Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (June 23, 2022)

* * *



Kudos to Norman de Vall and the Major for uncovering (yet) another misguided exercise of the BoS, spending money like drunken sailors (meaning no aspersion to real drunken sailors).

Supervisor Williams’ reported remark that borrowing money (the proposed bond) now will be less expensive than borrowing money later — given the current and projected future rate of inflation — is specious. The point is to avoid going into more debt at all, no matter what the rate of inflation/interest rates might be.. I cannot agree with former Supervisor McCowen more on this.

On another point, the entire jail project ought to be brought back to square one. Re-thought, redesigned, and brought in at a cost much, much closer to the original estimate. Cost overruns are anathema to good governance.

As for any possible bond issue, it ought to go on the ballot for a vote of the people. After all, it’s their (our) money that’s at stake.

Lee Edmunson


PS. Get Off The Library’s Back

The ill conceived, poorly thought out attempt to piggyback the H2O and Fire District Taxes onto the proposed Library Tax should — if any rational, analytic thinking (still) exists on the BoS — should fall like a souffle Wednesday. Folks need to speak out against it, because it’s passage will spell doom come November if these Tax measures are conjoined. Poorly thought through. Amateur politics. Rookie mistake. Forgiven, but make the correction.

* * *


To the Board of Supervisors:

I strongly object to your proposed new sales tax for water and fire. Certainly our local fire departments need additional funding; they would do better to band together and advance individual tax increases for their districts rather than the pittance they are likely to receive after the county siphons off a share. The county owns no water or water rights that I know of, nor would be able to acquire any, so any money they take in for dealing with water would likely be frittered away on cross purposes to the actual water districts in the county.

The manifest incapacity of the supervisors to deal with, for example, cannabis regulation and mental health services, should warn taxpayers against giving them money for new areas they are presently not even involved in. If this tax measure is put on the ballot, I will certainly vote against it.

Stephanie T. Hoppe


* * *


Dear Supervisors,

Subject: Tues BOS Consent Agenda 3Y 

I note that Laytonville Branch Library is receiving a USDA grant—fantastic.

What I do not understand is the specific direction that the $6,000+ for furniture is to be listed as a County Asset. Did the county expend General Fund monies for the furniture? If not, why would this be a County Asset?  Is this an avenue to justify extracting A-87 charges from dedicated Library funds?

I note, with alarm, that A-87 charges against the Library, wholly within the discretion of the BOS, have risen to $300,000+ in recent years. I wonder if this increase is due, in part, to the CEO assuming authority properly lodged with the County Librarian?. For full explanation of A-87 and the Library I refer you to the award-winning 2013-2014 Grand Jury Report.

Is this increase a consequence of the County in recent years treating the Library as a County Department? It is not a department. It is a dependent special district with the delineation of responsibilities set forth in state law. Its territory includes unincorporated and incorporated areas.

Right now, I ask that you remove items 3y from the Consent Calendar and get an explanation of why designation as “County Asset” was deemed desirable. I don’t think this is usual.

Long term, I request that the County Free Library System’s factual legal existence as a special district be reflected in all official County documents, e.g., agenda, budget, website.

Linda Bailey


* * *



When my president renames exorbitant gas prices as “Putin’s gas tax,” he disguises the corporate gouging that the petroleum industry is bragging about in financial journals. Consumers cannot select alternative providers (even at the same price) to register their disapproval.

Jimmy Carter was savaged and finished as president for the Windfall Profits Act during the 1970s, which reclaimed money wrested from consumers by the petroleum industry, which receives bountiful tax cuts borne by consumers.

Given the pandemic and economic turmoil, wouldn’t it be patriotic of them to absorb some losses and sell below market value to American consumers during these difficult times?

Furthermore, why is no one investigating possible price-fixing collusion designed to fret consumers so they replace “regulating” Democrats with “free-market” Republicans?

Such a strategy would end our republic, empowering the party dedicated to false claims about stolen elections and systematically replacing voting officials with partisans who will do their bidding. Unless Democrats refuse to be distracted by inflation, guns and Ukraine (each critical), we will no longer have a republic with which to address any issues.

Peter Coyote


* * *



With diesel well over $7 per gallon, maybe heading to $10-plus, the high number of transit truck accidents on Highway 101 and the damage caused to the highway by heavy truck traffic, it’s time to reconsider the value modern rail service to Humboldt Bay would provide.

Train service is much more environmentally friendly than the thousands of truck trips it could replace. Additionally, passenger service would have a big impact on the tourism industry. Compare that to the 300-plus-mile-long transient camp the proposed trail would create. Millions of pounds trash discarded along the Eel River. Thousands of pounds of human waste deposited in and along the river. Hundreds of “warming fires” turned into wildland fires in areas difficult to access.

Rail service — good for the environment, good for the economy. It’s a good time to get started on it.

Frank Sanderson


* * *



I find it fascinating that California is staring at a huge budget surplus. It’s not the amount of money that astounds me, it’s that the money is considered “left over.” To consider it surplus is mind-bending.

The state’s successful taxation of obscene high income needs to be devoted to infrastructure — roads, bridges, water, sewer, children and mental health. The low bar set for the state budget needs to include a pipeline to distribute funds above and beyond what the government deems minimally adequate.

This pipeline should be untouchable by politicians. It should be structural, set up in a way similar to pension systems. Rather than “defined contributions” driven by political agendas and big money, this infrastructure fund would focus on actualizing “defined benefits.”

There would be huge impediments, of course — mostly from established financial interests. So what? I would suggest that only persons under 30 years old be allowed to set up the system. I grew up in an era when it was suggested, only somewhat tongue in cheek, that no one over 30 could be trusted. Having just turned 70, my tongue is no longer in my cheek.

Let the generation that will live the future craft it.

Jeffrey J. Olson

Santa Rosa

* * *


Dear Editor,

With inflation above 8% and with every possibility of it going higher, one thing Governor Newsom might do to help might be to simply stop charging the high state per gallon gas tax. I realize he’s reluctant to do this for a number of reasons-like the massive Caltrans budget, for example.

It is our poorest fellow Californians who are being hurt the worst by the inflation bind the whole world is in. Today's price of crude is about $120 per barrel. Isn’t this about the highest in world history? Obviously Governor Newsom can’t do much about that, but the gas tax could be dropped. At least in the short term-until the end of 2022, for example.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

* * *



As our country mourns the white supremist slaughter in Buffalo and the death of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, we say this must stop. I believe the only solution is to vote out every Republican, so change can occur. This is unlikely since voter suppression has been their main sell for years.

The next possible solution is for teachers nationwide to not reopen schools in September until weapons of war are banned and removed from our streets. The teachers would be protecting children and themselves from slaughter.

Teachers have much more power than they realize. Even Republicans want their children educated. Maybe some billionaires would put up some significant money for salaries for teachers until Congress acts. It would not take long. General strikes have had impact in our country and worldwide throughout history. We need action now more than ever.

Tom Varney 


* * *



Babe Ruth, Humphrey Bogart, Rush Limbaugh all agree that in order to reduce gun violence there has to be a majority of the electorate voting no on pro-gun candidates and voting yes on anti-gun candidates. It's as simple as that. A million protesters a week for a month gets you nothing. $10,000 from the gun lobby keeps all the gun people in line. When you have two senators who are gun supporters and a majority of the House gun supporters from Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc. plus all of the South you are wasting your time advocating for gun control. I will see you in Boonville when it's time to pick up the guns.

Lon Simmons said his favorite ballplayer is Pete Rose. Pete runs out his fly balls. When the Dodgers are in town often the boys from Los Angeles will come up to the radio booth hoping to get Vince Scully's autograph. Scully always takes time to talk to them. "You boys bleed dodger blue?" Yes sir. What do you think about our new shortstop? What are our chances of winning the pennant this year? Etc. Back in the early 50s most boys kept track of Major League Baseball. The barbershop had a radio. Many people did not. So boys hung out at the barbershop which always had the radio tuned to the ball game even though they were broadcast by telegraph. I could always recite the Cardinals starting lineup -- Pepper Martin, Enos Slaughter, Marty Marion, Red Schoendienst, Stan Musial, Johnny Mize at first base -- the gashouse gang.

I've always been curious about this guy "a reader" who writes to the AVA. I checked the Internet. No "a reader" admits to writing to the AVA. The same with A. Reader. No luck there either. The answer is either Prince Harry or the Bloody Queen. In 1630 Charles I proclaimed that henceforth no royalty is to be seen at nudist beaches or identified as writers of letters to the editor. 

I have been reading a lovely book called "Domestic Manners of the Americans" by Frances Trollope, 1831. It's not as lovely as "1846 -- The Year of Decision," by Bernard De Voto. Adair Lara, the back page columnist for the Chronicle, called 1846 a "delicate book." It's not as lovely as 'Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt or as lovely as 'A Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux, nor as lovely as the biography of LBJ by Robert Caro. It is not as lovely as The Shipping News by Annie Proulx which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. But it's pretty lovely nonetheless. Mrs. Trollope was an English lady with some money and wanted to visit the United States. I heard about this book some 60 years ago. Now with the Internet you can find any book you want, so I found a used copy for $5. In 1827 Mr. Trollope arrived in New Orleans with her children. They went up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers until they reached Cincinnati where they rented a cottage and stayed for two years, then visited the East Coast for another year. Charles Dickens came over in 1841. In his book "American Notes," he described Cincinnati as his favorite city in America. Mrs. Trollope disliked everything about the city and thought Americans were uncivilized. Both of them were disgusted with spitting after chewing tobacco. In her book which was written after returning to England she wrote a detailed account of everyday life. Cincinnati was a frontier town and a lot of people had a family cow. In the morning they cooked up some beans for the cow and milked it. The cow wandered around the city in a nearby forest until evening and then it returned. It was difficult to keep household help. Girls would work until they got enough money to buy a new dress and then quit. Both Mrs. Trollope and Charles Dickens thought Americans were crude with bad manners.

One reason president Biden's approval rating is so low is his appearance. He looks frail and about to topple over. That was a very bad move by Biden to exclude Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela from the hemisphere meeting. It smells like the Democratic National Committee. Why not go down to South Florida and hand out $100 bills? Visualize an aerial view of freeways in the Bay Area or lozenges in the morning commute. What percentage of the drivers are not much interested in January 6? A national newspaper paid for by subscription is out of the question. For one thing it would be too expensive. The New Yorker with 1 million subscribers now wants $169 a year. When the Press Democrat built their printing plant alongside the highway years ago they had 100,000 subscribers. Now they have 30,000. You can pass 100 residences in Willits and see three newspaper boxes. 

I would like to remind everyone that Donald Trump was elected. 

I also want to remind people who are squawking about high grocery prices that Wal-Mart is much cheaper on almost everything. The prices at the Ukiah Wal-Mart store are the same as the rest of the state. Not a good place to buy soup, but the Wal-Mart brand beef stew? Oooooh-la-la. 

Shasta County down to the eastern suburbs of Sacramento, the Central Valley, the inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside counties are pretty red. If it weren't for the big populations of coastal cities you would hear "I'll be with you die-rectly." Co'-Cola for breakfast and grits and gravy at night. Y'all come back now. Willu Mae just got married up and I just can't stand them n-words. Contrary to the propaganda you hear, when Crimea transferred to the Ukraine it was very unpopular in 1961. The people wanted to return to Russia almost 100%.

Want to make a cool million? Design a better hospital gown. I like the one shown in the 1937 JC Penney catalog with flannel top and bottom. The gown used today was invented in Richmond at the Confederate hospital just before the first Battle of Bull Run in 1861. 

Walt Whitman sent his homosexual lover down to Richmond to steal a gown for the Union Army. During the Civil War homosexuals could travel freely behind enemy lines any time. 

Two French professors were discussing the true meaning of "savoir faire." A man comes home to find his wife in the arms of her lover. He says "continue" and departs. I'm waiting for Harriet Tubman on the 10. We will see how it goes over way down south in Dixie. 

Did you notice that there was a Trotskyite among the candidates in Governor Newsom's recall election? His name is Anderson and I voted for him. I may have to vote for Mike Bloomberg again in 2024. I listened carefully to what he has to say. He knows what to do when a problem comes up.

Keep the aspidistera flying.

Ralph Bostrom


* * *



Does anyone with even half a brain think that Biden should run again in 2024?

He isn’t fit to run the country now. Imagine what kind of physical and mental shape he would be in by 2024.

Our country is in worse shape in virtually every way since he took office. Our foreign policy, starting with Afghanistan, has been a disaster and has put our country in a dangerous place.

Domestically, he’s destroyed our energy sector, inflation is out of control, crime is rampant and the border is a humanitarian and national security catastrophe.

The only thing Biden has in his favor is that if he were removed, the country would be stuck with Vice President Kamala Harris, and that would actually be worse. God help us.

Robert DiNardo


* * *


To the Editor:

Well. Well. Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich gets busted. The years-long cover up of his tendencies towards domestic violence is finally blown.

Let's see what happens to Bailey Comer. The cover up of his child porn addiction lasted 2.5 years before he was charged. Meanwhile, Bailey's father, MCSO SWAT commander Lieutenant J.D. Comer was "cleared" in only three days.

Hmm. Two and a half years vs. three days. It doesn't add up.

Right now, I'm in Washington D.C. I came to present the evidence about police corruption in Mendocino County that Hells Angel Frank Brady gave me years ago before he died of hepatitis. Evidence of missing cannabis from COMET and CAMP raids. Cannabis that was never booked into evidence. Cannabis brokered by third parties on behalf of dirty cops. And evidence of protection money paid to dirty cops. In other words, extortion money.

Fifty years of police corruption? Fifty years of cover ups?

I hope the feds start by investigating former Sheriff Tony Craver.

Also, former Major Crimes Task Force member Pete Hoyle and former COMET Commander Sergeant Bruce Smith should be interviewed. And what does retired MSCO Lieutenant Shannon Barney know?

I wonder who will flip first and cut a deal with the feds.

John Sakowicz 


ED REPLY: Pure bullshit, front to back. “I hope.” Hope and evidence are two different things, Sako old boy. You're in DC to present evidence? Of what, to whom? Names!

* * *


Dear Readers,

It is not often that I reach out for assistance, especially in a public forum such as this. So please forgive my manners as I express the following:

My name is Alan Crow and I am currently housed in solitary confinement in Mendocino County's jail. It is through the editor's gracious generosity that I receive the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

I ask that someone with that same generosity send me a book or two to occupy my time in isolation. If I could be so bold as to request a specific author, I would choose Nelson DeMille, Robert McCammon or classic rock band autobiographies. You do not have to include your name or address as books must come to me directly from the publisher. has some good deals. I am enclosing my address in hopes it find its way to a person who relates to what I am dealing with here in isolation or perhaps someone who just wants to restore some karmic balance in their life.

Again, please forgive my manners and may God bless each and every one of you.


Alan Crow A# 6325

951 Low Gap Road

Ukiah, CA 95482

PS. A special shout out to Mr. Cameron Whitlock! The first real friend I recall ever having. You remain in my thoughts and prayers 'Rock.' I miss you and send my love.

One Comment

  1. John Redding October 3, 2022

    I enjoyed Lee Edmunson’s wry comments on Ted Williams’ specious argument that we should put even more spending on the County’s credit card before it gets even more expensive. It is similar to the speciousness of saying “I can’t afford to not buy it because it’s on sale.”

Leave a Reply

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