Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Apr 13, 2016)

* * *



Not sure if you knew about the link below or the rural health rocks event but it would be great to let the community know that this year’s Rural Health Rocks fundraiser is honoring AV’s own Dr. Mark Apfel (along with a few other notable locals). AVHC is proud of the work Mark does for the community!


Chloë Guazzone-Rugebregt, MPH.
Executive Director, AV Health Center.
P.O. Box 338, 13500 Airport Rd.
Boonville, CA 95415

* * *



In my recent letter I wrote about the assessor's office and government in general and when they are wrong and do nothing. Instead of correcting it, it becomes an ego trip in that they think they are perfect people. My question to the assessor was, What was wrong with my assumption of the situation? Instead, the County Attorney Katherine Elliott wrote back saying there are no records and that I am wrong. I didn't ask for any records, just if I am wrong please explain where I'm wrong. The lawyer response was just lawyer talk for "I have no idea what this is about."

I am asking the County Assessor how she came to her conclusion. I went in to the county assessor's offices last week, but she was in some kind of conference (they say). The receptionist said she would get back to me in writing.

Many people who read this may be saying this is only Emil Rossi and government. No, it's not only the power of government over Emil Rossi, but how they take more liberties over all the people and get away with it.

Our forefathers put in many parts of the Constitution as protections for the people from the government which is a monopoly that keeps pecking away at our rights. If I am wrong and she shows me why, I have no problem about being wrong. I have been wrong lots of times. Imagine, this has been going back and forth for two years now. Any property tax she'd made to begin with is long gone out the window and then we wonder why government is always broke.

Emil Rossi


* * *



Merle Haggard was in the chips in the 70s so he changed his situation all the way upscale from a childhood boxcar to a big white mansion on a rise of ground by Cottonwood Creek near the mouth of the Kern, where that river pours abruptly out of its lower gorge into the rolling country east of Bakersfield. He planted about ten acres of lawn and fruit trees around the house that featured a model railroad running out of the wall, around the deck rail, and back inside. A shingle reading "Hag's Place" hung on chains from the crossbar of the classic ranch gate on Highway 178.

Unfortunately, the wettest 24 hours in Bakersfield history dumped over three inches of rain on the parched and impervious land, and his green paradise was wiped out, covered with a new layer of debris, gravel, and granite boulders. Later he had to sell the place for debts.

Then "Okie from Muskogee" was a giant hit, and a friend in a Kern Valley country band told me a story about the genesis of the song. Seems that Merle and the Strangers were partying in their bus on the way to gigs in Oklahoma, drinking booze and smoking marijuana. Someone noted that there weren't likely to be any marijuana smokers in Muskogee, and that got a big laugh, and they built a song around it. Some of the live versions suggest that they are funnin' the locals a bit. "A place where even squares can have a ball."

Maybe no one in Muskogee took trips on LSD, but I wouldn't bet that Merle never did. The song earned them a lot of money and went on to spawn humorous imitations like "Hippie from Olema" and "Homo from Nipomo" and so on.

But the whole region, a rough and dusty near-desert of scorching heat and numbing fogs, surrounded by a ring of mountains over mile high, was a tough place to live, then and now.

Merle Haggard's music, and that of his peers, tells the truth about people oppressed, then and now, by the Valley land-water-oil aristocracy ever since the Dust Bowl forced them off the High Plains. Just because the skin color and emigrant origin has changed doesn't mean the realities have, another thing Merle Haggard knew and sung about, and anyone who has been the target of slurs will understand the saying, "You can call me an Okie, but you better say it right."


Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

* * *


Dear AVA,

I found a copy of this week’s paper in a coffee shop on College Avenue in Oakland. I read just about every word. I’d never seen it or heard of it before. I’ve been to Mendocino County four times. Twice with a boyfriend (former) when we camped out on a no-camping allowed beach and had an awesome time looking at the stars and listening to the waves. We were both 16. Twice with my parents which was less fun but a really awesome nature time. Anyway, I’m writing to tell you how sad I was to read the story about the two people who got busted for growing weed. My reason is: Who are they hurting? Are they becoming Donald Trump assholes because they make a little money in a place where it sounds like it’s close to impossible to make a living? And don’t they hire and pay people who need the money too? And what are we talking about here anyway? I went to an Oakland public high school where weed was about as hard to find as a water fountain (and usually better quality). I’d say at least 25% of the kids used almost daily and another 25% at least once a week. The ones I knew weren’t out of it or crazy or sad any more than anyone else. Some teachers were known users too. Why do you have DAs and judges who don’t just find a way to not bother people about non-violent nonsense like weed growing? And why do you not elect people who can pass laws saying whatever they can say to stop hurting people like weed farmers?

I hope I see your paper again.

Sorry I can’t sign this. You know how it is in the internet age. My parents would just love to see me involved in this kind of discussion (NOT!).

Big hugs, Rebecca (not my real name).


* * *



Vote NO on MEASURE W – Forming a Charter Commission

The Employers Council of Mendocino County has reviewed the most recent draft language for the proposed Charter, attended multiple Town Hall meetings and researched the potential pros and cons of forming a Charter County. It is the position of the Employers Council to not only decline support of this movement, but to actively oppose it.

As you are most likely aware, there is a small group called the “Charter Project of Mendocino County” that has been very active campaigning to change Mendocino County from a General Law to a Charter County. They were successful in collecting enough signatures to qualify this item to be placed on the June ballot for the public to vote on.

It is clear the group’s main motivation behind forming a Charter County is to start a public bank, utilizing County treasury funds to finance the start-up of the bank and invest in low interest loans that will purportedly benefit the citizens of Mendocino County. It is illegal to use county treasury funds in the manner in which the Charter Project of Mendocino County has illustrated.

The group also claims to stop “illegal foreclosures” by writing language in the Charter that requires proof the lender is the “Holder in Due Course” before our county records and publishes the foreclosure notice. This places an undue burden on county staff and it’s simply not the county’s responsibility, nor would it be legal. There is no evidence found that proves homes were illegally foreclosed upon to homeowners who were current on their mortgages. Our County Recorder’s office has to follow the state constitution and no language in the charter can override the California Constitution.

Perhaps the most important reason to not support developing a Charter Commission and forming a Charter County, is the cost. The county’s General Fund would have to pay for all costs associated with forming and managing a Charter Commission. Also, once language is adopted in the Charter, the only method to amend the language is to have an election, instead of simple Board approval that can be done in one meeting, as it is now. The costs associated with having a special election in Mendocino County far exceed $100,000 per election. The county can in no way afford paying, or budget for, possible future elections.

The Employers Council of Mendocino County has established a solid history of advocating for fiscal responsibility, reasonable regulation and overall sensible government. Had the Employers Council discovered any evidence that forming a Charter County would benefit our county, we would have considered it going forward. Please vote NO on Measure W and save the county from additional expenses that we simply can’t afford.

The Employers Council of Mendocino County


* * *



Re mountain lions and the like, the beasts of the field & forest have feasted on my chickens, so I got a dog from the Humane society. Since then, no foxes, coons, deers, possums, bears, skunks, hawks, ravens or mountain lions. All are still around. I hear the foxes shouting, watch the ravens & hawks aloft, circling me, waiting. Squirrels chew me out all day. Still carry a stout stick in the woods, still see enough wildlife to keep my Sierra Club status sound, but I don't find those heart-ripping piles of birdless feathers. (It's possible to know and like a chicken.) Dog ("Surely") doesn't stop the banana slugs. He sleeps in the mud room, with the outside door ajar, tolerates no intruders (except the bloody slugs). Maybe I'll get a duck. Hear tell they eat 'em. Surely, as dogs do, has become family. He demands I leave my hammock, bed and rockingchair every day, patrol the hood, rain or shine, day or night, so I exercise, pain notwithstanding. BTW, if you're building securely enough to protect your critters, remember how insanely strong bears are. I haven't seen a bear here, but I've seen their signs, especially their unmistakable tracks. They can rip open a Mosler safe, so build that henhouse strong!

Mitch Clogg


* * *


To the Editor:

The following was written in June of 2015. Since then, I have had many conversations with librarians from Sonoma County to Mendocino County. It seems that the simple task of getting a local author’s work listed and put on the shelf is quite complex, and the three books that I have donated are lost in the system; or, as suggested above, passed along to our local friends, and therefore not shelved locally.

There has been talk of a shelf for local authors, but this seems to be lost in time. I have been trying to get someone to describe the process in concrete terms so that I can understand what went wrong. At the present I have spent $69.80 trying to get my book on the shelf in the local libraries. A most involved process.

I think that we need to have at least one person with the knowledge to make the process understandable and give an honest effort to assist one in need; the above letter was little more than sweet verbal flatulence.

William J. Russell


* * *

Hello Mr. Russell,

First off, thank you for your book contribution to our library system. Almost every day we get are gifted with a wide variety of donations, many used, some new and some, like yours, from authors. Each branch has a manager in place who is ultimately in charge of building and maintaining their particular branch collections. Because of the large volume of donated books that come to us each and every day we cannot possibly use all of them. Once a book is donated it is up to the discretion of the library as to how to use it. Now, not having your donation in hand at the beginning of this transaction puts me in a bit of a bind as I don’t know exactly where they are at this time or if any or all of our branch librarians intend on adding to the title to their respective collections.

Regardless of the outcome your book, added to the collection or passed along to our local Friends groups, will go towards adding vitality and interest to our collections.

Thank you again for you donation and your support of the Mendocino County Library!

Wally Clark, Mendocino County Librarian,


ED NOTE: At the Mendocino Book Company, there's a table set aside for local authors and/or books about local subjects. The County Librarian should keep an eye out for local stuff, especially now that the County Library has guaranteed funding which they seem to be squandering on a range of events only tangentially related to books. We long ago gave up on the County Library as repository of local matters. For that we go straight to Held-Poage, Ukiah.

* * *


To the Editor:

To Rep. Jared Huffman.

At the very least, considering the likely highly competitive campaigning that will be going on in your district, you should have maintained a neutral stance rather than the step you apparently have taken (to be a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton). This would have shown respect for your constituency.

Perhaps I don’t understand the Machiavellian intricacies of your political career; perhaps you are a gambler who thinks he/she has an inside track on the odds. In any case, “deeply disappointed” sums up my reality.

Al Krauss


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

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