Letters To The Editor

by AVA News Service, September 1, 2011

Norman Solomon’s strong voice — for promotion of a Green New Deal and against big money’s takeover of government — is also an invitation to engage in our future. Now, he is a Democratic candidate for Congress in the newly established North Coast Congressional District running from Marin County to the Oregon border. He will be in Mendocino County on September 8 and 9 to help build a movement that “works together to do the difficult tasks, to be part of the political process, to insist that the ocean is not for sale, that the government is not for sale, that our earth is not for sale.”

Come meet him at the Caspar Community Center in downtown Caspar on Thursday, September 8 at 7 pm or on Friday September 9 at 4:30 pm at the Ukiah Brewing Company & Restaurant, 102 S. State Street, Ukiah. From stinging critiques of the corporate media in his long-running, nationally-syndicated column Media Beat; to his strong anti-war message in his book and documentary War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death; to his seminal work on a Green New Deal — pointing the way “to a more resilient region guided by principles of environmental sustainability, economic equity and social justice” — Norman Solomon has spent decades preparing himself for Congress.

As Norman says, “The traditional political approaches are dismal failures and really jeopardizing the future for the next generation…. So much is at stake for future generations and for the planet that we need to be willing to organize as if our lives and the lives of those close to us depended on it. Getting involved is essential…. We can turn this around… In moral and electoral terms, the status quo is indefensible. Economic realities include high unemployment, routine home foreclosures, huge tax breaks for large corporations, and widening gaps between the wealthy and the rest of us — in tandem with endless war and runaway military spending…A much better world is possible… The stakes are too high and crises too extreme to accept 'moderate' accommodation to unending war, regressive taxation, massive unemployment, routine foreclosures, and environmental destruction…It’s time to go back to the grassroots and organize with renewed, deepened commitment to changing the direction of this country.”

Meet Norman in the new South Room at the Caspar Community Center at 7 pm on September 8, or at the Ukiah Brewing Company & Restaurant at 4:30 pm on Friday September 9.

For more information on his campaign, check out his website at www.solomonforcongress.com. Contact Jim Tarbell at rtp@mcn.org for more information on his visit to Mendocino County.

Jim Tarbell

Caspar

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ELIGIBILITY

To the Editor,

So, it appears that Supervisor Hamburg is not happy with the redistricting “Option E2” that wants to remove the town of Mendocino from his Fifth District. Well of course not, a good amount of votes Hamburg gets undoubtedly come from Mendocino.

I have a good idea. Why not extend the Second District south to say about Retech and west to about the top of the Boonville Grade? Then, Doper Dan’s residence will be in the Second District and he will no longer be eligible to be Fifth District Supervisor.

Thank you

David Anderson

Ukiah

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WHEN IN WILDERNESS…

To the Editor:

Many years ago when Lynn Gravier (the lady that fed the Bears) moved to the “remote mountain cabin,” Lynn made friends with her environment including the wildlife. More recently the people who move to remote places to live, when they see the first mountain lion or bear, they usually call for someone to come shoot it without a thought that they had moved into the territory where the wildlife live.

If a bear had walked through Lynn's cabin, had she been there, I believe she would have housebroken the bear in a short period of time. It is disturbing to see her blamed for the mess that the Bears left by breaking into her home after she was evicted from it.

Either way, moving to the wilderness has its problems.

Ann Foster

Ukiah

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COME FORTH, FIGURES

Editor,

Below is a copy of a letter and a request for financial figures of our Community Services District which was published last month in this newspaper.

Letter:

How much total debt does the CSD have as of the close of their accounting year which is ?

The total and major categories.

The total income.

Is there a crisis like all other governments are having?

As of today (August 22, 2011) no financial figures have come forth. I will remind the CSD board that there is a law called the California Public Records Act. Basically it means the records of our California government are public records and have to be made available. The exception to that law is preliminary drafts, notes and correspondence. Preliminary means something has not been done yet. That's okay. But the minute they spend a nickel or pass something by the governing board it is public record. It's a foregone conclusion that when the budget is kept secret or explained in a not understandable manner there is hanky-panky. Why in the newspaper? Because it's the law and the US Constitution meant for us to have government that is open to review by all its citizens.

Emil Rossi

Boonville

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EXCESS ACCESS

To: Roger Mobley, chief planner, Mendocino County Planning and Building Services, 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1440, Ukiah, CA 95482.

Dear Mr. Mobley,

This letter is written to object to the issuing of a business license to Mendocino Generations, a medical marijuana dispensary set to open in downtown Boonville.

The primary goal of the Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition is to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in Anderson Valley. We feel that the presence of the dispensary in such a centrally located area of Boonville will increase access to marijuana and encourage use by youth by normalizing its presence as part of the community culture. Across the country, marijuana use is increasing among youth ages 12-17 and this is parallels the legalization of medical marijuana. The very description of marijuana as “medical” minimizes for youth the perception of harm. We know from research that the adolescent brain is not fully developed and that marijuana affects motivation, memory and learning. We also know that marijuana is a psychoactive drug that affects the brain's reward system in a similar way to other addicting drugs.

This particular location is next door to a church that hosts a variety of programs and services to children, being used by the public grammar school, part-time private schooling, student tutoring and lessons, community activities and substance abuse counseling. The church facility has a long history of being used for full-time private school purposes. While there is no full-time private school in session this year, the location of a marijuana co-op next door (within 600 feet, per AB-2650) could very well disrupt their plans for this use in the future and prevent issuance of a use permits should the school choose to substantially increase the number of students. On the other side, Lauren's Restaurant serves families and hosts local school exhibits, dances and teen center events as does the Fairgrounds located across the street. This is a prime location for family and youth activities and the presence of a dispensary is inappropriate.

In addition we are concerned about community safety as it relates to drugged driving, potential crime and the adverse effects on local business. There has been no opportunity for public input from the community. Their business license application seems intentionally misleading as it does not even mention marijuana dispensing. The County grand jury has recommended a moratorium on new dispensaries pending creation of a county ordinance to regulate where and how medical marijuana dispensaries are able to operate. 80 cities in California have implemented moratoriums, 60 have outright banned dispensaries, 11 counties have either banned them or placed a moratorium on them and more follow every day. We fully agree with the recommendation of the Grand Jury and urge your department to withhold the business license for this operation.

Sincerely,

Colleen Schenck

Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition

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POT STORE? WHY NOT?

Editor

I’d like to offer an alternate viewpoint to that of the two preachers who fear that a medicinal marijuana dispensary adjacent to their church might somehow corrupt their youth or get them caught in a crossfire of criminal activity (AVA, 8/24 /11). These are the same people who instruct their flock, assuming they follow the eternal church tenants that I was taught, that failure to conform to church dogma will result in an eternity of torment in a lake of fire. How is that for corruption of youth? I think the preachers need not worry about people next door, but what happens in their own establishment.

Marijuana can be a great relief to people in pain such as cancer victims and others who have run out of options and who don’t care for idiotic politics, but just want to be pain free for a time. Let the advocates of this dispensary provide such a service. Maybe marijuana is so plentiful in this Valley that a dispensary may be unnecessary. Fine, then the business will fail. Let people have a try at making a living by providing an important service to our fellow citizens in need. Seems like a reasonable plan. The beneficial fruits of the number one industry in our county should not be hidden behind closed doors.

In my opinion the potential benefits of medicinal marijuana to people in our community who may be in great pain outweigh the fear that the mere presence of a dispensary might be a risk to young people. In reality, drugs and crime could be anywhere — parents, teachers and preachers need to teach kids to deal with those hazards whether a dispensary is next door or not.

Paul Soderman

Boonville

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TRUE TRUTHERS

Editor,

Looking Back At 9/11 Ten Years Later: Just How Did Those Buildings Collapse?

Our memories of September 11th, 2001 are wrapped around where we were when the airliners hit the World Trade Center towers and the impact of those flames upon our psyches. Our national leaders quickly led us on to attack the alleged terrorists in Afghanistan and eventually to an all-out invasion of Iraq. For many, the recent focus has been on how to get our troops out of these two countries and shut off the enormous drain these wars have upon our very sick economy. Now, ten years after that day when 2606 innocent office workers were deliberately murdered, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth believes it is time to seriously examine how these people actually died and if their deaths were really necessary. During the past decade, A&E 9/11Truth, an organization of over 1500 Architects and Engineers from all over the United States associated with 12,400 other supporters have signed The 911Truth Petition calling for a new and independent investigation. We have carefully researched all available evidence regarding the destruction of the twin 110-story towers and the 47 story WTC-7 building in lower Manhattan. We find it very disturbing that official investigations have failed to address evidence of explosives and incendiaries that may have contributed to the fall of these buildings. In fact, there has been a total failure to explain how these buildings could have each fallen in less than 12 seconds, essentially in free fall. The 9/11 Commission set up by the Bush Administration never even investigated the collapse of WTC-7 some nine hours later, a building not struck by an airliner. FEMA supervised the wholesale destruction of evidence even prior to the official investigation, completely ignoring the recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association. FEMA quickly loaded 200,000 tons of structural steel on barges and shipped it to India and China for recycling. Only a few hundred pieces are now available as forensic evidence. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) deliberately excluded relevant facts from their report such as the presence of chemical residues, particles of un-ignited incendiaries, nanothermite, and molten metal in the wreckage in their rush to close the books on this disaster.

We at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth have limited our investigations to the examination of evidence concerning the unexplained free-fall of three Manhattan skyscrapers in seconds. We have not indulged in speculation about who specifically planned and executed the 9/11 attacks in New York, nor have we studied the crash of United Flight 93 into the Pentagon that same day. We will continue to research, compile, and disseminate scientific evidence relative to the destruction of the three New York buildings and call for a truly open and independent investigation. The 9/11 Commission was headed by Governor Thomas Kean and Representative Lee Hamilton, who felt the Commission was “set up to fail” and subsequently wrote a book attempting to disassociate themselves from the final Commission Report. However, that Report still provides the justification for our continuing open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and many Americans are still bound to the story of a 9/11 Moslem terrorist attack upon our homeland.

We believe that there is now sufficient evidence to conclude that World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7 were destroyed not by jet impacts and fires but by controlled demolition with explosives. We therefore call upon Congress to initiate a new investigation with full subpoena powers. Our work is dedicated to the victims and to the families of those who died on September 11th 2001 and to all throughout the world who have been affected. If you are interested in learning more, signing our petition, and perhaps joining in this effort, you will find additional materials including DVDs available at: WWW.911Truth.org.

James F. Houle, 911 Truth Volunteer

Redwood Valley

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NEXT TO A CHURCH?

Laura Hamburg:

Your choice of location for your marijuana dispensary is an indecent affront to our community. Next door to a church? Please reconsider.

Sincerely,

Barbara Scott

Philo

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GOT POT? NOT

Dear Boonville business owner,

We feel that the proposed downtown Boonville marijuana dispensary would not only be bad for the youth in our community but also bad for business. We realize that you may or may not agree with agree with this. If you do agree, it would be helpful to have you fill out a copy of the complaint form provided by the Business and Planning Department. We will be happy to pick up and deliver your complaint with those of other Boonville business owners to the Planning Department. Give us a call at 895-2146. We are providing this packet to all downtown Boonville businesses. This is the only tool at our disposal because there is no ordinance; the only way to stop the opening is denying a business license. Please read the letter [printed in last week's AVA] to understand why we are opposed to a dispensary opening in such a central location. There is lots of information online that documents the adverse effects of dispensaries on neighbors. If you can take some time please investigate for yourself the experiences other communities have had.

The Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition

Boonville

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OLD HORSES

Dear Editor:

Our organization receives calls regularly from concerned citizens. “There’s a horse in the pasture near my home that is thin as a rail. The owner says it’s because he’s old, but I’m watching him just waste away.” It is a common misconception that horses become thinner with age and there is nothing we can do about it. Fact is old horses don't just get thin; they have health problems that make them thin.

All horses benefit from regular veterinary care, which includes an annual dental check. Horses grind their food when they eat and that grinding motion can cause the teeth to become worn unevenly, creating sharp points that make eating difficult, painful, and slow. An older horse may need his teeth checked more frequently – many veterinarians recommend every six months. An older horse’s teeth may be worn all the way down to the gum-line and he can no longer chew hay. Fortunately, there are readily available special feeds, high in digestible calories for geriatric horses. The horse may need to be separated from the rest of the herd while he’s eating so he’s not competing for food with his faster-eating buddies. Not only is this good horse management practice, it’s the law. Mendocino County Sec. 10.20.010B states, “The owner of any large animal shall provide proper and adequate food, water, shelter, care and attention for such animal. No owner of such animal shall allow it to suffer or be left in a filthy, diseased or neglected condition.”

If a horse is being fed and continues to go downhill, a veterinary examination is warranted. Old horses don’t get thin because they are old. They get thin because they have health problems. Humane care requires that those health problems be diagnosed and addressed.

Angie Herman, SAFER

Willits

PS. www.saferhorse.com  — a non-profit organization dedicated to re-homing displaced horses and educating the public concerning horse welfare. SAFER manages a Hay Assistance Program in Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties.

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LEGALIZE THREE POUNDS

Editor,

Mendocino County's Ad Hoc Dispensary Committee, created by the Board of Supervisors to craft a cannabis dispensary ordinance, was disbanded due to lack of supervisor interest in wading into a hornet's nest of controversy when it wasn't necessary. There have been zero law enforcement problems with the 13 dispensaries now operating legally in the county, based on obtaining a business license, becoming a mutual benefit association and paying sales taxes.

Supervisor John McCowen and newly elected Supervisor Dan Hamburg were in charge of the ad hoc committee, along with representatives from each dispensary, when Hamburg suddenly withdrew due to the appearance of a conflict of interest, since his daughter Laura was in the process of obtaining a license to open Mendocino Generations, a new dispensary in Boonville. Despite having no financial or other relevant ties, he honored the sentiment.

Dispensary and patient representatives formed a new group, Mendocino Medical Cannabis Collectives Association (MMCCA), preparing to advance their own draft dispensary ordinance. But the Ad Hoc Commitee collapsed since not one supervisor was willing to join Supervisor McCowen in the long battle vis-a-vis an organized association of collectives.

Since creating local ordinances is a long arduous exercise in futility, generally lacking a comprehensive approach resulting in overly restrictive laws, it has become necessary to go to the California ballot for a fair shake.

The Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act 2012 is now aiming for a ballot spot in the Presidential election. If passed by the voters it would regulate commercial cannabis in California based on the following language:

“It shall not be a crime or public offense for an adult to use, possess, share, cultivate, transport, process, distribute, sell or otherwise engage in cannabis related activities.”

It would repeal all criminal marijuana statutes, thus legalizing responsible adult use.

It would authorize the Department of Public Health, not law enforcement, to create a broad regulatory system to replace repealed criminal statutes.

It would retain all medical rights in Prop 215/SB420, as well as removing marijuana from California's Schedule One classification (no medical purposes), thus removing a barrier blocking prescription access.

Amounts under three pounds and 100 square-foot plant canopy per person would remain unregulated. Government agencies could not reduce the quantity that is not subject to regulation; they could only enhance the quantity upward from the three-pound floor.

Getting voter approval in Nov 2012 is our best chance to replace unenforceable prohibition with reasonable regulation. For further info, email sensiblecalifornia@pacific.net .

Pebbles Trippet

RCPAct co-proponent

Elk

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THANKS TO JUDITH DOLAN

Editor,

Thank You, Judith Dolan.

Yes, Anderson Valley owes Judith Dolan a great big THANK YOU for her accomplishments and efforts of the past 11½ years as Executive Director of the Health Center. She came to the valley after many years of experience in a variety of health management situations which ably prepared her for the challenges of directing our Health Center. During this time she wrote more than 25 grants enabling continuity of fiscal integrity of the Health Center. She brought our new addition to fruition as she supervised the process from a community wide fund raising campaign to the actual building of our facility.

She maintained high staff morale through difficult financial times and demonstrated personal fortitude in the face of daunting odds. She persevered in writing one last grant to change our status to a Federally Qualified Health Center but the chances were very slim that this would happen, especially in light of the current political climate. We were recently awarded this grant--the only one in our state of this type. This is the principal legacy which Judith leaves us and it is truly an impressive bequest. Metaphors come to mind but the favorite is one of Judith riding out as champion of the Health Center on a white horse!

At the recent community meeting for the Health Center Mark Apfel, MD, medical director, spoke warmly of his time working with Judith. He said that some could grasp the science of medicine but real healers practiced the ART of medicine and Judith was one of those so inspired. Judith was honored by Heidi Dickerson of Mike Thompson's office with a certificate of appreciation. She also received an award from her colleagues at Alliance for Rural Community Health. Sandy Parker, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Health Center spoke on behalf of the board and community, expressing admiration, appreciation and gratitude. She is held in high regard by her colleagues and our community. In reply to comments of the speakers, Judith said she loved working at Anderson Valley Health Center and thanked the board and staff for all their support.

We are grateful to you, Judith, for what you have done for our community. The Anderson Valley Health Center will be around for all of us for years to come. Thanks to you, Judith Dolan.

Gaile Wakeman

Boonville

One Response to Letters To The Editor

  1. Harvey Reading Reply

    September 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    To Jim Tarbell. I hope Solomon is successful in his congressional bid. He seems a strong-willed person, but so are those who have become sold out to their wealthy and corporate pimps. It is difficult for politicians to remain independent and committed to progressive goals in the face of the power of the status-quo, particularly when they are such a small minority of “either” party. I believe it will take far more than the electoral process to effect any real change in this country …

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