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Mendocino County Today: Monday, August 21, 2023

E-mail Outage | Clouds | Showers | T.S. Hilary | Algae | Raymond Tyler | Folded Flag | Colombi's Market | Honeybee Query | Skunk Quarters | Harvest Season | Great Origin | Fair Day | Gualala Arts | Multitudinous Homeless | Old Noyo | Yesterday's Catch | Disaster Assured | Spotless Cars | Chump Party | Crime Family | Hunters | Goodbye Summer | Headstone | Heed Jeremiah | Father Ninety | Public Execution | Looks Bad | Other Opinions | Ukraine | SF Migration | Readers/Books | Own Sense | Stole America | Marmonella

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OUR PACIFIC E-MAIL HAS BEEN DOWN since yesterday noon. Presumably, the Ukiah-based service will be back on-line some time today (Monday).

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Clouds above Fort Bragg (Jeff Goll)

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TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW NORMAL through Tuesday, with warmer temperature by mid-week. Showers and isolated thunderstorms, with locally heavy rain will increase in coverage across the interior late tonight and Monday. Dry weather returns with a sharp warmup in temperatures Wednesday and Thursday. A cooldown with more troughing returns by Friday. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 55F under clear skies this Monday morning on the coast. The forecast is calling for a 60% chance of showers this afternoon, 40% tonight. My gut says I am not tearing off a roof today but I might be able to play tennis this afternoon? Hazy tomorrow then mostly clear the rest of the week.

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PREPARES FOR MORE FLOODS as post-Tropical Storm Hilary brings more rain

by Christopher Weber, Damian Dovarganes and Jordi Lebrija

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tropical Storm Hilary deluged arid parts of Mexico and then drenched Southern California from the coast to the desert resort city of Palm Springs and inland mountains, forcing rescuers to pull several people from swollen rivers. Even as the storm subsides across the coast, flooding and mudslides were expected across the parts of the southwestern U.S.

Vehicles cross over a flood control basin that has almost reached the street, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, in Palm Desert, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The storm first made landfall in Mexico’s arid Baja California Peninsula on Sunday in a sparsely populated area about 150 miles (250 kilometers) south of Ensenada. One person drowned. It then moved through mudslide-prone Tijuana, threatening the improvised homes that cling to hillsides just south of the U.S. border.

The first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years, Hilary dropped more than half an average year's worth of rain on some areas, including Palm Springs, which saw nearly 3.18 inches (8 centimeters) of rain by Sunday evening.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded Hilary to a post-tropical storm in its early Monday advisory, and warned that “continued life-threatening and locally catastrophic flooding” was expected over portions of the southwestern U.S. on Monday. All coastal warnings were discontinued.

Forecasters warned of dangerous flash floods across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and fire officials rescued 13 people from knee-deep water in a homeless encampment along the rising San Diego River. Meanwhile, rain and debris washed out some roadways and people left their cars stranded in standing water. Crews pumped floodwaters out of the emergency room at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

Sunday was the wettest day on record in San Diego, with 1.82 inches (4.6 centimeters), the National Weather Service said in a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter. The previous record was on Aug. 17, 1977, when 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) post-Hurricane Doreen dumped record rainfall on the area.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school system, said all campuses would be closed on Monday, as did districts across the region. San Diego schools postponed the first day of classes from Monday to Tuesday.

The Palm Springs Police Department said in a statement Sunday that 911 lines were down and that in the event of an emergency to text 911 or reach out to the nearest police or fire station.

The storm was projected to weaken as it continued moving northward over California and into Nevada, but Richard Pasch, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, said “very heavy” rain and strong winds are still likely.

Southern California got another surprise Sunday afternoon as an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 hit near Ojai, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was felt widely and was followed by smaller aftershocks. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injury, according to a dispatcher with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Hilary is just the latest major climate disaster to wreak havoc across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Hawaii’s island of Maui is still reeling from a blaze that killed over 100 people and ravaged the historic town of Lahaina, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Firefighters in Canada are battling that nation’s worst fire season on record.

As Hilary bore down on Mexico, one person drowned Saturday in Mugele, on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula, when a vehicle was swept away by an overflowing stream. Rescue workers saved four other people, said Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege.

Mexican army troops fanned out across the area where some of the worst damage occurred Saturday. Soldiers used bulldozers and dump trucks to help clear tons of boulders and earth that clogged streets and roads. Power lines were toppled in many places, and emergency personnel worked to restore electricity.

On Sunday morning in California, the warnings from officials didn't keep everyone indoors. In coastal Carlsbad, just north of San Diego, 19-year-old Jack Johnson and his friends kept an eye on the huge waves, determined to surf them.

“It’s really choppy out there, not really surfable yet, but I think we can find a good break somewhere later,” Johnson said. “I can’t remember a storm like this.”

Also Sunday, one of several budding storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean became Tropical Storm Emily, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was far from land, moving west in the open ocean. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Franklin formed in the eastern Caribbean. Tropical storm watches were issued for the southern coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In September 1939, a tropical storm that roared into California ripped apart train tracks, tore houses from their foundations and capsized many boats, killing nearly 100 people on land and at sea.

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Red Alder and Algae, Howard Creek (Jeff Goll)

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by Matt LaFever

Raymond Tyler, the 38-year-old missing Willits man, was tragically found deceased this morning, his sister Colene Brown confirmed. 

His remains were located along Highway 101 in the area of Oil Well Hill north of Willits. Brown said her brother’s body was found near a residence after an ad-hoc search was conducted near a home he was reportedly dropped off at around August 5, 2023.

Tyler went missing after he was released from Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding on August 3, 2023.

Brown told us her brother, “was kind to everyone he met, strangers and friends alike. He went out of his way, even in the depths of addiction and depression, to help anyone that needed it.” She went on to say, “He was abused and neglected from the day he was born and never failed to be a good person. Even at rock bottom he helped other people and smiled while he did it.”


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Above Dos Rios Bridge, Eel River (Jeff Goll)

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JUST IN FROM FORT BRAGG: Colombi's will be closed Sunday August 20th. Saturday is officially the last day of Colombi's Market. When the store re-opens on Monday, August 21st it will be Oak Market and Deli. Please bear with us as things process and slowly change. Thank you! Thank you for all your support over the years. I hope we will continue to see you as time goes on.

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A READER WONDERS: Has anyone noticed the lack of honeybees? Lots of bumblebees, and the new hummingbird moths (lots of them). But where are the bees? Is something changing?

