Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Sep. 11, 2019)

* * *



There is no reason that the queen can’t bestow knighthood on gringos on this side of the Atlantic if she feels like it. Hardened Lib-labs like Sister "I do not suffer fools gladly" Yasmin would assume that people like Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky would be the first to be knighted. Wrong. The first gringo to be knighted was at Rush Limbaugh. Apparently The Donald and The Boris and put their orders in.

If you have been reading the New Yorker you would have learned that this cultural anthropology business is mostly BS. The only reason that there was any interest in cultural anthropology was the picture of bare-breasted girls on the cover of Margaret Mead’s book.

The Epstein affair would have been gone in a couple of days but for older men and sex with underage girls. The media knows what gets gringos all excited. The next big thing will be when the women who have had intimate relations with Donald Trump start comparing notes. A closely held secret will be broken open and I think that Flynn Washburne will have something to say about that.

I get my cultural anthropology from Oscar Lewis’s books. (“Five Families,” “Children of Sanchez” and others). And "Now Let Us Praise Famous Men," by James Agee.

Actually each person has his own cultural identity. Start keeping track around age two send the results to "Kulture Haves" in Zurich, Switzerland for the rest of your life.

Example: In my case I was born during the Coolidge administration and I can only remember a few incidents during the Hoover administration. Being introduced to a man who had seen Abraham Lincoln (in Springfield), seeing a picture in the paper of the ladder leaning against a house second story window (the Lindbergh kidnapping), riding in the rumble seat of a Whippet roadster. Visiting a building built like a gymnasium with a vaulted balcony, all around you could look down and watch ’33 Chevys being assembled. 

All boys during the 30s liked cars and could name them; also baseball. Most boys could give you the starting lineup of at least two major league teams. If there was no radio at home, boys would hang around the barbershop, which usually had a radio tuned to the games, which came not from the ballpark but from the radio station who received the play-by-play by telegraph and reenacted them. When someone hit a home run they would say "a case of Wheaties" — the ballplayer was able to hit a home run because he ate Wheaties for breakfast.

I can remember plenty. During the new deal a California lady said Mr. Roosevelt was doing the best he could do help us. Response: "That son of a bitch in the White House?” (Ukiah small businessman). Rexford Guy Tugwell, Harold Ickes and Henry Wallace. A man knocking on the back door taking off his cap and asking "Ma’am, would you have some work? I would do anything for a bite to eat." All schoolchildren knew that FDR's birthday was January 30 because they were asked to bring a dime to school for the polio drive. They knew that the president had polio and was unable to stand. A dime would buy a little food. I can remember being sent to the grocery store with a galvanized gallon can to buy kerosene for 15¢. All grocery stores sold kerosene. 

As a child I heard a lot about socialism. Family and relatives were all strong supporters of Norman Thomas, the Socialist candidate for president several times. A promising graduate of Princeton and Union Theological Seminary, the large and wealthy Presbyterian Church figured they had a right to grab him. Thomas didn't think much could be accomplished through the churches. He chose to do social work among immigrant communities. He married a girl named Violet who was doing volunteer social work in Hell's kitchen. He found out later that Violet was a member of a very wealthy family. Norman Thomas didn't have to worry about money the rest of his life, which he spent calling attention to social, economic and political injustice. It has been said that everything Norman Thomas advocated was eventually accomplished; he was just 50 years ahead of his time. 

The only book I had was "A Child's Garden of Verses" which I read over and over until I had those poems memorized. I was taken to see a Hooverville in 1934. Most towns had a hobo jungle usually along the railroad tracks at the edge of town. That was the beginning of the co-op movement in the country. 

During the mid-30s the whole country was fascinated by heavyweight boxing. On the night of a Joe Louis fight, no meetings were scheduled, no cars on the street, everyone glued to the radio listening to the fight. After the fight the water pressure dropped to zero when everybody flushed toilets at the same time. 

