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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Mar 18

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ACE MENDO COAST ATTORNEY ROD JONES is representing the Fort Bragg people opposed to the purchase and conversion of the Old Coast Hotel to a mental health halfway house. The meeting between Jones and the City of Fort Bragg has been postponed. The City of Fort Bragg (represented by a San Francisco lawyer, and so much for buying local) says it needs time to allow their legal staff to respond to Jones's first blast. Meanwhile those who would like to contribute to help fund the opposition to the Coast Hotel project, can leave checks made out to Rod Jones, at Colombi's Market.

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TO: Fort Bragg City Council

416 N. Franklin Street

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Re: CDBG grant for MCHC [Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center] Purchase of Old Coast Hotel

Dear Council Members:

I represent the Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg, a newly-formed and unicorporated association whose members share, both among themselves and with the MCHC, a desire to see that the homeless in our area are treated with dignity, respect and receive appropriate social and medical services. This core group, a part of the roughly 1,220 residents who signed a petition to you asking that that 101 North Franklin not be the site for the new MCHC facility, are asking for your further in-depth consideration.

If I correctly understand matters, final action has not been taken on this project. On January 12, 2015, you approved Resolution No. 15-014, approving the future transfer of over $1 million to “acquire a homeless services facility.” Your upcoming April 13, 2015 full Council meeting, the agenda shows:

“Consideration of Forgivable Loan Agreement with Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, Inc., for up to $1,162,791 to Acquire and Rehabilitate the Old Coast Hotel located at 101 North Franklin Street, Using Funds from CDBG Grant #14-CDBG- 9881. Funding for the facility purchase will total $900,000, and remaining funds of up to $262,791 will be allocated for purchase and escrow fees and for rehabilitation plans, construction management, and construction. This will be the final action required of City Council for release of the CDBG funding for this activity.”

I am writing to ask that you final action be deferred and that this matter be reconsidered, including a reopening of public comment. My understanding is that CDBG rules or guidelines allow you to defer the receipt of these allocated monies for a period of three years without penalty.

I base my request for such action on the following points, which include legal attributes worth your consideration.

Lack of Accurate Public Notice of January 2015 Meeting

Evidently a number of citizens were confused about both the timing and location of this meeting that was an essential or pivotal one where you passed the resolution in question.

The agenda was publicized on December 31, 2014 but had the wrong address for the project (showing South Franklin rather than North Franklin). The Advocate wrote an article that addressed the problem but it did not appear until January 8, 2015, which was the same day an amended agenda was posted. This, of course, gave the public only four days advance notice of the location and time. The corrective action by City staff is commendable but the resultant time line may not have been legally sufficient.

Unclear Allowance of Activity under Zoning Law

The City’s Fact Sheet (“Homeless Services Facility”) found on your website recites that the proposed use “for homeless and mental health services downstairs and transitional housing upstairs is already allowable.” (Emphasis in original.) Similarly, staff’s Agenda Item Summary (Item No. 4A) for the January 12, 2015 meeting expresses that this is a “’permitted use’ in the Central Business District so a use permit is not required.” The Consistency finding on page 3 states the use is “consistent with…Section 18.22.060.B, which allows residential component mixed use only on second or upper floors.”

When I looked up this section, I was somewhat surprised to find that it addresses “CBD Frontage and Façade Standards,” and issues relating to pedestrian street character and flow as well as façade design. I didn’t find anything there about residential upstairs uses. That said, it is evident that section 18.22.030 allows mixed use of CBD property consistent with Table 2-6. When I turned to that table under “Residential Uses,” it appeared to me that “Emergency/transitional shelter” was not allowed.

On the evening of February 27, I wrote to Coordinator Jennifer Owen about the question and she indicated by email of March 2 that, “There is a difference between “emergency/transitional shelter” and “transitional housing.” She added: “I'm not a planner, and both Marie Jones and our planner Sean O'Rourke are out today, so I can't point you to the precise code sections or law that clarify and codify the distinction. I will ask one of them to provide you with more specific information when they return tomorrow.”

Unfortunately, I’ve not heard from either of them at this point. I could not find any further definition in the Code as to the meaning of “transitional” shelter but do note that the project proponents and the City both agree that is a full part of this project. Certainly there are some understood differences between “emergency” and “transitional” shelter, though I’m a bit puzzled where that line is drawn exactly. But I don’t see that the Code discriminates between the two in terms of permitted use. And MCHC evidently will be providing somewhere between five and 11 units of transitional housing.

Need for Public Discussion as to Client Privacy & Appropriateness of this Location

You were presented recently with a letter signed by seven social service professionals, indicating that in their opinion the OCH site is inadequate and inappropriate because it does not provide any level of privacy and discreet contact. As all know, this is a very busy intersection and passing motorists will have significant opportunity to scrutinize and comment upon people entering and leaving. Yet client privacy is essential to such providers and anything that might have the effect of limiting client access, e.g. a fear of being seen, labeled and judged, as these professionals put it, would impair effective delivery of services. As they aptly put it, “If you were seeing a psychiatrist or in crisis, would you rather go to a private office or a “Center” in the middle of town being used for classes, housing and possibly a coffee shop?”

Other individual letters have been submitted that echo these concerns. One is by an LCSW who has practices 42 years, noting, “It is difficult enough for some mental health patients to have the courage to go for services, but to be seen by anyone walking or driving by can cause humiliation and shame. The entrances are inplain view of the public on both streets…Inside the building itself, there is very little privacy as well. The walls are thin, it is an old building and partitions will create a visual barrier but not a sound barrier.”

Another LCSW with 30 years practice, ending with, “My greatest fear is that if this is pushed through, and then it fails for all the reasons being expressed by others in our community, it will set back the goal of having a needed place. Let’s insist that our community think long and hard about the needs of the most fragile, and then design an environment where they are welcomed and feel safe.”

Questions for which the Public should have Answers

As a matter of robust and complete public discussion, there are a few topics that have remained obscure and demand transparency.

The City’s Fact Sheet indicates that the City voted “to approve the purchase” of the property in question. It does not clarify if the City thereby becomes the actual deed holder in trust for MCHC or whether it is simply handing the money over to that agency. If the City may end up potentially being the owner of the property, for example, were the private service provider to meet its demise or MCHC to change its purposes, what would that mean in terms of taxpayer liability?

Your staff Agenda Item Summary indicates that MCHC “actively searched for a suitable location” over eight months and “at least 20 different properties were considered and reviewed.” But the public lacks any further information about which properties and why they were found unacceptable to MCHC. Nor does the public have any information about the unnamed real estate professional who provided pro bono services.

The Summary recites that it was the “generosity of the Carines” that makes the OCH affordable. Without doubting that assertion, it seems the public ought to be informed about the general parameters of this arrangement and the extent to which a taxwrite off comes into play for the sellers.

There will only be “minimal interior rehabilitation activities,” according to the Summary. How will that provide, then, the necessary privacy and confidentiality for clients? Is a long-range plan to provide confidential services to clients consistent with the opening of a future coffee bar or commercial kitchen and/or computer lab. Does this “arrage of future uses” all comply with zoning and permit laws? Does this mix truly make sense or is it just a selling point?

Is the off-street parking appropriate and will it establish bad precedent? I could not find anything addressing this in the City’s documents to date. Yet these requirements have been rigorously enforced in the past by the City. Why the pass at this point for this project?

Why is this project being expedited? How urgent is the need, given the long-standing loss of units now for some time. What is lost by a further delay of a month or two? Apparently this project hit the City staff’s desk rather suddenly sometime in November 2014 and reached a resolution approval within in less than sixty days. Now the public is also being told that escrow may open by March 15 to move the sale along. All of this is unusual fast-track approval that not everyone in the City gets with their requests. Are there special considerations at work here that the public should know about?

Strong Public Sentiment Disfavoring this Location

My understanding is that those who want to see us provide for the homeless but not at this particular location were able in a matter of days to gather over 1200 signatures of residents and business owners. These were presented to you. Evidently they did not sway the vote and the resolution passed with three in favor, one against, and one abstaining. Commonly, in matters involving state environmental regulation, a significant environmental impact can arise by virtue of notable public opposition to a project, requiring the project proponent and lead agency to take this into account in conducting review. While the principle may lack direct application to this particular case, it certainly suggests that the project deserves additional consideration before the money is obtained and disbursed.

Inappropriate Compliance with CDBG Citizen Participation Requirement

The City did take the appropriate steps back in 2014 to consult with CDBG when the initial application was submitted. However, as you know, that was for a site at 300 N. Harrison, which proposal was abandoned by November 2014. Apparently both CDBG Section Chief Thomas Brandeberry and the City are of the opinion that no further participation is required. I’m somewhat doubtful about the strength of this conclusion and will be reviewing CDBG guidelines.

I’m sure you know that the HUD “Citizen Participation Requirements” found in subpart (a) of 24 CFR §570.486 [Local government requirements] specify that local agencies must, “Ensure that citizens will be given reasonable and timely access to local meetings, information, and records relating to the unit of local government's proposed and actual use of CDBG funds.” The agency must “[p]rovide for a minimum of two public hearings, each at a different stage of the program, for the purpose of obtaining citizens' views and responding to proposals and questions.” Finally, and of equal importance, the agency must “[p]rovide citizens with reasonable advance notice of, and opportunity to comment on, proposed activities in an application to the state and, for grants already made, activities which are proposed to be added, deleted or substantially changed from the unit of general local government's application to the state. Substantially changed means changes made in terms of purpose, scope, location or beneficiaries as defined by criteria established by the state.”

I’d urge that, out of an abundance of caution and respect for the residents of Fort Bragg, and the fact that you’ve already chosen to publicly agendize the new location for comment, you will consider taking further public input and deferring your final decision.


Rodney R. Jones, Attorney at Law


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ON TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 at approximately 2:50 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies contacted Donald Bowman, 42, of Fort Bragg, and Danielle Abbott, 40, of Fort Bragg in a vehicle on Gravel Pit Road within Jackson State Forest, just south of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, California. Deputies knew Bowman to be on active felony probation with a term that he submit his person and property to search. During a search of Bowman’s person, Deputies located a plastic bag containing a suspected controlled substance. The suspected controlled substance field-tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine and had a net weight of 5.4-grams. During a search of the vehicle, Deputies located a container with two glass methamphetamine pipes. Further investigation revealed that Abbott was presently under the influence of a controlled substance and in control and possession of the glass pipes. Bowman was transported to and being held without bond at the Mendocino County Jail. Bowman was booked for possessing a controlled substance for sale and violation of his probation. Abbott was cited and released at the scene for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. On 03-11-2015, Deputies conducted further investigation into a chainsaw also found in Bowman’s possession during the aforementioned search. Based on that investigation, Deputies positively identified the estimated $1,000 chainsaw as stolen property and an additional complaint was filed with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office against Bowman for possession of stolen property and grand theft.

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ON MONDAY, March 9, 2015 at about 5:00 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Covelo, California area regarding a report of a subject in a vehicle chase shooting at the vehicle in front of him. Deputies responded with assistance from the California Highway Patrol. While responding to the location, Deputies received radio dispatch updates providing them with further information and a vehicle description of the suspect. Deputies encountered the suspect vehicle on Highway 162 near Dos Rios. A traffic stop was conducted and Dustin Henderson, 39, a transient, lately of Willits was identified as the driver. While Henderson was detained at the scene of the traffic stop, Deputies were able to contact the victim. Further investigation revealed Henderson had passed the victim’s vehicle on Highway 162 and when doing so collided with the vehicle while completing the pass. Henderson pulled away and stopped his vehicle in the roadway. Henderson produced a pellet pistol which the victim believed to be a firearm. Henderson fired the pellet pistol at the victim’s vehicle shattering the passenger window and breaking the windshield. The victim was then pursued by Henderson into the Covelo area where he continued to shoot the pellet pistol at the victim’s vehicle. The vehicles traveled through the town of Covelo at a high rate of speed until the victim was able to elude Henderson in the follow of traffic. A search of Henderson’s vehicle revealed a pellet pistol which had the appearance of a firearm as well as pellets, marijuana, and suspected methamphetamine in a hypodermic syringe. Also located in the vehicle were several items of stolen property from a burglary in the Willits area. Henderson was also found to have a theft related felony warrant for his arrest out of the state of Missouri. Henderson was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, receiving stolen property, vandalism, possession of marijuana for sales, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Henderson was to be held at the Mendocino County Jail in lieu of $30,000.00 bail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 17, 2015

Chavez, Clark, Espinosa-Martinez
Chavez, Clark, Espinosa-Martinez

DAVID CHAVEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

WILLIAM CLARK, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.


Felt, Maxey, McPherson, Plascencia
Felt, Maxey, McPherson, Plascencia


EAN MAXEY, Fort Bragg. DUI.

WILLIAM MCPHERSON, Ukiah. Domestic assault, battery with serious injury.

ADAM PLASCENCIA, La Mirada/Boonville. Impersonating someone else.

Rozek, Strauss, Williams
Rozek, Strauss, Williams

ZACHARIA ROZEK, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

CARRIE STRAUSS, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic assault.

LYDELL WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.

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THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED IN GOLDSBORO, North Carolina in 1961. A B-52 Stratofortress carrying two Mark 39 nuclear bombs broke up in mid-air, dropping its nuclear payload in the process. The two 3-4 megaton nuclear bombs separated from the gyrating aircraft as it broke up between 10,000 and 2,000 ft.

One of the bombs activated, causing it to execute many of the steps needed to arm itself, such as charging the firing capacitors and, critically, deployment of a 100-foot-diameter retard parachute. The bomb that descended by parachute was found intact, and standing upright as a result of its parachute being caught in a tree. According to the bomb disposal expert responsible for disarming the device, the arm/safe switch was still in the safe position, though it had completed the rest of the arming sequence.

The Pentagon claimed at the time that there was no chance of an explosion and that two arming mechanisms had not activated. In 2013, information released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed a single switch prevented detonation.

The second bomb plunged into a muddy field at around 700 miles per hour and disintegrated without detonation of its conventional explosives.

In 2013, Lt. Jack Revelle recalled the moment the second bomb's switch was found. “Until my death I will never forget hearing my sergeant say, "Lieutenant, we found the arm/safe switch." And I said, "Great." He said, "Not great. It’s on arm."

— The Armageddon Papers

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Letter to the Editor

Given that most, if not all, of your readers are liberals, the article I recently read by Sandra Drury in the magazine Free Inquiry is important. She points out that the liberal values, which include tolerance, could be swept away. The liberal state founded upon those values does not automatically last forever.

She asks this question; When Muslims are a majority in the West, will they respect our liberty as we have respected theirs? It seems that they will not, given the bombings and terrorism they now practice. American has been a melting pot, but that is different than multiculturalism, which has failed in Europe to assimilate Muslim immigrants.

Must we be tolerant of intolerance? Must we allow Muslims in the West to operate under their own set of values and moral codes and laws when they live in the West? They ask us to respect their beliefs, but do not respect ours, and they get violent if we do not respect their values. They do not believe in the old adage, “When in Rome…” We liberals like to practice tolerance, but it is foolhardy to be tolerant of intolerance. It can be culturally suicidal.

The radical Muslims get violent and point to us as the cause of their violence because we criticized their Prophet. That is erroneous, since the cause of their violence is their lack of belief in freedom of speech.

The recent instances of the Muslim world’s reaction to political cartoons that criticized the Prophet Mohammed, which included Jihad and death threats must not be tolerated. When Muslims live in the West they must be forced to obey the laws and respect the values of the West. If they are not forced to do so, they can and will undermine the liberal values of the West.

Those values are not going to last unless they are defended. They will not last if they are taken for granted. Why should religion be given a pass? Why should religion be respected just because it is religion? It should not. Why should we continue to respect a bunch of stories made up thousands of years ago that have little or no relevance to the modern world? What will be done next in the name of God? Will the separation of Church and State be ended? Will we liberals tolerate it when it happens? I hope not. (I was going to say “I pray not”, but that would be ridiculous.)

Religion is just one of many social institutions in any society. We have the institutions of the family, the judicial system, the educational system, the economic system, community centers, and so on. Religion is not special; it’s not sacred, and it should not be given special considerations. Period. Even though the Pope said it should.

Lee Simon

Still in Virginia

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I live in Oakland, and it appears we aren’t as subject to the whims of the Silicon Valley as these other folks. I grew up in San Jose and my mother worked in microprocessor production for 25 years. What is happening there now does not surprise me one bit. That industry was never worth a damn!

First, though, add a looming transportation disaster to these descriptions as the commuter gridlock gets worse almost daily. I am retired but I can see that just the East Bay-SF commute is a 2-3 hour nightmare every day. Adding profits to Chevron et al. Extend this picture south to Monterey and north to the wine country and, well, it won’t be pretty. Public transportation is also running near capacity and thousands of workers are being added to SF, but no one is thinking about where they will live and how they will get to work.

But though we have rising rents in Oakland we also have a booming local economy. My neighborhood near Lake Merritt has had a huge influx of young folks, many with infant children, in the last few years, and with our restaurants and the downtown entertainment district, we are not a sleepy city. Silicon Valley was always mostly veneer, and what people see in Palo Alto and Mountain View is the result. Palo Alto, OBTW, is also home to Stanford University. And you can’t find a house there for less than a million bucks. Maybe that isn’t such a good thing.

The state does have a gangster history when it comes to water. But then Capitalism turns everything to shit. Snow pack is less than 20%. I see produce from Mexico and South America. WHY?! Agriculture is only 5% of the state’s economy and gets 80% of our water. People will waste water until it hits their pocket books. And then the right-wingers will blame it on “illegals” – and Obama of course!

But never forget, CA gave the world both Nixon AND Reagan.

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Willits, Ca - In the first two months of winter, CAL FIRE has responded to a significant increase in the number of wildfires due to the continuation of dry fuel conditions. As a result, CAL FIRE officials are reminding residents to ensure that they are maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space around their residence. This reminder comes months earlier than normal. “Now is the time to take this opportunity and ensure that each residence is prepared for the coming fire season.” said Unit Chief Christopher Rowney.

Creating and maintaining a Defensible Space often involves power equipment. Residents are asked to use extreme caution using this equipment during the heat of the day. Clearance work should be done early in the day when it is cool and the humidity is high to avoid a sparking a wildfire. Avoid clearing on days that are hot, dry, windy, and especially on days with high fire conditions like Fire Weather Watches or Red Flag Warnings.

The intent of Defensible Space is to improve safety for fire fighters defending a home as well as increase the survivability of a “Building or Structure” that exist in grass, brush, and forest covered lands within the designated State Responsibility Area (SRA) of California.

Defensible Space regulations, Public Resource Code 4291, have been updated to the following:

  • Maintain 100 feet of Defensible Space around all structures of all dead or dying vegetation.
  • Remove all leaves and pine needles from rain gutters or on top of roofs.
  • Remove dead trees or shrub branches that overhang roofs, and below or adjacent to windows.
  • Keep branches a minimum of 10 feet away from chimney and stovepipe outlets.
  • Relocate firewood piles outside the 30 foot zone unless covered with a fire resistant material.
  • All exposed wood piles must have a minimal clearance of 10 feet down to bare mineral soil in all directions.
  • Remove all flammable vegetation or items that could catch fire from adjacent to or under combustible decks, balconies and stairs.
  • Dead and dying woody surface and aerial fuels shall be removed within the 100 foot zone.
  • Loose surface litter consisting of leaves, pine needles, and twigs shall be permitted to a maximum depth of 3 inches.
  • Cut annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
  • Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) storage tanks shall have a minimum 10 foot clearance down to bare mineral soil and no flammable vegetation for an additional 10 feet.

For more fire information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space visit: Always remember One Less Spark means One Less Wildfire.

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On Tuesday March 17, 2015 the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors proclaimed the week of March 23-27, 2015 as Tsunami Preparedness Week. The Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services, in cooperation with the Counties of Humboldt and Del Norte, the National Weather Service, and the California Emergency Management Agency has scheduled a Tsunami Warning System Test on March 25, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT. If you are watching television between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon on Wednesday March 25, expect to see a crawler at the bottom of the screen indicating that a tsunami warning has been issued and hear a voice indicating that it is only a test. If you don’t hear the TV audio, please remember that this is only a test. If you are listening to the radio you will hear alerting tones followed by a voice announcing that the test is occurring. If you have a NOAA weather radio with the Public Alert feature the radio will automatically turn on and you will hear the same message as broadcast on radios. If you live in or near the City of Fort Bragg or the City of Point Arena you may hear the sounding of Tsunami Sirens. The sirens, when activated, will “wail” for approximately 3 minutes. There are two sirens located in the Noyo Harbor area and one located in the Pudding Creek area of Fort Bragg. There is one siren located in Arena Cove in the City of Point Arena. As part of the Tsunami Warning system the Civil Air Patrol, weather permitting, will be flying along the coastlines of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties testing their public address system. The public address system will state: “This is a test of the Civil Air Patrol public address system. Please provide feedback to the National Weather Services at 443-6484.” The Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services will also test their emergency notification system (Reverse 911) with a public service announcement in the Fort Bragg and Point Arena areas. If there is a real earthquake in the Pacific Ocean that has the potential to generate tsunami for our coastline the test will be cancelled. For more information on how to survive an earthquake or prepare for a tsunami please visit the following website. Please help us evaluate this test by following the links online or by telephone at: 707-443-6484 For questions please contact the Office of Emergency Services at (707)467-6497 or e-mail at

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Mendocino County Museum Road Show “Brings History to the People”

Featuring reenactments of local history and new and traditional musical accompaniment, the Mendocino County Museum Road Show returns to the stage for three weekends in March.

Using oral history and historical archives, Museum Road Show Artistic Director Linda Pack created the program with help from Ukiah Players Theatre director Kate Magruder. Pack and Magruder also act in the show, along with local talent Rick Allan, Ricci Dedola, Billy Hetherington, Nichole Phillips, and Tony Rakes.

“We’re bringing history to the people, bringing it alive, using the real words of the people who lived those stories,” says Pack. The old-fashioned theatre setting, period costumes, and archival photos, along with folk tunes like “Lorena,” the strains of which used to drift over Civil War battlegrounds, transport the audience to a different era. The Road Show will also feature the debut of “Ballad of Black Bart,” an original song by David Alden of All About Sally.

Accounts range from that of long-lived Lucy Young, a Native woman whose grandfather predicted the arrival of Europeans, to the short-lived members of the Coates and Frost families in Willits, who engaged in a multigenerational feud over their Civil War loyalties.

Other notable characters include Sheriff Jeremiah “Doc” Standley, who talked an angry mob out of attacking a group of Chinese immigrant railroad workers; Helen Carpenter, mother of Grace Hudson, whose arduous trek from Kansas to Potter Valley was fraught with peril; and the inimitable Black Bart, who was known for robbing Wells Fargo stagecoaches and leaving poetry at the scene of the crime.

From small stories to tall tales, a unifying theme runs through these snapshots of everyday life: people building lives for themselves in often-hostile conditions. By the end, the audience learns how people cooked their food (including a recipe for grey squirrel in Boontling, the language invented by Boonville residents), how they loved and fought, and how they banded together to carve out lives for themselves.

According to Pack, the homespun nature of the stories is part of their lasting appeal: “Nobody made up ‘Doc’ Standley or Lucy Young. They’re like you, like me, doing the best they can. And they did it right here where we are.”

The Mendocino County Museum Road Show will play at 7:30 pm for one night only at the following venues: Saturday, March 7 at Willits High School; Friday, March 13 at Arena Theater in Point Arena; Saturday, March 14 at SPACE Theater in Ukiah; Friday, March 20 at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo; and Saturday, March 21 at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. There will also be a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, March 15 at SPACE Theater in Ukiah. Doors open 30 minutes early.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for youths (20 and under). Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended; the Road Show sold out last year. Tickets are available online, by phone, and in person. Visit or call (707) 459-2736 for more information.

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The following is sponsored by the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County and in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency. Sid Garza-Hillman Certified Nutritionist, Health Coach, and Author, Sid believes that the closer we move by degrees to our natural design in physical nutrition, movement, socializing, and what he calls “mental nutrition” (journaling, meditation, mindfulness, creativity), the healthier and happier we will be in the modern world. Saturday, March 21, 2015 9:30-11:30am Stanford Inn, Mendocino (offered free of charge) To Register, contact the Cancer Resource Centers 707.937.3833

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Our goal is to restore representation for the people of Northern California, either by splitting the state or returning the State to the Federal model where each county will have it's own Senator. We have a good plan to make this happen and it's well under way. We invite you to come and learn about The State of Jefferson, meet the organizers and ask your questions.

Location: Ukiah Fair Grounds - Fine Arts Building

Time: Saturday March 21st @ 2pm

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Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anyone at home?


Come on, now

I hear you're feeling down.

Well I can ease your pain

Get you on your feet again.



I'll need some information first.

Just the basic facts.

Can you show me where it hurts?


There is no pain, you are receding

A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.


When I was a child I had a fever

My hands felt just like two balloons.

Now I've got that feeling once again

I can't explain you would not understand

This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb.



Just a little pinprick.

There'll be no more, ah!

But you may feel a little sick.


Can you stand up?

I do believe it's working, good.

That'll keep you going through the show

Come on, it's time to go.


There is no pain, you are receding

A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.


When I was a child

I caught a fleeting glimpse

Out of the corner of my eye.

I turned to look but it was gone

I cannot put my finger on it now

The child is grown, The dream is gone.

I have become comfortably numb.

— Roger Waters

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HazMobile Returns to Boonville Fairgrounds, March 27 & 28, 2015

The HazMobile household hazardous waste collection team will return to the Boonville fairgrounds parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 27 & 28, 2015. Dangerous chemicals that can’t go in the trash are accepted by the HazMobile for recycling or special disposal. The HazMobile is free to households but there is a limit of 15 gallons per vehicle per day (or 60 feet of fluorescent tubes). The 15 gallons is measured by the capacity of the containers of hazardous materials. If individuals wish to dispose of more than 15 gallons, they must make a special appointment and a fee will be charged. Small business waste is also welcome at the collection but an appointment must be made and a fee will be applied per gallon of waste. When bringing materials to the HazMobile, the public should be careful that items are kept in their original containers (except motor oil which can be consolidated), that nothing is leaking, and that all containers are tied down. Toxic items like paint, antifreeze, pesticides, herbicides, pool chemicals, gasoline, solvents, acids, bases, toxic cleaners, auto and household batteries, medications, and fluorescent light tubes are accepted by the HazMobile. Explosives and road flares are excluded. Motor oil, computer monitors and televisions can be recycled at the Boonville Transfer Station, Mountain View Road, open Tuesday-Wednesday 9-4 and Saturday-Sunday 9-4. The HazMobile collects at some location in Mendocino or Lake Counties almost every weekend. The schedule and more information is available by calling the local Recycling Hotline, 468-9704, or on the internet at The HazMobile is a service of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority. Financial support is provided by CalRecycle.

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The Cloverdale Arts Alliance is pleased to announce a series of four Wine Appreciation Workshops beginning April 9 and continuing April 23, May 14 and May 28. The workshops will run from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery, located at 204 North Cloverdale Blvd. This fun, educational and interactive four-session program will take a look at varietals, regions, methodology and more!All levels of wine expertise are welcome.The setting will be casual and welcoming. Each tasting session will feature a selection of world class wines from the famous to the obscure, information on the week’s subject, a small cheese and/or charcuterie plate paired to that week’s subject, a mock wine “competition”, and a whole lot of fun. Your hosts will be Cloverdale wine couple Christopher O’Gorman (Paul Hobbs Wines) and Alexandra O’Gorman (Ramey Wine Cellars). Chris has been swirling, sniffing and spitting (most of the time!) since 1986 when he got his first winery job in the Dry Creek Valley.Following graduation from Healdsburg High and U.C. Berkeley, he worked in wine sales, followed by long stints at E. & J. Gallo Winery, Merryvale Vineyards and currently Paul Hobbs Wines.Chris has been judging wine internationally for the past 11 years. Alexandra has been working in the wine industry for the last 12 years, is also a wine judge and has passed the Level I Court of Masters Sommelier exam. Using her background in sales, marketing, events and hospitality, she creates targeted marketing programs for Ramey Wine Cellars, a luxury brand offered on the finest wine lists, nationwide.


  • Thursday, April 9th —Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon*
  • Thursday, April 23rd — Rioja*
  • Thursday, May 14th — Chardonnay Around the World*
  • Thursday, May 28th —Burgundy

The cost for the entire series is $150 for Cloverdale Arts Alliance members; $175 for non-members. Space is limited and anticipated to fill up quickly. For more information go to, or contact Mark Tharrington at

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Stan's Maple Cafe, 295 South State Street, Ukiah

Date: March 25, 2015 5:30 PM PDT

No lunch meeting this month

We have an evening event!

Dinner at Stan's Maple Cafe


5:30pm dinner & networking evening with dress for your body type tips & hands on advice!

Free for members & $10 per person

RSVP no later than Wedneday, 3/18 to Susan 707-489-2737

Membership for 2015 is ONLY $50 for entire year (events free for members)

Can't wait to see you there! Bring a friend, this will be a great evening!

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by Debra Keipp

The City of Point Arena is currently trying, through their new City attorney and Council, to wrest ownership of the old Coast Guard Boat House from the current owner of 28 years, Blake Juntz, former partner in Ocean Fresh Fish Company. Blake and his brother, Bob, began buying fish at Arena Pier in 1987. Blake Juntz retired from Ocean Fresh Fish several years ago and brother Bob continues to send a truck down to Arena Cove to buy fish from the handful of remaining fishermen bringing fish in an Arena Cove Pier. Ocean Fresh Fish (OFF) operates out of Fort Bragg and serves much of Coastal Mendocino, sending fresh sea urchin by air, all the way to their biggest buyer - Japan.

Ocean Fresh Fish Company has been keeping the City of Point Arena afloat since the big waves took out the Pier back in 1984. Arena Cove Pier was rebuilt and reopened for use in '86. You could say Ocean Fresh Fish Company was Point Arena's saving grace at the time, and has been pulling the City out of tough scrapes and financial limbo ever since. Ocean Fresh is historically, the biggest money maker for the City of Point Arena of all the businesses within the City's domain.

The historic Coast Guard Boat House is one of the only remnants of Arena Cove to have survived the Big Wave of '84. The rest of the adjacent structures and buildings at the Pier were destroyed.

Geographically, Arena Cove (the Pier), and Point Arena (the City), are two very separate places with two different names. There used to be a community of about 100 people living in the old trailer court at Arena Cove. The trailer court was eliminated altogether from Arena Cove after the storm of 1984 displaced one-fifth of the Cove's population. And, it was the storm of 1984 - the “Big Waves”, which blew the planks off the old Arena Cove Pier and sloshed off its foundation the old Cove Restaurant where Dori Fox worked and grew up. Locals will remember eating their clam chowder in clear broth; not red; not white. Old Sophie Harper had about a dozen Greek tunes on 45's in her juke box, including songs for birthdays and anniversaries, all of which were rescued from the flooded restaurant and are currently in the ownership and safe keeping of Steve Oliff, one of Point Arena's historians and a well known comic book artist.

Around the time of the Big Waves, Richie Wasserman was mayor a time or two in Point Arena. Richie owned the historic Coast Guard Boat House, which sat on the waterfront a few hundred yards and a bobsled ride downhill from the just as historic, Coast Guard House, also owned by Wasserman and his wife, who ultimately renovated the historic building into “The Coast Guard House Bed and Breakfast Inn”. The Boat House, also on the historic register, sat on an odd corner of the Cove parking lot just a hop, skip and a jump north from, and parallel to, Arena Cove Pier itself. Wasserman decided to part with the Boat House, but kept the Coast Guard House Bed & Breakfast Inn. Around 1986, Wasserman sold the Coast Guard Boat House to the Juntz Brothers of Ocean Fresh Fish, who renamed it and used it as “The Fish House”. Some locals will remember buying fish from there.

The Juntz Brothers needed a staging area for urchin; the old vacant boat house with its slanted concrete floors suited their needs perfectly for hosing out the work areas after processing fish. They set to work, making renovations for processing urchin and fish and installed a few conveniences needed for fish processors such as updated toilets, showers, a snack/rest area, and a fireplace for warmth for the nearly 40 employees, some of them trucked down to Point Arena from Fort Bragg.

The old Coast Guard Boat House formerly had radiators under the building to heat water and provide warmth, which were dismantled and removed by the former owner, Wasserman, who made many changes to the building, removing most of its original accoutrement features prior to selling the Boat House to the Juntz brothers.

Back in the day, the original Coast Guard Boat House held the rescue boats for the servicemen living in the Coast Guard House. The remaining Boat House wharf, extending approximately 60 yards from the Coast Guard Boat House, and which sat parallel to the Pier itself, was destroyed in tandem with the main Pier, by the Big Wave of '84. In the old days, the Coast Guard sailors would make haste down the hill from the Coast Guard House, dash into the Boat House, ready their oar-driven double-ended rescue dory and shove the boat out to the water from the grooved, slanted decks, which used to extend out several more yards than they do presently. But after the Big Wave, all that remained were several stranded pylons, which the City of Point Arena later reduced in underwater height in the late '90's to make way for boats mooring off Arena Cove Pier. The Juntz Brothers worked in full cooperation with the City of Point Arena to provide decent mooring for the fleet's commercial fishing boats, and got permission to hack off the protruding pylons, property of Ocean Fresh Fish.

Ocean Fresh has been responsible for paying the City of Point Arena a few cents per pound on all fish brought in over the Point Arena Pier for sale since 1987 when Ocean Fresh Fish entered into a contract with the City of Point Arena for one quarter of a cent per pound. When I worked on City Council back in the '90's, it was at 1.5 cents per pound. City Hall and the Pier Office won't answer their phones so I can't ask them what rate is paid to Ocean Fresh Fish presently.

Essentially, the Juntz Brothers have helped support the City of Point Arena since 1987. Fishermen, and those privy to the City's budget at any time since the urchin boon of the late '80's, can see that Ocean Fresh Fish and Arena Cove Pier are the reasons the City of Point Arena has stayed afloat. In 1990, nine million pounds of urchin was harvested out of Arena Cove, and Arena Cove was rated number one in the country for urchin quality and quantity.

In the hey-day of the Point Arena urchin boon from '87 through '91 or so, 66 boats made up the original fleet of urchin diving boats out of Arena Cove. In 1992, however, China and Russia began exporting urchin, although the primary consumers of urchin in Japan loved Point Arena urchin best for its gourmet quality. Chile also stepped up to the plate with their urchin, but Arena Cove's historically coveted urchin had them all beat. If you've never tasted urchin, it's best to eat it while it's still squirming in its spiny shell. The taste entirely changes by the time urchin hits the little wooden pallets at your local sushi bar.

Since the '90's, we watched the City Council take money from the Pier Account to augment hemorrhages in the General Fund. Instead of focusing on economic development within the City to develop more tax-paying businesses, the City lived off the Pier. If the City collected money for permits alone, they'd make out like Christmas Club. But no, those in City Hall remain essentially no growth in Point Arena even though two council persons, Koogle and Heatherstone, presently live in squalid uninhabitable buildings which remain unpermitted and are replete with health hazards. The City of Point Arena waives enforcement for these politicians.

We could never figure out why the City remained “no growth” until Leslie Dahlhoff sold out Point Arena, making it a “monument” without an economic development plan for Point Arena. Leslie worked hard for sanctions against fishing in preparation for her monumental status without initially uttering the acronym MLPA. After twelve years in office, Dahlhoff finally antagonized and whittled the Arena Cove fishing fleet down from the 66 commercial fishing boats of 1990 to the handful of fishermen still working today. And even though the fleet is small, the Pier is still the money-maker for the City of Point Arena as is now, Outback Nursery, Feed & Seed. Fishing and marijuana still support the City of Point Arena. Where do some of the guys from “Deadliest Catch” come to fish for fun? Arena Cove!

Blake Juntz used the Coast Guard Boat House as his “Fish House” for several uses related to working fish at the Pier: Abalone farming and fish processing chief among them. Former Mayor Richard Wasserman sold the Coast Guard Boat House to the Juntz brothers in 1986 or '87 when the need arose to process all the urchin and fish locally before trucking it out to OFF in Fort Bragg in the afternoon.

During this time Richie Wasserman looked longingly at the old Boat House he once owned, mentioning that he wished he'd never sold it. In fact, when he sold it, the Feds investigated him under the RICO act (for organized racketeering). He sold the Boat House while he was Mayor and the old boat house sat on land adjacent to City property at Arena Cove. Odd though, that RICO (the Feds) would investigate Wasserman for his conflicted interests, instead of simply the Mendocino County Grand Jury or some other local board.

Decades passed before the Stornetta Public Lands were dedicated as a National Monument. Wasserman's wife worked on the process for dedication. Now Wasserman states that he wants to regain ownership of Blake Juntz's old Fish House so that Wasserman can renovate it as a museum reflecting the glory of the Coast Guard Boat House days, the monument dedication; the glory of Richie Wasserman; whatever.

The problem is, Wasserman wants what he doesn't own — Blake Juntz's building. So how's he gonna get the building from Blake Juntz? Devalue the building's use per vote of City Council so that Blake Juntz can no longer use the building he owns? Even though Wasserman is no longer a City Commissioner, nor on LAFCO or MCOG, it is believed, through the actions demonstrated thus far on the part of the City and Wasserman, that Wasserman evidently has the new City Attorney working with him. After threatening Juntz with “the taking” of his building if he did not cooperate with a building inspection (performed last month) and requiring unnecessary California Coastal Development Permits for what the City maintains is a “change of use”, will the City then propose making a low-ball offer to buy Juntz's building, which sits adjacent to City property? How neighborly and conflicted is that?

Richie Wasserman was the guy who sat on Council more than most these last forty years and was Mayor also more than once. He owned real estate in and out of town and in Hawaii. Locals complain about that illegal timber harvest on his place that's turned into the big fire hazard slash pile he's shoved off over the cliff from the (now) flat spot where the timber used to be. All without permits.

Long before that, Richie was the guy that caught the lady in the bamboo basket over in Hawaii. Who was the lady in the bamboo basket? The wife of the Hawaiian cocaine cartel dude who wound up in Federal prison. No, you're not reading crime fiction, this is just another Point Arena story .

But what does this all have to do with the old Coast Guard Boat House? Well, remember the Mayor of the City of Point Arena, Wasserman, underwent a RICO investigation for his involvement with the Coast Guard Boat House, having owned it, then having sold it, while also acting simultaneously as the adjacent neighbor and the Mayor of the City of Point Arena. The City's property at Arena Cove abuts the parcel on which the old Coast Guard Boat House sits. That's a given conflict of interest for the City of Point Arena and anyone who owns the old Coast Guard Boat House because they share a common parcel boundary. In Point Arena, this scenario has played itself out once already with that particular building and City Council in the form of Mr. Wasserman.

Of course, the urchin industry in Point Arena does not go without mention of the somewhat symbiotic cocaine industry in those same years when the money flowed like the Garcia during a week-long rain. But that's several other stories and too long for the telling today.

Can the City of Point Arena dictate the use of historic buildings within the City limits? What if you owned an historic building, like Mayor Koogle, whose gutted “home” was once a one room school 100 years ago, and still sits in a school/residential zoned area? Could the City require that the owner renovate the historic stick and stucco building into it's former use 100 years earlier as a one-room school house and turn it into a museum, or could you renovate it as a useful business or home? That's the metaphor for the argument Blake Juntz hears from City Council in regards to his Fish House vs. the City's hypocritical stance regarding governance of its own council members, grievously acting in violation of several laws and codes, but not providing enforcement for themselves. Wasserman via Council wants his boat house returned to him.

And, it looks like the City of Point Arena will harass and deny use of the building to Mr. Juntz after all these years and money made over the Pier, in an attempt to pry the building from his ownership and sell it to... “themselves”? How much money will the old Coast Guard Boat House be worth after the City of Point Arena ultimately denies Blake Juntz use of his own building via their hostile takeover? And how can the City act within the limits of the law, to devalue a building adjacent to City property manipulating its market value for their own eventual future purchase? Didn't the City of Novato do that, and get the pants sued off them for quite a few million?

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When my patients ask me about homeopathic remedies, I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

Homeopathy is a worthless means of sustaining your health. In terms of preventing or treating disease, it’s up there with bloodletting or erecting a shrine to Asclepius in your pantry. It is literally good for nothing from a medical perspective.

That was the conclusion of a report from Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), albeit not precisely in those words. After reviewing numerous studies, as well as information submitted by supporters of homeopathy, the NHMRC (similar to the National Institutes of Health in the United States) found there is nothing valid to substantiate that homeopathic treatments do anything at all for those who take them. In the words of their summary statement (PDF), “there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.”

It doesn’t get much more definitive than that.

Founded by a German physician in the late 18th century, homeopathy is premised on something its practitioners call the “Law of Similars.” In a nutshell, it’s the belief that substances that cause symptoms in healthy individuals can, when given in eensy, weensy doses, alleviate those same symptoms in sick people. This supposedly creates a reaction within the body that allows it to cure itself. Homeopathic preparations are solutions derived from natural substances, diluted several times by a ratio of 1 to 100. At each dilution, the solution is “succussed,” which means shaking the bejeezus out of it. This vigorous shaking purportedly imparts memory to the water in which the substance is shaken.

Of course, this is all complete claptrap, as any attentive high school chemistry student could tell you. Diluting a substance by a factor of 100 over and over and over again means that in the end you’re left with a vial of water in which nary a molecule of the original substance remains. Claiming that the hydrogen bonds in water somehow retain memory of homeopathic substances, and that the weaker the concentration the stronger the medication, is just a fascinatingly medical-sounding way of saying “magic.” From a scientific perspective, homeopathy is pure, unalloyed shitcrockery.

So of course it comes as no surprise when a scientific body examines the evidence of benefit from homeopathy and finds it lacking. Magic is never effective medicine, whether or not it dresses itself up in pseudo-scientific garb. At least people who light candles and mumble around pentagrams drawn on the floor are being honest about what it is they’re peddling.

Yet despite this, the sale of homeopathic potions is a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States. It’s not hard to see the appeal of these products, which proudly declare their natural origins and lack of side effects. “Natural” is such a comforting word, whether or not it has any connection to good medical care. And since one of the lovely things about water is that a healthy person has to drink a pretty hefty volume before any ill effects are experienced, that side effect guarantee is true. Because (as people often forget) taking a placebo has the actual measurable effect of making some people feel better, quaffing a vial of homeopathic flimflammery can produce a boost in perceived health despite being physiologically null.

However, even though the benefits homeopaths tout for their wares fly in the face of common sense, reports like the one out of Australia serve an important purpose. As a practitioner of evidence-based medicine, I’m willing to consider anything that has evidence to support its usefulness. If well-designed studies showed a measurable benefit from tippling vigorously agitated draughts of spellbound water, I’d learn how to shake them up myself. (It is comforting that the medical science lines up with the basics of chemistry in this case.) It’s good that even medical interventions as ludicrous on their face as homeopathy get assessed for scientific validity.

Every so often I’ll get asked about various “complementary or alternative” treatments recommended to parents who seek out care from such providers. Sometimes the recommendations aren’t all that nutty. When a naturopath (cousins to homeopaths in the pseudo-medical domain) recommends a probiotic to treat “systemic yeast overgrowth” for a host of vague symptoms in an otherwise healthy patient, I greet the reasoning with a raised eyebrow but don’t really object to the plan. While I think the good of probiotics can often be overstated, I’ve read enough peer-reviewed studies about possible benefits to consider them worth trying for those so inclined.

But it’s hard to be anything other than frank about magical water. It’s no better at treating or preventing diseases than the stuff you can get much cheaper right out of your tap. This new report is a tidy way of telling patients what the science demonstrates—homeopathy is nonsense, no matter how hard you shake it.


  1. Harvey Reading March 18, 2015

    “But never forget, CA gave the world both Nixon AND Reagan.”

    So true, so sad.


    They just keep on, don’t they? It’s been decades since I first heard of this authoritarian nonsense. As far as senates go, the U.S. senate apportionment is totally undemocratic, giving Wyoming dimwits the same representation as the more numerous CA dimwits. The state of whatever they call it these days is nothing but a cover for fascism.

  2. Jim Updegraff March 18, 2015

    The State of Jefferson is like UFO sightings – They just keep popping up for the gullible to have something to get excited about. As for the U. S. Senate we should do what the Brits did with the their House of Lords – let them kept all the trappings but nothing to do.

    Nixon was home born and Reagan was a transplant from Illinois.

    • Harvey Reading March 18, 2015

      Actually, the lords have more power than most people think, as does the monarchy. Remember how the Gov. General of Australia (appointed by ‘er royal ‘ighness)ousted the head of government back in the late 70s? In Commonwealth countries, the head of government is elected, usually by the local parliament, but the English monarch remains head of state. This state of affairs gets played down a lot by propagandists (and school teachers) here and in merry olde, because the job of propagandists is to peddle the western world as just bustin’ with good ol’ democracy, even in velvet-lined fascist police states like the U.S.

      Yep, but it was CA who fell in love with Reagan politically.

  3. LouisBedrock March 19, 2015

    It’s always enjoyable to read the latest missives of Lee Simon, one of my favorite contributors to the AVA.

    Two comments on his letter printed above:

    1. The name of the writer is Shadia B. Drury. Her article “Must Liberalism Be Suicidal?” appears in the April/May 2015 issue of Free Inquiry.

    2. Mr. Simon accurately summarizes the essence of Ms. Drury’s article. What she writes is a restatement of a principle I first read about in Karl Popper’s writings:

    “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”  -Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)

  4. Jeff Costello March 19, 2015

    Maybe U.S. senators ought to start calling themselves “lords.” Sylvester Stallone got his start in movie called The Lords of Flatbush, about a bunch of stupid Brooklyn punks. Makes sense to me…

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