Letters to the Editor

by AVA News Service, May 19, 2010

LOOK ALIKES

Dear Bruce aka Boss Man:

This is the 58-year-old Napa guy who “grew up in Fort Bragg.” I'm a responding to Dennis “The Men­ace” Day.

Also to Turkey Vulture: we called them buzzards in my younger days at my relatives’ place where I have to admit the big thing was bird huntin’ with BB rifles, catching snakes and lizards, and luring gophers out of their holes, then, upon returning to the Bay Area, I would tell my friends about my adventures, about how my grandfather got the only buck, road hunting way out in the Usal forest, of how I was a braggart.

Looking back to even younger days when my fam­ily lived behind the Oakland airport in a place known as Bay Farm Island, a part of the city of Alameda, where Portuguese families owned and worked Filipino people and sold the produce at local markets. My great-grandfather came from the Portuguese Azore Islands in the early 1900s and ended up with a farm, only to lose it during the Great Depression. My grandfather told me about plowing the soil with a horse pulling him at age 12. He taught me the value of hard work.      Anyhow, this was during the days of propeller engines, the takeoff planes flew over our neighborhood, so low you could see the pilot and our windows vibrated.

Our next door neighbors, the Judds, were nice peo­ple. We referred to them as “Okies.” (No insult meant to people from the state of Oklahoma.) Mr. Judd was about five feet tall but held his own, had an appealing wife, pretty with a plumpness. His much older brother who was retarded nearly choked me to death while we were sitting in their motorboat. I was saved by Mr. Judd who got there in the nick of time.

At five years old the idea of revenge of some kind set in my mind. The youngest boy was my age, shorter, and looked like his father. Bobby and I played together a fair amount of time although I had relatives and cousins along the same block.

What's unusual is how much Dennis Day and Bobby Judd look(ed) alike. Bobby was funny in ways, looking kind of “cute” and “harmless,” yet, whether we were playing war with cap-fired machine guns, cow­boys with cap-fired revolvers, or big game hunter, he would get confused, frustrated, angry, then he would quit, and sometimes tried to take my guns. I was able to usually get them from him but there was the big brother to watch out for. Of course I could just go to my “tough son of a bitch father” for help who usually told me to be a man and not be a tattletale. He also reminded me of my wild imagination and my making up of stories. My mother, who was pregnant all the time (a Catholic family) told me not to lie.

So Bobby would come out of nowhere and hit me in the eye with a rock because I was chasing him through a hole in the fence. Keeping in mind I did my share of problematic mischief like putting wooden matches and D-size batteries in the gas tank of Mr. Judd’s 1954 Ford and setting fire to a large pile of brush in our driveway, then pulling the fire alarm on the nearby telephone poll to see if the firetrucks would come.

In those days getting whacked with a thick belt was enough to remind you there was a painful conse­quence for doing wrong.

Getting around to my point about Dennis Day, he mentioned how he didn't want his picture in the AVA. This was before I read the article written by an AVA reporter. The picture caught my eye. I was unsure who he reminded me of at the time. Even to the point he might be innocent in some part of his crimes. One reason I wrote in regards to him was boredom. I wanted to put a not so funny twist on this guy who doesn't look old enough to buy alcohol. Yet I have to give him some respect for not whining about doing his time in prison and being at a not so nice place like San Quentin for evaluation.

Upon reading his letter titled: “You Know Who,” he's claiming people's lies put him in prison. Then he referred to the “chickenshit” who he seems to believe had something to do with putting him in prison.

Yes. This is the “coward” writing from Napa. Before continuing I want to make a few comments about mistakes I made in the last letter partly due to trying to cut the lengthy letter. I forgot to apologize to Mr. Day’s relatives, friends, girlfriends and whoever else cares about him.

There is an important reason why I am writing anonymously. I am apologizing but not because I'm afraid you'll get out of prison someday and like a real man hunt for me somehow.

In the first place neither you nor I are in a posi­tion to threaten anyone. If you survive prison do you think the Fort Bragg community will welcome you back? If there is “no rehabilitation,” how are you going to qualify for parole especially when you claim not to be sorry? Nobody is going to make you as famous as Emilio Estevez said in the movie “Young Guns,” as Billy the Kid (my outlaw father's nickname). You talk about the lies and hate, then admit the two felonies assault charges that District Attorney Heidi Larson and attorney James Griffiths (your public defender?), accused you of did happen. You seem con­tradictory. I don't know how serious the assaults were but there is a sexual charge, unless it doesn't count anymore?

Time to finish. You don't seem to be unintelligent and at least sound nice and seem to care about your friends in jail. I will end on the fact that I have not much room to talk having spent two years at the Mendocino County jail myself some 12 years ago. For me it was hell due to my psychotic condition, denial of medications prescribed by the jail psychiatrist, the stress, noise, and my claustrophobia. Good luck and stay out of trouble.

* * *

Pardon my saving you for last Turkey Vulture. In the same issue of the AVA my letter was in, your arti­cle was on the back of mine. You mentioned the noise pollution of the helicopter-like fans in the nearby vineyards making a comment of how wealthy wine producers sleep miles away in peace, adding how they don't care and should be ashamed, quoting Mark Twain's “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

Are you listening in Napa? Please pass me the sick bag. I wasn't sure how to interpret it, although, Bruce, our fearless leader, made a comment in response to a woman's concern over the nausea she was concerned over in an article or two was answered with, “It's the purpose of our paper.” Can anything make a Vulture sick? Last Friday on “Smallville,” the editor of the Daily Planet (Perry White?) said that he felt like a financial failure, traveling with collected carrion in his bag of failed big stories.

I see you as the high flying bird observing Ander­son Valley, not an actual mascot, whose column refers to and cares about the community, the beauty of the land, animals, nature, complimenting people for good deeds and other accomplishments, describing group events — almost a valet — cool, diplomatic, yet unique in some ways as a connoisseur of wine and food even belonging to the secret Three-Dot Lounge, instead of keeping his beak inside of carrion, eating away, his deadly beak is up in the air, but a snob I doubt. Then he mentions the female turkey vultures so it must be a club of some kind. Are they ranchers and farmers tending to livestock and fruits and vege­tables? Or is there something more to them? What­ever. Suspicion and paranoia can be a way of enter­tainment but I do know that the cult was alive and well and so ingrained in the part of the local popula­tion that designer drugs were used at seasonal get-togethers which occurred but I cannot say anything about evil was involved by actions. Do romantics play the devil's advocate? What do Gothic novels serve?

Speaking about teasing and joshing with people. I served in the US Army infantry in a heavy weapons and special weapons company in the Vietnam era so I started off pretty “crazy” maladjusted, where I had a very competitive disposition and made fun of people usually by changing the arrangements of their last names, returning to where I started as a youth visiting my cousins. They called me a gangster from the city — teasing and daring you to do it up  large. There was a mean kid in the neighborhood named Steve DePriest. He was no bigger than I was. My cousin dared me to “rip” Depriest (meaning punch) which happened almost unconsciously. I knocked him into the ditch from the street.

The next day two girls approached the house and began firing BB rifles at me until I retreated. They turned out to be Depriest's sister and her friend Bev­erly ‘Bee’ Salo who would become my domestic part­ner 25 years later.

Among the many visitors at our small trailer in Noyo Harbor, Karen Depriest was one of them. As I recall, Steve committed a serious crime with an accomplice against a couple from out of the county camping at the egg-taking station out on the A&W Logging Road. I believe he used a firearm to stop any resistance, taking turns raping the man's wife. I don't recall a murder. One can imagine traveling to a beauti­ful safe place, the shock that the couple must have been in and how long it took them to recover.

This reminds me of Sheriff Tony Craver who actu­ally sold handguns at a discount, and managed to pass a law along with the District Attorney to give people the right to carry a handgun in the open or concealed by taking a firearms training course and registering the citizen’s firearm with the Sheriff's Department. Oddly, I never heard of more violence or problems related to people carrying weapons. In a rural area a time could occur where you'd have to use lethal force to save your life or the life of another.

I'm sorry to do this to you. People say that it was a long time ago as if it was irrelevant or a time in their life that wasn't good. For me all of this is like it was yesterday. It's all connected in lines and dots or dots. A recent fortune cookie fortune read: “life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.”

Thank you to Bruce Anderson and the AVA staff for your hard work producing a one of a kind news­paper. I miss the distinct smell in the air in Fort Bragg, a combination of ocean, forest and something extra. When my brother's ex-wife who had a kelp business and worked at the Corners of the Mouth store in Mendocino visited me in Santa Cruz the smell was embedded in her clothes like a lure.

Name Withheld

Napa

_____________________________________________________

BOOK REVIEW

Dear AVA-

Thank you again for your fine publication. There is a long line of inmates here at South Soledad prison who get to enjoy your newspaper after I do. The issue that I received today was stamped “your subscription expires this month.” I now have a kitchen job here but it is a nonpay-number job. I am wondering if there's any way you could renew my complimentary subscription? If possible. Thank you so much. After numerous friends and I enjoyed your book, “Mendo­cino Noir,” I have donated it to the library for every­one to enjoy. What a great book!

One more thing: if any women out there are inter­ested in being a penpals, feel free to write me.

Thank you,

Lance Scott G-36437

CTF-S Dorm 4-45 Low,

PO Box 690

Soledad, CA 93969

_____________________________________________________

ADIOS, TOM

Editor,

Tom Condit dead at 73 years old in Berkeley, Cali­fornia.

Tom Condit was a good man. He had the capacity to love. He loved socialism of the libertarian variety and was an active member of the anarchist-IWW sec­tion of SDS.

He and I were recruited into the IWW by Dave Van Ronk (also now dead) in the middle to late 1950s in New York City. We both drifted to San Francisco to catch the beatnik response to conformity — and sop up the superlative educational opportunities avail­able for almost nothing. Perhaps the best and last manifestation of “new deal” social democracy in Cali­fornia.

Tom was part of my old gang — almost all gone — who believed in the ideals of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Marx, Eugene Debs, the IWW-EF and Catholic Worker movement. His passion was peace and free­dom. His life an example of decency.

Alan Graham

Albion/Ukiah

_____________________________________________________

A LOT OF MONEY

Letter to the Editor,

I oppose Measure “A,” the local school bond, for the reasons I state in my letter. I predict it will pass if the requirement is 55% approval. The reason: many people will be shamed into voting for it. Public educa­tion is a key ingredient to a prosperous economy and a just society. Unfortunately, dissent is automatically attacked. I'm sure the result of the vote would be different if there was a user fee instead, so that those with kids in schools would pay for the bond instead of a property tax. You only have to look at university students every time their tuition is raised. Out the protests come, not always peaceful.

Through the years I've seen a lot of fundraisers for community projects and they always take months if not years to raise the money. Sometimes they never raise the amount they want. I'm never sure where the original donations went. The difficulty in raising money is why in recent years we have resorted to bor­rowing the money and paying it back later. This is all a roundabout way of saying, people are full of ideas about spending other people's money.

$16.5 million is a lot of money! Debts and deficits matter. For those of you who don't follow financial markets, debt crises happen quickly and are unfor­giving. If you think you can borrow evermore amounts of money you are pathetically mistaken.

The bond measure has an oversight committee which means absolutely nothing. If there is waste, fraud or the money is used on salaries, nothing will get done about it. It's for education and it will be swept under the rug. The oversight committee is window dressing.

Finally, I am really going to get myself in trouble. I don't care. Public education is a monopoly. Teachers and administrators in the past have enlisted their stu­dents to help fight their political battles. How many Republicans, if any, are on our teaching staff? Teach­ers should teach, not politically indoctrinate. Name me one private sector job that pays the same salary and benefits with three weeks off in the winter, the summer off, essentially can't be fired and has sabbati­cal leave? Superintendents and principals are grossly overpaid. What is the employee to student ratio com­pared to 30 years ago? You can't cure your bad spending habits with more debt!

Nick Rossi

Boonville

_____________________________________________________

APOLOGY & SHOUT OUT

Hello again,

Let me start this off with an apology to the Napa guy. I understand you believe everything you read. Well, you shouldn’t. But it's okay. I am going to try to be a better person. This place is not for me. I just ask that all you haters leave me be. I'm paying my debt to society even though it's for something I did not do. I have done things that were, let's say, stupid! Senseless!

As I said before to all you in the Mendocino County Jail: like me or not, stay up. Those who helped me out while I was there and to a recent newcomer I send my love.

To all my family: Take care. I love you guys.

To my angel baby: I love you so dearly; you mean the world to me!

And to Bruce Anderson, I send my respects to you.

I felt an apology to the Napa guy was necessary and a shout out to my friends, foes and loved ones was needed.

With respect,

Dennis “The Menace” Day

San Quentin

_____________________________________________________

DOWNHILL SLIDE

Editor,

The fundamentals of our country are in collapse. Our political and economic leaders do not play con­nect the dots. Our crisis is decline in oil supplies. This storm may require more than raincoats as we cross through suburban sprawl. “Clusterfuck Nation” — we are on an expensive and futile march to “sustain the unsustainable.” It’s time, fiasco suburban America, to acknowledge and act on the fact that a permanent shortage of oil makes our living arrangements unten­able. We, the United States of America, reached our “peak” in oil production a few years ago. Now we’re on the downhill slide, about to smash into the end of a revolving debt economy as we know it. Agriculture is an example of a complex system we depend on that requires an enormous amount of oil. It’s going to experience crucial stress as oil prices rise. Things don’t look good for the US. We’re broke. As we build more suburban houses, chain stores, more highways, etc. we are in a state of decline.

A prayer for Memorial Day,

Diana Vance

Mendocino

_____________________________________________________

ARF! ARF! ARF!

To the Anderson Valley Community,

With fundraising now over I’d like to publicly thank the many individuals and organizations who contributed to the recent police dog fundraising cam­paign. The work of the Unity Club, the elementary school students and Anderson Valley High School student Omar Ferreyra warrant specific mention.

Acquisition of a canine partner will help ensure my safety and lead to increased detection of harmful nar­cotics, particularly methamphetamine in the Valley. It’s no secret that government, including law enforcement, is often the subject of heated discussion and opinion. In that light, I am gratified, personally and professionally, by the widespread community support of the resident deputy program.

Thanks again and I look forward to serving the resi­dent of Anderson Valley in the months and years to come.

Craig Walker, Deputy Sheriff

Philo

_____________________________________________________

JOHNNY GROMO

Dear AVA,

I am doing a life sentence under the Three Strikes law and have no funds to pay for a subscription to your great newspaper. I enjoy reading your interesting articles of the Valley and the county any chance I get.

I spent many years of my childhood in the 1960s and 70s in the Philo area on the Pinoli’s ranch grow­ing up. I love and miss the Boonville and Philo areas very much.

Could you please send me a free subscription to your AVA newspaper? It would be very much appre­ciated and would help my time go by behind these prison walls.

Johnny Gromo, K-02507

Rainier A-137-Low

PO Box 705

Soledad, CA 93960-0705

_____________________________________________________

WE NEED WENDY

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to urge your readers to vote in the upcoming election for Wendy Roberts for Supervisor. I have known Wendy since July of 2007. I was introduced to her as a fellow incoming member of the Mendocino County Grand Jury.

In working with her for two years I came to know her as an honest, forthright and hardworking friend. She consistently demonstrated a willingness to take on the most onerous tasks and do the tasks very well. She always spoke with clarity and understanding of any issue she studied. She demonstrated a remarkable ability to hear subtle nuances in testimony and to lis­ten to all sides of an issue.

She is a consensus builder. When she works on an issue, she has the ability to find a way to bring others to the table to reach an agreement as to the resolution of the issue.

Wendy also has the financial background to help find answers to our financial problems. She has the type of education qualifications that will serve us well — a MBA from USF.

This is exactly the type of leader this county needs — someone with the ability to find answers and the will to keep working on the issues until an equitable resolution is found.

We need a leader with these abilities in this time of crisis. Vote in this election and help elect a leader with the vision for our county.

Sincerely yours,

Finley B. Williams

Willits

_____________________________________________________

NOT JUST A WINDBAG

Editor,

I'm so pleased that Dan Hamburg can be our 5th District supervisor. We tend to send Wonderful Windbags to Ukiah. In the fat years that didn't mat­ter much but in these times it would be better for us to choose an effective supervisor for our County gov­ernment. We have some serious problems now and the best solutions can only happen when the Board members cooperate with each other.

Dan is unusually skillful at working productively with others to achieve progressive outcomes. Dan never quits working on the issues that matter most to us. Let's put a heavyweight in our seat on the Board. Vote for Dan Hamburg.

Michael Nolan

Comptche

_____________________________________________________

LET’S HOPE NOT

Dear Bruce,

In a letter to your AVA Dolores Mejia wrote, “As one who agrees with Mr. Simon I wish to assure him that I stopped 'living in hope' many years ago…

She also said, “The fact is that nobody has written a letter to the editor to challenge Lee Simon's pessi­mistic predictions.”

Well, perhaps they will. In a recent Los Angeles Times Michael Shermer said, “Environmentalists like to paint a gloomy portrait of our future — focusing on pollution, endangered species, and world hunger. But by any historical standard, we live in a golden age.” He points out that primitive peoples have about 300 products, while we moderns have access to about 10 billion consumer products of every imaginable kind. Hunter gatherers earned the equivalent of $100 a year and we urbanites today earn around $40,000. Our home sizes have doubled, and we have almost four times more leisure time than in 1880.

“These are the good old days,” says he.

First of all, the fact that we have such a plethora of consumer goods is part of the problem, not something to be categorically celebrated. Secondly, he ignores the basic elements of economics when comparing today to primitive tribes. That is what I have been talking about in my previous four letters.

We are now in a situation that no generation has ever faced. We live high on the hog for two reasons. One, we in the 'developed world' live high at the expense of the rest of the world, having exploited it for 300 years with colonialism and neo-colonialism. The American empire has not been throwing roses at the the third world. Two, he fails to recognize that there are levels to our understanding. Of course, on one level, we are much better off than any prior civili­zation and than any prior generation. But on a deeper level, and depth of insight is good, we are not better off, because we have brought not only our own, but all current civilizations to the brink of the abyss.

Comparing our situation to that of primitive peo­ples is somewhat meaningless. Comparing our situa­tion to that of how the world must be to survive is meaningful. To 'live in hope' is counter-productive at this point. Hope is not either good or bad. It is not an issue of good or bad. Hope is either appropriate to the situation or it is inappropriate to it. When we live on the brink of catastrophic disaster, environmentally, economically, socially, and with one of four Ameri­cans suffering some form of personal mental illness, hope is not appropriate.

Hope is good if you on a life raft in the ocean and you hope to hell a plane goes over. Hope is good when you ask someone to marry you, and you hope they say yes. In those situations you have no control over the result. The plane will come or it won't. The person will say yes or not. Thus, hope is good because it keeps the door open and reduces anxiety.

However, hope can also reduce intensity. If there is no hope, then you are faced with an existential choice. You continue to work on the problem or you don't and you sink into despair. Living in hope can lead to inaction, because it lacks commitment and in­tensity. Those who continue to struggle even though the odds are hopelessly long and the situation hope­less do not sink into despair.l Those who live in hope open the door to despair. They sit in the puddle of hope and leave it to Beaver or to their god or to the fates to come and fix it.

“Oh I hope so,” or “Oh, I'll try to” are not the answer. Hoping the global warming doesn't get too bad is the problem, not the solution, if there even is a solution. Hoping the recent economic catastrophe doesn't happen again ensures that it will. Hoping is like trying, it lacks intention. If you just try to solve a problem you are not committed fully. If it doesn't work out you can then say, “Well, at least I tried.” Did Washington and Jefferson and those guys simply 'try' to win the American Revolution? No, they com­mitted their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, in an existential moment in human history.

Intensity must be tempered with patience and insight. Intensity is not enough by itself. Hitler was intense. The Russians at Stalingrad did not sit around hoping the German army would run out of gasoline. They committed their all, and they won. Also, obvi­ously, it is important to be committed to something that will help people, not destroy them.

We are, all of us, faced with some very large ethi­cal issues related to the present crisis. They are ago­nizing, complex, and difficult. My position is that the sooner we stop hoping we will all be better able to deal with it, one way or the other. I guess the first de­cision is to choose between God, luck, fate, and karma as the root cause.

Lee Simon

Far 'n Away Farm, Virginia

_____________________________________________________

SAINTS & SAVAGES

Editor,

This Memorial Day I've nothing to say of the sun and world. I see only the torments of man. Savage, Saint, Sage. You are good, and I am blind. “To enjoy is to obey.” Save me from impious discontent. The uni­verse is a fleck of dust. Life is the sun on the table. Restitute the mercy others have stolen from me. Lo and behold, I have my poems and parasites. When I smash the book on the table I shout: Kruschev! But that was a shoe.

“Keep the incense burning at the shrine of prayer, and glory shall descend sometime, somewhere.”

Diana Vance

Mendocino

PS. JFK unsuccessfully attempted an invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. He blockaded Cuba until Russian missile bases were removed and promised to land on the moon by 1970. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Reagan nominated the first woman to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Conner. Ford granted Nixon a pardon. Chicago is an Indian word for “place of the bad smell.” 26 states have names derived from a Native American word, i.e., Mississippi is Chippewa for Big River. 7000 years before Christ people lived off the mammoth. Now we live off the cow. 2500 years before Christ in Mexico people cultivated corn. 1000 years Before Christ squash and kidney beans were grown by the same people. In the Inuit language Alakshak means Great Land. Massachusetts is an Algonquin term meaning At The Big Hill. Utah is a Navajo term meaning The Upper Land. Ohio is Iroquois for  Beautiful Water. Oregon is Algonquin (“Wauregan”)  for Beautiful Water. During the American Revolution Indians fought on both sides. It's a sunny day and I'm one quarter Algonquin Iroquois.

_____________________________________________________

HAMBURG’S RIGHT

Editor,

It seems to me that Dan Hamburg understands the issues of this district more than anyone else run­ning for the 5th District. Here is why:

We have a budget crisis and the knee jerk response is for management to lay off workers, yet I haven’t seen or heard any management offer to help by reducing their salaries. Hamburg is right to suggest cutting salaries of those over $68,000 and then take a look at shortened workweek so that employees still have a job.

He agrees with Mark Scaramella, as I do, that the Supervisors are not getting timely information to make decisions. A system of information follow up needs to be put in place. No other candidate has men­tioned this that I have heard.

Hamburg also has good ideas that could help rebuild our local economy.

He is correct when he says too much money leaves the county. A focus on our own county produced food would keep a lot of that money in the county. As this money circulates, the local economy improves. Buy local. Support local farmers.

Increasing the preference for any county govern­ment contracts to be local is a clear idea to use. Once again, more money stays in the county and circulates.

I like the idea of the county looking hard at creat­ing our own power authority. Marin county is going to start up soon with their power authority and they will instantly get 50% green power. At the same rates. This also makes more jobs as well as keeping all that PG&E profit circulating in the county. It is doable.

Hamburg also understands that our county needs broadband for anyone to do business. If you are in business you need a website at minimum, especially if your business is bringing in money from the outside. The Supervisors need to show a county need to get the broadband here. I know Hamburg has done the research on this issue.

Oppose all federal oil and gas lease sales. Oil is not where our tax money should go to for energy explora­tion.

Hamburg has also been a strong supporter of the coastal economy, supporting the workers that make a living from the ocean. Once again, he is supporting people’s jobs, not theories devised by the state and feds. “We must protect our local crab, urchin and seaweed businesses and all intact fisheries from over-regulation.” That sounds right to me.

Protect our water. Illegal water diversions should not be tolerated. He supports law enforcement and envi­ronmental health efforts to prosecute anyone divert­ing or polluting water. There doesn’t seem to be a sys­tem in place to monitor diversions.

Disclosure: I am on the Hamburg steering commit­tee.

Adding all this up, I believe Hamburg will make a solid Supervisor as he recognizes the immediate county budget problems and has some fresh ideas helping the problems even though the UDJ seemed to say no thanks. Beyond that, he sees possibilities in how to rebuild our economy and even if it all doesn’t happen, it is the right direction.

Michael Laybourn

Hopland

_____________________________________________________

ANARCHOHERBALISM

Editor,

To the prisoner whose friend lost three fingers due to an untreated brown recluse bite: It’s a shame that your friend was denied basic emergency care. If this ever happens again to you or anyone reading this, and you have access to the outdoors at all, you are pretty sure to find a little plant growing in poor, compacted, neglected soil — a weed of hard-pounded yards and sidewalks — called Plantago lanceolata. Common name is plantain although it has nothing whatsoever to do with the plantain that is like a banana.

Sorry I can’t attach a picture for you. Maybe you can find a field guide in your prison library if you are not already familiar with the plant. I guarantee you you’ve seen it before.

This plant has dark green leaves growing erect in a cluster. No stem, just leaves coming out of the ground. They are about 3-6 inches tall and shaped like a jackrabbit’s ear — slender and tapered — and grooved with parallel veins running from the base to the tip. (No forking, tree-branch-like veins as most leaves have.) Leaves may be slightly downy to kind of shiny. If it is in flower, there will be a skinny, naked stem growing up from the middle with something that looks like a dense brown lint ball on top, about the size and shape of a horse pill. This bears tiny white or colorless flowers but you often can’t see them. Chil­dren like to play a game where they knot the stems and flick the flower/lint ball off with their thumbs, often chanting, “Ma-ry had a ba-by and its head popped off.”

A related species is Plantago major, which also works; the shorter leaves are shaped more like the aces on a deck of cards and the flower cluster is tower-shaped instead of pill-shaped.

“Plantago” is Latin that comes from the word for the sole of the foot. The leaves of some species look like the soles of a (rather flatfooted) human; and Cali­fornia Indians called the plant “white man’s foot.”

These leaves are edible although quite bitter. Any­way, take a few of these fresh leaves, chew them into a soft poultice with plenty of saliva, and apply to a brown recluse bite (or any other spider bite, or a rat­tlesnake bite). It will help even if the bite is a few days old. Keep it in place with a strip of cloth or whatever makeshift bandage you can find. Change the poultice as often as you can (but even one application is better than none). Discard each poultice after use (flushing it down the toilet is fine). Don’t leave it where kids or pets can get it, as it now contains a minute amount of extracted venom.

Obviously, don’t do this if you think the plantains in your yard are covered with herbicides etc. and you cannot wash them off.

I carry a small vial of deep green plaintain juice (homemade), preserved with 22% alcohol by volume, in my first aid kit when I go hiking in rattler country. Just in case.

A little bit of anarchoherbalism for you folks on the inside. Good luck.

Wolfgang Rougle

Cottonwood

_____________________________________________________

WENDY THE CALM

Dear Bruce:

We have known and worked with Wendy for over ten years. We endorse her because we have seen her extraordinary devotion to Mendocino County at play time after time.

With a calm, reasoned voice, Wendy is open to hearing everyone’s ideas and willing to put long, long hours into finding the best solutions. Coupled with her education, experience and involvement in civic affairs, she is uniquely qualified to serve as County Supervisor. In view of the facts regarding her service, these enumerated qualities are not empty rhetoric: Wendy is a civic leader with an outstanding track record serving Coastal Mendocino. She has been an active community leader for many years; she’s an effective member of the Grand Jury; she has com­peted and won a seat on the Mendocino Historical Review Board. She comes before the electorate fully vetted and proven ready to serve the broad Fifth Dis­trict. Please help us elect her.

Bill & Sandra McIver

Mendocino

_____________________________________________________

THE GRINDER

To the Board of Supervisors,

During last year's many General Plan discussions, the need for development of infrastructure to support diverse agriculture and encourage local food produc­tion were identified as important goals. Supervisors will discuss a specific proposal for a local meat proc­essing facility on Tuesday, May 18th, at their after­noon meeting (1:30 PM) at the Administrative Center, 1:30, Low Gap, Ukiah. Attached are three letters to Supervisors from meat producers citing their needs for such a facility. If you share these views please let supervisors know. bos@co.mendocino.ca.us .

Speaking for myself, with a tiny flock of wool sheep originally acquired to afford fire protection by keeping grass under control, the sale of hand spinning wool does not provide much economic incentive, but raising lambs not only used to feed us, but would, if we were able to have them slaughtered locally in a government inspected facility and sell the product, make an alternative source of revenue as well as add­ing to food produced locally. Since the plant in Healdsburg closed, there has been nothing to afford this service. For the very small producer, hauling ani­mals way out of county for slaughter and butchering is a no-starter. The proposed facility would be a great help.

Gene Herr

Philo

_____________________________________________________

POT LAW 101

Open Letter To Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman

Cannabis patients and collective associations of patients are protected by a series of rights under Cali­fornia law — i.e., to grow/possess/transport/use mari­juana for medical purposes. It is no longer deemed a crime, but rather a right.

We ask that you and the Sheriff's Office affirm these rights & take steps to enforce the basic legal conclusions of the People v Kelly ruling.

• Create a general order with written instructions to deputies on medical marijuana gardensite guide­lines consistent with Kelly and state law.

• Establish a training program reflecting Kelly and Attorney General Guidelines relative to a closed-loop patient association.

• Post evolving guidelines and written instructions to deputies on the Sheriff's website for public aware­ness.

We ask acknowledgment of the following funda­mentals of state medical marijuana law

1) A doctor's approval is the only requirement for a patient to qualify to use “marijuana for medical pur­poses,” assuring doctor-patient confidentiality. By itself, it is reason not to arrest or confiscate a patient's medicine, despite a lapsed doctor's approval or other fixable defect.

In “borderline” cases (where deputies may claim there are “too many” plants for personal use but not necessarily for collective use, or the doctor's signature is illegible or outdated), the person with a medical claim has statutory protections and deserves the bene­fit of the doubt.

In cases of doubt, the reasonable standard em­ployed by former Sheriff Tony Craver was “to take photographs & samples, not whole plants & not whole gardens” as evidence. (General Order 202 Instructions to Deputies — Medical Marijuana Guidelines 2004-05), detailing various potential gardensite scenarios, including the concept of “borderline” compliance gar­dens.

Investigate first with a goal of lowering arrests and “preventing inconvenience” of people who've done nothing wrong.

We call on the Sheriff to restore Medical Mari­juana Guidelines through publicly accessible written Instructions to Deputies and to initiate training to enforce them, including the “borderline” guideline and the spirit of “substantial compliance.”

2) A “primary caregiver” is authorized to grow medi­cal marijuana for a patient but not use it, unless that person is also a patient.

The caregiver's role is to relate to the medical needs of the patient(s), in a close on-going relation­ship.

3) A qualified patient or caregiver for a patient may also voluntarily obtain a state ID card, if desired, but it is not required.

A state card verifies a doctor's approval/confers statewide “immunity from arrest” under the Medical Marijuana Program Act.

4) Collectives and cooperatives provide enhanced patient protection as a result of SB420's purpose, affirmed by Kelly: “to enhance access to medical marijuana through collective cooperative cultivation projects.”

5) The Supreme Court Kelly decision (2010) set definitive standards, encompassing 14 years of Prop 215 & SB420 protections:

a) Kelly voided numerical quantity limits (6 plants/8 oz) as arbitrary & unconstitutional, as applied to qualified patients.

b) Kelly affirmed the Trippet quantity standard as the principle by which compliance with the law (inno­cence) is determined, i.e., that the quantity of medi­cine grown/possessed/transported must be “reasonably related to the patient's medical condition” (an annual supply for an outdoor grow).

c) Kelly threw out the SB420 plant and possession limits (6 plant/8 oz), as restricting not enhancing access, and affirmed SB420's primary purpose as being “to enhance access” to medicine via collectives and cooperatives.

d) The same rights that protect individual patients objectively apply to associations of patients (collec­tives & co-ops).

Deputies need to respect claims of patients collec­tively associating and take them into account when determining compliance.

6) When deputies do things directly contrary to instructions and/or state law, the Sheriff's Office will hold them accountable.

7) When deputies determine compliance, a “plant” must conform to the Senate Bill 420 definition — “mature flowering female” — in order to qualify as a medical-grade plant. Clones, starts, immature plants, leaf, shake, trim, stems and last year's rootballs do not count for purposes of prosecution or nuisance abate­ment. State law definition takes precedence over local ordinance.

8) A neutral third party verifier, functioning as a witness in a patient's garden, needs agreement from all parties to be viable.

Pebbles Trippet

for Mendocino Medical Marijuana

Advisory Board (MMMAB)

Fort Bragg

_____________________________________________________

DAN’S THE MAN FOR JAN

Dear Editor,

Why Dan?

This month we are asked to choose among 4 candi­dates for 5th District Supervisor. Since I wear a Dan Hamburg button many friends have asked me why I chose Dan. I tried various answers trying to pinpoint my deciding factors:

Dan is the most experienced having been both County Supervisor and US Congressman.

He is the strongest environmentalist among a field of environmental candidates.

His ideas for solving the County’s problems are fresh and innovative.

I have seen more of Dan in the south coast than any of the other candidates as he is willing to drive from his house on Boonville Road to visit coastal con­stituents.

He has been the most available through the years for help on projects I care about.

Good points, but these aren’t really why I am voting for Dan. After attending several debates, listening to the candidates on the radio and examining my reac­tions to each one, I found the core reason for my sup­port. All the candidates see the problems and explain them in great detail, most describing fixes that are frightening and depressing. Dan also promotes solu­tions — new and exciting ones — and is able to see a brighter, greener future for Mendocino County.

Dan Hamburg is an enthusiastic, visionary leader who believes we have an important local opportunity in the these turbulent times. That’s why he has my vote.

Jan Edwards

Point Arena


_____________________________________________________

REAL GOOD LETTERS

Dear Editor,

Mr. Walton's, “My Bad,” made me think about something my Sephardic ancestors passed down to me: “No hay mal que por bien no venga,” which roughly translates to: “It's all good.”

Everything by Diana Vance: Gimme a “D,” gimme an “I,” gimme a “V,” gimme an “A.” Whats that spell? DIVA, ra, ra, ra!

The Spill, Toyota, the Moth, et al, make me think of Sabotage.

Seriously, why aren't we trying to learn more about the Love Bug? Maybe Spec McQuayde can lead the brigade.

Nick Rossi: “Whatever you're running for, you've got my vote!

My own “Flamegate”: I was told I could have “them” (gas company) come by and check my tank, so I would never be out of gas. Turns out they were driving by so frequently, I could never quite keep up with their (the gast company (typo not intended, but I looked it up and it means to frighten or scare) com­pany) bills. My landlord, who'd been sold the same story, told “them” (the gas company), he would park himself in front of his window, with shotgun in hand, should “they” (the gas company) attempt to touch his tank.

Don Morris's “quick dry correction fluid” letter, simply fantastic!

Mr. Hering (“Crowd Colors”), I e-mailed your query to my daughter (age appropriate Sociologist) who must be so busy socializing, she has not gotten back to me, yet. Off the top of my head (since I'm not a Sociologist): I would say the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival has a definite colorful, interna­tional/multi-cultural and tye-dye tradition/connection, which many choose to uphold.

So, so many good letters.

Name Withheld

The Mendocino Coast

_____________________________________________________

CONDOLENCES, SPEC

Editor,

Allow me to extend my deepest sympathy and pro­found wishes for a successful prognosis to Spec Mac­Quayde, who is clearly suffering great torment from the bewildering and painful medical condition that my good friend Morton Gomberg once diagnosed in my case as “Gottafuckachick Syndrome.” Best of luck with that, amigo!

Yrs,

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

_____________________________________________________

MOORMAN, THE POSITIVE

Dear friend,

Vote now for Ann Moorman for judge. She is intel­ligent, experienced, energetic and will listen to everyone in her courtroom. I've known her for 20 years and feel completely positive in highly recom­mending her.

Please make sure to vote (if you vote early, your ballot will be counted before June 8th and announced with the opening returns on Election night.)

It is important to talk to other people and get them to vote for Ann too. There's plenty of informa­tion on her website www.annmooorman.com

We can be happy we have such a completely posi­tive candidate to elect as our next county judge. Thanks, VOTE, and influence others.

Best,

Steve Antler

Mendocino

_____________________________________________________

CALLAHAN DOWN THE STRETCH

Dear Editor,

As we near the homestretch for the Campaign for Judgeship, I want to let others know why I have already voted for Caren Callahan. I am a long-time resident of Ukiah, and a Marriage and Family Thera­pist. As such, I am very concerned about the human beings in our locale.

What has been overwhelmingly impressive to me in every one of my professional contacts with Ms. Callahan is her integrity. She has earned the highest marks in my book for the human being she is, along with the character and quality of her standards. I have the utmost respect for her vision for Judgeship, and absolutely trust that she will do exactly what she says she will do. She combines educated "smarts", (espe­cially in the area of law, along with vast legal experi­ence), with genuine connection and compassion for the human individual. This combination earns my trust in her judgment. She'll be a terrific Judge for our people, the human beings of Mendocino County.

Sincerely,

Rita D. Lowitt, M.A., MFT

Ukiah

_____________________________________________________

FARM BUREAU’S FOR WENDY

Editor:

We heartily concur with the Ukiah Daily Journal's endorsement of our colleague and friend, Wendy Roberts, who is running a strong race to serve as our Fifth District Supervisor.

We’ve come to know Wendy’s character, values, and principles through our work together on the Mendocino County Grand Jury, the Mendocino His­torical Review Board (MHRB), fundraising for Audu­bon, the Coast Writers Conference, Mendocino Uni­fied School District and the Historic Temple of Kwan Tai, as fellow Master Gardeners, and in a host of other public service roles through which she has con­tributed. Wendy is committed to both environmental and historic preservation. She is distinguished in this race by her sense of fairness and balance, her recogni­tion of the need for a healthy economy, her financial background and her track record of fiscal responsibil­ity.

Wendy exemplifies “balance” as a certified nature educator and Master Gardener who also holds a Mas­ters Degree in Business Administration. She embraces opportunities to listen and learn, whether the topic is local agriculture, Cannabis legalization, unraveling the retirement fund debt, or a complex water or land use issue. Wendy is not beholden to any special interest groups. She consistently seeks common ground among those who hold diverse positions.

Wendy will work hard and effectively to balance our budget while maintaining services that are key to public safety and the health of our rural communities. She is committed to updating county planning docu­ments and establishing broadband and other infra­structure improvements to get our economy back on track.

It is hard to imagine a more qualified and commit­ted candidate than Wendy Roberts. We join the UDJ in urging voters to seat her as our new Fifth District Supervisor.

On behalf of all who endorse Wendy’s candidacy,

Tony Eppstein, Treasurer

Mike Biaggi, Albion

Michael St. John, Mendocino

Peter Bradford, Anderson Valley

Charlene McAllister, Little River

Chris and Tyler Nelson, Hopland

Mike Anderson Fort Bragg

on behalf of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau

_____________________________________________________

CALLAHAN: UP TO THE TASK

Editor,

Ms. Caren Callahan has been my attorney as well as my friend. Ms. Callahan is impeccable with her word. She has integrity; meaning she is honest with all people. Caren Callahan uses mercy with the law. It is my opinion Ms. Callahan would make the best choice for the task of being Judge.

Lori Brodoski

Redwood Valley

_____________________________________________________

GOP'S SUICIDE TRIP

Dear Editor:

It certainly looks like the GOP more and more is on a suicide trip pushed along by ultra right conserva­tives who will not tolerate any Republicans who do not share their extreme views. A good example Is what happened in Maine when a wacko element of the Tea Party rewrote the Republican Party platform. The new platform proclaims global warming is a myth, usual dose of immigrant bashing, abolishing the Fed­eral Reserve (bring back the Gold Standard?), Healthcare isn't a right (if you don't have health insurance the Tea Party throws you under the bus) and the usual claptrap about the United Nations.

Elsewhere, RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) like Bennett in Utah get thrown out of office. In Cali­fornia we have seen what happens to the GOP when they go to the ultra right. The Republican legislators only have revelance because of the two-thirds voting requirement on money issues. If their numbers ever fall below one-third they might as well stay home. These Tea Party types are aided and abetted by folks like Palin, Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh. They are all long on comments which lack substance and flirt with facts. The GOP lost African American voters years ago and now are working very hard on chasing out Latino voters. In the not too distant future the GOP will consist of MCPs, blue haired old ladies, and wacko elements of the Tea Party — a permanent minority party.

In peace,

James Updegraff

Sacramento

_____________________________________________________

CALLAHAN & HER BROTHER

Letter to the Editor:

I am a Senior Citizen and would like to tell all Sen­ior Citizens to vote for Caren Callahan for Judge. I have know her brother personally and professionally and she has my trust, confidence and loyalty. Caren respects the law is clear thinking, fair and compas­sionate. What a Judge she will be and how fortunate the citizens of Mendocino County will be to have her on the bench.

Drene Johnson

Napa

_____________________________________________________

PUBLIC BENEFIT

To the Editor:

Yes! On Measure A in AV.

Somewhere around 900 students, employees, and volunteers learn and work on six aging school cam­puses in Anderson Valley. These core public facilities are in definite need of repair, replacement, or enhancement.

A yes vote on Measure A will benefit the entire community.

Sincerely,

Barbara Goodell

Boonville

_____________________________________________________

CALLAHAN FOR FAIRNESS

Letter to the Editor:

I have the honor and privilege of knowing Caren Callahan for 11+ years. I believe she is the best candi­date for judge because of her knowledge, experience, and integrity. I say this because I have personally experienced Caren’s judgment and knowledge regarding a challenging situation. Caren has been the attorney for a non-profit organization that I have been involved with for many years. Caren mediated a very sensitive situation with our board. She had to discern statements individual board members made and had to judge those individuals and statements to make a fair and legal analysis in the interest of the organization. Caren judged and made the decision in the best and fairest possible way for all concerned. I credit her judgment for saving our organization. I can not think of anyone who could do a better job than Caren in all aspects of the law.

If you want a person with high integrity and fair­ness for Mendocino County Superior Court Judge, you need to VOTE CAREN CALLAHAN!

Delynne Rogers

Ukiah

_____________________________________________________

CALLAHAN: EXPERIENCE

Dear Editor:

It is clear that the key issue in the Mendocino County Superior Court Judge campaign has been the experience, or asserted lack thereof, between the two candidates. It reminds me of the parable of the blind men and the elephant. One holds the tail and says, “Oh, an elephant must be like a rope!” and one touches the side and says, “Oh no, an elephant must be like a wall!”and so on.

Ms. Moorman indeed has a lot of experience in the criminal court. She is a criminal defense lawyer. But the idea that criminal court is the only kind of law practiced in Mendocino County is inaccurate to say the least. In fact it represents only 30% of the total cases in our County.

In contrast to Ms. Moorman, Caren Callahan has extensive experience in many kinds of law, not just criminal. Her work in probate, bankruptcy, family law, and especially her expertise in tax law will bring a much-needed wide perspective to our Mendocino Court system. And from personal experience, I know she has dedicated hundreds of hours to volunteering in our County with the youth courts and is an active participant in several local non-profit and county boards. This is the kind of 'experience' Mendocino County needs on the bench.

Sincerely,

Katharine & Jody Cole

Ukiah


_____________________________________________________

ERRORS AT THE TEMPLE

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regards to the May 12 "Dispatches from the Temple of Justice, Ukiah" to correct some grievous errors made on the part of Mr. Bruce McEwen, specifically to the section regrading the sen­tence reduction hearing of Ms. Valerie Williams.  McEwen begins, "Valerie Williams, so drunk she coldn't keep her car on her side of the 101 on the Willits Grade, crossed into the oncoming lane and Larry King head-on collision."  As an English teacher, it is difficult for me not to point out Mr. McEwen's misplaced commas, run-on sentences, and other mid­dle school level mistakes evident throughout this arti­cle, but I am writing instead to address the completely irresponsible journalism of Mr. McEwen and the erroneous facts he "reported."

Ms. Williams was not drunk at the time of this accident.  In fact, her blood alcohol level was well under the legal limit. If he had taken the time to con­sult the police reports, he would have seen that.  Also, the accident happened nowhere near the Willits Grade, but instead on the straight stretch between Ukiah and Hopland.  In fact, for years there has been a divider on the Willits Grade because of the numer­ous accidents that have occurred there in the past, so it is actually impossible to have a head-on collision on the Willits Grade!  Furthermore, if Mr. McEwen had checked his facts at all, he would have seen that Ms. Williams did not have a DUI charge!  She did have trace amounts of methamphetamine in her system at the time of the accident, but these amounts were so minute that the DA opted not to charge Ms. Wil­liams with a DUI.  She was instead convicted of mis­demeanor vehicular manslaughter and for that she receive a 270 day sentence in county jail.  Anyone who is at all familiar with the law can tell you that if the DA had evidence that she were drunk and/or high at the time of her accident, her sentence would have been in the 7-10 year range and would have been served in prison, not county jail.

This is extremely irresponsible journalism and libel and Mr. McEwen should write a retraction or correc­tion to his erroneous and one-sided article.

What happened to Mr. King is a tragedy.  Nobody is denying that.  But Mr. McEwen needs to under­stand that it will be no less tragic if he reports the actual facts rather than sensationalizing and embel­lishing upon them with polemics like, "Larry King's family and friends... were relieved by Judge Mayfield's decision to keep Ms. Williams inside jail, outside the bottle."  Alcohol had absolutely nothing to do with this accident.  If Mr. McEwen had done even a modi­cum of research, he would have learned that.

Rosie Reid

Oakland

Bruce McEwen replies: Thank you for not pointing out my “misplaced commas, run-on sentences, and other middle school mistakes evident throughout my article.” As an English teacher, it must have been dif­ficult for you, and I appreciate your tact. I remember my English teachers with sentimental regard. They used to tell me to avoid clichés and always invent my own similes and metaphors. When I finally got into the newspaper business, I understood why — so edi­tors can strike ’em out and insert the clichés. This is a sensible arrangement and I fully approve, but a nov­ice like myself sometimes throws the well-meaning and diligent editors a loop. My highly creative wont to make euphemisms for terms like drunk, stoned, high, looped, et cetera makes my editor’s job particularly tricky. As for your assertion as to why the DA opted not to charge the defendant with a DUI, I’m afraid to follow you onto such uncertain ground. The DA’s office is as capricious as an addict at the wheel, sober straight or stone drunk, but why else would Ms. Wil­liams’ lawyer make such a fuss over her high marks in AA and NA at the jail if it were not an issue in the case? “The actual facts,” are not limited to the dis­tinction between a bottle of booze and a bag of dope; but in hopes it will help alleviate the tragedy for you, I hereby solemnly apologize for the mistake. As for getting the location wrong, you have me dead to rights on that one, that was a stupid mistake and I retract it forthwith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *