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Letters (January 8, 2020)

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After over 23 years in business, Lauren Keating handed the “baton” to Natalie Matson at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s eve at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. Lauren will continue as a waitress, but Natalie will run the business. Lauren is leaving the world of perpetual restautrant responsibility to Natalie. 

Happy New Year and good luck to both of them. 

Terry Ryder 


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Normally, the propagandists at Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) respond rapidly to newspaper letters and articles about their poisoning campaign (aka "hack & squirt"). A few years ago they even created a special section on their website specifically for that purpose ( 

However, soon after California's Attorney General belatedly claimed a potential conflict-of-interest on Measure V (Mendocino County's ban on killing trees and leaving them standing) the leading purveyor of this despicable practice became uncharacteristically quiet on the topic. I suspect MRC's legal department urged their spinmeisters to clam up.

Since then, Mendocino County Counsel has soundly refuted MRC's claims of immunity to Measure V, and, more recently, Code Enforcement received an official complaint of MRC violating Measure V (that is, killing trees and leaving them standing more than 90 days). 

I suggest the County establish a fine schedule for such corporate scofflaws. Each year in Mendocino forests, MRC distributes enough poison to kill more than a million trees. If we charged a dollar per tree per day, that might have some real impact.

Mike Kalantarian


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Trump vs. Dems — I can hardly stand much about, certainly not the preening of, our current WH resident. but watching the Dems fawn over representatives of the security apparatus of our empire as though they were near saints appalls me deeply. I certainly favor impeachment, but one thing you can say about Trump- at least he is without artifice.

Chris Skyhawk


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To The Board Of Directors Of The Mendocino Coast District Hospital

It is a serious and shortsighted mistake to think that closing OB will help this hospital and this community. Obstetrics by itself at any hospital is never economically self sufficient, but in remote, rural hospitals it is particularly medically critical. The hospitals where closing an OB department was successful all have in common that obstetric services were available within a few minutes at a nearby hospital. That is not the case here. Closing OB here will result in serious medical, ethical and economic harm. Medically there will be a small but continuing number of dead and/or permanently disabled babies and mothers. Ethically a hospital in this kind of remote location should not countenance actions which will predictably hurt women and children, as well as the entire community. Economic damage will occur with changes in local demographics without adequate local obstetric and gynecologic care. Family and emergency care are not viable substitutes. The solution is not to close OB, but to re-enable the successful situation we had with three ob-gyn doctors who were kept busy for many years. That is, recruit and expand the services to include a full range of obstetric and gynecologic services and surgeries. 

Peter Glusker, MD

MD-PhD, FAAN, FACP Neurology and Sleep Disorders Medicine

Fort Bragg

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Sonoma County recently approved $12 million for emergency funding to address the increasing or more visually present homelessness population in Sonoma County. Is the reason we are securing the additional funding the fact that they’ve set up encampments in rural and residential areas?

I’ve got an environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible plan: utilize resources that are in place. For example, the Sonoma Developmental Center has housed up to 3,200 residents. The current estimated homeless population exceeds 3,000.

I understand that Mount Hood buildings, the developmental center and the county’s Chanate Road buildings aren’t entirely up to code, but you could have shelter residents sign a release of liability.

Does this make sense, or should we pour $12 million into new buildings and homes? People have been residing in these locations as recently as December 2018.

Laurel Anderson

Santa Rosa

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Ralph Nader listens to Thom Hartmann and Hartman listens to Ralph Nader on Saturday. Ralph Nader said, "Hartman is the most erudite person on radio."

There are a few lefties left who would listen if the program was on at a better time. "Political Breakdown" on Saturday is a pretty good program. They are doing interviews with Jerry Brown now.

It looks like another dud is managing KZYX now. If she would spend less time bleating for money and more time trying to improve the content they might raise more money. But if they get enough money at pledge time to pay their salaries, why should they try to improve the station?

Like much of the “media-ocity,” NPR has deteriorated during the last few years. Who decides what is broadcast and what is withheld? The general secretary of the Women's Christian Temperance Union? Madame Diem? Anne Coulter? I have counted as many as 15 advertisements during a one-hour news hour. A good project for your AVA interns would be to check to see what news stories are in the PD but not on NPR which should be. And then report back!

I still think the PD (a little expensive now) is the best newspaper in the state outside the big cities. The letters to the editor in the AVA have been pretty punk lately even those you reprint from other papers.

I will be voting for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren on March 3. Over in Willits I don't see much enthusiasm for them. It's Biden, the best candidate to beat Trump. Biden is very well-qualified as was Hillary. Do we have to wait for you on your deathbed to apologize for all of your bashing of Bill and Hillary Clinton? Do you really think you influenced anyone? Philbrick probably has a better record.

David McCullough has a new book out -- "the Pioneers." Both McCullough and Doris K. Goodwin do such an excellent job of research that it seems like they were actually there at the time they write about.

I believe and I have evidence that 25% of the claims to Medicare in Mendocino County consist of Medicare fraud. Doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Who the hell cares? Cheating is a way of life except in Boonville of course. Put a little black shoe polish in that gray ink you are using. I think all of the newspapers in the county are resisting any effort to place a gun-control initiative on the ballot.

Ralph Bostrom


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Dear Editor: 

Like the old Chinese custom I try to pay off all debts from the preceding year so I can start anew not burdened by my past failures. It is not only the financial arrangements I try to put in order but also my personal debts of gratitude that I owe. My failure to acknowledge these personal debts are bordering on the legendary. With this in mind, I wish to thank you for the publication last year of my work. After a 20 year hiatus from publishing it was enjoyable to be back in print at age 78.

I also want to express gratitude to your reporters. Most modern journalism is about the reporter and not a report on the issues happening in front of them. You need a tough ass, a Geiger counter hearing, and a bullshit alarm detector, a cast-iron stomach, a nose for bribery and corruption, a realization that all bribery starts locally.

I am grateful for your staff’s endurance. I am enclosing a check for the burn victims of Boonville and leave it to your discretion where or to whom it goes.

In regards to Norm Wallen's letter on December 11 about my failure to understand the circumstances or reasons leading up to the faculty strike of 1968 1969 that I wrote about in “A Year of Riotous Living,” I can truthfully respond by stating that I am not now nor have I ever been or intend to become an historian. I will leave that to those inclined to gather a sea of conflicting facts to drown in.

The essay concerns itself not with the causes but the effects of those causes and conditions it produced in the future. It would be well for Mr. Wallen to refer to a November 30, 2019 article San Francisco Chronicle, "Peacemaker in charge at long fractured SF State." 

Fifty years down the road and nothing has changed except the cost of a college education. Identity politics still exists. The use of public education as a political incubator is still seen as a useful tool for social change.

I am the son of two labor organizers: my mother for the Office Workers Union, Teamsters, and my father for the building trades, AFL-CIO. Both were activists in the Democratic Party. I started licking stamps at age 10 and stuffing envelopes at age 11, driving voters to the polls at 16. I know knew early on how the vote works, what deals were cut, with whom and why. Our weekend dinner table was filled with Democrats, communists, socialists and wobblies/IWW members who I liked the best. They always sang together when they got drunk and had the best protest songa.

My father was the office manager of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) while Cesar Chavez was still picking grapes in Delano. So you can hardly complain that I am politically naive. Please look at the ocean and not the waves. I stand by what I wrote and I do appreciate your compliment on "accurate reporting." Whatever the causes were, we are living with the effects now.

Dave McCain


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My name is Patrick Noel #V8877. I'm currently in Mendocino County Jail awaiting transfer that to state prison at Susanville, level 3.

I previously wrote to the AVA, which was a great article by the way, called "Fair Play for Patrick." Thanks. I also sent a new trial motion that I presented to the court showing prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel.

This is an update of my case. The system has railroaded me once again. I came back to court because of the public defender’s mistakes. So, how can the Court reappoint the public defender’s office? I believe that's a conflict of interest. I filed a Marsden motion to argue these facts and to have private counsel appointed instead of court-appointed public defender Jeffrey Aaron.

Mr. Aaron, I might add, was completely ineffective as my request for new counsel was denied twice.

On December 16, 2019, the Court held a new trial motion hearing where I had to argue my new trial motion by myself in pro per without the assistance of court-appointed public defender Jeffrey Aaron. It is clearly ineffective assistance of counsel and clearly a conflict of interest because how is he going to show the mistakes of his own office’s dirty laundry, mistaken decisions, corruption and inadequate assistance of counsel?

At the hearing I argued the prosecution is withholding exculpatory evidence that could exonerate me. District Attorney Scott McMenomey me admitted this on record. He located favorable exonerating evidence and filed a motion to dismiss charges PC 245 assault charges against me. But he still didn't disclose this favorable evidence to the defense. Judge Behnke turned a blind eye, basically looked the other way, regarding the corruption of the DA withholding exonerating evidence, and ineffective and incompetence of the public defender's office by denying my new trial motion. 

On December 20, 2019, the Court held my resentencing hearing. The resentencing judge, Judge Behnke, had the authority to dismiss the strike for the 20 year gun enhancement previously imposed in 2005.

The victim for which the twenty-year enhancement was imposed came to court on my behalf and pled to the court for my release. He said that I should be allowed to come home and be given a second chance. If I was granted a new trial and a new jury of my peers who heard the victim impact statements I truly believe I would be acquitted and home and free.

I have also shown the court that I've rehabilitated myself since my incarceration and I am a completely different person. I was only 19 years old when these crimes were committed. I was young and addicted to drugs and alcohol, Over the course of my incarceration I have studied law, learned my constitutional rights and filed my own habeas corpus and have had some relief. I've also furthered my education by going to college and participating in self-help programs such as alternatives to violence, AA, NA, and substance-abuse classes to rehabilitate myself and change my ways, change my thought processes. My whole mentality has changed from when I was a youth and I believe I should have been given a second chance. Judge Behnke should have dismissed the 20-year gun enhancement and released me. But no, Behnke sentenced me to 37 years in state prison at 80% which is completely unjustified for the crimes and is a miscarriage of justice. 

I recently I read in the AVA about a murder that was committed and the suspect was sentenced to eight years with a prior rape conviction. In my case no one was actually physically hurt and I received 41 years the first time. Now I have received a 37 year sentence with 17 years served and 12 to go which is totally BS. 

It's time for me to come home. I'll be appealing this second miscarriage of justice by the Mendocino County Superior Court. I would like to thank the AVA for publishing my letter and for shining a light on this unfair and corrupt justice system.


Patrick Noel, CDC#8877

P.O. Box 2200

Susanville, CA 96130

c/o California Correctional Center

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The Plot To Destroy Democracy - How Putin And His Spies Are Undermining America And Dismantling The West - by Malcolm Nance. Pg.29: 

"So what about the hapless American President? What category does he fit? It will be easily revealed that to Russia, Donald Trump started as a Useful Idiot, and then became an Unwitting Asset, but quickly became a Witting Asset once he realized that Russia was working in his best interest.

Trump's usefulness to Moscow was critical to their goal of breaking links between America and its traditional allies. Trump has lived up to that expectation. Within the first year of his presidency, Trump managed to insult virtually every ally, neighboring country, international treaty body, and all of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Yet Vladimir Putin held such sway over him that it would take almost 15 months and a brazen chemical weapons attack to offer the first mild criticism. 

”This sycophancy had an effect. By early 2018, as much as 65% of America is permanently alienated from Trump's administration, as it has become increasingly clear that he is determined to rule only for his 35% core constituency. No matter, Trump views anyone who did not vote for him as alien. Non-voters and opposition are unworthy of his attention. He wants to lead and reward those who elected him and no others. Policies have been designed to punish the major blue states that had the nerve to vote for Hillary Clinton. His only piece of major legislation, a massive one trillion dollar tax cut to the ultra-wealthy, included many provisions which raised taxes on states like California and New York.." 

Nance is a 35-year career U.S. intelligence officer who specializes in cryptology, national security policy, and counterterrorism intelligence. He has utilized top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. 

It's a good book, a real doozy! I got an extra copy. I'll put in the mail for you there at the Fort. 

Happy 2020 vision for the new year! 

Best Regards,

Rob Mahon 


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It's sad. President Trump has done one of the greatest things America has done in a long time by getting rid of that butcher in Iran who has killed Americans and other people for 30 years. Now his rotten regime is over thanks to President Trump and his administration. But the liberals and liberal media, and some sick, demented people are condemning President Trump for it. Can you believe it? The people condemning President Trump for everything he's been doing right should be taken out of the picture. 

Australia is almost burning up. Wouldn't it be terrible if that happened in California? How would people react if the same thing was going on in California as retaliation for the rotten terrible things the Democrats have been doing to the public? You never know. 

There are some good people still in Covelo — the Hurts, O’Ferrells, Barnes, Wants, Azbills, Brittons, Vanns, and so forth. And then there's Rob Mahon who stinks up that valley in Covelo. I hope that the good people in Covelo read what he writes and realize what kind of an idiot he is. 

Jerry Philbrick


One Comment

  1. Joan Hansen January 10, 2020

    The Constitution gives the right to declare war. With American forces deployed around the world, the president can use them at his discretion. To date no president has consulted congress when it has come time to send forces into combat. The Democrats are conducting a power struggle. Trump is hated by the Democrats and they continue to try and discredit him. When the Iranian government attracted the U.S. Embassy in Iraq the president sent the right response.. The national security adviser Robert O,Brien stated the president was fully authorized by the same law that allowed the use of force in Iraq 18 yrs. ago Congress should be working with the president not against him, helping to defend our country. We do not want to witness another Benghazi tragedy as was witnessed during Obma’s presidency.

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