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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Aug 1, 2015

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ROCKY UPDATE (7am, August 1, 2015)

  • 22,500 acres
  • 5% contained
  • 14 residences & 16 outbuildings destroyed
  • 6,100 structures threatened

Current Situation: Fire has progressed and is currently moving southwest towards Lower Lake and the eastside of Clearlake. An Evacuation Advisory has been issued for the City of Clear Lake impacting 5000 residences. A chance of thunderstorms, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity is expected for today. The terrain is steep and rugged with limited ground access, fuels are at critical levels, and the area has limited fire history. Damage assessment teams have begun initial assessments based on access through fire affected areas. Resources continue to respond from around the state.


Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam

Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20 including Ogulin Canyon Road, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, Double Eagle Ranch, Homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge

Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School

Animal Evacuation Centers: Lower Lake Social Services Parking Lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway

Road Closures: Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road

For text alerts – text “follow @CAL_FIRE” to 40404


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THERE ARE NOW OVER 1300 firefighters on scene and the California National Guard on Thursday sent a fleet of eight helicopters to back up Cal Fire crews. They are dousing flames with water and will evacuate the injured, and help move around firefighters and their equipment. “The fire has progressed and is currently moving southwest towards Lower Lake and the eastside of Clearlake. A chance of thunderstorms, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity is expected for Saturday. The terrain is steep and rugged with limited ground access, fuels are at critical levels, and the area has limited fire history. Firefighters will continue to construct fire lines, provide structure protection and assist in the restoration of services to facilitate re-population efforts.”

BETSY CAWN OF LAKE COUNTY WRITES: Smokey haze is everywhere. I can barely see Young’s Peak, Poe Mountain, Cow Mountain, all within a 5-10 mile distance from the heart of Upper Lake. Nothing visible to the south (Lakeport direction) or east (Nice, Lucerne, Mt. Konocti) — all gray haze; reminds me of LA in the 60s.


Air Quality in Lake County May be Degraded from Smoke Intrusions. Caution Urged.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif., (July 31, 2015) – The Rocky fire burning near Lower Lake is resulting in smoke, haze, and degraded air quality throughout Lake County. Weather forecasts indicate moderate to poor conditions which may result in regular smoke impacts for the Lake County air basin through the weekend.

The Lake County Quality Management District reports that Air Quality conditions today range from Moderate to Unhealthy, with noticeable smoke intrusion and ash fall throughout the County. Ultrafine particulate levels are elevated into the moderate to unhealthy ranges. Localized areas may experience intermittent particulate levels in the hazardous range, depending on the weather conditions. Clearlake and Lower Lake have been heavily impacted with air quality in the Moderate to Unhealthy for all ranges. Hidden Valley Lake experienced unhealthy for sensitive individuals, but has returned to the good to moderate air quality range. Lakeport and Kelseyville are in the unhealthy for sensitive individuals, and we expect that to return to moderate air quality. Most of the North Shore and Cobb areas have been Moderate to Unhealthy.

Conditions changed quickly today from good to unhealthy, and this may be the pattern for the next few days. The air quality forecast for Lake County for the weekend is “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive individuals,” with localized higher concentration areas possible. All areas of Lake County may be significantly impacted should meteorological conditions worsen.

Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait advises area residents to be cautious in resuming normal outdoor activities. “Variable weather conditions and ongoing fire activity may result in localized areas of reduced air quality, which could still pose health and where ‘pockets’ of poorer air quality may occur, it is prudent to be careful until conditions stabilize.” Smokey conditions can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and air passages, which can be hazardous in young children, the elderly, individuals with heart conditions or chronic lung disease such as asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.

Individuals with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung or heart diseases should carefully adhere to their medical treatment plans and maintain at least a five-day supply of prescribed medications. They should limit outdoor activity and unnecessary physical exertion. Air conditioning that recirculates indoor air should be used, when available. Drinking plenty of water to avoid drying of the airways is recommended, unless restricted for medical reasons.

Dust masks are not protective against the most harmful pollutants caused by wildfire smoke that drifts to nearby areas. They are useful in filtering out the ash and larger particles that are encountered in burn areas. Air purifying respirators, such as N-95 filtering face pieces, may be effective in reducing harmful particulate matter, but also increase the work of breathing, can lead to physiologic stress, and are not recommended as a general protective measure.

The “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive individuals” air quality alert results from fine particulates in the smoke and the possibility of increased ground level ozone. These are generated when combustion products in the smoke combine with the high temperatures, sunlight, and humidity. Other chemical reactions reduce visibility by forming secondary particulates. Poor air quality, haze, and particulate from the ongoing wildfires are expected to continue throughout Lake County through the weekend.

(— Christopher Veach, Lake County Library Director)

GOVERNOR BROWN DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY in California to Bolster Wildfire Response

SACRAMENTO – With wildfires burning across the state – exacerbated by severe drought conditions and extreme weather – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today declared a state of emergency in California to help mobilize additional firefighting and disaster response resources. “California’s severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” said Governor Brown. “Our courageous firefighters are on the front lines and we’ll do everything we can to help them.”


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IN THE JULY 31 edition of the Independent Coast Observer, Carolyn Young reports that the Point Arena City Council voted 3-1 for a “social host ordinance” holding parents accountable for drinking parties in their homes whether the parents were aware of what “the kids” (all rise) were up to. (PA Councilman Phil Burfoot objected to the “aware or not” provision.) In the middle of Ms. Young’s report she mentions, “Mendocino County has a social host ordinance, however it does not impact Point Arena which, as a city, must institute its own ordinance.”

SO OF COURSE we went looking for Mendocino County’s “social host ordinance” because it's news to us.

GUESS WHAT? Mendocino County does not have a social host ordinance.

There’s a state law enacted in 2010 under Assembly Bill 2486 which touches tangentially on the subject as follows;

“Nothing in subdivision (c) shall preclude a claim against a parent, guardian, or another adult who knowingly furnishes alcoholic beverages at his or her residence to a person under 21 years of age, in which case, notwithstanding subdivision (b), the furnishing of the alcoholic beverage may be found to be the proximate cause of resulting injuries or death.”

But that only says that parents “can be” held responsible if there are injuries or death caused by “the kids.” And it’s a state law, certainly not a Mendo “ordinance.”

THE CITY of Fort Bragg is in the process of preparing a “social host” ordinance after their June 6 City Council meeting where they directed staff to prepare an ordinance “for introduction at a future City Council meeting.” (Date not specified, of course, that would require follow-up.) The City Council directed that the draft ordinance impose citations and fines from $300 to $750 plus possibly the cost of police response and should be imposed “regardless of whether parents knew of the event.”

THE ONLY REFERENCES to a “social host ordinance” for Mendocino County that we could find were in a very silly “Parent Resource Guide” on the County’s lamebrain Health and Human Services department website. It says: “Parents can be held financially liable when their child’s willful misconduct results in personal injury or destruction of property.” And then it cites several generic state laws about parental liability for their children, but without specific mention of “social host” parties. And a passing mention a couple of years ago when the Board got a Powerpoint presentation about the number of alcohol outlets in the County under the meaningless title: “Current activities to reduce underage hazardous alcohol consumption in Mendocino County.”

MS. YOUNG does not provide the details of the ordinance that Point Arena voted for, but we assume it’s along the lines of what Fort Bragg is considering: citations and modest fines.

WHICH PROVES ONCE AGAIN that assuming that the County has a rule against something you might think obvious is a risky proposition. And even if they have a rule — such as the noise ordinance — try getting it enforced.

MEANWHILE, we’ll see if we can find anything else concerning Mendocino County’s alleged “social host ordinance.”

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WALKING THE MEAN STREETS of San Anselmo the other day, I picked up the latest edition of the Pacific Sun, a long-entrenched Marin County weekly, and once the employer of Barbara Boxer who seems to have gone on to greater things. The old weekly featured Mary Lowry and Stephanie Von Buchau, both of whom I knew. Mary, a lively and very funny writer, infuriated the first-wave peacock feathers and hot tub spiritualists who became synonymous with the sybarite sectors of the Marin population. They took themselves very, very seriously, and their indignant riposts to Mary's unrelenting merriment at their expense was wonderful reading. The utter lack of irony among the Marin groovies is much like that of Mendolib, Hamburg Division. Stephanie handled the high brow stuff, and was very good at it. The paper did what all good papers should do — outrage the people who deserve to be outraged. These days, the Sun is heavy on faux spirituality and the kind of gastro obsessiveness that infects much of California, endless chat about wines and food. In other words, an ad sheet for fuzzbrains. But it does have at least one good long piece — this week on Marin's efforts to shut out low-rent housing, and the letters-to-the-editor are always interesting, especially one called "A fat pension" by Alex Easton-Brown. (Hey! All the cool married people hyphenate their names these days, and Marin is cutting edge, I tell you!)

