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Letters (Aug 3, 2016)

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The Anderson Valley Unity Club  extends a round of applause to Robert Anderson.

Wendy Email, high school librarian, appealed to the Unity Club for help in updating and upgrading the offerings available to students. Over a two-year period club members did fundraising and reached into their own pockets for book monies.

The club maintains a local lending library at the fairgrounds and is quite serious about literacy and easy access to reading materials.

So, we were over the moon to find out that earlier this year that Robert Anderson gave a most generous $5000 donation to the high school library.

The Unity Club asks you to join us in extending a hearty round of applause and thank you for this gift. A very nice model for doing something positive and effective for our world.

Beverly Dutra, for the Unity Club


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First, I want to thank all the residents on Mountain View Road and across the county who supported us in our quest to discover the menacing generator which has robbed us of sleep for six months. I have also had calls from across the county — Mendocino, Fort Bragg, Elk, Boonville and Ukiah.

The good news is that a generator expert has identified the noise as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 outdated illegal generator, most likely in the Brush Creek watershed or very nearby. These outdated generators are highly toxic (air pollution and water pollution). Users of these generators receive fines from $100,000 to $1 million if near a school.

We have not slept for six months. We have had ten different people come to hear with varying degrees of ability to hear and each of them said they heard it and/or felt it in their bodies.

I support everyone who lives in this community; however, we need our peace and quiet for our health and well-being.

I am offering a $1000 reward for valid information on this menace.

Charles DeFay

Point Arena, 707-350-0394

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My father told me this story about the time when he was a young Marine Corps officer dispatched to Nicaragua to search for the Nicaraguan rebel, Sandino.   He came back to base after a thirty-day patrol, only to find his housemate with his face peeling, his hair singed,  and no eyebrows. The officer related how it happened:

Seems he got some hometown mail and took it up to their outhouse to relax and enjoy reading news from home. What he didn't know was that in Nicaragua, there are flying cockroaches that grow to three inches — and the bite.  One of them taught him this painful lesson by biting him on his ass. He was so infuriated, he hopped off the seat, hurried back to the hacienda, and came back to the scene of the attack with a jerrycan of gasoline. He dumped a goodly portion into the cockroache's home, and only then did he realize that he'd forgotten matches.  He hot-footed it back the hacienda and came back to exact his revenge; however, he hadn't factored in that gas quickly vaporiizes in the  Central American heat. He lit the paper and tossed it into the home of the offending cockroach.

He was sure the resulting explosion killed his attacker; however it also blew their outhouse to bits,  scattered fecal matter over a wide area, and left a medium sized crater where once stood their crapper. The officer considered he was lucky to get away with only singed eyebrows, hair and a red face. I don't think he was awarded the Purple Heart medal for this action.

Semper Fi,

Miguel Lanigan

Clearlake Oaks

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Dear Editor,

I noted Todd Walton will decrease his contributions to the AVA. Could it be he has worn out the "I" on his keyboard?

Among the AVA's staple of pompous bores, dirty old men and folksy "fellas," Bruce, Mark, and McEwen stand out as the real deal newspapermen.

John Kennaugh

San Francisco

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Somehow I just feel that this should be printed in an American newspaper — the Philippine Star on July 27 reporting on the continuing drug war bloodbath:

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has vowed to provide the Philippines $32 million to support the Duterte administration's intensified law enforcement efforts.

Washington's support for law enforcement activities was one of the topics discussed by President Rodrigo Duterte and visiting US State Secretary John Kerry during their meeting Wednesday in Malacanan.

"The US committed $32 million in training and services," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing. ... Abella confirmed that Duterte had also briefed Kerry about his crackdown on drugs and crimes.

Asked if Kerry, who emphasized the need to uphold human rights in his previous engagements, was alarmed by the spate of killings in the country, Abella said: "There was no alarm that was mentioned there."

"Although, President Duterte did mention about the way he has been handling the war against crime and especially the narcotic plague," he added.

Pressed on what the US state secretary said about Duterte's anti-crime and drug campaign, Abella replied: "He was listening very intently."

A total of 239 drug suspects were killed in law enforcement operations as of July 22, data from the Philippine National Police showed. More than 120,000 drug pushers and users, meanwhile, have turned themselves over to authorities.

Human rights advocates are worried that the government's crackdown on illegal drugs would result in extrajudicial killings and abusive practices.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he would not stop the war against narcotics until the last drug personality is punished.

"There will be no let-up in this campaign.  Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish," the president said.

"To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay," he added.

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So, I guess it could be worse here, a lot worse. Vigilantes there are dispensing "cardboard justice," where bodies just turn up with cardboard signs declaring "pusher." About a dozen each day and ramping up.

Look for my postal money order in the snail mail. I look forward to another year's enjoyment before I pike off to the dusties. The other papers don't hold a candle to the AVA, especially when it comes to getting a fire going in my cabin.

Yours & etc.

Jay Bergstrom

Forest Ranch

PS. Some years back Sheriff Allman acquired a bread oven for the jail. I'm curious how it has worked out, as the early signs were quite hopeful.

ED NOTE: Allman’s bread-jail program has worked out well. We personally know several graduates who have moved into related jobs after release and we’ve tasted the bread and it is as good as anything you can buy in a store.

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(Ed note: The following is a letter from Eros Nelson who is presently confined to the Mendocino County Jail. She has annotated a jail form accusing her of several infractions.)

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Rule Infraction Report

Name of Inmate: Eros Nelson. A# 156.

Date of incident: 7/23/16.

Time of incident: 0734.

Location of incident: Women's jail, Wing One, Cell 116.

Rule level: 2. Infractions: #5, showing insolence toward staff. (Jarred me awake. I protested her tirade.) #6: Possession of contraband (Bibles, penal code, Joyce Meyer book). #2: Refusing to obey an order. (?) Level 1. #2: Indecent exposure. (She pulled out my mattress tossing me out of bed.)

Please help me Bruce. This is insane! I get it! Drunk in public is bad. Stealing in Mendo, bad! I have been in solitary confinement for 33 days! Not a single rule broken. I tried hard to be a good inmate.

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I am very grateful for this time alone to study and ponder my selfish ways. I continue to do the next right thing after some time (three and one half years of behaving badly.) I'm clearly much different than many who reside here and Deputy Simmons in particular has gone at me with a vengeance. My husband is young, bright and very attractive. This seems to be a real bone of contention with my adversaries. He and I have been married for six years and have a pretty normal marriage. It is a bit heavy-handed but biblically speaking quite fair. We could all use a little more discipline I think. But this is ridiculous!

Then the deputy leaves the books she "confiscated" in my cell? Why? So she could repeat the onslaught of injustice?

I have to keep my request slips for hearing. It's so hard to communicate this way. Please visit. This jail is full of bugs! Inmates have head lice but get no medical treatment. Please send me $20. I bought envelopes, soap, Ibuprofen and a $10 phone card. My poor mother turned 83 on July 11.

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Inmate Grievance Form

If while in custody of Mendocino County Sheriff's office Corrections division you have a complaint regarding custody treatment, medical treatment, Mendocino County jail policies and procedures or other custody related matters you may complete this form and give it to the on-duty corrections deputy. This form shall be submitted within five days after occurrence of any specific incident and/or complaint. Every attempt will be made to resolve your grievance at the lowest possible level, however it may be necessary to bring your grievance to higher levels for resolution. Grievances may be filed on all matters except decisions issued by a court.

Name: Eros Nelson. Housing assignment: 116. Location of occurrence: 116. Date: 7/23/16. Time: 07:55.

Grievance: Because I have always been of good conduct and was told by classification over a week ago (while I was in safety cell for fear I would hurt myself over deplorable treatment by inmates and Simmons) he would try to get me into a classification with three hours out (PC). I previously requested the Penal Code in my room and was granted that request! Classification was here two days ago and never responded again except to give me word he saw my request. Simmons came in this morning taking the books that were given to me by Truth Ministry and my personal papers and even my soap! And Simmons is now writing me up. I am being tortured as other inmates call me a child molester. Simmons calls me foul names such as "mean old lady," and says I have sex with my (xxxx). I can't even say it or write it.

34 days of no bad behavior in solitary confinement with an okay for Penal Code, a promise for more time out (not granted) and books taken that were mine.

I have the response that says I may have Penal Code in my room for brief periods and Pastor Gerry gave me the Joyce Meyer book I wrote in. Please don't let Simmons write me up!

This grievance form was rejected as I wrote in the margins. I'm truly losing my will to live. My connection to my "father who art in heaven" quite truly is all that keeps me going on most days. I have truly been cast into a snake pit where seemingly no amount of remorse or penance will save me. My husband who was also attacked by the man whom I am accused of assaulting (although I was merely defending myself). I can prove I owned the religious materials I am being written up for (possibly hurting my chances of home detention) is only able to assist me partially. I hope this letter makes it out. I have written literal volumes but they came back and they have since been confiscated. Even you said you would speak to the district attorney then never took my call again. I pray for humility. I'm getting a megadose. That will do for now, thank you.

Respectfully, sincerely,

Eros Nelson,

Fort Bragg, now Ukiah

PS. I would quote the section of the Penal Code that says jail staff must not behave this way but she took the Penal Code and my notes written on a Kotex boxes as I can't afford paper.

PPS. This whole thing is a nightmare. My assault charge, which was really self-defense, was supposed to be dropped when I pled guilty to burglary for taking an airplane bottle of Kahlua in broad daylight from an open unoccupied room at MacCallum House!

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If you don't know what its like to be a tiger in a zoo, you'll never know what its like to be a black man in America.

So yesterday I'm sitting in my kitchen relaxing and the kids come back from the Bay front and pull in the driveway and they're yelling, "dad! dad! raccoon! raccoon!" So I jump to attention and they say the raccoon is back and they saw him run the driveway and jump the back fence and then climb up our tree. They say they want to watch him from the back porch as he climbs the tree and gets to his perch. They say they want to keep track of him and see what he's doing. I stopped everyone in their tracks. We have watched the raccoon before from the porch in his perch. I told the kids that today the raccoon came in the early afternoon to find his tree and has been running from the urban landscape all day and been caught unaware and has been getting away from people for as many hours as the sun has shone and is totally scared and has found his place of respite and must be left alone and of this I had absolutely no doubt. I told them forcefully that they need to respect that his big ass finally found a tree with some safety and relief and to do more than peek out the door at him for two seconds would be wrong. I saw the fear in the raccoons eyes. Don't disturb the one who has been disturbed all day. Do not afflict the distressed, how much more simple can we make it? I thought of Katt Williams immediately and as quick knew the analogy was an indictment. "If you don't know what it's like to be a tiger in a zoo, you'll never know what it's like to be a black man in America."

The analogy is only as racist and as wrong as America is racist and wrong.

Like Bootsy Collins said, "America eats its young."

Let me explain.

So today, I was kicking back in my kitchen contemplating the world, hiding from the world, when it all came crashing to my doorstep, or rather running down my driveway. I heard the running footsteps and knew something was up. It was about 4pm on wed. july 27. I looked out my back window to see just the legs of some young kid in basketball shoes sitting on the steps to my laundry room. I quickly got the adrenaline rush of an impending confrontation and grabbed my shoes, thinking all the while what's happening, Fin go see who this guy is cause he shouldn't be there, and most importantly deal with it as judiciously as you can. I ran down my back steps and soon I approach an out of breath sweat drenched kid who immediately looks up and stares at me with bugged eyes and open mouth and I say to him,

"Hey man what are you doing here?"

"Why are you here?"

"You gotta go!"

"You cannot hide here!"

As I descended the stairs I was expecting a boy or a man but instead what I was confronted with was just a kid no more than 5 foot, looking pretty thin and unhealthy (diabetic?) dripping with sweat and completely out of breath. Honestly the kid had the terrified look of a runaway slave which makes me feel terrible to say, but is nonetheless probably something felt in the collective unconscious (by everyone?). Maybe I felt so bad because he was just a kid. If he was a man I would have put hands on him because I would have seen him as a threat.

Needless to mention my emotions, I was resolved to perform my civic duty and inform this child that theft was not socially permitted in these parts and probably strongly discouraged in his. So I proceeded to march him out the driveway and said to him "who the hell are you running from boy?"

He said someone was trying to beat him up and I took him for his word to start because he was just a kid. If you cannot give a kid his word to start with, what can you give him?

Nonetheless I told him by the end of the driveway that I did not believe his story. My mind raced and I thought all the while what am I going to do with this kid and in hindsight maybe I worked entirely too quick. I took control of this person verbally and I was that eager to be rid of my rashly claimed responsibility. I just thought whatever crime he committed how could I take charge of what he has done especially if its petty crime? What am I gonna re-school the kid? I knew it could not have been murder, it could not be that bad. Without acknowledging it aloud I saw and I knew that he had taken a phone. I did not see a weapon in his hands or blood on his shirt or arms. I marched him to the end of the driveway in 30 seconds and I said "I am going to cut you loose if their is no one at the end of this driveway who is looking for you." Perhaps I wanted to cut him loose or I didn't want to put hands on the kid. After all am I the captor of young black males? Am I the captor of young black males? I think not. I had the ancestors in my head at this point. I only tell this story to elucidate the awesomeness of the conflict.

As I approached the end of the driveway walking the young lad out I said, Hey man this is my block and you better get the fuck out of here and don't steal people’s shit around here and you can't run here because I will be here to stop you.

In retrospect I should have confiscated the phone but really in the recesses of my mind, fuck phones. In reality, fuck phones. In reality, woe to the girls who stay on their phones and get them stolen. "Educated" girls should not be on their phones 95% of the time that they appear in public as is the current social norm, I'm just sayin'.

It turns out the kid tossed the phone right there as he ran away down my block.

Honestly for the dude speaking right here, in this kind of situation the citizen goes from chilling solo in their domicile, smoking a joint, hiding from the issues of the day Police and Thieves, Black versus White, System versus Outcast, to full on confrontation with these issues right in your face.

That is if you think or care about these issues; if not, you're just oblivious.

Honestly I was torn, because in my mind of minds this kid is cruisin for a bruisin in his own right, I know his mom should kick his ass, to soon after that when my mind shifts because I see these cops swarming like Fallujah, and my mind started to race and I know I am not a captor of black youth.

Who raised this kid and how was he treated? All of this is running through my mind at an accelerated and demanding pace and honestly I thought they would grab the kid right after I told him you better run, but would they kick the shit out of him? Would they kill him?

I really don't think so in this really "liberal" town, but what does that even mean? Was this kid being compelled by some adult to do what he was doing? So many questions. So many questions running through my mind in such a short period of time. Zero to sixty in seconds.

I think we need to step back and ask some really big questions. What are black people actually doing to disturb the social contract? In the ancient books you return stolen property and you rebuke the sinner, but this whole upending of the social contract for minor theft is a sure sign of things in complete disorder. Is there a longstanding property complaint at hand? "40 acres and a mule, Jack." Do we deal with it or upend the whole social contract? Or is that the social contract? Black people are second class citizens. You decide, America.

Fenian Collins


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To the Editor,

The 2016 Presidential sweepstakes presents a unique match between the two most repugnant mud wrestlers in America - "Horrible Hilly" and "Dirty Donny." The pro-choice frump versus the pro-life grump.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are shameless, blameless masters of deception.

Clinton has perfected the fine art of "cunning ineptitude" as shown in her e-mail treachery and Benghazi blunders.

Trump has developed a bizarre form of Tourette's syndrome, enabling him to shoot his mouth off willy-nilly while deflecting criticism with a blizzard of dip-shit mumbo jumbo.

Since they're both sleazebags, who's the lesser evil - Clinton the covert sleazebag or Trump the overt sleazebag?

Trump, the overt, is less dangerous because he's transparent and can be restrained before he does too much damage.

Clinton, like Gollum, operates in the shadows below the radar.

So, where did these despicable "characters" come from? Hillary Clinton is the self-realized Tracy Flick from Alexander Payne's movie "Election" (1999). Donald Trump is a composite of General Dreedle and Milo Minderbinder in Joseph Heller's classic novel "Catch 22".

According to the US Constitution (Article II, Section I), Donald Trump is eligible to be President of the United States, since he's a natural born citizen, over thirty-five years old, and a resident within the United States for fourteen years.

The Constitution does not require that the President of the United States "be of good character". Had that been a qualification, most of our Presidents - including Bill Clinton - would never have been allowed to run for the office.

After inauguration on January 20, 2017, a magnanimous President Trump, in the spirit of unity, will appoint Hillary Clinton Ambassador to Libya making America safe again.


Don Morris


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