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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Mar 8, 2016

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CORRECTION: The Willits News rents its premises from former 3rd District supervisor, Tom Lucier, also proprietor of the Anker-Lucier Mortuary of Willits, hence references to the amiable undertaker as the "jolly reaper." While the buildings housing the Fort Bragg Advocate-Beacon and the Ukiah Daily Journal have been sold from under those chain-owned papers, The Willits News has remained happy tenants of Lucier's for at least a decade.


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THAT SAMBA DANCER who rang down Saturday night's Variety Show at the Philo Grange left the old guys in the audience gasping and reaching for their digitalis. Everyone else seemed stunned at the pure, libidinous jolt she provided. And someone said she was from Willits or Laytonville? Well, that's downright unbelievable.

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FOR SALE in the Mendo section of Craig's List: A four-year-old gelded Zebra. Aren't there a couple in Point Arena?

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A PRESENTATION is being offered which is based on the title: Personal Peacefulness-Psychological Perspectives drawing from a book by that title which was edited and contributed to by Gregory K. Sims, Linden L. Nelson and Mindy Puopolo. After presenting some materials from their book, Dr. Sims lead a discussion, drawing materials from those present this next Sunday, March 13th, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Anderson Valley Grange 9800 Hwy 128 in Philo. He notes that "Science is beginning to take an interest in personal peacefulness from psychological perspectives." For further information call 707-895-2958 or go to Calls may also be directed to Dr. Sims at 707-684-0043. Messages may be sent to his email at or P.O. Box 1, Boonville, CA, 95415 The program is being non financially sponsored by the Anderson Valley Grange 669 and supported by The American Legion Post 385 , and the Anderson Valley Health Center, both in Boonville. Dr. Sims is currently a Writer in Residence at the River's Bend Retreat Center in Philo.

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JUST IN (Tuesday Morning Update): Search and rescue teams scouring a Willits-area mountainside for a missing Ukiah transient found a body Monday afternoon but have yet to confirm it’s the man they were seeking. “We have found someone,” Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said. Foul play is not suspected in connection with the death at this time, he said. Additional information about the death is expected to be released Tuesday, Barney said.

On 03-05-2016 at approximately 1:30 PM Jamie Dalton and a friend went hiking in the rural area to the southeast of the CALFIRE Howard Forest station located in the 17000 block of Highway 101 in Willits, California. During the hike the pair became disoriented to their surroundings and the friend instructed Dalton to shelter in place while the friend attempted to seek help by navigating the terrain alone.

On 03-06-2016 at approximately 7:30 AM the friend contacted CALFIRE personnel and advised them of the situation resulting in a missing person report to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. A search for Dalton was initiated resulting in the assistance of personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue team, CALFIRE, Little Lake Fire Department and California Department of Fish & Wildlife. As of 03-06-2016 there were approximately 30 people involved in the search efforts with more mutual aid assistance expected on 03-07-2016. Arial search assistance was not available because of the weather conditions and will be evaluated again on 03-07-2016, as search efforts continue. Dalton is described as being a 46 year-old white male, 6 feet tall, weighing 180-200 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Dalton was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, a black shirt, tan shorts and black shoes. Anyone with information on the possible whereabouts of Dalton or who may think they have information that could assist in the search operation is urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office dispatch center by calling 707-463-4086.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)


An extensive search was launched Monday morning for a missing Ukiah man, last seen Saturday night suffering from the rain and cold on a Willits-area mountainside, according to a Mendocino County Sheriff’s official.

About 70 searchers from seven counties, accompanied by a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, continued Monday afternoon to comb the Laughlin Peak area south of Willits for Jamie David Dalton, 46, Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said.

Dalton, who goes by “David,” was last seen about 7pm Saturday by a friend he’d been hiking with on the hill. The two apparently were headed for the top of the peak on the raining, cold day and had gotten lost. The friend turned back in the darkness to try and get help for Dalton. But he couldn’t find his way off of the mountain until Sunday morning when he sought help, Barney said.

Sheriff’s officials started a search Sunday morning, checking the most obvious places in the area with the help of several people and search dogs. When they found no sign of the man officials geared up for Monday’s larger search.

Dalton is 6-feet, about 180 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. Because he was known to be a Ukiah-area transient, Barney said deputies aren’t sure they’ll know right away if he makes his way down the hill.

“We don’t have a place to go to check for him or family to see if he came home,” Barney said. The lieutenant asked anyone who sees him to call the sheriff’s dispatch center at 707-463-4086.

Laughlin Peak, mostly made up of private property, isn’t a typical hiking spot, Barney said. He estimated the peak at about 2,500 feet and described the terrain as brushy and steep and thick with timber.

The two men apparently headed up toward the peak during the rainy afternoon and were hiking in conditions that included sleet, Barney said.

He said he did not know why the men chose to hike under those conditions.

Monday’s search effort including Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Humboldt, Contra Costa County, Napa and Solano county sheriff’s search volunteers as well as Cal Fire and search dogs from the California Rescue Dog Association.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.

Reporter Glenda Anderson contributed to this report.

(Randi Rossman. Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Letter to the Editor,

Two years ago we received a Grand Jury report regarding our County Animal Care Services (ACS). The findings were deeply disturbing concerning conditions at the shelter, care of animals and interaction with the Sheriff’s department and the public. Since that time it appears things have only gotten worse.

