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Letters to the Editor



Patriotism versus liberals —

A few years ago I was wearing one of my patriotic ball caps. It had a symbol of an American bald eagle with a United States flag on the bill which read “land of the free.” I was shopping at Safeway when a woman walked up to me and called me a war monger. Well, I was stunned. I smiled at her and asked her why she thought I was a war monger? She indicated by the cap I was wearing and I told her there is nothing on my cap with any military insignia. I asked if she was a liberal. She said yes. I asked her why she hated our country? She said that she did not hate our country and I politely told her that she did hate America just by calling me a war monger or wearing a cap that showed the love of my country.

I have a simple question to liberals: if you love your country by wearing patriotic hats, T-shirts that have American flags or eagles, does this make you a war monger? This got me to thinking of what is happening now regarding the liberal attitudes towards patriotism. Most liberals really hate their country and they go to great lengths to hide it. Many liberals including President Obama believe that our country is bad and needs pun­ishment for its sins for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also believe that former President George W. Bush was the problem for restarting the war. After 911, he had enough. Bush and our liberal Congress including Sena­tors Hillary Clinton and John Kerry supported the presi­dent in his decision to take out Saddam Hussein. When the war became unpopular, they blamed Bush, which really shows liberals’ true colors as hypocrites.

Liberals believe that our Constitution is outdated and it needs to be rewritten. President Obama believes that our US Constitution is flawed, therefore, he lied when he took the oath of office of the President. When Obama took that oath on January 20, 2009, the elected president said, “I will defend the Constitution of the United States.” If Obama truly believes the Constitution is flawed then he committed perjury. I also took a similar oath to defend our Constitution when I joined the United States Navy for I would have sacrificed my life or my country and its freedom for I am proud to have served.

Another point. Liberals love and admire people like the Cuban president Fidel and Raul Castro, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who are Communist dictators and terrorist murderers. Liberals put down our founding fathers is being racist slaveowners. A great man like our first President George Washington or the second President John Adams and third President Thomas Jefferson who risked their lives for the concept of liberty and freedom. These great Christian men and many other founding fathers teach me that without liberty and freedom we are nothing as a people.

It makes me angry when I do show patriotism and lib­erals view me as a war monger, a racist, a homophobe, and many other idiotic labels. Liberals are good at spreading around patriotic subjects by using terms like “I am a pacifist,” so they do not have to make commitments on their liberal values. They believe that our country is evil and in need a punishment for it. I am not a pacifist. I am a patriot who cares about freedom in this country and sometimes it costs blood to hold that freedom and by God liberals dishonor the men and women who have served and are now serving our country for freedom. Liberals, you say: I support the troops and not their mis­sion (Iraq and Afghanistan). Our military needs the sup­port of both and when you do not it is an insult to the military personnel who are sacrificing and defending our freedom. God bless them all.


Richard Thompson




Dear Editor;

Last Monday there was a major development in the Willits Bypass project when CalTrans was not awarded the conditional 404 permit they were seeking from the Army Corps of Engineers. The details and the conse­quences are still being fleshed out. Phil Dow, head of MCOG (Mendocino Council of Governments), said on KYZX radio Monday night that “the bypass is dead.”

In my opinion this development presents an opportu­nity. Our community, along with other local cities and the County of Mendocino, has set aside regional trans­portation funds in the amount of $32 million for the Wil­lits Bypass. $17.3 million of this funding is unencum­bered, although $14 million has been used to purchase the right-of-way for the bypass.

We still have a traffic problem in Willits, no matter what happens in the next ten years. The City of Willits can build an alternative north-south connecting road along Railroad Avenue, plus other traffic solutions, for much less than $17 million. Also, a smaller, cheaper project would likely be able to employ more local con­tractors. The bulk of the jobs for the CalTrans bypass as planned were going to large out-of-town contractors. There is even a chance some of this funding could be allocated for a badly needed Brooktrails second access road.

