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Letters (December 30, 2021)

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I thoroughly enjoyed Brad Wiley's article about the caves beyond Navarro, the Floodgate store, planting trees and finally coming to the gyppo mill around two years after we began the gyppo with five men. Brad became our sixth man after five men who went to war made up the five men gyppo mill:

Brad was a lean six footer and the job was considered much easier with six men. 

With only five men we were paid $2.87 per hour. We got $1.40 per hour added to our pay for any hours over 40 hours.

I worked for Jack Davis because he ran the mill. Jack could tell me in advance how much lumber would probably roll out. Jack would tell Bill Witherell what kind of logs to get ready to produce how much lumber.

I remember working 12 days straight, 10 straight hours each day. We occasionally made $15 per shift.

After more than two years never missing a day I left to go hiking on the eastern side out of Bishop on Highway 395 Southlake. When I came back after seven days I Sam Prather what happened? He said, “Morgan tried to close gyppo so we called a strike. Logging trucks had blocked the highway until trucks were stretched between the Philo mill all the way to the Grange Hall.

Morgan started the gyppo mill. Then a union from Fort Bragg lumber came to try to unionize the mill workers.

I asked who called the union members? They all said probably Brad Wiley because he was slobbering and hugging all over them. But nobody knew for sure.

Anyway it was a good system for about two and half years. Brad did well while he was on the job.

Ken Hurst


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Almost daily you read letters clamoring for maintenance of Scott Dam and the Potter Valley Project. The claim is that we need that water to fill Lake Mendocino. That water, diverted from the Eel River, is “waste” water derived from a hydropower plant that PG&E is shutting down due to inefficiencies and yearly money losses.

Maintaining the project would be hugely expensive and risky. The benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks. It is unlikely that you will ever see a drop of that water, as most of it is used by agricultural operations downstream of the diversion.

The project amounts to supporting low-cost water for agriculture — not you — where you pay for it. This seems to be the model for the state — where ag uses 80% of the available water and you pay for the dams and infrastructure. Agriculture is less than 3% of the total state economy. If agriculture conserved 10% of its 80% current use, there would be significantly more water available for urban use.

I’m looking for equity in the division of resources. Not to mention what is needed for fish and wildlife.

Alan Levine

Santa Rosa

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Just got a video from a younger family member of their extravaganza church Christmas program. Floods of singers and dancers next to one an another without any masks for over half an hour. The church is a conservative one with seemingly people younger than middle age, although there were gray haired folk smiling folks sprinkled about in the crowd too. - 60s 70s I read that conservative republicans have a much lower percentage getting immunized and more deaths from the virus.

My brother, a 60 yer old Republican, admitted he and his wife contracted the virus and how they couldn’t taste the spice in their food. This was reported in a light and kind of humorous way, right after reporting that some people they know have died from the virus. I mentioned that we do not know any friends who died from the virus and he was astounded.

It strikes me that getting the Covid might be a “Red Badge of Courage” a way to show manliness or womanliness. I know it is the book title that almost every high school student was assigned to read in my day. 

You’d think there would be a crashing reality that something like 800,000 who have died included many who were in denial. I guess believing in the science and not having leaders who take us away from realities is the answer.

In health, 

Richard Karch

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Sprayed By A Skunk

I Was Charged And Almost Arrested For Walking Alongside, But Not On Skunk Property Completely Over The Phone.

On Wednesday morning Dec 22, 2021 I was finishing my 2 mile walk and on my way home after completing my circle on the North part of the Coastal Trail. My chosen route home takes me past the Company Store and past the Brewery. From there I turn left from Main to Pine St., and then turn right behind the Brewery Gift Store to follow the tracks while on the gift sore’s property at 105 N main. I admit that the adjacent Skunk property at 535 Main St, which sits behind and to the North of the gift store, is of interest, as I have taken photos of the rail cars to give information to the Department of Transportation in order to ascertain whether these homemade contraptions are legally able to carry paying passengers without any form of certifications beyond the Skunks supposed patents on the rail bikes themselves.

 On Wednesday’s walk by the rail car facility, there happened to be a line of customers waiting to go on their ride so I didn’t take any pictures while walking by as it would be an invasion of their privacy, even though they were on an open to the public property, with no signs or anything indicating to the contrary. It’s just common courtesy. You never know where a picture is going to end up.

 Shortly after I got home from my walk I received a phone call from the Fort Bragg police Department. The officer on the phone asked for me by name and then proceeded to tell me that Mendocino Railway had filed a citizen's arrest on me for that morning and the previous morning for taking pictures and harassing customers while on their property. I told the officer that I hadn’t harassed anyone and that I wasn’t on their property. I got a little angry but held my temper. The officer had already told me that I could easily end up in a cell on Low Gap Rd. I discussed, and he rejected how this could be considered harassment as I believed I was within my rights as a citizen. The officer, told me that I was now a defendant and could tell that to the judge if the District Attorney's office decided to prosecute my case.

 Being a bit rattled by the phone conversation, I took a little time to compose myself and then drove to the police station to file a citizen's arrest for harassment on the person who filed the complaint on me or on Mendocino Railway as a corporate person. In order to talk to an officer I had to call on the red phone in front of the station which I did. When the officer came outside I relayed what had happened and that the Skunk Train people had filed a fraudulent complaint and citizens arrest. I stated that I wanted to file a complaint for harassment. The officer, while seemingly tolerant of what I was saying, only responded that I should take a different direction home and if the case goes forward I can tell it to the Judge. He also stated that if I wanted to do anything that I needed to file a civil complaint. In other words, what I was saying fell on deaf ears.

 The next day, Thursday, Dec. 23, I went to the District Attorney's office in the Ten Mile courthouse to see if I had any other options with regards to filing a counter complaint against Mendocino Railway. The Deputy DA that I talked to was very informative. I discussed the dismissive actions of the officer from the previous day and he suggested that I take my case to his supervisor or the Police Chief himself. The police are obligated to file a Citizen's Arrest whether they want to or not. Which is exactly what is going to happen on Monday when the police station is again open to the public.

 Some of you reading this will undoubtedly think that I got what I deserved for being where I shouldn’t be and being a threat to the Skunks. I would remind you that our freedom of motion and freedom of speech are important and written into our constitution. You may not agree with what I am doing, you may not like that I am trying to uncover certain uncomfortable aspects of this large multi level group of corporations that I believe are trying to take control of our town without following any Local or State regulations. But if I am not on their property, a Citizen's Arrest from a corporation over the phone while being too cowardly to confront me as a senior citizen directly, is pretty unsavory behavior, whatever they think my motives may be.

 This, coming after Mr. Pinoli stated in a previous post that he wanted nothing more than to sit down and discuss my concerns over coffee or a beer. If I had succumbed to his request to sit down with him would I still have to retain an attorney to protect my constitutional rights as a citizen? Would these fake Public Utility claims and bogus Eminent Domain judgments be gone? I think not.

 I have been told by others that I am now in their sights and am now a target because of what I am bringing to the surface. Probably so. It’s time to join together as a community and question this new "authority" in our lives.

 The property map image shows where I was walking in red.

 Happy Holidays Folks.

Bruce Broderick

Fort Bragg

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As 2021 Comes To An End and we are looking forward to the holidays, I wanted to take a few minutes to reach out to Mendocino County and thank our communities for their continued support of our personnel at the Sheriff’s Office.

The public support you continue to provide to the deputies, dispatchers, corrections and professional staff at the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t go unheard. And please understand we simply couldn’t complete our duties without your support. Through natural disasters, the pandemic and some extremely uncertain times we have continued to stand together.

This year I again received calls, letters, and emails from the community. These letters were expressing thanks and gratitude for the communities we serve.

We also had the pleasure of speaking with a few former inmates from the county jail who reached out letting us know they were appreciative of the treatment they received while in custody and stories of the new lives they are living.

Many folks have let us know they understand our staff won’t be able to spend time with their families as we work holidays, therefore the cards and letters we received from you will be displayed for our personnel at the stations.

2021 was a very eventful year. It had several trying moments as well as several moments of triumph. Staffing has been an issue and crime simply isn’t going away. We have all seen the news and realize the challenges in our county are also the challenges in our nation.

Recently we have seen the sudden about face of many officials across the state who were once calling for less policing. Now many of them are facing the reality which all of us face daily. We can’t forget the victims of crime. There is a portion of our population who commit crime and there is a need for the men and women who serve our communities in uniform.

Many of the people who serve our communities came from the same towns they are serving in now. We simply don’t have the clinical detachment that often occurs in the urban areas. It is very apparent to me that our deputies work harder to serve a community they are attached to. In Mendocino County we are all neighbors.

Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the support of my personnel while remembering they are also your personnel. Stay safe and healthy, please enjoy your time with family and friends over the holidays.

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall


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I figured to eventually unveil the mail fraud committed against me eventually. But I never expected it this soon or to be this easy. It seems like the District Attorney, C. David Eyster, in his fledgling disguise as a journalist has finally "cooked his own goose." The evidence I will now present is rather flimsy, but highly circumstantial: AVA readers might have noted or remembered my article entitled "Ukiah Unsafe for Women" in the December 15 edition. It was followed right below it by an article about me written by District Attorney Eyster. He referred to both letters and you will notice the first four sentences of my letter are the exact same as the first 3.5 sentences of District Attorney Eyster's misleading response. Eyster claims he read this in "Saturday's MCT." I've never heard of a Saturday news bulletin called MCT. And I certainly do not write anything to this mysterious news agency.

My letters to the AVA (after being scanned here at the jail) go directly to Bruce Anderson. At the time of the December 15 publication only myself and Bruce Anderson should have known what was in that letter. Obviously my letter to Bruce Anderson was tampered with between the Ukiah jail and Boonville. So how did Mr. Eyster just happen know my exact sentences to the Advertiser? Is he clairvoyant? Really doubt it. It now seems like I have more evidence of District Attorney Eyster for mail fraud than he’s ever had on me for any crime! Did I just want put the D in Detective?


David Detective Youngcault Giusti

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

Ed Note: At ease, Dave. The reference to MCT is the daily online edition of Boonville’s beloved weekly read every morning by several thousand of this region’s more serious citizens.

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When anti-vaxxers challenged the smallpox vaccine mandates in the early 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected any notion that the Constitution recognizes a right to refuse a mandated vaccine. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the court stated:

“Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own … regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”

Using the Constitution to rationalize selfish beliefs is unpatriotic. If you want real liberty for all, go get vaccinated.

Nathaniel Raff


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I believe our responsibility to do our part to end COVID-19 far outweighs our potential “loss of freedoms." People should understand facts and read history about the 1918 influenza pandemic. As the deadliest flu outbreak in history, it killed 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 in America (Today, there are 800,000 dead in the U.S.).

Most cities and states rolled out initiatives to try to stop the flu’s spread via mandated mask-wearing ordinances. Most Americans were willing to endure the inconvenience of wearing masks and complied. Those who didn’t were referred to as “slackers,” and arrested with punishments such as fines and prison sentences.

Looking back, we see that communities that implemented stronger health measures such as mandated mask wearing fared far better than those that didn’t. The 1918 pandemic ended after two years.

We are now entering our third year of struggling with COVID-19 and all its mutations. Unless the anti-vaxxers and anti-mask wearers stop complaining about their rights and understand that masks and vaccines are our only lines of defense against the deadly disease, we’ll be in this for a long time to come.

Cathryn Tait


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Camille Harris wrote in the PD that “Florida is doing much better on COVID than California without destroying the economy or implementing draconian mandates” I would like to provide some data and a different viewpoint.

As of mid-November, COVID-19 deaths in Florida were 62,000 and its population was 21.6 million. California had 75,570 deaths and the population was 39.6 million. That indicates a death rate in Florida due to COVID-19 was 0.28% and in California it was 0.19%.

If Florida had the same death rate as California, 20,900 people would not have died in Florida. This is the human cost of not following California’s example of masking and vaccination rate. You can do the same calculations for Texas and find that 19,450 people and families could have potentially been spared.

In my opinion, the “un-American mandates” help save lives and save families from being robbed of their loved ones forever. Just think of how much better California could have done if 90%-95% would have gotten vaccinated. Even a 0.01% decrease in the death rate could have resulted in 4,000 fewer deaths in the state due to COVID-19.

Jim Bossaller

Rohnert Park

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There have been multiple letters recently accusing those who oppose abortion of not caring about women and dooming unplanned children to miserable lives. But the facts clearly show otherwise.

I have personal experience with this as I once found myself pregnant, young, unmarried and poor, yet I was able to find the help I needed to raise a happy, healthy son.

The pro-life community provides unparalleled help to women facing untimely pregnancies and child-rearing decisions. There are many hundreds of care centers around the country, and in the North Bay alone, hundreds of volunteers and donors help pro-life organizations provide a range of care during pregnancy and afterward, free of charge, with no strings attached. These facts will not change no matter what the courts and states decide.

My point is that there are caring, compassionate people on both sides of this issue, so rather than judge and accuse others of not caring, let’s use our energies to help and support those in these difficult situations, and look for what is best for the women, men and babies.

Mary Lehr

Santa Rosa

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It’s time for state regulators to curb residential solar incentives and stop funding the residential solar industry. Certainly, we need renewable energy to curb our use of fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But putting solar panels on individual roofs is a costly and wasteful investment for homeowners and an unnecessary cost for the rest of the utility customers who subsidize those solar-paneled homes.

Under the current subsidy rules, much of the cost for the electric wires and infrastructure that serve those solar homes is shifted from solar customers to nonsolar customers.

As of 2015, the Public Advocates Office of the California Public Utilities Commission calculated that nonsolar customers were paying, on average, $60 more per year on their utility bills to subsidize residential solar customers. Now it is far cheaper to build utility-scale solar plants, using large commercial roofs and parking lots.

And unlike 15 years ago, when the residential solar subsidy was instituted, we can now buy 100% solar energy from sources like Sonoma Clean Power. Homeowners should have the option of installing solar panels, but there is no good reason to make the rest of the utility customers pay for that privilege.

Joseph P. Como


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In a recent letter to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Camille Harris tells us that she is fully vaccinated at age 78. She also supports those demonstrating in Healdsburg in opposition to vaccination mandates, saying that mandates are un-American. We have had vaccination mandates for years in the U.S.: vaccination for schools, military, travel, health care workers. It is not un-American.

Secondly, the data she cites regarding Florida’s COVID-19 numbers are straight from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ social media blitz. Yes, in Florida right now the numbers look good, because there is a cyclical nature to the ebb and flow of the virus. However, if you look at the overall numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, Florida’s death rate is eighth worst in the U.S. and 54% higher than California.

As far as comparing Florida’s economy to California’s economy, we have a $31 billion surplus, don’t we?

Maria Battista

Santa Rosa

One Comment

  1. Bruce Broderick December 30, 2021

    In response to;
    Solar Unfairly Subsidized by Joseph P. Como
    In countries such as Australia where solar is taken seriously, residential solar is encouraged beyond fan fare and PR campaigns. Upon installation of a subsidized rooftop or ground mount PV system there, the utility customer contracts with the National Utility for a period of 10 years. The Utility pays the solar provider at a rate of around .56 cents a KWH (Aus $) for ten years. Battery backup systems are also encouraged in systems there. The response for the need to eliminate fossil fuel usage is similar to Australia in most developed nations and many developing nations.
    The fly in the ointment seems to be in places like the US and especially places like California where private corporations are allowed to have a monopoly over the utility grid and place stock holder returns over the interests of both the environment and the ratepayer.
    As a Net Metering customer trying to pay down the solar equipment purchased over 5 years ago, I can tell you affirmatively that the deck is already stacked against the utility customer with solar. The transmission fees to PGE and the utility rates to SCP could be compared to rates in free market Texas rather than a state that claims to be environmentally progressive.
    If solar incentives reached even 25% of what petrol based subsidies are, most residences would be PGE free. And that is a direction that is real progress, to be utility free and in the process make PGE irrelevant in residential application.
    And for clarification, solar systems here in California and many other places in the US are not directly subsidized. The subsidies are only in the form of Federal tax credits. So unless you have a sizeable tax obligation in the year your solar is installed, there is no subsidy available. Lower income residents are compelled to fall prey to solar lease programs or specialty financing if they happen to own their home. What subsidies are you talking about Mr. Como? How are residential solar providers paying less after the rate and transmission burden imposed by the utility companies?

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