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Letters (Apr 30, 2014)

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Winemaker Dinner - Anderson Valley Housing Association Thank You

The Anderson Valley Housing Association wants to extend thanks to all of the attendees that joined us at the Annual Winemaker Dinner hosted at Scharffenberger Cellars on Saturday, March 29th. As always, the dinner was an enjoyable and delicious event; all proceeds go into the AVHA’s general fund to keep the affordable housing projects in the Valley, owned and managed by the AVHA, well maintained inside and out and a source of pride to the 41 current residents and their families who occupy them.

We would like to give very special thanks to: Goldeneye Winery, MacPhail Family Wines, Scharffenberger Cellars

These wineries generously underwrote the entire event. Their participation and exemplary wines are what made this event possible.

Thank you for helping us make affordable housing a reality in Anderson Valley.


The Anderson Valley Housing Association Board of Directors — Deanna Apfel, Sara Fowler, Art Hatcher, Scott Pratt, William Sterling

PS. More information on the Anderson Valley Housing Association can be found at or by calling 707-895-3525. Donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. Anderson Valley Housing Association PO Box 341 Philo, CA 95466.

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Dear Editor,

Enough is enough!

For years I have listened to KZYX and contributed to the station. Of course, I have favorite programs. Everyone does. So, on balance, I was satisfied. I was satisfied in spite of the fact that some programs are monotonous in content and format. Who wants to listen to the same litany of opinions and music selections week after week, season after season? It is, I suppose, the nature of volunteer programming that some programs get stuck on a single track and cannot change. When the controversy surrounding one of the programmers became public, I concluded that indeed the station’s management had over stepped. One wants to think that eventually all involved can come to a sensible and inclusive accommodation and peace would again reign. Alas, the issue has simply festered and become a major divisive issue in the community. Whatever the merits of one side or another, it must be the management that seeks a solution, rather than simply digging in ones’ heels and alienating a segment of its constituency. Not so, it seems. The rhetoric and vitriol of the KZYX management and its coterie of fawning volunteer programmers is beneath the dignity one expects.

The last straw came for me this morning. For years, I have had to listen to one particular programmer who has one obsessive theme to pound away on, to the detriment of his own bias. Like so many others in America, I am concerned about the undue influence of the AIPAC lobby and the 66 years and counting stand-off between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. But for a program that is promoted as “Takes on the World” to obsess year-upon-year about it is simply over the top. Our world is indeed imperfect. There are around 200 nations on this planet, each with its problems, and some even have found a solution or two. And yet, what we get on this program is a ceaseless pounding away of a “bogey” state out to wipe out a neighbor. No good will come from programming that is monolithic in subject, theme, and content.

So, until the station begins to show reason and care for the common good of its listening audience, count me among the disaffected. As for the programmer I have had enough of, either begin to show some semblance of balance and regard for the world-at-large, or know that you are indeed one reason why some of us would rather listen to KMUD or not at all.


Franklin Graham, From the Deep End of the Pool, Navarro

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Letter to the Editor

An important Mental Health Board Laura’s Law meeting will be on Wednesday, May 7 from 1 to 3 pm, at 747 S. State St. Ukiah. Come if you can, and let your Supervisor know you want Laura’s Law. Laura’s Law is a successful program called Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) in 45 states. Counties save money in decreased hospitalization, incarceration and other costs when people with untreated severe mental illness receive a helping hand in their community. The Nevada County experience shows that half a million dollars is saved annually, and most of the people are grateful for the help and ask to stay in the program beyond the 6 months.

Presentations will be made by: Nevada County Mental Health Director Michael Heggerty; Judge Tom Anderson; Carol Stanchfield, Program Director; and John Buck, Executive Director of the non-profit Turning Point since 1976. They will talk about: the help received by people with untreated mental illness who are hospitalized and incarcerated over and over again, the money it saves, the simplicity of the program, and the grateful, mostly voluntary participation of the people.

Studies and data from states using AOT prove that it is effective in reducing the incidence and duration of hospitalization, homelessness, arrests and incarcerations, victimization, and violent episodes. AOT also increases treatment compliance and promotes long-term voluntary compliance, while reducing caregiver stress.

Sonya Nesch, Author of Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness, Comptche

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I have a subscription to the New Yorker magazine. I've had it for years. It's a Christmas gift each year. While I wouldn't want to do without. To see it each week in the mailbox is always uplifting, this remarkable publication arriving every week. Always seems impossible.

I'm writing, I guess, not to defend the New Yorker or refute any recent criticism of the New Yorker in the AVA. "I come to praise, not to argue." This week's issue (April 21) alone, a marvelous piece on the island of Lampedusa and Stonehenge. What's Lampedusa? That's what the New Yorker is here for. You want compassion, peace, politics and love, read this article. And in the same issue a short story (not a very good one) by an American literary master, Thomas McGuane, not from Manhattan or New England, but McLeod, Montana.

The New Yorkers left all the way politics is most comfortable. Its cover art always extraordinary, from farce to comment to flora to fauna.

I'm a native New Yorker, never expecting the magazine to be a local/vocal for all the ills or triumphs of Manhattan Island. What I expect are the unprecedented views into the world of fashion, religion, sports, politics, travel with their forever remarkable cartoons attached.

Their film critics can be a bit much. Food critics easy to hold. Book reviews to take your breath away, art reviews almost as fine as the art itself. Television/music/theater, always inspiring, myself always aspiring to have something, short story or poetry, published in the magazine (still/always trying). The New Yorker's poetry dumbfounds me, but still poetry.

William Hughes, Sacramento

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It's time for pro-aggressives to select a challenger to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries.

I suggest men's fashion trendsetter Efren Carrillo, current Sonoma County supervisor. With Hillary taking the moral high ground, his candidacy would trigger lively, interesting debates generating high fives from Hillary's hubby Bill.

While were at it, let's start a third-party insurgency with Leland Yee and Shrimp Boy Chow heading the "Patriot Party" ticket.

Uncle Sam is the biggest arms trafficker on the planet. Yee and Chow are not traitors, they're Patriots!

Politics should be fun, right?


Don Morris, Willits/Skunktown

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Anderson Valley Unified School District Board of Directors
P.O. Box 457, Boonville, CA 95415

Dear Board of Directors:

Because I've maintained the Anderson Valley Unified school bond money has been squandered and the top three highest paid employees of the district are overpaid, the taxpayers and the kids have been ripped off. In the interest of transparency, as the Obama Administration likes to say, and to prove my assertion is wrong, please provide the following information to the public in the Anderson Valley Advertiser:

Total amount borrowed by the bond.

Total amount that will have to be repaid including interest and when.

Where the money was spent, including architect fees, legal fees, other professionals fees and construction.

How much was paid to Anderson Valley contractors and craftsmen.

Names and total compensation of the three highest-paid employees of the Anderson Valley Unified School District including retirement, medical, vacation time, stipends or any other perks.

Yours Truly,

Nick Rossi, Boonville

Ed note: The school district and/or the Bond Oversight Committee should reply to these questions. AV Unified borrowed more than $15 million, which might be the total value of the school grounds if the land was divided into trailer park spaces, but this is a no-collateral deal and, ultimately, unwise, we thought and continue to think, especially after seeing the financial trouble Willits Unified got into when it borrowed more money than it could possibly pay back. Ever. Our oversight committee being more, ahem, alert than Willits,' our district is still obligated to the tune of about $31 mil. It will take years, decades, to pay this baby off at $60 per $100k of assessed value per year. 

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Recently a couple state senators were censured by the Democratic Party for bribery. How can this be? I was under the impression that the Supreme Corp (sic) jesters had legalized bribery by reaffirming that corporations are people and money is free speech. If so, isn't a contractor with a fistful of money really giving the senator his opinion?

If we are going back to calling this bribery and corporations are people, let's arrest a few.

Don Phillips, Manchester

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Dear AVA,

It's with regret that I allow my subscription to expire this year. The AVA has been inspiration and encouragement to me since the very first issue I picked up with stunned fingers already drunk on nine point type. (I was a teenager, alone and on foot, taking a rest at Indian Creek Campground on my way from San Francisco to Portland and I believe I first discovered the marvelous AVA along with 40 packs of tortillas at Lemons Market in Philo.)

But now I'm grown up and what am I doing subscribing to a paper from Mendocino County when I don't even subscribe to one in my own county? Sure, the AVA is more entertaining than the Red Bluff Daily News, as is a blank piece of paper, but how can I claim to give a damn when I know more about Mendo's Board of Supervisors than about my own? It's not acceptable. My hope is that a cold turkey withdrawal from the AVA will drive me into the arms, or at least onto the webpage, of some lesser local paper. It's not you, it's me. And it's for the best.

(And then, as if you were trying to make it easier for me, the announcement this week of the impending Great Abbreviation. Fellas, I'm sorry, but I could never love eight pages again, not after I've had twelve.)

Now I will never know what happens to Craig Stehr. I'll miss the outstanding environmental reporting of Will Parrish, the righteous passion of Pebbles Trippet, the timeless reliability of Turkey Vulture (like an animated fairy tale frozen on the frame where the hero sees his own reflection in a pool), and all the heartbreaking dispatches from prison. I will miss the weekly we're-all-still-human check-ins from Todd Walton and the terrier like courage of Malcolm Macdonald's unwavering focus on his place on earth. I'll somehow manage to live without knowing what Bruce McEwen thought of all the attorneys' outfits. (And oh -- could someone remind me whether Lewis Bedrock has ever slept with beautiful woman, in case I forget?)

The AVA calls itself America's Last Newspaper. For me, as a dirt streaked young girl backpacking through Philo, it was America's First.

With love,

Wolfgang Rougel, Cottonwood

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I too would gladly pay at least half again as much for the paper AVA in its current form. Yes, it's important to me as the source to stay informed of what's happening locally -- but it's that "other" content that makes the mind's meal well-balanced, delicious as well as nutritious. Walton! Patterson! The serialized memoirs of Larry Livermore and Jake Rohrer!

It's hard to imagine picking up a new AVA with the same anticipation if I knew none of these treats were to be found within. There was a time (during your editorial hiatus) that I almost cut my subscription -- only to find a beautiful column by Bruce Patterson in my last issue whereupon I promptly re-upped.

And though I'm no Luddite (a computer professional, in fact), the paper newspaper is a valued part of my household for spreading out over the breakfast table and for contemplating while, um, on the throne. Reading long content online is a chore.

Please reconsider!

Margo Nelson, Yorkville

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The editors of the Lake County Record-Bee think that a rehash of 40 years of slander and accusations is front page news ('Doc Hop Popped -- Again'), but my response is something they don't want to print. The only real news here is that after an investigation initiated by a complaint from an assistant DA in Butte County, the medical board has allowed me to continue medical practice with no effective limitations.

The "methamphetamine" supposedly found at my residence 20 years ago was apparently never tested, weighed, entered into evidence, or mentioned in testimony, and I was never charged with it. All those horrendous charges were resolved as a single misdemeanor with no jail time and no fine.

A more recent slander is the claim from law enforcement that my recommendation for medical cannabis is "no good," or carries "no weight." The lie has just been given to that in Ukiah Superior Court with a ruling that my patient can use the medical cannabis defense at trial.

On a more upbeat note, my band, freak clinic, will be playing in Upper Lake for the Wild West Strawberry Ice Cream Social at 2pm on Saturday, June 7, and for the summer concert series at 6pm the following Friday the 13th.

Milan L. Hopkins, MD, Upper Lake

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Women’s Justice Center, Attention: Marie De Santis
P.O. Box 7510, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Dear Marie De Santis:

I have reviewed your letter dated April 6, 2014 regarding the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office handling of a call at 195 Main St., Point Arena, on March 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM. I have reviewed the arrest report written by the deputy who arrested the suspect in this incident, as documented in Mendocino County Sheriff’s Report 2014-7906. I have also spoken with the involved deputies.

In summary, the deputies were called to an apartment because a male subject was trying to get in. When the deputies arrived they found the subject in the hallway and determined that he was too intoxicated to care for his own safety or the safety of others. This subject adamantly stated that he was at his own apartment (which was actually next door). The subject was immediately arrested by the deputies and he was booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

During the investigation, the deputies could not find anything more sinister than an intoxicated person mistakenly believing that he had walked home from the bar across the street and could not get into his own apartment. Nothing in this event indicated that the reporting party was in fear of immediate and present danger of domestic violence, child abuse, child abduction, stalking, elder abuse or dependent adult abuse. Therefore, an Emergency Protective Order was not offered to the reporting party. During the contact with a deputy the following day a relative of the reporting party was told that they could seek a temporary restraining order from the court and the process for doing so.

And lastly, to address your allegations that the deputies did not help the reporting party, I am compelled to point out that the first deputy arrived three minutes after being dispatched, the suspect was quickly located and arrested, and the reporting party did not directly interact with the suspect at all. Additionally, your final comment, “We ask that you immediately assign a competent officer to contact the women…” is inflammatory. This incident was handled quickly and appropriately by skilled and competent deputies. I take pride in the work by all the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies in their handling and investigation of all crimes but particularly in the thorough and sensitive handling of crimes against persons.

I do appreciate your concern and the work that you do, but in this matter, I do not believe that you had received all of the facts. If you feel that you would like to discuss this incident and/or the actions of the deputy, please do not hesitate to contact my assistant, Liz Evangelatos at 707-463-4085.

Sincerely, Thomas D. Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner

951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, California 95482

707-463-4411, Fax 707-468-3404

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Dear Editor,

The Supremes have descended from their ivory tower on Mount Olympus to effectively rendered the goal of racial equality through affirmative action dead. Unfortunately, this is not their only action against minorities. The lack of concern by Chief Justice Roberts and his fellow conservatives over the Jim Crow laws that are being enacted in states controlled by the GOP is appalling His scolding of Justice Sotomayor was pathetic and by.a person that went to a private school, Harvard College and Harvard Law School, cushy job at a D. C. law firm and spending a good part of his time on the public dole of the federal judiciary system. He doesn't have a clue about the overt and covert racism in this country. If there is to be a stop to this creeping racism by the states and the supremes racial minorites, the poor, and the marginalized need to get out and vote. Perhaps the time has come for a march on the Supreme Court.

In peace,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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To the Editor:

In response to the “Stop trying to stop Costco” letter to the editor on April 11. Take a drive down State Street from Boonville Road to the “Forks.” Count the number of empty storefronts. You speak fondly about Friedman's and Home Depot. Remember Ukiah Valley Lumber with their good product and knowledgeable staff? Envision all the sales that Costco will shift from our local economy. Think of the tire stores going out of business in Fort Bragg, Willits, and not just Ukiah. Will you buy a vacuum cleaner on State Street or whatever brand is stocked at Costco? Who will fix your Costco purchased vacuum cleaner, stereo, camera, computer?

I disagree with many of your assertions. I disagree that Ukiah will not survive unless we let some of these big box stores in. I disagree that Ukiah is losing money “because in order to shop, we are forced to go to Santa Rosa.”

The rest of the letter is more sycophant blather. Finally you threaten to move to another town, would you like help packing?

Humberto Fernandez, Ukiah

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Dear Editor,

I read Steve Heilig’s column in your April 16th issue titled “Vaccinate!” and would simply like to inform your readers that there are two sides to the story.

I recently read Andrew Wakefield’s book titled “Callous disregard : autism and vaccines -- the truth behind a tragedy.”

Up until I read this book, I had heard that Wakefield’s work leading him to suspect that vaccinations could cause intestinal disorders and/or autism had been proven wrong.

When I read his book I am now of the opinion that there is a real danger, which of course all agencies are eager to deny.

I had earlier read at least one book by parents who saw their normal child become autistic after a reaction to a vaccination.

It does seem apparent that the adverse reaction is had by only some children. Lots of children are vaccinated with no adverse results. But autism is such a major medical problem, and there is no question that it is increasing in this country, that I certainly understand parents who do not want their children vaccinated.

I would urge all your readers to read Wakefield’s book, then look at all the accusations, such as the online entry at, and then decide for yourself what to believe. As I remember, Wakefield wanted the UK government to not give three vaccinations at once, so there is a middle-ground solution.


Briana Burns, Black Earth, Wisconsin


Thanks for writing. Yes, there are "two sides" to each story, if one has no standards of scientific evidence - see evolution, climate change, chemical pollution, etc etc. I've read Wakefield's book too - reluctantly, but I felt I had to. Of course he'd strive mightily to defend himself, having had his publications withdrawn due to fraud, taken money from lawyers seeking to sue vaccine makers, lost his medical license and all credibility. To someone trained in epidemiology, his arguments were wholly self-serving and scientifically unconvincing. I'd suggest you look for more credible sources - now even Jenny McCarthy is saying she is pro-vaccine and didn't mean to say otherwise (a lie, but at least an admission of error).

Please consider that, since vaccination is such an effective and money-saving intervention, "big medicine" would actually make far more "profit" from all the severe illness that would need treating without it.

But more important, consider all the suffering and death that is avoided by making people more immune to those diseases.

All that said, yes, there are a relatively tiny number of bad reactions - but not autism - and altered vaccination schedules which many if not most authorities will now recommend or at least accede to, if for no other reason than to reassure parents who have been spooked by nonscientific fear-mongering. Whatever it takes to get kids vaccinated.

Steve Heilig, San Francisco

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To the Editor:

Recently, after 39 years of coaching basketball at Ukiah High, the coach was, in my opinion, let go because players and their parents spoke to the principal. This is usually because they feel they don't play as much as they should and feel they are better than others. I feel the community who don't know Coach Heath should know how dedicated he is.

He coached 12 years of boys Varsity Baseball (three championships and one co-championship); announced Varsity Football games for 23 years; took varsity boys basketball to Hawaii three times (six wins, no losses); had the team go to visit Pearl Harbor and attend the Aloha Classic annual college tournament; made NBL and/or NCS playoffs 18 of his 37 years; 23 of his former players have gone to coach at either the high school or college level and both Pomolita and Eagle Peak coaches played for Coach Heath - a testament to his positive influence on his players.

