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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Fire Weather | Hills | Breezy | Supermoon | Football/Futbol | Yard Sale | Wetter Winters | Navarro Estuary | MAC Vote | Yorkville Social | Amateur BoS | Gualala Arsonist | Westport Land | Doomsday Cult | Hang Town | Bragg Forever | Mental Myths | Museum Events | Theatre Comedy | Biodiversity | Miles Paoli | Crumb Himself | She Pays | Yesterday's Catch | Hurricane Idalia | So Thoughtless | House Meeting | Bud's 1970 | Watching | Mob Boss | Not Debates | Ed Notes | Always Great | Brains | Newsom Knock | Cooking Workers | Africa | Gracias Madre | Off Grassing | Drug Overdoses | Beer Sign | Silent Censors | Room NY | Stormy Monday | Leash Toto | Terminology | Strangers | Ukraine | Earthly Delights

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RED FLAG WARNING for Mendo and surrounding counties

Mapping released by the National Weather Service in Eureka indicates low relative humidity and gusty winds are converging to create "critical fire weather" for areas of northern California. The warning goes into effect this evening [Tuesday] at 11:00 and runs till tomorrow night [Wednesday] at 8:00.

The area of the Red Flag Warning covers northeastern Mendocino County, southeastern Trinity County, the entirety of Lake County, and runs eastward affecting multiple counties in the Central Valley.

The region under a Red Flag Warning are marked in pink [Map from the National Weather Service]

The National Weather Services predicts that northwind gusts from 25 to 35 miles per hour will rake across high terrain and exposed ridges in the region. The region's relative humidity will fall into the teens on Wednesday afternoon making for conditions in which any fires that sparky will potentially “spread rapidly.”

Pacific Gas and Electric's Public Safety Power Shutoff Forecaster has identified Colusa, Glenn, Shasta, Tehama, Lake, Napa, Yolo, and Butte Counties as locations that might experience power outages as a result of the weather.

The following are safety tips to practice during Red Flag Warnings published by Nevada County:

  • Be prepared for the possibility of a public utility power shut-off. Have food, lighting, water, and charged batteries that will last for several days.
  • Prepare for quick evacuation.
  • Park your vehicle towards the roadway and load your Go Bag.
  • Know how to open your garage if power is unavailable.
  • Be sure you have a full tank of gas.
  • Keep pets nearby.
  • Have a plan to transport large animals and livestock.
  • Always check towing equipment and eliminate dragging hazards.
  • Do not mow or trim dry grass.
  • Do not use equipment outdoors that may create a spark.
  • Never park on dry grass.
  • Never burn on a Red Flag Warning day.

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Route 253, SE View, Smoky Sky (Jeff Goll)

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BREEZY NORTH WINDS will continue through today. Dry weather will transition to cooler and showery weather Friday through Sunday. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Another warm 58F under clear skies & a shiny moon this Humpday morning on the coast. Warm will not last for long as a cool down will start tomorrow. Haze is in the forecast but so is wind so we'll see how much haze we get? We now have a 20% chance of rain Friday & 50% on Saturday, another we'll see?

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LOOK UP! Not often does a blue supermoon appear in the after dark heavens, but this very Wednesday evening, which is today, one will rise, and it will appear larger and brighter than even the supermoon of August 1st. 

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JUST IN FROM AV PANTHER COACH JOHN TOOHEY: Due to field conditions, Football will be playing away in Tomales Saturday at 6pm. This weeks Soccer game vs. Tech has been cancelled. The team will be going to Mendo on Wednesday. 5pm start.

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Dear Editor, 

I’m happy to report that the Navarro River is still flowing freely into the Pacific Ocean. For the past several years, by the end of August a sand dam at the river’s mouth would have been pushed up by ocean waves thus blocking the free flow of water into the sea. And the resulting “lake” formed behind this berm would have been partially covered with unsightly algae and scum caused by the drought induced unusually low river flows and resulting higher than average water temperatures.

Alas, what a difference a year makes! After at least 3 drought years, this past winter gave us a significantly better than average amount of rain which must be why the Navarro still has a strong and cold flow. And I noticed yesterday driving Hwy 20 by Lake Mendocino and Clear Lake that they, too, were much higher and clearer than during the previous 3 summers.

The current El Nino weather pattern predicts another wetter than average winter heading our way which will further help our water bodies, wells, gardens and forests, altho it may also bring storm damage. I much prefer that to drought.

By the way, last winter’s rains washed unusually large amounts of limbs and trees into the river which were piled up on the Navarro Beach by the winter's storm waves. Folks have creatively piled up them into numerous huts and sculptures. The Navarro Beach is a real treasure; check it out.

Tom Wodetzki


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Navarro Estuary, NW View (Jeff Goll)

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As you are probably aware, there’s great public interest in the today’s BOS meeting owing to the MAC dissolvement issue, and there are people who took time off from work to attend the meeting and make comment to the Board. After completing just one action item, the Short-Term Rental (STR) issue, the Board adjourned at 11:50am to go into closed session. Chair McGourty announced the soonest they would return from closed session and re-open on action items would be 1:30pm. A woman who was present for the MAC issue told the Supes before they left the chamber, “The public has been waiting here all morning to make comment, some of us have jobs, and we’ve been politely quiet while waiting for this meeting to come to speak, and I think you are wasting the public’s time. This is a very important topic, it’s about the MACs.”

McGourty responded, “I understand and I apologize but this is how things are done at the Board, it takes time.”

The woman then said, “I would suggest re-organizing the agenda when there a lot of the public to make comments who have jobs.”

Supes then exited stage left.

Just as a courtesy to the public, unless there is some dire need to rush off to closed session, the public should be accommodated by addressing action items prior to closed session. I’ve chaired meetings all of my professional life, first in the labor movement and now in local government at both the water district and the Laytonville MAC. It’s really just a common courtesy to the public. You can do closed sessions either prior to commencement of open session or following adjournment of open session. It doesn’t cost you anything to organize the agenda so citizens are not inconvenienced. 

—Jim Shields

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Update: Just a quick check-in to let you know the BOS at today’s meeting, voted unanimously to maintain Municipal Advisory Councils (MACs). The pubic outcry didn’t fall on deaf ears. I thanked the Board for doing the right thing, but it never should have gone as far as it did. So thank you to everybody here who lent your voice to the effort. It’s truly appreciated.

Cordially, Jim Shields

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My vascular surgeon after my stroke last year advised me to "avoid stress". So here we go...

Haven't a clue who this Golden Gate Bridge Initiative Team is, and honestly don't really care. Has the BoS gone whoo-whoo? Perhaps. What I Iearned from Google about this outfit is that they focus on High School Education. Huh?

What I've gleaned thus far is this idea of dissolving Committees and Boards is another half-baked impulse of a highly amateur BoS. Half-baked, half-cocked. Why?

They don't know what to do about the County's deficits. Although they admit they don't know what those deficits actually are at present. It's based on hunch and supposition. Not solid facts or figures of the actual County financial exposure. Huh?

Ted Williams once said to me, "If you can't measure it, you cannot manage it". True words spoken. But where are the BoS numbers to back up this radical, retrograde proposal? No one has yet seen them. To weigh them. Speculation is not a sufficient basis upon which to set policy. This whole idea of dissolving Boards and Commissions is premature, unripe for serious consideration. Where is the Cost-Benefit analysis? Invisible, because it doesn't exist.

As for dissolving MHRB: MHRB is a statutorily integral component of the County General and Local Coastal Plans (Ordinances 3915 and 4395). Approved and Certified by the California Coastal Commission. To "dissolve" it requires an amendment to the County General Plan, Coastal Element of the General Plan and the Mendocino Town Plan. All of which requiring Coastal Commission approval and Certification.

Think that effort's gonna cost big-buck money to accomplish? Dollars to donuts it will.

Here's the analogy I've used for decades describing County Employees: They are Salaried Personnel, meaning they get paid whether working on an application or sitting at their desks eating a Big Mac. Period. The drag on County finances is not the staff time required to support the efforts of MHRB or any of the County's MACs.

The drag on County finances is, 1) Property Tax scofflaws, 2) TOT rates for air B&Bs below necessary minimums (should be 15%, not 10% for them). 3) Litigation and outside "Consultant" costs. 4) County Counsel's office featherbedding, 5) marijuana permitting clogs.

The list, as I'm sure you can add to it, goes on.

There are other holes I'll leave others to suggest. Long and short of it: this notion of dissolution of Boards and Commissions -- especially the MHRB -- is not well thought through, and should die the death it so rightfully deserves.

Hey, I've lost a step or two but am still in the game (against doctors orders). 937-4369,

Food for Thought. And now I'm going to follow my Doctor's advise to avoid stress, thank you.

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Roland Eskind

South coast arson defendant Roland Joseph Eskind, Jr., age 53, formerly of San Ramon, withdrew his not guilty plea Monday afternoon in the Mendocino County Superior Court and, in its place, entered a no contest plea and an admission, respectively, to the charge and special allegation filed and pending against him.

The defendant was formally charged on February 15th with arson of a structure, a felony, and with a sentencing enhancement alleging that the February 13th arson was committed during a Governor-declared state of emergency.

With his case now referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a background investigation and sentencing recommendation, the defendant remains in the custody of the Sheriff at the Low Gap jail facility pending sentencing.

Defendant Eskind was ordered to return to court for a formal sentencing hearing on September 21st at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse.

A recent arrival to the southern coastal gateway to Mendocino County, Eskind admitted that he “willfully, unlawfully, and maliciously” set fire to the Gualala Community Center, a night-time fire that demolished two of three sections of the Community Center. The portions burned were erected in 1954 to provide the Gualala community with a gathering and meeting location.

Monday’s arson conviction now also constitutes a Strike conviction, within the meaning of the voter-modified Three Strikes law, that can and will be charged to enhance future criminal sentences should Eskind feloniously re-offend Today’s conviction carries with it a potential state prison sentence of up to seven years.

The law enforcement agency that investigated the fire and developed the evidence to arrest the defendant was the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

The MCSO investigation was greatly assisted by the South Coast Volunteer Fire Department and Ukiah Valley Fire District’s arson investigator.

Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg represented the People at Monday’s change of plea hearing.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder accepted the defendant’s change of plea and will be the sentencing judge on the 21st.

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Westport Land (Jeff Goll)

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DR. MICHAEL TURNER: Re: “Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Takes Active Steps to Increase Access to MRI Services Amid National Staffing Shortage.”

Really galling to see the doomsday cult present this as some sort of public service. Medical Imaging is one their biggest profit centers. They’re re not going to stint on that. Meanwhile they remain a big zero in the provision of primary services like Ob-Gyn, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine.

