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Mendocino County Today: Friday, August 11, 2023

Warming Ahead | Shot Dead | Willits Barn | Ed Notes | Redness | AV Farmstands | Local Journalists | Pelicans | Dump Day | Short Shirt | Cannabis Cultivation | Missing Persons | Elk Ranch | Card Charge | Musical Compensation | Thistle Wranglers | Painting | Jumpstart Mendo | Alta Dillingham | Heads Up | Heeser Windmill | Yesterday's Catch | Budget Transparency | Different Routes | Old Clogg | Seals Stadium | Wine Shorts | Sell Shirts | Fort Point | Tenderloin District | Solar/Wind | Chocolate Chip | Campus Freaks | Duck Hunting | President Placeholder | Nobody Runs | Maui Deaths | Ukraine | Happy People | Bum Nudge | Hopi Girl

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TEMPERATURES will remain near normal through today, followed by above normal temperatures over the weekend and into the middle of next week. Isolated, mostly dry thunderstorms are possible across portions of the interior this weekend and into early next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A tropical 57F under foggy skies this Friday morning on the coast. I can say tropical as there is a tropical system moving thru south of San Francisco today. And yes, the stratus quo of daily fog then sun then fog will continue well into next week.

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On August 9, 2023 at around 7:50 PM, The Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a person in the 2900 block of Richards Road in Redwood Valley. The caller identified himself as 46-year-old Clinton Maxwell, who told the Dispatcher that he had shot his neighbor who he found trespassing on his property.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the location and requested that EMS stage in the area until the scene was deemed safe for them to enter. Upon arrival, Deputies encountered Maxwell who was detained without incident. Deputies located Timothy J Abshire, 43 of Redwood Valley, in a remote area of the property on a dirt road. Deputies and EMS performed life saving measures including CPR, however Abshire succumbed from the gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

During the course of this investigation, Maxwell was subsequently arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Corrections Facility for homicide. Maxwell will be held in lieu of $1,00,000 bail.

The circumstances leading up to and during this incident are still under investigation. Any persons who might have knowledge of this incident or any information leading up to the shooting are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Abshire Booking Photos

(AVA, Nov. 19, 2014)

ON SATURDAY, November 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to reports of an armed individual threatening people in the 2800 block of Road D and Webb Ranch Road in Redwood Valley. Upon arriving in the area deputies spoke with witnesses who identified Timothy Abshire, 35, of Ukiah, as having brandished a rifle and having fired that rifle in their direction. Abshire, as they say, “is known to law enforcement.” Deputies responded to Abshire's residence located in the 2800 block of Webb Ranch Road and were able to call him out of the residence briefly before he returned inside. Sometime thereafter Deputies saw Abshire flee from the back of the residence carrying a rifle. Deputies, reinforced by CHP officers, began a search for Abshire in the wooded terrain surrounding his residence. At 7:14pm a CHP Officer encountered Abshire who apparently turned toward the officer with a rifle in his hands. The CHP officer, armed with his service handgun, fired at Abshire, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was soon on his way to an out of county hospital. He is expected to survive his injuries. 

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(AVA, July 1, 2015)

Timothy Abshire was held to answer and bound over for trial on three felony counts last week, the most prominent being count one, the attempted murder of a police officer.

There had been some question of whether Abshire knew he was shooting at a police officer, but now Judge Ann Moorman has had time to consider the testimony, she believes there was sufficient evidence that Mr. Abshire knew CHP Officer John Heinke was a police officer and that as Abshire turned and raised his rifle in Heinke’s direction it was with the intent to kill Heinke.

“He had been ordered three times to stop, drop the rifle, and show his hands. He kept going, but not only that, he turned to face the officer, and raised the barrel of the gun in the officer’s direction. As to whether he knew Officer Heinke was a duly sworn law enforcement, he had been fleeing from officers ever since he left his house, and a police helicopter was circling above, searching for him. Earlier in the day, he had several times said he was going to kill someone, and that somebody was going to die.”

As for the defense that he was intoxicated to the point he didn’t know what he was doing, Judge Moorman was not convinced. After Officer Heinke shot him, Mr. Abshire was lucid enough to tell the EMT that he had a clear recollection of what had happened and that he was afraid he’d be “going away” for a long time.

The incident happened at the Piffero Vinyard and surrounding neighborhood in Redwood Valley last November 15. Abshire came uninvited to a birthday party with a loaded gun and threatened to kill people. When the police started to arrive, Abshire fled to his trailer house, armed himself with a rifle and disappeared into the woods. A search was initiated after dark, and he was eventually shot by Officer Heinke.

Counts two and three stem from the threats Abshire made to Members of the Piffero family earlier in the day when he came in and shot up the birthday party. Abshire’s attorney, Jan Cole-Wilson has been granted some to time to organize her case and confer with prosecution before setting a trial date.

(Bruce McEwen)

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ON LINE COMMENT: RE ABSHIRE: “Good riddance! Timothy J Abshire is the worst tweaker and awful human being in this entire county. I used to live across the road (Colony Drive) from that complete waste of human life. Tweaker Tim, as we used to call him, would shoot at me, my female roommate, and my dog, from his porch, when we were on our own property, or driving down the road. He burned down his own property there once, and the cops chased him down on a manhunt after he shot at them! HOW was he not in Jail for life for all of this? The Abshires, his elderly Parents, kept bailing him out and paying off the cops, and putting him up in their many properties in Redwood Valley. That’s how.” Read all about it in The AVA archives: "Terror In the Vineyard"

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ADAM GASKA: Actually, I have heard that Tim had turned himself around and been sober the last few years. He was recently married. He and the new neighbor had an argument about spring water. Sounds like the Abshire family had rights to a spring on the new neighbor’s property that they had been using for 50 years. New neighbor didn’t like it and was disconnecting the pipes. Tim came to see what happened, argument ensued and new neighbor shot him three times in the chest. Tim was unarmed. … I don’t know Tim, have only heard of him and none of it is good. The shooter probably ruined his own life. He has a wife and two kids.

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JAMES MARMON: I’ve partied with, fought against, and logged with members of the Abshire family. My stepdad wasn’t happy when he heard that either me or one of brothers or cousins were brawling with who we called the “Redwood Valley Boys.” He had grown up with their mother and they were good old friends. My stepdad’s family, the Woolleys, at one time almost owned the whole valley. His grandfather and grandmother donated the land for the old Redwood Valley School and the Grange Hall. Most of the trouble we had with the Abshires was because my youngest half brother married Dick’s ex-wife who was the mother of Dick’s son. We all became friends in later years. Dick was a strong voice against the environment terrorists organization known as “Earth First.” He was a suspect in the bombing incident. The Abshire’s a are tough bunch, nothing ever came easy to them.

IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus “…Judi Bari, Earth First! … a 38 year old man named Dick Abshire, who had been driving back and forth in front of…”

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MS NOTES: According to court records Timothy Abshire was first arrested back in 2004 and has been “known to law enforcement” ever since. In April of 2016, 18 months after the “terror in the vineyard” incident, he was sentenced to serve nine years in prison after shooting at a CHP officer in the Redwood Valley vineyard. He plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and various other felonies associated with the incident. The attempted murder of a police officer charge was dropped in the plea deal. 

