Letters (Jan. 5, 2000)

RE: OPERATION PIPELINE

Bruce,

I live in Seattle, and as you know we have turned a corner here. This is real serious stuff. During the Ollie North trials it was accidentally revealed that there was a contingency plan on the books, which Ollie and his friends had drawn up, to suspend the constitution in the case of civil emergency and open the unused military bases for the housing of arrested dissidents — this was to be handled within the framework of FEMA.

Well, guess what — on Tuesday, November 30th, the constitution was suspended and the arrested demonstrators were taken to the unused San Point Naval Air Station, a FEMA base.

And why did the cops just watch those “anarchists breaking windows?” A woman from Mothers Against Police Harassment addressed an emergency City Council Meeting with this observation: they needed a certain amount of ongoing property damage to be able to declare a state of “civil emergency.” And the declaration was necessary to suspend the constitution and declare marshal law, etc.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. Our New Year's Eve celebration at the Seattle Center has been canceled because of possible “terrorism” and another curfew has been declared. They used to say that the 90s would make the 60s look like the 50's. I think they were just a decade off.

Jim
Seattle


TAKING A BATH

Dear Editor,

I'm not fond of Julia Butterfly Hill's deal with Pacific Lumber either (“Julia’s Descent,” AVA 12/22/99), but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to lay into the poor gal who just spent two years up a tree. Nothing's stopping the next person from shinnying right back up there and cutting a better deal. We could all take turns doing a month of time on behalf of the forest while poor Julia finally gets to take a bath.

Sincerely,
Carol Denney
Berkeley


EX-WARRIOR ALL-STARS

Dear Dr. Zack,

I enjoyed your postmodern deconstruction of the Golden State Warriors in last week's issue. Even Valerie Solanis could not spark life into these somnolent spokesmen of consistent mediocrity. Even Naismith himself would blush at their remarkably steady underachievement.

As a former Warriors fan, I marvel at Golden State's uncanny knack for developing young players only to trade them away for terrible replacements. A veritable all star team could be formed by famous Warrior cast-offs: Starting at small forward, Jamaal Wilkes. Starting at center, Robert Parrish. Starting at power forward, Chris Webber. Starting at one guard, Gus Williams. Starting at the second guard, the aforementioned Avery Johnson, with Mario Elie coming off the bench. No doubt there are others whose names I have mercifully consigned to the unconscious.

All the best,
Tor Neilands
Austin, Texas

PS. I enjoyed seeing the AVA staff at Fort Despair and meet meeting the Major for the first time. It was a pleasure to meet the face behind the AVA typesetting and dryly witty CSD reports.

PPS. My compliments on the recent pieces by Fred Martin on the Congressional Research Service. I found these articles to be absolutely fascinating.


ROAD SHOW FOLLOW-UP

Bruce,

Thanks again for making the trip to Sacramento to share your views on the Judi Bari bombing. It was an informative meeting.

I wanted to pass along some info to you regarding the John Brown biography by W.E.B. Du Bois you referenced in the 12/22 AVA.

Some enterprising someone apparently has re-issued the book. M.E. Sharpe re-issued it in 1997. Though still in print, it is on back order.

And it'll set you back: paperback $19.95, hardback $70.95.

Folks can order it directly from the publisher by calling 1-800-541-6563, faxing it to 914/273-2106, or sending it to M.E. Sharpe/80 Business Park Drive/ Armonk, NY 10504. You can also view their stock and order from their website: www.mesharpe.com

Regards,
Richard Hansen
Sacramento


STARBUCKS SURVEY

Editor,

Here are the official results of a pseudo scientific public opinion survey taken at a local Starbucks coffee bar.

The top 10 New Millennium Resolutions:

  1. Forget the body, work on the hair instead.
  2. Less work, more alcohol.
  3. I don’t plan to be around for the next 1000 years.
  4. Reduce my weight 100%
  5. Spend less time on altruism, more time on free XXX websites.
  6. Increase my shoe selection, so I can kick people in theass with style.
  7. Make Pfluggerville a household word.
  8. Spend less time reading, more time watching TV.
  9. Pierce 1000 body parts and connect the holes with kitestring.
  10. Never take loved ones out in public

CUTE KID

Editor,

Happy New Year!

Every Christmas my family receives form-letters from family and friends advising us how they are doing, most of them sort of bragging on themselves. This year we received a delightful piece of writing by our young friend, Wayman Irwin, who I’ve known since he was in diapers. He and his parents moved to San Francisco a few years back, and we’ve kept in touch through occasional visits and phone calls.

Early reports from New Zealand indicate that the much-feared Y2K bug is not presenting much of a problem. I’m sure that somewhere, sometime, there will be a problem, but we’ll muddle through somehow. As we enter the new year, I.m pondering the ways we can ensure our children’s future, and encourage and protect their creativity and growth. Wayman Irwin’s “Millennium Thoughts” gives us a child’s-eye view of the events and issues we adults get worked up over.

Wayman had an assignment to write an essay in school, and he was finding it a chore to sit and scribble out something, he’s just an active kid. So his mother suggested that he just tell her what he wanted to say about the Millennium, and she’d type it up for them as he went along.

It is so sweet and funny that I thought I’d share it with everyone. He certainly has a job at Flatland Magazine whenever he wants one!

Jim Martin, Flatland Books
Fort Bragg

Attached: “Millennium Thoughts,” by Wayman Irwin (age 10)

What’s the big deal? It’s just another year. The only difference is it has three zeros in it. In China, it’s the year Five Thousand and something. In Russia, it’s a higher number than that. Nobody outside the Western World cares about Y2K.

So what if computers break down? We won’t have running water — we’ll have to dig huge holes in the ground. There’ll be no videos and no lights. Big Deal. We might have to build some spaceships and get off this rockball. I’m not looking forward to going to another planet. (By the way, why do NASA’s rockets fail to get past Mars? We managed to get some rock and dust samples once, but I think they disappeared.) Anyhow, I don’t think we should ultimately have to leave; we have a pretty hospitable planet. About 1000 species of animals, or five species per day, go extinct. The ocean rises an inch a year, as do the mountains. 100 years ago, there were no cars, therefore, no gasoline, and species went extinct anyway. Pollution is not the only reason species go extinct. Natural stuff happens, too. Growing was the first sport, then came hunting.

We won’t be the last life form. We’re hardly evolved yet. But what will we evolve into? I have no frickin’ idea. I don’t want to think about it. Do you know that some scientists think that the Earth was formed by a lot of asteroids clotting together?

The best inventions of humans have been brooms, lightbulbs, and microwaves (we don’t own one, but you can blow up eggs in them.) If there were no vehicles, you’d be late for school… or you’d have to live closer. After pizza was invented, cheese was on the rise. In fact, I heard a story about a guy who ate nothing but cheese for two years. Chocolate is important.

I don’t know what the greatest contribution of the last 1000 years is, but Shakespeare was a great poet. He influenced many poets. He wrote Hamlet. I haven’t read it.

Cloning is dangerous. Did you know that that sheep clone is still alive and the original sheep died? Cloning is offensive to nature. Someday, some powerful people might decide to clone themselves. And those clones might become homicidal maniacs, because clones don’t necessarily have the same personalities as the originals. That’s because you can’t clone a mind. If Jesus Christ was alive, He would say: Thy should not clone Thyself!

I think the biggest challenge of the new Millennium is war. I see the same conflicts going on for thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of years (notice that makes 5000 years). Wars are fought by people who want to control the world. The main reason people fight a war is because they’re jealous of other people. And because they want gasoline.

My Millennium message to the world is, therefore, this: MY GOD! DON’T FIGHT WARS ANYMORE.


GREEN WITH ENVY

Folks,

Contrary to a report in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Joe Louis Hoffman has not quit the Green Party. Joe Louis was largely responsible for the signature gathering campaign that qualified the Green Party for the California ballot in 1992. He moved here about a year later to assume the job of business agent for the Service Employees International Union local 707 representing county workers. He ran for fifth district supervisor in 1998, and has served as state Green Party treasurer for the last few years.

Despite his relative maturity in years, Joe has only recently found out that boundless enthusiasm and self confidence leads to endless commitments, and has uncharacteristically begun to budget his energy. He has recently told the state Green Party to find another treasurer, and he passed up running for Mendocino Green party county council.

Joe has said, “I'm still green and I'm still Green.” We expect him to continue in the Green Party of Mendocino as resident.

Tom Wodetzki
Albion


FOLLOW THE MAJOR

Editor,

The US alone just spent “over” $300 BILLION on the doomsday idea of one man in 1974. When he first said that computers would think 2000 meant 1900 there was laughter, and then the media “sheep” took over. As the hype began to roll the government jumped in, much to the delight of the computer programmers. Wonder how it will be played now? Oh, we fixed it all! Come now, this is a government that spends $600 for toilet seats. Will the media and the leaders of the free world rush over it with hardly a word to the next hype job? Probably so and the blind follow faithfully along. Sure makes one wonder.

Thanks. Have a happy and healthy new year, Bruce, and keep The Major in line or try to.

William Floyd
Willits


FOGGY HAL & OTHER EDUCRATS

Bruce,

Is “Foggy” Titen one of MCOE's former “finest”? Am I wrong, or is it true that a fair number of MCOE “educators” have been found guilty of a number of things over the years — several having been sentenced to various terms in the slam? And haven't several former MCOE “educators” been hounded from job to job for a wide variety of scams and unethical conduct?

Well, Mr. Negative, it looks like you were right when you started writing about the educational establishment back in the mid 80's!

Having watched “educators” over the years, whenever I hear somebody say (slobber, drool), “I'm just trying to help the kids,” I know it's time to run like hell.

Have a great New Year.

Jim Rowland
Blythe


ANOTHER INDICATOR

Editor,

It's a borderless world, ecologically, and independently of trade utopian dreams. Wildlife populations drift back and forth across borders all the time, of necessity. Our own species came out of Africa and sprawled far and wide, many millennia before airplanes. Now, mass population produced mass pollution that rides the atmosphere on worldwide tours, and even polar bears carry a freight of toxics in their tissues.

Each country is its own kind indicator species. Below, Thailand. Thailand once was 75-80 forested, but by the 1980s was only about 18 percent forested, which tells you quite a bit about the hope for conservation of the forest-dependent sun bear. What's the new century hold for Thailand? Have a look.

Lance Olsen
Seattle

Attached (BANGKOK POST) January 2, 2000 — LOOKING AHEAD 2000; ENVIRONMENT— “As economy brightens, pollution to get murkier. As consumerism increases, Thais moving back to square one” by Ploenpote Atthakor

A brighter economy may not necessarily be good news for the environment, many leading environmentalists and social critics say.

In fact, most of them see a cloudy picture ahead should the economy pick up, giving rise to consumerism.

Actually, we need no experts to tell us that consumerism has made a comeback. Just look around and one will realize that. An army of red-plate vehicles, limos, city cars and pickups have invaded Bangkok's already jammed streets in just a few months.

A popular Japanese car manufacturer boasted that its sale volume in December hit a 26-month high-the biggest volume ever since the economic collapse in 1997-and more will be sold next year.

Expected sales figures for the year 2000 have been put at over 200,000, should the economy be on track. Roughly, this means more than 16,000 new vehicles will be launched each month.

On the industry front, as a result of the government's strenuous efforts to boost production, many factories which were closed down are switching on their engines again, churning smoke into the sky and emitting discharges into the outer environment. There'll be more solid industrial waste as well.

It is generally agreed among environmentalists that weak state mechanisms for controlling environmental problems will make the issue more complicated in the years to come.

“Kwansuang Atibodhi, a Chulalongkorn lecturer and social activist, said: “The Thai people never learn a lesson. It is apparent that we are close to being in the same situation where we started. We are just repeating the same old mistakes.” The academician said he was skeptical whether the Thai economy will genuinely recover as forecast, citing the country's huge foreign debts. With massive foreign loans to pay back, he said, the country is obliged to hastily make money mainly through intensified export promotion.”

“In so doing, it is likely that we will, just as we have done in the past, tremendously over-exploit our natural resources and ruin our environment further,” he said.

While it was agreed the economic decline contributed a great deal to air quality improvement in city areas due to the slowdown in two major sectors-transportation and construction-such was not the case for the industrial sector, wherein the state of the environment deteriorated.

Penchom Tang of the Campaign for Alternative Industry Network, said most people tended to believe that the environment should be better during bad economic times when many industries come to a halt.

“That is only partially true. The 1997-98 environmental impact assessments (EIA) indicate that the state of the environment did not improve in that period. In fact, it was seen that many factories which managed to maintain their production lines simply failed to follow environmental protection measures. Some factories even switched off their waste water treatment machines to cut costs.” The activist's observations were well-grounded. The Pollution Control Department's 1999 environmental round-up indicated that the state of the environment this past year was hardly different from that in 1998, taking into consideration the complaints filed at the state agency.

“The number of environmental complaints in 1999 was close to what we received in 1998-417 cases,” said Saksit Tridech, the department chief, whose re-appointment as secretary-general of the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning takes effect this month.

Sheer negligence is to blame, he said. “Some factory owners deliberately neglect the law and ignore EIA papers.” Another major cause is that most large-scale projects invested by the state to beat pollution problems like waste water and garbage management facilities, are still under construction. “For this reason, some environmental problems will continue to remain until next year,” Mr. Saksit said.

He too shared the view of social critics that the more the economy boosts consumerism, the more the environment will degrade.

Mr. Saksit pinned his hopes on public participation, saying this would help to significantly curb environmental problems.

In this regard, public participation will be encouraged in every process starting from decision making to problem monitoring.

Another key concept which goes hand in hand with public participation is public awareness.

“It is undeniable that people's environmental awareness has been growing. But they do not have a strong commitment,” said Chalermsak Wanichsombat, chief of the environmental quality promotion department, who has now been named deputy permanent secretary to the Ministry of Science.

Mr. Chalermsak said raising environmental awareness needed time and continuity before it eventually pays off.

“It's extremely difficult to change people's habits. Therefore continuity is a must,” he said.

He pointed out that it took 10 years for a well-disciplined country like Japan to correct people's attitude and behavior in garbage problems.

“People need to see the whole picture systematically. For instance, they need to know what will be gained should an electric bulb be turned off after use. It means more than less electricity charges for a household. It means less natural resources, water or coal, will be used and kept for other activities and new power plants may not be necessary. Correct information is very important, too.” Withayakorn Chiengoon, a lecturer and writer, criticized the educational system which fails to help the people link the problems and causes.

“People know how bad deforestation is for the environment. But they distance themselves from the problem by thinking that they have nothing to do with forest-cutting and, in this sense, they never ruin the environment. At the same time, they continue to carelessly consume paper without realizing that such behavior is a cause of forest loss.”

The government's drive for growth-led development policy is under strong criticism. Mr. Withayakorn joined a number of social critics in endorsing sufficiency and Buddhist economy — the new economic concepts which accentuate sustainability — as a desirable development path. “However, the government fails to do its best to promote self-sufficiency economy. Nor does it think of new economic direction.” Another well-known academician, Preecha Piempongsan, said Thailand should be well receptive of the Buddhist economy concept since people are well acquainted with the Lord Buddha's teachings. “People may forget his teachings sometimes. But it is not too difficult for them to recollect,” he added.

In his opinion, economic activities which cause damages to the environment are unethical and it is necessary that environmental cost, for instance the adverse impact of forest loss on the ecology, as well as social cost be evaluated in a development project.

“Pollution from development activities that causes health problems in the public should also be regarded as a cost in project evaluation,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Preecha said consumerism could be overcome. “There is a growing recognition in the strength of localization and local wisdom in confronting consumerism in the era of globalization. This happens worldwide.” Meanwhile, a high-ranking official at the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board defended the concept of growth in pursuing for the country's development.

Santi Bang-or, NESDB deputy secretary general said growth cannot be overlooked. “What is more desirable, however, is growth with quality,” he said.

Mr. Santi also endorsed the holistic approach in promoting sustainable development.

Moreover, he strongly believed an increase in export should not necessarily lead to environmental degradation with regard to advanced technology which makes value-added production possible and there will be no over-exploitation of the natural resources.

In fact, industrialists will have to be more careful with the environment. This is mainly because environmental issues will be linked with international trade and those who fail to follow environmental guidelines will face trade barriers from international community, he said.


SUBJECT: SEATTLE

Dear Bruce,

If Ken Taylor is correct (AVA, Letters, 12-29) when he says: “What took place in Seattle was not a defeat for the WTO nor was it a victory for Labor,” and I think he is, then I'd like to put in my two cents on the issue. Ken's solution is to replace protestations of the Seattle sort with some sort of individual inner development, “inner peace and love.” Inner peace and love surrounded by outer chaos, war and massive injustice?

My view is that if the Seattle protests were not effective then the action needs analysis with a view to developing a better strategy for fighting global corporate hegemony over our lives. I think this is a fight we must engage in and I think we must do it together.

One of the symptoms that tends to support Ken's judgment is the frustration manifested when top journalistic and investigative talents like Alex Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair are diverted from their main tasks of exposing the crimes of the enemy towards the intra-bickering about the perceived shortcomings of our friends. Yes, anyone who signs on to the battle is a friend, a desperately needed friend, whether or not the decisions of Medea Benjamin, Michael Moore, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, John Sweeney and Nader's various raiders are strictly correct. Had I gone to Seattle I would not have been amongst those who locked arms on the street. But I would have had no problem acknowledging the superior contribution of those engaged in civil disobedience without denigrating the lesser contributions of other protesters. What if the coalition had been better coordinated and succeeded in disrupting the WTO proceedings for the entire week? I think Ken is correct and it wouldn't have made a significant difference for the reasons he cites.

What was accomplished in Seattle? If the goal was to raise the awareness and sensitivity amongst the body politic of who runs our lives behind our backs, then the coalition achieved a magnificent victory and all the organizations and individuals who participated have a right to celebrate. At the same time it is important to recognize that demonstrations alone will not do the job, that other tools and actions are needed. I happen to believe that actions against individual corporations of the type espoused by Saul Alinsky are required. Corporations are not omnipotent and have huge vulnerabilities which can be identified and applied tactically. Globalization might mean that commodities can be made in the third world but, by and large, they have to be sold in the first world. Campaigns against the Gaps and the Nikes, led by youth on the campus, have already demonstrated effectiveness. In my view, these are the actions that need to be expanded and can lead to more generalized victories.

Bernie Feldman
Watsonville

P.S. I wrote this letter before reading Keating's letter in the same issue; any trepidation about the correctness of my position dissolved after reading his letter.


WHAT’S IN THAT CRAP?

To the Editor,

Every day tens of millions of Americans, children and adults, eat genetically-engineered food without their knowledge. A large percentage of processed foods contain these food products — anything containing soybeans, for example. Yet we have no way of knowing, because the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, does not require labeling of these products. What’s worse, they require no pre-market safety testing, or even any notification that these substances are on the shelves. The agency’s dereliction has turned the populace into guinea pigs who unknowingly test the safety of dozens of gene-altered food products.

While this “no testing, no labeling” policy is opposed by the majority of the American population, the FDA dances to the tune called by the large corporations that develop and market these products for their own profit, most notably Monsanto.

Polls show 90% of Americans support labeling and 60% would avoid buying these products if they could identify them. These people have until now been ignored by the bought-off regulators/politicians for the profit of dangerously short-sighted corporations who rushed in to the genetic manipulation field without care for what the public wants, instead relying on advertising to create a demand where none exists.

Industry arguments are transparently false; all products introduced support corporate profits (notably herbicide usage) and do nothing to alleviate hunger (a distribution problem) and at least in one instance have resulted in deaths and injuries when marking an untested product (the L-tryptophan supplement manufactured using genetically-engineered substances).

