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Letters To The Editor



On May 2, 2011, my husband and I were paying our bills and getting money orders from the usual place. Outside there was a cop talking to my husband. I had no idea what was going on. I put my bag in the truck and looked over to see what they were doing. The officer looked at me and said, RUDELY, might I add, “Do you have a problem?” I said no. He came over and told me he was going to search the vehicle, “Are you on parole or probation?” I replied no. I said to him that, I’m getting MY bag out of the vehicle. He said, FORCEFULLY, “You ARE NOT getting your bag. You are going to jail. He proceeded to snatch and twist my wrist around my back. I said, Oww! You're hurting my hand.” When he got to the cop car he threw me onto it while still twisting my wrist. I only know one cop’s name. The other abusive one was badge #256. There was another RUDE cop there who blatantly REFUSED to give his name or badge #. I do recall what he looked like. He was Mexicanish with DARK sunglasses and a goatee. After the whole incident was over people were staring. I was hurt. We had done NOTHING wrong. We used to go to that place to pay bills and our daughter's school is a couple blocks away. Now we don't go there anymore because of the police brutality on whomever they choose fit. We have a lot of tattoos, so that’s why the city police bother us.

After that incident we went and picked up our daughter from school and my wrist hurt so bad that I had to go to an out-of-county hospital because Marshall Hospital has a “red flag” on us because of the way we look. I went to Mercy of Folsom and had x-rays taken. They sent me home with a splint, which they did not show me how to use and a sling which I was also not shown how to use, two prescriptions: ibuprofen 600mg, and generic vicodins #10. I told them those are not going to help with the pain. They gave me some instructions on how to take care of a wrist fracture and told me to follow up with the Nurse Practitioner. I also received a bruise on my elbow from when he twisted my wrist and arm behind my back.

On May 9 my Nurse Practitioner sent for some more x-rays because I was crying from the pain and NOBODY would tell me what was wrong with it. They said they compared the x-rays and there was no evident fracture. I have a copy of one of the films and something looks messed up to me. my Nurse Practitioner said that my right wrist looked abnormal due to its size in comparison to the left.

On May 17 my husband was seen there for a different matter and I told them I wanted to get the copies from Mercy of Folsom and the report that the Nurse Practitioner had made. I have copies of mostly everything.

Anyway, the prescription did not match the paperwork on file. I asked them why they said they did not know and could not change the one in the file and let me keep the other copy. I recorded their whole transaction because they were, as they put it, “we need to cover our tracks” — we have had many unsuccessful run-ins with governmental entities in this county. Proof of almost EVERYTHING!

I dare not keep it on me or near my house. I travel to my in-laws and keep it there where only they know where it’s at.

I have called numerous news centers; they refuse to help me. NAACP will not help. The doctors and cops are all in cahoots, so whatever they think is wrong they won't tell me or help me.

I am still in EXCRUCIATING pain, my right wrist is still WAY bigger than the left. There are NO lawyers who will help me. As soon as the “c” word comes up they retract their first diagnosis and right in front of me and my husband they changed the dosage and amount of medication that I was supposed to get. All these copies and paperwork are not at my house because I do not and cannot trust this system in El Dorado county.

Please, if you know of anyone or if you can help me I would be indebted to you.

Contact me at:

Lisa Belyew

POB 1552, Placerville, CA 95667

PS. The mental health “help” you get here is also a big joke.



Editor & fellow citizens,

For nigh on to two years on many if not most Mondays I have done a noon to one o'clock Peace Vigil/Anti War Protest in front of Town Hall in Fort Bragg, along with a couple of other older men.

In the spirit of stepping things up and in order to reach a different audience I and three women friends were in front of Town Hall today, Sunday the 22nd of May, with our signs and a Peace Flag. We video documented the event and intend to be back every Sunday at noon and invite people against war to join us. Let's build local movement and may I suggest, that you who will be reading this in other locales begin to step it up. I intend to announce and promote these kind of activities here and EVERYWHERE and further suggest we do this until the 75 to 80% who in polls say they want these wars to end get the courage to put their bodies on the sidewalks and in the streets until we bring this monstrous and criminal government to a halt so we, like citizens all over the Middle East and in Wisconsin etc can have our voices heard and be in on the revolutionary and transformational evolution to really be a Nation like we were taught we were/are but really have never been.

Without negating, forgetting, or belittling all the positive movements and changes we have managed to achieve we must now publicly acknowledge not only the current dark deeds we are doing, but all the historical ones also. A good start would be to call a unilateral cease fire, then apologize to all the people of all the Sovereign Nations we have invaded, occupied and pillaged and raped and I would begin with the current victims by apologizing, making amends and then move backwards chronologically is time doing the same for each Nation so mistreated by the government and citizens of the United States of America. This is what peace and justice loving peoples of the world are waiting for and expecting. It is the right thing to do. Be truthful and honorable for a change and from now on.

Peter Sears

Fort Bragg



for Oliver Lewis — May 21,2011

I am not there with you today,

and no words come easily to mind.

You are getting baptized in Salt Lake City,

and I am at my home in Ukiah, California.

I am clearing a space in my garden

for scarlet runner beans.


For years, I've wanted to plant

scarlet runner beans,

also known as magic bean stalks.

Once they spout and start to grow,

I'll train them on my garden's trellis.

Hopefully, later this summer,

the vines will ascend the trellis

and bloom in sprays of scarlet

that will attract hummingbirds

throughout the hot, dusty afternoons.


"Indeed, flowers are treasurers

for the eye and heart,"

as master gardener Renee Shepard

has written  —  but so are babies!


Baby Oliver, I imagine you today  —

clear-eyed and comical, a big-chested silly guy,

dressed for a baptism but ready for a bar fight.


Today, too, I remember your mother's baptism.

Baby Zoe  —  she was my baby,

dressed in a lace gown and tiny, white shoes.

That was thirty-three years ago.


It was a perfect day

that imprinted itself on my beating heart.


This afternoon, I remember all over again.


While working in my garden,

in the golden, wine-colored light

of late afternoon,

I remember, as I sit cross-legged

in the dirt under the trellis

with garden trowel in my hand.


I remember, as I irredeemably age

and inch my way toward the end of my own life.


…And now, I wonder.


What is it exactly that echoes

without sound, like smoke?

Who are those inky shapes?

How have the smudges and smears

of oily proteins in my brain

become paintings  —  dreams, memories, thoughts?

What is it exactly that has been dragged

across the decades  —  semi-translucent, ghostlike  —

to sit here next to me this afternoon?


What is it that endures?


Is it the memory of my daughter's baptism?

Or is it something else?

Is it the memory of the "feeling" of that day?


I don't know.


But whatever it was, I found it again.

I found it in me like an old flower

dried in the center of a book.


John Sakowicz




Dear Editor,

Many Cannabis Cards stories are surfacing around the county. I appreciate reading about John Wester's adventures in Amsterdam, as told to the AVA.

Here's a local story from singer-songwriter/astrologer, Antonia Lamb.

Standing on the corner, waiting for Cannabis Cards artist Fred Sternkopf (aka AVA cartoonist Dr. Doo), Antonia noticed me and stopped to share her recent encounter with Captain Fathom.

She said Fathom approached her very insistently, handed her $7 in bills and said, “I want a 3-card reading.”

Antonia apologized and told him, “But Fathom, I can't. I don't have any cards with me.”

Then she hesitated, thinking, “But wait… maybe I do.”

She reached in her handy bag and pulled out — guess what? — a deck of Cannabis Cards she carried with her.

Without missing a beat, she spread the cards face down in a professional manner and asked Fathom to choose.

He picked Lenny Bruce, Jimmy Hendrix and Louie Armstrong.

She explained, “You are defiant. You give the finger to society's norms, like Lenny Bruce.”

“You strut your stuff as though life is a stage, like Jimmy Hendrix.”

“But in the end, you come around to the wisdom of Louie Armstrong, 'What A Wonderful World It Can Be’.”

Antonia assessed Captain Fathom to a tee — far more than $7 worth of improvisational advice.

She opened a door into the Louie Armstrong attitude, which is to accentuate the positive and promote the world as a “wonder.”

The first edition of Cannabis Cards honors Louie Armstrong for his wisdom and influence.

We now have three new cards of cannabis greats: Willie Nelson, Brownie Mary and Miles Davis.

Our introductory package is $1 per card for a 10 card minimum, mix n match ok + $2 postage = $12 total.

The offer also includes 8.5 x 11 prints of Marley, Miles, Mary & Willie @ $3 each/4 for $10 minimum/+$2 postage = $12 total.

Here is the quote on the Willie Nelson card: “Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If he put it here and wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?”

For further info, contact us at  or PO Box 743 Mendocino CA 95460.

pebbles trippet





Friends of the Gualala River, a small local grassroots conservation advocacy group from California's North Coast, has joined with 18 national, California, and regional environmental organizations in asking the international wine corporation Codorniu of Barcelona, to withdraw its controversial proposal to destroy nearly 150 acres of coastal redwood forest by clearcutting and converting the area for new vineyards to produce premier wine grapes.

An unprecedented coalition of national, statewide, and regional environmental advocates has joined friends of the Gualala River in its direct appeal to Codorniu, the parent corporation of the project proponent, Artesa Winery of Napa.

Codorniu is presently the third largest winery in the world. The coalition, including Center for Biodiversity, California Native Plant Society, California Sportfishing Alliance, California Water Impact Network, Marin and Madrone Audubon Society chapters, Sonoma County Water Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, and Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, cite unacceptable impacts of the project due to irreversible loss of redwood forest and soils, impacts on recovery of severely threatened steelhead trout, coho salmon, rare wildlife species, river flows and water quality.

In 2001, Artesa acquired a 324 acre forest and parcel on the flattop coastal ridges of Annapolis.

Artesa then proposed a 105 acre forest-to-vineyard conversion on that parcel at the beginning of the marketing craze surrounding Pinot Noir wine. The project was originally given approval with minimal environmental review by the California Department of Forestry (Cal Fire) and almost none from Sonoma County.

Friends of the Gualala successfully challenged the environmental review process, requiring Cal Fire to prepare a full environmental impact report (EIR).

The proposal expanded to 171 acres of forest conversion in 2004 when the EIR process was started. The EIR release was delayed nearly five years and was recently recirculated in 2011.

The EIR also revealed that the site was located among a complex of Pomo villages and camps on the gently sloped ridgetop openings in the redwood forest, and included numerous archaeological sites.

Professor Peter Schmidt of the University of Florida Department of Anthropology believes these sites are part of a distinct archaeological district. Local Pomo elders and the tribal historic preservation officer of the Kashia band of Pomo Indians have identified the site as Part Two of the aboriginal territory of the tribe and recognize the cultural importance of the area as a blessed place.

For the last 150 years the story of human interaction with the coastal redwood forest of California has been one of environmental abuse suffered during multiple waves of resource extraction.

With a new entrepreneurial land rush aimed solely at soil and climate suitability for certain grape varietals, it is now a question not of mere abuse but of a fight for the very survival of these remaining redwood forests.

The Codorniu Artesa vineyard conversion proposal to clearcut and permanently remove the largest single swath of redwood forest to date in Sonoma County is part of the ongoing epidemic of vineyard invasions into the coastal forests of California.

It heralded the emergence of an even larger subsequent Napa-based wine corporation proposal to convert 1600 more acres of Annapolis forests to vineyards by Premier Pacific Vineyards on a 20,000-acre parcel nearby.

Despite the severe downturn in the luxury wine market in 2008, the Barcelona-based wine corporation has persevered in its original plans to remove more than 150 acres of forest, removing tree stumps, ripping the soils down to four feet deep, installing 40 reservoirs and miles of wire fencing and trellises and forever altering the hydrology of the recovering river just below — carving out a pinot noir vineyard out of millions of years of forest ecosystem development that happens to be within a new prestigious wine appellation.

The Codorniu corporation, thousands of miles away, seems to be unaware of the wave of resistance and outrage it will face as the nature of its proposal finds its way into wide media exposure.

For more information contact me at or

Chris Poehlmann





My name is Cleo Dumont. I recently was given a copy of your latest newspaper, and while I get the comedic effect of the story, the false allegations, and invasion of my facebook/modeling page are something I feel need to be addressed.

First, I was never arrested for battery, and never charged with anything but vandalism. I feel that if you are going to be running a story, you should check the facts first.

I also have an issue with the fact that my home address is listed, this not only puts me in danger (alongside an article like this), but it also effects my neighbors, there are children around this area and I'd hate to have an angry mob outside of my apartment complex, which I think is a very valid worry given the “information” that has been published.

I'd also like to address my facebook, there is a reason that it is private, and that reason is to have my privacy respected. I really don't see the relation of facebook to the article, and let me clarify that “interests” on facebook, are pages one has “liked” — meaning that the person hasn't actually written those down as an interest.

Regarding model mayhem, I don't recall ever writing anything along the lines of “wanting to be a photographer's model.” And having my modeling/appearance (specifically the comment about the author as a praying man being at my feet) commented on the way that they were, honestly, makes me feel a little objectified.

But I digress, more friends requests on model mayhem, I suppose. Though I never asked for the humiliation of being published in a small newspaper — while I already have quite a bit of local gossip to deal with.

I have several issues with this article, and though it is public information, I feel as if my privacy has been invaded horribly. It's almost like I'm in high school again, but in high school there wasn't an article about you if you were sent to the princepal’s office, or given detention. Though what I am forcefully reminded of while reading this, is the gossip that was written in the bathroom stalls at my high school. This is simply a “kick 'em while they're down” article.

There are just some things that cross the line, and I think that this article, and any others like it are very detrimental to the subject's well being.

As I'm sure many people are well aware, bullying is the third leading cause of suicide in people ages 15 through 25. I consider this article and others like it, the most public form of bullying there is. I have tried over and over to see a point to this article, each time I end up feeling lost. I will never see the necessity to publicly pick at someone like this article has. If this were written about someone who was not as strong mentally as I am, or supported as I am, I could see something like this pushing them over the edge. I strongly urge you to reconsider writing these kind of articles in the future.

I will not hide my face in shame, because anyone who actually knows me, and knows true, valid facts about me, will be laughing with me at the utter ridiculousness of this story.

One last thing, my weight is actually 96-100 pounds. If every detail must be published.

I hope you don't take this as hate mail, I'm simply clarifying a few points, and giving my real input as a human being with real thoughts and feelings.

Cleo Dumont


Ed note: Miss Dumont, 21, appears five times in less than three years in the Sheriff's booking log, beginning with an arrest for battery on 10 July, 2008 when she was 18. Her street, without the house address, was included in a press release from the Ukiah Police Department. It had to do with her apparently violent encounter with Mr. Ford. That police report also appeared in the Ukiah Daily Journal, a newspaper assumed to be read by more people than the Boonville weekly, an assumption we believe is probably false, but since there's no way of knowing we'll concede Miss Dumont may have a point. Ms. Dumont's Facebook page is public, and Miss Dumont appears on a website devoted to models where her good looks make her a natch. She will disagree, but press accounts of her hijinks would seem to be the least of her probs.



To the Editor:

To: Diana Alvarado, USPS Pacific Facility Services Office, 395 Oyster Point Blvd. Suite 225, South San Francisco, CA 94080-1930.

I’m the Operations/Fiscal Manager for a small non-profit 501(C)3 corporation — the Mendocino County AIDS Volunteer Network, P. O. Box 1350, Ukiah CA 95482. I stop by the Post Office on Oak Street every day on my way to the office. I can always park and it adds only minutes to my day.

MCAVN was formed in 1987 by a group of citizens who saw the need for an agency devoted to the care of AIDS patients and their families. At the time, the government had not garnered the political will to fight AIDS on any local level and the community here came together to fill the void. Later, we did become funded through the Office of AIDS and the Ryan White initiative, and over the years have received grants and donations that made it possible to hire a paid, staff. At one time, this staff numbered 12 workers, both in house counselors/advocates and outreach. We are now at 3 part-time staffers bolstered by dedicated volunteers, while we have included Hepatitis C in our mission and seen our case load more than double. Thanks to fiscal decisions by the government, we teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. But do not imagine that we will close. We have no intention of abandoning our clients and our neighbors. If necessary, we will become all volunteer again.

What I am trying to tell you is, in your hubris to balance your budget, or show a little profit, do not count our community out. The job of the Postal Service is to serve — is to consider the needs and health of the citizens of this country — all of them. The Post Office is a public resource in every sense of the term. Politics and a profit motive have thwarted your mission and I would urge you to resist this tendency in your own decisions.

The citizens of Ukiah and Mendocino County have resisted other overwhelming intrusions and changes — GMO’s and another strip mall most recently. We are active, creative people who will find a way to resist the closing of our beloved downtown Post Office. We will not submit to gridlock, traffic hazards, fumes, and inconvenience to allow it to be moved outside of our heart. People will volunteer their time and efforts to keeping our town’s character and healthfulness. We will find creative solutions.

Before you act in hubris or haste, you might consider how little you will gain by this unfriendly act. It may cost more than it is worth to fight us — for fight we will.

Janet M. Denninger


One Comment

  1. Nathaniel Branden, Jr. May 28, 2011

    Lisa Belyew’s letter is the most moving and intelligent letter you people have published in ages. It would be helpful if she could identify the police agency from where these utter goons came from.
    I do have some law enforcement contacts both here in California and in Tel Aviv where I do occasional business. There are legal ways of bringing these thugs to justice.
    By the way how do you like the way our King Bibi treated the shoeshine boy at the White House ? Obama’s bowing and scraping at AIPAC was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. For 24 hours I was proud of Obama as all my friend in Israel are for a pullback to the June 1967 lines. Alas, they a minority.
    One final unrelated point, Ayn Rand no more believed in Supermen than she believed in the Supernatural. John Galt is supposed to be the world’s first totally
    NORMAL person.
    Ayn personally was the most unboastful person that ever lived. She was very kind to decent people and loved cats.


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