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Skunk Train outbuilding, Fort Bragg (Jeff Goll)

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We're at the peak of harvesting season which is going very well, although we are exhausted and looking forward to a break soon. Despite the farm-work, we've noted that it's been an exciting season of critter watching and live-trapping thanks to the good rains last winter or the moderate temps we've had up until this week or maybe the ponds we dotted about the landscape. Who really knows. But we are thankful for it. 

Hunting season started last weekend so the weekend warriors from the hunting clubs on the properties on two sides of ours have come out in force. As a result the multitude of deer we usually see grazing in the fields with our yaks and cows have disappeared: they know when to hide. We don't have a gun club, but we do allow two local fellows to hunt on our property in exchange for half of each animal. Their success last year kept us in venison until now. They know the landscape, the rules, and have grown up hunting so they're very selective. For those of you who are against any killing, understand that there are large numbers of deer roaming these dry hills and they need culling or they would die of starvation or predation by larger, meaner predators—cougars, bears, coyotes. Hunters are only allowed to shoot bucks and are issued a limited number of permits which are checked. Balance is everything.

We had an exciting sighting for a few days last month: two bald eagles hanging out on telephone poles in the yak field right above a deer carcass, perhaps killed by a coyote pack? 

We were amused to see the turkey vultures scatter as soon as the eagles arrived. There's obviously a pecking order! We have seen the eagles over the past several years and believe they're nesting somewhere nearby. And occasionally golden eagles have been spotted in flight over the farm, but they tend to stay farther up the mountain.

More excitement when Cam was picking berries in the blackberry maze one day this week and provided the cute picture of the garter snake also picking berries. 

Lucky for him it didn't slither down the back of his shirt! Snakes have been abundant this summer, again, probably weather related. There has certainly been enough food for them. We've diminished the rat population significantly but there are plenty left and the dogs are always on alert. But snakes are more efficient hunters than we — they can dive into critter holes. King snakes, gopher snakes and red racers are to be admired but rattlesnakes, if they're close to our living area are caught and relocated. 

I was putting the chickens to bed at dusk a few weeks ago and was about to walk on a short gravel path when I heard very loud rattling. Every hair on my head (the few left) stood on end and I froze. In the gloaming I saw it in a tangle next to the path about 10 feet from me. I backed up and walked around another way. 

Cam also nearly stepped on one sprawled in the path to the tool shed next to the pigeon cage. It was so full (of mice or rats not eggs, we hope) that it couldn't move. Juan scooped it into a bucket and moved it to the fence-line. We used to kill them when or if they were too close to the house, but try not to now.

Recently and on two separate occasions Wynne trapped a raccoon and a fox. The raccoon twice dug up all the carrots I planted in the aquaponic system he built, and the fox was eating cat food on his back deck. We took the raccoon on a trip down the road but let the fox go nearby for fear it had kits. (Foxes are very cute until they open their mouths.)

There are bears in the neighborhood too, but lucky for us they tend to stay on the wooded side of the highway across from us. We hear many stories of their destruction, everything from crushing fences to destroying orchards, to rummaging through garbage pails and cars with food in them. A neighbor lost all his chickens (and probably the coop as well) to them. Our chef lives on the coast above the town of Mendocino and said there's a bear or bears making a mess of the neighborhood every day. I think the general feeling of the human inhabitants is that the animals live here too so we're responsible for keeping food out of their reach.

Living with the wild is an adventure that requires creative thinking, and some hard work and patience, but the rewards are worth the trouble. 

The swallow family at our front door is on its third set of chicks right now and their poo pile is growing. It's an inconvenience to walk to the back door to go out, but yesterday I heard the chicks peeping for the first time. I didn't see mom and was starting to worry she had abandoned them. She appears to be a single mom because over the years of watching them the dad has always helped with feeding and often sat nearby guarding against predators. This time we've only seen the mom. But just as I turned away, worried, she came flying in with food for the hatchlings and I felt so relieved. 

These are the connections that are lost when one tries to control nature by keeping it at bay or denying its existence rather than embracing it. They are us; we are them.


Nikki Auschnitt & Steve Krieg


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It's that time of the year when the Great Day In Elk event is getting ready to take hold, But how many of you really know how it started? It started at the beginning. And who was the original group? It was about five people on a Saturday morning much like any Saturday we would have in the summer: myself, Hank Worthington, Joan Daniels, Amy and Lars Liljeberg brother and sister. 

Old Oasis, Elk

We were all waiting for Evelyn to open up the Oasis so we could have our lunch time alcohol break. The events for our particular day consisted of banana slug races from the front porch of the old post office, and finding some earwigs and letting them race across the hot pavement on Highway 1, finding a few sow bugs under some loose lumber and trying to get them to run together, and betting on the outcome of the various races. Originally this day was on a Sunday when traffic was slow on the highway and most if not all of us were a bit hung over from the night before, explaining further that, yes, there was another bar up on the hill called Beacon Light by the Sea. But they had no pool table or video games, and it was a morbid dinner house on a solo, whereas the Oasis downtown had all that and more. As lunchtime arrived and the banana slugs got run over by traffic, it was warming up so the books all went away, and Lars said we needed a parade down to the Oasis. 

I told the group to get a horse — no parade is any good without horses. I came home, loaded the horse in the trailer, got all the silver out and got dressed up for the event, unloaded the animal, and we proceeded to go up by the school, to the north end of Elk.

My beautiful picture

We all walked back towards the Oasis holding up traffic naturally. When we got to the Oasis Lars Liljeberg says very loudly It's A Great Day In Elk! Thus the name was born. It has stuck ever since. Even though Lars is gone to the great cavern in the sky, his words will live in this little town forever. The only unfortunate part is that all of the people that were involved, nowhere are the photos hanging in the community center building for they were the creators of the great Danelle, and should be remembered throughout history for their event and what they contributed to the community, even though now there are only three original members of five still around, but the descendents of Lars are still part of what's going on. Even today Amy Liljeberg and her children are still involved with community events. Joan Daniels moved to Willits, Hank Worthington passed away a number of years ago, and I'm still here to write about the good old days and the events in our community. Yes the parade was much bigger over the years. There was the time Mr. and Mrs. Rafferty got the Cal Aggie band to come over one year, and there used to be more courses, more people. But as time moved on the population of the coast changed, and with so many events happening in the summertime, we fall a little bit short here in Elk. But we move forward hoping that we will get music or some a big event to come and help the community. This all arises out of its thirst for that next great day in the local bar, but I've always thought at least Lars Liljeberg should've had a plaque or some shorter recognition for his great words: it's A Great Day in Elk.

