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Letters (Feb. 20, 2019)

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A reporter once asked ruth weiss how come you, an out lesbian, are living with a man?

ruth replied, "I never let gender stand in the way of affection."

No wonder she was named "Queen of the Beatniks."

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham


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Early in the morning of February 1, 2019, my wife Laverne suffered an emergency. Calling 911 we received an immediate reply and in a very short time two very professional technicians arrived at our door and a ride by ambulance to your facility occurred. Your emergency room staff was extremely efficient, qualified and professional making the necessary tests and assessments. She was admitted to your hospital in the wee small hours of the morning and the excellent care and treatment continued.

We were discharged on February 3, with full confidence that our medical emergency had been taken care of in the most professional way. I apologize for not obtaining the EMT'S or emergency room personnel's names, but I think "shock'' took over. The hospital staff, Dr. Ryan, nurses Robert, Ashley and Donna were extremely professional, courteous and very personnel.

A great big "Thank You" to Mendocino Coast Hospital!!

Best regards,


Fort Bragg

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Since moving to Healdsburg in 1998, I’ve heard people complain that the majority of our businesses cater to the tourist dollar and not to the needs of our residents. That issue has progressed to the point that downtown is now filled with elegant shops, hotels, tasting rooms and galleries, all offering numerous ways to drop a thousand dollars in an afternoon.

The city is currently debating a permit request for a 230-seat restaurant on the Plaza. Obviously a project this size will further impact parking, congestion, noise and the tempers of those trying to reach downtown. More is not always better. Are we going to love Healdsburg to death and lose what attracted us here in the first place?

Unfortunately, there is no turning back the clock. We are a huge tourist destination, with all the positive and negative aspects that go with it. It is time we paid attention to what is needed to keep Healdsburg healthy, vibrant and growing in a way that is inclusive.

Maggie Medeiros


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If you are angered by, or deprecate, the SMART train, and mass transit in general, I think maybe you never tried using it.

The other day, when the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was shut down, causing massive traffic headaches, my wife and I took Golden Gate Transit’s No. 101 bus from Petaluma to our son’s flat in San Francisco. We smiled as we zoomed past all the mired vehicles on our way home in comfort on Golden Gate Transit’s No. 54 and SMART. Time spent for each ride? Ninety minutes. Cost? Ten dollars for each round trip. And the whole thing was accomplished by tapping one universally accepted Clipper Card, which can be refilled automatically.

Drivers tend to get angry about their plight and blame it on everyone else — cyclists, walkers, runners, not enough roads. They get crazy with anxiety and perform dangerous maneuvers to get nowhere fast, when the actual problem is the cars they insist on driving.

There is no amount of gravel and concrete that solves this. It’s unsustainable. The obvious solution is mass transit. Before you knock it, try it. The Bay Area has you covered.

Bob Marketos


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Arrange these in ascending order of deadliness — mountain lions, vending machines, cows, domestic dogs and toothpicks. Actually I have already done so.

In the US, mountain lions have killed 17 people in 100 years, but every year, on average, falling vending machines kill 2.2 people, cows 20, domestic dogs 33 and toothpicks (accidentally swallowed) 170.

As any biologist knows, top predators are vital to the health of ecosystems. Their impact on humans is incredibly minimal compared with all the good they do.

Tuesday’s article about a young mountain lion being killed because it had killed two sheep made me sad and angry. For goodness sake, these people live in a rural area and leave their sheep outside without proper fencing, and then shoot the mountain lion that they basically invited to dinner? How is this different from baiting for bears?

And please spare me the, “Oh, but think of the children.” If that is the rationale, then I suggest living in the city, where I’m sure they will be much safer with all the cars and criminals.

Leo Jones

Santa Rosa

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There are surely lots of unintended consequences to PG&E’s bankruptcy filing. One of them, here in Mendocino County is going to affect much of the population north of the San Francisco Bay Area.

On Jan. 25, PG&E gave notice of withdrawal from their Potter Valley Project which is the diversion of water through a tunnel from the Eel River at Van Arsdale reservoir to their power house in Potter Valley into the Russian River watershed. This action by PG&E has potentially created an orphan project and future decisions are now with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC.)

The diversion at Van Arsdale reservoir was created in 1908 for the primary purpose of providing a hydro-electric resource for the City of Ukiah through the power house in Potter Valley. Scott Dam was built in 1922 to guarantee a year round water supply to the power house. Now over a hundred years later, the power production is still important, however the water supply provided by the project is even more critical.

There are some folks, including some north coast politicians, who welcome this as an opportunity to do away with Scott Dam, which holds back Lake Pillsbury, and potentially additional infrastructure related to the project.

The consequences of the shut down of the project and the removal of Scott Dam would have negative economic, social and environmental impacts. The elimination of Lake Pillsbury would be a loss to Lake County, remove the main water supply for the Potter Valley Irrigation District and significantly reduce the water supply for Lake Mendocino. All of the communities that depend on the water from Lake Mendocino for agricultural and domestic uses in Mendocino, Sonoma and North Marin would be impacted. Other beneficial uses of the water such as recreation, fire suppression and aquatic species needs would be at risk.

When the diversion was first created in 1908 and Scott Dam completed in 1922, the population of California was less than 5 million. Now, the population is 40 million and growing. We need to be realistic about protecting all of our natural resources. It will be important to retain local control over the Potter Valley Project as the FERC process moves forward. We need to support that effort.

William F. Smith


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Hello. Because I am proactive deputies punish me. I am currently in custody at the Mendocino County Jail have spent long periods of time and administrative segregation for being a political activist and being retaliated against for standing up for my rights by jailhouse lawyering.

I have never been given a hearing to contest my placement. $80 worth of tenderheartedly donated lawbooks from inmates have been illegally confiscated by jail staff. Important documents have been stolen by jail staff. And they also commandeered the unit's Penal Code book. 

I broke my hand getting jumped by law enforcement associates four years ago so I developed a method of cutting and pasting paragraphs of legal printouts to reduce painful handwriting using toothpaste and deodorant stickers given complementarily with our free stay at the local infirmary.

It wasn't long until I was finally elected my own attorney and the jail all of a sudden ripped my paragraphs apart when submitted for copies. I was then told to write them out. Later the courts revoked my attorney status because my handwriting all of a sudden was unreadable.

Jailhouse lawyerism is always met with the greatest of hostility from jail and prison managers. They don't like the fact that the courts will provide a forum to hear issues of when inmates are abused, beaten, wrongly punished, set up, or medically aggravated. The courts do not allow us to be treated with such cruel afflictions that would really quite shock the conscience of even the most uncompassionate.

Violence is daily but there are no sirens. Deputies boast money on cripple fights. It is well known within the Low Gap population that correctional officers will take you to the janitor's closet and beat you if you say or do something that they don't like. It doesn't matter if you are in a wheelchair, a walker, or crutches. 

A lot of this is political revenge, retaliation under the color of big marijuana pharma and Proposition 64.

They think that because we got learning disabilities and social anxieties we are inferior people. A study done in 1993 showed that mentally inadequate patients who smoke cigarettes appear to demonstrate enhanced cognitive performance relative to their non-smoking counterparts. (Sandyke, R. 1993 IJN, 70.193-197.)

In strength and solidarity,

Jewel Dyer

Mendocino County Jail, 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Ed note: Mr. Dyer, if you're going to allege retaliatory beatings and other staff crimes, without the specifics of date, time, names of vics and perps, your claims are not credible.

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Dear Mr. Severn,

I think you are suffering from the chain of command. That is, delirious and stupidism and fantasticism and a whole bunch of other words I can think of and you need to stick your head out of your ass and get back to society the normal way and think in a normal way. Good day to you, sir.

I have a lot of friends around the country but some of my real friends are from Anderson Valley. Unfortunately, a lot of them have passed away. But a friend is a friend, it doesn't matter what nationality he or she or any walk of life they come from. My friends all respect the national anthem, the American flag, the Constitution and the freedom of religion. They respect the people of our past who gave their lives to defend and help build this country. Thank all my friends for being my friends.

I respect the Native Americans because we actually invaded their land and they fought very bravely to defend it. It's just like we as Americans of every walk of life have done in the past and the Native Americans are certainly Americans. 

I love and defend President Trump because he is our leader. A lot of folks don't agree with me, but that's only fair. I defend the Sheriff Allman and his staff because they are actually our leaders. Never forget that. It's too bad that we as Americans can't get on the same page and all pull together because if we could we would be the strongest country in the world forever. 

Three cheers for all the men and women who have given their lives to defend this country. It gives me cold chills just to think about it, all the miserable misery and suffering that they had to go through to accomplish that and possibly we might have to do it some more.

I think the beliefs of myself and my friends are on the right side of the American flag and I will fight to my death to believe that.

God bless Donald Trump and God bless America.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. If I have offended anyone in the past or in the future, I'm sorry.


  1. Jeff Costello February 20, 2019

    Did Philbrick love and defend Obama when he he was our leader?

  2. George Dorner February 25, 2019

    Keep goose-stepping, Mr. Philbrick, and don’t forget the stiff-arm salute.

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