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Letters to the Editor 1/20/2009


An open letter to the citizens of round Valley,

As the mother of Lindon Duke I am writing to all of you regarding the character and integrity of my son.

On Friday evening, December 18, 2009, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman arrived at Lindon's home and served him with a letter of termination from his position with the Round Valley Tribal Police. This action was done at the direction of the Round Valley Tribal Council.

I feel that termination is unjust and unfair as Lindon has served this community faithfully and to the best of his ability. The Tribal Council stated no reason for his dismissal.

During the years that he has been employed by the tribes, Lindon has, in addition to his prescribed duties, donated countless hours which have never been compensated. Some of these duties included carrying firewood to elders and such extraordinary tasks as removing a live snake from an individual's home where it was a danger to children.

Lindon has lived in Round Valley since the age of two except for the years he served in the United States Army as a military policeman in Germany, Panama and Louisiana. Upon receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Covelo and has lived here since that time.

Since Lindon's dismissal, many rumors have circulated in regard to this matter. Number one is that he was fired because he is alleged to have covered up information pertaining to the Short Creek shooting incident in which one young man lost his life and another was severely wounded. Two of my grandchildren had the misfortune to be present at this tragic heartbreaking event. It is being told that Lindon withheld evidence in order to protect his niece and nephew.

I cannot accept that Lindon is guilty of this accusation and I do not believe that anyone who knows him well would believe it either. If anyone at any time has ever accused him of dishonesty it has never been brought to my attention.

All of you have the right to make your determination of this rumor. I wish to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


Linda Duke Borges


To the Editor:

After reading Dave Smith's latest letters letter to the editor in the Ukiah Daily Journal in which he stated that he feels Tommy Wayne Kramer is a closet environmentalist, I forced myself to sit down and ask myself the following question: Am I more offended by the fact that Tommy Wayne Kramer may be a closet environmentalist, or by the fact that Dave Smith is an obnoxious, braying ultra far left progressive?

I've got to tell you folks, that was one contest Dave Smith won absolutely hands down.

Thank you,

David Anderson



To the Editor:

While most people probably didn't notice or have the opportunity to watch the Board of Supervisors attempt on January 5 to cut the elected officials’ salaries, I did. I am a County employee and I took the time to record it and watch when I got home.

I was struck as I watched the meeting progress by the way the powers that be run the County. The details of the proposal are not as important as how it was introduced and comparisons to other actions of the board. I applaud the five elected officials for showing reason and leadership and stating real facts in the face of a serious lack of the same by the Board of Supervisors and the CEO. Quite frankly, they show the type of professionalism, logic, knowledge and fairness that decisions should be made with.

As I do my daily job processing the truckload of reduced assessed value tax roll corrections and refunds, knowing the effect this has on our County's revenue base, I am worried. We would all like to be treated fairly and we should expect that. But I see it isn't happening.

If we want fairness, then let's make it mandatory that all board members take the same pay cut the rest of the employees have endured and the five elected officials voluntarily took already. Ms. Smith and Mr. Colfax: please take your pay cut immediately before you make any more cuts to other hard-working employees and especially attempt any more pay raises for your own.

That would be fair.

Lucy Simonsen



Dear Bruce Patterson,

Thank you so much for articulating the reality of war.

I work in public health. Maybe I got to peace activism and public health because my first job at 14 was at a VA Home and Hospital in the 1960s.

I want to eliminate PTSD from the vocabulary. PTSD is a relatively new psychiatric diagnosis first developed to identify the illness of holocaust survivors. It is extraordinarily overused.

In my writing and speaking I talk about War Sickness. I believe War Sickness affects every person in war zones; soldier, citizen, health care people, everyone. It is a highly contagious disease and it is a normal affect of war.

I think those who deny their war sickness are the scariest. Like McChrystal using his Vietnam experience (!!) to “lead” in Afghanistan. Powell — all of them who deny their war sickness and turn it into a career step to killing people in more and different countries.

More sensitive people, more aware people sometimes get lost to War Sickness.

Here is a link to a dear friend's interview about his newly released poetry book on his time in Vietnam called The Smell of Blood. He describes the way the Dine (Navajo) cleanse the warrior upon their return.

Thank you for speaking out and honoring the millions of Vietnamese and other southeast Asians who died to elect US presidents. And all those still dying today for the same reason.

Carol Miller




What is Mendocino County’s real justice system?

I write this letter with the hope that the people of Mendocino County open their eyes. Let's say I am involved with the court system in Ukiah. I have worked for enough years to know that things are not really right with the way our justice system is run. I observe on a daily basis the inner workings of what they call the “justice system” that says a person is innocent until proven guilty. This is hardly the truth! I don't know how other counties in our state work, but I will say this county does more behind closed doors wheeling and dealing with people's lives than you could ever imagine. If the people of the state or the press ever got hold of what really goes on here I doubt if there would be enough innocent employees left to open the courthouse doors.