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To the Editor:

I thought it would take twenty years to unstuff my ears from all of the Trump trial talk, but the (Redwood Empire) Fair did it in a day, in under an hour.

I got there early — well, early in the day is still late at the fair, late anywhere when you’re talking the care and feeding of living creatures, some weighing a thousand pounds.

Kids in uniforms were greeters stationed from the parking lot gate all the way back to the pens. The kids said good morning, smiled, looked every passer-by in the eye. Even if they were forcing the smiles and repeating the same thing, the same greeting to every visitor, they were communicating. FFA, Future Farmers of America, and the 4-H, have that as part of their programs, communicating. Giving talks. Answering questions. Looking people and life in the eye.

I have a friend who likes goats so I was semi-wandering toward the goats. The goats were over there toward the steers, past the swine, past the chickens, past the ducks, past the 28-pound turkeys.

I saw a young woman named Stephanie with her father washing her steer in a car wash, cinder-block enclosure. The animal’s brown hide was like a big-screen TV between the girl and her father.

I got talking to Amanda from Covelo whose son had a winning steer. While we talked, Amanda put up with my emotional outbursts, my choking up at this and that good thing going on around me. I couldn’t set my eyes down anywhere without seeing something simple and good. Hard work and honest effort do that to me. They are like things on stage and screen, moments of highlights when you are supposed to cry and I do.

I felt simple and stupid. But what are you going to do? This world of 4-H and FFA and animals and daily chores and kids knowing they have a place and they need to be in it, and maybe everybody else will get on over into theirs. For me, moments of observed and unquestioned good in this world are hard to take.

Because… whatever you see at the fair, is only the wording on the marquee: what you don’t see is what you know took place, as secretly as what went on in those caves where they find the cave-dwellers’ bones: that an 18-year-old or a 14-year-old or a 8-year-old or a 5-year-old was up at 6 a.m. and fed their steer or goat or chicken or rabbit.

Amanda’s son came over then, with a boy Amanda said was her “other boy.” Both boys were taller than Amanda. They both needed their ties tied. Three-quarters through each tying Amanda said to each boy, “you’re going to have to learn how to do this yourself some day.” Each boy looked to be thinking, “yeah, well, that’s not going to happen.”

In the auction, the community gave back and signaled with raised green cards that yes, indeed, they were buyers. Businesses in town got involved, and a 1,340 pound steer sold for $28,000. The auctioneer called it out. “How do you like that, young man? I just sold your steer for $22 a pound.”

A lamb went for $60 a pound. The 28-pound turkey, and a chicken, and three pen rabbits each pecked and scratched and nibbled at prices of $1,000.

I left about then, and thought about Maci, a young girl from Potter Valley who had run into some trouble with her animal. It had come to her with a skin condition, “water rot,” and the 10 days of pills hadn’t worked and after the last pill it died. The whole thing had Maci out about $5,000. Maci switched as soon as she could to raising a pig, and had still done well at the fair. But there is that 5K bill.

Life and death and early mornings in the stalls and pens of Mendocino County. On the farms and ranches as in the secret caves; as in all that good.

William Walls


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GUALALA ARTS: Art-in-the-Redwoods 2023. Open today, Saturday and tomorrow Sunday from 10 to 4 pm! A spectacular exhibit again this year! Food and drink. Music. Vendors. Beautiful setting, nice people, good food, lots to see and a great place to start your Christmas shopping early.

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

The news we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: The causes and cures of homelessness are no longer a mystery, and in fact are simple.

Those in charge need more money to fund innovative program slogans to replace old, deficient program slogans.

A local expert on homelessness, Sage Wolf of the Building Bridges facility on Ukiah’s south side, explained the ineffectiveness of previous approaches. Among past failures noted by Ms. Wolf were “a lack of collaboration services” and insufficient “simulation stabilization services.” Also, she noted, that in moving forward we must “work together in a positive way.”

She said brand new UCSF research “confirms that many of the ‘tried and true’ efforts to eliminate homelessness were based on limited perceptions and misunderstandings.” But those misguided programs have given way to newer, smarter, more knowledgeable research.

This was all made plain in a recent Ukiah Daily Journal front pager by reporter Carole Brodsky. Using the UCSF report as a launching pad, Ms. Wolf says the new plan is “More resources and better approaches to multitudinous, interconnected problems being implemented locally.”

Multitudinous. I am cheered to learn UCSF researchers have both a thesaurus and a sense of humor.

More importantly, we now understand the root causes of homelessness. Answers are both obvious and an embarrassment to those of us who didn’t realize the simple truth: We need to spend more money. We need more government programs. More caring people like Sage Wolf.

Especially because we’re so very close to vanquishing a social plague that has bedeviled society lo these many decades.

The UCSF report by the Benioff Homeless and Housing Institute generated a lot of pages including interviews with 3200 homeless individuals in California. Their responses were taken at face value with no corroboration, and established as fact that the vast majority of homeless were Californians, and a substantial percentage were native to their own county. We applaud their efforts.

Questions are good. Answers are helpful. Allow me to suggest a few questions directed at a different audience, but one also intimately involved in the Homeless Crisis. Let’s ask the Benioff researchers at UCSF these questions:

1) If those old homeless program slogans with gaudy titles like “Constellation of Services” are now seen as failures, how will you reassure the public that there is magic in the “Continuum of Care Program” or the “better approach to multitudinous, interconnected problems”?

Also: Do you people actually believe this stuff?

2) Given the fact government agencies have spent billions and billions of dollars through the years, yet the homeless problem is bigger than ever, why should people assume the next few rounds of multi-billion dollar handouts to programs and advocates will accomplish what the previous money couldn’t?

Also: Would you contribute $1000 out of your own pocket?

3) Has anyone probed the astonishing growth of programs (federal, state, local) to help homeless people but in reality function as jobs programs in government offices and nonprofit agencies? Have researchers considered a potential conflict among advocates assigned to “solve” the very problems that would end their well-compensated employment?

There are enormous numbers of people feeding endlessly on public money ostensibly dedicated to curbing homeless problems. They have access to grants and/or connections with “public servants” burrowed deep within various government agencies.

But are they actually hoping to keep poor homeless people living on sidewalks, their possessions piled high in shopping carts as they head to yet another appointment with yet another well-meaning advocate who offers just enough assistance to guarantee they stay homeless?

Dear Reader: Suppose you were employed in a position that involved nothing more than going to occasional meetings to provide input, analyze options, review progress updates and rubber-stamp budget scenarios, then further suppose the job paid $100,000 a year. How eager would you be to work really hard, do your job really well, knowing that fixing the problem(s) you were hired to fix would terminate your job?

We thought so, and we thank you for your honesty.

(NOTE: At last count there were 31 agencies in Mendocino County working on our homeless situation. Can you think of another problem on which the county has spent so much money hiring so many people resulting in so colossal a failure?)

As you are about to learn, once again, California politicians know of no solution to any problem other than throw more money at it.

You might consider getting a second job working nights at a Kwikee Mart to afford your extra taxes.

(Tom Hine lives in Ukiah with his unhelpful writing partner Tommy Wayne Kramer, who lives in North Carolina with his assistant, Tom Hine.)

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Years ago my grandmother gave me this calendar picture of Noyo Harbor. 

It depicts the wooden bridge that spanned Noyo River before the large Noyo Bridge was constructed. The photo is dated 1890. 

She grew up in Fort Bragg and spent many hours around the harbor and could vividly recall this bridge. She said at that time the road into Fort Bragg came down the hill from the south, across the bridge, a sharp right, then left and up the hill. If you look closely at the picture, on the far right you can see a portion of the road as it climbs the hill. 

Today, the road up the hill on the north side still remains relatively the same. The road from the south to the river has been widened but you can see it too follows the original path to the bridge location. This wooden bridge was replaced by the new Highway 1 bridge span. Prior to the wooden bridge, a gentlemen operated a ferry across Noyo river (in the same location) moving wagons and people for a fee.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, August 20, 2023

Beltran, Gonzalez, Hanover

ASORIEL BELTRAN-RUELAS, Ukiah. DUI, minor with alcohol.

ADOLFO GONZALEZ, Willits. Hit&run with property damage.


Maciel, Miskelly, Perez

RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

KEVIN MISKELLY, Fort Bragg. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property.


Sanchez, Saucedo, Thomson

FLORES SANCHEZ, Sebastopol/Ukiah. DUI, no license.

SHERRY SAUCEDO, Willits. Domestic battery.

MATTHEW THOMSON, Fort Bragg. Vandalism.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger was correct when he said “water is our future.” Yes, protect and conserve water resources and the forests that are the source. Also in our future is disaster. Get used to it. Climate change assures disaster.

What you can do: Use fewer resources, drive slower, protect natural environments, and get rid of politicians who do not act to address issues surrounding climate and resource protection. This includes Gov. Gavin Newsom, who seeks free reign over the environment for his special projects. If big money runs everything, we are done.

Alan Levine

Santa Rosa

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One of the things that bugs me about cars shown in period movies, like Oppenheimer, which I just saw, is that the cars depicted are almost always leased by the Studios from car collectors. Well, collector cars are in perfect shape, and that is not how cars looked in say 1940 or so. Like in this photo of Marin, they are not spotless or even clean. 

I remember seeing a Woody Allen movie with period 1930 cars somewhere in Italy. All the roads were dirt, yet the classic period cars were without even a spot of dust. 

The cars are not all new in any given movie year, there are still a lot of older cars still on the streets, as we see here.

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Dear Editor,

What the media and Mr. D.J.Trump have done during the past ten years is truly incredible. Together they have apparently destroyed the Grand Old Party, a great American political party, a party born out of the decades-long, nineteenth century national struggle over the extension of slavery and the "peculiar institution." It was a party that started with the Pathfinder, John C. Fremont and then, perhaps our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.

While many have criticized some Republican standard bearers, the GOP also brought us very good ones, the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Then we come to the not-so-greats like Richard M. Nixon, who had to resign due to the Watergate Scandal.

What has happened recently is amazing, terrible and something that must never happen again: a malevolent psychologically disturbed exiting chief executive, who has broken the law by attempting to abrogate the Constitution, D.J. Trump, or Chump attempted a coup.

Have Republican Party leaders so lost their nerve they will allow the Chump to forever destroy this great party? Is there no longer any hope for it?

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa

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NOTHING excites the derision of progressives more than hunters, particularly those with guns. I must say I’ve become more benign toward the gun-toters down the years. Aside from the matter of the Second Amendment — I’ll give them that, if they give us the other ones — I find the hunters more appealing and often more skeptical of established order than the hikers bounding along the path munching their power bars.

— Alexander Cockburn

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Another summer. Shadows on the sundial move through another day. We say goodbye to summer. 

Another high point in late-August. The sky, like blue tin behind the twisted dark of valley oaks, shimmers in the sunlight. We say goodbye to August noon. 

Another cloudbank diffused and unmade. One always remembers the dead. They pass into formlessness. We say goodbye. We say goodbye. 

— John Sakowicz

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Little River Cemetery (Jeff Goll)

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“The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved.” Thus spake the prophet Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible, who was not having a good day. I may go into Mad Bummer Lady mode and use this as the scripture for Sunday school this morning.

The harvest is definitely past, or just about to be. We’ve got maybe two weeks left of great peaches and then Fuhgeddaboudit. Don’t waste your money. From here on in, it’s apples apples apples; step right up. 

Plus, and it hurts my heart to say these words, the specter of pumpkin spice. It’s like a demonic possession, pumpkin spice everything; pumpkin spice flavored shoes, pumpkin spice BLT’s.

The kids are all going back to their pumpkin spiced schools and it’s two and a half weeks until Labor Day. This is just so wrong. All children, throughout time, and certainly in Jeremiah’s day, returned to school after Labor Day. Nothing familiar is in place—there’s a hurricane hurtling towards Southern California. Lahaina is gone. British Columbia is on fire. British Columbia, the sweetest most innocent place. It’s like hearing that Mr. Rogers was one of the unindicted co-conspirators.

Let’s move on: “The summer is past.” Now, to me, this is the good news. Summer is about melanoma. I know that sounds a little negative, but it’s true. Summer is about teenagers and returning college kids with their loud music and litter, and their crop tops. 

Crop tops. I as you. Did Jeremiah have to deal with an endless parade of crop tops and tank tops, and shorts that my cat could borrow? 

He did not.

Summer is not for people like me, ie, oldish. Autumn works—cute sweaters, fires in the fireplace where they belong, not burning down gentle countries. (British Columbia has an estimated 300,000 guns in a population of 5 million. America has 400 million in a population of 320 million. 400 million guns. I’m just saying. 

“And we are not saved.” 

Wow, what a buzzkill. God has picked poor old depressed Jeremiah to tell the people of Israel that unless they change ways, towards goodness and generosity, He or She is going to release the kraken. And you just know that 600 BC kraken makes ours look like—well, never mind. Apples and oranges. We don’t have the leprosy or the Girgashites, he didn’t have Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Jewish space lasers; or the crop tops. Or the pumpkin spice.

But the point is, it is very hard here on earth, all of the time for some people, some of the time for the rest of us. The people we love get cancer, the kids and the grown kids we love scare us half to death or break our hearts, the world is on fire. So what do we do? I guess we do the same things as Jeremiah suggests: take care of the poor, laugh, and celebrate what is still so sweet and beautiful about life no matter what the locusts have stolen. We behave gently towards people no matter how annoying they are—my friend Janine heard someone say that they no longer bring a bat to resolve problems; now they just try and remember to clean the lens of their glasses. Turn toward goodness: goodness causes hope. And hope helps us get our ‘joice back—rejoice a little today no matter what. Keep it really simple. Friendly and radical self care. Maybe take a bag of food to a local food pantry. Or donate to the relief efforts in Hawaii— 

I think doing those sorts of things would mean we *are* saved for now, which is all we ever have anyway. And for God’s sake, as the musical prophet Duane Allman proclaimed, eat a peach. Okay? Deal?

* * *


My Father at Ninety, 1936

“Well, his influence on me was contrary to my interest, but he never opposed me. That is, he always said, “Why do you go to school so long and just turn out to be a dirty photographer?” But at the same time, he made a very good darkroom for me in the woodshed. But this was done in 1936, the one of father and the woodpile, when he was ninety. I think it’s no use showing up the bad things of old age, if they’re bad. But my father’s photograph at ninety, he was as good looking as he’d ever been. And I think that’s the way to quit”

* * *

THUS, during my stay in Paris, the sight of a public execution revealed to me the weakness of my superstitious belief in progress. When I saw the head divided from the body, and heard the sound with which they fell separately into the box, I understood, not with my reason, but with my whole being, that no theory of the wisdom of all established things, nor of progress, could justify such an act; and that if all the men in the world from the day of creation, by whatever theory, had found this thing necessary, it was not so; it was a bad thing, and that therefore I must judge of what was right and necessary, not by what men said and did, not by progress, but what I felt to be true in my heart.

— Tolstoy, ‘My Confession’

* * *

* * *


Those who love to bash women in general and particularly women with cats will find a lot to like in this as well. This is the line that made me think of posting it here: “Spend enough time by yourself and you will realize how little anyone’s opinions of your choices actually mean.”

* * *


The Dutch and Danish governments have confirmed that they will transfer an unspecified number of F-16s to Ukraine once Kyiv has met certain conditions.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Eindhoven as he looks to secure F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands.

Russia says it thwarted Ukrainian drone attacks on the Moscow region on Sunday, the second such incident in two days, as Kyiv presses ahead with a counteroffensive.

The United Nations has condemned a Russian missile strike on Ukraine’s northern city of Chernihiv on Saturday that killed seven people.

—Al Jazeera

* * *

* * *


by Paul Collins

I have never noticed the view from the Flatiron Building before. Manhattan, if you tilt your head just right, is a strangely compelling piece of sculpture.

“It’s a good thing,” my editor says, “that your book isn’t being published just now.”


“Because” — he leans forward — “Harry Potter used up all our paper.”

“You're joking.”



He looks at me, a little crestfallen. “I’m telling you the truth. There’s two major paper producers for New York publishers, and with a five-million print run of an eight-hundred-page book, well ... everybody else has to wait in line.”

I leaf through the glossies for the photo insert to my book. It has been less than 36 hours since I finished writing it on the other side of the continent, in a home that I now no longer own. I was still writing as the movers cleared the furniture out of the apartment, still writing as Jennifer packed the luggage and nursed Morgan to sleep, and as she double-checked that we had my British passport and her and Morgan’s visas. I was writing at midnight, at one o'clock, at two o’clock. The computer was the last thing to go into a box, its plastic housing still hot, just five minutes after I had e-mailed the manuscript to my agent.

“So,” — I set down the glossies — “publishers are fighting for scraps of paper?”

“So to speak.”

Like any editor, he has at least two office walls covered with books; slick stacks of summer catalogs are slipping off his desk; and outside in the editorial department are boxes of books and bound proofs, and yet more walls covered with more books, right down to an incongruous set of old encyclopedias.

A paper shortage? You’d think he’d welcome it.

But one gets the wrong view from the Flatiron Building. For I live in a very small world. So, reader, do you. At this moment, it is just you and I, and it does not matter if you are reading this 200 years after I have died, or translated into languages unknown to me. We have an understanding. But there are not many of us, and there never have been.

If you grew up in a rural area, you have seen how farmhouses come and go, but the dent left by cellars is permanent. There is something unbreakable in that hand-dug foundational gouge into the earth. Books are the cellars of civilization: when cultures crumble away, their books remain out of sheer stupid solidity. We see their accumulated pages, and marvel — what readers they were!

But were they?

Back in the 1920s, booksellers assessed the core literary population of the United States, the people who could be relied on to buy books with a serious content, at about 200,000 people. This, in a country of 100 million: a ratio of about 500 to 1. It was this minuscule subset spread out over a three-thousand-mile swath, this group of people who could fit into a few football stadiums, that thousands of books released each year had to compete for. Perhaps the ratio has gone higher since then. You see, literary culture is perpetually dead and dying; and when some respected writer discovers and loudly proclaims the finality of this fact, it is a forensic marker of their own decomposition. It means that they have artistically expired within the last ten years, and that they will corporeally expire within the next twenty.

Readers always seem scarce. Before we left San Francisco, my wife and I went on a neighborhood house tour organized by our block association. Our stretch of Waller Street was crammed with Victorian flats, and we all oohed and aahed over each other’s wainscoting, box ceilings, and carved mantels. Yet, walking away from the whole thing, stuffed with architecture and potato salad, I felt a nagging doubt.

“Did you notice,” I asked my wife, “ours was the only house with books?”

We rounded the corner of Cole, where a broken TV lay in the sidewalk.

“I noticed you made a beeline for their bookcases.”

It is the oldest and most incorrigible trait of the booklover.

“Yeah, I know. Here’s the thing: all those beautiful built-in bookshelves? They don’t hold any books.”

And maybe they never did. If you turn the yellowed pages of a volume of Temple Bar magazine back to 1881, when these homes were built, you find this:

“It really is an APPALLING thing to think of the people who have no books… It is only by books that most men and women can lift themselves above the sordidness of life. No books! Yet for the greater part of humanity that is the common lot. We may, in fact, divide our fellow-creatures into two branches — those who read books and those who do not.”

Times have not changed much. A recent survey found that half of American households did not buy a single book in the previous year. I knew this statistically, even as I toured my neighbors’ houses. And I knew it viscerally when our real estate agent looked around our own flat a few months later.

“You have too many books in here. Home buyers don’t like books.”

He saw my expression, and shrugged helplessly. “Really. You should hide them.”

We did hide them, in the end; we were desperate to leave, because we couldn’t afford to live in San Francisco anymore. I tried to imagine a life in the British countryside instead.

“It'll be great” was what I told Jennifer as the Muni bus roared by outside the nursery of our flat. “We'll sell this place, go abroad, and live in an old, old house with old, old books. I'll write books and play piano in the parlor, you'll write books and paint in the garret, and at night… we'll drink Horlicks and listen to the BBC.”

And then I spread my hands out to indicate what a grand idea it was.

Jennifer pondered this, tapping a pen on a dire bank statement while our son, Morgan, struggled manfully to free himself from his diaper.

“Hay-on-Wye?” she said.


“Hay is a small town.”


“Very small.”


“You won't miss the U.S.?”

“I won't miss guns.”

“That’s true.”

“Or SUVs.”


“And Britain has national health.”


“And the countryside’s a good place to be a kid.”

“That’s true,” she said.

“And Hay has a castle right in the middle of town.”


A skateboard rumbles down the pavement outside.

“But,” she adds, “if we sell our place here, we can never afford to live in San Francisco again. We can’t come back.”


“And we'll have to move all our books.”

“Ye — oh, god.”

So I went to Haight Mail. Haight Mail is a little shop crammed with PO boxes and copiers off the corner of Masonic, and I had to fax some stuff to my magazine editor anyway. As their fax machine dialed, I tapped my foot and stared at the wall, and then at the store’s proprietor.

“You sell shipping boxes, right?”

“Yeah. What are you sending?”


“How many?”

I paused to make the calculations. “About ... two thousand. Maybe three.”

His eyebrows rise. “Sent individually?”

“No, no. I’m moving.”

“To where?”


He is silent for a long moment. “How,” he finally asks, “did you get so many books?”

* * *

* * *


(Apologies to Dr. Suess)

by John Pavlovitz

In a land where the states are united, they claim,

in a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,

lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,

the bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.

This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,

with the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,

and a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,

and a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.

He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear,

and he thought, “I could steal the election this year!

It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,

I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!

Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,

and I’ll be Jerk Messiah and their souls they will sell.

And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,

but I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof.

I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such,

They’re so raised on fake news that it won’t matter much!

They won’t question the how to, the what, why, or when,

I will make their America great once again!”

The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,

“They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.

You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,

every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.”

And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,

He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folk need.

And celebrity preachers they all crowned him as king,

Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.

And he spoke only lies just as if they were true,

Until they believed all of those lies were true too.

He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,

And he mislead and fibbed — and he just made up sh*t.

And the media laughed but they printed each line,

thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”

So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,

’Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.

And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,

Yes, they ate it all up every word that they heard,

petrified that their freedom was under attack,

trusting Trump he would take their America back.

From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,

Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.

And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,

all his lies about making America great.

Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,

she was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,

no they cared not to see all the work that she’d done,

or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.

They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,

because Fox News had told them — and Fox News had clout.

And the Pant-suited One she was slandered no end,

and a lie became truth she could never defend.

And the Trump watched it all go according to plan — 

a strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.

And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,

like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.

And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,

And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true,

With millions of non-voters still in their beds,

Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.

And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,

All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones,

they crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,

they came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.

With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,

with death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street.

And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,

while the Trump he said zilch — for the first time in years.

But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,

And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,

and he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,

thinking this is what Presidents actually did,

thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,

terrified to learn he had to actually work,

work for every American, not just for a few,

not just for the white ones — there was much more to do.

He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,

for the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.

They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,

and those nasty pant-suited ones were here to stay.

And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win,

He had gotten the thing — and the thing now had him.

And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,

for America was already more than quite great,

not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,

It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,

It’s straight, gay, and female — it’s Gentile and Jew,

It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.

It’s Asians, Caucasians of every kind,

The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind,

It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees,

It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.

And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,

and we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.

And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,

be the greatness that makes our America great.

And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure,

over two million more of us — voted for her.

* * *



  1. Chuck Dunbar August 21, 2023

    A Blockbuster ending for today’s AVA–first the epic poem, “HOW THE TRUMP STOLE AMERICA,” and then for dessert, “MARMONELLA, CLEARLAKE,” gorgeous biker, gorgeous bike!

    Thanks, AVA, made my day.

    • George Hollister August 21, 2023

      Trump didn’t steal America, the American establishment gave America to him.

      • Harvey Reading August 21, 2023

        Have you started taking intelligence-improving medication?

  2. Eric Sunswheat August 21, 2023

    Has anyone noticed the a lack of honeybees? Lots of bumblebees, and the new hummingbird moths (lots of them). But where are the bees? Is something changing?
    —>. August 19, 2023
    Honey bees, it turns out, are a commercially managed animal — essentially livestock, like cows — and large beekeeping operations are remarkably adept at replacing colonies that die.
    In the United States, about one million hives are trucked each year to places like California, where honey bees pollinate almonds and other crops, Mr. Black said. It’s a major industry…
    Still, the save-the-bees narrative persists. Its longevity stems from confusion about what kind of bees actually need to be rescued. There are more than 20,000 species of wild bees in the world, and many people don’t realize they exist.
    That’s because they don’t produce honey and live all but invisibly, in ground nests and cavities like hollow tree trunks. But they are indispensable pollinators of plants, flowers and crops. Researchers have found that many species of wild bees are, in fact, declining. So trying to save them makes eminent sense…
    That it’s time to assist thousands of bee species that actually need help and end the love affair with honey bees, which don’t. “It’s difficult,” he said. “If someone were to call me today, I would advise them to put up a hotel for solitary bees or boxes for bumblebees. Or plant some trees instead.”

  3. peter boudoures August 21, 2023

    “Ukraine has uh uh biological research facilities which in fact we are concerned Russian forces may gain control of”
    -Victoria Nuland

  4. Mazie Malone August 21, 2023

    So much to say.. so little time to say it….
    Re: Raymond Tyler……. Everything that led up to his death is unacceptable treatment of people with Serious Mental Illness and their families. Despicable! 💕

    • Chuck Dunbar August 21, 2023

      Mazie, appreciate your fairly new voice here.

      Raymond Tyler– This from his sister is a fine honor for him:

      He “was kind to everyone he met, strangers and friends alike. He went out of his way, even in the depths of addiction and depression, to help anyone that needed it.” She went on to say, “He was abused and neglected from the day he was born and never failed to be a good person. Even at rock bottom he helped other people and smiled while he did it.”

      • Mazie Malone August 21, 2023

        Thanks Chuck yes I have spoke with his sister at length. So sad..😢🙏

  5. Craig Stehr August 21, 2023

    Awoke this morning fully rested at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in cloudy Ukiah, California. Morning ablutions done, will soon pick up litter around the neighborhood and then walk south to Plowshares Peace & Justice Center for a free lunch. Then it’s off to Raley’s via the MTA bus for a Peet’s coffee. The remainder of the day is unscheduled. Awaiting housing interviews, which may never amount to anything in inflated, bankrupt Mendocino County. The government voucher runs out in October if nothing develops insofar as actually moving into a place. I never really expected anything more from the confused postmodern United States of America, particularly for senior citizens who the stupidity of consumerism does not value, and sure enough, I am not getting anything. Craig Louis Stehr ( August 21 @ 9:50 AM

    • Mazie Malone August 21, 2023

      Craig, this has the tone of defeat, and not your usual
      Upbeat defiance of identifying with the physical aspects of reality. Maybe the weather? Regardless, I know a guy who was housed, took a year, the dude had no chance of shelter, none! Prison and arson on his record, no one would rent to him. Moral of story, don’t give up, it can happen. Identify yourself as being housed, it will happen!

    • Chris LaCasse August 21, 2023

      Respectfully, Craig, it’s time to be a man and cut the shit. Several weeks ago you were offered a free apartment in south Ukiah, but it failed to meet your exacting standards, as it was too far for you to wander to Applebee’s or the Forest Club and get loaded and eat unhealthy food. It had a backyard you noted, but it didn’t suit your laundry needs apparently. Well, man up, wash your clothes in the sink, and use a clothesline. No one but the truly wealthy gets to pick where they live, that’s how this country works. When I was first introduced to your entitled ramblings, you were dining in the Cheesecake Factory on Maui (average entree $20), while actually having the gall to ask for donations. You’re not the first nor the last casualty of the dope game, but definitely the most vocal and self-pitying. While cognizant it was on the taxpayer’s dime, I’m glad your heart surgery was a success. Housing is a necessity, just like a healthy heart, so maybe it’s time to drop the faux-Hindu bullshit and accept whatever roof over your head is offered to you, as you’re clearly one of the lucky ones with a chance to be fully subsidized by CA taxpayers, however much you might want to reject that notion.

      • Craig Stehr August 21, 2023

        Thanks to all for the well intentioned criticism. It is your view alone, and is far from the reality which I identify with. The psychoanalysis from Mazie is not needed; my mental attitude is appropriate insofar as the situation is concerned. The glomming together of many not connected situations, and then the criticism for my not doing what Senor La Casse would do doesn’t actually make any sense. I’m comfortable in my own skin. Regardless, I offer thanks for your taking the time to comment. P.S. I was NOT offered a free apartment in south Ukiah. I asked that my name be taken off the list of those being considered. Again, it would be a good place for a student with wheels. ~The End~

  6. Stephen Rosenthal August 21, 2023

    Another uplifting report from Nikki and Steve on all the doings at Petit Teton Farm. Thanks for publishing.

    Juxtaposing that with TWK’s spot-on screed on the bottomless crater of money for the “helping professionals” of homelessness and you have the perfect yin and yang of what our society has become.

  7. Lazarus August 21, 2023

    I can receive e-mail through my mail app. But I can’t log in to my Pacific webmail account at their site.
    Be well,

    • Bob A. August 21, 2023

      The sole reason that continues to exist is the non-portability of email addresses. They own the domain name, and therefore they control the DNS MX records that route all email addressed to the domain. If you want to keep your email address, you need to stay with

      Once upon a time this made sense, but the internet is long past due for a DNS RFC that makes portable email addresses a reality. Heck, these days even phone numbers are portable.

      • Lazarus August 21, 2023

        I get it… Pac.Net says you can leave with your email address. But if you do, you get to pay them a fee every month.
        Be well,

        • Bob A. August 21, 2023

          Last thing I remember
          I was running for the door
          I had to find the passage back
          To the place I was before
          “Relax,” said the night man
          “We are programmed to receive
          You can check out any time you like
          But you can never leave”

          — Frey, Felder, and Henley

          • Lazarus August 21, 2023

            Yeah, it is kind of like THC, such a lovely place…yeah, sure.
            Be Well,

  8. Marco McClean August 21, 2023

    Re: Marmonella. She’s pretty. She looks like Ellen Barkin at the age she was in /Buckaroo Banzai/ or /The Big Easy/. But what’s the matter with her arm? Science-fiction alien-poison veins and raw scar blotches. If she got that from falling off a motorcycle dressed like that, it could have been much worse, I guess. I hope it doesn’t still hurt.

    Speaking of which, Sunday I noticed my right J-key finger’s big knuckle ached sharply every time I used that finger for anything harder than typing, and later, when I checked the weather, because a woman in the store told me Death Valley was flooded and it was going to rain up here Monday, it turns out that AccuWeather has a new feature: Arthritis Index. It was very high for Sunday, not so high for Monday. And my finger is better today, also my left thumb. But I broke my rule and had a big Italian salad just before I went to bed and so didn’t sleep right. Neat dreams, though.

    • Eric Sunswheat August 21, 2023

      RE: But what’s the matter with her arm? Science-fiction alien-poison veins and raw scar blotches.

      —> Tatoo art. Look closer; human stick figures.

      • Chuck Dunbar August 21, 2023

        I’m not positive, but my take on the shoulder-arm “decoration” was that they were tatoo art of an Asian nature, hanging branches with flowers on them…Anyone else have an idea?

        • Chuck Dunbar August 21, 2023

          I have tried to get a better sense by zooming in as much as possible– still think it may be branches and flowers, while other features get enlarged and are distracting…

      • Marco McClean August 22, 2023

        Good point. There are two distinct humanlike stick figures in the veins of just the right side of my left-hand 64-year-old otherwise-milk-white foot. The more complete of the two figures, Kokopelli with flute, is curled around the knob of the side-bone and facing in the direction I step. When I raise my foot higher than my heart, like so, Kokopelli washes out and is replaced by a vague character with rather a balloon for a head, and with either ghostly Eddie Cantor jazz-hands or an exaggerated bow tie.

        Speaking of feet, Marmonrella’s riding shoes, like the rest of her attire, leave something to be desired in the motorcycle-safety department.

        • Bruce McEwen August 22, 2023

          You boys sound silly, carping over minuscule cavils. I knew a Sportster-riding gal in Wyoming who wore fringed leather chaps and moccasins when she came to the Eagles Nest in Cheyenne or the Buckskin Bar in Laramie — not to mention the Rustic Bar (my watering hole) in Saratoga.
          She was there in Rawlins, gunning her big Harley to throaty growls when old Capt. Ainsley and me were in the American Leigon firing squad for the twenty- one gun salute when an old Vietnam vet kicked his bucket list… it was so cold that day that our brave high school student who played taps— well, her trumpet was so cold it went out of tune and the first note was like nails on a chalkboard — and then all the bikers kickstarted their bikes and revved ‘em up creating a din that saved our bugler any more embarrassment….
          Later when old Ainsley and me went to the Rifleman bar in Rawlins, we leaned our rifles in a corner and ordered a round for the house: there was only one other person there, a Vietnam veteran missing all but his forefinger on his right hand.
          He said he’d been a corpsman in the Navy and assigns to one of the first marines to land at Da Nang.
          He asked me, “what does USMC stand for. A rhetorical bait I answered out of respect for such man old salt. He chuckled dismissively and said. “Unorganized Shit Mass Confusion…. He didn’t find it funny, though I took it as a joke.
          He said. “When the marines landed, there was sporadic resistance and the marines were suppressing it until the ran out of ammo and were told the resupply had been put ashore ten miles south.
          My old pal Nke Cousins was in that landing party, a buck sergeant with a PRC-25 radio strapped to his back. He remembered the South China Sea being “kinda purple”” as the swell came in at steady intervals and he walked among his platoon. With their full battle rattle laid out for inspection… he was shot in the head almost immediately— the fellow with the radio being the number one target (so he can’t call in artillery or a bombing run—and then he was blown 20-odd feet across the battlefield by a rocket propelled grenade, poor devil. He was inordinately proud of his old helmet with the unmistakable bullet hole.
          So when the corpsman told about the platoon sergeant told the corpsman ( who was an E-5) to go stand in the endless line where the peons, the grunts waited their pay he tried to protest but was shut dow with s direct order from a petty tyrant ( which the military is foul of ‘em).
          Anyhow, next day on patrol the sergeant takes a round from a sniper. Our corpsman grabs two lance corporals by the back of their collars and hauls ‘em up out of the drinking slurry of manure and water that nurtured a rice paddy and says, “C’mon, Lego get the sarge!”
          “Did you get him out?”
          “Oh, sure, I’ve never left a wounded marine in the battlefield.z He picked up his beer with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand and took the head off the fresh beer our bartender was passing out to vets…. But usually moving a wounded marine was so violent and the screams so awful that it bothered me, bad dreams and all, you know… But in this case I didn’t mind it all that much.

          • Bruce McEwen August 22, 2023

            He lost the three digits on his hand when the sniper put another round into Sgt Gungho’s chest cavity as the corpsman had his arm around the wounded marine, but also using the casualty as a human shield, as per training manual regs, and his fingers were shot away, an inconvenience, no doubt but that man was a hero and I had the brief honor of hearing him tell his greatest exploits while his own family would remain ignorant because well, telling someone who hasn’t served is telling someone who could never understand; sorry sea stories notwithstanding….

  9. Marmon August 21, 2023


    “He’s too late.”

    Maui residents are lined up on the road outside the airport with signs showing their disapproval of Joe Biden.


  10. Mazie Malone August 21, 2023

    Re: Assignment Ukiah TWK

    First off word fluff to disguise truth and thwart any sort of responsibility
    Since it is not likely UCSF Benioff researchers will respond to your questions, I will!

    I am no researcher, well maybe I am in a sense, but beyond that I actually care!

    Also: Obviously I don’t buy the BS!!😂

    The slogans …. I can assure you they are not as good as they pretend they sound😂! Especially that one our county so lovingly adopted “A Hand Up Not A Hand Out” !! So pretentious! 💕
    Anybody that assumes more money delegated to these issues without creating a Safety Net or Infrastructure is blind, and probably to their benefit! Because I would give my left arm and right eye to not be privy to the truth of our Mental Health System!

    I would totally contribute my own money, I just don’t have the amount it would take. However would not give it to the system that thrives off suffering!

    Ahh the good ol supportive non profit, providing services, without really providing them, 🤮! Conflict..😂😂

    I will fix it for a hundred grand, heck I would fix it for free!

    But lets not do that and continue our community and family destruction!

    ✌️mm 💕

    • Sarah Kennedy Owen August 21, 2023

      You have said it all, but I will add my two cents anyway. Reportage on this incident is scanty. My question would be how does mental health get away with just dropping off a man who has just been held on a 5150, not taking him home but leaving him out in the boondocks north of Willits and never checking on him again? As usual, all is silence, “no comment” from the recipients of millions of dollars, for what? A job NOT well done, leaving lives in danger. As Dylan said “Somebody better investigate soon”.

      • Mazie Malone August 22, 2023

        We are not sure where Mr. Tyler was dropped off by RCS , there was no indication he went inti his house, the family checked. There was no information given by RCS about what time or where they left Raymond. He was dropped off at South end of Willits on Aug 5 by a friend who gave him a ride, not RCS.

  11. Matt Kendall August 21, 2023

    “Has anyone noticed the lack of honeybees? Lots of bumblebees, and the new hummingbird moths (lots of them). But where are the bees? Is something changing?”
    I live between Boonville and Ukiah. I have some beehives that are BOOMING. However I seem to be the worlds greatest star thistle farmer. A distinction my father would have looked directly down his nose at. That being said they make good honey and I seem to catch swarms somewhat frequently. Which indicates wild hives are flourishing somewhere near me. I do have to treat for mites in the spring and fall however so far so good. Therefore I think they are doing well in my area!

  12. Donald Cruser August 21, 2023

    I have had it with twk’s rants. Please notice that he never offers any solutions to problems like getting the homeless off the streets. My answer to these anti-government buffoons is: “If you don’t believe in government then take care of your own shit.” twk is obviously more than a little bound up, but you can bet that if they cut off his sewer service, within a few days he would be yelling for more government. (I have just finished digging 120 feet of 4 foot deep ditch for my new leach lines.)

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