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Letters (October 9, 2019)

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Happy fall and the beginning of chilly mornings and changing leaves!

At the Market we are preparing for the autumnal holidays with tasty baked treats, hearty soup and a place to gather with friends and enjoy the simple pace of Yorkvillle life. 

October 12 we are hosting our 2nd Annual Fire person Appreciation Dinner. We will be serving BBQ Tri-Tip, Salads, Baked Potatoes, and delicious chocolaty Sundaes. There will be Live Music (and dancing!) from Dean Titus and the Boont-Jack 5. A Big Thank You to all our First Responders!! Dinner and Music at 5:30- $35/person portion of proceeds to benefit Fire Department. 

Looking forward to seeing you soon! 

For more details on these events please contact the Market at (707) 894-9456.


Lisa Bauer


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When it comes to drilling wells there are few rules and no boundaries, just a few regulations. Drill wells, but be aware that it may make a huge difference to your neighbor.

I talked to one guy who lost his gushing spring because 15 or 20 vertical wells were drilled by neighbors approximately half a mile up the mountain from him in Rancho Sequoia. He said he has no way to prove it but believes they drilled into the aquifer and it affected the geology of water flow. He isn't the only one.

A nearby neighbor and I sat down for a beer this summer and he said after 40 years and a super wet winter his spring dried up. He was forced to pump pond water. He told me that following the geology up the mountain he knows why. His neighbor two parcels over and one up put in several horizontal drills last year. There isn't anything he can do about it except maybe turn his neighbor in for abatement.

Imagine owning a parcel in Mendocino with three springs that together produced about 28,000 gallons a day and fed a spring since the beginning of recorded history. In 1948 the Springs went on record and in 1976 the rights were split legally to the neighboring parcel. There are artifacts that show that acorns were processed in those spring waters. I talked with a woman who is 66 and this is her story.

She told me that a week after she listed her property for sale, sometime this past June, that she noticed a reduction in water pressure in her house. She walked to her spring and noticed it was low and did maintenance on her springbox and improved her collection in her tank. After about a week she noticed a decrease in pressure. Back at the springbox she also noticed a big difference in her stream.

She called the neighborhood who drilled a well a week before. His first response was, "You can't prove we did that." In a time lapse, she lost her water completely by July. She has no water at all. Those springs have completely dried up. She has had no water all summer and to this moment has no water to shower, water pets, cook, and to drink. Zero water. She buys water and eats out. Since you cannot sell land while in litigation, the land can't be listed.

Where it stands now is they are trying to reach an amicable agreement. In those discussions the well digging neighbor wants to control the water. He wants them to go from collecting 28,000 gallons a day to 1,000 gallons a day. He argues that if they need that much water a day then they must be growing pot illegally. The audacity of this guy who nearly pierced through to the Holocene layer at 160 feet.

No wonder now at the postcard I purchased once on a road trip that said, "Montana water rights." It showed a picture of two guys getting ready to hit each other with shovels. Hell, I want to hit that guy. The water war has begun folks. To be honest, for weeks I've been obsessing over who exactly decided to not honor the agreement to release 50,000 acre feet of water every year from the Potter Valley Project to the Eel River, the very river that is dammed.

How did that happen for six decades?

There is something awful about everything. What I mean to say is, there isn't one thing done or one thing produced that hasn't been corrupted at one time or another. California water management is this complexity of laws and politics and institutions of Roman, Spanish, English and indigenous governments. Our modern system first came together in 1914 and the Water Commission was established. It is now called the Water Board.

Industrial extraction of the aquifer began after World War II when pumps replaced windmills and they then pumped hundreds of gallons per minute. Before that there were settlers. Their children turned the middle of America green. The beef got fat and farms got rich, but within 10 years there was a drop in the water table of 100 feet.

So right now in Texas there is a perfect example of a crossroads in our future. Beneath Texas is the Ogallala aquifer. It is so big that if drained would cover every state in 1.5 feet of water. If drained it will take 6,000 years to fill again. It is greatly diminished and they are busy finding ways to extend its usage. When it is gone a $20 billion industry will go too. Economic growth and declining resources are our issues in America.

I wish there were better news about laws and regulations. The only thing I've seen so far that may be of use in court are the two words "reasonable use." What is reasonable? Is it reasonable to ask someone to go from 10,000 gallons a day to 1,000 gallons a day? I don't think so. There is a conference coming up in Sacramento. It is on the American River I believe: 2020: a year of reckoning. This is the 2019 36th annual water summit. It costs. Farmers can get educated before drilling. Rub elbows with policymakers, stakeholders and farmers. Find out what decisions are being made in California. These are defining times for both Texas and California. How do we manage human demands without sinking?

Cheri Colston


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My efforts to reach 100 push-ups in one day have been hampered by a couple of injuries to my left arm and two fingers on my right hand—I might need yet another surgery on the pinky finger. My pursuit of difficult goals in my old age reminds me of a goal I had when I was a young man and used to run at the track of the University of Pennsylvania, where the Penn Marathon is run. My goal was to run a five minute mile, which to me meant 5:59 or less. Twice I came tantalizingly close but failed to break the six minute barrier. I figured out that I needed to run three quarters at one and a half minutes each; then, I could bust my ass and run the last quarter in 1:29 or less. On two occasions, on that beautiful running track, I completed 3/4 of a mile in 4:30. Alas, I wound up at 6 minutes flat each time. The second time, I confess to clicking the stop watch a split second before my foot hit the finish line— but to no avail. I still wound up with a flat six. And this was at a time when I was running between three and five miles five times a week. So, I've never run a five minute mile. Not even a 5:59 one. Perhaps I’ll never hit 100 push-ups in a day either. However, even the 45 I've been doing lately make me feel good. 

Louis Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

ED NOTE: Anything under 7 is a good time. In my running days I cracked 7 a couple of times. I think now running was a mistake for someone of my bulk. Too much strain on the knees, both of which are now arthritic. As for upper body and back, nothing beats push-ups even if you at first can only manage a few. I've been doing them all my life and, if there's money on it, can do 60. These days, I walk three miles in the morning, some of it uphill, do 200 push-ups at night in sets of 50 with five minutes between each set. Seldom drink any more but pound down three or four Original Boonville Donuts a week along with an apple fritter if I'm in Ukiah. (Sunny's Donuts, Ukiah, managed by the effervescent Maria) Can't be beat for product and customer service). I could lose 30 pounds without looking cadaverous but my health seems robust without austerity. 

PS. The other day I held a market door open for an elderly couple who seemed on the very edge of immobility, shuffling along as if they were blind. And then I recognized them and know they're at least five or so years younger than me, the point being that a lot of old people are prematurely old because they don't exercise. The young fat people everywhere these days are downright alarming. Sedentary gluttony at an early age and it's bye bye baby at 50, if you get that far. 

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To the Editor:

I see once again Ukiah’s fearless City leaders are going down the wrong road again literally with the State Street strangulation project. They have paid a consultant to tell them what to do and they will now throw good money after bad money. The poor fools who voted for the sales tax hike for street repairs have been duped and are going to be duped again. When you decrease the number of lanes in any direction you increase congestion, it’s that simple. Less is not more, it never is.

I guess we could install K-rail barriers up and down State Street and direct everyone to enter the downtown area and only let them out if they purchased something — that might work, forced entry. Maybe close the highway from 8am to 6pm and have all traffic run through our beautiful downtown. Give free tours of the old post office, the Palace Hotel and soon to be closed court house. We can advertise it as, “See it while you can because it will be really bad in a few more years.” Charge $5 to exit or show a receipt for same amount of purchases, no one escapes for free.

I have figured out why we are no longer repairing our streets, a consultant has told them don’t spent another dime on the streets as it will be cheaper to outfit every car in Ukiah with new tires and shocks. With the money you save you can all have raises and hire more consultants to tell us what to do with all our money. I can’t wait for my new tires.

Bob Morgan


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Robert DeNiro, you punch drunk liberal asshole. One of these days you will meet up with President Trump face-to-face. He will drop you like a hot rock. You are a disgrace to the community. You're sick. Keep it up, mister. Your time is coming! You are a big mouth. Why don’t you go one-on-one with President Trump and give him a chance to defend himself? You are chickenshit. How about a match between you and me in Las Vegas? I'm probably 10 years older than you but I could knock you out with one punch. It would be the big bout between the Trump lover and the Trump hater. You'll go from the Raging Bull to the Crying Cow. Come on mister! Let's make it a big fight. Let's see how brave you are, you anti-American liberal son of a bitch. I will fly the American flag in my corner and you can fly a yellow flag in your corner and it will be a UFC fight. I will get you down on your back on the canvas and beat your face to a pulp and then I will run Gavin Newsom in there and do the same thing to him. Huh? How do you like that? 

How dare Pelosi and Schumer stand in front of the American flag when they’re talking? How dare they wear an American flag pin? You are not Americans, you are scumbag liberal anti-Americans and all you've done for the last four years is try to screw the president up as well as the American people. Adam Schiff better not stand anywhere near an American flag either. He is a rotten scumbag liar. The rest of the Liberal Democrats who have had anything to do with the things going on in the last three years are just absolute rotten people, rotten to the core and corrupt and rotten. I don't want to see any of you around the American flag at all.

Jerry Philbrick


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Since several local north bay magazines have become a vehicle for advertising masquerading as news (for Budweiser beer of all things!), I’d like to contribute an advertisement for a product I love:

I don’t know why everyone isn’t driving this car. It’s all electric and gets 250 miles to a charge. Ok if you’re a long distance commuter without a place to plug it in, perhaps this isn’t the car for you. But for everyone else this car rocks!

Every time I drive my safety green Bolt I feel smug and self-rightous about not contirbutonig to greenhouse gases and global warming. I know that our individual choices will not by themselves change the world, but they might make a dent.

You never have to breathe exhaust fumes or go to a gas station again! And it has lots of pep. We leased our Bolt from the local Chevy dealer with a rebate from Sonoma Clean Power. 

I don’t often watch TV, but when I do the car ads are still promoting big gas guzzling trucks to macho men. WTF! Guys, you can still feel powerful driving the Bolt even if your penis is small. 

Powerful, smug and self-rightious,

Molly Martin


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People wonder why their children are using drugs, especially marijuana. All they have to do is look at Wednesday’s front page [of the Press Democrat]. A farmer smiling because his marijuana farm has been approved against opposition.

The farmer and the issue aren’t the problem. The problem is the front page can be read through every paper stand by every child who takes the time to read. The word “marijuana” will draw their attentions. Talk about double messages: Hey kids, don’t use drugs even though we adults consider drugs our No. 1 news. All I can say is, What?

Kevin Parsons


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I had never heard of Darryl Skrabak who certainly led an exemplary life. He was one of the few draft resisters sent to Lompoc, a youth prison, ages 18-26, instead of to a camp where conditions were not nearly as hard.  I talked to a resister who was there and it had traumatized him for life.  

The obituary says Mr. Skrabak was the first West Coast CO to go to prison in early March 1966.  It is true that he was the first West Coast person to do so, but the deceased legendary activist, John Ross, who was from the East and three years older than Mr. Skrabak was the first Vietnam era draft resister to enter prison out here in early 1965.  A few weeks ago I was listening to a blues show on KVMR in Nevada City.  They were talking about the blues players to be inducted into the Sacramento Blues Hall of Fame. The DJ said that one musician, Gary “Whalin’” Black, who died ten years ago, had routinely ignored all letters from the Selective Service.  So they came and put him in jail for two years.  He deserves belated recognition.  About 3250 men went to jail says the Wikipedia site. My assumption is that two-thirds of those were Jehovah’s Witnesses as that is the usual proportion and often they get longer sentences than the resisters.  

Lloyd Dennis


ED NOTE: Thanks for the note, Mr. D. My brother Rob Anderson was sentenced to 18 months at Lompoc in '65, my cousin Jim Rowland in '66 out of Arizona, both for refusing to register for the draft. Rob had to have been among the first in California. As I recall he was second in the state. Can't remember the first. Rob said he was the only resister at Lompoc for political reasons, but there were lots of Jehovah's Witnesses and lots of Native Americans sent to prison for otherwise misdemeanor offenses because all "crimes" committed on a reservation at the time were federal offenses. Lompoc did not offer the country club option it has now. Straight lock-up with lots of tough guys.  

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