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Letters (July 31, 2019)

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Well, that was a bit of a roundabout journey. I have finally managed to return to High Desert State Prison (7/8/19) and am now back living with my previous cellie. (Thank whatever powers that be!) The editions of the AVA that I missed since my return to CDCR custody have caught up with me and I feel it necessary to clarify a few points both for the public and my fellow incarcerated. (Shout out to Walter Miller.)

On June 13, 2019, I was in Hon. Ann Moormon’s courtroom for what was billed as a constitutionality hearing. As Bruce McEwen expertly reported, District Attorney David Eyster and Public Defender Jessyca Hoagland both submitted their written arguments. Mr. Eyster argued that Senate Bill 1437 was unconstitutional, while Hoagland was opposed.  Judge Moorman took these arguments "under submission," which is just a judicial way of saying she received the documents.

During this same hearing, Judge Moorman said she was unlikely to issue a ruling on the matter of constitutionality. Her rationale was essentially that she did not want to "wade in" on a matter that was already before the California appellate courts. She wished to wait until a ruling came down from them so she would have guidance in her own ruling.

As it could take any amount of time for the appellate courts to render a decision, she (and, less vocally, I) thought it preferable to await further proceedings in CDCR custody, rather than at that nightmare of a county jail.

As it stands, the Court of Appeals has ruled in the interim that SB 1437 IS constitutional and, as of July 23, has ordered all counties to comply with the rules of SB 1437.

I have not yet received correspondence from the courts or from Ms. Hoagland regarding any future proceedings, but I am sure that some form of news will be soon to follow.

Though things are still ongoing, I wish to take a moment to thank Bruce Anderson, Bruce McEwen, the AVA, Walter Miller, and all of the various other individuals and groups who have chosen to support me.


Tai Abreu, T-61118,

HDSP, Facility A5-240

PO Box 3030

Susanville, CA 96127

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Dear Editor,

I can't hardly afford any health coverage. I am living out of my Social Security retirement, and that is not enough to pay for my basic needs.

When the Politicians talked about taking off the coverage for pre-existing conditions, they were talking about a mass asasination of people like me.

What a shame, that the ones who have a great deal of money have forgotten about the ones that don’t, even when we are citizens of this beloved COUNTRY OF OURS. They pretend that we don't exist, and if we do, we don't deserve to be alive!


Edgard Schmidt


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Since I’m retired, I thought applying for a U.S. census job would give me a chance to contribute to the 2020 count effort. After getting online, I found the right link to apply and I filled out the initial questionnaire, selecting “part-time” as my work preference. Little did I know what was to come next.

Evidentially, the census folks use Zip Recruiter as their means of matching job openings with potential candidates. Not only was my background information (funny, I was asked if I was a U.S. citizen) shared with the Census Bureau, but also with wineries, hotels, senior helper groups, tutor jobs, real estate companies, etc. Now I get about 40-50 annoying emails per day for full-time jobs I have no interest in.

This is just a heads up for anyone wanting to apply online for a census job: Do it in person, unless you want to spend your time deleting emails throughout the day … and night.

Paul Heidenreich

Santa Rosa

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Cheapest healthcare in town. 

Thirteen days with Willits Adventist Hospital starting March 3, 2019. Infection in foot which required surgery. 

Hospital charged: $?

Medicare paid: $53,000.

Added charges: $418, $150, $215, $227, $257, $632, $227, $208, $132, $297, $146, $180, $107, $335, $116, $255, $290, $150, $43, $271, $271, $99, $1100 (surgery), $119, $126, $126.

For those charges Medicare paid (respectively): $65, $58, $83, $69, $37, $60, $69, $46, $29, $8, $10, $55, $3, $9, $9, $7, $65, $58, $10, $32, $32, $7, $204 (surgery), $10, $50, $50. 

Ralph Bostrom


PS. Watch for “Hat-checks’ Adventures at the County Seat.”

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Greetings AVA,

There must be a law or principle that says: The more you say the same thing over and over again the less anyone listens to or cares about what you have to say.

Ashley Jones


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Congratulations to Sonoma County (Mendocino County, too) for commemorating the lunar landing anniversary — by making our roads look just like the moon’s surface.

Neil Ehrlich


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To the Editor:

The Anderson Valley Advertiser reports: "Those big pot raids in the North Mendocino County over the past two weeks are certain to help pot prices. Local growers tell me they expect $1500 a pound this season, a huge rebound from the rock bottom prices of last year. We used to joke that pot raids functioned as a price support program, with the cops busting enough grow operations to keep prices lucratively attractive to farmers. Legalization having failed in Mendocino County because of its ridiculous and absurd complexity, lots of growers are choosing to stay illegal."

The Press Democrat Reports: "Marijuana raids in Mendocino County mark renewed targeting of illegal operations."

To Which I Say: Mendocino County continues to lose market share -- and its leadership position as the producer of the world's finest cannabis -- to more enlightened counties, like Santa Barbara County and Santa Cruz County. They tax on the back end. Meanwhile, Mendocino County front loads its fees and taxes. The cost of entry is too high for lots of small farmers in Mendocino County. 

Supervisor McCowen will be voted out next year. Supervisor Brown is retiring. It's my fervent hope that Mendocino County will then reform its oppressive cannabis permitting and licensing ordinances.

All of us want to be legal. Really, we do!

John Sakowicz


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Modern technology will be the downfall of civilization as we know it. Everything is done with technology now. Humans have forgotten how to live. At some point it will fail and human beings won't know what to do. Children are raised by smart phones and don't know what's going on in the outside world or on the sidewalk or driving a car unless it's on the smart phone. When it fails, and it will, people will stumble around wondering what to do. Banks will close. It will be all over. People don't steer automobiles anymore or apply the brakes or give it the gas or shift. Hospitals are full of robots. It scares me. Banking is done by technology. Try to deposit a check at a drive-through window. There's a machine looking at you. Scary. I saw a picture of a couple parked at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Mom and dad were looking at the spectacular view. But the kids were in the back seat looking at their smart phones. That's the way it's going nowadays. Kids don't know what a horse is, never seen a cow or chickens. A cyber attack will wipe this all out and human beings will be screwed. Democrats are against the Constitution, the American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the military, law enforcement, religion and Christianity, the Declaration of Independence, the national anthem, and everything else that's good for America. Democrats have no feelings, they are stupid, dumb, hypocritical. Open borders, criminals rushing in unchecked. They better find a place to hide. Americans are waking up. Good old boys are waking up. Liberals and Democrats better run and hide. 

God bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


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You probably won't believe this story. I have a hard time believing it too. But it is true and it really happened.

An acquaintance approached me and asked me to do a sex change operation. I said, "That's ridiculous. I'm not a doctor. I know nothing about it. And I have no interest in it."

To make a long story short, after being badgered for weeks and given 100 reasons why I should participate, I just couldn't take it anymore. In a moment of weakness and against my better judgment I said, "Okay."

The day of the operation _ one patient on one table and the other on another. I'll spare you the gory details. Parts were exchanged, healing took place, and the patient, I'll call "B," went out the door and never looked back. I should now tell you that this patient "B" was a book, and this is how it came about.

My friend’s daughter turns 13 this year. I always try to remember this special day with an unusual gift — something strange and unexpected. This year when she opens her gift she will find a penis book written by a urologist. This will probably be an awkward moment for her. Later, when someone opens the book they will find that it is a vagina book written by two Swedish women, one an MD.

So the real gift was a reason — a reason to never judge a book by its cover.

Jerry Minnick

Santa Cruz

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Dear Editor, 

Yes, I did think you rejected my letter because of the ding-a-ling reference, not because of the word but due to the action behind it -- masturbation, the single most common sexual experience in the world. Developing male fetuses in the womb have been photographed holding their own penises.

My comment about Little Richard's little known Ding-a-ling song needs to be put in context so AVA readers won't think I'm nuts to suggest you censored my letter because your prudish inclinations make you touchy about masturbation. 

In his song, Little Richard was coaxing his engaged audience toward their own ding-a-lings with girls, then boys singing in rounds respectfully, wholesomely. He pulled off quite a feat with everyone singing and laughing.

About a decade or so ago, I noticed a gay cartoon as part of a series in the AVA much to my surprise, since it was not known to educate on matters of sexual freedom. But I thought perhaps Bruce was venturing outside of his comfort zone since the times require enlightened attitudes, like live & let live.

Not having that cartoon in front of me, going by memory, there were two characters in two panels with the third panel slated to be a masturbation educational with show & tell. Suddenly, the ax fell, the opaque curtain came down. We were not allowed to see what came next.

I protested the censorship of the masturbation scene in the next issue in no uncertain terms. You dear editor said it wasn't suitable for a 'family newspaper' and made a big distracting joke of it, laughing, telling me to go home without any dinner or goodies. What was clear did not want to go there.

I lost that round but here, 10 years later, the issue comes up again with my letter not printed. The subject in both cases was masturbation, a wholesome universal sexual activity the world over but not fit to print in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a family paper responsible for guarding community morals. It figured you were refusing to print it rather than have to deal with sexual freedom implications, like last time. Or perhaps I misinterpreted you.

I believe violence toward women is directly connected to explosive sexual aggression, pent up in men without outlets or mature relationships that work. Rising testosterone without sex education demands community savvy about self-pleasuring an safe sex, in addition to knowledge and respect in personal relations. You always have you. Much of life is about being comfortable with who you are, by yourself, with yourself, knowing your own body, relieving your arousals so they don't become your frustrations and aggressions, and in turn sharing what you know. Personal freedom stuff. 

In hindsight, AVA missed the boat by rejecting the original cutting edge masturbation cartoon as an enlightened public service with press protections, since sex education was minimal to nil, women were treated less than equal, gay was border line legal. 

It's a health right, a self-defining personal freedom right to be who you are, a First Amendment right, since the press exists to preserve the cutting edge. Newspapers exist on that edge to afflict the comfortable.You missed a chance to afflict the comfortable, including yourself. 

Pebbles Trippet


ED REPLY: Whatever.

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To the Editor:

Wildfires and Earthquakes are facts of life if you live in California. Wildfires are driven by capricious winds and abundant fuel from thousands of acres of grasses and trees; which can be ignited by an errant ember, a spark, downed power lines, a lightening strike or conceivably — by a malfunctioning or exploding asphalt plant.The most recent example — the catastrophic California wild fire named ” Camp Fire ” allegedly caused by sparks from downed power lines, eventually covered 240 square miles, incinerated 153 thousand acres, consumed 18 thousand buildings and killed 85 people. It has been called the” deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.” Most of the damage occurred within the first 4 hours!

A 2005 report on the same area by the, then perhaps prescient, California Department of Forestry and Fire protection had warned: ” The greatest risk to these communities is a wind-driven fire that originates above the communities and blows downhill through developed areas. “The report continued:” A ‘Jarbo Wind ‘ which is a hot, katabatic wind that has been heated by compression as the elevation drops, could exacerbate a fire-storm.” This is precisely what happened. A Cal Fire report noted, “When the fire reached the town of Paradise, an urban firestorm began to spread from building to building independent of vegetation.”

It is most important that we note here an alarming development: Some members of the Mendocino Board of Supervisors are advocating for, and have voted in favor of “fast-tracking” approval of an asphalt plant at the Harris Quarry, at the top of Ridgewood grade, with striking similarities of elevation, topography and vegetation. A false sense of security is inappropriate in all directions. So few people could one day be responsible for the misery of so many.

This Ridgewood summit, at 2,000 feet, is the highest elevation on Hwy 101 between Mexico and the Canadian border. It is also the highest point between (on the one hand), Ukiah- twelve miles to the South, with an elevation of 633 feet and (on the other hand), Willits- seven miles to the North, with an elevation of 1,381 feet. Taking into account how the “Camp Fire” destroyed 240 square miles- a wild fire originating approximately mid-point between Ukiah and Willits would be a relative hop-skip and jump to either city; not to mention the utter destruction in-between, and in all directions.

A Church, a school and a 200-plus senior citizen housing development are practically at ” ground zero ” of this project. A senior assisted-living facility has already been planned in the immediate vicinity! How can leaders who have sworn to protect the citizenry of Mendocino County be so dismissive of our concerns, and behave so callously in the face of such potential devastation? How can they look the other way? It is simply unconscionable.

While the reader is pondering these questions, there are more unsettling details: According to the Geology section of the Environmental Impact Report discussing the Harris Quarry Expansion, the site is in very close proximity to the active quake fault Maacama- which is therein classified as a potential 7.25 magnitude on the Maximum Credible Earth Quake scale. The recent July 4, 2019 quakes in the Ridgecrest area of Southern California, by comparison, were 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude. Those quakes sparked numerous fires,and tipped buildings off their foundations.The Kern County Fire Dept said it was” working on more than two dozen incidents of structure fires.” Even though the quake was centered around Ridgecrest, shaking was felt as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno and Baya, Ca.

The Maacama fault runs between Ukiah and Willits, roughly parallel with the 101 corridor. The fact that the asphalt site would be located within less than one-third mile from the fault’s epicenter is an ominous prospect indeed. Considering the inherent volatility of asphalt production; combined with unstable geology and a highly combustible environment- the idea of placing an asphalt plant there is ludicrous.

Defenders of this folly will point to mitigations, restrictions and rules that seek to minimize dangers or ignore possibilities of human error. Unfortunately, the record of habitual non-compliance by this applicant demands that we view their history as predictive of future behavior. For example- based on an aerial survey that was performed with aerial photography from a Cessna 310 mapping plane equipped with a GPS controlled Wild-Leica cartographic camera— Comparison with the earlier based topographical mapping showed they had over-extracted an average of 45 million pounds of rock per year for 14 years. An ownership, that has exhibited what some characterize as chronic, risky, non-compliant behavior measured in hundreds of millions of pounds of unpermitted extraction asks that we trust them as conscientious stewards of chemicals and carcinogens whose lethality is poorly understood and measured in parts per million. They ask our Supervisors to ignore the fire dangers documented earlier. They ask the citizens to meekly accept what they are trying to visit upon this community. Our answers have been clear and unwavering: The short answer is NO. The long answer is HELL NO.

Jack Magné


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Dear Editor

Hating to confess it, I must admit that sometimes it gets depressing. 

The European Union requires manufacturers of lithium batteries to provide for the recycling and disposal of the toxins. The USA does not. Nor do we consider the source of the electricity to run them; here in PCville, we install/provide free charging stations in our State Parks at the expense of all taxpayers for the Tesla crowd. And we cannot overlook the boon to marijuana growers; if they have an electric/hybrid vehicle and a charging station(kind of like an household outlet), they get highly reduced rates which significantly lowers their multi-THOUSAND dollar electrical bills. In a sense, we all subsidize the growers (who pay no tax on their income). Electric vehicles are oh so politically correct. 

On the scientific front, scientists compute that a world-wide tree/shrub planting campaign would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is a greenhouse gas which, all scientists claim, is responsible for climate change (some say this could be characterized as global warming). What is the response? Basically negative from all those who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas omissions; it's kind of like our Congress, no cooperation for the benefit of all allowed. My way or nothing. 

The Republicans try to impeach the male Clinton for personal behavior; the Democrats are so tolerant of high crimes and treason. Meanwhile the Republicans call to ask if we think Trump is better at running the country than Obama. Of course, neither one of them runs the country; it is a cooperative venture. People talk about how the Republicans in Washington are abdicating their oaths and their responsibilities to this country; so are the Democrats. And so am I; writing pointless letters to the AVA, preaching to the choir (no offense, Jerry), making pointless phone calls to my "representatives."

Peter Lit



  1. Pat Kittle August 6, 2019

    Jerry Philbrick, in his Archie Bunker fashion, makes a seriously valid point.

    Open borders are catastrophic.

    They are absurdly UNSUSTAINABLE (if anyone actually cares about sustainability beyond scoring verbal points for virtue-signaling).

  2. Shitbird August 6, 2019

    The closed/regulated border advocates are about to get a wonderful lesson about the real context framing their lives.

    The not in my neighborhood folks likewise.

    • Pat Kittle August 6, 2019

      We sustainable-immigration folks have been getting that “real context” for a long time.

      So have the open-borders folks, despite their desperate SJW rationalizations.

      This morning I listened to a Mexican rabble-rouser on the radio repeating again & again & again that the census MUST include illegals — so the illegals can qualify for more “resources.”

      Not even a pretext of kumbaya, just gimme-gimme.

  3. Pat Kittle August 7, 2019

    Ylonia besecs lalti cuwonna siclehj onytiliilla sezallit tehowenallep…

    Over-breeding causes misery that is easily blamed on others.

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