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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

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THE ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER just keeps on getting crazier. That brand new doctor? The personable young Dr. Logan McGhan? A perfect fit for the Hispanic Anderson Valley with his wife from Michoacan? Young family? The one the Health Center just threw a meet and greet for? He was fired Friday, fired without explanation, unceremoniously marched out of the Center. We’re trying to piece it all together, but that’s what we know.

Dr. McGhan
Dr. McGhan

WE UNDERSTAND THAT DR. McGHAN was fired in the same ‘Give me your keys, take your stuff’ manner that befell another popular but long-time staffer, Kathy Corrall, last year. The Anderson Valley is buzzing tonight, and it’s an angry buzz. Although McGhan had only been on the job since August 23, he and his wife were already popular members of the community.

IT’S NOT YET KNOWN if the Center’s inept board of directors signed off on Dr. McGhan’s dismissal, which was conducted by another new hire, Shannon Spiller whose sparse resume somehow has qualified her to oversee Anderson Valley’s financially struggling Health Center. Given the recent personnel turmoil, and the shockingly peremptory and brutal firings of popular employees, and the insulting treatment of other staffers, the Anderson Valley Health Center, in its 38th year, may not survive.

MORE tomorrow.

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Dear Sir:

It has come to my attention that the AV Health Center Board is having discussions with Dr. Mark Apfel. As these are in secret we can only surmise the nature of the discussions. Nevertheless many in this community hope that the Board won't bungle these discussions leading to more confusion and ill feeling and make every effort smooth out this bumpy episode.

A number of folks have commented about their reservations of contributing to the funding of the Health Center. My suggestion is: donate to the Health Center but target your donation to Dr. Apfel's discretionary fund which he uses to great effect when needed.

Sincerely, Fred Martin, Philo

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ON SUNDAY, October 12, 2014 at approximately 8:00 PM a concerned person reported to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office that a vehicle had been parked at a scenic overlook near Mile Marker 10.5 on South Highway 1 (Gualala, California) since at least 1:00 PM that afternoon. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded and found that the vehicle license plate indicated that the vehicle belongs to Akira Taniguchi, 38, of Newark, California, who was reported as missing from Newark on October 6, 2014. Deputies checked the area during darkness, and arranged for a more detailed search to take place during daylight on October 13, 2014. On Monday, October 13, 2014, Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's, assisted by members of the Redwood Coast Fire Department, as well as aerial and marine units of the United States Coast Guard, searched the area. No indication of Taniguchi's whereabouts was revealed and the search was concluded, unsuccessfully. Anyone with information regarding the location of Akira Taniguchi is requested to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 234-2100.

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by Malcolm Macdonald

Great Uncle John used to tote his gallon jug to Newgard's Store in Albion once a month to refill it with whiskey. In local election years he packed that jug to town every week.

One of the items that would drive him to take a snort this fall is a blurb recently released by an entity purporting to be “The Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee.” It seems odd this group would choose the moniker “Central Committee” because that term remains synonymous with the Communist parties of the Soviet Union and China.

This Mendocino County Central Committee appears to be nearly as moribundly power-centric as the central committees of Stalinist Russia. Here's the evidence: The Mendocino County Democratic Central Committe is made up of representatives from the five supervisorial districts. Districts 1, 2, and 5 claim a total of thirteen representatives. Districts 4 (essentially the Fort Bragg area) and District 3 (Willits, Leggett, Laytonville, and Round Valley) have a grand total of three representatives.

In other words this self-anointed power broker in Mendocino County politics can't garner more than a single person from the county's second largest city/town nor more than two souls from the city of Willits and the rest of the 101 corridor north and east through all of Round Valley. Readers might thus expect that “The Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee” would be sitting out this year's supervisorial election in the 3rd District or the Fort Bragg City Council race.

Take a sip, Uncle John, but be prepared to spit it up. The Central Committee has decreed that Holly Madrigal should succeed John Pinches in the 3rd District Supervisor's chair. And in Fort Bragg, with one Central Committeeman, Ric Martin, they have picked Heidi Kraut, Mark Iacuaniello, and Dave Turner for the three open City Council seats.

Apparently, no one in The Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee knows Iacuaniello well enough to spell his name correctly on their website. Interestingly, at some point this summer or early fall, Mark Iacuaniello was endorsed by the Green Party (who are capable of spelling his name). Somehow he became a Democrat in time for the Central Committee's endorsement.

Here's what appears to have happened at the endorsement get-together. The Dem's Central Committee doesn't just go by the recommendations of committee members in particular districts, so 5th District and Ukiah area Central Committee members essentially selected Madrigal. The Central Committee voted fairly close to unanimously to endorse the two incumbents (Dave Turner and Heidi Kraut) in the Fort Bragg City Council election. The vote to endorse Iacuaniello was extremely close, something like 6 for Iacuaniello and 5 for Peters. Jim Mastin, a likely Peters supporter, had to leave the proceedings early. The endorsement of Iacuaniello came, by and large, from Central Committee voters from over the hill who certainly can't be very well versed in Fort Bragg politics. Reportedly, at least two of the long time 5th District Central Committee stalwarts voted for Peters.

Why would Fort Bragg voters mindlessly heed the word of a couple of central committee men and women, all but one from outside their area? Because it's handed down as if from on high. This Central Committee would like the rest of us to believe that they speak for all Democrats.

I've been a registered Democrat in this county for nearly as long as Uncle John pulled a cork. I have never had a face to face conversation or received a phone call from anyone on this so called Central Committee other than Jeff Tyrell. The only other two I would even recognize on the street are Steven Antler and Patrick Pekin, because I have seen them while covering the Ten Mile Courthouse. Here are the only other names identified on this miniscule group's website: Judy Popowski (Chair), Helen Sizemore, Sally Webster, Mike Webster, Heidi Dickerson, Lois Lockhart, Irma Turner, Joe Louis Wildman, Cassandra Andich, Rachel Binah, Kenny Jowers, and Val Muchowski.

In a phone conversation, County Chair Judy Popowski made it clear that she would like to see more involvement in the Central Committee. Popowski stated that vacant positions in the third and fourth districts could be filled by appointment between now and the 2016 presidential election. At that time seats will be voted on by Mendocino County Democrats. This is probably dependent on whether the individual is deemed worthy of voting by the Central Committee.

Popowski sounded genuine in her desire to add new members. On the other hand, Steven Antler (also contacted by phone on Oct. 13th) got defensive very quickly when simply asked how the vote on the Fort Bragg City Council endorsement went down at the Central Committee. “Where's the conspiracy?” and words to that effect were repeated by him two or three times in a conversation of five minutes or less in which no one on the other end of the line had even hinted at anything like a conspiracy. “The lady doth protest too much,” comes to mind here.

As long as the non-involvement Popowski spoke about continues, this insular cabal will think they are the anointed decision makers. Either an infusion of new blood needs to come in and take over this stagnant committee or a more vibrant alternative group needs to spring up under a different name.

Even stone cold sober Uncle John might not kick at the Democratic Central Committee endorsement of the incumbents, Mayor Dave Turner and Councilmember Heidi Kraut, in Fort Bragg.

Then there's the endorsement of Mr. Iacuaniello. The Central Committee knew him so well they threw in an extra “n” and tossed out an “i” before plastering his name in their endorsement. As of the Central Committee endorsement, Mr. Iacuaniello had attended next to nada Fort Bragg City Council meetings, not a single Planning Commission meeting, and displayed a big fat zero percent interest in the Public Safety Committee or any other Fort Bragg City government meeting. Obviously, Iacuaniello/Iancuanello was just the man for the job.

Are you freakin' kidding me? Would any AVA reader write a recommendation for someone who had never shown any tangible interest in the job the recommendation was for?

There is a lifelong Democrat in the Fort Bragg City Council race. Lindy Peters campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 when he (Mr. Peters) was barely a teenager. That alone should get him a special dispensation from many of the members of the Central Committee. But no.

As reported here in the October 1st edition of the AVA, Bob Bushansky, the partner of outgoing Fort Bragg Councilmember Meg Courtney, appeared at a Fort Bragg City Council meeting in late September misquoting California election code regulations and implying that candidate Lindy Peters was merely a tool of realtor Paul Clark.

Peters successfully refuted Bushansky's false claims that night, but scarcely a week transpired before Peters' employer, radio station KUNK, received a letter demanding equal time for other Council candidates or removal of Peters from the airwaves until after the November election.

Anyone who has ever listened to Peters' early morning radio shows (he's been on the air locally for more than three decades) knows that Peters' program is filled with good and bad jokes, chats with the wait staff at The Home Style Cafe, music, and sports. Those who have been listening closely since Peters filed his papers for the City Council race in August can attest to the fact that Peters has not mentioned Fort Bragg politics on the air, even during local news spots. Peters has gone so far as to only state his own name at the opening and closing of his four hour show.

After the letter, signed by Ted Rabinowitz and Malia Elsner, arrived at the station, Peters contacted candidates Turner, Iacuaniello, and Mike Cimolino. All three stated they had no plans to contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ask for equal time. All three seemed to be unaware of the letter and fully aware of the true nature of Peters' radio show.

That leaves us with one other candidate, Heidi Kraut. She was aware of the letter and was considering asking for “equal time.” She later backed away from this request, but not before calling Peters an intimidating bully for daring to tell her (Kraut) that she might want to be careful what she wished for, in that if she did use KUNK radio air time to promote her candidacy then Peters would be entitled to use it himself in any creative manner that he, a radio professional, could come up with, right down to Colbert-like mockumentaries.

There is no clear evidence that any members of the Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee took part in the “equal time” letter, but those who did might best be seen as acorns lying underneath the oak tree. It appears that Peters is a very viable candidate, and the worst kind for the tight knit Mendo-Libbers who want to hold onto their tiny power base, the kind who thinks and acts for himself. What scarier being could there be for Mendo-Lib than a fellow Democrat who does his own thing?

Mendo-Lib wants to get both Heidi Kraut back on the Fort Bragg City Council and they want to lateral Meg Courtney's seat to Iacuaniello. Peters might easily defeat either one, so all that's left for the worst elements of Mendo-Lib is to sling as much mud against Peters' as possible in the hopes that some of it will stick in the minds of voters.

The next bit of chicanery came after a newspaper endorsed Peters' candidacy. Someone made up a Facebook identity, Tim Kaine (the real Tim Kaine is a US Senator from Virginia), in order to say, “Thought you weren't taking any [endorsements]. Confirms my vote goes to Turner, Kraut & iacuanello [the alleged “Kaine's” lack of capitalization, not an AVA typo].”

It is true that Peters had stated early in the campaign that he wasn't taking endorsements, but no candidate can stop newspapers from making public their preferences. Peters' statement was directed at not taking large donations or the personal endorsements of specific members of the Fort Bragg community. Readers should note that the 24-hour-old Facebook page of “Tim Kaine” made its own endorsement, exactly the same as that of the Democratic Central Committee.

From the ridiculous to the insane. The next slam on Peters stemmed from one Ed Oberweiser, who posted on the MCN Discussion List, “Lindy Peters is bad news for the ocean and our environment. He said during the candidate forum that he is in favor of a desalination plant and ‘mining the ocean for minerals.’ In other words fracking and drilling for oil.”

Probably the only way to correctly refute this bizarre, way out of left field, piece of shinola is to let candidate Peters' words speak for him. “The latest desperate attempt to defeat my candidacy claims I support offshore oil and fracking and urges anyone who loves the ocean and the environment to vote against me. Here is my response to a letter on the mcn list serve that made these false and slanderous claims:

Dear folks,

I was on the City Council when we developed an Ordinance to prevent onshore facilities for offshore oil. I attended every minute of the legendary 1987 Oil Hearings. To say I support offshore oil is almost laughable, but typical of the desperate attempts by my opponents to find SOMETHING to rally the troops against me. I am adamantly opposed to offshore oil. Let me say that again, I am adamantly OPPOSED to offshore oil. Ed, when I suggested the ocean has minerals, I was referring to ocean water! There are tons of trace minerals in seawater. If we could find a way to extract them in the desal process, it is a double winner. Why on earth would I want offshore oil rigs ruining the very water I want as our water source? Nice try though. These low blows keep coming. I support measure S. Let me say that again, I support Measure S!!

Vote for me and you will have an intelligent, effective OPPONENT OF OFFSHORE OIL!!!!!”

Mr. Peters said these kind of attacks are almost laughable. The key word there is “almost.” The Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee is almost a credible organization. They might become credible if they had more than 15 members or if they were infused with a lot of new blood, or if they and their named and unnamed co-conspirators stopped trying to spill the blood of fellow Democratic candidates. Mark Iacuaniello might almost be a credible candidate for the Fort Bragg City Council if he hadn't switched from the Green Party to the Democratic Party at the last minute in order to garner the endorsement of the next-to-nothing Central Committee. He might almost be a viable candidate if he had shown any public interest in Fort Bragg city government before September, 2014. Heidi Kraut has almost retained her credibility as a City Councilmember after her part in the “equal time” letter.

At this rate Uncle John ain't likely to cork his jug until well into November.

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OWNER OF UKIAH’S PALACE HOTEL gets another reprieve

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On 10-13-2014 at 12:35 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported burglary in the 23000 block of Reynolds Highway in Willits, California. The homeowner had arrived at the residence and observed a large U-Haul parked in front of their residence. The homeowner was able to see two male adults inside the U-Haul. The U-Haul left the area and the homeowner realized the residence had just been burglarized and there were several items that had been stolen. The homeowner attempted to locate the U-Haul but was unsuccessful. As Deputies were leaving the residence, a second report of a fresh burglary was reported in the 5300 block of Wild Iris Lane in Willits, California. Deputies arrived and spoke with this homeowner who advised he arrived at the home and observed a large U-Haul parked in his driveway. The homeowner spoke with two male adults, which matched the same physical description of the suspects in the Reynolds Highway burglary earlier in the day. Both male adults advised they were looking for an address and then drove off in the U-Haul prior to the homeowner entering their residence. Once inside the residence the homeowner discovered several items had been moved around but nothing appeared to be missing. At about 2:10 PM, Deputies received a report of a suspicious U-Haul on Muir Mill Road in Willits, California. A Deputy responded to the area and observed two male adults matching the physical descriptions from the previous burglaries seated inside a U-Haul. The U-Haul began driving towards the Deputy as he exited his vehicle to contact them. The U-Haul failed to stop, driving off at a high rate of speed causing the Deputy to jump out of the path of the U-Haul to prevent being struck. A second Deputy was approaching in a patrol vehicle and was able to conduct a traffic stop of the U-Haul. The U-Haul driver refused to exit the vehicle and the Deputy deployed his Taser for safety reasons. The U-Haul speed off again leading the Deputies on a pursuit along Baechtel Road to Holly Street and then southbound on Locust Street.

Woods, Hayes
Woods, Hayes

The U-Haul later stopped near the end of Locust Street, where both occupants fled on foot. During a search of the area, both occupants were located by two California Highway Patrol Officers who responded to the scene to assist in the search. The subjects were found hiding in a creek bed in the vicinity of the U-Haul. The subjects were identified as being Joshua Hayes, 43, of Arcata, and Solomon Woods, 40, of Eureka. A firearm was located inside the U-Haul that did not belong to any of the burglary victims. Hayes and Woods were arrested for Burglary, Assault on a Peace Officer, Ex-Felon with a firearm, Evading, Receiving Stolen Property, and Possession of Burglary tools and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where each was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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ON SUNDAY October 12, 2014 at approximately 1:42 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 44000 block of Foster Avenue in Laytonville, California to investigate a reported vandalism to a vehicle. Deputies contacted Vanessa Anne Winters, 34, of Laytonville in front of a downtown business near the apartment complex and observed that she was very intoxicated. Deputies noticed her face was swollen and there was dried blood around her nose and lips. The injuries appeared to have been caused by a physical assault and she told Deputies the injuries had been caused by her boyfriend. Believing Winters had been the victim of domestic violence, Deputies briefly detained her boyfriend who was at the apartment complex of the original call for service (Foster Avenue). Witness statements obtained at the apartment complex revealed Winters had deliberately caused the injuries to her face. Witness statements indicated Winters had pounded her face against a door frame and wall, possibly in order to cause her boyfriend to be arrested for domestic violence. Witness statements indicated Winters had also bit the boyfriend in the right bicep area and extinguished a cigarette on his head. As Winters left the apartment where the coupled lived, she vandalized a mirror on a vehicle of an uninvolved person, which prompted the original vandalism call for service. Winters was arrested for corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, falsely reporting a crime and vandalism. Winters was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

ED NOTE: Apartment complex? In Laytonville? Foster Avenue? Avenues in Laytonville?

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ON WEDNESDAY, October 8, 2014 at approximately 11:40 A.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to contact an employee of the United Parcel Service (UPS) regarding a theft of a package, which occurred on 10-06-2014 in the 32000 block of Pudding Creek Road in Fort Bragg, California. Deputies learned the suspect in the theft, Christofer McNeill, 18, of Fort Bragg, forged another person's signature to a UPS delivery employee to receive a package (XBox One game system) when it was delivered to McNeill's residence by mistake. The UPS employee that delivered that package later contacted McNeill in an attempt to recover the package and McNeill refused to cooperate, prompting the report to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies learned McNeill was on Felony Probation out of Mendocino County with an obey all laws clause. A subsequent search of McNeill's residence resulted in the recovery of the mistakenly delivered package. McNeill was placed under arrest for Forgery, Receiving Property as Result of False Personation], Violation of Probation and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on a No Bail status.

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ON THURSDAY October 9th at about 10:25 AM Ukiah Police received a report of a possible child neglect occurring within the City of Ukiah. Officers were told at about 9:50 AM, 31 year old Maia Oak Atkinson was found passed out in her room at a shared residence, and her 1 year old child was awake and crying.

Atkinson was found to have been drinking and was very intoxicated. Officers determined Atkinson had earlier left the child alone for approximately 1 hour. Atkinson was arrested for child abuse.

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ON SUNDAY, On October 12 at about 3:20 AM a Ukiah Police Officer was driving north in the 600 block of North Oak Street, and observed a vehicle stopped, facing south and straddling the roadway. The vehicle suddenly accelerated around the patrol vehicle squealing its tires, and drove east on Scott Street at a high rate of speed. The officer caught up to the vehicle as it stopped in the 500 block of North School Street and saw its headlights turn off. The officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and saw an open beer can in the console, and contacted the driver identified as 19 year old Michael Donavan Martinez Pearson. The officer noticed marijuana smoking paraphernalia in the vehicle, and Pearson stated he thought he was parked near Vinewood Park. The officer noticed Pearson had been drinking and asked him to exit the vehicle. Pearson responded by trying to start the vehicle, and he had to be removed from the driver’s seat to stop him from fleeing again. Pearson was found too intoxicated to drive and was arrested for DUI and possessing alcohol by a minor. A large number of unopened beers were located inside the trunk of the vehicle.

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ON TUESDAY, October 14, 2014 at 11:09 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the 45000 block of Highway 101 regarding an intoxicated subject causing a disturbance. When Deputies arrived at the location they contacted Anthony Coelho, 31, of Merlin Oregon, who was passed out in the driver's seat of a vehicle, which was running and also had its headlights on. During the initial contact with Deputies Coelho gave Deputies a false name (Craig Matthew Coelho), instead of his true name Anthony Coelho. Deputies learned Coelho did this due to having two warrants for his arrest out of the state or Oregon, and two warrants for his arrest out of Stanislaus County. All warrants were for drug violations. During their investigation Deputies also observed numerous hypodermic syringes inside Coelho's vehicle. During a search of the vehicle Deputies located a commercial quantity of Heroin (53 grams) underneath the driver's seat of the vehicle. Coelho was placed under arrest for Possession of a Controlled Substance-Narcotic, False Personation of Another and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail for the open charges and $100,000 bail for the four warrants.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 17, 2014

Bennett, Davis, Evans, Hughes, Mason
Bennett, Davis, Evans, Hughes, Mason

KENNETH BENNETT, Willits. Probation revocation.

CINDY DAVIS, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

WILLIAM EVANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, refusing to leave when asked.

BRANDON HUGHES, Sacramento/Comptche. Possession of meth for sale.

SUSAN MASON, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

Mora, Norton, Ruiz, Sefton
Mora, Norton, Ruiz, Sefton

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Failure to register.

NATHAN NORTON, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

BARAQUEL RUIZ, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, dirk-dagger, false ID, probation revocation.

MARGARET SEFTON, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

Tolman, Vrolijk, Williams, Wolfe
Tolman, Vrolijk, Williams, Wolfe

BRANDY TOLMAN, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of meth.

ANDREW VROLIJK, Ukiah. DUI, possession of meth, false ID.


JASON WOLFE, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

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AV Foodshed,

First I want to start off by saying thank you for all of your hard work in support of our community, and second I would like to apologize for Failing to do my part to support your efforts.

I was unable to fulfill my obligation at the Buckhorn on the days that I committed to your calendar, and even with the overwhelming list of excuses, there's no good one.

As a local small business we do our very best to support the community, and, when available and possible, we buy locally, but we probably could do more.

In an effort to help fulfill our commitment to the AV Foodshed, and the community we have enlisted Jared Titus as the Chef of The Buckhorn. He will be working hard to insure that we are locally represented for not only the remainder of October, but well beyond.

Thanks again for your hard work and support, but more for your forgiveness.


Tom Towey

The Buckhorn Boonville

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Saturday is the second to last Boonville Farmers' Market for this year. You can still bring your remaining apples, pears and grapes down to press into juice. Don't forget your containers for the juice to take home.

Next week after the final market there will be a potluck lunch.

There will be one Saturday off before the AV Foodshed Boonville Winter Market starts up in front of the Boonville General Store on Nov 8. On Saturday November 1, we hope you will attend the Zeni Chestnut Festival (article below.)

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On Sunday, please join us to celebrate ten years of supporting our farmers and local food in Anderson Valley. The AV Foodshed 10th Anniversary Party/Potluck is on Sunday Oct 19 at Lauren's Restaurant at 6 pm (flyer attached.) This is also an Abundance Gathering, so please bring any extra produce that you would like used by someone else. If you would like to return home with someone else's abundance, please bring a container.

Please remember to BYO your dishes and drinks. (The bar will be open for those who would rather purchase their beverage of choice, but the kitchen will be open only for washing our dishes.)

We will also have the Apple Press there for any who have fruit for juice. It will be set up outside, in the side parking area. For those who like to come with instrument in tow, “outside music to press by” would be nice.

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To clear up some confusion: The fundraising dinner at the Buckhorn on Tue Oct 21 is not a fundraiser for AV Foodshed. Our fundraiser is Sunday Oct 26 at the Hotel.

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The Boonville Hotel and Table 128 present:

~ A Dinner to Benefit

Anderson Valley Foodshed ~

In Celebration of

Local Farmers and Local Food!

Sunday October 26th

Featuring food and drink

sourced entirely from Anderson Valley

Appetizers at 4:30, Dinner at 5:30

$55- $125 Sliding Scale

(Includes 4 course meal, wine, beverage, tax and gratuity)

Please Call 895-2210 * space is limited

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Local Heritage chicken available fresh now!

Barred Plymouth Rock cockerels just culled from my breeding flock.

Fed organic grain and pastured in organic orchards, birds are 4-5# and $5.50/#.

Available fresh at The Apple Farm til Monday 10/20 and frozen after that if any are left.

Call Sophia 684-0028 day or 894-8520 eves or to arrange pick up.

I will also hatching chicks from this flock for sale in spring of 2015. The birds I am raising come from stock selectively bred in a concerted effort to bring back the productive characteristics these heritage breeds were once famous for, when the poultry industry still raised birds outside. They were bred to thrive on pasture and produce lots of high quality eggs and meat! For more on reviving heritage breeds check out

— Sophia Bates

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Chestnut Gathering — Saturday, November 1, 2014

Mendocino Permaculture's 33rd Annual Chestnut Gathering and George Zeni Memorial Potluck will be held at the Zeni Ranch from 10 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. Our event has now grown into the Zeni Chestnut Festival.

The Zeni's 100 year-old dry-farmed seedling trees are a testament to the sustainability of tree crops.

Pick your own fresh chestnuts off the ground for $3.50/lb. De-burring the chestnuts on the ground is easier with good boots and gloves. Zeni sells the de-burred clean chestnuts for $4.50/lb.

Schedule of Events

10:30 am to 4 pm: Chestnut gathering and roasting over the open fire

11 am: Tour of the ranch by the Zenis

12:30 pm: Potluck and music, show and tell of local self-sufficiency

1 pm: Discussion on what this year has taught us; best fruit and nuts

2 to 4 pm: Chestnuts, music, taste the harvest

Please bring: Potluck dish (oven available), made from local ingredients if possible, and your cup, plate, napkins and utensils.

Bring your wine, fruit, nut, or vegetable harvests to show us what works for you. Demonstration tables will be available.

Bring cuttings of fruit plants to share: this is the season to start cuttings of some easy-to-root hardwood plants. Starting early means no inputs except the rain. Bring labeled, de-leafed cuttings (leave the leaf stem on) of these plants: olive, grape, fig, pomegranate, quince, mulberry, kiwi, goji, currant, gooseberry, cherry plum, roses.

Directions: The Zeni Ranch is at mile marker 15.6 on Fish Rock Road (County Highway 122). From Coast Highway 1, junction of Fish Rock (5 miles north of Gualala), go 15.5 miles east. From Highway 128 and Fish Rock Road the junction is at marker 36.56, about 7.7 miles east of the Highway 256/128 junction, or 4.7 miles west of Yorkville, then go 13 miles on Fish Rock Road to marker 15.6. Using odometer and mile markers, it's an easy and enjoyable slow drive through a most beautiful and very remote part of the county.

For information call Mark Albert 462-7843, Barbara & Rob Goodell 895-3897, or Jane Zeni 895-2309.

For more information about the Zeni Ranch, see their website:

Our 2015 Winter Abundance Workshop — Scion and Seed Exchange will be held Saturday, Jan 31, 2015 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville.

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* * *

THE CHP'S SOCO SPOKESMAN, Jon Sloat, announced Thursday that the Gualala teenager who crashed a friend’s car along Highway One near The Sea Ranch in June, killing himself, his brother and his cousin, had been drinking but was not legally impaired at the time of the crash.

SLOAT said the early morning June 29 accident that killed driver Jhovani Gonzalez-Marquez, 18, of The Sea Ranch, his younger brother, Aron Gonzalez-Marquez, 14, and cousin, Jason Alanis Marquez, 18, of Gualala, was probably caused by excessive speed on a stretch of unfamiliar road. “The cause has been determined to be a moving violation because we can’t prove impairment,” Sloat said. “We’ll really never know if (alcohol) had to do with the crash.”

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Jagged jigsaw pieces

Tossed about the room

I saw my grandma sweeping

With her old straw broom

She didn't know what she was doing

She could hardly understand

That she was really sweeping up..

Pieces of a man


I saw my daddy greet the mailman

And I heard the mailman say

“Now don't you take this letter to heart now Jimmy

Cause they've laid off nine others today”

He didn't know what he was saying

He could hardly understand

That he was only talking to

Pieces of a man


I saw the thunder and heard the lightning!

And felt the burden of his shame

And for some unknown reason

He never turned my way


Pieces of that letter

Were tossed about that room

And now I hear the sound of sirens

Come knifing through the gloom

They don't know what they are doing

They could hardly understand

That they're only arresting

Pieces of a man


I saw him go to pieces

I saw him go to pieces

He was always such a good man

He was always such a strong man

Yeah, I saw him go to pieces

I saw him go to pieces

— Gil Scott Heron

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by Russell Brand

When travelling in impoverished regions in galling luxury, as I have done, you have to undergo some high-wire ethical arithmetic to legitimize your position. If you can’t geographically separate yourself from poverty, then you have to do it ideologically. You have to believe inequality is OK. You have to accept the ideas that segregate us from one another and nullify your human instinct for fairness.

Edward Slingerland, a professor of ancient Chinese philosophy at Stanford University, demonstrated this instinct to me with the use of hazelnuts. As we spoke, there was a bowl of them on the table. “Russell,” he said, scooping up a handful, “we humans have an inbuilt tendency towards fairness. If offered an unfair deal, we will want to reject it. If I have a huge bowl of nuts and offer you just one or two, how do you feel?”

The answer was actually quite complex. Firstly, I dislike hazelnuts, considering them to be the verminous tidbits of squirrels. Secondly, they were my hazelnuts anyway; we were in my house. Most pertinently though, I felt that it was an unfair offering when he had so many nuts. He explained that human beings and even primates have an instinct for fairness even in situations where this instinct could be seen as detrimental. “You still have more nuts now than before,” he chirped, failing to acknowledge that all the nuts and indeed everything in the entire house belonged to me.

We then watched a clip on YouTube where monkeys in adjacent cages in a university laboratory perform the same task for food. Monkey A does the task and gets a grape – delicious. Monkey B, who can see Monkey A, performs the same task and is given cucumber – yuck. Monkey B looks pissed off but eats his cucumber anyway. The experiment is immediately repeated and you can see that Monkey B is agitated when his uptown, up-alphabet neighbor is again given a grape. When he is presented with the cucumber this time, he is furious – he throws it out the cage and rattles the bars. I got angry on his behalf and wanted to give the scientist a cucumber in a less amenable orifice. I also felt a bit pissed off with Monkey A, the grape-guzzling little bastard. I’ve not felt such antipathy towards a primate since that one in Raiders of the Lost Ark with the little waistcoat betrayed Indy.

Slingerland explained, between great frothing gobfuls of munched hazelnut, that this inherent sense of fairness is found in humans everywhere, but that studies show that it’s less pronounced in environments where people are exposed to a lot of marketing. “Capitalist, consumer culture inures us to unfairness,” he said. That made me angry.

When I was in India, a country where wealth and poverty share a disturbing proximity, I felt a discomfort in spite of being in the exalted position of Monkey A. Exclusive hotels require extensive, in fact military, security. As we entered the five-star splendor through the metal detectors, past the armed guards, I realized that if this was what was required in order to preserve this degree of privilege, it could not be indefinitely sustained.

These devices that maintain division are what my friend Matt Stoller focused on when I asked him what ideas he had that would change the world. I first met Matt in Zuccotti Park, Manhattan, in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011. Matt understands power: at the time, he worked as a policy-wonk for a Democratic congressman and his days were spent in the cogs of the lumbering Washington behemoth. Beneath his cherubic, hay-colored curls and proper job, he detested the system he was trapped in.

Since then, he has regularly prized apart the clenched and corrupt buttocks of American politics and allowed me to peer inside at its dirty workings. I asked Matt for ideas that would aid the revolution; his response was, as usual, startling and almost proctologically insightful. “No more private security for the wealthy and the powerful,” he said. I nervously demanded he explain himself. He did: “One economist argued in 2005 that roughly one in four Americans are employed to guard in various forms the wealth of the rich. So if you want to get rid of rich and poor, get rid of guard labor.”

This may be the point in the article where you start shouting the word “hypocrite”. Don’t think I’m unaware of the inevitability of such a charge. I know, I know. I’m rich, I’m famous, I have money, I have had private security on and off for years. There is no doubt that I as much as anyone have to change. Revolution is change. I believe in change, personal change most of all. Know, too, that I have seen what fame and fortune have to offer and I know it’s not the answer. Of course, I have to change as an individual and part of that will be sharing wealth, though without systemic change, that will be a sweet, futile gesture.

Now let’s get back to Matt Stoller, banning private security and ensuring that I’ll have to have my own fist fights next time I’m leaving the Manchester Apollo.

“The definition of being rich means having more stuff than other people. In order to have more stuff, you need to protect that stuff with surveillance systems, guards, police, court systems and so forth. All of those somber-looking men in robes who call themselves judges are just sentinels whose job it is to convince you that this very silly system in which we give Paris Hilton as much as she wants while others go hungry is good and natural and right.”

This idea is extremely clever and highlights the fact that there is exclusivity even around the use of violence. The state can legitimately use force to impose its will and, increasingly, so can the rich. Take away that facility and societies will begin to equalize. If that hotel in India was stripped of its security, they’d have to address the complex issues that led to them requiring it.

“These systems can be very expensive. America employs more private security guards than high-school teachers. States and countries with high inequality tend to hire proportionally more guard labor. If you’ve ever spent time in a radically unequal city in South Africa, you’ll see that both the rich and the poor live surrounded by private security contractors, barbed wire and electrified fencing. Some people have nice prison cages, and others have not so nice ones.”

Matt here, metaphorically, broaches the notion that the rich, too, are impeded by inequality, imprisoned in their own way. Much like with my earlier plea for you to bypass the charge of hypocrisy, I now find myself in the unenviable position of urging you, like some weird, bizarro Jesus, to take pity on the rich. It’s not an easy concept to grasp, and I’m not suggesting it’s a priority. Faced with a choice between empathizing with the rich or the homeless, by all means go with the homeless.

He continues: “Companies spend a lot of money protecting their CEOs. Starbucks spent $1.4m. Oracle spent $4.6m. One casino empire – the Las Vegas Sands – spent $2.45m. This money isn’t security so much as it is designed to wall these people off from the society they rule, so they never have to interact with normal people under circumstances they may not control. If you just got rid of this security, these people would be a lot less willing to ruthlessly prey on society.”

Matt here explains that at the pinnacle of our problem are those that benefit most from the current hegemony. The executors of these new empires that surpass nation. The logo is their flag, the dollar is their creed, we are all their unwitting subjects.

“People can argue about the right level of guard labor. You conceivably could still have public police, but their job should be to help protect everyone, not just a special class. If you got rid of all these private systems, or some of these systems of surveillance and coercive guarding of property, you’d have a lot less inequality. And powerful and wealthy people would spend a lot more time trying to make sure that society was harmonious, instead of just hiring their way out of the damage they can create.”

Matt’s next idea to create a different world was equally cunning and revolutionary: get rid of all titles. “Mr. President. Ambassador. Admiral. Senator. The honorable. Your honor. Captain. Doctor. These are all titles that capitalism relies on to justify treating some people better than other people.”

Matt is an American, so when it comes to deferring to the entitled, he is, let’s face it, an amateur compared with the British. Look at me, simpering to Professor Slingerland. I can’t wait to prostrate myself before his scepter of diplomas. Plus we’ve got a bloody royal family. What’s he going to say about that?

“One of the most remarkable things you learn when you work in a position of political influence is just how much titles separate the wealthy and the politicians from citizens. Ordinary people will use a title before addressing someone, and that immediately makes that ordinary person a supplicant, and the titled one a person of influence. Or if both have titles, then there’s upper-class solidarity. Rank, hierarchy, these are designed to create a structure whereby power is shaped in the very act of greeting someone.”

I’m getting angry again. Matt’s right! Titles are part of the invisible architecture of our social structure. I’m never using one again. If I ever see Slingerland in the street, I shall alert him by hollering: “Oi, fuck-face!” and then throw a hazelnut at him.

What does Matt propose?

“One thing you can do to negate this power is to be firm but respectful, and address anyone and everyone by their last name. Mr., Ms. or Mrs. is all the title you should ever need. This allows you to treat everyone as your equal, and it shows everyone that they should treat you as their equal.”

This is a provocative suggestion – particularly to those of us who live in monarchies. I mean, in England, we have a queen. A queen! We have to call her things like “your majesty”. YOUR MAJESTY! Like she’s all majestic, like an eagle or a mountain. She’s just a person. A little old lady in a shiny hat – that we paid for. We should be calling her Mrs. Windsor. In fact, that’s not even her real name, they changed it in the war to distract us from the inconvenient fact that they were as German as the enemy that teenage boys were being encouraged, conscripted actually, to die fighting. Her actual name is Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha!! No wonder they changed it. It’s the most German thing I’ve ever heard – she might as well have been called Mrs. Bratwurst-Kraut-Nazi.

Titles have got to go.

I’m not calling her “your highness” or “your majesty” just so we can pretend there isn’t and hasn’t always been an international cabal of rich landowners flitting merrily across the globe, getting us all to kill each other a couple of times a decade. From now on she’s Frau Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Come on, Frau Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, it’s time for you to have breakfast with Herr Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. And you can make it yerselves. And by the way, we’re nicking this castle you’ve been dossing in and giving it to 100 poor families.

Actually, you can stay if you want, they’ll need a cleaner. You’ll have to watch your lip, Herr Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, some of ’em ain’t white.

We British have much to gain from Matt’s titleless utopia.

He continues: “If this became common, you’d shortly see sputtering rage from the powerful, and increased agitation from the erstwhile meek. People need to mark their dominance; that is the essence of highly unequal capitalism. If they can’t do so, if they aren’t allowed to be dominant, to be shown as being dominant, then the system cannot long be sustained.”

Matt’s ideas are like the schemes of a cackling supervillain from a Bond movie. At first, they seem innocuous, but then they elegantly unravel the fabric of society. He suggests we start now: “This is something that anyone and everyone can act on, a tiny act of rebellion that takes no money, influence or social status. You just need courage, and every human has that.”

(This is an edited extract from “Revolution” by Russell Brand, published by Cornerstone.)


  1. Jeff Costello October 18, 2014

    Re “The Last Free Ride” movie: the complete movie, one version or another, is available somewhere on youtube. The reenactment of the first houseboat battle in this clip is just that…it SORT OF shows how it was but the real thing with Marin County sheriffs was much nastier.

  2. Lazarus October 18, 2014

    That Palace Hotel business is akin to the Van Hotel in Willits. Your buddy Holly Madrigal and her pals on the city Council have fumbled and bumbled that ball for years. These deadbeat owners should suffer the harshest consequences the law allows for letting their trash little the Mains Streets of the County. If a residential owner let his place fall to ruin in a swanky neighborhood there would be hell to pay, I’ve seen the WFD burn deadbeat house to the ground for practice…in Willits.

    • Bruce Anderson October 18, 2014

      The Van Hotel was derelict before Holly was born. The owners of both properties should have been eminent domained long ago, Laz.

      • Lazarus October 18, 2014

        Not relevant, she and the other council members have had numerous chances to nail Ted…the owner… since she took office, and took a pass, and then there’s the Carlton Apts…most recent. Granted the spatter has a far reach, decades, but cone on…
        She and the others were/are too busy suing Brooktrails, upping water and sewer rates and taking credit for what the staff is doing, absolutely no plan for downtown after the bypass either…….look it up, and sadly Ukiah is no better.

  3. Rick Weddle October 18, 2014

    re: key word, ‘almost’
    My late favorite uncle was a loud-mouthed atheist in a family of fundamentalist ‘christians.’ I witnessed him, several times, skewering opponents in heated debates about religion with a quote from some ancient luminary of faith (it was some big wheel in the god business…St. Augustine, or one of those guys). The statement went something like, ‘Heaven is the One Complete Goodness; Hell is the semblance thereof.’ The point was similar to the quaint adage about ‘close’ being good enough only in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear explosive devices. This qualifier, ‘almost,’ has become ominously useful in this, our lofty ‘civilization.’ Almost laughable…almost credible…almost a democratic republic…we Humans almost survived our fondness for, and faith in our own artifacts (like horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear explosive devices). Too often, this little six-letter word can be more accurately replaced with a shorter one: ‘NOT.’

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