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Willits Barn (Jeff Goll)

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BY ALL ACCOUNTS, Mr. Abshire of Redwood Valley and yesterday's murder victim, is not likely to be missed by many given his felonious back story. But was Abshire plugged for cause? Given the million dollar bail and murder charges against, of all people, a lucratively employed administrator with the Mendocino County Office of Education, the Sheriff's and DA's investigators seem to have quickly concluded that lethal force may not have been justified. (Although they do note that “The circumstances leading up to and during this incident are still under investigation.”)

TWO ONGOING arguments of no relevance and less consequence rage here at the AVA. One: Are home-schooled children, for the most part, better integrated than the standard sugar-fueled, television-raised model? And Two: Are Mendocino County’s business leaders of the Private Industry Council and the Mendocino County Employer’s Council (mostly the same cast of characters) more in the tradition of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt or more in the tradition of William Faulkner's Snopes? 

HOME-SCHOOLED children generously seem less neurotic, but the argument typically breaks down into specific case studies of the, “That little monster? Are you kidding?” As for Babbitt versus Snopes, the consensus here is for Snopes, the argument being that George F, in his way, cared what Zenith looked like because civic beauty was good for business. Faulkner’s Snopes are a bunch of low-down, grasping, even murderous thieves and, therefore, the literary descendents of the kind of people who dominate commerce in most communities of the United States these ominous days.

LEMONS MARKET, Philo's anchor and a great little store featuring fresh fish caught by the Lemons boys and brought directly to the store, and how many communities can boast that rare offering? So, great family, great people to work for looking for a couple of new clerks, the long-time ladies having retired to babysit the grandkids.

AS A GUY who had to be towed out of deep Sherwood Road twice in as many years, the following two comments caught my attention;

(1) Supposedly, the Mendocino Dept of Transportation grades this road once a year. Maybe if we all ask they would tell us when that is. I’d like to travel over it too and have a good 4-WD.

(2) I loved it, it is gorgeous up there, but do not go alone, and do your damnedest to not get in a rut, if you are not in a high clearance vehicle you will have both wheels in the ruts and the center of the vehicle wedged on the peak between, you’d have to walk out. They close it in the winter due to the difficulty in extracting vehicles.

(3) I seriously doubt it has been graded once a year. I did it a few years ago, the ruts would have eaten my motorcycle, and then the time before in the ‘80s the puddles were lakes, the bike was a ball of mud in Willits. But, yes, a blast.

(4) That is one of the worst roads I have ridden on my BMW. You would need an enduro or similar motorcycle or a HIGH clearance 4WD with winch. I last rode it about two years ago, very deep ruts in places then, after last winter I would be shocked if it was open.

ED. I'm told it's open but, as usual, ungraded. You can't fully qualify as a Mendo person until you've driven Sherwood to or from Fort Bragg to Willits, but as the commenter warns, it's four-wheel drive country for sure.

BTW, SHERWOOD'S namesake was a prolific serial Indian killer. Alongside this guy, Braxton Bragg was benign.

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Velma's Farm Stand at Filigreen Farm open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm

Brock Farms Farm Stand is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6, closed Sunday and Monday.

Petit Teton Farm is open daily 9-5, except Sunday 12-5. 

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Once again it appears the Ukiah Police Department has bought itself some more trouble. Read the recent false arrest letter from Kamelle Legget of Ukiah. You really have to wonder just who the hell is in charge down there.

Good feature story by Mike Geniella on “Mr. Frostie.” Mike's a true pro and a good guy, and has all my respect.

My long-time colleague K.C. Meadows, who is always at the top of her game, tackles the cavernous rat hole, AKA Mental Health/Homeless Industrial Complex. Altogether over the years, probably a trillion dollars has gone down that sink hole, and the problem just gets worse every year, everywhere.

You know we're so fortunate to have appear on these pages, news resources and government watchdogs, who are honest-to-God, no fake, All Pro writers and journalists like Geniella, Meadows, Bruce Anderson, and Mark Scaramella. What we have here, you won't find anywhere else in this country, or the world for that matter. Seriously.

My column in this week’s Mendocino Observer updates you on various pieces of unfinished business, monkey business, and nobody's business.

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Pelicans, Mendocino Headlands (Jeff Goll)

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Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. or until capacity reached 

Date: August 10, 2023 Caltrans District 1 

Caltrans District 1 and the County of Mendocino announced a Clean California (Clean CA) Dump Day event for Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. This Dump Day allows residents to drop off mattresses and off-rim car and light truck tires (limit nine per load) for free. Dump Day events were made possible through Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative. A sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear cleanup effort led by Caltrans to keep roads and waterways free of litter, create thousands of jobs, and transform state and local public spaces through beautification efforts. 

Tires on rims cannot be accepted. Caltrans reminds motorists to properly secure and tarp all cargo loads prior to driving. Transporting unsecured loads is unsafe, illegal, and pollutes California's roads and waterways. Loads that are not tied down, enclosed, or secured by tarps or other means will not be accepted. 

Tips for securing your load: Completely cover loads with tarps or cargo nets. Debris can escape from gaps. Remove loose material and trash before driving. Don't overload — keep materials level with your truck bed. Put light items lower, tie large items to the vehicle for traffic safety. 

For questions about this Dump Day event, please contact or call (707) 572-7266. 

About the Campaign: 

Clean California Community Dump Day events are made possible through Governor Gavin Newsom's Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and engage communities to transform public spaces. Since 2021, the program has removed 1.4 million cubic yards of trash, created 3,500 jobs, and awarded $300 million in local grants. Visit to learn more about how Clean California is transforming communities and educating the public. 

In February, Gov. Newsom announced a new funding round for $100 million in grants for local Clean California projects. There are also a variety of career and job opportunities through Clean California. For more information on this, please visit the jobs section at 

Caltrans is also developing the Clean California Community program, in which communities from across the state can earn a designation by meeting criteria centered around preventing and cleaning up litter, promoting recycling, and otherwise greening or beautifying their communities. Incentives will also be offered to encourage communities to earn this designation.

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The official rule for personal cannabis cultivation is that you need a minimum of 10 acres of land and your plants have to be 100 feet or more from property lines. If you don't have 10 acres, you have to grow indoors.

As for greenhouses, you need a permit for anything over 10 foot by 12 foot. The cheapest permit is ag exempt. $625 for the permit, the greenhouse has to be a relatively flat ground and 50 feet from property lines and all other buildings. If you put up a greenhouse without a permit, they can make you get a permit or if you decide to take it down, you need to get a demolition permit which costs $1500.

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We have 3 people currently missing who have a Serious Mental Illness. Riley Hsieh, Raymond Tyler and Rodolfo Alvarez. I am waiting for Sheriff Kendall to get back to me on wether or not they located Rodolfo. All 3 of these people are from Willits.

Mazie Malone, Healer, Writer

Serious Mental Illness Advocacy & Support

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KRIS KRISTOFFERSON’S MENDOCINO COAST RANCH hits the market for $17.2 million

by Charles Swanson

A coastal ranch property in Mendocino County that’s been a longtime retreat for singer-songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson and his family hit the real estate market Aug. 7 with an asking price of $17.2 million.

Sitting on more than 557 acres along Highway 1 in the unincorporated community of Elk, the Kristofferson Ranch offers sweeping coastal views and a “refreshing” Old World design, according to Sotheby’s listing agent Justin Nadeau.

“There’s a couple thing that really make it special, one is the owner and the family and what it means to them, but in terms of the property, it’s really been maintained in its natural state,” Nadeau said.

The property includes several barns and a four-bedroom ranch house.

The 87-year-old “Why Me” singer, who grew up in San Mateo, bought the property in 1980.