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by Alex Easton-Brown of Lagunitas.

"The supervisors (Marin's) should not criticize the Citizens for Sustainable Pension Plans for essentially doing the work we pay the Supes and the County staff to do. The citizens group is made up of knowledgeable professionals who are volunteering their time and their resources to try to get Marin County back on a stable economic footing after years of abuse. They do not have the soft cushion of $100,000 plus salaries and the dubious perks that energize the Supes in their antic wild ride with taxpayer dollars. County supervisor is a part-time job with a full-time salary. It is outrageous that we let the Supes pay themselves a fat pension once they leave office: something they ought to do much more frequently. Getting entrenched at the Civic Center is just too easy. Term limits are the only thing that will stop them from hanging out and glorying in their own reflection well beyond their sell-by-date."

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AMEN, BRO. I like this guy's anger. We could use it here in Mendocino County where the abuses of the elected entrenched are just as egregious, if not more so. There's no evidence that Mendo's supervisors even work half time, and pension abuse here hangs like a perpetual guillotine over County government. And, of course, everywhere in the County the elected people simply ratify whatever their overpaid administrators hand them. Name a place anywhere in the County where there's any elected leadership on any issue. The Marin guy is correct: the prevalent fiscal irresponsibility will sink the county's ship. It already has in Mendo where accrued public debt is way beyond any conceivable County ability to pay. Technically, Mendocino County is broke, not that you'd know it from the way they all throw public money around.

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Highway 128 near Navarro (Photo by Annie Kalantarian)
Highway 128 near Navarro
(Photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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by Sarah Kreienhop

As most locals will know there is a wonderfully unique little burger joint in Fort Bragg at the North end of Fort Bragg called Jenny’s Giant Burger. But many probably do not know the history of this Mendocino County landmark. Who's Jenny? Why such a traditional menu? Why such a small building?

I can tell you that I have lost count of how many people ask who Jenny is — it is a common question.


Thirty-three years ago in 1982 Herman Kreienhop and his wife Jenny Kreienhop decided to open up a small Burger Joint with the encouragement and help from Jenny’s brother, who had previously opened Bartel’s Giant Burger in Redding. Together they were able to find a building to rent in Fort Bragg and began their business.

That building, originally owned by Matt Huber, then the Mayor of Fort Bragg, was the perfect location for the Kreinhops' new business. It was right on busy Highway One with plenty of parking. Herman named the restaurant after his wife Jenny. They put their hearts into the place and wouldn’t settle for anything less than food and service of the best quality. With the help of their four kids and great employees, the business bloomed and went on to build its great name.

The menu is simple because Jenny believed in doing one thing well and that was to make burgers the old fashioned way, burgers that don't include bacon, which may disappoint all those people who have gotten used to bacon with their burgers.

The thriving business suffered a huge loss in 1996 when Jenny Kreienhop passed away from breast cancer. The four children were all adults and pitched in to help their father, Herman Kreienhop with the restaurant.

The news of how good the Jenny’s Giant Burger had spread among townspeople and visitors alike. A meal at Jenny's has become a tradition for many families and out of towner who come to Fort Bragg to camp and take a break from the summer heat inland.

The business stayed steady as it continued to climb in reputation.

In 2008, another blow. Herman Kreienhop passed away from renal kidney cancer. He left the business to his four children who continue to run it today. All four had grown up with the business and it has become a passion of theirs. They refuse to sell and continue to improve the business. Today, the oldest Kreinhop, Bobbett Meadows, lives in Idaho as a retiree. While the rest of the family continues to live in Mendocino County and stay closely involved in the business. The youngest, Jason Kreienhop, manager from 1994 until 2012, now works at the Heritage House. He has built up the reputation for a great burger. Denise Kreienhop, also now a retiree, puts much dedication into Jenny’s Giant Burger to ensure that it meets its full potential. Troy Kreienhop, who drives a school bus for the Anderson Valley School District, does regular check ups on the family enterprise and supports the business however he can.

Mike Beck has been a faithful customer since the grand opening of Jenny’s Giant Burger. He is now a retiree and volunteers to keep the Fort Bragg streets clean and eats at Jenny’s regularly after he has deposited the trash he collects in Jenny's dumpster.

It has also become a tradition for all children of the family to work at Jenny's and there are lots of us, including us Kreienhop grandchildren, seven of whom have worked there. The other two are not yet old enough to begin their labors, but we expect them to eventually take their places.

It is now my turn. I work at Jenny's during the summer and in my spare time. The restaurant business is not an easy one. All the employees work very hard and do the best they can. We always try to smile; it was one of Jenny’s rules: “Smile at all times.”

This last summer has been rough because of a few complaints on Yelp. (Some people complain about anything and everything.) Jenny’s Giant Burger is a small building and there isn’t much room in the kitchen area. We can only make 12 burgers at a time, and with a demand of 30 burgers at a time, it can get stressful! For the most part we get everything right, but I would be lying if I told you we never make mistakes. We do mess up orders occasionally, but we always try to fix them with a smile and a good attitude in order to make up for it. With a large group of people, such as 10 or more, things can get confused.

My first time working there, I was only 12 and just learning how everything worked when a mostly naked man came in nearly nude and demanded service. Well, Jenny’s Giant Burger is a family-oriented place and Jason Kreienhop, the manager at the time, had to kick him out because he refused to put clothes on. (I could go on.)

Things can get intense with some of the difficult people who stop in, but what I can never forget is all the families who come in to enjoy a wonderful meal with the people they love.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 31, 2015

Ackerman, Haith, Kidd
Ackerman, Haith, Kidd

CHRISTOPHER ACKERMAN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

BRADFORD HAITH JR.*, San Rafael/Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

JARED KIDD, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Kincade, Macias-Dockins, Magdaleno
Kincade, Macias-Dockins, Magdaleno

ALISON KINCADE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

ANTHONY MACIAS-DOCKINS, Ukiah. Failure to pay, failure to appear, probation revocation.

GERARDO MAGDALENO, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

Owings, Reyes-Alfaro, Sanchez
Owings, Reyes-Alfaro, Sanchez

JANICE OWINGS, Fort Bragg. Trespassing.

JESUS REYES-ALFARO, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing.

SERENA SANCHEZ, North Fork/Ukiah Domestic battery. (North Fork is in the Sierra foothills northeast of Fresno. There’s a decent sized rancheria there called the Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians. Of course they operate a large hotel and casino.)

Whipple-Frazier, Williams, Yanez
Whipple-Frazier, Williams, Yanez

KENNETH WHIPPLE-FRAZIER, Covelo. Domestic Assault.

CALVIN WILLIAMS, Healdsburg/Covelo. Pot possession for sale.

JESUS YANEZ, Salinas/Willits. Under influence of controlled substance, parole violation.

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*FOR SOME REASON, Bradford Haith looked like he might have an interesting backstory. On a hunch we poked around on the internet and — bingo! — we found this interesting post and video.

“I am a cross country walker. I have walked from Boston Massachusetts to California Twice, I completed Mt. Pishga, Blue Ridge Mountains, Mills River, Bent Creek, while touring the whole Appalachian Mountain Trails, Walked 33 states en-route, Then walked from San Luis Obispo in California to New Port, Oregon, I climbed Mt. Tamalpais, Pike's Peak, the Barr Trail in Colorado Near Manitou springs. Then Went on to walk New Mexico's Tres Pedras of Taos through Texas. I Worked and experienced all kinds of fun-and-not so fun jobs along the way, Walking by myself but not alone. I did this without sponsorship of any kind. I am trying to write a book called "How I Walked But Not Alone.” I have finished my journey of 12 twelve years of walking without a ride and at this point I need help with financing, photos, and perhaps film etc.”

Haith “is originally from Boston, and as a teenager sold drugs, until he was caught. On the day he was released from the jail that he’d spent the last ten years in, he had a couple of options. Do something that would land him back inside — like punching someone, or choose a different path away from the place he’d now become comfortable. He chose to literally walk away. He’s been walking for the last 13 years.

Haith: “After 10 years in jail, I had $60 dollars and one piece of paper. They dropped me off, right downtown Boston. Thousands of people. I didn’t understand what, who. I was taken care of for ten years. I didn’t know how to live. I was scared and nervous, because I didn’t know how to react around these people. So, I seen a crossing guard, across the street. And I said, Well, if I go and hit this guy, I can go right back home. But inside, my emotions inside me said no, just give it some time.”

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It’s still not clear how Mr. Haith ended up in Fort Bragg. We await the Sheriff’s press release on his Friday arrest.

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This press release was posted by the Mendocino County District Attorney's office Friday @ 5:46 pm:


"Timothy Scott Buckway, age 42, formerly of Ukiah, was sentenced to 21 years to life in state prison this morning by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman. Buckway appeared in court convicted of having victimized two children -- ages 9 and 10 -- by sodomizing them in May 2014.

He also stands convicted of continuous sexual abuse of the same children. This related charge accused Buckway of being a person who either resided in the same home with the minor children or had recurring access to them over a period not less than three months, during which he unlawfully engaged in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with each child.

The attorney who handled the prosecution of this matter is Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox.

The law enforcement agencies who cooperated in the investigation that lead to today's sentence were the Uinta County (Wyoming) Sheriff's Office, the Evanston (Wyoming) Police Department, the Lake County District Attorney's Investigation Unit, the Ukiah Police Department, and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations."

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE POSTED ON Mendocino Sports Plus, May 18th:

"UKIAH, May 18 --With a trial date quickly approaching, defendant Timothy Scott Buckway, age 42, formerly of Ukiah, appeared before Judge Ann Moorman this afternoon and admitted criminal responsibility for two separate and distinct counts of felony child molestation.

Buckway admitted the aggravated sexual assault (sodomy) of a 10-year-old child, said offense having occurred during the month of May, 2014. Buckway also separately admitted the continuous sexual abuse of two children, both ten years of age or younger, during the calendar year 2013 into April 2014.

The continuous sexual abuse of a child occurs when a person either resides in the same home with a minor child or has recurring access to the child and then commits against the child at least three acts of substantial sexual conduct over a period of time not less than three months in duration.

The matter was referred to the adult probation department for a background study and sentencing report, a report used by the Department of Corrections for classification purposes once a defendant is delivered to their custody.

Formal sentencing is scheduled for June 19, 2015 at 9:00 am in Department A. Anyone interested in this case is welcome to attend that hearing.

By stipulation, the sentence that will be imposed on Buckway on the 19th is an indeterminate state prison commitment of 21 years to life. Should this defendant ever be deemed suitable for release from prison by the parole board, he will be under parole supervision for life. He will also have to register for life as a sex offender with local law enforcement agencies.

The attorney who has been handling the prosecution of this defendant is Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Ukiah Police Department."

Here's the coverage of Buckway's arrest by Glenda Anderson of the Press Democrat last May:

"A Ukiah transient suspected of physically and sexually abusing children remains in the Mendocino County Jail on $1.7 million bail, jail authorities said.

Timothy Scott Buckway, 41, was arraigned Tuesday on multiple felony criminal counts that include child endangerment and abuse, sexual acts with a minor, using force to commit the crimes and domestic violence, according to jail and Ukiah police officials. He initially was arrested May 23 on suspicion of striking his wife, Ukiah police said.

The couple, who Ukiah police said were living in a van, were fighting because three of four girls, ages 4, 6, 9 and 10, had told Buckway’s wife that he had struck them with a metal pole, police said. The girls were relatives of Buckway’s, police said.

After more than 100 hours of investigation, Buckway last week was also charged with ongoing sexual abuse of the children, police said."

What Started It All

Here's the Ukiah Police press release when he was arrested:

"On May 23rd (2014) at about 10:45 pm, Ukiah Police responded to the parking lot at Wal Mart, at 1155 Airport Park Boulevard, for a fight occurring inside a vehicle. Officers located a male and female seated in a parked vehicle, and saw the female was crying and that her face was covered in blood. Officers identified the male as 41 year old Timothy Scott Buckway, of Ukiah, and saw 4 children asleep in the back of the vehicle.

Officers learned the victim had confronted Buckway about spanking 3 of the 4 children earlier in the day, with a stick. Buckway had apparently become angry with the children when they went to their school’s office because Buckway was late picking them up. Buckway took the children to a secluded area, and struck the 10 year old, 8 year old, and 6 year old with a stick. Buckway also apparently grabbed and squeezed the 10 year old’s face.

When confronted by the victim later that night, Buckway grabbed the victim’s shirt and pulled her hair, pulling her closer to him. The victim was able to strike Buckway in the mouth, causing it to bleed, in an attempt to free herself. Buckway apparently held the female close to him while blood pooled inside his mouth, then spit blood in her face. Buckway then struck the victim in the face. Officers arrived shortly thereafter. Visible injuries consistent with Buckway’s assaults were located on the victim and the 3 children, and Buckway was arrested for domestic violence and for child abuse. An emergency protective order was obtained restraining Buckway from the victim and children."

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I had a great time watching “progressive” Democrats spin Planned Parenthood’s selling aborted fetal body parts. No, no, this isn’t a profit maker, no this is just reimbursement of expenses. Sure, no problem.

Know what? I suspect this is just self-serving bullshit. So, it’s all just about storage and handling charges? Seriously?

Never mind the dreary debits and credits. Because, if you’re a true “progressive”, and you’re faced with this kind of depravity, you adopt a lofty, clinical expression. Like Eleanor Clift on McLaughlin Group. Did you see Eleanor? She said, yes, it sounded callous, yes, but see, that’s how medical professionals talk.

Really? How about this: Blow me. That’s how non-medical professionals talk.

I mean, I didn’t know that they even sold fetal body parts which is orders of magnitude even more repulsive. Did you? I admit it, I should have known better. Why am I so shocked?

Know what? I think that those surreptitiously obtained videos did a great public service. They put the obscenity right in people’s faces. I know, “progressives” adopt the mantle of great intellectuals and pretend they’re all about nuance and multi-angled perspective. And that’s what they’ll play up.

But there’s no ambiguity here. This is shit you’d expect from the worst hell-holes of Nazi Germany. Know what’s orders of magnitude even MORE repulsive? See, the abortionist turns the unborn baby to crush the extremities and crush the skull and leave the money parts intact. Gack! Mengele would go there to learn his craft.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Democrats will man the ramparts. They’ll engage in mockery, they’ll minimize the ghastliness and they’ll parrot the talking points.

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THE SANCHEZ FAMILY is visiting from Guadalajara, Mexico. Alejandro, son, was born in Fort Bragg hospital 15 years ago. His aunt owns La Playa Restaurant in Fort Bragg. (Photo by Susie de Castro.)

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BERNIE SANDERS HAD A CHOICE. He could have run as the outsider he claimed to be. He could have run as an independent. He could have run as a Socialist or a Green. He could have been a threat to the immiserating status quo. But he wilted. Either because Sanders really is at heart a Democrat or because he is a political coward who feared retribution, he chose to lend credence to a party that has brutalized nearly every progressive policy he claims to champion.

Meanwhile, truly independent campaigns, the ones that forcefully challenge the neoliberal dogma and imperialistic militarism of the Democratic Party from the outside, are crushed, their candidates and supporters vilified and demonized. Go ask Ralph Nader. — Jeff St. Clair

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In any part of the world where you might be having a drink on an outdoor terrace, at exactly nine o’clock in the evening you will see appear a mysterious being with a blackened face, the complexion of a Pakistani or an Indian of Bangladesh, who carries a bunch of greenhouse carnations in his hand. This vendor of carnations merely passes among the tables like an automaton. He doesn’t seek to impose his merchandise on anyone. He doesn’t even smile. He just whispers a few words.

It would be logical to suppose that this were connected to the business of some perverse multinational corporation that exploited desperate people, but it is the belief of this being that he is realizing the strange mission of showing these flowers impelled by a force whose source is impossible to imagine.

If at nine o’clock at night, according to the rotation of time around the earth, you are in any nocturnal terrace in Rome, Paris, London, New York, Buenos Aires, Sidney, or Madrid, the messenger of carnations will make his appearance. He is one among tens of thousands who form this planetary deployment. There has never been an instance in which any one of them has sold a single flower.

The flowers have no odor. They are dead, as well might be those emissaries who carry them in their hands and offer them with an impassive gesture after a prayer. War and cataclysm recur daily across the face of the earth. The forces of evil that threaten humanity with destruction may have already achieved it, and all of us who are drinking and chatting in the terraces of bars may have died some time ago without realizing it.

Flowers, flowers for the dead, murmurs this emissary between the tables. It is also possible that these mysterious vendors form an enduring circle around the planet to assure that the earth doesn’t stop and everything doesn’t come crashing down.

Manuel Vicent (Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

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We should all take heart that so many people are signing the petition to extradite that low-life scum, Walter Palmer, to Zimbabwe. As a trophy hunter (I use the word hunter loosely) he had to know what was being done to lure a famous protected lion, in the dead of night, out of his protected preserve. When the lion came out, he shot it with an arrow, tracked the suffering beast for 40 hours, beheaded it, skinned it, and left the carcass to rot. He was scheduled to shoot an elephant the next day. This is a rabid killing machine — if it is endangered kill it, mount it on a wall, and brag about how macho he is.

Palmer, left

Well, we should all take note that we have poachers of our own, right here in Northern California, some nearly the scale of Palmer's debauchery. Think of those who take too many abalone, thus threatening the total collapse of the species here. Think urchin harvesting that devastates the marine environment. Think of deer poachers. Think of those who kill anything that walks, crawls, or flies in what is left of our forests. Think of lumber companies that kill "unwanted" trees by the million, just to increase profit, while leaving in place of a healthy forest a dead zone, upon which few wildlife can exist. Think of premium wineries sucking our rivers dry in the dead of night, at the quiscence of our elected politicians. Such rapists of the natural environment should be held accountable. Enough.

--Frank Graham, from beyond the deep end


  1. LouisBedrock August 1, 2015

    Abortion should be legal. The state has no right to order a woman to carry a fetus until it’s born.

    In some cases, retroactive abortion should be encouraged. Especially in the case of dimwitted religious fundamentalists who compare abortion or assisted suicide to the genocide of the Nazis–most of whom were Catholics. The Conquistadors who killed most of the native peoples in South America were also Catholics.

    Catholics prefer to steal or buy babies, and then send them to missions or madrassas to fabricate more Catholics.

    Project Rescue zombies and their ilk only worry about fetuses. Mass murders of adults, especially non Christian adults, is OK. Killing doctors is OK. Genocide or ethnocide is fine. Just don’t murder those cute little fetuses.

  2. james marmon August 1, 2015

    Regarding Rocky Fire:

    Got evacuated last evening. 4 dogs, cat, Harley Davidson, mustang, and pickup are all safe.

  3. Lazarus August 1, 2015

    I never got the hunting thing…I knew a guy in Palm Springs, big game hunter. Heads, horns, stuff animals, live snakes…We took some acid one night and this chick let the snakes out. Bobby literally had his hands full of snakes stoned on LSD.
    The lion thing is just wrong, straight up and so was Bobby.

  4. Harvey Reading August 1, 2015

    Forcing a woman to carry an unwanted fetus is a form of involuntary servitude, which, as I recall, has been unconstitutional since shortly after the civil war. Yet, my Christofascist neighbors, a barren couple, have the notion that it is unfair for a woman to abort a fetus, when people like them want to adopt, and they are all for making girls carry unwanted fetuses to term, to meet their selfish wants.

    Who, but the authoritarian Christofascists of course and other authoritarians who want to continue the existing patriarchy, gives a damn if Planned Parenthood is selling aborted fetuses for research? Otherwise the fetuses would be disposed of like other surgical waste.

    I got a kick of my cousin-in-law who died recently of multiple myeloma. He and my cousin were both antiabortion Christofascists, also opposed stem cell research. Yet, when it came down to a choice of “visiting Jesus” a little sooner, as his obituary read, or prolonging his life a little longer, you bet he went for the experimental stem cell treatment. On the end, he was willing to try anything, probably because he knew deep inside that this life is all there is for us monkeys.

  5. Jim Updegraff August 1, 2015

    It’s a woman’s body and what she does with it is her business. Of course, the misogynists with their religious clap trap think the own a women’s body. What puzzles me is how any self respecting women can support their views.

  6. Jim Updegraff August 1, 2015

    We have a violent gun crazy country and of course we have people who get their jollies off by shooting animals for the fun of killing them. Sick people.

    • BB Grace August 2, 2015

      It’s good to know that you, your animals, and the things you could save are safe for now. Thank you for the updates on your experiences with what I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I only say that I am sorry due to lack of vocabulary in expressing my sympathy for you and everyone affected.

  7. Nate Collins August 2, 2015

    Regarding the dentist who killed the lion. If ever I was a fan of the animal rights wingnuts it’s today. He should cease to operate publicly in this country out of public shame. At least protesters are shutting down his office day to day. They should go to his home.

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