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Letters (Apr 8, 2015)

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I joined the board of the Anderson Valley Housing Association last year. This is a great group that works toward creating affordable housing opportunities in the Anderson Valley. There are two properties currently owned by the Association – one for families of up to three persons and one for single male farmworkers. Currently the Association has some debt that it would like to retire so that it can move forward with other development opportunities.

Please join us for the dinner on April 11 (see ad elsewhere in t his issue for more info) or please consider a donation.

Thank you.

Anne L. Fashauer


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Dear Editor:

Does the general public know some differences between private banks and public banks?

Private Banks are in business to make a profit for their investors.

Privatized Wall Street banks cannot resist incentives to bet on failure, (i.e.,.loan defaults) if it is profitable to do so; witness the sub prime housing loans and the foreclosures that caused the 2008 economic crisis.

The Federal Reserve, a private central bank, allows banks to practice the "Fractional Reserve Banking System" to expand the money supply.

Fractional Reserve Banking along with the magic of the "Double Entry Book Keeping System" makes liabilities into assets in order to make more loans and add more assets.

Asset backed securities are backed with assets based on loan liabilities. When the loan is paid off- that electronic money disappears.

Public Banks are mandated to serve the community, city county or state in which they are licensed. A public bank has only one depositor-the government. Returns on investment go to work for the people and businesses for infrastructure loans. They work with local banks and credit unions to buy down interest rates.

To appeal to voters who must pass an initiative, a Public Bank designed to increase affordable housing could gain traction and provide foreclosure relief that Washington has not done.

Public Banks can generate new non-tax revenues for community treasuries.

Public banks provide lower risks for public funds, ie.the County Employee Retirement funds, school bonds and rainy day funds.

Public Banks do not speculate in the financial market, because they are mandated to serve the public good and may hold the key to economic recovery.

Reference: Ellen Brown's book The Public Bank Solution.


Agnes Woolsey


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Good Morning Everyone,

Recently, I have learned of the Mendocino County negotiating team's unfortunate presentation to the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association’s (DSA) negotiating team. It is my understanding that the County's negotiating team was unable to provide any details of increased compensation to DSA. I have met with the Board of Supervisors on several occasions and have encouraged them to offer a package to DSA which returns the 10% (over a period of time) of your salary which was taken from you several years ago. I have urged the BOS to negotiate fairly but apparently my words were unheeded.

As you may be aware, we have recently had two deputies tender their resignations. While I reluctantly accepted these resignations, I fully support the reasons that these employees are leaving. As I stated above, it is unfortunate that the majority of our Board of Supervisors does not appear to understand that they have the ability to work with the DSA and allow your compensation to be fair and equal with your peers who work for other agencies. Many of you put your life on the line for the safety and security of the citizens of this county, and as such, you should be fairly compensated. Many of our employees work inside of our correctional facility and the burden of AB 109 inmates is increasing. I thank you for doing your jobs in such a professional manner.

During this critical time, I ask you to please understand that you are not alone in your frustration. I join you in your frustration and pledge to do whatever I can to work with the Board of Supervisors so that their priority of Public Safety is clear for all to see.

I realize that The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has many members of SEIU, and as such, are entitled to the return of their 10% also. I fully support the return of the 10% taken from SEIU, however, the Deputy Sheriff's Association had the 10% reduction as of July 14, 2010 and SEIU had the reduction as of 2/5/2012. This difference between these two contractual agreements is approximately 20 months.

As of Pay Period 10 (April 26, 2015), I am ordering all Resident Deputies to report to their main office for their duty assignment. All calls for service will be handled through the three main offices (Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg). While this staffing change will affect the response times to outlying areas, it will improve the officer safety which is paramount to all.

Members of this office shall not publicly disparage any member of the Board of Supervisors. We are a professional organization which is better than that. We shall continue to work and strive to protect the citizens and visitors of Mendocino County and never forget why we started in this career.

I join you in hoping that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors changes course soon and respects and rewards the daily sacrifices which you are making.


Tom Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner


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April has started rather badly for Prime Minister Netanyahu. On April 1 the International Criminal Court (ICC) Â had a welcome ceremony for the State of Palestine as its 123rd member which probably will open the door to an Israel war crimes prosecution. It should be noted that neither Israel nor the United States are members of the ICC for rather obvious reasons. Palestine is a non-member observer state of the United Nations and 135 or 70% of the 193 member states have recognized the State of Palestine which has establish a network of diplomatic missions in these countries. It is clear that except for the threat of a U. S. veto the State of Palestine would be accepted as a full member of the United Nations.

Now flash forward to the following day. The United States and its international partners have reached a nuke framework deal that will be drafted between now and June 30th. As might be expected Netanyahu and congressional GOP members are opposed. As President Obama pointed out  the alternatives are to go to war or let the issue continue to fester on the back shelf. The war mongers and Israel would prefer we  bomb the atomic facilities. That would start a war and Iran is a military power. It would be a long and bloody war. You would think the war mongers learned a lesson from the Iraq fiasco

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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“Easter Mythology “response:

William Edelen’s article on Easter mythology was very interesting.

However, as most people do regarding religion, he’s missing the point.

Its not just that Jesus was a god man, nor anything else about eating his flesh, risen from the dead, etc.

The point is what he said regarding how we’re supposed to treat our fellow man.

Feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, help the poor, love your enemies, visit the sick and the imprisoned, clothe the naked, bury the dead, all the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, etc., etc.

When he said to believe in him, he doesn’t mean believe that he existed, or exists.

He meant believe in what he said.

John Rensen, Potter Valley

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In looking over the Old Coast Hotel issue I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding concerning the Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg. It is a loosely and recently formed group. I found out there are several participants who have credentials in working with those who have mental and drug problems. Almost all I've met have relatives with these very problems. I know in my case I have one through marriage who destroyed his life with drug abuse and died prematurely, and my dad used to help with the down and out.

The issue is Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg do care. But through experience we know that the Old Coast Hotel is the wrong location. Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg certainly appreciates the generosity of the owners of the Old Coast Hotel to offer this location. The problem is the City of Fort Bragg put themselves in a bind by jumping ahead and not revealing to the public and business community the planned conversion by going through public hearings for input. The rapid negative reaction upon discovery and numerous petition signers show this.

They also overlooked their own zoning law which does not allow for such a facility in the business district as experience in other communities did not come out well. The required procedure before purchasing a business district property that will convert a historic hotel with restaurant and bar into a treatment facility for the mentally ill and those with drug problems requires a use permit with notification of property owners in the business district and adjacent home owners that includes public hearings.

By, as reported by witnesses in the recent court hearing, accusing the Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg and their numerous supporters of just being a nuisance and having no standing because they are not taxpayers is absolutely false. The city even filed a motion for sanctions against Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg, the very business owners and citizens of Fort Bragg! Can you imagine a city turning on its own citizens and struggling business district? This is disheartening. The fault lies with the city which got itself in this position by not going through proper procedures and notification, and it is no one else's fault. It is time to look for another location.

James Hooper, Fort Bragg

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Governor Jerry Brown's proposed 25% water-use reduction failed to mention that 80% of the water in California is used for agriculture, and only 20% is for residential and commercial use. Therefore, the overall savings is just 5% percent of all the water used in the state. Why are homes and commercial use carrying the entire burden? How is this possible? Why is agricultural water not mentioned? Why are they not held to the same restrictions?

David Weiss, San Francisco

Ed Note: Short answer? The corporate farms of the Central Valley are hardwired to the Feinstein-Brown-Pelosi-Hillary wing of the Democratic Party.

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To the Editor:

I have tried to stay out of the conversation about Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, but try as I might I keep getting dragged back into it, so I thought I might as well go “on the record,” such as it is, or at least go public with my comments. That way maybe people will stop asking my opinion of these matters.

First of all, thinking that KZYX radio station can operate on the same size budget as KMEC or KNYO is just like assuming that the San Francisco Chronicle can operate on the same budget as the Anderson Valley Advertiser. I mean, the Chron has a circulation that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and the AVA has a circulation at least in the dozens. Anyone who thinks like that obviously doesn’t know anything about business, or finance.

At first that just annoys me, but after thinking about it, I actually have some hope. Maybe someday I can have a radio show “All About the Fashions.” If all it takes is a claim of knowledge not in evidence I am almost assured a spot, eh?

Now, while I am on the subject of people claiming knowledge not in evidence, I must say that I am astonished that someone would volunteer to be the treasurer of an organization who does not know how to read a very simple budget. At least, I assume that is why that person claims not to be able to find information that is clearly covered in the budget. Oh, and the budget is posted in a very easy to find place on the organization website.

However, I must say that while I am astonished, I am also not surprised. In my over twenty years of working with local nonprofit organizations one thing I have learned is that very few people actually understand what governance really means. I have come to believe that the real reason for this is the complete lack of requirements to serve on any governing body. You don’t have to know how to properly govern, you just have to know how to win friends and influence people until they vote for you. But that is the subject of another, much longer conversation. Thank you for your indulgence.

Michael Kisslinger, Ukiah

Ed Reply: I'm a member of Mendocino County Public Radio, but not as enthusiastic as I was when Mike Kisslinger read press releases as KZYX's unique rendition of local news, unique in that it contained no local news. But I always enjoyed Mike's weather reports, which included all of Lake County. To give you an idea of how exciting this guy's news show was, one day Mike reported that it was 78 in Lakeport but 75 in Middletown. The discrepancy remains a mystery to this day!

I bring it up because Mr. K's recent letter to the UDJ sneeringly compares the circulations of Boonville's beloved community newspaper and the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Not that Mike is the kinda dude likely to be influenced by information that contradicts his seething misconceptions, but the Boonville paper sells — for cash money — almost two thousand hard copies a week in Mendocino County and another thou or so to thrill seekers outside the area. Add in about 600 paying customers on-line, and I daresay the Boonville paper not only outsells the Chron in Mendocino County but enjoys a subscription list comparable in numbers to Mendocino County Public Radio. And to think we not only turn a tiny profit, unlike KZYX, we do it without the big annual check that Radio Philo gets from our government.


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Things are heating up for the timber industry here in Mendocino County. Increased fire danger caused by timber management practices in Mendocino County will be on the agenda of the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 21st. Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg has requested the discussion in support of citizens living near timber lands, who assert that a local emergency is imminent due to the extreme wildfire potential of dead standing timber. Mendocino Redwood Company alone has left commercially-undesirable tanoak poisoned and standing dead on almost 90,000 acres in the county since 1998, at an annual rate of over one million trees per year. Aerial photographs of the treated timberlands can be seen at

With fire season fast approaching, community members are being encouraged to attend the meeting at Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on April 21 at 1:30pm to show support for action by the Board. A decade ago a county Grand Jury recommended that the Board take the lead in adopting more stringent wildfire prevention codes, but to date no action has been taken. A wildfire prevention code still does not exist, only fire suppression.

The position of a local group made up of firefighters, biologists, environmental researchers, and community members is that existing forestry practice rules need to evolve with changing land and climate conditions to fill in this void. They have initiated negotiations with Mendocino Redwood Company and county government officials to immediately halt forestry practices that exacerbate fire conditions and to commence fire danger mitigation for upcoming timber harvests and the coming fire season.

Forestry practice rules have not evolved in decades, despite severe and steadily increasing drought conditions plaguing California. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just reported the driest January and hottest February on historical record. However CalFire, the state agency charged with fighting wildland fires, continues to approve timber management practices that increase land surface temperatures and decrease soil moisture. These include eliminating hardwood canopy after conifer harvest by poisoning the less marketable trees. The resulting exposure of dry soil, in addition to the removal of 50-75% of the conifers, exacerbates high temperatures, helping to make drought self-sustaining.

Fire ecologists maintain that standing dead trees can result in wildfire that is intense, uncontrollable, perhaps even unfightable, such that it could travel quickly from Mendocino County's heavily forested interior to more populated areas. Several close calls in the last few years have left people feeling nervous. During the 2008 lightning fires the wind never picked up significantly; just last year the fast-moving "Flynn Fire" narrowly missed stands of dead trees that could've carried it miles closer to Ukiah. Countywide health hazards with regards to smoke inhalation have been a reality for years. As Ted Williams, Chief of Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire, has said, "Calfire and the timber industry are not taking into account the community safety aspect of their practices."

The April 21st Board of Supervisors meeting in Ukiah will be an important opportunity for the forestry and fire issue to move forward at the county level, and reactions from CalFire are indicating that officials on the state level are feeling the heat as well. Members of the concerned citizens' group have hopes that a strong community presence at the meeting will demonstrate the local population's readiness to collaborate with industry and government for the sake of immediate public safety. Backed by fire science research and fueled by urgent concern for the safety of families, homes, and local volunteer firefighters, the people of Mendocino County are demanding that their Board of Supervisors take the lead on the issue.

Jessica Thompson (


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Good Day Editor Anderson & fellow AVAers,

April Fools' Day, Wednesday, April 1, 2015 -- As Memorial Day approaches, Henry David Thoreau in Walden and Civil Disobedience, page 62, says, "I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as Chanticleer on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up."


Diana Patricia Farina Bangladesh Vance

Deadtree, Mendocino

PS. This week my abode is on Sherwood Road east of Fort Bragg where the Redwood get big again. Amen.

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Lost in this wilderness moderne amongst glassy concrete giants that oversee the Grand Pacific. Lost amongst ubiquitous latter-day twitterers who are never lost for words. Lost in this awful dreaded deadend alley of dark despair. Terribly alone on an Easter Island.

Diego Donohoe

San Diego

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Dear AVA,

I saw a story on the news last night about the new Mercedes with driverless capability!? Why? It is mind-boggling. I can only assume it has to do with the chauffeur? Another job bites the dust!

Best wishes,

Trixie Stubbs

Little River

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Valerie said "Why is it in this great community with all these great people, we only speak our gratefulness at memorials?" What an epiphany, of course, gratefulness, it's what completes ever circle of good word and action… It wasn't that this thought hadn't occurred to me before, but more than that Valerie was offering me a small but significant opportunity to live one of Mahatma Gandhi's great quotes "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Of course we are both very aware of the presence of gratitude and how it isn't amiss in our lives, yet in this incredible valley we agree it's just not acknowledged enough on a community level. This angel of a friend said "You're the writer, present the first article and then offer people to e-mail you their articles to nominate someone in their lives that deserves gratitude." So there you have it, the To Be Grateful Column. On friday night March 6th at the Variety Show at the Philo Grange, I performed the following poem that I wrote about Anderson Valley, my beloved home…. with effortless introduction, I present to all of you the first grateful offering to our column….

Home — Mountain passes, ribbons of mystic fog, reminder of the breathtaking vastness of earth's many forms. Dirt roads, gate codes, dirty cars, dirty boots. I love this valley.

There is always time for hellos and check ins, switching off my conditioned hurry for a familiar face. There are so many characters here, people that pop out of the scenery, and perfectly belong. There is color and vitality in people's eyes here, 10 years taken off when you aren't drained by the ownership of metropolitan corporate lifestyle.

We are free here; free to put our heart into our work; free to give attention to our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. To take care of one's own self is the birth of all other good things we can give out to the world.

For those who don't yet know it, this valley is a rare jewel in the world fast forwarding so far ahead that the people lose sight of their connections with each other, and the natural world. Our children can grow up knowing all the generations of their community; and have the love and guidance of that extended family. We are in kindred circles here, with kind smiles, even in the realms of bad times, there is the priceless gift of being heard, understood and supported on an individual and community level. The immense circle of volunteers here make many dreams happen.

Thank you to the farmers, the gardeners, ranchers, and artisans for their quality food and goods, It's through their long work and deep service we are optimally nourished and provided for right here. It's in our own gardens we see the power of our own hands, the sun, the moon and the rain.

We can learn through this priceless pool of community knowledge and awareness how to better take care of ourselves and this earth that gives us life. We can take hikes; hear the wind coming up the hills, thru the trees. the slope of the land beneath our feet; be grateful for every drop of water. Experience the moonlight in the absence of city lights. When we know our environment, we are closer to the mother earth and able to hear that ancient call of the land, as we find that piece of home that is still outside.

Creative outlets and skills invigorate us and those around us; this valley is filled with talent and skill. When we share our gifts, we widen the circles of connectedness, experience the reality of synergy when we can empower each other and lift each other up. Blessed be.

This is home. This is sacred space. There is palpable power in a community connected. There is palpable power in a community connected.

So please send me an e-mail and nominate someone in your own life that deserves gratitude. It's through actions like this we energize and strengthen our beloved community. We want to share our gratitude for people of all ages but we also realize our gratitude at times will incorporate other subjects as my poem does. Please send your article to:

Bernadette Restuccia


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