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Letters (September 4, 2019)

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We are writing to voice the shared concern about the PG&E usage of herbicides for vegetation management under the 60 KV power lines that span across the entire Greenwood Ridge from Anderson Valley to the town of Elk. The herbicide they are using is commonly known as Roundup and glyphosate is the main ingredient.

Glyphosate was patented by the Monsanto Company (now owned by Bayer AG) as an herbicidal agent in 1974. Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid 1990's and were assumed to be safe for health and the environment. This assumption perpetuated by Monsanto continues to be promoted today despite scientific evidence that glyphosate harms human health and the environment. 

In a research study compilation entitled The Unintended Consequences of Using Glyphosate (2012) there is a demonstrated correlation between glyphosate and serious health and environmental hazards. This includes the disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer and neurotoxicity. Glyphosate can harm all facets of an ecosystem including soil biology and composition, water, aquatic organisms, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, non-target plants, animals and humans. 

Glyphosate and its metabolites can be highly active and mobile and persist for many years in the environment, depending on the conditions. Using toxic glyphosate could not only harm beneficial vegetation and wildlife but could also jeopardize public health and safety. Glyphosate use could foster herbicide resistant super weeds and as this herbicide is also a patented desiccant (drying agent) it could increase the risk of fire. 

Monsanto asserts that glyphosate or Roundup is safe but there are now countries all over the world that are banning the use of Roundup due to concerns about links to cancer and chronic kidney disease among other health concerns.

There are communities and neighborhoods now throughout California who are saying “No” to the use of herbicides such as glyphosate in areas alongside their homes and in their watersheds. Additionally, Glyphosate is prohibited for use on California Organic farms, of which there are several on the Philo-Greenwood Ridge road. In regards to PG&E’s herbicide application, there are entire communities that are “opting out” and instead choosing the option of manual removal for vegetation management.

Most landowners in the Greenwood Ridge Road vicinity have chosen to manually remove vegetation and many community members are noticing the contrast to those who chose herbicide application and those who did not. The biggest and most noticeable landowner is Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) whose use of Round up is dramatically visible.

What is important for landowners to know is that they have an option. For those who choose to not apply herbicides, PG&E hires licensed arborists to selectively cut the targeted species, the crew then chips and cleans up the entire area leaving it free from potential fire danger. For those who opt for herbicides PG&E contracts a crew to manually apply (often spraying) the herbicide which leaves behind a mess (and eyesore) of dead and dying fuel for potential fire danger. They then later come back to remove and chip up the large debris. PG&E advocates that this type of herbicide application is the best method for vegetation removal and fire prevention. For those of us who live here and are witnessing and living with the outcome of the two different methodologies, there are many who beg to differ.

We, on the Philo-Greenwood Ridge road who oppose the use of herbicides, hope other landowners will come on board and “opt out” of future herbicide usage. This does not just affect those who live near the PG&E power lines, this affects all of us and our entire ecosystem. All landowners have a choice and from what we have seen the negative impacts of herbicide usage on our environment and the health and safety of our community far outweigh the economic incentive that motivates PG&E.

For more information, please call PG&E at 800-743-5000 to Opt Out of further herbicide usage for those near the power lines. Or contact Peter Beesley at if you have any questions. If you want to express your concerns to Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) you could email Sarah Billig at


Kira Brennan

Greenwood Ridge Neighbors, Philo

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Dear Mr. Frisbie (Caltrans District 1 PR rep),

It has been an arduous commute lately for myself and my wife. I regularly commute from Navarro to Willits via Highways 128 and 253. It's usually fairly brisk in the wee hours of the morning, but, come 5 o'clock, it gets downright stagnant. I'm used to the normal slidework on 253 and 101, but the paving work on Highway 128 is really taxing. I get to follow the asphalt trucks all the way over Highway 253 from Ukiah (some are gracious enough to pull over), then we all pile up near the Navarro Store and sit... for a while. My wife, on her way home from Philo last night, sat in line for 45 minutes! On the one hand we do appreciate the attention being paid to our neck of the woods, but it is perplexing that many of these segments were already paved recently. Just hoping there might be some way to keep the traffic moving a little more rapidly during the rush hours. 


Kirk Vodopals

from the Deep End/Navarro

Frisbie replies: Mr. Vodopals, Thank you for taking the time to let me know your concerns. I reached out to our construction staff, who reached out to the contractor. They are aware that the trucking subcontractor has had issues with some of its drivers, and have tried to address them. It is unfortunate that the asphalt must come from Ukiah, but the paving is almost complete and they will not be using that company anymore on this project. 

As far as the 45 minute delay: If it occurred on Monday when there were extra long delays due to a worker injury that required an ambulance, but other than that they are not aware of any delays longer than 20 minutes. If you experience long delays again please contact me right away so that our construction staff can address the issue with the contractor. 

Feel free to contact me anytime.


Phil Frisbie, Jr.

Chief of Public Information and Legislative Affairs

Caltrans District 1


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Anyone who loves Sonoma County’s natural beauty has to be appalled by the recent story regarding the bulldozing and removal of 40 acres of oak woodlands and deep-ripping of more than 100 acres near Cloverdale for vineyard development. Destruction included pushing trees, brush and soil into natural water channels that empty into the Russian River and filling a wetland area.

The owner of the property, Hugh Reimers, whose company Krasilsa Pacific Farms undertook this woodland destruction, was formerly president of Foley Family Wines and Jackson Family Wines. Obliteration of this woodland was undertaken without any required permits and inspections. Reimers can hardly claim ignorance about proper regulations and procedures regarding land development.

One major question is whether some wine industry operators assume that they can ignore regulatory protections because the fines are simply part of doing business.

Full restoration of these illegally destroyed areas, in addition to hefty fines, needs to be the corrective action. Otherwise, the bad players in the wine industry will think Sonoma County’s natural woodlands and wetlands are fair and easy game for destruction.

Chris Stover


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Interesting to see that the NFL quarterback Andrew Luck decided to retire at age 29 because he's sick and tired of the physical pain of pro football, although it sounds like the game has also taken an emotional toll on him.

I've been a fan of football, professional as a kid and college as an adult, since I was seven years old. When I first had the opportunity to play football with pads as a freshman in high school I did not waste a second considering going out for the freshman team since I had no need to "hit" (i.e., tackle and block) other males and I certainly had no interest in having other males "hit" me knowing that a lot of them either didn't give a crap about me or disliked me. (Even the ones who liked me would have felt compelled to "hit" me.)

As I followed college football from my 20s into middle age, I have become aware that for me the physical violence of football is a metaphor for the emotional violence I feel in almost every area of American life: work, school, family, social. But America in my opinion is rather backwards in its understanding of emotions, so it's not likely anytime soon that we will acknowledge or understand emotional violence.

Less than an hour ago I prematurely left Peet’s coffee house near my residence where I had hoped to read for a half-hour. I left after only five minutes because in addition to the music that was playing over the PA system which by itself was not annoying there was an additional irritating noise in the rather small seating area. After 20 seconds I realized the noise was coming from a 60-something man's tech device about 12 feet from me. As I got up to leave I looked over at his device which had a small screen and saw that the irritating noise was coming from a video he was watching of about a dozen marching band drummers lined up beating their drums.

I had no interest in politely confronting this man about the noise because based on my experience in our modern society I felt like the overwhelmingly likely response I would get from him would be hostility and an attempt to try to make me feel that it was my problem and not his that his device was offending me. In addition, I assume that he as white American male quite possibly might feel entitled to be offensive and not be challenged.

This would be an example of emotional violence, expecting to receive hostility from someone whose noise in a public place was offending me.

So my solution was to go home and read where I knew it was quiet but where I had no chance of engaging with anyone like I might be able to do at the cafe.

Oh well. Better to have no company than bad company.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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To the Editor:

After listening to Sixty Minutes this evening and the recent Gilroy shooting news I can no longer be still.

“First of all, I am in total support verbally and financially of our brave cops on the street!”

But! I am totally embarrassed for the “Chiefs” to stand before the TV cameras with their shinny four stars on their collars, men and women by the way, telling us what they’re going to do.

It took General Patton, who spent his life in the Army, had but three stars on his collar, dirty and sweaty, and defeated half of Hitler’s army, before he was considered worthy of standing before the news people.

Not one of the “chiefs”, have I ever heard say, “When you hear that first shot ‘Hit the dirt, floor or whatever you’re at.’ Do not start running, or standing up, as the boyfriend of the girl that was killed said they did (on Sixty Minutes).

Ask any soldier or Marine that has been, to war, one of the first things trained to do. Whether the bullets are going over your head or at your feet. You hit the dirt and see how small a target you can make yourself. And you hope and pray that there’s hole that can be crawled into.

You do a wonderful job Chiefs, assuring the people harmed that your men will catch the shooter and see to it that they are punished for what they did. “Dream on” the first words out of our new Gov. was “we will have no execution while I’m Governor.”

But what do I know, I was just a lowly corporal in the 1st Marine division that spent 22 months in the Pacific, during WWII, battling Japan Army all the way to Okinawa.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I pray you will never have to “Hit the dirt.”

Ed Busch, USMC, WWII


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Unethical and damaging practices by the Mendocino County Sheriff Dept, and Media complicity

The Mendocino County Sheriff Department appears to have been, and may still be, engaged in an unethical, dangerous, and perhaps illegal practice, of misrepresenting non-Meth related arrests (in particular for Mushrooms) as involving Meth. When they have arrested people for drugs such as Mushrooms, they have chosen to use the statute that is most closely related to Meth, the Health and Safety Codes 11378, and 11379, and more egregiously, the have listed the arrests in the booking log as having been for "Meth/ETC", rather than specifying that the arrest was for "Psilocybin", or using the more generic catch all phrasing of "Controlled Substance". When a booking log for an arrest is created there are far reaching consequences as local media outlets in a place like Mendocino County (where news is slow apparently), and bottom feeding Mugshot extortionists websites, immediately publish the arrests details and the world is now privy to the information as provided by the arresting/booking agency. Therefore, how these arrests are phrased have immediate and serious consequences.

There is already a basic problem with relying on arrest reports from the police as an accurate source of information. When the police arrest someone they often jack up the initial charges so as to, make the arrest look big, create leverage to force the person arrested to accept an unfavorable plea deal, increase bail, and punish people they don't like. Furthermore, the cops often lie or make mistakes, and thus the information contained in a booking log can be wildly inaccurate. Yet, this is the information that the world is given, and once it is on the internet, it is forever. You would think and hope that the police and media would take this responsibility pretty seriously, but it appears they do not.

In the case of the Mendocino County Sheriff department, invariably when they attached the METH/ETC label to an arrest, the local papers would drop the ETC part and just report that a person had been arrested for Meth. It is not surprising, as that is a logical assumption to make. It is kind of shocking that there was no communication between the local media and the police, as the Media left themselves open to some serious lawsuits based on their actions. I don't know if the Sheriff Department has engaged in this behavior to punish people they don't like, to misrepresent the nature of the arrests they are making to cover for some type of cooking of the books they are engaging in, or merely because they are lazy and don't care. Whatever the case, these actions have serious negative consequences for the victims, and I am one of those victims. here is my story. 

Here is to hoping that the local media of Mendocino County does some digging into these issues.

Zappa Montag


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Paul Encimer, who wrote the recent article about a Bad One, is full of it. I have been logging since 1960 and I have never seen so many young trees growing back right now, even after the Comptche fire.

The logging since 1974 has been very well guided with forestation and replanting and all kinds of other stuff that's good for the forest. So you better rewrite your story, Paul, because you are all screwed up.

Pat Patterson: I don't even know you. I never heard of you until I saw your name in the paper. I've never heard such crazy stuff in my life. So why don't you keep your mouth shut?

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Governor Gruesome Newsom wants to save our country from wildfires? So why haven't they cut the grass along the highways, 128 and 253? It's taller than the roof of my car and right off the pavement. Dry grass. Why haven't they stopped the logging companies from decommissioning the roads in the forest when Calfire demanded that they do so. Most of them have been decommissioned and that means huge ditches put across them so they are untravelable. If there is a fire or a tragedy of some sort no vehicles can get to it except helicopters. It's a shame they did that to all the roads but that's Calfire and the environmentalists for you.

PPS. State parks are not parks anymore. They are an environmental refuge. Liberal environmentalists have gone around the country buying up parcels of land with our tax dollars and then semi-developing them into a park and then shutting them down for animals. People can walk in on trails down by Jughandle Bridge below Fort Bragg and there's a big sign that says beware: you travel this trail at your own risk, there are mountain lions. In Southern California they see mountain lions everywhere even next to school yards where the school kids are outside playing. A mountain lion can jump a fence with a 150 pound deer. Maybe one of those mountain lions will grab one of those kids or a teacher and jump the fence and they can follow a trail of clothing to a pile of bones where the mountain lion had lunch and then some grass and sticks will cover the bones so later it can come back and have supper and maybe one of those children or teachers will be a liberal environmentalist and that would be too great. Our parks are being turned into refuges for animals. I haven't seen a coon or a fox or a bobcat on Comptche Road especially at night for 15 years. That's because the environmentalists do not let anybody kill or dispose of animals with disease. They don't know the difference. These state parks people are so well armed that a lady got out of a pickup one time in front of the Comptche store from State Parks driving a brand-new $75,000 Chevy pickup and she had so much armament on that she had to use crutches to walk, no joke. So if you're going to a park like that where there's animals you can't have a weapon. Maybe you can use pepper spray which won't even stop a rabbit. The people running the state parks are thicker than the Highway Patrol and more populous than our Sheriff's department and they don't care if anybody's shot there. Oh no, as long as it's not one of theirs. So it's a joke what the state parks and beaches have become. Another administration tactic to control us. All that the stinking rotten California liberal Democrats have done is bought up all this land with our tax money and then shut them down to humans and welcomed animals and State Parks officials. It's another way to hire more cops. We have more State Parks people in the United States, especially California, than we have law enforcement and they call themselves law enforcement. It's a joke what the Democrats have done with our money. It's a joke. Try going into a state park in California and see what they say. They are shutting state parks down in Los Angeles and the rest of California. They prohibit people from going in them because of the mountain lions. Instead of thinning out the mountain lions they're thinning out the people. If you go into the State parks you will probably meet up with a woman with so many weapons on her that she will make one of Tom Allman's wonderful deputies looked like a stripped-down Boy Scout. They are allowed to have weapons because they don't want to be attacked by a mountain lion or a bear or a rabid skunk. So be careful that you don't get shot because they will bear down on you with a weapon if they see you camping with an animal and they will shoot your ass just because they have a weapon and would like to. So California's so-called leaders have got this country so screwed up that it's unbelievable. What really pisses me off is that nobody watches what the State does because they all believe that the state of California is above the law and they can do anything they want. Look on your computer and see how many acres of land the State Parks have acquired in Mendocino County. Every river is a state park. They bought thousands of acres of Big River and many thousands of acres of timberland for state parks. And Ten Mile river is a state park. And now they have moved in and are buying pieces of land away from the citizens with our tax money. They spent billions of dollars acquiring land and shutting it down to human beings with our tax money. You have been cheated on by your own tax money because you don't watch the state and you allow the liberal Democrats in office to do it. So it's all your fault. Or our fault. It's somebody's fault for not paying attention to the state and watching what they're doing.

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Dear Editor,

Mr. Jerry Philbrick of Comptche might want to apprise himself of the case of a Tea Party nutball named Nigel Coleman in Virginia who suggested on a public facebook forum in 2010 that some of his nutball friends “pay a visit” to the home of Congressman Tom Periello after he voted in favor of Obamacare and “express their thanks.”

Staffers of Congressman Perriello considered the remark to be a veiled threat to himself or his family and a possible violation of government code concerning threats to government officials.

“A lot of us who are tea partiers, we communicate through social networks,” Coleman said. “One of the other tea partiers in another group put up an address and said it was Tom Perriello’s address and several others of us put it up on our Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.… We just wanted people to get a little closer to their congressman.”

The FBI investigated and Mr. Coleman subsequently removed the post saying his choice of words was “in poor taste.” 

Mr. Coleman’s stupid remarks were actually kind of tame and pale in comparison to the veiled threats Mr. Philbrick has apparently made against Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. 

Here are a few I have gleaned from the AVA’s website:

“…you have to get rid of people like Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi” … “Nancy Pelosi is a bad bad human being [who] we need to get rid of.” Pelosi “should be arrested and sent to a leper colony island as far away from the real people as possible.” … “She’s completely cracked!” “Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives are ridiculous idiots, or more than that.” On Ms. Pelosi and her allies: “Let's put them all in an airplane and send them to Siberia and when they get hungry they could eat their money. Then they could call it greenback diarrhea after they eat all their money. They are worthless dirtbags of the earth and should be shipped out of here.” “How can we tolerate people like Nancy Pelosi?” “Why can't somebody go into Nancy Pelosi's $10 million mansion and use a butcher knife on her like that illegal did to that poor woman in San Jose? They could get away with it because we are a sanctuary state. Right?”

I would like to remind Mr. Philbrick that threatening federal officials is a Class C or D felony, usually carrying a maximum penalty of 5 or 10 years under 18 U.S.C. § 875, 18 U.S.C. § 876 and such threats are investigated by the FBI. For such threats to individual officials to be treated as a federal crime, there must be 1) a transmission in interstate commerce (which there is via the ava’s website); 2) there must be a communication containing the threat (which there is as cited above); and 3) the threat must be a threat to injure (which the last quote cited above sounds like).


Harold Prendner


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