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Letters (Aug. 30, 2017)

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Dear Dan Hamburg,

You are my supervisor. According to the California Office of Planning and Research, an order by county governments can be effected pertaining to agricultural activities vis-a-vis use permits. Sir, my question to you is this: why does our county require an onerous use permit for short term rentals on shared roads, when it does not require a use permit for commercial cannabis cultivation on shared roads? This is an issue of significant interest to the citizens of Mendocino County. Sir, I would consider it a kindness if you, and your fellow board members, can answer this question as soon as possible: Why are dope growers allowed the privilege of exemption while others are not?

Thank you for your valuable time.

Michael Koepf


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I am a contemporary classical musician doing some research on the Boontling language and stories from the Anderson Valley. Amidst my research, I came across a slew of interviews that Steve Sparks had conducted with various residents of the area. I was curious if you might be able to get me in contact with him, or any of your writers and residents, who might be able to tell me some stories of the lives residents who lived during the height of Boontling's popularity? I am in the beginning stages of possible creating an opera that combines Boontling and English, but I'd like to stay true to the times, the valley, and the residents. Any resources you have would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes,

Dr. Marja Liisa Kay

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All summer long I have had reports of altercations on and above our Glass Beaches due to the lies of the city and park rangers regarding the legality of collecting glass here, and the city lies over the legal public domain access to Site 2, which the city is trying to steal with the wire across the old access along the old GP fence line. The wire is criminal. The city does not own that land. It became public domain decades ago when GP fenced it off and abandoned it when it was the dump site. It is a long established public right-of-way to Site 2 and the southern end of Site 3 (Glass Beach). This our land, just like the beaches, not city land. The lies about the legality of taking the glass are crimes under Federal law; a “denial of rights under color of law,” though the FBI wants the problem “handled locally,” whatever that means. Just as people were injured on the illegal steps they put down to Site 2, people are going to get hurt during these altercations, either through physical violence or through a heart attack or stroke. Raise your voices and tell the criminals enough is enough. Aren’t you tired of lying, corrupt, public servants endangering people lives and welfare and stealing our rights? When is enough, enough? When there is a fight or someone finally drops dead?

Capt. Cass Forrington

Sea Glass Museum, Fort Bragg

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Dear Editor,

Unfortunately, here I am again, back through the revolving door for "access to ammo." Wrong place, wrong time, I guess? But isn't there ammo just about everywhere? And should people with guns and ammo warn a known felon before inviting them into their home? I don't know, and I don't care anything about any guns or ammo. But I guess I should now after being forced into a deal of 32 months at 80% — wrong place, wrong time.

So I've been reading the AVA through a homeboy on the tier. But he was endorsed to another prison. My first thought was, uh-oh, there goes the AVA! Second, Good luck homeboy, may Prop 57 be with you. Now I sit here stressing out. How will I get AVA? On the street I just went to Down-Home Foods by the movie theater. Good sandwiches by the way. Now I’ll just pray someone will set me up with a subscription (hint).

Love and respect to all homeboys. Good job Flynn Washburne, love your column; and my condolences to Walter Miller. Also it's nice to see the District Attorney is going after Dr. Keegan. Now what about the old Garrett Matson? Just saying. A bow to the AVA.

Justice for Kaitlyn Long.

Daniel Shealor

San Quentin

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One love, one blood, one heart.

My name is Anthony Gonzalez, aka Tony Dogg. I was raised partly in Yorkville by my aunt Cindy and uncle Gary Johnson. My cousins Brandon, Brandy and Jed also. I'm writing this to shed some light on the violence and sexual assaults at Northern California festivals such as Reggae on the River, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, etc. I've been enjoying the festivals since 2000 and lately I’ve seen it get worse year after year.

The people who get paid and have free wristbands to protect us while we party are not protecting us. The Mateel Center in Redway is a joke. They will let rapists volunteer for security. So let me tell you this. In 2000 a beautiful soul I call my brother Big Dan brought me into the circus as I call it: the Nighthawk Overnight Security. I've been trained in this and worked every year for the Mateel unless I was in jail or out of the state. Please remember I love most of the Mateel staff and volunteers.

I need family love sent to me.

As of now I'm looking for a great lawyer who wants to help me sue The Mateel Center and Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, CHP and Mendocino County as well.

Let's begin in Piercy. I showed up for work Thursday for Reggae on the River. On Friday I was kicked off the property for staff members stealing my personal property out of my truck. Of course I was mad so I made a scene. Yes I do drugs as do a lot of people at these events. But get this: I was not high or drunk on this day. I was escorted out. I'm driving my truck to the top of the hill where I am stopped by some punk kid CHP pointing his taser at me and telling me to get out of my truck. I complied for the next four hours. He asked me the same questions over and over. He denied me water in the 90-degree heat and the whole time he was saying I was drunk. I weigh about 400 pounds. He kept telling me to do field sobriety tests. I did all of those tests except for the heel to toe. I'm a big guy with an open gash on my shin from a trailer hitch a couple of days before. So it was physically impossible for me to do that. These cops made fun of me and denied me water for four hours on the side of the road. I blew a Breathalyzer of 0.00.

I need you to send a reporter to the Ukiah jail to interview me. I have no money and no paper and I'm locked down here in jail.

I was then allowed to drive across the street to volunteer camping and I was shaken up and yes I was mad that my wallet and camping stuff was stolen out of my truck. You can't kick me off my land. I am a man and I'm not going to let any other man steal my land. So I waited, I ate some food, got a new shirt from my new friend, thank you very much and God bless him. He talked with me for four hours until we went back across the street to see the show.

I love the music. It is in my blood and in my body and in my lungs. So I went in to get some food and then I went across a bridge and back to the party. I made it to the teepee where some of my people were asking me what happened. After a couple of beers and fat joints I went out and tripped around looking for the Roses or Franklin Tower. I tried to have fun and get along until morning when I found myself with my boy hitting nitrous oxide, giggling at the people. I got in a fight. My lip was split and I could blow bubbles through it. I was escorted out for the second time.

Yes, the police and security would not let me get my truck to drive myself to the hospital. I then went north to Garberville and south to Willits. I live in Potter Valley so I wanted to go to Willits.

I sat in front of the store while my sister tried to clean me up with her first aid kit out of her purse. The people from the store told me to leave. So now when I tried to get in my truck some punk rent a cop tried to tackle me. I dodged him and finally made it to my truck. I made the move to come out of there and, BOOM: pulled over again saying I'm drunk and I can't drive.

I aced all the tests but now I can't blow because there is a hole in my lip. They denied me water again and I was still waiting. Finally they let me go. I got blessed with five dollars from a wonderful soul. This lady helped me more with her compassion than anything else. Thank you very much.

Now I had a police escort to the gas station. I felt like Troy Aikman leaving the Super Bowl. They pumped that five dollars in gas. Then I was on my way. I picked up this hitchhiker fellow, a dead-head, and we talked until I ran out of gas 9 miles from Willits.

To be continued…

Anthony Gonzalez


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Wide frightened eyes peer out from a gaunt face; shifty and nervous. This is just one of the over 50 million feral cats in the United States. When left unchecked, feral cat colonies overwhelm their supply of food, causing both a nuisance to the neighborhood with their fighting and, for the cats, starvation and painful death. Methods such as relocation only move the problem. Extermination is inhumane. Both leave a vacuum that is quickly filled with new and foreign cats. Enter TNR "Trap Neuter Release" TNR began in the US in the 1960's, gaining popularity quickly. Organizations have been formed to advocate for the benefits of TNR on a global scale. I recently followed a Mendocino County, California organization, Coast Cat Project, during one of its TNR missions. Statistics say that 1,000 unwanted animals are prevented for every animal spayed or neutered. The essence is in humane sterilization of breeding adults. When adult cats are no longer breeding, they are calmer. They rarely fight. They roam less. The number less animals therefore are less taxing on the scant food resources and safe resting areas. Since about 2012, Alanna and Valerie have rescued feral kittens. They socialized the kittens and got them adoption-ready. "I don't know why we hadn't thought of it sooner" Alanna said "Why we were taking in so many kittens is that massive spay neuter operations were not happening. There are many cats in our community that are reproducing at high numbers every year. We've rescued 300 plus kittens, when the root of the problem is Spay Neuter."

In 2016, Alanna and Valerie became certified to do TNR. The process involves trapping live cats in wire cages. Food at the feeding location is withheld for 24 hours to entice more cats to come into the traps to retrieve the bait. The cat enters the trap, steps on a plate. The trap is sprung, closing the door and trapping the cat. A volunteer covers the cage which helps to calm the animal. For trap savvy cats or the kittens (which can be too light to set off the spring) they will use a box trap, which requires a volunteer to sit patiently and hold a rope many yards away.

On an hot afternoon we park behind an empty building in a suburb of a small rural town. The heat is distressing. In mere minutes I am uncomfortable and dizzy. Before we enter the yard behind the building I am cautioned: I will see deceased kittens. There are several left on the ground where they last laid down, Valerie explained sadly. With circumstances so dire for these animals, time spent on the lost is better served saving the living. "We have to push through the emotions." said Alanna Zipp, co-founder of Coast Cat Project. "A lot of people that we've talked to have been like, 'I can't do cat rescue; it's too sad, it's too emotional, it's too hard.' Which it is all of those things. But for us, it's even more reason why we have to do it. We have to help these animals. We can't turn a blind eye because it's hard to look at."

On location at this hot dusty refuge I am in awe. With deft movements and focus borne of determination, quickly there are a dozen such traps around the briars and trees. Within minutes several cats have come out, hungry and drawn by the succulent aroma of tuna and sardines; the most tempting fair ensures better results. At 2 feet long and about a foot high and wide, the empty traps weigh about 7 pounds. Add several pounds of frightened thrashing cat and it is truly impressive to see these dedicated women skillfully handle and store the cages while simultaneously keeping their footing on treacherous terrain and calming the wild animals inside with soft gentle words.Darkness falls and Valerie is holding a flashlight for Alanna to secure the last of the cats and drape covers over the cages in their safe storage area. Exhausted, hungry, hot; physically and emotionally spent. They plan to return and do it all again the next day.6am Valerie is already at the site. In the quiet of the new day she traps a few more kittens. Since food was withheld for over 24 hours, more are boldly approaching. At 9am a third volunteer arrives. She takes over the reins of holding a rope of a drop trap, letting Valeria and Alanna have a quick breakfast off site under shade. 10am cages are loaded up into vehicles and taken to where the Mobile Pet Clinic is parked for the day at a local community hall there are several volunteers and already a dozen pets; mostly cats and two dogs. Most are sleeping off their anesthesia and have been gently placed into comfortable positions while they recover. Valerie and Alanna bring in their additions, two at a time, in the cool building, quickly taking up most of the floor space.At the end of another long hot day the total ferals brought in is 10 adults and 12 kittens. Alanna has taken the kittens to begin their care and the adult cats are packed into the garage of yet another volunteer, where they will recover from the surgery and then be released back to the property they were caught at. While under anesthesia, adults receive an ear tip: painless removal of just a small tip of one ear. This is a universally accepted identifying marker to humans that the cat is sterile.

Bliss Seiferd, is a Veterinarian who's been working with the Mobile Pet Van since its inception in 2000. Bliss has a life long involvement with rescue and shelters. "I've seen attitudes change from euthanasia as a method of population control to preventative means such as Spay Neuter." Bliss said "It is obviously much more humane to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens than it is to kill them when they land in the shelters" She sees firsthand that Spay Neuter is having positive results. "The statistics show that the number of animals entering our shelters have been reduced. Therefore the number of euthanasia's have been reduced."Bliss encourages the community to become involved. "They can get in the trenches and help trap feed colonies. They can donate not only money but time transporting, networking phone calling. They can become liaisons between shelters and communities for TNR. They can foster kittens and help socialize them for adoption. They can just be aware of the cats they see and not let injured starving animals go without help. Even if they can not provide help themselves they can alert those who can so that cats don’t suffer!"


Keri Ann Bourne


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