The ranch dates back to the 1800s when it was originally developed as a dairy farm, according to the Sotheby’s listing. Boasting nearly a mile of ocean frontage, the property includes sweeping and dramatic views of Manchester State Park and Point Arena lighthouse.

Nadeau notes that Kristofferson never built elaborate homes or cut down trees on the property, and the ranch exists today much as it did 100 years ago.

“The Kristoffersons always used it as a place to come during the summers, or whenever it was they were free, with the kids and grandkids and enjoy nature and open space,” Nadeau said.

After more than 40 years, the family is selling the property with the hopes that a new steward will “carry on what they did there in taking care of the property; using it and loving it in a similar way,” Nadeau said.

For more information, go to


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Went to pay my bill for work on my truck, and was told that the credit card merchant this business uses, puts the cost of using a credit card on the customer.

If I were to pay by credit card, I would be charged an additional $21 on my bill.

Evidently there are credit card merchants shifting the cost of doing business on to the customer. I had never heard of this before, and now will have to check before I use my card.

I chose now to not use the services of businesses that are using this system. The business owner was polite enough to forewarn me. But the choice to use this system is the business owner’s.

Thought you might want to know and be on the lookout.

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Volunteers, Land Trust staff get in the weeds at Navarro Point monthly cleanup

by Noah Leffler

It’s a foggy late morning on the Mendocino coast, and two men are scanning a swath of brown, waist-high vegetation for small purple flowers. One carries a bucket, the other a pick; they’re on the hunt for bull thistle.

“I think we’ve got it down about 90% from when we started 12 years ago,” said Tom Wodetzki, a veteran volunteer with the Mendocino Land Trust. Fellow volunteer Chuck Artigues didn’t share his optimism.

“I think that’s a bit of an overstatement ... 60%, maybe,” he chuckled. Then, as if to prove his point, he gestures to a thick, spiny stalk about 20 feet away. “There’s a big one right there.”

Though pulling thistles is the bane of many landscapers and gardeners, a handful of volunteers didn’t seem to mind the work at Navarro Point Preserve July 13th. To the untrained eye, the 54-acre site is seemingly devoid of the invasive species.

“It used to be alot worse ... but we’re winning,” said Ed Welter, an MLT conservation project coordinator leading the weeding. For two hours, Welter’s assembled crew combed the preserve, lopping off the flowers to prevent the spread of seeds and then digging out the roots.

Navarro Point volunteers and MLT staff meet the second Thursday of every month to perform general maintenance on the 1.2-mile trail and surrounding grassland. Once a cattle ranch, the property was deeded to the state Coastal Conservancy in 1999 and has since been managed by MLT. Some, like Wodetzki and Artigues, have been pitching in for a dozen years.

“We’ve come out once a month for the 12 years to do what needs to be done,” Wodetzki said. “Picking up trash, removing invasive species, planting native wildflowers, building boardwalks, putting up signs, building stairways— whatever we need to do.”

Located between Highway 1 mile markers 41.79 and 42 3 miles south of Albion, the preserve is a popular stop for locals and tourists alike. Searching for the thorny weeds along the bluffs, Welter, a Fort Bragg native, said he doesn’t take for granted his role in keeping the area a healthy public resource.

“I grew up here. I love protecting [this] and making it accessible,” he said before digging out another cluster. “It’s a great gig.”

For more information on MLT’s 14 coastal recreation areas, visit To help out at Navarro Point, call 707-962-0470.

Join us for Navarro Point caretaking: Mendocino Land Trust staffer Ed Welter and I invite you to join us and other volunteers as we remove the ever-dwindling stock of thistles at the beautiful Navarro Point Preserve. If you’d like to be informed of our upcoming 2-hour stewarding sessions, please send me your email address.

Tom Wodetzki

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Boonville boarded window painting (Jeff Goll)

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In 2022, the County of Mendocino was awarded a Prepare California “Jumpstart” grant by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CALOES). The grant provides funds to build resiliency in census tracts in Mendocino County designated by CALOES as demonstrating high-hazard exposure and social vulnerability. As part of the grant, the County is hosting a series of public meetings in the identified census tracts that will offer the public an opportunity to communicate their resilience goals to the County. Input provided by these communities will be used to help determine resilience projects for which to pursue grant funding. 

In addition to outreach sessions, the County of Mendocino will submit resilience-oriented grant applications, which will directly benefit the vulnerable census tracts, based on the input received during the outreach sessions. '

Hopland Meeting

Thursday, August 17th, 2023, from 5:30-7:00 PM

Hopland Veteran’s Memorial Building

110 Feliz Creek Road, Hopland, CA 95449

Additional public outreach listening sessions will be conducted in the communities of Boonville, Calpella/Redwood Valley, Caspar, Covelo, Ukiah, Willits, and Leggett. Information on the location and dates/times for those meetings will be released when it is available.

For meeting information, please contact Disaster Recovery at: (707) 234-6303 or 

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Alta taught school at the McNear School that was where Lake Mendocino is now and at Pomolita in Ukiah. She also taught at a school in Navarro and one in Mendocino. The photo of her holding and instrument was taken in Arcata in 1919. The ones of her sitting in a chair and the one of her on a ladder were in 1922. She was doing repairs to her home. The last one taken in 1928. When teaching in Ukiah she lived on Joseph Street with my grandfather, alternating between that house and my grandfather’s ranch in Lake County. They were partners for over 40 years.

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For the past year, criminal justice and human services organizations in Mendocino County have quietly tested a new and innovative communication pathway designed to increase and deepen collaboration. The ultimate goal of the Heads Up Project is to identify the right person to respond to community members in need of assistance. After months of testing and practice, the project is now ready to be amplified in the public arena. Current active partners include Ukiah Police Department, Mendocino County Probation Department, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Mendocino County Department of Social Services, and Mendocino County Behavioral Health Department. Numerous community-based organizations provide additional support through accepting secondary referrals. 

The overarching goal of the Heads Up Project is to provide early identification and diversion of individuals in need of behavioral health and social services support so as to avoid unnecessary and unproductive use of criminal justice resources. The project provides a pathway for law enforcement agencies in Mendocino County to alert the Behavioral Health and Social Services departments about individuals in our community whose needs are not in alignment with the structure of the criminal justice system. After receiving a referral, the Heads Up team identifies the most appropriate human services worker and/or organization to respond and follow-up with the household in need. 

The Heads Up project was initially conceived by an informal group of criminal justice, behavioral health, and social services leaders and staff working together to address issues of mutual concern. In 2020, a small team from the Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino County Probation Department, the Dual Response Mobile Crisis team from the Mendocino County Behavioral Health Department, and the Special Projects Team with the Mendocino County Social Services Department began to meet regularly to work on a collaborative response to a handful of individuals in Ukiah with repeated and unproductive interactions with law enforcement, the jail, the social services system, and the behavioral health system. Although the team achieved limited success with the specific individuals in question, our pathways for communication and collaboration improved significantly. 

As a result of efforts focused initially on one or two individuals, the team grew in scope and membership to become an informal Criminal Justice – Human Services Collaborative Team. The addition of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in 2022 accelerated the scale of the project considerably. Shortly after the Sheriff’s Office joined the team, the idea for the Heads Up email alert system was conceived, embraced, tested, and fully implemented in about six months. To date, the project has responded to over 250 unique situations. At full capacity and with full participation, the team estimates that the demand and need is likely three or four times the current volume. 

