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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

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Passed away on January 28, 2018 in Santa Rosa at the age of 78 years. Devoted father of Lisa Harrison (Ryan) of Santa Rosa. Survived by many family members near and far. Dave was born in Willits, but reared and educated in Santa Rosa and Boonville, graduating from Anderson Valley High School in 1958. He served in the US Army, and following his discharge from the military, Dave began his career with the CA Dept. of Forestry and rose to the rank of Captain. Over the years, he worked in Ukiah, Santa Rosa and Boonville before retiring out of the Hopland Station in 1990 and moved to Lake County. He was a member of SIRS #174 and CDF 25 Year Club. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing. He and a group of friends took annual fishing trips, from Costa Rica to Alaska. If Dave wasn't fishing, he was participating in car shows, often entering his 1958 Mercedes and later his 1979 Cadillac. A great cook, he loved to entertain guests. Above all, Dave loved his Family and Friends. He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. Friends and family are invited to attend the Celebration of Life on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Riviera Hills Country Club-Restaurant & Lounge, 10200 Fairway Dr., Kelseyville. Private Interment.

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LIGHT RAIN in Boonville on Sunday. Very light, less than a tenth of an inch, with freezing temps Monday morning. The National Weather Service forecast for the area: "Today through Tuesday high pressure aloft returns with dry sunny conditions although temperatures will cool. Clouds and very light rain are possible again on Wednesday. The remainder of the work week is expected to be dry, although there is the potential for some light rain or snow and cooler temperatures next weekend."

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by Ariel Carmona, Jr.

A financial and philosophical tug-of-war has developed between a pair of longtime archivists, contracted by Mendocino County, and county officials over oversight of the county museum in Willits in the aftermath of an investigation initiated last year over what officials called “intermingling of funds” between a nonprofit designed to raise money for the museum and the county’s general fund.

Russell and Sylvia Bartley addressed the second of two memos to the Board of Supervisors late last month stating the board had failed to respond to serious issues they raised based on their many years of hands-on involvement in the curation of the museum’s records and its archival holdings.

The Bartleys’ contract has been suspended by the county after county CEO Carmel Angelo and Deputy CEO Janelle Rau started to probe into the museum finances and accounting practices.

Angelo said the investigation started after she received a phone call last June from a museum employee who was extremely concerned with the doings at the museum and what the staff perceived as lack of leadership. She said the employee was very concerned, so much so that he/she stated staff could not even determine a schedule at the museum, and could not say who was supposed to be working when.

Angelo categorized the state of the museum at that time as “a total ship without a rudder.”

According to Angelo, within a period of 24 hours, she, along with Rau and the county’s Human Resources director, met with the museum staff.

“The reason that as CEO of this county I got involved at a very intimate level with the museum was because of a complaint I received,” she said. “Whenever I receive a complaint, no matter who calls, no matter what the complaint, if it has to do with a county office or a county service, I will get to it.”

Angelo said county officials learned museum Director Alison Glassey had not been there in more than a week and that over the course of the last couple of years she had not been showing up to work on a daily basis. Additionally, they learned the staff was very concerned with a lack of leadership at the museum.

Glassey said she had been in poor health and decided to put in for retirement at the end of August last year after being out on medical leave.

“It was something that I needed to do to get healthy,” she said, adding working full-time wasn’t compatible with her trying to recover.

The county then developed a structure putting Chief Librarian Karen Horner in charge of the museum on a day-to-day basis, Angelo said.

Rau said both administratively and in the actual condition of the museum, the facility was in disarray.

“You had artifacts mixed with props, mixed with canopies,” she said. “There was no structure and there was also no operational structure.”

Angelo added the county had to ensure tasks like paying bills and payroll were done in accordance with government mandates.

In addition to a lack of administrative oversight, the county’s assessment of the museum showed there was a lack of clear accountability.

According to Angelo, there was money that was not actually documented appropriately and officials found small amounts of money and no tracking of where that money came from and where it should have been placed.

“What we learned in this process was that there were some intermingling of county services, staff, dollars and functions between the county museum and the museum nonprofit,” Angelo said. “That was something we were very concerned about and wanted to immediately clean that up. So we ordered a forensic audit to look at every dime that went to the museum to make sure it was appropriately expended.”

County officials said they reached out to the nonprofit board by phone and talked with board Chairman Alan Falleri. Angelo said they had hoped that they would be meeting with the nonprofit board but have yet to do so.

Falleri, a retired community development director and Willits resident, failed to return calls seeking comments on the operations of the nonprofit board.

Additionally, Rau said there was no operational structure or oversight of contractors coming and going as they pleased, including the Bartleys.

Contractual Obligations

Under contract by the county since 2007, the Bartleys’ agreement was suspended when county officials started to question the couple’s direct contribution to the county’s facility.

Angelo said the Bartleys have received more than $127,000 in general funds from the county for activities to support the museum, but officials are still looking for the “deliverables” from contracts dating back to when they were put in charge of archiving records more than a decade ago.

“The Bartleys have a lot to lose; $127,000 is a lot of money,” Angelo said. “They had a nice contract with the county year after year. We’ve stopped that contract as we look for the deliverables.”

Rau said the county is looking for oversight and verification of approvals for the work they performed.

“From a contractual standpoint with the archivists that we had there, I am not certain who was directing their work and whether or not it was focused on the county and county artifacts and history, and in the county’s interest,” she said.

The Bartleys have countered that they take exception to comments county officials recently made to the Willits News, which they categorized as “a transparent public relations response which ignores the basic administrative and operational problems facing the museum.”

Communication Breakdown

It is not clear whether the investigation on the intermingling of funds between the nonprofit started by Glassey and the county’s general fund has been concluded, but according to Angelo, after the county put Horner in charge of the day-to-day operations of the museum prior to Glassey’s retirement in August, the county attempted to reach the chairman of the museum advisory board, Jim Eddie, without success.

During her report to the Willits City Council last month, Willits council member Saprina Rodriguez said she was concerned over the lack of communication between the county and the museum’s advisory board.

“There was never any intention to withhold information from the museum advisory board,” Angelo said, “Had we been able to have people answer their phones, they would have heard what was happening.”

In the Bartleys’ first memo to the Board of Supervisors and the county, dated Dec. 1, 2017, the contractors wrote that following the granting of their most recent contracts for their archival and research services by the Executive Office on June 22, county officials allegedly notified Glassey they were placing her on administrative leave for alleged mishandling of museum finances.

The Bartleys said that during the entire time they worked under contract for the county, they submitted invoices documenting their scope of work. Even though they were given a contract for two years renewable for a third to continue their work, the Bartleys said it was suspended with no further communication from county officials. “They never talked to us,” Russell Bartley said.

Gag Order Rumors

The Bartleys’ December memo alleges county officials imposed a “gag order” on the museum’s staff following Glassey’s departure.

Jim Eddie said this week he tried to reach out to the museum staff over the summer to inquire about Glassey’s departure but was told they “were all sworn to secrecy.”

