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Letters (November 24, 2022)

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When I first drove up Brad Wiley's road from Highway 128 to his pretty flat land I felt like I was riding a beautiful wave. Willis Tucker did a reconnaissance as the lay of the land from the highway to the flatland above and concluded it was perhaps one quarter of a mile in length. In logging country at the time, I think that house would be a work of art in Anderson Valley. 

 It should be noted that Mr. Tucker was my first neighbor at the Foschee Mill and a war hero who was shot in the chest in Saipan, came back to this platoon, and was nearly blown up on Iwo Jima. He lived in that house built at Foschee's for eight years. I am also grateful to him for persuading me to go to Fort Miley in San Francisco. It has long been the best Veterans Administration Hospital in the United States. 

Ken Hurst 


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Running From The Judge In The Mendocino National Forest

Years ago I was in court in Mendocino County quite a lot over the course of a couple of years. Cultivation of pot without proper paperwork is a big-time no-no if you have pissed off anyone in law enforcement in Mendocino County (or any other place, I guess). Court is a huge drag, emotionally draining, costly and some would say "not a level playing field."

Keith Faulder was in private practice at the time and I was lucky enough to have him defending my wife and myself against these pot charges. After successfully defending myself and my loved one against 18 felonies over three cases about my medical grow, law enforcement backed off!

As a remedy against worrying all the time I would go dirt motorcycle riding. One day I asked Keith Faulder, "Do you ride?" He said, "Motorcycles? Sure I do!"

I invited him to go to Lake Pillsbury and said he could use one of my spare bikes. I was not very confident of his ability to ride.

I need not have worried because when I saw that he was keeping up I took off and tried to get away and waited at the next crossroad. I ran into the ditch three times trying to get out of sight. He kept pulling up to me and said saying, "What happened?"

After three self-inflicted near wrecks I notched it down one level and we had a great ride.

Look twice and save a life! Watch out for motorcycles!

Oaky Joe Munson

Monte Rio

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If my son had a good attorney he would have been at a state facility for his mental problems and the attorney would have made damn sure the District Attorney didn’t scare him into taking a plea on the other eight fires.

Guess my son is a supervillain and able to leap over buildings and fly at unbelievable speeds to get around town and start 12 fires.

I have seen other arsonists on line that got three years tops for fires! My son does have mental problems and was insane at the time but the DA doesn’t want that to be considered. It’s not like he burned down homes or killed anyone, murderers get less time!

Some called him a “POS”? Anyone that knows my son will tell you he is a respectable man and will give his last dollar to someone in need! But unfortunately, like so many others in this town, alcohol brings out the buried demons.

My son should be on his way to Napa state hospital, not prison!! When he was a boy his mother and father weren’t around to protect him from the evils in the world and the influence of older drug addicts and alcoholics! He’s been crying out for help for a long time, his parents failed him as a boy, the system failed him and now his public defender is failing him!

Like I said, IF we had money, he would already be getting the help he needs, but here we are! He’s not an evil person, just someone in need of help!

Dezra Williams, mother-figure of Alberto Vincent Acosta


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I first became acquainted with Auto Shop Programs back in 1954-55, when I began my first teaching job as the Auto Instructor at Junipero Sera High School in Compton, CA. Although I had just graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Research Biology, I had worked as an auto mechanic to pay my way through college. When I saw the ad in the Los Angeles Times for an Auto Shop teacher, I thought this would be a great job to get me started and be able to support my young family. 

Knowing I had no teaching experience, I went over to El Camino Community College to see the Auto Shop instructor and ask if I could sit in and help in his class in the evenings to gain some experience on how to teach. He was willing and most helpful. 

Teaching that year to 25 high school seniors was one of the most rewarding experiences in my teaching career. I placed many of them in jobs while they were still in school and, after they graduated, helping them get started in the working world. It also started me off on a new career in teaching and eventually becoming a principal and assistant superintendent of schools in charge of the ROP program in Mendocino County. 

