Letters (Feb 17, 2016)

by AVA News Service, February 17, 2016

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I attended the meeting yesterday and want to take the time to express my disappointment with the process. You heard from many county citizens yesterday and the overwhelming majority pointed out the short comings of the shelter as it is today and how it is not serving the county's homeless pet population.

The discussion afterwards between all of you was fascinating and frustrating to listen to. How all four of you and Ms. Cryer's sidekick pushed that political shelter foot ball around the room, successfully avoiding to hold anybody to task for letting the Petaluma shelter proposal languish for over six month with no action. To avoid making a decision, taking a stand or making a concrete follow up plan was truly sickening. Listening to what was NOT said, I walked away with the impression that the Petaluma proposal is already dead, because Petaluma cannot offer their services for less then what the county spends on the shelter to date. Even the possibility to have the shelter future on the next BOS meeting agenda seemed at best tentative.

If my sources are correct the interim shelter manager is going to be Mary Jane Montana, the former Executive Director of the SPCA Lake County shelter, a failed shelter that since has been closed. Supposedly Ms. Montana was fired from her position there for not vaccinating and caring for the animals appropriately. Is this really the best we can do for our animals?


Monika Fuchs


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To the Editor:

I am a Democrat, a Catholic and a loyal citizen of the United States. I vote in every election and try my best to do the research required to make an informed decision. I believe that we have a good government albeit not a perfect one. However, I am so sorry that this presidential election has devolved into the sorry mess that I see in the media.

Along with millions of other people in this wonderful country I watched the Presidential debates. I am ashamed of those politicians, and of the moderators and of anyone who thinks that the name calling, insulting, childish rudeness and disrespect that was displayed is acceptable. I am ashamed of our television reporters and all of our media and of anybody who did not stand up and stop it. How does that kind of behavior help? How can we change what is wrong with our country and with our government when we cannot act like responsible adults? Do we even wish to consider an individual for election to one of the most powerful positions in the world if they cannot be civil to each other? What will they do with our foreign policy? For goodness sake I can only hang my head in disgust and shame!

I am writing this letter because I want it known that there are people in the nation who do not agree with this kind of disrespectful display. I am 75 years old and I can remember when we respected the political administration of the United States. I still do! I want the governing body of our awesome country to be respected again and I don’t see how that’s possible if our citizens can’t summon the decency required to be respectful of our politicians and each other.

Disagreeing with each other is inevitable, disrespecting each other is not acceptable. The debate of presidential hopefuls was a frightening display of animalistic combative discussions that solve nothing and only serve to exhibit cretinism!

I hope that the decent human beings of our nation will continue to strive for a government by the people and that our politicians will rise to meet the challenges without descending into reprehensible, bitter humans who can not discuss with out name-calling disrespect.

There is never an excuse for discourtesy or incivility, not in our daily lives and definitely not in our public lives.

Lorena Tournour


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An interesting local show (at the Oddfellows Hall, 45101 Ukiah Street in Mendocino) brings together a whole gang of artists in varied media.

The painters informed me that the Albion cowgirl painter, Tami Diane Bairenther had all her cows out plus local village and seascapes with a little surrealism thrown in.

The organizer of the event, Susan Triman Finkelstein, had a couple of vibrant fishponds with fish and a fine picture of the Eureka railroad and lots more.

Kathleen Mooney has a fabulous horse and some great pallette-knife pictures. All the others appeared to be well worth looking at. The show is open to through February.

Check it out.

Alan 'Captain Fathom' Graham


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Hello people of the free world.

It's been awhile since I had the privilege of reading an issue of the AVA. I've been watching the news a lot. It seems like technology is replacing everyone's ability to think, drive, read, and create on their own. What ever happened to the independent thinkers, artists, craftsmen and women of this fine country?

The founding members of this free nation would be saddened at the dreaded state of what greed and fame has doomed our future to. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Human beings have only learned the "wealthy" part and have ignored the fact that being healthy and wise are the most important. I'm no brain surgeon but even I can figure that out.

One fact many people don't know is that more than 7 billion people live on this planet. Bill Gates is a billionaire worth over $70 billion. My point is he could take everyone on this planet to breakfast at Denny's and still be a billionaire of $35 billion and counting. What a waste of energy. Do you understand we are all slaves to the rich and powerful? I have ranted ennough — just a little something to ponder. I have golden brown eyes and I am of the element gold. If you have blue eyes you might be of mercury.

Until next time.

Yours truly, organic alchemist

Zachary Eads


PS. Please consider me for another gift of some issues of your wonderful paper.

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As always I hope this letter finds you in the best of everything.

Please print a copy of this and send it to your loved ones. This way even if they can't use it they can share it with those who can and we all should be signing this petition!

Attention all California wives/family members who have loved ones incarcerated under Three Strikes.

On October 19, 2015 California Attorney General Kamillah Harris is scheduled to assign the title and summary to the "Three Strikes Rehabilitation Act of 2016" which will then need 500,000 signatures to be placed on November's ballot. Among other things the Rehabilitation act will:

Remove any strike for a crime that occurred before March 7, 1994.

Eliminate multiple strikes resulting from a single prosecution (as opposed to each conviction).

If this is passed in November many strikers will have their sentences reduced or cut in half.

Some lifers will finally have a release or parole date.

Please sign the petition and be sure to vote next November!

For more information go to choose1.org

Danny York


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Dear Mr. Editor

My sincere compliments on what I consider to be one of the best publications in print. I've been a loyal reader from the first time I read a story by Flynn Washburne several months ago. Mr. Washburne's most recent commentary was of special interest to me due to his mention of Alan "Sonny" Crow. He describes Crow as batshit crazy and demon possessed, then closes his opinion of Mr. Crow by acknowledging his kindness and generosity.

I do not know Alan Crow so I cannot agree or disagree with Mr. Washburne on Mr. Crow's "craziness." But I can say this: In 2012 I came to Mendocino from Buffalo, New York. I was arrested upon my arrival.

Shortly thereafter my wife traveled here to support me while I fought my case. Her car broke down in Lake County. She and my daughter were picked up hitchhiking by Alan Crow who paid for a motel for three weeks and purchased bus tickets to New York for my wife and daughter. During the three weeks my family was stuck here Mr. Crow treated them properly and with love and respect.

So, crazy or not, I can only wish everyone in your county of Mendocino had a heart like Mr. Crow has.

As for Mr. Washburne, he is one of the most brilliant writers I've ever read. Thank you Mr. Washburne and to you Mr. Crow if you are ever in New York you are always welcome to stop in at Brenda and Macy's.

Dennis Piscitello


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Having attended the Board of Supervisors Ad Hoc Committee meeting on cannabis in Willits on Feb. 6, a rousing voice of approval was given to Tim Blake’s statement that a 25-plant count limit would no longer be viable, comparing us to Humboldt and beyond’s much larger plant count.

Board of Supervisors representatives were encouraged to present the public’s will and not to back down to the federal stance.

Casey O’Neil made a good case for “ministerial” permitting to protect the small farmer from overbearing regulations above the state guidelines.

Many good people voiced concerns about lack of direction after 19 years of medical allowance and offered practical solutions allowance and offered practical solutions for a viable ordinance.

I take issue with the disparity in federal government regulations:

The Feds grow and distribute cannabis to their few dying patients who have (only) prescriptions. (Every other patient is by doctor’s recommendation.

The Feds hold patents on cannabis products having stated medicinal value.

The Feds allow three states recreational use.

The feds allow 17-25 states medicinal use.

The Feds prosecute in all other states.

I take issue with the disparity of federal government policy!

The National Institute on Drug Abuse who oversees government distribution of cannabis to research has recognized the multi-faceted use of cannabis products.

Schedule I Narcotic status for cannabis has to be removed from our acceptance level as a society!

Methamphetamine, morally corrupting, detrimental to health and the well-being of all society has been lowered to a misdemeanor!

Explaining this mindset to Our Creator will not wash.

Good herb is bad/poisonous chemicals are okay — is a mindset of the devil.

We need agreement with the Feds to not prosecute small farmers, including transporting more than two pounds to dispensaries or market.

The DEA should get more busy busting meth-kitchens and keeping marijuana south of the border.

Please wake up and turn this around.

Thank you,

Philip Frase

Bell Springs/Laytonville

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I saw I got some ink in Valley People last week. It's nice to know some things in my 50 years in basketball have never changed:

1. If you win, the players get the credit.

2. If you lose, the coach gets the credit.

3. This fact that if you lose by 2, the focus is on all the things you did wrong, and, if you win by 2 the focus is on all the things you did right.

4. Most loss analysis in pro sports comes from the experts on ESPN, and, most loss analysis in high school sports comes from parents.

Jim Young


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Hundreds of thousands of people show up for a Giants World Series parade in San Francisco and there are no security checkpoints. Ten thousand people show up for Super Bowl City, and there are multiple security checkpoints and an overkill of police and police agencies. Two things become clear: The NFL is paranoid and far less attractive than they think, and baseball is far and away a much more civilized sport.

Richard De Wilde

San Francisco

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Voters planning to vote in the primary election June 7 should be aware of the following information.

If you registered as a Decline-to-State voter and wish to vote for the Republican candidate in the presidential primary in June, you must re-register as a Republican before May 23rd. The Republican Party does not allow for cross over voting. If, as a Decline-to-State voter, you wish to vote for the American Independent Party candidate, the Libertarian Party candidate or the Democratic Party candidate, you may just ask for that ballot when you go to the polls. Only Decline-to-State voters may cross over but only to one of these 3 parties, however. You will receive a postcard from the Registrar of Voters reminding you of this information if you are a Vote-by-Mail voter.

If you have registered as a member of any political party and wish to cross over and vote for a candidate from another party, you must re-register as a member of that party by May 23.

If you are eligible to vote but have not registered, you can pick up a paper voter registration form at the county library, DMV office, or U.S. Post Office. The form must be postmarked by May 23 for the June 7 election. It is also possible to register online at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/. For more information go to http://www.vote411.org.

Carol Czadek, President,

League of Women Voters of Mendocino County


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To the Editor:

Ah, at long last, now I know the reason why our streets never get paved and why they probably never will. On a whim, since I am computer illiterate and my wife is a computer whiz, I had her look up the website T.W.K. mentioned in his Sunday column, and had her look up salaries for the City of Ukiah, and boy, what an eye opener. The latest year available was 2014, and all I counted were the salaries of city staff i.e. Dept. Heads, etc. (unbelievably seven people in all) and I came up with the staggering amount of $1,509,733.82. Mind you, these are 2014 salaries and I’m sure they have risen substantially since that time. Also this $1,509,773.82 includes no Police or Fire salaries, and no worker bee salaries, only the Big Deals in the City of Ukiah. So, I have come to the conclusion that as long as the city staff is receiving these bloated amounts we are never going to get our streets repaired, and, if you have good blood pressure medicine you can see these figures for yourself at www.transparentcalifornia.com or search transparentcalifornia.

David Anderson


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Dear Editor;

The June 7th election will have a question on the ballot, "Shall a Charter Commission be elected to propose a Mendocino County Charter?"

What is a charter, anyway?

The Charter project of Mendocino County will be starting the first of 10 Town Hall Meetings in Elk on February 28th at the Greenwood Community Center, 6121 Hwy One, Elk, CA, at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Learn what is a county charter and how it provides limited home rule. Evaluate various possible provisions for the charter.

Keynote Speaker: Walt McRee, Chair of the Public Banking Institute, to address the benefits of a county public bank.

Also speaking will be 2 Charter Commission candidates as to why they are running: Norman de Vall and Doug McKenty .

Charter Commission candidate, Norman de Vall has been living in Elk for over 5 decades. He was the only Mendocino County Supervisor that was elected and re-elected 4 times. Norman is also a proponent of the Charter Project.

Charter Commission Candidate, Doug McKenty is a well known local broadcaster and radio host of "The Shift with Doug McKenty." Doug studied philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Doug is also a long-time activist on issues of social, economic and environmental issues, and is a friend to local small farmers."

The event is free, featuring a refreshment fundraiser and a raffle fundraiser. All donations to support the Charter Project Town Hall meetings will be appreciated.

Agnes Woolsey


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Unless and until we return to the concept of one person-one vote we will continue to be corrupted by the 1%.

Who are the 1%? Not just the billionaires, not just the global corporations, but also the congressmen and congresswomen who have been bought by them.

Unless and until the next President says publically that he or she will not appoint anyone to the U.S. Supreme Court who will not vote to overturn Citizens United; unless and until every person running for US Senator and US Congressperson will say publicly that he or she will vote for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United; then and only then will democracy return to America.

Bernie has said this, but simply getting millions of people involved in the political process that are not now involved is not enough. The issue above must be relentlessly pounded, to make sure that their involvement is to revoke Citizens United. Otherwise there just be more of the same in different disguises.

Lee Simon

Still in Virginia

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So there is this guy in the high altitude seats at Levi stadium Super Bowl.

Can’t see much but he got a great deal on ticket, under 4k.

So the game has been going on for awhile and he looks down near the 50 yard line and sees this guy with an empty seat next to him.

What the hell? I’ll go down and see if I can snag it.

He asks the guy next to the empty seat if it’s taken and he says no, he bought it for his wife but she just died. “We’ve been to 22 Superbowls in a row,” he says.

The guy from the nose-bleed seats asks “Don’t you have any friends or family to bring to the game?”

The widower says: “They’re all at the funeral.”

David Ellison


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Who Would have thought....

Carolyne Cathey speaking in Westport, Sunday, on LOVE. Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, Feb. 14, Carolyne speaks on "LOVE" at the Westport Church on Abalone Street.

Note Time: 10 am.

This is a mini-workshop/discussion on Love, what Unconditional Love means, how we love ourselves, are we really supposed to love our enemy? And, how to embody love for the most glorious life. But how do we do that when we feel caught in an unloving world?

The full workshop is Feb. 17th, 1 pm

<http://carolynecathey.com/spiritual-tools-workshops/> & Feb 18th, 6pm, The Gathering Place.

God bless, Live, Love, Laugh, Enjoy, Care!

Carolyne Cathey


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Dear Editor:

Four Billion People Face Severe Water Scarcity

A new research report published in the journal Science Advances concludes that 2/3rds of the world population, over 4 billion, people live with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year. The research also reveals that 500 million people live in places where water consumption is twice the amount replenished by rain for the entire year which results in a rundown of underground aquifers.

The World Economic Forum recently rated the water crises as one three greatest risks of harm to people and economics alongside climate change and mass migration. A prolong drought is more likely led to mass migration of farming families to the cities. The water issues will worsen as population growth and increasing water use continues to rise. Just 1%-4% of the water footprint is in the home while 25% is due to meat consumption. It takes 15,000 liters of water to make 1 kg of beef, with almost all of that used to irrigate the crops fed to the cattle. The research included environmental water requirements as to the water needed to ensure that life survives in the rivers and lakes. Even one month of severe water scarcity can have a devastating impact on the health of a river.

Yemen could run out of water in a few years, and aquifers are being continuously depleted in places such as Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. There are fragile water resources in central and western United States. Of particular concern is the continuing depletion of the Ogallala aquifer. There are numerous other places in the world with water scarcity issues. These water scarcity issues have to be considered in context with the other recent studies on climate change. The next 30-50 years will result in a world we would not know.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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I have no problem with people saying "no problem" instead of "thank you." The culture we live in is constantly changing. Language and manners are no exception. Not that long ago, girls were expected to curtsey and men remove their hats, and of course they were wearing one, everyone did. Women were never referred to as "Ms." Smoking at the dinner table, in a car with the windows rolled up, on an airplane or in the waiting room at the doctor's office was considered normal. One day not too long from now, someone will be wondering, as Socrates did 2,000 years ago, why the upcoming generation is so ill-mannered and why in the world doesn't anyone say "no problem" anymore.

Bill Hildebrand


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At Mendocino County Animal Care Services “out of sight out of mind” is the name of the game. It’s no secret the shelter is working hard to create the perception that they are doing a great job for our community. The proponents who declare that the “Ukiah Animal Shelter is the most outstanding, compassionate government run shelter in this country” clearly have not taken a trip to the locked quarantine area where dozens of dogs sit and wait to be evaluated for weeks, some forgotten. A month could go by without seeing the light of day. These proponents have not been there to walk their favorite dog only to find his underbelly fully inflamed and raw because the need for medical care was ignored or not even identified. They have not seen the deep seated breed discrimination which results in a black, middle age pitbull being killed while a not so friendly, German Shepherd gets to go to rescue after being turned down by 3+ rescues for his behavior. This person hasn’t gone into the nursery to see that nearly all of the 45+ kittens and mothers have been killed because vaccination and sanitation protocols were not followed properly.

Behind the scenes at what they call “animal care services” volunteers see the ugly side of sheltering that does not need to exist. I’m tired of hearing complaints about the public being turned away because the shelter is closing in an hour. I’m tired of hearing that one family is being charged hundreds of dollars to get their dogs out while another is having all of their impound fees waived. I’m tired of being told that the animals had to be killed because the animal was a danger for the community, when we all know the temperament testing and evaluation process currently in place is archaic and outdated. Terrified and stressed does not equal aggressive, or dangerous to the public.

No more excuses or neglect, we need solutions for the Mendocino County Animal Care Services facility! We need a highly trained and progressive animal shelter team to do the best for our homeless pets. The animals deserve higher live release rates, proper medical attention, and lower length of stays amongst many other things. Our government run, county departments don’t have the expertise, ability or funding to run an animal shelter that is modern, highly efficient and saves all adoptable animals even those with medical or behavioral issues that can be treated. I welcome Petaluma Animal Services Foundation to join our community so that our animal shelter can become the modern, high achieving shelter that our homeless pets deserve.

Alana Hastings


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To The Beast:

The contract proposal process for the outsourcing of the county's animal shelter has ended; after a long year, and after the Executive Offices gave the proposal half a year of attention and consideration in an attempt to acknowledge a viable contract, County CEO has stated that the one proposal in question was inadequate.

This SHOULD end a heated and extremely unfriendly campaign against the shelter, but alas, it has not and probably will not, as the group calling itself the Friends of the Ukiah Shelter are unwilling to accept the end of a long, studied process by the county. Instead, they seem to be honing the rhetoric by searching any possible corner of events in order to turn them into a never-ending farce and charade.

Further character assassinations will be forthcoming (about yours truly, for one, for having the audacity to write letters to the editors); harsh assertions about the lack of transparency at the shelter will commence from a group that continues to interact in the exclusive and opaque world of social media; and conclusions about the interim shelter manager already begin to swirl, days before her actual arrival.

Though a major player in this sad business went before the board and demanded that the process remain open and public and “town hall meetings” be commenced in order to delay an already ridiculously long contracting process, in fact, that “side” is neither willing to communicate in a respectful, non-personal manner or attempt to understand rules or logic.

And the irony is, though the campaign has been heard to repeat the phrase, “it's all about the animals,” in fact, the animals have been been reduced to a minor player, as the shelter has been left without its manager, and volunteers who are not interested in partaking of the current nonsense, avoid being around bad “vibes."

I hope this very sad experience will come to a conclusion, and the ideas about good animal sheltering will be shared with all stake holders, as we try to improve the shelter, while keeping the management local, and the pitchforks can go back to the barn while some semblance of actual dialogue can begin.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Kathy Shearn


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While the news blathers about Scalia's replacement and the dust-up around it, it's not blathering about the death-scene ranch, which is owned by convicted (and convictions overturned) arch-spook John Poindexter, he of Iran-Contra, the national security jungle & the flaming glory days of Ollie North & co. Now, I'm not saying Nino didn't pass in his sleep, maybe even peacefully, not for me to know, but that he was pronounced dead by telephone, by someone who'd not seen the body, much less the condition of it, that his non-present family saidbefore the remains were cool there would be no post-mortem exam, no autopsy, that it took a day to get him removed to a mortuary, that officials first notified of the death were not told the name of the dead guy, etc.I did not get out my tinfoil hat. Ah'm jes' sayin'. We'll probably not know in my lifetime, but, personally, I'd guess that it's less than half likely the distinguished justice died by natural causes.The same old election-year haze that occludes the Scalia thing also occludes the cool-headed business of who will replace him. B.O. is reportedly considering a high-stakes slimeball, a fabulous corporate-criminal advocate, somebody likely to shut the senate's mouth and win Republican approval. Just what we need on our low-sunk high court.

Mitch Clogg


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