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Letters (February 24, 2021)

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Dear Katy Tahja,

A little history on Clearlake that not many people may remember or know. Clearlake was an emergency landing field. The Mars aircarft in WWII was a very large four-engine seaplane used by the Navy. Their home base was Naval Airstation Alameda on the San Francisco Bay. In late 1942 or early 1943 coming in from Honolulu they were trying to make it to Clearlake but crashed into a mountain somewhere above Boonville. Mars was the only aircraft at that time which could fly from Alameda to Honolulu. It was used to haul freight and people. Admiral English was the Head of Submarine Warfare and he was a family friend; this is why I remember this.

Richard Hargreaves


PS. I am almost 90 years old and some of those people wouldn’t remember it.

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This letter is submitted on behalf of concerned residents of the Hopland-Ukiah area. The intension is to alert Mendocino County residents of seriously objectional aspects of the proposed Getaway House project that will be heard by the Planning Commission on March 18th.

The proposed project would be located east of Hopland off Highway 175. It would involve 45 tiny, square, unattractive units on small wheels on a 92-acre parcel zoned “Rangeland -160 Acre Minimum.”

Once in place the units would only be moved if repairs are needed. The fact that the units are on wheels also enables the project to avoid regulations that would typically apply to small recreational cabins.

In late Spring a letter in opposition to the Getaway project, which is attached, was circulated. In a matter of days, it was signed by around 40+/- long term area residents including:

Kurt Ashurst, Ken Seckora, Terry Bray, Bob Keifer, Ken Todd, Tony Stephen & Nancy Walker, Bob Gibson, Brandon Axell, Jim Bloom, Sandy & Ronald Hognestad, Frost Pauli, Susan Poor, Bernnadette Byrne, Bill & Janet Pauli, Tino Lucchetti, Jim Milovina, Wendel Nicolaus, M/R vineyard, John Fetzer, JK Ranch, Richard Henwood…

With a few more days of effort many more signatures could have been obtained.

The following is a reiteration of a few of the inherently objectionable aspects covered in that letter as well as an additional issue of great concern.

Fire Risk –

The project projects 85% occupancy and a 1 ½ day average stay.

This will introduce around 20,000 predominantly urban visitors per year - over 10,000 during the fire season. 

These will be predominantly urban visitors who are inherently unaware of the area’s extreme fire risk.

The project is sited on predominantly steep terrain with abundant flammable material.

To maximize views most units are placed on ridge tops or adjacent to very steep slopes, increasing fire vulnerability.

In general, water availability for the project is extremely limited. In the event of a fire the amount of water dedicated to fire protection would only last for a very short period of time.

Each unit has an outdoor fire pit.

The project has an extensive trail network.

In this context, enhanced by inevitable off and on-site alcohol, etc. use, it is not hard to envision an errant fire pit cinder or inadequate cigarette disposal on a trail, regardless of signage, leading to an extremely dangerous fire.

The main access road is steep with an exceptionally steep, 800-foot, one lane section. Stated emergency egress would be on a steep, narrow one lane road.

Vehicles exiting the property on to Old Toll Rd must almost immediately navigate a 1 lane bridge over McDowell Creek a short distance from the 175 interchange.

Both on-site ingress and egress are located in steep terrain on the west side of the project. If a fire starts on the west side it could easily block ingress, egress, or both.

In a fire event, 50-60+/- project vehicles, plus many vehicles of area residents would be trying to get out and fire equipment would be trying to get in. The result would most likely be chaotic.

In summary, we believe Hopland-Ukiah residents, County Supervisors and Planning Department personnel and the Planning Committee should realize that the project will unacceptably increase the risk of area fire - potential loss of life, structures, and vineyard smoke taint rejections.

Location Suitability-

The project is located many miles from Hopland and represents bad planning and leapfrog development. The parcel has inadequate internal access, unacceptable fire risk, and severe impacts on flora and fauna. It would convert land zoned for “Rangeland – 160 Acre Minimum”. This would set a dangerous precedent, eroding the rural, open space and agricultural attractiveness that is a large part of Mendocino County’s appeal.

Traffic Impacts -

The intersection of Old Toll and Highway 175 is situated at the beginning of a straightaway just after west bound traffic emerges from the winding section coming down from McDowell Valley. As Tony Stephen noted in his recent Hopland MAC comment, over the years there have been numerous accidents and deaths on this general section of Highway 175. Two serious accidents occurred in the last few months- one resulting in a fatality. The project will significantly increase traffic through this dangerous interchange and onto a dangerous stretch of highway and greatly increase the likelihood of serious accidents and fatalities.

Agricultural Water -

The project well will tap into an extremely limited aquifer. The productive area on which the existing wells are located occupies only an exceedingly small number of square yards of surface area. At present the yield on the two existing irrigation wells is reduced when both irrigation wells are utilized simultaneously. The proposed agreement limits the daily draw from the project well. But, the addition of another straw in this limited aquifer will adversely affect the two irrigation wells especially in times of heavy demand - for example, droughts, multiple spring frosts or future fire events. Also, it is important to point out that this agreement can always be revised by current or future owners.

Others will address the continuing serious issues the project would have on flora and fauna including unavoidable serious erosion and sediment buildup on adjacent creeks, elimination of an important wildlife corridor, serious adverse effect on the mature and immature oak population and other plants. 

Because of greatly enhanced fire risk, plus the factors stated above and many other objectionable issues, the Planning Department, Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors should turn down the Getaway application.

For further background in addition to the original opposition letter with multiple signatures, we have included additional comment letters from the Farm Bureau and other concerned area residents. The entire Getaway House submission can be accessed on the Mendocino County web site by clicking on Public Notices and scrolling down to the Getaway House section.

Thank you for your consideration,

Concerned Area Residents

Hopland & Surrounding areas

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Dear Editor,

Please print this prominently for us in this hellhole so that people in the right places can see it and shut this jail down or at least get something done about this.

My name is Ira Redhawk Reyes. I've had the honor of being in your very real and truthful newspaper before. I nicknamed your paper the Treal newspaper. “True and real.”

I'm sitting here in the Mendocino County Jail on maximum security level 2 which I'm not supposed to be on.Classification officers and others like Sergeant Johnson, Sergeant Knapp, Sergeant Stender etc. have me in here. I'm facing charges that fall under the zero bail policy. I'm not on probation or parole. I bailed out on a $175,000 a few months back. General population. I'm from Covelo, Round Valley. I'm Wylacki, Modoc war chief bloodline and proud. My family is the Hoaglins, same as Georgie Hoaglin who gets your newspaper. It got me thinking about how to put this jail under a microscope about the inhumane treatment and unsanitary conditions, the cross-contamination of covid 19, this deadly virus, and how the jail officers, staff and nurses are treating us. 

My cousin Georgie wrote you about this a very very true and sad story. But wait. People who love the truth should know the real story. And it gets worse, just some of the things I see every day sitting here in 400 block. 

By cross-contamination I mean officers serve the covid positive inmates meals first without changing gloves, suits or spraying themselves down with any kind of virus killing sprays such as Lyson or other germ killing material. Then they come and serve us, inmates, human beings, our food. I am on hunger strike until this changes. They upped my security to maximum three which means I come out now one hour every two days by myself. But there was no incident report and no reason.

I see cells in the 400 block with urine and feces in them. People are still in the cell with it. 

Back to my other incident that probably wasn’t logged or written about. I bet they have that footage of them taking me in a hallway in cuffs with my hands behind my back, slamming me to the ground. My forehead and the top of my head have concussion sized knots. They did this because I was rallying the inmates and people and human beings to stand up for themselves and wake up. They are doing this on purpose because no one speaks up. No one stands up to the so-called deputies.

For weeks I've been letting them know that I have been having constriction in my airways, throat, nasal passages, burning lungs. On the 9th, 10th and 11th it was really bad where I started to really freak out. The nurse came and put some kind of oxygen level tester on my finger and told me my oxygen level was fine. How is this device supposed to tell you there is something going on in my passages? The constricting of my throat? The burning in my lungs? When I try to take a deep breath? The dizziness I feel when I stand up? Or that I have diarrhea? 

So they call in the cavalry -- ha ha. Here they come, shining gold stars, badges, pepper spray, batons, plastic shield, tazers. At this point the nurse and I are arguing. I can harp barely breathe. The more I try to yell our talk the dizzier I get. So they threw me to the ground and said they were going to take me to medical to another nurse, not a physician. I was taken to the main jail where I thought I would get some kind of oxygen treatment and maybe go to the hospital. Instead we left through another door and there it was: the dungeon. This is a cell with no windows, rubber walls, a grate in the floor where you go #1 and #2. There is urine, feces, vomit splattered everywhere. Two dim lights, a camera conveniently covered in vomit, black mold, the smell of urine and feces is so strong. When I saw this I tried dropping to the ground. I asked Sergeant Johnson, “You guys are putting me in the rubber room?” He said, “[Bleep] you, [bleep] yeah.” So I tried to resist by talking and begging to go to one of the holding cells where there is no feces or urine or vomit that looks like the inside of the commode or a porta-potty.

It took nine officers to walk one human being for some reason only they know. 

Thinking about the people these officers have killed in the past kind of spooks me a lot so I really struggled. They slammed my face to the floor, on the hallway doors, the ground, the windows and they got me in there but I ain't no punk so it took a while. They put this yellow strap on the cuffs and pulled it through the porthole and then they pulled so hard that my forearm snapped my hand flat against my forearm. There’s camera footage by the way, there are cameras of this incident.

I'm pretty strong so I pulled back until finally I got my hands smashed and back through the porthole.

This is what I'm going through in here. I started a movement called I'm trying to get attention from the right people. My mother's name is Arlene Hoaglen, a warrior woman. She is trying to get me legal help and bailing me out of this hellhole. Her number is 354-2498.My sister is Rindy Hoaglen at 707-354-5674. My brother's name is Lennox Choc-lit Reyes, his number is 707-680-0477.

I love my mother, my babies. I'm human just like you. I love my baby's Mama. I have eight kids with two on the way. Please don't let me die in here by these killer cops or should I say killer clowns of covid 19.

Since this rubber room thing happened twice, after the second time on the 11th I was in there on Saturday. They purposely threw my food from commissary in with the Northern Nortenos Hispanic gang that were conveniently covid 19 positive and then tried to give me some kind of chips and soup that those same northerners had given them to try to make up for it. Cross-contamination!

With love and respect,

Ira Redhawk Reyes, Savage in the warrior society

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

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Regarding "West Marin touted as next wine hot spot" (Front Page Magazine, Feb. 15): Rising temperatures, erratic weather and wildfires threatening inland regions are cited as reasons why vintners may well end up fleeing the likes of Napa for the coast. One of the causes of climate breakdown that is fueling these conditions is deforestation. One of the drivers of deforestation in Napa is the conversion of woodlands to vineyards. David Morrison, Director of Napa County’s Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department, estimated that about 500 acres of land in the county is converted to vineyards annually with an additional 10,000 more acres of forest estimated to be transformed by 2030. The Napa wine industry is, in effect, contributing to its own demise. Let us hope West Marin does not follow suit. Truly, if the human species is to survive, we should prioritize trees that produce the oxygen we breathe, release moisture into the atmosphere, and keep carbon out of the atmosphere over even the best Cabernet.

Jennifer Normoyle


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I continue to see articles about vaccines going to vineyard workers and referring to them as agriculture workers. Don’t vineyard workers work outside and have the ability to wear masks? I was under the impression that working outside was fairly safe, especially since vineyard workers can work far apart.

Let’s start getting the vaccine to truly essential workers like restaurant employees, grocery store employees and teachers who have to work indoors next to customers and children.

Are marijuana growers next to be called agricultural workers? To me, agricultural workers in this case are food-on-the-table workers (and should be included as essential) not wine-in-the-bottle or buds-in-the-pipe outdoor workers.

Mike Dawson


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I think we can agree that most vineyard workers are Hispanic. Have you looked at your county’s stats on the virus? The largest group by ethnicity to have contracted the virus are Hispanics. This probably has more to do with living conditions than with where a person works. Many Hispanics live in large multi-generational households or in the case of vineyard workers, dormitory type settings in farmworker housing. But wouldn’t a way to lower the incidence of COVID in the Hispanic population be to vaccinate as many as possible? Since most vineyard workers are Hispanic, it seems like a good place to start.

Surprisingly, there is a higher incidence of COVID cases in agriculture by percentage than in sales and services in Sonoma County. Read the statistics for yourself.

Deborah Silva


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To the Editor,

I noticed recently that the Democratic Party made the statement that they were not trying to steal the 2020 election, but that they were trying to fortify the 2020 election.

Now to me, fortify seems to be a rather odd choice of words because, if you happen to have a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus handy, look up fortify and it will refer you to category 796, group 12 which states that the meaning of fortify is adulterate, corrupt, contaminate, debase, denaturalize, pollute, denature, bastardize and tamper with, among other definitions, all of which accurately describe what the Democrats tried to do to the election. 

If the Democrats are as smart as they think they are, you’d think they’d make better word choices to describe their actions. 

Thank you,

David Anderson


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Dear Editor,

A couple of years ago I was in an examination room at the Anderson Valley Health Center, waiting to see the doctor. While there, an emergency happened which took the attention of the doctor, so I was left in the room for quite some time. Out of boredom, I read everything in sight. One of the things I read was this poster, affixed to a wall. 

Look at this immunization Chart - please print it in your paper so that people can read it in its entirety. Why do babies need all this? Perhaps if their mother will be doing a lot of traveling? But the average baby will be staying at home with Mommy. Why not do these later? Why am I maligned if I just ask these questions?

There are, in fact, plenty of health professionals who do not believe this schedule is necessary, or that it is even advantageous to all babies. But can there be any discussion about it? No, because anyone who disagrees is vilified, and given the label, said with great disgust: ANTI-VAXXER!

According to the "Pro-Vaxxers" there are only 2 kinds of people: Pro-vaxxers and Anti-vaxxers. But I say there are 3 categories: Pro-vaxxers, Anti-vaxxers and Responsible-vaxxers: those of us who do not take everything BigPharma throws at us as sacrosanct.

The Pro-vaxxers denigrate the Responsible-vaxxers genuine concerns; the Pro-vaxxers unwillingness to engage in any discussion by cutting them off and scornfully denouncing them as "anti scientific"/Anti-vaxxers" shows they have a fundamental misunderstanding of legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. Responsible-vaxxers are not against all vaccinations. Responsible vaxxers do question why the pharmaceutical companies cannot be held responsible for any defective products they might put into the marketplace; why there is no oversight of them. (Actually, there is supposed to be a review by Congress every 2 years, but it is rarely enforced.)

Have you seen the movie "The Constant Gardener"? It is based on a true story of the machiavellian machinations perpetrated by a large pharmaceutical company where profit is more important than anything else. And unfortunately, the case in the movie is far from the only case of malfeasance by pharmaceutical companies.

People have a right to know exactly what is going into their bodies, and the bodies of their children, and they have a right to see all the studies done, not just the ones the companies are willing to let people see. There is a lot of money at stake, and where there is a lot of money, there is, sadly, a lot of corruption.

I am not particularly worried about the Covid-19 vaccine, and will undoubtedly get it. There seems to be enough scrutiny of it that I expect it will be safe, even though not enough time has elapsed for typical testing for long term side effects; apparently, with so many people involved, the results are equal to fewer tests over a longer period of time? (If I understand Dr. D. Colfax correctly.)

Pharmaceutical companies typically use government funding for research, then they retain all the rights, keeping their technology secret so they can charge high prices.

People have been so systematically manipulated and propagandized by Big Pharma, they've succeeded in "deputizing" the average person into "Pro-vaxxers", condemning anyone who has questions about any aspect of vaccinations. We believe that it is irresponsible to disallow any discussion on the subject.

Please do not print my name. 

I have been vilified enough!


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Even with recent rain, drought conditions beginning in 2020 have caused severely low storage levels into 2021. 

As measured in Ukiah, recorded rainfall for 2020 was 11.32 inches, which is 31% of the average rainfall (37.01 inches) and the second lowest recorded rainfall since 1893!

Lake Mendocino relies on year-to-year rainfall to fill as well as water diverted from the Potter Valley Project for supply.

We are hopeful more rain will fall the rest of February and into March, but at this time we do not know how this drought will impact recreation (boating, fishing, & swimming, ect.) at the Lake this summer.

US Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Mendocino

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You're a die hard luddite now? Who knew? Mechanization isn't the problem; what you do with it is.

I'm referring to your opinion thrown out in a recent AVA Off the Record that you believe it would be healthier for society to get rid of the internet and even email, the idea being we could better think for ourselves amidst all the clutter. 

Being an old school type to my bones, I disagree as much as it is humanly possible to disagree. Losing email would be similar to losing the AVA. That would be a colossal bummer. Both reside on society's lower-rungs, for those who have a sense of place or class, making room for intellectuals, dissidents, artists, misfits, prisoners and the like to tune in and hold onto our place in the scheme of things.

Despite problems with the internet, like violations of privacy and rampant misinformation, the internet powers our daily lives with paperless news and human connectedness. What is to be gained to compete with that?

The worst of your two ideas is getting rid of email, the most low key, every day people mode of communication yet devised, outside of letters and land line phones. As an old school person, I appreciate having an internet step up, which my facebook page provides at no cost. Where else can I write something and instantly edit it to scratch something I didn't mean to say?--my post on facebook. That lends itself to thinking for myself with feedback or without -- my choice. Where else can I connect with a broad swath of people previously unknown to me who follow my page and voice their views? They are called “friends” even tho' we may never have met in person. What matters far more than meetings in the flesh is their off the beaten path opinions and feedback on tough subjects, whoever they may be. I feel no need to meet more people in person, but instead I crave the intelligent sincere takes on the world of independent thinkers who tune in to their choice of sites on the internet, and one of them is mine. I know hundreds, perhaps thousands of people thru this method, at no cost. It beats a blank. 

For someone who keeps AVA @$1 an issue, $50 annual sub, it is a contradiction to advocate ending use of the best deal on the internet, that is, email.

My recent skin rash came up a month ago when it first appeared. I asked on facebook that folks give me feedback since this itch was driving me stark raving nuts and had never happened before.  Responses were heartwarming. I got theories and remedies and comforting creams and topicals with cannabis as an ingredient; powerful oils like tea tree that I dunked on my scalp, half the bottle instead of shampoo. For a day, that stilled the maddening itch. It came back. 

I wonder, is it a massive magnesium deficiency? What has worked best is daily Epsom salt magnesium based foot soaks with simultaneous salt drenched cloths covering advanced places of little bumps around my body. There's also aloe vera leaves sliced open for the medical goo tightly contained within for instant relief at hard to reach spots. No muss no fuss. The medicine quickly dissipates on the skin; only the skin of the leaf remains and dries up.

There's a reason Harvest Market devotes a whole section to giant aloe vera leaves, dozens in a large stash, for the health nuts who are catching on and flocking to it. I'm one. A bright orange flower emerged out of my aloe plant last week. I announced it: out with the old orange, in with the new. Someone said, “Ooh I've never seen that. Can you send me a picture?" She responded by email. I rest my case.

Pebbles Trippet


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