Letters to the Editor

by AVA News Service, June 23, 2010

THE TAO OF NOW

Editor,

When isn't the United States of America at war? The Taoist ethic says, “Arms are the instruments of unhappi­ness, not of nobility. The wise man conquers unwill­ingly.” Little drops of water wear down big stones. “Happiness” is a word that means this hour, this moment.

To this Faust replies, “I've nothing to say of the sun and world, what we need we do not know, and what we know we do not need.”

Mephistopheles will receive Faust’s soul when Faust cries out, “Oh, moment, stay! You are so fair.” While the Taoist ethic says, “Whoever is capable of contentment will be satisfied.” Eclectic. You pick, you pluck bright feathers everywhere. Books of Sankhya say, “For those who understand human happiness is suffering.” The stink of prison. Get your head out of the sand. “A moth’s life lasts a moment, an oak flowers 100 years.” Solzhenitsyn spent seven years in the gulags, then seven years with cancer.

Does war mean we are rebels?

Diana Vance

Mendocino

PS. With a blanket pulled over her head, detective Diana Wood Duck of Deadtree nests in a hollow log near a woodland lake beside some decapitated trees. Jeez.

I'm not Ripley, believe id or knot. America shall become paved. Wo-ho! So-ho then! Bad weather Farina bangs her black dish: the license tags in Washington State say Evergreen. At loggerheads with logging, the ravens roost at Fort Bragg high school is rubble, large machines, and a dirty place as Rubicon Asphalt approaches. Our terrorist, Rubicon asphalt. Tree me.

PPS. When Daddy was a diplomat with the American Embassy in London, 1957, he took our family to see Yul Brenner live, in The King and I. Then, decades later when the AVA published one of my letters to the editor in which the last line read: “Yul Brenner America, I like men's hair” I misspelled his name. How American of me to do that, and how British of us to correct it. Fair ding­kum.

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BONNER, NOT VONNER

Hi Bruce,

I'm sure all the members of the Anderson Valley Community Chorus appreciate the recent coverage you gave us, but please set the record straight: Lynn Archambault is both the director and accompanist of the chorus. It is a very challenging job to do both, and we think she is superb! Also, Alice Vonner doesn't live here anymore, and she probably never did. I, however sing in the chorus and enjoy it very much. My husband, Ric, and I moved here full time a year ago, and we love our new home and community. Keep up the great work!

Alice Bonner

Boonville

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BAD CLASSIFICATIONS

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter on behalf of all inmates cur­rently housed in “B-mod” in the Mendocino County Jail to shed light on a dangerous and foolhardy new classifi­cation system recently enacted by jail classification offi­cers Zaid and Leone and approved by Captain Pearce who runs the jail, and Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman.

The jail has begun mixing members of the Norteños (northerner) street gang with members of the Sureño (Southerner) street gang in general population in “B-mod” without supervision. These gangs are bitter rivals and both notoriously violent.

Last Monday, after only a few minutes in B-mod, two members of one gang were jumped by three mem­bers of the other. The only reason I don't mention which side was the aggressor is that I don't want to detract from the fact that what caused the fight was the deliberate mixing of known rival gangs in general population by classification staff.

After the fight took place, resulting in the two mem­bers of one gang being badly beaten by the three mem­bers of the other, in a cell, off camera, the officer on duty (department store) did two walk-throughs in as many hours, failing both times to notice the two most recently introduced inmates were now seriously injured. Both had black eyes, lumps and cuts all over their heads, and one had what looked to be a broken nose. You would think that after bringing two known gang members into a “mod” that contained members of a known rival gang, that the floor deputy would have specifically checked on the two freshly transferred inmates on his next walk-through.

As a result of his failure to even notice these two had been severely beaten, once dinnertime came along, the two losers of the first fight decided to use their meal trays as weapons to try to get some revenge on their rivals, this time on camera, in the middle of dinner, resulting in a melee which could easily have resulted in injuries to noncombatants, not to mention the loss of our dinner by most of the “mod.” After quelling the fight, the staff refused to allow us back out of our cells to finish dinner and the amount of food given to inmates here is already dismally inadequate.

That was a week ago. All of the participatory mem­bers of either gang have been removed from “B-mod.” We are still, however, locked down, forced to spend 22 hours a day in our cells with two hours to shower and try to make any necessary phone calls. The time of day they let us out ranges from the crack of dawn on some days to 8:30 in the evening on others. Heaven forbid you need to reach someone during business hours like your lawyer or a rehab program.

If you or a loved one is now or has ever been or may ever be incarcerated at Mendocino County Jail, please call the jail at 463-4423, or write to Mendocino County Jail, 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482 and tell them to rethink this dangerous new classification system before someone is killed through their negligence.

And if you believe it is unfair to punish the entire population of “B-mod” for the actions of five rival gang members — the easily predictable results of a gross supervisorial lapse in judgment — tell them to let us off lockdown so we can return to our regular program.

Thank you.

T. Gibson

and the rest of “be mod”

Ukiah

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READIN’ & WRITIN’

Editor:

What an outstanding, amazing newspaper. In this age of political correctness and watered-down bullshit news reporting, you shine.

Reading the AVA is like sitting in a small town cof­fee shop before they became cafes! Just telling it like it is is how it should be. I am sending you two of the things I wrote. They are part of a larger collection that I have. I try to write as much as possible. I'm 100 pages into writing a book. Writing is all I have at this time. Why is that, you may wonder? Well, let me explain. I'm in what's called the SHU, or more clearly the Security Housing Unit. It is a punishment unit really. I'm in here for allegedly headbutting a corrections officer. I've been here since July of 2008. At first I would have been able to be released back to general population in December of 2008 but I refused to accept a cellmate. Again you may wonder why. Again, I will tell you. In this unit you are locked in your cell 24-7. You get to go to the cage yard once a week and to church on some Mondays. The rest of the time you are in the cell.

Now I heard Man invented barrooms — remember those? — so they had a place to go to get away from the wife and kids. Or go fishing to get away from everyone else.

Try and think of any person you can sit in the same room with 24/7. Shit — dogs are a man's best friend but we even keep them in the yard most of the time. Are you getting the point? Heck, I argue with myself in here and no, I don't always win. Because I have refused a cellie they have taken away my television and my canteen privileges. So I read and write. Then I read and write some more. I have not watched television in two years. Did I mention that I read and write some more?

I bring all this up for a reason. There always has to be a reason. I figure you get asked for free subscriptions a lot by us inmate folks. Now even though I'm an old Irish city guy from the projects of South Boston, Massachu­setts, I understand the value of good old county bartering system. Remember that? So I would like to trade my writing. I have a few short stories and some more poems. Also, I wonder if you would like a prison report every few weeks or so?

I don't think I have ever seen or heard of a newspaper or magazine that had such a thing. I'll give you the run­down from A to Z. I don't know if anything in here starts with a Z, but if there is I will tell you about it. Or any other things you would like me to write about that I know about. In return you give me a three-month sub­scription, for example, at a time. What do you think?

All tolled Mr. Anderson I'm just trying to pass my time and get out in 2013. Your paper is like a gem to me. I'm not one for mincing words and neither is the AVA. I'm also sending you my information sheet so you know I'm not some rapist or child molester. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I mean, you did read it, right?

There's a lot more I want to say about your paper but I'll get to it later.

You and all at and in the Anderson Valley, stay blessed and stay a community. Remember those?

Have a good day and a fantastic forever.

Humbly,

Tommy Brennick T25164

4B7B104 • Box 1906

Tehachapi CA 93581.

PS. If you can't explain it simply you don't understand it well enough. — Albert Einstein

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LYNN’S THE ONE

Editor,

I know you guys do a great job in general, but the report on the Choral concert in valley people was incor­rect. Lynn is both director and pianist. It is the ultimate challenge for her to direct while playing and she meets it.

There are rumors that we should videotape her facial expressions as she directs as she plays. Apparently the audience, which is enjoying the music, is missing the sometimes hilarious facial expressions as my amazing gal manages to get the message across. The chorus knows by this when to get louder, quieter, who is coming in, etc. She has done this in musical bands too. Seems like in-house bias but I have to say that she is an incredi­ble musician and often not as noticed for what she puts into things. For example, in the AV Theatre guild first play, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Lynn not only played the entire score (many pages,) but also used unique instrument sounds on her keyboard. A somewhat reverse compliment came as someone said they liked the CD they played. She also got us actors to sing it right! Herding cats no doubt!

A final note, Lynn is responsible for assisting many of the budding singers in the valley; rushing through paying their dues, so they sound better and appear more poised. She helps them stay on key, stretch their notes, make dramatic shifts from quiet to bold, learn how to move and also to take a bow. It all seems simple until you get up and do it yourself. Ask one of those singers she has accompanied and they will tell you. Their sound grows not only in her special accompaniments but also with her guidance to the singer.

Greg Krouse

Philo

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SAVING ELSIE

Letter to the Editor:

SaveElsieA.com is devoted to the restoration of the Elsie A., a 13-ft. Whitehall rowing skiff. She was built in Sausalito, California, in 1974 by Ray Speck, one of the preeminent builders of clinker, or lapstrake boats. Ray is now senior instructor at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Townsend, Washington.

The Elsie A. was Speck's third Whitehall skiff, the first of two sister boats designated the Miss America Series. Her pedigree name is Miss America Series #1. The other one, #2, is the Spectre, seen in the foreground in the shot with the 2 skiffs.

This boat has been through some rough times, lost and recovered by the original owner. During the “lost” period, Elsie A. suffered some abuse and neglect. But after the recovery, Ray Speck came to have a look and declared her restorable.

I am inviting wooden-boat lovers to contribute to the restoration of the Elsie A. She is a thing of beauty, a work of exquisite craftsmanship, and a genuine piece of San Francisco nautical history. Money, labor and materials are all appreciated. Let's go rowing.

Work has begun at Steve's Marine Services, 60 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito CA 94965

For further info contact

Jeff Costello

330 W. Blithedale

Mill Valley CA 94941

415-388-5347 • 949-677-9856

jeff@theredlegs.com

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FAIR PLAY FOR REXRODE

The Superior Court, County of Mendocino, County Courthouse, Ukiah

Your Honor:

Sara and Russell Rexrode are lifelong residents of Fort Bragg whose prolonged ordeal in the local courts has mired them in debt. There is, however, nothing in the histories of these young parents of two children that they are criminally oriented.

The prolonged incarceration of Mr. Rexrode does not seem to me in the interest of the community. It removes Mr. Rexrode from his home at a crucial time in the emo­tional development of his children and, because his fam­ily depends on Mr. Rexrode's income as a skilled work­man, it makes dependents out of a previously independ­ent household.

I understand that it is too late in the process to rehash the known facts of Mr. Rexrode's conviction, but how­ever those facts are viewed I think you might agree that they were arrived at out of the confusion characteristic of marijuana enforcement policies. At no point did Mr. Rexrode consciously flout the law. He thought he was doing the correct and lawful thing in view of the enforcement policies seemingly in effect at the time. Your Honor will undoubtedly recall that Mr. Rexrode's original arrest was conducted on the pretext of recover­ing a mountain lion cub Mr. Rexrode had not only saved from certain extinction but had already turned over to Fish and Game authorities.

Mr. Rexrode's felony conviction on marijuana charges has already cost him his life as an outdoorsman. He has lost his right to hunt which, to him, was, along with his family, his primary joy.

I hope the court will return this young man to his fam­ily rather than incarcerate him.

Respectfully,

Pebbles Trippet

Elk

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JUDGE BAD RAP BROWN

Editor,

Judge Ronald Brown has put his stamp of approval on child rapists in Fort Bragg and beyond. He has sent a message to all victims of child rape to shut up and take it like a big boy/girl. The arrogance and ignorance of law enforcement is criminal itself. To those of you who have stated that Judge Brown is a hanging judge, you are correct, and I apologize for doubting. You cannot receive justice from law enforcement. They are here for the pedophiles. They did not bother to check serial child rapist Darrell McNeill’s two computers for child porn. Great job Sgt. Van Patten, you deserve a gold medal for your work on behalf of pedophiles.

We must end the silence. We must protect children in any way possible. We thank you Aaron for protecting your Josie — so beautiful and precious. We stand with you Aaron. We miss your presence and you will always have us in love.

Linda Vargas

Aaron’s Grandmother, SaveAaron.com

Fort Bragg

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NUTTY MYTHS

Dear Bruce,

What does one do in the face of severe mental illness? I am not either a psychiatrist or a psychothera­pist, but as a layman familiar with both, it is apparent that the USA is in the grips of a psychotic break.

Given that nation states exhibit the same psychody­namics as do individuals, more specifically as do chil­dren, then any reasonable analysis of both the domestic and foreign behavior of the U.S. shows a decided sepa­ration from reality.

All human beings use defense mechanisms. At times they help to preserve mental stability. Usually, however, they are used to avoid blame or to shift blame. People, and our nation, use denial and projection and displace­ment to keep alive the myth that all is well. But a myth is a myth. If the majority of our national behavior is driven by myth, not fact, then we are not in touch with reality, we are over the edge into national psychosis.

Here are a few of the myths we presently live by. Our nation is good and the other nation is bad. We are God’s favorite; He loves everybody in the world, but he loves us more because we are special in His eyes. Our motives are pure, and those who criticize them are not really patriotic. The unregulated free enterprise system is the best system for everybody, even if they presently don’t know it or don’t believe that it is.

The biggest myth of all is that it’s all going to be O.K. Don’t you worry, because worry doesn’t do any good. What people do is mix those two ideas together. That is why we are having a breakdown. Whether things are O.K. or not has nothing to do with whether worrying does any good. They have nothing to do with each other, really. Things don’t go well or not go well whether we worry or not, and if we do worry they still go well or not for reasons other than worry. By mixing the two our culture is in such a massage amount of denial that touch with reality has been lost.

There are three seemingly antagonistic things that are held to be sacred. The Individual; that which is attached to God; and thirdly, the society. Two of these can co-exist. There can be a balance between the Individual and the society. But, when one of the two of them is the second one, being that which is attached to God, it cannot balance out with either of the other two. The God is all-everything, and the Individual is subsumed under the Godhead. The society cannot balance with the God, because it has to merge with the God. That this is denied is the myth that we need God to have individual rights and a humane society. Not only do we not need it, it is a detriment to have it, it being the notion of God.

Another major separation from reality occurs when we always think that everyone else in the world sees the world the way we do. The fact, and it is fact, that they have different cultures, different geography, different skin colors, different histories, different customs, but evenif they do they see the world as we do, or if they don’t, they should.

When you put all these major separations from reality together you end up with psychosis, a psychotic break within the psyche of the nation. As we know, a person who is psychotic does not recognize that he is of she is. It takes attachment to reality to be able to see when you are out of tough with it. The person doesn’t have that. Since nations work psychologically very similarly to an individual person, it is quite possible, and even probable, that the nation does not see the break.

When war is seen as a logistical game, and children’s toys reflect this; when war is psychologically removed from the daily life of the citizens; when the costs incurred financially are so staggering that they cannot be grasped with any real sense of their magnitude; when the troops are to be supported, regardless of what they are doing or not doing; when the only unity in the nation is a militaristic unity; when all these exist and are not talked about as real issues, then reality has been abandoned in favor of feeling good all the time.

Many of the pundits are saying that the people are angry, they are confused, and they don’t know what to be angry about so they create or have handed to them, false issues to keep them occupied. The reality is staring them in the face. It is on the tv news and every other media in the culture. It is not seen. They know, but they don’t want to know, so they don’t know.

When this happens to a mass of people they gather around the fantasy, and punish severely those who do not join in the gathering or who expose it for being out of touch with reality. The social and political myths must be protected, and those who oppose must be abolished. Thus does the civil become religious, as a mirror of the power of religion to delude. And guess what. That’s fascism, American style.

We don’t need Brown Shirts; we don’t need ethnic hatred; we don’t need political prisoners. We have created the psychosis of the Fascism of the mind. Very efficient; very inexpensive, and it can’t miss. Wave your flag, people.

Lee Simon

Far ‘N Away Farm, Virginia

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STAFF TIME LEACH FIELD

Editor,

For those of you who have been following this issue since last September, a recommendation from the special ad hoc committee will be under discussion and possibly acted on by the Supervisors next Tuesday, June 22. This is revision number four I think, all of which have been quite detailed and technical (and all beg the question of why any regulation should start with “It is the preferred position of the Division of Environmental Health…” Regulations should be clear and NOT leave things up to administrative {preference”).

No one has yet answered our questions about why there is a such a big rush to move forward on this par­ticular off-parcel septic issue (which has major implica­tions for development in forest, agricultural, range and other open space lands) before addressing the general revision of the zoning and land use codes. Such a code revision will cover this issue and all the others still unre­solved since the completion of the new General Plan. So why spend staff and Board time on this one particular matter instead of getting on with the required review of the codes?

I think the answer lies in a possible lawsuit by the Albion Head developer, thus making it reactive, ad hoc planning — back to normal and as though we did not just spend $3.5 million and five years on long-range plan­ning. The County says it has no money to finish the nec­essary Code updates, but it has just spent nine months of staff time fiddling with this one special interest project. You might want to call your Supervisor and ask him/her what on earth they are thinking of.

Cheers,

Gene Herr

Philo

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LET’S FACE IT

Editor,

I haven't noticed a decrease in people's oil-engorged habits since this calamity, have you?

Here's a perfect example here in Canada. Every day there are still enormous drive-thru line-ups of sloth-like Canadians, belching fumes from their vehicles at every Tim Hortons across this country. (Tim Hortons is a ubiquitous coffee/donut/fast-food outlet with almost 2900 drive-thrus.) To my amazement this behaviour goes on unabated, even despite the good weather.

These donut-snorfling, lazy-assed, coffee-swilling, ignorant cretins, are obviously wilfully unconscious, as you would have to be well beyond deaf, dumb and blind to not know what's going on in the Gulf. I even see kids in their backseats. They do this in front of their children! And we all know that parents lead by example, not what they say. They obviously don't give a flying f**k. They truly deserve our wrath.

For me, this sort of behaviour is a lightening rod for our culture's greater apathy and indifference, because unfortunately the problem goes way beyond these morons.

It's also the “isn't-that-terrible-what's-happening-in-the-Gulf” people who gaily continue to do their 100km-return commute to work each day, and then in the evening and weekends drive to the big box stores that have killed practically every small (walkable) town in North America. They know there IS a problem, but they're either oblivious to the true nature of their decisions or they shrug their shoulders and say “Ahhh, but what can I do?”

Beyond this bunch, there are the tens of millions who are trapped in their suburban, car-dependant hells with limited options at their disposal. Circumstances have subjugated them to their vehicles. Even if they wanted to do something, it might take years before they can transition to a less oil-depandant lifestyle. This is a disturbing bellwether of how this whole Long Emergency is going to play itself out.

But let's face it, we're all hypocrites if we haven't taken steps to significantly change our behaviour as a result of this colossal catastrophe. The only way anything will change is if people actually DO something about their oil habit. (And not using a drive-thru is barely scratching the surface of change.) Otherwise all the stamping around and disgust adds up to just pissing into the wind (or oil in the gulf).

Paul Jones

Toronto, Canada


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THE SUPE WHO SWALLOWED THE CANARY

Dear Editor,

Thank you, Bruce McEwen for your article on Dennis Boaz! It is difficult (unfortunately, not surpris­ing) for me to understand in this day and age more tax­payers are not infuriated and more involved in prevent­ing this type of atrocity from a county superintendent of schools. Especially, with the finances going on in their own homes! Of course, it does not surprise me what happened to Mr. Boaz because it seems to be the rule of thumb in Mendocino County especially when someone shows up in a district and/or county demonstrating the slightest bit of intellectual ability to make changes for the better who are then either fired without cause (as ex-principal Matthew Murray was in Point Arena) or their reputation is ruined as Mr. Boaz’s was.

Perhaps, they truly did not know the exact meaning of the word niggardly because they always have taken care of their own so to speak. So, there is nothing mis­erly in their world. I can’t speak on behalf of all the school superintendents in Mendocino County because I do not know all of them. However, I do know one stupe (oops, what a typo that was, I really meant to say supe), Mr. Mark Iacuaniello of the Point Arena School District. I live in a district that receives over $7,400,000 for a stu­dent population of 413 students (you can do the math per student). Last month on the agenda the board was slated do the following: 1. Reduce the work year by six work­ing days. (Huh? I don’t get it!) 2. The Business Manager, Mr. Lloyd Cross, was to be given a $7,700 year raise ($75,759.07 to $85,004.08). This would be taking an employee from a Step 6 position to a Step 10 position. (He has been working at the district less than a year.) There had been talk about reducing some benefits the teachers currently receive. However, I believe even the board must have realized how ridiculous this is because both items 1 & 2 were taken off the agenda.

How can things get more ridiculous? The old busi­ness manager, Judy Murray, has retired three times but for some reason continues to work in the district office. Ms. Murray is the one holding the district cat. (I wonder how much cat food, etc. is costing the taxpayers) and no relation to Matthew Murray who did more for that ele­mentary school in one year than any other principal Point Arena has had. What is Ms. Murray doing you may ask? This is what I wanted to know and so I approached Mr. Cross at the meeting and inquired if he believed he was capable of handling his job in a school district of 413 students that someone else did without help. He told me he felt that he was. So, I asked Mr. Cross why Ms. Murray is still on the payroll — essentially, I believe if she is on the payroll then he is actually making more than $85 a year — and working in the district. He sug­gested I speak with Mr. Iacuaniello regarding Ms. Murray’s position. However, he did inform me Ms. Murray sometimes helped him out but not at the salary she did as Business Manager.

Whew, I felt so much better about that!

Unfortunately, every time I have been at the district office I have never seen Ms. Murray “helping out.” She has been walking around the halls looking bored, stand­ing at the receptionist desk chatting, putting the cat in or out, or in Iacuaniello’s office joking with him (Mrs. Murray was joking, not the cat). Why are we taxpayers still paying her a salary when she has retired three times?

So, bottom line, when it comes to the word niggardly, Iacauniello hasn’t the faintest clue as to what the word means as long as they are members of this very elite administrative club. I won’t even go into what it takes to get into the club. That is a whole other story that, per­haps, would best be told by one of the great AVA report­ers!

One last note on Point Arena School District: Cindy Biaggi-Gonzalez is no longer working as supe at the Manchester School District. Currently, she is in Point Arena working under her friend, Iacuaniello.

Certainly, Bruce McEwen was joking when he called Tichinin “cute.” There is nothing “cute” about Mr. Tichinin. They say the “heart of a man’s soul is in his eyes.” Take a real good look and you will not find any­thing cute about Tichinin either. He always looks like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary. Truthfully, almost like the one Judy Murray is holding! As far as calling his or any of his staff a Colonel, Lieutenant or Lieutenant Colonel, I would never besmirch the honor, bravery and dignity of any of our fine men and/or women in the armed services. Using the word tyrant would be more appropriate. However, perhaps, Bruce McEwen was being more euphemistic than what I could ever be.

If there is any justice in the system, which right now to me is very tenuous, then I believe Mr. Boaz deserves whatever he has requested and then some.

Respectfully

Susan Rush,

Manchester

Left to right: Eloisa Oropeza: Human Resources, Lisa Riboli: District Secretary, Arlene Teager: Facilities Con­sultant, Mark Iacuaniello: Superintendent, Judy Murray: Business Manager, Lisa Olson: Payroll and Accounts Payable

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GIVE NUTMEG BACK

An Open Letter to Judge John A. Behnke,

Mendocino County Small Claims Court

Dear Judge Behnke,

On the evening of Wednesday, June 2nd just a little after 5:30 p.m. I was among the witnesses who were locked outside the building in the case of Wallis Susan Williams versus Angela Hooper. Potential witnesses for both plaintiff and defendant were refused admission to court for not being present precisely at 5:30 p.m. When was this policy begun? Isn't Small Claims an open court where anyone can sit in and observe the proceedings? After all, court is taxpayer funded for the benefit of the taxpayers, not an administrative convenience.

Frankly, Judge Behnke, I was both surprised and dis­mayed by Angela Hooper's impunity in stealing the little dog Nutmeg whom she agreed to care-take for the period of Wallis's incarceration. Angela should be familiar with the oppressive conditions in prison as her own son resides in prison. I consider the action of Angela Hooper and the dishonest acquaintances she enlisted to help her as a betrayal of trust. There are extenuating circum­stances which you cannot possibly know about which I don't want to discuss because of their sensitivity. How­ever, I will tell you that when I first heard Wallis's account of her jailing, I recognized immediately that there was something terribly wrong with the court's han­dling of her case. I offered to write to her and to help her thru the ordeal she was facing. You can read Wallis's series of letters from Chowchilla Womens Facility which I edited for publication. Editor Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser has published an entire series in which Wallis re-examines the circumstances which lead to her arrest and accusations of drug trans­portation. Wallis's personal savings were confiscated before her preliminary hearing, before any evidence was presented, so that she was unable to hire the attorneys who offered to defend her, Richard Peterson and or David Eyster. Instead, Wallis was provided with a public defender at taxpayer’s expense. Her first Public Defender, Ferris Proviance III, was soon replaced with Bert Schlosser, an adjacent neighbor with a possible conflict ofinterest. Bert Schlosser failed to present either Wallis’s witnesses or her meticulous documentation of the tampering with her mail prior to the arrival of a mysterious package of drugs from Lima, Peru, hand delivered to her by the Ukiah Task Force.

I am 100% sure that Wallis was wrongfully convicted and wrongfully sentenced to prison. It is strange indeed that someone like Wallis with absolutely no criminal history, no history of any drug use or dealings should be given a million and a half a dollar bail, lowered to a mere one million. For comparison, Debra Schlosser, arrested a few months later in one of the most hard core anti marijuana states in the US, Utah, received $15,000 bail for interstate transportation of one hundred sixty two pounds of saleable bud. Debra Schlosser received probation and a small fine. Wallis Williams was sen­tenced to prison where she was severely mistreated. The mistreatment continues with this current civil case which has all the trappings of double jeopardy. Please realize that no drugs were found in Wallis’s house nor on her person. Please, Judge Behnke, take the time from your busy schedule to read Wallis's letters published through­out 2008 and 2009 in the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

Please, Judge Behnke, understand that Wallis Wil­liams, the rightful owner of this little dog Nutmeg, whom she loves very much, has waited an extra four months to get her pet dog, returned legally, in good condition unharmed. Nutmeg loves his owner Wallis. A dog does not forget his owner.

Judge Behnke, it seems by delaying the return of the dog to Wallis until July 8, that you are assisting Angela Hooper in keeping the dog from Wallis, creating a worri­some situation that the dog might be harmed or even dis­appeared. Since when, is spending 6-10 hours a day in a smoky bar in the best interest of the animal? Please be reminded that in the court of law, both parties stand equal before the law.

Leaving the dog in Ms. Hooper’s hands contradicts the judgment that Wallis Williams is the rightful owner of Nutmeg. Permitting only one party to appeal gives that party, the defendant, greater standing than that of the other party, the plaintiff. Who legislates such unjust rules? Why do you, as court judge, not question this systemic injustice? Our legal system mandates the courts to correct errors in law, even overturn bad laws.

Editor Bruce Anderson has just informed me that the plaintiff may file a counterclaim if he or she feels the ruling is unjust. Why do not you or any other judge inform the opposing parties of this protection?

Sincerely,

Dorotheya M. Dorman

Redwood Valley

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THANKS FROM THE SMITHS

Dear Community,

When Tom and I moved here, we didn't give a sec­ond thought about the community of which we would be a part. We got very lucky.  Olie, Jesse and I would like to thank all the people who helped us through this loss, from the people who were there at the scene of the acci­dent and the people who mowed around our buildings while Tom was in the hospital to the people who brought us meals and helped put on a memorable memorial befitting of Tom's contribution to this community.

The list is long and would be longer if I knew exactly everyone who helped. Many thanks to: Elizabeth and Bryan Wyant, Donna Pierson-Pugh, Linnea Totten, Leslie and Michael Hubbert, Molly Johnson Martinez, Emily Martinez, the AVES staff, Dennis Hudson, Greg Krouse, David Severn, Kyle Clarke, the AV EMT's, the AV ambulance, the CHP, Keith Squires, Craig Walker, Captain Rainbow, Tim Glidewell, Bill and Gail Meyer, Jonesy DeWolff and Mark Pitner, Pippa Thomas and Steve Hall, Sarah Cornsweet, Mitchell Holman, Steve Sparks and Patty Liddy, Holly and Bones Newstead, Toby Malina, Mary Anne Wilcox, Kevi Mace, Mitch Mendosa, Mike Crutcher, Morgan Baynham, Via Keller, the Magic Company, the Variety Show crew, Rainbow and Henry Hill, Jill Derwinsky, Tom and Claire English, Linda and Hayes Brennan, Charlotte and Mark Triplett, Kathy and Jerry Cox, Kathy Borst, Denise Morse and Hernan Lopez, Vickie, Hannah and Mike Brock, Cynthia McMath, Annie Stenerson, Manuel Soto, Antonio Soto, Seasha Robb, Emily Coleman and Boyd Stratton, Martin Quezada, Aurora Torres, Rick of the Redwood Drive In, Tere Malfavon, Nahara, Denise Mattei, Will, Daryl and Kendra Ross, David Norfleet and the AV Grange. Thanks to all those who helped us out in any way.

It felt very good to be the objects of so much love.

Sincerely,

Val, Olie & Jesse Smith

Philo

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NO CHAIN LETTER

Letter to the Editor!

Break those chains! Open your eyes and see the light. It's all political, things are not right. This place I'm in it breathes off war. Hell has no boundaries and this is not far. We're born to live and from that we learn. The sys­tem is our penny and that we earned. Head of the house­hold, the king am I? As I lose my subjects, hang my head and cry. My number outweighs me but still there's laughter. They say that I'm nothing so what am I after? To live my life without trepidation. To enjoy what I was promised, emancipation. Set me free from the hell I'm in. It's all in the mind so let the healing begin.

Larry Wilson

Soledad


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REVOLUTIONARY SOUNDTRACK

Mighty Editor,

Well, at the Boonville fairgrounds there was a whole lotta white folks groovin and gettin down to some black music from the descendants of black slaves who were brought to this hemisphere to work for whitey.

Big Youth, who was incidentally the first rastafarian with locks to get a visa and fly to America in the 70s, opened up his set with an extended version of “Every Nigger Is A Star.” Now granted it is one of his known songs, but I think the intent and purpose was to make folks cringe a bit. Was he taking a jab at the promoter? Well, fair game as exploitation is well known in the music game, as Chris Blackwell who promoted Bob Marley is known as a vampire or the devil himself. Or the crowd, which was 99% white and in some cases purely oblivious.

The fact is that the president should not be playing golf and I had to ask myself, “Should I be at the Mendo­cino County Fairgrounds drinking beer and conspicu­ously consuming copious amounts of ganja?” As I sat watching my nearly one year old son take some of his first confident steps and dance about the place. I said, “Shit,” my parents did the exact same thing 40 years ago and they turned out fine, right?!

When I see my friends, the descendants of good socialists turning to the music to express their identity, politics and ideology, it reminds me of Helter Skelter. I know those were heady times, people thought the revo­lution was at hand, and there was an abundance of dupes and dopes. That much hasn't changed.

Rasta expression through the music and the mention of Haile Selassie is a throwback to the Nationalism of the early 20th century. I figured out why Jewish people cling to the music so much because with Israel they are still dealing with the past era of Nationalism and legitimizing their historical viewpoint as well as constructing their secular identity. To hell with their nation-building efforts, but I will join them in that historically important endeavor of creating a meaningful secular identity.

Are there other reasons to enjoy the music besides identity politics or closeted right wing political senti­ments?

Constructing a meaningful secular identity is as important for Jewish people as it now is for Muslims and us descendants of Christians as well.

The revolution needs a soundtrack, right?

The best role that I see the music playing is not when it helps people cling to religion, but when it helps them to let it go. Having a semi-spiritual music that does not however espouse religion helps people to carve out their own space of personal spirituality, their conversation with themselves, ostensibly outside the guise of the religion they were raised in.

It is easy for me, the Pope is continually burned in the fire in tens of thousands of reggae songs, it is cate­gorical and inescapable. I only wish for my Jewish brothers the same clear path to liberation from the relig­ion of their forefathers, or at least from the religion of the conquerers of their forefathers, and their patently silly and self-desctructive effort to maintain an apartheid State in the 21st century.

Free the Minds.

Nate Collins

Oakland

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THESAURUS WRECKED

Editor,

For those Mendocino County educators who think nig­gardly is a racist slur, there are other words you should be made aware of. “Nosegay” has nothing to do with homosexuality. A “thesaurus” is not a creature from the Jurassic era and “innuendo” is not Italian for a hem­orrhoid cream.

Steven Turnquist

Santa Rosa

One Response to Letters to the Editor

  1. Luke S Reply

    October 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Dorotheya M. Dorman of Redwood Valley:
    You are painting Wallis to be a saint. Your facts are wrong. You state you are “100% sure that Wallis was wrongfully convicted and wrongfully sentenced to prison.” You further state it “is strange indeed that someone like Wallis with absolutely no criminal history, no history of any drug use or dealings.” Wallis arrived here from Europe shortly after doing a hefty prison sentence for drug convictions involving cocaine.

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