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Letters (June 12, 2019)

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Anderson Valley Fire Department is proud to announce that we received our new wildland engine this week. It is specifically designed for fighting wildland fires, carries two pumps, hundreds of feet of hose, an assortment of specialized equipment, up to five firefighters, 500 gallons of water, and is four wheel drive.

This new addition to the fleet will assist AVFD in any wildfires that might come our way this year as well as out-of-district fire assignments. Our troops will be moving the equipment off the old wildland engine this week and our new engine should be responding to any fires by the second week of June!

A special thanks to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Fighter's Association, and all of you who have generously donated to the AVVFFA, for the very sizable contribution of $65,000. Without this community support, we would not have had the finances to get this wildland engine by summer time!

Normally, an engine of this caliber would be very hard for AVFD to purchase new but three major factors helped us succeed with this goal. First, AVFD was able to tag on to CalFire's engine contract with the manufacturer and save approximately $100,000. The second was through revenues earned by our previous years of strike team assignments around the state, and third was the generous contribution by AVVFFA.

AV Fire Chief Andres Avila


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In general, no news is good news when it comes to public health, like the water from our taps that we don’t really think about much unless it tastes funny or stops running. As with a big ship or any other large system, there has been enough momentum built up that we have not yet felt the reverberations of the firing of the Mendocino County Public Health Director, Barbara Howe, two weeks ago, nor the subsequent resignation of the County Health Office, Dr. Gary Pace, in solidarity with her. 

There was no reason given for her termination, and no replacement director waiting in the wings to replace Barbara after this hasty and arbitrary decision was made. In fact, there is no one there at all. Other staff, who themselves are already taxed from their own burgeoning workload in a perpetually understaffed department, are expected to “fill in.” This decapitation is only the latest morale hit to staff who have not had a competent public health leader for over a decade before Barbara. And the manner in which she was terminated, giving her fifteen minutes to gather her belongings, was designed to stifle disagreement and suppress diversity of opinion among the ranks.

Would a potential measles outbreak in Mendocino County reveal just how important an experienced public health director is in a crisis? And what if we had a fire this season? What about the multiple existing crises, like extremely high rates of drug overdose, suicide, and child abuse that she has been tackling since she first came to Mendocino 18 months ago? She has eliminated redundant services and improved the department’s capacity to meet the medical needs of citizens in a shelter during a fire; she has pre-deployed air scrubbers to inland schools to protect the health of kids with asthma; and she has made sure that at-risk folks experiencing homelessness got the hepatitis A vaccine. She and Dr. Pace have worked with the Sheriff to bring medical treatment for substance use to county inmates while in the jail, thereby reducing recidivism for drug crimes. Her other achievements include pursuing national public health accreditation, bringing modern epidemiologic surveillance programs here so that Public Health staff can monitor local emergency room data in real time, and committing Public Health financial resources to the county’s Community Health Improvement Plan (

All this in 18 short months. 

Her staff, as well as community partners, like me, are outraged and alarmed about her termination. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I have been able to rely on Barbara and her staff to support new parents who needed a little guidance in caring for their newborns. Thankfully, we never hear about these families because, after all, no news is good news.

Please join me in petitioning for Barbara Howe’s reinstatement as Public Health Director in Mendocino County. I invite you to register your disapproval to the Board of Supervisors by emailing all 5 of them with this address: or calling 707-463-4221. 

Thank you for your attention and advocacy.

Medie Jesena Parrott, Pediatric nurse practitioner


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Dear All,

Congratulations on passing FY 19-20 budget today. After watching the proceedings these last couple of days, you should all be commended for working through the various challenges that you face now and in the months to come.

I agree with the reduction for the line item of Climate Action Advisory Committee to $7500. As you know, I gave public comment with concerns about CAAC last month. After listening to the many challenges our county faces with current available funds, you have made the best choice. 

One of several concerns I had about the CAAC appeared from the start up group itself and Supervisor McCowen being in conflict as to where and how this initiative would be placed within county government. I thought? I heard Supervisor McCowen say this has been worked out, but information was not forthcoming in today's meeting. The individuals who spoke in March were adamantthat CAAC not be contained within the special district or RCD. And yet, Supervisor McCowen, sponsor of the initiative thought it well-placed within RCD. Supervisor Williams rightly voiced that the person(s) who coordinates the volunteers should have paid work experience and first hand knowledge about environmental needs, reduction in pollutants, and be able to work with RCD staff. It could be that a current RCD staff person work part time with the advisory committee using the money approved by the BOS today. CEO Angelo rightly pointed out that during a hiring freeze, creative means are needed to get the work done. A full time position in RCD or two shared positions just might be a workable solution.

With another scorching summer season nearing us; with more and more homeless and mentally ill lying under trees with their possessions and dogs beside them; with a much needed second access passage out of Brooktrails waiting; and with the Sheriff's Department meeting more OES needs (during fire season) while experiencing a 17 % reduction in overtime in the last budget cycle. You have made the best choice. 


Mary Massey


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It is terrible that cellphone coverage was lost during the Camp fire. It’s also dangerous that a widespread power outage may occur for an indefinite period of time due to precautionary deactivation of The Geysers transmission lines due to fire conditions.The loss of cellphone coverage due to a lack of backup power for 100,000 or more people for an extended period represents the possibility of a major (man-made) disaster.

Todd Reed

Rohnert Park

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Homelessness. A tragedy going on in all our cities including Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg, not just San Francisco. It's all over. Thank you to our so-called governor for trying to do something about it. After all he's the one who started it in San Francisco when he was the mayor. He's responsible for every bit of it. What really pisses me off is they are spending millions and billions of dollars on the California Air Resources Board which has forced people out of business, hurt lives, instead of fixing the homelessness situation.

Or the open borders where people are coming across the border with diseases like typhoid, Ebola, syphilis. They cross the border in San Diego and six hours later they are up in Boonville or Ukiah or Fort Bragg spreading it around. Thank you, you rotten Democrats for opposing closing the borders. It's people like Nancy Pelosi and Adam Rich, and all these other Democrats who are opposing what needs to be done. It's sickening. Our governor is sickening. Mary Nichols is sickening. Everybody that opposes the good things that president Trump is trying to do and what the American people need are all Democrats and they are all liberals. It's high time something was done about it before it's too late.

Political correctness ties law enforcement’s hands in this country. It is killing the American people. One of the worst things that could ever happen. It needs to be taken care of now. I know President Trump will take care of it in his next four years.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Nancy Pelosi is a bad bad human being. All these people I've named before are all very bad. You know them by heart now. The bad ones. The ones we need to get rid of. Jerry Brown, Newsom. The whole bunch. The are all trying to do the same thing, convert the United States into socialism and do everything that's bad and create havoc for President Trump.

PPS. Every community in this county or the state has people growing marijuana. They need people to trim it. They hire anybody who can handle a pair of scissors. So a lot of these people coming across the border come right up to this area and get a job right away trimming pot or whatever. And they could be only a quarter of a mile away from you people out there with typhoid fever, Ebola, syphilis, or some terrible disease that they brought across the border with them. But California people don't care. Governor Newsom doesn't care. Nobody cares how the people who are already here as citizens are affected. That's the Liberal Democrat way.

PPPS. How do we know that somebody isn't going to walk into the Comptche store with typhoid fever or measles or maybe the Anderson Valley Market or the Navarro Store or the Ukiah Wal-Mart? How do we know these diseases will not be spread all over the United States? Measles. How did it get started? You people better get concerned and not leave it all up to President Trump. If you people don't get behind President Trump this whole god damn country is going to be unlivable. Something needs to be done about the borders. The Democrats won't do it. The liberals won't do it. Pretty sad.

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With Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refusing to acknowledge that a war with Iran isn’t already authorized, I want to thank Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and Rep. Jared Huffman for their support of the bipartisan Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019. This effort is much needed to preserve Congress’s constitutional authority to determine if and when the United States goes to war. I am highly concerned that the president may instead take action to go to war with Iran without the constitutionally required approval from Congress.

I encourage our representatives to continue to take steps to promote a diplomatic approach to resolving our differences with Iran. It is the only way to true peace.

Lisa Vanderboom



  1. Kathy Gagnon June 12, 2019

    Jerry Philbrick you need to get your facts straight. The recent measles outbreaks are from people visiting this area and from children and adults who have not been vaccinated. You are quite strong on rhetoric and very weak on facts!

    • Pat Kittle June 13, 2019

      “Crisis” of Seriously Ill Migrants Slams Border Patrol —
      TB, Pneumonia, Influenza, Parasites

      Weeks after mainstream media outlets reported that illegal immigrants don’t bring disease into the United States, the Border Patrol reveals that it is getting slammed daily with dozens of illegal immigrants carrying “serious illnesses.” This includes tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia. In fact, a Guatemalan migrant who died in U.S. custody on Christmas Eve had Influenza B, a virus that causes respiratory infections….

      — [ ]

      • Bruce McEwen June 13, 2019

        MR. Kittle, my what fun it is to have you back in the peanut gallery.

        • Pat Kittle June 13, 2019

          Thanks, I figure the other peanuts needed a break from my tough love.

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