Letters To The Editor
by AVA News Service, August 3, 2011
Jerry Brown’s plan to extend the taxes that expired on July 1 by putting them on the ballot for the public to vote on fizzled. He knew that once it was on the ballot he could campaign that this was a crisis and that if it didn’t pass everything would come to a halt. He was quite sure that with union TV money it would pass as it’s been doing for the last 30 years. Fortunately, it didn’t get enough support to put it on the ballot.
One of the things held up until they really need it is that there were plans to build new courthouses throughout the state. The judiciary said it was not taxpayer money. It would come from fines and fees. That sent the word out to ticket any minor infraction and to raise the fines and fees. Which they have done.
We all make mistakes, including judges, cops, and politicians. Fines are for people who purposely break the law. I have been in the courthouse many times and most of the time only half the courts are active. I am sure many people reading this have had jury duty only to find out the night before or the morning of the trial that it has been settled.
Two things here. One is the disrespect for those jurors who had put aside that day or days to do a very important duty. The second is that judges should make the parties settle a week before or go to trial. Lawyers who do not settle in that time should be severely fined because when the courtroom stands idly by it costs the taxpayer. I see no difference between this and any other crime of stealing.
What’s needed is more efficiency not more palaces for the judiciary. And while we’re at it, what about those guards who screen everyone who comes into the courthouse? Are those in the courthouse some kind of royalty? I’ve heard of shootouts at all kinds of places and maybe there has been one in a courthouse, but I’ve never heard of it.
On the federal level, August 2, 2011, is the day we default or not. For years all our governments big and small have been creating crises and telling the public they must pass one tax or another to solve the crisis. When we pass the tax they either create a new bureaucracy or add benefits for themselves. The culprit is us, the voters. Again the problem is taxes, not the solution.
What happened to that great American economy? They are building bigger container ships (not in the US) to bring bigger quantities of goods (not made in the US) to be unloaded by gigantic cranes (built in China). To the credit of the Chinese, they built 5,000 miles of high-speed railroad in the last decade. We can’t even build one from Santa Rosa to San Rafael, some 40 miles.
CALL TO ACTION
It's that time again. Please find attached a check for a renewal of my subscription at the one-year rate. I just returned from a three-week trip to East Africa to find notices of price hikes for my telephone and internet service. The notice of my AVA subscription expiring was a pleasant call to action. Keep up the great work!
Mark Cotta Vaz
LET THEM EAT CATS
92 kids killed on an island and many wounded plus the government offices in Oslo bombed with at least seven killed there.
Neo-Nazis are way more dangerous these days than the commie pinkos, I'd say. Remember McVeigh?
Herr Schicklgruber came from Austria, birthplace of our since shamed ex-Governor Arnold the Barbarian. (I can picture him now wielding his mighty swift sword.) Good luck at the box office, Governor.
Love to all,
Head in Clouds
PS. Be very leery of devoted flagwavers, a little bit goes a long way and careful of your salutes.
PPS. Lefties subvert by the pen, don't we?
PPS. Question: who chooses a “speaker” with a speech impediment without irony?
Answer: House Republicans.
Example: Listen closely whenever he addresses a group to his “ahs,” as an “ah, the president.” (I dare you to count the times.)
And speaking of failing to see the irony, while catching an update on CNN the other day comes the starvation situation in the Horn of Africa followed by a commercial for cat food featuring succulent cuts of beef, salmon, etc.. To paraphrase that French queen, “Let them eat cats.” Only in America.
PPPS. The end is near! See page 12.
PPPPS. As I suspected Looney Tunes in Norway by his own admission targeted to the Labour Party (read Left) with his bombs and bullets. But our pens will out!
Regarding the Little River County Airport Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan or logging job. I want to correct two items in your article about this project in the July 13 edition.
I stated that a landowner with inventory like Mendocino County should be able to net $200 per thousand (not $200,000) at this time in a well-planned and executed selective timber harvest. Forest landowners sell logs and loggers are paid for harvesting and trucking on a per thousand board feet basis.
I agree with Supervisor Pinches that the work entailed should cost about $8-$10,000 for the forestry, owl biology and botanical studies. I have administered about six or seven timber operations on non-industrial timber management plans and I think that amount is generous. $30,000 for a 60-acre nonindustrial timber operation is about three times what it should cost and is not looking out for the interests of the landowner — who is ultimately the Mendocino County citizens. My active job is about 60 acres and we are netting better than $200 per thousand board feet on average for all species and the forester and related costs for this nonindustrial timber operation will be less than $8,000.
I enjoyed the article and I think your paper as an important critical voice to our county.
Tom Kisliuk RPF #2676
SOME SUPES ON
Dear Bruce Anderson,
I few weeks ago I made a note to myself to write you to thank you for mentioning the Supes On show. Even though your comments were predictably negative and snide I figured your mention of the show might pique interest and viewers could make up their own minds.
I hadn't taken the time to write that thank you, but now that you have written about the Supes On show again in this latest issue (July 20), I feel compelled to write because your facts are completely off. It would have been sooooo easy to find out that the show is produced at Mendocino Coast Television (MCTV), in our unique and quite interesting history-filled 100+ year old building in downtown Fort Bragg. Supes On: Bridging the Ridge (the full title) is a monthly show that Kendall Smith, Dan Hamburg and Laura Hamburg produce in our studio. The studio, by the way, is available to county residents to produce non commercial programming. We send program DVDs to the Ukiah and Willits stations to reach a countywide audience. We also prepare an audio stream so those without high speed connection can listen to the program. The video and audio of each Supes On: Bridging the Ridge program can be found at www.mendocoasttv.org. The next show will run for the first time on August 5 at 8pm. The focus of August program is on county wide broadband issues.
Since where the Supes On is produced is so easy to find out, I am wondering if you chose to say that it is produced in “the dreary studios” in Ukiah because it worked editorially with using the ancient history of Hal Titen and your often-targeted County Office of Education — both totally irrelevant — to point out something. I just don't know what exactly. To connect Jimmy Rickels to pubic access reveals your ignorance and/or it is a silly attempt to denigrate public access television.
FYI, There are three separate non-profits running Public, Education & Government Access (PEG Access) in the county: MCTV on the Coast, Mendocino Access Television (MAT) in Ukiah, and Willits Community TV. Each of us provides many services that would not be available otherwise, and we do it on a shoestring budget. One of our services is to video record public meetings, such as city councils, the board of supervisors, the county retirement board, and school boards, in their entirety. This one aspect of what we do means that people can watch/listen and make up their own minds; they do not need to accept what is reported in your paper, for example. I do wonder if your funky attitude toward access television is because we are your competition in some ways. We provide a level of transparency which wouldn't happen without us as no commercial media can afford to do what we do, and non profit KZYX radio has to fill time with the more popular shows to survive as well. KMEC radio does stream the audio for Board of Supervisors — Live, I think. Their site has some audio files of BOS too.
The commercial internet TV, Ukiah Valley TV (UVTV) used to stream all or parts of county meetings — they essentially grabbed the live video provided by Ukiah's PEG. Some people thought they were actually responsible for the meetings being streamed which was never true. UVTV didn't need to pay for production staff or video equipment and running it on the internet was a lot cheaper than putting on tv, but Ukiah Valley TV seems to have bit the dust.
If you ever want to see for yourself what really happens in meetings, you can find Video on Demand files of meetings on our website www.mendocoasttv.org.
Although each of the counties PEG organizations are different, we each provide a variety of other services in addition to meeting coverage, including video production training, the free use of equipment resident members, opportunities for county non profits and government agencies to announce upcoming events or activities for starters. We all provide distribution on TV to cable subscribers and each of us have some or all their programs on the internet.
Each PEG has 3 channels to program, one of the channels is the Public Access channel, and we do not censor the contents on it: whatever non commercial work is produced or submitted by residents is put on air. We do not review the video and decide whether to run it or not. The public channel is completely open for people to say anything as long as they take responsibility for their statements by signing a form that releases the organization from responsibility. The Public Access channel is actual Free Speech Television.
I often buy and read the AVA because I appreciate that you seem to have a kind of free speech approach and it attracts some interesting stories and good writing. I sometimes find your use of language interesting, even if your predictable opinions are tiresome and your stance on facts — not caring about them — is annoying.
I hope you will correct some of your facts and let your readers know that Supes On is produced in the MCTV studios, and if you are feeling generous, you are welcome to include this letter.
If you would like to be helpful, please announce that MCTV, in partnership with the Redwood Coast Senior Center, is producing the First Annual TeleMendoLIVE — a 10-hour telethon fundraiser with 20 live entertainers providing music, poetry, etc. It will air on Channel 3 and be streamed live on the web. The date of the Telethon is Saturday, September 17 from noon to 10pm. We expect to have a lot of fun and hope to raise some money.
Mendocino Coast Television
Ed note: I mostly agree with you, Ms. Swenson, but I still wonder why ALL the supervisors aren't included? McCowen and Smith would be fun, Carrie and Dan, Cowboy John and Dan.
CAN TERRI GROSS BE FAR BEHIND?
This morning I heard the words "…Mendocino County … Bruce Anderson … Anderson Valley Advertiser …" from the radio.
Someone else — here in my friends' house in Surprise, Arizona – had turned the radio on and set it to NPR. (I would never do anything like that). On that station around 7 o'clock, just as I came in from my bike ride, the commentators were holding forth on the delights and miseries of newspapering in small communities, and actually spent around 135 seconds talking about … you.
I was shocked. So much so, that the SUBSTANCE of that part of the conversation went right past me. Sorry!
I was heading out of Mendocino on July 23rd when I passed Friendship Park on my way to Highway 1. As I passed the busy park covered with white tents and lots of people I was happy to see the baseball park being used. As I stopped and looked closer I was shocked. 31 cars had driven on and parked on the little Little League field. How could this happen? Does the Rec. Center or the school board rent the field and suggest this? Does the user really see a hand-made baseball park and say “Why not? Let's drive on it.” If 30 people drove their cars on the field at night it would be called vandalism. I hope the Sutterlys, Katzeffs, Rawlins, Barhams, Poehlmans and all the others others who dreamed up this field, and built it, didn't drive by. Traffic and baseball diamonds don't do well together. What could equal this disrespect? Maybe skateboarding indoors at the Art Center Gallery?
A suggestion. If anyone decides to use Sheppard Soccer Field for any sort of activity or fair, don't call Jonathan Sheppard if you decide to drive 30 cars on it.
THE GOMDEN CUSHION
Good Morning Postmodern America,
It's Sunday and I had a wonderful relaxing sleep at the jazz rehearsal studio I take rest at in Oakland. Got up early and breakfasted with my service group, the Berkeley Catholic Worker. Then, on to the Berkeley Dharmadhatu for the Sunday open house meditation followed by a talk/discussion and then tea and cookies. During the discussion, we did a short exercise in which we stated what we are emotionally closed off to, and then recommended to ourselves what to do to be more open to the problem. I said that the entire confusion in Washington DC regarding the imminent financial default of the government, and my not receiving any cooperation from leftist activists, or receiving any money at all, to be able to go there and perform direct action, protest, demonstrate, and engage in an alternative media campaign in response to the implosion due August 2nd, was what I am emotionally closed off to, and not accepting fully. I stated that my being aware that others also do not have more money to do what they believe they are called to do, is the way for me to be more open to the situation.
I ask everyone to understand that I faced my frustration, anger, sadness, and general suffering, and that I heroically sat three periods of meditation on the firm gomden square cushion in the meditation room, and that I am now open to relating in an emotionally positive manner to the circumstances surrounding the dysfunctional, selfish, stupid impasse of the United States federal government in Washington DC, and my not receiving yet what I need to be there actively. I want cooperation to move to Washington DC for the expressed purpose of “intervening in history.” I want cooperation to get there (other than by the bus yet again). I want a place to go to there (as opposed to squatting in the woods and eating out of dumpsters). I want money to use, and I want to know if anybody in California is sane enough to form a caravan a go there with me.
Craig Louis Stehr,
593 62nd Street, Oakland, CA 94609-1246
HOT V. HOTTER
We're sweltering in a flooded mid-America Hades, dealing with my recently deceased mom's house and belongings.
I thought you'd enjoy the local rag's coverage of a big pot bust on property owned by the Kansas City International Airport. The cops confiscated and destroyed 4900 plants with a “street value” of $15.7 million.
Small potatoes by Mendopian standards, but at least the cops here destroy the infrastructure and restore the area to its natural state.
I'm anxiously anticipating my return to Mendopia with highs in the 90s rather than the 100s.
In all aspects, mid-America is a scene from the lower depths of Dante's Inferno. Ground zero for the obesity acceptance movement.
PS. In my multistate travels to flyover country I've determined that the public radio format is the same throughout the country — chirping yuppies engaged in banal chitchat occasionally playing good music by accident. Mendopia's KZIP is the rule rather than the exception.
TO HECK WITH IT
I know the AVA is a family newspaper, so I don't expect you to publish this, but the other day I was talking to someone who mentioned they wanted to do some wild shit before they die, you know, their Bucket List. So I got a laugh by saying I had a “Fuck It! List.” Then I went home and wrote my personal Fuck It! List:
1) Be sure to vote in the next election.
2) “Go Green” and reduce my “carbon footprint.”
3) Buy over-priced local food at the Farmer's Market.
4) Go on a healthy diet and cut back on my alcohol consumption.
5) Contact “Old Friends” on FaceBook.
6) Get a doctor’s prescription for cannabis and plug into the County's latest marijuana “plant-tie” program.
7) Really listen to my wife when she's talking to me.
8) Try to develop a more positive attitude.
9) Set goals and try to finish SOMETHING!
10) Be a role model for my Grandchildren.
And joining you (some day!) on a walk around SF is certainly NOT on my “Fuck-it! List.”
I don't know who they belong to. But I want the owners to know that I appreciate that I can watch them growing up next to their moms, right there on the side of the road. Puts a smile on my face every time I see them and I know I am not the only one!
Okay, so, are there really still those who do not see that the Republican Party, as it is currently constituted in Washington, has totally broken our government? That it has turned it completely away from taking care of The People’s vital business, and is now in the process of intentionally crashing the economy? Why would they want to do that? Well, according to public statements by Mitch McConnell (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tony Soprano’s evil, vicious mother), his number one priority is to make sure that Barack Obama is a one term president; not to try to create jobs for the millions of desperately unemployed, not to try to solve the mortgage home foreclosure crisis that kicks thousands of Americans each day out of their homes, and certainly not to address the much larger, if more gradually occurring, global disaster of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. No, preventing Obama’s reelection is their first, and apparently only, order of business.
The so-called Tea Party faction of about 70 freshman congressman, elected last year, were preselected by their Daddy Warbucks campaign funders for being cold-eyed right wing ideologues, as well as being dumb as boxes of rocks and ambitious enough to be free of any moral scruples that may hinder their usefulness to the powerful.
The political theater that has paralyzed the entire legislative branch of our government of late, has nothing to do with deficits or taxes or anything else but political grandstanding and obstructionism; apparently they're perfectly willing to destroy the economy and plunge US workers back into an even worse unemployment situation than the recession that we are supposedly beginning to climb out of. The Republican side of the aisle seems to be so virulently anti-Obama that they will now vote against legislation that they once championed, just to deny Obama any success at anything.
Republican ire against Obama is difficult to fathom; the guy is basically a Republican, based on all of the terrible W policies that he has continued and sometimes even expanded. The worst negotiator in my memory; he seems to initiate every “negotiation” with the Republicans by preemptively caving in on just about everything they ask for, often adding extra steal-from-the-rest-of-us-to-give-more-to-the-already-fabulously-rich goodies that they don't even have the nerve to ask for.
What makes me despair of the chance of there being some compromise before catastrophic default, is that even when Obama offers to basically give away the store to these economic extortionists, his offer is immediately shot down by the insane tea party caucus, presumably because it does not kick enough poor people out on the streets, doesn't snatch enough food away from hungry children in order to fund more tax breaks for the super rich and corporations.
For decades now, the tax burden borne by the wealthiest 1% and corporations has been steadily declining; the George W. Bush years were particularly favorable to the fortunes of these folks. Considering that the overly generous tax breaks given to the fortunate few, along with several emergency funded wars of choice account for the lion's share of the many trillions of dollars worth of Bush era expansion of national debt, the repeal of these ill-considered changes in tax policy should be a bright line in the sand that Obama should hold fast to in any negotiations.
Speaker Boener’s ridiculous “all-cuts” budget proposal, DOA in the Senate, was so far removed from the hopes and wishes of the vast majority of Americans, that they may as well have spent all week discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. No wonder the international community is starting to wonder whether to invest in US treasuries any more.
This completely unnecessary, self-induced “crisis” is kind of like if you've decided to budget your expenditures according to some arbitrary numbers, and then when you find that you are overspending, deciding that you are going to solve the problem by not paying your mortgage. Sure, you can do that, but not for very long, before you find yourself amongst the burgeoning ranks of the homeless.
The Tea Party Republicans are insane; they firmly believe things that simply are not true. If I had a nickel for every time Republican talking heads are allowed to blather on about the filthy rich being the ‘job creators’ without anyone ever pointing out the fact that, if it were true that giving tax breaks to the rich would create jobs, why on earth are we not at full employment right now, considering the generosity of Bush, and now Obama taxes for the rich?
If Obama does make all these cuts in the budget that he's promising, we will soon look back on today’s 9 or 10% unemployment as the good old days.
A good laugh today in the NY Times.
One faction of the NATO front 'rebels' murdered the overall military commander of their organization, Gen. Abdel Fatah Younes, then attempted to lie about who killed Younes, blaming it on a vague “armed gang” in an official statement.
Ali Tarhouni, member of the NATO front governing council of the Benghazi faction supported by Obama Inc. said, quoting the AP:
“Everything is under control. This is just a rough stage we are going through.”
The statement by Tarhouni could also be which of the following?
1) KZYX Mission Statement.
2) KPFA status report.
3) Summary of MECA/ANSWER progress on organizing protest against Obama.
4) Slogan of Obama's re-election campaign.
5) Final report on US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
6) Final self-evaluation of the Palestinian Authority and its US based academic stooges.
7) All of the above.
Wed. Aug. 10, 5:30-8 PM: Coast Summer Salads class with community meal at end (salad, smoothie, kim chee.
Sun, Aug. 14, 2-5 PM: Inland Summer Salads class with community meal at end (salad, smoothie, kim chee), seeds available for nominal cost, meet at Boonville Fairgrounds parking lot for 2 mile carpool
Sun. Oct. 16, 2-5 PM: Coast Summer Salads class with community meal at end (salad, smoothie, kim chee), seeds available for nominal cost, at 6141 S. Hwy 1, Elk
Sun, Nov. 13, 1-4 PM: Inland Summer Salads class with community meal at end (salad, smoothie, kim chee), seeds available for nominal cost, meet at Boonville Fairgrounds parking lot for 2 mile carpool
Video in progress; availability mid-Autumn.
Call 707-877-1668, email firstname.lastname@example.org . Updates at www.touchtheearthmusic.com
TOO LITTLE, TOO SLOW
Though I agree with what Mavis Mathews wrote in her excellent letter last week (7/27), when I went to the website she mentioned: www.movetoamend.org , I was disappointed. The website doesn't say anything except that the Move To Amend is waiting for more input before they put anything substantial down. But they wanted my name and address. Here's my 2¢ instead:
Democratize the work place and have all management up to the board of directors elected by those working in that industry, factory or farm. When Gorbechev suggested that to the Soviet Union the Party threw him out.
Decide democratically nationwide what to do and produce collectively. I think drugs and porn will most likely have to go it on their own.
Pay in hours instead of currency and get rid of money. You work 8 hours and you get an electronic card that you can swipe to buy whatever it took 8 hours to make. And it doesn't matter if you're a garbage collector or a brain surgeon, 8 hours is 8 hours. And when we trade it would go like this: we will trade you 5 million hours worth of gold for 5 million hours worth of rice.
Tax everybody the same. Convert the IRS from validating income to validating hours.
Pay off the national debt with products we produce and put everybody to work.
Phase out elected representatives. The Internet's here.
In fact it will all have to be done in phases. In the computer industry, when you move your information from one computer to a better system, it's called migration. And it's done in stages.
Then open up the borders. The Jihadists want to overthrow capitalism, they leave us alone. And we'll need all the labor we can get, we have a big debt to pay off.
Those are mostly old ideas. And they wouldn't work in an undeveloped country. But from what I can tell, the Move to Amend is another liberal movement that can't take us far or fast enough.
THANKS FROM THE MORSES
My family and I want to express our gratitude for our many many friends who have been so great after the loss of Howard.
A big thank you to the AV Ambulance and crew, the young men from CDF, our local Deputy Walker, and the helicopter crew.
Also, our friends and loved ones who joined us in our “Celebration of Life” for Howard at the Apple Hall Park. Some of our friends came from as far away as Grass Valley and Petaluma.
We also appreciated the American Legion who gave Howard the ultimate send off.
Also, thanks to Bruce & Kenny Hurst for all their kindness.
We truly live in a great community.
The Morse, Lemons & Harding families
NCRA SHOULD BE SUED
It was a pleasure in read in the Letters to the Editor that two North Coast citizens' groups have sued the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) to set aside its recent environment impact report (EIR) for its failure to address the impacts of rebuilding and operating the entire rail line which runs from Arcata to Lombard. It was noted the NCRA signed a Consent Decree in 1999 to take specific measures to protect water quality and clean up toxic spill areas. They still have not complied with the decree. Further, they tried unsuccessfully to avoid compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The largest section of the line which runs through the Eel River Canyon is never going to be rebuilt. Too expensive and the land is far too unstable. What we now have is a short line railroad of 68 miles which may or may not generate any profits. The NWP Company, which is the operating company, while it may not show a net profit, could still have positive cash flow due to the depreciation charges for tax purposes the company would take on its equipment. An important question I would have is how net profit is defined for the lease payments to NCRA?
This fiasco is just one more example of the Legislature approving an ill-thought-out proposal for the accommodation of self-serving local politicians.
James G. Updegraff
NAMES, GIMME NAMES?
I love reading the Advertiser. As others have said before, there is no other paper in the world quite like it! So fitting for our county.
However, I notice that all the colorful naming of others is reserved for the left leaners (e.g., “tinfoil hat crowd,” “Bush hippies,” etc.)! I am hereby requesting equal time for the right leading radicals (often misnamed “conservatives”).
What might those be? If there are Bush hippies — are their weed whackers? (Those who want to whack out the weed from the hills where they grow). If there are tinfoil hat crowds, are there also lead heads? Ummm — I think you see where I am headed with this. Equality in name-calling and characterization is only fair and fairness is part of what our great nation prides itself on.
Ed note: The Rural Fascist League has morphed into the Tea Party, as have the Camo Buddies. We used to devote much attention to these “right leaners” who, along with “left leaners,” can also be Hill Muffins if they live in the, well, hills. The generic Muff, left or right, is mostly inert. He spends most of his waking hours patiently tracking that beguiling ray of golden sunshine as it makes its inevitable way east to west up then down his hammock. Excuse me. Where were we? Oh yes. The “left leaners,” as you call the Tin Foil Hat brigades. They seem more and more prevalent in the County these days, but, to us, they’re much more in the tradition of the generic American crackpot than they are politically left, and you might even agree that as the large-scale catastrophes metastasize the alleged hazards of smartmeters are simply not much to worry about in the general life-threatening deluge. We don’t like PG&E either, but we don’t like it because it isn’t a publicly controlled public utility. We agreed with and supported the late, great Joe Neilands’ and the SF Bay Guardian’s lonely struggles to make PG&E a genuine public utility, a struggle that is ongoing. To us, that’s the issue with PG&E, not smartmeters. As it stands, PG&E could strap a smartmeter to Greg Krouse himself without the PUC even noticing, let alone doing anything about it.