Letters to the Editor 12/9/2009
by Letters to the Editor, December 11, 2009
Steve Heilig wishes he could separate Thelonius Monk’s art from his mental disorder (“Monk For The Record,” AVA, December 2, 2009): “We'll never really know what he might have sounded like if fully ‘normal’.”
I, for one, thank the jazz gods that Monk wasn't fully “normal.” His fight through his illness probably made his life hell, but Monk left only heaven behind for us, his listeners.
According to government officials our goals in Afghanistan are:
a. Come, see, conquer.
b. Clear, develop, sell.
c. Free, empower, democratize.
d. Clear, hold, build.
e. Grab and run.
A DAY AT A TIME
Since my arrival back in Ireland in late August I have been staying with friends and relatives on the West Coast of the Emerald Isle, a truly beautiful place, weather permitting. Lately there has been very heavy rain, storms and flooding in some parts of the country.
After the initial rush of family and old friends traveling many hours to visit and stay with me, I now have time to collect myself and address the situation at hand and try to tackle the many hurdles that face me and my wife Joanna.
We are in contact a couple of times a week to touch base and we hope to be able to visit the United States early in the new year when her circumstances allow. My goals presently are getting around the usual bureaucratic obstacles that anyone might find returning to their country after so long an absence — 25 years in my case — especially in today's weakened economic climate. So I have been chipping away at it getting some state assistance in the form of “jobseekers allowance” and also obtaining a “medical card” which covers essentials for the time being. Because the United States authorities kept my driver’s license (for fear that I would use it to reenter the country they informed us) I am now required to go through a lengthy process to renew my ability to drive legally here in Ireland. Getting a mobile (car) is essential to becoming viable again and I have made “acquiring transport” my prime objective in the near term.
The logistical problems encountered by my wife (with the help of some friends) in getting my belongings shipped were as you can imagine very difficult and time-consuming but finally they arrived — or most of them. It's a strange thing to see all one's worldly possessions condensed into so many little boxes. After culling through it all and discarding nonessentials I feel (I hope) I can travel light, or at least lighter, should the need suddenly arise. The place where I'm staying has just gone on the market but since the market is slow I’m hoping to get to spring before I have to relocate again. Job-wise there are no immediate prospects that are obvious or even available for that matter. But again, one step at a time, one day at a time.
My plans to get back online when my computer laptop arrived were complicated by the fact that the dedicated power cord wasn't with it. It's an Apple iBook. So getting it up and running, if that's even possible after almost two years of lying idle, has been slow. Hopefully, soon I can reconnect with everyone on a much more regular and cheaper basis than has been possible since my return. Phoning people has proven to be expensive to maintain on my current budget, though I still do it anyway.
I can't look too far ahead as its scary beginning from scratch all over again. So it's a one day at a time program that will at least keep me sane. Still, when I think of some of the poor beings I met while a guest of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers and what they were facing back in their own countries of origin, then things snap back into perspective. There's always someone worse off than yourself. (Well, mostly.)
So with the new year looming I hope that I can attain some semblance of normality in the not-too-distant future and retain contact with as many of my old friends as possible. I wish you all a happy holiday season and hope the new year is better than the last one for us all. Best wishes for 2010.
The mob of the proletariat is surrounded by the snowy white face of the idle rich.
Et puis? Je m’en fiche. She's got a horse face; “she runs between blinkers,” her nose out of joint.
Must you return like a dog to his vomit? The Muslims wear fezzes.
Where Harriet got police department tickets taking her top off on Franklin Street and then her bottoms too, are my axons naked?
Gorilla glue is kept in a sealed container out of sunlight.
PS. Lack of rain? The muscle flexing California logger shakes his head. “Nah, wet wood.”
PPS. Aussieland. Shadow of a cloud upon the house; upside downers with the incessant red country populated by sheep.
And Paris — these times of woe will afford us no time to woo.
Moscow — Khrushchev, bald as an egg, 5 feet 2 and 200 pounds, round face, bright blue eyes, a mole on his cheek. “If you've seen one skyscraper, you've seen them all.” The shoe goes down on the large table, wham! “We will bury you.”
