Letters to the Editor

by AVA News Service, May 26, 2010

BUSTS GONE NOWHERE

Editor:

Based on the anonymous inquiries that I've received challenging the assertions made in my May 12 AVA letter to the editor, I submit the following for the record:

The thrust of my letter was to question why so many sensational, high profile, drug busts are deep sixed after the fact — for some people.

Are these big-time drug busts nothing more than search and seize missions to get operational cash for law enforcement or are some influential people gaming the system in their favor, aided and abetted by the Mendopia legal apparatus?

A glaring example of this apparent scenario is the sensational drug bust on the coast in late October in 2008 reported in the October 29, 2008 Ukiah Daily Journal on the front page by ace crime reporters Zack Cinek. The story, headlined “$80,000 in FedEx package seized,” describes the arrest of James and Beth Sanderson of New York after the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force intercepted a package containing over $80,000 mailed to the Sanderson's in Fort Bragg from a phony address with phony names in New York.

The Sandersons, bona fide poster kids for the “mom-and-pop” pot industry, were on public assistance (welfare) at the time, and occupied a lavish, oceanview home in Mendocino Village that was being bought with a $2.7 million cash down payment.

An “employee” of mom-and-pop Sanderson said that he was shipping 10 pounds of pot regularly to New York from a trimming and packaging operation set up in an apartment that was also raided and searched.

Bob Nishiyama, head of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, referring to mom-and-pop Sanderson, said, “It's not about medicine, it's about greed.”

If the allegations in this story are true, it's an absolute outrage, but, mysteriously, other than the Ukiah Daily Journal, there was no other publicity of the bust — that I'm aware of — not even in the AVA. I figured the AVA would jump into this stinker with all four paws ripping and tearing, but not a peep. What gives? Why the media hush job?

$2.7 million is a nice chunk of cash that would be a welcome contribution to help alleviate Mendopia’s budget crisis.

According to Mr. Cinek, mom-and-pop Sanderson are “currently scheduled” to appear in court on Election Day, June 8, to set a trial date, unless Ms. “Let's Make a Deal” reduces the charges to an infraction.

We should all storm the hearing brandishing tin cups, asking for donations to restore some recently axed county services.

The mom and pop Sanderson bust is small potatoes compared to the biggest stinker of all reported in a front-page January 28, 2009, Willits News article by Linda Williams. The article, “major ecstasy supply ring brought down in Willits,” describes a multiagency drug bust on January 23, 2009, in the Brooktrails/Spring Creek area west of Willits.

Williams reported that “the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force shut down one of the most significant ecstasy drug labs in California history.”

“Simultaneous raids on five locations in Oakland, Marin County, Redwood Valley and Willits led to the arrest of five persons in Mendocino County and two in Oakland. Agents seized more than 45 kilograms of the drug ecstasy, $500,000 in cash, and a significant quantity of LSD, 28 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, and 30 pounds of marijuana, as well, at the Oakland site. The 45 kilograms of MDMA is equivalent to nearly 350,000 doses with each dose having a street value of between $8 and $40.”

“The related raid on Della Avenue in Willis resulted in the discovery of 1200 marijuana plants and a quantity of MDMA and LSD.”

The multiagency bust included members of the California Department of Justice, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, Task Force agents from Marin, Contra Costa and Sonoma counties, the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Ukiah and Willits Police Departments. The Brooktrails Volunteer Fire Department also helped, particularly in dealing with the nightmare of toxic chemicals.

The K-Zip connected property owners claimed no knowledge of their tenants pharmaceutical endeavors, perhaps due to diminished capacity caused by terminal pot follow.

After well over a year, there's been no court action — that I'm aware of — on the case.

Perhaps it was another politically motivated bust that was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Cheers,

Don Morris

Skunktown, Willis

Ed note: We're looking into both cases. In the Sanderson matter, the male Sanderson has pleaded out as his Missus remains in the pipeline. We're waiting for the ecstasy case to appear in Ukiah. Trust us, Don, we're on the case!

______________________________________________________________

DRAW MOHAMMAD DAY

AVA:

1. Poland is in mourning over a plane crash in western Russia. The crash wiped out almost half of Poland's leadership. Those killed included President Kaczynski, his wife Maria, the Army Chief of Staff, the head of the national bank, Poland's deputy foreign minister, 12 members of the Polish Parliament, and at least two presidential aides.

If a plane crash extinguished the lives of the US President, Vice President, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton, Barney Duncan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Supreme Court Justices Thomas, Roberts, Scalia and Alito — and Carl Icahn, I would not only not mourn, but would be overjoyed. I consider these people to be criminals — murderers and thieves.

2. All religion is a plague, but I am concerned about recent concessions to Islam by Viacom and Comedy Central and by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In an April 26 op-ed article in the New York Times, “Not Even in South Park?” Ross Douthat reports that following a death threat from an American Muslim website, revolutionmuslim.com, resulting from episodes of South Park which featured the Prophet Mohammed, Comedy Central not only censored the follow-up episode, but “every single reference to Mohammed was bleeped out. The historical record was quickly scrubbed as well: the original ‘super best friends’ episode is no longer available on the Internet.”

This on a show that once showed a statue of the Virgin Mary squirting menstrual blood on the Pope for Christ's sakes! Maybe the Catholic League should have threatened a jihad.

I respectfully request that the AVA sponsor a “National Draw Mohammed Day” or perhaps even organize a contest with first prize being a trip to Mecca. And for Halloween, all AVA readers should dress up as you know who.

3. The American Academy of pediatrics is doing its part to compromise with the spirit of the dark ages. As reported on jihadwatch.org, “the American Academy of Pediatrics has moderated its policy on female circumcision — a decision that quickly spurred widespread denunciation from advocacy groups and government officials. The academy’s committee on bioethics released a new position paper last week, suggesting that doctors perform a ‘ritual Nick’ to prevent families from going overseas for full circumcision procedures.”

Whatever happened to the bleeping Hippocratic oath? Maybe the next step in policing the fanatics will be a Supreme Court decision that permits “pebbling” of adulterers.

4. Am I the only one who is alarmed by a national debt that may be as high as $.5 million per US citizen? I wrote this a week or so ago: “When columnists and commentators discuss the national debt in trillions of dollars, I suffer something like vertigo, but deeper and more intense. One trillion is one followed by 12 zeroes. It is 1000 billion. One million million. It is 10 to the 12th power. Light, which travels at 186,282 miles per second, covers 5.878 trillion miles in a year. Thus light takes 2.04 months to reach a trillion miles. The closest star to our solar system is Proxima Centauri. It is 4.3 light years or 25.275 trillion miles away. When Apollo 11 lifted men to the surface of the moon in 1969, I was exhilarated. I was 24 years old and confident that in my lifetime men would tread on the surface of Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Perhaps science and technology might even bridge the unimaginable chasm between the Earth and Proxima Centauri.

However, it is our criminal rentier class that has reached interstellar numbers. Not by bridging the chasm, but by creating one. Estimates of outstanding national debt range from $12.7 to $63.8 trillion. $63.8 trillion. 63.8 trillion miles would be more than enough to get to Proxima Centauri and back. At the speed of light, that's a mere 10.8 years.”

Allahu akbar.

Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

______________________________________________________________

LEADERSHIP FOR SIERRA

Dear local business owners:

My name is Sierra Kuny. I am a sophomore year at Anderson Valley High School.

I have been chosen by the leadership teacher to attend the Northern California Youth Leadership Seminar in Palo Alto at Menlo College from May 21-May 23. This is an excellent opportunity for me and our school as it is our first year ever attending. 800 schools are invited and only one student from each school.

The seminar is directed at helping teens become better leaders for their peers plus becoming more aware of resources that can be used for their school to increase the knowledge of their own leadership program. While I am there I will be involved in teambuilding workshops, participating in communication workshops, and learning from motivational speakers about how to make an impact on not only our community, but the world.

The leadership program is new to our school but we have done many things for our community and school such as mentoring elementary kids on the dangers of gangs. We have helped with many fundraisers like the dance for the Anderson Valley clinic.

I am very excited about being chosen for this seminar. I will be staying at the Menlo College dorms chaperoned by teachers, a professor and alumni of this conference. I see this as not only a great chance to bring ideas back for our school but a chance for me to gain knowledge to use in my own life as I look to the future.

I am asking for sponsors to help cover the costs for the seminar. My sleeping arrangements are free but food and transportation is not included nor are the off-campus activities I will be involved in.

If possible I ask for small donations to assist me in participating in this wonderful well-known Youth Leadership Conference.

Sincerely,

Sierra Kuny, 895-9191

Navarro

______________________________________________________________

NO ON A

Editor,

Vote No on Measure A.

Back in the 1970s we were having the sample problems as we are having in the state of California (all parts of government): overspending and over taxing. Now it’s extended to our federal government, most state governments, our county and our own Anderson Valley governments.
As I have said before, only 1/4 cent sales tax regularly, only a parcel tax, only new fees and fines of all kinds. It’s time for another Proposition 13 revolution. We have even infected a bunch of European nations (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland) of our spending binge.

The state of California over the last ten years except for a slight drop in one year has had a constant rise in revenues. The problems is not revenues; it’s spending. The routine now is for government bureaus, agencies, etc., every time they get more money, they spend it all on wages and benefits. So they can ask for more. It’s like the old saying about the Navy when they were requesting more material: throw everything overboard even if it’s still new and still in the shipping crate or they won’t be able to ask for more. Kind of the same principle.

The role of government is to give us the most education and protection for the least money, not the least education and protection for the most money.

To show how far it’s gone, the University of California has rewarded itself with so much benefits that many professors spend so little time teaching they have to hire two or three more professors to do the same job as one. Naturally, they have budget deficits. So we raise student fees through the roof and because of lack of funds they cut the amount of students who can get a UC education.

As for our buildings 50 years old: Most of Boonville’s buildings are 50 years old. Most are way over 50 years old. Besides school buildings have stricter construction standards than others. The White House is over 100 years old. I’m sure they paint it once in a while. The Empire State Building is over 70 year old. I’m sure they check the elevators once in a while.

Fifty years old is not every old for most buildings if they are maintained; if they have not been maintained some people should be held accountable for that money, instead of maintaining the building with it.

I’ve asked for the pay and benefit schedule of the school employees, as the public should know where their money goes. No answer.

Some years ago we passed a parcel tax for the fire department to cover a debt we had. We’re deeper in debt now than then and I am sure you will be asked for more shortly, especially if this passes.

An oversight committee is a joke. We have one already. That’s our Board of Directors. Boards of Directors are rubber stampers of the management’s desires. It can be the state, county, city and most corporations head people. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be but it is since their suggestions are only advisory.

On the sample ballot I notice there is no argument against this huge, huge $15.5 million bond. It bothers me, as it’s intimidation at its worst. It’s what got us into the problem we’re in.

Our school here is doing a good job and I’m proud of them. But that’s what they are well paid to do. Our United States education performance is way down by 20 something and we spend more money per pupil than any other country. This I’m not proud of. And I think we are still part of the United States.

Emil Rossi

Boonville

______________________________________________________________

MEASURE A: ON THE CURVE

Editor,

I received a card supporting the AV high school bond issue today and several people that support this bond is­sue in that card.

I do not support this bond issue with a lot of detail on the true costs of this bond issue as well question on how we got into this position, with supportive data as well.

These people cited the same US News & World Re­port article that I cited in my previous email except the performance of US News' report is open to question. As I said to many in my previous email, the performance is based upon like school sizes, students and geography. Like schools means if you are disadvantaged, come from poor families, poorly educated parents etc., you receive a bonus to improve your performance level versus other schools. That in effect is saying, comparing all other schools, you may be considerable lower in educational performance but we will give you credit with a score that rates you higher than you really are. IN THE OLD DAYS we called that a curve grading system. That CURVE SYSTEM was initiated to make poor perform­ing students feel that they were performing better than they really were as a whole.

The fact is overall the AV High School did not receive a passing grade according to California standards established by this State and I showed this report by the State in my previous email. AV high schools report by the State was “not adequate” in all categories.

The card also suggests that AV high School is one of the top high schools, however, it is disingenuous because it does not truly convey how the US News report was prepared. The details on how US News used the criteria to measure schools is below.

If you are going to quote a source as supporting your position to justify a bond issue then I would suggest you provide information to check those resources.

It will be interesting to see if the AV Advertiser prints pros and cons on this bond issue since Bruce Anderson supports this bond issue in the card I received.

Bryant Whittaker

Boonville

PS. According to the US News webste: “A three-step process determined the best high schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all their students well, using state proficiency standards as the bench­marks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work. We then fac­tored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students (who tend to score lower) enrolled at the school to identify the schools that were performing better than statistical expectations. For those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low income) were performing better than average for similar students in the state. We compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than this state average.”

______________________________________________________________

SKIP SCHOOL

Editor,

Public schools have failed!

It’s showdown time and your kids are in the pot with no raises left. America’s Education Industrial Complex has become both incapable of fulfilling its mission and too costly to be continued.

If only the system were producing graduates of some intellectual acuity and a degree of informed sophistication on world affairs, it might be worth pouring even more of our national treasure into the process, but, unfortunately it isn’t. Somehow the goal of giving children the useful information and mental discipline necessary to learning from life has been morphed into the institutionalized incarceration of youth. In our debt driven economy it is now necessary for most adults to work in order to meet the ever-increasing costs of living. Schools allow women to leave home for the wages while the little ones are herded together by age, for 14 years of state-paid babysitting and custodial oversight. If, in the process, they can be regimented into willing workers, so much the better.

The educational costs of operating this vast network of concentration campuses far exceed the funds devoted to learning in any meaningful definition. At last look something north of seventy cents of every education dollar went for administration, maintenance, utilities, (got to have hot showers for the after school sports, and feeding the inmates. That is before paying teachers their piddling pittance or buying books and class supplies, (bring your own paper and pencils).

But all that aside, the schools are doomed anyway, in the face of the impending budget disasters in nearly every state of the union. When the financial crash of ’09 threatened to overwhelm our entire economy the government decided to print money enough to spend on creating jobs. After bailing out the banks to make sure wage slaves would have somewhere to cash their paychecks and pay their bills, Congress created the “Stimulus Package” promising it would create jobs in shovel ready projects and infrastructure repairs.

Unfortunately, the states, strapped for funds from their own economic failings and pressured politically by the powerful teacher’s unions, chose to spend much of the stimulus money to “save the teachers” from layoffs dictated by the meat axe approach to budget cutting. This decision failed to produce any new jobs, thereby undermining the stimulus, and setting the stage for a yet worse conflict when the stim program runs out and its extension demands new employment rather than featherbedding of teachers, police an fire fighters. When that happens, next year, school cutbacks will savage the ranks of non tenured teachers, cut the school year by a fortnight, and increase class sizes beyond their already unmanageable count.

In short, the schools are about to self destruct. Any parent who hopes their children will become “educated” had better get them out of the collapsing public system and into internet linked home schooling, and accept the concept that child rearing is your full time job for at least a decade or two, and teaching is part of the sill set.

If education is the goal, school is a drag!

Travis T. Hip

Sparks, Nevada

______________________________________________________________

MENDO MOOLA

To The Editor:

Ukiah Businesses Create Local Money—

Three local businesses are now creating and circulat­ing our own local currency, Mendo Moola: Oco Time Japanese Cuisine, Mulligan Books, and Ukiah Brewing Company. The Mendo Moola Blog explains how and why a local currency works. Almost 20 other locally-owned businesses, listed on the blog, accept and trade Mendo Moola as payment for goods and services; they include Local Flavor Bake House, Paula's Hair Salon, Westside Renaissance Market, Mendocino Bounty, Mendocino Lavender Farm, Incognito Fun Store, and RespecTech.

Money connects buyers & sellers. Communities across the country and around the world are issuing local currencies, as they have for many years, to protect them­selves against recessions, depressions, bank failures, tight money, credit crunches, risk aversion, hoarding, and leakage that dries up the money supply, kills jobs, and destroys local economies. The more money available to be used locally and kept circulating locally,the more jobs are created and the more a local community becomes prosperous and sustainable economically.

During the Depression, more than 5,000 local currencies kept Americans alive. The past two decades, 2,500+ local currencies have sprung up nationally.

Over the past 50 years, the expansion of national busi­nesses into local domestic markets, and now the Internet, has diverted and redirected circulating money to centralized corporate coffers. ‘Leakage’ occurs when, every night, money spent that day in chain stores is sucked out of our community electronically to their headquarters elsewhere. There it is spent on large capital expenditures, overseas goods, executive salaries, loan repayments, and dividends to Wall Street investors. This colonizing and interception of funds has depleted local small towns across our nation, especially in rural areas, of an important source of money: recirculated income.

Mendo Moola is a local, self-help, complementary currency that stays home with us here in Mendocino County, and is circulated only within Mendocino County. It is accepted in payment, and returned as change by participating, locally-owned farms and busi­nesses, and can be used to purchase products, buy a beer and a good meal, give as gifts, pay babysitters, and hire landscapers. Sales tax is collected and paid as required..

By using Mendo Moola in trade – face-to-face, hand-to-hand – we are using money that never leaves our community as it does when using U.S. dollars and Credit Cards, thus facilitating additional exchanges in the local economy and making it possible to match unmet needs with unused resources. The more it changes hands and the faster it circulates, the more local jobs, local busi­nesses, and common wealth are created. $5 in Mendo Moola that changes hands 10 times in a month, is worth $50 in goods and services to the local economy.

If you are concerned, as I am, about the future prosperity, let alone survival, of our towns and county, this is one way to keep locally-owned businesses, trades persons, and artisans, alive and thriving.

We encourage locally-owned farms and businesses to accept in payment, and give change, in Mendo Moola. Local currencies work best with continued use in local transactions between locally-owned businesses and neighbors. Ask local shops to accept it, ask for it in change, give it as gifts; spend it first when you have it.

Make your money count… more than once.

Dave Smith

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!

Editor,

Major riots broke out in East Berlin in June of 1953 and by August 1961 the Soviet sector was sealed off by a Communist built wall, twenty six and a half miles long, running through that city. It was built to stem the flood of greg.refugees seeking freedom in the west.

President Reagan sent a message to Mikhail Gorbachev demanding, 'Mr. President, tear down that wall.' The wall was reduced to rubble.

We now have our own wall, from San Diego, through Arizona, New Mexico and ending near Brownsville, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. Ironically, President Nixon's name is inscribed on the 'Friendship' bridge at Amistad Dam near Del Rio, Texas, which features bronze U.S. and Mexican eagles at the center of the bridge. This has been a popular recreation area, with marinas, boat ramps, swimming beaches and campgrounds. There are dozens of more bridges connecting cities and towns between both countries.

Historically, the Rio Grande (great river) has shifted its course, at times extending twenty miles into present-day Texas in Hidalgo County, and at least two miles into present-day Mexico. This has resulted in a relatively high precentage of residents who have Mexican heritage. Many of them have relatives who live across the river.

Travel between both countries has been easy, with residents and tourists easily crossing from one country to the other. For instance, when the department stores on the U.S. side have special sales, those stores are mobbed by shoppers. Tourists or residents who visit Mexico pay a token toll to cross the bridge and, when returning, their vehicles are checked to make sure no contraband (or more than one bottle of booze per passenger) are being carried into the United States.

I will grant you, there have been a few cases where Mexicans, presumably poor or without a drivers' license, have either paddled or walked across the Rio Grande. Some have died in their attempt to reach this country. I can understand the reason for their attempt to start a new life in the United States, but is it really necessary to build a wall over 1300 miles long to keep those few out of the United States?

To echo President Reagan, Mr. President Obama, tear down that wall !

Katie Hargreaves

Willits

______________________________________________________________

GONZO FROST PROTECTION

AVA,

Who is responsible for the breathtaking 27-point incrimination of a husband, titled “American” and unattributed, in the April 14th issue? Was this a found document? And I like the addition of the Red Rooster; he's like a gonzo version of Turkey Vulture.

Speaking of the T-Vult, he ought to have been roosting on my winemaking friend's E-Z-Up canopy the other week at market as we chatted and my friend confided in me his plan for keeping his frost protection sprinklers off this spring. Here's how it works: Instead of pruning each vine back to the buds it'll need for the year, he leaves each bud as a standing spur eight to ten inches high. The spur has several buds on it, and the highest one naturally breaks bud first. Because the topmost or “apical” bud on a vine is dominant, the lower buds will remain dormant during those first fitful weeks of spring, when frost might still be a danger. Sooner or later a frost comes along, and smites the top bud. It dies. The next bud down then breaks into leaf and becomes the dominant bud. A frost comes along and bud #2 dies also. No problem because there is still a dormant (thus undamaged) third bud, and so on. My friend hopes he has left at least one bud for each frost event between here and the end of spring.

After all danger of frost is past, he now prunes back to the bud which will be the dominant one for the season. (Even if nature has already neatly done this for him, he still needs to hike through the vineyard and prune out the frost-damaged, now rotting, spurs, if only for sanitation's sake.) At any rate, he estimates the cost of this quick, one-time pruning pass-through at $80 per acre. That's his labor cost. He has avoided the cost of the water AND the diesel he would otherwise have used to pump frost protection water; and no fan has been switched on. His grapes will mature anywhere from a few days to a few weeks later than others' (depending on the length of season between bud-break and the last frost), which is a gamble he's willing to take.

If you publish this, perhaps a grape grower will see it and be willing to experiment next year. I'll report back to you in the fall. By the way, research on this strategy is also underway at UC Davis.

For wine and carrion,

Wolfgang Rougle

Cottonwood, California

Ed note: That indictment was written by novelist Don DeLillo.

______________________________________________________________

POT LAW: THE EARLY YEARS

Editor,

Cannabis is locally produced natural energy.

As an ancient medicinal herb, all of its moving parts — roots, leaves, stem, flowers — are organic, replenish the soil, heal the people, lubricate the social life and need only sun and water to grow.

When left to its own devices, the plant has never been known to kill a single person despite thousands of years of use by millions of people. Quite an impressive record — history's testament to cannabis as the safest known medicine on Earth.

Whatever harms are associated with the plant — robberies, home invasions, theft, greed — stem from prohibition, effectively organizing the crime that results from trying to outlaw something socially popular and economically important.

As with alcohol prohibition, marijuana prohibition (1937-2010) has been an abysmal failure. The war against marijuana for three-quarters of a century has been the longest most protracted war of any kind on US soil.

When alcohol prohibition ended, like it began, with a constitutional amendment — one to authorize it, one to repeal it (1919-1933) — organized crime needed another popular drug to prohibit to take the place of alcohol.

It took an all-out racist 'reefer madness' campaign designed to whip up racist hysteria at the highest levels of liars money can buy.

By 1937, Congress caved and marijuana was federally controlled. Cannabis was still technically available by prescription until 1970 but couldn't compete with hard drugs like morphine that were rising in popularity and fell into infrequent use in the pharmacopia until finally prohibited by Congress for all purposes, including medical, in the Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was a product of Nixon's Presidency and the 1968 Republican Party 'War on Drugs' Platform, which got him elected.

It codified prohibition of prescription access to cannabis (Schedule 1) and started us on the journey we're mired in to this day.

Pebbles Trippet

Elk

______________________________________________________________

NO ON PRIVATE GARBAGE

To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

Dear Chair Brown,

Due to a series of meetings I must attend in Sacramento on Tuesday I am unable to personally address the Board regarding agenda item #5D (Review and Possible Adoption of Solid Wastes of Willits, Inc. Proposed Contract). Please distribute my comments to the Board for their consideration.

As a resident of Mendocino County, former member of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority and as a candidate for supervisor I strongly oppose the proposed contract and urge a No vote by the Board of Supervisors.

Many areas of the proposal should be of immediate concern (i.e., eliminating bi-lingual educational materials, lack of diversion performance requirements, elimination of wood and yard waste recycling at the Albion Transfer Station, failure of many performance compliance issues, reported overcharging of over half its customers including all of its South Coast customers, and more).

I understand that the County cannot afford to subsidize transfer station operations and that privatizing the operation is one option.

Another way would be for the County to raise gate fees and cut expenses sufficiently to allow the transfer stations to break even. That’s what’s being offered by Solid Waste of Willits, but does not give away control of our county’s waste stream.

In choosing between these courses of action, I hope that you will keep the following points in mind:

1. Giving long-term extensions to Solid Wastes of Willits for its franchise collection contracts is a major benefit to them. Would the County — and the public — get fair value, or any value, from this concession?

2. Fifteen years is a long term for an exclusive solid waste contract, especially if it has automatic rate adjustments that could substantially boost the gate fee every year. Can anyone predict if the gate fee will fairly reflect the actual costs of operation five years or ten years into the contract?

3. No private business should be given new or extended government contracts unless they have complied with the provisions of existing contracts. To do otherwise would be to sanction contract violations and ultimately not be in the best interest of the County or its residents.

Thank you for your consideration of this complex and important issue.

Sincerely,

Jim Mastin

Candidate for 5th District Supervisor

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

SETTING THE DA STRAIGHT

Editor,

My name is Barbara Newell and I’m sending this email in an effort to set the record straight. You were sent an email on May 19th, by Meredith Lintott’s campaign that attributed to David Eyster things that are simply not true. So that you are not misled, I hope you will take a moment to read what I have to say. If you are not interested, please hit delete and you won’t be hearing from me again in this fashion. I’m sure you are each aware that Ms. Lintott allowed the entire mailing list to be seen by all. I am using the list that she disclosed and making sure that each email address is protected from further disclosure to others.

Yesterday’s Lintott email claimed that David Eyster is publicly criticizing the incumbent for prosecuting the Potter Valley burro case, as well as criticizing her regarding the Denoyer horse case. These twin statements are simply not true. David has not criticized the incumbent for her handling of the Denoyer matter, despite the fact that the overall prosecution ultimately failed. Admitting he is not privy to the evidence in that case, David has repeatedly refused to comment on why the prosecution failed when he’s been asked. The only comment David has made is that he thinks a different prosecutor in Ms. Lintott’s office should have handled the case. David has also not berated the incumbent for the filing of charges in the burro case. Again, the only comment David has made regarding the burro case was reported in the Press Democrat, albeit out of context. Placed in context, David said he did not believe the right thing had been done by the DA’s office in leaking the crime reports to the media and I agree with this. The leak has turned the burro case into a political football that is now being bantered about in the court of public opinion instead of a court of law. In attempting to turn people against Eyster’s experience and superior qualifications, the Lintott email also failed to note that David is not the primary attorney on the burro case; rather, he has a minor role that will complete in about 5 to 7 days.

I personally support David Eyster to be our next District Attorney and this attempt to impugn his character simply because he is doing his job of providing legal advice bothers me. Simply put, yesterday’s email was all about Ms. Lintott trying to gain a political advantage through subterfuge. While I understand Ms. Lintott’s need to stay employed and be re-elected, her campaign rhetoric should not devalue the truth by making claims that are objectively false.

Barbara Newell

Potter Valley

______________________________________________________________

AB WATCH’S ARMADA

Editor,

Mendocino Abalone Watch Launches Armada of One

The citizen-originated Mendocino Abalone Watch began just 9 months ago with five volunteers and no budget. It has now grown to 30 volunteers that patrol the coast from MacKerricher State Park to the Navarro River at times of heavy abalone taking on weekends and low tides.

This weekend, MAW tried out techniques beyond just observing from bluff tops and volunteers outnumbered divers at Van Damme State Park. The MAW “navy” consisted of volunteers Chuck Greenberg and Bill Lemos who launched a two-man kayak and paddled among divers, urging compliance with abalone regulations. They did so as four other volunteers observed from the nearby bluff with binoculars and a spotting scope that was donated to MAW by Out of this World. Meanwhile, volunteers Agnes Woolsey and Joel Schwartz set up an informational table on the beach, meeting and talking with divers and tourists.

While all this activity was taking place south of Mendocino, three other volunteers were busy patrolling what MAW calls the North Sector, emphasizing Glass Beach and Todd’s Point. According to the Department of Fish & Game, the stock of red abalone on the North Coast has visibly depreciated over the last few years. Over 300,00 have been legally picked a year, which does not include perhaps an equal number taken by poachers.

Even with the growing numbers, MAW volunteer coordinator Maribeth White said that more people are needed to insure the existing volunteers don’t “burn out” from overworking. Volunteers are only asked to participate in one 3-hour shift per month but many have chosen to do much more, finding the experience gratifying and appreciating the camaraderie of working with neighbors to protect this natural resource for future generations.

To volunteer and sign up for the training session, or just to learn about MAW, go to www.mendoabwatch.com, send an email to abalonewatch@gmail.com, or call 937.3725.

Rod Jones

Mendocino

______________________________________________________________

EDUCATE, WARN, VENT

Editors & AVA readers:

My radio program Tuesday evening from 7-8 PM on KZYX at www.kzyx.org will address the cellular wireless concerns I have been discussing for many years. Dr. Magda Havas will be my guest and has published a crucial paper looking at the impacts of cell Antennae on 6000 schools in the US. She has found that 65% of the children or 1.4 million kids are impacted. These impacts range from minor headaches and ADHD to electro hypersensitivity, brain disfunction, heart problems. Her website www.magdahavas.com is an incredible resource of excellent studies and reports on cellular impacts, microwave oven impacts, wifi concerns etc. One references is to a recent TV show where a Doctor from UCSD medical discusses the tumors associated with cell phones and heart disorders. He says it has been going on for 10 years. Others have been reporting it since 1986. The most revealing comment that the medical doctor makes is that he does not allow his children to use cell phones and is cautious in how he uses his! I continue to hear whitewashed lies about this and want you all to consider the lies around various 'safe' drugs and silicon in implants. Also do not forget asbestos and chromium which has bitten Willits folks too close to home.

On an unrelated note, you may be aware of the very traumatic accident involving a drunken Mexican man and a local AV man, Tom Smith. I was a witness in this accident and saw the damage to Tom, observed the Mexican man run off. The hit and runner was captured latter that evening thanks to a co-witness. The next day as this sad situation ricochet through my being, my first response was to call all my representatives and the President (unsuccessfully in the latter case,) and demand they get off the pot and do their job. We need real immigration reform that allows alien workers to work, have licenses and thus learn the rules of the roads, stop the idiotic and expensive embargo of alien worker cars and the very silly hand slapping in court for unlicensed drivers who obviously have to drive. We clearly need the alien workers as we have needed all of the various immigrants who have come to our great country and brought all their cultural gifts and we need to allow them to meld legally and follow rules realistically. The healing of my friend Tom is very present in my thoughts. His body is very damaged, but fortunately it is primarily bones. His safety belt saved his life along with the incredible folks that volunteer on our Ambulance and fire services. What a dedicated group! Kudos to all of you.

On the oil front, I heard an NPR interview with a man, whose company made oil drilling supplies. The man was upset at the impact the stoppage of off shore oil drilling was having on his livelihood. The nerve! There are other jobs, better jobs, truly green jobs, but look at all that has been lost for the idiotic tapping of unrenewable power and the lack of serious oversite and fail safe planning by our Federal government. What are our tax dollars really doing other than providing good health care for representatives? It is heartbreaking to imagine the damage that is happening in the ocean and coast lines and the impacts on green jobs. On its heels is 4)the insane resurrection of the nuclear power lies and dependence on that insane power means. The carbon footprint and exorbitant power use of making a plant and putting it to bed with its toxins is obscene, but what is missing as always is the truth that these plants spew radioactive toxins in the from of gases and radioactive water (tritiated water-AKA heavy water that maims all life.) The www.radiation.org site discusses the toothfairy study that shows that children within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant have absorbed the unnatural radioisotope strontium in their dentition. Strontium can only appear in a nuclear reaction, replaces calcium where it wreaks havoc on living tissue. Radioactive iodine and bromine are gases that can be respired and damage the lungs. Other long lasting isotopes including plutonium are also released. There are literally hundreds of radioactive isotopes release every day! These are absorbed into cattle that graze near plants to be transferred as food in meat and dairy products and most sadly this has been resurrected during a Democrat's reign as President. For me it is one of the bigger stains on the Obama Administration. President Obama, “We should not do it! No nuke power.” Contact your representatives and say no. I recall living near Three mile plant when it went down and the way Americans stopped nuclear power like we are now stopping offshore oil drilling. The cost in lives is priceless, unimaginable and unacceptable. No nuclear power!

And last, thanks AVA staff for the opportunity to educate, warn and vent.

Greg Krouse

Philo

______________________________________________________________

LOST RIVERS

Editor,

On Thursday June 3 at 7PM at the Albion School, The Sierra Club Mendocino Group will present the documentary video “Rivers Of A Lost Coast.”

This award winning video which has received wide acclaim, includes previously unseen footage, vintage photos, archival headlines and exclusive interviews, and has received praise in the SF Chronicle and the Seattle Times among others.

Bill Lemos will introduce the film and give brief remarks on its relevance for our time and place.

Centered on rivers like the Eel, Russian, Gualala, Klamath and Smith, the film depicts legendary anglers using innovative tactics to win Field and Stream contests. They fished the wild tidal rivers of the North Coast and landed fish of such size that the Eel became nationally known as the River of Giants, where famous and historic figures came to believe their own eyes and fish the “The World’s Best”.

That’s 7pm at the Albion School, 3 miles up Albion Ridge. Discussion and refreshments will accompany the event. Contact 937-0572

Dan Myers

Philo

______________________________________________________________

THE TEXAS MODEL?

Dear Editor:

In the world of silly political actions one can always look to Texas where such actions seem to be a regular occurance. The latest is the textbook revisions by the Texas State School Board which made some remarkable changes in textbooks to correct years of “liberal bias.” For starters, they say America is not a democracy but a “constitututional republic” which is just a lot of right wing claptrap. They changed “slave trade” to “Atlantic Triangular Trade” and include a long list of Confederate officials students must learn. Also, an equivalency between the inaugural addresses of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln.

Hey folks, you to seem to have forgotten the South lost the Civil War and the Confederacy is no more. Get over it.

Also, standards that mininize the separation between church and state. They need to read tthe works of John Locke whose writings influenced Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other drafters of the Constitution. In addition, among other changes, the new standards say that international institutions such such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty and that references to Obama should include his middle name but is not a requirement for other former presidents. The sad thing is that the 4.7 million public school students in Texas will be exposed on a continous basis to this garbage. Fortunately in this era of computerized printing other states who use textbooks printed in Texas will be able to eliminate all this stupidity from the textbooks they will be using. Too bad the Texas children have to suffer as a result of thr right wingers rewriting history.

In peace,

James Updegraff

Sacramento

______________________________________________________________

NOTHING GOOD

Dear Supervisors

Yesterday during a break, a few members of the Retirement Board asked me “what's up” with the stock market. My answer? Nothing good.

Today, Thursday, May 20, 2010, the Dow was down again by triple digits — Dow down 376 points — in yet another stomach-churning sell off. Add up the last ten days of losses, and the gains for stocks this year have been completely erased. Gone. Disappeared. Off the table.

What made today particularly troubling?

Well, today I saw something I've hardly ever seen in my 30-year career — massive deleveraging. Stocks, bonds, and commodities — in both U.S. and international markets — were all sold (driving markets down), at the same time central banks and traders bought currencies (driving currencies and Treasuries up). This is called deleveraging, and it could signal a liquidity crisis, like the one we saw in October, 2007. The emphasis is on “could.”

But things seemed so good, right?

Wrong.

The fact there was a V-shaped recovery in stock prices earlier this year, was not to be confused with a V-shaped economic recovery. Concerns about Europe's sovereign debt is now spreading to China. And yesterday, initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 25,000 claims to 471,000 for the week ending May 15.

Translated to simple language?

Despite a trillion dollars in government bailouts, and trillions more in fiscal and monetary stimulus, and despite record low interest rates, and despite low inflation, we are still in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

And none of this is good news for the Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association.

Any questions, write to me.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

ALL BARK

Editor,

Frostbite Enforcement Action — All Bark: No “Real” Protection for Salmonid Species in Sight

Recent “enforcement” action by the federal agents against Green Pastures Valley vineyard for the alleged killing and “taking” of endangered salmonid species in Felta Creek, a tributary to the Russian River, although commendable, is too little too late.

A fine of $150,000 was assessed against the vintner for allegedly killing coho salmon, on two separate occasions back in 2008 and 2009. The alleged kill resulted by sucking so much water out of the stream, during a frost event, to protect vines from frost bite (a common event in California’s “Wine Country”) leaving the salmon high and dry to die.

The National Ocean Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of the General Counsel for Enforcement and Litigation issued a press release, stating: “This penalty should send a strong message that we put a high priority on protecting species listed under the Endangered Species Act,” said Don Masters, Special Agent in Charge of the Southwest Division of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE). “But make no mistake, we would much rather work with landowners to find ways to protect these fish instead of issuing penalty assessments.”

Since the early 2000s Porgans, in unison with former clients, worked diligently with NOAA personnel to get them off the dime and into the field to salvage the remnants of what is left of a once legendary anadromous fisheries population in the Russian River watershed.

NOAA’s agents have been “investigating” the “take” of more than 300 coho salmon in the spring of 2008, with 31 of those fish dying, alleging “…the winery was aware of the existence of coho salmon in that Creek before the incident, and informed the vineyard that its frost protection practices were having adverse impacts on endangered species in the watershed. However, in the spring of 2009, the firm allegedly again used practices that killed an additional five fish.”

The agents’ claim that this enforcement action sends a clear signal to others in “Wine Country” about NOAA’s intent to prosecute water diversions that kill listed species sounds like more bark than bite. The deplorable decline in salmonid species in the Russian River watershed, and the Pacific Northwest, is a testament to NOAA’s “enforcement” track record. NOAA’s civil enforcement action is more about protecting what’s left of its toothless guard-dog reputation, then actually holding the politically-connected elite in “Wine Country” accountable; this is a classic case of going after the small “fry” and letting the King Fish off the hook.

Undoubtedly, NOAA’s two year investigation has been time consuming and expensive. Contact was made with NOAA’s Lesli Bales-Sherrod, to ascertain if criminal charges are to be filed, and to inquire as to how much the investigation cost the taxpayers to date. We are awaiting Ms. Sherrod’s reply regarding the costs. It would not be surprising if the investigation cost more than the $115,000 fine.

Critics contend that this is not about the killing or “taking” of a 37 endangered coho salmon. NOAA has spent billions of taxpayers’ dollars on salmon restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest, and government officials, in concert with their legions of “experts” have and continue to expend billions more to double fish populations in California; which have been an abysmal failure.

The public has the right to know why the agents’ opted to go with just a civil action; and there are still questions about the hundreds of “threatened” steelhead that were killed during those two events, and in other instances where salmonids were killed due to frost protection activities throughout the watershed.

There is nothing wrong with OLE’s policy to make every effort to work with vintners to ensure compliance with the law; however, it must remain mindful of its role as a watchdog not a lap dog. Law enforcement agents conceded that the vintner has prior knowledge of the circumstances leading to the second killing; yet, no word about criminal charges.

It is important to keep the gravity of “kill/take” in perspective — if a fisherman was caught with an endangered coho salmon, he can be arrested and charged with a felony for possession. Likewise, if any person had a feather of a bald-headed eagle, which dropped out of the sky, they also could be charged with a felony.

NOAA’s action is symptomatic and is comparable to being bitten by a dog without teeth. The major problem facing the Russian River and other regions of the State is fish are being deprived water, which is purportedly afforded to them by law. NOAA personnel have essentially bent over backwards in their attempts to work with and appease the vineyard community. In so doing, they have suffered the “blowback” and the brunt of the criticism for this civil enforcement action. However, the real problem with the killing and “taking” of listed salmonid species, some of which are on the brink of extinction, is the result of government depriving fish water.

Providing water for fish in California is the primary responsibility of the State Water Resources Control Board, which, if you can imagine, has even a worse enforcement record than NOAA. For example, the Board was aware of more than 1,771 illegal water diversions and/or reservoirs in the Russian River watershed, while the fish kill on Felta Creek and other streams were taking place. Those illegal diversions and reservoirs contribute to the depravation of water required for listed species survival, especially during frost events. However, the Board opted to take all of its enforcement personnel out of the basin to conduct investigatory work elsewhere in the state, relating to illegal water diversions, and, essentially have allowed the violations to go unabated.

If, NOAA is really interested in sending a message or sinking its “teeth” into an entity that deserves to be charged with violating the Endangered Species Act, then it should file charges against the Board, for aiding and abetting the ongoing take of endangered species, by failing to ensure water for the protection of Public Trust Resources. After all, that is neither the vintners’ nor NOAA’s responsibility.

Since 2004 efforts have been underway via the Board to adopt the North Coast Instream Flow Policy (as provided by California Assembly Bill 2121 (Water Code 1259.4) (2004). Coincidentally, on May 4, 2010 the Board adopted a policy for water quality control titled “Policy for Maintaining Instream Flows in Northern California Coastal Streams”. The policy purportedly contains principles and guidelines for maintaining instream flows for the purposes of water right administration and “protection” of fish. Here again, this protracted piece of legislation amounts to just another buy-time stall tactic, is fundamentally flawed, and watered down. The primary reasons is because no one seems to really know how much water is being illegally diverted from within the Russian River watershed, responsible for killing fish; and for the few that may know, they are not letting on. Lastly, it will take years before that type of quantifiable data will be gathered, if then. Here is the take on the Board’s policy by a “well-established” law firm:

• The Policy and supporting technical documentation is approximately 800 pages

• There is also a “functional equivalent” CEQA compliance document that is several hundred pages

• It appears the people most affected by the policy have been largely unaware that the policy even exists

• The Policy is so complex that affected individuals cannot read the policy and understand how it will be applied, and how they will be affected.

