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Letters (Apr 2, 2014)

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Dear Hahn Family,

I write this letter of condolence in the tradition of my forebears. With no edits. My apologies for any error or misunderstanding.

Donald P. Hahn arrived in my life in 1965. Unfortu­nately so. I had a passel of elderly relatives ready to die. In the little town of Mendocino. And no general practi­tioner to die with. Until Don came along. At age twelve, I figured him to be something of a Dr. Kervorkian. He shows up. People die. End of story.

Like my uncle Joe Mendosa. Father of Alvin. Son of Frank. The founder of Mendosa’s Grocery. My first job. Then my uncle Joe Fraser. Father of Jeanette. Husband of Alvin. My deer hunting role model. And finally, my maternal grandmother, Bertha Payne. My mother’s mother. The person I never liked. But should have.

My family would remember that year as “Stay alive in sixty-five”. I faulted Don for his ineptness. What kind of doctor would let so many people die? And so many of my relatives. I first met Don around 1967. As a junior varsity football candidate. I had an apparent heart mur­mur. So I figured I wasn’t playing football. I was just going to die. Don figured otherwise. So I played football instead. In 1970, the Mendocino High School football team took the first league pennant in a long time. I was an all-league player, thanks to Don. At the homecoming game in 1970, I was the defensive team captain. And I had the privilege of calling the coin toss at the beginning of the game. I called it wrong. But we still won. In spite of my heart murmur.

Don became somewhat of a legend after that. Becom­ing the first chairman of the Mendocino Historical Review Board. My surviving relatives hated that. This upstart. The nerve. And so on. My take was different. This was the doctor who’d given me a break. And maybe my entire school.

This is the way it was. I didn’t choose to play foot­ball. It was necessary. We had a small school. In a small league. If I didn’t play, we might not have a team. So I did. Thanks to Don. He wasn’t there for the coin toss. Or the glory when we took the pennant. But he was there for me. So I was there for him. On the historical review board.

One of its fiercest opponents was Jacques Helfer. A faux naturalist who opposed everything Don stood for. In a weekly column of the Mendocino Beacon titled “Jack’s Corner”. Needless to say, Jacques and I went at it ham­mer and tongue for many years of matters of historical significance. I went for fact. He went for drama. So when Mr. Helfer died, I eulogized him in a poem that Don might appreciate.

Jack’s body lies over the ocean.
Jack’s body lies over the sea,
But he no longer lies in the Beacon,
And that’s all that matters to me.

Knowing Don’s taste for limericks, I did one for Jacques as well:

Tea-totaling Helfer was brash,
When converting his chips into cash,
Twas ironic, I think,
That he veered toward the drink,
Ending Jacques on the rocks with a splash.

Not that Don would approve of these. Or that his fam­ily would either. The local paper didn’t. They never published them. These poems needed to be written. And they never would have, if not for Don.

Around 1990, there was a building development afoot. At the Mendocino Campground. A huge recrea­tional complex. Lots of new buildings and roads. Within sight of the Historic District. At the time I was under contract to some Silicon Valley firms. Doing 3D model­ing. But Don wanted me to take a look at this one. So I did. The result was a set of 3D models that went before the Mendocino County Planning Commission. They denied that application. As Commissioner Geraldine Rose later pointed out to me, it was because of the 3D model, inspired by Don. By the feeble football wannabe with a heart murmur. Me.

At the age of 60, I have many accolades to my credit. The most prominent of which is an award from the American Mensa Society for a simple board game. This wouldn’t have happened if not for Don and his treatment of me. I cannot comprehend the magnitude of your loss. I can only thank you for bringing Donald P. Hahn to my town.


Scott M. Peterson


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Dear Editor,

Inspired by diesel generators, indoor grow scenes, inap­propriate growing practices and rapacious greed we have been moved to form the Emerald Triangle Herbalist Guild and Auxiliary.

The Guild is open to those who have taken an extended course of general herbal study and tend a humble garden that includes cannabis among other therapeutic herbs. Herbalists who eschew bagged soil, commercial fertiliz­ers, overwatering, clones, artificial light, poisons of any kind, etc. Those who grow and handle cannabis like a sacred herbal medicine. Herbalists who take a slow, modest, artisan approach to their gardening and know true medicine is grown outside in harmony with and beneficial to the surrounding ecosystem. Folks who strive for a small footprint on the Earth and grow with the ideals of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and spiritu­ality.

The auxiliary is open to gardeners who share this phi­losophy and vision. Those who tend a humble garden of cannabis and other herbs and edibles. The Auxiliary is also open to healthcare providers and consumers who care about the spirit of their medicine.

We envision the Guild and Auxiliary to be an organiza­tion of education and support with one possible goal being the creation of a Guild certification program. "Organic" doesn't mean much anymore. Peruvian seabird guano, Jamaican bat guano, northwest forest floor maybe organic, but are they sustainable? Are they ethical if their harvest destroys wildlife habitat? We hold to higher ide­als, believing spirituality, nature, sustainability, and a sense of place are integral to growing a medicine garden.

Using cannabis for spirituality, recreation, and healing has been an art much longer than people in white lab­coats have been poking medical marijuana with a stick.

If you want to come together with people of a like mind and embrace 12,000 years of herbal tradition, please join us for our first meeting! It is Sunday, April 6, 2-4pm, Laytonville Garden Club, Harwood Road, Laytonville, California. For more information e-mail

Thank you! Rosie Brown


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To The Editor:

Incredibly, Mendocino County Supervisors voted to allow people to hunt bears and bobcats with dogs. Four people showed up to support this. Steve Johnson spoke for himself, his mom and dad (and probably the Houndsmen for Conservation guy), saying: “I want to have my dogs. I want to hunt bears. It’s what I like to do.”

What could be more fun than terrorizing and killing ani­mals?

No one showed up to oppose lifting the ban because: a) we didn’t know about it; and/or b) we gave the supervi­sors more credit than that.

Invoking the First Strike policy, Supervisor Carre Brown stated that allowing hunters with dogs to kill bears will reduce the number of bears that get into trouble and have to be killed. Supervisor John Pinches pointed out that “You’ve got to give people something to do.”

How about picking up trash beside the highways? Chas­ing each other around in Yogi Bear and Mr. Peabody costumes? Searching for yetis?

We’ve lived in the remote mountains of Mendocino County for 30 years. Have we ever had problems with “marauding wildlife”? No. Unless you count pot growers and drunk guys with guns driving around in Jeeps during hunting season.

CD Grant


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Dear AVA,

I love your paper. It makes living here so much more bearable. Your stuff about Frisco puts me on its streets. I do wish Todd Walton could put a cork in it for a while. You owe him money or something? I guess he fills some space but damn, he's just not that good.

Spec and McEwen and that lady Kim Nicolini are very good reads. She did a story about the influence of Lou Reed and his song, Heroin, had on her. She took me back.

When I get my paws on your paper I first look for Farm to Farm and for anything from Kim Nicolini. If they are not inside I curse and go to the letters section and then to McEwen.

Take care of yourself. We need you and your AVA.

You know the court report is history in the Fort Bragg and Mendocino rags that might be a good addi­tion.

You could send Todd Waldon packing and have plenty of room for the court report.

Just a dream.

Long live the AVA and KMUD; Down with Aigner and Coate.



Ed note: A little something for everyone, Noel, at the big banquet provided weekly by Boonville's beloved newspaper. In fact, the editor generates the most complaints followed by McEwen, and poor McEwen has to walk into the jackal's lair of a county courthouse every day to do his job, the jack­als nipping at his heels all the while. Guy said to me the other day he didn't think Hemingway “was any good.” I almost fell over backwards. I was afraid to ask him who he thought was good for fear he'd say Garrison Keillor.

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Dear Editor,

I’m writing again for two reasons. First, when I heard there was a response to my letter in the AVA, I was intrigued. I thought maybe there was going to be some intelligent banter. But alas, it was not.

Since Cozis Grotto is obviously a made up name, I don’t know if you’re a place or a person. I do know one person who said she knew who you were. But she wouldn’t say because she said, “You weren’t worth addressing.” She probably was right. If you’re going to write something in the newspaper, and talk a little smack while you’re at it, stand behind it with your real name.

But you should at least do a little research. You could start with my previous letter. You seem to have missed a lot more than just my point. Fact is, I am a redneck! At least I fit better in that category than any of the others you mentioned.

The mentality that takes over and makes two grown men who are having a good time, laughing and visiting with friends, suddenly decide they’re going to start a fight and tear shit up with no provocation — is not limited to any one group. But it is bad behavior. I don’t care how you were brought up.

And secondly, if I did offend any rednecks, friends or otherwise, I do apologize. That was not my intent.

D’Ann Wallace


PS. And just for the record, I’m more like a “She Bear” than a “Hard Ass.”

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Letter to the Editor,

“What an Effective Mental Health System Looks Like” was a recent Wellness Center Health Forum sponsored by the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Sixty people came together and half signed up to meet again and get on our Supervisors Agenda to ask for Mental Health Services. If three supervisors declare that County Mental Health and Ortner Management Group must use federal and state funds for mental health patients in accordance with Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 5600.4; Cali­fornia Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 9 Rehabilitative and Developmental Services, Chapter 11 Medi-Cal Spe­cialty Mental Health Services; then our County Mental Health Services will be effective and in compliance with State and Federal laws.

For $27 million annually, Mendocino County can have: 24/7 Pre-Crisis and Crisis Services, 24/7 Crisis Residen­tial Treatment Services with stays up to 30 days, Medi­cation Education and Management, Rehabilitation and Support Services, Vocational and Residential Services. We can also have a Mobile Unit to take some of these services to outlying areas, collaborating with Health Clinics, Family Resource Centers, and other spaces for possible shared office use times. IMAGINE how this would transform the world of mental health patients, their families and friends, and so many others in our communities; and also our hospitals and law enforce­ment.

Call me at 937-3339 if you want to work with us.

Sonya Nesch, Author of

‘Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness’


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Property Management

Why was or is the lawful River Garden Apartments tenant (Durand Evan) and or River Garden Apartments unit # 48 lawful visitors refused and or in other ways not permitted, by River Garden Apartments Property Man­agement to have a lawful State of California registered gun on River Garden Apartments property ? Why was I (Durand Evan tenant of River Garden Apartments # 48) refused or in other ways obstructed, harassed; or not permitted to have a properly registered "motorcycle" on River Garden Apartments property " Why was I or my disabled person visitors scooter prohibited from safely parking our property in a 6 x 12 safety accommodation trailer, regardless of having previously being given writ­ten consent so as to safely keep personal disabled person access transportation motorcycle and or a visitors scooter safe, from access by gay hating community drug gangs ; discriminatory vandals etc. (vanadium damage) and safe from weather damage and or safe from other environ­mental element s careless driver damage etc? Why were City of Fort Bragg gay or disabled war veteran visitors or other gay friendly visitors prevented from having safely parking accommodations by allowing Durand Evan to reasonably protect disabled person motorized scooter access vehicles as could have reasonably parked in a safety parking enclosure while they are transferred into a transport van for near by forestland's outings, fishing outings or participating in a GAY tenant event on the River Garden Apartments common grounds? Why was Durand Evan prevented from reasonably respecting and accommodating the safety needs or visitors and the asso­ciated safety of tenant and visitor property of gay dis­abled or Elderly mobility challenged fronds etc, Why is Durand Evan not allowed to provide needed safe enclosed disabled person parking accommodations, dur­ing rainy days etc as could be safely and reasonably pro­vided to visitors etc. by the disabled gay resident?


Durand Evan

Fort Bragg

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Here's a little string you might be interested in follow­ing:

The White Rose, a novel by B. Traven, author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, "...concerns the efforts of an American oil company to purchase a Mexican ranch from its unwilling owner..." — Wikipedia. This book was published in 1929.

Guantanamera, the popular song logged on top 40 charts in the U.S. by the Sandpipers, was written by Joseito Fernandez in Cuba in 1930.

The lyrics...

(chorus) Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera (x2)

Yo soy un hombre sincero

De donde crecen las palmas (first two lines of each verse x2)

Y antes de morir me quiero

Echar mis versos del alma


Mi verso es de un verde claro

Y de un carmen encendido

Mi verso es un ciervo herido

Que busca en el monte amparo


Cultivo una rosa blanca

En julio como en enero

Para el amigo sincero

Que me da su mano franco


Por los pobres de la tierra

Quiero yo mi suerte echar

Y el arroyo de la sierra

Me complace mas que el mar


[Please excuse the absence of Spanish-style punctua­tions]

Close English translation...

I am a truthful man from the land of the palm trees

And before dying I want to share these poems of my soul

My poems are soft green. My poems are also flaming crim­son.

My poems are like a wounded deer seeking refuge in the forest

I grow a white rose in July just as in January

For the honest friend who gives me his open hand

With the poor people of the earth I want to share my fate

The streams of the mountains please me more than the sea.

“Guajira” is apparently from the Caribe, meaning country folk, or hillbilly, still used that way in Cuba, Colombia, etc. It's also the word for the musical three-chord structure in lots of tunes in Latin America. Con­temporary Cubans still try to outdo each other improvis­ing verses for these ditties. The gulag station at Gitmo's gotta figure big in there somewhere… I can knock out a couple three-chord numbers, myself.

The White Rose Society, the anti-nazi group of Munich students and other activists who arose in the thirties in Germany, are quoted as saying they took their name from this book of Traven's. Quotes from that mostly-executed outfit are rapidly becoming more popular around the world today — as well they might be.


Rick Weddle


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About four weeks ago I stopped in the County Clerk’s office in Ukiah to find out when the last election of the Anderson Valley CSD Board of Directors was. Auditor Meredith Ford said she would look it up and get back to me (no answer). After a few weeks I sent her a letter asking that question and the legality of CSD offi­cers who are not elected (no answer).

Enclosed is the second letter I sent out in March of 2014. (So far, no answer.) It has been my experience that when government doesn’t answer they are hiding some­thing.

In our country, government is supposed to be transpar­ent. People who propose incorporating Anderson Valley tell of all the great things that incorporating will do, when all we get is more taxes and fees and regula­tions. Those same people come up with all kinds of excuses and are not held accountable.

A few great examples as I have noted before. The new approach to the SF Bay Bridge is four or five times over estimate and many times over the time of the time and cost promised the public. The high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco — already they have raised the estimated cost many billions more than passed by the voters which should have made the measure void with another new and different measure put to the voters. But instead they are going ahead with this one. Actually a crime, but government gets away with it.

Then there is the Smart Train from Cloverdale to Lark­spur that has been downgraded to Santa Rosa to San Rafael that’s been going on forever and all we hear or see is that they keep getting more money from various sources. And no matter how much money they get it’s never enough. Meanwhile they keep spending it on nothing.

Then there is the local California Fire Station which was perfectly fine with the building they need, but even with the State in financial oblivion they spent millions tearing down and rebuilding this small city which will also cost three times as much to maintain and which had all kinds of mistakes by the government. The costs must have doubled or tripled and of course no government people are held accountable. Remember they rebuilt all over the state fire stations that were not necessary. All over the state when they are broke.

Then there is the Willits bypass, a complete fiasco. I hate to estimate how much time and money over its original estimate, if we live long enough to find out.

These are just a few examples of government fraud that happen not just once in a while, but most of the time. If these trains had absolutely any chance of being profit­able, Silicon Valley is full of people and companies with lot of money who would jump at the chance.

Then there is the private world like the McDonald’s in Ukiah. They tore the old building down and were in business in the new restaurant in about a year. Or the new casino in Rohnert Park, a monster building also built and running in about a year.

Just a note about three state senators who have been slapped on the wrists for crimes due to campaign contri­butions. Most of the legislators have skeletons in their closets due to campaign contributions. The reason it took the FBI to do something. For more than 30 years I have advocated a $10 limit by any company, organization or person. By the way, the FBI are not angles either.

Attached: To Meredith Ford, 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah CA 95482.

March 19, 2014 — A few weeks ago I came into your office and asked when was the last election of the Boonville CSD officers. You said you would have to look it up and get back to me. You never did. About a week ago I sent you a letter asking the same questions plus what are the ramifications? Are they legal if not elected? Again no answer. Government has a habit of being secret which is very wrong. Please answer.

Emil Rossi


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To the Editor,

KZYX's signal has been down all day, March 31. Almost certainly, the signal will be down tomorrow, too. The problem appears to be the main STL receiver at Cold Springs. This is a recurring problem. Maybe if KZYX spent less on payroll, and more on equipment and technology, Mendocino County would have a public radio station that really worked.

Recurring equipment failures is only one good reason I filed my complaint with the FCC. There are others. KZYX is managed like a private clubhouse for the five people who work there. It's a jobs program. Way too much of the $675,000 raised from the station's 2,300 members is spent on salaries.

And management refuses to disclose salaries.

John Sakowicz



“First 91.7 went down this morning — Monday March 31—- and then after 3 PM 90.7 went down. Both may be weather related. 91.5 is located on Laughlin Peak and even with a 4X4, it was too snowy to reach the transmit­ter building at the top. We hope that the problem is an iced-over antenna on the system that receives the signal from Cold Springs Peak across the county. We will not likely be able to get to it until it thaws, which could take several days. If it is ice on the antenna, it will come back of its own accord once it thaws. The 90.7 problem is under investigation. Rich is on his way up there. It could be that the power generator went down up there.”

PPS. I say, fire the GM. Eliminate the GM position. Use that money to hire an engineer. A real engineer. Doesn't this seem obvious? We don't need a GM. KZYX is a small station. Five employees. 100 or so volunteer pro­grammers who pretty much manage themselves. We need equipment that's reliable. And we need technology, i.e., archived shows, an interactive webpage, Twitter and Facebook pages for programmers, a Ukiah studio at KMEC that uses Voice Over Internet, etc. What we don't need is a GM — top-heavy, management, bullshit poli­cies, internecine fighting.


  1. mark April 3, 2014

    Around the country, it’s a similar story at other ‘public’ stations. A tiny clique runs everything, often illegally, and money is never available to renew transmitters, which are patched together indefinitely, frequently needing repair.

  2. Larry Vance April 4, 2014

    True enough, Mark. But ‘public’ broadcasting is a myth. It’s government propaganda. Last week I saw some episodes of the four part History of The Jews on PBS narrated by a self-proclaimed Zionist. There was some factual history co-mingled with a great deal of pandering to the worst Jewish paranoia.

    The Jews were in fights with every other group and the other groups were always wrong. If as an individual you went to a Jewish shrink with this kind of fabricated history wherein every one else was always wrong and you were always persecuted, he’d give you several DSM classifications. Paranoid being the most favorable.

    By the way PBS had 20 minutes of commercials during this Jewish history episode in just one of the four parts.

    There is no “public” anything. Public always means government controlled.

    The only socialist proposal I favor is outlawing private campaign funding so Sheldon Adelson doesn’t buy the next President AND limiting the Prez and both houses of Congress to one six year term AND when your term is up you have to leave the DC area instead of setting up a lobby practice there.

  3. John Sakowicz April 4, 2014

    Even as KZYX General Manager John Coate was demanding a 10 percent raise in 2013, making him the highest paid General Manager in KZYX history, he knew that our broadcasting equipment was failing. He knew that better than anybody, because Coate is a self-described techie.

    This dereliction of duty is one of the many good reasons I filed my FCC complaint. Having a signal that’s down for three whole days, as we did at KZYX this week, tells me one thing — KZYX does not deserve to have its license renewed under Coate.

    This dereliction of duty almost rises to criminally negligent behavior. Why? Because KZYX serves the vital function of being the Emergency Broadcast System in times of emergency. If an earthquake had hit during those three days when KZYX’s signal was down, as it did in did in the cities of Brea and La Habra, southeast of Los Angeles, shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday — a magnitude 5.1 earthquake — KZYX would have silent. Nothing but dead air.

    This is unacceptable. This is not cool. The people of Mendocino County deserve better.

    Hence, I will continue agitating for necessary change at KZYX. I will not stop. And I hope the community joins me.

  4. Larry Vance April 4, 2014

    I just read Sonya Nesch’s letter and while I do not want to abuse my letters privileges here by overdoing it I need to respond.
    Many people labeled ‘mentally ill’ do not wish to be ‘helped’ by their self-proclaimed helpers.
    There are very few cases of such people suffering from actual physical, pathologically diagnosed organic damages and when these do exist such as in mental retardation and Alzheimer’s they are always physical diseases.
    100% of the conditions labeled as medical regarding our human invented concept of ‘mind’ are epistemological. Many people have distorted thinking processes but it doesn’t come from an actual brain disease. And it is not cured by drugs, electric shocks or pre-frontal lobotomies.
    Or involuntary commitment.
    Any kind of drugs can alter behavior but that doesn’t prove they are dealing with a genuine disease. ‘Mind’ doesn’t actually exist in the real physical world but is a term we use to describe
    thinking precisely because we don’t know the physical to mental connection, if any.
    People should not lose their freedom unless they have committed actual crimes against OTHER persons. We do have the right to take our own lives. Any country that has seen 80 million abortions since Roe V. Wade can hardly get indignant at 10,000 annual gun suicides.
    The insanity defense should be abolished.
    As the Dan White verdict proved in spades.
    We have a tendency to medicalize every anti-social behavior and it’s getting absurd.
    The psychiatric DSM has expanded the list of ‘mental disorders’ by the hundreds over the years.
    Homosexuality used to be so categorized and now homophobia is ! There’s even a paraphilism disorder for rapists.
    You will notice that when people label someone mentally ‘sick’ it is always in a nasty condescending tone which never demonstrates any real caring.
    Psychiatry today is supported en toto by Big Pharma.
    I think talking therapy can sometimes be helpful.
    But there we are talking about a philosophical or more cognitive psychology.
    Anyway thanks for letting me share my thoughts here as I am heartily fed up of the self-serving nonsense of professional ‘mental health’ advocates.

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