Chimney Sweep

Friday, September 25, 2020 – Anderson Valley Advertiser

ANOTHER WEAK FRONT will bring increasing clouds and
some showers north of Cape Mendocino this afternoon and tonight.
A strong ridge of high pressure will result in building inland
heat and fire weather concerns this weekend, with very warm
temperatures extending to the coast early next week. (NWS)

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FIVE NEW CASES (3 Native, 1 White, 1 Unreported)

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by Jim Shields

This past weekend there was a home invasion in the northern Laytonville area that stretched over several days starting on last Thursday, Sept. 17. The MCSO press release that’s been published does a good job of laying out the basics of the crime.

The mastermind, I guess you could call him, was Louis Bagliere, 73, now of San Jose but formerly a resident of Laytonville. Evidently Bagliere returned to the area to rob some people who he had rented his former property for the purpose of growing weed.

How do you rent property that you don’t own? I don’t know but evidently that’s what Bagliere did.

According to a number of people I know, Bagliere sold his property — which by the way and ironically was the site of the Jeffrey Settler pot grow murder four years ago — a couple of years after that homicide was committed. Reportedly, it was sold to a San Jose real estate investor. It’s a 160-acre parcel located five miles north of Laytonville and five or six miles west of Highway 101.

Bagliere, who has been a mid-level career criminal his whole life, reportedly has been arrested and/or charged, and/or served time for mostly drug-related offenses in California, Texas and Utah. He’s been looked at by California authorities for a couple of murders but was never arrested or charged for them, and is known to have associations with Bay Area street gangs, and had some type of “business” relationship (most likely meth) with the Hell’s Angels. 

Anyway, apparently he “rented” his old property to these folks who were growing weed. Most likely, they had some kind of deal with Bagliere over the grow.

The Sheriff’s report has all the details of what ensued when Bagliere and his Bay Area crew of heavily armed crooks/gang members showed up Thursday at his old homestead. They relieved the “renters” of 20 pounds of weed and said they’d be back Saturday presumably for more weed and/or money.

Bagliere’s crew returned to the property on Saturday confronting the renters comprised of three men, a woman, and young child. They demanded money from the renters, firing off three or four shots to show their demand was serious. 

But it was bad news for Bagliere and his gangsters in that they were all caught and arrested, including the one bad guy who managed to evade the cops for a day, but he was nabbed by an alert resident who placed him under citizen’s arrest, trussed him up with zip ties, and delivered the violent dolt to Sheriff’s deputies who arrived on the scene. That citizen deserves a commendation from the County.

By the way, the one inexplicable thing that occurred was the authorities released Bagliere due to “pre-existing medical conditions.” How can somebody who was medically fit enough to plot this caper, arm himself with an assault rifle, and ride around in a van on rough country roads for part of a weekend, be released for any reason at all, medical or otherwise? If he’s physically fit enough to carry out several days of violent mayhem, he’s well enough to have his ass locked up with the rest of homies.

Also, the cops released a young woman who obviously was part of Bagliere’s crew acting as their “lookout”, according to a several people I know. 

At the very beginning of this Saturday felonious matinée, she was observerd by a neighbor sitting in a car for a long time in front of a gate (on which the lock had been cut) on the road leading to where Bagliere’s “renters” lived, a very remote area needless to say.

So this person walked down the road to ask the woman what was up, could they be of any assistance? The young lady’s response to the inquiry? “Why you asking, what’s the matter, don’t you like niggers?”

And so it goes in the timeless world of crooks and crime. 

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IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED VOTER and you haven’t yet received your sample ballot, you might wonder if the Elections Office has your correct address. If you did not get a sample ballot, call the Elections Office (234-6819) to confirm your registration. Actual vote-by-mail ballots go out next week.

— Kathleen McKenna, Boonville Precinct volunteer

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KYM KEMP of Redheaded Blackbelt on Paul McCarthy: ” I run my own online website and Paul was so generous with information and photos. If he had images from the scene of a rescue or a crash, he would secure permission for me to use them. I always tried to return the favor but it was rare I could beat him to info in his beloved Mendocino Coast. 

Since his death, there have already been occasions when something was going on in Mendocino County and I didn’t have his site to turn to to see what he already knew about the subject and I’ve teared up not just for the personal loss of Paul, but the loss to the whole community of his service. 

Paul, thank you for your kindness to me and for keeping your community so well informed.”

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by Wes Smoot

As one travels east from the town of Boonville on Highway 128 for about 17 miles at milemarker 46 there stands a little abandoned schoolhouse that is slowly melting to the ground. This little schoolhouse was placed there in the year of 1926. This was the second location of the school. The first location was across the highway from the Jim Hill Ranch driveway at milemarker 44. It is not known exactly what year it was built at that location, however the records show that it was approved by the County of Mendocino on November 21, 1860, and that it was number six in the County. When it was moved to the present location in 1926 the land it was placed on was donated by a Mr. Silas E. Gaskill. More can be learned about Mr. Gaskill by going to the “Mendocino County History Book.”

The school was taught first through eighth grade by only one teacher teaching all eight grades. I was enrolled into the first grade in the fall of 1938 and it had a student body of ten children spanning almost all eight grades. I must also mention that of the ten children I was the only boy in school. I always felt that I was well looked after. At the end of that school year in 1939, four of the girls graduated and went on to high school and two of the others moved to Boonville.

My first teacher was Mrs. Betta (Berk) Kerr. She was a very soft-spoken lady and made learning interesting. She taught for two years and then my third and fourth grade teacher was Christine Berk. During this time span one other student graduated and went to Cloverdale high school. Then my fifth and sixth grade was taught by Mrs. Alice Holland and my seventh and eighth grade teacher was Mrs. Eva Farrer. She was the wife of J.D. Farrar of Philo Lumber company. 

During my second year I was given a job at the school of going there early each morning during the winter with my father where he stored the school bus in a large corrugated metal building. I was to open the schoolhouse and build a fire in a big pot bellied cast-iron stove to get the schoolhouse warm when the rest of the kids got there. I would also sweep the floors and dust the desks. For this I was paid 25 cents a day. This was my first paying job in my life. This was really big-time stuff. 

My father, Ray Smoot, drove schoolbus for the Anderson Valley School District for 19 years. At Gaskill we didn’t have some of the activities that other schools had. For instance, the schoolyard was too small to play baseball, besides there were not enough kids to make a team. We played jump rope, hide and seek, anti-over with the bus shed, hopscotch and other games to occupy ourselves. On rainy days we would play blackboard games like solitary, draw pictures and others.

The bathroom facilities were not the world’s finest: for the girls was a small factory-made little house located up a little hill just west of the schoolhouse that had a room for only one person at a time. The boys bathroom was a common small redwood lumber outhouse with two holes in it. It was located several feet east of the big bus shed. In the winter there was a 2 x 12 plank walkway to the boy’s outhouse so we wouldn’t have to wade through the mud. There was a small wash sink on the front porch with running water but no hot water. Sometimes in early summer before school was out our water supply would dry up but we got by. In the fall there would be no water until it rained.

In June 1946 four of us graduated from the eighth grade and we were to go on to higher education facilities. One girl and myself went to Anderson Valley High School as freshmen. The other went to Cloverdale High School. 

My first day as a freshman in high school was the most frightening day of my entire life. After going to Gaskill for eight years where the average pupil count was seven or eight, then to go to a new school where the student body count was 78 youngsters of all ages and I did not know a single one of them — I was petrified. I had never been in a school with so many rooms and not knowing which one to go to. I just started to follow the largest group of kids wherever they went. Bad decision. I was supposed to go to algebra for first period. But instead I follow the crowd to the geography class. After about a week I finally got my act together and made it all right.

After the four of us graduated from the eighth grade there were only three kids left in Gaskill school. The school managed to stay open for another year until 1947 when the state mandated that all schools must have hot and cold running water as well as flush toilets. This was an impossibility at Gaskill school so the little school was to be closed for good.

After I grew into adulthood I looked back at my experience at Gaskill school and could see how fortunate I had been to be educated in that manner. Many times while the teacher was conducting a class on a subject we were being exposed to their learning as well. This made it much easier for us when we reached that level. It may sound as though I am prejudiced about the Gaskill school but I am far from that. Looking back I find that there were about seven or eight other schools in the same situation throughout all of Anderson Valley and I am sure that they all had the same results. God bless our little one room schools.

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CSD Board Chair Valerie Hanelt writes:

Hi Mark, In the AVA this week you stated: “…a water and sewage project wending its inexorable way to a likely vote if the opposition is large enough to force one.”

This is a serious enough misconception that I need to correct you: 

This sounds as if there is a vote only if there is opposition. That is not how the process works. There WILL be a vote – a separate vote for each project. Once the projects have finished the design process and nailed down all their components, the rate adoption process will be shared with the public. Once the rate structure (base rates/usage, etc.) has been approved by our CSD Board, every parcel will receive a “rate letter” explaining the monthly payments the parcel will be incurring. The parcel owner can respond in one of two ways: do nothing OR send in a protest. The protests will be counted. If the number of protests reach 50% plus 1 of the “hook up” parcels, the project is defeated. For example, if we have 200 drinking water hook ups, 101 protest letters would have to be received to defeat the project. This is called the “Proposition 218 Vote” – which ensures that property owners have a say in any new property related fees and charges. 

There is still a lot of time for public comment and education before we reach the Prop 218 vote (rate letter). We still have the CEQA and the LAFCO processes ahead which require public notice and meetings. We will also have two Zoom meetings about Boonville hydrology and health. We are getting closer to finalizing the design of both systems, so hope to start these public meetings Winter/Spring 2020/2021.

Val Hanelt

ED NOTE: The error is the editor’s, not Mark’s.

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Anderson Valley Community Services District

To be held via teleconference 

Phone # 669 900 6833 Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078

Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on October 1, 2020 electronically to

 Thursday October 1, 2020 at 10:30am

Call To Order And Roll Call:

Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:

Approval Of September 3rd, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes

Changes Or Modification To This Agenda: 

Report On Drinking Water Project

Report On Wastewater Project

Public Outreach

Concerns Of Members:


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Celebrate the end of summer at the last Boonville Farmers’ Market, this Friday from 4-6pm in the parking area of Disco Ranch. Stock up on organic meat and local spices and olive oil and balsamic. We are a small group but have a great selection of local produce, meat, eggs, olive oil, mushrooms and body care. Also, have your knives and garden tools sharpened while you wait! Come enjoy a vibrant array of fresh local goodies and support our local food producers! 

