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Letters (Mar 26, 2014)

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I grew up in Modesto, California, during the 60s. Like everyone else who survived that decade I was rocked by all the assassinations, political dirty tricks, and the Vietnam War. But my real first sense of skepticism began at the local level. It is only in my adult life that I recognize the importance of these first steps.

The first icon of truth to fall was TV. To see something on TV, especially a familiar place or person, was to achieve a sense of validity, an assurance that all was right with the world and it all made sense. Reality was validated by TV. TV was the American Dream shining from the altar in the dimmed living room vouchsafing its subjects the opportunity to see new cars, beautiful people and vacation spots. The object of my desire was Big Time Wrestling, my 13 year old vision of masculinity combining strength and brawn. My discomfiture arose due to the nature of TV broadcasting before cable. The TV signal went out like a radio signal from a broadcast tower (indeed, the FM radio band is located between TV channels six and seven. Most FM radios could get Channel 6 on the far left of the dial before the signals were digitized a few years ago.) There were two wrestling shows that could be received in Modesto. Friday evenings saw an hour wrestling from the Cow Palace in San Francisco. One highlight was a scantily clad Miss Wrestling who introduced each night's card. Saturday afternoons saw another hour of wrestling from somewhere in Sacramento. Each broadcast was live and the producers and directors seemed to think that each viewing market was distinct and separate with no overlap. This became painfully obvious one weekend when an Italian wrestler who was a "good guy" fell afoul of a "bad guy" who beat him up fiercely, so badly he had to be carried out of the ring. The doctor came out and listed a wide range of injuries and pronounced that he would not be able to wrestle again for weeks if not months.

Well. The next afternoon I saw a wrestling from Sacramento and who was one of the wrestlers? The same Italian guy who had been beaten up just the night before and would not be able to wrestle again for weeks! He looked to be in good shape; there was not a mark on him. No bruises or any other visible injuries. How could this be? Did the producers of the shows really think nobody would watch both shows? This disconnect forced me to realize that wrestling was a fraud with all the matches predetermined and all the throws, twists and pins were made by what amounted to accomplished actors following a script rather than athletes engaged in a genuine contest. I was upset at first but came to terms with this new reality and have had a healthy skepticism of TV ever since.

My next lesson in skepticism took place during my sophomore year in high school. A diplomat from the Soviet Union was scheduled to speak at an assembly. Jim Enochs, our political science teacher, spent the weeks prior to the assembly working with his classes on what the Soviet Union was like and formulating questions to ask. It seemed like a good chance to learn something of the wider world. The day of the assembly arrived and some 1200 students crammed into the gym. The diplomat was introduced to polite applause and we all listened intently. He had a copy of that morning's San Francisco Chronicle with him and he held it up reading that day's lurid headlines. His thick Russian accent was a little hard to follow but we made do. He built on these negative images and began to lambaste the USA as he extolled the virtues and superiority of the Soviet Union and communism. We all sat silently. This wasn't at all what we expected. Then he stopped, switched to perfect English and said he was not a Russian diplomat. He said he was from the CIA and was part of a program seeking to counter Soviet propaganda. The rest of his time was spent tearing down the Soviet Union and building up the USA. I remember Jim Enochs being outraged by this deception and there were complaints to the local school board but nothing came of this; it seems that everybody in the school system who had anything to do with this were all deceived as well, so it was hard to find anybody at the local level at which to direct one's ire. As the year wore on the question arose: If the Soviet Union was so bad why not simply tell the truth? If the CIA man was telling the truth, why the need to lie about his identity? If the CIA was willing to lie to a high school what other lies had they told? What about the rest of the government? Were they equally distrustful? I don't think these were questions the people behind this wanted to have asked.

This took place in the 1964-65 school year. Have any AVA readers heard of the program or experienced it? Jim Enochs later went on to become superintendent of schools for the county and I have always hoped that this incident made him a better administrator.

I have learned to have a healthy skepticism about what I see on TV and what the government tells me. I want to know the truth about things and I think all of us benefit from asking questions and listening to the answers.

Jon Potter


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"I see a time coming quickly when the requirements of everyday life will push us into incompetence and custodial care sooner. There was a while there when modern inventions were manageable for an older person. Telephones were simple. The TV had an on-off switch. Now you have to program microwave ovens and remote control devices and cable boxes; instructions are bewildering, electronic menus endless, and the paperwork you must do if you are going to stay in the game burgeons out of control: taxes, balance sheets, jungles of forms and insurance claims. The only possible upside to Alzheimer's that I can think of is that you are finally and forever free from having to do paperwork of any kind ever again."

From "Death in Slow Motion: A memoir of a daughter, her mother and the beast called Alzheimer's," by Eleanor Cooney

This is a great book. And you may want to use this is a fine quote.

Louise Mariana


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Greetings and salutations! Welcome to another San Francisco County Jail update fresh from a nonviolent convicted handle locked up in San Bruno. Yes, they got me. I was forced to accept a 90 day probation violation since my last letter, but that's a lot better than the year (gasp)! that my heartless probation officer was trying to push on me at my preliminary hearing. In the immortal words of Kurt Vonnegut: "So it goes."

Anyway, once again here are a couple lowlights of the incarceration situation for my friends in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California. After all, we gotta know what we are up against in the great prison state that we live in.

We are still starving in here and 2100 calories a day is still not enough to sustain the average adult male. I don't care what anyone says. I think that I speak for all of us inmates when I give a hearty thank you to all the kind folks who have been going to Icare/ and sending us a little love in the form of Top Ramen soups and potato chips. Charles Bukowski said that "The best way to find out who your friends are is to go to the hospital or jail." So if you've got a friend in jail make the highlight of their messed up week with a $20-$60 package. You can use your credit or debit card 24 hours a day worldwide. They also sell packages with art supplies and hygiene products that are a very a real commodity in here. You wouldn't think that some shampoo and a few colored pencils would be such a big deal until you are stuck with the cheapest institutional bar soaps and the three-inch golf pencil which is all that is provided. You even have to pay for paper beyond the four sheets a week that come for free.

In case you didn't know, solitary confinement is torture with some cruel and inhuman punishment thrown in for good measure. I was just busted with a contraband ballpoint pen (I kid you not) and I was thrown in the hole for 15 days of 24-hour lockup. I can't begin to explain how even a couple of weeks of isolation can really mess with a person's head. Fifteen days is the blink of an eye compared to the unconscionable suffering that human beings are subjected to in places like the "secure housing units" in prisons such as Pelican Bay for upwards of 15 years. Take a moment to think about that. Decade after decade in a 6' x 10' cell with only a sink and a metal toilet to keep you company. You don't even get a window to look outside. These "indeterminate" SHU sentences are given arbitrarily and the only way out is to "debrief" (snitch!) on your fellow inmates. Sounds a lot like some type of SS Gestapo tactics from the World War II Nazi holocaust if you ask me. One tiny bit of good news is that the recent prisoner hunger strikes have drawn much needed attention to these atrocities and the mainstream media has begun to report on the story. Contact Amnesty International or check out the San Francisco Bay View newspaper ( to find out how we can abolish solitary confinement!

That's all for now my friends. I will be out and about and back on my skateboard in about a month. Thanks for listening.

Jesse Diggs

San Francisco County Jail, San Bruno

PS. If my girlfriend is reading this, know that I love you and miss you more than words can describe. Sorry I'm not with you. I hope you can forgive me.

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Dear AVA,

A hearty and robustly heartfelt Boonville salute to you Sirrah!

I'm writing this to announce to any and all Anderson Valley residents, weekenders or others who may be a viewing with alarm the proliferation of the frost protection wind machines in and about the valley. I imagine they save water and the need for protection of the emerging vitis vinifera buds is a vital one. Also I imagine the cavitation from the blade edges is unavoidable. My issue with the machines is the apparent lack of muffling of the engines driving the blades.

My buddy from Redwood Valley told me these used to be numerous there and "the valley would roar." He expressed surprise at these machines' recent installations here saying, "I thought they were banned in Redwood Valley some time ago. I haven't heard them for years."

Basically, I'm asking if anyone is interested in meeting to begin a process of information gathering perhaps leading to some sort of action. The Sheriff says it is a "civil issue." I see it as an unnecessary "taking" from me/us of more of our quality of life.

Write to my post office box and if enough people are interested I will even get a phone again and a subscription to this publication.

Roger Hecht, PO Box 230, Philo, CA 95466

PS. I have a phone for now! 707/895-2060.

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Long time reader, first time writer.

Just wanted to send a quick “Thank You” to the kind people at Roederer and Lazy Creek Vineyards. I am a local contractor who normally wastes his mornings by sleeping in until 5:30. This laziness has caused me to miss out on all of the goings on around my home on Clow Ridge prior to that hour.

But lo and behold the aforementioned vineyards (and others, I am certain) have seen fit to give me cause to start my slothful days shortly after 0400. They have accomplished this through the use of several blast fans which in unison have the audible effect of a squadron of Huey Cobras hovering directly overhead. This I know is being done as frost protection during a drought year. Something normally accomplished through the rape of our watershed. But that is another matter entirely.

In addition, they have shown me the further kindness on occasion of allowing said fans to run well into the over-60 degree afternoons!

While I have been made to understand that civilization as we know it would come to a catastrophic halt in the absence of the fruit of the vine, I must ask, “Is there something I am missing?”

We have yet to experience a morning with temperatures below 34 degrees, the temperatures at which frost normally occurs. Even if we had, the temperature is most assuredly above 40 degrees shortly past sun-up.

But I digress. Again, a kindly “Thank You” to all our local vintners for giving me a look about my home in the wee small, albeit dark, hours!

Very Sincerely,

Robbie Lane

Clow Ridge, Philo

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In the following I will attempt a point-by-point refutation of the claims made in the AVA article about KZYX dated Thursday, 2-13-14. In general, the claims are vague and unsubstantiated, sometimes meaningless.

It was claimed that KZYX is dominated by Anderson Valley people. While I am not quite sure what “dominated” means in this context, I can say that two of the full-time staff live in the Anderson Valley, but the general manager and underwriting director live on the coast. No current member of the Board of Directors lives in the Anderson Valley and its Directors must represent the five different election districts in the county. Furthermore, about 75% of the programmers live outside the Anderson Valley. Most of the listener-members also live in cities and towns not in Anderson Valley. The station is not dominated by folks from any particular place in Mendocino County at all, let alone Anderson Valley.

It was also claimed that the station is organized “in a way that make it reform-proof,” because it has been stuffed with “unreconstructed hippies who can recite line by line every Grateful Dead song ever written” who have “about as much business running a radio station as they would operating a nuclear power plant.” This is a hyperbolic false analogy. A cursory look at the staff and programmer credentials clearly shows that the taste in music extends well beyond the Grateful Dead (one weekly, late-night show), as good as they may be, and we are not a bunch of “unreconstructed hippies,” whatever that might mean. The staff and programmer experience in radio broadcasting is extensive, by any measure. And one-third of the Board of Directors is elected by the membership in the station each and every year, and directors may serve no more than two consecutive terms. This provides a structural opportunity for regular reform possibilities. In fact, the board and senior management of the station have seen regular changeover in the station’s history. The possibility of reform is actually built in to the policies and structure of the organization.

No member of the Board of Directors has been denied access to the financial statements and records of the organization. They are available at all times during regular business hours at the Philo offices to any member of the Board. It is my understanding that the Board Treasurer has never asked to look at those books; and it is actually his responsibility to maintain those books as the Chief Financial Officer of MCPB, specified in the by-laws. On the other hand, the general manager provides updates on the station’s financial health in his regular reports to the board, which are published on the station’s Website for all to see. The line of credit is available to manage cash flows, which have only periodic infusions from pledge drives and other sources, and was completely paid off for eight out of twelve months in 2013, and is currently completely paid off. There has been no financial malfeasance whatsoever as implied.

Any full-time job openings would be posted, as required by law. The only recent “hires” have been part-time employees and paid contractors, which do not require public posting. No board meeting has been canceled in the last twelve months, period. The Board has scheduled all meetings in full communication and by consensus. As mentioned in the article and on the general manager’s blog posting, the license for KZYZ (91.5FM) has been renewed; the license for KZYX is under review, apparently due to a letter sent during the public comment period last year. We do not know anything more than that, because the FCC is not particularly forthcoming about their internal processes. I do not know why the article says that John’s blog post is misleading, and it does not clarify.

The Program Advisory Council has not been functioning for some time, and it is not mandated by the station’s by-laws. It was set up by a policy established in December, 2008. The difference between policies and by-laws is that by-law changes must be approved by the members, and policies are established by simple majority vote of the Board to guide it in its operations. The Program Advisory Council was strictly advisory in nature, and all decisions about programming remained the responsibility of the Program Manager. It was established to support the Program Manager, and it functioned for a few years but was not sustained. The Board will be reviewing it for potential action in the near future.

Staff salaries, other than the station general manager’s salary, are kept private both for the protection of the staff members, and as specifically allowed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (following the Privacy Act of 1974), from whom we receive a substantial part of our income. There is no violation of laws, by-laws, policy, or ethics in keeping these items private, and we are in fact in full compliance with requirements.

With regard to Ms. Massey’s statement of her experience of volunteering at the station, I can only say that I do not share her opinions about the general character of the staff, their commitments & professionalism, and the physical space. It is not clear why she felt the FCC would be interested in those things in any case.

Dr. Miller is in the process of working with the staff to have his program reinstated. We have numerous underwriters that are private businesses, but announcements about their underwriting support is unequivocally different than a programmer promoting his or her own business, and the FCC makes that distinction quite clear. Doug McKenty knows what he has to do to return to the air having successfully completed the grievance process (in which I participated), and the Open Lines program will be reinstated later this year.

In conclusion, as shown above, the article makes numerous false and misleading statements. KZYX is not in dire straits, not mismanaged, and continues to be well supported by its financially contributing members, volunteer staff, and listenership. While I have penned this epistle and am wholly responsible for it, at the time of submission a majority of my colleagues on the Board of Directors have expressed their support for its intention and content.

Stuart Campbell, KZYX listener-member; Consider This program host; Programmer-elected Board Member; College professor

Santa Rosa

Ed note: You could have saved us a lot of reading time, professor, by simply saying, “I have a program at KZYX, therefore KZYX management is flawless.” Appended here is John Sakowicz's explanation of his adventures trying to obtain, then decode, the station's budget: 

“The problem I have with the station's financials isn't about access, per se. The problem is the station inexplicably has three sets of financials. The station's audit is different from the station's tax returns which is different from the financial section of the generals manager's report. It's apples to oranges to bananas.

Comparisons are impossible.

Confirm this yourself. The budget lines items and budget categories are all different for the audit, tax returns, and general manager's report.

Check it out::


IRS Tax Return Form 990:

General Manger's Report:

Going just to the audit, it's impossible to determine what John Coate spends on salaries. The salaries budget line item is spliced and diced. It's like salaries have been run through a Cuisinart. Salaries are not consolidated as one, single budget line item. Instead, salaries are split up and allocated by various job duties and descriptions into ‘Program Services’ and ‘Supporting Services.’

Within Program Services, part of salaries are further split up a second time into ‘Programming and Production,’ ‘Broadcasting,’ and ‘Program Information and Production.’

Within Supporting Services, another part of salaries is split up yet a third time into ‘Management and General,’ ‘Fundraising and Membership Development,’ and ‘Underwriting and Grant Solicitation.’

This is crazy. It make the audit incomprehensible. And it begs the question: Why? Why does the audit hide what's spent on salaries?

Now, back to the access issue. I have no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that when Coate taps the station's line of credit at the Savings Bank of Mendocino County that the station's Board of Directors will not be informed in a timely manner.

Again, remember that Coate's predecessor, Belinda Rawlins, maxed out our line of credit at the bank before she flew the coop. She paid her salary for as long as she could. That's what was really important to her. Meanwhile, the Board slept, as has been its long, long history.”

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This is for those who are confused about the issues in the KZYX Board of Directors election.

There’s an article in the Fort Bragg Advocate-News, dated 3/6/2014, which might make things clearer. You can find it on-line.

Most of the other stuff I’ve read has been very opinionated (including items in this very publication — shocking!) but not always enlightening.

Members: Do vote!

Susan Tait


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As far as earthquakes are concerned I find the fear of fracking fallacious. Earthquakes are caused by the release of stress within the earth, stress that builds over time. If fracking causes release of that stress that means the energy released is less than what would be released eventually on the same fault. The Pacific Plate moves about 1.4 inches per year relative to the North American Plate, the plates are locked together along the San Andreas Fault until they are not--- resulting in the well-known and much feared Big One. In 1906 the northern portion of the San Andreas move as much as 21 feet laterally, an event known to history as the San Francisco Earthquake (and fire). At a rate of movement of 1.4 inch per year that means the time for the amount of stress to produce 21 feet of movement took 353 years. The result was an earthquake of about magnitude eight. There is evidence that the southern portion of the San Andreas has a shorter time period for a dangerous stress buildup. While there is no way to stop the movement of the plates along the San Andreas we could lubricate the fault through deep fluid injection wells and release stress in much smaller increments, instead of the Big One we could have many Little Ones that would do no harm. The same idea applies to fracking, stress along a fault will eventually result in an earthquake, with fracking we could say: Sooner is better, later is bigger.

Harold Ericsson

Harbor City

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Dear Anderson Valley Community

I am writing to ask for your help.

I have committed to walk in the AVON BREAST CANCER WALK in San Francisco on July 12th and July 13th. My goal is to raise at least $1800, so any donation will help. I first want to put out a huge thank you for all that have donated already.

If you want to donate on-line: and donate under my name Leola Montana. If you prefer to donate by check please call me 895-2150, as I have a coupon book to use. There is also a “bottle” at Lemon's Market for cash. (Thank you Lemon's Market!) Any amount any way is very very appreciated. I also will be personally donating half of all my Notary fees up to the day of the event.

If I can answer any questions please call me.


Lee (Leola) Montana 895-2150


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My name is Lydell Williams. I'm doing time in Mendocino County Jail. This jail is so sorry about feeding the inmates here. They really need to bring back the hot breakfasts. They feed the prisoners better than they do us low-security inmates in jail. We need something done about the nutrition here.

Lydell Williams


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One could say that Deputy Del Fiorentino lost his life fulfilling his oath to serve and protect. Who knows how many might have died had Chaney made it to town?

Try to imagine how many Chaneys there are roaming this gutted country. We can thank that bastard freak of the public relations industry, Ronald Reagan and his kind for destroying social services that used to contain a more manageable amount of sick minds.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who habitually vote Republican to keep Democrats from disarming them are the very ones responsible for helping create a sick society where one had better be armed?

Who created, built and sold the assault weapons in Chaney’s position? Who keeps fighting to let industry flood society with guns that any twisted unskilled shooter can do great harm with? Obviously, it’s the gun culture, though not all of them, and also it’s mainly Republicans. Could law enforcement ever come together across the land to ban military weapons? Have they even tried to?

Anyway, not to get off track. Guns don’t shoot themselves. If automatic rifles were not handy, Chaney would still have been the same sick man and could have done his deed with old technology. Clearly though the homicidal maniac can shift the odds in his favor to a degree that is truly evil magnified.

It is way too late to go back. The curse is out of the bottle. What will happen now is that the same industries which have profited by putting assault weapons into the hands of sick minds will be called upon to further militarize law enforcement, from drone planes to mass surveillance, It will be justified to increasingly militarize law enforcement as the society spins on out of control.

Who to blame? Chaney wasn’t a lone nut. He was the product of a very ill society. He was the byproduct, the pollution, the walking, talking runoff from business as usual. Personally, I hold Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Hollywood — and all the paid for lackeys in Washington responsible. They have destroyed America by the glorification of violence, by anti-social domestic policy, by offshoring jobs and wealth and by endless treasury draining through the Pentagon system of interventions in other lands.

America isn’t number 1 in anything worth bragging about. What good can possibly come from being the leader in arms sales while falling pathetically behind in areas that define a healthy, civilized society?

The sick bastard who killed our fine deputy was unfortunately not an altogether unlikely kind of human to result from our toxic society. Garbage in / Garbage out. Not to say his actions were excusable. But there are reasons people go bad. Poor culture, education, food, air, water and healthcare don’t help much.

We have all been victimized by the endless marketing of violence in the idiotic pop culture. We all suffer under the yoke of endless war making for the obscene profits of the few. Violence in / Violence out.

Welcome to the world of what comes around goes around. Frankenstein is good for all who make their living working for the growing police state. Monsters abound from the White House all the way down to the back alleys of Nutsville. Armies of Greed Inc.’s bastard monsters are everywhere with fuses sizzling in the wasteland where the center cannot hold and hope grows moldy.

The fat cat assholes who have sold America down the river should be forced to pay massive reparations and that’s the only thing that will save this broken country from the junkyard of history. Dream on!

Best of luck,

Marvin Blake


PS. Any head of any so-called public radio station who can’t embrace the community’s public newspaper is obviously a small-minded, petty jerk!

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I met Bobby Markels in 1967. She was the den mother of the new settlers of that era. She might have had a problem starting a fire in her stove but she could dance, write, teach, toke, act, guide, love and pray. She started the Mendocino Children's Fund and raised two great kids, Alex and Linda. She had young and old lovers. She provided the livingroom for the Caspar Flats Jug Band. She had a lot. She did a lot. She gave a lot. Bobby was the cream cheese, bagels and lox of life. The good.

Alan "Captain Saddam" Graham


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Editor & Publisher:

On East Oak Street and North Franklin Street today on the east side I walked past a small compact whose decals I stopped and copied on a used Priority Mail flat rate envelope: Respect the earth and all living creatures, plant fruit trees, no one is free when others are oppressed, endless war, magic happens, anticipate miracles, God favors no groups, religions do, speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

With my respect to the AVA, Jack London and Mark Twain, Sincerely,

Diana Wood Duck Vance of Deadtree


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Dear Turkey Vulture,

I was hoping you could help me solve a riddle. As you are widely and justly lauded for your wisdom on all matters pertaining to the Anderson Valley, perhaps you can tell me where exactly is the lowest point on Highway 253? I expect it is either on the Anderson Creek Bridge, or else the Robinson Creek Bridge. But I don’t know which.

Your research into this urgent question will be rewarded with the continued devotion of your big fan:

Bruce McEwen


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Dear Anderson Valley residents,

I’ve been the editor of the Anderson Valley Grange #669 Community Alliance Newsletter (AVGCAN) for many years now and am planning to retire this volunteer position. The final issue, spring 2014, is available at local cafes, hotels, markets, post offices and businesses. We have all enjoyed this newsletter for its calendar of events, local listing of meeting and clubs, as well as the listing of community services offered in our Valley.

I want to thank the Grange #669, the Fairgrounds and the local Chamber of Commerce for their support and assistance throughout the many years that the AVGCAN has been published and distributed for residents and visitors to Anderson Valley. These groups and numerous other private and public entities have all participated to make the newsletter a great networking and collaborative tool for everyone to use.

In the future, the AV Grange volunteer members plan to design a website and perhaps some of this information can be listed there for references to local services being provided to residents, visitors and “new comers” to our area. At this stage, the Grange website is in its research and design phase, so any content has not been decided upon yet.

I have found this newsletter project to be rewarding and helpful in meeting people that work, live and play in Anderson Valley. It would be great if someone else would like to take on this project, otherwise the newsletter will be on hiatus. I am grateful and appreciative to all of the wonderful folks that assisted me in creating the newsletter over the many years that it has been published and I want everyone to know that it takes real team spirit and community collaboration to accomplish such a project.

I’ll still be here, pursuing other volunteer and personal endeavors in Anderson Valley while enjoying some fun family time in our community. Thank you all, again, for the opportunity to serve the community in a useful way.


Suzy Miller, Anderson Valley resident

Coolville, CA

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The 4 mile section of Hwy 128 from Boonville to Philo is slowly digressing into the US Borax rutted trail, safe only for folks driving about 40 miles an hour or a 40 oxen cart. I witnessed a Caltrans vehicle straddling the road side; trying to avoid the deep pock marks. Do you think that driver reported the concern to his supervisors?

We challenged the mighty directors in Orange just after the roads were repaired on both sides of this 4 mile no CALTRANS zone a few years back. They said, “The projects were not funded to include that part of the road.” Isn't that their job? To get the total job done?  It's a major artery Caltrans and our tax dollars pay generously for you to get it right. A quick decisive action recently occurred with a “Rough Road” sign like the one that graces the sliding road on the way to Yorkville. It is logical there, where the road slides due slippery base rock. But the 4 miles between Boonville and Philo are flat solid ground. Our family has destroyed 2 good tires in those potholes on this major artery.  It is time to quit poking along and get it done, but hire a nonCaltrans crew to get it done right!

Greg Krouse


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I live near a vineyard. Ha!

Last week I was awake when the earthquake hit. At first I thought it was low blood sugar because I felt it in my body before I realized it was the ground and house shaking.

Each night recently I am drawn out of a deep sleep with a similar feeling. I just do deep breathing exercise for a few minute and I fall back asleep.

But tonight or this morning at 3:21am I realize why I’ve been waking up. And I’m angry. And not just for myself.

My waking with a slight panicky feeling each night correlates with the vineyard fans in my neighborhood.

I know we’re all just trying to make a living and doing our part to be thoughtful of resources in drought years, but expletive.

Tonight I am angry and thinking of all the people who have complained to me of this situation. About the people who are more sensitive than me: Babies, old people, insomniacs, people who work more and harder than me. Those people don’t have the luxury of staying up to write this letter.

It’s pollution. Expletive. There’s so much pollution in the world. We are lucky here. I live here to avoid pollution, and maybe that’s why this hits home for me, so to speak. I live in the country, far from town to specifically avoid noise made by humans. The radio is rarely on, I live alone, I work outside in the gardens. Mostly what I hear is nature. It feeds my soul.

I remember one of my friends was dying this year and she had the good fortune of having her favorite music around her. She felt blessed and honored for its solace. She asked if I felt close to music like this. We were out on her porch on a warm day, gazing across the fields. I said, “This is what I enjoy. The music of nature.” I know I am not alone.

Why do we do this to ourselves? For the sake of what? Not our souls. We don’t poison the world (we, ourselves, who try every day to stay healthy and keep our kids healthy) to save our souls. And our souls are all that count.

For some of you this may be overkill. But tonight at 3:21am, woken out of a sound sleep night after night, I am tired of my soul being beaten down. All of our souls.


Taunia Green


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