Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

* * *


On 02/04/2018 around 9:10 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a shooting in the 6000 block of North Highway 1 in Little River. The reporting party, Victim Daniel Alonso, 35, of Fort Bragg, reported that he and his friend, Victim Autumn Smith (aka Johnson), 22, of Fort Bragg, were traveling southbound on North Highway 1 from Fort Bragg. As they passed the area of Caspar they observed Suspect Andrew Crowningshield, 27, of Little River in his vehicle.

Autumn Smith (Johnson)

According to Alonso, Crowningshield followed their vehicle as they drove south. Crowningshield and Smith had a previous relationship together and they shared a child in common, a three year old boy. Their relationship had ended over a year prior to this incident and they shared custody of the child. In the 6000 Block of North Highway 1 Smith pulled to the side of the road to talk to Crowningshield about their child and when she could pick up the child. She approached Crowningshield's vehicle and for reasons unknown at this time, Crowningshield fired numerous rounds at Smith, who fell to the ground.


According to Alonso, he believed Crowningshield also fired numerous rounds at him while he was seated in the other vehicle. Alonso used Smith's vehicle to drive to a nearby business to report the shooting to the Sheriff's Office. Crowningshield fled the area in a large 4 wheel drive Ford pickup. Initially MCSO Deputies were concerned the three-year old boy might have been taken by Crowningshield but it was later learned to not be the case. Deputies later found the child safe, with relatives, and learned he was not at the scene nor was he involved in the incident in any way. Responding Deputies and members of the Albion Litter River Fire Department arrived on scene and found Smith deceased at the scene. MCSO Detectives were called to conduct the investigation while Deputies, Officers from the California Highway Patrol (patrol and helicopter), Officers from the Ukiah Police Department, and Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for the suspect. Several reports came in the suspect may have been seen on the Comptche-Ukiah Road but Deputies were unable to locate him. Additional reports came in the suspect vehicle might have been seen on the Eel River Road leading to Lake Pillsbury. A be on the lookout (BOLO) was issued to all allied agencies to stop and arrest the suspect.


On 2/5/2018 just before 7:00 AM the suspect vehicle was spotted in Glenn County in the Town of Elk Creek. Responding Glenn County Deputies observed Crowningshield near the vehicle and took him into custody without incident. Crowningshield will be transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on an open charge of homicide and an open charge of attempted homicide. This is a no bail status. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank all allied agencies who assisted and all citizens who called in information about possible sightings.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

* * *

A READER WRITES: Interesting to look at Autumn Smith’s facebook pages. There’s one from 8 years ago, with her pix as a cute All American girl. Then a newer page, with her new look, heavy make up, endless selfies, dolled up. A few pix of baby. A pal of mine whose daughter knows the killer, went to school with him, said there have been problems over custody since baby arrived, and Andrew’s mom, a Fort Bragg schoolteacher, took care of baby mostly. I suspect meth, because he spent so much time in Lake County. But maybe he was just showing off his truck.

* * *


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *

FROM THE UKIAH POLICE DEPARTMENT: On Saturday, February 3, at approximately 2:20 am, officers were dispatched to the 700 block of South Oak St. regarding an injured subject lying in a driveway. Upon arrival, officers found the victim lying down in a pool of blood and unconscious. The victim had suffered multiple stab wounds to his body as well as blunt force trauma to his head. The victim was transported via ambulance to UVMC, and then transported to an out of county hospital due to the nature of his injuries. UPD officers are continuing their investigation. Anyone with any additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact UPD at 707-463-6262.

* * *


(Click to enlarge)

* * *


Dear Editor:

Ms. Patricia Boesel's letter last week is not a new idea — in fact George Orwell described this in "Down and Out in London and Paris" in 1933 as a way to keep the beggars moving with a full belly in a circular pattern between half-way houses every few days around the outskirts of London by bus.

Ms. Boesel suggests those signing in every day for a meal no longer remain more than two days in Our Town: Not long enough to find a job or a place to stay here but not long enough to be a burden on our precious community. She and Traci Boyl, Excutive Director of Plowshares, also want to reinforce this by cutting out the small evening meal now provided, usually soup or pasta and a piece of bread. This currently serves 50 to 60 a night, probably those who have a day job earlier.

The justification seems to be that we must eliminate duplication of charity and cut back on the donations. We who have worked at Plowshares for ten or more years find numbers increasing in most cases. We are told that donations have increased but we have no confirmation of this.

"The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained, It Dropeth like the Gentle Rain from Heaven." —Wm. Shakespeare.

Let us encourage charity and mercy.

James F. Houle

Redwood Valley

* * *


Darshan Mayginnes is now growing native hardshell nut cultivars (Eastern Black Walnuts and the Pecan-Hickory clan) in Mendocino County. In the big picture, this may be the most important class Mendocino Permaculture has ever presented, by the man who loves trees. Establishing nut trees is a many year process, starting with planting the right nuts for your own rootstock. He will cover the seed planting, cultivars, harvesting, processing, cracking, and storing. There will be some nuts for tasting and some scions. The class is from 10:30-12:00 in the Dining Hall at the Fairgrounds in Boonville on Saturday, February 10th during the 35th annual Winter Abundance Workshop.

From 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. there will be classes on beginning and intermediate vine and fruit tree grafting; hands-on grafting clinics; seed, scion, and cutting exchanges; fruit tree rootstock sales, and much more. No admission charge or class fees. Please go to for more information.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Being on duty all night, and sleeping with one eye open all day, I can tell you that these summer-in-February days have disoriented the wild things. They're already crawling up out of the creek looking for water and something to eat.”

* * *

ASKED if the dread flu has affected local school attendance, Superintendent Michelle Hutchins replied, “Yes the flu is affecting attendance at both schools as absences are higher this month than they were this time last year. Specifically for the month of January, AVES went from 94.4% average attendance last year to 91.65% average attendance this year, and AVHS went from 94.43% last year to 93.87% this year. Schools generally average 96% attendance when everyone is healthy.”

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Health Center’s Chloe Guazzone-Rugebregt on the dreary subject of the flu said, “We’re not seeing it here; locally it’s not appearing as it is in the larger hospitals in larger populations.”

* * *


(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

* * *

THISTLE PARTY! You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this Wednesday, Feb 7th, from 10am until noon. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, altho gloves and clippers would be helpful. (Tom Wodetzki)

* * *

PERSONNEL FILES: Former AVHS principal, Keri St Jeor, is now assistant principal at the high school in Delhi, which is near Merced, not the equator.

* * *

TORREY DOUGLAS dropped off recent editions of the nicely produced, Word of Mouth, a quarterly magazine devoted to local farms and restaurants. Published by Holly Madrigal of Willits and designed by the talented Ms. Douglas out of Boonville. Lots of interesting stuff, brilliant photography. And free! You can find Word of Mouth most public places around The Valley.

* * *

COURT BEAT: Anthony Gonzalez of Ukiah, known throughout the County, as ‘Tone Dogg,’ has been sentenced by Judge Moorman to eight months in state prison. Tone entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of making criminal threat.

* * *


The Swingin’ Boonville Big Band, formed in the year 2000 as an AV Adult Ed. class, will return to Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville on Saturday February 17th. This is the 18th annual show at Lauren’s, and the band considers it sort of home base since its first public appearance was given there. The band currently is 20 musicians strong. It features outstanding musicians from all parts of the county. Among the local musicians we have Bob Day tenor sax; Joe Petelle trombone; Mary Aigner piano; Nadia Berrigan piano; Dave Martin trombone; Kevin Burke drums; and Alice Woefle trumpet. Susan Archuleta, who for many years was a regular feature piano soloist at the Boonville Hotel, returns after a long hiatus to play alto sax. The band plays mostly classic hits from the Great American Song Book: The show starts at 9:00 PM and runs to 11:00 PM. Admiussion is $10 and all proceeds for Benefit of AV Adult Ed. Music. Singin’ sensation Sharon Garner will headline the show. Break out your dancin’ shoes and join in the fun.

* * *


by Jim Shields

My original long-range forecast at the end of summer was we’d experience a fairly mild winter temperature-wise, with below average rainfall this year. I keyed the weather prediction on an apparent absence of either an El Nino or La Nina event this year.

This winter, in contrast to last year’s statewide record-setting rain season that ended the state’s mandatory water cuts, is now looking more and more like an encore of the historic five-year drought.

Meteorologists believe a La Nina weather pattern is developing in the Pacific, which typically brings drier weather.

A seemingly never-ending ridge of high pressure in the Pacific, the exact same phenomena occurring during the drought, has been stalling and blocking rain storms from reaching California, especially Southern California. Since two-thirds of the state’s population reside there, red flag alerts have been hoisted in Sacramento.

The ridge of high-pressure air, which is nearly 4 miles high and stretches from the Gulf of Alaska to the California-Mexico border, has been strengthening in the past few weeks.

State water officials, are already spooked by December’s dry winds and parched vegetation that were largely responsible for the state's biggest wildfires in SoCal history and the even deadlier wildfires on the Northcoast in October.

As I write this, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) is performing the second of its monthly manual snowpack reading in the Sierras. Things are not looking good.

According to the DWR, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is only a paltry 30 percent of normal. They say the last time there was so little snow at the end of January was in 2015, when it was 25 percent of its historic average.

The last time there was so little Sierra snow at the end of January was in 2015, when it was 25 percent of its historic average. Two months later, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency that ushered in the state’s first mandatory statewide water restrictions.

The first snowpack survey on January 3, found virtually no snow due to the exceptionally dry December. DWR uses measurements of the snowpack’s water content to help them anticipate runoff from the mountains during the spring snowmelt.

The survey on Jan. 3 was “a disappointing start of the year, but it’s far too early to draw conclusions about what kind of a wet season we’ll have this year,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program who conducted the survey. “There’s plenty of time left in the traditional wet season to reverse the dry trend we’ve been experiencing.”

