About

Matt LaFever

Matt LaFever is Mendocino County educator and local news junkie. He began writing about Mendocino County when he began the website Cold Case Mendocino. Mentored by Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp, KMUD’s Lauren Schmitt, and MendocinoSportsPlus’s Paul McCarthy, he started MendoFever in July 20202 serving as the editor and a reporter.

Sarah Reith 

The indomitable Sarah Reith is an Army veteran, a long-standing radio reporter for KZYX, a MendoVoice contributor, and now is writing for MendoFever covering Mendocino County. Reith walks the walk. She sits in the Board Chamber for hours-long stretches looking for those diamonds in the rough, those stories that will affect the lives of Mendocino County. She covers the protests, the sit-ins, and the debates to untie the tensions that endure in our county

Peter Armstrong

The man, the myth, the legend Peter Armstrong is a juggernaut of inland Mendocino County’s fire and first responder photography. For years, he has worked as a Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Volunteer and cameraman documenting the harrowing moments of firefighting. His work has been published in the Ukiah Daily Journal countless times and in periodicals throughout the nation. We are so excited to work with Armstrong as he documents not only the nail-biting moments but the graduations and BBQs that bring our community together.

Monica Huettl 

Local news newcomer Monica Huettl has writing chops and a passion for telling the stories of Redwood Valley. Huettl recognizes the importance of municipal coverage taking on the task of attending Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Meetings and broadening out to covering our drought task force. Her coverage has captured the most Mendocino-centric perspective on the future of the Potter Valley Project. We’re lucky to have Huettl’s curiosity and readiness on our team. 

Andrew Scully 

Andrew Scully lives in the coastal town of Mendocino and carries with him a sharply written word published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser and now joining MendoFever. Half-Canadian and never satisfied with simple answers, Scully’s pugnacious ability to ask our city and county leaders the tough questions proves him an asset to MendoFever. 

Brandon Tripp

Brandon Tripp is home-grown Mendocino. Comfortable in the backcountry and calm under pressure, Tripp once worked in the first-responder world but sought a life at a slower pace. Now, Tripp trains his camera on the fires and law enforcement situations capturing the men and women who face danger head-on, and he’s right there with them. Tripp photographed the accused Hopkins Fire arsonist as he gazed at the flames he allegedly lit. He went to Laytonville to photograph SWAT talking down a man threatening to commit suicide-by-cop. Tripp’s relationships with our county’s first responders make him an invaluable asset to documenting the moments that take our breath away.

Ayled Zazueta

Ayled Zazueta, a former Ukiah High Wildcat who served as editor-in-chief of the Ukiahilite, has spent her last three years at the University of Redlands living the student life of journalism and cultural studies. She’s written about topics like exploitation of bilingualism in the workplace, COVID-19 protocols in a university setting, and the intersection of Capitalism and Environmental Harm in Hawai’i. She is interning this summer at KZYX and their bilingual news program. She is writing for us during her summer break, and hopefully longer, bringing her eclectic eye for storytelling and culture into the mix.

Robert Bozolli

Robert Bozzoli, also known as @halfway_serious on Instagram, is well-known in the Fort Bragg athletics scene for his portraits of high school athletes giving their all. His pictures are crisp, the colors are vibrant, and his composition is impeccable. We’re excited that Bozzoli has decided to dip his toes into the breaking news world by photographing fires and incidents in and around Fort Bragg. 

Judy Valadao

Anybody who is anybody knows Fort Bragg’s Judy Valadao. She’s rambunctious, she speaks her mind, and she keeps her finger on the pulse of Fort Bragg happenings. Her work formatting and packaging of our daily police logs provide readers with a clean and clear way to watch the watchers of their community. 

Mike Geniella 

Mike Geniella’s incisive voice and watchful eye have been aimed at Mendocino County for many decades as a long-standing reporter for the Press Democrat. His exhaustive coverage of Judi Bari and the Redwood Summer brought the conflict between environmentalism and industry to the national stage. After retiring from reporting, he worked as the spokesman for Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office getting insight into the county’s inner workings. Now retired, Geniella finds the writing habit hard to shake. MendoFever is happy to oblige his habit. 

MendoFever’s Comment Policy

Civil dialogue is essential. The wisdom of the collective community is an asset. In these vast vistas we call our home, the knowledge of our neighbors is akin to sacrosanct.

We do not want to promote an environment where social capital is gained through call-outs and name-calling. Instead, MendoFever should be a community compendium of information and perspectives that enrich ourselves and others.

The following are rules/guidelines that will inform comment moderation from here on out:

  1. Approach all dialogue in good faith and with the principle of charity. Instead of assuming, inquire. Instead of attacking, engage.
  2. This platform will not be a host for libel. If you are critiquing a person, that critique must be based on facts, and not defaming their character. 
  3. Add value. Information, photographs, well-formed perspectives, humor, hot-takes. If your comment is not adding to the community’s understanding of a topic, consider why you are posting it.
  4. No slurs or epithets of any kind will be tolerated. These sort of words dehumanize others and diminish the discourse.
  5. MendoFever values free speech. There will be points where a reader’s contribution might be questionable, but their insights are worthy of examination. This line is foggy, I know, but will exist nonetheless. 
  6. When it comes to critiquing community leaders or those in authority, good-faith criticism will always be invited. Satiric commentary will always be appreciated. When the lines are crossed to cruel mockery, your comment will be deleted.
  7. Calls to violence will not be hosted on this platform and fundamentally diminish the civility of conversation.

These principles will guide the comment moderation on MendoFever. I retain the right to edit this list at any point as issues arise.

If you find yourself questioning why a comment was deleted, please contact me at matthewplafever@gmail.com and we can hash it out.