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MCT: Friday, December 28, 2018

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by Rex Gressett

In the half-dozen homeless camps on the outskirts of Fort Bragg there were no fires on Christmas Eve. Any light might attract the attention of the cops. The raids come without warning, in intermittent unannounced assaults, cops and backhoes, teams of publicly-funded helping agencies, and batteries of dumpsters, all of it coordinated by the City Development Department, marshaled in recent months to systematically uproot local homeless encampments one by one, hauling off mountains of trash and driving the destitute and the addicted ever deeper into the woods.

As the December rain falls on our sleepy, warm city, the violent and the addicted, the mentally challenged, and the gentle souls who live among them are swept indiscriminately from their tents and tarps, as the inevitable trash heaps present an unvarnished picture of Paleolithic survival in a violent underground world of rape and robbery. And rain. But still preferable to submission to an institutional authority that many if not most homeless people distrust even more than the dangerous damp darkness.

Hospitality Center. For many of the local homeless, there is no choice at all. A single incident, a misspoken word, a single angry moment or any complaint to the cops, regardless of whether a citation is issued, is sufficient to put a person on the City's “banned list.” Individuals placed on the list are excluded from all City services, including the emergency winter shelter, and even from the basically inedible once a day meal provided by Hospitality House. A recent cart de jour included cold mashed potatoes elegantly complemented with a few cold green beans.

For many if not most homeless people hostility to the homeless has always been a given at Hospitality Center with their deep-rooted apathy and indifference. Contempt for the clients is even worse at their satellite facility Hospitality House. Besides inedible food, harsh, arbitrary treatment, untrained or barely trained social services personnel, and a generalized indifference and contempt for the clients, there are powerful disincentives for participation in the “program.” The routine insult and the deliberate sorting and excluding of clients fuels anger and fills the illicit camps on the City's perimeter, but also keeps mandated services to a reasonable budget minimum. The City of Fort Bragg and Hospitality House have worked hand in hand to build this system.

In the locally popular and widely lauded Mayor Lindy Peters-driven City crackdown on the homeless, exclusion and banning are the principal mechanisms for restricting services, and Hospitality Center has been given many legal resources to limit their services to a few chosen individuals while keeping most homeless people out. This year, for example, the traditional Fort Bragg emergency weather shelter program grudgingly commenced limited operations, having embraced draconian City-mandated restrictions on access to the emergency shelter provided free in inclement weather by local churches.

Whatever the churches may want, the new law specifies only one night per year of emergency shelter for those not enrolled in the Hospitality Center program. County cash is funneled directly to the Hospitality Center while Hospitality Center employees are now legally required to manage any emergency shelter program in the City; new zoning regulations prevent any church-based program from operating except under the authority of Hospitality Center.

Our now ex-Mayor and current Councilman, Lindy Peters, has been aggressive in his enterprise to criminalize homelessness whenever possible. The former Mayor pushed, in committee, a revision of an obscure Fort Bragg morals statute that under his mayoral revision made it illegal for more than two Fort Bragg citizens to stand around and talk on the street. Or for anyone to sit on the curb, stump, rock or indeed anywhere other than an official City bench.

That initiative was apparently shot down by the City attorney. In any event, it never came before the full Council and then-Mayor Lindy said no more about it. However, an aggressive campaign of bench removal was begun under the outgoing Peters administration. A charming little flowering tree (next to the Tip Top Bar/Lounge) that overshadowed one of the last benches in the City was chopped down to more reliably expose any miscreants that might have the audacity to avoid police scrutiny by sitting under its shade.

But the camps may not be the only or the best option for the banned and the excluded. Participation in the Hostility — excuse me, Hospitality Center, is no guarantee of housing in the near or the long term. Since time immemorial Fort Bragg has never had sufficient beds for its homeless population.

Recently the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the rights of the un-housed. Judge Marsha Berzon noted in the court's opinion that “just as the state may not criminalize the state of being ‘homeless in public places’ the state may not criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless — namely sitting, lying or sleeping on the streets.” But the court specified that the locally infamous camping ordinance can be invoked for anyone “taking even rudimentary precautions to protect themselves from the elements.”

The top federal court in our jurisdiction has decided that the removal of camps in the woods can proceed apace since they are indeed constructed of rudimentary precautions against inclement weather, but the policy of exclusion and service restrictions by the City in intimate coordination with Hospitality Center might have an unforeseen consequence — just wrapping up and laying in the rain on a Fort Bragg street is now not actually illegal, although it may be impractical. When summer comes the hidden homeless problem might emerge from the shadows.

The below is being circulated on Facebook, not by Hospitality Center. The affected persons, I guess, are supposed to intuit this late-breaking beneficence:

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A look at the latest reading (10:15 am, Thursday) from the (upstream) USGS river gauge on the Navarro found the river level at 3.98 feet - down from the 7.29 foot crest on Christmas.

The river was "discharging" an estimated 252 cubic feet per second - or, in understandable terms:

1,865 gallons per second

111,888 gallons per minute

6,713,280 gallons per hour.

People checking out the Navarro River sandbar breach.

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  • Blue Meadow Farm - at the base of Holmes Ranch Road - 895-2071
  • Brock Farms - on Goodacre off the base of Peachland - 895-3407
  • Velma's (Filigreen Farm) - on AV Way - 895-2111
  • Gowan's Oak Tree - on Hwy 128 between Philo and Navarro - 895-3353
  • Pennyroyal Creamery - on Hwy 128 in Boonville - 895-2410
  • Petit Teton - on Hwy 128 between Boonville and Yorkville - 684-4146
  • The Apple Farm - on Philo/Greenwood Road just before the bridge - 895-2333
  • 4 Bar K Ranch (beef) -, 895-2325
  • Anderson Valley Community Farm CSA (variety of products) -, (831) 332-5131
  • Bramble Family Farm (olive oil) -, 272-8487
  • Bucket Ranch (variety of products) - 845-3851
  • McEwen Family Farm (variety of products) - - 472-9009
  • Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company (seaweed) -, 895-2996
  • Natural Products of Boonville (mushrooms & more) -, 684-0182
  • Petit Teton (canned goods, pork, beef, squab & veggies) -, 684-4146
  • Pomo Tierra Orchard (apple products) -
  • The Forest People - Radically Sustainable Mushroom Cultivation - 489-5034 
  • Yorkville Olive Ranch (olive oil) -, 894-0530

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AMORPHOPHALLUS TITANIUM, one of the largest flowers in the world. It blooms once every 40 years only for 4 days!

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On Wednesday, December 26, 2018, at 6 P.M. deputies were dispatched to contact a home owner in the 100 block of Concow Blvd, in Covelo, regarding a residential burglary. Upon arrival Deputies learned that S-Nathan Morales, 28, of Covelo, was located, by a resident of the home, inside a bedroom taking jewelry and a chainsaw.


According to the resident, he was in his bedroom when he heard loud noises coming from his sister’s room. Knowing that his sister was not home, the resident went into his sister’s room, at which time he confronted S-Nathan Morales. The resident, and S-Nathan Morales, got into a physical altercation (The resident of the home was not injured as a result of this physical altercation). S-Nathan Morales was able to escape the room, and fled the residence. Deputies then conducted a search of the immediate area, at which time they learned that Round Valley Tribal Police Officers had located S-Nathan Morales. Deputies arrived at which time S-Nathan Morales was placed under arrest for burglary, robbery, violation of probation and an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant. S-Nathan Morales was transported to the Mendocino County jail where he is currently being held without bail.

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WONDER HOW Mendo's money is doing as the stock market whiplashes? Don't know, but at least a portion of that money, the retirement fund for instance, would be more productively and safely invested here at home, in housing for instance, where a return, after the initial investment, would be safer than left to "money managers" to gamble on international markets. There are wealthy local individuals making big dough on the crackerbox apartment complexes in South Ukiah, among other crowded areas of urbanized Mendocino County.

THE STATE LEGISLATURE, dominated by conservative Democrats, is promising to revise unto rolling back, Prop 13 passed into law in 1978. Yeah, yeah it kept some old folks from being taxed out of their homes, which was cover for its true aim — a massive rollback of corporate taxes, who were in no danger of being taxed out of their homes. Proponents of the big revision say, among other desirable claims, that people who have inherited homes but rent them, should not get an inheritance tax break. Governor Gavin says the entire property tax structure is up for a thorough re-tool.

IS IT JUST ME, or is spitting in public places on the increase? I watched two guys in the WalMart parking lot un-self-consciously expectorate in front of themselves prior to climbing into their trucks, one guy seeming to put his whole body into a massive discharge. Downtown, on School Street, near the County Courthouse, a young woman leaned over the curb between my vehicle and my neighbor's to slowly release a kind of liquid stalactite, lovingly lingering over her art work as it slowly descended to the pavement. She could see me, and I was in pure repulsed mode, watching her, sooooooo I'm assuming she was deliberately expressing her contempt for me and anyone else likely to be offended.

YEARS AGO, in another life, I was in Singapore just after it had become part of Malaysia. In the streets, the Malays and Chinese were cutting each other up with parangs (machetes) in ethnic warfare. Roundeyes were advised to stay in our hotels to avoid becoming collateral damage. Led by the brilliant Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, a largely Chinese city, soon exited Malaysia, a Brit construct to begin with, to ensure that Malaysia would be a Malay-Moslem majority with reduced Chinese political influence. Prior to Lee, Singapore was a wide open, wild place. With Lee came an immediate crackdown, political and social, outlawing everything from leftwing political parties to……SPITTING. Singapore people caught in the act of hocking up public loogies got themselves caned, and caning was laid on like some of us remember Mom laying on our bare legs a "switch," a thin, whip-like tree clipping. Take him or leave him, Lee Kuan Yew was absolutely correct about how to end filthy public behavior. We need Lee Kuan Yew in Ukiah!

Parenthetically, one of Lee's first acts was to confine a friend from childhood in a one-room hut in a public Singapore garden. "Don't feel sorry for him," Lee cautioned people who might be moved by the odd spectacle. "He's a very dangerous man, a communist." Lee defined "communist" rather broadly, including actual communists in his left opposition.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 27, 2018

Avants, Carrillo, Cervantes

JAMES AVANTS, Albion. County parole violation.


GERARDO CERVANTES, Stockton/Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

Edwards, Fryman, Jones

SHEMEKA EDWARDS, Sacramento/Ukiah. Burglary.

JOHN FRYMAN, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license (for DUI), DUI with priors,, failure to appear, probation revocation.

MICHAEL JONES, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Morales-Saldana, Morris, Sallee

NATHAN MORALES-SALDANA, Covelo. Robbery, burglary, probation revocation.

DONALD MORRIS, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI.

CLINTON SALLEE, Fort Bragg. Suspended license (for DUI), failure to appear, resisting, probation revocation.

Sandoval-Reyes, Washburne, Williams

JOSE SANDOVAL-REYES, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

FLYNN WASHBURNE, Ukiah. Parole violation.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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“IN THE FIRST COLD WAR there was an opposition in those days. There isn’t a popular opposition now. The so-called liberal opposition is so confused, so disorientated, and so, almost wretched, in its uncertainty of its true allegiances, in its collusion, that there isn’t a major anti-war movement.”

— John Pilger

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BETSY CAWN WRITES: Whew, dodged that bullet, boys!

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The Stock Market is a slush fund for Insiders and they empty the account when they think it wise to do so. There are two kinds of people in the Market, Insiders and Victims. If you were an Insider I do not think you would post here, so you have my condolences. I am truly sorry for your losses but before they are done with you, you will consider yourself fortunate to still have cab fare. It is what they do, look at Detroit. Blaming one man, even the president is a clear indication that you are clueless. There are far more greedy individuals at work here than DJT and they are counting on people like yourself to fall for the misdirection. It is only just beginning……

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I'm a fan of Noam Chomsky. He's the Establishment's (ANY establishment's) biggest bogeyman, so you rarely see him broadcast anywhere. He's too smart and too dangerous. He says true things without sweeteners. Can't have that. He has a memory that seems to hold everything in his mind at the ready for instant recall, and "everything in his mind" is an incalculable body of knowledge and insight.

Now he's old. Conservatives, rejoice! He turned 90 December 7. In this video, you can see that he paces himself, and you can hear that his mind has lost none of its acuity.

Chomsky doesn't writhe on a brass pole or play an accordion. He just talks, without sugar-coating anything. Most people find him dry and abstruse. Listen again. It's clear English. Language is Chomsky's professional specialty. The background noises, rustling and such, are some tech glitch. I can hear David Barsamian (I bet it's he) in the background, asking questions and running the audio with some slight difficulties. Please don't be distracted. Chomsky's viewpoint informs mine, but I will never attain his breadth and depth.

What he says here is sad and bad to hear but true. If you want to preserve your holiday spirit, hold off on watching and listening to it:

(Mitch Clogg)

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“Just one more thing sir: The Mistletoe.”

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Mendocino community — there has to be a hidden gem of a room or a cottage waiting for a new thoughtful quiet delightful tenant with excellent references. If references did the trick — I would be golden. Lots of empty AirBnB spaces. Owners — what a good deed to rent to a local for the winter months. Think about it. Really would like to start the new year of 2019 — snug as a bug in a rug, how cool would that be? Let’s talk & see what can be accomplished. Happy New Year to all.

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IF YOU FIND A TUNE and it's got something to do with you, you don't have to evolve anything, you just feel it, and when you sing it other people can feel something too.

— Billie Holliday

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‘THE WRITER HARRY JOSEPHINE GILES introduced me to the Scottish term “tramlined”, which preserves the stresses of “shitfaced” but is better at capturing that sense of possibility that drinking opens up, the crystal-clear bleared vistas, the bursts of personal power, the Acme pulpit that pops up in front of you just as the exclamation arrives to your lips. Last Christmas Eve I got so drunk that I broke my sister’s toilet and then rolled down a snowy hill shouting, “Climate change!” Tramlined.’

— Patricia Lockwood on Lucia Berlin, from earlier this month.

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IF CHRISTMAS IS A GAME, we can, sometimes, win it. The real miracle of Christmas is the fact that the big lie – the lie that we are happy and love our families – sometimes comes true. Like Method actors, we can sometimes make ourselves genuinely experience the emotions we are faking.

—Wendy Doniger

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THE ONLY DIFFERENCE between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.

— Ellen Glasgow

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The Purple Rose Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

24300 North Hwy 1

Fort Bragg, California


Serving Tuesday - Saturday

Open at 5pm

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New Year’s Eve Live Music at Flow Restaurant & Bar

New Year’s Eve

Live music with Mama Grows Funk at Flow Restaurant & Bar.

Put your dancing shoes on and come celebrate with us!


Doors open 8

Music starts 9:30

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“Let’s savor these last fleeting moments before the election cycle begins anew.”

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by Dan Bacher

On December 22, Idle No More SF Bay members and their allies sang some special Christmas carols at the Marin County home of California Governor-Elect Governor Gavin Newsom. The lyrics in the songs asked him to make “courageous decisions on a survivable climate,” including stopping the oil drilling expansion, carbon trading program and Delta Tunnels project of Governor Jerry Brown, as well as opposing the federal Shasta Dam raise.

As they were caroling, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Newsom’s wife, asked her driver to stop the SUV she was riding in down the driveway and got out of the car to talk with the carolers. She talked with Alison Ehara-Brown and Dr. Melinda Micco from Idle No More SF Bay and the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty. Siebel Newson explained that Gavin Newson was at a funeral at the time.

Alison Ehara-Brown and Dr. Melinda Micco of Idle No More SF Bay sing a carol with Jennifer Siebel Newson. Photo by Dan Bacher.

Siebel Newson began singing the Little Drummer Boy with the revised lyrics along with the carolers after she was invited to do so. Here are some of the lyrics, written by Ehara-Brown, Maria De Lime Dorsey Amanda Bloom and Amy Hutto:

Come we’re calling, pa rum pa pum pum

to our new future governor pa rum pa pum pum

We pray you’ll do the right thing pa rum pa pum pum

And bring much needed change pa rum pa pum pum

We’ve come to meet you, pa rum pa pum pum Welcome!!

Gavin Newsom, pa rum pa pum pum

Are you gonna do something? pa rum pa pum pum

Join us to make a bright way pa rum pa pum pum

California needs to start today

Today, today, today

Fossil free California, It’s possible

We’re so excited to see what you’ll bring

Apparently so much we’ve come to sing

No new fracking wells, or refineries

To keep the future for everybody

For everybody, For everybody

You can view a video of Siebel Newson singing with the carolers here:

After singing the song, Siebel Newson said she had to go. Before leaving, she shook the hand of each caroler and thanked them for coming and singing.

After the group completed caroling, Ehara-Brown said, “We’re delighted that she stopped the car and stepped out to welcome us and then sang with us. She seemed very interested in working with us on the common goal of stopping climate chaos. We’re looking at the new Governor to transition off fossil fuels and end Jerry Brown’s false climate solutions.”

“At this point, we’re very hopeful that the governor will be thinking about his children and their future,” she concluded.

“I was really glad we were able to meet with Governor Newsom’s wife and she was willing to sing with us and appeared to really understand our message, “ said Isabella Zizi, also of Idle No More SF Bay Area.

“It’s a step in the right direction to listen to front line and indigenous communities,” noted Noemi Aidee Tung, formerly of Food and Water Watch, and Bay Area activist. “I’m glad she engaged in a healthy conversation and I hope we have more of these healthy conversations. It’s important to see elected as human beings breathing the same air that we breathe”

On December 19, the group had sent a letter to Newsom expressing their condolences on the loss of his father and announcing that they would be caroling on December 22 and would love to meet him and his family.

The letter stated, “We understand that Governor Brown believes that he has been a climate leader, and agree that he was able to do some good things that are mitigating climate disruption. However, he didn’t go nearly far enough. Given the latest UN IPCC Climate Report and the Federal Climate Report that was issued on Black Friday, we understand that in order for humanity to survive we need a courageous governor who will be a real climate leader. We believe that person is you.”

Here is the complete letter:

December 19, 2018 Dear Governor Newsom,

We send our condolences for the loss of your father. We understand that this is a difficult time. We have been planning something special for you and your family for some time and hope that this will bring a bit of relief to your sorrow.

We will be caroling at your home on December 22nd at 2:00pm and would love to meet you and your family.

We are Idle No More SF Bay ( We are a group of volunteer Native Americans and allies who stand for clean air, water, soil and a vibrantly healthy world for life in perpetuity. All the

Indigenous women of Idle No More SF Bay are signatories on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty (

We understand that Governor Brown believes that he has been a climate leader, and agree that he was able to do some good things that are mitigating climate disruption. However, he didn’t go nearly far enough. Given the latest UN IPCC Climate Report and the Federal Climate Report that was issued on Black Friday, we understand that in order for humanity to survive we need a courageous governor who will be a real climate leader. We believe that person is you.

Many of us live along the refinery corridor in the Northeast San Francisco Bay. We have experienced the harms committed by these refineries to our community and family members. We also have friends and relatives who live in the Arctic, the Amazon, the Niger Delta, and near fracking sites in California, Oklahoma and North Dakota. We understand that devastation to our planet is the same as devastation to our health. We know that we only have 12 years to cut carbon pollution by 45%. We believe that you can be the governor who paves the way to a safe and sustainable future. We are here to support you, stand by you, and encourage others to stand with us as you become a courageous leader who commits to real climate leadership and a just transition off of fossil fuels.

As mentioned, the Indigenous women of Idle No More SF Bay are signatories on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty. Additional signatories on the Treaty include women from as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far South as Peru. This is a treaty between the nations of Indigenous women who are concerned by what we see happening in the world that is destroying the system of life that we all need to simply survive. This includes Treaty sisters who live traditionally and sustainably in the Amazon rainforest, women whose traditional territory is in the middle of the Bakken fracking fields in North Dakota, women whose traditional territory has been devastated by tar sands destruction in Alberta, Canada, and women of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, which is the epicenter of the fracking industry created earthquakes and has an average of one tribal member dying from cancers and autoimmune diseases per month since fracking began in their territory. All of their water is poisoned, and men can no longer rely on hunting or fishing to feed their families. We understand the harms the fossil fuel industry is perpetrating upon people around the world, including our own communities here in the Bay Area. We also understand that carbon offsets are not a solution to climate change and actively harm both Indigenous communities as well as our local refinery communities.

Idle No More SF Bay organized the Connect the Dots Refinery Corridor Healing Walks from 2014 through 2017. This was a series of four walks each year for four years to connect one fossil fuel-impacted community to another along the refinery corridor in the Northeast San Francisco Bay. There were over 1,100 walkers who joined us for these walks that were between 9 and 14 miles long. Not an insignificant commitment.

We want you to know us. We want you to understand that we are educated about the harms being caused by the fossil fuel industry to people, lands and the climate. We put our trust in you as our new governor to make the hard decisions during this time that must include acknowledging the tenuous period in which we find ourselves where elected officials are called upon to make decisions that will impact the future of generations to come. We all know that the use of fossil fuels must end immediately for our survival. We understand that is why fossil fuel corporations are extracting the most difficult and costly fossil fuels in order increase their profits without regard for life. Imagine passing laws which encourage them to transition sooner, rather than later, to a fossil free business plan. Imagine standing with communities like ours for a just transition off fossil fuels and quite literally saving the world. We are committed to that work of saving life on Earth and look forward to you working with us.

We hope you and your family will join us at your home on December 22nd. We will be caroling on the street where your home is. We have re-written these songs to share with you what we hold most dear and our hopes and dreams for the transformation of our society. We look forward to sharing our expression of gratitude with you and your family and celebrating our way forward together. If you would like to know more about us please contact Contra Costa County Supervisor and Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board Member John Gioia (510) 701-4477.


Idle No More SF Bay

Dr. Melinda Micco, PhD

Alison Ehara-Brown, MSW, LCSW

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Chow is served to American Infantrymen (347th Infantry Regiment) on their way to La Roche, Belgium.
Captured members of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitler Jugend, a division comprised of members of the Hitler Youth.
Germans who were tried and convicted as spies during the Battle of the Bulge, are bound to stakes by MPs before their execution, December 23, 1944.


  1. james marmon December 28, 2018


    No need to be so dramatic Rex, they can always catch the bus over to Ukiah where they will be more than welcome, CHA CHING $$$$$$

    James Marmon MSW

  2. Betsy Cawn December 28, 2018

    Hey, Flynn, hope you’re stickin’ to your knittin.’ Love from Lake County’s AVA pals.

  3. mr. wendal December 28, 2018


    As usual, Mr. Gressett’s rant is inaccurate. The city has no department and no funds to provide homeless services to people here on the coast. It is the County of Mendocino that is responsible for providing those services and the rules that go along with the money to provide those services. Why doesn’t Mr. Gressett address the county or Supervisor Gjerde on this matter?

    The downtown bench removal began years ago when Dave Turner or Doug Hammerstrom was mayor. Lindy Peters wasn’t even on the city council then.

    Last year, according to what the Hospitality Center board treasurer stated at a city council meeting, there were 6 – 16 emergency weather shelter clients each night, usually 9, at a cost of $995 per night. How many of those clients were from out of town and would have had to sign up for a program to help them get on their feet in order to avail themselves of the emergency shelter? What’s wrong with asking them to put some effort in trying to improve their situations? The Hospitality Center is poorly run but it wouldn’t take much to go through the motions to get a bed at the emergency shelter.

    It’s too bad Mr. Scaramella isn’t the person reporting on the Hospitality Center. We would learn some factual information with real numbers and ideas about how things can improve.

  4. George Hollister December 28, 2018

    A tribute is extended to the AVA for it’s hiring of talented Dr. Jekylls, knowing all the while that the Mr. Hydes are there lurking.

  5. Bruce McEwen December 28, 2018

    Battle of the Bulge Photos

    The dedication for the book, Lone Sentry, The Story of the 11th Armored Division Thunderbolt [My father’s unit]:

    “The accomplishments of the 11th Armored Division are told briefly in this little booklet. It’s simple statements of fact will recall to you men of the Division the glorious accomplishments of your particular units.

    “You tankers remember the horror of the days of Bastogne and the burning and exploding hulls of your comrade’s tanks [my Dad’s, was one of ‘em].

    “You infantrymen remember your friends who caught it from the bunkers in the Siegfried Line, so that you might go on. And you artillerymen know with what courage your buddies lent the support of their weapons to the attack.

    “You hard-working men of the supply services [pictured above] who forced trucks through icy, traffic-laden roads of the Ardennes, all the way into tank-convoyed lines in “Indian County” remember those who paved the way with their lives so that the road could be opened.

    “The Division dedicates this booklet to those whose lives were lost in keeping the Thunderbolt running”

    — H.E. Dager, Maj. Gen., US Army, Commanding.

    • Bruce McEwen December 28, 2018

      Local Boys Listed in Week’s Casualty Report, February 4, 1945:

      Cpl. Eugene J. McEwen, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McEwen [Sr.] was reported seriously wounded in action in Belgium on January 8th. Word was received by his parents on Thursday of last week. Cpl. McEwen, who received his training at Camp Polk, La., Camp Berkeley, Texas, Camp Ibis, Arizona, and Camp Cooke, California. Awaiting further word of his condition are his brothers Pfc. Douglas McEwen, with the army medical corps detachment, Spokane, Washington, Sheldon and Le Grande [Uncle Bobby] and his sisters Marjorie and Gloria. … April 5th, 1945: “Cpl. Eugene McEwen son of [etc.] has returned to the United States according to word received by his parents. He is in a hospital in New York. … November 29th, 1945: “Cpl. Eugene McEwen son of [etc.] has received honorable discharge from the Army after being released from the Mitchell Convalescent Hospital, Camp Lockett, California. Incident to his three years service in the armed forces, he is authorized to wear the American and European Theater of Operations ribbon with two battle stars, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and The Good Conduct Ribbon and the Victory Medal.

      • Bruce McEwen December 28, 2018

        “Dec. 30,1945: The Nazis were bewildered. Intelligence had reported less than a week before that the American 11th Armored Division had relieved the 94th Infantry Division of the siege of the Lorient Pocket. Yet here was the 11th (Thunderbolt) 500 miles from the Lorient, smashing into the enemy’s crack 5th and 15th Panzer Grenadier Divisions, and holding the vital Neufchateau-Bastogne highway. Once again the speed of the American armor had baffled the Germans…. Without pause the Thunderbolt launched into its first action. Attacking abreast, CC A and Col. Wesley W. Yale’s CC B jumped off at 0730 next day with the 41st Cav. Recon. Sqdn. Within an hour the drive ran smack into an enemy attack headed for the highway. The fighting was fierce and bitter, one CC B tank force punched its way into Lavaselle and seized high ground near Brul and Houmont. Despite heavy artillery barrage, the ground was held. Twice in the slugging battle CC B armored doughs tried to seize the town of Chenogne, but each time superior force drove them off. The third assault was launched New Year’s morning – the town was completely secured by noon. … CCB next next caught Mande St. Etienne in a pincers move Jan. 2nd, 1945, and held it against a powerful counter-attack. The Thunderbolt had tackled two ace Nazi divisions, punched them back six miles in five freezing days, cleared 30 square miles of rugged terrain, liberated more than a dozen towns and cut off the Nazi supply route.” The narrative then skips to Jan. 13th, so there was no particular mention of the day Dad’s tank was destroyed… and since he was later killed, in 1954, when a freight train hit his brand new dump truck – and since nobody ever asked about the circumstances, I guess we’ll never know the exact where and when of his combat exploits – but he was only one of many, many etc.

        • Bruce McEwen December 28, 2018


          “Dec, 30, 1944:

  6. Harvey Reading December 28, 2018

    THE STATE LEGISLATURE and property taxes:

    Hope the democrats actually do something, and that what they do is better than the disaster brought on by Jarvis and Gann through Prop. 13 in ’78.. The disaster was embedded in a new section of the state constitution, one that requires minority rule in blocking any bills that increase any sort of new taxes. It should be repealed, should have been long ago. As I recall the minority rule wording for new taxes is in Article XIII b, but look it up yourself. I’m no longer a CA resident. It mandates a two-thirds majority in the legislature for approval for all new revenue bills, which is, in reality, rule by a minority of one-third plus one. Repeal will make the wealthy wingnuts scream, but, c’e la vie, they need the exercise.

    Californians had the good sense to remove the requirement for two-thirds approval for the annual budget. Now it’s time to complete the job. Good luck.

  7. Judy December 28, 2018

    For Rex’s info, I am the one who puts the announcement of the shelter being open or closed on a facebook page created by a Homeless person. No one has instructed me to post it, I do it on my own. I have nothing to do with the Shelter or the Hospitality Center and I’m not an employee but decided to put it on the Homeless persons facebook page so it can be seen by those who may need/want the shelter for the night. I post it in red so it is easy to see and post it daily after finding out if it will be open/closed. People can also call 707-961-0172 then press 1 (sometimes they are late updating their message). My thoughts are if the EWS is available the status should be in as many places as possible. Why Rex has a problem with that is beyond me except it is one more thing for him to rant about. The page is Fort Bragg Street Posts. I also post jobs on the site (just in case you’re interested Rex).
    Rex is also inaccurate in stating “Individuals placed on the list are excluded from all City services”. The City doesn’t provide homeless services. If a person is placed on the “banned list” by the Hospitality Center/House I believe the info is shared with Law Enforcement so they know when they are called if the person is banned or not. At last count I think it was stated that 75% of all calls to the Police Department have to do with transients. Having info on hand would seem to be a time saver for everyone involved. Like it or not, some need to be banned.
    Inaccurate is also his statement “The raids come without warning”. Before the camps are cleaned up a sign is clearly posted that says:
    The City of Fort Bragg has scheduled a clean-up of this illegal campsite. This is a courtesy notice to vacate these premises prior to (date inserted here) This is private property and trespassers are subject to arrest. Do not remove this notice.
    One of the signs was posted on the surrounding trees on June 6, 2018 and the clean-up date was scheduled for June 25, 2018. When the clean-up was done no one was roused from their tent. The sign gave advanced notice and the occupants took what they wanted and left the rest for others to clean up.
    Rex was accurate in saying “hauling off mountains of trash”.

  8. Harvey Reading December 28, 2018


    You should see the spitting here in WY. Snuff is very popular, in part because many workers cannot smoke while working, in consideration of health concerns of non-smokers and because of the danger of fires and explosions in the oil and gas fields that often dominate the landscape (on lands public and private). One also finds a lot of discarded flat cardboard snuff cans, mixed in among the beer cans and broken beer and hard liquor bottles discarded alongside highways and secondary roads.

    • james marmon December 28, 2018

      God I miss that.

      James Marmon
      Former Wyoming roughneck

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