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Letters (November 13, 2019)

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To the Editor:

A fire broke out at the home of William and Judith Ray on East Side Road in Little Lake Valley near Willits during the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 28, while there was a regional power outage. As a result, the Rays lost their home and all their possessions.

People who want to make a donation to the Rays may do so at either the Ukiah or the Willits branch of the Savings Bank of Mendocino County. One can approach the teller in person and say that he or she would like to donate to the account of William Ray, or one can mail a donation to the account of William Ray to the Savings Bank of Mendocino County, 145 South Main Street in Willits, or 200 North School Street in Ukiah. William and Judith extend their thanks to all.

Mike A’Dair


Bill adds: I am holding our mail to 22641 East Side Rd. Willits 95490 and I pick it up at the post office. My number is 707 357-7155. Concerning people can use the bank method to help if they choose to. Judith should be released at the end of the week and we can start anew in an apartment in town, closer to the hospital. Many thanks.

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Hopefully this last time change will be our last. A year ago Californians passed Prop 7 to cease the biannual messing with our clocks. The only problem with Prop 7 was the cockamamie codicil that we remain on Daylight Saving forever. I prefer honest time, where noon is noon and midnight midnight. Hopefully clearer heads will prevail and California will now remain on Standard Time forever. If you don't like when the sun rises and sets, get up earlier (or later). Adjust your schedule, not the clock.

All this talk about burying electric lines being too expensive reminds me of the argument against instituting National Healthcare in this country. Never mind the rest of the civilized world adopted their various versions of National Healthcare long ago and, as a result, now spend much less than Americans. Also never mind that almost all other utilities managed to bury their lines — heck, even PG&E's gas lines are underground. It wasn't so long ago that crews whipped around Mendocino County burying fiber optic lines hither and yon. This was accomplished quickly and with minimal fuss. Those lines connect to fiber optic lines which span the great oceans. This is what makes the web world-wide, hundreds of such cables crossing Earth's oceans. As with healthcare, these things can be done, there are simply monied interests standing in the way.

Why did the coastal areas need to have their power shut off last week? I understand the conditions inland were much different, but ten miles from the coast we saw almost no wind during our four-plus days of blackout. The air along the coast was equally placid over that stretch. I have not heard an explanation of why the coast had to be without power for so long. Perhaps the big transmission lines that power the coast pass through the dry, windy zones. I imagine food sales have been brisk since then.

I'd like to draw attention to something Mendocino Supervisor Ted Williams recently said about the effort to get fuel (gas) delivered to the coast during the outage for vehicles and generators: "I will also say that it's ironic that in preparing for an adverse event like this resulting from climate change that we are talking about stockpiling the very fuel that causes climate change. Maybe we need to take this discussion in the direction of solar panels and batteries at key facilities so that we have the ability to recharge our devices and get by without using an absurd amount of fossil fuel."

This is exactly the kind of forward thinking that has been sorely lacking from leadership in this country for many years, and we need a lot more of this right now. It reminds me of a recent trend I've been hearing about, which is installing propane-fuelled generators. Lots of people and businesses are now getting these installed to weather future outages. I understand the short-term benefits of this decision, but we should not ignore the longer term downsides. You're still burning fossil fuel to generate your electricity, and it is a fuel largely derived from fracking. That's a double downer: highly toxic in origin and climatically destructive in exhaust. Someday soon, if humanity comes to its senses, the price of such dirty fuels will become greatly inflated. It would be wiser to adopt cleaner sources for your power now.

For much of my life I considered the Republican Party my natural enemy, as they represented everything antithetical to my way of thinking. They still do, but I've also come to realize that the Democratic Party, in fact, represents the greater threat and impediment to progress, as they are the party that is responsible for stifling and killing any progressive impulse in his country. We are now deep into the second election cycle where the DNC has done everything it can to defeat the candidate of the people, Bernie Sanders. They were successful last time, and lost the general election — rightfully and deservedly so. I hope Bernie has the wherewithal this time around to choose Tulsi Gabbard, a real fighter, as his running mate. Together they would have no trouble defeating Donnie next November, the real problem is the DNC before that.

Mike Kalantarian


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I am outraged and exhausted by the completely unacceptable actions of PG&E as a public utility. This isn’t going to be our “new normal.” The company has been responsible for people dying, entire neighborhoods destroyed and hundreds of thousands evacuated from their homes by ongoing reckless operation of its power equipment and power line failures. Period. Who are they kidding? Not me; not you. 

Regarding the Kincade fire, it is inexcusable that so many people were evacuated and that coastal communities in Sonoma and Mendocino counties had their power and/or gas shut off for nearly a week. All the spin doctors in the world can’t hide their responsibility. 

Carla Sarvis


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The house we live in has been insured with AAA homeowners insurance for the past 40 years. We just got a letter stating AAA will no longer renew our policy because we live in a high fire risk area. How has that changed? Did AAA suddenly realize where we live, where the house has been for the past 40 years while it was insured? I am astounded that it can just decide not to renew our policy after insuring it for the past 40 years. This seems like it can’t possibly be legal. Is AAA going to stop insuring all homes in Sonoma County because of fire risk? I simply can’t wrap my head around this as it seems so wrong. 

Rorbert & Christine Ault

Santa Rosa

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Our family lives in Cloverdale after losing our home in Santa Rosa during the 2017 Tubbs fire. We’re concerned over the lack of phone and internet service (or the significant potential for losing it) during PG&E’s public safety power outages and wildfires.

In Fountaingrove, where we lived for 17 years, we enjoyed an old-school, copper-wired phone that worked during power outages. The copper wires were able to power our phone from AT&T’s central office. When we resettled in Cloverdale, we learned that copper-based landlines are no longer provided for new residences. As we’ve since discovered, voice-over-internet phones and most cellphones don’t work during a power outage, especially when there is no back-up battery power nor a diesel generator installed at either cell towers or service provider locations.

I’ve asked our state representative and county supervisor to ensure all telecom service providers return to Federal Communication Commission- mandated landline levels of reliability of greater than 99.999%. There is no reason why cellphone and internet services, regardless of how they are provided, should fall below the so-called “five 9s” level of uptime. Residents of Sonoma County should expect no less from our service providers.

Robert Koslowsky


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I am a volunteer at Good Buy Clothes in Point Arena for over 19 years now. I’ll tell you a story. The Sisters (Maura & Celeste) were having their annual fashion show and I was asked to be one of the models.

It was great fun, after the show Sister Maura came up to me and asked if I would consider volunteering at GBC on Mondays. I told her I was not catholic. Her comment to me was we don’t care, you’re a hard worker and a good person. So I have been volunteering at Good Buy Clothes for 19 years now.

Going forward to 2019: GBC has been in operation for 25 years and during that period has given back to OUR local community over $500,000. Also the GBC was paying $900 a month donation/rent to the St. Aloysius for the use of Trinity Hall for our sale day and for storage of our merchandise and processing on Mondays.

The new Priest (GB) also told the meditation group in Gualala that there would be no change to their group location at the church, then three days later he kicked them out of Mary Star of the Sea.

(As I see it, the money that over the years was donated back into OUR community by GBC to support many worthwhile causes… Well that regular monthly figure is what the GB/Church wants to get there hands on, in my opinion, it’s all about money to him, NOT about giving back to our community)

Good Buy Clothes had a lease agreement with the Church through Feb/Mar 2020 but the present priest wanted more rent and more control, and thus gave us two options: He wanted $1800 per month and TOTAL CONTROL of GBC, or, he would charge us $2400 a month and GBC (which began as and still is a non-profit entity) would then be just a tenant. And we would remain in control of GBC and who the money would be donated to. But—

Both of these options are very difficult if not impossible to accept. For example, for most months we only bring in $2200-$2400 per sale day, and pleasantly, some months are at or above $3000. So, essentially, with these new conditions, ALL our efforts including the many grateful donations to us would be a wash.

Just so you know, after the LAST SALE (October 2019) we left a $900 rent check and gave a 30 day notice. Then we picked up everything and left. We had the right to go back to Trinity Hall to use it for the November sale, but the priest changed all the locks. This essentially forced our early move to a place in Point Arena.

So please be patient with us as we relocate. We are currently located at 243 Main St. in downtown Point Arena. We are trying to get a donation box made to place near the front entrance of the building. So if you have donations, please hold on to them for a little bit for us because, remember, our job is to give back to our community.

We are working hard to make this new situation a successful one. And if you can, please repost this info as much as possible as I want to get the word out.

Rainie Pauter

Point Arena

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It's a shame that the wonderful states of Washington and Oregon are now shitholes because of Democrat liberal policies. California used to be the nicest state to live in. Now it’s a shithole thanks to Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. How can people gulp this down? Every state under Democratic control is a shithole. Believe me. It's the truth. 

This whole impeachment thing is coming from a shithole — Nancy Pelosi and the rest of them. And of course Nancy Pelosi is Gavin Newsom's aunt. Jerry Brown and J. Paul Getty — big money. That's how they get elected, they buy the election, they steal and cheat and buy and lie. Then they get elected. 

God bless Donald Trump. 

Jerry Philbrick 


PS. The smart people at Calfire and our environmental agencies cannot figure out how to make a defensible area around towns built into timber. There's a surplus of equipment all around the country and they can't build a defensible area on the Windward side? I know people love their trees like up in Paradise. But those trees turn into Roman candles during a fire. And it can jump from tree to tree very fast. You just build a defensible area on the windward side of these communities, maybe 200 feet wide so they can prevent fires from getting into the structures. All these people get so much money and yet they are so dumb. They don't know how to construct a defensible area. My grandfather was 83 when he passed away. He was in forestry for 20 years. He could give people advice from the grave. It makes me sick to think that all the equipment and resources we have and mills buying logs and brush cutters and chippers and you can't build a defensible area on the windward side of a community? 

PPS. The state of California is responsible for all these fires getting so out of control, especially in residential areas. I mean Jerry Brown and the liberal Democrat organization are to blame, not PG&E. How can PG&E defend 186,000 miles of line when it's running out into the forest for 50 or 60 miles where nobody's around and a limb falls out of a tree across the lines and then falls on the ground — how does PG&E manage something like that? For all the good they do and their people working all day and all night, giving up their home lives — don't blame PG&E, blame Jerry Brown and the state of California. 

The state should have required fire trails and defensible areas around communities. All these forestry know-it-alls and big shots couldn't persuade the state to do that? Defensible areas are the only thing that works when a fire approaches. No other way. Maybe if the liberal Democrats running this country would stop hoarding our tax money for stupid things like gun laws and climate change and open borders and free medical for this and that and put it on infrastructure and protecting our communities from fires it would be a different situation, fewer lost lives, avoiding all the fatigue and work involved in fighting fires and rebuilding homes and the anguish of people who lost everything. And the state of California just looks around — "What the hell? We will just raise the taxes!" But that doesn't help anyone. 

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To the Editor:

For years the Hospice of Ukiah Thrift & Gift Store has been picking up your unwanted furniture for resale in our store. You have come to depend on the “Thrift” as an affordable place to find that chair, or couch, or side table needed in your home. Mr. Lee Wachs even donated a truck, in memory of his wife, so that we could make pickups and deliveries. But recently we have had to stop making runs in the truck. The problem is staffing. We are seriously short of volunteers who, in the past, help us to accept, sort, price and display items. 

The Thrift is a big store, and the only Non Profit in town that carries furniture. But pick ups and deliveries take two staff members and leaves us without staff to run the store. We need volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a part of the success of the store, and in turn Hospice of Ukiah, please give me a call at 462-4038.

Janet M. Denninger, Administrator Hospice of Ukiah, Inc.


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Mr. President:

Just imagine for a moment that you withheld payment of $390 million to a foreign ally to get him to float dirt on your personal political opponent, something you thought would be of real value to you. Well, wouldn’t that be a crime: Soliciting a Contribution from a Foreign National in violation of 52 U.S. Code §30121(a)(2)?

And let’s suppose that when you did that you were already President of the United States and that releasing that money required your official act as President. Well, wouldn’t that be another crime: Agreeing as a Public Official to Accept a Bribe in violation of 18 U.S. Code §201(b)(2)?

That would be pretty serious, right? Agreeing to Accept a Bribe being itself Bribery, and Bribery being one of the only two specific crimes enumerated in our Constitution as grounds for impeachment and removal from office (U.S. Const., art. II, §4).

And then what if the $390 Million you were going to use to pay for the bribe wasn’t even your own money but instead was our Country’s money? Wouldn’t that gnaw on you a little? Maybe even make you think that what you were doing was kind of dirty? 

Worse, suppose that the $390 Million you were sitting on was money that had been specifically appropriated by our Congress to pay for the urgently needed immediate military defense of our foreign ally and in the long-run for our own Country’s national security. Wouldn’t that make you stop and think? Wouldn’t you worry a little in particular about how genuinely aggravating a factor that might be? 

And especially if you did all that not for your Country but just to help your own self win your own next election? Don’t you think that would be some other additional kind of high crime? And if it isn’t, don’t you think it should be?

If you actually did all that, don’t you think you’d feel just a little scummy? 

A bit like maybe you’re just a punk? 

Well, don’t you?


Jim Luther


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A hypothetical: Suppose a very cynical corporation and a government agency decided to construct a population control experiment. The corporation, a power company, would shut off power to thousands of citizens. The government agency would issue a mandate for the same thousands of people to leave their homes and keep businesses from opening even if they had their own power supply. These thousands of people would then all wind up in clogged freeways in the middle of the night. I think that would be a very dangerous and unnecessary experiment.

Don Montgomery

Santa Rosa


  1. Keith Bramstedt November 14, 2019

    RE: Mike Kalantarian’s post about California always staying on Standard Time……..I’ve read more than once that China, which is almost as wide west to east as the U.S., has ONE time zone!! Now that’s insane!

  2. Doug and Bev Elliott November 17, 2019

    So now PG&D has shut off the rain??? For how long?????

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