Letters (Oct. 12, 2016)

by AVA News Service, October 12, 2016

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This Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Once again our family is grieving the loss of another loved one and once again this community pulled together on our behalf. It would not have been possible for our father, Frank Wyant, to remain in the comfort of his home during his final weeks without our friends, neighbors and extended family there to help us with his care. We will be forever grateful for the much needed relief and we know Dad appreciated all of the visits. Following his passing, we were touched by so many cards, meals, flowers and genuine expressions of kindness.

There are far too many of you to thank individually but we would like to send out a special thanks to the following folks that helped in so many ways: Hospice of Ukiah, Phoenix Hospice, Eric Peterman, Steve & Teri Rhoades, Gary & Wanda Johnson, Kati & JR Johnson, Justin Rhoades, Anne Bennett, Aaron Weintraub, Palma Toohey, Dianna Charles, Bill Teague, Dean Titus, Susan Clark, Olie Ericsson, Judy Long, Joy Frazer, Dan & Jean Bailey, Gene & Berna Walker, Bob Fowler, Wes Smoot, Teri Fox, Judy Nelson, the BBQ crew, and Anderson Valley Lions Club.

Although our loss is great, we feel so fortunate to have the support of such caring community filled with so many wonderful people. One of the many reasons why Dad loved living in Anderson Valley.

In Appreciation,

Cathy Wyant Keech

Bryan Wyant

Renee Wyant Lee and families

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

I am writing this letter primarily to express my appreciation to those of you who have supported both my efforts and those of my staff over the last five-and-a-half years during our run as The Buckhorn, Boonville. Being the owner/operator of this Valley landmark over that time has been a wonderful life affirming experience in many ways and has provided me with many unforgettable memories as well as leading to many special friendships.

I am also doing this to clear up a number of misconceptions as to why the decision to close was made. The small town environment in which we live seems to result in almost inevitable misinterpretations of the truth and I feel this has reached an undesirable level in recent days.

The difficulties in running a restaurant in this Valley are undoubtedly known to many of you. I believe that I gave my all but over the past several months I found the repeated setbacks on many levels in a variety different restaurant-related matters, all too overwhelming to make me want to continue. As a result, I was ultimately unable to fulfill my dreams for The Buckhorn and its role in this community…

With regard to my efforts to maintain the standards in the restaurant/bar world that I have learned over thirty years in the business, I found virtually all of my staff to be ready and able to do the job that I required of them. Some were not willing to work at those levels, not because they couldn’t but, in my mind, because they simply did not truly understand or commit fully to what any enterprise in the service industry requires from its staff.

As any business owner in this Valley would probably say, maintaining a high level of staff performance is vital to success, and my own inability to instill this work ethic in all of my staff was an area in which I did not meet my own expectations. This was partly because I was working in the business, instead of working on the business, and not being able to do so was a big reason for my increasing frustration and was a key part that led to the decision that I could not continue.

Gossip in our community is also a prevailing factor in many aspects of Valley life. Perhaps not more so than in and around a high profile pub/restaurant like The Buckhorn. Mistakes were made by me and contentious issues arose. However, to constantly hear them relayed by ill-informed folks, far removed from the true story, in an often unjust and detrimental way, was disappointing and very deflating. Just in the past few days rumors about me owing money to people in the Valley have surfaced that are simply not true. All of my staff have been paid in full and every single one of my vendors and suppliers have been taken care of financially. In fact I should state here that finances played just a small part in the decision to close. The Buckhorn is a viable financial concern and the right people running it will find that to be true I am sure.

And speaking of the future owners, whoever they may be, I believe my work, and that of the staff, have laid very solid groundwork for future success if they decide to continue what we started. Hopefully somebody will succeed in doing that. In the past few days I have held meetings with three or four interested parties and am prepared to meet with others with a view to one of them taking over and ultimately realizing the potential The Buckhorn undoubtedly has.

Finally, I want to publicly acknowledge the support of my investor Kurt Schoeneman and landlords Gary and Ginny Island. I believe that each of them is convinced that The Buckhorn has an important role in our community. They have encouraged me throughout the six years and have fully backed my decision to close, knowing my reasons behind it. They are also very aware that I want desperately to do right by the community and the people who have supported me, and they will be a part of the selling process.

In closing, I wish to once again reiterate my deep disappointment in what has occurred. However, I am staying positive that what happens next will be to the benefit of all of those directly involved, along with our many loyal customers and the community at large.

I hope to see you for a beer on the other side of the bar in the near future. Many thanks,


Tom Towey


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To Whom it May Concern...

OMG! Shut the front door! WTF! Who are these people? That's my initial reaction… Then mad. Then sad. Then gotta just shrug my shoulders and continue to raise a boy the best I can given the circumstances, like so many other parents single or otherwise. While I'd like to just ignore the Newspaper “with no friends” in this instance and have done so to this point concerning my ex's rigmarole, I can't let the paragraph about me stand without response. It's actually amazing how many lies were said in such a short paragraph. Let's start with the first few words, "abused Bronwen and boy JT." This did not happen, ever. She and I rarely even argued. I think JT got a couple swift single swat butt spanks over the years.

Second point, "manipulated Bronwen into selling her home…" Exactly the opposite happened. I wanted to keep the house as a rental but she kept insisting it be sold. Not until I kept at questioning her on this did she finally admit that she owed her brother and father a shitload of money for floating her bills the years before I came along.

As for "investing into a home on Hanes Ranch," she bought the kitchen cabinets and a sofa totaling about $6,000.

Here's the kicker: I suggested we put a bit more into house and/or our future together but she insisted that she needed the "wedding that she never had." That was about $24,000. Nice wedding — there were good omelets and I still have the fantastic photo album and her wedding dress. She hasn't asked for either of those things. You can have the wedding dress if you'd like, it's beautiful.

Third point from the short paragraph of lies, "When she could stand no more abuse", she left me. Nope. Not even close. While there wasn't abuse, there was frustration on both of our parts, apparently more to her only three years into the marriage. So she found a new love and life with her boss in Santa Rosa. Turns out he wasn't quite the ticket so she was stuck in Boonville. Bummer eh?

PTA the ticket? Not so much… rigmarole… debacle…

Fourth point, "Left relationship in debt and (I) tried to get alimony." At the time the divorce formulas showed that she owed me a few hundred bucks a month alimony. I waived it. Shoulda taken it. And she didn't have any debt that I knew of, but there was a lot I didn't know about her.

The last point about me shooting blowgun darts was kinda true but the reader is left with the impression of me torturing kids with needle sharp darts practicing my monkey killing skills. Not quite. Think of it more like a big spit ball shot, not aimed at head. It was way funnier at the time, and when it looked like the kids were the least bit distressed about it, I stopped. And probably apologized, and didn't to that again.

So there you have my side, cooling the flames of discontent, sounds like Judge Moorman didn’t buy any of this either.

So hey! I saw the musical Chicago the other night. First I'd seen it. Apparently it got a bunch of awards and it was just a fabulous song and dance about people doing horrible things. So I'm thinking the Grange isn't getting enough packed shows these days and we all could use a good laugh. The AVA has some good writers and contributors so how about you guys start writing screen plays? Maybe Robert Mailer Anderson would fund them. "Boonville!" The musical! A compilation of the year’s "News." There could be some pretty fantastic numbers and hilarity would ensue with, "I'm an alcoholic fisherman," "prepare to be remanded," "Dope got moldy," "Where's that skunk?", "It's legal, now what do I do?", "Where's my Garlon when I need it?", "County's goin’ broke…"

Endless material but I'd imagine too close to home.


Ward Hanes


PS. Oh, any chance you could just use the name Bronwen Gulson in any future writings? The one thing I wanted from her in divorce was to drop my name.

ED NOTE: Our sympathies are entirely with Mr. Hanes. It should be made clear, however, that the paragraph about him was entirely his wife's testimony, not our creative lit.

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Anderson Valley High School needs your help! It’s time for a new scoreboard in the AVHS Gym. After 40+ years, the current scoreboard system can no longer keep up with the fast paced sports program that has been built. There are some incredible scholar / athletes coming out of Anderson Valley and they deserve a system that can keep up with them. The cost of a new scoreboard is daunting, including installation, we will need $20,000 to complete this task, and we have given ourselves a very short timeline. Our goal is to have this complete by the start of the 59th Annual Redwood Classic starting on November 30th. That being said, there are a couple of ways in which you can help us realize our goal.

Raffle Donation: We are organizing a couple of events in which the community / alumni can come and join in our efforts. An alumni / student basketball game as well as a dinner / dance. Both of these events are still in the planning stages, however we are requesting donations for which we can sell raffle tickets. Gift certificates, services, dinners, etc. are all items which would be greatly appreciated.

Sponsor: We are offering different levels of sponsorship for those sponsors that wish to donate directly to this endeavor.

Black Level Sponsor - $250

Brown Level Sponsor — $500

Gold Level Sponsor — $1000

We will publically acknowledge all of our sponsors in the form of a sign we will have made that will hang in the gym. We will also be sure to thank everyone in the Anderson Valley Advertiser as well as the AVHS website. All of your donations are tax deductible and a huge step in making this dream a reality.

Thank you for all your continued support!

Shauna Espinoza

President, AV Boosters


Yes! Count me in as a contributor for the new scoreboard at AVHS!

(Circle one or more)

Raffle Item Black ($250) Brown ($500) Gold ($1000)



Phone Number:

Contact Person:

Raffle Item Donated:

Value of Item:

Please send checks to:

AV Boosters

PO Box 104

Boonville CA 95415

Questions? Call Shauna Espinoza @ 707-895-3166 or 707-684-9126

For your tax records: AV Booster EIN: 47-1719419

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Hitler, Goebbles, and Himler dot com

Although I did not agree with the Editor at Boonville Central regarding that a real communist or a true dictator was not part of the Hillary/Trump discussion, after watching "Triumph of the Will" (rent it on Netflix), I came around, and though neither Hillary nor Trump display the true cunning of Hitler, the possibility does exist when the implosion occurs to have the propaganda's meaning of the film present itself at our doorstep; unless Kunstler is correct in his writings with such works as "World Made by Hand." Either way, I think we are headed for a world we never knew. So, Boonville Central, I think I will do as McEwen says: "Bend your head over and kiss your ass goodbye," and head over to hang in Boonville until the wineries go under for lack of a better reason to remain intact. Or maybe Point Arena where I can rise to Governor of the state. Either way, rent the movie. It is truly eye opening.

Randy Burke


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To the Editor:

Times have changed.

Several years ago I worked for “Animal Control.” I was hired in a janitorial position. I had, at that time, many years as the only person in Ukiah providing dog training lessons. At the same time, a person was hired as an animal control officer. He had “experience.” He had worked one day in that position at another agency as a part of another job he had. At that time, Animal Control was a place dogs went to die. They were either killed there, or sent to UC to be used in experiments. One day I found a home for one of the occupants. I was told in no uncertain terms that we were not there to find homes for dogs.

After I left, Foss became director. The license I bought for my new car said TOSFOSS, enough said.

Times have definitely changed. Last weekend, I attended a three day conference dedicated to preparing dogs for adoption. A group called Dogs Playing for Life spent the three days giving instructions and having demonstrations on how to prepare dogs for adoption and teaching the workers to be able to read the dogs’ reactions I order to be able to place them in an appropriate home. A trip to Animal Control is no longer one way.

How many times have you heard, or said yourself “My dog would NEVER jump out of the back of my pickup or out the open window?” A friend of mine came over Hwy 20 the other day. On the way through Lake County, she was held up while a dog who had jumped out of an open car window was cleaned up off the road.

Allowing dogs to be unsecured in a car with open windows is asking for trouble. Dogs loose, or improperly secured, in the back of a pickup is illegal. How many times has anybody heard of somebody being ticketed for that? Probably never. I haven’t.

Karen Seydel


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Regarding the dead tree dilemma, advocating for cutting 55 million trees in our national forests. The author makes the unsubstantiated claim that California’s drought is largely the result of too many trees left unharvested.

This is exactly the opposite of the facts. Forests (trees) play a key role in the water cycle, as they help reduce evaporation, store water, and contribute to atmospheric moisture in the form of transpiration. This means that cutting down trees in the name of economics will exacerbate drought conditions by exposing surface water to more evaporation. Cutting down trees is known to reduce a forest’s watershed potential.

In the Sierra, moisture from tree transpiration is pushed up the slopes, where it forms into clouds and then comes back to Earth as rain from the typical summer thunderstorms. With more than half a million acres of forest already clear-cut on private land by large timber companies like Sierra Pacific Industries, we are already seeing far less frequent summer thunderstorms. To deal with higher temperatures and less winter rain, we need more trees to increase the ability of the soil and hold and slowly release the rain we do get.

James Feichtl


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Letter to the Editor

Although life has taken me in a different direction, I continue to have a great fondness for this community and its many wonderful people. This is obviously a difficult election season. One of the most important decisions is the local election of new hospital Board members. Voters must decide whether to re-elect several “old guard” candidates that made the decisions that resulted in the hospital’s bankruptcy or turn to a new group of candidates, who bring fresh, diverse talents and ideas. Admissions are at all time lows, long-term debt is at all time highs (and increasing), cash flow is unsustainable and much needed repairs can no longer be ignored. Medicare now rates our hospital the lowest in the county. Kaye Handley and Tanya Smart are two people who bring fresh perspectives and relevant skills. The choice is clear: new people and new ideas. Your life may depend on it!

Kathryn A. Rohr, MD.

Fort Bragg

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Mr. AVA,

Must have been a slow news day Bubba…

Anyways, I did a little surveying of my own yesterday, in my limited world, not nearly as intellectual as yours likely is.

I ask three men and two women about the Trump dust up. The men said, “Hell yea”, they have heard stuff like that and said it too, in an altered state of course…. Two support Trump secretly I suspect, and the third thinks Trump is a turd.

The women said, “You should hear us after a drink or two. I suspect that’s true after hearing stories of “girls night out” at a male stripper bar, altered state influenced…

Interestingly one of the women, a professional type, seemed puzzled at the feigning of the newly minted holy roller, ratings driven media…She thought it stupid going both ways.

Oh yea, one is voting for Clinton, the other, I have no idea.

I guess the point is, we’re all flawed, some more obvious than others, but since you got all Biblical (Timothy 5:2), what about that casting the first stone stuff, since its Sunday and all?)”



ED NOTE: Sunday is a day set aside by God for rest and contemplation. What better time to consider our sins?

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Dear AVA readers,

For the past three and a half years I have read several letters from Walter Miller who continues to portray himself as a victim of Chris Skaggs, who he accuses of snitching on him, thus causing him to receive 183 years in state prison.

Having run in the same circles as both Wally and Chris, I am familiar with both. Mr. Skaggs is by no means a perfect Mendoland citizen. And neither is Wally Miller who has cultivated an image of a self-anointed skinhead and Billy the Kid outlaw.

The reality is that he is neither. After a standoff with Mendocino County law enforcement where he was hiding out with his African-American girlfriend, his Billy The Kid moment resulted in surrendering, but only to the tender arms of his parole officer.

Mr. Skaggs was arrested walking down State Street. Wally received 183 years while Skaggs got 13 years.

Wally, you received all those years for the choices you made and you alone! Please stop embarrassing yourself by tossing blame on Skaggs. You made your bed. Sleep in it.

Besides, Skaggs is going home. He doesn't care what you or any one else thinks. But sadly, you will be remembered as yet another footnote in tweaker Mendoland's history.

As for Billy the Kid? The real one? Well, his legend will live long. Yours will not.

Steve Pritchard


PS. See you back in Mendoland Mr. Skaggs and we will take another limousine ride. Vote Yes on Proposition 57.

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On February 26, 2016, I was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for a fatal DUI crash where a man's life was taken and his wife badly injured. I presently await my sentencing and punishment for my choices that night which most likely will include multiple years of incarceration. My actions that not that night cannot be "undone" and I cannot rectify the damage that I caused to the family or the community. It was a terrible decision and a selfish choice with irreparable and tragic results.

Since that night I spent almost two months in County jail before I was able to post bail. While out on bail on my own recognizance, I have attended AA meetings daily, gotten a sponsor and started working the steps. I have not taken a drink since that fateful night. During this time I have read about numerous DUI related accidents and three or four fatalities involving alcohol. In no way am I trying to shift my culpability for my crime or avoid punishment in any form.

However, it is apparent to me that the message is not being received in time to prevent more of these types of automobile accidents from happening. Personally, I was completely oblivious and ignorant to the fact that I was risking anyone's life that night, including my own. I thought that the worst that could happen was that I might get pulled over and have to walk the line like the hundreds of other drunk drivers I see in the booking logs every year. Never in my wildest imagination did I fathom that what happened that night was even in the realm of possibility. But it did happen and it continues to happen even after my front page write up in the local papers and my impending prison sentence. It continues to happen even after the public service announcements about designating a driver and drinking responsibly.

This begs the bigger and most important question because after I disappear into the rabbit hole of the state penitentiary system I will be long forgotten and that night only a distant memory for most of the community who were not directly involved. That question is this: "What are we as a society doing to address this serious and recurring issue?"

Obviously, the punitive approach of throwing "demons" like me away in prison isn't making much of an impact in the grand scheme of things. Going around to high schools and demonstrating the dangers to the youth is not doing the trick as I remember when I was in high school attending those very assemblies. So how is it that we as a society can rid the community of these senseless and preventable tragedies and drive the message home to people like me that night? I will be long gone inhabiting a 12 x 12 cell by the time any changes can be made. But what I can offer is a possible solution to more innocent lives being lost and more people like me being shipped to prison. It's simple — reinvest the DUI money into alcohol and drug awareness programs and public transportation in this county.

Misdemeanor DUIs generate a huge amount of revenue for this county and I hate to say it but where is that money going? This is the fundamental question. 100% of that revenue should be reinvested in prevention programs and public transportation allowing people from rural areas to safely patronize business establishments where alcohol is served. These public transportation areas should include places on the outskirts like Lake Mendocino, Mill Creek dams in Talmage, popular river swimming areas, Blue Lakes, downtown Ukiah after hours, El Dorado, Deerwood, Regina Heights, Boonville Road, Hopland and the loop in Redwood Valley. There should be late-night routes stretching all the way from Anderson Valley to Hopland, from Potter Valley to Redwood Valley and Willits to get people home safely. This business model must be considered as a "service," not a for-profit endeavor, so it must be subsidized by county funds and establishments that offer alcohol for profit. No doubt it will lose money but if it saves one life isn't it worth it? If it prevents one accident like mine isn't that a win for everyone? Reinvest the DUI money into preventing fatal DUIs from happening until a reliable public transportation system servicing late-night bars, restaurants and rural areas can become the norm here in Mendocino County, eventually eradicating drinking and driving altogether.

The money is there and the resources are available. It's just a question of whether the supervisors are willing to see that the present system in place is failing and citizens are getting hurt because of the stupidity, arrogance and ignorance of people like myself driving under the influence and also the unwillingness of the lawmakers to recognize that something proactive must be done to prevent this from happening over and over again.

Throwing people in jail isn't enough because everyone thinks it will never happen to them. It's just not that simple to say that "people who drink and drive need to make better judgments" because alcohol impairs judgment and addiction is a disease. If establishments and the state are profiting off of a drug like alcohol then precautions need to be put in place to anticipate the inevitable effects of this legal intoxicant on society. Viable options must be made available to drinkers whose judgments are impaired in the first place, who may not have someone to call or may not have enough money left to pay a taxi to take them home. The option is late-night public transportation servicing all areas of Mendocino County. With the collaboration of local drinking establishments paying their fair share and public funds from DUI revenue, it is a crucial and necessary step.

For the past 20 years I've seen the booking log filled with DUI after DUI in epidemic form. In that time nothing has been done to supplement and improve our public transportation in order to help combat the rampant drinking and driving in this area. DUIs are big money and when no one gets hurt it's an easy way to collect revenue for the county. It's time to realize that pulling people over and arresting them is not solving the greater issue that a progressive and reliable public transportation campaign would solve.

Sincerely, Jared Soinila, Inmate #65713

Redwood Valley/Ukiah

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Two delusional fools constitute a debate? More like a redundant argument. A debate involves at the very least three intelligent and articulate people. In this case where the topics are already prescribed by the donors and their firm grip on the wheels of fortune and opinion, “debate” is indeed very low theater.

These two assholes represent nothing but the hideous monster talking to itself through your filthy “living” room, and your complacent brains! This is clearly not politics. What it is, is the whiles of a government so totally taken over by the armies of the special interest oligarchies that all hope is wiped out and the theater itself becomes the vessel of meaning. Intelligence is lost in the fanfare of this gross perversion of reality. Where is justice? When will be done with these broken records!

The junior high playground. “I’ll show mine if you’ll show yours”. Pathetic. Retrograde. Mock issues to invade your tissues. This obscene spectacle is very bad for digestion. Warning! May cause lethargy and extreme states of depression!

Talk about special ops. Talk about a cold war style take over of a republic. America is no better off than El Salvador at this point. No better than South Vietnam. No better off than Brazil in the early ’70’s. What goes around comes around. There is no safe side to state violence! Remember Rome?

Politicopornograhpy! Power vomit! Ruling Class pollution! 1% truth, 99% lies!

“Blow up your TV move to the country build you a home” — John Prine

“We need an ARK to survive the drool” — Frank Zappa

“Broken hands on broken ploughs

broken treaties, broken vows

broken pipes,broken tools

people bending broken rules

hound dog howling,

bullfrog croaking,

everything is broken”

— Bob Dylan

Cancel the “elections”!

Marvin Blake, Elk

PS: (T)otal (R)eprobate (U)nhinged (M)enacing (P)rick

One Response to Letters (Oct. 12, 2016)

  1. david ellison Reply

    October 19, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Cancel the election???
    And leave Clinbama in office.
    Why didn’t I think of that?

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