- Don’t Blame Sober Grad
- Mind Blowing
- Dissent Is Patriotic
- Trail’s Not Worth It
- Raise A Glass To Bleak
- The Great Liberal Failure
- Jock Notes
- Drought? What Drought?
- Who Is John Sakowicz?
- And Another Thing
- Out Of Balance
- Woof, Woof
DON’T BLAME SOBER GRAD
Dear Anonymous Child,
Just because you are 18, trust me, it hardly makes you an adult (even though 18 is classified as an adult) which is obvious from the ridiculous blog you wrote to the AVA and as a child had not guts to sign your name. Adults assume responsibility for their actions and your actions actually show just what an ignorant child you are. Can you legally drink at 18? Can you vote at 18? Unfortunately, one thing someone can do at 18 is join the service and die overseas in combat!
Action Network, as you state the ‘local grant whores,’ provides a much needed service to our community and ‘Sober Grad Night’ is just one of them which you are not being forced to attend but knowing your type you are going just for the “expensive prizes” which shows what a shallow person you may be! There are those students who would like to go to a party where drugs and alcohol are not the most important reason for going without being thought of as a freak. If you are not aware of all the great service provided by Action Network you really should contact them.
Also, Action Network provided over $352,000 a year to the Point Arena School District which was to be used for a program awareness called, “Teen Court.” This program was to be used to help with bullying in the school district. Yet, after receiving the grant money it was spent elsewhere within the district. The late Linda Crockett spent much of her own funds to continue this program because she believed it to be such an asset.
I suppose if a grad was killed and a truck totaled it would make it a different story or maybe not in your case. Anyone under the influence of an illegal substance and drives and would hurt themselves or possibly kill an innocent victim should get more than what the current law throws at them.
Party On — because once you've been around the block a few times you may see the light!
You know, I'm getting awful sick of John Sakowicz's tiresome nattering; his ongoing jihad against KZYX, seems to consist entirely of a bunch of picayune technical complaints with our fine public radio station, but what it obviously is about must be his male ego/pissing contest with the station's general manager, John Coate, who has performed heroically in saving the station from the ruinous financial position than it was in when he arrived.
If he were just another unhinged crank voicing his displeasure with the station in any and all available venues, he could simply be ignored the way various other unbalanced obsessives have been over the years, but Mr. Sakowicz is able to do real damage to this precious, struggling cultural asset; requiring the station to waste scarce fiscal resources on lawyers defending the station from his pointless but damaging attacks.
What blows my mind, after all his criticism of the station's leadership, is that Mr. Sakowicz still has a program on the air! It says an awful lot about how open they are to criticism that they permit this destructive antagonist to stay on the station’s airwaves, even as he constantly bashes KZYX leadership for being not open to criticism!
As annoying and counterproductive as I find Mr. Sakowicz's sniping at our county's essential listener supported cultural institution, I was absolutely floored by his recent letter to the editor; a screed against the recently rescued POW, Bowe Bergdahl. Before any inquiry is done into the circumstances under which he vanished five years ago, John S. is ready to jump aboard the right wing Republican knee-jerk response that would find fault with the second coming of Christ if Barack Obama had anything to do with it. It's as if he took part in one of Frank Luntz's weekly Republican propaganda talking point sessions, where the disingenuous, manipulative bumper sticker phrases of the week are generated, to be spouted mindlessly by all faithful Republicans across the land.
Given all of this, I really don't see why Mr. Sakowicz would ever want to darken the doorway of the KZYX studio, much less be welcome to. Though I have enjoyed his 'All about the Money' program in the past, at this point I would find it hard to take anything he has to say seriously.
DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC
With regard to John Arteaga's letter (AVA, June 11), I want to set the record straight. Everything I've said or done as a critic of KZYX has been done in good conscience — in good conscience, and only after serious consideration, and only after consulting counsel.
I'm sorry if Mr. Arteaga doesn't respect the right to dissent. I'm sorry if he doesn't respect openness, especially open debate, in all things. Someday, I'll share with the AVA readership an article I just pulled from being published. It's titled, “The New McCarthyism at Public Radio".
I understand that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) received my article and that it may be read into the record by someone other than myself at the CPB's next Board meeting on June 23-24 in Portland, Oregon.
Incidentally, held off publishing the article for now out of respect for the rest of the KZYX Board and John Coate.
As a matter related to openness, my guest on my radio show on KZYX on Friday, June 13, will be former FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson, who now teaches at the Iowa University School of Law. My second guest is Sarah Morris, who is senior policy counsel for the Open Policy Institute at the New America Foundation. The show is a follow-up on my last show about how big telecom is pricing net neutrality — the Open Internet — out of the market. I invited John Coate to co-host the show with me given his tech credentials. He can't do the show due to a prior commitment.
Also, former FCC Chairman Michael Copps is a confirmed guest for a future show, once the FCC starts to make rulings on net neutrality. I like Copps. A lot. He is a man of conscience. While at the FCC, he was the only commissioner to vote against the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast.
His lone dissenting vote was a good call by Copps. It was a vote against the continuing conglomeration of big media. In his dissent, Copps wrote, “This acquisition is simply too much, too big, too powerful, too lacking in benefit for American consumers and citizens.”
My point? Dissent has its place, Mr. Arteaga.
TRAIL’S NOT WORTH IT
I have lived in Anderson Valley for 35 years. Like many others before and since, I settled here for the rural charm, a lively society, and a relatively simple way of life. Since then there have been many changes beyond my control. While local businesses may favor more wineries and the resulting tourism, many residents do not favor that and wish for simpler times. I recognize that some changes are inevitable and beyond my control, but I feel that the proposal for bike paths through the valley is something that citizens might speak out effectively against.
On its surface the plan seems wonderful; who wouldn’t favor being able to ride a bicycle anywhere in the valley in safe designated lanes? I would use them myself. But I do not want them here for several reasons:
First, and most importantly, the huge number of trees that will have to be removed in the valley will doom the shady beauty of highway 128. For better or worse Highway 128 is the established traffic corridor we all use, and the cuts and fills created to make the original highway have had generations to heal and support many hundreds of trees that shade and define the route. Making new cuts and fills along sections of the highway, and adding parking lots or “staging areas”, including public restrooms and related amenities, will alter the ecology and forever diminish its beauty.
Secondly, the towns in the valley will see substantial changes including designated parking, new sidewalks, widened shoulders, lane striping and new signage. Yorkville, Boonville, Philo and Navarro will all become more defined by the highway and the new changes, and lose more of the simple charm of real towns.
Thirdly, there is enough tourism here already. Planning for our valley shouldn’t be an open ended pursuit of more tourism. A tourist economy diminishes a place’s original importance and charm in exchange for economic benefit. A little bit of it might be okay. But a runaway tourist economy in this valley threatens to leach away its real essence and leave it with no soul. A formal bike path system installed here will almost certainly draw a large number of people to the area year round (coming, of course, in their cars) to enjoy the trails. One or more businesses will start up here renting bicycles and organizing tours.
As beautiful as the idea seems at first, when one considers the impacts to Anderson Valley and its residents it clearly is not worth it.
I hope the public comment deadline will be extended since many people seem unaware of it. Send your comments to: email@example.com
RAISE A GLASS TO BLEAK
I read Will Parrish's article of edition June 4 on “the Politics of the World's Most Hydrologically Altered Landmass” three times:
Once to myself,
Once to my wife,
And Once to a glass of water
And all three of us agree that as a state, we are screwed.
THE GREAT LIBERAL FAILURE
Iraq is in a downward spiral? Really, well isn't that part of the script? Destabilization followed by occupation followed by further destabilization.
What do you call someone that tweets? A twat? What is it with the latest twitter craze? Don't people who use twitter have expensive phones with even more expensive service? Then why are these twats going apeshit hunting for a possible hundred bucks cast away by some greedy ass millionaire laughing at seriously are you kidding, $100 buckaroos, people are going apeshit over a hundred bucks which couldn't last a homeless dude more than a day or two in Baghdad by the bay, or pay for what a months worth of tweets and phone calls for these twats, if they're lucky? What faux generosity on display and the dip-shit media and dumbass Americans eat it up.
Jerry Brown appears to be the Teflon Governor, a man of unassailable austerity measures for the masses. A stern functionary of the Democratic Party with boogie-woogie counterculture feel-good community roots. A very reptilian individual indeed. A seasoned career politician he still has that New York Italian grimy feel when you meet him, (was that his get tough phase to distance himself from his past radical rhetoric) but he's not from New York and neither is he Italian so what was that gangster feeling I got from him? Aha, he's Irish/German with some real power, a thorough and official gangster feel all to familiar to a Chicago kid such as I. Well as they say, the greater the wealth and power the greater shall be the judgment.
The US Mexico border is a human catastrophe and should be challenged by the International body. As if that means anything anymore. Again the one with the upper hand needs to make the gesture. As far as the US flag is concerned I recall a recent quote as to the flag being present at many of the savage massacres of the indigenous population, and indeed this is true. Which brings me to a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed, Lincoln.
I heard it was extremely boring and long but come to find out it was a joy to watch someone act out words that I recalled reading from Lincoln back in school. In a great quote from the movie Daniel Day-Lewis (playing President Lincoln) says, “The part assigned to me is to raise the flag which, if there be no fault in the machinery, I will do. And, when up, it shall be for the people to keep it up. That's my speech.”
Which raises some great questions about what the flag did in fact mean at that specific time. Did Lincoln these words in the context of bringing black people into greater inclusion and equality in the United States and if so does the flag represent a different context here other than war and genocide? Any Hollywood movie is bound to have some historical blunders but all in all the consensus is that Spielberg did a good job and I say the movie is a joy if you like Lincoln.
Gun violence in the US nowadays? Now its being fueled by drugs and social isolation, wealth and social media?!? It's still all sameness and separation. Sameness and separation cause the angst in this society fueled by unfulfilled desires. Everyone is forced to be the fuckin same eat the same shit do the same shit like the same shit (more than ever), and everyone is completely fuckin’ separated in every way possible.
Whether it's desiring too much or in fact having too much powerlessness corrupts as much as power does so they said before so perhaps we're now back to power corrupting as much as powerlessness?
Emptying of aquifers, oil drilling and fracking all cause earthquakes we now know, and the Teflon Governor wants to bring safe fracking to a desert valley near you?!? The earthquakes are patterning across southern California this spring. Everyone’s a bit antsy. Well aren't earthquakes a focal point of any millenarian thought? Feeling a bit apocalyptic, are we?
I agree with the AVA on most public observations such as the one that the Great Liberal Failure was permitted office these past six years to pave the way for some retrench neo-liberal saviour or some great rightwing takeover in the next switchout. People get ready for more of the same.
The philosophical consequences of this all? Proof that mankind is not progressing as told by the Great Liberal Myth but rather regressing. Yes, the people of the past were better than us. There was a Golden Age. The mass of us are headed straight down the toilet in this modern construct.
What is hidden from us in the Age of Darkness we are in, the Kali-Yuga, the final phase, what is hidden will become visible again with the beginning of the new cycle. This much we know.
PS. Don't forget the excellent radical rhetoric (to be honest songs about love and other things as well) of at least 18 Jamaican artists will be on full display in international musical style at the Mendo Fairgrounds June 20-22 at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival aka Boomsville Reggae Festy.
There is nobody on this Earth more pleased by that which has transpired in Miami than I. Fans leaving early. Fans booing their home team. Morally bereft fans incapable of knowing the value of commitment, the value in loss. Fans not worthy of victory. The cult of three amigos coming together to “do this thing” irrespective of community allegiances. What’s the difference between San Antonio and Cleveland? Is the River Walk that much better than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Too cold, how about Chicago? How satisfying would it have been for LeBron to win with Anderson Varejo? How great that hug? How great to have truly been able to say this win is for my people? Is Bob Lanier or Dave Bing any less great because they never won a championship? Do these twelve-deep Spurs remind one of the eleven-deep 75 Warriors? In some ways yes, but even better. The Spurs don’t have a prima donna, albeit a prima donna who personified the purity of basketball, as a leader. The Spurs are selfless alpha dogs sharing one heart, one goal. And when one became lost in the self, as Leonard did for a brief moment in game three, it was so obvious that he immediately saw the erring in his way. Long live Red on Roundball! The Big Three is not a team. The Big Three cannot fill the four chambers of a heart.
There are a number of Martin Pereiras who will appear on your computer screen when you Google his name as well as images that can be found for Martin Pereira, a signatory to a letter in the June 11th AVA blasting the Democrats, KZYX and public radio, in general. None of them are of the letter writer because it just happens to be the latest pseudonym of our old agent-provocateur/friend and likely ADL freelancer, Marc Richey. (Curiously, he looks remarkably like Bernie Goetz, the subway killer of yesteryear.)
I outed him the other day when he posted one of his usual off the wall and off topic screeds on an "anti-intervention in Syria" discussion list that had nothing to do with Syria but took those on the list to task for not taking on enemies closer to home which included his all-time favorite target, the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) in Berkeley that for the past 25 years has, from what I have seen, done more good work for the Palestinian cause in the Bay Area than any other organization I'm aware of including those run by Palestinians.
I rarely contribute anything to that email list but I suspected that this Pereira character was none other than Richey and so I posted a message that said so. He made no effort to deny it in a subsequent post and then switched to attacking me who he likes to refer to as “Prince Bankfort,” and accused me of manipulating everyone around the world on the list, most of whom I don't know and before a year ago had never heard of.
This quickly elicited words of sympathy for Richey/Pereira from members of the list accompanied by suggestions that he see someone about his mental health (maybe if they went in together, he and Sakowicz could get a special “loose nut” rate). In any case, like so many email list moderators over the past two decades had done before, the fellow in the Bay Area running this one wanted no part of Richey and his personal attacks and so he was given the heave-ho.
One might have wished that after three decades of poision-penmanship, Richey would find something else to do with his miserable life but, at this point, the hope that springs eternal has either rusted or dried up.
DROUGHT? WHAT DROUGHT?
I spent four days last week in Southern California. Landscaping is lush and green. Restaurants automatically serve large glasses of water and bring an entirely new glass as a refill. No notices in airport, hotel or other venues requesting people to conserve water. Gov. Jerry Brown's declaration of a drought emergency appears to have been ignored by our neighbors to the south.
WHO IS JOHN SAKOWICZ?
Letter to the Editor
I only met John Sakowicz once. It was sometime after Wall Street and the “investment bankers” had nearly bankrupted the country — and had put the big hurt on my people — and our meeting didn’t go well. It was at KZYX, of all places. I had some biz there and while I was waiting in their waiting room I realized that Sakowicz was next door in the studio wrapping up his radio show. I’d listened to his show before and, since I’ve always admired folks who have a way with numbers, I enjoyed hearing what Sakowicz had to say. Seemed he had Wall Street expertise and finely-tuned administrative skills (life as a spreadsheet) and no doubt the dude likes spouting off and I liked that, too. Also somebody had recently written a Letter to the Editor accusing Sakowicz (the damned carpetbagger) of padding his sparkling resume and that, on balance, increased my sympathy for him. The dude must be making some kind of waves, I figured, and I’ve always been partial to that sort of person. The complacent and the apathetic are too docile to suit my tastes.
Anyway, Sakowicz finishes his show, steps into the waiting room and what strikes me is how physically imposing he is. Myself, I’m little big man; here’s a big, big man. So, off the top of my head, and with a big smile, I remark how, gee, I’d always thought Wall Street was full of pencil necks.
Well Sakowicz glared at me and instantly I knew I was forever una persona nada grata in his eyes. Having missed my joke, he’d fixated on my rudeness. While I felt a little bad about it afterward, I blamed myself and not him. I wouldn’t be a wisecracker if I didn’t like taking risks. Sometimes you get knowing laughs, other times you get snake eyes.
Regarding his current dustup with the generals hunkered down in the KZYX bunker, I’m all with Sakowicz. If I understand the issue correctly, he’s demanding that they open their books and they’re refusing. So how could I not side with Sakowicz? What are the generals hiding? Is it their good deeds?
Then, in the June 2nd issue of the AVA, I read Sacowicz’s letter titled, “Who is Bowe Bergdahl?” That’d be Sergeant Bergdahl, the recently released American POW. Sacowicz’s declaration begins: “Bowe Bergdahl is no hero. He went AWOL. He is a deserter. And he got fellow soldiers killed…” Sakowicz goes on to all but convict Sgt. Bergdahl of treason and implies the President is a traitor for having “negotiated with Terrorists.” Then—this really rubbed me wrong—Sakowicz pitches a petition demanding that Sgt. Bergdahl be punished.
Made me wonder: what the hell had possessed this guy to push such hateful drivel? Was Sakowicz in the military? Who is he to be pontificating on the Uniform Code of Military Injustice? At least back in the day when this country relied on Citizen Soldiers—mostly draftees and rightfully so—going AWOL at least once during your hitch was a time-honored GI tradition. I spent a couple months playing war games in the mountains above Ponce in Puerto Rico. To keep us from antagonizing the natives—lotsa pro-independence sentiment on the island in those days—we were restricted to the base the entire time. Now do you think that kept some of us from going over the wire? Shee-it. So long as we made it back for reveille, nobody gave a damn. Also, going AWOL and deserting are essentially the same thing. Return to base within 30 days and you’re charged with AWOL. After 30 days, it’s Desertion. Of course, if it’s a free fire zone and you disappear, you’re classified as Missing in Action. Or, in today’s Pentagon Newspeak (Orwell cringes) you’re classified as DSU: Duty Status Unknown.
If you’ve been captured by the enemy, you’re a POW.
The notion that by leaving his post Sgt. Bergdahl caused American soldiers to get killed is hateful and preposterous. All but the most delusional of Armchair Generals—there’s a reason why so few combat vets have much patience with the type—knows that. When a patrol walks into an ambush, it’s their own fault. In military terms, it counts as a serious tactical defeat. Rule One in mobile warfare: don’t get ambushed. It’s always been that way.
I don’t know what possessed Sgt. Bergdahl to leave his post. Nobody does. Given the price he has paid for doing so, I doubt if even he clearly remembers what he’d been thinking. So for Sacowicz to presume to know his motivations and to convict him on that basis is downright Un-American and genuinely sinful. It’s as wicked as a mob out to lynch witches.
In his jingoistic venom, Sakowicz writes the words America’s “War on Terror.” If educated people cannot wrap their minds around the obvious reality that war is terrorism, I’d strongly suggest that they take their heads out of their asses. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani and Syrians dead, a million hideously wounded, millions rotting in refugee camps, millions of malnourished children peering upward at the sky in dread—how much more evidence do you need? What will it take to get you civilized?
AND ANOTHER THING
If you are of sufficiently masochistic bent to regularly watch the morning local news report of any densely populated metropolitan area, you are doubtless familiar with the daily sight of grim faced reporters standing in front of piles of twisted metal and body bags as they describe the latest horrific highway catastrophes. "The crash," they will say, "was attributed to poor road conditions due to weather." Or alcohol, or texting, or eating, or a bee, or driver inattention, or glare, and often they will actually say, "The cause of the crash is unknown."
Unknown? Seriously? Because I know the cause of this crash. I know the cause of every cratch. It's a human being — an infallible, distractible, often poorly instructed or just plain stupid, highly emotional and generally unreliable human being who has strapped his soft, squishy self into a high-speed explosive projectile and gone barreling down the road without even a passing thought as to the seriousness of his action.
The automobile is an inherently dangerous thing and people are inherently screw-ups, which explains why so many unfortunates every day wind up as smears on the asphalt. How many? The only reliable data I have to hand is from 2006 and that year 44,000 people across the country died in motor vehicle accidents. That ranks it fifth in cause of death behind heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and lower respiratory disease (emphysema). Given that the top four are all caused or exacerbated by smoking, I will back that up with data I just made up — the claim that if it weren't for tobacco, cars would be the deadliest thing on earth. You may quote me.
So 44,000 people dead every year. That's nearly 125 every day dying in horrible, gruesome, painful ways, all in the name of expedition and haste. And nobody has a really good reason for needing to get somewhere that quickly. Not balanced against the risk of being reduced to meat under the wheels of a tractor-trailer full of truck parts, anyway. Nobody is delivering human organs to operating rooms or dashing off to defuse bombs before they blow up elementary schools. They are going to work for scoring dope or buying groceries or maybe just "going for a drive." Doot-da doot da doo, goin' for a drive, fryin' hydrocarbons, accelerating entropy, wasting gas, la-dee-dah — "BAM!" Some poor sap's vital parts are now irretrievably mingled with those of his car because there's nothing on TV and it's a lovely sunny day — why not go for a drive? Here's why not, maybe.
How about we put these numbers in perspective by comparing them with some other mortal phenomena. If 125 people were being felled every day by an infectious disease, say an airborne virus, the streets would be empty except for guys running around in scary looking containment suits collecting blood and waving sensors around. The nation would be on quarantine.
If there were a street drug out there causing 125 people to fatally overdose every day, Congress would be falling all over itself in a mad rush to allocate billions to local police agencies to buy flamethrowers and death rays to combat the problem.
If one lone killer wasted 125 fellow humans in a single day he would be awarded a Silver Star, elevated in rank and feted with a pancake breakfast at the Knights of Columbus upon his return stateside.
So why are highway deaths considered acceptable losses? I've never heard anyone actually say it, but I presume that those 44,000 represent a statistically insignificant portion of the literally billions of car trips taken every year. Perhaps, but I'm guessing there are literally millions of people connected to the dead who feel that every individual loss is fairly significant.
I have, through my diligent perusal of popular scientific periodicals, learned of some recent developments in driver technology. I find these both encouraging and disturbing. On the disturbing side is a practice, already in full swing in many parts of the country, of fitting cars with biocular telescopes to facilitate driving for the blind. That's right. People who cannot, even with corrective lenses, pass the eye exam. So now in addition to the oldsters with the reaction time of tree-sloths tooling aimlessly through a timeless fog in their land yachts, teenagers pumped full of Ritalin zipping around in their buzzbomb boomboxes, uninsured drunks crossing the center line and annexing sidewalks, and cops chasing scofflaws through city streets at 100 mph, you have the blind to navigate through in your daily mission to reach Point B which is probably only Starbuck's anyway. This begs the question: who declared driving to be an inalienable right to anyone who can afford a car? Did I miss a commandment or constitutional amendment or royal proclamation stating that anyone, no matter how irretrievably stupid, damaged, crazy, superannuated, or medicated, has the "right" to imperil the lives of their fellow citizens because they are out of pork rinds?
The encouraging thing is Google's advancements in driverless car technology. I say bravo, Google. But let's remove humans from the process entirely. Don't even let them in the cars. As I recall from my youthful perusal of popular scientific articles, we were supposed to have turned over all drudgery and production duties to robots by this time anyway, leaving us free to enjoy our Feel-O-Vision and sex robots at home, safely out of the perilous roadways.
OUT OF BALANCE
My home was commandeered by pot growers.
My wife and I recently retired from the US Postal Service where we met, were next to each other, became engaged and married. We combined our resources and decided to move into her house in West Santa Rosa and rent mine out.
It so happened that the nice lady across the street wanted me to rent the three-bedroom house on one-quarter acre to her son who would have his two young children with him part-time. Boasting of her son being an "Honorable Marine," we adjusted the move-in fee, lowering the deposit amount from $1500 to $1000. That seemed reasonable to us: we would know the renter and expect a sprouting young family of a friend to take good care of the property.
Relations between the renter and us became more strained over time because he did not allow us to inspect the house, whether in need of repairs, breaks in the contract, health and safety concerns or whatever. He cited his privacy for not being available for walk-throughs. He also had a large pit bull blocking the front entrance.
When we were finally let in by another tenant, we noticed some strange peculiarities. First and foremost were the animals present when only one dog was allowed. A large cage of (12) newly born kittens was present in the house, as well as our four other full grown large dogs going in and out of the house. The clueless Gen X tenant said, "We love breeding animals."
When the renter's family scene went sour he decided to turn our home into a marijuana grow house. He recruited floaters off of Craig's list and he ended up sub-letting spaces in the house to people who were manicuring bud or making hashish in the pump house for him. The perp collected at least $500 rent from each "squatter" as well as collecting fees for their pets, collected first and last month's rent and took charge of all rent money. He never paid rent himself during this period.
We served him with notice for the contract breaches and he left with everyone's rent money and didn't pay us. However, even though we got rid of him we were left with seven "squatters" who were determined to lock down in the house. They also learned the ways of our renter and all the rights that squatters are afforded these days. So with a small house built in 1956 accommodating so many adults, the limited septic and electric facilities were far overburdened. The load of the electric system to support such a large indoor grow was too much and caused outages one after another, becoming a major safety problem.
Believe me, I couldn't even have dreamed that he could put a sum up sump pump down in the septic tank and draw sewage out over the fence onto our neighbor's robbery. Are you kidding me? Then he gave me a receipt for septic pumping that was dated the year before. When quizzed about the discrepancy, he asked me to honor his word "as a Marine."
We don't have the space here to go into all the little tricks and loopholes the squatters pulled on us, but we had to retain a lawyer to go through the ridiculous steps needed to effect them. They got free rent for four months while they tweaked their noses at us. We even had to provide them with PG&E during their stay. Yes, it was a huge lesson in patience to sit there and not be able to remedy the situation. But the alternative was better at this stage in life than me going to die in prison because of these worthless parasites.
The tenants knew that I am an advocate for homeless veterans, yet they continued to impinge on my home owner rights knowing that the law protects them versus the landlord. What kills me is I shed blood in Vietnam for these people and their families in the name of their freedom (Purple Heart) and a derelict ex-Marine would screw me around the way the perp did.
The kicker was when a person called us asking if our house was on Craig's List renting for $3000 per month with a $3000 deposit and a $500 growing fee -- a Prop 215 property. One of these tenants was trying to get a $6500 traveling cache to rent our house out to other pot growers and take off with the dough. The sky is the limit for these derelicts.
The costs of this escapade keeps growing and we are almost finished rebuilding the house and property. But it's not just the monetary loss of our retirement resources that is burdensome, but the mindset of these people.
We have been violated! Our safe home has been invaded by ne'er-do-wells and other basic freedoms quashed by parasites of the worst kind!
Local attorneys are saying that this kind of fraud related to property is becoming more common in our society. As the balance between the economic classes becomes harder to breach there will be more crime of this sort, they said.
Louise Marianna of Mendocino asked AVA readers in August of 2013 to write to Congressman Jared Huffman on the war dog issue. After nearly a year, here's his response to my letter of August 22, 2013.
* * *
To: Don Morris, Willits
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.
As you may know, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Bill was introduced in the previous Congress and would direct the Secretary of Defense to classify military working dogs as canine members of the Armed Forces, putting an end to their military classification as "equipment." In addition, the bill would have modified several adoption procedures and directed the Secretary to establish and maintain a system to provide for the lifetime veterinary care of retired, adopted dogs. The legislation also would have directed the Secretary to create an appropriate military award to recognize dogs that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.
I am currently supporting several important bills that will further the goal of healthy and humane treatment of animals. Animal welfare is an important issue to me and I agree that dogs perform important tasks in our military.
While this legislation has not yet been introduced in the 113th Congress, should the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act be reintroduced in the current Congress I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind.
Thank you again for expressing your views on this issue. The people of California's Second District are the most important voices I listen to while serving in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you in the future.
Sincerely, Jared Hoffman, San Rafael
(with offices in Petaluma, Fort Bragg, Eureka)