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Letters (September 14, 2023)

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It’s so nice to read [The Sheriff Reno Bartolomie self-mini-memoir]. Thank you for sharing! My Dad had lots and lots of amazing stories! We had great times riding our horses, hunting (one of his favorite spots was Greenfield Ranch when Annie Greenfield owned it and the Folsom Ranch (when Mary Dale Folsom and Tico were alive) cutting firewood and fishing in just about every river we could find – my Dad LOVED the outdoors; he had an amazing garden that fed us all summer long and into the winter with my Mom’s canning. He was a gourmet Italian cook. Of course he never had a recipe! He loved our County, we were all safe and grew up staying outside playing until dark, walking to and from school and riding our bikes everywhere. My dad started the Mendocino County 4-Wheel Patrol, Mounted Posse and Air Squadron – we would all camp for a weekend in Eden Valley during their training sessions each year. He loved an adventure – we went to see Evil Knievel attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon outside of Twin Falls, Idaho! My family had a great life lead by an amazing man! We miss him everyday! Thanks again!

Katrina Bartolomie


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Following the legalization of marijuana, I answer a lot of questions regarding why we are continuing to dedicate resources to the marijuana issues in Mendocino County. Many folks, including myself, hoped the legalization of marijuana would simply end the criminal issues associated with cultivation. Sadly, extremely dangerous behaviors which are associated with the illegal cultivation of marijuana are continuing in our county. 

During the month of August 2023, our deputies participated in several search warrants throughout Mendocino County. Over twenty locations were targeted for illegal cannabis, where serious environmental crimes were suspected of taking place. We worked with partnering agencies including California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and California State Parks. We were also assisted by CDFW environmental scientists, California State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Cannabis Control, California Highway Patrol, and the Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis (EPIC).

During these operations, over 70,000 marijuana plants were located and eradicated. Over 9,000 pounds of processed marijuana and 23 guns were seized.

Out of the 20 locations, more than half had highly dangerous pesticides that are banned in the United States due to their toxic potency. All locations had severe environmental impacts, which included: polluting of the waterways, illegal grading, water diversions, dammed creeks, fuel/oil in the creeks, and water pumps diverting water from creeks. Several of these locations had deplorable living conditions with minimal food. One location had a poached deer.

Here are just a few of the very toxic chemicals we found being used in these grows sites. These chemicals are commonly known as, Monitor, Zinc Phosphide, Methyl Parathion, Methamidophos, Carbofuran, and Weevil-Cide. These are all banned in the United States. These recent issues are becoming a pattern.

These items can poison waterways and leave lands uninhabitable. The chemicals used have been described as “a circle of death.” Research has shown a quarter teaspoon can kill a 400-pound bear in minutes, scavengers then feed on the carcass and are also poisoned. This cycle continues until the chemical has killed several times. 

Many of these chemicals were banned from the US markets in 2009 however we are continuing to see them in the illegal grow sites. These chemicals have likely been smuggled from Mexico and South American Countries. 

This is creating a dangerous situation for persons tending the grow sites as well as the law enforcement teams who are investigating and eradicating the sites. As we continue to investigate these grow sites, we have adjusted our tactics in an attempt to keep our personnel safe. Working with the state’s environmental scientists has been a great assistance. I am hopeful state and federal resources may help us get a clear picture of what our next steps will be in the remediation of these locations. 

Sheriff Matt Kendall


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The League of Women Voters of Mendocino County is pleased to again host our popular “Meet and Greet Your Elected Officials” reception. It will be held on Friday, September 22, from 5-7pm, at the Caspar Community Center. There will be no agenda or speeches, just an opportunity to chat one-on-one with officials from all over the county. Appetizers, wine, beer and other beverages will be offered. County officials and supervisors, city commissioners, school, fire and water district board members have all been invited. To ensure fresh air and adequate spacing, the event will be held outside. For more information, call 707-937-4952.

Thank you,

Pat Dunbar, Publicity

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In her recent article, Deborah Friedell wonders why the fervently anti-communist J. Edgar Hoover didn’t publicly blame the Russians for being behind the Kennedy assassination, especially given Lee Harvey Oswald’s clear connections with the Soviet regime. 

The answer is straightforward: fear of a nuclear confrontation. If Russia had been involved, it could have been taken as a declaration of war; public opinion would have demanded the strongest possible action and the US would have been compelled to make a military response. President Johnson “guided” the Warren Commission report into the assassination to avoid blaming the Russians: a lone-gunman assassin was much the safer option.

Sean McGlynn, University of Plymouth at Strode College Street

Somerset, England

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The horrific story about the forced removal of Cloverdale trailer park residents demonstrates, yet again, the failures of a market-based solution to housing poor people. The lack of affordable housing in Sonoma County is a mantra every public official shouts, but few seem to do anything other than give away more money to already well-off developers and lament the turnover times for development.

The Cloverdale trailer park is affordable housing for the most vulnerable. Having a private owner buy the trailer park, then kick out the residents isn’t acceptable. One solution is simple given that affordable housing doesn’t exist for poor people in Sonoma County. The state and federal governments could buy the park from the owners, invest in the necessary repairs and declare that the property will remain affordable in perpetuity.

This could also work with a nonprofit organization if sufficient funds are made available by the state. This can be accomplished by invoking eminent domain under the premises of public interest and safety. In essence, the park land would be held by the public, even while the trailers are privately owned. This private-public mix would benefit the owners of the trailers and the state since low-income housing would already exist for those who need it most.

J. Talmadge Wright

Santa Rosa

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Re: Proposed State Senate Bill 1399 to Help Save Lives

I’m writing to you asking that you please consider sending a brief letter to Senator Mike McGuire at, calling him @ 916-651-4002, or faxing him, Fax: 916-651-4902 asking him to support Assembly Bill 1399. This bill would allow licensed veterinarians in the state of California to offer both video and phone visits to pet owners.

Most of us have met with our own doctors via video and phone appointment and these visits have enabled our doctors to assess our health needs and get us the hands on medical assistance we might need.

With the shortage of veterinarians locally and throughout our state, AB1399 would help so many of us and our beloved pets, especially in emergency situations. Video and phone appointments would be both time saving and life saving. If video and phone appointments are good enough for us they surely are good enough for our pets.

Thank you for your consideration!


Carol R. Lillis, S.O.S. President


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Dear Editor, 

Today at a restaurant I sat alone to have a nice Mexican lunch (salad) rather large salad. Anyway you know humans tend to look up between bites and to wash the throat clear with a drink. One elderly gentleman needed to clear his sinuses, which I thought, Could you take that outside? Then, another man came in who still had his medical emergency bracelet on from Howard hospital, I’d guess, and that man also had to clear his sinuses so it prompted me to send a notice: Would the health and safety codes be amended to (a) clear your sinuses outside, (b) besides making sure you’re fit for public contact (c) please remove your bracelets. It reminds me of how often people ignore others health and safety thanks again 

Sincerely yours 

Greg Crawford 

Fort Bragg

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Woke Politics — Turning my attention to the national political scene; polls indicate that support for Biden is drastically plunging with minority voters; well, it appears that “woke” politics only get Biden votes with white liberals; sorry I know some of my friends will be offended; please don’t take it personally, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee; but minority groups see through the pathetic attempt for what it is:Identity politics substituting for politics of substance; and an opportunity for white liberals to virtue signal!

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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As a Republican and formerly very active in a Republican women’s organization, I can no longer support the party that continues to promote Donald Trump as the best we have to offer.

Dona Mitcham


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To the Editor,

I know that it's really none of my business, living as I do way out here in Colorado, but here's an idea that might merit some consideration in the interests of cost-saving, face-saving, and general harmony. 

Maybe the Fort Bragg City Council can be persuaded to pass a resolution renaming the city Fort Bragg in honor of pop singer Billy Bragg. Those folks who have lived in the town for a long time and have become used to the name and like it won't have to have their equilibrium disrupted. The city wouldn't need to go to unnecessary expense to change signs, stationary, etc. And best of all, Fort Bragg won't be named for Braxton Bragg anymore.

Michael DeLang 

Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado

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Randall Kennedy, writing recently about affirmative action points out that the practice was used only at elite institutions such as Harvard, where there are many more applicants than there are places. In the UK, too, most universities can admit the majority of applicants who meet the minimal entrance requirements, but Oxford and Cambridge in particular have many more applicants than they have places to offer.

How should this problem be addressed?

I would argue that the solution lies in random selection. An institution like Harvard should set minimal entrance requirements. There would of course be many more applicants than available places. The lucky candidates would then be selected by some random process. The great advantage of this method is that it is completely blind to differences in class, gender or ethnic origin. It is also less likely to breed resentment among unsuccessful candidates than other methods, which inevitably arouse suspicions of unfair discrimination of one kind or another. The use of random selection for entrance to elite institutions may strike some as unrealistic, but it has in fact been used very successfully for medical school admissions in the Netherlands for more than thirty years.

Donald Gillies


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