Letters (Nov. 28, 2018)

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LIGHT ‘EM UP!

To the Editor

In the "Online Comments of the Week" in last week's edition a writer asked what can be done about drivers who are distracted by using various on-line devices in their cars. Here's one idea: We adopt a law requiring all new cars to be equipped with a light on the top of the car. I think a pink light would be a good color. Whenever the driver uses any device in the car, the pink light goes on, alerting all others that the driver is probably not paying full attention to the road. This would not only make other drivers aware of these road hazards, it may actually deter knucklehead drivers from being distracted by these devices while driving. 

Steve Krieg

Yorkville

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CALTRANS INVADES ALBION

Editor,

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday week, Caltrans began its geotechnical drilling operations at the historic Albion River Bridge last week. Drilling operations are expected to continue every weekday through January 25, 2019, except during Christmas week.

Caltrans has already scalped the bluff top on the northern side of the bridge, removing roughly 100 trees and other vegetation from an erosion-prone bluff. Last week, the agency started to scalp the small freshwater wetland at the base of the south-facing bluff, where it meets the long-established dune-berm immediately west of the historic bridge, to build the first of eight drill pads.

On November 20 Caltrans used a helicopter to move two steel platforms, a drill rig, and other drilling equipment and supplies into place. Each piece of equipment was suspended from the helicopter by a 190-foot long cable, an operation known as an “external swing load.”

The complex operation required complete closures of Highway 1 for twenty minutes (or more) at a time. On November 20 it was three times.

In between delivery operations, Caltrans plans for the helicopter to hover off North Albion Head or return to its base at Little River Airport by flying over the Albion River Valley or along Highway 1 and over the Dark Gulch unit of Van Damme State Park.

Caltrans claims the geotechnical drilling will help inform decisions relating to maintenance and rehabilitation costs of the existing historic structure. However, the agency has also admitted — on the record, at Coastal Commission meetings — that additional drilling would be necessary to fully investigate rehabilitation.

In other words, the drilling operations seem directly aimed at one goal: destroying the last remaining timber trestle bridge on Highway 1, a bridge that has both state and federal historic designation.

The Albion Bridge Stewards have already documented roughly a dozen violations of the coastal development permit issued to Caltrans by the California Coastal Commission last September, and has shared these violations with Coastal Commission staff. The Coastal Commission has rebuffed a request to revoke the Caltrans permit based on these and other violations — perhaps in part because of a “interagency agreement” in which Caltrans pays the Coastal Commission almost a million dollars a year to streamline its permitting endeavors.

Albion Bridge Stewards will be monitoring the drilling operations closely and will continue to document and report violations.

AnneMarie Weibel

Albion

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WE NEED SNAP

Editor: 

During the holidays, a lot of people think about donating to food banks or volunteering time in the community. Charity efforts are critical, but to end hunger in our community, we have to also attack the root causes of poverty.

That’s why federal anti-poverty programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) are so important. SNAP helps more than 40 million people put food on the table, but it’s been under near constant political threat. Right now, there’s even a proposed rule that would punish legally residing immigrants for receiving SNAP or other basic assistance. This is just wrong.

While we support our local communities through charity during the holidays, we must also speak out to support policies that help millions of families put food on the table. Join me in telling our policymakers to protect SNAP and other food assistance programs for all families in our community.

Nicholas Lenchner

Santa Rosa

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WYNN CRIES WOLF?

Dear AVA;

Regarding your article quoting Wynn on the difficulties planning coastal development. One of Wynn's jobs that is under scrutiny, is described in the newsletter from the local chapter of the Native Plant Society.  

The site is a minor subdivision request on Thomas Lane in Fort Bragg. The 10 acres are in  the extremely rare Pigmy Forest. According to the Calypso newsletter article, Wynn Coastal Planning misrepresented the area in the biological survey as individual specimens as G2S2, which is less than 20 occurrences. The State has designated the area, known as an alliance, G1S1, which is Five or fewer occurrences. Problems arise for consultants when they fail to properly identify the environmental sensitivities on a site, as is required by law.  

Alliances are named after the more conspicuous plants in the group. They represent a whole system defined by the plants present, appearance, stability, shape, climate and geology.     The pygmy is unique because of the very slow draining acidic soil developed on stable level area for millions of years. Stability like this is rare in the restless geology of California. This has resulted in year round wetlands also rare in our parched and burned over state.  

Here is the rub; the owner illegally removed the forest and put in drainage to drain the wetlands. Were the plants there when Wynn did the biological assessment? Did Wynn counsel the owner to go ahead and clear and drain the property without permits? If not, why hire a coastal planning person after having already cleared the vegetation unless you are trying to pull a fast one.  

The G stands for global ranking and the S for state ranking. The vegetation is described as an alliance, a group of plants that are found together that dominate a site. The Alliance is called the Mendocino Cypress woodland and the association subcategory of the alliance is Hesperocyperis pygmaea-Pinus contortus ssp. bolanderi/Rhododendron columbianum. (Mendocino pygmy cypress, Bolander pine and rhodendon or azelea).  

Mendocino County is home to many unique plant and animal communities and two are most rare: The Pygmy Forest and the Coastal Prairie. Both are far rarer than redwood forest and oak woodland alliances. Both are desirable to develop because they are level.  

The phrase "housing crisis" is blaming the victim (the planet and environment) for what is a human population crisis.  

Bill Harper

Philo

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PUT THE PUBLIC FIRST

Editor: 

With PG&E facing lawsuits and possible bankruptcy for its handling of a vital public service, the timing is perfect for the public to take it over.

The state of California — we taxpayers — should buy it and run it as the not-for-profit service it must be, and for the sake of and in commemoration of the towns, cities and loved ones who have been destroyed by PG&E’s focus on profits over safety.

Certain services belong to the commons — housing, medical care and employment must be guaranteed as foundational to a civil society. This includes those services crucial to its functioning, such as fire and police departments, libraries and schools.

PG&E has betrayed its public duty. It has sacrificed lives, homes and people’s futures for its stockholders’ enrichment. We, the people, need to run the service for benefit of one another.

Julia Hawkins

Cotati

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GUNS, NUKES & OTHER BAD STUFF

Editor,

The Mexican people who come to the United States do work. White people draw welfare thanks to liberal Democrats and they just sit back and let the Mexican people do the work. That's the way it really is. 

Earthquakes. Infrastructure. Levies. Dams. Bridges. All old and not safe. No work on infrastructure for years. 500,000 people will die just in Sacramento Valley. They will be washed to the Bay Area along with horses, dogs, cats and sheep and the water loving animals with them. Catastrophic. Not if but when. 

The Endangered Species Act. Spotted owl, anti-logging, conservation, environmental, enviros have cost American people hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 30 years. Clinton got $275 million of taxpayer money when he went out of office. He hired a bunch of left wing radicals to govern and then they infiltrated all the agencies especially California.

In California it costs $50,000 for a timber harvest plan. In Oregon it’s $250 and you get approval in one day. It is sickening to see what California's enviros are getting away with.

Representative Swallwell, a Democrat, on gun control, says that the government has a right to nuke gun owners. He should be hung by his testicles from a lamppost in his hometown.

Southern California, have you had enough yet? You have voted more Democrats for the state. You have too many Hollywood liberals who are lucky to be alive. Next time they might not be so lucky.

Thanks to enviros, corrupt officials, and liberal politicians for the fires in Paradise. You are responsible for about 1500 human lives and unthinkable mass destruction. 

No wonder we lost the house in the election. Teachers all over the United States have brainwashed students, our kids, from first grade through college.

There has never been a time in the history of the United States when there has been so much corruption at every level, federal, state, county and even churches. It is so bad that our country has turned into such a foul thing after all the heroes and heroic wars we have won and lives lost. Keep it up you liberal bastards, you are doing a great job of trying to ruin our country. 

Eight more years of Gavin Newsom, think about it. It will only get worse from here on.

Just try to impose your radical stupid hypocrisy oni more gun controls on Californians and see what happens. You have gone too far, assholes. You have a sick and demented representative named Swallwell who said the government would nuke gun owners. Try it boys and see if the Capitol building doesn't just disappear and you rotten liberals with it. 

Tom Steyer the billionaire, dandruff on his shoulders, liquor on his breath, a rotten, horrible human being. George Soros the billionaire, too rich for his own good, runs around with his fly open, so rich he is trying to ruin the United States with the help of Tom Steyer. Both are foaming at the mouth, rabid, hydrophobic liberals, anti-Americans. They should be tied back to back in rope, put in a rowboat, pushed out to sea and when they get to the shark infested waters, sink the boat.

God bless Donald Trump and happy holidays.

Jerry Philbrick

Comptche

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Ed note: snopes.com/fact-check/eric-swalwell-gun-owners-nukes/

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LIBRULS

Editor,

"Liberals should be hung from a lamppost in the middle of town and left there to rot." "You liberals better watch out because we will be coming."

— Jerry Philbrick

Everybody thinks they have all the action when it comes to politics. But I submit the words of this threatening psychopath imply a mind that is clinical, even dangerous. You can feel his pain spewing out of his mouth. And not just the spittle. He has no idea his violent, wild eyed rants are naziistic to the core. If he thinks there is anything American about what he is writing is really delusional. I understand that he is a suffering human being. The Dalai Lama would remind us that as such he deserves our compassion. I admire the Dalai Lama but I had a friend once and he thought the same about a rattlesnake. Too bad there isn't any intervention by newspaper where he can get a big rhetorical hug. Oh right, there's Marilyn Davin. Hey, Hitler loved his girlfriend, his dogs, was a vegetarian, almost a regular guy among his own. Remember?

Also, I would like to disabuse Mr. Phil-the-Dick of his grotesque kill-them-all fantasies like the ones quoted above and retort that there are plenty of us “libruls” with guns and military training. I enlisted at the height of one of the country’s serial debacles and served two years overseas. I was expert with every weapon up to a 50 caliber gun. You may think we libruls are all just a bunch of us snowflakes, but we have lived in these woods a long time and have heard a loudmouth punks before. The sick, violent fantasies expressed in your letters must include vague or subconscious pictures of something comparable to shooting fish in a barrel. Don't count on it. Why don't you just shut up about all that crap?

John Arnold, Armed Liberal

Ukiah

PS. Mr. Kewpie-Pie Face, our fearless leader, sociopath, due to his blatant consuming narcissism, has thoughtlessly pulled aside the curtain and exposed the entire Republican Party for the sneaky, subtle authoritarian plutocrats (at best) they've always been. Citizens all, patriots, we mustn't assume this is the preliminary event, that this is a reversal. This could be it. This narcissistic maniac and the rich and powerful who have his back, this Leviathan, is Big Brother calling.

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