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Letters (Dec. 19, 2018)

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I've been trying to find support for my view of fairness here, but the issue seems too obscure for politicians or nonprofits to care about. For local dam owners who are faced with crippling new fees, a bit of help now could save valuable natural resources and historical landmarks from an unknown fate and possible destruction. I'm submitting a public comment, and would like others to. But success would probably require a much more organized effort. Can you help me connect with someone who knows how to create that?

Thank You,

Loren Amelang


The California Division of Safety of Dams is proposing to adopt a new fee structure that is disastrously unfair to small but high rural dams. Owners of small dams that are invaluable to wildlife and firefighting helicopters may be forced to abandon or destroy them if they can't get relief from the new fees and flood preparedness requirements.

It is understandable that in the wake of the Oroville scare, the government is anxious to protect the public from floodwater. And it is reasonable that they demand 5% of their operating budget as equal administrative fees from each dam. But billing 95% of their budget according to the height of each dam ignores two important factors:

1. Height of a dam is not the threat, volume of potential flood water is the threat.

2. Dams in narrow upland canyons tend to be high, but narrow, and contain comparatively little water, while a low height dam in a broad flat valley can easily contain 100,000 times as much water.

For the smaller third of all jurisdictional dams, height is inversely related to capacity. Unfortunately for them, the largest one-fourth of dams include some very powerful entities who are paying as little as $0.03 per acre-foot of capacity instead of up to $3000.00 per acre-foot. I'm sure they know how to play the politics of this better than small and private rural dams.

I've illustrated this in the attached chart, which shows 1243 dams sorted by capacity, and the distributions of height, crest length, and proposed fee per acre-foot for each one.

(click to enlarge)

The current law requires the fee to be based "in part" on height. But DSOD has full discretion to decide what part. We need to request that they allocate the fees more fairly, basing a much larger share on capacity — the real threat to public safety. And perhaps we need legislation to force them to bill by capacity.

Annual Fees Regulations - Regular Rulemaking

Currently Open for Public Comment before January 7, 2019

Hearing January 8, 2019, 10 AM, Sacramento

ED NOTE: The chart and relevant links can be found at the ava’s website, Look under Mendocino County Today for 12/12/2018.

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To the Editor:

I would strongly suggest that the issue of loose discarded needle reduction and opioid addiction is addressed with the  highest degree of concern by all of Ukiah, and farther. You already know this. We need to do better. Much better.

San Francisco is supposedly considered to be a role model for the reduction of transmittable diseases for places like Miami and Chicago, who have a far, far worse problem. Eight times worse. (Remind me to not visit there).

And here are the facts, and I quote:

“The status quo on our streets today is simply unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it,” (former Mayor of San Francisco)  Mark Farrell said the other day as he stood on Natoma Street to unveil his new needle cleanup team.

And this:

San Francisco’s streets are so filthy that at least one infectious disease expert has compared the city to some of the dirtiest slums in the world.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city in February, finding giant mounds of trash and food on the majority of streets. At least 100 discarded needles and more than 300 piles of human feces were also found in downtown San Francisco, according to the report.

And this is a model of success?

Or how about these statements!

“According to a San Diego study, one in three police officers will receive an accidental needle-stick with a potentially dirty syringe during their careers, and 28 percent will receive multiple sticks.” vs this one,…Although discarded needles pose a serious health risk to the general public, the Chronicle does note that “there are no known cases of disease from needle sticks in San Francisco.”

The first time that someone close to us, that may be well known, or a child playing in the park contracts HIV, people will start to pay more attention. It is already close to home, and may be in your back yard.

Go look at a map of places where there could be a potential “outbreak” or “epidemic. There are 2 hotspots in California, and one is Lake County.

It should not take this for changes to be made. Loose needle reduction and opioid abuse reduction is paramount!

I would invite Ukiah to look down the road.

You decide what the scenery should look like……

Help to control and reduce loose discarded needles and opioid addiction however you can or you pass this problem on to your children, as long as they don’t get pricked by a bad discarded needle or OD.

Johnny Keyes


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It’s disheartening to see so much litter spread from the north highway ramps in Ukiah south all along Highway 101 to the south end of town.  It’s ugly and presents the worst face of our town to people coming here to visit friends and family over the holidays—or just passing through.  Surely we are better than this.

Can the County Corrections team do their magic and clean up the highway 101 median and shoulders?  Can the rest of us make an effort to not litter and to pick up litter on our own streets and yards so that visitors come away with a positive image of Ukiah?  I hope so.  And kudos to Pacific Outfitters and their team that helps clean up our town.