I have continued to work on cars all my life, and still do in my retirement years. Last February (2022), I started working on my 1965 Mustang again, hoping to make it run better. A friend told me about a fuel injection system made by Holley for a straight 6 Mustang which is what I have. Looking into this, and talking to 

parts dealers and Ford dealers, the consensus was: “won’t work, too much trouble, too expensive, and you won’t make it”. This only made me more inquisitive and interested. I called the Holley factory and talked to them. They assured me that it does work and is being used on many cars. They gave me phone numbers of several shops installing the Holley fuel injection system in older automobiles. Their response was that they stopped installing them because it was too much work. When I called the factory again, they assured me it would work in my Mustang and they would help me, and to call tech support. I went ahead and ordered the parts, which were on back order for several months due to the pandemic. I began work on installing it little by little as the parts came in. After months of working on it, I was ready to give up. Following one of my Trustee Board meetings, I stopped by the auto shop at the college to get their opinion on what to do. The instructor, Michael Pratt said, “Ed it will work”, and offered to come by my house to take a look at what I had done. He offered for me to bring it into the shop at the college and they would take a look at it. With a little help from my wife, we had it loaded onto our car trailer, and I delivered it to the shop. Later that afternoon when I returned, they had it running. It was idling too fast, and they recommended a new high-tech distributer for it. I brought it back the next week, they installed the new distributor and it ran like a dream! It tops out at 80, and gets 22.8 mpg. 

The instructors and students at Mendocino College Automotive Technology Program are the best! I would recommend any student interested in the auto industry to take these classes. The instructors are tops, the facilities and equipment are superb, and their job placement and connection with the business community in Mendocino County is excellent! The students couldn’t find a better program in the automobile industry. 

Ed Nickerman, Trustee, 

Mendocino-Lake Community College 

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The Mendocino County water agency was dissolved not just as a cost-cutting measure. The Supervisors did not like what they were hearing from hydrologist(s) at the Water Agency. The Supervisors were told, and ignored, that water resources need to be protected from overuse and pollution. You need to protect and conserve as opposed to developing tens of thousands of acres of vineyards and other abuses of ground and surface waters.

Now the Supervisors are trying to bail themselves out of deteriorating conditions with expensive plans (paid for with your taxes) in areas of the county that will not serve the south coast at all. There is nothing in their priorities or approach that helps with water issues on the south coast.

New rainfall patterns will compel many South Coast residents on wells to find ways to capture and store water (from roof runoff or other means) in tanks. Or truck water in -- expensive!

Continued support of Ted Williams will only lead to more of the same: lack of support for the Mendocino South Coast.

Alan Levine for Coast Action Group

Santa Rosa (formerly of Gualala)

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Mark Scaramella adds: There is no mention of conservation in the County’s water plans or priorities. And except for Supervisor McGourty’s idea of flooding parts of Ukiah Valley in the winter to recharge the Ukiah Valley aquifer, there’s nothing to address supply in the entire County, including the South Coast.

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I was planting garlic in my front yard on Veterans Day. I had my American flag flying from the front of my house. It’s a good-size, neighbor-friendly Stars and Stripes. I fly it every national holiday. I love my country. A neighbor came by and thanked me for flying the flag. He told me he was a Vietnam veteran. He was a Marine. He asked me if I was a vet. I said yes and from Vietnam as well. Not a Marine but a “sub marine.” Not sure he heard me. He said he was glad I flew the Stars and Stripes and thanked me. He didn’t like that some people flew flags from other countries with different colors. I told him, “Well, this is America, and we are free to fly any flag we want to fly.” He is hard of hearing and didn’t respond to that. He just thanked me again as I did him.

Doug Courtemarche

Santa Rosa

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Last month the Advocate published an opinion article by Mendocino Railway’s President begging Fort Bragg voters to send a message with their ballots rejecting the City Council’s actions to require the Skunk Train to comply with State and local environmental and land use rules.

Tuesday’s election results point to a clear and loud rejection of that plea. The fact is, while we are still waiting for final results, the overwhelming sentiment reflected in the vote is that Mendocino Railway needs to comply with the same environmental and land use rules that every other business in the city complies with every day.

Fort Bragg isn’t a company town anymore. This is the 21st century, and we’ve outgrown the days when a railroad or any big corporation could demand local government serve their interest first and ignore the public good.

Let’s hope the owners of the Skunk train get the message and start complying with the same rules every other business abides by in Fort Bragg.

Peter McNamee

Fort Bragg

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I had a conversation with a tree the other day. Whether or not you choose to believe me, the trees have a message for us: they want us to slow down. At the pace we are moving, they cannot adapt.

We can start by driving the speed limit instead of exceeding it. Use the cruise control – you’ll be making a statement. We can do this.

But this goes deeper than how we drive our cars (and how much we drive them). A cluttered, speeded-up mind is no friend to the environment, either. As a local church leader suggests, “Practicing throwing on the brakes can be accomplished by developing the habit of … mindfully doing one thing at a time.”

It also works to rein in desires. I can speak to this personally: mail order can be addictive, but confining shopping to our locale puts the brakes on those Amazon trucks and whatever other conveyance may be involved. It has a bonus: “Limitations keep us sharp and give us a sense of fellow-feeling” (from Conservation Psychology).

Join in, slow down please. The trees and other growing beings (hint, hint) will hug you back.

Ilka Jerabek

Santa Rosa

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The holiday season comes with family gatherings, social time with friends and office parties. These joyful events can lead to life-altering consequences, like drunken driving.

When I was 16 in 1992, a drunken driver hit me. I had a four-month coma, broken bones, paralysis and brain injuries. My gait and speech are affected, and I lost my driving and hearing abilities. For 30-plus years, I read lips and cannot fully enjoy music. Drunken drivers injure lives many ways.

Planning to take Highway 12 to attend a holiday gathering? Make smart decisions now if you plan to drink: Don’t drive drunk.

Law enforcement and I urge you to have a sober friend, taxi, etc. drive you to and from this location.

My message to drive sober will never get old because it saves lives. Having a sober driver is a superb way to begin 2023.

Lori Martin


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I have been extra careful on Sherwood. A recent fatality brings to our community a heightened need for caution in a neighborhood with an extremely dangerous road ….throw in the numerous deer, bears, cats, dogs…and occasional human….you would think that our neighbors might slow down a little bit.

However, the opposite is happening! I am a 50-year-old teacher. I have a great driving record of 30-plus years. I have a long dangerous commute. My own neighborhood is the absolute scariest part of my commute. Whether I am leaving my house or headed back home, I end up with some brainless fool riding on my bumper with their high beams absolutely blinding me …

Why are the numerous police in our neighborhood not doing anything at all about this? It would be easy to install a camera and catch these idiots!

I am used to being patient and not allowing people to rush me in my job as a teacher, but it is so hard to maintain a safe speed or to pull over safely when blinded by these maniacs riding right on my bumper!!!

I’m so glad I don’t let them rush me because there is always a deer or a person right where these people strive to drive so dangerously!!!

My daughter is about to start driving and I cannot even think about her being forced into these insanely dangerous situations.

On my way home last night a neighbor flew around me into the oncoming traffic lane because they apparently didn’t approve of me driving at a safe speed.

A camera can easily be installed so that when these criminals put their, our, and others’ lives at risk. and eventually, cause a death or critical incident…and no cop is ever there …they can be persecuted to the full extent that the law allows!!!!!!

Kelly Heather Stevens Andersen

Brooktrails Resident

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Dear Editor and Friends,

The recent Attorney General Merrick Garland decision appointing a Special Prosecutor regarding to possibly indictment of former president Trump was a good decision, though it may delay the process. The attorney general is in a tough spot since Mr. Trump is a master politician at placing blame on officials in the process of charging him. He’s been able to use rhetoric and vicious complaints at every political bend in the road evading serious legal charges.

However, in the case of the purloined documents found by the FBI after a fully legal warrant, Trump’s luck may be running out. Even his former Attorney General William Barr, in yesterday’s interview, said that the Special Counsel, Jack Smith, can make avery valid case that Mr. Trump obstructed the Department of Justice’s investigation by taking highly classified government documents to his Mar-A-Lago estate. It is pretty clear that by doing so the former president was guilty of breaking the law. Despite whether Mr. Trump gets his party’s nomination for the 2024 Presidential race, he should be indicted. He should stand trial.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III 

Santa Rosa

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Until 1952 I had always supported the socialist candidate for president. In 1952 the Democrats nominated a superior candidate, Adlai Stevenson (probably the last one) but he got beat by a popular war hero. In 1948 it was obvious why Henry Wallace was beaten — too far to the left. I thought the best thing to do was to figure out why Democrats were getting beat. 

In California only the coastal counties with most of the population are voting Democratic. Nine out of 10 letters to the editor of the Press Democrat are from Democrats, for nine different reasons. The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing. Three out of 10 voters in Willits went for Trump in 2016 and 2020. 

Maybe we should accept the fact that we will only have two thirds of the electorate to work with. We have Robert Reich telling us the answers correctly but he is preaching to the choir on Free Speech TV. We have demonstrated on the West Coast that voting by mail eliminates problems and independent commissions solve the problem of gerrymandering. But only a couple of other states would consider doing this because it helps the Republicans. Corporadoes want money and as soon as they get it they want power and they will spend whatever it takes to remain in charge. When their costs go up 5% they raise their prices 8%. 

Each month Goldman collects donations and puts it in their sack. The money comes from the US Chamber of Commerce, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, etc. They bring this sack of money over to the men's restroom in the Willard Hotel at 2 AM and meet with Mitch McConnell's representative to be divided up among members of the House and Senate. They also send a message directing them how to vote on every bill. 

Maybe now we are getting close to finding the answer to why Democrats lose elections. As Thom Hartmann reminds us over and over five days a week on Free Speech TV, no progress will be made until you take a hammer and give a few whacks on the skull until they understand that there is too much money in politics. Remember Citizens United? Say bye-bye. 

A committee made up from members of the following countries: Finland, Switzerland, Uruguay, Algeria, and New Zealand will decide how election financing will work on elections from president to city councils. There are two options, public and private. The committee will decide just how much money will be needed to finance a run for public office and if privately funded it may not exceed that amount. A 1/4% tax on the wealthy will be imposed to fund a police force which will oversee compliance. If publicly funded it will be under the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives. 

We have two years to inform the electorate that all of the Democrats in the Senate, the House and those Democrats who are running for public office, support this proposal. West coast states have solved the gerrymandering problem and also have solved the problems associated with voting by independent nonpartisan committees drawing new district lines every 10 years and voting by mail respectfully. More states need to adopt these methods.

The objective is to elect a Democrat president, Senate and House in November 2024. To avoid getting tapped on the skull with a ball peen hammer, please solve the following Democratic Party problems, not yet solved. 

We know that some people are naturally selfish. We know that when some people start to accumulate money they tend to vote for Republicans. We know that as people age they tend to become more conservative. The Democratic Party should not depend on these types of voters nor make special concessions to them. What do we have left? Three groups from age 18 to around 65 with the youngest the most liberal. But the youngest do not vote except in low percentages. 

We have about a third of voters to work with, if we can only get them into the habit of voting. We want them to vote about 75% of the time. How do you attract them (18-30)? Sex? Free passes to NFL games? 

I know that the Editor has known Bernie Sanders for many years but when 99% of adults have never heard of him I wrote to the PD, "Put a dollar bill in an envelope and send it to Senator Sanders, Senate Office Building, Washington DC and ask him to please run for president. You know that the Press Democrat does not print letters like that. So if you have a good idea about how to get people to vote Democratic send it to the DNC. It will go in the round wastebasket. 

The Republicans have pretty successful lately reducing the people who might vote Democratic. I have always wondered why, if you can purchase three houses in Willits for the price of one in the Bay Area why are there houses on the market in Willits? Answer from Anne Fashauer. 

Would you like to hear the names that time invented? Tycoon, kudos, pundit, socialite.

Ralph Bostrom


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