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Letters (Nov. 3, 2022)

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District Attorney David Eyster

Assistant DA Dale Trigg

Chief Investigator Andy Alvarado

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.

Please read the attached information, and act accordingly. This is the second letter that has been sent regarding this issue, with no response from your office.

It seems unwise to continue to flaunt public access guidelines and risk potential costly challenges to taxpayers of defending a District Attorney practice that is clearly outside the limits.

 “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


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To the editor: 

The writer of the long letter passionately urging a Yes vote on Measure P, to provide much needed funds for our county’s volunteer fire departments, apparently did not read the proposition. Because that is not what the measure actually says.

Measure P is a .25% sales tax that, to quote the exact legal wording of the measure, “will be placed in the general fund to support general County services and functions, including but not limited to fire protection services.” 


No further details, no promises or estimates of how much, if any, of the money will go to our volunteer fire departments.

For the ten years this tax will be collected, the supervisors can spend the money however they want, as long as some of the money — a million dollars? a thousand dollars? ten dollars? — goes to “fire protection services,” a term that, like everything else in the measure, is not specified.

We voters, and sadly our great fire departments, are all being misled.

L.C. Lewis


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A REPLY TO L.C. LEWIS’ LETTER concerning Measure P in the October 25, 2022 online version of the AVA.

L.C. Lewis is either unaware of or has opted to deliberately ignore how and why Measure P was developed. Measure P is a general fund tax because a general fund tax can pass with a 50% plus one vote. It is timed to take advantage of a rare moment when another tax is sunsetting so that it can be implemented without raising current tax levels. As such it is a good (and the only) plan for getting our fire services the support they need when they need it, which is now (e.g., fire calls alone have gone up every year for the past five years, cumulatively by 52%).

Given the public's concerns about how promises made about prior general tax measures have been honored (or not) the Board of Supervisors and our county fire chiefs’ implemented a very deliberate plan to create clarity and accountability for Measure P funds. Before it was put on the ballot, the Board of Supervisors unanimously enacted Resolution 22-159, which details how the money will be used, with 90% of the funds going to our local fire departments and 10% to fire-prevention work, using a specific preset percentage for each department that has been agreed upon by our County Fire Chiefs Association.

Resolution 22-159 also requires annual reporting on how the money is actually allocated. The County cannot spend the funds otherwise without violating this Resolution and breaking its commitment to the fire chiefs, who will be watching closely. As such L.C. Lewis’ claim that “No further details, no promises or estimates of how much, if any, of the money will go to our volunteer fire departments” is simply incorrect. As an added safety measure there is also a ten-year sunset in case the funds are not consistently allocated as promised.

So, for some people, your vote may come down to whether or not your distrust of your local government is so strong that, despite a specific promise we can all monitor, you would spite your local fire services rather than trust your local elected officials.

Apparently, L.C. Lewis distrusts his local government sufficiently to believe that all 20 of our county fire chiefs are gullible enough to be misled about a tax measure they helped bring into existence.

Scott Cratty, Executive Director, Mendocino County Fire Safe Council Ukiah

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MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: In defense of L.C. Lewis’s comment about the Fire Protection measure, Measure P, that “No further details, no promises or estimates of how much, if any, of the money will go to our volunteer fire departments.”

Scott Cratty, responding to Lewis, says that the Board’s resolution and the Fire Chiefs plan to “closely watch” the allocation of the sales tax revenues makes Lewis’s comment “simply incorrect.” 

But Lewis was referring to the ballot measure language which only says the money “will be placed in the general fund to support general County services and functions, including but not limited to fire protection services.” The rest of the stuff is non-binding.

We have no doubt that the Supervisors who voted for the Resolution Mr. Cratty refers to fully intend that the money will be disbursed as called for in the resolution.

The Supervisors consciously and deliberately chose the general tax/50%+1 approach because they know their own history of not honoring local measures would detract from the Yes votes. 

Remember, back in May when the tax measure was being considered, even Supervisor Haschak was aware of the Board’s poor record of delivering on previous measures when he said, “Before we propose a tax the Board should prove that we can implement it.”

The problem we have with the resolutions and “close watching” is that the County/Supervisors insist that the County is so broke that they can’t afford to even offer a COLA to their employees. So a budget crunch could easily pressure them into keeping any amount of the Measure P money (estimated at around $2 million per year) to help balance their budget, a budget that they still don’t manage or track. And whatever “close watching” and complaining by the Fire Chiefs might arise, would likely be met with the Board’s now familiar “thank you for your words” style responses as they proceed to do as they feel necessary. 

We hope we’re wrong. And we expect that Measure P will pass. But the Board’s history of failing to follow the will of the voters in recent County Measures — e.g., Measure V (standing dead trees declared a nuisance), Measure B (at least 25% of revenues was supposed to go to “services and treatment”) and Measure AJ (at least 1/8 of over $20 mil in pot tax revenues was supposed to go to “increased emergency services”) — is not exactly reassuring.

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Thank you so much more in the lovely account by Terry Sites of her trip to Philadelphia. When she returns, I urge her do go in the spring. I lived in that beautiful city for over 13 years and also in several other eastern and midwestern ones and I must say that no other city has such a glorious spring as does Philadelphia. Californians deny it, but they don't know spring. Plants bloom here year-round. In Philadelphia, in January, all is pearly gray. No color at all. Then one day you see a slight green haze in tree branches. And then it begins! Like an orchestra warming up. Blips of color here and there, crocus first, and one by one it builds: hedges of forsythia, Eastern redbud, pussywillows, weeping cherries, white and pink dogwood, daffodils, banks of azaleas and rhododendrons of all colors (four acres around the Museum of Art) on and on, and carpets the violets!

One reason Philadelphia is so lush is that it has the largest landscaped park system in the United States, over 60 parks: 9200 acres, 10 times the size of Central Park (843 acres). Philadelphia does have horrid heat some summer weeks, but it's less than an hour's drive to beautiful ocean swimming: Long Beach Island, New Jersey, with great farmers markets lining the road.

Well okay, this is a promo for Philadelphia (go Phillies!). And yes, I would have moved back decades ago but my guy didn't want to deal with winters anymore which in eastern Pennsylvania aren't really "bad." (I love winter and as Norwegians say there's no bad weather, just bad clothing.)

So thanks to Terry. As a final note I do have Welsh mining ancestors; mine settled in western Pennsylvania. I urge her and others to look up the hilarious Xenophobes guidebooks and she could check out the one on Wales. (Yes, I have the Norwegian one, too!)

Jayne Thomas


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I really enjoyed your story about meeting with Sydney Poitier. I should have been a cabbie myself except I wouldn't want passengers behind my back all night. It only takes one cuckoo bird with a piano string to permanently terminate your vocal cord area!

I can go you one better that happened to me in San Francisco at Candlestick Park. One day there around 1965, the year Willie Mays clocked 52 homers and was the National League MVP, I actually met the Say Hey Kid.

In those days that jerk of a San Francisco Giants owner, Horace Stoneham (yes, the one who sold off most of his best players in the 60s to pay his gambling debts) wouldn't allow ordinary fans to mingle with "his" ballplayers before games unless you had box seats in the first four or five rows.

In 1965 my stockbroker, sports photographer cousin Jack Saunders got me great seats in the second row about three yards from the Giants dugout. Willie Mays had a soft spot like me in his heart for women and kids. He probably noticed me anxious to meet him for about three years at that point. He might even have known my dad once scouted his pal Willie McCovey and then I myself was a child prodigy sportswriter and colossal Giants fan. 

A nice-looking lady walked down to the dugout with her little boy when we both noticed Mays standing those three measly yards away. The lady said (I was probably in awe and lost my voice), "Please Willie, will you sign my boy's program," and handed Mays a pen. I moved right next to that you lucky lady. Mays signed the program. (The lady was nearly in tears with thanks.) When Willie handed her back the pen he gave me a sly glance. (He must have thought her cute too.) He put his left hand up in the air towards me. I shook his hand real quick. He smiled but I can't remember what I mumbled. Maybe my voice was still lost. I do remember his fingers though. They had thin strips of white adhesive around them. Maybe to keep a better grip on the ball and bat.

That's my famous person story and as far as I know the Say Hey Kid is still motoring around at age 91. They have a birthday parade for him every year now! Willie McCovey has passed on but Juan Marichal (met and talked at length with him too on his day off), Orlando Cepeda and Gangling Gaylord Perry are still kicking. Some others I remember meeting were Harvey Kuenn, Mike McCormick, Jim "Davy" Davenport (longest San Francisco Giants tenure -- 20 straight seasons as a player, then a eight as a coach and manager. Davey was fired to make room for Roger Craig, the split finger guru. My roommate called him the split finger asshole. I guess everybody missed Davy. I also met Chris Spier, Tito Fuentes, Jesus Alou, and my cousin (with the Astros and then) Dave Giusti who went on to Pittsburgh Pirates fame. He pronounced our name the East Coast accent style — "Justea." I never actually met Joe Morgan and Nellie Fox, but I walked right by them on the field going to get my photo taken with cousin Dave. Dave and Joe Morgan were the first two players drafted in the 1962 National League expansion draft by the old Houston Colt 45s (who in 1964 changed to the Astros due to the first Astrodome).

Here's a trick trivia quiz: Who hit the first homer in the Astrodome? Answer below. (I also had a rare Joe Amalfitano mitt and a 1964 card and a Colt 45 uniform. That card is now worth $10,000!)

Anyway, Joe Morgan, may he rest in peace, was drafted out of Oakland high school at age 18. My cousin Dave "Justea" was drafted out of Syracuse University. They both went straight to the majors with my cousin having a college professor degree before ever throwing his first professional pitch! I think he was National League Fireman of the Year twice (like Rollie Fingers) and in 1971 he led the league in saves and helped the Pirates beat the Giants in the playoffs and the Orioles in the 1971 World Series.

Joe Morgan went on to fame winning two National League MVPs and two World Series, in 1975 and 1976. Joe Morgan was the final cog that solidified the Cincinnati "Big Red Machine" of the 1970s.

I have enough strong Folger's coffee to write baseball stories all night, but I need to get back to my theme of To tell the truth. Remember that TV show? Only Jeopardy could ever top that one. Ted Mack's Amateur Hour was cool too.

The AVA has amateur journalism starring Alan Crow! Costar Eyster the Shyster. I think I'd give 2022 journalist Oscar to Matt Kendall with Tommy Wayne Kramer runner-up. It's great to see my other cousin Ernie Pardini found a nice cabin to camp in.

To tell the truth: I kind of forgot my theme! Just a minor setback, not the big Alz. Can anybody spell that? Sirosis? Sacowitz? Vanlandingham? (Former giant hurler whose name was too long for the box score).

Trivia quiz #2: Who was the first New York giant Negro baseballer? Answer pending. Here's a hint: he mostly played third, came up in 1948 or 49 and by 1959 he went in for a long stretch in prison for robbery and I think murder. Sound familiar? 

The answer to the first quiz on the first Astrodome Homer: it was, of all people, Mickey Mantle. It's a trick quiz because Yankees and Astros didn't play each other in the regular season. Mantle did that in a spring training game.

One more for the road. Nolan Ryan broke Sandy Koufax's career no-hitter record. Sandy briefly held the record in the 60s-70s with four, one a perfect game. Before Koufax broke that record, who held it with three and what record does that man still hold?

Answer to quiz #2: First African-American to play for the New York Giants was Henry "Hank" Thompson. I remember having his and Willie Mays 1956 baseball cards. Thompson's was in mint-condition too. It's probably worth a couple hundred dollars at least today. I had a matching set of mint condition Boyer Brothers cards. Ken for the Cardinals, Clete for the Kansas City A's.

The answer to quiz #3: Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians. He still holds the American League record for one-hit or less games at 15. He twirled 12 one-hitters and 3 no-hitters. I believe he was the youngest player to win a major league strikeout title in 1939.

Quiz #4: Where did Clete Boyer play his last three professional seasons?

Final Quiz #5: What season did Clete Boyer and Ken Boyer oppose each other as third basemen in the World Series? (In their 1955 photo they had no whiskers and looked to be junior high school age!)

I will have to write you again when I remember the "To tell the truth" theme. It can't be about Judge Faulder because he doesn't seem to know the truth. Pontius Pilate would have confused him as he once asked, "What is truth"?

Answer to tricky quiz #4: Cletius Boyer played his last three professional seasons for Osaka in the Japan League from 1973-1975 retiring at age 41.

Answer to Quiz #5: Clete was a Yankee third sacker and Ken held down third for the Cardinals in the 1964 World Series.

Detective Youngcault and "baseball stat guru" 

David Giusti


PS. When I was in ninth grade Orlando "cha-cha" Cepeda (the Baby Bull) was playing for the Atlanta Braves. In 1964 he was traded to St. Louis for Joe Torre. He remembered the "boy sportswriter" and waved. Why was he called the "Baby Bull"?

PPS. In 1964 Tim McCarver was Series MVP. He and his ace pitcher Bob Gibson both hit grand slams in the Series won by St. Louis. Kenny Boyer was the NL MVP that year and here's a secret fact: the Boyer clan, like me, are all half-breed Crows!

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It will be difficult to change the mindset of millions of young to middle-aged people who play violent video games. They have an unrealistic belief that a player can be “killed” and then hit a reset button to continue playing. How does that transfer to real life? Then there is Hollywood and all its violence-framed films, whether fantasy comic book characters or modern gangster/military settings. Those movies glorify guns and killing, and young people seem to love that. Consider that military recruiting centers allow young people to play violent war computer games. Wonder why? You know why. If society would stop glorifying guns and killing, there might be less of it.

John Travinsky


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David Severn’s noble War on Dogshit deserves praise and effusive commentary. If only people would pick up their dog’s shit we would have a bright and happy world! I praise his selfless sacrifice and the struggles he endured to remove the offending offense. How is it that only a few see the necessity of action? I grieve!

Years ago a friend and I lounged on benches along the inner ring of Tompkins Square Park in the East Village of New York City, smoking Swisher Sweets and enjoying the parade of every conceivable type of human passing by. It was a time of contemplation and inaction. A very well dressed lady stopped in front of us and allowed her Great Dane to extrude a veritable Cheops of Crap onto the center of the sidewalk. A true New Yorker born and bred, she allowed the hunched beast to squeeze out a final boulder, then strode off around the circle. Tell me that I’m lying, doubt my word my friends, but this thing was an immensity of unbelievable scope, the Ur-Turd of Turds, a volumetric marvel of such stunning dimensions that even God would have paused to regard as a True Work of His Creative Blessing. Its pyramidal majesty reached far towards heaven in a manner we knew was fated by hubris in its pretension to divinity. We smoked our cigars, stretched out our legs so as to focus the parade more narrowly, and waited. Some bums stumbled by, but they were grizzled veterans of dogshit and steered hard to starboard at first sight of this giant land mine.

Several stoned hippies almost collided with the great pile but danced away nimbly. We waited patiently. Patience is a Great Virtue, my father always intoned. With this wise advice in mind, we stretched our feet out as far as we could, and we waited.

From around the circle, a lovely socialite, enjoying the spring air, appeared. We mentally approved of her course, and waited, smoking our cigars, as she drew nearer to the steaming berg of reeking waste, and as she drew nearer, in her big round sunglasses, yellow miniskirt and translucent silk blouse, and best of all, a pair of strapped on open toed high heeled sandals over her painted red toenails, we saw her eyes lifted heavenwards as she marveled at the lovely sunny day, and with a final forceful stride, with the impetuosity of the young and beautiful, she plowed directly into the foaming offal much like a ship burying its bow in a tremendous sea, her foot smashing dual waves of putrid ichor over her ankles! And as her blissful mood, so rudely interrupted, changed completely, she staggered about kicking huge globs of dog shit onto the sidewalk, screaming and cursing like the most deranged madwoman up from the Bowery! She was trapped in a stinking snare and had no recourse but to stomp away, her light and happy mood overwhelmed by a dark cloud of anger much like that of the fabled Joe Btfsplk himself!

O, my friends, how we howled with laughter! How callously and politically incorrectly we took pleasure from her misfortune! How disgustingly evil we were not to warn her of disaster, as if she were the Titanic and we deliberately allowed her sudden nightmare to occur for a cheap laugh! 

Yes, it’s all true, every word of it, my confession of a shocking crime of civic viciousness! So, with apologies to the always-sincere 

Mr. Severn, watch where you are going. My only regret is that there was no YouTube in 1966.


Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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To: Mendocino County Public Broadcasting KZYX Board of Directors

PO Box 1, Philo. CA 95466

RE: Kate and Keith Feigin — Demand for Correction/Retraction:

October 5, 2022, Broadcast and Article “Prison monastery Linked to Multi-Million Dollar Orgasmic Meditation Cult Suspended from County Jail”


Kate and Keith Feigin were, until recently, well-respected and productive members of the Mendocino County Community. Then KZYX broadcast the results of a KZYX investigation that smeared the good name of Kate, and by association, her husband, Keith. The broadcast and any accompanying article described above contained false statements of fact, both direct and implied, that have the propensity to harm, and have harmed, both of my clients’ personal and professional reputations, causing them injury.

All of those to whom this letter is addressed will be referred to in this letter collectively as “you.”

Publication/Broadcast of False Statements of Fact:

The direct and implied false statements of fact referenced above are summarized in bold below, and the truth is shown in italics:

Statement: The broadcast’s general implication is that jail inmates were being sexually exploited in the jail, and that, by implication, Kate Feigin is either responsible or was involved. The truth is that jail inmates were not being sexually exploited. Period.

Correction: Kate Feigin has nothing to do with the practice of orgasmic meditation and has never promoted it to the incarcerated populations she serves.

Statement: The article expressed concern that inmates would be vulnerable to exploitation through the so-called spiritual curriculum, which revolved around a self-published book called “the Art of Soulmaking.”

Correction: The jail population is well protected by the Restorative Justice Program Manager, and inmate vulnerability is not only recognized, but is carefully considered in everything the jail staff does. Sarah Reith exposed an incarcerated person’s photo without his knowledge or consent and placed it next to a photo of a person sticking their finger in an open jar of lube. This act was exploitation of a member of the vulnerable population she claims to care about. Sarah Reith did not interview any participants of the Art of Soulmaking and ask them if they felt exploited by UFP or the program.

Statement: The program included a penpal component with mystery address labels and unknown correspondents, and quote from Kate Feigin explaining it.

Correction: The “mystery address” is just a mail scanning service. All outgoing mail is monitored by jail staff before leaving the facility, and then scanned and checked for suspicious activity by the mail scanning service.

Statement: One of the Unconditional Freedom volunteers also worked at Juvenile Hall, though he was never alone with inmates, and the curriculum was not in use among the minors.

Correction: This implies that the volunteer is not a safe individual to be around children, and that jail staff is responsible for exposing jail inmates to someone who is a danger for children. There is no truth to any of this.

Statement: “A Bloomberg piece from 2018 reported former OneTaste members’ allegations that the company pressured its sales team to work long hours selling seats at OneTaste events, often to pay off staggering debts they themselves had incurred to receive higher and higher levels of certification in “the practice,” which consists of one person stroking a woman’s clitoris for exactly 15 minutes, often in a group setting. And in 2020, the BBC released a ten-part podcast called the “Orgasm Cult,” which interviewed subject matter experts and chronicled the experiences of people who claimed that the organization engaged in abusive and controlling practices to make money from sex.”

Correction: This statement is implying that this practice was happening at the jail with inmates. The implication is completely false.

An attorney for Unconditional Freedom insisted that there is no legal connection between OneTaste and Unconditional Freedom, though they share key personnel, a website, and a mailing address.

Correction: This statement is used to support the implied argument is that Unconditional Freedom is acting on behalf of OneTaste to recruit inmates and that jail staff, including – and especially

- Kate Feigin, are either complicit or responsible for the abuse of jail inmates. This is completely untrue.

Statement: “According to OneTaste’s website, which went live this year, there does seem to be some kind of relationship between the service organization and a company that’s been dogged by reports of financially and sexually exploitive practices. Numerous professional profiles and advertisements for past OneTaste events identify eight current or former OneTaste personnel among the Unconditional Freedom volunteers who appear in months-long correspondence between Kate Feigin, the inmate services coordinator for the Mendocino County jail, and the organization’s leadership. (The connection between Unconditional Freedom and OneTaste was initially reported last year by B.T. Linhden.)”

Correction: “Months-long correspondence” implies Kate Feigin is involved in a conspiracy, and that is completely untrue.

Statement: Until a few days ago, the OneTaste website featured a photograph of a Mendocino County jail inmate whom we were able to identify by distinctive tattoos that were visible in photographs Feigin attached to an email she sent to Marcus Ratnathicam, the Executive Director of Unconditional Freedom and a former coach at OneTaste.

Correction: This was said to support the implied statement, argued as a fact, that Kate Feigin is conspiring with Unconditional Freedom to harm and abuse jail inmates, and that is completely untrue.

The eight-week curriculum includes brief before-and-after surveys, where inmates self- report a 24% reduction in depression, 23% less use of drugs and alcohol (which they are not supposed to have in the jail anyway), and 16% less anger. Objective measurements like recidivism and post-release employment, housing, and sobriety were not immediately available.

Correction: The survey measures inmate desire to use, not actual use because they are incarcerated. However, if there is actual use, despite the prohibitions against it, reducing desire reduces that use. The reporter did not ask for that data, and apparently was not interested in seeing it. The broadcast attempts to discredit the survey results and insert the reporter’s own metrics like employment and housing. The attempt here is to invalidate the survey results and insert their own values into the narrative, discrediting Feigin.

Statement: Inmate Services Coordinator Kate Feigin said the curriculum does include making connections with the outside world. “Part of the Art of Soulmaking is that you connect with a mentor on the outside of jail, and they write letters back and forth with the incarcerated person, and they go through the lessons in the workbook with them, to help them deepen the lessons that they’re learning,” she explained.

Correction: Kate Feigin’s work title is Restorative Justice Program Manager, not Inmate Services Coordinator. She supervises the Inmate Services Coordinator. Not knowing this is a sign that the facts were not carefully researched, and the implied charges of being part of a conspiracy are false.

Statement: We discovered when we looked at one of the inmate Art of Soulmaking packets which contained two envelopes with mailing stickers to an addressee. Inmates receive instructions informing them that removing the stickers “will constitute immediate removal from the program.”

Correction: This statement, made in the context of the broadcast, implies that The Art of Soulmaking is some kind of OneTaste sex manual, and a recruiting tool for OneTaste. The truth is that the book has nothing to do with sex and has no sexual content, or context, whatsoever. The broadcast’s use of the phrase “We discovered” implies that something secretive and nefarious was happening with the envelopes and addresses. The truth is that UF switched to a new, larger volume mail scanning service and put the new address on top of the old one. Inmates would have been removed from the program if they removed address stickers.

Statement: When we removed the sticker, we found another label underneath–this one to the address shared by OneTaste, Unconditional Freedom, and the Institute of OM, which offers intimacy training packages for upwards of $500, claiming that studies show that “OM has been shown to produce mystical experiences on par with the second highest dose of psilocybin.”

Correction: This creates a false connection between the envelope in the inmate’s hand and OneTaste, implying that they were being recruited into OM workshops with the help and cooperation of jail staff, especially Kate Feigin. The drug reference makes the argument worse, implying a conspiracy to do even greater harm to jail inmates.

Statement: The broadcast implied that there is a nefarious purpose behind the inmate penpal program.

Correction: This implies that UF might be recruiting currently and formerly incarcerated people into a sex cult through pen pals with the assistance of jail staff, including Kate Feigin.

Statement: The broadcast emphasized that UP volunteers are never allowed to be alone with underage inmates.

Correction: The implied statement is that UP volunteers a a danger to children, and jail staff are part of a conspiracy to place jail inmates in the presence of people who are a danger to children.

Demand For Correction/Retraction:

There is more, but I am sure you get the point: the broadcast and any accompanying article was an inexplicable “hit piece” designed to ruin the reputation of Kate Feigin and, by association, her husband. The aforementioned false statements of fact have defamed my clients, damaging their personal and professional reputations and causing them to be shunned in the community where they live and work. Previous to your defamatory broadcast/publications Mr. and Mrs. Feigin enjoyed good reputations among their neighbors, co-workers, customers and business associates. After your defamatory articles and broadcasts, Kate Feigin has been referred to in public as “Mendocino County’s new Jim Jones.”

On a personal note, I want you to know that I have been practicing law for more than 34 years, most of it spent representing and advising small news media outlets throughout California. I am the proud recipient of the California News Publisher’s Association’s Freedom of Information award. I have acted as a visiting professor and guest lecturer instructing student journalists, most recently at Stanford University.

Never in all my years of working with reporters have I ever encountered a more heinous example of bad, irresponsible, sensationalist, tabloid misuse of journalistic power and privilege. The reporting was biased, uninformed and simply wrong – spinning a conspiracy to harm jail inmates through guilt by association, with the ultimate result being incarcerated people denied valuable rehabilitative services and the reputations of good people being destroyed.

This letter is not being sent for the purpose of intimidating anyone or trying to silence free speech: it is being sent as the first step needed to rectify a gross injustice.

The damage you have caused to my clients cannot be overstated. Only you can make this right. Per California Civil Code section 48a, my clients demand that, within three weeks from the date of this letter, you publish a correction and/or retraction in substantially as conspicuous a manner that you broadcast/published the defamatory statements.

An apology is also warranted. In my opinion, there are factors that indicate the defamatory statements were the product of unethical journalism and the result of actual malice as defined by New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964) 376 U.S. 254 and its jurisprudential progeny. Your reporters knew or should have known that the statements and arguments - both direct and implied - within the articles and broadcasts were untrue.

The article was originally assigned to reporter Stacey Sheldon, who assured Ms. Feigin that the focus of the article being written would be on the restorative justice program at the Mendocino County Jail. When Ms. Sheldon asked questions about Unconditional Freedom (“UF”) and its alleged association with OneTaste, Ms. Feigin suggested Ms. Sheldon connect with UF who would be happy to provide information and answer questions. When Ms. Sheldon was unable to consult with UF personnel prior to her article deadline, she again assured Ms. Feigin that the article would focus on the County Jail’s restorative justice program and not on UF and/or OneTaste.

It appears that my client was deceived, was lulled into believing that your coverage would be positive, and denied notice of the true defamatory purpose and the opportunity to address Ms. Reith’s apparent bias and clear up her misunderstandings that have damaged my clients I thank you in advance for considering my clients’ request for a correction/retraction, and well-deserved apology.


Paul Nicholas Boylan, Esq.

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KZYX Board of Directors

Re: Paul Boylan letter

Dear Directors,

I hope you will not give too much time and attention to a letter allegedly written on behalf of the Feigins, but clearly with an aim to attack the integrity and character of news reporter Sarah Reith. It is misguided, and worse reads strikingly similar to earlier communications from the Unconditional Freedom organization, and those with past ties to OneTaste.

I was surprised to read the contents, given Mr. Boylan’s knowledge of media matters. His letter is way off base. There is no basis for his complaints of journalistic wrongdoing, a ‘“smear” campaign, or reckless reporting. In short, it is Mr. Boylan’s letter that fails to meet acceptable standards by using boilerplate language seemingly provided by Unconditional Freedom advocates.

As a veteran journalist on the North Coast – I worked nearly 30 years for The Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa – I know Ms. Reith’s work, the KZYX news operation, and the role both play in important community news coverage. The news team’s work is credible, factual, and to the point. 

I also know Sheriff Matt Kendall, and his unequivocal respect for Ms. Reith’s reporting, and how in fact in this particular instance it helped him understand a need to buffer jail service programs from controversy. 

This is a time for the Board of Directors To stand with its news team and Ms. Reith.

I am willing to meet and discuss specifics with you individually, or collectively.

Thank you,

Mike Geniella


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ED NOTE. Letter to KZYX board of directors

Ladies and gentlemen:

I hope you won't capitulate to the threat from a thoroughly discredited sex cult about Ms. Reith's faultless reporting on the cult's surreptitious infiltration of our Sheriff's estimable garden program.


Bruce Anderson, AVA, Boonville

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MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: This is obviously a potential SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) should it ever go to court. Among other things, there is no malice, the issue is a public issue, “implications” in the mind of the complainant are not false statements, the complainant will not be able to show provable damages, and if it ever goes to discovery, KZYX will be able to obtain documents showing the correctness of their reporting. 

From Wikepedia:

 “In a typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization's ability to operate. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. SLAPPs bring about freedom of speech concerns due to their chilling effect and are often difficult to filter out and penalize because the plaintiffs attempt to obfuscate their intent to censor, intimidate, or silence their critics.”

. . .

“California has a unique variant of anti-SLAPP legislation. In 1992 California enacted Code of Civil Procedure §425.16, a statute intended to frustrate SLAPPs by providing a quick and inexpensive defense. It provides for a special motion that a defendant can file at the outset of a lawsuit to strike a complaint when it arises from conduct that falls within the rights of petition or free speech. The statute expressly applies to any writing or speech made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law, but there is no requirement that the writing or speech be promulgated directly to the official body. It also applies to speech in a public forum about an issue of public interest and to any other petition or speech conduct about an issue of public interest.”

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While riding with my wife along Asti Road between Geyserville and Cloverdale, we encountered a paving crew laying beautiful smooth new asphalt. Wonderful, we thought, until we saw they were only paving up to the white line (fog line) and not an inch further over. The area outside the white line is where many cyclists ride to keep out of the roadway and away from cars. This area used to be paved. Failing to repave leaves old cracked and broken pavement that forces cyclists into traffic with cars.

A local city manager told me he had noticed this and couldn’t explain it. Probably a cost-saving decision not well thought out. While the county will promote cycling, this is another recent example of needlessly putting cyclists at risk.

Steven Hebenstreit

Santa Rosa

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The degree of tension surrounding national elections has ratched up alarmingly. Today an intruder armed with a hammer broke into the San Francisco home of U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. She is number 3 in Presidential succession line to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Speaker Pelosi’s husband, Paul, happened to be home at the time. The assaulter tied him up, but he was able to call 9-11.

According to msnbc news Mr. Pelosi was hit at least several times with the hammer in the head. At present, 12:46 PM, the Speaker’s husband is now undergoing brain surgery at a SF hospital. Hopefully, he may. survive.

This incident is not the only attack on democracy currently going on. Voters in Arizona have been filmed and threatened by armed men with their faces hidden but clothed in military gear like vest protectors and helmets carrying assault style weapons. Election officials and officials at the federal and state government levels are also being threatened.

We must stand up for our rights to vote in this midterm election and in every election to come. Do not let Donald Trump’s henchmen and stooges take over our Constitutional right to vote. What happened in Germany in the early 1930s can be repeated here.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa

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Think permanent Daylight Saving Time sounds like a great idea. Think again. The United States switched to permanent DST once before, on Jan. 7, 1974. Before the month was out, eight children going to school in the dark in Florida had been hit and killed by cars. Millions found the prolonged morning darkness — sunrise came as late as 8:25 a.m. in the Bay Area — damaging to their mental health.

Writing of the 1974 change, Washington Post journalist Brittany Shammas noted that “as the dark mornings continued, the complaints kept coming.” While 79% of Americans supported the idea of permanent DST before actually experiencing it, within months, that number dropped to 42%. Congress repealed the law less than a year after it had gone into effect. Needless deaths and months on end of getting up in the dark? Why go through all this again?

Lori Barron


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Gov. Gavin Newsom has spoken against Proposition 30, calling it corporate welfare for the ride-share company Lyft. But he won’t state his position on the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposal to cut payments to people who have rooftop solar and send power to the grid. The proposal would allow PG&E to charge customers for transmission of power their solar panels produce. Why is the governor opposed to corporate welfare for Lyft but not PG&E? We’re waiting for an answer. Does Newsom support green, renewable energy or not?

Temple O. Smith


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Proposition 1 is a real horror show. It turns out that these unwanted fetuses are quite valuable for their stem cells. Stem cells can be used to rejuvenate old, dying tissue. Of course, the injections are addictive and very expensive.

Proposition 1 is an attempt to bring "unwanted" fetuses to California from all over the United States and elsewhere to feed at an immoral industry that will pay the women for their experience.

You may ask yourself who gets the stem cell injections? Lots of old political elite who there are plenty of the California. Stephen King can't write stories this ghoulish.

Tom Madden


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I have been in Mendocino County Jail for one year and I have five months left to do. I am 5-11, white male, aged 26, soon to be released off probation for the first time in 13 years. My wife stole a car and left me in jail, a long story for another time. I've been working out, reading my Bible and separating myself from drugs, gangs and stupid people while I have been in here in a single cell 24/7.

I am originally from Oklahoma/Texas area. I have been to New York, Chicago, Dallas, Canada, California and everywhere in between. 

Now because of being locked up I have lost everything and I am taking it upon myself to finally take a break from this silly game I've been playing. I'm going to Hawaii dude. I'm taking the first flight out. Nothing is holding me back after 13 years. I deserve it. If there is anyone who would like to help a young guy like myself prepare for my solo journey, write me and put your phone number and a couple of bucks on my books through the information below.

What I'd like best is if there's someone who's been to Hawaii to reach out and give me information and stories or places I should check out to write to me or give me their number so we can chat. Hell, anyone willing to help out would be nice. I have stressed out for so long I need this. I have got to get out of the game and the best way is to go out with a bang.

Write to: Daniel Edward Batten A#99931, Mendocino County Jail, P.O. Box 30022, PMB 35803, Durham, NC 27702. To put money on books go to 

I pray to hear from someone soon.

Thank you and God bless.

Daniel Batton (#99931)


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