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Letters (October 21, 2021)

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After having been convicted of 84 counts of manslaughter in Paradise, PG&E has hired, from out of state, a crew to mark upward of 40 large old standing redwood trees in Mendocino County owned Faulkner Park for removal in the face of the Global Warming climate emergency that desperately needs all of these stately wonders of Nature for their carbon sequestering ability to help mitigate what is turning into a major crisis now on the verge of catastrophe.

In my opinion a multi-count manslaughter felon should have no right to wield a chainsaw. And there are other ways to protect and make secure PG&E’s public responsibility that would be less insulting to humanity and planet. 

Somewhere around noon on Monday Sarah Reith of KZYX met with 20 or so mostly park neighbors to hear and record some of their worry, anger and frustration. Plans are being made to take a stand for this majestic stand of trees. Stay tuned. Join in.

If our designated Mendocino County leaders were worth a pluck they would be all over this proposed public violation. But sadly they have shone their face over the past couple years by practically doing nothing about mental health, environment or preparation for the worrisome future.

On July 21, 2020 the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Resolution No. 20-093 “Endorsing The Declaration Of A Climate Emergency.” Yet the noxious pellet plant in Calpella operated by Mendocino Redwood still spews poison. Not One peep has been made about the California Dept of Forestry logging old growth carbon-sequestering trees in Jackson Demonstration State Forest. A brand new totally unnecessary Sinclair gas station was erected in Ukiah. And dammit, a new winery was approved for Boonville just a short distance down Mountain View Road from Faulkner Park.

It is my belief that the Board of Supervisors as a unit is actually illiterate to the meaning of the word “Emergency” and the urgency it evokes for an immediate response.

David Severn


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Dear Mr. Anderson,

I wanted to take a moment to update our community on negotiations. We have settled negotiations with our Classified Unit (CSEA) and our confidential unit. Our Anderson Valley Teacher Association negotiations are on-going.

We love and value all our staff and the work they do for our children. I know some information has been distributed by others that shows just salary as compensation, not the full benefit and salary package together, so I am sending the following to provide additional clarity to the community of the District's offer.

District Offer To AVTA

The District’s formal offer to the Anderson Valley Teachers Association for the 2021/2022 school year made on September 30, 2021 as follows:

Salary increase of 4.25% for the 2021/22 school year in addition to scheduled step/column salary increase.

Maintenance of Health and Welfare

Benefits as follows:

Total cost to District of benefits is $17,668.16

Each member pays $1,200 a year of that amount for a family plan.

Total District contribution is: $16,468.16

Previously paid: $2,000 Covid-19 Stipend

Take care,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

Cell: 707-684-1017

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Covid Requirements:

We were in San Francisco last week, part of a birthday celebration. Masks were required on the SMART train and on the Golden Gate Ferry. Most people on the streets were wearing masks as well. The cable car grip man reminded me to put mine on when I sat down on the outside bench.

We had dinner reservations, and when we got there the hostess was outside the door at a table where she asked us for our Vaccination Cards and told us that we would be required to wear masks inside except when eating and drinking. This reminded me of being asked to show ID to get into a bar or a club. No problem.

When we set up our Lyft ride after dinner we were told that masks were required, and when we got to the Box Office at Davies Symphony Hall we were again asked to show our Vaccination Cards and we were told that masks were required throughout the performance as well.

We did not see any of this as an imposition. It was really nice to see that all these people were being so careful to keep all of us safe and it felt really good to know that all of us in that restaurant and at the symphony were vaccinated.

Tom McFadden


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Well, my strange beautiful life is bringing me into some wonderful relationships with some 30-somethings, the age diff is educational and amusing. Example: one of my new friends calls me “dude” so often, I wish I got a dollar for each time! Another one’s become a forest activist, their backwoods patrols these days involve GPS. I told her about how we used to stop and count topo lines on paper maps to figure where we were, she literally gasped in horror then exclaimed, “YOU counted topo lines!” GEEZI had no idea Geezerhood would be upon me so soon! 

