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Letters To The Editor



I have had the privilege recently to take advantage of our excellent county bus service, Mendocino Transit Authority. There is a community of our neighbors that ride regularly, and for many, it is their sole means of transportation: students and the elderly, and the financially- and physically-constrained, depend on our buses for college classes, the library, doctor appointments, social services, visiting friends, and community involvement.

The drivers are unfailingly polite and helpful, the buses consistently clean. Racks for bicycles, secure mechanized ramps and floor clamps for wheelchairs, are provided.

I have not ridden a bus since high school, but I moved to Redwood Valley and now try to take the bus as often as possible into Ukiah and back for my weekday commutes. The 20-minute walk each way is healthy, and the 20-minute ride each way is great for reading and commiseration…

As climate change and fuel prices inevitably force us back to the socialized transportation of buses and trains, and our air, water, and bodies become filled with the inescapable pollution of chemicals, GMOs and radiation, we humans will look back in sadness and wonder at the wanton destruction of our natural world…

(from Deward Drollinger)

Man, the God, Determindly


Rushes On With The


Total Annihilation


Of Every Bodies World,


As The Frogs Croak In Horror.

Dam the River!

Fall the Tree!


Frogs Know What I Mean.

Super Market Swamps!


Freeway Rivers!


Frogs Know What I Mean.

One Grey Skeleton World,


One Global Concrete


Shopping Center,


One Empty Windless World

Frogs Know What I Mean…


Dave Smith

Redwood Valley




Despite the sweltering weather on Sunday, September 8th, Anderson Valley Land Trust gives thanks to Ron Rice at the Yorkville Olive Ranch, Sarah Cahn-Bennett at Pennyroyal Farm, and Renee and Tim Ward from Anderson Valley Community Farms for the wonderful inside, on the spot views of sustainable agriculture here in the Valley. Special thanks to Chef Christina of Aquarelle for a delectable lunch and Dave Kooyers for the beef from the 4 Bar K Ranch that made such delicious Moroccan meatballs. And thanks to Matt at Meyer Family Cellars for the use of the beautiful shade under the arbor.

Barbara Goodell




Thank you for the attaboy and criticism (“Hell’s Canyon and Cone Peak”). It’s good to know there are other travelers and map freaks out there. Yet there’s a uniquely American vocabulary used to describe the topography and agreed upon standards of measure. The depths of canyons are measured the same way as the height of mountains: from base to summit. By that standard, LA County’s San Gabriel Mountains., Riverside’s San Jacintos and San Berdo’s San Berdos are all taller than Colorado’s famed Front Range. Also “Hell’s Canyon” is the deepest canyon in North America.

You mention how the drop from Mt. Whitney to the town of Independence is 11,000 feet. That’s true enough but Owens Valley is not a canyon but a valley. Canyons come in just two shapes: V and U-shaped, the latter being V-shaped canyons that have been carved into U-shapes by floods or glaciers. Although it’s very deep and has a huge collection of towering vertical walls, Yosemite Valley’s spacious bottomlands make it a valley.

It’s true that, from where I was standing on Oregon’s Summit Ridge, the Snake River wasn’t 8,000-foot below me. I wanted to point out the depth of the canyon more than pinpoint my exact location. Idaho’s 7-Devils were just 17 miles away — seemingly close enough to throw a rock at — and I’d once caught the view of the canyon from atop (minus a hair) She Devil peak, which is just a hair below its neighbor He Devil, the tallest of the bunch at 9,393 feet. From there it’s a straight shot down and down to the river that’s hidden in the inscrutable depths the same as from the Oregon side. From He Devil the river is 7,995 feet below, though I rounded it off to “8,000.”

Still, in the name of brevity, I suppose I committed the sin of omission. I’ll be more careful in the future.


Happy Trails,

Bruce Patterson

Prineville, Oregon.



Dear Editor:

I don¹t know how you do it. Here at the Subscription Fulfillment Department of The Nation¹s Oldest Newspaper we pride ourselves on a quick turnaround: if your check arrives on the Thursday before we publish, we mail your paper Friday. But you have beaten us all hollow.

Our last three AVAs have arrived with the dreaded Red Stamp of Expiration upon them. (Our mailing label reads “9/20/2013.”)

Due to sloth and disorganization we only got our renewal check in the mail at about 3pm today. One and a half hours later your paper of Sept. 18th arrived — with no red stamp!

Do you have Schrödinger¹s cat working in your mailroom?

However you did it, I¹m grateful to you for sending America¹s only other newspaper.


Steve Fowle

Editor, The New Hampshire Gazette

The Nation's Oldest Newspaper

Portsmouth, New Hampshire



Dear Board Members Of The Senior Center,

I was shocked and saddened to hear that the Board called a sudden meeting, without notice to the public, during which Charles Bush was fired.

Since Charles Bush has taken over as Director of the Senior Center, the food has improved, the amount of time he puts into directing programs and overseeing lunches is remarkable, and the fact that he has brought in donations and given back over half of his salary due to sequester cutbacks make him the best Director possible. Charles is friendly and welcoming, forming good personal relationships with the staff and the public. He has interviewed many seniors and has a huge library of tapes called 'Senior Perspectives' that people can rent or watch in the computer room. His interviews are interesting and he has a compassionate manner when he draws each senior's story into the interviews. I have learned a lot about folks from these insightful interactions, and feel like they help us know one another better.

There was a $50,000 donation to paint the building which will now be rescinded, since Charles was fired. He also brought in thousands of dollars at the recent art silent auction, wine and food tasting, and rock concert at the Caspar Community Center which featured famous musicians such as Christy Wells and Fritz, David Hayes, Gene Parsons, Stephen Bates and our own blind senior accordionist, Jan. It was a wonderful event and was played to a packed house — and they would be willing to do another such event for Charles if you had not summarily fired him suddenly. Charles may have some criticism from office workers who want his job, but who are not nearly as good with personal relationships or as caring about the clients served in the dining room, thrift store, computer room, and at fundraising events.

He has come to the Center on weekends to check on meeting groups using the facility and has been very helpful and encouraging to all he encounters. About two weeks ago Charles had an endorsement from the public by letters and petitions to the Board when rumors of firing circulated. We were assured then by some Board members that there was no threat of firing; they just asked him to do more paperwork.

When is the next Board Meeting taking place? Many of Charles' supporters are concerned about the reasons for his dismissal and wish to address the Board regarding this. We know of no violations in the bylaws committed by Charles to precipitate this action, and would like some explanations. It feels like the Senior Center will be devastated by his loss! We would like to see the Center continue to thrive, but what plan is in place to improve things? I will eagerly await your response.

Thank you,

Ann Rennacker

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, 18 Sept., four members of the Redwood Senior Center board of directors voted to fire the Executive Director Charles Bush immediately. The meeting on Wednesday was not properly convened — the public was not given notice 72 hours in advance posted in a public place with an agenda telling what the meeting was about. Board members were notified by email but no subject for the meeting was stated.

A secret vote was taken and in a 4 yes; 2 no; 2 abstention move, the vote was to fire Charles. A member of the board informed Charles that the vote had been taken.

Charles Bush has been doing a great job pulling the Coast Senior Center back into the Sunlight after a very sad time in its existence. As a community senior, I sat with staff and volunteers at lunch Thursday and asked them how they felt about Charles' leadership and actions, if they were happy. They responded that they were more than happy with Charles.

I am personally appalled and I hope that steps can be taken to make it so Charles can return to being the Senior Center Executive Director because he was doing a wonderful job. This action by four people is creating great upheaval at the Senior Center and threatening yet another iconic community resource.

Thank you,

Jessie Lee VanSant

Fort Bragg




Thanks for a Great Fair!

The Mendocino County Fair was another successful event thanks to a lot of devotion from our wonderful team at the fairgrounds. The “Lemons, Girls” would like to thank Gowans Oak Tree, Gowans Apples, Anderson Valley Farm Supply, and the Lemons family for their donations and support for our Special Feature Booth, “Iteville.”

In 1988 I became involved with my first feature booth with Betty Hiatt and Terri Rhoades. I was hooked. Over the years, I have worked with some of the most creative and artistic individuals in the Valley. Beth Tuttle, Wilma Brink, Lovella Sand, Eva Holcomb, Shelly Rossi, and Sandy Pronsolino just to name a few.

This year was my twentieth exhibit, and for some their first. My point being, it’s fun and creative and the fair needs more of us to become involved in all kinds of directions. Maybe not “glue ‘n beans” like us, but you never know. How about next year?

Thanks Again! Mil Gratzi!

The Lemons’ Girls; ; Julie Winchester; ; Laurie Cooper; ; Jennie, Doyle, and Andrea Moore; ; Tina and Heather Perez; ; Yolanda Ibarra; ; John, Jason, Bekah, Trent; ; Marilyn, Arlene, and Anne




There is growing recognition that arguing over political issues will never yield unity. What it has yielded is divide-and-conquer tactics based on majority rule: 3 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. Some matters cannot be decided by compromise.

I don't take kindly to people with not-so-questionable-motives telling me how to live. I'm an American, a minority and a grandmother. I was taught to think for myself, an educational requirement at my house. My parents were in charge of the curriculum. That required me to get a grip on the principles of self-government and its outcome, self-determination.

Today, public school is a required by government edict; parental involvement is not encouraged, and now through Common Core, central government will run your children’s school lives from Washington DC. A self-proclaimed elite, easier to claim when you have tons of money, are actually intellectual light-weights whose abuses of power include deciding how and what your children will be taught to think. Short of a strong family base, which you will personally have to enforce and defend, they are being programmed to be good little soldiers for The Man. Sound familiar?

As a farmer's child ankle deep in Vina Loam, I was a free-range kid, liberty at its finest. I and my friends rode through the orchards to the river to swim our horses in the dredger ponds, eating peaches and dust on the way. Boundaries and curfews were established by our parents who we were persuaded to obey. When I joyously but mistakenly ran my horse through an orchard, the call from a neighbor got home before I did. Today some ignoramus would call CPS on my parents, and my family would be forced by the court system to defend their authority.

My father once had the cahoona to throw government inspectors off our land when they came to inspect his melons. Today he would be shot or locked up in a FEMA prison, lost to our care. Ask some small farmer or the Amish farm community if you don't believe me.

Our daily lives and money are run by “banksters” and people whose priority is staying in office while making more money to do so. They presume to know what is best for me and mine. Never mind the truth stated by Thomas Paine: “That government is best which governs least,” while young people leave the state for climes friendlier to their dreams.

As it turns out, the personal is political, and directs my reasoning in support of the withdrawal of northstate counties through the Jefferson Declaration for Butte County, from Sacramento's power base. Diane Feinstein wants to re-define our First Amendment right to free speech to exclude those of us whose writing is not “professional.” Presumably that means those who write for passion but not money.

Mark Baird of Siskiyou County and his friends, wrote the Jefferson Declaration for that county. Their Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of it. Baird will address the matter in his own words Monday, September 23 at the Thermalito Grange, 479 Plumas Ave. Oroville, 5:30pm.

Check out for the YouTube of Baird speaking in Redding. Email me at for further information. If the NSA lets me, I will answer it.

Joanne-Grace Alden, The Alden Observer




Editor and Fellow AVAers,

“Obamabay.” “Obama?” “I didn’t say Obama, I said Obamabay.” “Where’s Obamabay? Is it on the Potomac near the White House?” “No, it’s in between Antakya and Katakia. It’s close to Antioch, where the sirens sing by the sea.” “Arstattackya and Lotakillya? I’ve never heard of those two cities. Are they in northern California?” “Antakya and Latakia are two cities on the northwest coast of Syria. And the sirens shall cry in Antioch, the capital of ancient Syria. When the United States attacks; and they shall scream and moan when thousands of innocent men, women and children are massacred. As the United States calls Arlington National Cemetery our military burial place, Syria shall call their military graveyard on the coast near Antioch, Obamabay.”

Obamabay is north of Beirut,

AntiSyrian combat engagement

Diana Wood Duck Vance

Naked Ladies, Mendocino



Dear Mr. Wizard:

Thank you for offering to respond to any old vexing questions your readers may have.

Now that you have addressed the Fort Bragg dogshit problem, I have a number of vexing problems for your perusal.

1. It has become clear that 10% of this country's problems are caused by natural disasters — flood, fire, earthquakes and hurricanes. The remaining 90% are caused by a combination of people voting for Republicans and stupidity.

2. The Jints are in the cellar.

3. The governor announced that he will not seek another term. He will endorse Wes Chesbro as his successor.

4. Your daughter is going to marry a ______ (homeless hippie?)

5. At last the County will build a slaughterhouse — about a block from your house.

6. The Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg papers have been sold to Rupert Murdoch's new corporation.

7. Caltrans will construct a bypass around Boonville.

8. The number of dumb persons is increasing. Dumb people are attracted to the Republican Party in 2016.  The Republican Party will be in complete control of the government.

9. It was hoped that the County's weekly newspapers would cooperate to hire and share an Omsmanbud [sic]. Hopes were dashed when the Editor of the Anderson Valley Advertiser exclaimed, “We don't need no stinking omsmanbud.”

10. Gas prices go up and down. Two or three weeks after gas prices fall in Willits and Lake County all the gas stations in Ukiah and vicinity will lower their prices on the same day. No delay when prices rise.

Ralph Bostrom




Dear Editor,

“Can the Cannabis Economy be Used as a Transitional Tool?”

In response to the continued scrutiny of our region's industrial cannabis economy and its environmental/socioeconomic implications: What do the Gold Rush, the Industrial Logging Boom, and the Industrial Cannabis Boom share in common?

All three are mono-economies that have dominated or, in the case of cannabis, currently dominate areas of our bioregion.

All three arose and were created through disproportionate values being placed on a single commodity.

All three are vulnerable to distant, uncontrollable market forces.

All three placed (place) all those participating in direct competition with each other.

All three depended (depend) on a single commodity being exported out of our communities; separating the “producers” from the “consumers.”

All three attracted (attract) passing, unrooted speculators and profit seekers.

All three experienced (are experiencing) rapid, uncontrolled expansion.

All three, being mono-economies, are inherently vulnerable to centralization.

All three created a “mono-cultural mindset,” in which the dependent population can no longer envision a future without reliance on that particular single commodity.

All three left (are leaving) a legacy of environmental damage to future generations.

All three did not (will not) last indefinitely.

These similarities are being highlighted to emphasize the dangers of our continued reliance on a mono-economy to support our rural communities. This is a call to all those who feel rooted and connected to the land and people of the North Coast to invest our region's current mono-cultural prosperity into creating a future of economic diversity and resilience.

As a co-author of the Northern California Farmer's Guide “Best Management Practices,” I support the continued education of our region's cannabis farmers, as well as supporting the proactive and community informed regulation of cannabis production to protect small-scale family farms and the environment in the event of a state-wide legalization.

However, I do not believe that hard-wiring our region to be overly dependent on an export commodity (no matter what it is) is a wise adaptive strategy amidst an era of declining global resources and climate change. Our current reliance on a mono-economy has been a distraction from our communities creating goods and services that can be circulated locally.

The cannabis economy can be best utilized as a transitional tool to help build and support essential community infrastructure, restore the land, and to facilitate our communities in creating diverse and lasting bioregional economies.


Kyle Keegan

Salmon Creek





Re: Senior Center Debacle

I wish to address the unfortunate events going on at the Redwood Coast Senior Center.

It appears that a disgruntled few on the Senior Center Board are unhappy with Executive Director Charles Bush and wish to fire him. I have read a three-page letter, distributed widely, from one of the board members containing allegations against Charles. I find the allegations to be troublingly inconsequential, especially in light of going to the extreme measure of firing Charles — not to mention that the letter itself was inappropriate in that it contained other information that should rightfully have remained confidential.

I also am aware that board meetings at the Senior Center have been conducted in a very unprofessional if not downright undemocratic manner, that Robert's Rules of Order are consistently ignored as well as the Senior Center by-laws themselves.

In my view Charles Bush has been nothing but a boon to our Senior Center. He is well-loved by the community which is evidenced by the numbers of people who have come forward to support him, and he is well-loved by his staff, give or take one or two. His energy, enthusiasm and creativity is an invaluable gift to all of us. As a matter of fact, recently, he and the Senior Center were given accolades by a representative from the Regional American Act on Aging Board as being an great example of how a senior center should be run!

I am incredulous that a small group of people — for whatever reason — and that reason is not at all clear to me — are intent on bringing down an important member of our community and thereby causing such a deep divide in the community and potentially doing great damage to our important and vital senior center.

The amount of support for Charles has been tremendous but I do implore folks to be mindful of causing any more damage by agressively attacking the board members who have perpetrated these difficulties. This does not serve except to widen and deepen the discord. This is a frustrating situation but I am convinced it will be and SHOULD BE resolved with strong, purposeful, disciplined actions, and with peace in our hearts.

Thank you,

Meg Courtney, Vice-Mayor

City of Fort Bragg




You had a slight error in your quote from the oldest person to ever live. Her name was Jeanne Calment. See wikipedia

Ed Oberweiser

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor,

We would like to thank the many Valley Residents that helped the ElderHome with fundraising activities this year.

Many of you helped us process all the brewfesters at the Back Gate.

Our annual Lion’s TriTip Barbecue and Silent Auction was a huge success.

There was much support for our LGBT Event at the Madrones.

Most recently those pouring and drinking wine at the Fair contributed much to our coffers.

Because of all of you we have reached a milestone. We have matched the $100,000 donation given to us by a valley resident.

There are too many to name. This is a big THANK YOU to each and all of you.


Maureen Bowman

on behalf of the AVEH Board and Volunteers





Why I’m not there.

Some colleagues and co-workers are wondering why I did not join Tuesday’s SEIU-led one-day strike. Please allow me to list a few reasons:

1. If anyone can give me an example of a one-day strike accomplishing meaningful results in labor negotiations I’d like to hear about it.

2. Would someone from SEIU please tell me how forfeiting a day’s pay to the county’s benefit helps employees?

3. Will bigshots of SEIU, in one of the union’s beloved shows of “solidarity” and “unity” be forfeiting a day of their own pay and contributing it to the Mendocino County employee strike fund?

4. Taking a day off without pay doesn’t change the fact that county workers must still accomplish their allotted amount of work for the week. Except now, as a result of SEIU's deft negotiating, workers will have to do 40 hours of work in 32 hours. Would someone from SEIU please tell me how this benefits workers? And remember that the lost pay goes directly to the dread adversary, Mendocino County.

Does anyone believe SEIU cares about workers or conditions here in Mendocino County? Does anyone believe SEIU has our best interests at heart? I don’t.

I believe SEIU’s Number One interest is using our monthly dues to fund the national Democratic Party despite the fact that not all of us are Democrats or vote for Democrats. It’s a fairly rank form of Taxation without Representation and I’m happy not complying with the union’s wishes.

Thanks! See y’all on payday!

Thomas Hine




To The Editor,

We would like to thank the Anderson Valley Advertiser for not slandering our family name. Thank you, thank you.

Thank you, Bruce McEwen. It was nice seeing you again over the months of our course and case. My family and I would like to thank you for not jumping on the bandwagon and being a reporter on this case. Thank you.

As most of you know, my son had been arrested for some very serious charges. Reporters, news crews and the internet ran with this story. With that all said, in the eyes of the public he was portrayed as a monster. Therefore he was already tried and convicted.

Growing up in the Valley and graduating from the Anderson Valley High School, there were teachers who he looked up to. Having them as a mentor, he reached out to you and you never turned him away, regardless what was being said. Thank you very much for that.

We also want to thank everyone else who was there for him and who wrote letters on his behalf. Thank you for that. Thank you for all the love and support and all the kind words. We all thank God every day that we have people like you in our lives.

Thank you,

Shelley Scaramella


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