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Letters (April 21, 2021)

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Dear Board of Supervisors,

The situation is extremely urgent. The scale of blatant, large, illegal, cultivation sites is unbelievable in Redwood Valley. 

The County could immediately use low technology solutions such as staffing field personnel to inspect the out in the open, obvious greenhouses mushroomed across the lands. There is publicly available imagery from last year that can be readily compared to applicant data.

It would be wise for the County to move towards a geo-referenced form of data storage that would be accessible in map form to personnel in the field, such as ESRI’s collector application. Before outsourcing, reach out to local firms.

We can do this, but it cannot wait.

Structure the penalties to pay for the program and warn the growers you are coming out in force.

Trees are being cut, hills graded, wells drilled, fields rocked, all within plain view of public roads. It is open season for lawless developers. 

Within the last two years the zero enforcement approach has accelerated and now exploded into unrecognizable landscapes. Appalled neighbors are moving and making way for more illegal developments. It is all to blatantly obvious to believe the County has waited this long. 

Help! Take action immediately. We love the trees, despise the grading and plastic, worry for our wells, and have lost the ability to walk safely in our rural neighborhood.

Respectfully Submitted,

Estelle Clifton

Redwood Valley

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After the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, Andy Beckett wrote in the London Review of Books, “the LAPD began to be brought under the same sort of political control – limited, but real – as police forces in most large democratic cities.” What “political control” there is of American police forces today is not democratic but judicial: more than twenty large urban police departments have agreed to let a federal judge oversee their operations (and, for example, to require that officers undergo diversity training) in exchange for an undertaking that officers will not be prosecuted or departments penalized for killing so many people. According to New Era of Public Safety, a report issued in 2019 by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, “from 2014 to 2018, police officers killed approximately a thousand people a year, committing 10% of the annual homicides in the United States … Roughly a quarter (24%) of people killed by police from 2015 to 2018 involved people with signs of unmet mental health needs.”

One of the first such agreements was reached in 2000 between the US Department of Justice and the LAPD in the wake of the Ramparts scandal. The story is complicated, but it seems that LAPD officers killed numerous people, including famous rappers, for sport; awarded playing cards to celebrate shootings (a red card for a wounding, a black card for a kill); framed innocent people for crimes they did not commit; and stole eight pounds of cocaine from a police evidence room, replacing it with Bisquick.

The Ramparts scandal convinced Mayor Hahn of Los Angeles to replace his police chief in 2002, a decision that has been linked to Hahn’s failure to be re-elected in 2005. As for Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, once an outspoken critic of police brutality, his spine disappeared after the NYPD police union used the occasion of his daughter’s arrest for peaceful protest last year to tweet her home address. In consideration for a father who merely wanted to protect his daughter from the cops, let’s not quote de Blasio’s actual words, but a headline from the Onion that summed up what he might as well have said: “It is an honor to have my daughter doxxed by the greatest police force in the world.”

Benjamin Letzler

Oberursel, Germany

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My name is Terry Kramer. I am one of the many who came up this way getting a little smoke and then ended up catching a case and was then sent to prison. You all know the drill.

A friend of mine, Stan, got beaten to death by a kid named Jewel who he helped raise as his own even though he wasn't and I am wondering what ever happened in that case? I sent Jewel a letter in the Low Gap Motel but then I had to go put in some years myself so I never heard the outcome of things concerning that matter. So if one of your fine readers can bring me up to speed there please do so. Thank you.

I would like to give a shout out to Ryan Long and the many other good people I met as I sat in the Low Gap Craphole for a few years fighting a petty chickenbleep case that cost me five years at 80% then after just three days out I shattered my spine in four places. My buzzard luck just keeps on keeping on, so I'm off to the pen again. But I should see the streets again in 90 days or so. Will any of you long-lost brothers out there who I know, please drop a line to this paper and let me know who is still alive out there because we seem to be dropping like flies these days?

I am in the Sonoma County Jail at 2777 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Take care and I send everyone my best with pride and respect,

Terry Kramer

Santa Rosa

PS. I miss Flynn Washburn's stories.

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Editor --

I would like to quote from a recent Off The Record in the column near the fold of the page: “It seems to be a simple formula that makes sense that if economic output minus borrowing costs is greater than taxes minus spending, debt as a percentage of GDP should decline. This is sustainability.” (AVA, April 7, 2021)

Although I was only a history major at Stanford I have no idea what the above quote means. I don't even know why I need a parachute. I don't expect any clarification, but I want you to know that I am lost.


Ashley Jones

San Francisco

PS. I suspect that I am not alone.

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I would like to respond to the story you printed recently, “A Brief History of Pot on the North Coast.”

It was well-written and I'm sure well intended. But that being said, when is someone like me who knows the real history of our beloved Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity counties / Emerald triangle going to step up for a reality check? I don't see anyone else so here goes:

My story as a guerrilla grower:

I was born April 26, 1973 in Fort Bragg. I had a loving mother and father. I have a brother three years older. I always said my dad was the Milk Man because I am six feet, oneinch, 288 pounds, solid as an old-growth redwood tree. 

Where to start? The pot industry on the surface is hippies, hippie rednecks, grandma and grandpa growing Prop 215 medical weed in the backyard.

The reality is I started to grow out in the hills, rivers, mountains of Mendocino County in 1988. My freshman year in high school I grew 10 pounds of Mendo’s best home-grown killer weed and sold it at $5000 a pound for $50,000. In my senior year I grew 30 pounds and earned $150,000. If you bought a 10 pack it would bring the total down to $4800 a pound.

Guerrilla growers are not mom-and-pop 215 wheat growers. For example, at age 18 I was sitting in my garden in Elk with a Thomson 45 submachine gun, a 40 caliber sawed-off auto and backpack of clips and ammo thinking that I hope that CAMP helicopter flies close enough that I can take it down. Maybe the Mexican nationals from Boonville too.

Packs of 5-10 of them would walk through my hillside plantation because that is how I roll. Just another day at the office. This may sound extreme or racist so let me set the record straight. I'm not a racist; I am a grower. I go to Reggae on the river, Smoke Mendo’s best with my whole family. I do security at reggae concerts. For 33 years I've been in and out of prison and am a validated gang member, level 4-180 “Wood.” Two tattoos, not prison tats. Fort Bragg and Ukiah California.

As I write this I know that it won't be published or even make it out of the jail mailbox. So what's the point? I'm here to tell you the hills have eyes. People disappear or go missing and so does a lot of money. WTF? I am now retired. I love to cut grass and make the roses bloom. I am not the one. If you don't know about Vietnam California, don't go looking.

Michael Lucas

Michael Lucas

Mendocino County Jail


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To the Board of Supervisors, 

For a county that lacks a grading ordinance, an oak woodland protection ordinance, and little desire or resources for enforcement, it seems like a rash decision to me to open our rangeland to large, lucrative, commercial monocultural businesses. If you care at all about the environment, our diminishing water resources, native plants/animals, our fragile oak woodlands, fencing in the wild, fire resilience, dark skies at night, and plastic proliferation—in short, the open spaces that make rural Mendocino County so desirable to both residents and tourists, DO NOT vote to open our rangelands up to large monocultural agriculture. We feel this change in zoning would further exacerbate an uncontrolled industry and be an unwise and regretful move economically, culturally, and environmentally. 

Barbara and Rob Goodell


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To the Editor,

An interesting item in the Ukiah Daily Journal recently concerning the person who was fighting with law enforcement.  I have seen a video of the event and it appeared to me that the man running about with no clothes on started the whole affair and the police simply put an end to the whole thing.

I did get a good laugh out of a statement made by a person named Gloria Campise who said she was “deeply disturbed by the violent actions of the UPD against a mentally ill man” and that she “no longer feels safe in our town” and that her “fear is of the violence of the UPD.”

Well, you can guess where this is going to go, Madam Campise and the rest of her loony liberal friends will be screaming to defund the UPD, and, in this moronic town it will probably happen.

Thank you,

David Anderson


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I always disliked law enforcement. I still do. However, some deputies have shown me that not all law enforcement are [bleeps] and power abusing [bleeps]. Honestly, I am seeing some deputies here at the Mendocino County Jail go above the norm. Compassion and respect for inmates. 

Don't get me wrong, we still have [bleeps] that like to treat us inmates like [bleep] and I will name a couple. Deputy Name Withheld tops my list. Major [bleep]. Don't like him. Never will. A tweaker with a badge. There are many stories of how much of a dirt bag cop he is. He has done some sadistic [bleep] to me. I got two cans of pepper spray dumped on me last year. I'm showering to rinse it off this [bleep] turns off the cold water in my closet so all I got was hot water. You don't rinse pepper spray with hot water. It makes it burn 10 times hotter. [Bleep] him for that one. Sgt. Name Withheld is mean. A real black widow type. No compassion.

Let's get off the negative and talk about the positive. Last year on December 2 I overdosed on fentanyl. I died on the floor of cell number 152. My brother alerted Deputy Lopez and Lopez jumped into action. I was very surprised at the extent he went to bring me back. Lopez was holding my hand kneeling by my side when I came back from death looking me in the eyes, telling me, I got you Brockway. You're going to be okay. I ain't really an emotional guy, but that man, Deputy Lopez, opened my eyes and softened my heart toward some of these guys wearing a badge. I will forever have love and respect for Lopez. His partner that day was Robles. He also has my credit and thanks for saving my life. It sucks because Robles left this jail to work elsewhere. But wherever former deputy and active Army reservist Robles is, thank you, you are the man.

