Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Jan 15, 2014)


(Ukiah Daily Journal, June 1982)

Coast Supervisor Candidates Square Off On TV

by Charles Rappleye, Ukiah Daily Journal staff writer

Fifth District politics entered the modern age via coaxial cable last night when candidates for supervisor of Mendocino County's Fifth District squared off in the District's first televised debate.

But if the medium is new, the issues are tried and true. Bud Kamb and John Milvo challenged incumbent Norman de Vall on the County's for economic state, while de Vall emphasized his record on progressive housing codes and environmental protection.

"I don't want to pave Mendocino County from wall to wall, but we have a 20% unemployment rate, and we need to build our economic base," Kamb said.

Kamb said the Board of Supervisors has not done enough to attract new industry and jobs here. "The board seems to have a negative attitude. We've got to be aggressive. People from the outside with non-polluting industries have got to be made to feel welcome."

De Vall acknowledged the county faces "a recession, if not a depression," but cited high interest rates as the cause. "The board is creating studies, developing a one-stop permit desk, and working to lighten the load of government on private industry," he said.

Milvo said those efforts were inadequate. "Tulsa has an unemployment rate of 4% and Oklahoma City has a rate of 3.8%. Why? The reason is the government there is doing something, instead of talking about it."

Both Kamb, the front running challenger, and Milvo were challenged on their record by questions from a press panel.

Jim Sears of the Mendocino News Service hammered away at Kamb's development connections. A realtor, Kamb has been involved for years with prominent coast developers.

"People see you as a special interest candidate. Could you respond to that?" Sears asked.

"That's not correct," Kamb said. "I'm not a special interest. I've never pushed for development — I pushed for property rights. They are very important. … I supported the Peterson Project, the Bank of America (both controversial developments in the town of Mendocino) and I have one project. But that was developed over five years and unlike many in the county I had all my permits when I built. … I have no conflicts. My real estate partnership has been dissolved."

Kamb concluded with an odd reference to de Vall: "If I'm a developer, de Vall is a land and business baron."

"I didn't know I was so well off," the incumbent responded.

Rob Fowler of the Mendocino Beacon put them all on the spot with a question about funds for travel and expenses.

De Vall and supervisor Dan Hamburg were challenged by the County grand jury for expenses charged on a lobbying trip to Weaverville last year, and in another incident, de Vall was cited for double-billing by the county Auditor.

"It's not loose handling — it's an open policy," de Vall said.

On the double billing, he said, "There was an accounting error, and it was corrected immediately."

As for travel expenses, he said, "Supervisors should not be prohibited from effective representation."

Milvo pursued the topic. "The people should expect prudent and frugal representation. They should not tolerate junkets to Sacramento, to Weaverville, or to Washington."

Candidates touched on a broad range of issues over 2.5 hours of debate but Bud Kamb provided most of the highlights.

Kamb announced he would vigorously seek state and federal aid to "fight illegal marijuana," support aerial spraying of herbicides in certain cases and oppose incorporation for the town of Mendocino.

A number of questions on women's issues were revealing. Kamb opposed federal funding for abortions as did Milvo, while de Vall reiterated his support for Planned Parenthood funding.

On creation of a commission on the status of women, Kamb supported it, de Vall said he would look for cost-effectiveness, and Milvo said, "I could not support a commission on the status of women until we have a commission on the status of men."




  1. Indian Givers, Jack Weatherford
  2. Beyond the 100th Meridian, Wallace Stegner
  3. Desert Solitary, Edward Abbey
  4. The collected short stories of John Steinbeck
  5. Rabbit Boss, Thomas Sanchez
  6. Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner
  7. Hear that lonesome whistle blow, Dee Brown
  8. City of Quartz, Mike Davis
  9. Imperial San Francisco, Gray Brechin
  10. The World until Yesterday, Jared Diamond

Bruce Patterson

Prineville, Oregon



To Whom It May…

I must be having fun, the way time flies around here. Seems my subscription is expiring.

I've been getting the paper gratis and I hope you can see your way clear to renew my free subscription. I know I'm heavy but if you will please change the address to D-Dorm, not C-dorm. "Whoops" — memory's going!

I wanted to make mention about the use of pepper spray on inmates. Not just the nuts like they've been showing on TV. Naturally I can't say what goes on in all the penitentiaries. But at the prisons I've been to, I can tell you that I'd like to have the franchise on pepper spray because they now use "super soaker" to punish fighters, smartmouths, and the "general population." Whatever. And they really soak them too. For hours afterward people are choking and coughing. Some cry, scream, etc. etc. Everyone close by has red eyes and are hacking sputum for an hour or more. That stuff is bad news like it's meant to be used. But the way it's being used here the way some corrections officers use it is torture plain and simple. Maybe something to ask some of the fellows who write you about?

Pepper Spray Machine Gun
Pepper Spray Machine Gun

Anyway thanks for your time. And thanks for the paper. Everyone enjoys it and the views reflected in it.

Respect, friend,

William W. Keller






Kate Bender and the Cherryvale, Kansas murders were not the only past events that attracted Earl Smith's energetic attention. Smitty had been helpful in my investigation of the relationship between the egg laying mammal of Tasmania, the duckbill platypus, and the woolly mammoth, and it was always fun to talk to Smitty. So one day I drove down from Indian Ranch for a visit with Smitty in his Smittybago parked in Randburg.

Smitty's old bus was much as Bill Graves described it: jammed with copying machines and tape recorders and just enough room for a couple of chairs. It was not long before Smitty got into his then favorite subject, Amelia Earhart. Smitty was convinced that Toni Segar, hostess of the Burro Schmidt Tunnel in the El Paso Mountains was Amelia Eerhart, long thought to have perished in the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while trying to fly around the world pretty much along the equator. Not only had Amelia Earhart survived, but so had her navigator Fred Noonan. Unfortunately, Noonan had recently died of a heart attack at the springs in Lower Last Chance Canyon. I had met Toni a number of times and little did I know that Amelia Earhart had lent me a flashlight to explore the Burro Schmidt Tunnel. I told Smitty that I was amazed at this news and Smitty said he had prepared a taped lecture on the subject that would explain all and promptly turned on one of his large tape recorders. And Smitty almost as promptly reclined back in his chair and went to sleep.

Soon I was hearing the serial numbers of the two Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines and various airframe numbers of Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10 E, it seemed that Smitty had forgotten to rewind his recorder and I was in the middle or latter part of the lecture and only hearing the more technical results of Smitty's research. I was not hearing what had caused Smitty to reach his startling views on the survival of Amelia Earhart and the end of Fred Noonan.

I'd had a few beers before my visit with Smitty and so as I learned of the various technical features of a Lockheed Electra I was also getting an urgent call of nature. As I headed out and down the stairs of the old bus I was met by Smitty's very alert watchdog. The dog was changed near the door and apparently its job was to guard the entrance from those both going and coming. I tried to sweet talk the dog out of its aggressive attitude but with no results. So I was forced to wake up my slumbering host and ask for his assistance. A sharp command from Smitty did the job and I was able to quickly find a somewhat secluded location next to the bus and was able to relieve my uncomfortable situation.

I had an important business meeting scheduled with Don Connolly in Ballarat that day and so I had to say goodbye to Smitty without ever learning why he thought Toni Seger was Amelia Earhart or why Fred Noonan was hanging out in Last Chance Canyon. The next time I was in Randsburg I learned that Smitty and his wife had moved further east into the Mojave and I never saw him again. I wonder if Earl Smith's tapes are still around.

Harold Ericcson

Harbor City




I've been busy arguing. I argue in writing 70% and verbally 30%. The courts were no help as the legal system is broken, but I have been making progress by argument.

I argued the US Parole Commission into giving me a release date and then shortened that date by one year. I will continue arguing for one more year then another. It's set at June 2020 right now.

There is another argument I am engaged in about compassionate release. The morons I'm arguing with are appalling. I have enclosed an example.

May the new year keep you all and the AVA strong.


Paul Jorgensen

Bruceton Mills, West Virginia

PS. When I get out I may be a bit argumentative for awhile.




I particularly like to read the travel articles of William J. Hughes, the Myanmar adventures of Captain Rainbow's column, and, of course, Bruce McEwen's say. Actually, I read most of the AVA and look forward to Thursday's delivery in my mailbox.

Thank you.

Jennifer Wolfman

Fort Bragg




Epistemology, Bruce. You don't want to brag that you don't know what you're talking about, as when you admit that “I haven't listened to KZYX for years.” Sure, you can go on about it, and I'll listen as long as you buy the rounds, but who'll believe you? And if you rely on the Major's reports, what was it that he said — send turkeys to the Division, or send the Division to Turkey? You see the problem.


Gordy Black


Ed Reply: Can you speak up, Gordy? What's that about Episcopalians urinating on turkeys? You're not making a darn bit of sense, not that linear thought processes were ever your strong suit. By the way, an older lady recently went out of her way to tell me how grateful she was that you recently played the whole of Beethoven's 9th. “Needy as the poor guy is, I'll pass it along,” I said.




To the Editor:

Let's set the record straight. Who's the real culprit in this bypass fiasco? Is it the protesters who by Caltrans' tally sheet caused it to spend $4.6 million on police protection, or Caltrans itself, which is throwing close to $200 million of taxpayers dollars down the proverbial toilet?

In the mid '90s and again in 2007 the California Transportation Commission (CTC) offered Caltrans $60 million to build a two lane bypass around Willits to relieve congestion in town and get through truck traffic off Main Street. Both times, using fraud and intimidation, Caltrans District 1 insisted that only a four-lane freeway with I-5 sized interchanges could handle the traffic, that anything smaller would, by Caltrans' definition, be "functionally obsolete," and finally that the Federal Highway Administration wouldn't allow it to build a two-lane bypass. So, when California voters supported a statewide $20 billion transportation Bond Proposition, and again when federal stimulus money for transportation became available, Caltrans packaged its lies and sold them to the CTC. (The first $350 million request got pushed aside by competing projects elsewhere in the state, but construction money for the ultimate $200 million "phase 1" request was readily granted.) That's $140 million of our tax dollars wasted.

In the meantime, Caltrans had been on a mitigation property-buying spree in Little Lake Valley. Without any particular mitigation plan in mind and without any resource agency consultation, Caltrans purchased 2,000 acres of private land in the valley (allowing sellers to assume that current uses would remain unchanged) for about $16 million to $22 million, depending on which document you read. Approximately $16 million for right-of-way acquisition came from Mendocino County's discretionary transportation funds. Ultimately, the county spent close to $33 million to keep up with its mandatory match of Caltrans District 1's bloated Willits Bypass budget. Assuming a proportional match for a $60 million bypass, that's another $26 million of our tax dollars wasted.

The resource agencies were unwilling to accept mere change of ownership as "mitigation" for the environmental impacts of the Willits bypass (Hello Caltrans?). Caltrans was now faced with trying to come up with doing something on its newly acquired 2,000 acres, much of which was already functioning seasonal wetland, that would compensate for the loss of wetlands, thousands of feet of denuded stream channels, lost wildlife and rare plant habitat, the loss of 2,000 oaks and a recovering riparian forest. After years of trying to turn Caltrans' buying spree into a credible mitigation plan, a process whose costs remain hidden from the public, and with Caltrans continuing to refuse to shrink its bloated bypass, we have a "mitigation plan" with a price tag of close to $40 million. A serious and focused mitigation effort that began by avoiding impacts would likely have cost taxpayers a fraction of the current plan.

The grand total that Caltrans District 1's intransigence is costing the public? Do the math. The protesters did.

Ellen Drell




Dear Editor,

In reading your comments about the Damon Gardner shooting in Sacramento I can't say I agree with you on your assessment of the Sacramento City police investigation. I would say the police letting Gardner go was a questionable act but not the ongoing investigation. The Chief of Police is Sam Sommers. During my three years as Chairman of the Sacramento County Chapter of the ACLU, my experience with Chief Sommers who was then second in command of the police department was very positive. He is a top quality person and a straight shooter. He doesn't play games. We have a lot of gang related homicides and this type of case is not top priority. There will be a resolution to the case.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff




Dear Editor,

I noticed that one week after you railed against the loss of the benches next to the parking lot at 9th and Irving, they were replaced, and returned to their proper places. Since you clearly have such a powerful influence over the powers that be, I recommend that you focus your energies into any of the following suggestions:

1) End all U.S. imperial wars. Bring troops back from the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.

2) Identify and arrest war-mongers in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, and corporate communities that profit from wars, and who lobby for them. Outlaw war mongering.

3) Shut down our massive domestic prison programs, and imprison only those who commit violent crimes.

4) Disarm police departments and require police to live in the communities they patrol. End “paid administrative leave” for killing citizens. Stop all “internal police” investigations, and hire independent investigators to evaluate police crimes and misconduct.

5) Redefine immigration laws to allow "foreign" workers to become citizens.

6) Tax the rich and corporations heavily, and use the taxes raised to cover more equitable social security nationwide. Corporate tax loopholes should be ended.

7) Create universal, national health care.

8) Overturn Citizens United, and outlaw lobbying by corporations.

9) Plug all international tax loopholes, and require corporations who hire abroad to pay the same wages overseas as they pay workers in the US.

10) Mandate affordable public transportation.

11) Create nationwide mental health housing and institutions for addicts, and the homeless.

12) Delete all tax deductions for religion and religious activities.

13) Place the NSA under civilian control, and end the surveillance police state.

Good luck. Having the park benches back is a pleasure!

Luke Hiken

San Francisco



Memo of the Week

(MCN Listserve, Monday, January 13, 2014)

I wanted to start a new thread to address what Beth brought up about Christina Aanastad's application for the news position after the hurried departure of Paul Hanson.

Yes, she applied and was rejected by management in part because, as GM John Coate described to me, the example she submitted of her work, an interview with Rep. Jared Huffman, was an unacceptable piece of journalism. Though I have not personally heard the piece, his explanation implied to me that her line of questioning was too aggressive. The issue that I have seen time and again at KZYX when discussion of local news coverage comes up at the station is that current management and staff feel strongly that there is a zero tolerance policy for what they call "activist journalism." In their view, journalists who ask tough questions and demand accountability from our public servants are over the top, unacceptably controversial and thus unprofessional. While I understand that our local news should not be used as a soapbox to promote one political perspective or candidate over another, especially during an election cycle, it seems to me that one of the most important functions of the fourth estate is to bring into the public view the actions of public officials, thus ensuring these actions are for the public good and not personal gain. To do this, journalists are often required to ask tough questions that stir up controversy. This practice is frowned upon at KZYX.

Interestingly, this interview by Christina is used by KMUD, which produces the highest quality local news for a rural community radio station that I have ever heard, as an example of exemplary journalism when they train new volunteer journalists.

Yes, GM John Coate recently received a 10% raise from the current board of directors amounting to about 6k a year. He threatened to quit if he did not get it, just as he has made it clear that he will quit if the board attempts in any way to control the programming of the station. The board is mandated by its Mission to ensure that the stations programming and operational philosophy is controlled by the membership, not management, which is why they created the Programming Advisory Committee, designed to make programming choices based on the consensus of this group. This committee was never fully implemented by the current GM who later unilaterally pulled the policy paper from the stations corporate documents without the knowledge of the board, ensuring that he, and only he, make programming decisions at KZYX.

While the 6k could have been used to augment local news coverage at the station, it is interesting to note that there have been attempts in the past to do this at little or no expense. News Director David Brookshire attempted to implement a Community Journalism Project at at KZYX but cited lack of support from management and lack of "social capital" at KZYX for its failure. He went on to implement such an organization at KMUD shortly after leaving KZYX.

Also, Annie Esposito had cultivated a list of volunteer stringers while she was News Director. Unfortunately, this team was systematically decommissioned shortly after the current GM was hired. Apparently, these volunteers were too "activist" as well. I guess we are looking at a case of "no news is good news" at KZYX.

I could go on and on and on... The current board's response to these and the many other problems at KZYX has been to reduce the number of public meetings held this year to four, the bare minimum required by the by-laws. The only solution that I can see is to find people to run for the board who have the strength of character to stand up to this and take back control of the stations "programming and operational philosophy" as required by the Mission Statement. Currently, I have found someone to run for the at large seat as well as the Ft. Bragg seat but we are looking for someone from district 2, the Willits area, to run as well. If any of you know someone from this district who believes the station should follow its Mission Statement, and who holds the apparently "activist" notions that freedom of speech and diversity of opinion are positive qualities in a community radio station, please have them contact me at The deadline for application for this years election cycle is January 31, so the time for action is now.

Thank you,

Doug McKenty




Hi there-

I have to chime in with some of MY favorites!

1. Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo

2. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffennegger

3. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

4. Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle

5. The "Protector of the Small" series by Tamora Pierce

6. Laura Ingalls Wilder's books

7.The "Harry Potter" series by JK Rowling

8. Emmaline by Judith Rossner

9. The Cider House Rules by John Irving

10. Trinity by Leon Uris


Nancy MacLeod




Dear Anderson Valley,

Unfortunately, as of the end of December 2013 our Anel’s Restaurant in Boonville had to close. We had hoped to continue providing quality Mexican and American food to the Valley for reasonable prices, but over time the rising costs of keeping a small restaurant business open in the valley caught up with us.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed and appreciated our customers and the experience was worthwhile.

There’s a chance we’ll re-open again in some yet-to-be defined local form and location. So keep your eyes open!

But for now, thanks for your patronage and understanding.

Adios por ahora,

Anel, David & Lucero Dieleman






I want to start this letter by saying we have too much government in Washington, in Sacramento, in Ukiah and Anderson Valley. Right now Rossi Hardware can refuse service to anyone for any reason and you know what? Anyone can refuse to trade in Rossi Hardware for any reason. They might not like our religion, our politics, or the way we part our hair — a freedom we should guard, plus any freedoms. We should concentrate on less government in Anderson Valley. Government is a monopoly as I have said a zillion times which only brings higher prices and poorer service. Last year the state added a $100 fire fee per house. It wasn’t a choice like buying a fire extinguisher or a fire alarm. Now Mr. Darling of the CSD Board (which is not elected) want to pile more taxes and fees on everyone because he knows how you should live. Government lies to us all the time and we cannot do anything about it. Governor Brown says he has a balanced budget. He has not received much of the taxes until April 15, but because the stock market has gone up so much in 2013 he and his supposed experts think he is going to get lots more money, therefore we will have lots of funds for the 2014-2015 year to spend. It’s a fact that when the stock market has a super good year like 2013 it goes down or stays relatively the same the following years. Governor Brown knows this and when all that bigger revenue ain’t there he will have all kinds of excuses. So we have to raise taxes or fees. In other words he and his cohorts are lying and there is nothing we can do about it.

Incorporating this community will add more lies. Let me address some of Mr. Darling’s comments. As for the old rundown stores, I am sure the owner of those buildings would gladly accept a reasonable offer from Mr. Darling. Then he could fight the County to do something about them. that is with his own money, not an incorporated Valley’s money. Then we could build not just a latrine (toilet) but a lucrative building with all kinds of goodies like the building the state built for the Forestry station. Of course a much bigger police department. Give the fair all the money it needs and a multitude of other projects he thinks of. Then he says our Supervisor, Mr. Hamburg, does not live here so he doesn't know what we need especially since the County is loaded with money.

Emil Rossi


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *