Letters To The Editor

by AVA News Service, December 16, 2011

SAFE, HEALTHY POT

Editor,

Thoughts on Potential Health and Safety Issues for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries—

The first marijuana dispensary meeting in Boonville had some speakers who brought a different perspective to the discussion. A young man stated, “Set the standards high. You people that have stores, I don’t trust you. I want to know the who, what, when and where. I don’t trust any of you. If I, or someone, in my family needed marijuana, I would go to someone I knew to make sure that it was organic and good stuff. I don’t want mouse droppings and mold etc. It needs to be medicine, clean and organic. I won’t buy from a store because I don’t trust you guys.”

Well, those remarks set me thinking. Next a young woman explained that she was a third generation grower who had recently given up growing. She had watched the Eel River turn green with effluent and said it looked like something she had seen in a New Jersey river where pig farms emptied into the river. When her cows, dogs and then kids got sick, she gave up growing. She urged that people quit putting junk into the river. She turned to the audience and eloquently held her thumb up and urged them “to clean up and green up.” A third party was discussing a testing process for dealing with “grungy butters” — not very appetizing and certainly not quality “medicine.” It was very inspiring to hear the young woman say that she “wanted a cleaner and greener community.” I could not be sure how many people agreed with her.

One director of a local collective said clearly that there are vendors who do not take proper steps and that the Health Department should be involved. Sanitation is, and should be, of concern. The Environmental Health Department should deal with the sanitation, processing, and storage of food products. The California Conference of Environmental Health Administrators provided excerpts from the CA Health & Safety Code entitled “California Retail Food Code.” It is the bible for all food handlers. In October 2010 OCDEH drafted a position paper about the sanitation of premises dispensing medical marijuana in food products. I think it would be instructive for all involved in this process and issue to read the following position paper and ponder the assorted public health risks.

SSDEH Position on Assuring Sanitation of Premises Dispensing Medical Marijuana in Food Products, Final Draft 10-20-10

• California law (Compassionate Use Act passed by Proposition 215 in 1996) Health and Safety Code 11362.5 et seq. allows the dispensing of medical or “Compassionate” marijuana through membership or cannabis clubs.

• Federal law regulates marijuana as a restricted substance/drug.

• For medical and convenience reasons, medical marijuana is being dispensed to both legal and illegal users by incorporating it into conventional food products, most commonly cookies and brownies.

• There is a public health risk of food borne illnesses from edible products- especially potentially hazardous food- served from dispensaries operating in unsanitary conditions or without infrastructure necessary for proper processing or holding.

• These public health risks are likely to increase as cannabis dispensaries continue to expand and if recreational marijuana use is approved in the future.

• Marijuana is a Federally controlled substance and local health and environmental health departments do not have authority to regulate dosage, quality, efficacy or other medicinal or pharmaceutical provisions that are the purview of the Federal or State government.

• The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has advised local agencies that edible products containing marijuana may not legally be sold as food pursuant to the Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law “Sherman Law” (Health and Safety Code Division 104 Part 5) or the California Retail Food Code “CALCODE” (Health and Safety Code Part 7). Edibles that contain marijuana meet the statuary definition of “drugs” under the Sherman law because their intended use is to affect the structure or function of the body and because they are being used in the cure, mitigation, and treatment of disease. The brownie or cookie merely becomes the drug delivery system.

• Manufacturing of drugs is strictly controlled and must be conducted in a licensed facility, subject to the inspection of CDPH. CDPH cannot license marijuana edible manufacturers under current law, as the products do not have an approved new drug application on file with the US Food and Drug Administration, setting forth the safety and efficacy of the products. Additionally, the schedule classification of marijuana would have to be changed from schedule one to schedule two, before FDA could even consider a new drug application.

• There are no current statewide standards or guidelines providing specific sanitation requirements for the dispensing of medical marijuana edibles.

Local health and environmental health officials in California recognize the potential public health risks associated with the unregulated dispensing of medical marijuana in California resulting from:

• Contaminated or adulterated marijuana,

• Contaminated or adulterated delivery systems- food, drinks, pipes, etc.,

• Inconsistent and/or inaccurate measurement of dosage and potency,

• Access to minors, and

• Public nuisance issues associated with growing, processing and handling marijuana

Despite complex conflicting Federal and State laws, most local governments assert their authority to regulate these dispensaries for public health, safety and business purposes. To ensure public health protection, some local environmental health agencies are implementing permitting and inspection programs and/or performing plan reviews, while others are being asked to provide input on the necessary sanitation requirements of these facilities. Many local agencies have instituted bans or moratoriums on new dispensaries pending the adoption of State and local standards for the safe dispensing of his substance.

CCDEH supports the drafting of a statutory amendment to create a new product classification and appropriate sanitary standards for the production of those products or a model local ordinance that comprehensively addresses public health, public safety as well as zoning and business licensing issues.

In order to provide for consistent public protection, CCDEH favors the establishment of statewide standards in statute by which the state or local government would regulate marijuana edibles- and possible future recreational- marijuana. Such standards will need to:

• Treat medical marijuana dispensaries as medical dispensing facilities, not food facilities. Food facilities regulated under CALCODE and marijuana dispensaries or associated dispensary activities should be contained in totally separate facilities.

• Establish marijuana edible sanitation requirements in a new section of the Health and Safety Code, separate from the California Retail Food Code, to avoid conflict with existing federal and state laws, and

• Prescribe sanitation standards equivalent to CALCODE for food preparation, storage and handling and sale of edible marijuana products. Marijuana edible products produced at dispensaries should be limited to non-potentially hazardous food such as tea, cookies, brownies or candy. Provide standards for labeling edible products containing marijuana to ensure products are presented as drugs and cannot be mistaken as food.

• Dispensaries preparing marijuana edible products should be constructed in accordance with applicable building standards and other state laws.

• Ensure that edible products sold at dispensaries are not produced, or stored in private homes.

Bev Dutra

Philo

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WHERE’S THE MONEY?

Letter to the Editor

The Mendocino County Chief Psychiatrist quit with two weeks notice effective December 16, 2011. The County will have a hard time replacing him. Who would take a position where the CEO requires that all psychiatric medications be discontinued for two weeks for jail inmates? Who, after two weeks, would follow the CEO’s instructions to put people on the cheapest medication in a category, instead of the medicine a person’s physician prescribed for his or her patient? This means, you come into the jail on Zyprexa and the County doctor changes you to Thorazine. If you come in on Zoloft, you are changed to Elavil.

Our supervisors need to pay attention to the egregious lack of mental health care they are responsible for in Mendocino County. Where do all those millions of federal and state dollars for mental health services go in this County? It’s a closely held secret. We know it does not go to State mandated crisis care services, or to help the sickest of the sick.

Sonya Nesch, author of

Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness

Comptche

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THE TRUTH SOLUTION

Dear Editor:

As one reads or watches the media types, particularly the opinionated columnists and talking heads, one would get the impression the Occupy Wall Street and offspring groups are a failure.

One of the charges leveled against them is they don't have a “solution.” This view totally fails to grasp what the movement is about. They do not understand what they are doing — namely, they are Speaking to the Truth. Further, the movement is nonviolent with the only violence against them by the police. One only has to look at the Arab Awakening and the protests in Russia to understand these movements also Speak to the Truth.

Just as the ocean waves come in everyday the occupy groups or following groups will continue to Speak to the Truth until there are drastic social changes that will take away the power of the 1%, their highly paid lobbyists, their corrupt toadies in Congress, and power is restored to the 99%.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff

Sacramento

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REMEMBER THE ANIMALS

To the Editor,

Our local shelter is overflowing with homeless dogs and cats. Many families have had to surrender their lovable pets because of moving into a place that doesn’t allow animals. Finances at the shelter are stretched to the breaking point. When you do your holiday shopping, remember the animals. While not everyone can adopt one of these furry friends into their lives, we can all contribute to their upkeep. It doesn’t’t have to be a large amount of money. A few cans of dog food, a bag of dry food. If you watch the sales, it’s possible to pick up several cans for $5 or $10. If you’re at a garage sale and see a leash or dog or cat collar for sale, the shelter can use those too.

The trauma that these animals go through is horrendous. Through no fault of their own, they’re homeless and away from their humans where they were secure. At least we can all contribute to feeding their bellies. I have three adopted buddies that I found at the shelter which enrich my life tremendously. Please, remember the animals when you shop this holiday season.

Darline Bergere

Ukiah

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A RIDICULOUS SENTENCE

To: Sheriff Tom Allman

Subject: Medical Asylum vs extradition

Sir,

I am writing from Germany, where I serve as a Department of the Army civilian with the US Army. I am writing because of concern for my grandson, Christopher Diaz, who is a California resident.

Christopher Diaz has a well-documented history of asthma and multiple food and environmental allergies. Several years ago, after a hospital stay in Intensive Care following the collapse of a lung due to use of medically prescribed asthma inhalers, he was advised to move to California to consider alternative treatments and to maintain an organic lifestyle to avoid allergens contributing to his health difficulties. Last year in August he returned to Texas for the funeral of a family member. While driving through Brownwood he was admittedly profiled by the local police and stopped. The claim was he was driving an unregistered vehicle, which wasn't true. Because he declined, courteously and respectfully according to the trooper, to provide his identification, he was arrested. Of course the police found his medication, with both his prescription and his religious belief documentation wrapped around the bottle.

He subsequently spent 80 days in the Brownwood jail. He had no independent lawyer and the lawyer provided by the court apparently had a heart attack and died. While in the Brownwood jail he was refused visits by pastors, and the organic fruit which was brought to him because of his multiple food allergies were refused. (The car, belonging to his parents, was impounded, even though the parents brought the registration documentation the next day, and it remains there to this date, although the tow trucker offered to give it back for $1500 with no receipt. That was reported to the Texas Attorney General’s office, but is an example of what I feel is the corruption in that community that leads me to write this letter.)

He was finally released and court dates kept changing. He returned to California because it was where he had employment and needed to be able to support his two small children. (I acknowledge that was a bad idea, but I doubt Texas is going to provide support for those two children, and the mother left the children with him, returning to Texas, not providing any child support.)

Subsequently, in this last month he was tracked down and I understand he is sitting in a California jail awaiting extradition to Texas. I am writing to ask that you consider contacting the Governor of California to decline to respect the extradition request on the grounds of medical asylum. I have contacted the Governor’s office, both in Texas and California, and have received no response from Texas, and a refusal by the staff at the phone line to address this with the Governor. I have requested that Texas reduce the charges to a misdemeanor. As a Texas resident I thoroughly understand that possession of marijuana is illegal in Texas. The amount he had was worthy of a misdemeanor, not the threatened 5-99 years.

As I listened to the parents' discussion last year, read the newspaper articles, I realized this incident has been blown way out of proportion, with charges and allegations that have been fabricated. I can tell you this young man, who was sickly as a child and young adult, and has found a way to manage his health using organic foods and naturally derived medication, is not a threat to society. I firmly believe that there is a “scam” going on in Brownwood, an effort to keep the jails full to support the economy of the town.

That said, it seems that the State of California accepts a driver’s license from Texas, and vice versa. Common law marriage is accepted in Texas, but even though California does not allow common law marriages there, I understand it does give full faith and credit to Texas on this issue and recognizes common law marriage and allows divorce in California. A child support order from Texas is recognized in California. It really seems that the State of Texas should recognize those passing through the state who have legitimately prescribed medicines. But I realize I can’t change the laws of the State of Texas, and for that reason am begging you to request support from the Governor to protect one of your California citizens.

I must tell you how conflicted I am about this whole issue of medical marijuana. I am a Substance Abuse Professional, spending my time dealing with Soldiers who abuse alcohol and smoke pot. So I fully understand those who want to forbid any use of marijuana for recreational purposes and I support that.

But I also understand that it is possible to use marijuana for legitimate medical purposes, which don't include getting high. I understand that right now the State of Texas does not subscribe to legitimate medical use. But to profile an out of state individual, passing through a town, with no intent to remain in Texas, and the subsequent witch-hunt that went on in Brownwood bore no resemblance to justice. I've been serving overseas for a long time, and have not kept totally informed on the changes in the society in Texas, but when I left I still trusted in our justice system. What I've seen happen here has me most concerned. I'm sure the parents of this man would provide you copies of his medical records and history, letters from his physician, and anything else you would require to justify leaving him to the State in which he is receiving treatment. His physician recently told his parents and other grandmother that if he is returned to Texas he will die. That is a terrifying prediction: you can certainly understand our need to appeal to your judgment and position to intervene and request from the Governor or Attorney General for a decision to ensure his health.

Thank you for your attention. I respectfully request a response as soon as possible.