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I have been following the discussion on the naming controversy of Fort Bragg; I was just recently in Placerville which is dubbed “hang town” this celebrates a 1870’s vigilante hanging of 5 men from a single tree on the same day; Whatever your position on the death penalty; I think that most reasonable people would agree that hanging 5 men without trial is a bad thing; and to use it to attract tourist dollars is appalling; and whatever one’s position on the Fort Bragg name, Placerville is a town with a problem!

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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Signs appearing on windows, all over town. (Falcon)

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I suppose if I had 3 wishes granted to me from that elusive Genie in the lamp, they would be 1. that everyone suffering a neurological a no-fault brain illness such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar would receive the timely intervention & treatment necessary to recover. Wish #2 would be to eradicate the barriers in place that are keeping people who are very sick from receiving appropriate care. #3. Dispel the myth that it is a personal responsibility to understand, request and take charge of your illness and addiction when you are incapable of doing so. Allowing people to languish in their own hell while we condemn and ridicule them is cruel. I am specifically speaking of those who cannot do so for themselves, the discarded people living on the streets sick as hell who keep getting arrested but not any of the actual help they require.

The problem with intervention there is none, well I can't really say that because some see Jail as the intervention. I even felt that way once when my son was arrested for the 3rd time. Jail should not be in lieu of actual intervention and treatment. Waiting for a sick person to commit a crime instead of helping them beforehand is utterly ridiculous to me. But now we have the mobile crisis unit and I have to wonder how that's working? If anyone has experience with that let me know, please! Because I feel as with most things in this realm it seems better than it actually is. Treatment is elusive because even if someone can be detained for a 5150 it is typically 3 to 5 days and not long enough for a person to come out of delusions and psychosis and understand their illness, it requires a long process of healing and treatment.

Which brings us to the topic of barriers. We are not speaking of those who are capable to request the help they need. But the people whom due to their illness have very poor cognitive and memory function. If you have been involved in any sort of service provider role you know that the in order to receive help you must show up and do what it takes to get assistance. But I am here to tell you that does not work for people in the depths of a Serious Mental Illness condition, they cannot follow all those rules. They need daily support and someone to step in. People with Serious Mental Illness languish in jail for weeks, months sometimes years because they are cognitively incapable and yet we require them to handle what they simply cannot. This is why if a person has family, it is of utmost importance they are included and accepted as a important part of someone's recovery. And of course, stop using HIPAA as an excuse to keep families out of the equation.

Responsibility only matters if you can take the action to be responsible, but what if you cannot do that? What if you are too sick to do so? Your brain literally incapable to reason, organize and understand thought and process any of it. And what is our responsibility as a whole community? Should we act on behalf of another in a crisis? Is it our responsibility to intervene for proper care? Should we hold someone's hand and accompany them through their anguish so hopefully they come out on the other side?


Recovery for people is possible, but it requires change, change in thinking, change in protocol change in action! Barriers must be removed, and we must begin to reorganize the system. Families hold the key and are the way forward!

Mazie Malone


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On Friday, Sept. 1, Grace Hudson Museum will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. for First Friday Art Walk. It's a perfect place to kick off the Labor Day weekend. Singer, guitarist and songwriter Yoli Rose will be leading the band Riding Zebras, featuring Dori Kramer, Tobin Hendricks, and James Brusseau; the group will perform eclectic rock, originals, and covers. Visitors can tour the Museum's current exhibit, “Something’s Happening Here: Artistic Reflections on the Back to the Land Movement”; discover or get reacquainted with core galleries featuring Grace Hudson’s artwork, exquisite Pomo basketry, and Hudson-Carpenter family history; or take a final First Friday summer evening stroll in the Wild Gardens. Light refreshments will be served. 

Admission to the Museum is now free all day and evening on First Fridays. 

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836. 

Courtyard of My Mind by Carmen Goodyear

GRACE HUDSON MUSEUM will have a special screening of our documentary, "Women On The Land", on Sat., September 9th - 2-3:30pm - 431 S. Main St., Ukiah, CA.

This screening is in conjunction with the museum's current art exhibit, "Something’s Happening Here: Artistic Reflections On The Back To The Land Movement".

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A Comedy By David Lindsay-Abaire 

Mendocino Theatre Company is proud to announce its fourth production of the 2023 Season, David Lindsay-Abaire’s rip-roaring comedy, Ripcord, directed by returning guest director Alex Rapport and starring a cast of local favorites: Ann Woodhead, Jan Saul, Mark Friedrich, Bryn Martin, Raven Deerwater and Lucas Keihn-Thilman. The play previews on September 14 and 15 with gala opening night festivities on Saturday, September 16 beginning at 7:00 PM. Performances are at 7:30 Thursday - Saturday and 2:00 PM on Sunday (except the first Sunday, September 17). Veteran designer, Diane Larson has designed a clever, multi-location set that transports the actors to a variety of places, including a haunted house and the open skies. Guest lighting designer, Missy Weaver makes her debut at MTC, coming to Mendocino from the SF Bay Area where she has designed lights professionally for both opera and theater. MTC favorite, Jan Culliford will design costumes. 

About The Play A sunny room on an upper floor is prime real estate in the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, so when the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with new-arrival Marilyn, she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden. 

Synopsis For 4 years, irritable and sarcastic Abby Binder (Jan Saul) has kept a room to herself at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, through sheer force of her rude personality. Nursing disappointment at the direction her life has taken, she has no room for distraction. When the unbearably cheerful Marilyn Dunne (Ann Woodhead) is placed in her room, Abby tries her usual tricks, but fails to scare her annoying new roommate away. She gets no sympathy from Scoey (Lucas Keihn-Thilman), the resident aide, who refuses to use any clout he may or may not have with management to remove Marilyn. Marilyn, for her part, loves the challenge of Abby’s bad aftude, and refuses to budge. Exercising her taste for competition and her love of pranks, Marilyn makes a bet: if Abby can break her endless patience and make her angry, she will move out. But if she can successfully frighten Abby, who claims never to get scared, she will get the bed by the window. In her favor, Abby has her wide mean streak, which gives her no qualms about filling in Marilyn’s Sudoku, tearing up her grandson’s pictures, or digging up police reports about her violent ex-husband. But Marilyn has a devoted family -- with a skydiving business -- on her side, as well as the most dangerous thing of all, a genuine wish to see Abby happy. As this odd couple embarks upon escalating emotionally and physically dangerous tricks in order to break each other, secrets are revealed, lives jeopardized, and peach cobbler is enjoyed. The six member cast also includes the characters of Colleen, a fellow prankster and Marilyn’s sky diving daughter played by Bryn Martin (who also doubles as Woman In White); Colleen’s husband, Derek, played by veteran MTC actor, Raven Deerwater (who also doubles as the Zombie Butler); Benjamin, Abby’s ne’re-do-well son, played by Mark Friedrich (who doubles as Lewis, the boisterous a sky diving instructor and the Clown.) David Lindsay-Abaire’s Ripcord is an oien slapstick, always surprising comedy, an enemies-to-friends story for a pair of excellently well-rounded, mature women. 

Quotation from the play “Just like life! You get shoved out into nothingness, then it’s a long terrifying free-fall to certain death!” — Lewis 

Ripcord runs September 14 - October 16 

Performances are Thursday - Saturday at 7:30PM and most Sundays at 2:00PM (except 9/17); Single Qckets prices range from $15 — $30; Season and Group Discounts are available. 

Please visit or telephone the Box Office at 707-937-4477 for more informaQon and to purchase Qckets. Tickets are on sale now. $15-$30. Mailing address: Mendocino Theatre Company PO Box 800 Mendocino, CA 95460 Office Telephone: 1-707-937-4477 

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Learn to develop a garden brimming with birds, beneficial insects, and other wildlife.

Whether you are removing a lawn, starting a new bed, integrating plants into an existing landscape or planting in containers, the basics of building a biodiverse garden environment are the same. Johanna Brekke-Brownell and Cornelia Reynolds of the Fort Bragg Garden Club can help you master the basics! The class will consider the pros and cons of different ways to remove some or all of your lawn, talk about how to plan a drought-tolerant garden, show you how and why to ensure you are not just planting a flowerbed but developing a healthy environment with native plants to support native wildlife, especially local pollinators, and birds. 

Explore the Gardens to discover your favorite native plantings and show you how native plants and vegetables support each other. In addition, you will receive a list of 24 drought-tolerant plants. Most of these are native to our coastal area and they all can help you achieve a variety of colors, shapes, and seasonality for a year-round biodiverse garden.

Learn more and register at


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by Anne Cooper

Miles Paoli, born in Mendocino in 1906, was instrumental in bringing radio to the Mendocino Coast. As a young man, Miles was not drawn to school particularly. Miles’ parents, Raffaelo and Emelia, were hard working immigrants who had found opportunity in the logging industry. Later, the Paoli family purchased the hotel on Mendocino’s Ukiah Street, which had belonged to the Borgnas, and had been known as the Sempione Hotel. Miles was thirteen when his family moved from their home near the mill on the flats of Big River into town. Miles and his brothers worked to maintain the gardens, both behind the hotel and in other locations around town. The produce ended up on the plates of hotel guests.

In 1920, Jack Ross, son of the superintendent of the Mendocino Lumber Company and Miles’ friend, introduced Miles to the world of wireless communication and electronics. In the accompanying photograph, you see 15-year old Miles atop the roof of his family’s hotel in 1921. The writing on the photo states that the device in Miles’ hands is his “home made wireless code receiver.” It was a crystal set with a honey-comb coil, a condenser, and other essential parts placed in a cabinet built of half-inch redwood. Earphones completed the equipment. Miles came of age during the Golden Age of Radio and his enthusiasm for and understanding of radios ultimately became the career he pursued.

Miles Paoli and Homemade Wireless Receiver, 1921. Black and white photograph of fifteen-year-old Miles Paoli holding his homemade wireless receiver and wearing a headset in 1921. Miles is standing on the roof of his family home at the Paoli Hotel on Ukiah Street. Behind him are two long dormers on the roof of the hotel; beyond that is the roof of the John Dougherty House; the taller building beyond that is Foresters Hall (originally Odd Fellows Hall). In the background are several water towers. The two-tank tower on the left is the Heeser water tower on the corner of Kasten and Ukiah Streets. Four other towers appear to the right of Miles: the closest one is a part of the Jarvis-Nichols site; left of that is the tower for The Toggery clothing store on Main Street; and the one farther down Albion Street is at the rear of the Hotel Mendocino. In the distance on the right is a tall, narrow tank tower that is at the Ford House site. (Gift of Dolly Efishoff)

Our archives contain his “Radio Servicemen of America Certificate of Membership” dated August 10, 1938, and an undated diploma from the “Radio Technical Institute.” During World War II, Miles Paoli served in the Signal Corps, training at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. He was sent overseas on July 4, 1943, helping to establish an air base on one of the islands in the Marianas. He and those who served there with him were under frequent bombardment. At war’s end, he received a “Certificate of Appreciation for War Service” from the U.S. Army Air Forces.

