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Letters (April 26, 2017)

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Dear Editor,

The Mendo Glyphosate round up article published in your April 12, 2017, edition was poorly researched when it identified Frey Vineyards’ Chardonnay as not being organic. Frey Vineyards has never produced a non-organic wine. We only purchase grapes from USDA organic growers who are certified under the National Organic Program. Frey Vineyards also grows our own grapes in organic vineyards that have been certified organic since 1980. We are very much opposed to any use of herbicides including Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer.

Mr. Beckstoffer, referenced in your article, is a grower in Northern California who used to farm both conventional and organic grapes. Frey Vineyards purchased only certified organic grapes from Mr. Beckstoffer’s vineyards at 550 Redemeyer Road in Ukiah from 2000 to 2007, and then again in 2010 and 2011. Mr. Beckstoffer withdrew his vineyards from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification in 2013. We would be happy to buy grapes from him in the future if he decides to farm organically.

The USDA National Organic Program has strict standards that outlaw the use of synthetic herbicides. Every certified vineyard and farm needs to pass a rigorous annual inspection that includes a field visit as well as an audit of all materials applied to the farm. There is a required three-year conversion period for a farm to achieve organic status after a non-allowable substance is used.

Frey Vineyards appreciates all organic farms that are operated under the USDA National Organic Program. Frey Vineyards was a major contributor to Mendocino County’s Measure V which grew out of concern over the use of herbicides on forest lands. We are involved with many advocacy groups that are educating the public about the dangers of Roundup to soil, ecosystems and human health and are happy that in California Glyphosate will soon be listed as carcinogenic.


Katrina Frey, Executive Director

Frey Vineyards

Redwood Valley

ED NOTE: We welcome and appreciate this clarification. We were frankly surprised to see Frey included in the list of wines made from Beckstoffer grapes: Based on Ms Frey's clearly detailed explanation, it appears that information is dated, and we thank her for the update.

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TO THE EDITOR of the Ukiah Daily Journal

Approximately one in five American adults suffers from a mental illness related issue each year. Some of these people are chronically seriously ill. Our society has historically grossly mishandled this serious issue, from locking victims up to throwing them out on the street. At least 25 percent of the homeless we see on the streets of Ukiah suffer from serious chronic mental illness.

Many of us who have relatives, friends or neighbors who suffer from these problems are deeply offended by the hateful description of these victims in Tommy Wayne Kramer’s recent column in the Ukiah Daily Journal. Surely the Journal does not want to present this face to our community. Is this the view that your paper should be presenting? There are people and organizations working to resolve this terrible issue. They don’t need the derision that the Journal has chosen to provide. We can use all the support that the Journal can contribute.

Yes, sometimes TWK is funny, sometimes, though rarely, even constructive. But, as editor, it is your responsibility to review his weekly column to determine if it is fit to print. Sunday’s edition of TWK’s column was not.

Michael Pallesen


ED NOTE: I looked back at TWK's recent columns and found only the same complaints most locals in Ukiah and Fort Bragg have about street people — that a lot of them are career mooches whose drugging and drinking is subsidized by charities like Plowshares and Hospitality House. TWK has never derided the mentally ill. And contrary to Pallesen's assertion that "there are people and organizations working to resolve this terrible issue," there are in fact people nicely paid 9-5 to keep people on the street and themselves employed while they make the overall problem of street pathology worse. (The Pallesens both work as helping professionals.) Estimating the number of clinically deranged people wandering around Mendocino County is purely guess work, and Pallesen doesn't tell us how he got his one-in-four figure. The Sheriff, we will recall, narrowly failed in his noble attempt to actually do something for the mentally ill by creating an in-County mental health facility. Lots of helping pros and "liberals" like Supervisor Hamburg (and the Pallesens?) opposed it. Censoring TWK for publicly complaining about a public problem is as wacky as getting paid to keep troubled people on the street.

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Dear Editor:

Greenpeace in its Greenlegacy spring letter reported researchers last year located a massive reef over 600 miles long under the plume of the Amazon river. In January with a team of Brazilian scientists the Greenpeace ship Esperanza sailed out of the mouth of the Amazon to explore the reef. There was urgency in this exploration inasmuch as two oil companies planned on drilling in the area. To assist the exploration they has a two-person submarine called DeepWorker that can gather images of the reef hundreds of feet below the surface.

One of the pilots was Dr. Ronaldo Francini-Filho, a coral reef ecologist from Sao Paulo. The submarine went to the bottom at 675 feet and then begin its ascent to the surface. At 472 feet they begin to see sponges and at 260 feet thousands and thousands of soft corals. They continued their exploration of the reef for two more weeks.

They confirmed what scientists had predicted - that it was not a true coral reef, but a rhodolith reef that has corals living on it. There were huge plains of tennis ball-sized "stones" which are full of tiny invertebrates, algae, bacteria and larval organisms. They are in such numbers they form massive reefs and over thousands of years they can form huge structures like the Amazon reef. Also, they may play an important role in the earth's carbon cycle.

The oil companies are reportedly conceding that will need to remove several sites from consideration,and move their drilling plans back until next year. Needless to say there is concern that future drilling plans may not be sufficient to fully protect the reef.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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We are surprised the City Council would seriously consider changing existing laws to allow Segways in city parks. It certainly seems like favoritism. Parks are supposed to provide a bit of peacefulness. Segways are a distraction at best, and judging from all the info available online, are so hazardous they have been banned in many cities, all over the world. Bainbridge park is too small for these tours, and Otis Johnson park has a very steep and winding trail. People go there to be immersed in nature, not buzzed by segways.

We have had guests at our home from all over the country, and none of them wanted to ride around on a segway, or be bothered by segway riders in parks or on the Coastal Trail. Judging from comments on local facebook pages, the majority of residents do not want these in town. Since motorized bikes and scooters, even regular bikes, are banned in City parks, Segways must also be banned.

Please vote NO to segways in City parks, including Rose Memorial Cemetery.

Alice & Douglas Chouteau

Fort Bragg

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Redwood Valley Grange commits fraud to gain control.

After months of offers by the Guild of compromise, Jeff Box had all the locks changed and set up a security system in March 2017 in order to lock out the Guild members and force the legal owners to cede the property title to the Grange.

Jeff Box, the Master of the Redwood Valley Grange fraudulently changed the corporate ID of the Redwood Valley Community Guild, the current owners of the Hall at 8650 East Road. He filed in Sacramento that he is the Master of the Redwood Valley Community Guild even though he is not even a member.

The RV Grange is telling the community that they are paying all the utility bills, yet, so far, all utility companies serving the building at 8650 East Road state that all bills are being paid by the Redwood Valley Community Guild. The Grangers are using lies to persuade the community that they are in the right for what they have done.

It is only through fraud that the Grange can succeed in destroying the movement toward the Guild.

Robin Sunbeam

Treasurer of the Redwood Valley Community Guild

Redwood Valley

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This god damn Jerry Brown, this rotten, liberal, anti-American SOB, is now trying to make all of California a sanctuary state. He would allow criminals of all kinds — rapists, child molesters, child rapists, murderers, dope dealers, anything you want — you can come to California and they can't touch you. What the hell are the California people doing about this? Nothing? Our tax money is being used to perform this rotten deed. I don't know. He has to be removed from office. I hope Trump does it with the military or maybe more that people will rise up. He is a nasty man. He is subjecting the American people and the people of California who are law-abiding to all this trash coming into this state. They will. The people of California will be sorry they let him do this. Believe me.

And regarding that incident in Fresno a few of days ago where that rotten son of a bitch killed three people, actually four. He will probably be turned loose. That rotten, liberal, anti-American son of a bitch, Jerry Brown will let him go. This is a sanctuary state. It's just a matter of time when it happens in Boonville or Cloverdale or Ukiah or Fort Bragg — it's coming this way. So people better watch out for Jerry Brown.

Thank you and God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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Thy tender leaves
Return yet again
Your beastly
Depraved tendrils
Creep toward
Our fountain
Sentimental fantasy

Barbara Dziekan

Santa Rosa

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Election results for the At-Large seat on the KZYX Board of Trustees are as follows.

  • Jenness Harltey: 453 votes.
  • John Sakowicz: 171.
  • Robert Vaughn: 83.

Congratulations to Ms. Hartley, and thanks to all who participated.

Gordon Black, KZYX volunteer


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Jerry Philbrick Lifetime MVP Award Nomination

I'd like to nominate Jerry Philbrick for Mendocino County's Lifetime MVP Award.

In 1968, Jerry started showing up at Mendocino High School football games with a super eight movie camera. Not just for Varsity games, but for Junior Varsity games as well. At his own expense, Mr. Philbrick delivered those movies to MHS football coach Jim Miller who played them to all contestants. Sometimes during math and chemistry classes. I was one of them.

Even though Mr. Philbrick had a business to run, he never missed a game. To my recollection, he never had a 'dog in the fight' - so to speak. No kids with his surname on the squad whatsoever. But he was always there. Coach Miller ran those movies to highlight strengths and weaknesses of a team who eventually took the North Western League Championship in 1970.

That pennant can be seen today on the wall of the Mendocino High School gymnasium.


Scott M. Peterson

Mendocino High School Class of 1971

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There seems to be some confusion about Sonoma Clean Power's offer to include Mendocino County. Maybe this will clear things up a bit: A CCA or “Community Choice Energy” gives customers a choice in their energy provider. With Community Choice Energy, cities and counties contract with a licensed energy service provider to purchase greener energy in bulk and charge less in some cases. help local business to build renewable energy generating facilities, and implement energy efficiency programs. This efficient public/private partnership makes it possible to get the greenest energy at the best rates. This is how we should be able to purchase energy. It is local control. From a local company that doesn't need to have a huge profit to make shareholders happy and overpay it’s executives.

But PG&E doesn’t like competition. We saw that when they spent 45 million dollars to change the California constitution to eliminate the competition to stop Marin County and other Community Choice Energy projects. And lost, because they were wrong.

More PG&E facts from the San Jose Mercury News: “At 6:11:12 pm PDT on September 9, 2010, a huge explosion occurred in the Crestmoor residential neighborhood of San Bruno, near Skyline Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue. This caused a fire, which quickly engulfed nearby houses. The explosion and resulting fire leveled 35 houses and damaged many more. Three of the damaged houses, deemed uninhabitable, were torn down in December, bringing the total to 38. As of September 29, 2010, the death toll was eight people. In January 13, 2012, an independent audit from the State of California issued a report stating that PG&E had illegally diverted over $100 million from a fund used for safety operations, and instead used it for executive compensation and bonuses. In August, 2016, PG&E was convicted of six felony counts for crimes the company committed before and after the 2010 San Bruno explosion, which killed those eight people and destroyed the residential area.”

Oddly, PG&E bestowed pay raises on several executives during that year in which the company was convicted of crimes related to the fatal San Bruno explosion and amid spikes in monthly bills for customers, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. I guess the fines will mean the energy rates will have to go up to pay for this. “Geisha Williams, who was president of the utility’s electricity operations during the company’s 2016 conviction, harvested $4.2 million in total direct compensation, PG&E disclosed in an official filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That was 11.8 percent higher than 2015. Last month, Williams became PG&E’s new CEO. Nickolas Stavropoulos, the president of the utility’s gas operations in 2016, captured $3.9 million in total pay, a jump of 9.2 percent from the year before, the SEC documents shows.” Is this the company that should have a monopoly on our energy?

I became interested in The Community Aggregate (Choice) idea and called up the bill’s author, Paul Fenn. He gave me the history of the CCA bill, written in 2001. Community Choice: Better than a greedy corporation. I followed the Marin Supervisors when they pushed their Marin Clean Energy concept through. I visited them with Supervisor Hamburg and learned more. Thanks to some very bright people, Marin County residents can now purchase greener energy at somewhat lower rates and 100% green is available. Marin has now backed local county businesses that create energy to work towards a County produced energy. Marin Clean Energy has committed nearly $516 million to 195 megawatts of new California local renewable energy projects. Those include a 10.5-megawatt solar project in Richmond, a 4-megawatt landfill waste-to-energy project in Novato, a 1.5-megawatt solar project in Novato’s Cooley Quarry, a 1-megawatt solar project at San Rafael Airport and a 1-megawatt project at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato. PG&E does not like this.

Sonoma County saw the success of Marin Clean Energy and created their own Community Choice Energy — Sonoma Clean Power and yes, it works too. Lower rates, cleaner energy and local control.

Shawn Marshall was a main force for Marin Clean Energy and who spoke to many in Mendocino County recently, brought here by Supervisor Hamburg. As she has said; “The accomplishments of cheaper cleaner energy proves MCE is a sound business model.” She is correct. I watched it happen from the start. Both in Marin and Sonoma County and It is successful.

I don’t think Mendocino County has the money to create its own public power agency. Sonoma County has offered to let Mendocino County energy users a chance to buy into this setup. Supervisor Hamburg brought it to a vote by the Mendocino County Supes and I wrote a letter to each Supervisor. It passed unanimously. I am happy to go with Sonoma County Clean Power. After seeing these non profit companies make this work, this should be a no brainer.

Michael Laybourn



  1. Zeke Krahlin May 3, 2017

    Dear Mr. Jerry Philbrick:

    Your pro-Trump letter excoriating Gov. Jerry Brown, and liberals in general, is one of the most hilarious parodies of RW goofballs I’ve read. And there are a lot out there, these days, inspiring those on the left (and even the center) to new satirical heights. As it turns out, I wrote a similar parody in the guise of another letter to the editor of the AVA back in 2002. Though in that piece I call this venerable publication “The Mendocino Mosquito.” Here it is, for your delectation:

    Gay Activism Has Really Turned Queer

    • LouisBedrock May 3, 2017

      Well said.
      Well done.

      Thank you Zeke.

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