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Letters To The Editor



Regarding a couple of recent stories in the Journal; I drove down Mill Street today and took a look at those redwood trees in front of the Journal's building, in the opinion of this non-arborist tree hugger, I would have to agree with the opinion of that original arborist for the city; a trio of scragglier looking specimens of Sequoia Sempervirens I don't think I've ever seen. Clearly they are under stress from having virtually their whole root system covered with concrete and blacktop. Obviously they don't belong in the 4 foot strip of soil between curb and sidewalk. If you save them for another decade, they will only be that much more expensive to remove at that point. What is wrong with replacing them with trees that won’t eventually grow to 10 feet or more in diameter? When I read about the idea of The Journal relieving the city of responsibility for their care (including the purchase of an insurance policy to indemnify Ukiah from liability), it reminded me of the editor's explanation of why the paper could not afford to pay a dime to Tommy Wayne Kramer; something to the effect that any extra money that could be found would first be used to hike the pay of the Journal’s underpaid employees; and now the paper is considering shouldering this significant fiscal burden to save these trees which are obviously totally wrong for that loca­tion?!

I have the same situation at home, where I unwisely planted a redwood a few feet from my shop's back door. Now perhaps a foot in diameter and 50 feet tall, it is a problem; constantly raining duff on the corrugated metal roof, it will eventually destroy the building's foundation. As much as I enjoy its shade, I've got to cut it down sooner or later, and the longer I let it grow, the bigger and more complicated its removal will become. The same can be said for those three trees in front of the Journal's office.

Another item that made me chuckle when I read about it recently, was the umpteenth iteration of the City Council's inquiry about the status of the Palace Hotel; I wonder if the Journal simply cuts and pastes the same story from the last time that the hapless Ms. Laines appeared before the Council, perhaps updating times and dates etc.?

At what point will the Council finally face up to the fact that The Rapture is likely to happen long before the present ownership of the building is going to bring that decaying ruin back to life. It is simply self-evident that all of the work performed on the building thus far is simply wasted time and money and that the building's eventual fate will be complete demolition; whether in preparation for a new building, or to await someone with the plan and the resources to build something that might have the possibility of making some return on investment there. How about building the new court­house there?! Perhaps modeling it to look exactly the way it looks now, but with a modern seismic steel structure inside! I beseech the City Council to look at it and use their common sense; it’s obviously a total ruin and the city will eventually have to abate it! Let’s get on with it some time in this decade.



John Arteaga


PS. Having just observed the half-century mark of the assassination of JFK, don't you think that it is high time for the people of this country to begin to connect the dots and demand, at long last, that the government and the media desist from treating us all as if we are chil­dren, who have to be sheltered from unpleasant facts that might disturb us?

The coverage of this iconic anniversary was not any less annoying for its complete predictability; when NPR announces an interview with an author of a new book on the JFK assassination, I listen in hope of hearing some slight step outside of the boilerplate orthodoxy of what one MUST believe if one is to be considered a 'serious' or 'credible' talking head on NPR or any other major media outlet, only to soon have my hopes dashed by some new repackaging of the same preposterous account of this most critical event in the history of the collapse of democracy here in the ‘land of the free’.

Gore Vidal once said that American democracy was overthrown in a bloody coup on that day, 50 years ago, and that ever since then we have all been spoon-fed a choice of candidates preselected for their fealty to their masters in the military-industrial complex, who have always paid for their political careers, though nowa­days, in the post-Citizens United dystopia foisted upon us by a Supreme Court that is openly contemptuous of the Constitution, those politicians can be overtly bought and paid for by the well-capitalized forces of evil who constitute the unelected permanent government ruling over us all today.

Being one of the fortunate few nationwide who has the pleasure of residing somewhere where one has access to some of those all too rare dissenting voices willing to make the simple observation that the king, in fact, is not wearing any clothes, without fearing for their profession, or their standing in some community or other, people like the excellent historian Michael Parenti, those two-part, hour long lecture on the JFK assassination was presented on KZYX's Thursday afternoon 'TUC radio' program (and is available on the TUC site) or James Douglass, author of, “JFK and the Unspeakable,” who was interviewed by the indefatigable Jeff Blankfort on his Wednesday morning 'Takes on the World' KZYX radio program, provide we lucky, informed few with knowledge that is quite rare in most other US locales. I realize that we constitute a statistically insignificant subset of the US population, but I am, nonetheless, heartened by the fact that polls show that, despite a half-century of constant propa­ganda promoting the preposterous official story, and an almost complete blackout of the many voices who have done the research on that fateful day in Dallas, and who point out the many gaping holes in the official story, that a strong majority of Americans don't buy the Lee Harvey Oswald lone-nut story.

Some of the things I've learned during this last com­memorative week, of which I was previously unaware, strengthen the conspiracy case significantly, to this observer’s mind; the tapes and transcripts of LBJ's con­versations with J. Edgar Hoover, opining that, “we can't have all kinds of congressional investigations into this” or the makeup of the infamous Warren commission, including such 'disinterested parties' as the infamous Alan Dulles (perhaps the single person most responsi­ble for plunging our country into the Vietnam quag­mire); a riper collection of unreconstructed fascists could hardly have been assembled anywhere at any time. Earl Warren, later to become Supreme Court Chief Justice, had to be browbeaten into heading up this clown show by LBJ’s infamous arm twisting. He (LBJ) was basically implicated by the original conspiracy theorist, Jackie Kennedy, who refused to change her bloodstained clothes to attend LBJ's hurried swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One, saying, “I want them to see what they've done”

One needn't look beyond the Zapruder film footage to determine with complete certainty that Lee Harvey Oswald could not have fired the fatal shot; the grainy footage shows indisputably the red plume exiting JFK's head out onto the trunk of the limousine, where Jackie scrambles to retrieve a chunk of skull, later handed over at Parkland Hospital. Clearly, the book depository was to the rear of the limo, making it impossible for the blast to have come from that direction, yet somehow those with their hands on the levers of the mainstream media all decided to try to convince us that this obvious impossibility was, in fact, the case.

Along with the immediate disappearance of the limo as well as JFK's brain, as well as 1000 other deceptions and obfuscations (not to mention the untimely deaths of a great many of the closest eyewit­nesses), the many powerful interests who saw the dis­appearance of JFK as advantageous to their plans, were apparently working together in this monstrous crime against democracy.

The fact that this crime has never been fully investi­gated (even though the House Committee on Assassi­nations, seven years after the fact, DID decide that, 'the JFK assassination was likely due to some kind of conspiracy' (or words to that effect). This investigation resulted in a whole new round of mysterious untimely deaths, sometimes just hours after the deceased had been subpoenaed by the committee.

Why should we care about this crime of 50 years ago? Because its apparent success served as encour­agement and a template of sorts for the far greater crime committed on 9/11/2001. Surely, once it has been dem­onstrated that people can be convinced to disregard the evidence of their own eyes and ears and accept an offi­cial story that directly contradicts them, what can be done on one scale, can obviously be done on a much larger scale, with the right access to the society's opin­ion forming elites.

We can not investigate one without investigating the other, and the restoration of any kind of meaningful democracy in our great nation requires both. Will real investigations ever be done? Or will we continue on down the road to perdition we are currently trodding, with more and more intrusive 'intelligence gathering', fewer freedoms of all kinds, more senseless wars over which we have no say, and which only create more hatred of and danger for our country and our people? Only time will tell. I, along with many millions of others, would sure like to know the truth about these events. I just hope to live long enough to see some meaningful inquiry into them.




Let us now honor our local NIMBYs. As the county's ‘Right To Industry’ ordinance, Slaughterhouse plans, Bypass boondoggle, and Fukushima nuclear dis­aster are forcing themselves on Mendocino communi­ties, some will shrug their shoulders and others will bristle at those who dare raise their voices in alarm. But our local NIMBYs will not take any of it laying back or lying down.

Wendell Berry: “There’s a lot of scorn toward peo­ple who say, 'Not in my backyard,' but the not-in-my-backyard sentiment is one of the most valuable that we have. If enough people said, Not in my backyard,' these bad innovations wouldn’t be in anybody’s backyard. It’s your own backyard you’re required to protect because in doing so you’re defending everybody’s backyard. It is altogether healthy and salutary.”

The environmental movement was founded and built by NIMBYs. They responded to the chemical poi­soning and destruction of our shared natural environ­ment, first revealed by Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring, by opposing it in their own backyards, neigh­borhoods, watersheds, and communities. They took personal responsibility as good citizens do in a democ­racy because there are some things that should not be in anyone’s backyard or neighborhood. And those who are most motivated to stop them are those who are most immediately and locally affected. When someone says NIMBYs should just get out of the way, they are saying democracy should just get out of the way.

Now we know the original NIMBYs were right. The Ban the Bomb and Anti-Nuke NIMBY movements sprang up decades ago in response to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the insane idea of boiling water with nukes to produce electricity. Local NIMBYs stopped the Nukes here on our Mendocino coast, but they proliferated elsewhere. Sadly, as first Chernobyl and now Fukushima spread their deadly poisons throughout the earth's air, food and water — including plutonium, the deadliest substance known to human­kind — it is coming to our Pacific coast anyway, maiming and killing millions if not us all. (Please see


Dave Smith

Redwood Valley




After  Captain Fathom

To be or not to be, that is still the probing question which pops up occasionally from beneath the playing field of love and loving friendships.

To run the race in spite of bitter hostile weather. To stand one's ground while roundabout the mad world whirls.

To be at peace though bloody wars shellshock the earth. To still have faith when worldly goods evaporate into thin air.


Diego Donohoe

San Diego

PS. Wishing you and yours well this holiday season. Cheers.




Dear Editor,

I feel the need to share in a Christmas light display that I saw on Saturday night, December 15th, which is a gift to all Hopland residents, as well as any others who are out enjoying the Christmas light displays with their children.

As I turned onto Harrison Street in Hopland off of Highway 175. It was so exciting to see that there were several homes lit up. The children I had with me were thrilled. After all Santa and his reindeer would be here in eleven days!

Well, what to our wondering eyes did appear? — but the Hopland Fire Chief John Bartlett's house with two reindeer hung from it like they’d just been gutted. One of the children said, “Look auntie, two of Santa's reindeer are upside down!” Then his brother said, “It looks like they're bleeding with those red lights coming out of their mouths.” I couldn't believe what I was see­ing. The children were absolutely right. Hopland’s Fire Chief had two animated reindeer that were lit up and hanging upside down from the tree in his front yard. With red lights going through them coming out of their mouths as if they were bleeding. Sitting below the tree was a animated baby reindeer looking up at what appeared to be dead reindeers. It sickened me. I did my best to try and redirect the children's attention to another house as we drove by. The many other homes that were lit up were very beautiful and festive, and we thank all of Hopland’s residents for making it special.

Really though, Hopland’s Fire Chief having such a morbid display of lights in his front yard for all to see? As a role model and pillar of the community he has shown complete disrespect for the Christmas season and the joy and wonderment that it brings — as well as a complete smack in the face to all of Hopland’s resi­dents and many children who associate the Hopland fire department with Santa.

Finally, if you think that this has no lasting effect on the children I would like to share one more thing with you. As I was putting my nephews to bed after viewing the light displays, my four year old nephew said to me, “Auntie, why did Santa kill his reindeer? And how is he going to fly his sleigh to bring us presents?”

Thanks to the Chief of Hopland’s Fire department, visions of sugar plums will not be dancing in my chil­dren's heads tonight.


J.M. Craig






The AV Unity Club wishtes to thank the following for their donations to the Holiday Bazaar Raffle:

Breggo Cellars, Brutocao Cellars, Foursight Wines, Handley Cellars, Harmonique, Husch Vineyards, Meyer Family Cellars, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estates, Scharffenberger, Schoeneman Vineyard, Tou­louse Vineyards, Anderson Valley Breweing Co., Rookie-To Gallery, Shear Elegance, All That Good Stuff, AV Nursery, Apple Farm, Boont Berry Farm, Boonville Chocolate Shop, Buckhorn, Farmhouse Mer­cantile, Gowan’s Oak Tree, Jack’s Valley Store, Laughing Dog Books, Lauren’s Restaurant, Lemons’ Market, Libby’s Mexican Restaurant, Mosswood Mar­ket, Navarro General Store, Village Books, J. Olivanti, Beverly Dutra, Blanca Gresham Cleaning Services, Linda Newton, Gene Herr, The Puzzle People, Wally Hopkins, Janice’s Dolls & Things, Namcy Swehla, Stella Salo, Gypsy Spring, Judy Nelson and Valerie Hanelt.

Your contributions were truly appreciated.


AV Unity Club





Oh the weather outside is frightful but the vibe inside's delightful And since we've no place to go, Gimme snow! Gimme snow! Gimme snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping and I've brought some pills for popping. The lights are turned way down low. Gimme snow! Gimme snow! Gimme snow!

When we finally clinch goodnight, how I'll hate to a going out in the storm. But if you'll really treat me right, all the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying and my dear we're still good­buying. But as long as you love me so Gimme snow! Gimme snow! Gimme snow!


Don Morris,

"Holiday Classics from the Emerald Triangle


PS. Mendopia Glossary Additions

KZIP: Radio station KZYX (zero, zilch, zip)

KBUD: Radio station KMUD, Ganjaville

Ganjaville: Garberville, SoHum

SoHum: Southern Humboldt County (HumCo)

Laidbackville: Lauytonville

Swelliban: Mendopia Nice People with swell lives, swell incomes, swell homes, swell attitudes, swelled heads and swelled bellies.

Poshtunes: Ruling Swelliban elite

Hookiah: Ukiah

Crankpot Theme Park: Willits (Skunktown)

Mendopia Snorthouse: Mendocino County Courthouse

The Crapian Way: State Street, Ukiah





Well, I came from Pasadena with a paintbrush on my knee,

I was bound for Mendocina as an artsy wannabe,

I drove so much I lost my lunch,

The gas prices were high,

With fog so thick — and roads so slick, Leona! don’t you cry.

Oh! Leona, don’t you cry for me,

For I came from Pasadena with a paintbrush on my knee.

You said there was a Center oh, for artists such as me,

And all they need’s a little cash to raise some equity,

I raised so much I near went broke,

While no one else would try,

And then guess what — you took a cut, Leona! don’t you cry.

Oh! Leona, don’t you feel no shame,

I was stuck in Mendocina with a dollar to my name.

You said a Board did run the place, for members such as me,

And all they need’s a little time to set my money free,

I waited ‘til my hair turned gray,

And borrowed to get by,

And then offhand — you bought some land, Leona! don’t you cry.

Oh! Leona, you weren’t even through,

As a Mendocina renter I did give it all to you.

You said the Board was run by Rules, and that they were approved,

That deep inside the minute book, they’d never been removed,

I followed them precisely,

Your each and every rule,

And then you say — they were my way, Leona! I’m a fool.

Oh! Leona, on thin ice I did tread,

As a Mendocina outlaw with a target on my head.

You said there was no mortgage, and the bank account was full,

But then I found the tax returns, and saw through all that bull,

The lawyers all avoided me,

As did the CPAs,

The place went bust — I lost their trust, Leona! it’s no phase.

Oh! Leona, then I did turn back,

To my native Pasadena with a tin cup in my pack.

Well, I hitched my way to Booneville, and met some folks you see,

As it turns out they all got there — exactly just like me,

They’d all turned into farmers,

And not the kind who crush,

I took a clue — now I grow too, Leona! I am flush!

Oh! Leona, you have been so kind,

Now I’m bound for Mendocina with a brand new state of mind.

No more an artsy wannabe, I’m now a moneyed man,

I’ve also got your local Center’s mortgage in my hand,

With all the plans and permits,

For my new dispensary,

Forget the art — it’s like WalMart, Leona! by the sea.

Oh! Leona, don’t you cry for me,

For I’ve come to Mendocina with some ganja on my knee.






When is enough, enough? Never. Whether it's in the private sector or the government sector. Even Warren Buffett with his over $50 billion fortune or any gov­ernment sector — is it ever enough?

What happens in government is what the politicians say to their people: "We will give you more fire protec­tion," and the public says great. Or more police protec­tion and the public says great. Or more medical or more everything. The public always says great.

The problem is that most government actions are neces­sary, but they create nothing. They make jobs but create nothing. In the private sector. The wine industry creates line. Others create bread thereby creating supporting industries like fertilizer or flour for the wine and the bread.

Now we come to the point of what keeps them in bal­ance. When too much Wine or bread is produced the company slows down and they have to cut back or go out of business. Unfortunately, in government we have no competition value except to add other names such as fees, fines, bail  — all just plain taxes until they are a drag on those who produce things that we need. We have given away whatever competition we once had. In a private competitive world the best way to get ahead is to give the best product for the least money. In govern­ment the best way is to give the least product with the most money thereby creating bigger government.

How do we solve this?

We get rid of all government unions which by being a monopoly are illegal. We give the manager the right to hire and fire for any reason and we give who's ahead of the manager the right to fire and hire them for any rea­son all the way to the top.

Or we unionize all the businesses of Anderson Valley or Ukiah. And we figure out what a living wage is including vacation time, sick time, break time, mater­nity leave, all holidays, medical coverage, a certain return to the business and the costs of pensions. Now to make sure that we can generate all these funds for the living wage, everybody in these areas has to only buy from these businesses and if anyone breaks this law off to the pokey thus creating a perfect world.



Emil Rossi






Take the day, not the pay, have faith in puppies,

clean the car. I don’t know where or who you are,

but hope you make it. The breaks are not the breaks

they used to be. They say the chicks do love a scar.

I smelled the past at sunset, was conflicted, torn

between nostalgia, grief. I’ll get over it. I’m lucky.

It pays to live where the afflicted have a backdrop

ocean for amusement. They are powerless but plucky.

Open the bottle, pour the wine, come back to this

poem later. Ah. Better. Some have much less, or more.

The ones who really screwed the pooch sit stewed on

corners with their children, dogs, and cardboard

signs that say “Smiles are free,” “Out of gas money,”

"Travelers need a hand,” “Unique wire art for sale.”

I have faith in puppies, my luck’s holding for now.

Besides, (one hopes) surely they can’t put all of us in jail.


Lawrence Bullock

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor:

Recently there was a significant event in the General Assembly of the UN. The State of Palestine cast their first vote as a non-member state regarding a routine matter. Late last year the General Assembly by a wide margin and a no vote by the US approved upgrading the Palestinian Authority from an “entity” to “non-mem­ber” status. As a result the Palestinian Authority changed their name to the State of Palestine. Their new status allows them to vote on certain matters and to join certain international organizations. They joined UNESCO and the US, acting like a selfish spoiled child, stopped its contribution to UNESCO. Of course, the people who benefit from the programs are the ones who suffer because of the US's action. Now it looks like the State of Palestine may sign the Rome Statute (treaty) which would enable them to join the Interna­tional Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Such mem­bership would be of great concern to the US and Israel since Palestine could go to the ICC to bring charges against Israel resulting from various actions by Israel including the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza.


In peace,

James Updegraff


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