Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Monday, Jan. 8, 2018

* * *


"Hwy 128 from mile marker 0.00 to 11.00 had been closed since Jan 5th and is now OPEN." (California Highway Patrol)

* * *

RAIN! Moderate to heavy rain is expected to spread into the area late tonight and persist through Tuesday. Heaviest rains will be over Mendocino, southern Humboldt, and southern Trinity counties. Watch for falling rocks on mountain roads! (National Weather Service)

* * *


by Marshall Newman

Anderson Valley is a unique place. The valley’s tightly circumscribed terrain, redwoods-and-meadows landscape and temperate (compared to most of the world) climate are similar to a scattering of spots up and down the Northern California coast, but the element that sets it apart — even now, but especially in the past — is the region’s isolation.

Those similar spots — Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Eureka, Scott’s Valley, Woodside and Mountain View - were readily accessible by boat, rail or a combination of the two from San Francisco by the late 1870s. Not Anderson Valley. A visit here from San Francisco before 1900 required a rail journey to Cloverdale or Ukiah followed by miles of travel by wagon or horseback on roads either incredibly dusty (in summer) or incredibly muddy (in winter). The alternative was passage by sailing ship or steamer to Mendocino, Caspar, Little River, Noyo, Albion, Manchester or Greenwood (now Elk), and then a similarly long horse or wagon ride on the Navarro Ridge or Manchester Road.

Keep in mind those methods of travel were for visitors. The early settlers of Anderson Valley came one way; by freight wagon, drawn by oxen or horses. The stuff needed to establish and maintain a homestead — tools, furniture, clothes, food, stock, seed and more — was considerable. Even if early Anderson Valley settlers could afford to ship everything by train or boat, they still needed a freight wagon and team to get the stuff from the dock or railhead to Anderson Valley.

Those first Anderson Valley settlers didn’t come solo. Brothers Henry and Isaac Beeson and their stepbrother, William Anderson (for whom the valley is named), together with Anderson’s wife and seven children, established their homestead just south of today’s Mountain View Road in 1852. Jefferson Davis Ball also arrived in 1852, settling near Con Creek: he married three years later and was joined in Anderson Valley by his wife, two stepchildren and his wife’s brother, Alonzo Kendall, for whom Kendall City - soon to become Boonville - was named. John Ornbaun, his family and his brother arrived in Ornbaun Valley near Yorkville in 1853 (another family named Ornbaun — apparently unrelated — settled in the heart of Anderson Valley soon after). John Gschwend and his wife arrived in northern Anderson Valley in 1855.

John McGimsey, with his sons Alderson and Porter, settled near Soda Creek in 1856. Thomas Rawles, who came in 1857, was accompanied by his wife and six children. Brothers William and Cornelius Prather settled near Philo in 1862. Daniel Studebaker arrived just south of Christine (a now-vanished town near the junction of Greenwood Road and Highway 128) with his wife and five children in 1868. Large, often extended families or siblings were the norm for early Anderson Valley settlers. Building a home and making a living in an isolated location took people power, and big families with lots of adults and/or lots of kids had the advantage.

Other prominent names from the first 20 years of Anderson Valley settlement include Irish, Babcock, Burger, Brown, Clow, Hiatt, Guntley, Reilly, Nunn, Smalley, Shields, Stubblefield, York, Beebe, Donnelly and Hutsell. Plus there were other, less prominent Anderson Valley pioneers, most little-known or recognized today.

By 1880, Anderson Valley had an estimated population of 1,000, a significant percentage of which likely were children or young adults. Even though the railroad reached Cloverdale in 1877, the valley’s isolation kept young people’s social lives close to home. There were plenty of local opportunities for youngsters to meet their peers; at school, at church, at social gathering and at dances (Anderson Valley was home to a handful of dance halls over the years).

As a result, lots of Anderson Valley’s founding families became related by marriage. A Burger married a Rawles. Another Burger married a Beeson. One Irish married an Ingram and another married an Ornbaun. A Prather married an Ornbaun. A Wightman married a Ball. A Gschwend married a Reilly. A Nunn married a Rooks. A Brown married a Prather. An Ingram married a Clow. An Ornbaun married a McGimsey. And this is only a small sampling.

Spurred by Anderson Valley’s isolation, this mingling of Anderson Valley pioneer families continued for more than two generations. Only in the early 1900s did travel become easier; first around 1910 when the Albion River Railroad reached Wendling (now Navarro) and later in the late 1920s when the MacDonald to the Sea Highway (now Highway 128) from Cloverdale to the coast opened. Only then did many local youth have opportunities to socialize with peers from the “outside” world.

Despite the evolution of Anderson Valley’s economy — the rise and fall of logging and milling, the rise and fall of dried apple production, hops production and tanbark harvesting, the rise of fresh apple production, the rise of sheep ranching, etc. — many descendants of the original Anderson Valley pioneers still lived in the valley in 1957, when my family arrived. A fair number of them had taken advantage of the easier travel to get college educations outside Anderson Valley, only to return to work in family businesses, start new businesses or teach.

Sadly, the ranks of those pioneer family descendants in Anderson Valley have thinned considerably in the years since. Many descendants left to pursue opportunities unavailable in Anderson Valley. Some were forced out by the valley’s evolving economy. Others married outsiders and never returned. A few pioneer family lines simply died out.

Change is inevitable. The loss of those connections to Anderson Valley’s early history is a loss for all valley residents. However, the arrival of new residents has created fresh vitality. Some of these new families will shape Anderson Valley for generations. Anderson Valley may not be as isolated and insular as in the past, but it is still a unique place.

Footnotes: There probably are important early Anderson Valley families not mentioned in this article: to their descendants, I apologize for not including their names. I also want to acknowledge the Anderson Valley Historical Society and Valerie Hanelt, whose research was essential to this article. Thank you.

* * *


(photo by Annie Kalantarian)

* * *

THE UKIAH VALLEY SANITATION DISTRICT board has instructed their lawyers (Duncan James and staff of Ukiah) to “negotiate a settlement as quickly as possible,” according to a quote from Ukiah City attorney David Rapport as reported by Justine Fredriksen in the Friday Ukiah Daily Journal. The San District’s position seems to be in line with the priorities of their three newly seated board members who ran specifically because they wanted to see an end to the legal dispute that has been going on for almost four years now.

The City, for its part, has sweetened their recent settlement offer as part of a refinance of a sewer system upgrade bond (loan) which is apparently a better deal for the San District than the initial settlement proposal from mid-December.

There’s plenty of blame to go around since Ukiah controls the central core of the Ukiah Valley sewer system operation, billing and record keeping, which was the subject of the District’s 2014 lawsuit alleging that Ukiah had somehow tilted the system’s revenues and assets in the City’s favor, depriving the San District of millions of dollars over a period of decades.

The 2014 suit alleged that Ukiah had refused to address the problem and that was why the suit was filed — which was probably true. And there probably was some money owed the San District, otherwise there wouldn’t be a settelement offer at all.

The suit somehow ended up being filed and heard in Sonoma County and has been stalled while lawyers flail away at each other at hundreds of dollars an hour. The Courts could have forced the parties into early settlement talks, but that would have been too simple and would have gypped the lawyers out of their giant billings. So that didn’t happen.

Ukiah’s latest settlement offer, which the San District now seems receptive to, was precipitated when Ukiah’s sharp Finance Director Dan Buffalo noticed that the City and the San District could save a bunch in interest payments if they refinanced now before interest rates go up, as they are expected to do soon. Buffalo has used that basic expectation to put pressure on the Ukiah City Council and the San District to settle quickly.

But the deadline to benefit from the favorable interest rates, according to Buffalo, is January 17, which, given the pace that things have been moving so far, seems unrealistically tight — unless the two boards can somehow muster the highly unusual backbone to get their mutual attorneys to bat out a solid letter of intent to settle in just a few days.

If the task is given to newly seated San District Board member Julie Bawcom who ran on an explicit promise to settle the dispute, there would be a reasonable chance of success. If not, and they miss the deadline, the dispute could go on for years costing both organizations (and their rate payers) hundreds of thousands of dollars more in lawyer fees.

Smart money is on the latter.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *



The Liberals are trying to change everything about the way our country used to be. The way it was founded. Why don't they try changing their underwear? They probably have some brown spots. They need to clean up a little bit. They’ve been sick. Next they will be trying to get rid of the Statue of Liberty. That's their agenda, to pull it down.

I can't believe that nobody has gone down and opened up the sand bar on the Navarro River. Thirty years ago a couple of guys and I went down there and just opened it up. But now nobody has any balls. People just sit home and play on their computers or drive their jacked up pickups around. No balls. The only commitment they have is to political correctness. It's sad that the environmentalists can control the river. It's being sucked dry by the vineyards. So much that in a year or two it won't be called a river anymore, it will be called a stream. Then after a couple more years it will be called a brook. And soon after that it will be called a ditch. Matter of fact, that's not much more than it is now in the summer. The wolves have taken it over.