After 40 years of coaching and 36 years of teaching, and having been very dedicated to Ukiah High School students, he's let go by a man who has been in charge for nine months?

You traded a good JV coach (and a friend of Coach Heath) for a really good Varsity coach and his staff (excellent assistants Kevin Koch and Vaughn Pena).

Not very intelligent or very classy, and definitely a mistake. I don't think whining will make you a better player. Yes, Coach Heath is my brother and I am very proud of it.

Mike Heath, Ukiah

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Memo of the Week
Who's In Control Of The Water?
by Guiness McFadden

"Where has the water gone?" "Why is Lake Mendocino looking like a mudhole?" "Who's managing our water supplies?" "Who has made the bonehead decisions that have left us in such a terrible state?"

Who has the answers to these questions? Please read on.

A few facts: Lake Pillsbury, the primary source of water inflow to Lake Mendocino is full today, while Lake Mendocino is little more than a mudhole. In fact, the recent storms resulted in so much inflow to Pillsbury that PG&E, which operates the lake, had to open some dam gates and release excess water to prevent overtopping of Scott Dam. The result of that was that between March 31 and April 9 some 4,262 acre-feet of water that could have and should have been diverted through PG&E's powerhouse were instead sent down the Eel River. The total sent down the Eel River during that time was 21,056 acre feet.

The National Marine and Fisheries Service (NMFS) minimum flows in the Eel River fon that period is only 3,600 acre feet.

In the meantime, during this period the Potter Valley powerhouse was restricted to flows of between 13 cubic feet per second (cfs) and 45 cfs. The total released through PG&E's powerhouse during this period was 738 acre-feet.

Lake Mendocino at this time held some 47,000 acre-feet. Normally at this time of year the lake should hold about 70,000 acre-feet. So you can see that the 4,262 acre-feet would have been a significant benefit to the water supply.

Over the past two weeks intense discussions have taken place between Redwood Valley Community Water District (RVCWD), PG&E, Sonoma County Water Agency, California Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine and Fisheries Service (NMFS), Friends of the Eel River, Mendocino County's Inland Water and Power Commission, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about what to do about the desperate situation facing Redwood Valley, which gets its water from Lake Mendocino.

An emergency request was made by RVCWD to divert water through PG&E's powerhouse in Potter Valley to supply Redwood Valley with its needed water. There was general agreement among the participants that it was a good idea. FERC would be the agency to give final permission, and it wanted the consensus in writing from all of the participants. Everyone consented in writing except NMFS.

In a terse communication signed by the reigning bonehead zealot who is in charge of the NMFS' Santa Rosa office Dick Butler, NMFS stated that RVCWD's request, "does not qualify as an emergency."

Butler goes on to say that the excess flows from Scott Dam are important to the ecosystem of the Eel River. Unbelieveable! There was not a whit of concern for the 5,000 folks in Redwood Valley who will run out of water this summer. Aside from the fact that Butler reneged on his verbal agreement to pass the water through PG&E (and therefore his word is worthless), the NMFS dismissal of Redwood Valley's dire situation is cold-hearted, brutal and stupid beyond belief. It seems that the only thing he and his ilk put serious thought into is their upcoming pensions.

So, back to original questions: Where has the water gone? You can lay a great deal of the blame on the US Army Corps of Engineers which controls the water in Lake Mendocino, whose mandate is flood control, not water storage. They have hard and fast rules about timing of releases of water from the lake to prevent flooding during the normal winter storms Mendocino County experiences. The only trouble this year was the Corps apparently didn't look out their windows, or listen to weather reports that said we were in a drought. The Corps blindly made their releases in spite of strong evidence that the drought was real. That's why today the lake looks like a mud hole.

Congressman Jared Huffman is carrying a Bill in Congress to require the Corps to begin operating its responsibilities more in tune with modern weather prediction methods and more service to the people in the area of their dam. We should support his effort.

Who's managing our water supplies? That's a good question. Sonoma County Water Agency owns most of the water in Lake Mendocino, but it's not the only "manager." The Corps and California Fish and Wildlife also have a say in what releases are permitted, and they all have different agendas.

So far as water coming through the Potter Valley powerhouse and ultimately to Lake Mendocino is concerned, NMFS is the culprit. You might wonder how important is the water coming through the Potter Valley powerhouse to Lake Mendocino. Studies have shown that were it not for that water Lake Mendocino would go dry three out of every five years. NMFS stubbornly clings to their Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) which is anything but reasonable and prudent, which it uses as a guide to flows in the Eel and diversions through the Potter Valley powerhouse. The RPA is flawed. Parts that were hammered out over literally years of discussions that were in every draft were mysteriously removed from the final document, and have left a document that benefits no one, not even the fish.

What can we do?

1. We should demand that Lake Pillsbury and Lake Mendocino be operated as though they are important to each other. The way it is now, they might as well be 1,000 miles apart. Here we have a situation wherein Lake Pillsbury is full and Lake Mendocino is almost empty, with Redwood Valley facing the spector of cutting off water to its agricultural customers and domestic use will be limited to 50 gallons of water per person per day.

If the two lakes were operated sensibly as being inextricably bound for a common goal of fish protection and beneficial use for people, we wouldn't be in the sorry state that we are today, which can rightfully be called a "regulatory drought."

2. The mysteriously deleted sections of the RPA should be restored where they were intended and agreed upon by all parties in the relicensing negotiations. This would allow some of the uncontrolled water which flows from Scott Dam when its gates are open to be diverted to PG&E's powerhouse and thence to Lake Mendocino.

3. Have the managers who control things from NMFS use the brains God gave them to act with reason, sensitivity, and common sense.

4. Actively support Congressman Huffman's bill to haul the US Army Corps of Engineers into the 21st Century.

5. Demand information from these nameless faceless bureaucratic zealots whose mismanagement has adversely affected hundreds of thousands of people whose very lives depend on the water.

(Guiness McFadden is a Potter Valley resident and vineyard owner. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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On behalf of my entire family, I'm writing to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who helped make the memorial celebration for my dad, Bruce Hering, a wonderful event. Thanks to the AV Grange, Judy Basehore, Greg Krouse, Dave Martin, Brian Wood, and countless others for their time and energy. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 people showed up to share food, drink, and fond memories of Bruce. He would have loved it.

The only thing missing from that special day, which he would have wanted, was dancing. But — thanks to DJ Pete and the Grange Groove gang, we have the opportunity to make up for that. A special Grange Groove will be held in Bruce's honor this coming Monday, May 5th (what would have been his 79th birthday) at the Philo Grange. Although Bruce will not physically be there, we can all honor him by cutting loose and grooving with his memory. Nobody can dance quite like Bruce, but each of us, in our own way, can try! Potluck and music start at 7 pm.

Bruce Hering was a man who truly lived life to its fullest. He loved Anderson Valley and the community he was part of for more than 30 years. Thanks to everyone who helped him live the dream!

Diane Hering, Philo

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My name is Jimmy Evans. I am at present on the downhill side of a three-year sentence which I am serving at Solano State prison in Vacaville. My friend Joe Ballard has been getting your paper and has been passing it on to me after he reads it. Joe goes home on the morrow and I was hoping that you would start sending his copy to me. I don't have any money, but I lived in Philo from 1966-1967. I worked nights at the sawmill there and lived in a one-room cabin next to the store. I was 16 or 17 at the time.

I was reading your latest April 16 issue this evening and feel compelled to comment on the "My Story" article by Brett McFarland as told to Kym Kemp.

But first, a little personal background. My family moved from Texas to Laytonville in 1954. We lived in a cabin at Ben Mast's sawmill which was already shut down at the time. We lived next door to the Willis family who had a son named Bruce (not the movie star!) who was six months older than me. His dad felled timber (back in the "old growth" days -- mid-50s to early 60s -- and my dad drove a logging truck. I remember one time in the late 50s my dad got a ticket for a one-log load for being too high, too wide, too long and too heavy. It was written up in the Press Democrat at the time. This was back before the "off road" trucking days. As it turned out, me Bruce and I grew up together living very "insulated" lives in logging camps in northern California -- Hale's Grove, Bell Springs, etc. In Bell Springs we had a one-room school that taught first to eighth grade. Our teacher, Richard Matlock (who later became the principal of Laytonville elementary) boarded with our family and man could that guy put away the food! Anyway it was way before the marijuana days. We didn't have a TV until I was 10 years old and the only stations were way down in the Bay Area so we couldn't pick up much. As a consequence, we never were "brainwashed" by the media. I wish I could say the same about the education system of the day.

I never saw marijuana until I entered the military but when I smoked my first joint I realized what a wonderful medicine it was. You see, being raised in the mountains I was extremely active, you might say hyperactive, and was a living testament to the adage "haste makes waste." Pot slowed me down. I became a very devoted advocate to the benefits of Mary Jane. Having lived for many years under the influence of both I can testify to the truth of Benjamin Franklin's statement of 1700s: "There is more mischief in a gallon of alcohol than there is in a ton of opiates."

I feel like I'm rambling here (I have so much to say about so many things), so I will try to get to the point. Being a devoted advocate of legalizing marijuana for some 47 years now, I have suffered for the cause. I am a Vietnam veteran. After getting out of the service in November of 1971 my family had moved back to Odessa, Texas. So that is where I went. Back then the population numbered 80,000. It was the biggest town I had ever lived in. Before I left San Francisco I purchased to "lids" of marijuana for $6 each. You can barely close the bags. After I ran out I asked my sister and boyfriend who was born and raised in Odessa to help me find more pot. We drove all over town, some four hours, and all we could find was a one-finger bag that they wanted $12 for. I went nuts. "Are you out of your mind?!" These folks were bandidos and my sister's boyfriend barely got me out of there before they "cut off a piece of my liver." Come to find out, the narcotics task force had busted some 125 "street dealers" about two weeks before I came home. I later watched these people get ridiculous sentences. One guy got 958 years for possession of a few seeds. Another one that sticks in my mind to this day got 1138 years for 23 grams of marijuana! These sentences were later commuted, but not before they had served 8-9 years.

Well, me being who and what I am (I became a revolutionary after my Vietnamese vacation in 1968), I took $500 out of the bank and headed to the nearest town in Mexico which turned out to be a village across the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. Boquillas was the name of the village. That first trip I scored 10 kilograms for $50 each kilo. Therefore I bought 100 kilograms at a time so that I could get it for $30 per kilo. Pot was going for $90-$100 a pound on the streets. I was selling it for $50-$60 a pound. I've never been greedy about the marijuana. I just rebelled at the ridiculous draconian laws that kept it out of the hands of people who could benefit from its medicinal qualities. In six months the price of an ounce on the streets of Odessa was $8! Twice I was snitched off and busted, once with 149 pounds, another time with 47 pounds. Both times I did five years in Texas prisons. I came back out here in 2010. I have done four inside grows and one outside grow. The outside grow I averaged 2 pounds per plant. So I seriously question this guy McFarland saying that he only got 40 pounds from 40 plants. I mean, I grew in Lake County and he grew in Humboldt County which everyone knows has soil and climate much more suited to the cultivation of marijuana than Lake County. From what I see in that story of his, he is trying to downplay the amount of pot he grew while at the same time tooting his horn about all of his "public service." I submit that he has used your publication as a platform to garner sympathy for his legal problems. Yes, there are some "disclaimers" (I admit responsibility, etc.), but face it, the bottom line is he got greedy. Witness all the properties that he bought and rebuilt or it his vegetable gardens and so forth were an attempt to cover his illegal gardening.

Hey Brett, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime! There are two things in this world I can't stand: 1, a holding-out whore or 2. a crying-ass man. Stop your sniveling and man up.

Mr. Editor: I have some good stories of the old days. If you are interested I will submit some for publication. A good one I have is of me and Bruce Willis and the big flood of 1964!

Thank you,

Jimmy W. Evans, Vacaville


  1. Mark April 30, 2014

    Re: KZYX Takes on the World

    Yes, Franklin, the program reflects the arrogant ‘We ARE the World’ attitude of the liberal zionists in much of the media..even MORE arrogant in the ‘left’ media than they are in the NY Times. They only ‘Take ON’ those people that don’t follow their network’s line..!!

    For example, this programmer has used his somewhat ‘iconic’ status in ‘left’ media, and Donald Sterling-like Teflon immunity from criticism there, to systematically spread the slander that I’m some sort of ‘ADL agent’ for more than 20 years, including,at length, in the AVA Letters column.

    While the Palestine issue is SO suppressed in much of the media, that I don’t mind it being featured whenever possible, I sympathize with your weariness with the narrow obsessive treatment of the issue in this program–for example, insults against Noam Chomsky and other people the liberal zionist network doesn’t approve of.

  2. Larry Vance May 1, 2014

    Heilig doesn’t really address specific points in the critique of his pro-vaccination agit-prop.
    Reminds me of a conversation I had with a vet some years. After I showed him a Consumers’ Reports article on the dangers of overvaccination of pets, he laughed it off as just a one in a million thing. A few years later our cat was diagnosed with vaccine-induced sarcoma and after lengthy treatment at UC-Davis died. The second vet I originally took her to you said 1 in 2,000 cats died from overvaccination.
    A few years ago another vet told me it is now 1 in 200 years who die from this cause. Particularly those vaccinated in the nape of the neck instead of the hindlegs. Oh, and those annual shots are the bread & butter of most vet practices.
    Obviously the whole point of medical licensing is to insure a guild monopoly and enforce whatever the current ideological ‘wisdom’ is.
    Throwing in climate change as Heilig does is a red herring but it does show that this is at least as much a political issue as a medical one.
    No one has denied the existence of pollution, industrial or otherwise. A red herring.
    Evolution has plenty of flaws but I will take it over the Hebrew fairy tales of ancient times.
    Having a degree in epidemiology is not the same as being an MD.
    Aristotle debunked the argument from authority thousands of years ago.
    Sonya Nesch’s whitewashing of forcible imprisonment in the guise of ‘caregiving’ is a ruse for dictatorship going back from time immemorial. If you break the law you should be confined, if not, then not. Forced drugging with dangerous psycoactive drugs has adversely affected many and Big Pharma subsidizes psychiatry.
    Maybe the AVA needs to get a new crop of medical experts as the current ones are very unimpressive.

  3. heilig May 2, 2014

    Mr. Vance: Sorry about your cat (I love cats, and in fact have written about that in the AVA). Otherwise, though, what your vet told you, accurate or not, has nothing to do with the human vaccination issue; entire PR industries do exist to deny pollution’s health impacts, climate change, etc; Aristotle did no such thing, having lived long before real scientific expertise and authority existed; many doctors in fact lose money on vaccination due to the greedy insurance industry; most doctors get little-to-no training in epidemiology; and I do not hold myself out as a “medical expert,” as my training is in public health (if you want real medical expertise on this, see the “vaccination” info on the American Academy of Pediatrics site). I just believe in real evidence and research. Try it sometime. But thanks for writing anyway.

  4. Larry Vance May 2, 2014

    Mr. Heilig, Aristotle listed the Argument From Authority as one of the logical errors. He was up on the scientific research of his day and he would be the first to admit any errors if he was still with us.
    ‘Scientific expertise’ is an oxymoron as any real research reveals.
    Let’s take psychiatry and see what happened to the long established concepts of neurosis and homosexuality as diseases….they were both abolished by a vote by the APA back in the 70s. Which shows how little medical backing there was for both concepts.
    Then fluoridation, you were labeled a rightwing Birchite kook back in the 60s if you opposed but now it has been banned as a health menace in Sweden, Germany and other European social democracies.
    Second hand smoke’s alleged cause of 50,000 deaths in the US has been exposed as a fraud. The danger is entirely personal to the people that smoke.
    Global warming hysteria, be it for good, bad or mixed, has been challenged by many scientists and the big lie that “97%” endorse it has long been exposed as another made up fiction.
    Thomas Kuhn has long exposed the myth of science as a hard headed infallible in The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. They are as much subject to trends and fads as the soft sociological sciences.
    What my original vet told me was flatly wrong, a point you entirely evade. The ‘greedy’ insurance industry is what pays most doctors most of their income. Another not so small evasive insight on your part.
    Pediatric Academy, give me a break ! They have never uttered a word on 80 million US abortions since Roe V. Wade but get bent out of shape by 10,000 annual suicides by people using guns ! I’m in favor of abortion but the hypocrisy here is glaring !
    On vaccinations, some are good and some are not. I have not had a problem with them but other people have. As long as they are voluntary I say let people make their own choices.
    Glad you like cats but what is your position on animal research ? Obviously animals have enough in common with humans to just a huge research industry.
    Your next to last sentence is condescending and offensive but that is par for the course for apologists for the medical establishment.
    And socialized medicine, which we already have around 65%, would make things even worse by further compulsory spread of the erroneous trendy non-thought.

    • heilig May 2, 2014

      Mr. Vance: Thanks for writing again. You seem to be drawing upon some very questionable sources, and based upon your latest raft of demonstrably erroneous and extraneous misinformation on a wide range of topics, I must rest my case.

  5. Larry Vance May 2, 2014

    Well since Mr. Heilig doesn’t give any arguments in his response and gives no proof that “my” sources are discredited I’m content to just leave it at that.

    • heilig May 6, 2014

      Good judgment, Mr. Vance. For if you can’t engage in a reality-based discussion about a scientific issue without bringing in irrelevant fringe perspectives on fluoridation, animal research, abortion, homosexuality, tobacco, guns, ancient pre-scientific philosophers, and even poor cats, and then expect somebody to take the time to “prove” you wrong (when you most likely wouldn’t change your mind no matter what the evidence), nobody is going to want to engage with you. But I expect you already have experienced that reaction…

  6. Larry Vance May 7, 2014

    Mr. Heilig,

    You should have stopped when you were far behind.
    Making analogies is a respectable part of reasoned argument. The issues I brought up were not fringe.
    Fortunately you do not represent the human race nor is your perspective on the issues I listed above representative of many folks. You never defined ‘reality based’ so there is way of responding to you here. People who have something to argue with have done so many times with me. The ones who haven’t simply resort to nasty ad hominems and flee.
    No intellectual loss to any one.

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