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Letters (July 27, 2016)

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Dear Anderson Valley community,

As you may know we have moved to New Mexico (approximately 30 minutes south of Albuquerque in Los Lunas).

This letter is trying to serve as a goodbye and a thank you to Anderson Valley. The beauty of Anderson Valley and the wonderful people we met in our 26 years living there will stay with us forever.

We don't expect to ever find the same quality of people and degree of friendship we found in the Community of Anderson Valley, but we will try!

Thank you all for the help and friendship.

Mike & Lee Montana

Los Lunas, New Mexico

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I read with interest Anne Fashauer's recent article addressing the housing crisis in our little valley. She started out by saying she had compared incomes, especially tasting room incomes to rental prices. She laid out the financial picture of a "starter" home and that was very accurate. Somehow comparing income levels to rental rates did get lost toward the end of her article. In any case I think for most people who work in the wine industry in the AV $1600 a month in rent is hard to come up with. I guess as a landlord/lady one has to way what's more important, to have a reliable tenant who will stay for a while or a higher rent and frequent turnover?

Monika Fuchs


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Letter to the Editor—

A heartfelt thank you to all the people who were so dedicated and persistent on behalf of Mendocino's Mountain Lions. Because of their efforts, the Wildlife Services contract has been terminated — that is the federal agency that kills predator animals.

Similar efforts to protect mountain lions are happening in other California counties. With more widespread education about this magnificent feline we can reduce people's hatred toward them and figure out ways to coexist in harmony and tolerance.

If you are so inclined you can contact the Mountain Lion Foundation at PO Box 1896, Sacramento, CA 95812.

Louise Mariana


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To the Editor:

As I read the recent article about the upcoming ballot measure regarding mental health services, I find myself both excited and worried.

It is absolutely time for Mendocino County to once again have an in-patient psychiatric unit. But it would be an absolute mistake for the County to operate it. One of the reasons the former PHF was closed was the extreme difficulty the County had in removing a specific staff member. Their attitude was so toxic it was impossible to find anyone who was willing to work with them. Because of their job status they couldn’t be moved to another position and because of seniority they couldn’t be fired. They were one of the reasons the PHF had to close.

When I look at today’s plan I do have a few questions. I wonder why there needs to be a “training facility”? It would be far cheaper to send officers to short-term training programs in the Bay Area. I also wonder why there needs to be a drug/alcohol facility attached. Ford Street Project already operates a treatment program. Why does the County need to double up on services?

It greatly bothers me that mental health and drug/alcohol services are becoming so intertwined in Mendocino County. They are not mutually inclusive. There are significant reasons to keep them separate — a subject for another letter.

The biggest question I have: Where is Adventist Health in all of this? They operate highly successful psychiatric health facilities all over the United States, both in-patient and out-patient. They also have access to a network of well-trained psychiatrists and nurses. Why is Adventist not stepping up and building a facility in Ukiah? With them, there is no need to start from scratch and the facility would not be stuck with civil servants that can’t be fired.

Adventist has access to funding. And this ballot measure — if passed — could be used to supplement that funding.

Adventist has the room in Ukiah to build a modern facility. The current plans for the UVMC expansion can always be modified. With the new ER and helipad being built, quite a bit of property is going to be available. And the facility absolutely needs to be in Ukiah, where the majority of people with severe mental health issues live. To have it in Willits would be a major mistake. It would be too far away from the majority of people’s homes and service programs. It absolutely should be part of UVMC. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that having a psychiatric unit at a hospital is vital since many people with psychiatric issues also have medical issues that need to be addressed at the same time.

One great thing about Adventist running psychiatric services is that the County won’t be involved. I can easily see Adventist running the entire operation, from crisis services to the adult in-patient unit. I can even see Adventist adding an adolescent in-patient unit, which the ballot measure sadly leaves out and Mendocino County sorely needs.

Over the years I have been shocked and ashamed by the things I have read when it comes to how mental health services have been offered in Mendocino County since the mid 2000s. While I think this ballot measure is a good sign, I know it is highly misguided.

It’s time for Adventist to finally step up, get the funding and build a comprehensive psychiatric health facility in Ukiah. An Adventist operated facility can serve more than one county and become an additional source of revenue for UVMC.

William French


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Fred Gardner's piece, “Honest Abe Didn't Smoke Hemp,” was persuasive (AVA 7/6/16). Fred critiqued the Cannabis Card, featuring Fred Sternkopf's graphic of Lincoln toking on a corned cob pipe, along with an unsourced Abe Lincoln quote: “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp and playing my Hohner harmonica.”