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg


Finding New Ground:

A Conversation With Chris Skyhawk And The Sacred Sounds Of Mendocino Sound Healing 

Friday Oct.22, 7pm 

Kama Loka Bookstore 

335 N.Franklin St. Fort Bragg 

$5-$20 donation

While running for County Supervisor in June 2018, Chris suffered a near-fatal hemmorraghic stroke, and had a Near Death Experience, his philosophy in life has always been embedded in his family, community, and this little piece of earth called northern ca. Through poetry, anecdotes, and sacred sound, we will explore the many issues the earth and its life forms face at this critical juncture.

He will be joined by Audrya Maria and Sara Bassindale of Mendocino Sound Healing (

They will be offering their sacred sound in conjunction with the talk


Hello friends, 

I am in search of a room to rent on the mendo coast, preferably in fort bragg where i have happily ensconced for the past year, although at least between mendo and FB. As many of you know I have made great strides since my 6/2018 stroke. my needs are simple- some kitchen access (i get some In home Health help 3 x/week, delivered meals, other than that i do VERY light cooking, bathroom of course), and a room to put my bed into. My twin 13 y o twin daughters visit me 1 afternoon/week, they are very respectful, polite , and low impact.

My involvement in the community remains vigorous, I have returned to monthly time slots on KZYX public affairs , have moved into a leadership position with the Coalition to Save Jackson State Forest ( where direct action has managed to hold off the bulldozers and chainsaws for now, as we work toward a logging moratorium as a policy in Sacramento. It is a very exciting campaign as it is bringing in elements of cultural reconciliation with displaced tribal nations that are finding support from the European-American community,

I have also begun a children's youtube channel called Mr. Skyhawk’s Nest, we have recorded 2 episodes but not uploaded them yet, the show will be a combination of story/song’and enrichment pertinent to children and the adults that love them, basically we are carving a safe online space for kids.

Oh, yeah about my housing needs- i ‘ve been in Fort Bragg the last 14 months, but my roommate is aging and needs my room for a live in caregiver, thus I’m looking. I’m quiet, respectful, and as you can see - busy!

I would love to stay in Fort Bragg as I have an electric scooter that gets all over town; if have to move further out I have a line on one with greater range, I also anticipate getting my drivers license back this coming year, as i am passing through my tests well, but it’s bureaucracy hell.


phone 707-409-4789

Thank you for all and any help.

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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You took an interest in my case in the beginning after I shot my abusive son and his partner. That is now going to trial, scheduled for September 18. I am now acting as my own attorney, in the eyes of many just playing the part of the fool to the extreme while facing 189 years to life without parole.

However, if I get to argue my intent, the mitigating circumstances will turn this into a landmark case to re-forge the Liberty Bell and restore the union between the federal, the states and the people's spheres of governmental powers created by the Confederated States in the United States Congress when they deemed it necessary to form a more perfect union and put the draft of our Constitution before conventions of delegates in each of the several states chosen by the people therein, for the people to redivide sovereignty which each member of a society gives up to get the protection of living in a civilized society. No person gives up all of their sovereignty or they would be nothing more than slaves. My making more of a fool out of myself might be newsworthy too.

New Guard & Executive Officer

Thomas Dean Jones

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

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If my great, great grandfather was a pedophile and abused children, should I pay reparations to the great, great grandchildren of those children? I don’t believe I should.

I came to the United States as a 12-year-old in 1958, and I make a point of treating people decently, as I would like to be treated, regardless of their ethnicity, race or religion. I have a responsibility for my own behavior but I don’t feel responsible for what people in this country did in the past, and I don’t feel I should have to give money to others for behavior I am not responsible for.

We should be open and transparent in acknowledging bad behavior past and present, and deal appropriately with bad behavior currently being experienced, but I don’t believe in just handing out money to people today based solely on the color of their skin or for grievances that their ancestors experienced many generations ago.

John O’Hare


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Lots of people these days refer to the insanity of pushing for more housing when we have no assurance of enough water to supply it.

I live where the Carmel River used to provide half of our water supply, but that will be stopped this year for past overuse, and despite 25 years of advance notice of the stoppage, no new water sources have been developed (planned, yes, but not yet here).

How enthusiastic am I supposed to be at the prospect of more housing when new neighbors will threaten my own ability to live here?

Pam Rolph

Pacific Grove, Monterey County

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Dear Editor,

I have been totally peeved at the Press Commie Democrat for about the last 10 years. I have only been reading their sports section lately and that is on the blink too. They used to post both Fort Bragg and Anderson Valley high school sports highlights, now nothing. Plus, their articles are often duplicated by the Ukiah daily Journal (I will refrain from fascist Journal bias at this time), and a lot of the page's previous sports are reruns. Are they too lazy to research new sports trivia? I particularly do that well in my sleep!

Now after all that, the AVA’s falsehoods are really starting to irk me. The imbecile commie crank monster statue bashers seem to now be looking for a new fad. They'll probably try next to massively tag buildings with spray paint. Hey, be my guest. Open season on Ukiah buildings as the town has become a cesspool of crime anyway. About 10% of crime in Ukiah even gets reported and that's a no-brainer why!

To begin with, I will not quit in my march on helping to restore the good name of certain American patriotic heroes. This statue bashing crew never presented me or the AVA with any facts concerning our great and beloved General Braxton Bragg. I doubt if anybody in Mendoland knows his date of birth and I hope somebody can provide me with the heroic general's place of birth. This all proves me correct by stating the remarkable (about ten US cities are named for him) Braxton Bragg never owned one slave. As for Fort Braggsville, it should have been named New Greenwood or Old Mendoza years ago. Ukiah’s got a Gibson Creek, so why not rename Fort Bragg for Gibson? Since it actually was old Lt. Gibson who named Fort Bragg. as Fort Bragg to begin with. Didn't old Gibby inventively even help construct the Fort Bragg Guest House Museum?

Anyway, in the October 6 issue of the AVA there was an article about ex-(finally) Sheriff Tom Allman that accused Aaron Bassler (RIP) of being a double murderer. I would challenge any Mendo legal beagle to show AVA readers where Aaron was ever convicted of murder. I knew Aaron as a youngster and I don't believe he was a murderer! I doubt if he was ever convicted of any crime!

If memory serves me, wasn't it Tom Allman (not his brother, the illegal cannabis grower) who tried to take credit for the "Bassler manhunt," and also tried to turn a dime on a book about it? What a joke. Mr. Allman definitely doesn't have the brains to write a book! And the AVA would do better to look into his crimes. Maybe we can hear some more about "Polly-Pure" John "Greasy Thumb" McCowen. Tom Allman doesn't fool me about the reason he moved to Shelter Cove. That will be exposed in the future. And speaking of Polly, does anyone know the true story of the Polly Klaas kidnapping or the true story behind the Bassler manhunt? I would like to hear from you with the facts about anything I write.

Also, if you don't agree with this summation, you can man up and write me at

David Giusti, 2019

David Giusti, Inmate #3979, 

PO Box 300211, PMB 35903, 

Durham, NC 27702

PS. I have no clue why, but that’s bigshot Detective Youngcault’s new address. Praise the Lord! 

ED REPLY. Boldly manning up here, sir, to inform you that Braxton Bragg was not only a slavemaster, he was a brutal slavemaster, not that I think Fort Bragg should be re-named or history be re-written simply because slo-mo candyasses don't understand that history is history just as it's a fact of Ukiah history that you beat that bum to death then put a cigarette out on his exposed skull. Hey! Nobody's perfect! Moving along here, Bassler didn't go to trial because a hit team was brought in to off him before he could murder any more people like he murdered that ranch manager then defecated on the poor man's chest. He then murdered the former mayor of Fort Bragg. There was no trial, ergo no conviction. I hope there's enough testicularity in this response to satisfy your manly requirements. PS. I enjoy your sports writing. You oughta stick to what you know.

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I have been collecting rainwater to use for irrigation for years. We have three 55-gallon drums. My husband built gutters to carry water directly into them. We invested in a small sump pump to aid in emptying them.

For the past year or so I have been using gray water on my flowers and vegetables. When I rinse dishes to put in the dishwasher, it all goes into a watering can to transfer outside. When I run water to get it hot enough for my bath, hair and face washing, it goes into a bucket in my tub and is used to flush the toilet.

Then again, there is that adage, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

Yvonne Kennedy

Santa Rosa

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Dear All,

Please send this out to your network(s).

Mendocino County formed a County Redistricting Commission to redraw County Supervisor District lines.

This “Commission” is currently working in a virtual vacuum, as the County has not/is not adequately publicizing its meetings.

I am urging -- pleading -- for each and every one of you to go to the Mendocino County website, go to the CEO's button, and click the Redistricting button. There you will find a survey. Please fill it out and urge all your followers to do the same.

As I understand it, the two big considerations before this Commission are: 1) Move the Town of Mendocino into the 4th District, and/or move Laytonville into the 4th District.

Both options are truly terrible, and should be railed against.

I filled out the survey only to learn thatI was only the second person to comment. HUH? Has everyone fallen back to sleep again?

The key to Redistricting is to simply nibble around the edges. There are forces who want to move whole chunks. Certain forces tried to move the Town of Mendocino into the 4th District 10 years ago. They were thwarted then. They must be confronted and opposed, thwarted now.. Viable alternatives obtain.

Go to the website. Tell all your friends and allies to go to the website. Oppose the possible moves of Laytonville of the Town of Mendocino into the 4th .District. Send in your comments. Big time. Share this missive with your network(s).

County website. Government. CEO's link. Redistricting button. Survey. Please do so now.

We also need to demand the County and MHRB return to in person meetings/hearings. Zoom stifles viable democratic processes. 


Lee Edmundson


PS: There is no chart displaying the respective census populations of the Districts on the County's website. HUH?

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Mark Scaramella Replies: I was among those “certain forces” Mr. Edmundson scoffs at, a reference to ten years ago when I was on the 2010 Redistricting Committee and I was thoroughly annoyed when then-Supervisor Kendall Smith summarily ignored all our committee’s work, input and options and did exactly what Mr. Edmundson says to do: Nibbled around the edges. Ten years on, I still think Mendocino belongs in the Fourth District, but not Laytonville. I haven’t seen this year’s census data. (I lost interest in the subject after being ignored ten years ago after hours of work and options and at least six large time-consuming meetings.) But the only way to get Mendo into the Fourth ten years ago would have involved streteching the population percentages to their full amount of the 10% variation allowed because the Fifth District is still so lightly populated (although Mexicans are historically undercounted in the census). But I’m all for considering whatever those “certain forces” propose because the Fifth District has always been way too Devallian, making it impossible for good candidates like Hopland contractor David Roderick, for example, to even make it onto a general election ballot. But hard-core Dem Edmundson can’t bear even the thought of a non-Dem Fifth District Supervisor. The horror! (Although Supervisors’ positions are supposed to be non-partisan.) Edmundson’s proposal is exactly what brought us two of Mendo’s worst Supervisors in recent memory: David Colfax and Dan Hamburg. (Pop quiz: Have you heard even ONE WORD from either of them about Mendocino issues or politics since they departed the board with their fat pensions? Made even fatter by Colfax’s single accomplishment in twelve years in office: Jacking up his own salary.)

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Plastic trash is dominating pollution in the ocean and single-use plastic is a major part (80%) of that pollution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, single-use plastic has skyrocketed.

Plastic in our ocean comes from litter that gets blown or washed into waterways. It also comes from trash that actually made it into the appropriate bins. But, because plastic is lightweight, it gets picked up and carried by wind or rain anywhere along the line, from the trash bin to the collection truck or to its destination at the recycle center or landfill.

There is also, sadly, illegal dumping directly into the ocean. Unlike some other kinds of waste, plastic doesn’t decompose. That means plastic can stick around indefinitely, wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems, according to the National Ocean Service.

While we can and should try our best to clean up the beaches, roadways and waterways, what makes the most sense is just to eliminate it at its source. Looking at any grocery store or takeout restaurant, this seems to be a daunting task. But we can start locally. Please urge the Marin Board of Supervisors to move forward immediately in banning single-use plastic foodware. Supervisors should pass the Reusable Foodware Ordinance now. We need to transition to “reusables” and eliminate single-use plastic as the default option.

There are a lot of issues that seem overwhelming right now. But this is something that we can do right here at home.

Kay Lieb

San Anselmo

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A few nights ago a bear attacked a friend's car and totally destroyed the inside. There may have been some peanuts in a bag in the car. The car door wasn't locked and it looks like the bear actually opened the car door. Two cars parked nearby weren't damaged, although it looks like the bear may have tried one of the locked doors on one of the other cars. Maybe locking the car helped. We really don't know for sure. Be safe - don't leave food in your car! 



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To the Editor:

We are currently in the middle of the worst Covid-19 surge in the last 18 months, and hospitals are approaching their bed and ICU capacity. The situation is so dire; a person with a life-threatening heart attack is in danger of not getting the care needed. The medical staff members are having to make the hard decision on who gets the care they desperately need.

If the hospital capacity gets much worse, one of the decision points may have to be whether or not the Covid-19 patient has been vaccinated, and not be based on first come, first served. It’s a very difficult call, but if the Covid-19 patient had elected to be vaccinated, the likelihood of them being in the hospital or in ICU would be remote.

On 9/12/21, I wrote the following to our Public Health organization: “I have supported Dr. Coren and his decision to be firm with the non-vaxxers by announcing the Covid-19 vaccination mandate. Now, I understand from the UDJ he has relaxed the mandate in favor of using personal choice about vaccinations. I am disappointed because this is not the time to pander to a few hurt feelings. These folks are largely responsible for the increased cases and occupying the hospital beds. Also, the anti-vaxxers, which represent nearly 13% of our county population are putting the other 87% at risk from the threat of a new, more aggressive, variant. Make the difficult decision and let’s wrap up this pandemic as quickly as possible. Follow through with the vaccine mandate you announced earlier, and we will be able to move on with our lives!”

And further, it has been reported that in a recent BOS meeting, our 5th District Supervisor, Ted Williams, introduced the idea that unvaccinated employees should have to pay $200 a month to offset the cost of Covid-19 testing. I couldn’t agree more. Yes, it is their body, but if anyone refuses to get vaccinated, they should pay for the testing. It is my tax dollars that are paying for their reluctance, and I prefer they be used to support responsible causes needed by the 87%.

John Moon


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What about the waste? It is a question we should ask about all energy systems. Nuclear power plants are required to contain their waste and establish funds for waste management and plant decommissioning. Had this been required of all energy systems, we probably would not be experiencing climate change. 

Nuclear waste can be managed in a variety of ways, ranging from recycling to deep geologic burial. Recycling using a fast reactor can increase the energy yield of uranium by a factor of 150, reduce the quantity of waste by about 95%, reduce the complexity and duration of waste storage and reduce the need for uranium mining for hundreds of years. 

Solar and wind energy systems have not been required to establish funds for waste management and system decommissioning. Due to their low energy density and need for backup energy systems, their resource use and volume of waste is many times greater than nuclear per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. A lot of it, especially wind-turbine blades, end up in landfills. 

Granted, some nuclear waste has toxicity that declines over thousands of years but deserves careful disposal. However, solar waste contains elements that are toxic forever. It also deserves careful disposal. 

Ron Gester


One Comment

  1. George Dorner October 22, 2021

    Granted, Mr. Gester, nuclear waste is an eternal poison over thousands of years. Even better than careful disposal would be non-creation of the waste in the first place.

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