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Letters To The Editor


Dear Anderson Valley,

A huge thank you for attending Hendy Woods Community Meeting and remaining so steadfast in your commitment to saving Hendy Woods. We are continuing with our two-pronged strategy of (1) political pressure to keep the park open as it is now and (2) organizing to take over certain park functions and raising money to meet the budget shortfall should it become necessary.

A few follow-ups from the meeting:

Our website  is now up and running! Please visit the site for more information.

Political Pressure: The letters that were written at the meeting have been compiled and will be on everyone's desks in the New Year.

The addresses of those politicians and policy makers whom we are targeting will be available shortly on our website under the Take Action page. Fingers crossed, Assemblymember Huffman will be introducing legislation in January which would force the committee to revisit the closure process. That will give us a whole new round of targets for letter writing so for those of you itching to get writing keep your ears out in January.

In-kind Work/Fundraising: Kathy Bailey has submitted a proposal to the Dept. Of Parks and Rec detailing the possible in kind work and fundraising our community is willing to commit to for the next two years as a stop-gap measure to keep the park open. Some docent and interpretive work may continue beyond the two years if the community is interested.

For those of you interested in in-kind work, Linda MacElwee will be having a meeting at the park to brainstorm ideas for nature works, trail crews, etc. Look out for an email from Linda for dates and times.

For everyone who signed up to be involved with fundraising and publicity, we will be calling a meeting in the New Year when people are back from vacation and we know exactly how much money we would be called on to raise.

Thanks again for your support!

Hendy Woods Community Committee

Anderson Valley




Trying desperately to spin charging extortionate monthly fees to customers who don't want smart meters, PG&E's corporate CEO says, “Somebody has to pay that cost” but never explains why PG&E itself can't pay it (“Reversal over new meters by PG&E,” Dec. 20).

Using clever accounting tricks, the company makes hundreds of millions of dollars in extra profits annually simply through operating its smart meter program — by eliminating meter-reader positions and by adding the smart meters' multibillion-dollar value (paid for completely by ratepayers) to the corporation's own asset base. Why not disgorge a small amount of those windfall profits, so customers — already forced to pay hundreds of dollars for each smart meter they didn't want — don't have to pay still more every month, forever, to avoid having smart gas and electric meters?

For many decades PG&E hasn't charged even a penny extra for installing or reading the analog meters we have all had. They have no adequate excuse for doing so now. Clearly the fees' actual primary purpose is to discourage customers from opting out of smart meters and convincing their neighbors to do the same. Secondarily, these fees would bring even more profits to this greedy corporation. We must insist: No fees for opting out!

Alexander Binik





1. You are sailing south without instruments. How do you know when you have crossed the equator?

2. King George the Third suggested sending a shipload of convicts to the colonies to see if they can tame them. What was Benjamin Franklin's reply?

3. What was Saddam Hussein's most embarrassing moment?

4. Name Benjamin Franklin's experiment that failed.

5. Who was Gerald Ford's Vice President? Who was the vice presidential candidate with Henry Wallace? Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern?

Ralph Bostrom


Answers: 1. Flush the toilet; when the water swirls around clockwise you are south of the equator. 2. Franklin suggested sending a shipload of rattlesnakes to England and see if they can tame them. 3. Saddam pissed in his pants while being hanged. 4. He attempted to find a food additive that would kill the offensive odor of flatulence. He thought lime would work. 5. Ask Mike Sweeney.




On Christmas day a few local angels tucked in their wings and donned orange safety vests and picked up crap all along Highway 128. I want to thank them.

Now, maybe we can all stop throwing crap out of our car windows???

Monika Fuchs


Ed note: That was Pebs Trippet and the Medical Marijuana Patients Union.




One more year and I ought to be free or dead. I have a habeas corpus in federal court with two judges on the case.

I've been reading, enjoying and learning from the AVA every week: the “Banking For Dummies” letter was needed for those of us who do not have the internet. Whenever one of these derivative investment guys gets on TV he has a vague, incomprehensible explanation which leads one to think those guys are very smart or maybe normal con-men. Now I know for sure they are the latter.

If all goes well and I'm out by the end of 2012 I'll buy a sub for one of the guys on the AVA line at this joint. I'll buy one for somebody in ADX too.

Happy holidays! Freedom and health for all,

Paul Jorgensen

Bruceton Mills, West Virginia



To the AVA and everyone in the Valley:

The Easy Stretch Chair Yoga class continues at the AV Senior Center this Thursday, Jan. 5, 11am-noon.

All are welcome to start off the new year by participating in this class which will bring you both energy and relaxation. If you have any questions, or need a ride to the class, call the Senior Center at 895-3609.


Kathy Macdonald




Editor and Community:

On behalf of the Bo Hiatt family, I would like to thank all those who were there to support us during this time of need. The beautiful flowers, the dinners that were sent, the visits from friends and relatives, the cards and letters and phone calls — all helped us get through this difficult time.

The memorial was a great send off for an old time trucker — the convoy was perfect!

We want to thank all our friends, relatives and our community for everything done for us.

Bo Hiatt Family




Dear AVA,

Glad to see Lee Simon's honest response to my article on hell as a natural phenomenon, even if he came away with a few misconceptions about what I wrote.

Never said you get no compassion when you die if you showed none during your life. The collective unconscious is open to all. We emerge from it at birth and return to it upon our demise. However, because in death we cease to exist as individuals, we can't bring along our private delusions, so these must be burned away. For people who never come to grips with the suffering they've caused in others, who cling to their self-deceptions to the end, this can be very painful. But it's only a detour on the way back home.

No one decides if you avoid hell or not. It's only a concentrated version of the self-investigation we're supposed to undergo during life. Be honest with yourself, and you're free.

The stuff we're made of is ongoing presence, also known as time. With our memory, our ongoing awareness and our future-directed will, we encapsulate time. In no way does this contradict the Dirac equation or any other finding of physics, which has nothing to say about the intrinsic nature of time. There's no “now” in physics and therefore no possibility of understanding the conscious mind. Physics studies what has happened in order to predict what will happen. Happening itself is of no concern. Irreducible to matter or physical law, time is the one thing that's natural yet not physical.

Like time, we are also irreducible. And like time, we never stop. As body-mind tips over and spills into species-mind, that which defines us individually comes to an end, but the essential human core carries on.

The trouble with physicalist or “materialist” philosophy is that it can't account for life or love or understanding or misunderstanding or self-serving delusion or hell. In short, it can't account for the panoply of human experience. The trouble with religion is that it relies on the supernatural for an explanation. Yet nature provides all the tools we need to understand the world and ourselves.

Ted Dace

Manhattan, Kansas




Holidays are reserved for litter pick-up. Those are the Medical Marijuana Patients Union high holy garbage detail days. Easter, Xmas, New Year's, Hallowe'en, Valentine's Day, Veterans Day.

So on New Year's Day we went out again with orange bags, siren yellow vests and long sticks, this time focusing on the Boonville end of our stretch on 128,

especially around the Grange.

Every time we go out, something new and different happens. This time we met the locals.

A woman named Mel had previously acknowledged our work and offered to help the next time we came out.

So we gave her a call, and by golly, here she comes and joins us in the Grange parking lot with her five-year old helper.

Right off the bat, a good omen. She found a soaking wet folded up $10 ground score, which she gave to the kid for being her partner. Together, they fished around under the blackberry bushes with the long pick-up sticks and found so many hidden bottles and cans that they got no further than the parking lot. Mel, being a local landscaper, decided to fetch her clippers from the truck and landscape the dense bushes. She cut away dead limbs, enabling her to dig a little deeper into the bushes to retrieve throwaway stuff.

The Grange folks will be surprised to find little cut back areas and pathways in the blackberry bushes on the edge of their parking area, signs of volunteer landscapers helping out.

When the people next door to the east of the Grange came out to see what was going on, they asked why do we do this? Paul answered, “to bring awareness of marijuana patients, who we really are.” The woman realized we were the people with the roadside sign and said, “I'm glad to have met you.” Likewise.

We left ten bags on New Year's Day for CHP to pick up, on top of the 23 we got on Xmas day. 33 full bags of garbage carelessly strewn about on Mother Earth. One question: How hard is it to not throw your cigarette butts and pop tops on the ground? That's 1/3 of the total effort, right there. We have a plan to design an eco-conscious container for cigarette butts with an attached sign: no ands or ifs, just butts!

On the way out of town, I stopped in Philo. Wendy Read, the healer and lecturer, was driving by and stopped to say “thanks for picking up our litter.” She mentioned wanting to form a volunteer force for the Grange. She ordered a small bundle of the doctor's journal “O'Shaughnessy's,” a balanced chronicling of cannabis science and law.

In that context Wendy mentioned attending a gathering of Boonville high school students in a pro and con frank conversation with Laura Hamburg, herself and others opposed. One of the moderators asked the entire class, “How many of you have family members who either grow or trim as a way to survive?” She said every single student raised their hand.

It's been brought to my attention that marijuana is a way of life here, and often a lifeline. Let it be.

Pebbles Trippet, co-founder,

Medical Marijuana Patients Union


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