Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023

Cool Weekend | Seen Justin? | Covelo Sideshow | Coast Trail | Overpaid Navels | Meet Madeline | Kelli Saga | Fairgrounds | Tent Reprieve | Skatepark Fundraiser | AVUSD News | Pampas Grass | Two Rivers | Boontling Chat | Crisis Lifeline | AI Companion | Cactus Flower | Slow Homicide | Ukiah Example | Schizophrenic | Garden Color | Ukiah Construction | Building Bridges | Ten Mile | Name Games | Plant Sale | Father/Daughter | Chestnut Festival | Whispertree | Yesterday's Catch | Drug Policy | Wine Talk | Affordable Housing | Boxer Dancing | Marco Radio | Spear | Dying Light | SF Dining | Anti-Trans Convention | Tree Farming | Diddy Wah | Communist Menace | Laying Track | Human Condition | 24 Rabbits | Conundrum | Little Italy | R Family | Ukraine | Muscat Citizen | War Thoughts | Burger Line | Viet Humor

* * *

ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS are forecast to occur across the interior mountains today and Sunday. Dry weather is then expected during early to middle portions of next week, followed by cooler and possibly wet conditions late next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A foggy 57F on the coast this Saturday morning. I did not see any sun yesterday & looking at the satellite I do not expect to see any today. Our forecast is calling for clearing skies early next week, we'll see. Otherwise we can plan on a generally foggy weekend.

* * *

* * *

LAW ENFORCEMENT CONVERGING ON COVELO To Break Up Side Show Involving 200-300 Vehicles

by Matt LeFever

Reports from Covelo this evening [Sep 15] indicate multiple law enforcement agencies have been dispatched to a sideshow involving 200-300 vehicles driving recklessly near the intersection of State Route 162 and Howard Street. 

Scanner traffic in the last hour indicated Tribal Police attempted to intervene and break up the gathering followed by a request for any available units to support their efforts.

Multiple units from California Highway Patrol's Garberville Office and deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office are currently on their way.


* * *

Coast Trail Vista (Falcon)

* * *


by Mark Scaramella

Local reporters Justine Frederiksen and Frank Hartzell have already done a good job summarizing the primary topics of discussion at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting in Mendocino. There’s already been plenty of coverage of Ms. Kelli Johnson’s overheated law enforcement complaint. The pseudo-controversy over outdoor dining tents for struggling coast eateries drew a big crowd before the Board predictably approved the obvious temporary “solution” of allowing the outdoor dining tents for a year. Most of the coastal attendees quickly departed after that, showing absolutely zero interest in the rest of the Board’s agenda. 

Not much attention was paid to Supervisor Haschak’s proposal to increase taxes on short term rentals which couldn't even get a second from his colleagues. Supervisor Maureen Mulheren didn’t think the proceeds from the proposed tax would be worth the trouble of putting it on the ballot. Supervisor Dan Gjerde agreed saying it should be part of a road maintenance tax proposal, but adding that he doubted such a tax measure would pass. Gjerde pompously said that putting a road tax on the ballot would give the public the opportunity to “solve the problem or not solve the problem,” ignoring the fact that the voting public, such as it is, probably doubts that he and his colleagues, given more tax money, would solve anything, much less fix any roads. This board hasn’t delivered on a single local ballot measure this century. But it would give Gjerde another opportunity to blame the public rather than himself and his colleagues for “not solving the problem.”

Visit Mendocino honcho Travis Scott was adamantly against the short-term rental tax increase saying it was a “no-go,” and it would “stifle the entrepreneurial spirit” [sic] of Mendocino County. The visibly aggrieved Scott added that he didn’t like seeing tourism, “the county’s only remaining industry,” being “the target of Board action.” Clearly, Scott and his tourism promotion associates are still bitter about having to pay a little more of their own marketing expenses.

As far as increased tax revenues go, CEO Darcie Antle told the board that she “thinks” County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison is “evaluating an agency” that could audit short term rentals who are not paying their transient occupancy taxes. 

Supervisors Glenn McGourty and Ted Williams both fell back into their annoyingly familiar position of blaming the Board’s self-created budget problems on Ms. Cubbison who, they say at almost every meeting now, is an elected official over whom they have no control.

Coast realtor Dierdre Lamb had a rather lengthy exchange with the Board. Lamb tried to tell the unhearing Board that the Supervisors should increase the Tax Collector staff. “I sell luxury homes,” said Lamb, adding that her clients “want to pay their taxes” but many of them have not been billed.

In fact, we know of a coast resident — perhaps a client of Ms. Lamb — who bought a million dollar house last year and has yet to see a tax bill. Reportedly, this home buyer has money set aside for the taxes he knows he owes but has not yet been billed for. 

Instead of agreeing with this seeming low-hanging revenue windfall, the board suddenly switched gears, citing the budget bump they gave the Assessor’s office last year, which of course does nothing for the understaffed Tax Collector’s staff.

How hard would it be for the Supervisors to at least ask the Tax Collector for a report on tax collection status and offer the tax collector whatever reasonable revenue generating staff she needs? Apparently that’s beyond this Board’s limited ability because nobody disagreed when lame-duck Supervisor Dan Gjerde told Ms. Lamb, “We have dealt with Assessor staff increase and higher wages in her department. We have given more assistance to the Assessor to help them catch up. So we are doing everything we can.”

“Everything we can”? Sheesh! Since Gjerde is not stupid, the only way to interpret that ridiculous remark is that Gjerde is now fully on-board the ‘Blame Cubbison’ train that will not produce a nickel of new revenue for the County.

Astonishingly, Supervisor Williams finally mused, albeit about three years after the fact, “Maybe we should have an agenda item on how do we collect the taxes that are due and unbilled?”

Supervisor McGourty agreed, with one of his classic pearls of wisdom: “You can’t get anywhere unless you have a plan, correct?,” said McGourty, adding, “At some point we need to take action.”

But, as usual, nobody “took action.” (That “point” is not likely to be reached until January 2025 at the earliest when McGourty and Gjerde are off the Board.) Instead they accepted CEO Antle’s lame remark: “I have met with the Assessor and we are looking at how to improve the process.”

What they’re looking at is their own overpaid navels.

* * *

* * *


Ms. Kelli Johnson posted on FB on Sept 6:

The police say they contacted her at 0900 and again at 1pm when she was arrested. She’s asserting her first amendment rights to have mouthed off to them earlier. She said when she was arrested during the second contact that it was because she had verbally been hostile before. She claimed she was sober and hadn’t been drinking for hours. She cited the code re public intoxication and noted she was able to care for herself. BUT, having checked the code on disorderly conduct, the behavior she acknowledged could legitimately get her arrested! She is seeking others with similar stories to join in a class action suit.

PS. The Sheriff activity log noted a disturbance a little after 9 am and again a little after 1pm at 45340 Little Lake Rd. on Sept 6. The latter resulted in a 647F arrest.

Description of that address:

Available in 2024 Luxury long term vacation rental in Mendocino Village. Remembered by many as the house in the movie Summer of 42, is a very special one of a kind unique artists home on a double lot in an unparalleled location in the Mendocino Village. This historic house is privately situated on the quiet northwest corner of town, with panoramic unobstructed views overlooking the Mendocino Headlands State Park and the Pacific Ocean.

* * *


Subject: Police brutality

Dear Supervisor Williams,

I’m writing to you in regards to the testimony given on Tuesday at the BOS meeting by the woman from Sacramento who spoke of her abuse by Mendocino County deputies.

I am calling for an investigation and disciplinary action to be taken. This is reflective of other violent behavior on the part of MCOS law enforcement and must be stopped. I understand that there have been several civil suits filed against law enforcement personnel for abusive behavior but no disciplinary action has been taken by the Sheriff. It is incumbent upon the BoS to protect the public when you witness harm being done.

Please report back with information as you proceed.

Thank you,

Merry Winslow


* * *

SHERIFF KENDALL told us today (Friday) that his office has taken Ms. Johnson’s complaint seriously and is in possession of the video and audio involved. Kendall said he’s frusrated that he can’t release the video and audio while the case is under investigation as Ms. Johnson continues with her high-visibility version of events. But Kendall said he will welcome the opportunity to release it when the time comes because it will show that the deputies involved did nothing out of line, despite the passionate presentation of Ms. Johnson before the Supervisors on Tuesday. 

Apparently the Sheriff's Department has video from a witness who recorded the encounter between Deputy Jensen and Ms. Johnson on their cellphone. Additionally, there is audio and video from the patrol car and the jail. (Mendo deputies do not as yet have body cameras, but should be equipped with them in the near future.) 

Besides the audio and video, the Sheriff said there’s an important backstory to the incident that will also support the actions of his staff. 

There are two tracks underway which might lead to the release of the video and audio and other related evidence: 1) If/when the DA decides to file charges and the disorderly conduct charge goes to court; or, 2) If Ms. Johnson files a formal lawsuit and the evidence is provided via ordinary discovery, although in the latter case, she could choose not to disclose it. 

Meanwhile, Sheriff Kendall requests that the public hold off on drawing any premature conclusions about the case. 

(Mark Scaramella) 

* * *

Mendocino County Fairgrounds (Jeff Goll)

* * *


by Frank Hartzell

Back in May of this year, restaurants were told the pandemic was ending, and that the special permits issued by the county to allow outdoor and tent seating during the pandemic would be going away. On Tuesday, during a board meeting held in Mendocino, county supervisors voted to grant a one-year reprieve to axing tents and outdoor seating. But as the meeting went on, it became clear that the year would be used to create a policy for code enforcement that also includes what is likely to be the county’s scarcest commodity — water.…

* * *

ms notes: Despite all the time and attention given to the water supply aspect of the tent/outdoor dining issue, nobody mentioned the big water tank project that was trumpted two years ago and was said then to take at least five years, but about which we have heard nothing since.

* * *


Local bands, good food and drink, tons of amazing raffle prizes and auction items. And a special presentation by Assemblymember Jim Wood at 5pm.

* * *

AV STUDENT OF THE MONTH and other School News

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

I hope you have had a good week. The front of the elementary school is primed and color is starting to be applied. The upper back field will be under construction the week of September 25 to install the large septic tank. Thank you for your patience as that unfolds and the project wraps up.

Join the elementary staff in the first newly formatted Student of the Month Celebration on Tuesday, September 19 at 12:30 p.m. and AVES Back-to-School Night slated for Thursday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. Just a reminder, we will have our fingerprinting service on site for any parent or family member in the district that would like to drive for sporting events or other volunteer opportunities that may require fingerprinting. If you are volunteering on the playground or to go on a non-overnight field trip, then fingerprinting is not required. If you would like to drive one of the district vans, then fingerprinting is required, along with a DMV printout, and a volunteer driver packet. Sarah Hayward at the district office can support that process for you:

At the high school, sports schedules are in full swing. Please take a look at our athletics page to view up to the moment schedules. Please note there is a shortage of officials, so sometimes, games do move around on short notice due to referee availability. That is not within the school’s control, but I know it is an inconvenience. Fair Friday is coming right up on Friday, September 22. Please remember school dismisses at 12:30 p.m. on that day. Please remember, the buses do not take students to the fair. They will be delivered to their regular home stops.

The high school also has a dance coming up on Friday, October 6 as part of Homecoming Week. Parents/guardians are encouraged to volunteer to chaperone this event. Additionally, parents of seniors that would like to be involved in the senior trip planning need to reach out to Sarah Crisman, Arthur Folz, or Marcy Mendoza. We welcome your participation. Emails are as follows:

Both sites will be holding conferences and Personal Learning Plan (PLP) meetings the week of October 2-6 and dismissal is on the minimum day schedule for the week. It is important to attend these opportunities to discuss your student’s progress. Students are required to attend their conference at the Junior/Senior High School. We are instituting a new planning document that is personal to each student and the student is required to be there to participate and lead the discussion about their education and their hopes for high school and beyond. Please make sure your student attends their Junior Senior High Conference. These appointments are very difficult to schedule when so many of them require translation and our staff is spread pretty thin. Please do not change your appointment unless there is a very serious reason to do so. Our staff works hard to give as much notice as possible of the meeting date and time to prevent any cancellation.

