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Letters (September 2, 2020)

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Following one of our regular Sunday at noon Black Lives Matter acknowledgement gatherings in Boonville a local resident pulled over to ask me what I knew about the Confederate Flag flying along the highway halfway between Philo and Boonville just a bit east of the Grange. Not much, I admitted. Shortly after I got home a call came in from another concerned Philo woman asking the same question so I decided to look into who had put it up. Since then a couple more people called to ask what I knew so given the curiosity here’s what I know.

The owner of the property where the flag flew is Sylvia Carsey and along with others in the Valley gave her a thumbs-up for flying a Mexican Flag along side and below the American flag along with the California Flag. The phone number I had for Sylvia didn’t work so I called one of her relatives I know and asked how to get in touch with her. I was told that she was in Mexico but that one of her tenants had put up the flag calling it an “Italian War Flag” in tribute to his Italian heritage. Bull dookie!, I thought, but was given where he supposedly worked so I stopped in there to have a chat.

Some years back the gentleman had been a well-respected volunteer firefighter – an emergency first responder. He left for a while and then returned to Anderson Valley a couple years ago but did not rejoin the Fire Department — spending his time here minding his own business and working on cars.

When I asked him if he knew who had put up the Confederate Flag he readily admitted that it was he and went on to say that he put it up in anger because someone, “probably from Black Lives Matter,” one night had taken down the “Rebel Without a Cause Flag” he had put up. “I’m a rebel,” he said, “though I have no cause. Black Lives Matter people do, but not me. If they would have asked me, I would have taken it down.”

I have no idea what a Rebel Without A Cause Flag might look like and didn’t ask, but I assumed it was simply the Confederate Flag. We talked a bit about “all men were created equal” and a pinch of the plight of being Black in America and he seemed to get it and agree so I said that I was one of those in support of Black Lives Matter and felt I could speak for that group in asking him to please take down the Confederate Flag as it is offensive to some of us. He said, yes he would. I thanked him and told him that I would pass on that he felt violated in his Constitutional right to self-expression by the midnight raid.

It took a couple days but the man was good to his word though he did feel the need to make a statement. Down came the Confederate Flag but in its place were two black and white versions of the American Flag, one with a single red stripe and one with a single blue stripe which my computer tells me stand respectively for firefighters and police. Between and below these two is a hand written sign:

At today’s (Aug. 30) regular Sunday noontime rally for Black Lives Matter in Boonville it seemed that we got more toots and waves of support than usual but as the group was dispersing a youngish, fully decked out woman biker called across the street from the Drive-In asking “Do you believe in abortion?” I guess I’m the only one that kind of heard what she was saying because everyone kept going and I was the only one to walk over to better hear what she said. She quickly changed from abortion to let me know she was a transgender Trump supporter, a revelation that seemed to be used to somehow validate Trump or give her more credibility, and then to go on and on with hard line Trump rhetoric. Though I attempted, I was not given the opportunity to make it much of a conversation so I pointed that out, shrugged and walked away uttering/muttering (facetiously?), “Have a nice day. Stay safe.”

David Severn


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I cannot understand the sudden proliferation of signs going up along Highway 1. Specifically I am talking about the entrance area across from Gualala Point Park, heading north.

Of course, signs clutter all of our Highway 1 and the entrance to Gualala as well. A few weeks ago a very large, blue sign pointing out that the driver is entering the Gualala River watershed appeared. Now more signs in that same area advise travelers of road work ahead and another that bikes share the road.

The one sign advising us of road work ahead is helpful (and temporary), but the others are not and simply obfuscate our lovely scenic views. They are a waste of money, unhelpful, and ugly.

One sign that might be helpful, the one that warned of deer crossings, came down in last year’s winter storms — never to be replaced by Caltrans!

Of course now it would do no good as when traveling on the road no one can possibly process all these advisories, thereby defeating any purpose they may have had in the first place.

