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The Central Valley of California spans almost the length of the state. It lies in a generally north-south direction. The valley is bounded on the east by the Sierra Nevada mountains and on the west by the Coast Range. The Valley is like a long, narrow bath­tub with but one outlet — the San Francisco Bay.

Runoff from the mountains reaches the San Fran­cisco Bay via the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. These drainage areas and the Delta were once a vast wetlands.

The southern portion of the Central Valley receives runoff from the Sierras, but only on the east side. Agribusiness thrives there.

The west side is dry. Until recently, there was little agriculture.

At the northern portion of the Valley, both the Sier­ras and the Coast Range contribute runoff. Be­cause of this additional volume, the Sacramento River is a much more substantial body than the San Joaquin. Because of dams and agriculture, both rivers suffer diminished flows.

Agriculture consumes about 85% of developed water in California. Government and industry take another 6 or 7%. Residential water use accounts for only about 9% of the total. But it's here, in the home, citizens are being asked to conserve. No matter what one thinks of the value of adopting a strong water conservation ethic, this is a small tail trying to wag a big dog.

The situation for citizens used to be worse. Domes­tic water shortages were common. But 50 years ago a bond issue past that funded the California water project. This bond paid for dams and  canals to bring water from the wet north to the dry south. Ostensi­bly, it was not an agricultural project. It was designed to secure for the citizenry a safe and reliable supply for domestic use. And there was a surplus capacity to allow for population growth.

But agribusiness stepped in.

Remember I mentioned in the dry, west side of the Southern Central Valley? The California water project was a windfall for west side property owners. When the project was finished there was excess water for purchase. And it was real cheap. Land that was to dry to farm suddenly had an abundant supply. But agricultural interests have no vested rights to the water. They can buy the surplus that is excess to the needs of the citizenry. By law (California water code number 350-359) citizens’ rights are paramount.

This has come to a head recently. Population growth has eaten into the project’s ability to satisfy both citizens’ and agriculture's needs. West side farmers are squealing like stuck pigs — and also exerting their considerable political clout. Their pres­sure and influence has paid off.

In good years they're getting plenty of water — all the surplus. In average years they whine for more and draw down the cushion we need for dry years. Last week, the citizens who paid for this project are forced to suffer shortages and rationing when there should have been adequate supplies.

Check this information on the web. Go to the Cali­fornia statistical abstract. Look at table G-1, the water allocation tables, for the years 2000- 2009. You will notice especially three agricultural water districts: Dudley, Kern and Tulare Lake. Combined, these three rural agencies use water in quantities to rival the Metropolitan Water District.

However, there is a big difference. The Met serves the water requirements of 18 million people!

Agricultural interests argue that they need this water to grow food. But alfalfa? Hay? Cotton? Can you eat cotton? And it's already a subsidized crop that is better grown in the South. And Rice? Geez. What are we doing growing a water intensive crop like rice in California? This is not Bali. Plus, these guys are flooding the rice paddies after the harvest just to kill weeds.

The state suffered a drought in the early 1990s. (Those who live through this remember it well.) Southern California — Los Angeles in particular — was chided for their profligate water use. But at the height of the drought 75% of the water in the State Water Project never made it out of the Central Val­ley.

Now the state legislature is contemplating another multibillion-dollar water project to satisfy these wel­fare queen farmers. Farm loans, crop subsidies and subsidized water are apparently not enough. They need more dams and a peripheral canal. To hell with the citizenry, wildlife and the salmon. It’ll be inter­esting to see how they try (and probably succeed) to manipulate the California electorate.


Bart Boyer

San Diego



Dear AVA,

You know who it is.

Well well. How do I start this? Let's see. First off, I got the subscription. Thank you. Now here we go.

I see people are still writing about me based on the lies that have me in prison. I call him chickenshit: you call me out by name and withhold yours. That's very man-like of you, Napa coward. You'll see me again one day. I'll be back.

As for rehabilitation, that probably won't happen. This is prison. To all the haters, people like you make me famous. Do I feel sorry? Hell, no. I didn't commit that awful act which has me here. You can thank DA Heidi Larson and that fat-ass of an attorney James Griffiths for finding two felony assaults to pin on me, which, if you're curious, those did happen. And for the car theft and the broken window– The broken window happened at my old work, because a coward wanted to run his mouth and not get out of the car. Result? I pinched out his window. The stolen car was south on Highway 1. I didn't drive the car around the parking lot. Get your facts right (Bruce).

To all those who know me, you know the truth. To all who don't know me and believe it, I wish you did know me, cuz then you'd know the truth.

To everyone locked up in Mendo County jail, whether you like me or not, keep your heads up. To my boys there (you know who you are), Much love.

Don't let Heidi Larson sucker you into things like she did me. Good job, Sasquatch.

Well, I thought I might correct a few things. Please print this. Thanks. Take care, Bruce, you're still a good guy.

With respect,

Dennis The Menace Day

San Quentin



Dear Sirs:

I recently returned from a two week trip to North­ern California, during the course of which I came across your erstwhile publication and was so enter­tained by it that I have just paid for an online sub­scription via paypal (see confirmation below).

Please can you forward me some login details as soon as, so that I can keep up to date with the court­room dramas in downtown Ukiah as relayed by the brilliant Bruce McEwan.

Kind Regards

Rupert Matthews

London, England



Dear AVA,

Well, I am in San Quentin prison! What a place! I am in what they call “receiving,” a place where you wait to be classified and sent to a housing facility that you qualify for. I am in a high-level dorm of 500 inmates. I am not going to comment on housing, cleanliness, etc. out of respect for the facility. I am here now and I have to live by their rules. I've been here for three days now and I am totally amazed at what I see. I have been writing my wife daily telling of what my life has come to. I am writing a book. I am feeling well. My spirits are high. Most of my things that I brought from Mendocino County Jail were thrown away here — my court papers, my legal mail, my probation report, newspaper articles, etc. Along with shower shoes, toiletries, an old Bible, books, candy. It seems Mendocino County doesn't have a good reputation here. I'm not sure why. I don't really care.

Thinking back to one year ago I was in my home on Clear Lake with my wife and sons, working in Sac­ramento five days a week fighting to pay my bills. Now I am fighting for my life in this wild, racially charged place where I am a nobody. The guards for the most part are as respectable as you are to them.

The cell that I share with another white person is about the size of a long piece of plywood. I believe this place is over 100 years old. I doubt if it's been painted more than a couple of times since. The dorm I am in is five stories high and has 50 cells per floor holding 500 people. It is loud, real loud, probably louder than a jet airplane.

I am confident that I will get a “fair trial” in the appellate court in the Ninth District. Mendocino's socialist courts are anything but fair. The system is bad, real bad. I am saddened to see how low our sup­posedly “democratic” system has stooped to. I still would like to give your paper in interview. What I've seen and gone through no one should have to do. The final straw of my case was my attorney coming back to the courtroom seeing Alan Simon, Tim Stoen and Judge Brown posing for pictures with the “red stuffed animal” that was given to Richard Peacock to give to his 12-year-old daughter in Brown's chambers. My attorney, Ken Gifford, said in all the years he has practiced he as never before been sickened by any­thing so horrible. I agree. Something is wrong when people hired to observe the law and uphold the law make a mockery of it.

Please send me articles of past issues related to my case along with your weekly paper. I will write back. Feel free to write to me or come interview me. Or my attorney or my wife. I will prevail — I have to.

Sincerely yours,

Kenny Rogers

San Quentin



Letter to the Editor:

The oxymoronic state of the budget and the County supervisors—

This is an issue that comes from a group of people in a part-time job who have raised their wages to dou­ble what they made before. They have a secretary who makes over $100,000 a year which they did not vote for — a backdoor to raise through other channels on their own. Two people, supervisors Kendall Smith and John Pinches, treat it as a full-time job. This is a group of people who do not have a clue how to go about a budget or investigate where waste is or go about how to fix the problem. They want to lay the blame on all key personnel and their associated departments. They want to take the easy way, not the hard path to fix the problem because they do not know how.

I have been over this path in the past and it is not an easy fix. It takes a lot of work to make it work. But any budget has the capability to be fixed if you step back and take a hard look at it. Now they want to have all employees take 25-42% pay cuts. I know from experience that is not the solution. The solution is looking at excesses and trimming them wherever they may be. It takes an independent open eyed person to do it.

This comes from a group who have frozen every position empty and still left dollars in the total cost. Let's get on public safety for all outlying areas where if you are at your maximum hours for the week you go home. It is simply not in the budget. It is a story of not seeing the forest for the trees. Usually there is excess property and stuff you really do not need and the ability to get rid of it and get a cash flow going back in then actually putting it back in not sending it somewhere else and being creative on how depart­ments can get the job done better.

The old adage is: work smarter not harder. It is by no means an easy task. Future monies are where you need to look to reduce and eliminate. The only reason they play the poor county routine is some of them are backed by pot money and we all know from experi­ence that is still against the law unless you do it legally which only 1% do.

When you start messing with the money people already make you create a wall that you cannot pene­trate. You need everybody's help to fix a budget because if you listen to all input whether it be good or bad it is still constructive. But the secret is being able to listen. If you create walls, all you get is anger back, not a solution to the problem. The fact of the matter is there are still jobs out there and you are going to lose a lot of good people and it becomes very apparent that the word clueless comes to mind.

You had a chief executive officer leave because he was working on this to turn it around. But the clueless were running the show and he moved on.

I do not know if this will ever be published but peo­ple need to know. Someone out there cares. The reason these guys get away with everything they do is people are not aware. So we need them to know. If you look at history I can only quote a commander of the 101st Airborne when he replied to the Germans when they requested the United States surrender: “Nuts.”

Very truly yours,

Robert Page






muthafuggin KZYX

ain't diggin on no politics

you better watch those lyrics

hope you be the right sex

muthafuggin muthafuggas be buggin

when the rest of us huggin

see this face I ain't muggin

KZYX you keep dis'n

guess what?!

We don' have ta listen!

Autumn Faber





The local free Bay Area newspaper which has never had a “progressive” agenda, has shown probity and courage in publishing critiques of zionist hatchet man John Gertzfort's vendetta against the Berkeley Daily Planet.

When the Express ran an article reviewing Gertz's blog and team of intimidators that thratened busi­nesses with boycotts if they didn't stop advertising in the Planet because of the letters to the editor there.

Gertz sent the usual long list of ad hominem attacks and lies about the author of their article to the Express after the article on the Daily Planet was pub­lished.

He even cited that the author had “Mennonite” ancestors. Exactly how this discredits the author is hard to see in terms of logic — but this is a zionist.

But the plain subtext when you are dealing with zionists is that someone not Jewish somehow isn't qualified to write ANYTHING or to have ANY space in ANY media.

Gee, where have we seen this attitude before? In about every US “pwog” organization you could name, except for

The Express didn't take the usual route of letting the zionists have the last word. They published a rebuttal from the author that reveals a skein of Gertzfort lies, indluding the ones about Mennonites.

And yet many 'pwogs' respond to any criticism of Gertz with the same sort of lies Gertz wrote in the Express.

The Express continues to publish letters from well known Berkeley people on the subject, and the Daily Planet still is doing so online.

But not a WORD from any of the “revolutionary” and “solidarity” people and organizations that pullu­late in Berkeley.

Judging people by ACTIONS and not words, I think it's clear our “pwogs” are all either zionists or simply unable to stand up to zionists, even relatively small fry like Gertzfort.

The Express also covered the sordid child rape gang­sters in the Black Muslim Bakery case now in court, before ANYONE on the Democrat-impreg­nated “left” would touch the story, although many details were already common knowledge. Shades of Jim Jones.

For their pain, the Express got fusillades of gun­shots through their office windows at night. No one was hit, fortunately, and the 'pwogs' of ANSWER, MECA, etc. wouldn't comment on this, either, natu­rally.

All in all, the Express shows much more courage and honor than ANY of our 'progressive' media.

Mark Richie




Dear Editor,

And with all due respect to you, people want $11.50/hour Census jobs in order to pay the rent and feed their families.

Unfortunately a lot of the people who need the jobs most don't qualify either because they have had an arrest for drugs or more commonly alcohol within the last ten years or they don't score high enough on the test of clerical, reasoning and map reading skills. Lots of slow readers and a test that asks for skills not needed by cen­sus enumerators. I'd call it a class, rather than cultural, bias.

Diane Paget





Please know that the Self Described Anarchist Col­lective posted a response to my housing query on the DC IMC. They said that they want those in need of housing for the WB/IMF Days of Dissent to fill out their RSVP housing form on the SDAC website. Then, when the requester shows up at The Electric Maid convergence site in Takoma, they will at that time direct the requester to a housing host. Their stated reason for this approach, is to “keep the heat off of their housing hosts.”

Well, I've got less than a dollar in my cargo pocket pants at the moment, and more importantly, I am interested in staying on beyond the WB/IMF Days of Dissent. When I receive more longterm solidarity and/or money, I am ready to leave for the east coast.

I believe that this is a sane attitude on my part, Craig

Craig Stehr




Dear Key Leader,

FIRST 5 Mendocino is in the process of prioritiz­ing funding for our 2010-2013 Strategic Plan.We want your opinion. Please click on the following link to provide us with your valuable feedback.

This is a very short survey, you are only a couple clicks away from helping Mendocino County children!


Lucresha Rentería, Commission Chair

Anne Molgaard, Executive Director


Ed reply: Kind Ladies: Thank you for soliciting my valuable feedback, which is that I think you should divide the annual million you get from the tobacco tax and give it directly to the families of the children you allegedly help.




It's Thursday morning and, as recommended, I got my fix at Columbi Market. It's last week's edition, but no matter because the AVA is timeless. You must hear from a lot of old school cut-and-paste fetishists about the look and feel of your paper. I didn't begin as one, but the AVA has changed that. I can't quit you.

I discovered the AVA about five years ago. At first, the old school look screamed “Hipster alert! Hipster alert!” But then I began reading... and I can't tell you how much your paper relaxes me. The huge stories and editorials feel tight and concise. The one-liner quotes sprinkled here-and-there stop me in my tracks.

There is a high-minded nastiness at work in this paper that just explodes off of its outwardly staid pages. The intriguing headlines, the droll b&w photos, the simplistic ads... and the tightest, punchiest syntax I've ever seen. I feel simultaneously enlightened and humbled in these pages.

Do whatever you want to the website, but don't ever change the print-edition AVA!

Ryan Hurley (aka Capt. Buhne)




Dear Mr. O'Hara (Reporter for the Gualala-based Independent Coast Observer),

A community member sent me your front page arti­cle on 'Gualala school still stalled' and I am strug­gling with what you reported on in the below state­ments because, truthfully, I believe them to be inac­curate:

1. 'Should the Board decide not to “vest” the prop­erty, return remaining funds, about $2.6 million to the taxpayers.’

This statement is just not accurate. In all actuality the real truth of the matter is, what will be left on the original bond ($3,674.149) for the Gualala School will be $1,799,131 (funds currently designated for the Gualala School) if it is not spent; $187,980 which is in 'Undesignated Reserve' making a total of $1,987,111 funds available for 'return' to taxpayers. Yes, there are more funds available ($647,749) but these funds have been earmarked to finish up what is now being called the Arena Middle School Campus. From various meetings I have attended, I have been informed that these funds will be totally used and, unfortunately, more funds will be needed to completely finish the project.

2. In one part of the article you report Superinten­dent Iacuaniello stated 'enrollment is now up.’ How­ever, not two paragraphs later you report Iacuaniello states there is 'an insufficient number of students to populate the school.'

Did you ask Iacuaniello exactly what the figures will be or, more importantly, what statement is cor­rect? I can only state you couldn't possibly have done this because at the last Point Arena Elementary Site Council Meeting just a week ago, everyone was informed that next year (2010-11), there will be two kindergarten classes like there was this year. However, they also will be adding two first, two second and two third grade classes! So, how can there be an insuffi­cient number of students? Also, this year, I had two parents inform me they could not get their children in the preschool in Point Arena because there was no space available for them!

3. You also state in your article that, 'The Bond funds were split by the School Board last year in accor­dance with Bond language allowing for improvements at Arena Elementary campus.’

Have you actually read the bond measure? Because it clearly states for the Arena Campus: 'Conversion to Middle School: Conversion of existing Arena Elemen­tary classrooms and educational support spaces to age appropriate instructional areas.’ Nowhere in the bond does it state the money could be used to build a new Point Arena Middle School Campus which is what they did. They did not convert classrooms.

4. Finally, I have a problem with you reporting the Gualala school is 'still stalled.’ Have you ever ques­tioned where the stalling began? You did report the State was going to match our bond so why wasn't it begun in 2003 when the bond measure passed? After all the community members were informed that the Gualala School Site is 'nearly complete and prelimi­nary drawings for the new school are underway.’ Why wasn't the project started prior to the economy going south? Don't you think this would be information a reporter would want to inform the community on?

Truly, I believe members of our community would want to know who dropped the ball on this project and spent their money without allowing them an opportunity to have a say. Why didn't Iacuaniello begin this project sooner when we had funding and enrollment was up? I also would be curious as to how John Bower is accepting all this. After all he donated the property specifically to have a Gualala Elementary School built on it. Can he take the property back since it looks like it may no longer be used for that purpose? Have you even contact John Bower to see how he felt about all of this?

However, Mr. O'Hara, this would mean asking diffi­cult questions of your good 'friend' and having to decipher what information you would actually allow the community to know! Sorry, geez what was I thinking?!


Susan Rush




Letter to the Editor

After the Lightning Complex fires of 2008, we “got religion” about making our rural property fire safe. So when we heard about the 2009 Wildfire Pre­paredness Expo, we decided to go, even if we could only stay for an hour. We looked at the schedule and headed out in the late morning. We expected Carl Purdy Hall to be packed, considering how the entire county must have gotten the wake up call the same as we did. We were surprised and saddened that the turnout was so sparse.

The first speaker we heard caught our attention immediately. We sat riveted and decided to hear what the next presenter had to say. We learned about home water supplies for fire fighting and how to protect against flying embers (the major reason that homes are lost). Then came the demonstrations of burning decks and fire retardant gels. We had planned to stay only an hour but couldn’t tear ourselves away. We left hours later with new resolve, specific instructions and reflective house numbers.

This important free event is being offered again, this time at a different venue. The 2010 Wildfire Pre­paredness Expo will be held Saturday, May 1 from 10am to 4pm at the County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Lunch will be provided for a small donation. Don’t miss it.

Susan McLean




Dear Editor,

I just want to publicly acknowledged the wonder­ful support that the Elementary School is receiving from parents, students and community members to develop our school garden and maintain our land­scape. The 4th graders in Vickie Brock and Shirley Tompkins kicked off the work on Earth Day by weeding around the playground and garden areas. We then had a garden work day on Saturday organized by our garden/nutrition coordinator Angela Furia, and Tara and Erin Lane, Jeff Ellis, Mike Brock, Lisa, Sierra & Jazmin Kuny came and weeded the very overgrown flower bed and cleaned up the playground and lawn areas. Jamie Lee showed up on Sunday with his crew and mowed all the lawns and prepared the first grade lawn for the tiled stepping stones that Rebecca Johnson and Val Smith made with the 1st grade students. I am so impressed and grateful for all of this help to make our school beautiful just in time for the Boontling Classic and the Day of the Child on May 2! Thanks to all these people who make our community an exceptional place to live!

With Appreciation,

Donna Pierson-Pugh





From Ralph Chaplin, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a revolutionary poet who was given a twenty-year sentence in the federal peniten­tiary for the expression of his opinions. He edited a paper Solidarity which aimed to establish a more rational and humane system of society.

“Mourn Not the Dead”

Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie-

Dust unto dust-

The calm sweet earth that mothers all who die

As all men must;

Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwell-

Too strong to strive-

Within each steel-bound coffin of a cell,

Buried alive;

But rather mourn the apathetic throng-

The cowed and meek-

Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong

And dare not speak!

Susie de Castro

Fort Bragg



Mr. Anderson,

I'm an inmate currently housed at San Quentin State prison. I'm from Los Banos. But I have spent the last 20 years in and around Sacramento. In that time I have come to love that city and its people and its newspapers.

The big daily there, the Sacramento Bee, keeps me up to date on everything related to my adopted home­town. I am a subscriber and I look forward to seeing what's up back home. Sacramento's alternate weekly, the News and Review, is much more in line with my preferences and interests however.

Having said that, I was delighted to find the Ander­son Valley Advertiser on the ground after a par­ticularly thorough building wide search by corrections staff here. At any rate, the snarky commentary in your paper mixed with serious political discourse feels familiar to me, almost as if I was reading an issue of the News and Review.

I have never been to Boonville nor have I been to Ukiah but at this late stage in my life if there are coastal redwoods and deadheads, the chances are good that I will visit there one day.

I guess I just wanted to say thanks for such a unique and sadly such a rare type of periodical these days. I wish I could say thanks by enclosing $50 for a subscription but sadly I'm stone poor. At any rate, thanks and keep up the excellent work.


Jonathan Myers AC 2001

San Quentin State Prison 4-Alpine-10

San Quentin, CA 94974




I have a house rental business, formerly a bed and breakfast and my property borders a vineyard. When I opened my business, there were cows on the vine­yard land and my husband and I enjoyed the quiet peaceful surroundings. When a vineyard was put in, there was a bit of noise, but it was still nice and quiet most of the time. I opened my business in 1998 and advertised it as quiet peaceful place. The vineyard was sold and the new owners installed wind machines which I can easily see from some of my property and the vineyard workers began to do their work at night when heavy equipment would start up, sometimes as early as midnight and go until the next afternoon, day after day, even on weekends and holidays. The equip­ment wakes me throughout the night and I must warn my guests that there will likely be vineyard noise in the night. During the frost season, the wind machines are sometimes turned on all night, sounding like heli­copters landing outside my window and I wonder if my hearing is being hurt by this noise. I have had many sleepless nights throughout the frost season. When the machines are still on in the early morning, it is impossible to have a conversation outside because of the loud noise. To make matters worse, one year there was an early frost before harvest and the wind machines were on again all night long, night after night. The noise interferes with my business. Guests complain repeatedly saying the noise keeps them awake and they would not visit again simply because of the noise.

It seems to me that some sort of insulation could be used with the generators to avoid such loud noise or that something could be developed and required to abate the noise and maybe there is something which vineyards use in other areas. I had my business before the wind machines and night work started and yet I am forced to endure deafening noise and sleepless nights so that farming can go on any hour the vine­yards want to work. If noise, other than vineyard noise was keeping me and my guests awake, I would be able to call the sheriff and complain, especially at night when most people are sleeping. My guests and I could not make loud unrelenting noise all night with­out expecting complaints of disturbing the peace.

In my opinion, there should be Mendocino County General Plan rules regarding noise in vine­yards and other farms, especially when they are sur­rounded by residents and businesses previously enjoying a good night’s sleep. The noises are increas­ing rapidly as vineyards expand in Anderson Valley. As part of the tourism business, I collect bed taxes for the county and am happy to do so, but the noise is hurting my business and reducing the county bed tax income. Noise is a real problem for many residents and businesses, not just a mere nuisance. Please con­sider some noise abatement rules as part of this extremely important general plan.


Mary Anne Wilcox


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