Just a reminder that the Service Learning Team is hosting their fundraising event on Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Brewery.

Today, I am sharing a very special photo of teacher Ali Cook who traveled with Senior Tricia Anguiano-Rubio to present on a panel in front of a huge audience at the prestigious CCEMC conference in La Jolla about the values of dual enrollment. Tricia brought down the house! If your student isn’t taking college classes in high school, they need to start. They can be vocationally or college focused. Let me pay for your kid to get a college education. I didn’t finish college until I was 42. Please let the district partner with your student for recreation, fun, and knowledge through our outstanding community college opportunities. 

Current offerings include Mr. Bullington’s college and careers, Ms. Cook’s work experience for college credit, Auto Mechanics, Costume Construction, and Baking. A huge thank you to Dr. Amanda Xu for arranging Anderson Valley’s participation in the conference and to Sonoma State for funding our travel and registration costs. A shout out to Neveah Padilla who is our newest student community college ambassador! It’s important. Please have your student embrace the chance….

Have a safe and happy weekend!

* * *

Pampas Grass, Westport Landing (Jeff Goll)

* * *


by Adam Gaska


The water supply for the southern half of inland Mendocino County is dependent on water from the Russian River. The West Fork begins on Tomki Road in Redwood Valley. The East Fork begins at the top of Powerhouse Road in Potter Valley and flows south into Coyote Valley which is flooded and becomes Lake Mendocino. The East Fork and West Fork join just beyond Coyote Dam in an area called The Forks on Lake Mendocino Drive. From there, the Russian snakes south past the City of Ukiah, Talmage then runs along Old River Road into the Sanel Valley, the town of Hopland, then exits Mendocino County.

For well over 100 years, the water flows of the Russian River have been supplemented from water diverted from the Eel River via the Potter Valley Project (PVP). The PVP includes Scott Dam which forms Lake Pillsbury, Cape Horn Dam which forms Van Arsdale Reservoir, and a diversion tunnel that transports water underground to the East Fork of the Russian River. All of that is about to drastically change, and possibly end, as Pacific Gas and Electric, who owns the PVP, has abandoned their license to operate the project and are moving forward with decommissioning.

The Potter Valley Project 

Initially, the PVP was created to generate power to sell to the City of Ukiah, and the diverted water was a by-product. The community of Potter Valley voted to form the Potter Valley Irrigation District in 1924 to take advantage of the newly available water. In 1926 PVID contracted for some of the water, and in 1928 construction began on the irrigation canal system to deliver water to homesteads and farms (PVID 2023).

From 1922 to 2007, up to 150,000 acre-feet (AF) of water was diverted annually from the Eel to the Russian River. This is enough water to fill Lake Mendocino entirely plus half again. With an abundance of water stored in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, communities along the Russian River in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties boomed, and the populations that depend on the two reservoirs grew to approximately 600,000 people, including people in Marin County who buy water from Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA 2023).

Lake Mendocino

In the 1930’s, the federal government moved into the Big Dam Era, building many dams across the West to generate power, provide water to cities and farms, and attempt to tame flood waters. In the Russian River, communities struggled to develop in flood plains due to the frequency of flooding. After a series of especially damaging floods during this same time period, community members started advocating for a dam to be built on the Russian River. In 1944, the federal government passed the Flood Control Act of 1944 to study the feasibility of Coyote Dam, which now forms Lake Mendocino, and Warm Springs Dam, creating Lake Sonoma. After a few years of surveys and studies, the construction of both reservoirs was authorized by Congress in 1950. Due to the Korean War, funding wasn’t made available to begin the projects until 1954. One of the stipulations for the projects to move forward was that local interests would have to provide some of the funding for construction to receive rights to the stored water. (USAOE 2023).

As they say, ‘whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,’ and fight we have. Initially, there was cooperation in financing the initial studies for Coyote Dam, but when it came time to commit to more substantial investment for construction, the cooperation between Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, and even among ourselves, came to an end. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors decided not to fund construction of Coyote Dam and instead left it to communities that would benefit from the dam to pay for it through a bond measure or property tax. The community of Redwood Valley could not see how the reservoir would benefit them since the area was located adjacent to,not downstream of, the proposed dam. Hence, Redwood Valley was removed from the proposed measure. On January 24th,1956, the communities of Calpella, Ukiah, Talmage, and Hopland overwhelmingly passed the bond measure which led to the formation of the Russian River Flood Control and Conservation Improvement District (RRFC) that would oversee the 11.3% share allocated to Mendocino County of the water stored behind Lake Mendocino (Kaplan 1979).

On January 16, 1964, Redwood Valley County Water District (RVCWD) incorporated to find a water source and develop a system to deliver water to homes and farms. On May 27, 1975 Redwood Valley voters would approve borrowing $4.8 million from the Department of Reclamation to construct a water system and treatment plant. Construction lasted from 1977 to 1979. In April 1979, irrigation water service began, and in November 1979, domestic water service began. On April 8, 1980 Redwood Valley voters would approve borrowing another $2.53 million dollars to expand water service (CLCAN 2022).

Redwood Valley has always been dependent on purchasing surplus water from either SCWA or RRFC. How that amount is determined has always been contentious. After litigation between RVCWD and RRFC, a stipulated judgment was handed down in 1980 directing RRFC to sell RVCWD any surplus water available. How that determination is made has been a point of contention, but recently, improved relations has resulted in RRFC supplying RVCWD surplus water since summer of 2022 (RRFC vs. RVCWD 1980).

Initially, RVCWD was prepared to make loan payments to the Bureau of Reclamation once enough service connections were attained and the district was able to pay. In 1989, RVCWD was served with a moratorium on new service connections because it lacked a secure water right. As of today, RVCWD still owes $6.85 million on the principal of the initial debt with the Bureau of Reclamation (Fishman 2022).

Fast Forward, and Back to the Eel

In 2007, water diversions were cut to 60,000 AF a year out of concern for Eel River fisheries. In 2021, diversions were cut even more to 40,000 AF due to drought. Reduction in power generation, increased regulatory requirements, outliving its engineered lifespan, and failure of a powerhouse transformer have made it challenging for PG&E to continue profitably operating the PVP. On July 7th, 2023,PG&E submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that they would not be seeking to relicense the PVP and would be submitting a plan for decommissioning within 30 months. While that process continues, PG&E is proposing to cut the diverted flows even further to the point that less than 20,000 AF of Eel River water would be diverted to the Russian River. In dry years, Lake Mendocino may not fill without diverted flows.With summer time Russian River flows not supplemented with diversions from the Eel River, appropriative water right holders along the Russian River would see their summer time diversions limited by curtailment orders. There are minimum flow requirements to protect wildlife that must be maintained. Riparian and appropriative water right holders would come to depend more heavily on contracted stored water from RRFC and/or groundwater. RRFC would see their available supplies lessen drastically some years.(Ballman & Riedner 2022). Our region’s users - domestic and agricultural - need to be prepared.

Inland Water and Power Commission (IWPC), Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), and Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) submitted a proposal to PG&E for consideration to include in their draft decommissioning plan for public review. The proposal includes installing new infrastructure to seasonally pump and divert water after decommissioning both dams. The Russian River Water Forum (RRWF), a reiteration of the Two Basin Solution, was formed to host working groups to collaboratively work to find solutions for the issues of water supply and fisheries, water rights and water management, finance and economics, governance, and Russian River resiliency.

This proposal is not guaranteed to be accepted. There is still a lot of work to be done forming a legal entity that will assume responsibility for whatever new infrastructure is put in place and to manage it going into the future. This entity and infrastructure will cost money, which will increase the cost of water. It remains to be seen how much water will be diverted, but it will certainly be drastically less than what was historically available. 

Regardless of the progress to form an entity and create this new infrastructure, dam decommissioning will still continue. PG&E would like to divest themselves from the PVP as quickly as possible. Scott Dam and Cape Horn Dam could be completely removed in less than a decade. If the greater community fails to move forward with a viable agency and plan to continue some level of interfacility transfer, another entity could form, similar to what is happening in the Klamath Basin (KRRC 2023).

Whatever the outcome, communities along the Russian River will be greatly impacted. Potter Valley, a community of 650 according to the last census, could see much of its groundwater dry up and domestic wells could fail. The aquifer under Potter Valley is shallow and mostly clay, meaning water doesn’t easily percolate to recharge the aquifer. It has been constantly recharged by seepage from the canal system, composed primarily of open-air dirt ditches. Even with the canal system in operation, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) estimates the annual sustainable yield of the aquifer to be 500 AF (DWR 2004). Even if the water diversion continues, the water will require a piped irrigation system, which will cost money, and groundwater will not be recharged by seepage from the canal system. A community that has come to rely on almost 20,000 AF a year at very low cost will see that supply drastically cut and the cost increase substantially. A community that has prospered from the diverted water will rapidly dry up to the point where even health and human safety will be in question. Piping or trucking water to Potter Valley is unfeasible, and the community could be in danger of being unlivable. 

Glimmers of Hope for the Future

The community of Redwood Valley has practically no secure water rights and will suffer as well if interfacility transfers cease. Currently, RVCWD relies on a well at the Masonite property owned by Millview County Water District for its domestic customers, just north of Ukiah, and surplus water purchased from RRFC to allow us to supply ag customers and supplement domestic supply. With the possibility of being annexed into RRFC, RVCWD would be allowed to purchase water on a contract basis. The district is also exploring to drill an additional well at the Masonite property owned by Millview Water District to supply RVCWD.

In response to the 2014 drought, the Upper Russian River Water Agency (URRWA) was formed as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) with RVCWD, Calpella County Water District (CCWD), Millview County Water District (MCWD), and Willow County Water District (WCWD) ​​to share water resources during times of emergency. With funding from DWR, interties between the separate water districts were constructed to allow sharing water resources in times of emergency. On December 30, 2014, all four water districts officially signed an agreement to form URRWA and to work toward a consolidated single-entity water agency. Currently, the four water districts are managed by WCWD through service contracts. In 2020, Ukiah Valley Sanitation District joined URRWA. Currently, URRWA is negotiating with the City of Ukiah to make the single-entity water agency a reality (SWRCB 2018).

Potential Impacts of Losing the PVP

Losing summer diversions from the PVP would result in frequent curtailments for Russian River water right holders and the region would depend more on water stored in Lake Mendocino. People who have wells would increase their dependence on groundwater, which occurred during the drought of 2020-2022 when curtailments were put in place. These lowered flows could also potentially impact the amount of recharge of the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Basin. The DWR has accepted the Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency’s (UVBGSA) Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Currently, the Ukiah Valley Basin aquifer is considered of moderate concern, and the UVBGSA is primarily monitoring groundwater levels to demonstrate that the groundwater basin is being managed sustainably. On an annual basis, 7,000-8,000 AF of water is extracted from the aquifer, and up to 10,000 AF more could be sustainably extracted. This projection assumes recharge amounts will be maintained, which is in question. Pumping this much more will require more careful management (i.e. additional monitoring and metering) to avoid overdraft and impacting water quality, such as contamination from minerals. Even with implementing best management, groundwater supply will not sufficiently counter the water availability reduction expected after the PVP is altered (UVBGSA 2023).

The economic losses could be devastating if we are to entirely lose the ability to transfer water from the Eel to the Russian River. Over 20% of Mendocino County’s economy is derived from agriculture, contributing $743 million in annual revenue (EFA 2016). Removal of the dams and any infrastructure modifications made to allow for an interfacility transfer would have a short-term economic boost (BACEI 2023). But what is the associated cost, and who will pay? The costs of decommissioning the dams will ultimately be paid for by utility ratepayers through the power rates we pay to PG&E. It is uncertain that removal of the dams will result in the full recovery of the Eel River fishery to historic levels as there are many other factors that have contributed to the fishery’s decline. New jobs may be created through new recreational opportunities from a freely flowing Eel River, but those jobs would not plausibly make up for the economic losses from other industries, especially considering the loss of Lake Pillsbury as a recreational venue and in some years, Lake Mendocino as well. The best case scenario of modifying the infrastructure to continue some level of diversion from the Eel to the Russian is going to result in less water available and at a higher cost. This increase in cost will strain farm businesses and deter new home building in a region that currently feels the constraint of low housing supply. From 2021 to 2023 RVCWD went through over two years of water rationing which threatened the financial viability of the water district. 

Where do we go from here?

First and foremost, conservation must become a way of life. Water is a precious resource and all life depends on it. Public health, quality of life, and our economy all suffer when we lack enough water to meet our basic needs. We must manage the water we use as efficiently as possible. 

We must invest in water storage. Even in dry years, Mendocino County typically receives a substantial amount of rain in the winter. We must look at ways to store that water for use in summer, by capturing water off our roofs into tanks, catching rain in farm ponds, through groundwater recharge, and storing in larger reservoirs. The level of Lake Mendocino needs to be raised.

We need to invest in efficient water systems and recycle water to reuse as much as possible. Deferring maintenance and allowing our infrastructure to crumble is no longer an option. We need to use our infrastructure to the greatest extent and benefit possible. The agricultural water system of RVCWD can and should be used to deliver water from Lake Mendocino when it is full to flood fields for groundwater recharge instead of releasing water from the flood pool to the ocean. What few wetlands remain, must be protected.

We must work together to secure water supplies and to share what is available during drought. Some of this groundwork has been laid through the Voluntary Water Sharing Agreement (SWRCB 2022). More can be done if water districts adjust their bylaws and policies, and update their Municipal Service Review/Sphere of Influence to enable water sharing within the regulatory framework. Stakeholders in Humboldt, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties must cooperate to create a way forward that protects the health of both the Eel and Russian Rivers and everything that depends on them. Water must be put to its most beneficial use, which should factor in how that use affects our community, economy, and ecology. Failing to do so creates conflict within our community, which drains precious resources and puts the natural environment at risk. We must continue to improve our understanding of water cycles so that we can operate with the most current data and make decisions knowing that the next drought is around the corner. We have seen some of this work in the form of Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations. Lake Mendocino was chosen as the first project to alter how the reservoir and releases have been managed. Because of the change in management, Lake Mendocino has 11,000 AF more water than it would have if past management protocols remained in place. 

We must make land management decisions acknowledging how precious water is. Open space and farmland must be maintained and remain viable to maximize groundwater recharge, preserve refuges for wildlife, and to keep our communities safe from flood. We cannot control water. What we can do is plan and manage our usage, and build our communities and cities in ways that make water an asset, not a liability. We must acknowledge the value, rights, and entitlements of non-human interests, the very environment we depend on.

(Adam Gaska has farmed in Inland Mendocino County for over 20 years. He currently serves as board chair of the Redwood Valley County Water District and is the agricultural representative of the Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency. He is running for Mendocino County Supervisor, 1st District. He can be reached at 707.272.5477.)

* * *

* * *



It is so disturbing to find yourself in a crisis due to the Serious Mental Illness of a loved one who is in immediate need of help. Because there is no help.

Or was no help, we do have a mobile crisis unit now, which is one mental health worker and one LE officer. If you are in city limits you call UPD and inform them you need the mobile crisis team for an assessment. In the county same protocol but call the Sheriffs office. You can also call the RCS Crisis line.

UPD- 707-463-6262


Crisis Line- 855-838-0404

I am always skeptical, a byproduct of experience. However, I do hold out hope that things will change. But it takes dedication, education and community.

And part of that education is understanding that Serious Mental Illness, is a brain illness, not a character defect or addiction. It is a debilitating illness that effect moods, perceptions, thoughts, feelings and cognition.

Addiction is a secondary component or co occurring condition very common in Serious Mental Illness. Combined it can be very disastrous even deadly.

The rate of suicide is high, wether accidental or purposeful, it is frightening to think about. Dial 988 for the Suicide/Crisis Lifeline You can also find support groups online or through our local NAMI Mendocino (707) 485-2008.

As families our experiences are valid, and should be acknowledged! It can be a very dark & lonely place, but you are not alone! Stay strong, reach out!

Mazie Malone


* * *

“…A NUMBER OF COMPANIES are exploring how chatbots could be used for mental health therapy, and some investors in the companies are betting that healthy people might also enjoy chatting and even bonding with an AI ‘friend.’ The company behind Replika, one of the most advanced of that genre, markets its chatbot as, ‘The AI companion who cares. Always here to listen and talk. Always on your side’.”

— Andrew Leonard Kaiser Foundation Health News

* * *

photo by Anna Shaw

* * *

HIGHLIGHTS from a recent Ukiah Daily Journal interview with Sheriff Kendall by reporter Karen Rifkin. During the interview the Sheriff is clearly unhappy with recent state legislation which makes it harder to deal with drug addicts, complaining about the light punishments which essentially forces law enforcement into a catch and release posture, instead of using a combination of incarceration and treatment to change people’s behavior:

“These rounds of realignment legislation removed the teeth from law enforcement and being able to get people into treatment. We cannot arrest people for simple possession; we’re mandated to give them a citation—for heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine—and they go to court and pay a fine.” … ““They are misdemeanors, only remedied by a citation. People have stopped reporting crimes; thefts are not being reported because nothing is going to happen if they do report them; and people know that.” … Last year the county had 69 coroner cases that were accidental deaths—vehicle accidents fire, drownings. Of those, 48 were overdoses, just about 70 percent. … “There was no framework set up for social services to become a conduit into treatment and it would require a really robust social services network… that we don’t have.” … “All these legislative changes were cloaked in the idea of decency, that we have to treat people differently than we’ve done in the past. But when people are dying on the street of overdoses, laying in a ditch, I’m not sure how humane that is; that’s slow homicide for these people.”

* * *



I noticed this man, Michael Langley, in the Catch of the Day line up yesterday. 

I'm assuming this photo I took Wednesday on Talmage Road, Ukiah is the same man? He is in socks in this photo but is generally barefooted even when it's 110 degrees outside. He'll stand next to road, staring, all day. He recently stepped in front of my vehicle as I traveled over the Talmage Road overpass, I called it in as he was obviously having some sort of mental crisis. 

Is this man getting any services from the tens of millions we're spending in this County? Are these services working? The fact that services are voluntary and most of these people in need cannot or will not ask for help perpetuates the never ending cycle. 

The model of Fort Bragg's Care Response Unit (CRU) should be implemented immediately in Ukiah, although the City of Ukiah Police Chief, as I understand, is unwilling to initiate the program. 

Concerned Citizen,

Carrie Shattuck

* * *



I have no information that author Mazie Malone has had the first hand experience to be (catch and released) in a mental facility. A) schizophrenia (schiz) means to tear away-apart or unhinged. She mentioned freedom of choice. Ha lol. Freedom of choice in my opinion means no rule of law - karmic injustice, or even revenge upon those who harassed by threat of death get away with it. If by chance this previous sub paragraph seems to lack freedoms everyone is from birth conditioned from every aspect of family to relatives - inescapable. It took me years and four 5150s to get the correct medication, however just as a family out of necessity moves into a town/community will not know the impact it has on their children.

In my father’s case visa vi relatives, I am brought into a (cheat) by those who had been oppressed. But this cannot be? The tell if you know a schizophrenic is: do these voices command? Do these voices help? 

For example one day what was heard was “go ask for a reference” for the two years I volunteered. Which means other aspects to the schizophrenic’s mental tapestry can also receive outside or other kinds of influences. The down side to a diagnosis is those in the mental health system will (always) see them the same, hence no (cure) for belief or lack of proof. 

Thanks again; sincerely yours 

Greg Crawford 

Fort Bragg 

* * *

Naked Lady and Red Hot Poker Flowers, Navarro Beach (Jeff Goll)

* * *

UKIAH CONSTRUCTION UPDATE for the Week of September 18th: (Pictures below)

On the south side (Mill to Gobbi), crews will continue trenching for the new water lines, working northbound from Gobbi to Mill. For the safety of the crews and for traffic control, the traffic signals at Gobbi and Mill will remain in “flash” mode, which means the intersection should be treated like a four-way stop. No interruptions to utility service are planned. 

On the north side (Norton to Henry), crews will continue saw-cutting the “joint trench,” which will hold the new underground electric lines, as well as phone and cable lines. This work will progress fairly quickly from Norton to Henry, and any impacts to driveways will be noticed in advance and plated quickly to resume access.

Also on the north side, crews will begin preparing to switch buildings that are served from overhead power lines to underground. Not every building will be affected in the same way, and not all buildings have overhead power lines. For those that DO (441 #1, 441 #2, 461, 479, 487, 493, 495, 550, and 650 N State), additional trenching will be required from the street/sidewalk to the service equipment on your parcel. With your cooperation, following installation of conduit to your building, the City’s contractor will be installing gutter boxes and other equipment to provide an underground service at your location. Additionally, overhead attachments will be removed. Any work completed on the roof will be repaired to match the existing roofing, sealed, and completed with care. For owners of the aforementioned addresses, the City of Ukiah Electric Department will contact you directly to schedule a shutdown to complete the overhead to underground cut over. This will take place toward the end of the project.

Where will the work occur? Trenching for water on the south side, working northbound from Gobbi/State; sawcutting for the joint trench on the north side.

What are the construction days/hours? Construction hours will be Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Will there be dust and noise? Yes. There will be some dust and fairly significant noise associated with both sections of work, especially sawcutting concrete on the north side.

Will there be any disruptions to parking access or streets? Yes. On-street parking in the construction zone will be closed. Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times. Through traffic on State Street will be allowed in both directions. Traffic signals at Gobbi/State and Mill/State will be on flash.

This piece of equipment is called the “zipper.” It grinds the asphalt in the trench before excavation. As the grinder cuts the straight line, it looks like it is “unzipping” the road! The zipper wasn’t used on the north side of the project, as the surface was concrete instead of asphalt.

New water line going in at the intersection of Gobbi and State. This is very precise work with VERY heavy materials—these guys are real pros!

Have a great weekend!

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager

City of Ukiah

300 Seminary Avenue

Ukiah, California 95482

(707) 467-5793

* * *


by Justine Frederiksen

During the latest update on operations at the Ukiah homeless shelter this week, facility manager Sage Wolf said that staffing levels have definitely improved in the past six months.

“We are fairly well-staffed now,” Wolf told the Ukiah Planning Commission during its last meeting Wednesday evening. “We are back up to 55 beds, and are offering day services from noon to 4 p.m., though we want to get back to offering them from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

At her previous report, Wolf said that the shelter — Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, operated by Redwood Community Services — was struggling to adjust to a significant reduction in funding after COVID-related resources were depleted by reducing its staffing and services, and that calls for service from the Ukiah Police Department had subsequently increased.

However, this week city staff said the UPD reported “there were no major concerns” at the shelter in the past six months, and Community Development Director Craig Schlatter noted that while “there were a few serious offenses noted on the call log, UPD said those occurred off-site, and that people had actually gone to (Building Bridges) to report the incidents.”

Schlatter also noted that while technically no complaints about the facility were received from the public during the latest six-month report period, complaints were received the week of Aug. 28 regarding a “‘large encampment’ being illegally established on the RCS property directly outside of the B2 facility.’”

When RCS was notified of the complaints, Schlatter said that “within 72-hours,” the encampment had been successfully addressed, and Wolf told the commission that the encampment was formed by two women who could not be offered beds at the shelter due to a lack of capacity.

“When they went to other areas, (bad) things would happen, so they would come back near the shelter, where they felt safe,” Wolf said. “We really worked hard to find another location for them, as being a woman unhoused on the street” is particularly unsafe.

As for moving shelter clients into housing, Wolf said in the past six months, RCS was “able to permanently house 56 people, and we are continuing to see our housing opportunities develop out in the community, and I know that the city of Ukiah has been working hard to be a part of that. It’s been exciting to see housing opportunities improve for not just the unhoused, but people of all income levels.”

Wolf said she is acting as the shelter’s manager while RCS is actively recruiting “a project manager to oversee that program,” and also announced Wednesday that RCS was awarded a contract to operate an emergency homeless shelter in Lake County.

When asked after the meeting if operating another shelter in Lake County would adversely affect staffing levels at the Ukiah shelter, Wolf said that RCS will “be bringing on a separate team for the Lake County shelter,” and the new staff members will be trained at the Ukiah shelter.

“We’re thrilled to have the strong foundation of practices at (Building Bridges) that we can use to train the Lake County team,” Wolf said.

(The Ukiah Daily Journal.)

* * *

The Ten Mile River flows from open grasslands, through towering redwood forests, rich coastal wetlands, and ultimately empties into the Pacific Ocean. © The Nature Conservancy

* * *


by Steve Sapontzis

Whether the name of Fort Bragg should remain as is or be changed is again a lively topic. A “Committee to Change the Name of Fort Brag” has been formed and sponsored a debate about changing the name which drew a standing room crowd of about 100 to the Fort Bragg Library on August 22nd. Perhaps in response to that event, “Fort Bragg Forever” signs are now proliferating around town.

The name-change advocate spent most of his time detailing the miseries people have suffered at the hand of slave-owners and white settlers. Since the name-change opponent did not deny these miseries, the point of emphasizing them seemed to have been to elicit a strong emotional response from the audience, thereby winning the debate through a guilt by association strategy. Here’s how that went:

The town of Fort Bragg was named after Braxton Bragg, who was a slave owner and Confederate general. It is deplorable to honor in any way someone so enmeshed in perpetrating the miseries of slavery.

Fort Bragg started as a military outpost established on the Mendocino Indian Reservation to facilitate white settlers coming onto that land. These settlers not only displaced the natives living there, they also brutalized them, even enslaving some. That the town carries on the name of that garrison is deplorable.

Thus is the name “Fort Bragg” associated with the enslaving of blacks by whites and the brutalization of Indians, also by whites. And thus is eliminating the name “Fort Bragg” required by the righteous fervor condemning the injustice done to people of color by whites. Case closed.

What that case omits: Braxton Bragg was born in north Carolina, attended West point, and had a successful career as an artillery commander in the United States Army. He distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War and for that received many honors, including having a garrison in northern California named after him in 1857, the year following his retirement. He was also a notorious critic of profligate spending in the U.S. Army, even being court-martialed for obeying, contrary to orders, a subpoena to testify about military waste at a Congressional hearing. Upon his retirement, Braxton and his wife purchased a plantation in Louisiana. The plantation was staffed by slaves. Though opposed to secession, Braxton joined the Confederate Army as a general and served until the end of the Civil War.

In that biography, the following is relevant to the name-change debate. The name “Fort Bragg” predates the Civil War and honors Braxton Bragg for his service to the United States, not to the Confederacy. This differentiates the naming of California’s Fort Bragg from the honors bestowed on Confederate heroes early in the 20th Century but roundly denounced in recent years.

The Mendocino town of Fort Bragg has had no connection with the Confederacy, with glorifying ”the lost cause” of Southern culture, or enslaving blacks. The town does not celebrate Braxton Bragg’s birthday or otherwise honor him. If it were not for the campaign to change the town’s name, the vast majority of Fort Braggers would have no idea about who their town is named after, and that campaign has done nothing, to educate people about why it is named after Braxton. Indeed, that campaign seems determined to disregard why in its members zeal to denounce white mistreatment of people of color.

Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Braxton Bragg owned slaves, and some people seem to believe that if someone owned slaves, then he should not be honored, even if he did other laudable things during his life. As has been pointed out, this belief entails eliminating honors for Washington and Jefferson, Pericles and Aristotle, Abraham and David, Athens and Rome, and other founding persons and peoples of Western culture. I suspect it also entails condemning many African and Indian chiefs and tribes, since owning slaves has not been an exclusively white practice. Weighing one’s virtues as well as his vices, her accomplishments as well as her failures, seems a fair and standard way of assessing the value of a life; insisting that having owned slaves is such an overriding, all-else-obliterating evil as to render someone’s life unworthy no matter what other goods it might contain seems an extreme in need of justification itself.

The other element of the emotional guilt by association strategy deployed by the name-change advocate was to rehearse the miseries inflicted by white settlers on Indians, including those living on California’s north coast in the 19th century, and to remind us that “Fort Bragg” was the name given to the garrison established there to facilitate the white settlement of the area. This time, the miseries being rehearsed are at least relevant to the name “Fort Bragg,” since that is the name of the place where some of those brutalities were perpetrated. But where is the argument showing that that fact indicates that that name should be changed? South Carolina, Richmond, Selma, and Wounded knee are names of places where people of color were brutalized by whites, but those names remain. That they have not been changed does not honor, condone, nor even disregard the brutalities committed in those places. For some people, they serve as a continuing reminder of the evil that was done in those locales. Finally, the history of Fort Bragg did not end with the establishment of a white community on the Mendocino coast in the mid-19th century. In the succeeding century and a half, has nothing good happened as a result of that community being there? That good may arise from evil is a common enough idea, and the name-change advocates have offered no evidence that it does not apply to Fort Bragg.

Changing the name of Fort Bragg would be costly. All sorts of official documents, from maps to water bills, would have to be changed. Residents and businesses would have their addresses changed, and businesses would also incur expenses involved with changing signs, even their names. And there would be the emotional cost to Fort Braggers who had been proud of their namesake town and now were being made to feel ashamed of it, even though they had nothing to do with what happened here in the mid 19th century and even though the town has no connection to Southern slavery. The burden of proof is on those advocating name change to show that the good to be accomplished by changing Fort Bragg’s name would outweigh those costs. They have not yet even attempted such an argument.

* * *


It is time to stock up at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens' annual Fall Plant Sale beginning Sept 16 and running daily through Sep 24.

Proceeds from this annual sale help to support our organization! Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a unique botanical treasure that can only be maintained, strengthened, and shared through the philanthropic support of our donors, members, community, and volunteers. As a nonprofit organization, our goal is to provide a setting for plants and visitors to thrive.

Learn more...

* * *


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS of Savings Bank of Mendocino County has appointed Mendocino Coast businesswomen Jennifer Bosma to serve on its board.

Jennifer Bosma, vice president of Cypress Holdings, Inc., is filling the position on the board previously held for 23 years by her father, Tom Honer, owner of Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Mendoza’s in Mendocino. Tom will transition to a senior director. … “Jennifer has many of the same qualities as her dad,” said Charles Mannon, Savings Bank chairman of the Board. “Their commitment to the community is remarkable and aligns well with Savings Bank.”

(from a Savings Bank of Mendocino Presser)

* * *


* * *


The Anderson Valley based retreat center’s new name reflects a re-doubled commitment to regenerative and restorative land practices and the importance of connecting people, in community, with nature. 

Whispertree, formerly known as Bell Valley Retreat at the Toll House, is proud to announce a significant milestone in its development. Today, the land-based retreat center unveils its new name and brand, reflecting a deepening commitment to fostering a reconnection among humans with the earth, each other, and themselves. 

During the pandemic, co-founders, Jon Rubenstein and Karin Swann-Rubenstein, moved to Bell Valley from their home in Berkeley: 

“Like many other small businesses, we faced the challenge of how to steward our business and its mission through the crisis of a global pandemic and the encroaching evidence of climate change. 

However, surrounded by a landscape that spoke to us each day with its effortless beauty, we found ourselves becoming even more committed to the earth’s well being and to humans having more transformational contact with the natural world.” 

As Whispertree, the retreat center will continue its long-standing tradition of hosting groups committed to social justice, innovative educational and economic initiatives, nature-conscious corporate off-sites, retreat groups focussed on personal (psychological, spiritual, somatic) transformation, and groups supporting new understandings and practices as humans in our relationship to the earth. 

In the coming years, Whispertree plans to welcome more retreats and offsites for mission-aligned groups, corporate offsites, locally focused ‘slow’ weddings, and vacation getaways for those looking for meaningful connections to land. The public is invited to explore these offerings through Whispertree’s newly redesigned website, a gateway to the diverse experiences and opportunities Whispertree offers, including stunning accommodations and meeting spaces designed to fit a variety of groups, to news about upcoming events, and more. 

As the transition from Bell Valley Retreat to Whispertree unfolds, the commitment of Whispertree’s co-founders and staff remains steadfast: to provide a haven where individuals, organizations, and communities can tap into their potential, reconnect with nature, and inspire meaningful change. The Whispertree team would like to extend thanks to the retreat groups that have become part of their community and to invite curious newcomers to connect with them through their newsletter and website. 

About Whispertree: 

Whispertree, previously known as Bell Valley Retreat, is a land-based retreat center in the Anderson Valley where transformation takes root. Within the embrace of the natural world, we believe that individuals can access the compassion, courage, and insight necessary to harmonize with the planet and catalyze positive transformation. Whispertree is dedicated to fostering communities, organizations, and individuals committed to driving change across personal, social, spiritual and ecological domains, recognizing, in the words of Joanna Macy, that “The web of life both cradles us and calls us to weave it further.” 

For media inquiries and additional information, please contact 

(WhisperTree Presser)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, September 15, 2023

Angulo, Ayala, Degroot, Hernandez

GONZALO ANGULO-GUZMAN, Willits. DUI with priors, suspended license for DUI, disobeying court order, failure to appear.

LUIS AYALA-ORTIZ, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)


McOsker, Ousey, Rodriguez

REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Burglary, conspiracy, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

KRISTO OUSEY, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, parole violation.

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. More than an ounce of pot, probation revocation.

Simpson, Stark, Valentine

GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. Arson. (Frequent flyer)

SHAWN STARK JR., Potter Valley. DUI, “DUI viol adv mur adv,” probation revocation.

RONALD VALENTINE JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer)

* * *


(via Betsy Cawn)

On August 22, 2023, the Lake County Board of Supervisors considered a proposal from two Supervisors (Districts 2 and 3, Sabatier and Crandell) to oppose a decision taken by the California Department of Public Health authorizing the only Lake County “harm reduction” services provider to distribute HIV/AIDS and HPV disease prevention services. Overwhelming support for the non-profit organization, Any Positive Change in Lake County, in response to the CDPH public comment solicitation (150 comments in favor, one objection, and one “neutral”), clearly outweighs the petty objections raised by Supervisors Sabatier and Crandell, who are meeting with the State Department of Public Health and the County Administration’s Deputy Director, Matthew Rothstein, this week. The outcome of that meeting will be reported at next week’s Board of Supervisors meeting and we’ll let you know how that turns out.

In recognizing the county-wide impacts of “drug” use and consequences such as overdose deaths (79 in Lake County in the last year) during the discussion of District 2 and 3 Supervisors objections, the District 1, 4, and 5 Supervisors (Simon, Green, and Pyska) directed “staff” — presumably directors of our Public Health, Behavioral Health, and law enforcement agencies — to create a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of the vulnerable populations (including families struggling with many of the mental health problems commented on regularly now in daily editions of the Anderson Valley Advertiser) and provide solutions that transform the past punitive and stigmatizing practices, apparently endorsed by Mendocino County’s chief law enforcement officer.

Our counties, suffering from decades of unstoppable meth amphetamine, heroin, opioid, and fentanyl availability (some, as the San Jose Mercury’s heroic reporter, Gary Webb, revealed were deliberately introduced by federally protected arms of the U.S. government), can choose to engage the “whole community” in compassionate and practical approaches such as this one offered by the Drug Policy Alliance. 

Thank you to everyone in the AVA family for continuing to highlight the failures of so many long-standing Mendocino County programs responsible (but obviously unsuccessful) for assisting the helpless members of our human family in need of real care.

* * *

* * *



Media reporting of sympathetic personal situations in Sonoma County mobile home parks shows there are financial hardship cases, but these should be handled through normal charity and public welfare channels, not heavier market regulation.

These personal poverty problems will only be temporarily alleviated by regulations that force property owners to subsidize rentals and provide eviction payments. Such short-term fixes will make mobile home parks even more uneconomic and accelerate extinction of this important affordable housing segment.

Politicians claim this will preserve affordable housing. Yes, for a short term, until opportunities arise for mobile park owners to close and repurpose their properties. Ignoring the long-term (not that far away) impact of more stringent regulations will cause further park closures, solidify that new ones will not be built and confirm that overregulation with pro-tenant bias does not preserve but ultimately destroys affordable housing. Census data shows mobile home units for the past 15 years down 8% nationally, with virtually no new supply. Is this preservation? Basic economics usually prevail.

This increasing overregulation burden also impacts the broader market of affordable rental housing. Can we convince our politicians to think about long-term impacts of expedient short-term solutions? Any surprise we have an overall affordable housing shortage?

R.G. Williamson

Santa Rosa

* * *



United States Senator Barbara Boxer started her political career as a Marin County supervisor and I first met her at a neighbor's coffee klatch when she was rounding up votes for her run at that office. She seemed sincere enough so I told her she had my vote.

Two weeks later I ran into her again at a Beer Fest in downtown Fairfax.

I was sitting with my coffee klatch neighbors drinking beer and a live polka band was just getting warmed up on stage.

Now I'm no dancer--just ask my wife--but the mood was there and Mrs. Boxer and I galloped around the floor together a few times. I'm six feet tall and she's about five feet so probably it wasn't a pretty sight.

But beer has a way of making everything fun and wonderful and CNN and Facebook hadn't been invented yet so there's no proof that it ever happened....

Steve Derwinski


* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Live on KNYO from Franklin St. all night tonight!

Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is like 5:30 or so. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.

Again I'll be in the cluttered but well-lighted back room of KNYO's 325 N. Franklin studio. To call and read your work in your own voice tonight, the number is 707-962-3022. If you want to come in and perform in person, that's okay, but bring a mask to put on, and of course stay away if you have a tickly throat. But if you're in perfect health and neither drunk nor nuts, fine, why not, and bring your harmonium or hurdy gurdy or whatever.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other terrific shows.

As always, at you'll find a plethora of shiny educational objects to turn over and look at the label underneath until showtime, or any time, such as:

Sets and props for the Incredible Shrinking Man.

My favorite is of the ones I call the /Droll Sisters/. Next favorite, I call /Shut it, Emma! Don't start!/ (she's saying it out of the corner of her mouth).

On the one hand, cool. On the other hand, they're just vainly fleeing in panic from the giant loud terrifying unnatural prehistoric electric mosquito monster that our collective eye is inside of. I have the spelling gene, so since I was little in the early 1960s, I could spell chamois, pronounced SHAM-ee. Apparently these creatures' skin, when ripped away and boiled in chemicals, makes an excellent rag to clean windows, especially Oldsmobile windows. This predated the synthetic Sham-Wow by decades. The chamois cloth my grandmother had... I was always pleased when they took it out to use. It felt really interesting to bunch up in your hands, dry or wet, and roll it in folds between your thumbs and index fingers. I just realized I never knew where it was between uses. Where did they keep it? A secret place.

Oh, also, there's a free concert of Heavy Metal Music tomorrow night, Saturday, September 16 at KNYO, 325 N. Franklin, 7-10pm. Bob says, "This is a no-drugs, no-alcohol family show, so bring your kids if you want to see some real, live, heart-pumpin', ear-popping heavy metal music. These folks played at the KNYO ten years ago and here they are doing it again. The bands: Tinksweat at 7pm, and Shredead Metal at 8pm. And there's popcorn.

Marco McClean,,

* * *

* * *

AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT: Senior Living Spaces in San Francisco

by Jonah Raskin 

About 20 years ago, Ed, my therapist, who was also a Tibetan Buddhist lama, assured me that the next big thing in my life would be my death. I have outlived him by more than two decades. Now, at the age of 81, I feel closer to dying and death than ever before and more anxious, too, about what the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, called “the dying of the light.” Though my death is as certain as my birth, I don’t know when, where, why, or how I will die. I do know the "who" part. 

The memorial for the lama/therapist, who combined spirituality and psychology, took place in an amphitheater on the campus of the Santa Rosa Junior College. Members of the ashram spoke as did the therapist’s patients. Some of us, including me, were both. 

One man explained that he had been terrified by the thought that the world was ending. The therapist/Buddhist told him, “It is ending,” and laughed. Ed often wore a smile or a smirk on his face. He never gave me advice or suggested what I might do when it came to my third marriage, which took place in Texas in 2000 to a 50 year-old woman who had never left Texas. I took the silence in his office as a sign of disapproval. I should have listened to his unspoken words.

Twenty-two months after I married the Texan, I filed for divorce; the legal process took longer than the time we actually lived together. I remember that my friend, Timothy, told me at a party for a newly married couple, “Divorce is worse than death.” Well, not really, but it can feel like a close encounter with death.

Now, I’m slowly divorcing myself from my life, or maybe it’s divorcing me, all the while that I am engaging with life in San Francisco, which became my new home about 30 months ago. It seems as good a place to die as any other. I’m still adjusting to the rhythms of city life, making new friends, exploring neighborhoods on foot, exercising on the campus of the University of San Francisco (USF), and checking out places for elders to live and die with some grace and dignity, and money, too.

Some are called assisted living communities; they include Coterie, the Carlisle, the Ivy at Golden Gate and Buena Vista Manor House. Some seem like nursing homes for the aged who have lost most of their memories and are waiting to die. Others, which are way more expensive, seem like elite country clubs. The food can be as tasty as any at an upscale restaurant. 

I don’t want to move into one of them now, but sooner or later I will have to accept the inevitable; give up my one-bedroom apartment at Ocean Beach and enter the last phase of my life in a world where I won’t have to shop, cook, wash dishes and clean floors and tables. I will also be able to take part in group activities—watch movies, play cards, discuss current events and more. I probably won’t be lonely, though I have been lonely in some crowds.

George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, once said “hospitals are ante-chambers to the grave.” Go into a hospital for a serious condition and the chances are you won’t walk out on your own two feet. The assisted living spaces, also known as “senior living experiences,” strike me as comfortable ante-chambers to the grave. 

If I were to move to Coterie, I would probably have the illusion that mine was a wonderful life and that I would go on living happily ever after. Thinking about Coterie and its sister spaces means thinking about money; how much I have and how much I can spend. One fear is that I’ll run out of money, have to leave Coterie, and die in the streets of the Tenderloin where drug addicts die regularly. 

Directors of sales and marketing pressure me to make up my mind. “Don’t tough it out,” one said. I told him “I’m not ready.” I’ll go on living in my one-bedroom apartment, attend Spanish class at San Francisco Village, plunge into the pool at USF for the water aerobics and watch the Niners on a big screen in a local bar. 

My advice to those who are on the way down and out: Don't go into a senior living space until you’re ready. Your body will tell you when. Trust yourself. And as the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, exclaimed, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” He added “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

* * *

* * *


San Francisco will host trans-denying activists for a convention. The twist is that they advertise themselves as a feminist organization.

by Erin Allday

San Francisco is hosting a “radical feminist” group aligned with anti-transgender efforts in the U.S. and abroad for a convention this weekend that is drawing fury from local trans and other LGBTQ individuals and allies.

Women’s Declaration International USA — the U.S. chapter of a group that began in the United Kingdom — is expecting about 100 people at the three-day conference, to be followed by a protest in front of City Hall on Monday.

The organization, built on the premise of protecting “women’s sex-based rights,” has stated that “gender identity” — and the concept that gender may be separate from biological sex for some people — threatens the civil rights of cisgender women. Members do not consider transgender women to be women.

That the group would come to San Francisco shocked many people in the city’s transgender community, who have flooded the hotel hosting the convention — Hilton San Francisco Financial District — with demands to cancel the event, and have asked civic leaders to denounce it.

“Trans individuals are outraged that they are holding this meeting in San Francisco,” said Tatyana Moaton, senior strategy adviser with San Francisco Community Health, who works with transgender people and is trans herself. “San Francisco is a place that has been a beacon of hope. People come to San Francisco specifically because it’s considered a sanctuary site for them. This (convention) sends a wrong message, because it’s not who we are.”

In a statement, Hilton San Francisco Financial District, which is independently owned and operated, said the hotel “does not adopt or endorse the views of any individuals or groups we serve” and would not comment further on the convention or the decision to host the event.

The convention, which was to start late Friday afternoon is the second national event held by Women’s Declaration International USA. Organizers said they chose San Francisco because last year’s conference was in Washington, D.C., and they wanted to reach the West Coast this year. 

Women’s Declaration International USA has been denounced as bigots masquerading as feminists by the National Organization for Women. Last year, the group participated in a protest against trans athletes, alongside multiple organizations designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Women’s Declaration International USA has made Bay Area appearances before and last November staged a small rally in Oakland to protest the transfer to a women’s prison of Dana Rivers, a trans woman who killed a lesbian couple and their child.

Organizers said they were not concerned about backlash to the conference or the possibility of protests outside the hotel. “Men have always had trouble with women fighting for our sex-based rights,” said Lauren Levey, who is on the board of directors for Women’s Declaration International USA, based in Washington, D.C.

Levey also pushed back on criticism that Women’s Declaration International incites hate or violence toward trans people by promoting transphobic rhetoric and policy. The group has provided models for anti-trans policies to several U.S. state legislative bodies, including measures that would deny access to gender-affirming care for minors.

“We don’t hate anybody. There’s no hate involved,” Levey said. “But we don’t accept their ideology. In other words, we don’t accept that a man can be a woman.”

The group, Levey said, focuses on a broad spectrum of women’s rights issues, including abortion access, domestic violence and housing and employment discrimination. Several items on the convention agenda appear to address transgender topics.

Lea McGeever, who is married to a transgender woman and identifies as bigender (both cisgender woman and trans man), said when her wife told her about the convention and the group organizing it, her first thought was, “Oh no, it’s happening here.”

“Seeing this conference for me was confirmation that San Francisco is open to these people, and they can make a profit off spreading hatred,” McGeever said. “We have a reputation of being this very open, liberal, queer, gay-friendly city. So it’s a perfect target for people who are against that.”

McGeever, who lives near the convention site, said she and her wife planned to leave town for the weekend specifically to avoid the event and its participants. “I just think it’s a good idea for our safety,” McGeever said.

At recent Board of Supervisors meetings, McGeever asked city leaders to condemn the convention and the group organizing it, but most, if not all, have kept quiet. Board President Aaron Peskin said in an interview that he wasn’t familiar with Women’s Declaration International, and he was hesitant to speak up and draw more attention to them.

“A lot of folks choose San Francisco for right-wing hate precisely because they want city leaders to amplify it and have it go on Fox News,” Peskin said. “And I’m generally not inclined to take that bait.”

Women’s Declaration International leaders largely describe themselves as liberal, though they have aligned with right-wing groups at times.

Moaton said she was disappointed that San Francisco city leaders haven’t spoken up against the convention, though she understood that preventing it from taking place would raise free speech issues.

But with hundreds of anti-LGBTQ measures, mostly aimed at transgender people, introduced in the United States so far this year, it’s critical to take a stand, Moaton said. Even in California, where no such legislation has gained traction, school districts have begun setting policies that LGBTQ advocates say could harm transgender children.

“And this group has the potential to affect policy,” Moaton said. “If we don’t speak out and remain complacent, things have a funny way of coming back to bite us in the butt. So as much as we would like not to give credence to the stances and these groups, we have to.”

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

On line comments:

[1] First off, the title of the article indicates that this group is “advertising as lesbian” as if that is them taking a description that is not truthful. Contrary to what many people believe, not all gays and lesbians, accept the takeover of trans ideology into our community. I know many lesbian friends that feel their hard earned safe spaces and positive changes are being challenged by many in the trans movement. These are changes that took place over decades, and were hard fought. But now if you speak of those women only spaces and rights you’re considered trans phobic. How dare some people diminish the hard work that gays and lesbians have fought to get their rights part of every day American culture?

[2] The Chronicle reporter here, Erin Allday, is a health reporter who writes about infectious diseases, stem cells, neuroscience and consumer health topics like fitness and nutrition. She states here, “the concept that gender may be separate from biological sex for some people threatens the civil rights of cisgender women. Members do not consider transgender women to be women” seems to have never taken a course in elementary biology. Just because someone wants to be identified as a woman does not make them a woman and they're wanting to have the same rights as real women conferred upon them are indeed a threat to cisgender women i.e., participating in competitive women's sports for just one example.

[3] Male bodies should not be allowed in athletic competitions for women, or in women's prisons. Minors should not be legally permitted to make irrevocable changes to their bodies. “Trans women” are free to compete, in the men's category, or to advocate for an open category. Minors can do as they please once they are adults. If they are suicidal because of their bodies natural changes, they are not healthy enough to make life changing decisions.

[4] As a long time San Francisco resident, lesbian, democrat, and pro choice woman, I WELCOME this conference with open arms! Sanity is needed. I appreciate that the hotel and public figures support these women's free speech and right to assemble. The fact that trans activists have tried to cancel this conference is very telling. Women have had protections rolled back without our consent. Lesbians are especially affected, because straight, sick men are pretending to be women and telling us we are bigots for not wanting to date them. Insanity. Literally. This is a men's rights movement that is severely affecting vulnerable women and children. Welcome, WDI!

[5] Can't state it any better than you have. Great post, however the transgender activists be yelling and screaming the entire time this group is here. It's how they roll.

[6] These women hold the views of just under 80% of the country. That trans identifying people should be treated with respect and dignity, and be protected from professional discrimination. But that society cannot be forced to pretend to believe that biological men are no different than biological women just because they say they are.

[7] It is not a radical, right wing, or hateful position to state that a man cannot become a woman, even with hormones, surgeries, dresses and makeup. And those who wish to shut down speech they disagree with have never been on the right side of history.

[8] Even the title of this ‘article’ is misleading. Come on, being pro-women’s rights doesn’t make them anti-trans! They’re hardly ‘right wing,’ they’re pro-choice and feminist.

[9] Let’s see. What is trans? My friend’s daughter who is straight but calls herself “trans”? The married BOFA Sr. VP who likes to wear a see through dress at Folsom? The British comedian who likes to cross-dress? The pre-pubescent kids who act ‘gender fluid’ because pre-puberty, everyone kinda is? What is ‘trans’? It’s everything and nothing. It’s certainly not a coherent, relatable, identifiable cohort. Trans has made itself toxic. It has no one but itself to blame.

[10] ‘Identifies as bigender (both cisgender woman and trans man)’? Maybe at some point this person will come full circle. It’s like explaining the way one dresses.

[11] Feminists are concerned with the trans agenda of eroding sex-based rights of women. So should San Francisco be concerned about advancing this men's rights movement to occupy women's spaces? The housing of violent men claiming to be women in female prisons is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

* * *

UNREDACTED: We Thought We Were Saving the Planet but We Were Planting a Time Bomb

by Claire Cameron

At first, it looked like a sunset. It was just after five o’clock in June. I was running in Toronto beside Lake Ontario when I stopped to glance at my watch and noticed that the sky was no longer blue but a rusted orange. It took only a few breaths to realize the bonfire smell in the air was the drifting product of faraway wildfires.

It’s quite possible you had a similar experience this summer: The plumes of gases and soot from Quebec and northern Ontario that plagued Canada also blanketed the American Midwest and East Coast. But as I watched the blazing sun burn a hole in the horizon, I had an additional realization: Thirty years ago, I did something that probably helped fill the sky with smoke.

In the early 1990s, I worked as a tree planter in northern Ontario. This was a common — if notoriously grueling — rite of passage for Canadian university students, since it allowed you to make good money while spending a few months outdoors with other like-minded young people. I was driven in part by the idealistic view that planting a tree was always going to be better than not planting one.

In retrospect, this wasn’t true. Forestry experts understand that a monoculture of trees — like the black spruce saplings we were planting, six feet apart in neat rows — has made wildfires more likely, and much worse when they occur.

At the time, I didn’t fully understand how the tree-planting industry worked — all I knew was that we were planting in clear cuts, areas where forests had already been harvested en masse by a logging company. In Ontario, the responsibility for woodland regeneration had largely been transferred to the forestry businesses that held the logging contracts; as part of those contracts, they could do things like cut more trees or reduce their government fees if they invested in reforestation. So after my school term ended I moved, along with a few dozen eager summer planters, to a bush camp outside of Hearst, roughly halfway between Toronto and James Bay.

Our job was to dig holes and plant black spruce seedlings. I carried three bags of them, one on each hip and one in the back. In steel-toe boots, I broke through shallow puddles that were covered with translucent films of ice, wallowed through mud, and crawled over tree stumps. I had duct tape wrapped around each finger and on both heels to cover up the blisters. When I asked someone why our saplings were always spaced six feet apart, the answer came back with a smirk — so the cutting shears would fit between the grown trunks when they got cut down again.

Despite the cynicism, our general mood was triumphant — we were working hard and replenishing the earth. Perhaps the ethos was best captured by Charlotte Gill in “Eating Dirt,” her book about tree planting: “We didn’t make millions, and we didn’t cure AIDS. But at least a thousand new trees are breathing.” The Canadian actor Will Arnett spent a summer planting trees, of which he has said, “There’s a sense of giving back, and a sense of obligation” to “create something bigger than yourself.”

Through black flies, mosquitoes, blisters and bears, we worked for pay of roughly 9 to 11 cents per tree. At my peak, I planted a few thousand saplings a day. After camp costs and taxes were deducted, I might clear $6,000 in a summer. Rumors abounded of tireless super-planters who could earn up to $10,000 in a couple of backbreaking months.

Sometimes the work could be miserable. One morning, I nearly quit. In an attempt to cheer me up, my friend launched himself out of the van transporting us. “Let’s go make a forest!” he shouted. His laugh was just enough to keep me going.

Much later, I learned that the trees we were planting, black spruce, are so combustible that firefighters call them “gas on a stick.” The trees evolved to burn: They have flammable sap and their resin-filled cones open up when heated to drop seeds into charred soil. In “Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World,” an investigation of the devastating wildfire in 2016 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, John Vaillant laid out how climate change had turned some forests into combustible time bombs, where “drought conditions, noonday heat and a stiff wind” can turn a black spruce tree into “something closer to a blowtorch.”

In a naturally occurring forest, black spruce is often found in a mix with trees like aspen and poplar, which are full of moisture and provide a natural resistance to fire. But as a report by the Forest Practices Board of British Columbia pointed out, “Large homogeneous patches of forest are more likely to lead to large and severe wildfires.”

The dangerous mistake we were making gets to the heart of what people often get wrong about environmental stewardship: The notion that, no matter how rapacious or careless we are, we can always dig or plant our way out through sweat, pluck and industry. Rather than leaving a forest intact, we clear-cut it, then replant a new one. My troupe of planters thought we were making things better. I spent this summer watching that youthful idealism literally going up in smoke.

As I stood by Lake Ontario looking at the orange sky, I started to choke and rubbed my scratchy eyes. I saw it clearly then: The sky was no longer blue and planting a tree wasn’t intrinsically good.

An article by Saul Elbein for National Geographic attempted to pinpoint the cause of the fires that had threatened Fort McMurray, prompting the evacuation of over 80,000 people. As it turned out, around 1980 a government-driven project changed the landscape in that area by planting trees. They were “pines in lines": rows of carefully spaced black spruce. A study Mr. Elbein referred to found that in the years leading up to the Fort McMurray fire, these trees soaked up the groundwater, and their wide canopies caused the existing peat moss to be replaced by a drier kind of moss, which was like spreading “kindling in the place of fire retardant,” as Mr. Elbein wrote. When the fire started, the trees had become storehouses of fuel.

The study cited didn’t mention how far apart each tree was planted. My guess is six feet.

There is a difference between replanting trees to replenish an area and doing what I had done: plant a monoculture of black spruce. Despite my friend’s cheery exhortation at the low point of that summer, we weren’t making a forest. What I helped plant was more like a tree farm. Every tree I planted simply increased the number of trees a company could cut down.

A few weeks after my realization by Lake Ontario, I read reports of wildfires around Hearst. These wildfires were burning near the area where I’d spent my summer planting. While it’s difficult to know for sure, some of the black spruce I’d put into the ground were most likely erupting into flame and sending smoke into the air.

Now when I think of that summer, I don’t think that I was planting trees at all. I was planting thousands of blowtorches a day.

Claire Cameron is an essayist and the author of the novel “The Last Neanderthal.”

* * *

* * *


Subject: Dems across the country defecting to GOP: 'Democratic Party has become unrecognizable'

I agree with you completely about the sorry state of our country at present; and I also agree with you that neither FOX "News" or MSNBC have any solutions nor are they giving us the information we need to understand what is happening.

It is up to us to wade through all the misinformation being thrown at us and arrive at some consensus about what we can do to restore order or sanity.

It may feel comforting to blame communists and Marxists for what ails us since they have been traditional scapegoats, but I'm not sure it makes much sense, given that communists in this country are as scarce as hen's teeth and have no power whatsoever. When you equate progressives, liberals, tech utopians and neoliberal Democrats with communists, you are misfiring dreadfully and sound a bit like a lunatic.

We have habitually turned our guns on countries who have the gall to want to control their own resources, develop their own economies, and feed their people. We have blessed them with crippling sanctions, debt peonage, regime changes, drones, bombs, or all out war. What else can we do to rid the world of the communist menace?

Judging from your past posts, do you think we should eliminate all government and just let the market and police do their thing, and all will be well? Seems to me we've had 40 years practicing that ideology, and it has lead to monopolies, de-industrialization, austerity for social programs, no taxes for billionaires, unprecedented inequality and international plutocracy (neofeudalism). What will convince you that we just might be on the wrong track?

Some of us think that capitalism itself needs reform, a little tinkering around the edges so more people can be served. Others think that everything needs to change in order to save the species. Others think that technology and the market will lead to nirvana. We just have to be patient and get out of its way. Most of us, if honest, don't know what to think.

But nobody knows for certain what is to be done. Even scientists disagree with one another. We all take refuge in self serving beliefs. Where is the truth?

The truth requires work: self and cultural critique, knowledge of history and how power operates in the world, social causes of social problems, empathic understanding of the self as a relationship to the universal, as opposed to a reified "thing." If we focus on the big picture, the particulars make more sense. To see only singular issues or particulars is using only half your brain.

In short, we all need to be educated and grounded in reality instead of fantasy. Marxist intellectuals don't lie, but they will give us perspective that the ruling class doesn't think we should know. I don't know about you, but I think we need that. Formal education doesn't help that much, however. Notice how many sociopaths now in power have Ivy League degrees.

We are all searching for truth, but nobody can own it. The need for such certitude is childish, like splitting good and evil and externalizing evil. Why not search for truth together.

* * *

* * *


Allymotocat: After all the fish that have been dying or sick washing up on beach fronts or harbors, or extinct you think the ocean is still safe to eat from? Didn't the starfish die off for no apparent reason and did they come back. Newsbreak is just one source i get my news from that other news source report same stuff. So the war going on with Ukraine and Russia and how China and Russia and Korea want to nuke us because they call us imperialists not really going on? Funny how I try to share real stuff that's going on that the haters fact check and debunk my warnings. The ocean is a dumping ground and it's getting worse, dumping radioactive water into ocean is going to add to more pollution. Fact check I know nothing about because who's to say they have true facts, maybe because it's called Fact check? Tuna fish is a toxic fish and the bigger they are the more toxic, albacore is the worst carrying huge amounts of toxins and mercury because they eat little fish that also carry mercury, but you fish lovers will never want to believe that. I was standing over the Noyo bridge one year ago, it was low tide when all of a sudden I seen a big fish swimming along the rocks leaving harbor, the fish had lumps on it like size of golf balls, they weren't baby fish or crabs, they looked like cysts or tumors, it just didn't look normal. You think fish stay in one place, they wonder also like maybe riding the current fast track from Japan to the north coast. Whatever pollutants don't land on shores lands on the ocean bottom making it very toxic, any bottom feeder fish will be more contaminated like lobster crab and oyster. I had been following what's going on with fukushima ever since it started from the news and real people to know what's real about it. Fact is I know how some of yous dislike me in a way to put or keep me down by clowning me. I may not be as educated as some of yous but at least I'm opened minded and can understand some things, and some things I can't like when it comes from haters.

* * *

Bruce Broderick: None of what you are saying is inaccurate. But for most, it's status quo, or business as usual until things are so broken that there is no coming back. It seems to be a human condition. Keep looking. You may not be able to stop it but maybe there may be some comfort in being a witness to humanity's demise.

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

“If a politician does a ‘favor’ for a crime boss, and the crime boss pays the politician’s wife, it’s still bribery. If the crime boss pays the politician’s crackhead son on account of the favor, it’s still bribery.” — Jeff Childers, the Coffee & Covid blog

Just as a janky investment can turn catastrophically ruinous in the finance world, “Joe Biden” has transmuted from an asset to a liability for the Party of Chaos as we enter the season when things get real. Just weeks ago, the phantasm in the White House could do nothing wrong, despite doing absolutely everything wrong in the thirty-two months he’s haunted the Oval Office. But now, an odor of rot and sulfur trails his every bumbling misstep while his maunderings from the podium set off alarms in party HQ. What to do, indeed…?

As of five minutes ago, “JB” was still pretending to run for reelection, which, of course, was a bamboozle that only the Wokester rank-and-file, hoaxed into an epic psychotic rapture, might swallow. The “president’s” stage managers run a “campaign committee” on next-to-zero contributions, you see, but all it really does is send out millions of algo-concocted, drivel-filled emails five times a day to keep the big pretend going while the DC Blob desperately looks for a way out.

Ever since the fabled Laptop from Hell entered stage left, the un-raptured of the land have been exposed to gales of evidence that “Joe Biden” ran a family influence-peddling racket as veep, and that it likely has something to do with the extravagant mess spawned in Ukraine. The crude and lawless labors of the DOJ and the FBI to cover all that up have been failing lately as a harsh music of blown whistles ominously cleaves the dank night air over the Potomac swamp.

The coming House impeachment inquiry, with its extraordinary subpoena powers, can easily un-confuse these matters as Rep Comer (R-KY) goes after the Biden family bank records. The equation is pretty straightforward: Millions of dollars rattling around the coffers of “Joe” and Jill, and Jim and Frank, and the Biden kids and grand-kids divided by the low six-figure salaries of a senator and vice-president, times, say, the $20 to $50-million inflows of revenue (for no discernible services rendered) from Ukraine, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Gawd-knows how many other entities arguably hostile to the USA’s interests through Hunter Biden’s multitudinous shell companies. It’s called money-laundering.

Meanwhile, mirabile dictu, Special Counsel David Weiss goosed three counts of illegal gun possession against Hunter Biden out of a federal grand jury Thursday. Somehow, a loaded garbage barge of tax evasion charges that was last seen a few weeks ago steaming into Indictment Central happened to sail off into the Bermuda Triangle and vanish from the docket. Also in question: what about that “diversion agreement” sneakily embedded in the plea deal that blew up a month ago in Judge Maryellen Noreika’s courtroom? That little gem would have let Hunter B off the hook for any other past federal crime imputed in the many reams of evidence about Biden family moneygrubbing already made public. If the plea deal evaporated, did not the diversion agreement go up in a vapor with it? Hunter’s lawyers apparently say it’s still in force. How does that work?

More to the point, this exorbitant political psychodrama involving a criminally compromised head-of-state, who appears increasingly mentally incompetent, too, is taxing the Blob’s patience, disturbing the Wokesters’ consensus trance, and testing the DNC’s tactical playbook without any apparent good options at hand. Somebody ought to be whispering in “Joe Biden’s” ear that his services are no longer required, the performance is over, and it’s time to exit, stage right. But that, of course, leaves the Blob and the DNC with Kamala Harris, the cackling empty pants-suit, now fully evolved into an historic political joke. It’s not like they can even pretend to run her for president in 2024.

Nor is there any realistic way to shove her offstage for a replacement. The appointed veep switcheroo gambit — shoehorning Gavin Newsom in there and then elevating him as Kamala quits — looks un-sellable. He’s turned California into a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape of flash-mob thievery, car-jacking, medical lunacy, and wildfire mismanagement. The videos of California mayhem play on social media 24/7. He’d never get confirmed by Congress. And who else is there on the DNC bench? Pete Buttigieg? (I’m sure….) Hillary? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha…! They could stuff Barack Obama back in — the Constitution only prohibits a third elected term, not an appointment. Wouldn’t that be a nation-ending prank? (At least he could stop pretending to not already be secretly acting president.)


* * *

Little Italy, NYC 1963

* * *


Nothing will change until we have a real armed insurrection. And unless that happens, we will be eating bugs and own nothing sooner rather then later. And after years of dumbing us down and making us obese, forget about the insurrection. As far as republicans and democrats are concerned, they are just two sides of the same coin, and that coin is owned by the owner of all central banks and especially our federal reserve, and that family name starts with an R and it sure aint the Rockefellers. Nothing happens in this world without the money, antifa, blm, haarp, you name it, everything happening now can be laid directly at the feet of whoever is printing trillions of currency out of thin air. DUH !!!!!!

* * *


US President Joe Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House next Thursday. The visit comes at a crucial time as some House Republicans signal displeasure at additional funding for Ukraine. Zelensky also plans to visit the US Capitol during the trip.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia will build “good neighborly relations” with North Korea, as Kim Jong Un’s visit to the country entered its fourth day. Kim visited a fighter jet plant Friday and a Russian official said Moscow sees “the potential for cooperation" with Pyongyang in aircraft manufacturing and other industries.

The Kremlin claimed no agreements was signed between Putin and Kim during their Wednesday meeting amid ongoing speculation that the two countries would reach an arms deal that could provide Russia with weapons for the war.

On the battlefields in Ukraine, Kyiv's forces have retaken the village of Andriivka, south of Bakhmut, the military said Friday, marking a symbolic and strategic victory.


* * *

A Citizen Of Muscat

* * *


by John Arteaga

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe back in the Roman days who created a noun that has been used ever since; vandalism. They were infamous for pointless and over-the-top death and destruction of whatever they could against whatever foe they were currently fighting (usually the Romans).

As with just about every other war I can think of, what is going on in Ukraine is an example of grand scale vandalism: Pointless and unjustifiable destruction of everything that we humans need for our survival.

Even though it has almost become axiomatic that whatever death and destruction occurs there is an unalloyed good; not only virtuously standing up for the freedom of a sovereign nation, but coincidentally degrading the fighting forces of our irrational and implacable enemy in the grand chess game being played in our name by the legions of highly paid “experts” in what has become, unfortunately, our great nation’s greatest economic driver: The pursuit of endless war. Against whom and for what reason never seem to matter so much as the nation’s priority of conjuring up and utterly destroying one bogeyman after another.

The rationalization of this mad and unjustifiable misdirection of our national resources to a bloated military apparatus is always the same; and unhinged paranoia that seems to have completely taken hold of what the great Daniel Ellsberg calls the Mickey Mac (not sure of the spelling); his shorthand for the military-industrial, congressional, security, journalistic, academic, think tank, etc. complex.

How many times do we Americans have to go through this miasma of lies and deception, always leading us into yet another multi-decade orgy of gruesome loss of life, destruction of property, private and public, grotesque pollution of the land etc. eventually leading to a settlement that is often pretty close to what could have been negotiated before said catastrophe of vandalism and murder?

I’ll never forget in grade school hearing from my classmates what I could tell even then were their simplistic parroting of the received wisdom coming from the radio, TV and propagandized parents. The argument that we simply MUST come down hard on the Communists in Vietnam, because of the Oriental mind, where we would not be respected if we didn’t proceed to massacre millions of people, destroy millions of acres of formerly fertile land, etc. otherwise the dominos would just fall, all the way to our borders. I didn’t have the intellectual and communication skills at the time to pin down the idiotic racism inherent in these arguments, but it just seemed so wrong on its face, even to a child, to go halfway around the world and destroy a peaceful agrarian society that posed only what I could see even then as the most tenuous speculative threat to us as a nation, to prove some political point.

As with the next ginned up paroxysm of pointless murder and mind-boggling levels of destruction in Iraq, courtesy of the Republican administration of idiot W Bush, where any fool who took the slightest interest in known facts could have told you (and did in fact) that there were NO “weapons of mass destruction” there, as attested to by one of the few virtuous characters to come through the story, Scott Ritter, who was in charge of ferreting out and destroying all significant weapon systems there for years.

Of course, none of this matters to the “serious people” in the government, who, to a man or woman, just happen to be recipients of vast amounts of “election funds” given to them by the carefully distributed so-called defense spending. I guess they have a term for it in the military industries: “political engineering,” where contracts are broken up and distributed to those congressional districts from which they want yea votes for whatever the latest military ripoff scam they’re running.

Just as the environmental Holocaust that was created by George Herbert Walker Bush, where our former step-and-fetch-it CIA employee, Saddam Hussein, who was suddenly transmogrified into the new Hitler and the face of evil incarnate in a move straight out of Orwell’s “1984,” had, in fact, a quite legitimate complaint about the Halliburton-assisted theft of their oil through directional drilling, so also does Putin and the Russian state have a fairly reasonable argument for access to their sole warm water port in Crimea to serve their 13 time zones. Apparently most people there would prefer to be allied with Russia, along with the Donbas region to the north of it, connecting it with Russia.

Back when the Soviet Union decided to fold its cards and bail on the whole one-upmanship with the West and its nuclear “MAD” (mutual assured destruction) race, we promised them up and down (though, cleverly, we didn’t put it in writing) that if they were to give up all these Soviet territories, that we would not expand NATO 1 meter toward the Russian border. Of course that was a pack of lies that we immediately disregarded and began to work tirelessly to recruit former Soviet states in the military alliance.

One can just imagine what the U.S. would have done should a Sino-Russian military alliance have come to Mexico, invested billions in electing a pro Chinese/Russian military alliance there, and then started building missile bases in, say, Tijuana.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine the U.S. observing every jot and tittle of Mexico’s sovereignty under such circumstances.

While Ukraine, early in the conflict, was set to negotiate something with Russia, of course Uncle Sam came in to say, “Well, if you want to do that, fine, but we’ve got untold billions of dollars worth of weapons to fight them to the last Ukrainian that you will be passing on if you do so”.

The pollution and destruction in one of the world’s great breadbaskets, with millions of landmines being laid, and now U.S. supplied cluster munitions, which are basically aerially distributed landmines, is absolutely heartbreaking, with the shocking thought of maiming and death laying in wait for innocent Ukrainians for decades in the future.

All conflicts are resolved through negotiation. The sooner some kind of negotiation happens with this one, the better.

My blog:

(John Arteaga is a Ukiah resident.)

* * *

* * *


Kent Wallace

I’ve been hunkered down in Viet Nam for five years now. It’s the kind of place where you might run into a guy named Phuc Bich Ho (try saying that with a straight face). It’s the type of place where I might find one of my young students wearing a tee-shirt with the words: “Fuck Off” looping inside the silhouette of a Mickey Mouse head (the kid has no idea and no one feels threatened). 

Typically, shoes are left at the transom of Vietnamese classrooms. Students (and teachers) go barefoot (maybe stockings). Often times the kids are in uniforms (but barefoot nonetheless). It’s chill, Viet Nam. Ice-cubes in a mug of draft beer, chill…

I’ve had a few memorable language kerfuffle’s. Like the time I was reading a story about some animals living in a cave and I wrote “Cave” on the blackboard. The kids were cracking up (pre-teens). I was baffled and sought an explanation from my Teacher’s Aide. Turns out that Ca ve in Vietnamese means a loose woman, a working gal—you get the picture. Frankly, it gave me a whole new outlook on the sport of spelunking. 

It took a lot longer for me to find out why every time I said: “Salud” as a drinking toast, people either cracked up or hid their smiles behind the palms of their hands (Vietnamese girls are famous for the behind the palm smile). Turns out, they’d never heard “Salud” (Cheers, Bottoms up—they were familiar enough with those two drinking salutations). So naturally they associated salud with the closest sounding word in Vietnamese (figuring I was trying to toast them in their native tongue). Well, my “Salud” kept coming up as Xạo Lồn (Zao-loon), which roughly translates into vagina but not really as anatomic—more like the four-letter C word. Nobody was offended. I reckon they found it an American thing, or whatever. In any event, no one ever refused to raise their drink, they just chuckled or blushed. 

The Vietnamese have another slightly odd habit, one that still gets me every time. When Vietnamese greet you, it’s with a friendly: Xin chào (hello). But when they answer their phone, it’s a shouted: A lô (which sounds an awful lot like Hello) which always has me turning to the sound and waving, thinking someone is greeting me in my native tongue. It’s never the case. It’s Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie Brown at the last minute (me and Charlie spend a lot of time on our asses). 

Anyways, the Vietnamese are a cool lot, they laugh (a lot), there’s really no sort of conversation or joke that’s considered bad taste or off-color (Who you callin’ Off Color!). Unlike my Western brethren, they haven’t evolved to that rarified state where intolerance is justified and articulated and gussied up to smell like some new fandangle sophistication… 


  1. Lazarus September 16, 2023

    LAW ENFORCEMENT CONVERGING ON COVELO To Break Up Side Show Involving 200-300 Vehicles
    by Matt LeFever

    The population of Covelo is only about 1,400.
    Either this was a “Flash Mob”-type event with out-of-towners. Or the residents are getting restless…Dealers choice.
    Be well and good luck.

    • Lew Chichester September 16, 2023

      I was in town at the end of the football game Friday night, about 8:30, (Round Valley v Potter Valley), and sure enough there was a very large contingent of vehicles all parading, mostly pickup trucks with Mexican flags flying. I didn’t witness 200-300 vehicles, but who knows how this developed as the night went on? The trucks I saw were not familiar, so perhaps they came from somewhere else? Hard to believe, its a long way to Round Valley from anywhere.

      • Lazarus September 16, 2023

        I wonder if the Sherrif will issue a Press Release of how this unusual event in Covelo, of all places, was dealt with and played out.
        It may be a stretch to say 200 to 300 local drivable vehicles could participate in a sideshow in Covelo.
        If there were that many vehicles, many must have come from elsewhere.
        Regardless, it is a very queer story…
        Be well, and good luck.

        • Matt Kendall September 16, 2023

          I will put something out when we are finished with everything that needs to be done.
          I was up there most of the night. Lots of arrests make for lots of paperwork and my back side is dragging out my tracks.
          like my pop always said,
          Hard work is always a guarantee you will get more hard work.

          • Jim September 17, 2023

            I’ve never heard that saying, “Hard work is a guarantee you will get more hard work.” But have often thought that, while at work. I love this!

  2. George Hollister September 16, 2023

    Good piece by Adam Gaska.

  3. Chuck Artigues September 16, 2023

    Thank you Adam Gaska for the great summary of the water situation that affects large parts of inland Mendocino County. I was surprised that you didn’t mention or consider the tertiary treatment of wastewater. Is it just to expensive? I people can get a little squimish about it.

    • Adam Gaska September 16, 2023

      You’re welcome. I read a lot about water and the history of our water. I wanted a condensed one stop shop to lay the foundation. I didn’t find it so I decided to write it with some urging from Mark Scaramella.

      I mention recycling water which I meant to encompass small to large scale. Buckets or basins in the shower, using grey water from your house to water landscaping all the way to tertiary treated waste water going to farms and parks. The City of Ukiah has done n excellent job upgrading their plant and putting in a purple pipe system to distribute the water. That scale is expensive but COU has secured tens of millions in grants to fund it.

      We need to use every drop wisely then reuse it again.

  4. Mazie Malone September 16, 2023

    Re: A perfect example….

    Well we have a lot of those examples, so many of them.
    Having a crisis response unit could help to prevent some of the issues that occur with these individuals. However it still remains you cannot force medication or treatment. I am of the opinion that we need a fully functioning crisis response that is not ran through the crisis line and law enforcement.
    As far as Fort Braggs response I didn’t see the meeting so I have no idea if they addressed any of my questions.

    RE: Fort Braggs Care Response Unit…..Awesome and Kudos for providing this needed service. ……..Taking a new road is great and a learning curve but I always have concerns and questions and some So first off statistically speaking 4 or 5 years ago there was approx. 200 homeless people now there are about 50. It is estimated that 30 % of homeless people have a Serious Mental Illness and 50 % have Anosognosia which is a condition of having no insight into your illness besides the problem of addiction that goes hand in hand with these issues. So out of your 50 homeless people 15 of them are too ill to even begin to understand they need treatment. So, saying someone refused treatment may not entirely be accurate at least 15 of them have issues with remembering and comprehension which comes as part of the Serious Mental Illness.
I will just ask some questions.
1. For people given a bus ticket to a loved one, do you follow up? And how many of those people return? It’s not successful if they are homeless and sick somewhere else!
2. What is the specified # of hours when someone “refuses” to move along? And where do they go? Down to the beach? lol
3. A horrible fact is mandated court help does not always occur, as in the case of my loved one, it should have been offered was not, no AOT no Mental Health Court, nada, zip, nothing
4. No one can be forced into treatment but recognizing illness/danger/and worsening psychosis can lead to a 5150 hold that seems in this county to be entirely subjective ya might get some help ya might not!
5. Are these rehab services dual diagnosis? not likely so problem will return.
6. What the hell is Ego Development? What about psychiatric treatment and meds?
7. Does the CRU provide transportation for these people getting treatment to appointments and such? And how long does that last?
8. There is a critical difference between an unsheltered homeless person “refusing.” services and a woman with children who couldn’t afford the rent increase, it is called “Serious Mental Illness & addiction! And of course, it’s much easier to help a person who is not mentally disabled to gain shelter and resources. So, by all means priority should be placed on those easy to serve, but they are not the ones creating damage and crime and deteriorating!
9. Actually, these problems have been increasing for 50 years not 20.
One last thing …..morally speaking……there is a moral obligation to help those in need as long as they are not making poor choices or behaving badly? Only willing to spend our hard-earned tax dollars to subsidize those who we deem as worthy because they are not addicts!

    Mazie 💕

  5. Mazie Malone September 16, 2023

    Re; comment regarding my Bassler article
    Luckily I have not had to endure the frightening experience being placed in a psych facility. I have no mental illness, a definite blessing. Glad you are well and have correct medication, stay well.


  6. peter boudoures September 16, 2023

    It sounds like Sonoma county water agency isn’t interested in taking over the dam but instead will still divert seasonally to maintain mendos water level. With their supply cut to 20k acre foot recently i don’t see the incentive of maintaining the dam. How round valley is involved is beyond me, i guess they would like to pump north. Potter valley should be able to divert but will need storage. This is the time for mendo to take control of their water, after Sonoma swooped in and took control of lake Mendocino. Considering Pillsbury is in lake county i don’t know why we haven’t heard from them.

    • Adam Gaska September 16, 2023

      Which Dam?

      Pilsbury is old and has outlived its engineered lifespan. The rebar is rusted and separating from the concrete. It needs expensive upgrades or to be replaced entirely. I would be in favor of replacement with a fish passage system but unfortunately, our state and federal representatives have other priorities other than supporting our water infrastructure.

      • peter boudoures September 16, 2023

        I was referring to Scott’s dam and if Sonoma would be willing to invest assuming they are financially able, but if the state has the diversion amount at such a small amount it doesn’t look like anyone will be interested. Most fish people i talk to say the spawning grounds wouldn’t increase much without a lake. It’s mostly high desert beyond Scott’s damn, and with the damn cold water is released and is helpful to fish. I don’t care about fish as much as people so I’d like to see diversion take place if there isn’t a dam.

        • Adam Gaska September 16, 2023

          I support a continued diversion. I would prefer replacing the dams and getting prop 1 funding to support it. There is still some money left for storage projects. Short of that, I support installing new infrastructure to continue an interfacility transfer.

          I have heard both sides. Some say there is a lot of prime spawning ground about Scott Dam, others say it’s hot and dry summer/fall and most of the tributaries dry up. Even if there is a lot of prime spawning, it would take a large restocking effort using hatchery fish to push the progress along. Add in habitat improvements down stream, dealing with the pike minnow, ocean conditions, over fishing, etc and it’s obvious bringing the fish back isn’t as easy as taking down the dams.

    • Norm Thurston September 16, 2023

      I also have questioned Round Valley’s stake in this. If it is to protect flows in the lower river so that fish can make it up to the north and middle forks, then why have they not been heard from regarding illegal diversions for marijuana cultivation? Other than that, I do not see why they were included in this.

    • Betsy Cawn September 17, 2023

      In 2005, the Lake County Board of Supervisors was asked to “approve” the North Coast (Regional) Water Quality Control Board’s “Integrated Water Management Plan,” which — out of 300 some pages — made reference in only one sentence to the headwaters of the Eel River. When I asked the head of Lake County’s Water Resources Department why there was no further discussion about the critical water supplies to Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties, his answer was “we didn’t want to get into a discussion about water rights.”

      The Eel-Russian River Commission’s history goes back decades, but in every discussion about the Scott Dam removal and reduction of summertime water supplies to Lake Mendocino, Lake County is all but excluded. A few years ago, when the “Potter Valley Project” was created by Jared Huffman, Lake County was required to put up a cool hundred grand for the privilege of participating in the so-called planning consortium and District 3 Supervisor Ed Crandell succeeded in getting the money from the Administration, but the county has been unable to exercise any authority over the decision, which is clearly in the hands of the Inland Power & Water Commission.

      Mendocino County years ago had a water agency that did not own any facilities and had no authority over the operators of supply services like the Redwood Valley water district or the entire system of water deliveries to the Ukiah Valley and Russian River extractors (many vineyard operators) before the legally limited provisions that serve all of the cities in Sonoma County.

      You might want to look up a home-owner based Lake Pillsbury Alliance which is struggling valiantly to prevent the destruction of Scott Dam. The claim that dam removal will somehow help to “restore” the salmon population that has suffered from many deleterious impacts to the north fork of the Eel — including blockages created during the creation of the defunct railway along its course — defies logic.

  7. Fish September 16, 2023

    THIS is not about a NAME, title, designation, label, tag, denomination, dub change.
    It’s about a lot more than that.
    Hey, Fort Bragg, N. Carolina changed the name to Fort Liberty. We’re not alone in this, and now there’s precedent.
    I spent many summers in a remote port village where my grandfather made his home, and the home had a name —there were monogrammed towels, napkins, cups, dishes…
    Then, at some point, the name changed.—the owner of a fish shack 🏖️ had put it on a sign.
    My grandfather changed the name, and I didn’t like it. He could’ve kept the name, but chose not to.
    It’s not an issue, anymore —it doesn’t matter. And, to the people living in the town, it did not matter, they would not be affected, and that’s what matters.
    The name change does affect the people in OUR TOWN locally, and beyond…that matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *