Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Monday, Apr 4, 2016

* * *

DAVE SEVERN NOTES: At a $1.10 per thousand the $1,100 on the recorded grant deed covering the sale of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards tasting room would indicate it was a million dollar deal. Not bad for a 6.9-acre parcel. And not bad for Alan Green the man behind the wine. A good guy, I might add, and not of the colonizing, empire building species we see in droves coming to the Valley. Alan is retiring to play golf and do a little writing. Good for him.

Ken & Diane Wilson
Ken & Diane Wilson

The folks he sold to on the other hand are into expanding their wealth beyond their needs for a comfortable life. Kenneth Wilson and Diane Nolan already have a lucrative wine business in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, that they established in 1993. In 2009 they bought 1,222 acres of Hopland Russian River land for $4.5 million. In December of 2014 they bought the 20 acres on Holmes Ranch Road originally developed by the famous, late blind winemaker, Larry Parsons. As with all of the other non-resident vintners they will extract what they can from our Valley with little consideration to community or environment. I suspect there have been other insults outside of my County records limited periscope, but what we have here is enough to place them well within the contemporary ruling class and certainly not likely to vote for Bernie Sanders.

* * *


While I was sitting at the computer over at the County Recorder's office I thought I would look up the Stuart Bewley mentioned by Bruce in last week's Off The Record as having a vineyard in the remote hills of Laytonville. A lengthy New York Times article extolled the man as some kind of titan of environmentally sound practices on the 6,000 acres he plays with there. In the article he equates environment with “terroir” and states “he grows” timber to sequester carbon — going on to mention that he sells “carbon offset certificates” to businesses so that they can meet legal environmental goals.

Gag me with a spoon. The trees grow themselves and he makes money off of that by allowing other businesses to pollute the atmosphere.

Anyway, what I discovered is that besides the Laytonville digs Monsieur Bewley owns 2,625 acres of timberland along Mountain View Road outside of Boonville, has a summer house in Mendocino and lives in Belvedere/Tiburon. He and his wife, D. Motluk, have a charitable foundation worth $76,000 — up $20,000 from last year. I think they donate to the Mendo theater troupe.

* * *

SUPERVISORS McCOWEN AND GJERDE want a fiscal analysis of Sheriff Allman's proposed ballot measure that would fund an in-county mental health facility and training center.

RECOGNIZING the need for, and present absence of, a secure site where drop-fall drunks, crazy people, the flipped-out sectors of drug people, and free-floating, public nuisance thanatoids can be housed and treated, Allman has announced that he and a committee of like-minded citizens hope to place a temporary, five-year, half-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot to fund an in-County mental health repair shop.

AS IT IS, Mendocino County spends upwards of $20 million a year to provide exactly nothing for the above mentioned, defining them indiscriminately as "the homeless." Allman's deputies and the city police departments of the County remove these above mentioned from the streets over and over again — about a hundred frequent fliers County-wide, housing them for short periods of time at the County Jail until our over-numerous, over-paid, under-concerned delegation of pro forma Superior Court judges free the above to begin the catch and release process over again. And again. And again.

I THINK we all recognize that America has lost its way, that it's up to us, small communities of citizens to take care of our own dependent populations. Yes, in the years before we lost our way we had a state hospital system where people unable or unwilling to care for themselves were housed and, in some cases, rehabilitated. That system was destroyed by those sectors of the wealthy who feel they have no social obligations to the country that made them rich. They remain organized as the Republican Party.

THE TWO SUPERVISORS, Gjerde and McCowen, rightly want to know how the Sheriff's plan will work, what the County's role will be, hence Tuesday's agendized discussion.

(EXCUSE ME, GENTLEMEN, but since when have you asked for financial accountability? Allman has taken the initiative here because YOU don't have a plan, never have had a mental health plan, and may not have a clue other than to replace the disastrous Ortner with Redwood Quality Managment Company, another private outfit, albeit a Ukiah-based business. Government does have certain responsibilities. Allman's plan restores government responsibility to government. And you can integrate what's left of County Mental Health with the Allman Plan.)

HERE'S how I would like it to work: Out of the temporary boost to the sales tax the Sheriff either buys or leases, from the Queen of Willits, Marge Handley, the former Howard Hospital. Right there we're talking $2-$3 mil, but her majesty, known for her magnanimity and community-mindedness, as she keeps a sharp eye out on her bottom line, will certainly take less.

THEN YOU TAKE the most able County employees of the present mental health apparatus currently spinning their wheels to no visible purpose and assign them to the ALLMAN CENTER FOR THE HALT AND THE LAME. It can all be brought off for a helluva lot less than $20 million a year.

* * *

ON A BEAUTIFUL SPRING afternoon, let's talk about syphilis. Recommended reading: "Pox — Genius, Madness, and the Mysteries of Syphilis" by Deborah Hayden. Lots of interesting stuff in this book, including a history of the clap and its cures, much of it scrotum-tightening, I should warn you boys who might be interested in reading Ms. Hayden's book. The famous people believed and sometimes confirmed as suffering the ravages of "the poison of darkness," include James Joyce, Flaubert, Isak Dinesen (infected by her husband) and, of course, Hitler, although he was never for sure confirmed as syphilitic but, it seems, was more of a tweaker, i.e., an addict of the pharmaceutical speed first concocted by the Germans. Mendocino County homeboy, Jim Jones, was also driven over the brink by his amphetamine addiction, but he was not known for the artistic eminence of the case studies included here and flamed out before he could take over the whole country, but not before easily conquering Mendocino County, San Francisco, and the Democratic Party.