However, in the month since that survey was conducted, DWR officials are now very concerned that we may be on threshold of another drought.

According to a DWR statement, “California traditionally receives about half of its annual precipitation during December, January, and February, with the bulk of this precipitation coming from atmospheric rivers (ARs). So far this winter, an atmospheric high-pressure zone spanning the western United States has persistently blocked ARs from reaching the state.”

“The figures don’t lie,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources. “We’re at 30 percent snowpack right now, and last year at this time we were at 182 percent.”

“February is the peak season for snow accumulation,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA who studies Western weather patterns. “Every week that we don’t reverse this trend from here forward, it’s going to be that much harder to get to where we want to be by the end of the season.”

As is almost always the case, Northern California is in better shape rain-wise than our neighbors to the south.

The NorCal region is experiencing rainfall in a range of 60 percent to 70 percent of historical average totals. Here in the Laytonville area we are at 71 percent of average rainfall (27.41 inches vs. 38.16 inches), and there is nary a sign rain for the next two weeks.

But Southern California is another story. Los Angeles has had only 27 percent of its average rainfall (1.89 inches), and other areas are even drier.

According to DWR, most of California reservoirs are nearly full after last year’s season-long deluge. But that would be the equivalent of a family having a savings account with enough money in it to last them a year. What happens if your income takes a drastic hit. You’re in trouble.

It’s the same case with water. We’re living on borrowed time, as we experienced during the five-year drought.

The question is, did we learn anything?

We’re past the point of debating the water storage issue. We need to do a much better and smarter job of capturing winter water. Stored water is our savings account.

In its role as a primary regulator on cannabis legalization, the State Water Resources Control Board, is requiring growers to capture and store winter water for summer cultivation. This is a significant piece of the Water Board’s regulatory framework to restore and rehabilitate watersheds damaged by, among other things, marijuana cultivation and both legal and illegal water diversions.

It’s a model that should be implemented on a statewide scale and not restricted to just the marijuana industry.

In 2014, more than 67-percent of California voters approved Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond to fund water quality, supply, treatment and water storage projects.

Since then not a single water storage project has been approved.

But one thing is certain, California must develop additional storage, basically catchment reservoirs, to capture rain runoff, at least in years with normal or above average rainfall.

The reprieve from the historic drought may be coming to an end.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, February 5, 2018

Crowningshield, Gensaw, Gentry-McCullar

ANDREW CROWNINGSHIELD, Little River. Murder, attempted murder.

RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, evidence destruction, resisting, probation revocation.

DEVLEN GENTRY-MCCULLAR, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Johnson, Katzeff, Maingi

MATTHEW JOHNSON, Ukiah. Under influence, resisting, probation revocation.

MOLLY KATZEFF, Mendocino. Controlled substance, narcotics purchase, suspended license.

SCOTT MAINGI, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, vandalism, offenses while on bail.

Oneil, Weehunt, Williams

ODESSA ONEIL, Ukiah. Under influence.

JEFFREY WEEHUNT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *


by James Kunstler

It is the super-duper quandary of the moment: choose between the oafish, charmless, and possibly not-so-stable-genius Leader-of-the-Free-World… and a security state that will do whatever it takes to get rid of him, for instance, engineering a nationwide hysteria over Russia.

Has anyone else noticed how odd it is that the so-called “Resistance” has all along included the state security apparatus in its every sordid iteration — the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and God knows how many others among the touted “seventeen security agencies” who supposedly ginned up the Russian Meddling story on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Movements that affect to be revolutionary don’t usually turn to the secret police and their equivalents for aid and comfort.

The Resistance pulled out all the stops last week in its shrieking denunciation of the Nunes Memo, and the various complaints had one thing in common: a complete lack of interest in the facts of the matter, in particular the shenanigans in the upper ranks of the FBI. Give a listen, for instance, to last Thursday’s Slate’s Political Gabfest with David Plotz, John Dickerson, and Emily Bazelon, the three honey-badgers of Resistance Radio (like the fabled honey-badgers of the veldt, they don’t give a shit about any obstacles in pursuit of their quarry: Trump). They’ve even been able to one-up Nassim Taleb’s defined category of “intellectuals-yet-idiots” to intellectuals-yet-useful-idiots.

The New York Times, with its termite-mound of casuistry artists, managed to concoct a completely inside-out “story” alleging that the disclosure in the Nunes memo of official impropriety at the FBI was in itself an “obstruction of justice,” since making the FBI look bad might impede their ability to give Trump the much wished-for bum’s rush from the White House.

There was already enough dishonesty in our national life before the Left side of the political transect decided to ally itself with the worst instincts of the permanent Washington bureaucracy: the faction devoted to ass-covering. The misconduct at the FBI and DOJ around the 2016 election is really quite startling. How is it not disturbing that Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr brokered the Steele Dossier between the Fusion GPS psy-ops company and the FBI, when Fusion GPS was employed by the Clinton campaign, and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS? How is it okay that this janky dossier was put over on a FISA court judge to get warrants to surveil US citizens in an election campaign? How was it okay for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife to accept $700,000 from the Clinton family’s long-time bag-man, Terry McAuliffe, when she ran for a Virginia State Senate seat, a few months before McCabe assumed command of the Hillary email investigation? How was it not fishy that FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strock, and his workplace girlfriend, FBI lawyer (for Andrew McCabe), Lisa Page appeared to plot against Trump in their many cell-phone text exchanges?

These allegations look really bad, and it should be no surprise that they’ve prompted a massive ass-covering campaign by the FBI and especially their allies at the official Resistance news outlets. And, of course, lastly and most perplexingly there is the unappetizing figure at the center of this circus, President Trump himself, the avatar of wished-for return to American greatness, who is looking more and more like Melville’s awful and enigmatic White Whale pursued by single-minded mad men — and, remember, despite all the bloody ire, abuse, and harrassment heaped upon him by the vengeful Ahab, Moby Dick ended up smashing the whaling ship Pequod, and swimming away to legend.

As I have suggested previously, this whole tiresome shootin’ match of counter-allegation and propaganda about Russian Meddling will probably be superseded by upsets in the financial markets. Last week’s market action was a downer for sure. The melodrama of imploding valuations and counterparty obligations has just begun. It’s going to continue through the year, and the nation will face some truly existential dilemmas that may actually require some attention.

Hope you all enjoyed the giant Zumba class led by Justin Timberlake in last night’s Superbowl halftime show. It made me nostalgic for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction of yesteryear.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

* * *

NOW FOR THE INEVITABLE: The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 1,500 points Monday afternoon, wiping out stock-market gains for 2018 thus far. It recovered slightly by the end of the day, closing at 1,100 points down. The plunge saw the Dow fall below 24,000 in one of its biggest drops to date. The 5.6% slide began Friday, and accelerated Monday afternoon. Various pundits are calling the big plunge "a correction."

* * *



From the Smart Approaches to Marijuana website:

“Marijuana also users are three times more likely than non-users to become addicted to heroin, and a 2017 National Academy of Sciences report found a statistical association between marijuana use and the development of substance dependence for other drugs like opioids and heroin.”

Also: “The average potency of marijuana has skyrocketed since the 1970s, and research demonstrates it is associated with substance use disorders, drugged driving crashes, lower IQ and other negative consequences. Today, more young people are voluntarily seeking treatment for marijuana addiction than for all other drugs combined, including alcohol.”

The younger people are when they use marijuana, the more likely they are to become addicted and the greater possibility there is for negative psychological outcomes as a direct result of the use of marijuana.

Brent Gudzus


* * *

* * *


Parducci Wine Cellars invites you to attend “Love Uncorked” Friday, February 9th, 5-9 p.m. at the Parducci Tasting Room in Ukiah. This fun Valentine’s Day-themed event features sensuous wine, chocolate pairings, and special Valentine's Day sales, along with music by D.J. Larry Thompson. Wine Club Members, please sign in to and redeem your 2 complimentary tickets. 100% discount will be applied at online checkout. The general public may purchase tickets for $10 per person, online or at the event. For directions or more information, please email or call (707) 467-3480. Ages 21 & up.

Get ready for corks to pop and wine to flow! Admission includes six tasting tickets, which guests may redeem at stations each featuring a unique wine and chocolate pairing. We'll be pairing our award-winning True Grit Petite Sirah with chocolate covered bacon from the Parducci Farm, and our sparkling Brut with chocolated dipped strawberries along with much more. Wines by the glass will be available for $5 and don't forget about our fantastic wine sales all evening. During the Love Uncorked event, music will serenade the party as each guest is invited to select a mystery gift or special discount. "Love Uncorked is a great way to start your Valentine's Day weekend," said Rochelle Loren-Enzler, Director of Events at Parducci, "It's a perfect event for either a romantic date or a fun-filled evening with friends."

Parducci Wine Cellars is located at 501 Parducci Road just off of the Lake Mendocino Exit in Ukiah. For tickets and more information visit us online at or call (707) 467-3480.

* * *


I am a strong proponent of net neutrality, the principle that the internet must remain open and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all internet users, websites, applications, and types of communication fairly and equally. In May 2014, I joined many of my colleagues in writing to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, appointed by President Barack Obama, in support of strong and enforceable open internet rules. Specifically, we urged the FCC to use its authority under Title II of the Communications Act to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, in order to provide strong consumer protections to prevent anti-competitive behavior. As we noted in the letter: “Without strong protections, the Internet could devolve into a closed platform in which those who pay the most can overwhelm other views and ideas.” In February 2015, I was pleased that the FCC adopted strong, sustainable rules to protect the open internet. This was the right decision for consumers, and the right way to protect continued innovation and expression. Unfortunately, President Trump is supporting a rollback of these open internet protections. In May 2017, the FCC under new Chairman Ajit Pai began a new review of net neutrality rules, with the goal of eroding these open internet safeguards and ending the classification of ISPs as common carriers. This could have very serious repercussions for all internet users by letting ISPs treat customers and businesses differently, increasing costs and allowing for the uneven treatment of services and content. In November 2017, the FCC concluded its review and in December 2017, it voted to roll back the 2015 open internet regulations entirely. I have written to Chairman Pai, urging him to leave net neutrality protections intact and to ensure equal and universal access. I will explore possibilities for overturning the FCC's decision, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the open internet from these FCC rollbacks. Thank you again for sharing your views on this issue. The people of California’s 2nd District are the most important voices I listen to while serving in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you in the future.


Jared Huffman, Member of Congress

* * *

“THIS TRUMP THING,” or as it had been known previously for nearly 250 years up until now, The US Presidency. The concept of truth is under assault in this country. This results in history also being in the crosshairs. A somewhat persistent problem in America, but in this Age of Shamelessness, even Martin Luther King is fair game. That's how, for some among us yesterday, King became a staunch capitalist with unrelenting faith in the power of four-wheel drive. Yes, Ram Trucks used his voice to sell their vehicles during Sunday’s Super Bowl as we sank to new levels. On a related issue, it's unlikely former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will ever (or can ever) fully account for the role he played, alongside Kellyanne Conway and of course Trump himself, in undermining the concept of truth in the American public discourse. In the months since Spicer left the White House, that national dialogue has only continued to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. Public officials no longer see any reason to stick to things they've previously said and done. They feel like they can lie with impunity. It’s become almost impossible to shock anyone with the news that yet another person in government public service has been lying to the public. As Abraham Lincoln, no doubt turning in his grave at this point, once very famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

— Steve Sparks

* * *


My niece, who goes to college in Portland, told me she gets annoyed when some of the people she knows tell her that their gender changes depending on what kind of music they are listening to. I am not making this up.

* * *

TRUMP said today that congressional Democrats are "un-American" and perhaps even treasonous for refusing to cheer his positive news during his State of the Union address. He didn't mention that the Dow had fallen more than 1,150 points as he was denouncing Democrats, its largest single-day point drop ever. Trump singled out Nancy Pelosi for describing as "crumbs" the bonuses of $1,000 or more that some companies, including the one where he was speaking, are giving their workers as a result of the tax cuts. "She's a rich woman who lives in a big beautiful house," going on to describe Pelosi as the Republicans' "secret weapon," implying that the Demo leader is held in such low national esteem, most people will vote against anybody she supports. Pelosi responded on Twitter, writing: "Every American should be alarmed by how @realDonaldTrump is working to make loyalty to him synonymous with loyalty to our country. That is not how democracy works."

* * *


Yet another Middle School drama breaking out in Washington, yawn. At this point I don’t care what is disclosed. The whole place has become irrelevant to adults and anyone with a triple digit IQ. At this point can we expect anything even close to the truth to come out of DC? Can we trust any mainstream media outlet to present it? Lies, spin, propaganda and marketing have infused every aspect of our lives these days, thus coating any truths in a crunchy coating of dried bullshit that is nearly impossible to penetrate anyway. After so many years of just figuring the latest government stats, reasons for war, and explanation of events are pure bullshit concocted to advance an agenda, all of the sudden we are supposed to take “The Memo” at face value? It’s all part of the spectacle to keep us engrossed while the owners pick our pockets.

* * *

“No. Calling first is a sign of weakness.”

* * *


I am a Catholic. He is a priest. It seemed natural to ask the Rev. James Martin if it was morally wrong to enjoy watching professional football, namely the Super Bowl, on Sunday.

Martin is a Jesuit, which is the order that produced Pope Francis and provided the foundation (for better or worse) of my education. He is a writer, a thinker and an acknowledged public intellectual. But Martin, a Philadelphian, is also an unabashed Eagles fan...

“I don’t think it’s a stretch to ask that question, but I’m not sure what the answer is,” Martin said. “I have watched with interest the progression of medical research. Are we using their bodies for profit? Are we using their bodies for our enjoyment?”

C.T.E. has been found in the brain of one dead N.F.L. player after another. Published studies have found a correlation between the total number of years one plays tackle football and the likelihood of one’s developing brain disease later in life.

Still, we shrug. Last year, 111.3 million people tuned in to CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast, according to Nielsen. Even with NFL regular-season ratings down 12 percent this season, Eagles-Patriots on Sunday will almost certainly be the most-watched television event of the year — as the previous year’s Super Bowl was...

Even a football lifer like Eagles defensive end Chris Long is troubled by the danger of his chosen profession.

His father is the NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, who now is a football analyst for Fox Sports. His brother Kyle is an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. Chris Long, however, sounds like parents everywhere when he says that he doesn’t want his 2-year-old son, Waylon, to play tackle football before high school. He hopes that Waylon doesn’t play the game at all...

Debbie Staab understands this better than most.

We grew up together in the Midwest and I watched as her three sons excelled in the sport, each of them on a high school program that plays all comers nationally and perennially reaches national prominence. She has watched hundreds, probably thousands, of games over the years and appreciates the athleticism of the sport.

Now, she watches with an increasing amount of dread.

“When someone gets hit and they replay it in slow motion, I can see why these guys at 55 are rattled,” she said. “Nobody should get hit like that. Knowing what I do now, I would have steered my boys away from football.”

…Soon my wife and I, like millions of other parents, will have to make a similar decision about our own football-crazy 13-year-old. We know the long-term risks now, and that makes what used to be a simple decision far more harrowing. No priest will be able to help us. The N.F.L. should be as worried about that as I am (Why Do We Still Watch Football?).

(Joe Drape)

* * *

A VITAL SPECIES: Talk, book signing kicks off exhibit on climate change in California

On February 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Grace Hudson Museum, botany professor Frederica Bowcutt, Ph.D. will give an illustrated talk on her new book, "The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood." This event will share information on a vital species in our Pacific Coastal region and some contemporary challenges to its well-being. Copies of the book will be available for sale and author signing. The presentation is free with Museum admission.

This is the inaugural event for the Museum's new exhibit, "Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change," a series of exquisite photos spotlighting the state's immense and diverse botanic beauty, while raising awareness of the expanding impact of human activity on wild spaces. "Beauty and the Beast" runs from February 10 to June 3, 2018.

Dr. Bowcutt's talk is co-sponsored by Grace Hudson Museum and the Sanhedrin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Other upcoming events include wildflower walks, the first one on Feb. 24; an illustrated talk with exhibit photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter on April 22; and a presentation on citizen science in relation to environmental threats on May 12.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wed. through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please visit or call 467-2836.



  1. james marmon February 6, 2018


    New details released in fatal deputy-involved shooting

    LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Lake County’s district attorney and his staff are continuing their investigation into a fatal shooting involving a sheriff’s deputy that occurred in Nice on Monday.

    The man who was killed was not identified by authorities on Monday pending the notification of his family.

    District Attorney Don Anderson said the man who died is a suspected gang member who has had previous contact with law enforcement. “We are familiar with him.”

    The man had stolen several vehicles and guns, and used a semiautomatic handgun to shoot at area residents before a deputy shot and killed him with an AR-15 rifle, Anderson said.

    As for the reasons behind the man’s actions, “We have no whys at all,” Anderson said Monday evening.

    The incident began late Monday morning, with sheriff’s deputies responding to the 6000 block of Marin Street on a report of a suspicious male in the area, according to Lt. Corey Paulich of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

    Paulich said that 15 minutes later the sheriff’s office received a second report of a male brandishing a firearm in the 4000 block of Nice Road.

    A short time later, the man confronted a deputy in the area of Burpee Drive and Lakeview Drive, where Paulich said the fatal shooting occurred.

    The fact that a deputy was involved in the shooting activated the county’s critical incident protocol. As a result, the District Attorney’s Office joined the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit in the investigation, Paulich said.

    Anderson said there are still many things that aren’t known about the man’s motivations or activities before the shooting.

    The crime scene on Monday was reported to cover a large area, according to a statement made to Lake County News by a deputy at the location.

    In the lead up to the confrontation with deputies Anderson said the man was suspected to have been involved in a hit and run, had stolen two vehicles that he crashed as well as a pickup, and stole four firearms.

    Anderson said the man went to a home on Burpee Drive, broke into it, stole the keys to a pickup and then drove off in the vehicle.

    In that last portion of the incident, the man was reported to have shot at a resident in the area with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Anderson said.

    It was when he was cornered in the area of Burpee and Lakeview that Anderson said the man brandished the handgun at deputies, one of whom shot the man fatally with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, Anderson said.

    Paulich said the deputy who shot the man was not injured and was placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine in cases in which deputies discharge their firearms.

    Late Monday, Anderson said his staffers were removing from storage a patrol SUV that was driven by the late Deputy Rob Rumfelt when he crashed last August in order to make room for the stolen pickup the suspect had been driving, which will be processed for evidence.

  2. Helga February 6, 2018

    About Autumn Smith/Johnson…she was brutally murdered, shot in the face. Where does this reader get the right to be quoted as part of the article, casting doubt on her character? The AVA supports bashing the victim of horrific domestic violence?

    And then that custody thing was mentioned. Comments on Lost Coast Outpost may come the closest to the truth of what happened. In Mendocino County, it’s not unusual for a father to argue alienation, trash the mom, and get primary custody. Doesnt matter if the father then has his mother raise the child.

    Dig a little deeper, AVA. What is happening with custody in Mendo, and more specifically, Ft Bragg? Another commenter on Mendosportsplus FB page seemed to suggest Aitumn and Andrew were due in court over custody on Monday, the day after he murdered her. Cant verify that…didnt look it up. But what was the custody situation?

    Very few pics of Autumn with the baby, eh? Hmmm. What if that wasnt because she was self-absorbed, as your reader implies, but because Andrew and his family kept her son from her through the courts? What if Andrew was using limited time with their son as a weapon to take out his rage against the mother of the child? Also on the Facebook page, Autumn’s mother, Kristy, lamented that she never saw the baby, he was growing up without even knowing who she was, and she wished she could spend time with him.

    Dig a little deeper, AVA. Autumn and her young son deserved so much better.

    • james marmon February 6, 2018

      It appears to me that the child of this monster was not his first priority, it was controlling the mother and when she resisted his control, he shot her. Its all about control

      I read numerous comments coming from the coast in various social media platforms and most of them are from locals in support of this sick bastard and what this will do to his family, like somehow they are the victims. Who raised this punk?

      These commenter’s, and I won’t mention their names, who are trying to justify his actions are just as sick as the murderer.

      James Marmon MSW
      Human Behavior Expert

      • Eric Sunswheat February 7, 2018

        James may be as simply writing a parody with use of the term ‘monster’, to mock DA Eyster’s recent use of the term, to describe a serial child molester who recently pled out to a term of 35 years, after causing the District Attorney and injured parties much inconvenience and delay in court proceedings. The DA played the verdict and called the convicted a ‘monster’, for court action litigation, beyond the crime. What happened was that a court trial was delayed about eight times, because the instigator could not afford private counsel, and knew he would be railroaded by the public defender. At writs end, and with missteps in delaying tactics, he took a hard choice to represent himself. Finally his family showed some mercy and hired a private attorney to represent him. But it was too late. 48 hours notice is required to the court, to postpone a trial, especially for those who have traveled at great cost and emotionally. DA Eyster reviled in the term ‘monster’, for imposition of a disproportionate sentence, because of the poverty of the defendant, that serves as an example for those tempted by illegal behavior. Come on folks, think between the lines.

    • bruce anderson February 6, 2018

      We certainly don’t support victim-bashing, and these comments aren’t ours. Custody battles going murderous are so prevalent anymore in our unhappy country, but it’s still shocking when it happens close to home. We’ll certainly be following this case.

    • George Hollister February 6, 2018

      Here is what we know of this tragedy: One young person is dead, one young person has a ruined life, one orphan has been created, and two families are in a lot of pain.

      The this point the focus needs to be on what is best for the future of the three year old orphan. Hopefully, both families can come together for his benefit, as hard as that might be.

  3. Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

    Re: New Yorker cartoon:

    Five well-to-do jerks pretending they are shocked and dismayed by a sixth. High-brow propaganda.

  4. james marmon February 6, 2018


    Lake County SWAT team/task force all over my yard and heavily armed, busted down my neighbors door and now have a dreamer in custody. They are searching the house as I write. I watched this boy grow-up and I’ve been worried about him because of his connection to the local cartel here in Clearlake. He used to be a good kid.

    James Marmon
    Freaked Out Neighbor.

  5. Kathy February 6, 2018

    RE: Autumn and Andrew: Please let the situation work it’s way through the court system without publishing rumors, innuendos or salacious speculation. Two families are forever shattered, and our community is struggling to make sense of a senseless crime. We are all mourning in response to this utter tragedy that left a three year old boy without his mother and father. Exercise some editorial oversight!

    • bruce anderson February 6, 2018

      Murder invites comment. Shutting it down doesn’t help anyone.

      • Kathy February 6, 2018

        Respectfully disagree Bruce. Salacious, inaccurate, speculative comments sell newspaper columns I guess… but they don’t help either the victim or the perpetrator, nor any of their families, friends or community. This is a time when the editors CAN act responsibly… if you all choose to…

  6. Jim Updegraff February 6, 2018

    Why do we watch football? Because the fans like watching violence and cheer when a quarterback gets creamed. They don’t give a damn that many of these players will get CTE. Parents that encourage their children to play football are guilty of child abuse.

  7. BB Grace February 6, 2018

    I’ve been watching a YouTube channel for months that I enjoy, enjoy the music, while listening for the live earthquake alarm, which we just had, an aftershock from the 6.4 that struck Taiwan moments ago. Michael Janitch created YouTube channel, dutchsinse, , the best earthquake watch I’ve found.

    In following Mr. Janitch’s observations he’s become very good at predicting earthquakes within a week in areas. It’s a live channel and his popularity is international so you’ll see many languages in the chat. The screen is an animation of the globe spinning with pins showing the location, size, depth, and time (white is new, hues of pink deepen to red showing a week). Mr. Janitch has more applications he references past quakes when he works online discussing earthmoving events. It’s not like he developed dutchsinse to predict earthquakes and tsunamis, but that he’s genuinely interested and picking up patterns. Another aftershock, #13, the pressure is heading to Japan.

    Dutchsinse is part of my earthquake preparedness plan, if he was to issue a warning, and he’s been very good at about a four day span, I’d bug out.

    In the spirit of peace and love to those suffering from tragic losses,.

  8. Malcolm Macdonald February 6, 2018

    Anecdotal evidence is just that, a one-time story. A recent broader study done by Pew Research showed crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and first generation immigrants to be lower than multi-generation native born U.S. citizens.
    Malcolm Macdonald

    • George Hollister February 6, 2018

      That is true. But when I brought this up with a former law enforcement person, he said much of the crime in the illegal immigrant community is unreported.

