Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Feb 10, 2016)

* * *



If we haven't already got there we are fast approaching the point of no return. Science now predicts it — the mythological Doomsday crystalized into reality. Politically, Bernie Sanders is our only visible hope.

Economically, ecologically, morally and spiritually Wall Street is our nemesis.


This will be the first presidential election in my 74-year lifetime to proffer a viable candidate for social and environmental justice.

Please register Democrat and vote in June. If needed I have voter registration forms.

David Severn


* * *



Because our country is relatively stable with no great expansion or down sizing a good part of our corporations have lots of cash and very few places to invest it which is the reason so many of them buy other companies with cash. In the past so many would merge to expand. But that hoard of cash doesn’t seem to draw much interest from investors in Jerry Brown’s high speed rail because they see no chance of it making money. Jerry Brown wants to show a balanced budget so he can raise taxes. So what does he do? Take the funds from roads. He wants to show how smart and forward-looking he is. Now everyone is riding on bumpy roads and it’s no problem to raise taxes for bumpy roads.

As I have said before enough is never enough. Prop 13 is a good measure but it does not go far enough to stop the eternal growth of government. My suggestion is to put on the ballot a measure since we are already overtaxed  that says they will not raise any taxes, fees or anything that takes more money from the public by government whatsoever unless we again overturn this measure

The most important thing we have to do is get rid of government unions. In the early days of the previous century we passed an anti-trust law. Cartels, trusts and monopolies are all the same. The target of this law was anything that gets complete control of any thing or service that there is no substitute for. That’s what one of those three words are for and all are illegal. Private unions knocked out most of our heavy industries which were primarily in the rust belt (Illinois to Pennsylvania) so companies moved to right work states or out of our country. That label Made In The USA is now seldom seen.

Now we continually get more people who work for or are supported by government. The only problem is that government gives necessary services but puts nothing in the pie and the pie keeps getting smaller with pieces getting thinner for everyone. That’s why all government unions have to go. There is no other way to stop the growth of government than by adding competition for labor and all costs.

Emil Rossi


* * *



I can finally speak out. I got a call from my union today that Safeway will not take me back. Here is part of my story. I would appreciate it being posted as either a letter to the ed or a story. Soon I will be asking for all your help to get my job back at Safeway.

I was informed today that the union has given in to my cause. On June 23rd Electra, Eros Nelson's daughter (a known shoplifter) married to Noah Beard (a previous employee) walked out with an item she didn't pay for. I knew this as I would have to have entered ID to purchase the item, a fake firework her minor son was holding. I explained the store policy to her and she walked out without paying for it. I waited for her to ring it up at Self Check Out where many thefts occur so I could enter her ID. I waited and then had to go help other customers. She returned to the store to purchase something she forgot.

I nonchalantly walked up to her and said the item didn't ring up and she said Yes it did and offered to get her receipt out of her car. In the process she locked her keys in the car. She returned to the store and I offered to let her use the phone to call Noah Beard to get a key to open her car. She said he wanted to talk to me so I spoke with him, and he said she was having a bad day and he would be there in 20 minutes as he lived out Pudding Creek Road. She said she wanted to stay on the phone with him until he arrived.

All the management was at lunch, and when Brian Jimenez and Karmah Mendez returned, they assisted in printing out the receipt, which showed the item was not paid for and the video also clearly showed the item was not paid for. They both wrote incorrect statements.

Brian is together with Stephanie Mendez and the father of her child and her mother is Karmah. Stephanie doesn't like me as she doesn't like to follow Safeway Policy. Noah worked at Safeway before and has filed a lawsuit against them in the past. He didn't like me and clearly stated that when he arrived. He didn't like being told how to do his job, either.

When he arrived he threatened to have me fired. In the past many shoplifters have walked out with many things. In fact one day police Chief Scott Mayberry saw one and on his day off went and reported it with me to the manager, but she said she couldn't do anything if she didn't see it yet it was on the camera.

So a bit of history here now. Electra Beard drove her car into Tradewinds in Feb of 2012/. Anyone remember this.? If you go to the City Council Meeting minutes of May 2012 Noah Beard sent a demand notice to the City Council for $500,000 stating To Whom It May Concern: 'Because of the unlawful actions by The Fort Bragg Police and the damage caused because of the unlawful actions by the Fort Bragg police, The City Of Fort Bragg California must pay Noah Beard $500,000 which is to be deliverd to Noah Beard P O BOx 1630 Mendocino, CA 95460 by May 1, 2012. This is a legal demand letter. Noah Beard.'

Noah Beard has sued Safeway in the past, according to Paul Gunter, head of Safeway security.

I totally disagree that the shoplifting does not just affect the profits of the store but also the employees. I have spent over 25 years of my life at Safeway and could have retired in June. Shoplifting affects everyone, as on off duty cop said to a young girl who he saw drink a Starbucks Coffee and walk out without payng and said to her your stealing affects everyone who works here.

Safeway will only call the police if a manager or someone trained in the so-called Shoplifting Policy sees it happen. I guesstimate $5000 to $10000 a day walks out of there. And who pays? We the customers. They sould have a greeter like Walmart or like Costco to check your receipt. Safeway says they won't put security at our store.

Jay Rosenquist

Fort Bragg

* * *



What’s all this smack-talk about Ortner Management Group? Tom Ortner is a genius.

Just look at his tax returns. And State filings. The ones for Willow Glen Care Center over in Yuba City. You can find them at the Registry of Charitable Trusts. Back in 2000, he was serving 1.7 million taxpayers from there in fifteen counties. At 68¢ a head. Then things went to Hell in a handbag. And Willow Glen went off the radar for a few years. But Tom came back. To Nevada County. At $1.02. In 2008.

Two years later it got worse. In Humboldt County. Yes, sir. So Tom went there. For $1.19. That was in 2010. Then he went to Del Norte County. For $14.50. In 2013. Finally he landed here. In Mendocino County. At the rock bottom price of $77.34. To each and every taxpayer. In 2014. God bless Tom Ortner!

As you can see by the price, we had a genuine crisis here. Tom’s expertise is something called behavioral health. Willow Glen is a lockup. Pay no attention to the nasty online review about drunk employees. His place is top drawer. It must be. The average staff pay there is around $14,000 a year. But the administration is something to behold. Three managers pocket salaries of $150,000. Including Tom. Who rakes in another million plus for ‘management expenses’. Payable to Ortner Management Group. Founded in 2011.

Us plain old country folk had nothing like that here. All we could muster up was a quaint little religious charity called subcontracted to our micro-church. With a couple of omissions. Both of them tiny.

First was something known as EHR. That stands for Electronic Health Record. Technology. Who needs it? So when Tom wrote up the contract for Hospitality House, he left that part out. The other thing was a mere technicality. About subcontractors. Our obnoxious County wanted to be informed in writing if Tom subcontracted. In advance. But heck, this was a $6.7 million dollar deal. And why rock the boat? Especially for a faith-based subcontractor. Like Hospitality House. So Tom did the right thing. He didn’t tell them. Thus EHR never happened here. Big deal.

For some of Tom’s customers, he’s the only game in town. Like Trinity County. By July of 2014, Tom was the only bidder. So they all wrote clauses into their contract. About having the last word on who got treatment. And where. But not us. Meanwhile, Willow Glen was bursting at the seams. All thanks to Tom’s genius.

Willow Glen’s licensed for forty beds. At daily rates of $100. Topping Tom’s operation out at $1.5 million a year. Yet it takes in something over $8.1 million. How? With upcharges. At $4.82 a minute. Which is a gold mine when your employees average 11¢. Model citizens they are too. According to Tom’s latest tax return, he’s got 177 employees there. But only thirty-five cars in his parking lot. So the rest must take mass transportation. Or else they telecommute. But it’s certainly a green operation. In more ways than one.

That takes us to Tom’s website. It’s been under construction since 2011. Which seems a little strange for a multi-million dollar outfit. But anybody with Google can find his bio there. Claiming a prestigious award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Something he’s never received. NAMI awards are given to doctors – something Tom isn’t. He’s an administrator. And thanks to Mendocino County taxpayers, a very highly paid one. The best that Tom’s management team has to offer is a very attractive lady named Carrie Bevacqua, MSW. That stands for Master of Social Work. Usually licensed. But a quick search at the Department of Consumer Affairs turns up nothing. Ditto for the Willow Glen Care Center. Explaining why Tom’s website isn’t done yet.

Tom Ortner’s true genius is revealed in a solo achievement. Scoring a $6.7 million contract here by lying on his resume.

Scott M. Peterson


PS: You can see more nonprofit nonsense at my weekly video comic strip, Mendopia.

* * *



Issues relating to the future of County Animal Care Services (ACS) will be discussed at an HSSA Standing Committee meeting held in BOS chambers Feb 8, at 9:am. HSSA will provide an update on the Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Many animal advocacy and rescue groups are excited that Jeff Charter, of the Petaluma Animal Shelter, has responded to the RFP and welcome the opportunity to comment on agenda items.

S.O.S- Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals has spent much time researching the work and achievements of Mr. Charter and participated in a Q&A session held by the Alliance4Paws last year. We, as many others, are most impressed with Mr. Charter's track record and sincerely believe that he can change the profile of ACS for our County.

Mr. Charter is schooled in the most up-to-date best shelter practices and his ability to attract public funding, receive grants, build a strong volunteer base and save lives is exemplary. His success rate in placing shelter animals rather than euthanizing them is the goal of progressive shelters throughout our nation.

It is rumored that jobs which should stay in our County will be filled by folks from outside the County and that all current employees will lose their jobs. I have contacted Mr. Charter who has assured me that this is untrue. Mr. Charter plans to accept applications from all folks in our County interested in working for the shelter (including current employees) and will hire people best suited for the job.

It is also rumored that Mr. Charter will close down the shelter spay/neuter clinic but, in a meeting with Mr. Charter, he stated that he plans to expand spay/neuter programs. Currently our tax dollars support Care-A-Van, the County’s mobile spay/neuter clinic, but Care-A-Van does not come to the Coast.

Since the closure of our County ACS, Fort Bragg, the lions share of animal care on the Coast has fallen on the shoulders of a handful of dedicated rescue & advocacy groups stretched to the limit. SOS-Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals is looking forward to a new day when we can partner with a County ACS which will best serve the animals of our communities and the folks who love them.

Please consider attending the HSSA Standing Committee meeting Feb 8 or contact the BOS to let them know you are ready for a progressive Animal Care Services which will save lives.

Thank you!


Carol R Lillis, president, SOS-Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals

Contact info:

  • Supervisor Brown (First District) - Phone# 707-463-4221
  • Supervisor McCowen (Second District) - Phone#707-463-7213
  • Supervisor Woodhouse (Third District) - Phone#707-367-6334
  • Supervisor Gjerde (Fourth District) - 707-463-7229
  • Supervisor Hamburg (Fifth District) - Cell#707-391-3576
  • CEO Carmel Angelo- Phone#707-463-4441 (Assistant: Cassandra Borgna: Phone# 707-463-7203)
  • Stacey Cryer - Director Of HHSA- Cell#707-391-3107

* * *



If the NFL were a corporation it would compare in the top 100 US companies for annual revenues and market capitalization. This being said, Is it feasible for a company as wealthy as the NFL to actually buy the weather. Super Bowl 50 has come to the SF Bay Area, or rather Santa Clara 50 miles south, with the festivities being mostly held in our fair City. On Tuesday it was 38 degrees, cold, overcast, windy, wet and rainy. This Sunday for the big dance it is supposed to be 70 something, warm, sunny, clear and beautiful. I'm just sayin the weather seems manufactured at times.

My favorite quote when it comes to pro-sports or the NFL especially is a little gem from the late Gore Vidal. He said, "A peculiarity of American sexual mores is that those men who think of themselves as exclusively and triumphantly heterosexual are convinced that the most masculine of all activities is not tending to the sexual needs of women but watching other men play games." Zikes is all I have to say to that, on we go.

The greatest disservice that computers do for people nowadays is that they convince people that they are actually productive, connected and important, when nine out of ten times this is pure self-delusion.

Have you heard the latest from the 1 percent and their lackeys? They decided to shut down the earth and its functioning for the reason that the earth is entirely way too socialistic.

What is worse than your yahoo jock manboys running around society these days? It's something more and more frequent these days in the bay, and that is your poofy manboy. All orientations are welcome, just prance around like a self-centered candy ass on your device or in your car or on your bike and proceed as if the entire world revolves around your whimsy.

What megalomaniac in this day and age could possibly run veep to Donald Trump? Probably the only one gassed up enough to fit that role is the living and self-proclaimed Jesus, Kanye West.

This adage has been popping up in my mind lately. I have no idea where it came from. It goes something like this, "having a right to do something and it being the right thing to do are two entirely different things."

I was listening to some good old Neocon sportstalk radio the other day and this little yahoo manboy 4th voice gets all indignant and says "they said old white man, old white man what the hell? is that supposed to be an insult?" No its only an insult to douchebags like you who get their feelings hurt whenever the "dominant culture" gets dissed. Read the room.

Damn the Golden State Warriors look good at the White House.

I don't give Barack a pass but it sure did strike a chord in my heart when he outlawed solitary confinement for juvenilles in the Fed. system with the aim of a more widespread elimination of solitary confinement in all facilities. His albeit lightweight confrontation of the US prison industrial complex is extremely refreshing. Sad to say that it's all downhill from here as far as commander in chiefs go.

And to James Kunstler, yes you are a genius, Michael Bloomberg will redeem America and restore our lost faith in authority. Better yet, I'll just consider living on the East Coast to be a virus and view your latest article as a symptom of your sickness. I still like your books. "Write drunk and edit sober", or something like that.

And I will close with some food for thought from the illustrious Muhammad, "The best of your youth are those who resemble your old people, and the worst of your old people are those who resemble your young people."

Salty Nate Collins


* * *


Letter to the Editor.

Two weeks ago Will Parrish wrote that Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke is a recycled Pacific Lumber lawyer. In that case Judge Behnke carries a conflict of interest in overseeing the Caltrans Bypass to Nowhere issue. By allowing Caltrans to avoid any responsibility for the massive and unnecessary environmental and cultural destruction it caused, Judge Behnke can be considered a co-perpetrator. As a former lawyer for a timber corporation, Judge Behnke should have recused himself from deciding this important environmental issue. Caltrans’ bulldozing of the black oak and Oregon ash woodlands is surely a forestry issue. By occupying the wick drain crane, Will Parrish was trying to protect the Little Lake Valley wetlands and the entire Willits section of the Pacific Flyway.

Narrowing the issues is one of the methods the judiciary uses to fix the outcome of a case involving corporate or state wrongdoing where the only considerations are money and power.  Judge Behnke’s obligation in this matter was to recuse himself. Failing to do so, his judgment against Will Parrish for restitution to federal law breaker Caltrans must be dismissed.


Dorotheya M Dorman

Redwood Valley

* * *


Dear Beast,

You are incorrect, sorry to say, in your crystal ball predictions about the shelter. A lot will change, either way the board decision goes. If the board decides its time for this delightful episode to end, due to a lack of consensus about any "public -private partnership," shelter staff will be able to breath the proverbial sigh of relief, and return to doing what they love--caring for your county's homeless animals. No longer having the ax dangling over their heads; no longer having to walk amongst people who call them dumb and killers on social media, will be a boost to their and volunteers spirits.

If, in fact, Ms. Mountainfire is reinstated, you are wrong, also, about her having a vengeful nature. But I, dear Beast, do. So I hope the people who have been determined to undermine the shelter for the past year, letting their self righteous frenzy take over respectful communication and truth, will be gone. If the shelter is so distasteful to them, they are free to volunteer elsewhere, and take their social media gossip with them. The adults at the shelter are concerned about the animals; we're not there for glory or to waste time playing nasty games.

Kathy Shearn


* * *


Letter to Editor,

Will Fort Bragg's limousine liberals force mentally ill people take a test (comparable to a driver's license) proving they deserve empathy and help? A tattoo might be more efficient — or just round ’em up and haul them out of sight.

Our wealthy neighbors refuse to accept mental illness is not a crime nor contagious. If these elites sleep outside for two nights, hungry and without hope they might have a different perspective. Bruce Anderson: surprised you would cave by apologizing for Malcolm McDonald's column.

Has the AVA begun to edit the printed word? Please say it ain't so by continuing your excellent publication without pandering to the haves.


An Avid AVA subscriber.

Fort Bragg

* * *



In early 2013, the the Dept. of Veterans Affairs changed my small non-service-connected disability pension to a service-connected "compensation" and my income more than tripled. Life had been getting more and more difficult for me at Ten Mile Ranch where I lived since 1987 and I was on the list for senior housing in Fort Bragg. Since I could now afford my long-time dream of living in France, I up and did it for three main reasons and not necessarily in this order--(1) To get away from the US fascist dictatorship, (2) to become more spiritual and thus prepare myself for death (I'll be 79 on 14 February) and (3) to explore more--while I still could--what I consider the most beautiful and interesting country of all I have visited in the world.

It has been extremely difficult for me with health problems and with the French bureaucracy but so far it has been worth it especially since my health has improved and I have little more to do with the bureaucracy. All I need now is a French driver's license. And I have excellent health insurance here.

From May 2013 until last November I had been living near Granville in Normandy on the west coast of France. I had French friends there who had been helping me settle in. But in visiting an old friend from California now living in Burgundy clear across on the other side of France, I fell in love with this part of the country. And in November, I moved here where I have all my health needs cared for and have been looking for an apartment to rent long-term. Presently I'm renting a "Gite" at the off-season rate of $300/month but it's only good until 1 May when the rate goes up to about $300/week. The tiny village is called "Malay" and is about 45 minutes drive north of Macon, Lyon is another hour or so by train south of Macon.

I have a 1996 Peugeot van which is a former police paddy wagon converted into what the French call (in English) a "camping car" with bunk, stove, frig, etc. I also have an inflatable kayak with sail and pedal motor made by Hobie of California which fits under half the bunk. Soon I will get a folding electric bicycle that I hope will fit under the other side. With "Mamut the Elephant" I travel all over France and countries near by such as Germany, Switzerland and Italy searching for beautiful "puddles" in which to sail. I will send you a photo of "Mamut" and "HMS Joy" my incredible pocket yacht.

Take care, old friend.

Tom Cahill, expatriate.

Formerly of Fort Bragg,

now of Malay, France.

* * *


Letter to the Editor

First off I would like to explain that some of your information is incorrect.

1. I do not work for Mendocino County; I was employed by the County up until about six years ago.

2. I did not state any one was a fascist.

I am so surprised about your reactions, but maybe I should not be. I have been told numerous times that I should not have expectations of others because it can and does backfire. You see, I thought that you were an advocate for the people, especially those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized is in our society.

Two people during the Jan. Mental Health board meeting stood up and pushed the idea to have criminal background checks on folks who use the Hospitality House. One of these persons explained that two deaths and one rape had occurred on the Coast which was creating fear in people. I than stated it sounds like Nazism

When anyone, anywhere states that any group of people should be treated in a harmful manner because of their religion, color, social and/or economical (economic) status, I will make a stand. I believe that if we allow or ignore statements that are harmful to others, we too are supporting discrimination which in turn supports the division of people.

This incident reminded me of the time a gun was pointed at me. I was in this neighborhood to visit a friend who lived in that area. I remember someone shouting getting out of here you Mexican/Nigger. I was in great fear that day, so I can state that I know what close up fear is. I also have fear of the future for my nephews who are of African, Latino and Native American descent for they are considered an endangered species.

I also know what discrimination does to a soul, for I have experienced being denied numerous times due to my color and my gender. I am aware of the consequences of discrimination to families and communities.

Just a side story, when I was employed by Mendocino County, I did register a complaint against my supervisor for yelling and screaming at me. I was told by the management, "You are overreacting, you know like Mexicans do".

I know what it feels like when you go into stores or people's homes and they follow you because they fear something will be stolen. It hurts, it hurts a lot.

These are just small little incidents, but they leave deep open sores on the soul.

I am on the Mental Health Board now because I know that people of Latino descent are not receiving mental health services. I continue to advocate and fight for mental health services, but I guess I am not doing a very good job because the county continues to decrease its support to Latinos.

To conclude, I have not called anyone any names, but I have failed at advocating for mental health services for the chronic mentally ill, especially people color and of Latin descent.

Dina Ortiz


ED REPLY: I simply commented that it's inaccurate (and tiresome) to haul out fascism in the context of Fort Bragg's burgeoning homeless problem. Fort Bragg people have legitimate concerns about the cynical exploitation of that town's ever larger population of free range drunks and drug addicts by well-paid people whose net effort simply enables this population of people to go on killing themselves.

* * *



Kudos to Mark Scarmella, for fighting the local vineyard owners who had the noisy frost fans. Thanks to those vineyards that complied and set an important precedent. Let me translate, this is the best practice now. Those of us who will benefit from this should consider a donation to Scarmella for his service. Did it do anything?

Drive by the rental yard in Windsor and you will see a small multi-prop frost fan available for rent. It does not however insure that farmers use the quieter technology. But our supervisors did absolutely nothing but tout our Ag Commissioner who did absolutely nothing with the knowledge that the multi prop alternatives exists and work because of New Zealand’s fair, cleanly documented noise ordinance. That ordinance created the need for the quieter multi prop technology that is now available in the world. Good regulation leads to good solutions. Sitting and hoping the problem goes away is irresponsible governance. Likewise we need a grading ordinance.

We need real communication redundancy. There is a microcosm macrocosm aspect to ATT’s reluctance to put a real redundancy system in to guarantee crucial communication. There is also a continuing rift of lack of real regulation from our State utility governing agency in the California Public Utility Commission CPUC. ATT simply wants profits without care to their systems. They have left their wired network in neglect for so long that they had to declare an emergency and get CPUC support to do expensive emergency repair involving out of town experts still putting band aids on a tapped together system that was at one time bedrock support towards minor interrupts. In our personal main line, ignored squirrel damage of very old lines has repair folks out annually whenever it rains as they discover yet another missing pair to try for the upcoming year. Each repairman says that replacement is necessary, but no plans for such are in the works. The main lines have sagging wires, sheets of plastic waving from patch points and angry users with new digital technology taking down their phone service with ATT total digital version instead of the old direct analogue system that worked for phone service. The CPUC is there to help the utility! What? They are supposed to be there to insure quality service and fair pricing. Yet they allowed PG&E to charge Mendocino residents for Smartmeters that can’t and couldn’t communicate and still require meter readers who do it every other month while the company guesses in a way that seems to put folks in higher tier ratings. With regards to Smartmeters, those of us who chose not to use them and got charged for metering service are paying for those who opted in. Have you finally paid for this nonfunctioning device? Better yet, should you have paid at all for this untested device that does not function except to allow time of use to a meter reader?

My fury stems from their lack of willingness to pay for real redundancy via another company’s fiber optic line that exist while waiting new engineering that puts the redundancy in the same line that was accidentally ripped out twice. That is not redundancy. That’s ATT doing yet another band aid to keep the money while emergency services buy satellite and other non ATT services to insure safety while ATT continues to shirk it’s responsibility while the CPUC does absolutely nothing. If they want their own redundancy then they should put in the second fiber on a secondary path. Here are some suggestions as to ways to insure you have real redundancy. Keep your wired ATT line and plague the CPUC and Governor for real governance and regulation. Wired services are what saved Tokyo during their earthquake. Wired services are robust and hard to foil unless you let them slowly dissolve from lack of service. Demand that your state representatives like Assemblyman Wood and Senator Mike restructure the CPUC to be an elected office, not appointed. The previous CPUC president was so beholding to utility kickbacks that his regulation lead was a joke. He was more busy attending utility funded events in touring destinations that he ignored his responsibility. Demand a meter reading system that is based on fact and not guesses. They should only bill after reading a meter, not based on previous years use when the climate could be unseasonable cold or the inhabitants may have been using very different power consumption habits. Demand a wired system along with redundancy. Get an alternative broadband service like satellite or wireless that is not ATT based because they have independent lines and set up a Skype system.  On a Skype system you can call emergency services or your family in an emergency with no problem. Skype is an added feature for your computer that allows you to use your broadband as a cheap telephone system.

I have one other gripe. Leave the wild ponies of ‘Robinson Creek’ alone. Get them back into the hills where they have lived for years. They are not cats that populate exponentially and thus do not need to be castrated by good Samaritans. I have seen them several years above Robinson creek on Pine Mountain where they have ranged successfully. Sure they should not be on the highway but they do not need to be boxed up, emasculated  and shipped out.


Greg Krouse


* * *



What Kind Of Design Rectifies Inequity?

“What kind of design rectifies inequity?” I heard a reporter asking this question of a civic leader who was attempting to manage the influx of refugees coming into his country. His answer specifically addressed meeting the needs of those displaced individuals while not forgetting the citizenry he was representing. I took the question quite personally and asked of myself: What kind of design for the rectification of inequity do I accept so that my life manifests peacefully within myself, with others, other life forms, and the environment?

I can imagine tossing the question around soas to identify a set of design variables which might constitute an answer. At the outset I would select the variables which would seem most likely to identify and resolve my own personal displaced states so that I could then have at least a fleeting awareness of open, life supporting peacefulness to be transmitted outwardly. Next I would turn to science and look at the open ended word design. It can be life affirming as an integrative resource which efficiently manages phenomena such as the metabolic and homeostatic workings of our bodies or the photosynthesis occurring within the flora surrounding us. And if the social system designs are thoughtful i.e. cognitively, caringly representative of phenomena, and contain within them a fluency which accounts for all variables within a life affirming manner, the designs are more likely to be instruments of peace. That is, they will be instruments of increasingly harmonious mutuality.

So Is Personal Peacefulness Reflecting Outwardly the Kind of Design That Rectifies Inequity?

The dictionary definition of rectify, which basically is to correct, isn’t useful in this context. The term rectify as used here is highly influenced by the following word; inequity. Inequity is also difficult to understand as a stand-alone morpheme. I can make more sense of the phrase rectifies inequity than just puzzling over the two words separately.

Webster (1970) uses the word equity as one of the definitions for the term equanimity. In fact equity is comprised of the prefix and suffix of the word equanimity and omits the middle portion animi (a root of animate). Equanimity references the animated integrative coherence of individuals alone and in groups. In existential terms it can be used to reference this coherence in all of existence. Equanimity is a strong correlate of personal peacefulness and peacefulness in all domains. For me this is a more usable term than inequity as an absence of equity- equity being both fairness and personally attained objective value (as that portion of a property owned by an individual or agency). This fairness and its agency value do matter, but at this point it is easier to see an emerging solution to the initial question being addressed if we realize there is no such thing as inequanimity. 

Personally, being respectful of existential considerations, I find my way first by realizing that existential equanimity is sustained in the face of all manner of explosions and generative galactic events. In the face of all change, gravity and existence continue. And I observe this to be true of my body as it heroically maintains a plateau of constancy until the physical structure stops living. Then degeneration transforms my biodegradable materials through a process reflective of catabolism. Now returning our attention to equity as fairness; my participation in the peace process is enhanced through understanding that my actions are part of an equanimous design within universes. I’m existentially involved. More directly I am physically involved by my caring action in behalf of others which is independent of and yet also involves personal needs. If my involvement occurs as a result of rectifying my perspective through active engagement or quiet, generous peaceful support, I have found my design for rectifying inequity.

Some people have taken vows of poverty, others are simply content to own very little and there are still others who maintain extensive holdings. In one sense the holdings which are so dear to us, and which we would like to offer to our children, are not likely to be the most or least important foundations for our capacity for peaceful growth and our capacity to share growth with others. What is transpiring through the movement of refugees and immigrants is likely to continue to increase. Very large groups of people are emerging who are permanently displaced by the upheaval in their homelands, just as millions of Tibetan Buddhists and Palestinians have become permanent refugees some time ago.

As we attempt to maintain societal peace in the face of these many changes, our efforts to be of service can be enhanced by our peaceful growth. In order to sustain our peaceful ways of being and to share them with others, it becomes evident that as we develop our secular or religious approaches to life; if we wish to reflect peace outwardly, identifying an ongoing daily personal practice helps us. Caring personal peacefulness which reflects outwardly is biological, psychological, social and either secular or religiously spiritual. And the mix of these peaceful qualities is like finger prints. They look alike. But every set of peaceful heart prints (like each person’s body) is different. Still, it is possible in coming together in behalf of peaceful wellbeing and the development of our abilities to reflect these qualities outwardly in thought, speech and action; we will become more capable of transmitting and receiving our own states of peacefulness into what can be referenced as community peace. This is group centered peaceful caring (beyond our need states) and is derived as products from personal peacefulness manifesting outwardly.

But, if…

If peaceful wellbeing is possible, and methodologies can be developed which will move individuals from a primacy of needs based awareness to peaceful caring; why isn’t everyone peaceful? As was previously mentioned, as much as we influence each other’s experience, all of our experiences are different. Plus our own experience registers within each one of us, within our own bodies. Even more to the point the perspective from which we view motivations, desires and needs comes to us as if “I, my, mine” are constructs which seem to exist as truth and are sometimes plunged into our bodies with great emphasis.

Most everyone can learn to view life from a perspective that has no agenda…for a few seconds. Living within a world of experiential beingness as our given primal state wherein presence in being is not for me, is not mine and not what I control does not come easily for many of us. The fact is; I do have control, ownership and personal satisfaction as I, me and mine- but these states needn’t eclipse the ongoing presence within which we live. Some individuals who develop a practice of living peacefully and manifesting it outwardly never give it a thought. They simply live peacefully. Others benefit from having a conscious practice, from learning of the physiological and other aspects of peacefulness (and unpeacefulness) that is slowly being investigated and uncovered through many disciplines and agencies.

There is to be a presentation of this material on Personal Peacefulness-Psychological Perspectives (Sims, G., Nelson, L.,& Puopolo, M., 2014 Springer Pub.) by Gregory Sims, which is to take place at the Anderson Valley Grange from 3 to 5 p.m. on March 13th (Spring forward change clock day) The presentation is non-financially sponsored by The Anderson Valley Grange 669 and supported by The Anderson Valley American Legion Post 385 and the Anderson Valley Health Center. The event is free of charge with light refreshments. Please come.

Gregory K. Sims



  1. Bob Mendosa February 10, 2016

    Hooray for Dina Ortiz! Setting Malcolm McDonald up to quote what she said at a public meeting: “Sounds like what the Nazis did.” Then denying that she’d ever accused anyone of being a fascist. Friggin’ brilliant. Something straight out of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove’s playbook.


  2. Alice Chouteau February 11, 2016

    Ms Ortiz
    If you could put aside your emotional reactions and think objectively, you might realize that criminal background checks promote public safety for everyone, including those most vulnerable and marginalized. We never asked that any group be treated in ‘a harmful manner’, simply for background checks on those seeking publically funded services from the city or county. Such checks are run by CHP and other law enforcement, as well as by landlords screening prospective tenants and employers screening job-seekers. Are they also ‘like the Nazis’? You complain about being ethnically stereotype, then turn around and compare us to fascists. Your remark is unacceptable, unprofessional, and very hurtful to both of us.

    Alice and Douglas Chouteau
    Fort Bragg

  3. Judy Valadao February 11, 2016

    Ms Otiz, your comments at the meeting were uncalled for. I would go as far as to say your comment was probably something not permitted by Board rules/by laws. I did think it a little odd that you complain about your treatment in the past and then make the remark that a statement made by someone sounded like the Nazis. Many people don’t judge others by race, religion, sex or age but in fact judge by what they say to others just for expressing an opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (without a member making a remark like the one you made). That is what public comment time is for. Your comment probably did more damage than you realize. How many people will not stand up to speak now knowing a comment like yours could happen to them?

Leave a Reply

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