Respectfully,

Jan Gunn

Baumholder, Germany

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ROHLOFFIANISM

Yo Editor,

It is funny that Mark Rohloff prefaces his Ukiah Daily Journal, Sunday Voices piece (11/27) with a quote from George Orwell, when his entire article is little but a collection of Orwellia, black is white, war is peace, inversions of reality regarding Israel and its relationship with our country.

Starting off with the whopper that “it is less supported by a US administration then at any time since its creation.” I know that not many Americans realize that we have sent Israel $10 million or so a day for decades, no strings attached, because an ever-vigilant and richly funded Israel lobby makes sure that the subject of this long-standing transfer of US taxpayer money is NEVER discussed in the halls of Congress or the mainstream media. But perhaps Mr. Rohloff deems this support too niggardly for this state which he regards as “in trouble.” Okay, so let's also throw in the absolute humiliation of the Obama (and most previous) administration at the UN, where it regularly breaks ranks with virtually every other country in the world to use its veto power to do whatever Israel wants, no matter how it may clash with UN mandates or international law. Despite all this, Israel's leader, Netanyahu, (who French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy was recently overheard telling Obama was a liar and could not be trusted) never misses an opportunity to insult his indulgent patrons; announcing an expansion of illegal Jews-only 'settlements' on stolen Palestinian land just in time for vice president Biden's diplomatic visit, a pattern that seems to be repeated anytime the US makes the slightest, politely worded suggestions that Israel might want to consider easing up slightly on the boot that Israel has pressed down on the neck of the Palestinian people for the last 50 years.

Another prize canard, a little further on in the article, is that, “Israel has always been asked to concede land… for peace, but… fresh attacks against Israel have been launched from the very territories which they have ceded.” No mention of the fact that Israel maintains Gaza as the world's largest open air prison; that even after the senseless carnage of “Operation Cast Lead,” where the vital civilian infrastructure was intentionally destroyed along with 30,000 living units and thousands were left dead and maimed, all over the supposed capture of a single Israeli soldier. Now, years later, Israel still has not allowed even benign materials like cement and sheetrock in to rebuild. When international humanitarian boatlifts tried to bring medicines, etc., to the hard-pressed denizens of Gaza, they were met with murderous Israeli piracy on the high seas, killing nine unarmed peace activists on one ship, including an American. Israel still has that ship, years later, seizing it from its owner without any legal justification.

Next we have one of my favorite quotes from this article, “… Israel simply wants to survive within its borders.” That’s the thing about Israel; it apparently has no fixed borders. Just as it can make its own rules about doing whatever it wants in international waters, confident that big daddy USA will always come to its diplomatic, and if necessary, military, aid, it apparently regards its internationally recognized border, from 1967, as a non-binding suggestion; it has been leapfrogging further and further into neighboring land ever since then, building Israelis-only freeways (Palestinians who make a wrong turn onto them lose their vehicles) to access lush-lawned suburbs, amid the parched misery of the indigenous people, always seizing the land that contains each area’s precious aquifers. Is this how one attempts to survive within one's borders?

The statements that “Israel has continued to represent our best democratic aspirations “ and that “(it) mirrors our institutions and our traditions…” Hmm, maybe, if you consider our best democratic aspirations to be the establishment of an apartheid state, where Israel’s Arab citizens, and those in the lands it colonizes, are oppressed second-class citizens who must spend endless hours waiting in the hot sun to seek the permission of a heavily armed young Israeli to go anywhere or do anything, at the hundreds of checkpoints that Israel imposes on its neighbors.

If Israel feels threatened by its neighbors, perhaps it should consider the fact that such things as blockades, embargoes, and all the other ways that Israel makes normal productive life impossible for those under its domination, are acts of war. It is not reasonable for Israel to expect to live in peace and security amidst those against whom they are prosecuting a war. If only Uncle Sam had cut off the free arms pipeline to them decades ago, they would have found a peaceful way to coexist long ago. Conversely, as long as the US provides unconditional financial, military and diplomatic support to one side of this conflict, the hostilities will never end. No matter how much the Palestinian Authority and its Arab neighbors offer, Israel has no incentive not to hold out for more.

Especially now, with the disastrous economic condition of our country, isn’t it finally time to discuss cutting off its blind support of the extremist regime in Tel Aviv, which buys us only hatred in the eyes of the quarter or so of humanity that subscribes to Islam?

Sincerely,

John Arteaga

Ukiah

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WASH THOSE BAGS

Editor,

I'm a 27-year veteran Safeway employee, and let me say that nothing gives me more displeasure than seeing a bunch of disheveled cloth bags at the beginning of a customer's order.

I never understood why these types of bags were ever invented in the first place. I, along with my fellow employees, actually have a much harder time using these bags. They simply slow us down considerably.

What's even worse is that the majority of them stink to high heaven. Most of these so-called eco-friendly bags probably haven't been washed since the Franco-Prussian War.

If customers are so conscientious about the environment, they should also be equally hygienic about washing their bags frequently. I yearn for the days when San Francisco was using plastic. Bring it back. At least I wouldn't have to struggle to bag groceries every time I'm in the checkstand.

And don't worry about the environment: It'll still be here for many million more years.

Sanders Hum

San Francisco

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STOP POT METERS?

Editor,

I really generally enjoyed Mr. Parrish’s article especially the explanation of the way that corporate wineries squashed local union work to get a fair wage for workers. It’s easy to understand why we need to support housing for workers although I am still amazed that there are no ranch houses on vineyard land. Vineyard owners should take this burden not us valleyites. Further one worries when a wine glut will stall our most recent mono-crop as timber would stop with rain or bad wood prices. Bad planning!

However I do need to respond to Parrish’s notion that it is the pot industry clamoring to stop smart meters. I am not saying that they may not be involved, but frankly I have heard little of it in my involvement against SmartMeters. Without a doubt, even as PG&E and other say they will not release usage information although it was part of marketing by the SmartMeter industry to Utilities per their sites and was clearly and probably still is a great way to get more money out of the utility-ratepayer mining operation. The information will be hacked by the industry. The SmartGrid, which could be called the BilkGrid is designed to allow easy access to anyone willing to hack. Silly though, PG&E loses, but then seems appropriate. Do corporations hack? Do they spy? Question answered.

The time is almost out on the SmartMeter Opt Out. My last note gave folks addresses to the CPUC and model letters have been posted on www.refusesmartmetersmendo.blogspot.com with Commissioner’s names. If you want a fair option, check it out and do something now! Don’t wait or you will lose it.

As we look to the recent issue of park closures and the inept overseeing of overpaid administrators and representatives, who are not clueless, just paying attention to their money sources. It is clear our government is broken and full of graft. Someone suggested not just looking at each problem, but rather looking at their source. The Public Utilities Commission is not regulating for us, nor is it a democracy. It is difficult to talk to some of the commissioners’ assistants on their phones because they do not answer. They do not want to be bothered by concerned ratepayers, it is too much for their busy schedules. Their “circle-the-wagons, but-act-like-nothing-is-happening” approach to the SmartMeter dissatisfaction run on their chambers raised many flags and eyebrows. Not only do we need to evict President Michael Peevey, leader of the Utility pack and the CPUC regulatory facade, but also create a rotating presidency and possibly elect these crucial commissioners directly. Then we will have real regulation.

We should not allow administrators any big power like this. There is too much graft. The Grange movement of 1867 soared because of similar problems where railroad companies after taking obscene amounts of free acreage for tracks, turned the screws on the farmer. In less than 3 years 8000 Granges were created. Americans were angry, no doubt!

That Grange movement resulted in laws that reined in the Railroads and created the Dept. of Agriculture. Part of the prohibition process was a cleverly means to destroy a competitive power source for farmers, alcohol for tractors. Big Oil supported it because they could nix the large farmer stills. Now ethanol is back, run by who? The big industries.

Back to the Parks issue, there is no doubt that our parks in our colorful state are our biggest gem. Although many come to visit Disneyland and other attractions, it is the northern big redwoods, craggy Sierra Nevadas, coastline, desert, large granite areas of Southern California that attract most. So the idiot administrators/politicians wield a huge budgetary knife, cutting most of the good meat with the fat. The problem is our government is clueless and not adapting in any logical manner. We need to act in general on this now as it is clear it is getting worse fast!

Cheers!

Greg Krouse

Philo

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10% — NOW

Editor,

I have been reading the letters from coworkers and I want to scream: are you as frustrated and angry and tired of being lied to as I am? Are you tired of all the animosity and discontent? Are you wondering why the lowest paid workers get stuck with the highest cut? Are you wondering how and why our leaders put us in this position? Yes, we have been lied to and manipulated. But I think it has been by our union leaders, not the Board of Supervisors and the Chief Executive Officer.

The County is broke and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. They have to balance the budget and that means cutting costs. And the biggest cost is payroll. Everyone else took 10% cuts or more over a year ago. Why think we will be any different?

What does the County really want? We are told nothing less than 12.5%. But last September they adopted a budget based on 10%. And they spent three months on the 36-hour deal. But our leaders never agreed to a version that equaled 10%, never let us vote on the County proposal that did, and let it die without making a response.

One of our press releases quotes Raylene saying, “We know that what the County wants. They want 10% and a new [retirement] tier.” If they want 10% and we know that, why not give it to them? We are at 12.5% now. Nobody wants a cut, but if the real choice is 10% and be done with it, or 12.5% and keep fighting, I can use the extra 2.5% right now. And the new tier will not affect any current worker, only new hires.

We need to demand our leaders put 10% on the table right now and do it openly and publicly. And if the County takes it, I want to know why our leadership has been lying to us instead of making an agreement? Talk to your friends at NCO and ask them why they decertified SEIU. My friends tell me that NCO was willing to reach agreement six months earlier on all terms but SEIU wanted to keep the fight going. What is the hidden agenda here? And who has benefited by not having an agreement?

Name Withheld

Ukiah

PS. One of my coworkers has filed a grievance to stop her supervisor from harassing her after she questioned the union.

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O HELL

Dear Editor,

I read the article by Ted Dace about hell. Yes, each of us have demons. We face them as we live our lives, or we don’t, or we face some of them but not all. He made it seem like you get punished at time of death by having to face them all at once. That’s just more Christianity wrapped in psychological jargon. There’s no room for the idea that each person faces those demons he can emotionally afford to face at that time. He says if you’re not compassionate during your life that you get no compassion at all when you die. He says we have a moral obligation to love, but does not extend compassion to those who don’t, or can’t, or both.

In addition, he offers no evidence at all as to the truth of his belief. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is not evidence. OK, yes, we do have a collective unconscious as Jung said. But that does not mean that is has anything spiritual about it. It is just as credible to say that the collective unconscious is what every person learns as he grows up, but he or she learns it unconsciously. That view posits no spiritual component at all.

In his view you don’t get punished with hell over and over, you get it all at once. At the same time Ted Dace says that those who were good, merge back into the great One at death. This is a cowboy view of death; there’s the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys are those who are compassionate and those who have faced their demons. What if you’ve only faced some of them and the others are still un-faced at the time you die? Who or what decides if you avoid hell or not?

The only way out of that is to say that there are degrees of hell. Those who have faced more of their demons get a lesser degree of hell, and those who avoided facing them get the full measure.

So then, does part of your mind merge with the One and part stays somewhere else? And how can there by a somewhere else outside of the One? And how many angels can dance inside the O in the One?

Ted Dace then goes on to say that while there is no mind without a brain, that doesn’t mean the stuff we’re made of can be found in our heads. Really? So what is this “stuff’ of which we are made. If it is material, then it can be found in the material universe. If it isn’t material, then to posit its existence one would have to toss out the Dirac equation, which is the basis of how electrons behave in the everyday world. This means that you would have to toss out the entirety of modern physics.

Ted Dace then says that those who experience a near-death will experience either darkness or light. Of course, since there are no other options. Darkness is not the opposite of light, it is the absence of light. Thus, one will experience light or one won’t. I don’t see how this has anything to do with the notion of hell. Is this supposed to be tied to actual death in some way?

In short, I think that he has taken the traditional concept of hell and moved it into a small time frame. If he means that we are all our own worst enemy, I would agree. However, his article did not bring all of the interesting things he spoke about together in a cogent articulation. It simply rambled from one very interesting topic to another without really connecting them,.

Lee Simon

Far ‘n Away Farm, Virginia

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THE MEMORY HOLE

Editor,

Pearl Harbor Day — 12-7, 1941 — In 2001 I ventured to Japan with a tour group (the only time I have traveled with a tour) because I found the truth that except for the young, few spoke English. It was a good trip and I won't go into lots of details. Japan is an extremely clean, beautiful and polite country.

Two details though are This Date and the stop at Peace Park in Hiroshima. Now this park is a most impressive and beautiful large hunk of property — long and comparatively narrow. There is a museum at one end in a large building.

This museum houses a remarkable model about 50 feet square (as I recall) of what the city looked like after being hit with the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a human population. (The second and last was on Nagasaki not long afterwards.)

There were also lots of pictures of the remains of buildings, bare ground, charred bodies et al. Anyone would appreciate the artwork of the modeling and photography but would probably overlook the hidden propaganda: The USA did this, Japan recovered (yea) and rose to power.

What is ignored and hidden is the reason for this, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the USA's Pacific Naval Fleet resulting in more than 2400 deaths on that day and many more badly injured. In fact, December 8, 1941 is not in the history books in Japan's schools and is not mentioned because of mandated propaganda spin. (12-7 in Honolulu was 12-8 in Japan at that time.) In other words: fuhgeddaboudit.

So, even tourists can get caught up in this fantasy if visiting Peace Park by not remembering the Pearl Harbor attack and switching ones feelings to sorrow for the people that were in Hiroshima on that day of the bombing. No mistake, these devices should never be used again, but still…

It all makes me think that are we humans as countries, states, cities and individuals overdue when it comes to taking an Anger Management Class? We are one out-of-control, fucked up species of animal when it comes to how we relate to each other on large and small scales and to every other living creature that shares our finite planet. Then there are the minerals (air and water) that are necessary to sustain life. These supplies are being compromised as well.

Happy Holidays,

Carl Flach

Alameda

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LET PRISONERS SAVE PARKS

Editor,

We have a very large workforce housed at great taxpayer expense that could contribute to saving our parks and other savings as well.

Rehabilitation has always been on the talking tour for those convicted of one crime or another.

Yes, there are violent people, those who go in and out of prisons. They are not candidates.

But then there are thousands of nonviolent men and women who want out so that they can rejoin free living on a productive basis. Another chance.

Why not set up training classes, managed and taught by retired or active park rangers?

Pay would be a few dollars per hour plus three days off their sentence for each day worked. Any violations of the rules, including attempts to leave, will be justification to lose all that they have accumulated, dollars and days off.

A portion of their pay would be for their use, the bulk deposited in a bank account to be accessible upon their release.

It might work.

After all, they have no living, medical, dental or vision expenses. Not even home maintenance expenses. We can establish a pilot program for perhaps 20 selected inmates. Candidates' selection would be based on their crime, prison records, attitude and health.

Nicholas Caputo

Tiburon

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AN IONE XMAS

Dear Editor and readers,

(with apologies to Clement C. Moore)

Twas the day before X-mas and all through the prison, not an inmate was stirring or had even arisen.

The cops had gone through every cell with great care, to make sure no criminal was hidden in there.

The loonies and psychos were all high on their meds, while visions of massacres danced in their heads.

When out in the day room I heard such a clatter, I went to the door to see what was the matter.

I looked out my window and there I saw clear, a state bureaucrat sucking on a cold beer.

He said: “Listen up and stop wasting my time. X-mas is canceled for all guilty of crime.

You killers, you rapists, you robbers and thugs, you chomos and arsonists, abusers of drugs.

You thought maybe Santa might bring your parole? How about this instead? 30 days in the hole?

We're drafting new laws that'll keep you in stir, and provide our grandchildren with state sinecures.”

His fat belly shook as he laughed with such glee. “We've got you locked up — now we'll throw 'way the key!”

And he added this comment as he drove out of sight: “Ten year denials to all — and to all a good night!”

Better days, a loyal subscriber,

D. Bullock

Ione, California

PS. Happy holidays to my compatriots in the southern gulags: Steve C. and Marko G.

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AVOID MULE CREEK

Letter to the Editor,

Mule Creek State Prison — I am writing this short brief letter to anyone who has plans to transfer to Mule Creek State Prison. Due to the recent US Supreme Court decision to reduce the state prison overcrowding (?) — all gyms at MCSP are being shut down — closed. B-gym is 95% empty. C-gym will be closed within six months. And D-gym within 12 months. So the only criteria for MCSP will be Level 3, Level 4! No level 1, level 2. So this place is overrated to the max and totally not what CDCR portrayed to be.

They got the inmate task force who think they're state prison staff and if you don't fit in? Then you're outta MCSP first bus smoking with no breaks.

As for myself? I had two slime jerks put me down as their enemy on a 812(c) 1030 form. They put me up for a non-adverse transfer. So I wanted this anyway as this place is drama-drama, and straight out weirdos, chomos, sickos, not to mention weird staff also.

So no more gyms statewide, no triple bunks, no E-beds, only cell living. And a lot of staff who are pies-newbies will be shown the door also. No level 1 or 2 inmates to supervise? No staff will be hired but only let go. I've been told by a lot of staff that CDCR will clearly violate the Supreme Court decision and let the feds sort it out. So to all the motley crew at level 4 in Corcoran, don't come to MCSP! Stay put at Corcoran. You got it made there. I should have listened to you all along.

Kenny 'Irish' Callahan

Ione

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STOP WALMART’S EXPANSION

Editor

• Walmart plans to build a sixth super market in Ukiah in 2012.

• A Walmart expansion will likely drive at least two unionized supermarkets out of business and may force small local stores to close.

If you are opposed to Walmart’s expansion:

• Come to the Ukiah Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, December 14th, 6:00 pm at City Council Chambers, 300 Seminary Ave., Ukiah.

AND/OR

• Email comments to the Planning Commission: kjordan@cityofukiah.com

• Call Ukiah City Planning Department: (707) 463-6207.

• Join the “Occupy Walmart” demonstration, Saturday December 17th, 11 am at the grassy knoll area bordering the Walmart parking lot. We will not disturb Walmart customers. We will not block entrances or exits.

More About Walmart:

• Walmart is non-union and pays the lowest wages allowed by law.

• Many Walmart workers must apply for food stamps and public assistance to supplement their low wages.

• Two Important Questions to Ask Yourself: Why won’t America's wealthiest retailer pay a living wage? Must we as taxpayers pay for Walmart workers’ health care and family assistance?

www.occupyukiah.org

Tom Wodetzi

Albion

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ADOPT A MIX

Editor,

Last night on my way home I gathered up a little dog; he had just been hit by a car. I took him to the vet and he is one lucky little dude, only sustained minor injuries. Can you or do you know somebody who would be interested in giving the little guy a home? He spent the night with us and is very well behaved, quiet, friendly and so very cute. He is probably 3-4 years old, looks like Chihuahua-dachshund mix. His coat is short and chocolate brown. Seems to be housebroke.

Please call me at 707-621-0869 or at work 707-895-2940.

Monika Fuchs

Philo

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STILL MY GUITAR

Editor,

When Jeff Costello said, “That's probably what's wrong with you,” because you don't listen to music, made me think of my favorite Costello music exchange.

Back in '86 I was renting a condo in Kona on the Big Island, and Jeff was hanging out, trying to teach me some guitar licks, even doing a few of my songs. When I decided to return to California he asked if I wanted to buy his Fender Telecaster. Hell, yeah, so I gave him $200 and continued lessons back in Willits with a local musician.

Then a few months later Costello had returned to the Mainland and stopped by on his way down to Sausalito to play a gig. He asked if he could “borrow” his old guitar. I was reluctant, as I was really enjoying learning to play and writing lyrics, but I couldn't say no to Jeff. I mean, it would be like Frank Shorter wanting to borrow my Nikes. Sure, Frank, no problem.

The next time I saw Jeff I asked him about my guitar. He said, “Oh yeah, I traded it for a Stratocaster, the guitar I always wanted.”

“I'm so happy for you, but it was my guitar,” I replied.

His comeback ended the discussion: “You were no good anyway.”

Jim Gibbons

Hawaii

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ATTRIBUTION FOR DUMMIES

Editor,

I enjoy reading the AVA each week. I particularly enjoyed the letter by Irv Sutley of Glen Ellen in the Dec. 7, 2011 issue, about “Banking For Dummies.” It starts off “Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit.” It goes on to give an analogy to explain the credit-default-swap mess, etc., that the US economy is going through.

I thought Irv Sutley was a genius! What a great way to explain recent economics in terms we could all understand.

A little internet research, however, reveals that this story, word-for-word, has been floating around the internet since as early as March 2009, and as far as I can tell it is not an original piece written by Mr. Sutley. Even the San Francisco Chronicle had it verbatim, over a year ago.

So, whoever wrote it still is a genius, but that person's name is as yet a mystery.

Best regards,

Elliot Smith

El Cerrito

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