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Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

It’s Time for a Change in the 3rd District

Four years ago at election time, an old friend said to me, “Johnny’s (Pinches) OK because he will listen to you and bend.” Is that so? One year ago, almost two-thirds of Mendocino County voters turned down Measure A, (rezoning the Masonite site) 70% in John’s hometown, Laytonville. Nevertheless, during a recent interview on KZYX with Norman deVall, John’s response to a county economic development question was his complaint that Measure A was defeated. What? No plan, no ideas, no vision, no understanding of the pitfalls the county faced by a successful Measure A vote? Does John listen? He has never shown any interest in why our county voted no on Measure A. With the Willits Bypass stalled, probably forever, John’s basket of ideas is empty.

Enter Holly Madrigal, a fresh face, holding a college degree in business and economics. Holly opposed Meas­ure A, but began the “Think Local First Program” as Willits City Councilwoman. The Buy Local program has so successfully promoted local business and patronage that Willits sales tax revenues have increased an incredi­ble 8.7% from Spring, 2009, to Spring, 2010. Congratu­lations Holly and Willits!

When CalTrans, through their own failures, lost the Wil­lits Bypass funding, Holly Madrigal immediately came up with a plan to get funding to rework the Willits downtown traffic pattern. Holly is determined to end the miserable Main Street traffic congestion that we all love to hate. CalTrans acknowledged these local improve­ments are needed whether or not the bypass is built..

Holly has a list of achievements while serving Wil­lits: as a member of the Willits Skate Park Board which acquired the funding to build the $750,000.00 skate park; assisting in the acquisition of funds to construct a 422kW DC photovoltaic system, able to cover the entire cost of pumping water at the Willits Water Treatment Plant. This was achieved at almost no cost to the city yet saved thousands of dollars in energy costs. Another Madrigal accomplishment was prioritizing the maintenance of a “rainy day” fund for true city emergencies.

Holly’s brand of dedication and hard work is what we need in the 3rd District and at the county level. Holly is bright, enthusiastic, dedicated, concerned about both environmental and economic sustainability. She is acces­sible, she listens, and she collaborates. When elected Holly plans to maintain frequent local “office hours” in Laytonville and Willits. Join my “old friend” from the beginning of this letter, our family, and so many others who know what kind of representation is best for our district. Vote for Holly Madrigal for 3rd District Supervi­sor. It is time for a change.

Susan Bradley




Letter to the Editor:

I hope 3rd District voters will elect Holly Madrigal to the Board of Supervisors. I’ve watched Holly serve as Mayor and City Councilmember in Willits for several years, and for the past year have worked with her as colleagues on the Coordinating Committee of WELL (Willits Economic Localization).

Holly is intelligent, energetic, dedicated, respectful, and a creative problem-solver. She is also forward-thinking: concerned about making our community and county more self-reliant as the global and national econ­omy are increasingly vulnerable. She would make a superb Supervisor and deserves our votes.


Madge Strong





RE: FPPC Complaint

An email has circulated accusing me of improper con­duct soliciting campaign contributions for Dan Ham­burg’s supervisorial campaign.

These accusations are completely absurd and errone­ous.

I am chair of the Finance Committee for Dan Ham­burg for Supervisor 2010. As such, Dan called me on Monday and related that in order to continue running radio ads, he needed additional funds. He sought my help in raising these funds.

I contacted a small group of Dan's supporters to re­quest contributions, planning that if they agreed to make a pledge, I would get back to them later with details such as the official name of the payee, the address to send checks, etc.

Campaign finance law allows for pledges of funds to candidates.

John Schaeffer




Special to the AVA:

Regarding “All the luxury of home,” (AVA letters, 10/20/10):

I find it appalling that you would glorify such behav­ior by publishing Alan Graham's article.

As a law-abiding citizen and a taxpayer it is offen­sive that this character would rub in my face all the luxuries of home at the county jail on my dime.

I understand the argument that his crimes are victim­less infractions.

But that is simply not true. I know him very well. He is a dirty, nasty, confrontational, unstable individual. It is just a matter of time before he goes over the edge and takes others with him.

“Catch and release” isn't working for him or for the community he harasses. They need to catch this “stinky fish” and put him out of our misery.

Name Withheld

Mendocino County




‘You’re fired!’

If you hired an employee and later learned that they were charging many thousands of dollars on your credit card to the point that you were virtually bankrupt, what would you do with that person? Most people answer, “Fire them.” Some say, “Prosecute them.” None say, “Reward them.”

Yet every year Mike Thompson, Noreen Evans and Wes Chesbro spend millions and billions of dollars on our taxpayer credit card bankrupting our country and state. Not only can they not balance a budget, they can’t even get budgets passed on time. They are our employ­ees, not benevolent “Godfathers” buying votes with their generosity using our taxpayer credit card. And every two years voters reward them, by sending them back to drive taxpayers deeper and deeper into debt. It’s time we say, “Enough is enough. You’re fired!”

On the November ballot there are strong, fiscally con­servative, citizen-candidates who know the value of a dollar and how to balance a budget: Loren Hanks for Congress, Lawrence Wiesner for State Senate and Karen Brooks for State Assembly.

On November 2nd let’s tell Thompson, Evans and Chesbro, “I have to balance my budget. You have proven for years that you can’t balance yours. You’re fired!”

Fausto Equivel

Member, Mendocino County Republican Central Com­mittee

Fort Bragg



Dear Mr. Sparks,

Your interviews are indeed worth the time it takes to read them. One important, if overlooked, insight they reveal is the casual way so many marriages are formed and dissolved and children conceived and raised. And among those who eventually succeed and become self-supporting, how many go through irresponsible, self-indulgent stages? What are the lessons? Does such behavior help explain the rise of big government and the welfare state?