Suzanne Pletcher


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Mr. Philbrick: you and me at 20 paces? Don't be an ass. I spoke only about defense of family, friends, our homes, our land. We're not looking to our guns like you. The future is coming our way. Your scary fantasies seem limited to macho men fighting it out. Why is that? Is there an age limit or gender exception for those you’ll be lynching from the lampposts? Women and children, our families, and yours, will certainly also die if you destroy the remarkable peace and goodwill we enjoy locally and unleash your KKK troops, or whatever, on our peaceful, mutually respectful community. Do you realize what you are saying, man? You are promoting neighbor against neighbor violence. Are you nuts?

I can imagine how sad it must be for you knowing that your day here is done and gone. If California is so repulsive to you, why don't you move to another state that’s doing better economically or is more fairly run, or perhaps with a better quality of life? 

Good luck with that, and goodbye. Don't write.

John Arnoldt, Armed Liberal

Fort Bragg

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The Unity Club would like to Thank the following for their donations to  our Holiday Bazaar Raffle: Handley Cellars, Gowan's Hard Cider, Wally Hopkins, Meyer Family Cellars, Judy Nelson, Hedgehog Books, Toulouse Winery, Lauren's Restaurant, Philo Ridge, Jack's Valley Store, Ferrington Vineyard, Brutocao Cellars, The Apple Farm, Foursight Winery, Pennyroyal Farm, Husch Vineyards, Beverly Dutra, Shear Elegance, The Puzzle People, A.V. Brewing Company, Boont Berry Farm, Farmhouse Mercantile, Buckhorn Pub, Gowan's Oak Tree, Bewildered Pig, Dolly Pacella, Gypsy Spring, Stella Wells, and Julie Winchester. Your generosity helped make our event a success.   

Elizabeth Dusenberry

Bazaar Chairman, Boonville

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We are supposed to be human beings. We have religion, laws, politics, and other things that we live by. But people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Jerry Brown upset the apple cart about what human beings are supposed to be. Take open borders. People flock to the border at Tijuana to get into California because they know that once they get in they have it made in Jerry Brown's sanctuary state. Free food! Free medical! Driver's license. Food stamps. And much, much more! They drive around and can't even read our street signs or speed limit signs or anything else. DUI. Robbery. Rape. Murder. All kinds of crimes! But here they are and they are safe.

People in Chicago are a bunch of wild animals and the people running it are even worse. We fight wars in other countries but we can’t clean up our own cities? The gangs sit around doing nothing, then they want to go hunting, and they get in their car and see members of another gang and boom boom boom boom, they're dead. They drive off. Then an hour later, they run into members of the other gang and boom boom boom boom, and two or three more are dead. A bunch of wild animals!

New York too. Deblasio, Coumo. Crime almost as bad as Chicago. 

Remember, Chicago and New York are led by Democrats. 

I know you Democrats want open borders so leave the doors open to your house and your car and your garage then go to bed. See what happens. That's open borders for you. 

The billionaires won't help anybody. Millions of dollars in corruption and misplaced funds. Screwdrivers cost $10,000, thumbtacks $6000. Government.

I use foul language a lot because I can't stand liberal Democrats. I have anger and hate for people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer doing whatever they can to stop the border wall. Too bad people like that exist. This could be a good country with a lot of good people.

Liberals have screwed up California too because there are Democrats in charge. Right before your eyes. All our serious problems are because of Democratic leadership. Okay? Get it?

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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I was upset to hear radio stations were taking “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” off of their Christmas playlists. I cut my feminist eye teeth on the revolutionary literature of the 1960s and ’70s. My generation raised our children on books like “Free to be You and Me,” stories that let boys know it’s all right to cry and that girls could be anything they wanted to be. No Barbie dolls, no princes. We taught our daughters to raise their hands, to stand up.

When I hear women now can’t even put up with a 75-year-old song about a man trying to seduce a woman in a snowstorm, I can’t believe it. I hope some of the radio stations resist. Mothers need to embolden their daughters, help them make change. Not like this. It’s just a song.

Janyce Bodeson

Santa Rosa

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To the Editor:

Mendocino County was the crucible for a lot of spooky stuff back in the day. For example, it's well known that the CIA was conducting its LSD "mind control" experiments on patients at the Mendocino State Hospital in Talmage. This led to the CIA's full-blown LSD-mind control program known as MK-Ultra. Even the infamous gangster, Whitey Bulger, was an experimental subject when MK Ultra moved some of its research from Talmage to Alcatraz Prison.

I also believe Jim Jones led MK Ultra's venture into "mass mind control" at The People's Temple, located in Redwood Valley. It was an experiment that eventually led to the mass suicide in Guiana.

I'm further told that the FBI's COINTELPRO had offices in Ukiah, in the area now known as Kings Court Business Park. The Social Security Administration later built an office in the same area. One may regard the area as a federal complex -- the local VA is here, along with offices for undercover FBI and DEA.

Keep in mind, too, that federal law enforcement has long had a keen interest in Mendocino County. Why? Judi Bari, Mike Sweeney, and Darryl Cherney, among others. Law enforcement feared -- rightly or wrongly -- that they were spearheading an eco-terrorist movement, in other words, domestic terrorists.

None other than Pulitzer Prize novelist, Thomas Pynchon, lived incognito in the Anderson Valley for three years, researching and writing a novel about the surreal and dangerous counter-culture movement in Mendocino County. It's called "Vineland". KZYX and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) was coming into own at about this time.

Is it any wonder that some now believe that it's not too weird to think the soon-to-depart GM and Executive Director of KZYX, a mysterious guy named Jeffrey K. Parker, was a CIA asset in China for the 20 years leading up to his two-year tenure at KZYX?

Is it any wonder that some also believe that the longtime chair of MCPB's Board of Directors, another mysterious guy -- David Hopmann -- recruited Jeffrey Parker?

David Hopmann is a former Army intelligence officer and retired partner at the international law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

Among Pillsbury's 20 worldwide offices, three of those offices are located in Shanghai, Beijing, and Taipei. They do a lot of work in China.

Parker worked in Shanghai for 20 years. He purportedly published medical journals. But it's interesting that all those journals are incorporated out of the Cayman Islands. Also, their funding is also shrouded in mystery. China doesn't allow freedom of the press, and the Chinese don't buy advertising in American journals. So who supported Parker in China for 20 years?

Here's where it gets really weird.

My guess is that Jeffrey Parker heard about the job at KZYX from David Hopmann.

Why? Because Parker needed a place to transition. The CIA's intelligence operations fell apart in China in several years ago. A well-publicized breach in 2015 gave Beijing access to thousands of government personnel records, including intelligence contractors. That breach in June 2015 was a hacking operation by China. It was perhaps the largest breach of federal employees’ data, involving at least four million current and former government workers. The Obama administration did not publicly identify Chinese hackers as the culprits because it is difficult to definitively attribute the source of cyberattacks and to back up such an attribution without divulging classified data, but almost certainly the hackers were state-sponsored.

Now, the CIA considers spying in China one of its top priorities, but the country’s extensive security apparatus makes it exceptionally hard for Western spy services to develop sources there.

It was time for Parker to leave China.

Parker actually first applied to be GM at KZYX in 2015 -- a year before he was hired. He didn't get the job. It went to a woman named Lorraine Dechter, who didn't last long. Station politics burned her out. It was then that Parker was hired.

Did David Hopmann bring Parker back?

Incidentally, Pillsbury Law also has offices in Washington, DC, and McClean, VA.

Many national security contractors -- and the federal agencies that hire them --are located in McClean and northern Virginia. Clearly, Pillsbury Law does a lot of national security work.

I wish I could take a look at Hopmann's client list.

Golly Gee Willikers, I wish I could connect the dots.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah CA, MCPB and KZYZ Board of Directors, 2013-2016; Board Treasurer, 2013

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ED REPLY: Easy, Sako, easy Big Champion. I try to keep abreast of the dark side of County history, but this is the first I've heard of acid experiments at the old state hospital at Talmage, but I just listened to an interesting interview by Sarah Reith with J. Holden, who worked at the old state hospital as a psychologist. He confirmed that a LSD experiment was underway there just before the Hospital closed. But it was aimed at helping disturbed persons, not some sinister political project. (LSD studies are again underway as a promising psychiatric tool. Late 60's acid experiments were also undertaken at Stanford where, among others, Ken Kesey, was a hired participant. Alcatraz and the early Whitey Bolger? Never heard that the CIA was involved there. And there's never been any evidence that Rev. Jones was associated with government skullduggery beyond curiosity about his Guyana remove. During the Redwood Summer period the FBI's presence is, and undoubtedly will, remain unconfirmed. But given that they thought Earth First!, elements of, were engaged in "industrial sabotage," which Bari and Cherney were, or at least encouraged, and industrial sabotage being a federal crime, the feds would certainly have been here. I think they operated out of the prior incarnation of the Mendocino Environment Center, and I think Sweeney was their guy and an FBI snitch all the way back to the late 1960s, which is only my as yet unconfirmed opinion. The late John Ross told me he met Pynchon in Trinidad, Humboldt County. As for Parker, Hopmann and the other Gray Ghost, Coate? If tedium were a Deep State conspiracy these boys would certainly be on the suspect list.  


  1. Pat Kittle December 22, 2018


    Don’t be such a baby.

    • Pat Kittle December 22, 2018

      How vitreous of you.

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