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Mendocino County Today: Friday 5/31/24

Warm | Grazers | IVS Decertified | Floral Sky | Louise Retires | Water Fee | Flea Market | Coaches Needed | Dental Charity | Lake Mendo | Homeless Documentary | Prizewinner | Laytonville Market | Tummy Bugs | Noyo Harbor | Prefer Puppets | Big Time | Ed Notes | Group Games | Childhood June | Renegade Strawberries | Local Farm | Theopolis Vineyards | Skunk Award | Look Won | Captain Ford | Yesterday's Catch | Jumper Cables | Butter Guns | Google Maps | 4500 Lions | Gabby Hayes | Eight Seconds | Why 80 | Seafloor Pockmarks | Tequila Circuit | Speeding Reason | Past Prime | Legal Weed | Listen Completely | Wine Shorts | Streetwalker | Tiny Homeless | Lawyer Loans | Protest Price | Cesar Chavez | Suspended Professor | Trump Convicted | You're Welcome | Climate Candidates | Cuffing Vulgarian

ONE MORE SUMMER-LIKE DAY is upon us with the hottest inland valleys expected to peak in the mid 90s. Conditions in the northern areas are expected to deteriorate this weekend before a short spurt of wetting rainfalls arrives Sunday night into Monday. Southern areas will cool off but are not expected to experience any meaningful precipitation at this time. Next week, temperatures will soar to well above average from the interior to the coast, possibly reaching over 100F in some places. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): On the coast this Friday morning I have 47F under clear skies. Today will be like yesterday then either wind or fog this weekend, still not sure which? It will be cooler to be sure at minimum.

Evening Cow and Calf, Little Lake Valley (Jeff Goll)


by Justine Frederiksen

The vendor who printed and mailed a Republican ballot to all of the nearly 53,000 registered voters in Mendocino County for the March 5 Primary Election has been decertified by state officials, Registrar of Voters Katrina Bartolomie told the Board of Supervisors this week.

“I received a phone call from the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday, May 17, to let me know that IVS, Integrated Voting Systems, has been de-certified” as a state-approved vendor,” said Bartolomie, adding that “IVS is appealing this decision through their attorneys, so I am sure we will be receiving more information about that.”

Soon after the March 5 ballots were mailed in early February, the Mendocino County Elections office reported that “all (52,800) registered voters in Mendocino County received a Republican ballot for the First Supervisorial District regardless of their party affiliation,” and that even registered Republicans who live in the First District may have received incorrect ballots, as “the Elections Office believes there may be errors in all ballots mailed out.”

At the time, Bartolomie said “the error was caused by a third-party vendor” who was not identified. When asked for more information regarding the decertification of IVS, staff at the California

Secretary of State’s Office provided these details:

“California decertified Integrated Voting Systems, Inc. (IVS) because it failed to adhere to California Election Code 13004(b) (by failing) to directly notify the Secretary of State about a ballot printing issue in Mendocino County. Elections Code requires them to notify the Secretary of State and the affected local elections official in writing within two business days after it discovers any flaw or defect in its ballot card manufactured or finished ballot cards that could adversely affect the future casting or tallying of votes.”

The Secretary of State’s Office explains that it was notified of the error by the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters, then it contacted IVS to “confirm the ballot printing issue had occurred” and to request more details, then subsequently determined that: “IVS was in violation of California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Division 7, Chapter 4, Section 20227 (because) IVS failed to notify the Secretary of State in writing that they were planning to use or were using a third-party vendor for the application of ballot tints and watermarks on ballots used in California; the third-party vendor was not certified by the Secretary of State to perform any part of the ballot printing process for California ballots, and this action violated regulatory requirements set forth in section 20227 of the California Code of Regulations.”

The Secretary of State’s Office also issued IVS a fine of $1,000 as a result of the violations.

In a letter provided by Bartolomie, attorneys representing IVS state that their clients “formally object” to the revocation of their status as a certified ballot printer, dispute the allegations as presented and “respectfully request that the California Secretary of State retract its May 17, 2024, revocation of IVS.”

As for whether the county will be contracting with another ballot printer, Bartolomie told the board Tuesday that “we have been in contact with other California-certified ballot printers, so we are working on that, and have been working on that the last several months.”

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

(photo by Falcon)

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE this afternoon wished Louise Phillips happy trails as she finished out her last day at our administration office. Louise has been a welcome face to many County residents for nearly 15 years. Her grace and professionalism have been an important component of the Sheriff’s Office mission of service.

You may recognize Louise from her years of specific work and dedication with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office CCW Program. Sheriff Kendall presented Louise with a plaque in appreciation of her service at a luncheon held in her honor today.

Please join us in wishing Louise well as she continues to make people’s day brighter in our community. Happy Retirement, Louise!


The Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is considering adopting a resolution establishing a groundwater sustainability fee to fund local sustainable groundwater management. 

The fee resolution will be considered by the GSA Board during a public hearing on Thursday, June 13th at 10 a.m. at the County Board of Supervisors Chambers (501 Lower Gap Road). 

The meeting agenda, draft resolution, draft Rate & Fee Study, and additional information is posted at Comments or questions about the Public Hearing or Fee Study may be sent to

[NOTE: At the May 20, 2024 meeting, the Ukiah Valley Basin GSA Board of Directors voted 4-0 to accept the proposed fee structure and set a public hearing to adopt a resolution to implement the regulatory fee. The regulatory fee will be placed on the property tax roll by the Mendocino County Auditor-Controller and will be collected with property taxes. Property owners of parcels that do not receive property tax bills will be direct-billed by the GSA.]


I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to the community and its passion for the kids and let everyone know we very much need coaches for the next school year. Junior High Volleyball in the fall, Boys Volleyball in the Spring, Junior High boys Flag football in the fall, and we always need more assistant coaches for all sports and volunteers to drive to games.

We also are in constant need of help maintaining facilities. I’ve seen a lot of passion for the experience of students, there are a lot of opportunities to participate!

Thanks AV!


Hello Anderson Valley families,

I am delighted to share with you the latest update on our charity initiative. Through the recent sales of household and garage items, we have raised funds to support financially challenged individuals in need of dental work in Anderson Valley.

If you are aware of anyone in our community who requires dental assistance, please do not hesitate to refer them to me. I will be more than happy to connect them with my dental office in Santa Rosa, where they can receive the necessary treatment.

It is important to note that our services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, taking into consideration the urgency and severity of each case, as well as the budget generated from our previous sale, which currently stands at approximately $1,000.

I assure you that I will continue to make announcements as we conduct further sales to support individuals in our community who are in need of dental care.

Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement in our charity work. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of those facing financial challenges and require dental assistance.

With gratitude,

Hani Jamah

AKA Dr. Jay

Lake Mendocino as of 5.29.24 (Jeff Goll)

BERNIE NORVELL: ‘No Address’ was an amazing documentary. It focused on failing polices and service providers that are highly successful across the country. The doc only covered seven of the 29 they toured. The commonalities among the 29 are they are all self funded. None of them check the boxes to qualify for state of federal funding. It was a spectrum of emotions amongst the viewers. Ranging from happy to sad tears to anger at the system. Street homeless increasing nearly 15% a year while the budget continues to increase. I believe we are in our third decade of a ten year plan.

A UDJ FRONT PAGER last week about a grant for the rehab-type enterprise over on Clara Street was a prizewinner. I didn’t read it, but this is what it said: “Through the use of communication strategies and by working together to form grassroots input to affect marginalized groups while focusing on proven goals strengthening potential factors in realizing a shared vision of interpersonal development and recognizing growth as a nurturing experience and a lifelong journey, we hope to attract more money from more agencies that already have more money than they need so they’ll even give us even more, within the program’s sustainable framework of inclusiveness and self-awareness evolving in a community of progressive progress.”



Warmest spiritual greetings,

In the midst of the craziness of my possibly being put out of the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center on Sunday June 9th at noon, (with a letter to law enforcement stating that I must by necessity go "camping" in the region, due to a lack of housing), a sudden illness due to the Norovirus and E. Coli necessitated a trip to the ER Monday night. Thanks to the entire team at Adventist Health-Ukiah Valley which corralled the intestinal infection. Was discharged Wednesday and sent for two nights isolation to the Motel 6 at the hospital's expense. Am grateful for a warm cozy room with a queen sized bed and other amenities, to complete the recovery from a nasty pair of viruses.

Meanwhile, I am always identified with the Divine reality which makes use of these body-mind complexes. I do not identify with the body nor the mind, because I am not the body nor the mind. This fact is precisely why I am "out of synch" in present circumstances in Mendocino County. I need to be contacted by others who comprehend this, and gotten out of the homeless resource center and relocated to an independent environment, or one with others which identifies with what I identify with.

I have two more upcoming dental appointments, one on June 19th in Ukiah and one on July 19th in Windsor. Beyond that, there are no restrictions at all as to where I have to be or when. Obviously, I am looking forward to moving on and await further opportunity of a spiritual nature on planet earth. I look forward to remaining active.

