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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014

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National Weather Service, Eureka, CA
4:30 am PST, Mon, Nov 10, 2014
for Redwood Coast & Mendocino Coast...

Long period waves generated from a potent storm across the North Pacific will arrive at NW California Beaches on Tuesday. However, the bulk of this wave energy will pass through the open Pacific toward South America. We will continue to monitor this wave train as it begins to pass buoys in the North Pacific and assess any threat for sneaker waves as more information becomes available.

A potent storm will move into NW California late Wednesday into Thursday. This will bring widespread rain with storm totals up to 2 to 3 inches possible over prone areas. Winds may also become gusty along coastal ridges just ahead of frontal passage.

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BEFORE I COMMENCE RAGGING on DA Eyster, I'll say I think he's done a good job, even a brave job considering his break-through pot prosecution policy, which has earned Eyster a lot of threats from the feds. Instead of running all the pot people through the system, Eyster settles for fines and misdemeanors with felony prosecutions for repeat offenders. No other DA in the state, or the country for that matter, takes this commonsense stance, a stance that makes the taxpayers some money instead of throwing public money to the court system.

SO, LIKE, why's the DA nickel-nosing the Supes for reimbursement for a portion ($50 monthly) of his personal cell phone use? And will the Supes fork over? Probably. After all, they forked over millions when they blithely privatized mental health services in one of the shadier public deals to go down recently in Roll-Me-Over and Do-It-Again Mendocino County.

Dr. & Mrs. Keegan
Dr. & Mrs. Keegan

THIS WEEK MARKS the 4th anniversary of the murder of Susan Keegan, a murder clearly committed by her husband, Dr. Peter Keegan, a Ukiah doctor. Which, I daresay, is why the killer has not been prosecuted, because, “Gosh, Miss Poppins, doctors don't kill people, do they?”

IF, SAY, Tweeker Joe had been found with a dead wife in his house, offering only the transparently false explanation for the wounds, plural, on the top of his wife's head, “Um, Duh, she was drunk and fell down in the bathroom,” Tweeker Joe would have been packed off to the state pen about 6 months later. But Dr. Keegan, after a hurry-up cremation of his wife's remains after a cursory autopsy by the incompetent and discredited Dr. Jason Trent, almost immediately went out and hired himself an ace criminal defense attorney, one more of his many guilt indicators, given that he claims his wife of 30 years simply died of a bathroom fall. Your wife dies and you hire a criminal defense guy? But Tweeker Joe can't pay for a defense, so Tweeker Joe gets the Public Defender, meaning Linda Thompson, meaning Tweeker Joe goes directly to jail whether or not he did it.

SO, WHY NO PROSECUTION of Doctor Keegan even with his wife's death certificate reading HOMICIDE?

ABOUT HERE we find ourselves at the ballpark. Won-loss records. Glorious prosecutorial win streaks. Because the DA might lose the Keegan case, there's no prosecution. Of course an attorney as good as Keith Faulder can hang even the most conscientious jury. All he has to do is convince a single juror of reasonable doubt, although in this case there really isn't any because the killer, Doctor Keegan, merely accuses his wife, post-mortem, of alcoholism and pill popping when she's conveniently dead. (In living fact, Susan Keegan got up every day and did stuff. Drunks and druggers don't keep appointments.)

THERE HASN'T EVEN BEEN a public announcement out of the DA's office that there won't be a prosecution, which we translate as major guilt feeling in the DA's office that they're letting Dr. Keegan get away with murder. The DA seems to hope we'll all just forget that this woman was bludgeoned to death.


(WE'VE ATTACHED the long version of the Keegan story for those of you who came in late. In our opinion, it represents one of the more grotesque miscarriages of justice in recent Mendocino County history.)

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[AVA, November 9, 2011]

Was Susan Keegan Murdered A Year Ago?

by Bruce Anderson

Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster said, “No comment” last week when he was asked if the investigation into the untimely and improbable death of Susan Keegan a year ago November 11th was ongoing. Eyster's terse refusal to discuss the status of the case seems to mean that Mrs. Keegan's unlikely end is indeed a matter of continuing attention by law enforcement. Additional evidence of an ongoing investigation occurred on June 15th of this year when the Keegan home was subjected to a forensics raid. The results of the June visit by a team that included outside specialists are not known, but the fact that there was enough preliminary evidence that Mrs. Keegan may not have died the way her husband said she died satisfied a judge that there were grounds for an additional search of the home at 120 Whitmore.

Soon after his wife's death, Dr. Peter Keegan hired the formidable Ukiah criminal defense attorney, Keith Faulder.

One of the Ukiah Valley’s most active and popular figures, Mrs. Keegan was a vivacious and active 55 years old when she was found dead in the bathroom of her Whitmore Lane home in South Ukiah.

The shock of the terrible news had no sooner ricocheted through the Ukiah Valley than a unanimous disbelief set in: Susan Keegan could not have died the way she was said to have died.

By noon Thursday, on the perfect late fall day of November 11th, the most prevalent story of Mrs. Keegan's death sometime late the previous night or early on the 11th, went like this:

“Susan was drunk and on drugs when she fell in her bathroom, hit her head and died. Her husband, Dr. Peter Keegan, found her about 7:00 in the morning.”

According to sources close to the investigation, a neatly arrayed tableau of the painkiller medication Vicodin, a couple of marijuana roaches and a glass of whiskey were found on Mrs. Keegan’s nightstand. The fatal injury was described as “blunt force trauma to the head.”

Mrs. Keegan had never been seen drunk or seriously impaired, although her circle of close friends knew she smoked marijuana and enjoyed the occasional cocktail. As active as she was in the small community of Ukiah someone certainly would have noticed the telltale signs of uncontrolled substance use — the permanently flushed face and broken veins of hard drinking, the missed appointments, whole days spent incommunicado. Instead, Susan’s friends and family saw the same steady, reliable, prudent woman they’d always seen, rather more matronly in her middle age, but a person whose personal behavior was unchanged over the years.