Heads Up responds to a wide variety of community needs. Referrals exclusively originate from a law enforcement organization – typically in response to a 911 call for service for a situation that is not criminal in nature. Originally, the team anticipated that the majority of referrals would be for persons experiencing mental health issues and/or homelessness. However, experience thus far has revealed a wide range of needs within the community of individuals initially requesting a law enforcement response. Referrals have included: elderly clients in need of greater assistance within their home; parents of teens struggling with complicated and unruly behavior; family members concerned about the general well-being of their loved ones; neighbors concerned about behavior of an individual within their neighborhood; clients themselves calling law enforcement for reasons that are not immediately clear; and much more. 

The Heads Up Project is unique in that the collaboration is not funded through any grants or dedicated funding sources. All of the participating partners are doing so within their current scopes of funded work, and sometimes working outside of those scopes to meet the unique or unusual needs of a resident.

The Heads Up project is also designed to be truly collaborative in nature. No single agency or organization is in charge of the project. In keeping with our common understanding that complex community problems require complex and creative solutions, Heads Up project members recognize that no single agency or administrator is responsible for solving societal problems with multiple causes. 

For questions or further information, or to be linked to a spokesperson for the project, please contact Megan Van Sant, Senior Program Manager, Special Projects Team, County of Mendocino. Email, or by phone at 707-463-7733.

More information, including the details about the logistics of the project, can be found at 

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THE WINDMILL AT HEESER’S SAWMILL (originally published July 2, 1992)

by Wally Smith

One of the strangest windmills erected in the Mendocino area produced not one drop of water for a residence or a store building. It ran a sawmill. 

The wind-driven sawmill built and operated by William Heeser on Little Lake Road.

When William Heeser came to Mendocino from Napa County in 1857 to purchase for $6,000 some of the landholdings of William Kelley, he recalled the windmills of Germany he’d been fascinated with as a youngster. He decided to put the wind to work for him as a lumberman. Whether he designed the windmill pictured in the accompanying photograph or had someone else design it for him, I don’t know. [Interesting fact - the negative of this picture of Heeser’s wind-powered sawmill was found by Buzzy Parsons under the high school gymnasium.]

There were lots of trees on or near his apple orchards on Little Lake Road that could be depended upon to produce good lumber for Mendocino’s buildings, and a sawmill would come in handy. According to Francis Jackson, Heeser’s apple orchards were on both sides of the road two miles east of Mendocino.

Jackson doesn’t recall just where the Heeser mill stood (there are no traces of it), but he remembers Heeser’s apple dryer on the same property. The orchard Heeser planted and nurtured in the late 1850s or early 1860s is now known as Bean’s Orchard. [William Heeser’s wind-powered sawmill was located just north of the current Woodlands Kennel. Bean’s Orchard was located where the #750 Forest Service Road and Little Lake Road intersect. The orchard is now overgrown with trees and brush, but some of the fruit trees still survive in 2023.]

Heeser’s huge windmill may have looked slightly ridiculous, but it worked…whenever a strong northwest wind was blowing. When the wind blew from some other direction, and during periods of calm, Heeser had to shut down his sawmill.

There were three other sawmills in Mendocino at various times, all of them erected by Heeser’s compatriot, Jerome Ford, who moved the “works” for the first one here from Bodega Bay in the early 1850s. But none of Ford’s sawmills was wind-powered, so all were able to process redwood and fir and pine logs for an indefinite time whenever logs could be floated down Big River. 

Just how long Heeser’s sawmill turned logs into boards, I have no idea, but the scale of the windmill dwarfed all others in Mendocino.

If you would like to see the size of a standard windmill blade, there is currently one on display in the Water Tower Wonderland Exhibit at the Kelley House Museum.


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CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, August 10, 2023

Black, Brockett, Campos

AARON BLACK, Covelo. Criminal threats, parole violation.

OWEN BROCKETT, Potter Valley. DUI.

SELENA CAMPOS, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, resisting.

Ickes, Maxwell, Neagle, Portoghese

COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Under influence, parole violation.

CLINTON MAXWELL, Ukiah. Murder, use of firearm in commission of felony.

RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAMIEN PORTOGHESE, Yreka/Ukiah. Under influence, ammo possession by prohibited person, resisting, battery on peace officer.

Rickman, Stephanson, Treppa

TERRIE RICKMAN, Philo. Failure to appear.

RONALD STEPHANSON JR, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Controlled substance, registration tampering, suspended license.

LANCE TREPPA, Failure to register, county parole violation.

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The lead article in today's WSJ is about the finances of major universities. I have excerpted some of the article, the portions that could easily describe the County's finances.

“Many university officials struggled to understand their own budgets and simply increased spending every year. Trustees demanded little accountability and often rubber-stamped what came before them. And schools inconsistently disclose what they spend, making it nearly impossible for the public to review how their tuition and tax dollars are being used.”

“Colleges have faced little accountability over their budgets in part because they aren’t required to track expenses in a uniform way. And Education Department data on college finances often contain errors and don’t match audited figures.”

“Universities view audits “more as a requirement than a tool for the public,” said Robert Kelchen, an education professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who researches university finance.”

The public needs more transparency, consistency, and reporting from the County Treasurer. I suspect that office, like others in the County, are insular to the point they too don't think of transparency and audits as a tool, but a requirement they are loathe to meet.

Once that problem is fixed, we can move onto accountability by the BOS. Which of them, besides Mr. Williams, is even interested in discussing any of this? If I'm wrong, I'd like to hear from you.

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I look like an old guy in decline. I don’t stand, I teeter. I don’t walk, I claudicate (claudicate means “limp,” esp. due to poor circulation in the legs). It hurts like hell to walk. This has been slowly getting worse since I had cancer in 2005. Recently it got so bad I’m pretty much crippled. I have three canes, a walker and a stack of walking sticks for when I’m going into the woods or doing errands outside. I leave them behind more than I don’t. When I use them, I’m becoming dependent on them and depriving my muscles of exercise they need, pain or no pain, if they are to get better. It was because of this that I went for angioplasty, which, despite my eager anticipation, made everything way worse. 

Family and friends see the spectacle I present, consider the eighty-five years I’ve lived, and worry that I’m at death’s door. To those who think I’m about to die, I can only say: Not so fast. More of me is in good working order rather than crippled. From the waist up, I’m a picture of good health. Since angioplasty was for me a spectacular bust, I’ll do other things, activities and adjustments that are hard to do and hardly certain of success. I betcha they’ll work. If not, my lower limbs will continue to deteriorate and be subject to repeated amputation.

It’s an interesting challenge. Living is interesting. Death is nothing. My guess is that my death is not imminent. I’ll keep you posted. Do not waste your concern. There are monstrous matters that need your attention. Write your own list of them. To quote our esteemed former prez: you gotta fight like hell. The world’s decline is a decline worth taking seriously. I will tend to myself. If I rehab the sick parts of me, I’ll crow my head off. If I can’t or don’t, that will present a new challenge: How do you leave the scene? How do you make the transition from live to dead FUN?! How do you minimize the effect on your loved ones? 

It’s dangerous to blab too much on this subject. It’s easy to fail and to make your departure dismal. It’s harder when the old gang, the shrinking old gang, is now outrageously abstemious (including me). Whoever heard of a solemn and sober wake?

Stay tuned. Obsolescence, senescence and deterioration are certain, and they’re semi-taboo as subjects to hold discourse on, a stupid attitude to take with a universal phenomenon. My endless fantasies include an action one: a heartbeat away from death, the old one struggles to keep on communicating. What might that look like? What do you choose for your sign-off? It’s a matter a responsible person faces squarely, and most of us become passive in the face of death. Screw that!

* * *


Seals Stadium, 1949. Home of the PCL's San Francisco Seals (1931–1957) and Mission Reds (1931–1937) and the San Francisco Giants (1958-1959). Nestled in the Mission District (16th and Bryant), Seals Stadium was regarded as the finest MiLB ballpark when first opened. First game featured a spring-training match with the Detroit Tigers; first regular season game came with Reds hosting the Seals. Demolished in November 1959, with seats and the light towers ending up at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium. Joe DiMaggio played here from October 1932 through 1935; so did his brothers Dom and Vince. The Seals were also known for keeping a live seal in the grandstand, and the Giants have a tribute to this ballpark and team with a seal statue outside Oracle Park center field. Note the Rainier brewery in back; many readers will remember it in a later iteration as a Hamm's Brewery. Now the site of the Potrero Center shopping mall; alas, the Double Play Bar and Grill is closed.


* * *

ESTHER MOBLEY: Here’s what’s come across my desk recently:

KTLA’s Travis Schlepp writes that NASA scientists have developed a tool that can detect leafroll, one of the most devastating grapevine diseases, long before it’s visible to the human eye.

ABC’s Julie Jacobo reports on a new study out of the University of California San Diego, which found that Napa Valley’s grape growing season is occurring nearly a month earlier than it did in the 1950s due to warming temperatures. Yet the 2023 growing season is an exception to this; a long and wet winter delayed its start — and harvest is expected to begin 3-4 weeks later than usual. 

I’m not sure how I feel about vière, a wine-beer hybrid out of France, which Lauren Collins writes about in the New Yorker. If you’ve tried it, let me know your thoughts.

* * *


by Scott Ostler

For a moderately fashionable fellow, I get way too few compliments on my wardrobe. 

That changed Wednesday. I went to the Oakland Athletics-Texas Rangers game at the Coliseum and wasn’t more than 50 feet from my car when …

“Hey, nice shirt!”

A minute later:

“Nice shirt, man.”

It was a T-shirt, wrinkled and green. Shabby chic, I suppose. And it did hang well on me.

Oh, and the T-shirt said “SELL” in white letters across the chest.

The SELL shirts have become the symbol of a movement, and even a lightning rod. A recent Chronicle story told of three A’s fans, two of them wearing SELL shirts, who were asked to leave the suite level of the Coliseum’s Mount Davis during last Sunday’s game. One of the fans, Robb Roberts, said an A’s staffer told them those shirts are not allowed in that section.

“She kept saying she knew what we were up to,” Roberts said of the evictor.

The A’s officially responded that there is no ban on SELL shirts anywhere in the ballpark, and that the team was conducting an internal investigation into the reported incident.

Rather than wait for the results of that investigation, I decided to conduct my own. The plan was not only to test the waters at the suite level, but to see what kind of solidarity my SELL shirt might engender among fans.

There seemed little risk of arrest, so I didn’t even bring a toothbrush. On the contrary, I was pretty sure that the A’s ownership/management, peeved at yet more bad press over team owner John Fisher’s decision to move the team to Las Vegas ASAP, had instructed its employees to be nice to fans rocking SELL shirts.

Sure enough, at the suite level, I was not accosted as I wandered about for a few minutes. When I approached an employee who seemed to be in charge and asked if my shirt was OK on the suite level, the employee got wide-eyed and waved me off, saying, “I’m not supposed to say anything to anyone about those shirts!”

This might all seem like a bunch of silliness, the T-shirts and the protests and the pushback, and indeed it is. The A’s fully intend to flee Oakland, and a bunch of fans wearing SELL shirts are going to be squirt guns at a forest fire.

Yet, the protestors persist, and the discomfort increases. Because for all the posturing by the A’s and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about how the team’s departure is the fault of Oakland government and apathetic fans, clearly a nerve has been touched.

A’s ownership and MLB are squirming at being portrayed as what they are — teamjackers.

Somebody in high levels of the team and MLB appear to keep giving secret orders to downplay the protests. In NBCSCA’s televised highlights of last Sunday’s A’s-Giants game, the portion of the game that included the fifth inning “Sell the team!” chants was cut. The network told the Chronicle that the editing was due to time limitations. And there was no editing of the game re-broadcast. But these oddly coincidental things keep happening.

It gets clumsy, like when the A’s tried to put a team-friendly spin on the first reverse boycott game by announcing before the game that ticket proceeds would be donated to Oakland charities. Little things: One tweet appeared to show a team employee attempting to stop a fan in a SELL shirt at the Coliseum from taking a selfie with A’s mascot Stomper.

Management’s playbook for handling the delicate lame-duck situation has been less than brilliant. One might think, for instance, that the team would want to cool fan anger by at least explaining why the A’s are eager to embrace a ballpark-only plan in Las Vegas, but never considered a ballpark-only plan in Oakland, the city in which the team was once rooted.

There’s so much weirdness free-floating around the team that I ignored a good ballgame Wednesday (a 2-0 A’s win!) to wander about the yard, bonding with fellow members of the SELL club that I was crashing for a day.

One thing my super-secret investigation uncovered is that not only was the Sunday suite-level ejection an isolated incident, but that many of the workers are quietly supportive of SELL wearers.

“The staff is all thrilled with ’em,” said Cindy Koppel, wearing her protest shirt. She said ushers and other staffers give her and husband Ward thumbs-up on their shirts, and even greet them with quiet “Sell the team!” chants.

Another shirted fan, Babs Wardwell, said ushers and vendors tell her, “We’re with you,” and, “Love your shirt.”

“The employees here are in the same boat as us,” said Wardwell, sitting with husband Jay. “They don’t know if they’ll have jobs next year.”

Good point. All those thousands of great jobs the A’s are promising to bestow on the fine folks of Las Vegas are jobs that will be subtracted from the Oakland workforce, which has been the backbone of the team for decades.

Meanwhile, that annoying protest just won’t go away, and it rankles folks in high places.

“People are listening,” said shirt-wearing Francesca Mann. “I don’t know if it’s the right people.”

Oh, it is. The protest is bringing some discomfort, and even embarrassment and shame, to people in high places, and that’s worth something.

It’s an amazing movement. It even made me well-dressed for a day.

* * *

THE FORT HAS BEEN CALLED "the pride of the Pacific," "the Gibraltar of the West Coast," and "one of the most perfect models of masonry in America." When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, the "Fort at Fort Point" was its original name and in general today goes by Fort Point.

* * *


by John Ramos

A lot of places are dealing with an increase in crime, and there is growing public anger over governments' inability to control it. And in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, a place familiar with human turmoil, even those whose mission it is to show compassion say things have gone too far.

On Tuesday, outside St. Anthony's Dining Hall, they were handing out hot lunches to anyone who needed a meal, but CEO Nils Behnke said it's getting harder to find people willing to do it.

“Our volunteers, our staff, are not wanting to come to us and participate because it's so dangerous to even walk the streets, at least that's their perception,” he said.

The heightened fear stems from a shooting two weeks ago at the corner, in broad daylight, that left a man in critical condition. Since then, there was another shooting and two stabbings, leaving two people dead.

Behnke says even the people who live on the streets are reluctant to come to the area.

“They're really afraid to even come to the dining room during the daytime to have lunch with us because of the situation on the street,” he said.

