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Letters (August 26, 2020)

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Many watched you grow up in Albion, Marc. And the child you were did not show up in the mugshots. Surely there is a part of that child still in you. Michael Riley, leaping from the Albion bridge, must have been especially painful for you because with your own father’s abandonment, Michael played the parental role for you. Don’t you know that Michael’s wish for you would be towards healing and working towards a happy life? His death was from age and illness. You owe it to him to strive for life and health. Many people have no ability to truly forgive themselves for wrongdoings. They consider this as being honest. So they carry around self-hate.  

Following is  a formula from that to love. It may not be all but it is effective in accomplishing the goal. What you have been doing for others, Marc, hasn’t helped you. So why not give this a try? It isn’t much to ask.  

Christianity teaches that Jesus’s death on the cross for was to pay for the sins of the world. When you invite Jesus into your heart, you are reborn. You are made new into your authentic self. We are all grateful for the people who helped “catch” god.  

You didn’t hurt anyone and thankfully no one hurt you. A lot of people care for you and hope to see you improve.  

Name Withheld


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Mr. Happy's vivid imagination and lapse in truthier telling

Most of what you read from Mr. Happy seems to come from a sack of cowpies.

The earlier letter from the naked lady said that they were visiting at the time of the raid. This recent letter says that he was a visiting consultant. He and his “lady” and two little kids were living in a remote home off Elkhorn Road for some time until the raid there. More like he was hiding from the law and he knew it, she knew it, the landlord knew it, and the feds knew it. Sounds like another felony. 

Nice try with the cheap champagne and K story. Since he's a lab expert, it sounds like he was cooking something and she took it and lost a few brain cells. She ran off. He got caught. I guess he'll need to convince the judges in Ukiah and Wyoming about which lies upon lies are best. Oh, he's curing Covid now? Sounds like manure, deceit, fraud and crime.

Stanley O' Sand


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I was extremely sorry when I received a phone call from Gavrilah Wells telling me that her father, Peter, had passed away, actually doubly so because I had known Peter longer than any of my current friends but had let the thought and previous experiences of driving the county’s worse paved road, the one that runs the 37 miles on Orr Springs Rd. where I live through Comptche to the coast, keep me from visiting Peter in recent years. 

We first met in Sausalito in 1960 or 1961 when he was managing the Trident, a restaurant and jazz club on the town’s waterfront and then when he and his first wife Ricky, who had gone to school with my sister in Los Angeles, became my neighbors on a narrow dirt road, only fit for walking, in the Mill Valley hills, we saw each other every day as did our respective shepherd-Irish wolfhound mixes, Rocky and Sam, who were brothers, separated at birth. 

When Peter married Diane, his second wife and lived near Muir Beach, I was a frequent visitor and remember well the wonderful time we spent getting his mother, Edna, to pose for my photos, including one standing in the surf with a pitchfork, that would become collectable posters from her restaurant, Edna’s Fish & Chips on Columbus Ave. in North Beach, with one later turning up, to my delight, at The Troubadour, a popular cafe and music venue in London’s Earl’s Court. Well before the ATM, Edna’s was where I went to cash checks on nights out in San Francisco. 

Peter’s sense of humor and laughter was infectious and embraced everyone around him. Like the world was, at least, in part, a colossal joke but one that we all could share. I still can hear him laughing. 


Jeff Blankfort


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Machtig Redaktor,

The thing that has always annoyed me about David Yearsley’s column is his stuffing the space with loads of musical techno-gabble, “descending arpeggios of muted minor 7ths” and on and on, that mean nothing to the average reader. But in “Celebration of Change” he takes his Green Book gloves off his piano hands and pounds the cum out of his Mighty Wurlitzer. Congratulations, a great read!

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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Letter to the Editor: 

How many times have you heard when traveling, "You are from where? Fort Bragg? Really? That's an army base in North Carolina, isn't it?" At any rate, it is the most un-grounded, unrepresentative name one could imagine for this beautiful place where we live. And, actually, ugly in much of what it has historically represented, such as the purpose of the 'fort' and the forgettable traitor it was flippantly named after.

History has presented us, not without good reason, an important and timely opportunity to re-name our wonderful but unfortunately named town. Here is what I suggest, and why.

Ideally, the new name, just on general principles, should be firmly grounded on a topographic feature for a strong sense of 'place', like a harbor or a mountain, a beach or a forest. In our case, of course, the word 'harbor' fills the bill nicely.

Also, the name should represent the local, traditional, small-scale work culture. Conveniently, the word 'harbor' can do double duty here as it also represents the ancient and storied history of the small, family-business culture of the fisher folk and their boats. "The largest salmon port between San Francisco and the Oregon border," remember?

Finally, we need a word to complement 'harbor' that is both beautiful and fills our other cultural need, recognizing our local Native American culture. We are exceedingly lucky in that we need not search far at all for there is no more beautiful word than Noyo, and it has been a name for this place as long as anyone alive can remember. And, not only is it beautiful, it fulfills that need to honor the heritage and dignity of the native people.

I therefore propose that there is no better name for our town than Noyo Harbor, California.

Actually, the upshot of this is that we aren't really taking on a new name, just embracing a name that has always been an integral part of this place, and adding 95437.

It will be a "new day" for America when we escape beyond the tower of babel catastrophe that's fallen upon us. Now is a perfect time for us to choose a new/old name, a name for the future that speaks to the past, and there is no better, in my humble opinion, than Noyo Harbor, CA 95437.

Let’s have an open debate on this question in our public forums. And, not next year, thank you. In my experience, it has always seemed like a commission is a place where an idea goes to die.


Name Withheld 

Fort Bragg

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Hey AVA Gang:

Thanks for the continued newspaper effort. I sadly haven’t had time to read much these days so I’m just in the process of catching back up with the Mighty AVA.

Sure enough the trusty Jerry Philbrick is still at it with his ever-present letters. Is he a machine or what? I picture him as Boonville’s answer to Bartleby, the Scrivener. Yo, Jerrry, can you please run off at the mouth about something else besides Donald Trump? “I would prefer not to.” Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!

Another question for Jerry boy: How on earth do you walk around all day with that perpetual hard on you’ve got for your daddy, Donald?

God Bless Jerry Philbrick’s 24-hour a day erect penis.

Ralph Coon

Los Angeles

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Along with the increase in outdoor recreation, I wish all the folks heading out to enjoy nature would remember one basic rule: pack it in, pack it out.

Even as our county experiences record turnouts at beaches, parks and campgrounds, parks staff are shorthanded, and cleanup nonprofits like one I work for are cut to a skeleton crew because of the pandemic.

Unregulated Russian River beaches with no services are being overwhelmed by trash. One staff person covering the Cloverdale/Geyserville area singlehandedly collects several thousand pounds of trash every week from river beaches. Three volunteers recently collected two pickup truckloads of trash from under the Hacienda Bridge in Forestville.

Every day I ask how can people who enjoy spending time at the river have so little regard for it, and for the fish, birds and animals that are harmed by trash?

When you go to the beach or river, bring a trash bag. If there are no garbage cans, take it home. Don’t leave it for someone else to deal with. And the beach isn’t an ashtray; cigarette butts are deadly to wildlife.

Your trash, your responsibility.

Robin Factor

Clean River Alliance / RussianRiverkeeper

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To the Editor:

At a time when we are seeing record high temperatures, record low rainfall, worsening dead zones off our coastline and killer toxic algae in our rivers, a proposal is afoot to expand cannabis cultivation into our rangelands. This will demand a lot of water that we can’t spare, and it will deposit a lot more fertilizer into our rivers and streams that we don’t need. This is exactly the wrong proposal at this time of worsening droughts. It will likely sabotage decades of restoration efforts which we’ve already invested in to save our struggling salmon fisheries from being pushed into extinction. We must not let our rich heritage of salmon fisheries be jeopardized by the lure of short term profits.

Some Supervisors are proposing abandoning our cannabis ordinance, which has strict requirements and limitations, replacing it with the Use Permits process which will give the Planning and Building staff a lot more “flexibility.” Replacing our ordinance with Use Permits, which are at the “discretion” of the planning staff, will also provide few, if any, remedies for complaints from the public. This is a bad deal.

You may have noticed recently the proliferation of large clusters of 14 or more white plastic hoop houses. This has occurred because the 10,000 sq. ft. of cannabis canopy allowed in the ordinance was then changed to 10,000 sq. ft. of white plastic eyesore at the “discretion” of the Planning and Building Dept. Surprises like this that destroy our views and devalue our properties are exactly what we don’t want. We should, instead, abide by the promises made in the ordinance and work to make it even better.

Instead of the proposal to expand cannabis into our last remaining open space, our rangelands, we could, instead, expand into our industrial and commercial zones where infrastructure and water resources are already developed. Cannabis growers truck in much of their soil and even at times their water, so having these activities in an industrial setting would be a much better fit than in our neighborhoods, or in our open spaces, and it would help reduce their carbon footprint. Electricity instead of generators would also greatly reduce the risk of fire

Lured by the promise of big money, Ted Williams and John McCowen are working hand in hand with the cannabis industry to promote this expansion plan into our rangeland, largely for the benefit of the corporate grower. The small grower is not likely to afford these bigger parcels and all the permits and infrastructure that will be needed, so this will likely benefit the better capitalized crew that is flooding in from out of the area.

We’ve already seen so much plundering and pillaging and now this proposal for bigger grows on steep, highly erodible land, will deliver just more of the same – a lot more fish choking sediment in our rivers, water diversions, garbage, code enforcement complaints, crime and threat of fire.

Code Enforcement complaints are up by 31 percent, with only 2 officers on the cannibis beat. Policing is stretched thin, too, and the Covelo cartel problem is spreading. Why expand cannabis to our rangelands where enforcement is much more difficult?

Measure AF went down to defeat by a large margin in every district in 2016 because it proposed cannabis for every zone. We’ve already voted this idea down, but they are determined to ignore the wishes of the public.

If we hope to have a future on this fragile earth, protecting our fisheries, our wild life and wild lands, enforcing the laws already on the books should matter to all of us.

If you don’t wish to see our cannabis ordinance abandoned, or are sick of non-enforcement, then let your Supervisors know by mail or by phone. Their upcoming meeting is the 4th of August. Urge them to take a cautionary approach by staying with our existing cannabis ordinance and our existing cannabis zones. I urge you to write or call to make sure that your voice is heard.

Sheila Jenkins


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In 1971 at age 21, I registered to vote as a Democrat. Soon after that, the voting age was changed to 18. (I had become a political junkie when I watched the Kennedy and Nixon debates on TV.) I enjoyed a long career teaching U.S. History and government.

Walter Cronkite was the guy who delivered the news in the 60s and 70s. Although he had his own personal opinions, he delivered the news objectively. Journalism was a noble profession tasked with informing the American public about what was going on locally, in the country and in the world.

That has changed dramatically. My old favorite, CNN, no longer gives me the full story. CNN, NBC, and others seem to believe that they are now tasked with shaping my opinions, rather than informing me. Even their straight news shows are obviously biased.

I have looked for better TV news sources, and I found a good one to add to my news mix. It’s the straight NEWS on Fox. Don’t cringe! I am not talking about pundits Carlson, Hannity or Ingram. I am talking about the latest news delivered by professional journalists. My favorites are Bret Baier (3 p.m. weekdays) and Chris Wallace (Sunday, 11 a.m.). When these guys have panel discussions, it sometimes gets hot because they include partisan liberals in the discussion, unlike the others who may include a tepid Republican. These Fox guys ask tough questions of Republican guests as well as Democrats.

To become better informed, I ask that you watch one of the journalists I have suggested. You will get a better sense of the truth.

Marilyn Wood


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Dear Editor,

I think the article regarding the Joe Biden’s political campaign completely missed the mark regarding the upcoming elections. First of all why are there “Battleground States” at all and what does this tell us about our system of government where the wishes of the most populous state and the main driver of the economic engine for the whole country is repeatedly ignored by the nation as a whole. Secondly the real issues are currently on vivid display to anyone with eyes to see. The world is on fire, literally, and global warming is the culprit, why is this not the number one issue being addressed? Perhaps the bloated Pentagon budget could somehow be justified If the mission could be reassigned to creating alternative energy, food sustainability, and other humanitarian endeavors worldwide instead of the profiteering perpetual war machine that currently exists. In short” No planet = No people”. I have not heard the Biden campaign detail their response to these issues. Next in line is the “Cost of thriving index”. In 1980 it took workers approximately 30 weeks of work to cover the basic costs of living expenses, today the number of weeks is 53 this is according to a study by The Bank of America and as you can plainly see we only have 52 weeks at hand, no day off for you Mr and Miss wage slave! Where is the quest for universal health care on the Biden platform? Oh, that might adversely affect the Health Insurance juggernaut. In today’s health care system more heads in beds is what creates profits for the system whereas optimum health for the general population does not. Does Biden support universal health care, no he does not. Yes I too want Mr. Trump gone but what is Biden and the Democrats willing to do to confront these and many other issues in a substantive and lasting way. 


Tim McClure

Fort Bragg

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Fort Bragg is much larger than just the city with its 7,360 residents with 3,670 registered voters. The Fort Bragg ZIP Code 95437 has 14,799 residents with 8,711 registered voters includes the City of Fort Bragg and 7,449 residents with 5,041 voters living outside city limits to whom Fort Bragg is “home.” The population counts are as of 2018 and the voter counts as of April 2020.

Do these 5,041 voters and their families have an interest in the city’s name? You bet they do. When they shop in Fort Bragg stores, restaurants, markets and other businesses they pay one-half percent of the Fort Bragg sales tax used to fund repairs to city streets and alleys and another one-half percent for the CV Starr Community Center acquisition. But, living outside the city, they never had the opportunity to vote on those taxes. They also pay Fort Bragg School District taxes and Hospital taxes as well. A case could be made that those living outside the city pay more Fort Bragg taxes than the residents of the city itself. In addition, they are members of veteran groups, service clubs, nonprofit boards, churches, work in the city, volunteer for numerous organizations and own a significant number of Fort Bragg businesses.

Is it fair that the “home” of 14,799 people be determined by the votes of only 3,670 voters in Fort Bragg? The committee set up to make recommendations to the city council should most definitely include residents outside the city limits.

Stan Anderson

Fort Bragg

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To the Editor:

It is most unlike me but in this case I must admit that our great visionary, Governor Nuisance, just may be onto something!

Some weeks past our governor proclaimed young people 25 and younger had not fully develop their mind potential (i.e., stupid by most standards). These "retards" should be given some slack when brought before the court system.

There may be a spark of truth in his medical observation about retardation. In my opinion these retardants could and should fully developed while in jail and not be given probation. Then they can be put back on the streets again, breaking all the laws you can think of during these peaceful protests. My my. How in the hell do you measure the word “peaceful” followed by a broken windows, rocks and bottles all over town. In my day burning down and destroying public property was against the law and all of those involved went to jail. What happened?

Meanwhile, while Rome burns, the vast majority, beachgoers, churchgoers, graduation parties do not respect the 6 foot distancing and face mask cover laws. Most are in that 25+/- age group, a.k.a. retards, or more accurately identified as the retard generation with covid-19!

Let's hear it for our great governor. Good call. You should get some credit for something, anything. But what in the world are you going to do with the lawbreaking nonconformant retards? I know what I would do with them. My grandmother might say, now now! Let's be nice. We don't want to hurt their feelings. I say grab a handful of those special pills grandma and sweep out the toolshed again.

The increase of covid-19 can be laid at the doorsteps of the young. Not all of them, but a large percentage can be accountable.

These bulletproof retards can or will die by their own hand but taking a lot of oldsters with them is not nice, says grandma.

I asked a small group of youngsters about 20 or so years of age why they are not wearing face masks. One of them said very loudly, "It is our right not to wear those things!"

I respectfully asked, "How about others who may be contaminated by your actions?"

A very loud answer so all could hear: "Shit happens!" Followed by a large blast of laughter.

And there you have it! The future of this country has spoken. Retards rule!

Note: Lou Gehrig once said, "I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth" when he had a short time to live. I will be the second.

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick.

Old, angry and —


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“Local Control in Mendo,” San Diego style—

During the August 4 Covid update to the Board of Supervisors, CEO Carmel Angelo praised Mendocino County's public health officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan, who lives and works in San Diego, for putting Mendocino County in a position of local control. Angelo argued that Doohan achieved local control by preemptively putting Mendocino County businesses under state " watch list" restrictions. Which means gyms, hair salons and restaurants can only operate outdoors. Except many businesses are not in a position to move outdoors and those which can have seen a big drop in income.

Preserving local control is a nice soundbite but businesses that are struggling to survive are asking why watch list restrictions have been imposed when Mendocino County is not on the watch list. The short answer? The local covid response has been botched from the start.

Angelo and Doohan brag about the calls they are on claiming they are well informed about the state's intentions and thus able to stay ahead of the curve. In late July the county put out a press release saying the county was on the watch list. But that wasn't true and as I write is still not true. (Just lately it has become true.) Angelo says Doohan was constantly in touch with state health Officer Sonia Angell even speaking to her the evening of August 3 just before the supervisors meeting. But Angell was soon fired for not keeping Governor Newsom informed about the state testing backlog.

Doohan was hired as a part-time interim health officer about a year ago while the county recruited for a full-time health officer. The position was vacant because Dr. Gary Pace resigned in protest one day after CEO Angelo fired Barbara Howe from her position as public health director.

Technically, Howe was fired by HHSA Director Tammy Moss Chandler, but Moss Chandler would not make a move without approval from her boss, CEO Angelo. Howe’s offense? She told government-funded agencies that serve vulnerable populations that the county would provide emergency generators during PG&E's PSPS power shut off. 

Angelo is notorious for extreme micromanagement of the county. Nothing can happen without her approval. Which means many things that should happen don't happen because Angelo can't find time to make a decision. Which explains why Mendocino County is consistently behind the curve on just about everything.

Doohan was originally hired for $25,000 and her contract was quickly increased to $125,000 followed by two increases of $100,000 each for a total of $325,000 for her part-time job, much of it in San Diego. One of Doohan’s primary duties is issuing health officer orders. Shortly after ordering all Mendocino County residents to stay home except for trips out for food or medicine, Doohan violated her own order by taking off for San Diego.

Doohan issued a new order effective Friday, August 14 until Friday, September 11. With her power of local control did she do anything to help the small businesses in Mendocino County hampered by her preemptively imposed watchlist restrictions? No. Instead she reduced church services, funerals and protests from 100 participants to 50, outdoors only, but of course there is no enforcement. Doohan, who says she did not order schools to close, also issued orders on what they must do to open.

Despite her professed concern for public health, Doohan says schools must close if 5% of the total number of teachers, students and staff test positive in a 14 day period. Compare this to the state criteria which says 100 cases per 100,000 residents (one per 1000) in 14 days will put a county on the watch list. Doohan’s threshold for schools equals 50 per 1000, or 50 times less stringent than the watch list criteria.

During the August 4 board meeting the supervisors who typically accept the covid update without question showed signs of awakening. Supervisor Williams wanted to know why hair salons were being shut down without any data to show they were the cause of the increase in cases. The increase is consistently attributed to social gatherings in the Ukiah area, frequently by Hispanic residents. Williams wanted a letter sent to the state demanding to know why businesses were being shut down that had nothing to do with the problem. The board agreed that such a letter should be sent and that Williams and Haschak would work with staff to get the letter out. As we understand it a letter is finally planned to go out now this week, August 20.

No one bothered to ask why Mendocino County was complaining about watchlist restrictions when those restrictions were imposed by the local health officer, not the state. No one asked Angelo to explain the benefit of local control to businesses that were preemptively shut down by Doohan. Angelo claimed that Doohan’s preemptive stifling of local business was a paradigm shift but the only apparent shift is Doohan reneging on her previous pledge that she would not be more restrictive than the state.

CEO Angelo is responsible for this problem. She is a total control freak. If anyone crosses her or even speaks their own opinion like Barbara Howe did they are gone. My spouse works for the county so I must remain anonymous. I have heard a rumor that CEO Angelo killed the letter that was supposed to go out to the state. Hopefully the supervisors will correct that this week at least, albeit late.

Name Withheld


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Re: Krumholtz Bumps; my letter, AVA, Aug. 12.

For the five or six readers who might be interested:

Years ago I was talking to two male friends about the bumps on lane dividers on California freeways. I told them that I had never seen the bumps on freeways and expressways in other states and I remembered a drive with my family to Lake Tahoe on I-80 when I was a kid on which I noticed that the bumps stopped in Auburn.

One of my friends pointed out that Auburn is about where snow starts to fall on I-80 in the winter and that the bumps would impede the progress of snowplows, which made sense to me.

As to “Krumholtz Bumps,” named for the inventor, I must have looked that up years ago on the internet, perhaps on the Caltrans website.

Now back to Covid-19 news.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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