Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (September 30, 2021)

* * *


Dear Editor,

There is a glimmer of light in the ongoing tragic storm that will be remembered as the “Great Covid19 Pandemic.” That tiny patch of light came today from Pfizer’s announcement that it has a children’s vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. It’s important since, with the most recent deadly delta variant, new cases are occurring among this new age group. The FDA will have to approve it before it will be administered. Presently 674,000 Americans have died. 

Get the vaccine if you still haven’t. By opposing getting it, your inaction, along with not wearing a mask and not social distancing, you are speading the deadly virus-thus leading to more deaths. 

I realize some of you think, “You’re NOT the BOSS of me!” This is self-centered, childish, not to mention, deadly. Wake up-please! Get vaccinated. 

Frank Baumgardner, 

Santa Rosa

* * *



Fort Bragg has very sandy soil. Usually if there is some sort of leak in a water line it doesn't even show up at the surface because the water soaks into the ground at a rapid rate. If there is a visible leak, you can be pretty sure that it is pretty substantial since the water lines are a good 2 feet under ground in most places. There’s one in the images on social media that has been flowing for the better part of a year. If one were to estimate the water flow from the leak it would be in excess of several gallons a minute or several thousand gallons a day. While it's hard to see the water percolating in the images, it certainly is. 

So how can the City of Fort Bragg knowingly leave this glaring example of a severely deteriorating infrastructure in plain site for all to see? Do they just not care anymore? 

I remember calling the City a few years back about a visible leak in the same alley and was told when the crew came to check it out that it wasn't significant enough to dig up around the meter. Maybe this leak is significant enough?

One has to wonder how many hundreds if not thousands of these types of leaks are wasting our precious water that go unnoticed and untended to because they are out of site and out of mind. 

One has to also wonder: Who's minding the Town itself?

If anyone from the City is interested, the water leak is at the South West corner of the entrance to the alley on Bush St. between Stewart St. and West St. It's hard to miss and has become a neighborhood conversation piece over the last year or so. 

Bruce Broderick

Fort Bragg

* * *



Re: Your recent article, “Portrait of a Marijuana Widow” by Jonah Raskin

My grandfather, Tom Vass, and his partner Pat (last name lost to time) built the Rock House in Finley about 1937-1938. It was called The Rock House because of the rocks it was built with.

It had dancing on the west end with usually a three piece group and sometimes one guy with an organ. My mom and dad went over from Ukiah on dance night th help out. I spent a lot of school vacation time there as a kid there drinking Coke and eating beef jerkey. That would have been in the mid- to late-1950s.

Angel’s Restaurant starrted out as Moon’s Chinese Restaurant which burnt down and gutted the bar. It was later rebuilt as a Mexican restaurant. I think it was owned by a lady named DeeDee. Not sure.

I don’t remember when the Angels took over and maybe that is when rock music started. But there is no possibility that the Rock House was known for rock music as long as Tom Vass owned the place.

Mr. Raskin, I thank you for bringing back to me some long forgotten memories.

Gary Miles


* * *



Is it back room gambling? No, it is front room craps. 

Roll the dice, don’t need the vaccine. I am doing everything safely. Boom, you lose.

Roll again, it will be mild! Oops, now you have heart issues for the rest of your life. Flared other issues or a lifetime of Covid long haul. Maybe you lose your sense of smell or it goes putrid.

Roll Again. Doesn’t affect children much! Bad roll, it does, Statistics are showing it can maim a kid too. Maybe not your neighbor’s kid. But do you really want to roll that die? 

My family is not going to have it and my kids don’t need a mask! The dice hit the table. Junior gets it and is okay, but guess what, your grandparents subside and you get really, really sick. Long haul Covid. Not great stakes, you say?

It will go away, no problem, herd immunity. Why are you believing that? Doctors suggested it could but why listen to them? Heck, folks are willing to take any internet approved horse dewormer over a FDA approved vaccine that has effectively treated millions with minor side effects. The only big side effects are for folks with hidden ailments. Roll the dice. Herd immunity just stampeded out of town.

Why go to the hospital, if you don’t believe the doctors? Why fill up the emergency rooms if you aren’t willing to take a simple medical approach Americans have been taking for years. Believe strangers with no background on the internet. Take a horse de-wormer. Roll the dice, but , don’t expose the first responders. Take a chance at home. Another gamble. But maybe you roll double sevens and avoid heaven. What if you don’t?

The media spinning everything. Those outspoken conservative anti-vaxers that died. What happened to their dice? Didn’t they die? Is that spin?

Why wear a mask? Roll the dice. How many Doctors wore masks in surgery to protect the patient and themselves from staph infections and other maladies? That’s standard practice for decades. Did they roll the dice?

Herd immunity is gonna work. We rolled that dice, but what about the new ways the dice are rollin’? Variants and mutations that are nullifying the one best way out for us all, vaccines.

Not gonna gamble with mRNA vaccines in the pipe for 10 years from research over 50 years old. Now it is certified. Still not trusting it. Roll the dice, cover your eyes.

“It will mess with my DNA.” Hey don’t roll the dice under the table. DNA doesn’t work that way. RNA comes from connecting with DNA. Viruses change your DNA not mRNA.

Delta, Mu… Hey let’s go to the fair after a superspreader at the brewery. Let’s bring folks from outside into our community with possible Covid. Drink a lot of beer, crowd the main path and carney lanes. Throw the dice from across the room and hope it hits the table. Not the best way to fund the Fair, try fund drive or grant from Mendocino Fountation.

When the dice come up snake eyes, staring at you. Game over! For you only? Maybe for your family too. Who is gonna care for your children? What if you get severely maimed along with your spouse, who is gonna care for you all? What if it kills a good friend? Was it worth the game?

Hey get the vaccine, avoid the snake eyes, reduce the gamble. Then go to Vegas and win with lower risks. Have some real fun. That’s good crap!

Greg Krouse


* * *



The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook and Instagram pages a thank-you note to Chik-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger for “donating” dinner to an entire shift of deputies, dispatchers and other personnel. The donation was said to be “in honor of September 11” and the post featured pictures of happy deputies holding bags of free food and tables piled high with more free food in the background.

Perhaps the sheriff and his deputies need a reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch. These “donated” gifts carry an expensive price tag.

The businesses involved will enjoy the additional security provided by a more visible police presence, a benefit enjoyed at the expense of other businesses. They also expect preferential treatment should they themselves run afoul of the law. Even absent such expectations, the perception of preferential treatment has been made very public. Those unable to buy dinner for an entire shift of deputies are right to question whether fair and impartial treatment can be expected from the Sheriff’s Office.

Gratuities such as these are little more than thinly veiled bribes. They breed a culture of corruption and undermine public trust in law enforcement.

Taxpayers pay a fortune for professional law enforcement. They shouldn’t have to buy it a burger first.

Dan Drummond

Executive Director, SoCo Taxpayers Association

Santa Rosa

* * *


Letter to Editor,

Back in 2007, we sat in Pt. Arena, talking about all the weirdos in Boonville and Philo‘s past: from Charles Eng to the true believer cult of Rev. Moon. I just found this history in my old AVA stories. Here goes: 

Native son, Kris Iversen, complained that he wants Boonville returned to him. When asked what he‘d do with it, he said, “Burn it all down and let it go back to natural … like it used to be.” 

Kris’ Dad was of the infamous Iversens of Point Arena. His mother shot his dad, and got away with it without prison. Kris’ maternal grand-parents were the Browns. Kris says that Boonville was originally called Brownsville after his Grandparents on his Mom‘s side. Kris says the “Boonvillians” were the new influx of “high falutin’ folks” with fresh money, interloping into Brownsville as the times changed around the time of the Gold Rush. …That the “Boonvillians” were named after a bastardization of the name “Brownsville”, which had fallen from grace, as the Browns succumbed to murder. To avoid also being lynched, the locals created their own slang language, “Boontling”, unfamiliar to newcomers, for safety‘s sake.

Kris’ Grandma Ledford had married Mr. Brown of Brownsville. They had three sons. One night their three sons wanted to go to Ukiah. After dark, the local Brown boys borrowed three of their new neighbors’ horses to make the trip. As dawn approached, only one son made it back in time to return the horse he rode. The neighbor awoke to see his other two horses missing. 

Enraged, the rancher met the remaining two brothers on the trail, hanging both locals where he found them …for horse stealing. The remaining son fled West under the threat of death, leaving Brownsville and the family ranch behind him forever. Thus, the Browns became Coastal to Point Arena. 

Just after that, it was speculated that the encroached upon, economically poor “Brownsville locals ” created Boontling for survival from the interloping folks moving to the area with fresh horses, new money and scratchy rope.

Debra Keipp


* * *



In looking back at the latest California recall attempt, I wonder what would happen if the Democratic Party funded recalls of representatives who regularly vote to suppress efforts to benefit the public? Say, representatives who won’t allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drugs prices or those who fight similar public-benefit issues. What if they were faced with a recall as a result of their choices? This might help awaken representatives who listen to their party and big donors and not the majority of the people they were elected to represent.

Fred Flynn

Santa Rosa

* * *



I drove past the Squaw Valley entrance the day they changed the name to Palisade Tahoe. I was greeted by the new name in huge letters below the Olympic rings. Something shattered. Squaw Valley was legendary for me. There stands Granite Chief, the proud chief, strong as granite. By him is Squaw Peak, his wife. They overlook the magnificent land that is their summer home: mountains and lofty peaks, the water of Lake Tahoe reflecting the ever-changing colors of the sky. At their feet lies the valley crossed by the creek where children play and their mothers weave artistic baskets. It is the women’s valley — Squaw Valley, a fitting name and beautiful memorial to the people who lived there before the white man came. Palisade Tahoe destroyed it.

Veronica Johnson

Santa Rosa

* * *



On the first weekend of the NFL season, I tuned in to watch the 49ers opener in Detroit. After seeing Raheem Mostert’s two efficient runs to open the game, he disappeared. I heard later that he sustained a knee injury. It required arthroscopic surgery to repair his cartilage. He is out of action for at least two months.

Why don’t NFL players wear knee pads? I feel that they could prevent injury at all levels. I played on a scholarship at UCLA as a backup to legendary quarterback Billy Kilmer. For many years after that, I coached football at many levels. Knee pads were a given back then.

Those pads were designed to protect the knee from potential injuries (like bone chips and bruises) from striking things like helmets, shoulder pads and shoes. I know today’s players feel they are faster without knee pads. It also makes their pants look better, but is that a good trade-off to possible injury?

Bob Forrest


* * *



Rep. Jared Huffman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Assemblyman Marc Levine and state Sen. Mike McGuire supported the Interior Department’s 20-year extension of 24 ranching leases at Point Reyes. The ranchers will be allowed to occupy about 40% of the national seashore, diversify their activities to include raising animals besides cattle, slaughtering on site and growing crops. All despite the extensive water they have used and polluted, the land they have denuded and the native species they have depredated over the past 30 years. Nothing is going to change, except for more damage to the national seashore, despite meaningless promises to try harder to reduce their damage and to kill fewer elk and other native species.

The public has spoken loudly, clearly and consistently about our support for nature, not ranching, on public land. But politicians care what deep pockets, not the public, wants. Please hold these two-faced politicians accountable. Remember when these hypocrites email you with their sincere grins, their commitment to green agendas and to climate change. Remember when they ask for contributions. And, most importantly, remember to vote against them in the next election. They don’t represent us.

Nancy Hair


* * *



Thank you Dr. Coren for meeting with folks in Ukiah, particularly small business owners who have been really suffering during the Covid 19 pandemic. I hope that they all felt that their concerns were heard.

And, here's another business that's been suffering — our local hospitals are overwhelmed with very sick (usually unvaccinated) Covid patients, so sad since it's mostly preventable. Our hospital staff, nurses and doctors are also suffering as they work hard caring for very sick people with an illness that often could have been prevented by a simple vaccination.

In my family we have also experienced suffering with this pandemic. I was unable to visit my grandchildren for over a year, (pre vaccination). I was prohibited from visiting with my 95 year old mother in Memory Care until the last few weeks of her life, (compassionate exemption). My normally healthy 40 year old son was quite ill for 3 weeks with Covid, pre vax and thankfully is now back to climbing the fourteeners (high mountains) but with some lingering effects still to be resolved. I am wishing for everyone to help end this terrible pandemic.

A thought for the small business owners—- might it be possible that if proof of vaccination is required that more people would be comfortable dining indoors and working out indoors at the gym and your business would actually increase? I would be happy to show my vaccine card as proof that I care enough to protect staff and other customers. And I would probably start dining in and working out indoors.

Here's a question for those of you who have yet to be vaccinated— how do you see this pandemic coming to an end without “all hands on deck”?

It's fine if you don't want to be vaccinated, that's your choice as long as you don't become ill and infect others or get admitted to the hospital. Then your choice affects our entire community. Please, don't just think of yourself, think of the health your family, friends and neighbors.

Judy Luria


* * *



I wish all these anti-vaxers a night like I had in a COVID ward. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor figure out with a CT scan and three negative tests that I didn't have a breakthrough case, “just” pneumonia. It's the most silent, deadly place. Overwhelmed staff in space suits. Next two nights in a regular ward watching staff, masked, literally running patient to patient to patient on 12-hour shifts. Short staffed. I don't ever want to hear a person complain how hard their job is until they run a mile in their shoes.

Marlene Callen


* * *


To the Editor:

Do you understand the ramifications?

On Sept. 12, there was a Times Standard article that ran in the Ukiah Daily Journal titled, “More time sought for Potter Valley takeover.” Since the Times Standard is a Humboldt County publication, it is understandable that the article is focused on comments from one set of interests. However, since the concept behind the Potter Valley Project “takeover” (or relicensing as more commonly known) has been labeled as a two-basin solution, the water supply needs of the Russian River basin cannot be ignored.

Those who benefit from the water supply provided from the Potter Valley Project into Lake Mendocino NEED to understand what decommissioning means. If the current partners are not granted the request for a time extension to continue to work toward relicensing milestones, the next determination from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could be to direct PG&E, as the current license holder, to enter a decommissioning process.

If this occurs, the infrastructure connected to the Potter Valley Project would be partially or fully removed over a specified timeline. This means Scott Dam and Lake Pillsbury, the water diversion infrastructure connected to Van Arsdale reservoir that delivers water into the Russian River, and the powerhouse could be dismantled.

There is potential for some sort of continued water diversion into the Russian River watershed that is being discussed if a decommissioning process is initiated, but it not known what this would entail. Without storage infrastructure like what is currently available from Lake Pillsbury, it is guaranteed that there would not be year-round diversion. If diversions are only available during high-flow winter months, there are questions on how regulatory limitations and infrastructure limitations will allow for continued diversion and the ability to store this water in Lake Mendocino. In addition, if decommissioning advances is also not known how water will be provided to Potter Valley.

Farm Bureau encourages all the communities from Potter Valley to Hopland and beyond to take a good look at Lake Mendocino this year. Without the water from the Project, Lake Mendocino will look like this on a regular basis. The people, farms and fish that depend on the water supply from the Potter Valley Project in the Russian River watershed cannot be ignored. If you are concerned about your water supply for the future, you need to know what the ramifications of a decommissioning process would be and encourage local, state and federal elected officials to remember that any solution related to the future of the Project truly needs to be for two-basins.

Devon Jones, Executive Director 

Mendocino County Farm Bureau

* * *


To the Editor:

In September of 1984, con artist and Republican nut job Sean Donovan called a public meeting to see if there would be interest in a community radio station in Anderson Valley. Those attending agreed to work together to establish a station with enough power to serve all of Mendocino County.

Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) was incorporated in January 1985.

KZYX began broadcasting on October 15,1989.

Immediately, Sean Donovan took a $35,000 “incorporation fee”, nearly bankrupting the fledging station, and fled California. Donovan resurfaced in Alaska where he was soon fired by an NPR station there.

It immediately became clear that the county's mountainous terrain blocked the station's signal to many areas. A translator was placed near Fort Bragg and later another went up on the Butler Ranch south of Ukiah.

Inland reception was still poor, however.

In late 1994, MCPB received another Commerce Department grant, this time to build a translator on Laughlin Peak near Willits. The Laughlin Peak signal, KZYZ, went on the air in October 1995, only partially solving the inland reception problems.

Plans were also considered to enhance MCPB's signal to the south coast of the county, thus finally fulfilling the mission to serve all of Mendocino County. But it never really happened.

So here's my question: Why did it take all these many years, and shitty reception, and fuzz outs, and dead air, for MCPB to finally move from Philo, population 349, and miles from nowhere, to Ukiah, our largest city and county seat.


Why was MCPB the private fiefdom of a few local insiders for all these years?

Why were these few insiders allowed to nominate and elect slate after slate of “marshmallows” — the descriptive that, in the words of a October 9, 2019 editorial in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, “…always comes to mind when we think of the station's [ineffective] board of directors.”

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Directors 2013-2016

Host/Producer “The Truth About Money” 2008-2015

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *