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Off the Record (August 23, 2023)

ON-LINE INQUIRY? Does anyone remember the grocery store at State St and Gobbi next to Norge Village Cleaners that had a rack with rollers in the front that the Checker could put your groceries on and they could roll it from inside to the outside through the front windows? I think it was Purity. It was to make it easy to pull your car up front and load your groceries.


Re; Mental Illness, Addiction & homelessness….

That is the order …. The illness first, self-medicating turning to addiction then turning into homelessness. Then revolving door of jail and psych stays, quite honestly you are lucky if you get the psych stay but then what, 3 to 5 days is not enough to stabilize and help someone. But there is no help, because these people are expected to understand and follow through, they simply cannot aside from the fact these people need dual diagnosis treatment that is not accessible . There is a shit load of money allocated to service providers for these issues, but you can see money is not the issue, the laws are, the understanding and application of the 5150 statute is extremely subjective depending on responder. I am all for mandatory treatment i.e., Laura’s Law, but in our county not sure it is working and what about mental health court? There are 2 people that are severely mentally ill that keep getting arrested Jake Lewis Kooy, how many times has he been arrested? A freaking lot. And Jahlan Travis who was arrested again last week, and yesterday he was walking in the middle of State Street, sicker than shit talking to the voices in his head. He was on the front page of the UDJ about the state of homelessness, his condition severely downplayed. It is going to continue to get worse we must change how we do things to help these people. Hopefully SB43 will be adopted which will change the criteria for gravely disabled.

I HOPE YOU spared yourself the discomfort of stuffing yourself into a sweatbox of a too-small wing of the Fort Bragg Library on Tuesday the 22nd by reading my notes in preparation for debating the Name Change Fort Bragg. 

ER, strike that. I meant to say that in preparation for the high school-formatted argument with some new guy in town who wants to change Fort Bragg's name to Look At Us We're Not Racists-ville, I offered these arguments against a name change.

1. America was founded on the backs of slaves and the repeat slaughters of Native Americans. But America not only survived its unpromising founding but has since prospered as a thriving multi-ethnic society whose race relations have become steadily more harmonious over the past 70 years. Where there were virtually none in 1950, there are now literal millions of loyal, affectionate inter-racial relationships, proof of which is the fully integrated town of any size in today's America, including Fort Bragg, and please explain how a Black man was twice elected president of the United State if America is a racist country, and explain how Fort Bragg voted for that Black man twice, 60-40 (roughly.)

2. The Name Changers make it seem that Black slaves and Native Americans were acted upon, never acted to resist, existed only as a pathetic mass of resignation. Fact: there were constant slave insurrections, and Native Americans took at least 400 years to subdue. Right here in Mendocino County, where Indians didn't have guns and horses, resistance began with the first appearances of white settlers and their syphilitic white cohort of criminals and didn't end until the first years of the 20th century. Resistance to white incursions was constant among Northcoast tribes, so fiercely resistant that the U.S. Army maintained a presence at Fort Seward in Southern Humboldt until the very end of the 19th century.

3. Braxton Bragg, after whom Fort Bragg was named by an ass-kissing Army subordinate of his, was a product of his time and place. He was a slaveholder and plantation proprietor but only half a villain until he joined the Confederate rebellion and also became a traitor, thus achieving full villain status.

4. Bragg, you say, is honorably memorialized because Fort Bragg is named after him. Has Fort Bragg ever honored Bragg other than that one tiny faded plate announcing the town's mid-19th century founding attached to a big rock on Main Street? Nope, never. The rock is it. Is George Washington, slave holder, honored anywhere in the USofA? Everywhere, so why not start name changing with the biggest name of all, Washington D.C, rather than Fort Bragg, a small town in rural Northern California that happened, almost accidentally, to be named after an obscure Confederate general whose incompetence got him cashiered by the South, and whose tactical blunders helped the North defeat the South in our first Civil War? 

5. Wrong history is suggested by the Name Changers as they imply that the Army was complicit in murders of Indians. In fact, the Army, in the form of an initial Fort Bragg platoon of twenty soldiers — your basic token presence and not, as the name changers have it, an occupying force — was dispatched to Fort Bragg simply to mark the reality of a new American frontier settlement. As a matter of historical fact, the Army, as directed, subsequently tried to protect Indians, especially the women, from the invasion of std-bearing scumbags, and then, unhappily, the Army was federally ordered to remove Indians from the failed Mendocino rez to what was thought to be the more secure, sustaining reservation in Covelo. The Army's function was benign, protective. The most spectacular atrocities against Mendocino County's Native Americans, and these murderous onslaughts were probably the worst in all of the early United States, occurred inland throughout the Eel River Basin where the State of California paid for a genocidal attack on all the Native Americans who could be found. That state-funded assault, supplemented by hundreds of murders committed by freelance killers, went on for an entire year. (The freelancers were at it until at least the 1880's.) The Army did not participate in either the funded genocide or the freelance murders but were too few and too ineffective to stop the freelancers, chief among them The King of Round Valley, as George White was described by the national press of the time. 

6. The mere talk of a name change, let alone a tax-exempt one, is an insult to the collective memory of many generations of Fort Bragg people who have grown up here, gone to school here, married here, struggled and thrived here who rightly love their town and are justly proud of it. Viva Fort Bragg!


(Re: the Fort Bragg Name Change Debate/comments)

I agree with you on this, but don't give the opposition wiggle room by misstating any of the historical details (not that most would notice).

The town of Fort Bragg was not founded in 1850, the fort was founded in the late 1850s (1857).

Don't know that there is any documentation to affirm Lt. Horatio Gibson as an "ass-kisser," or specifically an ass-kisser of Bragg in particular. Why jump to the hyperbolic when understatement is generally a more productive tactic?

Remember who you are representing here, people like me and my ancestors. Would Margaret Macdonald refer to Gibson as an "ass-kisser?"

Stick to comparing the soldiers under Gibson to their contemporaries in Jarboe's Rangers as you do in the rest of your notes.

Lt. Horatio Gates Gibson who named the "fort" after Bragg served in the Civil War as a Union officer. He was cited for gallantry and rose from captain to colonel then brevet general during his service on the right side of history.

As you may know, Col. Francis Lippitt, head of the Humboldt Military District (in which Fort Bragg was one of the posts) lobbied for a time to change the name because of Bragg's Confederate service, but higher-ups rejected the idea.

Good luck with the knee jerk, woo-woo (No insult to Ronnie Woo Woo of Chicago Cub fandom intended), mindless "liberals."

ED REPLY: I don't pretend to have a scholar's knowledge of early California. Everything bad that happened here happened after the Gold Rush so I've used 1850 as the commencement year of the real bad. Given Bragg's consensus unpopularity with both Union and Confederate colleagues, I would have to assume Horatio named the fort at Fort Bragg after his superior officer to ingratiate himself with Bragg. Who knows for sure about any of this history of early Mendo except in broad outline. The source docs are few. And to be clear, the U.S. Army didn't have anything to do with Jarboe's Rangers.


Changing the name of Fort Bragg California borders on stupidity in a large-scale, and the people involved in changing the name need to move back east to where they came from, or back to the deep South where they should live, more than likely former slave owners themselves in new deep and dark past, the problem with the newcomers moved in Mendocino County are not satisfied to just live here in peace and tranquility, you have to stir the pot and create controversy, they need to go home to where they were hatched out of a bad egg, learn some respect in their life to be part of the real world rather than sucking off the welfare system, and creating problems for hard-working timber people and ranchers, if you don't like it here move away but leave the names the way they are, if you don't like California and move away back to where you came from take all your subversive stupid friends with you.


Mendocino County "unincorporated area’s cash receipts from January through March were 5.6% below the first sales period in 2022… Net of adjustments, taxable sales for all of Mendocino County declined 9.6% over the comparable time period" (HDL)


Dobie Dolphin Writes:

Bruce Anderson's article about Marie De Santis brought back memories. Someone gave me her book, ‘Neptune's Apprentice,’ when I started fishing back in the 80's. I loved her stories, sense of humor, and her toughness in the world of commercial fishing, which wasn't always welcoming to women. But times have changed and now we have the formidable, well respected women on the F/V Princess and Anna Neuman, the go-getter harbormaster in Noyo.

Years later, I met Marie, when she was working for the Women's Justice Center. She was truly dedicated to helping women, who instead of being treated as victims of rape and domestic violence were often shrugged off with a "she asked for it" attitude.

Here's her obituary from The Mendocino Voice:

Obituary: Remembering Marie DeSantis, the “Bad Ass Angel”

Marie Cecile DeSantis, born March 24, 1945, passed away from a prolonged illness on Thursday June 20, 2019. She is survived by brother Martin DeSantis, and brother Daniel DeSantis and sister-in-law, JoJo DeSantis. She leaves behind countless friends and colleagues all over California, the states and the world.

Marie was passionate and she was powerful. She once described herself as a “living legend”, and left behind an enormous legacy of work. She is the author of four books, “Molly, The Longline Fisher, “Neptune’s Apprentice “, “California Currents”, and “Starfish Detectives”. Her written works reflect her years as one of the first women to fish commercially, chasing the fish from Columbia to Alaska. Affectionately known as “The Captain”, she never lost her love and respect for the Pacific Ocean, continuing to fish here in Anchor Bay, sharing her boat and her knowledge with friends. She performed environmental testing work locally and is well known to the older fishing community as a champion for the rights of fisherman, demanding fair pay and many regulations on fishing safety.

Subsequent to fishing commercially, Marie became a major figure in the fight for women's rights as the Director of The Women’s Justice Center in Santa Rosa. From the 1990’s until recently, she focused on helping women and girls who were victims of rape, domestic violence and child abuse; this service was provided free of charge. The organization was involved in grassroots efforts toward improving the criminal justice system, and with a large percentage of Latina clients, the center was simply known as “Justicia.” The website will continue as an archival resource, see 

Until very recently, she worked behind the scenes providing emotional support to victims and their families primarily in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Her unflinching tenacity earned her the nickname “Bad Ass Angel” — Marie loved this moniker and lived up to it. She helped put away many perpetrators of violence against women and girls. Marie said, “Because I believe the problem is completely solvable and that the liberation of women’s energy from violence will change the world.”

Marie’s awards include: State of California Legislature Woman of the Year 2001, Jefferson Award 2006, and just two months before her death on April 25, 2019, Senator Jared Huffman Honored her life’s work with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. She was unable to attend the event due to her illness.

There will be a celebration of her life in Anchor Bay later in the year.

A READER WRITES: The best mob trial movie with a large number of defendants is Find Me Guilty(2006) by Sidney Lumet, starring Vin Diesel and Peter Dinklage. It is the true story of the longest Mafia trial in American history. Dialog was taken from the original court transcript and is seriously funny. Vin plays a mobster named Jackie D who starts the trial with 19 other defendants and the usual gang of mob lawyers. Then he goes rogue, detaches himself from others, and goes pro se in the middle of the trial. Vin is pure New Jersey, and New Jersey chaos ensues. Dinklage is a mob lawyer who stands on a chair throughout and glowers at Vin. You can see it on many streamers. Tubi is good -- it is free and has relatively unobtrusive clusters of commercials. 

FRISCO'S DOOM LOOP? The venerable Gump's department store, where the bourgeoisie go to furnish their homes, is threatening to close its ancient downtown presence. The owner of the luxury outfitters, John Chachas, took out a full-page ad to bash the city’s apparently heedless leadership, warning that rampant homelessness and drug abuse could force it to shut up shop after 166 years. “Gump’s has been a San Francisco icon for more than 165 years,” John Chachas wrote in his open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. “Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of this city’s conditions.” The letter in the Sunday Chron suggested that some of the Golden City’s woes come from “advising people to abandon their offices” during the pandemic. “Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city’s streets,” Chachas said, decrying a “tyranny of the minority.”

DITTO FOR UKIAH. The nut of the homeless prob as it metastasizes? The large number of helping professionals who oppose any and all aggressive strategies for getting people unwilling or unable to care for themselves off the streets. And the helping pros vote as a bloc for ineffective political leadership, such as we see in San Francisco and, closer to home, Ukiah. And anyway there's an absence of political will to tax the rich to fund the institutional care for the legions of domestic casualties churned out by our failing society. I doubt Mr. Chachas would want to disturb his customer base by suggesting to the vulgar bastards that they pay their fair share of the social load.

TWO ONGOING arguments of no relevance and less consequence rage here at the AVA. One: Home-schooled children are, for the most part, much better behaved than the prevailing sugar-fueled, phone-addicted, 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 dreary cast of characters) more in the tradition of Babbitt? Or more in the tradition of Snopes’? I think home-school children tend to be less neurotic, much more civilized around adults. The argument typically breaks down into 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, he reasoned, the way the princes of small town commerce used to reason, civic beauty was good for business. Faulkner’s Snopes are a bunch of low-down, grasping, even murderous thieves and, therefore, the literary forebears of the kind of people who dominate commerce in Mendocino County and too many of the smaller communities of the United States these ominous days. 

DONALD CRUSER (Mendocino County Office of Education Board member and retired math teacher in Mendocino):

A few words on home schooled students. Most of them entered into Mendocino High School when it was time for Chemistry, Physics, and higher level math courses. I thoroughly enjoyed these students since they were smart and motivated. Their common characteristic was that they were free from the influence of the peer group and were comfortable relating to adults. These were the kids who would stick around after class to talk to me personally.

I am not sure that home schooling is the primary factor here though. A much more important ingredient is the family involvement and the value the family places on education. This is most obvious in cultural differences.

A few years back the University of California had to change its admission standards to keep UC Berkeley from becoming all Asian. In Asian culture education is highly valued. The same can be said about Jewish families where the expectations of children are set high. The number of Jewish Nobel prize winners in the sciences is way out of proportion to their population numbers. The Germans start their career counseling with students in elementary school. It was only a few years back that China displaced Germany as the world's largest exporter of goods and the Germans do it with 80 million people. When I ask my wife’s family what is the secret to the German economy, they all have the same answer: “Precision German engineering.” (The Germans also have a law that requires half of corporate boards to be line workers. They don’t vote to send their own job overseas. The CEOs in Germany make about 40 times what a line worker makes, while here in the USA they make well over 300 times what a line worker makes. Here the CEO’s sit on each other’s boards where they grant each other exorbitant bonuses and preoccupy themselves with looking for cheap labor anywhere in the world they can find it. The United States is the largest importer of goods in the world. It is worth comparing elected leaders. Angela Merkle had a PHD in chemistry and spoke English better than 3 of our last 4 presidents.)

Sorry about the diversion, but it is easy to see how the German educational system is paying off for them. 

Back to education. It is also easy to see why lower economic status can have a negative impact on a child’s education since it limits parent involvement. The current move to the public schools providing early childhood education will be a real equalizer.

One of the things we did at Mendocino High School that helped encourage parent involvement was shortly before the start of the school year we would have “Arena Registration”. It would happen in the gym where each teacher had a table to meet with each of their advisees and their parents to work out the class schedule for the year. It gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of parents face-to-face. The message was clear: We are all here working together to educate students.

SPEAKING of our nation's future, check this blandly scarifying clip from a recent SF Chronicle: "In the spring, Riana Shaw Robinson learned that her 11-year-old son, Madison, had sprinted out of class to chase a squirrel through his school’s courtyard in Berkeley. It’s not how her sixth grader would typically behave. But that day Madison hadn’t taken his Adderall — the medication that, in his words, helps his brain slow down, “from 100 miles per hour — like a car — to 70 miles per hour.”

GOOD for Madison. Run, Madison, run! Don't let them stuff you with pharmaceutical speed. Small boys are energetic. This sinister business of doping them for the convenience of parents and teachers is criminal, but criminally prevalent in the country that wonders where all the dope heads have come from.

A READER COMMENTED: "And I loved the story about hiking boys from Petaluma to Eureka and back again, an absolutely brilliant tonic for restless young males!" Certainly preferable to drugging them, I'd say, but young people these days seldom, outside of sports, have the opportunity to take on a long haul physical challenge. Petaluma to Eureka and back again? Wow!


With a $421M 2023-24 budget, Mendocino County's fire safety lapses on grounds show skewed budget priorities. Inevitably, tax increases will be floated, but we should ask: are we getting results for our money? Can we pay market wages, meet performance expectations, within means?

ACCORDING TO THE NYT, the total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war in Ukraine began 18 months ago is nearing 500,000. Casualty figures remain difficult to estimate because Moscow is believed to routinely undercount its war dead and injured, and Kyiv does not disclose official figures.

AN unencouraging article in a recent New Yorker described the Russian's heavy recruitment in Russian prisons. You survive service at the front, your crime is forgiven and you go home. So many lifers did not survive that word soon got around among convicts that they were being fed into a meat grinder that they stopped signing up for almost certain death, as the Russians used the prisoners in human wave attacks on nearly impregnable Ukrainian fortifications. If any of the doomed lifers hesitated to charge Ukrainian positions, the Russians shot them.

UKRAINE'S vaunted spring offensive has not sprung. Biden, or more accurately his puppeteers, should demand a negotiated peace of Ukraine or cut off U.S. military aid to them.

ONE of the few things I agreed with Trump on was his desire to get US out of NATO, which we created and which we largely fund as a hedge against the Russians. 

YEAH, PUTIN is an evil bastard, but if formal hostilities stopped tomorrow he'd find it very difficult to occupy Ukraine's vastness as Ukraine mounted a guerrilla war against the Russians rather than depend on the US-funded, endless trench warfare Biden's handlers are funding as, of course, our country's deterioration continues. Military aid to Ukraine might, in theory, pay for a lot of aid to America's ever larger cohort of walking wounded.


The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will hear the tent issue early on the 12th of September; meeting starts at 9 AM at Saint Anthony's church. We Tentanistas are hoping for a big turnout of community support!

Meredith Smith,


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?


[1] I’m reading a short history of Guatemala. It’s shocking, really the similarities between the US today and the Guatemala of the 19th and first half of the twentieth century. The landowners owned 70% of the country and controlled pretty much all of the country’s wealth. The indigenous Indian population was deliberately kept illiterate. This is exactly the same tactic as is being used in the US today. The population, while not completely illiterate in the literal sense, is very much illiterate in terms of being able to assimilate actual accurate, actionable knowledge about the real state of their world, their economy and their polity. This is made possible through the actions of the education system, the media and the government all working together to create a “fog” of misinformation. The indigenous Indian population was also kept in a perpetual state of economic serfdom through a calculated system of debt coupled with wages calculated to be too low to allow debt to ever be repaid; the proverbial “company store” system.

It is all very familiar to the neo feudal system being imposed on Americans today.

[2] There’s no question that cell phones are extremely useful for various purposes but they have become a sickness. When you are out in public (on the street or in a restaurant) 9 out of 10 people are holding or staring into a cell phone. People eating at the same table do not interact with one another. Both stare into their phones. It’s a friggin’ sickness.

People in a line of cars stopped at a traffic light are engrossed in their phones. The light turns green and there is always one asshole who sits there as others pull away. I blow my horn angrily and make wild angry gestures hoping the asshole will see me in his/her mirror.

[3] I just went to the bank to pay my property taxes and a normie seeming bank clerk was helping me.

She asked for my ID and I asked why, and she said it was a new law.

So I made a crack about laws being so strict for us regular people, whereas billionaires can launder billions without problem.

She came to life and enthusiastically agreed. I think that more people know than let on.

Because why would you? It’s not part of your job. It takes some mouthy taxpayer to bring up the subject.

[4] THAO PHI: For a relatively young and newbie to the local political scene, I gained all the positive aspects of running for a city council campaign without inheriting the civic burden. (The three seats that filled got a little over ~2000 votes, I got 1500 votes. For effort/time/resource ratio, I feel I did pretty well.) I am a planning commissioner for the city of Ukiah and a county employee. Economic development in the city and county look bleak. Human services need more support to ultimately help our fellow neighbors. I have no plans to run for supervisor, as it is a difficult job for what the pay actually is. You could make a similar salary as a senior program manager or more as a director in the county than a supervisor. The compensation versus being in the public eye with legacy decisions + effects made prior to when you were supervisor and having demands from any different constituents makes it a tough gig. I am rooted in this community and want to stay but do not feel politics, at least for me anyway, is the route to make the kind of positive impact I am hoping for. May the best candidate get the 2nd district seat. I anticipate to host a district 1 candidate forum out at the City of 10k Buddhas later this year.

[5] Called Gallery Books in Mendo today to preorder that Ivanka Trump book, “Grandpa is ‘Golfing.’” They laughed at me, of course, but told me to “hang on, son, it’ll be out soon.” (Chuck Dunbar)

[6] There is absolutely no reason for any public sector worker to settle for below inflation pay increases. Why should the cost of everything except their labor increase? The argument against has been that it will drive inflation is clearly nonsense since there have been over a decade of real terms pay cuts and inflation has marched on regardless. Politicians who are out of ideas are flailing around looking for someone or something else to blame for years of abject failure, knowing that the media has plowed a fertile course for blaming everything on migrants or working people and not the government officials.

[1] Actually, I am doing quite well and my standard of living is much better than it was when I was a youngster. Life is like a game of snakes and ladders. Some people move up and others move down. Lately, it seems that a lot more people are moving down and fewer are moving up.


Why are they out at the park at 11:14 PM? Teen curfews not respected. Parents don’t know where their kids are. Don’t care where their kids are? The lil black Honda has been up to a whole lotta BS in Ukiah as of late. Numerous reports of it racing up and down, shots fired etc. No respect for self or others. A whole lot of the cliques of handful kids cannot read, write or care to go to school. But they sure can use them I phones and TikTok YAY.

[8] Has anyone noticed that anywhere one pays for food items there is now a screen for tips starting at 18% and going straight up. Even at places where all they do is sling crap food and coffee but don’t really serve you. I don’t mind tipping if someone is friendly and efficient but what about when they won’t meet your eye, don’t greet you and most of all don't thank you for spending money at the store? Yes, no tip is an option, but it is quickly becoming mandatory that we now tip everyone.

[9] 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.”

One Comment

  1. Marmon August 23, 2023

    It was Purity, which later became Yokayo Market. I remember one of my dad’s stupid jokes he thought was so funny, “I believed in Purity until I found a Safeway. He thought he was so clever.


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