Letters to the Editor
by AVA News Service, June 2, 2010
Perhaps there is an immediate remedy (although not “politically correct”) to the countless gallons of “sweet, light crude” gushing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico from the British Petroleum blowout. Note: as usual the amount of oil spewing is far greater than “the experts” — i.e., the British Petroleum executives and the Coast Guard etc. — actually report.
Remember? The Coast Guard protected Joseph Hazlewood, captain of the Exxon Valdez, the oil tanker responsible for the horrific 11 million gallon spill in Alaska from prosecution for his (and his crew members) drunken (and coked out) overconfident stupidity.
The hard asses protect their own kind! Bud E. Suttles, CEO and public relations mouthpiece for British Petroleum, could be lowered to the ocean floor and its black subfreezing temperatures which the cold-blooded British Petroleum spokesperson will quickly adjust to. His descent will be aided by a “carefully crafted” (made by British Petroleum executives) 5,000 pound lead jacketed weight. Bud Suttles’ large mouth bass orifice will easily cover the petroleum a-hole that his constituents ripped out of the ocean floor!
Yes, but Bud E. Suttles’ mouth will be the final solution! This will provide a fine vacuum lock for the copious black goo gush, just a small petroleum French kiss for him, after Bud E. Suttles’ successful sea-floor 5,000 foot descent and his British Petroleum technicians updated “labial lockdown” onto the offending drill site. British Petroleum techies will then install a mile long pipe onto Bud's rectum allowing the crude effluent to be eventually burned off as a giant refinery flare.
“Hey, it's all good! Marvelous! Fabulous!” as they say nowadays.
WE’RE NUMBER 30!
Societally we are experiencing economic hard times. In our household that means a priority for necessities — housing, utilities, food and the like. But our government does not emulate us. They preserve the surplus wealth of the rich so that they can “stimulate the economy.”
This is a false rubric, for their “stimulation” merely augments the oligarchy and makes, in contrast, the expenditures of Oracle in “returning the America's Cup” to America patriotic and, almost philanthropic!
In consequence, according to the OECD's sample of 30 countries, the US is 30th in math/science attainments, 14th in college graduation, 4th in infant mortality and 30th with a poverty rate of 20%.
In contrast, we are 26th in our rate of taxation!
I support the notion that increased taxation of the rich impedes the emerging oligarchy and gives the non-rich the purchasing power to meaningfully stimulate the economy by “demand.”
PS. Our discussion group opines that you will not print this as you are too knee-jerk beholden to your advertisers, etc.
In 2008 the Health and Human Services Agency director announced to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors that “the agency was restructured to create best practices between Mental Health, Public Health, and Social Services departments.” “The internal functions of the Agency will be designed to achieve maximum administrative efficiency while ensuring the Agency is able to support staff in providing services to clients and the community.”
That HHSA Director is now the CEO of Mendocino County and looking to balance the budget again. Ifshe truly supported the mission and principles of the “Agency” why has she charged the director of General Services, who has the worst reputation in all of Mendocino County, to look at some possible County department consolidations? The General Services Agency has a nasty reputation for increasing costs, delivering fewer or half-ass services, using inferior products, and creating liability for the county.
Since General Services consolidated their computer department with the social services computer department there has been an unprecedented increase in costs to the Agency while receiving an outdated, money hungry e-mail system to employees who had no problems with Outlook e-mail. Outlook e-mail may have been free or almost free for those County employees to use. Prior to the “consolidation of services” there were no charges for computer usage from GSA. Thousands of dollars have now been siphoned to the General Services Agency. Precious dollars that could be used by programs are now being drained by the GSA. The Director of General Services recently told the Supervisors that she had successfully merged the two county computer departments (one under her agency, one under “the Agency”), but it was not true then and is still not true.
Now that they know how to funnel the program money, how much longer will they they impose their costly mismanagement and lackluster services to the Agency and its programs?
NO ON LINTOTT
I gave up on DA Meredith Lintott almost two years ago after writing to her about the case once a week for several months and I got absolutely no response from her. Lintott, in private will call Katlyn’s death murder, but I guess she doesn’t want the Matson family upset so she waffles about the determination in public. Come on now! Isn’t the DA supposed to advocate for the victims? Garett Matson has a full time attorney as does the Matson family and if everyone knew the truth about the intimidation they have done, well it isn’t pretty.
We have an on line petition that doesn’t even mention Garett’s name and the attorneys got it shut down, it’s back up but only after we changed the wording from “killed” to died under suspicious circumstances. This is why I feel we need a DA who will help the victims and not just the ones with wealth.
WHAT COST SAVINGS?
I hadn't put my pen to paper in a while although there have been dozens of times when the rhetoric being forced down our throats has tempted me. However when I read the Ukiah Daily Journal last Friday about how the executive office, clerk of the board, auditor, treasurer, county counsel and human recourses won't suffer any more cuts because they were “hit so hard” in the last round of layoffs I was appalled.
Here is the problem; most people can't sift through the rhetoric to understand what's real. Many issues are complicated and people want to trust in their elected officials. The truth is I'm looking at the lay off list for the first 25 and the only change in those departments was the clerk of the board was merged and one person was promoted and given a sizable raise. I mentioned to the board during the merger, this may not be the time to rearrange chairs on the titanic with more pressing issues like a budget due September 15.
Mr. Pinches’ response and I quote: “I just think it's worth it.”
I don't think having two vacant clerk positions and our financial officer quit was worth it, but that's just me. I guarantee these positions will not remain unfilled. This will require recruiting and retraining.
In my opinion we have lost sight of what's important. If we continue on this path of destruction we are growing ever closer to collapsing the infrastructure of our community. We are “choosing” which of our citizens to serve. We are allowing our “fee” based services to dictate our priorities. The public was very clear two months ago with many people driving over from Fort Bragg to defend our animal shelter. Now it's on the chopping block again. Here is another example of bad management, bad decision making, and not listening to our tax paying citizens.
The CEO touts that CLOSING THE ANIMAL SHELTER IN FORT BRAGG will save $88,000. My question is how is that possible? The county is self insured so they pay for unemployment. The cost for two employees on unemployment could be as high as the $88,000. Right out the gate the proposal contradicts itself. More appalling is we will be paying our Deputy Sheriffs overtime from now on to transport animals from Fort Bragg to Ukiah. Does anyone else see this as ridiculous? And costly? I guarantee it's not a cost savings.
Let's put the people who provide a vital service to the community on unemployment and stabilize the administration. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against our Deputy Sheriffs. I think they do a fine job. I just don't think it makes one speck of sense for them to transport dogs and cats to Ukiah on overtime so we can kill them. (The dogs and cats.) First we jeopardize the health and well being of our seniors; then we disrespect and marginalize the contributions of our workforce, now we are ignoring the desires of our taxpaying citizens and proposing to kill innocent animals.
Wow, have we made some progress in the last few months? I think we need to pack the Board Chambers on June 8th and send a message: services over administration.
Jacqueline L. Carvallo
Well I was waiting to see when the two infamous Bruce buttons would get pushed again. Both in one paper. That would be the Judi Bari and KZYX buttons that evoke the overstated remarks. I have a couple of comments about that. Judi Bari needs no defending. Sort of like throwing pebbles at the rock of Gibraltar or the moon. She was an incredible woman and she had a vivid important vision and a gift plus she was effective. She was so effective that the corporates and others went after her. Judi had so many gifts. I give her credit for pulling me to radio as a means to communicate problems in our society. (Perhaps you can blame her for that, I do try, I really do.) Her ability to talk across fences was incredible. She befriended many a logger and Sheriff deputy. She moved Earth First! locally to a nonviolent mode only tainted by the obviously planted bomb that was an attempt to silence her and stop her vision. She was also a trickster and had lots of joy. She was a tireless worker as well. She had a great influence on me. I am proud to have known her and see her on the par with King and Gandi. The familiar jazz song runs through my head, “You can't take that away from me.” And why try?
Your continued super broad brush comments about KZYX are just silly, because the station has provided so much more than such ridiculous comments can cover. Sure there are minor screw ups and some of us need more skills, but considering that it’s live, we can not carefully re-edit what we or guests say like one can in a newspaper and we often do it all as a single individual running the transmitter and the equipment while attempting to interface with crucial players in the difficult dramas of our global life, well really Bruce. I want to be sure to say that those problems are more and more infrequent. Sure there have been a few folks that stretch their ideas too thin, but overall I think the station's service to communities of all sizes is priceless. And finally just like a newspaper one can choose what they want to absorb. No media promises to fulfill all of our personal interests. The fire coverage alone was constant, crucial and timely and it goes on. Sharpen your focus on to specifics please! Criticize specifics. With over a 100 programmers it can't be all that bad.
And last, I have seen the very Rural studio of Daniel Parker and well, I got his art readily without having to scrunch my eyes or have it explained. It is clear that Daniel does see the forest for the trees and much more. He literally brings the forest inside for another perspective. It is fortunate that clouds diffuse, otherwise he would have a rural cloud studio too.
Sadly only a few will see Daniel's imaginative work or his beautiful land. Maybe he will get a website to share it, but the other best part of seeing Daniel Parker’s work is seeing it with him. A marvel of a person, with an incredible sense of humor and life in general, and well, someone to avoid playing volleyball or basketball with it you are young and a bit under exercised. He recently had his joints revulcanized. Another 70 years of use no doubt! I enjoyed the article.
Ed reply: Way to go, Greg! Blather past the issues raised, place the deceased where she doesn't belong, tip your hat to the pseudo-public radio station that employs you, but peck me on the cheek to make yourself seem what? Reasonable? You don't know anything about the case and you aren't interested in it beyond adding your voice to the amen cult. The bombing “mystery” has gotten a pretty good workout on am radio but can't be discussed at tax-subsidized Free Speech Philo? Que pasa, cabrone?
VAN PATTEN’S ATTACK
Defending Abuse Survivors—
I have been an advocate for my brother, Aaron Vargas, since learning that he is a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse victims from all over the world have shared their stories with me. As difficult as those stories are to read, they are far more difficult for the victims to share. Some tell me that I am not only speaking out for Aaron, but for them as well, which is why I feel compelled to address the statements that Sgt. Van Patten made on 20/20.
Van Patten attacked Aaron, and survivors of abuse everywhere, by stating that Aaron and his abuser had a consensual relationship that may have gone sour over the molestation. Not only is that statement ignorant and absurd, it is beyond insulting to victims and their families. It is like stating that a woman who stays in an abusive relationship is consenting to the abuse. If Aaron had gone to the police anytime in adulthood and reported McNeill, I’d imagine that McNeill would have either denied ever abusing Aaron, or he would have stated the same thing as Van Patten — that it was a consensual relationship. If there is such a thing as an afterlife, I’d imagine McNeill is feeling thankful to Van Patten for being his voice and advocate by telling the “other side” of this story.
On another note, I would like to acknowledge the strength and bravery of the men who told their stories of abuse on national television, and also Jamie Specie’s family for telling Jamie’s heartbreaking story. I would like to thank everyone in the community, and beyond, who have been so amazing and supportive. I want abuse survivors to know that there is help out there, and there are people who understand. I have listed several resources on SaveAaron.com.
THERE GOES PAGET
Dear Norm de Vall,
I was seriously considering voting for you for 5th District Supervisor, until I saw my name as an endorser on your campaign mailer. I realize that as you said in the message you left on my answering machine after I called you to find out who gave you my name, that the error probably was made by one of your supporters. However, I think that as a supervisor I want someone who has good enough procedures in place to avoid such errors.
Norman de Vall replies: Dear Diane, I've traced the inclusion of your name on our mailer over the weekend and found that the person who included it did so either by presumption or error. As I wrote before, the responsibility rests with me and I again apologize for the inappropriate use of your name. I'm keenly aware of the desire for privacy of voters and deeply regret the unauthorized use of your name.
DEAR LAME DUCK
Dear Supervisor Colfax:
Realizing that in difficult times any cuts in budget are hard to make, many of us taxpayers feel the right things are not cut.
Please consider the Sheriff's budget again.
Public priorities have always been safety in the form of police, firefighters and good road crews.
We are genuinely concerned about the public safety of the whole county, but Anderson Valley in particular, as that is where we live.
We are not as young as we used to be and do not relish the possibilities that could occur when the criminal element knows where there are things they want and no one to restrict them.
One does not like the idea of the drug culture booming in wide-open territory, either.
Please consider instead:
• A roll back all of administrative salaries to $100,000
• Eliminate all travel/expense accounts
• Eliminate all use of consultants & cancel any anticipated plans.
• The Board take a 10% cut and/or eliminate expense budgets
• Eliminate all workshops
• Cut the County head psychiatrist salary of $200,000 to reasonable amount or replace.
Thanking you for your consideration, we remain,
Jim & Robin Lindsey
RECYCLE THE SLATES
Thanks to Chronicle reader, Kristin Anundsen, for “outing” the pay-to-play phony ballot slates that mislead voters and prey on candidates seeking affordable exposure. Those who sign on are then used to lend credibility to positions that many of us would never take. My name is listed in her example: Voter Information for Democrats and in a companion piece for Republicans. This venue was sold to me as a candidate slate to be mailed to targeted groups of likely voters. In fact, the purpose of the current “slates” is to make big bucks for the PR firm from the backers of PG&E's power grab, Prop 16, designed to suppress competition for the company's virtual monopoly. At the very least, there should be a law requiring pre-publication disclosure of the content before any individual's name is misused in this way.
Recycle the phony slates. Vote NO on Prop 16.
Wendy A. Roberts
Candidate for Mendocino County
5th District Supervisor
A CHRISTIAN NATION?
In the recent centuries wars have been fought by nation states, with a few tribal wars tossed in. The nations fight for resources and territory and power. With the coming of globalism things have changed. There is no longer any historical necessity for nation states.
The problem is not thinking up a rational substitute, another way of organizing the world. That’s the easy part. The hard part is getting nation states to give up their sovereignty. They have, each of them, so indoctrinated their citizens that even if the ruling few in each nation decided to do it, the people would not let them.
It gets even more difficult when you realize that in most places in the world the political and the religious power are intertwined. For God and Country, in any language is the same. Merge the two and you’ve got them by the balls. Who wouldn’t want the protection of the two largest possessors of power, God and the State?
If the two are kept separate there might be chance to do away with nation states. If they are not separated, there is no hope. That is exactly why the most important issue of our day is the separation of church and state. It filters into the population problem, the environmental problem, and the war problem. Each nation state always declares that Go is on their side. Same God, two sides, both claiming His undivided support. Not rational, not even common-sensical, certainly not sane, but it is the way the world works.
Many will tell you that the United States is not a Christian nation because it was founded by Deists, and so on, and that the religions of that day favored separation of church and state so that their religion would not be persecuted.
That is not the issue. The issue is simple. This is not a Christian nation because it has never acted in keeping with the teachings of that religion.
Far ‘N Away Farm, Virginia
GOOD LUCK CAREN
Quote From AVA: “JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT: Caren Callahan. Ms. Callahan studied nights to beome a lawyer after her exhausting day job as a beat cop. Old fashioned boot strap ambition deserves reward, and this modest, unassuming, hardworking woman is much more deserving of the position than Ms. Moorman who prattles on about how she wants to be judge because it's good for her. Pure narcissism is characteristic of Mendolib, of course, so the candidate's apparent fascination with herself is widely regarded as, “Hey, she's just like me!” But whenever you have Mendolib united behind a candidate, as they are behind Ms. Moorman, yearning to anoint the candidate rather than elect her, you know in your bones the candidate is a menace in the making.”
We can only hope that the rest of Mendocino County read the “Election Notes” in the Anderson Valley Advertiser May 19, 2010. Thank you AVA there is nothing like telling the truth.
Good Luck Caren.
Measure A: I was against it before I was for it.
Then I learned that 50 years ago this community passed a bond measure and built the present high school. Local money funded our local school district. Fifty years later I don't want to look to the state or federal government to fund necessary repairs to the infrastructure of our schools. We can do it ourselves.
Vote Yes on Measure A.
WE WANT WENDY
The Board of Supervisors needs new blood NOW!:
We Support Wendy Roberts for Fifth District Supervisor.
Mendocino County’s soaring debt and budget deficits are the result of years of sloppy Board of Supervisors fiscal oversight, flawed policy leading to huge county debt and very questionable retirement board management decisions overlooked by the Board of Supervisors. Informed fiscal experts have observed that Mendocino county taxpayers as well as employees have been betrayed.
The current mess threatens the county’s ability to meet its public obligations to provide fundamental services. It is increasingly difficult to award appropriate recognition of the dedicated service of county employees in retirement. Even the Sheriff's public safety budget is now under attack.
Now more than ever we need supervisors with fresh untarnished intelligence to make sense of the current predicament. Wendy Roberts has the fresh energy, real life experience, financial education and county-wide perspective that we need NOW.
The Ukiah Daily Journal, the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, and many others, from educators, artists and environmentalists to leaders of the business community recognize that her character, her non-political managerial expertise and personal determination is the only way to get Mendocino County back on track for a healthy environment, healthy Board of Supervisors and a Healthy Economy.
We support Wendy Roberts to insure the county’s recovery of fiscal health.
Gene Geisler, Laytonville
Anne Hollister, Comptche
George Hollister, Comptche
Diane Pauli, Ukiah
Ted Stephens, Yorkville
THE OLD SMEARS
Is he fit for public office? Dan Hamburg was cleared of unemployment fraud at an EDD hearing due to a technicality. He considered his wages a barter and thus was not “employed” and was able to collect unemployment benefits. Did he pay taxes on the barter? Dan Hamburg was not charged with growing pot “medicinal” (60 plants) on his property due to an improper search warrant. What about the large amount of cash that was confiscated? Did anyone pay taxes on this? Ordinary commercial pot growers have their assets seized. It seems to me that anyone who wishes to be considered for the highest elective office in the county should have a spotless record. Please do not forget that Dan Hamburg barely survived a recall effort in another district. It is a shame that he uses the skills acquired at Stanford to game the system.
Dan Hamburg replies: Al Baltins, a Ukiah orthopedic surgeon, has long been in bitter disagreement with my political stands, particularly my support for single-payer national health care. Putting Al's animus toward me aside, here are the facts: In the 1982 recall election, I won 58% of the vote, defeating five candidates. Al Baltins brought charges against me in 1992 when I was working with a friend, contractor Bill Jamison, repairing the roof of Al's medical building in Ukiah. The charges were false and were ruled to be false. My daughter Laura grew medical marijuana for her mother in 2007 at a separate residence on our rural property. Sheriff's deputies failed to consider the medical recommendation and the case was thrown out by Judge Jim Luther. As my wife always says at this stage of a campaign, “It's all over but the dirty tricks!”