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Letters (Jan 27, 2016)

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I'm writing as a member of the Elk County Water District Board but not in behalf of.

In 2014 the Board passed a Zero-Discharge Ordinance initiated at the request of Kira Brennan, a member of the Comptche community and a few others. In 2015 we entered into discussion with PG&E requesting that they terminate their Vegetation Management policy of using herbicides containing glyphosate - a carcinogen Identified by the State of California. In 2016 we have filed the following Complaint with CalEpa: (continue scrolling down -Page 2 is shown first) When/If appropriate we will file Formal and Informal Complaints with the CPUC.

Norman de Vall


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(DEAD AIR to continue, however)


We have some personnel changes going on here at KZYX I want to tell you about. Our long time Program Director, Mary Aigner, is retiring, after 22 years with the station. January 30th is her last day, but she'll be returning for her Thursday night DEAD AIR show. Thank you Mary, for your many years of service.

Also, our Operations Manager, Rich Culbertson, resigned after 8 years with the station. He has done so much for the station's ability to operate under FCC regulations and with redundancy of systems and improvements to our systems. Rich, thank you for your many years of work here at KZYX.

We have two interim positions we've filled temporarily. Long time staffer and programmer Angela Dewitt from Anderson Valley is our Interim Program Director. And Mark Speer from Butte County, via the Hollywood film industry and commercial and public radio stations across the state, is our new Interim Operations Manager.

Aigner, Culbertson, Dewitt, Dechter

We will be revising the job descriptions of the Program Director and the Operations Manager, and will post those jobs in the future casting a wide net. And we'll conduct an open and fair hiring process.

Tune in daily at six minutes after 7pm for station news and needs… Thanks for your support of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, and thanks for listening!

Lorraine Dechter, Station Manager


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I find the Republican debates to be deplorable, classless, third-rate, and witless spectacles, with Trump boorishly pontificating while the rest of the candidates are too fearful of upsetting a large part of the right wing electorate to contradict his outlandish and odious proposals.

I knew his gestures, facial expressions, and posturing reminded me of someone from history, then it came to me...


Mussolini died 1945; Trump born 1946 - coincidence or reincarnation?

Steve Sparks


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As someone who marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, three rows behind Julian Bond and John Lewis, I take great nonviolent exception with those who liken such MLK-era protests with Monday's militant blockade of the Bay Bridge. The great difference is in purposefulness.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew his movement by strategically targeting malefactors; if Woolworth’s had segregated lunch counters and discriminatory hiring practices, we picketed and boycotted Woolworths, inconveniencing Woolworth’s upper management while winning over great numbers of near and far onlookers. In sharpest contrast, the Bay Bridge blockers targeted everybody unlucky enough to be driving that afternoon. They established no connection whatever between the wrong to be corrected and the action they took.

Truth to tell, the "protesters" acted like undisciplined, petulant children. Exactly as with Act Up and Critical Mass protests, the upshot will be a sharp drop in support for their causes.

Jeff Zorn

Santa Clara

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Did you ever get lost in the pygmy forest? How about at night between your driveway and the front door? I’d like to hear about it.  I have been exploring the pygmy forest and trying get a picture of what it means to the community. I plan to share the things I discover here and in other local venues as an ongoing hobby. In the furtherance of this effort, I am asking for your poems, stories, music and art that relate to, or were inspired by the pygmy forest. Have you hauled soil in to mix with the pygmy forest sand and clay? What was that like.  I’m anxious to hear about how the pygmy forest impacts your life. Thank You,

Joshua Lowell


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TO: The Wall Street Journal, Manager of Subscriber Service

Sir or Madam:

I was annoyed to find a full page advertisement for something called Cosmic Christology and Christian Cosmology on the inside back cover of my February, 2016 issue of Harper’s. I would have thought that the editors of Harper’s had a higher opinion of their readers and wouldn’t demean themselves by peddling us a book about discredited Christian chicanery.

I was more annoyed to reach the penultimate page of an amusingly iconoclastic article about those inbred parasites, the British royal family, and find an envelope from the Australian lowlife Rupert Murdoch inviting me to subscribe to the propaganda organ of the equally parasitic American rentier class.

What was most aggravating is that the envelope was glued onto the page and removal of it caused the destruction of the last two pages of Ms. Tanya Gold’s article.

I hate Rupert Murdoch. He’s bought and ruined several publications that I used to read regularly and turned the Fox network into a sewer of fascist propaganda. I never read The Wall Street Journal. It was already a sewer for fascist propaganda before Mr. Murdoch bought it.

I normally would have thrown anything associated with Mr. Murdoch or The Wall Street Journal in the garbage immediately. However, I was so irritated about the damage to my current issue of Harper’s that I called the magazine to demand another copy of the February issue without any invitation to subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and decided to mail you this letter in the envelope that was provided so that you would have to pay the postage.

Small revenge, but better than nothing.

Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

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Letter to Editor:

After Wall Street speculators and big bankers crashed our economy in 2008, many countries jailed the responsible culprits. Even though US bankers were mostly responsible for this worldwide disaster, none were jailed. A major reason was that the financial industry was Obama’s biggest campaign contributor.

And these same special interests are huge funders of Hilary Clinton’s campaign today. Which is why she has made no commitments to jail fraudsters, break up the big banks or seriously reform Wall Street.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders says that under his administration, “Not only will big banks not be too big to fail, but big-time bankers will not be too big to jail.” His campaign does not take money from Wall Street or big corporations, so that he will be free to make badly needed reforms and serve all citizens instead of the monied elite.

Bernie’s campaign, funded by more small donations than any other candidate ever, is catching Clinton in the polls and has passed her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Americans finally have a chance to elect a candidate not dependent on corporate funding who will work for all of us to end this economic recession, the ever-widening wealth gap, and Big Money’s corruption of our democracy.

If you would like such changes, contact Bernie Sanders Headquarters, 328 Main, Fort Bragg, 962-3101.

Tom Wodetzki


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The real gymgibbons.

Yes, this is the real one many of you know lived in Willits, California for half his life and now is retired in Hawaii... and I say this because my computer was "hacked" about a week ago...and the Evil gymgibbons sent emails to some on my list, asking them to go to I hope you didn't do it or you might have been hacked too.

It gets worse, but first I should mention the good news, that my computer has been reset, I changed my password (so it shouldn't happen again?), and I got my $7,050 returned to my bank account.

Yes, the Evil gymgibbons actually sent emails to a "bank officer," talking her into sending a cashier's check from my account to a Donnie Chlaskak in Texas. The Evil gymgibbons actually convinced this "bank officer" by giving her both my checking and savings account numbers—AND my SSN!

What else does the Evil gymgibbons have??? I'm waiting to see the emails the Evil gymgibbons sent to the "bank officer" via the US Post Office, which are in the mail. I did file a police report and filled out a Hawai'i Police Department's Identity Theft Victim's Packet, but for some reason I doubt if he will be caught.

Meanwhile, I'm still stunned that this happened to me. When  I asked the "bank officer" how often this happens, she replied, "I've been working here for 25 years and it's never happened before." More later...Aloha

Jim Gibbons


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Hate Crime: Racist, sexist graffiti attack last night in Santa Rosa

North of Sebastopol Road near the Olive Park neighborhood, hate mongers spray painted extreme racist and virulently sexist graffiti on buildings, fences, and vehicles last night. The target may have been Evelyn Cheatham of "Worth Our Weight" the Culinary Apprenticeship program based on Hahman Drive as the hate filled messages were across the street and slightly offset from her home. We've alerted the Press Democrat and the Bohemian as well as the Anderson Valley Advertiser and will be notifying the Santa Rosa city council members. One of the big concerns is that the Santa Rosa Police Department would not take a report from the complainants - telling them they would have to do it themselves online. One of the property damage victims is a hearing impaired, senior who doesn't have a computer.

Thanks to Big Man and Carole for the use of their phones this morning.

Irv Sutley

Glen Ellen

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Dear Editor,

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working together analyzed heat content changes in the oceans of the world utilizing data going back to 1865. The results of their study was published in Nature Climate Changes .

They determined the oceans are warming at a quicker rate and the past 20 years represented half of the increase of ocean heat content that has occurred since pre-industrial times. Further, ocean water has absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat and nearly 30% of the CO2 generated by human consumption of fossil foods. The study disclosed that 35% of the additional heat is in depths below 700 meters. Peter Gleckler, lead author of the paper, said "When we discuss global warming, the most familiar way we do that is talk about temperature changes on the surface - but it's clear that the oceans are doing the bulk of the work in terms of absorbing the heat in the system - - - The findings are concerning. It's clear evidence that the oceans are taking the brunt of the greenhouse gasses and are accumulating a lot of heat".

Ocean warning is forcing aquatic species from their traditional ranges. As a result of the increase in absorption of CO2 oceans are 30% more acidic. As a result a global bleaching event is underway, Coral whitens and die off to the extreme heat. An analysis of more than 620 studies last year disclosed food chains of the oceans are at risk of collapse due to climate change, over fishing and localized pollution. All of the above represents one more nail in the coffin of the human race as we now know it.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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To The Beast:

I was dismayed to see what was an obviously biased letter posted online in your "Mendocino County Today" column titled, "SAGE NON-PERSONS HER CRITICS." Placing it there gives it an air of veracity. In fact, the letter's author has been part of a personal, months-long social media campaign against the Mendocino Animal Care Services shelter, promulgating hurtful, fact-free opinions, and bashing the competence and morality through the use of inflammatory rhetoric.

In an attempt to obfuscate facts, a small group of volunteers has begun using slogans guaranteed to create a schism between people who are all working for the same ends — that of animal welfare. Their social media posts scream about KILL AND NO KILL shelters, label our county shelter the former, thus cultivating a "we vs. them" atmosphere. In reality, the Ukiah Shelter has operated these past years as close to a "No'Kill" Shelter as possible, without the hyperbolic labeling. Targeted specifically has been Sage Mountainfire, the current shelter supervisor, who single- handedly created the job of adoption coordinator at our shelter, changing the mission of the agency into a real "shelter" — a refuge. To present Ms. Mountainfire as "killing" dogs and kittens is not only a biased straining of the truth, but also hurtful, and absolutely ludicrous, as she has worked non-stop for a decade helping animals.

If indeed the object of this groups ardor — Petaluma Animal Services (PAS) — will remake the shelter into the haven the group expounds, I would like to see facts other than the trotting out of "live release rates" from PAS vs. Ukiah Shelter, as those statistics are accumulated differently in the two systems of record-keeping. Merely writing that things will improve if our shelter is outsourced has no factual reality; indeed, such rhetoric sounds like empty political campaign sloganeering.

Our shelter works. Last year over 1,300 dogs and cats were adopted and/or transferred to rescue organizations — an average of 6 dogs or cats per working day. Though a flier celebrating this fact was immediately questioned and used as an opportunity to again slam the shelter and its staff, the numbers speak for themselves. Can the shelter improve? Absolutely. But reinventing the wheel, insulting government while still willingly taking its (our) money is disingenuous.

In a decade of volunteering at the Ukiah Shelter, I have not experienced anything remotely like these current shenanigans. The negative atmosphere being created is and will lead, unfortunately, to less hands-on participation from volunteers and potential adopters who, viewing the peculiarly named "Friends of the Ukiah Shelter" social media pages are bewildered at posts of negative commentary about the very shelter the page is supposedly endorsing.

In the days to come, your paper and the community will undoubtedly see more biased, distorted allegations without supporting facts. I urge people look beyond the personal ideologies and emotionally charged slogans and seek more level headed information.

What the shelter really needs are more volunteers who are willing to "play well with others," walk dogs, scratch cats, and help the animals in a myriad of ways.

Kathy Shearn



Having had responses I made on the confusingly-named "Friends of the Ukiah Shelter" Facebook page pulled, I retreated from the fact-free environment of social media. But I do look at the page every now and then, to canvass the current brouhaha over the future of the Mendocino County Animal Care Services shelter—known simply as the Ukiah Shelter.

Currently attempting to sway the Facebook public's opinion about the care and competency of the shelter and its staff, the "administrators" of the page have bombarded the social media outpost with photos of sad-looking kitties and dogs behind bars, overlaid by very large texts replete with their favorite mottos: NO KILL — NO KILL — NO KILL.

What's really irksome, though, is reading post after post of changes and achievements to come if the shelter is handed over to an out of county "non-profit" organization—with no substantial information on how these changes will happen (is there a Secret Santa willing to help the animals but only if Petaluma Animal Services is in charge?)

More annoying still, is the misrepresentation of facts—to wit, this latest piece of time-line-bending: "DUE TO THE COMMUNITYS CONCERNS THE COUNTY ISSUED AN RFP." (request for proposal)

In fact, the community's concern at that time, late 2014 and early 2015, was to keep the shelter's status quo, i.e., —under the management of Health and Human Services, instead of moving it to the Sheriff's Office. To that end, a petition was introduced on-line (by the same group now working to undermine current management and staff), gathering thousands of names, along with hundreds of GLOWING, positive, responses about the great work and fine care of the shelter and its operations.

At the same time, someone involved in helping keep the shelter under HHSA management decided that outsourcing could be a better option, and they found and introduced Petaluma Animal Services to the Board. PAS wrote an "unsolicited" letter to the county to start contract negotiations. The "community" was not involved—they had done their part signing the petition.

It was only after the Board of Supes made the decision to keep the shelter with HHSA, while also keeping open the possibility of outsourcing, that the RFP process was begun. It took some time, but the requests were eventually sent out (on August 4, 1015.)

Trivial nit-picking? No. Because manipulating the timeline of events is simply another way to confuse and obfuscate the public.


"That's how they do." — D'Angelo Barksdale, HBO'S The Wire

The latest and perhaps final salvo directed at the Ukiah Shelter has been fired from the county's executive office. Without prior warning or reasons, shelter supervisor Sage Mountainfire, was told to pack her belongings, exit the premises, and unceremoniously put on administrative leave, an internal investigation pending.

And with that, 12 years of continuous, loyal, hard work has come to an end?

Those of us who volunteer at a shelter whose accomplishments we are proud of, and do not perceive Ms. Mountainfire as a disruptive or deficient employee, find this turn of events distressful, and the timing suspicious. By all appearances, a decision to outsource the shelter has already been made. Administrative leave renders shelter staff and county employees mute and strangling further conversation while lowering the opaque curtain.

Will the public be made privy to the reason for this employee's disciplining? And is this indeed the end of the discussion and the winning hand for a group of people who have slung mud around town and the internet for the past half a year? Will a negative campaign predicated on personal gripes best the thousands of happy dog, cats, and their owners?

I guess we'll see if that's how they do.

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Dear Editor,:

Re: Doctors Without Borders Hospital, Kunduz, Afghanistan

I am writing to you regarding the October 3, 2015, destruction of the Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. As you know, this hospital was completely destroyed, and many patients and medical staff were killed in this horrific event. The American military has acknowledged that, through a series of mistakes, the hospital was attacked and destroyed by American air forces. President Obama has apologized for the destruction of the hospital by American forces.

Reading the subsequent New York Times news articles about this tragic event and its aftermath, I've been troubled and haunted, as an American citizen, by the consequences of what we've done. The horror extends beyond the immediate effects of the attack. News articles have made clear that the hospital was the lone medical facility, in this part of Afghanistan , capable of providing full treatment for trauma victims. The loss of the hospital's services means there will be ongoing consequences for Afghan citizens who suffer serious injuries.

And thus I write to you, advocating that you and other American officials might lead our country to commit to fully funding the rebuilding of the Kunduz hospital. Surely this is the right action for our country to take. If we are responsible for the hospital's destruction, we should be duty-bound to rebuild it. The question really is how could we not , to the extent possible, right this wrong?

After so many years of the terrible trauma and loss and waste involved in American war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, it would be heartening and inspiring to see America make this commitment. Our country has vast wealth and resources; only a small part of these resources would be needed to fund this effort. Finally, rebuilding the hospital would be an exemplary act of restorative justice, one that would speak loudly to the world's people and nations.

Thinking as a realist of our country's political climate, I know this task may not be easy to accomplish. Still, it is clearly the right thing to do, even in a world full of complications, contention and obstacles. Therefore, I write to you with these thoughts for a plan of action to justly compensate for our tragic actions. Thank you, in your busy and problem-laden world, for considering them.


Chuck Dunbar

Fort Bragg

PS. I have sent this letter to Vice President Biden, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Congressman Huffman.

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