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Mendocino County Today: Saturday Nov 29, 2014

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HELP! A Mendo Coast man I've known for many years has experienced something of a low-grade, non-drug-related breakdown, perhaps cracking under an unhappy set of circumstances consisting of advancing age, no family, money anxieties, and ongoing skirmishes with his landlord. The guy is smart, very witty, has always been employed, would certainly pay his own way out of his modest social security income (is there any other kind of social security income?) and is absolutely, scrupulously honest. He's presently regaining himself in a hospital setting but needs a long-term place to live. Would he be difficult in, say, a spare bedroom or the cabin out back? No. He'd be good company. I'd house him myself but my inn is full. If you have something or an idea about something please contact the AVA, Boonville.

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BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET Saturday in front of the Boonville General Store, rain or shine, 10-12:30.

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I wrote this last year: The Missus and I attended, gratis, last Wednesday night's gala opening of the SF Jazz Center, an event way out of my league… My nephew's family had pretty much funded the building being celebrated, which accounts for our presence. At $500 minimum a pop we would not otherwise have been present. I'd hauled my burial suit out of the bottom drawer, slapped a little Dye’N Shine on my Nike walkers and headed out to the Civic Center Garage where it suddenly cost $15 to park because, the sign said, “Special Event Rates Tonight.” We footed it on over to Gough and Fell, and on into a very crowded tent where, if they could get to you through the massed bodies, attractive young people passed out free booze and tasty food morsels on toothpicks. I immediately rubbed elbows with Ronnie Lott, the famous 49er linebacker, to whom I said hello as if I knew him. He said hello back. He probably goes around all day saying hello to people he doesn't know. Or want to know. I moved quickly on, not wanting him to even think I might try to bore him with some kind of turgid reminisce about The Catch etc. We soon saw Mr. and Mrs. Musslewhite, whom we know a little. Mr. M. told me he'd had more fun at Navarro than any place he'd ever performed, and told me to send along his best to Dave Evans of the Navarro Store. The new jazz auditorium is beautiful, and the sound so good you can hear every word wherever you're seated. Whether or not you want to hear it. A botoxed babe sat next to me, her cheekbones permanently raised to her temples and her vertiginous breasts spilling out of her dress. You don't see vistas like this around Boonville, and I confess I got dizzy. “So, where are you from, handsome?” she asked. I looked around to make sure it was me being addressed. Mendocino County, I said. “I'm from Mill Valley, too,” she said, and commenced a free association monologue only parts of which were occasionally intelligible. Bill Cosby, the ostensible mc, walked on stage. He was painfully unfunny all night, although lots of lame brains laughed like he was hilarious. Cosby was obviously winging it and hadn't prepared even enough to fake preparation. The music? I didn't get it. I wasn't even sure it was music. I could see the old imperialist, George Schultz, nodding off in one of the thousand dollar seats. At the coat check Willie Brown was hassling the attendant. “You should have more than one person here,” badgering the harried girl working by herself to retrieve the garments of the great and the grand. Like she was in charge of logistics? It felt good to be back out on the street. Once all the swells are out of the way, the Center will be very good for San Francisco and very good for jazz music, some of which, I've got to assume, will be accessible even to squares like me.

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ABOUT A WEEK after this event, I ran into the Chron's music writer, Aidin Vaziri. He lives almost next door. He asked me how I liked the event we'd both attended. I said Jazz, for me, almost begins and ends with Miles Davis, especially Sketches Of Spain. The abstract squeek-squawk stuff, well, some people think Madonna can sing. I said I thought Cosby was particularly awful, with a simpering Aren't I Cute performance so excruciatingly bad I felt embarrassed for him. Vaziri said, “Really? I thought he was great.”

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“The 49er's defense was stellar, as usual. Way to go, guys -- thank you for your effort! But the offense is just pathetic -- and they have been for most of the season. Can't figure it out, but that's not MY job. Bottom-line: the offensive coaching schemes suck. The coaches don't seem to have solid game plans in place, and they can't adjust to save their football lives. Remember the good old days when Walsh would implement adjustments at half-time? Roman and Harbaugh can't adjust anything, and the Niners are losing games as a result. Roman needs to go, at the very least. Geez, it is just pathetic watching the Niners' offensive players (who ARE totally talented) look like a bunch of bumbling hamheads. "

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THE AVA agrees, but we think the problems go deeper, beginning with the existential curse represented by the new stadium, basically a football-themed mall in the middle of suburban nowhere, and owner Jed York who apologized for the Niner performance on the big electronic idiot board Sunday, apparently unaware he's a big part of the prob. A guy who's never had to compete for anything ought to shut up and stay out of the way, and commonsense should have told even a rich kid that moving to the far suburbs was a very bad idea. That awful stadium wouldn't be nearly so awful if it was at least plunked down South of Market somewhere. If York is calling the shots at the football level the Niners are going to be bad again for a long time.

