Letters (May 21, 2014)
by AVA News Service, May 21, 2014
LANDLORD TENANT RELATIONS
Injustice in AV—
On February 3rd, 2014, after five days of no water (something that had happened repeatedly over the past two years), Jeanine asked her landlords for a water plan.
That evening they served her with an eviction notice.
Apparently the landlords didn't believe another human had the right to water. Or to a place to live. They didn't care that they were violating at least two California Civil Codes (persistent mice invasions and mold were also an issue in the unit). All they wanted was for Jeanine, a model tenant who paid her rent meticulously each month, invested her own money into repairs and improvements, to get the hell out.
So she did.
And because she couldn't find a better place to live in Anderson Valley, the Anderson Valley Ambulance service lost a volunteer driver. Hendy Woods State Parks lost their interpretive talk specialist. Local businesses lost a regular patron.
All because some stingy out-of-towners could get away with violating the Golden Rule.
Dear Holly Madrigal, KZYX Board member,
Thank you for giving me your personal email address as I am not confident that my emails through the website are getting through to the full Board. I think the idea of having Stuart Campbell direct the emails is resulting in screening emails with a response, not from the full Board but by one or two Directors. The process is not clear to me. The following is a letter that I will deliver to the Board at the Annual Membership meeting. I have attempted to not dampen the festive atmosphere with a confrontation but I have been unable to get what I consider to be a fair and thoughtful evaluation of my grievance.
Could you send a copy to the other Directors as I would like them to be fully aware of the information provided before the meeting. I will have copies for all of the new Board at the meeting.
To the KZYX&Z Board of Directors:
I have requested a formal grievance hearing before the Board through the KZYX website on the important issue of being excluded from volunteer service as stated in the Board Policy of Non-Cash Alternative Membership.
Unfortunately, I believe this request was not relayed to the full Board for a discussion and decision as the email response I received from Director Courtney stated that I did not have a “right” to volunteer. I strongly disagree.
In responding to my inquiry, she also stated that no vote was taken by the Board in October 2013 regarding my request that the Board review the decision of the GM in not allowing me to answer phones during the pledge drive. However, when I stopped into the Philo studio during the pledge drive, I was told by Courtney that the Board “had decided” that I could not volunteer for that drive because of “my assertiveness” and that staff ( presumably Mary Aigner) felt uncomfortable by my presence.
My email response that in a telephone conversation with GM, John Coate I was told that he would try to find another way for me to serve other than by answering phones, went unanswered.
I remind the Board that I have a ten year history of volunteer service to the station prior to my exclusion by the GM.
I am asking the Board now, who on the Board made this decision and how was it made?
In the interest of transparency, a matter as important as granting absolute power to the GM to exclude people from a volunteer membership, should not be the subject of an online discussion, away from the watchful eyes of the public.
Additionally, the website states that volunteer service is open to all. Authority to exclude anyone from membership, volunteer or otherwise, is also not mentioned or granted in the station's Bylaws.
If the Board should decide to vote on this matter, I would like a written response as to how each Board member voted and the reasons for their vote.
I would like to state that my action of recording the Program Director's statement that I was not being allowed to answer phones due to what I had written in a local newspaper was done as a protection of my 1st Constitutional right to free speech. Contrary to what John Coate has stated, this action is not illegal as it was done in a public part of the Philo studio (the room in which the phones are placed) and in front of a third party.
This is not the first experience I have had with exclusion as I was also relieved of my volunteer reporter status in June 2008 by former News Director, Paul Hanson for an opinion I expressed in the AVA. I find the situation contrary to the spirit of a community public radio station. In my case, I have proof that such an action by management is also illegal.
I am trying to trying to deal with this problem internally by working within the structure of Board governance.
If not granted a hearing before the Board( which I believe I am entitled to as the Board of Directors are the representatives of the members), then as an alternative I am formally requesting the subject of"Authority to exclude prospective volunteers from Non Cash Alternative Membership” be placed on the July 2014 Board agenda for a full discussion and comment by both Board members and the public.
