Letters To The Editor
by AVA News Service, November 21, 2013
PRETTY, BUT NOT NATIVE
Editor, About planting swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, I have some questions and suggestions. Does anyone at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens or elsewhere have evidence that it will not become yet another plague of invasive trees disrupting coastal ecosystems? Since this tree has not been planted in the area to any significant extent, I will presume that this is yet another example of humans conducting an uncontrolled ecological experiment. Many such “experiments” have turned out to have quite a negative effect on local ecology. Promoting introduction of non-native plants should require that the gardeners who do so assume accountability for any forthcoming ecological damage. (Ha!) The Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts already host burgeoning populations of locally non-native trees and shrubs, such as Monterey pine, Monterey cypress, Tasmanian bluegum, blackwood acacia, gray wattle acacia, and Parney cotoneaster, initially introduced and established here by horticulturists and gardeners, to the everlasting detriment of native shrubs, trees, wildlife, and soil. Why not plant locally native plants that are important to wildlife, replacing some of those lost to residential development and short-sighted ecological ignorance? Native trees and shrubs that do well in wet places include several species of willow, California wax myrtle, shore pine, California rhododendron, black huckleberry, Mendocino cypress, and Sitka spruce. Removing invasive plants that have negative ecological consequences — and simply displacing native species results in direct and indirect impacts to native plants and animals — costs private and public managers millions of dollars a year in California alone. Invasive plants can alter soil chemistry and hydrology, and compromise the potential for ecosystems and species to survive other human-related ecological damage, including climate change. Do local ecosystems really need another challenge incurred by human ignorance?
Editor, William 'Bert' Schlosser: Rest In Peace. Best lawyer I ever met — and I've met a lot. I had the privilege to know William 'Bert' Schlosser. I had the experience to see William 'Bert' Schlosser beat the shit out of Assistant DA Rayburn Killion in a jury trial. I was looking down the barrel of a life sentence for first-degree premeditated attempted murder and first-degree robbery, among other various charges like great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, use of a knife, prison priors, etc. 'Bert' Schlosser saved my life. You should have seen Assistant DA Killion and his Monterey County flunky, Detective Chris Long. Two soft-ass pretty boys beaming with overconfidence. Just as naive as only true city slickers can be. Until Bert Schlosser tore their ass up, that is. 'Bert' came in with the gloves off and they weren't ready for that. The Big Dog sent them home with with their tails tucked. He beat them and scolded them. It got so bad that even Judge Henderson came down on assistant DA Killion and Detective Chris Long with both feet. 'Bert' told me he never lost an indeterminate life sentence case — and he didn't lose that one — and I don't believe he ever lost an indeterminate case. I will be coming home soon. 'Bert' wasn't just a criminal's champion. 'Bert' was the champion for the underdog. For the stepped on. For the poor. He was the indigent guy's hired gun in the courtroom. A fighting chance for justice in the face of misused authority. Mendocino County has lost a great man. My condolences to 'Bert's' wife Wally and his family. The man truly was a legend.
Mr. Luke Gutmann
PS. Tom Hine of the AVA — hell of an article on the late, great 'Bert' — a hard man to sum up in mere words, but excellent job.
THE SCALEBACK SOLUTION
To the Editor: Whether you thought it was a good idea or not, Caltrans has moved ahead building a 6 mile, two-lane "Phase 1" bypass of Willits. However, there are some problems — or perhaps opportunities. Caltrans' permit for this project was contingent on mitigating the loss of about 70 acres of wetlands (the largest wetlands fill in Northern California in a half-century). Caltrans estimated the cost for initial construction of the mitigation plans at $13 million, but the lowest bid was $39 million. There is no funding for this $26 million shortfall. Note that required mitigation also involves monitoring and short-term management, also estimated at $13 million, and long-term management in perpetuity, no doubt underestimated at another $11 million. Given that there is no wetland mitigation, the project should not have proceeded and further damage should cease. But of course, abandoning the partly-built project would be a travesty. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to solve this dilemma: downsizing the 40 acre northern interchange. A simple intersection or roundabout (both already designed by Caltrans) to connect the two-lane bypass to the existing two-lane highway north of town could: • avoid paving and dewatering approximately 30 acres of wetlands; • avoid further destruction of Pomo cultural sites; • potentially allow the mitigation plan to also be downsized and less costly; • substantially reduce the amount of fill required (reducing trucking, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions); • allow the wick drains to be either removed or remained unactivated (only a fraction of the fill has yet to be placed in this northern area); • eliminate three bridges over Upp Creek and a fourth bridge of the northbound lanes; • significantly reduce the project costs. This might enable sufficient funding for mitigation as well as "child" projects such as Main Street and Sherwood Road intersection improvements. Phase 2 (involving further cost and damage to expand the bypass to four lanes) is not justified by realistic traffic projections and is unlikely to ever be funded. The full project was "sold" on the false claim that the Federal Highway Administration required it. The commonsense revision of scaling back the I-5 style northern interchange could benefit all concerned. It would save state taxpayers money and avoid further embarrassment of a needless, damaging and controversial project. Moreover, a change of course on this project could be hailed as a major step toward the carbon reducing, more sustainable transportation policy we clearly need.
Madge Strong, City Councilperson
THE KC MOB
Editor, Thanks for your recent reprints of Chili Bill Eichinger's Kansas City, Missouri memoirs. They bring back fond memories of the good old days in cow town KCMO where I spent my "deformative" years (50s and 60s) after my formative years in the Lake Woebegon village of Wahoo, Nebraska, and the cornpone town of Omaha. From cornpone to cowpie — Wahoo to Yahoo. His recollection of the James Brown concert in 1965 was particularly interesting since my sister was there and nearly got trampled in the riot. She went to the concert at KC's Municipal Auditorium with her boyfriend, Sam, the son of an upper-level local mobster, and their high school chums, a diminutive clueless couple. At mid-concert my sister looked down from the balcony to the main floor and saw a guy a guy pull a shiv. She screamed and Sam quickly got her out of there, barely avoiding the melee. Their friends were out of sight and probably trampled to mini-pancakes by then. As they began a rapid escape in Sam's muscle-car, their panicked friends, making tippie-toe tiny strides, sped toward the now slowly moving car and dove through the open windows to safety just as the riot cops hit the scene in full blare. I always avoided large gatherings of people and preferred to hear music in the intimate settings of juke joint, roadhouse, pub and cocktail lounge. My only large concert experience was in 1970 at the Ventura Amphitheater to hear Judy Collins — a, like totally, mellow stoned-out affair. Growing up around large concentrations of cattle at the Omaha and Kansas City stockyards, I vowed never to become a herd animal. Few people know what a nasty place Kansas City was in those days beneath the thin verneer of Midwest respectability. The Sicilian Mafia, which called itself "The Outfit," ran the city under the leadership of Nick Civella. During middle school I was a caddy at Mirror Lake Golf and Country Club which was owned and operated by "The Outfit." And why did they call it "Mirror Lake"? Because you didn't want to see what was on the bottom. My Catholic high school in Kansas City North was the educational institute of choice for many of the mobsters' kids. An excellent, well researched history of mob rule during this era is, "Mobsters in Our Midst: The Kansas City Crime Family" (Kansas City Star Books, 2011) by former FBI agent William Ouseley. The mobsters consider themselves to be true American patriots acting by permission from their creator who endowed them with certain inalienable rights which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by any means necessary. As Noam Chomsky observed, American foreign policy is similar to the Mafia creed: "Gimme what I want or I'll blow your head off!" America isn't an empire, it's an organized crime syndicate.
Don Morris, the Wahoo kid
PS. I'm looking forward to reading more of Chili Bill's KCMO memoirs.
WHO IS CAROLYN FOWLER?
Dear AVA crime investors investigators, It's Dino from somewhere in Mendocino raging against the machine again. The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors is in jail for theft of our taxes. They should be charged with the RICO Act too. This corruption in our government offices must stop. Take Mr. Efren Carrillo. Efren must go to jail too. It's burglary when you break into a house. It's a strike. His hand was inside that for Santa Rosa woman's house. She heard her blinds rattling. Her screen was ripped open by Efren Carrillo. The poor woman is now filing a lawsuit against Sonoma County taxpayers due to Carrillo's doings. His crime is punishable by prison for up to six years for residential burglary. And don't forget his first strike. This would be Carillo's second-strike. But he, Carrillo, was not charged with the beat down on the poor man in San Diego, California. Anyhow, my intention is to shed light on the Board of Supervisors in Santa Rosa and Ukiah. The Board of Supervisors in Santa Rosa is using funds from the coffers and pension funds to buy houses to make a buffer zone in Roseland sewer treatment plant area. Now it's going to be a park. Ho Lee Fuk. When will it stop? Man, the supervisors are overpaid. Sonoma County Council Carolyn Fowler and her backdoor dealings, it's so corrupt that if you talk about the evil backdoor deals it a crime. You cannot wipe your ass unless Fowler says it's okay. Fowler is from Ukiah as you know. Anyway, here's the point of this letter: the Board of Supervisors in Sonoma County is purchasing houses by eminent domain but letting the seller and-or the county employees live in the houses. Now that we know that, Sonoma Board of Supervisors placates us by saying it was past board members who purchased the houses and then saying we just do not know how many houses that we, the county taxpayers, own. I say taxpayers as it's our funds and our county. So they are our houses. Now the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is purchasing large land deals for parks but cannot maintain our existing parks. I feel most board members should spend time in jail and we must exercise the Brown act. Watch out for Noreen Evans. She is going to slither into the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Look out everybody she is a lawyer. So is Carolyn Fowler, her best friend. Lawyers lawyers lawyers. Governor Brown is a lawyer. Sharks sharks sharks. Help shark! No fishing. No swimming. No hunting. No camping. No parking. No cooking fires. No dogs. No smoking. No eating. No trespassing. No bicycles. No barking. No radios. No talking. Private beach. Private road. Private club. Private parking. No first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth amendments. No more rights. No no no no no — not you, not me, not anybody. This means you. You've got nothing coming. No shoes. No shirt. Just socks and panties. Here in jail we heard that Carrillo's underwear was bikini tight panties and silk stockings with the line up the back. Well, we didn't need to know that. But the Mendocino County jail cops talk too much. Hey, shit happens. Look away, look away.
Dean 'Dino' Stevens
PS. I'm in Napa State Hospital because I don't know what 594 PC is. It's vandalism, something was damaged, destroyed or broken or defaced. Sure, I know what vandalism is. How does it feel to pay taxes for my Napa stay? Let your congressman or woman know how you feel. My public defender, Linda Thompson, sent me here to Napa. I had a foot pedicure, physical therapy, a bad tooth pulled, got a back brace, insoles for my shoes and I'm on Vicodin pain pills. I feel good too. And the food is not bad. But don't trip. Napa collects my SSI for my stay. Yes, I paid into SSI for four years. I worked for Sonoma County. Peace and longevity to all. Stay tuned for more raging against the machine.
HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?
Well, well, well. Well wishers: Come, come. This well is aka “The CDCR.” Does anyone remember the little girl named Jessica who was trapped in a well a few years back and then it became a major TV news event? Well! Let's look at this well and that little girl who is still down in that well and what I call the “visitors.” That would be the families who come to this damnable hole in the ground here called “The Visiting Center.” At any prison this well is experienced by the “well-wishers” who cast in their coins. But first let's see what it takes to even approach the entrance to this very deep and very wide hole. First, to even approach the entrance to this very deep and very wide hole, a well wisher must show up at, oh, 8am, then wait until about noon in a very beautiful awe-inspiring area where correctional officers scan the line and ogle anyone's wife or mother. Sometimes they will engage with wonderful talk of how the inmates are worthless pieces of crap. Finally, after about four hours of this beautiful awe-inspiring chatter from these circling vultures, a person arrives to this well and finds the table and then the inmate arrives to the dismal chatter of what these visitors had to endure to their son who is now feeling the blues and singing the blues because of the verbal abuse these loved ones had to endure to get to this point. Now let's look at these well-wishers who toss in their coins in this very deep well, a.k.a. the pockets of CDCR: One plain hamburger: $7.50. One soda, 16 ounce: $3.50. One regular water: $2.50. Five strawberries: $5. One 4 inch pizza: $6. 15 ounce bag of chips: $1.25. Ice cream bar: $3.50. One thing is definitely evident: if Governor Moonbeam needs fuel if the railroad tracks should ever be built by any one of the 34 fuel stops called CDCR they can fuel up for free because the inmate welfare fund, aka the general fund, is quite full.
William 'Bongo Bill' Newport
formerly of Mendocino
BODYWORK IN BOONVILLE!
Greetings from the Caretakers Garden! In order to meet the Valley’s increasing demand for massage, physical therapy, and natural medicine, I am very excited to let you know that we have added three new health practitioners to our staff. Karin Uphoff, MS, is a Massage Therapist, Master Herbalist and Iridologist, Reikii practitioner, and Yoga Instructor. She is the author of Botanical Body Care: Herbs and Natural Healing for Your Whole body, and co-hosts the radio show Holistic Health Perspectives on kzyx.org. Tina Tedischi-Rubino is a Certified Holistic Massage Therapist and Herbalist too. She is an Aromatherapist, a Nutritional Counselor, and also teaches massage therapy. She has a BA in Exercise Physiology. Tina speaks Spanish. Eric Salcido is also an integrative massage therapist, and a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Taos. Extremely strong, Eric combines deep tissue and traditional Thai with Swedish massage techniques. A resident of Anderson Valley, Eric is also a builder, mechanic, artist, and speaks Spanish too. If you don’t know me, I’m Wendy Read and I founded the Caretaker’s Garden in 2005 as a place to grow medicinal herbs, make medicine and help clients improve their health and wellbeing. I am also a Certified Holistic Massage Therapist, with over twenty years of experience. I have a BS in biochemistry and I am an herbalist, energy worker, medicine maker and counselor. I am a minister and lead rituals on the Solstices and Equinoxes and perform rites of passage ceremonies for weddings, memorial services and girls entering womanhood. I also speak Spanish and have enjoyed working with our ever-growing Mexican-American community for many years. The Caretaker’s Garden apothecary is full of hand-made, natural remedies to keep your family healthy, including our famous Joint Juice Salve for aches, pains and inflammation and our Flue Fighter Elixir with elderberry and lemon balm. We also provide remedies for digestive disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, heart and circulation issues and more. The Caretaker’s Garden is a non-profit, natural healing clinic and apothecary in the heart of Boonville. All are welcome and none are ever turned away. Call (707) 895-9074 or go to www.caretakersgarden.org to make an appointment.
THE REST OF THE KOZUSYN STORY
Regarding your story regarding my mother and brother Nov 10. I read the story about my mother and brother, Ruth and Kevin Kozusyn, with great interest, I hadn't known the event was publicized until someone brought it to my attention. Thank you for the article. You got a number of facts and interpretations correct but I wanted to clarify a few things, in the event it matters to you.First, my mother is technically elderly but takes care of herself on her wilderness property, where she unequivocally wants to be, a lifestyle choice that involves her being educated about such things as generators, water pumps, batteries, septic systems, etc. Your article somehow portrays her as some unfortunate ancient thing, but she is in fact fully independent with great vitality and clarity of thinking. She's an intellectual, so I'm sure if she's seen your article, she's not remotely amused about being repeatedly referred to as “tough old bird,” “old lady,” “poor old Ruth,” “the old lady.” No woman, no matter what her age, ever, ever wants to be called “a tough old bird.” How insensitive of the writer. I don't know how old the writer is but he/she clearly does not understand that even as people age they don't regard themselves as old. I have respect for people who have awareness of this.Also, my brother lives on my mother's property, not she with him. It is large acreage and has a small but beautiful permitted new house that my brother built her — by himself — since his expertise is architecture, engineering and construction. The cottage that Kevin built is so charming, classic and well-done, it should be published. Also, my mother has income from several sources, including benefits from my father, a deceased retired military officer. So therefore, although she lives frugally, luckily for her, she is not living in “conditions inimical to her well-being” as mentioned in your article.Thank you for the opportunity for me to share my thoughts with you regarding this unfortunate chapter for my family.
Dear Editor, Thank you for the wonderful newspaper. Enclosed is my renewal check plus another check which I made out last year but stashed in my house and recently found. Please use the extra for someone who asks for a subscription who is incarcerated. Thank you. Also, I went to the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show last September with my grandsons, daughter and son-in-law. It was the best fair I've ever been to. People were amazingly friendly and we talked with Mrs. Pardini on perhaps her last day in the fair office. She was so kind and told us to eat at Anel's. I actually thought I could live in Anderson Valley but the real estate is very prohibitive. Please take care. And thank you for the best last independent newspaper.
WIKILEAKS PUBLISHES SECRET DRAFT CHAPTER OF TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
Good news. Wikileaks is alive and well. Today in the Guardian newspaper it was reported Wikileaks released the 30,000 word draft text of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnershiup (TPP) agreement, a multilateral free-trade treaty currently being negotiated in secret by 12 Pacific Rim nations. The US is one of the nations. The released chapter focuses on intellectual property rights which includes areas of the law relating to pharmaceuticals and civil liberties. Interesting, Just Foreign Policy, a group dedicated to reforming US foreign policy, funded through donations, offered a $70,000 bounty if Wikileaks leaks the entire TPP text. Wikileaks will receive the bounty when the full text is released.
The article also claimed members of Congress were only allowed to view selected portions of the document under supervision. Wikileaks claims that the text shows America attempting to enforce its highly restrictive vision of intellectual property on the world and on itself. Julian Assange said, “If instituted the TPP's intellectual property regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent, if you farm or consume food, if you are ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its sights.” It should be noted that while Mexico, Chile, and Peru are members, Ecuador, where Assange has taken refuge, is not a member. To get the $70,000 I am sure Assange, rather than doing a full dump of the treaty, will resort to the Chinese Water Torture — drip, drip, drip — one chapter or two every week or two until he releases the text of the full treaty.
James G. Updegraff
TIME’S UP, BARACK
Letter to the Editor
We were playing flag football in the mud when the coach came out to say that the President was shot dead and that we were to get dressed and go home. The argument in the locker room was what now for '64, Johnson or Goldwater? Walking home, the shop windows already had portraits of the President surrounded by black crepe. After nightfall, at Andrews Air Force Base, the coffin was brought down from Air Force One by a lift, then shoved into a gray military hearse and driven across the city to Bethesda Naval Hospital. I guessed the timing and walked out to the dark stretch of Wisconsin Avenue by the golf course hedge. The air was raw with light fog and the road was deserted. Everyone was inside and every house had a TV glow in the windows. After awhile several dim pairs of headlights rolled up the misty grade from the District Line. They were a Montgomery County police car closely followed by the dead President's hearse and a second police car behind. The three vehicles moved quietly past without lights or sirens into the city of Bethesda. I went home, back to the TV with everyone else for four days. At that same time, I heard later among this 50-year blizzard of assertions, that planeloads of military advisers on their way to the United States had been ordered by the new administration to turn around in midair and go back to Vietnam. Several weeks after Kennedy's death I saw a tiny notice on an inside page of The Evening Star, DC's afternoon paper. It read, in effect, “President Johnson has ordered that several exhibits associated with the assassination of President Kennedy be placed in the Archives of the United States under seal for 50 years.” That time period will end within a month. President Obama has the power to unseal these exhibits. Mr. President, time's up! Open the Archives!
To the Editor: The Board of the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District has made a number of recent ill-advised decisions, including its filing of a 110-page lawsuit against the City of Ukiah, that will substantially increase the cost of providing sewer service in the City and the District. These added costs will ultimately result in increased sewer rates for everyone with no compensating benefits to ratepayers in the City or the District. Since 2008 the District has increased its administrative costs from just under $6,000 in 2008 to more than $270,000 in the 2013-14 fiscal year, a cumulative increase of between $700,000 to $900,000 over that five year period. It has elected to impose different monthly sewer rates than are charged by the City to the disadvantage of the District's ratepayers. Different rates in the City and the District also increase the costs of administration. It recently demanded that the City transfer the District's $2.7 Million rate stabilization fund to the County Treasurer. The City had invested those funds on the District's behalf along with surplus City funds using a professional investment advisor. The District's funds will earn a much lower rate of return under the County than they were and would have continued to earn with the City. The District's lawsuit will cost the District and the City combined legal fees and related expenses which could exceed a million dollars. The suit itself will most likely drag on for one or more years. By filing the lawsuit, the District has destroyed any possibility of refinancing at a lower interest rate the $75 Million in bonds that were issued to construct the new wastewater treatment plant. In its lawsuit the District is seeking to rescind the Financing Agreement by which the District agreed to pay its share of the debt service on those bonds. The impact from seeking this remedy, even if it is ultimately denied, could be seriously damaging to both the District and the City. In its lawsuit the District asks the court to turn over operation of the entire sewer system, including the City's waste water treatment plant, to the District to run. The City has been operating and maintaining the entire sewer system for 58 years, since 1955. No allegations in the District's lawsuit even hint that the City hasn't done an excellent job of operating the sewer system. The District has never operated a sewer system. Given that inexperience and its recent decisions, the ratepayers in the City and the District could look forward to even higher rates and poorer sewer service if the court were to grant that request. Fortunately, the lawsuit lacks merit. Unfortunately, it will take substantial time and money to establish that.
David J. Rapport, City Attorney