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Letters (August 19, 2021)

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I am saving and making copies of the story written by Marilyn Davin who wrote lovingly about her brother and his struggles with mental illness and drug addiction, and her role as a sister accepting the responsibility of being a hands-on when needed caretaker.

Many families have a member who requires extra care. I often interact with parents who are creating an estate plan that includes a roadmap for a compromised child. It is an overwhelming task to plan for caregiving when parents will not be around to care for a grown child who cannot care for themselves.

That is why Marilyn's story touched me. Marilyn chose to be involved in her brother's life but keep some boundaries so that she did not become consumed by her brother's personal demons. Both Marilyn and her brother learned to navigate the world of drug addiction and mental illness in a creative and human manner and make the best of an inadequate and overburdened government system for the mentally ill.

What I would add to this story is that if you have a situation where you will be giving an inheritance to a drug addicted or mentally ill beneficiary, make sure there is a special needs trust put into the plan so that someone will manage the funds to supplement SSI, Medi-Cal and/or HUD programs with the intention that the funds will benefit the beneficiary long-term with careful fiscal management.


Margaret Mary O'Rourke, Attorney at Law


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I was standing alone in the heat with a rifle at my feet in a vast barren space the size of a football field. I remember feeling it was mercilessly hot and dry. Something uncertain was in the air. Two men were aware of my plight with 100 yards between them and me, and each other. We formed a triangle. 

The intruder coming my way was a predator and began walking toward me slowly and deliberately, causing me to call out No No with each deliberate step that brought him closer to me and the rifle at my feet. I'm a revolutionary pacifist, the exception being in self defense. I was honing my internal defenses in hopes he would stop but I knew he wouldn't. He wanted to harm me.

The other person soon became aware of this man coming for me as a menace and began walking at a fast pace to reach me. The predator finally did reach me and felt with his frantic fingers around my feet to get a grip on the rifle, but my fingers were faster, more familiar. I got to the rifle first, and fired a fatal shot in self defense. My life became more important than his at that moment because he tried to take mine. I was empowered by my beliefs.

Meanwhile, the man who came to help arrived to find me transfixed, a gun in my hand, a dead man at my feet. He was too late. When he realized this, he scooped me up with his big arms wrapped all the way around me, as though to comfort me. That man was Bruce Anderson.

Pebbles Trippet


Ed note: Shucks, ma'am, warn't nothin'.

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This question may have already been covered, but I will ask it anyway: Has anyone in a government agency considered prosecuting those who refused a COVID vaccination for reckless endangerment or depraved indifference? If not, why wouldn't this type of statute apply?

I am not a lawyer, but it seems like a reasonable course of action. If one were to knowingly endanger a person with a car or a dangerous animal, how would that differ from a person with the virus (masked or not) knowingly walking into a classroom full of 9-year-olds who, as we all know, can't get the vaccine?

It seems pretty straight forward to me. I recall as a child hearing the old saying that went something like “your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose.” Rights are not just rights, they also carry responsibilities.

Mark Allen Reed


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I carry. Those are the words I think need to be on new hats, shirts and sweatshirts with a logo showing the silhouette of a gun.

If we all wore that slogan, would-be muggers and attackers would not know the truth. My guess is they would back off just knowing we might have a concealed weapon. People already use signs of security companies in front of their house to protect against break ins. This type of clothing might just work.

Leonard Malherbe

Mill Valley

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Harper’s magazine recently published a survey of Americans who believe they can defeat different types of animals in an unarmed fight. Nine percent believe they could beat a crocodile, 8% believe they could beat an elephant, 8% believe they could beat a lion, and (my favorite) 6% believe they could beat a grizzly bear. I would bet these folks also think we can beat COVID-19 without getting vaccinated.

Steven Truter

Santa Rosa

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I voted for Gavin Newsom thinking he would be good for California. I also voted on Proposition 62 to keep the death penalty, along with 53% of everyone else in California. When Newsom signed an executive order stopping the death penalty, I realized the will of the people who pay taxes isn’t his highest priority.

With the pandemic, he continued his love relationship with the teachers unions. He kept our kids out of school an entire year, while Florida kept their kids in school all year. Our kids lost out and are continuing to lose now.

Currently, Newsom has decided that taxpaying California are second class. We pay $1,000 to $2,000 a month for health care, and Newsom is spending $1.2 billion to provide free health care to undocumented immigrants over 50.

It appears that if we want a governor who puts the taxpaying people of California first, we need to get rid of the current governor who put the taxpaying people last.

Unless you like your tax dollars going to undocumented immigrants, please put someone, anyone, other than Newsom in the governor’s position.

John Washam

Santa Rosa

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Dear Editor,

One of the most commonly held myths too often misapplied is: “History repeats itself.” The reality is that it almost never repeats itself. What I’m talking about is a miscommunication that since the Taliban is closing in on capturing Kabul it is the same as the 1975 fall of Saigon. This is a phony comparison because Vietnam isn’t the same as Afghanistan. The Vietnam War was foughtt to prevent the fall of all of Indochina to Communism (as well as for other reasons too many to include here), while the 20 year American-led war in Afghanistan was a moral war against Al Quaeda and international terrorism. Two very different goals, but the sacrifices by the brave American military should be eternally honored and remembered.

Let’s not see finger-pointing over the current betrayal of its agreements by the Taliban as female children are inhumanly being pulled out of their homes and forced to marry Taliban fighters. The Trump Administration made a weak agreement which the Taliban are dishonoring now by killing men and women who aided our troops. The Taliban is committing war crimes as they create a new blood-bath in this war-torn country. No one should blame then President Trump since the agreements he made in 2020 might have been OK if the Taliban had kept its word. It is a horrible tragedy which is unfolding now. but neither Trump nor Biden alone caused it.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

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Editor/County Planning

Case #: CDP_2018_0032

I am a property owner located across the street from the proposed Lewis project. I received a letter from your department this week regarding a public hearing that will take place August 26th. I do not have a problem with the construction of a home on the Lewis property. It will not be seen from the street and since their property is at a high point on the ridge it will not block the view for anyone.

However, I do question the house numbering noted in the letter. The Lewis property has a number ending in ____1 Ten Mile Road and further states that the property is located on the west side of Ten Mile Cutoff Road.

My address is nearby, and I am located on the east side of the road. Both house numbers are odd numbers but on opposite side of the road.

According to the municipal code Sec. 18.16.060 properties located on the west side of a road are to have even numbers with odd numbers being assigned to the east side of a road.

The numbering system is in place for a reason and is especially important for first responders to fire or medical calls. Those responders are going to being looking for an address on the wrong side of the road if the road is numbered incorrectly. While it's true that the locals have a good idea where residences are located the same is not true for emergency responders that are not local and covering for a station particularly during these times of wildfires in California when local staff is sent to fight a fire elsewhere or cover for another station. It's best to assume that the responders are not familiar with an area and have homes correctly numbered than to have response time lengthened because an address is not where it's supposed to be.

Thank You,

Deborah Silva

Point Arena

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As the Biden infrastructure bill gets closer to passing, I ask all to join me and request that Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson work to include raising Coyote Dam at Lake Mendocino in the bill. Unlike most other reservoirs, which get water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack, we rely on rainwater to fill lakes Mendocino and Sonoma. It might be very soon that water isn’t diverted from the Eel River and Lake Pillsbury anymore, and raising Coyote Dam will be needed to guarantee our water supply. I believe raising the dam is the most important infrastructure project needed in their districts.

Temple O. Smith


Ed note: Lake Mendo is dependent on the diverted Eel at Potter Valley; Lake Sonoma gets most of its water from the Russian River, which is also dependent on the diverted Eel.

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How the recall works – Don’t Skip this one!

I know many people are upset with the drought, the fire season, COVID, and our nation’s politics. It’s easy to find fault with anyone who is in office when we have so many worries.

This recall is not a referendum on Newsom’s effectiveness.

If more than 50 percent of the people who bother to vote support the recall, our Governor becomes whoever got the most votes in the second question. That could be someone who is only supported by 10% of Californians. That is not representation.

This is not the time to create more disruption in our state. Let’s wait until the 2022 Gubernatorial election to decide if we still want Newsom or who the majority of California voters want as their leader.

Your vote does matter. When you get your ballot, please vote and send it in!

Dale Perkins

Fort Bragg

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There are people who make things happen who stay far out of the limelight. Rich Padula passed away on July 27. I have known Rich since high school days when he and my brother were best friends. When the idea came up about restoring the emergency access routes around Brooktrails, we realized that Rich owned large parts of both the Firco and Willits Creek Trail roads. I approached Rich and the other property owners about allowing work to be done on these roads. Rich was incredibly cooperative and knowledgeable about what needed to be done to provide safer routes. We quickly got the agreements signed and CalFire convict crews got to work creating shaded fuel breaks and passable roads. When the Oak Fire broke out in September of 2020, the Firco Rd. was used to bring in equipment to fight the fire while everyone evacuated on the Sherwood Rd. As Sheriff Kendall, CalFire Chief Gonzalez and emergency professionals say, this was the best evacuation they have ever seen from a very dangerous situation. I want to express my gratitude and the appreciation of the community for the work that Rich Padula helped make happen. May he rest in peace knowing that his efforts have helped keep thousands of people safer.

John Haschak,

3rd District Supervisor Mendocino County


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California cannabis farmer grower, spiritualist, and activist, Eddie Lepp died this morning at 2:00 am, according to his wife, Sandra Castaneda.

Eddie was 71-years old. 

Paroled after after eight years of federal imprisonment, Eddie was one of the nation’s most celebrated cannabis "political prisoners". 

Others called Eddie a “Pot POW”. In the war against drugs, Eddie paid dearly to win the rights that many now enjoy.

“Eddy Lepp is a true marijuana martyr,” said Dale Gieringer of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Calling him “a true believer,” Gieringer said, “he never once tried to hide what he was doing. His garden was like an act of civil disobedience.”

Medical cannabis pioneer Dennis Peron, co-author of the 1996 initiative that legalized medical use, called him “a hero".

Peron continued, "Eddie's strength is the hope is that you can fight these guys [the federal government] and sometimes win.”

Charles “Eddy” Lepp, a defiant 64-year-old Vietnam vet and ordained Rastafarian minister, was convicted on federal felony charges in 2007 for doing something that California now considers completely legal because of the passage of Proposition 64: growing marijuana.

At the time of his release, Eddie vowed to fight for national legalization of cannabis and presidential pardons for first-time nonviolent drug offenders.

“Just because I went to federal prison doesn’t mean I fell off the horse,” he said. 

“It is still a long, long ride, and I’ll be there when it’s done.”

Eddie was my friend. He endorsed me for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, 1st District, when I ran two years ago. I interviewed Eddie years ago on KZYX and we remained friends.

Respectfully submitted,

John Sakowicz at "Heroes and Patriots" Radio


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