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Letters (Dec. 14, 2016)

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The AV Unity Club Thanks the following for their donations to the Holiday Bazaar Raffle. A.V. Brewing Co., The Apple Farm, AVHS Ag. Dept., Blanca Gresham Cleaning Service, Boont Berry Farm, Brutocao, Farmhouse Mercantile,Ferrington Vineyards, Fishrock Farm Girls, Foursight Wines, Gowan's Oak Tree, Donald & Sharon Gowan, Handley Cellers, Husch Vineyards Winery, Jack's Valley Store, Lauren's Restaurant, Lemon's Philo Market, Meyer Family Cellars, Philo Ridge Vineyards, The Puzzle People, Shear Elegance, Village Books, Stella Wells, Joanie Clark, Beverly Dutra, Wally Hopkins, Judy Nelson, Gypsy Spring, Tom Dow & GinaMarie, and Shirley Tompkins. Your contributions were truly appreciated.

Elizabeth Dusenberry

Bazaar Chairman, Boonville

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To The Editor:

Southbound? Don’t miss the Chicken Gravy

Do you travel south periodically to Sonoma County and the Bay Area? If so, you may have developed favorite food stops, or even “can’t miss” food joints along the freeway that you frequent.

After living near Healdsburg for years before moving up here to Mendo, if we're headed south in the morning, we have to stop at the Downtown Bakery on the plaza for a sticky bun and/or croissant. Coming back, we usually stop at either Amy’s (Vegetarian) Kitchen in Rohnert Park, Whole Foods, or In-and-Out. Now that we are getting our own In-and-Out here in Ukiah, that will be off the list. But there is also Cape Cod Fish and Chips in Cotati we visit that Jeff Cox, longtime food critic for the Press Democrat, recommended years ago.

Just recently we’ve crossed Whole Foods off our list because of Big John’s Market in Healdsburg (Dry Creek turnoff). They’ve expanded into a wonderful Whole Foods style market that is not to be missed. Unfortunately, their deli features organic fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and superb chicken gravy that is so good I cannot get around to trying the many other offerings… I just go straight for the chicken and gravy every time. If I still lived in Healdsburg I would have died and gone to heaven by now. But at least my arteries would have been clogged organically.

Dave Smith

Redwood Valley

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In 1970, I was a young.... very young I realize now, from my vantage point of 60-plus years.... 20 year old woman living in Chicago. I'd arrived there after four years of college in New York City, joining my boyfriend on an adventure while he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. I found myself pregnant. I knew what I had to do, somehow. Abortion was illegal.... especially so in Chicago. On the day of, It was arranged for me to join several other women at an unknown address. We were given a peptalk, and then we paid our $200. From there, we were each driven in a roundabout way, blindfolded, to a different location. I waited, alone, in a large room, until I was led to the "procedure" room...bare but for a covered table and a lamp. I was blindfolded again. I never saw the doctor, though he spoke to me in a familiar and reassuring way. He complimented my cowboy boots. I was given no medication. Afterwards, I was led, blindfolded, to a waiting car, and delivered back to the first house. I was lucky — I found compassionate people to help me, and I suffered no medical problems. But I would not wish this experience on any woman. Every year, a woman's right to guide herself through her own life is eroded. The party of less government wants to be the authority to make the most personal of decisions for half of the people living in its realm. With each cabinet appointment of our new president, my heart sinks.

Name Withheld


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Regarding J.S. Schultz’ "Meth, Muck & Mold Manor"

That is so sad, my deepest sympathies! Plus, you should have taken a photo survey of the mess and cleanup, and reported it. Everybody is letting this family commit unlawful and dangerous acts. And who does not report them is enabling them. Also, please take a lot of vitamin C, and cayenne in capsules routinely — one a day w/food, and a tablespoon of raw vinegar in your orange juice (8 oz) with your vitamin C-1-2000 mgs, it will help your body to recuperate and perk up your thyroid which cleans the blood of toxins. You have severe toxemia. Also it wouldn’t hurt to check up on the grandfather to be sure he is ok. Take care!

Kathy Young

Fort Bragg

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Thank you for shining a bright and badly needed light on the practices of some Marin-based investment firms that make huge investments in oil pipelines, oil wells and the fracking industry.

(“The Bay Area’s Money Pipeline to Dakota Access,” by Will Parrish, AVA, 10/26,2016.

It is very disappointing and a shame that at the same time that thousands of people are at Standing Rock, North Dakota to bravely demand protection of our water and environment, the named Marin financial firms are “fracking funders.”

I applaud the AVA for its investigative journalism and also for naming some of the national firms that continue to invest in industries that pollute our planet and our lungs. The investing public should know that many of the very largest mutual fund companies, such as Vanguard, continue to heavily invest in oil and tobacco industry holdings such as ExxonMobil, Dominion Resources, Chevron Corporation, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Suncor Energy and Occidental Petroleum.

The investing public should also know that there are other local investment and financial planning firms that work hard to limit or completely avoid investing in these and other dirty industries. There are many other ways to responsibly and prudently invest capital. Thank you again for calling attention to this important issue.

Paul Bonapart

San Rafael

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December 14 2012 - December 14, 2016


We ought not to allow December 14 pass without remembering that four years ago, twenty children, six and seven years old, and six adults, their teachers and principal, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in in Newtown, Connecticut by a mentally ill young man with an assault weapon. The unbearable agony of their parents and families can scarcely be imagined.

In their grief, the parents and others formed a non-profit foundation called Sandy Hook Promise. Its overall mission is to “fund research and the implementation of sensible solutions to prevent gun violence, as well as influencing legislators and engaging constituents in the legislative process and helping our community heal.”

In 2014 Sandy Hook Promise filed a lawsuit claiming damages against the weapon manufacturer. The lawsuit stated that the sale of such weapons, designed for military and policing applications, was inappropriately marketed to civilians. A Connecticut judge dismissed the case citing The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed by Congress in 2005. This legislation disallows any lawsuit resulting from damage caused by their product, weapons, and in this particular case, the Bushmaster XM15-E2S that was used to kill the children and their teachers.

Now there is some evidence that children were sacrificed in several ancient cultures by government. One example is the story of the Greek warrior king Agamemnon, who sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia in hopes of obtaining favorable winds he needed to sail his warship to Troy. We may call these ancient sacrificial practices barbaric. Compared to what? Our government sacrifices children to propitiate well-connected gun manufacturers (see above).

But we go further. As I googled Sandy Hook Promise, I saw there was a website that claimed Sandy Hook Promise was an ‘elaborate hoax’. I found this a stunning example of both ‘fake news’ and the enormous divide in values we, as a nation, find ourselves negotiating. Sandy Hook parents were harassed by ‘gun truthers’ and conspiracy theorists who claim the brutal massacre never happened and told grieving parents that their children never died or never even existed (ABC news).

As the great aunt of three young children who were in public elementary school classrooms in Newtown Connecticut on that day four years ago, though mercifully not Sandy Hook, and as a former public elementary school principal, I find such fake news to be incredibly cruel and cynical.

Where is the civic and political will needed to protect our beloved, innocent children and to ensure a civil society where all can feel safe in public places and can agree to disagree based on reason?

Sandy Hook website

Lynn Zimmerman


Ed Note: Lynn Zimmerman is a former principal at AV Elementary School.

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“We want to thank…” or, “I’d like to thank…” Then go ahead! Do it! What’s wrong with “Thanks!”

“The reason why is because…” No it’s not! The reason is. (Or it happened because.)

“What it is is…” Why not, “It’s…”

George Newbury


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Regarding the well written letter titled "Heil Donald" in the November 30 issue of the AVA: The author is obviously bright and thoughtful but forgot to consider the family and friends of Bill Elmore when he/she falsely used Bill's name as the author of the letter. Bill Elmore of Point arena died more than a year before the election of Donald Trump. If you want to use a pseudonym, invent one.

Susan Miletich

Point Arena

ED NOTE: We didn't know the deceased and have no idea who would sign his name to the letter. Apologies to whoever is offended.

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Dear Editor,

Don't you think the most recent Mrs. Peter Keegan should sleep with a helmet on?



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Keegan Personal Protective Equipment (KPPE) requirements per OSHA: Hard hat, eye protection, hearing earplugs, hobnail/safety steel-toed boots, mouth restrictor, Kevlar vest, Kevlar underwear, and perhaps some penicillin. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the big RAT TRAP! Along with percussion gear around bathrooms.

Randy Burke


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To the Editor:

We can be outraged and angry. We can be saddened and despondent. One thing that we should not be is surprised. The die for the 2016 election was cast in the early eighties when the Democrats decided that it was necessary for the survival of their party, going forward, to engage and oppose the GOP only on toothless cultural identity issues, while joining them on critical economic matters by pitching in and helping to re-purpose government to exclusively serve the interests of capital. After more than thirty years of both national parties working together to ensure unrestrained corporate capture of the legislative process, working people have begun to find themselves on the outside looking in with no political, judicial, or organizational recourse for redressing their grievances. Where else can they be expected to turn but to an authoritarian demagogue feigning populism while serving up racially identifiable scapegoats? If not Trump in 2016, then someone like him in 2020 or 2024. The incoming administration is the inevitable result of maintaining a thoroughly corrupt and closed political system. And yet, something like 94% of those of us who cast ballots once again did so in favor of protecting and preserving this corrupt, closed system. Apparently, the great majority of us have exactly the kind government we want.

Sometime early in the primary campaign, the DNC decided to take the long view that protecting the interests of their paying clients was more imperative than denying Trump the White House for the coming term. Just in case Sanders really meant the things that he was saying (as it turned out, it appears that he did not,) they couldn't allow him access to the Party's organization and resources. The perception that an authentic voice of reform was emerging within the Democratic party would have jeopardized the hard won cozy relationships the party had cultivated with powerful financial institutions, oil industry executives, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and defense contractors over the last thirty five years after being shown the way forward by the Reagan GOP. Intra-party strong arm tactics effectively shut down the Sanders campaign long before voters in many states even had the opportunity to cast a vote. A trade off was reluctantly accepted. Clinton would risk losing the White House in the interest of party control.

The good news is that our worst nightmares about a Trump presidency most likely won't come to pass. It's true that with the support of a Republican congress, substantial damage will be done to some of the progressive achievements of both FDR's New Deal and the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's. But any element of his imagined agenda deemed to be eccentric or deranged enough to disrupt the corporate status quo will be denied him, simply because a status quo advantageous to the interests of capital and ratified by the people is the sole reason for the maintenance of a closed, corrupt political system. And voting as we do, 94 to 96% to sustain the closed system, election after election after election, we've sent a clear message to the oligarchs that we're perfectly content to endure any regime they choose to install for us, just as long as it doesn't interrupt the flow of our Mountain Dew, Cheetos, and cable television. Or, in the case of those of us who fashion ourselves Liberals, our wine, cheese, and twitter-feed.

The other news is that, systemic corruption and our tacit consent notwithstanding, this status quo won't last forever. James Kunstler is correct in pointing out that a finite store of resources exploited by the unrestrained consumption and growth demanded by capitalism can no longer be rationally viewed as a viable path forward. And once we've relinquished our voice in the matter to the unyielding dictates of a diminishing resource supply overdrawn by recklessly manufactured demand, the steps we take backward, over which we will no longer exercise any control, will be much more precipitous and painful than need have been.

But that's the maddening paradox of democracy... in the hands of a well-informed and rigorously intellectual citizenry possessed of a collective sense of the long term value of shared interests, it might actually have worked. Pinot and brie, anyone?

Michael DeLang

Coal Creek Canyon, CO

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