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Letters (Mar 2, 2016)

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It's been three years — only 180 left.

You've been sending me your paper for free for at least two years. I've always appreciated your generosity. I am asking my family to send you a payment. They take care of me pretty good so who knows? If not — I'll miss Flynn and Will and Bruce and Bruce and Turkey Vulture, and Letters to the Editor. It's a good paper. What I won't miss are the "all of a sudden" self righteous, "good homeboys" who use the paper as a soapbox. I've never been a woman beater, but I know a few "good homeboys" who have. That goes with beating their kids, stealing shit, hurting people. We love people we've never met. Is this pain any different and did we ever care?

I by no means have a leg to stand on on a pulpit to preach from. I ain't a sex offender or a woman/child abuser, but I am no better than the next creep trying to get a dollar for my next fix. Believe me I am capable of just about anything. Who knows? Maybe Mendocino did the right thing with me? I will never be out to cause pain or loss to anyone, to scare people or victimize whoever will fall for my bullshit? I never should have got this much time for this crime but there are at least one or two out there I owe for. I am gone. But there are a whole bunch getting out and hopefully life is good for them. I really doubt it though. I was doing life on the installment plan. Now it's permanent. I see things a little different nowadays. I am up here in High Desert Prison. I'll be on B-yard or A-yard for at least another year.

Take care, thanks again

Walter ‘Kris’ Miller


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Dear Editor and Fellow AVAers,

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 4am. For me, the opportunity to see geese in the sky and two white swans on Pudding Creek is more important than television. In 1800 North America was 90% forest. In 2000 it's 90% suburbia. Don't it always seem to go, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot." "They cut down all the trees, put them in a tree museum. Now they charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see them." Cut the trees and feel the breeze. Save the trees and plant more please, trees are the air we breathe.

For eons the streams that drained the High Sierra were sweet. Then late in the fifth decade of the 19th century streams were muddied and the calm of California shattered in perhaps the greatest mass adventure since the Crusades. The event that triggered the adventure was that on the raceway of the sawmill directed by Captain Sutter on the American Fork were found considerable quantities of gold. Thus a "polyglot horde" from all parts of the globe hurried to the valleys and "toward the streams and mountains of California." "It was a great, exciting and in some ways fearful venture into the unknown, a challenge to enterprising manhood." "Eureka, I found it!" shouted a young man as he held up a gold nugget after 11 months outbound from Philadelphia around the horn and on upward to Northern California. It's a contemporary shame that these days, instead of searching for gold we proletariat for rent.

Farina bangs her dish for "the good life" among the redwood trees.

Sincerely, Diana Vance, in Mendocino, California, where spring came early and the rhododendron blossom.

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To the Editor:

I have a complaint. A lot of people without transportation (that’s all of us who depend on the Mendocino Transit Authority Bus system) can’t get too far on Sundays. I’m sure that some people who don’t have transportation would like to go out...go shopping, to the parks, to church, out to eat and just plain get out of their homes. It is also too hot to walk a lot of days. It is tough to get out when there are no bus (MTA) services on Sundays. Being cooped up is not good for me. Taxis are too expensive for a lot of people’s budgets. I have asked MTA for Sunday bus service for 15 years. I’ve always go the same answer. Never. The streets are crowded with cars. I get cabin fever. It drives me up the wall. They say they won’t have enough riders. But have they ever tried it? No. Or maybe 17 years ago.

Leslie Jo Feldman


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I overheard this on sidewalk in front of The Arena Theater after The Hateful Eight let out. There were two couples well into their 70s, and one of the men said in a very serious tone, "That Tarantino should be shot, really, I don't know what imprint he's trying to make!"

This remarkable comment was met with a bit of mumbling from the others and then dropped as they made for the car. If I hadn't seen the man’s face as he spoke I might've been tempted to think it in jest. Dead serious he was.

Marvin Blake


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To the Editor:

Europeans first came to the Americas about 500 years ago. To their view, the land belonged to “no one” so they could simply claim it as theirs and the church’s. In their arrogance and ignorance, the native people simply did not count. No European colonial power cared what the locals thought, felt or needed or that they were being robbed of what was valuable to them.

The second colonial invasion occurred when big business came to rural America (read, big box stores and the Walmart model). “Colonial” power invades other people’s territory and literally takes advantage of their size and power and removes substantial profit from the local area and sends it elsewhere in the U.S. or overseas. Yes we get cheap goods and yes there are some jobs produced. (But cheap goods are really cheap goods. You get what you pay for. The jobs are poor, low wage, etc.) Bottom line: Box stores win/locals lose.

