Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 15, 2018

* * *

LOOKING BACK over Mendo’s utterly failed pot policy, the disaster began when the Feds made Mendo drop its entirely reasonable 9.31 program, the corpse of which would have made a simple model for a new local program instead of the ad hoc mess we now have.

LEAD BY Supervisor John McCowen, the Captain Ahab of local pot rules, it was McCowen's single-minded insistence that the Board of Supervisors themselves concoct the rules into a morass of eternal unworkability. Not only does Mendo have an unworkable pot permit framework, but it now requires the full Board itself to continually revisit the mess to tinker with it, much like the 3am tweaker returns to the carburetor he's dismantled and reassembled for a week, each time forgetting which part goes where.

IF MENDO had taken the lead of other pot-based counties they would have turned over the task of developing the rules over to the Planning Commission and staff where there was at least an outside chance that a coherent program might emerge. Or they could have even let the pot people — the ones who want to go legal anyway, the ones who keep trying to help — draft the rules under the supervision of the Planning Commission. (Whatever you want to say about the small cadre of pot people now trying to go legit, they’re smart and want to create a local legalization that will work. The Supes would of course retain veto power.)

WORSE though, is the effect endless discussion of failed pot policy has had on everything else the Board has to deal with. Whether it’s housing, mental health, perennial staff shortages, juvenile hall, the budget deficit, dilapidated roads, deteriorating county-owned buildings, the new courthouse and horrible local impact, the Exclusive Operating Area (for inland ambulance service) process that’s been stalled for years now, the fire recovery effort (and associated loss of property taxes), the mythical “metrics” (instead of ordinary management reports), and so on — whatever attention those and many other subjects may have needed from the Board has been drained away by the endless revisiting of their unsalvageable wreck of a pot permit program.

IT ALSO MEANS that CEO Carmel Angelo has assumed the role of the Board, making major decision after major decision on her own while she lets the Supes drone on about pot permits and other irrelevancies, knowing that as long as the Board spins its wheels in the sand of their failed pot program, they don't interfere with her own unaccountable private agenda (which mostly has to do with looking good to the outside financial auditors and rating agencies, not serving the public).

IF THE TWO NEW SUPES, Ted Williams and either Pinches or Haschak, do nothing else, they need to re-take control of the County from Angelo and get the pot permit program off their backs.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

* * *


A grass fire near the railroad tracks across from Mason Street was reported about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and then spread from the grass on the tracks to some sheds in the Hospital Drive Medical Plaza on Hospital Drive and scorched the sides of some of the buildings.

* * *


by Justine Frederiksen

Farmers certainly aren’t sissies. But getting old isn’t easy for them, either.

“It’s not a question of whether I want to do this anymore,” said Doug Mosel, standing next to nine acres of Sonora wheat he was about to harvest Tuesday afternoon in Redwood Valley. “It’s a question of whether I can.”

Doug Mosel stands next to nine acres of Sonora and five acres of Red Fife wheat in Redwood Valley Tuesday. He guessed that nearly all 30 acres of grains he planted this year are “spoken for already.”

At 75, Mosel in spirit remains as committed as ever to sustaining a local food economy by growing grains and milling them into flour as the Mendocino Grain Project. But planting, harvesting, cleaning and milling tens of thousands of pounds of grain each summer is something his body can no longer commit to.

“Now that I’m getting older, I don’t have the energy anymore,” he said, pausing to watch his field of wheat gently moving with a breeze. He said he will always love that sight, finding it “as mesmerizing as watching waves in the ocean.” But he intends this season to be his last as the sole owner and operator of the Mendocino Grain Project.

Mosel launched the project 10 years ago as a way to offer less-processed grains and flour that were more flavorful, more healthy and, more importantly, grown in Mendocino County. The idea of a locally produced flour was immediately popular with home bakers, and within a few years Schat’s bakery started selling a loaf of bread featuring Mosel’s Sonora wheat.

Another baker buying a lot more of Mosel’s wheat these days is James McKenna, founder of the Pelican Bread Company in Point Arena.

“He’s very excited about this year’s crop, and will probably buy several thousand pounds of grain,” said Mosel, explaining that he sells McKenna whole grains in 55-gallon drums that the baker mills himself into flour.

For Schat’s and other customers like Ukiah Natural Foods, Mosel uses his entire suite of processing and milling equipment to create flour, and also to harvest and clean grain grown by others.

“In the next few weeks I will be harvesting and cleaning between 70,000 and 80,000 pounds of grain,” he said, adding that while one of his sons will be coming to help him with that daunting task, he so far doesn’t have a successor for the grain project itself.

Serious Inquiries Only

Mosel is more than willing to talk to anyone who might want to take over the Mendocino Grain Project. And he might even be willing to plant next season’s crop of wheat. But he can’t do all of the harvesting, cleaning and milling himself.

“And I have to be honest, I can’t talk to people that aren’t serious about taking this on,” he said, describing it as most definitely a project of passion, not profit.

