Letters to the Editor

by Letters to the Editor, March 18, 2010

HOW TO DUMP YOUR LAWYER

Letter to the Editor

Attn: Glenn Sunkett —

I meant to write this before but last week we got a surprise search and all my AVAs which were saved up were among the collateral damage/loss. I got the March 3 issue and Mr. Kenny Callahan got me going again so first I should say, Glenn, that personally I think you are probably guilty as sin!

But having said that I will elaborate. This may have a lot to do with how the case has been presented to the public and since I am in my 16th year of a wrongful conviction I know very well that it is possible that you as well as I am factually innocent.

Having this doubt I must tell you what you already know: you must be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Since I have this possible doubt and since if I can save one human being from having to go through any part of what I've experienced and had to go through in the last 15 years here is what you do:

In addition to what Mr. Kenny Callihan stated to do, you must stand up in court and say, your honor, first I would like to make a motion for an 1181; a motion for a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Get it on the record. Also as Kenny Callihan states or cites ineffective assistance of counsel's controlling case is Strickland v. Washington 466 US 668, 1984 “an error by counsel even if professionally unreasonable does not warrant setting aside the judgment of a criminal proceeding if the error had no effect on the judgment. The purpose of the Sixth Amendment guarantee of counsel is to ensure that a defendant has the assistance necessary to justify reliance on the outcome of the proceeding. Accordingly, any deficiencies in counsel's performance must be prejudicial to the defense in order to constitute ineffective assistance under the Constitution.”

Furthermore, with or without an appellate attorney, preferably with one but if not even in habeas corpus they may have already made reversible errors in your case. If you had no African-American on your jury or even one you have not been properly tried by a jury of your peers. I know that Mendocino is largely a white/Caucasian County, but I also know that there are more than just one or two black families or persons living in Mendoland. They have committed what's called “Wheeler error.”

As of last year it's got an extra component. In re: Chiarra A124488 Division 2 Batson/Wheeler 2009-12-04 First Appellate District of California: this case is the same kind of civil rights case except instead of a black man on trial it was a Native American. Any good lawyer worth his weight in salt should be able to get the conviction overturned and if he doesn't you can get it overturned on habeas corpus if you file as per Clinton's [illegible] within one year. You should also since you've got family to assist you contact the people at CARES (citation, analysis, research and education services) — Institute for Criminal Justice Research at P.O. Box 156455 San Francisco, CA 94115.

Once you hear from them have your people call them to make contact to let them know they will be assisting you.

I know about these things! If I could only turn back the clock. I wrote a book on wrongful convictions that these fine people stole. They wanted that bad to stop my publication of it and they've stolen legal books, my habeas corpus writ, witness psychiatric reports and much more. Do yourself a favor. You must fight this from every conceivable angle. Good luck.

Sincerely,

D. Dustin J. 67741
High Desert State Prison Building Z Unit 188
P.O. Box 3030
Susanville, CA 96127-3030

PS. Hello Don MacQueen. I have not forgotten and fully intend to rewrite what was stolen. You should write more often.

PPS. Mr. McEwen stated of course that the final bullet in Sean Jason Piper's head could have been the very first bullet he took. But there's no way of telling now. I find it hard to believe that there were 10 shots and there was no blood trail Anywhere in the house? If that's the case, I'd say it was that first a lot of cleaning up took place before the cops were called. There should be at least a little blood all over that place. Also, were all the slugs still in his body? Ballistics should be able to judge approximate distance he was shot from. What did he do? Kill him and then stand over him taking numerous potshots at him? (No pun intended.)

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A TAX IS A TAX

Editor,

Back in about 1960 I had a lawyer and a personal friend, John Nelson. John was on the board of directors of the Golden Gate Bridge. When they built the bridge in the 1930s it was a coalition of several North Bay counties that created a governmental district. Being a director was public service that only paid for the trip and lodging. To this date the coalition is still running the bridge. These dates and figures may not be exact but very close. That’s 50 years ago!

John told me how with a toll of 25¢ they had paid off the bridge and were sitting on a pile of cash and how other parts of government wanted it. He also told of how there were talks of putting money in a fund if another bridge might be needed in the future. There was a time when there was fiscal responsibility.

No more! The bridge district says they are having big financial problems. So they raised the toll a dollar. Shortly after that they had the same problem. So they raise it a dollar. Shortly after that, the same problem.

Last year California State had dire, dire circumstances. So the state raised the sales tax 1%, huge raises in car registration fees, and raised other taxes big time. We are still in dire economic straights and no one is held responsible. Whether they call it a fee, a toll or any other name it’s a tax.

The state, the County and almost all other districts of one kind or other are in financial hot water. What’s the problem? Taxes, taxes and taxes. Spend every dollar on benefits, let things fall apart and go into debt so they can cry for more taxes and no one is held accountable. As soon as the public passes a tax and the money becomes available, the above process starts all over again.

We have to put initiatives on the ballot to lower taxes. You would be surprised how they would survive and become more efficient. Government unions have got to go. There is no competition in government. In the private world if a union gets too far out of line the business moves (to China) or goes broke.

Tenure is against our monopoly laws. A manager should be able to fire anyone for any reason and the boss or owner should be able to fire the manager for any reason. If the boss or or owner doesn’t fire someone who doesn’t do the job, simply put, he or she goes broke and someone else takes over to the betterment of everyone.

Emil Rossi
Boonville
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STILL?

Hello,

Mark S. is still a redneck asshole and please make more fun of KZYX trust babies.

Thank you,

John Gomez
Willits

PS. Enclosed is $92 for a two year subscription.
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THE OTHER CANDIDATE

Editor,

The KZYX Board election is upon us once again and I have filed as a candidate for the District One Board seat.

My candidate ballot statement was fairly bland, based on the fact that candidate's have to attract more votes than they scare away. The other candidate for this seat is developer/businessman Bob Page, with whom I am not acquainted.

The ballot also contains two proposed Bylaws amendments — I urge you to take a good look at these, particularly the second one, which I oppose. The second proposed Bylaws change would authorize future proposed Bylaws changes not being mailed to the membership for their vote, but being listed only on the station website. This means that significant numbers of members could miss out on voting on a major issue, although it is true that the station would save some money if this route is followed. Mendocino is a rural county — some members in isolated areas do not even have internet service or landline phones.

In some ways, this proposed Bylaws change typifies the station's tendency in the direction of smooth functioning at the cost of informed member participation of all members.

The station organization's lack of transparency, when one tries to look closely, is pretty complete. There are significant instances where it amounts to deliberate misinforming of the membership. Management's firing of investigative reporter Christina Aanestad was significantly misrepresented to the membership, causing a rift between station management and the listener community which has resulted in the loss of significant numbers of members, their participation and revenue to the station. That's the most screamingly egregious, and best known, in recent times. There are others, but less well known.

While I certainly do appreciate, and even have limited admiration for, a well oiled machine which funds it's own maintenance and continuing existence, that part seems currently fairly well met by the Board and GM, yet the corporatization of culture which I've begun to smell exuding from their general direction is both distasteful and alarming.

In my view, the quality of the station's output has to be held in as high a regard as it's smooth operation. It is a difficult goal to strive for the ever-shifting balance point in between. It does not seem to me that this is a serious priority of those presently 'in charge'.

What I did not say in the candidate ballot statement is that I am alarmed at the station management's increasingly corporate attitude, expressed by both the Board and the paid staff — the station is in danger of losing it's local character in a rising tide of NPR and other slick, packaged programming. Transparency of Board and station management actions is at an all time low and even include deliberate untruthful coverups of what has taken place on several recent issues which are important to a large number of station members.

The current situation with the Board appears to me, and many others, that the Board functions as a rubber stamp for paid staff members who are not answerable to the members. Many unpaid volunteer local programmers and volunteer news reporters have either been outright fired in the last year, or have become discouraged enough to not want to continue because of difficulties with the paid staff.

I want to see the situation turned around and am willing to work toward that end. Your vote will be appreciated in helping make that possible, as well as passing on this letter to others who are station members. Please contact me with your comments and suggestions.

Thanks for your support,

Tom Davenport (tom.davenport@vintagenet.us)
Redwood Valley

PS. Do you have any idea who made the large bequest donation during the most recent pledge drive, and for how much? The rumble I heard made it a Coast origin item. If that really happened and is substantiable, the following statement from KZYX's website is a half-truth at best [emphasis added]. I would appreciate it if you pass this on to anyone you know who might know about that.

PPS. Christina back on the air: We know that's not going to happen for a variety of reasons including KZYX paid staff's opposition. King Collins has made that a central campaign issue and for that reason I am going to concentrate on the proposed Bylaw change (Internet only Noticing for future proposed Bylaws changes) as that is so perfectly typical of the member-unfriendly attitude of the smiley faced pods (expecting you'll remember them from the old sci fi movie).

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DONKEYCARE

Editor,

As we get down to the wire on Health Care Reform, the intensity rises. Republican obstructionism has finally been shouldered aside, reconciliation will apparently be used, and Democrats must now decide the final shape of their bill.

A health insurance mandate seems to be a given with this bill, the largest remaining question appears to be whether the Public Option will be included. Much hinges on this decision. A Mandate without a Public Option means government will be insisting everyone purchase overpriced, inefficient, for-profit health insurance. This would, of course, please the insurance industry greatly, but it will also incense voters of all stripes. It appears to be political suicide.

But this is exactly what the Donkeys deserve. By refusing to even discuss the highly-proven Single Payer model, they eliminated any chance we had at a real solution. It seems the main lesson the Obamahns took from the Clintonian healthcare debacle is that you have to negotiate with corporate interests, first and foremost, else they will kill your legislation. The problem is they erred too far in that direction, and we now face an industry-pleasing solution that does too little for the actual people involved.

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner, and it will be interesting to see how they emerge. If they leave the Public Option out, they'll please industry but alienate voters; if they include the Option, they'll appease constituents but enrage their paymasters. Knowing these Democrats, they will either: a) capitulate to industry completely (Mandate, no Option), or b) find the Muddle Way, which would include a very weak Public Option, thus accomplishing the neat trick of appeasing and disgusting both voters and industry at the same time.

It's a tough call. In the old days, I'd have put my money on “b,” but given the deeply fascist state of our government these days, I'm expecting “a.” In this environment, they've learned it's better to serve corporate interests rather than the people.

Michael Kalantarian
Navarro

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COLFAX’S PRESCIENCE

Dear Editor,

In your recent Board of Supervisors article you quoted Colfax as saying, “There's a time to act and a time to not act, and this is not one of them. And that's the position we're in right now.”

This signifies paralysis, not only of the mind, but also paralysis of the will. He was referring to the local level, but it is even more apropos on the national level.

