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Letters (February 26, 2024)

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I seriously doubt that anyone, no matter what their political views, wanted to see public safety failing. That simply isn’t the case. We all want the same things, absent the rare true anarchist, we all want to have safe families homes and communities. The question is how we get there? We have reached a time when academia is weighing in on things they have studied or theories which have been written by extremely educated people who truly want to make a difference. This is all well and good. However, there are other experts in these fields who must be consulted as well. The experts who serve on the front lines every day. Without their input the best made plans will fail. 

I have spent a lot of time swinging a hammer over the years. I have seen many carpenters lock horns with architects and engineers who draw plans which look good on paper, however are completely impossible to build. This happens because one side doesn’t realize what the other must do in order to complete their task. A friend of mine is a civil engineer and while he was attending university, his father made him work summers with him building houses. His father made clear his thoughts that no engineer should receive his license and stamp until he knew what it took to build things. What looks good on paper at times is completely impossible in the real world.

Strangely it appears the architects of laws in our state aren’t listening to the people on the front lines. Fire, EMS, behavioral Health, law enforcement personnel, all should have a say in this. However it appears no one in state government wants to hear that things aren’t working. If I was building an aircraft midflight, as our state often does, I think I would like to know if the tail rudder was falling off. 

There was a time when we all worked together. Lawmakers worked with each other across the aisle and our representatives would serve the public. State governors would consult with Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and truly solicit their input on things which would affect the public safety. That is no longer happening in California. Our governor and many state leaders seem to have become deaf to us, actually worse than deaf, they simply refuse to meet with anyone who has an opposing opinion or who looks at legislation with any critical thinking. This has to change. 

I recently read a statistic which showed that more than 150 people die every day in the United States from drug overdose. Overall life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for three years in a row largely due to the opioid epidemic. This article also indicated overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or gun violence. This loss of life is roughly equal to a Boeing 727 crash where all passengers were lost, every day of the year. In Mendocino County we continue to see the largest percentage of our accidental deaths are due to overdose. Drug abuse and overdose are issues that destroy entire families. These also lead to property crime and violence. Legislators have attempted to move the focus of these problems from our courts to public health. 

My question to the public is, does it look like this is working? 

Many folks have fallen under the spell that many folks who are committing crimes are victims. Sorry, that theory doesn’t hold much water. My father often preached to my siblings and I about the things we would truly be victims of. Our laziness and our foolishness would be the two bullies in our lives who we should avoid at all costs. Is anyone preaching this any longer? 

Over the past several years, many laws were written which would enhance the penalties for narcotics, thefts, property crimes and violent crimes, nearly all were shot down by legislators, primarily in the public safety committees. Either this has to stop or someone needs to come up with a magic cure. Losing a 727 full of people every day can’t be the direction we continue. 

Sheriff Matt Kendall



I agree with the sheriff. The arrogance and cluelessness of lawmakers and politicians have led to a steady decline in every facet of life in our state and our country.

I work in the medical field and I am appalled by how pervasive the practice of prescribing opioids for pain has become. I grew up in Northern Europe where doctors refrain from overmedicating their patients. Pain is part of life just like pleasure is. Handing out opioids for every tooth extraction, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and other common ailments is not a responsible medical practice.

While acknowledging and treating addiction as a disease is necessary, I don’t believe in coddling adults by always excusing their poor choices due to childhood trauma or miserable circumstances. Vast majority of people had traumatic experiences in their youth. 90% of the population struggle with financial, marital, work, health or other problems. We have become a nation of self-centered people. If all you think is your pain and how bad your life is, you’re unlikely to improve your circumstances. This is the best place to live on earth despite all the problems we have. Most Americans don’t realize what life is like in a war zone, a third world county, under a regime without freedom of speech or access to education. Millions die from hunger around the world while we give free food to anyone in need in Mendocino County. We live in a beautiful state with the freedom to work hard, aim higher, live healthy, serve and help others less fortunate than ourselves.

We need to fix our education and healthcare systems, but we also need to restore law and order, and prosecute criminals.

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TO: Ms. Darcie Antle, CEO Mendocino County February 6, 2024

Mendocino County Administrative Center

501 Low Gap Road

Ukiah CA 95482 |

Re: Mendocino County Veterans Service Office

Dear Ms. Antle:

As you probably are aware, there is considerable concern being raised about the relocation of our County Veterans Service Office in Ukiah.

On January 30, I had the opportunity to visit the Ukiah VSO office at its recently relocated location on Dora Street. My wife accompanied me as I am in a wheel chair. 

I had been receiving negative reports from others, but I felt I needed to visit the site myself before passing judgment.

My initial impression, from outside the front doors, was that it didn’t seem so bad. But then we entered and were invited to see the office space inside. I have to say, that was the beginning of a very bad experience.

The reception area is cold and uninviting. This is where one would have to sit while waiting to see a VSO specialist.

The central glass enclosed garden with fountain is befitting of the lobby of a hospital, but not the waiting room for a VSO office.

After wheeling down the corridor past two restrooms, we were shown into one of the VSO specialist’s office. The office itself couldn’t be more than 8 ft by 10 ft. To get my wheelchair in and in position in front of the VSO’s desk we had to remove one of the chairs that was there and put it out in the corridor. The office space had no windows and just the one door. Frankly it looked like it must have been a storage room previously. It was like being in a cell or cave. There was also some background noise which the VSO specialist explained was “white noise” piped in to help cover conversation from being overheard in adjacent rooms or the corridor if the door was left ajar (which was the only way to allow outside air in and keep from feeling trapped in a cave). 

My wife, who herself suffers from some PTSD issues, was triggered by the whole setting and, after a few minutes, had to quickly exit the room, leaving me without locomotion. The VSO specialist had to wheel me out to the car. My wife will never go back in.

I understand the county is trying to economize (which as a taxpayer I applaud), however, I believe this particular move was a mistake.

I suspect that some well meaning employee, who was tasked with moving the Air quality Management District Office out of their leased office space came up with this plan without any knowledge about what goes on in the VSO office or the needs of the Veterans who the office serves (including vets with handicaps and PTSD issues).

I am sorry, but this new location, in my estimation is unacceptable. I would appreciate you or the appropriate department head who is responsible for this action, answering the following questions:

1. What was the rational for this move? 

2. How many employees work in The Air Quality Management office, and how many of them require space to sit regularly with clients in a confidential setting? 

3. Why was the VSO Officer not involved in the consideration and planning for this move?

4. What other options were considered?

5. Why were no veterans or veterans organizations consulted for input?

The simplest solution at this point would be to find other space for the Air Quality Management (AQM) office and move the VSO back where they were. Actually, I think the AQM office might be more suited to the space you moved the veterans to in the old hospital site. (Office space for activities that don’t require regular meetings with clients in a safe, comfortable, and confidential setting).

Ms. Antle, please understand , I am not trying to be a “rabble rouser.” I am writing with all due respect for the difficult job you have in overseeing the administration of our county. It just seems to me there could be a better solution to this particular problem. 

Very Respectfully, 

Ralph Paulin, Veteran Adjutant, Lewis White Post 76 American Legion of Ukiah

Potter Valley 

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Tom lived here for nearly 30 years. He was our official historian and compiled 3 large albums chronicling life on the ranch during his tenure. He was also the Commodore of the Ten Mile Fleet, caring for the canoes, kayaks and miscellaneous water craft based on the river, especially the “Solar Queen” an 18 foot aluminum boat he outfitted with an electric motor, canopy and non-functioning princess phone on which we’d pretend to order pizza. We were all members of his navy of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick.

Tom was a great friend and firm teacher. When he and I were arrested while protesting at Headwaters, they pepper sprayed him just because he was known to be who he was — a tireless peaceful warrior for all life. He taught us the Ho’oponopono prayer, “I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” We have been better people since.

We will be remembering Tom and spreading his ashes in the river this Saturday October 21 @ 2PM at the “Horse Barn” where he used to live. From there we will go to the river beach and launch kayaks to spread his ashes.

Bring memories and stories about our beloved friend.

Park in front of the Big House and walk east to the horse barn and meet by the picnic table.

Judy Vidaver

Fort Bragg

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Dan Crow adds:

Sedonia was the love of Tom's life and my close confidant for over 20 years and today is her birthday , but I have no one to share remembrances' with except you guys. I am 91 and all the things Tom and I had in common are fast disappearing and our world will soon be gone so Happy Birthday one last time.

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I am totally disgusted with KOZT. I have always been with the so-called people’s public radio. Total propaganda. in my humble opinion.

Why do we no longer question? What happened to the “question authority, question everything” mantra of the early 60s? Seems we now just take for granted what the internet search engines tell us is. Why do we believe such? And most of all why do we even go to them for answers we seek? What happened to our history? Our written word? A long time ago we asked ourselves these questions. And we came up with the answers ourselves. It seems in the past we did not need the truth sayers, the fact checkers. What has happened to us?

We stopped advertising on radio stations. Might want to ask why? Well, because of their total control propaganda. Look at what they did via covid. Lock down, wear masks, do not question, we are the authority, do what we say. Disgusting what the local media, does to try to control us. Question everything.

Advance: There’s nothing else like it.

Pete Gregson 


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A few years ago, I relinquished my landline voluntarily for high-speed internet, and I have been sorry every day since I made the change (“AT&T looks to cut landlines,” Feb. 4). My telephone connection drops frequently, and I sometimes don’t know it happened until friends call my cellphone and ask if I am OK. Whenever there is a power outage or even a flicker, the phone dies. Rebooting the phone is a complicated multistage process.

Landlines are lifelines. Don’t let AT&T take away this vital service.

Mia James

Santa Rosa

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Correct me if yez know better, but I think the landline phone signals go through internet computers now that require power just like everything else. I've been out of town for this latest outage, but my experience with my landline in Albion has been, whenever the power goes out in the area, the landline hangs on for awhile, consistent with some kind of very short-term backup system, and then fails.

If that's what's really happening, then agitating to keep the landlines because they're more reliable than wireless doesn't make much sense. It might be cheaper for the company and more feasible and reliable to provide wireless full internet to everyone and backup power for all elements of a mesh system to keep that up, including a $30 battery phone charger for everyone, where your cell phone could work for a week without line power, set on proper power management. That, I mean, rather than do it the way they've been, sending out the phone trucks as well as the power company trucks every time a storm blows through, and fixing wires everywhere, and it still breaks down.

Marco McClean

Fort Bragg

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Regarding ‘Endorsing Nancy Pelosi is the best candidate to represent SF in Congress, but there’s a catch” (Editorial,, Feb. 10): You must be kidding, endorsing Rep. Nancy Pelosi for reelection. 

Lately, Pelosi has been in the news for her outrageous, absurd and dangerous accusations regarding activists who come to her house to implore her to call for a cease-fire and to stop funding the genocide in Gaza with our tax dollars. 

Pelosi shook her finger at me and said, “Go back to China where your headquarters is,” when I pointed out that nearly 80% of Democratic voters want a cease-fire. Then on national television, she said that cease-fire is “Putin’s message.”

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted for a cease-fire resolution. Pope Francis has called for a cease-fire. The slaughter of innocent children and families in Gaza is collectively traumatizing everyone I know.

What about a cease-fire is “Putin’s message”? What about saving the lives of civilians who have nowhere to go to escape the relentless bombing in Gaza? Pelosi is unfit to serve in Congress. 

Cynthia Papermaster, Bay Area coordinator, Codepink

San Francisco

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Regarding the recent articles about “AT&T looking to cut landlines,” I have to say that I survived the demise of 8-track tapes, so I think I will be able to weather the loss of landlines.

Kurt Harrison

Santa Rosa

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The Mendocino County Democratic Party last weekend released a resolution calling for a prohibition on the construction of new gasoline stations in Mendocino County. The resolution, which it justifies with factual statements regarding Climate Change and the actions already taken by State and Local authorities, supports the campaign launched by the Climate Crisis Working Group of The GrassRoots Institute late last year.

The resolution references Climate Emergency Declarations passed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors in 2020 and in 2023 as well as the ambitious goals set by the State of California to transition away from a dependency on fossil fuels for transportation. Furthermore, the resolution cites the potential health risks gas stations pose when it comes to hazardous materials as well as the fact that fossil fuel infrastructure facilities are typically located in low-income neighborhoods that are disproportionally impacted.

“Fossil fuel use imposes deep and long-standing racial injustice. In every drop that comes out of a gasoline dispenser, there is a trail of devastation for communities of color and the environment around the world that leads all the way back to the point of extraction of crude oil from the ground in places like Nigeria, Ecuador, and Kern County California. Low-income communities of color in the US and around the world, “frontline communities” are poisoned and/or displaced by effluent and emissions from these operations; low-income communities along rail and roadways are threatened by the hazard of oil and gas transportation; similar historically disadvantaged communities of color near refineries and gas processing facilities, “fenceline communities,” face respiratory disorders, cancer, and death rates much higher than the national average. Indigenous communities around the world are severely impacted by pumping and pipelines;”

Furthermore, with the ongoing transition to zero or low-emission vehicles, studies have shown that there will be a declining need for gas stations over time and some will likely struggle to remain viable businesses. And, when a gas station goes out of business and the owner declares bankruptcy or otherwise refuses to clean up the site, the public often gets stuck with the costs of remediation.

Lynne Atkins, Chair of the Mendocino County Democratic Party Central Committee, released the following statement: “The climate science is clear and has been for many years – we need to phase out the use of fossil fuels. Continuing to build fossil fuel infrastructure or gas stations makes no sense, especially when Mendocino County already has a sufficient number of gas stations to meet our needs. Mendocino County Democrats therefore support the GrassRoots Institute’s campaign to prohibit the construction of new gas stations, a campaign that is consistent with the two Climate Emergency Declarations that the County has already passed.”

Last month, the Climate Crisis Working Group of The GrassRoots Institute (GRI), working collaboratively with local residents, successfully lobbied the Planning Commission to deny a use permit for a proposed new gas station in Redwood Valley. GRI will be pursuing its campaign to prohibit the construction of new gas stations county-wide in the coming weeks and months. For more information, please visit our web page at:

Contact: Donald Hess,

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On Line Comments

• Oh now cars and pickups are racist it’s not for the environment it’s for disadvantaged people of color.the fact is the number one reason people of color are disadvantaged is they vote Democrat and live in Democrat run cities. The only thing getting rid of gas and diesel will do is make everyone equally disadvantaged under the guise of IT’S FOR THE GREATER GOOD

• Can someone PLEASE shoot Mendocino County and put it out of it’s misery. It will be a mercy killing. How can one place be so screwed up??? in so many ways??

• People form SF have moved there and infested the county government. Check close, your elections office, school boards, DA, and BOS.

• Screw you Mendo. I buy gas in other counties. Oregon, Nevada, and Utah too. Looks like the rez is the only place that will add stations.

• Either resurrect the state of ‘Jefferson’ or join the movement for ‘Greater Idaho’… Those look pretty good right now.

• India just put in 50 new stations this month , crack me up. They’ll control the climate like they controlled the flu.

• Only in California … again.

• A simple solution- just ban registered Democraats from using gas stations. No new gas stations needed.

• Morons

• Aww…you beat me to it!

• This is just white people filling their need to control everything. They have endless energy for controlling their immediate neighbors. China, India, etc get a free pass to pollute as much as they’d like. So, this is just people who need to control others, and group-think, rather than try to find inner quietude. Guessing they will continue to be typical white people and shut down all reservation gas stations as well? When do they go after the Native Americans again, and their filling stations? like next week, maybe?

• Lots of the usual bellyaching so far in the comment section

but not one comment yet explaining what is actually wrong with the idea.

• The whiners all have one thing in common: denial of climate catastrophe. The will not “get it” until the diaster completely overcomes us….and then they will blame Biden.

• Oh yeah, the climate crisis. Of course! Chainsaws, generators, gas stations….yet we still hear not a peep about indoor weed growing under lights which suck up massive amounts of energy- for a plant that can be grown in the sun!!! Their Governor Greasy Gavin allows permits to be issued for massive warehouse grows….disconnect much?

• EV charger in Laytonville…never full. Chevron is packed many times..go figure.

• Racial injustice? These morons need to look at the Congo’s cobalt mines where their EVs battery materials are shoveled out of the earth by 6 year olds

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Given many are running on the next On the Presidency ballot. I send a wishful idea that the hopefuls be required to get a psych-evaluation as part of the requirements. To win has been ignored, this is because these times are messy and dirty and would make it more interesting.

Sincerely yours,

Greg Crawford

Fort Bragg

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Regarding ‘At least he’s not Trump,’ in a recent Chronicle: That might not be the most rousing campaign pitch Dems think it.

In fact, It won’t work this time. We are presented with the evil of the two lessers: the absent-minded vs. the egocentric. 

To “protect democracy,” the Democrats threw out democracy by eliminating the primaries in several states and making the remaining ones pointless by anointing President Joe Biden. 

When the “softer pitch” fails to work, Democrats will again fall back on trying to shame and blame voters who look to a third-party candidate and ignore the larger number of people who, in apathy, choose not to vote at all.

Biden offers little positive in foreign or domestic affairs. He rightly, but haphazardly, got us out of Afghanistan, only to now teeter on getting us into a wider Middle East war. 

Current economic metrics are good on paper, but people don’t feel them because more than ever, they’re up to their eyeballs in higher rents, food costs and consumer debt.

Thank you, Mr. Biden, for your service. But the Democrats are flirting with disaster without a more visible, vigorous, affirmative candidate and program to offer.

Brian Klein

San Francisco

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I was horrified and disappointed at the behavior of Fort Bragg people during the early February power outage. Did you see the rushes on the grocery stores and gas stations? What is WRONG with you people? We have endured these power outages for almost 40 years. Sometimes two weeks in the 80s and no panic like this. (I was not living here at the time but my parents were and I heard the stories.) Back before we came here in 1985, the power outages were even worse. There was a time when the Union Lumber Mill folks plugged the town into Mill power and kept the lights on. In my decades here, up until now, the same thing happened every time Safeway's generator fails, the Harvest one works and folks hang out at Harvest and maybe a couple of other places. The one gas station has gas. Safeway once had a BBQ of all the meat in the parking lot because the generator had broken for the umpteenth time, sometime in the 90s, I think. A different world. People didn't turn into crazed mobs then. I was here for a couple. Did you see the lines down the highway for gas, the Walmart Black Friday like koo koo food rushes? This is a different place than it used to be, but it’s not really the new people doing this. Go figure! Folks, panic is never the right thing to do. Guys were filling up cars, cans, vehicles on trailers, and for what? Stay home silly people. Dr. Jennifer Kreger has been working on Hubs and Routes to prepare for a genuine disaster which we WILL have here someday. If people act like they did this time, there is little hope. Anyway, the storm previous to this one nuked the road into the MacKerricher parking lot/boardwalk off Ward, right by our house. But they had already fixed it before this storm, which didn’t seem to add to the damage.

Frank Hartzell

Fort Bragg

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Letter to the Editor

In part one on the above subject, we ended with the pitfalls and perils of continuing to promote the Commercial Cannabis industry in Mendocino County on the scale at which it is currently being promoted. We continue here. It wasn’t enough that we had so much marijuana being grown for so long already in this area. It was decided by the “Powers That Be” (aka Carmel Angelo and the BOS at the time allegedly) to push into Phase 3. This would presumably solve so many problems, provide jobs and perhaps even solve the County’s budgetary problems? Yet, the “industry’s” long history has already proven that this is just not going to happen and that it brings far more problems than solutions. Flow Cana was touted as a great hope for a new business and provider of local jobs. The owners came in, made a quick buck and then skipped town. Let’s not kid ourselves that this is not what is happening with many of these big new “legal” grows as well.

Admittedly, the Mendocino County Cannabis ordinance was developed prior to four of the current Supervisors being in office. However, one Supervisor stated her intention during our hearing, "My intention is/was that the goal was to move illegal grows out of the hills." At the same hearing, an undersheriff commented on the fact that legal grows can very quickly turn illegal. Not a comforting thought as they have been allowed in so close to and amongst our residential residences. With millions of dollars accepted from the State in order to help the County help the growers get issued permits to become “legal”, a whole new costly division of local government has been formed. The “Cannabis Division” has a Director, support staff, many code enforcement officers and surely must be using a lot of County Counsel’s time. We are sure the majority of citizens would have voted for more dollars to be allocated to Law Enforcement rather than a costly new branch of government and Code Enforcement officers, had we been asked. Our local Sheriff, Matt Kendall, has been very vocal about the fact that the Sheriff’s Office does not have adequate personnel to combat problems which arise from Cannabis grows in Mendocino County. Two deputies allegedly for all of Mendocino County for such problems are severely inadequate. Given our County’s budget deficit, it would be nice if the Board of Supervisors would report to the citizenry of Mendocino County the revenue currently being generated by the Cannabis industry versus the expenditures to maintain the Cannabis Division. Is it really providing any additional dollars to the County coffers, given salaries and benefits the County is paying and will continue to pay in the future for retirements?

These new larger grows, which we were lectured to as not being nearly as big as those in other areas such as Lake County, were deemed more suitable for Ag lands zoned anywhere from RR5 to Ag40. This because these lands have been previously “disturbed” and are not as environmentally sensitive as other outlying lands. Never mind that some communities such as Round Valley, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Ukiah and Willits have dense residential neighborhoods that are being “disturbed” by these grows due to their close proximities. These neighborhoods are also certainly environmentally sensitive when well water usage by some of these grows is not being monitored, and many nearby homes depend on well water only. Let us also not forget the irrefutable evidence that plastics are not good for the environment, or that marijuana growing is an attractive nuisance.

We have become very concerned citizens here in Redwood Valley that our voices are not being heard and we are not being given any say as to how our community develops. Most importantly, that more large grows may be approved when we do not want them. During our hearing before the BOS to request a Cannabis Prohibition zone, not only were we denied, but the Supervisors were unwilling to consider a suspension of accepting any new applicants in the neighborhood. Our proposed prohibition area is of only approximately 4 and 1/2 sq. miles located within a 10th of a mile of downtown Redwood Valley. We see the writing on the wall. We can easily become the next Round Valley. The County will continue to promote more Cannabis grows without taking into consideration whether the majority of citizenry want it or not. We encourage you, readers, to go to the following website to see photos from Santa Barbara County. This is our concern. 18365066.php Please educate yourselves as to what our politicians are capable of promoting and their total disregard for the will of the majority of people. 

Respectfully submitted by Concerned Redwood Valley Citizens (CRVC)

Christine Boyd, Cynthia Grant, Star Gilley, Frances Owen, Richard Sagan, Cyndi Barra Woskow. Michael Woskow and others.

Redwood Valley

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Regarding my letter of November 14, 2023 which I received no reply to about RoboCalls, to sum up:

Calls from June 1 through November 11, 2023 (160 days), and November 8, 2023 through February 7 (92 days)

Calls before 8 AM: 22 / 31

AT&T/DirecTV: 42 / 18

Open line or dialtone: 76 / 125

Scammers and thieves: 211 / 215

Legitimate calls: 64 / 51

Totals: 404 / 422.

The numbers in the second period do not include days in town until two or three o'clock or the nine days without service: January 16, 2:54pm to January 17, 3:20pm, and January 24 AM until January 31, 3:10pm). God only knows how much that would have increased the counts. The days without service reminded me of days gone by when my phone would not bring for five or six days.

I know these calls can be stopped if AT&T wanted to. When they call and I press 1 to talk to a representative I get a "not in service" recording. If they can flag my number to stop me from wasting their time they can find my number to not call in the first place. After nine months they should learn that I'm not going to subscribe to DirecTV!

Others non-calls include calls about Medicare Benefits advisor, an electric service, television services, utility taxes, health services, accident claims, medical alerts, US government benefits, spectrum and more. These are lowlife, lying leeches and cowards. It is taking a dangerous turn as they accuse me of wasting their time (they call me) and threaten me and my mother. One person kept calling back cussing a blue streak for over an hour. I think it is all an intentional, deliberate and calculated harassment agenda. 

Should I talk to the Sheriff? What else can I do?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Casey Pryor


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Dear Editor,

I am writing to voice my support of Adam Gaska for District 1 Supervisor of Mendocino County.

I have listened to the interviews of each candidate conducted by Sarah Reith on KZYX ( I have visited the candidates’ websites, read their Voter Guide statements and reviewed their mailers.

I have to say it really confuses me to hear candidates claiming they have a passion for public service when they have seemingly no real history of public service. It starts to feel more like lip service. If you want to see what public service looks like, take a look at Adam Gaska. When I first met him, he was a volunteer firefighter (which he did for three years). While still a firefighter, he volunteered on the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council (where I worked with him). Then he was appointed to the RVMAC and has continued to volunteer there. Simultaneous to his public service at the RVMAC, he was appointed to the board of the Redwood Valley County Water District where he is now president. During all of this public service, he was working a full-time day job as a farmer and ranch manager and raising a family. He listens to Board of Supervisors meetings while he works so that he can keep up on the issues. 

Adam is whip-smart and also works hard to dig into the issues. Ask anyone he’s every worked with and they will tell you Adam brings a lot to the table—not just opinions but facts and experience. For example, while other candidates have coopted Adam’s talking points on our region’s water crisis and the challenges we face with the removal of two dams and the threatened diversion from the Eel River to the Russian River, Adam educated himself quickly and deeply, and got involved. His white paper on this issue, which was published in several local newspapers and requested by organizations in Sonoma and Marin Counties, has been a valuable resource to those trying to understand and engage in this complex issue. Likewise, when Redwood Valley County Water District had no irrigation water to offer its farmers, he helped to broker a creative workaround with Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District that brought us the irrigation water so many farmers rely on. This is the kind of leader we absolutely need on the Board of Supervisors. 

I am very concerned that Madeline Cline's recent mailer focusing on PG&E's decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project claims that if she is elected to the BOS, she will “stand up to PG&E” and stop them “from stripping Mendocino County of our water resources.” This just makes me think she doesn't actually know what the BOS has jurisdiction over. She is making promises she literally has no way of keeping. We need someone who understands the job and doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear.

Our County government faces immense challenges and it desperately needs expertise, accountability and toughness from its elected officials. Of the four candidates for District 1 Supervisor, only one can offer what is needed. I hope residents of District One will join me in voting for Adam Gaska. 


Sattie Clark

Redwood Valley

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Assemblyman Jim Wood, PO Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0002 

Senator Mike McGuire, 1021 O Street, Suite 8610, Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Representatives, 

We are the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council (RVMAC) in Mendocino County. We are writing to ask you to co-author the bill to Repeal the Utility Tax AB 1999. A planned increase of utility bills of $30 to $70 per household per month, even if the lights are off, is set to pay for PG&E’s transmission lines only. Millions of people who barely get by, try to lower their electric usage, will get hit with this unless you act. The mistake made by passing AB205 in 2022 is becoming apparent, and this grid charge would serve to discourage energy conservation, unless it is repealed. Please help fix this mess by June 30 to protect millions of people from bill increases. Will you co-author AB1999?

(This correspondence is the voice of the RVMAC on a matter of concern for the community, and not necessarily the opinion of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.)


Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council

Dolly Riley, Jini Reynolds, Chris Boyd, Marybeth Kelly, Patricia Ris-Yarbrough, Adam Gaska, Fran Laughton, and Kahli Johnson

Cc: Supervisor Glenn McGourty, Clerk of the Board

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Dear Editors,

Darwin believed that humans were descended from monkeys and apes, but recent US politics strongly indicate that many of us evolved from ostriches and lemmings.

I’m writing as a life-long Democrat, because of the deafening silence among Democratic party functionaries, Senators, and House members about Joe Biden. He’s a good-hearted man, but he’s 81 years old, in a stressful job, with wars or threatened wars in the Ukraine, Israel, Yemen, Iran, Korea, and Taiwan, plus a tragic humanitarian crisis on our border. We’re one heartbeat away from Kamala Harris as president, and…two heartbeats away from Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House.

Joe Biden abandoned Afghanistan, betraying countless women who thought they could finally work, wear western clothes, and educate themselves, until the Taliban took over and forced them back into the Middle Ages. And, though we should uphold Israel as a sovereign nation, we shouldn’t allow one penny of military aid towards the starvation, mass destruction, and killing of civilians in Gaza. The trauma will resound for generations. 

Please vote for Congressman Dean Phillips in the presidential primaries. The Democratic establishment has deliberately manipulated him off primary ballots in several states. The table of contents in our official California voter information guide shows “Presidential Candidate Statements” on Page 3, but they aren’t there; you have to go online to to see them. Few people will do that. 

If President Biden wins the Democratic nomination, we can choose him in November.


Michael Lloyd


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I read your republication “Why there's no Green Party in Mendocino” from Olivia Dugan circa 2000 with great interest. Memories of my own desire to help create a viable Green Party here in Mendo; were scraped out of some dusty backroom memory banks; since the Ten Key Values align quite directly with my personal political philosophy; and we are a rural county with many left-leaning people; I thought we should be able to generate a viable political entity here locally.

So I joined the County Council around late 90s / early 2000s. There are very few political endeavors I completely regret participating in, but this is one! Dugan’s essay is spot on; the wingnuts were in fact in charge of the asylum. I thought a responsible and committed CC might change that. Of course Richard Johnson, the One True Green, aka OTG, was a huge obstacle to forming a coherent, interpersonally respectful organization. But underneath the layers of his obvious toxicity masked a layer of people who would much rather posture than do the hard work of building a political party. 

I gradually began to realize the fruitlessness of my endeavors, which came to a focal point in 2006, when Els Cooperrider ran for Fifth District Supervisor against incumbent David Colfax. I was thrilled and believed we had a viable candidate to organize around when my fellow CC members failed to coalesce around Els for varying reasons that I viewed as lame. I resigned my position and went to work for Els, gradually becoming her informal campaign manager. 

Although we gave Colfax a good push, he won in the primary narrowly avoiding a fall run off. Els eventually rewarded me with a $100 check and a free meal at the Ukiah Brewing Company any time I was in town, which I took her up on many times until some years later when my ethics kicked in and I stopped.

I stayed a registered Green myself, again for the sole reason that its Ten Key Values aligned with my outlook. I stayed a Green until when I declared my own candidacy for the Fifth district. I was advised by Els and others that many Dems would never ever vote for a Green.

Since I saw no reason to lose votes over an issue that I considered insignificant and a label did not change who I was, and the temporary ascendancy of Bernie Sanders (before the corporatists whipped him back into line) gave some moral cover; I became a Dem.

Well that’s all for now. As it’s said to not speak ill of the dead, and some of the still-living who I’ve salvaged affectionate relationships with, so I don’t wish to say more.

But, perhaps someday if the stars align correctly; I might don an infantry helmet and meet you guys in your Boonville Bunker; and share a few more stories that will solicit more eye rolls. 

Until whenever, Cheers! 

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

PS. About the OTG being dead, I’m sure it’s OK to speak ill of him, as he would wear it as a badge of honor!

PPS. I fully realize this letter may be of no interest to your readership. This is just what happens when you become an OG!

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I am supporting Carrie Shattuck for Supervisor in District 1. Carrie has run a small business, made payroll, and hired and fired employees. From what I have observed at the Board of Supervisors meetings, Carrie has no problem speaking her mind with an unvarnished honest opinion. We do not need more “cheerleading” and word salad speeches from the dais. We the citizens of this county need a no nonsense representative who can call bullshit on bullshit and hold county management and staff accountable. The First. District has always been a Farm Bureau seat. We need a change from business as usual and that change is Carrie Shattuck.

Scott Ward 

Redwood Valley

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Dear Editor,

Voting has already begun, and we all want the most qualified candidates for Supervisor. I am concerned about some red flags I see and would like to share them for others to consider.

I listened to Madeline Cline’s interviews on the radio, was present at the SEIU 1021 interview, and attended the Democratic and Republican meet and greet events. Ms. Cline, who was born in 1998, has been in the work force for a scant 3 or 4 years according to her Linkedin page, (which may have been taken down). She refers to herself as a “public policy expert”, with a “wealth of experience”, and claims she is the best candidate for Supervisor based on the 2-3 jobs she’s had in her short life. There is a term for this: “hu·bris” : a noun, meaning exaggerated pride or self-confidence. 

Ms. Cline is also very glib in using “county-speak” when describing issues. Her comments about the Public Health Department being just fine, also make me concerned. She claims she spoke with staff at Public Health, and no one complained about the county engaging in such poor management practices as to constitute such a toxic work environment that caused over 20 employees to leave, retire, or be fired. 

Did she speak with any of the very senior and experienced staff or former management who left? Or was she hand-fed the information the CEO wanted her to hear and then spout it back to the community? Are the newly hired, inexperienced Public Health staff even aware of what is necessary for a functioning Public Health department? 

Is Ms. Cline mature enough to recognize when people are using her for their own ends? I am glad Ms. Cline is concerned and engaged, but perhaps it would be better for this 26-year-old to gain some real experience before attempting to run the county at a time of dire consequences. 

As I said, I want the best, most qualified candidate for the job of Supervisor. What I want to see in a candidate is maturity, intelligence, and especially humility. Adam Gaska possesses these qualities and has been involved in community service longer than Ms. Cline has been on this earth. Adam is the best candidate for the job, and will make a great supervisor for the 1st district.

Julie Beardsley


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Right on time, a Republican Congressman has announced that Russia is placing nukes on the moon to bomb us.  Of course, he was condemned by other Republicans, and the issue was downplayed by the Biden Administration. But the idea lingers; the fear has been sparked.  It is all theater to suppress citizen objection to US instigated wars, vigorously aided by the MIC owned press.  Comments like:  ‘We must fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here’ are standard.  VP Harris defends US global leadership in defense of global engagement, and asserts that the US is the defender of longstanding rules and norms that have provided for unprecedented peace.  Consider Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Palestine, Indonesia, Syria, Kosovo, Lebanon, Yemen, and many African countries.  The US has had troops on the ground or fomented trouble or sold arms to support conflicts in all these countries.

Our government has used propaganda to sway us since WWI.   Both parties are captives of the military/industrial/congressional complex.  We are a nation that profits from war.  US Administrations violate ‘rules based order’ whenever it suits them.  We people are kept frightened.  We are kept busy earning to be part of the American dream.  When not working, we are entertained by an abundance of crap and sports.  As a nod to soma and the Brave New World, more and more states are approving marijuana. This is in addition to booze and both legal and illegal drugs.  Our leaders prefer a docile population.

The Mexican/American war was started by America for vast territory.  The Spanish American war was started by America (the Maine blew up by itself) to take Spanish possessions. President Wilson promised to keep us out of WWI, then used early psyops to demonize Germans and suck us into the war, which brought America out of a recession.  FDR embargoed Japan’s oil, an act of war.  He transported weapons to England before our entry in WWII, and that war brought us out of the Great Depression.  America took advantage of the devastation of Europe to control the world’s oil and currency.  When challenged, the US government destroys the challenger – e,g., Qaddafi in Libya, who pushed for a Pan Arab Africa, and leaving the dollar. More recently, PM Khan of Pakistan was imprisoned with US help because he would not support the US sponsored war in Ukraine.  America purports to be for democracy and freedom until our leaders don’t like the result, e.g. oil rich Venezuela.  After Maduro won the presidency, our administration recognized Juan Guaido, who wasn’t even running for president. It is all American imperialism.  This, too, is the reason for our unwavering support for Israel.  They are the tip of America’s spear in the oil rich Middle East.

Hitler made his position on world domination clear.  Has Putin?  Why are Romney and Biden and others saying Putin will take Europe over?  Putin has a vast country to the east to cultivate.  Unpopular though it is in the US, the Eastern Russian provinces voted to be with Russia.  Crimea voted to be with Russia.  Of course, the US claims that the votes were rigged.  Many in this country say the same about our elections.

For President, we have a choice of Trump, who channels the id of America, and Biden, who facilitates genocides for imperialists. 

Protest endless war!  Stop the genocide in Palestine.  Stop the slaughter in the Ukraine and Russia.  Stop the China baiting. Bring the troops home from their 800 bases around the world.  Vote for candidates who will work for peace and Americans.

Joan Vivaldo

San Francisco

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Dear Editor,

Many Americans have never quite grasped the facts of life about politics. We think we are part of a great democracy where everyone has a voice. After all, there are two very different political parties, and we can vote for the very different candidate of our choice.

However, that is not much of a choice, especially when the two parties are like concrete blocks in the inflexibility of their platforms. Those platforms are dictated by individual party leaders who stamp their own specific wishes on the platform, like Trump and Biden both do.

Every four years, one of those platforms gets empowered. What happens then is seen in policies like America’s participation in the war in Gaza.

President Biden, America’s one and only power broker at the moment, says the U.S. will block another ceasefire resolution in the U.N. (AP, 2-18-24) Relations between America and Israel involve “wink-wink” deals between autocrats that are completely divorced from the concerns of their “constituents,” who do not love this war nearly as much as their leaders do.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

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I was disappointed to receive last week’s AVA with Mike Geniella's article dredging up once again the decades-too-late dream of refurbishing and seismic retrofitting the ruins of the old Palace Hotel.

Maddening as it was to have someone of his stature still pushing forward this fantasy at this late date, after decades of rot and ruin there, I thought, "for sure they read the back and forth between myself and my old buddy, Tommy Hine in the Mendo Fever website, and that you would include some opposing viewpoints". While I don't agree with Tom about a lot of things, he and I are on the same page when it comes to the possibility of EVER salvaging the crumbling  brickwork that is the only thing of value (very little at that) left on the site. This view is held by virtually all the people that I know who have any knowledge or experience in the building trades; contractors, architects, material suppliers. No one thinks that there is any possibility of its resurrection. It is telling that Geniella cites as his main source this guy Carter who works for the outfit that is eager to spend anyone's money who is foolish enough to pursue the fever dream of this grand restoration. OF COURSE he's going to say that it is possible! That's his business! Never mind if it makes any economic sense to do so; his company will have already raked in their profits before ground is even broken there and won't care if it ever is. The building in Merced that he cites was probably in much better condition than The Palace and is in a small city six times Ukiah's population.

Anyway, I looked in vain in the letters to see if my conversation with Tom Hine was included; no, but there were several other Pollyannaish ra ra letters for the impossible dream.

So now, after 3 decades of inaction on it, you guys seem to be pushing for a whole new generation of people wedded to this kitsch idea of rebuilding this ruin, hardly an architectural gem even in its heyday, which will only result in preventing ANYTHING from being done there for years or decades more, 

What people fail to understand is that even if the brickwork weren't made with crappy lime mortar that is eroding as I write, the cost of seismically retrofitting this death trap of thousands of tons of unreinforced brick would be so much more than clearing the lot and building a modern seismic steel framed structure, that no conceivable use of the property would ever have the slightest hope of paying the mortgage on the project, much less turning a profit.

I had to laugh at the appeal in Geniella's article to developers to not think about profit but about the chance to 'give back to the community' . Really? give me a break! We're talking about tens of millions of dollars to do what they're talking about. Unless Warren Buffett plans to move to town and takes a special liking to the old ruin, IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! 

PLEASE, let reason have a chance to at least create some hope of this central chunk of our humble town to someday be put to some public utility. TEAR IT DOWN!

Anyway, maybe you could print that as a LTE. You really should carry some opposing viewpoints to this maddening mau mauing of the rational amongst us who were so looking forward to the demolition of this dangerously unstable structure in the heart of town.

John Arteaga


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As a person with some experience with and appreciation of the benefits of coherent and attractive urban planning and landscapes, the recent Ukiah Daily Journal article about the proposed “complete streets” project for Ukiah incorporating six roundabouts and the destruction of even a few old, large trees was depressing. Poor Ukiah, the place gets beat up and wrecked over and over again. Did you know that State Street, old 101, used to be a two lane tree lined thoroughfare? The trees were cut down, the street widened, and then the state built the freeway bypass. Many years later the city is attempting to rectify the error, but way too late, I’m sorry. The trees being proposed to remove to construct the traffic circulation roundabouts are more valuable than the BS boondoggle construction project as represented in the article. If these “planners” were at all sensitive or aware they would certainly know that shaded pedestrian sidewalks and bikeways are desirable, especially in a summertime hell hole like downtown Ukiah. This place might just be a lost cause. And the city thinks they need six roundabouts? This is nuts. Somebody intends to make a bunch of money, that’s all. I guess just go ahead, make the streets there even worse.

Lew Chichester


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