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Mendocino County Today: July 12, 2013

OUR CONGRESSMAN will be in Belvedere Saturday afternoon. Fresh off challenging his constituents to a photo contest, Mr. Irrelevant will join Nancy Pelosi at a billionaire's home to raise money for Democrats. Democrats, as most of us know by now, are pretty much interchangeable with Republicans on the big issues.

THIS THING will cost you a thousand bucks to get in the door, so if you're driving down from Laytonville better set a little aside for gas money to get back home. But if you chuck $32 thou at Nancy and Spike you'll certainly be invited back. The Democrats are frantically collecting money to elect Hillary, a female version of Obama-Bush.

PELOSI was booed last month at a Demo get together in San Jose when she said, “Edward Snowden did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents. We have to have a balance between security and privacy.” She also said that “People on the far right are saying Oh, this is the fourth term of President Bush…. Absolutely, positively not so.”

THE FAR RIGHT said that? If any of them did then they're more acute than we would have thought, Bush being their apotheosis guy.

NORM SOLOMON and several hundred disaffected Democrats will be demonstrating outside the event. They released this statement: “It’s unacceptable for the government to target the telephone records of journalists, or to vacuum up the phone-call records of hundreds of millions of Americans, or to capture and store everyone’s emails, or to jettison centuries-long principles of due process and habeas corpus.



OUR SUMMER INTERN, Mayte Guerrero, has completed a review of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s booking log for the first half of 2013. We suspected that a relative handful of chronic public drunks occupy a lot of police time. Ms. G found that over the period of six months (181 days) there were 417 arrests for 647(f), public intoxication, or about 2.3 arrests per day, or 16 such arrests per week. To get yourself arrested for public intoxication you have to be more than just drunk. You have to come to the attention of law enforcement. Our investigator has not attempted the more daunting task of trying to determine the amount of serious crime in which alcohol is the precipitating factor.

The winners:

top647fsNick Halvorsen, 11; Michael Donahe, 11; Charles Hensley, 9; Stacey Moddrelle, 9

Steven Rich, 8; Sam Sanchez, 7; Christopher Alexander, 5; John Bolton, 5

Everybody else was 4 or fewer 647(f) arrests in six months.

So only eight drunks accounted for almost 16% of those 417 arrests. Another way of calculating it is that every sixth public intoxication arrest is one of these eight drunks.

HERE’S AN IDEA: Let’s have Meredyth Reinhard of the Public Health Department circulate the booking photos of these eight drunks to all the liquor outlets in the County and tell them not to sell booze to them because they are a public nuisance. Further, let’s have Ms. Reinhard keep a list of drunks who are a nuisance and update and distribute it every six months. When someone goes a full six months without a 647(f), they can be removed from the list for as long as they’re 647(f)-free.


ACCORDING to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization almost one-third of Mexican adults — 32.8% — are obese while 31.8 of Americans can fairly be described as fatsos. Egyptians are fatter than Mexicans and Americans, Kuwaitis are fatter yet, and an astounding 71.1% of the citizens of the Micronesian island, Nauru, are obese.


IN NOVEMBER OF 1959, as a shocked American public was hit with the news that a number of their favorite quiz shows had in fact been rigged for some time, author John Steinbeck wrote the following letter to his friend, politician Adlai Stevenson, and spoke of his concern at such a morally bankrupt turn of events occurring in his increasingly gluttonous country.

(Source: America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction)

New York, 1959, Guy Fawkes Day

Dear Adlai,

Back from Camelot, and, reading the papers, not at all sure it was wise. Two first impressions. First, a creeping, all pervading nerve-gas of immorality which starts in the nursery and does not stop before it reaches the highest offices both corporate and governmental. Two, a nervous restlessness, a hunger, a thirst, a yearning for something unknown — perhaps morality. Then there's the violence, cruelty and hypocrisy symptomatic of a people which has too much, and last, the surly ill-temper which only shows up in humans when they are frightened.

Adlai, do you remember two kinds of Christmases? There is one kind in a house where there is little and a present represents not only love but sacrifice. The one single package is opened with a kind of slow wonder, almost reverence. Once I gave my youngest boy, who loves all living things, a dwarf, peach-faced parrot for Christmas. He removed the paper and then retreated a little shyly and looked at the little bird for a long time. And finally he said in a whisper, “Now who would have ever thought that I would have a peach-faced parrot?”

Then there is the other kind of Christmas with presents piled high, the gifts of guilty parents as bribes because they have nothing else to give. The wrappings are ripped off and the presents thrown down and at the end the child says— “Is that all?” Well, it seems to me that America now is like that second kind of Christmas. Having too many THINGS they spend their hours and money on the couch searching for a soul. A strange species we are. We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick. And then I think of our “Daily” in Somerset, who served your lunch. She made a teddy bear with her own hands for our grandchild. Made it out of an old bath towel dyed brown and it is beautiful. She said, “Sometimes when I have a bit of rabbit fur, they come out lovelier.” Now there is a present. And that obviously male teddy bear is going to be called for all time MIZ Hicks.

When I left Bruton, I checked out with Officer ‘Arris, the lone policeman who kept the peace in five villages, unarmed and on a bicycle. He had been very kind to us and I took him a bottle of Bourbon whiskey. But I felt it necessary to say— “It's a touch of Christmas cheer, officer, and you can't consider it a bribe because I don't want anything and I am going away…” He blushed and said, “Thank you, sir, but there was no need.” To which I replied— “If there had been, I would not have brought it.”

JohnSteinbeckMainly, Adlai, I am troubled by the cynical immorality of my country. I do not think it can survive on this basis and unless some kind of catastrophe strikes us, we are lost. But by our very attitudes we are drawing catastrophe to ourselves. What we have beaten in nature, we cannot conquer in ourselves.

Someone has to reinspect our system and that soon. We can't expect to raise our children to be good and honorable men when the city, the state, the government, the corporations all offer higher rewards for chicanery and deceit than probity and truth. On all levels it is rigged, Adlai. Maybe nothing can be done about it, but I am stupid enough and naively hopeful enough to want to try. How about you?

Yours, John


THE ALBION LITTLE RIVER Fire Protection District & the Albion Little River Fire Auxiliary present our 52nd annual BBQ and fundraiser. Come join us at the Little River fairgrounds by the airport Saturday, July 13, 12-5 pm. $15 Adult, $10 ages 6-11, under 6 free. We will be serving beef tri-tip, smoked chicken and vegan tamales. Enjoy good food and live music throughout the afternoon. We’ve got lots of new firefighters — come meet us! Spend the day with family and friends and support your Local Fire Department. Featuring Music with the: The Groovenators Stellar Baby including Jon Faurot, Butch Kwan, Buddy Stubbs, John Smith, & Steven Bates Solos by Jon and possibly Steven Three on the Tree Additionally: - Display of classic cars and hot rods! - Display of CalStar & REACH air service vehicles, including the newest EC135 REACH helicopter There will be children’s activities, so bring the kids! Kids' area with games, prizes, bounce house, & Smokey! Save the date! Mark your calendars now! *Locally baked desserts are needed to sell at the dessert booth. Please bring your goodies the day of the BBQ.* If you can't attend but still want to support us, consider joining the Fire Auxiliary. Monthly meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month at 7 pm at the fire station behind the Albion Grocery. We look forward to seeing you - -- Scott Roat


ADAPTING TO WATER SCARCITY — Please join Sanctuary Forest on Saturday, July 20th for the Adapting to Water Scarcity: Business, Home & Garden hike. Hike leaders Joseph Cook, Tasha McKee and Larry Ogden will take participants on a walking-tour of gardens, homesteads and farms in the upper Mattole watershed—exploring a variety of techniques to reduce water use, including no-till gardening, agricultural ponds and groundwater recharge ponds. Hikers will see first hand how some local homesteaders are adapting to water scarcity, and be able to learn some of their water-saving techniques. Bring a lunch and water and wear sturdy shoes. We will meet at the Sanctuary Forest office in Whitethorn at 10 a.m., and the hike should be over by 2:30 p.m. This hike is free of charge, though donations are gladly accepted and help Sanctuary Forest to offer this program year after year. For questions or clarifications, contact Marisa at, or call 986-1087 x 1#. Hope to see you there!

Support from volunteers and local businesses have made this program possible for Sanctuary Forest. Local businesses that have made generous contributions are Blue Star Gas, Jangus Publishing Group, Whitethorn Winery, Charlotte’s Perennial Gardens, The Security Store, Chautauqua Natural Foods, Clover Willison Insurance Services, Hohstadt Garden Center, Roy Baker, O.D., Worthy Construction, Wyckoff Plumbing, Mattole Meadows, James Friel Plumbing, Ned Hardwood Construction, Randall Sand & Gravel, Sylvandale Gardens, Redwood Properties, Dazey’s Supply, Monica Coyne Artist Blacksmith, Southern Humboldt Fitness, Pierson Building Center, Whitethorn Construction, Caffe Dolce, Mattole River Studios, and Wildberries Marketplace.

* * *

Please join Sanctuary Forest on Thursday, July 18th at the Garberville Theater to see mind-blowing entertainer Brad Barton, Reality Thief. His blend of magic, humor, and mind reading is a unique and unforgettable experience as he predicts your dreams, causes borrowed objects to levitate, and reveals your most cherished memories.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and show at 7 p.m. Cocktails, prosecco, beer, wine and an assortment of Asian appetizers available for purchase. Recommend for those 10 years of age and up. Admission is $15 at the door. All proceeds will go to Sanctuary Forest to support the restoration and conservation of the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas.

Sanctuary Forest is a land trust whose mission is to conserve the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas for wildlife habitat and aesthetic, spiritual and intrinsic values, in cooperation with our diverse community.


EVERYONE IS WELCOME at the Manchester School Alumni Association's 3rd Annual BBQ Benefit on Saturday, July 20. The celebration starts at 1pm until 8pm, at the Greco Field Farm Center, on Highway One in Manchester. This event will support educational programs at Manchester School. Enjoy Tri-Trip and Chicken BBQ with all the fixin's, Full Bar by Knights of Columbus, Dessert Auction, Silent Auction, Children's Games, Horseshoe Tournament, and more! Entertainment by Old Stage, Fast Company & Dj Sister Yasmin. Pre-sale Tickets: Adults $12, Children 6-12: $5 Tickets at the Gate: Adults $15, Children 6-12: $6 Sponsors: $50 or more gets you 2 free meal tickets To order pre-sale tickets, volunteer or sponsor call Cindy at 877-1676 or 884-1828.


  1. wineguy July 12, 2013

    Good letter butSteinbeck went astray during the Vietnam conflict in the 60’s, and the ‘Camelot’ crowd too. He lost his son to the conflict and ruined him emotionally. Read ‘Travels with Charlie’….

  2. Police in Belvedere/Tiburon will not tolerate any demonstration. As long ago as the late 70’s, Tiburon had installed traffic cameras, not for tickets, but to monitor the streets for undesirables. Cheap or beat-up cars were immediately suspect. And Belvedere is the “rich” part of the wealthy, exclusive area.

    One of my favorite lines of movie dialog, from “The Secret Agent”:

    Retarded child to his mother: “What are cops for, mum?”

    Mother to child: “To protect them that has from us that don’t.”

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