Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (April 14, 2022)

* * *



The idea that developer fees will supply more water through conservation is not supported by any factual evidence ("Water fees OK'd for new housing," Saturday). It is a pipe dream. This dream is based on unsupportable assumptions: e.g., that you only flush your toilet three times a day and that eliminating lawns and other measures will conserve enough water to support thousands of residential units.

Average water use per capita in California is about 100 gallons per day. I believe in conservation. I also believe in developer fees. I do not believe in pipe dreams.

Again, agriculture uses 80% of the available water. What is ag doing to conserve? A 10% reduction of water use by agricultural users (though conservation) would provide enough water for urban use to solve a lot of problems. Tiered water rates with some bite might help with conservation.

Alan Levine

Santa Rosa

* * *



The Mendocino Coast Health Care District exists so that members of the public can have a say in the future of health care on the coast. However, there appears to be an effort underway to dissolve the district and hand your future and your taxpayer money over to a distant Board of Supervisors.

Individuals who have proposed an ad hoc committee for exploring this option are the Fort Bragg Mayor Bernie Norvell, Supervisor Ted Williams and reporter Malcolm Macdonald.

Dissolution could occur if the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), either on its own or as the result of a petition from the Health Care District Board of Directors itself. Dissolution could be justified on the basis that the district no longer serves a meaningful purpose. That last part would be quite a stretch since the district plays a vital role in overseeing the Lease Agreement with Adventist, providing funding for maintenance and repairs, and setting aside money for a new facility that meets earthquake requirements by 2030. Other than that, not much, right?

This is where a warning is needed. A vote by the public is not required!

There are seven members on LAFCo. Two are Supervisors; presumably they would recuse themselves (see below). Of the remaining five, only one member lives in the district, specifically Point Arena. Simply put, the coastal area is not well represented.

After dissolution, Mendocino County would be named the successor agency and would seize the district’s land, hospital, bank accounts including cash assets equal to $10M today ($25M by 2029), and revenue streams including a property tax, the parcel tax and the Lease Payment by Adventist Health.

The Board of Supervisors, including three who do not live on the coast, would then be in a position to determine the future of your health care. Given their cozy relationship, the Board of Supervisors would likely accede to the wishes of Adventist Health.

Norvell, Williams and Macdonald have appeared at the District’s Board meetings voicing their support for this dissolution.

AVA reporter Malcolm Macdonald is more than playing his part. He has flooded Board members with information on dissolution and written opinion pieces suggesting dissolution is the only viable option to maintain a hospital on the coast. His dishonest criticism of the District’s Board can now be seen in a new light – discredit the Board as a whole and make the case for dissolution.

How sad that Macdonald thinks so little of the people in this coastal community that he cannot envision a better Board come December. That the only solution to the Board’s current difficulties is to dissolve the district and have it managed by what he perceives as the superior talent inland. When has that ever been to the benefit of the coast?

If you are alarmed by this behind the scenes maneuvering to leave you out of future health care decisions, now is the time to express your opposition to Mayor Norvell and Supervisor Williams.

John Redding, Serves on the Board of Directors for the Mendocino County Health Care District

* * *



Like many of you, I follow the Mendocino Coast Health Care District closely for no other reason than the simple fact that it is just that, the place where decisions can be made that may impact our healthcare.

At a February 24th Health Care District meeting, Chair Amy McColley appointed Directors Jessica Grinberg and Norman deVall to research the idea of dissolution. I was interested, so I followed up with an email to Director deVall on March 29th. On March 30th, Mr. deVall told me that the District’s exploratory committee had not yet met. At the District Board’s March 31st meeting, I asked Chair McColley to direct their committee to join Councilmember Lindy Peters and myself in an effort to objectively research the idea, put together a possible resolution, formulate a list of answers to the inevitable questions, and compile a corresponding list of pros and cons. Chair McColley agreed and gave that direction.

The mission of this group is to organize all the information surrounding dissolution and present it clearly to the District. The plan is not for this group to follow any sort of preconceived notion or collective opinion on the subject of dissolution. My hope is that the District will accept, and contemplate, the information without bias. The primary mission expressed on the District’s website is: “To ensure the continuity of essential healthcare for the coastal communities.”

Please do not see this as an indictment of the current District Board. See this as a positive move in a forward-thinking direction.

Only together can we make our coastal community a place where we can all feel safe and secure. The City and Health Care District representatives can and will report out on our activity to their respective Council and Board. The community will have ample opportunity, via district-wide meetings, to express their opinions.

In the meantime, please email any questions you believe pertinent to the subject of dissolution to

Bernie Norvell

Mayor, City of Fort Bragg

* * *



I wish to comment on the recent Press Democrat editorial called, “California PUC failing to oversee PG&E wildfire safety.” I object to tactics by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in efforts to get out of the financial problems it has caused itself.

Company leaders have asked the California Public Utilities Commission to approve a place for severe rate hikes. It appears the CPUC just can’t say no to PG&E.

From my perspective, it seems impossible for PG&E to serve the public and be a for-profit corporation at the same time. Most of us use PG&E’s service, yet we seem to be helpless as Northern California burns. Some of PG&E’s negligence has led to the loss of human and animal lives, as well as the loss of many homes and businesses, because of past decisions not to spend enough money to care for their infrastructure. It seems the stockholders and management came first.

Now, after multiple disasters, PG&E has the insufferable gall to want us, the innocent ratepayers, to pay more to cover the vile mistakes fueled by carelessness and greed.

Reading about the high salaries for PG&E management feels like the final insult. It is beyond disgusting.

Sally Seymour

San Rafael

* * *



The revival of programs and services in all branches of the Mendocino County Library system over the last decade is the direct result of the passage of Measure A in 2011 with 75 percent voter approval. Measure A was passed for a period of 16 years and will sunset five years from now in 2027.

The Citizens Initiative for the Library is a countywide volunteer group formed for the purpose of building on the success of Measure A by passing a citizens’ initiative in November to provide stable and permanent funding for all library branches and the Bookmobile.

Signature gathering began April 2 in Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Round Valley, Ukiah and Willits. We need 6,000 signatures of registered Mendocino County voters by mid-June, a requirement for a citizens’ initiative to be on the ballot.

Measure A currently provides for 60 percent of total library funding with a sales tax of one-eighth of one cent. The remaining 40 percent of library revenues are generated by a property tax. The Mendocino County General Fund contributes nothing to the library budget. There has never been a reserve set aside for building improvements such as new roofs.

We want to continue the present level of Mendocino County library services and programs and also provide stable and secure funding for needed building improvements. We want to renew Measure A funding permanently and, at the same time, increase the sales tax by one-eighth of one cent, for a total of one-quarter of one cent. Don’t worry: your sales tax will not increase. That’s because our initiative is timed to take effect at exactly the same time that a three-eighths of one cent sales tax, part of Measure B, will end.

The language in the initiative states that the revenues will be deposited in a special fund that only the library can access. This has worked very well in the 10 years since Measure A taxes have been collected. The Library Advisory Board, a volunteer board representing the five supervisorial districts and four cities, regularly reviews the library budget to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately. We welcome your participation. For more information, call (707) 462-4870.

Lynn Zimmerman

Redwood Valley

* * *



This letter is written in all sincerity with the purpose of enlightening my own ignorance. It is written in response to the letter to the editor by John Redding about the dissolution of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District and relinquishment of its authority to an apparently evil Board of Supervisors. Apparently Mr. Redding thinks that I am going to be distressed by the information he provided. Honestly, I have never heard of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District in all my 22 years here. 

Over the last two years, the citizens of Mendocino County have been abused and humiliated by arbitrary and capricious autocrats from all levels of “authority”. These tyrants and little dictators have shut down our businesses; put us out of work; forced us to wear useless masks on our faces; forced us to submit to toxic RNA manipulation “vaccines” that simply do not work (or worse).

I know I from recent events that people who simply ask questions are often castigated and vilified. Yet, I must ask a simple question: “What good is the Mendocino Coast Health Care District? What has it done to resist the oppression of these medical authoritarians? Why is it any better than those creeps on the Board of Supervisors?” As far as I can tell from here in the cheap seats, neither of these two entities are anything more than a bunch of elitist bureaucrats looking for nothing more than to further their own prestige and authority to impose their arbitrary will upon the lowly citizens of this county. In the past few years I have seen no evidence to convince me otherwise. And God knows the horrible reputation that hospital has and how many people would rather be helicoptered down to Santa Rosa rather than be submitted there. What we the people need is for all these “know-it-alls” to go away and leave us alone. We can take care of our own lives, thank you. 

Somebody needs to start talking clearly and simply (and honestly).

Ronald K Cox


* * *


Dear Editor,

Is the American two-party system still alive and well? The current arch-right, anti-Black, antisemitic strangle-hold on the Republican Party — the party of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, John McCain and H. W. Bush — is alarming to say the least. Do we need another Jan. 6th insurrection or armed assault on the US Capitol Building? What will it take for the public to realize that the very existence of our Democratic Republic’s very survival is under a clear and present internal threat?

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

* * *


Dear Editor:

This is a response to an article in the March 16 edition titled "Pay Them Properly." I wholeheartedly agree with that. Teachers in the state are so underpaid for the jobs they do. I feel they should be getting $89,000 a year and a correctional officer should be getting $35,000-$50,000 that the teachers are getting. That would be the right thing to do. Teachers have an education and they work hard at what they do. Correctional officers sit on their asses seven hours a day. The reason I say they sit on their tail end is because they only work one hour unlocking doors during the day and that's all they do.

I keep seeing how the state is trying to close schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods in some of the largest cities. This will affect mostly black and brown kids. Then these cities talk about using the money they save to build new jails and prisons. It makes me think they want to build these institutions so these kids who the state fails to educate will have a place to go -- prison or jail."

Teachers have to have an education to teach our kids. A correctional officer only needs a GED and they make over $100,000 a year. And they don't have to worry if they are going to be paid either because their checks are always on time like clockwork.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) was getting $102,000 a year per prisoner to keep people in prison and now it's costing you the voting public $113,000 per prisoner per year. That $11,000 in just over a year for each inmate. The CCPOA budget rose 1.2 billion for 2021-2022. This information is from an article on a study put out October 30, 2021 by Harry C. Goodwall Jr. 

I think it's time the voting public stop this madness of closing schools and start building schools instead of building jails.

As the population of California’s Correctional System goes down the cost of keeping people incarcerated keeps going up. Somebody is getting screwed here and I think it's you, the public. Send your kids to school, not prison!


Charles Statler


* * *



I’ve come to the conclusion that Californians should have read the writing on the wall and move to a better location during the prolonged drought. The fact is, the state cannot support so many people. We moved to Hawaii a year-and-a-half ago. Yes, there is drought even here, but not throughout the entire state.

Karen Cooper

Hilo, Hawaii

* * *



I need some help from a history buff. What monarch claimed ownership of the Mendoza Coast first (around 1550 or 1600)? The King of Spain or King of England? We know that Spanish galleon captain Juan Cabrillo (Cabrillo means Youngcault in Spanish!) landed just south of our little Mendocino town of Caspar. Thus, that area is called Point Cabrillo. But venture a little south and you come to our other little village of Albion (Albania, Albany, etc.). This area was originally named New Albion by English Captain Sir Francis Drake. (A lot of us locals have fun continuing to rename it.) Evidently this was after Sir Francis had discovered Drakes Bay. I really would like to establish the exact years of Cabrillo's and Drake's discoveries.

I would like to quiz any Mendocino historians out there who might know who the first settler of Fort Bragg was. Possibly it was Lt. Gibson or the fort construction crew. It wasn't my ancestors because the fort was here when we moved south from the native village of Kbesillah (13 miles north of Fort Bragg and once known as the 'mother of Fort Bragg) in 1883. But my grandma was possibly in the top 10 first born in Fort Bragg city limits.

My high school sweetheart Lucy Standley claims her ancestors came earlier but I believe they were born in Noyo village, then a few blocks from Fort Bragg. When I was a kid there wasn't much to the town south of where CVS stands today. That was the site of the second Safeway and originally the old Fort Bragg Loggers Stadium. I remember when I was in fifth grade the Coast theater was a real big deal being built next to CVS (then Safeway) on the Franklin Street side. Before that we went to “the show” at the old State Theater located on North Main Street about a block north of the Skunk depot.

Speaking of which, how about these carpetbaggers who are attempting to “skunk” half of Fort Bragg by claiming eminent domain on all the old lumber mill property? People need to realize the obvious. Railroad property ends where the mill property, last owned by Georgia-Pacific, begins. Georgia-Pacific (and they are a rich enough monopoly) should as a huge tax deduction donate all that mill property to the city of Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg City Council should hire good lawyers to “double skunk” that “Laurel Street Mom,” stop this eminent domain (that went out of style with King Henry VIII) and stick them with lawyer and court costs. Of course the city council has been lackluster since the days of Mayor Matt Huber. Is anyone on that council even a Fort Bragg native?

With all the environmentalists running around today why does the Fort Bragg City Council keep supporting the existence of that Pudding Creek dam? It was built to supply water to the lumber mill so it is no longer needed. This damage caused much more pollution to date than when citizens dumped their garbage On Glass Beach!

How about two amazing facts about Mendocino public officials. We have District Attorney Eyster and Judge Keith Faulder both called up together in the District Attorney's Office (dungeon) on a courthouse about 40 years each. Then in the Mendo voters elected them into office. Together they have at least 80 years with alleged attorney licenses. Then there is amazing fact number two: Pete Hoyle is 40 years as Ukiah policeman and Orell Massey about 40 years as a Mendocino County deputy sheriff.


David Giusti,

Mendocino County Jail


PS. I was reading in a previous AVA about the human race ending up feasting on Soylent Green. I would really like the editor to speculate more on this future reality version of the green. What does Eco-Lenin mean? The only thing the commie Lenin did was pal around with environmentalist Joseph Stalin whose eco-idea was pogroms, genocide and murder. People need to realize that Lenin started that revolution in Russia because he was traumatized as a little tyke when the czarist guards assassinated his older brother that he idealized. Lenin was a commie revolutionary, part-time lawyer and ex-con of the Siberian gulags. In reality a full-fledged gangster who took power briefly much like Hitler until his pal Stalin poisoned (allegedly) his Siberian husky souffle. Lenin was booked as “man of lead,” as Stalin wanted to be called man of steel. Steel is obviously for strength, but what does a man of lead do? Meltdown and reinvent itself every five years?

What if Lenin had poisoned Stalin first and then stayed out of World War II? Half the Earth would now be overrun with Russians and they would probably be colonizing the moon. Well, Stalin stalled us from those horrors!

I forgot to mention Sir Francis Drake was from Albion, England. He named part of the Mendocino Coast new Albion because it reminded him of his homeland.

A quick court note. Stated recently District Attorney Eyster, Judge Faulder and this bogus lawyer Andrea Sullivan stranded me with all of them conspiring to convict me. This lawyer Sullivan is so stupid she really blew her cover at my last Court date. She told the judge she basically wanted to help the alleged victim appear in court by zoom television. Isn't it the DA's job to make sure victims are in court? So far no victim has come forth to accuse me. Why does Faulder target me? Recent court news: What about my speedy trial? What trial? District Attorney David Eyster has no evidence to present against me. My lawyer Sullivan says she has no defense for me. It has been written in the Advertiser that I assaulted a senior citizen. Well, I'm 67 years old and this alleged victim is 53. That Advertiser article got it all backwards. Eyster is stalling for some magical evidence to appear!

Check this joke Eyster tried to pull. He was going to use as a motive for attempted murder a letter I wrote in 2003 to the deputy district attorney Kitty Houston and a 2004 probation report. How can he build a case on that? If I threatened to murder someone in those documents why wasn't I arrested on the spot for terrorist threats years ago?

ED NOTE: Dave, eco-Lenin was a reference to the singleminded devotion young people will need to prevent global eco-cide. BTW, Lenin did not want Stalin to succeed him. He preferred Trotsky or, better yet, a committee that would hopefully prevent the murderous perversion of socialism that ensued.

* * *


A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Thursday afternoon to announce that it had found the trial defendant guilty as charged.

The jury found defendant David Charles Giusti, age 67, generally of the Ukiah and Fort Bragg areas, guilty of felony first degree attempted murder of William Barry Gordon, said crime occurring just after midnight in the City of Ukiah on March 17, 2020 behind the CVS pharmacy.

The jury also found defendant Giusti guilty of assault on Mr. Barry by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, also a felony.

Sentencing allegations alleging that the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon on Mr. Barry and that the defendant actually inflicted great bodily injury on the victim were found true by the jury.

After the jury was excused, the trial continued on the bifurcated issue of whether the defendant had suffered a prior Strike conviction in 1985.

The prosecutor presented certified court documents showing that defendant Giusti was convicted in 1985 of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, as well as the jury finding that the defendant actually inflicted great bodily injury on the victim in that earlier case. Based on the evidence presented, the Court found the People’s Strike allegation to be true.

The defendant’s case has now been referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background investigation and sentencing recommendation.

A sentencing hearing is now scheduled for May 19, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah downtown courthouse.

The law enforcement agency that provided first responder medical aid to the badly beaten victim, then investigated the case, and finally developed the evidence supporting today’s guilty verdicts was the Ukiah Police Department.

Special scientific assistance and analysis of evidence was also provided by the California Department of Justice laboratory in Eureka and the Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Redding.

A special thank you is extended by the District Attorney to the medical professionals who treated the victim in the emergency department back in 2020 and appeared this week to testify before the jury during the course of the trial.

A special thank you is also extended to the woman who saved the victim’s life by picking up the phone and calling 9-1-1 to obtain help that night.

The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence to the jury and argued for the verdicts that were returned was DA David Eyster.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the four-day trial and will be the sentencing judge in May.

(DA Presser)

* * *



Other than the two incumbents who filed, no one filed to run for Fort Bragg City Council in 2020. Rather than spend the thousands of dollars it takes for an election, three City Council members appointed the two incumbents. Within months one of them resigned — a seat again appointed. When no one runs for office, “We the People” do not decide who makes the laws that govern us.

Perhaps today’s politics and a killer pandemic have frayed the fabric of our social souls. Yet, regardless of how worn down, we are, if no one steps up to run for City Council, democracy may as well be dead in the City of Fort Bragg.

Fort Bragg needs elected public servants. If you have any hope to maintain what is, in your opinion, good, to change what in your opinion needs to be changed, or to create a sharable vision for the future of your community, commit to the promise inherent in your ideas; step up and run for City Council.

And although a “politician” might perform public services through the lens of party politics, winning favor from specific supporters, or retaining power for personal aggrandizement, you do not have to take this questionable road to be a good public servant.

Think about it! We need authentic public servants to run for City Council on November 8, 2022. Check out the City’s video at elections. The filing period for nomination papers and candidate statements is between July 18 and August 12.

Linda Rosengarten

Fort Bragg

* * *



Friday evening April 8 KQED aired a story about the negative impact to the environment of discarded plastic bottles, containers and grocery bags.

Despite being dead before our tiny planet could be dangerously impacted by discarded plastics now polluting our streams, rivers and oceans ---and assuming no technology silver bullet to correct nor significant change in human behavior and stricter government policies the reality (see below) bothered me to the point that I expressed in writing my concern to my Congressman. 

I forward my note to you, my friends, in the hope it might stimulate some thought to the problem and join me in trying my best to avoid buying, as difficult as that is, things with plastic.

Letter to my Congressman in December of 2020. 

Dear Mr. Huffman,

With growing media reports on the damage done to our environment by discarded plastic, I can see no reason for the Federal law that forbids pharmacies to refill a prescribed medicine (pills) in the same plastic vial or container the customer brings to the pharmacy. To permit the pharmacy to refill a customer’s medicine in the same vial it was previously used for the same medicine seems unnecessary and contributes to the mostly unseen detriment to our environment.

Upon learning of this law from my Walgreen pharmacist I asked what they do with the used vials like the one I brought from home that day to have it filled. His answer: We throw them in the garbage. No recycling? I asked. His answer with a helpless and disinterested shrug: No.

Seems a minor component of the large worldwide plastic problem. But think of all these plastic vials tossed in our garbage at home and in the pharmacy. Uneconomical to recycle and melt down the plastic for future use, I have read. So into the landfills, rivers, and oceans they go. 

Fish are now being found with bits of plastic in their stomachs. That plastic takes a century or more to bi-degrade exacerbates the plastic pollution as is pointed out by many different sources below.

Assume 100 million Americans use prescribed medicines that come in these plastic vials. Think an average of two prescriptions per person per month and do the math. Lots of plastic doing harm in our rivers and oceans.

Let's repeal this federal law. Let us reuse the plastic vial to refill the same medicine that we used previously. 

Seems this would have broad bi-partisan support. 

Only the makers of these plastic containers for their pharmaceutical customers would be lobbying against it, I would think.

Sincerely, your constituent, 

J. William Grimes


PS. Huffman’s reply a month later was basically, Thank you but we have other priorities. 

* * *



On the MCN Announce List, I recently read about a fellow who works at Adventist Health, our Fort Bragg hospital, and commutes to Fort Bragg from Manchester because he can’t find housing closer to the hospital. It turns out that fellow is Jonathan, an x-ray technician at the hospital. He explained to me this morning that when a listing becomes available, there are so many people competing for housing now on the coast that it’s difficult for him as a full-time worker to make weekday appointments to view rental units right away.

Laurie York

Fort Bragg

A READER RESPONDS: I don't know how to get in touch with Laurie York or Jonathan but found this..

Does anyone know a reliable person who wants to rent a small studio apt? Small, attached studio available now. Good for 1 person. Small, well behaved pet OK. Non Smoking $1,300.00/mo plus 1/3 power bill. I can be reached at

32200-32210 Ellison Way, Fort Bragg, CA

* * *



When it comes to the giant redwood trees being logged on supposed "public property," let's connect some dots.

These very old valuable trees will be made into marketable lumber. Keyword: "valuable." Where does the money go?

The recent fires are a great excuse to log old-growth redwood which is not a fire threat like small trees and brush. The recent fires are a great way to unlock value for a corrupt government and enrich their corporate friends with what were protected assets until now.

Whether it's state land, federal land or county parks, these trees were put aside for future generations.

Sorry kids, insanely rich people need to have some more Andy Warhol artwork.

The formula is: Protected people's trees followed by the fire excuse followed by corrupt government followed by the corporate cash windfall. 

Tom Madden


PS. The first rule in the Communist manifesto is there shall be no private property. That's exactly what we have. If anybody doesn't believe that just try not paying rent or taxes and find out who really owns your property.

It doesn't matter if you are a joint tenant, a tenant in common, or a sole tenant, the keyword is tenant. Towns like Ukiah are like big chicken coops, only cash is collected not eggs. What a lot of cash too. If you were a crook it would be best to get on the receiving end of this monstrous cash flow and decide how much you get to stuff your pockets with and then use the small remainder to keep up appearances.

Have you noticed you can walk around with your wallet hanging out even at the county fair now? That's because all the pickpockets have figured out this tax flow thing is much easier money.

* * *



Positive recommendation:

I was thrilled when Life Spring Chinese foot massage opened up in Fort Bragg near the DMV. I can never get enough foot reflexology and massage.

They are not limited to that, but it's my preventative health ritual.

Leslie and his wife Sarah spend six months in Fort Bragg, and then the winter months in Texas. Very reasonably priced, which I supplement with a tip.

Appointments and some walk-ins when available. 707-734-0279.

Linda Schneider 

Fort Bragg

* * *


To the Editor:

My husband and I bought 40 acres off the grid in many ago. We built our home, raised our kids and are growing our fruits and veggies on our land. It has been a blessed life and now we are ready to segue into another phase of our lives. I and am excited to be part of a group of founders who are looking to create a better way to live. GreenLeaf Cohousing is a recent venture to establish an affordable, eco-friendly, senior-friendly and kid-friendly Cohousing community. Our vision is to build a supportive village where young people can grow up and elders can gracefully age in place. We invite folks to join us for a virtual open house to learn more. We are having two calls to offer more opportunities for people to join us: one on Monday, April 18, 2022 at 7 p.m. PT and another on Sunday, April 24 at 11 a.m. PT. Please email for the Zoom link.

The term “cohousing” is a community of homes clustered around shared common spaces and resources, such as a community house for daily dining, and outdoor structures and amenities. A large community garden provides fresh produce for community vegan meals, with an option for residents to enjoy meals of their choice in their own home.

Cohousing is unique in that it is developed, designed, and governed by the people who live there. The “village” design structurally facilitates community engagement and attracts people who want deeper relationships and non-hierarchical decision-making. Households are private and economically autonomous.

We are currently evaluating site options in West Sonoma County and West Mendocino County, CA. Please join us to learn more about GreenLeaf Cohousing, and how you can engage in the visionary community you may want to become part of!

To receive occasional emails about our activities, please go to and sign up. Folks can also email for more information.

Janae Stephens


* * *



My name is Bill Walter and my wife Hsueh-mei Yang and I own and operate Emerald Healing Humboldt, a permitted legacy cannabis farm in Humboldt County. This letter is our perspective on the devastating crash of California’s cannabis market.

The California cannabis industry has faced a number of challenges in its development, including CAMP raids in the 215 era, heavy taxation at the state and local levels, and discriminatory treatment at the federal level, such as tax code 280E. Coming into legal compliance is lengthy, expensive and frustrating. All of these factors have made participation in the cannabis industry less profitable and more demanding.

As difficult as they are, the taxation and compliance issues didn’t crash the market. The problem is the tremendous oversupply of cannabis. This may seem like stating the obvious, but in our many conversations with people in the industry, it’s surprising how many people are fixated on licensing fees and taxes. And, even those who recognize the oversupply problem don’t necessarily realize the extent of the problem.

Oversupply comes from the vast number of illegal black market grows, and the many permitted multi acre mega-farms that California, and other states, have approved in their rush to generate revenue. Until there are serious steps taken to control the amount of cannabis available, the legal cannabis industry will not return to profitability.

In recent years Southern Oregon has become a haven for illegal cannabis grows. The internet is full of videos showing vast illegal gardens. And it’s not just Oregon, it’s California too. Southern California is inundated with huge illegal grows. It’s on the East coast as well, smuggled from Canada. The links at the bottom of this letter document the degree to which Oregon and California are overrun by illegal cannabis grows, and the East coast by smuggling. It’s shocking reading how bad it really is.

In addition, just the amount of legal cannabis produced in California is estimated to be more than the state can consume. The link attached at the end of this letter reports that Santa Barbara County approved another 1,575 acres for cannabis cultivation, in addition to 536 acres of existing permitted area. When Prop 64 was approved a big grow in Humboldt was 50,000 square feet. 1,575 acres is 68,607,000 sf.

With this much cannabis it’s no wonder the prices have crashed. Despite the legal separation between outlaw cannabis and legal cannabis, in reality, there’s a big overlap. The black market hugely affects the legal market since many smokers will buy readily available illegal pot that is much cheaper.

The solution to the problem is simple, at least in theory. 1) Law enforcement needs to get serious about eradicating illegal grows. 2) California and other states need to cap the amount of permitted square footage grown in each state. And 3) The federal government needs to make cannabis commerce 50 state legal and allow sales outside the US.

The California legislature, Department of Cannabis Control, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and law enforcement are all in a position to make a significant difference. State agencies have an incentive to work together and neighboring states do too. Increased law enforcement will help reduce illegal grows, and the State can allocate funding, and show the political will, to help law enforcement accomplish that. DCC can impose square footage caps on licenses approved by the State. DFW plays their part by helping implement and enforce reasonable water usage. Approving water usage for hundred plus acre mega-grows in arid regions of the state, in drought conditions, is not reasonable.

Thank you for reading this letter and considering our proposals. We’re in this together and it’s going to take all of us to keep this industry alive.

Bill Walter and Hsueh-mei Yang


One Comment

  1. Pat Kittle April 15, 2022

    Poor Frank Baumgardner.

    He’s terrified that Republicans are “anti-Semitic.”

    Even though Trump…
    1) campaigned as “the best friend Israel ever had,”
    2) literally gave Netanyahu “The Key to the White House,”
    3) unlike all previous presidents, gave the “Jewish State” (Israel) the “green light” to annex…
    — the West Bank…
    — the Golan Heights…
    — and all of Jerusalem (previously shared by all 3 Abrahamic religions).
    4) promoted the official version of 9-11,
    5) pardoned the notorious & unrepentant Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard (& his handler Aviem Sella), while refusing to pardon honorable whistleblowers like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

    Jeez, Frank, with enemies like that why would you need friends?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.