The residents of the Little Lake Valley deserve a deci­sion. Public planning in the Willits area has been based on the future bypass for the past 50 years. We need to stop waiting for big government to solve our prob­lems. We can petition MCOG to release the regional transportation dollars to fix our traffic. The Willits City Council will discuss a request to release the local bypass funding on the agenda at its Sept. 22nd meeting. I hope citizens will attend this very important meeting and offer their opinions as to how we should move ahead.

Let’s come together as a community and realize this goal, instead of pushing problems into the future that we could deal with right now.

Holly Madrigal, Willits City Council





Elegant at the food bank. I've been called a “Prin­cess,” “Princess Lubominska” friend of Goerthe, Benja­min Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. The title of my second book shall be Lubominska, a redwood tree, tall and heavy with excellent tusks. I have the ravens here. Edgar Allan Poe. I like to laugh with them. And joke in their company. A white blouse embroidered with black silk — coal black silk. My mind brighter than a fresh coined new Mexican quarter. Soft as turquoise lambswool wrapped around my neck. Some sun.

Diana Vance





Much thanks for printing our after action report on the Fifth Annual Rockabilly in the Redwoods Festival. There is absolutely no pre-publicity for the event so the annual report lets people know what they missed even though they didn't know about it in the first place.

Planning for Rockabilly, like the Pasadena Rose Parade, is an all year effort. We are hoping to introduce some rockabilly roots music next year starting with Western swing. Our tiny budget can't cover the likes of Asleep at the Wheel, but we'll round up some obscure Texas swingers who will knock your socks off.

On the home front, I'm proud to announce that my prime 500-pound Oklahoma Razorback, “Sharpie,” was named Grand Champion hog at the Redwood Empire fair this year.

What a thrill! Now I can triple his stud fees. Razor­back breeding is big biz in the Emerald Pentangle since watch hogs are replacing watchdogs in the local pot grows.

The thrifty cartellian plantation growers though, pre­fer assault rifles and shotguns to watchdogs or watch hogs because ammo is cheaper than pet food.

Law enforcement should take note and upgrade their canine for corps to “porcine corps.” A boar razorback will not be immobilized by having a stick shoved down his throat. He’d shred it into toothpicks.

Cartellian plantation guards — except for the ones blown away — seem to evade law enforcement during multi-agency pot raids. That won't happen with razor­backs on the job. Due to their long legs and sleek bodies, razorbacks can glide through brush like sharks swim through water. And the pot perps will be quickly proc­essed leaving nothing but their belt buckles — like the 50s horror flick, “Attack of the Killer Shrews.” That will make law enforcement’s job a lot easier.

Unfortunately, Sharpie was banned from the Red­wood Empire Fair Grand Champions Parade because he wasn't available to be auctioned to the highest bidder. But next year I will enter him in the tractor pull contest to rub their noses in it.

I tried to enter Sharpie in the upcoming Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show in Boonville but the not-so fair honchos demanded an outrageous security deposit.

Sharpie will have his day in the sun, though, since I entered him in the County fair parade where he’d pull a D-9 Cat on a flatbed trailer with me astride the catbird seat wearing an emerald green hardhat and toking a Mist Tulsa bazooka.

Go Hogs!

Knockers up!

Joe Don Mooney


PS. The enclosed bioclips on Wanda Sue Jackson are for your in-house Country and Western musician Bruce McEwen.

PPS. People are shocked when I tell them — face-to-face — that I'm electronically unconnected: no phone, no e-mail, no voicemail, no tweets, no facebook, no iPod, no website, no radio, no TV, no laptop, no desktop. I delib­erately avoid the techno-tar baby treadmill. I'm biologi­cally connected and that's good enough for me.




Back in the 1990s when I ran for US Congress three times in the Libertarian Party, at a meeting the candi­dates were asked what they thought about how much money candidates should be allowed to get from cam­paign donations. When it came to me, I thought a while and said $50 maximum to any candidate or proposal by any individual, company, union or any organization for each election. Since that time and since campaign contri­butions have gone completely out of control, it’s become a big soap opera.

We have to remember that politicians are just plain ordinary people like the rest of us, only worse. Anyone reading this should give some real thought about how far you would go to protect your job or your source of income. In the private work world there is a minimum to think about. If a business is losing money, people lose their jobs or the business goes out of business. Too bad. But the jobs and income are shot.

But government has the power to protect jobs and politicians do just that. To anyone reading this, how far would you lie and cheat to protect your job and income? The US Constitution was created mostly on history with its many protections, mainly on government and politi­cians who would go a long way to protect their jobs and income. Unfortunately, I don’t think campaign contribu­tions were a problem then, as the boob tube and radio were not around yet.

Recently, Congress passed a law limiting campaign contributions but left it possible to contribute up to about $30,000 to the parties (Democrat, Republican, etc.) which was a sham to fool the public into thinking there was campaign finance reform.

Back to the only $50 contribution to any person or organization. I hear people say how can they put on a campaign with only $50 as a limit? There are some 30 or 40 million Republicans or Democrats. If just one or two million gives $50 each, that’s at least $50 to $100 mil­lion. and that’s more than enough to put on a sensible campaign. The smaller the election (State, local, etc.) the less money received but the less needed to campaign with.

What would this do? First of all and most important the candidates would not be obligated to pay off the thousands of things the contributor gave the money for so the winners could legislate for the best interest of the country. Second, first of all is enough. Besides, I would not have to listen to all those political soundbites which it seems if someone says long enough that Mickey Mouse is God, people will believe it. Of course, maybe He is in disguise.

Emil Rossi




Hello Mr. Anderson,

I have been meaning to write to you about an issue that came up a year ago that I thought you might be interested in. You see, I was jailed in the main Solano County Jail a year ago. I was there when the county made changes to the inmate diet, meaning they reduced the amount of food they were giving us without explana­tion. To reduce expenses I assume.

The first day of the switchover consisted of two pieces of bread the size of ladyfinger cookies, a 2x2-inch brownie made from yesterday's left over oatmeal and a packet of koolaid. Lunch remained a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and portion sizes of dinner were of poor quality and drastically reduced in portion size.

All of us were outraged at the changes but we were told by the correction officers that this was something that was not grievable. It wasn't until later that I found out that a company that is contracted to provide a meal service to the prison is also the same company that has a contract to provide the food store (canteen) in the jail. I don't know the terms of the contract but it seems to me that this would be a conflict of interest to provide both contracts to the same company. If the quality or quantity of the meals provided is not up to par the only option is for the inmate to purchase food through the can­teen/store. Someone would have to verify that this is still going on but this is what occurred when I was last there.

Now to the main reason for my letter to you. I'm a first-time offender and so I ask a lot of questions about how things work and why things are the way they are. One of the troubling pieces of information that I came across is that the state spends $48,000 per year per inmate. Isn't that about twice what a teacher makes or in that approximate range? How can it cost so much to babysit an inmate? The California Department of Cor­rections has cut out all of its drug rehabilitation programs and most of its vocational training programs and the adult basic education classes are barely hanging on. So where's the money going?

I can tell you from personal experience that the major­ity of inmates who I have come across have an education level between the third and seventh grade. Most have a drug habit and or a mental disability, and many had just rolled over from juvenile hall to prison. The issues that these people face are not that hard to deal with. Why are they in prison? Since when did we become a society of cowards? Prison should be full of people who commit violent crime — violent crimes — not because they annoy you, not because they act funny or weird and not because they committed just any crime. We know that we pay people — judges, district attor­neys, public defenders and conflict defenders — to use their judgment in sorting these things out. But have you actually seen how the process works in reality? Theoreti­cally, it stands as a beautifully balanced machine. The reality is much dirtier than that.

The problem is that we have an industry that needs to be fed. All of these people are ambitious, they want raises, promotions, and they're more interested in their conviction statistics than they are about what they're doing to the community. That's you, your children and your family — and the taxpayers. There is a compromise that we have to reach before we can move forward. There will always be crime. I repeat, there will always be a crime. What are your priorities? Go ahead, write them down, put them in order and let's write down a percent­age of what we’re willing to spend. Here, I will give you a little bit of help. How about: education, health, reha­bilitation, employment, police, fire, environment, coun­seling, rehab, senior services, transportation, veteran services, youth and teen services. Obviously this is not a comprehensive list. But the point is that what we're doing is not working so let's just stop, refocus on what we want things to look like and let's reprioritize.

I just heard that school funding was going to be cut again. Apparently, because Sacramento has not put a budget in place so that schools can receiving their fund­ing. I have a 12-year old out there. Just like all of you, I want the best for my son and that includes an education or if we want employment, health, safety and education. Please make your voices heard. You're not alone and your feelings are right on. Others depend on you using your voice to say enough is enough!

With love,

Marco Castillo





The slaughter of animals continues in the name of wetland improvement — from Rohnert Park in Mill Valley and Muir Beach.

The decimation continues. Bulldozers, scrapers — the deer stagger, cut off from their daily grazing and salt licks. The lone egret stands vertically on a pile of dirt where a field of pickleweed richly fed him and five oth­ers each day. And non-native trees gave cover and shade.

“We're going to clean all this up,” said the worker as he gestured over the already half decimated marsh.

Now, it is desolate. No killdeer, no egrets, no mar­tins, no raccoons. No hawks, no crustaceans, no bees, no cool breeze. Just a murder of crows atop dirt piles framed by bulldozers and 4 inch plastic fencing.

“Wetland improvement” reads the meticulous sign on a post near hard gravel.

Name withheld





In his recent letter Alan Crow attempts to describe the inhuman conditions to which inmates of the medieval dungeon known as San Quentin State Prison are sub­jected — and does a pretty fair job of it. But no account, however vividly expressed, can come close to portraying the horrifying reality of that place.

He also states that “I can touch both walls in the cell with each of my hands at the same time.” No mean feat, that! But I know what Mr. Crow is trying to say and I must point out that it is a gross exaggeration: an average size man can span the breadth of the typical San Quentin cell using one hand — and one elbow. I’ve done it.

Also, Charlie Manson has not been on death row for decades.

Good luck, Alan.


D.M. Bullock, loyal subscriber





On Norman de Vall’s August 20 public access radio program on KZYX, a man identifying himself as Super­visor David Colfax called in.

He stated that the Mendocino County Grand Jury is dominated by “a bunch of right wing ideologues” who are part of a conspiracy to “get” Supervisor Kendall Smith. This comes as the embarrassing debacle regarding Smith’s falsification of her County expense reports drones on.

It’s interesting that Supervisor Colfax elected to defend his pal Smith by attacking the Grand Jury, a group of citizen volunteers who work without salary while Colfax has long been a proponent of increasing compensation for the Board of Supervisors on which he serves.

He is using a broad brush to smear a diverse group of people rather than address the law, policies and princi­pals that guide the behavior of our elected officials.

Similarly, District Attorney Lintott has been ducking the Smith issue throughout her term. In the end, this has become clear to the public and she is finally being forced, in the heat of a reelection campaign, to take steps to correct the wrong that has been done to the people of this county.

This is a sad chapter in Mendocino County history. Hopefully it will end with the departure of those involved.

Stephen Ward





“Whatever the number, it will be more than any of us can bear.”

—Mayor Guiliani, 9/11/01

If you ask me, WE WON!

But where is the time keeper? And the guy with the yellow card holding up foul?

So far, on August 3, 2010 it’s World Trade Center — clerks: messengers, lawyers, bus boys, firefighters, typ­ists, programmers: less than 3,000.

While the Afghans — poppy farmers, wedding guests, teachers, hairdressers, students, well-diggers: are about 20,000.

17,000 ahead!

Add in Pakistan, Iraq and you pile up more thou­sands!

Look at those brawny young guys running ragged while the coaches frown.

Those referees — who’re those guys, anyway?

All the fans in the stadium, going wild, screaming “knock em dead!

We’re so far ahead it’s hard to remember the score.

How many more minutes are left in this game any­way?

