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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Mar 2, 2015

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JUST IN FROM MCN's listserve: “You are invited to a meeting at the Fort Bragg Public Library on Saturday, March 14, 5-6pm to discuss decisions concerning the Hare Creek shopping mall, the Old Coast Hotel, and the proposed garbage transfer station on Highway 20, the site of a 100,000 year old Pygmy forest. The city's tourist trade, water supply and air quality are threatened. For more information, call Charla Thorbecke at 964-3321 or John Fremont at 961-0543. Thanks.”

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WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA: "Some patchy frost will be possible late tonight or early Tuesday morning. Low temperatures in the 30s may result in areas of frost Tuesday night." (National Weather Service)

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A PHILO READER WRITES: Last night around 6pm we were sitting at dinner with some friends at their place a few miles up Holmes Ranch Road when the house was given a very noticeable lateral shake that lasted a few seconds, not powerful enough to induce a huge spike in adrenaline, but strong enough to put us on “yellow alert.” We were prepped to head outdoors should another similar temblor hit. When we arrived back home later in the evening I immediately went online to check the MCN announce-listserve to see how many others had felt it. Nothing there… which I found odd, because usually the smallest change in weather or environing conditions evokes numerous posts, such as: “It's raining! It's raining!” or: “What was that loud BOOM?!” (There were thunderstorm cells in the area yesterday.) This morning I checked the US Geological Survey website and, sure enough, it listed a 2.9 intensity event occurring at 5:47pm. On the map the epicenter was marked to be in…Philo! I didn't know there were faults in those hills. But then, we were engaged in such intense, deep conversation that our thought-waves might have disrupted the geological equilibrium beneath us. To paraphrase Berryman: “Our thought made pockets and the ground bucked.”

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MINOR 2.9 TEMBLOR 12 MILES NW OF BOONVILLE SATURDAY — Clustered among a number of earthquake alerts sent out by the USGS Saturday (the ground in still rocking around Napa), was a 2.9 magnitude earthquake located 12 miles northwest of Boonville @ 5:47 pm — about the time sime thundershowers were rolling through. The quake was 3.2 miles deep. The Google Earth map shows the epicenter to be east of the town of Navarro. There were 15 responses of "feeling it:" Nine from Philo, two apiece from Elk & Fort Bragg (we didn't feel it and we at the computer when it happened) and one report each from Comptche and Manchester.

(Courtesy Mendocino Sports Plus.)

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A micro earthquake occurred at 5:47:03 PM (PST) on Saturday, February 28, 2015. 
The magnitude 2.9 event occurred 22 km (14 miles) ESE of Navarro Head, CA.
 The hypocentral depth is 5 km (3 miles). (—

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Dear Editor,

I am writing to advocate for the clients who will be served by the program they want to put in the Old Coast Hotel. The site does not provide the privacy that is mandated by the HIPPA laws for homeless and especially Mental Health clients. It is in the Central Business District, the corner is a fishbowl, the traffic flow and parking will be impacted negatively by the number of people working there, living there and getting services there.

Where will we park when we go to the bank, post office, Down Home Foods and the movies? The second floor is not accessible to people with disabilities. We need to find a more discreet and accessible site for this project.

I don’t understand why the Fort Bragg City Council has aligned itself with the Board of Directors of the Hospitality Center. This Board has 11 members. Only 3 members live in Fort Bragg. Eight members live in Mendocino, Albion, Elk, and the hills of Little River. I guess this is why they are not worried about privacy, parking or using the place to build tourism. They don’t know the community; they don’t live here.

The Ebb Tide or the “old social services” building are better sites for this project; better for the clients, better for the community. The City Council needs to listen to the people who live in Fort Bragg, pay the taxes and vote.


Carolyn Petersen, OTR/L

Fort Bragg

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An hour into its reintroduction to the public, the historic Zenith telescope had been observed and admired by at least 40 people at Ukiah’s Observatory Park Saturday afternoon.

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I AM NOT CHRIST or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ…. I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don’t get nailed to a cross or any other place.

— Che Guevara

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November 28, 2006 — THERE ARE PLENTY OF REAL CONSPIRACIES IN AMERICA. Why make a fake ones? Every few years, property czars and city officials in New York conspire to withhold fire company responses so that enough of a neighborhood burns down for the poor to quit and for profitable gentrification to ensue. That's a conspiracy to commit ethnic cleansing, also murder.

It's happening today in Brooklyn, even as similar ethnic cleansing and gentrification is scheduled in San Francisco. Bay View Hunter's Point is the last large black community in the Bay Area, sitting on beautiful Bay front property. So now it's time to move the black folks out. As Willie Ratcliff, publisher of SF Bay View, writes, "If the big developers and their puppets, the mayor [Democrat Gavin Newsom] and his minions, win this war, they will have made what may be the largest urban renewal land-grab in the nation's history: some 2200 acres of San Francisco, the city with the highest priced land on Earth."

That's a real conspiracy, even as many in the Bay Area left meander through the blind alleys of 9-11 conspiracies.

Machiavelli points out that every conspirator you add to the plot has less chance of preserving secrecy than the previous one. The 9-11 group in fact did tell people about their plans in various ways but the prevailing belief that Arabs couldn't do it prevented any of the revelations from being taken seriously. The view that a bunch of Arabs with boxcutters were not up to it was precisely the cover they needed.

The conspiracy virus is an old strand: the Russians couldn't possibly build a bomb without commie traitors. The Russians are too dumb. Hitler couldn't have been defeated by the Red Army marching across Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Traitors let it happen. JFK couldn't have been shot by Oswald — it had to be the CIA. There are no end to examples seeking to prove that Russians, Arabs, the Viet Cong, the Japanese, etc. etc. couldn't possibly match the brilliance and cunning cabals of white Christians. It's all pathetic but it does save the trouble of reading and thinking.

It's easy enough to proclaim one's readiness to "speak truth to power" as the self regarding tagline goes. As yet, that's not a very perilous thing to do, here in America, at least on the part of the folks who like to use the phrase. But to speak truth to people overwhelmed with a sense of powerlessness and hence ready to credit Bush and Cheney with supernatural powers of efficient evil — that's one of our functions. There's no point in marching forward under the banner of illusions.

— Alexander Cockburn

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Microsoft Word - 02-27-15 Boonville poster.doc

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 1, 2015

Arens, Bighead, Dutra, Fox
Arens, Bighead, Dutra, Fox

ANDREW ARENS, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

JASON BIGHEAD, Crescent City/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

FRANCES DUTRA, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

LANCE FOX, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Goddard, McNeill, Mendez
Goddard, McNeill, Mendez

JAMES GODDARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

CHRISTOPHER MCNEILL, Fort Bragg. Brandishing deadly weapon, possession of controlled substance, meth for sale, drug paraphernalia.

MICHAEL MENDEZ, Ukiah. Driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

Moye, Musgrave, Oakley, Rosales
Moye, Musgrave, Oakley, Rosales

DEREK MOYE, Ukiah. Battery.

GREGORY MUSGRAVE, Laytonville. Domestic battery.

STACY OAKLEY, Albion. Domestic assault.

RAYMOND ROSALES, Potter Valley. Criminal threats of death or great bodily harm.

Scerri, Thomasson, Yeomans
Scerri, Thomasson, Yeomans

KENNETH SCERRI, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.

AMBER THOMASSON, Ukiah. Petty theft, under influence of controlled substance, violation of court order, probation revocation.

DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

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It was a slow day

And the sun was beating

On the soldiers by the side of the road

There was a bright light

A shattering of shop windows

The bomb in the baby carriage

Was wired to the radio


These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is the long distance call

The way the camera follows us in slo-mo

The way we look to us all

The way we look to a distant constellation

That's dying in a corner of the sky

These are the days of miracle and wonder

And don't cry baby, don't cry

Don't cry


It was a dry wind

And it swept across the desert

And it curled into the circle of birth

And the dead sand

Falling on the children

The mothers and the fathers

And the automatic earth


These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is the long distance call

The way the camera follows us in slo-mo

The way we look to us all, oh yeah

The way we look to a distant constellation

That's dying in a corner of the sky

These are the days of miracle and wonder

And don't cry baby, don't cry

Don't cry


It's a turn-around jump shot

It's everybody jump start

It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts

Medicine is magical and magical is art

The boy in the bubble

And the baby with the baboon heart


And I believe

These are the days of lasers in the jungle

Lasers in the jungle somewhere

Staccato signals of constant information

A loose affiliation of millionaires

And billionaires and baby


These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is the long distance call

The way the camera follows us in slo-mo

The way we look to us all, oh yeah

The way we look to a distant constellation

That's dying in a corner of the sky

These are the days of miracle and wonder

And don't cry baby, don't cry

Don't cry

— Paul Simon

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by Dan Bacher

State and federal fishery scientists speaking at the annual salmon informational meeting held in Santa Rosa on Thursday, February 26, shared encouraging news for sport and commercial anglers for the upcoming 2015 ocean salmon season, in spite of the continuing drought in California.

Abundance forecasts, developed in modeling based on the 2014 returns of salmon to the rivers in 2014, particularly the two-year-old "jacks" and "jills," indicate there are 652,000 adult Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon and 423,800 adults from the Klamath River fall run in the ocean this year. That's a total of 1,075,800 salmon.

Fish from these runs comprise the vast majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.

These forecasts, surprising many anglers at the meeting since they were higher than last year, will be used over the next few months by fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas, and size and bag limits.

“The forecasts are encouraging and suggest that California fisheries may see salmon seasons in 2015 that have increased opportunities over last year,” said Melodie Palmer-Zwahlen, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Palmer-Zwahlen noted that Chinook salmon harvested in ocean fisheries in 2015 hatched 2-4 years ago and, as a result, have not been highly impacted by California’s drought.

Next year is a different story, though. "Starting next year, it is anticipated that future ocean salmon fishing opportunities may be impacted by the ongoing drought," she stated.

Dr. Michael O'Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service confirmed that "abundance forecast is relatively large" for Sacramento River fall Chinooks in 2015. There are two constraining factors on the fishery — the targeted fall Chinook "escapement" rate — the number of fish returning to the Central Valley rivers to spawn — and the allowable impact on winter Chinook.

First, the fishery must target an escapement rate of at least 195,596 fish. If the 2014 regulations were in place this year, the preliminary escapement prediction would be 337,602 salmon, well above the spawning escapement target, according to O'Farrell.

Second, the maximum allowable age-3 impact rate on winter Chinook salmon is 19 percent. If the 2014 regulations were in place this year, the maximum allowable age-3 impact rate would be 15.2 percent. "This is likely to constrain the fisheries south of Point Arena," O'Farrell noted.

While the Sacramento River fall run Chinook returns were promising, the winter and spring Chinook runs, both listed under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, declined from the previous year, due to the systematic mismanagement of Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs by the Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources during 2013 and 2014, record drought years.

The winter run return was only 3,015 fish, including 2,688 adults and 327 jacks. By contrast, the winter Chinook return was 117,000 in 1969.

A total of only 9,498 spring Chinook, once the most numerous salmon run in the Central Valley system, returned to the Sacramento and its tributaries. This number included 2,825 fish, including 2,163 adults and 222 jacks, from the Feather River Fish Hatchery.

Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and California Fish and Game Commission over the next few months. Thursday's meeting was a key first step in establishing coastal salmon fishing seasons and regulations for this year that are expected to be finalized and announced by the PFMC and the California Fish and Game Commission in April. Pending these decisions, the 2015 recreational salmon season is on track to open in most of California on Saturday, April 4.

Charter boat captains and recreational anglers attending the meeting were encouraged by the information presented by state and federal biologists. Rick Powers, Captain of the New Sea Angler in Bodega Bay, and Roger Thomas, Captain of the Salty Lady in Sausalito, both supported an ocean salmon season similar to the 2014 season while urging the fishery managers to consider reducing the size limit from 24 inches to 20 inches in the San Francisco Management Zone for as much time as possible to reduce fish mortality.

Coastside Fishing Club President and Science Director Dan Wolford, a voting member of the PFMC, said, "When it came to salmon projections for the state and anticipated ocean fishing opportunities during 2015, the mood at the meeting could be best described as cautiously optimistic. About 212,000 adult salmon returned to spawn in California’s Sacramento River and tributaries in 2014 — well above the 180,000 escapement objective previously set by fishery managers."

Wolford said another positive note was the solid number of returning two-year old fish, commonly referred to as "jacks" and "jills." Included in the overall returns for 2014 were 25,359 jacks — about 25 percent more than returned in 2013. Since the majority of these sub-adult salmon tend to stay out in the ocean for another year before returning, this is another positive sign for ocean salmon numbers and solid fishing opportunities in 2015.

Last year, scientists estimated an abundance of 554,932 adult Sacramento River salmon. Initial estimates for 2015 put the forecasted number of adults higher than last year, at 652,000.

"The 2014 returns are a pleasant surprise and point to the success of the extraordinary efforts of the Department to truck juvenile hatchery fish around the deadly conditions encountered in the rivers and bay-delta system," Wolford observed.

Wolford said returning adult salmon numbers on the Klamath River were also stronger in 2014 than in the previous year — with the 95,330 natural adult spawners more than doubling the established minimum of 40,700 fish. An additional 31,000 adult salmon also returned to the Klamath Basin hatcheries.

“We face many challenges in California, not the least of which is our continuing drought," said Wolford. "Still, the positive salmon return numbers from 2014 and the forecast for the coming season gives us reason to be hopeful. The PFMC will weigh these projections and take into account a wide range of considerations as it develops regulations that will ultimately decide when, where and how anglers can fish for salmon in the state."

Wolford was featured on a panel with Coastside Director Marc Gorelnik, who serves on the PFMC Salmon Advisory Subpanel, the body charged with developing season options for adoption, and other members of the PFMC and its advisory panels. Fishermen who want to stay on top of developing news and regulations can visit the Coastside Fishing Club website at

Dick Pool, Secretary of the Golden Gate Salmon Association and Administrator of, also said he is encouraged by the promising salmon numbers released by state and federal fishery scientists, but emphasized to need to take action to restore wild spawners to the Sacramento River system.

"I am pleasantly surprised that the outlook for this salmon season is better than I thought it would be," said Pool. "The 2014 returns were decent and I'm hopeful that recreational and commercial fishermen can have a reasonably good salmon season in 2015. At the same time, I think we are all aware of the heavy impact the drought will have on the 2016 to 2017 seasons. I fear the worst. We could even see another industry shut down."

"I've been studying the impact that high temperatures and stranding had on the salmon in the rivers during the drought. There is big trouble ahead. Lethal river temperatures and the stranding of salmon eggs when flows were cut after the fish spawned took a heavy toll in 2013 and 2014. Many millions of eggs failed to survive. We can expect the runs will therefore plummet in 2016 and 2017 when the adults do not return. Worst of all, it looks like the drought is continuing into 2015," he noted.

"The most important thing now is to get busy making serious investments to get the wild spawners back. It's clear that in the drought we have lost the majority of the wild fish. It will be very difficult to bring these fish back. Fortunately, there are a number of good habitat projects that can help if we move quickly. Plus, most of the hatchery fish survived. We will now have to lean on the hatcheries to help bring back the wild stocks. One promising technology is to inject selected surplus hatchery eggs into the gravel in the wild," concluded Pool.

For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website, or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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by Steve Heilig

For a few years in the 1970s, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were America's Beatles — the most popular rock "supergroup" of them all, known widely as "CSNY." And Graham Nash was the band's George Harrison — he was the Brit in the band, and even looked like "the quiet Beatle" — with Neil Young and Stephen Stills being Lennon and McCartney, leaving David Crosby as Ringo — which is where the analogy falls apart. They played the original Woodstock festival, sold out 100,000-seat stadiums, their songs were #1 anthems for a generation, whether about romance or against "Military Madness" (one of Nash's songs). Each had simultaneous successful solo careers, and true to rock fame form, the CSNY unit melted down in a blaze of excess, ego, addiction and infighting — only to reunite again and again to this day, all four now inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — twice, solo and together.

Nash was already no newcomer to rock stardom when he helped form CSNY in 1968. Born in a bombed-out Manchester slum in 1942, his passion for rock and roll ignited by the Elvis and the harmonies of the Everly Brothers, he was singing onstage for cash by his early teens and his first real group, the Hollies (named for Buddy Holly) was among the most popular British bands, stars of what became known as "swinging London." Nash drove a Rolls-Royce, and opened not only for the real Beatles but for the Rolling Stones and Little Richard, who then had a teenaged Jimi Hendrix on guitar. 
 But by the late 1960s, tensions in The Hollies and in Nash's young marriage led him to flee to California, not only into the arms and Laurel Canyon home of new flame Joni Mitchell but into his lifelong partnership with Crosby and Stills, a grouping he has called both the joy and the bane of his existence. He calls his musical partners "brash, egotistical, opinionated, provocative, volatile, temperamental, and so fucking talented." CSN (and sometimes Y) is a musical unit that has endured sporadically for decades, earning him fame, fortune, and pretty much every award popular music offers. He has sung for Presidents, and in an unlikely pinnacle for a kid from the slum, Queen Elizabeth made him an OBE — an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Notified of this, Nash at first thought it was David Crosby playing a practical joke, and an OBE being just below true Knighthood, Nash reflects "Would I have to suck up to Sir Paul and Sir Elton? Not in this lifetime."

All of this and much more is told with great recall and candor in Nash's 2013 autobiography "Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life," which is full of yes, sex, drugs and rock wildness, but wherein Nash also comes off as the most grounded of his famous partners. "It's all about the music," he proclaims over and over, and it must indeed be, for he relates much tension and outright conflict between himself and the mercurial Stills and "the strangest of my friends," Neil Young. Nash often has taken on the role of peacemaker among the prickly group, but his best friend David Crosby seems to have given him the most unintentional grief, by spiraling into severe cocaine and heroin addiction, entailing extreme dishonesty, non-repaid loans, bankruptcy, prison and near-death experiences, all of which Nash painfully endures with the devotion of deepest friendship. Theirs is an inspiring tale of lifelong mutual support and survival.

Long a devoted family man with three grown kids and two grandsons, at 72 Nash is still trim and spry with a twinkle in his eye, and divides his time between Los Angeles and Kauai when not still on the road with various musical partners. A committed longtime activist, he has lent his fame and talents to many causes — environmental, political, anti-nuclear, human rights, public health (including vaccination), anti-war movements, and more. But he has had another longtime passion since childhood — photography. He also paints and sculpts, but the camera seems to be his favorite tool after the guitar. "From the time I was ten, I've been obsessed with taking pictures," he writes. "And not just any old snapshots but pictures that captured something significant, something insightful about the subject." This second obsession, after music, has resulted in his large collection of other noted photographers' work, a book of his own and others' shots, and exhibits in major cities and galleries — including current one in the Mumm Napa winery’s Fine Art Photography Gallery through May.

I was able to interview him at a gallery in San Francisco, where the Mumm's champagne was flowing freely and he sang a few songs, showing that his voice was as sweet as ever.

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Let’s start with your photography. In your book you recall being very into cameras since you were ten years old. What drew you to it?

I was looking for stuff that interested me beyond the ‘normal.’ I realized that I saw things a little differently than my friends. And I think I kept doing that.

Have you always shot in black and white?

Yes, but now I do both that and color only because of digital cameras – what I do is shoot color and then put that into black and white using conversion software that is part of my own company.

You’ve said that you try to blend in and not be part of any photograph you shoot.

Yes, I don’t want my presence to be affecting the photograph I am taking. It makes one self-conscious. I know when I am being photographed myself. I know I want to look like Elvis or somebody, that I want my best side forward. Because we’re supposed to be cool, and we have ego. And that ruins the picture.

On that note, you wrote that you’ve always wondered if you were "cool" enough; that “I’ve always had trouble with my coolness quotient.” Even when you were mobbed onstage and hanging out with the Beatles and Stones and Dylan?

Yes. I never thought I was cool. I’ve always tried, but I’ve never made it.

You think that comes from your poverty-stricken childhood?

Must be. I’m a very ordinary man in many ways. I know I do some things special, and I don’t want to ever lose sight of the fact that I am just incredibly grateful to be here, to have done what I have and still do. I’m very lucky and I know it.

In your book you say that you are no genius, but it sure seems like you hung out with a few of them, and maybe some of that rubbed off.

I'm certainly no genius. I'm good at some things, but listen, the first thing I did when I moved to this country was move in with Joni Mitchell. Now that should make just about anybody humble about making music.

Well, I’m no Freud, but there seems a certain irony in that your father was arrested and imprisoned for stealing a camera when you were still quite young. Do you think that has something to do with you being so devoted to photography?

Of course. It has everything to do with it. I’m taking these photographs for me and my father. I’m extending his life by expanding what he taught me about the magic of photography many years ago when I was ten years old. He stood me before a crude enlarger and this blank piece of paper and 47 seconds later this image appeared out of nowhere – now that’s magic, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Have you been inspired by any photographers that you most admired and even collected?

Oh yeah. There are several – I love Diane Arbus and her sense of dark humor and her courage to face some of the subjects that she did. In fact, the very first image I ever collected was her “Boy in Central Park with Hand Grenade.” At a photo auction once, where all the VIPs and moneyed collectors come to preview things, I was there with a glass of wine and a guy comes over to me and goes, “Do you know who I am?” I have a pretty good memory for things and looked at him and said “No, I don’t think we’ve met.” And he said, “Oh, yes we have,” and I’m thinking, this is getting weird, you know — “Hey, security?” — and he says, “I’m the boy in Central Park.” He was by then about 40 years old, and I wanted to know what had happened for Arbus to get that angry photo of him. He told me he would take all his toy soldiers to Central Park but one day he pissed his mother off and she wouldn’t let him take any of them, just one thing, and he took that hand grenade. And he said this little lady in black came up and said "Son, can I take your picture?" And that was it.

You don’t seem to shoot ‘nature’ photos, like Edward Weston or Ansel Adams, but focus on people and odd moments…

Right, you have to have incredible respect for their ability and masterpieces, and I’ve even collected it, but it’s not the kind I take. People do like to see shots of some of my friends, but I concentrate more on surreal kinds of moments and disappear into those.

So, as for music, I loved the story of you as a poor British kid getting completely turned on by Elvis and the Everly Brothers…

Yeah, but probably even more, Buddy Holly.

Yes, and so much so that your first real band was named after him. And with The Hollies, you had many hits and were chased by girls and screamed at and all that hysteria at an early age. How did that affect you?

Well, that whole thing about playing for half a million people with CSNY and all that rock and roll stuff, by the time I got here I’d already been through all that, and really didn’t give a shit. We’d had 16 top ten records over there, so I could sing “Guinevere” with David and one guitar in front of 100,000 people, no problem.

But I wonder if your previous experience with stardom in The Hollies kind of inoculated you against the really tough struggles all of your CSNY bandmates seem to have gone through.

Yeah. Good point. And the truth is, I’ve always been much more interested in the music than any of the other crap that goes on around it. All I really have wanted was to touch people’s hearts and minds with our songs and singing.

As for music nowadays, the Grammy Awards were on last night, and it was pretty much all appalling to my ears and eyes. What do you think of the most popular stuff now? It seems to me there is just something missing…

Er, yeah, it must might be melody and message? I mean, with today’s music you can certainly shake your ass, and nothing wrong with that. But I’m a fan of great lyrics – I want to be able to hear a song, and then walk away singing it, to be affected and remember it. But a lot of modern music just doesn’t move my soul at all.

Does that make you feel old to say that?

Only in that exact moment when I just said that!

Another difference I see and hear is the blatant constant self-promotion and bragging, about being rich and all that. Maybe it was there before, but not like this?

It was there, but not like now, right. You know, in a way Woodstock was the beginning of the end, when corporations realized that they could sell stuff to millions of kids in new ways – sneakers, soft drinks, whatever. All of a sudden money raises its head everywhere in a different way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get paid well to do a show so you can pay your roadies and everybody, but it’s gotten out of control. I think it was blatantly brought to my attention when we went back to the Woodstock 25th anniversary show in 1994 and they were charging $12 for a bottle of water to a quarter million kids on a slab of concrete – and then they wondered why they were getting upset and things went bad?

You’ve long been very involved in philanthropy and benefits too. You’re a longtime activist on many issues. Why?

I think it just comes from wanting to give back – again, I’m this kid from Northern England, and look what I’ve been given. It shouldn’t all be happening to me but it has. But then you have to prioritize your time and money, because we get asked to do benefits by the million. So I’ve asked myself, what are the three things most important to me? And the answer has been, the planet, the fate of our kids, and our environmental health.

Environmental health as opposed to that of the planet?

Yes, because regarding the planet, if every single human being dropped dead this instant, the planet wouldn’t give a shit, it would keep spinning and something else would take over. Environmental health is how what we are doing is affecting our health – between environmental pollution on many levels, we face a lot of problems.

You wrote about overpopulation too, and even not many environmentalists want to talk about that, even though that underlies so much environmental distress, the projections are very bad and there’s no denying now that we are in big trouble.

They don’t want to talk about it, because you know why? Because the response is often "Wait a second, let me get this straight – you want me to stop fucking?" Sorry, never gonna happen.

So beyond providing contraception, what can be done?

Well for instance the Chinese have done their share for the world by not bringing into the world 300 million more Chinese this year. And they have an interesting point, with their 1.5 kids per couple policy, even though it may be in trouble now and is of course very controversial, they say “Wait a minute, we didn’t bring 300 million more people into this world, that’s our contribution” and it’s a good point. In any event, I wrote my first population song in 1964 with The Hollies and just called it “Too Many People.”

You also once did a benefit for child immunization efforts. Have you heard of the controversies regarding that, and the recent disease outbreaks? It’s a real problem here in Northern California.

Yep — I’ve got that problem going on in my own family! I think we need to get more and more science into this, to defuse the link between vaccination and autism, to bring down that evil myth. I’m willing to do my part to help with that if I can.

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"My Life Through My Lens" Photographs by Graham Nash
 Mumm Napa, 8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA. 866.783.5826.

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February was Black History Month. KMEC Radio winds up Black History Month with a special edition show on Malcolm X. We'll air this show live on Monday, March 2, at 1:00 PM, Pacific Time. Our guest is Kevin Gray. We're also trying to schedule Angela Davis for this or a future show.

Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago on Feb. 21, 1965. He was born on May 19, 1925 — he would be 90 years old this year had he lived.

KMEC Radio, your community radio, is heard at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We broadcast from the Mendocino Environmental Center.

We also stream live from the web at

Our shows are archived, available for podcast, and they are now also found on Youtube.

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Co-editor of the new book Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence, Gray said: “Whenever anyone uses the phrase ‘by any means necessary’ we automatically think of Malcolm X, otherwise known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. The phrase means that freedom and the fight for human rights are something worth dying for. He also knew that those opposed to the idea of freedom for all would kill to protect their power over those they deemed as powerless.

“Feb. 21 marks the 50th anniversary of Malcolm Shabazz’s death at the Audubon Ballroom in New York. Malcolm knew he was about to die before he went on stage. He knew being a threat to the status quo had a cost. He knew that the enemy were those opposed to freedom for all and telling the truth about American racism and white supremacy. Malcolm spoke the truth about the demand and need for racial equality, due process and equal justice for all. He spoke the truth about men and their shortcomings, the truth about our nation and its shortcomings.

“Malcolm gave his all. He gave his life. But before he died, he spoke of civil rights being human rights and taking the black freedom struggle beyond the boundaries of the United States. Because of Malcolm we understand the connectedness we have with the struggles of oppressed people around the world. Malcolm is a shining example of courage and an unfearing challenger of the status quo. We are better because he lived.

“The protests that have arisen across the nation in the aftermath of the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner and the countless others that have died at the hands of law enforcement and those acting under the color of law calls for connecting the struggles of oppressed people around the world to hold accountable those with unchecked power. Malcolm’s legacy calls for connecting the struggle of Ferguson, New York, Oakland, Detroit, Atlanta and many others towns, cities and states with those who struggle in Palestine. Malcolm’s legacy is to take action, even if it means giving the last measure. Or as Dr. Martin Luther King said: If someone ‘hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.’” Gray’s previous books include The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama.

Excerpts from Malcolm Shabazz’s speeches (he broke with the Nation of Islam in early 1964):

“We need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level — to the level of human rights. Whenever you are in a civil-rights struggle, whether you know it or not, you are confining yourself to the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam. … [T]he Negro problem is never brought before the UN. This is part of the conspiracy. This old, tricky blue-eyed liberal who is supposed to be your and my friend, supposed to be in our corner, supposed to be subsidizing our struggle, and supposed to be acting in the capacity of an adviser, never tells you anything about human rights.”
– “The Ballot or the Bullet,” April 3, 1964

“You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro. And the house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negroes got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put ‘em back on the plantation.”

– “To Mississippi Youth,” December 31, 1964. This and many other speeches are available via YouTube.

“They have a new gimmick every year. They’re going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: ‘Look how much progress we’re making. I’m in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I’m your spokesman, I’m your leader.’ While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education. …

“But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist? Not very many. They can jive, but when it comes to identifying yourself with a struggle that is not endorsed by the power structure, that is not acceptable, that the ground rules are not laid down by the society in which you live, in which you are struggling against, you can’t identify with that, you step back. …

“It’s easy to become a satellite today without even realizing it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. You can cut out colonialism, imperialism and all other kind of ism, but it’s hard for you to cut that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, you’ll fold though.”

– “The Prospects for Freedom in 1965,” at the Militant Labor Forum, New York City, Jan. 7, 1965. 
Audio from this and other speeches are found here:

“While I was traveling, I had a chance to speak in Cairo, or rather Alexandria, with President [Gamal Abdel] Nasser for about an hour and a half. He’s a very brilliant man. And I can see why they’re so afraid of him, and they are afraid of him — they know he can cut off their oil. And actually the only thing power respects is power. …

“This is a society whose government doesn’t hesitate to inflict the most brutal form of punishment and oppression upon dark-skinned people all over the world. To wit, right now what’s going on in and around Saigon and Hanoi and in the Congo and elsewhere. They are violent when their interests are at stake. But all of that violence that they display at the international level, when you and I want just a little bit of freedom, we’re supposed to be nonviolent. They’re violent. They’re violent in Korea, they’re violent in Germany, they’re violent in the South Pacific, they’re violent in Cuba, they’re violent wherever they go. But when it comes time for you and me to protect ourselves against lynchings, they tell us to be nonviolent. …

[On the Congo:] “And they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits black men, black women, black children, black babies, and you black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. …

“And with the press they feed these statistics to the public, primarily the white public. Because there are some well-meaning persons in the white public as well as bad-meaning persons in the white public. And whatever the government is going to do, it always wants the public on its side. … So they use the press to create images.”

– “The Last Message,” address to the Afro-American Broadcasting Company, Detroit, Michigan, Feb. 14, 1965, the night his home was firebombed and a week before his assassination; text and audio. found here:

* * *


Dogen's Message

The world? Moonlit

Drops shaken

From a crane's bill.

— Dogen (1200-1253)

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Dear Editor,

My respects and salutations as always to you and all those loyal readers out there. I've got some stuff to put on blast and get off my chest.

My attorney Patricia Littlefield of the alternate public defender's office just declared a conflict of interest on my case a week before trial. District Attorney Hopkins wasn't in the courtroom when he was the one who scheduled the pretrial. Patricia defended me valiantly and got the charge lowered. But at the end of the day I was thrown under the bus by her.

My case proves my innocence. I know I'm innocent but I'm still in county jail coming onto a year in county jail being labeled a high profile inmate on lockdown. Carly Dolan of the public defender's office declared conflict of interest on me a week before the preliminary also. Shit's starting to get really fishy. I don't believe in coincidence. This is obviously a district attorney tactic. Who else would benefit from more delays in my court process and eventual release? Maybe DA Hopkins is fabricating evidence and paying and coaching witnesses. Doesn't matter. Strength always prevails and my defense is still very very strong.

Now I have a private lawyer which even makes my case better represented. The district attorney only has things that make my defense look stronger. It's frustrating because I have children to go home to. I have a good family that loves me and I should not have spent more than a few months in jail. These worthless public defenders beg for more time to study my case only to pull this BS. When did this county become so crooked and corrupt?

These two dirty cops on my case were not even disciplined after they were impeached off of my case. Those pieces of crap tried to frame me. They even manufactured evidence and wrote bad reports and all their BS got tossed out of the courtroom.

Example: the woman's cellphone messages. Both detectives stated there were messages that sounded like something out of a movie. Both of the woman's phones were checked for these alleged messages that never existed. One of the women who allegedly the message was sent from told my investigator that she had never met me or even heard of me and she does not let anyone use her phone but she knows someone named Carley and doesn't get along with her. The Carley the cops allegedly spoke told my investigator that she never had any messages from me. That's why she let the cops look at her phone. That's why these dirty cops never took photos of these so-called messages. So the dirty cops got caught in their own web of lies. The bad thing is they're not dirty cops in the sense of pocketing a few dollars, they are dirty like shoot your kids down in the street and plant a gun on your kid and cry victim. Watch out folks and don't trust law enforcement. They burned these bridges down a long time ago.

Anyway, my lawyer told me the district attorney has no witnesses, no evidence and a very crazy outlandish story that at best is very unreliable. Why am I still in this county jail? That tells me that the district attorney thinks he can just have the jail break people to take deals so he makes himself look good. I wouldn't piss on this district attorney even if he was on fire. Conflict of interest my ass, more like backdoor shady politics. They called the California Department of Corrections and talked to the institutional investigations unit and that unit told the detectives and the district attorney that I'm an integral part of the white power movement in prison and all this other BS. So now I'm a danger to the jail population. Anyone who has been to prison in and around on level 4 180 yards or has been anywhere near those a-holes in squad were all somebody. So WTF! First off, I never got validated. I'm just me at the end of the day. So these amateur ass cops here in Mendocino County jail are keeping me locked down for a year straight with a new excuse every time I file a grievance. I don't give a bleep about that TV. I just know I'm right and I won't tolerate the BS here. The cops cater to child molesters and rapists in this jail. So people remember that next time you read "protect and serve."

I honestly enjoyed my cell to myself. I don't have to smell anyone's ass nor do I have to clean up after anyone. I've paroled from Kern Valley State Prison A yard 2 block and after my time on Level 4 and numerous SHU programs having all lifer cellies I really came to appreciate my freedom. Seeing what prison really does to people including myself. I listened to all those lifers who would literally kill to get my release date. The time and experience made me vow to get out and straighten out and be a full-time father to all my kids. Not just for them but for myself because a cell and a prison yard is no life for any man especially a man with good values and a good family such as myself. The California system is designed to keep people in prison forever. So I paroled and got two jobs and started on the third and stayed clean and motivated, even though the parole system is a giant scam and a waste of good time. I toughed it out until my ass got framed and scapegoated by the Mendocino County Sheriff's office. Now here I am doing a county jail isolation term in the hole. I got word from a cop here that has never lied to me or done me wrong. I was told the district attorney called the jail commander and told him to keep me in lockdown. So they can try to manipulate me to their games. Like I'm just going to roll over and take it in the ass from the district attorney.


This county jail is a joke and is nothing to what I've already been through in prison. It's like walking into a level 4 180 block. It's so quiet the smallest pin drop can be heard. The tension is so thick you could cut it like cheese. People smile and shake your hand but they are thinking, Do I have to kill this dude if it cracks off? So this time here is smooth sailing compared to where I've been. And all you homeboys in prison, my advice is don't come back here to this corrupt county. They might frame you and succeed for no better reason than to just piss all over your life and your hard-won freedom. I send my love and respect to all those who matter.

Yours Truly, The scapegoat of the County of Corruption.

Michael France


One Comment

  1. Randy Burke March 2, 2015

    Frank Zappa again

    “I got my khakis pressed
    My hair processed
    My right front fender reprimered,
    And I gave you my ring
    At the rootbeer stand….
    (Stomp, stomp, or snap snap, or clap clap),
    Wowie, Zowie”

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