Win a Boonville Farmers’ Market apron!!!!- receive a free raffle ticket with each vendor purchase. Winner will be contacted later by phone. EBT accepted – Market Match up to $30! Credit Cards accepted $$. Please remember to wear your mask and maintain a 6′ distance from others. 

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A LA NINA CLIMATE PATTERN has developed and is likely to persist through the winter, according to an advisory issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

La Nina — translated from Spanish as “little girl”— is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, the opposite of El Nino (“little boy”) which features warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in that region.

For the months ahead, scientists say there is a 75% chance that La Nina will be in place from December 2020 through February 2021.

During the winter, La Nina typically brings above-average precipitation and colder-than-average temperatures along the northern tier of the U.S., along with below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures across the South. A region of concern this winter will be the Southwest, where a weak summer monsoon resulted in extreme drought.

The last La Nina appeared during the winter of 2017-2018, and El Nino followed in 2018-2019. When neither climate pattern is present, as we saw during the winter of 2019-2020, the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral and does not influence global climate patterns.

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As we surrender to a new way of life at home, we’re finding opportunities to explore the diversity in our own backyard. Anderson Valley has become a creative mecca for the A16 team and an adventure for the wonderful guests who have visited us. The abundance of Northern California produce has left us nearly in awe of the menu possibilities, so let’s celebrate the incredible fall harvest!

On that note, we’ve created a 4-course meal for the coming weekend honoring the farms of this rich land. From the winemakers sourcing grapes from Filigreen Farm’s biodynamic vineyards to Penny Royal’s impeccable goat and sheep cheeses, the menu is a mouthwatering celebration of this magical place. We also offer casual lunch and takeout options. Jump in the car for a drive to the redwoods and delight in some of your favorite A16 provisions! 


Panzanella Filigreen new girl tomato, tuna conserva, cucumber, friselle, basil, capers. Burrata crostini, finocchiona salami, fig

Pizza. Raccolto Filigreen Chadwick tomato, Pennyroyal Laychee goat cheese, corn, squash, mint, garlic, chili


Liberty Farms Duck alla Genovese


Hen of the Woods Mushrooms alla Genovese 


Chestnut polenta grana padano, Sicilian oregano

Cannellini beans Filigreen San Marzano tomato, Pennyroyal Boont Corner goat cheese

Wild arugula lemon agrumato, olive oil, sea salt


Apple granita Bates & Schmidt Farm apples

Cannoli chocolate and cherry 


  • Friday: 4pm – 8pm (take-out/walk-in only)
  • Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
  • Sunday: 12pm – 8pm 

Address: 14111 CA Highway 128, Boonville, CA 95415

Wine pairings + bottle and glass selections feature Mendocino and Italian favorites. Walk-in guests are invited to enjoy a casual spritz, beer, glass of wine, or snacks on the patio + provisions to go!

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IT’S NO SECRET that the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg loved wine (even if a bottle of Opus One could put her to sleep), but she was also a key figure in expanding the free commerce of alcohol in the U.S., Tom Wark writes in his blog: “She embraced an interpretation of the Constitution that has led to a radical re-imagining of the role of state regulation of alcohol.” 

— Esther Mobley

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Updated Press Release:

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased 44 year-old male as being Jamie Eugene Wilcox and a forensic autopsy has been scheduled for the afternoon of 09-24-2020.

The 28 year-old male victim was medically treated and is expected to recovery from the injuries sustained during the shooting incident.

Updated Press Release:

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased 44 year-old male as being Jamie Eugene Wilcox and a forensic autopsy has been scheduled for the afternoon of 09-24-2020.

The 28 year-old male victim was medically treated and is expected to recovery from the injuries sustained during the shooting incident.

Updated Corrected Press Release:

On 09-23-2020 at 8:07 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service in regards to a shooting that had just occurred at a residence located in the 2500 block of Twining Road in Ukiah, California.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence along with personnel from the Ukiah Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.

Upon their arrival they contacted the identified shooter, Thomas Dean Jones, who self surrendered to Deputies without incident.


While at the residence, Deputies located two shooting victims, one being deceased (44 year-old male) and one having sustained life threatening injuries (28 year-old male).

The critically injured victim was transported to an out of county hospital by air ambulance.

Initial scene investigations determined the shooting appeared to be the result of a family dispute in regards to the development of the family property.

Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene and are now conducting ongoing investigations into the incident with the assistance of the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice.

Jones was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be booked on charges of murder (187 PC), attempted murder (664/187 PC), being armed during the commission of a felony (12022.5 PC) and prohibited person in possession of a firearm (29800 PC).

Jones was to held at the Mendocino County Jail on a No Bail status.

Original Press Release:

On 09-23-2020 at 8:07 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service in regards to a shooting that had just occurred at a residence located in the 2500 block of Twining Road in Ukiah, California.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence along with personnel from the Ukiah Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.

Upon their arrival they contacted the identified shooter, Thomas Dean Jones, who self surrendered to Deputies without incident.

While at the residence, Deputies located two shooting victims, one being deceased (28 year-old male) and one having sustained life threatening injuries (44 year-old male).

The critically injured victim was transported to an out of county hospital by air ambulance.

Initial scene investigations determined the shooting appeared to be the result of a family dispute in regards to the possible sale of the family property.

Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene and are now conducting ongoing investigations into the incident with the assistance of the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice.

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UH-OH. At last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, County Budget maven Darci Antle gave one of the briefest and least informative presentations we’ve ever seen. After noting that about 76,000 staff hours have been spent on Covid response, she quickly shifted to non-budget items, saying that the County has arranged for Covid testing with a couple of testing outfits without mentioning the cost, the continuation of food and meal distributions, and added that only four “at risk” people are still in Covid-paid motel rooms. “And at this point that would end my report for today,” Antle abruptly concluded. Not one budget number, not one mention of reimbursements, nor when they are expected or in what amounts, nothing about overtime hours… Conclusion: Ms. Antle has been told to keep bad budget news to herself ever since her statement a month ago that the Covid budget numbers were “sobering” because of the likely exclusion of some County expenditures from being reimbursable compared to the escalating expenses. Further, not one Supervisor expressed any interest in the budget report or the numbers or the extreme brevity of Ms. Antle’s report. CEO Angelo has probably made it clear that any blurting of budget negativity will be frowned on, even though the budget is probably the single most important issue the Board and the County should be dealing with. PS. We are not out of the first budget quarter yet and already the Sheriff has had to use significant overtime on several high-profile crimes. And nobody seems worried about it.

AT LAST TUESDAY’S SUPERVISORS MEETING, Supervisor John McCowen tried to get the County’s Covid staffers to focus on known Hispanic Covid hotspots in Ukiah — statistics show that a majority of cases are Ukiah area Hispanics in non-work situations — by, for example, putting up notices on apartment doors and trailers in trailer parks about how to stay safe. But McCowen got nowhere. HHSA manager Bekkie Emery quickly argued that the “hotspots” have “shifted and changed and there’s no specific area or location.” “It’s not as clear or easy as you may think,” Emery claimed, adding, irrelevantly, “Addresses are confidential. There’s no one neighborhood. We are watching and evaluating, but there’s no overlay like the one you are indicating.” McCowen didn’t agree, saying, “That’s inconsistent with the information I have,” then gave up with a “but whatever.” Even if “there’s no specific area” (of course there are areas in Ukiah that have significant concentrations of Hispanic residents that could and should be focused on, given the stats), what would be wrong with doing what McCowen proposed anyway by providing simple notices in any areas that might be or become hotspots? Unfortunately, none of McCowen’s colleagues felt like following up either. Just another example of how useless and ineffectual our well-paid supervisors are — even when they make the slightest inquiry or request, if staff doesn’t agree — “oh well, whatever!” Staff will do whatever they want to do and that’s the end of that. 

MENDO IS GEARING UP for a big mail-in ballot process in November. Item 4j on Tuesday’s consent calendar was for the purchase of an “Omation 210 Envelopener” for $7,770.35. The attached purchase order includes a few more thousand for maintenance for an extra three years, but that was not part of the agenda item amount. As usual nobody bothered to ask what this was for nor is there any reason given in the Agenda packet. However, it’s probably safe to assume that such a device is for November mail in ballots. As best we can tell it’s just a glorified tabletop cutting device that strips the top edge of an envelope off at a rate of several hundred per minute. The envelope still has to be hand-opened and the ballot unfolded and processed, though. It’s probably helpful, but we doubt it’ll produce election results any sooner than the month-long process that we’re already used to.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $79 million in construction and other capital support to 165 health centers in disaster prone areas in the U.S. The awards, called the Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts (CADRE), aim to ensure access to healthcare and increase health center capacity to serve their communities after disasters.

Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) is proud to have received the maximum award of $1 million to renovate the existing health center to improve disaster readiness and ensure our full range of services remain available through a crisis with a particular emphasis on mental health.

AVHC is one of a few critical disaster resources during a crisis in Anderson Valley and is a first stop for community members seeking assistance. AVHC has been planning for a larger remodel for over three years and has plans to add over 5,000 square feet of new office space, a behavioral health reception area, a new teen clinic, acupuncture and specialty service rooms, telehealth exam rooms, and more.

AVHC plans to install an additional solar array that will continue to highlight our commitment to combating climate change and to being the first LEED certified health center in California.

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THE LAYTONVILLE HOME INVADERS must be the tip of a much larger iceberg because their bails are set very, very high, much higher than the twenty pounds of bud they ripped off and their related hijinks of firing guns to frighten the invaded, who included a small girl. Mr. Edmonds’ bail is $2.58 million, Mr. Watson $1.58 million, Baglieri Jr. $830,000 and so on with a couple at $710,000, Mr. White at $310,000 while the apparent mastermind of this bumbling project, Baglieri Sr., inexplicably cited and released into the the fall winds, will have to come up with $1.58 million before he resumes his life as a Senior Citizen home invader. Baglieri Jr. has said he will pay for a private attorney, as will Mr. Stewert. The two-and-a half million dollar man, Edmonds, has signed on with a public defender, and Villalona is going with Al ‘Al The Trumper’ Kubanis. A young woman lingering at the gate while these characters did their thing is assumed to be affiliated with the child terrorizers, a kind of dumb guys’ gang girl. She wasn’t arrested but probably should have been if mopery were still a crime.

T.Bagliere, Edmonds, Stewart

Villalona, Watson, White

AMONG the notes wafting out of cyber-space today, one says, “The next hotbed of covid might come from the (Name Withheld) Winery. Their Friday night drinkathon has about 100 people.” And, “Hey, you guys missed a Janet Jackson minute at Tuesday’s meeting of the Supervisors.” The message went on to say one of the zoomer participants offered an inadvertently (we assume) bared breast as she spoke which, I guess, is a hazard of going live from one’s bedroom, but caused much merriment Wednesday among County staffers who’d tuned in.

UNDER the auspices of Sarah Larkin, the nursery at the Philo end of Anderson Valley Way seemed to prosper. 

It was called Goodness Grows before it suddenly closed in a flurry of rumors that somehow a glib tweeker-pot grower who lived up on Mountain View Road not far from the Boonville Dump got involved and everything associated with him went blooey, including the wonderful Goodness Grows. 

Not so old timers will recall that a man assumed to be some kind of high flyer from the Bay Area name of George Bergner, bought the old Schoenahl apple orchard and developed the nursery property with two nice little yurt-like redwood buildings on it out of which he sold apple juice. Prior to Schoenahl, much of that area was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Gerber of the baby food fortune. 

They occasionally occupied the modest house just down the road from what became Bergner’s apple enterprise. The Gerber house, occupied briefly by Bergner himself, who was also invested in the New Boonville Hotel when it was owned by culinary criminals who fled for Oregon in the middle of the night. The house has been vacant now for years after Bergner went broke. The Gerber place was quite modest compared to some of the spreads that latter day savages have since built up in the hills, the diff being old money modesty and new money barbarism, you might say if you’re given to gratuitous insult. After Bergner disappeared, Wendy Ludwig created a fine little nursery at the former apple enterprise, and Wendy herself, like Sarah Larkin after her, knew everything about plants. When Bergner had evaporated, the many productive acres of apple trees were bulldozed and burned in what amounted to sacrilegious pyres by a Napa Valley bullethead named William Hill who planted wine grapes on the site, leaving the nursery property alone, which, fortunately, was not Hill’s. 

Looking west from the defunct nursery, now closed going on two years, you can see an unplanted space in the middle of Bullethead’s vineyard — The David Severn Indian Burial Ground Set Aside. 

Severn, with a big exploratory assist from Jed Adams, discovered that Bullethead’s vineyard was the previous site of an Indian burial ground and an inhabited place for thousands of years prior to the bulletheads of the world the bulletheads have pretty much destroyed. Severn got an archeologist to verify that the site was indeed sacred, and there it will be, un-graped, in perpetuity. Also at the very end of AV Way a dirt road runs west into the hills, there is now a modern bridge that crosses the stream separating the hills from the flats. The old bridge was a rickety affair that miraculously lasted to serve auto traffic into the late 1980s with only a single mishap having nothing to do with its condition. It involved three drunk, legally blind, men, including Larry Parsons, the famous little blind winemaker of the Holmes Ranch, creator of the also famed braille wine label. Parsons, since deceased via a Yorkville car crash, and perhaps the least sympathetic handicapped person in the country at the time, and his two friends, all possessed blind man concessions in Bay Area public buildings. That night, drunk, and how and why three blind men were drunk driving around the Anderson Valley remains unknown, but somehow they wound up at the old bridge west of Anderson Valley Way where they paused to relieve themselves, with one of the blind men stepping off a forty-foot drop into eternity where he thought the bridge was. When I asked Larry about his friend’s fatal accident, he said, with an amused chuckle, “Heh-heh. I told him to watch that first step.” Larry’s exit, incidentally, was also (presumably) something of a fluke. His underage daughter at the wheel with Larry in the back seat, daughter piled into an unyielding madrone on the far side of Yorkville. Of the four persons in the car, only Larry died. Not a scratch on anybody else. 

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Winter is icumen in — Yep, the rain and sleet and dark of night are on their way, and there’s never a better time than now to get yer chimney/s chim-chim-churryed clean by a real professional. Just had ours done by Ye Olde (actually, he’s quite a bit younger) Chimney Sweep, Joshua Long. He did a fantastic job, showed up ON TIME! (Can you believe it? I mean, Mendo Time and such…) And left the place clean and breathin’ easy! Six thumbs up! Give him a try, before the rain sets in! 

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Dear Editor,

I am supporting Mari Rodin for Second District Supervisor. The job of county supervisor is a tough one, especially in these times. The supervisors deal with local issues like roads and budgets, but they will also confront large issues like climate change, wild fire and the virus, I don’t know of anyone who is more prepared to do the job than Mari Rodin.

Mari will face the issues directly and fearlessly in all their complexity. I have known Mari for many years both professionally and socially. She has the character to lead us in these troubled times. She is honest, has integrity and will listen to a diversity of views. Mari has a mixture of strength and compassion that will serve us well.


Dave Nelson


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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 24, 2020

Britton, Ersland, Ferris

SHAWNA BRITTON, Covelo. Elder abuse, probation revocation.

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. County parole violation.

BRENDAN FERRIS, South Lake Tahoe/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Flinton, Gilchrist, Humphries

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

TAMMY GILCHRIST, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

WILLIAM HUMPHRIES, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, failure to appear.

Jones, Secker, Underwood

THOMAS JONES, Ukiah. Murder, attempted murder, armed in commission of felony, felon-addict with firearm.

NATHANIEL SECKER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

BRENDAN UNDERWOOD, Ukiah. Disobeying court orders.

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From the SF Chronicle, 9/23/20: “A fourth candidate, Stephen “Lulu” Schwartz, said, ‘We need a serious long-range plan that supports all housing needs.’

From the NYT obituary for Stephen Cohen, 9/20/20:

“Loosely identified with a revisionist historical view of the Soviet Union, Professor Cohen held views that made him a controversial public intellectual. He believed that early Bolshevism had held great promise, that it had been democratic and genuinely socialist, and that it had been corrupted only later by civil war, foreign hostility, Stalin’s malignancy and a fatalism in Russian history.”

I’ve always been with Cohen. (Isaac Deutscher, actually.) The obit by Robert McFadden goes on:

“A traditionalist school of thought, by contrast, held that the Soviet experiment had been flawed from the outset, that Lenin’s political vision was totalitarian, and that any attempt to create a society based on his coercive utopianism had always been likely to lead, logically, to Stalin’s state terrorism and to the Soviet Union’s eventual collapse.”

The State Department line was once laid out by George Kennan, who did distinguish between Lenin and Stalin. But the field has moved to the right since the Kennan era, with Daniel Pipes and disciples deciding what to publicize from the KGB files.

The author of the Wanda Tinasky letters sent you a remarkable photo of Nikolai Bukharin, who he referred to as “Bucky.” (Were there other Bolshevik leaders in the shot? Do you still have it?) When I was writing annotations I read Stephen Cohen’s Bukharin book, which got me thinking about a factor (sic) in false confessions: You and only you know the worst things you’ve ever done and considered doing. So even if the charge against you isn’t on the mark, you know in your heart that you are that bad. Maybe I’m just projecting.

Frederick Gardner

San Francisco

Ed note. Yes, I still have that photo of what appears to be Bukharin, Trotsky, Stalin and a couple of Soviet admirals. It was found in an attic in, of all places, Navarro. How it got there and who the outback Bolshevik who stored it there was remains a mystery. I’m with you on Cohen and Lenin. We might have had a kind of humanistic socialism if either Bucky or Leon had succeeded Vlad, who’d made it clear he saw Stalin as a menace. On the other hand, the idea of a proletarian vanguard to run things for everyone else is… Well, it requires an idealism that probably doesn’t exist. They all wind up in the big, black limos. Re Steve Schwartz: The kid’s always been full of surprises.

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by Norman Solomon

Many people are now painfully aware that the United States is on the verge of falling under an iron fist of repressive rule, crushing basic democratic possibilities, if Donald Trump gets a second term as president. Yet the Democratic Party nominee is weak, uninspiring, often inarticulate and apt to be distasteful or worse when he’s intelligible.

What are progressives to make of this truly dire situation — and, most importantly, what are we to do? Right now.

At this potentially cataclysmic moment, I haven’t seen better answers anywhere than on the new website, where a basic precept is laid out in big letters on the first screen: “We’ve got our own reasons to vote for Biden, and Joe ain’t one.”

The next words are from Cornel West: “A vote for Joe Biden is . . . a way of preserving the condition for the possibility of any kind of democratic practice in the United States.”

The “Not Him Us” site goes on to ask a central question: “We wanted a political revolution. Now what?” The answers begin by reframing the current realities to include not just clear and present dangers but also great possibilities:

”It might not feel like it right now, but our movements are starting to win. In the streets: one of the most massive uprisings in our nation’s history is unfolding, demanding racial justice and systemic change. And in the halls of power: from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, to Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush, more and more people’s champions are challenging a failed status quo — and winning.”

”To continue to gain ground, we need to keep building our movements and elect more people’s candidates. But right now our forward trajectory depends on stopping Trump in his tracks. Our organizations, movements, and people’s candidates are engaged in an incredibly consequential contest for the future. If history is any guide, we cannot allow an authoritarian demagogue like Trump to continue to consolidate power.”

“We must defeat Trump soundly in November. It’s up to us. Plug into a voter engagement effort in a priority state.”

Tweeting in support of the Not Him Us project last week, Naomi Klein wrote: “Vote for a more favorable terrain. Our struggle goes way beyond elections. We’re in the streets. We’re talking to our neighbors and co-workers. But who controls the presidency changes what’s politically possible for our struggles.”

In response to the launch of #NotHimUs, former Bernie Sanders senior advisor and speechwriter David Sirota tweeted, “This is good. This is the right message. It’s honest. It doesn’t try to pretend Biden is awesome. It doesn’t insult voters’ intelligence. It doesn’t try to insult or vote shame people into voting to defeat Trump. It makes a positive case. Solid.”

The project director for Not Him Us is Jonathan Smucker. The initiative draws on his 25 years as a grassroots organizer, mostly involving non-electoral social movements like Occupy Wall Street, which was heavily featured in his book *Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals*. He was an active volunteer on the Bernie 2020 campaign, and some of his training curriculum was used in the campaign’s field program.

With less than six weeks till the end of voting in the presidential race, Smucker sees the peril and the promise for our lives, our country and the planet. “The bad news is that the Democratic Party’s corporate-friendly old guard won the presidential primary,” he told me. “Now we have a nominee that millions of working-class people and young people are not at all enthusiastic about, and this enthusiasm gap could spell a second term for Trump.”

Yet meanwhile, Smucker went on, “the old guard is on its way out — if we do the work. A growing wave of people’s candidates, backed by growing popular movements, can frame the terms of debate and push Biden and Congress on key policies like a Green New Deal. But if Trump wins, we’ll all be playing defense for at least four more years.”

Playing defense in years ahead is the last thing progressives need. And Trump’s increasingly obvious intentions to steal the election should be energizing instead of paralyzing. The need is now crystal clear for progressives nationwide: Organize and volunteer to boost the Biden vote against Trump in the dozen swing states.

At this ominous crossroads, Not Him Us offers vital clarity. (That’s why at we eagerly accepted an invitation to partner on the project.) With so much at stake — including social justice, human rights and this planet’s climate — Autumn 2020 is a time when people have the decisive opportunity to prevent the consolidation of illegitimate power by an authoritarian regime.

“We can do this on our own terms,” Not Him Us points out. “We can lend a hand to people’s organizations that are not just working to defeat Trump, but also working to upend an unacceptable status quo, defeat an out-of-touch political establishment, take on the powerful forces arrayed against us, and win the future for the many, not the few.”

(Norman Solomon is the national director of and the author of many books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.)

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Before you make plans for what you’ll do if the worst thing happens, it’s good to make plans to prevent the worst thing from happening. And my hat’s off to all you who are already doing it. Because a hell of a lot of you are:

–First of all, by winning this election in a landslide, so everyone who’s doing get-out-the-vote, otherwise supporting robust participation and good candidates, flipping the senate, or working the polls, is my beloved hero right now. Donating is good for those so equipped to do it. A great election action guide is posted in the comments. 

–Second of all doing everything you can in every arena that matters (media, yelling at politicians, talking to your red-state relations) to uphold what a free and fair election should look like and how voter fraud is not a real problem but voter suppression is. And that this election will likely not result in an instant call on election night, but require days to check ballots. Asha Rangappa: “We have a process in place for elections. That process will be followed, whether he likes it or not. Every vote will be counted. Due to the high volume of mail-in votes, there will be delay in reaching a final result, which is proof that our process is WORKING.”

–Third by not sowing defeatism and despair, including by pretending you have the gift of prophesy and devoting it to prophecying doom. Or spreading things that might be false because you didn’t check them. Emotions are far more contagious than coronavirus-19, and hope is as contagious as fear. But also fear is as contagious as hope, and spreading it is optional.

Hope, as I keep saying, not as optimism that everything will be fine, but as an embrace of the uncertainty about what will happen and a commitment to try to shape it, to bend that arc toward justice. In that uncertainty is room to act. And maybe try to keep a sense of confidence in your own power and capacity to respond as situations arise, and whatever helps you remember that tens of millions share our views about this situation and will rise to the occasion, as needed. 

It is indeed anguishing watching this terrible threat to the democratic process and integrity of law, and not knowing how it will all unfold, but we just have to hold fast and persevere, and help each other through it, and remember why it matters. I believe that we can win. I do not believe it will be easy, if we do. It will be because tens of millions strove to make a future that is better than the present, because they were stubborn, because they were committed, because they were willing to try in the face of terrible uncertainty. The outcome of the election is, to a great, extent in our hands too.

As AOC told us last month: “Instead of asking ‘Where do we find hope,’ we should ask ‘How can we BE hope?’ in how we show up and live our life. In how we drink our coffee at the bodega each morning.”

Thank you and apologies for preaching.

p.s. Trump is floating balloons about stealing the election, partly because he wants to, and also needs to, to win, but also because it’s demoralizing and sows chaos and keeps us really busy, if we let him run the news cycle and our psyches. Or as Zarina Zabrisky, who know a lot about authoritarian regimes and how to survive them put it, “He is trying his best to defeat us by destroying our morale and it is up to each of us to stay calm, keep going and fight back.”

p.p.s. Two exceptional resources, one to prevent, one to respond:

–Daniel’s Guide to Taking Action in the 2020 Election

–10 things you need to know to stop a coup

— Rebecca Solnit

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[1] Seattle apparently is going ahead with its “Defund the Police” program, at least partially. What to replace it with? Well, the City has hired a Street Czar, a former pimp, who was convicted of luring white suburban teenage girls into Seattle, impregnating them, then forcing the girls into the work. The new “Street Czar” says that was all part of a past life, no longer relevant. The job pays $150k per year, with full benefits.

[2] They should see if Son of Sam is available. He might be able to advise women on personal safety in urban environments. Although New York State has a Son of Sam law that forbids criminals from profiting from their notoriety and criminal activties. Anyway, this is all remarkably stupid and insane. I have a theory that a lot of these people on the Left, the politicians and theorists, have antisocial personality disorders such as narcissism and sociopathy while the idiots in the streets have some kind of ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and this case is just an expression of their hatred for and resentment of the normal people who feed and care for them and keep the air-con running. In other words, this is the infantile Left hacking up a huge golly and spitting it straight into the faces of the people who hold civilization together.

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GEORGE HERRIMAN: Embarrassing Moments – 1931

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Pro-life president? Trump is “pro-life” right? Wrong. He used to be “pro-choice” but flip-flopped to gain votes in the last election. So he’s “pro-life” now, right? Wrong again. Trump has caused more abortions than anyone in the western hemisphere. So how could that be true? Because one of the first things Trump did after taking office was to reinstate the “global gag rule.” This ban withholds funding for any international women’s health clinics if they provide abortions and withholds funding for all services, not just abortions. This funding deficit affects entire rural villages where families without their contraception are forced into unintended and unwanted pregnancies resulting in increased need for abortions with no clinics to perform them. Since the Reagan era every Republican administration has instated this rule and every Democratic administration has removed it, causing the number of worldwide abortions to increase during Republican administrations and decrease under Democratic administrations. So if you hate women and helping families but think we need more abortions, then Trump is your guy.

Don Phillips


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Almost exactly my experience, except with “only four “visits” afterward. After filing on line on March 22, I was visited “only” four times, once when I was not at home.

At the first “visit”, when I was out, the clown contract worker left a packet tied to my front screen door, then trespassed into my back yard AND left another packet on the railing of the causeway connecting house and two-story garage, where it lay waiting for the Wyoming wind to blow it away. I tossed both, as instructed in the confirmation page (as I had tossed the mail-in form that arrived after I filed on line).

The next visit was from an old woman, who insisted on repeating her questions (the same ones I had answered on line) and was not at all interested in seeing my printed copy of the on line confirmation page. I answered none of her questions, and finally she left.

Next visit was from a retired game warden. I had seen him parked in front of the house of my neighbor to the north and heard him holler to the neighbor across the street that he was next on his list. Since my neighbor to the north lives at 211, and the neighbor across the street lives at 208, I breathed a (short-lived) sigh of relief. The contract worker drove away after speaking with the neighbor across the street. After lunch, he returned to “visit” me. At least he looked at the confirmation form and looked puzzled. I told him I had assumed I was not on his list since he had left earlier. His response was to tell me that then his radio telephone-computer-camera- flashlight had informed him of my on line filing, but that, after lunch, it did not show the confirmation (apparently the whole mess was contracted out). He was puzzled and left.

The last “visit” was from another old retired guy. He explained that the problem was that they needed to know who lived on the second story of my garage (an unfinished storage area that has electrical wiring as its only improvement and serves me just fine as a storage area for items I rarely use). I, as calmly as I could, explained that to him and he left. This last contact was on August 24, but I am still keeping my crossed with regard to another “visit”, probably from Fatherland Security.

In short, I am convinced that this census is not valid and I am fed up with government contracting for work that could be done at less cost by government employees. Screw the Professional Managerial Class (PMC)!

— Harvey Reading

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A LISTSERVE POSTER’S POST encourages me to quit putting it off and finally reply with my bank information to Mrs. Ogilvy Of Cote d’Ivoire A Widow with stage 4 Cancer and receive $26.5M USD to further the Word of the LORD GOD as her Agent in U.S.A., now that her late huband’s greedy family have taken out a Murder Contract on her Innocent Nephew to keep the money for Themselfs, which would I accept Nephew as my Son and see him educated properly (also in THE LORD) as she hopes and prays. 

It’ll be so great. I’ll be able to buy KUNK and rip out all the automatic crap and turn it back into KMFB with real people there all the time. Mrs. Ogilvy’s nephew can hang around the radio station and run the socially distanced baseball games and have his own show every week, why not? I don’t know about the raise him as my own son thing, but a young person could do way worse that grow up in a real radio station. He’ll be prepared for anything the world can throw at him. 

But there’s so much money left over after that. We could put in a pizza oven. A tandem zipline down to the water (with a winch to zip right back up). Just anything. Think of a thing a radio station could have, and we’ll have it, including a 200-foot-tall RKO-Radio-Pictures-style Eiffel-Tower-shaped antenna tower with step-animated neon-tube radio waves coming out in circles from the top, that you could see for miles even in the fog. Absolute heaven. 

It’s too bad about Mrs. Ogilvy and all, but wow! This is terrific! 

— Marco McClean

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If asked where in the United States is most vulnerable to drought, you might point to those states in the West currently suffering under hot and dry conditions and raging wildfires. However, according to a new NOAA-funded assessment, what makes a state vulnerable is driven by more than just a lack of rain: it’s a combination of how susceptible a state is to drought and whether it’s prepared for impacts. And the most and least vulnerable states could surprise you.

These maps show each state’s overall drought vulnerability (red) and how it ranks in the three individual categories that make up the score: sensitivity (blue), exposure (yellow-orange), and ability to adapt (purple). Darker colors show higher overall drought vulnerability and a greater degree of factors that increase the state’s vulnerability. 

Sensitivity is the likelihood of negative economic impacts, which is based on the percentage of agricultural land, number of cattle, how much the state relies on hydropower, and recreational lakes. The exposure score reflects how often a state experiences drought and what assets, like the number of people and freshwater ecosystems, are at risk when it occurs. The ability to adapt score ranks how well the state can cope with and recover from drought, which depends on whether the state has a drought plan, how equipped it is to irrigate its land, and whether it is financially strong overall.

By this scoring system, the most vulnerable states are Oklahoma, Montana, and Iowa, while Delaware, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California are least vulnerable to drought. Oklahoma gets its high vulnerability score from having an outdated drought plan and limited irrigation (low ability to adapt), as well as extensive agricultural activities and cattle ranching (high sensitivity). Despite facing recurring multi-year droughts (relatively high exposure), California ranks very low in drought vulnerability. Thanks to a strong economy and well-developed adaptation measures, it’s better prepared for an extreme drought when it occurs than most other states.

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TRUMP PREACHED WHITE SUPREMACY in Minnesota, America Barely Noticed

Touting “the racehorse theory” and the superiority of the genes of white Minnesotans, Trump explicitly embraced eugenics

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