You too, Lopez. You are the man. The two of them went the extra mile on December 2 to save my life. I'm forever in debt to them. 

Those girls who just overdosed in the women's jail were also saved due to the officers on shift that day. Basically when I first got locked up in his jail in 2012 this jail was full of [bleep bleep] deputies. Most of them are gone. The new deputies here are fair and respectful for the most part. 

The way Deputy Dow treats and deals with the mentally ill inmates is touching. The public doesn't know it, but mental health treatment in this jail is trash. Most of these deputies don't know how to deal with a crazy person so they get neglected and act crazier. I've seen deputy Dow cleaning the crazy cells, putting them in the shower and standing there coaching them on how to wash their hair and body. He makes sure they get totally soap up and scrubbed. I mean, guys with human [blank] in their hair and Dow is giving these guys respect and treating them in a way that helps them act more normal.

Dow gives them little incentives and it works. If you ask me, deputy Dow should run the mental health team here and teach everyone else how to deal with the mentally ill. I respect Dow for that.

Then we got deputy Name Withheld. He is the [bleep]. He is respectful. He does his job every day. No BS. When he works I never have to ask for toilet paper or the phone. He is on it. He treats us like humans, not inmates. Everyone respects him because he comes to work like a man. The only time he acts like a cop is when someone is being dumb. If you ask me, all cops can use some lessons from Gunny.

I must add a couple of names of cops here at the jail who are good guys because I don't want them getting jealous asking why their name was let off.

Deputies Alderson, Ford, Souza, Munoz, Sergeant Hardman and Sgt. Bohner are all really good cops. Lt. Spears and Lt. Bednar, you guys are okay too. But it would be a lot cooler if you would kick me and Scotty Faber out of this jail early though.

Chris Brockway

Chris Brockway #4680

Mendocino County Jail


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If I were the overseer of Boonville, I would demand that those who made fun of the president's mental and physical condition send back their $1400 stimulus checks. How did you like the Huffington Post? A lot of scrolling, eh? Oh, you didn't try it? Go back to KZYX. 

I'm in favor of 100% voting by mail in California. Then maybe it would seep into some swing states. Better start campaigning in swing states soon with some progressive ideas or the white trash party will win them. Don't forget that trump won 74.5 million votes and so far is holding onto most of them. 

I just read in the New Yorker that the Democratic Socialist party has a chapter in New York. Please print the address of the Northern California chapter. If you don't do it, who will? Irv Sutley? 

Did you ever notice that almost all of the negroes killed by white police were the result of them not following police orders or struggling with them? Every time a store is looted it erases a decade of improving relations, never mind the cultural divide. That isn't going to change nor should it. I'm not going to learn to like them grits, greens, okra and black-eyed peas. Once I visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC on a Sunday afternoon. Washington DC is 85% black, but the only negroes there were employees. Walk down the street in negro neighborhoods in Oakland — you don't hear NPR on the radio, you hear rap. You're not apt to get a white negro unless he is the quarterback on the team that wins the Super Bowl at a salary of maybe $50 million. 

Once Chinese President Zhang Zemin visited the United States. The first place he wanted ago was Williamsburg. I said, “Here I am a 100% gringo and I've never been to Williamsburg. So I jumped in my 1939 Plymouth and soon arrived. It is pretty interesting, all those restored colonial buildings. I asked, “Where is an example of where the workers lived?” Nobody knew. It was the first time anybody asked. 

Once in Ontario I visited the home of the Dionne quintuplets, a wooden building with one big room and several beds. No water, no toilet. 

When I came to Willits there was a nice JC Penney store on Main Street. Everything you needed except food. Also there was a pool hall with a lunch counter.

Why did Amazon when the union vote? Employees don't want to pay those union dues. White sharecroppers vote Republican and don't want to pay for welfare for negroes. 

The stimulus payment merely benefits the Chinese. The day after the $1400 stimulus checks arrived, Amazon contacted their supplier and told them they had sold 17,000 pairs of shoes the previous day. Amazon needed 17,000 more pairs of shoes right away. And 2,000 bicycles.

In Annie Proulx’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, “The Shipping News,” one page in the weekly paper was reserved for sexual assault each week and one reporter who washed up on the beach after a row boat trip across the Atlantic from the United Kingdom was assigned to the sexual assault beat. The police department would have used up two months worth last week. 

The Third District Supervisor has fallen in love with that huge paycheck he gets from the county each month. He is trying to make nice with everybody, sending out weekly reports to the local newspapers. 

Idaho wants to annex the white trash portions of Oregon. Why not take a strip of Washington state which includes Spokane? Harry Truman once said that the “Spokane Review” was the worst newspaper in the United States. Then come down and annex portions of northern California including Redding, Red Bluff, Corning, Trinity County and Crescent City. All white trashy areas, not a bad idea. The only thing you lose is Ashland, Oregon. Idaho would pick up a seat or two in the house.

I swear on the grave of Karl Marx that the monarch butterfly story was not an exaggeration. 

Here is something that I am opposed to: changing the names of schools. A letter in the Press Democrat proposed that all schools should be named with a number from now on. (No sixes.) Your zipcode backward will be acceptable. 

The residents of Willits complained about the bypass not having an entrance and exit to Central Willits and Highway 20. No one was willing to fight for it when the bypass was built and nobody is willing to fight for it now. Access roads should be built right up to the bypass paid for by the citizens of Willits. Then demand that Caltrans either build an interchange or a traffic light or a stop sign. I think Caltrans would do it to avoid bad publicity. Brooktrails has tried for years to get free money to pay for a second access road without success. If they put up a tollbooth and collected 25¢ each way as I suggested years ago, even voluntarily, they would have it paid for by now. “What ever you suggest, the answer is no.” What the smug people don't realize is that 85,000 residents of Mendocino County don't want to pay for a road in a piss-pot community of 3200 people. 

Hale's Grove is the ideal town, never any dissent, and nobody watches Fox News. 

Ukiah would be a better town if they had a newspaper and sent out a directory all over the county to show residents what they had to offer in the way of goods and services plus a delivery system. Nobody wants to drive to Ukiah to pick up a part to repair a broken pump. But this would cost a little money. Unfortunately, no organization exists to propose such a forward-looking idea to. 

Tommy Wayne Kramer would write a better column if he had an editor. What happened to Flynn Washburn? Did he enter graduate school at UC Berkeley? 

The AVA arrived on time the last couple of weeks — first time in a year. Did Postmaster General DeJoy die?

I don't think enough people would use a Redwood Trail to justify the huge amount of money it will cost. Too far from large populations. I would rather spend the money on Jerry Brown's train. I think eventually that would pay for itself. 

The time has come for the Post Office to be declared a subsidized basket case and treat it like the Mendocino Transit Authority running around with two passengers per bus. It obviously can't show a profit, so raise the taxes on millionaires by 1% to pay for the necessary services. Just like those aircraft carriers and the guns that go with them.

Carpe Diem and Caveat Emptor.

Ralph Bostrom


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I had my initial parole suitability hearing on April 8, 2021. I was found “to represent an unreasonable risk to public safety” by Commissioner William Sullivan and Deputy Commissioner Nora Loza. They gave me a list of self-help programs that they recommend I take, asked me to finish my associate’s degree, and want me to continue my vocational training in computer science.

To be honest, I expected a denial, so it wasn't as bad a blow as it could have been. The commissioner was exceptionally strict and a recent 115 disciplinary action was cited as one of the main reasons I was unsuitable. Incidentally, that 115 is one I am still contesting, as there is clear video evidence that the officer was lying. I'm going to take that one to court if I have to to beat it. Now that I've been denied parole specifically for that false disciplinary record, I'll probably be able to sue both the issuing officer and the reviewing lieutenant who failed to review the video evidence.

Although I am sad and depressed, I will continue to slog on and make my way through the stacked-against-you, unfairly-prejudiced system and find my way home. As far as the parole board is concerned, the word in the probation report is holy writ, so I essentially have to admit to things that never happened because August Stuckey (who I guess is Theresa now?!) lied.


Anyway, I remain strong and continue on.

As ever -- onward!

Tai Abreu, T61118

High Desert State Prison A5-205

P.O. Box 3030, Susanville, CA 96127


The whole story:

A shorter version:

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I strongly believe that a man who sexually assaults a woman should be punished. I also strongly believe that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty.

Memory experts tell us that we cannot rely on our memories. They are not copies of what actually occurred. A memory is influenced by our state of mind, our emotions, our previous experiences. When we relate our memory to others, it is already distorted. In the listeners’ mind it undergoes editing according to their perception and is distorted some more. With the passing of time it is further from reality.

The women’s allegations against Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli, without detailed investigation, cannot be taken as evidence. He may well be what they accuse him of being, but he may be innocent.

It is deplorable that so many have accepted a reporter’s article as proof of guilt without waiting for the result of a detailed investigation.

Veronica Johnson


ED NOTE: This guy's case serves nicely as a sign of our hysterical times. He hasn't been arrested, only charged in newspaper stories, but his chances of a fair hearing are nil on the “liberal” Northcoast.

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