We must demand that the FDA respond to Democracy, to us. Write to demand a ban until testing shows these products safe and labeled so that we may exercise our right of choice in the marketplace. Comments will be accepted until January 13, 2000, by the following: FDA Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305); 5630 Fishers Lane Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852; Attn: Docket # 99N-4282. Or send to: www.foodsafetynow.org. Phone: Center for Food Safety (202) 547-9359.

John Wozniak
Mendocino


2001

Letters to the Editor,

With my recent letter I attempted to clarify the millennium issue by comparing the calendar to a horse, and I was wrong.

A friend informed me that horses, at least racehorses, all have a year added to their total each January 1st. Horses born in January or December or in between all become 1, 2, etc. at the same time. There was no information of their age designation during those first months, nor was there a clue of the ages of nags or Clydesdales at the Budweiser farm.

But back to the point. The calendar on the AD side did start with January 1, 0001. 1,000 years later another millennium began at January 1st, 1001. The next will begin on January 1, 2001.

On the BC side it began on December 31st, 0001 BC and is listed backwards from there.

I hope you all saved some money and enthusiasm for the real one on December 31, 2000.

Carl Flach
Alameda


REGRESSION, A TRUE STORY

Editor,

I had a wonderful experience on December 22. I drove to Willits (30 miles over the mountain — an hour of hard driving around many curves) to attend a Spiral Dance at the recreation center.

There must have been 200 people gathered in two big circles in a gymnasium-sized room. Old, young, children, women and men were there honoring the Earth, acknowledging our connection to the ancient ones, and the great imbalance suffered by the loss of the Sacred Feminine — and celebrating the return of the light.

We sang the song, “We are the weavers, we are the web, etc.” as we spiraled. It was like Sufi dancing, only a little more alive! I found singing this song to each other, face-to-face, as we passed in the spiral very moving. Our obvious humanity was so apparent. Here was even a man in a wheelchair being pushed along in the spiral. After the dance, as we stood in two large circles along the edges of the room, a performance took place.

A number of women, and men, one by one, came dancing forth, wearing masks of some of the Goddesses, and of the four directions, and of the elements, Fire, Water, Earth and Air. each one danced the energy of the Goddess or Spirit she represented. For example, there was Isis, and Artemis, and the Virgin of Guadalupe, and White Buffalo Woman.

Young girls, beautifully dancing with scarves, enacted some of the spirits. Pan was there, too, doing a humorous dance. A one point, two women with fire coming out from the ends of their fingers, danced in the center of the room! All just local people — amazing. Perhaps Sacred Ritual is returning.

Janie Rezner
Mendocino


HERE COME THE REALTORS

Editor,

On December 16 the Mendocino County Planning Commission held its final meeting of 1999 but left several major items unresolved. Because the commission must conclude unfinished business as well as its regular agenda items, special meetings will be necessary during January and February 2000. Here is an outline of the tentative schedule:

Thursday, January 6, County Administration Center in Ukiah. Major Item. Certification of Final EIR for Solid Waste Systems Taylor Drive transfer station.

Friday, January 7, Mendocino County Fairgrounds Dining Hall in Boonville — continued from December 2. Use Permit Modifications for Robert and Claudia Klindt and Gary and Phyllis Kaliher — Holmes Ranch Subdivision east of Navarro.

Thursday, January 20, in Ukiah — Ukiah Valley Area Plan.

Thursday, February 3, Preston Hall in Mendocino — Rehearing of Coastal Development Use Permit for US Cellular Wireless Corp.

Thursday, February 17, Ukiah — Regular agenda and more time, if necessary, for US Cellular application.

During the coming year the Planning Commission will consider coastal meetings whenever coastal items dominate the agenda; however, the budget for out-of-Ukiah meetings is limited. What the Planning Commission really needs is low-rent meeting halls. If you know of a coastal meeting hall which is free on Thursdays, call Alan Falleri at 463-4281.

Anyone from the public interested in a Planning Commission agenda item can write to the commission at 401 Low Gap Rd., Room 1440, Ukiah, CA 95482, or send a fax to 463-5709 or send email to pbs@co.mendocino.ca.us. Last minute information about agendas can be obtained by calling 463-4281 or 463-4283 or by checking the county’s website: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us.

Nancy Barth, 4th District Planning Commissioner
Fort Bragg


WINE: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

Dear Holmes Ranch Road Residents:

Happy New Millennium!

December 30, 1999 — We trust you have received Bob and Claudia Klindt’s letter of December 17 which summarizes the result of the December 2nd Planning Commission meeting concerning our applications to modify our use permits. We applaud Bob and Claudia’s efforts to organize a forum to resolve the issues brought before the Commission. As we prepare for this meeting and for the follow-up Planning Commission hearing on January 7, we wanted to address some of the issues and correct some misconceptions which have been presented.

In summary, issues among some of the Ranch residents about our application include:

• increased road use

• increased exposure to liability for non-residents’ use of the road

• wholesale only or off-site wine tasting and sales

• quality of life issues

• precedent being set for additional commercial activities.

The following is an attempt to address and suggest remedies for some of these concerns:

Issue: Increased Road Use — In our view and in the view of many of our neighbors most of the road damage is not caused by winery visitors. Rather, road damage is caused by residents who drive too fast and by vehicles transporting construction materials. Secondarily, all commercial activities including vineyards and wineries contribute to some wear and tear on the road. There have been exaggerated claims made about the amount of traffic our winery brings to the Ranch. In fact, our business is very tiny, cyclical and seasonal, and as many of you know, there are many days when we are not even on the property.

In order to more fairly allocate road maintenance costs, we suggest and are prepared to participate in a program which makes additional road maintenance assessments against construction activities and all commercial activities on the Ranch, including vineyards and wineries. It should be possible to come up with reasonable and fair formulas for these assessments. The additional income could be used for increased road maintenance.

Issue: Liability Exposure — A lot of people other than residents use the roads. These include friends and family of residents, construction workers, utility company employees, delivery drivers, home repair persons, plumbing, electrical and water well contractors, as well as vineyard workers and winery visitors. If residents are concerned about liability issues associated with road use by all non-residents, then we suggest the Road Association’s liability policy be doubled from $1 million to $2 million with the premium being paid from the additional revenues generated from the above assessments.

Issue: Wholesale Only or Off-Site Wine Tasting And Retail Sales — Some retail sales for a small winery are essential. To be a successful an all-wholesale operation would require, at a minimum, doubling the production levels of a retail/wholesale operation. Likewise, operation of an off-site tasting facility would be too costly even on a shared basis and, again, would require much greater production levels. Either of these options would force a small operation such as ours to seek higher and higher production levels that would have a greater negative impact on Holmes Ranch residents than would our continued tiny operation with some on-site retail sales.

