Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Mar 18, 2015)

* * *


We are all dealing with the spread of mega vineyards and "event center" wineries and working to link up citizens groups around the region to stand together.

We have formed a coalition of citizens groups in Napa called "Vision 2050", about 15 groups now involved and are reaching out to other counties, the hope is that no area feels they have to fight this alone.

Here's a little info from down here, and an attached pic, we are organizing "sign holding saturdays" to demonstrate we have the will for push-back, building a sign holding presence at county meetings and finding more and more impacted citizens willing to stand up and speak up. Hundreds were at the Supervisor/Plannning Commission this Tues.

Also I think Bill Sorenson's film can be a great educational tool and will do all I can to help build audiences, hope to talk soon.

Very best,

Geoff Ellsworth

St. Helena

* * *


Letter to the Editor,

Here’s an interesting tale!

I read the AVA when it comes to me here in Wisconsin and was very interested in the accounts of strange lights in the skies! Then I just this past few days met Jason Liljengren by phone. He is a friend of my son, CT’s, and a year or so ago was living up on our property on Peachland Road, helping CT maintain our three-quarter-mile water line for our renter. CT had told me Jason was very expert in hightec stuff, and when I talked with Jason, he told me about his system he had installed at my place to monitor the water, measuring the spring flow on Lone Tree Ridge and measuring the flow at my tank, so that the difference would indicate any leak in the long line which went steeply down from the spring into the redwood canyon and then back up to my property! How many years did I do that hike?! For many of the years I lived up there on Peachland Road, I did that strenuous hike myself, and one of the reasons I live in Wisconsin now, not Boonville, is I knew I couldn’t do that hike to maintain the water line into my old age! But for years I hiked up to the water tank everyday during the summer months, measuring and timing how long it took for the flow to fill a quart jar, and keeping a record of my water supply! So imagine how thrilled I was to hear Jason describe his system! Then I went and looked at his website he referred me to, which described his business of remote monitoring of country property, and saw that he knew all about drones, and it occurred to me that he was probably testing equipment and that would be the cause of the strange lights your readers have been reporting!

But then I talked with CT and he told me that all those letters were fake, being a buildup for the theme of the recent Variety Show of “Rainbow’s Been Abducted”! What a great story! And just for your information, CT went to both nights of the Variety Show this year and absolutely loved it! Sad to say, despite having grown up in the Valley, and worked summers at Hendy Woods, and been back most years for the Beer Fest, he had never seen a Variety Show!

For all you newcomers to the Valley, thank you for helping with all the various community services there are: the CSD, the Senior Citizens, the Health Center, saving Hendy Woods, the School Board, the Education Foundation, the Fire Department, the EMTs, the AVLT, the senior housing association, and the Variety Show, etc. etc. etc. Community participation is one of the most rewarding things in life! Kudos to you all!

Briana Burns

Black Earth, Wisconsin

* * *



A brief warning to wireless users. If you experience nightmares, heart palpitations or sleep disorders, discontinue the use of wireless routers in your home, try keeping your cell phone off your body in a purse or car side pocket and turned off when not directly using it. A brief vacation from cellular use may surprise you with instant results. Some folks put timers on their wireless routers for internet time. And remember your cell phone is operating constantly. Do not keep it near you in your bedroom. It is particularly important for children. I can provide a list of scientific reasons why The independent studies by real scientists show very important concerns. Perhaps most revealing is the brain barrier disruption. This barrier surrounds the entire nervous system and keeps all toxics out. It is crucial. Back in the 50s they discovered that radar wireless shut it off and then confirmed low levels Rf does the same. New tumors are appearing on these membranes in the brain and spinal cord that have never been seen before.

Greg Krouse


* * *


Dear Editor:

It's important to note that the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's Association, a group one would assume would be supportive of a new courthouse, in fact opposes the project. While we agree with Judge Nelson's concerns about access and security, the proposed solution, a structure purported to cost over $100 million, is both wildly extravagant and totally inappropriate given the multitude of challenges facing the local criminal justice system. Vast areas of the County enjoy little or no law enforcement coverage. Local law enforcement agencies cannot attract and retain qualified personnel. Chronic overcrowding at the county jail results in the daily release of dangerous criminals and repeat offenders, undermines the effectiveness of local probation and rehabilitation efforts, and leads to increased crime, all at the expense of the law abiding citizens of Mendocino County. These are real issues that should be the focus of government at all levels.

And as if that weren't bad enough, abandoning the existing facility will, without a doubt, harm existing downtown businesses and shift responsibility for the existing building from the State of California to the County of Mendocino, an entity ill-equipped, financially or otherwise, to shoulder that burden.

The Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's Association believes reasonable upgrades to the existing courthouse could be accomplished at a fraction of the cost. The new facility advocated by some represents an unwarranted expenditure and, should it be built, will stand for decades as a monument to poor public policy.


Craig Walker, Deputy Sheriff
President, Mendocino Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

* * *



Today people can borrow for a few weeks a few hundred dollars called Payday Loans for some 300% interest, all legal. I remember in my youth they called it loan sharking, and the law said how terrible it was. The mafia, one of the main loaners, didn’t force it on anyone. They were there for desperate people, just like the people who borrow at these horrible rates today.

I remember how terrible they enforced their collections, but they had no legal way to collect. The irony of it is how illegal it was then, and now it’s just fine.

Then there’s gambling. Right after World War II, which is as far back as I can go, we had slot machines in all the bars. Since slot machines were illegal then, they built them into a console. The machine was the same way, just built different.

At Fair Time, American Legion events, Paul Bunyan Days and a few other events, they brought out crap tables and blackjack tables in the bars. That went on for a few years. Then the law said how terrible it was and all the ills gambling caused. So then we had pinball machines that paid off by the store owner when a certain score was made. One could shake it a little to put a little skill in it. They were around for a while and then they were picked up with the same rhetoric of how bad they were.

Then came punchboards. There were maybe a hundred holes to punch out with a couple of winners. Of course the law came around picking these up so they could protect everybody from themselves.

Now we have the lottery in practically every state. They even advertise how wonderful gambling is and full sized casinos in almost all parts of the country.

Then in the depression everybody was buying stocks on margin. Practically nothing down but if a stock when down below the money put up to buy the stock, you were wiped out — big time gambling and one of the reasons for the crash of the stock market. So they put in a good law and one had to put up at least 40% down. That went out the window with some innovative ways.

Then our brilliant government in recent times to make the dream of owning a home the American dream lowered all the rules with practically nothing down and payments that were unrealistic causing a bubble the same as the 30s.

Emil Rossi


* * *



I read with some interest the extended hortatory by the erstwhile John Sakowicz. But will Mr. Sakowicz remind us why, as KZYX Board member in full trust, he wrote to the FCC demanding that it deny renewal of the broadcast license? This anomaly and its damages are reason for every member to vote thoughtfully in the current Board elections.

Gordon Black


PS: Thanks for printing the cautionary note from Nicole Sawaya, former KZYX General Manager, regarding woes at Pacifica radio: “There are endless meetings of committees and ‘Task Forces’ — mostly on the phone — where people just like to hear themselves talk.” So much, then, please, for the visionary suggestion of Board candidate Dennis O'Brien, toward replacing identifiable managers with committees. I'd vote instead for the steady hand of Clay Eubank.

PPS: Doug McKenty has been putting it about that we've got trouble, trouble! right here in River City! and that he is the man to right it. I see otherwise. He has it that KZYX is a “family” sorely in need of psycho-sensitive counseling. Well, no. Professional civility continues to work well enough. Doug seeks to replace management, but he has been out of touch since his departure; he should ask the active volunteers what they think. I recommend retaining Ed Keller for the KZYX Board.

Ed note: Nicole Sawaya is the only capable person to hold the top spot at semi-public radio, Philo, and, natch, was in demand for jobs in the big world outside, which certainly sets her apart from that dreary herd. But your devotion to ALL of them over the years seems rather, uh, indiscriminate, Gordy. Then again you might simply be a natural born serf, if you'll excuse my speculating on your suspiciously consistent slavishness.

* * *



It is always fun to rate radio programming, popular media and personalities especially in the Bay Area. I love it when this stuff appears in Off The Record. "Scott Simon is a pompous ass" will ring in my ears like the sound of music for years to come. NPR is so bad that I will leave it to the pros as such to berate them. Sports radio on the other hand is kind of my recent interest.

So when I heard a recent interview with SF Giants general manager Brian Sabean I was a bit alarmed at his beginning the interview with a few glowing minutes about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Really?!? Maybe he does not see that as divisive because Pac Bell Park was built for people of the elite, the winners. My ire was a bit raised. My mind raced. Why did they treat Panda, basically one of the few 'black' guys on the team like dirt? Then when I heard Aubrey Huff, who did hit 28 bombs in 2010 for the Giants but who went awol the next year as a headcase, savaging his former teammate Pablo on the radio, the whole thing reeks of good old boys and their narrow opinions. Kinda pissin me off here.

Then of course listening to sports radio I tune in Murph & Mac on KNBR 680. All these guys are savaging the Panda too, in kind off a safe kiss ass but nonetheless racist tone. I am reading in to the racism and that is exactly what I am doing.

The Murph & Mac show is a terrible radio show. Literally a common theme on today’s show March 16, 2015 was “love it or leave it.” The students at UC Irvine had debated or proposed some limitations on the display of the US flag on campus and raised questions about the connection of the flag to violence, colonialism and war. All legitimate questions. My opinion is that I would entertain the query but go with Abe Lincoln on this one and say that he raised the flag and did so on behalf of every person of every race trying to get a fair shake in this country. So let it represent the good things and we can educate to be more aware of the bad things.

What irked me is the juvenile responses of these guys to any such social issues. Their response is basically I am a dopey entitled white guy who can't fathom any restriction on my right to say whatever stupid shit I want to (over the airwaves) and that's about the extent of it. These guys are avowedly for the use of the term “Redskins.” So basically the response all show was “Love It Or Leave It Man.” Asinine. This is a terrible radio show.

They regularly repeat the lie on this show that American Veterans returning from Vietnam were spat on. Besides the second in command Paul McCaffrey they have added a third, the little weasel Patrick Conner who drops crypto-conservative neocon opinions like little rabbit turds all over the airwaves. He gets in a particular tizzy when anyone challenges things like cigarette smoking or the use of the term Redskins. I challenge Patrick Conner to face up an Apache Brave and tell him face to face how Redskin is an appropriate term and how dare he challenge or take little Patrick Conners right to use it?

Last year in a weekend SF Giants pre-game he ranted for hours about some guy in Iran who had not taken a shower in 80 years. Insinuating that Iranians and Arabs (these morons cannot differentiate) are ALL stinky people who don't bathe. This guy blathers on about being an ex marine and all this crap. I finally emailed him and said get on with the friggin’ baseball talk already, and consider that any honorable soldier honors even his enemy and does not dehumanize him. I am embarassed that these three guys are Irish-American, but like George Carlin said, it’s not like they had to work for it or anything.

In the socially progressive capital of the United States the extent of the progressive persona offered by these lug nuts is the Grateful Dead, Bill Walton, smoking pot, and a token lesbian lady who lets her sexual orientation be known in every commercial segment (which by the way run 39 minutes out of every hour) and at least 16 times during the broadcast. I guess that's the bogus badge you wear in order to get away with the rest of the tripe they peddle. Equal rights and justice for all the rich pretty people, right? They are constantly mentioning and lauding, aye, lionizing Reagan, GW Bush, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. in glowing terms. These guys represent the worst aspects of the American idiot male sports persona. It’s like a group of emasculated little boys. Interestingly enough the conservative commentary is so reaching and grandiose but the personal talk is always pathetic insecure small man talk.

What's the solution? Well a little bird told me that Dave Zirin, the great radical sports writer, might be getting a show at KPFA. Sounds good, lets blow ’em out the water Dave.

Nate Collins


* * *


Dear Editor,

Please post another star to the staunch banner of the AVA: Flynn Washburne. “Stony Lonesome” is a jewel of a series. If the author doesn’t continue to write when he gets out, have his parole revoked. Or frame him. Thank you both.

Marshall Curatolo, Walden Pond Books


* * *



(Late December 2014) I sit alone every day looking at my door just waiting to open up. I'm surrounded by brick walls 24/7/365 days a year. This is our first time being arrested. I can't see my boyfriend right now. We were living together for 30 years. When I see him, which isn't much, my heart starts pounding, my hands get sweaty, my face gets warm and red. I feel like I'm back in high school again. All the correctional officers are somewhat nice. I get three hours a day to look outside in the sky and I wish I was a bird so I could fly far, far away. I feel like the young lady in the shoe who had eight children and did not know what to do.

Christmas is coming. I'm in a red jumpsuit. I feel like Santa's helper. This is my first Christmas alone without my boyfriend and children. I'm going to try to be happy. I have been moved five times inside since I got here. It will be a whole year I've been here. I've met different people since I've been here like the young girl who has a baby and husband who loves her very much. We are both loved by our men in a caring and loving way. When I get out I want to be a hippie and grow a garden in the Bahamas. It's hard to believe we are getting a sentence this long. The charges we are facing are very wrong.

I miss you baby and I feel so alone. When we stand before the judge no mercy is shown. I know we messed up. That I see. I pray up above for the Lord to forgive me. Until death do us part. I'm keeping my word. I'm hurting inside. I need you to be here. When this is all over I need you to know in your heart that I still love you as much as I did from the start. Nothing can change the way that I feel. I hope one day our hearts will heal. For 30 years we have been in love and for that I think thank the heavens above. One day I hope to be free. Then it will be just you and me. I will hold my head high and swallow my pride until the day you are by my side.

Ina Medina


PS. Jail Hell 2014-2015 -- A Poem

I heard the door slam every day like you are in hell.

I cry every day and every night in hell.

All the deputies and sergeants with their taser guns and their sticks — you are in hell.

I heard the door slam every day like you are in hell.

I'm surrounded by brick walls of hell.

Everyone in here are all in hell.

No way out, every door you need a key to get out of this hell.

I keep hearing the door slam again and again, this is hell.

You have women and guys in his hell and none of them are happy in this jail hell.

You're surrounded by fences and wire on top, this is pure hell.

A door slam again from everyone going in and out of jail hell.

Devil, Satan. God doesn't fit in this poem.

PPS. On behalf of the women and men who are in jail, here is a story about what happened to my boyfriend.

I was in a holding cell when I first came in. Then after one hour I was taken to the safety room and I stripped naked and given a green small garment to wear which was hard and Velcro and the cell had no toilet, just a gutter. It was cold, really cold and dirty. I was there for two days. Then I was taken to a cell somewhere else. I was there. I pushed the button and five guards jumped on me and took me to the safety cell again. I was roughed up by the five guards and left again with the small garment. After a while three detectives came in and took a picture of my body. I was left there for about a day or two, I'm not sure exactly. I was in shock. Then I was taken to isolation where I spent six months. I would work out and get letters from you that saved my life. I read your warm words of encouragement that helped me. But I started living in my dreams of you and living outside. I made up a world in my head and started not getting up to eat or bathe. Classification said if I wanted to go to PC mod I could. Classification said they were concerned about my mental and physical health. So I agreed to move to PC. This is not what we deserved. This can happen to anyone — Donald E. Dunakin Jr.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

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