ALSO RECOMMENDED is "The Beautiful Struggle," by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a brilliantly rendered autobiography by a uniquely-raised black kid by his eccentric, scholarly ex-Marine, ex-Black Panther father. Never have read anything like it, and I got the feeling throughout that this guy and his family are unlike any family you've ever heard of, let alone known via some of the liveliest prose you'll read.

* * *

CITY MEDIA made a very big deal last week when KGO Radio lopped off a bunch of audio yappers. A lot of the comment especially lamented that Ronn Owens would now be at KSFO, as if any truly sentient person could possibly care where that unctuous bore had gone.

FRISCO once enjoyed radio that was fun, with truly witty people like Don Sherwood, Carter B. Smith, Dunbar and Wygand. There has been nothing on the am dial since worth listening to. As Herb Caen once wrote, during morning commute hours when Sherwood told a joke you could look over at the car next to you and the driver would be laughing. Everyone listened to old Donny Babe. Any more, you get these tedious New York Times-style liberals who force feed listeners with correct opinions but are so boring listening to them is like being stuck with the guy at the end of the bar pounding you about the political difference between Biden and Kerry. And then there are the rightwing nuts who simply yell about Arabs and building a wall and blah blah blah. What happened to wit, what happened to funny?

OVER IN THE FM area of the ether, there is Michael Krazny. There is also Michael Krazny. And then there is Michael Krazny. He's the last genuinely erudite talk guy probably in the country — smart, articulate, fully informed, and occasionally witty. KPFA? Believe it or not, it was once informative and fun. Then, suddenly, Larry Bensky was gone and crazy people were at the mike — Gary Null, nutballs raving about chem trails and Building 7, horoscopes, the deep state. Pacifica can still be informative but the hosts can't talk and, unfortunately, love to listen to themselves can't talking.

CLOSER TO HOME, we have Public Radio, Mendocino County. For a small population, we suffer a disproportionate number of chronophages. And they all have radio programs. I don't want to insult anybody by name, but the mere mention of A through Z I feel like someone has begun tapping on my skull with a ballpeen hammer. Maybe the new management will encourage the smart, articulate, fun talkers out there to do some interesting radio. A bunch of them were banned by previous waves of mismanagement.

* * *


Ukiah Mayor Steve Scalmanini overstepped his authority last week when he called a special meeting of the city council to try to stop the demolition of a home he thought should have been salvaged.

The home on Main Street was scheduled for demolition, with a permit from the city council, in order to make room for a new senior housing complex the city council approved enthusiastically.

When demolition began last week, Scalmanini went into dither when he saw what he thought was the breach of an agreement to salvage redwood siding from the home. He took photos, he dialed the media and then he called a special meeting of the city council.

What he thought the council would do is unclear to us. By the time the meeting began, of course, the building was entirely demolished and city staff says the demolition went according to plan and the permit. Scalmanini says there was an agreement to save the redwood siding for a local builder. But there was no such agreement the city knew of nor the demolition company. And, it turns out the siding had lead paint which would likely make it unsuitable for reuse. The demolition company knew that and communicated it.

While Scalmanini’s heartburn over the loss of some salvage - tainted though it was - could lead to a productive city conversation about future demolitions, Scalmanini went way over the top here. Calling a special meeting of any local government entity - which means going around the requirements of the Brown Act - should only be for real emergencies. This certainly wasn’t one.

And, as his colleague City Council member Maureen Mulheren pointed out, the mayor’s job is a rotating honorary position, not a position of power. No one city council person should be able to simply call a special meeting. Of course getting the majority to call a special meeting is likely in itself a meeting under the Brown Act, so perhaps at least two council members should agree.

In any case, calling this meeting was unnecessary and foolish and we hope the Mayor will get the facts and some advice from staff before rushing everyone into chambers next time.

Ukiah Daily Journal Editor K.C.Meadows

* * *



* * *


February 23, 2016

Dear Local Business Professional,

Imagine effortlessly gliding along the scenery of our spectacular coastal trails that you all know, love, and have been a part of creating.

NCsegwayOur vision for North Coast Segway is to offer a fun and exciting experience for active individuals and groups on the Mendocino Coast. Before we start booking the public, we extend this invitation to our local businesses and professionals for a complimentary inaugural tour. This letter is your voucher for 2 guests to be a part of our debut.

We invite you to glide along Fort Bragg California’s spectacular coastal trails while riding on the newest version of the Segway, the Ninebot. See some of the most popular coastal destinations with our guided tour. Stops on the tour include the Pudding Creek trestle, the famous Glass Beach, and a look into the history of Fort Bragg, as well as the former redwood lumber mill. Surround yourself in nature along the dynamic Pacific Ocean.

The 1.5-hour tour includes safety training and practice on the Ninebot Segway personal transportation robot. Each tour accommodates 8 riders. Photo opportunities with the wild Pacific Ocean in the background are numerous. Depending on your schedule, we may also cruise downtown to the Skunk Train Depot and the local Mendocino Cookie Company.

Tours will be held on:

  • Saturday March 5th - 10:00-11:30 am and 1:30- 3:00 pm 8 riders per tour.
  • Sunday March 6th - 10:00-11:30 am and 1:30- 3:00 pm 8 riders per tour.

Please respond ASAP, and no later than Tuesday March 1st to reserve your space.

Contact Lynne Baumgartner at or phone (707) 962-3109.

Training on the Ninebot Segway and helmets are included as part of the tour.

Dress appropriately, wearing comfortable shoes, sunblock and outerwear for your needs.

We look forward to this new adventure on the coast and are very pleased to include you.


Lynne Baumgartner
North Coast Segway (website in process)

* * *

INTERESTING DISCUSSION on the MCN chat line today. Inspired by the spectre of Segways on Fort Bragg's coast trails:

(1) The Bicycle and Kayak rental business, "Catch A Canoe", on Big River is a private business on private land. This is also true for the "Ricochet Ridge Ranch", the stable that rents horses to MacKerricher State Park guests. There is no commercial venture meant to enhance the Coastal Trail that could not be located on private land adjacent to the park.

If the demand exists for a hot dog stand, some enterprising person could easily rent a small piece of ground from Rossis at the end of Elm Street and make a go of it. I could envision a whole row of small businesses along Elm Street that cater to Coastal Park visitors, including curio shops, bicycle rentals, food stands, etc. That is the preferred model of free enterprise which fuels the economy in America and here in Fort Bragg... private business on private property. I see nothing wrong with that.

The cost and effort as well as the commitment and passion it has taken to preserve and protect scenic and recreational park-land is massive. What would be the point of taking that land out of the public's hands when there are viable alternatives. I don't buy that taxes don't provide enough dollars to maintain these public lands. The lack of money in the county is the result of a lack of political and economic integrity and competence on the part of the people appointed and elected to the government. I don't believe we should sell out public assets to pay for the mismanagement and perhaps contrived financial crises that plague our county from time to time.

Perhaps I am cynical but I am reminded of the 2012 plan by the State Parks Department to close 70 of it's of state parks and reserves because of financial problems. People successfully raised money all over the state to keep the parks open until it was discovered that the Dept. of Parks & Recreation had $20 million that had been quietly hidden and not reported thus creating the potential park closures unnecessarily.

There is enough will in this county to pay for the maintenance of our state, county and local parks and recreation facilities because it is in the county's interest to attract tourists to the area. It is in everybody's interest to see businesses develop that cater to them but there is just no reason to sell concessions on park land if viable alternatives exist. In this case I believe that they do.

That concessionaire agreements exist in many parks is not an argument that such a practice should be considered in every case. Some of those concessions are useful and enhance the areas they serve and provide necessary services that could not otherwise be filled. Some of the lease holders have caused immense financial losses to the parks they were meant to help such as the concessionaire Delaware Corp.'s recent takeover and ransom demand for the trademarked names "Curry Village", "Ahwahnee Hotel" and even "Yosemite National Park". It is costing the country millions to scrape off the old names and rebrand much of that park with new, non-historical names.

And, Yes, I and my friends and family have and will continue to donate our labor and time to public parks as countless others have done since the first public square was created in New Haven Connecticut in 1638.

Original Message-----

(2) Currently, concessionaire agreements exist in many parks. These are for-profit ventures that are supposed to benefit the park as well. When we would visit Big Basin SP in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we loved finishing a long hike by going to the store (run by a concessionaire) and getting an ice cream. This same type of agreement exists at many of our national parks as well.

The Segway business may not be the best idea for our parks. However, there are many other great recreational ideas that currently exist within our parks and are quite successful, both for the business and the parks. People love being able to take a ride on a horse at MacKerricher and Manchester. The kayak rentals and tours are very popular at Van Damme. The bicycle and canoe rentals are a draw at Big River. All of these are concessionaires within our parks. They bring revenue to the parks, to the businesses, provide employment and tax revenue for the communities.

When it comes to our community, we need to think outside of what we have always done. This area has historically depended on resource extraction (timber and fishing) as the main forms of income. We all know that this is dwindling. The fishing industry has taken a huge hit, with the almost complete closure of the crab season and with a reduced commercial salmon season facing the fishermen, our local economy is going to suffer. We are fortunate here, that almost 25% of our population works for a small business. This gives us the "homey" image that people enjoy, when they come to visit. These small business are not only the little shops and stores, but they are the one and two man commercial fishing boats, the guy selling crab from his boat and the concessionaires that operate in our parks.

(3) I certainly would applaud if any Friends of the Coastal Trail come forward, but I assume none has or the City would not be looking to increase the TOT to fund the trail's maintenance. But let's assume either the Friends or the TOT takes care of the trail's maintenance...does that mean you would object to any for-profits on the trail?

I am not privy to the grant agreement, so I have no idea what the trail can and cannot be used for, but, assuming compliance, what if someone wanted to rent bikes? Or rickshaws? Or binoculars? Or sell locally-made tacos in recyclable wrappers? In other words, would you want an absolute prohibition on for-profit businesses or would some businesses be okay, determined on a case-by-case basis?

Clearly, I would lean towards the latter. I believe the only way for Fort Bragg to succeed is if more people have a viable, legal way to make a living. The government can only do so much...but what it can do is permit people to use land for commercial purposes. The plus side is not just income, but also tax revenue for the city and even some land maintenance free of charge.

Now, I am not talking about an Atlantic City Boardwalk, don't get me wrong...but I am talking about some middle ground between that and nothing. I really hope people in the community rally around the idea of a middle ground -- for the trail and what I imagine will be at least another decade of debates about coastal land use. There is a unique opportunity here for people to get behind a shared vision of the area and shape it with a goal towards achieving that shared vision, rather than an endless and unproductive tug-of-war.

(4) I do have an opinion regarding the Coastal Trail. Parks need supplemental income in order to function well. Relying solely on tax payer funding has its risks. Who can forget the closure of state parks when CA experienced a budget shortfall. In my long experience volunteering on Parks boards and commissions, park funding is never, ever a priority when spending cuts are needed.

Both for-profit and non-profit entities are involved in managing or providing services to parks. My preference is for non-profits. These are composed of volunteers who have developed a love for a particular park. The non-profit gives all of the money earned, after costs, back to the park itself.

There is ample precedence for this. The non-profit Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA) provides many types of ordinary services at state parks but also has a management agreement to run Standish Hickey state park.

I think any reasonable proposal should be brought forward and evaluated. With any luck, a non-profit, call it Friends of the Coastal Trail, will emerge.


John R.

* * *


A road trip in Mendocino County, California, mixes coastal wonders and mill town history.

I arrive at the mouth of the Noyo River at dawn, just as the sky is warming to the earliest signs of day. It’s a harbor I know well, having grown up on this stretch of wild, remote Northern California coast three and a half hours north of San Francisco in rural Mendocino County.

Though the once-bustling port of this former fishing and logging town sees less action than when I was a child in the 1980s, I am relieved to find that Fort Bragg still has a working waterfront, where freshly caught sea urchins are processed in nearby warehouses and fishing boats come and go.


Jeff Laxier, who runs a sea kayaking outfit called Liquid Fusion Kayaking, is already dressed in a thick wetsuit with a tight-fitting hood. He hands me a suit, and I change behind the open door of my car, as the local surfers do. Laxier offers some quick pointers on safety. “If we turn over, which we won’t,” he says with a laugh, “best to let me roll us.” I sign a waiver, and we haul the red tandem kayak to a small gravel beach and shove off.

As we paddle, seals, sweet-faced and dog-like, pop up around us. The ocean here is not placid, but as we slip through a field of sea foam, the sound of the churning Pacific is muted and hushed, deserving—at least for today—of its name.

As we skirt the 50-foot sandstone cliffs, Laxier points to rusted metal “knuckles and rings,” as he calls the remnants of the Fort Bragg mill’s original chute-to-schooner lumber loading system. The 1857 mill was operated by various lumber companies, most recently Georgia-Pacific, and by the time it closed in 2002, logging trucks had long since replaced treacherous schooner transit. Two years ago, after a planning process that took more than eight years, the property opened to the public as Noyo Headlands Park. With it came the new Fort Bragg Coastal Trail, running along headlands that had until then been off limits to all but millworkers.

Before walking the coastal trail, though, I wanted to see my hometown’s waterfront from sea level. In 2000, the entire 1,100-mile stretch of California’s famously photogenic coast—exposed reefs, rocky pinnacles, and rugged islands, from the shoreline to 12 nautical miles out into the Pacific—was declared a National Monument. Viewed by everyone who stands on one of the state’s many beaches and looks out to sea, it is said to be among the most seen but least recognized of the country’s national monuments. In March 2014, that expansive offshore area became significantly more accessible when President Obama used the Antiquities Act to add land to the existing California Coastal National Monument: the 1,665-acre Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, which includes the historic Stornetta ranch property. My plan is to drive south from Fort Bragg to Point Arena, exploring the Mendocino coast as I go.

Fort Bragg, established before the Civil War, has always had its own appeal and intriguing backstory. Its moniker refers to a short-lived military post located on the Mendocino Indian Reservation and named after Braxton Bragg, who would later become a Confederate general. Only one structure, a small house north of the Noyo River, remains of the original fort, which was abandoned by the mid-1860s. Before the headlands were a mill site, they served as a seasonal settlement for the Pomo people, who migrated between inland Mendocino County—a hot, dry summertime climate where they harvested acorns—and the coast, where they lived off the fertile ocean, gathering seaweed and mollusks from the rocks and catching salmon. In 1865, the coastal Pomo were subjected to a forced march to another reservation about 80 miles away, and the U.S. government closed the Mendocino Indian Reservation two years later.

During my excursion with Laxier, we see black oystercatchers and cormorants, pelicans and gulls, and an island he dubs “Deer Rock,” because he has often spotted black-tailed deer standing atop it. “They’re great swimmers,” he says, explaining that they feed on the seaweed scattered across the rocks.

After returning from my morning paddle, I meet with Marie Jones, the city’s community development director. Jones is here to show me the southern half of the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail property, which is part of the old mill site. (This portion of the trail opened to the public in December 2015.) At its peak, Fort Bragg’s mill was the largest one on the Mendocino Coast. Operating 24 hours a day, it employed 2,000 people, about a third of the town’s current population. The property’s past is littered with intrigue as well as tragedy. Jones points to a small rocky island wearing a toupee of grass. It was once home to “a house of ill repute,” she says. “The legend goes that one night the women [of Fort Bragg] got together and burned the bridge to the island.”

While much of the mill has been dismantled, a few significant structures were spared. Jones points to a dynamite shack that stored explosives used to break up logjams in the river. Then there is “Dry Shed #4,” a sturdily constructed warehouse that the town hopes to convert to an industrial arts center. The idea is that it would draw artists from around the world to work in glass, pottery, welding, and woodworking.

In the days before strict environmental laws, the town’s trash was dumped directly off the headlands and into the ocean. The result, ironically, is one of Fort Bragg’s biggest tourist attractions, Glass Beach, a cove now carpeted with ocean-weathered sea glass. When I was a kid, the chunks were as large as my palm and came in shades as varied as a case of crayons. But after years of glass being pocketed for souvenirs, the collection has shrunk significantly. While a law to protect the prized debris from prospectors passed last fall, the effort seems too late. A more striking reminder of the city’s industrial past is just a quarter mile north, where 44-foot-high Pudding Creek Trestle, once used for log transport and now a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, crosses over a local creek and its wide beach.

(Pudding Creek Trestle / Downtown Mendocino)

Rather than staying in Fort Bragg proper, I opt for a room 12 miles north of town at the area’s newest hotel, The Inn at Newport Ranch. Before it was a cattle ranch, this historic 2,000-acre property was rich with old-growth redwoods and housed Newport and Kibesillah, two of the dozens of mill towns—complete with stores, homes, hotels, brothels, and bars—that sprang up along the Mendocino Coast in the 1800s.

San Francisco timber interests discovered the giant trees—and their beautiful, rot-resistant wood—while searching for the remains of a trade ship that sank off the Mendocino Coast in 1850. The wreck of the Frolic coincided with the height of the California Gold Rush. As a result, many of San Francisco’s famous “painted ladies”—gorgeous, elaborate Queen Anne Victorians—were built of Mendocino lumber. When the supply of trees dwindled, entire towns disappeared. “As the timber was cut,” says innkeeper Creighton Smith, “the towns would actually move.”

A couple of days later, local author Molly Dwyer and I sit in brightly painted Adirondack chairs on the lawn of the MacCallum House, an elegant yet imposing Victorian home that’s now a bed-and-breakfast, restaurant, bar, and local institution in Mendocino village, 7 miles south of Fort Bragg. Mendocino is the best known and most thoroughly preserved of the coast’s former timber towns, and the Mac House, as it’s known, is its de facto centerpiece. Dwyer had agreed to discuss her recent research on the lives of women in Mendocino’s early days with me, and tells me all about the Mac House’s history. It was built in what was then called the “Pointed Cottage” style as a wedding gift from mill executive William Kelley to his daughter Daisy in 1882. The house used to sit further back from the road, explains Dwyer, but after being badly damaged during the 1906 earthquake, it was moved during repairs.


The still-operational Point Arena Lighthouse stands tall at the end of a narrow peninsula.

Heading south from Mendocino village, Highway 1 winds through a series of communities with names such as Little River, Albion, and Elk. All were once towns in their own right, but today they are fiercely proud enclaves with old post offices, lone gas stations, and a few excellent hotels and restaurants serving mostly tourist traffic. In Elk, also known as Greenwood, I stay the night at the Elk Cove Inn & Spa, built in 1883 as a Craftsman-style house looking out over the jagged shark-fin rock at Greenwood State Beach. Once a timber town of more than 2,000 people, Elk has a market, a scattering of homes, an Irish pub, the beloved Queenie’s Roadhouse Cafe (a former livery stable and Studebaker car showroom), and a population of fewer than 300. The original post office is now a small but impressive museum filled with artifacts from the town’s heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

South of the Navarro River, most visitors returning to the Bay Area turn inland to the straighter, quicker Highway 101. Even having grown up here, I’d driven south of Elk fewer than a dozen times. But it is along Mendocino’s less-populated south coast that the shoreline is at its most dramatic and thrilling. The bluffs rise to more than 100 feet, sheer cliffs cutting to the Pacific at what look like 90-degree angles. They’re topped with wind-sculpted cypress and face offshore islands carved with arches, caves, and blowholes.


Just north of Point Arena, the ranchland once owned by the locally prominent Stornetta family is striking not only in its beauty, but in its varied landscape—from hidden beaches and bizarre washboard rock formations to flat-topped islands and the Garcia River estuary, where the Pomo people fished for Coho and Chinook salmon. The Point Arena Lighthouse stands tall at the end of a narrow peninsula, still operational and open to the public. The 115-foot tower, originally built in 1870 and rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, is one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast.

The building’s spectacular, bedroom-size glass lens has been replaced with a much smaller, modern beacon, but the original sits on display in the former signal house, now a museum. On clear days, the view from the top of the tower is even more impressive than its kaleidoscopic lens.

Today, the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands support threatened and endangered species such as the Point Arena mountain beaver, Behren’s silverspot butterfly, and the California red-legged frog. But on the day of my visit, its most colorful characters are a young bride and groom dashing with their raucous, purple-clad wedding party for the edge of a cliff, where they pose for photos against the epic backdrop of one of the country’s newest national monuments. Even on a calm day, the waves crash against the gnarled headlands, a reminder of the Pacific’s remarkable capacity for shaping the California coast into a magnificent, 1,100-mile-long sculpture garden.

Glass Beach
Glass Beach

(Freda Moon. Courtesy,

* * *



On 04-02-2016 Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were contacted at the Fort Bragg Substation by a 64 year-old male adult who wanted to report that he was assaulted by a subject with a knife during a residential burglary over night. Deputies were advised that at about 12:35 AM the male adult noticed someone inside of his car that was parked in his garage in the 34000 block of Pelican Way in Fort Bragg. The male adult confronted the subject and attempted to remove him from his car, at which time the subject attempted to stab the male adult with a knife before fleeing on foot. The male adult was not injured during the incident. At about 9:26 AM Deputies were dispatched to a suspicious person in the area of 18101 North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg, which was approximately 1 mile away from Pelican Way. Deputies with assistance from an officer with the California Highway Patrol and California State Parks arrived on scene, resulting in the contact of Kurtis Small, 27, of Fort Bragg, who appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. During the course of the contact it was determined that Small was the subject involved in the assault and residential burglary in the 34000 block of Pelican Way. Small was subsequently arrested for the assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

* * *



On 04-02-2016 at about 8:32 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident in the 32000 block of Simpson Lane in Fort Bragg, California. Upon arrival Deputies learned that a 27 year-old female adult who was in a dating relationship with Kyle Pinckney, 27, of Fort Bragg, for the past several years got into a verbal argument. The argument escalated where the female suffered a minor abrasion and redness to the right side of her face and forearm as the result of Pinckney's actions. Pinckney was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 3, 2016

Abreu, Alvarez, Ford
Abreu, Alvarez, Ford

BLUE ABREU, Ukiah. Battery on peace officer, resisting, suspended license, probation revocation.

MARCELINO ALVAREZ, Philo. DUI, no license.

SHAWN FORD, Lakeport/Ukiah. Suspended license, probation revocation.

Herbstritt, Lyons, McWhinney
Herbstritt, Lyons, McWhinney

TABITHA HERBSTRITT, Laytonville. Domestic battery.

BUFFY LYONS, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ADRIAN MCWHINNEY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Mora, Nichols, Paddack
Mora, Nichols, Paddack

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JUSTIN NICHOLS, Gualala. Domestic assault.

DANIEL PADDACK, Willits. DUI, resisting.

Serrano, Small, Sollini
Serrano, Small, Sollini

MARK SERRANO, Laytonville. Drunk in public.

KURTIS SMALL, Fort Bragg. Burglary, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, under influence.

ANTHONY SOLLINI, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

* * *


Pitchers (13)

LHP Madison Bumgarner

RHP Matt Cain

RHP Santiago Casilla

RHP Johnny Cueto

RHP Cory Gearrin

RHP Chris Heston

RHP George Kontos

LHP Javier Lopez

LHP Josh Osich

RHP Jake Peavy

RHP Sergio Romo

RHP Jeff Samardzija

RHP Hunter Strickland

Catchers (2)

Trevor Brown

Buster Posey

Infielders (6)

Ehire Adrianza

Brandon Belt

Brandon Crawford

Matt Duffy

Joe Panik

Kelby Tomlinson

Outfielders (4)

Gregor Blanco

Angel Pagan

Hunter Pence

Denard Span

* * *



* * *

…With all the books, magazine articles, and pundits barraging us with an alarmingly unified rhetoric of, “Internships give you the edge in a competitive job market, “It’s a win-win situation for both employer and intern,” and “It’s not a job, it’s an education,” it’s easy to forget that internships are practically free money for big business. It’s easy to forget that the kids are getting royally screwed.

Somewhere over the past two or three decades, a secret and shrewdly undeclared war between the titans of the glamour industries and a small undefended segment of the labor pool has been fought, and labor has lost. By deft public relations maneuvering, innovation in the face of decreasing cash flow, and the merciless leveraging of an ever-younger, starry-eyed, and unwary segment of the population, the media mandarins have cemented the institution of the internship—working for free—as not merely an acceptable route up the corporate ladder, but the expected one. Tomorrow’s Mike Ovitzes, David Geffens, and Barry Dillers won’t have started in the mailroom at William Morris, they will have been interns there...

— The Baffler

* * *


This week marks the centenary of legendary San Francisco columnist Herb Caen, a journalist who mastered social networking before it had a name.

by Ted Gioia

Nothing goes stale faster than newspaper copy. Wrap a fish in it and see which holds up better three days later. I’m betting on the fish.

But I make an exception for Herb Caen, the iconic San Francisco columnist whose centenary takes place on April 3. Even during his lifetime, Caen was more a monument than a journalist. If you ask native San Franciscans of a certain age to list the things they associate most with the city, Caen’s name shows up right after the Golden Gate Bridge, the 49ers, cable cars, and sky-high rents.

In other words, Caen was built to last. His columns—even the half-century old ones—still entertain. If you doubt me, check out a few.

When Caen received a special Pulitzer Prize a few months before his death in 1997, the award citation called him the "voice and conscience of his city.” They got that right. Although I wish they had found time to mention his humor, his geniality, and the nonchalance with which he crafted a must-read newspaper column six days a week for more than a half-century.

Yet, at his death, even the San Francisco Chronicle—his home base for most of his career—was forced to admit that Caen was “largely unknown in much of the nation.” Within the range of the newspaper’s daily deliveries, matters were very different. Caen’s following was so strong that editors feared that as many as a fifth of the paper’s subscribers might cancel without his column to keep them informed and entertained.

No one lives forever, but I must admit disappointment that Caen didn’t survive long enough to make his mark on the World Wide Web. If Twitter had been around during the Cold War years, Caen would have been much more than a local hero—he would have been a global media one-man brand.

In fact, Mr. Caen ought to be called the grandfather of the tweet. His daily column was just a collection of bits and pieces. He called it “three dot journalism.” But I prefer to think of it as the prototype for today’s social networking.

Over the course of a thousand words, Caen would serve up between 20 and 30 bite-sized observations. Each was concise and ready to go viral—although back then, Caen’s wit would be spread via conversations at the water cooler or neighborhood bar or family dinner table.

If you read Caen, you got the news, but you also received a judicious dose of gossip, jokes, opinions, reviews, announcements of future events, insider scoops from City Hall, true crime stories, puns, sports talk, human interest tales, and social commentary. If it wasn’t in Caen’s column, it wasn’t worth knowing, at least not for those operating within the city limits of San Francisco.

Just imagine what he could have done with the Internet instead of just a typewriter!

A typical column from 1980 tells us that Marlon Brando has been phoning Cupertino in an attempt to get shares in the Apple Computer IPO. Caen then reports that Stevie Wonder, currently staying at San Francisco’s Sheraton Palace, created a mob scene by giving an impromptu performance in the hotel bar. He shares a rumor that Las Vegas casinos have been pumping extra oxygen into the air to keep gamblers awake and at the tables. He touts a charity performance by Joan Baez, gives an account of a caterer foiling a carjacking by defending herself with a gallon of apple juice, and shares juicy details of a vice squad arrest on O’Farrell Street.

But you probably can’t believe everything in this column—for example his secondhand story that Ronald Reagan responded to the shooting of John Lennon by admitting: “I hated his father’s politics, but I love the way his sisters sang.”

Caen wasn’t even a native San Franciscan—he was born in Sacramento in 1916. But he had a response for those who scrutinized the details on birth certificates. (There are still a few of those around, no?) He explained that nine months before his birth, his parents were visiting San Francisco. Take that, you birthers!

His first column in the Chronicle, entitled “It’s News to Me” appeared on July 5, 1938, and for the next sixty years he was a man about town almost every evening. No one was more connected in those days before Internet connectivity. The Chronicleonce reported that “in a typical year he dropped 6,768 names, got 45,000 letters and 24,000 phone calls.”

Two years after Herb Caen’s death, Jack Dorsey moved to San Francisco, where he later established the company Twitter. Coincidence or karma? You be the judge. For my part, I find it all-too-fitting that less than one mile separates the Twitter CEO’s desk from Herb Caen’s old office at the SF Chronicle. As I see it, Twitter just took over from where Caen left off.

Even today, people involved in social media could learn from Caen’s example. Here are the rules he wrote by:

Make it informative and funny in 40 words or less: No journalist of his day was more concise than Herb Caen. In just a few words, he could tell you the facts and also keep you amused. Often it took just one sentence, and rarely more than three.

Be accessible and responsive: People who phoned the San Francisco Chronicle with the expectation of reaching Herb Caen’s assistant or receptionist were frequently surprised when he answered the call himself. They thought they would deal with intermediaries, but instead had the undivided attention of the most influential journalist in town. Caen realized that this accessibility kept him informed and provided him a steady stream of tweet-worthy items for his columns.

Give credit to others: When Caen heard a clever witticism or a funny joke, he would share it in the column—but always give the name of the person who fed him the material. They didn’t call it retweeting back then, but this was exactly what Caen was doing. And his willingness to share the limelight ensured that the cleverest people in San Francisco kept sending him their humorous one-liners and wry observations.

Treat people as friends, not sources: I once heard someone gripe that “you could bribe Herb Caen with a box of donuts.” That wasn’t a fair criticism. It would be more accurate to say that Caen saw his sources of information as friends, and he applied the ethical standards of amicability and bonhomie to his dealings with them. You didn’t even need to bring the donuts. He would try to find ways of publicizing your event or tell your story, because that’s what friends do. In other words, he understood the importance of sociability even before they called it social networking.

And here’s what you wouldn’t see in a Herb Caen column: You would never encounter those rants that make Facebook and Twitter sometimes seem like the waiting room at an anger management clinic. You wouldn’t find trolling and flame wars and name-calling and all those other virtual behavior patterns that make you consider giving up the web for a 90-day mental detox.

Social networkers could learn from all those things that Mr. Caen didn’t do, just as much as from what he did. If he were around today, the Internet would be, to some degree, a better place.

Happy 100th birthday, Herb Caen. In my book, you are the patron saint of the tweet, and the best way of paying homage is to try to do it the way you did back in the analog age. I don’t think anyone around today can match you. But I’d certainly like to see them try.

(Courtesy, the Daily Beast)

* * *

KMEC RADIO 105.1 FM brings you a special edition show about the newest chapter in the FBI-NSA Surveillance State. Our show airs on Monday, April 4, at 1 p.m., Pacific Time. Our guest is former highly placed NSA official turned whistleblower, Bill Binney.

Binney was featured in Citizenfour, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the 2015 Oscars.

Our hosts and producers are John Sakowicz and Sid Cooperrider.

KMEC Radio has learned that the mysterious third party the FBI hired to hack into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c was not the NSA. Instead, it was the Israeli cybersecurity company, Cellebrite. KMEC Radio has obtained documentary evidence, including the invoice, that indisputably proves that the FBI hired Cellebrite.


* * *


Gloriana Musical Theatre is pleased to announce its Summer Mainstage Show "The Sound of Music!" Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Directed by Jenni Windsor. Auditions will be held on Friday, April 29 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm and Saturday, April 30 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Teen Lounge, on 208 Dana Street in Fort Bragg. Audition times are assigned on a first come, first served basis. You will be notified of your audition time by email. To set up an audition please go to Contact our producer Carla Leach at if you have any questions.

Performance dates:

Thursday, Friday, Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM

Sunday Matinees at 2 PM

12 performances

July 28 - August 14, 2016

Nicole Reiter" <>

* * *


8th Annual Lake Renaissance Festival

May 28th and 29th, 2016, Memorial Weekend at The Tuscan Village, 16175 Main St. Lower Lake, CA, 95457, right behind the post office, from 10am to 6pm. Tickets are $8.00 with $2 Off if you come in costume. Children 10 years or younger get in FREE. Immerse yourself in days gone by! Come for the entertainment, music, food and ale! For more information, contact


* * *

FORT BRAGG COAST CHAMBER CONCERTS presents the piano quartet Pacific Chamber Ensemble on Sunday, April 24 at 3 PM in Preston Hall, Mendocino. The program includes the Brahms C Minor Piano Quartet. Information: 937-1018. Advance tickets ($20) at Harvest Market (Fort Bragg) and Out of the World, Mendocino. Tickets also available at the door ($25).

* * *


Re: Psychiatry’s Defective Model of Mental Illness: "a Path for Those it Has Failed”

BC wrote on the MCN Listserve: “If we move towards a universal reality that embraces the perfection of the universe. We (I) can assume that that universe is guiding us and signaling perfection in every moment. Our task (and Joy) is to discover what that perfection really is and to act on it — in the moment.”

Marco McClean responded: “Now imagine someone with crazy eyes and a gun, in a crowd of strangers, saying that to himself.”

* * *

EXPLORE SPACE EXHIBIT: April-May 2016 @ the Ukiah Library

Women in Space chronicles the crucial and often unsung role women have played in the US space program. A First Wednesday PBS film screening beginning at 5:30 pm. A moderated discussion, taped for future broadcasting on KZYX, will follow the film. This is a FOOD FRIENDLY event. Feel free to bring your take-out dinner or snacks. Bring the whole family to our Family-Oriented Preview of the Explore Space Exhibit. Eduardo Alatorre & Lynn Zimmerman will be here to answer your questions in Spanish or English. Friday, April 8th from 4-7 pm. Week 2 of our April Saturday STEM classes for kids aged 9-13. This week we'll be making scribbling robots. Call 463-4490 to reserve a spot. Saturday, 10-11:30 am. The Grand Opening of the Explore Space Exhibit is on Friday, April 15th, from 5-8 pm. Martin Bradley will speak on the history and future of the Ukiah Observatory at 6:30 pm. Buy "Name a Star" raffle tickets to benefit the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. Wine (by donation) and cheese will be served. This event is planned for adults only.

* * *


Free Flowing Dao, Taiko Drums, Cherry Blossoms, Time of Reckoning

The Sakura Taiko Fest Sunday April 3rd at the University of Maryland's Hoff Theater was a powerful, colorful, festive, and profound mixture of thundering Japanese drums, sprightly flute notes, and bells, gongs, and other traditional instruments. Today's performance continues to reinforce the feeling that a reckoning time is here, in lieu of the cartoonish political primaries circus, the ongoing protests at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against the gas fracking industry, the recent nuclear conference (which necessitated walling off with high interlocking metal barriers, plus installing military police in humvees at every intersection, the entire area in the center of the Shaw neighborhood), the stoic 35 year antinuclear protest maintained by Philippo and others directly across from the White House; which vigil continues to be subject to harrassment from the Park Service Police, and indeed, everything else that is on the table in Washington D.C. at the moment. The National Cherry Blossom Festival will continue with a Fireworks Festival at the southwest waterfront on Saturday April 9th, the huge parade is on Sunday April 16th on Constitution Avenue, which concludes at the South Ellipse, and is immediately followed by the Sakura Matsuri street festival, and on and on and on as the delicate pink and white cherry tree blossoms flutter in the gentle wind, in stark contrast to the United States Federal Government's iron metal face of hopelessness. If spiritual rituals and non-interference of the Dao flowing through you is appreciated, contact me at I am at the Harrington Hotel room 601 until April 5th, and then will be at DUO Travel Hostel located at 11th & N St. NW until April 19th. Beyond that, I have no idea whatsoever about anything at all, which is just fine with me. KWAAATZ!

— Craig Stehr


  1. Keith Bramstedt April 4, 2016

    Re: Ronn Owens…….”Unctuous”: wow, Bruce, that’s a new one for me, I had to look it up. “Syncophantic”, “obsequious”…….Jimmy Fallon comes to mind. If Satan himself came on his show he’d kiss his butt!

  2. BB Grace April 4, 2016

    “Just imagine what he could have done with the Internet instead of just a typewriter!”

    Sell tomatoes?

    Reminds me of another journalist, writers of AVA might read, Cory Farley. Farley came under my radar in the 1980s as he had established himself as the unofficial popular liberal voice of Reno/Sierras. His columns were must reads because their influence was so tremendous, Reno Gazette Journal had to buy Farley out. Farley loves outdoors, hiking/camping, which is interesting in that where ever Farley goes hiking, the area becomes part of the “territory” owned by Farley’s readers.

    Today, Farley is a proud liberal blogger who continues his battle against conservatives in the Sierras as his blog is published by several papers.

  3. Bill Pilgrim April 4, 2016

    re: Herb Caen. Not only was he magnanimous in crediting sources for many of his “items,” he was gracious enough to sometimes thank them privately. In the mid-80s I sent him a little story that he began one of his columns with. Two days after it ran I received a typed note (done on his trusty old Royal) in which he thanked me and told me how much he enjoyed the story. That’s Class… (A personality trait sorely missing in contemporary society.)

    re: Segways on the trail. Simply another manifestation of gizmofilia, and further proof that we’re being conditioned to always be in a hurry.
    On the positive side, there will no doubt be a boon in business for the Coast Hospital ER.

    • Craig Stehr April 4, 2016

      In the 1980s I was temping at a Union Bank out by the Oakland Airport, and walked across the road to a motel’s dining room for lunch. The glossy laminated menu featuring the usual enticing photos of sandwiches etcetera, had been altered by some prankster at the printing company. The menu’s text descriptions pointed out how lousy the food was! I took the menu with me and mailed it to Herb Caen. A few days later I received a thank you note, typed up on his Royal, and he said that he had affixed the menu to his office wall so that staffers could enjoy it. This is a far far cry from the wired-to-the-max work environments of news media nowadays, which by the way, are actually in the public relations business when not manufacturing propaganda for their financial masters. P.S. Herb Caen routinely ate at the Palm Grill on Market Street, (which had an outside the front door miniscule counter and two stools for white and red chowder eaters in a hurry), featuring the impressive hofbrau inside and a killer bar with big carved wood and the white aproned staff who actually knew what they were doing. You could walk right up to Herb and say hello and chat a bit. No problem, but you had to be judicious in what you said, because you might end up as an item in his column. ;-)

  4. Bruce McEwen April 4, 2016

    The photo caption in Ms. Moon’s article wants correction: That street scene was shot in Mendocino, not Ft. Bragg.

    • AVA News Service Post author | April 5, 2016

      Right you are. Thank you.

  5. Alice Chouteau April 5, 2016

    Segways are motorized; bikes, kayaks and canoes are not. They may all be rented outside the Coastal Trail, but motorized devices of any kind are prohibitted, by covenants between the Coastal Conservancy and the city of Fort Bragg, ditto any commercial activity, such as tours. The city seems to have violated two covenants, by issuing a biz permit for Segway tours on the Coastwl Trail. Ms Baumgarten may have been ill-advised, or negligent, in not ascertaining these restrictions herself before making amfinancial investment, but the city is ultimately responsible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *