Letters From The Editor

by AVA News Service, January 25, 2012



Although I cannot speak to the incident regarding a phone call to John Coate as I was not present, the procedures of the Board of Directors of MCPB follows strict Robert's rules and public comment on the agenda is limited to just that, public comment. Ms. Dawn was not the only member of the public present, however we would encourage more of the public to attend and voice their comments. I have been on the board for over three years and have yet to meet you. You are invited to attend any meeting of the Board so that you can report first-hand on our meetings.

Point of Fact: (1) Bill Moyers has not been on KZYX for quite sometime and is now both airing his show on radio and TV; (2) We have difficulty finding anyone to run for the Board and, in fact, have had an empty seat since the last election due to the lack of finding anyone willing to run; (3) if you have proof regarding the criminal allegations you list, you have an obligation to report those to the pertinent authorities for investigation; and (4) on the contrary, our members and financial numbers, as reported at every public meeting of the Board, have increased since the current management, staff and board have been working for the station and the station's debt has significantly been reduced. I personally sign over 100 letters to our members quarterly who continue to donate generously to KZYX and find our programming excellent.

If you wish to attack me as to my personal abilities as a board member, as a programmer at the station, or as to my mental health, I would hope you might attempt to first to meet me. BTW Ms. Dawn and I have many cheery discussions about how to make KZYX a better station, more local, and accessible to the public and press.

You are free to publish this email in the AVA, along with the schedule of our future meetings.

Katharine Cole, Secretary

Mendocino Community Public Broadcasting




My Dear Back Office on the Second Floor of the Farrer Building,

Having read the article about All That Good Stuff by Turkey Vulture and the letter from the Farrer Building, I really see no difference in the facts or even the interpretation of the facts between those two pieces.

I suspect that the Farrer Building's siding may be a little thin in this particular area.

No one can dispute, or has disputed, the Farrer Building's right to do whatever it wants to do with itself.

But in a small community like this, that building must also realize that other smaller buildings, and even some of the larger buildings, care very deeply about what happens to All That Good Stuff and its involved humans.

So please remodel carefully, Farrer Building, for all of our sakes.


A Smallish House

down the block from the Boonville Hotel



Dear District Attorney Eyster:

19 January 2012 — I am community member in the school district of Point Arena and have been attending the majority of school board meetings for the past four to five years. On, January 18th, I received an agenda stating “Special Meeting: Board/Superintendent Retreat.”

My concern is that under California Board Bylaw #9320 it is clearly stated, “Public notice shall be given in accordance with law when a quorum of the Board is attending a study session, retreat, public forum, or discussion meeting. All such meetings shall comply with the Brown Act and shall be held in open session and within district boundaries. Action items shall not be included on the agenda for these meetings.” As anyone can see by the agenda the Point Arena School Board clearly is in violation when they added action items to their agenda. The retreat is in Section 5 on the agenda which means they essentially combined a Special Meeting with a retreat.

I emailed Superintendent Dr. Colleen Cross stating: “I, 100% agree with you that the district board can engage in a district/superintendent retreat. However, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but I believe a Board/Superintendent Retreat does not include district business that should be held at a regular school board meeting or a ‘Special Meeting’ — i.e. expulsion of a student, discussion with action on policies regarding retirement incentive programs, etc.” Yet, they continued to not only hold this meeting but the County Superintendent, County Education Superintendent Paul Tichinin was in attendance.

I believe this meeting should be treated as a violation of Brown Act Law and believe a letter should not only to go to Dr. Colleen Cross, Superintendent of the Point Arena School District but also to County Superintendent Paul Tichinin instructing them to rescind any action taken and bring the action items up at a regular Brown Act Compliant Board of Trustee Board Meeting which will be held on February 8, 2012.

On a personal note, I certainly understand violations by school boards are probably not priority in the DA’s office. However, just because members of the community volunteer to serve on school boards does not alter the fact that they are to represent and be the voice of the community and should have our best interest first and foremost when conducting business. This superintendent/board knowingly violated laws set forth by our State and should be held accountable for their neglect.


Suzanne L. Rush




I've lived in the Bay Area for 25 years but have remained a staunch Saints fan with close ties to New Orleans. My family still lives in New Orleans and has held our season tickets since 1967. I “get” the emotion of the game, the moment and the enthusiasm of the 49er fans.

Despite the extraordinary setting at the 'Stick, we were shocked by the hostility, vulgarity and intimidation that rained down on me and my two teenage daughters from the moment we stepped into the parking lots. Yes, we were proudly wearing our Saints colors; that's what loyal fans do. And yes, we expected some good-natured jeering.

We had vulgarities screamed at us repeatedly in the parking lots and literally nonstop by the hooligans around us in the stands. While walking through the lots we had footballs thrown at us, guys screaming curses in our faces — my daughters asked if I had heard the guy who yelled “your mother's a whore,” which I had, but couldn't show a reaction for fear for my daughters' and my own safety. We finally took to shadowing two cops who were strolling through the lots until we dashed for what we thought would be the relative sanity of the stadium.

The stadium was no better. Every other word from dozens of fans around us was an f-bomb shouted at the top of their lungs. There were seven or eight large 30- to 35-year-old guys directly behind us who cursed and threatened us the entire game. After one string of profanities I turned around to look at them and the most obnoxious and combative of the bunch yelled, “Do not turn around again! Do not ever turn around again” and punctuated it with a profanity. They used gay slurs repeatedly at the husband of a middle-aged couple in front of us, the only other Saints fan in our area, and called his wife a bitch.

One of my daughters asked me, “Why don't you do something, Daddy?” Do what? Fight ten guys? Call/text security when all those guys behind me would know who would have fingered them? Leave early? We almost did.

The hostility and threats of violence were a constant throughout our experience. It appeared to be ingrained in the fans' culture, similar to the hooliganism that destroyed the reputation of English soccer. The long wait for the playoffs, the excitement of a big game? No excuse. I've been to big games in venues around the world and believe me, I've been a Saints fan my whole life so I certainly know about long playoff waits. The Vikings fans in the tailgate parties before the NFC championship game were eating crayfish and dancing along with the Saints fans — they weren't threatened, they were having a great time.

Every 49ers fan, the team, and its owners should be ashamed and embarrassed to wear the red and gold that day. They won the game but are losers in every other way.

Don Moses

Mill Valley




As a 49ers  season ticket holder, I am taken aback by Saints fans who felt they were poorly treated at Saturday's game.

I sit in the upper reserved section, visitors' side, and saw none of the reported behavior, either in the parking lot or the stadium. To the contrary, I thought everyone was very civil with a huge game on the line. Walking through the parking lot, I saw Saints fans tailgating both with 49ers fans and by themselves with no bad behavior or interference. I even observed a dozen Saint fans standing in a circle around a 49ers teddy bear, putting curses on it, to the amusement of 49ers fans.

I have experienced bad behavior — my daughter and I had beer thrown at us when wore our 49ers jerseys at a Seahawks home game — but not here.

As a season ticket holder, I do not tolerate 49ers fans who get out of line. You either call them on it or report it on the anonymous cell line. In our section, we see the ushers and security guards keep a tight rein on behavior, and we invite visitors to come sit with us and enjoy the game.

Ralph Jaeck




Dear AVA,

Like, wow. Having just read Wolfgang Rougel's letter of the 11th, I will say that the way to induce me to write a memoir is just like that. I must say I was flattered — floored, even! — by the suggestion. I will certainly give it a shot and hope my efforts will meet AVA standards. I would be honored to be in the company of such fine writers.

Now, if you'll excuse a snap segue from humility to smart-assery (my default setting). I too was going to debunk that nonsense about water draining counterclockwise in the antipodes. Thank you, Stan Boule.

Since you beat me to that one, I'll ask this about the section of the letter concerning Saddam Hussein's most embarrassing moment: How can you be embarrassed when you're dead? Even assuming that Saddam was still conscious when he voided, might we reliably assume that the rapidly dwindling supply of oxygen to his brain took precedence over other, less physical imperatives, for example, retaining urine or the resultant feelings attended with having failed to do so?

Besides, I doubt this question was researched very thoroughly. Megalomaniacal types like Hussein surely suffered greatly at the hands of their peers, parents, siblings, etc. in childhood — probably he had his undies run up the flagpole once or twice and I put it to you: is not the shame of being ridiculed by a pack of jeering brats in your formative years demonstrably more embarrassing than doing what, as I understand it, most everyone does at the time of expiration?

Till next time,

Flynn Washburne

San Quentin



Dear Editor,

Just wanted to thank you for the holiday greetings and for the six more months of the AVA.

I'm a few days from graduating a substance abuse program (SAP) here in prison and every day just before class begins we read the news, sports, weather and we will also hear a “personal/interpersonal” story from another student's path/story/experience or whatever. It's pretty powerful stuff to get up in front of two other guys to share some very private things. In addition to this, we always have a “Quote of the Day” section with one person bringing a quote before the group. While Jaz-Z lyrics and The Art of War references are many, I have been turning folks on to the seemingly random quotes in each week's AVA. I'm not sure how you guys choose which ones for any given issue, but they have more often than not been fitting and appropriate for when it is my turn to bring a quote of some substance to the table.

The AVA is pretty great to begin with but who would have thought the quotes that populate every AVA would find their way into the rooms of a substance abuse program or therapeutic community here in California's bloated prison system? Surely not me, but I'm thankful for it. Thanks, man.


Jonathan Myers




Editor —

I received a DVD for Christmas. It's titled, “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.” It's a video about a recently discovered cave in France. The cave is remarkable for its limestone formations, but it's way more remarkable for its prehistoric drawings. People 32,000 years ago were trying to reach us by showing us what was important to them — animals.

The majority of these drawings are of food animals. (After all, these drawing were made by French cavemen.) But some of the drawings are of lions. These drawings were made during a time when humans were not top of the food train.

The art is thus consistent — about eating or being eaten.

The age of the drawings is remarkable. It's the oldest human history we have. Their quality is high and there's little deterioration.

Then I got to wondering, how does 32,000 years compare to the age of the earth? (The Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old.)

I've recently read of such a comparison.

The Eiffel Tower is in France. It's a huge structure. From a distance it looks like it's sitting on four concrete blocks. Up close, each of these blocks is about the size of a small house.

The tower itself is almost 1000 feet high — close to the height of the Empire State building. It can be seen from all over Paris. It's topped by a TV antenna. Birds visit the antenna. Their leavings (we'll call it that) provide evidence of their visit. And, these leavings add a fraction of an inch to the height of the tower. These leavings add to the tower in the same proportion as 32,000 years adds to the age of the earth.

Best regards,

Bart Boyer

San Diego



Dear Editor,

My husband was inspired by your description of your visit to the Museum of Modern Art in the January 4 edition to name San Francisco “The Big Empty.” I often wonder how those folks can stand to live like that, all stacked on top of each other.

Where we live we cannot see any other houses and can only hear, occasionally, a train passing in the distance. Life is work here and I think that's what makes it unattractive to the general populace. I don't know.

I work at the tiny neighborhood store. When tourists pass through there is often the incredulous question, “What do you do here?!” They are especially distraught that their cellphones don't work. It's humorous to me to see them standing there with the little dead thing, like a fallen bird, lying in their palm, their thumbs twitching, impotently, holding it out to me as if I could save it.

I visit The Big Empty a couple times a year. Usually to visit the DeYoung Museum. While on BART I'm amazed by the number of people who are hooked up to electronics. I wonder, “What are they doing?!” Maybe they look at me, devoid of any pods or wires, and think, “Loser.” Na — nobody looks at anybody down there.

It's good that there is an “us” and a “them” so that they can live there and we can have our peaceful here.

Pamela Aylen




Dear Mr. Schmitt,

My husband and I are appalled by your decision not to renew the lease of Leslie Hummel and that you did not even have the decency to let her know personally — she had to find the news in the AVA.

All That Good Stuff has served the community for 22 years, providing wonderful cards and merchandise, copy machine services, and UPS drop-off. Leslie is the kindest and most gracious neighbor. Not only are you hurting her, but you are doing great damage to Claudia Espinoza, who was going to take over the store. All that for your own financial profit, without regard for their well being, nor the impact this would have on the local community.

We are asking you to rescind your decision. Otherwise, I can assure you that we shall never again patronize your restaurant and whatever business you create in this location, and we will encourage our neighbors to do the same.


Jan Baughman




Dear Wallis Williams,

Are you the same “Wally Williams” whose family moved to Farmington, Connecticut when you were in high school? And had a party where you played Beach Boys records? And was involved with me in a fire alarm incident at the high school? If so, I owe you an apology. That prick Bennett (the principal) tortured a confession out of me, that I did not pull the fire alarm, leaving you the only other suspect. Please contact me through this paper.

Jeff Costello, FHS class of '64




Dear AVA and the Farrer Building, aka Johnny Schmitt and Roger Scomegna.

I am writing to give my 2¢ to Johnny Schmitt wrote in this newspaper last week under his corporate name, “The Farrer Building,” without having the balls to sign his own name or his business partner's name, Roger Scomegna. Johnny Schmitt and Roger Scomegna evicted Leslie Hummel's All That Good Stuff business without prior warning. And how did they do this to a loyal, 22 year tenant who never missed a rental payment? Leslie found out by reading Johnny's letter to the editor in the AVA that her business's “long-term future in all likelihood will not be at the Farrer building. We are happy to give them plenty of time to find another location and get a fresh start.”

Shame on you, Johnny Schmitt!

I don't have personal knowledge of all that has transpired but I have spoken to Leslie and some people around town and have put together the following facts:

1. As Johnny wrote, Ms. Hummel did request a ten-year lease (Leslie has been there for 22 years. Her former five-year lease expired in 2010, she was anxious to secure another long-term lease because she was on a month-to-month lease, and she is making plans for Claudiu Jimenez to purchase the business and she will retire in three years. She simply didn't think securing a new long-term lease would be a big deal.) However, what Johnny fails to mention is that after Leslie asked for another long-term lease, Johnny and Roger made a counter-offer of a measly 12-month lease. This was communicated by e-mail, not in person, and I guess that walk from his hotel across the street to his Farrer building was just too far to speak to someone who has consistently paid you rent over many, many years. I can't think of a less humane way of doing things. (I guess you could have evicted her with 30 days notice, so we should all think she's “lucky” that you are not that much of a rat.)

Obviously, without further direct communication this would panic any sensible, long-term business owner who previously had five-year leases over her 22 year long tenancy. It seems to me that Johnny cannot complain that “the imagination of the Anderson Valley in wintertime [then] took hold” when he himself caused that speculation. Further, it was a slap in the face for Leslie to hear such news via email without any further comment. I think it was reasonable for Leslie and everyone else to think: Johnny must have some plans of his own for the space that holds All That Good Stuff if he's only offering a 12-month lease.

2. Johnny continued to deny he had any plans for ATGS's space to everyone. Johnny, this is a small town. You write you have no plans for a “wine and cheese” shop. Hell, people know you have plans to put in a charcuterie/butcher shop in that space. You should have been honest in the first place with Leslie and Claudia (who will ultimately be ATGS's new owner in three years, so Leslie can retire.)

3. You finally met in person to discuss a new lease prior to Steve Sparks's article being published in the AVA. At that time it seemed that Leslie (and all of her friends) had some hope that there would be an agreement for at least a two- or three-year lease. We were all relieved. Disaster averted. But then Steve Sparks' article came out. That same day the article was published, I was told that Johnny sent an impulsive angry email to Leslie that the lease negotiations were off, there would be no long-term lease, he didn't want to discuss the subject, and ATGS was on a month-to-month lease. I think it is reprehensible for Johnny to punish Leslie for what I believe was a fairly balanced article in the AVA. The bottom line of the article was confirming that Johnny had the right to evict Leslie and take over her retail space. But, that ATGS is very popular with locals. We who shop at ATGS would have to go to Ukiah or Fort Bragg to get simple gifts, toys, jewelry and cards if it is closed down or couldn't find alternative space in Anderson Valley. And, as Leslie has been there for 22 years, she is beloved by all. (I can't tell you how often she let my children play in the back to room over the years.) The gist of the article seemed to be that this was going to be a difficult process and that Johnny should be aware of the likelihood of alienating a great number of people by making the decision to, in effect, evict ATGS.

