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Letters (March 21, 2018)

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Letter to the Editor

I do not know Tai Abreu, or who he or his friends murdered, or why, but I’ve read his letters and your defense of him over and over in the AVA. Mr. Abreu wound up with an incompetent attorney and was sentenced to life in prison, while his buddies plea-bargained for long prison terms. Was the “gross miscarriage of justice” because Mr. Abreu was not guilty and did not participate in what appears to have been a horrendous crime? Or was it because Mr. Abreu got a longer prison term than his murdering friends? You refer to Mr. Abreu’s sentence as an “atrocity,” but it seems to me that whatever Mr. Abreu and his friends did was the real atrocity.

L.C. Lewis


Ed reply: Yes, as you say it was murder most foul, but whatever Abreu's involvement — he was the lookout man and unaware murder was the intent of one of the other two youths with him — it's an injustice to Abreu that his co-perps get another shot at life but he doesn't simply because his lawyer, Ms. Thompson, was and is grossly incompetent. Ditto for the judge (Henderson) who presided over Abreu's farce of a trial. The Abreu case raises the fundamental question of equal justice, not to say proportionality. We probably disagree, but I don't think a kid of 19 should get the essential death penalty of life without the possibility of parole no matter how heinous his crime. Who among us is the same person he was at 19?

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Judas Was a Democrat.

To legalize is to galvanize, to completely cover and coat the cannabis culture with lawyers, politicians, and the many agencies of enforcement.

Now the real crime wave begins. Home invasion by the opportunistic thugs will seem like a mild risk compared to the shock and awe of neoliberal economics that’s about to turn the Emerald Triangle into a failed state. Business as usual in the land of ruthless capitalism, requires the destruction of the modest and the small. Wealth and power always ruin agriculture with their agri-agro-business model.

Legalization has now given the cowards who feared the realities of being outlaws, the green light to dig their greedy grubby hands into the pot pie. Now mass production will be the order of the day and mass production always leads to slavery and environmental spoil. What were you green rush fools thinking? Pie in the sky with CBD frosting! Monster trucks but no books. Strut about town with your dreads and brats and tats. Well good luck now. Maybe you can sell your fuel hog truck and your silicone boobs.

Best of Luck,

Ross Dendy


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To Douglas Chouteau,

In death, as in life, your “Dougisms” continue to whisper in our ears. May you travel in peace and may you know that you are sorely missed.

Judy Sperling

Fort Bragg

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Dear AVA,

As you know, my grandfather, Homer Mannix, started the AVA all those years ago. So I do appreciate freedom of the press and all the AVA does for the community and its readership. But you sir, Mr. McEwen, are compromising the integrity of the paper itself. I don't know if you are uninformed or purposely trying to snub me in your articles that twist details, embellish truths and report errors as factual.

Here's some truth worth noting:

There were two people in the house who did not answer the door when police were knocking loudly to serve a welfare check. These same people also reported seeing Dennis Boardman alive after I was verified to have been out of the area (via San Francisco Bridge cameras and a Home Depot camera in Southern California with a date and time stamp).

There is a second set of DNA on the murder weapons that does not belong to Dennis Boardman nor myself. It matches neither of our DNA. So some unknown DNA found on the murder weapons used on the decedent remains unverified.

Police did not conduct a thorough initial investigation of the occupants found inside the dwelling or the dwelling itself. There is not a single shred of evidence connecting me to the inside of the house. Most importantly, the person or persons who actually committed this heinous crime are still at large.

It seems to me that you are simply intent on toxifying the jury pool with your shoddy renditions of observable facts. I am compassionate and empathetic. I love Dennis with all my heart and contrary to the belief of some I am innocent of this crime. However, I am not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. Hence the no contest plea to the burglaries and admittance to vehicle theft.

I mean, come on man, at the very least you can do is get the court dates right so that concerned citizens can show up to participate in local government at the right time.

I did not point out all of the inaccurate reporting and individual details you either "misheard" or purposely and falsely reported to make me look bad. You have been embarrassed not only me but my family and loved ones who exist in the very community that your paper serves.

Your job is not to ostracize me and alienate readers from the truth. Your job is to report the facts. My grandfather is no doubt rolling over in his grave.


Caleb Dain Silver


Bruce McEwen replies:

Dear Caleb Silver,

I am not about to argue the merits of your case with you, Caleb. There are several reasons for this, but they are not open for discussion, so you will have to accept that it's just my policy never to do it. Besides, it's the jury you need to convince, not me. 

As for my "shoddy renditions" of "facts" and "truths" anybody who reads the AVA or any other press accounts of your case will be dealt with by the judge and lawyers, and excused for cause. 

You often include in your letters, such as the ones used as evidence against you, that you are "really sweet" and in this letter you stress that "I am compassionate and empathetic." These testimonials seem a bit strained to me, Caleb, almost desperate. How often do we hear people saying such piteous things about themselves? Answer: Only when it's the last thing anyone else would be likely to say about them. 

Also Caleb, whether your grandfather founded the AVA or not, the office of telling me how to do my job did not devolve on you through some kind of primogeniture. You are not my employer and you do not tell me my job description. 

And just for the record, I not only think you murdered Dennis Boardman, but I also sincerely believe there's nothing you'd like better than to take a hammer to the skull of your trusty courthouse correspondent.

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I’d like to call your attention to plans for the Regional Park just east of Fort Bragg. You may remember that several plans have been presented over 20 years; including a golf course, playing fields, hiking and biking paths, and habitat protection. The Regional Park is 586 acres and is owned by the Mendocino Coast Recreation & Parks District, supported by county taxes.

The Plan now being put forward is to convert the entire park into an Off Highway Vehicle Park (OHV Park) with training areas, a campground and a network of OHV trails. Two grants have already been obtained, altho none of the work has been done. An EIR is being prepared with just these activities, none of the recreational activities that were originally proposed or requested by residents.

The Sierra Club feels that designating the entire park as an OHV Park will discourage all other activities and cause unintended destruction of the sensitive habitats (Pygmy Forest and Northern Bishop Pine Forest) as well as threatening sediment pollution of the Newman Gulch headwaters and reservoir. The sensitive habitat areas also include wetlands and a sphagnum bog.

The additional recreation facilities included earlier, playing fields, tennis courts, picnic areas and hiking & bike trails are very important to include more of the local interested public. At the very least, alternative recreation activities should be included in the EIR and Master Plan.

General comments can be sent to the Exec. Director Dan Keys at dkeyes @MCRPD.US, 964-9446, ext. 102

Discussion of the wisdom of converting the Regional Park to an OHV Park can be addressed to the Board of Directors of the Park District, at the same address. If this is not discussed now, the momentum will take it forward, and the park will be lost to the 90% of us who don’t ride off-road vehicles.

Address is Mr. Dan Keyes, District Administrator, Mendocino Coast Recreation and Parks District, 300 South Lincoln Street, Fort Bragg CA 95437. Email to

Thank you for your attention to this important development of our park.

Rixanne Wehren

Sierra Club, Mendocino Group

Coastal Committee

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Liberal hypocrisy on gun control has become unimaginable. What needs to happen is some liberal S.O.B. has to have a home invasion with their wives murdered, their children raped and all their belongings taken because they could not defend themselves. As ugly as it sounds, it needs to happen to get these people off our back and make them realize that it's not the gun's fault, it's the people! People have to be cleared. Everybody should have to go and get a permit like we have for carrying a concealed weapon. They should have to take a test to buy a firearm. If they can't pass the test, they don't get one. I’ve had had a concealed weapon permit for 50 years. I carry one around for self-defense or hoping I could help someone else who was in trouble. But right now I would never lift a finger to help anybody unless it was a friend or my family. The rest of you can go to hell. That's how bad it's become. I'm sorry, but there it is. These people who want to take our guns away are crazy, stupid, dumb sons of bitches.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


One Comment

  1. Joe Hansem March 28, 2018

    Looks like Tai’s co-defendant, Aaron Channel, is set to be released later this year after having served his time; 19 years, 8 months with 15% good time reduction.

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