A Fan

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor:

Since I'm convinced that the greatest threat to life on Earth (arguably already the underlying source of most human conflict) is human overpopulation, for this reason alone (not to speak of all the others), I give my full sup­port to same-sex marriage.


Bill Brundage

Kurtistown, Hawaii



Dear Advertiser,

Well sir Editor, here we are once again after yet an­other year of your great paper that you all send to me free of charge. I truly do appreciate it very much. I enjoy all the stories and editor’s notes and whatnot.

I have been a state prisoner for 32 years and counting now. I am hanging out here at New Folsom State prison. Believe it or not I started this long adventure across the street at Old Folsom 32 years ago. What does that say for our state? They built prisons next to each other. Our state needs more schools and roads and everything else before we need new prisons. Hellfire, I was 20 years old when I made a mistake and have been paying for it for 32 years. They could just kill me and save the taxpayers a lot of money. After 30 years either I learned my lesson or I should be taken out.

Anyhow, I would like to ask for another year of your paper. I still have no money. I have a lawsuit in the courts against prison officers from another prison and so far it looks good for me. If I do win my suit I will buy a subscription to your paper. And yes, I will keep all you taxpayers up to date about my lawsuit because it is the taxpayers who pay when prison officers do wrong.

And here's another shocker: prison officers do wrong as well as most of us sometimes in their life. If they set­tle out of court with me then I will let them go with only $125,000. After taxes and other fees that come along with it, I am asking for half a million dollars. But I want to settle this.

I appreciate your paper. It gives me good reading with my coffee in the morning because I always save that for the morning. It's sad. Back when I started out here when we ran across chomos in our prison we usu­ally stabbed them real good. We don't put up with that kind of crime at all. We have morals and respect too. Keep your hands off old folk, women and kids and do no harm to them. If you are some kind of sick shitbag and do wrong to any of these people or us regular folks like me, well, I will stab them or at least beat them up good. Then they put us in jail for it. There was a time when they didn't do anything to us because sometimes officers had a heart also. They didn't like these criminal shitbags either. But now we go to jail for it.

To all those in the free world, enjoy life and keep safe and be well.


Ricky Ray Keel




Attn: AVA readers:

Did you understand the unique affair when reading letter from Pebbles Trippet the week before last — a sports themed piece? How often does a person like Peb­bles write about anything but the drug culture? If it had not been so realistic it might have been thought to have been written while speedweeding — momentarily taking her into the real world! Don't forget about the possibility of an imposter. That would explain and account for the rarity of such contrasting writing.

What I do know is that the last time Pebbles got to me she asked that I get back to her promptly which I did three times at the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advi­sory Board address and there has been no answer. What is amiss?

Kenneth Johnson




Dear Editor,

Greetings from easy sleazy “I'm constantly depress­ing the plunger"! Actually, it's “in custody drug treat­ment program” and so far so good. They should have had something like this from the beginning.

Instead of us going back to prison for violating parole, we do a 60 day program in a county jail and then complete 30 days at a residential program in our county.

This kind of forces those of us with recovery stuff. But I think people are more receptive to it because we agreed to it and also because they usually chose this three months over doing more time.

I don't know about the other county jail programs, but the cops here in Del Norte are reasonable and we get cable TV and movies for days. The food is decent but the portions are dismal. Another bummer is that there is no access to sunlight. But I don't think there's any sunlight to be accessed around here anyway.

Please send a few issues my way and I promise to send 10 bucks when I get to Ford Street on December 10. Thank you for making a difference in the difference around us.

Penpals can write to me at:

Wayne Campbell,

Del Norte County Jail

650 5th Street, Crescent City, CA 95531

PS. Long live Bigfoot! PPS. Can they legally charge 90¢ for a stamped envelope here?




Swine Country Yuppies Win The Prize

Today I saw a new, deep-throaty mufflered SUV, with the plate MMMWINE.

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa




Support Measure C – it’s for the people.

People seem more interested in what the Board of Supervisors can or can’t do, than what WE can do for one another. Measure C is about the needs of our neigh­bors, our community and our families.

We need to support whatever process will provide funding to nurses, animal shelters, in-home care provid­ers, mental health workers, sheriff deputies and case­workers. The economy is getting worse and we need to be there for one another. It’s terrible but true that during economic decline we see an increase in depression, domestic violence, illness and neglect. Reducing vital services now, when we need them most, is the WRONG answer.

These are real issues effecting real people. Measure C will support the County’s vital services. If just one elderly person can feel safer; if one scared teenager has a safe place to turn; if just one abused child finds safety; than I am happy and proud to have paid a half cent more. This is my community and to be part of it I will do my part. Isn’t this where you choose to live? Vote YES on C, you can make a difference.

Hunter Alexander




Letter to the Editor:

For three years, I worked for Pillar Point Fishing Trips down in Half Moon Bay. When the albacore tuna were running, we would leave Half Moon Bay at ten every night and run up to Richardson's Bay by Sausalito to pick up 12 scoops of live bait. Back out under the Golden Gate Bridge, heading south passed the Farallon Islands on a course for the Guide and Pioneer Sea Mounts, we often ran into a pod of Dall's, black and white porpoises that came to play in our bow wake. They would stack up five and six deep and take turns being pushed along by the compression waves created by our 65-foot party boat. 
 I would take my wooden recorder, lean over the bow flare, and tootle them as they swam alongside playing in our wake-wave. They were fascinated by the notes and rolled on their sides to look up and listen to my music.

