

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One of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history grew even larger early Saturday after no one matched the Mega Millions numbers in Friday night’s drawing: 11, 30, 45, 52, 56 and the gold Mega Ball of 20.

The new jackpot is $1.55 billion, the third largest ever by a narrow margin. The next drawing is Tuesday night.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since mid-April. On July 19, a single ticket won a $1.08 billion jackpot in the competing Powerball lottery.

Huge jackpots have become more common in the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries in recent years because of changes to the games and higher ticket prices. Between the two lotteries, eight jackpots in the United States have reached $1 billion or more since 2016, including five in the past two years.


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MEMO OF THE AIR: Lucky Strike, so round, so firm, so fully packed.

Here’s the recording of last night’s (2023-08-04) eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and

An unusual lot of this is from the AVA, maybe more than an hour of it this time: The Skyhawk/Edmundson kerfuffle put to bed, hatchet buried, bygones declared bygones, the way mature adults do it, an example for all of us. Marguerite on local varieties of heirloom roses. Anonymous radio poetry. R.D. Beacon. Louis Bedrock’s translation of Manuel Vicent on Dora Maar, Picasso’s self-mutilating lady of sorrows. Various related local and distant legal issues, from casual color-of-authority racism in Ukiah to lifelong institutional torture in Texas. Mitch Clogg reports, ischemically nude, on the view from the porch, and a bird-shaped mystery solved. Paul Modic, on another porch, reminisces about the wild old weed industry days. John Sakowicz’ in-case-of-inevitable-doom advice. Caitlin Johnstone Caitlin-Johnstoning up a storm. Magical realism by David Herstle Jones. The finale rack of Eleanor Cooney’s serialized Requiem for a Pasha. Further developments in The Blind Steal by Kent Wallace. Norman Solomon on invisible and so perpetual war. Clifford Allen Sanders on Mendocino Village architectural history and the comical expensive puerile power squabbles that shaped everything from skyline to sewer hookups. A little more about Sinead O’Connor (RIP) from a respectful-from-a-distance friend and editor. Details of the inspiration for John Hiatt’s Smashing a Perfectly Good Guitar. Ezekiel Krahlin, Flaco, Lucky, two Deeks, dead-or-alive Kevin, and Scooter. The deflected golden age of atomic space-rocket propulsion, a future that might have been. And, lastly, a past that might have been, had one small fluke jinked the other way and crashed in the jungle: The Lucky Strike, by Kim Stanley Robinson (see below for text). And that’s it. Have a pleasant Hiroshima/Nagasaki week. Try not to bog down in the bathos; squeeze the squeak-ducky every once in awhile, and when all the other toys look up to see what’s what, smile and nod knowingly. Faking it is half the battle.

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, such as:

Tsar Bomba, the most powerful atomic bomba ever. If the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and incinerated all those tens of thousands of people was a potato bug on fire, the Tsar Bomba was an elephant made of the center of the fricking sun.

A steam-powered gramophone. (via Tacky Raccoons)

Merle Travis – So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed.

And Kim Stanley Robinson’s /The Lucky Strike/. (100 minutes if you read it out loud, maybe 30 or so to yourself.)

Marco McClean,,

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by Kurtis Alexander

On the badly burned slopes of California’s southern Sierra Nevada, the National Park Service is about to launch one of the most ambitious efforts ever to piece back the wreckage of wildfire: rebuild six groves of giant sequoia trees.

Officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks say that with nearly a fifth of the world’s sequoias wiped out by flames since 2020, planting tens of thousands of sequoia seedlings is necessary to ensure a future for the planet’s largest, and now threatened, trees.

Using mule trains and helicopters, park officials hope this fall to begin putting seedlings in the recently blackened and barren ground where 300-foot sequoias thrived for thousands of years — until California’s increasingly menacing wildfires became too much for the giants. Some of the new trees will be grown from seeds outside the area to try to make the groves more genetically diverse and more durable going forward.

“Sequoia is in our (park) name. It’s an iconic species,” Christy Brigham, chief of resources management and science at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, told the Chronicle. “Without intervention, we will have unprecedented loss of sequoia forest.”

Not everyone, however, is on board with the plan.

While no one wants to see the demise of the cherished conifer, the idea of re-creating ancient sequoia forests in federally designated wilderness is not universally popular. Even within the science community there is doubt about whether the massive planting should proceed on cherished wildlands due to fears that it could make matters worse. Some environmental groups are now working to stop it.

The difference of opinion comes with the unchartered reality of climate change. Never before have the 3,000-year-old trees experienced the calamity of the past few years, and never before has this much concern emerged about the fate of the titans. Simply put, there is no playbook for managing nature — or not — amid climate catastrophe.

“There are precedents for intervention in wilderness to respond to environmental changes,” said Nate Stephenson, a scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey and one of the foremost experts on sequoias, who has not taken a position on whether to replant trees in the parks. “The question we’ll be facing more frequently is should we and how much and where.”

Giant sequoias have historically coexisted with wildfire. The trees, which grow only on the western slopes of the Sierra, have long been considered largely immune to burning because of their thick bark and soaring canopy. They even rely on fire to disperse seeds and clear the ground for new seedlings.

In 2020, however, the fierce SQF Complex fires, an outgrowth of the lightning-sparked Castle Fire, killed as many as 10,600 large sequoias in Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park southeast of Fresno, according to park service estimates. A year later, the KNP Complex and Windy fires were similarly vicious, taking out as many as 3,637 big trees in the same area.

About half of California’s roughly 75-80 sequoia groves are located at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Scientists blame the unprecedented mortality on larger and more destructive wildfires, the product of fossil-fuel driven warming on top of misguided fire suppression policies that have left forests overly dense and more combustible.

With humans largely responsible for the escalation, officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks say it’s their responsibility to repair the damage. Protecting sequoias is part of the founding mandate of the parks, which go back as far as 1890.

This fall, officials hope to begin reforesting these six groves in Sequoia National Park.

“We can hopefully prevent these mistakes from altering these forests forever,” said Clay Jordan, parks superintendent, at a recent public meeting on the replanting plan.

The plan — the largest of its kind anywhere in California — calls for reestablishing sequoias across 1,200 acres. The work will take place in the most damaged of 27 groves that were charred in the parks during 2021-22, including the vast Redwood Mountain Grove. The wildfires burned at various levels of intensity. Some of it, like past burns, was not lethal and benefited the trees.

Likely because of its size and location, the effort at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has begun drawing more attention, and criticism, than the handful of other sequoia replanting projects around California.

“This is a terrible idea,” said Chad Hanson, research ecologist and director of the John Muir Project, who is known for challenging forestry policies on federal lands. “The forests don’t need to be replanted after high-intensity fire. That’s a myth.”

Contrary to what park officials say, Hanson contends there have been enough seedlings sprouting in the burned sequoia groves to hatch the next generation of trees, even if it’s fewer seedlings than after previous fires. He also points to scientific papers showing that in areas where previous fires burned intensely, young sequoias have done well.

There’s additional concern that forests will be tainted if sequoias grown from seeds outside the area are brought in — something Hanson and others have labeled “genetic engineering.”

Most of the planting is planned in areas designated as wilderness — a term that implies lands should be left in their natural state, though with climate change, identifying what the natural state is and maintaining this has become more complicated.

“Wilderness is supposed to be self-willed, not manipulated,” said René Voss, an attorney representing the Sierra Club’s Kern-Kaweah Chapter and other groups that have come out against the park service plan. “There are all sorts of potential unintended consequences. We don’t necessarily know what those will be. We should be very cautious.”

Another organization that Voss represents, Wilderness Watch, is raising money to fight the planting effort. Several other groups are still evaluating the project. The park service is soliciting public comment on the plan through Aug. 6.

Park officials say they understand the reluctance to intervene in wilderness. But they insist the science shows action is needed, and quickly.

While sequoia seedlings have begun to surface and even flourish in many of the burn scars, they’re not growing in numbers that guarantee their survival, park scientists say. The risk is that faster-growing scrubs will outcompete the big trees and the forests will never return.

Research by Stephenson, the sequoia expert, suggests that sequoia growth density one year after a fire in past decades has averaged about 62,000 seedlings per acre, and 14,000 per acre the second year. The numbers may seem large, but survival rates of the young trees are minuscule.

In parts of the six groves targeted for planting, the park service has counted only a few thousand seedlings per acre a year after wildfire, less than 10% of the historical numbers, and fewer seedlings in year two.

“If we don’t plant the tree, it’s not going to be there,” said Robert York, assistant professor of cooperative extension in UC Berkeley’s forestry program, who is not directly involved in the park service plan but has worked for two decades on sequoia restoration. “These fires are behaving in a way that giant sequoias can’t really adapt to. When fires are high severity, they kill the seed supply, and they kill the trees that provide the seed supply.”

While research suggests that young sequoias have fared well in some severely burned spots, the concern is that there’s so much more area badly burned now that sequoia pollen and seeds won’t sufficiently disperse and give rise to enough new trees.

Park officials are also concerned that the warmer, drier climate may be too harsh for the seedlings. This is why they’re planning to bring in 20% of the sequoia seedlings from areas outside the local genetic community, specifically bigger groves like Giant Forest with more diversity and groves to the south with greater tolerance for hot weather.

The number of outside seedlings was selected to strike a balance between giving trees a genetic advantage and still preserving the local gene pool.

“We know conditions are changing,” Brigham said. “All we’re trying to do is give the groves a tool to adapt to the future environment.”

Under the park service plan, sequoias will be put in alongside other conifers, including fir, cedar, ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine and sugar pine. The target is as many as 400 new trees per acre. Hundreds of people will be involved in what’s pegged as a $4.4 million project, which includes five years of planting and 30-40 years of monitoring.

“There’s uncertainty, I know,” said Brigham. “People love these trees. They’re concerned about the forest. They’re concerned about wilderness conservation. … But all the data we have tells us the sequoias are unlikely to recover without this.”

* * *


by Omar Mamoon

If you have ordered at La Taqueria, Miguel Ruiz has likely called your number.

Miguel Ruiz

 “Numero cuarenta y nueve!” yells the bald-headed, mustachioed taquero behind the counter at the renowned San Francisco restaurant. “Number forty-nine!” he loudly repeats until someone finally picks up a green plastic basket of crispy tacos dorados. All the while, he is fiercely chopping up carne asada still steaming off the grill and expertly assembling tacos with swift swipes of bright green guacamole. 

La Taqueria hardly needs an introduction. Just take one look at the back wall of this Mission Street temple for tacos and burritos, and you’ll see countless framed awards and accolades from just about every major publication. The restaurant celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, a remarkable milestone at a time when the city’s most treasured institutions seem to be folding left and right. 

But just what is the secret to La Taqueria’s longevity?

 “It feels like somebody up there likes me,” joked La Taqueria’s proprietor and patriarch Miguel Jara. Born in Jalisco, Mexico, but raised in Tijuana, Jara started La Taqueria after he moved to San Francisco because he missed the taste of the tacos he was raised on.

Besides support from the heavens above, it also helps that Jara owns the building, which he purchased in 1972 with the help of his parents. (Jara had to repurchase it in 2018 after going to court against his siblings, who disputed the ownership; that same year, the business was forced to pay more than half a million dollars to workers for unpaid wages and fines.) 

Even with the advantage of ownership, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. But what’s allowed La Taqueria to endure the last 50 years, said Jara, is people like Ruiz. “The success is not all to me — the success is all to my people,” he said.

Ruiz, originally from a small town in Jalisco, came to San Francisco in 1981, when he was just 19 years old. He initially took a job at a panaderia, until one day, a friend brought him to La Taqueria. After one bite, “I knew I was going to be here,” said Ruiz.

On a good weekday, Ruiz makes upwards of 900 tacos, he estimates, and upwards of 1,100 tacos per day on weekends. Quick calculator math shows that over his four decades at La Taqueria, the man has made many millions of tacos.

“He’s never missed a single day of work,” said Jara of Ruiz. “Without Miguel over here, I don’t know what we’d do,” continued Jara, who turns 81 in September. “I’m not gonna make tacos anymore.”

Besides the Miguels, there are countless others who make up the La Taqueria family, some quite literally. Jara’s son Jesse can often be seen working the register and loading and unloading boxes of produce and meat from the truck. Angel, the eldest son, does back office, administrative work these days; while Ricardo, the youngest, helps manage their almost 23,000 followers on Instagram.

And then there’s the so-called extended family: Julietta Martinez, who has been with La Taqueria for 37 years, was once a nanny for the Jara children. These days she’s the general manager, and can be seen at the register ringing up orders and answering the phone. Carmen Gutierrez, who has been at La Taqueria for 33 years, is behind the counter grabbing drinks and salsas, and Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez, who has been with La Taqueria for 23 years, is mainly on the back burrito station, steaming tortillas and rapidly rolling the shop’s famously rice-free burritos.

Fipping tortillas on the plancha and cradling tacos into baskets, Ruiz, who turns 61 this year, shows no signs of slowing down, and has no plans to retire. The key to his longevity? Joy. 

“I like to make tacos because I like to give the taste, and give my best, for the people,” he said. “It’s a pleasure.”

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

Office Girls in Wall Street, New York, 1959 (photo by Kees Scherer)

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

It’s a hot quiet weekday morning in Falls City, Oregon, which is more of a town than a city, at least by the standards of a northern Californian who has lived in Santa Rosa and San Francisco. There’s a post office, a high school with an award-winning principal, and a volunter fire department. Big lumber trucks from Valetz, now a ghost town, and once a thriving community, cruise down Main Street with newly harvested trees bound for the sawmill. Driving West on Oregon highways, I saw hillsides that had been clear cut and reforested. Some one was ecologically minded or maybe thinking about a renewal resource. 

Falls City seems to be largely autonomous, though there is no coffee shop and no public library. There is one of those little libraries that are ubiquitous. This one had a dozen or so paperbacks. My friends, who recently mored from Sebastopol to Falls City, tell me that the town is a mirror of America with blue collar workers, some with small arsenals and also counter cultural folks who preach the gospel of live and let live. I met some of them at the three-day Pride festival. They were tattooed, had body piercings and wore costumes, mostly Barbie pink, the color of this summer. Two sheriffs deputies stood around and smiled. Good PR for law enforcement. A woman who called herself Wonder Woman, and who had relocated from California greeted arrivals and flirted, too.

The Falls City general store sells burritos. There is a bakery owned by two gay men and a bar, the Boondocks, owned by two lesbians. I haven’t met a Latino or an Asian in a week. I did meet a talkative Moslem, his wife and daughter in Newport on the coast, and there was also a group of Amish women and men who wore their traditional garb. Ahmed, the Moslem, wanted to talk and did. The Amish hardly spoke a word. They clustered around one another as though for safety. 

Ahmed said he was born on the border between Morocco and Algeria and that the French who colonized the region outlawed his religion. So much for liberty, equality and fraternity. Ahmed came to the US decades ago, taught math at a college and assimilated. Now he practices his religion without fear, he said. He basked in the sun, talked freely and watched his wife and daughter stroll on a beach dotted with tourists from near and far who had escaped from the heat in the interior.

This is only my fourth visit to Oregon. On the first visit I attended a marijuana confab when a measure on the ballot called for the legalization of weed. The measure failed, but Oregonian lawyers and their clients smoked weed openly. Now there are marijuana dispensaries almost everywhere in the state, though not in Falls City. I purchased two pre-rolled joints at a dispensary in Monmouth and tried to pay, first with a debit card and then with a credit card as I do in San Francisco. No go. I handed over a $20 bill. Later in the day I got stoned on Oregon weed. 

I was wearing a hat that said “Cold War Veteran” that might explain why the fellow behind the counter looked at me suspiciously. 

I figure that anyone who lived through the Cold War is a Cold War veteran. When I wear the hat I’m usually told, “Thanks for serving our country.” Sometimes I’m treated to coffee and a muffin, No harm done, I figure. Like my parents and members of their generation, and like members of the Silent Generation and the Boomers, I endured Cold War bullshit and lies about the bomb. Now the bullshit is about the new Cold War in Ukraine.

On my second visit to Oregon, I connected with friends who had fled from Berkeley because they couldn’t afford to live there, but who could afford to live in Portland, a city that has many of the same social problems as any sizable city in the US. On the drive from the Portland airport to Falls City I saw tents and camps for the homeless. I’m told that in Oregon opioid use is out of control. In 2023, there’s nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide from urban problems unless you belong to the super rich and can afford to live in enclaves for the 1%. On my third visit to Oregon, I hiked along the Columbia River in a forest torched by a wild fire with blackened trees that went on for miles. California has no monopoly on environmental disaster.

Mid-way through my stay in Falls City, the TV in my friends’ living room, brought news of Trump’s indictment. Hurray! Washington, D.C., and the ex-president’s attempt to hijack the popular vote, seemed a long way off, and so did LA. I watched the Dodgers swept the As and then head for San Diego. They were bound for the World Series. The summer of 2023 would go down in history, I figured, as the summer before the shit really hit the fan. Trump might well be re-elected and then pardon himself. Isn’t that the American way? I think so. In Corvallis, home of Oregon State University, I enjoyed a local IPA and chatted with a long-haired hippie refugee from Virginia who complained about the lack of diversity in Oregon by ethnic and and culinary standards. Still, he was happy he had relocated. My friends missed their California community.

In Falls City, I ate exceedingly well night after night. The gal of the house, who was also the gal of the garden, had brought her recipes and cook books with her from northern California and cooked up a storm for seven days. I might have had anxieties about the political and cultural climate of the nation and global warming, but I ate exceeding well and I was grateful to have friends in a town that might be forgiven for calling itself a city and that had made room for Oregonians and ex-Californians of all stripes and sizes.

* * *

* * *


by Maureen Dowd

The man who tried to overthrow the government he was running was held Thursday by the government he tried to overthrow, a few blocks from where the attempted overthrow took place and a stone’s throw from the White House he yearns to return to, to protect himself from the government he tried to overthrow.

Donald Trump is in the dock for trying to cheat America out of a fair election and body-snatch the true electors. But the arrest of Trump does not arrest the coup.

The fact is, we’re mid-coup, not post-coup. The former president is still in the midst of his diabolical “Who will rid me of this meddlesome democracy?” plot, hoping his dark knights will gallop off to get the job done.

Trump is tied with President Biden in a New York Times/Siena College poll, and if he gets back in the Oval, there will be an Oppenheimer-size narcissistic explosion, as he once more worms out of consequences and defiles democracy. His father disdained losers and Trump would rather ruin the country than admit he lost.

The Trump lawyer John Lauro made it clear they will use the trial to relitigate the 2020 election and their cockamamie claims. Trump wasn’t trying to shred the Constitution, they will posit; he was trying to save it.

“President Trump wanted to get to the truth,” Lauro told Newmax’s Greg Kelly after the arraignment, adding: “At the end he asked Mr. Pence to pause the voting for 10 days, allow the state legislatures to weigh in, and then they could make a determination to audit or re-audit or recertify.”

In trying to debunk Jack Smith’s obstruction charges, Lauro confirmed them. Trying to halt the congressional certification is the crime.

Smith’s indictment depicts an opéra bouffe scene where “the Defendant” (Trump) and “Co-Conspirator 1” (Rudy Giuliani) spent the evening of Jan. 6 calling lawmakers attempting “to exploit the violence and chaos at the Capitol” by sowing “knowingly false allegations of election fraud.” Trump melodramatically tweeted about his “sacred landslide election victory” being “unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots.”

Giuliani left a voice mail message for a Republican senator saying they needed “to object to numerous states and raise issues” to delay until the next day so they could pursue their nefarious plan in the state legislatures.

Two words in Smith’s indictment prove that the putz knew his push for a putsch was dishonest: “too honest.” Bullying and berating his truant sycophant, Mike Pence, in the days leading up to Jan. 6, Trump told his vice president, “You’re too honest.”

The former vice president is selling “Too honest” merchandise, which, honestly, won’t endear him to the brainwashed base. Pence’s contemporaneous notes helped Smith make his case.

It’s strange to see Pence showing some nerve and coming to Smith’s aid, after all his brown-nosing and equivocating. He and Mother, who suppressed her distaste for Trump for years, were the most loyal soldiers; in return, according to an aide, Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said Trump felt Pence “deserved” to be hanged by the rioters.

Pence told Fox News on Wednesday that Trump and his advisers wanted him “essentially to overturn the election.”

“It wasn’t just that they asked for a pause,” Pence said, at odds with Lauro. “The president specifically asked me and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me to literally reject votes.”

Ron DeSantis, another presidential wannabe who enabled Trump for too long, acknowledged on Friday that “all those theories that were put out did not prove to be true.” But Trump and his henchmen were busy ratcheting up the lunacy.

“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump threatened on Truth Social on Friday.

On the same day and platform, he accused “the corrupt Biden DOJ” of election interference. Exquisite projection. In Trump’s warped view, it’s always the other guy who’s doing what Trump is actually doing.

Kari Lake told House Republicans to stop pursuing a Biden impeachment and just decertify the 2020 election because Biden is not “the true president.” Lake said of Trump: “This is a guy who’s already won. He won in 2016. He won even bigger in 2020. All that Jan. 6 was, was a staged riot to cover up the fact that they certified a fraudulent election.”

Before laughing off this absurdity, consider the finding from CNN’s new poll: Sixty-nine percent of Republicans and those leaning Republican believe Biden is an illegitimate president, with over half saying there is “solid evidence” of that.

While Trump goes for the long con, or the long coup — rap sheet be damned, it’s said that he worries this will hurt his legacy. He shouldn’t. His legacy is safe, as the most democracy-destroying, soul-crushing, self-obsessed amadán ever to occupy the Oval. Amadán, that’s Gaelic for a man who grows more foolish every day.

* * *

"PRISONERS EXERCISING" is an 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh. 

In 1888, van Gogh faced severe depression and cut off his own ear, which he later presented to a prostitute named Rachel as a gesture of love. Some believe it was Gauguin who cut off van Gogh's ear during a dispute. After this incident, van Gogh admitted himself to an asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where he experienced suffering and moments of deep insight.

During his time at the asylum, van Gogh's access to the outside world was restricted, leading him to recreate other artists' works, including Gustave Dore's portrayal of Newgate prison yard in London. In his painting, prisoners can be seen marching in a circle within a small, brick-walled prison yard, passing by the guards to be remembered. Some observers speculate that the figure at the center, gazing outward, may represent van Gogh himself.

* * *


I wish I had a personal valet to open and close (and keep track of) my umbrella for me. But then, I’m part of the unwashed, so I’ll never know what it’s like. At least my wardrobe consists of more than a red tie, starched white shirt, dark blue suit and perpetual scowl. What charisma!

* * *

WE’RE GOING TO START slitting throats on Day 1.

— Ron DeSantis

* * *


Ukraine hit one of Russia’s largest oil tankers with a sea drone late Friday, just hours after attacking a naval base in Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Kyiv has vowed to make more attacks on Russian shipping and a key Crimean bridge.

Maritime drones are proving very difficult to defend against and can travel hundreds of miles to their target. In using them, Ukraine is opening up a new front — and may be trying to boost morale amid slow progress in its counteroffensive.

In diplomatic news, Saudi Arabia is hosting peace talks on Ukraine this weekend that will include the US as well as a number of Western and developing countries, but not Russia.

Kyiv is stepping up its efforts to clear the dense Russian minefields littering Ukraine, which have been a significant impediment in the country’s counteroffensive.

* * *

* * *


Oh, how do you do?


Here’s a story bout a man I know

I might step on his toes

But he’s a friend of mine and

I mean him no harm


Tryin’ to find your virgin Mary

In a sleazy red light hotel

One minute you’re in paradise

The next one you’re in hell

You drink a gallon whiskey

Just to get you through the night

Then wake up in the morning

You’re naked, broke and fried

Ahaaa - that’s right


You’ll never get on top

But you never give it up


Bad luck, bad luck Chuck

Your surname’s misfortune still expecting jackpot

Bad luck, pretty bad luck

Looking for your future in the antique shop

Bad luck Chuck

Pretty bad luck


You swear you see so better

From eating buckets of C-vitamins

But you have tunnel vision

Bad decisions seems to be your evil twin

Like the fortuneteller always say:

Even a broken watch is right twice a day

Your watch hands point to nowhere

And I swear I think I heard them say


You’ll never get on top

But you never give it up


Bad luck, bad luck Chuck

Your middle name is slow and you’re just about to stop

Bad luck, pretty bad luck

Looking for your future in the antique shop

Bad luck Chuck

Bad luck, bad luck Chuck

Uhhh, you’re Mister Bad Luck

Bad luck, pretty bad luck

Your middle name is slow and you’re just about to stop


Bad luck Chuck


You’ll never get on top

But you never give it up


Bad luck, bad luck Chuck

Your middle name is slow and you’re just about to stop

Bad luck, pretty bad luck

There’s no way you’re gonna win, you were born to suck on everything

Bad luck, bad luck Chuck

When are you gonna give it up?

Bad luck, pretty bad luck

You’re just about to stop


  1. George Hollister August 6, 2023


    For what it’s worth, my advice to the BOS is STOP. Stop blaming, stop complaining, stop firing, stop new policies, stop worrying about what others think. Just stop. Everything done by the Board in the last, maybe 20 years, has made matters for the county worse.

    Then meet with all elected county officials, and department heads. No public. The subject is, how do we make matters better. This is not a feel good “retreat”. This is about how to move ahead in a positive way. This is about making things better for citizens, not just government.

    • Ted Williams August 6, 2023

      “ Then meet with all elected county officials, and department heads. No public.”

      California Government Code 54950?

      • Marmon August 6, 2023

        You guys have violated the Brown Act before, why stop now?


        • Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

          Oh! Zinger!

      • George Hollister August 6, 2023

        Why not announce the meeting, and keep it closed? Isn’t that legal?

        • Adam Gaska August 6, 2023

          Only for limited situations like dealing with personnel, real estate, litigation, etc.

          Anything related to policy needs to be open to the public.

        • Ted Williams August 6, 2023

          George, not lawful.

          • George Hollister August 7, 2023

            OK, have the announced meeting, and allow the public to listen, but not participate.

            There has to be a way for this to happen, legally.

            • George Hollister August 7, 2023

              Better idea, have this meeting with two supervisors present, and no public. The problem with the public presence is a lot of grandstanding.

              Will that work?

    • Lazarus August 6, 2023

      For better or worse, the Public must be involved in the process. It is the law.
      Be well,

  2. Marmon August 6, 2023

    “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill. No limit. Please let us know.”

    -Elon Musk @elonmusk

    “I’ve got a big one for ya. Where do I send the bill?”

    -Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr


    • Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

      HA HA ha ha ha! This is the funniest post I’ve seen all week. Good one! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

    More PG&Evil:

    Deep Dive
    PG&E is betting heavily on microgrids. But can it move away from fossil fuels?

    In December, the utility launched a request for offers for distributed generation during public safety power shut-offs.

  4. Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

    RE: However, it should also be noted that for the adult use exemption, the use must also be in compliance of MCC section 10A.17.040 to meet all required setbacks.

    So, why did code enforcement incorrectly state that people can’t have 6 personal use plants?

    Seems like they aren’t trained to know cannabis laws or building code. What a disaster continuing to happen.

  5. Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

    Daddy? Where does poverty come from? “Oh, son, those people are just lazy.”

  6. Eric Sunswheat August 6, 2023

    RE: changes to the games. -NYT

    —> August 6, 2023
    Fentanyl is here, it’s dangerous and it’s taking lives. But with awareness, information and action, we, as a community, can stop it in its tracks…

    The campaign will also promote awareness and access to Narcan, a medication that can reverse opioid overdose. Every Marin resident should understand the effectiveness and ease of use of Narcan and know where to find it.

    This campaign seeks to overcome the stigma and judgment associated with substance use. We aim to break down barriers to seeking help and foster greater understanding and access to treatment.

    It’s critical that all residents know that treatment for opioid dependence is effective, available and under-utilized among those at risk.

    The work will run over the next year in English and Spanish in print and online via the IJ and subsidiary publications, along with bus sides, bus shelters and social media…

    We learned the importance of having a clear and shared understanding of the threat facing us, and of its impact on the entire community. We chose to have hard conversations, based on the facts, and took effective action based on what we’d learned…

    Our goal is to inform and encourage sometimes uncomfortable conversations with family, friends and colleagues and offer resources and opportunities for action (

    — Dr. Matt Willis is the Marin County public health officer. Vikki Garrod is chief of staff for Marin Community Foundation. (Marin Independent Journal)

  7. chuck dunbar August 6, 2023


    Chucks of the world—
    We deserve good luck.
    All rise-up and unite—
    For bad luck doth suck!

    This poet of no name
    Must surely have strained
    To saddle we good Chucks
    With a luck so deranged.

    So good fine fortune
    To all our namesakes.
    And dear Mr. Poet;
    “Mercy, for God’s sake!

    (one small chuck among thousands and more)

    • Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

      Did you buy a lottery ticket? You could be a Billionaire with that kind of luck. ;)

  8. Jane Doe August 6, 2023

    Fuck Bob Filbey…way to feature abusive pieces of shit Bruce.

    • Bruce Anderson August 6, 2023

      Gee, Jane. I don’t know the guy except via his ex-wife. I thought he was dead hadn’t heard of him for so long. I didn’t exactly ‘feature’ him, did I?

  9. ERMA August 6, 2023

    Cooking the Fish: Anyone interested in reducing river flows to 25 cfs should be aware of Cushman Dam on the North Fork of the Skokomish River in the State of Washington.. FERC allowed Cushman to be operated at 25 cfs for many years. The salmon were obliterated, including the 50 percent that the Skokomish Tribe was entitled to. Wikipedia explains: “ Cushman Dam No. 1 is a hydroelectric dam on the North Fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County, Washington, which in derogation of the natural and treaty rights of the Native inhabitants impounded and enlarged the formerly natural Lake Cushman, leading to damage claims in excess of $5 billion and an eventual settlement agreement with the Skokomish tribe that terminates the right to operate the dam(s) after 2048.” FYI

  10. Rye N Flint August 6, 2023

    RE: BOS doing their jobs

    I just wanted to clarify what “Doing your Job” means. It means using taxes to fund things that the citizens want, not paying private out of county consultants to do it for you.

  11. Ted Williams August 6, 2023

    “out of county consultants”


    • Rye N Flint August 7, 2023

      ” Ted Williams August 4, 2023
      Anchor/RCS contracts
      Millions. No bid. Poor outcome tracking. Lopsided contracts.”

      ” Ted Williams July 28, 2023
      There wasn’t a local labor pool of qualified planners.
      For a one-time project, to perform site-specific CEQA review, hiring planners to work for less than they can make in private industry, while avoid conflicts of interest, outside contract made more sense. With the State’s cooperation on reworking the environmental review for legacy, fewer personnel in the department will be needed in the long term.”

      I guess they are mostly in county? I was thinking of the failed secondary track and trace company, millions wasted, the $5Million to the Sacramento Environmental firm for the CEQA review. What, we don’t have Environmental consultants in this county? I’m pretty sure we do, because I used to work for them…

      “Under the interim leadership of John Burkes, the cannabis department presented a plan for the grant that will allocate up to $5 million to a consultant called Ascent Environmental to conduct a programmatic environmental impact report (EIR).”

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