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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023

MARINE INFLUENCE will begin to increase today with cooler conditions all around but especially for the coast. A cold front early Monday will bring widespread wetting rain, especially for the North Coast. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Well looky here, a foggy 53F on the coast this Saturday morning & a quick glance at the satellite shows why, that was fast ? I expect the sun to emerge this morning giving was to a nice day. Mostly sunny Sunday then rain returns on Monday & Tuesday.

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The end of a perfect fall day (Dick Whetstone)

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POWER WAS OUT in most of Anderson Valley for about an hour and a half Friday morning for no apparent reason. PG&E didn’t offer an explanation, but given the timing and duration and since there were no obvious weather-related causes, several people suspected that PG&E’s new highly sensitive power-cut-off switches had clicked off again.

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AV SENIOR CENTER has an immediate opening for an individual as a dishwasher/janitor and to assist with food prep. Hours are approximately 9am-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and an additional flexible day for deeper cleaning as needed. $16 hour. 

We are also looking for per diem cooks and sous chefs to fill in when staff calls out. 

Pick up application at Anderson Valley Senior Center at 14470 Hwy. 128 in Boonville on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:30am-5pm or request via email Renee Lee at 707-895-3609

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HOMECOMING FRIDAY A BIG SUCCESS, Superintendent Simson reporting: "It was a huge victory for AV over visiting Covelo, 56-20 before an enthusiastic crowd who marveled at the amazing decorations of Palma Toohey, Yesenia Peña, Vanessa Spacek, and Marcella Mendoza. Lots of good memories for sure. Final score was 56-20 over Round Valley, as VA Soccer had an outstanding game against Credo, winning that match 7-1 all of it topped off by a student dance at the high school. It was a great night.

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My agenda item to increase short term rental taxes was shot down. Special interests didn’t want any kind of increase even though the County is in financial difficulties and the tax would have fallen for the most part on those who live outside the County and come to stay in vacation rentals. 

Sales taxes fall heavily on locals, and they are very regressive taxes hurting those who can least afford them. In the meantime, I continue to support work being done to create greater efficiencies, collect the revenue due the County, and eliminate unnecessary costs. All ideas are welcome.

The Board approved moving ahead with Sherwood Road emergency access routes. This will allow the residents of Brooktrails and the other subdivisions to vote on whether they want to pay an annual assessment (probably $30) to maintain the Firco Road and Willits Creek Trail for emergency purposes. This will allow fuel reduction projects, basic road maintenance, and other projects so that the roads are ready for emergencies. Much appreciation to the Sherwood Firewise Council for all their persistent efforts.

Indian Days celebration in Covelo was a great success. Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman in space, received the proclamation from the County declaring Sept. 23 as Nicole Mann Day in Mendocino County. She is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Her talk with the community was inspiring, heartfelt, and informative. She took questions from young kids and others from the community. Commander Mann was able to connect with everyone in the audience. It was a blessing to the community to have her make the trip back home.

Talk with the Supervisor is the 2nd Thursday of the month at 10:00 at the Brickhouse Coffee in Willits. I am available by email or phone 707-972-4214.

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The cancelation notice for the October 19, 2023, Planning Commission meeting is now available on the department website at:

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Kylee Wood

Defendant Kylee Michelle Wood, age 25, of Willits, was sentenced on Wednesday, September 27th, in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 16 months in Realignment County Prison (aka the Sheriff’s Low Gap jail facility).

Defendant Wood was convicted by plea in December 2021 of felony grand theft of a value greater than $950. 

In short, the defendant and an accomplice were roaming the streets of Ukiah in August 2021 getting into private mailboxes and stealing mail. 

When Wood was arrested by the Ukiah Police Department, she had in her possession a paycheck sent by the County to DA Eyster that had been purloined from his home mailbox. 

Wood’s male (no pun intended) accomplice eluded the police and was never caught.

Because the victim of the crime was Mendocino County’s chief law enforcement officer, the prosecution of defendant Wood has been handled by Lake County District Attorney Susan Krones by assignment made by the Attorney General.

Originally placed on supervised probation for 24 months in December 2021, the defendant failed to take advantage of the help she has been offered. 

Between December 2021 and August 2023 Wood has been found in violation of the terms of her probation five separate times, the last violation occurring in August 2023. 

As referred to herein, Realignment County Prisons (RCP) were created in 2011 by Assembly Bill 109 as a way to shift prison inmates and the cost of felony inmate incarceration from the state prisons to the counties. 

Over 500 felony offenses were modified by the Legislature so that any defendant guilty of one of more of the 500 is ineligible to be housed in a state prison facility and, instead, must serve his or her prison time in the local county jails.

(DA Presser)

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DAWN BALLANTINE: I'm sad to say that Hedgehog Books (Boonville) will not re-open. Please stay tuned, as there may be a fabulous sale or two before the inventory is transferred. As always, teachers who want to outfit their classrooms or libraries are welcome to contact me for donations. I have loved the past five years of curating and selling books at Hedgehog. Thank you for your support.

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Eel River, South of Dos Rios (Jeff Goll)

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by Justine Frederiksen

For years, Ray Taglio has been the eyes in the sky for Mendocino County firefighters, directing countless precise attacks on wildfires of all sizes. But on Sunday, he took his last flight as Battalion Aviation Chief of the Ukiah Air Attack Base.

Of course, he’s not technically retired yet and neither is fire season, but still it’s very unlikely he will be flying in an OV-10 airplane as the Air Tactical Group Supervisor again.

“We could bring the planes back — the contract for the fixed-wings to be at the airport doesn’t end until Oct. 31, so we could decide to bring them back, but given the weather, I doubt it,” said Taglio, explaining that since the Ukiah Municipal Airport is now closed for about a month for runway work, staff at the base decided to give him the traditional “water curtain” sendoff a bit early.

“I don’t officially retire until Nov. 20,” said Taglio, speaking earlier this week with radio traffic crackling in the background as he filled in for a colleague in Sonoma County, which is where he began his firefighting career 27 years ago.

After growing up in Ukiah, Taglio started as a seasonal firefighter with Cal Fire in 1992 in Petaluma, “back when Sonoma County was its own unit, before it merged with Lake and Napa as part of the Somoma-Lake-Napa Unit.,” he said.

In 1995, Taglio then joined the Mendocino Unit as a helitack firefighter, meaning he would be part of a crew dropped off by a helicopter near a fire to fight the flames “with no hoses, no fire engines, just hand tools.” And because that “gave you a lot of experience” in fire-fighting tactics, Taglio said being on a helitack crew was a sought-after position.

After promoting to captain in 2001 while back in Sonoma County, Taglio returned to the Mendocino Unit in 2009 and began working at the Ukiah Air Attack Base, where for the past several years he has been conducting firefighting operations from the air — carefully planning each attack while watching the smoke and flames from 2,500-foot up as a passenger in the OV-10.

On Tuesday he had gone full circle, working near Petaluma again and preparing to train others in the art of fighting a fire in the air.

“That’s what I really love,training,” he said, explaining that after retiring he hopes to come back as an instructor, training future Air Attack chiefs.

And what does it take to be good at his job?

“Multi-tasking, definitely multi-tasking: You are listening to six different radios and have six voices in your head,” he said, adding that a good chief not only needs to make quick decisions, but make everyone else on the radio believe in those decisions.

“We call it ‘command presence,’” he said. “If you don’t have it, people won’t listen to you, especially tanker pilots. They can tell right away if you aren’t sure.”

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DA's House — Hardcore Lawn Guy

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Vote By Mail Ballots were mailed out to those eligible voters on October 6, 2023, and will be available beginning Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

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Sunday, October 8, 2023, signifies the somber commemoration of the sixth year since the harrowing 2017 Redwood Complex Fire. The fire began on October 8, 2017, in northeastern Potter Valley before merging with another fire that began on October 9, 2017, in Redwood Valley. The fire burned over 36,000 acres, destroyed nearly 350 residences, forced 8,000 residents to evacuate, and, most tragically, claiming the lives of nine individuals.

On this day, CEO Darcie Antle, Sheriff Matt Kendall, and the Office of Emergency Services reflect upon the tragedy of the Redwood Complex Fire, honoring the memory of its victims and acknowledging the unwavering bravery exhibited by the brave first responders who selflessly served the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley communities. 

The 2017 Redwood Complex Fire left an indelible mark on Mendocino County, with its impacts enduring to the present day.

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Mendocino Headlands Gull (Jeff Goll)

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by Mary Benjamin

FORT BRAGG, CA — The historic Skunk Train Roundhouse, first built in 1885 for the Union Lumber Company, is close to completion of an $850,000 restoration project. The post and beam structure was built with all old-growth redwood to hold the engines and provide a maintenance work area.

A fire in the early 1900s severely damaged the building, and was rebuilt to the specifications seen today. Over the years, neglect led to the near collapse of the roundhouse in 2022. Broken window panes, missing doors, and, most recently, a missing roof created a danger to the public.

Remarkably, Mendocino Railway decided to restore the roundhouse rather than demolish it. The renovation process included consulting historical archives, photographs, and oral histories to gain the most accurate rendering of the old structure. Currently, it houses the historic locomotive fleet and provides a maintenance area.

Last Wednesday, Robert Pinoli, President and CEO of Mendocino Railway, held an open house for invited guests and the public to come into the roundhouse to celebrate and mark the success of the restoration project. Small tables lined the east side of the building. Hors d’ouerves, libations, and live music greeted visitors.

“It’s nice to have folks come out and celebrate the work that’s gone into the restoration of this building,” said Pinoli. He added, “This is the facility that has maintained all the railway’s equipment, both freight and passenger.”

In the building was Engine No. 45, what Pinoli referred to as “the flagship locomotive for the railroad.” He added that the restored building “stands on the original footprint.”

The rest of the building was roped off for safety, but anyone could also view the historic engines and cars currently sheltered in the roundhouse. Sitting on the rails were a steam locomotive owned by Stathi Pappas, General Manager of the Skunk Train, a diesel locomotive, along with a car and a caboose waiting for restoration.

According to LeeAnn Dickson, President of the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Historical Society, volunteers are needed to help with restoration work on “the antique pieces of rolling stock that the Skunk Train has.”

She continued, “The stripped caboose, made of wood on a metal frame, is in really bad repair. They’re looking for volunteers–people who have expertise that could help with it.”

Pinoli views the $850,000 cost of the project as well spent. He said, “It’s representative of the significant investment we’ve made in the community. He added, “This is my 31st year in service to the railroad, and in the time since Mendocino Railway acquired the railroad in 2004, we’ve spent $30 million on the infrastructure of this railroad.”

Pinoli seemed pleased that a wide representation of the community, investors in historic railroads, and more than a few members of the local Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Historical Society had come to celebrate.

“It’s a celebration not only to honor the 138-year legacy of the railroad,” said Pinoli, “but to certainly honor the amount of work and effort that’s gone into keeping this living, breathing piece of history alive.”

The Skunk Train currently offers visitors the opportunity to have a look at the Roundhouse. A one-hour guided tour is now available that brings visitors inside and up close to the engines and rolling stock that once traveled the tracks as the latest in transportation services.

For more information about the tour, go to the Skunk Train website at or stop by the train depot at the west end of Laurel Street. Eight percent of every ticket purchased for a Skunk Train ride helps finance the Historic Preservation Fund, which funds maintenance of the tracks, buildings, engines and cars, bridges, tunnels, and grounds.

In a nearby building that was once the Carpenter’s Barn, the Model Railroad, with over 2400 feet of track and ten trains, is also available for viewing. It is open on all days that the Skunk Train is running and is free with the purchase of a Skunk Train ticket. Otherwise, admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

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by Frank Hartzell

Cal Fire hopes a “New Vision” for Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) can break a literal log jam and win the cooperation of both environmentalists determined to stop all logging and timber companies, two of whom are suing the state over its handling of delays to the cutting

The Newsom Administration hopes to “demonstrate” how Native practices, combined with modern science, can create sustainable solutions to climate change and fire prevention while also allowing people to continue living in wooden houses. It’s a tall order and the New Vision also promises equality in management with Indian tribes and improved recreational opportunities. Some want to throw in ways to use the forest for foraged food and biomass energy. Forests are being viewed anew as economic and community centers, rather than just standing strip mines. From Australia to Brazil to Canada and around California, historic Native burning and other innovative management strategies are updating forestry practice.

The old vision, in place for 70+ years, was to allow timber companies to log the “people’s forest” while the state studied this “demonstration.” Anybody who thought Jackson was a local science lab or primarily dedicated to hiking, biking, global warming mitigation or mushrooming, had something else coming. This was shop class for loggers first, not friends of the forest fairies. Even the fire prevention measures have been historically lacking if that slowed logging too much, critics and the big brush piles say. The New Vision is designed to replace the old management plan several years before its due date.

But is all this a bunch of rainbow stew in the sky sponsored by the local chainsaw dealership again? Or do they really mean it this time?

I wondered this as I watched one of the most ridiculous public meetings I have ever attended as a reporter since my first in 1983, when Houston Post reporter-turned-publisher Jane Fried, sent me to a Houston Transit Authority meeting which lasted eight hours. I wrote down every quote and minute details about all 11 options being considered, covering 42 pages of notes only to find out when I returned the word limit was 800 words! The JAG meeting, where more than 100 people packed into a space meant for about 50 af Fort Bragg Presbyterian Church’s dining room, droned so unintelligibly that there was little to write on my notepad this time. I couldn’t even get my overlarge body into the church hall at first and there was no place to sit. Standing in a far corner balancing a notebook and camera I could only intermittently see or hear. Few gave their names. Some spoke again and again. Nobody went to the front of the room. Why bother? No microphones were available. Voices that sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher came from somewhere in the overloaded room.

Up front was the oversized “Group” the JAG, splayed along a row of windows blazing in the astonishing September sun. The Board of Forestry must have made the JAG a “group” lest someone take it all seriously or present a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order for committees or councils .The JAG was cynically defanged by that Board of Forestry, which nixed a working compromise between environmentalists and local loggers. Vince Taylor, leading the environmental side with Bill Heil, forged the deal more than a decade ago to create the JAG in concert with top local loggers like Mike Jani and Art Harwood. The greens dropped a lawsuit that had stopped logging for nine years. I interviewed Taylor, who has since left the area, after the Sept 15 brain numbing meeting. Taylor told me that if he had to do it all over again he wouldn’t have compromised and helped create the now impotent JAG. He says the best option now may be to go back to court and make Cal Fire do environmental impact reports and follow the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The state has exempted itself from CEQA, but Taylor and others like Matt Simmons of the environmental group EPIC say that self exemption needs court challenge. EPIC sued Cal Fire last year in an effort to block harvesting, but the injunction was ultimately denied by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Jeanine Nadel.Taylor said if they were forced to comply with environmental studies, the state overlords would not be able to make that grade.

“They wouldn’t be able to meet the legal requirements that would be necessary to get past a judge,” Taylor said.

But here is a surprise. All this sordid history (not including my interviews) came into the meeting from an unlikely source - Cal Fire, which is truly being much more open and now appears to really want to least talk about the New Vision. Cal Fire’s Kevin Conway acknowledged the history but said the New Vision, Scope of Work and management plan update priorities coming down from Gov Newsom and his enviro honchos mean we can’t all go back to that moment in 2011 when locals had forged a great compromise.

The New Vision got off to a rather bad and familiar old start on Sept 15 when everybody learned the Cal Fire/JAG facilitator resigned before the meeting, saying Cal Fire was just pushing through timber harvest plans again and not engaging in the collaborative process that the New Vision promises.

Should Cal Fire hire an out-of- town consultant to implement the New Vision for Jackson Demonstration State Forest? Was all this chaos meant to make everybody want that?

When Cal Fire brought up the need to hire a consultant to lead the process, the audience at the Sept. 15 meeting erupted with catcalls about more out-of-town friendlies working off public funds. There were cries of “here we are” and “Us” and “Pick us.” Bill Heil said “We are right here. Give us a chance!”

But in reality, is there anyone locally who can get intractable environmentalists to work with state leaders with a history of infuriating the tree huggers with broken promises? Both sides have track records of deception and hyperbole. Does Kevin McCarthy need an easier job than Congress? This hiring of the consultant will be at the heart of the Oct. 13, from 5:30 - 8 p.m. meeting of a JAG “committee” and Cal Fire.

At the Sept 15 meeting, the New Vision ‘s new Scope of Work flopped along with two timber harvest plans and everything else on an overpacked JAG agenda. Nothing was voted on and the meeting spun manically in circles. Environmentalists actually directed most of their ire at the Scope of Work being on the agenda more than on the timber plans, saying it was all premature, natives had not been consulted. The public kept saying they had no idea what the New Vision and Scope of Work were or where they had come from. (Although it was laid out in stellar bureaucrat speak in the voluminous agenda packet.)

JAG members did write a letter saying the JDSF is running out of money as timber harvest plans have been stalled for years now and that’s the prime source of revenue for JDSF. Two timber companies have filed lawsuits over a process they also say is not working for them, thanks to the protests and Cal Fire’s position of not covering the damages the interruptions caused.

The facilitator for CalFire and the JAG, Kimberly Rodrigues, had resigned a few weeks before the meeting, saying she was frustrated and stymied by state efforts to pack JAG agendas and not truly consider anything but getting the usual rubber stamp from the JAG, an advisory group to CalFire and the state, which manages the JDSF. Rodrigues attended the meeting as a spectator. Later, in an interview — and In her resignation letter — Rodrigues said she had hoped to increase collaboration, not merely pretend to be interested in diverse viewpoints and cynically push agendas forward. She called the Sept. 15 meeting the most frustrating and confusing event she had been to in twenty years of involvement in contentious forestry issues.

Only one other meeting rivaled it for confrontation and none for general chaos.

“The agenda was flawed to begin with,” she said in the interview. “There were too many agenda items and not enough time for the needed discussion. I suggested the meeting focus solely on the Scope of Work, but they insisted the timber harvest plans had to move forward.”

In her resignation letter, she wrote, “The JAG works on consensus, the highest form of collaboration, yet the process is not truly collaborative. Cal Fire announces the projects and timelines, seeks limited input with limited dialogue and makes decisions. I am willing to support a collaborative process if and when the State and Cal Fire commit to such a process.”

Rodrigues’ departure worried several people already distrustful of the process. “I am disheartened to learn of Kimberly Rodrigues' resignation in protest,” said Evan Mills, a climate and energy scientist who lives in the village of Mendocino and who attended the meeting. “Prior to Rodrigues' arrival, there had been severe erosion of confidence in Cal Fire's ability to act in the public interest and to employ modern, science-based methods of forest management. The grounds given for the resignation only affirm this concern.” Mills is concerned with how managing the forest will move forward. “Cal Fire cannot credibly proceed with further management decisions or approve new THPs without re-establishing a balanced and collaborative process, beginning with a new and credible facilitation process.”

No timber representatives spoke at the meeting beyond those on the JAG. Instead, timber companies are using legal action to object to the losses they say the process has caused them. Two timber companies have active cases against Cal Fire in Mendocino County Superior Court, saying an ineffective process of managing timber harvests and protesters has damaged them economically. Mendocino Forest Products Company is suing over its harvest at Soda Gulch, which was hit by protesters towards the end of that THP. A hearing was held Sept 29 in the second case, which Willits Redwood Company has brought against Cal Fire. Willits Redwood Company, which bought timber in the “Caspar 500” from Cal Fire. That THP is the heart of all the controversy now but it went though its public comment period unnoticed by protesters just the pandemic hit in 2020. The THP was rubber stamped and contracts awarded but property owners in the area and environmentalists got stirred up when they started marking the trees. In 2021 and 2022, forceful and uncompromising protesters emerged to shut down the timber harvest plan in Caspar and delay two others already well underway deeper in the forest. There were big crowds of forest defenders, tree sits, arrests and people risking their lives and the sanity of tree cutters by going into closed areas of active tree falling. New timber workers got their first look at the non-violent but scary confrontational methods that were last seen during the 1990s. Redwood Summer and the years after, featuring Judi Bari and even more dramatic methods used to stop logging by openly corrupt corporate raiders. For reporters, it has been a nightmare from the beginning to find a sculpt a topiary of objectivity or truth from a thicket of Timber Wars exaggerations..

Anderson Logging of Fort Bragg, working on legally awarded contracts, bore the brunt of the recent protests in Caspar as the contractor for Willits Redwood Company. Two Anderson leaders, including Mylers Anderson, were the only local timbermen I could identify, listening to the entire Sept. 15 meeting.

Cal Fire says they listened to what the public was saying in 2021. Indeed, the first three timber plans they released in 2023 were tailored to better consider climate change, native input, water quality and fire prevention. There are at least three study proposals underway in Jackson underway that are unrelated to logging. Most importantly Cal Fire says they have begun a process of co-management with local Tribes, however, in complete secrecy. They said confidentiality agreements were involved. 

The state, in the person of Kevin Conway, boss of all the state forests, won’t say for how long negotiations have been going on, what tribes are involved in them or even how many local tribes are negotiating with the government. Even the JAG itself and enrolled members of tribes at the meeting are in the dark about what is on the agenda between the governments or what changes Natives may be asking for. Logging opponents are being asked to trust state bureaucracies led mostly by people from the logging industry to negotiate in secret with unknown tribes, who have their own agendas, of course. The enviros have formed a phalanx where the only opinion accepted is no logging whatsoever. Few people spoke in favor of the timber plans and when they did, they got a cool reception at best.

Roger Sternberg, former head of the Mendocino Land Trust and long time local leading conservationist, had his speech interrupted and argued with after he supported scientific forestry and when he brought up the “replacement problem.” The replacement problem is the notion that when action in one area is frozen, it gets done elsewhere. If all logging is stopped as protesters want, the same amount of logging will simply be done elsewhere. But critics repeatedly pointed out that the state has failed to do other obvious things, like sell carbon credits in some areas rather than log. And they say we can only do here what we can do here. The mahogany stands will have to be protected by somebody over there.

While the biggest actual changes in JDSF over the past few years has been upgraded trails, recreation advocates were a small minority. Everything from both sides was all about timber harvests.

Gabriel Quinn-Maroney, a local forest and native plants buff, said any new vision and upgraded management plan should include other activities that have long been inexplicably overlooked, such as seed saving and genetics work with local trees, native plants and Jackson Forest’s famous mushroom resource. Mushroom hunters from around the world, but especially Southeast Asia have long hunted and sold mushrooms in Jackson and other forests, sometimes living permanently deep in the forest to practice their trade.

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The Indigenous Perspective

One of the moves made after the protests was the appointment of Reno Franklin, chairman of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, to the JAG board. Many at the meeting thought the big news of the day on Sept 15 might have been the arrival of the official three-person delegation from the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. They spoke briefly but confirmed at least their tribe was indeed involved in negotiations with the state and that they remained hopeful about that at this point. They did not weigh in on the timber harvest plans or take sides on the contentious issues they quietly listened to for several hours. Cal Fire is taking the position that they are not subject to open meeting laws but are more like foreign diplomacy, which is not subject to public review. Cal Fire refused to release anything whatsoever about the negotiations, such as who they are with.

“Our inability to comment on the negotiations may be frustrating to the public and the JAG but it’s the process we must follow,” Conway said.

Edwina Lincoln, a member of the Yuki Round Valley Tribe, said at the meeting that her tribe had not been invited, and got no answer in public as to whether that was true. She talked privately at length with Cal Fire after the meeting but I was unable to track down what was said.

The trio of Coyote Valley tribal leaders, including the tribal chief, said they were now the official representatives of the tribe. In the past Michael Hunter, Priscilla Hunter and Polly Girvin have appeared as tribal representatives and spoke forcefully about the history of abuse of natives and their lands have suffered, against logging, and demanding land be given back to tribes especially around sacred sites..

None of those three appeared at the current meeting. Comments were sought from all sides but none wanted to speak publicly at this point

“The Coyote Valley Tribal Council is the governing body of the tribe and it authorizes spokespersons to represent and speak on the tribe’s behalf,” said Richard Campbell Jr., vice chairman of the tribe. He was accompanied by tribal historian Margaret Olea and Tribal Chief John Feliz Jr.

“The tribe is committed to continuing our efforts to seek tribal consultation where we can move forward with important consultation with Cal Fire and other agencies in a government-to-government format that provides for effective resolution and to create solutions to meet the priorities of our tribe and the people of California,” Campbell said.

Despite the speech by Campbell Jr. verifying that at least one tribe is being consulted, confusion reigned throughout the meeting about whether any tribes had really been consulted on the whole business of redoing the Scope of Work, creating a New Vision and how these completely different priorities and new approaches can fit into the creation of a new management plan, which is the ultimate goal. Many non native people also claimed to represent the positions of natives as being against logging and for return of tribal lands. Natives bring a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives to the issue. Some local tribes have significant logging operations.The Round Valley Tribe has used its forests to dabble in the carbon credit markets. And what would tribal co-management look like in terms of the New Vision and public access? Tribes don’t need to invite Mendocino’s crowd of hoary-headed demonstrators to give input, nor the climate scientists or even other tribes or dissenters within their own tribe who aren’t at the official table. What if the Tribes don’t like the state’s New Vision? How does equal, co-management work then? What if tribes can’t agree among themselves anymore than the mostly non native bunch could on Sept. 15? Who will exactly say when to log, when to sequester and when to burn? Will all this continue to be in secret? How will you and I give input into “The People’s Forest” when natives have had it returned to them at least in part? Why on earth would the Board of Forestry shut down a perfectly good compromise? I’d like to ask them, especially Jani, who was never afraid to get out in the crowd and give what seemed to be straight answers while other logging executives hid from the protesters. But that;s for another meeting.

The issue was and continues to be that Mendocino Coast residents view JDSF as a local resource and the state sees it as a statewide resource and thus have locals ability to fiddle with timber pans very difficult and at the same time, made opponents more and more angry.

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The Forest Tour That Didn't Really Happen

I was told by those in charge before lunch the scheduled tour was still going forward. I went and was blown away by what I saw. The dichotomy between an obviously stalled and distrusted political process and the grand forest everybody is fighting over was immense.

Deep in Jackson State Forest, the sounds and smells of civilization are gone. This is a true wilderness world apart that is at the same time a property trampled on by mankind for 150 years. Two Cal Fire forestry workers who were ALSO there for the tour, and a passing bicyclist noticed how when we got out of the car, all the hair stood up on my dog. He’s a town animal and was thrilled by the emergence of his wild ancestors through unimaginable nose data. I could feel it too.

The tour of Jackson Demonstration State Forest timber harvesting area had been intended to allow Calfire to show off ”PyroSilv” harvesting, or use of fire both before and after a timber harvest, one of those globally critical ideas. The idea is to bring restorative fire to long-unburned, fire-dependent forests and see if that can create better fire protection, better forests and logging opportunities all at the same time.

The 293 acre PyroSilv Timber Harvest Plan (THP) area, located 8 miles west of HIghway 1 and about 2 miles south of HIghway 20 was one of two timber harvest plans up for review or approval at the disastrous September JAG meeting that was underway while we toured.

We discussed the unusually diverse selection of trees visible just from the tour start area. Then a phone call came from inside the meeting; the tour had died along with everything else on the agenda during a chaotic 6 plus hour meeting. We four (counting the dog) couldn’t resist looking around and taking our own brief tour. There were gigantic grand firs, a tree not usually reaching harvestable size. There were third growth redwoods, some a hundred feet tall and three feet in diameter. There were also skinny redwoods of roughly the same age that were so close together to not only be worthless as timber but which also degrade soil nutrients. There were tan oaks, douglas firs and even a dead bee tree full of woodpecker holes. Amidst it all were constant signs of generations of logging. Stumps of old growth giants could be found, some surrounded by fairy rings of rising giants. These giants looked to have been gone for more than a century, but their high stumps still commanded awe. There was an ancient rock wall that blocked a road, now buried deep in the forest duff with large redwood trees having taken over as road-blocking sentries. There was a big pile of beer cans inside a giant stump and a 1950s government marker sign, shot into oblivion long ago, nearby.

The tour was intended to illustrate new techniques inspired by those very old Native American practices, long scorned and even outlawed that foresters around the world are now turning to. When walking through this overused but resilient forest, the reality of fforestry science came to me through the living colors of manzanita and conifer greens. The forest has become a feral, eroded mix of brush, hardwoods and tiny trees growing inches apart. All that is attractive to invasive species. Worse, firefighters in the areas were too good at their jobs and much of the forest, including the tour area, has been deprived of fire for a century or more and now poses a much greater fire risk. Native plants and trees desperately need fire, which is part of their evolutionary biology.The science shows that this forest needs intense management, including loggers, love them or hate them. “Science shows that formerly harvested redwood forests need active management to advance towards old growth form and function,” Cal Fire documents state.

I drove back to the meeting and everything was still droning in circles just like when I had left a couple hours before. Everybody was talking but who was listening? Argument after argument was repeated by someone else. It was hard to know if this was from an inability to hear what the previous person had said or just stubbornness. In one corner of the room, two Cal Fire workers typed furiously trying to take minutes. As it happened, the JAG didn’t seem to make any formal suggestions to the Board of Forestry, despite some interesting science being presented. For example, Professor Stephen C. Sillett, Redwood Forest Ecology Chair at Cal Poly Humboldt and J.P O’Brien, a university climate scientist who resides in Caspar, gave extensive written and verbal comments about the impacts of climate change on the forest.

O’Brien is excited about using fire as a management tool in JDSFand broadly. However, he said in written comments that the Pyro-silviculture THP will only use fire before the harvest on 50 of the 300 acres. And the burn comes after using conventional logging techniques including tractor logging on 61 percent of the THP. “Tractor yarding” logging is frowned upon by environmentalists.

George Hollister, the chairman of the JAG, expressed frustrations with how gummed up the process has become.. He wondered if any timber companies would even want to bid on timber harvest plans under the circumstances.

Others said his notion pointed to a key twisted irony in the process. Timber companies wiped out this forest as a productive place for logging. Then the state bought the property in the late 1940s from the owners of the land and the Caspar Lumber Company to demonstrate how sustainable forestry could work. But in order to get any modern timber company to look at this forest, now with as much brush as economically viable timber, the JAG and Cal Fire need to go back to practices such as tractor/bulldozer logging. Caspar Catch 22.

Jason Franklin said his native roots date back seven generations from contact. He is not from a recognized tribe. He said the forests left are needed for their spiritual value and that many natives are left out because they are forced to comply with Western government formats and organizations to do so. "I know 100 people who would like to be part of the process but are unwilling to give it up".. to a process they don't trust and which has disrespected them, he said. His speech got a big applause from the crowd.

Ellen Buechner was one of the speakers at the meeting who said she hoped it was possible to find hope for the future in the chaos. “Every decision we make right now, large or small, will impact whether our children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to live meaningful lives in the environment we leave to them. The original mission of JDSF was to figure out how to log the forest most efficiently. It is not too late to admit that, while helpful in its time, the mission has outlived its purpose, and it is time to reframe the mission from extraction to regeneration.”

She continued, “If we can do this with every living and bureaucratic system under our control we will have a chance, but we need to pivot now, wherever we can. This is our only hope, to stop prioritizing dollars and begin prioritizing recovery and restoration in all systems: physical and environmental, social and governmental. Money and jobs will follow. We do this for JDSF by entering into true co-management with our local tribes and abandoning our profit motives outside of tourism.”

Environmental activist Naomi Wagner described the urgency of the forest resistance she has helped lead for three years. She said she had started as a forestry student determined to learn sustainable logging but now favors a complete logging ban, due to the warming planet and the fact that logging never really slowed down. “Too much has been cut. It’s too late for that,” she said in the meeting.

Is it too late? Can we really launch a New Vision of any kind in polarized America? I was left with so many questions. One is what is with all these government meetings in churches lately? I’m a Presbyterian myself, but isn't this the wrong time in history for any new marriages between church and state? I’d love to hear your questions and answers. 

Contact me at

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On the south side (Mill to Gobbi), crews will continue installing the new water infrastructure. There will be some temporary interruptions to water service as the system is switched from the old to the new. In every case, those affected property/business owners will be individually contacted at least 72 hours in advance. Access to all properties will be maintained. 

On the north side (Norton to Henry), construction crews will continue work on the “joint trench,” which will hold the new underground electric lines, as well as phone and cable lines. (Check out the photos below!) On Monday and Tuesday, crews will be working to install a new electric vault near 488 North State, and will then continue completing the “main vein” of the joint trench. Immediately upon the completion of work in each section, steel plates will be placed across the trench to allow vehicular access. 

Additionally, sidewalk demolition will begin on the southeast side of State (near the intersection of Henry/State). The first thing that will occur is the removal of the existing street trees. After the tree removal, the removal of the old sidewalks will begin. As with Phase One (in the downtown core), temporary, ADA-compliant sidewalks will be installed with base rock immediately following demolition. Also, we are committed to not demolishing any sections that can’t be replaced with new in a reasonable period of time. Once a section of sidewalk is removed, the curbs and gutters will be poured. Then, the electric lines for the street lights and the irrigation lines will be installed; then the new sidewalk section can be poured. Pedestrian access to each building/business will be maintained at all times.

Note: On Monday, October 9th, City of Ukiah offices will be closed. Construction will continue, however, and City of Ukiah project inspectors will be onsite.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah

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(Skip Taube)

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To the Editor:

The State of California Department of Cannabis Control was accepting public comment regarding its intent to perform Environmental Impact Reports for the Licensing of Commercial Cannabis Cultivation in Mendocino County. We wish to weigh in on the following with regards to not only future probable environmental effects, but also some effects citizens are already experiencing throughout Mendocino County.

Aesthetics: Massive plastic hoop houses stuck in the middle of vineyard settings or fields are unsightly and depressing to look at. Fencing, often very tall and unsightly, is also popping up everywhere and are changing our once beautiful local nature and scenery. Plastics, we all know, are not good for the environment.

Agriculture and Forestry/Hydrology and Water Quality: We’ve lived with vineyards nearby for decades now and other than the rumble of gondolas, dust and noise during harvest season once a year, they are generally not a nuisance. Since cannabis has come in, it has brought noisy water trucks up and down the roads for many months and they are severely damaging our small rural and residential roads. There is a lot of concern over where trucked in water comes from, since years of drought and water shortages seem to be the new normal. A new crop such as cannabis should be made to adhere to the same agricultural practices as those already in existence, such as vineyards. New wells dug for pot grows are impinging on residential wells, with reports of dry wells where residents have no other water source. We can expect much more of the same without more regulations. Unauthorized running of generators at night is also reported and are disruptive to nearby residents. Most of these cannabis hoop houses are going in as close to rivers, creeks, or freshwater sources as possible, and in close proximity to the Russian River. Is anyone monitoring how much water is being sucked out of this area when the Russian River supplies so much water to communities further South- namely to Hopland, Cloverdale, Healdsburg and beyond?

Air Quality: Studies have shown that generator use in hoop houses produce CO2 emissions and that cannabis plants can also produce volatile organic compounds (VOCS) that can produce harmful pollutants. We are in the midst of global warming and already experience enough poor air quality from wildfires today. Then, there is the smell, quite rightly equated to the odor of skunks. With large grows too close to houses, and multiple yearly crops, this nuisance can go on for months, with highly adverse effects on neighbors.

There are so many more adverse impacts one could identify with this proliferation of cannabis. We believe the State is missing the mark by not including categories of Crime and Quality of Life. Marijuana growing is known to be an attractive nuisance. We’ve seen it over and over and over again here in Mendocino County, in Covelo, Redwood Valley and other communities. Our local Mendocino County Board of Supervisors allowed these larger “Commercial” cannabis endeavors to come into our rural residential areas without any input from the citizens and existing agricultural vineyard owners before the fact. Many citizens in this community are being negatively impacted by these new grows and are angry with our local government, especially with some of our current Board of Supervisors which accepted upwards of 16 million of our tax-paid dollars to promote the enhancement of cannabis permitting. These actions were taken without asking the citizenry for our perspective, and whether we want our paid tax dollars spent on it.

Now the State is asking us to request that they perform EIRs and presumably we must request that they perform them, if we want them. It’s a bit late in the game, when big canna will continue to allege that their big money investments are “taken” from them when they have to, what, comply with CEQA and other regulations designed to protect our environment? One wonders whether it was not intentionally done this way to make it appear that we all condone this cannabis being allowed into our rural residential neighborhoods. well,we don’t! What choice do we have at this point, but to request EIRs be done? We just hope they are done thoroughly and honestly, with integrity, keeping in mind that government exists to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizenry, and its public policy should strive to accomplish the most good for the most people.

The deadline for public comment was August 31st and therefore has passed. As a final note, we don’t believe our local government gave us adequate, if any, public notification that the State was accepting public comment regarding these potential EIRs. Why not? Transparency needs to be greatly improved by our local government! In Mendocino County, transparency is often an afterthought.

Frances & Jim Owen

Mendocino County

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* * *


Marijuana: Don’t get into the game. Keep your guns, keep your cash and grow your own stash.

Beer is pretty easy to make, too.

Plenty of ways to fight inflation and produce your own libations.

Just plain silly how many folks are spending money and extreme effort to produce product with ever dwindling returns. That train has left the station and it’s not coming back. Scale and corporatism is what keeps vegetable and fruit prices low to maintain a profit margin. Same is already happening for marijuana.

Only reason there’s a false demand for marijuana are the states that haven’t legalized it yet. Once the feds reschedule it…

Game over.

* * *


Ukiah CA Homeless Shelter Shakeout January 9th, 2024

Warmest spiritual greetings, 

Please know that the administration of the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center has given written notice to everyone currently inside with an assigned bed and locker, that as of Monday October 9th, there is a three month maximum stay, with the exit date being January 9th, 2024. It is possible for those with extreme extenuating circumstances to apply for an extension. Otherwise, beginning on Monday, there is a three month limit, with two weeks mandatory being out before being allowed to reapply for another three months. Regardless, there is a maximum guest stay of six months per year.

To all of my associations, my final medical appointment is on Monday morning October 9th for a general assessment at Adventist Health. Otherwise, I am free to go wherever I need to go and do whatever I need to do. I am available on the planet earth for frontline radical environmental and related direct action, and anything else which fits the description of a spiritual revolution to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness. If this resonates with you, feel free to get real with me at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you

Craig Louis Stehr

1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482.


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Horse Mural, Gutted Round Valley Center for the Arts, Covelo (Jeff Goll)

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Mendocino County Correction Division malfeasance, meaning illegal or dishonest activity especially by a public official, corporation, wrongdoing or misconduct.

In this case the mental evidence of abuse due to use of audio production is beyond any reasonable means. However, advocating for myself via grievances to sergeants, lieutenants and the Captain are in vain. Instead, I am met with retaliation from correctional deputies who some say comes from the chain of command.

I have been banned from the grievance process. Multiple letters I have written to Matthew Kendall as well as to detectives from the sheriff's office. Inmate requests forms require a written response. Somehow they never receive a response. Simply ignored.

Since rejecting an offer to become an informant I was met with backlash from the corrections division. This has led to major harassment from within the community as I had shared the perks of being an "informant" which gives permission to commit heinous crimes within Mendocino County.

I was aware of consequences that may transpire whether it be a serious threat or a childish game. My life, safety and freedom were threatened as well as my mothers and immediate family including their kids. No matter how questionable the malfeasance may be.

Recent academic research as reported by the Santa Rosa press Democrat exposed that the Mendocino County Sheriff's office operates under Lexipol policy manuals which shapes policing. It updates policies that are porous and designed to give officers, sheriffs undercover unit, cover. Even in the corrections division as well as in the Mendocino County superior court. Lexipol Policy is one of the hottest trends in litigation.

I state malfeasance to quote the press Democrat on Lexipol, the individuals they forget are usually ones they disagree with. "Defensive," "problematic" citizens regardless of gender in the community. The young adolescent types who can easily be labeled "homeless," "transient." They may be mentally ill but you need to put them into being consistent with being under the influence. This is to remove any sympathy of support from the community.

Since been booked on minor vandalism of $400 with bail set at $420,000 which would usually be cited and released, I am forced to be made as a joke as a peer of mine had been made to look until she passed on on April 1, 2017.

I have been isolated, tormented with audio production, sexually harassed. No use of phone or socialization. Sleep deprivation tactics, out of cell time loss, newspaper withheld, grievance restrictions. As harassed in person such as "look who we chipped." This can cause trauma to the uneducated. The Ukiah Daily Journal reported on encephalopathy which is a disease that can trigger progressive degeneration of the brain tissue. Brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and paranoia. This is critical as it may lead to Parkinson's disease and progressive dementia.

I take my brain health seriously as well as this matter. I posted numerously on social media platform Facebook. That being under "Ukiah Valley," "Talmage Valley," and "Asylum Valley."

Sharing and scrutinizing the Mendocino County Sheriff's office and corrections division, their informant program, as well as what seems to be their mantra of "nothing bad ever happens here, no crimes, no murders." Yet, various posts contradict otherwise as to the most recent "we are all actors." To say the least my court date was October 5, 2023. The more awareness I spread I, Will I ever see the light of day?

In all I hope this matter is taken seriously. Amendatory repatriation reform is overdue.


Eduardo Alvarez A#49643

Mendocino County Jail


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REDWOOD CREDIT UNION Makes Forbes’ List of America’s Best Credit Unions for Third Consecutive Year - Redwood Credit Union

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Fall Hornin’ returns.

Huge Arker Day

Not only will November 4th mark the return of Huge Arker Day, it will also be the date that next year’s Beerfest tickets will go on sale! Set for May 4th, 2024, there is heated discussion at the brewery on whether to make the theme “Star Trek” or “Battlestar Galactica”. (Kidding - obviously "May the fourth be with you" is a Space Jam reference).

Pumpkin Spice Ale

Let sweater weather commence with the inviting aromas of caramelized malt and baking bread, highlights of cinnamon, nutmeg, and seasonal spices of our Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale! (But move quickly - we only made limited amount and when it’s gone it’s gone until next year).


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Jet Skis, Lake Mendocino (Jeff Goll)

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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.

We've had a problem with KNYO's transmitter that's being addressed as I write, so it might be that MOTA is not be on the actual air tonight. That's no hill for a high-stepper, as Biff Rose used to say. I'll still be streaming live on the web, and then the next night the recording will be on my weblog, as usual.

I'm back in town for this show. 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; 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. I saw Jack Leung in Rite-Aid Tuesday when I got my shots; he might show up to play the eponymous Jack Leung memorial electric piano.

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 jejune balloon of educational confetti to pop all over yourself until showtime, or any time, such as:

”Protect your loved ones from war gas with Scotch tape.” Got gas? Get Scotch tape. Bonus thought-experiment: Does Scotch tape stick to vinyl food wrap? Think about it and settle on an answer before you try it. Then scribble on Scotch tape with a blue ball-point pen until it's chatoyant; see how nice it looks and feels. Then wash your hands before you touch anything else.

Trebuchet guy again with a new kind. Stay till the end or skip to the end. It's neat when he adjusts the mass of the projectile to take all the kinetic energy of the flywheel away with the throw, leaving the wheel stopped. I especially like the idea of a weapon where you have to crank at it for awhile before you can use it. Something like this should be required for guns, say, in peace /and/ war. But then the sort of people who keep guns would just be cranking them all the time, or paying or ordering people to crank them, or buying electric motor kits from Amazon to fit them with to keep cranking and cranking them when they go to the store or for a walk in the park, in case they win their fantasy lottery and there's crime going on and they can be the Walter Mitty/Travis Bickle hero and righteously shoot someone, and then we're right back where we started. Some people would prefer a gasoline-powered gun cranker, going ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa in their actual pocket all the time, and that would be comforting, except in an elevator or other closed-in, claustrophobic space, where non-gun-equipped fellows would sniff and side-eye them and set them on edge, even more likely to snap. Leonardo Da Vinci sketched a weapon of rotating knives cranked by an armored horse pulling it through a battlefield. It's not a new idea.

And Diagram Of The Elephant's Head. A. Wheels for the eyes. B. Wheels for the trunk. C. Cord for drawing trunk inward. D. Cord for drawing trunk outward. E. Leather thongs for operating wheels. F. Hook from which head is suspended. (via TackyRaccoons)

Marco McClean,,

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, October 6, 2023

Burleson, Campos, Dejong

DAVID BURLESON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

SELENA CAMPOS, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MICHAEL DEJONG, Ukiah. Petty theft.

Flores, Garcia, Hawkes, Morris

JORGE FLORES, Laytonville. Suspended license for refusing DUI chem test, probation revocation.

JAVIER GARCIA JR., Redwood Valley. County parole violation.

ANDREW HAWKES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.


Perez, Rivera, Yanez, Yonker



SYDNEY YANEZ, Fort Bragg. Pot for sale, controlled substance, metal knuckles, interception of law enforcement communications, probation violation.

BRETT YONKER, Fort Bragg. Narcotics for sale, contempt of court.

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My bloody leg is giving me fits! That's what's been keeping me away from Facebook--pain!

[End whining]

On the other hand, I could crow about this weather, but that's risky. The weather is one of those things that are controlled by demons. If I say wow, the demons will switch to crummy weather and spark a few nearby wildfires, so, no, I won't crow.

It's good to see Trump in court. I thought it would happen before he was inaugurated, but I'll settle for this. His robust health works against him now. A nice, final (preferably public) heart attack would provide a dignified exit, but dignity doesn't seem to be in his cards. (I was disappointed when Eleanor told me the picture of him in tennis whites, with a very big brown wet spot in the back, was fake.)

Speaking of dignity, Kevin McCarthy's obsequious smile looked a little strained today. The GOP is not looking all that G, lately. Mitch McConnell, Menendez and Manchin round out an honor roll of M's. A pox on the lot. Long may they languish in reinforced rooms, their post-prison prospects not much more enticing. They'll do their time and then creep out to some haven for creeps, the invitations to the top events fading memories. Ah, schadenfreude! How we love thee!

* * *


Blare bright gaiety
While disclosing bad health risks
Barely audibly

— Jim Luther

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December 14, 1952: Frankie Albert's last game. The 49er Quarterback gave away his uniform and equipment to kids on the sideline. Pictured here is Larry Demetrak with Albert's shoulder pads.

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(1) I keep hearing rumblings that people are struggling to make ends meet and that our money is failing. I heard today that the average new car payment is $760 per month. Nearly what my mortgage was before I paid it off. For a car! Oddly, it seems the majority of people are driving much newer cars than my 2007 Tacoma. I go to the stores and shopping carts being pushed by fat tattooed ladies who raided their husbands tool box for facial jewelry, are full of soda, candies and sports drinks. Then I drive around and I see elaborate halloween displays of 15 foot tall skeletons and pumpkin head monsters, inflatable jack-o-lantern displays, lights and motion activated witches and goblins. One of those 15 foot tall pumpkin headed monsters costs nearly $200 and they don’t have just one, they have three. The lottery is upwards of $1.2 billion and rising as millions of hopeless Americans pour their hard earned or Government gifted monies into the most immoral tax ever instituted. So my question is, Where in the hell are these people getting all of this money? I live debt free and stay pretty conservative. I have money saved and I still don’t have enough money or desire to buy a new car. Someone please tell me how people are doing this?

(2) Guy up the street just installed a realistic 20-plus foot skeleton. I can’t imagine what that cost. Nightmare stuff for a little kid that can see it out the window. The skeleton fight scene in “Jason and the Argonauts” scared the shit out of me as a six year old.

(3) And a couple jack o’ lanterns carved from pumpkins with candles inside; some potted mums are nice too. I miss simple Halloween decorations. I have mused about how this came to pass; conclusion is Big Corp can monetize anything and convince people to buy everything from cheap plastic crap to high dollar stuff for your outdoor living room complete with a big flatscreen TV. “Aspirational lifestyle” magazines do a good job of creating demand. Walked down the Halloween candy aisle a couple days ago and was stunned at the prices. My street hasn’t gotten trick or treaters in years, so I stopped buying candy. For families living in neighborhoods with lots of children, can’t imagine the tab for candy, and costumes for their kids, let alone the yard crap.

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IT'S THAT TIME of the year again when the people of San Francisco must be harassed by our own military, the Navy's Blue Angels.

When Dianne Feinstein was Mayor, she objected to the annoying bullyiing by the military:

Mayor Dianne Feinstein, whose windows at City Hall shook along with those of hundreds of others, “got on the telephone to the Navy and ordered them to bring those planes down,” according to her spokesman, Tom Eastham.

The Mayor's office, the police and the authorities at San Francisco International Airport were flooded by telephone calls as six A-4 fighter jets swooped over the city.

“The Mayor was concerned that so many people were frightened,” said Mr. Eastham, who acknowledged the Mayor had no actual authority to ban the planes from San Francisco's airspace.

I suppose we can't expect Mayor Breed to do the same.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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by Nora Mishaner

Laudatory remarks were already underway Thursday when Brian Kim entered Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s outdoor memorial service clutching a protest sign.

“If you want the People to feel sad when you die, retire before you go senile,” it read. 

Feinstein died last Friday at age 90. Her death came after years of concerns about her health and mental acuity, during which time the senator and others continued to defend her job performance.

Kim appeared to be the only person protesting the service. He did so, he said, after consulting a religious adviser about the ethics of doing so. 

“I dislike the gerontocracy we live under,” Kim said in an interview. 

The 33-year-old artist does not plan to run for public office himself, but said he would prefer to see younger people in power. 

Shortly after the service began, Kim passed through a security checkpoint with his sign and a backpack bulging with notebooks and art materials. The security guards rifled through the bag but did not appear to notice or care that he was holding the sign and preparing to picket. 

The public was urged not to attend late Wednesday, with security tightened to accommodate the large assembly of high-profile guests. But the few members of the public who persevered — bypassing bomb-sniffing dogs and metal barricades — were allowed to enter and sit in a mostly empty seating area to the left of the stage. 

After passing through the metal detector, Kim headed toward the public’s designated white folding chairs, separated from invited guests by a thin row of planters.

Mayor London Breed was onstage, venerating Feinstein’s approachability, as Kim approached the seating area. The mayor was among those who spared no superlatives in remembering Feinstein as a “champion,” a “woman of valor” and “an American hero.”

Kim appeared to be the only one in attendance who disagreed with the assessment, or at least the only one who came prepared to demonstrate his dissent. 

“I just want people under 50 to run,” he said. 

(SF Chronicle)

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The Golden Gate Bridge, 50th anniversary celebration (1987). Estimated population of people on the bridge was around 800,000, causing the the bridge to sag seven feet because of unprecedented weight. Photo: Doug Atkins

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by Fred Gardner

Back in 2000, Congressman Tom Campbell, a liberal Republican who had served five terms representing Silicon Valley, resigned to run for the Senate against Dianne Feinstein. At the time I was working as public information officer for the district attorney of San Francisco, i.e., I was Terence “Kayo” Hallinan’s press secretary. When Kayo said he intended to endorse Campbell, I pointed out that Campbell was anti-union. “You don’t have to remind me,” the DA said in annoyance. “Feinstein is 10 times worse.” In an op-ed he didn’t want me to mess with, Hallinan wrote:

‘It has pained me, as a loyal Democrat, that our own Senator Diane Feinstein, a native San Franciscan, has always been among the most vociferous proponents of the drug war, which has produced death, disease, racism, corruption, crime and loss of rights. As the failure of the drug war becomes more evident and the costs mount, Senator Feinstein looks it in the eye and says, ‘Give me more’.”

‘Over the years she has favored or sponsored ever more repressive legislation aimed at punishing drug users. She routinely votes for such Draconian measures as expelling entire families from public housing for drug possession by one member of the household and barring federal student loans on the same basis. She has also voted for the death penalty for drug offenders including large-scale marijuana growers.

‘Most recently, Senator Feinstein pushed, with Orrin Hatch of Utah, an anti-methamphetamine bill which, along with increasing penalties for methamphetamine manufacture and trafficking, would have completely abridged the First Amendment, particularly on the Internet. She also just voted for the ill-conceived ‘Plan Colombia,’ which wrong-headedly assumes we can reduce drug use in this country by taking sides in Colombia’s 40-year civil war.

‘Four years ago, Senator Feinstein opposed Proposition 215 allowing medical use of marijuana, a measure later supported by 80 percent of our City’s voters… In sharp contrast to the Senator’s unreasonable and unyielding position in support of the drug war is that of her challenger, Rep. Tom Campbell of San Jose… Campbell spoke out against Plan Colombia, recognizing involvement in a civil war risks another Vietnam and at best will merely create new sources of drugs. He condemns mandatory sentencing and other prison-stuffing legislation, which siphons badly needed funds away from public education… Speaking out against the drug war is consistent with the historic role of the Bay Area as the leading edge of progressive social change in America.

“Sen. Feinstein would not stoop to debate drug policy with a challenger. She dismissed Campbell’s position as ‘bizarre,’ adding, ‘Anybody who thinks you can rehabilitate somebody addicted to narcotics by giving them narcotics, they might as well be living on another planet’.”

One morning in 2002 Kayo showed me a thin folder he had asked a lawyer in the Special Prosecutions unit to compile on DiFi’s husband Richard Blum. One of Blum’s firms, Newbridge Securities, was then handling more than $7 billion worth of clients’ funds invested in China. Maximizing trade with China was in the firm’s direct interests and Dick Blum’s —not to mention the missus. At the time DiFi was vigorously pushing a scheme to pave over a square mile of San Francisco Bay (“it’ll probably turn out to be more land than that,” Kayo predicted) so that the airport could build two runways and add space between existing ones. Legally required “mitigation” for the environmental damage would be provided by a public-private partnership buying thousands of acres of the Cargill salt flats in the South Bay and sponsoring “wetland restoration.”

“Feinstein pretends she knows nothing about Dick Blum’s business dealings,” Kayo said. “That’s obviously not true, but corporate lawyers can set things up so that if she claims she never looks at certain tax documents, they can call it a bona fide arm’s-length relationship.” According to the file he gave me to peruse, the managing director of Blum’s Newbridge Securities was also a consultant to the state-owned Chinese shipping giant, Cosco, which had recently won rights to develop the decommissioned Long Beach Naval Station. Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer issued a statement saying the Cosco-run port would create up to 1,600 jobs, generate $156 million in local wages, and should be green-lighted. Kayo said DiFi was greasing the skids for Cosco. There was an obvious conflict of interest but was there a crime he could prosecute?

One item in Kayo’s folder described BlumCapitalPartners’ near-monopoly grip on the “Smart Cartes” that passengers rent at US airports to schlep their luggage. In 2000, SFO —one of 54 airports at which Blum had the concession—took in $4.2 million in rental fees. International travelers were not charged for using luggage carts, but Blum’s firm got a 70-cent fee every time one did. No crime in owning Smart Cartes —just the meanness of late-stage capitalism, the monetization of everything, and the constant petty chiseling of the American people. (Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel-and-Dimed came out in 2001.)

“Mr. Blum’s associates say he began doing business in China when Ms. Feinstein was San Francisco’s mayor in the 1980s,” according to a clipping from the Wall St. Journal that made Kayo scoff. “She set up a Sister City tie between San Francisco and Shanghai,” the WSJ item went on, “and made a friend in Shanghai’s mayor at the time, Jiang Zemin, now China’s president. Mr. Blum has disclosed little about his investments in China. Mrs. Feinstein and her husband say they don’t share information.” To her dying day, Feinstein’s conflicts of interest were blatant. She was the senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee while Blum-controlled companies got multimillion-dollar contracts from the US military. But all was excused by her assertion that she was oblivious to her husband’s business dealings and an accountant’s assurance that certain tax documents are not commingled.

It was the great hurry to expand SFO that got Kayo’s attention. The City and County of San Francisco owns the airport. The Airport Commission was promising to restore 10 acres of wetlands for every acre filled in for runways. Their spokesperson, Kandace Bender (previously spokesperson for Willie Brown) announced that the City was negotiating for 3,300 acres on Skaggs Island, near Vallejo, and 500 acres on Mare Island to add to the mitigation package. Kayo reasoned that since the federal Fish and Wildlife Service had already taken steps to acquire and restore the Cargill salt ponds (with funding help from the state), no private funding was needed to complete the purchase. But if the Airport was part of a consortium that could meet Cargill’s terms immediately, they could claim that restoring the South Bay salt ponds to wetlands mitigated the damage done by paving over the square mile (or more) around SFO. “The Airport says they’re doing all this so that passengers won’t have long delays,” said Kayo. “That’s bullshit. It’s all about trade with China.” For sure the animosity between him and Diane Feinstein was personal; but their fight was political and, on Kayo’s part, principled.

Willie Brown was pushing as hard as DiFi for paving over the Bay. When SFO’s new international terminal opened in late November 2000, there was a grand opening party that Brown used for lobbying purposes, according to an article by David Aaron of the San Jose Mercury News:

“For Tuesday’s bash, the airport partitioned the terminal’s main hall into elegant dining rooms and cocktail lounges for 1,000 people —everyone from folks who helped build the terminal to former Secretary of State George Shultz… After dinner of filet mignon, entertainers included jazz bands and a team of acrobatic dancers suspended four stories in the air.

“Earlier this year, Brown proclaimed runway expansion one of the city’s top priorities and shuffled members of his administration to the airport to oversee the job. The prospect of filling 1,000 acres of bay for new runways has enraged environmentalists, however… ‘It’s absolutely necessary that the next step be to get everyone to agree on how important the runways are,’ Brown said. ‘This terminal is absolutely built for the future, the runways should be the same.’

“Brown said runway expansion had the support of Governor Gray Davis and United Airlines CEO Jim Goodwin. The Mercury News reported, ‘United is already on board with the mayor’s runway plans,’ Frank Kent, head of United operations at San Francisco Airport said. ‘Right now we are not even considering the possibility that new runways won’t be built,’ he said. Kent said he and others at the airline have mustered support throughout the business community for new runways in recent months… Brown’s team at the airport is preparing environmental impact reports and a half dozen concepts for runway expansion. Many speculate the airport will choose a design that calls for multiple runways jutting into the bay. ‘I want two but I’ll settle for one,’ Brown said.”

On July 21, 2002, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a piece headed “Feinstein adds salt pond purchases to Senate bill,” in which Jane Kay reported obsequiously, “A campaign to return miles of commercial salt ponds in San Francisco Bay into wetlands for wildlife is moving forward thanks to a deft stroke of legislative maneuvering. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, added a request to the Interior Department’s appropriation bill to include funds she hopes will swing a $100 million deal to buy 13,000 acres of Cargill Inc.’s salt ponds in the South Bay… The deal is in no way linked to the San Francisco International Airport’s attempts to expand runways into the bay and to buy the Cargill wetlands as mitigation for the environmental damage such an expansion would cause, said representatives for Cargill and Feinstein.”

Back at the DA’s office Kayo read the paper and said, “Mitigation is supposed to be for damage that can’t be prevented.” He was still looking for a prosecutorial angle to block airport expansion. But the meshuganah scheme would soon collapse on its own when the bubble burst.

* Quotes are close approximations from memory yet green or from notes made at the time.

* * *

* * *

BRENDA HILLMAN’S REMARKS at the Northern California Book Reviewers Ceremony

by Jonah Raskin

The author of eleven volumes of poetry, including most recently, In a Few Minutes Before Later, Brenda Hillman has won numerous awards, such as the William Carlos Williams Prize, plus fellowships from Guggenheim Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. A longtime teacher at Saint Mary’s College in California, she is also a translator and has also been a non-violent activist with the Code Pink Working Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Tucson, Arizona, and educated at Pomona College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has been published by Wesleyan University Press since 1985, and is the editor of The Pocket Emily Dickinson from Shambala Publications. Fred Cody, whose name graces the award that Hillman received on September 30, founded Cody’s Books in Berkeley in 1956. He and his wife, Pat, operated the store for decades, nurtured Bay Area writers and aided and abetted authors of literary and political manifestos. 

* * *

Brenda Hillman: On Receiving the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award:

When I read Joyce [Jenkin’s] email informing me of this honor, Bob [Hass] and I were watching our miserable Giants tank for the umpteenth time and my first thought was, lifetime achievement? How did it get to be so late! It’s all been a blur since the All Star Break!

Thank you to the Committee for including me on the list with amazing writers who have won the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award. Cody’s Books was such a major institution, both as a gathering place and as a safe haven. Malcolm Margolin has written that Berkeley “provided all the necessary conditions for a flourishing literary scene…a diversity of independent bookstores to support locally produced books, a major university that supplied readers…and a diverse population hungry to explore rapidly evolving concepts of race, ethnicity, and gender.”

When I arrived in the Bay Area nearly fifty years ago, a hopelessly introverted but fairly plucky paisley-dressed 24-year old poet, I was terrified by Berkeley. I moved here to be with Leonard Michaels, a fiction writer who taught at U.C. Berkeley; we married and within a short time I was working at a bookstore myself, raising a blended family, trying to write. No cell phones. When the car broke down you walked to a phone booth. The baby got over three-dozen ear infections in three-years. People were quitting cigarettes & jogging at the same time. People were hosting competing dinner parties, serving fondue in copper pots with sled-like handles, talking about [Jacques] Derrida.

What saved me—what has saved so many of us—was the life of writing: magical, packed, infinite, confusing. Here in the Bay Area, there were the colliding vivid literary histories: San Francisco and Renaissance poetry, Black Arts movement, City Lights. Josephine Miles lived on Virginia Street and Robert Duncan and Thom Gunn in San Francisco. Lyn Hejinian, Ishmael Reed, and Al Young in the East Bay. Maxine Hong Kingston published Woman Warrior in 1976. Julia Vinograd walked on Telegraph in a long dress holding poems aloft. Seamus Heaney visited frequently. Jack Shoemaker at Sand Dollar books handed me a pale-yellow chapbook by Leslie Scalapino featuring the letter O. Jack Spicer, Language poetry, punk rock, Norma Cole translating French poets. Poetry Flash provided a monthly treasure trove of events. Thank you to the goddess, Joyce Jenkins & to Richard Silberg. Patricia Dienstfrey and I often spoke about the excitement of women’s new presses: Kelsey Street Press, Shameless Hussy Press and However magazine.

Life as a young working mother was really hard. Struggling with many things, I was drawn to metaphors from ancient spiritual traditions like alchemy and Gnosticism, to vocabularies from early modernism, and in poetry to blends of birdsong, documents, untamed punctuation, the impure. The possibilities of exploring form seemed boundless and I wanted to lead the way for others. When your soul is driven to the margins, you write in the margins. Some committed acts of representational grouchiness.

But our community showed there are always enough words to go around. Literature expands around our dreams. Once, when I visited Barbara Guest in her house in Berkeley toward the end of her life, she said, “Brenda, I have become a surrealist!” I had become more of a bird-lover. The natural beauty of the coast in peril drew me early on to the ecopoetics, which I wanted to help form. It was daunting to write as a woman in a largely male west-coast poetry tradition—Rexroth, Snyder, Jeffers, Robert Hass. Reader, I married him. Writing poems about geology led to a two-decades-long tetralogy about the classical elements —earth, air, water, fire. I added lichen. Now I am working on a second tetralogy about time: seasons, days, minutes, centuries.

Ecopoetics has now become an international movement connecting poets in Taiwan, Poland and Brazil with poets writing in relationship to our planet in crisis. As a self-identified Celtic witch, I celebrate other creatures, hold the spirit world close, and talk to my salad before eating it. Northern California has been a nearly perfect place to try to write, living in a fault zone, trying and failing with other like-minded souls to represent the moving center of this beautiful and troubled place.

This award includes the word “service.” I have been called an activist-poet because of my attempts at anti-war, pro-environment, social justice and anti-capitalist behaviors; I feel 90 percent a failure in this regard. I’ve been booted off of Twitter several times for ranting. I am an Irish hothead. Nothing is more humbling than trying to organize social justice direct action, especially if you are an introverted poet. But imaginative folks have to trust each other, look up from our phones long enough to face economic trauma, housing crises, fires, and self-righteous complaining about bugs on our organic produce.

It’s difficult to imagine how things will get better when there is so little will to address the widening economic disparities. The forms of service I’m proudest of are teaching and raising children, which I did partially well. I am grateful to Saint Mary’s College for supporting me for 38 years while I was writing my oddball books; I’m grateful to our many friends, and to our children and grandchildren who have been our deep-abiding joy.

Thank you to everyone who reads books. Thank you to everyone who reads single poems. Please keep poetry in your lives. Reading is as important as writing, so thank you for bringing your creative souls to our renderings of beauty, terror and silliness. Today three friends came with us, their initials are D, N and S— all creative readers who make the world better for their artistic engagement. Even the most successful writers I know suffer from crippling insecurities, so thank you for tweeting nice things, joining zoom book launches and buying books though we know you have too many.

Finally, I want to thank Robert Hass, whose work I revered before I knew him; he has been my companion on my weird path for nearly four decades. I would have floated off into the ether without his daily brilliant lines, sentences and his love. [William Butler] Yeats refers to the “foul rag and bone shop” of the heart; the bottom of my heart has minnows from Strawberry Creek and mica from the Sierra.Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart for being local and universal, for your commitments and for your love of what language makes possible.

* * *

* * *


Hillary Clinton last night on CNN said of Trump supporters, “You know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members.” This among other things came in the context of a report in Newsweek to the effect that the federal government, and the FBI in particular, has “quietly created a new category of extremists that it seeks to track and counter: Donald Trump’s army of MAGA followers.” That seems like a lot of people? In addition to the obvious observation that people like Hillary seem increasingly unmoored from reality, as well as wilfully deaf to the political consequences of their words — Maybe we need to formally deprogram you makes the “Basket of Deplorables” episode seem like a Valentine’s Day card — someone should point out that a month ago, on September 8th, Joe Biden renewed the original State of Emergency issued three days after 9/11 by George W. Bush. We spent the last 22 years giving presidents the ability to surveil, isolate, and detain even American citizens. Fortunately we’ll never regret those decisions! What impolitic comment is next? “We have enough railway capacity for the job”? “Welcome, future deprogrammed!” banners above the entrances to decommissioned military bases? These people are truly Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and this would be funny, if Hillary Clinton’s mouth were not such an accurate weathervane for establishment thinking.

— Matt Taibbi

* * *

Beach Nut: Salesgirl, selling gum in Harlem, 1940s

* * *


by James Kunstler

“We’ve conflated politics and bad mental health until they are indistinguishable.” — Scott Adams

By some hidden working of unseen forces, legions of ghouls and demons are bursting out of the ground in every other front yard of small-town America. Supposedly hard-up working-class people go all-out constructing Halloween shrines to the totem figures of decay and death, as in some depraved cargo cult competition aimed at hastening our country’s descent into chaos. The end can’t come soon enough, seems to be the message. Something in the zeitgeist is prompting us to do this.

Year to year, these morbid displays of slavering werewolves, hooded skeletons, grinning mummies, pirate corpses, horned devils, giant spiders, flapping crows, and glowing skulls far surpass in scale the once-exuberant displays of Christmas time — as if to say the celebration of horror and terror has way more meaning in America these days than the message of peace-on-earth, angels-on-high, the boundless generosity of Santa Claus, and the humble birth of a loving god. Kind of reminds you of what Mr. Dylan said more than a half-century ago: “…he not busy being born is busy dying.”

This Halloween month, America looks super-busy preparing for the death of something, maybe itself. Surely many now live in terror of the malevolent blob that the US government has become, led by a very paragon of ghouls, “Joe Biden.” This week, the blob declared in a “leak” to Newsweek magazine, that supporters of Donald Trump, the Golden Golem of Greatness, are now officially deemed to be enemies of the state. So, the blob that has lately subsumed the state, explicitly targets Trumpists (the MAGA crowd) for wholesale persecution, cancellation, de-personing, and incarceration. That is, opponents of the blob regime organizing for the coming election will be systematically neutralized and / or liquidated, taken off the game-board one way or another, by any means necessary.

The blobistas would do well to take heed of those Halloween lawn displays. A stupendous, howling rage is building across this land in revolt against the blob’s monumental insults to a once proud and productive people. Soon, that plastic totem army of stock mythological monsters cavorting in the front yards will be superseded by real flesh-and-blood Americans aiming to shred the blob and scatter its quivering tatters to the four winds — as John F. Kennedy once remarked of the CIA in 1962, before it killed him in retaliation.

Coincidentally, a scion of the JFK generation now running for president on an as-yet-to-be-specified independent party seeks to do exactly what his uncle promised to do. As you gaze on this developing battlefield, you will now see two sizable armies marshaling against the unholy hosts of blobbery — Mr. Trump’s MAGAs and Bobby Kennedy’s emerging division representing the old stoic virtues betrayed by vicious blob tyrants. The plausible outcomes on this battlefield are in flux thirteen months before the election. But it looks a little like the blob is outflanked; hence, its growing desperation.

The psychodrama in the House of Representatives this week looked like a possible inflection point in the blob’s war against the American people. Mr. Gaetz evicted the quisling Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a rather brave gambit, opening up the possibility of unifying his party against the programmatic wickedness of the post-Covid-19 era — the suicidal spending, the insane and unnecessary Ukraine proxy war, traitorous refusal to control the southern border, the official DOJ lawfare waged against half the citizenry, the disgusting official censorship campaign, and the ongoing criminal conspiracy between the pharma companies, the US public health officialdom, and shadowy globalist forces embedded in the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum, and scores of sinister multinational organizations ranging from George Soros’s Atlantic Council to the Sinaloa Cartel.

In the background of all that — a true-life horror — lies the crumbling bond market, the foundation of the money-and-banking system that is supposed to support the on-the-ground economy that produces things of value like food and roofing shingles. The bond market is wobbling badly. As rates rise, banks’ collateral melts away and they go bust, liquidation moves to stock markets, derivatives implode, and the vast reservoirs of capital vanish. There’s your stealth true Halloween psychodrama sneaking up on the scene. Gradually, then all at once, the quarreling nation finds itself stone broke, and even the blob shrinks from the scene in horror.

It will be hard to gaslight the country anymore when that happens. That will be the sobering moment when all the preposterous, mendacious, criminally insane propositions of recent years stand nakedly exposed. That’s when “Joe Biden” begins to be seen as a dancing skeleton.


* * *

* * *

MARIE TOBIAS: The Southern Border has been the source of grotesque conflict since the French and Spanish fought over it (of course it was nowhere near where we now call the border), before the English even arrived. The local native inhabitants enslaved and abused beyond any sane measure. The grotesque plundering of Mesoamerica by the Spanish and the subsequent gross corruption and misconduct of Spanish occupation set the stage for a relationship between the US and Mexico that was at once Collaborative, Colonial, Dominating, and Corrupt. In fact we used it as a blueprint to stomp all over Central and most of South America as well. Banana Republic speaks to the way we turn the rest of the hemisphere into our plantation.

So now the rest of the hemisphere quakes with the political corruption we imposed, the narcoterrorism we now fund, and now the imminent environmental disasters we manufacture. This has nothing to do with guilt or blame or even karma... This mess is something we lovingly manufactured with both hands over 2 centuries, and it's not going to get better by ignoring it, or trying to build a wall around it. The flood has only just begun. When things start to get really ugly and these places are no longer fit for human habitation, you think a tiny wall is going to even slow down 40 or 50 million people flooding north? These people don't want to move. They are running for their lives with everything they now own on their backs. And by the way, you think this is a south of the border problem... What happens when the southern tier states become unlivable? We are fast on a road to summers that people can't survive in the south. You better believe there is going to be an exodus to the north inside our own country... There was a time in California that signs were posted that said OKY Go back... and that was an ecodisaster too... Are you going to build a Trump Wall on the Mason Dixon Line? At the end of that tunnel is pure anarchy, a society that has collapsed down to feudal farms warring over basic resources. No place an American would choose to live.

