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Letters (Jan 13, 2016)

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Dear Anderson Valley:

Thank you so much for making this year’s Toy Drive a huge success. A special “Thank You” to Big-5 Sporting Goods, All That Good Stuff, Ukiah Books (?) for filling in with extra toys.

We gathered at the church on a cold and frosty morning with toys in hand on Tuesday, December 15th. It was such fun watching the decision making process of which toy the kids really wanted! Everyone went away happy. What a wonderful valley we live in.

Happy New Year!

Sarah, Tina and Judy

Anderson Valley Fire Department

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To the Editor,

Now that Al Gore and other like-minded alarmists have confused “Global Warming” with “Global Cooling,” rather than cite the human race for the extinction of various ecosystems and species. Now this latest prediction for the coveted “El Niño”? For months now we have been hearing ever-progressing percentages of our chances for this monumental gully washer from our questionable array of weather prognosticators.

On the topic of the drought that we have been living in:

What do the Ukiah City Council and the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors intend to establish for additional rainfall storage capabilities within the City of Ukiah and Mendocino County? It would seem prudent to develop a system of rainfall storage contingencies such as containment structures throughout Mendocino. Considering that the “El Niño” is forecast at some point in January 2016, rainfall containment structures or other means of storage should be addressed as soon as possible.

The “El Niño” event does not necessarily end the drought and will cause damage to Mendocino County mountains, town and rivers including subsided soil and wildfire burn areas within the region.

Our prayers for rain may be realized but we must be diligent with rainfall collection and natural emergency preparedness.

Are the Ukiah City Council and the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors prepared?

Chris Scott


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It’s so sad that Berkeley’s Black Oak Books and so many other local bookstores are closing. Many years ago I tried to keep a tiny bookstore alive in Livermore. It was done in by the lure of the Berkeley/San Francisco book scene and by my lack of business acumen. Nowadays, devices and Amazon are defeating many bookstores. Not to forget the modern aesthetic which doesn’t respect books in living spaces.

A bookstore is not just about selling books. It’s about the people who work there. They comfort the lonely, exchange ideas and keep books alive. May I suggest Fahrenheit 451?

Celia Menczel

Walnut Creek

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Letter to Editor

There are important liability implications in the September 2015 Surprise Federal Audit Report of Mendocino County Mental Health. The County programs are now officially documented as deficient to non-existent, and outside of standards of participation for publicly funded programs. Specifically,

1. Failure to coordinate services between Ortner, various psychiatrists, the drop-in programs, and the drug dispensing organizations.

2. Failure to organize, manage and administer resources to provide Community Mental Health Services such as: Outpatient Partial Hospitalization Program, and accurate accountings of patients.

3. Failure to provide patients with active day treatment, or psychosocial rehabilitation services.

4. Failure to perform professional management responsibility by retaining administrative and financial management and oversight of staff and services for all contracted services. County failed to maintain an accounting of active patients with potential for inaccurate billing.

5. Failure to practice effective infection control measures when disposing of sharps and medications at Ortner’s Access Centers. Ortner never had a contract for handling or discarding biohazardous waste and sharps containers as Policy required.

The full Federal Audit Report can be found at

Sonya Nesch, Comptche, Author,

Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness

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To the Editor:

I would like to bring this pro-gun / anti-gun controversy to an end once and for all. I have asked a hedge fund manager to please give me a million dollars. You and I could try something a little different and see if it works. Pro-gun, which is well organized, is clearly winning. Anti-gun efforts are scattered and not effective. The Times could put an editorial on its front page seven days a week and not move the anti-gun agenda forward an inch.

Now, Mr. N.F.M. here is how we are going to spend your (our) money: Most of the money will be used for publicity, some for organizing. We will attempt to have an anti-gun candidate on the ballot in each of the 435 congressional and 33 senate contests in the Nov. 2016 Election.

If an anti-gun candidate can’t get past the primary, it will be deemed a victory for pro-gun. The portion of the million dollars that goes to publicity is to ensure the focus is on the gun issue as well as whether the Republicans or Democrats win control of each chamber. I hate to use a hankneyed cliche such as letting the chips fall as they may, but there you are.

Ralph Bostrom


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Dear Editor,

As is widely suspected, a democracy whose institutions lend such import, gravitas and credibility to a quackery of plutocratic bootlickers like our GOP has to be in deep doo-doo, not that our yellow-bellied Dems are a whole hell of a lot better. Hence, please humor a suggestion for taking our first baby step toward replacing our flawed democracy with a more inclusive European-style parliamentary system. As our honorary known as “Poet Laureate” sounds far too academic and ivory-towerish to be anything better than ignored by ordinary people, “Poet Laureate” shall henceforth be replaced with the much more down to earth sounding “Rhyme Minister.” Once that change is accomplished, the popular surging urge to add a Prime Minister to the top ranks of American democracy will scarcely be able to be repressed, and the remainder of the badly needed governmental rehab will thereafter quickly ensue. ;-)

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, Massachussetts

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Dear Editor;

Amnesty International recently released statistics by country of the number of executions during the period between 2007 and 2012. The United States with 220 executions was in 5th place with only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq executing more persons. It is a disgrace that the United States is one of the top five countries in executions. Further, of the top 10 countries in executions the only Christian country was the United States. Also, it is the only G7 country to still execute people. In the United States the majority of the executions were in southern states and a significant number of those executed were African Americans. Currently about 105 countries have abolished the death penalty in other countries executions such as Japan executions are very rare. Currently in the United states 32 states and the U. S. government have the death penalty. The majority of the Supreme Court apparently does not consider the death penalty to be contrary to the 8th Amendment. In California we have about 750 persons including 20 women on death row.

Currently, executions were put on a hold by a Federal Court because of flaws in the state's execution process. The current hold is pending judicial review of a new execution chamber and new methodologies in executing prisoners. Because California's death penalty was enacted through the voter initiative process, the only way to amend it is through a voter approved ballot measure. A pro death penalty group will begin this year seeking signatures for an initiative that will make significant changes for the purpose of expediting the appeal process.. There are other changes including that death row inmates must work and pay victim restitution.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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Here is some insight on the Kochs from Bernie Sanders:

It is not widely known that David Koch once ran for Vice President of the United States of America on the Libertarian Party ticket because he believed Ronald Reagan was much too liberal. And he ran on a platform that included the following: “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.” “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.” “We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws…” “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”

The U.S. supreme court is hearing a lawsuit this week that could make every state in the country a "right -to-work" (for less) state. The inability to close the shop and collect dues from everyone who benefits from collective bargaining greatly weakens the union. This lawsuit is being funded by the multi-billionare Koch brothers and is against the California Teachers Association. Teachers and their union are the primary advocates for public education.

Please sign and circulate this petition:

Don Cruser

Little River

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Governor Jerry Brown has emphasized the vulnerability of the state budget to economic swings. Fortunately, there is an easy solution to minimize the budget roller coaster: Amend Prop. 13 so that corporations pay their fair share of property taxes. When Prop. 13 was enacted in 1978, corporations provided half the state's property tax revenue, and individual homeowners paid the other half. Today, corporations pay only one quarter, and that percentage dwindles each year. Our schools, colleges, highways and other infrastructure need and deserve predictable funding. Providing a stable base of property tax revenue allows this, and it is only fair that corporations pay their way. The passage of State Constitutional Amendment 5, which has been introduced in the Legislature with the intent of appearing on the November 2016 ballot will do just that. It will generate $9 billion each year without raising taxes on homeowners or renters. It deserves the support of every California organization and voter.

Jay Nitschke


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To the Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal:

I’m writing to express appreciation to Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster and Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira for their invaluable contributions to obtaining justice in Humboldt County.

With the approval of District Attorney Eyster, Assistant District Attorney Sequeira recently prosecuted a double homicide and double attempted murder case here in Humboldt County. The jury convicted the defendant on all counts. Mr. Sequeira’s work on the case was widely recognized as masterful and much appreciated by the families of the victims.

Mr. Sequeira’s handling of the case came about when District Attorney Eyster recognized a shortage of human resources in the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and raised the possibility of Mr. Sequeira’s participation. Because of my knowledge of Mr. Sequeira’s ability, I readily accepted this generous offer.

I believe the collaborative approach to criminal justice that Mr. Eyster and Mr. Sequeira have demonstrated in this case has enhanced public safety in Humboldt County and on a larger scale that clearly includes Mendocino County. It also makes clear to me that Mr. Eyster has cultivated an excellent, hardworking team of prosecutors in Mendocino County, a team willing to take on additional work so that one of California’s top prosecutors could be shared in a time of need with a neighboring county. I look forward to building such capacity in the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and to being in a position to share skilled prosecutors with Mendocino County if ever needed.

Thank you very much, Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster and Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira.

Maggie Fleming, Humboldt County District Attorney


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Would to "auditory rape" catch the eyes of your readers more than "No Drone Zones"? Whatever -- you be the judge.

I sent the following letter to the Board of Supervisors and the Fort Bragg City Council. We'll see if it gets any response. It's in the same category as the fight against the frost fans. Thank God we don't live forever. People — you gotta hate ’em.


Louise Mariana, Mendocino

PS. "Life can be beautiful, but it won't -- Lily Tomlin." PPS. Perversity rules!

To: The Little River Inn, California State Parks, Fort Bragg-Mendocino Chamber of Commerce

Subject: No Drone Zones

Greetings for the new year. 2016 promises to be noisier than ever, hence this letter stating my concern which I hope will elicit a response from you.

The backstory, as they say:

I have been playing tennis at the Little River Inn court for years and loving every minute of it — until two days ago. Where else could one play tennis on the coast and hear the surf and the gulls and see red-tailed hawks above? All that changed drastically when an Inn guest unleashed is drone in the parking lot adjacent to the courts. At first I thought I was being attacked by a humongous swarm of bees, but the season was wrong. I looked above me and there it was: the drone hovering above the court, making that loud -- and I mean LOUD! — buzzing noise. We made some comments to the man who was manipulating the thing and he sent it flying westward over toward Van Damme Beach. How nice for those beachgoers who had thought they'd be having a peaceful time at the beach. Eventually, it flew back to the court's airspace and after at least 30 more minutes of this incessant noise the man brought it to earth for good and he and his obnoxious toy went away.

I fear that my experience will not be an isolated event. With the proliferation of these aerial gadgets, peace and quiet will become endangered species. Now is the time to act before this really gets out of hand. Vacation places should take note: who wants to spend $200 a night only to be serenaded by drones? Why would people use our gorgeous beaches if they are getting serenaded by low-flying mechanical nuisances?

No Drone Zones must be established. Mendocino County is known for a lot of progressive "firsts": No GMOs. No offshore oil wells. No wind energy ocean platforms. No herbicide roadside spraying. Etc. Let's add a No Drone Zone to our accomplishments if for no other reason than "it'll be good for tourism."

But my concern goes beyond tourism. The general public deserves places of quiet and if denied, you will see another "rage" added to the list. Road rage is bad enough, and now we can add school and movie theater rage, and unless action is taken immediately drone rage will become prevalent.

If we continue to amplify our world we will go crazy. The pour of sheer noise will do us in just as severe overcrowding leads people to act violently and harm others.

This is a cautionary tale. There is time to act and get these noisemakers under control which will no doubt result in more signs — and I know we have a lot of them already. But a No Drone Zone is imperative if we are to keep from killing the golden goose known as the Mendocino Coast.

Louise Mariana


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To Anderson Valley and beyond,

Dawn Hofberg is a Physician’s Assistant and a well known member of the Coastal Medical community. She will be volunteering her skills in the medical field in a refugee camp in Lesvos. In the Fall, having just come back from Lesvos, I was able, with your contributions, to raise almost $2,000 to send over. We are asking again, if you can contribute to this cause. Every cent is used to help with this crisis. Any amount is worthy. Dawn has given a few options for how to contribute in her letter, and my contact is still the same: google Timothyjaysmith and he has several ways to donate.

This is what it takes now. People taking care of people.

Much Thanks,

Kira Brennan


PS. Dearest Friends and Family,

Many of you already know that I am planning to go to Lesvos, Greece on January 23rd to stay for a month of working with refugees there. It is likely that you have been following this crisis, the worst since World War Two. Daily since last Spring families have been risking their lives to cross the Aegean from Turkey to the relative safety of the Greek shores. But the journey is perilous, now that it is Winter the sea and the air are cold and turbulent. Many lose their lives to drowning, victims of corrupt smugglers providing overcrowded rafts and even fake life jackets. After a moment of elation for those who arrive safely, they then need dry clothing and shoes, shelter from the winter rains and snow, a way to contact their families left behind or ahead of them in some other European country, and a place to rest before they travel on to Athens and elsewhere.

Over the Spring and Summer many local Greek citizens, and other travelers and tourists have had to respond very directly and immediately to this crisis. These direct aid organizations have made the greatest impact by responding to the hardships faced by the most vulnerable people; unaccompanied children, pregnant women, injured people, and those with medical conditions and disabilities. Volunteers have built kitchens and warehouses and stocked them with donations sent from all over the world. They have tried to purchase food and other items for the refugees locally and have built ground up organizations. By now, many larger organizations have arrived in Lesvos, and all of these are good (Medicins Sans Frontiers/ Doctors without Borders, UNHCR, IRC,). But sometimes these larger organizations do not function as efficiently as those that sprung up on site and have more connection with the locals.

Starfish Foundation is one of those that I originally contacted to find out where my help might be needed. After many emails and messages I have found that my skills are most needed in the Refugee camp with Health Point Project Lesvos. I have gathered some donations of clothing and supplies which I will be mailing to the Island.

Many of you have asked how you might help and it took me a long time to research this. There are many organizations to which you can donate, and I will list some here, but the suggestion I have gotten from my beloved yoga teacher Angela Farmer (who lives in Lesvos) and from other volunteers who are there or have been there is to bring my US dollars donations there, change to Euros and use the money to buy the supplies that the camp needs while I am there. Sometimes it might be for shoes or rain ponchos, other times it may be for building materials ( building a dolly to cart heavy blankets across the camp). I will be working in the Medical tent. Medical supplies are needed but are difficult to bring in, better purchased there.

So if you send me a check with Lesvos in the note, I will do just that with any funds I collect. I plan to pay for all my own expenses, so you are not subsidizing my trip in any way. Already in preparing to go to Greece, your words of encouragement and extra hugs have fortified my courage to embark on what I know will be a heart opening and at times heartbreaking journey. It is the love from my home and community that assures me that when my heart is broken it will also be healed. If you wish to give a donation, you can send it to me at: Dawn Hofberg PO Box 582 Albion California 95410 If you prefer to donate directly to an organization here are a couple I recommend. Through pay pal: to Starfish Foundation


I do hope to have the time to write a group email or perhaps a blog while I am in Greece. If you would like to be included in this, please let me know and I'll add your name to my list. If not, there will be postings on facebook as well. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and for caring about those who are in such need right now.

Dawn Hofberg


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An attack on the very effective but controversial wildlife services program by Camiila Fox, CEO of Project Coyote, and the numerous “POLITICALLY DRIVEN SPECIAL INTEREST groups” is the most recent strong-arm attempt to kill jobs and industry in the county of Mendocino, and leave residents in the wild and rugged mountains of Mendocino County without the ability to protect their beef, lamb, and other staple income streams and livelihood. The details of the lawsuit appear to have been overlooked by Mr. Anderson and the AVA.

First off Project Coyote and their deep pocket defenders and the rest of the Animal Rights groups have forgotten one important thing in their attempt to “kill” people’s rights. The wildlife preservation law of 1947 fish and game code 1301. mandates that “the preservation, protection of wildlife within the state is an inseparable part of providing adequate recreation for our people in the interest of public welfare; and it is the policy of the state to acquire and restore to the highest possible level, and maintain in a state of high productivity, those areas that can be most successfully used to sustain wildlife and which will provide adequate and suitable recreation. To carry out these purposes, a single and coordinated program for the acquisition of lands and facilities suitable for recreational purposes, and adaptable for conservation, propagation, and utilization of the fish and game resources of the state is established.

THAT’S PUBLIC FOLKS!!!! NOT FOR A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP who sue other people to get their way. But for the public as a whole. Money and votes should not play a part in strong arming other public. Project Coyote and the deep pockets of the often deceptive animal rights groups are trying to get Mendocino County to drop their contract with USDA Wildlife Services. Their goal is to have it replaced with the Marin County Livestock protection program of Marin County,”(which is 828 sq. miles of gentle rolling hills)not at all the rugged terrain of Mendocino County. This program helps pay for the costs of Guard Dogs, food, fencing, That is it!

Mendocino County which is 3,878 sq miles of extremely rugged steep terrain, which are home to the highest populations of black bear and lions in the state, not to mention feral dogs. Also adding to the problems of the fantasy notion of strictly non-lethal methods are non-native invasive feral hogs, and coyotes, which appeared in the late 1800s.

The USDA program serves all county residents, not just the ranching community. Their service is available to all residents. These services include a meager two specialists for all that land that have 80 years of combined experience in mitigating wildlife and human conflicts. Hardly an army set out to kill all the wildlife in Mendocino County as Fox EXAGGERATES AND purports. The fact is they are as taxed as the rest of the services in the area. These services agents are on call 24 hours, and work for the large rancher, as well as the little farm or property that have conflicts in urban areas. They deal with human health and safety, to livestock depredation, also expertise in disease control, something project coyote neglects to admit or has an answer to themselves. This program is a very reasonably budgeted cost which perform a seriously valuable asset to the community, could you imagine leaving rabies decisions to an urban grandmother to deal with? USDA also provides hundreds of non-lethal technical assistance calls on wildlife conflicts. An average year results in two-thirds of their work is coyote, and feral swine. Which are both non-native. Mendocino County have hundreds of beef, and sheep ranchers, many of which have tens of thousands of acres, also several thousand hobby farms, and homesteads that grow food and have livestock. USDA programs have been implemented since 1860.

In response to the lawsuit, a conference held at the 5,000 acre Hopland Research Center on Dec of 2015. Camilla Fox was scheduled to present her miraculous non- lethal methods, and show the hillbillies of Mendocino County how it all works. However she cancelled her debut to perform her noisemakers, chemical repellants, flashing lights, and guard dogs and didn’t even show up. The conference was attended anyway, and was graced with the real experts such as Bobb Timm, John Harper, who were asked after the most world renown experts in the field all over the united states who have studied these topics ad nauseum if he could tell us what the non-lethal silver bullet solution is, Timm replied, “POLITICS.”

All of the experts agreed that non-lethal methods do not work all of the time, and lethal control is often needed due to the keen intrinsic adaptability of predators. They figure out the non-lethal methods don’t pose a threat. The US Farm AG Advisor from Marin County and the largest sheep rancher in Marin agreed Marin County Livestock Protection Program is a political program and a complete failure. The only predators they encounter are coyotes. The experts also agreed without professional wildlife service’s experts, people will resort to remedies that will result in poisons, and methods that are dangerous to environment and neighbor’s animals and safety. These experts include Ca. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, USDA, National Wildlife research Center from Fort Collins, Colorado. Robert Timm The world renown coyote expert from Hopland, and Wildlife Services USDA.I was personally impressed with the 5 member unanimous decision by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. They showed a command knowledge of the real issues at hand, and were able to read through the SPECIAL INTEREST DRIVEN SHAM OF project Coyote, and how they claimed to desire to help us see the “ flashing light of reason” but in reality when Fox was given the opportunity she did not show at Hopland. This is special interest politics and lethal to good community and jobs.

Paul Trouette

Mendocino County Black Tail Association


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Alan Haack wrote: “I like what Michael Pollen says about food choices: Eat foods that your grandmother would recognize. :-)”

Food I remember my grandmother and grandfather fed me in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when I was a little boy: Frozen blueberries in syrup. White-sugar-on-white-bread sandwiches. Spumoni. Handsful of thinly sliced pepperoni. Red-dyed pistachios. Sunny-side-up eggs cooked in saved bacon grease. Bacon. All the hard old sourdough bread I wanted. Also, of course, the entire Italian restaurant menu. Dinner always started with iceberg lettuce salad (oil, vinegar, garlic and thick black pepper for dressing). (And canned olives, of course.) Soup. Lasagne, spaghetti in meat sauce, giant meatballs, tortellini, ravioli. Chewy toasted pizza of white dough my grandfather made --thin crust, dripping with sauce and lots of cheese. Pastrami sandwiches, meat fried on a flat grill next to the French bread. Walnut-sugar-paste rolled up bread (slices had a sweet spiral in them). Squash-blossom fritters in powdered sugar. Pie. Leftover coffee from the restaurant's aluminum five-gallon electric urn. Little silver-dollar-size pancakes with liquid butter and even more powdered sugar.

A couple of months ago I read that fresh unprocessed corn has nearly zero nutrition. You have to treat it with (mineral) lime to get anything good from it besides calories. Most of it just goes right through you and comes out the other end. Vitamin-and-mineral-enriched food products that last for months on the shelf, that you bring to life with boiling water and spices and sauces, are a good thing. Iodized salt. Of course if you only eat cookies and cake you won't do well, but who does that? A little bit of everything delightful-- that's living. Eating only raw weeds in season-- is that living? No, and neither is it healthy. That's what I think.

Marco McClean,


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Who, or what, would bear witness to this place within? I am that I am in that place, where gentle movements of water in the tide pool stroke the sea grasses, which respond in unison with the water’s movement, swaying of grasses, embraced by water.

I had been putting together my favorite daily snack, consisting in dry puffed kamut cereal, over which I sprinkle a full tablespoon of cocoa powder, then cinnamon, then crystalline xylitol. After tossing for uniform spread of the goodies, I carefully add milk, not too much, not too little.

This time, early afternoon,I made a hasty decision to multi-task. I had purchased a baggie of exotic dried seaweed, harvested on the coast here in California, about 50 miles West of my home as the seagull flies. The product is hand harvested in tide pools and other places of easy access to people accustomed to shore life, dried in the woods or in sheds, then processed for packaging as finely shattered dried bits of seaweed, in a consistency ranging from almost powder to mini-flakes, all a uniform dark color that probably started out in some shade of deep green or olive.

Well, I was in automatic mode for the chocolate kamut puff treat, and in parallel automatic mode for emptying the baggie into a tiny sea flakes jar I use, perfect for protecting the somewhat fragile ocean delicacy.

Before I could stop, I had begun to empty the sea flakes into my kamut bowl, already set up with its chocolate and other ingredients!

With incredulity, I swore, and stopped the movement of my hand, but not before a goodly half teaspoon or more had dumped onto the kamut! With the urgent movements of someone trying to catch a baby falling off its changing table, I tried scooping back out the visible sea flake powder, disturbing the dry puffs as little as possible, but the inevitable happened - more of the ocean product was sifting down through my chocolate mixture than I was retrieving.

I resolved to make amends, hunker down grimly and proceed. I added the milk, stirred (didn’t look bad), and proceeded to consume my accident, for better or worse. This would NOT be allowed to go down, the otherwise looming waste of good things!


Even after adding more of the xylitol sweetener (speaking of “going down”), there still remained the salty, fishy over-taste, or should I say “under” taste, wildly competing in a flavor war amongst the taste buds and other sensors of my mouth’s “brain”.

Still, my remorse, my willpower, and an obedient swallow reflex all cooperated in my gustatory self flagellation.

Yes, I had ordained (I repeat for emphasis) that this unique, this rare, this unparalleled food would not be wasted! The good sea things, the good organic chocolate, the anti-cavity sweetener, the unique puffed grain, the non-fat organic milk, these would, by gosh, make peace and cooperate in this eating agenda. The negotiation between the flavors would, dammit, reach a tolerable compromise.

But my determination to reclaim virtue reached its limit with the very last little amount in the bowl. I had already consumed a “lion’s” share, and now I simply couldn’t, literally, “stomach” what little remained. Down the drain it went, my duty having been, in the view of my inner jury, fulfilled.

I was relieved that there seemed to be no gastric effect worth noting, just a slightly twisted feeling towards the back of my mouth, where some sort of rebellion persisted against this strange three way battle between fishy ocean salt, chocolate craving, and my remorse.

I mean, chocolate is SO good. And, of course, on morning toast, the sea flakes, in their quite different way, are very good.

I went over to my bed to lie down on my back, something I do several times during any day, as a kind of “pause that refreshes”, or “pause that reflects”, just taking an opportunity to stretch, close my eyes, ruminate, whatever.

And today, above all, to leave the disastrous food scene behind me.

Still, my “mistake”, and the dreaming afterlife of harvested seaweed, had led me through the portal to a mystical experience, the one I began describing when I started this account.

Back in time, ahead in time, in a place with no time.

And as I felt the movement of grasses deep within, the gentle urging of the sea around me, I was also aware of an enormous space beyond the ocean, beyond any horizon.

I can’t tell you this was an “out of body” experience, but I really swam through that opening into the vast mother, the sea, the ultimate mysterium.

How’s that for dreaming? I kid you not, I had a genuine mystical experience, of being the seaweed in a timeless tide pool.

Or was it the sea powder finding in me its oceanic forebears?

Well now, these hours later, and talking to you here in the mundane world of “reality,” it’s “I was that I was.”

And I will not eat that concoction again, even as I thank myself (and my “lucky stars”?) for goofing up.

Al Krauss


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To the Editor:

It was the night before Christmas

And all through the county

Nothing was burning

Despite no share in tax bounty.

Oh fire departments try

And hold their fund raisers

Since budgets are Scrooged

By Supervisor Ebenezers

The saddest thing is

We citizens can’t even vote

On whether tax dollars

Should keep firefighters afloat

So wake up supervisors

And listen to what we say

So we don’t burn like Lake County

Because you took the funding away

Phyl Speser


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In Mendocino County Today on line for Monday January 11, the AVA posted an item that began: “ACCORDING TO A STORY by Mike A’Dair in last week’s Willits Weekly, Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer has been given leave by the regional director of the California Public Health Department to ignore the recent audit critical of Mendo’s privatized mental health services.”

Without articulating the ensuing, scream-inducing “rest of the story” reaction, Exorcism-style — I sought out the Willits Weekly publication but it’s not posted yet. No matter. This is the kind of information I can’t even begin to get here in Lake County, and so on both counts I am turning to you for elucidation, if you please (not if you’re busy with real work):

1. Could we see that in writing? And items 3, 4, 5, for that matter.

2. Could we speak with Ms. Fornay?

3. What is the process that triggered the “inspection" in the first place (is there a written agency complaint filed, and where?] — if not directly a result of Client 10’s death? And, if yes, same questions.

4. What is the contract management process [over here, I have been refused access to contracts by your new DCAO, “Kid” Flora, on more than one occasion; requests for access by administrative agents (Department of Public Works, for example) are completely ignored — and, no, I haven’t tried the FOIA method, since it seems to just tighten their sphincters.

5. What department of the California Public Health Department is this? Has your local Public Health Officer, or local Public Health Department Director been asked to respond?  [I happened to listen to a few minutes of a program broadcast by KZYX on December 8, around 9 o’clock, in which Dr. Marvin Trotter was the host — I know you published a letter from 50 doctors prefaced by Dr. Trotter, so I think you probably know this guy — who discussed establishing services for homeless in Mendocino County. Introduced possibly as a director of medicine at the Ukiah Adventist hospital, or as the County’s Public Health Officer, or former officer, but unfortunately I was driving and couldn’t take notes.]

I’m just trying to find out how you guys find out as much as you do.  Lake County either doesn’t have the kind of mental health department problems that you do,* or the people in charge are way better at keeping the shit from view.

Joyeaux 2016!

Betsy Cawn

Upper Lake

PS. James Marmon on the cc, knows it and might have time to add info. Thanks to you both for all help.

Ed note: We’re unable to pursue this matter any further from here, although we will continue to follow it. Item 1: Don’t know what the question is. 2. We placed a call and left a message for Ms. Fornay in Santa Rosa. No call back so far. 3. No idea. We heard it had something to do with the two nurse-inspectors being in the area for something else, but… 4. There is no contract management process that we know of. 5. We assume the nurses work out of the Santa Rosa office. We don’t know who the current Public Health officer is, or even if there is one. The last we heard it was a semi-retired guy named McMillan. He works for Cryer. Trotter was Public Health Officer until he ran afoul of CEO Angelo regarding an appearance on KZYX which Trotter wanted to be paid for (!). Next we knew Trotter was out. (We wouldn’t have paid him for it either.) Trying to get decent answers out of any of these people is a fool’s errand and not worth the time and effort.

* * *



January 11, 2016 — Shall we pay for Will Parrish’s freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Punished for courage and truth, An honorable example for young people everywhere. Perhaps this community payment can be offered with a legal notarized documented stipulation that this ten thousand dollars be used to restore the Federally protected seasonal wetlands Under the aegis of the Clean Air and Water Act.

It is Caltrans who should pay the ten thousand dollars to Will for his caring for these ancient wetlands, For the migratory birds flying to Mexico and Central America, for trying to protect those international travelers. For the preservation of the native artifacts kept in trust for the original people of this valley, for his observance of the sacredness of life-giving  water in a time of worldwide climate change, and of this land which collects it.

Give the ten thousand dollars, but do not pay La Mordida, the bite, the bribe.

Dorotheya M Dorman

Redwood Valley

PS. At a community benefit sponsored by the Willits Grange, the Willits Environmental Center, friends and supporters of Will Parish, opponents of the boondoggle Bypass to Nowhere, funds were raised to help Will deal with the corrupt Judge Behnke and the money claimed Will owes Caltrans. Had judge Behnke  considered this case with integrity instead of kowtowing to power politics, Caltrans would be held accountable for its failure to abide by federal law.

One Comment

  1. LouisBedrock January 13, 2016

    To Celia Menczel:

    Well said, good sister.
    I couldn’t agree with you more strongly.

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