Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Sep 17, 2014)

* * *


Dear Editor and Readers,

I used to think that when social, economic and environmental conditions came to a crisis point people would finally wake up and work for change. But there is a water crisis going on in the heart of Mendocino County and it doesn't seem like many of us are paying attention. With respect to what Caltrans has in mind for the Willits Bypass I think the general mind set is: the horse is out of the barn, it's happening, there's nothing much we can do about it now.

But, there is something we must all be made aware of. There is a sensible alternative design for the northern interchange of the bypass being suggested. (visit ) Rather than installing over 5,000 wick drains in 50 acres of wetlands Caltrans could scale back to a plan that would still accommodate traffic and help conserve, rather than permanently dry up the wetlands. The bypass appears to be inevitable but, as we approach an era of indeterminable drought, Caltrans does not need to also undermine the already scant water resources available to the Willits community. Caltrans can choose to save 40 acres of wetlands just by agreeing to scale back on the northern interchange.

How is it that a road construction company has the power over life and death? Have we, as a community on the county and state level not evolved enough so that our legal system can allow common sense to come to the table? Must we continue to chastise and criminalize demonstrators and insist that they subjugate to those in authority? All over the world, non-violent resistors are just saying: let's talk about it.

Caltrans is due to resume work in April. There is not much time left. But it is not too late for all of us to spread the word and do what we can. There are meetings at the Willits Grange every Friday at 5pm where the stalwart citizens of Willits continue to strategize ways to bring the voice of reason to this issue. It is imperative that we phone and write to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Santa Rosa asking them to put the Willits Bypass issue on their agenda as an action item for their March board meeting. (NCRWQCB, 5550 Skylane Blvd, Ste. A, SR, CA 95403, Mathias St John, Executive Dir. 707-570-3762707-570-3762

It is imperative that we write and phone the office of Gov. Brown to ask that he deliver on his promise to protect wetlands and that he exercise his power to insist that Caltrans scale back their plans for the northern interchange. (Gov. Jerry Brown, State Capitol, Ste.1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841

It is imperative that we communicate with the offices of Caltrans to give them the opportunity to set a precedent and act as an authority that listens and responds to the people in the communities that are negatively impacted by their ecology altering practices. (Caltrans District 1, PO Box 3700, Eureka, CA 95502, Phil Frisbie, Jr, 707-441-4678

When you communicate with the water board and the Governor be sure to add that the short term, low quality results of fracking do not justify wasting California's dwindling water supply. As a matter of fact, there will be a rally at the Capitol building lawn in Sacramento on March 15 to let the Governor know that the people of California don't want our water wasted and polluted by fracking. See you there.


Jenny Burnstad

Citizen of Mendocino County

* * *



The response to World Arnold Day, July 30, was underwhelming. Only a few imaginative luminaries were able to comprehend the intent. But next year, World Arnold Day will grow in popularity, no doubt. The next New Holiday is tentatively titled Think Day. Think Day will occur every September 10th, which happens to be today. On Think Day, people will be encouraged to use their heads before leaping into hazardous ventures at the instigation of political shysters. Think Day will help people resist the blizzard of bathetic rhetoric and bloody-shirt waving that happens on September 11, which our rulers have titled “Patriot Day". Self-styled patriots may wish to use their brains in advance of our next leap into the 1400-year old intra-islamic civil war as we gear up again to take another punch at the tar baby.


J. Biro

Santa Rosa

* * *


Dear Editor:

President Obama's strategy of destroying the Islamic State (new name for ISIS/ISSL) by expanding airstrikes to Syria, arming a ragtag militia and no boots on the ground is a mission impossible. The Islamic State is for all purposes a de facto state. It controls a wide swath of Iraq, has an army by a recent CIA report of 20,000 to 31,500 soldiers, a political arm that runs the civil affairs in their occupied territory, and a financial arm that handles their income and investments. The Free Syria Army (FSA) which Obama wants to arm is a mismatch in terms of manpower and commitment. There are several million people in Ragga Province and the Islamic State is embedded in the civilian population. Does any one doubt that airstrikes will result a high level of “collateral damage”?

The problem is compounded by his refusal to partner with Assad or the Iran-led shi'ite militias in Iraq. As to the coalition of countries he has put together, none of them will be putting boots on the ground. The final joker is his comparing Somalia and Yemen with this situation. He is out of touch with reality — apples and oranges.

In peace,

Jim Updegraff


* * *



Bless you and keep you safe from the Accountants, you snoozie newsies.

Send me more beaten wimpomales and travails of strong women; send me another year of egg-suckers and landgrabbers, murderous spouses and rotten street loafers, wine-schmoozers and snobs and poltroons of another ilk… More, more, I’m still not satisfied. I’m STILL waiting for the full-frontal nudity of (ex)Supervisor Smith in your continuously withheld centerfold edition, but here’s my $50 nonetheless. Don’t airbrush out her tattoos!

Semper Fi / Bonzai!

Ignatzio Helphalumpe

Bellingham, Washington

* * *



I am a plumber, 50 years in the trade, Vietnam veteran, college (no degree), 40 years living in Mendocino County; an LA transplant having set down deep roots in Little River/Mendocino County. I did not come to our rural county because of good roads and easy access to services.

I was drawn by the clean air and the can-do, self-sufficient population. I am now thrust into the world of mental health careand oversight, as a consumer myself and as a family member of a severely mentally ill adult.

Two years ago our County Board of Supervisors considered the adoption and implementation of State Law AB 1421, or Laura's Law. Our population here on the coast had just experienced an unnerving, catastrophic example of what the results of untreated mental illness can bring into our small community. We learned that death and fear are no joke. It hit home hard emotionally and financially, with devastating effects on family, friends, businesses, the hospital and the community in general.

At that time, due to funding concerns, the Board of Supervisors decided to seek alternatives to Laura's Law, and established a County Mental Health Court system (“the 11:00 Calendar”). Through the good efforts of Judge Ann Moorman, Supervisor John McCowen, Public Defender Linda Thompson, and many others involved, for the past ten months we have had a fully functioning Mental Health Court in the Ukiah Valley. The 11:00 Calendar has taken over supervision of 43 mental health patients who have committed low level crimes and misdemeanors and found themselves in jail. This eases our overburdened jail system, and more appropriately puts these clients into the court-guided hands of our mental health system. This is as it should be, and the County should be recognized for the efficacy of this good work.

Our work is not done. On May 7th of this year the County Mental Health Board, after hours of special meetings and personal research, voted 9-0 to advise the Board of Supervisors to fully implement Laura's Law. This measure is an effort to voluntarily and persistently engage the severely mentally ill who lack the understanding of their own need for treatment and medical intervention, possibly endangering themselves and others, before they become involved in the criminal justice system. The next step is for our Board of Supervisors to adopt Laura’s Law for Mendocino County.

Laura’s Law’s services now can be funded through the State Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). It is the intention of MHSA to serve and fund those underserved, not served and inappropriately served who are living in our communities. This also is the intention of Laura's Law.

We must maintain the progress our county has made, and continue to seek better and meaningful care for our neighbors suffering from the effects of severe mental illness. Through the mechanisms provided in Laura’s Law, a step in the right direction can be taken by our county, to join the over 14,000,000 individuals in our state already covered by AB 1421, as well as those living in the 45 other states where Assisted Outpatient Treatment has been implemented. Please encourage your Supervisor to vote YES to adopt AB 1421 in Mendocino County, and attend the meeting if possible, when this vital issue comes before the Board during the latter part of October, date and time to be announced later.

John G. Wetzler

Little River

* * *



It's Commissary Day at the San Francisco County Jail and you can chalk up another one for the haters who make up the Prison Industrial Complex. Some new faceless corporation has taken over the contract to deliver food, toiletries and stationery to us hapless inmates and with no competition and a "captive" market, they of course jacked up the already outrageous prices. Now it's up to a dollar each for a single stupid package of Top Ramen noodles that everyone knows costs ten for a dollar at a supermarket. I just got my bag of goodies from the outside world and I feel like I got mugged. I know that this is jail and not the supermarket, but ten times markup over retail prices to the people who and least afford it — what's up with that? It's bad enough that this damn "program jail" is forcing us to take classes and study on a pathetic and inadequate 2000 calories a day diet, but now this. I'm convinced that it's an evil fascist plot to not only gouge the poor but also keep them weak and malnourished so they can't organize and revolt against the injustices that occur behind bars.

Sheriff Mirkarimi, I applaud you for taking on the phone company recently. Now, can you please explain to us AVA readers what the hell is going on with the Keefe corporation's bloodsucking capitalist big commissary prices?

Thanks for listening and if my drop dead gorgeous girlfriend is reading this, know that I love you and I'm sorry about the legal mess that I've fallen into. I promise to make it up to you.

Hope all is well,

Jesse Driggs

San Francisco County Jail

* * *



I have subscribed to the Anderson Valley Advertiser since about a year or so before Bruce Anderson moved to Oregon and started the Oregon AVA. I subscribed to that paper until it folded and Mr. Anderson moved back to Boonville. Having been a subscriber for that long I feel as though the time has come for me to say what I need to say: I control the UFOs and I make the crop circles. Your misinformed reporter Bruce McEwen is what we call in the industry a reptilian shape shifter. I shit you not! He knows and he knows I know. He's a great court reporter and knows the difference between a meth-head, woman basher, and a public defender, but he's one of us through and through. Hell man, is there any story he doesn't write for your f-ing paper? I should just send him my subscription money directly. He was right about that new God Maitreya. He's my next door neighbor and I loan him my AVAs and he's no "evolved soul" — he's a niggardly asshole! He WILL never give my papers back. But he does help humanity from destroying itself from time to time, so what can you do?

Some of my stupid wife's friends are having a wedding up there in Mendoland soon and I'd like to meet you and say hello. I'm from Los Angeles where shit's for real! Anyways, I don't want to interrupt Mr. Scaramella (who is the only one seemingly doing any serious work there at the paper) and since you're never there anyway, what's the best way to meet you? Should I get a hosting gig on the local Pacifica station up there and claim that cancer is actually good for you and wait until you call up? Should I shit my pants and ride around on the #3 Bus in San Francisco until you get on? Or should I build a pipe bomb and put it under the front seat of a Subaru?

Is there a way to transfer my remaining subscription with the AVA to the Press Democrat? I've never seen a copy, but I gotta feeling that they're where it's at. Facebook has made me a better person. Can you guys please stop wasting so much ink and newsprint talking about marijuana? Some of us shoot heroine. What's wrong with Amy Goodman? I think she's kind of hot especially when she's talking to those 9/11 truth or guys.

Happy to be a Nazi.

Ralph Coon


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *