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Letters (June 26, 1996)

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Concerning the exemplary The Letters of Wanda Tinasky, though the book’s annotators do a supreme job of knowing just about everything about anything, I believe their French falls short. In the instance when Wanda’s virtue is in peril, this solely due to her fish wrap (AVA, I believe) knickers, and she shouts Je maintiendrai!, I hardly believe she means to say I insist! Not that at all, not from a girl like Wanda, or not entirely anyway. Moreover, the verb tense is botched. Well it certainly looks subjunctive or future to me, along those lines.

And further, the 26 April 84 letter for Wanda to the Commentary — one of the poetry letters that thank the Lord drove Wanda into AVA’s arms — I do strongly hold this letter to be inauthentic. Wanda’s pet poets, the egregious Levertov*, A. Rich, Duncan, Madge Percy, Sir Gary and ilk — never! Wanda’s true taste in verse — oh Byron say, Hardy, Larkin (nothing before 20 Feb 50), Bill Knott, the Orton-Halliwell combo, their finest work the bearding of books at the Islington Library, circa I forget, such comic epic stuff, and of course anything printed in Ed Sanders’ “Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts” — could never run so petit-bourgeois, not even in her early, just starting out days.

And as for Wanda being this Thomas Pynchon — she’s much too accomplished a prose stylist for that, I’m sure you’ll agree. In any case, a tip of the hat to Fatso Factor and all those who aided in bringing out this, surely the season’s most interesting, book.

I don’t suppose it would be possible to lure Wanda out of retirement — would it? Pity. She does have her following, you know, even now.

Initially Impaired,

Max Crawford


*Viva Lermontov!

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Dear Mr. Anderson,

Thank you very much for your letter with the response to the Americus, GA, letter to the editor. I haven’t had time to use it yet, it’s a work in process.

My husband is in prison in Georgia and the Inmate Telephone System there (Harris Telecomm) is charging a $3.05 startup charge for each collect call (the only kind he can make) and 20-25¢ a minute. The call is disconnected every ten minutes, by order of Gov. Zell Miller. The Public Service Board claims only licensing authority, the FCC claims no authority, and the only legality governing Harris is the contract it has with the Department of Corrections. I am having difficulty getting info on the kickback percent, or anything else for that matter.

I have been withholding sequential connection charges, paying 20¢/minute, and discounting the result by 30% (the discount I could get by having AT&T, even on collect calls). I call Bell Atlantic monthly to let them know how much is in dispute now, I have been doing this for a year and I am withholding $3,800. They started to get touchy about it, so I told them I had a lawyer involved and they were OK again. I am organizing people here in New Jersey to sue the NJ Dept. of Corrections, AT&T, and Bell Atlantic for the ITS in NJ, most likely in Federal District court. I was referred to a lawyer who will work pro bono, and I am doing all I can to assist. Costs should be about $2,000, according to the lawyer, and if we are successful, should be able to help other people sue NJ. Then, because I pay my bill in NJ, that gives us jurisdiction to sue Georgia DOC and Harris Telecomm.

The American Friends Service Committee has offered me their help in my efforts to combat any prison related abuses to which I might Iwant to dedicate myself on a volunteer basis. The AFSC Criminal Justice Program gets letters and info from all over the country, and the phone thing has everyone upset. I am hoping to form a Families/Friends of Prisoners (FFOP) group here in NJ and coordinate with other FFOPs across the country. Hopefully, this will build and we can accomplish some of our goals. We are also looking to gain some political support, which is why I asked for people to write to me complaining about the ITS in their state. I want to gather letters to send copies to Senators, Reps, etc.

There’re a lot of things I’d like to work on, but the phone thing is what I chose and I’m trying to stay focused. However, the enclosed three-page IBM report on the 2020 neural chip angered me, so I’m including that in my work. I am writing to any and everyone who might be able to help, newspapers, individuals in and out of prison, TV, radio, legislators, public officials, etc. I’m sending it everywhere I can think of to send it. Maybe it can’t be stopped, but at least people will know it and watch out for it, I hope. Please do what you can with it.

I hope you’ve been able to regroup after your imprisonment, best wishes and prayers for your and your work.


Judie Ferraris

Newark, New Jersey

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Dear Mr. & Mrs. Anderson,

On behalf of the SF AIDS Foundation and California AIDS Ride 3, thank you for your recent gift in support of those affected by HIV/AIDS. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Your gift will help the SF AIDS Foundation to continue to offer essential services to our clients with disabling HIV and AIDS and fight for more funding as the demand for AIDS programs, services and prevention escalates.

We will continue to be a leader in the battle against AIDS: in PREVENTION to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS; in DIRECT SERVICES for people with disabling HIV and AIDS in our community; and ADVOCACY to protect the human rights of all people affected by AIDS and HIV.

Thanks to the continued support of our community and donors like you, the Foundation is able to keep our doors open to the more than 3,000 people who come to us for services, information, support and advocacy every year.

Federal tax law requires us to certify that you have received no economic benefit as a result of this gift. Therefore, your donation is fully tax deductible. Again, thank you for your support of our work.


Pat Christian, Executive Director

San Francisco

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Dear Bruce,

Greetings and recriminations.

Your May 22 “Off the Top” item on my assumption of the editor’s chair here at SF Weekly prompts a few observations.

You suggest that my introductory statement to readers requires an “English translator.” I’ve no doubt, given your misuse of the words “sic” and “dirk” and your omission of a verb in the sentence following my quote, that you need an English translator. That you don’t comprehend the word “symbology” or the proper use of the word “effects” suggests that a simple dictionary would be a step in the right direction.

As for your qualification of the paper as “truly pathetic,” the adjective (a part of speech with which I can only assume you’re familiar) implies that you feel pity or compassion for us. This, of course, is contravened by your otherwise bilious rhetoric.

I offer two recommendations:

1. Find a new pharmacist; you are ill served by your current prescription.

2. Send out an editorial assistant to retrieve the chromosome that you obviously dropped on your way to work.

Until we meet, I remain, Your Standard Deviant

Dirk Olin, Editor, SF Weekly

San Francisco

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Dear Bruce,

Reading the Anderson Valley Advertiser seems a lot like getting dispatches from some Third World banana republic. Tankman Tuso is head of the local death squad who sends his men out into the dark of night to grease the local natives and crack the heads of any rebel upstarts. Persecuting Attorney Massini takes care of business for the rich fat-cat landholders and handles the cattle prod during peasant interrogations. Clueless Judge Luther rubber-stamps into the jailhouse any poor devils the dynamic duo of law enforcement bounce into his Court of Kangaroo.

You’re the crusading, cynic/romantic, slightly nuts journalist who just can’t resist taking on the local establishment and cracking them across their fat asses on a regular basis. Those ruling class backsides must be pretty bruised and sore by now or you wouldn’t be chilling out in the local lockup. I hope you see daylight soon.

Anyway, as they used to say when I was a younger man: “Keep the faith, baby” — and keep swinging the AVA at all the assholes within your purview. I look forward to reading the next installment of Bruce vs. The Mendocino Fascists. In that regard, enclosed is funding for another six months of one of the few remaining newspapers worthy of that name in Amerika.

Kindest regards,

Russ Moritz

Sandpoint, Idaho

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California Department of Forestry, PO Box 670, Santa Rosa, CA 95402

ATTN: Resource Management/Timber Harvest Plan 1-96-210

As owners of land on Peachland Road we wish to protest the logging of the redwoods on Peachland Road, Boonville, as proposed by the winery.

The winery has already done major damage to the watershed by clearing and planting its large vineyard, but that at least was necessary for them to fill their function. They are not a logging firm; there is no justification for the further environmental damage logging their redwoods would cause. These redwoods are growing at the highest altitude of any in that area.

When we bought our land in 1970, it had already been logged in the 50s. We are doing our best to support the regrowth of the forest. It is very disturbing to see governmental agencies, whose purpose is to protect the land, permitting its degradation.

The traffic of logging is very destructive to Peachland Road, and thus to those who need to use the road. Why is the hearing in regard to this Timber Harvest Plan being held in Willits, making it difficult for users of Peachland Road to attend? Are you trying to avoid hearing from the affected community?

I urge you to permit only the most limited of logging, and to impose restrictions and requirements guaranteeing that it will not negatively affect the scenic beauty, watersheds, or roads of the area. Any impact should be remediated by replanting, repair of the roads, and remediation of damage to the watershed. If these effects can not be judged, logging should be postponed until these effects can be judged and controlled.

Sincerely yours,

Morris Hirsch and Charity Hirsch


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Dear Mr. Anderson,

I received a copy of your newspaper (the 12/13/95) issue recently. It was included with books from Prisoner Literature Project/Bound Together Books, in San Francisco. I found your paper to be enjoyable and informative, as well as being well-organized. The quotations placed throughout the paper were particularly appropriate and the poetry I found to be the best part of the entire paper. That’s probably because I am a poet myself, huh(?). If not for the fact that I have so little money for even necessities, I’d subscribe to the AVA, definitely.

All of which leads me to this: If I begin to contribute poems or other things to the AVA, will you at least send me the issues with my work in it? I’ve never been published before (that I know of), sir, and I’d be very grateful for the opportunity and the experience, and it would keep me focused on my writing, you know? Please, having such a reference would later make it a lot easier for me to succeed in being published elsewhere, too, don’t you agree?

So you and your readers will know a little about me, I am a 25-year old white man serving 40 years (also out in 30) for armed robbery and two assaults with deadly weapons, with intent to kill, inflicting serious bodily injury. I just missed the 10 year bid with 4.5 years, and beyond the 30 years, on May 16, 1996. (My first time in prison was an eight-year bid, of which I did two years and max’d it from 87-89). I am not eligible for parole ‘til 2003, but my family’s working on getting my time reduced and we believe I’ll be out in about two more years, if all goes well...

I’m sick of violence, but in here it can be impossible to avoid, which is why I’m on long-term lock-up for a stabbing last August. I gave the fool many opportunities to solve the problem peacefully and still save face, but he pushed me into having to get him first (or get got!) which prevented not only any vital damage to myself, but also prevented a riot from kicking off, him being black and planning to “roll” on me with his clique.

It’d be great to receive letters and photos from people out on the West Coast, and about the only people I won’t write are black males.

I am a dominant bisexual, and I’ve had two main “ol ladies” in here, the first was a pretty white former transvestite I kept from being raped in ‘92, fighting like a berserker against a gang of blacks who were going to rape “her.” Yes, I used condoms; no, I didn’t abuse “her,” nor did I pimp “her” out or anything of that sort. We were together two years as a “married” couple, until “she” went home. A little later, a blond and beautiful, loyal, understanding (and in love with me), strong-willed one came along, who was living as a woman on the street, in the process of obtaining a sex-change. We were together for a year. Again, yes, I used condoms; and no, there was no abuse of any kind towards her. In fact, we used to spar together a lot, and teach each other fighting tactics; me being the more experienced at street and prison-fighting, while she was adept in a couple of different styles of martial arts.

The first one I was with was like my ex-wife, in that we argued a lot, but the other one was very different (though we had our share of disagreements). Before I go on to closing this letter, I’d like to say something to your readers, particularly to those who, regardless of their sexual orientation, label themselves as the dominant partner, as I always do for myself. If you are much like me, the “dominant” status can often be very misleading to your own self, because the “submissive” partner most often is the “wielder of power,” if only due to your dominant ego. Hah! But, in the end, in all healthy relationships that simply creates the balance necessary for the longevity of the relationship — just take my parents, married 27 years, as an example: There’s a plaque Daddy bought long ago, hanging in the kitchen, with these words: “I am Master of This House — Whatever My Wife Says Shall Be Done!” Hah!

Thank you, Mr. Anderson, for your time and consideration, and my compliments to all who contribute to the AVA. It is an outstanding newspaper.

In Humble Honesty,

James Christopher Tompkins (“Chris”) 0409819

PO Box 137

Tillery, NC 27885

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Dear Bruce,

The June 12 AVA contains a letter from Scott Crogan referring to Jock Penn’s quoting error from the Gospel according to Luke in the May 22 AVA. I am mystified by Crogan’s failure to find Penn’s error, since Penn himself revealed an important clue in referring to your earlier use of the parable of the pounds. My own reaction to your erudition was to go immediately to the concordance in my favorite KJ version of the Bible, which in turn led directly via the keyword “pounds” to Luke 19:13-27, where Penn’s quote is from verses 26,27. Thinking that it was trivial and that other AVA enthusiasts would surely find the error, I just noted and passed over it. But perhaps there is a lesson here from an old lover of word games who cannot resist the joy of a search, whether in the Bible, Shakespeare, Bartlett, or a dictionary: Find and use key words!

Paul Mielke

Crawfordsville, Indiana

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To the Editor:

I didn’t attend this year’s boutique protest event, the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Golden Gate Park. My job in Corporate America only pays $6 an hour, and with tickets for the two-day affair a whopping $50 I’d have to shell out one-eighth of my unsurvivably low weekly wages to show my solidarity with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys. But my sympathies are as one with the composers of the songs “Sexy Mexican Maid” and “Professor Booty” in denouncing human rights abuses in Tibet, and in demanding that the Tibetan laboring classes be given back to their rightful owners, the Tibetan priestly caste.

As a citizen of the United States, I fully identify with those suffering under a vile totalitarian regime that invades other countries, massacres their inhabitants, victimizes prisoners as slave laborers and uses police terror to keep its wage-slave class in line. For welfare recipients, undocumented immigrants, tenants of public housing complexes and the homeless, today's capitalist America is a police state. Thanks to the drug war, the US now imprisons more of its population per capita than any other country in the world. A black person living in New York City has less chance of reaching age 65 than an inhabitant of Banglandesh. The infant mortality rate in Washington DC is higher than in Jamaica or Chile. In a society as exploitative and repressive as the US, why should wage workers or poor people listen to rich rock stars when they howl about Tibet?

It's telling that high-rent humanists have to look to the other side of the planet to find human rights abuses worthy of their concern. Tibet is an ideal protest issue for wealthy entertainers with time on their hands; what's more safely distant from the ugly realities of life in the US than exotic and colorful Tibet? In focusing on Tibet, conscientious corporate rockers draw attention to one of the few places in the world where rotten things happen that aren't the fault of multinational corporations like the ones who own their record labels; Time/Warner doesn't have any investments there yet.

So remember shoppers, when you shell out $39.95 for the limited edition, Dalai Lama approved Tibet Freedom CD set, and other merchandise tie-ins, just chant to yourself: “This isn’t about money — it’s about good karma.”

Kevin Keating

San Francisco

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You know those nice people, Emil and Nick Rossi, at the hardware store in Boonville? They are placing our entire community in DANGER! These two people (with quiet assistance from Ruben Thomasson Sr.) have managed to libel, slander, and harass Chief Trubia into resigning his position (subject to finding another position). Even though the vast majority of people in this Valley support the fire chief — TWO PEOPLE HAVE DRIVEN HIM TO RESIGN!

Okay, let’s forget Jim Trubia for a minute — the Rossis (with tacit help from Thomasson) have created an atmosphere where it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HIRE ANYONE AS FIRE CHIEF! Are we, as a community, going to let a microscopic minority determine the future of fire protection in this community? Numerous volunteers, including important members of both the fire department and the ambulance service, have stated that they will resign if Jim Trubia leaves. Is this what you want? I generally do not approve of boycotts, but this is an extreme case — BOYCOTT ROSSI HARDWARE and THOMASSON’s grocery stores in both Boonville and Yorkville. The Rossis have engaged in a campaign of libel and slander against Jim Trubia, simply because they believe we should not have a paid fire chief. If I was Jim Trubia (and I could afford it) I would sue them for libel and slander.


Rex McClellan


PS. Write these people and tell them why you are boycotting them. Rossi Hardware, Box 249, Boonville, CA 95415; AV Market, Box 189, Boonville, 95415.

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Letter to the Editor:

Every year 46,000 women die of breast cancer. We, the members of The Breast and Cervical Health Coalition, urge everyone to buy the new breast cancer awareness stamp now available at all post offices. The stamp is being distributed nationwide over the next four months to promote awareness of this disease which has reached epidemic levels. Women aware of the disease are more inclined to practice self breast exam and mammography — our only tools for early detection. Early detection is your best chance for survival. Breast cancer is a fact of life and just being a woman puts you at risk. Join us and other people across the US and make the breast cancer awareness stamp your stamp of choice.

Members of The Breast and Cervical Health Coalition: Claudia Crosetti, Christine Cliburn, Nancy Johnson, Sara O’Donnell, Tyler Coffman, Tiffany Reynolds, Marvin Trotter, MD, Claudia Prochter.

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Dear Mr. Anderson:

My recent books, Hillary Clinton’s Pen Pal: A Guide to Life and Lingo in Federal Prison (you received a copy) is ignored by all major media. It has been praised as “a unique and powerful book brimming with superb sarcasm,” “an important social document,” and “worthy of frontpage news,” but journalists don’t seem to think so. One colleague suggested that it is “too pro-prisoner for the right, and too anti-Hillary for the liberals.”

The book is newsworthy not only because the author, a former federal prisoner, wrote a guide for Hillary who — if there were any justice — would serve time in federal prison, but also for the following reasons for which I wrote the book:

1. To urge prison reform for the sake of the innocent families and children of prisoners.

2. To help those about to enter prison for the first time with a guide of what to do and not to do to avoid being injured or killed.

3. To shorten the obscenely long sentences for non-violent first-time offenders.

4. To ask for general amnesty for harmless first-time offenders.

5. To help ease the inhumane overcrowding of prisons and prevent the mindless waste of billions of tax dollars to build new prisons.

6. To help deter crime by showing how horrible it is to be imprisoned.

7. To expose the cruel Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons and related government gangsters.

8. And, on a personal note, to slap the immoral and disgusting liars, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Her “alleged” crimes include fraud, perjury, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. He isn’t much better.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates (e.g., Susan Thomases) brashly, transparently and insultingly lie to the media, yet few journalists are upset by their obvious lies and being treated like gullible kids. The few exceptions are William Safire and Alexander Cockburn.

My question to you is: why do you ignore my book which not only contains significant information but also is of broad interest?

I’m puzzled by the silence of respected journalists and thus would appreciate it greatly if you could respond with a sentence or two (handwritten on the back of this letter) why you think Pen Pal is not newsworthy (or why it is suppressed) and return it in the enclosed SASE. Your response will, of course, be treated confidentially.

Thank you very much for your time.

Respectively yours,

Reinhold “Rey” Aman, PhD

Santa Rosa

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So you really aren’t a sissy? Well, most of us knew that. Stand up and fight for your rights, Bruce. Don’t feel lonely. My rights, civil and Constitutional and human, have been really violated by those high all-mighty in the Mendoland justice system.

I have seen some real funky shit go down at our fine courthouse. At least you had the courage not to give up your Constitutional rights, Bruce, not like I. Last year I turned myself in on some real bogus trumped up charges. Yes, you read it right, I turned myself in. I bailed out. I appeared in court, repeatedly. Well, I am so well liked that the conflicts started to fly, to the point of injustice. I appeared in court with no representative attorney and this spineless lying Dep. DA convinced this prejudicial judge who would not let me represent myself, on just the lies of this Dep. DA. The judge threw me in jail with no attorney. I requested to represent myself. Believe me, I know that he who represents himself has a fool for an attorney!

I am not enough of a fool to just let this system shit in my face, like it has. Bruce, where can I find a righteous, Constitutional attorney? with little funds? SOS, SOS, SOS, SOS.

Marc Sprinkle


PS. Remember Mad Marc? You printed my articles from the Mendo Jail a few years ago. Back on the Pen in the system again.

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Internal Revenue Service
Department of the Treasury
PO Box 2900, Sacramento CA 95812-2900
Office of the District Director

To my friends and colleagues in the media:

I wish I could have written a personal letter to each of you. Unfortunately, there are so many of you I have come to know and work with over the past eight years it is just not possible to address each of you individually. As you know, the IRS is restructuring. Presently, we are merging the Sacramento and San Francisco district offices to form the new Northern California District. The new district headquarters will be in Oakland.

Considering these changes, I have accepted a public affairs position in St. Louis, MO, beginning the end of June. Jon Frank, my assistant, has accepted a similar position in Denver, Colorado and will leave Sacramento sometime this summer.

There will still be an IRS office in Sacramento, and at the present time, plans call for hiring a spokesperson who will work from the Sacramento office to serve your needs. In the meantime, Larry Wright, the public affairs officer in Oakland, will be your primary resource for media inquiries. I ask that you direct your calls to his office at 510/637-2800. I have faith that you will extend to him the same consideration and support you have given me over the years.

I am leaving with mixed emotions. I enjoy Northern California very much. It is a beautiful part of the country and I will miss it. On the other hand, I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

It has been an immense pleasure working with all of you. Thank you for your courtesy and professionalism. My goal has been to provide you with useful information and clarification of IRS topics that allows your audience to better understand their tax obligation to our nation. I hope I have accomplished this. I wish all of you the best of luck throughout your careers, and I look forward to the possibility of our paths someday crossing again.


John Dearing, Public Affairs Officer

Sacramento District of the IRS

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Dear Mr. Anderson:

Thank you so much for sending me the order form for “The Letters...” (You probably don’t remember me, but I called you from NJ to ask how I could order the book. I sent you the local paper’s coverage of the story.)

I can’t say how impressed I am by the “value-added” package you put together. (I am convinced it’s him, by the way.) Just the thought of annotating and footnoting casual letters by Mr. Pynchon brings tears to my eyes — and I’m a pro (an editor, that is). But what fun for all of us starving, long-time devotees of Pynchon. Thank you for a job superbly done, and at a great price. I loved every exhausting moment.

Debbie Epstein (my real name)

West Milford, New Jersey

PS. Any word from Wanda lately? I hear Pynchon is acting groupie to a band called Lotion, following them around the country (per the New Yorker) and that he wrote the liner notes for their album, above the name of Thomas Pynchon. Our mystery guest continues to intrigue. PPS. I’ve enclosed a check for a subscription. Is this still your rate? I only have 1995 AVAs, which I thank you for sending.

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Dear Dayla Hepting,

What a courageous writer you are. Reading you reminds me of what Ernest Hemingway wrote in a book review about a young, yet unknown Nelson Algren, i.e., warning readers to watch out because Algren hits hard and doesn’t pull his punch. That’s what I feel about your writing, particularly the last one to appear in the AVA called “Cops.” You betcha “people are afraid.” “Fear is the carrot that makes the donkey trot,” as B. Traven put it. No doubt about it that fear fuels power! It is easier for the State to exert its will over it citizens in a climate of fear. Those who wear uniforms of the State are expected to enforce the will of the State, even when it is obvious that the State is making war on its own people.

Has anybody ever seen a line of uniforms join the workers/strikers and take over a plant and run it for the benefit of all employees, share and share alike or seen a line of uniforms join protesters against an unjust war? The showing of uniforms is an official act of intimidation by the State/County/City to keep people away from any protest against the State! Those in power know that the mere threat of violence (the uniform) does make cowards of most people. (What else can you expect in a country where children are nurtured in a climate of fear to be obedient, or else!? A country where questioning authority is considered a subversive act! A country where so many are in such deep denial that they live in a perpetual state of fear and call it freedom!)

Does anybody across America still doubt that there is a war going on in this country, perpetrated by the wealthy against the working poor? If there is, how does s/he explain the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor in this land?

The most dangerous person to the State is the one who has nothing more to lose, and acts accordingly. The presence of more and more uniforms on the street will not make us safer — can never generate enough fear to immobilize the growing rage of discontent/despair. At some point a person snaps, fear converts to fury and violence lashes out at all uniforms.

The Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote sometime after violence erupted in Mexico City during the 1968 Olympics (and untold thousands of Mexicans disappeared into an unmarked grave) that we should get rid of all the uniforms in the world...


Dolores Smith Mejia

San Francisco

PS. Dear Bruce, Ling, Zack & Rob,

Knowing you are fighting the only battle worth fighting at the beleaguered Fort Despair gives us all a sterling example to emulate.

Once again the petty, spiteful nature of authority figures has been exposed by the AVA! Only sorry that it took Bruce’s FALSE arrest to get the attention of the mainline media. We’re all glad you’re out of jail!

All who read the AVA owe the Andersons & the other staff of the AVA their eternal gratitude for your efforts to inform us all. The AVA is a beacon — the only consistent voice on behalf of the common people. Those who revile you (and the AVA) protest too much! A sure sign of their own culpability! In the true spirit of H.L. Mencken, the AVA CHALLENGES THE FRAUDS!

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One of the main objectives of the California Forest Practices Act (FPA), besides protecting the timber resource, was to prevent job losses by mandating Maximum Sustained Productivity (MSP).

However, counterproductive industrial influence and dominance in politics prevented the implementation of the intent of the FPA from the day of enactment in 1973 until today. The consequences were continued inventory depletion of permanently needed growing stock in the name of short term profit maximization. Georgia-Pacific and Louisiana-Pacific alone — during the past two to three decades — have deprived Mendocino County of about five billion board feet of urgently needed growing stock worth at least two billion dollars. Inventory depletion, in turn, jeopardizes forest health, decreases forest productivity and transforms permanent forest-related employment into a temporary occupation that will end when the resource is exhausted.

The California Department of Forestry data show that the average productivity of the inventory depleted industrial resource is down to about 1/3 (below 300 board feet per acre per year) on the County’s industrial timberland from what it must be to yield MSP (700+ board feet per acre per year). In contrast Jackson State Forest after 50 years of recovery and good forestry practice produces now close to 900 board beet per acre per year! What that means is that this well managed, healthy forest has the potential to employ three times as many workers on a permanent basis per acre of resource than the ten times larger surrounding industry managed forest.

But there are additional — and to the workers more obvious — reasons why jobs are eliminated from time to time: automation. Closure of Mill I and planer Mill I at the Georgia-Pacific plant in Fort Bragg and replacement by Mill II are two of the most recent examples of this nature.

It is tragic that those most seriously hurt by job losses, the workers themselves, have so far not joined the fight of Mendocino County to force owners of land that harbors substantial public trust values to restore the resource gradually to MSP as the existing law, the FPA, requires. There still is time and need to do so since G-P does not plan to restore the resource to higher inventory and thus increased permanent employment. Even more disgusting, L-P and Coastal Forest Lands plan to further decrease inventory for another one to two decades of their 100-year “sustained yield plans” (SYPs).

In summary, timber workers and many others eventually will lose their jobs because of our present system’s detrimental priority of amassing temporary wealth at the expense of a desirable future. In other words, it is up to the individual because it is us who have to change to bring about change; only then will corporations have to follow suit and we all will be guided by responsible human conduct. To support corporations who destroy local prosperity is not the route for us to go.

Hans Burkhardt


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To the Editor,

I have some comments regarding Sheriff Tuso’s request to the Board of Supervisors that Deputy Mark Harrison be reinstated to his prior salary and retain his sick leave. The fact that Deputy Harrison and the other employees mentioned in a Ukiah Daily Journal article want to, and have, returned to Ukiah is very beneficial to the community. That is, of course, assuming that they decide to stay this time.

What I wonder about regarding Deputy Harrison was his thought process prior to the move to Rohnert Park. It seems that some of the desired traits for a law enforcement officer would be:

• The ability to gather information through investigation of facts;

• The ability to make a decision based on these facts;

• The perseverance to see a tough job through to completion.

If Supervisor Peterson’s speculations are correct, it would indicate the Deputy Harrison did not use these skills prior to and during his “two-month commitment” to Rohnert Park, a city whose crime we read about every day.

Maybe Rohnert Park pays more because you have to do more. What a concept. I don’t fault Deputy Harrison for trying to get back all that he possibly can. It’s only natural for most men.

What I do find disturbing is Sheriff Tuso’s support of this. When a person quits a job (in the rest of the world) he forfeits all “non-payable benefits,” including sick leave.

Is this the same sheriff who whines about his budget? Why would he want to pay more now, for a person he has already hired back? Why would he want to commit sick leave dollars that were left behind? Because he’s a nice guy, or because he’s an elected official, and a friend is a vote and supporter? Hmmm.

Supervisor Peterson’s comments were, “I think it’s important we don’t act as if he (Harrison) never left.” Then, the Board of Supervisors asked for an ordinance to guarantee pay level reinstatement if the return is in less than 90s days. Why? This is completely beyond comprehension. It seems to be condoning the very type of open-door policy we see here.

Having quality law enforcement in the County is important to me, but it should not involve insulting the taxpayer’s intelligence by getting “free” tanks or giving away money.

I don’t believe Sheriff Tuso is a stupid man, but he obviously thinks we are. Perhaps the County’s next elected sheriff will make more prudent decisions with the taxpayers in mind instead of his own agenda which satisfies his own ego.

Carl Paiva

Redwood Valley

* * *



Unwittingly, I read an article in the SF Chronicle’s Datebook section titled: “Joe Goode’s ‘Maverick’ Genius.” It was the word “maverick” that caught my eye. Evidently, “The Maverick Strain” is this choreographer’s latest creation. He says: “We are all taught to be cowboys... We teach young people to worship individualism... that he must be rugged... must listen to nobody but himself. This is very anti-social, very dangerous.”

He goes on that we can’t go into the new millennium with the “burden of individuality” and “There really is so much intolerance in this country.”

Intolerance. When I see that word, experience put’s me on the defensive. Intolerant people are bad — of course, they are like Pat Buchanan: narrow, hateful, right-wing, would-be fascists... And yet, between the lines of this article, and indeed the whole intolerant posturing, is that he is saying we should tolerate everything but the individual cowboy... the rugged independent minded individual.

Tolerance for so many thing — but that. The stereotypical white heterosexual independent male. They must be rounded up and forced to tolerate ballet with transexuals in red leather. That will make the world right. Paradise!

When I worked at Nordstrom, I was told one day not to say “Merry Christmas,” to instead say “Happy Holidays.” Stupid me asked Why? I was told it might offend non-Christians. I asked if I could say Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakah, Praise Allah, and Hail Satan — in order to keep everyone happy. I was told I was being insensitive and intolerant. I asked whatever happened to freedom of speech. In any case, I didn’t work there much longer.

And it goes on. In Sonoma, people raising the Bear Flag pissed off Mexicans and Indians. Understandable, somewhat — but do we really want to be part of Mexico? And what about the Spanish, and their bloody history? Look what the Mexicans did to Zapata!

And as we squabble about this and that — the corporations and their lackeys (politicians) sell us down the river. In this way the Republicans — that is Big Money — has won. How? By simply confusing the issues... by dividing and conquering. The blacks, hispanics, and whites at the bottom of the economic ladder are going to quarrel over what holiday to celebrate or what group will get a month named after them.

And get this Bruce: Have you followed the incident between the fisherman and the Coast Guard? James Blaes just felt like being left alone one day and is charged with “intimidating the Coast Guard officers,” blah blah blah, and faces 20 years in prison. All this at the same time the Chinese are able to laugh in our faces and import AK-47s to our civilian population. And still get Most Favored Nation status!

Maybe we’re the communists now that the cold war is over, and they just haven’t told us yet. Ever think of that?!

What I want to see is who will stand behind this guy? Will they have concerts in Golden Gate Park to free James Blaes? (I doubt it.)

Name Withheld

Santa Rosa

* * *



My name is Christine McPherson and I am a single mother with a half-Afro-American daughter. I have been a resident at 1930 Blake St. in Berkeley for 17 years. On November 15, 1995 I was served with a 30-day notice to vacate my apartment. Bruce Reeves, attorney for my property owner, tried to serve me an unlawful detainer in person on December 21, 1995, so with only five days to file an answer over the weekend and Christmas Day I was unable to find any legal assistance.

I have nowhere to move. I have sought another apartment and have placed ads in a Marin newspaper for six months, but I am now seeking another place because of harassment by the owner, Haydeh Nassrollahi, who has picked our family to move out of all the other apartments she owns, and she has moved the houes she owns at 1700 Pine Street in San Pablo, California, with her three-year old daughter and live-in male companion/father of her child to a studio directly under me that shares the same doorway.

Not long ago, on November 2, 1995, I contacted the city’s Codes and Inspection Department — Inspector Kevin Moses — and told him about an illegal and dangerous leaking gas pipe line that could have harmed our family. Tenant B, liked to by the owner that it was my fault they had no gas, threatened me in the presence of a witness, Richard Hunter, that she, tenant B, “will do anything and everything in her power to do me in.” I called Berkeley Police and asked them to speak to her, and received a call back from an officer Katz saying no one would be coming out to assist me because her threat was “too vague.” I fear my life is in danger again after a fire was set outside my door inside the house hallway on Feb. 9, 1994, at 3am when my ten-year old daughter was asleep in one bedroom and I was asleep in a separate bedroom. The fire swept up the stairway separating us and that stairway is the only exist from our unit. I put out that fire! No one thanked me. I went to the Berkeley Housing Authority office later that day to sign my BHA lease, and discovered my rep., Murlene Grant, had a letter in my file written by owner Nassrollahi which stated that I told tenant E I would burn down their building if I was evicted. Attached is a letter from my daughter.

My daughter and I are fearful of an ex-landlord who may have started the fire or paid someone to frighten us out of the building. There is a police report of missing persons made by a neighbor when we went to Marin County in fear of our lives and we stayed in a borrolwed car in the rain seeking housing there and protection.

I have been harassed by the previous owners, but Mr. Tom Huff and Don Davis, who has friends at the Berkeley City Codes and Inspection Department. There is a police report stating that Don Davis may have set a fire in one of his properties to collect insurance to rebuild and sold it to a Tahoe casino for a parking lot. Mr. Davis and Tom Huff bought the 1930 Blake St. property in 1988 and have loaned this present owner $50,000 to move me and my family out of the building.

This information was told to BHA rep. Ms. Murlene Grant and myself during the 1994 annual inspection by Ms. Haydeh Nassrollahi.

In 1983 I casually dated Mr. Davis who offered me a trip to the Bahamas with him and I refused. Mr. Don Davis and Mr. TomHuff served three eviction attempts on me, and Ms. Nassrollahi has served four attempts. The day of house buying, Mr. Davis, Ms. Nassrollahi, and a male companion, Down Torab Zandi Nasser, who does the horrible harassing and terrorizing of my family, spent less than three minutes looking at my top floor of the house which is where I live. They were laughing together and didn’t check anything functional out for purchase, as Mr. Davis was lienholder of the deed property title.

My landlord Mr. Davis had a locksmith change my apartment lock and key when I wasn’t home, went through all my personal belongings, broke some of my belongings, entered my apartment, unlawfully, hired maintenance person Mr. Mike Miller to bring a concealed camera into my apartment by knocking on my door, an unscheduled visit, claiming he had five minutes of touch-up painting to do, holding a can of paint and a paint brush.

I let him in only because I was not alone. He went in my bathroom and I saw him photographing my bathtub and underclothes. I asked him what he was doing and he replied he was sent there by the owner to take photographs. I told him to get out immediately and he refused. I tried to block his camera and escort him out of my apartment. He pushed me down the hallway and down four top stairs. I yelled to my friend who was not noticed by him before to call 911, which she did. Her name is Celestine Oliverio. BPD came and made a report. Only July 7, 1988, the same Mike Miller or Davis/Huff may be the suspect who put sugar in the gas tank of my 1967 Saab automobile. I was left without transportation with two small children until 1991 when I had saved up some money to buy another car.

Christina McPherson


* * *



This is the end of my first year of your good publication. I’m renewing and paying two years so a friend can get a six-month sub for free.

I like your fillers a lot; recently it is the two Flaubert in Egypt and the original Karl Marx “Opium of the People” expanded excerpt. I used five of your fillers as a footnote to a message or letter I’m including with a suggestion of two titles for you to choose from: “Support God’s Frozen People” or “That Almost Chosen People (A. Lincoln, c.1863).

About 40 Black churches burned in the South in the last two years. If the white Christians in the South acted out the Chosen People commands, they would not have just burned 40 churches, they’d have killed all the Blacks connected with those churches. When I was a white Baptist boy in Waco, Texas, I milked the cow of a famous doctor on the Board of Directors of Baylor University. When I took the milk to his cook/mail, I stopped by his garage where he had about 50 years of Harper’s and Atlantic. One I read about 1938 when I was 14. I’ll never forget “Why They Burn Their Forests” — it was about southern white men setting fire to the piney woods of the Southern placed where churches are burned now. The author said it was because they were unemployed and, therefore, bored, frustrated and angry. I think the economic uncertainty now explains some of the violence all over the USA.

Perhaps these burnings by whites and the muggings and crimes by Blacks are a good thing. The English, French, and Germans built up their colonial empire witha ratio of one dead European to ten dead natives. The USA killed the Indians with bullets, booze, and smallpox at a ration of about 50 to one — a margin of happiness compared to the inept Europeans. We willed in Korea and Vietnam at a ratio of about 25 to one. So even though our joy is cut in half, it still surpasses European empire builders. And now we are acting out what a few war protesters said from 1964 through 1974: “Don’t bring the troops home — bring the war home.” So this is the violence and joys of the war at home on a petty scale. How little life lost here, how puny the value of the churches and federal buildings like the one in Oklahoma City compared with what we did with bombers over Germany, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

I suggest we live with some uncertainty. As an almost-chosen people, we can kill with a half-hearted joy. The Souther Baptist convention recently attacked Disney because Disney treated gays, lesbians and other employees who differ from white Baptists as human beings. Sine Baptists at my school, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where I got my BA in 1946 and MA in 1949) delayed a year giving an honorary degree to President Truman because he cussed and drank a bit of bourbon — approving (100%?) his dropping the two nukes on civilians — we know hat it means to be a conservative Christian: God tells you who to hate and who to kill — i.e., David asked which direction to send his army and God pointed the way... See David in II Samuel 21:6-14 where he made the rains return by helping to sacrifice seven sons of Saul and the mother of two victims; AND got rid of any threat of Saul’s house to his throne.

The prophet Elijah also faced a three-year drought, one that ended with a burning mountaintop rain ritual that included human sacrifice. Elijah’s competition wi the priests of Baal was a mountaintop in the Carmel range of N. Israel called El Muhraqa — The Place of Sacrifice. King Ahab of Israel and the prophets of Baal agreed to work together to bring rain. Ahab called together 450 priests of Baal, 400 priests of the goddess Asherah (Astarte), and the lone Elijah for a competition. Elijah spoke first: “Bring two bulls. You choose one and lay it on the wood without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other. You shall invoke your god by name and I will invoke the Lord by name; the god who answers by fire, he is God.” (I Kings 18:23-24.) The 950 “false” one failed. Then Elijah erected 12 standing stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel... poured water on it... “Then the fire of the Lord fell. It consumed everything and liked up the water in the trench. Elijah took the prophets of Baal down to the Kishon and slaughtered them. And the rains came.

What I’d like to point out is how much agreement — from bulls to fire — in the Jews and their Semitic neighbors of the old religion. They were killing people almost like brothers. So the Blacks in their Christian churches have the same beliefs as those whites who burned them. But they were Black and therefore heretics to the exterminated in their white dreams; and their church burned in fact.

“Antidisestablishmentarianism” — it was a debate about the Church of England in Ireland: Irish Catholics hated to pay taxes to that Protestant state church. In 1969 Gladstone abolished the Church of England as a state church. One old aristocrat stood up in the House of Lords when a few wanted to do the same in England. “Hands off the Church of England — It’s all that stands between us and Christianity.” A wit said “the advantage of belonging to the Church of England is that it doesn’t interfere with your business, pleasure or regligion.”

Over almost 4,000 years, to be an orthodox Jew, Christian, and Muslim is to have a license to kill, to discriminate, to boycott an almost Decent Disney — some of the time. Be one of God’s Frozen People: keep to your sleepy church. Go to church. But if it is like ancient Jews and early Christians and Muslims, treat it like perfume: to be sniffed by not swallowed. Never let church, politics, or education interfere with being a decent human being to your world-wide neighbors.

Since politics is slow boring through hard boards, few of us are willing to do the patient things that help our democracy. Ask yourself: “What am I doing to see that we have better jobs for poor whites and Blacks?” Unions and progressive taxation are a good start.

James White


PS. I’ve written a lot about the invention of history recently, starting with a current Village Voice Lit Mag on Ireland, June 1996, p.19-23. Did I send it to you? Let me know.

Most of the events in the Bible did not happen, since they had a dream genocide; as in the Elijah story: a dream genocide and then revenge. We dreamed deaths with such sexy and greedy expectations in Vietnam... i.e., our reports on destroyed bridges were more bridges than existed in all of Vietnam since the time of Buddha and Isaiah and Elijah. So perhaps only 33 churches burned — one for each year of Jesus’ life, not 40.

* * *



I’m writing in response to the hubbub about the rumor that Gene & Sue Waggoner are going to start up another group home. So what?! Don’t the people of Anderson Valley need some excuse to bitch?! Do they all think that every boy in a group home is a gang-member, rapist, murderer or “very troubled”?

Let’s take a look at some of our home-grown juvenile delinquents like the occupants of the house next to the Philo Post Office. How often are the cops called on them? What about the idiots who beat up the boy on Ray’s Road not too long ago? The superb driver who knocks down all the road signs? The talented artists who are printing graffiti all over Philo and Boonville?

I don’t see any of the neighbors around Unicorn group home complaining. It’s funny how people pick on group home boys unless they’re star athletes. Notice that?

When I was in high school everything bad that happened had to have been done by a group home boy. If they were from Gene Waggoner’s group home it was made into an even bigger deal, but that’s a whole nother story, isn’t it?

You think if Gene & Sue promise to get all-star athletes anyone will complain?! Probably not! Why don’t people start complaining more about the wannabe gang-banger juvenile delinquents who are here now?! I think the local idiotic delinquents do more trouble here than any group home boy has ever done.

This is just a picture of how petty and close-minded people of Anderson Valley really are. Not all boys or girls who are put in group homes are troublemakers; some have had troubled families, AV is a good place to start over (except for the close-minded, stuck in the past, petty people).

Gene & Sue have helped many boys. They gave them a family and a chance to start over. It was up to the boys to take advantage of the opportunity. So if there were failures, it was not Gene & Sue’s fault.

If you all want something to complain about, how about those wannabe gang-bangers hanging out in Anderson Valley?


Lisa Kuny


* * *


Boz Williams,

Unfortunately it is your presence, itself, on this land that contradicts your stated concern for a natural habitat. The only feral or non-native organism that causes irreparable damage to this ecosystem is YOU. When YOU stop using electricity (grid or solar), gas, lumber, purchased food, medicine, clothing, and housing, you will be eligible to attack someone like Dayla who has more knowledge of and experience with this land than you ever dreamed of in all your fantasies of nature as it should be. I don’t meant to get personal, but you’re a fool.

I must apologize, though, for Dayla not answering your letter directly. She was busy taking on the local racist, Indian-killing cops. For some reason, she thought that was more of an immediate concern... something to do with her Indian intemperance,  I suppose. You know how they are. I’m sort-of her Public Relations advisor, and being as I had nothing to do today, she asked me to cover this response.

So here I am, listening to KZYX, and on comes someone you might like to get in touch with (we all need similarly-minded allies). This woman is claiming that tanbark oaks are an “endangered species” because the feral pigs are eating all the acorns. She immediately follows this statement with an offer to sell a $12 acorn cookbook she had written.

You, like this cookbook peddler, would probably never see the hypocrisy Dayla saw in this sequence. I, myself, thought it was a comedy routine.

I’d also like to apologize for Dayla to the California Native Plant Society for her previous negative comments concerning its activities in attempting to destroy all organisms it doesn’t define as “native.” She thinks it’s very generous of corporate fronts like that to give confused — yet concerned — people such as you direction with harmless pop-causes like “saving” acorns and lily bulbs. It is a little saddening, though, to watch as you are deceived into allowed these fears, phobias and hangups to pass for morality, and superstitions, wishful thinking and bottom-line economics pass for science.

Well, I gotta go now, so I’ll just leave you with this final thought from H.G. Wells: “And the Poor Dears haven’t a shadow of a doubt that they will live happily ever afterwards.”

Sincerely and with only a modicum of passive aggressive anger,

Rick Hepting


* * *


Dear Editor,

In last week’s AVA (6/19), Emil Rossi outlined his simplified version of the Amador Plan. It would replace the Anderson Valley Fire Department, ergo, the Chief. (Get the picture?)

The Amador Plan is not new. Our CSD Boards, past and present, have considered it and chose to continue supporting our own Fire Department.

According to Rossi, his simplified version goes something like this:

1. For $20k CDF will provide one man (of their choice) and one fire engine for six months (November-April). In that period, they will also train our volunteers (assuming we still have some).

2. June 21-November, we will be served by the CDF station on Highway 128, plus our volunteers (?). No one will be at our fire station.

Rossi’s plan is so full of holes it’s a bad joke.

Rossi is a liar — through and through. He has no conscience and will say anything to make his point (?). He was elected to the CSD Board because of name recognition: Rossi Hardware, his Boonville store. I know that’s why I voted for him. (Boy, was I ever wrong — I apologize, here and now.) His actions as a CSD Board member have been deplorable. He is uncouth, vile-mouthed, and just plain stupid. He gives the term “politician” a bad name. He seldom even shows up at the CSD board meetings, although he does send his favorite stooge to talk for him — from a written script. Daddy is still driving the boat.

Rossi has never been able to functionas a Board member. He has no respect for the present (or past) Board members and certainly none for the general public. His now famous “Shut Up And Listen — God Dammit” tirade, says it all. The meetings go fairly smooth when Rossi isn’t there (or represented by his stooge). He would do the community a great service by resignin. His ego won’t allow that, so stand by for the next episode of “Rossi’s Demise.”

Somewhere along the way, I heard someone refer to the good old days when CSD meetings were held in the trailer next to the firehouse and consisted of the CSD Board, plus maybe two or three members of the community, were all that showed up. What happened? Rossi & Co.; that’s what happened!

Much to his chagrin, the community began to pick up on his nonsense and got involved to support the hard working Board members who had to deal with this raving “politician.” Approximately 30 people now show up regularly to deal with the current issues. No more free ride for Rossi.

We all wish that more poeple would show up at the meeting to see what is really going on. You can and should make a difference.

One more thing: For a chronic liar like Rossi to sign his letters as “Yours truly” is an ulimate act of hypocrisy.


Leo Howard


* * *


Letter to the Editor:

This is in response to Brenda Laurel’s laudatory drivel on Timothy Leary in the 6/12 AVA.

One man’s angry letter in the SF Chronicle of 6/15 complained of his sister’s experimentation with LSD in the 60s which led to her “severe bi-polar schizophrenia ever since which added up to 30 years of disorienting misery.” He hoped that Timothy Leary roasts in one of the lower rings of Hell; that he is a responsible party to one of the most destructive derailings of an entire generation in this history of civilization; the old fool.

On 6/20 the Chronicle carried another letter which claimed that Leary “...destroyed a generation. That he should be lionized, or even thought of as a social visionary, is obscene. The havoc that he wrought in th social fabric of this country should be seen as it was — an irresponsible assault on the basic concepts of civilization and social cohesion. He destroyed the lives of people I loved...”

A clipping dated 1/13/86 in the Chronicle about the Swiss inventor of LSD said that here, on his 80th birthday, he was “not sorry.” It has always been my impression that the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Sandoz, was responsible for the entry of LSD into this country. The careful Swiss would not allow the experimentation on its own protected public, but what better place to foist it onto than the United States, whose government never gives a damn about the protection of its citizenry, and certainly not the indigent ones in a state hospital system?

LSD was introduced at Mendocino State Hospital at Talmage around 1959, said to be limited to the alcoholic inmates. But suddenly the person in charge of this program — a non-M.D. — began to indulge himself in LSD and then dispensed it to mental patients. True, he did not have a license to practice medicine, and because of the complaints, the director of the hospital brought in MDs to oversee the program. Soon the LSD spilled into the other staff, and then off the hospital grounds into the community and then scattered to the four winds.

A writer for the old SF Call-Bulletin was investigating this vicious catastrophe and he told me once when he was interviewing the fellow who had originated the program at MSH that he “broke down crying at the beauty of his own words.” It was the snicker among the professionals on the staff that he had taken so much LSD that he had given himself the equivalent of a chemical lobotomy. I asked the reporter if follow-ups had been done on the countless alcoholics and mental patients who had been given LSD, but he thought not.

So unsuspecting, already miserable Americans had been abused for the benefit of a scheming foreign drug company’s profits. What happened to these patients as they were released back into their communities, penniless and jobless? Post-LSD reactions were a tragic side-effect, sometimes continuing for years. I know what happened to one former patient — she jumped through a church’s cathedral window.

And what of Timothy Leary’s own family? His wife killed herself, as did his daughter while she was imprisoned for shooting her husband. At an earlier time, Leary needed to get some drugs over the border, so he strapped them to the body of this same youngster. The customs people were on to this fool scheme, so she was searched and arrested. Leary gave his own daughter an arrest record in his insatiable need for a high. Only the son managed to escape his father’s insanity. One obituary said that he and his father were “estranged.”

There are thousands of people who have been victimized by LSD pushers. Zack Anderson used an expression in the latest AVA on another issue, calling it a “scalding indignity.” I will use this expression here, because it is a perfect one to describe this abuse — it was and continues to be a scalding indignity.

Brenda Laurel dismisses these victims — which includes my own destroyed family — as she prattled on that “Leary’s Leary. I love you, Tim.” She is a moronic, criminal twit, because she is well aware of the truth to the claims made here. She is nothing but a female version of Richard Allen Davis who flipped the bird at the suffering Klaas family in court last week. The only difference between the two is that she is running loose out here, while Davis is behind bars.

Please withhold my name and city

PS. I swear to you that this is the truth as I know it and experienced it. My reluctance to list my name and city involves a legal agreement I have with my former spouse, an MD, to never discuss things having to do with that spouse. I have not discussed my spouse here, but it will create problems for me if it is perceived as “discussion.” I am willing to name names other than my spouse’s over the phone, but not over my signature. I never took LSD myself. But Jesus Christ, I still have nightmares over what happened to me and my family, even though these events took place decades ago. Thanks.

* * *


Dear Editor,

I refer to Polly Strand’s letter of 6/12 and respond with respect and admiration for her submission. Credible as it was, it was unable to cover the entire spectrum of the medical profession’s activities. The AMA is not able to do that either, and neither am I.

For those who can look back that far, there was a time when no one had “health insurance,” and people paid for coverage out of their wages. I did, for three children, $150 for total OB-GYN fees and about $50 for the hospital. I was earning about $1 an hour at that time in the early 50s.

When my union, and others associated with the building trades, negotiated for health and welfare benefits there was rejoicing. It is understandable that grown adults can act as children and feel relieved that some “government parent” is going to care for them. They were wrong. The whole process became corrupt.

With insurance, it became possible for doctors to rip off those companies, using the insured as pawns, as Polly described. If they died in the process, too bad. The doctors acted within the parameters of their profession, and nothing is perfect or guaranteed. However, the price for medical care escalated, very fast would be stating it mildly. The quality of care has not risen proportionately, though potentially it is much better.

There are many areas where the medical industry has attempted to attract the sympathy of the public with unsubstantiated claim of harm or success, cancer is only one of them. Close inspection with an open mind can reveal many.

Electromagnetic propagation is a cause that is loosely blamed for cancer because of the “deep pocket” theory of blame. Recent attempts have alleged that simple 60Hz systems, the kind that serve our homes, cause cancer. In other words, all electricians have a tendency towards getting cancer. Not true. Or the sun/cancer theory. The sun does cause cancer, but no all skin cancer can be blamed on the sun. Do all truck drivers have a tendency to develop cancer on their left forearms? Or drivers in England on their right forearms? Not really.

Lawyers are ready to sue the utilities because that is where the money is. Deep pockets attract.

One major potential cause of cancers is overlooked because there are no deep pockets in which to dig, no single cause to prove as being negligent. But consider electromagnetic propagation. X-rays have long been recognized as being carcinogenic, and these radiations are in an extremely high frequency range. Without advertisement, many other transmissions, in the same or higher frequency range, are being deployed, in the gigahertz range and higher, way above X-ray frequencies. Cellular phones, police, aircraft, tv, FBI, CIA, ad infinitum, use transmission directly or via satellites which shower us constantly with carcinogenic range frequencies. Who can tell which part of our bodies will react, and how, to this constant barrage of microwave oven energy that encompasses “our” world? I feel cooked.

Even my 86+ year old mother was encouraged by her physician not long ago to have the first mammogram exam in her life. Fortunately, she told the doctor, more or less, “to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.” Not really, as her doctor is a female. Mom’s feisty, but healthy.


Carl Flach


* * *



Further dipping into the Wanda Letters I find the dear girl’s parody of Prufrock inferior to Max Crawford’s classic among tens of thousands by now:

“In the Pentagon generals blow and go

Remembering the Alamo.”

From memory of course as all extant copies have been destroyed by the authors or his enemies, friends of Eliot or the draft mainly. This masterpiece, “The Song of the Big Fat Capitalist,” if I recall, was first published in the Peninsula Observer, formerly the Mid-Peninsual Observer, during the strike/sit-in at Stanford, back when such things were done, spring ‘69. Can’t remember the building’s name, that which was sat in, some sort of electronics and/or engineering hulk, the sit-in birthing a far more serious sort of opposition to the war in Viet Nam, military industrial complex and the corporate/university/financial empire that has now gripped America with a ferocity that we starters-out did not dream of in those naive and heady days.

Initialed Imperfectly,

Max Crawford

Billings, Montana

PS. And oh yes, in recalling those days when writing was writing and reading was reading — I believe there was a Bob Hope song — I would suggest to the reader Grover Lewis’ eight-word epic about driving over this vast land, more a continent than a country, more another world than a continent:

“We ate at EAT

and slept at ROOMS.”

Tacitius could not have said it half so well in sixteen.

Odd that both these wordsmiths should hail from Texas, isn’t it?

* * *



Uh-oh. It seems my June 12 letter (“Youth Wants To Know”) has provoked a scathing editorial response. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go mano-a-mano with the AVA editor. I’ve finally got my chance.

As for the “small army of exploited ‘interns’” at In These Times (where, for those are actually reading this exchange, I formerly worked as an editor), I want to make very clear that no interns were abused on my watch. Perhaps there were excesses under previous editors, but I worked closely with Alice Tepper Marlin from the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP) to hammer out an innovative “code of conduct” that we used when impressing, er, I mean welcoming new interns into service.

Like Starbucks, whose Guatemalan operations now guided by a CEP-approved “mission statement,” I came to realize that issuing a firm statement of principles is far more important than having any.

Yes, some people might consider unpaid labor of any form to be simple peonage, but with the help of the CEP we realized that our voluntary workers were actually empowered by their experience.

As for the continuing controversy over material appearing in the AVA without clear sourcing: I’d have to say that intellectual property rights — like California’s Shield Law — are imperfect, but absolutely vital pillars of our democracy. Judging by the trade agreement Clinton just signed with China, I’d say even totalitarian states understand their import.

Get with the program, Bruce.


Jim McNeill


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Here’s my sub for three more months along with $20 for Mark Heimann’s Investigate Reporting Fund. Glad to see Bruce is out of jail — by the time I get the paper here it’s almost two weeks old and he could be back in jail for some other reason. Also, here’s a quote from Al Franken’s latest book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot,” quoting from Michael Reagan’s autobiography:

It’s a beautiful day in 1964. (Ronald) Reagan is the commencement speaker at an exclusive prep school outside Scottsdale, Arizona. Reagan is standing with several of the seniors, who have been invited to pose for pictures with him. He chats up each of the graduates, and to one of the boys he says, “My name is Ronald Reagan. What’s yours?” The boy says, “I’m your son, Mike.” “Oh,” says Reagan, “I didn’t recognize you.”

So much for family values...

Dave Meehan

Asheville, North Carolina

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AVCSD Director Emil Rossi (AVA 6/19, “More Amador, Less Assessment”) claims we can have a better fire department cheaper by contracting with CDF for $20,000 for fire protection for the November to May winter season.

Last year the CSD asked CDF Mendocino Ranger Unit Chief Ray Hebrard for a breakdown of costs if CDF did different aspects of the fire chief’s job. his response of October 16, 1995, is available for review at the CSD office. He said:

1. To do the present job of the current fire chief, CDF could provide one full-time position (fire captain) for $79,541, without overtime (that is a 40-hour week). The District would have to provide an equipped vehicle and all necessary office supplies and equipment, plus clerical personnel to handle insurance, certification records, billing, accounts, financial reports, and the files and inventories.

2. To staff the Boonville station in the winter with one engine, two people and a Battalion Chief, seven days a week, 24 hours a day: $53,000.

3. According to Hebrard, we can contract (for $21,363.50) for one equipped truck and one person for 24-winter coverage. However, the engine cannot respond with only one person on board, so our fire department has to have a trained volunteer available within three minutes to respond with the CDF unit so that it can go to the emergency.

As usual, Director Rossi gives part of the story, and part of what he says is correct. But the figures don’t add up to his conclusion. In order to replace Jim Trubia with a CDF employee, we would have to spend upwards of $80,000. The chief, who works far more than 40-hour week and who is always on call, makes $28,800 with an additional $3,600 estimated for his payroll taxes.

An Amador Plan will not replace the volunteer department. It can only work if it fully utilizes a volunteer department. In order to have functional volunteers who are trained, equipped and motivated, you need vehicles, radios, hoses, pumps, personal safety gear, instruction, insurance... To keep track of of all that and keep it safe you need stations, records, files, and someone to manage it all. None of these costs will be reduced one cent by the Amador Plan. For someone who claims to be a fiscal conservative, Rossi’s carelessness with figures is startling. He claims the District spent $6,000 in the last fiscal year to “get the benefit assessment through.” The election cost us $3,687 and only portion of that — probably a third — can be attributed to the benefit assessment; the rest was the normal cost of electing directors.

Rossi has refused to recognize throughout the election, and during the unfortunate first six months of his tenure in office, the overriding fiscal facts of life for our fire department. The property tax money we used to get has been diverted to other agencies. In 1993, we got $84,051 in tax dollars. In 1994, it was cut to $79,149. In 1995, we got $46,118. This fiscal year ending 30 June we are scheduled to get $79,000, and if Pete Wilson and all the grasping legislative hands can be fended off, we may get $84,000 again next year. The benefit assessment was passed to give us secure, dependable revenue for our fire department, and to enable us to build a department that can provide fire protection throughout our 200-square mile, growing, changing District.

Gene Herr


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Last week’s story on L-P’s lawsuit to cut off access to the Albion River in the Mendocino Beacon wrongly implies that the seven defendants are in it because of involvement in the Albion logging protests of 1992. I was the only named person sued — all the others joined voluntarily to defend public rights to use historic roads and trails to reach the tidal estuary.

L-P is using this suit to try to cut off public access that was freely allowed by the owners before them — access guaranteed by California’s Constitution. L-P rejected my settlement offer to allow limited public access for recreational purposes only, excluding hunting, wood gathering and vehicles. L-P said this case was too important to them, and would set legal precedent allowed them to cut off public access to all of L-P’s 300,000 Mendocino County Wildland acres.

I got a call from someone mentioned in the Beacon story whom I hoped would be an important witness in the case. She refused to testify because she was angry at being associated with logging protestors in the story. She thought she had a right to use L-P roads no matter how the suit turned out because she and her family have lived along the Albion all their lives. This suit is precisely aimed to end those rights.

People, especially old-timers, should wake up if they think a multinational corporation like L-P will treat them and their families the way the old local company did. many potential witnesses are either afraid they will lose some privilege L-P allows them, or think the outcome won’t affect them, or don’t realize their civic and legal duty to testify as to the truth.

This case has been delayed until July 30, and I am asking the court to take testimony in the Fort Bragg courthouse or in people’s homes, in the case of senior citizens. I urge people not to be afraid of L-P, and not to let them take away historic public access. My number is 937-0137.

Nicholas Wilson


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