He pointed to the brazen open-air drug sales on Leavenworth Street as the source of the increase in violence. And though his entire mission is to be compassionate to the down and out, Behnke said enough is enough.

St Anthony's will meet with the DA and Police Chief on Thursday to discuss the lack of public safety and demand accountability.

“How hard can it be?” said Behnke. “We're like three blocks away from City Hall. The police station is two blocks up there. And it looks like this on Leavenworth? I can't compute how this can be allowed to happen.”

Others in the nonprofit community agree. The Salvation Army operates a 110-bed supportive housing complex, but Captain Arwyn Rodriguera said she is frustrated by the City's practice of putting people into housing without regard to the drug or mental health problems they may be suffering.

“It's, 'Once you're in a house, you're there. Problem solved,'“ said Rodriguera. “And what we're seeing bleed out onto the streets is many of the people are either dying there, in their addiction. So, it's an expensive, paid-for tomb, or they come back out to the streets and contribute to things like drug dealing.”

And then, there are the kids. The Tenderloin is home to more than 3,000 children, but you rarely see them because it's not safe to play outside.

Bita Nazarian is the Executive Director of “826 Valencia,” a creative writing tutoring program. She said her students often write about their love for the Tenderloin, but she knows they are also suffering trauma from what they see every day.

Since “Defunding the Police” a lot more of the crime and the unhealthy behaviors are more visible,” said Nazarian. “And it's a problem that should have been addressed a long time ago, in my opinion, because the children have lived here this entire time.”

These are people committed to helping their fellow man, but they see the damage being done by well-intentioned policies. Or, as Behnke put it, “Compassion and reason do not have to be mutually exclusive.”

(CBS Bay Area)

* * *

* * *


I was never crazy about chocolate chip ice cream because chocolate melts at a lower temperature than ice cream, so the chips would never really melt before the ice cream was finished. So the chocolate was not really enjoyed in the way it would be if it could melt in your mouth. Chocolate has to melt in my mouth.

* * *

I'D DECIDED THE CAMPUS was just a place to hide. There were some campus freaks who stayed on forever. The whole college scene was soft. 

They never told you what to expect out there in the real world. They just crammed you with theory and never told you how hard the pavements were. 

A college education could destroy an individual for life. Books could make you soft. 

When you put them down, and really went out there, then you needed to know what they never told you.

— Charles Bukowski

* * *

* * *


by Caitlin Johnstone

We talk about US presidents all the time — Obama did this, Trump did that, blah blah blah. But really it’s never the president doing those things, it’s the empire. The president is just the face of the operation, the name they put on the door that they change every few years to create the illusion that the US government is responsive to the will of the electorate. 

Really if you look solely at the raw data of the US power structure around the world (where the weapons are going, where the resources are going, where the money is and isn’t going, where the diplomats are and aren’t going, etc), you can’t tell from year to year when the White House is changing hands. You can’t tell from that raw data what political party the current president belongs to or what platform he campaigned on, and you can’t tell when he’s replaced by someone from the other party with another platform. The raw data of the empire keeps moving in basically the same way without any meaningful interruption. 

So it’s not really true to say “Obama did this” or “Trump did that”; really they’re just the face that happened to be on the operation when it was time to kill Gaddafi or begin the Pivot to Asia or sanction Venezuela or start arming Ukraine or whatever. They’re not leaders leading the US government in various directions based on what they think the best policies are, they’re empire managers who are responding to whatever the needs of the empire happen to be each day — using whatever justifications or partisan leverage they can muster in that moment.

And Americans don’t get to vote on any of that stuff. They don’t get to vote on what will have to be done to facilitate the needs of a globe-spanning empire, or if there should be a globe-spanning empire at all. The behavior of the empire is never on the ballot. The only things that are ever on the ballot are issues which stand no possibility of ever interfering in the operation of the empire, like whether the president will appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion or support gun control. And the voting populace is continually kept at a 50/50 split on as many of those issues as possible to keep both sides tugging on the rope with all their might so they don’t look up and notice that the real large-scale behavior of their government is completely unaffected by the small back and forth gains and losses of the tug-o-war game. 

Really the only reason to talk about US presidents in terms of “Obama did this” and “Trump did that” is to highlight this point. To highlight the fact that Obama continued and expanded all the most malignant policies of his predecessor, and that Trump continued and expanded all the most malignant policies of his. To disrupt all the dopey partisan narratives about things getting better under Biden or worse under Trump or that Obama was a progressive or Trump was a peacemaker. 

By pointing out the horrible things that happened under each administration, regardless of party affiliation or platform, the illusion that Americans are controlling the behavior of their government using their votes can be worn away. You can in this sense use the illusion to fight the illusion — use people’s intense interest in presidents and electoral politics to draw them into the insight that it’s all a performance designed to keep the eyes of the masses away from the inner workings of the machine.

And then the possibility for real change opens up. The longer Americans are convinced that they can vote their way out of problems they never voted their way into in the first place, the longer they can be dissuaded from using the power of their numbers to force real material changes by real material means.


* * *

* * *

THE DEATH TOLL ON MAUI had grown to 53 people by early Thursday afternoon, a county spokeswoman said, as questions mounted over whether officials had moved quickly enough to evacuate the tourist haven of Lahaina, where many people described harrowing escapes from the fast-moving flames.

Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii warned that the number of fatalities could continue to grow as rescuers search homes and buildings. “The full extent of the destruction of Lahaina will shock you. It does appear that a bomb went off,” he said at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. “It will be a new Lahaina.”


* * *


Ukrainian officials have ordered mandatory evacuations in and around the eastern city of Kupyansk, after Russia claimed to have captured nearby Ukrainian positions.

Poland plans to move about 10,000 troops to the border with Belarus. Tensions are rising in the region after Wagner troops were stationed in Belarus in the wake of the military group's short-lived rebellion in Russia.

Russia's Defense Ministry said it foiled a Ukrainian drone attack near Crimea and confirmed earlier reports from Moscow's mayor that two drones were shot down near the Russian capital — the latest in a string of such alleged attacks.

Meanwhile, a “massive” Russian drone attack destroyed an oil depot in Ukraine's western Rivne region overnight, a Ukrainian military official said. 

* * *

* * *


by Doug Holland

I was riding a city bus to the diner for breakfast, and on the way, I glanced out the window and noticed a bum sprawled the long way across the bench in a bus shelter. That's gotta be uncomfortable, because like most public benches, it had bum-preventers.

They're one of the grandest inventions of American cruelty — metal bars every few feet along a bench, intended to prevent anyone from lying down for a comfortable nap. Of course, only the homeless would want to sleep on a public bench, so they're bum-preventers.

And yet, a man was defiantly sprawled the long way, across that bench at that bus stop. Silently I saluted his stubbornness as my bus rolled on, though I learned later that I'd assumed her pronoun incorrectly.

* * *

Breakfast at the diner was delicious, as it always is. Eating alone, I made a full chapter and a half's progress, but accidentally syrupped a page of the book I'm reading. 

* * *

On my return ride, I rang the bus-bell to get off at my credit union, to deposit a paycheck and replenish the twenties in my wallet. The credit union is at the same corner as the sleeping bum I'd noticed earlier, and as I stepped off the bus, he was still there, under a stained blanket, sprawled across the bench. 

The bus pulled away, and I sorta marveled. In all the time it took to devour an omelet and a stack of flapjacks, this bum had not moved. He was in the same excruciatingly zigzagged position, up and down over the bum-preventers, as an hour and a half earlier.

“You doing OK, old timer?” I asked. His face was weathered like he'd been sandblasted, and his eyes were closed. He didn't stir, so I said it again a little louder. Still no reply, not a mumble or a shrug. He was a remarkably sound sleeper, or comatose, or dead, and I didn't like where that thought was leading.

I was headed to the credit union, darn it, so into the building I walked, and took care of my business. Maybe the bum would be gone, or at least have moved an inch, before I returned.

Nope, he was still there, stiff as a statue. Stiff as a stiff, with one bum-preventer jabbing into his thighs and another around the armpits. You'd have to be dead to tolerate that position.

Watching someone die, or watching a body rot at the bus stop wasn't on my agenda for the morning, but I stood there, focusing my attention on the man's chest. Was breath going in and coming out? Under the icky blanket that covered him I couldn't tell, but nothing about him seemed to be moving or alive. A fly crawled on his eyebrow, and the man didn't even twitch.

I wondered, what's the city's protocol for clearing away dead bums’ bodies? It can't be uncommon, probably happens a lot. Do they simply send a guy in a pickup truck to haul 'em off? And where do they haul ’em?

My bus was coming, only a few blocks in the distance, and there I was, waiting at the bus stop with someone either dead drunk, or dead, or dying.

It was an unexpected human decency test, and I hate those: Do I get onto the bus, ride toward my connection to the #99 bus that'll take me home? Or do I stay at the bus stop, perhaps call for help, act like I give a damn?

“Hey, old man!” I shouted, loud enough to wake the dead, but the dead didn't budge. The traffic light had gone green, and now my bus was close enough that the driver had the flashers on, but he hadn't yet begun steering the bus toward the curb.

I looked at the bus, established eye contact with the driver, and emphatically shook my head no — meaning, you're not the bus I want, so keep rolling. The driver nodded, accelerated, drove past.

As the breeze from the bus hit me, I reached out and poked the body's nearest leg. No response. I poked the leg again, much harder, pushing it against the other leg, nudging both legs back a few inches.

“Fuck you,” said the body, and with a woman's voice — two surprises at once. Under the blanket the body had no gendered shape, and there was nothing about her face that hinted at femininity, or masculinity for that matter. Just oldness, wrinkles, a scar on her chin.

I was equal parts glad she was alive, and angry that I'd let my bus go past. It would be ten minutes until the next bus, maybe half an hour before I'd be home, and already the diner's coffee and refills had me wanting to pee.

My whole gosh-entire morning had been delayed, for the sake of a random bum asleep on a bench. “Fuck you,” she'd said to me. If I'd replied it would've been “Fuck you, too,” but a wailing siren and flashing lights distracted me.

One of the Seattle Fire Department's familiar Medic One units was roaring down the boulevard, and then it slowed, and a right turn brought it into the credit union's parking lot. Two men got out, masked up, scurried around getting some things together, and came toward me and the bum, not quite jogging, but walking with intent.

A better citizen than I had called 9-1-1, and I wasn't sure how this would go. To the almost corpse, I said loudly, “Hey, the fire department is coming. I don't know whether they're good guys here to help, or going to make you miserable.”

“Ah, fuck,” she said, “I don't need any—” and then the men were there, putting their kits on the sidewalk and pushing a stethoscope at the lady.

Too many times I've seen paramedics interacting with bums, but never before had I been close enough to hear it, and I was afraid it might be like a cop encounter. They would treat her, medically, of course, because that's what paramedics do, but how would they treat her, personally? Brusque and demanding, threatening, with a cop's anger and annoyance always implied, their primary concern being to get her out of public view as quickly as possible?

After watching for a few moments, I probably smiled in relief. Gage and DeSoto were kind and respectful, ending every question with “ma'am” until they'd gotten her name, and then asking, “Would you prefer ‘Deb’ or ‘Miss Clark’?” 

“Aw, fuck,” she said, “call me Deb if you gotta.”

They called her Deb, took her vital signs, and asked all the medical questions you'd expect of a $200 office call, only with more genuine concern in their voices than you'd hear from any doctor.

“Fuck, I'm OK,” she said a few times, but she answered their questions, one of which was, “Do you have any pain or injuries?” so she pointed them to her leg, rolled up the pant and pulled down a sock, revealing an ugly bruise. She said she'd fallen the night before, and landed on a big rock. I was watching (HIPPA does not apply at bus stops), and the bruise was right where I'd nudged her earlier. No wonder “Fuck you” had been her first words to me.

By the time the next bus approached, the paramedics had taped a soft bandage over the bruise on her leg, and they'd gently pulled her up to a seated position on the bench, free at last from the bum-preventers. 

One of the men asked, still very nicely, “Deb, do you need a shelter?”

“Fuck, you think I'm homeless?” she said, and she insisted she wasn't. She said she's staying at her sister and brother-in-law's apartment, helping them look after the newborn. “Had too much to drink last night, that's all,” she explained to the paramedics, as I stepped onto the bus, in a hurry to get away and pee.

On my ride home, I decided she'd lied. If she'd had so much to drink that she couldn't find her way home, maybe she'd sleep in a bus shelter, but where would she have found the blanket she'd been sleeping under?

(Hey, you ought to be reading my blog —  It's free, and almost worth it.)

* * *

Hopi girl and the photographer Sumner Matteson. 1899-1900. Source - Denver Public Library.


  1. Mazie August 11, 2023

    Re: Missing Persons … now it is 2! Rodolfo was located

  2. Bob A. August 11, 2023

    RE: Credit Card Alert

    My auto shop also charges a fee for using a credit or debit card. My solution is to hit the ATM machine and pay in cash. Don’t blame the shop, they’re getting soaked for interchange, assessment, and processing fees that run up upwards of 4% of the transaction amount. Instead, blame our poorly regulated banking system and their propensity for extracting money for nothing every step of the way.

    • chuck dunbar August 11, 2023

      Exactly, Bob, these small businesses scrape by at times, it’s a tough road for them. And these credit card companies make their huge profits sucking-up money at every turn. Paying by check or cash to the small places is my rule. Credit cards work well for internet buying, but try to avoid using them in our small towns.

      You put it well: “extracting money for nothing every step of the way.”

      • Harvey Reading August 11, 2023

        Don’t expect me to shed any tears for small-bidness ripoff artists. I avoid them like the plague.

        • chuck dunbar August 11, 2023

          Gee Whiz, Harvey, I was especially thinking of two local car repair shops, both providing excellent service, both as honest as can be–the kind of places that are a public good in a small town, and need every dollar they earn to stay in business.

          • Harvey Reading August 11, 2023

            I live in a small town, but do my shopping in a larger town, 20 miles away or on line. I’ve heard the myths you’re peddling all my life. I don’t buy them, and had a bellyful of them before graduating high school.

            • chuck dunbar August 11, 2023

              Guess I’ll just yield to your wisdom… or is it your stubborn country will? Hope all is well out there in your big country, Harvey.

            • Pickle Bainbridge August 11, 2023

              Spot on as always! Keep up the good fight, Mr reading! Have the fascists that live under your bed turned back up lately? I’ll say a non-denominational prayer that they finally leave you alone, bro

              • Harvey Reading August 12, 2023

                Save your prayers for the ones who need them, for all the good praying does, especially when they’re directed to a second or third rate god (if that, since it’s more likely the “god” was created by the human mind) whose crowning achievement was human monkeys.

    • Stephen Rosenthal August 11, 2023

      “their propensity for extracting money for nothing every step of the way.”

      Isn’t that what governments – Federal, State and Local – have been doing forever? Except they call it taxes.

  3. Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

    The case of Tim Abshire:

    If Adam Gaska is correct. How did Tim manage to have a wife and 2 kids while in prison for 9 years? The numbers don’t add up. 2023 -2015 = 8 years served (out early on good behavior, I suppose)

    “The attempted murder of a police officer charge was dropped in the plea deal.” Another case of the Rich and Powerful get a slap on the wrist, and the Hippies, and people doing good in this world get a $1,000,000 bail. American Justice system and it’s love affair with money and Capitalism as the ultimate good. What is this system really protecting?

    Once again, Money talks, and BS walks.

    -Rye N Flint
    (And for all of you wondering, Flint is my Mother’s actual maiden name, which is why I use it as my Pen Name to honor her love and dedication to speaking the truth)

    • Bruce McEwen August 11, 2023

      In California, a convict only has to serve half the sentence because you get two day’s credit for each day served… except for violent felonies where a gun was used, then you have to serve 85 percent of the sentence. So if the attempted murder of a police officer was dropped, then only 4-1/2 years would be served. This is my layman’s understanding, and perhaps Mr Gaska being a legal beagle could correct me if I’m wrong —over to you, Adam…

      • Jimmy August 11, 2023

        I know from experience that you don’t have to use a gun in the commission of your crime to be required to complete 85% of your prison sentence – it just has to be a violent crime. That was until 2021, when the State restructured its sentencing guidelines, which can be found here:,from%2033.3%20to%2050%20percent.

        I’m not sure when this guy got out of prison, but if it was after 2021, that time would have been reduced to 66% of his sentence.

        Below is a list of what is considered a violent crime from the California Department of Corrections website.

        California Law

        Definition of Violent Felony Offenses As specified in Penal Code (PC) Section 667.5(c) 667.5. Enhancement of prison terms for new offenses because of prior prison terms shall be imposed as follows:

        (c) For the purpose of this section, “violent felony” shall mean any of the following:

        (1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter.

        (2) Mayhem.

        (3) Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.

        (4) Sodomy as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 286.

        (5) Oral copulation as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 288a.

        (6) Lewd or lascivious act as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 288.

        (7) Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.

        (8) Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12022.3, or Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.

        (9) Any robbery.

        (10) Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.

        (11) Sexual penetration as defined in subdivision (a) or (j) of Section 289.

        (12) Attempted murder.

        (13) A violation of Section 12308, 12309, or 12310.

        (14) Kidnapping.

        (15) Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, in violation of Section 220.

        (16) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.

        (17) Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.

        (18) Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.

        (19) Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.

        (20) Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.

        (21) Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.

        (22) Any violation of Section 12022.53.

        (23) A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418. The Legislature finds and declares that these specified crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to display society’s condemnation for these extraordinary crimes

    • Adam Gaska August 11, 2023

      Tim had a wife, no kids that I know of.

      Clinton has a wife and two kids.

  4. Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

    RE: BTW, SHERWOOD’S namesake was a prolific serial Indian killer.

    What is the correct legend about Mr. Sherwood? I heard that he had 8 Indian Wives and that he lived in an Octagon house (now owned by a friend of mine). Was he an indian killer or an indian lover?

    Braxton Bragg was benign? Really? A confederate General? benign?

    I’d love to know the truth.

    • Bruce Anderson August 11, 2023

      Sherwood seemed to be both killer and lover boy. Read his history. I didn’t say Bragg was benign. In 1850 he was still only half a villain in that he was a slave owner but not yet a slave owner AND a traitor. The U.S. Army in Mendo was, from all accounts, relatively benign in that they functioned to protect Indians from white low lifes, not murder them.

  5. Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

    RE: Opposite of the intent of voters in Prop 64

    “If you don’t have 10 acres, you have to grow indoors.” -Adam Gaska

    Why, why why? Is a legal plant, supposedly treated like every other agricultural crop, grown indoors? Lobbyists. I know the lobbyist that slipped this rule into the law, and have shamed him personally for doing so, It did no good. The law still stands on the side of PG&E power sucking artificial light induced “plant growing”. Why are we all collectively letting this happen? Legality was supposed to literally bring cannabis into the light. What is really going on here? Why can’t people just grow 6 personal outdoor plants on their private property?

    -Rye N Flint

    • Adam Gaska August 11, 2023

      Prop 64 said municipalities could allow you to grow, it didn’t require them to let you.

      Most cities don’t allow outdoor growing and many places still don’t allow it at all.

        • peter boudoures August 11, 2023

          The president of the United States can make cannabis federally legal.

          • Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

            The key word there is “can”

            • peter boudoures August 11, 2023

              Yes he is able but the question is why not make cannabis federally legal?

    • George Hollister August 11, 2023

      Remember, cannabis is illegal. According to Federal Law, it is still categorized as a schedule one drug, and is illegal. Until that changes, Federal Law prevails.

      That is the problem, and why there is such a large black market, that drives the Cannabis economy nationally, and locally. So, yes, Cannabis is different, and not just another legal crop. Let’s stop pretending that it is.

      Imagine if some other Federal Law was ignored by some states, some cities, and some counties, particularly a contentious law. Congress has had the opportunity to change the law, but the votes to do that are not there.

  6. Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

    RE: California “small Business” leaving problem

  7. Harvey Reading August 11, 2023

    “Evidently there are credit card merchants shifting the cost of doing business on to the customer. I had never heard of this before, and now will have to check before I use my card.”

    Wyoming State and County guvamints do a similar thing, even though less work for guvamint employees is involved with electronic payments. Wyoming guvamints are about the only “merchants” to whom I write checks. This is a very backward place…but the scenery is nice, at least for now, though the fascist kaputalists cannot wait to destroy that as quickly as possible.

  8. Harvey Reading August 11, 2023


    That’s all it’s ever been about.

  9. Mazie August 11, 2023

    Re: Heads Up Project…..
    It all sounds good…. But in reality not likely

    So basically LE is fielding all calls and appropriating to right service provider? Wouldn’t that require more money more staff? Also in my honest opinion that would make LE mental health workers, which they have emphatically told me they are not!! Again where does the 211 system fall into this ?

    MM 🤘💕

  10. Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

    RE: Socialism bad, Capitalism good? Who has really used violence to suppress workers?

    • George Hollister August 11, 2023

      Look at the history of the 20th Century, and ask what governments have murdered 100s of millions in the name of creating a perfect world for workers? Hint, they are not capitalist ones.

      • Rye N Flint August 11, 2023

        100’s of millions of Native people?

  11. Mark Scaramella August 12, 2023

    THERE IS AN UNKNOWN PROBLEM WITH THE AVA’S WEBSITE OR WEBMASTER which has prevented the Saturday posting of Mendocino County Today and which we are unable to fix remotely. We are trying to figure out what’s wrong and apologize for the delay.

    • Bruce Anderson August 12, 2023

      Our web guy lives in an area that suffers frequent power outages, which may be the prob this morning. First time we’ve ever had a no show prob. Apologies.

    • Mazie August 12, 2023

      I was wondering what was going on… Happy Saturday 💕💕

  12. chuck dunbar August 12, 2023

    Thanks and glad you guys are ok, was beginning to worry…..

  13. Mark Scaramella August 12, 2023

    The PG&E outage map shows an outage in the area between Navarro and Comptche. We are trying to find out if PG&E is working on it.

    • Chuck Wilcher August 12, 2023

      The lights came back on around 9:30 this morning after an 18hour blackout.

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