Virginia Sharkey





Find a copy of “Chasing The White Dog” by Max Watman. Read this solid history of illegal booze in America. Then think on the marijuana legalization movement that's going on.

Notice around page 66, when he talks about the his­tory of booze taxation around the civil war. In 1862, the tax on booze was 20¢ a gallon. By the close of the war, the tax was $2 a gallon and rising. As a side note, it becomes quite clear that the majority of taxes we've seen laid on us in the history of America are due to war. If we could all get along, we would have minimal taxation. It's all about war. But I digress.

Legalization via taxation will not give us any relief from the government. They'll quickly tax the weed to the sky; another cash cow for the bureaucrats to cash in on! And you'll have Revenuers (tax men) over the fences, in your house, in your face — growing or not. They want the money!

I don't believe the jails will stay empty long. Instead of growers and major sellers, you'll find the jails full of tax evaders. Think about that: in the history of this country, nobody but nobody escapes the long arm of the tax man for long. Try Al Capone for starters. We'll have a bigger and badder bureaucracy via taxation; more jack-booted federal thugs for everyone!

And beyond all of the above, how can we possibly think that the fed won't come rolling in and start busting everyone and anyone when we legalize it here in Cali­fornia? The fed isn't going to stand by and watch. There will be repercussions. I can't think like a tax man, so for­give me for not stating examples. Just read the history of taxation and alcohol, and you'll surely see that taxation is not the answer for weed.

I say keep it simple. You have a 12' x 12' marked area in your yard. You can grow all you want in that space. Grown by everyone who wants it on a personal level, there'll be so much around the stuff will have little monetary value.

Nobody who’s into growing is going to stop because of legalization. Prices will escalate fast — due to increasing taxes whenever an excuse can be found. And enforcement of those taxes, via the actual taxation and draconian methods resulting in arrest and jail will prolif­erate. Nobody escapes the tax man!

I simply do not want the government involved in any­thing else! What has the government ever been involved in that worked out like it was supposed to? Oh I guess the draft worked out. They got their bodies for the war. But otherwise, what?

Pardon me if this is a bit brief and disjointed. I sim­ply want to throw out some facts that point toward what we should expect, given our history.

I'm voting NO on legalization as it will be presented in November. Taxation is just a ruse to get into our pockets and our lives. You get the tax man involved, you will look back in a few years and wonder why we let him into the picture. I am in favor of putting our troops out in the various national forests during the grow season. It is time to put the cartels and industrial outlaw growers on notice. I have friends around Hayfork. They assure me that the woods around them are no place to go hiking if you value your life.

Name Withheld

Santa Rosa




There’s a crack of the whip

Left in me yet,

I still have a grip

On my wits to set

Another course and be a force

To get more out of this old horse.

* * *

The first two lines, a common saw, are from James Joyce’s novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The saying was spoken by Simon Daedalus, the father of the Artist, Stephen.

Daedalus was a Greek legend, the architect for King Minos of Crete. Daedalus created the labyrinth, a maze, where roamed the Minotaur, a monster — half bull, half man, looking for escape. The Minotaur was the offspring of King Minos’ unfaithful wife and a beautiful bull that Poseidon had given Minos to sacrifice in his honor. Minos thought the bull too beautiful to sacrifice and in anger Poseidon caused Minos’ wife fell to in love with it. The result was the Minotaur, which Minos imprisoned in the labyrinth from which there was no escape. Every nine years, Minos put 14 youths from Athens, 50/50 male/female, into the Labyrinth. There was no escape. And the Minotaur, eternally looking for an escape would eventually run into them in and kill them. The reason for the macabre rituals was because, years before, Minos had sent his son to Athens from Crete for a year abroad. His son went on a hunting trip organized by the King of Athens, and was killed by a dangerous bull. In revenge, King Minos invaded and conquered Athens and told the Athenian ruler he would raze the city to the ground if they did not send him a tribute of 14 youths every 9 years. Minos would put them in the Labyrinth. The King’s son, Theseus, who had been gone from Athens for years and welcomed back a hero, arrived a few days before the next tribute was being sent to Crete. Theseus volunteered to be one of the 14, telling his father he would kill the Minotaur. When the 14 arrived in Crete they were paraded before the inhabitants, and among the spectators was Adriadne, the daughter of Minos. When she saw Theseus, it was love at first sight. She sent for Daedalus, the architect, and asked him to show her how to escape from the Labyrinth. Then she sent for Theseus and told him she’d show him how to escape if he would take her back to Athens and marry her. Theseus had no problem with that. Adriadne gave him a ball of thread to tie to the entrance of the Labyrinth to unwind it as he went through the maze. Not only did Theseus escape with the other 13, he first found the Minotaur and beat it to death with his fists. And they all, plus Adriadne, set sail for Greece.