PS. To those antifa scumbags of the earth: I would like to hold a little political event down in Santa Rosa, a peaceful demonstration in favor of Donald Trump. Then advertise it so that antifa would get wind of it and maybe show up. I would be there with a bunch of my good old boys with our baseball bats and chains and I guarantee you that antifa would never be back to another Trump demonstration. But that won't happen. No balls. Politically correct. I'm ashamed of our country because they can't do anything about the environmentalists and antifa and other stuff that is just horrible. Sickening.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *

GENTLEMAN GEORGE HOLLISTER wonders: "I am willing to accept the reasons for failing to artificially breach the sandbar at the mouth of the Navarro River, and the subsequent flooding and closure of Hwy 128. But then the alternative route through Comptche needs to be upgraded to state standards. Putting all the Hwy 128 traffic on a county road, not suited for it, results in severe damage, particularly when this is done after the soil has been saturated with rain. The State needs to pony up, and up grade Flynn Creek Road, and Comptche-Ukiah Road from the Comptche Store to Hwy 1. There is no excuse not to. After all, the locals (people) who use these roads are more important than the fresh water critters living in the Navarro estuary."

* * *

FORT BRAGG, que pasa, a reader wants to know: "It appears the city government is focused on developing a new city on the mill site with little concern about the existing town's problems--how about a grant to help new business owners afford fire sprinkler systems, and another to find a new source of municipal water? Or is the unspoken concept to abandon the town of today and its residents and businesses, turning it over to social services to care for the throngs of bums — sorry but that's what they mostly seem to be — and hope the town burns to the ground? Without an adequate water supply, which currently doesn't exist, how can you plan any new development? I hope you might re-consider your focus, and put time and money into improving the town we have. Leave the mill site a beautiful, natural park."

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “My cousin in Florida, Tony, had a close call when this damn python tried to crawl up his kazootie! Fortunately for Tone, his human knew what to do. My humans wouldn't have any idea, I'm sure.”

* * *

WHAT’S WRONG with this PD article headline?

"Bill seeks to stop ‘negligent’ utilities from hiking rates after disasters"

* * *


Sometimes I wonder about the career trajectory of whoever it was that guided the Savings Bank of Mendocino County through its glorious stretch of market expansion during the 1980s.

That was when your modest local bank went berserk and started adding branches all over town, as if people were reluctant to drive an extra eighth of a mile to the downtown headquarters. So the Savings Bank embarked on a building campaign and spent many millions of dollars (I’m only guessing, maybe it was many, many, many millions of dollars) adding branches all over town. You may remember.

One was at the corner of Bush and Low Gap; it’s now a parking lot with an empty building. Another was down on East Perkins that met the same fate. And then there was a fancy, circular-shaped bank branch at South State and Washington Avenue that’s now a fancy, circular-shaped hamburger joint.

As a finishing touch, the Savings Bank bulldozed its old, modest, stately downtown headquarters and replaced it with a puzzling monument to concrete and glass featuring a massive lobby a friend calls “an embarrassment to God Himself.”

So I wonder about the guy who persuaded the bank to pursue such follies, just like I wonder about whoever dreamed up New Coke, Ishtar (a movie) the Edsel and Betamax.

Did a Savings Bank committee agree it would be a good idea to pepper Ukiah with satellite banks within walking distance of one another?

And today, like yesterday, Ukiah has a single downtown Savings Bank.

(Tommy Wayne Kramer, Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

FORESTED CORNER of Anderson Valley

(Photo by Marshal Newman)

* * *


To the Editor:

This letter is written to call attention to the Coyote Valley Tribe of Pomo Indians, with the intent of sharing information important to the community. Mendocino County residents saw disaster — and human strength — displayed all around us many times not long ago. We still are in various stages of recovering from the recent fire so there’s no need to detail the event itself and the aftermath. But particular experiences are valuable in what we can learn from them.

The morning when my neighbors and fellow evacuees arrived at the Coyote Valley Casino seeking safe shelter is indelible. Like you, we didn’t know what would happen next — in any way — especially whether or not we might be allowed to park a little while in the casino lot while we gathered our wits, hoping only for that. I sat outside the casino in a completely dazed state at 5:3O in the morning when a vehicle arrived and a family I recognized as tribal leaders began carrying armloads of food inside.

The ensuing activity of the tribe from that point on in the following week is worth noting by all of us. The tribe — its leadership, entire families, management staff, security, and every employee — instantly shifted into emergency hospitality mode. The transition from standard business operation to radical safety & shelter mode appeared to be routine and seamless. But anyone who’s run a large business knows how difficult that actually was — and please consider too, that the tribe was experiencing the same effects of the fire as we evacuees.

The Coyote Valley Tribe immediately began providing cases of water to evacuees, invited everyone arriving to hot meals, showers, places to sleep, TV’s for information, and outlets for charging phones. Security officers provided 24-hour presence and continual information in the evacuee area. Without exception, tribe members and employees repeatedly made clear that their new uninvited guests would be safe, fed, and welcome as long as we needed. Soon a large area filled with donations as the tribe handed out sleeping bags, packaged food, pet supplies, household goods, children’s/infant supplies, games, and coloring books.

As the days developed and conditions worsened around us, the Coyote Valley Tribe of Pomo Indians — by which I mean members of every age and outstanding employees from many ethnic backgrounds — took perfect strangers in and continuously demonstrated all the values that make a person feel hopeful and safe. They certainly did not have to — but there was not a second’s hesitation in their hearts, even though events were open-ended and unpredictable. As well, other tribes in the area joined the effort with them — yet another attribute of the Native American community and Coyote Valley Tribe’s place in it. Of many indelible impressions burned into our memories, the generous actions of the tribe are as clear as the smoke was thick.

Only one request was ever made of me by a tribe member during this very difficult experience. When I said that my lifelong gratitude includes sharing this story as widely as possible, she asked that I tell you these things happened “because we were raised right.” That’s all anyone asked, and everything you need to know. Then they simply returned to their work — as gracefully as they rose to the crisis.

What began as a trauma is now a cherished experience for me, thanks to the Coyote Valley Tribe of Pomo Indians. The character of the tribe and staff is truly one of Mendocino County’s most valuable assets.

Christopher A. Brown

Redwood Valley; Tallahassee, Fl

* * *


Bay Area Revelations: Cannabis Rush

L: Pebs as High School Student, Tulsa, Oklahoma, circa 1956

R: Pebs, 1967, Summer of Love

* * *


George Hollister: Making government accountable is not a liberal idea.

Harvey Reading: Yes, George, it is.

James Marmon: Harvey must not have ever lived in Mendocino County.

Mark Scaramella: Depends on who they’re accountable to. Most pols aren’t accountable to “the people” because “the people” don’t follow what they do, at any level. And most pols are in gerrymandered wired districts that make the standard Dem-Rep election/kabuki dance irrelevant. In Mendo, it’s less clear. At the County level, as a practical matter, they’re all accountable to the CEO who’s not accountable to anyone, much like most local boards and commissions. But there are other less specific relations, depending on the individual, such as campaign donors, business interests, wives/husbands, parents, the pol who got them their nomination in the first place, etc. The DA and Sheriff are basically as accountable as the individual officeholder wants to be. Remember when Janet Reno boldly took “full responsibility” for the Waco disaster? By and large, accountability to “the people” in any real sense is a myth. PS. As a thought experiment, think about the specific example of holding a Supervisor “accountable” for their recent outrageous self-awarded pay raise which clearly a majority of voters would oppose. Keep in mind that three of them will not stand for election again.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 7, 2018

Abshire, Benkoski, Collins

CHRISTOPHER ABSHIRE, Redwood Valley. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

STEPHEN BENKOSKI, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction.

THOMAS COLLINS, Ukiahi. Probation revocation.

Couthren, B.Greene, R.Greene, Guice

STEVE COUTHREN, Ukiah. Parole violation.

BERNARD GREENE, Brentwood/Ukiah. First degree robbery.

RICHARD GREENE, Willits. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, probation revocation.

BENJAIMIN GUICE, San Rafael/Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.

Leard, Sanchez, Schuler

STEVEN LEARD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, community supervision violation.

PEDRO SANCHEZ, Gualala. Perris/Ukiah. Unlawful display of registration, failure to appear.

JAKE SCHULER, Willits. DUI-drugs, under influence, possession of over an ounce of pot, probation revocation.

Silva-Rodriguez, Spradlin, Vaughan

ERIC SILVA-RODRIGUEZ, Santa Rosa//Hopland. DUI, suspended license, prior convictions within ten years.

MICHAEL SPRADLIN, Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

WILLLIAM VAUGHAN III, Ukiah. Grand theft, burglary, vandalism, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Ward, Watson, Whipple

BRANDON WARD, Ukiah. Burglary, burglary tools, contributing.

DAYLEE WATSON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

KENNETH WHIPPLE, Covelo. Domestic battery, parole violation.

* * *



Passionate Christians can find the face of Jesus in a random stain on any wall, and passionate climate change advocates see Niagara Falls freezing under record low temperatures as a sign of global warming.

All religion is irrational by nature and not based in provable fact. California Gov. Jerry Brown claimed that the recent California fires were created by man-made climate change, but multiple scientific studies have shown that claim to be false. Even the very liberal Los Angeles Times disagreed with Brown’s wild remarks.

People believe what they want to believe. For example, most “green” politicians think it is better to burn the human food supply for energy in the form of biofuels than to burn Alaskan oil. Is that sane or logical in a world where more than one-third of the human population is malnourished?

Cold is the new hot, down is the new up, and wrong is the new right in the faith-based religion we call climate change.

Christopher Calder

Eugene, Oregon

* * *


A tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Trump is going nowhere, the book is just the latest lame attempt, it will be as ineffective as the other attempts. Trump is but a mirror, he is America. Most folks in flyover country could not care less about “qualifications” for office, due to the legions of “qualified” politicians who have condemned this country to it’s looming fate. They want Washington DC torn down at all costs or better yet just blown up, metaphorically or actually will be equally welcomed. Everyone needs to budget their righteous indignation and opprobrium, it’s going to be a long ride to the end of the line.

* * *


by Manuel Vicent, translated by Louis S. Bedrock

These are the days to ask yourself essential questions.

History has nothing to do with the annals of the calendar. It is decided by disasters, wars, discoveries, and the feats of heroes. The twentieth century ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the twenty-first century began with the September, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.

The same is true of life. Years don’t begin on the first of January, but rather in September with the beginning of the school year which coincides with the beginning of the natural agricultural cycle. While the children go to school in autumn, natural sowing takes place. Wheat seeds rot and germinate underground, as do dreams; and in June, there are exams and the harvest.

Life has a dramatic structure with a beginning, development, and end. It’s triumphs, failures, happiness or unhappiness, are decided by chance, outside of the calendar. Childhood ends when, with the arrival of the use of reason, the child perceives that his parents are not immortal. This is the true expulsion from Paradise: the end of innocence; the premonition of death.

Adolescents become adults when they realize that their teachers, far from always being right, can be challenged. Innocence and rebellion constitute the beginning of of life; sex, love, ambition, power, and submission form the development; disappointment, loss of hope are always the denouement.

These are the days to ask yourself essential questions. For example, what’s more important to you — a political and economic analysis or an analysis of your urine? What terrible things, pleasant things, orgiastic things, sinister things, extraordinary things are going to occur in 2018? What might change the course of history? Or will everything remain the same — rough and rocky; familiar and routine?

Anniversaries are not marked by years. They’re marked by our health or illnesses, our hopes or disappointments.

* * *


Butane is used as a solvent; it dissolves the resin or whatever is in the devilweed that is desired. Butane is pretty close to propane, which your kitchen stove burns, except it has no odor. It's of course extremely flammable; slightly more so than propane. The people using this aren't trained chemists or chemical engineers or it seems even very smart and have no concept whatsoever of safety procedures or how to handle flammable gases. Their haywire procedures often allow a huge leakage of butane. Being odorless, this isn't noticeable and mixes with air, forming a flammable or borderline explosive mixture. Any source of ignition — throwing a light switch; lighting a cigarette or “fatty” then ignites this, resulting in the fire, explosion and crispily cooked stoners.

* * *


To The Editor,

It is January 5th, Twelfth Night, an ancient celebration of the night the Three Kings (or Three Wise Men) arrived in Bethlehem with their gifts for the newborn Jesus. I think of the old Christmas Carol describing the journey of these Kings (“field and fountain, moor and mountain”) and am swept away to Iran, to the province of Yasd, where, riding on a bus four years ago I am informed that we are on the very route they followed to Bethlehem.

Through the bus window I saw desert (Yazd gets 2 inches of precipitation a year). But scattered about were small geometrically-shaped fields and orchards, brilliant green, watered, I learned, by underground pipes laid 3,000 years ago, coming from faraway mountains.

I saw a few nomad families, who weave the famous Persian rugs, even as they follow their sheep. I imagined the Kings, passing through on their camels, stopping at caravanserais during the day, because it is so hot.

The US is ravenous to destroy Iran. It’s hard to know if the CIA instigated the recent demonstrations as Iran claims but it is our usual modus operandi. UN Ambassador Haley’s bloodthirsty cries (“The people of Iran are crying out for freedom! All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause!”) certainly match, in both intensity and ignorance, those of Secretary-of-State Clinton, before we destroyed Libya seven years ago.

Our role in Iran’s impoverishment however is undeniable. As the three Wise Men swung along on their camels, discoursing on Peace (for that is what they thought the Baby was to bring) could they possibly have conceived of such malignant phantoms, in their starlit visions, as The Plan for the New American Century and its vicious nihilism, 2000 years into the future?

Ellen Taylor


* * *

(Click to enlarge)

* * *


Bitcoin: What’s It All About?

On Thursday, January 25th at 6 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting Bitcoin: What’s it all about?

Bitcoin has taken the world by storm recently. Don’t know what it is? It is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Want to learn more? Come and join us for a conversation.

This event is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Public Library and hosted by Justin Rhinehart. Contact us at 707-463-4490 with questions.

* * *


featuring Annette Makino!

(Open Mic follows)

Saturday, January 20th at 3 pm

Join us for a reading & presentation by Annette Makino, artist and haiku poet! Open mic follows. Teens & adults are invited to share poems in any form or style.

Annette Makino combines joyful, vibrant paintings with original haiku and other words. She paints with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors using bamboo brushes. Much of Makino’s work is inspired by the Japanese tradition of haiga, artwork combined with haiku so the image and words deepen and enrich each other. She also draws on techniques of Japanese woodblock prints and etegami—hand-painted postcards combining words and images.

Raised by a Japanese father and a Swiss mother, Makino has lived in both Japan and Europe. She moved to Redwood Valley with her family when she was 15 and graduated from Ukiah High School in 1981. Since 1986, she has made her home in Arcata, where she lives on a redwood-covered hillside with her husband, two children and a dog.

Makino comes to her work with more than thirty years experience in writing and graphic design as a communications specialist for nonprofit organizations. She has a degree in international relations from Stanford University.

Publications: Makino’s work has appeared in the leading English-language haiku and haiga journals, including Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Acorn, HaigaOnline, and DailyHaiga, among others. Her work has also appeared in several Red Moon anthologies of the best English-language haiku of the year and The Wonder Code by Scott Mason.

Awards and Shows: Makino’s poems have won awards in the Gerald Brady Senryu Contest, the Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest, and the the ukiaHaiku Festival's Jane Reichhold International Prize and Dori Anderson Award. In addition, a poem was shortlisted for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award for best haiku of the year.

Makino has exhibited her art around Northern California. Her work has shown at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, the Brenda Tuxford Gallery and the Redwood Art Association Gallery, all in Eureka; the Corner Gallery in Ukiah; and the Mateel Cooperative Art Gallery in Garberville, among other places.

 Light refreshments will be served. For more information — please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

A feminist epic by Diane di Prima, LOBA is a visionary epic quest for the reintegration of the feminine, hailed by many as the great female counterpart to Allen Ginsberg's Howl when the first half appeared in 1978. Loba, "she-wolf" in Spanish explores the wilderness at the heart of experience, through the archetype of the wolf goddess, elemental symbol of complete self-acceptance.

* * *



I have never written to a newspaper before, but after days of reading commentary about the “Armageddon” tax bill, I have reached my tipping point. I did not vote for President Trump, but I support what the administration is trying to do for working-class Americans. I am one of those many, hardworking, silent-majority, middle-class people who will benefit from the tax bill. What is clear to me is that California has some of the highest income taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, and vehicle registration and other fees in the nation.

All I hear from our politicians is that the only way to solve any issue is to increase taxes and fees and go further in debt. When are we going to wake up and start reducing our costs? Some suggestions: grow a spine, Legislature, and stand up to the state employees’ unions. Retirement and health care costs are out of control and our politicians are too scared to deal with it. Gut the education department bureaucracy. We spend more on deciding what and how to teach than on actually teaching. Eliminate six-figure salaries for the hundreds of politically appointed, part-time state board/commission members. Silent majority ... are you fed up, too?

Dee Lynn, Vallejo

* * *


Feb 8, 1930 - Dec 21, 2017

Dorothy Bryant, teacher, novelist, and playwright, died December 21, from complications related to cancer. Dorothy was born in San Francisco on February 8, 1930 to Italian immigrant par...

First married in 1949, Dorothy had two children, John and Lorri Ungaretti. The marriage ended in divorce after about 12 years. Dorothy met Robert Bryant in 1968, and they were married after a few months. They loved each other very much and were married for 49 years.

Dorothy, a real maverick, defied the “rules” of life and opened doors for others to do the same. She was first to create a black studies class at Contra Costa College in 1965. She participated in civil rights marches and demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. And she began self-publishing long before it was popular.

Dorothy began writing in her late 20s. She wrote reviews and essays for The Freedom News, published in Richmond, California, in the 1960s. Her first novel, Ella Price’s Journal, was published by Lippincott. After Dorothy married Bob, they worked together to pioneer self-publishing, founding Ata Books in the 1970s. The first book she self-published was The Comforter, which sold well through word of mouth and was eventually published by Random House under the title The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You. She went on to write and publish eight other novels, one nonfiction book, Writing a Novel, and a collection of essays and short stories. Some of her books are still available through Feminist Press.

Dorothy was a founding member of the Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley. Aurora’s first play, Dear Master, was written by Dorothy. Several of her seven plays were performed by various theatre companies.

Dorothy’s son, John, died in 1994. She is survived by her loving husband, Bob; her daughter, Lorri; her stepdaughter and long-term caregiver, Victoria Bryant; her stepson, Lorenzo Bryant; and her step-grandchildren, Robert and William. No services are planned, although a memorial will be planned for the future. (For more information, please contact Lorri Ungaretti, P.O. Box 640076, SF, CA 94164; or To honor Dorothy’s life, enter a brick-and-mortar bookstore and buy a book! Or donate to your local library.

* * *


By Dan Bacher

In response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement on January 4 to open federal waters along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to new federal offshore oil and gas drilling, two California legislators are reintroducing legislation to protect the state from new federal offshore oil drilling.

The spending of millions of dollars by the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron and other oil companies to stop the bill resulted in the legislation being stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last year. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in just the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million, according to a report compiled and written by William Barrett of the Lung Association in California.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) are reintroducing the legislation to ensure that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development.

“In the Senate, Jackson will carry Senate Bill 834, also jointly authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Muratsuchi will carry an identical companion measure, Assembly Bill 1775, in the State Assembly, which will also be jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara),” according to a news release from Senator Jackson’s Office.

The legislation prohibits the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three-mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state. SB 844 would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas, according to Jackson’s Office.

“California’s economy thrives because of our environmental protections,” said Jackson. “The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to open these waters to further oil development represents a step backward into the outdated, dirty and destructive energy policies of the past. It’s more important than ever that we send a strong statement that California will not be open for drilling along our coast, which could devastate our multi-trillion dollar coastal economy, our coastal waters and marine life.”

“We need to protect our beautiful coast of the South Bay and throughout California. This bill would help protect the health of the residents who live and work near the coast as well as the marine environment. It will also prevent any future oil spills,” said Muratsuchi.

Senator Jackson noted that California has had a “long-standing bipartisan commitment to protecting its coast from new offshore oil and gas drilling.” In 1994, the Legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act that prohibited new oil and gas leases in the state’s coastal waters, with some exceptions.

Unfortunately, in spite of fawning media coverage portraying Governor Jerry Brown as a "climate leader," Brown’s oil and gas regulators in fact approved permits for 238 new offshore wells between 2012 and 2016 in existing leases within three nautical miles of shore.

After Zinke’s announcement, Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement blasting Trump, pledging "resistance" to Trump's plan to expand offshore oil drilling.

"Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. He's wrong on the facts. America's economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He's wrong on the science. Totally wrong. California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle," Brown claimed.

In reality, Brown, who frequently speaks at climate conferences across the globe, promotes the expansion of fracking and other oil drilling offshore and onshore, Big Oil-supported cap-and-trade policies, the irrigation of crops with oil wastewater, the exemption of Big Oil from the Safe Drinking Water Act in Kern County oilfields and the environmentally destruction Delta Tunnels project.

In late 2016, Brown asked former President Barack Obama to permanently ban any new oil and gas leasing in federal waters off of California’s coast to match California’s long-standing ban on new drilling in state waters. However, the Brown administration has in reality continued to expand oil drilling operations in state waters under the existing leases.

Consumer and environmental advocates urged Brown to demonstrate real climate leadership and ban all offshore drilling, stop new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking completely.

“It is time for Governor Brown to draw a bright green line between California and the Trump Administration by keeping oil in the ground, which is the only way to avoid the worst effects of global warming,” said Liza Tucker, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “We urge the Governor to demonstrate his leadership by making his actions match his rhetoric on the need to stop burning fossil fuels to avoid an existential threat.”

“Brown’s record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion. That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright," Tucker explained.

According to Department of Conservation data provided last year, offshore oil production continues in existing state leases up to three nautical miles offshore in 1,366 active wells.

"New drilling permits were issued for 238 wells since 2012, up 17 percent, for existing leases in waters off of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, according to an analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were active as of a year ago," noted Tucker.

Tucker also said the number of active onshore oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. The number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636 on Brown’s watch.

The FracTacker Alliance report is available here:

The oil industry welcomed Brown's expansion of offshore drilling in state waters - and was equally pleased with the Trump administration plan to expand offshore drilling in federal waters.

“Our members produce energy in the most environmentally safe and sound way under the most stringent regulatory environment in the world,” claimed Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, in a statement. “This announcement could help California increase our domestic energy production.”

Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. It is no surprise that the “marine protected areas” that she and other task force members oversaw the creation of fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, water pollution, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Big Oil is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento and the Western States Petroleum Association is the single largest and most powerful corporate lobbying lobbying organization. Over the past ten years, oil lobbying in California has topped $150 million. To read the full report, go to:

The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day.

In addition, Jerry Brown has received over $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog. For more information on Governor Brown and his so-called "green" policies, see:

* * *

THE SESSIONS GAMBIT, a reader writes: This is a last-ditch effort by the government to punish the evil potheads, and throw a monkeywrench into legalization.

Which is more stupid, allowing cannabis to be freely consumed, like the commodity it is, while collecting stiff taxes and closely regulating its distribution, or to confuse and obfuscate the actual legal status, at one minute to midnight, in an attempt to continue the impossible prohibition?

Well, our country has a long history of tying things up in litigation, look at the problems Mr Trump has had… Did anyone expect this to go smoothly?

The legalization of weed is only occurring about 50 years late: I was in my early 20’s when the first ballot in CA was shot down, now I am mid-60’s and we are still fighting the government over this! I haven’t smoked pot in years, couldn’t care less if you do, but I do care that the country can’t get past allowing people to make their own choices in a truly free economy, and that the US is unable to discard nanny-ism and go forward.

Ultimately, the rich have to apply pressure, since the government only responds to legal opinions and the desires of those with the gold.

We can only vote, write to legislators, and carry on. Do what you can, hopefully it won’t take another 50 years…



    • james marmon January 8, 2018

      “In Southern California just this week, Sessions named Orange County attorney Nicola Hanna as the interim U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, a vast area that includes Los Angeles and six other counties, again raising the specter of a hard-charging, Trump-supporting go-getter throwing cold water on the legal-pot lobby’s celebration.”

      “Southern District of California U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said Sessions’ memo outlining the changes “returns trust and local control to federal prosecutors” to enforce the Controlled Substance Act.”

      “Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to let federal prosecutors choose whether to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws means the new U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California will have authority similar to what he held during a previous term in the office.

      During that time, McGregor Scott prosecuted cases that sent fear throughout the medical marijuana industry.”

      @UCBerkeley grad Alex G. Tse has been named acting U.S. Attorney for Nor Cal. Brian Stretch had resigned right around time recreational pot bc legal in CA and Jeff Sessions announced the gov’t intended to crack down on cannabis use.

      9:45 AM – 7 Jan 2018

      I’m starting to see a trend.

      James Marmon
      The Prophet

    • Lazarus January 8, 2018

      There are those who hope for a Sessions style situation. Prices being what they are, anything that would or could drive up the market would in some circles be considered a good thing; (the return of the black market).
      Perhaps I’m repeating myself but, there are reports of hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not a million lbs of unsold weed in this county alone.
      Venders are claiming lagging sales of, in one case, 40%. All that disposable income has or is drying up, and apparently business is feeling it. “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”…
      As always,

        • Lazarus January 8, 2018

          What does that have to do with anything I said?
          As always,

          • james marmon January 8, 2018

            ask the editor

  1. Mike Williams January 8, 2018

    Can someone please tell Jerry Philbrick to stop watching Fox News?

    • Jeff Costello January 8, 2018

      Fat chance, he’s totally hypnotized.

  2. Harvey Reading January 8, 2018

    Re: WHAT’S WRONG with this PD article headline?

    No need for scare quotes around the word, negligent?

    • Mark Scaramella January 8, 2018

      Good guess, Harv. But no, that’s incorrect. Hint: the answer should include the letters: PUC.

      • Bruce McEwen January 8, 2018

        “Bill seeks to stop ‘negligent’ utilities from hiking rates after disasters”

        The Press Democrat copy editor who wrote the headline followed the style-book a bit too close.

        The poor creature was obliged to get a verb in there, hook or crook, so the wretch settled for something vague enough, and room enough for two verbs, the “seeker”, this “Bill” blighter was after, and then a verb for the subordinate phrase, “hiking” — and I should hope the hiker had a knapsack to carry all that innuendo about the object, ‘negligence’ which is not after all the Public Utilities Commission could wish, one fears, and that in a pinch,it could be laid at his managing editor’s door (A Mr. Wm. Mq&?), and little more would be said on the subject. Those who excel at these ingenious headlines are the wights chain newspapers drape in medals, ribbons, pins and cakes and pies, but never any share in the money. In short, somebody who adores frippery!

  3. Harvey Reading January 8, 2018

    Apparently today is “Celebrate Right Wingers and their Empty Minds Day” in Mendo?

  4. Harvey Reading January 8, 2018


    Probably a good thing the “old” families stopped inbreeding among themselves. There seems to be ample evidence that it went too far as it is in terms of recessive genetic traits still appearing in the population.

    • Harvey Reading January 8, 2018

      Wasn’t Deliverance filmed somewhere around Comptche? Just wondering, since I never did see the movie, but that Dueling Bangos crap polluted the air for quite a spell.

      • George Hollister January 8, 2018

        Yes, and the accumulation of bootleg ponds flooded the place and buried most of the redneck history. A few did survive, though. And they are all related.

  5. Harvey Reading January 8, 2018

    Can’t help wondering if Trump, through one of his acolytes, has ordered the National Weather Service to emphasize, and erroneously predict, nice weather to assure his backward supporters of his power and overall (nonexistent) goodness. NWS was very good until Trump came along. Now it’s about 50-50. And the error is always in forecasting nice weather that never arrives. Jes’ askin’.

    • George Hollister January 8, 2018

      When we are sitting at record lows, with a windchill, any prediction of change is nice.

  6. David Gurney January 8, 2018

    I guess Little Dog finally got his refund for the AVA’s fraudulent subscription policy?

  7. james marmon January 8, 2018

    In the last 3 days we’ve moved from “Fire and Fury” to “Oprah” defeating “Trump” in 2020, a Louis Bedrock wet dream.


  8. Eric Sunswheat January 8, 2018

    Federal enforcement count down to January 19, 2018, for Congress to blink, and advance passage of federal law to defer determination of Cannabis legality, to states rights.

    Fed prosecutor: No immunity for legal marijuana businesses,
    Associated Press Monday, January 08, 2018

Leave a Reply

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