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Letters To The Editor


Dear Editor and AVA readers:

I arrived at Tehachapi state prison with high hopes of something better to come. Sitting in the San Quentin reception center left me feeling numb. I escaped this time around in just over six weeks. Although still shackled and chained on that gray goose (prison bus), I felt like I was walking on air. Yet, still I felt weak. Something like when you're at a casino all night and you leave in the morning with a fist full of their cash.

Believe me when I tell you that as soon as I hit Tehachapi that feeling didn't last. I'd transpacked with all my property and kept my mouth shut on the bus. But when we reached R&R (Receiving and Release) not everything seemed to come with us. I got lucky and I am only out a couple of pens and a few books. But nonetheless I'm still pretty hot because the Twilight saga had me hooked. Oh well, life goes on and it's picture time now. Can you see me? So fresh with my clean-shaven mohawk, handlebar stache and brand-new white Js? Smiling inside but still with a mean mug on my face. I turned to my left because it's just what us convicts do. I ain't no killer but I keep my eyes open and chin up even as a level 2. I hit the yard card with my head up.

Yes, that's me the tough guy taking it all in stride. No way anybody could see all the insecurities that I felt inside. Mentally fatigued, fearless and physically imprisoned. One day at a time is my continuing mission. So far from home I don't even recognize the stars in the sky. So lost and alone watching the sunset as a tear drops from my eye. Still no smile on my face as the razorwire and the CDC Blues remain the same. I enter again into my diary as my surroundings have changed.

Women in my life -- some might say I'm a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve. I've got the mother of my children's name blasted on the left side of my neck which I got in prison on my first term for my girl. Now I ask you this: What could be more romantic than that? Granted, as I write this now, her name is permanently stamped over in red ink -- "paid in full." But nonetheless her name is still there and not a day goes by someone doesn't ask, What's that mean? Or they have something to say about it. It's been a hell of an icebreaker, to say the least.

She was the first woman I lost to a prison term and I can't honestly say I expected her to stick with me through my first term and, for the record, she didn't. But for the sake of my beloved children and my strong desire to keep my family intact I returned home to a four-year-old little girl who's always been the apple of my eye who had an 18 month-old baby brother I had never met. You see, I missed him being born by 12 days. I had to sign my son's birth certificate in court the day the judge sentenced me to three years eight months state prison.

I tried my ass off to stay out and make it work. But I only lasted eight months. I put too much on my plate at once and fell back into smoking dope again (meth) to keep up with my two jobs -- McDonald's (who hasn't worked there?) and construction to go along with my 12 units of accounting classes which I started taking at the junior college before I could find any work. I felt like there weren't enough hours in the day to fill all my obligations. So I created more hours in the day by eliminating sleep. I got my first and only violation of parole for driving under the influence of meth and was gone a mere four and a half months. In only 18 short weeks she -- my children's mother -- had managed to [bleep] off our whole apartment and all the contents thereof and checked out with her sister's old man and father of two.

Telling you this now, I can say that nothing in my entire life has made me as hot as paroling to my kids calling their uncle Jimmy, "Daddy Jimmy."

I swear to this day I have no idea why this Jerry Springer-ass white trash crap happens to me and mine. But for the life of me it does. I truly paid my dues with her and to this day she thinks it was normal, i.e., all good, no harm, no foul, nothing twisted at all in her bent as trailer park trash ways. (Imagine that.)

But no, I honestly don't hold a grudge. I'm just venting and I'm sure she will continue hating my guts for sharing this with you. (Smile.) I just couldn't help myself because, honestly, it's mentally changed who I am and how I look at the world. How could it not?

I will tell you this: I come at the world as it is, and I'm a fixer upper to say the least. It seems the point of this whole reflection has escaped me, other than the knowledge of the fact that she will never forgive me for writing this. I get no satisfaction in and never have shared this with anyone. While it was going on family and friends laughed about it and told me to call Jerry. It infuriated me and all I thought about was how my kids deserve so much better than this. I worked my ass off to give it to them and in just over a year I had custody (nothing court ordered mind you, but physical), a job, a girl who my kids adored and fell in love with and so did I. I had a house which we turned into a home, and so it began, the whole daddy-daycare mommy-no-care thing.

I was superdad and the whole world and everyone in our life knew it. So many people paid me so many compliments about how great a father I was. But honestly I paid them all no mind. I only paid attention to the "angels of mine" and how I look in their eyes. It was a new kind of high for me. I was a real-life superhero and Prince Charming to my children. I showed my son how to treat a lady and my daughter how she should be treated by how I treated my girl/lover -- i.e.,  Kryptonite, my pet name for her because she's my only weakness.

About the time my kids started calling her mom is when she had me hook, line and sinker. I had already broken her heart by this time and was only lucky she found it in her heart to stick around as long as she did. Which is to say she escaped Daddy Daycamp with the keys to my heart and she ain't returned them yet. But that's to be expected from someone's Kryptonite, right? Oh whatever. What do you know about it anyway? I made it up.

I guess while I'm in such a sharing mood I should tell you how I met my Kryptonite. Would you believe me if I told you she was a gift? And not a gift from God although she undoubtedly is and was. She was the y in the equation 2 + y = 3, as in threesome, get it?

I was out on parole for just over a week and it was my birthday. I paroled to my job at McDonald's and that was it. I kid you not.  I even received my mail there. I ran into my ex-girlfriend -- well, actually, my first love and high school sweetheart. Anyway, we started kicking it (i.e.,  I was beating them up) nothing serious; she had a family, three kids and a baby daddy in the county jail not to mention frankly she had gotten rather fat. But you know the saying, 18-80, blind, crippled or crazy. I had just got out of prison. After a couple of nights she kept calling and I started trying to shake her. Not too hard, but she was getting attached.

Eventually she mentioned her bisexual friend -- all of the sudden! So I started to boast a lot and mention that I was game -- bring her on and let's tear her up! It took two days to get Kryptonite to come to our party and as it turned out I knew her from back in the day when I was 17 and 18. She was one of my "number one fans," as I call them.

One of the 13-year-old girls from the neighborhood who always seem to migrate to my house and come to find out they all adored me. Imagine that. Who knew? LOL.  I seem to have had that effect on girls growing up but usually they were just out of my reach for moral obligations.

But not on this night, Kryptonite played hard to get but gave in to her urges. We couldn't keep our hands off each other through the whole night and afterwords into the morning. I could tell there was something special about her but I couldn't be sure until I had her to myself. (I had to figure out if it was her or the moment.) Nonetheless, I asked the ex-girlfriend if I could keep her. She said not without her. So I played disappointed and offered Kryptonite a ride home the following morning. We headed to where I was staying and started with a shower. I washed her from head to foot. I'll go on record and tell you she's been a bomb from the start. Yes, that's my Kryptonite for you, the one who got off with the keys to my heart.

But as I've said before, love is a contact sport. And as of now I'm on the disabled list, rehabbing another broken heart relationship because of a prison term. At least I am mentally prepared for, well, anything. One would think as much as I write, my letters from Kryptonite would be coming in bunches. But that one letter last year after Christmas is it to date.

I'm taking it all in stride, though. I still love her. I'm just a little bit late. I've got another one on the team (an ex-girlfriend) and she's got it as bad for me as I do for Kryptonite. I feel sorry for her and most of the time just wish she would go away. I'm locked up! Sometimes I wonder if Kryptonite feels the same way about me. I think that's the way it works because karma's a bitch! This I know.

I just got a couple of hookups (penpals, i.e.,  girls to write) and wrote them both in Solano County jail. My homeboy's girl sent him four or five girls' names and ages of girls she's locked up with. I snatched a 23-year-old named Brandy and snagged the one above her, a 28-year-old named Marissa off the list as he covered up the other names while I talked him into the two. I told him, "Come on dawg, you know how I write, and a 23-year-old shouldn't count. She ain't done nothing yet. Who knows? It could be an type of thing." LOL. One never knows.

But all I'm really hoping for is someone to correspond with. I've already started writing this. Whatever it has become it has taken off with a mind of its own. Every time I sit down and write I don't know what's going to come out of the pen. Sometimes every sentence is run over in my head until it becomes a poem. Other times I write whatever's on my mind right off the dome.

Note: I just thought I'd share the latest pages of my journal with you all. I wouldn't mind feedback if you could include my CDC number or forward/tell them how to contact me or comment to me.


Ronnie Rhea AG0515

Unit 2-85 low

Box 608, Tehachapi, Ca 93581



Greetings Editor:

The black baseball cap: planetary alien, or homegrown residential horror?

What's with all these black baseball hats? A radical new conformity is upon the land! "Those in the know," i.e.,  the psychic and theological experts are honing in on the answer! What some obviously befuddled mystic 2012er New Age nutters think is a "sphere shaped alien spaceship" surreptitiously parked behind the moon is actually (according to the National Space and Meteorological Society) a gigantic, lurking, black baseball cap hiding behind the moon, which was first spotted by National Space and Meteorological Society volunteers three years ago and is now gathering and coalescing its dark black hat powers -- "dark energy" -- focusing them and forcing tiny, hapless humanoids into buying miniature copies of the mothership hat.

Microscopically tiny alien mind influencing nanoparticles are cleverly woven into the molecular structure of the black baseball caps which are then controlled by atomic mind link energy pools which neuronally "persuade" the uncapped humanoid to buy (well, you guessed it: a black baseball cap!)

"I will create you in my own image," sayeth the hat.

Concerned scientists relate different outcomes for our planet. 1. The giant black baseball cap is benign (but why is it hiding?) and will appear in new welcoming superior alien technologies to our increasingly beleaguered planet or the black cap conformity death squadrons! Hordes of alien creatures strongly resembling chubby humanoid babies (but larger framed). They "drive" large wheeled truck-like alien "body transporters" which will flood our highways and cities. We collectively will not notice this.

The ordinary humanoid is not aware or conscious enough to see this happening. But on December 21, 2012, the takeover will be total! The neuronal mind control implant hats have been adopted by most humanoids without question for several years now.

The giant black baseball cap "hiding" behind our moon will also affect humanity in these various ways: again, this seems to be a hostile takeover and something to be taken seriously. The cap is also meshing mysteriously with soggy black hoodies and little "trick bikes."

1.  Those affected by the cap ray will often experience quick or immediate weight gain and/or swollen face, or roundish infantile skull shape (to miraculously fit the cap. (Note: lining one's hat with tinfoil is not effective.)

2. May begin to often resemble an angry or very sullen cherub (minus the wings) or a newborn human child in terms of facial features and body fat ratio.

3. The intense desire to purchase/own large and jacked up luxury trucks with no mufflers and earthmover size tires; rude vehicular behaviors such as bullying of pedestrians and bicyclists is par for the course.

4. Complete conformist mind meld takeover by an "alien frat boy based de-evolutionary force" that wishes to establish a lifelong adolescence for our species. (And "it" is succeeding beyond its wildest hopes.)

Countless millions of the brain blander caps have been disseminated like black petroleum-based spores. The kidz (age 6-45 especially love "the cap"!) There's no way to rid ourselves of the things and concerned scientists have now learned an alarming fact: physicists at MIT in Boston Massachusetts have discovered that wearing the black baseball cap backwards most greatly increases the dark energy force of de-evolution!

John Schultz


PS. There may be a meeting of concerned community members in Willits sometime later this month, most likely at the Willits Environmental Center. I will keep you posted.




Imagine this — “OVERLAY ZONING”

We hire the planning experts, employ them for years, and when it comes time to make a recommendation as to what type of zoning would best reflect desires and aspirations of the citizens, they avoid making a recommendation. It’s like we hire a surgical staff to examine the patient, make all the tests, consider the impacts of various treatment scenarios, and then they send their report to the administrative staff of the hospital with three choices: Plan A: We cut all the bad stuff out and see if he can life without those organs. Plan B: We cut out half of the damaged organs and see how many of his functions still are in service. Plan C: We just stitch him up, give him a daily shot of heavy radiation and hope that it will stop further deterioration. What the hell, he’s lived 63 years and isn’t dead yet!

What is the planner’s recommendation? They decline to say. They hand it over to the administrators — who have no apparent expertise in land use planning, predicting the future growth of taxable land as a result of rezoning, the estimation of loads upon public transport, water supply, sewerage generation, or power supply. No expertise in predicting pollution potentials etc. So, what is the Planning Department’s role here?

I would fire the entire department immediately.

Jim Houle

Redwood Valley




I previously wrote about the Mendocino County Jail's poor management of my diabetes and I got a response from a gentleman in San Diego, John Wester. His letter brought to my attention that I wasn't very clear about the particular episode of low blood sugar on February 19. I realize that the way I wrote the letter did give the misconception that I took the insulin to bring up my blood sugar. As Mr. Wester stated, insulin does not bring up a person's blood sugar -- carbohydrates do. Products with raw sugar or glucose such as candy or pie, as Mr. Wester stated, do bring a person's blood sugar up. I was given one glucose tablet to correct the blood sugar of 59. I was given my regular dose of Lantus simply because it was my regularly scheduled time to get it -- not to bring my blood sugar up.

I have been a diabetic for 21 years and I do understand how diabetes and insulin work. I am not, however, very good at putting my thoughts and situations into words on paper. My writing the March 9 letter was just to get people to understand how poor the healthcare in jails is and how stubborn doctors can be with their ways of providing healthcare. The doctor for the Mendocino County Jail inmates does not, however, understand how Lantus and Humalog insulins work and differ. I am getting Lantus insulin to cover high carb meals. This simply does not work! I am lucky that the medical staff, namely the doctor, has not killed me! The nurses are not at fault so much; they have to follow what the doctor says.

Another example of poor healthcare: the doctor finally found the right dose of blood pressure medications to get my blood pressure down into a decent range. Once I was in the range, he (the doctor) decided to lower my dose of blood pressure medication. This does not make any sense to me. It's as if the doctor is saying, "Hey, I got something right. Let's change it."

Thank you Mr. Wester for pointing out something that I didn't notice. It is a common misconception to think that insulin raises someone's blood sugar. I however do understand the difference. I am just a poor writer.

Rodney Breen

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

PS. If Correctional Officer Waller reads this: Kiss my ass! He hides behind his badge, talks shit to all inmates and thinks he's untouchable!



Letter to the editior

This is an email I sent to the Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition. Seems as though our County is still not facing reality.

I took the address’s name off the email since I addressed it as a personal note.

I think the interview [with Sheriff Allman in the recent edition of the AVCAC newsletter) was good, however, I also feel that some tough questions should have been asked about addressing the real problems.

The Sheriff said in the interview what is critical to the Sheriff's department is the Governor of our State getting his tax increase on the ballot. Well, maybe; but does that really address the problem and what are your contingency plans, Sheriff? The Sheriff says that now is the time to cut costs 10% is not realistic and letting deputies retire early and through attrition is begging the issue. If deputies retire earlier all that means is you pay their FULL retirement benefits longer.

The interview was a lot of pie in the sky info. It is impossible for ANY manager in this County's work force to have information on the debt crisis from the State (and I compiled last year from the State info) and still suggest bandaid solutions to Mendocino County's horrific debt crisis.

The Mendocino Farm Bureau made some comments about a total debacle the auditing company performed for our County and excellent comments on the retirement system needing to be reformed.

My question is, Did the County get a refund for the expenses to have a debacle audit while the County paid another auditing firm to check the previous firm?

Retirement benefits. I said the County owed County employees — as of 6/4/2010 — $19,667,507. And I said in a followup email: “I forgot to include in the email I sent a few minutes ago that Mendocino County has $67,000,000, yes that is $67 million in unfunded liabilities.”

Mendocino Farm Bureau article 4/2011. Retirement benefits the County owed County employees $9,000,000. But wait, The County auditors said they made a mistake and the next fiscal year the increase in pension liabilities will not be an additional $4,000,000 BUT $8,000,000 for a total of somewhere in the $17,000,000 area. WHAT HAPPENED? A new auditing firm said the previous auditing firm made a mistake and that firm said they realized that in January of 2011.

Mendocino Farm Bureau article 4/2011: “Mendocino County is the most indebted County per capita in the State. Interest on the debt consumes a higher percentage of our County's budget and property tax income than any other County in California. 85% of our County's debt was caused by unfunded County pensions.

At the beginning of this year I projected our County's payments to its pension fund would double in the next five years. But we just got some really bad news: they/'re going to double in two years.

On 2/6/2011 I said in an email: California State Controllers Office report for 2008. Mendocino County has:

The highest amount of debt per capita.

The highest debt payments per capita.

The highest interest expense per capita.

County property tax revenue Mendocino County-overview:

Highest percentage consumed by interest expense-44%. Mendocino County is using a second credit card to pay off the loan on the first credit card.

Second highest interest expense per capita-68%.

The State Controller’s Office report I used was made public three years ago and nothing has changed to address the problem to date.

The sad part of all this is that NOT one County manager has addressed this situation. They are all in la la land.

Bryant Whittaker





You'll pay, but giant GE won't

Tax day has past, and corporate-friendly lawmakers in Washington are complaining that big business isn't creating jobs because corporations are overtaxed.

But General Electric, the biggest US corporation, made $14.2 billion in profits, paid zero in taxes and cut 20% of its American jobs. Something just doesn't add up.

The only way this makes any sense is if you account for the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The ruling says corporations can spend as much as they want to support or defeat a candidate for elected office. This means lawmakers who want to get cozy with giant corporations can get serious boosts to their re-election efforts if they do what Corporate America wants.

Apparently, Corporate America doesn't want to pay its fair share in taxes like the rest of us.

Thankfully, the Fair Elections Now Act was reintroduced in Congress last week. If it is passed, candidates for Congress can run viable campaigns on small-dollar donations and matching public funds instead of being beholden to tax-dodging corporate sugar daddies like GE.

Lawmakers are supposed to work for the people, not corporations. It's time they started acting like it. Passing the Fair Elections Now Act and a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United would go a long way toward getting Washington, and the rest of us, back to work.

Christopher Roesner

San Francisco



Dear Editor,

Wow, where do I begin with Mark Scaramella’s honest and poignant article on “Wind in the Plastic.” Let's start by thanking you for being diligently vigilant in keeping the Mendocino community updated to the outrageous shenanigans of the Board of Supervisors. You are a true advocate for justice in our community and I thank you and the AVA for getting the truth to the people.

First and foremost, just in case supes would have a lapse in memory, I would like to remind them of what their “Mission Statement” is: “The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors’ mission is to create and maintain a responsive and responsible government that enhances the quality of life of the people of Mendocino County. The County’s mission is to deliver services that meet: Public safety, health, social, cultural, education, transportation, economic, and environmental needs of our communities.”

Can they actually be so naive to believe that an average 10 hour shift (wonder what the supes’ shifts are?) having 6-8 uniformed deputies to cover 3500 square miles really “enhances the quality of life of the people on Mendocino County” and truly can they possibly believe they are “maintaining a responsible and responsive government” to this community? What a joke! On Wednesdays all sheriff’s deputies are scheduled to work so they can't spend any time on training.

Let's put it in a better perspective: There are five supervisors who sit in an office making $68K each and they want to increase their salary. 2000 statistics (total population 86,265) show the following: Brown, District 1: population 17,658; McCowen, District 2: population 17,591; Pinches, District 3: population 18,022; Smith, District 4: population 16,545; Hamburg, District 5: population 16,449. Yes, the population has increased and in 2010 was 87,841. Yet, there are only 6-8 uniformed deputies trying to keep the public safe in and about Mendocino County and the supervisors believe this should be cut more! Again, does this possibly make sense to any reasonably sane person?

I can tell you from personal experience, I emailed Supervisor Hamburg (twice) who finally emailed me back essentially stating he could not help me with my query but promised he would make sure he found the right person who could and get back with me. That was a month ago and I still have not heard from him! Even though I have emailed him asking if he had any information for me. Perhaps, he would be more “responsive and responsible” with an increase in salary!

This is what I propose to help with the budget that makes more sense than cutting health and safety programs and increasing the supes’ salaries. Let's combine some of the districts within Mendocino County and cut out some of the over inflated salaries to give back to the areas in our county government that really need it. Truthfully, I think we could do with just three districts in the county. After all, they expect our deputies to do it! That would give the county $136K (or more if you include all their benefits) to keep our county safe and healthy!


Suzanne L. Rush, District 5





Open Pit Gravel Mine Proposal In Round Valley—

Public hearing is April 21st. at 9am in the Board of Supes Chambers at 501 Low Gap Rd. in Ukiah.

Grist Creek Aggregates , LLC, c/o Brian Hurt Investments, has submitted an application to the County of Mendocino Dept. of Planning and Building Services. It is currently under review by the Planning Commission and scheduled for a Public Hearing on April 21st. They are requesting a permit for “an off-stream sand and gravel quarry” to mine and process sand & gravel on the west side of Hwy. 162, about two miles south of Covelo.

At first I was not too concerned, until I realized the size and scope of the project. Now I see there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed.

They are applying for a 20-year permit and propose to excavate and process 500,000 cubic yards of gravel and sand. This project will create two large open pit mines. One covering 8.9 acres, and the other 11.5 acres. That’s a 20-acre hole, 30 feet deep.

The project includes a big diesel generator to run the crushing, screening, and washing plant. With various pieces of large, heavy, noisy, trucks and equipment it takes to run a gravel quarry and a processing plant. Loaders, excavators, hauling trucks, water trucks, refueling vehicles and all the other support vehicles.

This process will create excessive dust and noise. They plan to use water to wash the sand and gravels, and to suppress the dust. The over all usage of water for the project is planed to be approximately 16,000 gallons a day. The plant is a big concern as it will use a large volume of water from The Grist Creek aquifer that supplies much of Round Valley with its water. This could also be a concern to the threatened species of salmon and steelhead known to be in Grist Creek.

Let’s not forget the wear and tear and safety on our roads. It works out to be more than 18,000 round trip truck loads, of which, most of those will be coming into the valley to get the gravel or sand and then returning out Covelo Road with their load.

The plan also has a provision for a CalTrans spoils disposal site to store materials excavated from Covelo Rd. for seven to twenty years, to be used as pond liner material. This is not healthy for the air or our water. The noise, traffic, dust, and the visual impact would affect many of us in Round Valley in a negative way.

Since this matter is before the Mendocino Planning Commission now, you may want to respond by calling, email, and or sending letters before April 20th to,

1) John Speka, Planner, Mendocino Planning and Building Permits at, or 707.463.4281 or 501 Low Gap Rd. Ukiah CA 95482

2) Web contact:

3) Board of Supervisors, 707 463-4221 501 Low Gap Rd. Room 1010, Ukiah CA 95482 web contact:


If we don’t show up, we will have to live with a gravel operation for a long time.

Please feel free to call or email with any feelings, suggestions, questions or ideas regarding this proposal. Go to the new web site, 707-367-6681

Richard Roper




To The Editor

An Open letter to David Eyster District Attorney of Mendocino Co.

Dear Mr. Eyster,

We, the undersigned, are members of an organization which takes care of feral and mistreated domestic cats. We are not animal activists by any stretch of the imagination, but we recently became very angry upon learning of a video that was seized as evidence by Fish and Game showing a person training his dogs by baiting them with a cat and then allowing the dogs to kill the cat.

I would like to quote a statement made by you, Mr. Eyster in which you said, “I believe it is very important that the residents of Mendocino County be proud and supportive of their DA’s Office, a support that must be earned however. It is difficult to support an office that is wasting resources by prosecuting the wrong people and cases, not acting in the interest of Justice. I hope to change that.”

Maybe your statement somewhat explains your reluctance to prosecute the person for using a cat to bait his dogs. Maybe you consider animal cruelty the wrong kind of case. We understand you declined because the victim was not a human, but “just a cat.” We understand, there have been many cats that met this fate, not just one. We also understand that this person raises domestic pigs to be used as “wild boars” to be hunted by people who pay for the privilege of killing what they believe is a wild pig.

What we cannot understand, Mr. Eyster, is why you refuse to press felony charges of animal cruelty on this person. We have already gone to the local press with this matter, and, if it continues with nothing done about it, we plan on contacting representatives of the ASPCA and the Humane Society.


Ralph L Maize, Assistant Sheriff Mendocino County, Ret., Susan Maize, Cheryl Schrader, CEO, Animal Rescue of Anderson Valley, Barbara Thrasher, CEO, Bones Rescue Covelo, Bobbie LaMalfa, Margo Royal, Charlene Zanella, Laura Royal, Donna Barber, Nan Tyliki, Joan and Jim Diesfender, Macos Figueroa, Diana Estrilla, Dusty Hauber, Rick Figueroa, Gina Biery, Liz Sanders, Isobel Young, Gary Royal

Ed note: District Attorney Eyster said Monday that this case is a long way from being over, that this particular defendant is looking at "serious" felonies, and that he, the District Attorney, has not made any public comments about the case. The DA also said that he certainly regards crimes against animals as real crimes.



Editor et al,

Men have the legal right to report anyone (male or female) who assaults them. I'm concerned about the AVA's lighthearted (and stigmatizing) portrayal of men as sissies if a woman hits them. My sense is: if men are the butt of jokes for speaking out, how will they ever feel encouraged to come forward with experiences such as sexual abuse? Aaron Vargas might have had a better chance winning his case re: the abuse he endured, if there wasn't still an underlying message that it's less than manly to be a victim who speaks up. I find the general approach to violence against men disheartening. Hopefully old attitudes will no longer prevail in reporting victims of domestic violence, no matter the victim's gender.

Elizabeth Ryan

Fort Bragg

Ed reply: The point we're trying to make is that more and more vengeful but uninjured men are calling the law on their girl friends simply because they can. We agree that domestic violence, in the traditional sense of male oafs assaulting their wives and girl friends, is not funny. But since the law has been expanded to mean that a tiny young woman slapping Mr. Benumbed Nuts is the same thing, well, we think the definition of domestic violence has been stretched into nonsense. These episodes are silly, but the consequences for these young women, beginning with the disproportionate bail of $25,000 are serious. If you ask a cop why these kids are being arrested, the cop will tell you, “Because it's the law and we have to do it.” The cops think it's a waste of time and resources, too. So far, we haven't seen a single prosecution out of any of these arrests, which is as it should be.



Dear Editor,

I would like to offer a correction and a comment on your curiously named April 13 article “Wind in the Plastic.” Although I am an expert on northern California salmon and steelhead and their watersheds, I do not have a PhD.

Secondly, I appreciate Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s attempt to defend me, but I must also respond to his malapropism in referring to me as a zealot, which is defined in the dictionary as “an excessively zealous person; fanatic.” I am adamant about the protection of fish, public trust and rivers, but a very peaceful guy and not an extremist by any means. Trying to get water back into our streams so that we can all enjoy fishable, swimmable and drinkable water is not a radical notion, but rather our birth right.

Born in 1950, I still remember when you could catch a coho salmon in rivers like the Eel, Navarro and Russian and you could delight in a swim on a hot summer’s day. If we don’t organize to get the State and counties to once again uphold water law and rationally manage ground water, all generations going forward will be the losers. We can adjust our economic system, if we are willing and still thrive, but if we exhaust natural capital by driving species extinct, the loss will be irreversible and perpetual.

There is a silver lining to the Mendocino County Supervisor’s cancellation of the grassroots study; the Trees Foundation has stepped forward and will be setting up a fund to support citizen-based monitoring, water conservation and water pollution prevention efforts throughout the Eel River basin. People can call me (822-9428) or Trees (923-4377), if they want to help.


Patrick Higgins





A Smart Plan? Ouch!

Here is how California skirts around the demands of concerned people regarding Smartmeter deployment. It is a two step process. Step on is the Decoy Deploy strategy.

In this phase, you take a representative from the industry that is to regulated and put him/her in charge (in this case, President Michael Peevey, ex executive of Southern Cal’s Con Ed.) He diverts all attention to his focus, in support of the industry he left, but clearly understands. Then this compromised leader allows the CPUC to ignore letters, testimony, and calls for many months while Smartmeters get deployed and his staff tell concerned residents they have no choice (just like PG&E staff.) When residents demand in record numbers an opt out option, blockade installations, demonstrate in front of the CPUC, plus cities and counties demand moratoriums, the CPUC finally stops parroting the Utility’s enforcement process, that the CPUC has set up for the Utility and demand the Utility to propose an Opt out option. It is important to note that at least in Northern Calif, in Ft Bragg, PG&E is saying they are working on a wired version many months back which is somehow forgotten. Meanwhile during all of this Smartmeters are being deployed in areas where cities and counties have claimed moratorium against the questionable devices. Also if a resident fails to mark his/her meter panel to say they do not want one, the Utility somehow forgets to read their wait (now opt out) list and deploys a meter on their property anyway.

Next the Utility produces an Opt out proposal that is clearly not acceptable to anyone (using the contested meter, 10x the cost of real meter reading and against the Smart Grid mandate that the PUC has issued.) Finally the CPUC set deadlines to talk about it and then stalls while the Utility deploys as quickly as possible. Unfortunately all those victims (AKA rate payers) get overcharged, have damaged electronics and have to find a safe place to live if the Smartmeter makes them ill, and it does. Viola! A great scam. Now all rate payers pay for the malfunctioning program and there is extra revenue for opt outs, who pay through the nose for meter reading which could be done by mail like those folks who live in the out back. Meanwhile, victim numbers grow, leaving not only sick people scrambling for safe shelter, but also poor people overcharged and kicked off power in the cold.

Are rate payers paying for malfunctioning stuff? How could that happen? Well rate payers paid for the Structure report that essentially tested the meters for accuracy, thanks to the ready-to-stamp-okay CPUC. Isn’t that the job of the company providing the meters? Shouldn’t CPUC/Utilities have examined the meters in operation where the problems were happening as requested for State Senator Dean Florez?

In a minor provoked reexamination of one 400% overcharging Smart Gas meter, CBS San Francisco reported that the PG&E technician found a meter error. Top PR person said it was the first problem of that kind on the same news report, but what about the rest of the problems? So then residents gang up and sue PG&E with various class action suits or take their case to the CPUC. Thus we come to Step two in avoiding the concerns of Californian residents.

Step Two, deals with the so called “state resident’s protection” regulation body that takes full responsibility for the issue, in this case the Calif. Public Utility Commission. Already we have the compromised President at the helm. Any class action suit on this issue gets deferred by judges to the CPUC. The so called resident protection body (CPUC) then says that the action is inappropriate and dismisses it. Why not, the CPUC doesn’t it like the complaints even though the complaints are framed with concerns that the CPUC bylaws and bill of rights for rate payers define. Yet it is a done deal. No complaints possible. No real representation. Ignore city and county governments, testimonies, letters, blockades etc. Essentially this is a fraud headed by an industry representative in regulatory clothing. Sadly it is nothing new to Americans.

The Smartmeter issue is complex in errors, bad and costly installation and poor regulation by compromised regulators, implemented here via dependable trustworthy PG&E, who has lost reports, poorly tested pipelines etc. Their track record on the Smartmeter deployment has been dismal alone.

Want to do something about it? I would recommend lobbying Governor Brown via a letter to the State Capital, Suite 1173. Sacramento, CA 95814. Let’s get some nonbiased folks on that board. Ask for Peevey’s removal and demand a moratorium on the installation of Smartmeters, leave the analog meters in place until this issue is properly reviewed by all concerned and impacted parties.


Greg Krouse




Dear Editor,

I'm not sure who sent me the AVA. But I'm very thankful I'm getting it. It's great to get news from home. Please give my love and regards to Fred Gardner. Feel free to give out my information so people can write. Thanks so much for the AVA. It makes the rounds and all the guys here love it as much as I do.

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Federal Prison Camp, Lompoc




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