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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

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THOSE SIRENS resounding through Boonville early Saturday a little before 6am, were deputies racing to the scene of a shooting Saturday night on the Manchester reservation.

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On November 19, 2017 around 5:43 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office started receiving 911 calls from the 500 block of Rancheria Road, in Manchester CA, regarding a shooting that occurred at a residence. The callers indicated there were two females, a 32 year old adult and a 15 year old juvenile, who had been struck by gunfire. Patrol deputies responded from Point Arena, Fort Bragg and Ukiah. Upon their arrival they discovered the 32 year old female unresponsive and the 15 year old female wounded but alert. Medical personnel were summoned but the 32 year old was pronounced deceased at the scene. The female juvenile was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where she was treated for a gunshot wound and was later released from the hospital. The Mendocino County Detective Unit responded to assume the investigation, assisted by Investigators of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, as well as Criminalists from the California Department of Justice Criminal Laboratory in Eureka. Witnesses indicated that an unknown assailant came to the house while the occupants were sleeping and fired numerous shots from the outside, striking both females who were inside the residence. There were numerous other parties inside the residence at the time but no one else was injured. A vehicle was heard leaving the area in a rapid manner. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone who may have information related to this incident to please contact the Sheriff's Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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Meet Ace, an 8 year old, mixed breed dog who is easy-going, calm, and sweet. He knows sit, shake and down, has great leash manners and is well behaved. We think Ace would be a great addition to a home with folks of all ages. Ace is eligible for the shelter's SENIOR DOG DISCOUNT — though he still has a young dog's twinkle in his eye.

Do you have space for two brother kittens who would love to be adopted together? Chandler and Bing are the cutest two month old male kittens at the shelter. They’re very friendly with people and VERY playful. Never a dull moment with two kittens who are sure to entertain each other and their new family!

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at or visit the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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Re: Juror comment on Mendocino Sports Plus

As to the comment by juror Brandon Juntz on Mendocino Sports Plus, "The Commodore" was not the problem in the trial. Many of us felt that Caleb probably did it, but with the evidence provided in court, did not prove the case to the point they needed to. They will be reconvening late this month, I think, and should try again."

Mr. Juntz is referring to another red herring defense Atty. Eric Rennert threw that out there as part of his whirlwind snow-job closing: Rennert said, "It's interesting that the, um, the law in Scotland used to have three verdicts, Guilty, Not Guilty and Not Proven, and that even though the guy probably did it, it wasn't really proven."

On rebuttal, Stoen asked, "What's this about old Scottish law? Just another red herring, ladies and gentlemen. The standard here is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because everything is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. In cases where there is no eyewitness, like in this case, we rely on circumstantial evidence, and without it we could never prosecute crimes where there is no eyewitness."

I do not know whether the Commodore was the leader of the idea that the case was not proven to "the point they needed to," it was only my impression that he was behind it, but obviously Mr. Juntz and four others were charmed out of their senses by Rennert's snow-job and were unable to follow the Reasonable Doubt instruction they were given, which mentions "an abiding conviction that the charges are true" — and by saying he (Juntz) and the others "felt Caleb probably did it," there must have been some loss of reason in voting for acquittal. Fortunately, they were in the minority.

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Jim Colling was born in Jamestown, CA on Oct. 26, 1940 and passed away surrounded by his family on Nov. 11, 2017. He is now in the arms of the Heavenly Father. Jim was an adventurous man who embarked on many business adventures in Fort Bragg, Philo and Ukiah. Jim was most proud of his lifelong art career and being ambassador for pickleball. He was president of the Ukiah Valley Art Coop. He spent many years travelling with his wife Dorothy throughout the US and Europe. Throughout his life Jim enjoyed skin diving, coaching softball, bowling, playing pool, and horseshoes, serving as president of the Lions Club, goldmining in Oregon, building an "earth house" in Navarro, squaredancing, participating in the Senior Olympics and most recently began writing his memoirs. Jim is preceded in death by his parents Bud and Betty Colling and siblings Audrey, Adele, Lois and Bill. He leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Dorothy, his children Aileen (Ken) Green, Tacoma, WA, Karen (Mike) Crutcher, Boonville, CA, and James Colling, Kansas. To cherish his memory are six grandchildren, Rashid, Nadia, Aaron, Erik, Julie and Randy. Two greatgrandchildren Trae and Alice, as well as many new and old friends scattered throughout the US. Jim will be remembered for his love of art, witty sense of humor, "can do" attitude, ever present funky hat and steadfast faith in the Lord. In his own words written in his final chapter of his book: "As I summarize a lifetime of activities, I marvel at all the adventures that have kept me busy, it cannot be said that any time was wasted! The second half is filled with testimony regarding the many narrow escapes that can only be the work of Angels or a higher power. Lastly, my final gift has not arrived yet, it will be in the form of an easy exit from this life. I have already experienced 4 dress rehearsals due to blacking out completely and waking to find I am still here!" A celebration of life for Jim will be held in the spring.

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Dear Supervisors…

Re: Minor Use permit for Short-Term/Vacation Home Rentals.

I have recently moved back to the Mendocino Coast, where I grew up, to raise my young child. We would like to stay but as you know it is challenging to make a legal living here, which is why we thought that renting out our private apartment attached to our house on air b and b would be a good steady source of income. Having a business license and paying the 11% county tax seems reasonable to me, so I sent in my application and back taxes (like $200). Then after the county cashes my $130 application fee I get a letter saying that my application is “incomplete” because I NOW need a use permit (10 page application) and to come up with $2,800 to 3,300. So now I am already out $130 on the initial application (had I known that there was going to be an additional fee and application I wouldn’t have applied and paid!) and the use permit is ridiculously expensive – costing more than what I make a year with Air B and B! We are on Philo Greenwood Road, so off the beaten track, and half the year we rent it out to more long term renters and/or use it as a guest room for friends and family – so we don’t make much on it. Since we use it as a short term rental only about half the year, the price of the use permit is out of reach and out of the question for us.

I can see the need to regulate short-term rentals on the coast but we are inland and small potatoes comparatively – using an outdated law that takes no account of where the rentals are and how often they are rented makes no sense and is frankly unfair! As I understand this use permit only applies to new rentals, not existing ones – also unfair! Also, are these use permits required for, say, wineries or other business that have much greater traffic and environmental impact on private roads? In addition, if you are worried about impacts on private roads (which are often in better shape than county roads) – have you driven Philo Greenwood Rd lately? And you are trying to pressure us to make our short term rentals long term – seems to me that longer term renters will have a greater impact on the roads than short term renters, who use the road like 4 times during a weekend visit and not several times daily over months…

I realize that there is a shortage of affordable housing in this county but blaming us for this and trying to force us to make our rentals long term is absurd and unfair. In our case, we don’t want someone in our rental long term as we need to space for our growing family and want to limit the impact on our resources. Also, do you think that current short term rentals on the coast for example will even be affordable for the average Mendocino County resident? This is crazy – I saw a cabin in Navarro renting for $900 a month – what, who can afford that? There has to be another way – like building affordable housing!? Or a trailer park? But then I guess you get the NIMBY’s…

Punishing us for trying to make a legal living in this county is counterproductive and unfair! And it seems that the county is shooting itself in the foot – as many people are not going to get these permits and will either stop renting their places out at all and/or just stop paying their county taxes – so that is less income for the county! This makes no sense – I hope that you can come up with a policy that is fair and takes into account short term rental properties on a case by case basis (i.e. rental locations and frequency of use) and not this unfair blanket approach that you are currently using.

Thank you for your time and fair consideration on this matter.


Anica Williams


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6pm-10pm, December 14, 2017

Redwood Valley Grange #382
8650 East Road, Redwood Valley

$20 tickets advance / $25 at door

Buy tickets online at Eventbrite, or at J.D. Redhouse in Willits, Dig Music or Ukiah Natural Foods Coop in Ukiah.

Music by the California Honeydrops and the Real Sarahs. Food by Zocalo Collective.

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Save a little room after Thanksgiving for the traditional Grange Holiday Dinner coming up Sunday, December 10th at 5:30pm. It's a free dinner open to all in the community to meet, greet, and eat. The Grange with help from the AV Foodshed combine to provide turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy grown as close to home as we can find. It's a potluck so we ask that you bring the "trimmings," salads, desserts, appetizers and…?

Volunteers Needed: It takes lots of volunteers to make this happen. Needed are turkey and potato cooks, and on Sunday, decorators, hall set-up, servers, kitchen hands and a cleanup crew. If you want to help out call Captain Rainbow 895-3807.

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(On Sunday), the water is creeping over the fog line of the eastbound lane — but it’s also puddling on the westbound lane too.

PS. Navarro River sandbar still in place, no breach as of Sunday afternoon.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Christmas shopping? Pretty easy around here: cheap booze for the people, nothing for Skrag.”

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by Megan Barber Allende

Eleven years ago, Mayra Ochoa was a high school senior at Anderson Valley High School. She worked hard in school and desperately wanted to attend college, but knew her family couldn’t afford to send her.

She said, “For me, then, it was either I got scholarships, or I didn’t go to college. I was well aware that my parents were not able to support me financially.”

That’s where the Mendocino Agricultural Families Scholarship Fund came in. She explained that the Ag Families Scholarship provided more than money. “Having your community believe in you—give you an opportunity to pursue your dreams—that meant a great deal to me,” she explained.

Since then, she’s finished graduate school and returned to the area as the Redwood Coast Regional Center’s Diversity Outreach Specialist, working with underserved populations and volunteers on the MCHC Health Centers governing board.

“I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done because of the support I received from my community and from scholarships such as the Ag Families Scholarship and the Community Foundation. I am grateful to my community,” she said.

Fellow scholarship recipient Daniel Angulo says the Ag Families Scholarship changed his life, too. Daniel was able to use the Ag Families Scholarship money as a down payment for the Education Abroad Program through CSU Sacramento.

“Spending my junior year studying Spanish and politics in Spain was the best experience of my life,” he said.

Now, he is a sixth-grade teacher at Anderson Valley Elementary School and he is working on his master’s degree, a degree he says he wouldn’t be pursuing if he were still paying off undergraduate loans.

“Ever since the Community Foundation gave me that scholarship, I’ve wanted to give back. That’s why I started the Teen Center in Anderson Valley and, with the Foundation’s help, why I took 30 teens on a college tour to UCLA, Cal Berkeley, Sacramento State, Sonoma State, and San Jose State,” he said. “I’m really thankful for the Community Foundation.”

These are just two of the amazing scholarship recipient stories, and they are all possible because of the foresight of local ranchers and winemakers who collaborated with the Savings Bank of Mendocino County and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County in 2001 to create a scholarship for the children of local agriculturally-employed families.

Community-minded contributors like Nelson Family Vineyards, Fetzer Vineyards, Frey Vineyards, Redwood Valley Vineyards, Beckstoffer Vineyards, Roederer Estate, Inc./Scharffenberger Cellars, and Parducci/Mendocino Wine Group paved the way. And Tim Buckner, the Mendocino Winegrowers Foundation chairman, helped ensure the success of the scholarship recipients by continually checking in with them, often acting as another parent figure when these young adults needed practical advice and encouragement.

Since 2001, we’ve worked with this coalition of grape growers and winemakers to award $178,250 to 33 students. Of those, 24 have successfully completed two- or four-year degrees over the course of the four years of support.

This year, we’re hoping to finish funding the original endowment, so we can be sure that the Mendocino Agricultural Families Scholarship Fund will go on forever. I know many charitable organizations ask for your donations. Let me tell you why I think this fund is such a good investment this year — we have a matching grant, so every dollar you donate will be doubled.

While these scholarships are always an investment in students with promising futures, they are also a wonderful investment in our community as these students often return to Mendocino County as adults and serve as role models for others.

We’re asking our agricultural partners, and those of you who would like to participate in this worthwhile endeavor, to donate. This way, we’ll be able to use earnings from the endowment rather than annual donations to fund the four-year scholarships.

If you’d like to contribute to our community, this is a wonderful place to do so. And know that this year’s scholarship will be targeted toward a student who was impacted by the recent fires.

The Community Foundation of Mendocino is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for individuals to give back in ways that make a difference in our community. To learn more, visit

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by Bruce Anderson

The nude body of 18-year-old Barbara Stroud was found by a County road crew north of Willits on Wednesday, January 10th, 1973. The honors graduate of Willits High School had been missing since the previous Sunday.

Miss Stroud and her boyfriend, Bob Burke, had enjoyed a movie at the Willits Theater, then Miss Stroud, driving the sporty blue '65 Mustang convertible her doting parents had given her as a graduation present, had dropped Burke, also 18, at his home in the burgeoning rural suburb of Brooktrails northwest of town.

The only people who saw the young woman after that were the six young men who raped and murdered her.

The Strouds had moved to Willits in 1971 to get their studious only child away from the crime and violence of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Strouds thought bad things were less likely in Willits than they were in San Jose where Barbara, always a good student, had never failed to appear on the Westmont High School honor roll.

The Strouds lived for their daughter, and their daughter was devoted to them, so devoted she had delayed entering college for a year to help her parents manage the Ridgewood complex south of Willits, then a thriving motel and restaurant at the top of the Willits Grade.

Reno Bartolomie was Sheriff, Micky Chapman his ace investigator. Ernie Carlson was principal of Willits High School where Ruth Rockefeller taught ambitious students, Barbara Stroud among them, the finer points of composition. The principal described Barbara as “a very fine young lady who was quiet and reserved, and mainly interested in her classes." Ruth Rockefeller described the diligent Miss Stroud as"honorable," by which the elderly Rockefeller seems to have meant that the girl's earnest, well-mannered demeanor was more like the young women of Rockefeller's generation than the raucous youngsters she now saw roaming the halls of Willits High School.

Having dropped off her boyfriend in Brooktrails a little before 11pm, the last non-lethal person she would see, Barbara drove her collector car Mustang back down Sherwood Road to Highway 101 where she unaccountably turned north towards Laytonville rather than south towards Ridgewood where she lived.

Or did she?

Her Mustang was found north of Willits, she lived south of Willits. It is speculated that the girl was sideswiped then abducted somewhere on Sherwood Road as she was eastbound out of Brooktrails towards Highway 101. If she had reached 101 she would have turned south towards Ridgewood.

The seemingly abandoned Mustang was soon spotted by a Sheriff's Department deputy. It was parked on the shoulder of 101 north of Willits. It was midnight, maybe an hour after its young owner had been strangled to death just up the road. The doors were locked and the keys were still in the ignition. The girl’s purse, coat and shoes were also in the vehicle. The convertible's canvas top had been sliced open. The driver’s side of the perfectly maintained Mustang was dented. The Sheriff's Department immediately announced they were looking for the green vehicle whose paint remained on the battered door of the girl's car.

A petite young woman weighing little more than 110 pounds, Barbara's body had been thrown over a fence near a grove of trees a few yards from a railroad siding not far from where her Mustang was found. A hundred yards from her body was a small cabin, a green truck parked in its driveway.

Mr. and Mrs. Stroud were so distraught at the unimaginable loss of their only child that young Bob Burke, the bereft boyfriend, had to identify Barbara's body for them. They were unable to bring themselves to do it.

The Strouds lived out their days in Willits, crushed, inconsolable, but much encouraged by the cold case diligence of Andy Whiteaker, then a detective with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. It was Whiteaker who got the goods on the killers. The Sheriff's Department also had the goods on the six killers back in 1975 when they arrested them; everyone assumed at the time that the six bastards would spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison.

The case was wrapped up.

Or should have been wrapped up, but the killers walked.

The Sheriff's Department and the Willits Police Department had known within days who'd been involved, and arrests were duly made. Although the killers put the fear in their friends and associates, many of whom were also "known to law enforcement," informants were lining up to tell the cops who did it.

The killers were six unrepentant young men, one of them so casually depraved he went on home to his cabin a hundred yards from his dead victim, his green truck parked out front.

He was Phillip Wood. Wood had testified against his fellow killers and rapists in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The Sheriff's Department and the DA's office had injected Wood with sodium amytal, truth serum as it's been called, to help Wood's memory. A judge said the chemical memory enhancer was illegal, and the killers, Mr. Wood among them, went free.

Randy Rowan, Larry Phillips and his brother Milton Phillips, Dennis Weeks, and Harold "Puff" Harrington were named by Wood as the killers. Wood exempted himself from responsibility. He said the others had cut through the ragtop of Miss Stroud's Mustang to open her locked car door from inside so they could pull her from the Mustang and throw her into Wood's green truck.

Wood said he was following in his car. He said he could hear the girl screaming, and he could see her clothes flying out the window of the green truck, but he said he didn't see the rapes or the murder. The other guys did all that, he said. Wood had merely looked on and had gone on home to bed, apparently untroubled by what he'd just witnessed.

Two of the killers — Weeks and Rowan — are still alive. Weeks lives in South Dakota, Rowan in Oklahoma. It is these two that Detective Whiteaker hopes to bring back to Mendocino County and try for murder.


They got away with it 35 years ago, as Whiteaker says, "Back then, all we had were fingerprint cards and magnifying glasses."

Deploying DNA testing and other contemporary investigative tools, Whiteaker thinks he may at last have the slam-dunk evidence from the Justice Department lab that will put Weeks and Rowan in prison for whatever life is left to them. It wasn't there, though, and Weeks and Rowan eluded justice a second time.

The other four killers?

In 1989 in Montana, Milton Phillips shot his brother Larry to death. Milton eventually died of liver cancer in prison, a painful way to go but not painful enough given the dismal facts of the man's life.

Wood and Harrington are dead from the dual ravages of drugs and alcohol intensified, perhaps, by their memories of that cold January in Willits, 1973.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 19, 2017

Acuff, Archuleta, Barajas

JOHN ACUFF, Redwood Valley. Annoy or molest child under 18.

DAVID ARCHULETA, Boulder Creek/Ukiah. Domestic battery, false personation of another, metal knuckles, parole violation.

LUCIA BARAJAS, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

Borup, Carrasco, Chrisp, Crouch

DAVID BORUP, Willits. Probation revocation.

JOSE CARRASCO, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

EMILIO CHRISP, Laytonville. County parole violation.

ERIC CROUCH, Ukiah. Vandalism, resisting, parole violation.

Gee, Halvorsen, Hanover

KEN GEE, Laytonville. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

GORDON HANOVER, Covelo. Paraphernalia, failure to appear.

Hard, Maxfield, Michael

NICOLE HARD, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, controlled substance, vandalism.

CHARLES MAXFIELD JR., Ukiah. Taking vehile without owner’s consent, controlled substance.

HEATHER MICHAEL, Ukiah. Brandishing deadly weapon not a gun in rude, angry or threatening manner, resisting.

Okerstrom, Thurman, Valentine

RYAN OKERSTROM, Willits. Protective order violation.

TORREY THURMAN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

RONALD VALENTINE JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)

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Sonoma County’s top emergency services executive was convinced long before the fires that push messages to wireless users would be ineffective in a local disaster. So they were not considered for warnings last month.

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To the Editor:

As a federal retiree who has served our country for years, I am deeply concerned with a provision in the president’s budget which would eliminate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for current and future federal retirees. I ask that my Representative and Senators oppose any proposals that would reduce COLAs for federal retirees.

The annual COLA provides protections against inflation, but even the current calculation is inadequate because it understates the impact of health care spending, yielding lower annual COLAs. Reducing or eliminating my COLA further threatens my health and financial security.

This proposal would diminish the value of my hard-earned annuity by allowing inflation to erode the benefit over the course of my retirement. With the cost of goods and medical care on the rise, I will not sit back and allow this attack to gain a foothold.

—Raymond Arnold, Fort Bragg

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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We are a nation of simpering white males who have given up their place in a tough society and a tough world. Sold out to drugs, Hillary Clinton, Priuses, pickups that never see mud and to a state of non being capable of none of the manly behaviors. I do not mean beating up or harassing women. That is for the weak. Women do not respect most men who are of the soft variety. They will always opt for the real man. I well recall the men who returned from WW II. They smoked, drank their beer and minded their own damn business. They were admired, respected and they were by gosh tough. What passes for maleness now is embarrassing. Amerika is done. Cooked. Full of thugs, whiners, complainers; fearful of everything that their government invents to frighten the population.

Bah!!! Pox on the whole lot!!!!!

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A Capitol Hill cloakroom will mark what San Francisco can barely stomach to remember. A gold-lettered notice will dedicate the gathering spot for lawmakers in the name of Rep. Leo Ryan, who died 39 years ago near the Peoples Temple outpost in Guyana.

It’s strange that it took so long to memorialize the San Mateo County Democrat killed in the line of duty while checking on the welfare of church members. There isn’t anything similar in San Francisco, where temple leader Jim Jones gathered strength and political power before dying with more than 900 followers in a mass poisoning.

All praise to Rep. Jackie Speier, a survivor of the shooting that killed Ryan, for teaming with colleagues to remember Ryan and not forget what happened. This city, which tolerated and abided Jones for too long, should do the same by recalling its role and the fate of so many people he misled.

— Marshall Kilduff, SF Chron

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by Bruce Patterson

“Taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly, and from these taxes the commissioners cannot easily deliver us by allowing us an abatement.”

— Ben Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Until I was nine or ten years old and he got promoted, my dad (born 1921) was a wholesale salesman. He worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber way back when even the largest corporations were “publicly traded” and family controlled, and his job was landing and servicing accounts with the independent owner/operators of Service Stations. Dedicated to auto maintenance and repair, they specialized in producing Customer Satisfaction. Most had a mechanic on duty (think of him as the blacksmith in the town stable), and often on the back walls of their two-bay shops, under the fan belts and radiator hoses hanging like rubber snakes on hooks, you’d see signs reading something like: “Labor Rate: $3 per hour. If you watch: $6 per hour. If you help: $20 per hour.”

That reminds me: when did we as a society of unorganized laborers become so anti-labor? Seems it was about the time we got inaugurated as Consumers consuming the Good Life while seeing our pie on our plates plus our pie in the sky while seeing the USA in our Chevrolets like the Happy Wanderers we watched on TV.

One thing’s for sure: most all of us kids growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s learned how to polish our plates. I mean, if we were fortunate enough to have so much food that we could afford to waste it, that didn’t mean we did. No, sir. That’d be disrespectful to the people who worked to put that food on our table, starting with our own moms and dads, the one bringing home the bacon and the other one frying it. Wasting food was disrespecting God’s Green Earth, too, as anybody who’s ever said Grace, or given any kind of unconditional thanks, or made any kind of principled sacrifice, knows full well.

I always thought that, for me personally, the worst practical effect of us Consumers wasting so much food (now it’s considered a status symbol) was how it killed off my beloved all-you-can-eat Buffets. How? So long as their customers knew it was only fair and proper that they should take all they want but eat all they take, buffets could survive “the long haul.” But once some people started taking pleasure in breaking the Golden Rule, there goes your margin down into the slop bucket. Raise your price to cover your increased expenses and you just might lose customers seeing how wasting somebody else’s food doesn’t mean a person ain’t a penny-pinching cheapskate.

For instance, behold our Emperor Orange Julius, he who brags about his Midas touch. How many decades do you think it’s been since he’s picked up the dinner tab for a table full of his business associates? I’d bet it’s been at least as long as it’s been since he’s played a round of golf without cheating (seeing how they take forever to play a round, if I were Dictator-in-Chief, I’d decree that while 75-year-old fat men will continue to be tolerated inside the Country Club Houses till ten in the evenings, from now on they’ll be banned from using the Golf Carts and Courses).

Then some years ago I learned that we American Consumers waste roughly a third of all of the food distributed in this country (since we’re no longer self-sufficient in food, we’re getting price-gouged). Since, according to the Ancient Regime’s New Reality we’re so busy taste-testing, time is money and money is power and power is time, why shouldn’t we survive on store-bought or Drive-Thru fast food for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner? How about, for a change, bringing home some Take Out? Have you tried the new Mongolian pizza yet? How about some Chinese spaghetti and meatballs? I’ve got it: let’s break out some Meals Ready to Eat to boil in the microwave. How much money will all that save us on our grocery bills?

The good news is that today’s American Consumer is not representative of humankind. It ain’t just any dominate Uber-Nationalist Group that can, either in a fit of rage, panic, by “accident” or while sleepwalking, exterminate virtually all life in this solar system. The even better news is that, if only we cooked our own meals and stopped wasting our food then right there our society would be saving more than enough money to meet all of the requirements of the Paris Global Environmental Accord our demented Emperor recently—and with much fanfare—repudiated. Why? Because His Highness decrees that science is a hoax, he claims he’s saving us poor overburdened taxpayers a big old pot of money. In fact he’s gifting us with one extreme example of what economists call False Economy.

Anyway, as I started to say, I grew up during the earliest days of California’s Post-War (sic) Population Explosion. I’m talking about back when most every human settlement on earth was still a farm town. So my dad’s sales territory included virtually all of still rural Southern California (which, in geographic terms, begins at the latitude just below Big Sur) plus about the West’s only genuine, A to Z Boomtown: Las Vegas, Nevada.

A desert oasis named “the meadows” back when said “meadows” were in the Paiute’s ancestral home in the form of vast wetlands fed by snowmelt and stupendous artesian wells. Located along the “Old Spanish” (Native American) Trail that connects Santa Fe with the City of Angels, Las Vegas started off as a way station and then became a Mormon Colony and, much later, a wide spot on the two-lane macadam federal highway edged with irrigation canals and alfalfa fields.

The American West is filled with the bleached bones of hundreds of Boom and Bust Towns made when dog-eat-dog, grab all you can while you can Capitalism reaches its logical conclusion and there’s no more glory in the hole, or lumber to liquidate, rivers to tame, birds, fish and wildlife to exterminate or, at the very end, even a skinny old dawg left to either BBQ or take along as a sidekick. The Boom part is sort of like you staggering out of the naked, heat-shimmering desert after a way-too-long solo day-hike without a hat, monster-stepping it up the stairs of the General Store and, using sign language and tossing your cash on the counter and then tapping the bills like they was a keyboard, treating yourself to an ice cold Root Beer Float. The Bust part is you taking a big gulp that unsticks your tongue but simultaneously seizes you with a five-alarm Brain Freeze.

When the few and far between, kind of church-going, flag-saluting, National Anthem bugling voters of Nevada legalized gambling, prostitution, fly-by-night wholesale gun dealers, cheap booze, cheap weddings, drive-thru weddings, drive-thru mortuaries, No Fault divorces, discount burials, cremations and really cheap (yet quality) all-you-can-eat Buffets (the Silver Slipper’s was my favorite), everybody working The Strip and Casino Center started making so much easy money that their hometown quickly became nationally famous as The City of Lost Wages.

Since the USA’s preeminent Sin City is the home of what would become my dad’s biggest and best account, Ted Wiens Texaco (he started off with eight gas pumps, two islands and two bays in 1947, and now his grandkids and their kids have a piece of eleven local retail operations), I got to see The Strip when it was still extending like a red carpet toward the mega-market called LA, and back when the late great Bugsy Segal was still the most famous man in town, his joint still the place to see and be seen. My big sister got married in a Strip “chapel,” as did my dad and stepmom. My late stepbrother worked construction there for a dozen years, and so I know the scams within scams that waste dreams and make the wiseguys wise.

Having the blessings of both Church and State, Sin City remains a Boomtown today. Like Hollywood did during the Great Depression, Sin City still attracts the young, hungry and ambitious.

The games and prizes have changed but the carnival remains the same. Every sleazy racket run by racketeers in America’s sprawling city slums a century ago are now being run nationwide by our top-down, militaristic, redundant and operationally obsolete departments of state (incompetence as the child of corruption). And now, thanks to our Greatest Leader Ever, these guys are re-instituting God’s own Trickle Down Economics (version #9).

We’re told that if we the people truly wish to help the poor, first we must shower the superrich with X-Mas presents. Give our Best and Brightest the financial means and they’ll take care of the poor as they always have, we’re told. Contrary to the Fake News, absolute power doesn’t corrupt absolutely: it Beautifies absolutely. So now, led by our victimized Visionaries and Saints, we’ll be making America Great Again. What’s a little false economy between friends?

* * *


On Sunday, December 3rd from 1-4 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting a Clothing Swap Party!

Donate clothing that is in clean and good condition before our party, and come and find new-to-you clothing at our Clothing Swap. No hats, scarves, socks or undergarments please.

All ages are welcome; there will be live music by the Backporch Project, and food for your enjoyment. This event is sponsored by Mendocino County Library, North Coast Opportunities, the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center, Mendocino College Library, and the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

Donations are not necessary for participation. Questions on where to donate in advance? Contact the Ukiah Library at 707-463-4490.

* * *


Fun for all the family on this most American of holidays.

by AV Quizmaster Steve Sparks

Greetings — if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin... A Happy Thanksgiving to one and all for tomorrow’s big event! What a great day – “Well done!” to whoever thought of it... This Mother-of-All national holidays, and by far my personal favorite, is all about celebrating with friends and family. Throw in food, drink, and football and it surely can’t get much better than that!

Anyway, as you digest that unnecessary yet unavoidable second helping of food tomorrow, and before your nap, perhaps you will be inclined to summon up the energy to take part in my Thanksgiving Day Quiz... Answers at the end of the column...