Other staff members speaking under promise of anonymity have subsequently said the museum’s advisory board had not met since Glassey “was asked to leave,” but Horner countered that there was no official gag order in place and that as far as she knows, Glassey was never placed on administrative leave.

Angelo said there is no connection between the investigation into the museum’s finances launched by county officials and the former director’s subsequent retirement.

Speaking about the two-month gap between the county’s initial meeting with museum staff and Glassey’s retirement announcement in August, Horner said staff had to be careful about what they communicated to the public.

“There were things we could not say then because (before she retired) she (Glassey) was officially still the museum’s director,” she said. “We didn’t want to talk about a personal issue. Our focus now is to make the museum better and we want the museum to prosper.”

Horner said even though things have been neglected and haven’t been done correctly in the past, as acting director, she wants to make sure the museum runs professionally with input from the public.

“We are all about transparency,” she said.

Projects Outside Of Museum’s Core

The highly popular and successful County Museum Road Show announced recently it would be taking a break from its four-year run during 2018, but Artistic Director Linda Pack said that decision was independent of the transitional period the museum is currently undergoing.

Although she stressed the Road Show was a project started during Glassey’s tenure as museum director, it is a separate entity from the museum.

Pack said she did not know if the Road Show was a financial success because she was not in charge of that part of the project, but Rau said a lot of the activities that were basically outside of the museum core service cost the general fund. She said projects initiated during Glassey’s leadership, like the Kinetic Carnivale and the Mushroom Wine and Beer event, were not profit-making activities for the museum and cost the general fund.

Moving Forward

Although the museum’s advisory board has not met since late last year, a previously canceled meeting has been rescheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. and 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown plans to attend.

“The museum means a lot to me and it’s very important to the history of our county,” Brown said, adding she was concerned about Willits Councilwoman Rodriguez’ remarks regarding the recent lack of communication between the county and the museum’s advisory board.

Brown said it was her uncle who originally drew up the plans for the museum and added her family belongs to the county Historical Society. She also noted Eddie was her appointment to the museum’s advisory board.

“My board has tasked me with being their ambassador,” she said. “And to say to the museum staff, ‘You have not been forgotten’.”

The Bartleys wrote in their latest memo to the Board of Supervisors and the county that their aim is for proper oversight as well.

“Our purpose is simply to bring sufficient order to the Museum’s archival holdings, with the requisite collection inventories, established accessions priorities and developed administrative policies, so that an experienced archivist can then take charge of those holdings and effectively manage them into the future,” they wrote.

Although the Bartleys’ contracts remain in limbo, they have advised the county they plan to recover “significant historical materials” they contributed to the musuem’s archival holdings, in the event the county decides against honoring their contractual agreement.

(Courtesy, the Willits News)

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by Kym Kemp

In early February, the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, and the Grand Jury received certified letters from a Texas man and former undercover investigator, Zeke Flatten, alleging that three pounds of marijuana were removed illegally from his rental vehicle on December 5 by two men claiming to be federal ATF agents. Flatten alleges that instead, the men were two local law enforcement officers including one that he states he believes “with almost certainty” to have been the then Hopland Tribal Police Chief Steve Hobb. He told us that he also believes he might know the identity of the other officer.

Zeke Flatten is a movie producer who also is involved in what he describes as the “research and product development of cannabis products” – which includes creating a T.V. pilot and a CBD dog treat. In the letters to the three Mendocino departments, Flatten stated,

I have made several attempts since early December (2017) to file a complaint with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office accusing law enforcement officials in Mendocino County of criminal activity, but my attempts have gone unanswered.

Flatten lists dates and times of his six calls and one email to various individuals within Mendocino County departments beginning on December 8. He also states he has contacted and been contacted by the FBI. He lists the date and time and name [spelled incorrectly] of one of the agents that he had contact with.

Letter from Zeke Flatten alleging police corruption. (click to enlarge)

He includes a statement of what he says occurred on December 5. (Read the entire document here.)

In the statement, he alleges he was pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle and three pounds of cannabis were seized by two officers that quickly stopped him, extracted the cannabis without leaving a voucher, and left him without searching his vehicle in “less than 5 minutes.” Flatten said he may have the fingerprints of the two men he alleges took his product on his rental car paperwork that they both handled but, so far, no law enforcement agency has attempted to develop prints and match them with suspects.

Since the letters were received, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed to us they have begun an investigation into his allegations. In addition, the ATF has confirmed also that they are doing an investigation. Chief Hobb confirmed to us that he had spoken to an FBI agent and that he was leaving his job working for the Hopland Tribal Police. He said he was going to work for another police agency.

Flatten says he is happy that the investigation has begun but wishes that it had started back in December when he made the first call. “If [law enforcement] would have acted earlier, they would have had other ways to get evidence,” Flatten said, suggesting that since Hwy 101 is the only major road between the place where he pulled over and Hopland, that surveillance videos from businesses might have been able to capture the distinctive unmarked vehicle that was used to pull him over as it drove into town. “By law enforcement not reacting sooner, some of the things are gone now,” he stated.

Note: We’ve interviewed Flatten extensively and have a more detailed article available here. Outraged: One Man’s Two Month Quest From the FBI to the ATF to Expose What He Says Are Corrupt Police Officers in Mendocino County

(Courtesy, Redheaded Black Belt/

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On 2-7-18 the California Coastal Commission's demonstrated that it holds Caltrans to a different standard than it does everyone else by waiving Caltrans' permit requirements to deal with the aftermath of its botched, unpermitted archeological investigation in the shoreline dune/berm that protects the base of the landmark Albion River Bridge.

In doing so, the Commission ignored pleas from Albion Bridge Stewards (ABS), a working group of the Albion Community Advisory Board (ACAB), and coastal community members who were dismayed by the waiver, particularly in view of the disregard Caltrans has recently shown for coastal resource protection in the Albion area.

On 10-31-17 Caltrans contractors uprooted sand-stabilizing vegetation and used mechanized equipment to trench portions of the sensitive dune/berm below Albion Bridge, after the onset of the rainy season, and a week before the Coastal Commission was scheduled to approve a coastal permit for the work that would have imposed special conditions to protect coastal resources. The vitiated dune/berm toe and surface have been left "as is" for over three months. The bare sand, denuded of vegetation, has been unprotected from ocean wave run-up, wind, rain, and used as a path to the shoreline by vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The adjacent dune vegetation has been heaped with the uprooted invasive ice plant, with nothing to prevent its dispersion by wind and wildlife.

Meanwhile local residents have been photo-monitoring the dune's ongoing deterioration, and urging the Coastal Commission to step in and require Caltrans to protect and restore the damaged area.

Upon learning of the intended permit waiver, ABS, ACAB and coastal community members submitted letters imploring the Coastal Commission to pull the Caltrans De Minimis Waiver and reschedule it for a regular permit hearing because it does not meet Coastal Act waiver criteria. (Public Resources Code Section 30624.7 requires a waiver to have a complete and accurate application, no direct or cumulative adverse effects on coastal resources, and consistency with the Coastal Act chapter 3 public access, recreation, marine environment, land environment, and new development policies.)

Unfortunately, in its failure to meet the first criterion, what precisely Caltrans intends to do is obfuscated by varying contradictory and internally inconsistent project descriptions, among other inadequacies. What is clear is that Caltrans does not intend to restore and protect the damaged dune/berm toe, but to merely smooth out the trenched sand with rakes and toss the dead, previously uprooted ice plant over it, hoping the ice plant will eventually propagate.

Albion Bridge Stewards and coastal community members are concerned with the protection of the landmark Albion River Bridge and the surrounding environment. The Coastal Act requires any work on or near the dune/berm to be conducted with sensitivity to protection of coastal resources, and the Coastal Commission could have required special conditions to provide those assurances if it had processed the Caltrans proposal as a permit application. Instead, the Coastal Commission's waiver has given Caltrans carte blanche in the dune/berm its own staff declared to be environmentally sensitive, at the base of the Albion community's landmark jewel.

For more information or to contact us, please e-mail us at <> or write to P.O. Box 363 Albion, CA 95410

–Albion Bridge Stewards

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DIANE CURRY was asked to do the impossible. Appointed Interim Ag Commissioner by the Supervisors, Ms. Curry was supposed to make the County's laughably confused pot licensing program work. She couldn't. No one could or can because the Supes themselves have further confused pot policy. They've piled on with edits and additions seemingly every time they meet. Corinne Powell, put the prob clearly:

CORINNE POWELL, as quoted by Jane Futcher last August.

After the meeting, Corinne Powell, who worked with Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council on Measure AF, said she is worried about the value of her rangeland property if her cultivation permit cannot be transferred to a non-family member, and is dismayed by the board’s slow speed. “The process continues at a snail’s pace,” she said. Lamenting the lack of communication between the cannabis community and the Board of Supervisors, Powell said that the BOS meeting format makes meaningful exchange impossible. “When you go to address the board, you have three minutes,” Powell said. “You can speak and then you are excused from the podium and someone else comes up and speaks, but there is never a dialogue or exchange of information with the board because the board never answers a public comment. They are not required to. So they go through the ritual of listening to the public and then continuing to do pretty much whatever they want to do.” Powell said her emails to the supervisors and staff rarely, if ever, get an answer. As to the proposed working groups, which may meet via telephone conferencing, Powell was not optimistic, likening the process to “herding cats.” “I think that the main message today from the community is that many issues are being ignored by the board that will make cannabis cultivation in the county unaffordable, unworkable and will push people out, underground and into many bankruptcies.”

Powell's statement to Supes on January 30, 2018:

I have listened to many hours of the board debating and talking to staff and I believe that at the meeting on the 9th as well as the meeting today you heard probably 10, 15, 20 comments from the board saying, “I thought we covered this,” and “I thought this was already resolved.” I implore the board to direct staff at this juncture to create documents that do include everything that has already been decided, because every time we review the ordinance we go back to the one that was adopted on April 4 and implemented on April 4, 2017. We are a long way from that. We have had lots of discussions. But there is confusion everywhere in everybody's mind about what should have already been decided. The only way we are going to get there is if the staff does the work to go back and if it means going back and listening to tapes or whatever and resolving what we have already resolved so that we start with a perspective that allows us to think more clearly about things that are still unresolved. Things that that are unresolved are still numerous. The ordinance amendment suggestions, they are valid. But they are few. And we have a working group that has been assigned the amendments to our county legislation. If we proceed with that without including the working group process — the more we do that, the more we have wasted time in the working group. The people in the working groups have significant information to bring to the process. So I implore you, ask staff to make a consolidated document, documents, for the two various ordinances that we have. The working group on amendments does not meet until February 1. So whatever you do today may be importuning what we are doing as a working group.

ONE MAJOR PROB with the Supes is the absence of, and here we step into sensitive territory — an intelligently forceful personality or two to clearly outline issues and then clarify the paths to getting it done. The way the Supes "work" now is to show up for meetings and free-associate their way through an agenda handed to them by the CEO. This particular group of Supervisors lacks focus, and the CEO is in over her head. Angelo's solution to lots of stuff is to outsource whatever it is to expensive consultants. And fire people. She's good at firing people. The Supes seem afraid of riling her, and what we have is yet another local case of the tail wagging the dog.

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READ SOMEWHERE a statement by former supervisor from the Ukiah area, John Mayfield, that after the enormously damaging floods of 1964, bridges, roads and even the north-south rail line between San Rafael and Eureka were restored in a year's time.

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RE THE HOPLAND HOTEL, Dave Smith writes:

My honey is Jacquie Lee, former proprietor of the Garden Bakery (now Mama’s Cafe) in downtown Ukiah, 2 doors down from my former Mulligan’s Books. Jacquie was once temporarily employed by a new owner of the empty Hopland Hotel named Thatcher Inn. Jacquie’s job was to install a new kitchen. In the process the owner needed to stock the library with books whereupon Jacquie brought in her Mom’s old books and Encyclopedia that she wanted to get rid of anyway.Thus she provided many visitors a good laugh, including me, when entering the gorgeous library to find mostly Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Jacquie, who chuckled when she did it, defends herself: “At least they had nice spines.”

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Hello from Vancouver, Canada. I am attending the Peace and Environmental conference that International Rotary is the sponsor. And as a 5th District Supervisor candidate, I want to emphasize that our beautiful coast is to remain that way. I have joined ESRAG. which stands for Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group.The group helps make decisions that do no harm to the natural world, preserving the ability of the environment to renew itself. One of my particular campaign promises to the people of Mendocino.

Arthur E. Juhl, candidate for the 5th District Supervisor

THE TWO SENIOR CITIZEN candidates for 5th District supervisor — Juhl and Rodier (Alan), are so far running much more energetically than their much younger fellow candidates, Ted Williams and Chris Skyhawk. Juhl got his baptism of fire on the AVA's comment line via a gratuitous insult, and Rodier has now appeared at least three times in the Anderson Valley to meet and greet whomever he can.

OF COURSE it's not easy to run for office in the vast 5th District. The Democrats may sponsor a couple of rigged candidate's nights, and KZYX may rouse itself to interview candidates, but mostly it's a matter of physically haunting the public areas in front of post offices and flagging down passersby. The libs, from their HQs in Mendocino and the Anderson Valley, will beat their tom-toms for Skyhawk and Williams — the libs are split between the two — while ignoring Juhl and Rodier. If I were either of them I'd hit hard the lack of focus of the present board. The County's roads are falling apart, pot policy is hopelessly garbled, homelessness is on the rise, etc. and so on.

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KYM KEMP'S STORY re alleged rogue cops out of the Hopland rez is certainly startling. Rez cops are cruising 101 robbing motorists? The allegations are offered in convincing detail, but hinge on the vic's identification of the one cop. Hard to believe that a tribal policeman would risk straying from his legal jurisdiction to rip off three pounds of dope, but anything's possible behind the green curtain. I asked the DA for an opinion. Through spokesman Mike Geniella, DA Eyster said the allegations are a federal matter.

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Possibly thousands of people with convictions in Sonoma County for marijuana-related crimes could have their criminal records cleared or reduced, an opportunity created when voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016 legalizing recreational cannabis among adults 21 and older.

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(Click to enlarge)

found at:

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My wife and I attended the protest and public forum in Sacramento on Thursday. The protest was well organized with many state officials in attendance. We then marched to the public library for the public forum. This was a complete sham.

It was a dog-and-pony show put on by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to tout the benefits of offshore drilling. There was a single table with some laptops and forms to make comments. No officials were in attendance. Any illusions that the Trump administration gives a whit about what Californians think were quickly dispelled.

I assume these comments will receive the same thorough analysis as was given to the net neutrality issue (were they even tallied?).

As a witness to the Santa Barbara spill in 1969, I’m encouraged that the state plans to take action to thwart this ill-advised plan.

William Spita

Santa Rosa

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag's still kinda sick, but I gotta admit he's a tough little dude. Not a meow of complaint outta him. Us dogs whine and whimper to beat the band at the smallest thing wrong.”

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MSP heard a curious ambulance call over the scanner Sunday @ 12:44 pm - it was to the area of 120 South Main Street for "an adult female with a headache."

At 12;55 pm, the ambulance asked dispatch to send a Fort Bragg Police patrol unit to the scene for "911 abuse."

The patient was, however, eventually transported to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital "Code 2" (no lights/sirens).

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 11, 2018

Branin, Copley, Denevi

PARTICK BRANIN, Fort Bragg. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.

NICHOAS COPLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JEREMY DENEVI, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

DeWolf, Drake, Garner

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

TYRELL DRAKE SR., Clearlake/Ukiah. Resisting.

RACHEL GARNER, Sacramento/Albion. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, failure to appear.

Higgins, Holberg, Holmes

RONALD HIGGINS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

MATTHEW HOLBERG, Navarro. Probation revocation.

TIMOTHY HOLMES, Fort Bragg. Resisting.

Johnson, Lawrence, Marteeny

MICHAEL JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Resisting, probation revocation.

DEBORAH LAWRENCE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

ELLE MARTEENY, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Pankey, Pedigo, Ramirez

BRIAN PANKEY, Redwood Valley. Grand theft, DUI.

RONALD PEDIGO, Ukiah. Parole violation.

MANUEL RAMIREZ, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.

Sheddan, Still, Sullivan

SUSAN SHEDDAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

AARON STILL, Willits. Under influence, contempt of court.

FRONA SULLIVAN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, disobeying a court order.

Tuttle, Vanwormer, Worden


ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

CHARLES WORDEN, Fort Bragg. DUI, suspended license, parole violation.

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FEB. 17, 1943 — JOSEPH PAUL DIMAGGIO, the famed Yankee Clipper, whose baseball records form an imperishable history of diamond might and glory, becomes “just another Joe in Uncle Sam’s army” today. He will be inducted formally tomorrow and sent to the reception center at Monterey Presidio, where his life as a soldier begins, his life as a Gotham idol and greatest outfielder in modern day baseball ends. Parked nervously in the office of his friend, Maury Moskowitz, the insurance man, the great DiMag’, his giant World Series ring glistening gave out the story yesterday that brought to a climax six months of nationally written pieces about Joe, his wife Dorothy, their son, their divorce proceedings, their reconciliation and DiMag’s enlistment.

“I’ve wanted it this way for a long time. This desire to join up isn’t anything recently born. I seriously entertained the thought after the World Series last fall, but private and domestic troubles curved my mind a little away from the army. That’s all over now, my personal business has been cleaned up and I’m ready to become a $54 a month private ... and like it.” The two-time American league batting champion, holder of the consecutive game hitting streak at 56, and spark plug that shot the Yankees into six World Series in seven years will be happy to become a common soldier. Last year, the magnificent DiMag earned in excess of $50,000.

— Bob Stevens (SF Chronicle)

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Twenty years ago in 1997-98 (has it really been that long?) I was still in the USAF stationed at Cannon AFB NM. I came back from a one year remote assignment at Kunsan AB ROK at wearing ~196 lbs on my 5’10” frame and found myself officially “fat,” even by the USAF’s admittedly modest standards. So I set myself a goal: get back to 175 lbs, quit or at least moderate my consumption of alcohol (all beer), and increase my overall fitness in recognizance of the fact that I was on the cusp of 40.

And so I did. Reached and maintained all of my goals within 6 months. Rode 12K miles (1K miles/mo) in both ’97 and ’98, largely by commuting to work 20 miles each way in the warm months, all faithfully logged and documented every step along the way. And I have never felt better, before or since.

Unfortunately, you can probably guess the rest. In ’99 I met a woman (long since gone, thank god!) who encouraged me to believe that such an ascetic lifestyle was stupid, and so I adopted a more typical American lifestyle. You know the rest.

I also spent 3 years in the US Army in Hawaii from 1977-1990, where I rode a bicycle from home in Wahiawa to Schofield Barracks every day and first discovered what it was like to actually acknowledge my latent physicality. Purely magical!

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Cape Town is in the unenviable situation of being the first major city in the modern era to face the threat of running out of drinking water.

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DONALD TRUMP is walking out of the White House and heading toward his limo, when a possible assassin steps forward and aims a gun. A secret service agent, new on the job, shouts, “Mickey Mouse!” This startles the would be assassin, and he is captured. Later, the secret service agent’s supervisor takes him aside and asks, “What in the hell made you shout Mickey Mouse?” Blushing, the agent replies, “I got nervous. I meant to shout, “Donald duck!”

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by Bruce Patterson

Don’t know if it was my skin-crawling malaria dreams or the head traumas that caused me to come back from Vietnam so scared and reckless, fierce, coldblooded, brokenhearted, outraged and shamed. Advancing heel-to-toe trying to keep my balance while suspended above my memory’s gaping chasms, I’d watch flickering smeared snapshots of the peach-faced, hollow-eyed boys passing in and out of my platoon. Sometimes I’d wake up feeling like I’d just come off an all-night ambush detail, my mouth chalk dry and head throbbing. When I was young, I couldn’t forget the faces of the 14 of us Screaming Eagle “emergency levy” replacements snatched out of my company in snowy Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Snatched up and then flown to the other side of the world to finally get squeezed aboard two steaming-hot Hueys accompanied by a pair of hotrod gunships to get deposited into a hole in the jungle and placed in the unwilling arms of the famed Sky Soldiers (the 173rd Airborne Brigade) waiting below. Though our new and reluctant compadres (replacements not only bring bad luck, they’re proof you’ve got bad luck) were so muddy, raggedy and god-awful smelling that “Sty Soldiers” might’ve been the more accurate tag.

And what’s with December 27th, 1967? Oh, shit, was that when…  Wait, I remember now: I’d completed my first 31 days In Country. What I’d been thinking about happened some six weeks later. February 10th, 1968 — that’s it. A couple weeks after the start of the Tet Offensive. We were in the mountains above a village with a Special Forces Camp dug in across the headwaters of a wide, shallow river flowing down a wide and deep valley to the South China Sea by way of the city of Tuy Hoa. Advancing in a very loose single column, we were moseying down an oxcart trail dug into a toe of a canyonside, its berm 2-foot tall in places, when our point man and slack man walked into a half dozen VC squatting down eating lunch. Lots of gunfire down that way, then voices, then “standing to” and waiting, eyes-peeled, then up and moving out again, dagger-eyed now, then a salvo of 105mm Howitzer shells streaming overhead, one sounding too close, way too close, hitting the dirt and the dirt coming up and smacking me silly.

I see my buck sergeant squad leader, Jesse Macias, elderly in his early 20s, 2nd tour, black and brown, tall and rawboned, ½ Mexican, ½ Comanche and all El Paso, Texas. Here’s the sarge explaining to me how Jarlsboro, an upbeat 18-year-old black kid and friend who’d been in my platoon in the 101st and was now in our squad, had caught a chunk of shrapnel the size of a spatula that threw him into the trees. But it had caught Jarlsboro right where his bandoliers full of magazines crossed on his chest, the sarge assured me, and that kept him from getting torn in half and — you talk about lucky — he wasn’t even bleeding too much.

When they were loading him aboard the medivac chopper, Jarlsboro cracked a smile and no doubt he’s in the hospital by now, him kicking back all clean and dry with his belly full; him licking his million dollar wounds and dreaming of The World.

Now, almost exactly 50 years later, I remember that in fact Jarlsboro had died on the bloody/slippery deck of the chopper. Shattered sternum, broken ribs, internal bleeding, shock. And I remember that I was one of the last in my swoop out of Kentucky to get rendered unfit for combat and think oh lucky me. Oh lucky fucking me.

* * *

In war, honorable intentions can get you killed. When the shit is flying but nobody’s shooting at you personally, and still you keep your head down and your nose in the mud, you’re betraying your holemates. But if somebody’s shooting at you then you know absolutely that if you stick your head up you’re liable to get it blown up like a watermelon. So choosing to keep your head down is consistent with your duty seeing how you’re the taxpayer’s General Issue property on a mission to win a war and you can’t do that when you’re dead.

And so, when the shooter stops shooting, you change position if possible. If not, you expose yourself and start returning single shots in his direction, searching for movement or a muzzle flash (seeing it means he’s already missed you) and pumping rounds into it when you do.

In a firefight, you either do as you’ve been trained or you don’t. None but the natural born killers enjoy having to play those cards, but the simple fact is that the quickest way to get yourself zapped is to forget your training. So if you wish to die young, then go head on and stop listening to your more experienced holemates and superiors. When it’s kill or be killed, be a killer, boy. Be a pro or globs of dead meat draped on the foliage.

Back in The World, out on the moonlit sidewalk to hit the corner liquor store for a QT of Colt 45 and a junior of rotgut tequila, you use the corners of your eyes. You practice Noise Discipline and stay invisible like that black cat frozen inside the midnight shadow of a bush. Me finishing this life without doing any more harm ain’t going to happen. Blue-blooded American Consumer Happiness as my reward for a job well done? I’d settle for the absence of wars, guilt and regret, forebodings and nightmares like sappers on an all-night suicide mission belly-crawling up the mountain below your platoon’s trip flares, claymore mines and machineguns.

* * *

After Germany’s Unconditional Surrender, my dad got assigned to an old Nazi airbase outside the bombed out ruins of Munich. Nearby was a mothballed Nazi Labor Camp called Dachau. A bomber pilot, my dad was stationed there long enough bring over my mom and big sister (she’d been born in 1943). My mom’s parents were Slovaks out of Moravia and to say my mom didn’t like Germans is an understatement. She liked having one as a maid, servant and babysitter, but that’s about it.

My dad had spent the war stateside teaching young officers how to pilot B-17 and B-24 Bombers. Since, especially early on, lots of his students and their crews went down in flames, and because they all had done their parts in the indiscriminate slaughter of at least hundreds of thousands of helpless German civilians, it’s a fair bet that none of them held the German people in high regard. While my dad wasn’t nearly as talkative as my mom was about his experiences over there, he did impress upon me the facts that the Germans had paid a very steep price for their sins and — he attributed this to base “human nature” and not to Germany’s so-called “national character” — they were excellent liars. Never once did my dad meet one of them who knew anything about the goings on inside Dachau. Not one had ever liked Hitler or the Nazis (Munich is the Capital of Bavaria). None had anything against the Jews, either, much less the Gypsies and Slavs, and all of them held their great friends the American Liberators in the highest regard.

Other than that, they were good people.

* * *

2/3/18.  US Representative Devon Nunes of Tulare County, California, has made his dramatic entrance onto the world stage at the Bolshoi Ballet by reciting his classic ode, “Three Blind Mice.” This while the talking heads of the walkie-talkie news shows endlessly discuss what’s real and what’s not real now that we’re in their New Age of Trump. What’s new in trends, styles, consumer electronics, investments, medical miracles, every day heroes, horrific tragedies, astronomically improbable wishes coming true somewhere every day here in the Home of the Brave and Land of the Free, timeless fashion statements and tax breaks for our splendid Galaxy of penthouse and golf course Stars, their personal assistants, caddies, bellboys, towel boys and sponsors.

Without, of course, any of TV’s nattering nabobs ever reaching any but the most tentative, politically neutral and morally suspect conclusions about current events before disappearing behind the next long machinegun burst of tantalizing Pavlovian commercials: “Wish to improve your memory? Inject yourself with the DNA of jellyfish.” And then, accompanied by lights and bells, the nabobs coming back with breathtaking Breaking News announcing that the previous conclusions have proven to be very tentative indeed and certainly not at all final in such an early phase a multi-slendered story that keeps growing every day. To the contrary, all of the above may become irrelevant at any moment just as soon as our Red Queen Supreme Commander pulls his eyes away from the shoe-pounding organ-grinder monkeys chattering for peanuts on Fox News and, invigorated, he gets out of bed and unleashes another Global Royal Proclamation for the nabobs to amiably dissect, analyze, pronounce upon and then file away to make room for the next day’s feedback loop of the reruns of their favorite sponsor’s all-time favorite sales pitches:

“Why I didn’t throw that blackboard eraser, Mrs. Macgillycuddy.” The little boy slowly pivots and stretches an accusing finger at the boy sitting in the corner seat of the back row. “Jose did it.”

All of which makes me wonder if this society will end as Slim Pickens, the ex-rodeo cowboy gone Hollywood, riding the “atomic bomb” on its way to vaporize some box-topped Target of Opportunity isolated somewhere within the empty godless commie’s stinking Siberian Artic (the final scene in Stan Kubrick’s 1962 Cold War documentary, Dr. Strangelove).

It’s Superbowl Sunday. Gladiators and tactical nukes flying in formation, their Sky Pilots waving out their windows. I check out the newspaper and above the fold I see a huge picture of a Paul Newman-looking GI Joe hero charging the camera while carrying a limp Saigon boy soldier in his arms with two others flanking them like guardian angels scared shitless and loaded for bear.

THE US WON THE 1968 BATTLE, reads the headline, BUT LOST THE WAR. I hadn’t figured the “50th Anniversary” of the start of the Tet bloodbath would get any more media attention than any other. Ah, but 50 is no ordinary number. Its Tet’s “Golden Anniversary,” by golly. How could I forget ice cream and cake?

I’m reminded of how the great bulk of my generation found it convenient to use the right-wing Militarist version of the Nazis’ putrid “stab in the back theory” to explain away the humiliation of the “world’s sole superpower” losing a war to such a small band of poverty-stricken, popgun-toting guerillas. It’s that ancient mass psychology of tribal/national Victimhood downloaded, updated and expertly exploited that has set the table for all of this country’s ceaseless, sleazy, senseless and lucrative atrocities ever since we got expelled from Indochina. It’s also helped curse us with an obscenely corrupt, and all but totally worthless, War Machine that’s now seen as a toy to be played with by nasty mercenary fear-mongers the likes of Trump and his international lynch mob.

Ever wonder about what might have been had the promises made by our revolutionary founders been fulfilled? And since when did the old generation escape their obligation to leave tomorrow’s children a world, and a Republic, at least slightly better than when they found it? Is it true that we no longer care about the kind of country that would make little immigrant boys and girls feel safe, secure and respected? If not, what does it say about the prospects for rest of society’s children? And how can we act like we’re lost in a maze when in fact we’ve got a roadmap to get us back to where we belong? Bending a knee to tyrants and usurpers is downright anti-American, or have we forgotten that, too? If so, then “Tread on me” replaces our old national motto E pluribus Unum: “Out of many, one.”

A sampling of other phrases and concepts to be declared Verboten under our new America the Greatest under the greatest Superheavyweight Champion Wrestler since Gorgeous George: The two party state. A balance of Powers. Separation of Powers. Separation of Church and State. Checks and balances. Three co-equal branches of government. Bi-Partisanship. Bi-partisan legislation. Democratic processes. Open Meetings. Accountability. An independent judiciary. Law and Order. Equality before the law. Equal opportunity. Feminism. Family Values.

The most serious of the Thought Crimes to be annihilated by all means necessary: The cover-up is worse than the crimes. Collusion. Country before Party. The Bill of Rights. The UN Charter. The Nuremburg Principles. The Sermon on the Mount.

Now, on the plus side, just what exactly are we getting in exchange? You tell me.

* * *


(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

* * *



I can see that those liberal bastards are at it again. I don't call them liberal Democrats anymore, I just call them liberal bastards. That's what they are. Now they have hired some phlegmatic child molester whiskey drinking cigar smoking dandruff on his shoulders judge to try to block Trump’s border wall, which we desperately need to keep I don't know how many different countries from sending people to our country to do whatever they please.

Jerry Kim Jong Un Brown, that rotten – Anyway, all these guys can come into California and do whatever they want, illegal aliens, get free money every month no matter who they are, get driver’s licenses, welfare, Medicare, it's all coming out of our tax money. Brown doesn't care. It's a sad situation, ladies and gentlemen. President Trump should declare martial law in California, bring the military in, kick every political assassin democrat liberal out of office, and run the state until they get things calmed down and then let a decent party happen. That's the way it should happen. And we should be divided into two states. Send all liberals down to the southern part and we, the good folks, will stay in the northern part.

My son drives a Uber car down in the Bay Area. He picked up some people from Russia for a ride. They were over here in the United States on some kind of grant or some kind of vacation and they can't understand what's going on with the American people. You have one group of people that's trying to do the right thing and then you have another group of people that's just off-the-wall crazy.

The crazy people don't believe in the Pledge of Allegiance, they don't believe in the National Anthem, they don't believe in our historical monuments, they don't believe in the Constitution, they don't believe in border walls, they don't believe in law enforcement, they don't believe in free speech, they don't believe in the American flag.  They teach our kids rotten stuff in school, from grammar school to middle school to high school and college.

The visiting people from Russia feel that agree with me that there are a lot of anti-Americans in America.  They can't understand what is going on with the Liberal Democrats. They said there's no room for them in Russia. I think it's time we did something about it. They love President Trump and think he's a good man who should have been in office 20 years ago!

The illegal alien that killed those two deputy sheriffs over in Sacramento had his trial. In the trial he said that he enjoyed killing them and he said when he breaks out of jail he will kill more. Why is that son of a bitch even having a trial? When they caught him they should have taken him out in a field with two horses, tied his ankle to one horse and the other ankle to the other and spooked them. Running in opposite directions. That's what he needed to have, the rotten bastard. He killed two of our nice deputies and he was laughing about it in court and they were sitting there and letting it happen. What's happening to our American people? They've got no balls! They have got to get rid of people like that. Not just put them in jail and spend millions of dollars on them. It makes me sick. I'm sorry.

Why do we have to have trials for these criminals that openly kill people? They killed those two sheriffs in Sacramento. Why do we have to have a trial for them? Now two more sheriffs just got killed back in Ohio. They were responding to a 911 call. What's going to happen when our officers quit responding to 911 calls because they are going to get ambushed? What's going to happen then? What's going to happen when our police who have hearts as big as a radiator in a car willing to do a job to protect the American people can't respond to a 911 call because they get ambushed? When is it going to happen that the American people are going to wake up? These people that do this don't need a trial, they need to be executed right away. That guy in Sacramento is going to be on death row for 25 years. It will cost us probably $5 million! Over the years! He's guilty. He did what he did. Get rid of the son of a bitch. And those two policemen that just got killed in Ohio, what's going to happen to that guy? Nothing. Isn't it a joke? Our law enforcement people can't even respond because they are afraid of getting ambushed. I think it's time that the citizens started helping out the sheriffs, the policemen, in any way they can.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *

* * *


James K. Galbraith, (512) 471-1244, (512) 297-6544,

Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin where he founded the University of Texas Inequality Project.

His most recent books include Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2016), Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe (Yale, 2016) and The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth (Free Press, 2014).

He said today: "Once again we hear that the 'fundamentals are strong.' This is irrelevant. What matters for the economy going forward is not past performance but the balance of confidence and fear.

“The stock boom was driven by low interest rates, share buy-backs and a falling dollar. Now, with the tax cuts in place and the latest wage report, it became clear that there were no obstacles to further increases in interest rates, flattening the yield curve. In this situation, equity investors fear losses and a flight to safety follows. This is now happening worldwide.

“If the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, and even more so if it picks up the pace, the dollar will stop falling, and perhaps again start to rise. A funding crisis in the rest of the world (hinted at by some analysts) would produce yet another flight to safety and increase these effects. A financial crisis, exposing the weak position of some of the world's largest banks, would likely end growth altogether, and not merely in the U.S. And yet, on the other hand, a reversal-of-course at this stage would reveal the fecklessness of the decision to start raising rates in the first place. In this situation, based on the record, expect the Fed to stay on course until disaster really strikes -- and then to claim that 'no one could have foreseen it.'

"As for the fundamentals, they aren't sound. The expansion has gone on for a long time, the stock market remains overvalued, and household debts were piling up. Many provisions in the recent tax law will reduce middle class purchasing power and home values and economic security, and the ability of state and local governments to maintain tax effort and public services. These will tend to discourage the growth of business investment, despite greater corporate cash flow and despite the near-term boost to incomes from the tax cuts.

“The stated economic policy objective of the Trump administration has been to raise the rate of economic growth on a sustained basis, from the 2 percent or so characteristic of the post-crisis expansion to at least 3 percent and if possible beyond. The stock break does not by itself derail this goal for 2018, at least, not yet. But it makes clear that financial and economic risks, instabilities and crises have not gone away -- and that a growth strategy rooted in the stock market is necessarily doomed to collapse at some point.”

* * *


NBC News reports today: "Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is demanding the release of a secret memo outlining President Trump’s interpretation of his legal authority to wage war.

"Kaine, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, sent a letter Thursday night to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seeking a 7-page memo the administration has kept under wraps for months. ...

"There is a new urgency to obtain the memo given increasing U.S. involvement in Syria and recent Trump administration rhetoric on North Korea. Shortly after the 2017 bombing raid [on Syria], several members of Congress called on Trump to justify it under U.S. and international law. Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. ...

"'The fact that there is a lengthy memo with a more detailed legal justification that has not been shared with Congress, or the American public, is unacceptable,' Kaine said in the letter to Tillerson, obtained by NBC News."

The Washington Post reports in "U.S. troops may be at risk of ‘mission creep’ after a deadly battle in the Syrian desert": "The Syrian government accused the United States of 'aggression' in launching the strikes, which it said killed 'scores' of people. Russia denounced the U.S. presence in Syria as 'illegal' and accused the United States of seeking to seize Syria’s oil."


Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: "There's no 'mission creep,' it's clear the U.S. government has been using ISIS as a pretext to illegally intervene in Syria. None of the stated rationales for U.S. military involvement -- including the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force or alleged 'self-defense' or buttressing the 2002 authorization regarding Iraq -- are remotely legally valid. Syria has a sovereign government, the U.S. government should get out. The AUMFs should be rescinded.

"This memo that Kaine refers to was likely written by these Federalist Society lawyers that Trump has surrounded himself with, just like George W. Bush did."

In September 2001, Boyle warned on an Institute for Public Accuracy news release that the 2001 AUMF would be like the "Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which the Johnson administration used to provide dubious legal cover for massive escalation of the Vietnam War."

Last year, after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. claimed that the authority to attack Syria stemmed from the 2001 AUMF, Boyle stated: “What the U.S. government is getting away with here is incredible. Gen. Dunford is citing the 2001 AUMF to go after Al Qaeda as justification to go after a secular government -- Syria -- that is actually fighting Al Qaeda, as well as ISIS." See "Need to “Repeal the Perpetual Illegal Wars.”

Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations (Duke University Press).

February 11, 2018

John Sakowicz


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(Click to enlarge)

* * *

DRIVERLESS POLICE CARS: Yes, that’s what they’re thinking of next. Among other things these cars will be able to catch speeders and issue tickets. But here’s the real test of the system’s Artificial Intelligence – Can the police car be taught how to recognize a young black man, drive to within a few feet of him, and fire a gun at his head?

William Blum



  1. Eric Sunswheat February 12, 2018

    Wild rumor is that you would have to pay $40 neutering fee for roosters from Animal Control pound, but perhaps that is a story for April Fool

  2. Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

    I can see that those right-wing bastards in Comptche are at it again. They support government that ensures their offspring can only get low-paying, no-benefit jobs from the likes of fascist Uber.

  3. Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

    Re: “…CBD dog treat…”

    If I ever caught someone trying to feed dope to my dog, I’d probably shoot the human SOB. And that’s where I stopped reading that story.

    • james marmon February 12, 2018

      You and Jerry P. both should probably take a chill pill, perhaps even a CBD dog treat, if you catch my drift?

      • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

        Your concern is overwhelming, James. I was just stating the facts of the matter. Here in WY you can take whatever action is needed to protect what is yours.

        • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

          And I’ll tell you something else, James: For decades, since late 1974 in fact, when I bought my first dog, one that was really “my dog”, I have held the following conviction: I can count on less than 5 fingers the humans whose lives I would save over that of my dog. I still hold that conviction. Call me misanthropic if you will, but maybe it would be better if you just “grew through it”.

          Most people I have known as friends have shared that conviction.

          • Stephen Rosenthal February 12, 2018

            “I can count on less than 5 fingers the humans whose lives I would save over that of my dog.” Whether pet dog or cat, I feel that way too.

          • james marmon February 12, 2018

            To be honest harv, the 3 people I trust the most are dogs as well, Champ, Sadie, and Kooter. They always have my back.

            • james marmon February 12, 2018

              All four of us are ‘Clean and Sober’ my other dog “Buddy”, who passed last year at age 14, now he had some serious problems. He would always drink my daughter’s last beer and eat her cigarettes. If it hadn’t been for his bad habits I think he would still be alive today.

              He would also hump my sister-in-law’s leg every time he got drunk.

              • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

                Sad to say, but dogs have limited life spans, variable mainly by breed. My last three Labs (not laboradors, since the place in Canada was named by a Portugese “explorer” name of Lavrador) lived to be around 12, which is common for that breed.

                My first wife killed my fist Lab when he was about 4. I lived in Sonoma then.

                She had a shepherd-mix female, which was a nice enough dog, and friendly, but the woman was very jealous of Diamond, calling him stupid and clumsy. She routinely made fun of him and praised her dog (I was very stupid and very horny in those days).

                The truth is, that first Diamond was the most intelligent dog I ever owned. And the most easygoing. He stayed with me in the state-owned travel trailer I lived in as a Fish and Wildlife Seasonal Aid with Fish and Game at Spenceville Wildlife Area (just behind Beale AFB, so I got to see a lot of SR-71 airplanes take off and land) during 1975, so it was mostly just him and me during his puppyhood. He learned quickly and responded excellently to hand signals in complex retrieval maneuvers I conceived for him. He had the usual wanderlust and stubbornness of Labs, but I never had a dog with more of an eagerness to learn new things.

                One day, in early 1979, I was pruning some fruit trees in the front yard when I heard the most awful howl coming from the back yard, Oddly, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “Diamond’s dead!” Since that was difficult thing to believe was true, I continued pruning, until the woman came running around from the back all aflutter shouting, “Something’s wrong with Diamond!” I ran to the back and saw Diamond, motionless on the ground and not breathing. I tried mouth-to-snout resuscitation, holding his mouth shut while breathing into his nostrils. Though his chest rose and fell, he did not revive. I was utterly confounded. The woman reported that she had been throwing a stick for Diamond to retrieve, when he suddenly fell over on his side.