Craig Louis Stehr

c/o Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center

1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482


Noyo Harbor in the absolute best little town in America, Fort Bragg, Ca


by Mazie Malone

If I was someone different, which I am glad I am not, we would not be indulging this topic from my point of view. Since I am me, I have nothing to lose by speaking my mind, which fortunately is clear like my conscience.

My favorite topic as you all know is Serious Mental Illness, Homelessness and Addiction and if not for the monumental destruction of people’s lives I would happily sit in the corner and shut up.

As our esteemed editor duly noted, the bureaucracy of public boards prefer puppets, those who will not step out of line with their agenda. There’s a mind-boggling amount of Services, meetings, boards… specifically tailored to address all these life threatening problems. And yet it remains that nothing is being accomplished.

Last October I was nicely asked to apply to be on the board for NAMI, the local group which is part of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. So I did. But then I was sent a letter saying that they were not accepting board members at the time. That statement was not true because if it were when I went to the meeting and handed over the application they would have said we are not accepting board members. However, they took two weeks to decide on my acceptance and declined sending me a nicely crafted letter of bullshit.

If the Chairperson of NAMI, Wynd Novotny, had not fired me in 2020 from Manzanita Services for saying Mental Health Services are inadequate then I might have been gullible enough to believe they did not want or need board members.

The system of care for Mental Illness is notorious for leaving out families and causing the shame and blame we experience. For the last four years I have been pushed around, shoved aside, discriminated against and ignored every step of the way. Until now. Because of the AVA I have been valued and accepted (for the most part) for my contributions.

However, if at one point you become in need of help you will find it is not there. It is masked under confusion, lies and denial. You are silenced to keep the status quo, systemic self interest kept intact while individuals and families become casualties in their struggle for help and support.

I was told to reach out to NAMI multiple times, to get support. I was reluctant because I was fired from Manzanita Services in 2020 and both organizations are intertwined, however three different times I reached out via phone and email in 2020/2021. I never received a response. I also am very aware that although they provide support groups there is nothing that organization can do to help someone experiencing psychosis! The only thing they can do is tell you to utilize the services already in place for help. However, the tools in place are not effective or responsive. I could not even get a call back from the people like me at NAMI whose main focus is Advocacy, Support and Education for Mental Illness.

In August of last year before applying to be on the board I became a NAMI member, to this day I have not received one iota of information from them, not one! I guess I am not a member after all.

You must be able to recognize that there is a deep level of misdirection and degradation when the only people discussing these issues openly are myself and Sheriff Kendall! If you were at all witness to my beheading on here recently by someone on the BHAB then I hope you can see how much shame is ingrained in the system. It might be hidden from view but will strike and claw you in two, or try. Thank you Sheriff Kendall for having my back!

Families will always be the first place of safety, care and support. If we do not make family the vital force in treatment of these issues then the community will be responsible. We are paying the price for 50 years of neglect.


I DEFY ANYONE, including the Trump jury and their wacky judge who read them an hour and forty minutes of instructions, to explain the charges that have now convicted the orange dreadnaught of 34 felonies. Charles Manson was only convicted of 7.

EVERYONE KNOWS Trump is a sleaze who's always operated in a sleazy social context of kindred sleazebags, but how did a payoff to a prostitute and an attempt to keep that payoff out of the news become 34 felonies?

I THINK these transparently inflated charges against Trump are going to get him re-elected simply because people other than his Magas understand the bogosity of this conviction.

HOW MANY media hours did Adam Schiff get as he assured America that Trump was an agent of Russia? The entire lib media ran with that one while Schiff's 24 months of lies has won him a Senate seat.

NOW TRUMP is convicted of 34 fantasy felonies. Will his wacky judge dare send him to prison?

SINCE MY THROAT was relocated south and slightly west of where it used to be I've been unable to speak. Voicelessness commenced on March 21st but tentatively, tenuously returned on Tuesday when I was able to audibly count to 7. I've been fortunate throughout my medical ordeal in a series of brilliant practitioners, among them my speech guy, Erik Steele of Mission Bay where only the varsity healers are employed, all of them, nurses to surgeons, Caesar himself could only envy in their attentiveness.

WHILE I was under the knife and my throat was being relocated, the surgeons inserted a tiny device they call a prosthesis, which functions, you could say, as a substitute voice box through which I am gradually making intelligible sounds. As a guy who barely grasps the principle of electricity, my medical journey has left me amazed at the ingenuity of medical science, and wondering how it is that with all the smart, talented honest people among our fellow citizens we wind up with Biden and Trump.

ON MY COMMUTE from Marin to Mission Bay, I pass Funston Field in the Marina where I spent many happy hours of my youth, among them the day I met my first real curveball. I was 16 and playing in a winter league with my high school team supplemented with a few adult ringers to prevent us from getting blown out by a lot of off-season pros keeping themselves fit during the winter months by mopping up wanna be's.

SOME PEOPLE remember their first kiss, I remember my first curveball.

AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL in 1955 it was a rare pitcher who could boast a curveball with a big break or a fastball in the low 90s. These days, I read about Bay Area kids who have, as they say, major league “stuff.” So, there I was that memorable day at Funston, probably hitting fifth because I could still see and was a pretty good hitter, only rarely striking out and never, ever taking a called third strike, the specialty of a contemporary major leaguer named Brandon Belt.

THE OPPOSING pitcher was Marino Pieretti, whose name and bona fides I did not know at the time I went to bat against him. It was obvious he threw hard as he mowed down our first two hitters on fastballs. Cocky as hell as a ballplayer in my callow youth, maybe the most callow youth in the entire Bay Area at the time although there had to have been heavy competition, I could hit fastballs, although I'd only seen mostly high school fastballs and some semi-pros which, tops, were maybe in the 87-88 range. So I thought I could hit this guy, whoever he was.

I FOULED OFF Pieretti's first two pitches, both fastballs, and I was pretty sure if he threw me another fastball I could hit it. But he threw me a curveball which, as they say, “fell off a table.” That pitch broke so fast and so far I ducked clear out of the box as it landed perfectly for a called third strike. I'd never seen the likes of it and, as my teammates hooted at how totally I'd been fooled, I learned that Pieretti was a Triple-A ballplayer who was up and down from Triple-A to the major leagues. He'd played with the Dimaggio Brothers and had grown up in the same North Beach neighborhood as the Dimaggios.

NOW that ballplayers are millionaires, they don't play off-season semi-pro baseball against high school kids and other bushers, but in the 50s it was not unusual in the Bay Area to see guys of the Pieretti caliber throwing a major league curveball at a high school kid.

MARK SCARAMELLA REMEMBERS: By a class scheduling fluke I naively signed up for what was called “Group Games II” because Fresno State required a phys ed course in the mid-60s when I was a Freshman. All the other ones were called “Group Games I.” Turned out “Group Games II” was our varsity baseball team in the off-season, but for some reason they couldn’t call it that, it was just there so that the baseball players knew which one to sign up for. I was a competent college tennis player and had played some little league ball. When I showed up at the designated time and place I immediately realized what I had signed up for. I approached the Bulldogs’ long-time and nationally known manager Pete Biden (no relation to you know who). Biden’s Bulldogs were nationally ranked, most his top players went pro. I knew Biden casually and he knew me somewhat because his wife was one of my mother’s best friends and bridge partners. I told him I doubted I could contribute much to the team or its practice drills. But I was willing to give it a shot if he wanted me to. Biden suggested I try bullpen catching. Off I went. Somehow, I caught the first pitch. But being inexperienced I caught it flat in the middle of the mitt. It stung. So did the second and the third… Every pitch I caught hurt. I couldn’t get the hang of proper catching technique. Then the pitcher threw a curve. I completely missed it and it hit me in the chest. I couldn’t catch a curve no matter how hard I tried. After a little more of this torture, the pitcher threw up his hands up and said he wouldn’t throw to me anymore. So I went back to Biden who shrugged his shoulders and pointed over at the nearby tennis court with its big green wooden backboard. “Tell you what,” Biden barked, “Go over there and practice your tennis against that wall for an hour and a half three times a week and we’ll call it a B, Ok?” I agreed. I got a B in Group Games II and my backhand improved markedly.

Take a moment and remember childhood June. Release adulthood June, when high season grows our to-do lists faster than a sweet pea vine shimmies up its trellis. Instead let’s channel lackadaisical June, end-of-school June, with Field Day students-vs-teachers kickball game vibes and a wealth of empty hours to fill before September.

Sure, adulthood has its perks. There’s something about financing a car or regularly serving square meals to one’s offspring that adds a dollop of satisfaction to life. But at the end of the day, it just can’t compete with the feeling of fruity popsicles freezing your teeth as the sun warms your bare shoulders, or singing with abandon in a car full of friends and the windows down, or sliding into a hammock with a juicy new book for the afternoon because summer is here, and that is what it is for—regardless of your age. So remember to get out and have some fun! We have a pile of suggestions below to get you started …

See you out there ~

Torrey, Holly, Dawn, & Lisa

BOONVILLE BARN COLLECTIVE: Our Renegade Certified strawberries will be harvested on Monday and Thursday mornings. We don't have a regularly stocked farmstand where we sell our berries. Instead, we send out weekly emails when we have strawberries available where you can reserve a flat ($35) or half flat ($20) for pick up here at our farm. Send an email to to get added to the strawberry list and we'll be in touch when we've got strawberries to sell!