Our political process is constipated. The center is not holding; the entire spectrum is shifting to the right even further. Progressives are in mental limbo, trying to decide if there is anything left in the Democratic Party to attach to. The students are drinking, the workers are sleeping, the intellectuals are in shock, the conservatives have hocked their souls for hope of a return to power, and the White House is in panic mode, having failed miserably to connect the dots. What to do? Wisdom argues that there is nothing to do.

Colfax ended his statement with a question, “What are we going to do when the catastrophe really hits?” The answer is, America is going to move to the right so fast it will make blitzkrieg look like a turtle. The right-wing lies and distortions and falsifications and attacks have worked. The economy flounders, the war escalates, the mass ennui continues. Fascism has all of the components in place; all it will take is a big 'catastrophe' like another 911 to tip us into Amerika full-blown. The momentum is too strong, the left is too weak, the middle class is eroding quickly, and the lumpen are so brain-dead, dumbed down, and full of fear that they haven't got a clue what is happening to them.

The answer, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, is this; there is no answer. We gave it a good try, we progressives, but mass greed won out over compassion. That should not surprise us, it usually does. The greed for riches and power, the greed for more and more consumer items, the greed to continue robbing the third world nations via the shock doctrine, and so on.

We as a people have never been much different from other peoples, although we love to tell ourselves we are. Let us finally admit it to ourselves, that we projected our values on to everyone else, both domestically and internationally, and convinced ourselves that they hold the same values we told ourselves we have (even though we don't act like we do).

The time for self deception is over. The values that progressives hold are not shared by most of the American people nor by most of the people in the world, most of whom have never even heard of the 18th Century Enlightenment, let alone live by its principles. What has been called the American experiment in self-government has failed. It is based on the concept that only an educated populace, with access to truthful information can self govern. The left repeats its litany; the right repeats its litany, and both are talking to themselves.

I wish it were not so, but it is, and the longer we stay in denial of the failure of our experiment to self-govern, the deeper our malaise will be. Some of us will continue to rant and rave; some of us will drop out of the political process, seeing that the political process is no longer capable of solving the problems of war, economy, and environment. There are three choices, as I see it; one, to live in impotent hope that something will show up to save us; two, to wait for some god to do it; three, to enjoy to the fullest what life offers and stop paying attention to the insanity that masks itself as politics. Is the third choice any good? Well, how much effect did the vote you cast in 2008 produce?

Wait a minute, say some, if we do nothing it is, in effect, turning power over to the right-wingers. Hold on; is there really a difference between the two major parties? Is the progressive movement, if there is such a thing in reality, not just in our minds, going to achieve political power? When things get worse, and all of the indicators are that they will; when capitalism implodes from within, will the American people suddenly see the wisdom of some other form of economic organization? On what historical foundation other than violent revolution can that view be held? And how have the violent revolutions turned out? Power only leads to power, and it corrupts. Dropping out is looking better and better.

Lee Simon

Far 'n Away Farm
Virginia

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NOTHING. ZILCH. NADA. BUPKIS.

Greetings;

I read with interest Mr. Dick Meister's article in the current (10 March 2010) AVA, “Obits For Sale.” While I was not amazed at the fact of having to pay to announce a loved one's passing in the *Chronicle*'s doomed pages — I was already thoroughly appalled half a dozen years ago when I posted modest obituaries at scandalous cost for my deceased parents in the *LA Times.* I was quite surprised recently when I chose to place an ordinary classified ad in Mr. Hearst's famous daily.

I've never subscribed to the *Chron*, and I've even avoided reading stray copies of it ever since they dumped “Zippy The Pinhead,” the only decent cartoon strip of their formidably unfunny and boring line-up. But I figured that for sheer numbers the Bay Area would still be a good place to advertise. After groping through their on-line application, my first shock came with the bill: it cost me nearly four times as much as the same ad in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat! That was a blow, but I figured it would be commensurate to the response the blurb would get from their circulation. Shock #2 came during the next week; my PD ad generated seven or eight responses, but the Chronicle? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis.

I wondered if there hadn't maybe been some e-mistake, and my ad hadn't been run. Canvassing my neighbors I eventually found someone who subscribed, and borrowed the day's edition from him. Shock #3! He handed me a puny little wad of munchkin-sized newsprint about twenty pages thick that had the temerity to call itself the San Francisco Chronicle. I could hardly believe it. For a moment I felt the opposite of the fellow marooned for decades on a desert island when he discovers a new 64 ounce Coca-Cola bottle washed up on his beach and thinks, “Holy cow — I've shrunk!”

Obviously this literal down-sizing of the 'paper was undertaken as a cost saving measure, but it seems to me like sawing off your feet in order to save on shoes and socks. Sure, pulp and ink expenditures are reduced, but can anybody take this sorry-looking gazette seriously? We oughtn't to judge by appearances, but having eyeballs, we do. And at first glance it reminds me way too strongly of “California Home-Maker,” the ratty little eight page monthly house-organ that Vic's Riverside Market used to toss in your grocery bag for free, back in Studio City where I grew up. One “article” graced its front page, usually something about How To Turn Fine Furniture Into Old Orange Crates And Save Money or something similar, the rest was church announcements and ads for Vic's Riverside Market.

Vic's, of course, is long gone (like Vic, and his “California Home-Maker”) thanks to the monstrous shiny Gelson's Supermarket that went up across the street. The *Chronicle* can but follow, hopelessly marginalized by the vapid glowing rectangles Americans now spend most of their lives parked in front of.

It is to sigh. If only they hadn't tossed Zippy from the lineup, they might be be doing fine today!

Arrivederci, fourth estate,

JB Reynolds
Graton

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HEAD CASE

Editor,

When I met you I told my life was in shambles, one thing after another went wrong, more and more people started to act indifferent toward me, I thought it must have been the poison pen, so I stop writing. and even reading the newspaper.

Over the last few years and even before prison, I have had strangers come up to me as well as people I know who are also strange, refer to me as in a position of organized crime, I even have had people come up to me and say “Do you like living here? Well you better make sure you keep out of trouble!” I laughed this off and brushed it to the side. Come on this last year has been good but before that I was a homeless vagrant, not notably seen as the romantic mobster! With all this money I was so called bringing in the green gold was certainly not spent on toothpaste, or laundry soap!

I kept on telling myself, This is all in your head. You must take responsibility for your actions. You are slipping/ No one really thinks that you are a person who wields such power. But things got worse and worse for me as if somebody was sabotaging my every move. Again I said “This is in your head.”

As I have mentioned I have had three nervous breakdowns from this, and just told myself, “You are losing it. You had better pull your self together.”

Then it was brought to my attention that I am not having delusional thoughts or ideations, that my hallucinations were in fact real! I remember going to see a doctor for my problems with stress, and having the nurse bring him to the waiting room and point at me while whispering in his ear, I just shook my head and said to myself, “Trent you are going to need some help.”

Now granted I have had a dark past, the prison letters prove that. Today I am on the up and up, and I do not worry about the rumors spread around about me. But when they affect people I know, I have got to put a foot down and say “Enough is enough!” If anyone wants to challenge my character and conduct, I will open the books of my life and impecunious bank account!

Before my father passed away he was slipping into senility so being the good fella that I am or am not! I went to help him. If ever I were to have to known that there was to be trouble, it is when I walked through the door, and the table showing the family photos was him with his arm around my brother, then him with his arm around my sister, also him with his arm around his dog, and for me? It was my San Quentin identification!

Things just got stranger after that. I am used to weird accusations and character assassination, but this is over the top!

What would be really nice is if some one would come up to me and say, “Trent, It is all in your head.” Then I could go back to the good old days! Unfortunate but true. I am actually more stable now than ever, even if it does not sound that way, for I cannot believe the words that are coming from my mouth, “This has got to be in my head!”

Trent Foster
Ukiah

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OUR NEW CEO

Hello Everyone,

Today is my first official day as your Chief Executive Officer. I am honored to serve Mendocino County in this capacity and I have high hopes that we can do good work together during the coming years.

For those who don't know me, I have been a public servant for over 15 years. I moved to Mendocino County from San Diego in June, 2007 when I became the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Director. In September, 2009 I accepted the Assistant CEO position and moved into the Executive Office. Today I am excited to be Mendocino County's CEO and committed to being an effective, honest and creative leader. But that's enough about me.

During the next few months, the Executive Office, the Department Heads and the Board of Supervisors will create the FY 10-11 budget. This is no easy task as there is a current budget deficit and a projected deficit for next year as well. There will be ongoing Board meetings and budget workshops. Please keep apprized of what is happening. More importantly, I encourage each and everyone of you to bring forward your ideas on cost-cutting measures, efficiencies, revenue-enhancements, and any other thoughts that will help our County move forward in these challenging times.

While balancing the budget is a top priority right now, continuing communication among us all is essential. I am committed to keeping the lines of communication open. As my schedule permits, I plan to visit all the departments and meet as many of you as I can. Over the next few months, I will attempt to get out to every department and will send out email updates to all staff as time permits.

With that, I know you are all dedicated public servants who want to do the best for our community. I truly appreciate all your hard work. I believe that together we can get through these tough times and still be able to serve the people who need us the most.

Thank you,

Carmel Angelo, CEO
Ukiah

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FROM UNDER THE ROCK

Dear Editor:

Liz Cheney is certainly a chip off the old block. She and William Kristol run a neocon organization called ” Keep America Safe.” Kristol a Vietnam War draft dodger and who was one of Bush's leading Iraq warhawks is a darling of Rupert Murdoch. He is one of the braying asses who are talking heads on Fox News. Keep America Safe launched an demagogic attack a la McCarthy on the patriotism of nine Justice Department attorneys who in private practice or as military attorneys represented Gitmo detainees. They released a video that asks, “Whose values do they share?” Then Liz Cheney on Fox News blasted lawyers who voluntarily represented terrorists.

Now Liz is reportedly a well educated person but apparently does not grasp that in our system of law every person regardless of their crime is entitled to legal representation and to do otherwise is a step towards a totalitarian state. Also, I note, the dixiecrat Republicans want trials transferred back to military kangaroo courts where rules of evidence are looser. Don't want Daddy Cheney's OK of torture coming out in Federal Court trials? I thought we were rid of the Bushies but it looks like thay are crawling out from underneath the rocks.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff
Sacramento

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UNCLE DUGGLES ON PEACE & QUIET

Dear Ms. Moon,

I like the ring of that which you called me: Self appointed dean of journalism. Self. Appointed. Dean. of Journalism. It has a rhythm. It rolls trippingly off the tongue. I've been called better things by worse people than you and worse things by better people than you. A left handed compliment is better than no compliment at all. Thank you. I bask in the wan sunshine of your esteem and don the mantle you place on my unworthy shoulders with true feelings of humility. And so—

Ms. Moon, consider yourself summoned to Dean Doug's office. I sit behind my polished desk, casually clad in tweed sports coat with elbow patches, charcoal colored slacks, and penny loafers. My collar is unbuttoned, my tie pulled slightly down. The room smells pleasantly of Balkan Sobranie pipe tobacco. I invite you to sit. This is what you hear:

If you were doing your job, I wouldn't be here telling you that you're not. I'm only being cruel to be kind. In future years you will think better of me, even thank me. I'm taking you by the nape of your virtual neck and gently turning your head in another direction, hoping you will see what's there.

You speak with such an authoritative voice in re: Dan Hemann. He would not know you if you were standing in front of him in the checkout line. Your sole contact with him was over the telephone. When he 'talked your ear off',it was because he was trying to give you HIS views and you INSISTED that he accede to yours in a series of have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife style questions. If Dan Hemann talked your ear off on the first occasion you telephoned him, he has not continued to do so, and why do you think that is? I don't think your efforts as seductress would make Mr Hemann more candid. Bedroom eyes would not loosen his tongue, but confidence that you would accurately present his views would. Did you listen, did you hear him? Obviously not. You were writing the first article even as your sweetie picked up the packet of background papers he made up for you. Did you read before tossing? I bet not. He even delivered them to the Cleone Store parking lot for you. You were so disinterested in presenting a point of view that conflicted with yours that you could not be bothered with a face to face meeting with the other principal in an altercation you were covering.

In short, on this issue you have concrete opinions, thoroughly mixed and permanently set.

Yes, I read your articles, my clumsy fingers tracing every letter, my lips moving silently, caressing every incisive syllable. You cover the who, where, when, and what quite adequately. What I don't find is the why. The news behind the news that Bruce loves to print. The story behind the story. The straight skinny. The REAL story. And that is the most important question of all here. What you describe as a feud between Messrs Hemann and Muto....let's start there. Who throws eggs at whose building. Who beats up and sends Dan Hemann to the hospital And WHY does this situation exist in the first place? WHY this enmity towards Mr Hemann? WHY is your reportage so superficial? Why do you assert as true things that are not? Two examples: First - Mr Hemann has never called the Headlands a 'blight'. That is YOUR word. Second - Mr Muto's nickname in High School is reported to have been, Muttface. THAT is what Dan Hemann called him, and not Fuckface as you erroneously reported. Gives it a different slant, doesn't it? But Dan Hemann shouldn't have to deny or explain anything. Neither should I, for either myself or him.

No need to squirm uncomfortably, Ms. Moon, for I shall tell you what you need to know. I said all this before but I'll say it all again. Dean Doug is a compassionate and patient educator, one whose breast will swell with pride at your first Peabody Award.

This whole situation revolves around the issue of NOISE. There is an ordinance in Fort Bragg limiting NOISE in the mixed use commercial/residential district of Fort Bragg. It has been in place for many years. I dealt with it myself seventeen years ago when I ran the Greyhound agency out of my bookstore, located next door to where V'Canto is. I had to work out things so my neighbors weren't disturbed. We 'formalized' it over coffee. The terms were rigidly adhered to, and all was well. A variance was issued to the Headlands allowing it to stay open beyond the statutory time of 6PM and have live music. Their permit is different than V'Canto's because there are no residences above the Headlands. There was and is no NOISE problem at the Headlands because the Gealeys and now Juan and Lenore have been responsible neighbors.

This sets the precedent for other businesses to be open late in the downtown mixed use zone. The more public service businesses open, the greater the potential that these businesses will be NOISE=Y and create violations of the NOISE statutes.

Along comes Mr Muto, wanting to stay open until midnight and have live entertainment. He gets permission for live ACOUSTIC music - and installs an amplification system. He gets permission to stay open until ten on weekdays and eleven on weekends. This pushes the hours of business downtown forward, a full five hours after the NOISE ordinance calls for quiet. NOISE, in the form of loud music, and raucous merriment, pours forth from the frenetic revels at V'Canto. A fun place, but a NOISE-Y one. Mr Muto had a nice concept, but choose a bad location to realize it.

Mr Hemann's only insistence from day one has been that the restrictions on NOISE in the downtown mixed use district be adhered to and, if necessary, enforced. He lives there. It's his home. Mr Muto has created a concept restaurant that he hopes to sell. Big difference.

Can you see this as a potentially setting a precedent designed to weaken the NOISE ordinance in the mixed use zone? What happens to the NOISE ordinance if Mr Muto is allowed to get away with NOISE violations? What further development of the downtown does this open the door to? If you watch the videos of the relevant City Council meeting and the Planning Commission meeting, and read the thick pile of legal documentation that Mr Hemann provided you, you might be able to answer this question,learn who the players are and find out why. Linda Ruffing? Marie Jones? What part do they play? Why?

A member of the Planning Commission resigned after the V'Canto ruling was made. His name is David Linkhart. Why? What is the significance of this vis a vis the Muto/Hemann 'dispute' and the NOISE ordinance? I'm not going to do the footwork for you. There's MUCH more to this than the sensational pap you are putting out.

Fort Bragg is re-inventing its self. The mill is gone. The fish are gone. What direction will it take? What direction IS it taking? Is this taking us where we want to go? Come to think of it, where DO we want to go? This is a critical issue, of importance to the whole community, and you treat it as merely a 'feud' between two testosterone-soaked men who should know better. It's like something from an infotainment rag whose foreign news section discusses only vitally important issues like the shocking color of Paris Hilton's new panties, which she made sure everybody at the celebrity party in Vienna saw .

I don't fault you. I know Bruce loves this kind of stuff because it sells papers. Strife is the breath in his nostrils. I understand the constraints of The Deadline. But this is not just another small town who-struck-John.

In a way this is a good thing, since it brings the issue to more public scrutiny.

It's about how NOISE will affect the future of Fort Bragg in the downtown mixed use zone. It involves the potential of an administrative 'taking' of the downtown mixed use zoning district. It involves the countless dollars that will be spent litigating the matter. Who is setting the city on this path? What is their vision? WHY? Again we get to WHY, Ms. Moon.

Mr Muto wants to have his place be a convivial hangout in downtown Fort Bragg. No problem there as long as there is no problem with NOISE. Unfortunately, NOISE has been a constant problem since V'Canto opened. Mr Muto has hung a cloth ceiling in an effort to cut down the NOISE that has caused the occupancy of the upstairs apartments to take on a revolving door quality.

The ABC recently closed V'Canto for two weeks because of NOISE violations. This was not because of Dan Hemann. It was because two cops made a complaint after stopping outside and listening. Since his liquor license is up for renewal in two months, Mr Muto has to pay attention.

After V'Canto moved in, the manager of the building went to great lengths to drive the kids away from the front of the Headlands. He succeeded briefly, but they have trickled back and can be seen sitting outside and in the alley. Although the parking lot behind V'Canto belongs to the buildings on Franklin Street, he has succeeded in getting a chain link fence installed to keep the kids from hanging out there. There has never been a suitable place for our young people to gather in Fort Bragg, but Dan Hemann has never been troubled by them or moved against them. Dan Hemann fought both the Planning Commission and City Hall to protect the NOISE ordinance for downtown. He thus supports the law. Mr Muto is a scofflaw. He somehow feels the NOISE ordinance should not apply to him. The issue was never V'Canto, but only the NOISE it generates. Too bad Mr Muto's choice of this location put him into this situation. Anyone else would have faced the same resistance if they created NOISE in the downtown multi use zone. How much NOISE is acceptable in the downtown mixed use district and how late? This situation has brought all these questions to the foreground, and all Mr Muto's bile cannot efface it nor your reportage obscure it.

I don't know either you or Mr Muto. I've never gone to V'Canto. I don't hang out in bars any more, haven't for years, and I can't see dropping $15 for a plate of spaghetti with a splash of Chef Boyardee red sauce and a shake of cellulose-laced Parmesan, when I can dine out heartier and healthier elsewhere for less. I hope he finds a buyer soon and can retire comfortably and happily, and put his rancor behind him. The restaurant business is an iffy one at best, and in these economic times it becomes even iffier. My son is a California Culinary Academy graduate. The restaurant he worked at in Seattle closed. He has been hunting another cooking job for over a month. It's brutal out there. I sympathize with Mr Muto. Too bad he feels it necessary to take his frustrations out on someone whose only concern is that law as reflected in the NOISE ordinance be obeyed.

I hope you have had the journalistic integrity to avoid accepting 'complimentary' food or drink from Mr Muto. You thus avoid the taint of bias which - methinks the lady doth protest too much - you aver does not touch you. Bias is the one word term for point of view. All the world is biased, and I can't believe you are the anomaly. My bias is herein displayed for all to see. Disclosure: Dan Hemann once gave me a bottle of wine. I took it out of the bag before drinking it and used a glass.

I've made these points before. I make them all again in hope this helps you to understand that it's not personalities, not Hemann and Muto and a bogus 'feud' but NOISE that is at issue here. NOISE and it's effect on the downtown mixed use zone. What you write serves only to make you an enabler of Mr Muto when he plays his I'm-feuding-with-Hemann-look-at-me-mommy game. A bogus 'feud' is more titillating than violations of a NOISE ordinance. I hope you have a bright future in what remains of journalism in these Rupert Murdoch times when more people turn to the Net and papers are disappearing into the memory hole faster than you can say bankruptcy. Hopefully, this will inspire you ignore the extraneous NOISE of non-issues like this “feud” you have invented from whole cloth and instead look at the larger and more vital issue of NOISE in Fort Bragg's commercial/residential district and it's impact on the city. This will require you to - shudder - work. To become a news hog, relentlessly rooting up truffles of truth from the fetid forest floor of Fort Bragg.

I rest my case. I can't make it clearer or better. I made NOISE about this before. The so-called “feud” is merely sound and fury, signifying nothing. The violations of the NOISE ordinance signify much. Think NOISE. Enn Oh Eye Ess EEE.

You have the last word, as I shall not beat the dead horse by replying to your reply. Say that I was raised by wolves and was exhibited in side shows after being captured. Say I've been spotted among the horsemen of the Wild Hunt. Call me anything you want but late for dinner. My sinecure as Self Appointed Dean of Journalism here at the College of Hard Knocks doesn't pay very well.

And say - what color Were Paris Hilton's panties that night in Vienna?

I remain, Ever Thine

Douglas Roycroft
Self Appointed Dean of Journalism,
AKA, The Mean Dean
Fort Peace-And-Quiet-It's-Wonderful Bragg

Ed reply: Ground zero commercial Fort Bragg is a funny place to seek peace and quiet, Doug, and how could unamplified music inside a restaurant possibly disturb anyone? From the perspective of fast-fading Boonville, nighttime noise of a commercial nature would be most welcome. Mr. Hemann has dispatched you, his ex-wife and his girlfriend to give us his versions of events. If he won't talk to our reporter how can our reporter report what he has to say? I find it hard to believe that Muto, a grown man, would toss eggs across the street at Hemann's car and shop. As for their physical encounter, Hemann is twice the size of Muto, and Hemann started the fight that sent him to the emergency room for bandaid injuries by barging into Muto's business and calling him names. The fight, such as it was, ended outside Muto's place of business. If Muto had been the aggressor, he would have been charged. Finally, the idea that Freda Moon would write a story for a meal and a bottle of wine is insulting. Me? I'd take the meal but only if it included dessert.

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BEGGARS & KINGS

Editor,

Wishes are made for beggars and dreams are made for kings, all the trinkets the King didn't have he dreamt for most of these things.

The king didn't have any friends; they're after his dreams no doubt. The few friends the king did have with haste he put them right out.

The king was rude to his subjects, to him he thought it was fun. His subjects did not respect him for their love he had never won.

His son had disowned him and his wife – he just didn't care. All he wanted was riches and this he made plain and clear.

The beggars found living easy but the road was rough for the king. So the beggars chose to keep begging and said to hell with the king.

And his dreams.

Larry Wilson
Santa Rosa

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WHO ARE YOU?

Dear AVA Editor:

I'd like to submit four questions for two of the candidates running for the Board of Directors of KZYX, two questions for King Collins, and the other two questions are for Tom Davenport.

1. Mr. Collins: Comments you have made about KZYX on your website and in the press seem to have a very hard edge. A real negativity. A meanness. A nastiness. And very personal.

My question is, Why? Why the meanness? And if elected, do you think you can really work with folks on the Board who do not share your harsh judgments?

2. Mr. Collins: You have more ideas about the lack of transparency at KZYX, and more bad opinions about staff, and more criticisms about programming, and you hold on to more conspiracy theories about imagined “cover-ups,” than you have hair on your head. But these, of course, are all bogus issues. The real issue at KZYX is finances. Finances, Mr. Collins.

When John Coate took the job as GM, he also took on a previously undisclosed huge deficit. KZYX debt was irresponsibly rolled over from year-to-year — $19,000 in FY 07, and 105,000, in FY 08. Then, we hit the wall in FY 09. Our wonderful community radio station in redwood country almost shut down.

My question: If you were elected to the Board, how would you contribute to our finances? Except for one time in the Fall 08 pledge drive, I've never seen you at a fundraiser, Mr. Collins. How much have you contributed to KZYX in the last year? In dollars? In volunteer hours?

3. Mr Davenport: You have been invited to be a guest on one of KZYX's public affairs programs as a representative of the MMMAB. You were invited to discuss the proposed 9.31 Medical Marijuana Ordinance. You were invited in the interests of fair play and balanced, objective reporting.

You were invited after MMMAB bitterly complained that its side of the 9.31 Ordinance issued wasn't sufficiently aired.

My question: Why did you refuse the invitation?

4. Mr. Davenport, there is a huge discrepancy between your rather bland statement on the KZYX voting ballot and very inflammatory comments you have made on the various listserves. In your statement on the listserves, you admit, and I quote, “My ballot statement was rather bland based on the fact that a candidate has to attract more votes than scare away.”

My question: Why the discrepancy? Why the hypocrisy? Who are you really?

Respectfully submitted,

John Sakowicz
Ukiah

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BELL RINGER

Editor & Howard Belkamp,

You rang my bell with Schadenfreude of the Masses (AVA, 3/10/10).

And “It’s Apology Season” is on the money.

But “I’m So Sorry” — you didn’t cut the last two lines that jut out like an overgrown toenail over Tiger Woods who talked about his “car wreck” on the radio today.

Sin Sears Lee

Diana Vance
Mendocino

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THESE ARE PROGRESSIVES?

Editor,

Last May, Single Payer Action along with a group of doctors and nurses confronted Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) at a public hearing of the insurance industry-controlled Senate Finance Committee.Baucus had scheduled 42 people to testify over three days of hearings.Not one favored single payer.Single Payer Action demanded - allow one person to testify on behalf of single payer. Baucus refused.

Instead, Baucus ordered the arrest of 13 doctors, nurses, and other single payer activists. Ever since, with your generous help, Single Payer Action has been confronting members of Congress, agitating, and pressuring the system at all levels to do the right thing, to adopt single payer national health insurance, what Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, calls the only health care system that will both control costs and cover everyone.

Fast forward ten months and what do we find? The House Democrats, and most shamelessly 87 “progressive Democrats” who are co-sponsors of the single payer legislation in the House, are now lining up behind the pro-insurance industry Baucus-backed Senate bill, a Senate bill those “progressive Democrats” vowed never to support, a bill that, as Dr. Angell told Bill Moyers last week, cements the private insurance in place as “the lynchpin of health care reform.”

A prescription for disaster: more lives lost, more unaffordable bills, more bad outcomes. Why are Congress and the President supporting a bill that former CIGNA executive Wendell Potter called “an absolute joke” and “an absolute gift to the insurance industry”? One reason: Congress and the President are oblivious to the suffering that surrounds them. Well paid and well insured members of Congress and the President live and work in a bubble with corporate executives and lobbyists. Oblivious to the other Washington — afflicted by poverty, homelessness, AIDS, dilapidated buildings, and intolerable suffering. Oblivious to the scores who die every year in our nation's capital from lack of health care.

Several years ago, I asked photographer Kike Arnal to come to Washington to photograph the other Washington that Congress and the President rarely see and to juxtapose those photos with the corporate bubble in which members of Congress and the President live, work and play. Kike Arnal arranged those 92 photos in a hardcover book just published titled “In the Shadow of Power.” You might have seen Kike Arnal recently on C-Span with Brian Lamb or on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.

I'd like to get this beautiful and haunting book into your hands to share with your family and friends. Kike Arnal's photos are black and white, stunning and poignant. I wrote the introduction to the book. If you donate $100 or more now to Single Payer Action, I'll sign a copy of “In the Shadow of Power” and I'll sign a copy of my book, “In Pursuit of Justice” and send them both to you. So please donate now whatever you can afford. If you donate $100 or more, we'll ship to you “In the Shadow of Power” and “In Pursuit of Justice,” both signed by yours truly. Thank you for your ongoing support. The rotting edifice of Washington-protected corporatism will crumble of its own greed. Together we will replace it.

Onward to single payer.

Ralph Nader
Washington DC (singlepayeraction.org)

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FROM MICKS TO MEXS

Editor,

This Wednesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day a large group of Mexican dignitaries along with representatives of the Irish Embassy and assorted Irish in the Mexican capital will gather at the Plaza San Angel, Mexico City to honor and memorialize the 77 mostly Irish and some German soldiers who fought and died as members of the Mexican Army in the Mexican-American War of 1847 and as members of their own military group, the famous St. Patrick’s Battalion.

Formed under John O’Reilly, the San Patricios, as they are remembered, were young Irish lads inscripted into the American Army but because of ethnic and religious discrimination on the part of American military officers, deserted the American ranks during the Mexican-American War, a war which then Congressman Abraham Lincoln remarked as the most unjust war ever waged.

According to Mexican military lore the San Patricios fought fiercely and valiantly. Twelve of them were hanged near Chapultepec Castle. O’Reilly was branded with a flesh burning “D” for “Deserter.” 77 of them are remembered as heroes in Mexican history. Also, every year a San Patricio ceremony is held in Lifden, County Galway, Ireland.

The Plaza San Angel Memorial states, “To the memory of the Irish soldiers of the heroic Battalion of St. Patrick, martyrs who gave their lives for Mexico during the unjust Northern American invasion of 1847.”

Gerry Cox
Navarro

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DUMB METERS

Editor,

An article in the last issue of the AVA had a reference to Smart Meters. PG&E has their spin for the public of why these are great.

In remote areas smart meters have a point: They don't require a meter reader to go read the thing although the utility in the San Diego area some 15 years ago tried them and then took them out because of problems.

In a dense city area smart meters put readers out of a job and that is the main reason for their attraction to PG&E.

Watt hour meters are the cash registers of a utility and it makes sense to have someone watching the till, and like a good cop, a meter reader not only takes in the money but also makes a quick check to see if there is evidence of tampering with the meter. Smart meters have no oversight.

Well, they do have built-in warning of forced tampering but clever people can tap the un-metered lines ahead of the meter and the smart meter would never know. Monthly meter reading not only brings in the revenue but is also a plant inspection.

It is crazy to do away with this portion of quality control.

But as was pointed out in the article, PG&E is not a public utility and can do as they want. Only the Public Utilities Commission could bring some sense into this issue but this would be unlikely. The meters will be installed and the millions of the cost will be paid for by the end users. That's us folks.

Carl Flach
Alameda

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DON'S BACK

Dear Col. Anderson,

When long-time AVAer Stewart Bowen bandied my name and you printed his letter I was moved. My boost-don't-knock style firmly consigns me to the back benches of AVA correspondents, for sure, Confirmations crimp controversy, maybe? Golden Rule laid on a bit thick?

Respectfully,

Don MacQueen
Eugene, Oregon

PS. After reading the Parrish & Bond-Graham piece in the March 3 edition — and nodding “yes” a lot — two thoughts: Our citizenry isn't ready to reject capitalism's brass-ring lure yet, I fear; and didn't those students strive mightily to enroll at UC precisely because they saw it as a shrewd way to achieve or maintain a higher status in our stratified society? Doesn't this aid and abet The System?___________________________________________________________

MORE THAN A BIKINI

Editor,

In “The Bogus Hispanic Crime Wave” (AVA, 3/10/10), Alexander Cockburn and Ron Unz claim homicide “plunged 18% in LA last year,” contrary to Reader’s Digest’s claim that LA and San Jose have two of the highest homicide rates in the United States “and should be avoided.”

AVA readers, to claim Portland, Oregon, and LA have comparable violent crime rates is like comparing a country dress to a bikini.

Yours,

White American Cityzen,
Maria Stone
Tequila Corner, Fort Bragg

One Response to Letters to the Editor

  1. Trent Foster Reply

    March 24, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I have just returned from a relaxing weekend at “San Quentin”, the food was great steak and prawns with my favorite insalada Capris’e, washed down with San Pelligrino mineral water. I then relaxed at the beach and watched the sunset, smoking a fine Macanudo Jamacian cigar.
    The only time I was aloud to leave was to price the Maserati I am looking at, the rest of the time was spent relaxing in the brick court yard, which resemble’s New Orlean’s french quarter. Old “San Quentin” holds a special place in my heart! I look forward to returning, to my sisters house behind the old Bay view hotel, in the town of “San Quentin”

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