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Letters (December 2, 2021)

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PG&E PLANS FOR FAULKNER PARK: DEVASTATING & WASTEFUL

Editor,

Observations and Comments on Proposed Tree Removal in Faulkner Park

I recently visited Faulkner Park at the request of opponents of the proposed PG&E tree removal within the park. After observing for myself the extent of the work PG&E intends to do there I offer the following comments.

First, I’d like to say that I worked as a timber faller in redwood forests for over 10 years, including stands of residual old growth and have some considerable experience with how forests respond to the removal of a significant numbers of trees within a stand. 

I also did removal of “threat trees” in the vicinity of structures for 30 years including occasionally the falling of burning trees within an active wildland fire.

My principle observation of the proposed work is that it would truly devastate the park. The number and size of the trees that PG&E proposes to remove would forever change the Park in a truly terrible way. Several of the trees marked for removal are ten feet or more in diameter. Even if these trees are taken down in sections by skilled climbers, there will be considerable damage to the surrounding vegetation and soils either by vegetation being crushed or soil compaction created by the use of the very large heavy equipment required to move logs of the size that would be created. This really amounts to logging the Park which would be almost impossible to do if it were subject to the Forest Practice Rules governing all commercial logging in California, particularly since there is a seasonal stream flowing through the stand where most of the trees scheduled for removal are located. 

Another aspect of the work that is proposed in Falkner Park is that a very significant portion of the trees adjacent to the roadway will be removed. Many additional large trees will also be removed at greater distances from the road and power lines. The cumulative effect of this type of logging is that it reduces the ability of the remaining trees to withstand wind. Anyone who has worked year after year in a forest being actively logged has observed this effect. In the first several years following logging, there is a very significant number of “wind fall” trees that are unable to withstand even normal seasonal winds without the support and resistance presented by the intact forest. 

Having considerable experience in logging and residential tree removal I have very real doubts that the cost of removing these trees will be less than the cost of either undergrounding or rerouting the power lines further from the road. It is my understanding that PG&E has elected not to pursue this option because the proposed tree removal is billed to a maintenance budget and undergrounding would be billed to “New Construction” the difference being that maintenance cost are more easily passed on to ratepayers. 

It is my considered opinion that the proposed tree removal at Faulkner Park is a terrible idea, the effects of which will be felt forever. These old growth redwoods will never be replaced. I also think that it will likely be a more expensive option. Undergrounding or moving the power lines would be a much better option.

Like most rural homeowners I am generally very much in support of the work PG&E is doing but the proposed work in Faulkner Park is penny wise and pound foolish from several perspectives. 

Colin Wilson

Fire Chief (Retired) Anderson Valley Fire Department

Yorkville

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DR. PAUL LAGOMARSINO, R.I.P.

Editor,

I suppose there are many, many folks up here who have a Lago story. Here’s mine:

I was fight choreographer for Gloriana Opera Company’s production of The Man of La Mancha back in the 1990s. One rehearsal, one of the actors in the big fight scene I’d choreographed was out at sea fishing and I stepped in for him. Fight went great except the edge of one of the actors boot heels came down on the little finger of my left hand. We finished the fight rehearsal, but I couldn’t push the finger back into place.

Producer Harry Rothman drove me to the Emergency Room at the hospital. They took x-rays of the finger. Just as the ‘film’ came out, Lagomarsino came through the room. He said, “Let me see that film.” He was like a kid in a candy store. He viewed it and opined, “You have a classic pugilist (or boxer’s) fracture. Let me fix it.” Which he did.

A pugilist fracture shanks up the bone lengthwise, instead of breaking across the bone.

Lago gave me a neural block, inserted two pins — one long, one short — to hold the healing bone fragments in place. Told me to come back and see him in six weeks, which I did.

It was during an area wide electrical outage and the hospital was on emergency power.

There was an alcove in a corridor in which there was a gurney. Paul said “Let’s go here.”

I’m laying there, Paul administered an anesthetic, and then asked me to hold the x-ray up to the light so he could see what he was doing, where he was going.

So there I am, having my left hand cut into while holding up the x-ray with my right hand.

He opened me up and removed the short pin quite expeditiously. But bone had grown over the long pin. He dug and dug and dug but couldn’t grab the head of the long pin. “Sorry fella, but you’re gonna have to come back in and have a neural block.” Which I did. All the while we were talking local current events and cracking jokes. Unreal. But oh so very real.

I’ve never met a Doctor before or since who evinced such a passion and dedication to their art, their craft. Lago was a one of a kind and we will be lucky to see his kind ever again.

An artist. A craftsman. A true gentleman and mensch. Thanks to Lago I can close my left hand and not have my pocket change fall out the bottom of it. I have both both pins in my collection of interesting things.

Another good one gone. (Sigh.)

Lee Edmundson

Mendocino

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STUPIDITY FEEDS BIGOTRY

Editor,

Many thanks to Harry Mok for his insightful and well-crafted article in the Chronicle on the persistence of bigotry leveled at Asian Americans to this day.

An especially resonant point raised in the article: You can be on the receiving end of weirdly off-base bigotry if you just look the part.

This hearkened to my days as a college freshman during the Iranian hostage crisis. In a single day, I was called an Islamophobic slur, an anti-Hispanic slur and an anti-Semitic slur. A bigot’s trifecta!

The comedic part: My ancestry is Italian and I was raised Roman Catholic.

Sadly, the microaggressions and slurs have never really stopped. I still encounter misdirected anti-Semitism. And, sorry to say, it comes from people who really ought to know better.

There can be no bigotry without stupidity. But stupidity isn’t the absence of intelligence. No one is immune from falling into the mental traps that can lead to bigotry. It’s incumbent upon all of us to remain vigilant, subject our opinions to the harsh light of analysis and ask, Is this really true? Or am I just being stupid?

Joseph DiPietro

Oakland

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OLDER DRIVERS BEWARE

Editor,

Like the rest of the public, I worry about the serious issue of pedestrian safety. But I read the report of the recent fatality in San Francisco’s Marina District with a different reaction than some.

I believe the driver who went right through the red light was 70. Could that have been me?

I am a 75-year old driver, and I know I am a worse driver than I used to be. I haven’t gone through a red light, but I worry about such an event all the time. I know I need to really concentrate when I drive. I don’t have an easy remedy for this problem.

It is very hard to give up driving. Maybe more rigorous testing of all over 65 driers would help, but it can’t catch inattentiveness easily.

Excellent public transportation would help too, but it doesn’t bring home a load of groceries.

Constant warnings are useful also. But we older drivers need more help in giving up our keys before we harm people.

Francis Shaw

Berkeley

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WHAT’S IN THAT STUFF?

To: Dr. Andrew Coren MD, Mendocino County Health Officer

Thank you very much for your very informative letter to the editor. Would you please tell us what is in the first, second and now third vaccine. As in what are the ingredients in these vaccines? Thank you for all your assistance and I look forward to your response. 

Pete Gregson

Calpella

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JUST ANOTHER FOOL

Editor, 

In her article on Redbeard, in the Nov. 11th edition, Marilyn Davin seems to imply that Redbeard stole to keep from starving. With all the demand in construction right now for muscle, there is no reason an able bodied 40 year old should have to steal to eat. As far as the attempted murder charges go: If the deputies testify he shot at them, He's going down big time. Ms. Davin seems to want to portray Redbeard as some kind of romantic figure.To me he's just another, garden variety, charming fool. 

Karl Schoen

Little River

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TRASHING AMERICA

Editor,

Our roadways, creeks and streams are overwhelmed with garbage. The sources are many, but illegal dumping of garbage, appliances and tires makes up the bulk of what I drive by and see every day.

It makes me angry that a few careless people can have such a negative impact on the environment and the aesthetics of our beautiful county. Seeing the beauty of our surroundings mistreated and having no recourse is painful.

I am extremely disappointed with the lack of concern for the problem and dearth of innovative solutions from county supervisors and city council members. It is embarrassing to live in a place where politicalspeak is more important than action.

These people drive by and see the same garbage I do. They work for us. We pay their salaries. Action speaks. It’s time that they do their jobs.

Here are some ideas. Initiate $1,000 fines for dumping and enforce them with the city police, the Sonoma County sheriff and California Highway Patrol. Open the landfill and transfer stations for 365 days, minus holidays. Allow tires, concrete, appliances and all garbage without a fee. Devise a method to fund it.

Kent Bond

Healdsburg

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FAILURE TO PLAN

Editor,

There seemed to be a time in the distant past when planners looked to the future. In 1958, seeing and preparing for the growth and expansion of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, that foresight gave the community Lake Mendocino. Families, industries and businesses have grown into larger and larger communities. Every year more and more come here.

Despite current needs and the needs of the next 20, 50, 75 years, it is said that upgrading, expanding, or dredging a larger capacity of water for Lake Mendocino wouldn’t deliver the bang for the buck.

How did this lifestyle become our way? When and what will make the water needs of the expansion of our communities worth it? When the water supply was originally planned, was it worth the bang for the buck? Are they waiting for higher interest rates and labor and equipment costs to get more corporate value while climate change reduces water availability?

State and federal funds aid these necessary improvements. Does wealth and Wall Street’s mentality control every aspect of government? With this attitude, Lake Mendocino may not have been here.

David Pollin

Willits

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WHAT IF…

Editor: 

Let’s say my neighbors, who I don’t like, are throwing a party. It’s late at night, they’re making a racket, and I’m upset. I pick up my AR-15, walk over to their house and knock on the door. The neighbor answers, sees my rifle and starts to walk toward me in a threatening manner. I fire a round and kill him. Another partygoer walks toward me; I fire and kill him. Still another approaches; I fire but only wound this guy. My defense? That it’s self-defense — my neighbors wanted to harm me. That apparently is how the court interpreted it in Wisconsin. That’s a bad law and needs to be rewritten.

Christopher Riebli

Graton

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HIGHWAY ONE'S LACK OF FACILITIES

Dear Editor,

Public restrooms at public beaches

I complained to the folks at CalTrans nearly 2 years ago about the lack of public restrooms on Route 1 north of Fort Bragg. This sign is their response to a major problem where dispersed camping is a common practice. 

At present there is an abundance of toilet paper and human feces at multiple locations, especially at the vista point at Kibbisila Key. Why is it so difficult for CalTrans to address this problem? CalTrans must provide public restrooms (a local business could provide and service porta-potties) at convenient intervals along the coast Route 1.

Sincerely,

Tim McClure

Fort Bragg

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OH WAIT

Editor,

Regarding all the recent mass thefts at stores, perhaps it’s time to vote for “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.”

Oh wait. It’s already been done. That was Prop 47 that then-Attorney General Kamala Harris so blatently approved to be mistitled. It effectively gave anyone a license to steal anything valued less than $950 (now considered to be a misdemeanor).

Furthrmore, it seems that thefts over $950 value carry little risk of felony convictions if district attorneys can’t be bothered to prosecute.

Society is going to pay for those won’t behave themselves, either collectively through prison costs or individually through broken glass and property replacement costs.

California statewide voted for Prop 47 by 60% while San Francisco approved it by 80%, so reap what you voted for and sweep up the glass while you’re at it.

Don Crockett

Oakland

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WHY FLOW KANA STOPPED PAYING ITS TAXES

To the Editor:

I just read that Mikey “Little Big Man” Steinmetz at Flow Kana stopped paying his taxes. No mystery there. Let's be real. His business is failing.

Investors, like Wall Street hedge fund robber baron Jason Adler, have dumped $175.5 million into Flow Kana, and they want a return on their investment.

But it isn't happening. So, Flow Kana is in a survival mode.

Instead of focusing on quality, Flow Kana is now focusing on cutting costs, and that includes not paying taxes.

To help with the survival thing, Flow Kana has hired a few high-powered executives.

CEO Jarom Fawson was hired to source new financing, do corporate restructuring, and renegotiate deals. 

COO Kevin Haslebacher was hired because of his depth of experience in retooling struggling operations by utilizing a combination of Variance Analysis, TPM and LEAN principles.

Meanwhile, since COVID, sales declined steadily across California’s legal market, according to data compiled by Colorado-based BDS Analytics.

Layoffs?

You bet! In 2020, Flow Kanna had layoffs -- a November round, which followed layoffs on March 13, March 30 and April 30. Layoffs continued in 2021.

The final insult?

Flow Kanna's “"shop floor experience” sucks. Ask any trimmer who's worked there.

Admittedly, I've never liked these guys at Flow Kanna. Flow Kanna's founders are carpetbaggers in our county. Carpetbaggers and scallywags. They've come all the way from Venezuela. 

Flow Kanna's investors are fat cats from Wall Street and Silicon Valley. 

And in better times, Flow Kanna may have promised jobs to county government shot callers, John McCowen and Carmel Angelo, for their betrayal of local cannabis farmers. 

Betrayal? Yes! We are small, independent, family-owned farms. And that doesn't fit into Flow Kanna's business model of making sharecroppers out of us in a tenant farming system. And we don't want to grow their seed. We weren't down with GMO cannabis coming from Jason Adler's biotech companies, Trait Biosciences and Pebble Labs, in Los Alamos, New Mexico. 

Know this much: If Flow Kanna isn't paying its taxes, it's either a crazy publicity stunt or they're broke, or both.

The vultures are circling.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah CA


Del Potter Replies:

Re: Letter to the Editor: “Why Flow Kanna Stopped Paying Its Taxes”

Translation:

Flow Kama hired some qualified people to assist dealing with a declining, over regulated market allowing John to frame as corporate voodoo what is normal business practice in order for him to maintain relevance.

Del Potter, PhD

Chief Science Officer

Alvarius Pharmaceuticals

Gualala

2 Comments

  1. izzy December 4, 2021

    Of all the many problems we face as a society, where to put the trash seems like one we could actually do something about. Kent Bond’s suggestion makes sense, though that is apparently no longer a consideration in policy making. Open the dumps to the general public, and stop charging the onerous fees that result in piles of garbage in the bushes.

  2. Chief Caterpillar December 7, 2021

    Flow Kanna? Humpf.

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