Look, I appreciate we need to take care of our own, but part of that is a false state of scarcity created by sucking all the wealth out of the lower 98% of the population... The rest is a false narrative that immigrants don't pull their own weight. Our nation is built on immigrants pulling most of our society's weight. You put an 18 year old Mexican kid in a job demanding hard physical labor and an American 18 years old... who do you expect works up a sweat fastest? Who do you expect to see finishes the job?

Americans are racists, classists, theists, and sexists... because human beings are xenophobic primates and unless you teach them not to be these things, cultures spawn these behaviors quite automatically. It doesn't mean celebrate the lowest common denominator. Our culture has value because it aspires to great things. Equality, dignity, charity, responsibility, equity, and morality. It doesn't always achieve these things but a man's grasp should always exceed his reach. The spirit should be willing. Let us all be better than our basest impulse. Let us all hold one another to account for being more, not less.

* * *

* * *


Israel has vowed to exact revenge on Palestinian militants after they launched a surprise attack on the country on Saturday, warning Hamas that they had made a 'grave mistake'.

Residents living close to Israel's border with Gaza have been ordered to stay inside and others have been evacuated after Hamas militants infiltrated the country by land, sea and air and launched a fusillade of missile strikes.

The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that the militants will pay an 'unprecedented price' after their attacks killed at least 40 Israelis; Palestinian officials have since claimed 161 people have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel.…

* * *


A Russian missile attack on residential buildings killed a 10-year-old boy and his grandmother and injured at least 27 others in Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials said. It comes a day after dozens of people died in a Russian missile strike on a nearby village.

Meanwhile, Russia launched a "massive" drone attack overnight, damaging port infrastructure and a grain silo on the Danube River, Ukrainian officials said.

Russia successfully tested a new generation of nuclear-powered cruise missile, President Vladimir Putin said. He also raised the prospect of revoking Russia's ratification of a treaty banning nuclear tests.

US President Joe Biden is concerned failing efforts to approve arms for Ukraine amid political upheaval in Congress could become a serious battlefield concern. In an effort to better understand the geopolitical debate behind backing Kyiv, CNN analyzed how international assistance to Ukraine stacks up.

* * *

* * *

A COWBOY, who just moved to Montana from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself.”

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent.

When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.”

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

“Oh, no, everybody's just fine,” he explains. “It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking. It hasn't affected my brothers though.”

* * *


"I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."

— John Muir

* * *


To the Editor:

Most of what people can do to live longer — and especially healthier — lives is not within the control of doctors, nurses or governments, but rather in the hands of each of us.

The American Heart Association recommends eight ways to keep healthy. Research shows that only a small percentage of Americans follow these recommendations, which include frequent exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, and, yes, maintaining a healthy body weight.

But governments have a role, too. The “nanny state” actually works at keeping people healthy, as shown by the dramatic decrease in smoking rates following government actions since the first surgeon general’s report on smoking in 1964.

And policy failures can make people unhealthier: It’s hard for someone afraid of getting shot while walking to get sufficient daily exercise; it’s hard for someone living in a food desert to eat a healthy diet. And without exercise or a healthy diet, it’s hard to maintain a healthy weight.

Research shows that people live longer and healthier lives in countries with less income inequality, and that those countries spend far less than the United States on health care for their citizens.

Perhaps even conservatives will be persuaded to help the country take action, since it’s shown that government efforts not only reduce mortality, but actually save health care costs and increase productivity, too.

Daniel Fink (Retired Internist)

Beverly Hills

* * *

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY to Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), American modernist poet who vigorously explored the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. 

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.

"Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container."

"Death is the mother of beauty. Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers."

"Throw away the light, the definitions, and say what you see in the dark."

"The exceeding brightness of this early sun

Makes me conceive how dark I have become."

"The imperfect is our paradise."

* * *

A Hopi Girl, 1905. Photo by Edward S. Curtis. Source - Northwestern University Libraries


  1. Marmon October 7, 2023


    1 month ago Trump predicted the $6 Billion that Biden gave Iran would be used for terror attacks across the Middle East and specifically kidnapping. This is exactly what we are seeing in Israel this morning. I suspect that the AVA staff and most of their subscribers will soon be flying Hamas flags.


    • Bruce Anderson October 7, 2023

      You’re in over your head, Jimbo. Read some history and report back.

    • Gary Smith October 9, 2023

      Biden didn’t give Iran anything. He released THEIR funds which had been illegally confiscated.

  2. Marmon October 7, 2023


    “These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration. We brought so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible. Here we go again.”

    -Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump


    • Harvey Reading October 7, 2023

      Trump’s blabbering is a sign of a country whose time is about up.

  3. Michael Koepf October 7, 2023

    Israel attacked! Hundreds dead. Bruce Anderson Dabke dances around his coffee cup this morning.

    • Bruce Anderson October 7, 2023

      PLEASE SHARE: Below is J Street’s hypocritical press release on the hostilities occurring in Israel-Palestine. During the years J Street has spent documenting Israeli atrocities against men, women and children, it has called itself “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace,” rather than “Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace.” Why? Because its principals are still too conditioned by their attachments to their Jewish identities to see the actual relationship between Israel and the Palestinian people with real honesty and clarity. Thus, they are inherently predisposed to revert to identifying with “beleaguered” Israel as opposed to the Palestinian people or, more importantly, as opposed to ALL people. Would J Street have decried the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto revolt by the doomed Jews of Poland against their Nazi occupiers? I think not. J Street refers to Palestinians who resort to violence as “terrorists” while it normally refers to soldiers and settlers who, with Israel’s blessing, carry out their government’s violent ethnic cleansing operations as “soldiers” and “settlers.”
      Any intelligent and honest reading of the history of Israel-Palestine easily demonstrates that Israel has always known its illegal policies encourage violence. In addition to its daily persecution of Palestinians, both Israeli forces and its de facto vigilante settler force always react with overwhelming force and brutality whenever a Jew is harmed in the West Bank.
      This avoidable yet predictable attack was brought on by Israel which, in its hubris and inhumanity, thinks it can subjugate, kill and abuse millions without consequence. As a depraved alternative to peace and as a part of its national ethos, Israel routinely invites violence. For example, the First Intifada started out as a nonviolent demonstration in which Palestinians used the classic tools of civil disobedience – boycotting Israeli goods, work stoppages, the raising of the Palestinian flag, etc. Not a single Israeli was killed in the first year, yet Israeli police and soldiers deliberately broke the bones of demonstrators, injured thousands, killed over 200 Palestinians and imprisoned thousands, including virtually all of the authorities on nonviolent resistance. Then, to deceive the world into thinking it was only responding to Palestinian violence, it enlisted the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt to help it create Hamas. It next armed Hamas and gave its blessing to Hamas’s spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin to pass out anti-Semitic hate literature calling for the overthrow of the Jewish state. If you believe in self-determination, if you believe that people are justified in wanting their land back or in wanting justice for decades of persecution, can you blame the Sheikh?
      Research any of the “negotiations” Israel has held with the Palestinian people and you will see that the Jewish state has never negotiated in good faith and has always rejected peace and the safety of its own citizens in favor of abusing, killing, and imprisoning Palestinians. My second book, “Wake Up and Reclaim Your Humanity” covers so-called peace negotiations.
      A large share of the responsibility for these crimes against humanity belongs to the American Jewish community whose willful ignorance and indifference to the persecution of Palestinians led to the creation and growth of AIPAC, the powerful American proxy for Israel’s self-destructive interests. If, instead, American Jews had listened to some of their most prominent brethren, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginzburg), they would not have fallen for the lies and hasbara of Israel’s leaders; and Israeli Jews would have seen the wisdom of making peace with the indigenous people whose land they have been stealing (to borrow Daved Ben-Gurion’s language) for more than a century.
      Here is a small selection of quotes from Israeli leaders who knew exactly what their country was doing (citations are available upon request). J Street’s press releae follows.
      General Yigal Allon with the approval of Ben-Gurion: “There is a need now for strong and brutal reaction. . . . If we accuse a family – we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included. Otherwise this is not an effective reaction. During the operation there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.”
      Rafael Eitan, former IDF chief-of-staff: “I don’t believe in peace because if they had done to us what we did to them, we’d never agree to make peace.” And, “The only good Arab is a dead Arab.”
      Yitzhak Rabin to Levi Eshkol at the end of the 1967 Six-Day War: “[Annexing the West Bank would be tantamount to] the creation of a South African situation.” And, in 1992, “We are paying with blood for ruling over another people . . . . Ruling over another people has corrupted us.”
      Ze’ev Schiff, Israel’s most respected military analyst (by all sides of the military spectrum): “the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously . . . the Army . . . has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets . . . [but] purposely attacked civilian targets.”
      Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”
      J Street
      J Street is shocked, outraged and horrified by the surprise, ongoing terrorist onslaught launched by Hamas against Israel today, on Shabbat and Simchat Torah/Shemini Atzeret.
      J STREET PRESS RELEASE: At this moment, at least 40 Israelis have been reported killed and at least 800 reported wounded in an unprecedented infiltration of dozens of terrorist gunmen into communities near the Gaza border and a barrage of indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli cities.
      Terrifyingly, dozens of Israelis have reportedly been kidnapped and taken hostage. Many are still trapped in their homes waiting desperately to be saved, as live combat in many border communities is ongoing. This is a day of profound anguish and horror. Israel is in a state of war and national emergency.
      J Street stands in solidarity with the Israeli people in this hour of terrible danger, fear and worry. We stand with the Israeli armed forces working furiously to repel this assault, protect Israelis and defeat the terrorist onslaught.
      Our thoughts and our hearts are with all of the victims and their loved ones, and in particular with the many communities facing bombardments of rocket fire, infiltrator attacks and the kidnapping of family members.
      We know this is a deeply distressing moment for all of us – especially for the many members of our community here in the United States who have family and loved ones in Israel, and for our staff and partners in the region.
      Hamas’ murderous actions must be met with unequivocal condemnation from the entire international community. We hope for their swift and decisive defeat, and urge the US government to do everything possible to assist the State of Israel in confronting this threat, defending its citizens, and preventing a slide into even further conflagration and suffering for Israelis and Palestinians.
      Adina Vogel Ayalon
      Chief of Staff, J Street

      • Jim Armstrong October 7, 2023

        Boy, that is longwinded.
        Israel has brought this on itself with decades of unbridled and vicious grinding of the Palestinians under its heel.
        The people of Gaza are justifiably desperate and willing to do anything necessary to end it.
        We have to admit daily that the war against them will be fought with American built and provided arms.

        • Bruce McEwen October 7, 2023

          Goliath supposedly came from Gaza in Biblical times… but wasn’t Goliath just a caricature of a philistine (Palestinian) ogre? Look how Native Americans are caricatured to this day, the eve of Indigenous People’s Day, and still that sonofabitch, Tom Hine has the gall to sport a logo of the Cleveland Indians on his ugly old car… by George, could he get away with caricaturing a person of Hebrew extraction in such a vicious manner…? Let’s wait and see what the Wit of Dora Street has to say in his next column.

          Americans are worse than Israelis, merely on the merit of having been practicing apartheid for so much longer …!

    • Bruce McEwen October 7, 2023

      Hey, Mikey, you neglected to preface your comment with “the unprovoked attack”— haven’t you learned anything from Caitlin Johnstone?

  4. George Hollister October 7, 2023

    Frank Hartzell’s writing on the Sept. 15th JAG meeting was thorough, and accurate. Let me explain my view of JDSF, and the tribes. Negotiations between the tribes and the Governor’s office are “government to government”, are confidential, and don’t involved the JAG. Written, or spoken expressed interests by, or for a tribe must come from the tribal chairman, or someone else designated to represent the tribe. Otherwise these expressions, while spoken in earnest, are meaningless.

    The JAG has heard much expressed concerns, and desires for the tribes coming from people who are not in a position to represent the tribes., or who are even tribal members. This adds to the confusion. We have been told that 20+ tribes have been consulted. We have heard of many good things happening, but details are not shared, and won’t likely be shared.

    It has also become apparent that some tribal members have not been informed of negotiations involving their tribe’s leadership, and CalFire. So the information blackout is on both sides.

    Luke Kendall, the CalFire unit chief, is involved with tribal negotiations, and is very capable. Establishing relationships is essential, and that is ongoing and will take time. Hopefully good things will happen.

  5. peter boudoures October 7, 2023

    RE: Frances & Jim Owen

    Where were you when the board was begging cannabis growers to leave tpz zoning and enter AG land? This was decided years ago.
    Maybe you can hire us to cater to your needs?

    • Betsy Cawn October 7, 2023

      In Lake County, many impacted residents and property owners have tried for years to overcome the confounding endorsement for wholesale alterations to local regulations that have been championed by “commercial cannabis” operators who see the pot at the end of the rainbow as the answer to the county’s decades of failed “economic development” programs, and celebrate the newly legalized state bud bureaucracy with money that comes, ultimately, from the rest of the taxpayers who find the largesse allowed the suddenly hip — but just as suddenly broke — newcomers to an “industry” that has spawned its own realm of authority through local government approvals.

      As you say, “this was decided years ago” and as Francis and Jim point out, the results are dismal at best. Lack of natural resource stewardship and community-based planning driven by hopeful aspirations of the elected officials have produced a disaffected population of “stakeholders” who are the primary source of revenue for bureaucratic factories of so-called policy.

      Spokespeople for “traditional” agriculture, water supply protectors, and rural homesteaders are increasingly excluded from the discussion, despite their sincere efforts to articulate the deleterious results of those enshrined past decisions. The problems that Jim and Frances describe are no less valid just because they are relative newcomers to the so-called “conversation.”

      • peter boudoures October 7, 2023

        I farmed several acres on Voigt road in lakeport, and the board bent over backwards for people like you. Exclusion zones were created after cannabis permits were well underway. We followed all environmental rules related to water and storage and were the only
        People maintaining the roads.
        Cannabis businesses have plateaued and only fewer will be operating. There isn’t a green rush and any complaints over legal grows are based off reputation of the black market growers.

        • Betsy Cawn October 9, 2023

          I have no problem with legit growers who, like you, contributed to the maintenance of safe egress and ingress, fire prevention, and water uses. My bitch is with the County Department of Community Development, which created a system for major use permitting that goes around the protection of groundwater basins, adds demands on fire protection and medical emergency services, and converts fragile ecosystem elements to bare fields, with newly allowed “temporary ag structures” that leave behind polluting materials that we (the legit property tax payers) have to clean up. Not to mention the levels of crime associated with those illegal operations — including human “trafficking.”

          For over 5 decades in the region known as the “Emerald Triangle,” murders, violent robberies, and landscape destruction (largely attributed, without further substantiation, to “cartels”). I have known and worked with responsible small growers in the region whose small production of excellent “product” enabled them to survive as the economic chaos of the ages raged on in our poor counties. Support for the construction of new top-heavy state bureaucracies is not my idea of sound fiscal management.

          Laws tht have been on the books for those same decades have been applied to destructive land practitioners, leveling features of natural drainages in the watersheds that ultimately lead to the water bodies that provide — when very expensively treated — “safe” drinking water and sustain the healthy vegetation that holds the highly erodable hillsides, adding more pressure to the workforces that fight vegetative wildfires and respond to injuries in hard to get to locations, all of them underfunded by the central government that collects our dutifully paid fees, assessments, and ever increasing property taxes.

          Over half of the population in Lake County depends on Medi-Cal for “health care,” and the population sustained by federal reimbursement of claims for general welfare, child welfare, unemployment, and other safety net services brings in $9,000,000 a MONTH to the transactional economy of this county. The governors Board of Supervisors) refuse to support the workforce that produces that revenue, in line with making salaries and benefits modestly “competitive” with surrounding county employment compensation.

          For a brief window of time, the glorified “commercial cannabis” “industry” was able to convince administration, public health and safety, and law enforcement services that their enterprises would not only overcome the economic malaise from which our counties have suffered for all those same decades, and paint yet another rosy picture of transcendence that would/will “lead” this county into a bright new future. Now the county spends our tax dollars to subsidize these entrepreneurs (several hundred of them) but place hurdle after hurdle in the path of displaced homeowners trying to rebuild their dwellings that were destroyed in a handful of megafires. On the date of the anniversary of the Redwood Complex, Sulphur Fire, Atlas Fire and Tubbs Fire, I must question the practicality of handing over finite water sources to a “crop” that is not among the critical food and fibre needs for which precious agricultural soils are most important.

          Lastly, the addition of “exclusion zones” is haphazard at best, and even in those sequestered areas the enforcement of public health and safety rules is limited. Most importantly, the county did not review its approved General Plan (and critical elements) to ensure that land management policies provide safeguards for our shared natural resources. We see the same battles occurring in Mendocino County, as amply reported by Mr. Shields and others in this noble publication. In the name of peace, health, and sanity, please let us end this confabulated fantasy of pot as the answer to our entrenched management derangement.

  6. Stephen Rosenthal October 7, 2023

    “My agenda item to increase short term rental taxes was shot down. Special interests didn’t want any kind of increase even though the County is in financial difficulties and the tax would have fallen for the most part on those who live outside the County and come to stay in vacation rentals.”

    Supervisor Haschek: Which special interests? Names, please. Without specifics it’s nothing more than political obfuscation. In other words, business as usual at the BOS.

    • Chuck Dunbar October 7, 2023

      Exactly, Stephen, this is a big deal–I was going to write a similar post, but you did it first and well.

    • The Shadow October 7, 2023

      He’s probably referring to AirBnB and VRBO who heavily lobby against ANY short-term rental restrictions. The coastal supervisors, especially Bowtie, are MIA on this issue. Meanwhile, nobody who actually works here can find a place to live. Tons of places got snapped up during Covid and are now short-term rentals. And they keep coming, seemingly with little interest from our “leaders.” Sigh.

      • Stephen Rosenthal October 7, 2023

        I figured as much, but when a Supervisor, in this case Haschek, points a finger and plays the blame game, I feel he or she is duty bound to the taxpayers to go on the record with the names of the “special interests”. Believe me, I don’t expect any of this gutless bunch to ever do so.

  7. Stephen Rosenthal October 7, 2023

    It took five violations of the mail thief’s probation to finally throw her in the bucket? Gotta wonder, though, if Eyster wasn’t the victim would she still be out gallivanting around?

    • Cotdbigun October 7, 2023

      Rumor has it that she also trampled on his lawn, the final straw! She crossed the line.

  8. Stephen Rosenthal October 7, 2023

    by Frank Hartzell

    Lookalike: The Cal Fire representative speaking with the gray haired woman is the spitting image of recently deceased Dick Butkus.

  9. John Sakowicz October 7, 2023

    In one of his last poems, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour”, Wallace Stevens describes the experience of an idea that satisfies the imagination and writes, “The world imagined is the ultimate good.” Stevens places this thought in the individual human mind and writes of its compatibility with his own poetic interpretation of God, writing: “Within its vital boundary, in the mind,/ We say God and the imagination are one …/ How high that highest candle lights the dark.”

    We say God and the creative mind are one. How high that highest candle lights the dark. Amen. It’s why I write.

  10. Betsy Cawn October 7, 2023

    Many thanks to Frank Hartzell for the insights into the fraught relationship between the remnants of the battle-weary environmental advocates and the powerful plantation owners. They may have generously granted safe harbor to descendants of systematically penalized “indigenous peoples,” by forced confinement in “reservations,” but the failure of mutually beneficial inter-governmental agreements — as though the rest of us are non-entities in the operations of the Social Contract — enables ongoing rapacious exploitation of ecosystem “assets” on which our very lives depend. The only group that thrives in this polarized bog is the “licensed foresters,” who make as much money from the sale of their expertise in “harvesting” valuable specimens as they do by pretending to protect our lives and livelihoods.

  11. Marmon October 7, 2023


    “If you vote for Democrats, you are voting to send your conservative uncle to the reeducation camps.”

    -Don Trump Jr


    • Bruce Anderson October 7, 2023

      Good. Unc can use some re-ed

  12. Mazie Malone October 7, 2023

    Building Bridges New Rules….
    Obviously opening space for more people to utilize the services.
    Those who are ousted out will they get a 14 day motel stay? Or just left to the street?
    I am fascinated that you are required to apply to the shelter for shelter! That is ridiculous. It is like having to go to the Emergency room for medical care and them saying I am sorry your having a heart attack fill this out and we will see if we can help you … 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

    There are at least 12 rooms cant remember exactly how many multiple bathrooms and kitchens in the back part of the Tapestry Building that was Manzanita on Jones Street, there is no reason to not utilize it to the fullest as a shelter and place to provide some services especially with the service provider right there.

    Is this new rule going to be more harmful than helpful?


  13. Jaime Cuellar October 7, 2023

    “The grotesque plundering of Mesoamerica by the Spanish and the subsequent gross corruption and misconduct of Spanish occupation set the stage for…”

    Plundering? How about birthing a civilization?

    • Gary Smith October 8, 2023

      Yeah, that too. An ugly’, wasteful, materialistic, mean civilisation.

      • Jaime Cuellar October 8, 2023

        Ugly? How so.?
        (You’ve been conditioned to think so.)

        Mean? How so.?

        • Bruce McEwen October 8, 2023

          “He’s saying that you’re bourgeois
          and he’s saying you are mean
          because you always get offended
          at the slightest little thing.”

          —Grandpa McEwen (a verse from his wildly popular hit single, “Balderdash in Boonville”)

          • Jaime Cuellar October 8, 2023

            Grandpa McEwen, how do I treasure thee.

            Our intent was, and is, friendship.

            • Jaime Cuellar October 8, 2023

              And, if not, the un-intended result was.

        • Gary Smith October 9, 2023

          How so ugly? Detroit or Eureka for examples. Mean? Hell yes man, it’s dog eat dog. You haven’t noticed?
          Do you think all my opinions derive from conditioning and all of yours from superior reasoning?

    • Lazarus October 8, 2023

      In Craig Louis Stehr’s situation, a 70-plus person with health issues who helps around the place, a situational exception could or should be made. In this case, not using his housing voucher could cost the taxpayer less housing him at B. B.
      But the young, able-bodied, looking for a free ride and a place to crash… dealers choice.
      A get-out rule like this is just exchanging one problem for another.
      The County obviously needs a larger facility. There must be County buildings that are sitting empty that could be used for the down and outers. The problem is certainly not going away.
      Driving by Lytton Springs I wonder what happened to that facility?
      Be well, and good luck

      • Bruce McEwen October 8, 2023

        Litton Springs was a laidback kinda rehab for rehab wannabes as opposed to Delaney Street rehab which novelist Lee Childs describes as “a lizard cage’ where you are not free to walk away, like the 7th Day Adventist’s and or the LDS Mormons used to profit from. But after Newt Gingrich passed Prop. 47 the judges could no longer threaten addicts with prison if they didn’t complete rehab, so Lit Springs became a summer camp joke for tweakers to chill a bit and get their second wind. Astute readers will recall that Prop 47 also raised the bar so high ($995) on felony theft that the tweakers could gatecrash department stores and get a fix… and this was all arranged by the fellow, Newt’s sidekick, who made his fortune in storage units… do the math on that one…. Awesome profits come from chaos!

        • Lazarus October 8, 2023

          My brother spent time there. He had done 14 out of 19 years in some kind of incarceration.
          You name the joint, he likely was there. His deal was booze and speed, DUIs, wrecks, whatever.
          Jim King got him there instead of county time for a drunk in public, I was told.
          He spent 6 months, graduated, and never drank again. He claimed they saved his life. It was a religious thing.
          He died of complications from cancer and Covid 2 years ago…RIP.
          Be well, and good luck.

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