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Letters (February 17, 2021)

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Several years ago I was informed by a realtor that around 30 percent of our housing inventory was second homes or vacation rentals. I often wonder where that number stands today. We are currently unable to provide housing for our necessary workforce. Sadly we are losing the talent and professions that this community so desperately needs because they are unable to find housing. It does not help the situation that we have local realtors marketing their listings as “the perfect vacation home.” We now have working families who will never own a home and will be forever subjected to permanent instability. At any moment their home could be sold to “Susan from Sacramento” who “always wanted a vacation home on the coast.”

If you are considering selling your home and have multiple offers, please consider the local one first even if they are unable to offer “all cash.” Request that the potential buyer include a letter of intent. If you care about the future of this community it will allow you to choose the buyer with the best intentions.

If you currently own a vacation rental or second home in the area, I encourage you to put community first, we are in an absolute crisis. If you cannot find the altruism within yourself to do something for the greater good then you are not allowed to complain about the inability to find a housekeeper, doctor, plumber, veterinarian or that your fish and chips took too long.

Megan Caron

Fort Bragg

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How about starting a new photo-article series called “Crimes Against Nature”?

You could start with the picture of the Signal Ridge, Philo, property advertised in your paper. I am disgusted and horrified each time I see it.

Your contributor and advertiser, Anne Fashauer, is the agent for this atrocity. Look what has happened to this mountin/hilltop. If she sells it, and if she gets her 6% commission, she’ll earn a cool $100,000. At least she’s “rooted in the community.”

How many roots got uproorted to plant this desecration? How many gallons and tons of fumigants and pesticides drenched that soil? And evetually poisoned the watershed?

For shame!

Abhorrent in Albion

ED NOTE: You’re about 25 years too late, pre-dating Ms. F.

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The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Mission Is A Needed Public Value

This is in response to Sakina Bush in the February 9 AVA regarding management of JDSF.

JDSF is a 50 thousand acre State forest between Fort Bragg, and Willits. We are blessed to have this unique working forest in our county. The challenge in all our forests today is how to manage these forests to accommodate numerous interests.

The welcomed accommodation of people using the forest for recreation is another vital and worthy challenge. There are more varied opportunities for outdoor recreation on JDSF, including the use of trails, than anywhere else in Mendocino County, maybe Northern California. The logging is done carefully, and sustainably in a way to attempt to accommodate everyone. Often trails for horse riding, biking, and hiking are on logging skid trails, and haul roads. The JDSF mission is a difficult one, but in my view very possible, particularly if all forest users work together. Aesthetics, particularly where there is high recreational use, is an ongoing and important challenge. The JDSF model, and demonstration of forest management is our future.

The timber harvesting provides distinctive opportunities to manage fire risk that all landowners, and land managers can learn from. There is a need for experienced staffing, road maintenance, policing, outreach, etc. Timber sale income pays for that, and is the sole source of revenue to cover on going management expenses. We should be grateful for that.

I am a member of the California Board Of Forestry appointed Jackson Advisory Group (JAG). The JAG is advisory only. We are a diverse group that represents small forest landowners, industrial forest landowners, loggers, foresters, fish and wildlife interests, academics, recreational interests, and environmentalists. Our primary mission is to advise on the consistency of proposed harvesting with the JDSF management plan, and on other issues when we are asked to. The management plan accommodates a diverse group of interests represented by the people appointed to the JAG. We operate under the Brown Act, and generally make recommendations based on the consensus of the group. The public is notified of our meetings, is welcome to attend, go out in the field, provide input, and participate in discussion. The interested public’s input on how to make management better is always welcomed. This is a unique approach to managing a public forest. We should be grateful and proud.

All the issues brought up by Ms. Bush, and more, have been discussed at JAG meetings, and will be discussed in the future. There are experts on staff at JDSF, or work doing research at JDSF, or are on the JAG that can speak with knowledge on these issues.

