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Letters (April 12, 2017)

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

Anderson Valley School District is continuing the Strategic Planning Process and having another open forum. I hope that every community member who has an opinion, a critique, and therefore a vision for something wonderful for our valley will speak up and participate.

During the first part of the Strategic Planning Process that the school undertook last month there was a Ranked Objectives form given out to the teachers, community, and board members. On this form there were listed 21 different areas for which the State requires the school to develop a plan and measure progress. Participants were asked to prioritize the objectives from one to twenty one.

The State allows the school* local control* over the decisions made at the school if there is an *accountability plan* in place. Hence LCAP: Local Control Accountability Plan. And of course there must be metrics involved- a way to measure if the school is making progress on stated goals. The Ranked Objectives categories will inform our Local Control Accountability Plan.

Here are the ranked Objectives as given to us in the Strategic Planning Process:

-English Language Arts



-History/Social Science

-Modern and World Languages

-Physical Education

-Visual and Performing Arts

-Career Technical Education

-Health and Nutrition

-Human Resources- Recruitment/ Credentialing/ Professional Development/Evaluation/ Standards and Procedures

-Student Transitions

-Student Decision Making and Behavior

-Student Extracurricular Activities

-Physical, Mental, Social-Emotional Wellness

-Family Engagement

-Community Outreach and Partnerships

-Clean, Safe, Functional, and Attractive Classrooms, Facilities and Grounds

-New and Modernized Facilities

-New and Modernized Equipment


-Alternative and Optional Education Programs

How do you rank things that are all intrinsic to a balanced and robust education? I suggest that we start by brainstorming expansive and inspiring definitions for each of these categories.

Many people at the community forum expressed frustration and felt stifled by Ranked Objectives form, myself included. The objectives were already defined for us by the Strategic Planning consultants without the opportunity to discuss what the different categories could mean in our valley. This limiting of the conversation in turn limited the possible outcomes of the Strategic Planning Process, a process which ideally is supposed to be a form of collectively dreaming and goal setting.

It is my understanding that the school does not have a choice about what the Ranked Objectives are, but as a community we do have the ability to define those objectives in a way that reflect the values and needs of our community. We also have the ability to create the metrics that reflect the goals of our community.

It is interesting to note that frustrations with how things are and have been can be great fodder for articulating the wish for how things could be. By taking the "can't/won't/never because..." critique and shifting it to the "could be possible if..." vision there is room to both acknowledge current shortcomings and encourage change that leads to a vibrant future.

I am writing to ask the community to think beyond the narrow confines that were presented to us. I believe that if we individually and collectively figure out how we would give definitions to each of the objectives that we would see a strong vision for our school community taking shape and in so doing the ranking of the objectives would become clear.

Thank you,

Saoirse Byrne


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The diatribe against hippies by Tommy Wayne Kramer in the last AVA was certainly thought-provoking. However, he has blamed the wrong people. The hippies were a very small portion of the population, probably less than .005%, and while their philosophies were appealing to a larger part of the citizenry, not many people actually lived the hippie lifestyle of simple living, sharing, peace and love, and (yes) hedonism. The ideal that was particularly odious to the mainstream America was the desire to reject the corporate jobs and live more freely. Remember the mantra “Get a Job!” shouted at every longhair?

Anyway, the hippies were driven out of town completely by the mid-seventies, and the population truly responsible for the degradation of society moved in. Drug dealers and ripoffs are not hippies, but are the bottom rung of all-American capitalists. The capitalists moved in on the naive city dwellers to exploit the interest in drugs, not philosophy. The hippies were already out on their make-shift communes in the country, but the wannabes were at the mercy of the drug capitalists. From then on the focus changed to promotion of drugs, as TWK mentioned, through “the music, the movies, TV and all the media glommed onto a groovy new audience.” You will notice that all these operations are capitalist exploiters of the general population; boomers perhaps, but not hippies. Super rich performers, ballplayers or music promoters popularized the hedonistic drug lifestyle much more, and the culture-less mainstream fell right in line.

The few actual “peace & love” hippies still live out in the hinterlands with their goats and artwork. The boomers who never were hippies are the ones in the government jobs today, and to mistake the two is to misrepresent history. Drug capitalists are the problem, both underground and pharmaceutical.

Rixanne Wehren


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I received a letter in the mail. It said that, as a long suffering, tax paying resident of Mendocino County, one who travels on pot-hole roads in order that country employees can retire in gated communities in Idaho, I had been automatically switched to Sonoma Clean Power. I was snatched from PG&E. The letter said that Sonoma Clean Power is saving the world from global warming, which is currently called climate change. Jesus H. Electricity, when did I ask to help? Where was Sonoma Clean Power this winter when I nearly froze to death? Three cords went up in smoke. In our Mendo-cannabis paradise, it was one of the coldest winters of my life. I went to Montana to get warm. Who let these do-gooders in? I get suspicious when I open my mailbox to discover that the government has told me that I must now pay Peter instead of Paul. Apparently, a bill was passed in Sacramento, where as everyone conscious knows, a sole, soulless political party is currently running the entire show. Sonoma Clean Power is some kind of government entity according to that bill. They’ll be dishing out my bills. Which means, there could be kickbacks to the Pols that run the show. Frankly, I don’t trust anything with the word Sonoma. In Sonoma, all the old, trust fund hippies are rich. They all went back to the land, and the land went through the roof. The rest are boring and politically mean. The newspaper is owned and controlled by a lobbyist, and a former congressman too. If you want to open an Indian Casino, you can secretly meet with Bosco’s money-boys at a lovely Sonoma winery owned by lawyers from New York. Jerry Brown will set it up. I know Sonoma is famous for Peanuts, but Snoopy and Lucy are fiction. When I turn my lights on, it’s real money that I pay. I’ve got a feeling about this deal. SCP claims to be non-profit. Well, do-gooders have to eat. Who’s to say how much they’re paid? They will. And don’t forget the trips to France and Norway to see how green energy is doing there. I think I’ll stick with the familiar—my very bad homeboys at PG&E. I know exactly the crooks they are. I’m opting out on SCP. Curiously, when I tried on line, my screen was totally stuck. Was it a trick to keep me in? Checking up on SCP, they claim a percentage of their power is religiously green. But so is PG&E’s. When it comes to the plug that powers my TV screen, it comes from hydroelectric and a nuclear, power plant. So does SCP’s. SCP’s letter said that if I want to pay more, I can sign up for their Evergreen plan. It will make me 100% green and carbon free. How, some kind of magical plug? Remember, the power that they sell comes from dams and uranium too. Electrons are electrons and it’s impossible to sort them out. SCP claims that it will save me a couple of bucks. Great, but is it just the bait? SCP is politically connected. Would I open my bill one morning to discover yet another environmental charge—like, say, saving feral cats, or maybe a can of electrical worms dressed up like saving the world?

Mike Koepf,


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I was really impressed with Bruce Patterson’s article in the April 5th’s issue of the AVA. My situation was almost exactly like his. Back from Vietnam at 19, out of the Marines at 20, and having a wife and kid by 28. His article was a written masterpiece and should be published in all the national periodicals like Time, Newsweek, New Yorker, etc. Even in Sojourners.

John Rensen

Potter Valley

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What's our wonderful governor up to now? I understand he has passed legislation to raise the gas tax $1 and food 30% tax increase. He is also doubling the registration fees, other stuff just to raise enough money for the infrastructure which he wasted our tax money for the last eight years on other political things that didn't count instead of fixing up the roads and bridges. And then he is also prohibiting the law enforcement officers to help the government with illegal aliens.

This guy has got to go. He is making such a mess out of California that it will never be recovered.

How long are the California people going to tolerate this bull___? It's time to consider stopping driving for two or three days, stopping shopping for two or three days, and not paying your registration and just stick it right up there ass! Jerry Brown is a maniac! And so is his administration. Look at Facebook. The people on there are lying. It's criminal what he's doing. He is a rotten communist.

Thank you, and God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


Ed note: Actually, the gas tax increase is 12 cents a gallon. That translates to $1 per 8.3 gallons. The registration fee increase ranges from $25 to $175 depending on vehicle size. There is no tax on most groceries nor a grocery tax increase. The state sales tax has been lowered from 7.50% to $7.25% in 2017.

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Dear AVA,

Enclosed is a photo off the Facebook page of Kendall Asbell, formerly of Redwood Valley, and a Ukiah High School graduate. I thought it was funny for her to display her disdain for Trump and how “cheeky” her method of this disdain was. It might make for a funny story. Her mother Susan Asbell, owner of Blue Sky Nurseries in Redwood Valley, is fully on board with this.

Name Withheld

Redwood Valley

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Dear Friends of the Kent State Truth Tribunal,

This week I received a package from the daughter of a woman who helped Allison as she was dying in the Kent State University parking lot. The package contained a card, an image of Dr. Marion Stroud (Allison’s helper), a letter to the editor at the Akron Beacon Journal that she wrote shortly after May 4, 1970 and a handkerchief with Allison’s blood … a relic from that day.

Please take a look at the items and read Marion’s important words:

To The Editor:

I was with two of the students who were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent Monday and for their sake I want to tell it like it was.

The Guardsmen had marched up the hill after leaving the football practice field. Kids were following them up, some shouting and probably some throwing small stones -- there were no "baseball size" rocks available. Without warning the Guards stopped at the top of the hill and fired a long volley of rifle shots into the crowd below.

Many of the kids dropped to the ground and others ran behind the building. There was discussion as to whether the shots were blanks but in seconds we knew they were not. There were kids gathering around the wounded.

THE BOY who died first was shot in the back of the neck. He lay in a vast puddle of his young blood. His friends tried to stop the flow, but he had no pulse nor breath and we all realized he was dead.

There was a cry from a group trying to help a big, beautiful young girl who was lying in the parking lot, shot in the armpit. We tried to put enough scarves and handkerchiefs into the hole to stop the bleeding. She was breathing a little but as we waited for the ambulance I saw her lips go white and her eyes glaze over, and I realized she wouldn't make it, either.

Five or six victims were picked up on stretchers and those of us who had been fired on stood in small groups trying to figure out why the soldiers had turned and fired without warning. Most of us in that area had been walking away when the shooting started.

THOSE WHO died weren't wild, SDS bearded hippies. They were kids like my sons and daughters. They came to the Commons for a peace rally. They wanted to know how to get the word to our government that the Vietnam war is immoral and its extension into Cambodia intolerable.

After the shooting one young man said, "You think this bloody mess is awful, just imagine what the kids have to do every day in Vietnam -- kill, kill, kill. Plenty of blood in the streets there."

Listen to them. You know in your hearts, they're right.

I'm no kid. I'm over 40 and the mother of seven children.

MARION STROUD, Graduate Student, Kent State University

Sending peace and love,

Laurel Krause

"What's the matter with PEACE? Flowers are better than bullets." —Allison Krause, May 3, 1970

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I love Google.

Question 1: What does the head of Medicare get paid?
Answer: $115,000 to $122,000 per year.

Question 2: What do the CEOs of health insurance companies get paid?
Answer: The two top guys at Aetna and Cigna topped out at $17.3 million each.

Question 3: Which party did they contribute to?
Answer: Guess.

Bill Siemering

Bodega Bay

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To the Editor:

Our Ukiah City Council and staff prove that it is really easy to spend money when it is not your own. They needed to push through a ballot initiative last November to maintain our streets by increasing sales tax into perpetuity, but somehow found some discretionary cash laying around to pay a consultant to look into building a fancy downtown hotel.

What is the business case for this cash outlay? How long will it be before the taxpayers recoup their investment into this private venture? I don’t know anyone who thinks a downtown hotel is a must have. I can only guess this whole thing is being pushed through by one or more influential downtown merchants to increase their business. Yes, folks, we have special interests right here in our own town!

Our intrepid Sunday columnist, Tom Hine, sometime ago, posited that it is kind of silly to try and attract upscale tourists who would want to visit our semi-permanent homeless encampment at Alex Thomas Plaza. Our homeless and transient situation is the elephant in the room that our City Council and staff do not want to deal with. The daily police log is filled with instances where law enforcement has to get the street people to break camp and move along — but to where? Just up the street from City Hall, transients occupy McGarvey Park by day, basically precluding the people who pay taxes for parks from enjoying this lovely area. A few blocks away, a woman was recently brutally assaulted and robbed. Also close by, another transient led police on a car chase through the neighborhood.

Addressing public safety by dealing with the homeless/transient issue is where taxpayer funds need to be spent. We need to make another try at the Sheriff’s proposal to provide and staff mental health facilities, so those with these kind of issues can be taken off the streets and be properly cared for. We need to discourage enabling services which encourage transients who are not from this area from dropping anchor here.

Ukiah was once one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Let’s put pressure on the City Council and staff to drop the idea of attracting an upscale hotel and focus on Making Ukiah Safe Again!