Daedalus wasn’t so lucky. Minos realized Daedalus, who created the Labyrinth was involved in the escape and imprisoned him and his son, Icarus in the Labyrinth itself, but no ball of thread this time. But Daedalus was a genius. He fashioned wings held together with glue and he and his son escaped the Labyrinth gliding from Crete to Sicily. Except Icarus didn’t make it. He was so high on flying he tried to fly as high as he could go. Despite his father’s warnings, he flew too close to the sun and the heat melted the glue and his wings fell apart and he fell into the sea. (They weren’t very versed in science those days — we all know it gets colder the higher you go.) But Daedalus flew on to Sicily.

150 years ago, Marx wrote that Capitalism wouldn’t be finished until it ran out of tricks. He was obviously right in that regard.

General Bullmoose was a character out of the comic strip, Li’l Abner by Al Capp, who represented the epit­ome of a ruthless capitalist.

The novel by James Joyce from which I got the old saw, “There’s a crack of the whip left in me yet,” is an essay on aesthetics, but is also about “the game” — suc­cess, love, religion. And you’ll never read a more vivid description of Hell than you will in The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

John Wester

San Diego




I would have to guess that Anne Fashauer is a friend of the AVA staff given the two column infomercial she was afforded in the August 25th edition in which she argues that realtor’s marketing powers are beyond those of the average mortal and the services rendered are beyond compare.

It occurs to me that every sub-prime junk loan that was awarded to unfortunates who could not afford them was facilitated by at least one real estate agent. As the market got more unrealistic and properties more over­priced, it was real estate agents who put lipstick on pigs and encouraged bidding wars. Never mind that real estate values were inflated beyond reality. This was not their concern. Their asses are covered. The blackjack dealer is not at fault either.

Real estate agents offer some services and have a place in the real estate market. The paperwork, escrows, and rules of the game can be daunting. But there is no assurance of things working out in either the buyer’s or seller’s favor. Agents are compromised by the deal. They typically do not get compensation for their work without a sale. From my own experience and the experience of millions in foreclosure, many folks were not well served by their agents. I would suggest that an agent’s concerns for the welfare of their client are as limited as a used car salesmen’s.

Sorry about the broad brush. There are surely reputa­ble people in the trade and I assume that Anne Fashauer is one.

Nicholas Pinette




Letters to the Editor:

We'll just elect the status quo.

Subject: Taxation without representation.

If your candidate was a Green Party, Libertarian or Peace and Freedom candidate, which all have ballot access in California, they were prohibited from debating the two millionaire candidates of the one-party, war/corporate, Democrat-Republican Party (“Climate, jobs split Boxer, Fiorina,” SF Chronicle, Sept. 2).

What California will end up with is a million­aire/billionaire senator who will do everything in his or her power to continue the status quo of tax breaks for the wealthy and wage cuts for the workers. The last thing the one-party system wants is a real debate on real issues.

Can't wait for the governor's debate — and California will be stuck with the best governor money can buy.

Cynthia Marcopulos

South San Francisco




Regarding Calvin Walker’s letter complaining about Dan Hamburg and the marijuana garden.

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

This guy planted TWO crops after having, he alleges, been burned out of his share the first time? Fool me once. Smooth move. Calvin, does your elevator go to the top floor?

He admits he's doing all this to scotch Dan's chance to be Fifth District Supervisor. So it's not about ripped off pot at all. It's about politics — last year's growing season was a year ago. Only now does this come out.

Hey, Calvin, you got a med marijuana card? What's your ailment that pot alleviates? Schizophrenia? What did you do when your share was “denied” you? Did you go to a dispensary? Take Dan to small claims to get reimbursement for the money you would have otherwise not had to spend? Why not?

I've got no beef about the way Dan handled the job last time he was Supe. Wendy's silence on this militates against my supporting her. Calvin, you helped me make up my mind. I'll go for Dan one more time. Wendy, all your hard work to become Supe is trashed badly by non­sense like this. With friends like this, you don't need enemies.

Calvin, come down off your cross and join the rest of us. You grow tiresome. Better to let people think you're a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Doug Roycroft

Fort Bragg




This is a road report after returning from my recent trip to Canada. The difference in the number of road signs in Northern Calif. versus Oregon, Washington, and Canada is very significant. CalTrans signage department is polluting our scenic roads with far too many signs. An example of the over abundance of signs is the 14 signs, manual and electronic, on the curve south of Willits just before the downgrade towards Ukiah. I get dizzy and distracted with the numerous signs telling me there is a curve on Hwy 101.

Another form of sign pollution is the redundant signs indicating the overhead feet in an upcoming overpass. There is usually three counting the one on the overpass. Interstate 5 in California as well as other states have no overpass height signs. Another example of way too many signs is the numerous black on yellow arrows on a curve and now there are places with a second layer of these same signs. Electronic signs are popping up all over our roads also and need constant maintenance.

A lot of states have one speed limit for all vehicles from a VW Bug to 18 wheelers and vehicles towing something. In California we have different speed limits with redundant signs constantly telling us about the dif­ferent speeds.

The cost of these redundant and unneeded signs throughout California plus their maintenance deprives schools and other services of much needed funds. It would appear that the CalTrans signage department spends every cent in their budget so it will not get reduced. Write to your representative and CalTrans and tell them how you feel about this waste of tax money and pollution of our scenic highways.

Bob Wilkinson




Letters to the Editor,

James Jay Lee had strong opinions and wanted to tell the world about them. In principle, he was correct. In the way he went about delivering his message he couldn't have been more wrong. It was horrible the way he took workers of the Discovery Channel hostage.

There are not enough of us homo-saps who believe that there are too many of us. We are totally destroying this planet for ourselves and every other form of life — even mineral life. Is the 75 mile long traffic jam in China enough of a sample? How about all the poisoned food recalls?

Mr. Lee had the spirit, too bad he was not more elo­quent. We humans are way over-populating this remote ball of dirt we call home. And, we should curtail science and get back to basic roots, like plants. Hello, Mr. Pope of the Vatican, are you paying attention?

My deepest sympathies go to those at Discovery Chan­nel because of the incident, and the loss of Mr. Lee is a step in the right direction: one less human.

Carl Flach




Letter to the Editor,

Of pot and life after legalization.

As a lifelong Libertarian I support Proposition 19 (Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, currently leading in all major polls). It will put an end to the crime associated with commercial cannabis cultivation, it will provide funds to our local governments, reduce demand on law enforcement and, most important, Prop 19 will reduce government intrusion into folks personal lives. But the passage of Prop 19 will come at a cost.

Cannabis has been a part of our culture for 30 years, over the last 15 years cannabis has become an integral part of our economy to the exclusion of nearly every­thing else.

Clearly the days of cannabis fetching a cash premium for the risks associated with it are numbered thus, so are the days of cannabis being a staple for our local econ­omy. Indeed, even before the passage of Prop 19 the days of easy money growing pot are waning. For proof of this, one needs to look no further than the local head­lines that even Dan Hamburg is currently seeking employment.

We as a community need to decide what we are going to do because we will not do what we've been doing for the last 15 or so years. It simply won't work in a world where commercial farmers are harvesting pot in the Sacramento Valley with combines and it's not sold by the pound but by the bushel or by the carton. There may be some premium for the “family farmed” hand trimmed, boutique pot but just as there are few buyers for $150 dollar bottles of wine so will there be few buyers for $1,000/pound pot in a $1,000/ton world.

Full disclosure: I was a supporter of, and the spokes­person for, Measure B but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Ross H. Liberty




Dear Editor,

Why the Left is Nowhere

Like many of you I lay on my couch and ponder why it is that the Left is nowhere. No message, no platform, no charisma, no leadership, no nothing. Forget for a minute the distinction and difference between the Liber­als and the Progressives. Let’s take a look at the political Left as contrasted to the political Right.

The Left always wants to give the opposition a smat­tering of the benefit of doubt. The Left tries to see things from their point of view. The Left is somewhat open-minded, willing to question its own premises. Any Left­ist worth his or her salt is that way most of the time.

The Right however, is not that way at all, not any of the time. They see their point of view as the only correct view. Any other view is not only un-American, it’s heretical. They never question their own premises; they don’t have to, because their premises remain unstated. They are truisms, sacred truisms, that do not need justifi­cation, having come down from on High.

You, Editor, and your readers, already know that. Nothing new there. But if we look a bit deeper the Left and the Right are light years apart in a fundamental way. The operative word here is the word “nice.” By looking at that word we can see why it is that the Right gets away with lying. They have no illusions about lying. For the Right, lying is a tactic; it is not a moral matter at all. It is a pragmatic, practical, successful tactic, employed wher­ever and whenever the situation demands it. They know they are lying and it bothers them not at all.

The Left, on the other hand, knows that lying is not “nice.” It is wrong, personally and socially and politi­cally not a “nice” thing to do. One of the main tactics of the Nazi Party in Germany was to tell the “Big Lie” over and over again. And it worked. The Left screamed that it was not a nice thing to do, to lie on purpose.

The Left does not resort to the use of that tactic. The Left does not believe that the ends justify the means. The Left believes that the truth will win out if we just have enough patience. Obama does not call out the Right for its outrageous lies. He is, at least nominally, on the Left, and it’s not nice to call others liars in public. The Right has no interest in being politically correct, as does the Left. And being ‘nice’ is a part of political correctness. Heaven help the Liberal who stands up says to Sarah, or Glen, or Rush, or any of the politicos at the top of the Republican dung heap, and says, “You, Sir, are a f — -ing liar.” That’ll be the day.

Lee Simon

Far 'n Away Farm, Virginia




On July 11, 2010, a fire started on our ranch when our tractor lit itself on fire. Calfire, Boonville, and the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded. Their well-organized efforts kept the fire to about three acres of grass, trees and fences. Thanks to them no structures burned. Words cannot express our gratitude for their competent response and assistance.

Although we are thankful for all the Calfire personnel and the Anderson Valley volunteers, we would like to especially thank those who were there that day. They include: Fire Captain Ray Taglio in the spotter plane, Air Tach pilot Bob Devinny, Tanker 90 pilot Colin Rogers, Tanker 91 pilot John Butts, Helicopter 101 pilot and firefighters, the Calfire crews of engine numbers 1161, 1163, and 1115, Calfire person-in-charge Zachary Grieve, and Anderson Valley volunteers Jan Wasson-Smith, Fred Wooley, Jim Minton, Roy Laird, Jack Ridley, Brock Archer, Charlie Paget-Seekins, Don Gowan, Rusty Pronsolino, Judy Long, Garth Long, Kyle Clark, Nick Schwartz, Carlos Espinosa, Sarah McCarter, John Keevan-Lynch and Chief Colin Wilson. We apolo­gize if we have left anyone out.

We would also like to thank David Williams, Gilles d’Aymery and Jan Baughman for their help and concern. Finally we would like to thank Cheryl Schrader of Anderson Valley Rescue for her help in finding out what to do with the baby quail.

We are grateful for our good fortune to live in this community.

Wallen and Elizabeth Summers


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