We have a long way to go in improving forest management, and JDSF is a critical part of that important journey. What JDSF is doing is new, and better methods of forest management are continually being tried, and evaluated. Our future in forestry is necessarily one that meets the interests of wood fiber consumers, local economies, recreation, fire risk, and the environment. By working together, we can do this, and make our forests a better place for everyone.

JDSF web address:

George Hollister


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I just read the news that the Fireman’s Fund buildings and property have been sold.

After my graduation from University of California, Berkeley I got my first job at the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. headquarters in San Francisco. I was very impressed with the company’s history that started in 1863 in San Francisco — particularly the management and the people I met.

At the time, I believe it was the only major company in America that started on the West Coast before spreading to the East Coast, Canada and internationally.

What impressed me most were stories of the company’s reaction immediately after the earthquake in 1906, as well as the great fire that burned out its main office and destroyed all documents. Officials set up tables on Market Street and started paying anyone who claimed to have had insurance — even if fire destroyed the house and insurance documentation.

No one could dare imagine a process like that working today. It demanded real integrity from all parties involved. This unique integrity and caring for customers and employees existed during all my career with the company.

It once insured a portion of the Golden Gate Bridge. While I was its member, I recall that it provided insurance for those building the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. It was also one of the major insurers for Hollywood.

It was a great company which lost its independence when it was acquired by American Express in 1968.

Michael Djordjevich

San Rafael

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Round Valley has witnessed a growing problem with trash everywhere, on the roadsides, in the ditches, in the creeks, in the yards of households, with a visible blight of hoop houses and related plastic fencing, broken down cars and a refuse transfer station not up to the task.

Last spring and summer the transfer station was forced to close early, often leaving people who had loaded up trash with then nowhere to go other than back home, or someplace else, to offload the garbage. View the property on Rifle Range Road immediately across from the county transfer station: garbage perhaps three feet deep, accompanied with assorted burnt cars and the vestiges of a busted marijuana grow.

Drive up the hill from Rifle Range, stop by Heenan’s Opening, and view a growing trash pile of household waste. Often entire truckloads of debris is found at any relatively secluded spot in the valley, Barnes Lane, Cemetery Lane, Short Creek, all over the place.

This level, this volume of trash dumping is unprecedented, and I am certain that it is somehow related to the explosion of marijuana cultivation here in the last three or four years. Marijuana cultivation became legal and supposedly regulated about three or four years ago, maybe more, I haven’t exactly kept track. However I am aware that at about that time there was a price collapse in the wholesale market, with pot no longer worth $1600, $1200, $1000 a processed pound. It got down to around $600, even less. My naïve supposition was that this enterprise would no longer be particularly profitable and maybe, hopefully, it would just go away. Not.

Growers just grew more, and more, and more, with all the support stuff it takes to grow more and more. More fencing, more imported soil, more imported agricultural workers, more land converted into pot farms. Along with all this “more” came a lot more trash.

More trash partly because there is a lot more stuff brought into the valley in the last three or four years. More trash because the transfer station can’t handle the volume.

More trash because a lot of the people brought here to grow dope don’t care, don’t know, and there is no downside to just dumping it anywhere.

There have been no rules or penalties for creating a nuisance on a property, filling it up with garbage, abandoned cars, broken down camp trailers, or plastic hoop houses degrading with the seasons.

Recently the County of Mendocino, finally, passed some ordinances providing fines for code violations. This is a first here. Now the land owner, upon receipt of a notice of violation for unpermitted cannabis cultivation, faulty erosion control, unpermitted grading, cutting down oak trees to create a grow spot, putting up crappy shelters, the list goes on and on, the land owner will start being actually fined, real money, daily fines for each violation. I think it is about time. We will see if there is actually any enforcement.

None of the above rules or potential actions affect Tribal properties. As far as I know and can see, there are no enforced ordinances, basic principles, or downside for making a big mess on tribal property. Nothing happens, and everybody knows nothing happens. Nothing happens about trash anywhere, on Tribal land, on private property, in the creeks, in the mountains, nothing is done.

We in Round Valley are concerned, more than concerned, we are basically fed up and want to do something. Just walking down the road and picking up beer cans and plastic bags will not solve our problem.

Here’s what I think we need to do: first, decide that the situation in which there is no accountability for trash has to stop. Bust people, fine the property owners, let it be known that you just can’t come here, try to grow a bunch of dope, and make a big mess. Get organized and coordinated. County Government, Tribal Government, the State of California, the US Government BIA and EPA all need to wake up, address this issue and do their job.

The State of California has received millions, maybe billions, of dollars with the regulation and taxation of cannabis. A fair share of this money needs to be returned to the areas which are suffering the brunt of the environmental degradation so that people somewhere else can have a legal smoke. The State made this situation, and the State needs to rectify the problem. We need money here, money to clean up all this trash, get the broken down cars out, have the transfer station work better, get some cops here more often to bust the worst offenders. I think the solution to the trash is mostly, not all, about where the money goes. Some of the trash problem is just about people who either don’t know or don’t care, but a lot of it is just a function of scale.

All this new growing, with all the imported materials and imported people, and the place is just overwhelmed.

So that’s it: money from the state to clean up the trash we have to deal with because this is where the dope, now legal and now a lot more of it, comes from. The Feds need to sort out what are the rules on the reservation now that the county is beginning to get it figured out. Some kind of coordinated land use policy. Is that so hard to do? And we all need to focus on solutions, not just whine and complain any more.

Lew Chichester


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How long will it take to negotiate across the aisle? Our representatives and senators delay and delay. Many of us are out of work — some of us more than 10 months. We are in food lines and unemployment lines, but both are running out. We can’t pay our mortgages. We will be on the streets as soon as the bankers and the landlords are able to kick us out.

Here is a suggestion: Cut the pay for our legislators. Let us start with three months. If a deal to help us cannot be accomplished in a month, then slash their pay another three months. Some of us will soon be out of work for a full year. Maybe with three to six months of no pay, they will feel our pain. Why should we pay them to do nothing?

Do they not care about their voters, our children and even those of us who are undocumented? What is the price of a little humanity?

Tom Cochrane

Sea Ranch

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I am still locked up here in Low Gap Jail. Just recently my cellmate here, Ransome Anderson a.k.a. Hogman died when taken to the hospital from jail. I am 51 years old this year and I don't like the fact that I had to do all this time in jail for pleading not guilty. They offered me a deal from the district attorney. Deputy DA Beth Norman offered no strike reckless driving causing a fire for the low-term of 16 months, doubled. So I do 32 months for arson with only two witnesses seeing me trying to light the trees on fire. I never had a lighter nor did I say that I lit any leaves on fire. I hope a pro bono lawyer will read this and take my case for a lawsuit because I'm doing jail plus $15,000 bail they put on me and nothing was burned or destroyed or vandalized by me. I hope this letter will get things rolling and you put something good in your paper about it.


Gerald Crandall Simpson A#1201

Mendocino County Jail

Ukiah CA 95482

PS. My home addresses 190 Sherwood Hill Drive, Willits 95490.

PPS. Public defender Robert Smith is representing me. I ask that he help me get a pro bono lawyer to file a lawsuit so I can sue for $1 million for having been exposed to my now deceased cellie Ransome Anderson. I feel they are responsible for giving me the virus by putting me in with people who have positive tests and I have a negative test. I never got a positive test until January 7 and January 9. I gave my test results to my public defender Robert Smith at 707-234-6950. He won't fill out forms nor will he help me on this other matter about my lawsuit for covid 19 exposure while in jail.

I am glad I have not died yet. I was in the same cell as Ransome Anderson and he is dead now. I hope I don't pass as I am 51 years old now.

I was raised until the age of nine in Boonville with Sharon and John Harding behind the feed store where they live. They are my foster parents. I miss them.

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If anyone is thinking about donating to the inaugural ceremonies, don't send it to Washington. Send it to me here in Willits and I will forward it to Joe Biden (minus shipping and handling of course) without diverging who the donor is. Never tell the President who provides the dough. The corporadoes and the stinking wealthy donate to both sides hoping to gain maximum advantage. What happens when someone like Mitch McConnell is known to donate is that Mitch becomes the protagonist in all of the President’s forthcoming dreams. When a student of English literature joins the donations, Mitch and Mr. Jingle engage in spirited scuffles which Mitch usually wins, followed by Wackford Squeers, Master Bates, Cissy Jukes, Mr. Pecksniff, Mrs. Jellybelly and Mr. Headstone. Mrs. Pardiggle and the Beadle watching from the sidelines.

I'm suspicious when someone like this Green guy is named Editor of the PD. (I'm sure my candidate Marco McClean was given a fair review.) Green has been in charge of well-known and larger newspapers such as the Des Moines and Louisville papers. What's he doing at the little pisspot PeeDee with a circulation of 55,000? What about his Gannett association which has ruined every newspaper they have taken over? Gutless and right wing. What does Falk want? More dumbed down circulation with appeal to the white trash? Golis times five?

I'm against the lodging tax on tourists. Take it off and the publicity will pay for itself. Get your revenue through the income tax which is equitable and closer to the socialist principal. Verdad?

Now that the census is severely undercounted costing the state two House seats, its time to redraw the damned boundary lines separating the smart areas from the dumb. Start a line at Fish Rock Road and proceed in a northerly direction to exclude Boonville, then head north east to the corner of the state east of Alturas. This district will include most of the states undesirables including that stinking Doug LaMalfa. Heir to a ranch rice growing fortune, he describes himself as deeply conservative. Along with the infamous Tom McClintock, he is one of those who refuses to certify the election results. Who can beat him in 2022? The crazy Ross Liberty? Captain Fathom? TWK? The chairman of the Boonville speedbump committee? 

This idea of separating jurisdictions by smart and dumb may not work in all areas. For example, in most of Texas there are no smart areas.

A new app has been introduced in Washington. Before each vote in the House and Senate every Republican will receive a report regarding the political situation in his jurisdiction. Any opposition in the primary? Too accommodating to Negroes? Seen having lunch with a drag queen? Hiding a comb over?

Remember there are 74 million Trump voters out there. The best thing to do is to barrel ahead with a strong offense.

Ralph Bostrom


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Recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom is not based only on his famous dinner at the French Laundry, egregious as it was. California is a mess. Unemployment checks to notorious death row inmates, rapists and other career criminals is a taxpayer rip-off. The Employment Development Department is causing a great crisis for hard-working citizens who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Residents of California pay some of the highest taxes in the nation to a state government treating small, sometimes family-run, businesses as the enemy, all while Newsom’s winery remained open.

Vaccine distribution in California has been a nightmare for many. States had ample notice that vaccines were coming and many did a great job of quick distribution. This was not so in California. Newsom will only discuss climate change as a cause of California’s wildfire disasters, without rolling out fire-mitigation projects. Controlled fires and cleanup were proposed by firefighting groups, and let’s hope they happen.

So, to the letter-to-the-editor writer who says that the recall attempt is unwarranted, I say, let’s “count the ways” that Californians have become so disillusioned, and to vote to recall and rescue California.

Judy Karlsen


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Great job, McConnell.

Well played, you piece of McPunk

So faux statesman-like.

Jim Luther


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To the Editor

How divided are the American people? If you see a bunch of people parading down the street carrying placards depicting Donald Trump as Adolph Hitler, there's no way of knowing whether it's a group of his detractors vilifying him or a group of his supporters venerating him.

Michael DeLang

Golden, Colorado

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