Issue: Quality Of Life — For many of us living on the Ranch, quality of life means the ability to coexist with neighbors who have a diversity of interests that can be shared with friends in a congenial and tranquil environment. This includes sharing the benefits of living in one of the world’s premier grape growing and wine producing regions. Our vision for our tiny winery has always been founded in images of wineries in the Burgundy region of France where small producers outnumber large operations. They coexist peacefully with residents of small villages who are proud of these vintners. Our operation is clean, neat and attractive, and we have always been considerate of our neighbors. We believe this is illustrated by the kind support for us in this use permit process given by adjoining property owners who are most directly impacted by our operation.

For those people who do not share this vision and believe the Ranch should be only a haven for residential property owners, we can only say that we are sorry they feel the way they do. However, they should be reminded that they are living in an area zoned for multiple uses that include agricultural and winery activities.

Issue: Precedent For Additional Commercial Activities — Although the construction of each new winery requires approval of a Major Use Permit, the only way to completely satisfy the interests of people who do not want additional vineyards and/or wineries on the Holmes Ranch nor in the Anderson Valley is to amend the County’s General Plan, and the CC&Rs for the Ranch. However, and as stated above, this is a premier grape growing region and many people do recognize this as desirable. Perhaps people who find growing grapes and producing wine so distasteful should consider relocating to a purely residential area.

Again our use permit modification would allow for continued retail sales and wine tasting by appointment, which we have conducted for over ten years: two small signs that are currently on the property, and an increase in allowable production from 5,000 gallons (2,103 cases) to 7,500 gallons (3,155 cases). Our vineyard has been here since 1975. The winery has been in operation since 1981. We have been conducting wine tasting and retail sales by appointment for over ten years with a Business License and without any complaints about these activities until recently. During all of these years of operation our business has been permitted by licenses from Mendocino County, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Up until the time one of the Ranch residents took it upon herself to scrutinize our files at the Building Department, without our knowledge, and without first discussing any of her concerns with us, we were totally unaware of a discrepancy in our file that had been laying dormant for 19 years. The Building Department also was not aware of this discrepancy as they repeatedly issued us Business Licenses for retail sales by appointment for all our years of operation.

We find the propensity of certain Holmes Ranch residents to surreptitiously pry into the affairs of neighbors disquieting and very menacing. We believe everyone on this Ranch should be extremely concerned about this type of behavior. Each of you should carefully consider the very real prospect that the next time you, your family, your property or your business could be the victim of this type of scrutiny.

Lastly, we want everyone on the Ranch to know that we have spent the last 13 years of our lives making this tiny operation attractive and something in which both the residents of the Holmes Ranch and the Anderson Valley can take pride. For a tiny family business, without investor backing, the process has been difficult, expensive and taken many personal and financial sacrifices. The level of intensity of opposition to our efforts by some of the Ranch residents is not only disheartening, but, sadly, it gives us pause to recognize why small, family run wineries in California are a dying breed.

In closing, we intend to participate in the Klindt’s proposed mediation session at the Grange on January 4 at 7pm and we will gladly work with you as individuals or in larger groups to achieve the compromises outlined in this letter. You may call us at 895-2920 or email us at pwspn@pacific.net.

Sincerely,
Gary & Phyllis Kaliher
Philo


WERT’S WEAK DIG

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I upset Roger Wert with my suggestion that the US Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, applies in the Branch Davidian matter. I’d like to respond to some of his points. I think this is his position: when faced with the armed force of the federal government, the Branch Davidians should have immediately surrendered. I agree. It was futile and suicidal to resist.

Wert accuses me of misquoting and ignoring the context of his letter. Wert writes: “I never said to avoid the details of the events in Waco. What I said was that the so-called evidence discussed in dispositive terms by certain parties wasn’t compelling enough to me to justify their conspiratorial claims and conclusions. Considering that the evidentiary discussion by this group has been on the level of minute factoid, I suggested that the Left ignore it and avoid falling into the trap of making hyperbolic and unsubstantiated claims.”

Wert sounds reasonable. But this is what he really said in his earlier letter: “The larger questions for those of us on the Left are what would an ideal civil authority do when faced with armed defiance, and how can fools and charlatans be held accountable to this standard? Since these questions are too difficult to answer, Left and Right debate the details and lies of bullet holes, teargas canisters, and puffs of smoke on videotape. So, if that's all anyone has to say about Waco, then in answer to Holland's question, we shouldn't care.” (Emphasis added.)

My interpretation of Wert’s original position is accurate. That is, if all Left and Right can do is debate the “details” of Waco then “we shouldn’t care.” (By “details,” Wert means evidence. Evidence can be tiresome when it gets in the way of prejudice and theory.)

Wert asked, however, what should be the standard of conduct of the “ideal” government, and I suggested the Bill of Rights. Wert responds that “even junior-high level civics and the concept of context are beyond the grasp of absolutists and fringe-fundies like Jock Penn…”

What is absolutist about believing that the law should apply to everyone equally? I’m assuming a “fringe-fundie” is a fundamentalist Christian, who believes the Bible is the revealed truth of an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent god. Wert’s not even close. I’m an atheist who believes everyone has a First Amendment right to practice their own delusions as long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others.

Nothing in my response to Wert implied that the Bill of Rights would protect you when the authorities choose to wrongfully break down your door. Ideally, the Bill of Rights should prevent them from breaking down your door without probable cause. But if they don’t, and you survive, you still have recourse. According to Wert, “The Professor did mention with glee that attorneys are adept at winning civil rights suits against the government…” What I did write, and rather soberly, I thought, was: “As a member of the hard-boiled left, Wert may believe it naive to think that the civil authorities are concerned with the Bill of Rights. Indeed, they generally aren’t, but defense lawyers are, and legal arguments based on the Bill of Rights often work.”

Once again, criminal defense lawyers spend much of their efforts trying to suppress arrests made and evidence gathered in violation of the Bill of Rights. And often successfully.

Wert writes: “Koresh knew full well that hiding behind the First Amendment in his practice of under-age polygamy, usually defined as pedophilia, would be a bigtime loser in the courts. How about you defending that one, Professor?”

How did Wert gain these insights into the thinking and legal strategies of Koresh? Or is he just making them up? Nevertheless, if Koresh was a child molester he was in violation of Texas law, not federal law. In that case it’s up to the local authorities to make the arrest.

Wert accuses me of making a “weak dig” at Noam Chomsky. In fact, it was a , perhaps too subtle, dig at Wert. Wert is obsessed with calling the Branch Davidians deluded and right-wing. Is there an ideological test that must be passed before we become concerned with the rights of others? Is delusion a capital crime? Of course, if you’re an ideologue, if you buy the official demonology, you can shrug your shoulders at the fires of Waco.

Sincerely yours,
Jock Penn
San Rafael


THANK YOU AGAIN

To the Community:

Thank you for your loving support at Rea’s memorial service on December 11, 1999.

Another thank you to community and “family” members who helped the American Legion Auxiliary provide food for all of us.

Barbara Ingram and Family
Boonville


THE HORROR, THE HORROR

Editor,

At a time when many people have given or received gift certificates as part of the holiday season, District Attorney Norman L. Vroman wishes to remind everyone the laws concerning the use of gift certificates.

“It is unlawful to sell a gift certificate containing an expiration date,” explained Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Vogel ,who heads the Civil Division of the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office. Referring to Civil Code section 1749.5 of the laws of California,. Vogel added that “any gift certificate shall be redeemed for cash.”

“This means that if a person has a gift certificate with an expiration date the certificate can still be used after that date. It also means that the gift certificate can be exchanged for cash equal to the value of the certificate,” Vogel said.

There are three exceptions to this law: Gift certificates issued for food; gift certificates given as an award or promotion without money or anything else of value being exchanged by the consumer; or gift certificates sold below face value or volume discount to employers or to nonprofit or charitable organizations for fundraising purposes if the expiration date on those gift certificates is not more than 30 days after the date of sale.

Barry Vogel, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Civil Division
Ukiah


EVIDENCE?

Dear Bruce,

My “sneers at well-paid journalism” are not reflexive. They have been carefully cultivated over the past 35 years, thank you very much. While I do appreciate the occasional article on particle physics, the Macy’s Lingerie ads, and the late, great Peanuts comic strip, most of the information in the mainstream media is either useless or actually harmful.

A perfect example of the “little info on pivotal events” we get occurred during the Rodney King riots. 58 people were killed and “many” more injured. Who were these people? Who killed them? Were they all killed in traffic accidents, or at the hands of supremacists testing their Starlite scopes? 58 people killed on one night in the largest city in the most populous state in the most technologically advanced nation on the planet and nary a word in the corporate media. Or the “left” media, for that matter.

But to cases. I am flattered that my letter got over a column of fine print in response, but you still never provided any concrete evidence that Mr. Sweeney planted the bomb. You claim to have set forth your reasons for believing Mr. Sweeney is guilty, but all I remember reading is attacks on his character, gossip about his personal life, and anecdotal “evidence” that could be applied to almost any serious activist.

When you say you know Mr. Simpson (and Mr. Sweeney) “did it,” you exhibit the same type of subjectivity that makes Americans the laughing stock of the civilized world. The only way you would know who committed either of these crimes is if you were an un-indicted co-conspirator. Unless, of course, you are on the staff of the Psychic Hotline.

Knowledge is information gained by direct experience. A poor second source of information is sworn testimony from “reliable” witnesses. A very distant third source in terms of accuracy, veracity and credibility is “circumstantial” evidence.

I know O.J. Simpson. Based on what I know about him, I don’t think he is capable of killing anyone. I also talked to a (white) San Francisco police officer who worked with Mr. Simpson at the Potrero Hill Youth Center. He told me that based on his personal experiences with O.J. and also with the LAPD, he thought Mr. Simpson was being framed. I also “heard through the grapevine” that someone at Ms. Simpson’s address (Faye Resnick?) and Ron Goldman owed around $100,000 in cocaine debts, and that a four-man hit team was sent to deliver a message to “Hollywood types” that this particular individual was not to be trifled with. Also, I watched every minute of the trial. Based on all of these inputs, I believe Mr. Simpson is innocent. But that is simply my opinion. I don’t know he is innocent any more than you know he or Mr. Sweeney is guilty.

I didn’t know Ms. Bari. I am not a “Bari-ite.” I don’t know Mr. Sweeney. He is not “my little buddy.” Perhaps he is guilty. But I would certainly never come to that conclusion based on the information you have provided.

It is obvious you have strong personal feelings about both parties. It seems to me you have let those feelings affect your objectivity and judgment. I am not so much defending Mr. Sweeney as challenging you to put up or shut up. If you have evidence a crime was committed, you should probably talk to a (gag…choke) lawyer. If you don’t, you shouldn’t disparage Mr. Sweeney, Judi Bari, or especially their children. Fighting among ourselves is what really destroyed whatever chances “the left” had of making any changes in this country.

My theory is that the bomb was placed in Ms. Bari’s car by an out-of-work logger acting on his own initiative. This individual probably had a military or para-military/survivalist background. It is also possible they were working under contract for Big Timber, Little Timber, the FBI, Space Aliens, etc. This seems to be a much more likely scenario than the jealous husband theory.

Sincerely,
Joseph Thomas,
Fort Worth, Texas

PS. I’m sure the only reason Mr. Sweeney hasn’t sued you (yet) is that he knows you don’t have any money. And what’s wrong with “wowing” 18-year-old freshmen? I mean, 18, is the age of consent — am I right?


WHO’S DISSING WHO?

Dear Jeffrey St. Clair:

My letter to the AVA (12/15/99) to which you replied in the 12/22/99 AVA was NOT ABOUT how effective Big Labor’s WTO protest march in Seattle was, or how timely, or how supportive (or not) of the “real protesters” it was.

Nope. My letter was about accurately reporting the facts. Which you did not. In your initial AVA article about the Battle For Seattle, you stated that Big Labor cut a deal and stayed at the Seattle Center, 15-20 blocks away from the real battle. As for the march, you said “it never happened.”

My 12/15/99 AVA letter may have sounded hysterical, but that was only because I could not believe that you would misstate a fact of that magnitude. Tens of thousands (30-50,000, depending on who you ask) did march. A fact that you begrudgingly acknowledge in subsequent AVA and CounterPunch articles.

But you ignored the central point of my letter (and failed to acknowledge any misstatement on your part). Instead you fallaciously cite a litany of Big Labor’s pernicious misdeeds and then accuse me (by virtue of criticizing you?) of defending their behavior.

I thought my original AVA letter made it clear that I wrote to defend only the truth. I stated that I AGREED with your contention that Big Labor is a Big Sellout. And I don’t disagree with any of the charges you level against Sweeney’s Sellouts. Except for that one niggling little detail: you wrote that the AFL-CIO march “never happened.”

When you MISSTATE a fact of that magnitude (claiming that a human river of 30-40,000 people marching through downtown Seattle “never happened”) it not only makes your reporting appear fatuous, it causes readers to lose faith in your ability (or willingness) to accurately represent events. Readers RELY on journalists to AT LEAST GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT. You can add your opinions, conjectures, interpretations or whatever other spin devices you wish — but if you don’t get the facts right, readers quickly learn to distrust you.

Perhaps I should speak for myself. I’ve lost faith in you as an honest journalist. I may continue to find your writing “entertaining” — but no longer will I rely on your reporting to be informative — not unless I fact check you first.

Sincerely,
Dan Pens
Contributing Writer, Prison Legal News
Monroe, Washington

PS. Bruce: I think you “dissed” me, too, when you published my original letter under the heading — What was it, “In Defense of What?” or some other such silly headline that trivialized me? But you’re the editor, I guess you can do that.
Ed note: Take it easy, Dan. Isn’t it just possible that your understanding of “the march” isn’t the same as Mr. St. Clair’s? And shouldn’t you at least acknowledge that possibility before jumping overboard?


WHO IS ALFRED JARRY?

Dear Louis Andaloro,

Thank you for your clever complimentary letter in last week’s AVA. It’s obvious that even though you dwell down in sunny Santa Barbara you have a fix on our theater of the absurd called Mendocino. Alfred Jarry lives!

Stay Strong!
Dr. Doo
Mendocino

PS. I may well take you up on your offer, and use your great metaphor of the rare “Dominant Affinito/Amanita” mushroom.


THE SWEENEY PAPERS

Mr. Joseph Amaturo
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Dear Mr. Amaturo,

You may recall my name from several telephone conversations we had at the time my brother, Kevin, suffered from two heart attacks and passed away.

Dennis Sweeney has told me about your “tremendous help” to him and Kevin’s two daughters in the subsequent months, for which all of the Sweeney family is grateful.

But this letter, alas, is about another matter involving another member of the family, Kevin’s nephew and my son, Michael.

Michael has lived in Santa Rosa and, more recently, in Ukiah for a number of years. He and his late wife, Judi Bari, have come to the attention of Bruce Anderson, editor and publisher of the ANDERSON VALLEY ADVERTISER, a weekly newspaper published in Boonville. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me Mr. Anderson has carried on a campaign of continuing and vigorous criticism of Judi Bari. Since her death he has focused his criticism on Michael.

Unfortunately much of the criticism has been slanderous including allegations of felonious conduct that are completely untrue. All attempts by Michael to protest those statements that have gone outside the boundaries of truth and fair comment have been unsuccessful.

On November 18, 1999, Mr. Anderson and associate, Mary Moore, appeared on a talk radio show on KSRO and repeated his slanderous statements about Michael. Pat Thurston was the hostess. Michael had been forewarned of this appearance of Mr. Anderson and sent a fax to KSRO giving them notice of the slanderous nature of Mr. Anderson’s previous KSRO appearances and of the likelihood of his intention to repeat these slanders on November 19. (See copies of Michael’s letters to KSRO attached.)

Because of your personal reputation for fair dealing I thought it would be appropriate to call your attention to this situation. Neither Michael nor I have any objection to truthful reporting and fair comment. But the kind of statements Mr. Anderson has made — and may make again — are neither true nor fair comment.

I hope you can make time to inquire into this matter and that you can, on the basis of what you learn, give guidance to KSRO people that Amaturo Broadcasting wants no part in spreading slanderous allegations of the kind being made by Bruce Anderson.

Please call me if I can give you any further information.

Sincerely,
Don Sweeney, Attorney at Law
Santa Barbara

Attached: TO: Lawrence Amaturo, Managing Partner, Amaturo Broadcasting. Santa Rosa.

TO: Peggy Mulhall, General Manager, KSRO Radio, 1410 Neotamas Ave. #200 Santa Rosa, CA 95405.

Dear Mr. Amaturo & Ms. Mulhall:

I’ve been told your station intends to put Bruce Anderson and Mary Moore on the air this afternoon to talk about their theories on the Judi Bari bombing case.

Please be advised these individuals are engaged in a slander campaign against me. In numerous instances, they have falsely accused me of criminal acts.

KSRO previously allowed these individuals, I’m told, to slander me on the air.

Allowing your station to be used for these slanderous statements is irresponsible. There is no basis, whatsoever, for the allegations. Anderson and Moore have pressured Norman Vroman, the Mendocino County District Attorney, to take up their cause, and he replied: “You need hard facts, not conjecture, innuendo, speculations, guesses.” (KZYX radio, May 24, 1999)

It would be hard to name two individuals in Northern California with a worse reputation for dishonesty than Anderson and Moore. Nevertheless, your radio host, Pat Thurston, has invited them to use her show, and, even worse, has lent her own name (and the station’s) to Anderson & Moore’s statement making false accusations against me on May 24, 1999 — copy [not] enclosed.

The purpose of this letter is to establish that you were notified, in advance, of these facts. I’ve also [not] enclosed two items you may find interesting — (1) a letter from KZYX radio when it had to make the same decision, and (2) a report of the Khawar libel decision by the California Supreme Court. —

Sincerely, Michael E. Sweeney.


SHERIFF CRAVER’S EXAMPLE

Open letter to the Mendocino County Planning Commission—

The more our rights are threatened, the more we become aware of what our public officials are doing, and more specifically, who in office will protect and/or speak up for us.

It is important that the people of Mendocino County know that their Sheriff, Anthony Craver, does not hesitate to take an immediate, outspoken, public position in defense of our health, safety and rights.

There is no doubt that microwave radiation is dangerous; the only question is how much exposure to allow. The European countries have done scientific tests and studies and have found that exposure over 10 microwatts per cubic centimeter of skin causes damage to people’s health, and have set appropriate limits. The FCC in this country has chosen to ignore this evidence and to allow 100 times as much radiation. That’s right. 1000 microwatts instead of 10. The town of Mendocino does not want its children exposed to this radiation, but US Cellular is suing the county for a permit to put a 15-story tower right next to our schools.

The town of Mendocino is a registered historic town, and we have fought against urban development for decades. This 15-story tower would destroy the historic integrity of the town and is in conflict with the Town Plan, the county zoning codes, and the Coastal Commission Plan. US Cellular is trying to bully their tower onto our town in spite of these laws against it.

So often, when people see other people’s rights being violated, or their freedoms being threatened in some way, they don’t want to get involved. Even though they honor the Constitution and cherish the “American Way,” they fail to see that democracy only works when people are willing to protect other people’s rights as well as their own, that they must stand up for freedom wherever it is being threatened in the country. If we stand by inactive while our neighbors’ rights are being violated, then our neighbors will not help us when the sword of authority turns against us. Democracy only works when all people are ready to protect each other.

In spite of the fact that Sheriff Craver can see the benefits of cellular microwave phone service, he respects our right to protect our children and to maintain the established traditions and historic character of our town. He has heroically come out strongly against this proposed tower location, and spoken out for the rights of the citizens of Mendocino. We ask you to do the same. Please write a short note to the County Planning Commission and send a copy to your Supervisor. We thank you for supporting us in our time of need.