It was memories of these highly adapted, beautiful mammals, which robbed me of my sleep. It was the TV footage of these incredibly intelligent mammals, who bear man no harm, raising their heads above this ongoing, man-made, oleaginous, ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that was killing them, that disgusted me and kept me awake.
 Man, the killer-ape with the enlarged brain, is destroying our tiny planet, only 8,000 miles in diameter. We the people seem powerless to stop the corporate onslaught on our little world, done for short-term profit and greed.

Miguel Lanigan

Clearlake Oaks



Dear Editor:

The governor's race is one of those where I wish we had a box for “None of the above.” For me it’s a ques­tion of of voting for either twiddle-dum or twiddle-dummer. it is really a Morton's Fork choice, I worked for the State when Brown was governor and aanother four or eight years with the Jesuit philosopher is really more than one should have to endure. As for the Barbie Doll after making a billion or so running a glorified auction house she apparantly thinks she is qualified to be the first women President of the U. S. To get there she has to earn her spurs by being Governor of California.

Unfortunately, she seems to have an abysmal knowl­edge how the state government works. She acts like the Legislature is a compliant corporate board of directors who don't know to say no. If she wins she is going to be in for a rude awaking. A friend suggested I think about some of the third party candidates. Took a look and there are just a bunch of gadflies and one-spot johnnies. I sup­pose I will have to hold my nose and vote for Brown — the lesser of two evils.

In peace,

James.G. Updegraff





Friends of Enchanted Meadow (FOEM) recently held a fashion show fundraiser.

We would like to thank the stores who contributed clothing, the businesses who contributed food, wine and raffle items and those community members who attended this fun event.

Many of you will remember the Enchanted Meadow uprising of 1992, when the community protested two timber harvest plans proposed for the north side of the Albion river near the “Y” in Little River. Many forest supporters were arrested and named in a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) by Louisiana Pacific Corporation. Today these timber holdings are owned by Mendocino Redwood Company.

As a result of the 1997 litigation settlement and eleven years of rezoning from Timber Production to Open Space, two parcels known as Raven's Call and the Enchanted Meadow Wetlands Sanctuary were created and transferred in 2008 from corporate timber holdings into ownership by two local land trusts.

As part of the lawsuit settlement, FOEM must purchase a ten acre green corridor link, to be named the Albert Cattalini Conservancy. This purchase will link all three sanctuary parcels into one contiguous protected wilderness of approximately 120 acres. This beautiful area may be enjoyed by the community by canoeing or kayaking up the Albion River to the Enchanted Meadow. More info and photos may be seen at

Anyone wishing to contribute to the purchase of the 10 acre green corridor may contact Friends of Enchanted Meadow at PO Box 271, Little River, CA 95456. Donations are tax deductible.

The new conservancy will be named after Albert Cattalini, who moved to Little River in the 1970s. He was an ardent naturalist, lay mycologist and former columnist for the Mendocino Beacon. He was the father of FOEM's founder, Zia Cattalini.

Ellen Athens




To the Editor:

Something Wendy Roberts said has been rattling around in my head for a few weeks, and last night I realized why.

Roberts said she was inspired to run for supervisor as she was riding home after a difficult meeting of the Board of Supervisors. She found herself, she said, sympathizing with the present supervisors and managers in our county.

Didn’t three of the present incumbents do their share to dig us into the hole we’re in? Why would I vote for anyone who sympathized with them? I would not.

I will vote for Dan Hamburg because he has a vision of how to use the strengths of our county to lead us out of our old ways. Those ways no longer work, if they ever did. We need fresh ways of doing the county’s business. And we need new business.

Vote for Dan Hamburg for 5th District Supervisor. Vote for the children. Vote for the future.

Janie Sheppard




Dear Editor:

“I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization. — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)

As ludicrous as it sounds, I too, like paying taxes. When I look around at all the things we have in Mendo­cino County, from necessity to extravagance — so many of these things are possible because they are supported by the taxes we each pay equally. Our County relies on sales tax revenue to provide the second largest portion of its Discretionary Revenue. Many don’t realize the trickle down effects of paying sales tax – they are often out of sight-out of mind.

(Visit restaurants?) Specialty foods/produce you eat are trucked in on County roads. The kitchens are regu­lated by County health inspectors. Building permits and construction are monitored by County building code enforcement .

(Ever dialed 9-1-1?) The County pays over $400,000 a year for dispatch services to ensure someone answers the call for help from your daughter, your parent — your spouse. That professional, reliable Sheriff Dep­uty that helped your son, your neighbor - was just one small element of the County’s vase and diverse public safety services.

(Jails aren’t free) Our jails are over crowded with many ‘out-of-towners’ who use our social workers, mental health clinicians, courts and lawyers. Their fami­lies use our hotels, stores, parks and other services. Measure C ensures they pay for vital services too.

Vote YES on C. We live in a wonderful place that we can all be proud of — help keep it that way.

Andrew Colsen





Well, I am not sure if it was a typo, but I know that gentle person that passed as Dean Pederson. There is no doubt a lot of puzzled friends here regarding his very premature passing, but I knew Dean as an incredibly ver­satile drummer, a genuinely warm person and a man who had his love for family on his sleeve. I have heard a lot of reasons why he might have made this decision, but I want to say that I hold him in much esteem, send him joy drumming in the ethos, and hope that his family can focus on his love and not on the difficult loss. Something went very wrong. We will miss Dean. Yes we will miss him.