D.E. Johnson


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Dear AVA,

As you can see as of now I reside in San Quentin State prison. At the moment I don't have any means to pay the subscription amount. I am broke. I was hoping you would consider my subscription in exchange for my story or later payment. One last wish, or rather a request? It's always been a dream of mine to have my name across the top of the paper’s as a headline, maybe it could read, "The last good outlaw: Dirtbag Mike" or something like that. That would be the coolest wish, let alone birthday present which was March 17, St. Patrick's Day on which I turned 30! But here goes nothing:

It was a cold November morning, November 8 to be exact, and downright polar. I could see my breath turning to sheets of ice with every breath I took as I let the little boy do his business on a small patch of ever-so frozen grass. I popped a match to the end of my Marlboro. I couldn't help the feeling of my outlaw spider senses tingling, but I just smoked on my cigarette and shook the thoughts out of mind. After loading up my handsome and loving bluenose pitbull, not to mention my best friend and companion this side of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, I hopped in the modified racecar Volkswagen Golf GTI that I had borrowed without asking but with every intention of returning and of course returning with a full tank for a good friend of mine who had gone to jail for five days earlier.

As I started the car the modified exhaust roared out a loud vroom vroom vroom! I couldn't help but quote the late John Wayne— my middle name is Wayne — and say, "You must think I'm a real dangerous man." My dog Loki had been in a wreck with me previous to this adventure but he nodded his head with the eyes of loyalty and love for his owner. As we pulled off Viola onto Della, clueless, we were headed where we were headed knowing only that our heads were high and in good spirits. Little did anyone know that me and Loki spend most of our time helping ones less fortunate and seeking out the depressed and leaving them laughing and smiling like people should be, for life is just too short to sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff.

Now to speak for myself I have spent a lot of the previous night scorning various ratchets home or to the hood of the racecar for the back seat was loaded with random junk that I had collected for gifting to others who might need it.

But all the same, the events of the night before, specifically the enlightening of in several women, had me needless to say exhausted and dull and weary. As any good outlaw knows that is a bad condition to travel in, let alone be on the run from the law in which I had been for nine months to that date.

So we made our way up to the casino for the first time in nine months, one of my biggest no-no's being on the run. I pulled into a parking space and began conversing to the ear next to me. I threw my down my driver's window and he asked me where I got the nice Volkswagen GTI. I replied, "I borrowed it from a friend." That's when a really close friend of mine blocked me in and proceeded to tell me to get our friend’s car home — now!

I complied and agreed to take it back right away and pulled out, forgetting that I had just been profiled by the car I was parked next to, not to be confused with my friend who pulled up behind me.

I pulled out of the casino and decided to be the good outlaw I am and return the car right away. As I headed down Blosser Lane across Highway 20 I noticed a sheriff’s patrol car pulling across Highway 20. As I sunk down in my seat hoping it’s a cop that I don't know, he swerved into my lane clearly trying to hit me. I had to swerve to the right to avoid a serious collision and when I noticed that I was already a car length passed him, I said, Hey why not? Every dog has his day — and I punched the accelerator and this happens:

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Case Report, Case #2016-0034762. Narrative:

On November 8, 2016 at approximately 7:30 in the morning I received information from a concerned citizen that Mickey Wayne Hill was currently at Sherwood Valley Casino outside of Willits. I was also told that Hill was driving a black Volkswagen GTI hatchback.

I know for Hill to have an active felony warrant for violation of probation and a misdemeanor warrant for delaying or obstructing an officer out of this county.

Sergeant Cromer, Lieutenant Mason and I responded towards Sherwood Valley Casino in an attempt to locate Hill. I was traveling southbound on Blosser Lane when I saw the vehicle Hill was described to be driving traveling northbound on Blosser. I could see that Hill (identified from prior contacts) was the driver of the vehicle. I crossed my patrol vehicle into the northbound lane of travel in an attempt to stop Hill. Hill traveled off the right side shoulder of the roadway and accelerated past me.

Hilll then failed to stop at a marked stop sign located at the three-way intersection at Highway 20, Blossor Lane and Coast Street. I activated my lights and siren, code 3, and began to pursue Hill. Hill continued north on Coast Street failing to stop at the stop sign located at the intersection of Coast Street and Mill Street. The fog was very dense and visibility was limited. Hill was traveling through a residential area at speeds greater than 60 mph. Hill then attempted to turn eastbound on West Valley Street and Hill crossed over the solid yellow line and across the other lane for westbound traffic striking a 3 foot wooden fence. This fence was the front yard fence located at 84 West Valley. Hill destroyed approximately 12 feet of fence throwing debris down the sidewalk and into the street. The debris was approximately 20 feet down the sidewalk.

Hill continued east on West Valley and crossed into the westbound lane again failing to stop at the stop sign located at the intersection of West Valley Street and South Main Street. Hill crossed all lanes of traffic causing vehicles to slow on Main Street to avoid Hill’s vehicle. Hill attempted to turn eastbound on East Valley Street. Hill then drifted across the solid yellow again into the westbound lane on East Valley Street. The front left tire of Hill’s vehicle struck the north curb of East Street Valley Street as the vehicle drove up onto the sidewalk. Hill's vehicle then became disabled due to a flat left front tire. Hill exited the vehicle which was disabled in the middle of the roadway at the intersection of East Valley and South Humboldt Street. Hill ran on foot eastbound on the north sidewalk of East Valley Street. I followed Hill approximately 35 yards in my patrol vehicle. I stopped my vehicle and quickly exited and began to Hill who now had changed direction to westbound on East Valley. I told Hill he would be tased if he didn't stop and get on the ground which Hill complied. Hill was handcuffed and searched.

[Mickey Hill: He actually said he was going to shoot me in the face.]

Sergeant Mcnelley and Officer Mason from the Willits Police Department arrived on scene to assist. Lieutenant Mason and Sgt. Cromer also arrived on scene.

Dispatch advised that the vehicle’s registration was expired as of 2014. I saw the vehicle had a 2016 tab applied to it. Dispatch also advised that Hill had a suspended license and was on County felony probation.

Officer Mason took a documentation report for the hit and run at 84 West Valley Street and towed the vehicle.

I responded to 84 West Valley and took several pictures of the fence and debris from the hit and run. It should be noted that there was a piece of wood found between the front windshield and hood of the vehicle that Hill was driving. The wood found on the vehicle being driven by Hill was consistent with the wood from the damaged fence at 84 West Valley. We attempted to contact the occupant of the residence and were told by a neighbor that resident was out of town.

Hill did not complain of any pain and did not have any visible injuries. Hill was transported to county jail.

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After I was arrested, I was informed that had I stopped at every stop sign and used my blinkers I would've been charged with a misdemeanor. But then what known outlaw has ever given up the chase? I was informed that I had stopped and left a note at the at the hit and run and acknowledged it, that it wouldn't have been a hit-and-run. And truly had the car not been full of junk I would have never wrecked it. But hey, what can I say other than don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff.

From San Quentin: Sincerely yours

Mickey ‘Dirtbag Outlaw’ Hill

San Quentin

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To the Editor:

The final results for the KZYX Board of Directors election are in. I was a respectable second in a hotly contested race for the at-large seat. There were three candidates. Second surprised me considering that everything at KZYX is structured to resist change -- and I represent change.

Change is what KZYX desperately needs.

Why did I run for the KZYX Board of Directors? Because without change, KZYX will fail. I want to help save KZYX. Our beloved public radio station is at serious risk of going out of business, particularly during the Trump era when Trump is threatening to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). I'll explain.

The $4-5 million that KZYX has received from the CPB since 1989 is the "mother's milk" of poorly managed stations like KZYX -- and poorly managed stations like KUSP in Santa Cruz, CA, which filed for bankruptcy last year.

KUSP was a much larger than KZYX. They got lots of money from the CPB. But like KZYX, they were also very poorly managed. If KUSP can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, despite even greater largess from the CPB, then so can KZYX.


How is KZYX like KUSP? Or worse?

Both stations filed defective IRS Form 990s. Both stations posted disappearing assets in their respective 990s. It was a trend that happened over several years. Also, staff at both KZYX and KUSP did not disclose the 990s to their respective Boards of Directors before the forms were filed with the IRS.

KZYX goes a step further. We don't know what our debts are. I'll explain.

At the last Board meeting, KZYX General Manager Jeffrey Parker said we owed lots of money to lots of people. When pressed to be specific, Parker said we owed money to National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio, American Public Radio (AMP). KZYX buys syndicated shows from both NPR and APR.

Parker also said we owed money to the California Department of Forestry for rent for the land on which KZYX has located its broadcasting towers and repeaters.

Most troubling, Parker also mentioned an unpaid balance on KZYX's letter of credit at the Mendocino Savings Bank.

But when pressed further for exactly how much KZYX owed to these creditors, Parker was mum.

Another thing, when taken together KZYX's financials -- annual reports, audits, and tax returns -- are inconsistent, incomplete, and inaccurate. Try isolating a simple budget line item like payroll, and you'll find that station management's policy of secrecy and lies extends to its financials. Disclosure is not the norm at KZYX. I'll cite an example. At the last Board meeting, Board Treasurer Stuart "Stewie" Campbell -- no stranger to secrets and lies -- had no treasurer's report. He never has a treasurer's report. And when station member, Scott Peterson, attempted to make an excellent flip chart presentation about the station's troubling finances, Campbell cut him off and dismissed Peterson by saying, "Well, these so-called facts are just your opinion." Campbell never offered any argument or an alternative fact set.

A final thought.

KZYX does, in fact, have an vacant Board seat. One of the uncontested district candidates dropped out. If the KZYX Board had any guts, they would appoint me to the vacant seat on the Board. I was the second highest vote-getter after Jenness Hartley.

My first order of business as Board member? Straighten out the financials.

My second order of business? Pull together a "truth and reconciliation" committee that would bring local newspeople like Bruce Anderson, Mark Scaramella, Christina Aanestad, and KC Meadows, back to KZYX. All were dumped by station management at one time or another. .

The committee should also bring back outstanding programmers like Marco McClean, Beth Bosk, Els Cooperrider, Doug McKenty, and Norman De Vall -- all of whom have been unfairly and inexplicably ostracized at KZYX. Strong personalities? Yes. Outstanding radio show hosts? Also yes!

Third order of business? Cut staff. And use those payroll savings to make necessary infrastructure investments in KZYX. Invest -- and invest heavily -- in new equipment and technology. It's outrageous that KZYX had 27-hours of dead in March, 2017.

KZYX is part of the Emergency Broadcast System. What if we had an earthquake? Or a North Korean nuke attack? Or a forest fire like the catastrophic wildfire over in Lake County in 2015? Or any number of other disasters? What if? Well, we would have gotten nothing but dead air from KZYX -- and more than a full day of it. Twenty-seven hours. That much dead air is outrageous and unacceptable. And perhaps illegal with respect to the Emergency Broadcast System. The station is at risk of not only bankruptcy, but also of losing its FCC licenses.

In this way, KZYX is worse than KUSP.

John Sakowicz


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Letter to the Editor

In your issue of March 29th the Article “Drugs Won the War on Drugs” Tommy Wayne Kramer got it confused.

He conflates Hippies and Baby Boomers. Yes, there was overlap between the two, but they do not belong in the same box. One might even argue that the Boomers were after money and comfort, whereas the Hippies were after many things, but not those. The number of Boomers far, far exceeded the number of hippies.

He then goes on to blame the need for the War on Drugs on the hippies. While it is true that the Hippies advocated for the use of drugs, but not for heroin and cocaine or crack and crank. They advocated for pot and hallucinogens. But the War on Drugs initiated by President Nixon was a campaign strategy to get him re-elected, not aimed specifically at the hippies.

Then President Reagan in 1982 ramped it up with the start of mass incarceration of young black and Latino males, most of whom were busted for drugs, dealing or using them. They provide cheap convict labor for hundreds of corporations.

Mr. Kramer also got it confused in another way. He confuses the symptom as being the problem. Thus, the drugs are not the problem. Without the demand there would be no supply. The drugs are the symptom of the problem, not the cause. The cause lies in the socio-economic structure of the culture. It is the racism, the sexism, the anti-intellectualism, the banality, the boredom, the incessant marketing barrage, that are a few of the root causes of the demand, of mass drug use and abuse.

Trying to stamp out the symptom to get rid of the cause is impossible; it doesn't remove the cause. The symptom will permanently go away only when the cause is removed.

Lee Simon

Flint Hill, Virginia


  1. John Sakowicz April 12, 2017

    Thank you, AVA, for printing my letter. Truly, I don’t know how to raise awareness of KZYX’s serious financial issues that all stem from indifferent Board governance and hostile staff management.

    KUSP really failed.

    And KUSP was much bigger than KZYX, and got loads more money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and loads more money from listeners (Santa Cruz is a university town).

    I’m at wits end. Thank God that Scott Peterson, Marco McClean, and others have picked up the gauntlet.

    • Eric Sunswheat April 13, 2017

      Likewise Sako, there are not many lighting rods out there, crowing about the Ukiah Coop, perhaps ready to sink more than $12 million into building a new store front, from the ground up if it has no other choice. The Berkeley Co-op was far larger, in its hey day consisting of five large supermarkets in Berkeley. It sank. Certified organic produce, on which the Ukiah Coop built its core business, has had its standards made more amendable to agrifarm reaping. A claimed significant portion, of the multi decades green rush harvest consumer economy in Mendocino, appears to be headed for collapse, consolidation, or both, as logistics of scaling up and automation, with less human effort gains foothold. The Ukiah Coop may become a victim of its own success, as it rushes to capitalize on the new courthouse plans. Or it could continue to be outstanding in its field, as only a business of its magnitude in Mendocino can do.

  2. Zeke Krahlin April 12, 2017

    Homeless in the Castro: Tragic

    Just sharing with the Mendo Community, how bad it is south of you. This is from an online neighborhood forum hosted by Nextdoor (I have removed all poster surnames):

    james from Castro · 3h ago


    HI JEFF. i think we need to find some COURAGE to deal with this. in my younger days,..i am 65 now…. you could be arrested for just walking around Collingwood park. now we have gone to the other extreme of letting people rot away on the street and not doing anything. the Health department should have some guidelines for dealing with those who are obviously incapable of any kind of action to help themselves off the street instead of just letting them deteriorate and die. maybe if we took this approach with the few who are seriously impaired, it might change the entire attitude of the City. we are afraid of fighting a law suit by self serving lawyers interested only in furthering their own careers..getting some publicity?
    in the meantime, we are all held hostage by people who are so mentally ill that they cannot possibly do anything for themselves. i could name about 5 or 6 of them in the Castro. they wander aimlessly, disturbing everyone with their insanity, creating an ambiance of chaos and illuminating our total indifference to suffering. absolutely tragic and embarrassing. ‘The City That Knows How’ doesn’t seem to have a clue anymore…we have allowed our fear of making mistakes create a paralysis where NOTHING happens.??? jim boeger 118 diamond street
    Supervisor Sheehy – Contact | Board of Supervisors
    City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244 San Francisco, Ca. 94102-4689 (415) 554-6968 – voice (415) 554-6909 – fax Loading…

    Edited 3h ago · Shared with Castro + 29 nearby neighborhoods in Crime & Safety

    Jeffery, Loic, Michael, and 33 others thanked james
    Nick from West Dolores · 3h ago

    How do we all drive urgency here?! Can we get the local news station out to highlight this?
    Wayne and james thanked Nick
    james from Castro · 3h ago

    yes yes call the news media. call city hall. the fault is with leadership at City Hall, not the Police. we need to make this crisis a major project for the city. it is everywhere…and it has spread all over the country. people are just confused about what to do. need to find COURAGE!
    Stephen from Castro · 3h ago

    I agree. The Castro has been hit hard. It’s no longer a pleasure to walk anywhere on Castro day or night. The homeless, the trash they throw around, and the discomfort they cause residents. Can’t Jeff Sheehy and the rest of the board of supervisors do the numbers and understand the financial LOSS of this situation. Not to mention, the needed humanity to help these people find a solution. How much are we supposed to take??
    Evelyn from Castro · 3h ago

    I can’t thank you enough for communicating on this issue which has reached crisis stage. I have tried several times to contact the police and homeless outreach services but have gotten nowhere . We also have a major problem with homeless drug addicted that roam the Castro and end up doing drugs and sleeping and throwing trash all over the Pottery Barn shipping entrance. This is a daily occurrence. I’m at the end of my rope and agree we are the City that doesn’t know how to handle this issue and the streets continue to worsen.
    Sam and Stephen thanked Evelyn
    John from Castro · 3h ago

    It seems to me that the solution here is obvious (though, perhaps, expensive).

    If these “homeless” people who are so obviously not capable of making rational, adult decisions were under 18, they would be put into care facilities. There would be no argument about how they have a “right” to live horrific, miserable lives in filth.

    We do not “allow” animals to suffer in this way. It’s not humane.

    That these people are adults (over the age of 18) and thus, by law, have the “freedom” to live such degraded lives strikes me as both shortsighted AND disgraceful.

    I know it’s popular to blame Ronald Reagan, and he presided over the end-game of the movement back in the 1950s and 1960s to move people out of “institutions,” but Reagan was a predictable consequence and NOT the cause of the homeless crisis.

    Some of the homeless are, of course, just down-on-their luck people who need a hand up: training, stability, a shower, and a job.

    This city surely can help them.

    But many of them are people who, frankly, cannot take care of themselves, and to allow this situation to continue as it us under the guise of failed policies deriving from a 60 year old Ken Kesey novel is crazy.
    Peter, Darren, and Chloe thanked John
    Stuart from Church and Market · 2h ago

    Case in point: the grand “Navigation Center” scheme that was going to fix everything, much ballyhoo’ed in the press and used during elections to make it look like politicians were doing something. But *surprise* NO ONE wanted a Navigation Center in their neighborhood and the money for them disappeared when voters failed to support a tax initiative. In other words, for all the bitching about the homeless, most San Franciscans are too selfish to do anything about it–most likely because the homeless are concentrated in a few east of Twin Peaks neighborhoods and the other 3/4 of the City doesn’t have to deal with it. Move the tent encampments to the Sunset, the Richmond or the Marina, and then there would suddenly be an overwhelming demand for a solution.
    Matty from Castro · 2h ago

    Thanks for starting this discussion. Allowing people who are seriously mentally ill to “decide” to live on the streets is not compassionate but cruel.
    Sam and Chris thanked Mad
    Michael from Valencia Corridor · 2h ago

    I have to say the drifters/homeless are annoying to say the least. This morning I told one that he could not sleep in the parking lot next door. And he came back with extreme name calling and spit on the front door of the building where I’m at. Really, do we need to be displaced, insulted, or worse by homeless that may not even pay taxes and/or are criminals? Thanks to you who contact officials and ask for action.
    Peter, Sam, and Chloe thanked Michael
    Michelle from Castro · 2h ago

    I think the homeless come for the services kindly offered my Most Holy Redeemer and unfortunately end up staying….
    Peter and Charles thanked Michelle
    Michael from Valencia Corridor · 2h ago

    There is a free lunch on Wednesday at Diamond St. and 18th St. Helping the less fortunate is one thing, putting up with them when they needlessly create problems is another. This is an on going “dog chasing it’s tail” and I see no end to it. I have no more to add. Have a good day,
    Tushar from Castro · 2h ago

    The problem seems to have gotten much worse since the sidewalks were widened, allowing homeless room to camp on them. If that is indeed the reason, then may be we can ask the supervisors to place planters on the sidewalk to make them narrow again.
    Chloe, John, and Chris thanked Tushar
    Ajay from Duboce Triangle · 1h ago

    We already spend $250M per year. That’s more per capita than most cities. But many of the homeless do not want to be in housing, with it’s insane “rules” and “regulations”. What, no smoking allowed?! How dare they make such rules!

    The city needs to start enforcing the laws (like sit lie), instead of looking for excuses.
    Peter, Chris, Patrick, and 1 other thanked Ajay
    Irina from Twin Peaks · 1h ago

    not to mention, the human feces and urine on the street. one of the richest cities in ‘Merica and we can’t even get a handle on it. it’s asinine.
    Patrick and Chloe thanked Irina
    Anastasia from Central Noe Valley · 1h ago

    Contact City Hall. Reach out to the Supe’s Office and ask them about the Office of Homelessness… there’s an agency that handles these complaints everyone is making on Next Door.
    Darren from Castro · 23m ago

    What happened to the much vaunted “homeless czar” that the mayor appointed? Just another fat cat feeding at the trough and doing nothing until he moves on to another lucrative government job?
    Chris thanked Darren
    Linda from Glenview · 12m ago

    Nothing is going to happen until every last one of the present supervisors is voted out of office. You wanted “progressive”? You got it. Edited 12m ago

  3. Withheld April 26, 2017

    To: Susan Asbell, owner of Blue Sky Nurseries in Redwood Valley.
    I have been buying my veggie starts at your nursery for over a decade. After seeing your daughter’s ass (A fat one for a teenager) in living color in a tasteless display of protest of Donald Trump, I shall no longer spend my money at your establishment.

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