Letters To The Editor
by AVA News Service, March 7, 2012
Justice is being served, slowly but surely. As some may recall, my truck was broken into last June at Lake Mendocino under cover of darkness at the southern boat ramp parking lot. About $1300 worth of cash and goods were ripped off. I figured it would be a total loss as insurance doesn't cover personal effects and you rarely hear about perps in these cases being caught. As it turned out though, the Sheriff’s Department had some guys on their watch list and nabbed them with some of my stuff. But, of course, that wasn’t really the stuff I wanted back. They did have a bunch of other people’s stuff and the District Attorney turned the screws on them pretty good. So I'm here to report that I have received my first restitution check for $21.39 from one of the thieves. Hopefully, the other perp has found a better job and his check will be for more.
So if Patrick Dale (the perp) pays at this rate it will be about five more years to recover my losses. In any case I would like to thank Deputy Denton for tracking the shitheads down, the DA’s office for pursuing the case, and Evidence Tech Debbie for making sure I got what was recovered back to me. Now here's the good part: All this could have been prevented with two high pressure sodium lightbulbs — that is (I believe) the only two bulbs that light that south parking lot at the Lake. As the Sheriff was taking my account that day, an Army Corps of Engineers supervisor was also in attendance and I could not stress enough to him that this would not have happened had the bulbs been replaced. He responded that they would have a meeting to determine the proper steps necessary to allocate funding and determine the plan of attack to get the bulbs changed. Apparently light bulb changing is not in the Army Corps officer's scope of duties. He added that the truck necessary for such a task was at Lake Sonoma. I left that day figuring sure, they’ll get it right on this — how hard is changing a lightbulb? So... a month and a half later I went back to the same lot to go wakeboarding with the same two great friends who had spent the night out at the boat with me and we were camping at same spot where we were on the night my stuff got ripped off. I hadn't noticed but when my friend came to pick me up and get something out of his truck, there it was: sitting on its rims with all eight tires drained of air. At least he didn't get broken into. This time we were pretty livid about the light situation still not being remedied. The Army Corps officer just continued with his bureaucratese about budget cuts, staffing, equipment deficiencies, etc. Two bleeping light bulbs. So if you're wondering why the country is broke — well, we only hire the best and the brightest.
Great article by Susan Green on solitary confinement ( the Gray Box) Our criminal justice (?) system is based only on punishment. We ignore the other part of that equation: rehabilitation. This missing aspect in our criminal-industrial complex is keenly pointed out in a novel on India titled Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. In it a tribal elder says “Justice is not only the way to punish those who do wrong. It is also the way we try to save them.”
BYPASS THE BYPASS
Mr. Thompson shall not have made any comment on the supposed ByPass since he does not live in or around Willits and since due to re-districting he no longer will represent our district of Willits but he will represent the Calistoga area. Caltrans work will cost the area money plus air and water pollution, traffic congestion, noise pollution, fish habitat destruction, loss of businesses being able to stay in business, loss of revenue with summer travel going to other routes for years if they ever come back, higher crime, and more. It seems that if their mouth and their brains were in gear they (Caltrans) would Love to have an open forum to explain all that they will be doing to this wonderful community.
With Peace, Health, Harmony, Love, and Fun,
POT V. BEER
To Washington State Governor Gregoire, Fourth Branch of America, NORML, THCF, MPP and others who may be concerned:
In response to the recently released news item, which generally states that marijuana makes people twice as likely to have a car accident after smoking marijuana, it seems appropriate to get some university professors and lawyers to do a statistical study of existing DUI records. Part of the rationale for doing the study would include the need to have accurate information available when the necessary DUI laws are rewritten to accommodate medical marijuana patients and possible legalization as a recreational drug.
DUI files are done at taxpayer expense and the data concerning blood-drug levels of alcohol, THC, cocaine and meth — without names of course, should be available to the taxpayers. It is entirely possible to get a group of compassionate PhDs, lawyers and private research companies to convince a judge to order the release raw data from the files so it can be analyzed in statistical form.
Sooner or later, we are going to need to know for sure whether marijuana is more dangerous than beer or not. If professors are too tied down with reputation issues, scientists from private genetic, nutrition and market research companies can provide facilities and expertise to produce valid statistical work. It’s about time to get some real research in front of American’s eyes.
COORDINATOR IS GOOD ENOUGH
Given the many others who have much to contribute on the subjects of local food and local economy, it was humbling to be included in the conversation hosted by Lucy Neely and Will Parrish. Thanks to both of them for making it happen.
I want to clarify that I was not the chair of the Measure H campaign. My role was that of coordinator, under the direction of the “mother of Measure H,” the erudite Els Cooperrider, and a great hands-on steering committee.
NO MORE MINI-MANHATTAN
Dear Mayor and fellow members of our Alameda City Council,
Recently I sent email to you all. Only one of you could manage, at least, to use the Reply: link and say, “Thank you for your interest.” I thank that One, and you know whom you are.
Ron Cowan has been openly buying favors for too long. Elected council members have been prostituting their votes to be purchased by Cowan in his quest for more millions at the expense of us residents.
The golf course is just great as it is. The sand dunes Cowan offers for trade is smaller, in a terrible and inaccessible location surrounded by heavy commercial buildings and served by many vehicles including 18 wheelers.
The idea of having a recreational facility for any age genre in such an inaccessible location is ludicrous. Can't you sensibly imagine children riding their bicycles from their far-away homes to this location? Well, it seems that there are those of you on our Council who have no imagination, only under-the-table greed.
I will admit this: Some of you have the honesty to openly admit that your vote has been purchased even stating the dollar amounts of Cowan's purchase price. (No doubt there are other under-the-table benefits left unmentioned. Such are politics.)
If the sand dunes are such a great place then why is the Harbor Bay Business Park not a booming location for business? The remoteness, cold wind and noise from OAK do not make an ideal location for pleasure, and apparently not for business either.
Some of you on the Council claim that the increased traffic on Island Drive and the few feeder streets would not be a problem as the resolve lies in simply synchronizing the existing and future traffic signals. I ask these “experts” to try to synchronize the existing signals on Otis from Island Drive to Grand Street; Broadway from Otis to Blanding; Park Street from the bridge to Otis et al.
Council has allowed our once quaint city to become a miniature Manhattan of traffic made worse by South Shore Center, and now an increase is planned. Let the spin begin (or continue).
The City of Alameda should not be partners with Ron Cowan; and my future votes will attempt to thwart such a romance.
Bay Farm Island Resident, Alameda
This Little Town—
I had just gotten done with an oatmeal bath and was lying naked on my bed putting coconut oil all over me when I heard my gate open, then the back door, and then heavy footsteps through the house. I called out my friend's name who will usually call first or at least announce himself at the door. Into my bedroom bounded a demon: he was a shirtless man in his twenties, very buff with a shaven head.
“Do you have a gun?!” he screamed. “I want a gun to kill myself!
“I don't have one!” I shouted back. He left the room, I leaped up, and the coconut oil went flying. I went to the bedroom door and saw him in the kitchen.
“ Get out of here! Get out of here!” I yelled.
He grabbed the biggest knife off the counter, went out the door, and started down the road toward my neighbor's house. I went for the phone, slipped on the coconut oil, and landed hard on my elbow and knee. I called my neighbor.
“There's a maniac coming your way! Lock your door! Call J, I'll call P!”
I phoned 911 and described the madman that was on the loose in our neighborhood. I heard shouts from down the hill--he had barged into the neighbor's house again asking for a gun. I heard shouts back and forth--the demon went on to another neighbor and tried to break her gate down. A pickup truck came down the road and I flagged it down; it was a member of the local volunteer fire department who had heard the call on the scanner. I saw the demon heading back up the hill just as my friend pulled up from the other direction.
He got out of the car and I screamed at him. “ Get over here, now! There's a maniac coming up the hill! Here! Come here now!” For some reason my friend went back to his car for a moment and then started over when the guy passed by. Now he was waving a hundred dollar bill.
“I'll give you 100 dollars for a drink!” he said. There were no takers.
The demon maniac continued up the road with C and the fireman walking behind at a cautious distance. The CHP flew down the main road missing the little lane and 911 was called again. When he got up to the main road the CHP was coming back up the hill and another was coming down, they both stopped. The cop got out of his cruiser and commanded the demon maniac madman drugged-out parolee to stop. He reluctantly did then when the cop called out for him to get down on his knees and put his hands on his head. He did that but when the cop told him to get down on his stomach he refused. The cop kept telling him to get down on his stomach as he approached the neighborhood marauder brandishing a gun or a tazer or something; he seemed to be holding a shield of some sort.
“Shoot me! Kill me!” the demon screeched. “Kill me!”
The two CHP approached until they joined up by the guy, still commanding that he get down on his stomach. He still refused and by now two more CHP had pulled up as the call had gone out during a shift change. All four cops went down on him to subdue him and they hog-tied him by the side of the road.
This little town? Yikes!
Hope you're doing well these days. I still enjoy reading the AVA.
The reason I'm writing is to see, if in your well-read past, you have ever heard of or read August Derleth, of Sauk City, Wisconsin.
I won't go into detail, you can read about him in Wikipedia.
You can also read the history section of the Free Congregation of Sauk County at freecongregation.org.
I accidentally became the president of this group a couple of years ago and, in the process of learning local history, learned of local author Derleth.
Reading his works, I am reminded much of you and your life in Boonville, as well as Oregon!
Derleth poked fun at residents as you have done, and his books sold well locally for the same reason the AVA has sold locally, because people were amused to see themselves in print, some of the time.
He served on the Board of Education, protecting teachers from criticism by a reactionary Catholic church in a village that is still today 60% Catholic.
I have only recently learned that it was LeRot Gore, the editor of the Sauk City local paper, who started the “Joe Must Go” campaign in 1954, trying to get enough petition signatures to recall Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy. The Free Thinker tradition is still there in Sauk City, though definitely diminished.
If you have time for any additional reading, I think you would enjoy reading some of Derleth's work, though my memory is so bad, I can't remember which book most made me think of you as I read it. Right now I have just finished “The Shield of the Valiant” which does not include the humorous anecdotes and amusing descriptions of local characters, but does cover his years on the school board.
If you ever come to Madison, WI you should come and be a speaker at the Free Congregation! We would love you!
Regards to all,
Black Earth, Wisconsin
YOO HOO, GIRLS, I'M BACK!
Warm spiritual greetings,
Worshipping the Goddess — After returning from the NYC and Washington D.C. Occupy camps, I have firmly decided to change life direction. After 40 years of being celibate (except for occasionally using spit to deter stress and relax) I wish to
resurrect my social life. I am a devotee of the divine mother Kali, and have cultivated a spiritual life in the vedic-upanishadic tradition, including a spiritual trip to India in 1994. I wish to meet women for a meaningful lasting relationship. This is good!
Craig Louis Stehr (firstname.lastname@example.org )
ARMED & DANGEROUS
As an addendum to last week's alert re Michael Hardesty of Oakland, who uses the aliases “Al Blue” and “Nathan Branden Jr” to spill his hate-filled bile and has thus been banned from many forums, I should also add that another of his fake names is “Marcy Fleming,” whom he calls his “girlfriend” but who utilizes the same jargon and bigotry as Mr. Hardesty. Hardesty now calls me “Heil Hitler,” and would also like us to know that “Most normal people are homophobic” and that, true to form, he is well armed. He thus issues violent threats. So we are all so warned, not that anybody sane would want to go near this fellow — and which must be why he needs to invent his allies. Of course, if there was any real proof any of these folks existed, some of us might feel compelled to apologize. But I am not holding my breath for Bigfoot to show up either.
Ed note: I met the pop-eyed psycho once when he cornered me on the stairs of a Bay Area bookstore event to babble breathlessly on, as I recall, about Ayn Rand, the worst fiction writer in the history of our language who used the novel form to advance her fascist “ideas.” They're only a stutter step ahead of the LaRouchies but there are a lot more of them. Naturally, the Randians are in full support of this country's worst political instincts as represented by the loons running for president as Republicans. Crush them whenever, wherever you can!
HOUSING AUCTION APPRECIATION
This letter is to express gratitude to the AV Winegrowers Association for designating the AC Housing Association as the beneficiary of the silent auction at the recent Alsace Festival.
The Winegrowers Association was supportive in every possible way from providing physical support (auction tables, portable microphone, for example) as well as practical guidance for some of us who had not participated before in conducting a silent auction.
The Housing Association will use the proceeds from the Alsace Festival silent auction in furtherance of the Housing Association’s work to provide salubrious and safe affordable housing for people who live and work in the Anderson Valley. Our capacity to accomplish our work depends in large measure upon donations. Hence our appreciation for the significant donation from the Winegrowers Association.
