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Letters (Jan. 10, 2018)

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The idea, put forth by KC Meadows, that cannabis growers should not complain while they are regulated out of business by a bungling county government doesn’t make sense. The many citizens that have been making their living growing marijuana under prohibition all these years are now being told that in order to stay in business they must comply with so many rules, regulations, inspections, and taxations that it makes your head spin. They will also need to obtain costly studies, permits, and insurance in order to be legal. Cannabis needs to be regulated and taxed at the point of sale, like all other plants and products. At the point of production, or on the farm, the restrictions should be no more onerous then growing grapes, tobacco, or hops. The complex regulatory framework that is being set up, will cost a lot to administer, be unenforceable, and be most beneficial to large scale agriculture.

As a building contractor, I’m not glad to see my neighbors saddled by the same type of state and county bureaucracies that plague the construction industry. In my business it has gotten to the point where, compared to the paperwork, actually building the house is the easy part. When government tries to micromanage things like housing, farming, timber, and tourism, it doesn’t bring wealth and economic benefit to our community. Mendocino County needs to focus its resources on basic stuff, like fixing roads, caring for the mentally ill, providing courts, schools, and libraries, and generally trying to make sure that the population is housed and well fed.

Ishvi Aum


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On Tuesday, January 2, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves a big 30% pay raise. The vote was 4:1, with Supervisor Dan Gjerde dissenting. The vote followed two (2) hours of public comment, much of it by county workers and cannabis farmers, followed by discussion by the Sups themselves. The Sups majority said they were voting for the big pay raise, so as " attract qualified candidates to run for the Board in the future."

What does this imply for the current Board?

Were they not qualified?

Gjerde is refusing the raise. He sent a memo to county payroll. This signals strong solidarity with underpaid, overworked, rank-and-file, Mendocino County workers...three cheers for Dan Gjerde!

According to a recent post at the Anderson Valley Advertiser "Mendocino County Today", the BOS raises are nearly as large as what the average Mendocino County wage worker earns in a year.

I'm making this outrageous — and unjustified — pay raise a key campaign issue. I announced my candidacy for Carrie Brown's District 1 seat two weeks ago. If elected, I would claw back those raises.

BOS pay raises — and CEO raises — as a percent. should be directly linked to rank-and-file county worker pay raises And BOS pay should be linked to performance. County poverty statistics are appalling...absolutely appalling!

Nearly one in two county residents are eligible for Food Stamps. Nearly one in three county residents are eligible for Medi Cal.

Mendocino County has no jobs growth. No economic growth. And the best game in town is either county or city executive jobs. County CEO Carmel Angelo's compensation package tops out at $300,000 annually. Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo gets a package topping out at $275,000.

What's wrong with this picture?

We can't even protect our small, family farmers who grow cannabis. We should have a county bank that allows these cannabis farmers to do their banking legally.

Our leadership has failed us.

For the record, I endorse the pay raises that the Sheriff and District Attorney recently received. By statute, the Sheriff and District Attorney, along with the BOS, are the only county executives that we are required to have by law. Are we required to have the County CEO? Hell, no! And how about all these highly paid, executive department heads and their superfluous deputies? Again, no!

I'm also in favor of taking a second look at making Mendocino County a charter county.

Charter counties have a limited degree of "home rule" authority that may provide for the following: 1.) the election, compensation, terms, removal, and salary of the governing board; 2.) the election or appointment (except the sheriff, district attorney, and assessor who must be elected), and the compensation, terms, removal of all county officers; 3.) the powers and duties of all officers; and 4.) the consolidation and segregation of county offices.

Charter Counties do not give county officials extra authority over local regulations, revenue-raising abilities, budgetary decisions, or intergovernmental relations.

California's Charter Counties include the following: Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tehama

Two Types of California Counties - What are They?

General Law is one type of California county. The other type is Charter. There are currently 45 general law counties and 13 charter counties. A county may adopt, amend, or repeal a charter with majority vote approval. A new charter or the amendment or repeal of an existing charter may be proposed by the Board of Supervisors, a charter commission, or an initiative petition. The provisions of a charter are the law of the state and have the force and effect of legislative enactments.

For Tourism and Travel Purposes, the State of California is also divided into 12 regions that conveniently represent geographic bounds of either counties or natural features such as deserts, mountains and bays.

So let's do it, people. Take back your county government. Vote for change.

John Sakowicz

Candidate for Mendocino 1st District Supervisor


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I will be reading from my new book, Continent of Ghosts, at the North Beach Public Library on January 16. If you are in the city come by around 7 o’clock. This will be The first time reading in the city for a few years. I feel very much like the Country Mouse. A friendly face would be welcome. I’m visible now on the internet at I update this site every month with bon mots, stories and the usual fare.

In qua est ipsum esse megatvit — Exist where existence is denied.

Bill Bradd

Ten Mile/Fort Bragg

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The first report of the Valley fire was received at 1:22 pm on Valley Fire Facts

September 12, 2015, and according to official dispatch logs. Sheriff Brian Martin was sent to help with evacuations at 2:59 pm, but did not arrive on-scene until 7:12 pm, 4 hours and 13 minutes later. Sheriff Martin later publicly stated he spent the afternoon in Kelseyville at his child’s ballgame, which explains the lengthy response time.

Sheriff Martin remained on-scene until 12:29 am the next morning, after having been on-scene for only 5 hours and 16 minutes, even though 10 of his deputies worked overtime shifts that day.

Sheriff Martin later stated there was no time to activate the emergency broadcast system which consisted of two local AM and two FM radio stations, and could have been used to help keep the 9-1-1 dispatch center from being swamped with frantic calls for evacuation information.

The other reason the dispatch was swamped was that even though the new $3 million dollar facility had 11 work stations, only three were staffed that day because no provisions were made at the sheriff-ran center for rapidly filling those desperately needed extra dispatcher positions in times of emergency.

The sheriff put out the first NIXLE alert at 6:31 pm, though it was only an evacuation advisory and came so late that is it likely that by then the fire had already claimed it’s first victim. The second NIXLE directing a mandatory evacuation came out about an hour later, by which time more had died and hundreds of homes had burned.

The county of Lake maintains a list of elderly and handicapped residents unable to self-evacuate. When later questioned as to why it was not used, the sheriff said he never asked the fire captains for the list as there was no time for that either. Apparently he didn’t know that he was supposed to contact the Social Services Director directly to obtain the confidential documents.

Sheriff Martin knew where the fire began and should have known that 35 mile-per-hour winds were forecast to last until midnight that day. With multiple communities downwind, he should have known any fire would likely be uncontrollable in the first day when coupled with low humidity along with high winds and temperatures, meaning that even at 2:59 pm it should have been clear that thousands were in grave danger.

It is important to have a full understanding of what happened that day, in order to make the response to future incidents as successful as possible. It is also important that the record is correct and has not been distorted or misrepresented, in order that the public can accurately asses the performance of their elected employee, the sheriff.

It is also important to remember some of those who were not invited to ride on a float for public safety “Heroes” in the Rose Bowl parade, like Niko Matteoli, Richard Reiff, Logan Pridmore and captain Pat Ward, the crew members of helicopter 104 based at the Boggs Mountain CalFire station, who were all badly burned when the fire over-ran them and forced them into their survival bags. We should remember that operations base has saved Lake County from many disasters over the years, and that simply climbing aboard an old helicopter on a daily basis is a risky business, let alone jumping into a fire from one.

We should also not forget the five senior citizens who lost their lives (Barbara McWilliams, Robert Fletcher, Leonard Neft, Bruce Burns and Robert Litchman), as while the other fire damage can be repaired, there is no way to bring these folks back, as no amount of tinkering with the public’s perception of that day’s events can do that.

Phillip Murphy


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Trying To Respect Jerry Philbrick.

Jerry Philbrick failed to notice the deeper meaning of his Kim Jung Un poll. His poll confirms for me that our society at large is brainwashed by celebrity culture distraction and propaganda. This poll shows what happens when education fails and the TV takes over.

America created the nuclear nightmare we all now live with when it dropped plutonium and uranium bombs on Japan.

Tens of thousands of people were incinerated including several thousand US citizens and POWs. There was no morally justifiable reason for dropping those bombs, let alone a military one. Then there’s the more than 700 nuclear tests conducted in and under North America releasing radioactive clouds that went off on the winds to end up in everything and everybody.

America is a rogue state. America’s hysterical and morbid fear of Communism, Socialism, and Nationalism has created a madhouse of over 700 US military bases around the world. America has also flooded the world with military hardware creating very unstable conditions around the globe.

Let’s take another poll. How many of you good citizens know that for the most part the Cold War had nothing to do with Soviet global ambitions and everything to do with American Imperialism and world domination? Most of the intelligence being sent from the Soviet Union was lies, fabrication, and plain old incompetence. The OSS and then the CIA were littered with hubris, ignorance and ideological blindness.

If history, political science, and civics were actually taught in this land the world would be a much more peaceful place. Instead we have endless enemies in order to maintain the Pentagon system which runs our country. Instead we get to be #1 in mental, physical, and social illness. Instead we have bastard plutocrats running the ship of state straight for the icebergs.

A few unpopular facts. America created the Arms Chase with Russia, in no small part to destroy its economy. America flooded Afghanistan with weapons in order to put the last nails in the Soviet coffin. America created the heavily armed mujahideen which led to 911 and the war on terror. America fueled Bin Laden's hatred by stupidly leaving troops in Saudi Arabia. America created North Korea, and the Viet Kong, and the Sandinistas. America created Narco Terrorism to fund its illegal, insane, and immoral “wars” against revolutionary movements in Italy, Indonesia, IndoChina, South and Central America, and Mexico.

To say nothing of the government’s war on our inner cities and poor people of every color when tons of cocaine and heroin were brought in by the CIA and its unsavory friends while the DEA turned a blind eye.

Goddamn President Trump and all his fans, who just like him live in fact-proof bubbles!

Happy New Year,

Ross Dendy


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Mom spent a lot of time in emergency and I have reported on this kind of thing over the years. I don’t feel its unique to MCDH. The "run everything like a corrupt multinational" wave is the biggest cause of the problems.

All hospitals are under tremendous pressure to send people home. There is no such thing as a comfortable hospital stay really anymore. Mom had a bad fall and they did a miraculous job of fixing her up two years ago. But the pressure started right away to go home. Another time she was sent home because she wasn’t getting any better and couldn’t really get any better, near the end. I had to take her home Sunday night at my own wit's end.

That doesn’t count. The MCDH is responsible for how they respond to the tremendous "kick them out" pressure that insurance provides.

But it’s not responsible for the pressure. Since the Reagan revolution, we have been cutting and cutting support and services while doing NOTHING to control insurance costs, that's the sacred market the GOPERs worship you know. The life of an elderly person isn’t important compared to infringing on the "markets" right to determine everything and the market says kick em out and count your losses at the cemetery.

When mom did go home we had the most spectacular support possible from the Home Health Dept of MCDH. they went the extra mile and then some and made the ending of her life at home possible. In some ways, this was a defiance of the almighty god of the market. This persistent psychosis in our society is now about to have Ryan and company steal my Medicare and Social Security that I worked so hard for.

I got testy once and objected to two decisions to send home early. Back 20 years ago a family could ACTUALLY GET a weekend off from care of a person on social security, imagine that better Great Society vision all gone now in the wave of hatefulness and spite for those of us not born sitting on a mountain of money.

I think critiques are important and others may have had entirely different perspectives. I wrote down all that went on thinking I might be mistreated and need to object formally somehow or by writing up something. But I think they performed from a grade of C to a grade of A+++++++ with nothing approaching a failing grade. the big insurance written hospital ejection laws rate an F but nobody who backs all that has the ability to listen and we are powerless to confront this horrific alliance between government and global crony capitalism that rules our lives. I say THANKS VERY MUCH to MCDH even though I was pretty irked a couple of times. You were a lifesaver in the end and I can’t imagine living here without a hospital.

Oh, and I worked for MC Mental Health 10 years ago and often worked IN emergency. It has improved quite a bit over that time.

Frank Hartzell

Fort Bragg

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Dear Editor,

Today is January 4. We had a little over half an inch of rain. Highway 128 is underwater. All the traffic is coming around through the Comptche Ukiah Road, car after car after car. The road gets worse every day. Nothing is being done. The environmentalists are just delirious with glee because even though the road is underwater, the little salamanders and frogs and tadpoles and other life in the estuary is safe. They don't care about the road. What matters is the frogs. To hell with the state highway. That's amazing. That's the mentality these people have right now. It has nothing to do with what they think is right. They must be from another planet. They were on another planet and at some point the beings there got so sick and tired of them up there that they sent them down here and now we have them.

They're calling Jerry Brown Governor Moonbeam again. He gave a big lecture about global warming and climate change. How much BS is he going to put out to the public? They are having record cold temperatures, freezing weather in the Midwest and the East. It's never been this cold before. And it's moving toward the west. That liberal prostitute Al Gore, how money million dollars has he sucked out of the public advertising this global warming and climate change? What a joke.

The federal people inspected the Orville dam recently and the problem is it's long overdue for infrastructure work. They let it go too long. It's all California's fault. As usual. Maybe Governor Brown can stick his head in the water and suck the water into his mouth and then let it out his you know what. The dam would then be dry and they can fix it and then it could be filled again. That's a good idea! It's amazing what people put up with around here.

Of course Southern California doesn't count, but here in Northern California where we have to suffer through all this crap I guess people can take it because they do nothing about it. They just sit on their couch with their feet up and let the other guy take care of it. Too bad. Really sad.

God bless Donald Trump,

Jerry Philbrick


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To The Editor,

It is January 5th, Twelfth Night, an ancient celebration of the night the Three Kings (or Three Wise Men) arrived in Bethlehem with their gifts for the newborn Jesus. I think of the old Christmas Carol describing the journey of these Kings (“field and fountain, moor and mountain”) and am swept away to Iran, to the province of Yasd, where, riding on a bus four years ago I am informed that we are on the very route they followed to Bethlehem.

Through the bus window I saw desert (Yazd gets 2 in of precipitation a year). But scattered about were small geometrically-shaped fields and orchards, brilliant green, watered, I learned, by underground pipes laid 3,000 years ago, coming from faraway mountains.

I saw a few nomad families, who weave the famous Persian rugs, even as they follow their sheep. I imagined the Kings, passing through on their camels, stopping at caravanserais during the day, because it is so hot.

The US is ravenous to destroy Iran. It’s hard to know if the CIA instigated the recent demonstrations as Iran claims but it is our usual modus operandi. UN Ambassador Haley’s bloodthirsty cries (“The people of Iran are crying out for freedom! All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause!”) certainly match, in both intensity and ignorance, those of Secretary-of-State Clinton, before we destroyed Libya seven years ago.

Our role in Iran’s impoverishment however is undeniable. As the three Wise Men swung along on their camels, discoursing on Peace (for that is what they thought the Baby was to bring) could they possibly have conceived of such malignant phantoms, in their starlit visions, as The Plan for the New American Century and its vicious nihilism, 2000 years into the future?

Ellen Taylor



  1. Pat Kittle January 10, 2018

    Ellen Taylor,

    It’s no exaggeration to say the Israel lobby controls the US — its Zionist billionaires must be appeased before anyone becomes President Figurehead.

    How many Americans know Hellary’s top 7 campaign “donors” were all Israel lobby Zionist pro-war billionaires! What were the odds of THAT by random chance? Astronomically… tiny.

    And Donald Chump won in no small part because he assured Americans he would bring our military home from endless (Israeli-spawned) Mideastern wars. Of course the Israel lobby wouldn’t have that! Trump pathetically takes orders from his Jew supremacist son-in-law, who is in close contact with Israel’s notorious war criminal Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu? Yes, Nethanyahu — the same Netanyahu who addressed the US Congress, basically demanding that the US attack Iran — and got 29 standing ovations!

    Is it any surprise that Trump seems to have no core values — except doing the bidding of Israel’s war criminals?

  2. Joe Hansem January 13, 2018

    Adam Thatcher Lawrence:
    (the Leopard Guy)

    Ponderosa & Sun Realty
    635 S. Main St
    Willits, CA 95490

    370 Laurel St.
    Willits, CA 95490

    P.O. Box 276

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