PETIT TETON FARM is open Mon-Sat 9-4:30, Sun 12-4:30. Along with the large inventory of jams, pickles, soups, hot sauces, apple sauces, and drink mixers made from everything we grow, we sell frozen USDA beef and pork from our perfectly raised pigs and cows, and stewing hens and eggs. Squab is also available at times. Contact us for what's in stock at 707.684.4146 or (Nikki and Steve)

WELCOME TO THEOPOLIS VINEYARDS where passion meets precision in the heart of California's Yorkville Highlands!

Founded by Theodora Lee, affectionately known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards, this boutique winery has been producing award-winning wines since 2003. Join them for a tasting and experience the bold flavors and rich history that make Theopolis Vineyards truly special. Book on their website with the link in their bio. Cheers!

THE SKUNK TRAIN is delighted to announce that we have been named a winner in the 2024 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Scenic Train Ride! Coming in at number five on the 10Best list, this prestigious ranking reflects the votes of travel enthusiasts across the nation, highlighting the Skunk Train’s exceptional Northern California scenery and guest experience.

These nominations were carefully selected by a panel of experts from the hundreds of heritage railroads in the United States. We are immensely proud to be recognized among such an esteemed company and grateful to our dedicated riders and fans for their support.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award,” said Efstathios Pappas, General Manager of the Skunk Train. “This recognition from USA TODAY 10Best is a testament to the breathtaking beauty of our scenic routes and the unique, memorable experiences we strive to provide every day.”

This award follows our recent achievement in March, where we received the Poppy Award for “Best Influencer Campaign.” These competitive awards are selected by Visit California to showcase the tourism industry’s best work.

Further reflecting the popularity of the Skunk Train in Mendocino, a record number of guests traveled to both the Fort Bragg and Willits depots over Memorial Day weekend. This success is attributed to our innovative combination of trips, which includes excursion trains, guided hiking and train packages, evening Glen Blair Bar trips, daytime and evening railbikes, and the new Whiskey Train.

We are profoundly thankful to our guests and fans for their support in this nationwide competition. While being recognized as a local treasure in the Bay Area is an honor, achieving a top-five ranking across the entire United States is truly amazing.

For a full list of winners, please visit:

For more information about Mendocino Railway – The Skunk Train and its unforgettable rail adventures, visit or call (707) 964-6371.

California Western Railroad / Skunk Train located in the redwood forests of Northern California’s Mendocino County, is a heritage railroad that has been operating both freight and passenger service since 1885. Initially used to move redwood logs to the Mendocino Coast sawmills from the rugged back country, the Skunk Train has become a beloved institution touted as one of the “10 Best Rail Tours in the Country” (USA Today), and a “Top 10 Family Activity in California” (National Geographic Traveler). The Skunk Train journey covers 40 miles of scenic delights and 30 bridges, all while retaining its original charm—minus the historic pungent aroma that once preceded its arrival. Operating year-round, this multi-generational experience welcomes passengers to bring along their families and even their dog, ensuring a memorable and inclusive adventure.

LOOK TIN ELI was born in May 1870 in Mendocino, California to Luk Bing-Tai, a Chinese immigrant, and Miss Wong, a native-born woman. In 1879, he was sent back to China by his parents to learn the Chinese language and become familiar with the Chinese culture. When he tried to return to Mendocino in 1884, the U.S. law now required a “Certificate of Return” for re-entry into the country. Look Tin Eli did not return to China. With the help of the powerful, San Francisco-based Chinese family associations, Look Tin Eli sued the government in the U.S. Circuit Court for the Central District of California. Eli was represented by two white lawyers: Thomas Riordan, a prominent San Francisco attorney who had often represented Chinese clients in immigration cases, and William M. Stewart, a former California attorney general of California. Look Tin Eli won. The ruling in his case by Justice Stephen Field – affirming that a native-born person is a U.S. citizen regardless of race or ancestry – was an important decision that was later cited at the landmark 1898 Supreme Court case, Wong Kim Ark, that set birthright U.S. citizenship for all in stone.

Works cited: The Kelley House Museum. The Story of Look Tin Eli. 2019.

RECOMMENDED READING (by Dr. Victoria Patterson, writing in the current newsletter of the Historical Society of Mendocino County.)

‘The Death of Captain Ford,’ by local author Robert Winn (published posthumously), is historical fiction. Relying on letters, diaries, and government reports Winn recounts the life and death of Captain Henry Ford, believed to have died from accidentally discharging his own pistol. Through a fictionalized narrator, Ford’s nephew, Winn lifts the shroud covering the real history of early California. It is not a romantic tale of missions, sailing ships, and commerce in lumber, but the deliberate genocide of the state’s indigenous population. Winn examines this horror through the excuses put forward by the perpetrators themselves. He explores the historical context with evocative descriptions of daily life on the Mendocino Coast. It is a novel filled with imagination, historical reality and knowing. The book is available at the Historical Society of Mendocino County for $17.95.

CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, May 30, 2024

Allen, Alvora, Arnold, Chavez

CHRISTOPHER ALLEN, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI, resisting.

ANTONIO ALVORA-ZAMORA, Ukiah. Protective order violation resulting in injury.

SHANNON ARNOLD, Fort Bragg. Robbery, trespassing.

RODRIGO CHAVEZ-BEJINEZ, Ukiah. DUI, more than an ounce of pot, no license, evasion.

Flores, Ibanez, McElroy, McIlavin

GILBERTO FLORES-GALINDO, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, no license, resisting.

ELIZABETH IBANEZ-SOTO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-use of lodge without owner’s consent.

JASMINE MCELROY, Clearlake/Ukiah. False ID.

TIMOTHY MCILAVIN, Hopland. Intimate touching against will of victim, resisting.

Morris, Najera, Oneil

DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JULIO NAJERA-LEON, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, more than an ounce of pot, pot for sale, paraphernalia, parole violation.

ALBERT ONEIL, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Rodriguez, Shealor, Sorensen

ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Burglary, stolen property, conspiracy.

AUSTIN SHEALOR, Ukiah. Burglary, stolen property, conspiracy.

CHRISTOPHER SORENSEN JR., Lucerne/Ukiah. Parole violation.



Via their minions, our ruling class is pushing to escalate the US caused and funded war in Ukraine. Ms. Nuland and Mr. Blinken, among others, are urging Ukrainian strikes deeper into Russia. Such an escalation will not end well. Ukraine is running out of soldiers. The result will be a wider war with boots on the ground from other countries. Americans will be there as "advisors."

The genocide of the Palestinians continues thanks to US supplied munitions and funds. Starvation and disease are killing those who flee the bombs. The floating pier is and was a boondoggle. President Biden is content to allow genocide by starvation. A few months more and the Gazans will all be dead. Israeli settlers consistently attack West Bank Palestinians with impunity.

The billions our government provides to Ukraine and Israel to kill other people enriches the ruling class while sucking resources from our country. This is the old guns and butter issue. Tell our government to stop the wars. Let's use our tax money to feed our hungry, house our homeless, and repair our crumbling nation. Do not surrender to the rich elite who profit from war while we peasants die as soldiers, suffer as workers, and are cheated as consumers. Protest! Speak out!

Joan Vivaldo


Google Maps says the campground is just around the corner.


by Clare Fonstein

For the first time in 40 years, researchers estimated California’s total mountain lion population and, while the numbers are high, experts are still concerned about their future.

Data shows there are about 4,500 mountain lions statewide, according to Justin Dellinger, the leader of UC Davis’ California Mountain Lion Project. Areas closer to the coast, including the Bay Area, and the northwest part of the state generally found higher densities of mountain lions, he said.

“What has been the status quo of understanding if a population is healthy or not is just how many are out there,” Dellinger said. “What we’re really starting to learn is that it’s a lot more complex than that.”

He said while the numbers are good, there is evidence that many populations of mountain lions are at risk of going locally extinct. One of these at-risk populations is in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There are an adequate number of mountain lions, but roads isolate them, leading to inbreeding, Dellinger said. If inbreeding worsens, the impacted populations have a very slim chance of surviving, according to Tiffany Yap, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Roads and development have really caused a lot of habitat loss and fragmentation which has caused these genetically isolated subpopulations to form,” Yap said.

Dellinger suspected mountain lions in the East Bay may face the same inbreeding issue — though there is not enough data yet to know for sure.

Yap said there are other threats to mountain lion populations, including exposure to rat poison and being killed for protection of livestock.

The findings — produced by a collaboration of multiple organizations including UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and the National Park Service — were not what Dellinger expected when he began working on the project.

“I would have thought going into it that (in) areas where we know there are genetic concerns we would see lower numbers and we didn’t,” he said.

Dellinger said these population numbers indicate there is still time to help the mountain lions before inbreeding causes their numbers to shrink.

The last mountain lion population estimate was done in the 1980s — conducted by the California Department of Fish and Game, now called the Department of Fish and Wildlife. There were believed to be about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions in California at that time. The process used for the estimation was less robust and data-intensive as the methods used in Dellinger’s recent study, he said.

Given that there is not a high quality historical record of California mountain lion populations, Dellinger said, it is hard to deduce population trends.

(SF Chronicle)

GEORGE "GABBY" HAYES was the most famous of all the Western sidekicks, despite the fact he didn't appear in his first film until he was 44 years old! Two things I remember Hayes saying in every movie were, "You young whippersnapper!" and "Yer durn tootin'!" With his nasal voice and gray beard, he was very recognizable.

In real life, George Hayes was well-read, well-groomed, and a serious investor. However, Hollywood needed sidekicks, so Hayes rode "dadgummit" all the way to the bank. From 1935–39, he worked at Paramount Pictures, where he played Windy Halliday the old codger sidekick to Hopalong Cassidy.

After a salary dispute, Hayes signed with Republic Pictures in 1939. Because Paramount held the rights to the name Windy Halliday, Republic renamed his character Gabby Whitaker—and it stuck. "Gabby" became a Western institution, serving as sidekick to Roy Rogers, Wild Bill Elliott, Gene Autry, Randolph Scott, and John Wayne.

Hayes' last Western film was in 1950, but because of his continuing popularity, he moved to TV, hosting The Gabby Hayes Show on NBC from 1950–54, and in a brief revival on ABC in 1956. When the series ended, Hayes retired from show business. He passed away on February 9, 1969, due to natural causes. He was 83.

I READ THAT RESEARCHERS at a big museum in London found the average person looked at a painting for eight seconds. So if you put your art at a stoplight you’re already getting better numbers than Rembrandt.

— Banksy


by Jack Lee

About 25 miles off the coast from Big Sur, more than 5,200 giant depressions decorate a stretch of seafloor roughly 10 times the size of San Francisco. Each of the circular formations spans the length of about two football fields and gradually slopes down about 16 feet.

The structures, known as pockmarks, are spaced out fairly regularly, separated by an average of about 500 feet.

Experts have long thought that pockmarks were formed and maintained by methane gas bubbling up through sediments on the seafloor. But a new study shows that’s not the case at Sur Pockmark Field.

“Everything we looked at, there was no evidence of any methane,” said Eve Lundsten, a sedimentary geologist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and lead author of the report.

The researchers propose that the pockmarks off the Central California coast were instead carved by immense sediment gravity flows. New data suggests that turbulent flows eroded the seafloor over the past 280,000 years, leaving telltale signs in layers buried beneath the surface.

The pockmarks were discovered in 1998, during seafloor mapping expeditions with sonar mounted on ships. By sending sound waves downward and listening for rebounded signals, scientists are able to calculate the depth of the seafloor and create maps.

The new study includes data from autonomous underwater vehicles that took a closer peek at pockmarks during surveys in 2018, 2019 and 2022. The torpedo-like robots also used sound to probe layers of sediment hidden beneath the surface.

Darker layers, as shown in the graphic below, indicate layers that are more reflective and correspond with coarse, sandy deposits.

“These sandy layers tell us something has been happening here, that there’s been a big what we call ‘sediment gravity flow,’ ” Lundsten said. “It’s like a sand, water and mud avalanche, and it leaves a distinctive deposit in the subsurface.”

The study uncovered that turbulent underwater landslides repeatedly occurred over hundreds of thousands of years, causing erosion that maintained pockmarks over time.

The researchers discovered thin layers of sand spanning the entire pockmark field, suggesting that landslide events covered a huge area.

“Something really energetic was happening that was causing erosion in multiple places simultaneously,” Lundsten said.

Scientists have also studied underwater landslides in nearby Monterey Canyon. “They can destroy equipment and sensors,” Lundsten said. Massive events can be kicked off by earthquakes or tsunamis.

There doesn’t seem to be unique biology within the pockmarks, with no differences in sea life inside or outside of the structures. “We see our typical rockfish and worms and invertebrates," Lundsten said.

While there are still unanswered questions about pockmarks off the Central California coast, including how they form in the first place, the new research provides valuable insights into the unusual structures.

“It is great to see these complex systems being interrogated in studies such as this,” said Jess Hillman, a marine geophysicist with New Zealand research institute GNS Science who reviewed the study, by email. “And new mechanisms being proposed to explain these enigmatic seafloor features.”

(SF Chronicle)


You know, late at night, one made the other one more … you were really able to drink if you did blow, but not all the time. And it’s hard on the throat. But I think alcohol was the one of choice. I was never a pothead or into psychedelics. I was around these old blues guys, and they were alcoholics. And I prided myself on not liking acid rock and all that I wanted to be the female version of Muddy Waters or Fred McDowell. There was a romance about drinking and doing blues.

These blues guys had been professional drinkers for years, and I wanted to prove that I could hold my liquor with them. I bought into that whole lifestyle. I thought Keith Richards was cool, that he was really dangerous.

Back when I was, like, 19 and hanging out with Dick Waterman, I carried the booze bottles for all those guys. Like I knew that Fred McDowell could have two of these gins before he went on, and an hour before the show, Son House could have his bottle of vodka. And if he had any more, he would forget the words. And if he had any less, he would forget the words. So I was like the nurse. And some of them could handle it better than others. But if you just gave somebody a bottle in the dressing room, they’d be passing it around, and everybody would be completely ‘faced by the time they were supposed to go on.

But by the mid-Seventies, I started running and stopped drinking bourbon. I was drinking wine and beer. And then eventually I drank tequila — I was part of the Seventies tequila circuit in L.A. We were proud to drink tequila and stay up all night. That was a lifestyle we all espoused and loved. Nobody that was around the Eagles, Little Feat or me or Jackson Browne’s band is going to say we got a lot of sleep when we were in our twenties.

A SENIOR CITIZEN drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little gray hair he had left. Amazing, he thought as he flew down I-94, pushing the pedal even more.

Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, What am I doing? I'm too old for this, and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch, and said, “Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go.”

The old gentleman paused. Then he said, “Years ago, my wife ran off with a state trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.”

“Have a good day, sir,” replied the trooper.


by Lester Black

California’s pot farmers have a new and unlikely friend in government: the police. After years of fighting cannabis legalization, one of the most powerful law enforcement groups in the state is now in support of cannabis legalization, reflecting a transformational moment in cannabis politics.

Earlier this month, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, an association of 950 police unions representing over 80,000 officers, announced that it now supports marijuana legalization and legal pot businesses.

“The ship has sailed,” PORAC wrote in a policy position released earlier this month announcing its call for federal cannabis legalization, “and for the vast majority of Americans, cannabis is legal and accessible.”

The group’s announcement coincided with its support for the STATES 2.0 Act, a congressional bill that would force the federal government to recognize state-legal cannabis programs as valid under federal law. The bill would also provide a massive financial boost to legal pot companies.

PORAC President Brian Marvel told SFGATE that the bill would allow federal authorities to coordinate directly with local law enforcement to fight illicit cannabis companies and support legal pot farms.

“We’re not making a moral judgment as to whether you should smoke it or don’t smoke it, but we want to make sure [legal cannabis companies] aren’t being drowned out by the illegal market,” Marvel said to SFGATE.

If approved, the bill could provide a massive cash windfall for the legal industry by reducing its federal tax rate and creating a pathway for California pot businesses to legally export their products across state lines, a long-held dream within the legal industry.

PORAC, which is the largest law enforcement group in California and the largest statewide police group in the country, opposed Proposition 64, the 2016 voter initiative that legalized marijuana in California. But the group’s opinion has shifted as cannabis became more normalized among police officers in the state, according to Marvel.

“A fair amount of officers patrolling the streets nowadays know nothing other than legalized marijuana in the state of California,” Marvel said. “They are much more receptive to conversations on marijuana.”

Marvel said federal pot prohibition requires local law enforcement to do the majority of the work fighting illegal cannabis operations. If federal prohibition ended, however, federal officers could help fight the illegal market, thereby freeing up more local police to fight other types of crime.

The STATES 2.0 Act also calls for a new federal tax on cannabis that would help fund cannabis regulations and enforcement. Marvel said more funds for law enforcement was one reason the group supported the bill.

PORAC was joined by Oregon’s statewide law enforcement officer group in announcing its support for the STATES 2.0 Act. PORAC said in a statement to SFGATE that it was the first time a statewide law enforcement group had supported a pathway to federal legalization.

Marvel said shutting down illegal pot farms and the environmental damage they cause was another reason the group wanted to support legal farms. “We really need to do everything in our power to eradicate the illegal grows in California,” Marvel said.

PORAC’s support comes as views on marijuana are rapidly shifting across the country and inside law enforcement. New police recruits are no longer being asked if they have used cannabis in the past after the California legislature passed a new law banning workplace discrimination based on past cannabis use. And PORAC is actively calling for more research to determine if it’s safe for active police officers to use cannabis during non-work hours, according to Marvel.

Marvel said the group’s shift on cannabis use is also relevant to psychedelic reform, with the organization’s membership more interested in how psychedelics could be safely used instead of just outright banning the drugs.

