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Letters (December 4, 2019)

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Both ends of California have had an unpleasant welcome to the holiday season. Northern California dealt with the wind-whipped Kincade fire in Sonoma County while blowtorch-like winds in Southern California fueled the Maria fire in Ventura County.

Holiday gatherings will happen, nevertheless. Some drink for fun, to interact socially or maybe to drown their sorrows. Whatever the reason, take caution. Drinking has dug up many social evils. One vile act is driving drunk.

A drunken driver hit me when I was 16 in 1992. My hearing, talking and walking were damaged. 

Alcohol rapidly moves throughout the body once swallowed. You aren’t to the point where you are falling off the earth, but you feel warm and bubbly. If you feel different, you drive different. A drink may be one too many. Buzzed driving is drunken driving.

Show appreciation to the first responders’ service by following laws. If you are a little tipsy, don’t drive. Taking busy roads or secret pathways to get home after drinking is foolish. Avoid dreadful consequences and impress people by having a sober person drive you. Do not end the year with an arrest or death.

Be the drinker who follows my words and saves lives. Happy holidays. 

Lori Martin


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Open Letter to Board of Supervisors

Measure B Questions:

Why would you spend Measure B money to build a money-losing Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)? As the Kemper Report tells you, CSUs lose money in Napa County and Nevada County, and the one in Sonoma County has lost millions of dollars. Do you remember we had one here for a year after the PHF closed in 2000? It also was not cost effective because a CSU has to have 3 shifts of medical people and can only help someone for less than 24 hours.

Isn’t a Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) facility a better choice because they can do all that a CSU can do, are cost effective, and can provide crisis care early, thus preventing expensive hospitalization or law enforcement involvement?

Why don’t you buy an existing building in Fort Bragg that is big enough for a CRT and all the Adult Services including the Healing Center that can be the Day Program with expanded support? 

What is the logic behind giving $3.3M to Sacramento architects when we have local architects? Why are you asking them to build 3 buildings when existing buildings can be used? Why don’t you purchase a ready-to-go hospital modular unit, that can be pulled onto land at an Adventist Health Hospital?

Don’t you know some local nurses, counselors, experienced family members, and recovered clients who would want to work in a CRT, especially one that offered life transforming healing classes plus support to overcome addictions? Many people will choose that to improve their own health and wellbeing, and to avoid the trauma of hospitalization and incarceration. 

There were 85% of us who voted for Measure B and mental health services that would support people to become healthier. I don’t think any of us expected you to change that to build 3 buildings.

Sonya Nesch


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Letter to Editor

Nice hearing from Fred Gardner. Back in the late '60s he was connected to the Oreo Strut GI coffeehouse in Colombia, S.Carolina, if I remember right. Anyway, nice hearing somebody mentioning the ancient troubles of today's "war vets." No bones to pick but I'd like to add a couple of things.

When I turned 17 in November, 1966, I joined the Army Infantry and volunteered for Vietnam. Fourteen days after I turned 18 on Nov. 27th, 1967, the army granted me my wish. I was a part of an "emergency combat Levy" out of the 101st Airborne headquartered in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In various parts of the Central Highlands, I beat the bushes with the 173rd Airborne and, in a nutshell, got a belly full of war.

The sentence that raised my eyebrows was: "Most so-called volunteers are driven to enlist by socioeconomic pressure." That's another way of saying, "Rich man's war, but a poor man's fight," right? Anyway, I was also in and out of the 82nd Airborne twice, and all paratrooper outfits accepted only volunteers selected among the enlistees and there was nothing "so-called" about us. Sure we had other "push factors" and we also had plenty of "pull factors." We chose to put our asses where our mouths were in a society where truly patriotic actions are so rare and war talk is so cheap.

The wholesale destruction of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos birthed plenty of anti-war GIs and Vets and, statistically speaking, combat vets and enlistees were more likely to turn against the war than draftee non-combatants were. The draftees were almost always older and more mature single dudes and working stiffs, and most of them saw their hitch as just another job to do and then be done with. Whereas the volunteers were motivated by a powerful sense of having been deceived and betrayed, their dead and maimed partners, the native soldiers, women, old men and kids all "wasted." Imagining the millions of lives wasted meant being dishonored by the sin of the mindless futile slaughter done in the name of "Peace with Honor" and--pathetically--"National Defense."

Coming home from war--real war--means forgetting about body counts and kill ratios and returning the real world. Problem being you've just returned from the real world and the folks back home are oblivious to it. Unable to blame them for something you've done in spades, you've got to wear it. You can pretend all you want, but there ain't no going back to the way things were. Not when American wars never end and there's never an end in sight. Not when everybody knows and nobody tells.

If we as Americans really wished to help our children of war, we'd've stopped mass-producing them 100 years ago.

B. Patterson

Prineville, Oregon

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To the editor:

I'm writing you because you say it as it is. I also shoot from the hip. I'm writing about my case and many others where our rights are being violated in the Mendocino County Jail. To wit, one of them is the Sixth Amendment right. This would be about their random urine analysis testing. During the collection process of the urine analysis, a chain of custody of the evidence is initiated. Uniform standards require "initials of person" and "initials of witness" — two initials/signatures. And, "To wit: tamperproof seal!" Due to the lack of compliance or ignorance with the evidentiary requirements with Title 17 CCR pre-analytical error occurs due to lack of proper training and/or incompetency. 

It starts with the lowly corrections officer to the Sergeant, the lieutenant and further up the ladder. They do not admit any wrongdoing. They believe they are an entity above the laws of this great state. The policies need to be updated and enforced. 

Also: There is overcrowding. Four people in a two-man cell. Triple bunks which I believe the Feds mandated to be taken out over 10 years ago. People sleeping on the floor. Getting out of your cell for one hour out of 48 hours.

Even though I am a prisoner in Mendocino County jail, I still have rights like any other citizen of the United States. When will a civil attorney or prisoners advocate group or person help the inmates at the county jail?

Maybe Sheriff Tom Allman's a great sheriff and will take a cut in pay and hire more correctional officers and expand jail and fix the overcrowding with 10% overcapacity and feed us better and change and enforce their policy and admit wrongdoing.

Will it ever happen?


Jeff Chenier A# 850

951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

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What commuters is SMART serving? Definitely not the majority of Sonoma County. SMART is going to put 30 or so more trains on the track so wait time is cut. So what? If the train doesn’t go where you need it to go, it doesn’t matter how long or short a wait there is.

More trains on the track isn’t going to cut my commute by 30 minutes or my cost to commute by $30. Until SMART figures out how to get the Sonoma County-to-San Francisco commuters to work without having to utilize two or three different modes of transportation, it will continue to be nothing more than a glorified wine train.

Carole Huygen

Rohnert Park

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Every four years since 1972, Iowa and New Hampshire in tandem have repeatedly been the first two states to vote in the American presidential primary process. Isn’t it time for the other 48 states to take their turns at being one of the first two states to vote? 

We should reform the presidential primary process in time for 2024 by instituting a rotational centurial schedule whereby every state will finally have the opportunity to be one of the first two states to vote. 

Rotating the states would bring a much needed, overdue element of fairness to our primary system by giving each state (no matter how sparsely populated) a period of political relevance. Also, moving Iowa and New Hampshire out of their unwarranted privileged political positions at the front of the line would help make the process more demographically representative of the nation at large. 


Jake Pickering


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California is now considered a Third World state because of its filth, corruptness, idiotic laws, sanctuary state, open borders and on and on. The idiots running this state are doing this. The mayor of Los Angeles is getting recalled and the governor is getting recalled. They have the signatures. We will put it to a vote. At least 70% of Californians do not like what's going on. California will become a better state when we get rid of these people running things now.  

God bless Donald Trump.  

Jerry Philbrick  


PS. Do you realize how much in taxes we pay in California? All the car sales every day? And all the other taxes on clothes and food and everything? Plus fines and penalties. Yet we have homeless and starving people flooding our towns. Where is all that tax money going? It’s not helping the people or the infrastructure. Wait till the lid blows off here. It won't be long. It's pathetic. Billions and billions of misdirected dollars.  

PPS. The California Air Resource Board, CARB, is one of the biggest scams in the history of the United States or the world. They are collecting taxes and forcing people to buy new trucks just to stay in business, hundreds of millions of dollars. They won't let us use trucks below 2012. They say it's ruining the atmosphere. But there is no pollution in Northern California. The big storms we are having now blows pollution away. The people who believe in climate change are idiots! IDIOTS! Every time there is a storm mother nature cleans the atmosphere. CARB is ruining people's lives. That rotten communist Mary Nichols is in charge of CARB. According to CARB, if you don't have a truck that's 2012 or newer you have to junk it. That means Wayne Hiatt, Mancher Pardini, myself, and hundreds of other guys around the country who own trucks not 2012 or newer have to junk ‘em or take ‘em out of the state and sell them. They are perfectly good in Oregon or Nevada or whatever. Just because we have a governor who is a cull and a Communist woman who is allowed to carry out this CARB thing who hates truckers and is trying to get all the trucks off the highway costing companies the businesses they saved all their lives for. Why do California people allow this to happen? Because you closed your eyes and didn't vote.  

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