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Letters (Jun 22, 2016)

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Wow, I was just told of your recent pieces concerning my marriage to county supervisor Dan Hamburg!

Your source must be someone very close to Dan, to judge from the detailed information provided. My husband’s response when you asked for comment was also telling. I’m no fan of euphemisms, but I might have been comforted by a generic “Please respect our privacy as my wife and I get through a difficult time, for her sake if not for mine.” Instead, he offered only a correction of his married lover’s name, thereby confirming her role in his life and displaying his solicitude for her. As for me, I have neither been spoken for nor had a voice in the matter, so why not respond to your story about my life? Regarding several of the points in your article, I would offer comments about begging, foot surgery, insurance, love and dashed hope, as well as a literary observation.

As you wrote, there was a very dark day last October, in the tenth month of our marriage, when my husband came home with his absolutely shocking announcement of divorce with no discussion, and I did beg, but not for my surgery. It was to give us not a second, third or fourth chance, but a first chance! I begged him to give me more than one single hour to talk and to work on any issue he wanted and — especially — to get counseling. The answer to all of it was no. I also of course begged him to tell me why and the answer to this was “I don’t know.”

At that moment, my first surgery had already happened, and was wildly successful: I kept up with all my physical work and my foot now contains three really large titanium bolts. My cast had just come off that week and I was back on my feet (and bike). The next surgery, on the other side, was already planned for this year. You wrote that my husband “uses public money to fix his estranged wife’s feet.” The reality is more mundane. Similar to employees across the country, the supervisors have health insurance, paid half by the employer — the county — and half by the individual for him or herself. The employee pays extra to include a spouse in the plan, as is the case for us. This was pretty wonderful for me who, as a self-employed artist, never before had access to an employee benefits package. I was also grateful that my flat feet, which had stayed strong for so long, chose this newly insured year to go south. Now I could start walking, even dancing again.

But in one day, the comfortable life I was wrapped in blew away. The months following were isolated and tearful, but also introspective and healing. I had waited a long time to remarry and took the commitment seriously, so this reversal was huge for me, yet even in the saddest times, I knew the good outweighed the bad. No one can steal history, and I will always have the experience of our many candlelight dinners, cooking together and slow dancing to our wedding play list, champagne corks popped into the oak forest, dreaming up interesting topics of conversation, lying under the starry night sky, our massive work effort together on Dan’s castle cottage, asking questions about items on his agenda (yes I do enjoy that!), picking fruit so I could make frozen smoothies for us on hot Ukiah afternoons… ETC.

All of that outweighs the harsh and fast end. Dan and I are working together through this period with love, if not courage, and no one needs to feel awkward around either of us. Plus I have the great outfit I made for our wedding, which will certainly not go to waste. Please indulge me, AVA, since you have shown prior interest in my clothes (May 7, 2014). Allow me to mention that should anyone throw a formal party, I have a French blue and ivory tailcoat, sheer under-dress, black and white lace bodice, ivory mini skirt, and historic 18th-century shoes.

So yes, the experience of our love outweighs the more recent story of Dan’s descent, which — although it shredded our marriage — is not mine to tell.

Finally, in your May 6 edition you say:

"On the other hand, who can begrudge the abandoned Ms. Sinnott, a nice lady fallen into narcissism's very cynosure?"

I can't let a sentence like that pass by without praise. It is not often that I am led to the dictionary, but I was, and it was worth it! A sentence both apt and brilliant, though really, narcissism’s very cynosure — the brightest star and center of attention even among a whole group of stars of their own shows — that might be a certain presidential candidate we see nightly on the news. I’ve been telling friends that I’m doing well. I have too much to do (books to write, pictures to paint) to mope. I think Dan was lucky to get me as a wife, and — when you think of the public crying and screaming that could occur – he was lucky to get me as an ex-wife. This chapter in life has produced reflection and personal growth, and will translate through art into beauty. Plus, with your phrase you have provided me a chapter heading.

And I certainly do intend to land on my new feet.

Lauren Sinnott

Point Arena

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During the past two weeks the Point Arena Schools system has taught more, inadvertently I am sure, to the students than they would have learned in a programmed civics class.

First was with the “gag order” on Dr. Roger Little. Where is the US Constitution’s First Amendment on free speech?

Then, this past week, by provoking the students to react in solidarity with the teachers who were fired or encouraged to resign during the last days of the school year. This reaction by the students was done through the only means left to them — a protest march to the school leadership.

We teach and encourage our young leaders of tomorrow to learn how to participate in our society. Therefore their frustrations in feeling repressed from participating in what was happening in their lives was quite normal. In this case, after not being able to participate in what was happening, their only recourse was to vent these feelings through a spontaneous and non-violent protest march.

I believe that it is they, as protesters, who were demonstrating leadership, not those who issued “gag orders,” nor those who take actions, as in the firings, which affect the lives of the students.

Alas, perhaps we, as elders, should turn over the reins to these young leaders, or at least give them more voice in their own destinies. Certainly, they cannot do much worse than what is being shown around the country by our “leaders”

Hail to the young leaders of tomorrow!

Vernon McNamee


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Subject: Highway 20 Transfer Station Land Swap

The Mendocino Group of the Sierra Club has harmed the credibility of its great parent organization. It has allowed a handful of passionate NIMBYs to use it to try to derail one of Mendocino’s best environmental efforts since the offshore drilling ban. Fort Bragg and Russian Gulch State Park are on the verge of closing a land swap deal that would close the Caspar solid waste transfer station and dump site in favor of a much more accessible location on Highway 20. For over 25 years the State Department of Parks and Rec (DPR) has considered the blighted landscape adjacent to the North Boundary Trail at the edge of Russian Gulch State Park a “conflicting use.” Moreover, the County was never able to use 40 of the 60 acres at the site because they were subject to Coastal Zone restrictions. Happily, the portion in the Coastal Zone remains a rare example of pristine pygmy forest, and under the imminent deal it would be protected either by a conservation easement or by inclusion into the park. In return DPR would give up a 12.6 acre parcel that is non-contiguous with any state park land, but is highly valuable as a part of the Caspar Creek watershed and as a marbled murrelet nesting area. Under the deal, this land would also be protected as part of the Jackson State Demonstration Forest’s (JDSF’s) Road and Trail Corridor, which would provide special protection under JDSF’s policy ‘concerning “Aesthetics-Related Buffers.” The local Sierra Club’s claim that this land would be logged is utterly false. Even if it didn’t enjoy special protection, the presence of the murrelets would disqualify it from any future timber harvest plan, not to mention its location on the steep wall of the Caspar Creek canyon. The land swap will also allow JDSF to complete its long-planned Caspar-Little Lake Inland Trail, designated by the County Trails Plan. Thus, a win for JDSF as well as for Russian Gulch. Of course, the County has the most to gain from a better location for its garbage transfer and recycling operations. It is under a state mandate to divert 75% of its solid waste to recycling or re-use by 2020. This will require a high participation rate by county residents, and will only be achievable on the coast if the self-haul site is easily accessible. The new transfer site is a major part of the County’s strategy for achieving this goal, and delays are not helpful.

Steve Rehn

Fort Bragg

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Lowell Cohn vs. Strunk & White

Hello Lowell [Press Democrat Sports Editor/writer],

Just read your Sunday (9/19) piece on the Warriors. While I agree with Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser that the work of sports writers is generally superior to that of straight news reporters, your ongoing published insertion of "I, me, my" is distressing. It challenges Rule Number 1 of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.

"1. Write in a way the draws the reader's attention to the sense and substance of the writing, rather than to the mood and temper of the author. If the writing is solid and good, the mood and temper of the writer will eventually be revealed and not at the expense of the work. Therefore, the first piece of advice is this: to achieve style, begin by affecting none - that is, place yourself in the background."

Despite this frequent transgression, your work is regularly fun to read, worthwhile, and humanistic.

Phil Baldwin


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PS. Just received this back from Lowell Cohn:

"Thanks, Phil. You raise a good point and who am I to argue with Strunk or White? I can try to explain. I often insert myself in a column as a character interacting with a sports person. So I use I. Mailer did it, although I don't like his writing. Anyway I'm too old to change. LC"

PPS. Lowell Cohn: More than just a trophy riding on Game 7 for Warriors

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Hello Folks:

Three weeks ago a local woman came into the museum and she told me a “person in the know” in city government said they decided to stop the ticketing for taking the sea glass.

Since then I have had no reports of ticketing and I believe there are just too many people on the beaches for the police to ticket without starting a riot.

I am still encouraging everyone to call the Santa Rosa office of the FBI at (707) 566-6140 to add their names to the list of complainants, as the city municipal code remains in place and when the crowds thin they might begin ticketing again.

In effect, the city has seized public domain land through the use of armed force (the police department). This is a fascist act of war. They are illegally seizing territory and treasure through the use of an armed force so they can tell people what they can and cannot do. This is the same as the Nazis and ISIS.

This is to let you know that If you are a collector or artist and canceled plans to come here this year, it is most probably safe come. I am not making any guarantees, but the lack of reports and shear volume of people indicate the city has given up on ticketing for at least the summer season. Everyone is collecting.

Please share this on social media as we need to reinvigorate the summer tourist season, which has been badly damaged due to the city’s illegal actions.

There will be a phone-in forum streamed live on on 6/30 dealing with these beach freedom and access issues and the illegal actions of the city. Details will follow when it is finalized.

PLEASE call the FBI!


Cass Farrington

Fort Bragg

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Most people think the reason for the massacre in Orlando is the reason for the massacres in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown and San Bernardino. They think the reason is assault weapons. The availability of assault weapons certainly makes these tragic massacres more likely, but they are not the root cause. The reason for those massacres is the reason we can’t have single-payer healthcare, the reason we can’t regulate Wall Street, the reasons the 1% are getting richer while the 99% are getting poorer, the reason we have the highest child poverty rate among advance countries and the arson college is too expensive. The reason is money, and its control of politics.

England, France, Canada, Germany and Italy don’t have the problems that we do. Occasional terrorist attacks, yes, but nothing like the carnage we endure. They have elected governments very much like ours, patterned after the form of government we pioneered. We have lost our way and descended into an oligarchy, and our society is unraveling. And we are well armed. Nothing will change until we get money out of poli9tics. After we get money out of politics, everything can change.

Ted Miller


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Dear Readers,

Subsequent to the recent Grand Jury investigation of the City of Point Arena, former councilwoman Deborah Heatherstone-Szantos filed a frivolous lawsuit in Ten Mile Court for a restraining order to “restrain (me, Debra Keipp) from writing”; specifically, articles in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Her vague dissemination of fabricated complaints, while unconstitutionally based primarily on violating my First Amendment Constitutional rights of freedom of expression, contained no details for me to respond to: dates, names, places or times of my alleged threatening offenses against her, and even insinuated I might use a gun against her. Heatherstone re-invent situations where I had to uncomfortably procure two declarations from witnesses who were acquaintances involved at the scene, who could easily contradict her reversed version of events.

Included in court documents she submitted a copy of the Anderson Valley Advertiser political commentary, “Pint Arena's Political Shittle”. It was third in a trilogy of articles describing the plight of Point Arena City Hall's difficulty in maintaining five full-term City Council candidates, elected or by appointment, to at least form a meeting quorum of three in Point Arena. With a fluctuating population of around 450, Point Arena, California is approximately the eighth smallest city in the State of California. Relevant issues addressed in the AVA articles were also re-annexation or disincorporation, as transformational options in the growth of City Hall (or continued decline) in Point Arena, California. The first and second essays in the trilogy were, “Pint Arena's New City Manager” and “Walk the Plank, Mr. Juntz!”.

One of the facets of the Spring release of the 2015-16 Mendocino County Grand Jury Report, focused on Point Arena City Hall and Council, in toto. In a perfect world, there would be five elected officials who live within the city limits to sit on City Council in Point Arena, and a separate board of five City Planners, only one of whom may live outside the City limits. Presently, however, there is so little interest in participation in Point Arena's governmental board, that Council doubles also as Planning Commission presently, ...and for several years now. And with barely a squad for City Council, either. Finally realized, though, is why Point Arena City Councilman Richie Wasserman stays on Council. He gets paid $400/month for representing the City on LAFCO. THAT'S why he keeps getting back on City Council: the LAFCO money?

Due to the resignations of several of the City Council members over time since the most recent election, by the time 18 months had passed, the only two elected City Council members left to be investigated by the Grand Jury were Mayor Koogle and Heatherstone-Szantos. Such was the constant reshuffle of City Hall and Council members. As well, slap-dash inconsistencies in administration ran on just long enough to nurse the City along into a steady decline - a budget running well into the red, presently. At least the City can legitimately say they have no money for enforcement!

Grand Jury also found City Council persons to be in violation of enforcement issues as they related to City Council members: themselves, therefore. By the time the culmination of the GJ Report occurred, it involved ALL of the remaining elected officials, of whom the only two remaining included Mayor Koogle and Heatherstone.

While Deborah Heatherstone-Szantos had to resign her City Council seat last April due to breach of oath of office, Mayor Koogle, a male, was allowed to remain on Council - regardless of falsifying his election papers in order to establish himself within the City limits in order to run for office, and running an unpermitted bio-fuel refueling station, also mentioned in the GJ Report for being located in the middle of a school playground and ball field. See hilarious video by Mayor Koogle, “bio-diesel in Point Arena” on YouTube. (No spill curb, and check out that wiring!) True, even though there are only a few more months til the next election, City Hall would not have enough councilpersons living within the City limits to run a quorum if both Koogle and Heatherstone-Szantos resigned... even though neither of them inhabit legal living structures within the City limits of Point Arena (to begin with.). The City of Pa has maxed out on appointees, and has to wait on the election. The address on Koogle's election app says “53 Lake”, a gutted building for nearly 30 years now. City Hall needs the vote of a quorum of three Councilpersons to pay the bills, so Council limps along on approximately one meeting a month, hoping to eek out a quorum of three in attendance, since Heatherstone's resignation.

Heatherstone pled guilty last April 8th, to composting sewage where she lives because she has no sewer or septic system within the sensitive riparian zone of Point Arena Creek. She's lived there illegally since 2010. (Amazingly, requiring no permits through the City of Point Arena all those years.) The only reason the composting situation was ever discovered was through Environmental Health, prodded by the recent D.A.'s investigation via the Grand Jury. The City of Point Arena provides exactly no enforcement, as was discovered in the recent Grand Jury investigation, or selects citizens with bias, threatening with inspections/violations, as was discovered in the AVA feature, “Walk the Plank, Mr. Juntz!”.

Heatherstone and her partner have maintained, since purchase of the property in 2010, that they are rebuilding the two 100 year-old homes which burned to the ground in 2008 at 125 Main. Neither home sat on a block, brick or concrete “footprint” foundation; but stilts in and over Point Arena Creek's riparian (wet bank) zone, which sits in the California Coastal Zone within the City of Point Arena.

At the very least, Heatherstone should have applied for a CDP (California Development Permit) so that Environmental Impact Reports could have been completed upon purchase of the property to determine, if any building foundations can now be built on the creek banks. Instead of letting it drag on all these years. Vetting cannot happen, regardless, until some attempt at a CDP and EIR is attempted. But, instead, Heatherstone became associated within City Council, elongating delay of necessary inspections to find out if the property is viable as a living space, after environmental constraints were implemented with the City's Muni-Code around the year 2000. After all, the previous tenant was legally evicted by the City Clerk in 2008 because the remaining uninhabitable shed on the property has no sewer or water and was never meant as the living space for which the former councilperson and her partner have used it since 2010. Now, when you try to find the pertinent chapter of Muni-Code as it relates to the Heatherstone-Szantos use issue, it is no longer available for some reason: Missing from City Hall. What happened to the original and amended issues of Muni-Code's Chapter 14? What gives with City Hall and enforcement in this matter? And who disappeared Chapter 14?

The frivolous restraining order requested by Deborah Heatherstone-Szantos was dismissed by Judge Henderson on June 17th. I had to “refute her allegations”. Her witnesses turned out to be better witnesses for me, than her, based on what she alleged for violence: my writing.

During the proceedings, Heatherstone sighted Bruce Anderson's “Off the Record” paragraph which spoke to the Heatherstone issue. Heatherstone read an excerpt to Judge Henderson, saying I wrote of her taking, (something of what Bruce Anderson calls in a sort of Boontling) “a dirt nap” (referring in this case to those without proper sewer or water in their living structures, who look a bit dusty without showering).

A bit incredulous after having just asked for proof of a credible threat of violence, Judge Henderson asked, “A dirt nap!?”.

Boontling raises its ever-confusing head, again! I had just read Bruce's column a few days before court, when David Severn brought it to my attention. Stifling the impulse to suddenly laugh, I asked the judge if I could interject, to which I explained that Heatherstone is in error, interpreting the editor's, “Off the Record”, column as my having written it; an incorrect assumption. Throwing our editor under the bus, I offered again, “It's the editor's column.”

After the case was dismissed and upon exiting the door from courtroom G in the Ukiah Court House, I was thinking what an shit job it's gotta be, being a judge, listening to folks lie to you all day. Bullshit walks, as far as I'm concerned, and I could never work as a judge in a court of law. Too many liars, and that's just starting with most of the lawyers. Judges deserve all the money they get for that stinkin' office job.

I threw my bag of “heavy waste paper” (court documents) on my shoulder to leave. I was almost in the hallway when Heatherstone blurted loudly to me as I passed her in the door frame of courtroom G, “Bitch!”. That's nuts, I thought, threatening me just outside the courtroom. Not one foot out the door and she's back to using exactly no restraint - blurting offensive language while she screams in public, like she has a bad case of Turret's: Potty mouth to go with her potty property. She harangued me then all the way down the steps to the elevator. What a bully! I try to block it out when she goes on like this, as she has for the last one and one-half years in Point Arena. As with all people who lack restraint of their hyper-emotional selves, I chose to walk on without a response. But by the time I hit the button on the elevator, Heatherstone was hopping off the last stair, and planted herself, arms akimbo, as if badgering a bad husband, she aggressed, abusing loudly, “Aren't you going to talk to me?”

I shook my head “no”, remaining speechless, as I looked back at the elevator, disinterested in engaging with her.

Descending the stairs, I heard one of her witnesses address the other by saying, “Well, that didn't go as expected!”

I shook my head at collective stupidity, as the elevator arrived.

Heatherstone shouted, still standing there trying to get a response from me by bullying further, “You are an idiot!”.

If I were the idiot, Deborah Heatherstone would have won her court case against me.

Debra Keipp

Point Arena

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I have been denied in the appeal and I am sending out a revised version of the article you published last year. Next week I am going to court for my oldest and have high hopes that my new evidence will turn the tide.

We shall see.

Below is a link to my webpage with the revised story published, along with a few links and a donation button. I have been learning and sharing as much information as I can when I can and I hope to have this story published on a national level.

There are still courts that I can appeal to and I have been getting some legal help as well.

The webpage is

Again, thank you for your support and I hope to send you positive progress soon.

Lyra Jubb

Fort Bragg

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Letter to the Editor

Thanks to David Severn for daring to breach a very troubling topic that has been rendered ridiculous by massive smear campaigns from on high.

The document he was referring to is actually titled; "Owning The Weather 2025”. It is a layman’s version of the USAF bragging about their ability to manipulate the earth’s atmosphere to a level that eliminates the arbitrary whiles of the bitch earth when the Imperial assholes are trying against all odds to cement their self approved dominion over less advanced peoples.

I’ve been saying it in this old school news PAPER for a long time now without so much as a peep from any of you supposedly liberal thinking folk. So, once again; all those giant jets that you hear if you still have ears to hear, are in FACT US military tanker planes. At this time in reality there are no, as in, none, as in zip, as in nada!. No commercial flights crossing over our fine spaced out county. Hello all you supposedly free thinkers. What are these tanker planes that you are in denial of, carrying in there massive tanks anyway!

I dare you to collect samples of you rain runoff and send it a lab that hasn’t been corrupted by business as usual. If you had the proverbial balls to do that, you would have to stop your unfounded skepticism, which from where I sit is a total bore!

The fact of the matter is, we are in one of the main arteries of the geoenineering assaults which affects the entire pacific coast region. The main target being the gulf of Alaska and the jet stream. SRM is the story for you who are unawares. Solar Radiation Management, Get used to it! It’s not a conspiacy theory, but rather a fact of conspiratorial scheming by the very bastards that have created the need for such remedial intervention!

Remember paper? You know, paper? Paper that doesn’t need a goddamned battery charger! If you loose touch with paper, you die sooner you might have..

Thanks for listening, and fuck you too!

In Sympathy + Peace,

Marvin Blake


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Dear Senator Warren:

Shame on you for endorsing Hillary Clinton. Bill and Hillary Clinton are career criminals.

You should have supported Bernie Sanders right up to, and through, the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia this July 25-28.

Democrats have become an Establishment Party, along with Republicans. As Democrats, we need to become the People's Party, again — the Party of the 99%, not the 1%, the Party of Main Street, not Wall Street. We need to embrace the US Constitution and Bill of Rights once again for what those documents truly are -- divinely inspired, just like the Bible.

As Democrats, we need to return to our values -- pro-grassroots democracy, pro-labor, pro-middle class, pro-working families, pro-dignity of work and production, pro-limited big business, pro-limited big government, pro-decentralization, pro-community based economics, pro-tax reform, pro-political finance reform, pro-environment, pro-ecological wisdom, pro-peace, pro-individualism, pro-individual rights, pro-feminism, pro-respect for diversity, pro-rule of law, pro-equality under the law, pro-spontaneous order, pro-natural harmony of interests, pro-personal and global responsibility, and pro-future focus and sustainability.

These are our values.

If the Democratic Party's leadership doesn't agree with these values at the convention in July, then we need a new Independent Party.

John Sakowicz


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