The only person who would say that Susan Keegan was a clandestine substance abuser was her husband, and he’d only begun saying that to his wife’s best friends and family about the same time he’d told Susan that he wanted out of their 32 years of marriage.

Which was early in October of 2010.

There hadn’t been a word from the doctor about Mrs. Keegan’s sudden descent into dipsomania and indiscriminate pill popping until a month before the doctor found her dead in their shared home. The couple had traveled together that summer, and the people they visited saw nothing amiss in their relationship. Prior to October, the doctor had made no mention of his wife’s alleged dependence on opiates.

Both Keegans were well known in Ukiah, so well known you could say that they were synonymous with the town, the proverbial pillars come to life. Parents of two grown sons, the Keegans had lived in Ukiah for many years. Dr. Keegan had functioned as family doctor “to half the town one time or another,” as a former patient put it, while his wife Susan fashioned a social and professional life that ranged from work as a newspaper reporter, English teacher at Mendocino College, head of the local American Cancer Society, to after-hours commitments to a book club, a singing group, and the area's amateur theater troupes.

In early October, Mrs. Keegan's husband of 32 years had told his wife he wanted a divorce. The demand had surprised Mrs. Keegan, but it hadn't plunged her into the immobilized depression that often paralyzes a spouse caught unawares. Susan wasn’t one for self-pity. She immediately began to plan a new life for herself.

Susan had written a friend, “Things have been bad here, at least for me. It is hard to have a choice made for you, especially one as big as this, and with what seems to me to be no warning.”

Dr. Keegan had had a heart attack the year before his surprise announcement that he wanted out of his marriage. Mrs. Keegan had pushed him to get medical care and urged him to make some lifestyle changes; the doctor told friends he was grateful for his wife's help and support. But Susan had also told her closest friends that he could be moody, and the couple’s marriage had survived a rough patch of marital turbulence a decade prior. The heart attack seemed to remind Peter of his mortality, and his behavior became more erratic in ways described by the catch phrase “mid-life crisis.” By the last month of Susan’s life, the doctor had become impossible.

Susan told a friend, “Much venom has come my way…. He has these brain stutters from time to time, and this feels very like the others. They are not fun.”

Alarmed at Susan’s accounts of the verbal abuse heaped on her by her husband, himself a heavy pot smoker, at least three of Susan’s close friends offered her the sanctuary of their homes.

“I am feeling,” Susan wrote of her life with Peter, “like he is trying to push me out, so I am not going anywhere. Besides, I have the play [Hamlet at Mendocino College] and there are rehearsals almost every day now, so going away is not going to happen for me….”

Talking about Peter’s calls to family and friends telling them that he was the victim in the relationship, that it was his wife’s descent into alcohol and drugs that had forced him into the divorce courts, Susan had written, “Don’t be surprised if Peter calls you soon. He is very concerned about ‘who knows’ and has already contacted others to get his story in first…this feels very familiar — we’ve been here many times. This time, however, the boys are grown and I don’t feel at all threatened. At some level, he is giving me a very easy out if I want to take it. I am worried about him tho — I don’t believe he really wants a divorce, and I know he would be devas¬tated by any divorce settlement. I like the counselor, and she saw Peter years ago. He picked her, and I think he showed himself clearly enough in our first session that she can see a bit of where this is coming from. If after 32 years of marriage he can’t think of anything he likes about me, that says way more about him than it does about me. I am hopeful that she can reach him and find some way to get him to see what he is doing. If not, a divorce would not devastate me. Sometimes it seems like an easy way out. Thanks for offering your place to stay. I am relying on my friends to get me through this, and so far, that is working well. I am sad, angry, feeling betrayed and more, but I don’t feel threatened. I will get through this just fine. I am, however, worried about Peter, who is feeling very alone, abused and unwanted. I don’t know if I can take care of him any longer, but I do think he needs help. Hopefully, the counselor will be able to be his friend.”

Meanwhile, the doctor was telling mutual friends and family that the problem was all Susan, that not only was she drinking heavily and promiscuously popping Vicodin pills, she was denying him access to the marital bed. The suffering husband even complained that Susan hadn’t been leaving his newspapers neatly folded and ready to read when he returned from his two days a week at the Round Valley Health Center in Covelo.

Susan, under the enormous pressure of suddenly being faced with life on her own, had carried on. In the week before she died, she had performed in a Mendocino College production of Hamlet, had hosted a cast party at her home for which she’d done all the cooking, put in an unknown number of hours on her contract job with Breathe California, attended a rehearsal with her vocal group, enjoyed a Tai Chi class, and had even found the time to bring a sick friend a container of turkey soup.

And on the last day of her life, Susan Keegan had attended a 9am art class, and then enjoyed a leisurely lunch with a good friend. By four that afternoon she was driving south on 101 to meet two close friends in Santa Rosa for a working dinner.

The Santa Rosa friends had offered to help Susan assess her looming new financial situation as a divorced, single woman. Susan hadn’t wanted a divorce but her husband was insistent, and now she needed to determine exactly how much money she would have to begin her new life.

At her friends’ Santa Rosa home, Susan had one drink at about 5:30pm. They enjoyed a dinner and then sat down to go over Susan’s finances.

“It was a serious working evening,” one of the friends recalls. “We had that one drink before dinner and that was it. She was tired but focused and engaged. There was nothing about her behavior that was unusual or self-destructive.”

As the friends walked Susan out to her car, Susan commented on their garden. “She'd noticed that the lilies in our pond were still blooming, and she’d said how beautiful they were. A depressed person wouldn’t have noticed.”

It was 9pm when Susan headed back to her home in South Ukiah, a drive of about an hour from Santa Rosa.

The next morning she was dead.

Dr. Keegan told police he'd noticed that “all the lights in her bedroom were on.” When he went into the bathroom adjoining his wife’s room, Susan was on the floor with an apparently lethal gash to the rear of her head. When the police arrived, the doctor told them that his wife had a drinking problem, and that she was also prone to taking Vicodin, an opiate designed for the relief of physical pain. The doctor speculated to police that his wife had probably become so impaired by a combination of the Irish whiskey she preferred and the Vicodin that she’d fallen in her bathroom, hit her head and died.

In other words, at the end of a busy evening in Santa Rosa, and with her usual full day ahead of her the next morning, Mrs. Keegan had arrived home at ten at night to wash down prescription medication with enough alcohol to transform her into a staggering, accidental death.

“I’d never even seen Susan stumble,” says a close friend, “and are you telling me she comes home in the middle of the night and commences to get so loaded she is falling down drunk? And how convenient. She falls hard enough and hits her head in just the right place to kill her.”

The Keegans weren’t sharing a bedroom at that terminal point in their deteriorating relationship. He lived at one end of their modest ranch-style house, she at the other. He said he hadn't heard any sounds from his wife's end of the home the previous night.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department determined that the injury to Mrs. Keegan's head could have been sustained by a fall but they were careful to take a blood sample which has still not been made public. Four months is a long time for a toxicology report, and a year after a highly suspicious death is a very long time to complete an investigation into that death.

Mrs. Keegan's friends are unanimous that she had never been a heavy drinker, although they acknowledge she was a pot smoker and used prescription painkillers periodically. “If she had two drinks in one night that would have been a lot for her,” a friend says. “This lady got up every morning and did things. There was nothing in her everyday behavior that even hinted that she would go home at night and get bombed.”

The only person who claimed Mrs. Keegan was a secret drunk was her husband, and he'd only begun saying that right about the same time he'd begun telling mutual friends that he couldn't go on living with a person who drank so heavily and used so many narcotics.

Dr. Peter Keegan was much less socially engaged than his wife, but he enjoyed a reputation as a pleasant, affable man who’d become mildly notorious a few years ago as one of the public faces of marijuana on the advocacy end of the issue. For a while he advertised himself as a go-to guy for medical marijuana prescriptions. But he could be volatile. A Ukiah politician remembers the doctor “going completely off at a meeting of the Ukiah Planning Commission when we were discussing an ordinance against backyard grows. He was yelling so loudly people could hear him out in the hall, and came into the chambers to see what was going on.” Dr. Keegan took his marijuana very seriously.

Lately, the doctor has had his own problems. He’d been working at the Round Valley Indian Health Center in Covelo, where a few weeks before his wife’s sudden death, he’d been placed on suspended status because of an error he’d made having to do with an errant prescription, the wrong medicine for a patient unable to safely consume it. Dr. Keegan’s personal physician, Dr. Gary DeCrona of Ukiah, then arranged for Keegan to be placed on state disability, which pays the suspended doctor a portion of his salary while he’s not practicing. Susan wrote to a friend, “His point was that this will greatly reduce spousal support, since he won't be making his regular salary.” The doctor has since returned to his work in Covelo.

The news of their pending separation had surprised everyone, and over the next few weeks Susan told friends and family that her husband had become more and more verbally abusive. When he learned that his wife was entitled to half their assets in their divorce, the doctor was said to have become even more unpleasant to his wife, worse than unpleasant, “ballistic,” was how Susan described his reaction to a friend.

Apparently, Dr. Keegan hadn't known that in California the wife gets half.

The couple had been seeing both a marriage counselor and a divorce mediator. At a meeting with the marriage counselor, Susan told close friends the counselor had asked Peter Keegan to name the “good things” about his wife.

The doctor paused and then said he couldn’t think of one.

Susan told another close friend, “He’s doing everything he can to be mean to me and to hurt me. He unrealistically wants this divorce over by Christmas. He wants it all to be over right now. He just can’t wait to be rid of me.”

Another friend remembers becoming worried when Susan told her, “He comes into my room without knocking, he reads my e-mail, he belittles me, and he's been reading my journals and making fun of the personal things he's found there.”

Peter could be manic, acquaintances say, but there was never anything manic about Susan. From all accounts she was unvaryingly the same person — sensible and careful, the last person who would suddenly become a clandestine substance abuser.

An attractive woman whose appearance in middle age can fairly be described as sedate without seeming stolid, Susan was adopted as an infant by a New York couple named Ettinger. Her adoptive father survives her as does her birth mother, Jeanne Russo. Always a good student, Susan was a champion debater and briefly attended Radcliffe College. After becoming a couple, Peter Keegan and Susan headed west in the middle 1970s, settling first in the Potrero District of San Francisco, then in Ukiah. Susan subsequently earned a master’s degree in English literature from Sonoma State University. “Always the smartest person in the room,” Susan was a voracious reader, perhaps the single most committed patron of the Ukiah public library who liked to start every morning with the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Susan’s memorial service at Ukiah’s United Methodist Church drew nearly 300 people. Mourners could not help but notice that Doctor Keegan was not among the speakers and had sat on the opposite side of the hall from his two sons. He did not seem sad.

Asked about his behavior, a mutual friend of Peter’s and Susan’s said: “His demeanor? He acted like some guy hosting a dinner party. If he was grieving he was doing it his own way.”

A family member who attended the service asked Peter if he was indeed grieving. He purportedly replied, “I’m not grieving now, I grieved before, when I realized the person I once loved was gone.”

Peter, in the weeks before his wife's death, had been telling friends things like, “Susan used to be the smartest person I knew, but the drugs destroyed that.” Everyone else, however, said that Susan's considerable intellectual abilities were as sharp as ever to the day she died.

Immediately after his wife’s death, the doctor seemed almost jubilant. He soon had a personal trainer at the Redwood Health Club in Ukiah, spent many hours bicycling around the Ukiah Valley, took up social danc¬ing, and told a friend that “life is much better and improving all the time.”

He also opened a Facebook page on which he wrote that he was a widower “looking for friendship” and “interested in women.” But an acquaintance is quick to point out that anyone joining Facebook answers the same questions about marital status. Still, an on-line post days after your wife of 32 years has died strikes most people as at least unseemly. The doctor’s page was soon revised to portray himself as less available because he is known to be seeing a much younger Ukiah woman.

When Dr. Keegan appeared at the Sheriff’s Department to meet with Sgt. Poma to review the Coroner’s report on his wife’s death, his demeanor was described as “uncooperative and kind of belligerent.”

Some of Susan’s friends and family have pooled their resources to hire their own private investigator. They refuse to believe that Susan's death was an accident. Susan Keegan was rich in friends, and they aren't going away.

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[AVA, August, 2012]

Susan Keegan Was Murdered

by Bruce Anderson

The cause of death on Susan Keegan's death certifi¬cate has been changed from “accidental” to “homicide,” meaning that Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster has new evidence that the popular Ukiah woman did not die in November of 2010 from an accidental fall in her bathroom as initially found by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department.

Dr. Peter Keegan said only he and his wife were in the Keegan home the night of Mrs. Keegan's death. Dr. Keegan told police he found his wife dead in her bath¬room early in the morning after her return from a visit with friends in Santa Rosa.

Peter Keegan is as well-known in the Ukiah Valley as his late wife was. He has functioned as family doctor to many inland families and was briefly notorious a few years ago as an advocate for marijuana. As a pot advocate, Dr. Keegan also did a thriving business in medical marijuana prescriptions.

Mrs. Keegan, as her husband told investigators, allegedly died while she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs in a bathroom fall, managing to twice lacerate the top of her head in what has been characterized as a vertical drop. Her husband, the only other person in the house at the time of his wife’s death, said Mrs. Keegan was drunk, and probably had been drinking after taking the pain medication he said she regularly took for a back injury.

The doctor told police that his wife was addicted to both drink and pharmaceuticals, but Mrs. Keegan's closest friends said they had never seen Mrs. Keegan take more than a social drink or two, and that they had never seen her drunk.

The night of her death, Mrs. Keegan had visited friends in Santa Rosa. She had consumed one glass of wine with her friends, then drove north to her South Ukiah home, arriving at about 10pm. Friends say it is highly unlikely that Mrs. Keegan began drinking at that hour. Her husband said the couple lived separately in their home each with his and her bathrooms.

Dr. Keegan said he found his wife dead in her bath¬room the morning after she had visited her Santa Rosa friends. She had a deep gash or gashes to the top of her head, which officers investigating the scene, led by Sgt. Poma of the Sheriff's Department, concluded had resulted from a fall in the bathroom where Mrs. Keegan was found. An autopsy revealed alcohol and prescription drugs in her blood.

It is known that Doctor Keegan had demanded a divorce from his wife of 32 years with whom he has two grown sons. Friends of the couple say that Peter Keegan had become verbally abusive towards Mrs. Keegan, and unreasonably irate when he discovered that under California law a wife is entitled to half a couple's property. Mrs. Keegan had planned to resume her life as a single person in the Santa Rosa area where she'd been the night before her death looking for possible places to live.

Soon after his wife's death, Dr. Keegan began a rela¬tionship with Elizabeth 'Libby' Crawford of the Ukiah Valley's Crawford Ranch. He also soon retained the services of the talented Ukiah criminal defense attorney, Keith Faulder, causing persons following the case to wonder why a man would need a criminal defense law¬yer if his wife had died accidentally.

Doctor Keegan presently works at the Indian Health Center in Covelo. He had been quick to brandish the old death certificate that said his wife had died accidentally in a bathroom fall. He isn't likely to brandish the re-write that strongly suggests he's a killer.

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HelenLibeuWE WERE ALWAYS great admirers of the late Helen Libeu, and close enough to her to visit with her at her home in Duncans Mills and picnic with her at her old growth redwood grove up Peachland Road here in Boonville. There have certainly been noisier environmentalists on the Northcoast but none as effective as Helen who fought off Corporate Timber from her seat on the State Board of Forestry and through her strong influence with the Northcoast's elected Democrats, from Congress on down. I remember a dinner in Santa Rosa where one bigwig Demo after another stopped in at Helen's table to pay court. When she talked, they listened, and they always returned her calls. During the tensions of the Redwood Summer period, and well-placed as she was, someone burned her cabin down at Peachland, not that Helen was at all deterred from speaking out against bad logging. Another time tree rustlers stole a (now) rare pepperwood tree off her Peachland place. That theft was financially motivated but the arson was a direct message to Helen to cease and desist interfering with L-P's master plan for the Northcoast, as clearly articulated by L-P's boss, Harry Merlo: “We want it all, and we want it all now.” L-P and G-P got it all, too, stripping the area of its primary resource and the thousands of jobs that went with it, but Helen, as formidably intelligent a person as you will know, fought them every step of the day.

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SODDEN THOUGHTS. Look no farther than the Anderson Valley Health Center for a primo example of the penetration of big biz management-think. Come on, a “CEO” for a tiny outback clinic? “Chief Financial Officer” for bookkeeper? All this title inflation gets seriously in the way of clear lines of responsibility, not to mention clarity itself.

WE'VE ALREADY worn out our readers with complaints about the nutty secrecy characteristic of our public agencies. Why? What is there to hide? Why do we tolerate secrecy where our money is being spent? The answer is obvious enough. Secrecy happens when you get public boards of trustees who delude themselves into thinking they're doing the right thing by blindly supporting the people they're supposed to be supervising, even saying NO to occasionally. Secrecy is the root of the recent upset at the Anderson Valley Health Center, and that's what happens when boards of trustees are self-selecting groups of palsy-walsys, complete with token Mexican-Americans and student representatives.

“WE SAW THE LOSS of two community leaders last week,” writes an optimistic Health Center reformer, “Rod Basehore and Diane Paget. Attending their memorial services I was reminded of the many community efforts both had engaged in over the past three decades to build the structure of Anderson Valley that we enjoy today. Many of you commented to me that we had managed somehow to settle the issues that threaten our clinic, and our health care. I think we may have made a beginning in getting the Board to talk to us, but the future of the clinic is far from assured. Your skills in financial management, information technology, physical plant maintenance and development, personnel recruiting, public relations, fund raising, volunteer organizations, grant solicitation and management, program needs assessment and planning, are all areas where this board needs help. Please think about your own skills and experience and consider talking to Board Chair Ric Bonner, or to Heidi (Knott) about how you can volunteer to help.”

THIS IS ALL STUFF the Health Center Board itself is supposed to be doing while ignoring the obvious sociological fact that Anderson Valley isn't a “community” in any known sense of the term. What we have, from Yorkville to Navarro, is a series of affinity groups with little or no knowledge of or interest in each other. “Community” last existed here circa 1970, and its hubs were the schools and then, ironically, the Anderson Valley Health Center. (The latter shunned in its beginnings by the 'necks as a “hippie” enterprise.) That was a time when we all knew each other, usually through our children. Wine grapes and wealthy retired people changed the place, not that I'm suggesting it changed for the worse, but it changed from a traditional community to the multi-communities we have. I look around at our public bodies and, with the exception of the CSD board — a relative bastion of clear-headedness — and I think, “Thank the goddess these people don't have powers of summary execution.”

EXHIBIT A: In her last message, freshly appointed Health Center Board trustee Kathy Cox said the Board was working on selection of a new clinic director, a task complicated by the need to decide what they are recruiting for: 1. Executive Director only, or Executive Director combined with duties of chief operating officer (does a clinic this size really need these positions separated?); 2. Executive Director for an independent clinic, or Executive Director shared with other clinic; 3. Executive Director for a clinic which owns and operates the building housing it, or Executive Director for a clinic which rents space from another entity; 4. Executive Director for a clinic which operates primary health care for an isolated rural population with high proportion of patients near poverty level, and considerable population of seasonal agricultural workers (the two parameters for our current grants); or other (future additional?) emphasis.

MR. DICKENS? LITTLE DORRIT? White courtesy telephone, please.

“THE CIRCUMLOCUTION OFFICE was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office. If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified in saving the parliament until there had been half a score of boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence, on the part of the Circumlocution Office.

“THIS GLORIOUS establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving — HOW NOT TO DO IT.”

NO SOONER CITED, than appears this timely bit of irony: “If you are a voting [our emphasis] member of Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show, please attend the meeting Monday at 7:00 pm, in the Dining Room at the Fairgrounds in Boonville, to cast your vote in the election of our new Fair Board members.”

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RECOMMENDED READING (if you haven’t already read it in these pages): “A Banquet of Consequences.” (Paperback, Inkwater Press; $15.95.)

“A moving story full of entertaining characters, experiences, conflicts and triumphs. Offered in a decidedly unpretentious and conversational style, the stories go well beyond the author's association with a famous rock & roll band. … Colorful characters loom large on the page. Physical settings are vivid and detailed, and are smoothly woven into the memories, musings, and anecdotes” — William Greenleaf, Greenleaf Literary Services, Inc.

“No one has told the Creedence story as eloquently.” — Russ Gary, CCR recording engineer, independent TV producer (Los Angeles area)

“This is beyond good. I've never read a clearer, more graphic account of the mechanics of the dope trade.” — Bruce Anderson, Editor/Publisher The Anderson Valley Advertiser.

“My life story (first half), at once confessional, embarrassing, and proud. Irreverent in some places, humorous in others, a little drama here and there.” — Author Jake Rohrer.

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July 20 1924 — November 3, 2014

Iva Marie Burns age 90 passed away on Monday, November 3, 2014 at Circle B Ranch, her home in Redwood Valley. She was born in Bernalillo New Mexico on July 20, 1924 to Ivy Lena Bailey and Solon Lee Mitchell. Marie was the oldest of four children. She graduated from Bernalillo High School and then went to work in the local lumber mill as a secretary and book keeper.

She wrote letters to Paul Revere Burns who had been her sweetheart since they were 14 years old. When Paul was returning from his Army Service in World War II he wrote to her to quit her job as they were going to marry as soon as he arrived home. They were married on February 9, 1945 at the Baptist Church in Bernalillo. They relocated to Richmond California where they started their family. They soon relocated to Northern California living in Mill Camps at Pino Grande and Johnsondale. Following this they bought their first home in Camino California. They then relocated to Boonville California in 1956 where they settled, to raise their three children, Paula Marie, Ronald Lee and Loyce Verdel. Throughout the years of raising her children Marie was a gentle and sweet Christian lady who made sure that her family attended church. She created a warm and open home where everyone was welcome. and fed a big meal. Every summer there were many nieces and nephews biological or otherwise who were welcomed into her home. Under her guidance they were taught how to work and use their manners. When the family relocated to a ranch in Boonville area she grew a huge garden and helped out with milking the cows and herding the sheep. She also drove a tractor and helped out with the harvesting. In 1968 the family moved to Redwood Valley and Marie became the Administrator of Circle B Ranch Incorporated a non profit corporation. Raising children had always been the main focus of her life and Marie, along with her husband Paul, began a home for children with special needs. Marie set up an on grounds school to meet the educational needs of those children. She surrounded them in her home with kind discipline, good food and lots of love. She cared for 36 children during these years and closed the home in the 1980;s. During these same years she was an amazing grand mother to 19 grand children and made sure they learned basic life skills. Marie believed in God and the power of prayer. Her life was a positive witness to all who new her.

She is survived by her sister Helen Jackson and brother SL Mitchell and sister in-law Anita Mitchell, husband Paul and her children Paula and husband John Heron and their children, Barbara Douglas, Lisa, Phoebe, Rachael, Corrie, Joseph, Jonathan, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Meghan; her son Ronald and wife Lee, and their children, Paul, Heather, Isaac, Nathan and Joel; her daughter Loyce and her children Saundra, Graeme and Jessi and 39 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren. Marie was an expert seamstress who enjoyed crafting quality items. She had a lifetime enjoyment of quilting, sewing, crocheting and furniture upholstering. Marie believed in the power of loving children and prayer. She was a mom and grandma and aunt to anyone who needed her to be. She always had time for every child and taught them all how to play table games. She will be profoundly missed by all who knew her.

A viewing will be held at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, California on November 14, 2014 from 12 noon to 8pm. Funeral services officiated by Pastor Joe Fry will be held at the same location on Saturday November 15 at 1pm to be followed by graveside services at Boonville Cemetery at 3pm. A gathering of friends and family following graveside services will be held at the Redwood Valley Community church on School Way in Redwood Valley.

The family prefers memorial donations to the Gideons International is PO Box 113 Ukiah CA 95482

Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 10, 2014

Andrus, Banks, Brandon, Fransen
Andrus, Banks, Brandon, Fransen

TERRY ANDRUS, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale; armed with firearm.

KEVIN BANKS, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

AUDREY BRANDON, Redwood Valley. No specified offense/charge.

CHEF FRANSEN, Ukiah. Parole violation. (

Honeyman, Hurst, Laughton, Lindley
Honeyman, Hurst, Laughton, Lindley

PAUL HONEYMAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JAKE HURST, Fort Bragg. Vehicle theft, unlawful display of registration, probation revocation.

CHELSEA LAUGHTON, Willits. Trespassing.

MATTHEW LINDLEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Packard, Rennings, Wagner, Zubia
Packard, Rennings, Wagner, Zubia

SUSAN PACKARD, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

STEVEN RENNINGS, Willits. Driving without valid license.

TODD WAGNER, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

WILLIAM ZUBIA, Garberville. Loaded firearm while picketing or refusing to work.

* * *


They disembarked in '45

And no one spoke and no one smiled

There were too many spaces in the line


Gathered at the cenotaph

All agreed with hand on heart

To sheath the sacrificial knives


But now

She stands upon Southampton dock

With her handkerchief, and her summer frock

Clings to her wet body in the rain


In quiet desperation

Knuckles white upon the slippery rails

She bravely waves the boys goodbye again



The dark stain spreads between

Their shoulder blades

A mute reminder of the poppy fields and graves


And when the fight was over

We spent what they had made

But in the bottom of our hearts

We felt the final cut

— Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

* * *

EXCITING HEADLINE from Monday's SF Chronicle: “Pizza Hut's Revamp: Curry crusts, balsamic drizzle.”

* * *

ON-LINE COMMENT of the day: Never seen an uglier time in our nation. The statistics and business elite celebrate a return to low unemployment and expanding markets. Yet on the ground, I am certain that most who read this know individuals who have not recovered economically, who are living month to month, who are piling up medical bills and can’t get into Obamacare’s open enrollment period, let alone the racket called privatized care in America. That explains the midterm rout of reasonable people by the fanatics. Yes, “their wrath could truly wreck what remains of this polity. When it is really too late to fix any of these things, they’ll beg someone to tell them what to do, and the job-description for that position is dictator.” I think we’ve just elected a bunch of would-be ones.

* * *

THE REAL SARAHS with our very own Sarah Songbird will be performing at Lauren's Saturday night November 22.  Special guests include Spec MacQuayde, storyteller, along with talented local musicians. Admission is $10 at the door, with the Real Sarahs opening at 9 p.m.

* * *


* * *


Like a watershed, a foodshed encompasses a defined area where the natural resource system helps to provide for its denizens. When we eat locally produced foods we reap the benefits of fresh, nutritious food that has not been zip wrapped and sent around Robin Hood’s barn seven times before it arrives at our table. C’mon Home To Eat in October ‘14 duly celebrated the salubrious effects of local food both on our constitutions and the community as a whole. AV Foodshed would like to sincerely thank all our local gardeners, farmers, livestock producers, cooks, eaters, restaurants, cafes, and event coordinators that made the 9th annual C’mon Home to Eat such a resounding success.

If you want to make your hearty winter soups, omelets, roast your turkeys, bake desserts, or crunch on cabbage grown locally in November and beyond, you can check the farms and ranch listings at to find a wide variety of local ingredients to eat seasonally. Your can also plant your winter garden and/or check out the Winter Farmers’ Market in Boonville in front of the Boonville General Store from 10-12:30 every Saturday through April; stop by the Petit Teton farm stand outside of Yorkville; or watch for the 3rd Sunday AV Foodshed Potlucks at the Grange (on 10/23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Grange is the 2nd annual Fermentation Fest where you can learn with no fee to make kefir, kraut, cheese and more, plus take home some of your labor. At 6:00 p.m. is the local food potluck—all are welcome.) And always look on the menu or ask for the local dishes at Aquarelle, the Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel/Table 128, Coq Au Vin, Lauren’s Restaurant, and Stone and Embers.

AV Foodshed’s email is if you want to relate your experiences eating locally, have questions, or want to receive emails announcing local food events. And be sure to add the Holiday dinner at the Grange to your calendar on December 14th.

* * *


There is a Fort just north of here,

Amongst the sawed-off trees,

Stocked with gas-n-grub-n-beer,

By the Braggin’ Wannabes.


The Fort’s as red as one can be,

Its people bold and loud,

Quite different you’d all agree,

From the Artsy-Fartsy Crowd.


Their Southern neighbors do reside,

With tree hugging devotion,

In pretty little homes beside,

A blue Pacific Ocean.


The Fort ran out of foes to fight,

A long, long time ago,

And likewise for the trees upright,

Where giants once did grow.


As South the Wannabes did peer,

A plan was soon endowed,

To go and wrest that new frontier,

From the Artsy-Fartsy Crowd.


The essence of their evil scheme,

Was simple and precise,

They’d drive the Crowd out with a theme,

Of pushing bad advice.


They peddled it with fancy cars,

Such wealth was on display!

On spreadsheets shown in darkened bars,

With pricey Chardonnay.


All went well for the Fort’s bourgeois,

As toward the Crowd they crept,

‘Til the Artsy-Fartsy folks all saw,

Just where their neighbors slept.


The moral here within this prose,

Is simple to report,

Never take advice from those,

Who call their home a fort.

— Anon, Albion

* * *


* * *


by Steve Heilig

For almost a quarter century, Dennis McNally held a job that could be considered an ultimate dream or nightmare, depending on one's perspective — he was the official publicist for the Grateful Dead. And while he freely and proudly admits to being a "Deadhead" before and during his stint with the legendary band, he came by the job in an unusual way — in 1979, Dead figurehead Jerry Garcia read a book McNally had worked on throughout the 1970s, titled Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, and America and hired him to write the band's story. McNally's second book was thus A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead, the definitively authorized but "warts and all" story, published in 2002.


A little math indicates that McNally is not a fast writer; he spends about a decade per book. As it should be, as he is a professional scholar, holding a Ph.D in history and very serious about his research. But his writing is not the dense prose of an academic, even when covering the serious and complex ethnomusicology that is the topic of his new book, On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom. Still, like any good professor, he has a thesis, and it is that music, namely African-American music, has had a profound influence not only on the arts in America but on our politics and very way of life — or at least in some times and places. Hardly striking on the face of it, maybe even obvious, but in his book McNally ties many strands and names together in ways not yet envisioned by the scores of authors who have written on jazz, blues, folk, rock and more. Iconic music names like Louis Armstrong, W.C. Handy, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and many more have already been covered exhaustively by others, but not in a way that links in Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan and the entire scope of forces leading up and into the civil rights movement and "the sixties" — and, for example, the Grateful Dead.

The longtime San Francisco resident and ACLU activist sat down amidst frolicking dogs on a park bench to talk about his new magnum opus.

Why Highway 61? — it's both literally and metaphorically important, right?

Yes. The real Highway 61 runs from the Canadian border to New Orleans, and is essentially synonymous with the Mississippi River. There's this incredible current of energy, both water and otherwise there, running through the heart of America. It's the lifeblood of the entire continent. The Midwest has had this image of stability, "normality," long before the 20th century even. And so much of the great American music that is the main subject of the book manifested within 50 miles of the banks of that river, from ragtime and jazz and blues onward.

You cover all that music, and wind up with Bob Dylan's explosion of creativity and influence in the 1960s. How was he linked in to that highway?

Dylan, when he was still a teenaged Bob Zimmerman up in Minnesota in the 1950s, listened to a radio show out of Little Rock, Arkansas named "No-Name Jive." The DJ was a white guy named Frank "Gatemouth" Page, the "mouth of the south" who played all kinds of black music of the day, and Dylan was just fascinated by it all. And it changed his life, and thus indirectly, many others' lives as well.

One thread through the whole book as you trace the origins of jazz, blues, folk and more was that black musicians made the music but were not really recognized outside of small circles until white promoters and record label owners took them on and garnered them exposure. You identify it as "love of black music, but not blackness itself."

Try and imagine American music without black music — it would be a really short stack of records! There is no such thing as "pure" white or black music. It's just a dumb distinction. If you look at any kind of music — take country music — Jimmie Rodgers is supposed to be the father of country, and it's easy to trace the black influences that formed him, or Hank Williams, too. But we have to remember how prevalent racism has been throughout our history.

You quote the infamous snarky remark by Sonny Boy Williamson about white boys wanting to play the blues so badly, and doing just that...

Well, you could understand why some of these originators could feel a bit negative about only white musicians being able to make their music popular. Some have tried to dismiss, say, Robert Johnson as not being so great since he didn't sell any records in his time. But since the 60s, say, we've been able to recognize a genius regardless of his sales or color.

There are so many books on jazz, blues, folk, and must be 100 books on Dylan — what were you trying to do differently and new with this one?

What's unique about this book is connecting a chain of events that starts at least as far back as the 1840s to the 1960s. In fact, a couple of editors rejected the book saying, "We know this stuff already." And yes, we know Dylan went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and caused a historic stir, but I'm a trained historian and context is everything, and nobody ever drew all these threads together before so far as I know. I started with a question, and didn't know the answer for three years of research, and then it was seven more years to write it all.

So what was your question?

My mission was to ask, "Why did the 60s happen — what led Americans to ask the most critical and serious questions about the dominant American ideology?" And eventually I saw that I had to start with Thoreau, who started the idea of social criticism when modern America really got started. America as we know it, the corporate state, really started not with Columbus or even the American Revolution, but in the early 1800s with Alexander Hamilton and the idea that "freedom" was really about making as much money as possible, however one chooses. And Thoreau stood up and said, "Eh, maybe not so much." He argued there were other forms of freedom, of thought, of religion, of political philosophy. So he established a certain path, based upon him being an abolitionist, relating to black people at the bottom of the pyramid, as having worth and even something to teach us. And that tradition went to Mark Twain, who starts off as a basic Missourian product of the slave system and winds up producing Huckleberry Finn, the era's masterpiece of anti-slavery literature.

And what was your answer, in a nutshell?

The revolutions of the 60s can be traced to the relationship of black people to white culture, and specifically the music, from minstrelsy in the 1800s all the way to Bob Dylan.

So the music was key to the spread of progress from then on.

Certainly a key, if not the key. The generation that came of age after emancipation saw an explosion of talent and creativity, with jazz, ragtime, and blues and as that seeped out into the white world over the course of the 20th century, you saw massive social change. Beyond the modern influence of thinkers like Darwin and Freud, there was an increasingly secular society. And one thing that pushed things even more than suspected was dancing — dances based on ragtime, like the foxtrot. In the 60s I recall thinking of the foxtrot as dopey and boring, but in the early century it was revolutionary. Same thing happened in the 1920s and 1930s with jazz, in the 1950s with blues and the 1960s with rock and roll.

The Beats in the 1950s were a key element of this white discovery of black music too, right?

Yes, and I write of Jack Kerouac's first discovery of black be-bop jazz and that became key to much Beat writing and such.

You note that Dylan's first serious girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, who was with him on the cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" LP in 1963, was involved in the Civil Rights Movement — you imply she was a huge influence on him, intentionally or not.

She had more of an impact on him than she ever dreamed of. They met about two months after the Freedom Rides, when she worked for CORE — the Congress of Racial Equality. The Rides were an attempt to desegregate the interstate bus system. At one point the buses were fired on, which got the attention of President Kennedy, who sent people to the South to figure out what was going on. When a Freedom Rider named Diane Nash was told, "Somebody's gonna get killed here!" her reply was, "Then others will follow them." That's not just bravado — they knew their lives were at risk, and kept on. And I can only imagine how a 19-year-old Bob Dylan hears this and recognizes the importance of the Civil Rights Movement. Not just that it might win — I don't really know if it's won to this day — but that it was a shining example of morality in action. It informed the rest of his life.

But Dylan soon rejected being the "voice of a generation," the activist mantle, that had been thrust upon him. He seemed to hate that.

Well, yes, and that likely started with the assassination of JFK, which took everybody's idealism down. It so lowered his image of society as a whole that he had to walk away. But just because he walked away from the movement, that does not mean he walked away from absolute commitment to freedom. The songs he wrote after the ones that made him famous — "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and so on, were still about personal freedom and commitment.

With the fractioning of our culture, there hasn't been a real spokesperson who inspires and unites young people, or all people, ever since. Dylan wrote anthems everybody knew in the way that everybody knew each new song by The Beatles. They all sang of some kind of "revolution." But whatever "movement" there was in the 60s, fueled by music, is very fractured now, with popular music seeming to be mostly about only materialism and romance.

Yes, and when I went off to college in 1967, you could not walk from one end to the other of my college dorm without hearing "Sgt. Pepper's" — it was a universal experience; everybody had it and knew it by heart. Dylan has admitted that he mistakenly set himself up to be a generation's spokesman with those songs. He was just a guy with a guitar, even when singing at the historic March on Washington. But I don't think there ever was a chance of a revolution in America, like there was in France or Russia — there, the social structure was so rigid and contemptuous that the only thing to do was to butcher the elites. In England and here there was a certain amount of compromise. But I am sure if you asked, say, the Koch brothers about, say, FDR, they'd call him a "socialist." But FDR actually saved capitalism when it was wobbling by putting in a social safety net. I'm now old enough for Medicare and I like it. There's only a small fraction of people who object to it — until they need it, that is. But I also have a peculiar and possibly naive faith that in our time, my time, even, and that's not that long left, there will be musically somebody who gathers up all these snapped threads and has a remarkable impact.

* * *


Warmest spiritual greetings, Please understand that last night I placed a two line announcement on the Washington D.C. Independent Media Center news wire. My brief message was that I am available to go to the district for participation in frontline radical environmental direct action. I asked to be contacted via my email address. This morning, I discovered that some insane, stupid, counterrevolutionary motherfucker had taken my networking message off of the news wire. I want you to contact the DC IMC at, and tell them that if you only wanted news stories, you could be better served by CNN. Also, please inform them that we all got the IMC network going many years ago, because we recognized a need for a more radically conscious news network. And tell the DC IMC to kick out of the collective what one of my anarchist women friends refers to as "that crazy bitch who never did like any of us who came to D.C. to help, and sabotages our efforts even now!" I am presently at the Green Tortoise Hostel in San Francisco, packed and ready to return to Washington D.C. for the seventh time. Before the planet earth literally melts down and everything here is compromised, I ask that the genuine international radical milieu appreciate my continuing willingness to be involved, and that I am not interested in taking retirement at age 65. I am NOT "thanking you in advance for your cooperation". If you need to get that from me, kill yourself! Craig Louis Stehr, November 10, 2014 Email: Snail mail: P.O. Box 11406, c/o NOSCW, Berkeley, CA 94712-2406 Blog:

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading November 11, 2014

    Just curious. Please name some of those supposed “reasonable” people who were “routed” in the election? Democraps are no more reasonable than the rethugs. The ‘craps are just better at pretending to be reasonable, and they are excellent at stepping aside and wringing their hands, as their crocodile tears flood from their eyes, even when in the majority, while the rethugs, who make little pretense of being reasonable tear the social contract to shreds. Remember ol’ blowjob Bill? He wanted to privatize Social Security in the 90s and did bomb the hell out of Serb civilians. His evil wife would not allow single payer health care even to be put on the table for discussion. Obama hasn’t a progressive bone in his body, and those who worship Bernie the Babbler as a progressive are deluded. So, just who are these reasonable people?

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