I believe what is now an unwritten policy must be considered for formalization into a written policy with boundaries clearly defined as to what constitutes threatening behavior.
This is a dark area that needs exposure to the light of a full transparent discussion to prevent the abuse and misuse by management and staff towards anyone who opposes this tactic of an authoritarian, intolerant approach to a different perspective.
Thank you for your attention. I await your response.
Sheila Dawn Tracy
DIGGING UP DIRT
To The Editor:
According to Phil Frisbee, as reported in the Willits News, Caltrans plans to dig up 100,000 cubic yards of soil from the south end of Willits and dump it on the wetlands on the north end of town. They intend to start “as soon as site conditions allow.” This translates to: “As soon as that muddy, old wetlands dries up enough to support heavy equipment, we are going to take steps to kill it.”
However, that one hundred thousand cubic yards of dirt from the south end of Willits is just the beginning. Caltrans has another nine hundred thousand cubic yards they want to dig up from the old Apache mill site north of town. That's 21 times as much as the 40,000 cubic yards they already took from that site before they got their permit yanked.
Last year, the County Planning Department had issued a permit to take dirt from the old mill site, but they were hit with a lawsuit, saying the dirt was likely polluted with toxic chemicals. Old mill sites generally are. Whoops! They took it back, saying they had issued the permit “in error.”
Using dirt from the mill site had been County Supervisor John Pinches' idea, and he didn't want to give it up. He argued that, if County Planning wasn't going to grant a permit, the Supes could just issue
one themselves. Not to worry. The Planning Department had changed their minds again (likely, under pressure). Now they assured the County Supervisors that, “no significant environmental impacts would
result from the proposed project that cannot be adequately mitigated through the conditions of approval.”
Dan Hamburg wasn't convinced, but the other Supes were. On March 25th they voted, four to one, to approve the use permit without requiring an Environmental Impact Report. .What could possibly go wrong?
If they can't get the dirt from the mill site, or if there is any “significant delay,” Frisbee threatens that Caltrans will take the dirt from Oil Well Hill clear cutting about ten acres of relatively pristine forest on a steep hillside and exposing all that slippery soil to landslides. Rumor has it that their contractor is threatening to bail out of the deal, both because of landslide danger and because they don't want the liability of having hundreds of semi trucks pulling out on to a two lane highway at night on a blind curve.
But one way or another, Caltrans wants their dirt.
So, how much dirt are we talking about here? Let's see 900 thousand plus 100 thousand is a flat one million cubic yards of dirt. Each cubic yard contains 27 cubic feet. That's 27 million cubic feet.
That's a lot of dirt.
To put it into perspective: if you were to dig a ditch one foot deep by one foot wide, that ditch would be over 5,000 miles long. It would stretch from here to New York City and back all the way to Salt Lake
City. That's how much dirt they plan to dig up and haul and dump on Little Lake Valley to build an elevated highway and to bury a wetland.
It just boggles the mind.
I've been a reader of your paper for decades, and a subscriber for the last few — no newstands in Lake County... I read the paper and hope you will NOT go to an only on-line publication. I very much enjoy the 12 page format and the “fingerprints” from your layout — a little rough around the edges is fine with me; esp the clip and cribbed art in the margins, not unlike the bits in the margins of “Old Skool” Mad Magazine. A couple of things — I might have missed it, but never saw anything about the paper going to 10 pages. I'd like to cast my vote for 12 pages and say that I would pay double if that's what it took. The new font is easier on the eyes, and the printing looks darker — great for these soon to be AARP eyes of mine. I do miss the artwork, occasional tpyp.... you get the idea. Hell, Bruce — you could pick any single column in your paper and it has more news that the whole of the Press Bureaucrat or the S.F. Chronic Ill. How about running a house ad soliciting donations for going back to 12 pages, or supplying free scrips to those you deem worthy? Set it up on paypal. I would certainly donate. Do you sell back issues? Please let me know how much they are. How about running a house ad for them as well? I'll bet folks would like to add to their home library of piss and vinegar. While I do think you're full of shit a fair amount of the time, I think we hate the same people, so it all evens out. Keep fanning the flames!
Smash the State,
John Moorhead, Red Heart Ranch, Finley, CA
PS: Several months ago you gave props to Gordon Johnson, back when he was a KZYX News Whore. He's up in Arcata/Eureka playing Tuba for the Marching Lumberjacks and working in Humco Public Health Dept. I send him some of my old copies of your fish wrapper.
ED NOTE: Yours is the consensus opinion, and by golly just this week we're back at 12, and we'll stay at 12 if I have to rent my dentures! The Post Office continues to be a major drain. They charge more and more money and deliver less, and of necessity we have to depend on them. Last week's paper, dispatched from Boonville 6 days ago, still hasn't reached San Francisco. Points east? Typically two-to-three weeks. The Pony Express took, what? three days to get a letter from Frisco to New York City?
The County Recorder Must Stop Recording Fraudulent Documents
It seems that people don't understand the absolute necessity of having reliable and accurate public property records. Thousands of property records in our Recorder's office have been compromised due to the Wall Street Banks' filings of forged, fabricated, and improperly notarized documents that they are using to unlawfully foreclose homes in which they have no legal right foreclose upon. Each and every short sale or foreclosure sale based on these fraudulent documents are VOID and should never have happened. Even if you have not been foreclosed upon or are not in danger of foreclosure, your property value and future purchases depend on the integrity of accurate records.
John O'Brien, the Recorder in Salem, Ma. performed an audit of his public records and found that 75% of mortgage assignments were invalid!
Former San Francisco County Recorder and current State Assemblyman Phil Ting found in his 2012 audit of foreclosure records that 84% of foreclosures had at least one clear legal violation, and that nearly 66% of documents were back-dated in some fashion. That means that these foreclosures SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED as they were based on VOID documents!
The billions of dollars in bank settlements is solid proof of their complicity in massive mortgage fraud.
The judge in the Texas lawsuit Nueces County v MERSCORP stated the following:
"The filing of fraudulent liens undermines the reliability of the public records system on which so many rely, including landowners, purchasers, local governments, title companies, insurers, and realtors. Filings of inaccurate or fraudulent property records is alleged to be so wide spread and pervasive as to have damaged the integrity of Texas' real property records and to have all but collapsed the real property recording system in the County. The County has been harmed, first, because it relies on accurate property records in conducting its own business, and because the value of this essential public service and the County's value as an institution has been damaged if people and institutions can no longer rely on the accuracy of the property records it maintains."
Mendocino County has experienced the same fraudulent filings as Nueces County and every other county in the nation!
California Penal Code 115 states that any person who knowingly records a false or forged document is guilty of a felony!
I have personally presented our county government with forged and falsely notarized assignments, which legally renders them VOID, as proof of fraudulent documents recorded our Recorder's office. Yet all have refused make any effort to protect our public records from the Wall Street Banks' attempts to file fraudulent documents. They also refused repeated requests to perform an audit of our public records in order to gain a clearer understanding of the extent of recorded fraudulent documents.
If we do not stop the current destruction and repair the past destruction of property records, the future of securely owning real estate in the United States is in serious jeopardy. This could lead to a permanent deflation in property values and an unstable real estate market for generations.
I TOLD YOU SO
Check the 'net for the linkages between glyphosate ('Roundup') and Parkinson's, cancer, autism, kidney disease, obesity, and more. Offspring of Monsanto, the 'success' of this killer has insured it will be used a lot more in the near future. Monsanto's genetically engineered food cultivars are created to withstand this catastrophic chemical, which runs on through the foodchain (US!). There was pioneering resistance to Roundup by Betty Lou Whaley, of S. Caspar, CA., in the late 70s, early 80s (?), which, with other activists' efforts, resulted in the state of CA banning the sale of this herbicide in that state (for a while). However, it was still NOT illegal to USE it, so the flower farmers directly uphill from the Whaleys' place would then drive to Oregon to buy their Roundup and bring it back home to save their posies from weeds, and from the necessity of having to hire underpaid workers to do the weeding. Betty Lou finally packed it in and tossed her massive file. Haven't been in touch, lately, so don't know if they've remained, moved or what. I had occasion to walk across those flower fields after they'd been sprayed and plowed and before planting. A disconcerting experience — one's feet would sink in, up almost to the knees as if plunged into talcum powder — the soil seeming totally inert, absent of fiber, worms, or anything remotely lifelike. I've personally been more than wary of this miracle substance since.
Letter to the Editor
As a record spinner at KZYX, I've wondered why Sakowicz and DeVall don't just come in, do their shows and go home, without complexities of ever-increasing magnitude.
ED NOTE: We prefer you as “Gordon,” Gordy. Arm's length. Nothing personal, but if we don't maintain professional distance you might be walking through our door wanting to swap huggy bears.
“Inconsistency, the hobgoblin of little minds.” No one will call you consistent. After years of endorsing Ms. Wharff as Assessor-Clerk-Recorder, we finally get an efficient, competent, amazingly elected official who has positively transformed a County bureaucracy from a nightmare of unthinking bureaucracy into a helpful, friendly, informative branch of government, and you say, “Dump her,” in favor of someone unknown, running on the platform of “just because you didn’t pay your mortgage, you shouldn’t be elected.” I am not a Repuglican, competent elected officials should be kept in office as long as they are willing to put up with us.
VOTE FOR RANOCHAK.
PS. Now you know why I type most letters.
THE PRICE OF FAME
Aah, the sensation of attention from the AVA, to which I had lately grown unaccustomed… The Valley People column of the May 7 issue seems to be quoting from an informant whose last outrageous printed material devoted to me earned her a notch in “truly loony” status and resulted in an unusual, though quite appropriate printed apology from Bruce Anderson. Her subject this time was my attire, as well as that of Supervisor Hamburg. So erroneous was the account given by this “fashion correspondent” that I feel practically beseeched to write in and expound on the subject of clothes, a topic dear to my heart.
Dan and I were indeed in Boonville Sunday morning (5/4/14) heading to Elk's annual Pepper Martin community softball game. Dan was to umpire, so he wore black Carhartt jeans with a black belt, black sneakers and a white Pepper Martin t-shirt with blue sleeves from a previous year’s game. No hat, nothing at all resembling a “funny event hat that looked like he was an adult at a child’s birthday party,” which the informer said she saw, but didn’t see, since she couldn’t bear to look at him.
I myself wore a fairly long, full, gathered-at-the-waist white cotton blouse with big patch pockets and a front that buttons to the neck. I left the top two buttons undone. (I did have on a bra, if truth be told, though an onlooker would have been hard-pressed to be sure since it was inside my shirt, as always.) I also wore a sheath-style skirt (that is, smooth, not ruffled or gathered as the person alleged) with a floral pattern, above the knee. Topping this was a dress length black coat, and tall white socks (not “‘tards”) and no slip and bra on the outside of normal clothes, as was claimed.
The boots were perhaps the only item that the writer's possibly afflicted eyes were able to accurately see (or her mind able to remember). They are a Twisted X western boot with square toe and brown lower section, and a turquoise shaft with copper stitching. Only a few years old, they are indeed quite new, as the “correspondent” revealed to her publisher friends. Twisted X boots are made in Oklahoma City and are renowned for comfort and sturdy construction, which is why I love them. I began to wear western boots during my 22 years in Houston, Texas, where I earned degrees from Rice University and taught art history. The thing about western boots is that they’re great for people with flat feet. At least for me, they are about the most comfortable footwear out there and I own quite a number of beautiful pairs.
Regarding the informer’s further expounding upon my person, I am not exactly a “proud-to-be-from-San Antonio chick” as she claimed, having grown up in Wisconsin and spent my senior year as an AFS exchange student in Belgium, prior to the Texas stint. I do wear cowboy boots almost all the time, more for comfort than as an identity statement, since I am proud of all aspects of my background, including the bayou culture centered on Rice, downtown Houston, the Medical Center, as well as Galveston and the Gulf Coast. It was at a Houston second-hand store that I happened upon my first pair of tall socks, realizing immediately that a sock above the knee suggested stockings in a rather more chaste way and were very flattering to all leg shapes, especially long and slim. This sock type and the boots really are my trademark and can be spotted even by those with poor vision or an inability to perceive what it is their eyes are seeing.
However, it seems from the informer's account of “boy toys” who are made to wear weird clothes, that oddly — since she is from Point Arena — she has me confused with another coast person, of whom she has an equally incorrect and possibly envious opinion. As for myself, I do not consort with “boy toys,” and instead am drawn to intelligence, wit, accomplishment and compassion. Anyone who has ever seen Dan knows that he dresses elegantly and with understatement. In my opinion, he looks fabulous and is in no need of any fashion coercion. It's funny that the AVA gossiper couldn't be bothered to snap a picture of us to accompany her clothing assessment. Perhaps she doesn't know how to use a smart phone.
Well, enough already about me. Back to anonymity!
RAISE IT NOW!
The global protest last week in many US cities and 30 countries targeting at least 17 fast food chains by employees was joined by labor and union activists. The demands of these workers who are paid poverty level wages are simple. They want a living wage of $15 per hour and the right for union representation. These protests are happening at the same time the Seattle City Council is considering increasing its minimum wage to $15 a hour. Mayor Murray put together a proposal from an agreement of representatives from labor and business groups. Unfortunately it has more holes than a slab of swiss cheese. Overall it is a phased in plan that extends up to 7 years for some employers and would include health benefits and tips in the $15 minimum. It probably will not even keep up with inflation.
At the same time the Mayor has been cobbling together his inadequate plan, a newly elected city council member has been calling for a $15 minimum now without a lot of attached strings.
She is Kshama Sawant, a college economics lecturer, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative party. It is a socialist political party founded in 1986 with the slogan of Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism. She and her supporters have set up a “15 Now” coalition with 11 “action groups” to educate voters on the issue. Also, she is in the process of gathering 30,000 signatures for a charter amendment on the ballot. It would create an immediate wage hike to $15 for large businesses and a three-year phase in for those with fewer than 250 full-time employees.
For full time workers the $15 will take them above the federal poverty level for a family of four but still represents a modest level of income. For those who work less than full time such as at fast food chains the raise to $15 will still not raise them above the federal poverty level.
REAL PUBLIC RADIO
Absent a decent interview of the Mendocino County's 3rd District candidates on KZYX by Norman De Vall, who was sacked by KZYX management for supporting an open forum for dissent views at the station, please take note of the excellent interviews at KYBU found below:
Lew Chichester, of KYBU 96.9FM (Covelo) recently hosted each of the 3rd District Supervisor candidates individually for an hour of discussion.
You can hear each of their interviews online here:
And, guess what? The interviews are archived at KYBU. No such archive policy exists at KZYX. Funny thing that a tiny, low-power, community radio station in Round Valley operated by volunteers, like KYBU, archives their shows, but KZYX with two FCC licenses, and heard in four counties, refuses to archive its public affairs shows. KMUD archives their shows, too. Why not archive at KZYX? Beats the hell outta me. Most working people can't listen to most public affairs shows at KZYX, because most public affairs shows at KZYX air only during weekdays in the morning or early afternoon. KZYX would seem to have some bias against working people -- yet another reason I filed my FCC complaint.
AN ACT OF APPRECIATION
To the Editor:
I had the good fortune to join the Anderson Valley Theatre Guild in time to participate in its early May production of a Comedia Del'Arte at the Philo Grange under the direction of Ron Basehore and his wife Judy.
Rod and Judy donated their considerable knowledge and talent (and much hard work) to local theater and film productions since 2006.
Rod, with two postgraduate degrees in acting, theater, directing and design, and stage design, has been teaching drama and drama instruction for more than 30 years, having been named Teacher of the Year at Desert Sands School District in Indio California, in Riverside County.
Judy, herself a holder of a masters degree in education (twice named teacher of the year) has been married to Rod for 54 years and together they have raised world-class Appaloosa horses at the High Shams Ranch near Philo and at another ranch outside of Palm Springs.
These two lovely people have put in untold hours in private coaching of cast members, patiently enduring endless rehersals and physically building, painting and financing set construction.
Rod was kind enough to meet this writer and give sufficient background information to allow this letter of thanks.
This valley's cultural life has been heightened considerably due to the selfless contributions of time, money and energy by this charming couple and they deserve the thanks of a grateful community.
Rod vows to continue in this work as long as health allows and this writer earnestly hopes for a lengthy stay behind the footlights.
Thanks Rod and Judy.
A shocking day.
After another exciting day of sitting on my ass and hearing mostly bullbleep, we were now at the best part of the late afternoon — sipping bourbon and branch water with host Sam and Young Linden. Just as we were feeling relaxed and getting a little buzz, a messenger knocked and entered. He told me my presence was requested "post haste" at the Big House. I was let in and ushered to the family room where the quiet and gloom of the assembled gave me an immediate case of the "butterflies."
"E" gave me a hug and told me, "The president is dead, Harry." I could barely catch my breath. It felt like a whole wagon of hay had landed on me. The words finally came: "Eleanor — what can I do for you?"
"No, Harry — what can we do for you? You are the one in trouble now."
Alan 'Captain Fathom' Graham
I just read the AVA’s voting recommendations, forwarded from Tom Wodetzki after I sent him a rant about the Antler/Courtney insipid, brain-dead recs.
Thank you for what you wrote. Clearly, most of Mendocino County and most of America have been inhaling methane for too long if this is what passes for “progressive” thinking in the words of the headless Antler. Really, Jerry Brown — the environmental turncoat and pseudo-populist poser — and Huffman, friend to Israeli apartheid and genocide? I am resolute in my opinion that the greatest danger to the world are the sheep in America who continue to support the neoliberal Democrat agenda — having drunk from the fount of Obama, they have forever lost their minds.
I don’t live in Mendo any longer, but still recall the pep rally for pro-NAFTA, pro-Iraq war, pro-corporate, crushed grape-head Mike Thompson about 11 years ago in Little River, with the likes of Antler and Dave Turner falling over themselves to lick Thompson’s shit-stained shoes. And the Democrats keep on ticking, in lockstep with fascists and imperialists like Obama, Feinstein, Boxer, and Huffman.
I appreciate that the AVA frequently re-prints columns by Norm Solomon, Ralph Nader, Andrew Levine, and other real progressives. If you haven’t done so, I think the recent piece by Paul Street on the vindication of Nader would be timely to post before the next election — the first time in my 61 years that I won’t vote.
While I strongly disagree about Eyster, with his thuggish prosecution of Will Parrish in evidence, I’m encouraged enough by the lucidity of your column that I should soon get off the schneid and re-up my ante for an AVA subscription.
(formerly of Elk)
I heard today that the AVHC is considering dropping the dispensing of pharmaceuticals. This is an outrageous proposal. The dispensing of pharmaceuticals at the Health Center is a very important service and it is absurd to imagine discontinuing this service. I won't enumerate the very real advantages of this service here but I urge the patients at the HC to rebel against any notion of this sort. If this is the sort of policy that the current Board of Directors is considering, then we need a new board who recognize that enhanced service, not diminished service is the direction to move.
OPEN LETTER TO JOHN SAKOWICZ
I have been appalled by your attacks against our station, KZYX. I am doubly appalled by the fact that all the funds that have been set aside for a Ukiah studio have been used up in legal fees to defend against your personal vendetta toward KZYX. Your continued destructive behavior has had very negative impacts on the station. Is it your intention to destroy the station? Or is it just to thwart the opening of a Ukiah studio which so many people want.
There is a huge difference between constructive and destructive criticism. The latter is called sabotage. In my opinion, anyone whose off-air behavior is so destructive to the station should lose his/her privilege of having a show.