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Letters (March 24, 2021)

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Modern playwright David Mamet posited in the early 2000s, after W. Bush was elected, "Do these two things to maintain your sanity: Stop reading the news and stop drinking alcohol". I’m halfway there, almost. Maybe. Working on it.

Your story about Adventist offering an abandoned ER wing to convert to a Puff unit is gob smacking. NIMBY? It’s a frigging HOSPITAL. Where better? Huh? Let’s get on with this, asap. Now. Whatever it takes. And, yes certainly, some will get their knickers in a wad. Let them and let’s get the job done.

The administration of Measure B has been , and remains, an ongoing embarrassment to us all. The misguided purchase of the old motel, and its 2 million dollar renovation, and now this dilapidated structure that needs a new roof at the cost of thousands, tens of thousands… What’s going on here, folks. Wasting taxpayers money is not a part of your constitutional oath of office.

We used to call it the Edifice Complex way back when, Empire building. Howsoever, the purpose of the County Government is not defined by what it Owns, but by What It Does.

Likewise, the PG&E money should overwhelmingly be directed to the communities the hardest hit by the fires. The very idea of its being plunged into the General Fund is an insult and abomination. It ignores and nullifies the intent of the settlement. Gross.

As for the Range Land 10 Acre allowances for pot cultivation proposition: Way Bad idea. I fully agree with Jim Shields. Our County Concept has been to protect, and to facilitate the permitting of Mom&Pop legacy growers. This idea of opening up range land for up to ten acres of cultivation of the weed is not Mom&Pop, it is Corporate. Plain and simple. Yes?

Our County Goal I thought has been to protect the Mom&Pops. I believed the permitting process was heading in is a direction to facilitate this outcome. Now I learn of this Phony Baloney 10 acre gambit. Which stands in diametrical opposition to protecting Mom&Pops. This stinks. And the Supes should radically change their direction on this issue. Ted, Dan, Mo, it’s on you. Don’t F it up any more that it already is.

Your reporting a CAO or CFO is in our future heartens me. Supes need to reclaim their Clerk of the Board. Financials need to be submitted by Departments to the Supes at least quarterly.

I received my second poke of the Pfizer today. Every joint in my body is aching like crazy and maybe I’ve simply had to download, I mean every word, Every thought.

Basta. Follow the CDC protocols. Stay Safe.

Lee Edmundson


PS: What’s become of Jerry Philbrick?

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To the Editor of the Independent Coast Observer (ICO, Gualala),

The media are sometimes criticized for acting as little more than stenographers when corporate or political spokespeople make their pronouncements, which often are not intended to communicate but to sound impressive in their obfuscation.

The recent explanation of Avita Pharmacy for closing Arena Pharmacy is a good example as its reeks of “the changing landscape of healthcare and increasing challenges to pharmacies,” to which an inquiring reporter might have asked what they're talking about.

Two particular questions are appropriate: since Avita bought Arena only last June, were they shocked and surprised to find it financially not viable only months later? Does that reflect the typical quality of their due diligence investigations? And if local pharmacies are no longer viable, why did a new one open Gualala recently? Is it doomed from the start as people cited in the ICO story seemed to suggest?

There have been articles in national media during the pandemic pointing out that local pharmacies are often price competitive and superior in service to national chains. It is also not unheard of that large corporations will buy local competitors only to close them down. I don't know if that's the case in Point Arena, but one wonders. Since the questionable closing of an old local business matters to most local people, it would be reassuring if the local newspaper covered it more incisively.

Craig Brestrup


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Dear Chairman Gjerde,

Attached, please find the letter dated March 18, 2021 from the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts Steering Committee regarding funding for Fire/EMS services for FY21/22. Also attached, please review the distribution spread sheet based on current revenues of the separate funding units designated for Fire/EMS.

The Fire Association looks forward to the Board’s response.

Please contact with any questions or additional requirements,

Thank you,

Andres Avila-AVCSD

Ben MacMillan-Elk CSD

Tony Orth-BTCSD

David Roderick-HFPD

Michael Schaeffer-Comptche CSD

Steering Committee

Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts

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To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors March 18, 2021 

Attn: Dan Gjerde-Chair 

Subject: County funding of local Fire Districts: 

Dear Chairman Gjerde: 

The intent of this letter is to address the continued and escalating difficulties facing Mendocino County Fire Districts and the breakdown in communication between the Fire Districts and the County of Mendocino. Fire Districts continue to be impacted and disadvantaged by the lack of representation at the County level and with the Board of Supervisors. This lack of representation is most clearly demonstrated during the annual budget deliberations. Fire Districts have no dependable advocate within County government to ensure that County Public Safety Policy includes addressing the increasing needs of all Public Safety First Responders. Increasing demands for Emergency Medical Services, Ambulance and Fire Emergency Response due to Climate Change must be recognized by the Board of Supervisors and address the County’s financial responsibility for these separately defined services. Mendocino County must publicly acknowledge that it is the County Local Fire Districts that deliver these critical Public Safety functions. 

Regarding the current FY 2021-22 budget deliberations, concerns among Fire District Boards of Directors are focused on the County’s lack of communication as to the status of funding sources currently dedicated for Fire/EMS funding. These sources include; 

Prop 172: Current receipts for 19/20 is $ 8,067,252. Current allocation for 20/21 to Fire is $398,000. The increase to $485,000.00 for FY 18/19 was sponsored by Supervisor McCowen ($87,000, added to compensate for the allocation provided to Ukiah Valley) came from the general fund and was characterized as a yearly discretionary funding increase. This increase was rescinded the next fiscal year ( FY 19/20 ) with no notice or explanation given to the Fire Districts. All supervisors at that time voted for this decrease. 

During the early days of the Prop 172 Fire ad hoc (created by the BoS in November of 2015) with Supervisors Hamburg and Gjerde, there was ongoing discussion regarding any increase (float) above the then current $7,500,000 income could be allocated for Fire/EMS. This would have been a reasonable accommodation for the needs of Fire/EMS that would have the lowest impact on the other public safety providers (DA & SO, primarily) and satisfied the original intent promoted by Prop 172 sponsors and approved by the voters in 1993. 

Measure D (TOT): Current allocation available is $600,000. Per the BoS meeting on March 9th, 2021, it is understood that these funds are now ready to distribute to the qualifying Fire Districts. 

Measure AI and Measure AJ: Cannabis tax/fees: Program receipts from Measure AI for FY19/20 was $5,500,000. Accompanying Measure AJ, also passed by the voters, directs (advises) the BoS to allocate the majority of revenue generated by the Measure AI business tax to fund enforcement of current marijuana laws, Mental Health Services, county road repair and Fire and Emergency Services. Fire/EMS was to receive 1/8th of the collected revenue per this measure. The allocation to Fire/EMS based on the FY 19/20 receipts would have provided a benefit of $687,500. Unfortunately, it is currently understood that this revenue distribution, approved by the voters, is being used to “true-up” budget units that have gone over their budgeted amounts for their fiscal year. This is not what the voters approved. 

During the BoS meeting on March 9th, 2021, the Supervisors reviewed budget overruns with the “other” public safety providers (DA, SO and Probation, for example). Instead of asking why these departments ran over budget, department heads were instead advised to just provide more realistic budgets next time so that the board can just allocate more funding to them. Simple. When Fire Districts request to be included in these revenues, they are told to provide an itemized rationale of why these Districts should receive any funding. 

This is unacceptable. 

Currently, there is no direction in place to provide any distribution of Measure AI funds to Fire/EMS as advised by the voters. Transparency in these revenues and their allocation is problematic. This situation confirms that Fire/EMS (as well as the other designated funding recipients) is still being locked out of the budget process due to non-existent representation. The cannabis tax revenue must be used as approved by the voters. On April 20th, 2021, the BoS will dedicate the majority of that meeting to cannabis related issues. This would be a good opportunity to include discussions about Measure AI, Measure AJ and the how the BoS will respond moving forward regarding the allocation of these funds. 

P.G.&E. Settlement fund: During the March 9th BoS meeting, a special session for potential EMS funding from the P.G.&E Settlement Fund was scheduled for the BoS meeting on April 6th, 2021. The Supervisors suggested that Coastal Valleys EMS, the Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Safe Council be invited to participate in the discussion. Not invited to attend are representatives from the County Fire Chief’s Association or the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts, the agencies and people that actually deliver Emergency Medical Services in Mendocino County. 

Mendocino County currently does not have a dependable and robust Ambulance capability. Frequent service brown outs due to out of county transfers and lack of adequately staffed ambulance crews pose a significant risk to the county population and transient visitors. The BoS must act immediately to correct this situation. Allocation from the Settlement Fund would be a reasonable short-term application of this available funding pending a long-term resolution to this critical issue. 

In summary, it is understood that the unprecedented challenges faced by the County due to the Covid-19 emergency has complicated the County’s ability to address Public Safety Funding. However, as the impacts of the pandemic are now being mitigated, it is now time to resolve the issue of representation, equity and funding for Fire/EMS and to ensure local Fire Districts are compensated fairly for these services. 

We will look forward to the Board of Supervisors response, 


Andres Avila-AVCSD 

Ben MacMillan-Elk CSD 

Tony Orth-BTCSD 

David Roderick-HFPD 

Michael Schaeffer-Comptche CSD 

Steering Committee-Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts 

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Open Letter To The Mendocino County Planning Commission, which will meet at 10:00 am on 3/19/2021. They are considering allowing “Rangeland” to become “Ag-Land” which will result in large tracts of land in Mendocino County becoming corporate cannabis fields. We are facing a drought, wells in rural Mendocino County are already drying up (in March!) and four members of our Board of Supervisors have voted to allow this zoning change to occur. Third District Supervisor John Haschak had the courage to say “No” but we need the other members to join him. 

March 19, 2021

Dear Honorable Planning Commissioners:

Regarding the proposed change to the county zoning, which would allow rangeland to become weedland, I strongly request that you reject such a proposal. We have strived to keep a balance in Mendocino County, and now that balance is being swayed by corporate greed.

Can any single person convince us that there isn’t already enough land to cultivate cannabis in Mendocino County? 

Of course not. There are tens of thousands of acres available but corporate-America wants to suck up large tracts of rangeland and thumb their nose at what we have done to protect the integrity of our county. 

Can any single person convince us that there is a danger of a cannabis shortage because of the lack of land to cultivate in Mendocino County (or any county in California)? 

Of course not. There is a glut of cannabis and the price continues to plummet. The black market is now dominating the price of cannabis and encouraging growth on rangeland will only allow the dominance to continue.

Please understand your role as a planning commissioner. Your role is to maintain the integrity of the zoning ordinance(s) and prevent history from looking back and showing where the integrity was lost. We must not allow our generation to be the loose cannon that didn’t think a solution through. 

Please send a convincing signal to the Board of Supervisors, reminding them that they should not be loyal to the large cannabis corporations who want to dominate the cannabis market. Their (our) loyalty should be at the feet of our ancestors who worked hard to protect our range land and open fields for generations to come, not at the feet of corporations who want to turn millions into billions. 

If there is ever a cannabis shortage in the future, maybe that would be the time to reevaluate but we all know that time will never arrive. 

Tom Allman

Resident of the Third District

Sheriff, Retired

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President Joe Biden says he thinks everyone will be able to gather by the Fourth of July this year. Which brings to mind fireworks in a time of great danger for wildfires, as we have seen in recent years. My recommendation is that all the clubs that sold fireworks as fundraisers switch to super soakers, water balloons and squirt guns. The kids could have a lot of fun getting each other wet as the weather in July is usually very hot. I see this as a win-win in a time of such fire danger.

Louise Fredson

Rohnert Park

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Dear Malcolm Macdonald,

Your Giants lineup inspired me to send my version. Shorting it to 25 greatest overall, not by position. Number one: Juan Marichal (partially because I know Juan personally and want to stay here he is the nicest, humblest, most gentlemanly and funniest person I've ever met in life!) 2: Willie Mays. 3: Willie McCovey. 4: Barry bonds (still clouded by the ’roids). 5: Darrell Evans (obviously most underrated) 6. Will The Thrill Clark. 7. Orlando Zepeda. 8. Gangling Gaylord Perry. 9. Bobby Bonds (martini anyone?), 10. Matt Williams. 11. Jack Clark. 12. Jim Davenport (most combined years as Giant att 20, 1958-1977). 13. Tom Haller (caught many Marichal and Perry shutouts). 14. Chris Speier (Willits ties) 15. Bengie Molina. 16. Robb Nenn. 17. Chili Davis. 18. Robby Thompson. 19. Buster Posey (he'll move up every year). 20. Tito Fuentes. 21. Matt Cain. 22. Sergio Romo. 23. John Montefusco. 24. Dave Kingman. 25. Jim Ray Hart. Runners up: the Alou Brothers, Randy Moffitt (Billie Jean King’s brother). Kevin Mitchell and Jose Uribe, like Kobe Bryant are wasted ink: Too many arrests or rape! Top five managers or coaches: Alvin Dark, Charlie Fox, Bruce Bochy, Roger Craig and Dave “Rags” Ragetti. Top announcers: Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, Kruk & Kuip.

Would like to share one sad note with the AVA. It's been a lonely personal memory for 50 years now. In the summer of 1971 my pal Randy Randy Silveira and I met Russ Hodges at the hotdog stand at Ccandlestick Park. Randy was another Fort Bragg High All-League in 3 sports. Russ was a cool old boy and we shot the breeze awhile. He said he was dying of cancer and in three months he was gone. Three months after that my pal Randy died in a hunting accident! I've get that memory in my heart all these years.

I would like to challenge you, Malcolm Macdonald, or any other baseball brainiacs to a “stat quiz.” Let's examine four Hall of Fame pitchers famous in the 60s for the Giants and Dodgers. We know from 1962-1966 the Dodger duo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were arguably the greatest one-two pitching punch in baseball “ever.” In those five years they won over 200 games between them (Koufax won the ERA title all five years), and shattered strikeout totals for teammates. They also finished the last four of those years winning two World Series. In 1962 they tied the Giants. 

But hey, let's look at two other Hall of Famers of Giants 60s glory – Juan Marichal “the Dominican Dandy” and Gaylord “Spitball” Perry. Take their best five years of the 60s. Stat fans, please look this up: add Perry's number of shutouts from 65-69 and Marichal’s shut outs from 63-66 plus 68. Juan was out a half a year in 67 with a broken leg. Perry was younger and didn't have his spitball in tow until 1965. So total both our Giants stars number of complete game shutouts and compare them to Koufax and Drysdale total from 1962-66 when they were both very healthy and in their ultimate prime. Remember, just use these five-year totals for shut outs for all four and combine the total and watch Marichal and Perry come out on top! Then go an extra yard and add up Giants and Dodgers total victories from the years 1961-68 (an eight-year period) and my bet is the Giants come closer to 800 wins than the Dodgers! Go ahead fans, research up!


David Giusti #3979

951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.

PS. If anyone out there can help a Giants fan that can't even watch a game please mail me at baseball stat book. It has to be sent from the publisher.

ED NOTE: How about shortstops Omar Vizquel and the great Brandon Crawford? I always liked LeMaster, too, but the poor guy couldn't hit a lick. Russ and Lon, the best announcers ever, along with Bill King across the Bay.

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Reading about a winery buyout fund with plans of a public offering to investors made me sad. This new fund and other local wealthy individuals are pursuing acquisitions of smaller Sonoma County wineries. We’ve seen this trend for many years, but it seems to be more aggressive of late and has become a business model. 

I guess this is capitalism at its finest — scaling up, leveraging investments, competing against distribution and retailer consolidations or, as some would say, “progress.” 

One of these buyers is focused on finding small wineries that become cash-strapped; some no doubt due to fire, smoke damage, floods, drought and the COVID-19 shutdowns. The story was a reminder that to big business, challenging times present buying opportunities. 

Is it “buy local” when large corporations make the profits from a Sonoma County winery? How many more winery workers will be laid off as part of the merging of operations? 

I’m going to miss being able to talk to family farmers/vintners in their own tasting rooms and hearing their stories. Maybe naively, I wish Wine Country would/could hold onto its roots and not sell out. 

Linda Kettler 

Santa Rosa 

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Every few months you write something to the effect that if it were not for university grants of tenure to the professoriate, these luminaries would be forced out of their comfy sinecures and into the political street fight, where they would lead the Glorious Revolution of the Oppressed Masses into the broad and sunny uplands of Social Justice. Names, please! Names of real persons, their scholastic affiliations, their publications, their revolutionary bonafides! Names, Mein Redaktor, names! 

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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When you turn a socially negative experience into a positive for the greater good, it transforms the bad into a benefit. Erase and replace is achieved.

An example is turning the AIDS epidemic into Prop 215's Compassionate Use which ushered in the public's 90% support of marijuana for medical purposes within a single generation despite a century of prohibition, marking the beginning of the end. The suffering of a whole community changed the course of history by unearthing the buried benefits of the world's safest medicine plant and winning voter approval to access it as a right, no longer a crime.

My weeks-long ordeal with an agonizing skin itch fits this pattern of erase and replace. What appeared to be a minor skin inflammation turned out to be a lice infestation, with the itch spreading from the scalp to my shoulders, arms and back, with no known diagnosis.

Having no regular doctor since 1960 when my childhood migraine doctor died, I had nowhere to turn. The miserable incessant itch drove me to seek help wherever I could find it. I'd recently gone to Wendy Read of the Caretakers' Garden in Boonville for breathing problems and she accompanied me to see Dr Roshat of Mendo County and took notes. He examined me in general but was unable to give me any clue about the all consuming itch which raged on from my scalp. Lice babies are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. So I left his office with no greater knowledge than when I went in.

Being at my wit's end, I determined to take matters into my own hands. I used my fingernails to comb my scalp, pressing, drumming and shaking vigorously, probing to reveal or release the unseen for answers. This process dislodged tiny little dead-looking dots, immobile black periods, dead by all appearances. I turned them over and poked and probed until voila! out popped little insects with hairy tentacles clawing the air. Live critters!

Apparently I dislodged unborn critters, forcing their premature birth before they were ready to be born, like a cesarean baby. I collected a few specimen in a container and sent them to Dr Roshat for lab testing. He wrote back, RID. Here was the truth we were looking for, that it was a lice infestation, not a skin inflammation. Once he knew that, his answer was routine, a toxic remedy strong enough to destroy the scourge of blood-sucking parasitic insects who thrive on human blood and misery.

Meanwhile Brian of Cannabis Trail with his excellent network turned me on to Lice Clinics of America/Pleasanton and Concord specializing in an FDA approved heat treatment, following years of trials and 13 patents, using the oil dimethicone that is non toxic to humans but toxic to lice, as they cannot survive the 138 degree heat that dries out their eggs before they are born.

I was reluctant to make the 7 hour round trip to Concord in my agitated state, so they offered, instead, to come to me. However, once they arrived, they discovered that, living off the grid, my Honda 2000 generator did not produce enough power to activate their heat machine. 

So they switched to elbow grease and combed my scalp with dimethicone by hand strand by strand until thousands of babies were dislodged in a heap and thrown away. We washed the old clothes and bedding and smiled. Suddenly my skin was lice free. The vile critters that had entered my body and produced the agonizing itch were defeated and I had triumphed in the battle against lice, thanks to Masoud and Cindy, proprietors of Lice Clinics of America.

It is impossible to praise them enough, their competence, experience and dedication to the public good. They've been through the wringer themselves, their children giving it to each other, passing it on to the parents, motivating them to tackle it as a massive health problem facing thousands of people for decades with no widely known non toxic remedy or direction in sight...until now. They've given approximately 8100 treatments over five years in their own business and it is important that they survive and grow.

The Cannabis Elders Council which I am a member of encourages us to give our business to the Lice Clinics of America (925.400.9696) in order to advance the beneficial state of human health and lice-free peace of mind. Every teacher should be informed of this affordable ($200) non-toxic lice treatment, so that when they teach their students the ABCs, they will add ABCD for dimethicone. 

Pebbles Trippet


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