We are now in the midst of a new wave of box store invasions. This time it is Dollar General and their newest invasion is really rural, i.e., Redwood Valley.

Colonialism is never kind. A bit of an exaggeration: Nobody in Redwood Valley wants Dollar General in our downtown. They are attempting to invade us even though no one who lives here supports this corporate trash moving in to take advantage of our poorest, and to risk changing the quality of life here for the worse.

Folks, do we really not understand history? When do We The People say: Enough is enough? When will federal, state and local laws reflect the will of the people rather than the “Divine rights of Business?”

I obviously hope Dollar General will be stopped legally or administratively. If the store is built, there is a strong feeling locally to boycott it.

Maybe it’s time to wipe out “colonialism” and the business model of “Take the Money and Run.” Maybe it’s time to heal the wounds of colonialism and return the power to the people.

And a final no thank you to our “neighbor” who dropped a big “poop bomb” on us by selling to Dollar General. Legal, yes; moral?

Dollar General stay out.

Peter Mayland

Redwood Valley

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Letter to the Editor,

The Great Regression accelerates. Locally, a bureaucratic squabble destroys Sonoma Compost. We used to buy cheap loads of organic compost recycled from local green waste, now it's all shipped outtahere. And the supermarket recycling centers have closed, leaving two for the whole area, while the state continues to confiscate the CRV from consumers. Before the CRV was made law, floods would cover Jenner beach with a blanket of aluminum cans. Those days will return, if it ever rains again enough to move the trash downriver. Meanwhile, watch as the bottles and cans pile up in the gutters, just like the good old days. Now even the homeless won't push their cartloads of trash 15 miles just to get a few dollars. Don't look to Governor Glibgab for any solutions here, he's too busy thinking Deep Thoughts.

The Dumb Train stumbles towards its ever-receeding alleged operational date. The Dumb Train will ship a few hundred luxuriously subsidized yuppies down to the ferries at Larkspur. The Dumb Train will have zero effect on 101 congestion. This absurd fantasy of delusional choo-choo brains gobbles up a half-cent of dedicated sales tax from half a million people who will never set foot on it. This tax could have repaved every road in the county, the worst roads in the Bay Area, decade after decade, but Noooo…

Nationally, every half-wit toothless cracker in America will swamp the polls in November to elect their Fuhrer, Trump. It will be the ugliest, meanest, sleaziest campaign of our lifetimes. Trump can and will say absolutely anything, the more theatrical and ridiculous the better, day after day, just to keep his blitzkrieg of noise drowning out any analysis and reflection, not that the media cares about these anymore. Hillary Clinton will have to get down in the mud and kick Trump in the balls every day from now to Election Day to have a prayer of preventing this loudmouth lunatic from taking over the country.

Ralph Nader wrote a book titled Only the Super Rich Can Save Us. Is this what he meant? Is the republic dead, and has the time of the Caesars arrived?

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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At the supervisors Tuesday March 1, 2016 meeting, there could be a vote on ousting Ortner. Supervisor McCowen and CEO Carmel Angelo want to keep Ortner, even though Ortner has a long list of failures exposed from multiple sources (Kemper Report, Grand Jury Reports, Federal Audit, Mental Health Board Reports). Supervisor Hamburg sounded at the Feb 16 meeting like he may vote to keep Ortner. Supervisors Gjerde, Woodhouse and Brown said they would vote to oust Ortner.

Most people who read all of the reports on Ortner know the truth of their egregious failure. How on earth can Carmel Angelo and Supervisor John McCowen keep this charade going? The only hope for Mental Health patients and their families lies with three supervisors who can initiate a wise solution which is to offer a Sole Source Contract to a proven, honest, provider with integrity who has always fulfilled contractual obligations — Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC). They can expand their current Mental Health services and begin to create desperately needed Adult Mental Health services with whatever money is salvaged from Ortner, and other money County staff has stashed away in “special,” “reserve” and other funds.

People who follow Ortner would not be surprised to hear them say that they have limited resources and would not be able to provide the services our County expects them to provide. Awarding a Sole Source Contract to RQMC would avoid unnecessary time delays of an RFP process, and prolonged additional contractual failures of Ortner. RQMC is the only long time Mendocino County provider of Mental Health services with many offices in the County and an excellent staff.

RQMC is financially responsible, with integrity, honesty and transparency about financials. RQMC will hire local people providing good jobs in a supportive environment for many people. In addition, local businesses will benefit from providing goods and services, and our communities will benefit from MH patients being supported by qualified people as they learn to manage their illness and give to their community in ways that they choose.

Unanswered Questions:

Supervisor Gjerde said, “…I'm looking at the two contracts … for RQMC, the administrative line item is 2.3% of their total allocation. For the Ortner contract it's 8.5% of their contract. For the Utilization Review it's 4.8% for RQMC, and for Ortner it's 10.1%. So you add those two together, the Redwood Services is 7.1% for administration and the other contract it's 18.6% of the total amount. So even though the Ortner contract is for less money, it's got a bigger administrative bill and the other contract for the larger amount has the smaller amount and a much smaller percentage.”

Why is this?

Ortner seems to have given false information to Kemper (p. 42) about 80 hospitalized people so the supervisors would not know the truth of the extent of their self-referrals. The result is that it would seem to the supervisors that the same number of people were hospitalized at Ortner’s hospital now as before privatization. Did staff clear up this discrepancy between County and Ortner statistics?

Who on County staff is left to rewrite contracts and write an RFP that wasn’t involved before? Carmel Angelo participated with Stacy Cryer, Tom Pinizzotto and Kristin McMenomy and the latter three are gone.

Sonya Nesch


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If you're anything like me, you are thrilled that progressive Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is seriously challenging the corrupt to the core Democratic Party establishment candidate — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. But, if also like me, you are not a registered Democrat, you will not be able to vote for Bernie in the upcoming California Democratic Party primary on June 7th unless you re-register to vote as a Democrat. The deadline to re-register is May 23^rd and you can get a registration form at a US Post Office or register on-line at

Do it right away just to be sure, Bernie is going to need all of our help to topple the oligarchy.


Jon Spitz


A Reader Clarifies: This letter reflects what the Mendo County voter office told him, but the info in it is not quite true.

CA Democratic Party will have an “open” Presidential primary in June, as they have since 2004 (rules changed in 2001 to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in party primaries IF the party decides they want to allow such). And for June 7, 2016 primaries,  Democrats (and Libertarians and “American Independent Party”) have opened their party primaries to unaffiliated voters. See info at bottom straight from the CA Secretary of State’s “No Party Preference information” page on the CA SOS website).

My guess is the Mendo voter office answered Jon’s question specifically for him: As a Green Party voter, yes, Jon Spitz would have to re-register to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary, but he does have the choice of re-registering as an unaffiliated voter not just as a Democrat.

All you need to do – if you’re an unaffiliated voter – is request a Democratic Party primary ballot. Easy enough at the polls, but if you’re in a vote-by-mail district? Presumably you have to call the voter office and request such a ballot, so maybe your best bet in that case IS to re-register as a Democrat after all. Registration deadline for June 7 primaries is May 23, 2016, but I don’t know about a deadline for unaffiliated vote-by-mail voters to request a party ballot. I will try to find out.

I would also note that there are plenty of voters who think they are “independent” who actually are registered as members of the American Independent Party (the “fastest-growing party” in California, and the misleading name is why, not their far right politics), who might have an unpleasant surprise if they plan to ask for a Democratic Party ballot to vote for Bernie Sanders in June.

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You are voting for John Sakowicz for another term as a KZYX Board trustee? Do you support his having written a series of bizarre letters to the Federal Communications Commission, during his current term as trustee, demanding FCC denial of the broadcast license renewal?

Gordon Black


Ed note: The bizarre bar, historically considered, couldn't be lower as applied to KZYX, and I know dissent terrifies you, Gordy, but really, a single dissenter on an otherwise lockstep board of directors? Take another swig of Geritol and calm down. The new management team, btw, under Ms. Dechter, seems to be steering Mendo Public Radio in a smart, dare I say, democratic, direction for the first time ever. And here you are wringing your hands over poor old Sako!

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The perfect County Government? We made an agreement with our neighbor in 2013 to survey our properties and straighten out property lines since both deeds did not agree. Now we do not agree with the County on how they put the survey on the County maps for tax purposes. After two years with back and forth with no agreement, I sent them a certified letter four weeks ago asking them to send me in writing an answer as to why I am wrong about the way they handled the new property lines.

The problem is too complicated to put into this letter. This letter to the editor is to state the fact that government will do something wrong and their solution is to do nothing to correct it. If I or anyone else does something wrong, they have the full power of government to enforce it, and they do.

Emil Rossi


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