The reason for this is the prosecutors, the probation department, the arresting officers, right down to the judges all work together to make and find the accused guilty. Even the court-appointed attorneys are working their way up the ladder with the prosecutors to help find their clients guilty. There is a reason they are called “court appointed.” Even private attorneys give one case to win another, and these are not based on their clients being innocent or guilty, but rather how much money they have or who the person knows. Favors are cashed in on a daily basis like lottery tickets.

From the judges to the court-appointed attorneys they all have their own agendas. Their own needs hold more importance than whether a person is innocent or guilty.

I have worked with these hypocrites for years and finally I just cannot stay silent anymore. Actually, our family will be moving far away from here soon where I can feel good about my job, myself and the community we live in. I have seen so many innocent people sent to prison. Their families are torn apart by shady deals made in back offices and judges’ chambers. I've seen very guilty people walk free over and over again. It sickens me to have them call this a justice system. Especially watching seasoned district attorneys use their position to pick and choose the cases based on their own personal agendas with little or no real evidence to prosecute people — for personal reasons.

I was brought up to be a proud American and to respect the laws of our land and the justice system that enforces those laws. Through my own eyes I have seen huge marijuana busts in the hundreds of pounds go to only a few pounds when charged. I've seen hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash turned in to only a few thousand. Where does all the extra contraband and cash go? It surely doesn't make it to the county books. I have seen charge after charge dropped and guilty people walk after only one hearing. I read in the newspaper about pot busts of 200 pounds only to hear it was actually three times that amount taken and tens of thousands of dollars of cash lost or unaccounted for. Not just the deputies, the detectives down to the booking people in the jail — they are all in on it.

So far I have not seen many bad cops arrested and I have never seen a district attorney prosecuted, just fired. I have watched the judges fight to convict people so hard they lose touch with the facts and make their decisions based on what they personally like or dislike. I have seen the ugly side of our government hurt and persecute good people.

If you don't believe me come to court and follow a high profile case. Judge for yourself if the law is for the people, by the people, or not. I think the law in this county is for the law by the law. Not for the people.

Our elected officials are either turning their heads to what's happening or are in on it and all are conspiring to seek vengeance and personal gain together. I know for a fact the cops for the most part all cover for each other. They are professional thieves. The district attorneys for the most part are hired killers of lives. All the way to the judges themselves who may not all be but mostly they work with the district attorneys and the probation department to bleed every dime from people to build the county's income and sign people up for such strict probation guidelines that no one could possibly pass them. They are quickly sent to prison for the slightest infraction.

I have been ordered to alter dates and even keep records or lose records pertaining to specific cases. I have done what I was told in fear of losing my position and even my life. I have watched a judge so obsessed with himself that he kept evidence in his courtroom like a hunter dragging a trophy kill for months and months, then I heard him talk about the accused so negatively that he had no intention of giving the person a fair chance. I have observed a judge lose his sense in his job and turn into what can only be described as a god. The specific judge I am talking about knows what I am talking about and when he reads this he should know. Someday the cat will be let out of the bag and when it does God himself won't be there to save him.

Mendocino County officials, deputies and anyone in the legal system stands with notice. I am not alone. There are many other honest people who work hard and take pride in their jobs. Your time will come. I pray for the many innocent men and women who have been prosecuted wrongly, their families torn apart by our so-called “county officials.” Their blood is on your hands, someday you will be held accountable if not on earth then by God himself. I am ashamed to be part of your scam, the one you call law enforcement.


Leaving Soon
Fort Bragg



To whom it may concern,

I recently read an article in your newspaper about an inmate who is going to serve time in Soledad regarding credit for time served.

He mentioned SB-18 or SBXXX18, a new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2010. This was charging three credits for two days earned and upping it to four days for every two days served. The problem is the SB number is incorrect. Was there any verification of that number?

I am currently doing time at Central California Women's Facility and we are all eager to get additional information. Except SB18 is a bill regarding some type of Indian activity.

If you have additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

Perri Hiles X37510
Chowchilla California Women's Facility Building 50571-UP
P.O. Box 1508




That was an hysterically funny letter from “Al Blue” in the Jan 13 AVA opining that Ayn Rand's writing is “the greatest literary and philosphical (sic) achievment (sic) of all human civilization.” Such an opinion is especially great given the recent Rand biographies illustrating what a hypocritical nightmare of a human being she was, in addition to being a cringingly poor writer. But really, as “Al Blue” advises, maybe you should indeed “stop printing phony letters that you concoct” — including from him, no matter how funny. Your regular correspondents are often humorous enough.

Steve Heilig
Book Critic
San Francisco



To Bruce Patterson:

Your anger comes through and you should be angry. I know. I am angry, very angry about what's happening to our military, the multiple tours, the stop loss orders, the fact that less than 1% (I think) of the population is paying the price for the stupid military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A recent article in the Wall St. Journal stated the Congressional Budget Office had concluded that we could save $44,000 a year per person by using regular troops not contractors. But of course that was probably a lot of what Iraq and Afghanistan are about — plundering the country. Remember Cheney in the first Bush adminstration did a study promoting the use of contractors then he went to Halliburton and provided contractors. He is such a great CEO that Halliburton was on its knees after buying a company with a huge asbestos liabliity. But then along came Iraq and the company started minting money. It’s basically about rape and pillage now. They are not stupid in Washington or Wall Street. They just hope things hold together long enough for them to make a fortune and then get out before the cookie crumbles.

I happened to work as a Red Cross volunteer in Walter Reed starting in the spring of '68. Maybe you were in there then. I will never forget what I saw. There is no way I could have worked the burn center in Texas. My husband did two tours in Vietnam as an F-4 pilot. I know the ground guys didn't care for the pilots who went home after missions to air conditioned trailers and steaks. But the casualty rate in his pilot class was 80%, 30% killed and 50% wounded. He got hit bad twice. He's never been to the wall. He figures if he doesn't see his friends’ names there then they aren't dead.

We were watching a program on the military channel a couple of nights ago about World War I. 20,000 killed in a day. You wonder why there isn't a revolt. The heroism and sacrifice of the soldiers is a beautiful thing, but you have to ask yourself: why should they have to do this if there is no threat to the country as was the fact in Vietnam, and certainly Iraq and Afghanistan. I honor the soldiers, I despise the politicians.

Lawrent Invest
Boston, Massachussetts




Noam Chomsky will be interviewed on KZYX's Corporations & Democracy show on Friday, January 22nd, at 1pm. Professor Chomsky, one of America's foremost political analyst, has published numerous groundbreaking books, articles, and essays on global politics, history and linguistics. Among his recent books are The New York Times bestsellers “Hegemony or Survival” and “Failed States.”

Show host Tom Wodetzki will question Chomsky about today's various crises and his latest book, “Hopes & Prospects,” wherein he sees hope for the future and a way to move forward in the new democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements which suggest “real progress towards freedom and justice.”

Tune in to hear Noam Chomsky analyze contemporary problems and describe solutions, on KZYX's Corporations & Democracy show Friday, January 22nd, at 1pm.

Tom Wodetzki, 937-1113




Not that any of the treaties signed with our native tribes mean a damn, but it is interesting to note that the US Justice Department, and Attorney General Eric Holder have suddenly discovered the horrifying crime stats on the nation’s reservations, which are over double the rates of violent crime in our surrounding society.

Of course these numbers fail to take into consideration the abject poverty and general disrepair of most of the subject communities. Even in the society at large one finds isolated ghettos of low-income natives, pacific islanders and other territorial minorities from America’s vestigial empire.

For a century our federal police of all flavors treated reservations with what, at best, might be called “benign neglect.” Somehow corporate contractors and mining companies failed to pay the tribes the royalties due for oil and mineral resources, while the Interior Department failed to notice, much less complain to the FBI, whose occasional presence on reservations were usually confined to anti civil rights investigations. This absence of outside authority left the policing to Tribal Police, hired by local Tribal counsels, and all too often plagued by nepotism and abuse of power. “Dickie” Wilson at Pine Ridge, and the MacDonald regime on the Navajo Nation are examples from recent news. Corruption became very nearly universal, with most members considering the theft of government money to be perfectly legitimate. Until the seizure of Alcatraz and the siege at Wounded Knee public attention to the plight of the impoverished tribes was nil, and the federal government equally disinterested to the point of complicity.

But that was then, this is now! Thanks to a Supreme court ruling strengthening tribal autonomy, the tribes gained gambling rights on their lands, and the gaming industry wasted no time setting up casinos across the country. Suddenly there was big money on the reservations, and nobody to control the games but the same folks who had been ripping off tribal funds forever. In California the problem was made even more difficult by the state’s policy of splitting and relocating native bands to miniscule “rancherias” scattered throughout the rural and suburban areas of the golden state.

Now comes the Obama revolution, with promises of widespread change, and some promises to the Lakota and others on the campaign trail. Suddenly the feds allow suits against big oil and mining to proceed and payments are offered to settle the court cases. Apparently the Bureau of Indian Affairs is now looking over the books on all contracts and putting several of the most objectionable on hold.

Citing statistics showing that reservation violence is epidemic the Justice Department has now announced that it would begin active law enforcement on reservations across the country, with both Federal Marshals and FBI participating, presumably in close consultation with existing tribal police (which ought to be interesting).

Will the federal attention include IRS looking into casino books? What will the tribal roll payouts be declared for income? Will close attention from the government be any better than the prior neglect, in terms of native rights?

Only time will tell, and the story is likely to be long.

Travis T. Hip (aka Chandler Laughlin)
Nevada City



Dear Editor,

With the devastation of Haiti, two glimpses of American attitudes slipped out. The Heritage Foundation, as reported by Naomi Klein, put up on its website a statement that this is the opportunity to ‘reshape’ Haiti, again the doctrine of ‘shock and awe’ (as seen in New Orleans) comes to light. The other statement was Pat Robertson asserting that the earthquake was divine retribution to the Haitian people for making a bargain with the devil that in exchange for freedom (c. 1804) the souls of the Haitian people would be turned over to him.

These two themes, that of divine opportunity and divine retribution, are fundamentally linked in the minds of far too many Americans. Add to all this that NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and private companies have essentially replaced the public sector in Haiti. In a disaster such as this, the UN, NGOs, and private contractors will first see to their own, and only after that turn to the travail of the Haitians. In all, this is such a troublesome beginning to a relief effort that may well replay the Katrina scenario. It would not be surprising to hear that at long last the ‘reshaping’ of Haiti can begin in earnest. Poor Haiti.

An image that I can’t get out of my head is that of Kurhaus, Baden-Baden. The time is post-WWII. Along the front portico of the sanitarium, a long line of stately columns rise to the extended green awning that shields the patients from the sun. At evenly spaced intervals, massive concrete block stands of potted geraniums in full bloom separate each column, beneath which sit a dozen well-dressed Germans. Alone or as couples, their pink draped tables rustling gently in the breeze, these aging scions of Germany’s elite read their morning papers and dream of a new Germany, or the old Germany of late laid low by the Allies. They are untouched by the horrors of WWII. In their spring-like designer clothes, they wait in luxury for the cure to rejuvenate their atrophied bodies, for they wish for little else than to continue for as long as possible to hold on to the life they know, the life that they know for themselves if not others. Little changes for the elite of this world. Poor world.

Frank Graham
Rancho Navarro




As a carnivore, I support our small, local, pastoral farmers. Our weekend lamb-shank stew (simmered for four hours with local organic veggies) from a Hopland family farm was superb! Other than the vegan/vegetarian community, previous opposition centered around outside investors imposing a large facility on our population center to serve distant markets. We believe that the healthiest farm is a small, “garden farm” that includes grass-fed livestock, with agricultural practices such as Biodynamics. Whether using mobile units for chickens, or more permanent structures for larger animals, sustainable community principles for local meat-processing include: humane slaughter, small-scale, location on the ranch or ranch-land outside population centers, environmentally-friendly, locally-owned.

Dave Smith



Dear Good People Who Want to Help Haiti:

HAITI: The Real Deal

As the great James Brown sings, “I Feel Good! I knew that I would!” I just donated some of my hard-earned bucks to help The People Of Haiti. I hope you will too.

According to Mary Ratcliff, Editor of The San Fransisco Bay View, “The National Black Newspaper” at, the very best way to give money to the Haitian People and make certain that it actually helps and gets to The People On The Ground is this:

1. Give online to:

2. Or by mail to:


East Bay Sanctuary Covenant

2362 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

As we tragically learned after Katrina the Red Cross totally dropped the ball, keeping thousands of dollars of the money donated to help the vicitims of Katrina. Money we sent went missing and to this day, is unaccounted for, and never got to the People on the ground! I would never again in life send any money to the Red Cross, and ask you not to either!

As for Wyclef Jean's organization Yele Haiti, according to Mary Ratcliff of the SF Bayview, she said “NO!” to that organization! She said that Wyclef supported George Bush and the coup against President Aristide, and is on the WRONG SIDE of All Things Haitian, which makes me very sad, as I love his music, and always play it! So, I ask you to NOT send money to that organization either.

I request that you please visit as well as for much more information about what is really going on in HAITI, before the horrendous earthquake, and also right now, politically and otherwise. I totally trust Mary & Willie Ratcliff (Editor and Publisher) and the San Fransisco Bay View Newspaper; I subscribe to it, and know that they are telling us The TRUTH! Check it out, Y'All! Thank you.

Peace & Justice,

DJ Sister Yasmin



Dear Mr Blue,

You may be shocked to find out that Bruce is probably less upset by being found not worthy to lick Ayn Rand's balls than she would have been to find out you'd supplied her with them. I think she'd also be rather peeved that you suggest she sweated. I won't discuss Ms Rand's philosophy (she had none), but her literary achievements fall somewhere between those of Mary Baker Eddy and Joseph Smith.

As to your comment about Martin Luther King, Jr., did you really mean to suggest that assassination is legitimate option in dealing with political opponents?


Randy Wilson
San Francisco




In the early nineties David Eyester, recently announced candidate for DA, and then a Deputy DA under Massini, kept me in jail for over 120 days claiming he had two very solid felony charges. Knowing myself that in fact there was only a single misdemeanor I took it to Court Trial (trial by judge rather than by jury) because I was arguing a point of law, not that I was entirely free of guilt.

So after four long months when I finally appeared before Judge James Luther David immediately asked to speak to the Judge in Chambers whereupon he confessed “Your honor, actually there are no felonies, only a misdemeanor.”

Incidentally, when I refused his initial offer of “if you plead to this (one) felony Peter, I'll have you out by your birthday” some three weeks away. He then claimed there were two felonies and at my next court appearance my Public Pretender Katherine Houston (now a prosecutor) told the Judge that neither she nor her department could continue to represent me. The Judge then assigned my case to Tom Mason who accepted but informed me I would have to waive my right to a speedy trial in order for them to do a credible job investigating in order to defend. A “speedy trial” means within 60 days from Arraignment. Jan Cole-Wilson of Mason's office did a very credible jop of investigation and defense.

Later, in the late 90s this same Deputy DA took my wobbler case of escaping from the Psychiatric Health Facility (sic) via a non-violent walk away, wobbled it into a felony and got me sent off to State Prison for two years and nine months.

All of which brings me to what I consider to be the second “Elephant” in the room: the charging, prosecuting, and sentencing of people known to be mentally ill.

With the Psychiatric Health Facility or “Puff” unit long closed along with the 24 hour Crisis Center with beds which followed for a time, the authorities have now only two choices when dealing with a 5150 (a danger to self or others) case: send them to an out of County facility at a cost of $900 a day, or, take them to jail at a cost to the county of what, $70 or so a day? Let me close this paragraph by stating that I realize that serious crimes committed by a mentally ill person must be accounted for but many times such a person will collect a false charge such as public intoxication just so that person may be sent to jail rather than to an out of County locked Psychiatric Ward.

I would like to propose that the Crisis Center with beds in the County building where it used to be and where Puff used to be, be re-opened and funded by a combination of Mental Health Services Act and other Mental Health Department monies as well as funds from the Sheriff’s Office and why not the DA's office as well? Overall there could be substantial savings. This operation could be staffed in the main by local trained Peer Counselors.

I have questions for David Eyester: Will you continue the standard, and I believe unfair, practice of piling on as many charges as possible on each and every case in order to make it more likely you can convince the defendent to plea baargain? Is conviction more important than justice? Second, do you intend to make any changes in the way the DA’s office will handle cases involving mentally ill folk? Also, has being a defense attorney for many years now going to have any effect on you as a prosecutor and if so, how?

I have it on from reliable sources that you have become an excellent defense attorney but I would hate to see you get elected and return to your old ways.


Peter Sears
Fort Bragg

PS. For the reader’s edification: A “wobbler” is when the prosecutor has the choice of making a charge a felony or a misdemeanor.




Many of us fought against Measure A because we believed that Ukiah had no need for out-of-county retailers stealing business from our local merchants. Yet both the City Council and the County BOS are moving ahead trying to entice CostCo to locate here either as a part of the Airport Blvd. shopping area or as a special use permit on the old Masonite Site.

Many of those who seemed so militant last fall about keeping out the DDR complex now seem to be showing their true colors: they are really well brain-washed Super-Consumers trained in front of TV screen since infancy. They like the idea of a local CostCo in town. They love to push those oversized carts around a store empty of sales help and with an unpredictable inventory. They really don't give a shit about the fate of our local merchants nor about the seedy look of empty stores on State Street that are the legacy of our previous run-ins with the Bog Box Monster. Yet, but yet, maybe they are actually the Realists: they know Little Ukiah can't keep fighting the Big Capitalists indefinitely and are willing to make this one compromise so they can frolic along the broad aisles of a Ukiah CostCo and stand for 20 minutes at the checkout.

But how will Costco impact local business. Who will be hit first? Probably the food stores: The Ukiah Valley cannot support our three big supermarkets plus both CostCo and the planned Walmart food store. Already struggling Raleys will likely go under first and those living in the north end of town without cars will be miles from a food store. Clothing retailers will also be hit including the barely alive outdoor-wear group: MacNabs, Rainbow and Tractor Supply. These, and a few small dress shops on School Street are about all that remain of our local clothing emporiums. Others likely to suffer from a Costco invasion include small appliances stores, optometrists, hearing aid outlets, druggists, wheel and tire shops, and bookstores. CostCo will even impact the local gasoline stations who now gladly fill your tank for say $15 bucks so you can rush down to Santa Rosa CostCo to save two bucks on a pound of imported cheese..Hell, CostCo gas usually undersells the regulars by 10 cents and besides we won't have to drive to Santa Rosa!

If this goes forward, it will merely prove that we remain the brain-washed consumers we have been trained to be since we first slipped on those disposal diapers. Why not locate the new CostCo just north of the county line at the Geyser Road turnoff from Highway 101? Anchored in the blue ooze, we can take bets on whether the Big Box becomes a victim of those inexorable hill-slides or whether the economy gets it first.

We know that investors in Big Box retailers have a very short attention span. When the economic downturn really hits bottom, most of our Big Boxes will collapse like a Haitian Hillside and State Street will be left looking like Dresden after the War.

Jim Houle
Redwood Valley



Dear M. Smith,

War and the military are rackets and foot soldiers always get screwed. Sometimes the worst part of surviving an overseas war is returning home, and the failure to successfully readapt to civilian life is a time-honored, ex-GI tradition. The movie Cool Hand Luke (1967) put flesh and blood on the type, WW2 edition. To call such misfits heroes is to insult them.

Most frontline soldiers come back more anti-military and anti-politician than anti-war. At least, at first. And if you are feeling alienated from the military and its government then you are going to feel alienated from the VA. Also, if you have evolved to the point that you know that whatever you learned in war wasn’t worth the price paid in human misery, seeking help or compensation can feel like asking for blood money. Most civilians believe, as you once believed, that money is money. But now you know better. Great fortunes are parlayed into greater fortunes during war, and never is there any shortage of individuals after their cut. To take the profit, and the profiteers, out of war is to abolish it.

So where are the young vets? A huge percentage of them are still trapped in the belly of the beast. While not many young men from affluent, tight knit families and communities with good jobs give it all up to become privates in the infantry during times of war, those who do and survive usually successfully readapt. Their divorce rate will be much higher than the norm, of course. But, as painful as divorce can be, not many vets will be broken by the experience. The more changes you’ve gone through, the less familiar your old lover, family and friends. While “starting anew” is not always the wisest choice, it can sure feel like tossing off a heap of baggage. Also, even for the most successful, there’ll almost inevitably be times when you sink into an isolated/desolate/sad/raging place that makes you want to jump back to where you “belong”; to finish what you left unfinished and — perversely — to find peace in killing and death.

In 2009, about 6,600 young vets committed suicide. And that doesn’t include those who’ve killed themselves driving drunk on the highway or while engaging in other kinds of recklessness. Because this generation of soldiers is being forced to pull multiple combat tours, the percentage of suicides and homicides within the ranks is much higher than in previous wars. So is the incidence of “domestic violence.” Tens of thousands of vets are locked up in stockades and brigs, county jails, prisons or are on parole. Uncounted tens of thousands are living on the streets. Far more are “self-medicating” in ways that will prove self-destructive.

So why are older vets taking advantage of the VA but not the young ones? Not many of the old ones can afford to be injured or sick and poverty grinds you down. Yet if you are young and you can’t outrun your demons, the old vets prove that you can outlive them. I wish more young vets understood that. There are reasons you have survived and you just need to find them is all. You should take advantage of the VA certain that, the way the system is set up, you’ll never get more than what you’re entitled to. So if you need or could use the sorts of help the VA can provide, have at it. Pride be damned.

Bruce Patterson




These “Off The Record” 60s reminiscences remind me of Pittsburgh and Pete LeBeau. Socio-economic privilege enabled me to avoid the draft for a few years, two of them spent hiding at Duquesne University, a school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers and situated on the best real estate in town, a high bluff in the Triangle on the north bank of the Monongahela. Pittsburgh, literally gritty and full of ethnic enclaves, was no place for antiwar sentiment.

The obsolete mills and forges along the Mon, cranking out their last big orders, the millions of tons of iron destined for Vietnam, filled the air with rank orange sulphur that hurt to breathe, while the drop hammers echoed down the valley, day and night. Most of the workers were union men, and hated their bosses, but they bled red white and blue, and looked for a man like themselves to explain things in clear language.

George Wallace was running for President, so a few of us walked downtown to the Hilton Ballroom at the Point where he was to deliver a speech. The big square room was jammed with thousands of excited and screaming partisans, clapping and hollering for George as the empty lectern sat midstage, backed by a huge American flag and a long banner reading STAND UP FOR AMERICA! Wallace, with his rough bulldog sneer, strode out and gripped the sides of the lectern, bathing in the thunderous rapture. He got right into his road speech, a speech he had given all over the country, a speech that everyone in the room already knew every word of. He was frequently interrupted by shouting and applause before he could finish each punch line. Finally he got to his most famous line, the one they were all waiting for. Several months earlier, a bunch of war protestors had blocked Defense Secretary Clark Clifford's car from exiting a parking garage in DC.

“And if any of them protestors lies down in front of my car,” Wallace bellowed, “THAT WILL BE THE LAST CAR THEY EVER LIE IN FRONT OF!”

Everybody went completely batshit, while the few weirdos and blacks and cameramen in the back of the ballroom with us glanced at each other.

Suddenly, from the middle of the crowd, Pete LeBeau stood up on his chair. Pete had hair down to his ass, which was almost unique in 1967 Pittsburgh.

Thrusting both upraised middle fingers at Wallace, Pete shouted “FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!” Pete was shoved off his chair, so he ran down the aisle and stood right in front of the stage, fingered him again and continued “FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!”

There was a brief stunned moment, then the first two rows of Wallace fans lept out of their seats and buried Pete under a hail of fists and boots. George tried to play it cool. “Now now, everybody's got a right to speak their mind,” he said several times, just before the 20 city cops, finally realizing they had to stop a riot, waded into the scrum and started tossing bodies around. At this point the few of us in back decided that it might be best to depart immediately, so we exited by the rear doors and beat feet uptown.

I never saw Pete again, and have always wondered what happened to him, and have always been amazed and inspired by his bravery. Foolish maybe, but brave.


Jay Willliamson
Santa Rosa



To the Editor:


That's the first thing that comes to mind after reading that a Utah judge gave Deborah Schlosser probation and a fine — which amounts to a slap on the wrist — after being caught transporting 162 pounds of pot last year. We are not talking about medical marijuana here, or just a little over the legal limit, but 162 pounds! How can this be a reasonable sentence to anyone with common sense?

To me, the message it sends to our young people is “commit a felony — get probation” — at least if you're lucky enough to go to court in Salt Lake City, Utah

Loretta Ellard
Redwood Valley



To the Editor:

The new “public” courthouse is projected to cost $119 million.

But we must focus on the crucial fact that only bar member lawyers are “allowed” to work in this expensive “public” courthouse.

The lawyer mouthpieces “represent” the public and garner lucrative attorneys fees.

Lawyer judges in black bathrobes oversee what amounts to a private fee generating playground for impeccably suited lawyers.

Imagine having a business where your entire “factory” is totally paid for by the very public who gets “milked” there!

The pompous legal system extracts more money from civil society than the entire medical establishment.

Rule of law, or the rule of lawyers operating in a complete monopoly.

Gerald Spezio



Dear Editor:

On thing is certain in our country. Whenever there is a tragedy you can count on Pat Robertson saying something idiotic:however, with the Haiti earthquake he really outdid himself. On his '700 Club” TV show he said that Haitian slaves 200 years “swore a pact with the devil” to get free of the French. He went on to say “True story. The devil said it was a deal and the French got kicked out. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” Now we know when Robertson says it is true it is an outrageous lie. I have come to the conclusion Robertson is really a visitor from a galaxy far, far away. As for the boobs who watch his show (americanus boobus at its best) they no doubt will support him by donating more money to his coffers.

As the old adage goes ” Fools and their money are soon separated.”

In peace,

James Updegraff




I just had an opportunity to read Mark Scaramella’s article on the Point Arena School Board’s action. Small area boards frequently do as they please. Mark has done an outstanding job of describing this case and hitting all the salient points for a “non-education system” reader. IT also gave me pause because I had intended to submit an application to the Point Arena Board for the superintendent's position that is now open. I won’t do that, now.

Robert E. Williams Ed.D., Superintendent/Principal




I was thinking that we are definitely moving into a dangerous era of technology run amok. My first thought was Brave New World, but that doesn’t fit at all ( I am frankly frightened,) it is more like the zany comedy of the past: “It’s a Mad Mad World” or it is a Nasty, Nasty World. My recent frustration stems from Layna Berman’s show Your Own Health and Fitness, where she discussed Smart Grid with Blake Levitt and Michael Neuart. The title of the show refers to the power industry’s current attempt to ram a dangerous technology down our collective throats with this 1984 double spun term called Smart when it means Cheaper and More intrusive Toxic Grid or for sure Stupid grid, if we accept it. Here’s Why:

This proposal is to allow the power folks to monitor our use, using a WiFi means that makes each of our homes a WiFi transceiver (receives and transmits.) No big deal once a month monitoring and that means less jobs for meter readers (downsizing.) No it means monitoring every 10 seconds, a WiFi surge through your house! Your house is an antenna! And how does that impact your radio/TV receivers and other heaven forbid WiFi stuff? No one knows. The so called smart part is that we will then gain smart appliance that this grid can talk to instruct the power snoops on how we use our power. Now if you have been an avid saver of dough, you probably know about the peak power use avoidance plan and the old style meters (15 years or more) that monitored peak use and charged more during that time. The meter readers got that info on their runs. You may also be aware that there are wireless vehicles that can pickup the signals in once a month drive-bys with meter download vans. That also allows the power companies to charge you for every extra second you are over the power consumption of their moment. Meanwhile the idiot real Grid that ties this all together is wasting considerable power via heat and power loss. Maybe if they are smart they could fix that first. Essentially a smart grid is no grid. Maybe a smarter grid is local neighborhood collective pods of solar power with some sort of local storage. Small is beautiful and cheaper!

If you have read my other letters regarding WiFi and cellular you know that I have found strong evidence showing this technology as dangerous ( and you can go to Layna Bermans website and down load relevant shows ( and get really excellent shows. I have a few myself from my program which you can get via or a free download of Dr. O. Johansson’s summary article. This stuff is bad news. It is bad enough that Americans glue the phone to their heads or think that the Bluetooth version is safe when it is more of the same for say 8-12 hours a day, but putting it through the home sanctuary is just sheer lunacy and dangerous. Get prepared for no more regular sleep patterns as it messes with Melatonin levels crucial to sleep and precursor to many other brain functions.

My biggest question is why do they need to know about our use patterns. My personal response is “Butt out of my private life.” But guess who will be paying for it?

You and then you. Why two you’s? Well they are using, now get ready this is what made me yell at the radio, our stimulus money, because the poor power people need money for R&D. Like hell they do! Just as much as the stingy Banks. There bilking of the American people sounds like a song for the Marines, from shore to shore, here there and everywhere. Also consider that they are using stimulus money to cut meter jobs. How about a telephone modem that logs on monthly and sends a quick signal to the mother ship?

So here is what I think you might consider doing: Contact your Representatives and cut the stimulus umbilical cord, make them pay it back, tell them to butt out and tell them to remove the stolen right via the FCC to question the safety of these dangerous health impacting Wireless signals. The FCC is lying, it is false. The truth is Americans are not only getting negative impacts via cellular technology but the so called lower cellphone energy levels are cooking auditory and cornea tissue and creating benign and cancerous tumors because of heat. There are no warnings! Leukemia will rise around antennae. We have no say about a decision to site an antenna next to our homes or business other than its appearance when it is clear from stories like the sleep deprived Firemen in Southern California, who had to protect themselves from an antenna sited next to their fire house! Remember no impact. Liars!

A recent spin article said that Cell phones are lowering the impacts of Alzheimer’s. Now doesn’t that make you wonder, it is suppose to have no impact, but somehow it is traversing the entire cortex and solving the Alzheimer problem. Do they know how? What else is it doing? Well studies have shown fouling of Calcium cycles crucial to neuron and muscle function, damage to the blood brain barrier, DNA destruction. Maybe it is add to the Autism rates. The FCC says its safe. I don’t believe it. Neither should you. Let them know that you don’t like it and your want your right to challenge the health safety issues of these very controversial wireless technologies now. The initial studies on Cell phones indicated problems (google George Carlo) and yet the FCC mandated a gag on health complaints? Don’t wait until the cell tower is going up over your home or the grid is locked in. If you can write your representatives, which is better use a fax as letters take forever thanks to the 911 anthrax scares.

Contact Feinstein 202-224-3841 F: 202-228-3954

Boxer 202-224-3553 F: 415-956-6701

Thompson 202-225-3311 F: 202-225-4335

FCC 888-225-5322 F: 866-418-0232 FAX: both toll-free

No Smart Grid, Stop the mounting Toxic Burden

Greg Krouse

PS. Here is an update. The FDA has acknowledge that the liners and lids have BPA and there is a safety concern but as it is not in the food mix they say it is not their concern. How is that for a cop out?Toss the hot potato concern for what ever agency should do the job and frankly I think it is the FDA's responsibility. Here is their address and phone numbers ( I left the descriptive material from their contact sheet to underscore their irresponsibility):

Food and Drug Administration

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements

5100 Paint Branch Parkway

College Park, Maryland 20740

1-301-436-2373 FAX: 1-301-436-2639 Remeber faxed letters are the best. Stay health, Stay Active



Dear Editor

Regarding the second anonymous letter to the AVA about MMMAB (1-13-10), someone has suggested that I skirt all the random potshots and made up facts and simply answer the question, Who is Pebbles?

I am simply a person who acts on what I believe in.

From 1990 to 2001, I went to jail again and again — 10 arrests in 11 years — for my belief in the benefits of medical cannabis.

It was not for money. I was always carrying low-grade non-commercial medicinal leaf.

I challenged the marijuana laws as unconstitutional for lack of medical access and developed arguments for the laws being, simultaneously:

1) unreasonable searches and seizures of medicine

2) unequal protection compared to other medicines and medical treatments

3) cruel by punishing a medical act.

When the Compassionate Use Act passed in Nov '96, I was newly released from Contra Costa Jail, awaiting my appeal. I was experienced at losing; it was my third conviction in my third county for marijuana transportation/possession.

During the hearing on the merits of my appeal, my lawyer violated my wishes by refusing to bring up Prop 215 even though that was the basis of my appeal.

He did a lousy job. The Appeals Court panel ridiculed him — “You don't seem to know the rules of court, Mr. Stoner... Not sufficiently your honor.”

I was afraid of losing everything I'd worked for, thanks to a dodo who didn't know anything or care. I fired him.

Susan Jordan worked through the Appeals Court to get herself appointed to my case but I declined her offer and, with a small committee, went on to represent myself in pro per.

The continuous prosecutions had made me destitute and at the mercy of incompetent or indifferent lawyers who saw my constitutional demands as too much work for no money.

At least representing myself, win or lose, I had control over my own case. My opinion was, it's better to be represented by an amateur than misrepresented by a professional.

My case set three precedents:

1) Transportation of marijuana for medical purposes is an “implicit right,” in the words of the 1st District Appeals Court; the concept is, you must be able to carry with you the medicine you can legally possess.

2) Retroactivity is part of the paradigm shift from a crime to a right, and applies to all pending medical claims — if you're not guilty today, you weren't guilty yesterday.

3) The quantity standard in determining a legally allowable amount of medicine per patient is the quantity that is “reasonably related” to the patient's annual medical needs. Since you can grow only once outdoors, an annual amount of medicine is your right.

In Kelly, the Appeals Court voided SB 420's numerical limits of 6 mature/12 immature plants as never approved by the voters, making them unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court, after review, is poised to affirm Kelly and the companion case Phomphakdy, and throw out 6 plants as an unconstitutional numerical limit, never approved by the voters. The “Trippet standard” and anything consistent with it remains good law, according to Supreme Court discussion at the Kelly hearing.

The same constitutional violation applies to Mendo County's 9.31 Public Nuisance Ordinance with its 25 medical marijuana plants per parcel limit.

The county is in significant jeopardy from a lawsuit filed on 9/11/09 that challenges the 9.31 numerical limits under draconian administrative law as null and void on constitutional grounds, the same as under criminal law.

* * *

Regarding the electrical bypass issue, MMMAB recommends against all illegal diversions, such as water, electricity and, above all, diversions of medicine to non-medical purposes.

Trying to game the very system that protects patients' “enhanced access” is self-defeating, because it makes qualified patients more vulnerable and their medical claims less credible. “Theft of electricity” is illegal and taints the innocence of an otherwise legal medical grow.

MMMAB can live with any future regulatory system whose mission is to “enhance” rather than restrict “access” to medicine and respects patients' rights as part of the process.

Let's do it right. If the voters wouldn't approve it, best not to do it.

Pebbles Trippet
Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board Steering Committee
Fort Bragg


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