In the last month the Ukiah animal shelter manager has been put on “paid” administrative leave and an interim “paid” manager has been brought in to run the shelter and to bring it up to minimum animal care standards. Health and Human Services has proposed bringing in a “paid” consulting group to evaluate the shelter and make recommendations for improvements. And the County is talking about increasing the shelter budget at a time when our County is broke.

Previously valued volunteers have had their privileges revoked, volunteers who raise funds, photograph animals to promote adoptions through a website they created, foster dogs, walk dogs and socialize animals, all to make shelter animals more adoptable and to improve their quality of life until loving homes are found.

Volunteers are now asked to sign agreements which are in violation of their 1st Amendment rights, the freedom of speech.

Interior shelter windows are now kept covered.

Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF), a stellar foundation, was the only group to respond to a 42 page Request for Proposal (RFP) put out by the County (the 42 page RFP, by the way, did not include any animal care for the Coast whatsoever). You may remember this group for their heroic efforts during the Lake County fires.

PASF’s proposal was rejected.

As many of us see it Mendocino ACS has had two years to implement recommendations made by the Grand Jury and to raise animal care to best shelter practices of today rather than to wait until now to merely raise its standards to meet minimum animal care requirements. No more good tax dollars after bad, it is clearly time for change.

Carol Lillis


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On 03-04-2016 at approximately 10:17 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported vandalism at Dick's Place Bar located in the 45000 block of Main Street in Mendocino. Sheriff's Deputies were advised that an adult male, later identified as Keenan Cochran, 32, of Mendocino, had been refused admittance into the establishment due to his intoxicated condition. Keenan attempted to push his way past security personnel and then made an effort to strike one of the personnel with a fist but did not make contact. Cochran then punched a large exterior window of the business causing it to break, before fleeing the area on foot. Within minutes, Sheriff's Deputies arrived and began collecting statements and evidence from the scene while other Sheriff's Deputies searched the area for Cochran. After a short time, Cochran was located fleeing the scene. Cochran had wet blood on his arms, appeared extremely intoxicated and was acting belligerent when contacted by the Sheriff's Deputies. Cochran was subsequently arrested for Felony Vandalism and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $15,000 bail.

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A friend asked me to bulletin this: A large whale gift has landed on Belinda Point beach… She met up with someone who did not leash their dog. And the dog, let's just say STINKS!!

A WHALE WATCHER ADDS: I have a book about poop of all kind (a gift from a dear friend!), and it says that largest poop of any creature on the Earth is a blue whale poop!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 7, 2016

Daniel-Cocone, Hewitt, Hoffman
Daniel-Cocone, Hewitt, Hoffman

RAUL DANIEL-COCONE, Ukiah. Domestic battery, protective order violation, failure to appear.

RICK HEWITT, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

JAMES HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Drunk in public, controlled substance.

James, Ray, Vasco
James, Ray, Vasco

CHRISTOPHER JAMES, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

JASON RAY, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

FAITH VASCO, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

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by James Kunstler

Beyond the Kubler-Ross maelstrom of denial, anger, depression, etc., besetting this spavined republic, lies the actual grief provoking it all — especially the shocking loss of national purpose embodied by the muppets and puppets onstage nightly vying to bring out the worst in us in an election season far from just silly. Judging from their demeanor in the so-called debates, the candidates seem not only sick of their opponents but of themselves, a fitting outcome perhaps in a nation that hates what it has become.

The moment that got me in Sunday night’s Democratic boasting contest, hosted by CNN, was Hillary crowing about the great achievement of Obamacare — getting thirty million uninsured Americans on some kind of health plan! The part she left out, of course, is that most of those plans have “deductable” ceilings in the multiple thousands of dollars, guaranteeing that the policy holder goes bankrupt if he/she seeks medical help. Who does she think she’s fooling, anyway? This sort of arrant lying is what drives millions into the camp of Trump.

Even valiant old Bernie muffs every opportunity to explain the death-grip that Wall Street crony politics has on this land: the US Department of Justice did nothing under six-plus years of Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute criminal misconduct in banking. And then President Obama, who is ultimately responsible, did absolutely nothing to prompt that Attorney General into action or replace him with somebody who would act. Obama’s lame excuse back in the days when informed people were still wondering about this, was that the bankers had done nothing patently illegal enough to warrant investigation — a claim that was absurd on its face.

Obama didn’t do any better with the regulating agencies that are supposed to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, especially the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged with keeping financial markets honest. There was nothing that difficult about those criminal matters now fading in the nation’s memory: for instance, the bundled bonds (CDOs) of “non-performing” mortgages designed to pay off the issuers handsomely when they failed. A child of ten could have unpacked the Goldman Sachs Timberwolf bond caper. Eventually Goldman and others were slapped with mere fines that could be (and were) written off as the cost of doing business. What a difference it would have made if Lloyd Blankfein and a few hundred other bank executives were personally held accountable and sent to cool their heels in federal prison.

As the politicians are fond of saying, make no mistake: this was Barack Obama’s failure to act. Likewise, regarding the Citizens United Supreme Court’s decision that equated arrant corporate bribery of public officials with “free speech;” Mr. Obama (a constitutional lawyer by training) had a range of remedies at his disposal, foremostly working with the then-majority Democratic congressional leadership to legislate a new and clearer definition of so-far-alleged corporate “personhood,” its duties, obligations, and responsibilities to the public interest — and its limits! Not only did Mr. Obama fail to act then, but nobody in his own party even coughed into his-or-her sleeve when he so failed. And now, of course, nobody remembers any of that.

The effects of all this fundamental dishonesty have thundered through our national life to the degree that American society is now divided into the swindlers and the swindled, loosing the monster of collective Id known as Trump on the public. This is what comes of attempting to divorce truth from reality, which has been the principal business of American life for several decades now. When truth and reality become de-linked, a society literally doesn’t know what it is doing. With that goes the collective sense of purpose, replaced with bromides and platitudes such as Trump’s “make America great again,” and Hillary’s “In America, every family should feel like they belong.”

Unbeknownst to the cable news hustlers, events are in the driver’s seat, not the personalities of the puppets and muppets in the spotlight. Come July, there may not be anything that could be called the Republican Party. And Hillary is the first leading contender for the highest office with a possible indictment looming over her. Yes, it’s really there percolating on the FBI’s front burner. Even if the machinery of justice trips over itself again on that, imagine how the questions behind it will color the final battle for the general election. We also fail to appreciate how, if there is just a little more trouble in banking and financial markets before November 8, we can’t even be certain of holding the general election.

(Support Kunstler’s writing: Go to his Patreon Page:

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Blaise Pascal at the Roulette Wheel

by Zack Anderson

God is or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives. (Pascal, Pensées)

As the sun crashes into the desert dust somewhere towards San Berdoo, the Vegas night creatures stir in their recycled-air-conditioned nightmares. In the near distance the lengthening shadows creep slyly up the Mandarin Oriental’s glass skirts, like the slit of a Hong Kong office girl’s cheongsam, or a jagged knife through an under-ripe melon. Coaxed by gravity’s unreason, the dark’s broken geometries splinter and slash, transforming into Sin City’s nightly Electric Dog and Pony Show (or “God and Lonely Show” in Nurse Yearsley’s Cockney fishmonger patois). Slavish and lavish billboards flash smoke and mirrors in cruel imitation of divine light, a computer-generated harbinger of election year anomie-cum-despair.

A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.

In Vegas is it death by triple-dipped-duck-fat fryer or suffocation by a tranny-ass soufflé? In the mood for Nero’s River Barge Casino or Fiddlestyx’s legendary and brand new Surf & Turf & Smurf All You Can Eat Naughty Blue Bits Buffet? Shall we take granny, her oxygen tank and carton of Camel Lights to the Alamo Casino’s La Fiesta Supremo Sombrero Border Break? Remember, it’s rated the #1 Southwest-Inspired Banquet Feedbag by the Vegas Business Traveler’s Bible; this is “one spicy carnivore’s delight,” where besieged outlaws and lunatics alike are overwhelmed by the “Frontier-Famous Bottomless Sweet and Sour Cream Platter.” In Vegas, as in American politics, the wide array of non-options is staggering.

You must wager (it is not optional).

Coaxed by the neon jungle blinking out its alluring and almost meaningful alien codes, I cast aside any unmanly sniveling and prepare to wage unholy war. Drop your smocks and grab your Glocks, boys, you’re in the Army now. Mini-Colt strapped to ankle? Check. Heat-Seeking non-GMO Pocket Torpedo? Check. Swiss Army knife and Telly Savalas Players Club and American Rims and Tires Super VIP Platinum card tucked discreetly into biodegradable speedos? Double check-check.

If this seems like overkill, then you haven’t survived the Tropicana’s Strip Search and Rescue Floor Show (now with more real juice-like flavor crystals). As I dismantle both large screen TVs in my room, searching for eavesdropping equipment and/or vacation-grade uranium, I find this piece of graffiti scratched into plastic casing: If that’s a woman then I’m a girl/and if that’s her oyster, then this is my pearl… Is this a message from God? Or from His pit boss, Lucifer? With visions of cherries dancing on the grave of my regret, and the threshing of triplicate bells ringing in my ears, I pull on my mask and boldly go where billions have gone before.

Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

En route to meet Dr. Christian for sustenance and pure knowledge (if not enlightenment), I venture out into the madness. What I see troubles me, and on all sides. Once our fine faculties of Reason were corrupted, all became tainted and forlorn, and like for a long time, bro. To reach the Strip proper, I navigate a sterile warren of pedestrian walkways and vertigo-inducing overpasses, all dutifully plastered with advertising and glimpses of tanned thigh and BBQ chicken bits. But despite the zealous casino sanitizers, there are cracks in the façade: genuine panhandlers (albeit a more docile species than their SF cousins) punctuate the collective hallucination: homeless moms, stoners scrounging roach money, and deranged Mid-America zombies clutching drink tickets and venereal ointments. Like any well-built prison-mall, Vegas is designed for one purpose only: to take your money, hard-earned or not, and as gently as possible (like stealing candy from an unborn baby). I think of Miss Lonelyhearts contemplating a letter from a loyal reader named Broad Shoulders: “He crushed its head with a stone and left the carcass to the flies that swarmed around the bloody flowers…”

Wager, then, without hesitation that He is…

Walking in the vague direction our usual meeting place, outside Sephora, between the stripper station and ever faithful Cabo Wabo, is a synaptic overload death march through the Aria Casino, the expressive melody in this case being the piss-tinkle of slot machines washing over the robotic voices of digital vixens whose low-slung décolleté offer eternal riches to anyone with a dollar to spend; not exactly the orchestral maneuvers of Handel’s Tamerlane, but an ode to barbaric invasions nonetheless.

I trudge through the maximum exposure like a pirate on the plank, one eye on the circling sharks and the other on the fair sirens splashing about on contraceptive memory foam mattresses. My third eye is fixed on the horizon, hoping for a shimmer of a gleam that augurs the most welcome vision of all: the golden door marked Exit… Can my salvation take the form of Sir Francis Drake and brigand cannonfire? Did Longshot kick de bucket? Oh look here’s another square acre of low-stakes Texas Hold ‘em, Buffalo Bill’s Five Dollar Slots, and a pop-up store selling NASA-inspired thong bikinis featuring New and Improved™ Moon Rox Technology.

Waitresses offer watery rum drinks in mini pineapple cups. Roulette wheels clickety-clack like penny nails being hammered into pet coffins. Fresh meat disguised as tourist salesforces ooh and aah at the kaleidoscope colors, screeching sounds and chaste nipples wreathed in chocolate fondue. Between a row of poker machines lit up like Dresden a band of screaming banshees jump and sing in unison: they are not American, because Americans only jump like that for big events, like Super Bowls or March Madness. As Terry Southern said, “There is no power on earth that can loosen a man’s grip on his own throat.”

But for those who cannot believe, at least learn your inability to believe. And endeavor then to convince yourselves.

After much tragi-comic buffoonery, Doc Christian and I finally join forces in a pincer movement worthy of Zhukov and/or the Mongol general of Golden Horde fame, Batu (spiritual ancestor of Putin and Ahkmatova). We water the horses beneath the Paris Hotel’s Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile. The original Arch of the Star, one of the City of Light’s most venerable monuments (not including Mrs. Hollande’s Algerian-themed boudoir), is dedicated to those who died for the Motherland in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. But the “replica” is a perversion of a sacrilegious turd (see: Jed York and his boy toy GM Spent Trent Baalke): etched into the Arc’s faux stone are not Voltaire, Stendhal, or even Brigitte Bardot, but the names of two “celebrity chefs”: Gordon Ramsay, host of Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and the Cooks and Crooks (filmed live from Golgotha!); the other dreary huckster of yesterday’s twaddle is infamous for his muffin crumb cakes drizzled with the honeyed tears of Cathar virgins…

Meade me in St. Louis, Heavenly Father!

This last barrage of offensive nonsense sends our ragged forces fleeing up Las Vegas Blvd. north, towards Circus Circus and the stale exhaust of Mint 400s past. En route we stumble upon a superb taco joint, Gordo’s, on the other side of Cathedral Avenue. The clientele is exclusively Hispanic, unpretentious, happy to be off work, or not yet at work, and with a smattering of well-behaved children. We are the only non-Spanish speakers in line, behind the counter, or eating. The furniture is plastic. The plates are cheaper than Donny Trump’s best orgasm. The lighting is toxic. Our fellow diners, families and ex-felons alike, talk, try not to stare at us obviously lost foreigners. Twenty blocks away from Steve Winn’s Mirage, in a derelict strip mall full of pawn shops and trinket emporiums, it finally feels like home.

“Outside the windows the cars swept past continuously, out of town, into town, lights ablaze, radios at full throttle. ‘I wither slowly in thine arms,’ he read. ‘Here at the quiet limit of the world,’ and repeated to himself: ‘Here at the quiet limit of the world. Here at the quiet limit of the world’… as a monk will repeat a simple pregnant text, over and over again in prayer.” (Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One)

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Yes indeed, Trump is a symptom not a cause.

He is a symptom of the fact that the leadership of both political parties have thrown the blue collar working class in the dumpsters as impediments to the feudalist utopia of the progressive/wall street axis.

Trump is a terribly flawed leader of the revolution and very likely will flame out. But the revolution will not go away, and will eventually overthrow the oligarchs of both political parties who currently have a stranglehold on political and economic power in our country.

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by Alexander Cockburn & Jeffery St. Clair

The queen of head is dead. At 94, the life of Nancy Reagan, the pin-up girl for the genocidal War on Drugs, finally blinked out. Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford, who frequently appeared on Ronald Reagan’s General Electric Theatre, wrote in his memoir that Nancy gave the best blowjobs in Hollywood. It’s one of the most benign things you could say about the woman who saw herself as a kind of Catherine the Great for the American Imperium.

Already the airwaves are throbbing with misty tributes to the Reagan years, an age than never really was. Here then is a corrective to the manufactured history of Ron and Nancy and their court that Alexander Cockburn and I wrote on the centenary of Reagan’s birth. –JSC

The script of the recurring homages to the Reagans remains unchanging: with the Gipper’s straightforward, sunny disposition and aw-shucks can-do style the manly Reagan gave America back its confidence. In less flattering terms, Reagan and his PR crew catered expertly to the demands of the American national fantasy: that homely common sense could return America to the vigor of its youth and the economy of the 1950s.

When Reagan took over the Oval Office at the age of 66 whatever powers of concentration he might have once had were failing. The Joint Chiefs of Staff mounted their traditional show-and-tell briefings for him, replete with simple charts and a senior general explicating them in simple terms. Reagan found these briefings much too complicated and dozed off.

The Joint Chiefs then set up a secret unit, staffed by cartoonists. The balance of forces were set forth in easily accessible caricature, with Soviet missiles the size of upended Zeppelins, pulsing on their launch-pads, with the miniscule US ICBMs shriveled in their bunkers. Little cartoon bubbles would contain the points the joint chiefs wanted to hammer into Reagan’s brain, most of them to the effect that “we need more money”. The president really enjoyed the shows and sometimes even asked for repeats.

Reagan had abolished any tiresome division of the world into fact or fiction in the early 1940s when his studio’s PR department turned him into a war hero, courtesy of his labors in “Fort Wacky” in Culver City, where they made training films. The fanzines disclosed the loneliness of R.R.’s first wife, Jane Wyman, her absent man (a few miles away in Fort Wacky, home by suppertime) and her knowledge of R.R.’s hatred of the foe.

“She’d seen Ronnie’s sick face,” Modern Screen reported in 1942, “bent over a picture of the small, swollen bodies of children starved to death in Poland. ‘This,’ said the war-hating Reagan between set lips, ‘would make it a pleasure to kill.’” A photographer for Modern Screen recalled later that, unlike some stars who were reluctant to offer themselves to his lens in “hero’s” garb, Reagan insisted on being photographed on his front step in full uniform, kissing his wife goodbye.

Years later Reagan boasted (that is: lied) about liberating the Nazi death camps, even as he was forced to defend his deranged decision to bestow presidential honors on the dead at the cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, final resting place for the blood-drenched butchers of the Waffen SS. Reagan possessed a special talent for the suspension of disbelief when it came to the facts of his own life. Perhaps, if the earth in Simi Valley ever decides to disgorge his corpse, the custodians of Bitburg could erect a cenotaph for Reagan on those chilly grounds.

The problem for the press was that Reagan didn’t really care that he’d been caught out with another set of phony statistics or a bogus anecdote. Truth, for him, was what he happened to be saying at the time. When the Iran/contra scandal broke, he held a press conference in which he said to Helen Thomas of UPI, “I want to get to the bottom of this and find out all that has happened. And so far, I’ve told you all that I know and, you know, the truth of the matter is, for quite some time, all that you knew was what I’d told you.” He went one better than George Washington in that he couldn’t tell a lie and he couldn’t tell the truth, since he couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

His mind was a wastebasket of old clippings from Popular Science, SF magazines (the origin of “Star Wars”, aka the Strategic Defense Initiative) lines from movies and homely saws from the Reader’s Digest and the Sunday supplements.

Like his wife Nancy, Ronnie had a stout belief in astrology, the stars being the twinkling penumbra of his incandescent belief in the “free market,” with whose motions it was blasphemous to tamper. He believed Armageddon was right around the corner. He also believed tomato ketchup could be classified as a school meal, striking back at the nose-candy crowd who, as Stevie Earle once said, spent the Seventies trying to get cocaine classified as a vegetable.

Reagan’s view of Nature was strictly utilitarian. When Reagan was governor of California, David Brower, the great arch-Druid, goaded him into making his infamous declaration: “Once you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all.” That Zen koan-like pronouncement pretty much summed up Reagan’s philosophy of environmental tokenism. Later, Reagan propounded the thesis that trees generated more air pollution than coal-fired power plants. For Reagan, the only excuse for Nature was to serve as a backdrop for photo-ops, just like in his intros for Death Valley Days, the popular western TV series that served as a catwalk for the rollout of the B-movie actor as a national politician.

To execute his rapine environmental policies, Reagan turned to his Interior Secretary James Watt, whose approach to the plunder of the planet seethed with an evangelical fervor. He brought with him to Washington a gang of libertarian missionaries, mostly veterans of the Adolf Coors-funded Mountain States Legal Foundation, who referred to themselves as “The Colorado Crazies.” Their mission: privatize the public estate. Many of them were transparent crooks who ended up facing indictment and doing time in federal prison for self-dealing and public corruption. They gave away billions in public timber, coal, and oil to favored corporations, leaving behind toxic scars where there used to be wild forests, trout streams, and deserts. These thieves were part of the same claque of race-baiting zealots who demonized welfare mothers as swindlers of the public treasury.

Watt, who was himself charged with twenty-five felony counts of lying and obstruction of justice, never hid his rapacious agenda behind soft, made-for-primetime rhetoric. He never preached about win-win solutions, ecological forestry, or sustainable development. From the beginning, James Watt’s message was clear: grab it all, grab it now. God wills it so.

Hearing all the cosy talk about the Gipper, young people spared the experience of his awful sojourn in office, probably imagine him as a kindly, avuncular figure. Not so. He was a callous man, with a breezy indifference to suffering and the consequences of his decisions. This indifference was so profound that Dante would surely have consigned him to one of the lowest circles of hell, to roast for all eternity in front of a TV set on the blink and a dinner tray swinging out of reach like the elusive fruits that tormented Tantalus.

It was startling, back in 2004 when he died, to see the lines of people sweating under a hot sun waiting to see Reagan’s casket. How could any of them take the dreadful old faker seriously? The nearest thing to it was the hysteria over Princess Di.

The explosion of the Challenger space shuttle of January 28, 1986, a disaster that prompted one of the peak kitsch moments in a presidency that was kitsch from start to finish. Reagan ended his address to the nation thus: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God’.”

In fact it was the White House that had doomed Christa McAuliffe and her companions to be burned alive in the plummeting Challenger. The news event required the Challenger to go into orbit and be flying over Congress while Reagan was delivering his state of the union address. He was to tilt his head upward and, presumably gazing through the long-distance half of his spectacles, (one lens was close-up, for speech reading,) send a presidential greeting to the astronauts. But this schedule required an early morning launch from chill January Canaveral. Servile NASA officials ordered the Challenger aloft, with the frozen O-ring fatally compromised.

Reagan dozed through much of his second term, his day easing forward through a forgiving schedule of morning nap, afternoon snooze, TV supper and early bed. He couldn’t recall the names of many of his aides, even of his dog. Stories occasionally swirled around Washington that his aides pondered from time to time whether to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Reagan’s sons, Michael and Ronnie, disagreed whether or not his Alzheimer’s began when he was president. “Normalcy” and senile dementia were hard to distinguish. The official onset was six years after he left Washington DC.

As an orator or “communicator” Reagan was terrible, with one turgid cliché following another, delivered in a folksy drone. His range of rhetorical artifice was terribly limited.

The press flattered him endlessly and vastly exaggerated his popularity and his achievements, starting with the nonsense that he “ended the Cold War”. He did nothing of the sort, the Soviet Union’s sclerotic economy having doomed it long before Reagan became president.

He lavished money on the rich and the Pentagon. The tendencies he presided over were probably inevitable, given the balance of political forces after the postwar boom hit the ceiling in the late 1960s. Then it was a matter of triage, as the rich made haste to consolidate their position.

It was a straight line from Reagan’s crude attacks on welfare queens to Clinton’s compassionate chewings of the lip (same head wag as RR’s) as he swore to “end welfare as we know it”. As a PR man, it was Reagan’s role, to reassure the wealthy and the privileged that not only might but right was on their side, and that government, in whatever professed role, was utterly malign.

(The late Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

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FREE GUEST SPEAKER PRESENTATION "Private Gardens of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Eastern Pennsylvania"

Guest Speaker: Mary Jasch of DIG IT! Magazine

Topic: Private Gardens of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Eastern Pennsylvania

An intimate visual tour featuring some of the most stunning private gardens of the East Coast Tuesday, March 15 from 12:30pm to 2:00pm in the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens - Gardens Meeting Room

This presentation offers inspiration from the gardens, plants, and people of the Northeast Coast. Take a visual tour of private gardens of all types and sizes from 1/5-acre suburban lot to country estates, classical to cottage, woodland and container gardens, formal vegetable gardens, potagers and a few surprises. Mary Jasch publishes and edits DIG IT! Magazine. Her freelance articles and photography of gardens, horticulture, and nature have appeared in The New York Times, Backpacker Magazine, The Boston Globe and other publications. Her award-winning photography is currently in a nationwide traveling exhibit with the Natural History Field Museum of Chicago. For 23 years, she owned an interior landscape business that designed, installed, and maintained corporate interior plantings, outdoor container gardens, and retention basins as sound ecological habitats. Her combined knowledge of plants in natural landscapes and designed gardens provides her with an expertise she enjoys ! sharing. There is no fee to attend but seating is limited; please RSVP to Wendy Roberts at or call 707-937-4702.

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Bright yellow postcards were sent out last week to our “No Party Preference” (Decline to State or Non-Partisan) voters to inform them of the major parties that are allowing those voters to vote their ballot for the PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY Election to be held on JUNE 7, 2016, according to Susan M. Ranochak, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder. Not all political parties chose to allow “No Party Preference” voters to vote a party ballot; the major parties that are allowing this are: Democratic, American Independent and Libertarian parties. The postcard asks you, the voter to choose a ballot that you would like to vote. This does not change your party affiliation, but does allow you to vote for President if you wish. If you decide to request a party ballot, please mark the party and return the postcard to us by April 1, 2016. If you want to vote for a presidential candidate in a party that is not listed, you should re-register with that party for the Primary Election. Please contact our office for a new voter registration card or go to and click on “Register To Vote” to register online. The last day to register to vote in the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election is May 23, 2016. If you have moved or would like to change your party affiliation, you must re-register – the deadline for re-registering is also May 23, 2016 For additional information please contact the County Election Department by calling 707 234- 6819.

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Ramrod and Cassady just brought in a load of primo Acapulco Gold. The ‘Dead’ are playing Sugar Magnolia…

Sugar magnolia, blossoms blooming, heads all empty and I don't care,

Saw my baby down by the river, knew she'd have to come up soon for air.

Sweet blossom come on, under the willow, we can have high times if you'll abide

We can discover the wonders of nature, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside.

She's got everything delightful, she's got everything I need,

Takes the wheel when I'm seeing double, pays my ticket when I speed

She comes skimmin' through rays of violet, she can wade in a drop of dew,

She don't come and I don't follow, waits backstage while I sing to you.

Well, she can dance a Cajun rhythm, jump like a willys in four wheel drive.

She's a summer love for spring, fall and winter. She can make happy any man alive.

Sugar magnolia, ringing that bluebell, caught up in sunlight, come on out singing

I'll walk you in the sunshine, come on honey, come along with me.

She's got everything delightful, she's got everything I need,

A breeze in the pines and the sun and bright moonlight, lazing in the sunshine yes indeed.

Sometimes when the cuckoo's crying, when the moon is half way down,

Sometimes when the night is dying, I take me out and I wander around, I wander 'round.

Sunshine, daydream, walking in the tall trees, going where the wind goes

Blooming like a red rose, breathing more freely,

Ride our singin', I'll walk you in the morning sunshine

Sunshine, daydream. Sunshine, daydream. Walking in the sunshine.

— Bob Weir, Robert Hunter / 1970

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Mendocino County Museum Road Show revives history

by Roberta Werdinger

The Mendocino County Museum enters the third year of what is becoming a popular annual tradition, bringing our local directly to the people of Mendocino County in the form of a multimedia theatrical feast. The Mendocino County Museum Road Show will play over the span of three weekends in March 2016, at 7:30 p.m. for one night only at each venue, as follows: Friday, March 11 at Willits High School; Saturday, March 12 at Arena Theater in Point Arena; Saturday, March 19 at SPACE Theater in Ukiah; Friday, March 25 at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo; and Saturday, March 26 at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 at SPACE Theater. Doors open half an hour early for guests to find their seats and enjoy pre-show music.


Road Show Artistic Director Linda Pack and dramaturge Kate Magruder also act in the play, combined with the outstanding talent of Ricci Dedola, Billy Hetherington, Nichole Phillips, Tony Rakes and -- new this year -- Lindy Peters. Together these seven people will portray more than 50 historical characters, all the way from children entranced by Boontling nursery rhymes to weathered hop-pickers, from purveyors of herbal home remedies to hard-drinking Tom Bacon, who would exchange drinks at the local pubs in return for stories.

The cost for the Road Show is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors over 65 and youth age 20 and under.A few of these true stories of our county’s wild past, although tastefully and humorously presented, discuss licentious behavior. Parental guidance is suggested.

Tickets are available online through by calling the Museum at (707) 459-2736, or by visiting the Mendocino County Museum at 400 East Commercial St. in Willits during open hours, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets for individual shows can also be purchased at specific outlets in the cities of the performance venues: Mendocino Book Company (Ukiah), Arena Market & Cafe (Point Arena), Harvest Market (Fort Bragg), and All That Good Stuff (Boonville). Tickets for the shows can sell out quickly; advance tickets are strongly encouraged.

The 2016 Museum Road Show is generously supported by Theater Angels John and Sandy Mayfield, Broadcast Partner KZYX, and local businesses, including: Ingel-Haven Ranch/Magruder Meats, North Coast Brewing Company, Mendocino College Foundation, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, The Book Juggler, Emandal-A Farm on a River, Harvest Market, Lia Patterson RE/MAX Full Spectrum, Lisa Epstein State Farm, Mendo Mill, Room to Bloom Preschool & Infant Center, Albion Doors & Windows, Sparetime Supply, DripWorks, Mendocino Film Festival, Real Estate Magazine, Main Street Music and Saucy Ukiah.

Roberta Werdinger
Writer, Publicist, Editor

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  • Mar. 8-12th: Teen Tech Week
  • Mar. 18th: Lunch Bunch Cook Book Club
  • Mar. 23rd: Wines & Spines Book Club
  • Mar. 26th: High Tea Party and movie

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Teen Tech Week 2016 (March 8th -March 12th)

  • Zine-Making Workshop, Tuesday, March 8th 3-6 pm
  • Minecraft Build-Off, Wed. March 9th 2-6 pm
  • Wii-U Gaming, Thursday, March 10th 3:30-5 pm
  • Coding Camp for Teens, Friday March 11th 3-5 pm
  • Teen Lock-In, Saturday March 12th 6 pm -12 am

Local teens will be tuning in at the library as Mendocino County Library celebrates Teen Tech Week™ [March 8th - March 12th]. They join thousands of other libraries and schools across the country who are celebrating this year’s theme, Create It at Your Library, to raise awareness about how Mendocino County Library creates a space to extend teens’ learning beyond the classroom where they can explore, create and share content.

Zine-Making Workshop - On Tuesday, March 8th from 3-6pm, we’ll be learning how to make our own zines (pronounced “zeens”). Zines are cut-and-paste, self-published magazines that are reproduced on copiers and can be distributed to friends and others in your community.

We’ll present a Minecraft Build-Off for Young Adults (aged 11-18) on Wednesday, March 9th from 2-6pm. The build-off will incorporate STEAM learning methods through playing and building in Minecraft. There will be small prizes awarded for speed, agility and creativity. Registration is required: 467-6434 or

Wii-U Gaming for Teens – Challenge your friends at our weekly gaming for teens program! We meet every Thursday from 3:30-5 pm.

Coding Camp for Teens - Teens are invited to participate in Coding Camp on Friday, March 11th, 3-5 pm. Level Up! Participants can use Game Maker, Code Academy, or to grow their coding skills.

Teen Lock-In - Teens entering 7th-12th grades are welcome to attend Teen Lock-In at the Library, an after-hours event to take place on Saturday, March 12th from 6pm-midnight. With games & activities like Minute–to-Win-It, Super Smash Bros, Sharpie Tie-Dye, & Zombie Tag in the Stacks, fun & adventure are guaranteed. Pizza, snacks, refreshments & materials will be provided. Registration and parent/guardian permission are required for teens to attend. To obtain a permission slip or for more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technology. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to take advantage of the various current & emerging technologies available at libraries for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals who can help them achieve greater digital literacy.

Melissa Carr, Ukiah Public Library’s Teen Librarian, knows that "getting teens into libraries is essential. Offering gaming, access to computers, and online homework help is important, and letting them know that we can help educate them on how to use these resources will get them in the door. Once they’re in the door, we can show teens that with technology at the library, anything is possible.”

Millions of teens do not have access to a home computer and, were it not for libraries, would miss opportunities to gain important digital literacy skills. Libraries offer a bridge across the digital divide. Libraries also recognize that digital media plays an important part in a teens’ life. That is why more libraries than ever are helping teens build critical digital literacy skills, which they will use to obtain scholarships, secure jobs, effectively manage their online identity and more.

Teen Tech Week is held annually the second week of March. For more information, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

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Lunch Bunch, a Cook Book Club on Friday March 18th at 12 noon.

The Lunch Bunch Cook Book Club meets the third Friday of every month at noon at Ukiah Library.

The Lunch Bunch is an opportunity for local cooks to try new recipes and share the results with a congenial group. First time attendees should borrow a library cook book, find a new recipe, and create a delicious new dish to share. Any changes or substitutions in the recipe must be noted and shared.

For more information, call 463-4490. The Lunch Bunch Cook Book Club is supported by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

for Wines & Spines Book Club

March 23rd 6:30 pm

Enoteca Wine Bar, 106 W. Church St.

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Adults 21 & over are invited to join our monthly book club Wines & Spines for a reading of The Martian by Andy Weir. This book discussion will take place in conjunction with our exhibition of Explore Space, Our Solar System and Beyond.

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Explore Space, Our Solar System and Beyond, a traveling exhibition for libraries, is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Exhibit partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Afterschool Alliance. Explore Earth is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and the Library’s Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond grant.

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Studies show reading for pleasure reduces anxiety & increases our capacity for compassion. For a list of our ongoing book club selections & more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

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A Movie and High Tea Party in Honor of Downton Abbey

Saturday, March 26th – Starting at 2:00 PM

Enjoy tea parties and dressing up? Join us at the Ukiah Library Saturday, March 26th for a movie viewing of Gosford Park and an honorary tea party for the ending of BBC’s Downton Abbey. This event is for adults as Gosford Park is rated R.

For questions, please contact Roseanne at (707) 463-4490 or Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

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MAKERS: Women Who Make America

Wednesdays in March @ 7pm:

March 9th

March 16th

March 23rd

March 30th

Join us in acknowledging Women’s History Month at the Ukiah Library with the award-winning PBS series: MAKERS: Women Who Make America.

MAKERS: Women Who Make America tells the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy. It’s a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, in courts and Congress, in the boardroom and the bedroom, changing not only what the world expects from women, but what women expect from themselves. MAKERS brings this story to life with priceless archival treasures and poignant, often funny interviews with those who led the fight, those who opposed it, and those first generations to benefit from its success. Trailblazing women like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey share their memories, as do countless women who challenged the status quo in industries from coal-mining to medicine. MAKERS captures with music, humor, and the voices of the women who lived through these turbulent times the dizzying joy, aching frustration and ultimate triumph of a movement that turned America upside-down.


  1. BB Grace March 8, 2016

    Sugar Magnolia -> Sunshine Daydream

    Sunshine daydream
    Walk you in the tall trees
    Going where the wind goes
    Blooming like a red rose
    Breathing more freely
    Light out singing
    I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
    Sunshine daydream
    Walk you in the sunshine

    Dead have been releasing material from the Vault, including Today’s AVA refer that has a movie by the name, “Sunshine Daydream” (1972)

  2. Lazarus March 8, 2016

    Correction… really…? Tom Lucier, former Third District Supervisor is commonly known in Willits as…Digger.

  3. Harvey Reading March 8, 2016


    It’s about time the middle class awakened to reality. I have been getting quite a laugh out of their nonsense that Trump simply cannot win, making the she-monster (or the phony socialist) a shoo-in. It seemed to me smugness carried to the extreme, even by their own middle-class standards.

  4. Jim Updegraff March 8, 2016

    Those who care about the future of the GOP as a party need to remember it grew out of the failure of the Whig Party.

  5. Bill Pilgrim March 8, 2016

    RE: Kunstler – Cockburn & St. Clair. An apt juxtaposition of articles, for many of the mechanisms and crazed carpetbaggers unleashed by Reagan have created the present dystopia Kunstler bemoans.

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