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Letters (April 14, 2021)

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SACAGAWEA’S VOYAGE

Editor,

I read with interest William J. Hughes's piece “In Search of Sacajawea” which turns out to be more about the author himself than about the Indian woman who aided Lewis and Clark. I wondered why Hughes omitted crucial information about her, but maybe that's because he says in his opening sentence, “I'm guessing we all know something about her.” I'm guessing that “we” don't. Hughes says she was more of an interpreter than a guide, but a close reading of the journals indicates that she was both an interpreter and a guide who led the way and set the pace. Speed was essential for her; moving through an area quickly so as not to attract undue attention and also with an eye on the weather and aming to avoid storms. Readers might like to know that Sacajawea traveled at least part of the time with her husband, Charrponneau. whom Lewis dismissed as “a man of no peculiar merit.” She also carried her baby, Jean Baptiste, much of the time. Lewis called her “the Indian woman,” a “poor object” and a “child bride.” She was also known as “Bird Woman” and “Snake Woman” which suggests that she had an affinity for the animals of the forest and perhaps a kind of spirituality. When Sacajawea gave birth to Jean Baptiste, Lewis helped her. When she was in pain he administered opium: a doctor of sorts. Clark noted that she had been “of great service to me.” He and Lewis called her their “pilot” and the expedition a “voyage.” She walked at the head of the Corp because she knew better than Lewis and Clark how to read the woods. A woman with a child was also useful cover for a heavily armed group of men who engaged in combat with Indians when Sacajawera wasn't around. When the Corp held meetings to plan where to go and what to do next, Sacagawea voted, as did the African-American York. Unlike Lewis and Clark and the others she didn't have a gun. At times Lewis was attracted to Indian women whom he called ”tawny damsels.” When he saw the white cliffs made of sandstone along the Missouri River he described them as “scenes of visionary enchantment.” No doubt they were beautiful and enchanting. Perhaps he was also using opium. At the end, which was also a kind of beginning, Sacajawea disappeared into the woods. Clark went to work for the U.S. government and Lewis committed suicide. The two men were largely forgotten for much of the 19th-century. Teddy Roosevelt resurrected them when he created the Lewis and Clark National Monument. He helped to preserve and popularize the two men that Jefferson sent on a near-impossible mission. Native American author William Least Heat-Moon said that Indians “went downhill after Lewis and Clark.” Indeed, they were one of the first nails in the coffin that led to genocide at places like Wounded Knee and all over the bloody continent. 

Jonah Raskin

Sonoma

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DA’S AGILITY IS FINE

Dear Editor …

Respectfully, “failing agility?” NOT. Mendo Rose of Laurel (“Rosie”), our Welsh Terrier pup in the picture, is generally spending a significant amount of her time these days playing underfoot but my agility continues to prevent her from taking me down.

The same cannot be said for the ongoing construction-caused minefields and trip hazards being allowed to exist and spread across downtown Ukiah. I’m not the first to go down as a result of same and, unfortunately, probably not the last.

DA Dave Eyster

Ukiah

P.S. The medical folks at the Adventist emergency department were wonderful and took good care of me. Thank you!

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FROM BAD TO WORSE?

To the Editor:

There are many problems with the way the County is handling the cannabis issue currently, and with the proposed changes, things will be even worse.

It is crazy to have a system that depends on citizen complaints for monitoring. Is there any other business monitored by public individuals? What if restaurants, gas stations, factories or markets were regulated only by citizen complaints? That is the breakdown of civil society.

Citizen complaint is ineffective, especially with cannabis growers, some of whom syphon water illegally out of creeks, dump chemicals into creeks, and protect their crops with guns and dogs. Obviously, neighbors are fearful to report growers living nearby.

On our County roads, water trucks and other delivery vehicles go barrelling up and down the roads with alarming frequency, giving these roads an extra hard beating, resulting in road damage. The growers should pay for road maintenance.

Cannabis is a legal business with an outlaw mentality. It should be monitored as any other industry or business, and the owners held to the standards that other business owners adhere to, in the areas of contamination, lighting, resources, hours of operation, and treatment and salary of employees.

Done correctly, marijuana growing would not harm my property value or rlationships between neighbors, but with the County completely abandoning their responsibilities to monitor the industry, and now ready to open up to huge increases in the growing operation, this is really turning into a disaster. I feel so angry that the County of Mendocino has not yet managed to do their job well.

Dori Kramer

Willits

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OUTDOOR GROWS

Editor: 

There is a reason that of 58 California counties only 15 allow outdoor commercial cannabis. Impacts on neighborhoods are just too severe to offset with any mitigations.

Sonoma County started out with a use permit process, as is required by the California Environmental Quality Act, but the county is now attempting to go to a ministerial process to accommodate cannabis industry demands.

This is applying a cookie-cutter approach to land use. Our county is too diverse to assume all parcels are so much alike that you can apply the same imaginary check box solution to each one. Other counties have tried this scheme but have had to return to use permits after years of wasted time and lawsuits.

This attempt to bypass CEQA will not succeed, but county officials surge blindly ahead. Meanwhile the failed penalty relief program allows those who broke the law and avoided taxes for years to operate and even expand without consequences.

 The commercial cannabis rollout is a failure and the only way forward is to abandon the Feb. 16 draft ordinance and go back to amending the previous ordinance so that the scuttled neighborhood compatibility phase will finally be fulfilled.

Marcy Meadows 

Graton

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TOXIC TOMES?

Editor,

The Point Arena Library, the only one around (on the Coast), has reopened after a year of closure: 25% capacity, three afternoons a week, no magazines, papers, no sitting, i.e., not a real library. However, we are assured that “all returned items will be quarantined for approximately three days before returned to the shelves.” Where, oh where, is the evidence that anyone, anywhere ever got covid off a book?

Meanwhile, during that very year, most Mendocino County residents shopped in grocery stores, touched many items there, returned them to the shelves where they remained for the next person to touch.

They have shopped perhaps in Costco in Santa Rosa, maybe Target, who knows where else? Same policy: Items can be touched, then returned to the shelves. Many have visited doctors offices where they were able to sit and wait, albeit at some sort of distance from others; many will have dined outside and now inside.

However, our library, on which many of our poorer neighbors depend since they cannot just order books from Amazon as I did when I became frustrated with our library, has remained closed, offering no services and now offering pitiful ones despite no recent covid deaths in our county, few new infections and no outbreaks.

During this year, I was even unable to return a borrowed book either in person to the library or to the return box outside of it, which remained stubbornly locked. Why?

How long will we treat our population as imbeciles who do not know yet how the virus is transmitted and the commonsense measures they can take to protect themselves such as handwashing after they return from a shopping/library trip? 

Enough. Open our library which is run by public funds. Insist on masks if you wish; limit the number of people inside if you wish, but stop the other nonsense. Enough is enough. This library belongs to us all.

Doris Meier

Gualala

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FACTS NOT FEAR

Editor,

A recent statement made by County Supervisor Haschak published in the Willits News about the proposed Phase 3 Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance stokes fear of “devastating” effects and spreads misinformation about environmental damage from legal cannabis in the same way photographs that are published by the Ukiah Daily Journal of reported trashed cannabis cultivation sites not identified as either legal/illegal could be seen in almost any County in California. Where is the site and are the premises licensed by CDFA? The facts are important because they reveal the truth about the current state of Proposition 64 and cannabis cultivation in Mendocino County which most would agree isn’t working for the residents of Mendocino County.

The CDFA has issued 791 cultivation licenses excluding processor, nursery, and indoor. The canopy square feet of the 791 licensed premises is 147 acres or 8,174 square feet per license. Designation as a mom or pop or legacy or artisan cultivator matters little in this argument. There is no big cannabis business in Mendocino. We are all small farmers facing the same issues as our neighboring cultivators and all would benefit from Phase 3. Phase 3 provides more cultivation strategies (biomass, full sun, green house, fresh frozen) with the likelihood of better economics. Incrementally higher production leveraging off existing farm infrastructure improvements — even small ones already made by license holders to obtain a license — means greater yields at a low marginal cost and the possibility of profits that are missing under the current regulatory scheme. It all feeds back into the economy and benefits all residents of Mendocino County. Cultivation begets processing/manufacturing begets distribution and so goes the cannabis ecosystem.

Processing/manufacturing license holders who wholesale cannabis flower or manufactured products need more cannabis production in Mendocino to compete with the demands from buyers throughout the State of California who will turn to neighboring counties. Small production lots from 10,000 square feet canopy farms in Mendocino is inefficient to gather, process, and wholesale. Cultivators are reliant on processors to add value and get their product into dispensaries. And why bother with an Appellation project or biodynamic designations designed to lift up small farms if the output is too small to make a difference?

Environmental devastation is the Complex Fire of 2020 that decimated the grape and cannabis harvest. There are over 18,000 acres of vineyards in Mendocino County and crop losses over $500 million in 2020. Fortunately for vineyard operators crop insurance is readily available and economically feasible whereas cannabis has no such safety net. 

Alleged widespread environmental damage by “small grows” or any other legal cannabis operation is not supported by any facts and predictions of doom and destruction of the environment and way of life in Mendocino is irresponsible. Regular agriculture dominates the County and nothing proposed would change that. 

In fact one could argue regular agriculture of vineyard production and cattle and calf populations in Mendocino contribute more to the environmental crisis than 147 acres of cannabis cultivation. License holders have demonstrated their commitment to responsible and environmentally sound cultivation practices and conformed to the strict requirements of CDFW and the Water Board. Many of the UR and RL license holders permitted premises will not qualify for expanded cultivation because water restrictions and infrastructure investments (roads, wells) will make it economically unfeasible.

The biggest failure of legal cannabis for Mendocino residents has been the inability of the County to control illegal cultivation that takes place in rural unincorporated Mendocino County. District 3 has 70 percent of CDFA licenses and of the 147 acres of licensed cannabis, 119 acres are in AG, UR, and RL zoned land predominately in District 3.

Law enforcement and code enforcement are separate cannabis issues and responsibilities. The Sheriff’s Department has been chronically underfunded. Rural unincorporated areas in District 3 are difficult to surveil and patrol for illegal cannabis activities. The County needs to make a major investment in law enforcement which it has been unwilling to do. Code enforcement and permitting is an administrative challenge that can be met by strong leadership with the will to build consensus and move forward with some creativity. The status quo will not work in Mendocino County and Supervisor Hachask admitted as much with the mea culpa that “permits were wrongly granted.” 

So why would Mendocino County want to continue to impoverish its residents and ignore the facts? Proposition 64 is the voice of the people. It can’t be changed by the legislature (without a super majority). Reform is within the reach of the Board of Supervisors so please take action and improve the lives of your constituents.

William Claus

Covelo

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MY MOTHER WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE

Editor,

My name is Amanda Maloney and I am a resident of Vacaville, California. On August 24, 2020, a restraining order was granted to me by Judge Shauna L. Chastain of the Superior Court of Solano County. This order forbids my biological mother, Marlena Maloney, from contacting me via any means. On October 1, 2020, Marlena violated his order by sending me an e-mail. I promptly reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and had my case (#20-07629) handled by Officer Andre Carson. When it arrived at the district attorney’s office they decided that it wasn’t enough to put a warrant out for Marlena’s arrest as they had no definitive proof that the e-mail account she used was linked to her identity.

On October 31, 2020, I received a greeting card in the mail. Although her name or address was not on it, I know that it was sent by mother due to the postmark being from her hometown of Eureka, the handwriting being identical to her, and the language within it being very similar to those within the past e-mails she has sent to me as well as messages sent to associates on my facebook account, stating how her daughter had been told a “web of lies” by social workers and other county officials in order to destroy her family. Once again, I reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and my case (#20-8412) was handled by Officer Jeremy Johnson.

On November 24, 2020 I received another greeting card in the mail from my mother. Just like the previous one, the only proof I had that Marlena sent this card to me are the same points I mentioned above. I have also reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and had my case was handled by Officer Stevens (who refused to give me his first name). Instead of filing an official case report, he instead gave me an incident report (#201-1240016), stating that it was inappropriate for a case report to be made for the previous card as well as this one.

Shortly afterwards I was looking through the past e-mails that Marlena sent to me before I got the order and discovered some that included photos of herself, myself as a child (photos which nobody else would own, etc.), as well as many others containing definitive proof that this e-mail account was tied to her identity. I contacted the district attorney’s office and spoke with Christine De Leo, the agent handling my case (# FFL-1230129) regarding this additional evidence. I then got in touch with her supervisor Suzanne, who instructed me to complete and submit the FL-410 (order to show cause and affidavit for contemtt) and FL-412 (affidavit of facts constituting contempt) to the courthouse. I did so right away and was granted a court hearing for February 1, 2021 in which Judge Shauna L. Chastain would be presiding again.

Before this date I worked to gather as much evidence as I could to convince the courts that Marlena was guilty. In addition to the e-mails, I also asked the court to send me copies of her past criminal cases. There I found a minute order from 2011 (Case#FCR261058), which had Marlena’s full name, date of birth, previous address and phone number. The handwriting that this was written in is almost identical to that on the greeting cards. During this time, I received a phone call from Marlena’s public defender, Marjaneh Maroufi, who has represented her in her past cases dating in 2012-2013. Ms. Maroufi informed me of my mother’s desire not to appear in court. She also told me Marlena’s defense stating how I have been brainwashed by the county systems to resent her and how my father was really the abusive parent. I told Ms. Maroufi about how those statements were classic lies that my mother tells to deny accountability for her actions and warned her not to be deceived by them. Ms. Maroufi told me she would keep my words in mind but the tone voice did not do much to convince me. Sure enough, when the day of the court hearing came, Marlena was not present. Although I was previously informed by Ms. Maroufi that Marlena did not need to be present at the hearing in order for you to proceed, the case was not heard. Instead, the hearing was delayed until March 23, 2021, during which time Ms. Maroufi stated that she would have a “warrant “ placed by the time this new court date came.

Many employees of the Solano courthouse have advised me that I did not need an attorney of my own as long as I had enough evidence to prove that my mother was aware of the restraining order I had against her and that she willfully disobeyed it. Still, I felt like I needed someone to help me with this case and contacted Matthew Martinez. I told Mr. Martinez about my situation and needs. He said that he would be happy to put together a packet and request for a criminal case to send to the district attorney as well as appearing with me in this upcoming court case. He also spoke with Ms. Maroufi over the phone who said that Marlena would agree to speak via telephone in the next court hearing. 

To my surprise, Marlena actually showed up in person during the court hearing on March 24, 2021 and was arraigned. Our case is now set for trial and we will return on May 5, 2021. From what I’ve been told this trial will most definitely proceed whether or not Marlena decides to appear.

Marlena Joyce Maloney is a deranged, evil creature who has been mentally and emotionally abusing me since childhood. So far, the weak willed attitudes of the court have not prevented her repeated criminal actions. If anything, they have enabled her to continue to find new ways to sink her claws into anyone she can by discovering covert methods to avoid being brought to justice. If nothing is done to stop her, she will only persist until the day she dies. 

For years, Marlena had been lying to police officers, court officials, therapists and members of the public alike, convincing them that she is not a danger to others all while she continues to relentlessly torment her own children behind closed doors. Children who have spent their entire lives witnessing those who are meant to protect and serve the ones who cannot defend themselves on their own consistently fail to perform their duties. Children who feel frustrated, exhausted and ultimately helpless in their fight to escape the inhumane force that has oppressed them since birth.

Restraining orders do not work. Blocking of social media does not work. Constantly changing personal contact information does not work. Constantly running and hiding does not work. Merely trying to ignore Marlena’s behavior does not work. Up until now, pleading with the court to take a more assertive, aggressive demeanor does not work.

When will this torture finally end? When will the court officials finally open their eyes and see Marlena Joyce Maloney for the ruthless, remorseless, child abusing public menace that she truly is? What more can be done to motivate them to step up and permanently stop Marlena’s spread of resentment and pain to nearly everyone who crosses her path once and for all?

Sincerely,

Amanda J. Maloney

Vacaville

Attorney Matthew Martinez, 1600 Sacramento in Way, Suite 236, Sacramento, CA 95815/916-804-8871, Martinezdefense@gmail.com

One Comment

  1. AMANDA MALONEY April 26, 2021

    UPDATE: As of March 29, 2021, the Solano County DA is refusing to accept the report that my attorney has prepared.

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