“I dry farm, so whether or not you have a crop each year depends on how much rain you get and when you get it,” he said, explaining that he broke even on only about half of the 10 years he has run the business because “at least three of the last 10 years were severe drought years.”

And unless the farmer, or farmers, who take over the project can find more acreage to grow on, Mosel said it likely will not produce enough to provide what he called “a salary.”

This year, Mosel estimates he has about 30 acres of crops planted in both Redwood Valley and Covelo. To make a living at it, Mosel estimated he would need to plant another 20 acres.

“There is a lot of good will for this project, in the county and the region,” he said. “And I’ve always hoped that I could find a person, or a crew of people, who had the passion and commitment to continue it.”

Mosel can be reached by email at:

(Photos by Chris Pugh, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

2014 interview, by Dave Smith: "Mendocino Talking: Doug Mosel"

* * *


Oh Midnight—how adorable you are!! Midnight is a 3 month old, neutered, male, black kitten. He’s outgoing and a bit of a talker. Midnight cannot wait to get out of the shelter and start his life as your purrrfect feline. Maple is a sweet, adorable dog. As soon as someone walks in the door, she immediately wants to get to know them and start initiate some snuggle time. She greets everyone with a wiggle. Maple is a doggy genius, as she knows sit and down, and she shakes with both paws. Maple has a gentle touch when taking treats, and good manners. You can find more photos and information about Maple here:

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit online at: or visit the shelter. Join us the second Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some socialization and exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

* * *


by Malcolm Macdonald

As the calendar marks the dates for D-Day, Flag Day and on through Independence Day, my thoughts often turn to men I knew in younger years, local men who left their Mendocino County lives and went overseas during World War II. A first cousin, nearly three decades my senior, finished high school then received the call, surviving but learning to smoke and drink along the way. One of my father's closest friends, already beyond the age of thirty was drafted right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He fought through North Africa, Sicily, and much more of Italy. The impending death of his mother back at the family ranch along the Comptche Road sent him home on leave at an opportune time, just as his company landed on Omaha Beach on the sixth of June, 1944.

Francis Jackson, a young man of Mendocino City wrote home from the European Theater of Operations (ETO) as did Harold Reep, who also made the full U.S. Army tour through North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany from 1942-1945. Many of their correspondences ended up published in their hometown newspaper under the editorship of Auggie Heeser.

Fellow Mendocino resident Al Lemos, also past thirty when he entered the military, survived the Normandy invasion and many other hardships. He had worked at the Mendocino mill fresh out of high school then with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression. He was employed as a psychiatric technician at Mendocino State Hospital in Talmage when the war began. Much of his service was with the Army Medical Corps, crossing France and Germany. He wrote home just before the war in Europe ended and U.S. Army censorship of the mail shipped stateside ceased. “Certainly have seen plenty of Germany since we crossed the Rhine. We are back now in tents but in our previous area we lived in buildings. There were four of us in a large room with beds, hot water, steam heat, and bath with showers. For awhile I thought that I was a civilian once more. What a dream!

“The news continues to sound good. The end can't be very far off. After we crossed the Rhine, the Germans didn't have much to stop us with. They did delay us for a short time in some of their towns and cities, but a terrific price. Those places are now in ruins and it is going to take years for the German people to repair the damage. I have passed through cities that at one time had many thousands of people living in them. Now, they are nothing but ruins for miles. In fact it is hard to try and describe such devastation, one must see it himself. I wonder how many people were killed in their homes, there must have been countless thousands. It may sound strange to say, but I can't feel any pity for the people here. They have asked for it when they followed a man like Hitler.”

As if right on historical cue, Lemos' letter continues in the next paragraph: “Some time ago I was in the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar. I have seen sad sights since being in the Army but this was the saddest one of them all. I made the tour of the camp with three other fellows and we escorted some 200 German civilians. They are now letting the civilians see what their 'big shots' were doing all these years. The camp was in a wooded area, and very well guarded with an electric fence around the camp. At one time the place had close to some 50,000 people. A good many of the ones I saw were more dead than alive. The dead were stacked like cordwood waiting to be burned in the bake oven. That is where they disposed of the dead. We heard stories of live prisoners being burned along with the dead. The Germans seemed to have had a system of slow starvation for their slaves. The barracks that the prisoners lived in were crowded to the utmost, hundreds where there should only have been about fifty. The terrible stench of such a place was nauseating to say the least.

“The Germans had a place in which they made lampshades, bookbinding and other ornaments from the skin of the Nazi's victims. This isn't propaganda, as I have seen some of the articles. Back home we use animals in the advance of medical science, but here they use human beings instead of rats, rabbits, etc...

“The stories that are heard from the prisoners seem unbelievable, but after witnessing what the Germans did, one can just about believe anything that one hears. One stops and wonders just what kind of people these Germans are. The people whom we escorted through the camp claim they didn't know the conditions inside the prison. Most of the women broke down and cried when they saw the condition of some of the 14-year-old boys, for they had boys of 14 and old men of 80. Of course, the people now claim that all of this was the cause of the Nazis and that they didn't have any part of the horrors that were committed, but one can't help but wonder if they should now place all the blame on their leaders, when for years they have profited from the countries that their leaders had overrun.”

Al Lemos left the U.S. Army a staff sergeant after almost five years of service. He returned to his job at Mendocino State Hospital, retiring in 1971 when the hospital was shut down. He'd put in more than thirty-five years as a psych tech. He died on July 12, 1994, fifty years, one month and six days after the D-Day invasion.

History instructs us that in 1933, Germany's military expenditures accounted for 2% of its economy. By 1941, the military expenditure figure rose to 44% of that country's economy. More than fifty years ago, in the throes of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

(Sometimes absurd, sometimes sad, history stands witness at

* * *

EVEN as the crowd melted away and the last few people spoke to him and went out, he felt a great vacancy come into his heart. It was over, it was done and gone — all that work and interest and absorption. It was a hollowness like fear…

He was almost the last to leave, mounting the stage for a moment and looking around the deserted hall. His mother was waiting and they strolled home together through the first cool night of the year.

“Well, I thought it went very well indeed. Were you satisfied?”

He didn't answer for a moment.

“Weren't you satisfied with the way it went?”

“Yes.” He turned his head away. “Nothing,” and then, “Nobody really cares, do they?”

“About what?”

“About anything.”

(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Captured Shadow)

* * *


On 07-11-2018 at approximately 1717 hours, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call for service for an interrupted burglary in progress at a residence located in the 7000 block of North Highway 1 in Little River. Responding Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received identifying information on the suspect vehicle, which reportedly fled the location and traveled east on Little River Airport Road. During their response, deputies encountered a vehicle traveling on Comptche-Ukiah Road towards North Highway 1 from Little River Airport Road. As a result of the vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle, deputies made contact with the two occupants and identified them as Bo Eder, 38, and Elijah Swithenbank, 38, both of Fort Bragg.

Eder, Swithenbank

Other deputies responded to the location of occurrence and determined a burglary had occurred to a residence belonging to a recently deceased person and stolen property from that residence was missing. Through further investigation, deputies identified Eder and Swithenbank as suspect to that burglary. After arresting both suspects, Deputies located property in their possession that was confirmed stolen from the residence. Eder and Swithenbank were also found in possession of burglary tools. Deputies conducted a search of the Comptche-Ukiah Road and Little River Airport Road areas and located several more items of property concealed off the roadway. This property was also confirmed stolen from the residence. Both Eder and Swithenbank were transported to the Mendocino County Jail where both were booked on charges of first degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit a crime. Eder was confirmed to be on active misdemeanor probation and additionally charged with violation of probation. Both are being held in lieu of bail set at $50,000.00.

Request for Assistance

When responding deputies observed the suspect vehicle travelling the opposite direction on Comptche-Ukiah Road, they passed it, turned around, and caught up to it. During that time, deputies observed an object similar to a box lying in the roadway between Little River Airport Road and 39500 Comptche-Ukiah Road. Deputies believed the object was thrown from the vehicle by the suspects after law enforcement was observed. Deputies returned to the area where the object was last observed and were unable to locate it. It is suspected that the object was retrieved by a passing motorist. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking any person with knowledge of that property to telephone 707-234-2100, so it can be determined if the property is associated with this investigation.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Don't tell these guys but, yeah, I voted for Trump because his hair reminded me of Lassie. Then I find out he doesn't even have a Presidential dog! Feel kinda betrayed, actually.”

* * *


As the doomed Hart Family kids begged for help, the system failed the Hart family children. Neighbors, school officials consistently believed parents over children.

* * *

BOOK SALE! The Unity Club’s AV Community Library's $4 a bag book sale will run until July 31st. That is also our last open day, then we close for the summer. So come on in and stock up on your summer reading. We are open Tuesday from 1:30-4:30, Saturday 2-4, located in the Home Arts Bldg. at the Fairgrounds. — Elizabeth Dusenberry

* * *


Here's another, apparently cold case for local history detectives. May not be so cold after all? Who was Jack Peters, for which the Bridge and Gulch just north of the Mendocino Headlands was named? Two tantalizing clues: First, there was a John "Jack" Peters, born in Sweden, listed in the 1860 census as being 35 years of age and living in the household of Silas (or Cyrus?) Osborn. He gave his occupation as that of "cook." May have been a cook for the Osborn hotel. That info was on a 3 X 5 index card, of which we have a copy in the archives. Second, in January of 1962, the Mendocino Beacon reprinted a quote attributed to Auggie Heeser: "If I have been asked once in recent years where Jack Peters Gulch got its name I have been queried on that a hundred times. And I had to answer: 'I cannot tell you; I do not know'."