                I took him to his vet for a necropsy. A few days later, the vet reported that Diamond’s lungs were impacted with dog food. He said it was not uncommon, especially when dogs got excited when being exercised shortly after eating. So that was that.

                Soon thereafter, I bought another Lab. The woman would not consider letting me name him Diamond. She insisted on naming him Mica (fool’s gold). She was resentful of him from the beginning, and I noticed that he seemed to be getting meaner by the day. Since I was working full-time for the Department of Parks and Recreation as a Ranger Trainee, I couldn’t interact with Diamond during the day.

                When we moved to Hesperia in April, 1979, Mica, along with her dog, Garnet, moved with us. And Mica just kept getting meaner, to the point that the woman was afraid of him, or claimed to be. I took him back to Sonoma, where a family agreed to take him.

                A few weeks later, Diamond’s new owners reported that he was the smartest and most easygoing dog they had ever owned, good with their children and with visitors. It was then that I realized the woman was the cause of Diamond’s odd behavior. I also concluded that she intentionally killed my first dog, because she could not stand the thought that he was so much more intelligent than her dog, Garnet. The woman died of some sort of disease, several years ago. I found myself completely unable to feel any emotion at all when informed of the event.

                I did not get another dog until 1988, but had him plus two others over the following years. If I outlive my current Diamond, the fourth Diamond, who is 6, I do not know if I will be able to bring myself to acquire another, who will surely outlive me, if this one doesn’t.

                • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

                  Next to last paragraph should have stated “Mica’s” rather than “Diamond’s”, in all instances. Sorry.

                • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

                  susie, you are dead wrong, and coming to silly conclusions. You did not know the woman. I did. Getting together with her was the biggest mistake of my life. And it’s Lab number 5, Diamond number 4. And kindly quit confusing my relationship with yours.

                • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

                  They look like nice dogs. Lucky you had your daughter there to keep them from moving around too much.

                  My former neighbor, the driller, had a girlfriend (among many, often-simultaneous, girlfriends following his divorce — the guy had a way about him) with a pit bull. It was a very friendly and good-looking dog, too. It was what they called at the time a “brindle” pit bull.

    • Eric Sunswheat February 12, 2018

      Dogs eating dark chocolate, makes them act panicked, and causes exponentially greater real harm, instead of Harvey’s fake news tears of scorn about CBD dog treats. Get your perhaps drunken facts straight, or bud out buster!

      • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

        Ever read about how much chocolate, as a percentage of dog weight, it takes to have that effect?

        I would not let anyone feed my dog chocolate, either. Never owned one that had such a craving. Keep your dope away from my dog!

        • Eric Sunswheat February 12, 2018

          Not very much chocolate to affect a dog. I’ve seen a friend’s dog drunk crazy at 2am because of dark chocolate, not that sugar rations. Keep your dog away from my chocolate, Harvey.

          • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

            Eric, you need to produce some real numbers. When I looked into the subject in the late 90s, as a result of someone having made a similar assertion about chocolate and dogs, the amount of chocolate was about 13 percent of body weight. For my dog, that would be about 10 pounds of chocolate, which would be enough to make me crazy, and far more than I ever have in the house.

  4. Harvey Reading February 12, 2018



    • Jeff Costello February 12, 2018

      Whatever the topic, Harvey, you be sure that the likes of Philbrick aren’t going to get it. There’s nothing in his latest (besides Gov. Jerry Brown) that hasn’t been regularly said almost verbatim on Fox news – filling empty heads all over the US. If Hilter had Fox, he might have won.

      • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

        I was not “aiming” at those morons, Jeff.

    • james marmon February 12, 2018

      Mr. Reading, like most the crap Counterpunch puts out they wrote about all kinds of studies but did not cite even one of them by name, or provide any references. That’s all right, sheeple like yourself only need read the headlines anyway.

      “Logging Dead Trees is Bad for Forests”

      That’s all anyone needs to know, right?

      Groupthink Exists

      ‘do yourself a favor, think for yourself, ask questions, and evolve.’

      -James Marmon

      • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

        James, Counterpunch, prints articles, not scientific papers complete with bibliographies. What Wuerther suggests is not anything new. If you’re so bothered as you (pretend) claim to be, then do your own research and refute what he says, but and right-wing lie tanks don’t count.

        Or contact him directly with your concerns. You do the search. You’ll grow through it.

        • james marmon February 12, 2018

          Oh, we can only rely on left-wing lie tanks? I get it, thanks for the advice harv.

          • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

            I avoid both, but already know your preference. Wuerthner’s easy to contact, but it’s so much better I think that you learn that for yourself.

  5. Stephen Rosenthal February 12, 2018

    Re Skrag: we’ve had a few barn cats who adopted us throughout the years. Once in a while they would tangle with something wild. A couple of times their injuries were serious and became infected and we would’ve lost them if it weren’t for antibiotics and daily deep flushing of the wounds. I hope he’s been checked by a vet and treated if necessary.

  6. james marmon February 12, 2018

    RE: 5th District Candidate Juhl

    I want to know more about Mr. Juhl, I see that he is a registered Republican. For the time being I’m going to suspend judgment of him. I want to know about this environmental sustainability approach.

    Environmental Sustainability

    “The list can be shortened into a tight definition. Environmental sustainability is the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be continued indefinitely then they are not sustainable.”

    I just hope that he is not just another crazy coastal elite.

    I apologize for overreacting yesterday Mr. Juhl.


    • james marmon February 12, 2018

      The three pillars are social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability.

      • james marmon February 12, 2018

        “When all three pillars are strong, people live in a system where high quality life is the norm. They have a clean healthy environment, a satisfactory level of economic well-being, and a robust level of social fulfillment.”

        • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

          James, I generally sleep with two pillers (and use one at a time) on my bed and feel robustly socially fulfilled each morning when I awaken.

  7. Jim Updegraff February 12, 2018

    Looks like today like many other days we will have a bunch of grouchy old men throwing verbal bricks at each other. Very little in the way of up lifting comments.

  8. Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

    Pore, pore ol’ Philbrick. Why’s everbody always pickin’ on him?

  9. james marmon February 12, 2018

    Economic, Environmental, and Social Sustainability first Susie, being nice is not the answer.

    Like my dad always said, “love doesn’t feed you, pay the bills, or put a roof over your head”. Maybe it did or still does for you, but it doesn’t work that way for most folks.

    The rest of us are just trying to survive so folks like you can feel good about giving away our jobs, housing, and tax dollars to illegal immigrants.

    I can care less if Columbus discovered America, I live here now. America is not just a place on the map it’s also a concept. The Pope is not our president.


    • BB Grace February 12, 2018

      re: Philbrick

      Certainly knows how to fan the flames. ;)

    • Harvey Reading February 12, 2018

      Except for your next-to-last sentence, James, I agree wholeheartedly, for what that’s worth.

    • james marmon February 12, 2018

      Me too, I’m glad they threw the bitch out. Like Democrats aren’t on the dole from alternative energy cooperations and environmental fanatics who have lost the power of reason?

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