      • LouisBedrock February 6, 2018

        “Anecdotal evidence is just that, a one-time story.”

        • George Hollister February 6, 2018

          Stop and think about it, if that’s possible.

          • LouisBedrock February 6, 2018


            Did you read Mr. Macdonald’s comment?
            Are you incapable of deciphering it?
            Are you capable of stopping and thinking?

            • George Hollister February 6, 2018

              The information MM is providing has been out there for a few months. The WSJ had something about it, and I forwarded to a number of people. The specific story was on crime in Chicago. One former police officer mentioned to me that illegal immigrant communities avoid reporting crimes, and that played into the low crime totals.

              Makes sense. If you are here illegally, you avoid being singled out. That might mean avoid committing crimes, but also avoid reporting someone who has. We know this, right here in Mendocino County where Mexican criminals prey on illegal immigrants with the knowledge they will not be turned in. In places like Chicago, it could be much worse. The penalty for going to the law intimidating.

              This situation is an old one with immigrant ghetto communities in American history, even when those immigrants were here legally. The WSJ made no mention of this possibility. They should have. Pew likely didn’t either.

              • Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

                Oh, yes, George, and the sky is falling. We need The Transformer, and now! Oh, wait, little Jimmy has it hooked to his electric train. All is lost.

      • Bill Pilgrim February 6, 2018

        George, I usually subscribe to persuasion and tact.
        But your ideology and daily comments compel me to put them aside.

        While the awakened ones strive to make all things new…
        just keep dating your favorite ewe.

      • LouisBedrock February 6, 2018


        The sister of the crossing guard at the school that my neighbor’s granddaughter attends used to live in Sausalito.

        She tells me that you’re a racist nitwit.

        • George Hollister February 6, 2018

          Oh, yeah, I know her. Sorry she feels that way.

          • Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

            George, do you really date ewes? Didn’t you know that they’ll like you, or at least let you have your way with them, without going through all the bother and expense of a date? That was one of the things my livestock farmer classmates told me about in high school in the foothills (there were a lotta sheep (and heifers) there then but now there are a lotta grapevines).

        • Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

          Then don’t call George that. It’s your choice.

        • Bill Pilgrim February 6, 2018

          When are you xenophobes going to understand?

          When are you going to look at causes…rather than effects?

          Most people prefer to stay where they are, but the political, economic and fascist-supporting policies of the US throughout Latin America and beyond – since the 1920’s – are largely responsible for the migrations. We install and support brutal oligarchs who favor multi-national corporations over the needs of the peoples…then condemn the migrants when they flee abject poverty or political assassination.
          The world shakes it head at the US. A heartless, soulless people.

    • Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

      Ron Unz I believe his name was did a study several years ago that showed that crime in border towns is much lower than in other areas, you know, places where Trump supporters, and their livestock friends and lovers tend to live.

  9. james marmon February 6, 2018

    I’ve been watching Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee 1-24-2018 on YouTube this morning, very surprised that Ross Liberty wasn’t sitting Carmel Angelo’s lap. Camille Schraeder is sitting in the audience, giving everyone the evil eye.

    • james marmon February 6, 2018

      I wish that I could attend these meetings and ask some questions, one more year and the 6 year restraining order will be lifted.

      Where’s the money Camille?

    • Mike Williams February 6, 2018

      The California drought manipulation conspiracy theory is promoted by a number of independent researchers, self-proclaimed scientists, and alternative news outlets. They claim the drought may be a deliberate, man-made phenomenon, created by weather modification. The theory has been dismissed by the scientific community and mainstream media as fringe science or pseudoscience.

    • Harvey Reading February 6, 2018

      I suspect that you have a much greater belief than I in the ability of humans to accomplish things through our technology, which is really rather primitive. I mean, we’re not even close to understanding how the universe we live in really works, something we’ve striven to do for ages and ages. And we still travel in archaic automobiles and trains and airliners and boats. We like to believe we can do a lot of things that we really can’t do, no matter how often we pray, or how often we wage war on people with even more primitive technologies than our own.

  10. james marmon February 6, 2018

    It looks like downtown Fort Bragg is going to get a little bit more crowded, especially around the Hospitality House. lol

    MSP received a message Tuesday morning saying:
    “My neighbor just told me that yesterday morning a homeless guy that has lived at the edge of Pudding Creek bridge in the bushes for like 5 years or so with a big dog got attacked by a mountain lion!

    The dog is the one that took the attack protecting his human. My neighbor said the guy came up and told him so they helped him get the dog and they took it to the vet but they had to put the dog down. That guy is lucky he had a big dog that protected him!! Wonder why this did not make the news? People should know.”

    Has anyone else heard anything about this incident?

  11. George Hollister February 6, 2018

    The only real news of the day, Bruce Anderson is a profit motivated capitalist. Good for Bruce. He is showing himself to be better grounded than anyone, except maybe his wife, knew. A Boonville version of Rupert Murdoch.

Leave a Reply

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