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Letters (Oct. 6, 2022)

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To the Editors-

I am writing in response to the series of fine articles by Brad Wiley regarding early Valley residents and biographies of current ones.  This on-going series is consistently informative and entertaining and I look forward to reading more from this author. It is with great appreciation that I write this letter of applause and approval. And, I might add, that the AVA is one of America's last great newspapers.

David Jones


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Mr. Anderson,

Ordinarily, I avoid looking at the variety of column that have become so popular on the internet that they've engendered their own label, Listicles. Book and reading lists are a little harder for me to ignore, unless they're celebrity oriented. I'm not really very interested in what's being read by pop singers, NFL quarterbacks, political candidates, or even other authors. 

But AVA readers? That's another story. Very enjoyable column. Thanks.

I'd love to learn that many of the folks who responded with these reading preferences are in their 20's, 30's, or even 40's, but I'm guessing that nearly all of them are probably Medicare enrolled.

M. DeLang

Golden, Colorado

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TO: District Attorney David Eyster, Assistant DA Dale Trigg, Chief Investigator Andy Alvarado

RE: Blocking comments on DA Social Media site

The District Attorney's public information posts must be available to all, whether it be on the official county website or on Facebook, the site of choice. Your call. But you cannot block access to the site at your discretion.

In June, I raised this issue with you. The block has returned. Please read the attached information, and act accordingly. Otherwise, I will enlist legal support on behalf of local journalists.

"If a public official uses their account to carry out their role as an elected official, then their page or account is subject to the First Amendment. That means they cannot engage in most forms of censorship such as blocking someone or deleting someone’s comments just because of their subject or opinion. It is also generally unacceptable for the official to ask the platform to delete comments for them."

Mike Geniella, Media Consultant, 707-477-6733


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I've always said the greatest show on earth is right here in the little community of Elk. Over the years we've done all kinds of crazy things that has made it a little bit left of center.

The show keeps rolling on. Way back in the early 50s all the way through today we've always provided a little bit of entertainment for the first of the month. In the old days it was a drunk falling out of the local bar downtown and the wild stories. Some of them were true,

Into the 70s the world thought we were just a little bit crazy. The community was so small that after 9 o'clock the sidewalks would roll up and become quiet except for down at the Greenwood Oasis.

When the bartender got tired she would say mom is going to bed. It changed a bit when the Thompson brothers came to town. But it was sliding downward. While rock 'n roll was at the Navarro by the Sea, up on the hill at Beacon Light you could get a fine dinner and some fairly decent conversation, Over the years things changed. No more little bar downtown at the Indians. The wagon burners, I don't know how it came to that, but they sold about 90% of the town with high prices for food and drink and even higher prices for the rooms. The only real deal in town for a room would be the Elk Cove Inn, Everything else in town is too high from the little delicatessen which doesn't open up until 11 AM and closes very shortly thereafter. No more are the times when there were loggers and ranchers hanging out everywhere, The community became city-fied. The newcomers first looked for fun down in the toilet. But two nights a week up on the hill at Beacon Light by the Sea, the only hard liquor bar in town. Most of the Elk locals have moved away or taken up residence in the local rock garden cemetery. There may be six or seven of us old-timers left. Not many. But it is the way of all things that we are here and then eventually we move on. Some hopefully will at least embody the spirit lives forever, and do some crazy things that we used to get away with. But at least in our town, not like the Bay Area where they’re picking up bodies by the bushel basketload and crime is rampant, it's relatively quiet here. As the city people bring their ways to our community more than likely and sooner or later, the crime will follow. In the old days we had a constable, and a local judge. If you did anything bad, there was no trip to Ukiah. Instead, they would handle it right here in town, Those days are gone too. Like most of America we are losing our independence, and at the rate we’re going with the current administration as the gas prices go back up, and as the eminent feeling a war is in the air because people overseas can't get along, we all wonder why we had to wait and delay on something that would be inevitable for the world have to go to war with the Russians, because their dictator doesn't realize that he is not the biggest fish in the pond, but that's only the opinion of the little people in the countryside.

R.D. Beacon


PS. While digging through some old papers I came up with an interesting story. It was written in 1976 by LA Times reporter Charles Hillinger who met me over dinner up near Little River at the inn. He told the he came down to Elk among his many stops and brought a cameraman and took notes. A true blast from the past. Over a period of time it was republished in every major newspaper in the free world, saying I was an eccentric Millionaire. I had people coming out of the woodwork trying to borrow money, and wanting me to finance several projects that they had up their sleeves. At the time I was a little short of cash but I got a lot of free meals and interesting letters, which I still have a queue of.

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I have enjoyed reading your paper for most of 35 years. It is passed down to me by other Mendo outlaws here in prison. I have not felt compelled to write in and express my opinion until now.

Walter 'Wally' Miller wrote a letter in the 8/17/22 issue which is much too delicious to ignore.

Wally wants the reader to know he is a real "convict." His forte was burglary and theft. Apparently his definition of a real convict is breaking into families' homes and depriving them of their hard earned possessions. Wally Miller then claims to be a "celebrity." His claim to fame of course is refusing to surrender in a Ukiah motel until and unless it was into the loving embrace of his parole officer. Apparently Mr. Convict was not going down without a big hug first. I swear, Billy the Kid is rolling in his grave.

And then we have Mr. David Giusti who beat an elderly homeless man half to death with an ax handle and is also represented in the 8/17/22 edition making a villain of his elderly victim. Come on David, the dude is in a nursing home half dead from your vicious beating. Isn't that enough? Let it go. You are embarrassing yourself!

And last but not least Michael France in his letter in that edition called himself "tempered steel." I once witnessed France file a lawsuit in Mendocino over the nursing staff delaying his stool softener. Tempered steel? Again, Billy the Kid would roll in his grave if he met Wally or these other convicts on one of the Department of Corrections the yards.

There are no real outlaws in this prison world. The real outlaws are the ones out there playing by the rules and committing no "real crimes."

In closing, thanks for the fine publication. I enjoy the articles by the Wallys of the system and also Off the Record.

My best,

Name Withheld

Kern Valley State Prison, Delano

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Saying nuclear power plants are clean and safe because they don’t emit carbon-based waste is like saying knives can’t hurt us because they can’t shoot us. Arguments in letters and columns that reactors like Diablo Canyon are —without any emissions that produce climate change” intentionally ignore the elephant-in-the-room truth that dangers in use of nuclear power — mining, production, waste storage, vulnerability to natural disasters and human error — are extreme.

Wildfires create their own weather; nuclear disasters do change our climate. Fukushima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia sure have heated things up. Even when nuclear power use goes normally, the risks of nuclear waste storage (for a very long time) are enormous.

Arguments minimizing the threats of nuclear power — civilian and military — are made by those who stand to gain financially from its continued use and by those fooled by moneymakers’ deceit.

Do we kick this explosive can down the road or conserve energy and use safer production means? All energy production methods have environmental health risks. This doesn’t justify the riskiest one. Nuclear weaponry madness is for another letter.

James Connerton Jr.


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We just re-watched “Dr. Strangelove” (with Peter Sellers in three key roles with three different accents — American, British and German). Maybe Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden should take a couple of hours out of their busy schedules to see it. It’s even more relevant today than it was in 1964 when it was made. They might also take a listen to Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) persuasively arguing for peace.

Caroline Vaughan


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I agree that feral hogs’ populations must be radically reduced. These feral hogs, “an introduced species with few natural predators that have wreaked havoc” on farmland, wildlife habitat and open space and “can be found in 56 of the 58 counties,” must be diminished. “The opportunistic swine now number between 200,000 and 400,000,” the article said.

There is another species crowding into all 58 of California’s counties. There are almost 40 million of us (a hundred times more numerous than feral hogs). We are doing billions upon billions of dollars’ damage to our climate, wildlife, forests, soil, water, air, etc. What is to be done about this grossly overpopulated situation?

Fred M. Martin


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Gov. Gavin Newsom has recently taken a very public position opposing Proposition 30 on the November ballot. 

Proposition 30 would raise taxes on Californians who make more than $2 million per year. Most of the money would go to programs to help people buy electric cars and install charging stations. The ballot measures campaign is paid for by the ride-sharing company Lyft. Newsom says that “Prop 30 is a Trojan horse that puts corporate welfare above the fiscal welfare of our entire state.”

For over a year now, Newsom has refused to take a position on efforts by the state’s utility companies to impose a tax on roof top solar and make deep cuts in the credit for sharing surplus energy with the grid. Another Trojan horse that puts corporate welfare above the environmental welfare of the entire state. And yet, Newsom, the great protector of the environment, remains silent.

One cannot help wondering what part campaign contributions play in Newsom’s decisions to take a position on initiatives.

Ken Pedersen

Dillon Beach

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