The Cannabis Card summarizes Lincoln's hemp connections. He stepped into the Illinois Legislature wearing hemp pants, woven & grown on his family farm. He is reputed to have used hemp oil for light to read by, including his law books.

In researching further info for the card, I was intrigued to repeatedly find the quote about Lincoln 'smoking a pipe of sweet hemp' as he played his harmonica. But alas, there was no verifying source. I decided to use it anyway and let things fall where they may, since there was no opposition. Cannabis Cards, being little trading cards, are correctable.

I approached Michael Aldrich, noted scholar and librarian of all things hash and hemp. He said, “the jury is out.” We talked about Hohner Harmonica's denial not necessarily being conclusive, since truth about marijuana is routinely suppressed to avoid 'reefer madness' association. Who knows what is in their vaults?

One thing I've learned is that a sure way to get feedback is to say something that is incorrect. Fred Gardner has proven that adage once again. Finding no corroborating evidence, he argues against the quote being attributed to Lincoln.

Fred turned to Sidney Blumenthal, author of a new 4-volume Lincoln biography, for his opinion. “Apocryphal" was the answer. There was no corroboration. It was not consistent with Lincoln's abstemious frame of mind, shunning alcohol and drugs all his life.

It is also hard to hide the aroma of “sweet hemp.” It would not likely go undetected. If it happened, someone would have smelled or seen the President partaking in toking.

I appreciate being corrected. I've spent decades tearing down marijuana myths and litigating bad laws; the last thing I want to do is perpetuate myths out of ignorance.Fred Gardner has persuaded us at Cannabis Cards to delete the 'sweet hemp' and harmonica quote, unless history proves otherwise. There are so many true verifiable unknowns to make known; that is where to focus our educational energy.

For instance, did you know Janis Joplin wrote an obscure country-blues song called “Mary Jane" early in her career, in which in barely veiled lyrics, she describes spending her hard earned money in search of “my Mary Jane.” Her record handlers essentially banned promotion of the song, making it a virtual unknown, available only as a British CD on “50 Greatest Hits,” but not on any US label. It's not hard to imagine that Janis got the message from her record company executives to turn away from marijuana and instead embrace alcohol, the safer drug, career wise.

Pebbles Trippet


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Dear Editor,

In your July 13 issue John Eells pointed out how liberals have enabled and as co-dependents, made the situation worse for the homeless, not better. They keep doing the same 'remedies' and expect a different outcome.

Liberals are not progressives. They refuse to take the big step. They give us Hillary and not Bernie. They give us a continuation of insurance company, rip-off health care, not single-payer. They give us war, not peace. They give us identity politics, not a movement. They have allowed social democracy, as in Western Europe, to become a no-no.

The distinction between the conservative right and the liberal left has shrunk to the point of meaninglessness. Is Donald J. Trump going to undo the military-industrial complex? No, and neither is Hillary. Is Trump going to abolish campaign finance hi-jacking by the 1%? No, and neither is Hillary. Is Trump going to go to another type of tax code? No, and neither is Hillary. Is Trump going to do anything to help those in poverty, including the homeless? No, and neither is Hillary. And on and on.

Why is this the case? It's because for 40 years the liberals have indulged themselves in identity politics. This has prevented any coalition that would produce fundamental change. For 40 years liberals have had no emotional appeal to those in the middle or on the Right. We see that once again wherein Trump has a message; Hillary has none. Political and social change do not come from intellectual explaining; they come from mobilizing great numbers of people, by moving them emotionally, either to go to the ballot box or into the streets.

An emotional appeal moves people; an intellectual appeal interests people. Big difference. Liberals reach out to the minds; right-wingers reach out to the feelings. Even when those emotional messages are lies, are distortions, are cover-ups for greed, racism, and aggression, they work. They work because they appeal to feelings. Trump is the proof of that.It is easy for liberals to think that those on the Right have the same feelings as they have, such as compassion. They do not. It is not in their self-interest, they think, to let themselves have compassion for others in a different race, social class, religion, etc. Here are a few examples of what the liberal Left might have done for the past 40 years to reach those in the middle and on the Right.

"Being poor is not your fault"

"War is not the answer"

"Guns kill people!"

"Get your dollars off my back!"

"Having more than two children is harmful"

"Don't let them divide us"

"Women are equal to men. Period."

Those types of emotional appeals are what it is going to take to move the political spectrum toward the progressive Left. Bernie tried, but he did not use any of those kind of appeals. He said, "A future you can believe in". How different, if at all, is that from "Make America Great Again"? Neither Bernie, who has capitulated to the Liberals, nor Hillary, have been able to get out of their heads and into people's feelings. They do not attack the root causes of the problem. The American Dream is a myth. The super-rich are well dressed crooks. Jails are not the answer. Addiction is a disease. Religion is self-delusion.

Those kinds of statements might get people thinking. To get them thinking you must first engage their feelings. 80% of our energy goes to feelings; only 20% to thought. Let's put first things first.

Lee Simon

Round Hill Farm, Virginia

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Editor and fellow AVAers,

It's a Sunny Sunday, July 10, 2016, Fort Bragg, California.

"What will be, will be." Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and emptiest place on earth. This continent is 1.5 times the size of the United States where temperatures at the South Pole can slip below -100 degrees F. Moreover, between February and October the South Pole is unreachable because it is too cold to land an aircraft while half of that time would be spent in darkness.

One doesn't spend the winter at the South Pole, one "wintersover," as we "summerover" in Fort Bragg. The traffic goes back and forth, the field west of Route 1 shows well weathered ohre, pale brownish yellow beside the ocean that is a flat white tablecloth. We wait for rain.

Okapi, African striped ruminant, what about America with an election coming up, do we chew our cud? Is this the reason America is at war?

Said a man stationed in the boondocks outside Darwin, Australia, "Listen, buddy, here's how it is. After a while you find yourself talking to yourself. Then you find the lizards talking to you. And pretty soon you find yourself listening."

Is the ultimate enemy in America monotony, or war?


Diana Patricia Vance


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Dear Editor:

Following is an update on my previous letters on global warming.

Atmospheric CO 2 reached new highs in May and June at 407.7 and 406.8 parts per million (ppm), as compared with 307.5 ppm when I was born in 1930. The increase can be attributed mainly to increase use of fossil fuel and also to land use such as destruction of trees for agriculture. Unless there is a radical deduction in the use of fossil fuel we probably will reach the 450 CO 2 ppm tipping point by 2036. It should be noted this increase in also resulting in much higher temperatures and humidity. We are now seeing atmospheric CO 2 levels in a range that has not been seen the Pliocene geological epoch of 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago. The hosting carbon level ranged from 350 - 405 ppm and global average temperatures were 2-3 degrees Celsius hotter than the 1880 levels. Sea levels were about 80 feet higher. We are entering a period seen in the Middle Climate Optimum 15 -17 million years ago when CO2 exceeded the 405 CO2 level. The CO2 level ranged between 300 ppm to 500 ppm and and temperatures were between 3 - 5 Celsius hotter than the 1880s. Sea levels were about 120 to 190 feet higher. That was the first time the world broke significantly below the 500 ppm CO2 level that existed during the Oligocene period 24 to 33 million years ago. Unfortunately, we have too many people such as Trump and many of his fellow Republicans that seem to be unable to understand the continuing increase in burning fossil fuel is taking all of us to the point of a terrible disaster.

In love and peace,

Jim Updegraff


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To the Editor:

I am deeply resistant to the suggestion that I have to either endorse Black Lives Matter or state my support for police in our society. I SHALL do both, and I hope others will join me. The path to progress and healing is open in front of us, more clearly than before. President Obama In Dallas quotes I John 3:18, “Let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”

Benj Thomas


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I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch has initiated a tough restrictive order on attorneys seeking law enforcement body cam evidence. The stricture requires that attorneys sign a non-disclosure agreement banning the uploading of footage onto the internet and return videos within 90 days of the resolution of a case.

But I was positively stunned to read her Close to Home defense of the order, in which she insists that “calls for transparency and review of law enforcement procedures are appropriate … and hopefully builds better trust between public safety agencies and the public” (“Why some body-cam video should not be made public,” Sunday). She further stated that “the policy does not prevent defendants from seeking copies directly from police agencies,” adding “we’re not trying to hide anything.”

What Ravitch fails to mention is that defendants cannot request relevant footage until 90 days after the case has closed, and that such footage may never be used in civil cases.

I’m very sorry to say that the only transparency evident here is the disingenuousness of the district attorney’s earnest-sounding words.

Kathleen Finigan

Santa Rosa

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I desperately need to connect with a Mr. Pete Richardson of Rainbow Construction in Ukiah. You are the only person I know of who may be able to assist me in connecting with him. Below is a letter for Mr. Richardson in the event that he sees this. I understand such a request by me is somewhat intrusive so please forgive my manners.

Dear Mr. Richardson: My name is Alan Crow and I am desperately trying to connect with you. If I am fortunate enough that you receive this letter, please let me know and I will send you a more detailed explanation.


Alan Crow AX0692


PO Box 5242

Corcoran CA 93212

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