I can remember the election of 1936 clearly. Political campaign buttons were ubiquitous. All children had them and wore them to school. The girls liked Alf Landon's best because it had a picture of a sunflower while Roosevelt had a black and white headshot of FDR. 

We were allowed to walk across the Bay Bridge on opening day. I walked across then down to the Oakland wharf and took the ferry back to Frisco. The Chronicle put out a special edition that must have weighed 5 pounds. 

I can remember staying up until 2 AM on September 1, 1939, listening to the radio as Hitler was invading Poland just 80 years ago. Two years later an algebra class was canceled and the radio was brought in to the school room and we listened to FDR’s “Day that will live in infamy” speech. 

That brings an end to Phase 1 of my cultural anthropological file. Phase 2 will recount much trouble with the Selective Service and the FBI, not to mention becoming hobo which exists to this day.

Ralph Bostrom


PS. Writing skills, check one: () poor, () quite poor, (x)piss poor. 

PPS. Watch for "a trip to the Met with a stop at Ebbets Field."

PPPS. We missed you at the Democratic picnic.

* * *


Answers to Community Questions

Dear Flow Kana family, farmers and friends,

I write to you in an effort to share some thoughts about recent discussions in the community, with the ultimate goal of bringing facts, and transparency, to the conversation. As I have shared in the past, I feel fortunate every day to work in this industry and with the farmers of this beautiful region of Northern California. We are faced with a monumental task after legalization, and we will succeed and show who we are through our actions, not just our words. I wish I could say that these sensational allegations will cease, especially because I know they are affecting each and every one of you. However, with growth and success, comes questions and criticism. Fear of the unknown is part of the human condition, and cannabis in particular will continue to have many unknowns for the foreseeable future. The best way that I can personally address speculation, is to be transparent and truthful, and because of that I am sharing my thoughts with you.

In the long run, Flow Kana will be trusted, respected and, ultimately, defined by our actions, not by our words or the words of others. Transparency is a key factor in trust. We had already planned to launch a new online FAQ next week, and not just have it be internal to our team and farmers, but to be available for everyone in the community to see. I’ve moved this up and would like to share it with you today. You’ll find some of the questions and answers below, and the full FAQ can be found here. I sincerely hope that these questions and answers help shed light on the truth, and help dispel the ‘unknown’.

That said, I’d like to answer and clarify some comments at this time:

1) There is no relationship between Marlboro/Altria and Flow Kana. Michael Steinmetz (CEO and Founder) controls the majority of the Flow Kana board and therefore all decisions.

Inaccurate claims of the existence of a relationship have come from multiple degrees of separation between common investors:

Gotham Green invested in Flow Kana in May 2018 (Press Release July 2018). Gotham Green holds a minority position with a single vote on Flow Kana’s board, held by Michael Henderson Cohen.

Jason Adler, a partner of Gotham Green, was an early board member in Cronos.

Cronos later sold to received investment money from Altria in March 2019. This investment in no way impacts or involves Flow Kana.

There is no relationship between Flow Kana and Cronos/Marlboro/Altria, and absolutely zero investment / ownership / control / or influence between the companies.

I can say unequivocally, and without a shadow of a doubt that I have never met, nor had a conversation with anyone from Altria, period. Same goes with Pebble Labs, another company upon which Jason Adler is on the board, with whom Flow Kana has absolutely zero affiliation- this is the first time I have ever heard about this company.

Neither of these companies have ever set foot at the Flow Cannabis Institute (FCI), nor have they been in any conversations with any leadership team members at Flow Kana. Just like you have no control over who your uncle, or your cousin dates and/or marries and by default brings into your extended network, I cannot control the other investments or deals that our investors make in ventures separate from our own. All claims of a relationship between Flow Kana and Altria are completely false.

I, Michael Steinmetz, hold the majority of the votes at the board level (more than 51%), and therefore have full control of every decision. Since the beginning of Flow Kana, I have made every effort to listen to not only the employees of Flow Kana, but also to the farmers, and leaders in our community; every decision I maket does not correlate with control. Board control ultimately decides the fate of the company and I have taken every measure to ensure that I maintain the controlling majority.

In this phase of the industry, of global hyper-growth, we all require the help of many partners and strategic alliances. I can't stress enough how lucky we are to have investment that illustrates a commitment to support decentralized agriculture and the independent, small farming community through infrastructure and continued marketplace development.

I spend a lot of time with each and every one of our investors. Not only meeting and getting to know them and vetting their references, but also asking to sit down with their families (significant others and kids). While some people take investors and investments rather lightly, I take an extraordinary amount of time and care doing my thorough diligence to ensure it’s the right partner for the journey. I can assure you, I have done that here, and have also included several of our farmers in this diligence process. I am comfortable saying most of our investors have either spoken to farmers we work with on the phone, or gone personally to tour their farms. For Gotham specifically, I can confidently share that they were put through an exhaustive vetting process by me, and they spent time with several of our founding farms, including Waterdog Herb, Huckleberry Farms, Elysian Fields and HappyDay Farms. Though, it would be impossible for all of our farmers to meet every investor, we go out of our way to include them in the process as we know it's important for all of us to be aligned. I am proud to say that all of our investors are values-aligned and committed to our vision, and are with us for the long term.

2) Accusations of local government corruption within Mendocino County

At Flow Kana, everything we do is in service of strengthening and expanding the ecosystem for independent legacy cannabis farms. We have no business model without independent farms.

Due to our scale, we work with many counties and local government officials across the state which gives us the perspective to say without any doubt that we are lucky to have the dedicated local government we have in Mendocino. Flow Kana doesn’t get any special perks. Our permits receive just as much scrutiny, cost just as much, and take just as long as everyone else’s in Mendocino. We participate in an open and transparent public process with the county, and our goals are to expand opportunities for independent farmers.

3) Questions regarding corruption in Venezuela and my background

I was surprised that my country of birth is being correlated with my values as a person; xenophobia is such a sad side of human nature. It is true that Venezuela has become a corrupt and truly horrible place to call home. This is not because the place or its people are bad, it is in fact victim to the worst and most corrupt government of our world today. Ever since Hugo Chavez got into power in ‘98, Venezuela and its people have suffered a rapid decline and painful instability. The country is subject to a fascist, dictatorial regime, that is dressed as socialism, and is at the brink of bankruptcy - it is why I left.

But somehow the beautiful country where I was born manages to survive these atrocities, which speaks to their resilience. There are over 25 million people in Venezuela, and these are people that have the same hopes and dreams that every person has, to live peacefully, to prosper, to raise their families. I love Venezuela's beauty, its people, its rich culture, and I miss what it used to be so much.

Mendocino reminds me very much of the Venezuela of my childhood -- not just its beauty, but its family-focused values and sense of community. It’s probably why I was drawn to, and chose Redwood Valley to set my roots and build my life.

I’ve experienced the struggles of my countrymates first hand -- I’ve been in marches, fighting against the coy threw tear gas canisters and killed indiscriminately. I’ve been injured, and fortunately not severely hurt. I was blessed I was able to get out, many of my friends don’t have that option. A corrupt government does not define its individual citizens, and I would love the opportunity to have the power of influence to one day be able to affect the change that Venezuela desperately deserves. I am proud to call myself Venezuelan and hope to one day help to build a better future for my country.

4) Questions about my experience prior to cannabis

I graduated from Carnegie Mellon, and was fortunate to be able to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Merryl Lynch, for a year. Following that, I built (and subsequently sold) a food distribution company in Venezuela. I was incredibly proud of that company, but sadly the government's greed, and success in destroying the private sector, made it impossible to continue. It’s been alleged that I was involved in a cryptocurrency project, and I have no idea what this refers to. I have nothing against cryptocurrency, in fact I do believe it could be a disruptive technology for humanity, but it is not something I have ever been involved with nor pursued.

In closing, I hope this email helps clarify some of the unsubstantiated online conversations you may have seen, or been approached about. You are welcome to reference this and I hope that it eases questions asked in ‘fear of the unknown’.

I continue to be as committed as ever with my wife and my new baby girl (born here in Mendocino), to be of service to this community, to add value to this county, and to work as hard as I possibly can to support small farmers, who are real stewards of the land and whose lives inspire us daily at Flow Kana. An example of this has been our continued dedication to diversified agriculture through a program that has been so dear to us since Flow Kana’s inception. Our CSA program with MendoLake Food Hub has now made us the largest purchaser of locally-grown produce in Mendocino. We are also the second largest employer in the county. We are also the number 1 flower brand of the entire state. These are incredible responsibilities that I do not take lightly.

I believe the most precious thing that we can offer this planet and mankind besides our love, is our work. Our labor is an offering of our energy, our time, our imagination, our mind, our greatest self, and ultimately our ability to take action. It's through our labor (love in action) that we share our greatest self and our gifts to one another. And it is only through our actions, and not our words, that I will continue to share with this community, what Flow Kana is all about.

Thank you for caring enough to question and seeking the truth.

Here in the service of my community, Best,

Mikey/ Michael Steinmetz

Founder & Chief Servant Officer (CSO)

Flow Kana, Inc.

* * *



It cracked me up a little bit to read in the Off the Record section this week that Branson High School's 8-man football team is undefeated in four years of play. Living amongst the affluent class almost all my life, I've noticed an elitist obsession with winning at all costs, or to put it another way, a pathological intolerance of losing. 

It reminds me of my father who went to a college prep school in Connecticut before attending Dartmouth and Stanford and working in the business world. When I was in the fourth grade we would sometimes play one-on-one basketball on Saturdays at a local junior high school in affluent Orinda where we lived. Starting when I was in the fifth grade I began beating him regularly in basketball, like 8 out of 10 times, and all of a sudden he didn't want to play basketball anymore. He didn't admit why but it was clear he was saying "If I can't beat you then I don't want to play anymore." I mentioned this to a woman several years ago and she said that my father could have expressed a sense of pride that his son could beat him regularly at basketball (which I suppose would be what some modern fathers would have done) but since my old man saw me primarily as a competitor the last thing he wanted to do was boost my ego. 

I also had a male friend in Orinda in junior high school who was a math and numbers geek, and who I unsurprisingly discovered years ago on Facebook now owns his own accounting firm. In the eighth grade he and my father and I did a pool where we each chose ten companies on the New York Stock Exchange to see whose stocks did the best over the course of one year. The winner would win a whopping five dollars each from the other two competitors. 

I was keeping track of our stocks in the Sunday paper every week and after a year my stocks did the best of the three of us. When I informed my friend of this, his numbers-obsessed ego couldn't handle that he hadn't won and he accused me of cheating. I offered to show him the meticulous records I'd kept for 52 weeks of our stocks but he refused and he never did pay me the five dollars. I'm sure he never felt any guilt whatsoever about stiffing me, either. Not surprisingly within several months I dumped him and our friendship was over. 

So it didn't surprise me that elitist Branson High School would compete in an 8-man football league where they could dominate rather than struggle in 11-man football against local high schools like another elite private school (and football powerhouse) Marin Catholic, who if they played Branson every year would probably beat them by seven or eight touchdowns. 

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

* * *



Every time I watch disasters on TV, I cringe at the number of small plastic water bottles being thrown around. On the news recently I saw a woman from Flint, Michigan, who was still using bottled water for all her household needs. She said she used about a hundred bottles daily. Agencies involved in disaster preparation know in advance what to expect. Why aren’t they distributing gallon jugs? Why did the 16-ounce bottle become the default method of delivering water?

Janyce Bodeson

Santa Rosa

* * *



Senator McGuires SB 560 is a good start toward recognizing and attempting to deal with the entirely self-serving plan by PG&E for widespread power shutoffs. Senator Weiner has proposed SB 378, which among other things holds PG&E responsible for the costs of shutting down power, costs which are already being born by individuals, business and government entities. 

Both of these bills should be fast tracked, voted on and passed now, not next year. It is wonderful that some in the legislature have finally noticed what PG&E is attempting to do and what a monumentally stupid idea it is, but action to stop it is needed sooner rather than later. 

If PG&E is allowed to proceed with this plan widespread chaos will result and there will be a public outcry unparalleled in our time. The PUC, with characteristic rubber stamp acumen, has approved this plan, showing its close ties to the industry it is supposed to regulate and removing itself from any meaningful role as far as regulation is concerned. It seems clear that swift action by the Legislature is needed. 

Tom McFadden


* * *



The Unjust Occupation of Mendocino’s Forest Lands

MRC and its careless use of poison in our county is an example of the built in failure required by high concentrations of wealth. 

The Fisher family made their billions as slave masters who profited obscenely from the tryanny of sweat shop plantations. Global corporate capitalism, falsely called the free market or globalization, is a brutal system of theft only kept under control by the US military and NATO. The fact there’re so many billionaires is based on an unjust and failed economic order, and the terrible success of US global military oppression. 

Having MRC occupying our county is similar to the bad luck of having the rude US military squatting in your land. Maybe we should take note of the methods used by many countries who succeeded in evicting our destructive, disruptive, and environment fouling bases from their lands. 

Japan has been trying since WWII to remove our many bases from Okinawa, same for South Korea. The list goes on and on. People get fed up with massive pollution, noise, belligerent foreign cultural supremacist invaders, rape and plunder. 

Maybe there’s a legal way to remove these careless mean stupid billionaires from this county for their lack of concern for the health and safety of the area and it’s occupants. MRC and PG+E should be taken over by the state and sued for their criminal malfeasance and hubris. Just say no to bad neighbors! 

Ross Dendy


* * *



On Labor Day, the annual membership renewal picnic was held for the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club at Todd Grove Park. Speakers included John McCowen, John Haschak, Mo Mulheren and John Sakowicz. 

Interestingly, McCowen was both one of the first speakers of the day and the last speaker. John Sakowicz spoke late in the day, following a musical interlude after lunch.

In his comments, 1st District candidate Sakowicz stated that the many job vacancies at the county are what help balance the county’s budget. The high job vacancy rate are sort of like a hidden subsidy. An open secret. Sakowicz said he applauds the recent raises given to county workers in their new contracts, but he wonders where the money will come from after 2020. 

Sakowicz also stated that the county pension fund has a negative monthly cash flow of more than $1 million, and, given that "burn rate", the pension system will run out of money.

Sakowicz also spoke about Flow Kana's dark money investors from Wall Street, and doubted that our small farmers are being given a fair deal.

Supervisor McCowen, who had already spoken in the morning session, then jumped up, grabbed the microphone, and tried to refute what Sakowicz had just said, saying the BOS has always supported the small cannabis farmer, and that there is a law that mandates funding for employee pensions no matter how bankrupt the county may be. Well, one only has to review the many BOS public videos on the subject of cannabis to see that the small cannabis farmer has been hamstrung by the permitting process among other issues. Many have already gone out of business, or gone back to growing for the black market.

Ask yourself: Why did McCowen have such a violent knee-jerk reaction to Sakowicz? Also, why is McCowen hiding the sinkholes in both the county budget and county pension system — the open secrets that that nobody talks about? And what does McCowen really know about Flow Kana? 

How could Flow Kana happen to dominate the local cannabis industry, if not but for the backroom support of a few well-placed public officials? Who might they be?

Mary Massey


* * *



To Mr. Herald Prednander from Willits. You are a sick old man. You are crazy. Your brains left your head and gone down to where your bowel movements are and your bowel movements have gone up to where your brain should be. So you should just shut up. I hope you understand this. See, when you open your mouth to talk you have a bowel movement and when you have a bowel movement your brains go out. Think that over and choose your words a little more wisely.

How crazy and how full of bullshit are the people who believe in climate control and global warming? It's all a political arm to screw the American people. How dumb can people be to say some things? How dumb can people be to believe them? Dumb and dumber. Almost unbelievable. People are so stupid that they actually drive cars and doing stuff like -- I can't say how stupid these people are that believe this shit. California Air Resources Board. Millions and millions of dollars of trucks! MILLIONS! These people are just rotten liberal political advocates screwing the American people. 

People scream about gun control but they don't say anything about Chicago and the mass killings going on there every weekend. Last weekend there were seven people killed and 36 wounded. Not a word. Not a single word. But if anything happens on conservative ground or any other area they scream gun control. People who believe in gun control are absolutely full of SHIT! It's not the gun’s fault, it’s the people holding the gun. The only way we will ever get the best of this bad deal is to be careful and watch what you're doing. Keep your head on a swivel and don't bring it on yourselves. Watch out for people who make threats with weapons that might be talking about going and killing somebody. If you think I do that, no. I might talk about getting rid of them some way but not by shooting them — yet. 

Everybody in the United States to take a good long hard look at the people running for president and the things they say and how stupid they are. Cortez and the Green New Deal is absolutely completely out of this world stupid! Stupid people and dumb people and crazy people will believe what they are doing. The crazy and the dumb and lead by the crazy and the dumb and the stupid.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *


Dear Editor,

Really, it's time to say enough is enough. Either put that troglodyte Philbrick’s name on the masthead (I see Washburne has made room) and print his insane diatribes elsewhere in the rag or, better yet, relegate his National Socialist ass to the inter-web edition. (Or the compost heap.)

And Jerry, if you hate your fellow Californians and the people we choose to govern us so much, why don't you move to Montana or Idaho where there are thousands who think as you do? Join the militia and sit around fondling your firearms every evening, pretending you're not crazy as shit-house rats.

Dump Trump.

D. Bullock, Loyal Subscriber


PS. Seldom have I heard such grandiose blather as that currently being spewed by "The Hebrew Hammer." Come to VSP, pal. We have a nice EOP cell awaiting you.

PPS. Will someone inform Pebs (okay, I will) that the insipid song "My Dingaling" was the biggest hit (go figure) that Chuck Berry (not Little Richard) ever had.

* * *


The AVA, Attn: Bruce Anderson — September 4, 2019

Re: Cease and Desist Use of Personal Image

Dear Anderson Valley Advertiser,

Your newspaper organization continues to use my image without my permission. I demand removal of my personal photograph from your website within 15 days of receipt of this letter.

I am the owner of the photograph which you used to sell newspapers and continue to use online.

My professional photograph depicts me smiling with my arms folded. I am wearing a light blue shirt. I own the rights to that image.

Article: Mistrial Declared, Date: March 8, 2017, Archives/66338

Failure to remove the photograph and/or article will resiult in legal action which may include claims of invastion of privacy, violation of right of publicity, libel and defamation, among others. I will seek damages and other court orders absent your voluntary cooperation.

You do not have my consent to use my image.

As a courtesy, I request you remove the booking photo as well and remove the article. Or, make the article private.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I do not consent of publication of this letter and/or my personal cellphone listed below. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Best regards,

Lindsay R. Peak, Attorney at Law

The Law Offices of Lindsay Peak


ED REPLY: Is this some kind of pictorial three-card monte you're playing here, Ms. Peak? Who is which? 


  1. Pat Kittle September 11, 2019

    Most Americans rightly (but vaguely) understand the official version of 9-11 is utter BS.

    There’s no shortage of forensic, scientific, & eyewitness evidence that we’ve been (and are being) betrayed by war criminals.

    “9-11 — ISRAEL DID IT”
    — [ ]

    Don’t be afraid. Check it out.

  2. Pat Kittle September 12, 2019

    D. Bullock, Loyal Subscriber:

    Calling Trump enthusiast Jerry Philbrick a National Socialist is absurd.

    National Socialists opposed Jewish oligarchs.

    Trump obsequiously caters to them:

    “Trump Foreign Policy as Theater of the Absurd –
    A nightmare that one never wakes up from”:
    — [ ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *