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Letters To The Editor


Dear Editor:

Enclosed, please find my research from an "Intelius Background Check" on Sonoma County deputy, Erick Gelhaus, who shot 13-year old Andy Lopez seven times, killing him, on October 22, 2013. Gelhaus was deliberate. He fired eight times in 26 seconds. Twenty-six seconds -- that's an eternity in the split-second world of law enforcement.


You decide. The kid was holding a toy replica of a gun.

Did Gelhaus know better? Was Gelhaus an experienced cop?

You decide. Gelhaus was a 23-year veteran of Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, and he was a SWAT team leader, a senior firearms instructor, and a bunch of other things. He was also a combat war vet. He served in Iraq as an infantry squad leader.

The FBI is now investigating the shooting, because neither the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office nor the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office can be trusted by many members of the public to conduct an impartial investigation.

The family of Andy Lopez and much of the local Latino community have cried out for justice.

If guilty, Erick Gelhaus should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As a law enforcement officer sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, this is a greater demand for justice put upon Erick Gelhaus than for ordinary citizens.

Adding the facts that Gelhaus was also a SWAT team member and wrote for SWAT Magazine, was also training instructor at the Gunsite Academy in Sonoma County, and that he demonstrated products for Aimpoint Red Dot Sights, Blue Force Gear, and other vendors of the deadly tools of the trade for law enforcement, there may no excuse for this killing. Gelhaus was not just an ordinary citizen, he was not just an ordinary cop...he was a lot more. He should have known better.

No Justice. No Peace.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah, CA

PS. Someone just mentioned Richard Petersen’s death to me. I’ll miss him.

RIP, Richard Petersen.

Richard Petersen was a creative and effective criminal defense attorney. He was sometimes brilliant. Devising a “hemorrhoids and sitz bath” defense for Frank Brady, the Hells Angel biker who was charged in August, 2001, with igniting a blaze in a methamphetamine lab that led to the deaths of two firefighting pilots, was one of Petersen’s most creative and brilliant defenses.

Brady was originally charged on two counts of murder, as well as counts of manufacturing drugs and causing the 270-acre Mendocino County brush fire the pilots were fighting, but Richard Petersen got the charges reduced.

District Attorney Norm Vroman over-reached with Brady in one of the publicity stunts for which Vroman was well-known.

Richard Petersen was up to the task. His defense of Brady is studied by law students today.




For the record, regarding the SEIU terms proposed, management, attorneys, department heads, and elected already receive both the wellness and training allowance and the longevity pay increases. The only group not receiving the wellness and training allowance is SEIU line staff. As well, that same group receiving those benefits also receives a deferred comp match of 3 or 4% of pay, which is a significant expense on the general fund not shared by SEIU staff. Another point, SEIU proposed just 3% in January and 1% in July toward restoration of the 10% pay cut over three years, thus spanning two fiscal years. It was a good plan. The administration countered with 0%, not a penny. The proposed health care increase may be relatively small, but line staff wages have been backed up years with the cut and every year another chunk is taken from diminished paychecks. The increase in January would have prevented any paycheck reduction from potential health care or pension increases. Finally, you are right to state that most SEIU line staff work in social services, heavily funded from out-of-county grants, $2.5 million of which Mendocino did not spend last fiscal year due to cuts and attrition. One would think that the county could pay competitive wages to keep workers here rather than training them to depart to better jobs elsewhere while leaving grant funds unspent locally. The proposed on-call and bilingual pay increases would have largely come from those unspent funds to social service workers. There is an exodus of talented and experienced workers as a result, the usual result of wage reduction.

County Worker




Help save a hundred-forty million songbirds

Please help save 140 million songbirds every year in Egypt, who are trapped and sold to restaurants by nearly 400 MILES of nets, by signing this petition from Please share it with your Friends. Also, please ask your FaceBook Friends to share it with all their FB friends. This horror must be stopped! The nets must be taken down! The signed petitions will be delivered to the Egyptian and German governments in late November, so there is still time to get as many signers as possible!

For the Songbirds

Ed Oberweiser

Fort Bragg




Several months ago one of your readers wrote asking about haggis. I want to assure you that this great Scottish delicacy can be wholesome and delicious. Like all great foods, the quality of the ingredients often will govern the outcome. Haggis is normally made from lamb, oatmeal, stock and seasoning. It is traditionally served with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes). Many experts consider horse haggis to be the finest of all, but most people today prefer the lamb-based product. In 1786 Robert Burns immortalized haggis in poetry calling it the “great chieftain o’ the pudding-race.”

Yours truly,

Charles MacLeod




Dear Bruce (and don't knick away my very friendly salutation),

The Open Lines guy was suspended for letting an F-bomb incident pass without correction. That's not paranoia, it's routine. Training and a seven-second delay device should improve the conversation. We're looking forward to your calls.

Host: You're on the air with Open Lines.

Bruce: This is Bruce.

Host: Bruce?

Bruce: Bruce. Am I on the air?

Host: Not Bruce Anderson!

Bruce: Not Bruce Anderson?

Host: Well Bruce, you usually stiff us and fail to appear after we've set you up for a show, and then you complain that you've been banned. Remember the Redwood Summer demonstrations, when you requested airtime with "Alexander Cockburn”? And the real AC wasn't available? You'd anticipated rejection, so you could proceed to complain about suppression of free speech. But Bruce, recall that you had to back out, clumsily, when your proposal was accepted and promos were broadcast. Embarrassing! You had no show to provide. Nor did AC weigh in. So, throwing up dust, you contrived the excuse that an obscure button-pusher assigned to engineer the broadcast was a threat to you and "Alexander Cockburn," and you were pulling out, not at all forfeiting absurdly. That's still very funny. Inadvertent farce continues to redeem you. So, are you nursing an animus? You've got three minutes. Have you a message for Open Lines?

Bruce: Hm? I was waiting my turn. Why yes, in my engagingly cordial tones--disarming, even--I want to contribute a joke. A joke, mind you. No recklessness nor malice at all. I'll read it from my AVA of September 11, 2013, page 6. "ATTENTION TWEEKERS! Coate's in Australia. We don't know where he lives, but we know that you have the time, and, ah, the energy to find out. Go for it!"

Host: That's the joke?

Bruce: I knew you'd enjoy it.

Host: Subtle.

Bruce: To continue in my preferred breezy manner, and in my own fine phrasing from a later issue of the AVA, "My remarks were obviously intended as humor."

Host: Frankly, Bruce, sometimes we're not the best judges of our own humor. Years ago the owner of KMFB made programming changes and provoked a volatile listener who had it known that he was driving around with a loaded shotgun. It wasn't altogether funny then, but it's funny now. Certainly your joke will continue to ripen.

[Sound. Dial tone. Up and out. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.]

Host: I guess we lost that caller. Next call....


Gordy Black


PS: Lead sardines outlast poissons solubles, non?

Ed reply: Permit me to count your gifts: Total recall, a French phrase, a cravat, deep sea dialogue, and a loaded shotgun in your car? Anything else I missed in this latest communication? Me? Complain that I'm banned at KZYX? That's like complaining about being banned from Megan's List. The rest of what you allege here, Gordo, is the usual skewed nonsense you've dredged up for years now, and not worth my acute powers of deconstruction since you're the only one who thinks this stuff is important. (“Acute powers” is intended ironically here Lord Liner Notes just so…) If you think it's reasonable that McKenty, with seven years as a station volunteer, is offed because some nut called in an F-Bomb, say so. What was McKenty supposed to do, an on-air act of contrition? Run to Mommy? Close down the mike? Call the cops? Of course this is the same “free speech” Mendo radio station whose cringing programmer's handbook says on-air drones are supposed to cut callers off when they “get into dangerous territory." Who determines "dangerous territory"? Aigner? Coate? Stalin's Ghost? McKenty was non-personed by the creep crew because they don't approve of his affiliation with station reformers. That's what you're defending here, Gordy, you, you, you… you goosestepper, you. By the way, speaking of lead sardines, another time I saw this news clip of thousands of stoner look-alikes waving their forefingers stageward, in unison, at some really bad music, probably a Grateful Dead concert where “oneness” is thereby achieved, right? “Looks like they cloned Gordy Black,” I commented to my wife. She said, “The Monterey sardine?” I said, “I think so. But I don't think they do lobotomies on fish.”




I recently contacted Doug McKenty to ask him if he still had his Open Lines show on KZYX.  I hadn't heard it for a while.  He wrote to tell me, "No."  The show had been canceled when he raised some criticisms of the way the station was being managed.

He gave me a brief summary of his experience at our community radio station and directed me to the article on the AVA website which he wrote.

This is an important local issue and I urge everyone to read Doug's article.  I have long disagreed with the way KZYX has handled programming, criticisms and disagreements that members and programmers bring up.  I have written to various people at the station over the years about what was bothering me, but was rebuffed every time.  There appears to be no transparency and dissent is squashed.  I would go further than Doug has and say, instead of "cooperative living," it is democracy that is lacking in the policies and procedures at KZYX.

Doug's insider report should cause concern to us all.  The station is a valuable community resource and necessity — with the emphasis on community.  Many of us support it with money and all of us should, even if it is only $5 or $10 a year.

Therefore, it is OUR station.

Please comment and let's talk to our friends about this situation at our community radio station.

April Dice





Important notice to all Sonoma County law enforcement agencies: During the Halloween season, several children will be dressed in costume and sporting plastic pointed teeth, swords, daggers, light sabers, cap pistols and airsoft guns. Kindly refrain from shooting them. The killing of these children causes distress to their parents and increases concern among the general Sonoma County population.

Steven R. Onines




Editor and Fellow AVAers,

Do we have the sweet corn of the white oak tree? Do we have the white oak? Hickory nuts. Hickory nuts. Fukushima releases radiation equivalent to 150 atomic bombs a day. A nuclear "clean up" could create an explosion meltdown contamination 14,000 times more toxic than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb. We on the United States West Coast are getting fuked by contaminated air. Take your Losat tablets. Losat: potassium iodine tablets (130 mg) which blocks radiation which enters the thyroid.

Diana Vance,

wants clean water to drink and swim in

in Mendocino

PS. Three cheers to the Fort Bragg maintenance crew; rough roads like Manzanita are now smooth streets. PSS. Gleanings in Fort Bragg sponsored an open lunch at the Catholic Church every Monday until the two cooks quit. We need two volunteer cooks each Monday from 9am to 2pm to have a Gleanings lunch. If you wish to cook with us for our Monday lunch, call Carol at 964-6501.




Down in LeValley, Where spotted owls tread,

They don’t give a hoot dear, They’re tweeting instead.

Those owls have new iPads, And Facebook accounts,

From taxpayer dollars, I’m glad to announce.

If you go to find them, You’ll have to look twice,

For the owls are all hidden, By a cloaking device.

That sure was a challenge, To biologists here,

Who were paid to go count them, For six figures clear.

They did get the job done, With methods astute,

As birds were all tallied, By telecommute!

Well MRB Research, Who collected that bill,

Charged us for their hard work, At nearly one mil.

But a broad band of natives, Began to eschew,

That MRB Research, Was invisible too.

Oh hear the wind blow dear, Just north of Van Damme,

At the home of LeValley, And his kind-hearted ma’am.

That’s where it all vanished, One big pile of dough,

With dozens of surveys, Of owls, don’t you know.

If that’s not enough yet, Of a story to tell,

Those expert biologists, Have vanished as well.

They’re all getting measured, For their brand new attire,

In jumpsuits of orange, Behind razor wire.

The big lesson here all, Is one of few words,

Be wary of experts, Who charge to count birds.





Dear Poets and faithful supporters of poetry,

Now in our 14th year of High School slams, the Mendocino County branch of California Poets In the Schools (with the generous support of MCOE, participating teachers, students, the Arena Theater and Matheson Performing Arts Center) are going to host two more this year! And since the slam season is approaching, it is that time when I write to you and ask if you will judge one of our upcoming 2014 HS poetry slams.

I am looking for two sets of judges — one set (preferably four judges) for the coast poetry slam/Poetry Out Loud finals in Point Arena, and another set (3-4 judges) for the Countywide event in Mendocino.

1)  The Coast Slam/Poetry Out Loud County Finals will take place on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at the Arena Theater in downtown Point Arena. The California Arts Council/NEA/CPITS sponsored Mendocino County Finals for Poetry Out Loud, the national youth poetry recitation contest will begin at 3:30 with four schools participating. The Coast HS slam will immediately follow.

2)  The Countywide Slam will take place on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 from 4-7:30pm at the Matheson Performing Arts Center on the Mendocino High School Campus. Five to six schools will participate.

Please email me if you have questions or to say “yes, I would love to judge!” And then let me know which slam you would like to help out with.  And if you can’t do it (actually, even if you can), please pass this email on to others you think might be willing to help us out.

Thank you and here's to another fabulous season of youth expression!

Blake More

Mendocino County CPITS area coordinator / 707/884-9189



Mighty Editor,

Have you ever considered that we have been oversold on the benefits of the tech age?

Just as Facebook has made a celebrity of every mundane American whose every action is worthy of broadcast, the National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen to write naked biopics of every last mundane American.

Well, did the Chinese curse say, “May you live in strange times”?

Nate Collins





Here's a website that can absolutely — empower — those in the nonprofit world: 

It's the California Department of Justice. If you click the link at the fourth bullet that reads “Click here to search for an organization instead of a person” — shezam! You're at the Registry of Charitable Trusts.

So let's say you want to check out KZYX. Type “Mendocino County Public Broadcasting” into the field titled “Organization Name”:” select CA as the State and hit the search button. This will take you to a menu of mostly raffle items. Hit the fourth item down marked “Charity. Kaboom! You've got ten years of KZYX financial statements. But it gets even better.

Scroll down to the category titled “Related Documents". The first item there is identified as “Founding Documents". This is the corporate charter for KZYX. No bylaws yet, but be patient. We'll get there.

The second to last item is marked “IRS Form 990 2012". Now click on that link.

Twenty-six pages of pure joy! Now scroll down to page twenty-six.

Note the statement, “No review (of form 990) was or will be conducted."? Okay. So I guess we're not supposed to see this.

Check out the next statement, “No documents available to the public.” Golly. We must be out of luck, right?

Wrong. Scroll back up to the bottom of page six, and look at item number eighteen.

"Section 6104 requires an organization to make all its Form 1023 (or 1024 if applicable), 990, and 990-T (501(c)(3)s only) available for public inspection. Indicate how you make these available. Check all that apply.” Do you notice all the blank boxes? I'll bet the KZYX board members didn't. Now scroll down to page seven. These are the KZYX board members. Now you know who to contact.

So how do you get the KZYX bylaws? With IRS Form 1023. Here's the blank form: 

Cruise on down to the next-to-last page titled “Form 1023 Checklist". Notice the eighth bullet point title, “Bylaws or other rules of operation and amendments". By law, this is what KZYX is — required — to provide to the public. The rules.

Contact each and every board member. Tell them to put Form 1023 on the KZYX website where it belongs. I will.

Scott Peterson




Dear Editors:

In a homophobic diatribe, Moishe (Marvin) Garson writes, “Homo means man, as in Uomo, homme, hombre.” Wrong. In Latin, homo means man. But in Greek, ὁμόϛ (homos) means “the same, common, joint.” Thus we have words such as “homogenized,” which means the milk is the same throughout, and “homonym,” which refers to words that sound the same. Masculine gender has nothing to do, linguistically, with homosexuality.

To Mr. Garson, I recommend Liddell and Scott’s Greek- English Lexicon.

Tim Miller

Lawrence, Kansas

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