“Let’s not … bury our heads in the sand and just say ‘No no no, we’re going to be doing pure enforcement,’ when the reality is we should be focusing on violent crimes and making our communities safer,” Marvel said.


WHEN PEOPLE TALK listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling.

— Ernest Hemingway

ESTHER MOBLEY (Chronicle Wine Writer)

Here’s what’s come across my desk recently:

In Oregon, dozens of wineries have sued PacifiCorp, the utility that’s owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The vintners are seeking over $100 million in damages, claiming that PacifiCorp’s decision to not shut off power during 2020 wildfires contributed to smoke taint on their grapes. The Associated Press’ Claire Rush has more details.

Alder Yarrow tasted 53 wines from Marin County, possibly “the most comprehensive tasting of Marin wines ever assembled,” for He has a very good, detailed article about Marin’s wine history, and argues that even though there’s high potential, the formation of a local wine industry has been hampered here by the high cost of residential real estate.

Miquel Hudin reacts to the closure of Wine & Spirits magazine, the subject of my newsletter last week. He outlines a very jaded perspective on the future of wine media, especially for freelance journalists.


by Marisa Kendall

In March 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom stood before a crowd in Sacramento’s Cal Expo event center and made a promise: He’d send 1,200 tiny homes to shelter homeless residents in the capital city and three other places throughout the state.

The move was part of Newsom’s push to improve the homelessness crisis by quickly moving people out of encampments and into more stable environments. But more than a year later, none of those tiny homes have welcomed a single resident. Only about 150 have even been purchased.

Irontown Modular, one of six vendors the state chose to supply the tiny homes in Sacramento, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego County, is “absolutely shocked” that they’ve received no orders, said Kam Valgardson, general manager of the Utah-based company.

“The big problem is that the homeless people aren’t getting served,” Valgardson said. “I can complain as a business, but these homeless people are getting no support, no relief. The money’s been promised, but something’s broken in the process and nobody’s placing orders.”

There have been multiple delays and about-faces, over everything from the way the state is funding the units to the ability of local cities and counties to find places to put them. The state has suggested the delays are the fault of local governments. But tiny homes have failed to materialize even when local leaders moved quickly to approve a project site.

In some cases, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s holding up these projects. Communications involving the governor’s office are exempt from the California Public Records Act. Multiple requests by CalMatters for emails between the governor’s office and the cities and counties slated to receive the tiny homes were denied.

The state has started construction at the Sacramento tiny home site, and has made funding available to the other three cities and counties to buy their own tiny homes — delivering on its promise, Monica Hassan, deputy director of the state’s Department of General Services, said in an email to CalMatters. That bolsters the state’s “already substantial efforts to help tackle the homelessness crisis,” she said.

“Focusing solely on timelines diminishes the hard work of numerous individuals dedicated to providing much-needed housing,” she said.

Bringing Tiny Homes To California

The governor set up a big to-do when he made his tiny home promise in March of last year. He had sample tiny homes set up in the Cal Expo event center to use as a backdrop as he spoke. Local officials, including Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, flanked him to show their support and gratitude.

The venue also was strategically chosen — Sacramento planned to set up its allotted 350 tiny homes right there, at Cal Expo.

The plan was simple: The state would buy the tiny homes. The California National Guard would help prepare and deliver them, “free of charge and ready for occupancy.” Los Angeles was promised 500 tiny homes, Sacramento 350, San Jose 200 and San Diego County 150.

In October 2023, Newsom’s office gave its first concrete update: It revealed the six companies it contracted with to supply the tiny homes. They ranged from Pallet, a Washington-based company that specializes in sheltering unhoused people and already has multiple sites up and running in California; to AMEG, a company based outside of Sacramento that does disaster recovery and modular home building, but hasn’t built a community for homeless residents before.

But the project’s parameters changed. Instead of buying and delivering the units, the state decided to send several of the cities cash grants and let them order the tiny homes themselves. In San Jose, this left the city on the hook for more money than anticipated. The state awarded the city $13.3 million. Building the planned tiny homes for 200 people will cost $22.7 million, according to Mayor Mahan.

The mayor said San Jose told the state it would rather get tiny homes with en suite bathrooms, which are more expensive. But, Mahan said, San Jose was willing to cover the cost difference.

Instead, Newsom’s administration decided to provide cash grants in place of fully built tiny homes. It’s more efficient, Hassan said.

San Jose plans to open its tiny home site by July 2025.

“This is a solution that even under this timeframe is significantly faster and lower cost than many alternatives,” Mahan said. “And we’re grateful for the support, and when unexpected things come up, we just roll with the punches.”

Finding space to put these tiny homes — which is the responsibility of local cities and counties — also proved challenging. Plans to place Sacramento’s tiny homes at Cal Expo, where Newsom made his splashy announcement last year, fell apart. Instead, the state intends to set up 175 tiny homes on Stockton Boulevard. The county plans to install the remaining 175 on Watt Avenue.

In March, a year after Newsom named San Diego County as one of the tiny home recipients, the County Board of Supervisors finally approved a location for the project in Spring Valley. But there’s still a lot to do. The county has to test the soil and make sure the site is safe. After that, officials plan to start getting community feedback on the planned project. The county has not yet bought the tiny homes or set an opening date.

“Like every other homelessness policy solution, local governments are fundamentally the drivers and fundamentally the implementers,” said Jason Elliott, Newsom’s deputy chief of staff. “What the state has done is provide billions of dollars in new investment, dozens and dozens of bills to cut red tape and a policy framework that pushes for faster action to resolve unsheltered encampments. But as we have seen time and time again in California, local commitment and partnership is the other side of that coin.”

San Jose, in contrast to San Diego County, approved plans to set up tiny homes at the Cerone bus yard back in October. Even so, the state didn’t send San Jose a grant agreement until March, Mahan said.

Of the four communities promised tiny homes, the state has made the most progress in Sacramento. In late January and early February, the state bought 155 units from BOSS, a tiny home company based in Montebello in Southern California. Those units, most of which are 70 square feet, have been built and are ready to ship to Stockton Avenue, said Kris Van Giesen, senior vice president of community development.

After a brief delay due to rain, a contractor hired by the state has started building out the infrastructure at the Stockton Avenue site, Hassan said. It’s slated to open this fall.

In Los Angeles, city officials still haven’t finalized locations for their tiny homes.

“The city has been working diligently to evaluate potential sites, coordinate relevant departments and prepare plans that will be submitted to the state by the end of May,” Gabby Maarse, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, said in an email.

No One Is Ordering Tiny Homes

Another big selling point of Newsom’s plan: His administration opened up the contracts so that other cities and counties (in addition to the chosen four) could use their own money to buy tiny homes from the six approved vendors, without going through a time-consuming and bureaucratic request for proposal process.

That move was supposed to help get more tiny homes deployed quickly, and therefore, move more people out of encampments. But CalMatters spoke with all six approved vendors, and none have received any orders through that process.

Several companies said a handful of cities have reached out and expressed interest. But without cash from the state, many are finding it hard to pull the trigger.

“A lot of these cities are struggling to find the funding they need,” said Amy King, founder and CEO of Pallet.

The cheapest Pallet tiny home approved by the state contract sells for $18,900. Add an en suite bathroom, and the price jumps to $55,350. That’s still considerably cheaper than other housing options.

Other companies said the state hasn’t done as much as it could to promote the effort. There’s no website that lists the vendors covered by the state contracts, the available models and price comparisons, said Anmol Mehra, co-founder of Plugin House, an Austin-based modular home company and one of the six approved vendors.

And the state insists on approving any promotional materials the vendors put out on their own, Valgardson said. After his company, Irontown Modular, accidentally posted marketing materials online prematurely, the state made them take the materials down and get approval. It took almost two months to get the green light, Valgardson said.

The tiny home companies said they had to jump through myriad hoops to secure the state contracts. Several said they had to design new products specifically to meet the state’s strict requirements for everything from vapor-resistant light fixtures to emergency exit lighting. It took months and cost tens of thousands of dollars each, Valgardson said.

David Baldwin, owner of AMEG, expected orders to start rolling in by December of last year. It’s “a little bit frustrating,” he said.

“We’re ready to go,” he said. “We have people chomping at the bit that want to offer help.”

(Bay Area News Group/Ukiah Daily Journal)


by Hugo Rios, Elizabeth Wilson, Amelia Wu & Mikhaeil Zinshteyn

While some universities in California are negotiating with student protestors, hundreds of students and faculty throughout the state are facing legal and academic repercussions for protesting the Israel-Hamas war.

Protesters, who have largely been non-violent, have disrupted events, occupied buildings and public spaces, erected encampments, and skirmished with counterprotesters, resulting in university leaders citing campus policy violations and calling in law enforcement to forcefully remove protesters. According to a CalMatters analysis, at least 567 people, many of whom are students and faculty, have been disciplined by their universities or arrested since the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing over 1,100 and sparking a counter-offensive by Israel that has killed 35,000 Palestinians.

For months, pro-Palestinians have been intent on forcing their universities to divest from weapons manufacturers and companies with ties to Israel, and pro-Israelis have insisted the language and actions of the pro-Palestinian groups have been creating anti-semitic environments.

At some campuses, students and faculty are facing consequences for what they see as engaging in their First Amendment rights to speech and to peaceably assemble. An unknown number of students have been suspended or warned of possible suspension, while other students and faculty have been arrested on suspicion of trespassing, attempted burglary and unlawful assembly. And although some campuses are dropping charges, students and faculty throughout California face long-term repercussions.

Students and faculty face legal consequences

Law enforcement officers in riot gear have arrested hundreds of students and faculty for participating in pro-Palestinian encampments on several campuses, including Pomona College, University of Southern California, Cal Poly Humboldt, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Irvine.

Twenty students arrested at Pomona College on April 5 were suspended and cut off from their access to housing and the campus. At USC on April 24, 48 were students, three faculty members and three staff were arrested on suspicion of trespassing.

The next day, UCLA students began an encampment. The ensuing violence by counterprotesters and law enforcement against the camp protesters has drawn condemnation and resulted in the reassignment of UCLA Police Chief John Thomas on May 22, according to a statement from vice chancellor for strategic communications Mary Osako.

Third-year philosophy student Aidan Doyle said despite being aware of potential legal and academic consequences, including dispersal notices from the university and law enforcement, he and many other students felt it was absolutely necessary to continue their protest to call attention to the many deaths in Gaza.

“Despite all the roadblocks that the university and even the police presented to protesters, there’s still an electrified student base who wants to take the side of Palestine,” Doyle said.

After an aggressive group of counterprotesters stormed the UCLA campus in the early morning of May 1, the university moved all instruction online and called in outside law enforcement to clear the encampment that night. Officers arrested 254 protesters and dismantled the encampment. A CalMatters analysis of video from the sweep at UCLA found 25 instances of police brandishing “less-lethal weapons” in students’ faces.

After being injured by police during the sweep, Doyle was among the students and faculty members taken in packed prison buses to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. He has been charged with trespassing, though he and his lawyer believe the charges will be dropped.

“(The encounter with counterprotestors) was such a heinous assault and nobody got arrested. Then, the very next day, 200 people who acted peacefully were arrested,” he said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow that the administration is predisposed to dislike us.”

Despite the violent apprehension of students at UCLA, two more UCs called in law enforcement to clear protest encampments over the following two weeks. Police arrested 64 individuals at UC San Diego’s Price Center on May 6, 40 of whom are students now facing charges including failure to disperse and resisting arrest, as well as suspension from the school. And at UC Irvine, law enforcement cleared the encampment on May 15, leading to 47 arrests including 26 students and two employees.

A fourth-year UC San Diego student who asked to be identified as Jewish but also requested anonymity for fear of academic consequences was arrested for failure to disperse while attempting to secure the encampment after police arrived.

“No one really wanted to be the person who broke rank [in holding the encampment perimeter] because we all believed in what we’re doing,” the student said. “We wouldn’t have done anything different.”

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said in a statement that the arrests were made after multiple orders from police officers to disperse were ignored: “UC San Diego encourages and allows peaceful protests, but this encampment violated campus policy and the law, and grew to pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of the campus community.”

Faculty members at UC San Diego condemned Khosla’s decision to involve law enforcement and are demanding the university reverse suspensions of arrested students.

“We are outraged at what our administration has done here,” said Gary Fields, a communications professor at UC San Diego for 22 years. “I’ve seen a lot of protests, but I’ve never seen anything like what Chancellor Khosla did.”

Students suspended, banned from campus

The encampment sweeps were not the first crackdown of pro-Palestinian demonstrators on California campuses. As far back as Jan. 23, a group of protesters gathered outside Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Recreation Center as the university hosted a career fair inside that included military-defense company Lockheed Martin. Eight people were arrested, including three students and one faculty member.

One of the students arrested, who asked to remain anonymous due to the ongoing case, said they were also suspended for two academic quarters due to their participation. The student was supposed to graduate this spring. However, the suspension includes a ban from campus events.

“I thought they were rooting for us but I was really proved wrong there and they’re not looking out for our well-being at all,” the student said.

Other universities have also opted to enforce strict academic consequences. They have handed out suspensions, academic probations and event bans, though most schools will not disclose how many students have been disciplined.

After Stanford students established a second encampment on April 25 following a previous 120-day sit-in that ended in a deal

with campus administrators, the university is taking a punitive approach to overnight protests. Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez sent a letter to about 60 students at the encampment saying they would be referred for disciplinary action for violating university policy, and that they could be arrested. They also announced that any student groups helping to maintain the encampment would also face disciplinary actions.

The university has already put an unknown number of students on academic probation, mandated community service hours and taken away university-funded fellowships for violating policies. The protesters risk losing campus jobs and university-sponsored internships.

“I get a lot of fellowship money from Stanford. I get a lot of medical support from Stanford. Being on academic probation is something I’m really, really scared of, just because I know those things would probably be in jeopardy,” said a student at the encampment, who requested anonymity due to fear of academic and professional retaliation.

USC suspended at least 29 students who participated in the protest, according to the student group Divest from Death Coalition, which has been collecting suspension letters.

“They were suspended for bringing items onto campus with the intent to use those items for the construction of the encampment,” said Jess, a doctoral candidate and member of the coalition who asked to be identified by her first name only for fear of repercussions.

Additionally, USC canceled its mainstage commencement ceremony due to the lack of security provisions for the expected 65,000 attendees.

In response to a growing encampment at Cal Poly Humboldt, the university shut down completely at the end of April and shifted classes online for the remainder of the semester.

According to Humboldt’s Communication Specialist Iridian Casarez, the university suspended 77 students related to protest activities. The suspension notice cited the alleged destruction of property, trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstruction of pedestrian traffic. Environmental studies major Stella Baumstone was among those, and said her initial concern was whether she’d be receiving her diploma. She knows of one student who lost a campus job due to the suspension and has been struggling to pay rent.

“It’s hard to see. What they’re doing is having real material harm for people,” Baumstone said.

On April 30, 40 protesters were arrested when they refused law enforcement’s request to disperse and instead barricaded a building. Charges ranged from unlawful assembly and vandalism to conspiracy.

Rouhollah Aghasaleh, an assistant education professor, was the only faculty member arrested that day. The professor received a two-month suspension from the university and is barred from going to campus, attending university events including online, and contacting students.

“They are using a similar template for faculty suspension as if for a faculty member under investigation for a Title IX case,” Aghasaleh said. “I don’t think I’m dangerous for my students. My students also don’t think I’m dangerous for them.”

(Sergio Olmos contributed to this story. Buchanan, Chkarboul, Iyer, Mendez-Padilla, Munis, Portillo, Rios, Wilson and Wu are fellows with the College Journalism Network, a collaboration between CalMatters and student journalists from across California. CalMatters higher education coverage is supported by a grant from the College Futures Foundation.)


by Jordan Parker

A renowned San Jose State University professor who served as a liaison between administrators and pro-Palestinian demonstrators before being suspended over conduct during protests is now speaking out.

In a statement Wednesday through the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim (PAM) caucus of the California Faculty Association (CFA), a union that represents California State University professors, Sang Hea Kil alleged her temporary suspension from the university is “part of an academic freedom suppression campaign against me.” Kil denied all accusations SJSU has made against her.

Kil, a justice professor at the university, said she is a critic of Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza and she accused San Jose State’s administration of being “completely silent and complicit” on the issue.

Kil previously served as co-chair of the caucus before resigning on Friday, the same day of her suspension. During her suspension, Kil will not have access to campus facilities and cannot perform any duties associated with her professor role, according to her suspension letter. Kil’s fate after the suspension remains unclear. According to the suspension letter, her suspension will end either after 60 days or when she is notified of disciplinary action, whichever comes first.

In their suspension letter to Kil, SJSU administrators said she had violated Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement between the CFA and the university. Administrators at the time said Kil had violated university policies due to “unprofessional and exploitative” conduct toward students, directing them to violate university policies and “engaging in harassing and offensive conduct and comments directed towards colleagues individually and as a group.”

In her statement Wednesday, Kil said she had not been given a chance to defend herself against the accusations.

“I believe due process was not afforded to me with regard to my temporary suspension,” she said. “I never received a report summarizing strong and compelling evidence. Without this report, I have been denied my right to refute any accusations made against me.”

Prior to Kil’s suspension, university administrators warned her about SJSU’s Time, Place and Manner policy after witnesses accused her of telling protesters to disregard the policy, march through the campus student recreation aquatic center and establish an encampment on a lawn near on-campus statues, according to an email posted by the PAM caucus.

“I write to remind you that, pursuant to executive order 1068, your role as an advisor is not to act as the group’s leader and direct specific actions,” Mari Fuentes-Martin, SJSU’s Interim VP for Student Affairs, told Kil in the email. “Rather than encouraging violation of policies, you have the responsibility to ensure that the student organization understands university policies. The expectation moving forward is that you will cease directing students to violate policies.”

Kil disagrees.

When reached by the Chronicle on Wednesday, a university spokesperson said “The university does not share information regarding personnel matters. SJSU follows processes outlined in the collective bargaining agreements for employees.”

“In my capacity as the faculty advisor for the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at SJSU, I felt it was within my duties to support them in their campaign to bring greater awareness to the university community,” Kil said in her statement. “It is their constitutional right to be able to protest against the Israeli genocide of Palestinians and its silence on campus.”

Prior to her suspension, tension between Kil and university administrators seemed to be heating up. According to the CSU Divestment Coalition, Kil received threats from a university administrator, which she detailed on her social media page, and witnessed another director turn on sprinklers at a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus in an attempt to get students to disband the protest.

(SF Chronicle)

TRUMP FOUND GUILTY, but Voters Will Be the Final Judge

by David Remnick

In the case of the People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump, a jury in Manhattan of five women and seven men found the defendant guilty on Thursday on thirty-four counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The conviction on these felony charges is only the most recent stain on the legal history of the former President. Last year, in a civil trial, another New York jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, and awarded the victim of that assault, the advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, five million dollars. A subsequent suit against Trump for defaming Carroll resulted in an additional award of more than eighty-three million dollars in damages. Trump awaits three more trials—in Washington, D.C., Florida, and Georgia—in which he faces myriad indictments for helping to foment the violent uprising at the U.S. Capitol; criminally mishandling classified documents; and taking part in a conspiracy to “unlawfully change the outcome” of the 2020 election. He has further distinguished himself in the annals of American law by being the only President to be impeached twice—the first time for trying to extort the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, the second for “incitement of insurrection.”

Following the devastating judgment against Trump in Manhattan Criminal Court, voters will now decide to what extent they care. The question is whether any who remain undecided—particularly in the most critical precincts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Arizona—will be convinced that a felony conviction disqualifies Trump from a second term as Commander-in-Chief, or whether this most recent badge of dishonor is, in the end, of no greater concern than his well-documented history as a bigot, a fabulist, and an authoritarian intent on pursuing a second term inflamed by a spirit of vengeance.

The vast majority of the electorate is, to one degree or another, quite aware of his many characteristics. He has been around a long time. He is aggressively transparent, supremely frank about his furies and his prejudices. He appears to be devoid of shame. Rather than betray regret about a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress with whom he allegedly enjoyed a brief interlude, or even issue denials under oath, Trump, in his many press conferences outside the courtroom at 100 Centre Street, exploited the trial as a means of illustrating the ongoing narrative of his persecution at the hands of the Biden Administration and the Deep State. His victimhood, he has told his supporters, is your victimhood. I am you. My retribution will be your retribution. As the trial wore on, he managed to monetize this tall tale. His fund-raising increased, particularly among smaller donors. Such is his talent for self-pity and demagoguery. His continuing legal jeopardy, according to Politico, “may be the most effective tool he has going.”

Trump’s personal adventures and interesting accounting practices appear to have given little pause to even the most self-righteous of G.O.P. leaders. Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House, has called the Bible the bedrock of his “personal world view,” and yet, in the wake of the allegations provided by Daniels, Trump’s former consigliere Michael Cohen, and other witnesses, he still visited the Centre Street courthouse to show his treacly obeisance to Trump and to denounce the proceedings as a “sham.”

The picture is no different among Trump’s former Republican rivals. Early critics, such as Senators Marco Rubio, of Florida, and J. D. Vance, of Ohio, are now puppy-eager supporters vying for the Vice-Presidency or a Cabinet position; more persistent naysayers, such as Governor Chris Sununu, of New Hampshire, have also fallen into line. Trump’s last real opponent in the Republican primary, his former envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, spent months attacking his character (“Every single thing Donald Trump has said or put on TV has been a lie”) and his mental stability (“He is unhinged. He is more diminished than he was”). She blamed him for the Party’s losses in 2018, 2020, and 2022, and declared that she, at least, was brave enough to say so: “Of course, many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. They’re just too afraid to say it out loud. Well, I’m not afraid to say the hard truths out loud.” And yet, as the trial entered its last days, Haley, predictably, crumbled, saying out loud that she would cast her vote for Trump and, implicitly, her integrity to the four winds. In return, Trump tossed Haley a crumb, suggesting vaguely that she might yet gain a place on his team “in some form.”

Some of the titans of Wall Street are showing similar degrees of moral flexibility. Stephen Schwarzman, a billionaire financier who abandoned Trump not because of the insurrection, in 2021, but after the G.O.P.’s poor showing in the 2022 midterm elections, has now returned meekly to the fold. His reasons, he said obscurely, include a variety of policy concerns and “the dramatic rise of antisemitism.” (Trump, who has a long history of antisemitic statements, said earlier this year that “any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion.”) The hedge-fund manager Kenneth Griffin has similarly overcome his doubts. He once called Trump a “three-time loser”; now he is back on board.

Like so many authoritarians of the past—and, more recently, like Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, and Jair Bolsonaro—Trump deploys a blood-and-soil rhetoric in which his supporters and the existing order are under dire threat. The United States is a “failing nation” hurtling toward catastrophe. The government and the media may say (accurately) that inflation has trended downward and that the unemployment rate is below four per cent, but Trump darkly forecasts a nightmare world of Chinese dominance and a “1929-type Depression.” Moreover, if Joe Biden is reëlected, the country will continue to become “a Third World hellhole ruled by censors, perverts, criminals, and thugs.” The 2024 election is “the final battle,” and only he can redeem us from a “Mad Max” dystopia—or, as he put it at a conference in Maryland last March, a “lawless, open-borders, crime-ridden, filthy, communist nightmare.”

If we have learned anything about Trump, it is that, beneath all the insult-comic improvisations, he means what he says. His authoritarian entertainments are authoritarian intentions. Where he has had the power and the discipline to enact his intentions, he has done so. He set out to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court to eliminate abortion rights, and he did so. He set out to erase the line between fact and lies, and did so. He set out to call into question the efficacy of elections and, for millions of people, he succeeded. He set out to deepen the divides in an already fractured nation and, by every measure, he has succeeded—to his benefit.

In his first term, he threatened the stability of international alliances, such as nato, and in a second term he could easily destroy them. Putin would be pleased. In his first term, Trump routinely appointed mediocrities who, at least in some instances, ultimately put allegiance to the country before allegiance to the President and stood in the way of outright disaster; in a second term, Trump has promised that he will appoint pure loyalists hellbent on implementing his agenda of revenge. In his first term, Trump derided journalists as “the enemy of the people”; in a second term, he could deploy the powers of the I.R.S. and the Justice Department to punish them. His apparent fascination with violence could easily turn into the employment of violence. In his first term, Trump wondered aloud to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other officials why protesters couldn’t be shot “in the legs or something.” And has anyone forgotten the tweet, circa 2020, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”? He suggested the same remedy for migrants crossing the border.

Trump’s breezy contempt for African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, women, the disabled, and the inhabitants of “shit-hole” countries is a matter of record. In the wake of Memorial Day, it is also worth recalling his contempt for those in the armed forces. “He’s not a war hero,” he said of John McCain, who served as a Navy officer and was a P.O.W. for more than five years in North Vietnam. “He’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” After learning that General Mark Milley, who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had tried to ease anxieties in Beijing about U.S. military intentions, Trump tweeted, “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”

In short, an understanding of what a second Trump term would mean for all Americans hardly depends on the verdict in the matter of the People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump. American democracy, any democracy, is by nature fragile, and even the most summary assessment of Trump’s rhetoric, actions, and intentions makes clear that the election in November is a matter of emergency. To return an unstable and malevolent authoritarian to the White House risks wounding American democracy in ways that would likely take decades to repair. That is not the only issue on the ballot, but those are the stakes.

(The New Yorker)


by Jonathan Thompson

The next presidential election will have huge ramifications for the planet

This April, at a steak dinner with oil and gas executives at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, former President Donald Trump made a request backed by a hefty promise: If CEOs in attendance raised $1 billion to support his re-election bid, he would lower their taxes and eviscerate environmental and public health protections once he became president, clearing away the "regulatory burdens" that stand in their way of injecting more carbon into the atmosphere — and profiting handsomely from it.

According to reporting by the Washington Post, Trump promised to reverse dozens of Biden administration policies, including lifting the moratorium on liquefied natural gas export approvals, new restrictions on Arctic drilling and many public land oil and gas drilling reforms. For good measure, he’d also scrap electric vehicle mandates and bring an immediate end to all offshore wind development.

Judging from Trump’s record, he fully intends to fulfill these promises and then some. And his mission will be backed by a "playbook" — alarming for its extreme approach — fashioned by a right-wing coalition intent on dismantling the administrative state.

It’s astounding that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee can solicit a $1 billion bribe to sell out America’s public lands and not be immediately disqualified or even prosecuted. After all, one-time Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall was disgraced and tossed into jail for doing the same thing, an incident known as the Teapot Dome scandal. Even more dumbfounding is that, according to some polls, President Biden and Trump are statistically tied among young voters on climate change.

The reason for this is simple — and, I might add, simplistic. In March 2020, during a Democratic presidential debate, then-candidate Biden said his climate policy included, "No more drilling on federal land." He made a similar statement during a town hall in 2019. And yet, during the first four months of 2024, the Bureau of Land Management issued 969 permits to drill. So much for "no more drilling." And that’s not all: In 2023, the administration approved a scaled-back — yet still massive and highly destructive — version of the high-profile and controversial Willow drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope.

Climate advocates are right to hold Biden’s feet to the fire, and to count these moves as black marks on his record. But it is naive, foolish and destructive to let these missteps obscure the administration’s more subtle — yet ultimately more meaningful — actions to protect the climate and public lands from the fossil fuel industries. To see no difference between Biden and Trump is simply ignorant.

Biden’s public land and climate policies were all over the placeduring his first two years in office, but more recently he cemented his legacy as a conservationist. In late April I wrote about a slew of new public lands protections passed down by the administration. In the weeks since, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency implemented new rules limiting coal power plants’ greenhouse emissions and mercury and other toxic air pollutants, tightening regulations on coal ash disposal and clamping down on power plant wastewater releases. And the BLM proposed ending federal coal leasing in the America’s largest coal field, Wyoming’s Powder River Basin — a potential death knell to a declining industry. The BLM also cancelled 25 oil and gas leaseson 40,000 acres rich with cultural resources in southeastern Utah.

Since a Donald Trump "climate policy" is a contradiction in terms, we’ll look at Trump’s energy aims instead, which consist of little more than "unlock(ing) our country’s God-given abundance of oil, natural gas, and clean coal" by shredding environmental and public health protections at the behest of billionaire petroleum executives. Never mind that those same executives have boasted about record-high domestic oil production and liquefied natural gas exports under the Biden administration. Never mind that ExxonMobil brought in $8.6 billion in after-tax profits during the first three months of the year — not too shabby for an industry purportedly under siege by radical environmentalists.

Since the Trump campaign lacks a concrete platform, a group of right-wing organizations calling themselves Project 2025 have taken it upon themselves to fashion an agenda for the next administration to "rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left." The coalition published a Mandate for Leadership "playbook" for each government sector, providing an eerie glimpse into a second Trump presidency.

The chapter on the Department of Interior was penned by none other than William Perry Pendley, a notorious anti-public lands zealot and Trump’s illegitimate acting director of the BLM. In it, Pendley unabashedly advocates for returning to the pre-multiple use days when the BLM was known as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining. He reiterates the absurd claim that wild horses pose an existential threat to public lands and calls for the immediate "roll back of Biden’s orders" and reinstatement of "the Trump-era Energy Dominance Agenda." Per the playbook: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the rest of the region would be reopened to drilling; the full Willow project (five drill sites rather than the scaled-back three) would be approved; coal-leasing would be restored; drilling permits would be expedited; methane emissions rules and other pollution limits would be rescinded; national monuments would be shrunk or eliminated; protections for sage grouse, grizzlies, wolves and other imperiled species would be removed; and the administration would try to repeal the Antiquities Act of 1906.

And that’s just the DOI chapter. The Energy Department and EPA sections strike similar notes, calling on Trump to: "Stop the war on oil and natural gas;" lift the moratorium on liquefied natural gas export approvals (and stop considering climate change as a reason to stop LNG projects); support repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, both of which have created thousands of jobs in the clean energy and climate change mitigation industries; shift the departments’ focus away from climate change and renewable energy; end greenhouse gas emissions reporting for all but a select few facilities; roll back coal plant pollution regulations; and so on.

The damage inflicted during Trump’s first term was somewhat mitigated by the administration’s incompetence. Project 2025’s 920-page playbook, drafted by conservative think tanks that would be instrumental in staffing a second Trump administration, looks to remedy that, supplementing Trump’s greed and power-hunger with corporate-backed ideology and expertise. In office, Trump would create an authoritarian regime that cracks down on civil liberties, criminalize immigrants and bolster the police state, while also letting corporate interests run wild at the expense of the planet and its most vulnerable people.

A recent report from Wood Mackenzie, a natural resource analytics firm, predicts that a Trump victory in November would bring an "immediate deceleration in support for decarbonization" and "unabated fossil generation would expand. … These steps would push the U.S. even further away from a net zero emissions pathway."

Biden may have broken a promise, but when it comes to Trump vs. Biden on the climate, the contrast couldn’t be more stark.

(High Country News/Landline; via Bruce McEwen)


  1. Mike J May 31, 2024

    The reintroduction of the UAP Disclosure Act

    Yesterday, Representative Robert Garcia (D-CA) introduced this amendment to the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA):

    Garcia kept the eminent domain provision in this that last year’s Schumer-Rounds amendment in the Senate had. The Senate passed that UAP Disclosure Act amendment to the NDAA last year but the House didn’t. The eminent domain provision re non human tech and beings recovered was one reason why.

    Participants in special access programs involved with addressing recovered ET tech and beings have been interviewed by the DOD and IC Inspector Generals and key staff from the Senate Select Cmt on Intelligence.

    • Harvey Reading May 31, 2024

      Where’s the trade talk report? All the rest is just more political propaganda from a bunch of congressional liars.

  2. Chuck Dunbar May 31, 2024


    Quote of the Day in the AVA:

    “It’s astounding that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee can solicit a $1 billion bribe to sell out America’s public lands and not be immediately disqualified or even prosecuted.


    • Harvey Reading May 31, 2024

      Hell, the bum was gonna move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado, so it would be a shorter drive for the livestock farmers(and mining and drilling interests, etc.) to make their cases for unlimited use of lands that supposedly belong to ALL of us.

    • peter boudoures May 31, 2024

      Any American can lease land from the bureau of land management. It’s happening now and always has. Oil and gas is produced on 12 million acres of blm land.

      • Harvey Reading May 31, 2024

        Thee plunderers also can be turned down if the plunder is too excessive. Moving the HQ closer to where the bastards live makes their influence that much easier to wield. You apparently do not give a damn about anything but plunder and monetary gain for the plunderers. Keep BLM HQ in DC, away from those with dollar signs for eyes. I want MY public lands used in a manner that preserves rather than destroys them.

        • peter boudoures May 31, 2024

          I don’t want our lands destroyed, I’m one of the few who actually travels and takes advantage of these remote places but I’ll need some diesel fuel to get there. If we’re going to blow up pipelines like the nord stream we better drill baby drill. When I’m old like you maybe I’ll turn into chuck mcgill and turn all the lights off.

          • Harvey Reading May 31, 2024

            You come off as a typical yuppie to me.

            • peter boudoures May 31, 2024

              It’s the boomers who are financially set and live comfortable.

              • Harvey Reading June 1, 2024

                Typical yuppie come-back.

  3. MAGA Marmon May 31, 2024

    So the Dems (aka dogs) have caught the car, now what?

    MAGA Marmon

    • Lazarus May 31, 2024

      This war will never end. It will be tit for tat until most of these guys are retired or dead. After watching the judge, I would not be surprised to see Trump jailed for a few months. From now on, it will be all about winning at any cost.
      Be careful out there. They could be coming for you…

      • MAGA Marmon May 31, 2024

        Thanks Laz, people like Chuck Dunbar keep me up all night, I don’t know what they’re capable of.

        MAGA Marmon

        • Lazarus May 31, 2024

          I was being euphemistic when referring to “you.” In reality, they (whoever they are) could be coming for any of us who do not follow their illusions of their status quo.
          Be well,

        • Chuck Dunbar May 31, 2024

          Not to worry much, James, I am a pretty harmless old man who believes in the American mythos that justice is for all, the poor as well as the rich. And who worries especially about the depredations to justice in our country that would come if Trump prevails. But I have no real power to wield, so back to a peaceful sleep with no bad dreams for you.

    • Marshall Newman May 31, 2024

      Actually, the car begged – even dared – something to catch it and something finally did.

      • Chuck Dunbar May 31, 2024

        Indeed, cars have their own special karma…

  4. Lorenzo Rota May 31, 2024


    I chuckled when I read they found those 5200 underwater pockmarks cause it brought to mind this lyric from the Beatles “day in the life”:

    “I read the news today, oh boy
    Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
    And though the holes were rather small
    They had to count them all
    Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall”

    • Chuck Dunbar May 31, 2024

      That’s a good one, Mr. Rota. I salute you for the apt connection of that bit of old song lyrics to current news.

  5. Lindy Peters June 1, 2024

    Hey Bruce, did you not play wiffle ball back in the 50’s? I grew-up over in Davis and all summer long as kids in the early 60’s we played baseball. Every day. Often times with wiffle balls, which when thrown properly would curve 2-3 feet or more. But you couldn’t throw a good fastball with a wiffle ball. So when I got to high school and faced my first really good pitching, I loved the curveball. It came in slower and you just waited on it and ripped it to right center where there was usually a gap for right- handed hitters. But a good, rising fastball is still the hardest pitch to hit in baseball.

    • Bruce Anderson June 1, 2024

      My youth pre-dated the wiffle ball. We mostly played with old baseballs wrapped in black electrical tape. My kids played wiffle ball, and my grandson and his friends play a lot of wiffle ball. Another American genius invented that one.

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