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Letters to the Editor 12/2/2009


Dear Community Members,

During this special time of year, we ask that you consider supporting the Anderson Valley Senior Cen­ter. Our needs are many. The Anderson Valley Senior Center is busier than ever. This year we had served a record number of meals. Whether you are a Senior or a friend, we invite you to join us for lunch on Tues­days and Thursdays at 12:15pm except the last Tuesday of the month. On that day, we enjoy an evening meal at 6:15pm. We have a bus service that provides rides to the meals. These rides include other stops in the Valley as needed by Seniors on board. Every Monday our bus goes to Ukiah for shopping and medical visits.

The meal and bus programs are in need of cash sup­port. The bus program is also in need of a volun­teer backup driver. And because one of the biggest challenges to aging in Anderson Valley is the lack of public transportation, we are creating a list of volun­teers who can take individual Seniors to medical appointments. We have an endowment program that may reimburse for the trips if the person being driven qualifies.

There is also an opportunity to support the Senior Center through S.H.A.R.E.S. Through this program the Center receives up to 3% of the purchase amount whenever you shop at any Lucky or FoodMax store. All you need is a S.H.A.R.E.S. card, which is pre­sented to the cashier on checkout. There is no cost involved in this program. Just call 895-3609 to order your card.

For the first time we had a garden at the Center this summer. What a wonderful way for the Seniors to enjoy and share fresh vegetables. Our garden was ini­tiated and maintained by a volunteer — another won­derful way to support our Seniors. If you have a serv­ice or idea that benefits Seniors, please call!

Our services are vital for the health and well-being of our seniors. By providing transportation and a hot meal twice a week we enable seniors to continue living in our beautiful Valley. The winter months can be especially difficult without the connections they make to our Center. They can feel isolated and depressed. With your help we can continue to support our won­derful Anderson Valley Seniors.

Please send donations to Anderson Valley Senior Center, PO Box 591, Boonville, CA 95415. If you have questions or would like to volunteer or request a S.H.A.R.E.S. card please call the Senior Center at 895-3609. We appreciate your generosity!


Anderson Valley Senior Center and the Anderson Valley Senior Center board of directors


Greetings Editor,

Advice for a full gut —

The talkative “Doc” Richard Miller, host of KZYX’s Tuesday morning program “mind, body, health and politics” (can politics ever be “healthy”?) smoothly informed his listeners last week to avoid stuffing ourselves during the holidays. Then without pausing for breath he informed us that he will be overeating during the holidays. In that vein of “reasoning,” we perhaps should gobble up as much holiday fare as humanly possible to save the good doctor from a massive holiday caloric overload.

Let's get to it before he does!

Giving the old turkey drumstick a tooth massage—

John Schultz



I hope this will be a public service to others.

On Monday, November 16, at 10am, I went to the Laytonville Post Office to purchase a $1000 money order.

After waiting in line for some time, upon my turn, I was forced to wait for the tellers to change as well as their tills. I handed the now on duty teller/postmistress ten $100 bills plus the $1.10 money order fee.

She placed the bills in an electronic counter and then re-verified manually then placed the money in the till. The transaction never appeared on the cus­tomer transaction screen as it normally does. She put the money order on the scale that was on the counter and quickly placed the receipt on top of the money order. After that, I took the money order and the receipt without verifying the correct amounts.

Approximately two hours later at home I realized the discrepancy, called the post office and told them of the mistake. At that point they attempted to locate the overage in their tills. An overage was found but it didn’t match my overage of $900. After auditing all tills and deposits no overage was ever found for that amount.

I immediately contacted the regional supervisor in Petaluma. We communicated about how to resolve the issue. He assured me he would look into the mat­ter and contact me. He did.

When he called me back he assured me the postmis­tress would contact me and resolve the issue. She did contact me, but informed me that she found no overages therefore no recourse.

In my estimation, the resolve is not satisfactory. The implications are ugly but they are this: someone stole that money! This was not a small amount. $900 is a house payment.

I got robbed in daylight in public by a government office with witnesses and there is nothing I can do about it. This is a public awareness notice. What is my expensive lesson will hopefully help to protect the citizens of Laytonville.

I have contacted the Sheriff’s Department and our communication is still pending.

The resolve in this for me would have to have the thief ferreted out.

Hopefully this information can help someone else.

Rachel Ames

Ed note: Something doesn’t add up here. According to the postal service website $1,000 money orders are $1.50. If Ms. Ames paid a $1.10 fee, we don’t think a postal clerk would accept it for a $1000 money order.


Dear Editor,

I don't know where you get those quotations between articles in the AVA, but they are one of my favorite features.

Here's one you might want to use from The Col­lected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell from his London Letter to the Partisan Review, Winter 1945:

“Particularly on the Left, political thought is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of facts hardly matters.”

That quote reminds me of both fuzzy brained Men­docino liberals and people in Berkeley who live in million dollar houses and consider dinner at Chez Panisse a feat of social activism.

Richard Russell
Santa Clara


Dear Mark Scaramella,

Although a night at the San Francisco Hospice might be quite educational for the Teen Center kids, I believe that they will actually be staying at the San Francisco Hostel.

Perhaps your mind was elsewhere during the November CSD meeting, as you also missed my explanation that water rights to the property were separated from that building, when Mr. Ricard was unable to purchase the parcel to which the water rights were attached. Which does not serve as an excuse for his neglect of the property, but may explain why he did not do anything with it.

And finally, are you sure that the Teen Center is purchasing the chestnuts from Jim Klein?

Diane Paget

ms notes: Actually, I’m not 100% sure of much any­more. Maybe I misunderstood Meade Williams note. It said, “The Teen Center will purchase 35 lbs of local chestnuts at a low rate of $3.50/lb, Jim Klein (parent) will loan us his BBQ and roasting tray…” So if it’s not Mr. Klein, then it’s not.



For the Anderson Valley Community Services Dis­trict and all government entities.

What is an asset? It's money one can get if needed. If your house or otherp roperty is worth $300,000 and you owe $200,000, your asset is $100,000. If you sell this same house for $200,000 or for some reason you cannot sell this property, you have no assets. If you have cash or stocks and bonds, the price of teh stocks and bonds that day and the cash are assets. Anything you owe short-term or long-term are liabili­ties. This isx the real and imple exxplanation of assets adn liabilities.

Our Community Services District puts down as assets all the property, buyildings and equipment. A private person or company can use assets for variosu uses, but a government entity needs all these things to protect Anderson Valley which can't be moved. Since it is practically impossile to foreclose on anything in government,s banks only loan on the ability to taxx the people. Therefore, they are not realldy assets. A lot of bookkeeping lists them as assets, which in pri­vate they sould be, not not in our CSD books. I say all this above because if one readds the audit, and can make any sense outy of it, it sounds as if the CSD is rolling in bucks. Our iabilities (the money we owe) is $288,000 which if you got it, it's not much money. But if you don't got it, it's sa hell of a lot of dough. I say pay off all debt if you do have the money. I hear they have excuese thy they can't pay off the dcdebt. That's only an escuse. There are ways to pay off all debt and save interest. Then put a certain amount each year in an emergency fund to be used only with voter approval The reason we have lost half the manufcatinring jobs inteh United States, causing this terrible unemploy8emnt is governmetns costs and regulations. It's called taxes and no accountability. It always amazes me how we were able to produce dur­ing World War II. It was not our armed services, because I was one of them, but it was our ablity in some three adn a half years to flood the world with all kinds of matieral to win the war. Let's try something absolutely different. Let's lower or eliminate the bene­fit assements tax. It could start a financial revolution.

Emil Rossi



First of all, congratulations are in order and I wel­come the Potter Valley Pomo back to the Fort Bragg neighborhood. I’m pleased that the White Ranch land has passed into the hands of a private party who has the wherewithal to maintain it. Rehabilitating the buildings on the site will improve the view and I’m all for that. Preserving what you have and growing trees costs little and adds so much.

I live almost two miles to the north and about a mile from the ocean and consider this area — from Bald Hill to the Laguna Point in MacKerricher Park south of Mill Creek — to have been the original path for the Pomo ancestors traveling from far inland on the Little Lake-Sherwood Trail to the coast.

The White Ranch property, while a nice piece of land, is a parcel that came out of the establishment of the reservation. It doesn’t have the plentiful fresh water we enjoy. I invite the Pomo to explore the Creation story from the point of view of their thirsty forebears traveling to the coast on a hot day. You’ll pass through my living room, drink from the creek, camp in the yard, and enjoy the bounty of the coast around the Laguna. I say, my friends, you’ll enjoy this land more when you live here for awhile.

Rick Riley
Fort Bragg



Currently, California has a direct primary election and a general election. The purpose of the direct pri­mary is for the voters of each political party to decide who will carry their party's message into the general election where the winning candidate from each party would compete. The general election is the one with the larger turnout and where independents should cast their votes. The Top Two Open Primary will limit everyone choice in the general election and as a result will lead to lower turnout. As much as the pro­ponents of the top two would like everyone to think alike, California is a deversivied state. Legislative bodies should represent the various constituencies of a society. Making everyone think alike by limiting our choices is not only wrong but is an immoral approach. If Hoffenblum thinks the system is rotten because the elections are dominated by the two major political parties then he should support a system where the parties are representated in legislative bodies in direct proportion to the votes they received. If we had such a system, the four smaller parties would have repre­sentation in both houses of the state legislature as well as the US House of Representatives. Then the oppo­site of Hoffenblum's statement that “These third par­ties are not really relevant to the process anyway," would be true. Now that would be thinking outside the box.

C. T. Weber
Sacramento, California


Dear Bruce;

Lynne Stewart is now in jail, courtesy of the Sec­ond Circuit Court, for a minor infraction, not against a law, but a single deviation from a prison administra­tive memo that all lawyers with clients in that court were obliged to sign. She is a courageous woman. (See her interview with Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now.) Lynne was chief counsel for the “Blind Shiek,” convicted of being one of the masterminds behind the 1993 Trade Center bombings. As any self-respecting lawyer should do, she represented him to the best of her ability. Her “crime” was giving a press conference so that the Shiek’s familly and friends in Egypt could have public contact and hear his latest evaluation of their struggling movement.

The judge at the original trial recognized Lynne’s legal devotion to poor and oppressed people and he stated that in his sentencing, two and a half years in prison, rejecting the prosecution’s request for 30 years!

When we were in the far north of New York state we had an anti-war protest going and Lynne and Ralph Poynter, her husband, showed up frequently, whether winter weather was bad or good. We became friends. These two people are staunch fighters for jus­tice and against war.

It is interesting that her “crime” occurred in the Clinton years. Clinton and his Attorney General, Janet Reno, refused to prosecute for such a trivial offense. Bush’s Attorney General, Ashcroft, dug up the old case, brought it to trial and succeeded in bringing it to a guilty verdict. By the way, some of the confidential conversations between Lynne and the Shiek were monitored.

The extra special act of the Second Circuit, remanding her sentence back to the judge of the original trial, asking for a longer sentence is in har­mony with the hysteria, following 9/11. Its simple name is *fear*, especially for lawyers who might think twice before defending individuals suspected of ter­rorism. The prisoners in Guantanomo are now sched­uled to be tried in US courts. I suspect that people in high places in the Justice system are determined to create fear in the ranks of defense attorneys. Lynne and her husband, Ralph Poynter, have been through years of hell, but they stand firm.

Readers of the great AVA, if you can afford to con­tribute to Lynne’s Defense, make your check pay­able to National Lawyers Guild Foundation. Write in memo box on your check, “Lynne Stewart Defense.” Mail to Lynne Stewart Defense, P.O. Box 10328, Oakland, CA 94610.

Or you might drop Lynne a card of cheer and encouragement. (Snail mail only.)

Lynne Stewart 53504-054

MCC-NY, 150 Park Row

New York, NY 10007

The latest news: the Second Circuitt stooped so low as to deny Lynne’s daughter, a phjysician, permis­sion to attend her scheduled surgery.

The next move for her legal team is an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Martin Murie, Peace/Resist
Xenia, Ohio


Dear Bruce,

Why am I so antagonistic toward organized relig­ion? Because it is driven by dogma replacing serious thought? Because it puts the female gender into a subordinate role? Because it is so hostile to modern science? Because it justifies killing in opposition to its own expressed commandment? Because there is no factual evidence for its many delusory claims? Because it is hostile to human pleasure? Because it self-right­eously claims to be in possession of the one truth, the only truth? Because it stifles independent thinking? Because it places humans above the animal Kingdom? Because it denies the relevancy of history and its own historical origins while at the same time basing its entire program on historical scripture?


Lee Simon
Far 'n Away Farm, Virginia



We would like to thank the community of Ander­son Valley for their open and generous giving of excess local food this year.

In less than three months, Valley locals and their businesses contributed some 8500 pounds of AV healthy fruit and produce, as fine as any food any­where in the country, to the Mendocino County’s Food Banks and Ploughshare Dining Room.

The Mr. Glean Team look forward to working with the Anderson Valley residents next growing sea­son to redistribute excess food to those who require assistance in feeding themselves and their families.

See ya Next Year!

Mr. Glean (Jamie Lee)


Dear Editor:

The Staff and the Board of Directors of the Health Center are very grateful to all of the generous members of our community who have stepped for­ward to support the Center in this period of financial crisis. We want to thank the many folks who have sent us donations in response to our newsletter and the Chamber of Commerce for having their commu­nity mixer as a fundraiser for the Health Center. Most recently the high school leadership class organized a dinner dance at the Grange and donated the proceeds to the Health Center. All of these contributions are very much appreciated.

We are planning other fund raising events in the coming months, with a Sweetheart Dance at the Grange in February 2010 and the Pinot Festival Silent Auction in May.

We are strongly committed to continuing to pro­vide excellent health care to the residents of Ander­son Valley. We are very thankful that our community is helping to making this possible.


Susan Addison
AVHC Board Chair



I recently had the good fortune to see Michael Pol­lan interview Wendell Berry at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. As the delightful evening of the sto­ries, politics, wit and laughter turned to the topic of community and local control of food sources, I found myself thinking about Anderson Valley’s role in this important movement. Much of what Wendell Berry mentioned — small farms, farmers markets, school gardens, is happening from the initiative of local peo­ple in our area. From Tim's Apple Farm (and other organic farms) to Boon Berry, and from the AV High School AG program to the Sea Vegetable Company. We are awash in the type of community based food production that this visionary author holds in such high esteem.

I was reminded in particular, of the Anderson Val­ley Foodshed, a grassroots organization that commits itself to long range planning around local food produc­tion. The connection of community to food and food source — a key point of Berry’s — is thriving in Men­docino County. By organizing, educating, shopping locally, even to our backyard gardens and compost piles, we are bringing these abstract ideas to life.

On another note, I can only hope that the growing collective consciousness around sustainable and diver­sified farming practices will begin to influence the wine-grape monoculture of Anderson Valley. In Michael Pollan’s book “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” he succinctly explains how any agri-monoculture will eventually transform the natural bio-diversity into an ecological dead-zone. Both authors delve into how this negatively impacts our environment and commu­nity.

Our community should be proud that it is truly sup­porting and contributing to a crucial paradigm shift.

It's a healthy change — from the ground up.

For more info on the AV Foodshed contact Cindy Wilder at

Kira Brennan


Yo Mighty Editor,

I have found “The Death of Teddy Ballgame” by Robert Mailer Anderson to be very interesting serial­ized in recent issues, though I have found with all plays (right up to Shakespeare) that any play, on the page, seems somewhat static and is a lot more inter­esting when “played,” i.e., live on the stage or for the camera.

The November 11 installment with the argument about who was the greatest hitter definitely caught my interest. I must say that with all due (and great) respect to Joltin' Joe (DiMaggio) and Ted (Teddy Ballgame) Williams — magnificent hitters both — the greatest hitter of all time was Ty Cobb and I think the statistics bear me out. He not only hit .400, he hit .400 and a lot more many times over a long career. Not per se a “home run hitter,” he was more of a “place hitter,” hitting singles, doubles and triples (and homers) to all fields, bunting for the base hit. All of it. And he could run the bases — sliding into first, steal­ing anything that wasn't nailed down, you name it. Yes, he was something of an asshole, very competi­tive, but the tales of him spiking other players — these are exaggerated and a canard: he didn't have to spike anybody, he was just too good a ballplayer. Check me out and looked it up. The Georgia Peach was Mr. Baseball.

I hope this sets off lots of arguments.

Truly yours,

Carol Pankovits
Fort Bragg

PS. Great to see 12 pages again. Keep it up!



No strong proof of wrongdoing is required for the DA's office to initiate an asset forfeiture proceeding, which is filed against the asset rather than a person. It is a legal action in Civil court which the owner of the asset must counter-file to oppose, in addition to and separate from any criminal proceeding which may be ongoing. A Public Defender is not available for this purpose since the action is against the property, rather than the person, and is a Civil proceeding, rather than a criminal one.

The DA's office has a full-time Deputy DA, Brian Newman, whose position is funded by a State Grant, to process its asset forfeiture filings. Since the DA's office received $420,000 in asset forfeiture disburse­ments, there is an obvious direct conflict of interest involved. The DA's office is partly self-funding through Asset Forfeiture actions conducted against citizens.

If the asset forfeiture case does not have an opposi­tion filed within 30 days of Public Notice filing, the asset is lost by default. In her recent article in the Willits New, Ms. Linda Williams fails to mention that.

Contrary to false public statements by DA Mere­dith Lintott, asset forfeiture actions are conducted against people who have not been convicted of any illegal activity. They are often not even being prose­cuted toward that end.

It took a Civil suit and one year's time for 90-year old Lester Smith of Philo to get his life savings returned, even though no criminal case was pending against him.

This is what things have come to in the US? Is there something wrong with this picture?

Tom Davenport
Redwood Valley

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