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Off the Record (November 17, 2023)

GUNS. The gun nuts really ought to come up with better 2nd Amendment gun arguments than the idiot ones gun people always haul out about how cars kill a lot of people, too, and nobody wants to ban cars. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Blonk, clonk, glonk. It’s a lot easier and much more efficient to knock someone off with a gun than it is to run over him with a car. I’ve got five guns myself, I hasten to say, but I’ve never had the erotic relationship with weapons that most gun folks seem to enjoy with their firearms, fondling, caressing and gazing lovingly at them for hours at a time. The last time I slept with a gun was in the Marines and that relationship was mandatory, I assure you. 

Try this argument, the honest one the gun people never bring up for fear, perhaps, of appearing more paranoid than they are. Ready? “We need guns because this country is falling apart, and if the disorder spreads, as is likely, I will need weapons to defend me and mine.”

THE COPS are in triage mode these days and often too busy to respond quickly to your 911 call when your son-in-law, on the fifth day of a crank binge, comes hurtling through your front door waving a machete. So it’s up to you to stop him before he wrecks your TV set. Just because a lot of nuts and crooks also have access to guns and commit occasional atrocities with them is no real reason to disarm the more stable nuts who don’t commit crimes with or without guns. Sure, the purple brigades will say that this Hobbsian perception of “our democracy,” is “inappropriate,” but it’s shared by all the Magas and a good slug of Biden voters. 

AMONG the lamest headlines culled from last week’s corporate catch, this one ,“STAR test: Top grades linked to language, economics.” Gee, do you mean that kids from intact, high income homes do better on standardized school tests than kids from low-income, single-parent arrangements? 

AND these from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: “Builders hammering away at Santa Rosa homes: hot sales keeping construction industry busy.” On another page, “Groups, officials push for closure of power project — Critics: Eel River fish can’t spawn.” There’s a looming shortage of water but Sonoma County keeps on building as if the dying Russian, and the overdrawn Eel, provide an eternally endless agua supply. Construction apace up and down the 101 corridor, most glaringly in southerly Santa Rosa and Healdsburg on both ends of that once coherent small town.

OF COURSE if the vineyards sucking up literal thousands of acre feet of water the length of the Russian River, Santa Rosa and doomed Healdsburg would have plenty of water.

JAYNE THOMAS WRITES: Baseball has passed you by, Bruce? With your long rich history of the game? Michael and I were so angry when they started video replays years ago but after not long, saw that it was a good addition. You have to keep up with technology that’s helpful. So we relaxed. 

And we again were upset with the changes this past year; but again…the no-shift rule is good, the limits on the throws to first base good, larger bases is good, the pitch clock…ok. And players like the changes which to me is more important than that fans agree. The rules were tested in the minors at 8,000 games."

We watched the Gold Gloves awards and were amazed as always at the athleticism and grace of the players. Better than ballet or gymnastics! There is no other sport like this, Bruce. You know that.

It’s the most beautiful game in the world. Watch the Gold Glove awards and come on back! 

LAST TIME I tuned in a game, a guy stole second, sliding head first. It occurred to me that something about the play didn't look right, and then a friend explained they're using gloves with really long fingers, the better to reach the base with before the throw arrives. Long finger base-running gloves, bigger bases, pitch counts etc and so on. I'm done, except for the documentaries on the game that used to be. 

MS ADDS: They haven’t lost me, yet. I’m still a Giants fan, but nowhere near the fan I was back in 1962 when I was crushed when Bobby Richardson caught Willie McCovey’s would-be winning liner at first at the end of the World Series. I watched quite a few Giants games this year, but mainly off DVR so I skipped through a lot of the routine stuff. When the action is good, it’s good. Watching Brandon Crawford field a tough grounder to his right and then laser it over to first is always worth watching, but he’s retiring. But I prefer the less flashy stuff. My absolute favorite play in Giants history was in the 2012 World Series against Detroit when Gregor Blanco’s bunt dribbled down the third base line and somehow stayed fair as Miguel Cabrera and the half the Tiger infield stood around watching it roll, hoping in vain that it would go foul. It finally stopped a couple of inches from the line and the ump theatrically declared it a fair ball! Everybody was safe! Pure, simple, quiet yet thrilling baseball. 

I thought the Atlanta Braves had an impressive lineup this year — they made mincemeat of the Giants — but they lost early in the playoffs. The Giants only had one reliable hitter this year, but he was playing with an injury. Their new rookie catcher Patrick Bailey has promise. There were some other occasional bright spots. I don’t like reliever games at all. I think Farhan Zaidi is a lousy Ops President. And the new GM, Pete Putila comes from the formerly (?) cheating Astros. I thought Zaidi’s abrupt firing of Gabe Kapler, who was a decent manager with a preference for small ball who was dealing with too many freakish injuries, three days before the season ended was very chickenshit. The jury’s out on Bob Melvin. (I’m skeptical.) I don’t like the extra-innings pre-placement of a runner on second; that’s just not baseball. I don’t mind instant replay and call challenges, as long as they don’t take forever. My gripe about instant replay, though, is it tames the game down too much; you seldom get colorful arguing with the umps anymore which used to be a big part of the enjoyment of the game. Where are the spluttering Sparky Andersons, the Tommy Lasordas, the Bobby Coxes…? I don’t see where the new rules and all the analytics make the game any better. The newest rules seem to be designed to encourage a little more base-running and a somewhat faster pace, but I don’t think they’ll make much difference, so why bother? These new billionaire owners and their hired money-managers don’t have any business tinkering with these wonderful old traditions. And giving the umps more tools to nitpick the play with isn’t my idea of an improvement. 

MCN THE BACK STORY. Rennie Innis set up a lucrative private computer business sponsored, supplied, partially staffed, and partially funded by the Mendocino Unified School District. Innis called his heavily tax-subsidized private enterprise the Mendocino Community Network, cleverly incorporating the two words, community and network, at whose mention Mendolib goes weak in the knees. But Innis’s version of a community network had as its primary beneficiary Innis and a couple of his buddies. The operation is located on Mendocino High School’s rent-free grounds, it is mostly equipped with high tech gear donated by major corporations and, while Innis took in a lot of dough for himself using the donated gear and student labor doing private work for other private businesses, the whole show was passed off as computer classes. Which it is, of course, narrowly speaking. But the County’s other computer businesses don’t have the free rent, the free labor, the free gear, and the groovy-cool seaside biz location Innis magically enjoys at Mendo Unified.

OK, SO THE AVA was aware that Innis was operating a tax-supported private business on public premises, but nobody cared, but the Public Utilities Commission figured out Innis’s hustle without putting in a lot of OT to do it and declared Innis’s Mendocino Community Network a “commercial service,” which henceforth was not entitled to Pac Bell’s non-profit discount telephone line rate.


[1] PHARMACEUTICALS have always been a can’t miss investment opportunity for the investor class given the eating and exercise habits of Americans. Fifty years of gluttony and sloth do tend to catch up with their host and hostesses. What’s disturbing to me is to see children, many of them as sedentary as the most sedentary adults by the time they’re twelve, already pounding down the negative food value items that will kill them by the time they’re fifty. Anywhere, any time you’ll find young people guzzling from giant bottles of sugar fizz water as they down greasy chunks of mystery meat, seldom looking up from their cell phones. Then they go home and watch television or monkey around with computers while piping savage tunes into their overloaded sensory systems. It won’t be long before they’ll need ten different pills a day to keep their flabby hearts pumping through their lard-lined arteries.

[2] PEOPLE are outta hand everywhere, even at library sales. Especially at library sales, in my experience. The last one I went to was more like a bank run than a gathering of presumably civilized book people. I’ve been in riots where there was less body contact. As soon as the doors opened swarms of these sort of mushroom-looking people shoved and pushed their way to the book tables like packs of starving rats at a cheese banquet. 

The annual Friends of the San Francisco Library sale, when it was run by my old friend Byron Spooner, said one of his last sales was “semi out of control last night.” For five bucks book people got in for a first shot at the sale tables the Thursday evening before the weekend’s all-day market. “Next year,” Spooner vowed, “if people behave like they did last night, I’ll throw them out.” He described the chaotic scene at the previous evening’s sale as “a lot like the floor of the stock market when a major economy is collapsing somewhere.” 

Fortunately for me and the missus, we had rolled up to Fort Mason, where The Friends of the Library make their headquarters, on a Friday afternoon about 2 when the crowd was still in pre-mob mode. Even so I had to correct an elderly beatnik that the pile of books he was walking off with had been assembled by me. Much as I appreciated the implicit compliment he’d paid my literary tastes by trying to steal my pile of bargains, the way he hesitated before grudgingly giving the books back to me I thought I might have to attack him to retrieve what was rightfully mine. 

[3] WALKING through Golden Gate Park near Hippie Hill the other afternoon, I was flattered when a scruffy kid whispered, “Thai hash?” right at me. How did I know he was asking me to buy dope? Because I was the only upright person within ten yards of the two of us. For a quick moment I wasn’t sure I’d heard him right. “Eh sonny? You’re going to slash my thigh? Why? What did I do to you?” Then it occurred to me that somehow I looked enough like an Old Groovy to be considered a likely drug customer. After all these years a hep cat at last. I was thrilled. I’m not a drug person, other than Tylenol PM, but I guess there are enough shoppers alert to these whispered sales pitches that they work well enough. If it’s overheard by what seems to be a small army of undercover cops patrolling the area, the strolling dope merchant can plausibly claim he was talking to himself, which about half the people in the area seemed to be doing. The cops are deployed in force to guard the huge numbers of tourists and young trend-o shoppers who flock to nearby Haight Street’s thriving variety of shops. I was startled the other day to see a squad car pull clear up on the sidewalk of one busy block from which a uniformed officer jumped out from behind the wheel to grab a grungy kid with a backpack. Within seconds, two more cops on bicycles were on the scene and, in what seemed no more than twenty or thirty more seconds, an unmarked police car filled with gym muscles appeared and more cops surrounded Mr. Grunge. After a check of his ID and a quick rummage through his backpack by about eight cops, Mr. Grunge was released. Wrong grunge apparently. A few blocks north, on Parnassus, a seedy-looking guy was defecating with the door of a porta-potty wide open. Whether he was an undercover perv — exhibitionist division — togged out as a grunge or merely another soldier in The City’s army of walking wounded I couldn’t say, but untoward public behavior is so common these days this particular low-level offense didn’t seem to disturb passersby. 

You get panhandled non-stop. I give only to panhandlers in my age group, thank you. I give to people who put the bite on with verve and imagination. A black guy I pegged to be about forty approached me as I was sipping a cup of coffee at a bus stop watching the passing parade. He had on a pair of greasy pants, a greasier shirt, a satiny Giants warm-up jacket that looked like he’d been born in it. “Excuse me, sir, but I couldn’t help noticing your tie,” he said. I looked down and saw that I was wearing a hypnotically boring, food-stained piece of cloth my wife had picked up at a garage sale. Thank you, I replied. “I also like your hat,” the fashion commentator said. “You look good in it,” adding, “I like a man who wears a hat.” I was wondering how much the flattery was going to cost me when he said, “By the way, I’ve just arrived from Seattle but I’m exactly four dollars short of accommodations for the evening.” As I forked over, I asked him where he was staying. “Oh you wouldn’t recognize the name. A cozy little place away from the tourists out in the Mission.” Without bothering to get out of hearing range the guy laid the same rap on a nicely-dressed woman of about my vintage. “Your scarf looks very nice on you…” he began.

[4] IF I WERE MAYOR of San Francisco, I would use City property in San Mateo and Sonoma counties as rehab centers for the thousands of people presently living on the streets. Persons unwilling or unable to care for themselves do not have a right to live on the streets. They do not have a right to destroy public space. Government has an obligation to shelter and treat them — forcibly, if it comes to it. People who claim to be defending the rights of the alcoholic, the drug addicted and the insane to live wherever they happen to lie down at night are killing the homeless as surely as the government that won’t care for them. The defenders of the homeless to be homeless are also killing public space, doing site prep for an inevitable, fascist-like crackdown on the walking wounded, and generally making urban life far more unhappy than it should be. I’d also ban dogs from public parks, legalize prostitution so long as it stayed indoors, I’d ban bums from all play areas for children, give businesses that employ fewer than thirty people big tax breaks so they can survive in The City. The City also needs a big tax on big incomes (which was proposed years ago by Tom Ammiano who was promptly denounced as a Bolshevik), I’d ban private cars in the downtown area east of Van Ness, slap a painful tax on inbound commuters who drive over the bridges into The City by themselves, and I’d ban bongo drums inside the City limits. I’d also prohibit the sale of Giants and Niner tickets to corporations who buy big blocs of seats they don’t use or use on people who don’t know a ball game from a line dance. I’d enact a law that the Giants, Niners and Warriors would have to set aside a thousand seats a game for children under the age of ten whose tickets would cost a dollar.

A READER WRITES: Bruce, how come there’s nothing in network media simply showing loss of Palestinian land since 1948, and zero mention of UN declaration of illegal Israeli occupation of said land? It’s antisemitism to ask the question?

MR. WIZARD replies: I'd say the grim fact that the modern state of Israel was established where Palestinians (and a small minority of Jews) happened to have already been living for an eternity is not often mentioned in the dominant English-language media because those media reflect Brit and American government foreign policy favorable to Israel because the Israelis boast a democratic government which is in fact democratic only for Israelis and a few token Arabs existing in an Arab sea of autocratic states.

THE ONLY GOOD thing the Clinton government accomplished is getting Arafat to stipulate to Israel's right to exist and to agree with Israel's Rabin to work towards a two-state solution. Rabin was promptly assassinated by an Israeli fanatic while Arafat was denounced as a traitor by fanatic Palestinians who segued into Hamas. Rabin, and then Peres, and Barak (kind of) were succeeded by the dual monstrosities, Sharon and Netanyahu, and all of it — two opposing fanaticisms — culminated in the hideous slaughters that commenced on October 7th. Looking around the global room at the shot callers we find little to no hope for anything resembling peace between the Israelis and the Arab countries. I'm hardly an authority on all of this; like you, I watch television news and discussions which are mostly light on Arab perspectives. Hamas says Israel has no right to exist, the Israelis, under its present government, are extinguishing the Palestinians. Period. 

"CALIFORNIA STUDENTS Write Criminal Sentences" screamed a recent hed over a Chron story lamenting the inability of “the kids” to write a simple paragraph. According to the usual suspicious sources, edu-crats and their chums who write the tests for the big book companies, only 19 percent of California students were described as “proficient writers.” 1 percent were judged “advanced.” Now deep into the fourth decade of the post-literate age, and the cyber-deluge militating against the printed word, neither teachers nor students have been taught how to make themselves clear on paper. The professional viewers-with-alarm gave this short story, probably by a fourth or fifth grader, sample, reprinted below, as evidence of mass ignorance. I think it's lucid and could easily be remediated if someone took the time to do it: “I herd the noises outside so I opened the front door walked out side I herd it then in the back. So I walked to the back and to my SURPRIZE their was an alein It was green and was about 3 feet tall… I screemed my dad woke up came down stairs and noticed the alian he was startled to see it. He went upstairs got his peper spray came back down and sprayed the 3 foot alean with it.” There are stories in the Press Democrat every day less coherent and less interesting than this one by the anonymous student but, as argued above, nothing so bad that an hour or so of instruction couldn't fix.

A MAJOR advantage of old age and semi-senility is being able to re-read books you read in your uncomprehending youth, much of English lit being beyond young people to fully grasp. I remember sneers at Thomas Wolfe as being “just right for 19-year-olds,” but I loved his books as a kid and recently re-read ‘You Can't Go Home Again’ and was knocked out by it all over again. Like most of popular culture, American literature passed me by about 1970. The fiction I see in The New Yorker… Well, I did like the story in the current edition of Junot Diaz, but I stick to non-fiction mostly.

FRIEND OF MINE received a certified letter the other day from a woman whose name he didn't recognize informing him that he is the father of her son, and that he better cough up some child support pronto. My friend called the lady up and said he certainly wasn't ruling out any possible paternal responsibility, but how old is the child and where was he born? “He's three and he was born in Denver,” she said. How old are you, miss? friend asked. “Twenty-two,” she said. “Thanks for the compliment, my dear, but I'm 77 and I've never been to Colorado.”

SO, this guy, unannounced, walks confidently into the ava office the other day. He's fifty or so, conventionally clad in Dockers and a t-shirt advertising Costa Rica. He says “Beth and Bob” suggested he stop in. He didn't look nuts, but the more he talked, and he was a monologist of the type who answers his own questions, the daffier he got. 

COSTA RICA said he intended to start a national newspaper “because people are starved for truthful information.” The Major asked him if he was rich. “A national print publication would be very expensive.” 

OUR VISITOR continued his rapid fire interrogation, paying no attention to our answers, but visibly miffed at our skepticism. “You guys seem awfully negative,” he said. 

“WHO'S yer printer?” he demanded. “How

do you load yer website, what software do you use, who set up yer website, how much do you pay yer contributors?” 

OUR printer's south of here, we're not loaded when we load our website, contributors are paid in gratitude, and we're not at liberty to reveal our webmaster.

“WELL,” Costa Rica said, “I can see you're afraid of competition. Thanks for nothing.” But he stayed on, free associating about how his publication would probably get him sued because “"It will be controversial. You know we live in a totalitarian state, don’t you?”

THE MAJOR said, "No, we don't live in a totalitarian state, and your newspaper idea is awfully vague and, frankly, I'm too busy to listen to you anymore.”

COSTA RICA replied, “You're not smart enough to grasp the concept.” The Major conceded that was probably true. I joined The Major in the stupid confessional. “I'm pretty dumb, too, Costa Rica, because I don't understand the viability of your plan either.”

“MY NAME'S Feeney, not Costa Rica,” Costa Rica said.

THE MAJOR decided that our visitor had eaten enough of our time. “Alright, yer excused,” The Major ordered, reverting to his Air Force officer authority. 

COSTA RICA said, “Are you guys always this rude?” And he stomped out the door as if he'd been invited. 


I really hate to post this, but I have to since I think people should be aware of how the people I once grew up with are now seen in the eyes of (some, hopefully few) others. That is, as long as the former communards are still somehow recognizable as having lived on one or at least have lived an alternative lifestyle.

Here’s how the urban dictionary defines an aging hippie douchbag:

A 40 something, bald-headed dumbass with a scraggly-ass ponytail and typically sports a tie-dye t-shirt and crooked glasses. More often than not, they never were a hippie in the first place. A lot like a straight-up douchebag except they are always bald with a ponytail.

1. Look at the ageing hippie douchebag, God what a douche eh.

2. Check out the ponytail on that ageing hippie douchebag, wtf.

Here’s the definition of aging hippie liberal douche:

A former hippie with stereotypical beliefs, who may or may not still externally show their hippiness, and have liberal beliefs. This phrase was coined on an episode of South Park. An example of a possible ageing hippie is a man in his late fifties/early sixties, a full beard, but groomed, long straight hair, usually braided or tied into a ponytail, and openly speaks out their beliefs in the way of an activist.

Oh God, here comes that aging hippie liberaldouche, we better get out of here before we have to hear his bitching.

Who the hell writes the urban dictionary? Can someone please update these definitions? As far as I can tell, these definitions were written by a complete moron who can’t spell. I had to make numerous corrections before posting this. 

WEAPONIZING ANTISEMITISM: “What we've seen in recent years is the charge of anti-Semitism being weaponized to silence any criticism of Israel,” the Jordanian Queen Consort, whose parents were born in Palestine, said. “Supporters of Israel who cannot defend Israel's actions or conduct - they revert to shutting the conversation down by equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism… Being pro-Palestinian is not being anti-Semitic. Being pro-Palestinian does not mean you're pro-Hamas or pro-terrorism.” Queen Consort Rania's comments come as Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry claimed more than 12,000 Palestinians have now been killed by Israeli airstrikes, an average of almost 400 people a day since October 7. This latest statement follows previous comments in which she said there was a “glaring double standard” around the world when it came to sympathy for the war's victims.

DENNIS ROUSE WRITES: Your report of your SF walkabout is terrific but made me wonder why you don't do it in the natural splendor of Anderson Valley. Me too with OCD pushups and the weight training I can still do as an 82 oldster. I too loved Roth's ‘I Married a Communist’ which I think I read he wrote in response to his ex-wife's (Claire Bloom's) novel ‘Leaving a Doll's House’ in which she, however ineptly, attempts to trash Phil. The reviewer concluded, never try to outwrite a master of the craft. Regarding the Israel/Hamas horror show, I heard a conspiracy enthusiast opine recently that Israel's security lapse that led to the carnage on the Gaza border was purposeful to achieve exactly what's going on now, more land for Israel including valuable Med coast real estate. It's a horrible thought but brings to mind Hitler's liebensraum (living space) aims that pushed the German war machine eastward. Thanks again for getting me off the dime with Theroux on the China express, wonderful stuff, some of it reminiscent of my motorcycle tour over there too many years ago. 

ED REPLY. Big events always bring out the paranoids. This horrific war isn't plain enough in itself, there must be some plot behind it. Much as Israeli fascists like Netanyahu would like to disappear the Palestinians, he can't come right out and say so because our ineffective government would have to issue statements like, “Well, gosh, we don't approve,” all the while sending Israel the means to commit the great crimes they are in the act of committing. Yes, October 7th was a great crime against the Israelis. Yes, Hamas is a barbaric political entity using the Palestinian population as human shields. Barbarity creates barbarity, and the Palestinians have historically been treated barbarously, as have the Jews. And here we are with a criminally disproportionate response by Israel for a criminal assault on them. Beyond blind revenge on the entire population of Gaza in the grandest war crime since WWII, the Israelis don't seem to have a plan, only the hope that maybe the Palestinians will be so thoroughly defeated that what's left of them will straggle into Egypt and stay there. The international affairs desk at the Boonville weekly is pretty sure this war will expand with even more severe consequences for that part of the world and even for the US in crippling fuel prices on top of the unchecked inflation we now suffer as two unfit men, one senile, the other demented, run for president.


[1] The audit currently underway in Mendocino County is not what you think. Nobody will come out looking good or being vindicated or blamed. What will be interesting is that now that Cubbison has been removed and the Executive Office has functionally taken over the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector office, the “response” section will only be written by CEO Darcie Antle and/or Sara Pierce. Chamise Cubbison, the actual duly elected and independent Auditor will most likely not be responding. Meaning, the response to the report from the County will be one sided entirely, which I don’t think is in the public interest, even if Cubbison is completely wrong. Therefore, there’s little value to it, just like Sara Pierce’s accusations of concealed bank accounts turned out to be politically motivated alarmism. … Darcie seems in way over her head. 18 analysts in the Executive Office? I thought that was an exaggeration but apparently its real. Darcie didn’t correct the board on that one. All I’ve seen is one report from the Golden Gate Bridge Initiative, talking about saving on gas by converting to an electric fleet! Never mind that you’re going to have to spend a bunch of money up front to convert the fleet, build a charging network in a county with over-stressed power infrastructure and regular PSPS events… all so presumably you could save on gas down the road. If you’re truly in a fiscal crisis, that’s all stuff you do in the good years to prepare for the bad ones. Darcie seems to think these magic consultants from RGS can come in, wave a wand and “fix” things. Darcie’s strategy so far seems to be “let’s spend more money to find ways to cut costs.” Good luck with that. Also, Gjerde says a Tesla Model 3 is now cheaper than a Honda Civic. No it’s not. Look it up! It’s closer than it used to be, only because of a $7,500 federal tax credit… a tax credit a government organization like the county does not get. These meetings are so painful to watch, but like a train wreck you almost can’t look away.

[2] How is it that PornHub is free?

It costs money to traffic women, hire cameramen and crews, and host a giant website. Lots of money.

And yet, it is free, even to minors.

And now there are reports that young men brought upon porn can’t get it up for actual women, and that young women, brought up on porn, aren’t as interested in real life sex, since they think it involves violence, degradation, and pain.

That’s one way to decrease population growth. It’s actually more effective than trying to sterilize the younger generation by convincing them to amputate body parts and take dangerous, sterilizing drugs.

[3] NARRATIVE: Everything is fine.

REALITY: 30,000 car repos per day, more home foreclosures, mass layoffs, higher inflation, increasing crime, more businesses closing, increasing bankruptcies, de-dollarization gaining steam, big cities collapsing, banks insolvent, hyperinflation on the horizon, etc

[4] I shred all my fallen leaves with a riding mower using mulching blades. Instead of blowing and raking leaves I grind them up into fragments and they help enrich the soil in the lawn. As for leaves for veggie gardens I get leaves for free from the city, and they deliver the stuff for free and by the dump truck load. Composted leaves will greatly enrich your garden soil and make it more acidic. So to compensate I spread all my wood heater ashes in the garden. Wood ashes will sweeten your soil and reduce acidity if needed. They also add a lot of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium minerals to your soil along with lesser amounts of other vital trace elements. Growing veggies on your garden soil will eventually deplete the minerals unless you add more.

[5] Getting real sick of the keyboard warriors and their layers of fat, the Bidenistas and the Trumpistas living their lives in exactly the same way: cases of single use plastic beverages, big fat SUVs, obscene amounts of time in front of the TV. Same fucking thing, all of you.

[6] My personal nightmare is not being able to pay my property taxes, which keep going up, even as income keeps going down. Would the county really come and seize everything I own? I’m hoping that when the SHTF, they’ll be too busy worrying about other things to come put me off of my land.

[7] How Israel can claim to be the overall victim seems to be fading fast with Netanyahu's war hawk stance. How Hamas can be labeled “resistance fighters '' when they storm in and take kids hostage is ludicrous.

The war-mongering nutjobs are running the show. Supported by even crazier factions from foreign lands. Both sides call for genocide and annihilation. There is no good fight here. This is a race to the bottom

[8] There’s a little ray of hope, broadcast and cable media viewing has fallen to less than 50% of viewership. Ah yes, more people are watching Youtube and Tik Tok. It will be challenging to work in those pharma ads with people having the attention span of a fruit fly.

BACK IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR, former Supervisor John Pinches wrote a letter proposing the construction of two fish hatcheries, one at Alderpoint and the other at Piercy. One is on the main stem and the other is on the south fork. Both of these towns have abandoned mill sites adjacent to one of the branches of the Eel River that could be easily and economically remodeled as hatcheries. Pinches noted that burdensome CEQA rules could be waived because of the importance of saving these iconic fish and it could be funded from the state’s still underutilized 2014 $1.5 billion water bond. “By putting these hatcheries on the Eel the salmon will be re-imprinted with the Eel River water which will guarantee that most of the salmon will return to the Eel River after approximately seven years. Once these salmon go out to the ocean and return they are wild salmon and Fish and Wildlife can achieve its goal,” said Pinches. 

Pinches said Wednesday that he had seen a recent Chronicle article about a “last ditch” effort to save salmon on the Tehama river with a UC Davis temporary holding facility project that anticipates the subsequent creation of a native hatchery program to breed fish for release back into the wild. Only a few hatcheries operate in California to boost the number of salmon, including spring-run salmon. 

Pinches adds that these two hatchery projects alone would create some good jobs for the remodeling as well as a boost for the struggling local fishing industry.

Ernie Branscomb added that, “John Pinches knows more about the Eel River and northern Mendocino than anybody alive. Indian Creek in Piercy once had a large mill pond. It is an ideal place for a fish hatchery. Cedar Creek in Leggett has proven to be an ideal fish rearing creek. Several other clear water pristine creeks exist on the South Fork. The Garberville Rotary Club had phenomenal success rearing steelhead. Fish and Game stopped them because they were afraid that the steelhead would eat salmon fry. Mendocino made a big mistake not reelecting John Pinches.”

Pinches told us that he thinks some creek restoration groups are more interested in fish-related restoration grants than they are in actually repopulating the region’s endangered fish because, like homeless grants, if they solved the problem, even partially, their grant funding would be reduced.

(Mark Scaramella)

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