(Click to enlarge)

(Kelley House Museum, Via MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, July 14, 2018

Barajas, Biggs, Carrillo

PAULINE BARAJAS, Gualala. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

LISA BIGGS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

VALERIANO CARRILLO, Branscomb. Pot cultivation with illegally diverted water.

Chim, Fernandez-Rodriguez, Flinton

NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

TOMAS FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Boonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Garcia-Lopez, Gonzalez-Esquivel, Hernandez


SANTOS GONZALEZ-ESQUIVEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

VINCENT HERNANDEZ JR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Kimball, Lopes, Mize

JOEL KIMBALL, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, annoying, obscene or threatening phone calls, vandalism.

ANTHONY LOPES SR., Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probatioin revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

JONNIE MIZE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Palma-Solano, Schaefer, Smith

OSCAR PALMA-SOLANO, Willits. Probation revocation.

JUSTIN SCHAEFER, Lakeport/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

RANDALL SMITH, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, battery with serious injury, criminal threats.

* * *



Haven’t heard much from Mr. T. Vulture lately. Didn’t they take his license away? I hope he has read paragraphs 3 and 4 in the July 11th Valley People. I call my favorite graduates of the Vulture Driving Academy “Machodoods.”

Your basic Machodood has a giant truck, extra points for chrome stack. He is portly and dresses like a slob. There is usually a cigarette dangling from his fingers, hot ashes blowing off in the slipstream. He has short hair, a poor if any shave, and a sullen disposition. His most common expressions are “Get out of the fucking way, asshole!,” “Suck my dick, bitch,” and the always useful, “Fuck you!”

I did see in a small town recently an apparent VDA graduate tailgating a tourist and colliding with him at good speed as the tourist suddenly braked hard for a left. The fused vehicles rotated like colliding galaxies spraying showers of glass and plastic over the intersection.

Well, as R. Crumb said, It’s Really Too Bad.


Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

* * *



How ironic that Larry Lappin complained about third-generation Mexican-Americans playing Spanish language music on the Fourth of July. California has been a state for about 170 years. Prior to that, it was part of Mexico.

So it’s not so much that Mexicans “invaded,” as that they never left. It was in fact the US government that invaded.

Personally, I’ve lived for 30 years in an area that is about half Mexican. In all that time, I have never felt afraid of my neighbors. On the contrary, I know them to be ambitious, hardworking and very family oriented.

Without their willingness to take on the hard jobs in the wine and hospitality industries, many thousands of us wouldn’t be employed. It makes me sad that people continue to believe the stereotypes when even a little exposure to a different culture would prove them wrong.

Suzanne Shonbrun


* * *


In Memoriam — I have a twisted little game I play. I turn on the radio to JPR - 1300 AM, "Jefferson Public Radio," out of Ashland, Oregon, or a TV news station, to count the seconds until I hear the word that rhymes with "crump," "stump," "slump," "dump"--and you get the idea. Usually less than 10 seconds. Then I turn it off. It's a sick fascination, like staring at a suppurating wound. Donald Trump has a gift for filling space, for compelling attention to himself such as I've never seen before. Credit where credit is due: he's the showboater of showboaters, the snakeoil salesman of all time, the upstager, scene-stealer, spotlight grabber par ultima excellence.

In Missouri, gittin' on now to forty years ago, in the townlet of Skidmore, population 284 at last census, half of what it was in the roaring thirties, Ken Rex McElroy was shot dead as he sat in his pickup with his wife Trena (who was not hurt). He was 47 at the time. There was at least two different guns and pretty near fifty people was standing around. None of them people ever said who pulled the triggers. Not never.

Kenny McElroy was number 15 of 16 McElroy kids and father of at least ten or 15. You have to say "at least" because he raped so many people you can't be sure. He molested kids, tormented and killed pets, attacked so many men and intimidated folks of all description (with guns, fists, clubs, knives and what have you) that he was the acknowledged town bully because other names for him were unprintable thirty-seven years ago.

He was accused and indicted for crimes from petty theft to murder a couple dozen times, but he would scare potential witnesses too bad to ever go to jail.

But there's the so-called Court of Public Opinion, and that court gathered around his truck on a hot Friday afternoon, July 10, 1981. They had been in a meeting while Kenny-boy was drinking at the D&G, and when the word got out he was in town, they all come out. What a coincidence! The purpose of the meeting was to figure out how to deal with Kenny McElroy because he kept the whole place on edge. The sheriff recommended they start a neighborhood-watch program to keep a lookout for him. Then the sheriff left the meeting, got in his cruiser and drove out of town. The people in attendance repaired to outside the D&G Tavern. Ken come out with a six-pack and Trena and climbed into his Silverado. At least a couple people shot Kenny, and as he bled out, nobody called for an ambulance.

I was a reporter in Baltimore. I covered a rape trial. A young woman carried her groceries home to her apartment house, and as the main door swung shut, the rapist edged in. At her apartment door he pulled a big knife and ordered her inside, where he threatened and raped her. The event caused her to shut down emotionally, and she had not spoken since, but the evidence was sufficient without her testimony. I don't recall the details, but it was apparent that he was of sub-normal intelligence. He sat through the trial without a visible reaction of any kind, a dangerous and stupid specimen. Correction: There was somebody there related to her. I remember him giving them a glance that contained a shadow of a deeply evil smile.

Capital punishment is a bad idea. You don't teach people not to kill by killing. Also, taking life is primitive, and we're trying to rise above the primitive. (Right? Am I foolishly wrong about that?) BUT, despite that conviction, my feelings for this perp were dark. Whatever bad luck made him who he was, it wasn't enough to evoke in me a flicker of sympathy. His victim was, apparently, permanently ruined, and he, obviously, was a monster. I was aware of the irony in thinking, "I may oppose capital punishment, but I'd gladly throw the switch!"

Why do these reflections seem timely?

* * *


It costs too much money to raise kids these days. With the divorce rate what it is a lot of women see they have a 50-50 chance of struggling for years as a divorced/single woman. I saw my own mother work 7 days a week for years to support 4 kids and a crippled husband on tips back in the 1950s when there was no safety net. People left bags of food on our doorstep. Bill collectors came to the door. No way was I going to take the risk of having my back to the wall the way she did. Poverty sucks. BTDT. I don’t blame anyone for taking a pass on having children.

* * *


Been going to reggae on the river since day one. It seems simple to figure after working it, that people realize that insurance costs. Back in the day it was a party no insurance neccessary and band members were paid in pounds. Times change and now it’s a city shit fest. Hope for lots of rain this winter to cleanse the river from high times and butane sludge running the hills. Lineup additions wo wo. This venue in its hay day was alive.

* * *


by Katherine Rundell

It is probably best not to take advice direct and unfiltered from the animal kingdom – but lemurs are, I think, an exception. They live in matriarchal troops, with an alpha female at their head. When ring-tailed lemurs are cold or frightened, or when they want to bond, they group together in a furry mass known as a lemur ball, forming a black and white sphere that ranges in size from a football to a bicycle wheel. They intertwine their tails and paws, and press against one another’s walnut-sized swiftly beating hearts. To see it feels like an injunction of sorts: to find a lemur ball of one’s own.

The first lemur I ever met was a female, and she tried to bite me, which was fair, because I was trying to touch her, and humans have done nothing to recommend themselves to lemurs. She was an indri lemur, living in a wildlife sanctuary outside Antananarivo, Madagascar; she had an infant, which was riding not on her front, like a baby monkey, but on her back, like a miniature Lester Piggott. She had wide yellow eyes.

William Burroughs, in his lemur-centric eco-surrealist novella Ghost of Chance, described the eyes of a lemur as “changing color with shifts of the light: obsidian, emerald, ruby, opal, amethyst, diamond.” The stare of this indri resembled that of a young man at a nightclub who urgently wishes to tell you about his belief system, but her fur was the softest thing I have ever touched. I was a child, and the indri, which is the largest extant species of lemur, came up to my ribs when standing on her hind legs. She looked, as lemurs do, like a cross between a monkey, a cat, a rat and a human.

Lemurs are strange in the way that the reclusive and the wealthy are strange; having had an island to themselves to evolve in, they have idiosyncratic habits. Male ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, and engage in “stink-fighting,” battles in which they stand two feet apart and wipe their hands on their tails, then shake the tail at their opponent, all the while maintaining an aggressive stare until one or other animal retreats. It feels no madder than most current forms of diplomacy. It’s not unusual for female ring-tailed lemurs to slap males across the face when they become aggressive.

There are at least 101 species and subspecies of lemurs in Madagascar; there were once lemurs the size of small men, but after humans arrived on the island two thousand years ago the larger lemurs were hunted to extinction. At the smallest end of the scale is the Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, the smallest primate in the world, which weighs thirty grams (.07 pounds) on average and at full stretch couldn’t cover your hand. Somewhere in the middle is the northern giant mouse lemur, whose testes comprise 5.5% of its body mass; the equivalent proportions in a man would be testicles the size of grapefruits. They are strange, then, and beautiful, and occasionally disconcerting.

The indri lemur was right to try to bite me; more right than she knew. The early human arrivals on the island eradicated at least 15 species of lemur. Now, largely due to deforestation, 24 species are critically endangered, 49 are endangered and 94% of all species are threatened. Until recently there was a strong taboo on hunting lemurs. Rural traditions held eating lemur flesh to be second in horror only to human flesh; some stories told that the lemurs were human ancestors who had become lost in the Madagascan rainforest and changed themselves into lemurs to survive. Other stories told of a man who, falling to certain death from a high tree, was caught by an indri lemur, and set upright on the ground. The taboo was first eroded through poverty and desperation: in rural households where lemur was eaten the children were almost invariably found to be malnourished. As is often the case, the swiftest route to animal conservation would be to prioritize child health.

So the myths have not saved the lemurs. And when we endow anything or anyone with mystic powers we usually end by killing it. The aye-aye lemur is thought in some areas to be able to prophesy death; they have vast eyes, large, sensitive ears, and a middle finger that’s twice as long as their other digits; when the aye-aye points its middle finger at a person they are taken to be cursed. Another story tells that it uses the long finger to puncture human hearts. As a result they’re unbeloved, and hunted so relentlessly they were thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in 1961.

The word lemur comes from the Latin lemures, meaning “ghost.” It is terrifyingly possible that several subspecies may become exactly that.

Perhaps the most astonishing fact about lemurs is that they survived at all. Madagascar was part of Gondwanaland until 180 million years ago, when the supercontinent began to split and the island began to drift eastwards from Africa. But the first lemur-like fossils date from between 62 and 65 million years ago, and appear in mainland Africa. How, then, did the lemurs reach Madagascar? There are many theories – island-hopping and land bridges among them – but the dominant theory is that the lemurs drifted there on floating rafts of vegetation. The island, too, kept drifting, so when monkeys evolved enough to eradicate lemurs on the mainland with their superior adaptiveness and aggression, somewhere between 17 and 23 million years ago, Madagascar was safely out of reach. I have seen many things that I’ve loved, but I don’t think I’ll live to see anything as fine as a raft of lemurs, sailing across the sea towards what looked, until the arrival of humans, like safety.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

LIFE promises so very much to a pretty girl between the ages of 16 and 25 that she never quite recovers from it.

(F. Scott Fitzgerald)

* * *



What happened to all the good Democrats we used to have? Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the breast while giving a speech and he refused medical attention and spoke for 90 minutes with a bullet lodged in his spine or his breast or something. He used to go to Africa to hunt lions with an airedale dog like the one I have. These were real men. I challenge the liberal party now to compare themselves to these people. Not even close. I put myself in the same place as the people who fought and died to keep this country free. The Democrats back in those days used to do that. But now we have a bunch of Democrats who are troublemakers and anti-American wimps. Whatever you say against them fits. There are no more good Democrats.

And where are the conservative people? Are they all chicken? Why can't they stand up against these liberal, anti-Americans and make themselves felt around the country? I can't believe that the good Americans can't get behind Donald Trump and get this country back on its feet like it used to be. The socialistic takeover makes me puke. So conservatives, if you have any balls, stand up for America.

Americans need to protect law enforcement. Nobody has any idea what Sheriff Allman's deputies had to go through to keep this country safe. Nobody even cares. Jerry Brown and his pals have taken the law right out of law enforcement. We don't need more idiots like Pelosi, Feinstein, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer running our country who insist on being anti-American opposing everything Donald Trump tries to do.

Where are the kids who used to do chores and went out and hunted and learned how to be men? Now all they do is go home and play video games or use their iPhones, ignoring everything else around them. What will happen in the next 15 or 20 years when everybody goes around with iPhones and living by computers. Sad.

What happened to people who respected the American flag, the national anthem, patriotism? Why don't the good conservatives in the silent majority stand up? They are two thirds of our population. They outnumber liberals. Why don't they vote? Conservatives need to get off their dead asses and take this country back and vote. It's the only way we will win our revolution.

God bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


* * *

* * *

I KNEW Zelda was very clever but from the moment I saw her I knew she was mad. There was this smooth, shining hair, and the carefully chosen wild 1920s dress… There was this large, craggy face — a handsome face — but when one got the after-image it always showed a desolate country without frontiers. It is not quite easy to get on good terms with a man if you think his wife whom he is very fond of is mad as a hatter. And I remember once Scott saying something about Zelda having done something odd, and I had to check the words on my lips, “But surely you realize she's insane?”

(Rebecca West)

* * *

* * *



The following information may be incomplete or incorrect because I have little opportunity to fact check, this being my first prison term. I have no personal experience to draw on and so must depend on second-hand information provided to me by the more experienced convicts. But this is true to the best of my knowledge.

For many years the prison system has been divided into essentially two groups. Those who are considered acceptable company by fellow convicts on the main line and those who are not deemed acceptable due to their behavior while incarcerated or the nature of the crimes such as harming children or women or seniors, sex crimes, informing on codefendants, dirty cops, or any other former members of law enforcement found to be on the wrong side of the law. Also unwelcome and therefore unsafe on the main line are any former members of street or prison gangs who either dropped out or were forced out of whatever group they had been associated with. All members of any of these subgroups must be separated from the mainline for their own safety. They were and still are collectively known as PCs or protective custody's and their housing facilities are dubbed sensitive needs or S&Y. Over the past several decades the population of these S&Y prisoners and their yards has grown from a small minority to a large minority and now as of last year these inmates who require protection for their own physical safety have grown to actually encompass the majority of inmates currently incarcerated in California. If that's not a major indication that the world is collectively going to hell in a handbasket then I truly cannot imagine what it would be.

Until fairly recently those requiring protective custody got the collective short end of the stick as far as which programs were made available to them while in custody. Priority was given to mainliners when it came to things like the Milestone program which rewarded convicts with three months off their sentence for completing educational programs such as earning their GED while in prison. This and other similar programs were not offered to many S&Y institutional inmates. A class-action lawsuit was filed and eventually won by the inmates in protective custody which forced the CDCR to offer the same opportunities to PCs. Unfortunately, the response was not to increase the number of programs available to inmates to the point of including those previously excluded. Instead, they have decided it would be more cost-effective (in dollars, damn the human cost) to simply reintroduce a huge number of PC inmates back into the mainline prison population. This may not sound like a terribly big deal to anybody who is happily unaware of prison politics.

Allow me to elucidate in the simplest terms: people are going to die. Many more people will be forced into committing violence to avoid becoming a target themselves!

As a convict you are required to follow certain rules and regulations which can vary greatly depending on what race you choose to identify with or your gang affiliation upon entering the prison system. If you've never been here before and you think you're not racist, I would just keep that to myself and stay uninvolved. "Shut up and sit down, you have no idea what you're talking about, that's just the way it works in here.”

Prison is racist as hell. It sucks and I expect it is in large part engineered by the police state as a means of preventing us from ever realizing our collective power and unifying. But that's a whole different article.

As someone who was raised ultra-liberal and fortunate enough to have been blessed to travel out of the country at a formative age as well as the father of a multiracial 11-year-old, I consider myself about as non-racist as one can be having been raised in an overwhelmingly white place like the Mendocino Coast from 1978-2007. But Prison is racist and separation is mandatory and prison is set in its ways.

As a non-gang affiliated white man there are rules I am compelled to follow in order to maintain my status as a mainliner. Failure to follow rules results in disciplinary action which can range from having to do push-ups all the way to being stabbed to death or forced to PC up (requesting protective custody).

One of the primary requirements of remaining in good standing is that without hesitation, without fail, we take any opportunity we are given to commit violence against any inmate in protective custody that we come in contact with. The corrections department knows this and couldn’t care less.

They don't care that many of us with relatively short sentences will be put in a position where we either follow the rules of our own group's leadership and risk adding years to our sentence by injuring or killing the PCs they are forcing us to live with, or we followed their rules and become targets ourselves for failure to hold the line so to speak.

I have already seen this new policy cost one inmate two years added to his sentence for punching somebody he should never have been put in the same building with. He was 25 days short of his release when they forced him onto a yard full of PC inmates, now called 50-50 yards. The only alternative to going wherever they send you is to refuse to house and go straight to the hole which means you lose good time credits and your sentence gets longer. As a Level 1 nonviolent offender, I am entitled to one third time meaning I am eligible for parole after completing one third of my sentence. If I refuse to program with crazy people and baby rapers I will automatically be sent to a Level 3 yard and be required in serve a minimum of 50% of my sentence which in my case means eight additional months.

I have requested to be endorsed to Susanville when I transfer out of San Quentin intake to train for fire company because Susanville is dorm living as opposed to cell living which theoretically will make it one of the later institutions to be blended. But supposedly they are planning to do it everywhere.

It's a humongous mess no matter how you slice it. Even the correctional officers are pissed off about it as it virtually guarantees their jobs are going to be harder and made more dangerous for the foreseeable future.

My personal feeling about PC inmates and what programs are available to them is as follows: when even the dirtbags think you are a dirtbag, well you are probably a dirtbag! Maybe they don't deserve the same opportunities that your run-of-the-mill stickup man or dope dealer or gangbanger does. On the other hand, maybe they need rehabilitation more than others.

The bottom line is that it's not a good time to come to prison in California particularly if you've been here before and care at all about your "prison career." Odds are it will get better, but not until it gets worse for several years. So don't come to prison.


Terra Gibson

San Quentin

PS. I was very happy to learn from a short letter in a recent AVA that I am in fact not the only person around who remembers Bongo Bill. He was my friend and I remember very clearly the facts surrounding his arson case. He was paid or least promised payment by the owner or owners of at least one building in Mendocino Village for the nefarious act of setting one or more buildings on fire, more or less. The stated reason they desired that their property be deliberately ignited was to collect vast sums of fire insurance money. Then the same people who asked him to do it promptly reported him to the police. If I remember the details he was promised $2500 but never actually got paid and he received six counts of attempted murder because there had been six guests registered at the Chocolate Mousse when it caught on fire. That was the year I graduated from high school and I just turned 40 now. So he's been locked up for over 20 years. Sounds about typical of such things. Here's to you, Bill.

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: The case of Traish LaRue v. El Escorpion.

"You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I’ll tell you, I dunno. But it’s a tradition, and because of our traditions every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.” —Tevye (Joseph Stein)

The recording of last night's (2018-07-13) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

The perpetrators of TechU showed up to sing the praises of 3-D printing; she talked, he directed. Speaking of direction, theater essential Lorry LePaul read love poetry by W.S. Auden, reminisced about local theater, sang her high school fight song, and was persuaded to swear sweetly at me in accurately accented Dutch; something about shoes. Joshua SlowCode, honking blues master with a tattoo of a peace-sign banjo on the back of his hand since high school in the 1960s, brought an antique flexi-disk to play, from a crumbling cardboard learn-to-play-the-banjo kit. And the station was visited by the lovely Michelle 99 (her real name), the lovely Amanda, and the lovely Lucky Otis, grandson of Johnny Otis and son of Shuggy Otis. Also Alex Bosworth called to tell racist Yiddish dirty jokes and read a couple of stories from after his latest book.

And I read most of what I brought to read, too, including the latest installment of Elly Cooney’s several-part story No Country For Old Women, many topical items local and foreign, comical and tragic, and then there’s Orson Welles as The Shadow. Busy night at KNYO. In case you feel like stopping by 325 N. Franklin, next to the Tip Top Bar, during the coming week, the walls of the performance space are festooned with larger-than-life-size nude self portraits of one of Bob Young’s multitalented daughters, I forget her name, but she’s completely artistically SFW naked in there, so come and look.

Also at you'll find a fresh batch of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, things where just hearing it wouldn't be enough. Such as:

The so-called singularity the way it will really go.

Barnaby Dixon’s ingenious puppet of the week.

Mexican women in dresses on horses.

“And did you know she died in the bathroom at Norm’s?”

Marco McClean

* * *


The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, August 9 at 5:30 pm at the room behind the Yokayo Bowling Center, 1401 North State Street, Ukiah. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the incoming Conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome.

See us on Facebook and at



  1. Vicky Miller July 15, 2018

    Smart man Jerry Philbrick!!

  2. james marmon July 15, 2018

    Kids Inc. Documentary coming in August: Must See!

    KIDS INC. Official Trailer

    Where’s our children Camille?

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino Family and Children Services

  3. james marmon July 15, 2018

    Pot Problems in Humboldt County (coming soon to Mendocino County)

    No Permit=No Plants

    “Following a weeklong operation investigating the illegal cultivation of marijuana in Northern Humboldt County, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) has served 11 search warrants, eradicated approximately 30,252 growing marijuana plants and destroyed over 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana.

    During the service of the five warrants, assisting agencies found the following violations:

    – Twenty-one water diversion violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Six stream crossing violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Multiple water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Seven deposition of trash into a stream violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Discharge of waste into state waters violation (up to $5,000 fine per day)
    – Spill of hazardous materials violation (up to $75,000 fine per day)
    – Unpermitted fuel storage violation (up to $5,000 fine per day)
    – Multiple grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Multiple building code violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Multiple improper disposal of garbage violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
    – Placing, or causing to be placed, live fish into a state waterway violation
    – Burning of prohibited materials violation
    – Poaching of a black-tailed deer violation”

  4. james marmon July 15, 2018

    We would be remiss if we didn’t thank and give credit to Allman and his sidekick Randy Johnson for their blunders that led to blowing this hole story wide open. DA Eyster deserves honorable mention as well, for his failed attempt to help cover-up Zeke’s story about the bad cops too.

    Rohnert Park officials tight-lipped over police asset seizures led by embattled former sergeant

    Two months after the stop, Flatten’s name appeared on a Rohnert Park police report written by Tatum. In an interview, Tatum said he had mistakenly included Flatten’s name on his report and he said he doesn’t remember ever pulling him over. He said he had mistakenly included Flatten’s name on his report, based on information from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, because he had not recorded the name of a man he pulled over in December.

    • Eric Sunswheat July 15, 2018

      Not much different than Ukiah’s Officer Peter Hoyle, with a past notorious reputation for the stealing, false testimony, and drunk driving, which the Ukiah courthouse generally tolerated, since Hoyle’s arrested victims could be fleeced by the hometown legal establishment, unless they were well enough connected, to have Hoyle’s allegations and nefarious behavior impeached for a price.

  5. Eric Sunswheat July 16, 2018

    Salem, Oregon. July 15, 2018 – In an internal review released late Thursday, the state’s Health Authority, which oversees the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), admitted it has not provided effective oversight of growers and others in the industry.

    “Potentially erroneous reporting coupled with low reporting compliance makes it difficult to accurately track how much product is in the medical system. This limits OMMP’s ability to successfully identify and address potential diversion,” the report said.

    The report showed there were more than 20,000 medical-pot-grow sites, but only 58 inspections were carried out in 2017.

  6. Eric Sunswheat July 16, 2018

    Photos of abandoned Oregon mental hospital ‘creepier than any haunted house’…

    Restraining straps dangle from a gurney stored in an unused bathroom in the “J” building at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. The hospital was used to film scenes for the film based on Ken Kesey’s book “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” starring Jack Nicholson. The film won five Oscars, including the 1975 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Leave a Reply to Eric Sunswheat Cancel reply

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