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Letters (Sep 3, 2014)

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Dear Editor,

I wish! I wish there was someone who was here and going to "save the world" for us! Unfortunately, Mr. McEwen misunderstood the message of the UFO talk he reported on…

Several decades ago while studying at Calif. College of Arts and Crafts, I was obligated to take various art history courses. As most art until relatively recently was religious, it was the study of the world's religions as much as the study of art. As we worked through these religions, I was struck by how the basic tenants were all the same: love each other, take care of each other, treat one another as you would want to be treated. It was the followers of the great teachers who founded religions after them who put on the separatist and divisive "this way is the only way" dogma. I also noticed that they all expected their "savior/leader" to come back at roughly this time in history (except, of course, the Jews, who have been expecting their Messiah for more than 2,000 years.) I began to think that they were all the same great being, "reincarnated" in different parts of the world to teach people the truth of life: that we are all one family, and must treat each other so; and that the one that all the world's major religions expect is actually the same, very evolved being.

Knowing how entrenched in their own "religious" ideas people are, including atheists, I held my tongue and said nothing about my revelations for more than 10 years. Eventually, I came across a group of people studying the "Ageless Wisdom Teachings", which holds the same ideas I had: The world's major religions expect the Messiah, Krishna, the Imam Mahdi, Maitreya Buddha, the Christ- all names for the same great teacher, the "World Teacher", who returns as the teacher and guide for all humanity, religious and non-religious alike. His personal name is Maitreya, and he comes with his group, people who have been on the path longer, made less mistakes, and evolved to become masters of themselves and the earthly plane- we call them "Masters of Wisdom". They teach that if we are to survive, we must share the world's resources equitably, and treat each other as we would a beloved sister or brother or other family member... If Mr. McEwen calls "Democratic Socialism" a religion, that is his prerogative…Unfortunately, we have to choose to do this ourselves. No spiritual or religious teacher, no matter how wise or "evolved", can do this for us- forcing any political system on us cannot work, as can be seen in countless examples across the world. What may start out as a good idea, forced on people, doesn't work. So, the World Teacher and the Masters of Wisdom come to inspire us to create a brilliant new civilization based on justice and sharing…but WE must do the work; we must be our OWN savior.

The idea that the intricate, geometrically perfect designs created in wheat fields, commonly called "crop circles" could all be made by a few people with boards and strings, is to me, ludicrous. Even the engineers at —- said it would take them a week just to lay out one of the intricate designs! Most people, Mr. McEwen included, hear this message through their own filters, and interpret it with their own wiring. It amazes me how narrow minded people still are, and that they dismiss the evidence of the Space People as faked. Well, there are still those who think the world is flat, and that the moon landing was a hoax.

The talk "UFOs and Their Spiritual Mission" made enormous sense to me.


Nancy MacLeod


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Dear Editor:

The accidential killing of a gun instructor by a 9 year girl firing an Uzi in the automatic mode was the result of sheer stupidity by three adults - the gun instructor and the parents. What sort of parents get their kicks out watching a young child shoot an automatic weapon? The poor girl will be scarred for life by this accident. The parents should be charged with child abuse. The incident is a reflection of our country's wild west approach to guns

In peace,

Jim Updegraff


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Thank you!

Your support at our annual Ambulance Fund Raising BBQ was unbelievable! A special thanks to the Anderson Valley Lions Club for making this event possible. We live in a wonderful community and for this we’re so grateful.

In addition to the people who attended the function a big Thank You goes out to the following, who donated items and wine for our silent auction. In no particular order: Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Larry Mailliard, Pepperwood Pottery, Goldeneye Winery, Elk Cove Inn & Spa, Navarro General Store, Lauren’s Restaurant, Handley Cellars, Tom McFadden, Watch Tower Wines, Meyer Family Cellars, Pennyroyal Farms, Deep End Wine, Sony Hatcher, Bink Winery, Brutocao Cellars, Elke Winery, Husch Vineyards, Libby’s Restaurant, Signal Ridge Winery, Coq Au Vin Restaurant, Blue Meadow Farms, Boonville Hotel, The General Store, Toulouse Winery, Navarro Vineyards, Hardbite Cider, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Architectural Elements, By Design, Anderson Valley Nursery, Lee Serrie, Christine Clark, Carrie Pomeroy, Judy Nelson, Helen Papke, Eugenia Herr, Muriel Ellis, Terry McSweeney-Ryder, and lastly The Joe Blow Band, who had everyone dancing and tapping their feet. If we’ve forgotten anyone please forgive us.

Anderson Valley Ambulance Board


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Dear friends,

You may recall that I launched an fundraising campaign last week to support me in writing a series of in-depth articles chronicling resistance to watershed destruction in California in a context of enormous drought (not to mention climate change). I'll also be presenting inspiring stories of people who are on the cutting-edge of watershed protection and environmental justice in numerous parts of this state.

I've received some great support so far! As of this writing, I've raised $2,880 of the $5,500 I need to carry out this project in the way I envision, with eight days to go. I'm about half-way to the deadline — and about half-way to my fundraising goal!* I could really use support heading into the last leg of my fundraising.

I've just released a video on the my Indiegogo page, which is six minutes long. I encourage you to check out the video. Thanks! Here it is:

No other area of equivalent size in the world has altered its watersheds to the extent California has. Now politicians and business leaders are proposing the biggest remaking of the water system since the State Water Project of the '60s and '70s. It's a crucial time to present these stories. Feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who might be interested.

Last, I invite you to check out a couple of great (and very flattering) articles that have been published about me or that talk about my journalism):

"CalTrans At Willits: Widening The Way to Pelican Bay" by Cal Winslow (Jan. 2014)

"Bypass Mayhem" by Rachel Covey (Oct. 2013)

Thanks so much!

Will Parrish

PS. I've also received a few personal checks from generous individuals, which helps out greatly! These are not recorded on the Indiegogo site.

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Dear Editor,

In response to Bruce McEwen’s piece entitled, “We Are Not Alone (?)” I am compelled to write, disappointed at the lack of professionalism in his reportage.

I attended Mr. Allen’s talk, and have researched these phenomena for many years. In my research, and experience, the fact of UFOs has been part of the human record for thousands of years.  Many nations, including the UK, France, Mexico and Brazil have released their “secret” UFO records to the public in recent years. That is an indisputable fact.

I am quite surprised at the biased reporting of this event. To say that the photos were all phony sounds more like a personal belief rather than investigative reporting. Ample information was made available at the talk to anyone open-minded and interested enough to follow through with their own research.

The misquotes and inaccuracy in this report are also indicative of the personal bias influencing the reporter’s ability to investigate before reporting on the subject matter presented by Mr. Allen.

Skepticism ought lead a journalist to investigate more deeply, not give license to Mr. McEwen’s bias, to permit retreat into sarcasm.

Sincerely, M. Tihanyi

New York, NY

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I shall not beat around the bush with a fancy introduction to this letter, nor shall I attempt to hide my shock at the laughable review written by Bruce McEwen of the UFO talk given at the Philo Grange a couple weeks ago.

It is a cocktail of misquotes, twisted information, convenient omissions, the pairing of unrelated information and quotes, and blatantly fabricated quotes—shaken then strained to justify his misinformed preconceptions and prejudices. It would not surprise me if any individual from the audience, no matter how skeptical, would scoff and shake their heads upon reading the review, and maybe even question if McEwen had indeed attended the same event as them. The opening shot, for instance, about Maitreya being the new God, is a result of McEwen filtering the information given in a manner he desired to hear.  Allen clearly explained who Maitreya is—an evolved soul here to help humanity from destroying ourselves, and more than once stated that He is no one to be revered or worshipped, and is not the Savior. He also never said Maitreya controls the UFOs or makes the crop circles.

As for the UFO photographs, all of them had been scrutinized by photo experts who did not detect any tampering. Indeed, there was a photo of an incredible, perfectly smooth swirling light in the sky that many claimed was a failed rocket….paired with an actual photo of a failed rocket. The two are not even slightly comparable. Mr. McEwen left not five minutes before the showing of videos uploaded to YouTube by everyday people who had filmed “amorphous blobs of colored light” that were swirling, changing color and shape and blinking on and off fiercely, all commentated with words and sounds of awe, wonder, and confusion.

Another important point of the talk, repeated by Allen throughout, was that all of the information presented was for the audience’s consideration only, and was not presented in any dogmatic spirit (probably the inspiration for McEwen’s use of that particular word.) McEwen also conveniently didn’t mention any of the reports read by Allen of the ex-CIA officials, military officials, soldiers, marines, scientists, etc. who insisted they were either active in the government cover up, had witnessed intense UFO activity, or had been in charge of handling top secret information about UFOs.

I could easily break the review down paragraph by paragraph to illustrate exactly how the information given was horrifically warped, point out every misquotation, and every instance where unrelated information was paired together, but a few highlights should suffice. (And how about that crop circle paragraph, eh? I’m not even sure what is being said there…) In all honesty, it is rather hilarious how inaccurate the report is, and should have been embarrassing for a reporter to have submitted a work so rife with falsities. His words were obviously filtered through the cloudy and prejudiced lenses he chose to see the presentation through.  Did Allen say: "all clouds are UFOs," straight up? No! He absolutely did not. And he never said the great philosophers were disciples of the ETs.

Yes, when the British man asked a question, the speaker certainly could have responded in a better fashion, but his response was a direct answer to the question (“No, we do not have any of those photos”) and it was not until the second question was asked when he said he would not be taking any questions at that time. He did not want his presentation interrupted, and although his tone could have been more amiable, he did take questions at the end, as was his intention.

By reading the review, it is apparent that McEwen already had a mental outline for the hatchet-job he would write, and it was not going to be a neat drink, but on the rocks with a muddled chaser. Due to his misconstruing of information and his connection of pieces of unrelated material, it is evident that McEwen sat in the audience without any intention of listening with an open mind.

I will conclude with my lament for the complacent and cynical nature of so many human beings. As soon as something new with a positive and hopeful message is introduced, it is belittled. McEwen is a perfect example of someone who hears about a new spiritual idea and instantly makes it out to be a new cult or religion intended to string people along. Perhaps if more members of the Valley had attended the talk, Mr. McEwen would not have had the confidence to submit such a brazenly inaccurate report. Maybe some spirits got the better of him, and he actually believed he heard what he wrote.

Apparently for McEwen human beings are the most evolved creatures in the universe. This is obvious by our compassionate treatment of the earth, our just treatment of each other, and the countless colossal international acts of peace and brotherly love that make up our history. There is no need to hope for a change in our future, because we are already perfect; alone in the universe, and utterly perfect.

Olivia Allen (Mr. Allen’s “devoted daughter” - devoted to the concept of a just and peaceful world, devoted to the work of inspiring humanity to retire its hate, and realize we are all one people.)


Bruce McEwen replies: Beautifully done, Ms. Allen.  Bravo!

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Dear AVA,

The paper has printed a number of letters from community members who have concerns and observations about the Anderson Valley Health Center and the care received by patients there.  Unfortunately, many of these letters have promulgated significant misinformation.  Additionally, a number of people attending the Health Center’s Board of Directors meeting on August 25, who expressed their concern for Dr. Apfel, repeated much of the misinformation that has been published.   Although we cannot always comment on particular points, we can make general statements that we hope will alleviate some of the concerns.

Many people have expressed their strong support for Dr. Mark Apfel and the patient care he has been providing at the Health Center for many years.  The Board completely agrees.  Dr. Apfel has been skillful and dedicated in serving his patients.  The Board respects Dr. Apfel and the care he gives patients. We are not trying to fire him.  We want Dr. Apfel to continue to serve his patients at the Health Center.

Dr. Apfel is not retiring at this time.  The current plan is for him to be working 20 hours per week in patient care and an additional 6 hours per week on projects that will enhance patient care.  He will continue to receive full benefits.

There are many rural communities throughout the country that have been unsuccessful in finding a family practice physician to replace a retiring doctor.  Those clinics have either had to close their doors or severely limit their hours of operation. Anderson Valley Health Center has been proactive in planning for obvious eventualities and working to ensure a high level of patient care.  We competed with other clinics and hospitals in California for Dr. Logan McGhan's services, and we are honored that he has chosen us. Dr. McGhan's services were secured by the combined efforts of the management team, the AVHC Board, and Dr. Apfel.

There have been bumps along the road of this transition.  I’m sure I speak for the entire staff and Board when I say that we look forward to successfully completing this process.  The members of the Board are all long-standing members of the Anderson Valley community who are committed to a strong, locally managed Health Center that is fiscally sound, legally accredited, and that delivers quality, affordable patient care.  If there can be said to be a bright spot amid the turmoil, it is the recognition that our community cares about Dr. Apfel and the continuation of the excellent medical care delivered by the staff of the Health Center.  It is the Board’s mission to ensure that tradition carries on.


The Board of the Anderson Valley Health Center

Ric Bonner, President; Lynne Sawyer, JR Collins, Gaile Wakeman, Eric Labowitz, Wally Hopkins, Sandy Parker

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To The AV Health Center Board

We have spent most of our 80 years in the Anderson Valley. We have been with the Health Center from Day One. When Dr. Mark Apfel came, we were his patients. They have both served us well. Four generations of our family have used the Center and Dr. Mark. It has saddened us to hear what is happening to him. Most of us don't understand why. Yes, there were meetings but the public didn't seem properly informed. Therefore, it has left many of us wondering why.

Dr. Mark has been one of the most conscientious doctors one could have in the community. When Bill had his heart attack he was taken to the Center and treated by Dr. Mark. Bill was then sent to Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa for further tests. Sutter Hospital was amazed at the care Bill had received from Dr. Mark. He did all the right things preparing Bill for surgery.

Remembering when my mother, Annie Pardini, was passing, Dr. Mark came to our house to be with us at a difficult time. When my sister-in-law, Donna Pardini, was diagnosed with cancer, Dr. Mark made it possible for her to spend the last three months of her life at her home instead of the hospital. He came every day to check on Donna and her caregivers. This is the person and doctor he is.

We are asking the Health Center Board to consider all the wonderful things he has done for us and our community for many years when making your future decisions.

Bill & Eva Holcomb


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Cruising thru last weeks AVA I came across a paragraph in Off The Record. A local citizen expressed his annoyance with the city of San Francisco where soon dogs will be welcome in restaurants with outdoor dining. He also expressed his dismay that locals bring their dogs to local establishments.

I have two dogs, they are members of the family and I take them all most everywhere I go because I love them and enjoy their company. I am often annoyed by businesses that are not dog friendly and avoid patronizing them for that reason. Small children suffer no such restrictions. They are allowed everywhere, spreading their germs, crying, screaming, running around in restaurant like it is a playground and the rest of us are expected to put up with that and even find that endearing. My dogs are very well behaved and would never spread germs, cry or scream and certainly would not be permitted to run wild in any establishment. In Europe most restaurants welcome dogs not only in their outdoor dining spaces, but inside as well with no problems.

Many dogs in the Anderson Valley and the rest of Mendocino County live horrible lives. Tied up or confined to a tiny space, never allowed to run or play. Why have a dog if you don't have or feel like spending any time with them? I will never understand it. And our animal control laws are so lax that dog owners can abuse, neglect and torture their animals without much worry about being held responsible.

Monika Fuchs


One Comment

  1. Jeff Costello September 3, 2014

    Dog people and non-dog people. Israelis and Palestinians. Conservatives and liberals. Rednecks and hippies. Meat eaters and vegans. Black and white, on and on.

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