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Letters (Aug. 14, 2019)

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Letter to the Editor,

Mendocino Redwood Company would like to comment on the August 7, 2019 article written by Mark Scaramella in Mendocino County Today regarding tanoak treatment. The treatment of tanoak to restore the natural balance of conifer to hardwood is a tool used for decades across the county, the country, and around the world. Small private landowners, industrial landowners, and state landowners all use this tool to achieve this goal in a careful and controlled manner according to state regulations. Mendocino Redwood Company additionally seeks Forest Stewardship Council certification for its forest management activities. This third party certification, born out of standards established in the 1990s by environmental groups, has been achieved by MRC for 19 consecutive years. 

MRC was created from lands purchased in Mendocino and Sonoma counties with the publicly declared mission to be good stewards of the forest and at the same time run a successful business. This set a different, sustainable and better path from the legacy of previous owners. This legacy includes tens of thousands of acres of redwood and Douglas fir forest that are now dominated by tanoak. MRC is committed to restoring these forestlands to the natural balance of conifer and hardwood. 

Beginning in 1998, when MRC was established, we spent several years on a variety of methods to treat tanoaks (including an ill-fated and expensive effort to make tanoak flooring). After much effort, we concluded the most effective way to bring back a healthy conifer forest in our lifetime was to treat tanoak, selectively, carefully, in the woods, literally tree by tree.

CalFire, the Lead Agency on forest regulations, independently reviews and verifies all Timber Harvest Plans (THPs). THPs are considered a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)-equivalent Environmental Review Document. Among many things, CalFire reviews THPs for fire safety and requires mitigations where appropriate.

MRC has reviewed its internal policies to encourage fire safety. These include procedures and processes we have used for more than a decade, such as: 

a. Partnering with communities to place dedicated firewater tanks, improve egress for remote neighbors and coordination of activities with local fire districts. 

b. Working in Sacramento to encourage investment in Mendocino county infrastructure through the return of taxes paid locally and deployment of CalFire resources.

c. Donations of time, equipment and money to Volunteer Fire Departments. 

MRC strengthened its practices to improve coordinating with local fire districts, fire experts, climate experts and CalFire on pilot projects for fuels hazard reduction and additional road access in the remote parts of the County.

After reviewing state and local laws regarding public nuisance, Mendocino Redwood Company determined it was exempt from public nuisance determinations in regards to standing dead trees. See the Mendocino Redwood Company letter to the County of Mendocino at

From our inception we have encouraged transparency and we have a publicly stated policy of taking anyone to anywhere on the property to see our practices first hand. Additionally, we post our inventory and other forest facts on our website. You can find more information at 

John Andersen

Director, Forest Policy

Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC

Mendocino Redwood Company, LLC

MIKE KALANTARIAN REPLIES: Lots of standard blah blah with this one high-handed zinger: "After reviewing state and local laws regarding public nuisance, Mendocino Redwood Company determined it was exempt from public nuisance determinations in regards to standing dead trees." That is an amazing statement: We disagree so it doesn't apply to us. PS. I would like to hear someone explain what the AG's "conflict" might be.

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: And the validity of MRC’s amazing statement remains to be seen. 

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To the Editor:

I can only hope that this will be my last letter to the editor regarding the Palace Hotel.

Sure, we can blame the original investors. They bought in cheap but were not willing to back up their investment. Then, they protracted any process or procedure to address this decrepit eyesore.

This eventually led to the incredible decline in the property value, the property values of those businesses in close proximity, and it is smack dab in the middle of town.

Now, there is blame all around for this travesty. But, how long has this been a problem? A year? 10 years. 20 years. More?

Who is to blame now?

This money pit has been enabled. Enabled by those who are empowered to protect us from this kind of decay and decline.

Come on, please. Enough is enough. At what point does a brick have to fall off of the Palace Hotel and kill someone for action to be taken?

Look, we need to pay more immediate to the things that surround us.

I would ask those in authority to take action. NOW!

My immediate neighbor told me that a local politician was stopped in traffic, due to a fallen brick from the Palace Hotel.

He was stopped as well right behind. What does it take. A brick to fall on your head?

Until we see a plan to immediately address the problem of the Palace Hotel, then it is difficult for me to take any downtown “improvement ideas” seriously.

Dear “powers that be”. Please do your job. Please take care of business. There is no excuse for tolerating this vile albatross for one more nanosecond.

The clock is ticking, and this travesty is on your watch. Not anyone else’s. No more excuses please.

The Palace Hotel should be condemned, or it should have been condemned. With that said, I now condemn our politicians for their lack of addressing this problem for decades. Not months, or years. FOR DECADES!!

What will it take? A brick falling on your head? Well, this letter is my brick.

Johnny Keyes


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To the Editor:

We come to public discussions of highly emotional topics by different routes. Mine was dealing with a neighbor who operates a distribution and resale business on the opposite side of a country road, and has fenced and built corrals and shelters on his roadside easement. My neighbor has transferred customer parking to my easement, and careless customers making “U” turns are constantly damaging my fence.

In researching my inconvenience, I found that easements on both sides of county roads in rural counties don’t have even limited standards for what can be done on them — no restrictions. Trees can be planted with impunity.

What complicates the issue of roadside easement is that PG&E has its easement on one side of each road on top of the County easement. Unlike County easements, PG&E has restrictions for entangling and interfering vegetation. People are suing PG&E for fires started by poorly managed vegetation and resulting damaged electrical equipment for what is assumed to be their total responsibility for vegetation control or abatement.

My feeling is that all California Counties, as the ultimate arbiter of property ownership and definer of title, in their failure to exercise their coercive or controlling powers to institute even minimal standards on easements, are at least 50 percent liable for damaged electrical equipment and resulting fires.

There is currently afoot a legislative solution to this complex, multi-level accountability problem that aims to shield electric utilities from devastating, punitive judgements. I wholeheartedly support a balanced solution to this problem. This resolution is, honestly, shield legislation for the rural counties to avoid their bankruptcy, not just protection for PG&E solvency. Other than counties with rich urban centers, maybe most Counties need such shielding?

Lastly, all California Counties need to be encouraged to draft and legislate minimal standards for roadside easement that forbid the planting or growth of trees and other vegetation. Such would protect the ingress/egress of emergency service/firefighting personnel and equipment, not to mention insure unhampered evacuations.

Please continue to promote solutions that insure equity and reason.

David W. Dippel

Redwood Valley

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Dear AVA,

My name is Jacob Silverman and I am currently housed in the Mendocino County Jail — the mental health isolation part of the jail where we are either wearing lime green suits or you get a dark green smock like I like to wear. We get no shirts, blankets, sheets, shoes or even boxers really, I should be in the protective custody part of the jail because that is the safest place I can go without fellow inmates who aren’t already being protected trying to harm me and spit on me and cuss at me. They even try to make my kosher meal not so kosher. 


Yes, I'm the only inmate who receives a kosher meal. Boy that was a lot of paperwork pushing. Sorry you hard-working kitchen workers. I'm one of the rarest redheaded Jewish people you'll ever meet. Not only am I stingy, but I'm also a fake, an elder abuser and I can't leave small innocent women and kids alone for anything. Just look up my arrest records online. Go to the people search and you can find any and all of my criminal records. I say this to you because I am soon to get out and I will have a real bad problem. I think I'm going to need all the help I can get from not only the Probation office but also the Ukiah Police Department, the Sheriff's office, the Fish and Game Department and the notorious Covelo tribal police. I can't forget the public either. Please help me with my wild and crazy ways.

Sorry A-Mod for all the loud and nasty things I say to you all. One of these days I will grow up and find out what a level 4 yard is like at the California Department of Corrections.


Jacob Silverman


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Dear AVA,

My name is Joshua Hanover. I am currently back from B-Yard Mule Creek State penitentiary in Ione. I'm back because of a child custody hearing on my baby girl Jasmine (Little Foot) and over whom I had an intimate relationship with her mother who was 15 going on 16 at the time in 2017. Around the same time of my famous (Trevor) Jackson 5 crusade. That happened to go bad with a little bit of help from me. Thank you for the help Mr. David Eyster. A big shout out to Mr. Eyster and the fellows down at the District Attorney's Office.

It's alright guys. Jasmine's mother is fine. She finally got her driver's license. Only three more years and she'll be able to go to the bar. I'm just sorry I have got so much time left. 

I'm writing really to say that I've got letters sent in from family members who have (to my regret) learned that Trevor Jackson's daughter got taken from her mother by the Mendocino County Social Services department because of my decision to turn state's evidence on not only Trevor Jackson but also Matthew Sturgis, Alex Nunez and, sorry Chino, I wish I could remember your real name. I'll have to go back and look through my paperwork just as soon as I get back to my special needs yard.


Well I should wrap this up. But first let me say thanks again to Mr. Eyster for allowing me to be of service to my county. But sorry to Trevor Jackson. Sometimes casualties fall in my line of work. God bless you Mendocino County. I will see you in eight and a half years. I'm ready to go and ready to work for any and all of you law enforcement officials.


Joshua “Big Mouth” Hanover A#263

951 Low Gap Road

Ukiah CA 95482

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Today we start "new spelling" a scheme popular and promoted during Teddy Roosevelt’s administration. It works like this: you spell the words like you speak them. Example: instead of “use to be great” it now will be “usta be great.” The idea didn't take off but we like it. 

We now scan over the July 31 issue of the AVA.

The first page, the leadoff writers, Jim Shields and Jonah Raskin. The first a good reporter and editor exposes Monstrous Behavior. Raskin highlights social concerns and culture through the wine country murder mystery murk that pays.

Bruce Anderson, muckraker supreme, exposes, enlightens, puts down, elevates and amuses as always. 

Bruce McEwen, the Albion Nation's and Mendo’s greatest court reporter, reports a victory of the working-class son over his Ph.D. father. Viva justice!

The letters are always a favorite and the biggest surprise was when I started to read “modern tech dooms us.” I got excited. The writer was penning all the ideas we have always expressed. We were stoked! Blown away to find out while reading further that the author was “The Mad Trumpster, "Jerry of the Apes" Philbrick. We both admire Tom Allman and we both breathe in and out, but that's about all we share in common. Or is it?

Pebbles Trippet deserves our greatest respect and admiration for her sane and outspoken defense of masturbation. First we have ever seen in a major newspaper.

Jack Magne warns us of the dangers of the proposed asphalt plant near Willits. Next a letter from my personal hero, Peter Lit (who bailed me out of Low Gap after too long of a stay) who laments over the utility of protest and we get the point. 

Yesterday, August 6, Hiroshima Day, we got picked up hitchhiking from Albion to Mendocino by a contemporary gal from our Mendocino Friends meeting (Quakers). Sandy was going to the Mendocino Post Office for a demonstration against nuclear weapons and war. Two other old ladies joined us. We put up the table and posters and gave out leaflets promoting the 6:30 PM movie, “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” and getting good support from the locals. Having been active and arrested in the peace movement since the 1950s, we, like Peter, grow somewhat weary. An old Wobbly once remarked at one of our "pinwheel" picket lines that we might as well just pray.

At 80 I am worn out, demented and weary. We do exactly that. We pray with great vigor for divine intervention. Winston Churchill said, "Don't ever give up."

Next, Mark Scaramella exposes once again the pot permit mess. Valley People follows with local events and personalities. Alan Freberg introduces Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti to New Orleans in 1968. Page 7 follows with legal notices, a Gordon Black poem and a want ad.

Here's another want ad: need half-cord of firewood, dry and split for small box stove. Have cash. Call Captain Fathom, 937-2852 in Albion.

Heaven help us all,

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham


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Hmmm. Kevin Harvey, a presumably rich Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and winemaker destroyed protected wetlands, streambeds and, as the accompanying photo showed, used huge earth-moving equipment to change the shape of the Mendocino hills.

The consequence? What I assume for him is a tiny fine. And he gets to keep the vineyard with the environmental destruction left unchanged.

My point is that $3.7 million is nothing compared with what has been permanently ruined. Perhaps this is all the water regulators were able to do under their regulations. But to me it really doesn’t matter. Harvey should be in jail.

We should all pay more for our roles in the rapidly declining health of our planet, and big destroyers should pay something that hurts and deters others. The message here (as elsewhere in our society): If you are rich, don’t worry about the consequences. You just have to pay a fine.

What many scientists are now calling “anthropomorphic climate disruption” is at or near the tipping point. And it is produced by every greedy step Harvey and the rest of us take. And the bigger the destroyers, the greater should be the consequences. We cannot afford business as usual.

Charles S. Little


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Dear Editor,

I am writing to voice the shared concern about the PG&E usage of herbicides for vegetation management under the powerlines that span across the entire Greenwood Ridge of the Elk area. The herbicide they are using is commonly known as Roundup and glyphosate is the main ingredient.

Glyphosate was patented by the Monsanto Company (now owned by Bayer AG) as an herbicidal agent in 1974. Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world.

Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid 1990's and were assumed to be safe for health and the environment. This assumption perpetuated by Monsanto continues to be promoted today despite scientific evidence that glyphosate harms human health and the environment.

In a research study compilation entitled The Unintended Consequences of Using Glyphosate there is a demonstrated correlation between glyphosate and serious health and environmental hazards including the disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer and neurotoxicity. Glyphosate can harm all facets of an ecosystem including soil biology and composition, water, aquatic organisms, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, non-target plants, animals and humans.

Glyphosate and its metabolites can be highly active and mobile and persist for many years in the environment, depending on the conditions. Using toxic glyphosate could not only harm beneficial vegetation and wildlife but could also jeopardize public health and safety. Glyphosate use could foster herbicide resistant super weeds and as glyphosate is a patented desiccant (drying agent) and could greatly increase the risk of fire.

The company line is that glyphosate or Roundup is safe but there are now countries all over the world not buying that company line that are banning the use of Roundup, due to concerns about links to cancer and chronic kidney disease. There are communities and neighborhoods now throughout California who are saying “No” to the use of herbicides like glyphosate in areas alongside their homes and in their watersheds. In regard to PG&E’s herbicide application, there are communities that are “opting out” and instead choosing the option of mechanical removal for vegetation management. Many landowners on Greenwood Ridge have chosen this option and the results are stark in contrast to those who chose herbicides.

The landowners who choose not to apply herbicides get licensed arborists to selectively cut the targeted species, the crew then chips and cleans up the entire area leaving it free from potential fire danger. The landowners who choose herbicides get a contracted crew hired by PG&E to manually apply (often spraying) the herbicide which leaves behind a mess (and eyesore) of dead and dying fuel for potential fire danger. PG&E advocates that this type of herbicide application is the best method for vegetation removal and fire prevention. For those of us who live here and are witnessing and living with the outcome of the two different methodologies, there are many who beg to differ.

We, on Greenwood Ridge who oppose the use of herbicides, hope other landowners will come on board and opt out of future herbicide usage. This does not just affect those who live near the PG&E powerlines, this affects all of us and our entire ecosystem. All landowners have a choice and from what we have seen, the negative impacts of herbicide usage on our environment, fire prevention, worker health (who are applying the toxins) and health and safety of all in our community, far outweigh the economic incentive that motivates PG&E.

Name Withheld


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“Mass Shooting” A strange way to describe mass murder. Unless attention is to be on the tool instead of its operator. Better to focus on the symptoms rather than the core causes of the disease. 

Where do lone nuts come from. In the highly over rated information age, how can one be lonely! At least Charles Manson put some thought into a class of target. Somehow the amount of bullets fired per second clouds the issue of human intention. Who pulls the trigger and why? 

All weapons are assault weapons when used to assault. From pens to knives, from bare hands to Zyclon-B, it’s human action that weaponizes a situation. 

At least Ron Reagan's Central American death squads had a logical reason for their mass killing, though the logic was highly flawed. Compared to the brutal type of regimes supported by the US these shooting events here are small change and self inflicted. You could say that our self destruct society is the logical result of US foreign policy and domestic obsessions with violence as a form of entertainment. 

Anyone surprised by the meltdown of civil society in America doesn’t know modern history. Our sick society is a direct result of 130 years of Imperialism of which 70 years have been extremely brutal in pursuit of global domination. 

The republic pays for the empire.What goes out comes back. It’s called “blowback”, a term coined by the CIA for unpleasant outcomes from close relations with all manner of reprobate, barbarian, mobster, dictator, drug lord and mass murdering tyrant. All to feed a hysterical hatred of Communism and Socialism. 

America straddles the world with military bases and rude military culture but can’t educate its people. Can’t keep them well in body and mind. Can’t keep its cities clean or bridges repaired or its artist supported. When all the eggs are in the military basket there’s not anything left to feed the family. 

Call it karma, retribution, judgement, or whatever. Belief has nothing to do with the path of self destruction America is well along. It’s mathematics, even physics and cosmic cycles of cause and effect. America has killed too many. Has created and blown up all too much poison dust. America has left a waste land in it’s wake and the screaming curses of the multitudes in its ears. 

So it’s really no wonder that our society is so spectacularly ill and loud and vulgar and rude and arrogant and belligerent. Perhaps it’s trying to drown out the cries of the millions who went hungry or uprooted or missing or blown to bits, all so we could consume gluttonous amounts of the earths resources in our delusions of gashog Hollywood dystopian manifest destiny. 

Time will produce justice where human hubris and vanity are concerned. And when that’s to slow there are endless victims of Pax Americana who rise up from time to time to bring down towers of this Babylon. 

Remember that the Cold War never ended and that there is certainly a direct connection to its massive generation of pollution and the runaway increasing of global temperatures. We didn’t win it either, no one did, we all lost and America lost it’s soul in the fallout. 

Ross Dendy


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Three out of five male children in the United States, when they get their Social Security card, should take a course in guns, how to handle a gun safely, how and when to shoot and then have a little refresher course every three or four years to make sure they are on the right page. If those men were armed in our society it would stop 90% of this mass killing. If there had been anybody armed in Texas or Dayton, then all those killings could have been stopped.  

But oh no. The rabid, hydrophobic liberal Democrats want to take the guns away when it's not the guns, it's the people. How idiotic and stupid and low grade can people be to not understand that guns can be a deterrent to crime more than a cause of crime?  

Pat Patterson and Frank Graham are stupid. We need to put them in a cage and let them fight it out to see who is the dumbest. Understand me clearly? See who’s the dumbest. And then turn them back loose in our society and let them preach some more. It's sickening to hear people spew phlegm and ugly voices in the newspaper.   

You liberals? You want to start fighting? You want to start shooting? You want to start hunting conservatives? Come on! I'm a conservative. I have a lot of conservative friends who have weapons. Come on! Come hunting you sons of bitches!  

God bless Donald Trump.  

Jerry Philbrick  


PS. Women are also very capable of owning a weapon and taking the courses and learning how to shoot safely and they are very good shots as my wife has proven to be. There's no reason that women can't have a nice little .38 revolver in her purse and be ready to pull it out when they need to.  

PPS. On Saturday I fell off my dad-gum horse, trying to ride her bareback and dislocated my shoulder and screwed up my leg. They took me to Coast Hospital emergency in Fort Bragg. I received the best care there I have ever received in my life. Very courteous, very kind, very professional. They can take me there any time they want.  

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To the Editor:

“If he thinks guns are not something that will be used in the next couple of years, he is crazy." — Jerry Philbrick, AVA, December 26, 2018

"You liberals better watch out because we will be coming." — Jerry Philbrick, AVA, fall-winter 2018

"Liberals should be hung from a lamppost in the middle of town and left there to rot." — Jerry Philbrick, AVA, fall-winter, 2018

I want to give a shout out to Mr. Jerry Philbrick for the success of the terror attacks by his fascist soulmates in El Paso and Dayton. No doubt there were some liberals among the dead. The rest, sadly, just collateral damage in the inevitable civil war to take back your country. Congratulations Jerry, Making America Great Again. God bless Donald Trump.

So, what are you and your fascist terror cell waiting for “Jerry”? Looks like the insurrection is on. We're going to begin to think you're just a big talking little man.

On another front, I can't comprehend why there aren't more letters of outrage from knowledgeable readers of the AVA about this right-wing crank in our midst continually threatening our community with mayhem. Is he to be treated like a pet or something? Is he your friend?

The most recent example: last week a letter writer actually apologized to “Jerry.” I'm confident that he doesn't support “Jerry's” ravings. But, isn't that too cute by half? Do educated lib-lefties think he’s just a poet or something like the American fascist sympathizer Ezra Pound? Let me say, this guy is no Ezra Pound.

“Jerry” is right about one thing though: the knowledgeable people better wake up. This guy, in the AVA, the most spirited public form we have locally, has been threatening the rest of us with a terror campaign like El Paso and Dayton for how long now?

The general verbal complacency about “Jerry” in our public discourse is a simulacrum of the complacency about the fascistic Putin puppet in the White House. Where are the letters telling “Jerry” to shove off? 

God damn Donald Trump.

John Arnoldt, Armed Liberal,

Fort Bragg

PS. There's a new book at the Fort Bragg library every complacent lib-lefty should read titled "The Road to Unfreedom" by Timothy Snyder. Fully footnoted and citing sources, it chronicles the recent aggressions, through mendacity and cyber war, of the worldwide fascist reaction. It isn't just the lowest level running dogs like “Jerry,” but it's backed by a cabal of oligarchs, firstly Russian, and would-be oligarchs like the Trumps and Mercers and sundry rich Europeans. We ignore this in are public forums at our peril.

PPS. I'm pleased to see that my previous three letters (especially my letter of January 9, 2019) back in the fall-winter scared the little man (probably the part about the FBI file) into not threatening us directly like he does in the above quotes. Nevertheless, God forbid, afterwards we don't get to say there was no warning.


  1. Kathy Gagnon August 14, 2019

    Jerry Philbrick. Did you happen to read anything about the Dayton, Ohio shooting? 9 dead and 16 injured in 30 seconds. 30 SECONDS! Armed officers killed the gunman in 30 seconds, but he still had time to kill and wound that many innocent people. Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of anyone who is not in the military or police. I am a progressive liberal and believe that no citizen should have these assault weapons. I am not saying that every gun should be taken away – just to BAN assault weapons. Can you understand what I am saying?

    • Pat Kittle August 18, 2019


      As a self-declared “progressive liberal” you should know (but probably don’t) that Dayton shooter was a… wait… progressive liberal.

      And while you focus on right-wing Whites, the fact is Blacks & Hispanics commit the vast majority of gun violence.

      Why do you suppose the (((media))) suppress these FACTS?

    • Pat Kittle August 19, 2019

      As usual, when a SJW is confronted with FACTS…



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