Letters (July 29, 2020)

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DETERMINED TO END LEGAL POT PERMITTING

An Open Letter to Supervisor Williams,

Thank you for your recent response to my concerns about the plan to abandon our cannabis ordinance and replace it with a Use Permit process. Unfortunately, all of my concerns about this proposal went unanswered by your letter.

You neglected to even mention the fact that the plan you and Supervisor McCowen have cooked up is to open up cannabis cultivation to our last remaining open space: our rangelands. This would be a considerable expansion of cannabis cultivation in our county, not supported by our General Plan, and deserves at least a mention, I would think.

You also did not enlighten me as to where all the water to support this plan would be coming from. Nor did you acknowledge that this water use, both legal & illegal, would likely have a very negative impact on our water table and our ability to support our struggling salmon runs.

Additionally, you did not acknowledge the fact that if we abandoned our ordinance, which provides for strict environmental controls, we would be replacing it with a system that is not nearly as protective. If Planning and Building showed way too much “flexibility” in their approval of these permits the public would have little recourse other than to sue the county. Why is this advantageous to the public’s interest? You did not say.

You also claim that “many” permits would likely be denied under the Sensitive Species Review Process. “Many” is likely an exaggeration, but it is clear that we do not yet know the number. The county handed out temporary permits without oversight and now there seems to be a lot of effort extended to protect those permits that cannot qualify and should not have been given out in the first place.  If some of these parcels cannot meet the environmental requirements than the grower can always move to a property that can. The oversight provided by CDFA & CDFW is what will protect the interest of the public, not whatever Planning & Building decides in the moment. Why are you wanting to develop a workaround to the ordinance for those parcels that cannot meet the environmental standard?

Lastly, the public has been largely ignored and kept out of the information loop. It’s only been the cannabis industry that has been invited to the table. Brent Schultz of Planning & Building, was supposed to release the recent communications  between the county and Calif. Dept of Food & Ag and Calif Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.  Not only did he not release this information to the public but it was not released even to Supervisor Haschak. This is unacceptable.

We all deserve the information needed to make informed decisions, and we deserve, and want, a place at the table. Please consider establishing a Standing Committee for cannabis, rather than an Ad Hoc committee, so that all pertinent information will be available to all of our leadership and all concerned members of the public.

Sincerely,

Sheila Jenkins

Willits


SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS REPLIES:

Sheila,

I support the shortest, fiscally responsible path to a state compliant regulated cannabis cultivation program. I don’t prefer ministerial or use permits, but if the current approach subjects cultivators to indefinite limbo with enforcement efforts deadlocked by ambiguity, I support legislative remedy. Regulated cannabis is better for the environment. The current program is a failure. Approximately zero outdoor cultivators have been successful in state annual licenses.

”You neglected to even mention the fact that the plan you and Supervisor McCowen have cooked up…”

As explained in my previous response, Supervisor McCowen and I did not collaborate. I first saw his high level idea the same time the public gained awareness, through the published agenda.

"Unfortunately, all of my concerns about this proposal went unanswered by your letter.”

As I understand the proposal, it’s to ensure cannabis cultivation meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. I support this goal.

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YOUR GRASS IS GAS

Editor,

The absolutely real faux fake news—

The People's Republic of Berserkley has surpassed its politically correct self by passing an ordinance to ban natural gas from its city-state. This has alarmed the area known as “Gourmet Gulch” and Queen Alice Walker, as it is near impossible to produce a decent white sauce or bechamel for that matter on the electric stove. Unlike the digital media of the computer world of on and off switches to the trillionth power, gas is analog and wave in nature. You cannot surf a decent sauce to velvet viscosity on electrical low, medium and high heat.

I fear that under the auspices of ecological purity the City Council has walked up to the very edge of reason, built their own gangplank and jumped off into the already shambled gastronomic abyss. 

I beseech the public to consider what happened last year when our favorite public felon, PG&E, shut off the power for seven days causing a run on electrical generators, propane, charcoal, candles, books, canned goods and warm beer. Basic living without electrons was impossible. Why they choose air pollution standards over dying from malnutrition and disease, I have not a clue. Perhaps they figured that suffering will purify ecological sinners who are without investment funds and hold their butts to the environmental flames tended by the eco-warriors of our time.

But has anyone considered the human contribution to “natural gas”? Is farting to be banned in Berserkley? O sure, blame the dinosaurs for decaying into methane! Blame the cows for excessive flatulence and the heinous violation of our of air pollution standards! But has no environmental scientist considered the human contribution to the greenhouse effect? 

Any commuter who has suffered through a BART ride on a rush hour car can testify as to the leakages of human methane. This criminal violation of evolution and health laws remains untouched by the Berkeley City Council. They take on stoves and barbecues while a major source of contamination remains untouched without a decent ordinance of condemnation to soothe the ideological purity of those in governance.

Ask any gastroenterologist. No gas stove ever smelled that bad. Think of it! Yet another crisis crying out for political profundity. Another world crisis as we are hurtling, propelled by media, towards the end of history and the world as we know it. As if the pandemic is not enough! Another reason to wear the mask. Yes, virus or no, we are farting our way to oblivion. Where is Elon Musk when we need him? I hear he is busy boring holes underneath boring cities and farting rockets to outer space. We need him to concentrate and out-Edison Edison and devise the first human muffler.

A lot of people think that the refusal to address this is part of another deep state conspiracy and they are preventing this from coming out — in a manner of speaking. Ultimately, we need to get to the bottom of this first by investigating the investigators who have assaulted our civil liberties. So this would be a very good thing to do. Form a support group. Claim First Amendment rights. Lawyer up. Ammo up. Keep digging up forensic problems. Look for geniuses to solve them. There is a lot more to this story. So many unanswered questions. If you can't pass the salt, don't pass the gas. Berserkley as a flatulence free zone! Outlaw vegetarianism! It is common knowledge they cannot digest grasses without producing massive gases.

Comments about political gasbags are prohibited in the name of public decency and the de-escalation of hatred in the media. But the President of the United States should place his head between his thighs, tuck his chin under and face his situation.

Dave McCain

Richmond

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WILDLIFE KILLING SERVICES

Editor,

On July 14th, Mendocino County Supervisors McCowen, Gjerde and Brown, voted to authorize a cooperative service agreement with the federal USDA Wildlife Service agency to implement their lethal wildlife management program in our County. During that meeting, Wildlife Services made the unsubstantiated claim that the vast majority of their service calls result in technical advice on how property owners can take non-lethal actions to co-exist with wildlife.

Here are the facts: Wildlife Services generally divides their service work into technical and operational. Technical includes all phone consults, emails and providing brochures on options for addressing a conflict, and that is largely what they attribute to non-lethal. Operational is basically direct control, when a trapper actually goes out into the field to do a site visit, and that is generally for control/killing. As acknowledged by the Wildlife Services representative: when they trap a predator, the animal is killed 90 to 95% of the time. So this is how they likely make this claim that such a high percentage is non-lethal.

 Below is the Wildlife Services operational data derived from WS trapper “incident reports” for Mendocino County from 1997 to 2017:

  • Mountain lion 181 killed, 2 freed
  • Black bear 261 killed, 8 freed
  • Coyote 4119 killed, 4 freed
  • Bobcat 112 killed, 22 freed
  • Gray fox 235 killed, 37 freed
  • Opossum 233 killed, 33 freed
  • Raccoon 868 killed, 47 freed
  • Spotted skunks 22 killed, 2 freed
  • Striped skunks 1,287 killed, 9 freed
  • Squirrels (various) 65 killed, 0 freed

(From Table 3-7, pgs 139 - 140, DEIR)

As can clearly be seen from this data, lethal methods are used well over 90% of the time that a Wildlife Services trapper goes out in the field to deal with a human/wildlife conflict.

 The Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance (MNWA) is dedicated to non-lethal solutions to human/wild conflicts. Instead of sending a trapper out to kill the offending animal, a highly trained “exclusion technician” would go out on call, asses the problem and assist property owners in resolving the problem using deterrents and exclusion programs to protect property and livestock. Such non-lethal wildlife exclusion programs have proven more effective than senseless killing by Wildlife Services.

 Killing of wildlife should be a last resort used only to protect human safety, euthanize rabid animals, or, when all other appropriate non-lethal methods of wildlife exclusion have been exhausted.

Sincerely,

MNWA Steering Committee

Rosebud Ireland, Carol Lillis, Don Lipmanson, Carol Misseldine, Jon Spitz

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WHY HIM?

To the Editors:

This is a response to your Valley People item of 7/22/2020 about Ms. Whaley's writing of a piece about the so-called veterinarian, Bill Hand.

I remember him vividly. I had recently founded the Mendocino Coast Humane Society. Without a building yet or surgical options, we were glad to have Dr. Hand’s mobile unit to use for spay/neuter and basic vet care — or so we thought.

I took an animal to his MASH unit that needed veterinary attention and he stood at the doorway and yelled at me while pointing to his crotch, “Get out of here or I'll shove my big dick up your ass.”

Why would Ms Whaley want to write about this creep? He was a deranged, disturbed man.

Louise Mariana

Mendocino

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COVID AT QUENTIN

Editor,

Tensions are rising here at San Quentin. 

When I last wrote in early June San Quentin had just been closed to inmates carrying the Covid-19 virus. No one knows who went against Governor Newsom's order to not move prisoners from prison to prison to prevent the spread of the virus. However, that ship has now sailed. After just three weeks the virus has infected over 2500 of the population of 3700, not counting over 250 staff members. There have been 11 deaths and unknown numbers of men sent to local hospitals. The administration is scrambling to get things under control but it's too little too late. 

The problem all along had been forcing two men to live in 9 x 4 cells built for one person making them primary areas for virus transmission. Last week the prison industries furniture factory warehouse was converted to a 200-man hospital unit. That unit is already filled with sick men.

There were 6-10-man tents set up in the baseball field also with outside showers and bathroom. Those tents were also filled. However, today all those men housed there were brought back to West Block so three large 100-man structures could be built in the next three or four days by the National Guard.

Here in West Block we are still double celled for the most part although rumor has it that the building will be brought back to as-built single cell occupancy for the first time in 40 years soon.

For now we are not allowed out of our cells except to shower two times a week. No healthcare or dental is being done except for life-threatening emergencies. An outside vendor is now supplying meals and the correctional officers are bringing meals to the cells. Testing is done weekly and medical staff checks oxygen and temperatures twice per day.

Things are getting better however. Bottom line there are just too many men in the California prison system. Although the governor plans to release 8,000 men by the end of August, there needs to be much more done by Governor by either commuting sentences and/or re-sentencing under PC1170(d)1 for men who qualify. Things must change before the fall when the rain comes and the virus is expected to grow.

Prayer really helps. District attorneys in our state must support the governor and release men who don't pose a risk to the public especially those with secure housing outside with support from their families. Those of us who qualify will gladly support any terms the courts see fit to impose to save our lives from Covid 19 exposure.

God's plan includes everyone doing their part to safely beat this outbreak. Our lives depend on your voices being heard. Please help save our lives. Thanks once again for not forgetting about us.

God bless,

Kenny Rogers

San Quentin

PS. Covid-19 has changed the world we now live in. The judgments and sentences of the past need to be revisited in today's light, not in yesterday's darkness.

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A CHILL PILL, JER

AVA,

I actually get anxiety and my stomach tightens up when I see Mr. Jerry Philbrick's hate filled toxic rants each and every week in your publication!

I mean, seriously, it's almost as if he has become the crazy uncle most families have who comes to visit weekly and sits around the house mumbling about how much he hates the world. Everyone just kind of cringes and tolerates it because we have no choice. If I can please allow me to say the following to you, Uncle Jerry:

First, let me give you a great big liberal hug and an even bigger Democratic slap on your ass! I give you both with the utmost love and respect.

Please my friend, breathe. Take a big chill pill and relax. Trust me, it isn't that serious! By all accounts you have had a long successful life. I do not believe the Liberals are impeding on your life or keeping you from enjoying liberties our country continues to provide you.

Please go and get laid, drink a beer and count your blessings. And my God, turn off your TV.

I do not know you. But I love you brother, and just want you to stop being the crazy uncle I so desperately do not need!

Alan Crow

Lake County Jail

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DUMBING IT DOWN

Editor: 

The California Supreme Court decided to lower the standard for passing the bar exam so more attorneys will be able to pass it, using the COVID pandemic as an excuse for doing so. Just what California needs — more attorneys, and let’s include more attorneys who are incompetent, as well.

Cal Merner

Santa Rosa

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WITH A CLIP & TWO LOOSE ROUNDS....

Editor,

It is evident to some that our city mayors and governors don't have the balls (excuse me ladies) required to use present law enforcement now available. They should invoke aggressive law with real bullets, no rubber bullets, no beanbags, law and order should be restored one-way or another. They will not continue to mask over the burning and looting of these BS peaceful protests. 

It could be said that you must break a few eggs when making an omelette. I cannot buy into “a few.” Keep your nose clean and there is a good chance it won't get it bloodied, most of the time. How about martial law with dogs and real bullets? Got your attention? Good. Bring it. And wear your Kevlar vest. 

Somehow, someway we could put all those hordes of flaming lefties and the gaggle of those rainbow beauties on a special island far far away. With a little fixing up I think Devil's Island would do. The growing unrest cannot be put to bed with, statements like we will do this or we will do that. Talking is futile. It ain't working. No more pepper spray, smoke bombs, rubber bullets. Obey the laws or be arrested or be shot. Your choice. 

You don't like meaningful law enforcement?

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick

Very old and Very angry

Boonville

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PSYCHIC WAR ZONE

Editor,

In Monday's San Francisco Chronicle there was a front page article about a study done about the Bay Area in 2050. It projects the Bay Area's population to increase from 7.66 million in 2015 to 10.33 million in 2050.

I expect Marin County where I lived to have low population growth until 2050 due to its exclusive nature. I guess that Sonoma County where I might end up living will have at least modest population growth.

I took a drive over to the East Bay last week and stopped at a very large shopping plaza in Pinole right next to the I-80 freeway.For in few minutes while driving in the huge parking lot searching for a space I felt overwhelmed by the relentless stream of cars and pedestrians on all sides of me. I wanted to use a Wells Fargo ATM but there were six people in line. So I left the shopping plaza.

The East Bay of course is more urbanized than Marin County in terms of the number and density of people and traffic. In the I-80 corridor where I was in Pinole there are always going to be additional people and vehicles from outside the immediate region, from Alameda County, Eastern Contra Costa County, Solano County, the Central Valley and even from out of state (long-haul trucks).

For me the issue of overpopulation goes beyond obvious concerns like food production and housing. It goes to the psychological and emotional strain of nonstop overstimulation and competition, competition not just in the areas of employment, social status and finding mates, but everyday realities like space on streets and highways, parking spots, tables at restaurants, seats at a ballgame or concert or movie theater.

In other words, more people equals more competitors.

I know some people, especially a certain type of male, get off on a reality of constant competition and running on adrenaline. But to me when urban civilization feels like being in a psychic war zone most of the time, I do not believe that's really a “civilization.”

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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IS TED OUT?

Editor,

Reading of Ted Kaczynski in Wikipedia: “The real revolutionaries should separate themselves from the reformers.”

Given the events in Portland, I wonder if Ted got it backwards? (Has Ted been paroled and now is writing as the online commentor of the weak (sic)? Now living in Phil Wasson’s woodshed? Rest in peace, Phil.) Is he well? Has he been reformed/rehabilitated? Seems as if…

Gary Durheim

Seaside, Oregon

PS. Where's Bruce McEwen? Miss him.

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BITING IN SELF DEFENSE?

Editor,

To whom it Might Concern:

I have been asked if I would be willing to form a letter concerning some pretty weird and unbelievable stuff that happened the other day.

After listening closely to the events and, this whole lurid situation I agreed to write this letter about all of the underhanded, hateful ways that are used and have been used in the name of justice!

On July 9, 2020 at midnight a vehicle parked at the end of Leonard Williams’s dirt driveway. Between the darkness and the distance the vehicle was unrecognizable. Soon two figures exited the vehicle. (Later it proved to be two vehicles.) Without so much as any effort in identifying who they were they proceeded down the drive.

It happened to be Cole Robano and Coleman Britton. Both are tribal cops. They said they were there because they receive calls about it being too loud over there.

When I heard about this I thought that's kind of strange! Leonard's closest neighbor is a distance down the way unless he had a bullhorn!

I found it kind of strange because both Robano and Britton were in their street clothes and not their uniforms? According to some notes I gathered for this letter it said that one of the two smelled like booze.

They said what they had come to say but they also told Leonard and his friend they needed to leave the property.! What the heck? How could they even do that? I don't get this?

While the two were walking down the road, I’m told, both tribal vehicles followed them like 100 yards behind continuing to harass Williams. Soon they stopped. Leonard sat down around this time Officer Cole Robano decided to leave the scene. Officer: Britton chose to stay behind. I guess he had other things on his mind. Also Britton assumed Leonard was trying to get into his cousin’s face and — get this crazy stuff -- his cousin he is talking about is the same friend Williams was walking down the road with after being run off the property! 

(I'm not making any sense with this.)

According to the story: Coleman came up behind Leonard and suddenly punched him in the face. I guess he continued his violent assault on Leonard for some unknown reason it seems.

According to my notes Coleman then quickly put both his arms around Leonard's face with such pressure to where this man couldn't even get his own breath! Unable to do anything else to defend himself Williams opted to bite down on the arm that had been cutting off his airflow. The arm belonged to Officer Britton. Of course at this point he released his grip from Leonard's face. Realizing things will only get worse, Williams and his friend took off running in the opposite direction. Britton then ran towards his patrol car and quickly got in and sped off in hot pursuit.

They continued to run. Coleman switched on his top lights. Assuming things were okay, Williams let his presence be known. In that instant Officer Coleman reached for his taser and ordered Williams to “get the fuck over here!” All the while his taser was trained on Williams and his friend.

Williams was then ordered to put his hands behind his back which he did. While being put in the back seat of the patrol car he was continuously threatened with a severe prison term stemming from the mark left on Officer Coleman's arm, assaulting a police officer. I am sure they will find numerous other petty charges to tack on.

 In my honest opinion if anyone had been put through the exact same kind of hurt, the exact same kind of hate and the exact same kind of bias that Leonard Williams was put through on that day, who would not make the same choice Leonard made under those hazardous circumstances?

So be it,

Eric Lincoln

Covelo

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