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Letters (June 5, 2019)

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The Anderson Valley Elder Home Board would like to thank everyone who made the Memorial Day Lions Club Barbecue an enjoyable event and a successful fund-raiser for the Elder Home 

A big thank you goes to the Anderson Valley Lions Club, which helps our own and other A.V. non-profits with their fundraising by arranging the site, cooking and serving the meal, and selling tickets at the event. They provide a valuable service to the community. 

Every year, many businesses and individuals donate items for the silent auction: these include artists, wineries, restaurants, merchants, and other community members donate lovely items, including gift certificates, classes, and interesting experiences. We are always fortunate to have a great collection of items for auction. Thanks also to Joe Blow for providing the excellent music as their donation. 

Thank you to all who came out to make this a success. We are truly blessed to live in such an active and supportive community, 


Cynthia McMath, Anderson Valley Elder Home Board


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To the Editor:

I attended the May 9 presentation by the City on the State Street project. I appreciate our city leadership taking the time to bring in resources, share information, and take questions. While I agree with the objectives of improving traffic safety on State Street as well as improving its appearance, I and many in attendance have concerns.

Our Director of Public Works showed that both the federal and state governments will be providing several millions of dollars to fund the project. Although not explicitly stated, this implied that the cost of the entire project would be covered by external funding. When pressed by several concerned citizens, the Director and the Deputy City Manager admitted that the actual project cost has not really been estimated, that the project is trying to be scaled to fit within the external funding, and if there are cost overruns (as what usually happens with government projects…my observation) they will be covered by um, er, cough-cough, ahem, by Measure Y generated sales taxes… after all, State Street needs to be repaired and resurfaced, anyway.

A question was asked about what, if any, strings were attached to the federal and state funding. There usually is… the money fairy has a master. After another bit of hemming and hawing, there was really not an answer. Without venturing into world of conspiracy theory, it is not a secret that the folks in Sacramento are concerned about ‘Climate Change’ with carbon based fuels being fingered as the main culprit. The Sacramento planners would like to encourage people to use other transportation options such as walking, cycling, and public transit. So, if State Street is put on a Diet, isn’t it logical to think that the planners believe if there were to be more congestion, people would abandon their cars? With Ukiah being the county seat and so many people living across the river, up in Redwood Valley, and points beyond, this strategy may work in San Francisco, but it really would not here.

I do not disagree that there are issues with traffic safety and flow on State Street. Having spent a good portion of my professional engineering career improving the performance of large processing facilities, I learned, that after completing a redesign at my desk, it was important, whenever possible, to test the new design in the field under actual operating conditions. The data gathered helped improved my design as well as gained the trust and support of the people who were to operate or use the facility. So, well before irreversible construction commences, I propose testing the three lane design over a six to eight week period to ensure that it gets the intended results. This can be done at very minimal cost. State Street can be marked with the same small plastic colored tabs CalTrans uses to divert traffic during highway maintenance/repair. Hay bales or orange cones can be set out where the bulb-outs are planned. The speed limit can be dropped as planned. We will all see how this reconfiguration works, and if it does, I tip my hat to the Traffic Engineers!

It was good to see a room full of concerned citizens… for the project, against the project, and skeptics. I would like to have everyone get behind the idea of doing some sort of test. I think it is also important to insist that the entire project be estimated, with an appropriate contingency added for unknowns (not scope growth) along with the sources of funding identified to cover the entire project. As too often happens with public works projects, the original budget is low-balled, the project starts and part way through it is ‘discovered’ that more money is needed. Then we all feel that we have the proverbial gun to our head which gives us no choice but to pay and pay until the project is finished… when if we knew the real final cost upfront, we may have decided to pull the plug before the job got off the drawing board.

D.E. Johnson


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I would like to see every man who fathered an aborted fetus come out and take a stand — admitting knowledge, consent and even paying for said abortion. This is a woman’s issue and a man’s issue and a family issue. It is not a church, or a legislative issue; it is a medical and/or human rights issue.

Evelyn Calder


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Yesterday, on my way home from my yoga class, I stopped at King’s Supermarket to buy some fresh ground peanut butter and almond butter.

At the checkout counter there was a display of Chocolove chocolate bars—almonds and sea salt in dark chocolate. I couldn’t resist and bought myself a bar.

When I had gotten home and eaten a light lunch, I prepared a cafe con leche and decided to try some of the chocolate. It was orgasmically good.

To my surprise, on the inside of the external wrapper of the chocolate, was an excerpt of the poem, “I Knew A Woman” by Theodore Roethke:

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:

Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;

She played it quick, she played it light and loose;

My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;

Her several parts could keep a pure repose,

Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose

(She moved in circles, and those circles moved).

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:

I’m martyr to a motion not my own;

What’s freedom for? To know eternity.

I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.

But who would count eternity in days?

These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:

(I measure time by how a body sways).

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Good dark chocolate with salt and almonds goes very well with cafe con leche and poetry.

My old bones also measure time by how a body sways.

Louis Bedrock

New Jersey

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To the Editor:

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is too strict.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter treats me like I am harmful to cats because I have surrendered many cats to them. They are not interested in my reasons.

The kittens and cats I surrendered to them are for many reasons. 1. There was an unwanted and therefore not cared for cat where I lived in a horrible drug and alcohol infested apartment. The cat’s fur was full of white flakes and some of her hair was gone. I had no money to take her to a vet. I gave her to the Ukiah Animal Shelter in hopes they would help her and adopt her out. They did not. They returned her in better condition to where we all were living. 2. I have a kitten from, I guess the shelter. It was in the same apartments. The kitten would not come home to be with me. Neighbors would let her in their apartments and feed her. I was very angry and sad about that. The kitten would also play with other cats under the cars in the parking lot. I don’t know how I got her to come to me but I did and I took her to the shelter. 3. I got an older cat from the shelter. I was not told by them that the cat was abused and that the cat bit people. I did not know how to work with an abused cat. I petted the cat and he bit my hand hard and punctured my skin. I asked animal control to come get him. They did. 4. I had two female cats at the same time. One was abused and someone hurt her tail. When she was spayed the doctor cut off her tail. I was so glad to see her out of pain and to not have an infection on her tail anymore. She was not easy to love because she was abused but I loved her just the same. The other kitten was given to me. She was beautiful and sweet. At first she had blue eyes. As she grew they turned more gray. She was white with light brown spots and pink ears. The older kitty went outside. (She was used to going outside.) The smaller kitty wanted to go outside also and was getting me upset about it.

I was planning on moving into a nice apartment complex where they wouldn’t allow animals outside without a leash. Both my cats were free and outside.

I was so heartbroken but I had to give them away to the shelter in hopes they’d be adopted by people who don’t have those rules and would love them.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter told me that I could never get a cat from them again.

Leslie Jo Feldman


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To the Editor:

Mendocino County CEO Carmel “Boss” Angelo runs Mendocino County. She runs the county with an iron hand. Angelo is a control freak. And she’s ruthless. That’s why they call her Boss.

The Board of Supervisors, particularly during the Hamburg era, was weak.

I’m hoping for more during the Haschak-Williams era.

I’m hoping for even more change when Supervisor John McCowen is challenged in 2020 by Ukiah’s very capable mayor, Mo Mulheren. I’m hoping for a strong challenge to Supervisor Dan Gjerde, if for no other reason than to wake him up from his recent stupor. And I'm hoping for a strong replacement for the retiring Supervisor Carre Brown.

Everything is wrong in Mendocino County. Let me count just some of the ways.

First, our county will be in deficit mode by 2020. Our budget is too big and its getting bigger. And there's no real accountability. Department heads aren't even required to give monthly expense reports. Nor project progress reports. Nor reports on compliance with federal and state funding sources. Nor reports on adhering to best business practices per department.

Second, taxes can't keep up with the budget. 

Third, our county's unfunded pension liability is upwards of $250 million.

Fourth, SEIU members and other line workers are long overdue their pay raises. By comparison, department heads and managers get paid too much. They gave themselves raises of 30 percent, including Boss Angelo’s monster contract. Her total compensation package, including pension, is more than $350,000 a year.

Fifth, and another thing that’s very wrong, our local cannabis farmers can’t seem to get their permits despite their best efforts. A new county bureaucracy defeats our local farmers every time and at every turn. Our county is losing its leadership position in growing the best cannabis in the country, with the greatest biodiversity, and the greatest library of cannabinoids and strong terpene profiles found only in California’s Emerald Triangle region – Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties.

We are losing.

I’ve had enough of Boss Angelo. I’m done.

I’m from the Bronx, New York. My maternal grandfather was Frank Avallone. Anecharico is another branch of the family. And I’d rather not say here in print how I’m related to Liborio Salvatore Bellomo.

I know more than a little about crime bosses. A boss typically has absolute or nearly absolute control over the other members of the organization, is greatly feared for their ruthlessness and willingness to destroy lives or reputations to exert their influence, and obscenely profits from the criminal endeavors in which the organization engages.

Sounds like Boss Angelo, right?

One other thing. Boss Angelo “disappears” people. Where’s Alan Flora? Kyle Knopp? Stacey Cryer? I could go on and on with a list of disappeared persons.

The grand jury report about the impotence of past Boards of Supervisors — titled “Who Runs Mendocino County, and released on May 31, 2019 — is long overdue.

Long, long overdue.

It’s time to take back county government.

John Sakowicz


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We were pleased to see the May 19 column “Keeping carbon down on the farm,” in the Ukiah Daily Journal which echoes our positive experience with regenerative farming at Fetzer Vineyards. We farm 960 acres and have found regenerative practices to improve soil fertility, drought resiliency and biodiversity levels, and to support soil’s natural ability to reintegrate carbon from the atmosphere. 

In an effort to share how such practices positively impact carbon storage, we recently released the results of a study that found our organic and biodynamic vineyards store more soil organic carbon than a neighboring conventional vineyard. Studies like ours highlight farmers’ unique ability to reduce negative environmental impacts in real time, ultimately helping to restore the carbon balance — a vital element in the fight against climate change. 

We appreciate that Gov. Gavin Newsom recognizes the power of soil management for tackling climate change and that he proposed $28 million for the Healthy Soils Program. We hope the Legislature will go even further, also funding impactful programs like on-farm water conservation and projects that turn livestock manure into compost. With financial support from the state’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs, California farmers and ranchers can continue to play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Joseph Brinkley

Director of vineyard operations, Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland

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It really irritates me when I hear the Bay Area news calling us, "Northern California." We're not in Northern California. We are in Northern-Northern California -- Ukiah, Lake County, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Fairfield and up around Sacramento and I-50 and up to the Nevada border. That's Northern California. It should be another state. We don't need the filth of San Francisco and farther south. That's not part of Northern California. If we broke off from San Francisco south, we could get rid of the stinking Democrats like Gavin Newsom and his tribe. We need our own state with a decent governor, not living under Southern California rules. Might be another 20 or 30 years, but it will happen eventually. Believe me.

 The global warming climate change and Air Resources Board hoax is going full steam. The American people are being bilked out of billions of dollars. How many subdivisions do you think there are in the United States? Millions of them. People in subdivisions are like sheep, they follow each other while some pathetic liberal professor can come out with a thing like, We have to do something for global warming and we have to vote on it and some guy in a subdivision will call his buddy and say, Did you hear that? Yes or no? And they say Yes and the next guy says, Me too. And then the whole subdivision votes and they don't know what they're voting on. No idea. If 50% of people in subdivisions would vote for something that really makes sense we wouldn't have stupid stuff like climate change and the California Air Resources Board. We had no choice on that. It was their way or no way. That's the way Mary Nichols and Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife and Jerry Brown and those people had it. Nothing we could do about it. Democratic Party one-party dictatorship. It goes on and on as long as the Democrats are in control and stupid people listen to them and vote for it. 

God bless Donald Trump 

Jerry Philbrick 


PS. I see they have a gun safety class for young children now. A good idea, being safe with a gun. But it's not going to help gun control which they are hoping for. They need to teach human control, teach little kids how not to kill each other. You can teach a kid anything you want. When he gets to be about 10 he’ll know all about it. But when he gets to be 18 and starts drinking and taking drugs and gets married and then divorced or gets fired from his job and is pissed off at somebody, certain people will pick up a gun and use it. That's what we have to watch out for. People who act weird, somebody fired from their job — you got to watch their attitude after that. Human beings are unpredictable, they can be fine one minute and then snap and be pretty bad the next. Also bigger things piss them like corruption and dictatorships. We're not too far from that right here. It doesn't give anybody the right to kill anybody, but that's what promotes it, it makes people sour and have ill feelings. Some of them lose their cool and pick up a gun. You could be sitting in McDonald's or Denny's and someone could come in and — boom boom boom! You're dead. You never know. You never know who's on drugs. You never know who's been in the war in Vietnam or Iraq and has come back and is psychedelic and sees things and starts shooting. We have to worry about everybody including ourselves. Promote self-safety. Watch people. Watch how they act. You gotta keep your head on a swivel like I used to teach my football players. Watch what goes on, even in Wal-Mart or Safeway, anywhere, to stop something bad from happening. 

PPS. Our governor is now asking the Legislature to stop anti-Semitism or something, doing bad things to the Jewish people in Israel. What the hell? Who came up with this guy for a governor? Nobody came up with him. He came up through the ranks, the Pelosi ranks. He learned how to be a bad person at an early age. He is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. They are all related, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi. The whole bunch are related. That's what the governor is doing now. He's going after the Jewish people. It's the most sickening thing I've ever heard of. This man has to be stopped. This is the kind of thing that puts people in the mood to shoot. You can only look around at what's happening in this state and this country and see how easy it is for a person to get pissed off and how easy it is to get your hands on gun. You can never stop that. There are guns everywhere. The black market. Why do we have people causing trouble? People like Gavin Newsom, and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and deBlasio and Andrew Cuomo and that woman Cortez and that bozo Congressman from Southern California. People have to use common sense. 

PPPS. Political correctness is one of our worst enemies. If a man yells at his wife and she calls 911 the cops show up, take him to jail, he gets no chance to defend or explain himself. A child calls 911 and says my dad is being mean to me, cops show up, take your dad to jail, no chance to talk. Don't you think that infuriates people? Just those two things alone. 


  1. izzy June 11, 2019

    John Sakowicz, while gratuitously outlining his Mafia connections, points to some real problems in county government. Whatever iron hand the CEO may wield occurs in the operational vacuum left by the supine and somnolent Board of Supervisors, who are supposed to be supplying active, focused leadership. Something we all know is not happening. Perhaps that may change, perhaps not. The Grand Jury report lays it out in fairly clear language. Apparently, the BOS and CEO are required by law to respond to the document within 60 to 90 days. Might be interesting reading. It will be revealing to see whether or not that obligation is fulfilled.

  2. Larry Livermore June 11, 2019

    I think Jerry Philbrick may be mistaken about what constitutes “Northern California.” When I lived up on Iron Peak, we thought of Boonville and the Anderson Valley as only slightly removed from Southern California, which as far as we were concerned extends right up to the Sonoma-Mendocino line (did he never notice the orange trees of Cloverdale and the Los Angeles-style sprawl of Santa Rosa?).

    Real Northern California doesn’t begin until Eureka, and don’t even think about “Northern-Northern California” until you’re past Crescent City.

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