While on furloughs during the war, he came home to Mendocino where civilians had stored radios for Miles to repair. He was certainly good at just about anything he put his hand to. When his father had closed the hotel in 1941, Miles set up a repair shop on the first floor. Miles was fortunate, returning from the war to Mendocino, where he seemingly picked up where he’d left off.

Our archives also include a 1946-47 receipt book from Miles’ repair shop business. A glance through the book reveals the names of those who had remained in town and were in need of Miles’ skill: Jackson was charged $6.59 for a “B” battery; Gorman paid $6 for an aerial kit; Olsen needed 4 radio tubes and spent $5.13. Most customers purchased new tubes, condensers or lamps. Many were charged for labor only. In the post-war years Miles kept up with the evolving technology, adding the repair of televisions to the services he offered. He registered and renewed his business license with the Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealers in 1963. A 1967 photograph of the old hotel property on Ukiah Street shows a sign for “Miles’ TV Hi-Fi Radio Service Shop.” Miles H. Paoli died in June of 1982, surviving his wife, Helen, by five years. He was an honorary member of the Kelley House Museum, where an exhibit was dedicated to him in 1982.

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‘Water Tower Wonderland’

Discover the beauty, ingenuity, and architecture of these iconic structures in the Kelley House Museum's summer exhibit. Using historic photographs, original pieces from local artists, and small-scale models, the exhibit explores the majesty and functionality of many well-known water towers. On display are renderings of Mendocino water towers in several media, with serigraphs by Anne Kendall Foote and Bill Zacha, a quilt square by Dee Goodrich, and a linocut by Emmy Lou Packard. The exhibit also includes pastels and architectural models made by Mendocino High School students. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Thursday- Monday, 11am - 3pm. Now until September 18.

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He Leaves, She Pays. And Pays. 

by Bruce Anderson 

Justice may be a lady, but men still enjoy a big advantage in the divorce courts. 

Sharon Graham and her husband managed to buy a house on ten Covelo acres, raise three children, buy a few things, accumulate a little money for their retirement. They aren’t much different from other working Americans who stay married and roll out of bed every morning to go to work. But if dad suddenly walks out the door of the modest, mutually achieved home and all its comforts, and even the money jointly put away for the couple’s Golden Years, mom has got to at least try to defend herself.

Sharon Graham learned on July 12th, 1996 that she’d have to defend herself. Exit daily routine, enter court combat.

Sharon Graham’s life had fallen in on her.

In her Forest Service uniform, the former Mrs. William Graham is official-looking but not officious. She’s a slim, gracious woman whose sense of humor has not disappeared beneath an avalanche of officially-sanctioned betrayals, her former husband’s at least equal to those of several attorneys and the Sonoma County courts. 

Now 54, has applied her formidable will to learning the law to protect herself from it. She hopes her story will be of use to the many other women casually exploited by a legal system indifferent to both their welfare and justice.

Sharon and Bill Graham had been married for 30 years when Bill suddenly announced he was leaving their Covelo home to move in with his mother in Jenner. He’d retired from Caltrans, had suffered a major heart attack, and had undergone, his wife says, a personality change at least as radical as the heart surgery which saved his life, and was generally no longer the man she’d been married to for three decades.

Bill was vague about why he suddenly felt a southward pull, but once he was out the door he asked his wife to join him in Jenner as soon as their Covelo property could be sold.

“We were going to move together,” Sharon remembers. “We were going to sell our place here in Covelo. We’d agreed that I would move down there with him and get a job.”

It didn’t work out that way.

Bill had other plans, all of them apparently centered upon a youngish raven-haired hairdresser who lived across the street from Bill's mother’s house in Jenner.

Mom, 82, lasted just over a year before her son dispatched her to a nursing home and move the hair dresser in.

Bill married the hairdresser the day after his hurry-up divorce was final. If the Sharon’s attorney — a woman with the improbable surname of de la O — had informed Sharon that the law made it possible for Californians to quickly shed one mate for another, a whole heckuva lot of hassle could have been avoided.

“Bill wanted to marry his lady friend,” Sharon now realizes. “I wouldn’t have gotten in his way, but I didn’t know what he was doing when he filed for divorce".

Sharon did know that whatever was up it would be wise for her to protect her share of the couple’s jointly accumulated worldly goods. “The courts have made me feel as if I’m picking on a married man. But I was married to this guy for 30 years and gave him three beautiful children.”

The hairdresser may have known Bill for a total of two years, if that.

The love struck former Caltrans man having stashed his mother in a nursing home, become a Jehovah’s Witness, gone back to work for a trucking firm based in Windsor, qualified as partially disabled to supplement his generous Caltrans retirement checks, pulled a whole lot of legal fast ones on the wife and family he left behind.

Nearly three years later, Sharon is still at home in Covelo, a foot-high stack of legal papers piling up on her dinette table. The former Mrs. Graham is still picking up all the pieces.

She’s also spent many long, lonely hours driving the twisting road along the Eel River from Mendocino County’s eastern-most community to Ukiah and Santa Rosa for an emotionally and fiscally expensive series of lessons that Lady Justice’s courts still favor the gentleman even if he hasn’t behaved like one.

“I’ve only worked for the Forest Service for seven years,” Sharon says, counting off the contents of the large burden her husband left her with when he headed for the door. "It’s the first job I’ve had that came with a retirement plan. I worked for this home. I cleaned the saw mill. I worked in restaurants. My parents gave us the down payment for this house. When he left there were mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, everything.”

Twenty days after Wandering Bill abandoned Sharon at their Covelo home, the former Caltrans homebody filed for divorce in Sonoma County. He didn’t tell his wife why he wanted out of their marriage. Sharon was still planning to move to Jenner with the man she thought was her husband. 

Twenty-three days after Mr. Graham had chucked 30 years of marriage to Mrs. Graham, a man appeared at Sharon's Covelo door at 9 pm with the divorce papers. The man who served Sharon with the legal news that her husband was divorcing her smirked, “Here’s a little something from Bill.”

Thirty years of marriage had ended with a cheap cruelty — a verbal kick in the teeth achieved at the expense of a woman sent reeling by totally unexpected bad news.

“I was shocked,” Sharon says. “Bill had even told friends that I would be coming to Jenner soon. I thought we were going to sell this house and I’d join him there.”

California law says you’ve got to live in the county you file for divorce in for three months before you can begin to untie the matrimonial knot. Which is why lots of estranged Golden State couples still head east for Nevada, land of the instant decree.

“My husband threatened to kill me if I didn’t go along with it,” Sharon says offhandedly about the kind of verbal menace that sends less confident citizens running to the nearest gun store.

Sharon was left to try to puzzle out these devastating events by herself. As she emerged from a state of shock at her new status, she looked around for legal protection.

“I thought a woman lawyer would be better for me so I asked a lady lawyer in Willits for the name of an attorney in Santa Rosa,” Sharon recalls, wondering why Mendocino County wasn’t the proper venue to sort things out since she and Bill had lived in Mendo most of their married life.

But the Forest Service receptionist had no idea she was beginning an emotionally and fiscally exhausting journey through a legal labyrinth unrelated to simple justice.

The lady lawyer in Willits put Sharon in touch with the Santa Rosa attorney with the exclamatory surname of Teresa de la O.

de la O advised her Covelo client not to make a fuss over the fact that her former husband had illegally been permitted to file for divorce in a jurisdiction he hadn’t lived in for much more than a month. Nor did de la O inform the famously imperious Cerena Wong, the judge of the Sonoma County Superior Court where Mr. Graham began his hurry-up divorce, that Mr. Graham had pulled a residential fast one, claiming Jenner as his home when he’d only been there a month.

Later, when Judge Wong was specifically made aware that Wandering Bill’s new matrimonial freedom had been achieved on the false claim that he was a legal resident of Sonoma County, the judge made no effort to rectify the error, thus perpetuating the original fraud perpetrated in her courtroom.

Seven months after he’d left Covelo, Mr. Graham married the hairdresser he’d met across the street from mom’s house in Jenner.

de la O blithely informed the former Mrs. Graham that she was diligently working to advance her claim on the couple’s joint property — including state retirement funds — when she hadn’t even taken the first steps to protect Sharon’s claim to her fair share of her husband’s retirement. When Sharon complained about de la O’s treacherous sloth, de la O fired herself.

And so commenced a plague of lawyers.

Mrs. Graham began a commute to Santa Rosa for court appearances even though Mendocino County clearly was the appropriate venue to fairly divide things up. She often had to take off work to get to Santa Rosa’s user-unfriendly court cattle calls, although it might be late afternoon before her case was called. The courts, Sharon discovered, operate on the monarchical principle that their time is more important than yours.

In one bizarre episode many legal treacheries later, Sharon had appeared for the usual 9am round-up only to have the judge lecture her and a roomful of aggrieved former spouses, almost all of them women, “Don’t make a career of your divorce; get it over with.”

Sharon snorts, “I didn’t make a career out of my divorce; my lawyers did!”

In another casually arrogant display of judicial self-indulgence, Judge Wong appeared in her crowded 9am courtroom one morning to moan about how lousy she was feeling until, with an imperial wave of her hand, she ordered everyone to come back in three hours.

Meanwhile, Mr. Graham quickly managed to convince himself that he was the victim — that he was entitled to his fair share of his and his ex-wife’s modest accumulation of assets. And then some.

Wandering Bill proceeded to make claims through his own series of lawyers on everything from the couple’s home on ten Covelo acres to his former wife’s scant retirement benefits. He even managed to obtain a decree from the Sonoma County courts compelling his ex-wife to pay rent to him on the house he’d abandoned. 

The besieged and still bewildered former Mrs. Graham, assuming her unhappy experience with de la O was merely the bad luck of the legal draw, drew a worse hand. de la O had only cost Sharon Graham money she didn’t have and earned her, perhaps, a wariness for lawyers with New Age monickers.

Enter P.C. Culp in whom correctness, political and otherwise, begins and ends with his middle initials.

Henry P.C. Culp is a full-of-himself Santa Rosa attorney grown fat and arrogant over the years off divorce cases. Culp cost Sharon more than money — he casually placed her in physical danger.

“I told Culp to just do his job. I said I wanted everything split 50-50. That’s California law,” Sharon says, still aghast that a simple rule could be made so complicated. “I borrowed $2,000 from my father to retain Mr. Culp.”

Her former husband was making increasing demands on their joint property and Sharon’s eyes still hadn’t adjusted to the dark murk of the legal system. She needed someone to represent her interests. “Culp calls me up and says how about a four-way settlement conference? He tells me it’s a lot cheaper than a trial and says he’ll check with my husband and his attorney. If they agree, we’ll meet in my office,” Sharon remembers as she points out that “any man who walks out on his wife without even discussing divorce isn’t likely to sit and talk.”

Culp began by trying to save his client some money, Sharon concedes, although after 30 years of life with Bill she now had serious doubts about the good intentions of her former spouse and the legal system he’d unleashed on her.

On the memorable morning of June 12th 1997 the parties met in Culp’s comfortable Santa Rosa office.

Sharon remembers the day this way: “My ex-husband is an alcoholic. He’s had a five-way heart bypass. He was not reasonable. He was abusive. His own lawyer had to calm him down. He lied about sharing expenses with his mother.” Early on, Bill’s 82-year-old mother had been deposited in a Santa Rosa rest home as the old lady’s Jenner home underwent its conversion to Wandering Bill’s and the hairdresser’s love nest.

Four hours of Bill’s tantrums and indignant denials later, the retooled Caltrans man had agreed to a rough agreement on a 50-50 property split.

“Bill’s lady lawyer was very good at getting him to cooperate,” Sharon recalls.

A follow-up conference solidified a fair distribution of the couple’s collective goods. Bill’s lady lawyer had gotten him to do the right thing.

P.C. Culp proceeded to do the wrong thing, whether out of incompetence or simple indifference to the welfare of his client. Or both.

A month after the settlement conference, Bill appeared at 7am at his former Covelo home. The agreement he’d just signed off on stipulated that Wandering Bill appear at his old homestead only if he were accompanied by a deputy.

“He just showed up on his own,” Sharon says. “I was scared. I panicked. I called Culp. At 9am Culp called back to say he was sorry that he’d forgotten to tell me Bill was coming. I said, ‘Mr. Culp, if I would have gone to work, he would have cleaned me out.’” 

Culp forgot to tell Sharon her ex-husband, who had threatened to kill her, who had constantly flipped out at the settlement conferences, was coming by himself to Covelo to get his share of 30 years of joint effort, much of which wasn’t rightfully his.

Bill’s lawyer, and his sole link to rational behavior and a fair settlement with Sharon, took a job in Sacramento. Bill’s new lawyer advises him to scrap all that has gone before and start over again. Bill liked that advice.

P.C. Culp is content to advise Sharon “to screen” the death threats Bill calls in to her at home and at her Forest Service job in Covelo.

“I’m the receptionist,” Sharon exclaims in the shocked voice of a person unable to believe her own lawyer can be so blithely indifferent to her welfare, “how can I screen the calls?”

Bill has routinely threatened his ex-wife with terminal violence and has even lobbed a death threat at their son.

By now, fully appalled at how unprotected a divorce victim is, and just as appalled at the haphazard performance of her attorney P.C. Culp and the arbitrary behavior of the Sonoma County courts, Sharon decided one day to take her adult children to Santa Rosa for an instructive look at mom’s adventures in the legal system. On the day of her family’s judicial field trip, sitting as judge was de la O.

O mi god O!

Culp then informed his increasingly skeptical client he wanted out of responsibility for her case. (Sharon paid Culp $2,000 up front.) Culp claims Sharon lied to him. He says she’d asked him to do illegal things although he couldn't produce evidence of anything beyond his own casual abandonment of his client’s interests.

The judge for a subsequent session was an accommodating member of the club-like Sonoma County bar named Carla McDermott. She was sitting in for a judge named Antolini whose absence went unexplained.

Insta-judge McDermott blithely allowed Culp to take a hike on Sharon, leaving Sharon legally and fiscally much weaker than P.C. Culp had found her.

McDermott dismissed Sharon’s very real, verified, and entirely legitimate complaints about her derelict attorney. The judge reduced Sharon’s shabby treatment at P.C.’s grasping hands to a mere clash of equivalently unyielding personalities. “It’s obvious you two don’t get along,” Judge Carla summed up.

Lawyers continued to profit from the matter of Graham versus Graham.

Wandering Bill’s new lawyer, a bullying harridan by the name of Margaret M. England, fired off a threatening blast at Sharon containing this typically pompous solipsism: “As to your uncooperative response to my request for a continuance, please be on notice by this letter that I am not available. The mediation which has caused a conflict in my calendar was due to the Honorable William L. Bettinelli’s schedule, not my own. I will have someone from my office make an appearance on my behalf to request the continuance and state on the record that we requested a continuance upon notice of the necessity of same from you which you would not comply with causing my client unnecessary attorney’s fees and costs. We will be asking for sanctions in the form of fees.”

Get the picture here?

A 54-year-old woman working at a $23,000 a year job in Covelo has inconvenienced a couple of lawyers making at least a hundred annual thousand who live and work in Santa Rosa.

And the lawyers claim Sharon has let the property go. A real estate salesman has been conveniently produced to say the Covelo property is not marketable, an assessment which would seem to be belied by the fact that Wandering Bill’s voracious attorney is trying to get more rent out of Sharon for the house she half-owns and which has sheltered her for the past twenty-five years.

Judge Cerena Wong, at a subsequent appearance in the matter of The Marriage of Sharon and William Graham, consoled Sharon from the bench, “At least you won’t be kicked out of your house over the holidays.”

And here Sharon is, trundling off to work every morning at age 54 as her ex-husband and the legal system gear up for another run at stealing everything she’s worked a lifetime for.

“I’ve had to go to therapy. It’s like the man I loved and worshipped fell out of an airplane. These laws need to be changed and these lawyers need to be held accountable. What have I learned from all this? I’ve learned that the way the courts are now, the best liar wins.”

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Freeman, Jackson, Joaquin

SETH FREEMAN, Petaluma/Ukiah. DUI.

WILLIAM JACKSON IV, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

LAWRENCE JOAQUIN, Covelo. Parole violation.

Madson, Munoz, Pinckney

VANCE MADSON, Willits. Trespassing, resisting.

RACHELLE MUNOZ, Covelo. Domestic battery.

KYLE PINCKNEY, Fort Bragg. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, DUI causing bodily injury, assault weapon, loaded firearm in public, suspended license for reckless driving and refusing chemical test.

Simpson, Tambouras, Tuck, Wolfe

AARON SIMPSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation violation.

NICHOLAS TAMBOURAS, Willits. Domestic battery.

DANIEL TUCK, Ukiah. Criminal threats, resisting.

LARRY WOLFE JR., Lakeport/Ukiah. Destructive device, ammo possession by prohibited person, county parole violation, failure to appear.

* * *

THE NORTHERN EYEWALL OF IDALIA IS NOW ONSHORE, with the center of the hurricane crossing onto Florida's Big Bend at 7.45am. Tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders, and at least 100,000 are without power as flooding is battering the Big Bend coastline. Idalia surged to a Category 4 storm in the early hours because of warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching speeds of up to 156mph - before dropping to 125mph shortly after 7am. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned of catastrophic storm surges of up to 12 to 16 feet in the worst affected areas. Hurricane Idalia has been branded 'an unprecedented event' by the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. During a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis warned 'don't mess with this storm' as the power briefly went out from his headquarters. He added: 'It's going to be a significant impact.' (AP)

* * *

* * *


Hello everyone, 

Awoke early at Ukiah, California's Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center to get ready for a mandatory "house meeting" at 11AM to address the growing crisis of those who were exited during the shakeout, having set up an encampment directly in front of the building. One of them contacted the media, who of course responded because sensationalism sells newspapers. The police and county sheriff squad cars drive by and are aware of the situation. 

Aside from the fact that those exited had continuously violated shelter guidelines, such as no violence, no consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises, no illegal narcotics including marijuana being used on the premises, and no screaming profanities all night long because somebody misplaced their cell phone, there is indeed another side to all of this. The other side is that everybody else who has a long term assigned bed, finally got an uninterrupted full night's sleep, for the first time in a year and a half. 

I've got two more medical appointments in early September, and then am free to go where I need to go and do what I need to do. By the way, I just viewed the United Health Care July statement. The total cost of the ICD which was put in July 10th, was over $350,000 dollars!! Looks like there is a reason for this body-mind complex to be on the planet earth awhile longer. Divine Absolute continues to work through it without interruption. Contact me if you wish to offer housing, any kind of support, etcetera etcetera. You are being thanked in advance for your cooperation. After we get done here in this global insane asylum, we're going back to Godhead.

Craig Louis Stehr

* * *

Rain or shine there was always a line at Bud's Ice Cream on the corner of Castro and 24th Street, Noe Valley. Image: 1970

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As we move on for the end of the month, September is staring over the fence at us, the great Day in elk is becoming a distant memory of the last weekend, and we give thanks for the business appear on the hill to did well from the, revelers came up from downtown, and from all over the place, as we look toward her future and wonder about what great things will happen, next year will it be a bigger parade??, What new event shall take place, will have better organization for the parade??, Will he finally decide they need somebody on the back truck with a loudspeaker in the middle of town calling out types of floats and talking about them a little bit like in real parades to, and maybe even a little participation ribbon sort of show you'd been here something to hang on the wall, among other things going on in the real world, I held a little impromptu poll of opinions, for many of my customers about a TV series, it's been on the air quite some time, and is one of my favorites or at least used to be, NCIS for several years I watched part of program faithfully including the reruns, the shining stars in this particular series great professional actors and actresses, that did their craft very well, gave us the feeling we were actually there as we sat on the edge of our couch propped up in our bed depending on the time of night, being taken in by the realism of the stories, the great detective work by the great libre Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, the great talent of Abby, played by Holly Perrett, then there's ducky, played by Donald McCollum, used to be in the Man from uncle series, outstanding individuals that kept us, on the edge of our seats, throughout the years, although it had several spinoffs want about LA, pretty good but not as good, and the one set in wired islands it gives them something, of their hometown to watch, but we all know about the fact that when a movie or TV series is done here in the Mendocino Coast we watch it with more intensity and maybe other programs, anyway back to the survey, 95% of the people I asked about the program that's NCIS the comments for the following they were not watching it, a more for the shining stars and made the program had been kicked to the curb, and the new programs spinoffs were not interesting at all to the, they wish that the three primary characters be on more often they are always happy to see Duffy appear once in a while, it gives them a little face in tomorrow, but it turns them off when Abby is no longer there and Leroy Jethro Gibbs, hasn't been there for a long time it didn't exactly fly well with the audience when he went fishing, and didn't come home, the new guy is all right but not great so now they're watching something else, the other interesting factor when, audiences watch favorite series, the products that their sponsoring or paying for the program they don't get sold, and sales for them go down, some actors in the industry are timeless and live forever, last night I watched the Maltese falcon, they had a large run Humphrey Bogart films over the weekend, but just as I started to get comfortable for the normal programming a watch on Sunday night, customers harbor house INN , wanted to come to the bar, and they were up from out of country, so I opened it up for a little while since we should drink before the sped off, to dinner somewhere, being in business tells me that if somebody from a local large or hotel down village or just about anywhere in the county, calls me up on Sunday they'll send the customers I will be more than accommodating, that's what being in business is about, I can always turn on the recording machine to suck up the favorite program and watch it later, it's actually more interesting, to visit with people from around the world and get information, about their life and their vacation, and I always recommend to come back to Mendocino County, but there's many things to do and see, last week on dish network, they were showing need for speed, a local film partially done here in the county stretching from the Anderson Valley parts of State Highway 253, to Highway 128, and to the coast to Highway 1, south to the point arena lighthouse, true action film about racing cars, and a grudge race between two individuals, but even parts and small views of, the San Francisco Bay Area, plus many more great shots on film across the United States, you first saw the film in 3-D, it would hold you on the edge of your chair, you thought you were really there, but isn't that what watching favorite program is about, being taken away from your world and put in theirs.

* * *

* * *


The debate, and I’m not original in saying they aren’t debates, they’re terrible. I don’t know what they are. They’re not speeches, they’re not shuffled speeches. They’re certainly not debates or arguments. They feel like beauty pageants in which people compete to say boring things in a perky way. And it was hard to watch, to be honest. I mean, the debate, besides being tedious, it just kind of gave me a stomach ache because they were falling back on rhetoric and formulas that I thought we were past as Americans. It was like a bad time travel thing. 

(Walter Kirn)

* * *


BUT, BUT, BUT… Inflation is under control. Big hed from one of the tabs: Leading economist warns Americans to “hunker down” and “save your pennies” ahead of a possible recession — after it emerged households are spending $709 more a month than they were two years ago

Economist Nancy Lazar warned Americans to prepare for an impending recession.

“Save your pennies because unfortunately the economic outlook is going to get worse before it gets better,” she said.

It comes as America's credit card debt has broken the $1 trillion barrier for the first time in history.

* * *



How can the Republican Party deny the condition the economy is in? Americans spent a billion dollars going to the movies in a recent two-week span. Millions of Americans are traveling the globe this summer, spending millions of dollars to vacation. The unemployment rate is lower than ever. So, how can the economy be problematic in a good economy? A former president is trying to get the whole country to become liars. America is great and always has been great.

Suzanne Hart


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* * *


1. Newsom Punishes Working Families with Higher Cost-of-Living

Hands down, California has the highest cost-of-living in the nation of any state – with California working families being forced to pay on average 42% more than their counterparts across the nation. Housing costs are over double the national average; electricity is 68% higher; gas is $1.50-$2.50 per gallon more expensive; water rates are double to triple depending on where you live, etc. Despite massive state government subsidies, even California healthcare costs are 10% higher than the national average.

In San Francisco, if you make a whopping $243,652 a year you are still considered “middle class” - while in San Diego a $186,084 salary lands you in the “middle class.” 

From housing to gas to healthcare and even bacon (yes, bacon), Newsom and California Democrats increase the cost of everything they touch through their high taxes and costly mandates and regulations. 

2. Newsom Coddles Criminals While Turning His Back on Crime Victims

Crime is spiking in California – with homicides jumping 42% in 2021 and property crimes up 6% last year with smash-and-grabs becoming a routine experience in retail stores. And it should come as no surprise. Newsom backed Prop 47 to eliminate prosecution of a wide range of crimes, and he has used Prop 57 to release over 70,000 violent criminals onto California streets since he took office.

While he coddles criminals, Newsom refuses to defend crime victims – refusing to make rape of an unconscious person a “felony” and signing SB 145 into law to allow a sexual predator to avoid being placed on the sex offender registry even if they molest a child as young as 14.

3. Newsom Has Created a Massive Homelessness Crisis

Since 2018, Newsom has wasted over $25 billion on failed homeless programs that fund rich politically-connected developers to build government-subsidized housing units at a cost of $1 million each – or give vouchers to homeless individuals for motel rooms at a cost of $5500 per person per month! 

Newsom also cut off funding from any homeless provider who dares to require mental health or substance abuse treatment for their clients – which studies show is the most effective way to get to the root cause and break the cycle of homelessness. 

The result? While the national homelessness rate has gone down 10% since 2007, California’s homelessness rate has gone up 36%. California has filth on its streets and lives are being lost daily. 

While President Hoover once promised “a chicken in every pot,” Newsom recently demanded each community “do its part” by accepting at least one homeless shelter in area.

4. Newsom Fails California Kids – and Smears Parents

California schools are a complete and utter mess – with two-thirds of students failing math proficiencies and a majority failing reading and writing proficiencies. Instead of fixing these problems, Newsom has a fetish for forcing schools to implement controversial sex-ed curriculum in early grades and racially divisive political propaganda. When parents object, he threatens their school districts with illegal fines and labels them “racists,” “homophobes,” and “extremists.”

5. Newsom’s Assault on Consumer Choice and Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis

Gavin Newsom has embraced the most extreme proposals of radical Left-wing environmental groups that have spiked energy prices, put California at risk of habitual blackouts, and made life miserable for residents. Right after he banned the sale of gas-powered cars by 2045, Newsom directed state agencies to bring the ban of all natural gas appliances in homes. The cost to retrofit a home to replace gas appliances with electric appliances will run at least $30,000 per homeowner – a staggering amount. 

Worse, California already has to import more than a third of its electricity from other states – with the latest projections putting the state 50-65% short on electricity by 2045! 

6. Newsom is Arrogant, Hypocritical, and Corrupt

While these adjectives are a typical fit for many politicians, Gavin Newsom takes it to a whole new level. Newsom had an affair with an employee – who was also his best friend’s wife – and blames it all on a dubious bout of alcoholism. After Newsom shut down businesses and imposed mask mandates, he dined without a mask with lobbyists and gave his campaign backers special exemptions. 

There’s a pattern of pay-to-play with Newsom. Newsom receives millions from state contractors and developers and rewards them with billions in state contracts and housing subsidies. Newsom even hits these same special interests up for donations to his wife’s 510c3 foundation – from which she has drawn more than a million dollars in compensation.

7. Two Million People Can’t Be Wrong

Since 2016, more than 2 million people have fled the state of California. Even with massive illegal immigration flows into the state, California has actually registered a net loss in population every year since 2014! Former Californians who fled the state have a multitude of reasons why they could not afford to – or stomach – living in the state anymore. Find one and ask them why they fled.

There’s More – Much More.

These are just a few of the many reasons Americans should be very, very worried about Gavin Newsom running for President. 

Newsom has benefitted from California’s liberal media who refuse to hold him accountable for his failings and corruption. 

That's why Reform California has launched a project to investigate and catalogue all of Newsom’s failings – and present them to the entire nation as a warning of what would happen to our country if he ever became President.

Your help is needed to hold Gavin Newsom accountable – so join the fight today!

* * *


A historic heat wave that began blasting the Southwest and other parts of the country this summer is shining a spotlight on one of the harshest, yet least-addressed effects of U.S. climate change: the rising deaths and injuries of people who work in extreme heat, whether inside warehouses and kitchens or outside under the blazing sun. Many of them are migrants in low-wage jobs.

Santos Brizuela spent more than two decades laboring outdoors, persisting despite a bout of heatstroke while cutting sugarcane in Mexico and chronic laryngitis from repeated exposure to the hot sun while on various other jobs.

But last summer, while on a construction crew in Las Vegas, he reached his breaking point. Exposure to the sun made his head ache immediately. He lost much of his appetite.

Now at a maintenance job, Brizuela, 47, is able to take breaks. There are flyers on the walls with best practices for staying healthy — protections he had not been afforded before.

“Sometimes as a worker you ask your employer for protection or for health and safety related needs, and they don’t listen or follow,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter.

A historic heat wave that began blasting the Southwest and other parts of the country this summer is shining a spotlight on one of the harshest, yet least-addressed effects of U.S. climate change: the rising deaths and injuries of people who work in extreme heat, whether inside warehouses and kitchens or outside under the blazing sun. Many of them are migrants in low-wage jobs.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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* * *

DEATH OF A VEGAN……restaurant.


I see Gracias Madre (eek!) is closing after 14 or 15 years in San Francisco’s Mission.

The place started auspiciously enough: Cool, clean, tiley... good espresso. Wasn’t their house couvee by Coturri, whom I call Sonoma Mountains’ quiet giant of organic wine? Who else had THAT? Nobody, that I remember...

I ordered an enchilada from the suspiciously voluminous menu, really, REALLY wanting to like this place. It’s sad to be a dish that nobody will ever crave, much less convert someone to their cause. How do you fook up guacamole? TWICE? First use unripe fruit... there must be a hydraulic press in back, no human could mash this. Then, as if to try and cover your sin, douse it in lime juice- inedible!

For desert I choose a long skinny wedge of chocolate cake. Is this what asbestos tastes like? Is asbestos as dry? To flesh the meal out- oops, SOWWY- wrong word-get the cake with the optional bowel movement of frozen congealed nut grease plopped on top! A fiesta of monotony all around! Adios,

Gracias Madre!

David Svehla

San Francisco

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DRUG OVERDOSES have killed more than a million people in the U.S. since 1999, with the majority of the fatalities driven by opioids, including the supremely powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl.

But while the accelerating casualties are vast — so much so that they are driving down the nation’s life expectancy — the suffering is not evenly spread, with some cities and counties recording death tolls three to five times higher than the national average, according to a first-of-its-kind tracker of the epidemic.

“Even in the era of COVID-19, the opioid crisis stands out as one of the most devastating public health disasters of the 21st century in the USA and Canada,” states a report by the Stanford Lancet Commission finding that the crisis was fueled by “unrestrained profit seeking and multi-level, multi-system regulatory failure.”

In an effort to better understand the emergence of drugs like fentanyl, which is exceedingly cheap, accessible and lethal, The Chronicle developed this tracker using mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which bases its estimates on reports from coroners and medical examiners around the country.

This data is the best known tally for gauging the extent of the overdose disaster across the U.S., though it is not without limitations. When possible, this tracker provides data down to the county level, the smallest geography for which the CDC provides data. The data updates monthly. The most recent data is from about eight months ago because investigations into fatal overdoses are often lengthy. 

— SF Chronicle

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by Matt Taibbi

When you know you’re being censored, you can protest. But what to do about silent editorial punishment, dished without announcement, by tech platforms that appear to be learning fast how to avoid public outcry?

A year ago, this site had to throw a public fit to resolve a preposterous controversy involving videographer Matt Orfalea and YouTube. The issue centered around the above video, “‘Rigged’ Election Claims, Trump 2020 vs. Clinton 2016,” which despite total factual accuracy was cited under its “Elections Misinformation” policy. YouTube in July of last year demonetized Orf’s entire channel over his content, saying “we think it violates our violent criminal organizations policy.”

As you will see if you click now, the above video, as I argued to Google, could not possibly be violative of any “misinformation” guideline, as it was comprised entirely of “real, un-altered clips of public figures making public comments.” After both Orf and I tantrumed in public — there’s not much else to do in these situations — YouTube sent Matt the “Great News!” that “after manually reviewing your video, we’ve determined that it is suitable for all advertisers”: We thought the matter was settled.

This week, Orf discovered the video had been re-classified as problematic by a new “human reviewer,” who declared it in violation for “harmful or dangerous acts” that “may endanger participants.” Potential problems, the reviewer determined, included “glorification, recruitment, or graphic portrayal of dangerous organizations,” by which I can only presume they mean former Bernie voters like Orf and myself whose political homelessness apparently constitutes a threat.

I’ve once again sent complaints up the Google/YouTube flagpole. Perhaps Racket readers are tired of digital censorship tales. If so, I understand, I do. I want to underscore that the chief reason now for sharing incidents like this is to show the rapid progression of tactics being used not just against this site, or Orf, but everyone.

In the last 6-8 months — hell, the last 2-3 months — the landscape for non-corporate media businesses has tightened dramatically. Independent media content is increasingly hard to find via platform searches, even when exact terminology, bylines, or dates are entered by users. Social media platforms that once provided effective marketing and distribution at little to no cost are now difficult to navigate even with the aid of paid boosting tools. In other words, even if your business does well enough to pay full retail rates for marketing, a widening lattice of algorithmic restriction across platforms is making distribution for non-corporate media a nightmare anyway.

It’s an unfortunate coincidence that this situation involving Orf arrives as Racket is preparing a story about new techniques being deployed in recent months to reclassify even non-violative true content as misinformation. Like this affair, that coming story touches on a phenomenon we saw repeatedly in the Twitter Files, but didn’t delve into in detail then: the use of deamplification and “visibility filtering” as PR-friendly alternatives to outright bans.

This episode with Orf represents a crack in the system, where the user isn’t formally notified of a demonetization or deamplification decision, but somehow learns of it anyway. How often is it happening when users don’t find out? Also, are these tools being used pre-emptively, for certain topics? There are so many things we need to learn still, about how access to information is being controlled.

Until then, will YouTube do the right thing and fix this particular idiocy? Even for your company, this shouldn’t be a hard call. If the video above somehow meets your definition of “harmful or dangerous acts,” you’ve gone crazy, in addition to rendering both of those terms totally meaningless. If you believe otherwise, could you at least explain your thinking, so the public can evaluate it? Sincerely, the editor, etc.

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'Room in New York', 1932 by Edward Hopper

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They call it stormy Monday

But Tuesday's just as bad

They call it stormy Monday

But Tuesday's just as bad

Lord, and Wednesday's worse

And Thursday's all so bad

The eagle flies on Friday

Saturday I go out to play

The eagle flies on Friday

Saturday I go out to play

Sunday I go to church, yeah

Gonna kneel down and pray

Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy on me

Though I'm tryin' and tryin' to find my baby

Won't somebody please send 'er home

Oh ho

Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy on me

Yeah, I'm proud, Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy on me

Though I'm tryin', tryin' to find my baby

Won't send 'er home, yeah, oh baby

— T-Bone Walker

* * *

* * *


When left/liberal fixations fall out of establishment favor, they're re-christened as conservative menaces

by Matt Taibbi

Thanks to a great response last week to an article about Klaus Schwab’s creep-tastic use of the term “transparency,” I’m pressing forward with a Devil’s Dictionary-style lexicographical project, tracking multitudinous dystopian alterations to American political speech.

I absolutely want the list to be a collaboration with Racket/Substack readers, so this and future entries will feature open comments sections. I see this list working best if it also functions as a usage tracker, à la the Oxford English Dictionary. The best gift my father ever gave me was a full OED, a monstrous rack of volumes that still sits devouring space in my house, daring me to look up the earliest recorded use of pecker in the impertinent sense (“1902 Farmer & Henley Slang”).

Here cites are important because they allow us to see how a 1966 use of transparency that meant people seeing sins of government turned into a 2023 usage meaning government seeking out the people’s sins. The more completely such changes are tracked, the more damning the lexicon.

Today’s theme involves once-embraced liberal terminology re-branded as right-wing and therefore infamous, false, or seditious:

Deep State:

In July of last year David Rothkopf wrote a piece for the Daily Beast called, “You’re going to miss the Deep State when it’s gone: Trump’s terrifying plan to purge tens of thousands of career government workers and replace them with loyal stooges must be stopped in its tracks.” In the obligatory MSNBC segment hyping the article, poor Willie Geist, fast becoming the Zelig of cable’s historical lowlight reel, read off the money passage:

During his presidency, [Donald] Trump was regularly frustrated that government employees — appointees, as well as career officials in the civil service, the military, the intelligence community, and the foreign service — were an impediment to the autocratic impulses about which he often openly fantasized.

This passage portraying harmless “government employees” as the last patriotic impediment to Trumpian autocracy represented the complete turnaround of a term that less than ten years before meant, to the Beast’s own target audience, the polar opposite. This of course needed to be lied about as well, and the Beast columnist stuck this landing, too, when Geist led Rothkopf through the eye-rolling proposition that there was “something fishy, or dark, or something going on behind the scenes” with the “deep state.”

Rothkopf replied that “career government officials” got a bad rap because “about ten years ago, Alex Jones and the InfoWars crowd started zeroing in on the deep state, as yet another of the conspiracy theories…”

The real provenance of deep state has in ten short years been fully excised from mainstream conversation, in the best and most thorough whitewash job since the Soviets wiped the photo record clean of Yezhov and Trotsky. It’s an awesome achievement.

Through the turn of the 21st century virtually no American political writers used deep state. In the mid-2000s, as laws like the PATRIOT Act passed and the Bush/Cheney government funded huge new agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the word was suddenly everywhere, inevitably deployed as left-of-center critique of the Bush-Cheney legacy.

How different was the world ten years ago? The New York Times featured a breezy Sunday opinion piece asking the late NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake — a man described as an inspiration for Edward Snowden who today would almost certainly be denounced as a traitor — what he was reading then. Drake answered he was reading “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry” by Marc Ambinder, whose revelations about possible spying on “eighteen locations in the Washington D.C. area, including near the White House, Congress, and several foreign embassies,” inspired the ACLU to urge congress to begin encrypting communications.

On the eve of a series of brutal revelations about intelligence abuses, including the Snowden mess, left-leaning American commentators all over embraced “deep state” as a term perfectly descriptive of the threat they perceived from the hyper-concentrated, unelected power observed with horror in the Bush years. None other than liberal icon Bill Moyers convinced Mike Lofgren — a onetime Republican operative who flipped on his formers and became heavily critical of the GOP during this period — to compose a report called “The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight.” Here’s Bill railing against the state-within-a-state with Lofgren.

This campaign gathered steam just as liberal America was beginning to become obsessed with the excesses of extralegal surveillance programs like Stellar Wind and CIA-run programs like “Targeted Killing” (the bloodless term for drone assassination). By 2014-2015 people all over the liberal blog-o-sphere were calling for consequences for operatives like the CIA’s John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Both were accused of lying to congress, including about the Snowden revelations — “No sir,” and “not wittingly,” Clapper answered, when asked if the U.S. was collecting “any data at all” about American citizens, leading even U.S. News and World Report to publish a headline asking, “Lock Him Up?”

The instant Donald Trump appeared on the scene, “Deep State” became myth. Its run as a focus of liberal angst was over the minute Sean Hannity teased a show in 2017 with a tweet praising Trump, and referencing Deep State “allies in the media.”

There was an effort among some recalcitrant journalists to remind audiences that negative feelings about Donald Trump weren’t irreconcilable with serious concerns about intelligence overreach — Michael Crowley’s “The Deep State is Real” in Politico in 2017 was one example, or the aforementioned Ambinder writing “Trump is Showing How the Deep State Really Works” in Foreign Policy come to mind — but ten years after Snowden and a parade of whistleblowers about torture and other abuses, relentless propaganda has succeeded in equating “deep state” with “conspiracy theory” in the public’s mind. Amusingly, this is taking place at the same time when every third show on Netflix is about an elderly CIA operative who has to come out of retirement and dust off perfect-killing-machine skills to save a wayward daughter (who inevitably looks like Jen Psaki or Alex Wagner) from a shadowy cabal of interagency goons with more power than the president.

Everyone from ABC News to the European Union (which describes “QAnon deep state conspiracies” as a product of “right-wing extremism”) to academics writing about how “Fake news promotes conspiracy theories such as Deep State” have accepted the core idea that suspicions of unelected institutional power are, like disdain for “elites,” fictional products of “misinformation” and rightist resentment. Criticism of “deep state” in fact is often used by Internet censors as a way to identify dangerous or foreign-aligned groups. What a coincidence that this same deep state just happened to be the chief fixation and worry of educated Democrats a decade ago!

The term working class reached peak usage in 1970, while its replacement, white working class, is at its peak now and still ascending. The former suggests the existence of a multiracial working class, the latter reminds us to first and foremost associate working class with white, a concept much easier to demonize.

Working class began tailing off at the outset of the eighties, when two dovetailing phenomena became electoral factors. Once-solid-blue districts in places like Macomb County, Michigan began switching to Ronald Reagan, in some cases over issues like busing and immigration, in others over issues like pornography and crime, in others over the generalized anger. Strategists at the Democratic Leadership Council after wipeout losses in 1972 and 1984 also began to reconsider their party’s logistical and financial dependence on unions, moving to what Bill Clinton’s campaign called a more “pro-growth” profile. Class politics became associated with McGovern, Mondale, and loserdom. Saying working class on the stump was like walking around with a fly open, earning open catcalls from campaign journalists.

Working class wouldn’t come back until the insurgent candidacies first of Barack Obama (who re-seized a lot of union-heavy, Reagan Democrat territories with worker-friendly promises that of course were soon broken), then of Bernie Sanders. You can see above the revival of working class beginning in 2008. Just as quickly, the term leveled off, as Sanders fell into another dystopian punji trap, class-not-race. From 2015 on, every time Sanders made a gaffe about anything (but particularly on the race issue) articles pummeled his emphasis not on “class,” but “class-not-race,” the implication being that talking about class meant a commensurate disinterest in race issues.

When Sanders blurted out, “When you're white, you don't know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto,” the Chicago Tribune hit him with, “Bernie Sanders’ ‘ghetto’ remark raises class vs. race debate.” When he got walloped on Super Tuesday in the last cycle, Politico explained “Bernie Sanders Isn’t Winning Over Black Voters” because he was “appealing to class, not race.” Class-not-race became code for an increasingly infamous form of racism encapsulated by other terms likely to find their way on this list, “color blind” and “color blindness.” Once considered an aspirational positive, a would-be “color blind” pol like Sanders who focused on “class-not-race” was understood to be denying the realities of discrimination, probably out of secret racism.

As the use of “working class” on its own began to carry more penalties even for politicians like Sanders whose entire raison d’etre was supposedly class politics, new entrants to the electoral scene were encouraged to refer instead to the “white working class,” perjoratively. This was soon described as a voting bloc that basically existed to make irrational/moronic demands, like:

Loss, fear and rage: Are white men rebelling against democracy?

It Was Cultural Anxiety That Drove White, Working-Class Voters to Trump

Here be monsters: Trump’s “white working class”

The anthopological cast to this avalanche of “So, just what is this white working class derp?” stories that appeared after 2016 was as hilarious as it was infuriating. The white working class lives in barns! It feels anxious! It believes in aliens and QAnon! Most importantly, it votes for Donald Trump, which means whatever it thinks about anything can safely be ignored. It can also be blamed for all kinds of things, including not really being “working class” (this was a whole sub-genre of articles that popped up after 2016).

Through this switcheroo from one term to another, a phrase that was coined to express a specific political idea — that connections between people of a certain economic class are meaningful — once again came to mean more or less the exact opposite, i.e. that the only “working class” that really exists is fractious and separated by ethinicity. White working class, black working class, Latinx working class (really!), and so on. Workers of the world, split up!

* * *

WE DIED to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.

— T.S. Eliot

* * *


The Ukrainian military is claiming further gains on the southern front Tuesday, near the recently liberated village of Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia region. But Kyiv faces challenges as its soldiers continue to push toward the strategic hub of Tokmak.

A least six people died in Russian attacks on the eastern Donetsk and southern Kherson regions, Ukrainian officials have also said.

A company owned by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his funeral took place in a "closed format" and individuals "wishing to say goodbye" can visit the Porokhovskoe cemetery, which is located in St. Petersburg. The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon, according to a local media outlet.

Rare video released by Russian state media showed detained American Paul Whelan inside prison in Russia.


* * *

Garden of Earthly Delights, 3rd panel, by Hieronymus Bosch


  1. Marmon August 30, 2023

    ‘If fascism ever comes to America, It will come in the name of liberalism’

    -Ronald Reagan


    • Bruce Anderson August 30, 2023

      I don’t remember his speech writers saying that for him. But Mencken said that it was inevitable we’d elect a straight up moron one of these days and we’ve elected at least three — Reagan, W. Bush and Trump.

      • Harvey Reading August 30, 2023

        You left out Biden, and Obama wasn’t anything to brag about, though he was semi-coherent.

        • Bruce Anderson August 30, 2023

          Biden’s an old fashioned grifter who’s gone totally senile in office, and you’ve got to wonder at the people at the DNC who drafted him. Uh, check that; the DNC’s function, like the Repug shot callers, is to serve their respective oligarchs.

      • Call It As I See It August 30, 2023

        Hmm! Where’s Biden on your list dripping with Liberalism? Maybe he doesn’t qualify as a Moron, I guess Liberals vote in a dementia ridden senior citizen to keep him off the Moron list.

        • Kirk Vodopals August 30, 2023

          You kinda need to go easy on Ronny and Sleepy Joe, both of whom are/were on the geriatric end of life trying to run the free world. Nancy did a lot of the talking for Ronny towards the end. At least Ronny attempted interviews. Poor Sleepy Joe will only chat with the Weather Channel.
          Poor Mitch the Turtle had another freeze-up today.
          No excuses for Orange Man.
          Make America Somewhat Younger Again!

          • Marmon August 30, 2023

            ‘There You Go Again’



        • Bruce Anderson August 30, 2023

          I am left/lib. Sheesh.

    • Chuck Dunbar August 30, 2023

      Not to be a pushy liberal type jerk, but James, I found a song from way back in 1975 just made for you: “WAKE UP EVERYBODY”–Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, with Teddy Pendergrass. Give it a listen, if you will, and maybe it will move and inspire you. (BTW, this is not the same thing as “Woke”)

      • Chuck Dunbar August 30, 2023

        Just in case you don’t listen to this song, James, here are the truncated lyrics:

        Everybody Wake Up

        Wake up everybody no more sleepin in bed
        No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
        The world has changed so very much
        From what it used to be so
        There is so much hatred war an’ poverty

        Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
        Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
        Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
        When you teach the children teach em the very best you can
        The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
        The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me

        Wake up all the doctors make the ol’ people well
        They’re the ones who suffer an’ who catch all the hell
        But they don’t have so very long before the Judgement Day
        So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away

        Wake up all the builders time to build a new land
        I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
        The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
        Surely things will work out they do it every time
        The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
        The world won’t get no better
        We gotta change it yeah, just you and me (yeah, yeah

        • Del August 31, 2023

          I read the entire song, while listening to it in my head. Magic.

    • The Shadow August 30, 2023

      “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” A very prescient Sinclair Lewis in 1935.

    • sam kircher August 30, 2023

      “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,”
      Nobody’s really sure to whom this gem should be attributed, but it’s certainly much more apt (and specific) than the vagaries of Reagan’s (and your) bogeyman “liberalism.”
      More so if you substitute the cross with an unopened upside-down bible at St John’s Episcopal church.

  2. Betsy Cawn August 30, 2023

    Re: Mendo BoS about-face on their boards/committees/commissions et alia:

    Hmmm, did they see the writing on the cave walls?

    But another display of adolescent power.

    They were all wannabe senior class presidents..

    • Chuck Dunbar August 30, 2023

      Oh Yeah, hit the nail on the head, Betsy–made me smile.

  3. Cotdbigun August 30, 2023

    This made my day, or why I do not argue with some people. The fact that the average household costs a whole lot more to maintain than 2 years ago , sure looks like a true story. In fact, a leading economist puts the number at $ 709.- per month, and advices to take steps to prepare yourself for things getting worse. In the very next paragraph we have Ms. Hart informing us that the economy is splendid, things are better then ever and anyone disagreeing with that bit of wisdom is a liar. Especially the Orange Monster and all Republicans. I’m sure all those paycheck to paycheck folks, the homeless and the poor are being dishonest as well. Armed with this new information, I now know who to vote for ! Yay baby, let’s go Biden.

    • Kirk Vodopals August 30, 2023

      Bidenomics is doing their best to ignore the inflation issue. It’s going to be the downfall of his ca mpaign (not to mention his age). Excessive inflation is a tax. It seems to be plateauing…ugh

  4. Rye N Flint August 30, 2023

    Great articles today!

    Here’s a doosie…

    “The drag on County finances is, 1) Property Tax scofflaws, 2) TOT rates for air B&Bs below necessary minimums (should be 15%, not 10% for them). 3) Litigation and outside “Consultant” costs. 4) County Counsel’s office featherbedding, 5) marijuana permitting clogs.

    The list, as I’m sure you can add to it, goes on.”

    I would Split Item 3) Into Excessive Litigation costs and 4) Outside “Consultant” Costs, that could go towards better staffing pay to accomplish the same task internally.

  5. Me August 30, 2023

    Why don’t we slash Mr. Curtis’s salary back to what it was when he took the job?
    Why do we spend so much on outside legal services when we have a county counsel office?
    Pick one or the other, which is more cost effective?
    Are Dept’s top heavy again? Is that being looked at like it was in the early 2000’s?

    • The Shadow August 30, 2023

      From what I see, it’s worse than early 2000s.

  6. peter boudoures August 30, 2023

    You guys disrespect and belittle the BOS and then get mad when they’re rude. Way to get things done

    • Rye N Flint August 30, 2023

      My 12 Year old step daughter makes the same argument when I tell her to clean up her messes and do her dishes instead of leaving them for others to clean up. It’s not a matter of disrespect, it’s the annoyance of constantly reminding someone of their responsibilities.

      • peter boudoures August 30, 2023

        Oh really. You complain about the hostile work environment at the county and it’s more than obvious it wasn’t one sided

        • Kirk Vodopals August 30, 2023

          Umm, I thought all things government is bad. Government bad, unless you can drown it in the bathtub, right? Gubmint should be small, feckless and not able to hold its breath for very long so we can, you know, drown it in the tub. Isn’t that what all us mendo hill muffins want. Isn’t that why we live here and have closets full of weapons and secret cash crops? Maybe we need a deeper bath tub? But where do we get the extra water? Oh, I forgot, from the Eel River diversion that was created and operated by the thing that we need to drown in the tub

          • peter boudoures August 30, 2023

            All those eel River straws feeding the timber conversion plans you approved? In your neck of the woods it’s the Navarro river and the water diversion permits approved by your buddies. Lets revisit this during a real drought.

            • Kirk Vodopals August 30, 2023

              Mr. Boudoures, your ad-hominem attacks are falling flat. I worked for a timber company, but I was not a forester. And my neck is not your concern either. I have no “buddies” in the regulatory world. Let’s assume we know nothing about each other as individuals and continue to address each other as assumed avatars of our own misguided perceptions. That said, yes, let’s continue the discussion. Tis stimulating… like an artisinal cannabis boof… wouldn’t you agree?

              • peter boudoures August 30, 2023

                I hope you don’t speak like that around your kids. We call it bammer or bunk weed. Boof is a little out there for squares like me.

                • Kirk Vodopals August 30, 2023

                  Thanks for the clarification on weed suppositories. Now I feel like I can really communicate with my neighbors better. I’m assuming your kids know thse subtle differences

                  • peter boudoures August 30, 2023


                  • Rye N Flint August 30, 2023

                    From calling the BOS 12 year olds to boofing pot, this conversation got tangential quick. Or do the kids call that tangie now?

    • Call It As I See It August 30, 2023

      I guess the County employees shouldn’t get upset when Bowtie Ted says no one would miss them if they went on strike!!!!! Respect is earned, when Bowtie lies and then comes on this thread and treats everyone like they’re an idiot, it must be okay to rude. And if you think talking respectfully to Bowtie will get things done, you obviously don’t know him, he just uses that to try and manipulate you. Belittling him is the only way to get his attention.

      • Mike J August 30, 2023

        There’s only one Trump. Stop trying to steal his regressive m.o.

  7. Del August 30, 2023

    Lee Edmunson’s Amateur BOS

    “They don’t know what to do about the County’s deficits. Although they admit they don’t know what those deficits actually are at present. It’s based on hunch and supposition. Not solid facts or figures of the actual County financial exposure…”

    Made me think of advice I got in a song long ago…

    “He said, “Son, I’ve made a life
    Out of readin’ people’s faces
    Knowin’ what the cards were
    By the way they held their eyes…

    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
    Know when to fold ’em
    Know when to walk away
    And know when to run
    You never count your money
    When you’re sittin’ at the table
    There’ll be time enough for countin’
    When the dealin’s done…

    Every gambler knows
    That the secret to survivin’
    Is knowin’ what to throw away
    And knowin’ what to keep
    ‘Cause every hand’s a winner
    And every hand’s a loser
    And the best that you can hope for
    Is to die in your sleep”

  8. Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

    Re; Building Bridges Purge………………..
    What better place for them to go then right outside the shelter…lol…seems like the perfect spot to me. Better yet how about hiring security to keep things in a civilized manner. Why not just allow them to conjure in the fenced in outdoor area? A perfect opportunity to consolidate. action plans and services. Interested in hearing what comes of the mandatory meeting, is UPD invited? lol…………………💕

    • Mike J August 30, 2023

      Craig isn’t a credible reporter, sadly.
      He has recently contradicted observations of fact expressed by a former and a current residents of the hood he feels is not up to his standards. He denied the existence of a large laundromat across the street and thinks his Wonder bread store is miles away when in fact it’s 4/10th of a mile away.

      The makeshift encampment is now removed with initial reclustering resuming across the street.

      • Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

        Interesting cause it was there last night i will drive by tonight to see if its back… i have no doubt it will be.. sounds a bit ridiculous as I said best spot for the homeless the shelter…. Imagine that

        mm 💕

        • Marmon August 30, 2023

          I love you

          • Mazie Malone August 30, 2023


        • Mike J August 30, 2023

          They had developing infrastructure there, including large umbrella and tarp, chairs, etc. The familiar tall old man wearing a safety reflector vest seemed to be there a lot. He has a walker now I think. There are other old people out on the street too.

          Driving home from Safeway around noon today I saw that the space was cleared. People do sleep outside the shelter. And, still congregate along the now-erected fencing.

          Alcohol, meth and CNS depressant opioids are placing people in varying degrees of vulnerability to being conserved as gravely disabled from new legislation enabling that course of action. From a SF TV news discussion last night, the old-styled institutionalization supposedly won’t be reincarnated. Instead something new catering to modern-day sensibilities around civil liberties, etc will arise.

          Of course there will be needed the building of residential treatment facilities for those to be involuntarily housed.

          • Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

            The new legislation sounds good
            Music to my ears but in all reality it likely will not be passed through…civil rights and disability rights fight these things tooth and nail… and often win
            The other reality is that even if these matters go forward its going to take some savvy implementation and follow through
            As it stands now the programs we have do not work for the most seriously afflicted. But I will look for dude in orange vest… 😂😂😂


          • Mike J August 30, 2023

            The encampment is now developing on West side of street, on sidewalk in front of fence.
            There’s a cluster of people at the north side of Observatory St, sitting against fencing.
            I didn’t see the old guy in the vest when checking now.

            • Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

              Lol all I can say is .. 😂😂😂 yay right where they need to be, home, safe-somewhat!!! Lol .. I mean we are safe 😂…. Look all we need is a building a security guard and some folks willing to do their part and launch these folks back into society… nicely of course with the support they need, whose fronting the cash? …….. 😂😂


      • Craig Stehr August 30, 2023

        Craig is a credible reporter. He just doesn’t agree with you, Mike J! But that is because your general observations lack depth, precisely because you aren’t on the inside, and don’t therefore know what you are talking about. ~The End~

        • Craig Stehr August 31, 2023

          It is 12:41 AM August 31st in Ukiah, CA. There is nobody camped either in front of the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, nor directly across the street. Residents on Thomas Street have made it clear that they do not wish to have campers across the street along the fence line, due to both litter and noise concerns. The Nepalis who run the Express gas station on South State Street near Observatory Avenue have stopped selling alcoholic beverages to individuals who have consistently caused a disruption in their market.

  9. Betsy Cawn August 30, 2023


    California Government Code Section 54972: Local Appointments List [54970-54974]

    On or before December 31 of each year, each legislative body shall prepare an appointments list of all regulr and ongoing boards, commissions, and committees which are appointed by the legislative body of the local agency. This list shall be known as the Local Appointments List. The list shall contain the following information:

    (a) A list of all appointive terms which will expire during the next calendar year, with the name of the incumbent appointee, the date of appointment, the date the term expires, and the necessary qualifications for the position.

    (b) A list of all boards, commissions, and committees whose members serve at the pleasure of the legislative body, and the necessary qualifications for each position.

    (Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 669, Sec. 6)

    For over twenty years I have attempted to get the Lake County Board of Supervisors to comply with the legislation, specifically the naming of appointees (and stating their terms in office), which began with the search for the list itself in 1999. My first request was answered by a typed list of the “boards, committees, and commissions” (and other forums to which the Board of Supervisors appoint one or more of the members to represent the county, such as the Lake Area Planning Council, the Eel-Russian River Commission, CSAC, RCRC, the Caltrans “DEAL” committee, etc.) with no information other than the names of those advisory bodies.

    After the County created its own website, the list appeared in the section about the Supervisors, and today it includes the names of appointees with designations of “Category/Qualifications” that provide no such qualifications, and many of the “Dates of Term Expiration” indicated by the unexplained “n/a” or vague language such as “annual term.” In the case of our Geothermal Advisory Committee, the field displays only “TBD-Bylaws” (although the committee has existed for almost as long as Lake County has permitted the geothermal steam fields on its southern peaks).

    The new list is an improvement on the previous one, which only stated the names of Supervisors appointed to their advisory bodies but did include a column displaying their “Meeting Schedule” in mostly broad terms, and a number of advisory bodies that have been pruned from the current list by an unknown hand (in other words, not discussed in a public hearing of the Board).

    Regardless of these trifles, listed could (but does not) be linked via URLs leading directly to the minimal pages that are — at long last — also available about each of the advisory bodies (not necessarily reflecting the differences between the early 2022 and later 2022 lists).

    Most of the sub-pages for each of the selected advisory bodies display only the broadest information about the number of members and categories for membership, a general explanation of the term of office (i.e., “3-year terms”), a very broad “Overview” of the advisory body’s purpose, and instructions for potential members to use the Administration’s online application forms.

    The Mental Health Board [sic] — for which I serve as a volunteer “recording secretary” — also provides hyperlinked documents for each of the three years in which that body has functioned (after a decade of inactivity), including a formal complaint lodged with that body in response to a problem allegedly created by the Board of Supervisors (the only complaint I have ever found on a County webpage) for public consideration.

    In addition to the lack of useful information about members (for comparison, see the similar list for Calaveras County, which at least provides the name of most chairs or contact person with phone numbers), appointments to terms that vary between fiscal and calendar year endings, appointments made to fill “unfinished terms” (requiring re-application at the beginning of which ever time period is designated), and a lack of administrative tracking of those terms requires monitoring by each advisory body itself.

    Newly added to the agendas of the Board of Supervisors is a regular item for reporting each Supervisor’s “Calendar” of meetings — recently completed or upcoming, which rarely (if ever) include reports received in those off-site meetings. Supervisors have no “staff” and their correspondence is not maintained unless they do it themselves. When they leave office, their compilations of such records they may have created are simply destroyed.

    It took almost four months to unearth the contact information for the vital “In-Home Support Services” advisory board, and that body — like the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council — has not reported to the Board of Supervisors for as long as I can recall.

    Recruiting members for vacancies is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors, which complies with the least effort possible by publishing a “legal notice” annually (usually at the end of the Calendar year) those bodies that have vacancies. But when prospective members (or just interested stakeholders) seek information about them, all they can find are those two website resources. Every inquiry is directed to the County Administration, and the responsibility for answering inquiries is a “hit or miss” roulette wheel of staff with no particular office in charge to ensure that members of the public are provided with contact information beyond the webpages.

    Our MACs, a fairly new type of advisory body with State statutory authority (our first was formed in 2006), are likewise barely supported by the Administration and — like all of the Lake County advisory bodies I have worked with — responsible for maintaining their own records at sites that are unknown to the public, with varying levels of institutional documentation that would also inform the Board of Supervisors of the performance of their appointees or their collective functions.

    Seeing the increasing trend toward exclusion of stakeholders, citizens, activists, and local tax-payers such as the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors attempted in yesterday’s meeting, and the minimization of access to such valuable entities — to which our Boards often “delegate” important foundational or oversight responsibilities — is deeply disturbing and unrelentingly rude, at best.

    Many thanks to those who stood together yesterday, at some personal expense (all appointees to Lake County boards, committees, and commissions foot their own tabs for the cost of volunteer services), and the excellent reporting from Mr. Shields, Mr. Scaramella, and others who stopped your BoS from acting so precipitously for no understandable reason.

  10. Sarah Kennedy Owen August 30, 2023

    Thanks R.N. Flint for adding to the list of costs and drags on the economy of our county. Here are a few more:
    Judging by the county payroll, we are paying a huge amount to our law enforcement. In addition, even though this is not on the payroll, this “huge amount” includes having to take up the extra on the addition to the jail ( I believe it was $6,797,000, listed on the architect’s statement, published on the Mendo Voice site), and this is aside from the extra costs in maintenance and employees the addition will cost. How much is county responsibilty to pay
    There is, also overlooked, inflationary overrun cost on the new courthouse. The original total cost to build, which started at $118,000,000, is now up to $145,000,000. Who is responsible for the overrun? Will the state be able to uphold its responsibility or will the project founder and stall? Who is responsible to answer these questions?
    Mental health is costing a lot in salaries (especially the higher ups, who are paid ridiculous amounts with questionable oversight) Another high cost is new construction for services (?) for the mentally ill patients.
    Also how many coroners do we need? Take a look at the payroll and count. Will someone explain that please?
    I think someone needs to go over the payroll with a fine-toothed comb (forensic accountant?).

  11. Bruce McEwen August 30, 2023

    Where’s DeSantis? Last year during the hurricane he was in front of the camera day and night —now he’s missing a great opportunity to show off for the campaign but… ?

    • Lazarus August 30, 2023

      Ron Desantis has been on TV all day Bruce.
      And Joe Biden even bragged during a news briefing about calling him today.
      Not to worry, he’s taking care of business.
      Be well,

      • Bruce McEwen August 30, 2023

        I was at the VA today so I must have missed it. Usually I’m around tv news all morning. Thanks for the heads up. He was in the navy so I have more in common with him than any of the others.

    • Rye N Flint August 30, 2023

      100 Year old oak tree fell on his house… A sign from God?

      • Bruce McEwen August 30, 2023

        Odd omen.

  12. Marmon August 30, 2023

    Tune over to FoxNews, They’re falling all over themselves over their love for DeSantes.


    • Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

      I don’t use that word….. lol
      If those were the greatest barriers shit would be easy
      Nice try


  13. Mazie Malone August 30, 2023

    I am happy to confirm that that “Camp Homeless Homie Can’t Camp Here” is indeed missing sort of. No tents or peeps next to the shelter but all our sick friends are hanging on Observatory and at the gas station. I even saw JT smoking something with someone… Happy Wednesday.


  14. Del August 31, 2023


    “I want to go there for our summer vacation, next year, Daddy…and see, hear, what they’re doing, and possibly volunteer, and collaborate, while we’re there.

    Opportunity of a lifetime to be first in U.S. history, to partner with an organization to bring attention to an important cause to the area, and/or it’s people.

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