THE STADIUM STINKS. It doesn't even provide a righteous grass playing surface, hence those dust clouds during yesterday's game rising from the middle of the field. I haven't talked to a single person who has a good word to say about the place. Factor in the Hog Heaven suites for thousands of Silicon dweebs with long-time football fans priced out and you have a much loved sports franchise with a wonderful legacy moved into soul-less techno context that has exorcised everything the Niners have represented over the years. The Stadium was half-empty by half-time yesterday as the gizmo geniuses packed it in early. Corporations buy up a lot of seats at PacBell, too, but there are still ways for baseball fans to get a cheap seat and the average person can occasionally get to a game. And everyone loves the ballpark on the Embarcadero. Candlestick was perfect for football, in our opinion. It was a huge civic failure by Frisco that the Niners were allowed to leave town.

THE NINERS are an unhappy team. There are lots of rumors that Harbaugh “has lost the locker room.” Occasionally you catch glimpses of him going off on a player for screwing up where most big time coaches try to avoid doing that to professional athletes who already know they screwed up; if they didn't they wouldn't be playing at that level. Nobody likes to be humiliated on national television which, in the case of pro athletes, means double humiliation — one at his screw-up then by an unhinged coach yelling at him like he's a school kid. Harbaugh's “intensity” seems more like mental illness than it does the usual jock fervor.

WE THINK THE NINERS are making a mental case out of Kaepernick. He should be encouraged to freelance because, like Seattle's Wilson, that's what he does best. He suddenly looks lost out there, tentative, like his confidence is gone. Having all these retired quarterbacks on his case certainly doesn't help him any either. And we wonder why he hasn't been given media-savvy lessons. His appearances before the jackals of press and television could be much more successful if he took lessons on the kind of bafflegab cliches lots of jocks learn to string out to keep the media buzzards from flying off with big hunks of their flesh.

THIS NINER ENTERPRISE is in a major self-destruct.

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Not Much South of the Humboldt County Line

by Kym Kemp

The forgotten ones, those who are buried in unmarked graves or discarded alongside rural roads, are sometimes found and resurrected for a ghostly moment in headlines. Then, with barely a gasp, they slide silently into cold cases for law enforcement to investigate with scraps of time torn from urgent current crimes.

Last month, the Lost Coast Outpost revisited the unidentified bodies found in Humboldt County this last year — updating with the latest information from the Coroner’s Office. Today, we’re going to look at the latest information on three bodies found in the last few years in northern Mendocino. Perhaps a little attention might shake memories loose and help the forgotten ones be reunited with their families.

Exposed tips from a pair of Pro Wing tennis shoes led a local family to find unmarked grave just two days before Halloween in 2012.

The Skeleton in Sneakers found near Piercy in an unmarked grave on October 29, 2012:

Recap of the discovery: One tip of a sneaker had been sticking out of sandy ground near the Eel River just south of the Humboldt County line for several years. When a local man on a kayaking excursion with his young daughter a few days before Halloween discovered a second tip, he dug around the shoes only to find a sock full of foot bones. (Read more here.)

What is known about the missing person: According to a forensic examination, the body is that of a white male adult, approximately 25-45 years of age with a height between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 5 inches tall.

Additional information: According to Captain Gregory Van Patten, “We were able to recover DNA.” The DNA profile from the recovered skeleton has been uploaded to CODIS — a software platform that stores DNA information. Unfortunately, the DNA of the skeleton did not match any known missing persons.

“This is surprising,” Van Patten explained. Family members of most missing people in our area are asked to supply DNA so, if a body is found, DNA from it can be matched with samples taken from family members.

Van Patten pointed out that unless there is a missing person’s case that had uncollected DNA or “family refused to supply it,” there should be a match. According to Van Patten, in local missing person cases, “just about all” have had DNA samples collected from family members. Nationwide, though, he said, DNA isn’t always gathered.

In all likelihood, the body, he explained, comes from someone out of the area or “this could be a person that never was reported missing.” Or perhaps, he said, “there might not be any surviving family to get samples from.” Another possibility is that no one realizes the individual is missing. Family and friends might believe the man chose to be out of touch with them.

Below are clothing and a knife found with the body. Perhaps these images might spark someone’s memory. The items found were a t-shirt, pants, shoes and a knife. All are pictured below.

The shirt says, “Before I started working here, I drank, smoked, and used foul language for no reason at all. Thanks to this job, I now have a reason.”

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The Girl in the Refrigerator found near Willits on May 16, 2012:

Recap of the discovery: An individual found an abandoned refrigerator near the railroad tracks at the west end of Highway 162 (Covelo Road) not far from Hwy 101. Inside the refrigerator were burnt human remains.

What is known about the missing person: Little is known about this individual. Law enforcement believes the body to be that of a female, possibly a small adult.

Additional information: DNA has yet to be recovered. The remains of a charm bracelet or possibly a necklace was found with the body. Below is a sketch of what law enforcement believes the item looked like.


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The Camper found in Standish Hickey State Park on September 25, 2013:

Recap of the discovery: The mostly fully intact skeletal remains of an individual was found on top of the ground in the Standish Hickey State Park. Nearby was a sleeping bag.

What is known about the missing person: Little is known about this individual. Law enforcement believes the body to be that of a male Caucasian approximately six foot tall.

Additional information: Van Patten said, law enforcement believes the body was “exposed to the elements for up to a year” before the man was found. This would mean the man went missing no earlier than the summer of 2012. “It looks like somebody had been staying there,” Van Patten explained. There was a sleeping bag.

Femur bones were sent off for DNA extraction in February of 2014. As of the time of the interview, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office had yet to receive any results.

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Anyone with information about these cases is urged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Tip-line at (707) 234-2100.

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Marvin Charles ‘Gus’ Weddle

June 11, 1922 -- November 8, 2014

by Rick Weddle

Maybe you’ve already heard this story, but bear with me while I repeat it for those of us who haven’t…and for those of us who might like hearing it again.

Marvin didn’t get much from school, except a love for mathematics that would stay with him and serve him well. He didn’t take to the other things they taught there, and during his third try at 6th grade, fate ‘rescued’ him from this stifling and humiliating public school experience. His father, Clarence Alvin Weddle, fell from an oil derrick, hitting astraddle some horizontal pipe on the rig, landing him in the hospital for some months. Marvin then quit school to become the breadwinner for his Mamma, his hospitalized Daddy, three or four sisters and infant brother, at the ripe old age of 16. It was in this new career in the oilfields he gained the name, ‘Gus,’ associated with the expression for striking oil they hollered to announce a ‘gusher.’

Before this time, while he was still just Marvin, he was tutored in the arts and sciences of livestock husbandry by Doc Phelps, a no account drifter Grandma had ‘adopted’ and protected, mostly from himself, and who knew most everything there was to know about animals, domestic and otherwise. I never met Doc, but in my limited experience, I’ve not known a more savvy nor more compassionate stockman than Gus. He was known widely in southwest Texas, and picked up extra money often, riding and bringing to civilized use horses on which nobody else could seem to stay aboard. He said years later, when we asked how it’s done, to watch their ears…like that was all one needed to know. Oh. And treat ‘em like they’re your friend. Got it.

Along in this span of time, Marvin found himself in charge of a herd of two or three hundred goats. I can’t recall which Aunt told me this, or the exact number, but there were enough for a big bunch. Gus almost never, ever talked about his history, thinking it akin to bragging, unseemly and undignified. Instead, he preferred acting on tasks at hand rather than wasting time talking about past ones. Plus, he was most often inclined to leave talking to those more suited to it. The country there was poor, to put it mildly. My knowledge of it was it was mostly rocks, rodents, reptiles, and rednecks. Goats made out ok, foraging with some success on mesquite, prickly pear, and the few sorry tufts of dry grass here and there. On this occasion, Marvin found himself and the goats out away from the House among the flat topped hills, when a Blue Norther blew down on them, catching them in the open. When that part of the land is described as having only three strands of bobwar between there and the North Pole, with two strands broke, it tells us something about the seriousness of exposure hazards during one of these infamous storms. Torrential rain, Big Hail, sleet, lightning, and sudden arctic temperatures are how they roll. (I recall watching Gus and an Uncle using heavy axes to break holes in four inches of ice on the stock tanks so the critters could drink.) In a short time, the goats began to freeze, even though they’d crowded together to try to keep warm. Marvin gathered up kindling and a pile of mesquite deadfall and made a big ‘bonfire,’ stacking the goats around it ‘like cordwood.’ Story was, he saved about half the herd from freezing to death.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 28, 2014

Campos, Coffey, Eder
Campos, Coffey, Eder

GABRIEL CAMPOS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ELLEN COFFEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public. Resisting arrest. (Frequent flyer.)

BO EDER, Fort Bragg. Assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury.

Jenkins, Nelson, Paniagua
Jenkins, Nelson, Paniagua

JAMES JENKINS, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

EROS NELSON, Fort Bragg. Felony vandalism.

TONY PANIAGUA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Steele, Vaughn, Williams
Steele, Vaughn, Williams

EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, under influence of controlled substance.

MOTECHUZOMA VAUGHN, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, receipt of stolen property, possession of controlled substance, prohibited person with ammunition.

LYDELL WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Violation of community supervision, resisting arrest.

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PROPOSITION 47 UPDATE II: Five cases were reviewed this week and all five defendants were eligible for “P47 relief” under the voter-approved “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” “P47 relief” means that the felony conviction is going to be reduced to a simple misdemeanor. It also means that the state prison sentence that was imposed by a local judge is going to be vacated. Finally, it means that the defendant is going to be released back to the community shortly without supervision. So who are these guys you may now want to ask? (First three previously posted — Ed)


4. Gerald Frank Roehrich, age 46 (previously living in Willits), is currently being housed at San Quentin State Prison. He was convicted in the Mendocino County Superior Court on September 10, 2014 of petty theft with at least three prior theft convictions, as a felony. Roehrich has generally a theft-related criminal record that dates back to at least 1993. He was convicted in Tehama County of vehicle theft (1993), residential burglary (1995), and vehicle theft (1995). He went to prison twice for these three felony convictions. He was convicted in Shasta County of burglary in the second degree (2002) and vehicle theft (2002). These convictions landed Roehrich back in state prison. He was convicted in Tehama County of attempted vehicle theft (2013) and sent back to prison for a fourth time. He was convicted in Lassen County of fighting in public (2013). Roehrich was required to be housed in state prison for his Mendocino County conviction because he also admitted a prior Strike conviction – the Tehama County residential burglary. Roehrich’s current state prison sentence was his fifth commitment to state prison. He now will be excused from serving the remainder of his two (2) year state prison sentence.


5. Donald Gene Schafer III, age 40 (previously living in Ukiah), is currently being housed at Avenal State Prison. He was convicted in the Mendocino County Superior Court on October 4, 2013 of petty theft with at least three prior theft convictions, as a felony. Schafer has generally a drug and theft-related criminal record that dates back to at least 1993. He was convicted in San Bernardino County of possession of drug paraphernalia (1993), providing false identification to a peace officer (1993), receiving stolen property (1993), vehicle theft (1994), and joyriding (1994), residential burglary (1995), vehicle theft (1995), being under the influence of a controlled substance (2000), robbery in the second degree (2000), possession of a stolen vehicle (2005), petty theft with prior convictions (2007), and possession of methamphetamine (2008). Schafer was convicted in Orange County of possession of methamphetamine (1994), possession of drug paraphernalia (1994), and receiving stolen property (1994). He was convicted in Mendocino County of petty theft with at least three prior theft convictions (2012). Schafer was required to be housed in state prison for his 2013 Mendocino County conviction because he also admitted one of his two prior Strike convictions – the San Bernardino County robbery. Schafer’s current state prison sentence was his fifth commitment to state prison. He now will be excused from serving the remainder of his 32 month state prison sentence.

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by Congressman Mike Thompson

President Obama recently used his executive authority to permanently safeguard two of California’s natural treasures. He officially expanded the California Coastal National Monument to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, and he designated 346,000 acres of public land in Southern California as the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

The president should be applauded for these actions, and I am proud to have worked with our local communities and the White House to make sure the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands received the permanent protection they deserved.

However, our state has many national treasures, and while some of them have been preserved, other areas are still in need of protection. One such area is the Berryessa Snow Mountain region.

Since 2012, I have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would designate the 350,000-acre Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Conservation Area. Under this designation, the region would be permanently protected, ensuring continued recreational opportunities while safeguarding the region’s beauty, wildlife, rare plants and waters — which include important sources of drinking water and irrigation for nearby communities. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

However, despite bicameral support, the legislation has not been voted on in either the House or the Senate. If Congress will not act to protect this area, then President Obama should use his executive authority to designate the region as a national monument. Such action would achieve the goals of my legislation.

The Berryessa Snow Mountain region stretches nearly 100 miles from the shores of Lake Berryessa to the flanks of Snow Mountain. It encompasses more than 350,000 acres across Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Solano and Yolo counties. The area is rich in wildlife, including bald and golden eagles, black bears, mountain lions, tule elk, and rare plants found nowhere else on Earth. The area provides habitat to so many kinds of plants and animals that it has been named a biodiversity hotspot.

Proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area
Proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area

The Berryessa Snow Mountain region also includes numerous trails, open spaces, lakes and rivers. These resources provide recreation opportunities for hikers, bikers, hunters, campers, off-highway vehicle users, and both motorized and non-motorized boaters.

That’s why many nationally recognized recreation and sportsmen groups support a national monument designation, including the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Back Country Horsemen and the Equine Land Conservation Resource. The Blue Ribbon Coalition, a national group that champions responsible off-road recreation, is also supportive as long as the monument designation allows for the same recreational access that my legislation provides.

A national monument designation would also provide a boost to our local economies. Protected public lands are major contributors to our country’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. In California alone, more than half of all residents participate in outdoor recreation each year, supporting more than 700,000 jobs and generating more than $6 billion for our state’s economy.

And, recent studies have shown that local economies surrounding national monuments expanded after the creation of a new national monument. Employment, personal income and per capita income either continued or improved in each of the regions surrounding the national monuments studied. That’s why more than 100 businesses in areas surrounding the Berryessa Snow Mountain region support a national monument designation.

Protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain region will help boost tourism, grow the local economy, improve recreation opportunities and protect important species. We do not want to lose out on these benefits because Congress will not act — and we do not have to. Through executive action, President Obama can protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region in the same way he protected the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands and the San Gabriel Mountains.

President Obama should step up where Congress hasn’t and permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a national monument.

Mike Thompson represents portions of Napa, Contra Costa, Lake, Solano and Sonoma counties in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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IN A WORLD that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?

— Stephen Hawking

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A man walks down the street

He says, “Why am I soft in the middle now?

Why am I soft in the middle?

The rest of my life is so hard

I need a photo opportunity

I want a shot at redemption

Don’t want to end up a cartoon

In a cartoon graveyard”

Bonedigger, bonedigger

Dogs in the moonlight

Far away my well-lit door

Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly

Get these mutts away from me

You know I don’t find this stuff

Amusing anymore

If you’ll be my bodyguard

I can be your long-lost pal

I can call you Betty

And Betty, when you call me

You can call me Al

A man walks down the street

He says, “Why am I short of attention?

Got a short little span of attention

And, woe my nights are so long

Where’s my wife and family?

What if I die here?

Who’ll be my role model

Now that my role model is

Gone gone?”

He ducked back down the alley

With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl

All along along

There were incidents and accidents

There were hints and allegations

If you’ll be my bodyguard

I can be your long lost pal

I can call you Betty

And Betty, when you call me

You can call me Al

Call me Al

A man walks down the street

It’s a street in a strange world

Maybe it’s the third world

Maybe it’s his first time around

He doesn’t speak the language

He holds no currency

He is a foreign man

He is surrounded by the sound, the sound

Cattle in the marketplace

Scatterlings and orphanages

He looks around, around

He sees angels in the architecture

Spinning in infinity

He says, “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”

If you’ll be my bodyguard

I can be your long-lost pal

I can call you Betty

And Betty, when you call me

You can call me Al
, Call me

Na na na na …

If you’ll be my bodyguard

I can be your long lost pal

I can call you Betty

— Paul Simon


  1. Jim Armstrong November 29, 2014

    Rick Weddle:
    Was there a Charles “Pete” Weddle in your family? He retired from the Army as a full colonel in the late 1960’s.

  2. Rick Weddle November 29, 2014

    Don’t know a Charles ‘Pete.’ My younger brother is Charles Scott, not remotely a colonel. We’re bound to be related somehow. Oldest reference I’ve found was ‘Wada,’ hill country outside London, where the name originated. Seems those first Wada-folk were noted for being the last of our kind to show up at a major battle with sticks, when everyone else was sporting swords, spears, bows and arrows…that kind of deal. We know this is not recommended. But they must have done alright; we’re still here. Knowing my Father, I can well see why.

  3. Harvey Reading November 29, 2014

    “I said I thought Cosby was particularly awful, with a simpering Aren’t I Cute performance so excruciatingly bad I felt embarrassed for him. Vaziri said, ‘Really? I thought he was great.'”

    Guess Cosby knows his (yuppie) audience … which hasn’t included me since the 60s.

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