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Letters To The Editor


To the Editor,

The topic of this letter is California law enforcement's best kept secret: the scan.

After the twin towers in New York collapsed on September 11, 2001, there was a new technology called The Scan introduced at all major airports around our nation. The Scan is being used to help the fight against terror and to my knowledge has the capability to see through a person's clothing and tell if a person has any weapons, drugs, or large amounts of money on their person from a distance, and I believe operates on infrared technology and can also see what a person has had for breakfast or if there are any drugs in their system. My first knowledge of The Scan was long before the 911 disaster of September 11, 2001.

My first knowledge of the scan was during 1987, 14 years earlier before 9/11.

I was visiting friends in the town of Sonoma, California. They lived about a block from an all-night store. I had decided to walk to the store late one night to get something for the three of us — my friend, his wife and myself.

As I turned a corner around the back of the store from a side street, a Sonoma County Sheriff's patrol car pulled in and parked in the store's parking lot. As the patrolman was getting out of his car to go into the store I was headed for myself, he noticed me as I rounded the corner of the building. He instantly changed direction and sat back down in his patrol car. I just kept walking and had only taken a couple of stps when I heard this. (No weapons or drugs showed up on The Scan.) And I heard it very clearly. Then the patrolman changed direction again and exited his car and went into the store's front door. I followed him into the store to buy what I was after.

The patrolman and I exchanged glances. But he wasn't really interested in me. He paid for his purchase and left the store. By the time I paid for my stuff and walked outside of the store, he was speeding off into the night.

I had mixed feelings about what I just heard. On the one hand I felt kind of good about it because the patrolman knew I was not armed and that I had no drugs on me. It felt good because I knew he wasn't trying to second-guess me. On the other hand, I was thinking what about my civil rights were and were they being violated in any way?

The second time I became aware of The Scan being used around me was during 1988. That was after I had walked into a full courtroom in Lake County traffic Court in Lakeport. As I was sitting down to wait my turn (my case), I once again heard the same thing I had heard a year before in Sonoma. (No weapons or drugs showed up on The Scan.)

I tried to tell my friends of The Scan but no one believed me.

The third time The Scan came to my attention was at a coffeehouse in Ukiah. I was having coffee and reading the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. I had read the front-page news and was thumbing through the classifieds. To my surprise in the classified section there was a paragraph advertisement that said: “Law enforcement in California now has the ability to tell if a person has any weapons, drugs or large amounts of money on them from a distance and it is called The Scan.”

This ad that was hidden in the classified section of the San Francisco Chronicle was in reality a public notice which by law is required to be posted by law enforcement agencies before it is used on the public. I believe the year was 1997 when I read that in the San Francisco Chronicle. Somewhere there is a record of that legal notice and it could be found.

Then during 2010 I was at someone's house and they were working on their computer. I asked them if they would do me a favor and look something up for me. They said yes. So I asked them to type in California law enforcement (on the Google website). Soon there on his computer was the California law enforcement website. Then I asked him to type in as a topic of interest “The Scan.”

At first the web site page came up on The Scan. One listing was an offer for $30 to show how this can work. Then without any warning a square or frame appeared on the upper right corner of my friend's computer screen and something started downloading onto his computer. He said, “Hey, what the hell is going on?” Then his computer crashed and stopped working.

I talked to him a couple of weeks later and was told that he had to take his computer to be fixed and had to replace some parts.

So, if you check this out by going to Google and typing in California law enforcement “The Scan,” make sure you don't use your favorite computer to do so because it will be compromised.

So in reality “The Scan” has been around a long time. To my knowledge at least 25 years, since 1987. How much longer I am not sure. But at least 14 years before 9-11.

In reality, I am afraid to sign my real name to this letter to you so I will just say that this letter is from

A concerned citizen of

Mendocino County, California



To the Editor,

I have been enjoying your paper for a couple of years. Truly you guys tell it like it is. I'm always interested in the many observations and opinions of the people of Mendocino County and beyond. I laugh at the criminal declarations of innocence mostly, yet it is enlightening.

I have had many brushes with the law over a period of 30 years. I am currently serving time for a 2800.2 felony evading with willful disregard for public safety in Lake County. I drove 40 mph for 1.7 miles before I stopped. I got out of the car and the canine was sicced on me.

I am not innocent. I refused to lay on the ground like a dog and place my hands on the hood with a gun in my face. He said I tried to flee, never mind that it was the end of the day. I plead guilty to felony evading. I entered no contest, actually, and the judge sentenced me to the maximum of three years with half time and I was ordered to state prison.

Here I sit — guilty. I'll do the time and go home. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time and never whine.

Next time I'll pull over. Call me, maybe.

I would appreciate it if you'd send me a paper for the next year. I only have my word. I will make a donation to you guys upon a month or so after my release. You can even publish this if you wish. You guys rock.

Jim Scarborough

Resident of Lake County on the Mendocino County line




Cruel and unusual— Cruel, but not unusual here in Mendocino County.

The inmate in your county jail who has a state prison sentence in their past is housed in administrative segregation where their privileges are less than other inmates. This punishment is without a warrant or write up. Yet this inmate is made to wear striped outfits to indicate they are a discipline problem, a disruptive group. Inmates who have admitted or been found guilty of rule violations wear black and white outfits. But in D-tank we are made to wear orange and white. There are orange and green and red, also blue and white. Blue and white is for inmates in protective custody who are allowed to go to canteen for $80. Same for orange outfits and green outfits. But D-tank inmates can only go for $35. We have no television in our dorms and we are the only dorm without one other thing: inmates with write-ups. The dorm inmates do not come out of these cells but for 1.5 hours a day when the girls in orange and white get three hours a day out of cell time. D-tank inmates are made to eat in their cells where the food comes through a slot that never gets cleaned and where the latrine is also close by. The law library is a better laugh than your Sunday paper funnies. The medical here is 97% less than these inmates would receive if they were in state prison. We are not talking about state committed inmates. These inmates have not been found guilty of any crime nor write ups here in jail. Also in D-tank we have no tables in our cells for us to write to loved ones and to do legal work off of. This tank was built for inmates to be out of the cells and out of four cells, five inmates per cell. But only one cell can come out at a time for a limited time and only one telephone. We are not asking for special treatment, more for equal treatment and the Sheriff's office sends more of your money to keep us away from other inmates coming and going to court, and the kicker to this is inmates in a red suit to have sex charges in your town, your neighborhoods with your kids. They get out of their cells all day, they watch TV and kids shows and go to canteen for $80. So we ask the good people of Mendocino County: is it not a question at weekly and monthly city and county meetings about why your family and loved ones of Mendocino get less privileges than inmates wwho rape your children? Here in D-tank our pasts may not be perfect. But are the good people of Mendocino okay with knowing that the Sheriff's office treats inmates with a prison past worse than they do child molesters?

Respectfully submitted,

D-tank inmates: Jesse Wolf, John McCullugh, James Gator Lawson, Marcus Anguiano, Chris Skaggs, Brett Bengston, Matthew Brookman, Chris Gould, Paris Price.





Recording Angel,

This is in reference to the Valley People item on November 28, 2012. You say you always wondered about and longed to learn how acorns can be converted into yummy food? Well, there are a lot of ways and some of them are in my wild food cookbook: Sacramento Valley Feast! Or, Don't Eat sterile — Each Feral!

And fortunately for you, I guess, I'm enclosing a free copy. As you will perceive, it discusses food and medicinal uses for over 70 feral species (all of them very common and widespread and almost all of them present in Anderson Valley). Some are even exotic invasives!

It has ten full pages devoted to acorn processing. All told, it runs to 106 pages and is packed with semi-endearing hand-drawn botannical illustrations, tips for gracious living and recipes like acorn chocolate tort and pickled mallow pods.

It's available from Lion Books in Chico, a wonderful independent small city bookstore ( — they ship anywhere). It's also available from a few other small stores (see inside cover) and now that I think of it, maybe I should hit up Laughing Dog or Mulligan? In conclusion, it makes a great gift! (For the human being on your list).

Okay — survive the collapse in style. Cheers,

Wolfgang Rougel

Cottonwood, California

Ed note: An excerpt: “The fruit of the oak makes the Valley's daily bread, but it is not a sexy fruit. Pollinated by the wind, oak doesn't have showy flowers or a sweet, fragrant receptacle for its seeds. This is a tree whose strategy for propagating itself relies on our tendency to forget acorns. But acorns are the staple food of this bioregion. They are to us what corn is to Mexico, what buffalo is to the Great Plains, and what salmon is to the Pacific Northwest. We have forgotten them but they have not forgotten us: even if you never eat them, they are still ripening all around you, patiently filling with protein and energy, and falling to the ground as surely as rain. Each small thud, whether on perennial grassland or pavement, means a tablespoon of rich nourishment. Wendell Berry wrote, “Until we know what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch.” I believe that until we return to reliance on the acorn and the reverence for the oak tree, we will never know what this land is, nor can we hope to discover how to live well here.”



To Captain Fathom/Alan Graham

Hi Alan. Long time, no see. Have you heard from Dobie? Miss the good times in Albion, the Hamms, Bill/Emil.

I’m in Portland; drop me a line: Harry Blythe/Mendocino Commentary. Used to publish your views.

Write to: Harry Blythe, 3115 SW Hamilton Street, Portland, OR 97239. Or

Say Hi to Judy!

Harry Blythe





Your recent ridicule of Ukiah's attemp to “brand itself” was right on target. The benighted community spent over $20 grand to hire a cultural swami from Walnut Creek (paved walnuts, channeled creeks) to conjure a slogan that “captures the essence of Ukiah.” His $20 grand entry, “Ukiah: Far Out, Nearby,” is a bit cumbersome. How about, “Ukiah: Like, Far Out, Way Cool"? Or better yet, “Ukiah, Hiya.”

Ukiah's a tough sell. Travelers stop there for the same reason they stop to gawk at a gory traffic accident or a raging fire — morbid curiosity. After resupply at Wal-Mart they're on their way north to Stunktown. In fact, Ukiah is the gateway to Skunktown and Skunktown is the gateway to Longvale where Highway 101 intersects with the Dopian Way (Highway 162) which winds along Outlet Creek and the Eel River to the pot outlaw stronghold, Covelo, and the Mendopia National Forest where freako-tourists can sample the local product from vast cartellian pot plantations which have replaced timber plantations. What little marketable timber remains is no longer being sold by volume, but by the ton — at bargain basement prices.

Mendocino County was once world-renowned for its natural beauty, fish, wildlife, clean air and clear, pure water, but collateral damage by cut-and-run timber corporations and a rapacious wine industry permanently altered that image and the runaway pot industry has delivered the fatal blow.

Mendocino County was a showcase for ecotourism, but now it's known as “Mendopia” the playground for the freako-tourists.

The Mendopia majority made a Faustian bargain taking a “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” approach to the burgeoning pot industry. Now the vultures have come home to roost. It's not a can of worms, it's a barrel of snakes. The current DEA adventures are just the opening salvo in a long campaign to clean house.

Ukiah, the former Paris of the Redwood Empire, has adopted the Awful Tower as its Eiffel Tower — erecting an 80 foot cell- tower disguised as a redwood tree.

The only hope for economic survival in Mendopia will be to fully exploit the pot stampede. Pot isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Ukiah Hiya, as the county seat, will be the hub of freako-tourism, offering four-wheel-drive Jeep caravans to outback pot plantations featuring garden tours, gourmet foods, local wines, entertainment, and product sampling.

The former Masonite site will be developed as a pot industrial park manufacturing turkey bags, bongs, poly pipe and other pot paraphernalia.

The Chamber of Commerce will hand out decks of Holy Stoner cards and pot farm trail maps.

It's time for Mendopia to wake up in the morning and smell the pot. It smells like victory.

Cheers for the holidays,

Don Morris,

Skunktown (Willits)

PS. “Narco Cop Is Coming To Town”

(From my collection of Christmas classics from the Emerald Pentangle.)

Oh, you better watch out.

You better not pout.

You better not cry.

I'm telling you why.

Narco Cop is coming to town.

He's making a list, checking it twice.

Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Narco cop is coming to town.

He knows if you've been tweaking.

He knows if you're a flake.

He knows if you've been bad or good.

So be good for goodness sake.



Editor and fellow AVAers.

After Atum — NU the “watery one” and NUT, the sky “GAVE BIRTH” at sunrise to the sun the East. DUAT is a region beneath Earth where the sun descends. The Sun sails in his “night-boat” to be reborn in the morning. NUN is the “inert one.” The world was water “NU” until creation. Creation is the multiplicity of oneness. Preceding eternity is the time “before two things evolved on Earth.” Waterness (nwj), inertia (nnw), nun infinity (hhw), darkness (kkw), uncertainty (tnmw), “lostness” or hiddenness (jmnw). The eight deities are the Ogdoad (Greek for “Group of Eight"). Ogdoad, venerated as Herrrmopolis “Eight-town ("Eight-town” Fifth Dynasty 2500-2350 BCE). NUN and NAUNET, two of its divine pairs, appear in the Pyramid Texts. Gods of Ogdoad existed before creation. Pre-creation universe watery, inert, infinite, dark and uncertain, hidden, in contrast to the created world which is dry, active, limited, light and tangible. Ancestors of the sun. Hoeing, the first act of creation. Agriculture is food to eat. Nut is the sky. Earth, Geb, who lies beneath her. Egyptian theology promotes diversity rather than uniformity. The fragmented nature of ancient Egyptian thought. Atum, the God whose name means “THE ALL.” Atum “floating inert alone with Nu.” The first stage a dry void within universal waters. The void creates space as its limits culminating in the first sunrise into the world. A process of stages that happen all at once. “Self-evolver” “Lord to the limit.”

Yes, Jesus,

Diana Wood Duck Vance

Deadtree, Mendocino.

PS. Hip Hip Hurray, it's 12/12/12 today.

PPS. “The greatness of a people is no more determined by their number than the greatness of a man is determined by his height.” Being in the right place at the right time has won many battles. This is a strange and wonderful land. The village of Oraibi is the oldest occupied settlement in the United States. It clings to a 600 foot high escarpment of three rocky mesas rising out of the desert plain. It embraces parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah — the 4000 square mile home of the Hopi Indians, surrounded by the 25,000 square mile Navajo Reservation. Men must walk ten miles each day to tend their patches of squaw corn while women trudge up steep slopes with jars of water on their heads. This is the immemorial homeland, the desert heartland of the continent. The movement of the sun maintains human life.




One Congressional action I find very odious is the legislation they voted in awhile back that gives all Congressmen an “AUTOMATIC $3,000 COLA” for themselves. This allowed them to say to constituents that they didn't vote for a pay raise — another piece of Congressional obfuscation. No wonder their approval rating at last polling was 13%.

I am one pissed off former tax payer. WHY? My grateful government used their bogus (cost of living index) to decide that all I need for my COLA to deal with inflation is $14 per month to take care of it (I went from $818 to $832.) Whoopty-fucking-do ! I stay up at night working out how to spend this largess. And now the incompetent bastards are sniffing around our SSI and medical to find more money to piss away.

Back off Congress. Lately, most things you stick your compromised hands into end up costing more then anticipated and more often then not result in catastrophic FUBARs. You grabbed the economic and governance reins from the states, and tried to make a uniform national code . . . it hasn’t worked: give it back to the States and let us, who know what's good for our regions, adjust to those needs.

And for Christ sakes, don't act like you are the administrators of our Social Security Program. YOU AREN'T ! This is a trust fund, not an entitlement: After we paid our national taxes into your incompetent hands to run our nation, we then paid an additional sum of our money into our retirement fund to provide for us when we get old. This was apart from the income tax that you guys spend so lavishly on the bankers, defense contractors, trips to Mars, foreign aid, insurance companies, all your un-winnable wars du jour, and your own splendid salaries and benefits. The reality is you didn't do a good job of managing what we gave you to run our nation; so now that your pockets are turned out, we see you sniffing around our retirement savings accounts and our medical services to see how you can privatize them and get your greedy paws on them to steal our money to continue trying to be the world cop, while at the same time trying to grab the Middle East crude oil. It ain’t workin’. A billion here, a trillion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.

Let me put it briefly. FED — BUTT OUT, bring it on home, and let’s focus on us—WE THE PEOPLE — and our needs. I repeat, don’t even think about going into OUR savings accounts to balance the budget. This money is not yours. You going in there and making a withdrawal from our account, is analogous to me going into a bank and demanding that the banker open up another person’s savings account and give me their money. Were I to do so, I would be apprehended and stuffed in one of our over-crowded prisons. “Why?' you ask: because it’s called THEFT.

Miguel Lanigan

Clearlake Oaks



Editor —

Many people place an angel on top of their Christmas tree. But few know the origin of this custom.

It began back in 1953.

That year there were problems at the North Pole — talk of a union. The elves, the reindeer, and helpers were surly, even rebellious. Santa assigned tasks and, as fall approached, checked progress. It didn't help that the elves had taken to drink. Worse, they were bothering the fairies.

Supposedly the reindeer were in training, getting ready for their all-nighter. But instead, they were sitting around eating Twinkies and smoking cigarettes. Rudolf's drinking had become a serious problem. Ever seen a reindeer with a hangover? Pathetic.

Other workers were assigned to repair the sleigh. It was a mess from last year after that little incident over Barstow.

The angel was in charge of decorating the Christmas tree.

In early December, Santa was still behind schedule. He put the elves on a 18/7 workweek. The reindeer had begun a daily regimen of calisthenics. There was little time to spare to repair the sleigh. A patch would have to do.

Santa went back to his workshop for a break. He was tired and disgusted. The situation was borderline hopeless. The world's children just might have to go without this year.

Unfortunately, the angel picked this moment to saunter in, dragging a scraggly assed fir tree. Not good timing as he was out of patience. In a harpy, Lower East Side voice she asked, “What do you want me to do with the Christmas tree?”

So he told her.

And there you have it — the beginning of the tradition for sticking an angel on the top of the holiday tree.

Merry Christmas,

Bart Boyer

San Diego




Today, at noon, I tuned in to NPR to hear the noon news. Instead, I heard they were featuring a one hour special of the latest mass murder. I tuned out.

Later in the day I heard endless talk on all programs about the mass murders.

The world seems to be at a loss as to why these events are so common.

Here’s my theory.

Imagine: You’re a loony. You think of doing loony things. You check out the media and what do you see? Mass murders get top billing — TV, radio (like NPR at noon today), even on-line. Now, if you’re the kind of loony who would also like a some publicity for your deeds, which might not seem so loony to you, it would seem a mass murder might be a rational venue.

I wonder how much those mass murderers have been influenced by the media?

In summary, a society that wants to decrease mass murders should not give them prime time on the media.

Bruce Hering





To my friends who encouraged me to take on the MCERA (Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association) challenge, after two years I now believe MCERA will only continue to increase our County's debt, forcing a continuation of decreased County services.

Last week we had a special purpose, closed session, confidential meeting. While I may not disclose the discussions, it was with very high priced legal counsel and MCERA is wordsmithing a statement to communicate the outcome of that meeting on past practices.

This week's meeting was primarily on our just released Actuarial Valuation Report. The upshot is that our funding ratio decreased from 75% to 70%. Our Unfunded Liability went up from $125 million to $127 million (this does not include the Pension Obligation Bonds balances). The Employer Rate on each dollar of payroll (and many other non-payroll items) will go from 24% to 26%. The Employee Rate will go up from 9.73% to 9.76 % (yes, you read that correctly and is why we have the problem we have). Additionally, we can expect our Employer Rate to go up at least another 0.5% next year without any other surprises.

We then voted on a couple of spending items that I believe is indicative of the culture, the problem and why I now believe this system is incapable of self correction. I have been naive enough to think the discipline of the private sector could be brought to a County association where they were conditioned for someone else to pay each and every bill. I thought the low funding of the Plan and condition of the Sponsor would present an opportunity where we could bring discipline to expenditures and oversight. I was wrong. I now know the situation we have did not happen by accident and with the current culture it can only continue to grow.

I say this because today, just after the two items above, our association voted not once, but twice, for increased spending. This is noteworthy as to date I have never seen a SINGLE expenditure the association did not welcome with open arms, no matter how it may impact the Sponsor or jeopardize future funding for participants. In every instance the justifications for the expenditure had phrases like “I think we should have this” or “other systems have this” (we are the smallest system). One of today's increases appears to be at odds with the new State pension reform law; our board voted for it basically because “they didn't feel benefits should be reduced for current employees” no matter what the new law may suggest on this issue. The second item was adding an unbudgeted medical review consultant, with an expected cost of $20,000, regardless of where we were with our fiscal year budget or any real cost/benefit analysis. This contract may make financial sense, but there was absolutely NO INTEREST in reviewing where we were with our current budget or studying the savings before voting on this item. MCERA, and the new Administrator, are so bold they do not even need to look like they are concerned by any budget. If they “want it” they get it. As in almost every other spending item, I was the lone dissenting vote in both cases; neither of the two independents (Mirada or Sakowicz) could find the courage to stand tall and at least go through the motions of window dressing for prudent fiscal management — the momentum was to SPEND! I find it doubtful these two “independent seats” would or could ever vote against the momentum of the board.

This is absolutely remarkable as I have NEVER, EVER experienced this lack of discipline on ANY other board I have been around (not for profit, church or private company). I can only explain it by the “other people's money” phenomenon. I now have a very firm conviction that MCERA, that brought us the lion's share of the debt of our County, will continue to expand this debt and there does not appear to be any simple way to stop the continuing growth of this debt. Maybe more outside board members could help, but I believe you would need to change the CERL and they may turn out to be sitters in the mold of the two that we have. An effective, but even more difficult change would be a defined contribution system where it would be their personal dollars at risk. I am certain there would be a new attention to detail and austerity from that change, but it won't happen in time to save us from the onslaught of increased debt!

If you would like to experience my sense of hopelessness please watch the video of today's meeting when it becomes available on the MCERA website. Don't be shocked when you hear my rhetorical question to the board, “Why do we even have a budget if we are going to just approve any new item that comes up?” and board member Tim Knudsen says, “That is something I can agree with you on” — meaning: get rid of the !@#$%^&*() budget! This is the thinking that has brought us to the financial condition we are in.

I guess a Leopard can't change it's spots.

Ted Stephens, MS-Taxation, MBA-Finance

Santa Rosa/Yorkville



AVA Readers!

My name is Joe Munson (aka Oaky Joe) and I have put together a 2013 calendar to raise money for military veterans. We are calling it Oaky Joe and the Grape Ape Girls. Unfortunately, we messed up the dates and were unable to sell the otherwise colorful and amusing collector’s items last year.

But this year we think we’ve got everything correct. We have another group of very nice young ladies gracing each month of the calendar and we really like the way it turned out. You can purchase the calendars at: The Navarro General Store, Taylor’s Tavern in Redwood Valley, Express Mart at 998 So. State Street in Ukiah (1 block north of Talmage), The Headroom at 215 So. Main St. in Willits, and Woody’s Gas Station on Highway 20 in Upper Lake. (And more to come.)

The calendars are $20 each. $10 from each calendar goes to Vietnam Veternas of America Lake County Chapter 951. Contact Dean Gotham, President, if you would like to make a direct donation: PO Box 1313, Lakeport CA 95453 or call 707/350-1159.

Thank you and have a great year.

Oaky Joe Munson




Dear Editor,

How professionals condone violence /discrimination against women and children in Mendocino County—

For many years I have wanted to contact you with hope you might shed light on a situation I found myself in for the last 25+ years in this unbelievable position, while trying to nurture and raise four sons. The examples set by police officers, judges and doctors, not only condoned, but aided and abetted my sons father/stepfather in his willful cruelty to children, as denoted by the state. Thank you for reading on as I attempt to explain.

I learned about domestic violence while taking a class at College of the Redwoods and realized the man I married was not displeased with me, but was a brutal terrorist. I left with my sons and two of them were allowed to stay in the shelter with me for six weeks. From that point on the bizarre reality continued on for several decades.

Police were sent to my door, employers were threatened, my family in Montana was harassed and he was allowed to commit perjury without consequence. Dad has died and his sons continue to be discriminated against by the attorneys on the coast. Their inheritance has been usurped by the step mom, while Bart Kronfield, Rod Jones (stepmom’s main man) and Maggie O'Rourke (my son’s lawyer(?)) has failed to request an audit of the trust for over a month) work out a way to cover step moms indiscretion with the trust.

All is well, they supposedly have free counseling through Californias victim witness program because of the fathers cruelty. However, an investigative reporter might find that what I say is true.

Throughout my experience in Mendocino county, my sons and I continue to maintain our integrity. I want someone to write our story.

My oldest who tells me the “He lied, mom, he lied.” I asked what he meant. “He told us we'd end up in prison and we didn't.” That son and his younger brother told me later they had been put in a truck by this man and made to get down on the floor, not to look out the window. He was going to drive over the cliff at Todds Point. That was in the 80s and they just told me within the last two years. They do not want me to hurt so will tell me very little, I did not know.

So if you believe this is a sob story, that is fine. If you want to know what it is like to continue to live in a community that condones and participates in discriminatory and horrific behavior — bullys — it has only just begun. The one person who was supportive and outraged by the local law enforcement was Marissa Colombi, a true friend.

It is an outrage! It continues. It is condoned and enhanced by the administration of Mendocino County.

Thank you for your time and energy,

Sincerely yours,

Melissa White

Fort Bragg

PS The initial hardhitting attorney who man-handled the divorce, was Alan Cone of Mendocino — oops. My husband earned, with vacation pay, close to $100,000 a year. My settlement consisted of an 18 year old car and thankfully, my four sons.




I hesitate to link the cultural degradation of children to the slaughter in Sandy Hook. The cause would logically exist within the gunman's psychotic mind, as a colossal collapse of all rational and moral control systems.

But — - the gunman may very well have been a victim, too.

Although it may sound like the predictable grousing of the generational gap, I do see children growing up in degraded conditions found throughout modern pop culture. Few kids will commit such horrific acts as this rampage, but many may realize adult lives of inner and outer deprivation, and thus become lost souls as adults. And any society that eats its young is already extinct. My thoughts include these concerns, where:

1. Children, born and unborn, exist as indentured servants to the national debt. There is no sign that the current spenders, and politicians who exploit the situation, can control their hunger for guaranteed support. Or accept innovative mechanisms for altering the payment structure. Plus, this generation, possibly ourselves as well, are facing an imminent collapse of the dollar and economy as the Federal Reserve prints and prints and prints Fiat currency.

2. They are born into a culture that increasingly considers Fathers Optional. The family is no longer honored as a necessary infrastructure. A too dominant maternal power is unchecked without the balance of the male influence. The children find the male or Yang influence in venues with less discipline, such as gangs or armies or sadistic games.

3. It is now possible to graduate from a reputable college with little capacity for critical or original thinking, curiosity, sense of history, or ability to convert thoughts into organized and persuasive communication. Their informational exchanges exist as Tweets and text messages.

4. Their minds, so lacking in deeper levels of inquiry, are easily influenced by the demagogues of entertainment and political culture. They will be easily led to any seductive situation. Celebrity culture is an exchange of one’s shallow identity for a projected fantasy. A recent survey found that most youth, when asked what they wanted to be, responded with “a celebrity.”

5. Their minds, so formed, cannot detect or question all the bias that shapes everything that comes into their transient purview. The mainstream media, the social media, the textbooks with the official historical records. Even NPR.

6. Their conditioning will not notice that the USA is becoming a police state, controlled by the invasions of Homeland Security, the coercive power of the IRS, the manipulation of the economy to finance the state.

7. They will believe that they are “free” because of the democratic process, as taught by the public schools, where the lies are maintained.

That this horror occurred in the assumed safe zone of a privileged suburb in tony Connecticut, with the executioner nurtured in the same community may be evidence that these ruinous influences have no boundaries.

It may not be a problem of money, race, or lack of public and private resources. Something far darker is happening in society.

John Sakowicz





My name is Paris Scott Price, Jr.

I’m currently being held in Mendocino County Jail waiting to be sent to Maryland for marijuana charges. Around a year ago I was arrested in Maryland for possession of marijuana. I was pulled over and strip-searched on the side of the highway in front of my kids, and girlfriend. The police found six grams of pot on me. I was on probation from a previous pot charge, which I was handed a four-year prison term for less than 1 ounce of pot. The pot was in a jar and was for my own use, not for sale. The mother of my kids and I were charged with possession with intent to distribute, and both served a lengthy prison sentence.

I got a four-year sentence, and got out on parole later down the road. So when I got pulled over and charged with the six grams of pot that violated my probation and parole, subjected me to a very long prison sentence. So I posted bail, kissed my kids goodbye and came to Mendocino to avoid jail time. My intentions were to come here to find work, find a home to live in, and a safe place to raise my kids. So I worked every odd job that I could find. I saved our money, got us a house, a car, and started our life over. We just wanted a normal, safe, and happy life together. But on Monday, November 26, I was pulled over for a driving violation by the Highway Patrol and arrested for my out of state warrants in Maryland. The highway patrol searched my car, found a jar of pot with maybe eight grams of untrimmed pot in it. Also they found my cash of $5,200, which I’d worked all summer for, which was meant for us to live on. They stole $1,000, and said I only had $4,200. And then seized it saying it was drug money, arrested me, and placed me in Mendocino County Jail. No charges were filed against me, they just took my money and car. So now I sit here waiting for Maryland to come and get me, and then prosecute me for the six grams of pot I was caught with in Maryland. I left Maryland after being charged with this because I knew I was going to jail up to ten years.

I can’t feed my kids in jail. I can’t provide a home for my kids in jail. So I did the best thing I could figure to do; it’s by no means an angle, I did break the law. But what I can’t understand is, How can anyone in their right mind give you a ten-year prison sentence for some pot, which our government collects proceeds from sales of marijuana.

I didn’t have pounds or even ounces. I didn’t have weapons. It wasn’t cocaine or meth, only pot, which in my mind is a safe medication. So now I wait for Maryland to come get me so I can appear in court in Kent County, Maryland, where I’m sure they will do the very, very best to give me every bit of time they can give me for my “crime” which altogether is almost ten years.

I don’t understand how one state could care less about me smoking pot. But yet another, “Maryland,” wants to spend thousands transporting me and taking me to court. They’re handing me a crazy jail term. Let’s be real, it’s crazy. It’s sickening. It’s overwhelming. I feel the courts and the police are off their rockers. Really, I know I’m going to prison for a long time, and for what — some grass that they now want to sell in stores in other states? For real, Maryland, pull your big head out you’re a__, and smell the buds! Is it really okay to send me to prison for something the government is making money on?

The government can collect proceeds from “pot” sales but I can’t smoke a joint to ease my pain? Wow, what a screwed up two-faced system we live in. Maybe it’s just me. But I feel screwed over. So I guess I’ll be back in ten or so. Maybe there are a few people who feel like I do. It just doesn’t seem right. But that is what our government does. They can bend the law to benefit them. They can bend the law to fill their greedy, deep pockets. Screw my kids and their money and rights. Thanks for all your time. It’d be nice to see some of your opinions in the Kent County newspaper back in Maryland. Maybe it will open their eyes to what the rest of the country is doing about marijuana.

I was hoping my letter could be run in your paper, please. Also I would like a subscription back east. I can pay; I just need the info. And maybe you guys could send a paper to Kent County newspaper in Maryland if my story is run in your paper.


Paris Scott Price, Jr., # 93705

Mendocino County Jail

951 Low Gap Rd.

Ukiah, CA 95482

PS. My address in Maryland is: P.O. Box 52, Millington, MD 21651




Why is it that the more San Francisco tries to do for its homeless population, the more homeless the city seems to have? In fact, San Francisco has done an admirable job of helping those homeless who are willing and able to use services to return themselves to some semblance of a functional life. But there’s another category of ‘homeless,’ in the form of the professional street dwellers, who use services simply to recharge their figurative batteries before resuming their preferred life on the street.

To continue to provide a free support system to this second category of homeless in the hope that so doing will produce a socially desirable solution is the epitome of naivete. Similarly, to argue that someone who repeatedly demonstrates a complete inability to master the most basic life skills is free to choose to live unsupervised on the street is a sad parody of tolerance.

San Francisco’s chronic homelessness problem isn’t caused by a lack of services or compassion. It’s caused by our collective unwillingness to say that living on our sidewalks or in our parks is unacceptable and to then implement a response to those who have made it a way of life.”

Riley B. VanDyke

San Francisco




The Smartmeter issue continues as the CPUC ignores the concerns of ratepayers and focus on costs.

This Thursday at 2pm in Santa Rosa at the Steel Lane Community center at 415 Steel lane in the Dohn room, the CPUC will consider how to charge for opt out details. It is a real opportunity to speak your concerns. The CPUC say the start up charge is necessary to replace the SMs that were installed overriding a county mandate and in some cases, strong dissent by homeowners. Why did they roll over our concern and why must we pay to undo it? Why does PG&E now disallow self reading when it was pretty common in our county? How are impacted citizens with Electro Hypersensitivity (EHS) protected in dense areas where as many as 50 accumulated gas and electric meters on an apartment make a single opt out ineffective? Why does the CPUC refuse to allow communities to opt out? Why do they continue to ignore 50 cities and counties who have real concerns?

Foolishly PG&E and others suggest only Northern California citizens challenge the smartmeters when lawsuits are occurring here, in British Columbia and in Maine. Australians suffer fire problems with their meters along with inaccuracy. Hawaii, Texas, Connecticut and several other states are having issues. In a personal communication with a representative of the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA a part of the CPUC,) I was told that the CPUC was not favorable of the DRA's idea of less frequent reading, using past use data. This representative was concern about the double payment by Opt Outers. Opt Out fee payers pay for Smartmeters infrastructure in raised rates they do not use. This representative recognized that a unfavorable decision in Maine could have an impact here. The CPUC worries about exit charges for Smartmeter-less users, who move away and leave their homes to the next users unwilling to pay Opt Out. Who pays to install the SM, the old nonuser or the new SM users? Seems obvious to me.

The EHS concern that the CPUC ignores appeared in a past January 20, 1964 issue of Newsweek titled, "The Mrs. G Effect." It concerned a California housewife, who could hear noises that no one else could hear. A researcher tasked with attempting to eliminate the fact the humans can hear microwave radiation at certain levels had his name associated with it: the Frey effect. Why? He was not able to discount it. Everyone heard it at certain levels and it was not coming through their ears. Yet more crucial is that over 10% of Swedish citizens had it and Sweden established it as a disability and create safe areas with no AC power or cellular/wireless equipment, only battery power.

EHS has another name, Radar sickness, which occurred when soldiers using the new equipment developed problems being around AC power after exposure to radar. This a serious disability more profound then common physical handicaps as the victim can not live with AC power without severe discomfort and mental anguish, for example, seizures and heart arrhythmia . The EMF Safety Network is lead by one of those impacted folks and they have put up a lawsuit to have real testing to determine the proximity of SM to victims by independent researchers. Why is that crucial? The CPUC's rate payer funded Shield study that retested supposed tested SM for accuracy has been proven incorrect in Bakersfield a year later. The EMRI report is done by an industry research process that is clearly biased and in accessible (Microwave News 2012.) A recent study challenging small EMF and RF meters by this company shows concerns, but is available for a mere $25,000.00. Even the World Health organization acknowledges RF energy as a #2 carcinogen and one of its members has EHS. If you want to support the local lawsuit, use the website, which is also an excellent resource for information on wireless and “Smartmeter” concerns.

If you feel strongly about the lack of real regulation at the CPUC and the forced pill of Smartmeters, I would recommend attending the Santa Rosa meeting. I am going.


Greg Krouse




Dear Editor,

Listen to my tale of woe. Publicize it.

I’ve been a Ferrellgas customer since 1996. During that time I have endured their bogus hazmat fee, their fuel surcharges, and other insults to my intelligence. Finally I had had enough.

When I called Ferrellgas to order some propane, I was quoted a price north of $4/gal. It is always necessary to bargain with Ferrellgas, so I asked “couldn’t you give ma a better price?” And they responded “$3.05” Asking what the price would be for a new customer, they told me $1.91/gal. And that spread over 100% to start with was too much for me. Calling back the next day, I was quoted $3.26/gal. I called around to other companies and was quoted various prices, none of which were more than $2.79/gal. I chose another company and had them bring a new tank, thankful that Ferrellgas and the need to bargain would be out of my life.

I called Ferrellgas to have them pick up their old tank, which they did today when I was not present. Coming home later there was an invoice for $89 from Ferrellgas to pickup up THEIR tank. Upon inquiring, they informed me that that charge was part of my “master contract” — essentially charging me for stopping service and tank rental. This seems on a par with hazmat fees and fuel surcharges.

Further, in the phone book they advertise that they guarantee to be the cheapest propane (if you own your own tank); they were only $.26 more than Kemgas.

Be very careful before utilizing Ferrellgas Feralgas.

Peter Lit





Weather Report: The rains are coming into Washington DC tonight, and soon the snow falls to provide just the right seasonal effect. Everybody is hoping for a traditional Christmas scene. I met a neighbor out taking a walk in Fairfax, Virginia, who told me that he had written a Poem and sent it to the local newspaper editor. His poem observes that it is raining here, when it ought to be snowing. He explains that an Angel in heaven is crying because the earth is contaminated and so are all of us, and the tears are falling from above. I offered that global climate destabilization has a lot to do with weather changes. He replied, “Yes, that too accounts for some of the precipitation.”

Craig Louis Stehr

Washington DC

One Comment

  1. John Sakowicz December 19, 2012

    Concerning Trustee Ted Stephens’s letter to the editor, I agree with Ted most of the time on Retirement Board matters, but I voted for the $20,000 unbudgeted agenda item for a medical consultant to review disability applications at MCERA, because presently we do not have a doctor on the board.

    When I was appointed to the Retirement Board, I replaced Dr. Coursey. The expenditure of $20,000 to review disability applications is a small pprice to pay. It will save MCERA time and expense, especially for legal fees in hearings and appeals.

    The other BOS-appointed Board member, Bob Mirata, our Retirement Board’s chairman for the last several years, joined me and all the other Board members. in voting yes for a medical consultant. Ted Stephens was the only dissenting vote.

    Our logic was obvious: It is penny wise, and pound foolish, for MCERA not to have strong outside advisers, which include: legal and medical advisers, investment advisers, actuary, accountant, and auditor. You could probably add a technology consultant to that list, because MCERA needs to automate its operations.

    The public should know several things.

    First, I am as frugal as any Board member. I advocate car pooling among Board members. On my recent training at the SACRS conference, I ate a slice of pizza and had a Coke, rather than bill MCERA for the allowable per diem expense for dinner. But that’s only symbolic. I am as frugal, and fight just as hard, to save MCERA money on the big ticket expenses.

    Second, MCERA has done much to turn itself around.

    During the last several years, almost the entire Retirement Board has been replaced. We have a new investment adviser, Callan Associiates — a big and highly respected firm. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices across the country, Callan provides research, education, decision support, and advice to a broad range of institutional investors, collectively responsible for over $1 trillion in total assets.

    We also have a new accountant and auditor — Gallina Public Accountants, the county’s auditor.

    And we have a new actuary — the Segal Company, top notch in every way. For over 70 years, the Segal Company has been providing benefits and human resources consulting for multiemployer trust funds and public sector organizations. As a private employee-owned actuarial and consulting firm, Segal is a completely independent organization. Their independence allows them to provide completely unbiased consulting services for their clients.

    Headquartered in New York City, Segal has offices throughout the United States and in Canada.

    Finally, we have new legal counsel — Jeff Berk, who is Deputy County Counsel in Sonoma County and counsel to Sonoma County’s retirement association. With MCERA having outside counsel, we avoid the obvious conflict of interest that was historically the case for many years when Mendocino’s own county counsel also advised the Retirement Board.

    Third, MCERA sued its former actuary, Buck Consultants. Buck made several key errors. It cost MCERA money. They ended up settling with us.

    Fourth, MCERA has entered into a voluntary corrective action plan with the IRS to correct other past errors and to preserve our tax-exempt status as a public pension system.

    All that said, I have never worked harder on any board or commission than I do at MCERA. And I believe I speak for all other Retirement Board members, too.

    How hard do we work?

    We have training requirements that are mandated by law. I, along with Trustee Richard Shoemaker, was trained by CalPERS at Sanford Law School. Much of our training involves meeting the requirements of a sworn fiduciary.

    We prepare for every meeting with thick binders, much like the binders the the Board of Supervisors get before each meeting. Going through the binder takes, on average, several hours.

    We take required ethics training.

    We are covered by fiduciary insurance.

    And, in addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meetings, we have met several other times during the last year for strategic planning purposes, and to consider litigation and personnel issues.

    Add to that committee work, and you have a hard-working Retirement Board.

    As folks know, for many years I was a critic of MCERA. A vociferousness critic. A merciless critic. Now, as a Board member, I bring the same critic thinking to the table, plus years of my own investment experience.

    I can tell you with complete confidence that the Retirement Board is acting as responsibly as it can act. Much has changed. But there is still work to do. And we will do it.

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