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Letters (June 11, 2014)

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Last week a letter to the editor appeared in the Independent Coast Observer (ICO) in Point Arena and the AVA.

My letter was direct and to the point which was the board is telling the public the tales of woes they are currently having regarding the financial problems they are in which I am not sure which district isn't currently having the same difficulties. They are doing this so that they can unify the school district - the high school and the elementary school. Right now the books are kept separate.

What I found strange is that a member of the board (Leslie Bates — I didn't mention her name last time because I did not feel it necessary) stated at a campaign meeting (aired on our local radio station) at the end of the school year last year the board found $2 MILLION due to our great board being so “frugal”l in their “spending.”

ICO editor Steve McLaughlin believed he had to add a great informative editorial note to my letter stating the $2 million came from the board reserve. I knew where it came from because I was present at the meeting the board made resolutions to add monies to the reserve. However, the point was a board member outright lied to the public regarding how the monies came about. The money was doled out knowing they had a boiler in the high school 20 to 30 years old and now they are crying they can't pay to have it fixed! I am sure it needed to be fixed last year.

I found it very gratuitous for the editor to add his little piece of useless information and wondered why he believed it was perfectly fine that Trustee Bates should blatantly lie to the public without a blink of an eye and I am the one who should be admonished.

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Hold The Presses! Hold The Presses!

The scoop in Point Arena: after a closed door session of the Special Board Meeting it was announced Superintendent Cross would be the new principal of the high school. It is deja vu all over again as the new principal of the high school is also Matthew Strahl who moved his family from Southern California and has only been here one year! If he isn't able to obtain another job the board will have to buy out his contract.

They are planning to hire an interim superintendent until they can find a replacement. Cross is going to continue to be paid her current superintendent salary along with her current benefits! Yet, the board had to lay off some teachers, cut some teachers’ hours back and cut some classes back in the high school because they are currently having financial problems and because of this are pushing to unify the schools.

But ladies and gentleman, boys and girls — can you fathom what superintendent would move to the town of Point Arena for an interim position! I ask you — I ask you have they gone absolutely bonkers?! Maybe it's the water!

My thoughts only: Ms. Cross will want to become high school principal and superintendent and be paid more money. I wonder if she would be able to be gone every Friday as she has for the past two years! I bet you can't wait for the next installment of “As the Point Arena School District Board Goes Bonkers”!


Suzanne Rush


PS. At the first board meeting Principal Strahl attended he told the board and Superintendent Cross that he had placed two students in one of the three new internet programs at the high school. The then Board president DeWilder pointed his finger at him with lips at a sneer stating, “You are going to change the statistical outcome of the program.” The response I thought Strahl gave them was spot on when he stated, “My job of principal is to assure each and every student is educated and if a student has no class the same time the program is available to the student, they are going to be placed in it.” Cross's mouth dropped open and DeWilder's face turned beet red. I turned to the person next to me and stated, "It is a matter of time before he is gone." I wasn't far off!

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Letter to the editor,

Regarding the Willits bypass. Getting right to it.

The egregious arrogance of Caltrans is surpassed only by the craven complexity of our local government agencies allowing this mystifying abuse of the environment, the will of the people and logic.

It only makes sense in terms of increased profits and downright willful bullying of the people.

Does it make sense to have to go past Willits then backtrack to get to it? To destroy wetlands and violate state policy in the process? Does it makes sense to not have a Highway 20 exit, doing nothing to eliminate the present bottleneck enjoyed by those heading for the Coast?

Other places are rebuilding their wetlands; here we literally go out of our way to destroy the largest wetlands in Northern California and incidentally the water replenishing aquifers underneath.

All this in the advent of the California drought rendered by climate change.

Our willless, supine, ghouls and agency representatives were no match for the biggest contractor in United States and our own Caltrans is allowing this loss -- boondoggle.

It breaks my heart to imagine the flocks of migrating birds swirling around the colossal catastrophe swooping down to dry earth.

But wait, there's still hope. 32 acres are left that can be saved. A coalition has been formed that needs support in their David versus Goliath effort.

For more information check out the Save Little Lake Valley website.

I hope you will join with these heroic protesters who alone for so long have educated, us, kept the issue alive and kept the faith.

Susan Wertheimer


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Feedback on your shifting policies—

When I first read your announcement several weeks ago that the survival of the newsprint version of the Advertiser was going to require doubling the out-of-state subscription rate to $100, I decided that roughly a dollar a week was not so great a sacrifice and that I would go ahead renew in December when my current sub runs out. But then, when you quickly followed up with your decision to reduce the paper from twelve to ten pages, I reversed my decision. The extra dough AND the drastic reduction of column inches was more change than I was willing to accommodate. So, naturally, I was very glad to see the first edition restoring the twelve page format in my mailbox this morning. (Yes, it takes that long to get here. But I don't really mind the delay.) I take you at your word that you intend to do everything you can to carry on with the twelve page paper, and will happily renew in December at the new rate, if you are still delivering twelve pages when my current subscription runs out. I've enjoyed your paper for quite a long time now and although I know you won't be able to keep it up forever, I'm glad to see that we're not done quite yet.

Michael DeLang

Golden, Colorado

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To the Editor:

I for one, sure hope that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will adopt the three new policies for the county's libraries, developed by former County Librarian Mindy Kittay, the Mendocino County Library Advisory Board and the County Counsel's Office. It's past time to do something about this issue.

The street people that frequent the library have become a real problem. I'm not talking about the residents of the Buddy Eller Center either. The folks that stay at the BEC have access to showers and generally know how to follow rules and behave. I'm talking about the filthy bums who park their stolen shopping carts and dogs out front, and store their dirty camping gear inside the library.

I used to like going to the library. Not so much anymore. While at the library in the last few months, I have been cursed at, called names and been challenged to fight by some of these drugged up wretches of society. They seem to think that the library is there for them to hang out, use the bathroom for urinating down the drain in the floor, bathe and God knows what else. I doubt the stench in the bathroom will ever go away.

I miss the days at the library when you knew someone was next to you when they whispered, not because they smell so bad.

Mike McInerney


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Money in politics, left politics..more in response to Harry Reid—

If you look at the major media bastion of the liberal Democratic Party-linked (Greens, etc. are mainly just stalking horses for the Dems) conclave that runs most of what passes for the 'left' in the US, the 'public' radio realm, you'll find VERY few working people.

You'll find trust fund 'activists' who like to TALK about the working class and proletarian revolution there..

But actual working people aren't welcome in 'public' radio, in practice.

In rural Mendocino County, the local muckraking newspaper there often discusses their local 'public' station. The editor there knows most of them—this is a very rural area.

He regularly points out that very few, if any, of the Board of Directors at this station, KZYX, have, or have EVER had, anything like a normal job. Many are Democratic Party officeholders locally, many are local small business owners.

I'm sure if you were to survey the Board of Directors at other 'public' radio stations, you'd find the same thing.

As to the programmers...most people don't have the leisure to get to know staton management well enough to get a program of their own. Many of the programmers are friends of station management..and few of them have ever had a normal working career, either. Again, you'll find trust fund kids, wives of corporate executives, and the like.

Martin Pereira

San Francisco

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Dear Editor,

At 10:30 am every Saturday morning during the summer and into the fall, community members who volunteer for Hendy Woods Community, Inc., will lead interpretive walks. The walks begin at the Picnic Area. The walks are for visitors to Hendy Woods, for campers, and for residents of Anderson Valley and their family and friends. The walk leaders include Peggy Dart, Nancy Ippolito, Linda MacElwee, and Bill Sterling. We invite and encourage local folks to join us for an appreciative stroll in our amazingly diverse local Park.

Bill is currently preparing a first Junior Ranger program for Hendy Woods and hopes to develop a couple more. The State Department of Parks and Recreation sponsors the Junior Ranger program at many State parks. But there are no Junior Ranger programs at Hendy Woods currently. Would anyone else out there like to devise a program for the youngsters who come to the Park? If yes, please let Bill know at

Last year the Visitor Center depended on community volunteers to open and operate the Visitor Center. The same is true this year, but a paucity of volunteers has meant that the Visitor Center is open on a somewhat irregular basis if open at all. The Visitor Center needs volunteers most of all!

For Hendy Woods to thrive for campers, for visitors, for the staff, and for the Anderson Valley community, more community volunteers are needed who can provide time consistently and therefore more and more knowledgeably. Anyone who can devote a few hours or more a week should contact Shelly Englert, the volunteer coordinator for Hendy Woods Community, Inc., at

Sincerely yours,

Bill Sterling


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Dear Sen. Diane Feinstein:

Now that President Obama has stiffed you by failing to notify Congress before the prisoner swap, as required by law, perhaps you can now feel the pain and outrage of the 1 million Californians who had their health insurance plans canceled despite over two dozen assurances from Obama that we could keep our plans — period.

Breaking the law, breaking promises — whatever description you use, it amounts to various forms of the same thing. He is totally untrustworthy.

Ethan Jones

San Bruno

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Greetings and many respects to you. I saw your ad for a very cool AVA t-shirt. I have two logos. One is for Knight's Taxicab Service — "Need a cab? Call day or night."

I sure hope you can draw a chess piece knight better than I can.

My printer Lee Smith of S&S Printing, Taft, California made my business card. I wrote to him to get an original copy but have not received a reply yet. I don't even know if he's still alive. Also, they could be extremely mad at me for causing the death of my wife but they don't know she almost caused the death of our son.

The other logo is up in the right-hand corner here. Can you print these two logos on two different shirts? Also, can you advertise them on eBay or Craig's List or Angie's List or Facebook? Prepaid orders only please, Sell them for $26 for your trouble. Take the cost and overhead out and whatever profit is left take up 13% royalty from the profits. In turn I will give you a Bank of America deposit account with the fictitious business name Knight's Taxicab Service and its associate ROOAARR. My employee identification number is enclosed.

You can take a vested interest in my request. Instead of me being a hanger on, this is the opportunity to generate some funds for the causes mentioned including the AVA. Believe me it can work. You have the AVA legacy and Knight's taxi service and the legacy will live on for generation upon generation. The sale of these t-shirts will cover the cost of advertising slogans in ads and on the Internet with a campaign to raise funds to restart Knight's Taxicab Service3. One slogan would read: "Sponsor Knight's cab and support your cause." Sponsorships would start at $25,000 up to $300,000 and on up to $45 million. By doing this, 13% of the profit, the cab you sponsor is posted for your cause for the life of the taxicab service. If you support 13 taxis you get the full profit from the taxi after costs and overhead. One taxi based on the meter certified at a rate of $26 an hour would earn over $200,000 a year.

You would have full control over this taxicab service and bank account, all deposits and all expenditures. You can designate an employee and appoint that person as assistant to me. When money starts to come in for the sale of T-shirts, I actually will take 25¢ and up to 60¢ per second of taxi service which will be paid directly to the AVA. In turn the person you assign to me as my assistant will help design website domain advertising, organize packages and bookings, monitor website and do research.

It's as simple as that.

When the sponsorship pledges come in the assistant will go on assignment to put taxis in operation. For example, San Diego has 12 taxis, Los Angeles would have 12 taxis, San Francisco would have 12. That's three major city locations just there. Once this is in operation in full swing there could be 1800 taxis.

Let's say we start in one location like San Francisco. They need 15,000 taxis like in the 90s. We would put all 1800 taxes there or in Los Angeles. The point is, this will generate $377 million approximately, a ballpark figure of course, in one year. At 100% operation with all 1800 taxis in service there's a potential for $167 million or thereabouts and after costs and overhead there will be a profit of proximity to a $9 million or 13%.

As the taxis earn the funds that can fund ROOAARR which is the end of the line resulting in the spread of charity and goodwill. Taken together this will create 1-10,000 jobs and it could restart with you. No games, no scam, no con. This is an innovative way to fund your cause by sponsoring the Knight's Taxicab today. I would like to put 12 taxis in 150 major cities across the nation. That way there will be an office in each taxicab stand, all starting from the office headquarters of the AVA -- nationwide. Wherever there is an AVA newspaper a taxi will be right there. This will create many jobs.

I offer my salutations to the mentally downtrodden and a wish for a medical emergency room for the handicapped and those at the end of the line. Help feed the world. Support groups for every cause on earth. Who wouldn't want to be part of putting a smile on someone's heart and face? All you have to do is leave a line open for communication and once I gave you the bank account and letter of appointment of authority all I can do is offer consultation and advice. You would be the boss at the helm operating a taxi business which is no joke. Make sure you struggle for the place to be self-insured.

This actually means funds in a bank account just for insurance and a legal fund by contract. For example say a sponsorship budget comes in for $10,000 and is put in a bank account called administration general fund which covers cost and overhead. $15,000 goes into a bank account for equipment costs and from this account you buy taxis and associated equipment such as paint, meters, meter certifications, permits and inspections, signage, wipers, radio and radio service. This would be a fixed cost package coming to approximately $1000 per taxi. The assistant would go to one of the major cities in the state of California and get a hotel room, find an office, get utilities turned on and a phone, find local help in the taxi business, go to local auctions and get cars and convert them to taxis, and get them certified and inspected, insurance, a local business license and a fictitious name. That will put us in business. Then go to the next major city where the assistant would be an constant contact by computer.

So here's the organizational approach:

I would be the founder, Bruce Anderson would be re-cofounder and you would be reestablishing Knight's Taxi Service. Then there would be an executive assistant, a manager dispatcher, one on each shift, bilingual drivers assigned by seniority with a lead driver. And a two-day training course by the foreman.

The objective it is to make this viable and from the very start of the first taxi install ROOAARR as an associate of Knight's Taxicab Service and register it as a 501(c)4 foundation and c-9 legal clinic and a C-20 educational organization. We would need to work on the position of employment of course and prepare job descriptions, forms, applications and membership registrations. Simply take any form and standardize it and put our logo on top and get some uniforms. The form should be simple and easy to remember what form is for what purpose. I know and I realize I have given you a lot of detail here, but we are after the golden prize: the joy of goodwill.

One other thing. Since you are a vested party, if you invest any time or money to further the cause you should keep a record of it and rest assured I will give you my permission to buy a unit of life insurance. For about $10 a month for a $20,000 policy. Lincoln Heritage, Colonial Pen or even MetLife. Get one from each for a total of $60,000 of insurance. Would you like to sponsor a taxi from $25,000 and earn 13% interest on the profit? You get the tax break too. If I die during this process or anytime after you start the life insurance then the sales from the T-shirts allow you to continue to pay the life insurance policy from the account and not from your own pocket. Okay?

Now you know the gist of this endeavor. From time to time you can use the funds from the account to pay for my subscription to the AVA and maybe ads, especially if you run ads in the Chronicle or other magazines or social media.

All that's left now is to see if you are interested. And if you're willing to work with me. I would need the assistant to prepare logos for the t-shirts. What would that cost you? Also what's the cost of selling by advertising with a prepaid order? If the T-shirts sell that would be fine. If they don't sell them we would only be out the cost of two t-shirts and the superimposed logo design What is the cost of the advertising? Even if you're not interested you could tell me how much it would cost to make the AVA t-shirts with the logos? What what it cost you to advertise? Have you advertised the T-shirts online? How much? Please. Don't forget that you can't be always fan the flames only on both passions by making the right choice. This means you are on the right side of things. You'll know it when it brings joy, peace and a smile. Have a great day. We can do this.

Please assign a journalist to write the book on how to start a taxi service. He could be the assistant. This is a great deal for Mendocino County to bring back business, world integrity, hope, honesty, truth and peace. I suggest the t-shirt be blue with black logo or white with black logo. They should come in sizes 5X, 3X, XL, L, M or S. How much would a 5X cost?

Eddie Knight


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I have some news for John Sackowicz, Ukiah's self-anointed "people's tribune" and windbag-about-town, as well as for the misguided former members of Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl's unit should they happen across the AVA. Bergdahl was not responsible for the deaths of ANY American soldiers in Afghanistan. George W Bush and the neocons of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) were the culprits who orchestrated that war as well as the one on Iraq (while taking not a single casualty) followed by Barack Obama. They are responsible for all of the more than 2000 US soldiers who died fighting a war in a country that had never attacked the United States nor threatened to do so. All of these criminals are still at large.

Yet Sackowicz demands that Bergdahl be the one court-martialed.

Sackowicz, (in the June 4 AVA), is not only channeling serial war criminal, Sen.John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham but seems to be auditioning for a job with Fox News which has been leading the media attacks against Bergdahl. He apparently is unaware or doesn't care that the Taliban had absolutely nothing to do with the events of 9-11 and it was considered, until the US overthrew it, the recognized government of Afghanistan. The five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo and traded for Berghdahl were apparently part of that government or closely linked to it.

The Taliban, it should be recalled, offered to turn Osama Bin Laden over to the US if Washington could provide it with evidence that he was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The White House ignored the Taliban offer since Bush's PNAC buddies, with Dick Cheney in tow, had the "Pearl Harbor event" they were looking for and nothing was about to put the brakes on their launching the war for "Enduring Freedom."

The five Taliban officials were, in fact, not captured by US troops, but by Afghan warlords who turned them over to the US occupation forces. Those warlords had a reason to eliminate the Taliban which had nothing remotely to do with establishing a democratic Afghanistan or liberating its women. Their opium growing enterprises, prior to 2001, had been effectively shut down by the Taliban for a payment of a meager $40 million by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Today, thanks to US intervention in that country, opium production has reached record levels and the Afghan Taliban, ironically, has been one of the beneficiaries.

Bergdahl, from what we know, saw through the crap that Washington was slinging and what the US army was, in fact, doing in Afghanistan. Sackowicz, on the other hand, is still wallowing in it.

Jeff Blankfort


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Dear Friends,

Here I am, madly trying to get a couple of new paintings done. I want to be here painting, but I also want to be out in the garden, the weather is so beautiful! I was sick so much last winter, when I would have been painting, I was lying in bed unable to do anything. Some bloody flu that kept on coming back. I've got a show I've put together with 17 artists, plus me, up at the Odd Fellows in Mendocino.

I paint to please myself. I'm sure plenty of people say in disgust, “Oh, what's up with the ‘Bunny Pot’ thing? Bunny Pot visits the Oasis? Bunny Pot welcomes the Space Visitors?” But I love Bunny Pot, and the form of the dishes, and silverware, and flowers and colors… I still remember, 40 years ago right after finishing CCAC, a review by Thomas Albright in the Chronicle, of a show in San Francisco featuring four of my friends whose artwork I truly loved, especially Robs: (Robert McKenna, M. Louise Stanley, Steven Andreson and Rick Allen). The reviewer remarked that though these four artists had all been to art school, they did their best to hide the fact.

I suppose you could still say the same thing of me and my work. Anyway, it's a beautiful show, and even if you're not that fond of my work, there are plenty of other artists' work -- sculpture, drawings, jewelry, photography, furniture, ceramics, and of course, paintings!

Up June 5th -30th, 10:30am-5pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Artist's reception 2nd Saturday, June 14th, 5-7pm with beautiful live music and food to boot! Odd Fellows gallery, corner of Kasten and Ukiah Streets in Mendocino. We'd love to see you there!

Nancy MacLeod


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