It seems that this was handled in the most disrespectful way possible. That is why people are so upset. Johnny, you have a right to evict Leslie, but how you've done it was so underhanded, so rude, so boorish that you're standing in the community is taking a well-deserved beating. Is this really how you treat people?! (I'm sure you wouldn't treat your own employees this way. Oh, I forgot. You fired them all a few years back — also without notice, I recall.) Why in the world wouldn't you have spoken to Leslie directly and honestly and given a specific timeline, contacted some of your landlord friends for some options for ATGS to move to, and offer some restitution for having to move?

Many hope you at least do the right thing by providing Leslie with some financial restitution for being evicted and having to find a new location — if she finds one locally. She had no idea until very recently that you had no intention of providing her with a long-term lease, and that she had to plan to move her entire business. I'm sure it will cost a bundle in moving her Good Stuff to a new location, getting new phone/fax lines, printing business cards, new deposit money, etc. As you know there is very little (if any) retail space in “downtown” Boonville and she is losing the best location in town. We all know you don't have to offer anything, but have a little mercy. I'm sure a quick phone call to your millionaire partner asking for $10,000 to help wouldn't take too much of your time for, as we all know, you seem pretty handy with a computer — just email him.

For all the people who really care, please let us know if you are willing to provide some restitution to Leslie in order for her to move. For God's sake, man up!


The Wooden Building on the left side of Highway 128

Schmittville, California

PS. If that court case allows corporations to be individuals and Johnny Schmitt can hide his name under his business name, please extend the same courtesy to me also.



Dear Editor:

Another new twist in the war court trials at Guantanamo (Bush's monument to the American system of justice). Now it turns out that the base commander admitted he has DOD contractors examining the confidential, privileged attorney-client mail for “safety, force protection and good order.” The result is the defense attorneys have stopped sending mail to their clients which effectively shuts down the pending trials.

Additionally, it should be noted that, contrary to our system of justice, the military courts can admit as evidence information obtained by torture which includes waterboarding.

Of course, also holding alleged terrorists for long periods of time without trial is hardly in accordance with the American system of judgment. These military trials increasingly look more like kangaroo court trials. Guantanamo is a disgrace and an embarrassment to to our country and should be closed.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff


PS: Incidentally, several of the Bush people claim waterboarding is not torture. I would point out waterboarding was used during the Spanish Inquistition as a method to extract a confession. I am sure the good friars considered it an effective method of torture. Also, during the Philippine Insurrection American troops were waterboarding prisoners until it was stopped by US Government officials since it was considered torture. These Bush people are either charlatans or woefully ignorant of the history of waterboarding.

Anaheim, California



Dear Editor,

The Valley community is truly fortunate to have the talents and generosity of Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys Saturday Feb 11th as the spark plug to ignite the energy of the “fun and romance dance” in our community. Dean and his featured vocalist, Susan Clark, added an opening act to the evening. “Wild Oats” is a favorite local country and bluegrass band composed of some old timers and a few almost old timers. The two bands will bring danceable country music to the Anderson Valley Grange. This year they will donate their time and talents for the benefit of the AV Senior Center, last year they did the same for the Health Center. In fact for years now Dean’s group has been playing benefits for the valley folks and we think they need a little praise and thanks.

Dean sees a group that needs a little financial help and volunteers his band and their talents. Then support people help with the staging, decorations, advertising, door prizes, and sale of the donated concession food wine and beer. The price fits most people’s budget at only $10 per person payable at the door starting at 7:30 pm. The music and opportunity to get away from cabin fever and into some “energy releasing socializing” with friends while enjoying good food and drink is the old timers way to spend a Saturday night.

As a little extra, Dean has arranged for a slide show of these old timers and old places in the valley to be projected on the sidewall during the dance. That way when your feet need a little rest you have something to watch besides the dancing girls. Michael Crutcher has assembled, with the help of Sheri Hansen, a whole fist full of photos. To see them brings to mind some of the people, families and places that made the valley the great place we live in. So thank you Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys, Wild Oats plus the entire support group that brings this event to our valley. We hope to see you at the Grange on Saturday, Feb. 11th for some Romancin’ and Dancin’.

Rod and Judy Basehore,

Young senior citizens




Dear Mr. McEwen,

My wife and I enjoyed your recent article regarding our trial with Mr. Stoen, P. v. Alvarez-Carillo. The finger-snapping was particularly humorous and made me wonder who the title might be directed at. One thing though, our last name is spelled “Pekin.” Please be so kind as to make a note of it. Maybe I'll see you around court tomorrow while I wait for the verdict.


Patrick Pekin

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor,

I just read your January 18, 2012 issue after a very long hiatus from looking at the AVA.

Here's my review.

On the positive side, Cockburn's excellent column on our warmongering Presidents from FDR to Obama was simply superb. Refutes that crappy 'Good War' nonsense.

Your New Hampshire primary correspondent was insightful and entertaining.

The Editor's comments on the redevelopment racket were to the point except that there were never any 'good intentions' involved from the start.

The editor's comments on the appalling extradition to Texas of someone growing pot were very good though the real issue is that the 100 year failed drug wars must come to a complete end and all drugs should be decriminalized as Dr. Thomas Szasz advocated in his book Our Right To Drugs. Not because most drugs are good, they are not, including pot, but it's none of the government’s business. Decriminalized en toto, not the stupid libtard idea of 'legalization' so as to tax and regulate them. Your cover story on the demented female warriors alone was the price of admission.

Your comments on the Stalinesque new courthouse in Ukiah hit the nail on the head.

Now as to the cons, that ditzy hagiographic piece on Norm Solomon was an example of the worst of old Left agit-prop. I'm glad he was against the Iraq war but no more so than millions of us and he seems totally braindead otherwise. My boyfriend in Oakland favorably reviewed two books of his, once in a May 1994 number of the East Bay Express and once in a 1999 issue of Z Magazine.

Norm lived in Oakland and my boyfriend & his longtime wife knew Norm quite well.

Around 1998 Norm left Oakland to move to rural West Marin County. He still kept up his blackophilism and political correctness but it was obvious why he left Oakland. In 2004 Norm launched a vicious attack on Nader whom he claimed to support in 2000.

It was so vicious that Nader wrote that Norm and Medea Benjamin were beyond the pale and that he could never forgive either unless they first apologized to him. Of course, neither weasel ever did. Norm also wrote in 2004 that he would personally join the Green Party after that election to thank them for being so “responsible” as not to nominate Nader and thus hurt Kerry's chance.

What a load of bullcrap! Norm stayed in the Dems and is now running as one.

Norm has also backed the Bensky Boob wing at KPFA that has misrun that station for 40 years and now has the gall to call themselves Save KPFA! These are the 30 and 40 year oldtime ex-CPUSA hacks and braindead LibDems who haven't had a new idea since 1932. The pathetic remnants of the US Left or what's left of it.

Norm's platform is the same stale old rubbish of total state takeover of medicine as if central planning had ever worked in any area of any economy in any country at any time. The government now controls 60% of US medicine and Norm proposes a full dose of the same poison which is killing it. Norm's love affair with our 'public' employees is not shared by most taxpaying Californians. Go to any government office from Oakland to LA to here in SF to Ukiah and you will see exactly why.

Cops in Oakland start at six figures and they are hardly worth a fraction of that.

Then in an absolutely mind-bending stupidity Norm says that the solution is in DC! The very same folks in the Fed who brought us the current Depression through an easy credit boom which collapsed as it always does.

Norm also clings to the two-state bantustan non-solution in Israel/Palestine. I lived in Tel Aviv as an Irish-American Jew (Mom's side) for two years and it ain't going to happen. There are over half a million illegal settlers on the West Bank plus East Jerusalem and the only solution is one state with one vote per person. Only Norm and Noam cling to this two-state nonsense. Hell, Noam is still denying Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia! But to be fair Norm doesn't.

Even at least three contributors to Cockburn's leftist Counterpunch have written that Ron Paul is our only hope to avoid dictatorship and world war.

Norm Solomon was fool enough to believe Obama's lying 'change' nonsense in 2008 so his judgment is not to be trusted at all.

Read Economic Controversies by Murray Rothbard and buy or rent Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 DVD. It will show you exactly where we are headed if either Obama is reelected or Romney gets in. Replacing Obama with Romney is like changing the safety pin only on the diaper.

You guys are smarter than that and hopefully you can think outside the stale old New Deal-Fair Deal-New Frontier- Great Society box.

Thank you for reading this.


Marcy Fleming

San Francisco




This was an incident in my neighborhood and the response of my representative Linda Maio who has been my neighbor for many years and who is ostensibly progressive in every way especially concerning gender. But not so much on other things like environmental truth justice and rights when it comes to citizens and constituents. You know, a real good friend of big developers etc., and a good friend of Tom Bates, our newspaper stealing embarassment of a mayor, and of course stalwart of the all mighty all powerful nuclear genesis site, the University of California at Berkeley.

* * *

McKinley Painting CA license # 637631 has scraped and sanded the entire westward outside wall of 1729 Berkeley Way this week. They have been scraping and sanding (for two whole days now) the failing LEAD PAINT (which was tested positive) that was falling off the wall.

Unfortunately the day they started, with the most dust, was a very windy day Tuesday (the wind was whipping around in every direction).

Despite State and Federal standards that this contractor knows and I told him and the owner Monica Thyberg knows and I told her, is that a vertical covering must be provided to prevent environmental contamination when removing lead paint.

But to save a couple thousand dollars they failed on a very windy day to completely contain that side of the building so that toxic lead dust and particles don't contaminate the surrounding area.

Well it’s done, they cheerfully proceeded with their crime and all they did in response to me was put up a little piece of yellow tape and a warning sign.

I do believe that the contractor and the homeowner should both be held accountable. I informed the homeowner well in advance of her hiring anyone what would be required to safely contain the lead paint and as far as the contractor...he should go to jail.

What can we do now?

Carefully wipe and dust down all sills and flat surfaces in your house without spreading the dust. Spray down outside surfaces with a hose. Make sure to control the dust in your homes and vents as it is sure to contain toxins.

Know that the immediate vicinity is contaminated and take precaution.

Call the authorities and report this criminal contractor.

Talk to your neighbours and ask them to please have more and real consideration for children, plants, animals, the community, the neighborhood, the elderly, etc. Jeez it seems like some people don't have a heart nowadays.

I have three kids and live within a hundred feet.

Lead can cause serious developmental problems in children.

I am very serious about pursuing this and other environmental toxins and dangers for our community and others.

If anyone has any advice/criticism/words of encouragement please don't be shy

— Nathan Collins. Professional Citizen, Oakland

Dear Nathan,

I realize you are acting out of concern for your children. As this is about our mutual neighbor, and because you sent me this email as your Councilmember, in that capacity I talked with Monica Thyberg this morning to familiarize myself with her project particularly regarding potential risks. I reviewed the statements in your email message with her (it is now a public record since it came to my office). She described the steps she had taken to involve experts regarding the possible existence of lead paint. She noted that her painting contractor is trained in lead abatement. As none of us are experts in this matter I requested that she contact the County of Alameda Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to acquire information and assistance regarding the level of risk and any remedies that might be taken, and she readily agreed. I await the result of the County’s intervention which I will share.

— Linda Maio, Supervisor, Berkeley City Council

Supervisor Linda,

I am an expert. I was lead certified in the SF local 4 Painters Tapers and Allied Trades Union in the 90s.

Now what Mr. McKinley did with full knowledge was criminally contaminate the area with willfull negligence.

I had discussions with Monica in November and December about how serious the issue was and what it would require.

I should have been consulted futher in the matter or they should have ceased when I told them to.

Mr. McKinley deserves criminal prosecution and he will get it.

Monica deserves the shame she is receiving.

The City of Berkeley should be ashamed because they don't have the capacity or wherewithal to deal with endemic environmental health hazards present in Berkeley.

How about a task force on the Environment Linda, and all the pollution from Cars, UC Berkeley, Pacific Steel, the Refineries, Mold, Lead, Carbon Monoxide, etc.

Funny your line that I am being passionate but need to step back and let the authorities deal with it is exactly what the police and all these other agencies have said all along....

NO THANKS. Hey Linda, welcome to the new world. The world of post Occupy Wall Street. People won't be cowed or coerced anymore. The people are taking charge. We're doing things for ourselves thank you. As you can see most of these agencies have done and do nothing so we can easily go around them. I quickly learned the city could do nothing about it. So I called the EPA in SF. The city is impotent and can do nothing about the matter and your line to me, the same as the county and everyone else, is to sweep it under the rug. Shame!

Nathan Collins. Professional Citizen


PS. “To all the wicked ones, when its all said and done, Your conscience will wrap round your neck like a rope and hang you.”




The cremation and burial service plan, to be specific. Cremated remains will be buried along California freeway and highway systems. Since death will get us all sooner or later, your State of California, through the Department of Transportation, known as Caltran, now offers the Cal Tran Plan. This plan is an inexpensive way of getting rid of the cremated ashes of someone you might know. Also the Cal Tran Plan will help keep our roadside environment nice and clean and will be good for the trees and the environment in general.

Dear future customer family,

The following services with the amount for each service, supplies and equipment is offered to you by the state of California, Division of freeways and highways, Cal Tran Plan, as follows:

Cremation by portable microwave oven at burial site, or at your home: $82.50.

Temporary storage of ashes in orange polyethylene bag: $6.25

Burial of cremated remains alongside California freeway or highway system varies, depending on which freeway or highway you prefer and select as follows:

Freeways 1 through 80 ($92.50), Freeway 680 ($132.50, due to this being one of the better areas), Freeways 580, 880, 101, 102 and Highway 4 ($62.50), Interstate Freeway 5 ($18.50 to $112.25). Freeways and highways in the San Diego area ($201 due to sophisticated area), California area of Lake Tahoe, Highways 50 and 89 ($186.50). All other freeways and highways from the Mexico border to the Oregon border depending on the area, type of soil, traffic flow and EPA report ($21.25 to $89.50)

Wooden cross made from California redwood 2' x 1' ($6) or 12' x 6': $18.25

One gallon size California coastal pine tree: no charge

Labor charge to install wooden cross, either size: $41.75.

Credit to install wooden cross if your family or friends are willing to do it: Credit: $41.75

Labor charge to plant California coastal pine tree over your grave, done by Caltrans road crews. (Note: family and friends cannot plant a tree due to union rules): $20.50

Taped music and graveside freeway service, 30 minute tape: $3.25

Rental charge for portable tape player, 30 minute time limit: $5

Graveside eulogy by local mayor or by a Caltrans supervisor, 30 minutes: $42.50

If the body is cremated at your place of residence, then cremated remains will be your loved ones responsibility to bring the ashes in orange polyethylene bag to burial site because Cal Tran Plan has no means of transportation.

Rental of our microwave oven, to do a do-it-yourself cremation, instructions included: $37.25

Cal Tran Plan cleanup of burial site prior to burial — for example, aluminum cans, refuse, road litter, etc.: $10.50 to $31.75 depending on amount of litter and time required.

Special oleander service (available only in certain areas): $14.75

Portable canvas tarp to attain privacy from passing vehicles and onlookers: $11.50

Burial under freeway overpasses, extra charge: $70

Inclement weather special tarp to protect mourners: $31

Only artificial flowers will be allowed. Burial along any new freeway construction such as burial in a cement pillar or roadway under construction requires prior approval of Cal Tran construction division. Hearses will be available in early 2012. A memorial reception at the nearest freeway off-ramp, overpass or underpass limited to a maximum of 24 people due to obstruction of traffic flow. Remember that time is passing and any of us can go at any moment. To enroll in the State of California Cal Tran Plan send your request to the Cal Tran Plan, California Division of Highways, DMV, PO Box 942885, Sacramento, CA 94285-0885.

For information on our new Cal Tran Plan Layaway Plan please call 925-680-4636 or 925-942-6012.


Franklin D. Sutherland, “general manager,”

“Cal Tran Plan,” Sacramento

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *