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Letters (June 9, 2021)

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The castle in Napa Valley owns three vineyards (one jointly with V. Sattui Winery) in the Anderson Valley. They total 95 acres of grapes and 171 acres of land.

Why did we buy in property in Anderson Valley? I really like the quality of the resultant wines, and I love Anderson Valley. I have visited the area for over 50 years. whereas Napa Valley is over built with sprawl, in my opinion, with traffic and congestion problems, Anderson Valley is probably like Napa was in the 1950’s. It possesses beautiful, pristine nature which I adore.

I am aware that some Anderson Valley residents do not like the fact we cut down trees near the highway above Elke’s vineyard at the Dennison Ranch (mostly planted by owner I purchased property from) to plant grapes, which we shall do soon. We presently are recontouring the hill to make it less steep, and we are implementing good erosion control measures.

Let me assure you that I am also a conservationist/environmentalist and have been so since my early twenties. I belong and contribute to many wildlife and environmental organizations and have done so for over forty years. I lament the fact that Napa County has grown so much. I have put my money where my mouth is. I put well over 600 acres into conservation agreements with the Napa County Land Trust never to be built upon. I frown on developers who despoil the environment for profit and have never done so. 

In June, we will put the 77.5-acre Dennison ranch into the Anderson Valley Land Trust, of which I have been a member for years. I have the right to build three more houses and guest houses on the property but will give up this right to preserve the beauty. There is an existing home there.

In Boonville, adjacent to the brewery, we bought 54 acres of land about 15 years ago and planted 36 acres of vineyard although this property contains a mobile home for a vineyard worker, I have the right to build a home on this property, but I never have, and I vow that I never will. I do not wish to be part of the problem despoiling nature. 

The third property is near Navarro, the Morning Dew Ranch. It contained a home when we purchased it. We will never build another home there either.

To some, what I pen may seem self-serving, however, everything I have written in the foregoing is true, and I invite the citizens of the area to check out the facts for themselves. Further, we have complied with all laws.

I wish to make great wines in the Anderson Valley, but foremost in my mind is preserving the bucolic, unspoiled beauty of the area. Vineyards are also quite beautiful and harmonize with nature and they serve as a wildfire block.

Dario Sattui


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Assessing water use…

Many letters say it takes six times more water per crop to grow cannabis than grapes. But what does this statement really mean? The Napa 9111 report, the source of this oft-quoted statistic, says it takes 250 gallons of water to produce a pound of cannabis flower. Further research revealed that a pound of cannabis yields about 900 joints. This divides out to about 3.6 gallons of water to grow the pot in a joint. 

Now let’s look at how much water it takes to produce a bottle of wine — including not just the irrigation water that was included in the Napa report but all the other water used to produce the wine: water for frost protection, cleaning tanks and floors, etc. According to the study “Mathematics of Sustainability,” published in 2018 by Union College, “It takes 872 gallons of water to produce a gallon of wine.” This means that producing a standard 750 milliliter bottle of wine requires 175 gallons of water. 

So, if a joint is roughly equivalent to a bottle of wine in terms of enjoyment (seems about the right ratio to me) then the wine uses 48 times more water than cannabis. As we go about drafting regulations governing these industries, let us look at the total picture. 

David Bannister

Santa Rosa

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One of my uncles skippered a minesweeper off southern France in 1944 in operation Dragoon, which was the allied follow up invasion a couple of months after D-Day. Around Marseilles, France.

Minesweepers were paired, my uncle’s had been partnered since 1942, sweeping mines off New Jersey, the Bahamas, Galveston Texas . Later, north Africa, Italy. During operation Dragoon, and this is the only story my uncle ever told of his WWII adventures, his partner minesweeper took a German 88 in its ammunition hold, exploding entirely on the spot. Virtually vaporized instantaneously before his eyes.

My uncle went on to serve in the Asian theatre and clearing mines in China after the war’s end.

Another uncle, whom I never met, died in Holland in late 1944 and is buried there.

My father was 4-F due to hypertension. He was rejected for service 3 times by the Navy and twice by the Army. After his latest rejection, he had his mother “pull some strings” with the local draft board, and was inducted into the Army. He served in the retaking of New Guinea and the Philippines. Contracted malaria and died a decade later due to its complications.

Point I’m trying to make is that there was a generation before us dedicated body and soul to stopping Nazism and Japanese racism and imperialism. They sacrificed and prevailed. They made a better world.

Since? Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq… no military adventure truly protecting our homeland interests (no, not even Afghanistan , after all).

No field commander wants their troops slaughtered in futile battle. No sane one, anyway.

Time to say, loud and proud, No More War. Ever again.

It is the highest and deepest tribute we the living can pay our many wars dead. And our surviving troops.

Lee Edmundson


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Dear Supervisors: 

May 31, 2021 (Memorial Day) — There is yet another meeting scheduled on June 2 to discuss cannabis expansion. So, it appears you can still save the county and your reputations by deciding to protect Mendocino County and not sell us out to big ag. The environmental situation becomes more dire every day and expansion of cannabis may push our rivers, streams and springs to a point of no return. Water (clean, potable water) is more precious than cannabis, gold, or imagined tax dollars. 

Our water is currently being syphoned, choked and poisoned. The Eel River fish count is proof, the dry wells are proof, our dying trees are proof. Drive to your favorite swimming hole and try to find enough water to dip a toe. Don’t let your kids drink the water with the poisonous algae. Please stop fiddling with imagined statistics and empty promises while your county burns. 

The $18 millions from the state should be used to produce an environmental study and provide real science for moving forward. Test our wells for quantity and quality of water. Then, write a new ordinance, hire and train more planners and enforcement personnel. Pay them enough to keep them here. Find out why Sonoma and Humboldt Counties are eating our lunch when it comes to protecting themselves. 


Sandra Mullen


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The public will have the opportunity to purchase chairs and tables that were declared surplus by the Mendocino Health Care District. This furniture was formerly used in the lobby of the Outpatient Building and is in good condition. The sale will take place on Saturday, June 19th beginning at 8 am and ending at 2 pm or when the furniture is gone. The location is the Neva Cannon room behind the District’s building at 775 River Drive. Cash or check only. 

Norman de Vall

Mendocino Coast Health Care District

Board Member

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Last week I was visited by a couple of sheriff's deputies inquiring about the “armed and dangerous” red-bearded guy last seen in Elk's Cameron Road area. Since I live on the Navarro River below Cameron Road, they were checking to see if anyone along the river had seen him. No, I told them, we had not seen anyone.

However, I got to thinking about a couple of unusual things that had happened and now I believe, the mystery is solved.

A friend had left his antique bow and arrow set, a hand-me-down from his family, in an unlocked trailer on the riverfront and it turned up missing. I also found the driver's side door of a parked vehicle wide open with some boxes stashed inside that had been rummaged through.

It is consistent with the bow and arrow thief that he would be looking for useful things to avail himself of. He found nothing. There are no guns on this property and the same can be said of stashes of money, except for coin rolls of quarters and dimes, signifying brokeness as a way of life.

For your info,

Pebbles Trippet


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Quick fix: desalinate brackish or salt water. Short- and long-term problem: disposal of waste saline. It is not Morton’s Salt. There’s the environmental impact on removal of water from its source (who needs wildlife protections when we need lawns and 20-minute showers?). The energy used causes a tremendous increase in greenhouse gas emissions (choke, gasp). Water experts recommend careful use of water (e.g., graywater, xeriscaping, low-water use appliances and appliances that reuse water within any system). Desalination is not a viable answer. Conserve water, and demand that wasteful extravagances in your community stop now. 

Weedy Tuhtan-Joseph


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Re: Barbara Lee Introduces Bill to Help Vietnamese

Victims of Agent Orange

Dear Mary,

Sorry to rain on your parade for Barbara Lee but she's not one I would credit with integrity, based on her support for Israel and her readiness to do the dirty work of its Lobby. You may not remember or even have known that after Hillary Clinton appointed her to the party's platform committee in 2016, she was the deciding vote in keeping any criticism of Israel's occupation and expanding settlements from the party's platform. It is part of her long history in sucking up to Israel which includes her twice having sent her congratulations to Ariel Sharon after his elections as prime minister. More recently, unlike our Jared Huffman who has signed Rep. Betty McCullum's bill to protect Palestinian children, Lee has not shown the spine to do so. 

In fact I have encouraged pro Palestinian activists in her district to get off their duff and picket her office and sit in if necessary and that if they can't do that, which they evidently can't, the same way activists in SF ignore Pelosi, what's the point of simply marching for Palestine? 

Jeff Blankfort


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I stopped by at Fiddleheads earlier Friday morning. I asked to speak to the owner. Chris introduced himself with a smile and attitude that I enjoy interacting with. Two customers were sitting at one of the tables. I told Chris that I wanted to compliment him on his courage. His smile increased as I continued. I acknowledgted that he was also very stupid. The smile decreased in size. I pointed out that stupid people can cause a lot of damage. The customers were paying apt attention. I asked him if he was new to town. Chris informed me that he had recently moved to the Mendocino Coast. He asked me if being a short time resident diminished him in any way. I acknowledged that I have stupid friends that have lived here for decades. I didn't acknowledge my own stupidity because he didn't ask. I said something about him being a Trump supporter. He said; "Why do you assume I am a Trumpster?” I said; “It is possible that you are independently stupid.” I thanked him for the conversation as I was leaving. It was therapeutic for me to stop by and acknowledge that he had possibly attained a new plateau for stupidity. I regret not telling the customers that they were eating at an establishment where the owner believes it is a violation of their Constitutional rights when one is forced to obey public health guidelines. I recommend that neighbors and visitors stop by and let Chris know what you think of his antics. 

Charlie Engle


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It’s too much. More and more states are putting together games to get folks vaccinated. The COVID-19 outbreak is not a game. Some folks apparently can’t do something for someone else unless they get a reward for it. Society has come to the point where it’s all about one’s self, and everyone else is on their own.

Imagine the good that money could do for all the people, not just the greedy, selfish, hurray for me and to heck with you bunch. Of course, the politicians go along with it. They have become puppets to the minority, no matter what the subject. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The U.S. is better off when politicians have grit, ethics and morals, and make their judgments based on what is good for everyone.

You only have to look at the news to see a constant parade of nauseating jerks. Let’s use the money for everyone, and let the greedy suffer the consequences.

John Skinner

Fort Bragg

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To the Editor:

By urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention, mental health, and crisis care, I am hoping to influence collective change to support #MentalHealth4All.

Right now, individuals in crisis are able to call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and those that care for them. Soon, it will be much easier to remember how to reach the Lifeline as the number will be changing to “988” nationwide by July 2022.

Knowing this, it is critically important that states pass legislation NOW to reliably fund 988 and their state’s crisis response system, just as we fund 911 and emergency services – through small fees on our phone bills. Reliable funding will help to ensure all 988 callers can reach a counselor in their own state who is familiar with and can connect them with local resources. Culturally competent support and local connections can better help all callers through their crisis and in their recovery.

Throughout my own life I’ve lost family and friends from suicide. The stigma to reach out for help remains challenging. Please research the potentials of 988. Each and every one of us live with traumas and fears, challenges and turmoils. This is Life. Be part of the team that helps with the light of hope through the darkness in these tunnels.

Join me in urging your public officials to fund 988. We all play a role in changing the culture around mental health. Together, we can ensure #MentalHealth4All.

Elisabeth Vance


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The final papers have been submitted and Logging can commence this Monday or any day this coming week.

Meanwhile, we have been doing recon on the plan. Yesterday we walked Road 600. I urge you to do the same.. It is not a hard walk and it is totally legal for you to be there. The area is magnificent, the Trees and the Fauna are some of the largest I have seen in the area. There are Springs and wetlands where they plan on felling trees and build roads. Logging there will destroy critical habitat for the Spotted Owl and many other creatures. Many big Trees are marked for the chainsaws.

For many years Linda Perkins has been doggedly dealing with the Timber Harvest Plan process. She knows it better then any of us. Through the use of this flawed and cumbersome process Linda has saved many a trees. She knows what she speaks. She was out on Road 600 with us yesterday and has been out on other parts of the plan with a retired forester (our friend)and our main direct action recon person.

She sent me this message today: " Attached and pasted below are my comments, streamlined. If we could get 100 people to send these to CalFire Santa Rosa and to the other cc's at the end, I think it would have a tremendous impact. The cc's are important!"

So PLEASE take a few minutes and send this email out. Get some of your friends to send this email also. Linda believes this will work and I believe her. DO IT ! and Get Others to do it to! Attached is a hard copy if you also want to snail mail.


Anna Marie Stenberg


Subject Regarding Timber Harvest Plan 1-20-00006 MEN, Caspar 500, JDSF

June 7, 2021

Dear Director and others To Whom It May Concern:

The Caspar 500 plan has been significantly modified in the following ways since it was approved. The plan needs to be amended and recirculated for public review.

Jackson's Has Unmarked Hundreds of Trees Previously Marked for Cut Were other trees substituted and marked to be cut to replace these that were unmarked?

The mark needs to be settled on, made clear on site, and the plan record corrected so that reviewing agencies and the public, and the LTO, have a clear and complete plan to review and implement and — equally important — a clear and complete plan to monitor post harvestto assure that plan proposals and mitigations are implemented as written.

The Trails and The Trail Network are not Mapped

There are many mentions made in the THP, regarding recreational use, of “the trail” or “the trail network”. What is meant by “the trail network”? It should be mapped. The ByPass Trail needs to be amended into the THP and mapped to make a clear and complete plan to review and monitor.

WLPZ In-lieu or Alternative Practices have not been Acknowledged or Inspected All such in-lieu locations need to be mapped Pursuant to 14 CCR 916.6 (a) 916.6, 936.6, 956.6 Alternative Watercourse and Lake Protection [All Districts] (a) “Alternative prescriptions for the protection of Watercourses and lakes may be developed by the RPF or proposed by the Director on a site-specific basis...”

Cutting Snags Along Trails and Roads

The RPF needs to include a map of the trails network along with which snags will be felled. The plan states that “Retention and recruitment of snags throughout the forest is one of JDSF's management objectives.' (Section IV, page 154) The RPF needs to specify what concrete steps he is taking to meet this objective.

Sincerely Yours,

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To the Editor:

Recently I read in the paper where someone in Ukiah sold part of the Western hills to Mr. Hull for development. We are told to conserve water because of the drought and the extreme fire danger, so who in the world would allow the building of more houses on these hills? A fire in the Western hills would endanger the whole town. Well, I guess if you have the right last name anything is possible.

Donna VanWyhe


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To get more people vaccinated, states are offering cash prizes on a lottery basis of up to $1 million (Ohio and Oregon); free hunting and fishing licenses (Maine); free state park passes (Minnesota); and lunch with Gov. Phil Murphy and the first lady (New Jersey), to name a few. What kind of world do we live in where poor countries are begging for vaccine, and in the U.S., where we now have plenty, the government has to offer incentives to get us all to sign up? 

Larry Hendel

Bodega Bay

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