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Letters To The Editor



Make no mistake about it: I love Richard Brautigan.

I really love Richard Brautigan. He was as much a part of my early literary training at the Writing Seminars Department at the Johns Hopkins University as anyone I can think of.

Brautigan was out-of-this-world creative — otherworldly, innocent, child-like, fanciful, fantastical. He was lyrical. He was deeply emotional. He was an occultist.

But Brautigan was also, in his own way, a formalist and polished.

Taken together, all of the above is a rare combination of talents.

Early work, like “Trout Fishing in America,” is an American classic along the lines of Mark Twain. Real satire. True Americana. Pure genius.

Other work, like “In Watermelon Sugar,” is important sociological commentary on Utopia and communal living. Again, real satire. True Americana. Pure genius.

Later work takes another direction. “Sombrero Fallout” draws heavily from Zen Buddhism. In this respect, Brautigan is as important as Jack Kerouac.

Late work towards the end of Brautigan’s life is dark.

Very dark. “So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away” is a premonition. A premonition of nuclear proliferation? A premonition of capitalism, materialism, consumerism? A premonition of our infatuation with media and technology? A premonition of overpopulation? A premonition of peak oil? A premonition of global warming? A premonition of a dying planet? A premonition of madness?

Take your pick. Brautigan was right about all of it.

That said, I highly recommend the biography written by Brautigan’s daughter, Ianthe Brautigan. It’s called “You Can’t Catch Death.” (St. Matin’s Press)

Incidentally, she lived in Santa Rosa and worked at Copperfield’s for several years.

Her memoir, “An Unfortunate Woman,” is equally compelling.

Ianthe Brautigan tells a sad tale. Living with Richard Brautigan, being

his daughter, and trying to love him and be loved by him, was no picnic.

In fact, there was little about Brautigan’s life that can be romanticized.

Brautigan was an alcoholic for most of his life. A serious drunk. And as a young man, at Oregon State Hospital, he was also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression.

Quoting from the last paragraphs of his Wikipedia page…

Brautigan was an alcoholic throughout his adult life and suffered years of despair. According to his daughter, Ianthe, he often mentioned suicide over a period of more than a decade before ending his life.

In 1984, at age 49, Richard Brautigan had recently moved to Bolinas, California, where he was living alone in a large, old house. He died of a self-inflicted .44 Magnum gunshot wound to the head. The exact date of his death is unknown, and his decomposed body was found by Robert Yench, a private investigator, on October 25, 1984.

The body was found on the living room floor, in front of a large window that looked out over the Pacific Ocean. It is speculated that Brautigan may have ended his life over a month earlier, on September 14, 1984, after talking to former girlfriend Marcia Clay on the telephone.

Brautigan was survived by his parents, both ex-wives, and his daughter Ianthe. He has one grandchild named Elizabeth, who was born about two years after his death.

He left a suicide note that simply read: “Messy, isn’t it?”

Brautigan once wrote, “All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.”

* * *

If I had a few million dollars, I’d build a public library in a very beautiful place by the Pacific Ocean, like Muir Beach or Moss Landing, and I’d call it the Richard Brautigan Memorial Library.

John Sakowicz




Attn Editor,

Who Owns the Sidewalk in Fort Bragg?

I feel my case would be of interest to local people. I've talked to a couple of homeowners who didn't know they own, and are liable, for the sidewalk. Here's what happened…

The city public works saw-cut and removed about four square feet of sidewalk, installed a water-meter split, and walked away and left it. The city's own laws require the hole to be left safe and suitable for traffic, or protected by barricades until completed.

For years city workers stepped in that hole to read the meter, yet never noticed it. Finally, at night, I stepped in it and tore my foot apart, broke my leg, and crushed my back. I filed a claim. The city rejected any responsibility: maintenance of sidewalk is solely the duty of the adjacent homeowner.

Most homeowners don't know that the city can tear up their property, walk away, and blame them for failure to maintain. The sidewalk is apparently their property, except if they want to do that, they need an encroachment permit and a $2,000,000 bond.

I enclose copies of claim, rejection, city specifications requiring safety sidewalk laws, and the city's letter to homeowner. Apparently the city work order (also enclosed) said owner would complete concrete work -- but that can't allow them to just leave a hole with no protection, never tell the owner it's ready, and never do anything until it's too late.

Yours truly,

Marvin Miles

Fort Bragg




Fourth paragraph of Off the Record, April 18, 2012: The plural of “penis” is the same as “oasis,” and “crisis,” -- i.e., “penes.”

Strange but true. But strange.

As ever,

Pete Jussel

Santa Cruz





Crawdad Nelson's recent story, “Squirrel Stew,” AVA, 4/18), brought back fond memories of my Mooney clan's meat harvesting days in eastern Oklahoma during the middle years of the last century.

The Mooney manifesto was, “never eat store-bought meat,” so we hunted, gathered and rustled critters for our chow.

The small, furtive game on our menu included squirrel, muskrat, rabbit, beaver, woodchuck, raccoon, and opossum. But squirrel, in my opinion, is the most delicious of all small game meats. Chicken fried young squirrel is better than rabbit or chicken, two of my favorite meats.

And squirrel hunting with a .22 is one of the most rewarding of the rifle sports since the wary, “squirrely” rodent is not an easy prey. My weapon of choice, a model 62 Winchester pump, proved inadequate much of the time since the crafty gray and fox squirrels of eastern Oklahoma were mysteriously adept at knowing exactly when you were about to pull the trigger.

Once you scored a bull's-eye, though, the fun began -- gutting, skinning and preparing the carcass for cooking in anticipation of a scrumptious meal.

I still remember my first squirrel, spit roasted over an open fire, which tasted like salted rubber with the texture of shoe leather.

Crawdad's uncle was right -- squirrel has to be “zimmered.”

The Mooney clan's primo chef, Grandma Mooney from Hoopston, Illinois, had a repertoire of gourmet recipes for wild game that she had perfected over the years -- barbecued squirrel, squirrel stroganoff, squirrel braised in sauerkraut, squirrel cobbler, and my favorite, okie squirrel stew.

Here is the recipe for Granma Moonet's Okie Squirrel Stew. Very slow “zimmering” is the trick. (Serves four):

1 squirrel, drawn and quartered into seven pieces


salt and pepper

three tablespoons butter

8 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon thyme

1 cup fresh corn

1 cup lima beans

three potatoes quartered

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

two onions, sliced

2 cups canned tomatoes with juice

Roll the squirrel pieces in flour, salt and pepper. Brown in butter. Add squirrel and all other ingredients, save the tomatoes, to the boiling water, cover, and simmer for 1.5-2 hours.

Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer another hour.

Serve the stew in soup bowls with cornpone or hush puppies, and wash it down with Uncle Eddie Mooney's homebrewed poteen (Mooneyshine) made with “Okie taters” -- based on a secret clan recipe brought over from County Tyrone, Ireland, by our ancestor, Robert O'Mooney in 1735.

In Mendopia the native western squirrel doesn't pose any hunting challenges since the obviously stoned rodents routinely commit suicide by throwing themselves under the tires of oncoming vehicles. This is the land of roadkill stew. So when traveling by vehicle in Mendopia always carry an ice chest, a role of butcher paper, a sharp Bowie knife, and a sharp hatchet. You'll never go hungry. Bon appetite!

Bottoms up!

Joe Don Mooney


PS. I'm told that most of the sharpshooters in World War II were squirrel shooters from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.




The following is from “In A Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson:

In the 1950s a friend of Catharine's moved with her young family into a house next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to build a house on the lot. Catherine's friend had a four year old daughter who naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door. She hung around on the margins and eventually the construction workers adopted her as a kind of mascot. They chatted to her and gave her little jobs to do and at the end of the week presented her with a little pay packet containing a shiny new half crown. She took this home to her mother who made all the appropriate cooings of admiration and suggested that they take it to the bank the next morning to deposit in her account. When they went to the bank the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her pay packet. “I've been building a house this week,” she replied proudly. “Goodness!” said the teller, “and will you be building a house next week too?” “I will if we ever get the funking bricks,” answered the little girl.

Robert Jouncewell





We have a chance to make history — to be the first county in California to let voters say if they want corporate money removed from our elections by ending corporate personhood.

Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii and numerous cities, like LA, NYC, Fort Bragg and Point Arena, have passed resolutions in favor of an amendment to the US Constitution saying corporations are not people, money is not speech, and regulating money in elections is legal. But they have all been passed by state legislatures and city councils. It is even more powerful to let citizens directly cast their votes on this crucial issue. That's what we're aiming to do here in Mendocino County — to put the question before all voters in the November election.

To do this we need to gather 5,000 signatures by the end of May. Will you help? If so, please attend the final meeting for MoveToAMend petition circulators this Saturday, April 28th, at the Fort Bragg Library, from 11:00-12:00. Or contact Carrie Durkee at 937-2554 or

Thanks for helping us make history — the first county in the largest state — and thereby significantly undermining Corporate Rule.

Tom Wodetzki





I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.

PMS jokes aren't funny; period.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.

We are going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.

Broken pencils are pointless.

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in New York's police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Velcro — what a rip off!

A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy

Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!

The earthquake in Washington obviously was the government's fault.

Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.

Name Withheld

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


OK, BUT...


Just got off the phone with my son-in-law (ex). I told him you printed his remarks relating to my rhyme, Death of Hippie, beneath mine. He was delighted even without a by-line. But I don’t want to take credit for his comments on the punk rock phenomena. He writes better than I do.

John Wester

San Diego



Dear Nancy, Bill and Olivia Allen,

Thank you for your letter of April 21 regarding work on the bridge on Philo-Greenwood Road at the Navarro River crossing.

The Anderson Valley Community Services District (CSD) has agreed to hear this matter on its agenda of June 20 at 5:30pm. (Meetings are held at the Anderson Valley Fire House on Highway 128 in Boonville.) Mendocino County Director of Transportation Howard Dashiell will be present along with me to discuss the project.

This bridge rehabilitation/replacement would be financed using Federal Highway Administration funds which are is unfortunately not available for some of the excellent projects you mention in your letter such as the AV Health Center and Hendy Woods.

The Navarro River bridge on Philo-Greenwood Road is 61 years old. 50 years is a typical design life but some of Mendocino County’s 157 bridges are older.

I certainly agree that this is a beautiful structure and the area beneath makes a wonderful swimming hole. Please be assured that we want to do everything possible to preserve the beauty of the bridge and the recreational value it provides.

Please attend the CSD meeting on June 20, hear what Howard has to say, and voice your concerns. This project is still in a preliminary stage with no contract approved yet by the Board of Supervisors. If work on the bridge does go forward, it is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2015.

Best regards,

Dan Hamburg

Supervisor, District 5





The Boonville Baja travelers (AVA, April 25, 2012) have confused the saguaro cactus with the boojum tree called in Spanish the ciro. I believe the saguaro appears on Arizona’s auto license plate. There are some saguaros in Baja; they are on the northeast side of the peninsula up near San Felipe but they don’t make it to the Pacific side of Baja California. Both can reach as high as 50 feet and both are remarkable examples of Baja California plant life.

Harold Ericsson

Harbor City



Dear Occupiers,

We have postered most of the area but notice people remove them.

Let us know if you see a location that needs one.

Better yet, go to Mendo Litho where we have an account and get more to put up.

Richard Karch

Fort Bragg



Dear AVA:

(Sep. 7, 2011) My name is Dan Shealor and I’m writing to inform the general public of a grievous miscarriage of justice being perpetrated on me.

I was released from prison and parole last December having discharged my number as a two-striker. I was and am actually aware of the necessity of keeping my nose clean, particularly in the area of violence.

I began dating and ultimately moving in with a woman named Gina several months ago. Several months into our relationship, a certain weasel named Garret Matson began insinuating himself into our affairs and Gina’s affections. You may remember Matson’s name in connection with a recent suspicious death — Justice for Katlyn! — and the ensuing murder investigation.

Long story short — said weasel is running a Svengali trip on Gina using illicit chemicals and mind control techniques. He shot a hole into Gina’s car and convinced her to tell the cops it was me. Now here I sit awaiting trial for attempted murder which would mean life in prison for me if convicted. I would ask anyone who has any knowledge of shenanigans committed by Matson to contact my attorney, Bart Kronfeld, 964-6111.

* * *

Dear AVA,

(Sep. 22, 2011) Whenever I read a crime novel or watch a program like CSI, the investigating officers are focused on one thing: evidence. Do we have enough evidence to charge this suspect? Does the evidence we have tie a suspect to the crime?

In the real world? Not even close. All it takes is an accusation from some unbalanced bimbo with a cryptic agenda that I’m not even sure she understands and I’m fighting for my life and spending thousands of dollars to prove my innocence.

Had I known it was this easy to convict someone I would have disposed of all my business and romantic rivals long ago. Not to mention the neighbor who runs his chainsaw at 7am.

The evidence in my case can be summed up as follows: there is what purports to be a bullet hole in the accuser’s vehicle. The accuser claims I put it there.

That’s it. No independent eyewitness, no gun, no sound of a shot, nothing tying me to the scene, no motive.

A month down the road, the only firearm that’s even remotely associated with this case is the unregistered one found in the possession of that traitorous she-hyena, my accuser.

Then there’s the bad actor with 2nd billing in this tawdry melodrama: Garrett Matson. It’s common know-ledge that this “gentleman” stays armed and isn’t shy about brandishing or using his weapons. The community knows he got away with murder once. He is currently being sought for questioning in several violent matters.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are my accusers. The people who hold my future in their hands. A bipolar tweaked out ex-girlfriend who can’t keep her shit together long enough to keep her kids in the house, and a megalomaniacal mama’s boy who bolsters his Napoleon complex with guns and thinks he’s living in a western movie.

There needs to be a system of checks and balances in place to ensure that innocent people cannot fall victim to vindictive — what? There is one?! The what, the Constitution? Oh, I see. We just don’t use it here in Mendocino County.

Justice for Katlyn Long! Justice for Dan Shealor!

* * *

Dear AVA,

(April 27, 2012) I still sit here in the County jail awaiting trial for a crime I did not commit. I'm facing 25 to life if convicted, the best deal the district attorney has offered is 10 years with 85%. There is no physical evidence, no one heard a shot and puke Garrett Matson and his girlfriend have been caught in number of lies, not to mention the unregistered .38 they claim I used “of the same caliber” with an unknown amount of drugs shortly after my arrest. They set me up!

Why? Why would they do such a thing? I'll tell you why. About five days before they did this to me I came across Garret Matson's journal. I know it was his because it was in his belongings -- ID, credit cards, etc. In that journal he confesses to murdering his girlfriend in May of 2009 (Katlyn Long). Upon my arrest I lost the journal. I believe he got it back — but I read it! And when I read it to Garret Matson over the phone he was furious. The next thing I know I'm arrested on bunk charges that the District Attorney won't dismiss. Has any investigator talked to me about Katlyn Long? No! They don't care about her, only protecting Garrett and his tweaked out girlfriend. I've done nothing but beg for my life to these tweakers and now I'm not only charged with attempted murder, I've got persuading and bribing a witness. What is wrong with this system?

Daniel Shealor





A petition to put the issue of corporate 'personhood' on the Mendocino County November ballot is currently being circulated by volunteers. This issue is fundamental to our retaining fair elections and, therefore, the democratic process. The 2000 election moved an administration with an overarching Big Business agenda into Washington. That administration intentionally changed the balance of justices on the Supreme Court to favor the special interests of corporations. The new make-up of the Supreme Court enabled the passage of the ruling on Citizens United which upheld the misinterpretation of early rulings that corporations are 'persons'. 'Corporate protected speech' now includes unlimited donations to political action groups for political advertising. If you are unfamiliar with the full ramifications of the Citizens United ruling find out here: why it is critical to get the issue on the ballot so that real citizens can make our voices heard.

In a nutshell, what we have now in Washington is representation by Corporate Dollars, rather than by Individual Citizens. The only way to change this situation is to amend the Constitution, which is a process that is estimated to take several years. Dozens of municipalities across the country, city by city, county by county have passed resolutions in support of an amendment.

To help place a MoveToAmend proposition on our county ballot this November, coast residents can contact Carrie Durkee, 937-2554,, and inland residents can contact Margaret Koster, 459-5970,

Rita Crane





After leaving the O2 internet cafe on Polk Street Thursday afternoon, I went around the Folsom/Howard Street area, visited mostly bars, in which I briefly was just lookin'. I advise not going into the Hole in the Wall on Folsom Street (so dark I couldn't see where I was walking; designed that way so the customers can see you coming in and you cannot see them at first, so they get to size you up while your eyes are adjusting to the darkness. And then, you find out that you're in a bar with kinky pervs who only want to drink beer and then do a group golden shower in the restrooms!!!

Left without ordering and went over to Zeitgeist, discovered HofBrau Munich's Maibock on special for $5/pint. Played all of the jazz & blues on the jukebox, to get some diversity from the rocknroll, was having such a good time I put down five pints and a shot of Johnnie Walker Red Label, and smoked Sherman's Cigaretello's. Then, wandered over to Delirium and gave my barmaid friend Genea a kiss. She approved. After eating a burrito somewhere on Mission Street, I went back to Berzerkeley and visited the Crystal Massage Parlour at 11PM. The Chinese masseuse said that she was tired and wanted to go to sleep, but would give me a half hour massage that would be FULLY SATISFYING for $40. We went into one of the massage rooms, and she massaged my back so well, I was too deeply relaxed, plus the after-effects of the drinking, to cum. So, she lifted her blouse and ordered me to massage her breast. I shied away from this at first, but she more aggressively took my hand and put it back on her large stone hard nipple. She smiled down at my naked body, and then stroked my shiva lingam lovingly with a copious amount of body oil. However, after rising to the occasion, I still didn't fully respond (but did sufficiently so that she let me leave). She threw down a towel onto my pulsating penis, and humorously suggested that it was time for me to go home and get some sleep. We both started laughing. After I got dressed, she warmly squeezed my crotch and with palms upward, asked me for a tip. I plead poverty and gave her $5 more, and she agreed that $45 for only 30 minutes was reasonable.

It was vital that I spent an evening partying until the wheels fell off, to counteract my living indefinitely as though I am being dragged through purgatory. I don't care if I spent my survival money for the month. I'll be okay. If the Goddess wants me to have more money, she'll see that I get it. As you know, I have tremendous faith in Her looking out for Her devotees.

Please understand that my over-the-top effort on Thursday did not elevate me into a permanently higher social/spiritual reality. I am still very much on earth. However, I can mentally relax now, as I actually did something about my idiotic social situation in postmodern America. Besides, I got to kiss Genea at Delirium bar at 16th & Albion in the Mission; hey, I like her, and have liked her since I met her when she co-managed the Crow Bar when it was open on Broadway in North Beach. Most importantly, I feel much better now. Also, I do not have to superbinge out in the future, because Thursday night was a success in many ways, on many levels.

No regrets whatsoever,

Craig Stehr




Dear Editor:

I read with some amusement Gilbert J. Garcia’s recent Letter to the Editor, entitled “The God Complex.”  His “inside looking out” ramblings were primarily criticisms of how criminal matters are different now that I am directing the prosecution of local matters.

But there’s more to this Mr. Garcia than meets the eye. Mr. Garcia is not just a disgruntled local writing from the Low Gap Hilton; rather, Mr. Garcia hails from San Jose and, candidly, didn’t even buy the bus ticket that brought him to Mendocino County. That ticket was provided courtesy of the California Department of Corrections. You see Mr. Garcia is a convicted felon who was serving his prison time at a fire camp here in Mendocino County on a Strike conviction out of Santa Clara County.

Obviously not realizing how good he had it, Mr. Garcia took it upon himself to try and improve camp conditions by trying to smuggle into camp methamphetamine, vodka, brandy, tobacco, and other contraband dropped off by an accomplice just outside the camp boundaries.

When Mr. Garcia and another inmate stole into the night to retrieve the bounty, they didn’t see the guards waiting and watching in the brush.

Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate why Mr. Garcia is unhappy — he got caught … again. As of this morning (April 30th), Mr. Garcia waived his right to a jury trial, plead no contest to being a part of a conspiracy to bring controlled substances into a prison facility, and he will be sentenced by the local courts on May 25, 2012 to an additional 16 months in prison to be served consecutive to his San Jose commitment. That’s how we roll these days here in Mendocino County.

C. David Eyster

Mendocino County District Attorney





Wondering what to do as the SmartMeter issue hits a critical deadline (May1st?) 50+ cities and counties demanded a free smartmeter-less opt out plan with community opt outs. The California Public Utility Commission(CPUC) simply accepted PG&E's Opt Out plan. The issue is growing worldwide as Australians and British Colombians complain of equipment damages, fires and health impacts along with many U.S. states ( .) Concerned citizens in Maine and Illinois are suing their utilities, while other states such as Connecticut and Hawaii are not implementing the program. The controversial high initiation fees, the decision to stop allowing rural self reads, and to charge for multiple meters, makes the charges punitive and unfair. Some Californians are abstaining from paying, demanding no extra charge for opting out ( .)

Refuse SmartMeters Mendocino recommends that those who recognize the serious health and property right violations protect their family, and do what they feel comfortable with. Either choose to 1) pay the Opt Out initiation fee or 2) protect your meters and join others against this trespass. Many are discovering that the monthly cost is less than the rise in power increases post SmartMeter installation, or figure that the cost of hassling the argumentative utilities, getting satisfaction from a deaf CPUC, or potential impacts on health are worth it. Refuse SmartMeters Mendocino recommends that citizens avoid living with the 24/7 wireless technology that has already damaged many lives and driven folks from their homes and workplaces. Hope for a no charge real option that allows community opt outs is still high and being actively pursued.

Many think that PG&E accepted the Analog meter instead of radio-off SmartMeter into the Opt Out plan in good faith. The truth is it was the combined action of determined mothers who had sick families, anti SM organizations, government representatives, and many letters and complaints from

PG&E customers that forced this crucial part into place. It is a big win but not enough!

The Opt Out proposal has many unresolved concerns. The Utilities and the CPUC ignored the various county resolutions and laws. Neither care about rate payers. The CPUC isn't representing the tax payers that pay their wages and who expect fair representation and safe regulation. Here are some of the unaddressed concerns: How can an impacted person be protected in high meter density areas like apartments, condominiums or tract housing? How do those with biological (heart brain, insulin) implants protect their wireless sensitive devices (NIH and FCC?) Do impacted or concerned folk really have access to the option? Or is the charge keeping cash strapped rate payers from protecting themselves? The CPUC, by law, is the ultimate authority on these issues until it makes a decision. Any law suit on the issues is forced into CPUC consideration. It is only with the CPUC sanctioned Opt Out that these law suits can go to higher courts. The CPUC left impacted folks in harm's way as it took years to accumulate information that they then ignored. These folks remain impacted while others litigate a solution. Where is the regulation? Where is safety and concern?

The wireless fields impact sensitive folks. This is called Electro Hypersensitivity (EHS.) EHS leaves victims with heart, cognitive, DNA damage, calcium uptake problems and immune suppression. EHS victims become sensitive to any AC power source. Victims must live in battery powered facilities away from wireless and AC. There is no provision in the US for this now. Worldwide trends show that 50% of the populace in a layered wireless area could have this malady by 2017 (2008 study.) Will victims be able to opt out in the future when they become EHS? As the World Health Organization (WHO) put wireless onto its class 2 Carcinogen category, along with DDT this year, the trend with wireless should be towards precaution and protection.

If you are on the fence, we recommend you immediately contact your utility whether it is gas or electric or both and join the Opt Out. We further recommend you contact your State representatives (Chesbro and Evans) and the CPUC and file a complaint. Send one short letter to all. Protect yourself and your family and be sensitive to victims, who have no other choice but to leave their homes and jobs when the malady strikes them. It is hard to believe that this sort of blanket environmental trespass is occurring in California, the most environmental state in the Union.

Greg Krouse

Refuse SmartMeter Mendocino

Philo, CA




Why I Am Supporting Norman Solomon For Congress— I learned, after working four years on Capitol Hill for Congressman Wendell Wyatt, that there is tremendous pressure in DC to submit to the general needs and demands of the American imperial political class. The pressures are so strong, that it is easiest for a Congressman just to go along with their dictates However this political leadership is failing to address the most egregious problems in our local communities and across our vast planet. As global warming wracks the environment, economic collapse rocks this country and the US continues to expand its military around the world, it is crucial for our country, the planet and the North Coast to have national political leadership that effectively addresses these pressing problems.

Norman Solomon is the only candidate in the race with the track record on foreign policy and domestic issues that shows he can stand up to this imperial pressure. None of the other major candidates have ever taken the public stands that Norman has against our imperial foreign policy and the attendant wars in places like Iraq. Nor did any of the other candidates take a public stand against the bank bailouts in 2008 or the destructive power of corporate money in politics after the Citizens United decision in 2010. We need a representative in Washington that is clear on his principles and can amplify our North Coast voice on issues that are vital to us and to the future of America and the world.

Twenty-four term Congressman John Conyers, who is the Ranking Minority Member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest Democratic Caucus in the House, have both endorsed Norman and are anxious to have him join them on the floor of the House to begin moving this country in the right direction. Congressman Mike Honda calls Norman a young Bernie Sanders. Norman has worked with these politicians, he has worked in Washington DC, and he knows how to get things done there.

Remember, among the major candidates in this race, only Norman has a public record of coming out against the Iraq War and the other imperial wars we have waged in the last 50 years. Only Norman is the national co-chair of the Healthcare not Warfare campaign with Congressman John Conyers. Only Norman was active in trying to set up a green economy in Northern California as Co-Chair of the Green New Deal. Only Norman was an early endorser of the Move to Amend to end corporate personhood. Only Norman has been arrested protesting nuclear power, laying on the tracks in front of the military supply trains or protesting corporate power. And, of course, only Norman among the major candidates has refused to take corporate PAC money.

Without that kind of stamina, no other candidates will have the tenacity or priority to stand firm in the face of the pressures of the imperial political class. Others would be okay congressional representatives. But Norman would be an exceptionally good and historically important voice to have in Congress. This is one of the few districts in the country where someone with Norman's history and politics could ever get elected. It is important to our community, country and the earth that we do not let this opportunity slip away. Please vote for Norman Solomon in the June primary election.

Jim Tarbell





The unanimous decision of the Board of Supervisors to build an asphalt plant along the Willits Grade makes me wonder if the Supervisors were representing their constituencies most affected by their decision — the people who drive the sometimes dangerous section of highway 101 where the asphalt trucks would enter or exit the plant — the biointensive gardeners whose demonstration garden is visited by viewers from near and far — the residents of Sea Biscuit Ranch — the residents of the lovely valley below…

Some questions remain unanswered such as how much water would be extracted from an already damaged water collecting shed, damaged by mountain removal. How much light, noise, and exhaust pollution would affect migratory and resident bird and animal populations. How a huge increase in large truck traffic would affect the stability of the Willits Grade section of Highway 101, an already unstable roadway during periods of heavy rain, built on slippery blue clay. The unanimous rush job of the Supervisors to approve the asphalt permit in spite of local opposition, smacks of greenbacks being the overriding consideration. Would the cost to the county of negligence lawsuits from what seems to be the inevitable result of constructing a flawed traffic plan — increased number of collisions — justify the short term money saving? Is this mega asphalt production to be used for additional road construction to open this rural county to road construction for the convenience of the one percent? Is it advisable to open another toxic industry to provide a few jobs? Remember how arduous and time consuming it was to force Masonite to cease polluting the Ukiah Valley?

These policy considerations were handled in an autocratic, authoritarian manner, failing to elucidate the reasoning underlying the decision of each individual supervisor. Policy decisions such as this deserve a town hall process and possibly a referendum. Better noticing of planning decisions like this one should include the local independent newspapers, KZYX Community Calendar for those of us who do not buy the corporate press or enjoy internet connection.


Dorotheya M Dorman

Redwood Valley



To The Editor

‘The City Council in their Beautiful Pea-Green Boat’

Ukiah City Manager Jane Chambers warned last week that Ukiah faces a $1.8 million deficit for the FY2012-13 budget. This elicited much hand-wringing.

Former mayor Mari Rodin complained that Ukiah City is like an adult who keeps her baby in too-small shoes so the children can't run. Ukiah Daily Journal Editor K.C. Meadows found Mari Rodin's concerns incomprehensible and excoriated her at length, suggesting that the City might ease down (in its spending) rather than buying larger baby shoes just now.

Deputy City Manager “Sage” Sangiacomo published yet another iteration of his list of how he intends to spend RDA funds that were borrowed at high interest rates last spring against the future growth of tax revenues. He does not propose to actually pay back these expensive loans any time soon but instead uncoils yet another “ROPS” (Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule). This complex document always manages to confuse and frustrate City Council members who really don't know “The ROPS.” As an example, when asked why he is holding $250,000 aside to pay the costs of shutting down the RDA machine, Sage “wisely” explained: “The hierarchy of distribution is the county gets paid for administering the program first, then the pass-throughs, then the bondholders and the administrative costs to the successor agency is the final priority if there is any tax increment leftover.”

This wisdom silenced the Council to the point where they never even bothered to question why City Staff needs to spend another $654,500 for something called “Costco Project Management.” Can't a private sector project manage itself?

Last year's Grand Jury discovered that Ukiah had budgeted $640,401 to support 18 staff salaries and benefits for the administration of the RDA program. With RDAs now out of business, why have we not heard about a staff reduction plan?

Within this latest ROPS trick are a number of proposed expenditures of bond revenues to promote commercial enterprises. I had naively thought that when Governor Brown kaboshed the RDA program, it meant that we would pay back those costly bonds forthwith and save ourselves the very high interest rates (5.6 to 8.0% over ten years). Apparently, there is little interest in such an idea. Instead, Sangiacomo shows $2,337,212 to be paid by Costco to reimburse the City their acquisition of the land years back with RDA funds. Sage then shows another $2,050,00 in bond money combined with this and all to be used for “development of infrastructure, to improve traffic, drainage and utility services for CostCo.”

Isn't this $4.3 million merely a form of the corporate welfare that our Governor and state legislature wisely intended to shut down when they terminated the RDA boondoggle? Why in the world do we need to bribe a commercial business like Costco into expanding our unneeded retail marketplace? We've already got all the supermarkets, clothing outlets and drug stores one could need.

Mark Scaramella succinctly explained in the AVA last week the mysterious theory of redevelopment: “Public agencies borrow money in anticipation of future tax revenues. This money is then used for private purposes supposedly to increase the borrower’s tax base. The magically broadened tax base supports more commercial programs and allows the public agency to pay back the redevelopment loan. In other words, the proverbial private pig dives face first into the public poke.”

Apparently, City Manager Chambers and her befuddled Council Members are still living in the good old times, and fail to heed warnings of more economic rough water on the horizon as they set out like the sage owl and the CEO pussy cat in their beautiful pea-green boat: “They took some honey and plenty of tax money, all wrapped up in a RDA note.”

James Houle

Redwood Valley



Dear Editor,

Anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows what a helpful, supportive community we have here in Anderson Valley. On Earth Day, April 22, many of us experienced yet another example of such largess. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Navarro Vineyards and Ted Bennett, Deborah Cahn and family, the Hendy Woods Community raised well over $10,000 to be used in our efforts to keep Hendy Woods open. Many thanks are sent to the following: Sarah Cahn Bennett for having such a great idea, Aaron Cahn-Bennett for tech support and numerous other things, Lemon's Philo Market/Erica Lemons, Mendocino Cookie Co., Costeaux Bakery, The Apple Farm, Pomo Tierra, Gowan's Oak Tree, the AV Senior Center, AV Lion's Club, Judy and Garth Long, AV Winegrowers, Boont Berry Farm, Lauren's, John Dixon/Glendeven Inn, Pennyroyal Farms, Hotel Rex, San Francisco; Coast Botanical Gardens and Michael Jolliffe, Bob Day and Erica Zissa, Nahara, John Scharffenberger and Audrey Wells, Kirk Wilder, Wax&Bing Pottery, Malcolm West, Greg Gorman, All That Good Stuff, AV Nursery, KZYX&Z, KOZT, Susan McClure, Via Keller, Husch Vineyards, Toulouse Vineyards, Eileen Cunningham, Neva Dyer, Anne Bennett and Sheep Dung Properties, Cory Morse, Heidi Knott, The Pot Shop, Elaine Busse, Judy Nelson, Nancy McLeod, Pearly Basehore and Pearl Handles Graphics, Jean DuVigneaud, Steve Anderson, Rob Giuliani, Anne Duvigneaud, Andy Duvigneaud, Sarah Gretsky, Aaron Sawyer, Mimi Duvigneaud, Xenia King, Linnea Totten, David Ballantine, George Castagnola, Torrey Douglas, Ellen Saxe, Leah Collins, Moss Bittman and Joe Petelle. Special thanks to Margaret Pickens, Monica Landry and Joe Rubin. And, of course, thank you to all the attendees!

I hope we have not inadvertantly forgotten anyone.


The Hendy Woods Community Board of Directors





Can I start a tally on which voices that appear in the AVA support National Public Radio (NPR) content and which critical voices see NPR for the national atrocity that it truly is, a biased and one-sided corporate voice of war and profiteering?

Affirming the fact that NPR is absolutely one-sided and biased are one Helen Redmond, Louis S. Bedrock, Nate Collins (myself) and the mighty editor Bruce Anderson (yourself) for your mutual loathing of one David Brooks and EJ Dionne guests of the Jim Lehr news hour on NPR and of the New York Times and Washington Post respectively.

The lone voice to appear in the AVA in support of the atrocious bribery, cronyism and Jim Crow that NPR represents is the weary voice of Bill Brundage of Kurtistown, Hawaii. After further reading of your contributions Bill, I will wholeheartedly encourage you to continue listening to NPR for the benefit therein, it can be found.

For those who wish to pay stricter attention in honor of throwing off the unlikely oppression of the hippie scourge, or just the general slackness prevalent in this savvy post technical gadget addicted society, all we have to do is listen to who underwrites this propaganda; Insurance, Banking, Oil, Industry, etc. as well as their neo-corporate recipients and lackeys in the form of faux do-gooders such as the Skoll foundation, exposed by David Severn’s latest article, “Go Back Where You Came From, Safely Please”(April 18, 2012).

With David’s permission of course I would like to count David with the votes that NPR content is fundamentally crooked, biased and un-democratic. In question is his encounter with a worker representative of one illustrious billionaire, the Canadian born LA based Jeffrey Skoll. Ironically the stated Vision of his Skoll Foundation is “to live in a sustainable world of peace and prosperity” … some viciously coded language whenever I have ever heard such things voiced by cynical billionaires.

On a different but perhaps similar note; Hey Steve Heilig, quit your incessant whining in the Letters to the Editor section. The Letters to the Editor section is usually reserved for the un-published, and your whining is annoying for people trying to enjoy the paper and give honor to the published writers herein and the quality of their work as well as their typically brief and clever responses. Not a good look for a respectable writer.

Respect same-way to all contributors.

Fear and Loathing (of NPR)

Nate ‘2 times Red’ Collins


PS. To Editor Anderson: I’ll be in the upper deck just to the first base side of home-plate for the Giants/Marlins game this Thursday first pitch at 12:45. Maybe I’ll see you there.




Recently, Black Bart Rock, the unique, beautifully imposing triangular boulder that looms large across from the Black Bart Road intersection, has caused quite a stir.

It seems local engineers and advocates of the Harris Quarry Asphalt Expansion Project, have been seen crowded around, measuring and busying about this symbolic cultural resource as of late. This happens to also be the spot where an important highway road widening mitigation is being proposed to offset the danger of a so-called “suicide lane” which would exist if the envisioned maximum 50 massively loaded trucks per hour become a reality.

We have just received word that Black Bart Rock may indeed become a casualty. Placed conspicuously by nature at the top of the highest ridge on Highway 101 from Mexico to Canada, it could succumb to the blasting out and hauling away as dust by a gang of another modern-day era hell bent on paving over a legend.

A little research on the actual documented history of Black Bart reveals he was a somewhat sophisticated gent who relieved stagecoaches of excess funds in Northern California and other places. Records show that on June 14, 1882, Black Bart interrupted the stagecoach journey from what is now Willits on its way to Ukiah. Local lore has it he used the landmark rock across from Black Bart Road as cover. One of the stagecoach occupants was the Postmaster, Hiram Willits. Bart was famous for the trademark hood used during business hours and for poetry he occasionally left at the site of the deed.

In an effort to Save Black Bart Rock, this writer is similarly inspired.

Legend of Black Bart Rock

In eight-two the Willits stage

Was on its Southbound run

White black Bart stood behind his rock

A hooded, shadowed gun

Ukiah’s loot would soon be gone

A legend would unfold

And Black Bart Rock still speaks today

Of Mendocino gold

A hundred years and more have passed

Since Willits stage moved on

But Black Bart’s ghost still rides the trail

Until that rock is gone.

Jack Magné

Willits (



Dear Editor,

Legal medical marijuana dispensaries all over California have received orders from the U.S. Attorney’s office to go out of business within thirty days or face federal prosecution and asset forfeiture.

As a candidate for US Congress, I have sworn to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and California. I demand that the US Government immediately stop and reverse its unconstitutional assault on the legal medical marijuana industry in California.

The federal assault on California’s legal medical marijuana industry is an attack on the sovereignty of California and Californians. It is clearly intended to destroy a legitimate source of livelihood for thousands of Californians, forcing patients who need medical marijuana to deal with outlaws.

Democratic President Obama recently stated his opposition to ending the prohibition of marijuana. The marijuana industry is a major source of income in Northern California, accounting for an estimated one-third of the total income in Mendocino County.

The federal government is building a police state by crushing legal medical marijuana, terrorizing local officials who try to regulate marijuana, and attacking marijuana growers and providers with an ever-expanding police force.

This ugly world of violence, corruption, economic waste and environmental destruction will grow unless we unite to stand in resistance. If we remain silent in the face of this federal assault on a legitimate California industry, who will they come for next?

John Lewallen





‘Mimi’ Fine Foolishness — I encourage all to attend "Cocktails with Mimi" at the Grange Friday or Saturday Night. Director Marcus Magdaleno who also directs our AV Teen Drama Group has done a fabulous job of coaching the talented actors of the AV Theater Guild to go over the top and then some with their performance. Having been a puppeteer for many years I have a great fondness for the perfect exaggerated gesture and clowning in general. These guys give this strictly for laughs play all they’ve got. Very, very funny and appropriate for all ages the “cocktails” are not a major player in the plot. This is mainly all about watching crazy people do crazy things. If you like smart with your silly this is your kind of play. The only thing lacking is a Vicar jumping in and out of windows and you won’t even miss him.

Terry Ryder


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