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Letters (October 7, 2020)

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November 3, 2020 Election

Mendocino County ballots will be mailed to every active registered voter on Monday, October 5, 2020. In preparation of every registered voter receiving their ballot, we thought we would answer a couple questions we’ve had regarding signing your mail ballot return envelope. According to Katrina Bartolomie, Assessor Clerk Recorder, Registrar of Voters, with each Election we receive questions from our voters about their signatures. Two of the main questions we are asked are – does the voter have to sign their mail ballot return envelope exactly as they are registered; and what do they do if their signature has changed?

If you think your signature has changed a lot, you should re-register. We take into consideration that our signatures change as we age, but the style normally is very similar. We look at the signature style, we do not require your ballot envelope be signed exactly as the signature we have on file, nor does your signature have to be exactly as you are registered. For example - if you’re registered as “Katherine Elizabeth Simpson”, what would your legal signature be - how do your normally sign your name? There are several ways you could sign your ballot envelope – you could sign your full name or you could sign Katherine E Simpson; Kathy Simpson; K E Simpson; K Simpson; as long as your signature style is the same, we will accept the signed ballot envelope. 

If you now have a squiggly signature, we suggest you sign your squiggly signature you now sign every day, and right above or below that signature, sign your name as it appears on your mail label. It’s extremely hard to check a signature that we can’t make out when the signature we have in our database for you is a neat, spelled out, legible signature. By signing both ways it helps us decipher the signature on your ballot envelope. 

Another way, is look at your driver’s license signature – does your normal signature look like the signature on your driver’s license? If you’ve registered online or through DMV, you most likely had to attach the signature on file with DMV to your registration form.

We check every signature on every mail in ballot envelope. If there is a problem we will make every attempt possible to contact you to cure your signature.

Please call or email the Elections Office if you have any questions. Our number is (707) 234-6819; or email us at 

Katrina Bartolome

Mendocino County Clerk/Recorder


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Toxic pesticides like glyphosate and neonicotinoids are putting species like monarch butterflies and bees at risk of extinction – and without these critical pollinators, our food system is at risk.

How Does Glyphosate End up in Wine?

While glyphosate isn’t sprayed directly onto grapes in vineyards (it would kill the vines), it’s often used to spray the ground on either side of the grapevines.

Moms Across America reported: 

“This results in a 2-to 4- foot strip of Roundup-sprayed soil with grapevines in the middle. According to Dr. Don Huber at a talk given at the Acres USA farm conference in December of 2011, the vine stems are inevitably sprayed in this process and the RoundUp is likely absorbed through the roots and bark of the vines from where it is translocated into the leaves and grapes.”

In California, a judge has ruled the cancer warning label on Roundup does not have to be labeled even though the state will still list the nasty herbicide as cancer causing. Monsanto has known there are serious health effects for decades and has fought to keep the public in the dark.

Wines Tested Contained Glyphosate

An anonymous supporter of advocacy group Moms Across America sent 10 wine samples to be tested for glyphosate. All of the samples tested positive for glyphosate — even organic wines, although their levels were significantly lower.

The highest level detected was 18.74 parts per billion (ppb), which was found in a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from a conventional vineyard. This was more than 28 times higher than the other samples tested.

The lowest level, 0.659 ppb, was found in a 2013 Syrah, which was produced by a biodynamic and organic vineyard.

Glyphosate IS Now the Most-Used Agricultural Chemical Ever


Caroline M. Scott

Sonoma Valley

PS. Dear winemakers and winery owners: 

I have been living in the Valley of the Moon for almost 30 years. I have the cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, now linked to exposure to RoundUp. Napa and Sonoma counties have the highest blood cancers in California. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker and longtime environmental educator I am passionate about starting a campaign to get Glyphosate out of our vineyards and ecosystem. As a first step, my team has produced a satirical ad which you can find on our website:

Let's get Glyphosate out of our vineyards and join the other countries who have banned this toxic herbicide. A new film is coming out called ‘Children of the Vine’ -- which will further educate the public. Please join me in this fight to protect our environment.

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To the Editor:

Finally! The liberation of America and the republican party from the tyranny of the democrats has been solved by our 45th president. The greatest of all our presidents has figured out, with his brilliance, a catch phrase that has liberated us all from the terrible democratic war mongers. By now we all should know it. The catch phrase is “Fake news” which means every word spoken on MSNBC, 60 minutes, most newspapers, channels 4,5,7, t.v. etc is democrat fake news. But now we have Fox News! What a relief.

If you believe what is stated above, you deserve all the repercussion of having no democracy and dealing with the whims of a dictator. This label “fake news” has already divided our country with sinister diabolical intention to change our democracy. Please believe that.

Don Willis


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To the Editor:

Dear Chair Haschak and Board members,

Speaking on behalf of friends and neighbors, we are seeking transparency and accountability in Cannabis Code Enforcement reporting. The Cannabis Enforcement webpage shows seven complaints for 2018, one complaint for 2019 and an annual summary for 2018. We request that the website be updated and relevant information posted on-line, so a complainant can follow the status of their complaint.

Humboldt growers are moving to Mendocino County because Mendocino County does not adequately enforce it's Cannabis Ordinance. Humboldt County uses active enforcement based on evaluation of satellite images, followed up with field inspection. Humboldt County cannabis enforcement brought in $4,707,086* in under three years, to the County from enforcement actions. This amount paid the enforcement costs, injected money into the general fund, benefitted the environment, and aides legal growers.

The contrast with Mendocino County's weak enforcement of a complaint-based system is striking and fiscally irresponsible. Many citizens decline to complain about a cannabis neighbor due to fear of retaliation. Many others report no action taken on their filed complaint. A majority of these complaints could be identified by active enforcement. It should not be the citizens obligation to enforce the law. Adopting Humbolt county's active enforcement model, protects citizens from grower retaliation, adds protection to valuable environmental resources and promotes legal growers.

Having Mendocino County serve as a magnet and haven for lawbreaking growers from enforcement counties will further diminish our natural resources and continue to degrade the quality of life for residents. Clearly this County is in no position to increase the number of growers until the active enforcement model is adopted and initiated.

My personal experience with the Cannabis Code Enforcement Office is that I left 3 telephone messages over a period of 3 weeks before I received a call back. I requested to see the Cannabis Enforcement data for 2019 and 2020. As of this writing, it's been over a month since my first request and still no data. What kind of public service is this?

The PBS report to the BOS in the 9/22 BOS Agenda lists the PBS priorities for the Planning Department for fiscal year 2020/2021. PBS priority #3 is to dramatically expand Cannabis into Phase III, despite the on-going disasters of Phase 1 and II. Priority #11 is to "study" Code Enforcement staffing, use of satellite imagery and increase administrative fines for violations to cover costs.

Please contact the CEO office, your District Supervisor and supervisorial candidates if you agree these priorities should be reversed. No Cannabis expansion until Active Enforcement can cope with current conditions.

Dennis Slota


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Presenting 17-year-olds as too immature or inexperienced to vote on bonds and taxes is a poor argument for recommending voting against Proposition 18.

High school graduates, like our granddaughter, are intelligent and concerned. They can read and think and evaluate pros and cons, as most of us do when voting in special elections. Or they can abstain, if they are not prepared, as any registered voter should.

The future of our young people's well-being and their ultimate survival are at stake in this sick world. School shootings, fires, COVID-19 and contentious social issues have upended their lives and forced them to be aware and involved.

If 17-year-olds can enlist, work and pay taxes, and if they'll be 18 by the time of general elections, they should be able to vote in the full election cycle. They deserve to have a voice in selecting our leaders and lawmakers. Your bias is akin to suppressing women's and minorities' voting rights.

Cindy Young

Santa Rosa

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As I hear the sirens wail and watch the sun turn red in the smoke-filled sky, a deep plea rises up in me. I hope and pray that every citizen considers one important question before they mark their ballot for president: Who will best deal with this ever-growing emergency that is global warming?

I believe it is obvious by now that these mega-fires that are sweeping over the entire West Coast aren't ultimately caused by PG&E or some family foolishly lighting fireworks. The underlying cause that turns a spark into an inferno is the fact that the planet is heating and the vegetation that evolved to thrive in one climate can no longer thrive in this changing climate. It dries out and becomes tinder waiting for that next spark. Besides fires, we see mega-hurricanes, melting tundra and droughts making large swaths of land unable to grow crops.

We are in an emergency of vast magnitude that will require civilizations to mobilize, change and adapt on a vast scale. So please consider which of the candidates for president is best equipped to face this emergency and lead the nation and the world toward survival.

Michael Krikorian


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I am sheltering a friend who evacuated from his Oakmont home because of the Glass and Shady fires. Since he recently visited friends in San Francisco, we thought it a good idea for him to get a COVID-19 test. After spending over an hour online and on the phone, I have determined that it is totally impractical to get tested here in Sonoma County.

The earliest appointment available was five days away, and the results wouldn't be available for almost a week thereafter. We might as well wait two weeks to see whether he or I develop symptoms.

It has now been over six months since we began practicing restrictions to combat the virus. For all the blather the Sonoma County Health Services Department spews out about testing, they have, as yet, evidently not actually developed a practical method of delivering and administering such tests.

Unfortunately, the complete inadequacy of our public health systems exposed by the virus appears to include the federal, state and county governments. Your tax dollars at work ... or not.

Doug Yule


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I have filed papers and am running as an offiical write-in candidate for the Point Arena City Council.

There are three seats up for election and only two candidates on the ballot, so I am hoping to fill the third.

If you decide to vote for me you will need to check the box next to “Write-In” and enter my name. 

If elected, I promise to be a nice guy.

Eric Dahlhoff 

(Husband or former PA Mayor Leslie Dahlhoff)

Point Arena

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To the Editor,

I’d like to bring your attention to Perla Gaona & Alvaro Avalos, the owners of L&B Avalos Auto Shop in Point Arena. They and their children spent Sunday picking up the litter on Mountain View Road. I am so grateful to them for their community service. Good people.

Stay safe and well.

Alethea Patton

Point Arena

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A sad, sad day! I have been advised that now all signs, plaques and monuments of Sir Francis Drake at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo have been taken down. Paul Revere might have said: "The wobblies are coming! The wobblies are coming!

Myself along with 8500 graduates over the past 17 years are not in tune with those unconscionable, catastrophic demands. Just who in the hell are these people?

It has been said, "Against the steed he threw his forceful spear!" Followed by, "Falling short in into the boggy state of unforgiven indifference with no sign of reparation!"

While we slumber we are being pushed into the abyss of ignorant, utopian reassessments.

Gran says: My my, God help those who are unfortunate to survive. I'll make some cookies.

God bless America, The Donald, Jerry Philbrick

Angry? You think?

PS. This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Sir Francis Drake High School Board of Trustees:

From: A protector of the Class of 1956.

Subject: Sir Francis Drake High School Renaming

Attention: School Board Chair


It is my understanding that there is a plan on the table to change the name of "Sir Francis Drake" High School.

Please, please do not allow this name change to our great, historic "Sir Francis Drake" High.

Along with thousands of alumni who have graduated from Sir Francis Drake High, we hold the school and the name in the highest regard.

I graduated Sir Francis Drake High School in 1956 on the honor roll and was Bank of America Student of the Year award winner. I then went on to graduate from College of Marin and got my degree in 1959.

Along with my outstanding education provided me by Sir Francis Drake teachings, I worked and studied hard and became a Senior Project Engineer and Program Manager in the aerospace industry thanks to Sir Francis Drake schooling!

Myself and 14 other Project Engineers built and landed the first soft landing on the moon on May 3, 1966. 

The second of two moon lunar landers is now placed in the aerospace division of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. My name along with 14 others are on a brass plaque on the lunar lander rocket motor in a glass case saying, "Drake High, Yes, Sir Francis Drake High School! Thank you!”

For God's sake don't allow the left wing wobblies to deface Sir Francis Drake's history. Man up, ladies too: Just Say No. It is not in the best interest of the school, state or country.

A name change would be caving in to an anarchy steppingstone. It's wrong. Don't let it happen to our great historical school.

In closing, I am an 83-year-old true American with less than one year to live. I have chronic lymphocytic leukemia and I'm okay with it all along with lots of medication. I am not suffering!

In fear of sounding overly dramatic: This is a dying man's last request. With his last breath he says:

"Please, Lord, keep this grand school’s name intact. Do not die in harness."

"Sir Francis Drake High School!" Forever and beyond.

One will know!

Your faithful alum, class of 56, U.S. Navy's Poseidon, Mod- II B/Hot Gas Generator Program Manager, ret’d. 



  1. Pat Kittle October 7, 2020

    Don Willis:

    “Fake news” is indeed a childish term for what we used to call “lies” and “propaganda.”

    An equally childish term, “hate speech,” is designed to censor “hate facts.”

    Hate facts are facts we hate.

  2. Pat Kittle October 7, 2020

    Michael Krikorian:

    Serious question:

    How are we going to reduce carbon emissions while we invite everyone on Earth (i.e., open borders) to move to its most notorious carbon emitter?

    So far, NONE of the “climate activists” I’ve asked has dared to respond, even with a half-witted insult or vague diversion.

    Will you be the first?

  3. Pat Kittle October 7, 2020

    Caroline M. Scott:

    You say “Let’s get Glyphosate out of our vineyards… to protect our environment.”

    How about getting vineyards out of our environment to protect our environment?

    Or at least ban their further proliferation?

  4. izzy October 8, 2020

    Fruit of the Vine?

    I recall – way back in first grade – when our teacher, Ms. Herman, put some cut white flowers in a jar with red water. By the end of the day, all the veins in the flowers were easily seen as the red dye had been absorbed by the plant. A few years later, I watched my father dust some insecticide on the tomatoes, explaining that the rain would wash it off. Even my young brain could understand that it would simply be pulled up into the plant by the roots, and we would wind up eating it. And that was over six decades ago.

    Now the whole world has been eating it for at least a couple of generations, and the results are not good. Bad habits can be tenacious. And, if profitable, viciously defended.

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