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Letters (June 28, 2017)

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The response to the Community Poster Project has been very heartening. Visit Lauren's to see over 40 powerful and charming illustrations of community solidarity. The deadline for accepting posters has been extended for a week to the 30th of June. Please bring your completed work to Lauren's, where there is a box to receive finished posters.  On July 4th the whole collection will be moved to the Fairgrounds kiosk for the day, then returned to Lauren's for the balance of July. It's not too late to display your vision of a community united.  "Construimos puentes, no paredes! We build bridges, not walls!"

Steve Wood


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Dear Editor,

Do you AV guys and gals know that the UC-Berkeley Cal Bears power hitting first baseman is the grandson of Ronnie Vaughn? Yes, Andrew Vaughn is also a starting pitcher on occasion. I think A. Vaughn tied for the Pac-12 lead in homers last season. And he made the national team that will play against Cuba several games of high quality ball.

Ronnie, my old bud, was the best passing quarterback at Anderson Valley High and Santa Rosa JC, and he led SRJC to two bowl games.


Ken Hurst


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Dear Editor,

Just finished reading the "Starving to Death in Fort Bragg" article by Bruce McEwen in the June 14 AVA. I have to say that I am quite appalled at both segments of this piece. (Mrs. Fiorentino and Mr. Roston on page 10).

I've had my own issues with Adult Protective Services in the past. Shortly after my arrest (within the first couple of years), someone called Adult Protective Services because my grandmother, Esther Nelson, God bless her soul, had "lost a great deal of weight." The fact that she was under a great deal of stress in response to having lost the only family she had nearby to the California Department of Criminalization and Retribution was lost on this thus-far anonymous "informant." According to what I was able to learn, the individual in question stated that my grandmother was sending me all of her money in response to my demands for her to do so.

Anywho, Adult Protective Services opened an investigation, short lived though it was, which merely lead to more stress and further deterioration of her health.

I guess that my point is that Adult Protective Services (much like Child Protective Services) seems to be an incompetent bunch of bungle-monkeys who stick their noses in all the wrong cases and completely ignore the ones where they have the most business being.

The section of that article regarding Mr. Roston was a prime example of the tomfoolery that is our justice system. From what I can tell, some poor woman lost her credit card to a thieving criminal and the defense decided that the best course of action was to attack the victim on the stand and try to paint her as some sort of racist.

My own experience with the Public Pretender's office and Linda Thompson notwithstanding, I thought the point of a defense lawyer was to put on a defense!?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just confused.

So, while one man walks free due to overcrowding, I sit here and rot for a murder conviction in which I didn't kill anybody, didn't receive any defense (Linda Thompson literally stood up and said "the defense rests" when asked to call her first witness), and for which even the members of the local Sheriff's department had been quoted as calling my sentence "wildly disproportionate."

Then again, there is a really good chance that things will be straightening themselves out here pretty soon. With Senate Bills 260 and 261, Senate Bill 9, and the long-overdue recognition of the government that dope-addled 19-year-olds probably aren't in full possession of their adult faculties yet, I stand a good chance of getting a release date. It helps that I have not been wasting my time either. I'm well on my way to a Masters of Business Administration while also working on an Associate of Arts degree in Social Sciences and if all goes well a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources. I spent the better part of the last five years developing a Design Document and formulating a business plan in case I do ever get out of this hole.

All of that after my grandmother died, my dad left for Honduras, and I can't actually tell if he's alive since he isn't in contact with anyone, and I continue to operate with zero outside support.

Well, enough of my pathetic self-deprecating rant. I guess good old Mendo is just as fargled as ever. Good to know.

Stay away from drugs.

Tai Abreu


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As with most things, the few ruin it for the rest of us. There are valid service dogs, and then there are spoiled, obnoxious, greedy types who think, as my mother always opined, the world owes them a favor. People who have a dog and don't want to leave it at home when they venture out, and instead pretend they have a service dog, DO ruin the concept for those who truly need help. The mystery and wonderment of a canine bond...a dog who can help with day to day mundane necessities or psychological scars is so amazing. Bringing your dog with you because you want to, and pretending its a service dog, is another example of the entitlement mind. I started service dog classes with my big dog, odie. If i was serious, he would have made an excellent service dog. He was turning room lights on and off, pulling my socks off my feet, etc etc. In real life, a whole lotta work goes into training a service dog. In the world of self-entitled cry babies, buying a red dog vest or just saying the dog is a service dog suffices. BS!



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Dear Editor,

I assume I am not the only reader who enjoys the AVA in its proper paper format but is dismayed by the increasing use of combinations of numerals and symbols even less readable than the dreaded Press Democrat.

Wtf? Can’t/U/Fill/52papers/a/year/w/ actual Prose? If you complain about the modern world, why the 75693/ “items” /per/ Off/the/Record/needing/2be/entered/into/a/ computer? Known in modern parlance as “links,” these are simply eyesores for those of us who read our beloved community paper on the porch or on the subway, without a cord.

Aaron Cometbus

New York City

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When will they listen?

It was inspiring to watch the community’s enthusiastic support for the obstetrical service at our hospital. It was gut wrenching to watch the District Board remain brain dead in response. How many times must so many speakers so eloquently express the reasons why obstetrics is a critical service in a remote rural hospital only to watch the Board pass a resolution that in reality accomplishes nothing? A last minute modification of a straightforward motion by Board President Lund reduced the evening’s effort to ashes.

Who continues to put this matter on the agenda? Who continues to expend resources proving why they CAN’T save the department instead of making a decent effort to determine how they CAN save it. We live in a republic where we expect our elected representatives to respond to the desires of the electorate. When those representatives refuse to listen, there is a process to replace them. It should be abundantly clear that the only true solution is to RECALL those members of the Board who refuse to listen to our community. Until we have a Board dedicated to removing a feckless, incompetent administration and providing the needed services, no amount of taxes will solve the current problems. Until then it will be like giving another bottle of booze to an unreformed alcoholic and telling him to use it wisely.

Kathryn Rohr MD

Fort Bragg

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Are People Really Being Helped By The Nonprofit MCHC/MCHH?

Is there a solution to the problems?

What action can be taken?

The Hospitality House, established 30 years ago by Fort Bragg residents Charles Griffith, Jenny Kreienhop and Alberta Wooden when they purchased and renovated the two story house at 237 N. McPherson St. in 1986 to provide shelter and meals to homeless people and help them find housing and jobs.

For the most part the House served those (mostly locals) who had fallen on hard times and simply needed a helping hand for a short while in order to get on their feet. A hand up, so to speak. The organization was respected and thought by most to be a good thing and a huge help in keeping families together and caring for those in temporary need. Families for the most part lived at the house long enough to get the help needed to move on and back into a productive life of being self supportive. These people lived at the house, ate at the house and slept at the house. Many were helped, it was an excellent program run by good honest people.

What happened? Without most even realizing it the House turned into a crash pad (for lack of a better word) Anyone and everyone could walk in and sleep and eat with no intention of doing anything more. When their time runs out at the House they simply make camp somewhere close by so they won’t be late for breakfast or dinner. The meals that were once served to the clients (who were required to be clean and sober) at the house are now served to anyone who walks in off the street. They are now shared with drug and alcohol abusers. It was no longer a safe haven for those in the community down on their luck looking for a hand up. The House was transformed from a safe home for families and others of the community to get back on their feet into a homeless shelter that serves anyone off the street for as long as they wish. These are not people who are looking for work; they are not people who need a helping hand. They are people who live on the streets with no intention of doing anything else and they come daily to get free food and perhaps an occasional shower. So now, who is really being helped? No one, not even those who had high hopes of something better. When you get in line for the free food you sign in. It seems the more the merrier because that means more money from agencies in the county.

What is the solution to make the House a safe haven for those who are working hard trying to attain a wholesome productive life?

Perhaps turn back the clock and go back to housing and giving a helping hand to those temporarily down on their luck. Give them a safe place to live, eat and sleep in order to be the best that they can be. 24 people can reside at the House at a time. That is 24 that could actually be getting the help they need for a short time in order to get back on their feet. When someone moves on to a better life fill the space with new people hoping for the same results. A lot of people could be helped by doing this.

What actions would have to take place in order for this to happen?

Hire a qualified House Manager with credentials. Make the house a home where people are comfortable and feel safe. Make meals a family setting for those residing at the House. Do not cater to those walking in off the streets just for the freebies. Meals at the House should be only for those residing at the House.

For all others there is the Food Bank (who have stated they have plenty of everything). But we should always donate more to this worthwhile program. The Old Coast Hotel Café (owned by the Hospitality Center) will be opening its doors soon to provide low cost food to those in need, after all it is a nonprofit. So, no one should be going hungry. There are sack lunches at the Food Bank and lunch is served by at least one Church (perhaps more, I’m not certain about how many).

Perhaps some of these people will spend their money on food instead of alcohol or drugs. Perhaps it may make them feel better about themselves because they are now providing the very basics of life for themselves. Food.

I see this as being a win win idea.

The nuisance of the House goes away. The community backs the efforts of the House and many are helped.

Judy Valadao

Fort Bragg

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…between US & North Korea: Will U.S. Attack Threats Force North Korea to "Use It or Lose It"? When US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson threatened a preemptive military strike against North Korea unless it abandoned its nuclear weapons program, the world entered a dangerous new phase of escalating nuclear confrontation. We will all be much safer if the US changes its nuclear posture from one of escalating threat of preemptive strike to a strategy of deterrence only.

As everyone knows, avoiding nuclear war is the only sane strategic goal. The U.S is the only nuclear-armed nation which constantly threatens preemptive strike, and deploys first-strike weapons such as the Thadd missiles in North Korea in a relentlessly escalating encirclement of Russia, China and North Korea.

This strategy forces North Korea, Russia and China to develop counter-measures. The U.S. military is far superior to all other armed forces on most fields of battle. Nuclear weapons are the great equalizer: even one nuclear weapon could cause devastating damage to the U.S. homeland.

North Korea is responding to U.S. threats and sanctions by countering with a pre-emptive strike threat against the U.S., and a series of missile tests, ten so far this year. This is their long-standing strategy of maximum nuclear threat to deter attack by the U.S., which is still formally at war with North Korea.

There is a well-known feature of nuclear weapons threat confrontation which might be called the "use it or lose it" moment. In an escalating nuclear confrontation, especially a showdown involving two leaders, Kim Jong-un of North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump, both of whom might be just crazy enough to actually order a nuclear attack. There may come a time when the weaker contestant believes the stronger is about to launch a devastating attack which would destroy its entire nuclear arsenal, unless they strike first.

I believe that one of the greatest threats to U.S. and world survival is the insane policy of escalating pre-emptive strike threats, which may force North Korea to launch a "use it or lose it" attack which would devastate both Koreas, and possibly much more. Please consider joining me in demanding that the U.S. abandon its nuclear weapons posture of escalating pre-emptive strike threat, and adopt a posture of deterrence only, posing no threat.

John Lewallen


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To the anonymous letter writer and the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op Board of Directors

This letter is my rebuttal to your ridiculous reason, tasting 4 dried cranberries, for negating my long time membership in the Co-op. I have been shopping for organic food at Ukiah Natural Foods going back in time to the old store on Perkins Street with never an incident. In the last couple of years ,your manager has begun chastising customers for tasting a tiny sample such as a single grape (skin too tough, flavor bland) or a cherry (California cherries are good if picked when they are ripe, but Washington cherries are often soft, and of poor flavor.) Packaged strawberries are tough, white inside and of poor flavor, whereas local strawberries from the Redwood Valley Farmer’s Market are delicious. Yet the surprising policy is that the Ukiah Co-op earns so much money that in addition to customers’ yearly dividends, the store has extra money to give as gifts to other non profit organizations, a policy which helps stabilize existing power relationships, rather than helping their own customers and members with lower prices. This stingy policy is also used to eliminate any customer or employee who questions or inquires about the store’s managerial policies.

Contrast this institutionalized pettiness with Catrina and Dave Fisher’s recently closed Souls Sisters organic restaurant with their tasting menu. Customers could try any main dish or condiment which they were serving. This policy created friends. The Co-op’s surveillance “Gotcha” plan creates enemies and drives customers away It is a strange way to operate a business. Can you imagine the write-up in Inc. magazine which covers startups, successful entrepraneurs and business analysts - Ukiah Natural Foods drives away long term paying customers.

No, I did not attend two board meetings. Long term trouble with intermittent bouts of excruciatingly painful muscle spasms, stomach aches, nausea and inability to hold down my supplements in addition to the work on my organic garden, pollinators’ garden, bioswales for the fruit trees and the massive thistle attacks from this rainy winter have overwhelmed me. Long term effects from the lyme disease epidemic have left me with over a year’s back paperwork and reading untouched. Electrifying my blood, which I have recently begun, has been the most effective therapy for this painful and disabling lyme disease.

This letter is my formal request for the name of the customer whom you claim in your letter of April 19, 2017, stated that I put my hands into open food containers. I question whether such a customer exists, whether or not this is a made up story. At any rate, this is not evidence. It is heresay, inadmissible in a court of law. I have a right to confront my accuser, if such a person exists.

A reminder: In my letter, The Case of the Four Dried Cranberries, published in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, I explained that when I tried to pay for the four cranberries your scale would not register such a tiny weight. I paid 6 cents for the nickel, penny, and four little cranberries in a taster cup it took to make the scale register. That way you cannot accuse me off “consumption theft”.

The Ukiah Co-op has some real problems. I know of two criminal incidents which have occurred in the parking lot. The young women whose car was jacked told me this story: She was sitting in the driver’s seat of her vehicle while her male friend was shopping in the store when a strange man opened the door, pushing her aside, grabbing the keys still in the ignition. She was so frightened she jumped out of the passenger door, as the stranger drove off with her car, At the time she related this account, the police were trying to recover her vehicle.

The second incident was related to me by a 22 year old man with a large welt on the left side of his forehead. We were both sitting at the juice bar table. He was visibly upset as he explained that two men on the far side of the Co-op parking lot had approached him carrying an iron bar with which they hit him in the head, knocked him down, robbed him of his wallet and fled. I asked him if he had called the police. He said no, intimating his apprehension of the police. I explained that he should report the crime, to protect others from a similar attack.

With the continuous dismantling of the U.S. social security net by Donald Trump and his Republican henchmen plus the opioid epidemic, due, I suspect to the epidemic of painful untreated lyme disease, we will see more of disturbing, even criminal behavior in public places. A noticed surveillance system might be a deterrent to further crime and certainly a help to officers in tracking and arresting miscreants.


Dorotheya M Dorman

Redwood Valley

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Dear AVA,

I'm not quite sure how to say it, so here it goes! How about a good old thank you neighbor?

I can't begin to express my gratitude. It's just like this: you guys made me feel like God answered my prayers.

Thank you all so much for publishing my story. I was given a copy of the article in court on June 15, 2017 at 9 PM and some of the folks in court were a little upset. They said I violated their client’s confidentiality rights.

You mean my son? I thought.

Anyhow Judge Reimenschneider advised me not to do any more of this. My thought was, Oh really? Needless to say I believe wholeheartedly that the article that was published, “This Is justice?" Influenced Judge Reimenchneider to do the right thing or at least the more right thing.

The judge humbly ordered CPS child welfare to reevaluate Grandma for placement of the kids and for the social worker and therapist to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Dad's letters and cards are appropriate and forwarded properly.

This is freaking huge. Thank you so much. I am scared, yes, because I don't trust these people.

I sent you a copy of a new writ of habeas corpus, two denials, a letter to Judge Behnke (the best) and some requests to calendar this issue heard by Judge Moormon. She chose to side with DA Eyster and remand me. Bad call all the way around.

I mailed the originals to the clerk of the court at 100 North State Street in Ukiah about April 10 or 20th, nearly 60 days ago. So far the court has not mailed a response to my home address or to me here in jail at 951 Low Gap Road. This is dodging the bullet, neglect, BS, or obstruction of justice — whatever you want to call it. Maybe Public Defender Linda Thompson isn't getting my mail and messages. Neither is her assistant Carly Dolan who was appointed to represent me. I've been trying to contact Carly Dolan at the public defender's office to help me with my filing of my second writ which I sent you a copy of.

I've been consistent in trying since April but I have a feeling that whatever the clerk sent to my request for calendar to my home address signed in magic marker 37 days later. I don't know what's happening. I just want the presiding judge, the Honorable John Behnke to have an idea as well. So the clerk of the court, where's the response to legal mail? I could be released as early as July 1, 12 days from now. So I will probably have to have an attorney to start over. That's hard to do with no money, no job, no hope. But I guess we will have to find a way.

Would you consider helping me fight this case for my court rights by starting a fund-raising foundation? Either you or the Advertiser would be the trustees of the funds collected by the donations from locals in the community. It's just an idea, a longshot. But I've got to try and keep fighting for what's right, fair and honest. I need an attorney for these complicated and difficult matters.

Again thank you folks.

Paul Daniel Hannah

951 Low Gap Road

Ukiah, CA 95482

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I am writing in response to an article written by Bruce McEwen in the May 17 AVA, "Pete Hoyle's Expert Opinion."

I'm a fairly new reader of this newspaper and I don't understand if it's real news or just for entertainment. It seems the writer strays from the facts and uses his opinion quite freely and often. I'm sure there are readers out there who believe and hang onto every word the writer uses. But isn't this a writer's rule that there is always three sides to every story? Our side, their side, and then the facts?

If the story is real than the facts should stand alone. The writer who wrote about Tina C.’s case didn't tell all the facts. He made it seem like it was so outrageous that it had to be a lie. Who said facts are stranger than fiction?

Did you know Tina C. had a witness? Did you know there was someone present when she was at slam dunk and with her during that time she found drugs in the parking lot? This same person was with her during her arrest and was also arrested with her then released?

Tina C. is the type of person who doesn't want to drag others into her drama. Now if you were to check facts or even tell the whole story then you would know this. It seems so unfair.

I also understand about freedom of speech and how important it is to every one of us. For some reason you couldn't get over her outfit or lack of and even stated her cashmere costume she wore. You also said she had a Marilyn Monroe T-shirt, a Night of the Living Dead motif and you were upset that they’ve taken an American beauty and made her image half alive/half dead.

Well, it's not the Night of the Living Dead. In fact, it's Day of the Dead. Totally different. Night of the Living Dead is creepy, scary. Day of the Dead is something beautiful. Day of the Dead is now! It's a day of remembering and honoring our loved ones who have passed. A day of family coming together to honor that life of those who have passed. That's where the painting of skulls and painted faces comes in. It's nothing scary. Maybe it is to those who don't understand. But those who do understand know that it’s very beautiful and an important day.

Me being Native American, we believe a person isn't dead until they are forgotten. And what better symbol than the one and only American beauty Marilyn Monroe? Her image is everywhere. Me being a fan, what better way than to honor her than by bringing the Day of the Dead and Marilyn Monroe together?

By remembering her we are all keeping her memory alive — beautiful. So you see, it wasn't some creepy shirt, and by no means did she have a tweaker’s outfit on. Tina C. is a very beautiful soul. She's not a slave to fashion and her taste in clothes is her own. She shouldn't be put down for it. She's the type of person and friend who would give her shirt off her back to keep you warm. Even though the shirt isn't cute, it will keep you warm. But most of all though, all writers have that one Golden Rule: never judge a book by its cover!

I know Tina C. She's my friend. She has a good heart. She's caring, giving, and an honor to know. If you take the time.

Did you know the night before her trial she went through her shirts and set aside her torn ones, her faded ones, her stained ones, and picked out the best shirt she had because she knew she had trial and wanted to look good. I'm sorry she didn't meet your standards. Tina C. won't let this charge define her. Live and learn and the truth will always set you free. On the other hand Tina C. is very lucky. Unlike me, she doesn't need makeup or fancy clothes. She's beautiful just the way she is.


Angel Baby / Jarrett Williams


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Until you've been sitting up in a drunk tank watching grown people peeing, pooping, and throwing up on themselves because they overdosed on alcohol or heroin, then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.

Until you've been patted down, then strip searched, then forced to dress out into old, crusty, musty, too small jail clothes that dozens if not hundreds of others have worn too, been issued a 2 inch thick, 18 inch wide, 5 foot long green mattress with wool blankets that make you break out in an itch, then been one of three people stuffed into a two-man cell on the floor in a blue plastic "boat," then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.

Until you've had to eat slushy jailhouse slop served on dirty, unsanitized trays, gotten food poisoning, been bloated, gassy, become constipated and had the runs, then you ain't no expert "expert" on mass incarceration.

Until you've seen someone wild out, breaking windows, throwing everything in the cell around including your meager possessions, then been pepper sprayed, tazed, rammed by six emergency extrication team members with riot shields, then tackled, kicked, punched into submission while being handcuffed and then strapped to a chair all night with a restraint mask (muzzle), then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.

Until you’ve felt the pain of being separated from family and friends, if you’ve lost contact with them for months, even years, because they couldn't afford the high cost of phone calls or travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to visit you, then you aint no "expert" on mass incarceration.

Until you've been shackled from head to toe, with cuffs so tight they cut your wrists and ankles, then rope-chained to eight or nine others, then ushered into a courtroom, then you ain't no "expert" on mass incarceration.

John Grossman

Bellevue, Washington

One Comment

  1. Joe Hansen July 2, 2017

    I wish Tai all the best at this point, but my reading of SB 260 and 261, which provide for the posssibility of early release on parole for offenders who committed their crimes before reaching the age of 23, is that this relief is excluded for those who are serving life without parole (LWOP) sentences which as I recall Tai is.

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