Letters To The Editor

by AVA News Service, June 30, 2011

WHERE'S MY TINFOIL HAT?

Dear Bruce Anderson:

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) is excited to inform you that will soon be installing Smartmeter technology on electric meters in your neighborhood. PG&E's Smartmeter program will empower you to take greater control of your energy consumption, use less energy, and save money.

In the next several weeks, PG&E or our authorized representative (Wellington Energy) will upgrade meters listed on page 3 for the account shown above. Here's what you can expect when we stop by:

Your meter upgrade will only take place during daylight hours, Monday through Saturday.

We will knock on your door before starting to work.

You don't need to be home as long as we have access to the meters.

If no one is home, will leave a note on your door following our visit.

Installation is simple and quick. We will replace your existing electric meter with a digital electric meter. Your electric service may be interrupted for approximately five minutes. If so, you may need to reset digital clocks on your appliances or equipment. We apologize for this inconvenience.

If you operate life-support or other sensitive medical equipment in your home, please call us immediately at 1-866-743-0263.

With Smartmeter automated meter reading technology you will no longer have to wait for a monthly bill to know how much energy you use. Once your meter can be read remotely by the Smartmeter system you will be able to log on to www.PGE.com/myaccount to see and track your hourly electric energy use up to the previous day. Until then a PG&E meter-reader will continue to read your meter on a monthly basis just as they do now. In the coming months PG&E will be sending you more information about these and other benefits as they become available to you.

In the future the Smartmeter system will help PG&E identify outages and assist with more timely power restoration. You will also have access to new tools that help you save on your energy bills including additional Smartmeter enabled pricing plan options like Smartrate. In the long run, the Smartmeter program is expected to benefit our environment by decreasing demand on the power grid, resulting in fewer powerplants than would otherwise be needed, both of which are good for our customers and California. If you would like to stay informed about the latest updates to pricing plans please visit www.PGE.com/smartmeter.

We've enclosed more information about how you can use Smartmeter technology to better manage your energy use and costs and how the program can benefit you in the future. If you have questions about the Smartmeter program or would like to learn more visit PGE.com/smartmeter or call us at 1-866-743-0263.

Sincerely,

Louis Fusco, Director, Smartmeter field delivery deployment, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

San Francisco

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SEED SAVING

Salutations Editor,

Greetings men and Gods. Be prepared to gird your loins! A new popular movement is underway. The goddessi are rising up and they don't need you! Women/girls “in the know” can have babies without your smelly, snuggly male intimacies or your messy bodily secretions. The knowledgeable “sexperts” in the Catholic Church and the paganistic goddessi dovetail completely on this topic. Virgin birth is the best! It obviously produces superior children (mostly female hopefully). And we males have been doing it all wrong for eons! No wonder our planet is full of louts (mostly male). Not enough virgin births! There is no truly possibly superior future gene pool for modern “womanity” than the Virgin Mary (or her type). The same conservative Catholic fear of and doctrinal inability to simply understand basic, natural sex between two humans of the opposite sex. Thus the church's radical pedestalization of a mythology based (and therefore artificial “purity” of Christ's “mom’) which again now dovetails neatly with the Goddess self empowerment movement rooted in the progressive left. Strange bedfellows indeed! Both approaches are basically nonsensical — rooted firmly in myth, legend and ultimately propaganda which appeals to a mind fond of magical thinking, seeking either to “empower” itself through storytale protectionism or to worship an unreal (therefore unnatural) “purity” which sustains division between the sexes and sexual repression (which then ultimately nurtures pathology). No one can live up to the Virginic Ideal! Therefore all human mortals are sexual sinners (which is the Vatican churchly view, or the Goddessi approach equals Mother Mary and her amazing non-conception births will hopefully, eventually craft us drone males into hermetically redundant and dispensable “Josephs.” Parthenogenesis be praised! Much like the populist state of “spontaneous combustion” cases reported in the early 1980s, parthenogenic birth claims will flare up across the country. Soon unmentioned “virgin” females will be giving birth in truly unprecedented numbers. (New manger construction will be at an all-time high.) The hippies and the pope will be of course delighted as panels of “experts” discuss the phenomena. The messy reality-based science of DNA and genetic identification will of course knock down the pop claims of virgin births like a Pro Bowler. (But a few will slip under the radar). It's coming man! Your total lack of genetic necessity in the sack as far as child production will make you obsolete. I say boycott the goddessi! Voluntarily withhold your seed genes from them: Brother Shiva, Brother Zeus, Brother Maitreya and all the rest of you guys and gods: save your seed; show some restraint! Let the über-feminist goddessi prove their claims (unbidden until final countdown). When the myth-based goddessi claims for parthenogenic human birth are eventually proved to be about as valid as “It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” then the pendulum of reality will swing towards the true, the factual, and the natural order of existence and those same mortal male gene-denying Goddessi will be back, sniffing around for some of that good old dependable male God Goo spermatozoa they so readily gave up to mythology. Payback's a b___h!

John 'Lingham' Shultz

Willits

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WHAT WOULD BEN SAY?

Editor,

As Ben Sees It/2011 AD.

Benjamin Franklin is sitting in heaven having his coffee, laughing his ass off. “Look at these Americans,” he said. “If I had any idea I should have stayed in England. Look at them, all they do is worship my picture.” He says laughing. “I'm not God, you idiots. I'm just a printer,” he says.

Then he just shakes his head. “If I had only known. America is way more oppressive than England ever was!” He just shakes his head. “We came up with all these freedoms and rights and they voted them all away. My God, look at the size of those law statute books. How could anyone possibly be expected to keep track of the law?” He thinks a minute. “There's laws against anything you could possibly imagine. Just by being alive makes you a criminal. If you are walking they've got a law against it called prowling. If you are running, you are fleeing. If you are sleeping, you are camping. If you are sitting, it is called loitering. Those fools, they've got laws against everything.”

“The American government, what do they do? They sit back and collect funds and watch. Talk about taxation without representation. If they couldn't represent the people if they wanted to,” he cries. “They've been bought off by the businesses and people just keep buying their products so they can pay off a government which oppresses them.” All Ben can do is shake his head with laughter. “These people, all they want to do is work and watch television.” He laughs again. “To think I discovered electricity to make this possible.” He says, “I have to admit some of their programs are quite entertaining. Maybe they will elect Bart Simpson for president.”

Anthony Boyles G11626 2W33

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974

PS. I thought I'd let the audience know how SQ West Block is doing. The gym is closed so West Block is all us violators have. Budget cuts, I guess.

But the weather's nice, there's only a few people from Mendo here and very little news from the outside. Rumor has it that the state might not be able to afford to keep those violators here and that we might have to go in county jails instead. That would be a shame as I'll miss the chance to ride to the bay handcuffed in a paper suit. I guess we have to all make sacrifices to the state. Anyway, if you could let us here know anything about our fate I'll be sure to pass it along with any other news as I'll be here as it stands until September. So if you could find it in your heart, try to send me some issues until September at least. I hate to ask but you are about the only decent news we get. Also if you have any back issues or even blank paper I'll try and write when I can. I'm forced to use scrap paper out of the trash. But it was going to waste any way. I don't think they recycle here. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, all they do here is waste — our time, the taxpayers money and any other thing that they touch.

Well, they're learning. The best one lately is they are saving money by packaging the potato chips instead of buying Lay's individual sizes. Actually the new chips are very tasty and I'm sure Jerry Brown is proud of their effort. They'll have that budget fixed in no time with all these cost-saving measures. CDC is very thrifty.

Anyway, thanks for being there and maybe I'll write back and tell you my story with parole. It's hilarious, parole pettiness. But I don't have enough paper and I can't get to the trashcan until morning.

I'll write back later. They give us free envelopes after taking our money for restitution to pay for our competent attorneys. I'm sure my lawyer needs the money more than me. Because the state takes care of us so wonderfully and they have to pay for their own lodging and food. It's so unfair. I think the state should pay the attorneys more. After all, they work so hard for us. Getting us fair trials and parole hearings and such.

I'll be sure to write back with any news. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to hear from you. It'll make my stay so much more pleasant. So until next time. Signing off.

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BOOKS, YES. GARDENS, NO

Howdy.

I send my respect and regards. My positive attitude wasn't always “great.” In fact it used to be downright cruddy. It took me a long while to work out all my personal issues and learn to live for something larger than myself. It's now my goal to leave the world a better place than I found it. That's a laudable goal, one sure to please our leftist friends. But not all of them reach that point.

I deal with convicts on a daily basis. It's important to see them as they are, not the way we wish they were. Believe me, I'd like to grab them by their collective necks and force them to, but I can't. I tried. It doesn't work. So all we can do is bring them down to the water, over and over, hoping every now and then they'll take a sip. And having sipped, maybe one day to learn to drink on their own. It could happen.

I guess what I'm trying to warn against is too grand of expectations when dealing with us. We are more flawed than folks on the street for the most part. But I think that makes it that much more enjoyable when one of us lost sheep finds our way back to the fold.

So when dealing with convicts, if they seem stubborn or pigheaded don't give up on them. They can still be saved. I've seen it happen. But just as you need to nurse a seedling more than a healthy oak tree, you need to nurse convicts through their various “frosts.”

I hope I'm making sense. I've seen people on the streets get fed up with dealing with us then throw up their hands in despair and walk away never to return again. So I try to warn people not to expect too much from us. There are good convicts — Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, O'Henry, Thoreau, and others were convicts — and there are “not good” convicts — Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Czar Nicholas, etc.. So if you deal with a convict and he or she doesn't live up to your expectations, don't give up on him or her or us. We run the same gamut society at large does. So please have patience.

Not with me of course! Like Mary Poppins , I'm practically perfect in every way. (Ha ha ha.)

A friend proposed a garden. I have been a prison activist for many years now and that idea is a nonstarter. It just won't happen. Gardens mean tools. We are in the most secure prison in California. We aren't even allowed to shower without being searched, handcuffed and escorted. In addition, we are watched while we shower, then cuffed up again, and escorted back to our cells. We are never allowed access to tools. And they are firing guards for budget concerns. So they won't authorize the expense of having one cop assigned to watch one convict at a time in a garden. We aren't allowed to mingle here in the secure housing unit. It's a great idea for, but not for this place. Sorry! And yes, I know, sometimes the hardest obstacles can be overcome with rigid perseverance. I've done it. It's soul-wrenchingly hard work. But well worth it and rewarding. The garden is a great idea. But the system is set up so that any issues you have at the present are declared moot in prison. Things take nine months or more to appeal up the ladder. Then there's years in the courts. So they just transfer you and declare your problems moot. The courts back them up. Since I'm transferring soon and we don't know how long we'll be here, starting a process we are forbidden to finish would be an ill-advised use of time, energy and limited resources.

It's better for now to try and change the stuff that we have a chance of getting. For instance, our cell lacks plumbing. We've gotta fix that. They leave the lights on 24/7. We've gotta fix that. Our air conditioner sucks and our cells are sweatboxes. We've gotta fix that. They don't feed us enough food. They don't give us enough laundry. They don't even clean the building. We've gotta fix all that. And it isn't easy. But if not us, who? So we do it.

I'll tell you what, though. I'll be glad to get in general population. That would be a welcome relief. Still supermax for now, but when you have no privileges, any small increase is welcome.

I get two books a month. One of the ones I got for May was “The People's Pharmacy.” No, it's, “Best Choices from the People's pharmacy” by Joe and Teresa Graedon. It's got a lot of home remedies in it. (Listerine for dandruff and athlete's foot, Vick's Vaporub for lots of other stuff, cinnamon for diabetics, prickly pear cactus tea for diabetics and high blood pressure, etc..)

There is some good stuff in there. Black pepper right off your kitchen table stops bleeding instantly. I know, because my cellmate scratched himself and poured half a paper sack of pepper on it and it was the best clotting agent I've ever seen. It works great. So if you ever cut yourself, just throw some pepper on it and you probably won't even need to apply pressure. Oh, and mustard works better than cold water for burns.

I like learning about home remedies like that. If you can, check that book out from the library or go to People's Pharmacy's website.

I know people want to sent me additional books but this place really pushes the two books a month rule.

I plan to start a new lending library when I get to Kern Valley State Prison if they don't have one already. If they do, I will do all I can to make it the best library in the state. I'm a firm believer that reading is fundamental. Having good books available to people who want them is an obvious good. That's why I'm curious about what books people might be able to donate to our program. It would be helpful if we were able to send some stamps to pay for the postage on the donations. I'm broke, but once I get settled in there I could try to hustle up some stamps. Anything can happen!

I like to get a lot of history, biography and political books in the library since those help teach important things. Also, most classics are classic for a reason so I try to get classics in there as well. But, bottom line is we can't be choosy beggars. We are grateful for anything anyone cares to send.

Jason Wilcox

Corcoran State Prison

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TAKE THIS, BEACON

Dear Editor of the Mendocino Beacon,

Your June 9, 2011 Mendocino Beacon editorial leaves me a bit dismayed.

Are you suggesting Supervisors Dan Hamburg and Kendall Smith (along with Johnny Pinches by association) are somehow personally responsible for the county’s budgetary deficits that have required almost slash-and-burn cuts in the budgets of all county government departments, including the Sheriff’s?

It sounds like you are. You wrote, “But no worries, Supervisor Dan Hamburg, you don’t live here. It’s not your family, home and business left at enhanced risk because deputies are spread so thin.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Everyone is at increased risk in these perilous economic times, from the high to (especially) the low. Funding shortfalls require budget cuts that hurt everyone who needs government funding, social services, planning, transportation, air and water and, yes, law enforcement.

Kendall Smith and Dan Hamburg, along with John Pinches, have shown great courage and fortitude in their no longer buying into the pie-in-the-sky accounting gimmicks which have plagued county financial budgeting so very much in the past.

They are simply saying, “Show me the money.” Now.

And the money simply is not there. Where is the lost $1.2 million from the state’s taking of Mendocino County’s share of state vehicle license fees going to be “replenished” from? Sheriff Allman and DA Eyster have been short on details; Supervisors Hamburg, Smith and Pinches are balancing the financial facts-on-the-ground, and wishful thinking on the part of our Sheriff and District Attorney does not meet muster.

Sheriff Tom Allman is absolutely right to advocate strongly for his department. But he is dead wrong to threaten litigation against our county government when his department is merely being required to incur budget reductions which simply reflect the dire austerity all the other departments, along with SEIU employees, have endured in this Great Recession.

We are having our “…hands pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy.” — Tennessee Williams.

We all — Tom Allman included — had better get used to it, because county budget cuts will continue to be required in the upcoming years, until we all understand viable government budgets are not the product of accounting smoke and mirrors, but the hard bottom lines of ‘income’ and ‘expenditures.’ And, of course, adequate tax revenues.

Lee Edmundson

Mendocino

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WELLNESS VALUE

Editor,

Let us think clearly. All we hear these days is the refrain that the economy is bad , over and over, the economy is bad. And then we hear the stats on jobs and employment and unemployment, so we settle for the idea that the economy is bad.

What doesn’t get said is why it is bad. It is not bad because it’s bad; it’s bad because the reasons as to why it is bad are themselves bad. The economy is just a reflection of the causative factors that make it be what it is.

You don’t hear the mass media saying anything about the fact that a very few Americans are getting richer while making the rest of us poorer. That reason does not get articulated. If it were the case that those few getting richer also made everyone else richer it would be another matter entirely.

Another thing that’s bad that makes the economy bad is that we have been taken over by the marketing mentality. That’s where everything is sold; labor, commodities, stocks, personalities, entertainment, and the rest of the culture. What is its market value is the key question, rather than what is it ethical value or environmental value, or wellness value. Those factors are not mentioned by the mass media

Because jobs can be outsourced so easily to other lands, and manufacturing can be outsourced so easily to other lands, and poverty is so easy to hide from the upper and middle classes, and because war can be marketed, and is, as if it’s a sports event, the mass media do not talk about that.

As a result, the mass public never gets a chance to examine the reasons why the economy is bad, so they go along thinking that it’s just the way it is, given that it’s bad. They never hear that the rich are obscenely rich at the expense of the rest of us because there is a vast conspiracy of silence about the reasons.

The mass media are controlled by those very same really rich people, and the silence is enforced from above. They have the money, the power, and the propaganda it buys to do just that, to maintain the silence about the reasons why the economy is bad.. Bob Dylan’s line fits today just perfectly. “You don’t know what is happening, do you Mr. Jones?”

How could John Q. Public know the reasons if nobody every says anything about them in the mass media? In fact, the conspiracy of silence of the mass media is so vast that if someone does talk about the reasons he or she is shunned. Rightly so, right? After all, unless you go along with the group think there is no use for you. The cognitive dissonance is getting louder. We are on the edge of a new paradigm, even more Orwellian than even he imagined. Not long until they can tap not only our cell phone calls but also our thoughts.

Get ready, get set, tune out!

Lee Simon

Far ‘n Away Farm, Virginia

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CHANGING TIMES

Editor,

I am appalled that James Howard Kunstler, whose articles I sometimes read and who sometimes has wisdom to put into words, has decided to come out against Gay marriage in the AVA. Not that the AVA could (or would) conceivably edit out all non-PC speech, but geeze. This article goes from the tragic self-immolation suicide of a despondent father, to male identity issues, to expounding on “marginal” lifestyles, and back again. Kunstler makes an oblique segue from a rant about male identity and the relative imbalance of sexual drive between the sexes to a comment on the possible “strange unanticipated consequences” that might follow the legalization of Gay marriage. He prefers to think that it is all about posturing for the social acceptance of a lifestyle by such like-minded folks as himself rather than true social justice. I think it is safe to say that the Gay amongst us, as well as those amongst us who daily struggle with nature’s imbalances (but still find it in their hearts to support Gay marriage rights), could give a flying %@#<>k what he thinks about their lifestyle. If civil unions did, in fact, provide the same legal cover and protections as marriage, there might not be any need to seek what is more than a perceived social equality.

Looking at the big picture, the so-called nuclear family appears to be descending towards its own marginalization by the evolving (and formally marginal) alternative kinds of families. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (6/23/11) on 2010 census data, the households of married couples with no kids are up 4%, single-parent households are up 20%, households of unmarried partners are up 20%, and households of same-sex partners are up 25%. At the same time, the article revealed that households with nuclear “families” have decreased by 10%. I would like to postulate that these non-nuclear households are also “families.” So too, they are rearing a significant proportion of the next generation of citizens of this land.

Except for the households of married couples with no kids, many of these non-nuclear households have one or more children running about, raising the usual hell. The times they are a-changing, James. Putting the genie back in the bottle is no longer a viable option. We all know that having a male role model in a “traditional” family setting has never been a guarantee of in-home virtue or success in raising socially adaptable or socially acceptable males or females, let alone good citizens.

And what does that have to do with the suicide of Thomas Ball anyway? Thomas Ball was a man pushed to the brink and beyond by judicial and child protection services that are poorly formed and administered. These services, and the laws and regulations that guide them, are a response to long held notions of male privilege and a tendency to treat wives and children as chattel. It is not surprising that society has evolved away from these primitive notions… for the most part.

I get the sense that Mr. Kunstler would rather that the age-old customs and “inconvenient” behaviors like ass-grabbing and occasional molestation by men who are “sexually alert” should continue to be tolerated. As if some basic element of survival was in the balance. And that we, whom he would term as extremely moralistic and puritanical for being upset by such behavior, should chill. I am personally hoping that traditional visions of male behavior such as these will soon be “on the margin” as he ascribes to Gay marriage, and perhaps even more “inconvenient.”

Nicholas Pinette

Oakland, Calif.

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A DECENT BURIAL AT SEA

Editor,

A few days ago my sister and I scattered our dad's ashes out to sea with Norman de Vall of Golden Gate Burial Services at the helm of his sailboat. It was an exciting trip out of Sausalito and beyond the Gate and I recommend it as a memorable way to say goodbye to family, friends or pets. You can reach Norman at 707/877-3551. (Not a toll-free#).

Kathy MacDonald

Elk

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JANIS & ME

Pebbles,

Re: the Janis Joplin Cannabis Card coming up.

I had a close encounter with Janis in early 1970. My wife and I and 4-year old son, Rob, lived in a culdesac off of Little Lake Road in Mendocino in '69. There were 3 houses there. In the big house, Jack Elliot and his wife Martha lived with their 3 year old daughter. My wife, Judy, became good friends with Jack's wife Martha — they were both very spiritual. And Jack was gone a lot.

Rambling Jack's album Bull Durham Sack and Railroad Tracks had just come out which was the first LP to have Me and Bobby McGee on it. As Jack told it, Kris Kristofferson was working (pushing a broom, Jack said) in a studio in Nashville where Jack had come to record Bull Durham Sacks.. Kris knocked on his motel room door while Jack was still in the sack and asked Jack if he could play a song for him. Jack liked it so much he put it on Bull Durham Sacks. I'd bought the album, and one night — with Martha's help — Jack came over and sang it for me and Judy. Jack told us he taught Me and Bobby McGee to Janis.

Martha invited us, I think it was in February, '70, to go meet her guru in San Francisco who was giving...whatever they call sitting down to listen to the nice man talk. Ashram? Jack went along and drove us all down, kids and all, to San Francisco in his Land Rover to sit and listen to a very nice man talk. Martha introduced us afterwards. Her guru was especially kind to Jack. And Jack was gracious.

Driving back, passing through Marin County, Jack says, hey, lets drop by and see Janis. I loved Janis as much as anybody and would have liked to her, but I said, Jack, it's 10:30, we can't drop on her like that. Martha concurred. I think because she knew Jack just wanted to get high. And she knew as well as Jack that Janis had only been up for 8 hours. I've always been naive. Didn't meet Janis and she was dead 8 months later.

The last time I saw Jack was in the No Name bar in Sausalito. I was there with a girlfriend who had more balls than I — the women I love — and when I told her that the guy who just came in and sat down at the bar was Rambling Jack Elliot, she said, go up and say hello to your old neighbor — maybe you can give him some of your rhymes. Fat chance, I thought, since one of my friends ran off with his wife, Martha. But what the hell, he can't blame me for that. I went up and introduced myself and he looked at me as though he couldn't quite remember me — it had been 8 years — and then he said, Oh yeah, your friend ran off with Martha. End of conversation.

Regards,

Dilbert Topper

San Diego

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Memo of the Week

To: All County Employees

Subject: Employee Assistance Program

Date: June 23, 2011.

Hello,

Effective 7/1/2011, the Employee Assistance Program for the County of Mendocino will be transitioning to . Human Resources will begin distribution of an informational packet, to every employee, highlighting the new enhanced services MHN will be offering as well as explain how to access the new services. You may continue to utilize face to face counseling sessions but now also have the option of using EAP counseling telephonically and via web-video. In addition, all employees and members of their household are now eligible for 6 free visits per calendar year, per incident/issue (augmented visits for peace officers). Your informational packet should explain the new program in detail.

Due to the MHN Provider credentialing process, you may experience a 2-3 week delay in accessing your current EAP provider. Please note continued access to your current provider is contingent upon their desire to become an MHN local network provider and the timely completion and submittal of all required MHN paperwork.

If you haven't used EAP before, now is the time to take a look at this benefit again. The MHN Employee Assistance Program offers the same free counseling sessions you're used to… but now provides so much more!

(Ed note: Employee Assistance Programs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being. EAPs generally include assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members. “MHN's member website features powerful health and wellness tools, content and self-help programs that add real value for members, including an online Wellbeing Assessment, self-help programs for weight, smoking, nutrition and stress, and a complete Wellness Center. … With our nationwide network of over 46,000 licensed providers, we help members identify and resolve issues related to family conflict, relationships, domestic violence, stress, depression and much more.

Face-to-face clinical counseling, telephonic consultations and now, effective August 16, 2010, web-video consultations are all available. In addition, members can visit the EAP member website for emotional health tools and information or to search for a provider and generate a referral.”

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SMARTMETERS

Editor,

PG&E recently told County supervisors, “PG&E has a privilege to deploy their Smartmeters in Mendocino County,” against Mendocino's ordinance opposing Smartmeter operation. Supervisor Dan Hamburg noted in February, when Supervisors set the moratorium in place, that PG&E had failed to respond to the October Fort Bragg Supervisor's questions mirroring concerned citizens. All Supervisors said they had received more responses regarding Smartmeters than any other issue. The company then did short noticed Answer meetings where the media was turned away. The poorly attended meetings were intense propaganda. PG&E says that anyone calling their Smartmeter information line will change their mind as if by magic or propaganda, the caller's mind is cleanse of original thought. On the contrary, most folks, who call PG&E and also the California PUC, respond angrily that they were told they were getting a Smartmeter period. PG&E filibustered at city council meetings; forcing concerned citizens to have less time to respond. In these cases, Fort Bragg and Willits chose to protect their constituents. When one lifts a moratorium they generally present changes and ask for removal. PG&E intends to ignore Mendocino moratorium. PG&E is a company that understands codes and thus should understand an ordinance; however the problem maybe that PG&E often mandates codes.

Enough scientific studies are available to require precaution. The recent World Health Organization stated that RF can cause cancer. This undermines PG&E’s confidence as they used the WHO as a major source. The FCC standard has been challenged by the EPA and NIH. There are no health studies on Smartmeter applications.

The studies are not the driving issue though. Complaints regarding post meter installation problems are. In 2009, 40,000 complaints from the Southern part of the state caused then State Senator Dean Florez to demand an investigation. PG&E and the CPUC responded with a rate payer funded lab study of meters accuracy. It is not just the meters, but the way they are installed and unique home differences.

In a CBS TV news report, PG&E was provoked to send a technician to a residence with an alleged overcharging gas Smartmeter. The technician found a fault in the Smartmeter. Many witnessed PG&E doing repeated re-installations as the meters appeared to have problems. When a Smartmeter would not work with existing electrical safety devices, the old meter was replaced and a sticker added: “watt meter only.” PG&E claims their Smart system works without flaw. State Senator Dean Florez feels differently and stated on TV that PG&E is lying to its ratepayers.

We have quickly moved into the wireless decade with many layers of wireless added annually. The home oriented Smartappliance, part of the Smartmeter system that adds 8-11 wireless devices to a home operating in short bursts 24/7. These appliances are not labeled Smartappliances and are not readily disabled. Appliance makers support this because they can purchase direct access from PG&E to discover how their appliances are being used in your house.

Concerned citizens have some recourse:

1. Label your existing power and gas meters “No smartmeter” and date it. A black marker will work.

2) Cage your meter, but leave the mains available for firefighters,

3) Call PG&E 877-743-7378 and get on delay list, be insistent. You must be the named person on the account to get on the delay.

4) Support the local ordinance by calling Supervisors to demand its enforcement 463-4221,

5) Call CPUC 1-800-649-7570, type “0” for operator and ask to make a Smartmeter complaint. They prefer written complaints. Demand a delay until opt out exists. Remind them of Mendocino ordinance. Mendocino may opt out as a county. You can complain on line via www.cpuc.ca.gov  mid page filing compliant.

6) Call Governor Jerry Brown (916-445-2841.) The CPUC must do its job and pays attention to rate payer concerns. Ask him to remove CPUC President Peevey, ex-Con Edison executive, heavily lobbied by the industry it regulates (see The Secret life of Michael Peevey,) and has overseen the dangerous gas pipeline. We need real regulators that pay attention to safety and concerns of Californians.

7) Call the 800 #s of appliance companies or email your concerns about wireless Smartappliances to their consumer care sites.

8) Contact local Neighbors Say No to Smartmeter Groups, if you see meters being installed, so they can react, or join up to just say “no” to PG&E's illegal deployment in Mendocino County. In Anderson valley that contact number is: 895-2667. Make sure you are seeing a white truck with a person in a construction vest and small boxes. The contractor has been Wellington.

The wireless Smartmeter version is the cheapest method but not secure or safe. Blanketing of our wild lands will inevitably impact wild species negatively, many crucial to pest control or pollination.

A county moratorium represents concern residents and should be attended to. The CPUC's continual ignorance of the concerns of over 42 cities and counties within the state underscores a tax supported regulation body's failure to do its job. When Bakersfield sued PG&E for Smartmeter overcharges and other complaints, the CPUC took over the complaint and shelved it. This is neither regulation nor justice, and is undemocratic. Governor Brown oversees the CPUC and is aware via concerned letters from citizens of the problem, but has failed to create a CPUC that is fair and attentive to Californians. Californians deserve better.

Greg Krouse

Philo

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EASY OUT

Dear Colonel Anderson:

Your professional opinion — with which I agree — about Americans and their staunch resistance to keeping healthy (Valley Living, June 15, 2011) lends support to Bill Brundage's worthy encomium to Dr. Jack Kevorkian (Letters, same issue, page 2). As long as we're lemming-bound to live the way we damn well please, we'll do ourselves a big favor at the far end if we make it easier to get out of here and so avoid the pain our living that way will bring on.

Respectfully,

Don MacQueen

Eugene, Oregon

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TIDY WHITEYS, LAND OF

Editor,

Anymore, our foreign travel is mostly for pleasure. But it can still be an education, even for a geezer like me.

My wife and I recently spent the first few weeks of May in Germany. We drove east, across the country, to Dresden. From Dresden we went south to Bavaria and then west into France. I estimate we saw maybe a thousand miles of this country.

Unlike the US, Germany has a well-run banking system. They thus suffered less during the recent economic crisis. And it's a nation that still makes stuff. I could ramble on, but one can read elsewhere of Germany's successful industrial and economic policies.

The following is a description of what we actually saw.

We entered Germany via a secondary road. The countryside is agreeable with wooded hills, green fields and huge wind turbines. In spite of their crummy climate, the Germans seem to be way ahead of the US in wind and solar power. The homes are substantial — mostly of masonry, many with solar electric rooftops and most have colorful flower boxes under the windows.

But then we began to notice what was not present. No roadside trash, no bags of garbage at the turnouts, no billboards and no trailer parks.

We lingered in this countryside a little too long. We needed to make some time for a hotel reservation in Dresden.

The German autobahn is like our interstate system, spanning the whole nation. It's designed (and maintained!) for high-speed travel with a runway-like surface, sweeping curves, substantial median barriers and permissive speed laws. One can travel long distances at speeds exceeding those of a light airplane. Parallel to the highways are wide, paved bikeways.

(You ever pass a cop doing 100mph? I have. He didn't even bother to look up.)

Dresden is old and was badly damaged during WWII. It's mostly been rebuilt. It's a pleasant place for tourists. There’s lots of parks, palaces, and really, really good museums. (Try Googling the Green Vault.)

In Dresden we saw no homeless people. There were a couple of panhandlers, both well-dressed (one, a young woman, had braces), but nobody pushing a shopping cart full of possessions. We saw no housing we'd call slums. However, some apartment buildings were from the Communist era and describing them as plain is being kind.

Another thing we didn't see — power poles. In the big cities, in small towns, in the villages, even on farms, all the utilities are underground.

The people were kind and helpful, though fewer spoke English than we expected. The food had us worried — wieners and sauerkraut? But it was way better than that. I'm here to report — German salads and soups are outstanding.

It's a lovely and rich country, but Germany has a dark past. I discussed this with no one but my wife. But I dwelled on it a bit, especially as we drove by Buchenwald and Nuremberg. I wondered if I'd have had the courage to resist Nazi authorities. I tried to be honest with myself.

I'm not comfortable with my answer.

As a practical matter, what can one do when your government goes bad? We've had an example recently — kidnappings, extraordinary renditions, prison torture and death — the sorts of things the Nazis did during WWII (though on a much larger scale).

I've protested little. How about you?

In this regard, our candy-assed president and his “Justice” Department has been a huge disappointment.

In conclusion, it was delightful to visit a country that's run by the people and for the people. (Interesting concept, huh?)

Germany's political system is called a “Social Democracy.” All the Western European countries have some flavor of a social democracy. Some execute it better than others (Greece comes to mind.) But for most folks, life looks way better in Europe (and especially Germany) than here.

And the wealthy (and there seems to be lots, judging by the fancy cars and expensive homes) appear to be doing well — even with their high taxes.

Best regards,

Bart Boyer

San Diego

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TEETER TOTTER

Editor,

This year's General Fund has the Teeter Plan deficit being $16million, yet the BOS has been given a $11.5 million working number leading up to today's meeting. Why? And how do we accurately track Teeter Plan accounting out of the Auditor's Office.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

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WHERE’S DOO?

Editors:

I have MCI, Mild Cognitive Impairment. Nothing serious, it just means I miss things. Sometimes it takes me 3 passes through the AVA to find Dr. Doo. Would it be possible for you to put him on the same page every issue? Like the back page, left lower corner? Or right. Which ever catches the lame eye best?

Regards,

John Wester

San Diego

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PLEASE BE PATIENT

Editor,

A sweet grandmother

telephoned St. Joseph's Hospital. She timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”

The operator said,

“I'll be glad to help, dear. What's the name and room number of the patient?”

The grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said, “Norma Findlay, Room 302.”

The operator replied, “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse's station for that room.”

After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her

physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”

The grandmother said, “Thank you. That's wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news.”

The operator replied, “You're more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?” The grandmother said, “No, I'm Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me shit.”

True Story!

Les Tarr

Willits

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GO, CHIANG!

Editor

State Controller John Chiang has done what few of our elected representatives in Sacramento have done for years. He has actually implemented the provisions of Proposition 25 passed by voters in November, which requires forfeiture of pay and per diem expenses until a balanced budget is passed. The key word here is “balanced” and assuredly the latest attempt by legislators to circumvent the voters' will was anything but balanced.

Marx Curran

Fairfax

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THEY HAVE IT COMING

Almighty Editor,

I, too, enjoy your recent featuring of the Manbeaters of Mendo. Honestly, what wusses men can be. They've been dishing it out for millennia, ever since it entered their pea brains that — hey! — they are bigger and stronger and could use force. And now some of the girls decide to dish up a little whumpo on their own hook (and no doubt in self-defense) and oh wow, what bad-ass bitches they are — how unfair of the mean wimmins to bop King Kong! I agree with you; if the ladies are going to get busted for it then they should get some joy out of it. So kick their candy asses down the stairs before the cops arrive, sisters.

Truly yours,

Carol Pankovits

Fort Bragg

PS. And another thing. It looks like none of these cases ever made into court. Obviously these “men” knew perfectly well that without witnesses nothing would be provable. So they only popped ’em because the ladies had the temerity. That is so puny.

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FAIR PLAY FOR RATTLERS

Editor,

Glad to see no one is responding to the call for rattlesnake reports. This would tend to lead to Snake Terror which would lead to Rattlesnake Holocaust. Rattlesnakes are nice and necessary, unless you prefer rodents in your life. And they are very polite, too. Several times rattlesnakes have buzzed loudly out of my way as my ignorant unseeing bootheel descended upon them. Once on the way to the springhouse, I saw a big rattler curled up by a ground squirrel hole. I tapped his head with a length of plastic pipe to see what would happen. He raised his head, opened his eyes, and said, “Leave me alone, you dork!”

Learn to distinguish rattlesnakes from gopher snakes, which have adopted rattler-like behavior and looks to enhance their survival. Gopher snakes don't have the broad triangular head or heat-sensing pits below the eyes. They will rattle their rattle-free tails to fool you. You can pick them up if you grab them quickly behind the head. Then they will squeeze the hell out of your arm, shit and piss on you, and bite if they can get their heads around. Do not show them to your dog.

And please do not run over rattlesnakes or any snake or any animal trying to get across the road. Their carcasses will attract our vulture friends to their own vehicular doom. People who deliberately run over animals on the road are miserable corybungi, I'm sure you'll agree.

Yours,

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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SUPPORT RESIDENT DEPUTIES

Dear Mendocino Supervisors,

I was pleased to see that Supervisors Carre Brown, John McCowen and John Pinches recently voted to restore sufficient funding to the Sheriff’s Department to prevent further layoffs of deputies, including our own Resident Deputy Craig Walker.

I have been surprised, mystified and disappointed by our own Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s consistent lack of support, particularly in view of the strong support that was voiced for the Sheriff’s Department by Valley residents at the May Board of Supervisors meeting here in Boonville.

I understand and appreciate the current budget problems facing the County. The need for fiscal restraint is clear and obvious, but it is also obvious to many of us that public safety must be the top priority.

Supervisor Hamburg, please reconsider your position and support the Sheriff’s Department.

Colin Wilson, Fire Chief

Anderson Valley Fire Department

Boonville

One Response to Letters To The Editor

  1. Nathaniel Branden, Jr. Reply

    July 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Good God, the tinfoil hat crowd is out in full force in this week’s letters column !
    1) On PG&E Smart Meters friends of mine down in the Bay Area report no problems with them over the past year. No skewed readings, no rate rises,
    you don’t have to unlock the side security gate all day to let the meter reader in,
    etc. All the Bay Guardian predictions were wrong.

    2) Germany has economic problems galore. They have enacted much more conservative, restrictive measures that would have lefties pulling their hair out
    over here.
    Try to reach anybody in any office in Germany after noon on Friday. The welfare state is bankrupting the country which is why the Germans are opposing the Greek bailout in the EU. Germany is a police state where you go to prison for questioning the holocaust but NOT for questioning the much larger holocausts
    of Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot. Despite all it’s PC and anti-free speech laws in the name of anti-racism there’s a considerable amount of anti-Turkish racism
    alive and well there. As a Jew I found their phony philo-semitism condescending and uncomfortable.
    Finally before the more noted events of 1942-44, the Germans killed eight million of each other in The Thirty Years religious wars.
    It’s just peachy to get whitewashed reports of a foreign nation from stupid American tourists.

    3) In 2000 Marc Cooper called for a Mumia Free year, eliciting howls from the Chomsky Cult at Z and KPFA, ad nauseum.
    I would like to call for a Prisoner Free letters column at the AVA.

    4)Jay, I never run over cats or dogs or squirrels or even rats but I will run over every snake I see. You can take your beloved rattlers and do the anatomically impossible with them.

    5) Carol, female violence is as unreported as prison rape used to be. Please
    take your sexist female pig chauvinism and put it where the sun don’t shine.

    6) Nicholas, 99% of us are heartily fed up of hearing the ‘gay’ agit-prop.
    Do what you please in private but don’t shove it in our faces.
    We profoundly do not care. Capice ?

    7)Lee, I’m sick of your paranoid wordsalads from Old Virginny. Read some real philosophers like Mortimer Adler or Aristotle and spare us your ongoing losing battles with ‘the system.’ People like you will lose under any system.

    8) Finally to the rest of you, I know this is California but you don’t need to let it all hang out. Repression is good for the soul as Freud noted and it is good for the rest of us not to know your innermost selves. To live most of your lives is a misdeamor, to repeat it publicly is a felony.

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