Ken Rice
Mendocino


VINTNERS BEHAVING BADLY, THE SEQUEL

Dear Bruce and Anderson Valley residents,

Back at the Holmes Ranch, things are staggering toward January 7, 2000, and the decision of the County Planning Commission with regard to wine tasting and retail sales on our residential subdivision. (Why the County is even entertaining these major use permits and these activities on private roads is another story…) The letters from these two wineries continue to fly through the mail to the beleaguered residents. Claudia Springs and Pepperwood Springs are now crying mediation and straining to pat themselves on the back at how well they are doing at informing people that commercial intrusion is inevitable here in the Valley.

Meanwhile, the new AAA Wine Tasting Map is out and both of these wineries and prominently displayed in color — showing every idiot with a car and a thirst where Guntly Road and Holmes Ranch Road are located. Right now some tourist in Alabama is planning to cut a swath through the Valley and is including a drive over our PRIVATE roads on his list of “must sees” when in the North Coast Wine Country. Both wineries are currently in violation of their use permits; the county has done nothing to curb the unpermitted uses yet both wineries have the hubris to include themselves in this publication.

(Excuse me a moment while I take off my gloves.)

What part of the issue of NO RETAIL SALES and NO WINE TASTING don’t they understand? Get a grip! Wake up and smell the coffee! Read my lips! These two points are not candidates for mediation. Once these hard issues are decided, then, perhaps, the rest can be discussed and resolved. This map alone underlines their intent to continue doing whatever they want — no matter what decision the Planning Commission or any other governmental body makes — no matter what most of their neighbors think.

It’s noteworthy that the most recent letters to the membership of the Holmes Ranch Association include derogatory remarks about those who oppose them. I understand why the winery people are resorting to allegations and personal attack: When your arguments are specious, attack the messenger. Not once have they stated why they have tasting rooms and retail sales where they are not permitted, except to say that they didn’t know they were in violation of their permits. This is not an argument; this is an excuse. These vintners are trying to devalue the position of their opponents by demeaning the opponents themselves. I think the term is “switch and bait.”

The best explanation for their behavior is that they are aware of the great disparity in the numbers. On one hand there are two wineries and their few supporters who don’t seem to care if this neighborhood turns into just another retail ghetto. On the other hand, is the great majority who considers our homes our refuge and recognize the huge difference between a commercial winery and a home occupation. There are currently several home occupation/businesses on the Holmes Ranch and they are a positive addition to our lifestyle and have been good neighbors over the years.

Why do Pepperwood Springs and Claudia Springs have to be the only commercial wineries in the entire Anderson Valley to have retail sales and tasting on private roads? Why can’t they open tasting rooms on the Highway? Doesn’t it stand to reason that a highway presence would push their sales through the roof?

Oh, and those of you on Gschwend Road or Peachland Road. How about you on the Yorkville Ranch or Deer Meadow, or up on Greenwood Road and on Sky Ranch. And everyone living off Ray’s Road or Monte Bloyd and every other little byway in this Valley and beyond. Listen up: this is your fight as well. Wineries aren’t the only threat to your peace and quiet once the door is opened. Maybe it’s time for you to suck it in, suit up and join the team. Life as we know it will be changed forever if we are not vigilant.

My mother taught me at a very young age: there’s a place for everything and everything has a place. The place for wine tasting and retail sales is on Ag or Commercial land that borders Highway 128.

The next Planning Commission meeting on this matter is Friday, January 7, 2000 at the Fairgrounds at 9am.

Very truly yours,
Giovanna Nigro-Chacon
Philo


WINE BEAST GETS INJUNCTION

To: Blind.Copy

Illinois Wine & Spirits Industry Fair Dealing Act Faces Review

US District Court Grants Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates Request To Enjoin Enforcement of the Act Until Constitutional Issues Are Reviewed

RE: Case 99C 3813, Judge Joan Gottschall

Santa Rosa (Jan. 3, 2000) — United States District Judge Joan Gottschall (Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division) granted a request for a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of the Illinois Wine and Spirits Industry Fair Dealing Act in a suit first brought by Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Ltd. in June, 1999.

Judge Gottschall's decision notes the “strong likelihood of success on the merits” of the Kendall-Jackson arguments, which were echoed in later suits filed by Sutter Home Winery and Jim Beam which were consolidated into this action.

The Act strictly regulates how a winery can change distributors, imposing high standards that eviscerates the right to terminate an at-will contract.

The Kendall-Jackson complaint, which named members of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and the Wirtz Corporation (d/b/a Judge & Dolph, Ltd.), sought to halt implementation of the so-called “Wirtz Law” on the basis that it was unconstitutional, unfairly interfering with the Interstate Commerce and Contracts clauses of the United States Constitution, and because it did not apply to Illinois wineries and impaired existing contractual relationships with Illinois distributors.

The legislation was widely portrayed as anti-competitive and anti-consumer and would, believed many observers, restrict Illinois consumer choice and availability of wines.

“We are pleased with the ruling and the opportunity to show why this flawed, monopolistic and anti-consumer legislation should be permanently set aside,” said Kendall-Jackson late Monday evening.

James Caudill, Kendall Jackson
BigJim_Caudill@compuserve.com
Santa Rosa


WHOPRISE?

Dear Bruce,

It is not often that your jester Cockburn is caught in a meprise, but in the interests of your readers it is only fair to point out that it is the Twelfth edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica that is the true value for money. Published in haste in 1922 it contains the twenty-nine volumes of the justly celebrated Eleventh (published in 1910-11) with an additional three volume supplement taking into account “so colossal a convulsion” as the World War just passed which had so radically changed the “world-outlook.”

Cockburn of course is right to memorialize both the Brittanica and the Oxford English Dictionary as outstanding monuments of their time. But Cockburn of all people should recognize that both these works — and many of the finest scientific, technological and cultural achievements of the British Empire — were conceived and executed by a class which had been dispossessed and displaced by the excesses of English landlordism, namely the Scottish scholars. Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was subject to the ravages of domestic imperialism associated in this century with the rapine of the Third World. My grandfather, a Professor of Greek in Glasgow in the 1880s, remembered his students returning home to their highland crofts at half-term to collect another sack of oats, their sole sustenance.

The Encyclopaedia and the Dictionary are each extraordinary testimony to the power of the intellect to overcome such material privation, and in themselves may never become as dated as the information they contain. The village-based educational infrastructure in an impoverished country which made such feats of intellectual achievement possible might repay study a century and a half later.

Cockburn has no need to point out to this dilute Irish descendant that Scottish protestantism exacted a terrible price on other parts of the celtic fringe, as indeed on other outposts of Empire. The choice, once again, is between Michelangelo and the cuckoo clock, broken eggs and omelettes.

Happy Hogmanay,
Hubert Murray
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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