Nancy Spille


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Man oh man, really huge news out of the big league sports world Thursday, never thought it would be possible that soon there would be no more blather about scores monopolizing tv time. No more pictures of Mel Ott hitting one out of the park, no more pictures of hockey stars beating up on each other, no more guys running back and forth on the basketball court, trying and often succeeding in dunking another ball through a hoop. What is this world coming to? What has police violence done to our country that I may soon not be tortured out of my mind by all of these asinine sports clips? No, don't tell me that there are issues bigger than a football making it through a goal post. It simply cannot be. 

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, MA

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This doctor's assertion (see below) might just explain why I am finding small businesses to be overaggressive in mask enforcement.

When I'm reading a label or book in a store, I have my reading glasses on and I have to pull my mask down to expose my nostrils so the glasses don't get fogged up. I'm finding some businesses like independent grocery stores, a record store, two Copperfields, and bookstores and a few independent coffeehouses -- have snapped at me to pull my mask over my nostrils. I take offense to the way they do it — without tact would be how I would describe it.

At the big-box store, Safeway which I go to about four times a week, they never hassle me about this issue or at-large drugstores or a place like Target.

Today I walked into an independent record store in Santa Rosa and the female college aged employee asked me to pull my mask over my nostrils so I turned around and left.

I don't give business to these businesses that are overaggressive. I normally like small businesses over the big corporations but I'm not giving business to them if they are rude to me. Anyway maybe they should take out their anger on the state government instead of on their customers!

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

Attached: news article from a Marin County community newspaper entitled Marinscope for the week of August 19, 2020b entitled “Health Officer blasts governor for misdiagnosis” in which Dr. Scott Morrow, chief health officer for the Bay Area, is reported to have complained about bad avice from Governor Newsom which he says unnecessarily punishes small business who are not contributing to the spread of the virus.

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Mendocino County Jail has instigated a new policy regarding incoming personal mail to inmates: under the heading "any other reason deemed inappropriate by the facility supervisor."

"Letters must be on lined paper."

This irrational and unfair and unlikely unlawful policy is arbitrary and has already caused me two valuable letters from my wife Victoria.

Other inmates suffer from this rule also which places an undue burden on their elderly and less literate family members who choose to type and use spellcheck. It further places their family and friends at risk from covid in that they must now drive to a store and purchase lined paper not to mention lost stamps, lost fuel, lost time and lost communications.

This policy further reduces family and community ties and makes it more difficult to reintegrate inmates into the community upon release.

Short of using scarce County money to judicially reviewed this ridiculous policy, I am appealing to this community to convey the transformation required.

Thank you,

Casey William Hardison

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

PS. A facility training officer informed me that this was "the Captain's decision" (the Captain being Corrections Division Commander Tim Pearce) because a letter came in covered with methamphetamine and lined, not book, paper makes it easier to detect.

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To the Editor:

During our recent move from Ukiah, many personal possessions were stolen from our home. Here are just a few of the items that would be easily noticed. First, there was a case of Appleton Estate Rum from Jamaica. It is very doubtful that anyone in all of Mendocino county has a case of this rum, so someone out there has seen this.

There were also two noticeably recognizable watches. One was a Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept. watch that I won at a charity auction, and the other was a Gibson guitar watch in the shape of a Les Paul guitar. This was given to me by an old dear friend. I want this back.

There was also a silver KitchenAid mixer, with all the accessories. This item we had promised to the Ukiah Senior center, so the thieves stole this from seniors in actuality. Also stolen was a bunch of my wife’s sweaters, size medium, including a peach one with sequins that she loved, and whoever the thief is even took four large black planting pots. Someone spent a lot of time shopping through our personal items, as well as taking items from all over the property, including three propane tanks. They also took a large box of assorted small solar lights which were to be a gift to Tom Allman.

I fully intend on catching these criminals and recovering our items, and I do not give up too easily.

We are offering a $500 cash reward for the arrest and prosecution of whomever stole these items. Turn them in, and you can keep the rum, whatever is left, and the $500 if they are arrested and prosecuted, no questions asked. Please contact the Sheriff’s office (Matt Kendall) with any information pertaining to this theft. Just mention Lake Ridge Road Theft.

Or (to the thieves) give the stuff back, and we will waive pressing charges, and not waste our further time and expense in pursuing your apprehension. Drop it off in the Sheriff’s parking lot.

Someone stole from the wrong people and we will make extensive efforts in hunting these thieves down. Someone knows where some of these items are. Turn them in. If they would steal from us, then they would steal from you as well, and I want to know who they are and this is worth $500 to me.

Thanks for your concern.

Johnny Keyes


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To the Editor:

I am a member of the Ukiah Rifle and Pistol Club (URPC). I disagree with a letter written from another local resident. What was stated about the URPC is just not true and has no data to support such statements. The URPC is regulated by County, City and State agencies, just look in the public records. The URPC goes above standards for keeping our water clean. No one wants to drink dirty water!

The URPC has so many positive aspects that are offered to club members, as well as the Ukiah community and visitors. Some URPC members and visitors come from out of town, spending money in our community while here in Ukiah. They may go to a grocery store, a sandwich shop, gas station and local hotels. This is supporting our Ukiah businesses.

The URPC has programs for all ages. URPC offers programs to teach citizens firearm safety by NRA certified instructors. Many Law Enforcement agencies utilize the URPC for required monthly training. URPC also has specialized shooting programs such as Jr. Trap, Boy Scouts of America and Toys4Tots, just to name a few.

We have members who come and enjoy the club for a weekend and some have stayed at Vichy Springs Resort which is owned by Gilbert Ashoff, who continues to complain about the URPC. His complaints have become a costly burden on our community. I would personally encourage the out of town members to stay elsewhere. You cannot have it both ways, complaining about our club and having a member stay at Ashoff’s resort.

Penny McIntosh


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To the Editor,

I appreciate your daily posting of the COVID chart. My question is, what is the status of people “released from isolation”?

If they are healed, or never had it in the first place, shouldn’t we subtract that number from the total to get a clearer picture of the problem?

Today, that would leave only 146 people actually involved with the virus.

Mike Kalantarian replies: 

The only official explanation I could find for that category was this:

“Released from Isolation”

Note: Recovered means the individual has been released from isolation.

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On July 14, 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
  • Stripped 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.

MNWA steering committe, Rosebud Ireland, Carol Lillis, Don Lipmanson, Carol Misseldine, Jon Spitz

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North Greenwood, every one say yes.

If you were planning a trip to Greenwood, where would you ask directions or how would you plan your trip? First decide which Greenwood you'd like to visit. Then you can write to me. I'm a minor-league historian and the lineal descendent of both Caleb Greenwood, Jim Bridgers, last mountaineer pard, and Britton Greenwood, Mexican war hero, anti-Russian activist (remember Fort Ross) and rescuer of the Donner party.

So you can say I'm well-versed on the two soon to be three Greenwood towns in northern California and if you are lucky you might find only one on any map. That would be Greenwood by the Sierras, possibly in El Dorado County.

Of course it is a tiny burg like Fort Bragg, Texas, population 18. So that Greenwood is named after my uncle Caleb. Like Fort Bragg, Texas, it might be too small to get on the map. I've never been there yet but I hear it's a small hitchhike from Grass Valley. My great aunt Batchika was born in Crow territory now northeastern Montana and was one of 18 Youngcaults and she married Caleb in the Sierras shortly after leaving Truckee River City, now Reno, around 1855. My great-grandmother Sooney Youngcault became Mary Jane Gardner Hudson Hall after she married great granddad Captain James Hudson Hall in El Dorado County around 1865 after he was detached from the Confederate states of America battleship ‘Alabama’ which by the way had 100 cannon and never lost a battle. It is now a museum boat in Mobile, Alabama. There is a secret photo of it at the Wharf motel hallway battleship walk of fame at Noyo Harbor.

My ancestors prowled the area of the ill-fated Donner stomping grounds. One part of that party took Youngcault advice and took a safer route. But Mr. Donner, sad to say, was thickheaded and didn't trust grandma's advice and ended up on a restricted diet. That's what my uncle Britton called it. he was my grandma Suzanne Saunders last cousin. He must have seen it as he rescued the remnant. They haven't built a statue to him yet. There is one of his dad Caleb auntie Batchika, born in 1800 in Crow territory and grandma Sooney Youngcault born 1825, the same exact day as Sitting Bull in Ogallala Village just 25 miles east across what is now the North Dakota border. Anyone traveling that way can look up old Mountain Man stockade, now Fort Union in North Dakota, due to Missouri River flow changes. The tiny Montana town of Wolf Point is where my original River Crow Village was. If you want to see uncle Caleb's Greenwood, best to drive to Grass Valley and ask directions. I hear it's great hunting, fishing and skiing.

As for the other two Greenwoods nearer the late great Fort Bragg, you could also pull into Nello’s market and deli in North North Greenwood —North Main Street Fort Bragg by glass Beach— and ask the proprietor James D. Britt for directions. He is also well versed in Mendocino Coast history, real estate, tennis, track and field and is an avid San Francisco Giants fan. You can watch a game right there and order any alcoholic beverage from anywhere worldwide right from that market. James is essentially Fort Bragg’s Vice Mayor so you might hear a little politics too.

The original coastal Greenland town was settled by uncle Britton around 1860 but had to have its name changed to Elk due to U.S. Postal Service in the pre-ZIP code era. The mail would get mixed up between the two Greenwood Californias. Even today if you write to Montana or Missouri and don't use a zip code, the post office flips a coin, heads your mail goes to Montana, tails to Missouri. That even happened to me when I first moved to Montana. Some of my mail would end up in Missouri. Just call it Montana Crow territory and leave it at that.

One reason a lot of other Native tribes criticize Crow people is due to jealousy. When Lewis and Clark returned to President Thomas Jefferson they reported that of all the many tribes they met the Crows were the most beautiful and well behaved tribe of all. Late great Fort Bragg historians will find that fact written in history books with presidential seals. If you choose to pursue that further look up that Yankee Custer. His Cheyenne imports who invaded Crow territory fought their little battle on our land. 

As for the third Greenwood in Northern California that brings up the 150 year reign of old Braxton Bragg: the demise of the Fort Bragg Mendoza County -- can we also change Mendocino back to its original of Mendoza, territory of Spain? Governor Mendoza was our last governor with no slaves and was a lot more honest than Jerry the Fairy Brown or Arnold McDonald Schwarzenegger. If you look up Webster and proper English, Mendocino is not even one syllable, let alone three! I doubt General Bragg will squawk much as there are at least five other Ford Braggs in the United States. Let the imbecilic mob deal with those and leave us Greenwood boys alone. Do you like the North part? We in Fort Bragg are north of Old Greenwood (Elk) and being very habitual we could now say going to North Greenwood instead of Fort Bragg. We should keep the name of our school system as Fort Bragg Unified which means it's a unified district of local people.

That has nothing to do with Braxton Bragg. Fort Bragg Unified is dedicated to one thing: a higher learning education which we do quite good -- look at my fabulous writing! I learned there at the Mendoza Beacon. I would challenge the so-called imbecilic mob geniuses to show me in black-and-white documents or history where General Braxton Bragg actually owned slaves. I already know the Louisiana story is false. Louisiana Okies can't spell Bragg let alone Braxton! And to the so-called imbecile historian who called General Bragg a coward, I hope he or she soon gets the black eye they put in for. I doubt they're running around Macon Georgia or Charleston spouting those lies.

Hopefully there are still some old-timers living in Fort Bragg who were born in the Greenwood area. I would like to hear their opinion of our town becoming their town again. Fort Bragg should have been North Greenwood to begin with. Thanks a lot Lt. Gibson. He sure caused a stir from the grave. My own dad was born out of Vinegar Ridge Road east of Greenwoo/Ellk. And both my granddads were born between there and Navarro. If you'd like to learn more of the Greenwood clas (from Crow territory and Missouri), a good book is the true biography of Jim Bridger, or stop by my cousin's motel in North Fort Bragg and ask for Betty Jo Saunders. I can't remember her motel's name but it's the newest one just north of Nello’s across Pudding Creek Bridge on the right across from Pudding Creek Cemetery on Pudding Creek Road. Betty Jo might be able to fill in the blanks. Hopefully she isn't as ornery as our great-grandmother Sooney Youngcault who quit alcohol and was nicknamed The Blister!

While we’re name changing what about this syllable Comptche? Why not change that to Ciroville or Jerry Town? Come on Jerry, tell us something important like what does Comptche really mean? Happy Paul Bunyan Day to Norman and you.

Sincerely, Detective Youngcault, Crow Nation

You can write me at David Giusti #3979, 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah 95482 and donate to my defense fund if you can spare it. I hope to be out by October anyway. I have a fine large Youngcault family waiting in Crow territory for me.

David Giusti


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Dear Readers,

My attorney paid me a visit this morning. I am in solitary confinement, isolation, 24 hours per day.

We are preparing for a jury trial which is scheduled for September 2. My attorney knows my situation is dire. He knows I have very little in terms of support on the outside and few books to keep myself occupied. In short, he knows I am one stressed-out individual!

At the conclusion of our visit he asked me to go to my cell and make a list of the people in this world I most admire and why. So I laid here for quite a while staring at the ceiling and thought real hard about it and came up with a variety of people I admire. I want to share those who made my list with your use, the readers.

I admire kind people. I admire people who in spite of being kicked around their whole lives continue to treat others with love and respect.

I admire good parents. Because really, the best contribution someone can make to the world is to raise good children.

I admire people who in spite of facing great adversity stand for what they belive in. I admire people like Martin Luther King who in spite of being the subject of great persecution stood up for what was right. I admire Jesus Christ who was the greatest bad ass of all time. People can say what they want about the man, but he stood up for what he believed even though he knew he would eventually be killed for it. In spite of that he continued to deliver his message. How can you not admire that? I admire the poor and the challenged people in our society for all the obvious reasons everybody should.

I admire generous people who are generous when they cannot afford to be. I admire the rich people who donate when most other rich people do not. The Bill Gates of the world who can and do help so many. I admire artists, true masters of their craft. The Led Zeppelins of the world, the Elvis Presleys, the Picassos, the Michelangelos, and the van Goghs.

I think what I admire most are those who step up and take care of those who need support. A good husband and dad. And those who play by the rules. Those who get up each and every day and in spite of being in a crazy world where they struggle to make ends meet, they treat others with love and kindness!

Thanks for allowing me to share this Each and everyone of you are in my prayers. I understand things are difficult right now but please try to remember we are all in this together!

All my love,

Alan Crow, 

Lake County Jail, Lakeport

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Henry should have pulled out.

Let's give Jane Fonda her due! Sometime ago Miss Fonda was pictured in North Vietnam along with a wad of vertically challenged rice eaters. These beauties were sitting on and about an antiaircraft gun used in shooting down American aircraft, killing our American pilots! And adding insult to injury she (Ms. Fonda) had a big grin on that pretty commie face. Must give the devil his due. Not!

Do you think Henry was happy with all that? You fantasize that she was there on a peace mission. Yeah right! In a pig’s nose!

Moving on thereafter our beauty married Mr. Ted Turner. This old rich team owner must have somehow, some way thought he could get her attention or — come on now, teddy bear, let's not get too frisky. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Please tell me how that worked out if it got that far. Oh, get over that one. I saw your grandpa peeing off the back porch in the afternoon? Our beauty was recorded on national TV at an Atlanta Braves baseball game doing the Indian Tomahawk chop with its racist connotations. You bet! Shame on you, you third letter. Yet a large number of you retards just love her or would like to (censored). They say every one is good at something. That's grand. If you flamers are so thin skinned that you must take John Wayne's pictures down you sure in hell cannot allow Ms. Fonda’s pictures to be put up in public. If you want to pitch you damn well better be ready to catch. Don't want to play? My my! Go home! And that ain't here! Take a boat or swim!

Strong letter to follow!

God bless America, the Donald, and Jerry Philbrick,

Getting Older and A lot Angrier.


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This is a letter I read to the MCDH [Coast Hospital] Board of Directors at their monthly board meeting this evening. 

Dear MCDH Board of Directors and Representatives from Adventist Health,

My name is Katherine White and I am a retired RN living outside Manchester, California. I authored one of the two letters that were included in last month‘s board meeting. I declined to read my letter at the meeting because I thought that would be overkill. Unfortunately I was wrong. 

I am disappointed with the board’s apathetic response to our complaint about John Redding’s social media behavior. In referencing our notes, Mr. Redding agreed at July’s meeting to remove his board member status from his social media profile and to date he has not done that. Mr. Redding unfortunately continues to post on social media in an apparent attempt to goad the public. This month he posted a misleading article regarding suicide rates, young people and schools opening. Immediately people reacted in distress and immediately Mr Redding began firing back at community members. At least ten individuals weighed in with various degrees of exasperation. 

I believe that your board has a role to assist with, and certainly not to hinder, the essential and consistent messaging that the public deserves during this immense healthcare challenge. 

I personally have no desire nor intent to scrutinize the MCDH Board. You were not on my radar until I encountered board member Redding on social media. But since I’m engaged I became curious. And that curiosity has led me to more questions and concerns. Let me share some of those with you.

I’ve observed that, 

1. Board members receive no guidance in appropriate and inappropriate interactions with the community.

2. The board is currently making changes to their financial compensation related to health coverage. Such coverage seems redundant. Mr. Redding is apparently 69 and qualifies for Medicare. Amy McColley is apparently a full-time employee at Sutter Health and Sutter Health employment includes healthcare coverage. Karen Arnold is apparently a full-time Human Resources Manager at Mendocino Coast Clinics and employment at Mendocino Coast Clinics includes healthcare coverage. Jessica Grinberg appears to be an independent contractor and I’m unable to determine her access to coverage elsewhere. 

I understand that the board is considering granting themselves a $600/month, $7200/year healthcare allowance for healthcare needs. At a time when 5 million citizens have lost health coverage and when many are financially vulnerable this expenditure appears frivolous and misguided.

3. Board Member Redding’s company UniGen Resources currently has a proposal that requires the board’s support. I read in your minutes that he “reassured” that board that he and his wife will receive no funds from the project. The public wants to know why this is not a direct conflict of interest and trusts that more due diligence is forthcoming.

4. I understand that the board is having support staff difficulties. Numerous requests were required for me to obtain board minutes. There are no archived meeting minutes nor agendas posted on the website for the entire year of 2020. Is 2020 not a very pivotal year for your organization? Isn’t this a major transition of leadership? Why is the Mendocino Coast District Hospital primary website nine months out of date?

I hope the Board and the Adventist Health Representatives in attendance recognize that public trust is important. Honesty and transparency are essential. Fiduciary malfeasance and conflict of interest concerns are troublesome. I hope that when the minutes of this meeting are released in a month’s time it will reflect sincere discussion about these concerns.

Katherine White

Fort Bragg

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Why not go out on top as National Football League champions, Kansas City? Keep it classy by chucking “The Chiefs” moniker, and start the new football season with a brand new name. Native American team mascots are a thing of the past, whether most right-wing racist reactionaries realize it or not. It’s 2020 already. It’s not 1950, fools. 

In case you never noticed, sports teams are usually named after wild, ferocious animals. However, many conservatives continue to justify blatant bigotry by falsely claiming the naming of sports teams after Native Americans is some sort of honor that Native Americans should be appreciative of. 

Honor? Seriously?! Don’t even get me started on the lack of honor and humanity that led to several centuries of unjustifiable, unimaginable genocide against Native Americans by European invaders who saw Native Americans as nothing more than wild, ferocious animals in the way of empire. 

So keep your faked outrage to yourselves, clueless conservatives, because no one cares about your crying and complaining. This will be the final season for “The Chiefs”, because next year Kansas City’s NFL franchise will henceforth be known as one of these following ten names. Pick one, K.C. 

  • Kansas City Cheetahs
  • Kansas City Cheaters
  • Kansas City Chihuahuas
  • Kansas City Chinchillas
  • Kansas City Chickens
  • Kansas City Chupacabras
  • Kansas City Chewbaccas
  • Kansas City Cobras
  • Kansas City Kraken
  • Kansas City Klingons


Jake Pickering


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AVA Gang,

As a 20+ year subscriber to the AVA I feel I have every right to tell you how to better publish your paper. Therefore, I hereby announce the first annual "write a letter to the editor like Jerry Philbrick from Comptche (Boonville? Murder Mountain?) Contest!" Grand Prize will be a late 1980s Earth First limited-edition Subaru station wagon with extras including AM/FM stereo, air conditioning, a copy of Mao's Little Red Book in the glove compartment and a pipe bomb under the driver's seat. Mike Sweeney will award the grand prize in downtown Oakland. I will start the contest off with my best Philbrick letter:


I was walking down the sidewalk the other day thinking about how many pussies Donald Trump has grabbed and if he finally had sex with his daughter when a gosh darn Democrat came walking my way. I knew he was a Democrat because he had a hypodermic needle sticking out of his eye. I reached for my Trump-lovin’ gun (firearm, not penis) but I tripped on a crack on the sidewalk because the Democrats who run California now have turned it into the devil's headquarters on earth and can't even fix the damn sidewalks. The Democrat stood over me, winked and said, "Quiet, I'm with the deep state. I’m Q. I'm undercover." Well, hell yeah! Undercover science-hatin’ Republican right here in Boonville! I guess it's safe to take the ultraviolet light out of my ass now! Then I woke up.

I'm so angry at those entire damn Democrats. Ruination of my Q Deep State dream! Don't stinky Democrats know Joe Biden don't care about the working man like Donald Trump does? Trump can pretend to drive a Mack truck and he can pretend to shovel coal, after all. All cities should be made Republican-controlled overnight! Do it by force if need be! Shoot people who who don't think like I do! Kill people who don't think like I do! I'm glad Trump is building a wall at the border to stop the flow of drugs because I did all the cocaine already. That's why I'm so angry! No more cocaine! Obey the laws or be arrested or be shot or conversely obey the laws and be arrested or shot! Either way!

Oh how I hate Nancy Pelosi! When I googled her name plus the word "nude" nothing comes up. Now Malania Trump has the word "nude," that's a red-hot democracy drifting towards heavenly fascism!

Is there a chance I'll ever have a conversion experience like of those of say John Wesley at Aldersgate? Maybe some kind of blinding light will signal to me that I just might be wrong about Donald Trump? Never!

God bless Donald Trump, Jerry Philbrick, Comptche or Boonville? Or Murder Mountain?

So what do you say? Are you down for a Jerry Philbrick contest?

A note to Jerry: Yeah, bro, I know Joe Biden sucks. All those credit card company banks aren't in Delaware just because — you know. But Donald Trump sucks in way too many ways to bother to mention. And those are my realistic choices, Jerry: Trump or Biden. Wish you were f-ing angry with that. Good thing your old Jerry, ’cause the younger of us are doomed. Might as well enjoy the ride.

Ralph Coon

Los Angeles

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To the Editor:

Peace and Love was the slogan of my teenage youth.

The late 1960s was a very troubled time in the United States. I was a teenager and the Hippie movement was born. Mendocino County became an important part of that movement. In addition the Viet Nam War was happening, a misadventure of foolish national leadership. Young people were being drafted and ground up in the war machine, and we were rebelling at the injustice of old men, some women, and a codre of industrialists who had either forgotten or were simply ignoring the horrors of war just a few decades after World War Two!

The musical Hair was shaking up Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, and soon moved to Broadway. It’s songs – “Aquarius,” “I Got Life” and “Good Morning Starshine” – came to defining the spirit of the movement along with P. F. Sloan’s song “Eve of Destruction”.

Harvard University professor, Richard Alpert, took LSD went to India and became Ram Dass. He wrote the iconic book, Be Here Now and remained an important spiritual guide up through his death last year in 2019. S.F. rock group It’s A Beautiful Day produced two albums that also helped define the times. Their song “The Dolphins” is the one I always think of. “This old world’s just got to change. It just can’t stay the way it’s been.” One of the groups’ vocalists and guitar players, Hal Wagenet, lives right here in Willits.

The 60’s was a time when many people recognized that the U.S. (and much of the world as a result) was going in the wrong direction, one that would likely lead to greater suffering and destruction. Bad leadership, kind of like now. There were survival systems revived during that time. In San Francisco there were “communes”, each one devoted to a different aspect of need. I remember going once a week to the bulk food commune to pick up grains and other dry- goods. There was also the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic on Haight St, open to all who couldn’t afford to go to a regular doctor for good medical help. Finding ways to support each other at low financial cost became important.

It was around this time that Mendocino and Humboldt Counties were becoming the destinations for people who wanted to get out of urban areas and experiment with ways to rethink their lives. Mostly baby-boomer dropouts, often not welcome by the “old-timers” in these rural counties, these seekers and rebels tried different ways to live.

The Whole Earth Catalogue became the shopping guide for this generation. Buckminster Fuller’s research and designs for dome construction became an area of interest since these affordable structures were stable and could be more energy efficient. Organically grown food became a staple. Drugs – some perceived as beneficial, others very destructive – became part of the culture for many.

As it happened, many local businessmen made a lot of money subdividing their logged-over land and fallow ranches, selling them off to urban refugees. Every town in our area is surrounded by these subdivisions. The “underground economy” of marijuana became one of our area’s largest sources of revenue despite the fact that it was illegal. That’s something we’re still trying to come to terms with.

Today the deadly Corona-19 virus is changing the world. Our nation has become Number One in virus transmission and deaths because of lack of federal leadership. Additionally, our economy is collapsing – again. Just 13 years ago in 2007 we suffered a major financial and social melt-down because of federal “deregulation” of financial markets and institutions. Millions of people lost their homes and savings then, and it’s happening again.

A couple of years ago substantial tax cuts were implemented perpetually for the super-wealthy, but the rest of us received only short-term benefits that will soon come to an end. Now, the President is floating the idea of “Payroll Tax Cuts.” Payroll Taxes primarily fund Social Security and Medicare. In addition they help fund Unemployment Insurance. When Payroll Taxes are cut, the very social safety net that most Americans depend on is in jeopardy. If you’re super-wealthy you’ll be fine. It’s everyone else that will feel the hurt.

As I go on my morning walk with a mask hanging around my neck, my morning meditation is still “Peace and Love.” Fortunately, things can and often do improve. If that is your goal, do as Esther Hicks recommended and “Reach for the thought that feels better.” It’s a comforting thing you can learn to do.

Bill Barksdale


One Comment

  1. Mark W. Laszlo September 22, 2020

    There was a great American who ran for president, who quite unlike Donald Trump, actually dug coal.

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