  1. How many people were aboard the Mayflower when it set sail from England in 1620? Choices: a) 35, b) 88, c) 102, d) 148, e) 715
  2. One year after the pilgrims had arrived at Plymouth Rock half of them had died. So, as they sat down to the first Thanksgiving, what would you say was the ratio of men to women at that historical event?Choices: a) Even, b) 2:1, c) 5:1, d) 9:1
  3. What color was ‘taboo’ to the new settlers and was never worn? Choices: a) Red, b) Purple, c) Blue, d) Black, e) Brown & Gold
  4. What was the last name of the Mayflower’s Captain? Choices: a) Smith, b) Brown, c) Jones, d) Bligh, e) Pardini
  5. Which two teams in the NFL traditionally play at home on every Thanksgiving – one since 1934, the other since the 70s?
  6. How many degrees can a Turkey see with its eyes? Choices:  a) 360, b) 270, c) 180, d) 90
  7. What is America’s favorite dessert on Thanksgiving? Choices: a) Pumpkin Pie, b) Pecan Pie, c) Sweet Potato Pie, d) Crème Brule
  8. At the first Thanksgiving which of the following was approved table manners? Choices: a) To eat with your hands, b) To spit on the floor, c) To throw bones into the fire when done, d) All of these
  9. Who pushed for the Turkey to be the nation’s national symbol? Choices: a) Benjamin Franklin, b) Abraham Lincoln, c) FDR, d) George W. Bush
  10. Fish, fowl, peas, pumpkins, veal, beef, turkey... Which of these items was not on the very 1st Thanksgiving Day menu?
  11. True or False? - Indians attended the first Thanksgiving feast.
  12. True or False? - Thanksgiving is always the last Thursday of November.
  13. True or False? - Male Turkeys are the ones who make the gobbling sound.
  14. True or False? - The Pilgrims bought beer with them on the voyage to the New World.
  15. True or False? - At the early Thanksgivings, Turkey Vultures were also on the menu.

* * *

Answers to the Quiz...

  1. Answer c). 102 – 74 males, 28 females. (2 dogs, no Turkey Vultures).
  2. Answer d). With only fifty-one survivors, the ration of men to women was 9:1 – there were just five women remaining! I couldn’t possibly comment further...
  3. Answer b). Purple. It was associated with wealth and the upper classes in the Old World at that time.
  4. Answer c). Jones. His name was Christopher Jones
  5. The Detroit Lions (since 1934) and the Dallas Cowboys play at home on this day every year, which for the hapless fans of the Lions, in recent years anyway, has generally meant a miserable Thanksgiving.
  6. Answer b). A Turkey can see for 270 degrees around it. This would explain why you’ve had little luck when trying to creep up and capture a wild one for dinner. I suggest you just buy one from Lemons’ Market!
  7. Answer a). Pumpkin Pie, although Freshly Squished Squirrel Pie covered in a creamy entrails sauce is the pie of choice here at The Nest.
  8. Answer d). All were acceptable – similar to Thanksgiving at The Nest where guests are encouraged to partake in each of these.
  9. Answer a). Benjamin Franklin – a great man and obviously a true visionary.
  10. Beef. Not even bulls’ testicles or cow eyes. Too bad…
  11. True. The Indians easily outnumbered the Pilgrims, more than half of whom had died over that first year.
  12. False. It’s always the 4th Thursday of November, even when November has five Thursdays.
  13. True. Females do not.
  14. True. Yer gotta like that.
  15. False. That would be unacceptable, although possibly quite tasty.

I hope you had fun,

Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture…

* * *


Greetings! We are making plans for hosting the Second Annual Print Sale for Noyo Printworks. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, December 1st.

We have outlined various details in preparation for presenting artwork for the show and sale.

The sale will be open to the public on:

  • Friday, December 1st (1st Friday) from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, December 2nd and 3rd from 11 to 5
  • Saturday and Sunday, December 9th and 10th from 11 to 5
  • Saturday and Sunday, December 16th and 17th from 11 to 5

This would maximize public awareness and access to Noyo Printworks and hopefully stimulate interest and sales of work in support of the exhibiting artists and Noyo Printworks in general.

Work included in the sale can be solarprints, etchings, dry-points, engravings, aquatints, monoprints, monotypes, wood & lino cuts, letterpress prints, broadsides, cards, etc. - in general, print techniques that Noyo Printworks’ facilities support.

Work to be hung on the wall must be framed and ready to hang. These need to be small-ish in order to showcase as many examples as possible for the limited wall space. Other work will be shown in print bins and/or on a table-top. These prints must be either matted or mounted on backing boards and covered with clear protective plastic sleeves suitable for handling. Clear plastic sleeves can be ordered from in a wide variety of sizes with self-stick folding closures or perhaps locally at Racines. We are looking into purchasing a card rack for letterpress and lino/woodcut greeting cards.

Pricing: Each art work must be clearly labeled with artist’s name, contact information, date, medium, and price that includes a 20% commission for Noyo Print Works.

All work must be delivered (ready to hang or “bin”) to Noyo Printworks:

Tuesday, November 28th between 12 & 4 p.m. OR

Wednesday, November 29th between 12 & 4 p.m.

Work must be picked up: Sunday, December 17th between 12 & 4 p.m.

Please list each artwork individually with Artist, Title, Date and Medium Price that you are submitting for this show & remember to include a 20% commission in your prices.



  1. Lazarus November 20, 2017

    Intriguing article on the Stroud murder, Thank You. I met her father after she was murdered. I hope whatever justice is left can be served on those responsible.
    As always,

  2. George Hollister November 20, 2017

    “That reminds me: when did we as a society of unorganized laborers become so anti-labor? Seems it was about the time we got inaugurated as Consumers consuming the Good Life while seeing our pie on our plates plus our pie in the sky while seeing the USA in our Chevrolets like the Happy Wanderers we watched on TV.”

    The country of Bruce Patterson’s father is not the country of his son. His father understood the basics of survival. We, as a society, wallow in self indulgence like the aristocracy of old. In fact, we are far better able to self indulge than the aristocracy of old. No wonder that the behavior of the aristocracy of old is now the norm for the common citizen. Interesting how we continue to claim to be so underprivileged. LOL

    • Harvey Reading November 20, 2017

      Thank you, George, for your sermon. As usual it is based on the holy books of Enterprise, Heritage, and Cato, and so, like all religious uttering, must be completely discarded as the trash that it is. Your last paragraph is a doozy of delusion.

      Anyone with the slightest awareness at all knows that the right worships aristocracy and would happily have us living in Medieval times — with them as the feudal lords, something I suspect you approve, under the vain notion that you would be one of those lords. Got nooze for ya Georgie: you’ll be at best one of the servants of those lords, if they can pull the whole thing off, that is. My guess is they lack the brains for it.

  3. james marmon November 20, 2017

    POTUS just announced that “Welfare Reform” will follow the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, proof that there is a God.

    James Marmon MSW
    (Master of Social Work)

    • james marmon November 20, 2017

      Back in 1997 I interned under Jerry Plummer at Sacramento County Health and Human Services. We were the pilot county for all of California for Welfare reform. I will never forget my experience as a Program Planner for Sacramento County, I worked my butt off.

      “Employers need support: Business leaders may be ready to do their bit, but they want reliable, trained people.

      “What employers are interested in is support. They don’t want to be a social worker, but want someone else to do that,” Plummer said.”

    • Harvey Reading November 20, 2017

      If the trickle down plan passes, and it may not, since election time is only a year away, it would suggest that the god you imagine so proven is a vile one, totally committed to the wealthy.

      I have never in my life understood Working Class wepubicans, people in thrall to a group that has never, ever done a thing for them and one that looks down on them as nothing more than the useful idiots that they are. Only Working Class fools could still support either right wing of the wealth party at this late date.

      • George Hollister November 20, 2017

        To think, that many Republicans still believe in personal responsibility. You mean it is actually important that you be financially independent, and raise your children to be the same? And that government programs to “help” the less monied tend to actually make people more monied, and worse off? What treasonous thoughts.

        • Harvey Reading November 20, 2017

          “Personal responsibility” my foot. They believe in welfare for the wealthy and exploitation and unquestioning obedience for the rest of us. Their motto should be, “Forward to the Medieval Past — with Pride!”.

          Your sentences beyond the first put me in mind of a very heavy, very greasy, very worn-out car part that someone should have recycled long ago.

          • George Hollister November 20, 2017

            We are headed there. Progressives are really regressives. They desire to regress back to our Medieval Past, where everyone is a subject to a government program. And our faith is in the King, not in ourselves. Of course all this gets ugly, but there is always some to blame, other than ourselves and the Crown.

            • Harvey Reading November 21, 2017

              George, no matter how your kind twists and turns reality in attempt to confuse, your “prophesies” are utter nonsense. We see through your lies, and the lies of all our enemies. Your side is gonna lose big, and in the not at all too distant future. You dummies won’t even know what hit you ’til it’s all over.

  4. Harvey Reading November 20, 2017


    Just more right-wing wet-dreaming and fantasies of a world that never existed, “way back when”. I used to hear the same crap back in the 1950s, and so did my father, who was born in 1904, when he was a kid.

  5. Jim Updegraff November 20, 2017

    Harv – you speak my mind.

    Notice: I will be leaving tomorrow early for my wife’s family annual Thanksgiving get together on the Oregon Coast. Will be back in 9 days. Do not take a lap top and or any other electronic communication gadgets. Peace at last – hopefully, by the time I return Mueller will have indicted a few more of the Trump crowd.

  6. Jim Updegraff November 20, 2017

    With all the talk about Moore maybe the GOP should change the name from the Party to Pedophilia.

    • Harvey Reading November 20, 2017

      Pedophilicans? It has a nice ring to it.

    • John Fremont November 20, 2017

      Yes the GOP (Grand Order of Pedophiles)

  7. BB Grace November 20, 2017

    re: “We are a nation of simpering white males….”

    No wonder the Mystery Date game was a dud.

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