I caught your cute comment about the Union’s con­cern about Semi-Smart meters. I realize I have been promoted to Tin Hat level. An honor. Also joining the Major’s tin hat club is the International Association of Firefighters, who discovered that wireless devices are no friends to needed sleep for their forces and signed a document with facts saying that they would not allow such devices on or near their firehouses. Don't read their 24 page document with the virtual facts that vaporize under florescent lights. Powering down from the wireless craze because of health concerns (most referring to the Bioinitiative Report) are Sweden, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Italy, Salzberg (Austria), England, Ireland, and Canada. They have a shortage of aluminum wrap there as 5-10% of the population are electrically sensi­tive. Oncologists, those wacky folks who treat folks, who have various forms of virtual brain and cheek cancers are using pagers and avoiding wireless until they see the truth. Pass out the foil, boys! I am standing on a moun­tain of peer reviewed data that somehow Americans do not believe or do not want to believe is there. It is hard to wear a tin hat with you head in the soil.

It seems that some things that are invisible can hurt us. Strangely, impacts are not linear, if one considers estragenic chemicals (act like estrogen) in cosmetics, kid’s toys, and streams. No impact? Ask those boys that had to have their penises completed, or the all female river cast of fish, the emasculated men of world, or the alligators with tiny gonads.

There is a posthumous Tin Hat award going to Rachel Carson. That lady had some nerve! Strange that scientist didn’t anticipate that hormones that control our bodies with minute drops in our blood streams might do the same thing outside of our bodies. And those stupid moths that can find a fertile female form one molecule of phermone are clearly charlatans! Little tin tri-folds for them.

The naked king’s clothing of the FCC is boldly dis­playing an ugly fact. The wireless industry is convinced the FCC is doing an incredible job and Governments salute it. Americans believe it. Let me tell you, the FCC like the EPA have been overrun, bought out and sold down the river; accepting the rude, obscene, in-our-face gag rule that does not allow us to discuss health based on ‘science’ (and I use the word very loosely,) that is horri­bly inaccurate or more appropriately, myoptic, only looks at the impacts of wireless as a heating device on a 200 pound adult male after a 6 minute exposure. No long term studies! It takes 10 years for a cancer tumor to develop in the brain or jaw of a moderate cell user. Just a few days past, a report said that children have a 2 in 5 chance of developing brain and facial organ cancers, even without the tin hat! Frankly that worries me a lot!

An ingenious study by Swedes of the potential impact of wireless on their population sees tumors, can­cers, lower sperm production, the dumbing-down of their society and ADD behavior in their children. Unlike the tumors this is an instantaneous response. Are you having sleep problems? Power down for a few nights in your wireless enclave and see what happens. How could this be, when this invisible wireless stuff only breaks DNA, messes with calcium in the cell (a key ingredient in cell function,) the blood brain barrier, vision, hearing and causes Parkinson like brain erosion? It is actually beyond the precautionary principle, there is real damage being done. I don’t feel unencumbered to say that it is not just an additive process as layer upon layer of wireless devices are heaped on us. Europeans call it Electrosmog for a good reason. With Smart meters we will be super saturated.

So I recommend before you make the statement that Smart meters probably are only getting rid of jobs, that you check out State Senator Dean Flores’s response to this untested sometimes correct meter that doesn’t get it right and whose response leaves power using victims with huge bills. Only 20,000 silly Tin Hat complaints to outrageous bills when Florez demanded an investigation. A tin hatter no doubt!

Think about us Tin Hatters as your appliance maker contacts you and recommends their new product line, because, well, you are using their appliance in a way that wastes power because PG&E has sold them the data and you down the river of privacy invasion. The Refrigerator may simply scroll a note for you get a new one. Or won­der about the increase in house and business fires, or the strange way home appliances and techno equipment is suddenly failing or a new poltergeist has come into your home, turning on fans and shutting off GFI outlets. At least the fire folks will be rested and clear headed unless they have smart meters and cell phones near their bed­side. “Smart, Intelligent, aware,” often-correct meters have been tested by PG&E in a manner probably very similar to their gas line inspection. Doesn’t that instill confidence? Ever read the little sign on the pump at a gas station? ‘Turn off your cell while fueling up.’

Imagine putting wireless in a gas meter? Seems like a bad idea huh? Unlike the gas station, there are no warn­ings on the meter even though they can stop a pacemaker if you get to close with your implant. It is a B movie based on greed and fiction, and not science.

We Americans continue to lose our basic rights in the land of the Free. Easements are expanding on our homes (that's right our homes not their domain) without our permission and products that worry us are being foisted on us even in our strong dissent. The private walls of our homes are becoming paper thin with gapping wireless holes as big business takes on the Orwellian Big Brother role we thought government might bring. One if by gov­ernment, two if by corporations. It is two lights guys. We are not allowed to talk about health impacts that we can see or feel, and are being document by peer reviewed double blind studies. The media is locked down in the US as Europe is making decisive changes powering down this technology. You got to look for that. It is not in our media.

What kind of crap is that? Is that the way of the future? Lobby out suits and insurance responsibilities so everyone else pays! There is nothing smart about Smart meters except that PG&E will be initially visiting the bank a lot until the lawsuits begin. It’s a shame Tin hats can not protect us from wireless which is invisible, but like cigarette smoke in a bar, everywhere.

Sending a box of Alcoa your way,

Greg Krouse


PS. Petitions to demand a moratorium on installation of Gas and Electric Smart meters are distributed throughout the county.

They can be found at Corners of the Mouth, The Yorkville store, Stores throughout the Anderson Valley, Mendocino and Willits Environmental Center and soon to be found in Hopland at Real Goods. You can get cop­ies at

If you do not want a meter put a sign up on your meters in water proof plastic saying you do not want a Smart Meter installed and take a picture of yourself next to it. Make two copies of the photo and send one to PG&E (AKA piggy) and the other to yourself and do not open it when it arrives. The post mark documents the date you sent it. The three primary reasons to stop the Semi-smart meter installation is that they over-charge, intrude on the privacy of one's home and expose homeowners and rent­ers to dangerous wireless and fire hazards.



Dear Editeur,

As I ever so patiently wait for an issue of the AVA to arrive, I reflect on the performance of our Post Office over the past several months: it seems that around Labor Day or so, the PO's chief obstructionist must have taken a vacation without having sufficiently trained a tempo­rary replacement helper in the finer arts of postal obstruction, because for three straight weeks the AVA arrived as perfectly promptly after printing as anyone could ever reasonably expect or desire.

Imagine the anomaly: The AVA, having been printed on a Wezday, arrived on a Friday for three weeks in a row! That happy run of good luck had never before hap­pened in all of my years of faithful subscribing, because it would usually arrive on a Saturday, and, if not, then surely on the following Monday with few exceptions. But, for three weeks in a row, someone in the post office faithfully executed their task of pushing the AVA out the door almost as fast as it came in. Proving, of course, that it CAN be done — if someone is willing to do it. But, it would seem that few in the PO seem to want to do it in a reasonably timely fashion, especially since the middle of the tainted and illegitimate Bush administration, during which admin delivery of the AVA deteriorated to its pre­sent condition of woeful dysfunction.

Purely willful harassment, I like to think of it, now that the chief obstructionist is well-rested enough to continue his or her taxing job of obstructing the AVA again.

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, Massachusetts



Mighty AVA,

Pornography can be difficult to define, but as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously stated in his 1964 decision, “I know it when I see it.”

The campaign flyers of Congressman Mike Thomp­son pass the test. If your mailbox is like mine, we've been carpet-bombed with the stuff lately. There's a photo of Mike in a classroom, clicking a mouse to fix educa­tion; wearing a vest, outside, to save the environment; taking scissors to a credit card to balance the budget; donning a hardhat to resuscitate industry (it's amazing how hackneyed these political poses have become -- if governing involved nothing more than set design, we'd be in great shape). By the time his I-support-the-troops circular arrived I found myself anticipating scenes of Mikey throwing himself on a live grenade or holding up the severed head of bin Laden.

Mike Thompson isn't saving or fixing anything. He's an entrenched politician of the worst kind, an errand boy for the ruling class, a self-described Blue Dog who gets “fiscally responsible” whenever some public benefit like healthcare or education gets discussed, but has no prob­lem with the astronomical costs of all the excess weap­onry and warring this country propagates on the planet. All you need to know about Mike is that he voted to condemn the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, a commendable effort to investigate Israeli warcrimes. This, to me, is real obscenity.

It is an embarrassment that Mike Thompson has been our congressman the past dozen years. Contrast that bland ignominy with Mendocino County passing the nation's first complete ban on GMOs in 2004, something to truly be proud of. So here's a voting tip for next week: just think of Mike Thompson as a genetically modified organism, long pickled in a foul brine of alcohol and corruption, something to be avoided.

The sad fact is, barring a miracle of the first magni­tude (something akin to Mother Theresa rising from the dead to slap the glass of chardonnay from Mike's mitt), he's going to be re-elected. California's First Congres­sional District is gerrymandered for Democratic domi­nance, such that the Republicans don't even really try. There is no Regressive challenging Mike in the polls, so there is no lesser-of-two-evils dilemma here. Simply put, Thompson doesn't “need” your vote.

The Press Democrat did a good job of presenting the candidates' statements online. Read through them, it's quite illuminating and quickly becomes clear that Carol Wolman is the only one anchored in reality. Mediocre middle managers like Mike Thompson are driving us into a wall. Fox News Kool-Aid drinkers, like Hanks and Rodrigues, suggest we jump off a cliff instead. Neither option is desirable. We need to stop, take a breath, and go in an entirely new direction. A sensible direction. A humane direction. Carol Wolman understands that. Let's start sending people like Carol to the Hill instead.

Mike Kalantarian

Beyond the Deep End (Navarro)




I write to refute statements being spread by Lee Edmundson crediting Dan Hamburg with having pro­tected the Headwaters Forest. Lee, and Hamburg him­self, are also claiming that Hamburg “helped draft” the Mendocino Town Plan and the County’s Coastal Plan. Edmundson and Hamburg are either consciously mis­stating the facts or they’re suffering a serious memory lapse.

My recollection is that Dan Hamburg played no con­structive role drafting either the Coastal Plan or the Mendocino Town Plan. I know from detailed personal knowledge that he had no — zero — input into the suc­cessful Headwaters negotiations. As a Congressman, Hamburg introduced a Bill to buy, by condemnation if necessary, some 80,000 acres of Pacific Lumber land. Most of this was not old growth redwood. The Hamburg Bill went nowhere. Later Senator Dianne Feinstein brought about and nurtured the Headwaters negotiations — in which I participated — resulting in the consensual purchase of about 4500 acres of Pacific Lumber old growth forest by the state and federal governments. Frank Riggs, Hamburg’s successor, obtained money for north coast towns and signed the agreement.

With pen in hand, let me also deny a rumor I’ve heard that I am Wendy Roberts’ campaign Chairman. If I lived in the 5th District I would vote for Wendy because (1) she is too smart to hire an apolitical person like me as her campaign chairman, (2) more importantly, she has and will devote the talent and effort necessary to be an excellent supervisor; and (3) because I think Dan Ham­burg is lazy, unreliable, and a law-breaker. These are serious times; we need serious people to be our Supervi­sors.

Jared G. Carter





I believe Dan Hamburg is the person we need as the next supervisor in the 5th District.

His qualifications alone make the case: intelligence, extensive experience and deep-rooted knowledge of Mendocino County — its problems and its promise.

But a more fundamental reason to vote for Dan is his grasp of the larger predicament we're in. This is no ordi­nary economic fluctuation. It is a turning point. There is no “return to normal” We are just beginning a ride on the rapids of a radical shift away from business as usual. Dan understands that the present turmoil is the logical result of how we've been doing business and we simply can't go back to the illusory smooth waters we've taken for granted.

It won't be an easy ride and there is no roadmap, so we will need leaders who can help navigate a new course for the County. Dan brings the capacity and commitment to engage people at the “grass-shoots” level — the peo­ple who are actually doing the work of building a re­newed local food economy, developing genuine energy alternatives, taking care of communities on shoestring budgets, teaching the young ones, or maintaining county services even as the budgetary ax falls.

Nearly a year of watching Dan campaign convinces me that he's the supervisor we need for the 5th District.

Doug Mosel

Anderson Valley



Letter to the Editor

Candidate Dan Hamburg boasts of his “experience” twenty and thirty years ago as evidence of his fitness for office. What about that experience, really? He did no more than author a bill which went no where. His Head­waters Bill was not even supported by the Save the Redwoods League, nor voted on by the Senate. Dan claims to have helped draft the Mendocino Town Plan. Those who did write the plan, Grail Dawson, Barry Cusick, and Rod Jones, however, have said Dan had nothing to do with the plan other than to, perhaps, vote on it while a supervisor.

Here’s what Dan really did do while “serving” the public. As Ukiah planning commissioner, he wanted to bulldoze Vichy Springs, a 150 year old resort and treas­ure trove of historic buildings including 3 of the oldest in Ukiah. In Dan’s words, “Vichy Springs should be bull­dozed. The buildings are all old and in poor shape and the land should be cleared and returned to cattle grazing. When I drive by, I want to see cattle grazing, not those old buildings.” If Dan had really been involved in the Mendocino Town Plan, the town would surely look quite different today.

Even though the State of CA granted State Landmark status to Vichy Springs Resort in 1988, Dan continued to fight against it. In 1991, he sued the county to return the zoning to rangeland which would have effectively put the resort out of business and prevented the preservation of the old structures. Dan’s attorney agreed to a settle­ment that left the resort in Historic Resort Overlay zon­ing.

Dan’s anti-development stance seems to be applied selectively. When Dan’s friends, including John Schaeffer, needed to legalize the Greenfield Ranch sub­division, Dan helped create a class K to legalize the non-code and non-permitted homes all over the ranch.

If Hamburg wants to claim twenty and thirty year old experience, he ought to describe it more honestly.

Barbara Rice




Editor (of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat):

Dan Hamburg is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he authored the Headwaters Forest Act that saved more than 3,000 acres of old-growth redwoods. Hamburg is also a former supervisor in Mendocino County, where he helped draft the county's general plan and local coastal land-use plan, as well as the Mendocino town plan. Of the two candidates for 5th District supervisor, Hamburg is clearly the best qualified in terms of experience. This is the time when knowledgeable leadership counts more than anything. Mendocino County needs (and deserves) Dan Hamburg as 5th District supervisor.

Lee Edmundson





The disinformation campaign conducted by one of Dan Hamburg’s kitchen cabinet (which Hamburg says will continue to advise him if elected) goes too far. A letter being circulated by a Lee Edmundson, who signs himself as from Mendocino, claims Hamburg’s Head­waters Forest Act saved 3000 acres of old growth and credits Hamburg with helping draft the Mendocino Town Plan. Three thousand acres of old-growth redwoods? Mendocino town plan? Mendocino?

Fact: The Headwaters Forest Act was never enacted. It passed the House, but was never brought to a vote in the Senate. Any basic civics test reveals that enactment of a bill requires passage through both House and Sen­ate. The best testimony to Hamburg’s effectiveness in the House is that after a single term, he lost to a conser­vative Republican ... in the 1st District! Conclusion: Mr. Hamburg saved not a single tree (ultimately, Feinstein’s and Riggs’ efforts did).

Fact: Written records and CAC members (e.g., Grail Dawson; Barry Cusick; David Jones) confirm that Ham­burg never attended any meeting or participated in any CAC discussion, let alone “helped draft” the Mendocino Town Plan. Conclusion: Perhaps Hamburg was chan­neling his input.

Fact: In spite of how he signs himself, Edmundson - like Hamburg - is not a resident of Mendocino, nor even of the coastal zone.

Conclusion: Mr. Edmundson is attempting to present himself and Hamburg as exemplars of Mendocino values … and it just ain’t so.

Deduction: This is a time when honesty and integrity count more than anything. Mendocino County needs Wendy Roberts as 5th District Supervisor.

Don Roberts,




To the Editor:

I would like to correct Supervisor Pinches's errone­ous belief, expressed at a recent forum, that $126 million spent on a Willits bypass project would have a multiplier (i.e., circulating) effect of six times $126 million in benefits to the local economy. Mr. Pinches estimated that as a billion dollars for Willits.

Point one, six time $126 million is $756 million, not the billion Pinches claimed, even if the six-time multi­plier effect were true, and it is grossly wrong. A problem of $244 million that isn't there but he said it is.

Point two, the freeway's capital outlay, the vast pro­portion of the funding, goes right into the ground and does not make a dime. So we are talking about a far lower sum. The likely recipients would be gravel quar­ries and imported wage-earning construction workers who might support local supermarkets, which are already out of town businesses; local landlords, who would raise their rents and price out locals; and local bars and liquor discount stores, most of which are not locally owned anyway. So let's say local lunch and dinner businesses might benefit for a time before the workers vamoose, a pittance compared to Pinches' billion dollars. In return, schools and other services would be artificially over­loaded, creating a further burden on permanent home­owners and taxpayers. They would have to deal with the damage after the construction workers move on.

Point three, and most importantly, Supervisor Pinches' six-multiplier figure applies only to locally owned businesses and resident purchasers, when people buy and sell to each other. Apparently he has not heard WELL or the Willits Chamber of Commerce, which for years have advocated shopping and investing locally. Building a huge road, like building a huge bomb, on the pretext that it will benefit locals, is a ruse and a false­hood. The highest defense component multiplier effect is generally recognized as .8, the multiplier effect during World War II, under conditions of a war economy. The profits went elsewhere then and they still do.

To conclude, in a single knowledgeable-sounding sen­tence, Mr. Pinches has demonstrated to his constitu­ency what misinformation can happen when arrogance, ignorance, and a glib tongue meet up in the brain of a 3rd District Supervisor seeking re-election. This isn't the first sign of incompetence. He was satisfied to support a mega-mall ruse in Ukiah, even when the people them­selves didn't want it, because of its exploitive effects exactly similar to a freeway project here. He favored a large-scale housing subdivision there, when water was unavailable to support it. He continues to speak for a biomass plant, when twenty years ago even the Willits City Council was able to see through a glass darkly that it was a poisonous cynical rip-off. His opponent Holly Madrigal is far superior as a public servant and an honest representative, but Mr. Pinches may yet win simply because people are entertained by his pretense of being a plain speakin' cowpoke. I hope they have more sense.

William Ray

Willits California




I read recently that Sonoma State College finally, after ten years from the time they started and the costs going from $15 million projected at the start to $120 million, that there is still more to do to finish the Green Music Center Concert Hall. Outcome: A great music center for the people who get a good paying job and a big ego trip for President Arminana.

On the other hand it took piles of money to build and now to maintain with the school constantly raising tui­tion which lowers the amount of students who can attend Sonoma State.

Because of those constant raises in the cost of educa­tion, many students graduate with huge student debt, making them desperate people who then do desperate things. I always had the strange notion that schools were here to teach efficiently and economically various differ­ent subjects.

I don’t know how much it costs and exactly how much time it took to put two extra lanes through Santa Rosa, but it seems they were there forever, something like the new approach to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The contractor who put two extra lanes from Windsor to Santa Rosa finished it a whole year ahead of time. He started in early 2009 and finished it this year. I read where he saved the state some $70 million and made himself a bundle of dough. When that gas truck turned over on the Oakland freeway a year or so ago and the fire wrecked that part of the freeway, it was also repaired in record time and that contractor made a bundle of dough.

My point here is that any builder knows that when a project is done quickly (and correctly) the outcome is that the contractor makes more money, the Government who is doing the project saves money and the general public gets more for their bucks.

Now, when government people get involved in these projects the way to make money is to make the job last as long as possible and that’s what has been happening as per the first part of this article about Sonoma State College.

Since there is no accountability, these unbelievable fraudulent projects are everywhere. The outcome of these is there is the constant request for more taxes, fees, fines, bail, whatever they want to call them.

Mendocino County’s latest is the proposed sales/use tax. Martha Stewart went to jail for lying. Bernie Madoff is spending the rest of his life in jail for lying and here the people who wrote this ballot measure plus the people who allowed it to go forward will get away with it because they are government.

Every time we vote for any taxes, which is con­stantly, we dig ourselves into a deeper hole. There are a whole bunch of countries out there — China, India, Bra­zil, Chili, to name a few — who are in the stage we were in 30 years ago when we were that King of the Hill pro­ductive economy. China just finished a 600-mile train track that is the fastest in the world at over 200 miles per hour. A new type of track over all kinds of terrain. We can’t even put a train between Cloverdale and Larkspur on a right of way that’s already there. The biggest villain is us, with every new tax we pass.

When the worker runs the company in this case the government, we are in big trouble. Since we are all greedy, including me, they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs to get at all the eggs. But alas, the eggs are only golden when the goose makes them. End of Goose. End of golden eggs. End of King of the Hill.

Emil Rossi


PS. Sonoma State has 8900 students and 1500 employ­ees. That’s about six students to each employee.




Dan Hamburg walks his talk. Hamburg opposes the privatized process, the Marine Life Protection Act Ini­tiative, which takes away people’s access to sustainable food from public ocean waters. We need Dan Hamburg in government to help defend our Constitution and laws from being controlled by private foundations that want offshore oil drilling and ocean industrialization.

John Lewallen

Mendocino Sea Vegetable Co.





Praise Jeebus!

And J. Biro spake yet further unto the multitude, “Brothers and Sisters! Mighty Jeebus has granted our most heartfelt prayers! The Giants are in the World Series! Praise Jeebus! Jeebus IS Lord! Remember ye the Miracle of Labor Day! Cast aside vexatious doubt! Curse ye not the painful path to Victory in His Holy Name! Wherefore, pray ye now, doubling and redoubling songs of praise to Jeebus! Have ye faith and more faith! Pray ye that Mighty Jeebus will choose the Giants as most worthy of His Blessing! Pray ye that the Texas Rangers, that cabal of satanists, be shamefully returned to their deserved hell, the State of Texas! Know ye not, O Believers, how evilly this franchise deserted the innocent young fans of Washington DC, whereby their hearts were broken for the second time in a decade by the malign greed of Owners? Curse the Rangers into perpe­tuity for their deathless sin! And know ye not, O Fans, that the Texas Rangers were the personal team of that cretinous ape, George W. Bush, the driller of dry holes in the desert, whose desperate family and friends elevated him to great wealth by their manipulation of public financing in establishing the fortunes of this baseball club? The same George W. Bush who along with all of his party and half of the opposition, fell into bin Laden's clever trap, whereby the country is suffering terrible wounds whose bleeding is yet unstanched? A thousand thousand curses upon George W. Bush and the Texas Rangers! May Jeebus send them to rot in the lowest pit of hell forever! Wherefore now, pray ye for Righteous­ness! Pray ye for Truth and Justice! Pray ye unceasingly to Jeebus that THE GIANTS WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES! Pray! Pray hard!”

J. Biro

Santa Rosa




At the DA candidate forum held on October 22nd, Candidate David Eyster criticized District Attorney Meredith Lintott for taking over a year to reduce the charges against my brother, Aaron Vargas, from first-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, and he pointed out that her handling of the case brought nega­tive national media attention on Mendocino County.

Lintott responded by stating that I made the national media my “go-to thing” and that I received “quite a bit of attention for that.” She went on to say that the public keeps hearing that McNeill was a serial child molester, but that “many of the facts that were put on the website [] were false.” She stated that the [police] reports “were not there” and that there were “one or two [victims] but not the twelve that they put out there.” Then she brought up cases involving my father and other brother and stated “this family had problems other than the molest of this young man.” As if those unrelated cases had a lot of bearing on how she chose to prosecute Aaron.

First, I’d like to say that my national media “go-to thing” was, and is, about ending the silence of child sexual abuse. My brother was silent about his abuse, as most victims are, for 20 years. He broke his silence the day he was arrested, then he was silenced by a judge at the DA’s request, so I became Aaron’s voice – a voice that speaks truth and exposes injustices. The truth is that about a dozen of McNeill’s victims did come for­ward. Several of them agreed to sign sworn statements detailing their abuse, which were given to the DA along with a report that a victim filed with the FBPD in 2001. The Assistant DA stated publicly that their office received letters directly from several other victims, one of whom was a relative of McNeill’s and was raped when she was about 4-years-old. So, I’m wondering if our DA is not familiar with Aaron’s case or if she bla­tantly lied to the public.

I’m saddened that Lintott would bring erroneous information into Aaron’s case, some of which has no bearing, and I’m disgusted that she continues to defend a pedophile and to downplay the horrific abuse that he has inflicted upon so many — abuse which has destroyed entire families and has resulted in suicides. It speaks volumes to her character.  Her statements vali­date the necessity of making these cases public and exposing how and why our legal system often fails to protect children from predators like McNeill.

Mindy Galliani,





I come to this podium today because I feel I must defend my reputation and myself. I am being tried in the court of public opinion and I feel that none of you even know me. So I’m going to tell you something about myself so you will know who I am and what I’m about.

I am the eldest of four siblings and both my parents worked and were active in the community. My mom worked as a nurse and advocated for nurses and com­munity health issues at all levels of government. My father was a self- taught engineer and put himself through engineering school and worked as an Instru­mentation Engineer all over the world.  He was the Park and Recreation Commissioner for the town of Corte Madera for 25 years. He was my Boy Scout leader, and later Girl Scout leader when my sisters came of age, because no woman would step up to the job at that time. He also was the head of the Central Marin Sanitation District for many years.

I chose to enter the building trades at the young age of 19. Now I don’t have a college degree but I have a PhD in the school of hard knocks. I started, run, and maintain my own construction company with no help or handouts from anyone or from the government. I myself am a lover of the outdoors and the ocean. I’m an Eagle Scout, bicycle/hiking advocate, and a concerned citizen who cares very much about this town. That is why I ran for council.

I, unlike some of my detractors, went through the legal process, ran in an election, and was elected (although somewhat by default because the candidate who got one more vote than I did was disqualified by the rules) I therefore was appointed to the council and sworn to an oath to uphold the interest of the CITY. An oath I take very seriously and whole-heartedly.

Now I ‘ve heard rumors that Lauren and I are hav­ing an affair, that I’m doing Bill Hay’s bidding, and that I’m somehow involved in a conspiracy to take advan­tage of the City and my position in it.

Well I’m telling you in no uncertain terms that this is not true. I love my wife of almost 21 years very much, and I’ve never in those years been with anyone else nor do I have a desire to do so. I am not doing Bill Hayes, or anyone else’s bidding. I am doing what I believe to be in the best interest of the City: well planned, smart growth, bicycle and hiking paths, and things for kids and families to do in town. Equal opportunity for all, fair and level, even handed imple­mentation of the laws, rules, codes, statutes, ordinances and resolutions. As far as there being a conspiracy amongst the current council, I believe that we are acting in the best interest of the City and for anyone who takes the job of council member seriously, when put in our situation, knowing what we know, would reach the same conclusion.

Now if you out there calling me down, think that you can do a better j ob and you all don’t like what I’m doing, then have the guts to implement proper proce­dures, do your recall and put forth your agenda accord­ing to the rules, and quit trying to conduct the City’s business in the court of opinion, on the internet and in the BAR! I’m ashamed of the behavior of some citi­zens, of the dragging of people’s personal lives and per­sonal choices in to the conduct of City business.

Hey you all, we’re only human and doing the best job we know how. This is a damned thankless job that I’m doing to the best of my ability and if you all think you can do better then bring it on. But know this: if you succeed in carrying out your agenda and remove me from office, I’m not going away. I will continue to be involved. I will continue to do what I think is right and I will do my best to make sure that whoever replaces me will carry out their duties properly, fairly and with a level playing field for all. If you feel the need to express your first amendment rights, I suggest that you go to the ICO. They don’t seem too concerned with the facts or the truth. I don’t feel that the council chambers is the place to carry on the kangaroo court of slander, innu­endo and misguided opinion. My phone number is in the blue book.

I remain as always your humble servant,

Joe Riboli, Public Works Commissioner

Point Arena

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