William W. Sterling, President
Anderson Valley Housing Association
DEBT, BAD & FUNNY
Dear Ukiah City Council Members:
Honeywell's $3 Million Dollar Proposal for New Water Meters and Conference Center Renovation:
A review of the Honeywell proposal dated March 7, 2012 shows that they expect an increase of 6.12% in revenues after the installation of more accurate water meters and that this will net the City $276,845 per year. The total cost of the water meter replacement and leak detection project ($2.5 million) would be paid by we the consumers through higher water service charges. Should the smart water users, mostly small homeowners and renters, elect to reduce water consumption through modest conservation measures in the home, then the extra revenue Honeywell predicts would disappear and the City would be faced with paying off these municipal bonds out of general funds.
The companion proposal would cost $592,000 to upgrade the Conference Center with cleaner carpets, more comfortable chairs, and a commercial kitchen that would allow hosting banquets cooked right there on the premises! This taxpayer debt would supposedly be paid back by avoiding the rental of commercial kitchen equipment that costs $62,400 per year. (I have never heard of “rent-a-kitchen” but that's what Honeywell says and they're a major Pentagon contractor after all!) What would happen if the kitchen was upgraded and no high rollers elected to have banquets there? What would happen if these happy conventioneers elected to have their banquets catered by Padrona, just a block away, or from the soon-to-be-refurbished MacDonald's a few blocks down Perkins Street? Again, no revenue stream to pay off the bonds.
The City of Ukiah took on two municipal bonds in 2010 totaling $8.43 million at interest rates that will reach 5.75% to 8.0% at maturity. These high interest rates reflect the City's poor credit rating and declining property tax revenues as the economy staggers and homes go “financially underwater.” Hundreds of home owners have already experienced or are currently threatened with foreclosure in these dire times. To burden taxpayers with $3 million in new indebtedness for the ephemeral savings predicted in Honeywell's proposals would be the height of irresponsibility.
I have not heard anything this funny since Robert Preston as the “Music Man” conned River City into buying band uniforms to prevent the youth from falling into sin and corruption at the local pool hall.
James F. Houle
PS. Regarding your Talk of the Town “Lacey Lynn's loose on North State Street.” Those Deputies were remarkably restrained:
Surely a dagger and dirk
Hidden under her shirt
Warrants a blast of Red Pepper
If that don't stop her, taser her!
— Jim Houle, President,
— Citizens for Suitable Responses
If Jeffrey Walter (re: Bruce McEwen's article of two weeks ago, ‘Appropriate Is As Appropriate Does’), had offered me a psychedelic mushroom at a concert, I, too would accept it. Instead of adding it to spaghetti sauce, I would follow the traditional native American medicine usage — ingesting the fungi on an empty stomach. I was at home when a young friend's friend, fresh from the hunt, arrived with his tiny mushrooms. Since it had been years since I had last indulged, my helpers decided that I, then 71 years old, should take only one. The ensuing energy boost motivated me into a cleaning spree, then a walk up the trails looking for wildflowers and lichens to visit the guests and friends.
Apparently neither Ann Moorman, the judge, nor prosecutor Beth Norman, nor our current crop of bought and paid for legislators, have figured out that drugs are synthetic chemicals. Neither wild nor cultivated fungi are laboratory produced synthetic chemicals, aka drugs. Nor can green or woody stemmed herbs, cacti, or other plants, no matter what their medicinal or recreational uses may be, be classified as drugs. A good portion of the war on drugs is therefore a war on plants. This simple step into saner thinking could reduce much of our jail/prison population, lighten the enormous burden on the taxpayers of maintaining these non-productive institutions, and remove some of the profiteering by the legal establishment. Think of the long history into antiquity of the useage of the banned plants, a history which crosses cultural lines and boundaries.
Back to Jeffrey Walter's case. Mr. Walter drank some beer while giving away some psychoactive mushrooms at a concert? Is that all? Did he cause a row? Start a fight? Behave obstreperously? No mention of anything like that. Our criminal law, not administrative law, requires harm. Please prove, Judge Moorman, Prosecutor Beth Norman, if there is any accountability, that this young man caused harm as grounds for arrest. Was there an outstanding warrant for him? No mention of this. Irresponsibility in the indiscriminate gift giving of psychoactive fungi seems to be the worst thing that Mr. Walter did. Judge Moorman is correct in that some of these recipients may also use legal or illegal drugs. Legal/illegal drugs are the two sides of the same coin. Were there any complaints from the strangers who accepted the mushrooms? If not, how can you prove harm? It seems that Mr. Walter lacked an understanding of the spiritual use of the sacred psysilosibe mushroom.
How is imprisonment or jail going to help this young man? In my opinion, it won't. What about schooling or community service instead?
What our finest practitioners of alternative medicine pretty much agree on is that taking synthetic chemicals causes harm. There are reams of studies, years upon years of evidence-based studies proving the harm these synthetics cause, including death and its increased likelihood. Imagine enforcing criminal harm penalties against Big Pharma, Monsanto and the biotech corporations. The harm caused by these giants is beyond measurement.
Dorotheya M Dorman
BRING BACK REEL FISHING
Restoring California’s Fishing Communities and Ocean Ecosystem —
Don Sack, a hook-and-line fisherman in the tiny Humboldt County community of Shelter Cove, has a proposal that could restore California’s fishing communities and ocean ecosystem.
“Trawling — the dragging of huge nets through the ocean — should be banned. Federal fishing allotments, which now overwhelmingly favor huge trawlers over shore-based hook-and-line fishermen, should be changed to allow local fishermen to harmoniously harvest ocean food as we have since time immemorial.”
A recent tour of Shelter Cove revealed empty campgrounds and a fishing fleet of only four boats. There used to be hundreds of small fishing boats.
Don Sack and other local fishermen describe schools of rockfish with millions of metric tons, which they are forbidden from catching by federal and state regulations and allotments. Meanwhile, huge trawlers drag nets at every level through the ocean, scooping up everything in the ocean ecosystem.
“I’m a third-generation fisherman,” Don Sack explained. “Now I can barely make a living not because the rockfish are gone, but because of fishing allotments, regulations and fees which make it impossible for shore-based hook-and-line fishermen to operate. The trawlers get virtually all the federal fishing allotments. Trawlers employ few people and operate out of distant ports, often sending their catch to overseas markets. A lot of their ‘bycatch,’ fish too small or of species they don’t want, is tossed overboard. I see it as rotting biomass destroying the natural ocean ecology. Some bycatch they sell as ‘surimi,’ a low-quality fish paste which goes to the corporate food industry.”
The Shelter Cove fishermen call themselves the “Mosquito Fleet,” because they operate with hook-and-line as an intimate and harmonious part of the ocean ecosystem. "There could be hundreds of shore-based fishermen, generating thousands of jobs in local communities, all up and down California, if we were allowed to fish with reasonable regulation.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now has policies which are eliminating shore-based, independent fishermen nationwide, and encouraging giant trawlers, offshore oil drilling, wave energy experiments, and other ocean industrialization. This destroys local livelihood, makes the nation’s nutritional crisis worse; and only the wealthy can afford to eat wild-caught, high-quality ocean food.
We need congressional representation devoted to supporting local shore-based fishermen and their communities, and protecting the ocean ecosystem from drag-net trawling. Local people have a right to harmoniously harvest ocean food without unfair fees, regulations, and denial of access.
John Lewallen, candidate for US Congress
TREATMENT, NOT DEATH
Letter to the Editor
Wesley Chesbro, Assembly Member, 311 N. State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. Open Letter to Wes Chesbro:
In addition to sponsoring AB 1863 to reimburse Mendocino County for $41,000 of the costs of hunting for Aaron Bassler, wouldn’t it be wise to sponsor Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment (LL/AOT) legislation that does not require each County to vote to implement it. California is the only one of 44 states that requires this. If Laura’s Law had been in place, Aaron would have received the Assisted Outpatient Treatment he needed six months before the tragedies began. We tried to get help for him in Mendocino County and there was none and still is none today. Requiring all 58 counties to implement LL/AOT seems to mean, tragic preventable deaths, followed by County Mental Health resistance, constituent-driven petitions and educational programs, and/or wrongful death law suits that require a County to implement LL.
AOT/LL is a national success in increasing public safety, saving money, and helping people with severe mental illness turn their lives around. It is supported by many national and state law enforcement agencies and others.
California can’t afford not to implement this important legislation at the State level. The California Millionaire’s Tax, Full Service Partnerships pay for the needed wrap-around services so County General Fund money is not used. See research and legal information at www.Treatment Advocacy Center.
Why do you keep choosing preventable deaths and exorbitant unnecessary costs, over patient treatment for people with the most severe mental illnesses?
Sonya Nesch, author of ‘Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness’