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Letters (Oct. 19, 2016)

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I had to stand my ground because I felt that I wasn't going to get justice unless I told the judge how this attack on me has affected my life and to let John Wolfe know that he can't get away with punching women in the face. There are so many women out there scared to stand up for themselves. I am standing up for the women who think they have no voice. And to keep my family safe.

The night of the attack on me, John Wolfe was making racist comments about my husband, Adrian Knight. Adrian is Native Pomo. I told John Wolfe that he should be telling Adrian not me. John Wolfe twisted my hand backwards until I told him he was breaking my hand. Then he punched me. As I was laying on the porch of the Navarro store, John Wolfe picked up a cast iron chair and raised it over his head and yelled, “I’m going to kill you, bitch.”

There was not any mob going after John Wolfe that night. No one knew that I had been assaulted. Dave Evans, who owns the Navarro store, walked to my house next door to the store to tell Adrian to please come to the store. The people who had been there had moved up the road. Only the three men on the deck were there when John Wolfe assaulted me. I was taken inside the store where I would be safe! Thank goodness there were three men close by! They helped me get to safety in the store.

The people in Anderson Valley who know me have stood behind me. Thank you! And thanks to my family for being here!


Marilla Ann Knight


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Dear AVA,

Thank you for providing a platform for discussion on the Blackbird Farm proposal.

I want to throw this observation into the mix. I worked at what is now River's Bend when it was Wellspring. It is a quiet retreat center — a place for reflection and contemplation. I recently spent several months working at the Anderson Valley Inn doing elder care for Lydia Mosk's mom. They have a beautiful garden for their guests that is quiet and peaceful. Lynn Archambault is a friend who teaches piano lessons in her cabin right on Ray's Road. Although I have not been to the Brambles, I understand that it is lovely and a relatively low impact addition to the lodging scene here in the valley. All of these people who I do know and many others who I do not would be severely impacted by an increase is traffic on Ray's Road. I think much more traffic would actually make living on Ray's Road miserable. This Road is just a potholed little dirt lane, not even a real road. Numerous people live right on the road. The way it is now and has been for many years the small number of cars and pedestrians using the road is manageable. It is important to keep it that way.

Terry Ryder


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No more rubber stamps! We've had them on the hospital's board of directors for eons. It's time to have a few people on the Hospital's board who can think for themselves and are not afraid to ask questions. I've been a hospital employee for 36 years. I've seen over a dozen different boards and administrations come and go. Mostly they have all just occupied chairs and rubberstamped Administration's requests. It's time for that to change if we want to keep our hospital solvent and healthy.

I recommend voting smart. That is, Tanya Smart. She is her own woman. She's not a rubberstamp. She teaches critical thinking and problem solving at the college level. She believes in involving the public before crucial decisions are made, not after, as was the case with the recent obstetrics department closure brouhaha.

My other recommendation is Kay Handley. Her background is in banking where she held executive positions for years. She understands finances and spreadsheets and she will not be flummoxed by numbers on the page as some current board members seem to be. She knows finance — that's what we need on our hospital board.

This is such an important election for our hospital. Please consider my recommendations.

Vote Smart. Vote Handley. Vote Smart!

Louise Marianna, R.N.


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Letter to the Editor

Mendocino County receives $27 million dollars annually to provide Mental Health Services. With passage of Measures AG and AH, this money will be spent in our County instead of being sent to other counties. The money will be spent on services in our own Psychiatric Health Facility, Crisis Residential Treatment Center and Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. The money will pay for services provided by people who live here.

We want excellent integrated treatment that includes both medical and complementary. This combination can be a magnet for mental health professionals to want to work here. We want Mendocino College to offer the Psych Tech Program that will provide workers we need now and in the future.

Measures AG and AH will provide the facilities for Mental Health Services that will be paid for with the $27 million dollars of state and federal money we receive each year. Right now, much of that money is sent to other counties for inadequate services and some of it seems to just disappear into County coffers named Special, Reserve, Contingency and more. Having the Mental Health Facilities we need with the 11-member Oversight Committee scrutinizing expenditures, will help stop the current bleed of millions of dollars of mental health patient money.

Sonya Nesch, Author

Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness


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Yet another animal care crisis at the county operated Ukiah animal shelter. So far two dogs have died and a third one is being treated at the Mendocino animal hospital.

As far as I know, three puppies came into the shelter October 1 or 2. All three were put in one kennel together in the general outside kennels. One puppy was found dead in the kennel. There are many questions that are unanswered by Shelter staff and management. Were the puppies evaluated by veterinary staff prior to placing them into the general population? Why did it take a whole week before any serious efforts where made to protect the other shelter dogs from exposure to this deadly virus? The adult dog Seth who was infected and died, had he been medically evaluated when entering the shelter? What are the vaccination protocols for incoming dogs? It has been clearly documented by volunteers numerous times in front of the board of Supes that animals often wait 20 and more days before a vet sees the animals. This is not the first deadly disease outbreak at the shelter and it will not be the last one, unless stricter oversight and regulations are enforced and shelter management is held responsible for their inaction.

Monika Fuchs


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Dear Editor,

Chuck Dunbar of Fort Bragg explained very well the parallel between Hitler and Trump from the review of the book Hitler: Assent, 1889-1939. He, Trump, is truly unfit to be our President, as many have said. A case can also be made that Hillary Clinton is also unfit to be our President, her experience notwithstanding.

Many people on the left will either vote for the Libertarian Johnson or for Jill Stein from the Green Party. That would be a great mistake, since it would give Trump a big advantage and might cost Clinton the election, just as Ralph Nadar presumably cost Gore the election.

While it is true that the lesser of two evils is still evil, there are very grave consequences if Trump wins. He has said, "We need a new government." He has also said, "Our system is weak." When you put these two statements together with all of the ways in which Trump is rising to power similarly to the way Hitler rose to power, it is not farfetched to hold that our democracy and our Constitution are in peril. Add to that the Supreme Court appointments whoever wins the White House.

There is no doubt in my mind that Trump would welcome being a dictator, basking in praise from his cult followers. He is, in reality, the leader of a new cult. We have always thought of cults as relatively small, but Scientology wiped out that idea. Today, with social media, a cult can be millions of people, as geography does not play a part in it. They are duped, as are all cult followers, and I think it is because Trump offers them a demon to hate, Hillary, and offers himself up as a father figure (daddy will protect you), and also as a savior (cyber JESUS). In order for them to let themselves believe that he is lying to them, and that he really did sexually assault those women, his followers would have to give up their fantasy (Daddy-Savior). That is not going to happen. At this moment I think he is going to win.

His racist, bigoted, sexist, know-nothing package plays into the not-so-latent racism, bigotry, and sexism that rest just below the surface in our culture, kept in check previously, by the cultural gravity of two centuries of the ideas of the 18th Century Enlightenment. They have now surfaced, and are threatening to become the new norm. We cannot, we must not, let this happen. We must vote for Hillary; we are out of luxury and in a situation of dire necessity. Sad, but true.

Lee Simon


ED NOTE: Nothing personal Lee, but your case for Hillary is deficient. Her "experience" is as a cheerleader for the multiple wars in the Middle East and errand girl for Wall Street. Trump could not possibly do a Hitler number on US because of his yuuuuuge personal deficits and the abrupt differences between the present state of our crumbling union and the Weimar Germany context that Schicklgruber got rolling in, not to mention that the US is a multi-ethnic country while Germany in Hitler's time was pretty much monochromatic. Explain how Trump could assume dictatorial powers when he's alienated more than half the population and most of the generals he would need to pull it off. Nader did not cost Gore the election, Gore cost Gore the election, even losing his home state of Tennessee and walking away from the vote theft in Florida with a shrug of his plump, corporate shoulders. The Supreme Court has seen Klan appointees who grew to be judicial giants. Conservative appointees have often made the best justices. Why middle-of-the-road extremists like yourself trot out these tired and discredited arguments every four years ignores the fundamental bankruptcy of the Democratic Party that keeps foisting off on US inferior candidates. Hillary might be the only person in the country who could possibly lose to Trump. Why is she the candidate? The answer to that one is because of the hopelessly corrupt structure of our political system. Trump and The Bern agreed on that, as does every other rational citizen. A fundamental assumption of political democracy is that we are supposed to be able to vote for the candidate who best represents our views. In my case that candidate is Jill Stein. I voted twice for Nader. Haven't voted for a Democrat since McGovern as, like everyone else, I've watched the Democrats morph into the beast they claim not to be.

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To the editor

One of the few things that Clinton and Trump have both been perfectly honest about in their respective ongoing campaigns is their mutual allegiance to the idea of an American exceptionalism. "American exceptionalism" is the 21st century re-branding of a concept once known as the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny. The doctrine is as morally reprehensible today as it was in the 18th and 19th centuries. It becomes the role of all decent persons to reject and oppose this vile mind-set whenever they hear it mentioned, regardless of the political affiliation of whoever is promoting it. To the best of my knowledge, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate has not expressed these dangerously deplorable delusions regarding the role our nation plays in the world community.

Michael DeLang

Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado

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Dear Editor:

Two trillion galaxies in the universe — where does religion fit in?

A new report in the Astronomical Journal as reported by the Guardian revealed there are two trillion more galaxies in the universe which is up to 20 times the previous estimate. The new finding was based on 3D-modeling of images collected over 20 years by the Hubble Space Telescope. It should be noted that this represents only a part of the cosmos where light given off by distant objects has had time to reach the earth, or 10% of what is out there. A galaxy is a system of millions or billions of stars with planetary systems within them. I wonder how many of these planets are in the “Goldilock Zone” and if any of these planets have life as we know life? It should be noted when the universe was only a few billion years old, there were 10 times as many galaxies in a given volume of space as there is today. It suggests that "significant evolution must have occurred to reduce their number through merging of systems." Or to put it another way, a galaxy swallowing another galaxy through a black hole.

When you look at the immense size of the universe does one really think they have a personal God who will hear and answer their prayers and some place called heaven where when you die you will be reunited with your family? Or is death a long dreamless sleep from which you will never awake?

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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Hola Editor:

Another year of good news and cheer, please. (Renewal enclosed.)

Oh my heart goes pit-a-pat in anticipation of the tales of snappish pit bulls and their half-eaten audience. Oh, the tasteful portraits of the mauled and stricken. The wrath of the trust fund elites and the whines of the preterite thralls who always factor in for a vote against something — and always the hope of that full frontal nude shot of Supervisor Smith.


Ignacio Hephalumpe

Bellingham, Washington

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Dear Editor,

I taught science in Novato for 37 years. Before I was a teacher I was a member of the Navy submarine service. Early in 1959, Russia stated that they were coming into West Berlin and the United States and its allies were to be out by May 30.

The response by the United States was to secretly send the submarines out into the North Atlantic to protect our ships from Russian submarines if Russia was going to attack.

On May 28 the sub I was on, the Grenadier, encountered a Russian sub. We follow the Russian sub and after an underwater chase, it surfaced. We discovered it was carrying missiles. This was new information to the intelligence community of the United States. As a result of this, many things were changed to make this country safer.

Had the Russians known of our secret mission, lives would have been at risk, particularly if they were going to attack. President Eisenhower was made aware of this event at the time it was happening.

When we got back to port we were given a bad time for keeping the President up walking the floor. I wanted to tell my parents that they were not the only ones I kept up, but the mission was secret so they never knew. In 1998 part of this story came out in a book called "Blind Man's Bluff."

I write this to encourage our leaders in Washington to keep secrets secret.

Tom Page


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We have two flawed candidates for president of the United States. One is an evident self-serving liar and the other an apparent unapologetic misogynist. One would do her utmost to concentrate as much power as possible within the federal government, siphoning resources from individuals and the private sector to fuel government control of the economy and all individuals’ lives.

The other offers hope of decentralized control of both the economy and society, energizing individual and private-sector initiative to improve the wealth and strength of the country and American citizens of all ethnicities and genders. The choice is crucial. Which path will you take?

Phil Page

San Francisco

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The Chiefs Got it Wrong –

Unregulated volatile solvent extraction in Mendocino County causes accidental explosions and fire dangers. That is what we have now. We desperately need strong, enforceable regulations of the cannabis industry so that we can flush out those illegal operations taking place in garages, backyards, neighborhoods, forests, etc.

With no regulation and no plans by the Board of Supervisors or any other county officials to regulate volatile solvent extraction, we are facing continued fire danger to our communities.

Measure AF mirrors the state Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law in October 2015 by Gov. Brown.  The next two years will see amendments and fine-tuning of specific safety regulations and restrictions on the state level.

However, Measure AF stipulates even greater restrictions.  Measure AF encourages local government to create detailed standards that match or exceed state mandated standards.  For example, Measure AF would restrict volatile solvent extraction to industrial zones which amount to .09% of the County.  Most of the county's industrial zoning is located in incorporated areas, that is towns and cities, which are required to develop their own local ordinances to govern commercial medical cannabis production, including manufacturing.

Section 698.040 General Provisions in Measure AF reads that “(E) Manufacturing of commercial medical marijuana, either with the use of volatile solvents or with the use of non-volatile solvents, shall be prohibited in any zoning district in the Town Zone.”

The Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services will create the standards for manufacturing in addition to those imposed by the state regulations.  Measure AF itself sets a firm basis for this.  Sections 6.22.104 and 162.040 set Manufacturing Operating Requirements, Minimum Standards, and zoning restrictions. These include methods or procedures to limit risk of explosion, combustion, or any other unreasonably dangerous risk to public safety, a hazardous waste disposal plan, a fire safety and suppression plan, a water source and discharge plan.  Measure AF requires that local agencies responsible for issuing County permits first establish standard operating procedures and regulations before issuing permits.

All of this is a step forward toward safety and public protection. And this provides a lot more than we have now – which is nothing. No regulations mean that some bad eggs out there are operating very dangerously. Clearly, the Chiefs meant to say “Vote YES on Measure AF” to bring regulations to cannabis manufacturing.

Jude Thilman

For Yes on Measure AF

Fort Bragg

One Comment

  1. izzy October 20, 2016

    Let them eat cash!

    Though it hardly matters at this point, the now-common idea that Trump is another Hitler seems a bit off the mark. He’s actually more like Berlusconi. But the real difference in any case is that whoever takes the crown this time will likely preside over a rapidly approaching train wreck, including (but not limited to) the disintegration of the accustomed planetary biosphere that is the real source of wealth and support for humankind – which is concurrently outgrowing even a healthy habitat. Didn’t hear much about that during the mind-numbing debates. Federal Reserve Notes, while in almost unlimited supply, don’t taste very good and are nutritionally worthless.

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