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Letters To The Editor



Superintendent Cross of Point Arena referred to the document I requested under the Public Records Act as a “preliminary” document. This document was sent to the entire board and discussed more than once in open session at the June meeting. Trustee Scanlon Hill not only questioned the authenticity of statements in the document but was quite upset regarding its contents of personal opinions/comments.

Someone from the audience asked, “is this document available to the public”? President DeWilder stated, “it is a draft and not available to the public” She then asked, “is the board voting on this”? DeWilder stated, “yes the board will be voting on this.” She continued by stating, “is this legal for the board to vote on something the public can't see.” No answer from DeWilder. However, at one point he threatened to clear the room and let only the board stay to further discuss it.

Scanlon Hill also inquired “this is what we are voting on (meaning the document)"? DeWilder stated, “yes.” In the end, Scanlon Hill stated he just couldn't vote on it (the document) because it just wasn't right and DeWilder stated, “then don't, just don't.”

Why would DeWilder, more than once, say they were voting on a “preliminary” (draft) document and refuse to make it available to the public?! How is that legal?!

I believe their refusal to release this “preliminary” document is only due to the derogatory disrespectful opinions/comments made by DeWilder regarding the community, parents and students of Point Arena and not because as Cross stated “The public interest in withholding such records outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” As the AVA stated last week, “HUH?”! It is not the public's interest they are concerned about — it is she and DeWilder would look if it got out to the entire community!

The California State Board of Education emphatically told me that according to Government Code 54957.5 “any document that is discussed by a member or members of the board in open session should be made available to the public immediately upon request whether it is in draft form or not.” She went on to tell me that is even if it is not on the agenda. If it is being discussed you (meaning me) has the right to see it.

In this document (audio version) The Sea Ranch and Gualala didn't go unscathed with the following opinion: 'The entire district except for The Sea Ranch and Gualala is relatively poor. Yet, all seem to be united in having minimal to no concern for the school district. The wealthy populace has already reared their children and could care less about school.'

The refusal to deny access to this document is wrong on so many levels. Also, because Scanlon Hill brought this to the open session has sense been admonished “because he didn't know he couldn't discuss it in public because it was a draft” It is unfortunate he will not be one of the incumbents running for the board this year because he is obviously a person of integrity. We don't need “rubber stampers” — we already have five on it because they don't want to stand up to DeWilder!

I bet anything the board will no longer be tapping their meetings!


Suzanne Rush





I would like to recognize our sponsors for the AV youth football and cheerleading program. They are Anderson Valley Construction owned and operated by Robert (Robbie) Lane and Jed Adams, Ferrington Vineyards owned by Kurt Schoeneman, Steve Woods Architect owned by Steve Woods, John Rossi and Sons, TS Logging owned and operated by Timothy (Eddy) and Candy Slotte. Without these sponsors our program would not have the success that we are having. We greatly appreciate each and every one of them! We hope we can get more Valley people to attend our games and support our youth! We will have great food at every game this year.

Thank you,

Amanda Hiatt, AV Youth Football program




Letter to the Editor

The ABCs of Mendocino County Crisis Care

A. Call one (or more?) of the 8 crisis numbers.

B. Document all conversations with Crisis Workers, County Mental Health, and their contractors.

C. Deliver or fax a series of letters to your Supervisor and the Director of Mental Health to get crisis care for someone. One-on-ones don’t work here. Send copies to influential people - personal physicians, Mental Health Board, NAMI, law enforcement, etc. If others are watching, the person in crisis may get help.

Letter 1: Subject: Immediate Crisis Hospitalization Needed for John Doe. My 30-year old son John Doe suffers from Schizophrenia and plans to kill himself by jumping off the bridge. He needs immediate emergency psychiatric care and continued hospitalization until he is medically stable.

Letter 2: Respond to the Mental Health official’s words (e.g., Well, the person says they aren’t suicidal now; This patient is an adult, I will only talk to him, you stop interfering; We lost records of your crisis calls; This person can’t be conserved.). You must use the appropriate words over and over again in writing to them — “danger to self” “danger to others” “gravely disabled and unable to provide for food, clothing, shelter, and medical needs”.

Letter 3: John Doe needs to be kept at the hospital longer than 72 hours because he is not medically stable, is still suicidal/danger to self/danger to others/gravely disabled. I will hold you responsible if you release him too early and he dies, is maimed, or harm comes to others.

Keep up daily pressure in writing. The system is too broken to work.

Sonya Nesch, author of

Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness





I am the insidious character “Carlos” in my mother's just recently published urban novel, “I'm Baby Girl and This Is My Story,” by Tweetie Bond, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Borders. I personally wrote Chapter 8: “My Son Got 230 Years.” I have written a sequel titled “BG's First Born Carlos-230 years.” I'm looking for someone to help me type, word-check and self publish on Anyone interested to embark upon this project with me can contact me at:

Ken Crawford,

D. 55689, P.O. Box 1050, Soledad, CA 93960.

* * *

Penitentiary Chances

“All of life is but an illusion,” somewhere it is written. But my life has taken its own course. They didn't take me seriously. Now my flesh is just a corpse. In my thoughts I was barely holding on trying to be strong. But reality is that my sanity's been gone. Seeking solitude in a cage, I just can't stand to be alone. Mistakes, I've made a lot of them that I regret. But these voices in my cognition keep reminding me I'm a threat, sometimes to others, but most often to myself. Even though I need it, I hate to ask people for help. They say the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Well, my mind has wasted away. I wish I could get back and somehow make amends to replace the fear I've often created throughout the day and learn to live like normal people are motivated to survive. But I have evolved from a hostile environment, tought to struggle to survive. It is my unpublished theory that the amount of brain damage incurred by the embryo while developing into a fetus in the placenta is due to intoxicant nutrients of cocaine residue fed by the mother to the baby through the umbilical cord throughout the winter. So please don't pity me because I seek no one's sympathy. I know I could have changed my life, but I never had the care of anyone's empathy. Hopefully my death will bring a new life from all the penitentiary chances I've taken to not give up the fight. Sentenced to 230 years, I believe God has turned all of us might against me to discipline me as his son to be taught remorse. But I told them I was suicidal and no one believed me. Now my flesh is just a corpse, devoid of any more of life's wonderful advances, all due to taking penitentiary chances.

Ken Crawford





Rockabilly Doo-Wop, a brilliant bit of writing the best I've seen in a long time.

Sorry to read Richard Johnson passed, he was a true advocate for his various causes, I was fortunate to have as a friend, not always agreeing, but we had respect for each other.

Get it going, nothing close to the AVA!!!.

My best,

Harry Blythe

Portland, Oregon




Every year I patronize the AV Farmers Market. This year the market has shrunk dramatically with just 3 produce vendors showing up regularily. Petit Teton, Blue Meadow Farms and Bill with his famous salad mix are all missing. Rumour has it that they sell their wares at the Ukiah Saturday farmers market, more shoppers, more profit. Why not move the Boonville Farmers Market to Sunday to attract more local organic growers to come back to the Boonville market?

Monika Fuchs





On February 22, 2013 the Tokyo Electric Company revealed that contaminated water from Fukushima was leaking into the Pacific Ocean. Fukushima is in crisis two years after the earthquake and tsunami hit.

Japan’s government estimates 300,000 tons of radioactively contaminated water are being released into the ocean daily. It’s the worst nuclear accident in history — an international issue affecting everyone and all life on Earth.

Millions of lives depend on stopping Fukushima’s Building.

Four from melting down. Helen Caldicott said the Fukushima accident was two to three times more powerful than Chernobyl. In the 25 years since Chernobyl, one million people have died and more deaths will follow.

The Japanese government isn’t disclosing Fukushima’s effects on human health. It’s time for an international task force of nuclear power experts to converge on Japan and collaborate to stop Fukushima from melting down completely.

Please call and write Senators Boxer (202-224-3553) and Feinstein (202-224-3841) and our new Congressperson, Jared Huffman (202-225-3311). Tell them you want the US government to demand full disclosure of the Fukushima disaster. Tell them you want our country to demand an international team be dispatched to Fukushima immediately.

It’s time to shut down every nuclear power plant in the world. There’s no permanent storage for all the nuclear waste that has been created since the first use of this deadly inefficient technology. Nuclear waste will have to be stored securely for millions of years before it decays to a safe level.

Ed Oberweiser

Fort Bragg



To The Editor,

“How can a newspaper charge for its content when other competitors choose to give away their work? The old-fashioned way — by differentiating the content, boosting its quality, and making it essential to the community it serves. HBO, satellite radio and FedEx famously figured out this value problem. Why not newspapers?” — Eric Spitz, president of freedom communications Inc.

I agree.

* * *

Since it is no more possible to disregard another person's race than it is their sex, size, shape or age, racial profiling is here to stay. Difficulties arise depending upon how one processes the information. The best advice I've heard in a long time came via a recent radio news broadcast. Given that a lifetime of experience with people of other races colors our view, the commentator compared the situation to driving a car which pulls to one side or the other because the front end is out of alignment. Just like the driver must compensate behind the wheel to stay on the road and avoid accidents, so an attitude adjustment is called for, the better to give one another the benefit of the doubt to make it more likely, as Rodney King hoped, that we might be able to “all just get along.”

* * *

That sermon is for my local papers in Hawaii. This addition is for you and other AVA readers if you see fit. As a white ex-husband of an African American wife and father of a bi-racial child, I've got a lot of skin in the race relations game and I find the racial profiling issue particularly troublesome. My “problem,” if that's what it is, is that I don't see anything wrong with racial profiling. In fact, when it comes to law enforcement, I think it's a good idea. Unfortunately police are damned for not being PC if they do profile and risk being damned for dereliction of duty if they don't stop see what's up with a bunch of mopes, quacking like ducks, looking like they're up to no good. What bothers me in particular is how it became such a hot button issue in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case that it became a rallying cry for demonstrations, and both Attorney General Holder and President Obama weighed in with stories about how they, personally, had been singled out for special scrutiny because they were black.

Off the grid with no computer I have to go with what I can remember from the station you love to hate, NPR news. If memory serves, it was because he wasn't speeding or breaking any traffic laws that led Holder to the verdict that when he was pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike it was due to racial profiling. I assume the officer(s) who pulled him over were white or he wouldn't have mentioned the incident in the first place. If this is to imply that if they been black he wouldn't have been stopped at all, it's a hard case to prove. Random, routine stops, every 50 vehicles? Stuff happens. Maybe the racial bias of the officer(s) became evident in the exchange after the stop and I wish I could Google to get the details, but it seems to me it's not a very good test case and he might have gotten into higher dudgeon about the incident than called for.

The president's remark that he didn't appreciate being followed by store security in a department store as a young man is poignant and assuming it took place in Hawaii, it's close to home. It would be enough to piss off the pope, as my old man used to say. At the same time, especially some 35 years ago, one saw an African-American in Hawaii about as often as there is snow on Mauna Kea, a rare sight to behold. When Obama points out the insult and indignation a black man must deal with if a woman clutches her purse when he steps into an elevator, or if people roll up car windows and lock the doors as he passes by on the street, I hear him. What are people of good will to do? To step behind the pulpit again, perhaps the best we can do while trying to get along is remember, like Dostoevsky's hero in The Idiot was told: “It's not easy to reach paradise on earth, but you reckon on finding it. Paradise is a difficult matter, Prince, much more difficult than it seems to your good heart.”

I'd be interested into know what, if anything, Cockburn had to say about the issue. How about you or Belkamp or other AVA contributors? Any words of wisdom to add?


Bill Brundage

Kurtistown, Hawaii



To The Editor:

The City of Ukiah is attempting an end-run to approve a $6.2 million Traffic Modification Plan needed by the proposed new Costco at taxpayer expense. They want to by-pass the environmental impact evaluation by declaring that the “minor” adverse effects of the proposed project can be mitigated to levels that make them insignificant with a snap of their finger.

Smith Engineering & Management, an independent traffic engineering firm, has concluded in their review that the proposed traffic mitigation plan is deficient in a number of respects and would be a threat to the safety of the throngs of rabid consumers expected at this new store.

a: The plan is potentially hazardous and uses inconsistent data and methodologies.

b. It understates the peak period traffic and relies upon the very low traffic volumes of February 2010 data as its basis. Cal Trans northern California data for Hwy 101 shows February traffic to be 7% lower than the average month, and 18% lower than the busiest month of the years

c. Cal Trans has previously noted that the data being used “Grossly under represented typical average peak hour demand throughout the year.”

The City has no money for this poorly designed plan and the State Department of Finance has forbidden their using the $2.3 million revenue they hope to receive from the sale of 15 acres of land to Costco. This was old RDA funds that are now blocked by the Legislature in Sacramento. Thus they must find some other source for the full $6.2 million cost of this Costco driveway. Sales tax revenues and property tax receipts are falling as we sink further into recession. That will make two loans for the same project. Really smart thinking, City Council!

The trouble is that most of us are far too busy getting by in these troubled times to give a hoot about City Hall and their failings. Only two of us spoke at last night's public hearing. You can still send in comments in writing by August 27th. Without public outcry the Council will think they're home free.

James Houle

Redwood Valley



Dear Editor:

The Anderson Valley Lions Club would like to thank Wee Boont, Trey White and Debbie Paslay, for the generous donation to our club and all the hard work they do for the beer festival. Our sandwich booth at the beer festival and this donation are our main fundraisers for our scholarships and donations to other causes.

If you would like join in all the fun the Lion clubbers have, contact a member about joining.

Bill Harper





The trillion-dollar deficit is here to stay until the US Government and many state and local governments go bankrupt. In our office still hanging from some 20 years ago is a cartoon from a newspaper with Uncle Sam saying, “I don’t care what you charge me, so long as you put the payback in the future.”

And because of this monstrous economy, he has been able to go all this time spending and pushing it into the future. Eventually the future has become the present. And then as I have stated before no one wants so give up what they have acquired, including me.

In the private world when it gets economically tough the inefficient go out and that’s what gives us all a better life. That ain’t the way government works. Unfortunately, governments of all sizes have gotten way too big and inefficient. The answer to all is bankruptcies which are hitting all sizes of governments. There is great difficulty figuring out government bankruptcies, as they have been able in the past to muddle and postpone their way through until now that the volume and size is such that they can no longer put it into the future.

Stay tuned; interesting times.

Emil Rossi




To the Editor,

I enjoyed the latest rockabilly odyssey by merry prankster Joe Don Mooney (aka “DJ” Moon of Hopland Brewery fame).

Due to family issues I missed the festival this year but I hope to attend again next year.

Those of us into retro World Music also look forward to the Mendocino Music Festival's tribute to doo-wop next summer instigated by DJ and company.

DJ's exploration of “Leonard Lake” is interesting because old-timers in the area claim that the lake was named after an Italian pioneer vintner, Leonardo, who planted the ancient grapevines in the Eagle Peak area — not the snuff film demon from Anderson Valley.

The water diversion that DJ noticed was probably for the production of medicinal wine, not medical cannabis, although many vineyards are interplanted with pot plants these days.

Michael Lebrun





THANK YOU! We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Anderson Valley Fire Department, CalFire and especially all of our many volunteer firefighters who responded to the fire on Deer Meadows Road last Friday.

Your hard work and quick response saved our neighbor’s house and prevented the fire from spreading to adjacent properties.

Thank you for all you do!

Steve & Blanca Graham




Dear Editor,

I am writing to express our continued gratitude to the Anderson Valley Brewing Company for their generous donations to both the Anderson Valley Fire Department and Our Fire Fighters Association. The Brewery has made donations to us each year since the first Brew Fest in 1997.

In the intervening 16 years the Brewery has contributed many tens of thousands of dollars to our organizations that have played a major role in enabling us to make very significant improvements in facilities (new stations in Boonville, Philo, Rancho Navarro and on the Holmes Ranch Subdivision), fire apparatus (we have acquired three new engines and five, new to us used engines as well as a rebuild of our Boonville water tender while also replacing and updating most of our required safety equipment and clothing.

As anyone who lives in Anderson Valley knows, the profits from the Brew Fest are distributed to virtually every community organization in the Valley from the Animal Rescue to all the service organizations to the Fair Grounds.

All rural communities are dependent on volunteer organization and the volunteers and donations that permit these groups to operate. Anderson Valley is extraordinarily blessed to have the Anderson Valley Brewing Company as a contributing member of our community.


Colin H. Wilson, Fire Chief

Anderson Valley Fire Department

PS. Saturday the 24th we held our “Open House” for the new Holmes Ranch Fire Station. I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the people who volunteered (over 50 individuals) to help build the station. As with our previous building projects in Boonville, Philo and on Rancho Navarro, nearly all the work was done with volunteer labor which permitted us to complete the construction of over 10,000 square feet of new fire stations with an absolute minimum of funding since 2001. The property for the Holmes Ranch Station was donated by Handley Cellar's. Without this major contribution, the project would never have been possible. Approximately half of the total cost was provided by donations from our residents and several local business donated ether skilled labor or the use of their equipment. Thanks to you all for making this much needed project possible.



Dear Mr. Anderson,

Yesterday my mother-in-law called me laughing. She proceeded to wish me luck in my upcoming election with the tribal council. Which I stood speechless and confused over as I tried to figure out what she was talking and laughing about. Turns out that you printed on August 13th Mendocino County Today: “Over in Covelo, tribal member Amanda Britton is challenging the three incumbents who are running for re-election to the Tribal Council.” I'd like to know whom the H E double L you got this as a fact? I am not a tribal member, I am married to a tribal member and most my family are tribal members, but I am not, and I am not running for tribal council.

I am running for School Board. How this mistake could be made I really would like to know, and I wouldn't mind a retraction in your paper, considering I will now have to deal with the backlash of this small little misprint for the next several weeks.


Amanda Britton, non-tribal member.


Ed note: Sorry for the error. Of course we will make the correction on-line and in the hard copy of the paper. And next time I'm in Covelo I'm coming straight to your house to give you and your mother-in-law a couple of great big apologetic huggsy-wuggsys.



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