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Letters (April 11, 2018)

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Dear AVA, 

Regarding my reasons and qualifications for running for the 5th District Supervisor position, I can offer the following background and insights:

Moving to the Little River area with my parents in 1974, (at age 9), our house was just north of the Heritage House on Top o’ the Hill. I attended grammar and middle school in Mendocino. I had the fortunate experience to have several exceptional teachers at the time including Bill Patton, Beth Bell, Jerry Butler and Bob Ayers. Growing up on the coast in the mid-seventies to early eighties was a wondrous time for which I have many fond memories. I witnessed many wonderful things on the coast; staying at the MacCallum House before it was a hotel, still a private residence, with Saturday Evening Post’s with Norman Rockwell covers from 1947 still placed next to the reading chair, the candy counter at Mendosa’s Market after school, Halloween night in Mendocino and cleaning up town the next day, pancakes at the fire station, The Salmon BBQ in Ft. Bragg, where the salmon was actually caught off Ft. Bragg. The Albion People’s fare. The Comptche Volunteer Fire Fighter’s BBQ and Philo and his band playing music. Overnight boat camping on Big River, alone, as an 11 year old kid, trusted by my parents to show good judgement and self-reliance. Fishing off the rocks on the ocean below my house. Visiting my friends living on Navarro ridge and in the Comptche area and sleeping in handmade houses. Being the first class ( 6th grade ) to move into the new grammar school built on Little Lake Road. Marching in the High School band as an 8th grader. Pig hunting with Vietnam Veterans with nothing but dogs and a knife near the old radar station east of Pt. Arena. Going to work with my Dad and learning the trade of ceramic tile and masonry at a young age. This is the Mendocino Coast I loved, and do love.

Moving to Anderson Valley for high school in 1980, I was able to experience a whole new side of Mendocino County. Playing football, usually getting beat by Mendocino during the Boonville Fair. I learned to fly airplanes by participating in the school flight program. Anderson Valley allowed me to learn and work in agriculture and serve as the Future Farmers of America (FFA) President for Mendocino and Lake Counties. Traveling around both counties holding parliamentary style meetings. Nominated to the US Naval Academy my senior year. I graduated in 1983 as a licensed aircraft pilot from that unique school program. Graduating from the University of Utah with a BS in Psychology with a minor in Construction Management completed my education.

Following college I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in the construction industry (1988), working for a firm building high-rise buildings and heavy seismic upgrades of existing multi-story buildings in San Francisco. Experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake (1989), which was good for the seismic retro-fit business. Hired as an estimator for an industrial builder (specializing in manufacturing and refining facilities) in Oakland, I quickly learned about metal roof and wall panel systems. Metal roofing was becoming very popular on public buildings and schools, but my boss at the time didn’t want to pursue that market. So I founded Architectural Metal, Inc. in 1993, age 28.

Since the early years in Mendocino, Anderson Valley and the Bay Area, I now reside in Hopland where I have operated successfully for 25 years, employing 17 fabricators and installers and two office staff. I am a husband and parent, a rancher, vineyard owner and an active member of my community and the County, serving on the Hopland Fire District Board of Directors and the Hopland Municipal Advisory Council.  I am a founding member of the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts, an organization that advocates for improved services from local fire and emergency service providers and to increase funding for these services. I’m honored to work with the current Board of Supervisors on the ad hoc level to provide guidance on Fire/EMS issues within our county. As a county supervisor, I will continue to stress the primary importance of public safety. Having built a successful business, I have the experience to help guide the next generation of business owners to assure their success.

In addition, I will focus on the key issues of economic development, county budget sustainability and reducing pension debt, facilitate real housing solutions, increasing opportunities and mentoring for our youth, and preparing our county response to the challenges of climate change.

Finally, agreeing to step forward to serve our county is a calling that I feel I must answer at a time when our citizens are under stress. Life in Mendocino County has many challenges. I hope to bring practical solutions to these challenges.

I respectfully ask for the vote of the citizens of the 5th District.

David Roderick

Candidate for the 5th District


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Dear AVA,

I received a response from the Northern California Innocence Project. They said they had found a potential conflict of interest and had transferred my "case and [my] entire file" to the California Innocence Project in San Diego. They said I should now direct all correspondence to them. Here is the name and contact information so anyone can contact them if needed.

Kimberly Fernandez, California Innocence Project, California Western School of Law, 225 Cedar St., San Diego, CA 92101

In other efforts, I have discovered a case, People v. Banks, in which federal court ruled that you cannot give LWOP to a defendant under the felony murder rule if that defendant did not actually kill anyone. He got his sentence reduced to 25 to life because they had to remove the special circumstance from his conviction. There is a routine filing now that is used for such cases and as soon as I know more about that I can pass it on to you or it might be worth bringing up to Detective Bailey or Deputy District Attorney Davenport in your dealings with them. If they state they do not oppose such a motion (or point us in the right direction, officially or otherwise), they would go a long way in demonstrating their belief in the unjustness of my sentence.

I never took a deal because, as Ms. Thompson presented them, they all were contingent upon giving testimony against Aaron Channel. I want to know if Deputy District Attorney Davenport or the then District Attorney actually had that proviso on each deal they offered. Since none of them were delivered personally, I have only the unreliable word of Linda Thompson that they were so contingent. If the Deputy District Attorney makes a statement that testimony was not proffered for each deal (or any deal), then I can make a case for ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC), and IAC filings are not time-barred by the court and I can put in a motion for retrial on those grounds.

With the various changes in the law over the past five years I only really need a sentence reduction to 25 to life (which I would stipulate to it this point) to qualify for SB 260, SP 261, and the upcoming AB#(?). All that I require is resentencing under any legal grounds that will remove the special circumstance from my conviction. (People v. Banks accomplishes this.) The only real setback is that I need a lawyer to get it done effectively and in the capitalist American system, money buys freedom and the lack of it ensures literal or figurative imprisonment.

Please look over these options and discuss them with anyone who will listen so we can evaluate whether or not I am on the right track here. It won't take much to get off the ground, but I don't want the engines to give out once we’re in the air.

I got the hard copy of the Dr. Doo comic. Much thanks to Fred Sternkopf for his time and effort.

As an aside, I feel that I am a relatively intelligent individual who has thus far spent his time of incarceration in a positive, productive manner. I pursued education, avoided disciplinary infractions, and accomplished more than a few positive programming goals. I find it disheartening that our society, through the laws it has allowed to be enacted, has labeled me irredeemable based on the fact that I essentially had the wrong friends. In light of recent scientific research, society is beginning to understand the nature of brain development through age 25 and is making great leaps and strides to correct the Neanderthalic ideologies of the past. It is exceptionally unfortunate, however, that they have erroneously decided to exclude individuals sentenced with special circumstances from all the recent legislation. One can only hope that this oversight is soon corrected.

Thank you again for taking the time to assist me in the ways that you can.


Tai Abreu, CDCR# T-61118

High Desert State Prison

Facility A5-215 Upper

P.O. Box 3030

Susanville, CA 96127

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Greetings Mr. Keyes (Coast Parks & Rec District):

I am writing to give you an earful as to how to use the many hundreds of acres off Highway 20 that the Mendocino Coast Parks and Recreation District wants to develop.

Development is a tricky word. It can mean progress, but so often it equates to destruction and habitat loss for those nonhumans who figure into the equation and is not worthy of consideration.

I know that the area in question is home to raptors and owls, as well as a myriad of songbirds. What is more important? People being able to ride machines through the woods at the expense of those species who call that area home? Or developing the area with all species in mind?

ORVs are noisy, polluting and serve only a very small portion of the district’s population. Why in the world should the entire acreage be turned over to their hobby?

Perhaps a baseball field or soccer field, playgrounds for children and picnic areas, something egalitarian in nature. Why should the noise and air pollution trump all other uses?

I would also propose a "pickle ball court," and here is why: I am a tennis player. Recently when the city of Fort Bragg improved the Bainbridge Park area they retained the two tennis courts. But alas, they took one tennis court and striped it for two pickle ball areas, making it nearly impossible for us tennis players to use that court because of all the stripes. We can't figure out when our serves are in or out. Too many lines all over the court. Not fair, and I and several others have complained, but the stripes remain, and for months we have never seen pickle ball players out there. So, a pickle ball court might be a nice addition to all that acreage and we tennis players can get back our courts. There are a lot more tennis players than picklers.

So there you have it -- my thoughts on the usage of all that acreage. Please leave some open space so the owls and raptors can still hunt. And keep in mind that we all don't ride ORVs.

Hope to see you in Casper,

Respectfully submitted,

Louise Mariana


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Dear AVA,

You may remember us from the Navarro store — Ken and Donata Waltz. The following letter was sent to the Frank R. Howard Hospital in Willits. A week or so after I mailed the letter someone call from the hospital but I was not available to take the call. She left a message that they were investigating this "incident" and that they were impressed and were appreciative of the amount of research I've done in sending them information on Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS). I called back and reached her answering machine. We played pattycake for a bit — I'm busy, they are busy. Finally I left a message saying that since we were having a hard time connecting she should e-mail her "findings," and we can figure out how the situation could be remedied. I never received an e-mail and she never called back. So I decided to go to the media about this. I think people should know how heartless this hospital was in the non-treatment and abuse of my husband.


Donata Compa-Waltz


To: Howard Hospital/Adventist Group, 4321 First Street, Willits

To Whom it SHOULD Concern,

My husband, Kenneth R. Waltz, has been treated at your emergency room on four occasions this year (2017), once for a kidney stone and three times for unremitting vomiting and dehydration caused by Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome — not to be confused with Cannabis Hypermesis Syndrome — an unproven theory that does not apply to him as he has had this since he was a child. Ken completely stopped using cannabis for 20 months, involuntarily (Ken was incarcerated for cannabis use for a year and then on probation and tested for eight months while on probation) from March 20, 2012 to the end of October, 2013, with no change that could be attributed to his cessation of cannabis and everything to do with less stress, exercise implementation and good diet implementation and no physical pain or illness during that time — all triggers of his CVS. His attacks lessened in severity and length of time but did not resolve.

Once Ken has entered a vomiting period without being able to abort it at home we have ended up at the hospital emergency room to rehydrate and sedate him so that the cycle is aborted and he is essentially recharged.

The first time I brought Ken to Howard Hospital this year for CVS in Willits I gave staff/nursing protocols for CVS. While admitting Ken, the nurse brought up the theory of CHS. I explained how this was a poorly done study — I've actually read it — while staff has rarely been instructed, apparently, to bring this up, in order, I suppose, to thwart the "drug seekers," as they are so rudely referred to. I asked if she had actually read the study this theory is based upon and her response was, "No." I noted when reading the study that there was no control group.

Ken was treated as per the protocols and though the visit was imperfect, about four hours later Ken began to stop cycling and was sleeping long enough to abort the cycle so he was discharged and I took him home.

The next time we went through the same, but Ken was placed in the hall on a gurney (I think all rooms were full). The nurse bungled his IV prep, causing Ken much pain, mostly due to a bad attitude because, in my opinion, we are adamant about the fact that cannabis use is not the cause of CVS!

The next time I brought Ken to the emergency room for CVS, I dropped him off at the door of the emergency room with a note with his name, my phone number (to call me when he needed to be picked up — it usually takes at least 4-5 hours to get Ken well enough to go home) and his problem written on it because he is barely able to communicate when he is in a CVS attack. When he speaks it comes out garbled, hard to understand. I could not come in because I had to get sleep. I had already been deprived and couldn't continue that way knowing it would be at least four hours. I have pets and barnyard animals to tend to also. I was called by staff a few hours later who left a message that Ken was ready to be discharged. I called back and informed them it would take half an hour to drive there and then I picked him up. Later when he was feeling better he told me the staff/nurses were not understanding of why he was dropped off and felt they were reticent to follow protocol for CVS. They took too long in administering the correct drugs, leaving him in agony for a long time until he finally fell asleep in an agitated state.

I brought Ken in again on October 9 for CVS. I came in with him, afraid they would treat him badly again if I didn't. We went through this same drill about the faulty theory called CHS, explaining the same thing, that it did not apply to Ken even if it was a reality because he has had it since he was a child. It appeared they were onboard and so I told the nurse I was going home. I made sure she had my number to call me when Ken was feeling better. This was Sunday evening — the night of the fires, the windy night.

I went home, went to sleep, woke up at 8 AM and checked my phone — no calls. No news is good news, I thought, he should be sleeping. A few hours later I learned the cell phone towers were down because of the fire. I left immediately for the hospital. I came into the door of the emergency room and a staff member stopped me at the door politely asking who I was there to see. I said, "I dropped my husband off here last night and want to check on him." Suddenly her demeanor changed. She seemed flustered. She said, "Oh, last night? You should check at Admitting," and pointed to the desk through the door — not the emergency room desk, but hospital admitting. But since she seemed befuddled or something I went to the emergency room desk since this is whom I had entrusted Ken to, asking about my husband. They also seemed confused and flustered. Then the first woman again told me to go to admitting. I went there and a woman, not behind a desk, said, "Who are you looking for?" I said, "Ken Waltz." She got this big smile on her face and said, "Oh — he's over there!" She was pointing at the emergency room waiting room. I said, "He is?" I had not seen him when I came in. She then said, "Oh yes! He's lying down over there!" She was again pointing in the general direction of the waiting room and I again said, "He is?!" I walked down, checking between the aisles (by the way, there is no way to lie down, there are metal armrests! Later my husband told me they told him to lid down on the floor there!) I have a witness to this, a friend of mine was there with her husband and saw how badly Ken was being treated. She did not recognize my husband until much later. Anyway, I walked all the way to the bathrooms at the end and he wasn't there. I checked the bathroom and he was not in there. No one was. I walked back to the woman who told me to look there and told her he was not there. She insisted that he was! She then walked backwards towards the waiting room apparently looking for him, as if I can't see or know my own husband! When she got to the bathroom, the door was closed and she said, "Oh, he's probably in there!" I said, "No, I checked," just as a man came out and was not him. She just walked away from me. So I went back to the emergency room desk and again asked, "Where is Ken Waltz?" Suddenly the same woman who told me to look in the waiting room appeared again and said, "Oh, here he is!" — like it was a happy thing! I said, "Where?" She began to walk out of the emergency room door, outside! I followed in amazement, thinking, is he on the bench? She walked around the corner of the building pointing down. I looked to see poor Ken lying in a fetal position in the grass while the ash and smoke swirled all around! The woman, still smirking, left as soon as she made me aware of where he was. I was in shock. All I could do was help him up, allowing him to lean on me as we walked to our car. He was mostly incoherent due to his CVS and whatever treatment/drugs he got. But he was obviously still cycling as I could see his body convulsing and writhing every few minutes. I was fearful of the fire and worried about my grandchildren who live in town. So I left without making a fuss. 

I have been meaning to write this letter since it happened, but I've been so distraught over it, it came hard and finally I'm getting to it. I hope you understand how egregious, unprofessional, rude and inappropriate all of this was! To discharge him in that state to no one, during a fire, was insane and outright indifferent and cruel! I want to sue you! I want you to know that! At the very least you owe him and myself an apology! Your staff needs to be instructed in appropriate professional ethical treatment! They felt justified in doing this because they saw him trying to induce vomiting. This just goes to prove they know nothing really about CVS because this is a known thing that CVS patients do because it stops the pain they feel in their stomach for a minute in which they hope to fall asleep which is pretty much the only way the cycling of CVS stops!

I have included much info for you to look at with notes throughout and perhaps you can start training of doctors and nurses on how to behave toward CVS patients. I have highlighted passages and sentences that I think are relevant. Please get educated!

When Ken was feeling better he told me the doctor kept asking him what meds he needed or wanted. He doesn't really know! SHE is supposed to know! He finally asked for Benadryl because he knew that this is what they had given him before and she said, "Oh well, we are not going to give you that!" What the hell? Why not? Do drug addicts regularly ask for that? This is bigotry!

One more thing, even if Ken’s use of cannabis or sticking his fingers down his throat was causing his symptoms, is that how to care for an obviously sick and distraught human being? If say a person was ailing due to clogged arteries for eating a poor diet and came into the hospital complaining of some symptom, would you demand they leave because after all they are causing their own problems by eating a cookie in your presence? What the hell? Seriously?

I expect a response about this in writing and an appointment to talk to someone personally.

I am totally disappointed in corporate healthcare and quite honestly shocked, angry and dismayed.

Donata Compa-Waltz


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