Feel the breeze? A lot of wind without the trees.
Your pessimistic view of the magic American bubble machine is, like, totally unwarranted.
I'm an eternal optimist who fervently believes that the collective ignorance of the American people will ultimately prevail.
Nothing can stop the compulsion to shop — people spending money they don't have on things they don't need.
If credit dries up, people will steal the money. If the banking industry collapses, people will print the money. If the printing presses break down, people will take what they *want*. Like the thief said to the merchant, “I'm not taking what's yours, I'm taking what's mine that you have.”
If the people *had* collective wisdom, a vast majority would realize that 90% of the global economy's output is useless crap that they don't need and the magic American bubble machine would flame out like the Hindenburg.
But thanks to the not-so hidden persuaders hawking an ever expanding cornucopia of crap, the masses have been convinced to equate wants and needs.
In order to clear markets of the ballooning surge of goods and services the capitalist system cultivates desires.
And now, in its late stage, the driving force of capitalism is not the production of goods and services, but of consumption itself. The shills of consumer culture want us to spend our way to wealth and happiness. Consumption as entertainment isn't everything, it's the only thing. Black Friday has surpassed Thanksgiving as our national cornucopian holiday.
As PT Barnum said, “The public appears disposed to be amused even when they are conscious of being deceived.”
But the system which creates the gargantuan insatiable consumption monster has sown the seeds of its own destruction. With the collapse of credit and banking, the insatiable masses will form ravenous hordes of looters and shoplifters armed with virtual torches and pitchforks scurrying like rats through America's mercantile emporiums tweeting their way to wealth and happiness.
Happy holidays one and all. See you at the shopping mall.
PS. Lawrence Welk said, “Turn off the bubble machine.” But how? The magic American bubble machine is truly unstoppable since the system is set up to collapse without welfare for the rich. Main Street can't survive without Wall Street. And the people accept the system as it is, reasoning that a few crumbs is better than no crumbs at all. Neat, huh?
When Lincecum said he regretted the pot bust, he meant he regretted the laws that got him busted.
He didn't say he was sorry for “youthful indiscretions” because he's still young.
When he said it wouldn't happen again, he meant he wouldn't be so obvious by storing his itty bitty gram bag in the console within arm's reach.
The best athletes are “stoners” — the pitcher, the swimmer and the football player (Ricky). Two pitchers if you count the one on LSD.
My name is Tanner and I am a junior. I see all these kids in school trying their hardest to succeed, but somehow, it isn't enough. I see a lot of these teenagers and children pushing to do their best, but I also see these teachers not even trying. I am currently on independent study, but when I was in school I would ask for help on a subject and the teachers wouldn't even help! “Copy what's on the board,” they would say. What does copying do? It doesn't teach you, it doesn't help you later on in life.
I went on independent study because I saw that teachers were not teaching correctly in my opinion. I don't see them taking time to help each student, instead, they would give you the answers and tell you to copy them down. I see kids not even trying in school because they don't know what they're going to get out of it. An education? Sure. But what about a job? No.
I see all these commercials on TV advocating adults to go to college, but with what money? What money is our state paying people to even afford to go to a store to buy the school supplies? I personally don't know every supply you need to go to college, but I know one of them (not saying every college says you need one, but some) is a laptop. If you are getting paid $8.50 an hour, paying bills and buying groceries, what money is left over?
This recession is killing us all. I see parents working four hours a day and taking care of three children. I see kids rebelling in school because they know that in this time what is a diploma going to do? What is the point?
I may sound naive or immature or whatever you would like to call it. But I am speaking on behalf of a lot of teenagers. No one listens to us. No one has hope.
Dope smokers, lowlifes, rebels — we put up with those name-callings every day. I can go to the plaza to hang out with my friends and police officers may show up and ask us if we’re smoking, ask us if we're drinking. I am sick of being discriminated.
I am sick of trying to do well when in my opinion it's all going to end up in dirt.
I see people with diplomas from Harvard unemployed. What are we getting ourselves into?
I also see a lot of people getting food stamps, unemployment and welfare checks. I see aliens getting our tax dollars. I see our dollars being spent on unnecessary plans, such as building another casino. That may be a benefit and no offense, but half of that money is going to go to the Native American community and what is it going to do to the Ukiah community? I see construction companies building homes but what money does anyone have to rent or own another home?
This is ridiculous. Something needs to be done and no one is doing anything about it. I am tired of not being heard and this is why I am sending this letter. I have no intention on offending anyone, but I feel that my opinion must be heard and something must be done about it.
WHY A COORDINATOR?
I just had occasion to read an article on your front page in November that stated the Mental Health advisory board said at a Supervisor's meeting that the MHSA Coordinator job needed to be filled. That is true but it also said that it was not explained why when actually it was. There is the money for something called the WET plan and coming up soon is the PEI plan (probably being submitted on the 16th of this month). These program plans in addition to existing programs in operation are from the Mental Health Services Act funds which come from a special tax on millionaires in California. These funds exist and the funds for a Coordinator for these program plans also exists and they cannot go forward without a Coordinator. There was a Coordinator for the past three years who advised the county Mental Health Department as well as contract entities that formed a steering committee for this new source of funding for badly needed programs for mentally ill persons and to prevent and intervene with the first break of mental illness in individuals of all ages. That Coordinator had resigned about two weeks before the advisory board's thoughts were made known to the Supervisors. To not have an MHSA Coordinator is to put all this new, existing money for programs at risk. This was made clear at that BOS meeting you mentioned and I would like the record to be clarified it was and further how important it is to have an MHSA Coordinator. These funds are made available for counties to use with an intent to develop recovery programs in a client-directed manner. I would also like to say that mentally ill people are not only in jail when they should not be but they also are often victims of crime (robbery, rape, and more).
There are four forums around the county (Calpella for the Ukiah area, Willits, Fort Bragg, and Gualala) as well as transportation offered. They started December 2nd in, Willits. They explain county services and to seek input into strategies to help provide services more locally while in a difficult funding cycle. Hopefully, a representative from your paper will be at one of these meetings to get more information about existing programs and the current restructuring of county mental health services to try to meet the enormous needs that you mention in your article. Only the people who are not helped are those we are aware of when many, many are served which is unknown, and because of HIPPA privacy constraints they cannot be known although we on the board hear about them in an unidentified manner.
This is a time of regrouping and localization on all levels and that is exactly what the BOS has directed in regard to the mental health services lack of funding situation. I am happy Supervisor Colfax mentioned making mental health services into a county funded priority. Currently, no county money (except for the forums) is available, or has been, for these services and county citizens need to think about a manner that is acceptable to them by which to fund such services so we are not at the mercy of the state all the time.
Sandra L. O'Connor
Mental Health Board Vice Chair/Acting Chair
THE BLOATED BEAUTIFUL
I read with interest Mr. Cockburn's essay on America's increasing bloatedness. I have observed this phenomenon myself in an historic context, and it seems continually evolving — eating its own tail, one might say.
When I was a kid in L.A. back in the 1950s and 60s, it seemed to me that fat people were not so numerous then as now, and even so they were in some way credited with being universally jolly and fun to be around — or perhaps, they tended to be indulgent to small children at their parents' dinner parties. As I got older I began to accompany my folks (two practicing MDs) on some of their weekend medical conference trips to Palm Springs where, if they weren't in a conference, they were on the golf course; my sister and I were relegated to the pool area, where fatties didn't often attend. I could sense that even some of the cheaper places we stayed at had a pool-area atmosphere conscious of The Body Beautiful, and this was especially acute at the fancy hotels that had their own golf course, which we soon moved up to. Occasionally a beefy older cousin or a steatopygous nanny ventured into the shallow end with her attendant charges, clad in a staid one-piece of indeterminate dark hue with a little fringe of a skirt on it, but mostly the pool was for the svelte to lie beside and be shiny and be noticed.
It was only after this era when the medical conferences themselves started to upgrade to Las Vegas, that I caught more frequent sightings of *Americanus enormii*. My parents didn't gamble, but growing bored of the poolside scene I began to take an interest in the casino (particularly when I found I was always being vigorously chased off by grouchy men in cop suits) and there, in “the great indoors,” I beheld the vast acreages of flesh that also chose to eschew the sun. And although the occasional spectacular lone male of the species might be found by chance out in the bush, as I encountered that especially wide fellow playing four hands of $2 blackjack and sitting with a tall chair drawn up under each cheek, it is in the abundant feeding grounds that regular droves may be reliably viewed. Namely, the 69¢ All You Can Stand 101-Item Buffet. My mother steered us there simply out of thrift, and since it was the easiest way to feed a pair of picky eaters anyhow; my sister and I liked it because we could play pretend Keno with little paper scorecards and crayons (provided gratis at every table) and because the peoplewatching opportunities were matchless. The number of Americans who truly seemed to want all 101 items on their groaning 69¢ tray, all at once, seemed without count. Finally Ann and I coined a term, the “doughbutt.” This described the individual, typically clad in sweat-pants regardless of gender, who appeared reasonably proportioned from about the elbows up — that is, what you could see above the tray — but whose southerly hemisphere was very nearly spherical itself; it looked as if they had at least 50 or 60 pounds of cookie dough stuffed down each pant leg. And too, for a 13-year old is there any lounge act quite as entertaining as watching a whole family of really fat people eating?
This very month, having returned from the east coast via long-distance rail, I can now report of the new generation the worship of triglycerides hath wrought: an American race known as *Blobpeople*. These are the ones mostly found on little electric carts, their bodies oozing out over the seat on three sides like a trash bag full of frosting, utterly disinclined toward or perhaps actually incapable of pedestrianism. They favor Amtrak by necessity because they literally can't get into an airplane. They aren't just Too Fat To Fight — they're Too Fat To *Fit*!
Gratefully, the culture has kept pace. Trucks have become bloated, the sedan has swollen to the SUV, and only in America would a rolling dirigible hangar be called a “mini-van.” They're what's needed to hold the portions: the Coca-Cola bottle in 1968 was 6 ounces — in 1998, 67 ounces!
In the 21st century, there will be no god but *Diabetes Mellitus* and Insulin will be His prophet.
For those who have not been paying attention to this, the CARB [California Air Resources Board] rules on diesel engines will have an unfathomable negative impact on anyone who drives or owns a commercial diesel truck in rural California. This rural group of truckers is essentially not represented at the CARB except for what Mendocino County Farm Bureau (yes, that is what I said) has done because the California Trucking Association has bought into the plan that works for their urban members who put lots more miles on their vehicles, have a shorter vehicle turn over time, and can better accommodate expensive diesel engine upgrades.
California Farm Bureau, to its credit, has negotiated some considerations accommodating low milage ag trucks, so is compelled to hold the line with what has been negotiated there. If you live in rural California, think of all the commercial vehicles you see that are more than five years old and run let's say less than 50,000 miles a year. The CARB rule is workable if you run something in excess of 100,000 miles a year, and buy a new truck let’s say every five years or less.
There have been questions about the science behind the need for the CARB rule all along. Now we see in the following article that there has been fraud on the part of the primary source of the data supporting the new rule regarding this persons qualifications. This does not necessarily directly implicate the quality of the data, but certainly undermines the credibility of it and the CARB. Where have we seen this before, time and time again? When are we going to learn? The Chair of that board needs to be asked to resign — how about demanded to resign or be fired by the Governor.
KUDOS FOR EVERYBODY!
Kudos to AV Health Center—
I am writing on behalf of Anderson Valley Elementary, Junior High and High Schools. We want to express our appreciation for the seamless way the AV Health Center provided H1N1 protection to our students. Before we had a chance to pick up the phone and ask what was available Dr. Mark Apfel called us. He offered Superintendent J.R. Collins a program the Health Center had ready to go. Our students have now been treated. Other school districts were not so lucky and experienced great frustration working with public health agencies to get flu protection programs in place. We realize once again that we should never take the AV Health Center for granted. Remember that you can get quality health care including excellent dental work right here in Anderson Valley. The doors to the beautiful new Health Center are open for business so "Shop at home" for your health care needs when you can. We do take it for granted but if it was gone what would we do? Thanks to the all staff at the AV Health Center for the services you provide.
AVUSD Community Liaison
AFTER THE FIRE
Many community members already know about the fire that occurred at the Mendocino Art Center two weeks ago, a very sad day for the Mendocino Art Community. As a result of the fire, we were required to close the galleries over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and the galleries will be closed for a few more days as clean-up procedures progress. Lots of visitors and tourists stopped by and wanted to view the art and purchase a Holiday Gift, but we were unable to meet their needs. This additional loss of sales income will have a negative impact on MAC's cash flow for 2009. On the positive side, lots of area residents, MAC members and other caring people volunteered their time and donated funds for use in replacing items destroyed by the fire. Thank you very much for your continued support.
The business offices at the rear of the Gallery Building will need to be completely repaired or replaced; however, the galleries do not appear to have been damaged. The gallery walls are being environmentally cleaned, as are the art pieces remaining in these locations. As pieces are cleaned, they will be stored in a non-effected area for re-hanging or artist pick-up. We are now in the process of contacting all artists to inform them of our activities.
It was our hope to be open for 2nd Saturday, but that will, unfortunately, not be possible. After the galleries are cleaned, new air samples will be taken and results will not be available before Monday; therefore, MAC's free December artists' reception will be held on Saturday, December 19th, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The evening will be hosted by MAC's Board of Directors. The activities, planned by a Volunteer Committee of MAC members, include:
• Main Gallery: Larry Wagner's Exotic Calendar Art
• Nichols Gallery: Tom Reed Photography
• Abramson Gallery: Mendocino Coast Furniture Makers — Toy Show
• Rogan Studio: Artists in Residence Art
• All Studios will be open for touring
• A final 50th Anniversary Gala with gifts, raffle prizes, commemorative wine glasses and refreshments
• A Holiday celebration with Holiday Carolers, hot cider and prize drawings
• The release of the Mendocino Art Center's 50th Anniversary commemorative book with a book signing with editor Bruce Levene
• A celebration of the Rebirth of MAC “Rising from the Ashes”
MAC's celebration on Saturday, December 19th will be a wonderful opportunity for Board Members, MAC Members and our community friends and partners to make new friends, enjoy refreshments, raise our glasses to the past 50 years and to celebrate the beginning of our next 50 years.
If you would like to contribute to MAC's financial needs, please visit our web site at www.MendocinoArtCenter.org and press the "DONATE NOW" button on the home page. Any amount is appreciated.
If you would like to pledge a Matching Grant, please contact me at email@example.com or 813-0728. If you could volunteer some time at the Art Center, please contact me. I look forward to meeting you during your next visit to MAC.
A report on the November 23 fire can be downloaded from the Mendocino Art Center website.
STILL NO SUPERTANKERS?
Letter to the Editor,
Hooray for Leo Grillo (on internet) and in the news, an actor who runs an animal sanctuary of 1500 animals in Acton, California that was threatened by the recent Station Fire in the Greater Los Angeles area.
He is calling for an independent investigation of USFS and CalFire’s inadequate response. He said any investigation should also examine the lack of a more aggressive air assault later in the fire, especially when it appeared to have flagged on day five.
The Station Fire would become the largest in Los Angeles County’s recorded history, blackening 250-plus square miles, destroying 90 homes and killing two county firefighters (and endangering 50-plus more who made a brilliant escape).
This is a huge problem of an entrenched, amoral Fire-Industrial Complex bureaucracy (US Forest Service and Cal Fire) that has been running protracted wildfires like this for power and profit and refusing the Supertanker aircraft final solution to stopping wildfire when it first starts, see: (evergreen supertanker (on internet) or waterbomber.org). These improper practices have evidently been going on for over16 years, during which time an estimated over 50,000 homes and hundreds of lives, including firefighters, have been horribly lost in fires that never had to be, had the Jumbo Jet Supertanker water bomber aircraft simply been used.
We must contact every public official there is and demand a continuing independent investigation, and continuing use of the Supertankers which the U.S. Forest Service has NEVER used!
Also, contact Leo Grillo (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or: (email@example.com) and get organized to stop the deadly wildfires we're plagued with every year!
The Anderson Valley Elementary School will be participating in the Governor’s Challenge again this year and will start in December. If you are willing to average 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week, you can help us meet our goal. Just sign in at: http://www.calgovcouncil.org/challenge/ to record your exercise each month. Last year, although AV Elementary students didn’t win in our region, we did have the highest number of adults participating. This is an important way we can model healthy behaviors for the children and youth in our community.
Thanks for considering this!
BACKYARD CELL TOWERS
To the Editor:
On Thursday Nov. 19 the county Planning Commission voted to deny an application for a cell tower on Gielow Lane in the heart of our open vineyard lands. Whether it was to be a “fake” water tower or a single-pole tower the same issues were at stake.
These issues are complex. These issues greatly affect people's lives. These issues affect the community. These issues are not going to go away. They are going to affect you. Yes, whether you like it or not. If you have an opinion on the matter you may want to start getting involved. That's what this letter is primarily about.
There are a multitude of factors involved in the application for and siting of cell towers. Many of them are the same as those that apply to anybody wanting to build a big structure on their property. These factors take on heightened significance if said structure may affect those who live or work nearby. Whether some of these “effects” are considered subjective or objective will always be an issue of debate. That's why we have planning and building laws, so that we don't have to re-invent the wheel every single time. When the issues are debatable they come up for debate. That's what happens at open public forums like Thursday's hearing. I was there. I like the process. For those who don't, may I suggest a quick visit to Mogadishu in Somalia where there are no such forums and no such “meddling government regulations to get in the way,” then tell me which one you prefer. And yes, I was in Africa too.
Here in Mendocino County we notice that nearly everyone seems to be using a cell phone or some kind of wireless device. There is no denying it and for now it is not going to go away. The providers want to service that demand by putting up cell towers to cater to it. Sometimes they do that responsibly, sometimes not so responsibly. If you are a user you are involved in that chain whether you like it or not. Whether you like it or not you are subjecting others to something they may not want — like a cell tower in their back yard. And more cell towers are coming, so the bigger this discussion gets the better.
Eight years ago I was intimately involved in correcting US Cellular's “error” in constructing a big, ugly 150 foot cell tower that was not meant to be visible but “somehow” stuck up way above the ridgeline overlooking Ukiah. There were plenty of issues involved other than just the visual blight. For instance, in the end the company had to spend a small fortune repairing our private road their 105 ton truck had destroyed yet they wanted to walk away from. The whole thing was a fiasco. It took 18 months to sort out to some middle ground. The Mendocino County Wireless Guidelines were born from all the pain to hopefully avoid much of that grief in the future.
Those guidelines are rapidly going out of date. “In just a few years” you may ask? Yes, such is the speed of change. Those big, ugly towers on the ridgelines that were so essential a few years back are now “almost redundant.” (If you were there on Thursday you would have heard this from the horse's mouth). They were ok for analog, but well, this digital stuff? Ummmmm, things have changed you see. We now need towers down close to where the action is. Like maybe, in your back yard perhaps.
You beginning to see the picture here? This is just one issue of very many! What about all the health effects or even perceived health effects? What about the whole “rights” issue of how everyone should have the right to cell usage, or to put a tower on their land? But what about others rights to not be affected, or not want EMFs everywhere? And so on? It gets complex. Quickly.
Eight years from now this new wave of “closer towers” may be history. Perhaps they will need to be in every neighborhood. Or every city block. Who knows? But look at the trend line. The Swedes and the Aussies and the Europeans are getting antsy and worried. But who cares if they are ten years ahead of us? I do. So should you. There are moves afoot to review the wireless guidelines. Let's open the debate.
OK, I know some of you are wondering. The answer is no, I do not have a cell phone and never have, even though I am in a “must have” profession of landscape design and consulting. I can go into a long discussion of that, but let's leave that for another day.
ON THE LOOKOUT
The drug asset coppers find the drug money on land parcels, because it stinks and the dogs alert on it, according to a Ukiah Daily Journal article interview, perhaps with Gupta, from last summer I can't now find.
The drug interdiction zone activity, particularly intense stoppage, not always southbound, between Asti and Healdsburg, often involves two or three marked CHP and one unmarked often white CHP.
They at times exceed the speed limit and thus can run license plates to figure out who is on probation I guess. Most vehicles to be stopped, I guess, are identified north of the stoppage area.
Sometimes the unmarked CHP will identify who to be stopped, and then have the marked cars doing the stoppage, I surmise.
In Ukiah last winter, I've seen a CHP sergeant operating the unmarked unit, when a car being pursued at night, suddenly parked next to me in a dark bank parking lot, I suppose to have a witness when he was arrested, searched, and vehicle impounded, with multiple marked CHP units on hand, followed up by the unmarked CHP driven by the sergeant.
The Sonoma Sheriff often has a patrol car parked perpendicular to 101 southbound behind a large conifer tree, just south of Asti. It's the same spot often, over and over again.
A SUCCESSFUL BAZAAR
The AV Unity Club would like to thank all of the wonderful donors and vendors who were able to make this year's Holiday Bazaar a successful event. Without the support of our local businesses, we would not be able to raise monies for scholarships and other community projects.
We would like to thank the following businesses for their donations: Roederer Estate, Boont Berry Farm, Anjes de Ryck, Navarro General Store, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Libby's Restaurant, Gowan's Oak Tree, Nancy Swehla, Lauren's Restaurant, Brutocao Cellers, Mosswood Market, Redwood Drive-In, Husch Vineyards, Shear Elegance, All That Good Stuff, Anderson Valley Nursery, Foursight Wines, Judy Nelson, Meyer Family Cellars, Gypsy Spring, Handley Cellars, Esterlina Winery, Rookie-To-Gallery, Lemons Market, Stella Salo, Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Lovin' Blooms, Claudia Springs Winery, The Apple Farm, Breggo Cellars, Alicia's Restaurant, Penny Whittaker, Londer Vineyards, Jack's Valley Store, Farmhouse Mercantile.
Elizabeth Dusenberry, Holiday Bazaar Chairperson
SAVING THE HEALTH CENTER
A Message To The Community
It is the mission of the Anderson Valley Health Center to provide excellent and affordable health care to the people of Anderson Valley. Our vision for the future is to continue to thrive and enhance the quality of life in our community.
However, like many organizations these days the Health Center has been affected by the current economic downturn. The State has eliminated our service support grants, which means that we will have a $250,000 loss in revenue to our just over $1M annual budget. The State cuts combined with program cuts to adult dental, and child health programs represent a 33% reduction in revenues in this fiscal year. We are also experiencing a sharp increase in the number of patients who do not have health insurance. We treat these patients, of course, but we will not be reimbursed for the cost of their care.
The Board of Directors of the Health Center is addressing this huge decrease in revenue in a number of ways. We have asked our staff to purchase only those items that are absolutely necessary for providing excellent care for our patients. We have also instituted what we hope will be a temporary 9.75% cut in pay for all staff. At this time we do not anticipate a decrease in services so we will continue to offer medical services five days per week, and dental services four days per week.
These are ways to save money but we are also looking for ways to increase our income. We have contacted U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, Congressman Mike Thompson, and State Senator Wes Chesbro, to ask them for assistance in helping us secure federal funds to support the services that we provide to uninsured patients as required by our status as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-alike. They have promised to explore ways to help.
In the meantime, our Executive Director, Judith Dolan, will be applying for any grants that appear to fit our situation. However, granting agencies are suffering from the same difficult financial climate as everyone else so there are fewer dollars to go around. Our fund raising committee is discussing activities for the coming year. We are looking into special events where we can work as volunteers and thus be beneficiaries of some of the proceeds. We will need community support for these efforts so we are forming the Friends of the Health Center to raise funds and provide volunteers. If you would like to join this special group you will find a form on the back of this newsletter.
Over the years many members of the community have supported the Health Center with generous donations that have helped make it possible for us to provide quality health care to over 78% of our diverse community. Now we are asking our community to continue to support our vital health care organization. We feel strongly about continuing to offer health and dental services here. We hope that you feel the same. Thank you in advance for seriously considering an end of summer donation toward community health. It is a community affair!
Anderson Valley Health Center
P.O. Box 388
Boonville, CA 95415