It is important to keep in mind that most of the data on stream flow and diversions will be gathered and provided by the vintners not the government. The question is, will the public continue to take the bait — while the fate of the salmonid species rest in the government’s hands, which continues to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars to “protect” fish.

Patrick Porgans

Porgans & Associates

San Francisco

______________________________________________________________

THE BIGGEST CATASTROPHE

Editor,

Oh my god, what are we, as a society, to make of this unparalleled catastrophe going right now in the Gulf of Mexico?! For weeks now I have been reminded of the terror that I felt years ago as an out-of-control fire raged through the Berkeley hills, killing many and reducing some of the most beautiful old homes in the country to cinders. I was trying to work, but unable to focus on the task at hand, as it seemed pointless against the backdrop of this wild, growing conflagration.

Similarly, it is almost impossible to completely clear one's mind of the gushing undersea volcano of crude oil spewing as I write this. News reports of other subjects; Iran's possible future nuclear plans, the upheaval in Thailand, the vagaries of American political preferences on this or that, all seem suddenly on a par of importance with the latest American Idol sensation compared with the Earth-wrecking catastrophe that still goes on week after cataclysmic week.

Now, after a month of at least 200 gallons a minute of the earth's precious poison resource fouling the largest part of Earth's surface since the beginning of the petroleum era, we find that BP has been lying to us; when they said that they could not determine how much oil was gushing forth and refused to turn over video of the plume at its source, we should have immediately smelled a rat. Any first year physics student informed of the pipe diameter could have quickly come up with a pretty close estimation of the volume of the spilling oil. Finally, one month on, we find that the spill is not a thousand barrels or 5000 barrels, but it may well be fully 50,000 a day! In other words, an Exxon Valdez every few days!

For a month now I have hoped and prayed in vain for a hero to come charging to the rescue. I pinned great hopes on the hundred ton box that turned out to be a complete failure. While the suction tube, thank God, is working, I guess it is only removing 10% or so of the problem. Can it really be that no one in the world can think of a way to stop that damn thing up in less than a couple of months?!

A recent 60 Minutes interview with one of the drill rig's main techies, who barely escaped with his life, reveals the incredible series of criminally negligent blunders ORDERED to be committed by the BP execs; ignoring the fact that one of the two control pods of the blowout preventer (BOP) was broken, dismissing the severe damage that was accidentally done to the BOP during one of its tests, then hurrying and otherwise changing standard procedures on the three concrete plugs that were put in the casing by subcontractor Halliburton. If I were this guy who was interviewed on 60 minutes I would put myself into protective custody pending BPs prosecution. Clearly these actions by BP constitute the most egregious kind of criminal negligence; what amount of money can ever compensate for all the damage that will have been done by the time this is over (if it is ever over)? It seems to me like the only solution is to nationalize BP, zero out all of its stockholders, dismiss every executive responsible for this and other spills and employee deaths, and hire on new leadership that understands the need to look out for some things other than the bottom-line. Imagine what BP’s scores of billions of dollars per quarter income could do for our national economy! It's the least they can do by way of compensation!

Sincerely,

John Arteaga

Ukiah

PS. I hope that a lot of people tuned in Monday evening to KZYX, to hear the station's excellent interviewer, Karen Ottoboni, conduct an in-depth two-hour discussion with all of the candidates for Fifth District supervisor. With a long series of timely questions about problems that the county faces, as well as questions phoned in by listeners, the program gave a pretty good exposure to potential voters of how these candidates might perform as their next county supervisor.

For me, the choice is obvious. Dan Hamburg has done a great deal of thinking about how to deal with the looming problems the county faces, and how to move us forward. Hamburg's interest in and knowledge about each one of the issues demonstrates to me the fact that he has been deeply engaged in all the important challenges that our county has faced during the years since he was last a county supervisor.

Dan showed great integrity when he went to Washington, DC as our congressman. Most freshman representatives wouldn’t have risked their seats by taking on Charles Hurwitz and MAXXAM corporation. Dan did, and moved the Headwaters Forest Act successfully through the House with a huge bipartisan vote. Unfortunately, California’s two senators, also new to Congress at the time, waited too long to move a Senate companion bill and the clock ran out. Still, I’m glad that Dan is the kind of person, and the kind of politician, who doesn’t shrink from big challenges just to stay in office.

It is his ability to look down the road with a long view to the future that will enable him, as our next Fifth District supervisor, to successfully work for the good of the county and its people.

Vote for Dan Hamburg, he's the kind of leader that we really need if we are going to find our way out of the briar patch!

______________________________________________________________

PRAYING FOR THE DAY

Editor,

Welcome to my world; a resort of sorts you see.

Where doors locked behind you and fantasies are free.

Where calendars mean nothing and the months seem like years

Where rivers could flow from all the fallen tears.

Just one big warehouse filled with every human race

As soon as one leaves there is another to take his place.

So welcome to my world, it's not where I want to be.

I pray for the day when they set me free.

Lance Scott

Soledad

______________________________________________________________

SICK IN THE GHOST TOWN

To whom it may concern:

I am an inmate in a low-risk lower-level prison yard with a lot of nonviolent uneducated inmates. We are still here in this ghost town yard trying to do re-hab and earn an education so that we can stay out of prison. Most of the prisoners in my dormitory are over 40 years and 50 years of age. Most of them have trouble walking with a cane. Another large group is on medication and sleeps all day. But overcrowding here is an issue for the millions of taxpayers who pay their hard-earned money to warehouse us.

Now they have reduced our GED classes to one day a week from the previous five days a week. Most of the rest of the time in the spent waiting for medical attention because most of us are over 50 and have a variety of lingering medical problems with our livers and our backs mostly.

I have put in five requests for medical care for a bottom bunk opportunity because my left knee is going out and I suffer from back and stomach problems and related pain and have been suffering for five months now. I told the authorities on my fifth request for medical assistance that my next form would be a CDC 602 grievance form because my suffering lately is getting worse and I am in need of urgent medical attention.

On January 25, 2000 and I was called to the dental clinic for removal of the remainder of my teeth. But they didn't call me back until late May. Now I will be going home in nine months without any teeth. Three inmates in my dorm were paroled from this yard with no teeth. They are now awaiting dentures. One of them was a diabetic. He must have patience.

As the election of a new governor approaches the taxpayers still become a victim of this so-called lame-duck governor we now have. Our GED classes were cut way back and we lay around with medical problems and nowhere to go but this ghost town.

I've written to four prisoner advocates in this state and to several prison periodicals all over California about these conditions. As I get responses I gather that the federal prisons are more lame-duck than the governor is because while the federal prisoners are on hold for appeals, the state is waiting to uphold the release of adult students like me.

The prisons get to collect the $48,000 a year to house me while I'm still here milking the state for being housed in his ghost town with no programs, no medical care, and no recreation. Why is the economy not getting any better? Do we wait until the new governor gets elected before they do something about be aging criminals in here who are well over 50 years old, running around this ghost town, suffering from health problems with canes and sleeping pills.

Hello!

Jose Fort, Student, 52

Ghost Town, Soledad

PS. Since my last letter on healthcare denial the California Department of Corrections continues to deprive us of our rehabilitation and from getting any proper medical attention. Back in January I was assigned to an educational program but since we are still unstaffed for our library of medical, religious and law books our education has been effectively canceled. Since 120 students were entered into GED pretesting, we now are unassigned with no end in sight. We have nowhere to go in this ghost town. Do nonviolent inmates present a risk to society? No. We just sit here bilking the taxpayers for no reason at all.

______________________________________________________________

MEDS & JUSTICE: DENIED

To Bruce McEwen and the AVA:

Apples and oranges — medical marijuana and prescription pain pills. Both are legal. Neither are allowed in the Mendocino County Jail. I was arrested in 2006 and allowed to take my personal prescription pain meds to the Mendocino County Jail. I've taken this medication for nine years. No pain medications are allowed at the Mendocino County Jail. Zero.

So I get very ill, the Sheriff calls the ambulance. I am taken to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center emergency room where, at the emergency room, at taxpayer dollars, a doctor gives me the pain medications and then calls the Mendocino County Jail telling the staff to allow me my pain medications. I go back to the Mendocino County Jail and: No meds.

I called Alternate Defender Bert Schlosser who has told me he'd make sure I got my pain medications while in the Mendocino County Jail. No return call, no letter, no lawyer visit from Alternate Defender Schlosser. And no pain medication.

Can I get any justice in the United States?

Deputy Johnson assaulted me while I was face down on the cement jail floor already handcuffed. Deputy Johnson told me: “This is what you get for painting up my town.”

This incident of assault was taped on video cameras at the jail, also witnessed by Deputy Wyant. I got no medical attention. I got no phone calls to the Alternate Defender's office. When I did call Mr. Schlosser later he did not care to talk on the phone so I left messages asking him to investigate and get a copy of the Mendocino County Jail videocamera recording. Alternate Defender Schlosser chose to do nothing.

So, in September of 2009, I got arrested for petty theft of under $5 in value and waited inside Mendocino County Jail for seven days for the Sheriff’s Department to take me to the courthouse and see a judge. California law states that 48 hours are allowed for arraignment with some specific exceptions. Public Defender Linda Thompson said nothing to the judge about these seven days and will not answer my letters that I have hand delivered to her office.

Is there a lawyer/reader who can offer me any legal advice? Would Hannibal Lecter approve of Ms. Thompson's pantsuits?

Tim Abbott

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

RENEWAL

Dear AVA,

I just received another wonderful copy of your newspaper. There was a red stamp that said “your subscription expires this month.” I have really really enjoyed this subscription you gave me while I was in Florence, Arizona. The subscription has followed me from Arizona to Low Gap Road and now back here to San Quentin State prison. I have been locked down for a five years now and I feel like I am losing a close friend. Your paper has helped me do my time. I sit here every week patiently awaiting my next copy of the AVA. I have enjoyed many hours reading the great articles in the AVA. Can I please get my subscription extended until August 1? I plan to be a faithful lifelong subscriber upon my release. Please help.

Sincerely,

Mike LaFlam

San Quentin

______________________________________________________________

CALLAHAN FOR JUDGE

Letter to the Editor:

Callahan for Judge

Caren Callahan has my vote for superior court judge. She passed the bar in 1990 and has two decades of respected experience as an attorney in private practice. Her law enforcement background will give her a very unique perspective as judge, seeing full circle from crimes on the street to the rulings in the courtroom.

Very impressive to me is her community mindedness. She has put in countless hours doing pro bono work for non-profits in our community such as cancer resource center, PFLAG, Redwood Legal Aid, and Full Circle Wellness Center. I know she has helped a great many local citizens with such things as employee disputes, financial and tax matters, preparing end-of-life documents, helping new organizations set up non-profit status, and doing mediation to help people solve disputes. She has also volunteered her time to union boards. Doing these types of pro bono work is a major component of her work hours. Caren has a deep respect and impartiality towards people.

As judge, her mediation skills will assist in framing early dispute resolution processes, saving court costs and excess trials clogging the calendar.

There are 8 divisions in our superior court system, any one of which our new judge could be placed. They range from civil, family, drug, juvenile, probate, criminal, small claims and traffic court. Caren is prepared to step into any one of those potential assignments. She’s fair and informed and has the right temperament to be our next superior court judge. Callahan for judge! Vote June 8!

Janet McLeod

Redwood Valley

______________________________________________________________

20/20

Letter to the Editor,

I would like to say that as I watched the 20/20 episode on Aaron Vargas, I could not believe what I was hearing Sgt. Van Patten say! That Aaron had a consensual, adult relationship with McNeill... As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can tell you, that I understand the control McNeill had over Aaron, and his other victims. The pedophiles put you in a mental prison. They control your thoughts and actions. It is all a part of their “plan.” That is how they make sure the secret is kept, and they are not caught. My abuser had mental control over me, until I was 38 years old. I broke free, and the sexual abuse stopped, but that mental control was still there. “He” took the first half of my life. It is sad that people don't understand how extreme the effects of CSA are, but it is especially sad, that a Sgt. in law enforcement does not understand. Please, help make the public aware of these effects, and just how deep they go. It is time that the public learn the truth, we can not sweep CSA under the rug any longer, we need to understand it,

so we can stop it!!

Thank you for your time,

Billie Lynch

Saginaw, Michigan

______________________________________________________________

DOUBTING VAN PATTEN

TO THE EDITOR:

I am writing this on behalf of Aaron Vargas. I was watching his story on 20/20 and I was very taken back by the remark that Sgt. Greg Van Patten made that Aaron and McNeil were involved in a consensual sexual relationship and the motive for the shooting was a “lovers quarrel.” Van Patten has no business being making that statement as an officer of the law. He has no business as a police officer and should be removed from his position. Van Patten should know the law that he broke and that was Defamation of Character to Aaron.

I know the police have to do their work but you do not go on National Television and say something that he did not know the pure facts of. Thus, was humiliating and hurtful to Aaron’s family and caused them more damage than what they have already been through. I can not imagine what it did mentally to Aaron Vargas. It was obvious on 20/20 that he was traumatized over the molestation, rape, and shooting. Now, what is this man thinking while sitting in a jail cell while some cop made an accusation about him that could ruin his life even more. I hope his family files a lawsuit against Van Patten on behalf of Aaron for Defamation of Character. There is no proof they were lovers!

Guilt is universally experienced by almost all victims. That is exactly what McNeil did to Vargas. He had cast a spell of guilt over him. Aaron became a puppet on a string. I have a family member that was molested by someone who lived in her home. My family member kept this guilt inside her for years and at anytime she could have came and told and got her away from the situation. But, it came so routine to her that after a while she blanked it all out…falling over and over again to her predator’s spell. It was like it became a part of her life. She was not romantically involved in a relationship with her predator. Like Van Patten, the defense attorney made the same accusation and the motion was thrown out out by the judge. Regardless, of anything Aaron and my family member were children when they were first molested!

Aaron and my family member both trusted their predator at one point in life. As young children, we are raised and taught to respect our elders. Because sometimes they are the ones that provide us with all the essential knowledge of life. They are the ones that render feelings of love and trust. Most children form a bond with with another elder and their parent or both and that can not be broken.

But may times that trust is broken when one takes advantage of the love that the child feels for them, and uses that love as a way to get them to do things that they know are wrong, but since they trust that person.....It can't be wrong right?

It goes downhill from here. In many and most cases the predator will accuse the child of having been bad. Sometimes they tell them that no one will believe them if they try to tell what has happened.

They may threaten the child. Most times, the child will want to protect other siblings from what is happening to them, or want to protect their parent from physical harm and will keep the secret until, one day they just can not hold it in any longer. Maybe, that secret will slowly seep out without intention, by accident. In Aaron’s case he was protecting his daughter. He was scared, angry, and hurting. He wanted that person he “trusted” to stop hurting him and to protect his daughter.

How could someone like McNeil be allowed to walk the streets after all the other boys he molested? Why won’t our judicial encourage children to come forth who have been victimized? Why is the predator swept under the rug? Why does a vigilante have to pay the price because the judicial system has failed us so many times?

Bella Maria

Chicago, IL

______________________________________________________________

WHAT’S WITH VAN PATTEN?

Editor:

In regards to Aaron Vargas:

Many child rapists get a slap on the wrist under the current system and are released after a couple years where they are free to destroy more children - the ones who get minor sentences are the ones who will go on to rape and then kill so there is no living witness the next time - and there will be a next time - study after study has shown these monsters can't be rehabilitated.

However, on 20/20 Sgt. Van Patten is treating this as a sexcapades with Vargas and McNeill. Totally uncalled for!!!! Vargas did a heroic act. He was messed with mentally and tormented by McNeill. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out! Too bad Vargas killed McNeill because maybe one day McNeill could watch Sgt. Van Pattens children!

These children are also likely to have on average 50 female or 150 male victims before they are caught - how many children are we going to allow to be destroyed by these predators until we say enough is enough! Death penalty for child rapists, or if you're squeamish then life in prison with no possibility of parole - it is time for all adults to stand up for the sake of our children and stop feeding our precious babies to these monsters!! As far as I'm concerned, the moment someone rapes a child they forgo all human rights and protection from cruel and unusual punishment! What they do to children is cruel and unusual and deserves to be paid in kind!

anonymous

Seattle

______________________________________________________________

DAN’S BIG OVERHAUL

Editor:

Why vote for Dan Hamburg for Fifth District Supervisor? He has served on the Ukiah planning commission, been a county Supervisor, a non-profit executive director for the past 14 years, and a congressman who served on the Public Works and Transportation and the Merchant Marine and Fisheries committees. He served for seven years as executive director of two other local non-profits- North Coast Opportunities and the Ukiah Child Development Center, and has been on the board of Ukiah Natural Foods since 2005. In 1995, as an advisor to President Nelson Mandela, Dan was a consultant to the newly formed government of South Africa. Is there another candidate who has this breadth of experience?

Dan sees a county government in dire need of an overhaul that incorporates transparency, standardized reporting and formation of citizen committees to help keep the Board educated and in touch with citizen concerns. He has made a commitment to incentivizing the bidding process for local folks eager to do business with the county. He’s been a policy maker and even a protester when he felt it was important to take a stand. Isn’t that the kind of commitment we need right now?

Contrary to the urban legend, Dan never owned but did work in gas stations for years- pumping gas, changing oil and fixing flats- moving from gas stations to concrete pouring and house framing. He’s lived on and managed his rural property for decades, and has chased more than one fox out of the henhouse and replaced more than one busted water line on a freezing winter morning.

Dan has spent the past twenty months travelling the villages and hamlets of the Fifth District., playing Trivial Pursuit at Lauren’s Café or grabbing a slice at the Pizza Bake in Elk. He knows that residents of Signal Ridge have different concerns than those on Cliff Ridge or Albion Ridge. What other candidate has spent this much time focusing exclusively on their district and getting acquainted with all of its residents?

Dan fully understands the importance of making sound decisions regarding the future of cannabis in Mendocino County. His wife Carrie, who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, experienced the benefits of medical marijuana first hand. Is there another candidate who has endured what the court deemed an unlawful raid upon his property for providing medical marijuana to his ailing wife and mother?

Dan Hamburg has an ear for those whose voices aren’t easily heard- the underserved, the frail elderly, the poor, those without jobs or with jobs that are not paying the mortgage. Danhas been labeled an intellectual. It’s true. He does think. He is smart. Other people think so too. He has published works in local and regional press, international journals and on the internet. Here is an excerpt from a piece he wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle:

”We stand at a crossroads. A turn toward a better world is both necessary and attainable -- necessary because the environmental and social costs of this culture are too high; attainable because we have the capacity to do so. Imagine a world in which our young people could grow up without constant admonishment to get those grades, get into that school, and follow the narrowing pathway to material salvation. Imagine a world in which success had more to do with personal peace than with purchasing power. Imagine a world in which every human being was valued simply for being the remarkable creature each of us truly is.”

You may say he’s a dreamer. But he’s not the only one, and we’re all voting for Dan on June 8.

Carole Brodsky

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

DAN’S FOR REAL AG

Dear Editor,

Dan Hamburg has my vote for 5th District supervisor.

The main reason I'm working to get Dan elected is that he will be a reliable advocate for agriculture in Mendocino County. As our next supervisor he will work to grow a local food economy that will be good for farmers and ranchers. That in turn will be good for ag-related businesses and for those of us who want to get our meat and produce from someone we can trust.

To make this happen we will need committed and capable leadership with a long view of the future. We can count on Dan to pay more than lip service to re-localizing our farm economy. He will, for example, help bring an animal processing operation to Mendocino County, which will benefit meat producers and livestock alike.

As never before, we need a supervisor who will be present and accessible all over this large and diverse district. After he's elected, I know Dan will remember Anderson Valley, the south coast, Comptche, Hopland, Mendocino, and south Ukiah--all of the 5th District.

In profoundly challenging times, we need a supervisor who will do his homework, which I know from personal experience Dan will do. He combines deep and broad experience with the discipline to study issues carefully and the commitment to hear all points of view to make decisions or find solutions that are realistic and for the common good.

Doug Mosel

Anderson Valley

______________________________________________________________

DAN CAN DAN

To The Editor:

“Dan for 5”, 5th district that is.

The last day to register to vote is upon us, May 24, 2010.

To be honest, I live in the 3rd district and already have a person who does the best he can as my/our supervisor. But, if I Could, I would be sure cast my vote for Mr. Dan Hamburg.

Throughout the years I have known “Dan- Can” Hamburg to be a sincere , honest, hardworking , heart caring person. Just the other day I simply asked him why he chose to run for Supervisor of our county. I asked, are you a gluten for punishment? He replied in his kind way of speaking “ I love being of service to the people.” Personally I know this to be the truth.

There is a plaque that sits up at the Inspiration Point coming into Round Valley. The first plague consisted of so much mis-representation (out right lies)) that the first peoples of Round valley and others decided that it was time for the truth. “Dan Can” Hamburg was one of those instrumental in helping those of us who wanted the truth engraved in a plaque that now sits so beautifully overlooking our valley.

In our fight for Justice for our tribal members the late“Acorn” Peters and “Bear” Lincoln once again it was “DAN-CAN” Hamburg who publicly stepped up in support of justice right along with us and the rest of the nation, I might add.

Down in the Desert, (Death Valley) the indigenous folks there were fighting against the nuclear waste that was about to be dumped on their scared sites. Desecration of their land (by our own US Government )they could not accept. None other but “Dan-Can” Hamburg was right there helping the folks get justice and the saving of their land, what little they had left. It did not matter the temperature was at least 114 degrees. He and Wife Kari stayed to the end. This kind of fighter is exactly what the folks of the 5th district need. He can get the job done.

It seems all of Dan’s life he has been of service to the people. Surely we all remember the youngest California Congressman. It seems if he can help run the U.S Government as he did, he can surely do a great job as a County Supervisor. Don’t forget, he did just that. A second time around will only assure you folks of the 5th district, that Dan- Can is the only that can help you all make it through these trying times. Keeping our monies here local is what he will be proposing. First vote for him and then support him in these endeavors.

As an add-on, we must not forget he is one of the founders of the Mariposa School. “Dan-Can” just about do anything, no task is to small or to big that he can not do. Politically , he can stand up against the best of them and still win his case..

Let me not fail to mention his wife Kari has and will be supporting her husband. This issue is of much importance. Dan’s entire family is the kind of family I love to see. His dear Late Mother was the sweetest person one could ever meet. I first met her right here in Round Valley as she sat on the ground right along with the rest of us as we listened to dignitaries speak about justice. Dan and his entire family will always be your equal. Never above you or below you. This I mention as to get a point across. One can be the most intelligent person on earth but unless he has HEART, he is nothing. “Dan-Can” has both the brain and the heart to be the best supervisor the 5th District can ever know. He is for real.

I trust that your ballot you cast on June 8th will be for “Dan-Can” Hamburg…

Respectfully submitted,

Cora Lee Simmons

Covelo

______________________________________________________________

ANN’S THE ONE

Letter to the Editor,

Vote for Ann Moorman for judge.

We the people deserve and expect a fair and impartial judge. Someone with integrity. I urge you to vote for Ann Moorman. She is rational, realistic and the right choice for Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. Your decision will affect us all.

Isa Browne

Potter Valley

______________________________________________________________

THE JUDICIAL SISTERHOOD

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the UDJ article summarizing the Judicial Candidates debate and their positions, held Tuesday May 4 at the Ukiah Civic Center. It is no secret that I support Ann Moorman for judge and have endorsed her candidacy. My support of her is based on her excellence and experience as a trial attorney, my knowledge of her ethics, and the respect she garners from all those involved in the judicial community and the community at large.

Ms. Callahan's stated position on two issues has further convinced me that my loyalties are not misplaced. First: Her statement that she intends “to sentence all first offender drunk drivers to the maximum of six months” may sound great to the public, but it actually demonstrates her total lack of knowledge of the criminal law, her role as a judge, and is simply ridiculous: Judicial Cannons and California sentencing laws mandate that a judge exercise discretion in each and every case that comes before her. It is mandatory that a judge consider both the mitigating and aggravating facts regarding the incident itself, and also consider the mitigating and aggravating factors relating to the person before her. Each case MUST be considered individually. To state with unwavering certainty that she will impose a particular sentence with no regard for the factors that must be considered indicates to me that she just dosen't know the law or what the role of a judge is.

I doubt that she has discussed her intention with Sheriff Allman or the sitting judges. Our county jail is overcrowded as it is. Adding another several hundred inmates for 6 month stints would be logistically impossible.

Apparently, Ms. Callahan isn't familiar with CCP 170.6. This code section allows an attorney to disqualify a judge if the judge is biased against the attorney or the attorney's client. There is no doubt in my mind that with her stated promise to impose blanket sentences, she would never be allowed the opportunity to sentence anyone. In fact, it is my opinion that it would be malpractice for a defense attorney to allow her to hear a DUI case, or any criminal case, for that matter.

Second: Ms. Callahan has declared that in her opinion endorsements can cause a judge to be obligated to the endorser and thus judicial decisions could be influnced by special interest groups. (This is her explanationfor her lack of endorsements.) In Ms. Moorman's case, the endorsements comprise a full spectrum of the community, from sitting judges and retired judges, from trial attorneys AND deputy district attorneys; from law enforcement and fire fighters; from elected officials and community leaders, from educators and medical care providers. These endorsements actually demonstrate that Ms. Moorman has the trust of diverse endorsers who believe she has the qualifications and experience necessary to be a fair and impartial judge, beholden to no one.

With all that is going on in the judicial arena, the citizens of Mendocino County cannot afford to make the wrong choice in electing a judge. We deserve a judge who has the knowledge and experience to step in and do the job from day one. That person is Ann Moorman.

Sincerely,

Jan Cole Wilson, Attorney

Ukiah

PS. In response to Katherine and Judy Cole's letter of May 19, as a criminal defense attorney I know that the criminal justice system comprises more than 30% of the cases. There is traffic court, juvenile court, the master criminal trial calendar, two exclusive criminal trial courts, Prop 36 court, Drug court, and weekly criminal overflow to the civil and family court. And Ms. Callahan has admitted, she has NEVER participated in a jury trial. Furthermore, Ms. Moorman does have extensive trial experience outside the criminal arena.

______________________________________________________________

THE JUDICIAL SISTERHOOD

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my support of Caren Callahan for Mendocino County Judge.

As an attorney, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Ms. Callahan on a number of legal matters, and am continually impressed with her professionalism, demeanor, and legal analysis. Ms. Callahan consistently follows through with her commitments. When she agrees to advise on a case, she is a true advocate. Ms. Callahan is especially adept at resolving contentious issues.

For example, there was one matter we worked on together that involved a wealthy elderly client who had many family, financial and health issues. It was a particularly contentious matter. Throughout the case, Ms. Callahan demonstrated a superior understanding of the law and, perhaps more importantly, the analytical skill to apply the law to the facts resulting in well thought-out legal solutions that best served the client. Moreover, Ms. Callahan had the courage to make difficult decisions and the human quality and compassion to articulate and implement resolution in such a manner that a “win-win” solution was reached.

The example above is not the exception, it is the norm of what Ms. Callahan delivers. She is just the sort of person Mendocino County should welcome as a member of their bench and I would be honored to appear before her if she is indeed, elected.

Very truly yours,

Heather L. Campopiano

Campopiano Law Offices, P.C.

Santa Rosa

______________________________________________________________

NO ON 16

AVA:

We need more of your slashing wit on this issue...

The Ukiah City Council unanimously approved “A Resolution to Formally Oppose Proposition 16.” “The New Two-Thirds Vote Requirement Form Public Electricity Providers Initiative Constitutional Amendment,” April 21st. I’m astounded that the UDJ and AVA, to my knowledge, had no mention of this important decision.

The Supervisors should do the same for the County.

Consider a rich bully with endless money, unlimited political spending recently legalized by the Supreme Court, up against a small group who has no way of raising that kind of money and up against cities that manage or want to manage their own utilities. Why, that’s a description of PG&E.

“Peter Darbee, who earned $10.6 million dollars last year, told company shareholders that the goal of Prop 16 is to defeat local power choice “once and for all,” instead of having to continually fend off the specter of customer defection. Darbee speculated that California voters would be receptive to Proposition 16 if the initiative's campaign exploited the current anti-government anger over the economy and state budget deficit.” — Dan Aiello

Don’t believe those slick Yes on Prop 16 fliers telling us the initiative is a voter safeguard against local governments wanting to spend unlimited amounts to get into the energy business.

Don’t believe the flood of ads claiming this is your defense against big spending government.

Don’t believe this protects your right to choose right to vote.

It is a lie. This is not about more choice, it is about restricting your choice because a nothing gets passed with a 2/3 majority.

The deluge of Prop 16 TV ads doesn't mention that the initiative was written to guarantee that PG&E's high priced electricity monopoly will never be challenged.

Prop 16 takes away a community's right to choose to buy their own power by imposing the 2/3 vote requirement. Ironically, it doesn’t take a 2/3 majority to change the California constitution with this proposition.

PG&E simply wants to get rid of the competition.

PG&E's CEO didn’t ask ratepayers for approval before spending over 35 million of ratepayer dollars to get rid of its competition.

PG&E has decided to stop municipal purchasing before its customers acquire a taste for lower electric rates, because most of the utilities have lower rates.

The existing public utilities can’t spend the money needed to show the other side of the proposition. Public utilities can’t spend a nickel on TV ads or flyer mailings.

A provision of Prop 16 requires a 2/3 vote before any new customers can obtain electric power in any municipal utility district. Realtors quickly understood that whenever a home is sold in Los Angeles, Sacramento , Ukiah or any other municipal electric district, a two-thirds vote is needed before that homeowner can get an electric hook up. It is the same for any new business that opens in these cities. And since Prop 16 is a constitutional amendment, the legislature cannot tweak it to correct any drafting errors.

I’ll never forget hearing that Enron executive laughing over how he snagged all that little old grandmother’s life savings. I was outraged then and I’m outraged now at the power and the arrogance of these corporations to take our money in subsidies, bailouts and right out of our pockets by buying politicions and influencing elections to change the laws so that the law serves them instead of the people who pay taxes.

Prop 16 has the same arrogance.

Don’t let PG&E’s greedy Prop 16 take away your community's right to choose to buy its own power

Tell everyone you know.

NO ON PROPOSITION 16.

Michael Laybourn

Hopland

______________________________________________________________

CALLAHAN FOR JUDGE

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Caren Callahan for Mendocino Superior Court Judge. Although I live in Sonoma County, I strongly support Ms. Callahan and only wish that I lived in the county where I could cast my vote for her.

I have known Caren Callahan for 20 years. Over this course of time, I have come to know her in a variety of situations and contexts, both personally and professionally. I can attest to the fact that she possesses the utmost integrity, has a keen sense of fairness, is passionate about applying her legal skills to help others and is one of the most caring and giving people I have ever known. She is a dedicated hard worker and will not give up in the face of obstacles. She brings experience, kindness and compassion to her work as a court mediator.

One of the things I most admire about Caren is her ability for self-reflection and self-assessment. She does not rest on her laurels. She is interested in learning more about the things that interest her. She is not afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something and will work tirelessly to conduct the necessary research to get an accurate answer. While she has vast experience in the legal field, she is always willing and excited to educate herself further. It is this passion and commitment that will make her a fantastic Judge.

Caren Callahan is the best candidate for the position of Mendocino Superior Court Judge. She has a passion for justice and the people of Mendocino County will be lucky to have her.

Sincerely,

Holly Prichard

Santa Rosa

______________________________________________________________

REAL CHANGE

Editor,

In less than a month the people of the 5th District will be choosing a new Supervisor. I urge you to think carefully about whose name you mark on the ballot.

Do you want an ideologue or someone who can get other Supervisors to come to a consensus?

Do you want someone who will push a narrow agenda or someone who will be able to tackle head-on all of the problems facing Mendocino County?

If you want real change, research the candidates. Pick the one that will work with everyone. Pick the one that will listen to all sides and not make a decision until they have heard from everyone.

Of all of the choices you have, two stand out as people that have had a negative impact on the County. One is unknown. And one has a strong record of bringing people together and getting tough issues dealt with.

Put it is your choice. I urge you to make the right one. The one that will work for all residents of the 5th District. I truly believe Jim Mastin is the best choice. Check out his ideas for reshaping County government. He is not an ideologue and will not push a narrow agenda that ignores the needs of the 5th District.

William D. French, Jr.

San Francisco

______________________________________________________________

25 YEARS WITH CALLAHAN

Dear Editor,

I have known Caren Callahan for twenty-five years. I knew her when she was an entrepreneurial small business owner and manager, learning the ins and outs of starting up a local gym, developing management and people skills. I watched her go through trial by fire as a young Sonoma County Sherriff, challenging herself to deal with high stress on the job and keeping her cool while diffusing violent and charged situations. I witnessed her perseverance and motivation as she apprenticed to a lawyer, studied for the bar, passed and grew her own successful practice. Then she went further and got her masters in law, as she took on some incredibly challenging trial cases. (I remember her tired but determined voice after a sleepless night waiting for a verdict.) Her experience in the fields of law enforcement and legal counsel is from the ground up, and is considerable — she has the deep respect of her peers.

Caren is passionate about the law and about fairness, yet she has an uncannily even temperament no matter how stressed she gets. I have never heard her speak gossip or loose her cool thinking. Sometimes people find this disturbing, as many equate emotional expression with caring. Certainly I am biased, having been Caren’s friend for so long, but I can sincerely say that having seen both the public and private sides of her personality and her work that she is one of the most caring persons I’ve ever known. I want to emphasize caring because I believe that this is a quality that is not an “extra” when it comes to being a good judge. Caren is genuine in her regard for the people she knows, works with, and affects. She has empathy and concern *balanced* (naturally it seems), with a principled, diligent and well informed thinking process. I can’t think of any better combination to have in a judge.

Sincerely,

Frances Fuchs, Ph.D.

Santa Rosa

______________________________________________________________

GENTLE GENTLEMAN DAN

Letter to the Editor

Hamburg for 5th District Supervisor—

I appreciate all the candidates stepping up to the important civic task of running for local offices. I’m voting for Dan Hamburg for 5th District Supervisor, and this is why.

We live in remarkable times, shifting to adapt to the consequences of climate change, global conflict, depletion of public funds by corporate greed mongers, public services falling away, global economic collapse and the list goes on. We need people in decision- making positions who will take bold steps to support the public in adapting to the changing conditions, and to change the status quo. From a place of crisis equaling opportunity, Dan is best able to see the possibilities for our future and proactively pursue solutions.

I support Dan Hamburg because he has experienced elected office from local to federal levels; he brings the best working knowledge of government process, revenue streams and other resources. Our county needs this scope of experience.

Dan is as committed to environmental protection and restoration as he was when I first met him in 1992 when he was running for congress. He has consistently stood for ending corporate rule and directing public money away from the war machine and toward human needs. He understands how national issues impact us directly here at home.

While in congress Dan proved himself effective at building coalitions and gaining support from elected colleagues on behalf of the environment with the strong, bipartisan passage of the Headwaters Bill. My experience of working with Dan is that he is genuinely interested in what people have to say and he respects and trusts group wisdom in decision making. He will be a good influence on the temperament of the Board of Supervisors and will successfully build an effective working relationship with board members.

I support Dan because he has a gentle compassionate heart. He has never quit working to make the world a better place. Our county will benefit from his attention focused on local government.

Mendocino County leads the nation per capita in number of artists, use of renewable energy, an organic farming — some of the reasons why I believe we can create innovative approaches to the times before us, with the ripples extending beyond our county boarders. Dan is the best-suited candidate to facilitate these changes.

Everything we do matters, and that’s why I’m writing this letter. I hope my reasons resonate with other 5th district voters and you’ll join me in supporting Dan Hamburg for our county supervisor.

Lynda McClure

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

MY FRIEND DAN

To the Editor:

I met candidate for 5th District Supervisor, Dan Hamburg, in 2003 during the campaign to ban the cultivation of GMOs in Mendocino County. During that campaign I realized we shared a vision of a Mendocino County based on a locally based economy. Since then, we have shared that vision in several campaigns: opposing the Ryder Homes plan to develop the Masonite site, impeaching then Vice-President Cheney for his role in starting the Iraq War that continues to suck the life blood from Mendocino County; and opposing Measure B because it would do nothing to address the real problems with marijuana while punishing medical marijuana patients and harming a potential source of much-needed tax revenue. More recently, in opposing Measure A, that, had it passed, would have put a monster mega-mall on the old Masonite site. Those campaigns are just the most recent of the many campaigns to preserve Mendocino County from corporate greed.

Over the intervening years, we have traded articles and comments on the major issues facing the nation and our county. I know the depth of Dan’s commitment to preserving what we value about Mendocino County: the forests, the rivers, the farmers, the artists, musicians, local theater, our local businesses and the unique Mendo way. Simply put, love of place is the most important part of Dan’s life.

As the county absorbs the blows from the economic meltdown, Dan will keep that love of place. With the leadership Dan will bring to the Board of Supervisors, the Mendo way will prevail. We will grow our own food, make our own entertainment, harvest our forests sustainably, restore our rivers and educate our children.

I live in the 5th District and I’m voting for my good friend, Dan Hamburg. If you value our unique place in the world, I urge you too to vote for Dan Hamburg.

Janie Sheppard

Ukiah

______________________________________________________________

EDUCATE, WARN, VENT

Editors & AVA readers:

My radio program Tuesday evening from 7-8 PM on KZYX at www.kzyx.org will address the cellular wireless concerns I have been discussing for many years. Dr. Magda Havas will be my guest and has published a crucial paper looking at the impacts of cell Antennae on 6000 schools in the US. She has found that 65% of the children or 1.4 million kids are impacted. These impacts range from minor headaches and ADHD to electro hypersensitivity, brain disfunction, heart problems. Her website www.magdahavas.com is an incredible resource of excellent studies and reports on cellular impacts, microwave oven impacts, wifi concerns etc. One references is to a recent TV show where a Doctor from UCSD medical discusses the tumors associated with cell phones and heart disorders. He says it has been going on for 10 years. Others have been reporting it since 1986. The most revealing comment that the medical doctor makes is that he does not allow his children to use cell phones and is cautious in how he uses his! I continue to hear whitewashed lies about this and want you all to consider the lies around various 'safe' drugs and silicon in implants. Also do not forget asbestos and chromium which has bitten Willits folks too close to home.

On an unrelated note, you may be aware of the very traumatic accident involving a drunken Mexican man and a local AV man, Tom Smith. I was a witness in this accident and saw the damage to Tom, observed the Mexican man run off. The hit and runner was captured latter that evening thanks to a co-witness. The next day as this sad situation ricochet through my being, my first response was to call all my representatives and the President (unsuccessfully in the latter case,) and demand they get off the pot and do their job. We need real immigration reform that allows alien workers to work, have licenses and thus learn the rules of the roads, stop the idiotic and expensive embargo of alien worker cars and the very silly hand slapping in court for unlicensed drivers who obviously have to drive. We clearly need the alien workers as we have needed all of the various immigrants who have come to our great country and brought all their cultural gifts and we need to allow them to meld legally and follow rules realistically. The healing of my friend Tom is very present in my thoughts. His body is very damaged, but fortunately it is primarily bones. His safety belt saved his life along with the incredible folks that volunteer on our Ambulance and fire services. What a dedicated group! Kudos to all of you.

And last, thanks AVA staff for the opportunity to educate, warn and vent.

Greg Krouse

Philo

______________________________________________________________

20/20

Letter to the Editor,

I would like to say that as I watched the 20/20 episode on Aaron Vargas, I could not believe what I was hearing Sgt. Van Patten say! That Aaron had a consensual, adult relationship with McNeill... As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can tell you, that I understand the control McNeill had over Aaron, and his other victims. The pedophiles put you in a mental prison. They control your thoughts and actions. It is all a part of their “plan.” That is how they make sure the secret is kept, and they are not caught. My abuser had mental control over me, until I was 38 years old. I broke free, and the sexual abuse stopped, but that mental control was still there. “He” took the first half of my life. It is sad that people don't understand how extreme the effects of CSA are, but it is especially sad, that a Sgt. in law enforcement does not understand. Please, help make the public aware of these effects, and just how deep they go. It is time that the public learn the truth, we can not sweep CSA under the rug any longer, we need to understand it,

so we can stop it!!

Thank you for your time,

Billie Lynch

Saginaw, Michigan

One Response to Letters to the Editor

  1. Kathy Long Reply

    May 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

    This debate between the candidates for DA in Mendocino County is very informative. http://www.eyster4da.com/news.html
    It is posted on Eyster’s web site but it is from The DA Candidate Forum on April 23rd, 2010 and all candidates have a chance to speak.
    As we are still fighting for justice in the death of Katlyn Long, I liked it when Finnegan says sometimes you have to try a case for the sake of justice and not make how it ‘s outcome may affect your successful cases rating your primary concern. The reality is that that happens all the time and it is wrong and it just victimizes the victim once again.
    Justice for Katlyn!
    Sincerely,
    Kathy Long

Leave a Reply

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